#Bundys acquitted in #Malheur Wildlife Refuge seizure: Daily Bullshit, October 27-29, 2016 (updated 4x)

It was too late when I got back home to finish this installment prior to midnight on October 27. And again on October 28.

Updated to add stories I forgot to add on Gambia’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. Updated again for a Seattle Times account of the actions taken against the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. Updated yet again for the re-opening of the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server and for articles on the Bundy jury verdict.


Bundys

I imagine this outcome[11] will be incomprehensible to many of my left-leaning friends.[12]

“This is off-the-charts unbelievable,” said Matthew Schindler, an attorney for defendant Kenneth Medenbach. “I had been telling my client you can count on being convicted. You don’t walk into a federal court and win a case like this. It just doesn’t happen.”[13]

It appears the jury took very seriously—I think perhaps too seriously and unrealistically seriously—a need to demonstrate ‘intent’ to impede federal workers—the Bundys and their cohorts arguably ‘intended’ only to protest the convictions of two ranchers and what they allege is federal overreach—and felt that the prosecution had failed to establish that case.[14] This explanation, in my mind, fails to account for the acquittals in the remaining charges.

I do not know what repercussions may fall upon the prosecutor who failed in this case. I would not want to be that person.

Associated Press, “Leaders of Oregon standoff acquitted of federal charges,” Politico, October 27, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/oregon-standoff-leaders-acquitted-230421

Maxine Bernstein, “How the jury reached its verdicts in the Oregon standoff case,” Oregonian, October 27, 2016, http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/10/how_the_jury_reached_its_verdi.html

Hal Bernton, “Jury acquits leaders of Malheur wildlife-refuge standoff,” Seattle Times, October 27, 2016, http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/verdict-near-in-malheur-wildlife-refuge-standoff-trial/

Maxine Bernstein, “Oregon standoff prosecutors failed to prove ‘intent’ to impede federal workers,” Oregonian, October 28, 2016, http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/10/juror_4_prosecutors_in_oregon.html


Dakota Access Pipeline

Tragically, but unsurprisingly, capitalist destroyers of the environment prevail.[15]

Associated Press, “Local sheriff’s office getting impatient with Dakota Access protesters,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, October 27, 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/dakota-access-protesters-refuse-request-1.3823568

Associated Press, “Police evict protesters from North Dakota pipeline site,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, October 27, 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/dakota-access-protesters-police-1.3824285

Indian Country Today, “Large Police Action Underway at DAPL Site,” October 27, 2016, http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com//2016/10/27/large-police-action-underway-dapl-site-166234

Lynda V. Mapes, “Pepper spray, chaos as N.D. pipeline protesters cleared from private land,” Seattle Times, October 27, 2016, Pepper spray, chaos as N.D. pipeline protesters cleared from private land

Mark Trahant, “How Far Will North Dakota Go? The Illogical Conclusion Is Too Terrible to Think About,” Indian Country Today, October 27, 2016, http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com//2016/10/27/how-far-willth-dakota-go-illogical-conclusion-too-terrible-think-about-166218


International Criminal Court

Foreign Policy, “Is the International Criminal Court Crumbling Before Our Eyes?” Yahoo! October 26, 2016, https://www.yahoo.com/news/international-criminal-court-crumbling-eyes-171401178.html

Voice of America, “Gambia Latest African Country to Withdraw From International Criminal Court,” October 26, 2016, http://www.voanews.com/a/gambia-latest-african-country-to-withdraw-from-icc/3566570.html


Hillary Clinton

The emails that appear to have prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to re-open its investigation[16] appear unrelated to the 33,000 that aren’t actually lost after all, but the FBI declined to retrieve.[17] Jonathan Turley has now repeatedly expressed doubts about the FBI investigation.[18]

I have been critical recently of the handling of the FBI investigation, particularly in the granting of immunity to key potential targets. I recently wrote a column on FBI investigation into the Clinton email scandal and revised my view as to the handling of the investigation in light of the five immunity deals handed out by the Justice Department.  I had previously noted that FBI Director James Comey was within accepted lines of prosecutorial discretion in declining criminal charges, even though I believed that such charges could have been brought. However, the news of the immunity deals (and particularly the deal given top ranking Clinton aide Cheryl Mills) was baffling and those deals seriously undermined the ability to bring criminal charges in my view.[19]

Turley stops short of saying what I will: The FBI appears to have bent over backwards to avoid even being able to charge Clinton. Which is to say that, as far as I can tell, everyone’s worst suspicions about that investigation are now confirmed. And my guess is the whitewash will continue.

