Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Nil Nisi Bonum Department


Gerald Ford's chief of staff Don Rumsfeld, right, and his deputy Dick Cheney, 1975. Photo by Harvey Georges/AP, via The New York Times.

In defense of that vile reprobate Donald Rumsfeld, now on his final journey to whichever circle of Hell it is that houses those who believe their own parochial interests outweigh the suffering of millions, it is not at all true that he spoke incomprehensible gobbledygook in the way Sarah Jones suggests in her otherwise excellent farewell note in New York:

Iraq will be Rumsfeld’s legacy, with all of the lies, all of the torture, all of the killing. While many hands bear responsibility for such loss, two belonged to Rumsfeld, who had Saddam Hussein in his sights for years before 9/11 gave him the excuse he’d wanted to attack Iraq. Rumsfeld lived out the rest of his days with his impunity. His victims weren’t so lucky.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Narratology: Folie à Trois


Salvador Dalí, Swans Reflecting Elephants (1937), via Wikipedia.

Well, well, well, gossip genius Michael Wolff seems to be releasing a third volume on the Trump administration, under the title Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, to arrive July 27, and New York magazine has a promo excerpt dealing with the events of 6 January, with which I am totally fascinated.

Not that it tells you the story of an unfolding coup attempt: it doesn't. One of the inherent defects of the genre, whether the author is a patrician-reporter like Bob Woodward or a literary slumdweller like Wolff, is that it's forced to take its sources' self-serving stories at more or less face value. If a coup attempt was really taking place, none of Wolff's sources said so, whether because they didn't know or because they were pretending not to know, understandably, so he effectively couldn't tell the story by the means at his command. 

And it really seems from the excerpts as if none of his sources might have known such a thing; the characters divide neatly into two groups, one consisting just of the truly delusional Trump and Giuliani, in a remarkable kind of folie à deux, who were genuinely hoping that Pence would decertify the election with his imaginary vice presidential powers, and everybody else in and around the White House, who knew this would not happen, but didn't know how to tell the boss. And they nearly all sound as if whoever is talking to Wolff is more or less telling the truth.

Monday, June 28, 2021

For the Record: Fact Checking

Steve points out something that is very wrong about former Attorney General Barr deciding to tell the truth to Jonathan Karl, namely that he doesn't think there was anything morally wrong about trying to overthrow a democratic election, he just didn't think it was going to be successful. It occurred to me that there were a few other things:

He seems to have ordered up an awful lot of investigations for which there was no justification to satisfy his vindictive client. He looks more and more like John Mitchell to me.

A more complex thing was a very annoying "fact check" in Washington Post, where Glenn Kessler assigned four Pinocchios to Biden for saying that the 2nd Amendment didn't allow you to buy a cannon in the 1780s:

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Literary Corner: One Small Step For a Speechwriter, a Leap Too Far For a Former Guy


Image by Steve Bronstein/Getty Images, via Foreign Policy, August 2017.

A lovely moment from Trump's rally last night in Wellington, Ohio, where he was seeking vengeance against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of the Republicans who voted to impeach him in January, backing a primary opponent, former Trump White House aide Maxwell Miller, remarkable for having been

arrested multiple times for assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and... caught falsifying his personal resume and educational background after stating that he had been a Marine recruiter, which he had not.  

A Brave Young Man From Ohio

By Stephen Miller and Donald J. Trump, 46th President of the United States of America

America is still the nation
that conquered the wild West,
that vanquished the murderous dictators,
that ended the evil empires,
and that sent a brave young
man from Ohio to a plant.
Think of it. You know the man
I'm talking about? Who am I
talking about? You know who it is?
The Stars and Stripes on the face
of the moon, do you know who it
is? Huh? You know who it is.

Yes, I know who it is, and I know what happened here: Miller's awful text for the peroration, an hour and a half in, was building America up to make an elegant reference to a local boy, Lieutenant (jg) Neil Armstrong, and the teleprompter said that America "sent a brave young man from Ohio to plant the Stars and Stripes on the face of the moon," but The Former Guy just couldn't get there through the Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit, or remember Armstrong's name. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

For the Record: I Was Proved F*ing Right

Used this back in 2018.

Or at least that's where Professor Rosen seems to have ended up, though he doesn't seem clear himself whether he's saying it or not:

Friday, June 25, 2021

Schrödinger's Group of 21 Update

Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP, via.

Jordan in comments trying to figure out what I was saying:

I'm having real trouble following this (not because your explanations and analyses have been lacking in any way, but just because it's so complex and multilayered).

