Today is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Robert Barnes, English Lutheran reformer and personal friend of Luther.
Barnes, who had served as an Augustinian prior, was one of the Cambridge scholars who gathered at the White Horse Inn for theological study and discussion. He received his Doctor of Divinity degree in 1523 and was arrested and brought before Cardinal Wolsey for preaching a Lutheran sermon in 1526. Given the choice of recanting or being burned at the stake, Barnes chose the former and was committed once again to the Augustinian monastery. He escaped to Antwerp, however, and proceeded from there to Wittenberg, where he met Luther and was a guest in his home. While there, he also made the acquaintance of Stephen Vaughn, an agent of Thomas Cromwell. Barnes made a good impression on Vaughn, who recommended him to Cromwell. Commenting on a book Barnes had written, he wrote prophetically to the Protestant who would replace Wolsey as Henry VIII's chancellor, "Look wel…
Jonah Goldberg broke out an interesting word to describe the ideology of Trump supporters: kakistocracy. The word derives from κακός, the Greek word for "bad." According to an article Goldberg links to, Lowell defined it as "government by knaves at the cost of fools."
Pretty apt, in the unlikely event that Little Donnie is elected. The word could be also rendered, "government by the worst of men." Contrast this with "cacklocracy," which would be government by hens, crows, the Wicked Witch of the West, or Hillary Clinton.
And if after his defeat by the Cacklcrats sane and decent Republicans retake the Republican party, Trump and the Klansmen, Nazis and tinfoil-hat types who form the core of his support could always use the name "Kakistocratic party' for any third party they might found to carry on the fight.
I've always found it sad that the Democrats get away with demonizing Republicans on issues like civil rights. The other day, when an African-American congressman made the absurd statement that Democrats gave African-Americans the right to vote (100% of the members of Congress who voted for the 15th Amendment were, in fact, Republicans; the only Democrats who didn't vote against it were the seven who abstained), it was only an extreme example of Democrats' habit of misrepresenting the record.
My Republican party didn't simply play a key role in supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the support of Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-Ill) is generally seen as the clincher in getting it passed). It led the charge. When President Kennedy dragged his feet in submitting civil rights legislation it was the pro-active introduction of their own bill by three Republican congressmen which finally spurred him to action. Throughout most of the party's history, it's…
Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dr. Russell Moore, Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, eloquently and succinctly express what I've been trying to say about Donald Trump and why I cannot vote for the man (or for Hillary Clinton) in this year's election.
The Supreme Court is important. But it is not all-important. Dr. Mohler comes very close to quoting Jesus on this matter in precisely the way I have: "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
The principle applies to the Supreme Court, too.
Dr. Moeher's distinction between single issue-disposive and single issue-sufficient voting. As he points out, abortion (and by extension the Supreme Court) are single issue-disposive issues. But they are not single-issue sufficient.
I'm a bit of a cynic, frankly, about Snopes, PolitiFact, and others of that ilk. The reliability of a site whose purpose is to pass on the reliability of claims others make depends on it having an unimpeachable objectivity itself which few such sites can claim.
The Republican Party's nomination of a fascistic and sociopathic lightweight last week becomes all the more tragic when one considers the one telling argument supporters of Donald Trump have for their appalling candidate: abortion and the prospect of a permanently radicalized Supreme Court if he loses.
It's almost as if both sides want to lose this election. The traditional- and smart- move for somebody in Donald Trump's position would have been to do everything possible to reconcile disaffected Republicans to his cause. In fact, from every indication fear of Hillary is doing just that. But Trump can't afford to rely on the Democrats' morally bankrupt position on abortion and the threat of a radicalized Supreme Court to unite the party. He ought to be as conciliatory as possible to Ted Cruz and the NeverTrump people. Instead, he's continuing his slash-and-burn attacks …
Basically, Bader and Hayes simply put a more charitable construction on Trump's bizarre behavior and crazy statements than those of us who have noticed these obvious and troubling patterns have hitherto. Maybe he's not the liar he appears to be when those statements are compared to the facts. Perhaps his simplistic, erratic and obviously unworkable "solutions" to our nation's problems are not cynical ploys to exploit the anger and frustration of middle-class voters who may not be informed enough to recognize them for the nonsense they …
Well, I just got off the phone after the conference call with Regina Thomson of Free the Delegates and other leaders of the anti-Trump movement among the delegates to what is referred to as a convention last week. I finally have the story straight- and it's an ugly one. It's also of a piece with Donald Trump's divisive (and, I believe, ultimately self-defeating) approach to politics: intimidate the opposition and purge those who are not intimidated.
