Monday, September 30, 2019

Fixing Congress?

I don't know if Congress needs fixing so much as parties need to win the majority to get anything done, and that's not mentioning that you'd better have a president of your party in the White House. If you get that, you'll have a fully functional Congress. Absent that, you'll get what we're having: lots of people unhappy at the slow pace of "progress" and continued moaning about the dysfunction of our government. Sounds like a never ending cycle.

In any case, an interesting piece, at Politico, "When Impeachment Meets a Broken Congress":

Even before getting into the weeds of its myriad other problems—poor staff retention, centralized decision-making, generational logjams—it’s not difficult to understand why the legislative branch is struggling to function. From the moment they launch their first campaigns, future members of Congress are entering into one giant warped incentive system that deters any meaningful challenge to The Way Things Work in Washington. Most members will profess to despise The Way Things Work in Washington, of course, especially when they first get here. But it tends to grow on them over time—not because it’s working, but because it’s comfortable. Where else can someone draw a salary of $174,000; have a staff of several dozen catering to their (and their family’s) every whim; enjoy special access to information and resources at the highest levels of government; forge lucrative relationships with people of immense power and influence; take taxpayer-funded jaunts to all corners of the country and the world; and command constant attention from the local and national media—all in exchange for producing little in the way of tangible outcomes?

None of this is to say that all members of Congress are bad people who are bad at what they do. To the contrary, many of them are fine people who came here for the right reasons. And some of them are really, really good at what they do, hustling 16 hours a day to deliver for their constituents. But even honorable people with honorable intentions look out for themselves, for their families, for their careers. Members of Congress are no exception. They have wonderfully important jobs. They don’t want to lose them.

Few people come to Congress wanting to be enforcers of the status quo. Every two years, Washington welcomes a new crop of wide-eyed, idealistic lawmakers who believe—really, truly believe—that they’ve been sent to shake things up in the nation’s capital. They are going to take the tough votes. They are going to stand up to the special interests. They are going to do what’s right by their constituents, even if that means getting the boot after one term.

Naturally, that sort of idealism doesn’t last. Once a member of Congress realizes he or she will never find a better job — and most of them know they will never find a better job — many will accept that some compromises are necessary to keep it. They adjust. They adapt. They play the game. They convince themselves that a mindless vote here, or a hurtful decision there, is worth it to sustain their career. They hang around long enough to amass more power, to win a chairmanship, to exert influence over certain issues, to cash out and take a life-changing paycheck from a lobbying firm, all the while believing their ends were justified by their means.

“I won’t miss a lot of things about this place,” Raul Labrador, an Idaho Republican who agitated constantly against his party’s leadership, said prior to his retirement last year. “I think some people lose their soul here. This is a place that sucks your soul. It takes everything from you.”
More at that top link.

U.S.-Mexico Border Barrier Proves Walls Work

The U.S. Border Patrol beefed up San Diego's border enforcement in the early 1990s, to rousing success. But now, as evidenced by this L.A. Times piece, you'd think it was all a failure. The story laments the "humanitarian" impact of actually reducing the flood of illegal aliens. (San Diego locals were stoked though, having gotten their neighborhoods back and not living in constant fear of crime and violence on their streets.)

Bottom line: Walls work and leftists don't like it.


What John Durham Has Found May Be Quite Different From What Democrats Are Looking For

See former Attorney General Michael Mukasey's op-ed at the Wall Street Journal.

And Roger Simon has the breakdown, at Pajamas, "Mukasey Op-ed Should Strike Fear in Democrats."


Brad Ausmus Fired

I wasn't invested in Brad Ausmus either way, but seems to me he's getting a raw deal. It's not like the Angels were coming off a contending season in 2018 or anything. Mike Scioscia quit after more than a decade of mediocrity. (The Angels won the 2002 World Series.)

Anyway, it's hard out there, I guess.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Angels fire manager Brad Ausmus; Joe Maddon expresses interest in job."


Jessica Simpson for Ladies' Night (PHOTOS)

At Drunken Stepfather, "JESSICA SIMPSON SKINNY TITS OF THE DAY."


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Natalie Portman at the 'Lucy in the Sky' Premiere

At Popoholic:


Friday, September 27, 2019

Laura Ingraham on Democrats' Impeachment Hysteria (VIDEO)

I don't watch Fox as much as I used to, but I did tune into Tucker, Hannity, and Ms. Laura this week.