Note: Bill Blum’s column was originally published on July 5. Truthdig has republished it in light of the FBI’s decision to re-open the investigation.[20] I doubt I picked it up before.

Cooper Allen and Kevin Johnson, “New emails under review in Clinton case emerged from Weiner investigation,” USA Today, October 28, 2016, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/28/fbi-director-clinton-emails-investigation/92889594/

Bill Blum, “In a Rigged System, Hillary Clinton Is Too Big to Indict,” Truthdig, October 28, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/is_hillary_clinton_too_big_to_indict_20160705

Nomi Prins, “Waking Up in Hillary Clinton’s America,” Truthdig, October 28, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/waking_up_in_hillary_clintons_america_20161028/

Jonathan Turley, “Comey Sends Letter To Congress Citing New Evidence (and An Investigation) In The Clinton Email Scandal,” October 28, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/28/comey-sends-letter-to-congress-citing-new-evidence-and-an-investigation-in-the-clinton-email-scandal/

Harper Neidig, “Justice Dept. warned FBI against letter on Clinton emails,” Hill, October 29, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/303440-justice-department-warned-against-comey-letter


  1. [11]Associated Press, “Leaders of Oregon standoff acquitted of federal charges,” Politico, October 27, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/oregon-standoff-leaders-acquitted-230421
  2. [12]Hal Bernton, “Jury acquits leaders of Malheur wildlife-refuge standoff,” Seattle Times, October 27, 2016, http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/verdict-near-in-malheur-wildlife-refuge-standoff-trial/
  3. [13]Hal Bernton, “Jury acquits leaders of Malheur wildlife-refuge standoff,” Seattle Times, October 27, 2016, http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/verdict-near-in-malheur-wildlife-refuge-standoff-trial/
  4. [14]Maxine Bernstein, “Oregon standoff prosecutors failed to prove ‘intent’ to impede federal workers,” Oregonian, October 28, 2016, http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/10/juror_4_prosecutors_in_oregon.html
  5. [15]Associated Press, “Police evict protesters from North Dakota pipeline site,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, October 27, 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/dakota-access-protesters-police-1.3824285
  6. [16]Cooper Allen and Kevin Johnson, “New emails under review in Clinton case emerged from Weiner investigation,” USA Today, October 28, 2016, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/10/28/fbi-director-clinton-emails-investigation/92889594/
  7. [17]Next Web, “Hillary Clinton email saga continues as 33,000 erased emails may not be ‘missing’ after all,” October 26, 2016, http://thenextweb.com/politics/2016/10/26/hillary-clinton-email-saga-continues/
  8. [18]Jonathan Turley, “Clinton confidant’s immunity deal looms over debate,” USA Today, September 26, 2016, http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/26/hillary-clinton-emails-mills-server-immunity-jonathan-turley/91092182/; Jonathan Turley, “House Committee: FBI Cut Side Deal To Limit Search Of Computers Of Key Clinton Aides And To Allow The Computers To Be Destroyed,” October 4, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/04/house-committee-fbi-cut-side-deal-to-limit-search-of-computers-of-key-clinton-aides-and-to-allow-the-computers-to-be-destroyed/; Jonathan Turley, “Comey Sends Letter To Congress Citing New Evidence (and An Investigation) In The Clinton Email Scandal,” October 28, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/28/comey-sends-letter-to-congress-citing-new-evidence-and-an-investigation-in-the-clinton-email-scandal/
  9. [19]Jonathan Turley, “Comey Sends Letter To Congress Citing New Evidence (and An Investigation) In The Clinton Email Scandal,” October 28, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/10/28/comey-sends-letter-to-congress-citing-new-evidence-and-an-investigation-in-the-clinton-email-scandal/
  10. [20]Bill Blum, “In a Rigged System, Hillary Clinton Is Too Big to Indict,” Truthdig, October 28, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/is_hillary_clinton_too_big_to_indict_20160705

