That was then, this is now, a continuing series

Legislative power grab for me but not for thee edition: remember when HRC was (possibly) considering Elizabeth Warren as her running mate?:

The thing is, ahead of past expected Senate vacancies, rather than looking for a loophole, Massachusetts state legislators have opted to simply change the appointment rules. Multiple times.

In 2004, the Democratic-controlled State House pushed through a bill that stripped then-Gov. Mitt Romney of his power to fill Sen. John Kerry’s seat, presumably with a fellow Republican, as the Democratic senator ran for president. The measure—to keep the seat vacant until a special election was held in 145 to 160 days—was ultimately passed with a veto-overriding two-thirds majority, despite the fact the Kerry ultimately lost to incumbent President George W. Bush.

But then in 2009, with Democrat Deval Patrick as governor, state legislators passed a bill at the behest of Sen. Ted Kennedy to give Patrick the power to choose a replacement for the terminally ill Democrat.

Would Massachusetts legislators change the rules a third time for Warren? According to state House and Senate leaders, there are no such plans.

Do you find this more or less objectionable than the recent changes in North Carolina?  Did you complain about them both with proportional fervor?  Do you now recognize that “whataboutism” is a highly useful means of testing whether your views and outrages are in fact justified?  I enjoyed the earlier comment by Albatross:

My outrage at the power grab in NC is somewhat diminished by my wish that something similar (legislative power grab to limit the power of the incoming executive) were happening at the federal level, too.


Two types of mental malfeasance are prevalent now:

"Whataboutism" - Example: Hilary Clinton defends her lack of email scandal transparency by pointing out Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.

"Shoot The Messenger" - Email hacking, WikiLeaks and James Comey are the main problem. Not the stupidity of setting up a private email server, DNC machinations in favor of Clinton, Bill Clinton's conversation with Loretta Lynch. Any lack of perfection of the investigation is much more important than the bad acts themselves.

Of course there are examples with teams flipped as well. But the Democrats lost this round, and seem to continue to do so.

Hillary's imperfections are not the same as Trump's much more serious issues.

See the WA Post article:

Why Hillary Clinton’s perceived corruption seems to echo louder than Donald Trump’s actual corruption.

"So what explains this disparity? I think there are two small things going on and one big one. A small thing is that Hillary Clinton has been ahead in the polls and more likely to be the next president of the United States.... Nate Silver noted the cycle of candidates leading in the polls facing more negative stories...

"The second small reason is that at this point it’s just easier to report on the Clinton than on Trump. Clinton has made it easy for the press to cover these things as the emails have been released. Trump, on the other hand, is a model of opacity, requiring reporters like Fahrenthold to have to do real shoe-leather reporting to find anything. On their personal finances, Clinton has been transparent, and Trump has been the opposite of that. Paradoxically, Clinton’s relative transparency has made it easier to discover even the slightest possible appearance of impropriety.

"I think there’s a bigger reason, however.. Josh Marshall got at it somewhat in this post when he wrote, “Many reporters and editors simply take it as a given that Trump’s a crook. So stories about Trump’s corruption amount to what journalists call dog bites man stories — not really news because it’s the norm and wholly expected.” Indeed, in the primaries Trump bragged about buying up politicians and promoted his tawdry brands in news conferences. So new reports about Trump ethical lapses and legal violations aren’t terribly surprising.

"The reason the Clinton Foundation has earned more scrutiny is that the Clinton Foundation, like Hillary Clinton herself, ostensibly stands for something greater. The best version of Donald Trump is someone who nevertheless does everything to advance the greater glory of Donald Trump. Clinton, like most politicians, laudably professes to a higher ideal. Corruption and conflict of interest are more eye-grabbing when they come from someone committed to a life of public service. The possibility of ethical lapses involving a philanthropy exposes hypocrisy in a way that no Trump scandal possibly could.

"We are living in an era in which trust in authority and institutions is at a low ebb. Trump being exposed as a corrupt hack is unsurprising because no one thought much of him in the first place, and he’s been weirdly candid about his corruption. The suspicion around Clinton, on the other hand, reflects the fact that Americans increasingly view previously-respected authorities as not what they seem to be.

"This, by the way, is the same reason the mainstream media is less concerned about the funding of for-profit think tanks than nonprofit think tanks. The former are expressly trying to make a buck; the latter espouse a higher ideal of offering competent policy advice to policymakers. No one is shocked if JPMorgan Chase Institute produces analyses that could help JPMorgan Chase. If the Brookings Institution even gives the appearance of doing it, however, then it’s a story.

