July 17, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 6:41 PM

ALL COMEDY IS CONSERVATIVE, SIR:


Posted by orrinj at 6:25 PM

THEY SUPPORT HIM BECAUSE OF, NOT IN SPITE OF, HIS RACISM:

The Cancer Is Spreading: Trump's racism isn't veiled anymore. As bad as it is, there's an even bigger danger. (JONATHAN V. LAST  JULY 17, 2019, The Bulwark)

This week American Greatness published an anonymously written poem titled "Cuck Elegy." I'm not going to link to it. It is an attack on David French and other conservatives who the author believes are too invested in getting the approbation of the left and not willing enough to fight . . . well, for whatever.

And midway through the verse are these lines:


The "Global South"? "The mocha-skinned Lazarus"?

"You are more rich than him if not in cash, then in your white skin"?

I don't know to read this as anything other than racism--and not just racism, but actual, honest-to-God, KKK-style white nationalism.

Especially since--again--the author is using a pseudonym. Which is the writerly equivalent of wearing a hood. If there was an innocent interpretation for this, then the author's name would be on it.

It is not a coincidence that this post appeared on a website devoted to the perpetual and total defense of Donald Trump 72 hours after Trump started telling some of America's elected representatives to "go back to your own country."

This is how the cancer spreads.

Posted by orrinj at 5:47 PM

A MODEL OF oRIGINALIST JURISPRUDENCE:

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., PETITIONERS v. 
DICK ANTHONY HELLER

on writ of certiorari to the united states court ofappeals for the district of columbia circuit


[June 26, 2008]

    Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Souter, Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Breyer joindissenting.

    The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a "collective right" or an "individual right." Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.

    Guns are used to hunt, for self-defense, to commit crimes, for sporting activities, and to perform military duties. The Second Amendment plainly does not protect the right to use a gun to rob a bank; it is equally clear that it does encompass the right to use weapons for certain military purposes. Whether it also protects the right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes like hunting and personal self-defense is the question presented by this case. The text of the Amendment, its history, and our decision in United States v. Miller307 U. S. 174 (1939) , provide a clear answer to that question.

    The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature's authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.

    In 1934, Congress enacted the National Firearms Act, the first major federal firearms law.1 Upholding a conviction under that Act, this Court held that, "[i]n the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument." Miller, 307 U. S., at 178. The view of the Amendment we took in Miller--that it protects the right to keep and bear arms for certain military purposes, but that it does not curtail the Legislature's power to regulate the nonmilitary use and ownership of weapons--is both the most natural reading of the Amendment's text and the interpretation most faithful to the history of its adoption.

    Since our decision in Miller, hundreds of judges have relied on the view of the Amendment we endorsed there;2 we ourselves affirmed it in 1980. SeeLewis v. United States, 445 U. S. 55 , n. 8 (1980).3 No new evidence has surfaced since 1980 supporting the view that the Amendment was intended to curtail the power of Congress to regulate civilian use or misuse of weapons. Indeed, a review of the drafting history of the Amendment demonstrates that its Framers rejected proposals that would have broadened its coverage to include such uses.

    The opinion the Court announces today fails to identify any new evidence supporting the view that the Amendment was intended to limit the power of Congress to regulate civilian uses of weapons. Unable to point to any such evidence, the Court stakes its holding on a strained and unpersuasive reading of the Amendment's text; significantly different provisions in the 1689 English Bill of Rights, and in various 19th-century State Constitutions; postenactment commentary that was available to the Court when it decided Miller; and, ultimately, a feeble attempt to distinguish Miller that places more emphasis on the Court's decisional process than on the reasoning in the opinion itself.

    Even if the textual and historical arguments on both sides of the issue were evenly balanced, respect for the well-settled views of all of our predecessors on this Court, and for the rule of law itself, see Mitchell v. W. T. Grant Co., 416 U. S. 600636 (1974) (Stewart, J., dissenting), would prevent most jurists from endorsing such a dramatic upheaval in the law.4 As Justice Cardozo observed years ago, the "labor of judges would be increased almost to the breaking point if every past decision could be reopened in every case, and one could not lay one's own course of bricks on the secure foundation of the courses laid by others who had gone before him." The Nature of the Judicial Process 149 (1921).

    In this dissent I shall first explain why our decision in Miller was faithful to the text of the Second Amendment and the purposes revealed in its drafting history. I shall then comment on the postratification history of the Amendment, which makes abundantly clear that the Amendment should not be interpreted as limiting the authority of Congress to regulate the use or possession of firearms for purely civilian purposes.

I

    The text of the Second Amendment is brief. It provides: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    Three portions of that text merit special focus: the introductory language defining the Amendment's purpose, the class of persons encompassed within its reach, and the unitary nature of the right that it protects.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State"

    The preamble to the Second Amendment makes three important points. It identifies the preservation of the militia as the Amendment's purpose; it explains that the militia is necessary to the security of a free State; and it recognizes that the militia must be "well regulated." In all three respects it is comparable to provisions in several State Declarations of Rights that were adopted roughly contemporaneously with the Declaration of Independence.5Those state provisions highlight the importance members of the founding generation attached to the maintenance of state militias; they also underscore the profound fear shared by many in that era of the dangers posed by standing armies.6 While the need for state militias has not been a matter of significant public interest for almost two centuries, that fact should not obscure the contemporary concerns that animated the Framers.

    The parallels between the Second Amendment and these state declarations, and the Second Amendment 's omission of any statement of purpose related to the right to use firearms for hunting or personal self-defense, is especially striking in light of the fact that the Declarations of Rights of Pennsylvania and Vermont did expresslyprotect such civilian uses at the time. Article XIII of Pennsylvania's 1776 Declaration of Rights announced that "the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state," 1 Schwartz 266 (emphasis added); §43 of the Declaration assured that "the inhabitants of this state shall have the liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times on the lands they hold, and on all other lands therein not inclosed," id., at 274. And Article XV of the 1777 Vermont Declaration of Rights guaranteed "[t]hat the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State." Id., at 324 (emphasis added). The contrast between those two declarations and the Second Amendment reinforces the clear statement of purpose announced in the Amendment's preamble. It confirms that the Framers' single-minded focus in crafting the constitutional guarantee "to keep and bear arms" was on military uses of firearms, which they viewed in the context of service in state militias.

    The preamble thus both sets forth the object of the Amendment and informs the meaning of the remainder of its text. Such text should not be treated as mere surplusage, for "[i]t cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect." Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 174 (1803).