Now @tedcruz threatens to block #SupremeCourt nominees: Daily Bullshit, October 26, 2016

Supreme Court

Ironically, Justice Clarence Thomas has been quoted saying, “We have decided that rather than confront disagreements, we’ll just simply annihilate the person who disagrees with me. I don’t think that’s going to work in a republic, in a civil society.”[1] And he’s right about that. But as a country, we really are at a point where no matter who wins the presidency, the loser will feel tyrannized. Which is to say that, as a country, we have reached a point of irreconcilable differences. Which is to say that, as a country, it’s time for a divorce. I still don’t know how to divvy up the territory, this would add yet another (at least one other) national border, and in general I oppose borders because of human rights concerns, but what the dubious furor over Donald Trump’s claims of election-rigging (figure 1) really points to is a delegitimization of the national government as, no matter who wins the presidency, many people will feel that s/he isn’t their president.

Ted Rall, via GoComics, October 20, 2016, fair use.
Fig. 1. Ted Rall, via GoComics, October 20, 2016, fair use.

Burgess Everett, “Cruz: GOP may block Supreme Court nominees indefinitely,” Politico, October 26, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/cruz-supreme-court-blockade-230363

  1. [1]Clarence Thomas, quoted in Burgess Everett, “Cruz: GOP may block Supreme Court nominees indefinitely,” Politico, October 26, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/cruz-supreme-court-blockade-230363

#SouthAfrica leaves #ICC, Daily Bullshit: October 21-22, 2016

International Criminal Court

It’s easy for South Africa to argue that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is neocolonialist: With backing from Europe and even, although not a participant itself, the United States, and with an apparent focus on Africa, the Court very much seems to be a tool of imperialist hypocrisy. But then there are the counterarguments: Such as Sudan with regard to Darfur and Burundi and that what South Africa really seems to be balking at was a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.[1]

Mealy-mouthed nonsense about “promoting peace, stability and dialogue in those countries”[2] feels pretty thin when the genocide in Darfur has been going on for as long as it has.[3] Then there’s the situation in Burundi which looks a lot more like yet another leader violently refusing to relinquish power than any high-minded stance against colonialism.[4] This just ain’t the way to make the argument South Africa is making.

Integrated Regional Information Networks, “Burundi walks away from the ICC,” October 19, 2016, https://www.irinnews.org/news/2016/10/19/burundi-walks-away-icc

Al Jazeera, “South Africa to quit International Criminal Court,” October 21, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/south-africa-formally-applies-quit-icc-media-161021044116029.html

Joe Brock, “South Africa to quit troubled UN war crimes court,” Reuters, October 21, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-icc-idUSKCN12L025

Gabriele Steinhauser, “South Africa to Withdraw From International Criminal Court,” Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/south-africa-to-withdraw-from-international-criminal-court-1477038370


Economics and suicide

Jefferson Cowie, “The Great White Nope: Poor, Working Class, and Left Behind in America,” review of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg, Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2016-10-17/great-white-nope


  1. [1]Al Jazeera, “South Africa to quit International Criminal Court,” October 21, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/south-africa-formally-applies-quit-icc-media-161021044116029.html; Joe Brock, “South Africa to quit troubled UN war crimes court,” Reuters, October 21, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-icc-idUSKCN12L025; Gabriele Steinhauser, “South Africa to Withdraw From International Criminal Court,” Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/south-africa-to-withdraw-from-international-criminal-court-1477038370
  2. [2]Michael Masutha, quoted in Gabriele Steinhauser, “South Africa to Withdraw From International Criminal Court,” Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/south-africa-to-withdraw-from-international-criminal-court-1477038370
  3. [3]Don Cheadle and John Prendergast, Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond (New York: Hyperion, 2007).
  4. [4]Integrated Regional Information Networks, “Burundi walks away from the ICC,” October 19, 2016, https://www.irinnews.org/news/2016/10/19/burundi-walks-away-icc

Is it that no celebrity has accused Bill Clinton that he gets a pass? Daily Bullshit, October 17-18, 2016

Brexit

Lisa O’Carroll and Stephen Collins, “Irish leaders fear Brexit will bring economic disaster,” Guardian, October 16, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/16/irish-pm-calls-brexit-summit-to-confront-looming-crisis


Sexual predators

Conspicuous by his absence from Sarah Kliff’s article: Bill Clinton.

