“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

GOP, Incompetent or just a Pack of Weasels?

NEW YORK (AP) — Republicans are expressing embarrassment, fear and frustration as party leaders concede that their years-long promise to erase much of Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act is all but dead.
Conservatives blamed establishment Republicans who control Congress. Establishment Republicans blamed President Donald Trump. And Trump blamed "a few Republicans" and Democrats.
The finger-pointing marked a new low for a Republican Party that swept into power in January and has struggled to govern ever since.
Trump signaled Tuesday that his party was largely giving up after seven years of promising to repeal the law.
The development intensified Republican divisions from Georgia to Colorado to Texas as conservatives vowed to punish ineffective Republicans in Congress and GOP operatives warned of dire political consequences for the party in 2018.


  1. Wish you could all hear Limbaugh's first hour Tuesday.

    They, aside from a few true conservatives, want to deny Trump his agenda.

    ...which they ran on.

    As Quirk would say, they are all Dicks.

    Unfortunately, Quirk is unable to discern the difference between Trump, Cruz and Paul, and the Dicks.

    1. The Dem Media of course put the blame on Trump.

    2. Here it is:

    3. "Please share with me the evidence that they are going to vote to repeal it.


    4. Just listen to the first 7 minutes, please.

    5. .

      Difference between Trump, Cruz, Paul and the Dicks?


      You try to offer up a distinction without a difference.

      They are all members of the Dick Brotherhood though they may choose to flaunt their Dickdom each in his own special way.


    6. All the public can do is effect the outcome of elections.

      The Swamp does not respond, the swamp responds only to lobbyists dollars.

    7. Thanks for the confirmation of your Dickdumbness.

    8. .

      Regretfully, I believe you are a little too close to the subject to offer an unbiased view on the state of Dickdom.


    9. I plead guilty to being Cisgender.

    10. .

      Nice try, but I think you have been spending too much time listening to Trump and Limbaugh.


  2. .


    Trump won the presidency with a popular vote total of 46%. Since his victory his polling numbers have dropped from there. For some time now, RCP averages have had him around 40% on both personal and job approval, closer to 30% on direction of the country. Trump's base argues it's not Trump's fault. The media and the Dems are the ones stifling Trump's agenda and keeping him from following through on his 'promises'. The DEMS would argue he is his own worst enemy. (Many Independents and Republicans would agree.) Crude, classless, inconsistent, vindictive, the Tweeter-in-Chief moves to his own tune and his base is hanging with him. Unfortunately or (as many would say including me) fortunately, Trump's base is the minority in this country.

    Since his win, Trump has done absolutely nothing, zip, nada, zilch to expand his base. Every move has been geared solely towards his base. If Trump loses that base, he is toast.

    The drop in Trump's polling is explained somewhat in polling details that show he has lost support among independents and some Republicans. However, his base remains firm, this despite the fact that only about a third of Americans approve of Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accord and only about the same percent approve of what they have seen of the GOP healthcare negotiations. Of his base, about 30%-35% of that 40% approval number is made up of a group of Republicans who would never think of voting for anything but the GOP and of another portion that is reflected here at the EB, the Doug faction that blames the media for all of Trump's problem's and loves Trump's immigration policy, the Bob anti-Muslim faction that is also looking for a little sugar in the form of a hefty tax break, and the Deuce white-supremacist faction that is looking for a return to our Christian (read white) roots.

    The rest of that 40% is made up of the people who put Trump over the top. These people could care less about foreign policy. North Korea is way down on their list of priorities. Iran the same. They also could care less about the about what is going on with the Russians and the Trump group. They'll wait for Mueller’s findings and worry about it then. The only people who are really concerned about these matters are Trump, the media, fringe Dems opposed to Trump, and the fringe right who will rationalize and support Trump whatever he does (or doesn't do). Most of America has better things to do and to talk about.



    1. {...}

      Now, the other portion of Trump supporters, the other 5%, is made up of people from the rust belt, people who’ve lost jobs in the last 8 years, Reagan Democrats from Flint, MI and Horsepen, W.Va., people who were fed up with the system that failed them and were looking to Trump to fulfill his promises to 'Drain the Swamp', stick it to Wall Street and the Banks, bring back jobs. To this group, Trump's biggest promises were:

      1. Improving the economy and creating job's
      2. 'Improved' healthcare
      3. Immigration reform

      not necessarily in that order. (In fact, recent studies run over multiple elections have noted that among certain groups as personal economic conditions decline, animas towards immigrants especially Muslims and blacks increased.)