    The Court today tries to denigrate the importance of this clause of the Amendment by beginning its analysis with the Amendment's operative provision and returning to the preamble merely "to ensure that our reading of the operative clause is consistent with the announced purpose." Ante, at 5. That is not how this Court ordinarily reads such texts, and it is not how the preamble would have been viewed at the time the Amendment was adopted. While the Court makes the novel suggestion that it need only find some "logical connection" between the preamble and the operative provision, it does acknowledge that a prefatory clause may resolve an ambiguity in the text. Ante, at 4.7 Without identifying any language in the text that even mentions civilian uses of firearms, the Court proceeds to "find" its preferred reading in what is at best an ambiguous text, and then concludes that its reading is not foreclosed by the preamble. Perhaps the Court's approach to the text is acceptable advocacy, but it is surely an unusual approach for judges to follow.

"The right of the people"

    The centerpiece of the Court's textual argument is its insistence that the words "the people" as used in the Second Amendment must have the same meaning, and protect the same class of individuals, as when they are used in the First and Fourth Amendment s. According to the Court, in all three provisions--as well as the Constitution's preamble, section 2 of Article I, and the Tenth Amendment --"the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset." Ante, at 6. But the Court itself reads the Second Amendment to protect a "subset" significantly narrower than the class of persons protected by the First and Fourth Amendment s; when it finally drills down on the substantive meaning of the Second Amendment , the Court limits the protected class to "law-abiding, responsible citizens," ante, at 63. But the class of persons protected by the First andFourth Amendment s is not so limited; for even felons (and presumably irresponsible citizens as well) may invoke the protections of those constitutional provisions. The Court offers no way to harmonize its conflicting pronouncements.

    The Court also overlooks the significance of the way the Framers used the phrase "the people" in these constitutional provisions. In the First Amendment , no words define the class of individuals entitled to speak, to publish, or to worship; in that Amendment it is only the right peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, that is described as a right of "the people." These rights contemplate collective action. While the right peaceably to assemble protects the individual rights of those persons participating in the assembly, its concern is with action engaged in by members of a group, rather than any single individual. Likewise, although the act of petitioning the Government is a right that can be exercised by individuals, it is primarily collective in nature. For if they are to be effective, petitions must involve groups of individuals acting in concert.

    Similarly, the words "the people" in the Second Amendment refer back to the object announced in the Amendment's preamble. They remind us that it is the collective action of individuals having a duty to serve in the militia that the text directly protects and, perhaps more importantly, that the ultimate purpose of the Amendment was to protect the States' share of the divided sovereignty created by the Constitution.

     As used in the Fourth Amendment , "the people" describes the class of persons protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by Government officials.     It is true that the Fourth Amendment describes a right that need not be exercised in any collective sense. But that observation does not settle the meaning of the phrase "the people" when used in the Second Amendment . For, as we have seen, the phrase means something quite different in the Petition and Assembly Clauses of the First Amendment . Although the abstract definition of the phrase "the people" could carry the same meaning in theSecond Amendment as in the Fourth Amendment , the preamble of the Second Amendment suggests that the uses of the phrase in the First and Second Amendment s are the same in referring to a collective activity. By way of contrast, the Fourth Amendment describes a right against governmental interference rather than an affirmative right to engage in protected conduct, and so refers to a right to protect a purely individual interest. As used in the Second Amendment , the words "the people" do not enlarge the right to keep and bear arms to encompass use or ownership of weapons outside the context of service in a well-regulated militia.

"To keep and bear Arms"

    Although the Court's discussion of these words treats them as two "phrases"--as if they read "to keep" and "to bear"--they describe a unitary right: to possess arms if needed for military purposes and to use them in conjunction with military activities.

    As a threshold matter, it is worth pausing to note an oddity in the Court's interpretation of "to keep and bear arms." Unlike the Court of Appeals, the Court does not read that phrase to create a right to possess arms for "lawful, private purposes." Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F. 3d 370, 382 (CADC 2007). Instead, the Court limits the Amendment's protection to the right "to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation." Ante, at 19. No party or amicus urged this interpretation; the Court appears to have fashioned it out of whole cloth. But although this novel limitation lacks support in the text of the Amendment, the Amendment's text does justify a different limitation: the "right to keep and bear arms" protects only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia.

    The term "bear arms" is a familiar idiom; when used unadorned by any additional words, its meaning is "to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight." 1 Oxford English Dictionary 634 (2d ed. 1989). It is derived from the Latin arma ferre, which, translated literally, means "to bear [ferre] war equipment [arma]." Brief for Professors of Linguistics and English as Amici Curiae 19. One 18th-century dictionary defined "arms" as "weapons of offence, or armour of defence," 1 S. Johnson, A Dictionary of theEnglish Language(1755), and another contemporaneous source explained that "[b]y arms, we understand those instruments of offence generally made use of in war; such as firearms, swords, & c. By weapons, we more particularly mean instruments of other kinds (exclusive of fire-arms), made use of as offensive, on special occasions." 1 J. Trusler, The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous in the English Language37 (1794).8 Had the Framers wished to expand the meaning of the phrase "bear arms" to encompass civilian possession and use, they could have done so by the addition of phrases such as "for the defense of themselves," as was done in the Pennsylvania and Vermont Declarations of Rights. The unmodified use of "bear arms," by contrast, refers most naturally to a military purpose, as evidenced by its use in literally dozens of contemporary texts.9 The absence of any reference to civilian uses of weapons tailors the text of the Amendment to the purpose identified in its preamble.10 But when discussing these words, the Court simply ignores the preamble.

    The Court argues that a "qualifying phrase that contradicts the word or phrase it modifies is unknown this side of the looking glass." Ante, at 15. But this fundamentally fails to grasp the point. The stand-alone phrase "bear arms" most naturally conveys a military meaning unless the addition of a qualifying phrase signals that a different meaning is intended. When, as in this case, there is no such qualifier, the most natural meaning is the military one; and, in the absence of any qualifier, it is all the more appropriate to look to the preamble to confirm the natural meaning of the text.11 The Court's objection is particularly puzzling in light of its own contention that the addition of the modifier "against" changes the meaning of "bear arms." Compare ante, at 10 (defining "bear arms" to mean "carrying [a weapon] for a particular purpose--confrontation"), with ante, at 12 ("The phrase 'bear Arms' also had at the time of the founding an idiomatic meaning that was significantly different from its natural meaning: to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight or to wage war. But it unequivocally bore that idiomatic meaning only when followed by the preposition 'against.' " (citations and some internal quotation marks omitted)).