Sarah Kliff, “Trump, Cosby, Ailes: It took celebrity accusers to make us listen to sexual assault victims,” Vox, October 18, 2016, http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/10/18/13306300/trump-cosby-ailes-sexual-harrasment


Supreme Court

By implication, John McCain seems to be promising four (at least) more years of obstruction if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. John Patty suspects that McCain is saying this only because he’s running for re-election[1] and that might be so—in McCain’s case—but I very much doubt that just because Donald Trump has become an embarrassment for much of the Republican Party, that they’ll all sing Kumbaya because Clinton gets elected.

John Patty, “John McCain wants to block all of Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court nominees,” Vox, October 18, 2016, http://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2016/10/18/13314336/mccain-block-clintoninees


  1. [1]John Patty, “John McCain wants to block all of Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court nominees,” Vox, October 18, 2016, http://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2016/10/18/13314336/mccain-block-clintoninees

#Scotland to reconsider independence in wake of #Brexit: Daily Bullshit, October 13-14, 2016

Comparisons between the two U.S. major party presidential candidates boggle the mind. On one hand, we have a sexual predator and, on the other, a sexual predator’s wife who attacks his victims.

On one hand, we have a wannabe criminal against humanity and, on the other, we have someone who already is.

And on both hands, we have economic criminals, promising four or eight more years of ruin.

But this is where decades of settling for the ‘lesser of two evils’ leaves us: with evil.


Scottish independence

Peter Geoghegan, “Scottish nationalists huddle to talk Brexit, independence,” Deutschewelle, October 12, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/scottish-nationalists-huddle-to-talk-brexit-independence/a-36015386

Peter Geoghegan, “Scotland eyes British exit,” Politico, October 12, 2016, http://www.politico.eu/article/all-eyes-on-scotland-scottish-national-party-conference-nicola-sturgeon/

Nicholas Winning, “Scotland to Consider New Independence Referendum Bill,” Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/scotland-to-consider-new-independence-referendum-bill-1476363221


Brexit

Mike Bird, “Pound at Weakest Level in History Against Currency Basket,” Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pound-at-weakest-level-in-history-against-currency-basket-1476264024


Joe Arpaio

A. J. Vicens, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio Will Be Charged With Criminal Contempt of Court,” Mother Jones, October 11, 2016, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/ap-sheriff-joe-arpaio-be-charged-criminal-contempt-court-over-immigration-patrols


Kangaroo Courts for #TurkeyCoup suspects: Daily Bullshit, October 9-10, 2016 (early)

Failed coup in Turkey

Aram Ekin Duran, “Countdown for ‘coup courts’ has started in Turkey,” Deutschewelle, October 9, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/countdown-for-coup-courts-has-started-in-turkey/a-36001324


U.S. presidential election

Republicans continue to disavow Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump[1] and, nearly simultaneously, Wikileaks released hacked emails attributed to John Podesta (the care with which the mainstream media is employing the word ‘alleged’ is catching my attention) which excerpt Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speeches in which she is alleged to have distinguished between ‘public’ and ‘private’ policy positions (she admitted to holding this view in tonight’s [October 9, 2016] debate[2]), confirming everyone’s suspicions about her duplicity.[3] Peter Bloom is disgusted with the juxtaposition of these two candidates.[4] And for the moment, at least, we’re basically back to bullshit which I’m bored with.

Peter Bloom, “Sex, Lies and America’s Deplorable Democracy,” Common Dreams, October 9, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/09/sex-lies-and-americas-deplorable-democracy

British Broadcasting Corporation, “US election: Trump says obscene remarks were ‘locker room talk,'” October 10, 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37604151


Hillary Clinton

Prior to his debate Sunday night with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump appeared with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Some think it unfair to hold the wife responsible for her husband’s crimes. But there’s more to it than this and I comment here.


