Excellent Read: “FAMILY Values!… “

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)

Alexandra Petri is a national treasure:

Let me make one thing clear: The treatment that children are receiving at the border, reported with horror by those lawyers — this is not against my values. Do not misunderstand! I still have more values than anyone. I am a values voter, with values for days, values that go all the way to the floor, values that wave amberly as far as the eye can see!…

We can clearly see that these are just children by themselves, not families, and they are merely covered in filth and tear stains, not exposed to comprehensive sex education, Darwinism or a textbook implying the reality of climate change. So, yes, what’s going on there is in no way an attack on the family. The family is something to be cherished, as luminous as it is theoretical.

It is important to have these values. But I have lots! All the most important, decorative values are the ones I have…

We must have values because people are flawed and fallen. As the Good Book teaches us (it is no “The Art of the Deal,” but it has some points, if you skim it correctly), if you see someone who is suffering, ask yourself, is it possible that this person did something wrong? Not only is it possible, it is probable. Well, then! Probably what they are getting is a just desert. Cross to the side of the road, and let a Samaritan handle it, or some other foreign entity….

Both Sides Open Thread

The New York Times has some graphics that should kill the “both sides” narrative, but they won’t.

[The] findings are based on data from the Manifesto Project, which reviews and categorizes each line in party manifestos, the documents that lay out a group’s goals and policy ideas. We used the topics that the platforms emphasize, like market regulation and multiculturalism, to put them on a common scale.

The resulting scores capture how the groups represent themselves, not necessarily their actual policies. They are one way to answer a difficult question: If we could put every political party on the same continuum from left to right, where would the American parties fall?

The Democratic Party is leftish, the Republican Party, extreme.

An explanation is easy to see in two parts. Part the first: Tea Party primarying forces moderate candidates to the right or out of the race. Part the second: Reasonable people leave the Republican Party.

It’s also an argument against courting the flyover diner crowd, but none of that will change the media.


Dank Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: “Vetting” for What They Considered Important

Axios got their hands on a bunch of the Trump transition team’s “vetting” documents, which they decided to report on a summer Sunday evening because LOL nothing matters — and besides, who can tell what hot topic will be breaking by Monday morning?

Nearly 100 internal Trump transition vetting documents leaked to “Axios on HBO” identify a host of “red flags” about officials who went on to get some of the most powerful jobs in the U.S. government.

Why it matters: The massive trove, and the story behind it, sheds light on the slap-dash way President Trump filled his cabinet and administration, and foreshadowed future scandals that beset his government…

Behind the scenes: In the chaotic weeks after Trump’s surprise election victory, Trump fired Chris Christie as the head of his transition. The team that took over — which V.P. Mike Pence helmed — outsourced the political vetting of would-be top officials to the Republican National Committee…

– President-elect Trump reviewed many of these documents at Trump Tower and Bedminster before his interviews, according to a source who saw him eyeball them.

– Traditionally, any would-be top official faces three types of vetting: an FBI background check, a scrub for financial conflicts of interest from the Office of Government Ethics, and a deep dive from the president-elect’s political team, which veteran Washington lawyers often handle…

– The documents show what Trump’s vetting shop worried about in assessing candidates for the most important jobs in government…

Read more

SSDD Open Thread: Roy Moore Wants to Run for Senate Again

Sure, his fellow Repubs have publicly vowed to ‘crush’ him‘This place has enough creepy old men’. They’re even trying to recruit Jeff Sessions to run against him (as if that idea wasn’t six different nightmares in its own right). But FiveThirtyEight refuses to dismiss ‘Sheriff’ Moore’s chances:

… [T]here is one factor working in Moore’s favor — a crowded primary field. Because the eventual GOP nominee stands a good chance of beating Jones in the general election (Alabama is 27 points more Republican than the country as a whole), even more candidates could join the race. A large primary field may fragment the vote, making it unlikely that a candidate could win a majority and avoid a runoff and making it easier for Moore to advance to a runoff with only the support of his base…

I kicked in a few bucks, as a preemptive offering, because I’m superstitious like that.

Tonight We Almost Started A War With Iran

My analysis skills lag at this time of night, but we might as well get it out there: The New York Times, and now ABC News, say that a strike was ordered on a number of Iranian military targets, and the President called it off when the planes were in the air.

This is the action of a deeply incompetent person, surrounded by those seeking their own agendas by toadying up to him. He is operating in a vacuum of advice, having downgraded his initially worthless cabinet to a bunch of people desperate for power and willing to abase themselves in acting position.

Some tweets: