Sunday, March 26, 2017

People misread history when they argue America is adopting Nazi trappings. America is just rediscovering its own, #MAGA past.

'How Race Questions Arise.' A map of the 48 states showing ‘Statutory Restrictions on Negro Rights,’ which appeared Hin the Nazi propaganda magazine Neues Volk in 1936. (Courtesy of University of Michigan Library, appearing in James Q. Whitman’s Hitler’s American Model)

Hitler was not wrong to look to America for innovations in racism. “Early 20th-century America was the global leader in race law,” Whitman writes, more so even than South Africa. Spain’s New World Empire had pioneered laws tying citizenship to blood, but the United States developed racial legislation far more advanced than that of the Spaniards. For nearly a century African-American slavery was a monumental stain on Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and its claim that “all men are created equal.” The Naturalization Act of 1790 stated that “any alien, being a free white person” could become an American—the Nazis noted with approval that this was an unusual case of racial restriction on citizenship. California barred Chinese immigration in the 1870s; the whole country followed suit in 1882.

World War I gave an added impetus to the focus of racialist doctrines on immigration and immigrants. The Asiatic Barred Zone Act of 1917 banned Asian immigrants along with homosexuals, anarchists, and “idiots.” And the Quota Law of 1921 favored Northern European immigrants over Italians and Jews, who were mostly barred from immigrating. Hitler praised American immigration restrictions in Mein Kampf: The future German dictator lamented the fact that being born in a country made one a citizen, so that “a Negro who previously lived in the German protectorates and now resides in Germany can thus beget a ‘German citizen.’ ” Hitler added that “there is currently one state in which one can observe at least weak beginnings of a better conception … the American Union,” which “simply excludes the immigration of certain races.” America, Hitler concluded, because of its race-based laws, had a more truly völkisch idea of the state than Germany did.

In the area of racial restrictions on marriage, America stood alone as a pioneer. The American idea that racially mixed marriage is a crime had a strong impact on the Nuremberg Laws. In the 1930s nearly 30 American states had anti-miscegenation laws on the books, in some cases barring Asians as well as African-Americans from marrying whites. The Nazis eagerly copied American laws against miscegenation. The Nuremberg Laws, following the American model, outlawed marriages between Jews and non-Jews.

In one respect American race law proved too harsh for the Nazis. In America, the “one drop” rule reigned: Often, you were counted as black if you had as little as one-sixteenth Negro blood. But the Nazi hardliners’ proposal to define Germans with one Jewish grandparent as Jews did not get approved at Nuremberg. Instead, quarter- and even half-Jews were treated with relative leniency. Mischlinge, half Jews, could be counted as Aryans, unless they were religiously observant or married to a Jew.

The American treatment of voting rights was also crucial to the Nazi platform. Hitler aimed to turn German Jews into resident noncitizens who would lack the vote as well as other rights. In Mein Kampf he proposed a tripartite division between Staatsbürger (citizens), Staatsangehörige (nationals) and Ausländer (foreigners). The United States already had such a division when it came to certain ethnic groups, notably African-Americans, most of whom could not vote in the South. White Southerners saw blacks the way Nazis saw Jews, as, in Whitman’s words, an “ ‘alien race’ of invaders that threatened to get ‘the upper hand.’ ” The Nazi jurist Heinrich Krieger in a 1934 article was particularly excited that the U.S. deprived not just blacks but also Chinese of voting rights. Detlef Sahm, another legal scholar, applauded the denial of the vote to American Indians, and noted that under U.S. law Filipinos, like the Chinese, were noncitizen nationals....

Friday, March 24, 2017

At 90, former Congressman John Dingell remains the Death Star of Twitter.

Six condolence cards for the President*

What's up on Rare Book Cafe tomorrow? Lots!

larry rakow.jpg

Spring is the season for kids, as e.e. cummings reminds us:

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan          whistles

So with spring springing- early as usual in the Southern US, yet to come in the North (but soon, really!), Rare Book Cafe is delighted to welcome rare and collectible children’s book dealer Larry Rakow to our March 25 program!

