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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 25,319

Journal Archives

Because one side was pushing hard to advance their ideological agenda...

...and the other side thought in terms of norms and civility, and didn't want another fight.

From a Feb. 2014 thread on the subject:

The reason Thomas was put on the SC was...

...NOT because he was the most qualified jurist. He wasn't.
...NOT because he was the most qualified black jurist. He wasn't.
...NOT because he was the most qualified black conservative jurist. He wasn't.

He was the most qualified black conservative with reliable but obfuscatable views on abortion & other subjects, and was young enough that he'd stay on the court for decades.

The Democratic senators were initially ready to give him a pass, since 1) they didn't look forward to another SC nomination battle, and 2) initially the black community was receptive to Thomas -- not enthusiastic, but not inclined to oppose -- and a fight against him wouldn't be well received.

At the time I thought Thomas should have been voted down just because of his lackluster record and his ignoring conflicts of interest (Thomas failed to recuse himself in a case involving the Ralston Purina company, where his political mentor Sen. John Danforth owned millions in stock and had brothers on the board of directors. Thomas' decision in favor of Purina directly benefited his pals).

Black opinion didn't shift until later in the process, after Thurgood Marshall made his "a black snake is still a snake" comment. The senators were finally forced to take a harder line when the harassment charges leaked out, and giving Thomas a pass would piss off another Democratic constituency: women fighting workplace harassment.

But all that happened too late: by that point conservatives were ginned up in support and the rest of the establishment didn't want another high-profile fight, so the Thomas hearings were kept to a he-said-she-said with Anita Hill (Angela Wright was shunted off to the side), giving the senators their excuse to just put it behind them.

So here we are, a quarter-century later, and he's still a lackluster jurist who ignores conflicts of interest, and is a reliable conservative operative in the courts.

As God as my witness, I'll never pass up a chance to repost this

From http://www.dumbingofage.com/2016/blog/antichrist/

A little context: the cartoonist, Dave Willis, grew up in a strict conservative evangelical household, and Joyce, the little kid/older kid/young woman in this progression is something of an alter-ego of his about how that bubble bursts for some people, and of some of the hypocrisies that manifest in the people for whom it doesn't burst.

FYI, no TOONs post today

Going to be away most of the day, and those are not conducive to being collected on a phone.

Expect to be back tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to turn this into a crowdsourced one by posting toons in replies.

Monthly TOON Roundup - The Year of June

This is an experiment. So much happens in a month, especially now that we're living in Trump years instead of human years, and the way that combines with the schedules of political cartoonists (some are daily, some a few times a week, some weekly, some less often, etc.), it spreads out topics in ways the Daily TOONs don't quite capture.

Whether or not these monthly recaps continue will depend on whether I can organize them better in the time I can and am willing to devote to DU TOON threads.

But for this month, enjoy. -- JHB

Ambien-t climate

Trump tells it like it is

Not the ‘have your back’ it used to be

Royal wedding


The Best at Knowing the Best Words

Kneeling/red cent

Summer Vacation in Republican-dominated America

Puerto What-co?

Prediction meets reality

This part is the newly-established initial condition...
June 6

...this part is the logical prediction stemming from the initial condition...
June 9

...and reality sets in
June 26

More Then vs Now

No Shows

My God, where do they find the time?

Swamp Butt



Oh, Canada

Everything in its proper place


Where did she go?

It’s Life, Jim, But Worse Than We Know It


Kim and Trumpy, Sittin’ in a Tree…

Winly Winky

Demerit Badges

The score is Romans: 13, Corinthians: 2

Space Force

Due Process

Zero Tolerance


Republicans inAction

Dignity and grace. A gorilla had them, a Lewandilla does not

Phase 2

Court Decisions

Eat in Peace



Just Swell

Stepping Up


More video from Trump rally

Then he's still denying what actually happened, trying to wipe off the fingerprints...

George is a conservative. The "Big C" Conservative Movement kind.

The very people who insisted Republicans get with the program or be driven out of office. It's what they did to the Rockefeller Republicans in the 70s and 80s. And did it pretty damn gleefully.

When Poppy Bush wheezed the last gasp of of semi-authentic Republican "fiscal conservatism" by signing a too-small tax increase because the cherished 1986 tax reform was blowing an even bigger hole in the budget than earlier Reaganite cuts did, conservatives crucified him. And kept pounding the nails all through his presidency.

To get all the items on the Conservative Movement wish list, George's friends and colleagues played on voters' fears (especially bigoted voters' fears), said liberals and Democrats would make those fears come true, capitulate to the Soviets, be puppets of the Russians, and destroy the nation, while Republicans would stave off the end of civilization and restore us to our former glory (hey, don't that remind you of something?).

