And in today’s news …

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Rethink The Police

Attempts at police reform, or more accurately, policing reform, are stalled by right wing tactics that paint any sort of critical examination as pro-crime, and centrists and “persuadable” tend to buy what the right wingers are selling. This pattern is common in many areas of progressive change. Then, along comes some other aspect of reality and bam, upside the head, anti reformers! Change happens anyway.

One area of reform is to curb the cowboy in the cop and limit high speed, high risk chases, which often have negative side effects. Like the one in St Ann MO, where a chase of a car with expired tags led to the permeant disablement of Brent Cox, who happened to be in a nearby car that was slammed into by the errant driver. When asked to limit dangerous overdone car chases, the chief told the press they would drag his car chases out of his cold dead hands. Well, not really. He said “St. Ann will chase you until the wheels fall off.”

Then the insurance agency stepped in and put him down. From reporting in the Washington Post (this is Washington Post Day on Greg Laden’s Blog, by the way): “….an otherwise silent stakeholder stepped in. The St. Louis Area Insurance Trust risk pool — which provided liability coverage to the city of St. Ann and the police department — threatened to cancel coverage if the department didn’t impose restrictions on its use of police chases. City officials shopped around for alternative coverage but soon learned that costs would nearly double if they did not agree to their insurer’s demands.”

Sometimes reform is just the natural organic thing that happens in a free market. Rarely, but savor the moment when it does.

The New York Time Is Biased

I had two headlines in my morning email:

“White House reaches tentative agreement to avert national rail strike”


“Railroad unions and companies reach a tentative deal to avoid a strike”

The former from Wapo, the latter from the NYT. Leave it to the NYT to understate Biden. They have a reason. Everybody loves a close horse race, so keep the horse race close and the value of your add space rises. I only subscribe to the NYT because when I told them to bugger off a few months ago they bribed me by offering a super cheap subscription (like a dollar a month or something crazy) so I kept it. You should try that! Just call to cancel and they’ll give you a great deal.

The Wisdom of Linsey Graham …

At first I was only getting snippets and I was confused. Lindsay Graham will ban abortion in 15 weeks. So hurry up and get yours. No, no, Lindsay Graham will ban abortion FOR 15 weeks. Like a moratorium? No, no, Lindsay Graham will ban abortions AT 15 weeks. For reference, that is 15 out of 40.

The truth is more like this: Lindsay Graham got drunk again.

One of the most common terms that comes to my mind when I think of Lindsay Graham, other than “lush”, is “bone-headed.” This morning, I was pleased and amused to wake up and find Ruth Marcus saying (in Wapo, not in my apartment), “Graham’s move might be politically bone-headed, coming less than two months before a midterm election in which voters already appear angered and energized by the court’s action. But it is just the opening salvo.” Nice.

Ruth’s main point: “… it is not hard to imagine a moment when Republicans have the power to proceed [with such a ban], and use it.” But on the ground, in this year and at this time, the MAGA-trumps “…rattled by midterm polling, scurried to distance themselves from Graham’s proposal and talk up states’ rights.”

So to complete the sentence at the head of this comment: “The Wisdom of Linsey Graham … is drunk

Ken Star Is Dead

I will not here speak poorly of the dead. I did that on Facebook and it was pretty satisfying. That is all, have a nice day.

No, but seriously, Eugene Robinson has some things to say about Ken Star.

Sports sucks

I love this paragraph, that I found here:

The greatest threat to the integrity of pro sports is the unchecked, immoral owner. He slithers across all of these leagues, rich and toxic and indestructible, profiting from sports’ charm without upholding their virtue. You can expose his misdeeds, shame him and force him to answer to people who are supposed to have real power. He will escape, though. And those like him will multiply.

A few interesting things about the Queen’s death (long live the King)

They made the coffin 30 years ago.

In 1901, the horses carting Queen Victoria’s gun carriage (that’s what they use to parade the coffin around) broke free, so some British Sailors pulled Victoria’s cart for a while. Therefore, at some point during the ceremony, Royal Navy sailors will likely drag the carriage by foot for a while. This is how ancient traditions start.

You know what a plinth is. Well, a catafalque is a wooden plinth for a royal coffin. Now you know that too.

The queen’s Royal Sovereign’s Scepter is three feet long, bears one of the world’s most famous diamonds, and has a core of Unicorn tail hair taken from the same Unicorn as the Scepter wielded by the royal house of Freedonia.*

The Royal Orb … well, there is a royal orb. What the heck? It’s actual name is Globus cruciger, and it is really old, from back in the Age of Orbs I suppose.

