Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A flick of the tail of a dragon

Yesterday I posted a possible reason why Brett Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court. I suggested that perhaps the nasty guy has some dirt on Kavanaugh and is ready to blackmail the justice if he strays too far from what the nasty guy wants. That implies Kavanaugh is hungry enough for the job that he’s willing to put up with the threat.

But why is the GOP in Congress putting up with Kavanaugh? They could tell the nasty guy, sorry, but this one has too much baggage. There are lots of others who will do what we want who will be much easier to confirm. So why the harder route?

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville has an answer:
Because to back down, even for an easier road to the same destination, would concede that they are not yet all-powerful; that they can still be stopped.

By public pressure, if not rules, laws, norms, or ethics.

The only reason to dig in is to prove that their coup is virtually complete. To show that not only are they refusing to provide checks and balances on the president, but that there are no longer any checks or balances on them.

This is a display of dominance, a flick of the tail of a dragon who has just learned to breathe fire.

Keep up the pressure. Keep making noise. Keep resisting.

Last night the nasty guy released a stack of top secret documents in an attempt to damage the investigation against him. McEwan explains the details and tells us how rare it is for a president to do such a thing and how damaging it can be in several areas.
This is such an unprecedented, extraordinary, gravely serious event. It is the President of the United States interfering in an ongoing investigation with a profound abuse of his power, demonstrating overt hostility for the rule of law.

It's yet another signal that the imperious scofflaw occupying the White House will not be constrained by norms or ethics or laws. He does whatever the fuck he wants, to get whatever the fuck he wants.

We really and truly need a more comprehensive plan than "vote," folks.

Because I don't see Donald Trump just reasonably accepting the outcome of any election that doesn't go his way. Do you?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hardest possible choice

Allegations of assault and attempted rape are swirling around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. There are people who have evidence that he perjured himself during the hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Some are wondering about Kavanaugh’s history of huge gambling debts that were paid off in unexplained ways. Any of those would disqualify someone from a minimum wage job. And here we are talking about the top justice job in America.

This has John Rogers, in a Twitter thread, wondering: Why Kavanaugh? His paper trail is a nightmare (and, when this started, didn’t include the assault charges). Does he have a great legal mind? Because he vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade? Other judges have vowed the same and are just as smart and are squeaky clean.
Trump's superpower is attracting other people venal enough to do whatever he tells them to do in order to advance themselves. It's his one genuine talent. … Kavanaugh was the hardest possible confirmation choice on that list. There can only be one reason you choose the guy who makes the process that much harder. One.
Alas, Rogers doesn’t name that one reason.

However, some reading I’ve done recently (which, even though I’ve searched through my browser history, I can’t find or credit) does suggest a reason:

Perhaps the nasty guy has dirt on Kavanaugh and will blackmail him unless he does the nasty guy’s bidding.

Some people, when faced with that threat, will simply not play. But go back to the nasty guy’s “genuine talent” of finding people who desperately want what he is offering and willing to live under the threat of blackmail.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Family Bible as proof of citizenship

A woman in Kansas was denied a passport renewal. She was told her birth certificate wasn’t good enough to establish citizenship. She was born in a farmhouse in the 1970s, so her birth certificate wasn’t issued by a hospital. She was told she needed more documentation, such as a border crossing card (her parents were born in the US) or a family Bible (don’t have one).

She said they won’t accept an official birth certificate and they do accept a family Bible? (Atheists and Muslims need not apply.)

She finally asked her senator to intervene and the passport arrived a few days later.

The website describing what documents are needed for a passport do not say the birth certificate needs to come from a hospital.

Sarah Kendzior commented:
Birth certificate is the essential document for completing certain transactions as well as obtaining drivers licenses, passports, etc. Which is why it's VERY disturbing that an admin led by the guy who lied about Obama's birth certificate is now lying about the validity of others.