    The Amendment's use of the term "keep" in no way contradicts the military meaning conveyed by the phrase "bear arms" and the Amendment's preamble. To the contrary, a number of state militia laws in effect at the time of the Second Amendment 's drafting used the term "keep" to describe the requirement that militia members store their arms at their homes, ready to be used for service when necessary. The Virginia military law, for example, ordered that "every one of the said officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, shall constantly keep the aforesaid arms, accoutrements, and ammunition, ready to be produced whenever called for by his commanding officer." Act for Regulating and Disciplining the Militia, 1785 Va. Acts ch. 1, §3, p. 2 (emphasis added).12 "[K]eep and bear arms" thus perfectly describes the responsibilities of a framing-era militia member.

    This reading is confirmed by the fact that the clause protects only one right, rather than two. It does not describe a right "to keep arms" and a separate right "to bear arms." Rather, the single right that it does describe is both a duty and a right to have arms available and ready for military service, and to use them for military purposes when necessary.13 Different language surely would have been used to protect nonmilitary use and possession of weapons from regulation if such an intent had played any role in the drafting of the Amendment.

*  *  *

    When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more than that was contemplated by its drafters or is encompassed within its terms. Even if the meaning of the text were genuinely susceptible to more than one interpretation, the burden would remain on those advocating a departure from the purpose identified in the preamble and from settled law to come forward with persuasive new arguments or evidence. The textual analysis offered by respondent and embraced by the Court falls far short of sustaining that heavy burden.14 And the Court's emphatic reliance on the claim "that the Second Amendment ... codified a pre-existing right," ante, at 19, is of course beside the point because the right to keep and bear arms for service in a state militia was also a pre-existing right.

    Indeed, not a word in the constitutional text even arguably supports the Court's overwrought and novel description of the Second Amendment as "elevat[ing] above all other interests" "the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home." Ante, at 63.

II

    The proper allocation of military power in the new Nation was an issue of central concern for the Framers. The compromises they ultimately reached, reflected in Article I's Militia Clauses and the Second Amendment , represent quintessential examples of the Framers' "splitting the atom of sovereignty." 15

    Two themes relevant to our current interpretive task ran through the debates on the original Constitution. "On the one hand, there was a widespread fear that a national standing Army posed an intolerable threat to individual liberty and to the sovereignty of the separate States." Perpich v. Department of Defense, 496 U. S. 334340 (1990) .16 Governor Edmund Randolph, reporting on the Constitutional Convention to the Virginia Ratification Convention, explained: "With respect to a standing army, I believe there was not a member in the federal Convention, who did not feel indignation at such an institution." 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 401 (2d ed. 1863) (hereinafter Elliot). On the other hand, the Framers recognized the dangers inherent in relying on inadequately trained militia members "as the primary means of providing for the common defense," Perpich, 496 U. S., at 340; during the Revolutionary War, "[t]his force, though armed, was largely untrained, and its deficiencies were the subject of bitter complaint." Wiener, The Militia Clause of the Constitution, 54 Harv. L. Rev. 181, 182 (1940).17 In order to respond to those twin concerns, a compromise was reached: Congress would be authorized to raise and support a national Army18 and Navy, and also to organize, arm, discipline, and provide for the calling forth of "the Militia." U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cls. 12-16. The President, at the same time, was empowered as the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." Art. II, §2. But, with respect to the militia, a significant reservation was made to the States: Although Congress would have the power to call forth,19 organize, arm, and discipline the militia, as well as to govern "such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States," the States respectively would retain the right to appoint the officers and to train the militia in accordance with the discipline prescribed by Congress. Art. I, §8, cl. 16.20

    But the original Constitution's retention of the militia and its creation of divided authority over that body did not prove sufficient to allay fears about the dangers posed by a standing army. For it was perceived by some that Article I contained a significant gap: While it empowered Congress to organize, arm, and discipline the militia, it did not prevent Congress from providing for the militia's disarmament. As George Mason argued during the debates in Virginia on the ratification of the original Constitution:

"The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless--by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has the exclusive right to arm them." Elliot 379.

    This sentiment was echoed at a number of state ratification conventions; indeed, it was one of the primary objections to the original Constitution voiced by its opponents. The Anti-Federalists were ultimately unsuccessful in persuading state ratification conventions to condition their approval of the Constitution upon the eventual inclusion of any particular amendment. But a number of States did propose to the first Federal Congress amendments reflecting a desire to ensure that the institution of the militia would remain protected under the new Government. The proposed amendments sent by the States of Virginia, North Carolina, and New York focused on the importance of preserving the state militias and reiterated the dangers posed by standing armies. New Hampshire sent a proposal that differed significantly from the others; while also invoking the dangers of a standing army, it suggested that the Constitution should more broadly protect the use and possession of weapons, without tying such a guarantee expressly to the maintenance of the militia. The States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts sent no relevant proposed amendments to Congress, but in each of those States a minority of the delegates advocated related amendments. While the Maryland minority proposals were exclusively concerned with standing armies and conscientious objectors, the unsuccessful proposals in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania would have protected a more broadly worded right, less clearly tied to service in a state militia. Faced with all of these options, it is telling that James Madison chose to craft the Second Amendmentas he did.

    The relevant proposals sent by the Virginia Ratifying Convention read as follows:

"17th, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated Militia composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State. That standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil power." Elliot 659.

    "19th. That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted, upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead." Ibid.

    North Carolina adopted Virginia's proposals and sent them to Congress as its own, although it did not actually ratify the original Constitution until Congress had sent the proposed Bill of Rights to the States for ratification. 2 Schwartz932-933; see The Complete Bill of Rights 182-183 (N. Cogan ed. 1997) (hereinafter Cogan).

    New York produced a proposal with nearly identical language. It read:

    "That the people have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing Arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State... . That standing Armies, in time of Peace, are dangerous to Liberty, and ought not to be kept up, except in Cases of necessity; and that at all times, the Military should be kept under strict Subordination to the civil Power." 2 Schwartz 912.

    Notably, each of these proposals used the phrase "keep and bear arms," which was eventually adopted by Madison. And each proposal embedded the phrase withina group of principles that are distinctly military inmeaning.21

    By contrast, New Hampshire's proposal, although it followed another proposed amendment that echoed the familiar concern about standing armies,22described the protection involved in more clearly personal terms. Its proposal read:

    "Twelfth, Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion." Id., at 758, 761.

