Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday roundup

The new DoJ is going to do a 180 on the top-down-ism of the previous administration, and defer to states as to how to deal with young people whose mental problems consist of deep confusion about the equipment between their legs:

Justice Department officials plan to issue new guidance on protections for transgender students that will effectively reverse Obama-era recommendations and ensure those issues are decided at the state level going forward.
"That's an issue that the Department of Justice the Department of Education are addressing, and I think there will be further guidance coming from [Justice Department] in particular, with respect to not just the executive order but the case that's in front of the Supreme Court," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday.
The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments late next month on a case involving a transgender teen from Virginia who sued the local school board for the right to use the men's bathroom on campus despite being born a female. The debate over transgender "bathroom bills" gained increasing attention late last year after the Obama administration sent guidance to public schools saying they should allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom matches their gender identity.
"The president has maintained for a long time that this is a state's right issue and not one for the federal government," Spicer said when asked for Trump's position on the hot-button issue. "So while there will be further guidance coming out this, I think that all you need to do is look at what the president's view has been for a long time."
Nikki Haley continues to demonstrate that her current position is where she was destined to fully blossom as a beacon of world-affairs clarity:

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley ripped into the international body's "anti-Israel bias" last week, specifically denouncing the U.N. Security Council for criticizing the Jewish state while ignoring security threats in the Middle East.
"It is the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change," Haley said Thursday after her first Security Council meeting, which she described as "a bit strange." The meeting focused on Israel, Haley said, rather than on issues like Iran funding terrorists and how to defeat the Islamic State.
Haley reaffirmed the United States' support for the Jewish state and said Washington would not "turn a blind eye" to the U.N.'s "anti-Israel bias."
"I'm here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias," Haley said before singling out Security Council resolutions focused on Israel as "outrageously biased."
"The double standards are breathtaking," Haley said. She then described how the Security Council blocked a statement condemning a terrorist attack in Israel during which terrorists shot and stabbed innocent people.
"That's downright shameful," she said of the council's inaction.
"The Security Council would not hesitate to condemn an attack like that in any other country," Haley said, "but not for Israel."
Today is the National Guard's deadline for the Dakota Pipeline protesters to clear out. The response: protestors torching their campsites.  Lots of pics at the Daily Mail link, including a dismaying shot of an expanse of debris over the rolling countryside.

Malaysia's list of suspects in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother, continues to grow. So far, the Malaysian government is stopping short of a flat-out accusation of a plot by the Kim regime.

And bear in mind that a significant missile test occurred around the same time as the elder Kim's death:

On February 12, the day before Brother Nam's demise, Dictator Un put on another display. His regime launched a new missile, the Pukgukson-2 (Polaris-2). The technical specifics make this very bad news. Solid fuel propels the missile, which means it can be launched on short notice. A tracked transporter erector-launcher (TEL) fired the missile. This means the new missile is mobile. North Korea has few paved roads; a tracked TEL isn't road bound.
Moreover, it was cold-launched -- expelled from the TEL before main booster ignition. That indicates a submarine can fire the Polaris-2.
The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) said the technical advances mean Kim Jong Un now possesses a highly capable ballistic missile.
Great Daily Wire post by the indispensable Ben Shapiro on how the theory held by some on the Left that Squirrel-Hair is playing 4-D chess is implausible:

What if there's no master plan?
What if Trump is finding his way, one step at a time, along a path that 43 other men have traveled, some more slowly than others? What if Trump isn't an ideologue or a philosopher -- and what if nobody around him is either? What if it's all just haphazard and chaotic, and what if we don't yet know what this administration will look like?
Is it possible that Trump is simply doing some good things and some bad things, and that he's saying silly things because that's what he does? Is it at all plausible that Trump is the president, not Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway or chief of staff Reince Priebus or anybody else, and that because Trump's an amateur at government he's unsure which way to step? Could it be that Trump isn't playing 4-D chess, that he's just a Wookie threatening to upend the board and rip his opponents' arms out of their sockets? He has been known to do that.
All of this is to say, let's all take a deep breath.
Here's the thing: Trump may not have a plan. He probably doesn't. Those around him probably have their own plans, but they're not the president. But you know who did have a plan? The people who constructed our constitutional system, placed checks and balances in that system and ensured that no one person could wield all power in American government. That means that even the presidency that begins most chaotically can find its sea legs, and even the presidencies that remain chaotic can't do too much damage.
So let's not panic. Everything's not chaos, even if it feels like it. 