It's positively sane compared to CNN, which I also watched. (I rarely ever watch MSNBC; the last time was when I tuned into Maddow the day the Mueller report dud landed, and I could barely sit through.)



Rafaella Consentino

At Drunken Stepfather, "RAFAELLA CONSENTINO OF THE DAY."

And the Fappening, "Rafaella Consentino Topless Photoset."

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Jess Greenberg, 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' (VIDEO)

From three years ago, "Jess Greenberg, 'All Along the Watchtower' (VIDEO)."

And again, covering the Stones:



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Cowardly Aaron Calvin

This started at the Des Moines Register, via Memeorandum, "Meet Carson King, the ‘Iowa Legend’ who's raised more than $1 million for charity off of a sign asking for beer money."

"Cancel culture" is the absolute worst, but this episode is diabolical.

At Twitchy:


The Unbearable Whiteness of Climate Protest

These ghouls are truly the burden of our time.

A genuine scourge.

At Instapundit, "THE PRESS WAS ALWAYS CAREFUL TO DESCRIBE TEA PARTY RALLIES AS “OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE,” BUT NEVER DOES THAT WITH THE CLIMATE RALLIES THAT ARE FAR LESS DIVERSE."



AOC's 'Just Society'

Well, we already had the "Great Society," and it wasn't "just," apparently.

At NPR, "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants America to Talk About Poverty."

She's a bloody airhead.


Irving Kristol

This is really good.

At National Affairs:


Ashley James

At Drunken Stepfather, "ASHLEY JAMES BIG OF THE DAY."

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

El Camino Preview Trailer (VIDEO)

Previously, "El Camino."

It's gonna be great!


The Golden Age of Television?

I didn't watch the Emmys --- I quit watching awards shows eons ago, and I frankly, it was mostly the Academy Awards for me in any case.

And apparently not that many tuned in.

That said, I agree with this Lorraine Ali piece below, at LAT. I just love the new era of TV. Streaming is the best. I'm on Netflix, but with all the new programming out across so many channels, I fear I'm missing out. Now that's something to be excited about, amid all the other stupid doomsday predictions everywhere of late.


See, "‘Fleabag.’ ‘Succession.’ ‘Pose.’ How the Emmys finally harnessed the power of ‘peak TV’":

Peak TV. Prestige programming. The platinum age of television.

Whatever we chose to call the tsunami of innovative series that have made watching too much television a respectable pastime, the Television Academy finally managed to wrap its arms around the multiplatform beast on Sunday during the 71st Emmy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

From “Game of Thrones” to “Fleabag,” “Chernobyl” to “Ozark,” “Killing Eve” to “Pose,” the winners list produced during the three-hour Fox telecast was a testament to the diversity — in budget, subject matter, character and platform — that’s changed the very definition of television.

Case in point: Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy “Fleabag,” about a woman’s dysfunctional relationship with her family, men and, yes, relationships. “This is getting ridiculous,” she said, somewhat stunned as she accepted the show’s fourth and biggest award of the night for comedy series.

In a huge upset, the cutting-edge artist also won the lead comedy actress Emmy over former favorite Julia Louis-Dreyfus of HBO’s powerhouse “Veep” and last year’s victor, the beloved Rachel Brosnahan of Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Waller-Bridge also took home the prize for writing for a comedy series over strong competitors such as HBO’s “Barry.”

As television hurtles forward into what looks like another new phase of its endless new phases — get ready for streaming platforms Disney+, Apple TV+ and more to upend the game — it’s important to stop and savor the moment we’re in now. Sunday’s Emmys were the culmination of a creative renaissance that’s still so fast-moving we haven’t had the time to give it a name that sticks. But it’s made it so “Fleabag” and “Game of Thrones” occupy the same space, at least when it comes to industry respect and (respective) social media fervor.

Even Hollywood veteran Michael Douglas, who lost the comedy actor honor for his work in Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” to “Barry’s” Bill Hader, appeared impressed by the sheer breadth of the material represented onstage Sunday.

When introducing the drama series award he described the nominees — “Better Call Saul,” “Bodyguard,” “Game of Thrones,” “Killing Eve,” “Ozark,” “Pose,” “Succession” and “This Is Us” — as “each being so different from the television we grew up on.”