    The proposals considered in the other three States, although ultimately rejected by their respective ratification conventions, are also relevant to our historical inquiry. First, the Maryland proposal, endorsed by a minority of the delegates and later circulated in pamphlet form, read:

    "4. That no standing army shall be kept up in time of peace, unless with the consent of two thirds of the members present of each branch of Congress.

.     .     .     .     .

    "10. That no person conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms in any case, shall be compelled personally to serve as a soldier." Id., at 729, 735.

    The rejected Pennsylvania proposal, which was later incorporated into a critique of the Constitution titled "The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Pennsylvania Minority of the Convention of the State of Pennsylvania to Their Constituents (1787)," signed by a minority of the State's delegates (those who had voted against ratification of the Constitution), id., at 628, 662, read:

    7. "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own State, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to, and be governed by the civil powers." Id., at 665.

    Finally, after the delegates at the Massachusetts Ratification Convention had compiled a list of proposed amendments and alterations, a motion was made to add to the list the following language: "[T]hat the said Constitution never be construed to authorize Congress to ... prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms." Cogan 181. This motion, however, failed to achieve the necessary support, and the proposal was excluded from the list of amendments the State sent to Congress. 2 Schwartz 674-675.

    Madison, charged with the task of assembling the proposals for amendments sent by the ratifying States, was the principal draftsman of the Second Amendment .23 He had before him, or at the very least would have been aware of, all of these proposed formulations. In addition, Madison had been a member, some years earlier, of the committee tasked with drafting the Virginia Declaration of Rights. That committee considered a proposal by Thomas Jefferson that would have included within the Virginia Declaration the following language: "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]." 1 Papers of Thomas Jefferson 363 (J. Boyd ed. 1950). But the committee rejected that language, adopting instead the provision drafted by George Mason.24


Comments


Posted by orrinj at 3:13 PM

NOPE; WE HAVE BEEN ASSURED THIS CAN NOT HAPPEN:

Scotland is generating so much wind energy, it could power all its homes twice (STEPHEN JOHNSON, 17 July, 2019, Rightly Understood)

Scotland's wind turbines have generated enough electricity this year to power all of its homes twice over, according to Weather Energy.

In the first half of 2019, Scotland's wind turbines produced more than 9.8 million megawatt-hours of electricity, which is about enough to power 4.47 million homes. There are 2.46 million homes in Scotland.

Posted by orrinj at 11:32 AM

HAPPILY, IT DIDN'T TAKE FOREVER:

Former Supreme Court justice roots for Cubs (AP, Oct. 26, 2016)

A lot of Chicago Cubs fans have waited a long time to see them win the championship. In this case, it feels like forever.

How many people can say they went to the very first World Series game at Wrigley Field?

That was in 1929, and future Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was there. He was in the box seats behind third base a few Octobers later, too, and saw Babe Ruth call his shot.

"Very definitely," Stevens told The Associated Press this week by phone from Florida. "He pointed his bat."

Posted by orrinj at 11:29 AM

IF ONLY CATARELLA COULD GIVE HIS EULOGY:

Andrea Camilleri, author of Inspector Montalbano novels, dies at 93 (Angelo Amante, 7/17/19, Reuters)

He published his first book when he was 53, but it made little impact and he subsequently gave up writing for many years, only producing the first Montalbano novel, "The Shape of Water", in 1994, when he was almost 70.

The 26th novel in the series, "The Cook of Alcyon", hit Italian bookstores at the end of May. Camilleri said in 2006 he had prepared a final installment chronicling the death of his detective hero which was locked in his publisher's safe.

The popularity of both the chain-smoking Camilleri and his food-loving alter ego Montalbano soared after Rai started adapting the adventures of the Sicilian detective in 1999, subsequently selling the series worldwide.

The Montalbano novels are set in the fictional town of Vigata, which closely resembles Camilleri's hometown of Porto Empedocle -- a port in southern Sicily. Sicilian life and cooking infuses the mysteries, as does local dialect.

The television series has fueled a tourism renaissance on the island, with Italians and foreigners alike regularly flocking to the small and picturesque towns of Ragusa, Scicli and Modica where the fictional Montalbano conducted his investigations.





Posted by orrinj at 11:21 AM

HE KNOWS HIS BASE:

Trump attacks on 'the squad' drive wedge between campaign and critical voters (David M. Drucker, July 17, 2019, Washington Examiner)

President Trump's incendiary claims that his Democratic critics in Congress are un-American are driving a deep wedge between his 2020 campaign and critical elements of the coalition he needs to secure a second term.

Suburban women and college-educated whites sidelined doubts about Trump and provided support crucial to his victory over Hillary Clinton. But many, fed up with the president's antics and rhetoric, defected to the Democratic Party in midterm elections two years later. Senior Republican strategists are warning that Trump's divisive attacks on the four female minority congressional Democrats could permanently exile these key voting blocs, costing the president reelection.

"Republicans want this election to be about the economy and judges. If it's about Trump's tweets and temperament, it's likely that Democrats will have an enthusiasm advantage," said Alex Conant, a GOP operative who has advised presidential candidates.

White identity politics drives Trump, and the Republican Party under him (Michael Scherer,  The Washington Post)

Trump won the 2016 election with the help of blue-collar white voters, some of them longtime Democrats, who are more conservative on immigration and more likely to embrace racial solidarity. Two years later, the 2018 midterm election showed suburban and college-educated whites recoiling at the same policies and statements, propelling Democrats to recapture control of the House.

"Trump is proposing a giant swap: Republicans can no longer count on suburban women and we will continue to lose college-educated men and women, while we increasingly pick up working white Americans without college degrees," said Ari Fleischer, who was a White House press secretary for President George W. Bush and who has spoken with Trump campaign advisers about their strategy for increasing turnout.


As much as conservatives would like to dismiss Donald as an accident that happened to our party, Donald knows that it is precisely his racism that will appeal to the Right and that they will defend him no matter what, so long as he maintains his racist course.



MORE:
Poll: Most Americans call Trump's tweets targeting 4 congresswomen 'un-American' (7/17/19, Susan Page, USA TODAY) 

More than two-thirds of those aware of the controversy, 68%, called Trump's tweets offensive. Among Republicans alone, however, 57% said they agreed with tweets that told the congresswomen to go back to their "original" countries, and a third "strongly" agreed with them. [...]