The state hearse is a Land Rover. Therefore it will break down during the ceremony and the cost of repair will exceed the Royal Funerary Budget so the Queen’s coffin (did I mention the coffin was made 30 years ago) will have to be dragged the last few blocks.


*That part is mostly but not entirely made up

Have you read the breakthrough novel of the year? When you are done with that, try:

In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
*Please note:
Links to books and other items on this page and elsewhere on Greg Ladens' blog may send you to Amazon, where I am a registered affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, which helps to fund this site.

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28 thoughts on “And in today’s news …

  1. On the Linsey Graham legislation – very hard to understand this law.

    If the Supreme Court says the Federal Government doesn’t have jurisdiction and sends the issue back to the states, then any Federal abortion legislation will be deemed invalid for the same reasons.

    Maybe they could do something like the Mann act – prohibit travel across state lines to get an abortion. But they cannot just blanket ban abortion after 15 weeks (or any number of weeks).

    But the issue of abortion is a state issue and so I assume this legislation will not pass, because wiser people will point out the Federal government just doesn’t have the right to pass laws in this area – only States, with their police power, have the right to pass laws related to abortion.

    1. No, a bill passed by a Republican legislature and signed by Trump can’t be nullified by the Supreme Court.

    2. Sorry that is wrong. The Supreme Court strikes down laws pass by both the house and the senate and signed by the president all the time. For example, see DOMA:

      That law was also passed by both the house and the senate, signed by the President and then struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

      You should review Article 1, Section 8 – the enumerated powers to see what areas Congress can pass laws in:

      You will not see anything about marriage in there – which is why DOMA could be struck down. You will also not see anything about abortion in there – which is why any law congress passes about abortion will be struck down. The federal governments police powers are limited to interstate stuff. Murder, theft and so forth are the domain of the states, covered by each states police power. Abortion falls within the domain of the states, which is why the Supreme court sent it back to the states, where it belonged all the time during Roe.

      When it comes to what the Federal government has the power to do, or what the executive branch has the power to do – the Supreme Court has the final word.

  2. graham’s move is simply where the magat party is right now. They aren’t pro-life, they are anti-women’s rights: to them (and the right wing poster here) women are nothing more than vessels, not deserving of any say in their own body or sexual activity. Once the child is born if it gets sick or dies it’s the fault of the woman: no need to provide health care. Don’t under estimate how awful these people are — they simply grow worse.

    1. Then there is the whole line of bs that the Bill of Rights only applies to those enumerated. Very convenient for today’s right wing authoritarians.

      Very glad to be leaving for a few days of hiking and remote teaching, so I won’t have to see more of rickA’s dishonest intent bullshit.

  3. In yesterday’s Washington Post, John Yoo (remember him?) weighed in with the opinion that “Both abortion rights and antiabortion proposals assault the constitutional structure, which protects the right of the states to decide fundamental moral issues.”

    It is a dubious opinion, in my view — not because I regard all John Yoo’s opinions as dubious by default, but because among the moral issues that this country has confronted, slavery looms largest.* The federal government dealt with that one, ultimately, by amending the Constitution (Amendment XIII, ratified 1865.)

    More germane to Yoo’s opinion is the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which (among other things) regulates the labor of minors in non-farm jobs. An amendment to back that up exists but has been not ratified. Yet no one AFAIK challenges the constitutionality of child-labor laws.

    So it seems to me that the federal government can regulate abortion, which certainly is a fundamental moral issue.

    *OK, Native American genocide might equal it.

    1. Looking back on Yoo’s support for torture as a tool, his association with organizations working against democracy (federalists, american enterprise institute, etc.), and his asinine views on tech and “censorship”, you’d hope he’d just wander off into the world of irrelevance he deserves.

      So it seems to me that the federal government can regulate abortion, which certainly is a fundamental moral issue.

      Yes, this whole “let the states do it” is as asinine for dealing with abortion as it was for gay rights, same sex marriage, and the civil and voting rights acts (all of which the resident right wing bigot opposes).

  4. It is a good thing in my view that you didn’t title this column “And Now the News.” That’s the title of a 1956 novelette by Theodore Sturgeon which does not have a happy ending. It can be found in the 1971 collection edited by Laurence M. Janifer: 18 Greatest Science Fiction Stories which contains entries by Asimov, Bradbury and Heinlein as well as by Godwin, Lafferty, and Wells. (If you’ve never read anything by Raphael Aloysius Lafferty, you should correct that ASAP.)