It was not surprising that the night’s top honor went to “Game of Thrones.” What was unexpected? The last big water-cooler series didn’t sweep every drama category possible for its final, earth-scorching season.

Still, the ceremony was less about dancing on the graves of blockbusters such as “Game of Thrones” or “Veep,” which was also expected to win big in the comedy categories but came away empty-handed. It was more about celebrating the wide-open landscape that allowed for “Killing Eve” and “Pose” to even happen, and then for their leads — Jodie Comer and Billy Porter — to win the academy’s top drama honors.

The night belonged to high-budget productions as well as fringe efforts, familiar faces doing new things — including Jason Bateman, who won for his direction in “Ozark”— and new arrivals that have bent comedy and drama norms into pop art.

The ceremony itself was as loose and far-flung as the industry it was honoring. It was the first time the show went host-less since way back in 2003 when the big four networks still won all the top awards, and it would be another year before HBO’s “The Sopranos” took home cable’s first drama series Emmy.

The show was held together by a pastiche of personalities and TV ephemera that included Homer Simpson, masked singers and a tuxedo-clad Bryan Cranston introducing a year in television that looked markedly different than it did when “Breaking Bad” arrived over a decade ago.

“Television has never been bigger,” he said. “Television has never mattered more. And television has never been this damn good.”

Emotions ran high when Jharrel Jerome accepted the award for lead actor in a limited series for his performance in Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us.” The series followed the saga of black teens dubbed the Central Park Five by the media, who were wrongly accused and imprisoned for the brutal rape of a Central Park jogger.

Jerome, who played one of the accused, Korey Wise, in the series, dedicated the award to “the men that we know as the Exonerated Five.”

And all five men — Wise, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana Jr. and Yusef Salaam — were in the audience, on their feet, hands in the air as if they’d been freed once again.

“Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage might have put it best when he accepted the Emmy for supporting actor in a drama. “Thank you. I have no idea what I’m about to say, but here we go. I count myself so fortunate to be a member of a community that is all about tolerance and diversity, because in no other place could I be standing on a stage like this,” he said, choking up...

Monday, September 23, 2019

Greta Thunberg, Abused and Exploited (VIDEO)

The video's genuinely hard to watch. I'm torn between contempt and compassion. She's been sold a damned bill of goods. A hoax handbag, and she's carrying it for all the cowards willing to hide behind a neurologically impaired child.

It's a shame all around. And frankly sad.

At AoSHQ, "Zealot Moppet Greta Thunberg Damns Adults as "Evil," Curses Alexandria Donkey-Chompers' Cowardly, Lethal Green New Deal."

And FWIW, at LAT, "Trump briefly attends U.N. climate summit; Greta Thunberg rails against ‘empty words’."



Keeley Hazell

At Celeb Jihad, "KEELEY HAZELL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION."


Megan Parry's Tuesday Forecast

At ABC 10 News San Diego, the fabulous Ms. Megan:



Hannah Barron's Real Southern Accent (Plus Some Catfish)

Via the Other McCain:


Emilia Clarke

At the HBO Emmys after-party.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

J.Lo in Slow Mo

Dang!


The full video is here.

El Camino

This is gonna be killer.


At the Hollywood Reporter, "'Breaking Bad' Returns: Aaron Paul and Vince Gilligan Take a TV Classic for a Spin in 'El Camino'."



Democrats Will Lie

A great post at Issues & Insights:


Related, at Twitchy:


Rhian

On Twitter:


And at Drunken Stepfather, "RHIAN SUGDEN FULLY NUDE PHOTOS LEAKED."

Joe Biden's Ukraine Scandal

Things are usually not what they appear to be as told by the leftist media.

Althouse has a big roundup, "'In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees...'"

And the left's desperation is sickening, at WaPo, via Memeorandum, "Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But the Ukraine allegations are over the top."

And polls show this is a losing issue for the idiot Dems.

At Politico, "Poll: Voters largely unswayed by House Dems’ push for impeachment."


USC Fights On

They really did. A great game last night at the Coliseum.

Here's Bill Plaschke, at LAT, "On improbable night, USC lives up to its motto and silences critics."




Megan Parry's Saturday Forecast

Summer's almost over --- and it's cooling down.

Time for some heavier beers, lol.

Here's the sweetie Ms. Megan, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



Poor Greta

She's being horribly exploited.

