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The Worst Of Politics, w/o September 3, 2018


Labor Day

Traveling for me, and I’m pretty sure Paul Ryan didn’t have another Labor Day statement praising management.


All The Justice Money Can Buy

Listening for a while to the ramrodding of Kavanaugh. John Cornyn’s prattle about how great it is when judges respect the text of legislation makes me gag. K. (for “Kafkaesque”) has been nominated explicitly to overturn Obamacare, gun regulations, and campaign finance limits — all of which are of course pieces of legislation.


Hearings Without Listening

I thought Ben Sasse’s comments were, for the most part, pretty much on target. What I don’t quite buy is his prescription for the solution. Here’s what I liked:

And so, what we mostly do around this body is not pass laws. What we mostly do is decide to give permission to the Secretary or the administrator of bureaucracy X, Y, or Z to make law-like regulations. That’s mostly what we do here. We go home and pretend that we make laws… No, we don’t. We write giant pieces of legislation — 1,200 pages, 1,500 pages long that people haven’t read. Filled with all of these terms that are undefined and we say the Secretary of such and such shall promulgate rules that do the rest of our dang jobs.

So, I admit, that there are rational arguments that one could make for this new system. The Congress can’t manage all the nitty-gritty details of everything about modern government and this system tries to give power and control to experts in their fields where most of us in Congress don’t know much of anything — about technical matters, for sure — but you can also impugn our wisdom if you want. But when you’re talking about technical, complicated matters, it’s true that the Congress would have a hard time sorting out every dot and tittle about every detail.

Precisely. You’re not going to find a critical mass of Senators or Representatives that know enough biochemistry to write up rules for prescription drugs, pesticides, and atmospheric pollutants. You’re not going to find enough Wharton PhDs in the House or Senate to address the latest schemes promulgated by the fifth branch of government, Big Finance.

But what’s his solution to these festering piles of highly technical problems that America is faced with?


As best I can tell it amounts to, do nothing. Because if his policy prescription is for the legislators to actually sit down and write all the jots and tittles, as he suggests, well it’s simply not going to get done. So tomorrow’s release from Monsanto or financial “product” from Wells Fargo will simply go out as its creators intended — at the expense of consumers and the general public.

File this one under “gee, us?”

We can and we should do better than this. It’s predictable now that every confirmation hearing is going to be an overblown, politicized circus. And it’s because we’ve accepted a bad new theory about how our three branches of government should work — and in particular about how the Judiciary should work.

This is why we talk about an independent judiciary. This is why they wear robes. This is why we shouldn’t talk about Republican and Democratic judges and justices. …

Well that’s all well and good. Makes you want to idealistically, with starry eyes, support Kavanaugh on whatever the 7% of his released documents tell us. But nobody told the President.



Receipts attached below.





Booker and Harris for President — Either One

There’s not even time

To talk about Woodward’s book, or the anonymous Times Op-Ed. Well maybe a minute. The administration has been whinging about anonymous sources and how they can’t be relied upon.

Well for one, there was Deep Throat.

But historically, there’s Common Sense, Tom Paine’s famous pamphlet about independence, originally published anonymously.

Also The Federalist Papers. Now, Mr. Trump, you might ask, “what’s the Federalist Papers?”

Of course you would.


Um, about that speech last night

and of course….

Let A Thousand Parodies Bloom


We summoned the God of a Thousand Forms assuming the weight of responsibility would rein It in slightly, remind It to adhere to the Necronomicon’s nightmare prophesies first and foremost. If it was foolish to assume the Outer God would care so little about this dimension that it wouldn’t even acknowledge the Tome’s existence, well, call us fools.

I Am Part of the Police Department Inside This Bank Robbery

To be clear, ours is not the popular “police department” of the government, the one that enforces the laws against robbing banks. We want the robbery to succeed and think that the part where we made the bank clerks hand over all the money in their drawers at gunpoint was a step in the right direction.

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the New York Times Opinion Desk

It’s not just the Sarah Jeong controversy. Or Quinn Norton’s firing. Or Bret Stephens’ problems with college leftists. Or Bari Weiss’s problems with college leftists. Or Judith Shulevitz’s problems with college leftists. Or David Brooks’s problems with college leftists. Or Frank Bruni’s problems with colleges.

The rest of that one’s not very funny. Anybody can make fun of Tom Friedman. But at least they’re trying which is more than I’m doing.

‘The Onion’ Has Chosen To Publish An Anonymous Op-Ed From Two Sources Close To Trump Who Think Their Dad Is The Best President Ever
This is one you actually have to look at, because I can’t copy/paste from it. Trust me on this.

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