"We are in a moment when small hypocrisies seem worse than blatant corruption. And in that moment, Clinton pays a greater price for her perceived indiscretions than Donald Trump does for his actual indiscretions. It’s not fair; it’s just the way it is."

I don't totally agree with this guy, as I think fake news, and Right Wing media (which is only 90% fake news) have played a HUGE part in this. But he makes some good points.

Take a breather, Jill.

Go boss someone else around, Art Deco. I am not at all interested in what you want me to do. In fact you are so consistently full of it, that I always take what you say and seriously consider the opposite idea.

I'm sorry I don't have several hours to spend making comments here today. I know when Art Deco bashes me, then I must be making some very good points in my comments.

Well, you'd be wrong on that score.

The piece you quoted from was marginally more convincing that shouting "fake news" although it would have to be buttressed by a empirical account of precisely where the media chose to criticize Hillary because she was a front runner.

That is one part I don't know if I agree with or not. But media don't generally say why they are criticizing a particular candidate more. That would be admitting to being unfair and not objective, which most would never admit to. Even Fox tells people they are "fair and balanced" even though everyone with a brain knows they are far from it. But Hillary definitely got bashed unmercifully. Some of it was due to the constant barrage of emails, none of which showed anything illegal-- but fake news made up interpretations of them that interpreted her actions as illegal, without any substance to those accusations. And the barrage of emails and the never-ending press coverage of them, kept HRC from getting any of her positive messages out.

I know you think I never make good points in my comments either, because you are as partisan as Art Deco is. So thanks for letting me know I did make good points by claiming I did not. This board has a lot of partisan Right Wingers who love to bash anyone Left of Center. That doesn't make you correct.

Fake News. You should say that at the beginning of your posts. Saves us from reading your claptrap.

If only you could control what people hear and read, then you could have unlimited and uninterrupted power. Until the populace rises up to hang you.

I just love to hear the Right Wingers threaten to hang people. And to see them imagine that Dems are the ones acting like they should have unlimited and uninterrupted power. When Trump is the one up there acting like a king, not a president. And when the GOP just did a power grab for the nation, with the help of Putin, now controlling all 3 branches of government. And now doing this power grab in N.C. too. Talk about thinking you should have unlimited and uninterrupted power.

I know you Right Wing wimps think that this and all Internet comment boards should be your echo chamber and your Safe Space where all commenters have to be Right Wing. But so far Tyler isn't wanting one more Right Wing echo chamber, to add to all the other ones on the Net. So you folks are going to have to deal with the horror of horrors of being on a board where Left of Center opinions are allowed. And where some commenters don't watch Alex Jones or read Breitbart or Drudge or watch Fox News and treat them all as Gospel. Perhaps if I had quoted one of those, you would accept whatever they said as fact.

Oh the horror of me having such unlimited and uninterrupted power, by my being able to make comments from a Left of Center perspective rather than from a Far Right Wing perspective-- and then getting bashed constantly by people like you, because I am not Right Wing enough. I hope you can somehow find a way to tolerate having a Left of Center comment on this board now and then, you fragile little hot house flowers.

Does it help you to insult me and say that what I write is claptrap? I guess you'll just have to keep insulting me when I write the truth, to help yourself to stand it.

The outrage on the left about North Carolina is hilarious. Nothing the legislature has done in the lame duck session is contrary to the state constitution- none of it. If the North Carolinians are upset about this, then they seem about to have the chance to do something about it next November, or if the redistricting case eventually gets overturned, they can do something about it in 2018 by giving both houses back to the Democrats. The same applied to the situation in MA- it was always the domain of the legislature to determine how appointments to the US Senate were made. Elections have consequences.

Maybe we will win some converts for limited government.

While they're out of power, sure

Yes, the outrage about unfairness is hilarious, when the unfairness is toward the party you oppose. What a great sense of humor you have.

We are in the age of the politics of cruelty.

In other news the official who fined a bakery for not doing a gay marriage cake was beaten by a Republican in the race for Secretary of State.

In Canada the center left parties didn't win an election until one of them promised to not dismantle the Alberta oil patch. Maybe the Democrats will grow a new appreciation of the First Amendment as they did for the Second Amendment during the Clinton years as they lose election after election.

Gosh, how terrible that Dems get bakeries fined, instead of the perfectly wonderful behavior of putting a Russian puppet in office as president, like the GOP. Got to have your priorities.

It looks like the Republicans are going to get a filibuster proof majority in the Senate in 2018.