    See the ISFDB for other collections.

  5. RE: Queen Elizabeth II’s death — watching her coffin proceeding through the streets of London-town with the Imperial State Crown reposing atop it on a purple pillow, I half expected to see a drone swoop down, latch onto the Crown’s top, and fly away with it. After all, as well as being a symbol of the British monarchy, the Crown contains the Black Prince’s Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, and the Cullinan II Diamond. It would be worth a king’s ransom.

    I wonder what the response would have been.

    Perhaps I’ve watched too many James Bond movies. And speaking of Bond, you all should check out the video of the Queen parachuting into the stadium where the 2012 Olympics were being held. She was accompanied in the video by Daniel Craig.

    1. Gee I wonder if Laurence Tribe is biased? You could ask the same question anytime a federal judge’s ruling is appealed. Anytime a judge is reversed, you could say – “Why is a judge allowed to ignore legal precedents?” Well they are not. That is why we have appellate courts and why sometimes judges get it wrong and are reversed after appeal.

      Lets wait and see what the appellate court says.

      My prediction is that this case turns on the issue of classified documents. Trump declassified all the documents taken from the White House to Mar-A-Lago while he was President. It doesn’t matter that he did it orally and it doesn’t matter that he didn’t jump through the rules to declassify which lower level executive branch employees have to jump through. Those rules don’t apply to him or any currently sitting President. The President has the power to declassify documents any way he wants and can certainly do it orally, and he did it while in office and that ends the matter.

      That is what the Court process will ultimately find.

      So the argument that he has classified documents is totally false. They were declassified as soon as he declared them declassified – which he did while in office.

      Why didn’t the Justice department go after Hillary for having classified documents on her husbands server in her basement while she was a private citizen? Doesn’t the same logic that what Trump is doing make what Hillary did illegal? The very fact that Hillary wasn’t charged with any crime for having hundreds of classified documents on her server, after she was out of government, is the same reason Trump will not be charged with any crime. Well that and the additional argument that he declassified all the documents he took to Mara-A-Lago while he was president.

      I think these documents will be ultimately published and they are the dirt that Trump found while in office that the democrats want to keep hidden at all costs – so they seized them to try to hide them. That will backfire – because they will be ruled declassified and then Trump will publish them and heads will roll.

      My guess (and it is just a guess) is that these documents relate to the Russia campaign interference hoax, the Ukranian impeachment hoax and the incitement of insurrection impeachment hoax. Trump probably plans to write a book and keep these documents as proof for his book and to embarrass his political enemies. All of these legal activities just help to prove the authenticity of the documents and make his tell all book more valuable.

      I am sure he has numerous copies squirreled away and electronically stored.

      I am also guessing that he wanted these documents seized and the classification litigated, so he could publish them after the courts declare them declassified. He also had cameras all over the place so he could monitor and prove any attempts to frame him by the government slipping other documents into his stash. I am guessing the democrats just fell into his trap and this is going exactly the way Trump wanted it to.

      Those are my thoughts. We will have to wait to see how this plays out on appeal and whether the justice department actually brings any charges against Trump. I doubt they will because they would lose so badly. But it is fun to watch!

  6. When a POTUS, even one retired, is a lose cannon.

    “Without any question the former president, and those in his circle will be very important targets for any foreign intelligence service. They will be looking at: how do we get into that circle?” said Douglas London, a 34-year veteran of the CIA’s clandestine service, and author of The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence.

    London added: “He’s brought in really questionable people with various skeletons in their closets, financial or personal or political, who have vulnerabilities a foreign intelligence service could exploit.”

    It is a scenario which in other circumstances, might make for an uproarious comedy series, featuring spies from around the world tripping over each other in the dark as they race each other to grab hold of the motherlode of state secrets, as YMCA echoes around the darkened corridors.

    He becomes a danger to the state and democracy. Simples.

    Thousands of sensitive documents lay nearby as Trump was spinning the Village People in Mar-a-Lago’s not so private club

    1. It is interesting how Trumps document stash is in theory dangerous.

      While we know that foreign governments actually did access the classified documents Hillary had on her server.

      No charges for Hillary for known breaches – but we are going to charge Trump because of what might happen?

      Interesting double standard.

