Searching for: Proof of a Higher Intelligence
Kakistocracy n. (kak·is·toc·ra·cy / kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi) Government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.
From the kaka, I believe. And — sorry — too simplistic for life under Trump.
US Constitution: Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8.
“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
Ancient cliche: It’s only illegal if they catch you.
And who’s going to stop Trump? And with Pence, who wants to?
Proof! Trump is merely the tip of the iceberg, and it’s going to be at least as bad as we feared, if not worse:
President-elect Donald J. Trump has made three key national security picks this morning, tapping Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) as head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and retired Gen. Michael Flynn as his security adviser.
Pompeo, the 52-year-old conservative Congressman, is a surprise choice, but he agrees with Trump on key issues. Just yesterday he tweeted his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, saying that he looked forward to “rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
Pompeo joined Congress in 2010, coming in as part of a wave of Republicans affiliated with the Tea Party movement. Before his political career, Pompeo worked as a lawyer and founded an aerospace company.
On the intelligence committee, Pompeo has taken a particularly hard-line stance on how to treat NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. After Snowden’s allies began a campaign to get him pardoned, the entire House Select Committee on Intelligence wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging against a pardon. The letter said Snowden was no whistle-blower, but rather a “serial exaggerator and fabricator.”
At that time, Pompeo issued his own press release, calling Snowden a “liar and a criminal,” who deserves “prison rather than pardon.” (Link.)
Chilling if you stop and think about this:
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was on CNN talking about the Trump transition. In the course of that conversation there was this exchange with Wolf Blitzer about General Flynn.
BLITZER: Let’s talk about another issue that’s come up, his connections with Russia. He made frequent appearances on Russian state media, the propaganda arm of Putin rt. He was photographed as you know sitting next to president Putin at one of their big Galas exactly a year ago. He was paid to make a speech there. Is that a problem, you think?
BLACKBURN: He has disclosed that. It was something that was done through a business arrangement and that is not something that causes me a tremendous amount of concern because of the disclosure that was made there. Now, I have not seen a transcript of the speech, I have not had the opportunity to read and review that, but I appreciate the fact that that was disclosed and that he brought it forward early. I am certain that Mr. Trump and those that are doing the vetting close to him have reviewed all of that information and do not see that as something that is problematic. (Link.)
But there’s a far bigger hurdle to getting a large group of people to register in solidarity with any Muslim registry. Unless Trump and Kobach dramatically reverse from the perverse logic established under Bush and continued under Obama, these lists are designed to be arbitrary and secret. The current No Fly list includes children. At one point it included Ted Kennedy. Because they are secret, these lists been difficult to challenge them — and before the work of lawyers at ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights and a few lonely others — impossible.
Trump is a climate denier and he’s packing his administration with climate deniers; as Peter Watts pointed out, Trump “seems to think that the laws of politics and of physics somehow carry equal weight, that he can negotiate with the heat capacity of the world’s oceans (‘Okay, we’ll cut our bitumen production by 15%, but then you have to increase your joules/kelvin by at least 5…’).”
But reality has a well-known liberal bias, and that means that when Trump contemplates a low-lying resort on the Irish coastline, he has to prepare for the coming superstorms and sea-level rises by erecting a 13-foot-tall seawall around the property.
He will deny the climate protection America desperately needs, but trample on the local council in foreign lands to protect his own investments. He’s been at it since 2014, but (irony alert) floods and storms washed away his first attempt. (Link.)
Trump’s selflessness is non-existent. Presidential.
Did I say “selfless”?
The stretch of Fifth Avenue in front of President-elect Donald Trump’s eponymous Midtown Manhattan tower, where he lives and has been conducting meetings ahead of his January inauguration, will remain open to buses, passenger vehicles and pedestrians, but not trucks, security officials said Friday.
Pedestrians will undergo a bag check before being allowed to enter the lobby of the building, which was made into a public space as part of an earlier deal that allowed Trump to erect a building larger than was previously permitted, officials said.