Love those survey-of-the-current-landscape pieces with the optimistic endings.


  1. Bottom line is that Trump really is not all that bright. He speaks and writes on the 7th grade level, admits he does not read and makes no apologies for it. He might be a fairly good instinctive delegator and certainly has no qualms about hurting the feelings and even the pocketbooks of others, He is a very frightening man with some very frightening people who should always be marginalized now at least feeling mainstreamed in his camp. He is an inveterate insulter, a bully who never outgrew the 6th grade in that category. Much of the rest of the world is as frightened as much as many of our citizens here. Only in America. A rich buffoon. There's nothing good to like. There are of course conservatives who have flushed their supposed principles, even their personal self-images down the toilet of truth to suck on the sewer line of money, power and influence. Yes it is chaos and there will be much more of it.

  2. I voted Pub for the first time and likely the last time in my life in the Hoosier primes. You know who I voted for. And I lost what respect I had for Cruz when he turned around and kissed Trump's ass. Ditto for Romney, even Quayle, all showing up at those towers to kiss the ring.

  3. Yes, and him and him and there is no way we would have the chaos of this transition. This is not going to cool down. It's going to heat up. 22 Bil for his outrageous great wall, cops rounding up humans in droves, 200 Bil additional for military spending to ramp up the nuclear arms race again after 50 years of prior bipartisan efforts worldwide to cool it and your ilk can't spare a mere .017% of the federal budget to fund the NEA. And more, much more....

  4. And already it is becoming evident that Trump's ass might not have been the best ass to kiss:

    In a new Quinnipiac survey, out on Wednesday, only 42% of voters said they think Trump is a good leader, and 55% said he's not.

    Trump's big thing is supposed to be leadership — he's the business guy, he hires the best people, and he knows how to shake things up in Washington and make America great again. Right?

    In November, shortly after the election, 56% of respondents told Quinnipiac they thought Trump was a good leader, and only 38% said he wasn't. That's not too shabby for a guy who didn't even get the most votes.

    But as Trump started actually doing stuff — running a transition, hiring people, issuing half-baked executive orders, firing his national security adviser after less than a month — the share of Americans willing to call him a good leader has steadily declined.

    From 56% in November, it went to 49% in January, 47% earlier this month — and now 42%, or about 4 points less than his share of the popular vote.

  5. Now let's be led to that health insurance plan to end all plans. What smart cookies are going to bake this one up nice and hot and bipartisan for us now? Ahh, but you've already declared here you don't care if it's bipartisan. Hmmm, sounds like you don't remember what happened to the Dems even 6 short years ago. Enjoy your mandate. For power only. And only for now.

  6. But if it weren't for the wondrous Oil Baron Tillerson and all you think he promises, you might think the State Department should be burnished too. It's kinda starting out like it. I aint heard you like a Secretary of State for God knows how long, certainly not through the Bush and Clinton eras either.

    The Trump administration in its first month has largely benched the State Department from its long-standing role as the pre­eminent voice of U.S. foreign policy, curtailing public engagement and official travel and relegating Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to a mostly offstage role.

    Decisions on hiring, policy and scheduling are being driven by a White House often wary of the foreign policy establishment and struggling to set priorities and write policy on the fly.

    The most visible change at the State Department is the month-long lack of daily press briefings, a fixture since John Foster Dulles was secretary of state in the 1950s. The televised question-and-answer session is watched closely around the world, and past administrations have pointed proudly to the accountability of having a government spokesman available

  7. Let's not be silly. The need for a diplomatic function was recognized in the Federalist Papers. State is one of the original departments.