      So the key questions for 2018 and more importantly 2020 are will Trump's base hold and even if it does will that be enough.

      Moves that will be approved by Trump's base include nominating Gorsuch to SCOTUS and rescinding many Obama regulations. These moves by Trump will likely remain popular especially through 2018. Long-term we will have to wait and see especially with the softening or elimination of health and safety rules associated with the coal industry, auto emissions, certain controversial drugs allowed on the market, the dropping the Great Lakes Initiative, etc.

      The rest of Trump's performance has been spotty.

      Trump's immigration ban is popular with the majority of Americans although it is still unclear what parts will clear SCOTUS on final review.

      Healthcare appears to be a loser for Trump and the GOP (regardless of what they do or do not pass). Some have called it an epic fail.

      Trump continues the trend of economic and job improvement that was under way when he took office. However, the increased jobs haven't significantly affected those in the rust belt, the blue collar and not highly educated who expected Trump to follow through on his promise to get 'them' jobs. Good news for Trump is that this group has proven patient. They are realistic and few of them expected Trump to actually keep his promises 'immediately' after taking office. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how long this group will remain patient given what seems to be the trends.

      On other issues...

      - Immigration. His base, in fact the majority of Americans, agree with his ban.

      - Healthcare. Sad, so sad.

      - Draining the Swamp. Heh. Good luck with that one.

      - Economy. Remains to be seen.

      - Taxes. He has promised a reverse Robin Hood policy unlikely to please the marginal part of his base, that group from the rust belt that put him over the top.

      - Social Issues. Trump's latest positions align with those of most of his base.

      - Personal Integrity. Trump's base could care less at the moment.

      For 2018, given current trends and past history...

      Senate - Dems probably lose a couple seats.

      House - Dems will likely pick up about 12 seats. (Dems need 29 seats to take over.)

      For 2020...


      However, what is certain is that Trump's base will by then fully understand who and what they voted for and what he could and was willing to do for (or to) them.


    2. The base sees the difference between Trump and the Establishment Dicks, ie The Swamp.

      ...including the Leftist dominated Deep State Federal Moneygrubbers.

    3. .

      The base is 30-35% of the population. The people who put Trump over the top were not part of the GOP base. They were Reagan Democrats and Independents. They voted for Trump for specific reasons. To date, he has done zip for them. As noted, they are patient. How patient? We'll see soon enough.


    4. .

      Only six more months and the campaigning will start again. Well, except for the president who started back in January.


    5. Indeed, they see the difference between Trump and the Dicks.

      To date the Dicks have done their best to stymie Trump.

    6. .

      I have to leave, Doug. It pains me seeing what you are doing to yourself.


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Speaking of Dicks:


      Just about every time I post an Academic Absurdity here, commenters rightly think it has to be a hoax, and refer back to the ur-hoax of all time, the Alan Sokal Social Text article of 20 years ago that said even physics was “socially constructed.” A very sensible reaction, but in fact all of the ones I have posted are real.

      Now I have a real hoax to report in gender studies, which will prompt the sensible question, “How can you tell?” In this case, only because the authors, like Sokal, have come forward to admit their hoax. Otherwise no one in the gender-bender world would have noticed. After all, it was peer-reviewed!

      Here it is, unadorned, from the online but obviously misnamed journal Cogent Social Sciences:

      The conceptual penis as a social construct*

      Jamie Lindsay and Peter Boyle


  4. You should enjoy this, Quirk:

    Mona Charen: It’s not a witch hunt

  5. GOP, Incompetent or just a Pack of Weasels?

    Neither. They are all a bunch of self serving ass holes. How can they be dicks when they are dickless?

  6. Excellent thread, so far, very descriptive, and insightful.


    If these mo'fucks can't even give us a meaningful tax break they really are a bunch of self serving ass holes.

    1. July 19, 2017
      Gangs of Congress: The turf war continues, nobody wins
      By Patricia McCarthy

      The failure of the Republicans to repeal the orchestrated disaster that is Obamacare proves once again and for all to see that what goes on in Congress, today more than ever before, is just one big turf war. Just to be clear, a turf war is a bitter struggle between criminals or gangs over the right to operate within a particular area – any dispute in which one party seeks to obtain increased rights or influence.