The final cost of the additional security needed around Trump’s home, which is being provided by the New York Police Department and federal Secret Service, has not been determined. City officials said that is being negotiated. (Link.)
Did I say selfless?
In the less than two weeks since Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, there have already been several news stories that illustrate how Trump’s new role atop the U.S. government will create conflicts of interest with his family businesses. The latest alarming example comes via the Washington Post, who report that about 100 foreign diplomats packed into a junior ballroom at the new Trump International Hotel in D.C. this week to drink Trump-brand champagne and hear a sales pitch for the new hotel. Unsurprisingly, a chief topic of discussion among the attendees so soon after Trump’s victory was, “how are we going to build ties with the new administration,” and one way to do that seemed more than clear:
“Believe me, all the delegations will go [to Trump’s hotel],” said one Middle Eastern diplomat who recently toured the hotel and booked an overseas visitor. The diplomat said many stayed away from the hotel before the election for fear of a “Clinton backlash,” but that now it’s the place to be seen.
In interviews with a dozen diplomats, many of whom declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak about anything related to the next U.S. president, some said spending money at Trump’s hotel is an easy, friendly gesture to the new president.
“Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’ Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’ ” said one Asian diplomat. (Link.)
Trump’s priority is clear: Defending his thin-skinned ego.
Senator John McCain, a torture survivor from his five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, told a security conference on Saturday that the U.S. will not resume the practice of torturing prisoners for information, despite president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promises to do so. (Link.)
If McCain says torture’s not coming back, it clearly is.
The future leader of the free world has selected as National Security Adviser a man who, even more than Trump, draws his conclusions from the worst of fake news sites and who has continually defended bigotry and hatred while talking down the United States at Vladimir Putin’s dinner table. Why select him? Because of his Trump-level temperament.
… Flynn was forced out — accused, by officials speaking not for attribution, of being a bad manager who left a chaos in his wake. Initially quiet but increasingly embittered, Flynn ultimately hitched his wagon to Donald Trump and began to appear at rallies complaining of Hillary Clinton’s “criminal activity” in stark language that stunned many of his former colleagues. (Link.)
Trumpists are touting the idea of a big infrastructure build, and some Democrats are making conciliatory noises about working with the new regime on that front. But remember who you’re dealing with: if you invest anything with this guy, be it money or reputation, you are at great risk of being scammed. So, what do we know about the Trump infrastructure plan, such as it is?
Correct answer: It’s a giveaway to private interests to be financed by de facto regressive taxes — essentially nothing you want in an infrastructure build-out meant to act as a stimulus.
Then again, if you can’t trust someone who only tells the truth when it’s of personal benefit, who can you trust?
So, let us be honest, will the Senate Judiciary Committee put up any real roadblock to a dyed in the wool unreconstructed racist like Jeff Sessions? Hahahaha, no, of course not. Republicans own the SJC, and even the Dems will ultimately give in to Sessions’ nomination. They will put up a nominal “stern questioning” as DiFi has already so gallantly promised, and then they will cave completely.
If this is the best the Dems can do, who needs them?
Dissent is no longer to be tolerated.
Selecting racists, reactionaries and haters for his leadership.
Lies to make himself look like he’s doing shit.
Hides from the press (not that matters in the greater scheme of things — too close a call to decide which is worse: relying on an endemic liar or the cowardly media water-carriers).
Someone else rants
To every single Trump supporter trying to say that voting for Trump does not mean that you are racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, assholes… that you just like the way he didn’t really care what people thought and just said whatever he wanted… that he wasn’t a politician, so he wasn’t part of the establishment and didn’t have corrupt money backing him…
This is for you:
Your words are worthless, because your actions have led to the single-handed destruction of all the progress we’ve made socially as a nation. You have, with your pure ignorance and refusal to understand the way the government and the world works, allowed a power-hungry business tycoon to take over the United States of America. “The land of the free, the home of the brave, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL.”