Basically, you're concluding by saying that the deal is done — both parts of it — despite McConnell etc. publicly bitching, because if it wasn't, then Biden wouldn't be talking about it being accomplished...right?

To clarify, I'm afraid it was basically bad writing--or blogging, web-logging, in the most literal sense, just typing up information as it came in. I'm feeling very uncertain whether this was a brilliant plan or an awful error.

I started off just to record how Rosen jumped on me, with the idea that I'd then try to figure who was right—was it a group of 10 senators or was it 21?—but can't even draw a conclusion on that at this point, let alone on the significance of what happened. The thing Jordan mentions is from inside the argument with Rosen (what do Biden's remarks mean, what are they evidence of, with reference to that?). Rosen later sent some tweets without tagging me, complaining that USA Today had been irresponsible in claiming that it was a group of 21. He still thinks he and The Times were right, and I can't say I even have a right to disagree, only at best that I don't think it matters much who was right: I mean, I still don't know the answer, but my best defense is that the question itself, 10 or 21, wasn't at all the major thing.

For the Record: Schrödinger's Group of 21


President Biden with the Group of Ten Minus Two (Tester and Collins invisible behind Portman?), or something. Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/AP via Deseret News

I just meant to be helpful, I'd got this thing nobody was talking about from Wonkette, reading for the previous post. But Professor Rosen kind of snapped at me.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Byrds and the Budgets


In Dearborn in the F-150 in May, Reuters photo via Hindustan Times.

So last night I saw Senator Klobuchar on CNN discussing the latest iteration of the Romney-Manchin American Heritage Infrastructure Plan (my name for it; the one where they're sworn to only have the kind of infrastructure admitted in the 1969 original edition of the American Heritage Dictionary) saying plain as day that we didn't need to worry about the other $2.7 trillion of the Biden plan because Democrats would be simply going on to pass that part independently as a budget reconciliation bill, more or less the way I've been saying it was going to happen, and I said to myself, Holy Cow, so it's all out in the open now?

And apparently at the same or almost the same time Doktor Zoom was seeing Senator Warren on MSNBC doing the same or almost the same exact job, and in the following hour Senator Markey: The Jobs and Families plans will now be sent through Congress on a two-track basis, sort of as I've been predicting, as the Doktor put it in inimitable Wonkette style:

In Praise of Politicians

Screenshot from ABC7, via Discourse Blog, which may be saying something similar (paywall, which I'm not ready to accept): As one commenter put it, "Revolutionary ideas take time up until they don't and then change happens."

Eric Adams did a funny in his provisional-victory speech last night: along the lines of, "People on social media don't win elections, people on Social Security win elections." 

Which doesn't seem like a very wise thing to say, telling a bunch of New Yorkers that they're old, and revealing a little too much of the behind-the-scenes technique, a bit self-indulgent, but the crowd roared with pleasure, as they did at pretty much everything he said. It struck me what the real thing I've been noticing about him is—that he's just really good at being a politician, easy in his skin, enough in love with his voters that he enjoys teasing them, and in a lot of ways kind of traditional in a way that doesn't necessarily sound quite nice, even distasteful, as in David Freedlander's profile in New York magazine a week ago:

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Pit Tea Party

Protesting against CRITICAL RACE THEORY in Loudun County, VA. Via.

Jefferson County Public Schools, meaning Louisville, where the county board of education was having a regularly scheduled meeting, in which CRITICAL RACE THEORY was not on the agenda, although somebody did mention that

racial equity is a pillar of the district's strategic plan — 57% of JCPS students identify as a racial minority

which is apparently part of the problem. Not that the demonstrators feel "equity" is a bad thing, but they think it's a kind of stalking horse;

Monday, June 21, 2021

West of Eden: Post-Bibi

Demonstration outside the Prime Minister's Jerusalem residence in May. Photo by Ohad Zwigenberg/Haaretz.

One of the least edifying spectacles in the recent international politics news has been that produced in Jerusalem by Binyamin Netanyahu going Trump one better and really refusing to leave the prime minister's official residence on Balfour Street for weeks, though he hasn't been prime minister since 6 April. 