If you think some imaginary excuse for a poor candidate losing trumps an awful abuse of power by government, you are indeed unhinged.

Don't change though. I look forward to hearing the amusing excuses you will come up with next time you lose big.

And I look forward to hearing all the further insults you aim at me, because I know that means I am telling the truth, which you hate more than anything.

The voters can't really do anything about it. The district boundaries are drawn so heavily in the Republicans favor that they win veto-proof majorities while losing the vote statewide (as happened in 2012).

Nice try, but they didn't lose statewide this year, and you have a perfectly unremarkable congressional district map. It still netted you only 3 of 13 seats.

Who cares what some feeble ex-libertarian thinks about analytical, syllogistic consistency? Outrage and hatred wins elections. If the left didn't whip it up after watching how well it works in the last eight years, they would be a bunch of voluntary castrati.

If the left didn’t whip it up after watching how well it works in the last eight years, they would be a bunch of voluntary castrati

Wow. Do you really believe it was only the last 8 years?

Are you kidding. The Left whipped up almost no outrage or hatred. That's why the Left controls no branch of government. Yes, outrage and hatred do win. So the Left may have to start whipping it up, if

GOPers are thin skinned, just like their PEOTUS. That's why they elected him. He's their spitting image. They can dish it out but they can't take it. The outrage and hatred that they think comes from the Left is 90% imaginary. Whereas the GOP's own constant bashing of the Left seems perfectly fair to them.

Correct. The left whipped up almost no outrage or hatred. They went high, the poor imbeciles. They have to learn to go low. Roosevelt and Truman could do it. Clinton the First and Only could do it. Now someone else has to do it.

Maybe David Brock can help us.

Salvatore F. DiMasi , Joseph J. C. DiCarlo , Anthony D. Galluccio , Ronald Conrad MacKenzie and Dianne Wilkerson will be on a committee to investigate this subject.

The perigrinations of the Massachusetts legislature are petty. They merely affect who's a seat-warmer for six months. Unsporting but unimportant.

Beyond that, there's a pretty clear ethical distinction one can draw between MA, where the legislature's action would have reenforced the choice of the voters (who had, in fact, voted for a Democrat to represent them in the Senate), and NC, where the legislature's action effectly annuls part of the election result.

The reference is a healthy corrective, but of course Massachusetts Democrats were not acting after they had been voted out of office. And they were dealing with the appointment of one politician, not stripping the power of an office or guaranteeing that they would be the hold the chairmanship of an electoral committee in the years that committee makes its most important decisions.
NC Republicans are acting actross the board to preserve their power as it wanes electorally, which seems a bit more anti-democratic.

You are not telling the truth when you say the NC Republicans were voted out of office. The governor, yes, but not the legislature. Indeed, it is absurd--if the incoming legislature does not support the changes, they can change the laws back.

Unless I'm conflating events, don't many of those Republican legislators represent districts that have recently been ruled unconstitutionally apportioned? They might have been re-elected, but as fruit of a poisoned tree.
If my memory is faulty, please advise.

Ha! Neatly skewered and grilled like a bunch of shish kebabs. Tyler is a national treasure.

Payback is a bitch, as they say:

It's all fun and games until someone loses an election.

Great! I sure you'll applaud me when I ask: what about logical inconsistency by 'wingers? [Am I doing this right, Tyler?...]

No worse than gerrymandering, which has been going on forever. The rot continues, but Americans and the West love Big Brother, as Orwell correctly predicted.

This is a grossly misleading description of what occurred in Massachusetts. As for Kerry's Senate seat, the measure would have called for an election for the voters to determine Kerry's successor for the remainder of his term if he was elected president - he lost the presidential election so nothing ever happened. As for Kennedy, the choice was between a vacant seat for the remainder of Kennedy's term if he died or the appointment of a temporary replacement to fill Kennedy's seat until the election could be held for the voters to determine his successor for the reminder of his term. In North Carolina, the Republicans in the legislature are denying the voters choice not deferring to the voters. Of course, for many Republicans, they don't trust all of the voters to decide, preferring instead to deny the right to vote to those who might support a Democrat and changing the rules of the game if they lose an election.

The voters also chose their legislators. Stop your whining.

No, the legislators chose their voters.... "The map that has twice been used to elect the North Carolina General Assembly is unconstitutional because many of the districts are racially gerrymandered, a panel of federal judges ruled Thursday.... The judges concluded that 'the overriding priority of the redistricting plan was to draw a predetermined, race-based number of districts.'" See

Apparently, few people here care about documented evidence showing a legislature attempting to deprive voters of their right to equal representation.