  7. “Trump declassified all the documents taken from the White House to Mar-A-Lago while he was President”

    Only a fool would say that. And, of course, one did.

  8. As the resident right wing liar continues to reference the “Russian hoax” (looking at evidence and data shows it was not a hoax but a fact) you notice he tosses out that foreign governments got classified material from HRC’s server. But then you can’t expect any honest from someone who says the attempted coup was no big deal and that the only people injured and killed were the “tourists” there that day.

    It would be funny to read his repeated lies and denial of history, but we need to remember there are millions of people like him (racist, bigot, authoritarian, etc) around, and they put the country and democracy at risk. The hope is that they are outnumbered by decent people who don’t think (as he does) neo nazis are good folk. We also have to count on their attempts to subvert the voting system fails. It’s a dangerous time because of his kind.

    1. See

      Especially this portion: “Further, a May 2016 email from Strzok, obtained by Fox News earlier this year, said “we know foreign actors obtained access” to some Clinton emails, including at least one “secret” message “via compromises of the private email accounts” of Clinton staffers.”

      You can follow a link in the quote and read the actual email from Strzok. So yeah – her server was totally compromised and all the emails on it were read by any number of foreign governments and other interested parties.

  9. Relying on breitbart and louie gohmert? rickA keeps up his reputation by citing folks who are as comfortable with lying (and bigotry, and racism) as he is.

    Good lord.

    1. Good lord indeed dean, he not only continues to dig his hole but to extend its geography. As far as logic and critical thinking is concerned he is a lost cause.

      Note Trump’s pal Putin is now threatening to go nuclear. Great stuff RickA for helping to enable such a threat to the USA, the wider world and humanity itself. Only an ideological twisted mind could continue to be so wilfully ignorant of the truth here trying to support arguments with tripe from recognised sources of crackpot deception.

    2. Yeah Lionel, but we’ve known how despicable he is for some time.

      Just a reminder of it: here’s a clip about the founder of a white supremacist/domestic terrorist group he’s defended, the proud boys:

      The Proud Boys name first came to Gavin McInnes while he watched, with disgust, as a twelve-year-old boy with brown skin sank a musical number onstage at a school recital.

      “This little Puerto Rican kid comes out, and he goes, ‘I’ll make you a proud boy!’ It was the gayest fucking song,” he said. “When I was watching I was like, this is obviously the Hispanic son of a single mom. He did high-five a grown man afterward, but couldn’t have been the real dad.”

      The origins of the Proud Boys, the nation’s most notorious political fight club, can be traced to one reactionary bigot behind a microphone who hate a child he figured was a fatherless Puerto Rican. McInnes seems to embrace this characterization, though his wife is apparently appalled by it.
      “She’s pissed, she’s like: ‘So your whole thing, your whole organization, is mocking a twelve-year-old gay boy?’” he said. “And I go: ‘That’s such a crude way to put it but yes. Yes it is. Because that little boy personifies how far gone we are.’”

      That’s the sort of person he’s chosen to align with. There’s not much more to say.

  10. RickA

    Cite please.

    Maybe when you deem to provide sensible citations for your statements of opinion to give them validity.

    1. Lionel:

      When one makes a statement of fact, you need a citation.

      When one states an opinion, you do not need a citation. An opinion is just an opinion – which (as I have said) is different than a statement of fact.

      Lets try a few examples – to help you out:

      1. It is currently 63 degrees F. This is a statement of fact. I can cite to for my zipcode to support this statement.

      2. In my opinion it is quite comfortable outside. This is an opinion, and does not require a citation to support. Opinions are just opinions and not statements of fact.

      Hopefully that clarifies the difference between a factual assertion and an opinion.

      Dean made a statement of fact, and I asked for a citation from him to support his assertion. I look forward to seeing what I said previously that dean will cite to support his assertion that I defended the proud boys.

      Once he does so – we can examine his citation and decide whether I in fact did support the proud boys – or instead if dean was wrong that I defended the proud boys. We will see. The ball is in dean’s court.

  11. When one makes a statement of fact, you need a citation.

    I explained that with, ‘Maybe when you deem to provide sensible citations for your statements of opinion to give them validity.’

    You appear to be unable to parse English without bias.

    ‘Whatever so why do you bother with citations from known propaganda organisations? After all no facts to be seen in your patronising replies.

  12. Kash Patel will change his tune once the special master wrestles the Trump legal to the ground and makes them say uncle.

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