Bo Correll, a Virginia delegate, said that what happened at Quicken Loans Arena was "a scripted TV show, not a convention." The microphones at the delegation standards were turned off, he said, and elected delegates were not permitted to participate except as extras in the show.
He finally clarified the business about the petitions. Petitions for a roll call vote were submitted, signed by a majority of eleven state delegations. Seven were required to force a roll call vote. Under pressure from the RNC and Trump loyal…
Tonight I'm going to be involved in a conference call with the Free the Delegates people, whose communications about the debacle at the Alt-Right Convention last week concerning the adoption of the rules have been confusing, to say the least. I hope to straighten out exactly what the deal was because they are insisting on what they first said about the RNC having cheated to prevent a roll call vote on the adoption of the rules.
I've managed to get so far that the RNC claimed that nine states had submitted petitions for a roll call- which was the number needed- but that two had withdrawn them, so the number fell short by two. Free the Delegates responds that, in fact, eleven states submitted petitions, so they had the nine states required even after the two withdrew theirs.
I still haven't figured out why the wrong date on the petitions withdrawing support for the roll call was significant, unless as a technicality. But I'll catch you up later.
Donald Trump did indeed imply during the debates that Supreme Court justices sign bills and conduct investigations. But turns out that I misread an article and quoted Trump as saying that lawyers are public employees when in fact the comment was made by a Trump supporter in response to having it pointed out to him that many of Trump's proposals are blatantly unconstitutional.
Anybody else think it's strange that the Trumpmeister should announce that he won't accept an endorsement Ted Cruz isn't going to offer? That's childish even for Il Duce. How exactly does one "accept" an endorsement? And did he stick his tongue out after saying it? Seems to me that this all-too-typical instance of sour grapes is just another example of what anybody who's been paying attention should have realized months ago: that Donald Trump is too emotionally immature to be trusted with any kind of power. The man is a public embarassment to America just as a candidate!
I'm not sure whether this is good news or bad news. On one hand, it seems that most Americans weren't particularly interested in hearing what Donald Trump had to rave about say. But on the other, a great deal of the reason for Trump's success has been that Americans know so little about him.
Maybe if more Americans had been watching, more of them would have been frightened by what they saw. But given the Fall campaign, Hillary's capacity for bellowing, and the efficiency of the Democratic attack machine, I have a feeling they'll be hearing plenty before November 8.
The only question that concerns me is whether they'll believe it, coming from somebody else and whether the media will do a better job in the general election campaign of making folks aware of Trump's history and his lunacy than they did during the primaries.
It's not just that amateur speech writers use plagiarism in writing speeches for his wife. Trump's staff has allowed the text of the speeches of various speakers at the convention to leak ahead of time.
This guy is just not a very good manager. His campaign is one of the most half-baked, inept messes in political history. And for those reasons (along with plenty more) this bozo is going to lose this November to someone who actually seems to be more trustworthy with secrets than he is- Hillary Clinton.
Einstein said it, and physicists everywhere take it as gospel: nothing can travel faster than light. To simply reach C, as the speed of light is known, infinite energy would be required. Also, time slows down as C is approached to the point at which finally burning that last drop of fuel would literally take forever.
Given the distances other stars are from us, this is kind of a bummer. At the fastest speeds we're likely to reach, it would take lifetimes to reach more than a handful of the closest stars.
So if interstellar travel is ever going to be possible, we're going to have to cheat. Two iconic television programs used two different theoretical approaches to doing that. Einstein also predicted the existence of wormholes, also known as "Einstein-Rosen bridges." These are temporary flaws in space/time Einstein thought must occur naturally. However, they've never been actually observed.
If wormholes do, in fact, exist, entering one would result in emerging at…
I wonder what it is that makes people who support Donald Trump- even at the highest levels of his campaign- so delusional. They haven't simply lost contact with reality. They aren't even on speaking terms with it.
No, Donald Trump's awesomeness (in his own eyes) is not going to make up for the lack of state and local organizations and a ground game.
No, Trump is not going to win in November. In fact, I firmly believe that he is going to be annihilated.
No, the rank-and-file of the GOP is not behind Donald Trump. 55% of them voted against him in the primaries and up to a third of them say that they will not vote for him. Trump was a marginal protest candidate who won because the opposition was so divided. It won't be next time.
Instead, it's going to be Trump and his supporters who will be pariahs in 2020. They ar…
In the last analysis, the nomination of Donald Trump has made this election a referendum on the vision of America Lincoln and the Republican party and the Founders themselves held, and a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for "no."