[T[he dispute could be costly for Trump among some key voters in his bid for a second term. Three-fourths of the women polled called his tweets offensive. Independents by more than 2-1 said they were "un-American."  

Overall, 59% called the president's tweets "un-American."

Posted by orrinj at 11:17 AM

A RAPIST, NOT JUST A RACIST:

WATCH: Archived Footage Shows Trump, Epstein Laughing About Women At Mar-a-Lago (Aiden Pink, 7/17/19, The Forward)

Producers at NBC News uncovered a 1992 clip showing President Trump and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein talking about women at a party at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

The footage was captured for a profile of Trump's then-bachelor life on Faith Daniels' NBC talk show. It features a party Trump threw with NFL cheerleaders at Mar-a-Lago -- then his private residence before it became a resort. Epstein was also there, and the footage shows the two appearing to discuss the women dancing in front of them.

Although their exact conversation cannot be heard over the sound of the music, NBC reported that Trump appears to say, "Look at her back there. She's hot." He then added something that made Epstein bend over with laughter.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

DONALD'S VERY FINE BASE:

CNN Invites White Supremacist Richard Spencer to Talk About Trump's Racist Tweets (Kelly Weill, 07.17.19 , CNN)

CNN interviewed white supremacist Richard Spencer during a Tuesday segment on President Donald Trump's racist tweets, in another example of a news outlet normalizing far-right radicals by giving them a mainstream platform.

The segment on Jake Tapper's The Lead covered neo-Nazis' support for Trump's racist attacks on four progressive congresswomen of color. The spot included an interview with Spencer who said Trump is playing a "con game" and that his attacks were not racist enough.

"He gives us nothing outside of racist tweets," he said. "And by racist tweets, I mean tweets that are meaningless and cheap and express the kind of sentiments you might hear from your drunk uncle while he's watching [Sean] Hannity."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

HEARTS?:


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

COOL:

'Apollo 11 in Real Time' website replays every second of historic mission (STEPHEN JOHNSON, 16 July, 2019, Big Think)

Apollo 11 in Real Time is a "mission experience" a website, created by Ben Feist, that replays the Apollo 11 mission second by second, starting with archival footage and audio taken 20 hours before launch, and ending just after Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins step onto the USS Hornet recovery ship. The website lets viewers switch between multiple camera angles and also includes:

All mission control film footage
All TV transmissions and onboard film footage
2,000 photographs
11,000 hours of Mission Control audio
240 hours of space-to-ground audio
All onboard recorder audio
15,000 searchable utterances
Post-mission commentary
Astromaterials sample data

You can start at the beginning, 1 minute to launch, or you can join the 'in progress' view to see exactly where the mission was at this very second 50 years ago.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

A RACE, NOT A RELIGION:

Israel has almost as many religious restrictions as Iran, report says: Israel is one of the top 20 most religiously restrictive countries in world, with sixth-highest level of 'interreligious tension and violence' -- a worse score than Syria, says Pew (BEN SALES, 7/17/19, JTA)

The report, published Monday by the Pew Research Center, tracks the rise of religious restrictions globally. Israel was one of the top 20 most religiously restrictive countries in the world, according to Pew.

It also has the fifth-highest level of "social hostilities related to religious norms," and the sixth-highest level of "interreligious tension and violence" -- a worse score than Syria.

The report cited incidents in Israel like harassment of people who drive cars near haredi Orthodox neighborhoods on Shabbat, or government officials who "defer in some way to religious authorities or doctrines on legal issues."

Israel self-defines as a Jewish state. Its haredi Orthodox Chief Rabbinate controls all recognized marriage, divorce, burial and Jewish conversion in the country, which means that non-Orthodox weddings, divorces, funerals and conversions are not recognized by the state. The state likewise does not recognize intermarriages conducted in the country. Most cities do not run public transit on Shabbat.

Regarding restrictions on Jews worldwide, the report pointed out government interference in circumcision in Germany and Slovenia. And the report noted rising anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi activity, including assaults on Jews, in Europe and the United States.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

REAGAN WEPT (profanity alert):

Four House Republicans Join Democrats To Condemn Trump's Racist Comments (Cody Fenwick, July 16, 2019, National Memo)

The following Republicans approved the resolution:

Rep. Will Hurd of Texas
Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana
Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who recently left the GOP after calling for Trump's impeachment, also voted in favor of the resolution.

Watch Kris Kobach Say He Might Vote for Trump Even if Trump Says, "I Am a Racist" (MATTHEW DESSEM, JULY 16, 2019, Slate)


Barring telepathy, there is no way for a human being to establish him or herself as "a racist" more convincingly than saying, "I am a racist." And yet Kobach, who is so worried about left wingers unfairly throwing around the word "racist," says, "Um, I don't know. That would be a really tough question. I'd have to know who was running against him." OK, then!

Here's the complete exchange:

Kris Kobach: No, he didn't pick a race battle. He picked a battle, and then the left, and you, choose to characterize it as a race battle. It's not about race.

Chris Cuomo: What do you want me to do when he makes a racist comment? I call him a demagogue, because I don't want to get into the business of what he thinks he is. Because in our political culture, if he says, "I'm not a racist," then it gives guys like you cover to defend him. But let me ask you something: If the president said, "I am a racist. That's why I said it," what would you do?

Kobach: Uh, then I would not defend him, because there's no excuse for racism in America, period.

Cuomo: Really?

Kobach: Really.

Cuomo: Would you still support him as president?

Kobach: Um, I don't know. That would be a really tough question.

Cuomo: You have to think about it? You have to think about whether or not you would support a racist?

Kobach: If he said, if he said, if he said, if he says it's ...

Cuomo: Really?

Kobach: I'd have to know who was running against him.

Cuomo: A racist?

July 16, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 8:51 PM

CALLING A TRUMP A TRUMP:


Posted by orrinj at 6:22 PM

MUST HAVE!:


Posted by orrinj at 6:11 PM

IF THEY WERE CONCENTRATION CAMPS...:

3-Year-Old Asked To Pick Parent In Attempted Family Separation, Her Parents Say (ROBERT MOORE, 7/15/19, NPR)

At a Border Patrol holding facility in El Paso, Texas, an agent told a Honduran family that one parent would be sent to Mexico while the other parent and their three children could stay in the United States, according to the family. The agent turned to the couple's youngest daughter -- 3-year-old Sofia, whom they call Sofi -- and asked her to make a choice.