Already on the spectrum, she's overloaded with stimuli and prone to mistakes.

At AoSHQ, "Democrats Invite Idiot Antifa Supporter to Address Congress."



Friday, September 20, 2019

Climate Strike

We've raised a new generation of idiots. Conspiracists and idiots.

At NYT, via Memeorandum, "Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to Streets in a Global Strike."


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Erasing America

It's James Robbins, at Prager University:



And check out his book, at Amazon, Erasing America: Losing Our Future by Destroying Our Past.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Ric Ocasek Has Died

Well, they come in threes, as they say. First Eddie Money, now Ric Ocasek, and then ...

At the Los Angeles Times, "Ric Ocasek, frontman of new wave pioneers the Cars, dies at 75."

And don't miss Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, "JAMES LILEKS ON THE DEATH OF THE CARS’ RIC OCASEK."

The Smearing of Brett Kavanaugh

By now no doubt you've seen the latest cluster, starting with the New York Times' stupid piece on Judge Kavanaugh, which attempted to relitigate last year's ugly nomination battle.

Mollie Hemingway is the one to follow on this, bar none.

See her at the Federalist, "New Book: Christine Blasey Ford’s Friend Leland Keyser Doesn’t Believe Her."


Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, Justice on Trial

At Amazon, Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.



January Jones

At Drunken Stepfather, "JANUARY JONES WITH THE TITS OUT OF THE DAY."

And the Fappening, "January Jones (4 Photos)."

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Gold Box and Lightning Deals

At Amazon, Today's Deals. New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

Also, Mountain House Classic Bucket.

More, MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder, Essential Whey Protein Powder, Isolate Whey Protein, Casein and Egg Protein with BCAAs and Glutamine for Recovery, Chocolate Milk, 4-Pound, 52 Servings.

And, Buck Knives 0110BRS 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath.

Still more, Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Polarized Sunglasses.

Here, Samsung QN65Q70RAFXZA Flat 65-Inch QLED 4K Q70 Series Ultra HD Smart TV with HDR and Alexa Compatibility (2019 Model).

BONUS: James Poulos, The Art of Being Free: How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves.

Mackenzie Maynard's Sunday Forecast

Hey, it's still hot out there.

Overcast right now, but it's going to heat up later.

Here's the sweet Ms. Mackenzie, at ABC News 10 San Diego:



Ana Braga Getting Gas

At Taxi Driver:


Bari Weiss: Anti-Semitism is a 'Thought Virus' (VIDEO)

Her book's at Amazon, Bari Weiss, How to Fight Anti-Semitism.

And with Bill Maher last night:



Saturday, September 14, 2019

Politically Incorrect: The 'Nordic type is still quite a popular commodity in the dating market...'

My wife is the "Nordic type," lol.

See the Other McCain, "The Instagram Influencer Grift: What Is Caroline Calloway’s ‘Brand’ Value Now?":
Let me say some things so politically incorrect that Heidi Beirich at the SPLC might find them interesting: Despite all the left-wing demonization of white people that has saturated elite culture in recent years, the Nordic type is still quite a popular commodity in the dating market. A young white person who is generally attractive won’t be lonely, no matter how many academics, journalists and politicians blame them for all the evil in the world. My youngest son — so blond-haired and blue-eyed he could be a poster boy for the Hitlerjugend — is remarkably popular among his peers of all races. While the paranoid prophets of demographic doom obsess over declining white fecundity (“It’s the birth rates,” as the New Zealand shooter proclaimed in his manifesto), life is not so bad for young people who were lucky enough to be born white. Unless you’re a pathetic Beta loser, which my son is not. The doomsayers are misguided, and their fear-based perspective on demographics is not helpful. But I digress . . .
More.

Photography by Mortonovich

At Al Rincon's, "MORTONOVICH'S NUDE PHOTOGRAPHY."

Amateur Beach Hotties

At Phun, "Amateur Beach Tits."

BONUS: "Drunk Girls."

California's Archaic Alimony Laws

This is something else, at LAT:


Are #Democrats Running for 'President of Twitter?'

Heh.

Good question. Very good lol.


The New York Times' Truly Radical Agenda

Very well done, from Andrew Sullivan:



Howard A. Husock, Who Killed Civil Society?

At Amazon, Howard A. Husock, Who Killed Civil Society? The Rise of Big Government and Decline of Bourgeois Norms.