Especially since some other group of politicians, some other time, acted like politicians. Oh, and rampant vast conspiracies of unproven voter fraud, too.

Whereas the legislature in North Carolina is hoping its best to have black voters enjoy a certain style of crow, using a very traditional recipe.

We were talking about Massachusetts, sweetie, do try to keep up.

Anti-Gnostic was referring to NC voters in this statement, which I was responding to: "The voters also chose their legislators. Stop your whining." Or if he wasn't, he can go ahead and clarify... though I don't know what his point would have been then.

Addendum -- Do try to parse sentences, Dzhaughn.

yes, parsing would be useful, little boy.

Actually, the voters didn't: a combination of gerrymandering, over-representation of rural districts, and denial of voting rights for many black voters results in a legislature elected by a minority not a majority. Indeed, the entire fuss in North Carolina stems from Republican efforts to deny the right to vote for many otherwise eligible voters. Little d democrats the Republicans in North Carolina are not. It requires an escalating level of intimidation and threats of violence for a minority to maintain control.

Pick your poison. Pure majoritarian rule means NC gets run by a few urban counties, like Illinois and New York.

Pure majoritarian rule means NC gets run by a few urban counties, like Illinois and New York.

There is no reason that counting "counties" for or against anything or anyone is the slightest bit useful.

Counties are simply pieces of land. They are not sentient, have no policy peferences or interests. They do not run anything.

These are all characteristics of people, not land areas. And if the majority of actual people in NC and elsewhere live in a few counties, so what?

Because rural and urban interests can diverge, and cities are often fiscal and social disasters that operate as resource sinks. There's a pretty good defense of anti-majoritarian institutions like the Electoral College from no less a personage as honorary-immigrant-black-man, Alexander Hamilton.

Of course, democracy is a majoritarian game. Should urban voters' opinions matter less than those of rural dwellers? I guess you say yes, but would you feel the same way if your political views weren't generally aligned with rural voters'? I'm skeptical.

BTW, NC's population is only 66% urban, one of the lowest shares in the country.

Pick your poison. Pure majoritarian rule means NC gets run by a few urban counties, like Illinois and New York.

North Carolina's population is fairly dispersed and mostly exurban, small town, and rural. So, no.

" Indeed, the entire fuss in North Carolina stems from Republican efforts to deny the right to vote for many otherwise eligible voters."

Were those efforts successful? Maybe I missed the television news broadcasts of disenfranchised voters milling around in front of North Carolina polling places with signs reading: "I Wanna Vote!"

'Were those efforts successful?'

Depends on how one defines success. In terms of getting the results desired in the short term? Absolutely, mission accomplished.

In terms of a special election needing to be called a year early due to racial gerrymandering, and requiring a new map of the voting districts? Well, if it wasn't for those meddling federal judges, and that bothersome interference in state's rights, everything would have gone just as planned.

But in terms of people still tallking about non-existent massive voter fraud when there is well documented evidence, written by the legislators themselves, detailing how the North Carolina legislature explicitly attempted to suppress voters? Well that mission is still ongoing, it seems, and apparently, the ones talking about non-existent and non-documented (as per Trump's own lawyers, when opposing recounts) voter fraud have no more intention on giving up on their claims than Cheney has when it comes to those Iraqi WMDs.

I watched the MA legislators make that sausage. Pure power plays. Nothing else. If it comes up again, they'll do what it takes as often as necessary.

Samsung is more ethical than the Massachusetts legislature.

Tyler -- Regarding "whataboutism"... should we have not opposed human rights violations in the Soviet Union and USSR satellite states because of Jim Crow? Should we have not opposed imperial expansion of the USSR because we deposed Mosaddeq?

Consistency is all that matters.

And, indeed, I believe Solshenitzyn related how his fellow citizens would tear up over Pravda acounts of lynchings in the US.

Point being, it's not so much about high-minded principle, as it is about whose ox is being gored.

For sure.

The consistent approach is to sit at home and write about seasteading and supersonic planes.

First, this points to hypocrisy among both parties. Second, it is pretty clear that a different way of determining a temporary Senate seat replacement in MA has much less significance than all the stuff the NC GOP is doing to both strip the new Dem Governor of his authorities as well as locking Democrats out of policy making for all future cycles. The two are really not comparable.