  1. [1]Associated Press, “Current, former GOP elected officials abandon Trump,” Grio, October 9, 2016, http://thegrio.com/2016/10/09/gop-officials-abandon-trump-election/
  2. [2]British Broadcasting Corporation, “US election: Trump says obscene remarks were ‘locker room talk,'” October 10, 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37604151
  3. [3]David Smith, “WikiLeaks releases what appear to be Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches,” Guardian, October 7, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/07/wikileaks-hillary-clinton-paid-wall-street-speeches; Alexander Reed Kelly, “Hacked Emails Show Clinton Suggesting She Hides Her True Policy Positions From the Public,” Truthdig, October 8, 2016, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hacked_emails_show_clinton_admitting_to_private_20161008; Luciana Lopez and Jeff Mason, “Sanders supporters seethe over Clinton’s leaked remarks to Wall St.,” Reuters, October 8, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-clinton-idUSKCN1280Z9
  4. [4]Peter Bloom, “Sex, Lies and America’s Deplorable Democracy,” Common Dreams, October 9, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/09/sex-lies-and-americas-deplorable-democracy

Trump self-destructs: Daily Bullshit, October 7-8, 2016 (updated again and again)

Updated and updated again and again and the post title changed for Donald Trump’s possible self-destruction.[1]


Hurricane Matthew

Matthew came ashore in South Carolina and its remains now besiege the Tidewater region.


Columbia

For those of us—yeah, this includes me—who haven’t been paying especially close attention, Omar Encarnación’s article will help to fill in a few gaps.

Omar G. Encarnación, “Colombia’s Failed Peace: Why It Failed, and What Comes Next,” Foreign Affairs, October 5, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/colombia/2016-10-05/colombias-failed-peace

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Nobel Peace Prize for Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos,” October 7, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37585188


Donald Trump

It has become clear to party leaders and strategists over the past 24 hours that [Donald] Trump’s chances of winning the presidency are less than 20 percent, if not less than 10 percent. Now their main concern is saving the Senate Republican majority.[2]

Right now, Republican National Committee members are denying it,[3] but in fact the party is studying the possibility of replacing Donald Trump at the head of the ticket.[4] Apparently, this is possible if Trump steps aside,[5] which he has denied he will do,[6] but which I suspect is more a question of what inducements Republican Party leaders manage to offer. The first part of the headline on Andrew Prokop’s story, “Leading Republicans are furiously denouncing Trump,”[7] is really what you need to know—and that’s just what they’re saying in public.[8] Imagine what they’re saying in private. Even without that imagination, there is a lengthening list of Republicans, admittedly mostly (but not entirely[9]) vulnerable Republicans, who are calling for Trump to step down.[10]

The possibility of Trump’s demise as a candidate raises a new wrinkle in what was beginning to look like a walkaway win for Hillary Clinton: What if she has to run against somebody else? She’s been running mostly as the anti-Trump, so in this case, she loses her thesis and my earlier forecast comes back into full force. I do not believe she can win.[11]

Mike DeBonis and Abby Phillip, “Ryan calls off plans to campaign with Trump; GOP-ers rush to distance themselves,” Washington Post, October 7, 2016, Ryan calls off plans to campaign with Trump; GOP-ers rush to distance themselves

David A. Fahrenthold, “Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005,” Washington Post, October 7, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html

Politico, “Sen. Mark Kirk calls for Trump’s ’emergency replacement’ on GOP ticket,” October 7, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/mark-kirk-donald-trump-comments-women-229328

Andrew Prokop, “Leading Republicans are furiously denouncing Trump for his leaked comments about women,” Vox, October 7, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/7/13207610/trump-leak-women-romney-bush

Meg Anderson and Amita Kelly, “Here Are The 30+ Republicans Calling For Trump To Step Aside,” National Public Radio, October 8, 2016, http://www.npr.org/2016/10/08/497225589/here-are-the-30-republicans-calling-for-trump-to-step-aside

Alexander Bolton, “Senate Republicans wrestle with dumping Trump,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/300036-senate-republicans-wrestle-over-dumping-trump