This all happened in the heyday of George Will's career, and he was fine with it. He and his fellow Movement Conservatives still thought it wasn't enough. When the Democratic candidate for president described himself as "pro-business", it wasn't an occasion to celebrate bringing an opponent closer to their point of view. No, they needed to demonize him, question his legitimacy, and throw up a fogbank of steam rising from great mountains of bullshit, lest they face pressure to compromise and have to sacrifice the biggest item in their wish list, destroying every last remnant of the New Deal and restoring the Gilded Age.

The Republicans aren't a party of invertebrates, George. You and your fellow conservatives transformed the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Ahab, and any among you who questioned the wisdom of hunting the White Whale were thrown overboard. When those people were fish-fodder, the ones who clove to norms and looked mildly askance at some of the excessively uncivil rhetoric were brought to heel or brought under the keel.

Think that's an exaggeration? For how may decades did any Republican who was even mildly critical of Rush Limbaugh jump to be on his show within 48 hours,doing qualifying runs for Olympic backpedaling?

Your elected officials are spineless, George, because they are your apparatchiks.

You're a conservative, George, and the Republican party is in the state it is in because your people made it that way. Good on ya for saying "elect Democrats", but don't pretend you and all of your NeverTrump colleagues didn't spend your entire careers preparing your party to embrace him.

No Disowning.

Tom Nichols: It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters...

...It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy.

Full thread starting with:
Tom Nichols‏ @RadioFreeTom
It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters. It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy. There's no way to have a policy argument with people whose eyes are always looking up to the television for a cue from Dear Leader about what to say next. /1

As @JVLast once said, Trumpism is non-falsifiable. Whatever Trump does is right. There are no principled arguments to be had, because if Trump changes his mind or tweets something off the wall, Trumpers change their position immediately. /2

This would basically be a cult except for one thing: most Trumpers do not believe their own bullshit. Yes, some of them really are stupid enough to think Trump is a good man and all that crap, but most of them are only interested in Trump as a vehicle of social disruption. /3

Trump's smarter enablers see him as an equalizer, a way to put them on an equal footing with "elites" - oh, that word - who they think look down on them. Thing is, the elites *do* look down on them. For good reason. Most of Trump's sycophants are second raters, at best. /4

For them, Trump is their shot. They know he's, um, emotionally disordered, to use @Peter_Wehner's term, but they don't care: this is their one chance to grab the car keys and throw a kegger before Mom and Dad get back home. That makes talking with them about policy impossible. /5

So if it seems like I don't engage Trump's enablers on the merits of this or that Trump policy, it's because I can't take Trump's "policies" any more seriously than Trump or his minions do. It's either pure stupidity or pure careerism, and either way, it's a waste of time. /6

Yes, there are people in government trying to hold everything together. I salute them and hope they can keep the ship afloat. But they can't make policy either. They can issue directives and hope for the best, mostly hoping Trump doesn't notice and overrule them via tweet. /7

I think we'd all be less exhausted if the Trumpers would just admit that what they value from Trump is the social leveling effect he has, forcing intelligent people to respond endlessly to stupid comments and bad ideas, than continue pretending they care about "policy." /8

For myself, I am resigned that Trump will be president for as long as he's president. How it ends is up to the voters. But I don't see the need to engage in the cynical bullshittery of arguing policy with people who will change their minds on anything in nanoseconds. /9

And for the love of God, don't tell me about what Trump's Real 'Muricans in the Heartland want. I know what they want: more government action, including money, delivered with a smile, inflated respect, and pity, earned or not. Those are utterly pointless discussions too. /10

Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do. He's not liberal or conservative. It's all just the blurted thoughts of an angry, frightened man who won an office he didn't really want. We have to get through it, but we don't have to pretend we're arguing about real things. /11x

I have to disagree on that last point. Trump is very much a conservative, and conservatives have spent 50 years building a voter base that gave Trump more Republican primary votes than anyone in history. They don't get to disown him.

Professional Left Podcast - Ep 443: The Whole GOP is 'That Illuminati Guy'

The Professional Left Podcast, with Driftglass and Blue Gal
Conspiracy theories like “Beyonce is the Illuminati something” are the Republican Party, and have been for longer than Trump. What does Jeff Sessions have on Trump? Roseanne is not as important as expanding Medicaid (congratulations Virginia!) And we do not support Rod B’s pardon. More at http://ProLeftPod.com

The 99% Is a Myth--Here's How It Really Breaks Down

Professional Left Podcast, with Driftglass and Blue Gal - Ep 441: Apologize!

Those who are wrong about Democrats, healthcare and Truth. Guess Which Party?! We talk about Rudy Guiliani, at least one person who is "tired of winning," and a number of people who've discovered all of a sudden that Truth is important, like Rex Tillerson and Matthew Dowd. A surprising sincere apology in the wrong place, the "Democrats in Disarray" lie never dies, and a wake up call for conservatives on Medicaid and nursing homes. More at http://ProLeftPod.com

And the podcast's wonderful hosts:

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