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May 01, 2024 08:05 AM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Our patience will achieve more than our force.”

–Edmund Burke


21 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

  1. WOTD: “You’re an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office, and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill.”

    Jeffry Clark, coup-lawyer in January, 2021, is now about to lose his license to practice law. 

    From the disciplinary counsel’s proposed finding of fact and conclusions:

    It is not enough that the efforts of these lawyers ultimately failed. As a profession, we must do what we can to ensure that this conduct is never repeated. The way to accomplish that goal is to remove from the profession lawyers who betrayed their constitutional obligations and their country. It is important that other lawyers who might be tempted to engage in similar misconduct be aware that doing so will cost them their privilege to practice law. It is also important for the courts and the legal profession to state clearly that the ends do not justify the means; that process matters; and that this is a society of laws, not men.

  2. Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command…..

    For the times they are a-changin'



    1. What is the centrist position on the conflict between Israel/Netanyahu/Settlers-gone-wild and Gaza/Hamas-we-lit-the-fire? 

      I understand the centrist position on MAGA vs Democracy: All Democrats (plus Liz Cheney) are centrist, all Republicans are MAGA. 

      And while we're at it, What's the centrist position on Abortion and Miscarriage protections? All Democrats are centrists because they believe women should be able to get reproduction care, and all Republicans are MAGA because they want Abortion bans.

      1. "What is the centrist position on the conflict between Israel/Netanyahu/Settlers-gone-wild and Gaza/Hamas-we-lit-the-fire?"

        Netanyahu must go. He is a corrupt thug who thrieves on maintaining the status quo.

        As for Gaza/Hamas, Israel has a right to defend itself. 

        I noticed that you avoided the issue I raised which was campus safety and ethnic initimidation of Jewish students.

        What is the hard left position on that?

        1. I'm a supporter of a two-state solution, as difficult and remote as that might be. The alternatives are a one-state or I guess a zero-state. A path to reconciliation can only start with small steps in the reconciliation direction, and Hamas, Netanyahu and the Right-wing settlers are absolutely opposed to that.

          I haven't the slightest idea of what the hard left position on campus safety or ethnic intimidation of Jewish students is. Do you know any hard-left voices? How do you know they are hard-left rather than hard-right? I don't know… read Mike Littwin's article in the May 1 Colorado Sun.

          Anti-semitism (bigotry or racial animus) is wrong whether directed at jewish ethnicities or arabic ethnicities. Criticizing israeli policies or having anti-zionist opinions is NOT anti-semitism, much as right-wing Jewish lobbying groups (like AIPAC) might try to conflate it.

          I have no way of observing what's actually going on, and I don't trust the news reports to gauge how much of the protest is from off campus (50% ?), nor how much of the noise is from specific agitators (5% ?), nor agents provacateur. I assume some neo-nazis, and Xitter troll farmers are trying to egg on the conflict. MAGA Republican vultures are also circling.

          My most trusted source on the situation is Josh Marshall at TPM. As a historian his comments and discussion of the topic are measured, nuanced and careful.

          Most recently, Josh Marshall reminds us that both Netanyahu AND Hamas have been in a tacit alliance, that goes back to their destruction of the Oslo agreement and prevention of a two-state solution.

          Pox on both their houses? Well, yeah except that most jews and palestinians within Israel, the West Bank and Gaza don't want nor deserve the horrific destruction.

          I do assume that the Hamas attack was cynically intended to cross a line that would force Israel to respond.

          I do believe Israel's invasion of civilian areas in which Hamas has been embedded was inevitable (and justified), but it has been extreme, has no reasonable end-game, and will stoke hatred for generations to come

          I also believe that West Bank Settlers expansion campaign and their attacks on Palestinian villages & Wilding behavior has been supported by the present Israeli government. 

          You can run the tit-for-tat blame game back as far as you like.

        2. There is no question in my mind that multiple players are taking advantage of and manipulating the protests in the US, including some foreign powers. Also, do not forget – Republicans want the protests (and accompanying violence, destruction, etc) to negatively impact Biden in this re-election year. Bottom line – someone needs to pull the plug on Netanyahu ASAP. There cannot be resolution in that deadly mess until he is no longer the leader of Israel.


          1. "Also, do not forget – Republicans want the protests (and accompanying violence, destruction, etc) to negatively impact Biden in this re-election year."

            Absolutely, because it has worked so well before. I don't need to imagine "foreign actors" taking advantage of the protests. We know that there is one actor – currently seated in a NYC courtroom – who will use this because it's worked before.

            I'm old enough to remember 1968 when a war was raging in a far off land and students were turning on the Democratic nominee who was not stopping the war. The Republican nominee implausibly managed to sell himself as the man who would unite the country, end the war, and stop the campus riots.

            The Republican nominee won. He did end US involvement in that war albeit five years and many, many lives later. (He also laid the foundation for the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia Democratic Kampuchea. Talk about genocide!) He did quell campus unrest (think Kent State). And by 1974, he united the country in contempt for his administration.