      We can now dispense with the notion that either party has any concern for its constituents. Neither does. They are engaged in a war of wills for their own power. Every member of Congress knows that Obamacare is a blight upon the American economy and its people. The Democrats are determined to let it do further damage and leave more people without access to actual care by being rigidly obstructionist. The Republicans are like a herd of cats in their fear of the vicious leftist media.

      The Democratic Party has been a well organized criminal enterprise for at least a hundred years. Beginning with Tammany Hall (1786), which was gang-like in structure, it was the Democratic Party denizens who invented backroom deals, paying for votes, and all the other strategies and tactics we have come to know too well. To this day, the DNC relies on corruption to play out its grand plan, to destroy its opposition. It hires thugs to foment violence at rallies and instructs these political mercenaries in the use of particularly nasty tactics.

      Losing elections never seems to alter the Democrats' course of action. They keep to their policy of pushing the big lie. Jack Wheeler noted this last week with regard to the media and their campaign of fake news: they are following Hitler's instructions in Mein Kampf (vol. 1, ch. 10) on how to employ the Big Lie....

      ....The Republicans, on the other hand, are a collection of little gangs, like the street gangs of Los Angeles. Their turf may only be a few blocks, an extended neighborhood, but they still defend their right to control it. They are nominally members of the same gang but without loyalty to each other or the street soldiers (constituents) they are meant to protect. The Democrats stick together like the Mafia; the Republicans barely stick together at all. As we have just seen, they are quick to break their promises, to betray their own if they think their personal power may be in jeopardy.

      Who stands for what? The Democrats stand for one thing and one thing only: their own power, from which they derive great wealth by doing the bidding of donors and lobbyists. Hillary Clinton, for example, stood for absolutely nothing beyond the continuation of Obama's destructive policies. She sought high office only for the personal wealth it could bring to her coffers. And indeed, she became a fabulously rich woman by selling access and favors to foreign entities while secretary of state. Since the November election, the Democrats stand only for obstructing Trump any and every way possible. They care not at all about the American people, the Constitution, or doing their job as laid out in that document. They are united by their fervent quest for power and their contempt for any person or group who opposes them.

      The Republicans are the epitome of weakness, characterized by a particular quality of inadequacy and ineffectiveness. They also somehow get very rich by clinging to their offices even when they accomplish nothing of consequence. Perhaps they get paid to be inconsequential. It is almost as if they prefer being the minority party and so act as though they are powerless even when they are not.....

  8. Steal tires in Virginia and get free room and board the rest of your life -

    Va. man sentenced to 132 years in prison for stealing tires

    By Patrick Roth
    July 18, 2017 11:35 am

    WASHINGTON — A jury sentenced a 38-year-old man to 132 years in prison for a series of tire and rim thefts in Loudoun County, Virginia.

    Related Stories

    Fairfax Co. police investigate string of car-wheel thefts
    Wheel and tire bandits strike again
    Tips for preventing wheel, rim thefts amid string of Va. cases
    In 2016, multiple victims in Loudoun County reported finding their trucks and SUVs mounted on cinder blocks in their driveways with vehicles’ tires and rims gone, according to a statement from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. In several cases, police found blue fibers from what appeared to be a moving blanket attached to the blocks.
    Jason Brooks, 38, was stopped in New Jersey driving a white Ford Explorer where police found cinder blocks wrapped in a blue moving blanket, a floor jack and other tools used to remove lug nuts, the statement said.

    Brooks was found guilty of six counts of grand larceny, six counts of larceny with intent to sell, three counts of destruction of property and three counts of tampering with an automobile.

    The jury’s verdict sentenced Brooks, who has two prior felony convictions, to a total of 132 years in prison, 63 months in jail and $6,000 in fines.

    Brooks will face final sentencing in October 2017. He also faces charges on identical offenses in Fairfax County, Prince William County and New Jersey.

  9. At least Congress has done one good thing -

    Charlie Gard Given Legal Permanent Residence By Congress To Seek Treatment In U.S.

    But legal sources said Charlie is the subject of a High Court order and it made no difference what passport he held.

    And last Friday, the judge made it clear it would be illegal for Charlie to travel to America without his permission.