This is a referendum on "Amerexit-' the withdrawal of America from its own ideal as a society where everyone is treated equally, where the Bill of Rights applies to everybody. where fair play is valued, and where the function of the law is to protect the weak from the strong from the weak, not to empower the former in making the latter their prey. It's a reaffirmation or rejection of the values we have always held most dear.
In essence, it's a referendum on the following proposition:
RESOLVED, that all human beings are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (Here follows…
Unless Trumpism is not only defeated but purged from the party, he will be. And should be.
Real Republicans have been meeting while the Trumpfest has gone on in Cleveland. They are plotting a counter-revolution already. When 2018 and 2020 come around, they will be ready. And unlike Trump, they are savvy professionals who know what they're doing.
They were blindsided in 2016. That won't happen twice.
While this shows commendable loyalty, it also shows incompetence as a manager and illustrates one of the reasons why Trump will not only lose in November but should: a simple, plain, old-fashioned lack of judgment. Not only does Trump refuse to be accountable, but he refuses to hold his staff accountable, either.
Remember, this is the guy who doesn't think he needs to hire a staff or build a ground game because he thinks he's going to win because of his sheer awesomeness.
There is nothing in his history or in his present behavior that gives the slightest evidence that this ignorant, unstable, narcissistic and incompetent man is capable of functioning even minimally as president of the United States.
He's a national embarrassment. The world is laughing at us. And if he can run neither a succe…
Ballotpedia has done a survey of delegates to the 2016 Nuremberg Rally Republican Convention and made some interesting discoveries about the delegates.
Nearly 30% if them- including half of the delegates not pledged to him- have reservations about Trump. And 10% say that while they will be voting for the rest of the Republican ticket, they will not be voting for Trump and Pence.
Add that to a candidate who barely has a staff, is running out of money, and doesn't see the necessity of a "ground game" because he's so awesome, and you have a campaign in trouble- even before you get to that 70% negative rating from the voters (Hillary's is 55% negative).
At least Trump can take comfort in the knowledge that a greater percentage of the delegates plan to vote for him than of the rank-and-file. I suspect the percentage of the latter who are planning to stay home or vote for somebody else is by now lower than the 30% who expressed that intention back during the primarie…
I just got done emailing a friend about the Melania Trump plagiarism flap. As I noted earlier today, those who know are certain that it was a staff failure, not a matter of Melania being dishonest. Here's the way it plays out.
Donald Trump, the Great Manager, is an utter incompetent when it comes to running a presidential campaign. And he refuses to listen to those who know what they are talking about. This does not bode well for his stewardship of the country if, despite his global ignorance, by some diabolical miracle he should be elected. Incompetence and egomania are not a combination apt to produce success.
There is fundraising organization for far-Left, female feminist candidates called EMILY's List. "EMILY" stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast (it makes the dough rise). That's a proverb in politics. The pump needs priming; EMILY's List starts the cash flow for left-wing extremist pro-abort female politicians. This priming of the pump is axiomati…
"An error like the one Melania Trump committed last night tells us that the Trump campaign lacks seriousness and structure, which is also demonstrated by its divisive style, weak ground game, and poor fundraising numbers," Gerson said.
All of these problems have been noted in the campaign of a candidate who is used to calling the shots himself, and- incredibly- is just now getting around to hiring a campaign staff. The problem is hindered by poor fundraising.
Trump had boasted of being self-funded, and thus not beholden to anyone, throughout the primary campaign. Last night his wife may have paid the price.
One thing is certain, though: whoever is to blame, it isn't Trump. After all, he never does any…
I've gotten into the habit of using the various YouTube videos (well, audios, really) of white noise, gray noise, and brown noise to help me sleep. They crowd out distractions in the environment and help one to calm the mind and relax. The various "colors" of sound, as I understand it (and I'm probably wrong) are sound waves which correspond to the light waves which would manifest as the specific colors in their names.
Just as the color white is the combination of all colors, "white noise" covers the full spectrum of sound waves. Now, here's the thing that puzzles me. Go ahead. Listen to this. The YouTube "video" has ten full hours of it:
No, there's nothing wrong with your hearing. This is black noise. The absence of noise.
This is a recording of ten hours of...silence.
This is one of the odder things I've come across on the internet. But if you ever want to listen to ten hours of complete silence, now you know where ther…
I just emailed Joni Ernst to tell her how disappointed I am in her.
Giving Hillary hell is one thing. She deserves all the hell she can be given. And I suppose some words of support for Trump were mandatory. But the movement Donald Trump leads is a movement based on fear, ignorance, hatred, and intolerance. The crazies of the Alt-Right- the Nazis, the Klan, the nativists and their ilk- are the heart and core of Donald Trump's support. The movement he leads is not a movement my senator should praise. Yes, it feeds on legitimate anger. But it does so by appealing to the very worst in us.
