. . . The Republican Party Left Me.

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Today, I joined the Libertarian Party. The screenshot of my signup can be found above. For the first time since 1984, I no longer identify as a Republican. [Read more…]

So, Are the Koch Brothers Still Monumentally Evil?

Koch Brothers

Those who are on the port side of the partisan and ideological divide in America like to portray the Koch brothers as the source of everything bad that has ever happened to the planet, not to mention everything bad that is about to happen on the planet. This particular piece of overwrought nonsense should have been laughed out of polite company long ago, but in the event that anyone still needs evidence for the proposition that the Koch brothers are more complicated than their detractors like to claim they are, they need only read this piece: [Read more…]

Quote of the Day

The memos, stamped “confidential” and kept under wraps for years, portray a White House eager to assert U.S. leadership on climate change. Global warming will have “profound consequences,” one document warns, and the United States “cannot wait” until all scientific questions are resolved before taking action.

The source of the memos: Not the Obama White House, but policy advisers to President George H.W. Bush.

The memos were among several formerly classified documents from the Bush and Reagan administrations obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and released on Wednesday by the National Security Archive. The documents portray senior officials in the two Republican administrations pressing for an aggressive response to international environmental issues of the day — including, during Bush’s term, climate change.

[. . .]

The 11 memos released on Wednesday provide snapshots of internal White House deliberations on key environmental issues during the 1980s. Some shed light on the debate over the 1989 Montreal Protocol, which phased out production of industrial chemicals linked to the destruction of the Earth’s ozone layer.

A 1987 memo showed Reagan White House officials pushing back against members of Reagan’s own Cabinet in arguing for a strong treaty safeguarding the thin band of atmospheric ozone that protects the Earth from harmful radiation from space. “Many regard this issue as the most important priority on the global environmental agenda,” John D. Negroponte, then a State Department assistant secretary for the environment, oceans and fisheries, wrote to then-Secretary of State George P. Shultz.

The memo warned against efforts to weaken the treaty, saying such a move “would damage our international credibility, unleash major domestic criticism, and probably result in unilateral U.S.” controls on ozone-depleting chemicals. Negroponte argued instead for a position that is “prudently addressing the environmental risks, while providing a market stimulus and a reasonable time-frame for industry to develop alternate products.”

Two years later, advisers to the George H.W. Bush administration advocated a serious U.S. response to climate change, an issue that was just beginning to draw international attention in the late 1980s. A 1989 memo to then-Secretary of State James A. Baker III asserted that the United States should take a leadership role in the fight against a threat it called “the most far reaching environmental issue of our time.”

Joby Warrick. I agree; see especially this.

It Is Nice that Ted Cruz Is Attacking Donald Trump. But Ted Cruz Also Helped Create Donald Trump. And John Kasich Didn’t.

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So, some weeks ago, Donald Trump decided to find new lows to sink to by attacking Ted Cruz’s wife on Twitter. This caused Cruz to be (naturally and understandably) outraged, and to dispense with any notions that there could be anything resembling peace and harmony between him and Trump. As longtime spectators of the dumpster fire that is the 2016 presidential campaign are aware, Cruz had resisted efforts on the part of others to get him to attack Trump, but every person has a breaking point, and Trump helped Cruz find his by . . . well . . . by being Donald Trump for longer than Ted Cruz could be patient and indulgent.

It is good and fine that Cruz has discovered that Trump is a threat to the republic. And I am glad that the candidate whose campaign I endorsed is finally going to war against Trump. But it would be nice if Cruz would admit that earlier efforts to make nice with–and appease–Trump were both a waste of time, and a profound misjudgment that helped give Trump more breathing space with which to wreak havoc on the Republican party. [Read more…]

Quote of the Day

This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz.

Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.

The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.

Mitt Romney, who of course is exactly correct.


Donald Trump Is a Threat to the National Security of the United States and the Security of the World


And yes, I mean every word in the title of this blog post. Here is why. [Read more…]

Merrick Garland and the United States Supreme Court

Merrick Garland

Before getting into the meat of this post, let me state the following:

  1. The president of the United States has every right to nominate someone to the United States Supreme Court, despite the fact that this is an election year.
  2. The United States Senate has every right not to act on the nomination, and no constitutional obligation whatsoever to actually hold hearings or have a vote.

The above having been written, I believe that the United States Senate should–barring the revelation of any skeletons in Merrick Garland’s closet–confirm his nomination as an associate justice of the United States.

Here is why: [Read more…]

Ted Cruz for President

Ted Cruz

Let me start this blog post by stating that Ted Cruz was not my first choice for the Republican presidential nomination. My first choice was Jeb Bush, and even though Jeb Bush proved to be a hapless candidate, I remain convinced that he would have made an excellent president, and I think it is a travesty and an embarrassment that the Republican party was not more open to his candidacy.

Of the candidates remaining, I think that Marco Rubio is the most compelling conservative candidate in a general election contest against Hillary Clinton. However, his candidacy is going down in flames in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination. John Kasich would make the most qualified president of the candidates remaining–and like the Jeb Bush situation, it is a travesty and an embarrassment that the Republican party is not giving his candidacy the hearing that it deserves. (To be sure, both Bush and Kasich are ultimately responsible for any failures that their candidacies encountered and continue to encounter, but it is equally true that Republicans have been remarkably close-minded regarding the Bush and Kasich candidacies).

This leaves Ted Cruz. I have had serious problems with Cruz in the past, and I continue to have problems with him. We will get to that later. But whatever those problems may be, one thing is abundantly clear: Ted Cruz is the candidate best positioned to stop Donald Trump from getting the Republican presidential nomination. For that, he deserves the support of all Republicans who care about their party and their country. [Read more…]

When Denouncing Donald Trump, Be Really Loud About It

When my father was a very little boy–I don’t remember how little, but I believe that his age was in the single digits–his parents decided to host some friends at their home in Tehran. My paternal grandfather, took the opportunity, during the gathering, to tell all of his friends about his very clever eldest son, and invited his friends to ask my father questions to test his intelligence and knowledge. They did so, and my father showed himself to be unusually bright for his age in answering the questions posed to him. [Read more…]

Iowa: A Recap

IowaCaucusLogo Some thoughts on last night’s results: [Read more…]

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