    The parents’ barrister Grant Armstrong said the parents were of the view that legally it was up to the hospital to change its mind and allow Charlie to be transferred.

    1. Charlie Gard Is the Face of Single-Payer
      Ted Noel, M.D.
      Every time someone in the United States proposes single-payer, throw Charlie Gard in his face. More

  10. Trump needs to stop what he is doing and drain his own swamp, before he tackles anything else. There is nothing he can do about Congress, but he can shore up his own mess. The mere appearance of any conspiracy, whether true or fake (Don,Jr, etal.) puts enough blood in the water to create the media shark frenzy he awakens to, every day. He is the only one who can fix it, and he needs to fix it immediately. IMO

  11. This is good -

    Christian refugee admissions increase during the first five months of Trump presidency.
    July 19, 2017 Joseph Klein

    After declaring that Christians have “been horribly treated” by the refugee program under former President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump has reversed the Obama administration’s disgraceful discrimination against Christian refugees.

    According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department refugee data, during the period from January 21, 2017 - President Trump’s first full day in office - through June 30, “9,598 Christian refugees arrived in the U.S., compared with 7,250 Muslim refugees. Christians made up 50% of all refugee arrivals in this period, compared with 38% who are Muslim.”...........

  12. DC Security Robot Patrolling Georgetown Streets...

    Tumbles Down Flight Of Stairs Into Fountain...


    Army to Build Autonomous Drone Swarms...

    New sex robots have setting to simulate rape...

    Doctor plans to bring BRAIN DEAD back to life...

    'Reanimate living cadavers'....DRUDGE

    It's time for me to admit that the world has passed me by.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Replies
    1. Had to look it up.

      Seems he tried to help Elvis, to no avail.

  15. Millennials of color snubbed Hillary Clinton — and they have no regrets

  16. Trump invites the New York Times to his office, flies off the handle, disses his own Attorney General Sessions along with Mueller and the whole bloody mess.

    1. Sessions acted like a Dufus in his testimony and his recusal.

    2. But the president repeated that he did not know about his son’s meeting at the time and added that he did not need the Russians to provide damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.

      “There wasn’t much I could say about Hillary Clinton that was worse than what I was already saying,” he said. “Unless somebody said that she shot somebody in the back, there wasn’t much I could add to my repertoire.”

    3. We shall always remember her as "Crooked Hillary".

  17. President Donald Trump said in an interview published Wednesday that he would not have chosen Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself over matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign.


    Trump had harsh words for the Justice Department investigation into potential coordination between his associates and Russia to influence the 2016 election, suggesting the probe was unfair due to conflicts of interest.


    Trump disputed Comey’s testimony before the Senate intelligence committee that he had pressed the former FBI director to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    “I don’t remember even talking to him about any of this stuff,” Trump said. “His testimony is loaded up with lies.”

    The state of rights since the Kurds gained autonomy.
    July 20, 2017 Rachel Avraham

    In Iraqi Kurdistan, promoting the empowerment of women and girls is considered very important. It is for this reason that for her 20th birthday, Pakistani women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize after the Taliban almost murdered her for promoting female education in 2012, visited Iraqi Kurdistan in order to promote female education among the refugees who fled ISIS. In her speech, she thanked the Kurdistan Regional Government for the work they are doing empowering young girls: “You are all doing great work. I would like to thank you all for empowering young girls and giving them the opportunity to share their ideas, develop their skills and to be the leaders of today and tomorrow.”

    During the meeting between the Kurdish Prime Minister and Malala Yousafzai, Barzani suggested that Malala should be in touch with the Kurdish Women’s High Council as part of her work promoting the empowerment of women and girls. The Kurdish Prime Minister made this suggestion for he cares about women’s rights, even though it is not something popular in the Middle East.

    This is best demonstrated by his government’s efforts in rescuing Yezidi women and girls. So far, the Yezidi Kidnaping Affairs Office, which is part of Kurdish Prime Minister’s Office and has a mission to rescue Yezidi women and girls who were enslaved by ISIS, managed to rescue 3,600 Yezidis. The Kurdish Prime Minister is very dedicated to this issue. As the Kurdish Prime Minister proclaimed to the commander of the Yezidi female fighters, “Even if I have to sell my jacket, I will rescue every single Yezidi.”