Shop Tools and Home Improvement

At Amazon, Tools and Home Improvement.

More, Craftsman Ultimate Screwdriver Bit Set - 208 pcs Power Tools Box Case Original.

And, Craftsman 20 Piece Ratcheting Wrench Set, Inch / Metric.

Plus, Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox Red.

BONUS: Black & Decker The Book of Home How-To: The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair & Improvement.

Alex Biston's Saturday Forecast

Here's the fabulous Ms. Alex, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles.

It's going to be wonderful weather today in SoCal.



Political Shift on Guns in Texas?

I doubt it, actually.

But check it out for yourself, at LAT:


Hong Kong Protesters Are More 'American'

That's a no-brainer.

At Town Hall:



Friday, September 13, 2019

Crew of Dive Boat Conception Asleep as Fire Broke Out (VIDEO)

Just sad.

And possibly criminal.

At LAT, "Conception crew members were sleeping when boat fire broke out, in violation of rules."


Eddie Money Has Died

At TMZ, "EDDIE MONEY DEAD AT 70: After Complications From Heart Valve Procedure."




MORE: At LAT, "Eddie Money, hit-maker behind ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ and ‘Baby Hold On,’ dies at 70."

Felicity Huffman Gets 14 Days in Prison Over College Admissions Scandal

That's not nearly enough.

Talk about privilege.

At USA Today, "Felicity Huffman sentenced to two weeks in prison, $30,000 fine for college admissions scandal."

Beto O'Rourke: 'We're Going to Take Away Your AR-15...' (VIDEO)

This is something else.

You really couldn't find a more powerful moment to fire up normal Americans. Beto's like a gift to Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. (All the Democrats are, frankly, but Beto's on crack.)

At the Other McCain, "Beto in Democrat Debate: ‘Hell Yes, We’re Going to Take Your AR-15, Your AK-47!’"



Kylie Jenner for Playboy Magazine

At Celeb Jihad, "KYLIE JENNER PLAYBOY PHOTO SHOOT PREVIEW."

AOC Outrage

It's always something with this woman, and that something is usually attacking critics as racist.

At Pajamas, "Woman of Color to AOC: 'Are You Accusing Me of Racism?'."

And there's no "backlash," despite this NYT story, at Memeorandum, "Elizabeth Heng Ad, Targeting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Draws a Backlash."



Megan Parry's Friday Forecast

Wonderful beach weather.

Here's the beachy Ms. Megan, at ABC 10 News San Diego:


Tribute to Mad Magazine

At Drunken Stepfather, "TITTY TRIBUTE TO MAD MAGAZINE OF THE DAY."

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bari Weiss, How to Fight Anti-Semitism

*BUMPED.*

Out next month today, at Amazon, Bari Weiss, How to Fight Anti-Semitism.



Sunday, September 8, 2019

Josie Canseco Lingerie Photo Shoot

At Taxi Driver, "Josie Canseco Topless Lingerie Photo Shoot."

And Drunken Stepfather, "JOSIE CANSECO IN LINGERIE OF THE DAY."

Dive Boat Conception's Design Scrutinized After Catastrophic Fire (VIDEO)

So sad --- and mind-boggling, frankly.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Boat where 34 died was a ‘fire trap’ despite passing inspections, experts say. It’s far from alone":


A day of diving off Santa Cruz Island ended like countless others aboard the Conception, with dozens of divers asleep in tightly arranged bunks that all but filled the belly of the 75-foot boat.

As always, there were two ways out in case of emergency — up a curved stairway at the front of the cabin, or through an escape hatch in the ceiling over bunks at the rear.

Before dawn on Labor Day, when flames devoured the 38-year-old wooden-hulled vessel, no one below deck made it out of either exit. The only survivors were five crew members who were up top in the wheelhouse and managed to jump into the water and then onto a dinghy.

Now, as investigators search for the cause of the fire that killed everyone in the bunk room — one crew member and all 33 passengers — questions are mounting about the design of the Conception and its emergency escape routes.

By various accounts, both the design of the boat and the layout of its sleeping quarters met federal standards and both are widely popular among California operators of overnight dive and fishing excursion vessels.

Like other such commercial boats, the Conception was subject to annual inspections by the Coast Guard, most recently in February, when it was certified to be in compliance with all regulations...
Keep reading.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Alex Biston's Weather Forecast

Still really hot, but it's supposed to cool down a bit. I'm taking it easy around the house today, watching sports and reading.

