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      NEW: Previously un-released documents show the government has paid $2.5 million to @realdonaldtrump's businesses. Far more than we knew. Trump Org charged $7,700 for a dinner, $6,000 for floral arrangements…and $3 for POTUS’s own glass of water.https://t.co/fubxgjRPFH — David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 27, 2020
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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Obot – The Movie

I think I’ve found the secret to understanding the Obot mind (or what whatever it is they use in place of one)

This is an open thread

WTF – Country & Western Edition

Big city folk shouldn’t talk about stuff they don’t know nothin’ about.  From the Washington Post:

But the Atkins song and others of its ilk — from Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown” and Miranda Lambert’s “Famous in a Small Town” to Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” and Josh Turner’s “Way Down South” — are narrowcasting to a specific community: the core country audience, whose roots aren’t exactly in America’s urban centers.

The symbolism and prideful sentiments of the songs are intended to create a sense of belonging among people with similar backgrounds and lifestyles, or at least people who romanticize life in the rural South. (It’s not a place; it’s a state of mind.) To some listeners, though, it might sound as if the artists are closing ranks.

“Some of these songs seem to fall into the ‘we’re from Real America, and you’re not’ camp,” says Peter Cooper, who covers country music for Nashville’s daily newspaper, the Tennessean. “Seems like being divisive while the industry around you crumbles is a poor decision.”

Divisive?  Are you kidding me?

Country & Western music is the oldest genre of music to originate in this nation.  It’s come a long way from it’s roots in the Appalachian Mountains and the rural deep South.  It’s not twangy 3-piece bands wearing sequined suits singing about cowboys anymore either.  Many rock and roll legends got their start playing C&W, including Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis.  Music legend Ray Charles covered  C&W classics in his hit albums Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music and Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Vol. 2.

If you want to to understand how people in the red states think then don’t pay attention to the Washington Post, watch CMT or GAC.  You might be surprised to find that rednecks know more about big city life than city people know about the boondocks.

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Breakfast Read

War on Judge Sotomayor (Cont’d)
after taking some serious beating over his third-rate hatchet job on Judge Sotomayor, Jeffrey Rosen tries to polish the turd:
More Sotomayor

The headline–“The Case Against Sotomayor”–promised something much stronger than I intended to deliver. As soon as the piece was published, I regretted the headline, which I hadn’t seen in advance. The piece was not meant to be a definitive “case against” Judge Sotomayor’s candidacy.
(…)
I was satisfied that my sources’s concerns were widely shared when I read Sotomayor’s entry in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, which includes the rating of judges based on the collective opinions of the lawyers who work with them. Usually lawyers provide fairly positive comments. That’s what makes the discussion of Sotomayor’s temperament so striking. Here it is:

Sotomayor can be tough on lawyers, according to those interviewed. “She is a terror on the bench.” “She is very outspoken.” “She can be difficult.” “She is temperamental and excitable. She seems angry.” “She is overly aggressive–not very judicial. She does not have a very good temperament.” “She abuses lawyers.” “She really lacks judicial temperament. She behaves in an out of control manner. She makes inappropriate outbursts.” “She is nasty to lawyers. She doesn’t understand their role in the system–as adversaries who have to argue one side or the other. She will attack lawyers for making an argument she does not like.”

Wow! That is some nasty bitch.

Dissenting Justice takes that folly on:
Scalia v. Sotomayor: The Use of Gender-Coded Language to Evaluate a Judge’s “Temperament”

Compare the lawyer responses to Sotomayor with the AFJ comments on Justice Scalia — whom many lawyers consider a tough questioner as well. While lawyers negatively describe Sotomayor’s toughness, in Scalia, toughness receives praise, if not awe. Scalia’s hazing of lawyers is just part of the understood fun among the brotherhood of lawyers. Although reviewers describe Scalia as tough, this does not make him a dangerous “out-of-control” she-judge. Notice the sporting and friendly hazing metaphors in the AFJ description of Scalia:

