spooky people

An Aggregation of my Online Presence

reposting a comment on Kavanaugh made by a friend:

I want to say something about political “experience” and “credentials” and “qualifications” in light of Republicans’ repeated refrains about Kavanaugh’s “experience.”

Yes, he’s been an Circuit Court and Supreme Court law clerk; an associate counsel in a major national independent counsel investigation; an associate White House counsel; a White House Staff Secretary; a DC Cir. Judge. He argued before the Supreme Court! Sounds very impressive!

But but but. He clerked for Kozinski (who recently resigned in shame over sexual harassment), who is a feeder to his old boss Kennedy. He was an associate counsel to Ken Starr, where he was the principal author of the infamous Starr Report that gleefully recounted Clinton’s sexual acts and called for his impeachment. His Supreme Court argument was asking courts to disregard attorney-client privilege in relation to his investigation of Vince Foster’s death (he lost), which he spent millions trying to prove was murder. His White House positions were in the GWB admin as a political appointee, where he advanced right-wing policies and judges. His Circuit judgeship involved such decisions as preventing a 17-year-old pregnant girl from getting an abortion even after she satisfied the state law of Texas – TEXAS! – on parental notification requirements.

He is a career-long right-wing partisan warrior. Every step of his career has been to the next right-wing warrior position. He is smart, yes. Excellent schools. But let’s not kid ourselves that his vaunted “expertise” and “credentials” arose naturally because he is such a brilliant patriotic American. Virtually all of them came because he was being groomed and promoted by a right-wing political cabal to get him to the exact position he is in today – where he can be a decisive fifth vote on the court to limit or eliminate abortion, end affirmative action, end Obamacare, limit administrative bodies’ abilities to regulate the environment and consumer protection, hamper gay marriage and gay rights, end limits on campaign finance spending and donation, restrict minority voting rights, expand executive power (for Republican presidents), and other long-standing right-wing positions. He is there because he’s been groomed for it, for 25 years now. It’s like a super-affirmative-action for right-wing partisan warriors.

Did he ever get hired by a Democrat? Did he ever work for a progressive? Impress a liberal? Outside the one Democratic lawyer who introduced him – and is a regular Supreme Court practitioner, where she will need his votes for her clients – how many prominent liberals have said “yeah, I disagree with his philosophy, but he’s going to be a good and fair judge”?

Kavanaugh is the fruit of a long-term plan to develop “excellent resumes” so that today, right now, Republicans can say “how can you possibly deny that he is incredibly experienced?” He sure is! He was made that way, for this purpose.

He will probably be confirmed, because the Republicans have the votes. But make no mistake: his ascent to the Court is not because he’s “incredibly well-qualified.” It’s because right-wing partisans groomed a right-wing partisan, putting him in ever-higher positions of power, and in a further exercise of raw power, they will put him in the highest position of power they can.

He won’t be the last. Years from now, Republicans up for high positions will be vaunted for their political experience and credentials because they clerked for Kavanaugh / Gorsuch / Alito, worked in the Trump administration (where, naturally, they’ll say they worked as a moderating force to advance conservative goals, while heroically thwarting Trump’s insanity), and all sorts of other similar credentials.

Do Democrats do it too? Sure! I think Republicans have done this more (or, maybe, are just better at it). But the lesson here is bipartisan. Don’t look at people’s *positions*. Look at what they did while they were there. Don’t accept “credentials” without looking under the hood. Don’t hear “he’s so experienced” and think “well then he must be good.” What has he done? What will he do in the next position?

If you’re a deep conservative, you should be thrilled at Kavanuagh’s ascent. If you’re anyone else, his “credentials” are merely the platform on which he will act with great hostility to your interests, for decades, all while right-wingers keep pronouncing, “his decisions MUST be smart and correct; after all, they’re coming from someone who is so well-qualified!”

from Facebook September 08, 2018 at 06:56AM

6 Years Ago, North Carolina Chose to Ignore Rising Sea Levels. This Week It Braces for Disaster.


In 2012, North Carolina legislators passed a bill that barred policymakers and developers from using up-to-date climate science to plan for rising sea levels on the state’s coast. Now Hurricane Florence threatens to cause a devastating storm surge that could put thousands of lives in danger and cost the state billions of dollars worth of damage.
via 6 Years Ago, North Carolina Chose to Ignore Rising Sea Levels. This Week It Braces for Disaster.
Reality is that which continues to exist even if you cease believing in it.

Jerry Brown’s Legacy: A $6.1 Billion Budget Surplus in California


LOS ANGELES—California Gov. Jerry Brown appears poised to exit office next year with a top political priority in hand: free from the massive budget deficits that had weighed on his predecessors. Buoyed by tax increases passed under his administration and a strong economy, Mr.
via Jerry Brown’s Legacy: A $6.1 Billion Budget Surplus in California
This WSJ Article should have been a bigger story.

The problem with Twitter, as shown by the Sarah Jeong fracas


At National Review, Jonah Goldberg has a column on the Sarah Jeong fracas that is wrong in, I think, a useful way. He begins with an anecdote: When I was a youngish teenager, I went to the bank one day. (This was pre-ATM machines, kids.
via The problem with Twitter, as shown by the Sarah Jeong fracas

This observation sums up the problem:

  • 12/22/14: Sully defends running infamous race/IQ essay
  • 12/23/14: Jeong parodies his “both sides” logic on Twitter
  • 8/03/18: Sully sees that old tweet, doesn’t realize it’s making fun of him, calls her a racist.

"Socialism" vs. "capitalism" is a false dichotomy

We need go-go capitalism to afford a generous welfare state, and people won’t support go-go capitalism without a safety net. “Socialists” and Republicans forget different parts of this lesson.
“Socialism” vs. “capitalism” is a false dichotomy

“We need go-go capitalism to afford a generous welfare state, and people won’t support go-go capitalism without a safety net. “Socialists” and Republicans forget different parts of this lesson.”

Marxists are actually opposed to social insurance systems because they _require capitalism_ to exist and to function. They are funded by taxes on wages, they provision goods and services created by wage labor. This is why actual Marxists and Anarcho-Communists are angry at Democratic Socialists and Liberals, who would keep capitalism, which the Marxists consider to be in a death spiral.

Judge in Paul Manafort trial says he has been threatened and is now under US Marshal protection

Judge T.S. Ellis said at a hearing in Manafort’s case that he will not release the names of jurors deliberating Manafort’s fate because he is worried about their safety. Manafort is being prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Judge in Paul Manafort trial says he has been threatened and is now under US Marshal protection

Civility!

Ex-CIA officials: 'Country will be weakened' if political litmus test applied to experts

Sixty former CIA officials warned President Donald Trump in a statement on Friday that “the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”
Ex-CIA officials: ‘Country will be weakened’ if political litmus test applied to experts

This is important. Trump is putting national security at risk for political reasons. This is dangerous.

Matthew Yglesias on Twitter

“I would really like to see an apology from some of the people who wrote columns demanding that liberals give Trump credit for his obviously fake diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea.”
Matthew Yglesias on Twitter

It’s always a con, there is nothing “real” about anything Trump says or does. No one should have been surprised that there was no progress with NK. It’s always a con.