Specifically, the NC GOP is taking steps to making the state's non-partisan supreme court selection process explicitly partisan and mandating that state and county boards of elections will from now on be run by Republicans during election years--a very significant change in a state that has already come under fire for limiting citizen voting rights. This is a desperate and fearful move by a party that sees its influence threatened by a new wave of diverse, well-educated, young and high-earning citizens.

Those new voters can vote in a new legislature.

Frankly, weakening the executive is pretty sweet.

Why didn't the democrats do that in 2009?

Because the GOP blocked everything Obama tried to do, every time they could. So almost the only power Dems had was executive power.

I know I shouldn't feed the troll, but I thought Obama steamrolled all his shit through via executive order?

Obama tried working with congress, bwahahaha....

This is the future, peeps. Presidents as kings. When your guy is in, all is peachy. When he,s not, its the decline of western civilization.

Principles are as dead as the two party system.

It's a pretty historical fact that the Republicans were quite intentional in blocking everything Obama wanted to do, despite early overtures to work together.

For example, his health care act basically packaged together Republican ideas, but now that they weren't Republican ideas they opposed them.

It's almost like they opposed Obama out of principle of not wanting to have any positive record behind, than really out of principle.

At the same time, I don't think there's anything good to say about people who think the fact of disagreeing with the president or blocking his preferred policies is "anti-democratic". It is an elected house of representatives after all, and it's actually pretty specific that this is among the very specific things they can, and often are expected, to do.

But, bullshit. They were more concerned about the potential record showing an Obama or Democrat success (something to be avoided at all costs) than the national interest.

There are actually quite a lot of explicit statements on the record by Republican uppers testifying to basically this precise fact. If you couldn't remember the first 50 times someone told you where to find it, I don't think there's much point this time around. It's out there. You can find it.

If something appears totally partisan, it shouldn't be done. If something appears to be a clear conflict of interest, it shouldn't be done. If you join a political party, you should not be called upon to defend every position it takes. The Electoral College and gerrymandering are unfair and should be abolished. People should refrain from using pejoratives or gross generalizations. My views are boring. Partisan rancor is entertaining.

The EC is unfair only if you want LA and NYC running the federal executive into perpetuity. Anyway, how should voter districts be drawn? We seem to be constantly chasing this ideologically-pure chimera.

Maybe concentrate on shrinking government's power and scope, so it matters less who's running it.

In response to Anti-Gnostic who asks, "anyway who should voter districts be drawn?" This problem has already been solved: Some states such as CA and IA draw districts outside the political legislature and the results seem to be OK>

Even if you shrink government, there can still be major winners and losers. It's how you shrink government. I follow the views of Henry Simons, Frank Knight, and Michael Oakeshott. I don't think it's really all that hard to be fair.

Is there someone who wants to shrink government who has any influence in American politics? Both parties spend a lot of money. They just spend on different things and expand government in different areas e.g. Trump will give tax benefits to the rich and will expand government in the area of crony capitalism. Dems prefer to have a social safety net and other social and educational services.


Dems are like Charlie Brown and the Republicans Lucy.

The Dems aren't upset at anything the Republicans will do (which amounts to little more than light deregulation and tax cuts)

They're really just insanely angry at their loss of status.

Actually I think the most visiby aggrieved party seems to be the media, who are apoplectic over their loss of control of information and therfore their preferred narrative....

Yeah, people from the OTHER political party can't possibly have real concerns. Dems couldn't possibly mind increasing inequality even more, or letting Russia dictate U.S. foreign policy, or exploding the debt with crony capitalist giveaways while slashing the safety net for the poorest Americans. Because you are deluded into believing that yours Is the only virtuous political tribe

None of those things will happen.

That's my point.

The Dems are only pretending those things will happen.

But they aren't short equities, are they? Are you?

In fact we hear nothing from the Dems about the market rally.

It is quite possible that all of these things will happen. Trump's cabinet seems composed entirely of crony capitalists. See the slate article entitled:

Trump’s Ungovernment
His appointments are wrecking balls and swamp creatures, and his supporters won’t care. This is what white populism looks like.
By Jamelle Bouie

And 5 intelligence agencies agree that Russia influenced our election.

Yeah, the stock market is everything to many people in our capitalist country. Make the stock market go up, and it's okay to destroy the world.

Of course I am not short equities. I am long them. I am going to need more money to donate to progressive causes. Why should I deny myself that?

Nothing there says anything about the policies of trump, which like I said amounts to little more than light deregulation and tax cuts.

Inequality has been a problem for a long time, it's not a trump thing.

And Russian hacking says nothing about what our foreign policy will be either.