            Trump is stupid but he isn't THAT stupid. He knows his history – at least the late '60's and early '70's. 

            Gaza will be heard this November in the US election.

      2. "What's the centrist position on Abortion and Miscarriage protections?"

        Restore Roe v. Wade legislatively if not judicially.

      3. "I understand the centrist position on MAGA vs Democracy: All Democrats (plus Liz Cheney) are centrist, all Republicans are MAGA"

        This is a false choice. You aren't comparing apples with oranges, you're equating apples with dishwashers.

        "Democracy" is in the eye of the beholder. The MAGA people genuinely believe that their form of populism is "democracy,"  I disagree with them. You probably do too.

        Liz Cheney is not a centrist; she is ideologically a conservative. Larry Hogan and Lisa Murkowski are more centrists than Liz Cheney.

        Liz Cheney is a non-MAGA conservative.

        Like the MAGA people, the folks on the far left also see everything through a simplistic binary choice.

      4. Here's one "centrist" position on the mess from nearly everyone in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

        • There have been few mutual agreements among key participants, with Oslo Accords being one prime example.
        • The agreements have been violated by virtually every party —
        • Recent — Hamas and its allies and supporters expanded their aggression dramatically, committing obvious and despicable crimes. Arguably, there are war crimes that ought to bring prosecution to both those immediately involved AND those who planned the actions AND supporters who could reasonably foresee the crimes.
        • More recent — Israel and its allies and supporters responded in "defense" and went beyond to offensive actions, claiming only "elimination" of Hamas would be acceptable.  Actions taken in the campaign have horrific and disproportionate consequences on noncombatants.  Arguably, there are war crimes that ought to bring prosecution to both those immediately involved AND those who planned the actions AND supporters who could reasonably foresee the crimes.

        While urging that the direct participants need to find a way to a ceasefire and negotiations for a way forward, there ought to be an equivalent move among all nations involved in support:  stopping supply of any offensive weapons, pressuring proxies to find a way to ceasefire among themselves, and engage in negotiations for a more lasting peace.

  3. Menstruation police? WOTD-2 from Time Magazine interview with Donald Trump.

    Get ready for your pregnancy ankle bracelet and fetal monitor if you get pregnant in a red state.


    1. More from that interview, via Josh Marshall.

      On Nato Allies Contribution:

      The line is usually that Trump won’t defend allies if they’re not “paying up” on their defense spending. But this is wrong. It makes no sense. Donald Trump couldn’t care less about how much Germany or Japan or South Korea is spending on their defense budget. 

      What part of the man’s internal calculus, this player on the national and the international stage we’ve gotten to know very well, would make this matter to him at all?

      The “paying up” has always been about something different. It’s really about playing allies off against potential adversaries as a bid for advantage. This could conceivably be about U.S. national advantage. That’s a very destructive and destabilizing way for a great power to operate in the world. But in concept that’s possible. But that’s certainly never how Donald Trump would operate. The advantage is to him. Personally. That might be monetary or through additions to his power or glory. But we know it’s all about him.

      For what it’s worth, this is the thing that worries me most about a second Trump presidency. 

    1. The single best argument for replacing the electoral college is the fact that a tie is even possible.  The Framers weren't that bright. 

      1. Ahh, but before the enactment of the 23rd Amendment giving DC electoral votes, there was an odd number of electors by virtue of the Senate always having an even number of members and the House traditionally have an odd number of members. 

        I am not suggesting that DC be stripped of its electoral votes. (On the contrary, I think DC should be a state and I would image that many others in here feel the same way but that is not likely to happen anytime soon.)

        There are a lot of good reasons for eliminating the electoral college. You've just come up with one more to a very long. But those reasons are irrelevant since there is no way in hell that 38 states will ratify a constitutional amendment to get rid of it even if by some miracle 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate voted to send an amendment to the states.

        1. I actually was aware of the 23rd Amendment and the math.  But I thought it'd be less fun to bash the framers of the 23rd amendment.  The whole electoral college was an interesting 18th century thing.  But the 21st century demands something a little more modern.  Of course, I favor eliminating the tripartite system in favor of a parliamentary system, and splitting the US into 3-4 separate nations, so who am I to kvetch about the EC?

          1. I like your idea of breaking the US up into three or four separate nations although I'd be satisfied with just two:  Blue America and Red America. Blue America can use the US of A label. Red America could adopt, or readopt, the Confederate State of America ("CSA").  

            I imagine you've read Colin Woodard's book, the Eleven Nations of the U.S. If you have not, it's really worth reading.

      2. Initial Electoral College had "69 electors." 

        The last adjustment to the EC was the 23rd amendment …. it created a problem by giving DC precisely 3 votes, rather than designating that it would a number to insure "ties" couldn't happen.


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