This politically correct world we’ve created, which is really just a world with social etiquette, where we have weeded out the language of racism and explained why, where we have established feminism as a growing notion of making women realize their validity and right to be treated as the full complex beings they are and men the same (which clearly needs A LOT of work considering how women across America, especially white women, voted for this man who insulted your very existence every time he opened his mouth or disrespected Hillary during his campaign), where we have had to create numerous labels to help queer people who didn’t fit the cis heterosexual mold feel valid and identified in a world where narrow-minded consciousness has made them feel invalid and invisible for so long. That’s the “politically correct” behavior you wanna get rid of? You wanna restore America to a world where the human beings around you feel scared to be themselves and live and love freely?
A lot of people in politics and the media are scrambling to normalize what just happened to us, saying that it will all be OK and we can work with Trump. No, it won’t, and no, we can’t. The next occupant of the White House will be a pathological liar with a loose grip on reality; he is already surrounding himself with racists, anti-Semites, and conspiracy theorists; his administration will be the most corrupt in America history.
How did this happen? There were multiple causes, but you just can’t ignore the reality that key institutions and their leaders utterly failed. Every news organization that decided, for the sake of ratings, to ignore policy and barely cover Trump scandals while obsessing over Clinton emails, every reporter who, for whatever reason — often sheer pettiness — played up Wikileaks nonsense and talked about how various Clinton stuff “raised questions” and “cast shadows” is complicit in this disaster. And then there’s the FBI: it’s quite reasonable to argue that James Comey, whether it was careerism, cowardice, or something worse, tipped the scales and may have doomed the world.
No, I’m not giving up hope. Maybe, just maybe, the sheer awfulness of what’s happening will sink in. Maybe the backlash will be big enough to constrain Trump from destroying democracy in the next few months, and/or sweep his gang from power in the next few years. But if that’s going to happen, enough people will have to be true patriots, which means taking a stand.
And anyone who doesn’t — who plays along and plays it safe — is betraying America, and mankind. (Link.)
Which raises a question — rhetorical, to be sure, because we know the answer: Why aren’t true conservatives, actual patriots vigorusly and prominently opposing Trump? Why only liberals? Are conservatives opposed to a right to vote, social unity, some degree of equality?
Instant update: Here’s one conservative opposed to Trump based on love of what America actually is or was. Not now or ever a person of any significant influence….
Maybe, someday, we’ll get our New Deal 2.0.
Or maybe I’m just that desperate for hope.
In 1977 Richard Posner (then a prof at the University of Chicago’s notorious ultra-libertarian school; now a federal judge) teamed up with an economist and law student to form Lexecon, which has since grown to a firm worth more than $130,000,000, whose major business is to serve as intellectual guns-for-hire who will produce plausible-seeming economic models defending giant corporate mergers against anti-trust regulators.
The top economists at Lexecon — and its also-ran competitors — bill out at $1,000+/hour to companies trying to get permission to form monopolies and near-monopolies by gobbling up their competitors. Lexecon’s staff operate with very loose conflict of interest rules, allowing the company to contract out to opposing sides of the same issue, something that got them into trouble when the US government found out that the firm had assigned the same employees to work on cases for the Department of Justice and the companies the DoJ was suing. (Link.)
Answer: Question’s now rhetorical in our new one-party state.
It turns out that when the head of a news organization becomes a chief White House strategist, all sorts of ethics rules apply. Politico lays out the ethics rules Steve Bannon will face … or, as we might think of them, the ethics rules Bannon will ignore and routinely violate. How much can Bannon use Breitbart News as a Trump administration outlet?
Answer: As much as he wants because no one will stop him.
Another naive fool asks: What happens to national lands under Trump?
Wrong question. Correct question is: How much per acre?
Consumer protection: RIP (of course).
I thought my mind wouldn’t be blown till, I dunno, next spring or summer.
But with appointees like Sessions and combining personal business with state business, it’s already happened.