Not that he's sitting in the living quarters frowning, with his hands tucked into his armpits, daring them to carry him out, as Trump might be doing. Indeed, he's been receiving official visitors, including former ambassador Nikki Haley and abominable pro-Armageddon pastor John Hagee (recovered from his bout with Covid-19 last November). I guess Netanyahu is still the negotiating partner of the not-at-all-anti-Semitic Christian Zionists looking to Israel to hasten the Day of Judgment when all the unconverted Jews will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

He's occupying his seat in the Knesset as official opposition leader, and he has managed to vacate the prime minister's office, though not apparently without some possibly illegal serious shredding:

Sunday, June 20, 2021

For the Record: Hypercritical


Edward Burne-Jones, title page to William Morris's A Dream of John Ball (1888), via Wikipedia.

Friday, June 18, 2021

It's Big, It's Bad, and It's a Wolf


De Golyer Library, Southern Methodist University, via Texas State Historical Association.

Happy Juneteenth! And if anybody tells you that's not a real thing, please inform them that it's been a paid state holiday in Texas since 1980, and celebrated there much longer than that, ever since the very first anniversary in 1866 of the day Major General Gordon Granger arrived with the Union army in Galveston, 19 June 1865, to tell the state's population and most particularly its 250,000 enslaved persons, in the words of General Order no. 3,

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freed are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages.

Because they hadn't officially been informed earlier, though all the enslaved persons in Confederate-held territory had in fact been freed in the Emancipation Proclamation of September 1862; it couldn't be implemented, obviously, until the Union had won the war. (And slavery remained legal in Maryland, and parts of Virginia and Louisiana that the Union already held in 1862, because the Proclamation was in principle a military move against the rebels, intended to encourage their slaves to throw off their chains and hurt the Confederate war effort, not an attempt at abolition.)

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Boys From Brazil, Now From China and More Obnoxious Than Ever

New York Post, December 2020, denouncing teh way "The Middle Kingdom is launching 'unethical' military experiments that sound fit for the superhero flick 'Captain America,' John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed." And FRANCE TOO! which "gave the go-ahead for augmented soldiers, and some fear the super troopers could be the new norm in the recent future", with "drugs to keep troops awake for long periods of time and combat stress, and even surgery to improve hearing." “There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power,” Ratcliffe proclaims, citing US intelligence. “People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today.”

I could understand, conceivably even subscribe to efforts to set up a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 over human rights issues, but the General Jack D. Ripper batshittery of Senator Tom Cotton's issue is another matter:

The senator wrote that "the CCP... considers DNA collection a vital intelligence-gathering objective" and that the Chinese government "has reportedly conducted tests to develop biologically-enhanced soldiers and intends to use DNA data to catapult Chinese biotechnology companies to global market dominance."

"In 2022, thousands of world-class athletes will gather to compete in China. Their DNA will present an irresistible target for the CCP," he warned. "Thus, we should expect that the Chinese government will attempt to collect genetic samples of Olympians at the Games, perhaps disguised as testing for illegal drugs or COVID-19."

There are actually a couple of facts embedded in there. One is that a Chinese company, the Beijing Genomics Institute, now just called BGI, is the world's the biggest genome sequence provider, after the US-based Illumina. Like others in the business, they grew up in basic research with the Human Genome Project, doing bulk sequencing and the construction of a representative genome for everybody, but sequencing individual human genomes has become more significant in recent years in a number of different ways, for medical research, patient diagnosis and care, and now also consumer use, as the price goes radically lower, with companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA, which don't do the sequencing themselves but send saliva samples to companies like Illumina and BGI for processing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

New York Note


Maya Wiley, via Gothamist.

Early voting started over the week for the local primary elections in New York City, selecting candidates for mayor, city council, and so on in the November general election, but given the overwhelmingly Democratic character of the electorate, the party primary's winners are all more than likely to win then, so this is probably the more significant contest. I'm waiting for Election Day, personally—I've always liked the celebratory aspect (though I understand it's not convenient for everybody and won't be unless unless and until they make it a holiday) and feeling it this year in particular because it's another mark of the conquest of the pandemic that we're going to feel safe (masked, of course). 

And of another kind of renewal: New York, for all its progressive reputation, long had some of the most restrictive voting regulations in the country, thanks to Republican domination of the State Senate (in which, in recent years, Governor Andrew Cuomo collaborated), but the Democratic waves of 2018 and 2020 have given them not only control but a supermajority, which they have used for election reform among other things, including the early voting and no-excuse absentee ballots (not officially in effect yet but Covid-19, including not wanting to catch it, serves as a temporary universal excuse), and a good deal more to come.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Leaker Seeker


Fanciful depiction of Washington composing his Farewell Address, Via Doug Fabrizio, RadioWest, Salt Lake City.