"The agent asked her who she wanted to go with, mom or dad," her mother, Tania, told NPR through an interpreter. "And the girl, because she is more attached to me, she said mom. But when they started to take [my husband] away, the girl started to cry. The officer said, 'You said [you want to go] with mom.' "

...victims would be having to make Sophie's choice....

Posted by orrinj at 5:55 PM

NO ONE HATES JUST MEXICANS:

What the U.S.-China Trade War Is Really About (Tyler Cowen, July 15, 2019, Bloomberg)

Start with President Donald Trump, who himself has mixed motives. He has favored tariffs and protectionism since the 1980s, when he focused on Japan.

Hmmmm...how are the Japanese and Chinese similar....

Posted by orrinj at 5:37 PM

IT'S POLITICS, NOT MEDICINE:

Planned Parenthood Removes Leana Wen as President (Shane Goldmacher, July 16, 2019, NY Times)

Dr. Wen had been the first physician to lead the organization in decades. The people familiar with the move said there had been internal strife over her management, and that the group felt it needed a more aggressive political leader to fight the efforts to roll back access to abortions.

She fundamentally misunderstood the mission, Leana Wen wanted to broaden Planned Parenthood's mandate. Now she's out as president (AINSLEY HARRIS, 7/16/19, Fast Company)

While Wen spoke of fighting back--both in the courts and by mobilizing Planned Parenthood's 13 million supporters--she also hoped to broaden the organization's mandate to include services like addiction treatment, mental health services, and pre- and post-natal care. She further talked about serving not just women but men and nonbinary people. "The way that I think about our work, and why I took on this role, I believe that the best way to take on abortion care is to contextualize it as the fundamental healthcare that it is," she said. "I believe that the best way to protect Planned Parenthood is to make clear that we are a healthcare organization and that we provide essential services to millions of people around the country."


Posted by orrinj at 5:34 PM

RENT'S NO LONGER TOO DANG HIGH:

Apartment oversupply puts squeeze on rents (Nigel Gladstone, July 14, 2019, SMH)

An investor-led building boom has almost doubled the size of the Sydney apartment rental market in two years, forcing landlords to drop rents more than $100 a week in some areas to secure tenants, and casting a shadow over the thousands of units still under construction.

The number of flats listed on real estate websites to rent has more than tripled in 15 postcodes, including around Gordon, Miranda, Botany, Sutherland and Homebush. This oversupply has left some areas struggling to find tenants, rental bond data shows.

Posted by orrinj at 3:22 PM

DEFINING DEVIANCE DOWNWARD:

A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It's Really Like to Guard Migrant Children: With the agency under fire for holding children in deplorable conditions and over racist and misogynistic Facebook posts, one agent speaks about what it's like to do his job. "Somewhere down the line people just accepted what's going on as normal." (Ginger Thompson July 16, 2019, Pro Publica)

It's rare to hear from Border Patrol agents, especially since the Trump administration has put them at the front lines of its sweeping immigration crackdown. Public access to them is typically controlled and choreographed. When approached off duty, agents say they risk their jobs if they speak about their work without permission. As a result, much about the country's largest federal law enforcement agency -- with some 20,000 agents policing the borders and ports -- remains shrouded in secrecy, even from congressional oversight, making it nearly impossible to hold it accountable.

Disturbing glimpses of some agents have recently begun to fill the void, including some that were published recently after ProPublica obtained screenshots from a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents that showed several agents and at least one supervisor had posted crude, racist and misogynistic comments about immigrants and Democratic members of Congress. The posts raised questions about whether the deplorable detention conditions on the border were out of the control of Customs and Border Protection, as the agency had asserted, or a reflection of its culture.

Other reports followed, including one from CNN that described agents attempting to humiliate a Honduran immigrant by trying to force him to be photographed holding a sign that read in Spanish, "I like men." The Intercept published more degrading posts from the secret Facebook group, and it reported that it appeared that Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost had once been a member. Provost has not commented.

But there was some nuance. An account of life inside a Border Patrol detention facility outside El Paso, Texas, by The New York Times and The El Paso Times, revealed that two agents there had expressed concerns about the conditions to their supervisors.

The agent who spent June in McAllen doesn't see his reality in any of those depictions. He's in his late 30s and is a husband and father who served overseas in the military before joining the Border Patrol. He asked not to be identified because he worried that his candor could cost him his job and thrust him and his family into the middle of the angry public debate over the Trump administration's border policies.

His comments come at a particularly fraught moment, as politicians on the left compare the Border Patrol's detention facilities to "concentration camps" and senior Trump administration officials, including most recently Vice President Mike Pence, dismiss descriptions of the inhumane conditions as "unsubstantiated."

When asked about Pence's comments, the agent said the damning descriptions of the facilities are "more substantiated than not." And, while he didn't embrace the term concentration camp, he didn't dispute it either. He searched out loud for a term that might be more accurate. Gulag felt too strong. Jail didn't feel strong enough.

He came around to this: "It's kind of like torture in the army. It starts out with just sleep deprivation, then the next guys come in and sleep deprivation is normal, so they ramp it up. Then the next guys ramp it up some more, and then the next guys, until you have full blown torture going on. That becomes the new normal."

Posted by orrinj at 3:11 PM

MR. VERWOERD WANTS TO KNOW:

Kellyanne Conway to reporter asking about Trump's racist tweets: 'What's your ethnicity?' (Tim O'Donnell, 7/16/19, The Week)

During a press conference on Tuesday, when reporter Andrew Feinberg asked Conway what countries Trump was referring to in his tweets (considering three of the four congresswomen Trump told to "go back" to the "places from which they came" were born in the United States), Conway responded by asking "what's your ethnicity?" 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

ALL JUST SNEECHES:

What's in a Name? The Origins of Judea, Philistia, Palestine and Israel (GRIFFIN JUDD,  JULY 16, 2019, Honest Reporting)

In a different situation, this would merely be a debate over semantics: Levant, Canaan, Judea, Philistia, Palestine, Israel, they would all be different names for the same place.