Never utter the words “legislative history.” If you do, chances are Scalia will interject with a ridiculing harangue that makes it clear he views legislative history as poppycock. Legislative debates are often contrived and can’t trump the actual words of the statute, Scalia insists. But even if you play it safe, you can expect tough, persistent questioning from Scalia, often delivered with an almost gleeful lust for the sport of jabbing and jousting with advocates before him. And Scalia is an equal-opportunity jouster; even when his position seems obvious, Scalia will be just as hard on the lawyer he agrees with as the lawyer he’ll oppose. Ever the law professor, Scalia will sometimes ask questions with no clear relevance, just to see if you are on your toes. In a now-legendary exchange during arguments on a federal rule that barred the advertising of the alcohol content of beer, Scalia asked a lawyer for Coors to define the difference between beer and ale. The lawyer, the late Bruce Ennis, answered without missing a beat, to the amazement of justices and spectators alike, and Coors won the case. But Scalia can be nasty, as well. When a lawyer once paused too long before answering his question, Scalia said sharply, “You have four choices, counselor: “Yes,” “No,” “I don’t know,” or “I’m not telling.” But the most important advice on how to sway Scalia at oral argument or in brief-writing is to buy his new book.

In Scalia, toughness is positive; in Sotomayor, it is nonjudicial.

(All emphasis are mine)

Maybe President Obama should give Sen. Hatch another call:
Hatch: Sotomayor has ‘a problem’

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Thursday that Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s past statement that the “court of appeals is where policy is made” would be a problem for her if she were nominated for the Supreme Court.

Dissenting Juistice who’s on a roll has a newsflash for Orrin Hatch:
Earth to Orrin Hatch: Even Conservative Judges Make Policy!

We are are agnostic about the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the SCOTUS. We are looking for a “liberal” SC Justice and we wish it would be something other that a white man. As for Judge Sotomayor, we will let NY DA Robert Morgenthau speak for us:
Sotomayor Is Highly Qualified

How “stressy” was the stress test?
Banks Won Concessions on Tests

The Federal Reserve significantly scaled back the size of the capital hole facing some of the nation’s biggest banks shortly before concluding its stress tests, following two weeks of intense bargaining.

US banks claim line softened on $74bn

Yves Smith has become very shrill:
Details on Banks’ Victory Over Treasury in Stress Tests Emerge

It was bad enough that the Treasury came up with an adverse case that is hardly a worse case scenario. As we pointed out, it is considerably more optimistic, both in duration and intensity of the downturn, than is typical for serious financial crises. And the earlier comparables did not take place in the context of a global downturn, which meant the afflicted countries got a substantial boost from depreciating their currencies and rising an export boom. Pursuing that strategy aggressively risks competitive devaluations and worse, overt protectionism. a negative sum game.

Investors bet that worst of recession is over and predict new bull market

On Wall Street: Beware of the sucker’s rally

The market is a cruel mistress indeed. Compounding the pain of big swoons, it kicks investors when they are down by luring them into sucker’s rallies – typically sharp but fleeting bounces in the middle of a bear market.

Green Shoots or Rose-Colored Glasses(Zero Hedge)

Af-Pak Headsaches
Afghan Leader Says Civilian Deaths Strain Ties With U.S.

Exodus of Pakistani civilians as battle against Taleban rages

Karzai’s Ex-Allies Vie for Afghan Presidency

Are we screwed with this economy?
Fine Line for Obama on How to Convey Hope on Economy

As the government announced this week that the nation’s largest banks had steered away from the precipice and that job losses were beginning to slow, Mr. Obama has carefully begun trying to mine any national leader’s most precious commodity in a crisis: optimism.

His past references to “glimmers of hope” were modestly upgraded at the White House on Friday, with his declaration — which he stumbled over, taking some of the assertiveness out of the line — that “the gears of our economic engine do appear to be slowly turning once again.”

For those who care about anything David Broder has to say about anything:
Molehill Out of a Budget Mountain

The entire nation has been wondering why there wasn’t any Breakfast Read yesterday: MABlue went on a one day strike to preemptively protest any cuts in our News Division. We took page from the Frenchies. Vive la France!
Workers of the World, Enjoy!

“Torturegate”
It looks like Nancy, Rockefeller and a bunch of Dems knew
Records suggest Pelosi, others were told of harsh interrogations

Uh ooh! Both sides will go nuts about this:
Obama Set to Revive Military Commissions

The Pope is in the Middle East
Personal Trip Carries Weight of Diplomacy

Pope makes visit to Jordan mosque

The latest on the photo-op
Aide who approved Air Force One flyover in New York resigns
(Nice pic though)


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