On 26 January 2018, Charlie Savage reported in the New York Times that he'd learned something startling from anonymous "colleagues" of White House counsel Don McGahn: That President Donald J.Trump had decided to fire special. counsel Robert Mueller, and McGahn had stopped him with a threat to resign—

Mr. McGahn has been interviewed at length by Mr. Mueller’s team as it has sought to understand the president’s motivations and thinking. The investigators have also obtained memos, notes and emails about how Mr. McGahn tried to carry out Mr. Trump’s decisions in legally appropriate ways — such as objecting to a first draft of Mr. Trump’s letter firing Mr. Comey that mentioned the Russia investigation.

Mr. McGahn’s threat to resign is an example of how he has tried to both help and constrain an idiosyncratic client who hates to be managed and defies the norms of the presidency. Not everyone believes he has been successful.

Trump reacted that very day, as we know from the Mueller Report, but was unable to move McGahn to deny Savage's report:

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Literary Corner: You Can't Depend on Anybody


Watermelon Eater and Man Writing. Pablo Picasso, 1965, via Rabih Alameddine.

The Book of All Books
by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

I turned down two book deals, from
the most unlikely of publishers, in that
I do not want to do such a deal
right now.
I’m writing like crazy anyway, however,
and when the time comes, you’ll see
the book of all books. Actually, I’ve been
working on a much more important project
right now!

Statement from yesterday, in its entirety.

Of course he's been trying to get a book deal, I can't believe that hadn't occurred to me, or two book deals, one for himself and one for the former First Lady (which he regards as also his, inevitably), mindful of the $65 million in advances the Obamas got from Random House in the spring of 2017. I wouldn't have imagined he couldn't get one, either, but that's apparently the case, judging from the concentrated confusion of this dense little message (I'm refusing to do a book at the moment, I'm doing a book at the moment, I'm doing something more important than a book). Or not from a sufficiently dignified publisher, or not one that's offering Obama-scale money, at any rate: he must be asking at least $120 million plus they pay the ghost who'd better not be one of those traitors like Tony Schwartz who will turn on him and try to take all the credit and badmouth him on TV to boot. The much more important project must be his "platform", which will make him richer than Zuckerberg if those parasites who supposedly work for him ever get off their asses for a change and do it, but you can't depend on anybody nowadays, look what's happening to our country, it's a tragedy.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Dance of the Squares


Square dance, Skyline Farms, Alabama. 1937. Ben Shahn, photographer. FSA/OWI, Library of Congress, via Johns Hopkins University Press.

Revealed in paragraph 11 of the New York Times version on this new Senate infrastructure proposal:

The five Republicans are Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. The Democrats are key moderates: Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Mark Warner of Virginia, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Jon Tester of Montana.

I'd been kind of wondering why MSNBC, CNN, and NPR didn't seem to be mentioning any of their names except Romney's and Sinema's, and also just who they were. The inclusion of Casssidy is a bit of a clue: he's not known the way the others are as a "moderate", but he was the big surprise among the Republicans who who voted to convict Trump in the second impeachment, as did Romney, Murkowski, and Collins, while Portman (who's leaving the Senate because he can't get along with the Trumpers), said Trump's conduct on 6 January was "inexcusable" and represented a violation of his oath of office but claimed the impeachment itself was illegal. In other words, they represent the anti-Trump faction, which is kind of interesting, but probably can't put together the ten Republican votes that would be needed to pass the plan in regular order (they might get to eight with Toomey and Burr, who are also retiring, and conceivably Sasse, who isn't).

Which suggests the proposal, such as it is

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

I just happen to have Senator Byrd right here with me, and...


Byrd never managed to finish college until he was an actual United States senator, but he did by God (as in "West By God Virginia") do it, and law school before he earned the B.A., but he did work as a professional musician, and if you think I don't respect him you can fight me.

Hi Senator Manchin, we've been hearing a lot about how much you rightly revere your great predecessor, Robert Byrd, and I thought you might appreciate some of the beautiful tribute given by then Rules Committee Chair Schumer as Byrd's body lay in repose on the Lincoln Catafalque in the Senate chamber, 1 July 2010, when you were still governor of West Virginia, a few weeks before you entered the race to replace him, as Majority Leader Reid had asked you to do for the party's sake, where he spoke about what was probably Byrd's last major service to the Senate, when, 92 years old and rapidly failing, he testified on the need to reform the filibuster, at a time, not long after the successful passage of the Affordable Care Act on a reconciliation basis, when a violently partisan Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell, was doing whatever he could to stop the Democratic majority from doing its work, and in essence holding the country hostage:

at a hearing of the Rules Committee where we are now having a series of hearings under the suggestion of the Presiding Officer and leadership to decide whether we should reform the filibuster rule and what we should do about it. Senator Byrd, frail at that point, about a month ago, came to our hearing room. He sat next to me and then gave one of the best orations I have heard in a committee. He was 92. He turned the pages of his speech himself. That wasn't so easy for him. It was clearly--knowing the way he thought and his way of speaking--written completely by him. It was an amazing statement. It was impassioned, erudite, balanced, and, as the Presiding Officer remembers, it electrified the room. It was an amazing tour de force. The man cared so much about the Senate. Despite the fact he was ailing, there he was because he loved the Senate. His remarks, if my colleagues read them, were balanced. He understood the problems, but he understood the traditions, and he tried, as usual, to weave the two together.

Byrd's opening statement to the Rules Committee, published 5/19/10 in The Hill, seems kind of relevant today:

Unconcern Troll

Tattoo design by Nolan-Huff/DeviantArt.

Monsignor Douthat's new number is pretty original—surfacing as, I don't know, maybe you could call it an unconcern troll, with some friendly Joker-style advice for Democrats: "Why so serious?" ("Are We Destined for a Trump Coup in 2024?")

I wrote my weekend column about three ways that Donald Trump might be prevented from plunging the country into crisis in 2024, should he reproduce both his 2020 defeat and his quest to overturn the outcome: first, through the dramatic electoral overhauls favored by progressives; second, through a Bidenist politics of normalcy that prevents the G.O.P. from capturing the House or Senate; or third, through the actions of Republican officials who keep their heads down and don’t break with Trump but, as in 2020, refuse to go along if he turns another loss into an attempted putsch.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Literary Corner: Unpleasant

Ryan and Bill Owens, via NBC News.

The Endless Wars, So Bad

By Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

These were the endless wars, so bad, so bad. I’d visit soldiers
at Walter Reed Hospital, where the doctors are truly fantastic
what they can do, but I’d see these young people that were just
blown to pieces, and it’s so sad. I’d be at Dover where these
magnificent machines would come in, the big cargo planes,
and that door would open up and there’d be a coffin in the back.
And the military, the soldiers, would take that coffin and walk it
off the plane. And I’d be with the parents an hour before and we’d
be talking, and I’d say to the general in-charge, “General,
the parents seemed to be okay,” and he’d say, “No, they’re not, sir.
They’re not okay.” I said, “General, I’m having a great conversation.”
And the mothers oftentimes would say, “Oh, my son was such a great
football player. Sir, he had an arm that was so powerful. He was
so strong and he could throw a ball so far. He was such a good player,”
or other things. They’d tell me these stories. They just were so in love
with telling the stories about their son or their daughter, in some cases,
their daughter. And then, I’d look at the general. I’d say, “Well,
it’s amazing the way they can handle it.” And then, the plane
would come in and the general would say, “Sir, it’s not going to
be good.” And that door would open up, that big back door, right,
would open up from this incredible, powerful machine that can lift up
Army tanks like it’s nothing. And it would open up, and there’d be one
or two or three or four coffins, and I’d see the same people that were
talking to me so jubilant about their child, how great the child was,
would start screaming, screaming. Screams like I’ve never heard before.

It was the most terrible thing to watch. And the general in charge would say,
“Sir, you’re going to see things that you maybe will not have seen.”
“Like what, General?” He said, “Mothers and wives, and even fathers sometimes,
breaking through the military ranks and jumping on top of the coffin.” And
I got to see that one time where a mother, she was devastated. She jumped
on, and these incredible, extremely fit soldiers are taking that coffin, 
and would jump onto the coffin, and they wouldn’t do a thing, they would
just keep walking. And the mother was on the coffin, and this is
for Afghanistan and for Iraq, and for these other places, where so
many mistakes were made, where we shouldn’t be, and we can’t do that.

Shocked-shocked there is partisanship going on in this legislature

Strip by Brian McFadden/Kos.

Senator Joe Manchin, "Why I'm Voting Against the For The People Act", Charleston Gazette-Mail, 6 June 2021:

The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner.

His grammar kind of fell off the back of the truck there—he was starting to write "Least of all should it be done in a partisan manner", but as he was clarifying that he is in theory for protecting the right to vote (as if to say "I just said it was fundamental to democracy but I want you to know I'm in favor of it anyhow"), he lost track of the structure and turned it into logical roadkill ("least of all should it never be done the way I'm telling you not to do it").

