Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November links

I lost a bunch of links, and had a bunch more before the two bombshells of the DNC paying for the Steele dossier and being totally under Clinton's control hit.

Since I'm hoping not to lose the links again, here they are.

The Steele dossier summarized. A great summary of the dossier, with each piece discussed separately. Must read to get a good background on it.

Changes at the Fed. This was a preview of what could happen due to end of the Federal Reserve chair's term. Trump could keep Yellen, could choose a current board member similar to her, or could choose a conservative with non-standard ideas. Luckily, Trump chose Powell, the current board member. By the way, Yellen stays on the Fed board.

Australian chaos. An Australian court threw a huge monkey wrench into government with a ruling about citizenship. They ruled that if you could be a dual citizen, you were, and therefore were ineligible to hold government office. Many officeholders with foreign-born parents were caught in the ruling. Bizarre and disruptive.

Who got indicted? A good backgrounder on Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, two advisers to the Trump campaign who had ties to Russia. Papadopoulos pled guilty to charges brought by Mueller in his Russia investigation. Other charges include the former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is accused of laundering $75 million.

Fun with the indictments. This is such a great read in terms of humor. It feels like a classic joke--something that could be from the 'Who's on first' era. But I think it's original.

Socialism is defunct in Russia. All kinds of interesting factoids in the article and the discussion thread.

Peace dividend in Iraq? An article telling about greatly improved Shi'ite and Sunni relations in Iraq. I hope it's not just a puff piece.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Antifa Apocalypse bust

I guess no one but fevered corners of the media want a repeat of Charlottesville. A couple weeks ago, White Lives Matter rallies in Tennessee were pretty much a bust, thank God. This week, a pop-up anti-fascist organization called Refuse Fascism was trying to stage rallies in 20 cities. Note that it wasn't even antifa.

They took out a large ad in the New York Times announcing the plan. That's interesting because 1) they had the money, and 2) they decided to announce just a few days before the rallies. I wonder whether this is a real group or not. I wonder who financed it.

Parts of the conservative media lost their shit. (Yes, the term applies so I'm using it.) Most of all was InfoWars. They were going to have live coverage of the rallies, hoping to show all the carnage. Or maybe hoping for a (relative) advertising bonanza.

Because carnage didn't materialize, they went to Plan B. Hype what was available. Oh My God, they're calling for the ouster of Trump and Pence. And also, laugh at the puny Austin, Texas rally where the anti-Trumpists were outnumbered by real Texans. So hype and then declare victory when the rallies don't live up to the hype.

Back in reality, the protests were minor. In Austin, anti-Trump protesters were outnumbered. In New York City, the anti-Trump forces were about 300. The pro-Trump counterprotesters were about five.

Despite the concerns, revolution didn't break out anywhere. Somehow I'm not surprised.

InfoWars: wrong again.

Extras. Two articles about the smallish white supremacists rallies in Tennessee. A British site joined the hype-and-dismiss crowd. The Washington Post had a round-up of some of the hysteria. Fox News is coy, asked questions rather than doing any searching. It also gave a platform to the spokesman for the group but didn't question his credibility at all.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Bombshells at the DNC

I don't subscribe to the belief that Clinton rigged the Democratic primary. Unless you stuff ballot boxes, bribe party reps at state conventions, or manage to disqualify your opponent or his supporters, it's hard to rig a democratic selection process. (I suppose if you own all the media, that might work too, but that doesn't pertain either.)

I'm not changing my mind due to the revelations from Donna Brazile. She's a party hack who's had various roles, including interim party chair after Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign in disgrace.

Brazile writes in overly dramatic prose about discovering the unsavory arrangement for sharing campaign and party money. Clinton gave money to the debt-ridden party in exchange for a high degree of control of the levers. This allowed her to tilt the debate schedule to her advantage, but I don't see any other major advantage that she had. I don't see evidence that this changed the eventual outcome of the primary.

It does show yet again Hillary's penchant for rigid control regardless of ethics, protocol, rules, transparency, or good judgment. Her basic drive is not for truth or honesty or the greater good, but for the maintenance of her own power as she conceives it. Again I'm relieved that she's not in the White House,.further tarnishing herself and other Dems by association.

I wish I had any hope for the Democrats to improve. Donna Brazile doesn't inspire confidence. I hated Wasserman-Schultz. I have no idea if there are any Dems I respect aside from Joe Biden, Howard Dean (maybe), and Deval Patrick. That's a pretty small number of people for a national party. But that's where I'm at with this excuse for a political party.

This country, which I've loved and respected, we may be on the skids to being a low-class country like Argentina. I hope it doesn't happen. I hope I see a turn-around before I die. I'm not hopeful though.