Unfortunately, a key feature of Palestinian nationalism is the erasure of Jewish history, and so what the land is called does matter.  The Palestinian Authority routinely denounces archeological finds in the city of Jerusalem as fake or illegitimate (see here, here, and here). It is common to hear claims that "Jesus was a Palestinian," but this is misleading; Jesus was most likely born in Bethlehem, which today is within the borders of the West Bank, but he was Jewish and at his time of birth Bethlehem was part of the Herodian Tetrarchy, a Jewish client state of Rome. Furthermore, claiming that Jesus was a Palestinian (or Israeli, or Arab, or Middle Easterner, etc.) is inherently wrong because none of these terms existed at the time. Jesus would certainly not have identified himself as Palestinian, because that concept existed only as a place name, and not even one in widespread use.

To be sure, the conclusion to draw is not that Palestinian Arabs have no national history or heritage, because they most certainly do. However, the Palestinian narrative of descent from Canaan continuously through to today is disingenuous at best and outright false at worst, because it implies that the idea of Palestine as a nation has existed for just as long, and this is demonstrably false.

In summary, the name Palestine originally had nothing to do with the Palestinian people, but instead was associated with first the Philistines and then the area where they had lived, while the Palestinian people are a mix of indigenous and Arabic populations who assumed the label off of the example of the British Mandate.

In contrast, the Jewish people are historically connected to the names of Judea/Judah and Israel. While this by no means invalidates Palestinian claims to peoplehood, it is important to recognize what is truth and what is not.

Blood Brothers: Palestinians and Jews Share Genetic Roots: Jews break down into three genetic groups, all of which have Middle Eastern origins - which are shared with the Palestinians and Druze. (Josie Glausiusz, Oct 20, 2015, Ha'aretz)

Confronted by the violence sweeping over Israel, it can be easy to overlook the things that Jews and Palestinians share: a deep attachment to the same sliver of contested land, a shared appetite for hummus, a common tradition of descent from the patriarch Abraham, and, as scientific research shows - a common genetic ancestry, as well.

Several major studies published in the past five years attest to these ancient hereditary links. At the forefront of these efforts are two researchers: Harry Ostrer, professor of pediatrics and pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, and Karl Skorecki, director of medical and research development at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. Back in June 2010, and within two days of each other, the two scientists and their research teams published extensive analyses of the genetic origins of the Jewish people and their Near East ancestry.

"The closest genetic neighbors to most Jewish groups were the Palestinians, Israeli Bedouins, and Druze in addition to the Southern Europeans, including Cypriots," as Ostrer and Skorecki wrote in a review of their findings that they co-authored in the journal Human Genetics in October 2012.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

A PARTY FOR OLD WHITE MEN ONLY:

None dare call it racism: Afraid of the r-word, Republicans? Here's a better one to describe this president (Robert A. George, JUL 15, 2019, NY Daily News)

Contrary to Ryan, Trump's comments about Curiel were not "textbook" racist. Mexican-Americans, after all, are not a race, but an ethnicity (as, say, Puerto Rican AOC, is). So, for the sake of precision let's say that these words aren't explicitly racist.

But, let's take in toto what this president has said. If we do, we discover that "racism" is actually too limiting a word.

The person who smears Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers (even grudgingly admitting "some are good people") is clearly a nativist bigot.

The person who initially attempted to pass by executive fiat a ban on Muslim immigrants is clearly an Islamaphobic bigot.

The person who caviled for years that the first black president -- of Kenyan heritage -- wasn't really born here (despite voluminous, contemporaneous, evidence to the contrary) is clearly a xenophobic bigot.

The person who suggests that four members of Congress should just shut up or "go back" to other countries is clearly an ignorant and xenophobic bigot. Ignorant because of the "four Progressive Congresswomen" Trump alludes to, Ilhan Omar, is Somali-born, but a naturalized American; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a New York-born Latina; Rashida Tlaib is a Michigan-born Arab; Ayanna Pressley is a black Cincinnati-born, Chicago-raised Massachusetts representative.

He's xenophobic, because even if all were born elsewhere, America welcomes all, even those who find, at times, the need to criticize it.

Indeed, when he doubles down and declares "If they're not happy here, they can leave," it is he who is being the anti-American bigot.

This is something the Republican Party didn't just once believe, in fact it as much as told this Trinidadian-born, partly British-raised immigrant.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

TRUMPONOMICS:


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

SO DIES THE DREAM:

Sufjan Stevens and the Curious Case of the Missing 48 States: More than 15 years ago, a young indie folk artist set a course to traverse the United States of America through song, accruing acclaim, a fan base, and lots of anticipation along the way. Or did he? (Zach Schonfeld  Jul 15, 2019, The Ringer)

Remember when indie rock turned into a whimsical, state-by-state geography lesson? Sufjan Stevens was our banjo-plucking pied piper, traversing the map while delivering two outlandishly baroque masterpieces about specific U.S. states. First came Michigan. Then Illinois. Then Illinois again, sort of. And then--well, we're still waiting.

Michigan and Illinois seemed to unite the whole cynical swath of music lovers: Here were two kid-friendly, parent-friendly, grandparent-friendly concept albums capable of topping Pitchfork's year-end lists and delighting your history teacher all at once. Yet by the last decade's end, the singer's overarching conceit had been mysteriously abandoned: Sufjan Stevens did not write and record an album about all 50 states. He didn't even make it out of the Great Lakes region. No wonder millennials have trust issues.

I was reminded of the 50 states project recently while traveling through Michigan. As I passed Ypsilanti and Romulus--names familiar to me, I confess, because of Sufjan Stevens--I couldn't resist revisiting the singer's tribute to his home state. Then I thought of the years I spent waiting for 48 more state albums, and I wrote a silly tweet. It touched a nerve. "This hits hard," one fan responded. "I even paid to see him dance in neon in 2010 cause I craved that sweet sweet Dakotas double album that never was." I'd tapped into a diaspora of Sufjan fans, of people who'd spent their college years sipping Natty Light while secretly wondering when the singer might tackle Alabama.

My subsequent investigation has undercovered indie-folk corruption of the most galling degree: Stevens never really planned on recording 50 state albums. That was a joke. We were duped, our trust stolen in an audacious act of grand theft banjo. (Stevens was not available for comment for this article, and while I'd love to tell you that is because he is busy conducting scrupulous research into Delaware, that's just wishful thinking.)

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

EVEN TED IS RIGHT ONCE IN AWHILE:

After 2016 Bible Slip, Trump Lashed Out at 'So-Called Christians,' Book Says (Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin, July 15, 2019, NY Times)

Furious after he was criticized by evangelicals for stumbling in his reference to a book of the Bible during the 2016 campaign, Donald J. Trump lashed out at "so-called Christians" and used an epithet in describing them to a party official, according to a new book.