Bridget Bowman, “Which Republican Lawmakers Have Dumped Trump So Far?” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, October 8, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/which-republican-lawmakers-have-dumped-trump-so-far-video-women-comments

Kyle Cheney, “Why Trump won’t get dumped from the GOP ticket,” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-gop-ticket-229339

Lauren Fox, “GOP Sen. Mike Lee Urges Trump To Step Aside As Republican Nominee,” Talking Points Memo, October 8, 2016, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-senator-mike-lee-urges

Janet Hook, Beth Reinhard, and Reid J. Epstein, “GOP Scrambles to Salvage Election After Donald Trump’s Latest Imbroglio,” Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-scrambles-to-salvage-election-after-donald-trumps-latest-imbroglio-1475969203

Alex Isenstadt, “GOP panics as outrage with Trump boils over,” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-comments-women-gop-republican-reaction-229329

Harper Neidig, “Pence: ‘Cannot defend’ Trump lewd remarks,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/299999-pence-cannot-defend-trump-lewd-remarks

Harper Neidig and Jonathan Easley, “Chaos in GOP: Calls grow for Trump to drop out of race,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/300005-chaos-in-gop-calls-grow-for-trump-to-drop-out-of-race

Louis Nelson, “Condoleezza Rice on Donald Trump: Enough!” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/condi-rice-donald-trump-229385

Alex Roarty, “Joe Heck Says He Won’t Vote for Trump,” Roll Call, October 8, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/nevada-joe-heck-wont-support-donald-trump-president-senate

Ben Schreckinger, “RNC lawyers look at options for replacing Trump,” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/republicans-replace-trump-229352

Elliot Smilowitz, “GOP senator unendorses Trump, urges him to leave ticket,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/299984-gop-senator-unendorses-trump-urges-him-to-leave-ticket

Elliot Smilowitz, “Trump: ‘Zero chance I’ll quit,'” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/299988-trump-zero-chance-ill-quit

Jeff Stein, “Here’s what happens if Trump drops out,” Vox, October 8, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/8/13211050/what-happens-trump-dropout

Glenn Thrush and Katie Glueck, “Is Trump’s campaign over?” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/is-trumps-campaign-over-229341

Melanie Zanona, “No. 3 GOP Senate leader says Trump should withdraw,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/300000-no-3-gop-senate-leader-says-trump-should-withdraw

Melanie Zanona, “Pence drops out of Ryan campaign event,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/299992-pence-drops-out-of-ryan-campaign-event


  1. [1]David A. Fahrenthold, “Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005,” Washington Post, October 7, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html; Alex Isenstadt, “GOP panics as outrage with Trump boils over,” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-comments-women-gop-republican-reaction-229329; Glenn Thrush and Katie Glueck, “Is Trump’s campaign over?” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/is-trumps-campaign-over-229341; Andrew Prokop, “Leading Republicans are furiously denouncing Trump for his leaked comments about women,” Vox, October 7, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/7/13207610/trump-leak-women-romney-bush
  2. [2]Alexander Bolton, “Senate Republicans wrestle with dumping Trump,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/300036-senate-republicans-wrestle-over-dumping-trump
  3. [3]Kyle Cheney, “Why Trump won’t get dumped from the GOP ticket,” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-gop-ticket-229339
  4. [4]Ben Schreckinger, “RNC lawyers look at options for replacing Trump,” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/republicans-replace-trump-229352
  5. [5]Jeff Stein, “Here’s what happens if Trump drops out,” Vox, October 8, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/8/13211050/what-happens-trump-dropout
  6. [6]Elliot Smilowitz, “Trump: ‘Zero chance I’ll quit,'” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/299988-trump-zero-chance-ill-quit
  7. [7]Andrew Prokop, “Leading Republicans are furiously denouncing Trump for his leaked comments about women,” Vox, October 7, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/7/13207610/trump-leak-women-romney-bush
  8. [8]Alex Isenstadt, “GOP panics as outrage with Trump boils over,” Politico, October 8, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-comments-women-gop-republican-reaction-229329
  9. [9]Melanie Zanona, “No. 3 GOP Senate leader says Trump should withdraw,” Hill, October 8, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/300000-no-3-gop-senate-leader-says-trump-should-withdraw
  10. [10]Meg Anderson and Amita Kelly, “Here Are The 30+ Republicans Calling For Trump To Step Aside,” National Public Radio, October 8, 2016, http://www.npr.org/2016/10/08/497225589/here-are-the-30-republicans-calling-for-trump-to-step-aside; Bridget Bowman, “Which Republican Lawmakers Have Dumped Trump So Far?” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, October 8, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/which-republican-lawmakers-have-dumped-trump-so-far-video-women-comments
  11. [11]David Benfell, “Updated (again and again and again): Damnation by faint praise: Sanders claims to be more electable than Clinton,” Not Housebroken, March 6, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=8529