    In addition, the Kurdish Prime Minister has donated to Malala Yousafzai’s organization for he supports her mission of empowering refugee girls and women who have been unable to study due to the existence of conflicts and wars. However, the meeting between Kurdistan’s Prime Minister Nichervan Barzani and Malala Yousafzai is merely one example of how the Kurdish authorities empower women and girls.

    There is a young woman named Maryam Barootchian, who lost her family during Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons attacks upon the Kurds. She was adopted by an Iranian family but after her adopted father passed away, she sought to locate her birth parents. Due to a DNA test, she learned for the first time that she was Kurdish and this led her to Iraqi Kurdistan, where to this day she is searching for her biological parents. During the search for her family, Kurdish Prime Minister Nichervan Barzani is financially assisting her and making sure that all of her needs are met for he seeks to empower her and to support her as she searches for her real parents.

    1. For Nichervan Barzani, empowering Kurdish women and girls is a top priority. Since 2008, the Kurdistan Regional Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Nichervan Barzani amended the Iraqi Personal Status Law, which was used as an excuse to justify honor killings, and ratified Article Eight on the Elimination of Domestic Violence, which outlaws all gender-based violence. As a result of these measures, honor killings in Iraqi Kurdistan are considered intentional homicide and due to the changes in the law, the number of honor killings in Iraqi Kurdistan has significantly decreased since the Kurds got autonomy. In addition, the Kurdish authorities outlawed all forms of forced marriages and female circumcision, restricted polygamy and reformed the inheritance law in order to guarantee a fair share for females.

      “By revising and introducing these laws, the differences in the protection of women rights between the Kurdistan Region and other parts of Iraq have become immense,” Kurdish Prime Minister Nichervan Barzani proclaimed. “These laws have enabled the Kurdistan Regional Government to take practical and systematic steps to curb violence against women. The government has established a directorate for combating violence against women and established shelters for women under threat. It has also established courts and appointed special prosecutors within police stations to investigate cases related to violence against women.”

      The statistics highlight that there has been an improvement in the plight of women in Iraqi Kurdistan. For example, in 2015, there were 565 recorded cases of violence against women in Iraqi Kurdistan. However, in 2012, there were 1300 recorded cases of violence against women in the Kurdish region of Iraq. This implies that there has been a significant reduction in the level of violence against Iraqi Kurdish women since the introduction of laws that punish perpetrators for assaulting, raping and murdering women. Although it took time for the laws to influence the actions of the population and in the beginning, there was not a strong reduction in the level of violence against women, in the long term, the results have been positive.

      In contrast, in Iraq, where the laws of the land still let rapists off the hook if they chose to marry their victims, Al Akhbar reported that 14,000 women were killed due to gender-based violence between 2003 and 2015. These statistics are likely to be significantly lower than the actual figure because in the non-Kurdish areas of Iraq, women have been kidnapped, raped and killed systematically both by jihadist groups like ISIS and the Shia militias on a regular basis. In addition, 1 in 5 Iraqi women has been beaten by her husband and Iraqi law offers the woman little protection from this. Following the eviction of ISIS from Mosul, there is some hope that things will get better in the rest of Iraq as well. However, unless the Iraqi government distances themselves from Iran and takes similar measures to combat violence against women that the Kurdish authorities have taken, the likelihood that things will significantly improve is slim.

  19. Hillary Clinton sided with Russia on sanctions as Bill made $500G on Moscow speech

    The Russian lawyer who landed a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during last year’s presidential campaign with the promise of dirt on Hillary Clinton had one big thing in common with the Democratic candidate: Both had opposed Russia sanctions targeting human-rights abusers.

    Further, former Secretary of State Clinton’s initial opposition coincided with a $500,000 speech her husband gave in Moscow – a link her 2016 campaign fought to downplay in the press, according to WikiLeaks-released documents.

    Trump White House officials now are trying to draw attention to that speech and the Clintons’ ties to Russia in a bid to counter criticism over Trump Jr.’s now-infamous meeting.

    “If you want to talk about having relationships with Russia, I'd look no further than the Clintons,” Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a briefing last week. “Bill Clinton was paid half a million dollars to give a speech to a Russian bank, personally thanked by President Putin.”

  20. The Republican and Democrat parties as we have known them are both toast!