If the market is going up, that means growth is back, jobs are being created, and wages are rising.

That's all that matters right now, the rest is noise.

The Dems are not upset at any particular policy, they are upset they don't have their place on top of society anymore

"If the market is going up, that means growth is back, jobs are being created, and wages are rising."

Correlation or causation?

A reference to Slate, And Jamelle Bouie! That's rich! I'll make sure to read that!

"Of course I am not short equities. I am long them. I am going to need more money to donate to progressive causes. Why should I deny myself that?"

Wow. Woosh. That is seriously impressive.

Always nice to have Meets tell me what I want. But, Meets, if you as a Right Winger can tell me what I as a Left Winger want, then vice versa applies also.

In fact moreso, because I am right and you are wrong. Just wait and see. Time will tell.

"Nothing there says anything about the policies of trump, which like I said amounts to little more than light deregulation and tax cuts."

Yes, I read what you said the first time and you are wrong. Trump will do heavy deregulation and will greatly increase pollution and the ability of crony capitalists to rob consumers and taxpayers blind.

"Inequality has been a problem for a long time, it’s not a trump thing."

Trump will make it many times worse, with his crony capitalist cabinet and policies.

"And Russian hacking says nothing about what our foreign policy will be either."

Right. Russia didn't have a reason to determine our elections. They were just playing a game. They're not going to use the puppet they got elected to destabilize American and to pursue their own interests against ours. What planet do you live on, that you are that naive?

"If the market is going up, that means growth is back, jobs are being created, and wages are rising."

No, it doesn't. It means crony capitalist welfare queen companies are going to make a killing robbing the consumer blind and polluting the air and water, without consequence. And that inequality will skyrocket and the U.S. will turn into a 3rd world country.

"The Dems are not upset at any particular policy, they are upset they don’t have their place on top of society anymore."

Thanks for telling me what I am upset over, and not listening to me when I tell you the truth about that.

Now I will tell you what you are upset about. You are a sore winner, obsessed with bashing Dems. Dems have lost the election and have no power over any branch of government and no influence on your life. But you can't stop bashing Dems, because that is the meaning of your life. If things are so wonderful, why must you habitually bash Dems and claim to tell us what we think and feel constantly.

You are like a sports spectator whose team won the World Series. But you are incapable of being happy about it or celebrating. You are obsessed with bashing the team that your team defeated, arrogantly claiming to tell them what they think and feel about everything, and continually insulting them and trying to piss them off.

Any sports team fan who did that would be considered insane. But in politics, it's business as usual-- at least for Republicans.

Sorry, Alain, to have referenced Slate. Should I have referenced Alex Jones or your favorite fake news site from Macedonia instead?

@Meets: "If the market is going up, that means growth is back, jobs are being created, and wages are rising."

Did it mean that during Obama's 8 years of uninterrupted stock market gains? I think so but your tribe doesn't. "Light" deregulation LOL. I would be in favor of that, but it's gonna be far too much.

And true the Dems are partly squawking because their tribe is out, but some of the squawking is about real issues that tribal Reps would never tolerate in a Dem president.


I don't think Obama was a bad president, however it was clear that he did not get us out of stagnant growth post- Great Recession.

The market is signaling Trump will.

Stock market gains under Obama had more to do with the Fed finally catching up to its target IMO The rally subsequent the election reflects much needed deregulation Trump is indicating he'll bring.

What would be too much? Fracking is lightly regulated and unlocked $3.5 trillion in value. Who knows what else is out there, but the market thinks a lot.

If Trump gets credit for the current stock market gains, then Obama should get credit for his.

The market has been going up under both Obama and now Trump despite no growth because it is all borrowed money.

"In fact we hear nothing from the Dems about the market rally."

Now you are just being dishonest. Paul Krugman has stated quite clearly that the market will "never" recover. So the so-called rally is not actually happening at all. My personal theory is that Russia has hacked into the NYSE to make it *look* like a rally, in order to bolster his puppet regime. I don't know how else to explain it.


I actually voted for Hillary and Obama once so I'm the exact opposite of a sports fanatic here.

The market reaction and Trump's appointments have made me cautiously optimistic.

Trump has not yet proposed anything, the reaction of the left is beyond anything reasonable.

And you realize the market is up broadly? How is Trump going to be a crony capitalism to every component of the s&p 500 and Dow?

I repeat my theory that this is about Lefties not being able to virtue signal and display their superiority at upcoming Christmas and New Year's Eve parties.