But we know what he means, and that, after all, is bad enough: this is a supremely important thing to do and therefore we shouldn't do it. Or we should only protect the right to vote in a way that's compatible with our opponents' desire to take it away. Or voting rights are sacred, so you shouldn't spoil them by fighting for them. The more important a thing is, the more important it is not to be too eager about it. Nutrition is vital to human life, so you shouldn't be eating stuff when your thinking is all distorted by hunger. 

But healthcare isn't fundamental, so it's OK to pass that in a partisan manner?

Bad writing can be a technique of hiding from one's own thoughts, as we've seen over the years with David Brooks. Joe Manchin actually doesn't care at all about protecting the right to vote, or thinks West Virginians are generally against it, which comes down to the same thing, I suppose. They care about affordable health care (suggesting they may actually be smarter than people in a lot of Southern and Midwestern states, or maybe it's just that they're historically so deprived that they're aware of it), and they care about infrastructure (which is why I still expect Manchin to vote for the huge reconciliation package later this year). His donors care about keeping the minimum wage at rock bottom, and truly low-income people don't vote much. But the right to vote? Not even their own, perhaps (at 57.6% of the voting-eligible population, the state's voter turnout in last year's record high election statistics came in at 48th of the 50 states plus DC).

Lot more from Steve, on the same subject. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Emperor News

Doña Juana "la Loca", the mad queen of Castile, 1479-1555, as depicted by Francisco Padilla (1877), via Wikipedia.

I may have a scoop here: The Antisocial Medium, sometimes dismissively referred to as "Trump's blog", which was permanently canceled a couple of days ago

Former President Donald Trump’s blog — a webpage where he shared statements after larger social media companies banned him from their platforms — has been permanently shut down, his spokesman said Wednesday.

The page “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” has been scrubbed from Trump’s website after going live less than a month earlier.

It “will not be returning,” his senior aide Jason Miller told CNBC.

has in fact returned, or been reconstituted, or cloned, apart from the scrubbed "From the Desk" page, in the spot where it existed four and a half months before it was officially announced and from which it never actually left, on the "News" page of his website, formerly known as (it was from the office before it was from the desk), where all the content of the short-lived "blog", along with all the earlier posts (25 January to 4 May), before the "blog" existed, and a good deal of new stuff from the last couple of days, the official closing of the "blog" was really just two days, 29 and 30 May, following which he just quietly resumed posting on the "News" page as if nothing had happened, with a Memorial Day message obviously 100% by Stephen Miller:

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Toxic Therapy Party


Image via Dr. Tracy Hutchinson, Fort Myers, Florida.

Brad DeLong (subscribers only) gets a letter from Senator Rubio:

Fellow Patriot, 

I really am disappointed, Fellow Patriot. I am disappointed to say we missed our goal for May. I heard that Mark shared our internal financial memo with you and you still didn’t step up? I am SO disappointed. Like I told you, we had plans to open a field office, but we are going to have to push that opening back. With a RADICAL DEMOCRAT challenger just about to announce her campaign against me, we really cannot afford any missteps. 

I have been working my absolute hardest to ensure the people of Florida and America are best served by Congress. My efforts have not gone unnoticed, I was fortunate enough to receive an endorsement from President Trump for working on behalf of our veterans, enhancing Border Security, and standing up to “woke” corporations. While it was an honor to receive President Trump’s support, it riled up the Left. The good news here is I won’t EVER bend a knee to the radical Left. I am COMMITTED to fight for your conservative values regardless of whatever the out-of-control Left will try to throw at me. I will never give up on you, Fellow Patriot. However, despite all of these good things, missing this deadline is a MASSIVE misstep. I won’t lie, I am nervous. But I’ve spent the day strategizing with my team, and I have convinced them to extend our deadline for another 24 HOURS.... 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Very Haruspicious

A Roman haruspex examines the entrails of a sheep. By Mary Evans Picture Library.

Me earlier today (not to mention 10 days ago):

And guess who agrees with me, give or take a month or so and a few hundred billion dollars—a team of economists from Goldman Sachs, predicting that Biden's negotiations will break down and the big plan (Jobs plus Families proposals) will be passed with Democratic votes alone, per Ben Winck/Insider:

Negotiations have so far been fairly bipartisan, with Republicans meeting with Biden in recent weeks to mull over their respective plans. Yet Goldman sees the White House eventually ditching the GOP and pushing forward with Democratic support only.