I was truly disappointed to hear a person I admired and for whose election I worked praise the movement Trump started- a movement that is the exact opposite of everything the Republican party and the United States have always stood for. Suddenly I'm not sure that Joni was one of those Iowans I was so proud of this morning, who walked out when those running the convention cheated and lied, denyi…
The ineptitude of the Trump opponents is astounding. First, they emailed me about how horrible a power play the rules changes were- without summarizing them or giving examples of their badness (beyond the "unbinding" thing, of course), but just linking to the entire document. And now they sent me a link to a video of the admittedly very loud "no" voice vote on adopting the rules- but without including the "yes" vote for comparison.
This whole NeverTrump business has been a half-baked abortion from the git-go.
"A hundred and fifty years ago this party was begun by Abraham Lincoln on the idea that constitutional rights were not bound by race or creed,” Domenech told his TV audience yesterday morning, “that the American eagle’s wings were broad enough to accept all that would come here. Now, this party is coming to Cleveland to die.”
Lincoln, of course, did not begin the Republican party, though he was one of its founders. Nor was he its first nominee; that was John Fremont in 1858. But he did embody what it stood for from the beginning. What was born after a four-year gestation at the romantically named Wigwam in Chicago in 1860 dies this week in the Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, a venue whose tacky name is just as appropriate.
The Republican party, Domenech points out, was never- contrary to Democratic propaganda- the…
The Iowa and Colorado delegations have walked out of the Republican convention in protest over the Trumpistas' steamroller tactics.
I've participated in more than a couple of Iowa caucuses. I've served twice on the County Republican Central Committee. I've worked for Iowa Republican candidates. I've been a delegate to the State Convention. And I can tell you that my adopted state's Republican party has a large and very influential segment of... um... marginal people.
But I'm proud of Gov. Branstad and Sen. Grassley and Sen. Ernst. Joni will be speaking tonight. I wonder what she'll say.
But my disgusted resolution to stay home on Election Day has been shaken by this principled action. You guys stood up for me at Cleveland. I'll stand up for you in November.
Turns out NeverTrump DID have the signatures to force a roll-call vote on the rules.
So the Convention secretary hid so that they wouldn't be able to present them.
So the matter went to a voice vote. The Rules Committee report was clearly defeated- but the chair declared it passed anyway (reminiscent of four years ago, when the Democratic delegates clearly defeated an amendment to their platform to insert a mention of God on a voice vote- but the chair, realizing how bad that would look, declared the opposite result).
The RNC later said that three states had withdrawn their support of the petition to force a vote, but refused to say which states they were.
The former Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, threw his credentials to the floor in disgust and stormed out as the Trumpistas drowned out the protests of the Maquis with a shout of "USA! USA!" that sounded chillingly like "SIEG HEIL! SIEG HEIL!"…
Forces opposed to Donald Trump have reportedly gathered sufficient delegate signatures to force a new vote by the full convention on the rules package that binds delegates to Il Duce. Of course, they also claimed to have the votes on the Rules Committee to bring a minority report before the convention and turned out to have fewer than half of them. It probably won't mean a thing. The effort will certainly fail. But the really interesting thing at this convention will, I think, be just how heavy-handed the Trumpistas are prepared to be, and with how little need.
I really don't think they realize that if they let their inner fascist out too much on national TV, they're going to be exposed for who they are so clearly that only the hopelessly brainwashed can miss the point.
In the midst of an article by Fox News on the entirely peaceful opposition to Donald Trump's nomination in Cleveland, this sentence sort of jumps off the page "On the Trump side, Republican consultant and Trump adviser Roger Stone is said to have mobilized a group of 1,000 people to push back wherever his candidate’s interests are being threatened."
Why is it that the instinctive response of the Trump people to opposition of any kind is to call out the Brown Shirts?
Answer: Because that, in the last analysis, is who they are.
Tonight the last gasp of the intra-party phrase of the NeverTrump movement will be drawn. The Trump-dominated Rules Committee is still keeping the rules it will recommend to the opening session of the Convention tonight top secret.
This is not a promising sign, especially since the candidate on whose behalf the secret is being kept has already managed to create a reputation as somewhat of a control freak and even a strong arm artist.
That same Shia Altman whose article on Barack Obama's sorry foreign policy tactics I cited in my last post has another article in the same issue of The Times of Israel. It's entitled, "Republicans Blew It Big Time," and- brief and to the point though it is- it's the best summary of this election year here in the States I have yet seen.
Key sentence: "So mad is the party about Obama and Congress and more, and it should be mad, and I am too and have been, that it has actually become mad."