We'll probably got out for a burger and a beer later (my 18 year-old son can't have a beer though, lol).

Here's the new hot weather-caster at CBS News 2 Los Angeles, the fabulous Ms. Alex:



Flexible

Wow!


Tarheel Krystle

On Twitter, just like a social media-obsessed teenager:


President Trump's Assault on Free Trade

I'd argue some of the recent developments in the trade with China haven't been so great.

The cycle of increasing retaliation, with ever more punitive tariffs, will bring steep costs to both sides, and in the case of the U.S., employment sectors will be harmed and consumers will pay more for crucial goods and services affected by the dispute. Some businesses and agricultural interests are already screaming in pain as it is.

That said, China is an egregiously unfair competitor seeking to dislodge the U.S. as the world's leading economy. It will do anything to achieve its goals, including lying, cheating, and stealing. And so far no president has gone as far as President Trump to push back against China's unfair trade (and currency) practices.

I applaud the administration. And frankly, criticism against the new regime is of the "sky is falling" variety. The American economy is massive and diverse. Some sectors, in manufacturing, for example, are past their prime, and no amount of get-tough approaches will revive their glory. Still, it's about more than jobs and income. It's about who sets the rules of the game, and which side gets to keep its dignity and pride. If you watch the Netflix documentary "American Factory" you'll see that Chinese businesses are ruthless capitalists (ironically) who will to squeeze their labor force and supply chains to maximize the bottom line. Forget about organizing a union; you'll drive yourself right to the unemployment line.

In any case, FWIW, at Foreign Affairs, "Trump’s Assault on the Global Trading System: And Why Decoupling From China Will Change Everything":

Donald Trump has been true to his word. After excoriating free trade while campaigning for the U.S. presidency, he has made economic nationalism a centerpiece of his agenda in office. His administration has pulled out of some trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and renegotiated others, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Many of Trump’s actions, such as the tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminum, amount to overt protectionism and have hurt the U.S. economy. Others have had less obvious, but no less damaging, effects. By flouting international trade rules, the administration has diminished the country’s standing in the world and led other governments to consider using the same tools to limit trade arbitrarily. It has taken deliberate steps to weaken the World Trade Organization (WTO)—some of which will permanently damage the multilateral trading system. And in its boldest move, it is trying to use trade policy to decouple the U.S. and Chinese economies.

A future U.S. administration that wants to chart a more traditional course on trade will be able to undo some of the damage and start repairing the United States’ tattered reputation as a reliable trading partner. In some respects, however, there will be no going back. The Trump administration’s attacks on the WTO and the expansive legal rationalizations it has given for many of its protectionist actions threaten to pull apart the unified global trading system. And on China, it has become clear that the administration is bent on severing, not fixing, the relationship. The separation of the world’s two largest economies would trigger a global realignment. Other countries would be forced to choose between rival trade blocs. Even if Trump loses reelection in 2020, global trade will never be the same.

BATTLE LINES

The first two years of the Trump administration featured pitched battles between the so-called globalists (represented by Gary Cohn, then the director of the National Economic Council) and the nationalists (represented by the Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro). The president was instinctively a nationalist, but the globalists hoped to contain his impulses and encourage his attention-seeking need to strike flashy deals. They managed to slow the rollout of some new tariffs and prevent Trump from precipitously withdrawing from trade agreements.

But by mid-2018, the leading globalists had left the administration, and the nationalists—the president among them—were in command. Trump has a highly distorted view of international trade and international negotiations. Viewing trade as a zero-sum, win-lose game, he stresses one-time deals over ongoing relationships, enjoys the leverage created by tariffs, and relies on brinkmanship, escalation, and public threats over diplomacy. The president has made clear that he likes tariffs (“trade wars are good, and easy to win”) and that he wants more of them (“I am a Tariff Man”).

Although the thrust of U.S. policy over the past 70 years has been to pursue agreements to open up trade and reduce barriers, every president has for political purposes used protectionist measures to help certain industries. President Ronald Reagan, for example, capped imports to protect the automotive and steel industries during what was then the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression. Trump, however, has enjoyed a period of strong economic growth, low unemployment, and a virtual absence of protectionist pressure from industry or labor. And yet his administration has imposed more tariffs than most of its predecessors.