The Left is indeed superior morally. But we did lose. To someone who constantly lied

Time will tell how long the market stays up. This won't last his whole term. See the article on thereformedbroker web site entitled:

Every “Unified Republican Government” Ever Has Led to a Financial Crash

The fact that you used to have voted Dem before does not mean that you aren't a rabidly partisan Republican now. Many people swing from being rabidly partisan on one side, to being so on the other. Quite common.

Trump has proposed a wrecking ball cabinet of crony capitalists. That's plenty bad enough. See the article on the slate web site entitled:

Trump’s Ungovernment His appointments are wrecking balls and swamp creatures,

You keep saying Trump will be a disaster, but your actions of staying long equities reveals what you truly believe.

As far as my voting, I vote for who I think is the best libertarian candidate

I am certainly not staying long for the whole 4 years of Trump's term. When I see signs that it's going to end in disaster, and I expect that it will, I will get out. For all we know, the rally may be over by inauguration day. In which case Obama should get full credit for it.

The market is irrationally exuberant at times. The market was going up in September of 2007 also. Was that a reason to be optimistic about the economy at that point?

"Whataboutism" is not "highly useful."

First, hypocritical arguments can still be accurate.

If I say, "It is outrageous that X - my enemy - did Z," but made no objection when Y - my ally - did Z, that says nothing about whether Z is outrageous behavior. It might not might not be.

Second, in practice it always leads, as in this thread, to arguments about whether the two acts are truly equivalent, deserving equal condemnation, and so on. That's the wrong discussion.

Third, it gets nowhere. No one is perfectly consistent, so you end up going in circles.

"might or might not be."


Why are arguments about whether the two acts are truly equivalent, deserving equal condemnation etc.the wrong discussion? I know everyone believes this, or else Trump with his huge flaws would not have won against Hillary with her tiny flaws (unless you believe the fake news version of her flaws.)

But just exactly why does everyone believe this except me?

I was thinking about the comparisons Tyler made between the MA legislature and the NC one. The first happened some time ago. The second is happening today, or maybe it's done by now.

I agree that when they are contemporaneous, or their comparison is relevant to a current issue, like an election, that is worthwhile.

A lot of this is about strengthening or weakening norms. Both sides have been pushing through norms like crazy, though Republicans are certainly doing it worse if analyzing only in the current cycle. The thing about the MA legislature action is that it tore down norms about how political appointment rules (or election rules) are supposed to function. They aren't supposed to be "one set of rules for my team and another set of rules for your team". They are supposed to be the background rules about how politics functions when you win.

The problem with being indifferent to MA and freaked out about NC is that it attacked the norm of trying to make at least neutral seeming background rules.

Having attacked that norm, it is difficult to argue what they want to argue (you shouldn't change background rules depending on the winner) and instead are forced into an argument about why these particular background rules can't be changed depending on the winner while other different background rules are fine to change depending on the winner.

It is frustrating to me to see both parties so strongly burn down all sorts of institutional capital in the United States and then act surprised when the tools they honed get turned against them. There is an over-appreciation for lawyerly nit-picking as opposed to understanding how institutional norms shape the black letters that is only going to get worse under Trump, and it isn't going to be good.

Democrats ought to have been able to condemn the MA actions.

Republicans ought to be able to condemn the NC actions.

The fact the we basically don't, is one of the roots of the problem we find ourselves in.

You are right. Objectivity has mostly left ourpolitics.

"Both sides have been pushing through norms like crazy, though Republicans are certainly doing it worse if analyzing only in the current cycle."

True. And this works to win elections. So Dems would be crazy not to push back as hard as possible as soon as possible. Because Dems have lost control of all 3 branches of the federal government-- to people who lie a great deal, proliferate fake news, and push through norms like crazy. If you don't win elections, you don't get to do anything else politically. In the current atmosphere, you either win ugly or lose nice. Dems have been losing nice-- all 3 branches of government-- so the nice needs to stop immediately.

Albatross's comment that Tyler quoted
"My outrage at the power grab in NC is somewhat diminished by my wish that something similar (legislative power grab to limit the power of the incoming executive) were happening at the federal level, too."

shows you the difference between Dems and Republicans-- or really, between Republicans and everyone else. Republicans are goal oriented and aggressive. Everyone else puts up with whatever they do, because most people are passive. The more aggressive goal oriented types have grabbed power in both Wa D.C. and in N. C.-- with the help of fake news and the aggressive leader of Russia. So they will keep it in both cases, because most humans are passive.

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity"

So says Yeats in his poem The Second Coming

Way too many troll accounts around here these days.