Mr. Trump's anger was aroused after he stumbled in an appearance at Liberty University by referring to Second Corinthians as "Two Corinthians" as he was competing for the votes of evangelicals -- traditionally critical to a Republican's success in the Iowa caucuses -- with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Allies of Mr. Cruz's, including Bob Vander Plaats, a well-known evangelical leader in Iowa, seized on the slip-up to taunt Mr. Trump.

According to a new book, "American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump," by Tim Alberta, the chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine, Mr. Trump was incensed by Mr. Vander Plaats and others "hanging around with Ted," and referred to them in the most vulgar of terms. [...]

For his part, in 2016, Mr. Cruz was candid with friends about his view of evangelicals who backed Mr. Trump. "If you're a faithful person, if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, emerged from the grave three days later and gives eternal life, and you're supporting Donald Trump," the book quotes Mr. Cruz saying to friends, "I think there's something fundamentally wrong with you."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

HURRY NOVEMBER:

New National Poll Shows Trump Losing Badly To Biden, Sanders (Dan Desai Martin, July 15, 2019, National Memo)

Trump can't get more than 44 percent support when facing top Democratic challengers in a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

Americans appear like they may be ready to reject Trump and replace him with Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday.

In the nationwide poll, Trump never manages to get more than 44 percent of support, while each of the candidates listed would win the popular vote if it were held today.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

SEND MORE, WE HAVE 7 MILLION OPEN JOBS:

Let Them Work: Detention centers at the border are full of able-bodied people. Our economy needs workers. Maybe we can work something out. (LINDA CHAVEZ  JULY 16, 2019, The Bulwark)

In the past, parents who could not feed their children often made the difficult decision to leave them behind with family members in the home country while they sought work in other countries. For the last hundred years, millions ofmen, mostly Mexican, came north, crossing the porous border illegally, to work in fields, plants, and factories, sending money back to support their families when work was available and returning home when jobs dried up. 

Employers were eager to hire them--which did not become illegal until 1987-and, at least in prosperous times, the government was happy to turn a blind eye. In the 1940s, the Bracero Program formalized the arrangement, sending illegal migration plummeting, by providing temporary work visas for some 4.6 million Mexicans. Even after the Bracero Program ended in 1964, Mexicans continued to come to the U.S. for seasonal work--albeit without documentation. As the Cato Institute had pointed out, Ronald Reagan remarked in 1977 in one of his regular radio addresses, "'It makes one wonder about the illegal alien fuss. Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal alien invasion or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do?," Reagan asked. "One thing is certain in this hungry world; no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters.'" 

Of course, Reagan famously granted amnesty in 1986 to some 3 million illegal immigrants, but the inept and ineffective legislation Congress passed that year to try to deal proactively with the problem of illegal immigration did little to stem the flow because it did not address the real issue: namely, how to provide employers with a reliable flow of immigrant labor for niche industries and markets where Americans shunned available jobs. Unsurprisingly, less than a decade later with the economy booming, more and more migrants made the trip north so that by 2000 the population of illegal immigrants had grown to more than 12 million. 

In successive administrations from Bush '41 to Trump, the response has been to throw money at enforcement rather than recognizing the role of labor market forces in driving immigration. Conservatives used to understand market economics--maybe some still do, but Trump's appointees and supporters clearly refuse to. With unemployment at historic lows, the economy producing more jobs than there are workers to fill them, and an aging native population, we must find a way to expand our labor force--and quickly. Why not give those adult asylum seekers languishing in CPB facilities who are willing and eager to work the right to do so by releasing them and granting temporary work permits immediately, as we once did, instead of making them wait at least six months? Many of these migrants have skills that are sorely needed in agriculture, construction, and other services. 

July 15, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 6:38 PM

WHAT nATIONALISM IS:

Trump Tells America What Kind of Nationalist He Is (Adam Serwer, 7/15/19,  The Atlantic)

When President Donald Trump declared himself a "nationalist," he was telling the truth, but he was inadequately specific.

On Sunday morning, the president told four members of Congress to "go back" to the countries "from which they came." The remark, a racist taunt with a historic pedigree, inspired a flurry of fact-checking from mainstream journalists who were quick to note that Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar are American citizens, and that only Omar was born abroad, in Somalia. It was a rather remarkable exercise in missing the point.

When Trump told these women to "go back," he was not making a factual claim about where they were born. He was stating his ideological belief that American citizenship is fundamentally racial, that only white people can truly be citizens, and that people of color, immigrants in particular, are only conditionally American. This is a cornerstone of white nationalism, and one of the president's few closely held ideological beliefs. 

Posted by orrinj at 6:32 PM

WE ARE ALL NEOCONOMIST NOW:

Pondering Pigouvian possibilities (Skakel McCooey, 7/15/19, CapX)

Pigou, one of founding members of the Economics department at Cambridge, focused his work on externalities -- consequences of activities that affect third parties but are often not reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved. Because these externalities are effectively "market failures", Pigou suggested imposing taxes to raise the price associated with these actions. Therefore, activities that carry negative externalities would be disincentivised and their price would be, more or less, correct. [...]

The irony is that Pigouvian "taxes" hardly deserve their title. Unlike most other taxes, which warp the market, Pigou's creation corrects a market flaw to reflect the true price of harmful actions.

To Republican politicians, a Pigouvian tax by any other name would certainly smell sweeter. Perhaps a simple re-brand to a "Carbon Correction" could dissociate the negative connotation of the word "tax" from positive action of curbing climate change.

Labels aside, some conservative groups have already jumped on board.

While many proposals exist, one which is especially popular is from the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) -- a conservative group -- which prices carbon at $40 per ton and gradually increase each year. This fee would be imposed at the point where fossil fuels enter the environment -- the mine, well, or port. The returns would be rebated to the American public.

A clever "border carbon adjustment" would add a fee on foreign goods entering the US from countries that did not tax carbon. This would not only keep domestic goods competitive, but also incentivise trading partners -- like China and India, who have significant emissions -- to set ambitious prices on carbon as well.

As plans like these begin to emerge from conservative groups, the tide in the Republican Party may be shifting. Polling by Republican opinion guru Frank Luntz -- who championed the term "climate change" as a less "frightening" alternative to "global warming"-- suggests that the CLC plan enjoys 2-1 support among Republican voters, including 75 per cent support with GOP voters under 40.

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