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning war @POTUS: Daily Bullshit, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

As of 11:15 pm, Pacific Daylight time:


Barack Obama

There’s always an excuse for responding militarily and, assuming he was ever so inclined, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning war president never found an alternative.

Ryan Devereaux and Alex Emmons, “Obama Worries Future Presidents Will Wage Perpetual, Covert Drone War,” Intercept, October 3, 2016, https://theintercept.com/2016/10/03/obama-worries-future-presidents-will-wage-perpetual-covert-drone-war/

Kathleen Hennessey, “Once Lauded as a Peacemaker, Obama’s Tenure Fraught with War,” Military.com, October 6, 2016, http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/10/06/once-lauded-peacemaker-obama-tenure-fraught-war.html


Polarization

Jonathan Chait, “Five Days That Shaped a Presidency,” New York, October 2, 2016, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/10/barack-obama-on-5-days-that-shaped-his-presidency.html


Drought

Tom Toles being too hopeful, October 6, 2016, via GoComics.
Tom Toles being too hopeful, October 6, 2016, via GoComics.
Yesterday, in response to Barack Obama, I pointed out sarcastically that “We are supposed to celebrate[1] a non-binding[2] agreement that James Hansen dismisses as empty words[3] and that no one is doing anything to implement.[4][5] Megadroughts in the U.S. southwest are only one way we’ll pay the price.[6]

Maria Gallucci, “U.S. Southwest faces 99% risk of ‘megadroughts’ due to climate change,” Mashable, October 5, 2016, http://mashable.com/2016/10/05/megadrought-risk-study/


Israel

“Indeed, when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, no U.S. president has promised more and accomplished less than [Barack] Obama.” And, for all the often-reported friction between Barack Obama and his administration on one hand and Binyamin Netanyahu on the other, “the Obama administration . . . is the only U.S. administration in nearly half a century to consistently shield Israel from any type of censure by the Security Council.”[7]

On the other hand, given Obama’s penchant for minimalist action, there is a very real possibility that he will do nothing at all. By choosing not to make any declaration on Israeli-Palestinian issues before the end of his term, the president would also be sending a strong message, which is effectively that the United States has given up on a two-state solution. Whatever he chooses to do—or not do—before the end of his term, Obama has significantly lowered the bar for the next administration and could well be the last U.S. president to oversee the possibility of a two-state solution.[8]

Khaled Elgindy, “Obama’s Record on Israeli-Palestinian Peace: The President’s Disquieting Silence,” Foreign Affairs, October 5, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/israel/2016-10-05/obamas-record-israeli-palestinian-peace