Yeah, like Careless whose contribution is to call someone else a troll.

And what is a troll? Someone who disagrees with your politically, of course. Every Internet comment board should be a Right Winger's Safe Space and echo chamber. No dissenting views allowed, huh, Careless? A good handle for you, BTW.


Sorry, I'm not going to feed your incompetent trolling ass.

And for the record, yes, pointing out that people shouldn't respond to obvious troll accounts is a valuable service that some people need.

It has really ramped up since the election, no?

I see a parallel between the main stream media and increased leftist trolling on this blog. They are going on the offensive now, the Fox news version of the left (coming soon to an affiliate near you!). The New York Times used to at least pretend not to be partisan, they have abandoned that pretense since the election results. Its hard to find information underneath all of that spinning they are doing.

There was also the time when Democratic legislators in Wisconsin fled the state to shut down the government by depriving the legislature of a quorum; i.e., shutting down majoritarian processes because they objected to the expected outcome.

And sometimes legislators fail to hold hearings for a Supreme Court nominee. Unfortunately these things happen when actors behave unexpectedly and recourse is ill-defined. As citizens we tolerate it, or perhaps agree with it.

Oh, you can bet hearings for a Supreme Court nominee will be forthcoming. You should be glad now that the logjam has been broken (barring Democrat obstructionism), right? No doubt Mitch McConnell made a political bet by delaying the nomination, as he is allowed to do. That bet is about to pay off in spades. Politicians will play politics. Why do we expect them not to?

That logic implies you would be OK with a future democratic supermajority simply impeaching Trump's selections. I think that would be exceptionally dangerous. I think what the Republicans did to Obama was irresponsible and reckless, but I agree that it's up to Obama to make them pay a price for it.

Less outrageous. Romney appointing Kerry's successor was obviously problematic since not only is one party losing a seat in the senate by winning the Presidential election, but the voters end up with a Senator of the opposite party they voted for.

The subsequent change back from election to governor appointment is where it gets hypocritical, though it again removes a bit of a penalty for winning the Presidential election.

When a senate seat is vacated perhaps their successor could be chosen by their party in the legislature, at least then you don't have these unintentional power shifts.

As to the NC GOP it really is outrageous, particularly their solution for "sharing" control of the state elections board (especially right after they got slapped by the courts for misusing that power). As far as I'm concerned not a single legislator who voted for that measure has any business being in elected office.

A few states do require the governor to appoint someone from the same party as the previous holder of the seat when there's a vacancy.

well all things being equal... Oh that's right all things are never equal. To try to paint some moral equivalency between various actions by politicians in various states is a mistake. The correct measure is: is it constitutional both by the U.S. constitution and the state's constitution? If action taken is constitutional and legal the only real recourse it to elect different people and/or change the constitution(s). Right or wrong legislators and governors have powers and they can misuse them or of course they can also use them perfectly correctly and upset some people. That's the system we live under.

It certainly reeks of power grabbing, legal or not. However, it's all fun and games compared to Wisconcin. Remember the SWAT raids? Jill? Jill....?

Or the State Attorneys subpoenaing Non-Profits because they disagreed on climate change?


Republicans are just as corrupt in various ways, I have no doubt. But using the state apparatus to persecute political enemies through violence or bankruptcy for the thoughtcrime of disagreement is (recently) a Democrat game.

Or colluding with the media to push for a specific candidate. Like Ezra Klein, as per the wikileaks emails. Or Donna Brazile.

Sunshine should be encouraged, and if we don't like what we see in the cold light of day, then it says more about our "tribes" and less about the messenger.

Have the Democrats claimed any of the emails were false? I mean, literally, has even one email been challenged as to its veracity?

Hi, Jerk. Since you chose a different name than my handle to call me by, I am doing the same for you. I am not answering your question because I chose my own handle. I will not respect people who won't call me by my preferred name. You don't have to call me by my handle, or by any name at all. But calling me by anything other than my handle, will guarantee that I will ignore your comments and questions.

Sorry about your personality problems, Jill. Nothing anyone here can help you with.

Oh, you forgot the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and waterfalls!

I'm shocked...shocked to find politics going on in here.

Our Founders deliberately designed several aspects of our government to be purely political in nature:

- nomination and confirmation of judges and other officials
- apportionment
- selection of Senators by legislatures

Adding and removing powers from the executive is a matter of legislative fiat.

Clearly people can make claims of unfairness or hypocrisy in waging their political battle, but illegal or unethical it is not.

Comments for this post are closed