    And I do applaud a wariness of the foreign-policy establishment, and the pattern we're seeing at most departments and agencies of standing up to their entrenched bureaucracies.

    And the only criterion that matters re: health care is that it be put on a free-market basis.

  8. You applaud state's rights on the petty potty issues that I am so sick of hearing about and actually, the gays, along with the feminazis and the blacks have hijacked the Democratic party, leaving it wide open to guffaws and outrage from the commonsensical, but was the Republican party going to take them in? Were you cool with jailing and ruining the careers of homosexuals and all the fear and loathing that led up to gay liberation in the 80s? Sure they're taking it way too far with the trans bathroom issues which is certainly an easy target for you. So we both applaud state's rights and turning this issue over to the states. But, what about this> White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday suggested the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana.

    "I do believe that you'll see greater enforcement," Spicer said, while adding the exact policy is "a question for the Department of Justice."It's the latest sign President Trump is poised to take a tougher approach than the Obama Justice Department did in states that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana....Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Twenty others have laws allowing medical marijuana.

    Turning over what you want to the states and taking back what the states have freely and democratically enacting smacks of Nixonian autocracy. And is has zero connection with the truth.

    This is why I could never be a Republican.


  9. Anyhow, we didn't lay down for Tricky Dick or Rugged Ronnie and we are not gonna lay down for Phony Donny. Civil disobedience and the truth about the relative benignity of cannabis compared to booze led to legalization by the people. Your fearful leader through his advisers that you mostly admire is not going to get away with this new assault on a simple plant that humans have ingested for millennia. If I have my way, all of you are toast come the midterms and I really feel that already and lets just wait and see how many are with us vs the them that are you.

  10. Calling on the dogs....

  11. Can you give me sanctuary, I must find a place to hide, a place for me to hide?

    Can you find me soft asylum, I can't make it anymore, the man is at the door.....

  12. I refuse to discuss trivial issues like pot policy.

  13. It's not trivial when you call the dogs in on the states that have legalized it. It's about freedom from confiscation, harassment, confinement and surveillance. You sure have funny ideas about freedom and even states' rights when you applaud them when it comes to potties but not pot. What a sham. and a shame! But I knew you didn't get it. You guys are outta here. Fast!

  14. And I spose you would have been the same way about booze during Prohibition. Yes suh, Mr. Tman, I do what you say, I do anything you say; in fact, the whole issue is just trivial to me.

    Its investigators were called Prohibition Agents, or more colloquially prohis /ˈproʊhiː/. Its most famous agent was Eliot Ness. Some of the other famous lawmen who carried a Prohi's badge at one time or another in their career include former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, full-blooded Cherokee Tom Threepersons, James L. "Lone Wolf" Asher and Chicagoan Pat Roche. The two-agent team of Isidor "Izzy" Einstein and Moe Smith, working out of the New York City office, compiled the best arrest record in the history of the agency. Izzy and Moe, as they would later be called, had 4,932 arrests while confiscating over 5,000,000 bottles of alcohol. The duo would disguise themselves as street vendors, fishermen and many others as well as having the ability to speak multiple languages.

  15. Pot is trivial. What's the big deal? The big deal is the prohibition. Tricky Dick, Rampin' Ronnie & his Just Say No doll (added property seizure to the mix), and now we got Duelin' Donnie and the Jeffie Js comin; our way to do another Big 180. Whew Eeeeeee!

  16. I have a brother less than 2 years my junior who eschewed pot for 30 years. Successful, now retired, he and his wife went out to CO. and he bought some legal. Brought some home, illegally of course, but he digs it again now. His wife has epilepsy and has dabbled in it for over 40 years. Such a crime you are such a trivializer over jail time, property seizure and ruined records for users of this trivial plant that is, simply, fun. You got a problem bro, and I know it but I ain't gonna show it here. It's a 9 letter word for phony.