  1. [1]Eric Wolff, “Obama hails global climate deal going into force,” Politico, October 5, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/barack-obama-climate-deal-eu-un-229208
  2. [2]Marty Lederman, “The constitutionally critical, last-minute correction to the Paris climate change accord,” Balkinization, December 13, 2015, http://balkin.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-last-minute-correction-to-paris.html
  3. [3]Kasia Anderson, “Pre-eminent Climate Scientist James Hansen Calls Paris Deal a ‘Fraud’; John Kerry Begs to Differ,” Truthdig, December 13, 2015, http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/preeminent_climate_scientist_calls_paris_deal_a_fraud_-_kerry_20151213
  4. [4]David Roberts, “No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously,” Vox, October 4, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/4/13118594/2-degrees-no-more-fossil-fuels
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Business as usual on #ClimateChange as governments refuse to #LeaveItInTheGround,” (Almost) Daily Bullshit, October 5, 2016, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2016/10/05/business-as-usual-on-climatechange-as-governments-refuse-to-leaveitintheground-daily-bullshit-october-4-2016/
  6. [6]Maria Gallucci, “U.S. Southwest faces 99% risk of ‘megadroughts’ due to climate change,” Mashable, October 5, 2016, http://mashable.com/2016/10/05/megadrought-risk-study/
  7. [7]Khaled Elgindy, “Obama’s Record on Israeli-Palestinian Peace: The President’s Disquieting Silence,” Foreign Affairs, October 5, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/israel/2016-10-05/obamas-record-israeli-palestinian-peace
  8. [8]Khaled Elgindy, “Obama’s Record on Israeli-Palestinian Peace: The President’s Disquieting Silence,” Foreign Affairs, October 5, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/israel/2016-10-05/obamas-record-israeli-palestinian-peace

Business as usual on #ClimateChange as governments refuse to #LeaveItInTheGround: Daily Bullshit, October 4-5, 2016

Climate Change

We are supposed to celebrate[1] a non-binding[2] agreement that James Hansen dismisses as empty words[3] and that no one is doing anything to implement.[4] This, really, is the difference between Democrats and Republicans on climate change: Republicans deny it while Democrats acknowledge it but refuse to do anything meaningful about it. The result is the same.

David Roberts, “No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously,” Vox, October 4, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/4/13118594/2-degrees-no-more-fossil-fuels

Eric Wolff, “Obama hails global climate deal going into force,” Politico, October 5, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/barack-obama-climate-deal-eu-un-229208


Brexit

Mike Bird, “Pound Drops to Three-Decade Low Against Dollar on Brexit Concerns,” Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pound-drops-to-31-year-low-against-dollar-on-brexit-concerns-1475566159


Afghanistan

Mark Perry thinks Barack Obama has failed to devote sufficient resources to Afghanistan.[5] I think the war in Afghanistan was a mistake from the beginning.

Mark Perry, “Afghanistan 15 Years On: Obama’s Sorriest Legacy,” Politico, October 5, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/10/afghanistan-longest-war-next-president-214324


  1. [1]Eric Wolff, “Obama hails global climate deal going into force,” Politico, October 5, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/barack-obama-climate-deal-eu-un-229208
  2. [2]Marty Lederman, “The constitutionally critical, last-minute correction to the Paris climate change accord,” Balkinization, December 13, 2015, http://balkin.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-last-minute-correction-to-paris.html
  3. [3]Kasia Anderson, “Pre-eminent Climate Scientist James Hansen Calls Paris Deal a ‘Fraud’; John Kerry Begs to Differ,” Truthdig, December 13, 2015, http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/preeminent_climate_scientist_calls_paris_deal_a_fraud_-_kerry_20151213
  4. [4]David Roberts, “No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously,” Vox, October 4, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/4/13118594/2-degrees-no-more-fossil-fuels
  5. [5]Mark Perry, “Afghanistan 15 Years On: Obama’s Sorriest Legacy,” Politico, October 5, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/10/afghanistan-longest-war-next-president-214324

@theresa_may to invoke #Article50 triggering #Brexit negotiations by end of March: Daily Bullshit, October 2-3, 2016

Brexit

Jenny Gross and Nicholas Winning, “U.K.’s Theresa May Pledges to Set EU Divorce in Motion by End of March,” Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-s-may-plans-to-trigger-article-50-by-end-of-march-1475401597


Columbia

Sibylla Brodzinsky, “Colombia referendum: voters reject peace deal with Farc guerrillas,” Guardian, October 3, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/02/colombia-referendum-rejects-peace-deal-with-farc

Sara Schaefer Muñoz, “Colombia Peace Referendum Splits a Family,” Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/colombia-peace-referendum-splits-a-family-1475433923


Star Trek: Axanar

Nate Hoffelder, “Paramount, Axanar File New Motions in Star Trek Fan Film Lawsuit,” Digital Reader, October 2, 2016, http://the-digital-reader.com/2016/10/02/106759/