Take steel. Although there is nothing unusual about steel (along with aluminum) receiving government protection—the industry maintains a permanent presence in Washington and has been an on-again, off-again beneficiary of trade restrictions since the Johnson administration—the scope of the protection provided and the manner in which the Trump administration gave it last year were unusual. In order to avoid administrative review by independent agencies such as the nonpartisan, quasi-judicial U.S. International Trade Commission, the White House dusted off Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This Cold War statute gives the president the authority to impose restrictions on imports if the Commerce Department finds that they threaten to harm a domestic industry the government deems vital to national security.

The Trump administration’s national security case was weak. More than 70 percent of the steel consumed in the United States was produced domestically, the imported share was stable, and there was no threat of a surge. Most imports came from Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and other allies, with only a small fraction coming from China and Russia, thanks to antidumping duties already in place on those countries. The number of jobs in the U.S. steel industry had been shrinking, but this was due more to advances in technology than falling production or imports. In the 1980s, for example, it took ten man-hours to produce a ton of steel; today, it takes just over one man-hour. Even the Defense Department was skeptical about the national security motivation.

Prior administrations refrained from invoking the national security rationale for fear that it could become an unchecked protectionist loophole and that other countries would abuse it. In a sign that those fears may come true, the Trump administration recently stood alongside Russia to argue that merely invoking national security is enough to defeat any WTO challenge to a trade barrier. This runs counter to 75 years of practice, as well as to what U.S. negotiators argued when they created the global trading system in the 1940s.

The Trump administration dismissed all those concerns...
More.

Tulsi Gabbard Workout

She's in great shape!


Carla Guetta

At Drunken Stepfather, "CARLA GUETTA OF THE DAY."

Dave Rubin, Don't Burn This Book

Available next April, at Amazon, Dave Rubin, Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason.



Friday, September 6, 2019

Maria Ryabushkina

At Egotastic!, "Maria Ryabushkina is Addicted to Sex, And Showing Her Nice Beav."

Chiara Ferragni

She's a "fashion influencer."

See Hollywood Reporter, "Documentary Charting the Rise of Instagram Star Chiara Ferragni Debuts in Venice."

And at Drunken Stepfather, "CHIARA FERRAGNI NIP SLIP OF THE DAY."

Megan Parry's Friday Forecast

It's been hot, boy!

Here's the hot Ms. Megan, at ABC 10 News San Diego:



Democrats Go Off the Rails

On so-called climate change. I watched some of Wednesday's "Climate Town Hall" on CNN. Kamala Harris is just one mean, nasty bitch and I can't understand why anyone votes for her. Elizabeth Warren just looks like she'll pander to any wacky idea the radical progressive left puts out there. "Insane" is the word that comes to mind. I had to turn it off by the time Joe Biden came on. I switched over to watch "World War II in Color" on Netflix, which is the best documentary on the war I've ever watched.

In any case, at Legal Insurrection, "CNN’s 7-Hour ‘Climate Change’ Town Hall was a man-made disaster for Democrat presidential candidates."

Front Row Joes

Some Trump supporters have attended dozens of MAGA campaign rallies, and have waited days camping out for a front-row seat at the event.

It's a life-blood thing, and it's amazing.

At WSJ:



Thursday, September 5, 2019

Joe Biden's Eye Fills With Blood (VIDEO)

Truly bizarre.

This man's got major health problems, dang!

At the Other McCain, "Joe Biden’s Slow-Motion Implosion."




Anne Hathaway

At Celeb Jihad, "ANNE HATHAWAY NUDE."

'Jumper'

From yesterday's drive-time, at 93.1 Jack F.M. Los Angeles.

Third Eye Blind.




Pretty Woman
Van Halen
8:43am

Don't You Want Me
Human League
8:39am

Starlight
Muse
8:34am

Life In The Fast Lane
Eagles
8:22am

Vacation
The Go-Gos
8:19am

In Bloom
Nirvana
8:15am

Just Like Heaven
Cure
8:11am

Paradise City
Guns N Roses
8:05am

PARADISE CITY
GUNS N ROSES
8:04am

Jumper
Third Eye Blind


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Chaos Excitement

Well, this is interesting.

From Thomas Edsall, at NYT, "The Trump Voters Whose ‘Need for Chaos’ Obliterates Everything Else":

Over the four years during which he has dominated American political life, nearly three of them as president, Donald Trump has set a match again and again to chaos-inducing issues like racial hostility, authoritarianism and white identity politics.

Last week, at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, the winner of the best paper award in the Political Psychology division was “A ‘Need for Chaos’ and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies.”

The paper, which the award panel commended for its “ambitious scope, rigor, and creativity,” is the work of Michael Bang Petersen and Mathias Osmundsen, both political scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark, and Kevin Arceneaux, a political scientist at Temple.

It argues that a segment of the American electorate that was once peripheral is drawn to “chaos incitement” and that this segment has gained decisive influence through the rise of social media.

“The rise of social media provides the public with unprecedented power to craft and share new information with each other,” they write. In the political arena, this technological transformation allows the transmission of a type of information that portrays “political candidates or groups negatively” and has “a low evidential basis.” The “new information” transmitted on social media includes “conspiracy theories, fake news, discussions of political scandals and negative campaigns.”

The circulation of this type of information (which the authors label “hostile political rumors”) has been “linked to large-scale political outcomes within recent years such as the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

On a less cataclysmic level, the authors’ analysis helps explain the intensity of anti-establishment voting that drove Trump’s successful takeover of the Republican Party in the 2016 primaries.

The authors describe “chaos incitement” as a “strategy of last resort by marginalized status-seekers,” willing to adopt disruptive tactics. Trump, in turn, has consistently sought to strengthen the perception that America is in chaos, a perception that has enhanced his support while seeming to reinforce his claim that his predecessors, especially President Barack Obama, were failures.

Petersen, Osmundsen and Arceneaux find that those who meet their definition of having a “need for chaos” express that need by willingly spreading disinformation. Their goal is not to advance their own ideology but to undermine political elites, left and right, and to “mobilize others against politicians in general.” These disrupters do not “share rumors because they believe them to be true. For the core group, hostile political rumors are simply a tool to create havoc.”
More.

And the abstract from the research paper:
The circulation of hostile political rumors (including but not limited to false news and conspiracy theories) has gained prominencein public debates across advanced democracies. Here, we provide the first comprehensive assessment of the psychological syndrome that elicits motivations to share hostile political rumors among citizens of democratic societies. Against the notion that sharing occurs to help one mainstream political actor in the increasingly polarized electoral competition against other mainstream actors, we demonstrate that sharing motivations are associated with ‘chaotic’ motivations to “burn down” the entire established democratic ‘cosmos’. We show that this extreme discontent is associated with motivations to share hostile political rumors, not because such rumors are viewed to be true but because they are believedto mobilize the audience against disliked elites. We introduce an individual difference measure, the “Need for Chaos”, to measure these motivations and illuminate their social causes, linked to frustrated status-seeking. Finally, we show that chaotic motivations are surprisingly widespread withinadvanced democracies, having some hold inup to 40 percent of the American national population.

Kirsten Dunst is Killing It!

Lol.

At Drunken Stepfather, "KIRSTEN DUNST IS STILL INCREDIBLE OF THE DAY":
KIRSTEN DUNST is killing it on her new show, and not because she’s a 40 year old mom, with a mom body and a set of mom tits, but because she’s actually fucking good. It’s nice to see some of the “OLD GUARD” come back into the mix and have their breakout, or comeback performance that they will either be remembered by, or reminded of….

She is pretty much the last generation of talent that had to break through on an industry level...

Monday, September 2, 2019

Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II.



Lia Marie Johnson

She's actually 23 but doesn't look a day over 17. (*Shrugs.*)

At Celeb Jihad, "LIA MARIE JOHNSON MAKES HER DEBUT."



Billie Eilish Erupts at Nylon Germany

First World problems. (*Eye-roll.*)


My oldest son loves her, of course.

Here's a review from July, at LAT, "Billie Eilish, music’s biggest anti-pop star, returns home a hero."

Jennifer Delacruz's Holiday Forecast

It's going to be hot, hot, hot!

And here's the hot Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 10 San Diego:



Pete Buttigieg Was Rising. Then Came South Bend's Policing Crisis

Identity politics. You can never win.

At McClatchy, via Memeorandum, "plans to beef up campaign staff."

And NYT:


Beto F%!#*ing O'Rourke!

Beto's rebooting his campaign --- by exploiting Midland's shooting victims.

Sad.




Sunday, September 1, 2019