The program will also feature segments on miniature books, appraising books, book collecting as mental illness, and accidental literary bonfires, but the idea of a kid’s book surviving the kid is so novel you won’t want to miss Rakow’s account of how he has built a business around finding and selling them.

With a brilliant website and blog, an online catalogue, YouTube videos, and a Facebook page, Wonderland Books is an easy find for the online shopper. Here's how Wonderland describes itself:

Wonderland Books began doing business in 1990, dealing in old, rare, and out-of-print children's books. Owner Larry Rakow is a former children's and young adult librarian and the prior owner of Kidstamps and Wonder-Shirts, businesses that create educational items and apparel designed by some of the world's leading children's illustrators to encourage and motivate reading. (Interested? You can check out Wonder-Shirts current website at A proud member of the Movable Book Society ( and the Magic Lantern Society of the U.S. and Canada ( and a past-president of the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society (, Larry lives with his wife, Susan, two children and four grandchildren in Cleveland Heights, OH.

Wonderland Books maintains an inventory of more than 12,000 titles and specializes in pop-up and novelty books, Newbery and Caldecott-award winners, Golden Books, and illustrated titles from Victorian through modern times. We attend a limited number of book fairs each year (check out our blog to see upcoming dates), but tend to do most of our sales over the internet. We pride ourselves on offering collectible books in extraordinary condition and, in the past, have helped customers complete collections of Caldecott-winners and Little Golden Books, rare Meggendorfer, Nister, and Raphael Tuck titles, and many much-beloved books from their childhoods. Looking for a particular title? I'm sure we can help.

Visiting the Cleveland area? Here’s how to find Wonderland:

By email via the Wonderland100 website and Facebook.

By phone: 1 216-538-7460

Or at the following address:
1824 Wilton Rd.
Cleveland Heights, OH, U.S.A.


Rare Books Cafe is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It’s broadcast every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EST and features interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s and the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair’s Facebook page; right here on the Book Fair Blog, and the Book Fair's YouTube channel. Shows are archived on YouTube and can also be viewed on the Facebook pages and the blog after their first run.

Hosted by Miami book dealer, appraiser and’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, the program features a revolving set of cohosts and regular guests including Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; and program creator/producer, T. Allan Smith.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at

The Art of the Fail

“His speeches left the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea;  sometimes these meandering words would actually capture a straggling thought and bear it triumphantly as a prisoner in their midst, until it died of servitude and overwork.”

Presidential candidate William G. McAdoo, of the speeches of President Warren Harding

October 6, 1999: PHILLIPS: Health care?

Mr. TRUMP: The liberal on health care, we have to take care of people that are sick.

PHILLIPS: Universal health coverage?

Mr. TRUMP: I like universal, we have to take care, there's nothing else. What's the country all about if we're not going to take care of our sick.

2000, The America We Deserve: "Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal health care."

"We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing. But implementing such a plan is not simple. One major problem is that the single-payer plan in Canada is in financial difficulty, as is the nationalized plan in the United Kingdom. We have to improve on the prototype."

February 10, 2011: "I do not think [Obamacare is] constitutional."

September 27, 2015: Scott Pelley: "Universal health care."

Trump: "I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now."

Pelley: "The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?"

Trump: "They're going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably --"

Pelley: "Make a deal? Who pays for it?"

Trump: "The government's gonna pay for it. But we're going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it's going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything."

July 22, 2016: “No one knows the system better than me,” he said pausing to smile, “which is why I alone can fix it.”

November 13, 2016: Lesley Stahl: "When you replace [Obamacare], are you going to make sure that people with pre-conditions are still covered?

Trump: "Yes. Because it happens to be one of the strongest assets...

"We're not going to have, like, a two-day period and we're not going to have a two-year period where there's nothing. It will be repealed and replaced. And we'll know. And it'll be great health care for much less money. So it'll be better health care, much better, for less money. Not a bad combination."

January 16, 2017: “It’s not going to be their plan,” Trump continued, referring to President Obama and his acolytes. “It’ll be another plan. But they’ll be beautifully covered. I don’t want single payer. What I do want is to be able to take care of people.”

...Costa and Goldstein report that the Trump plan is “all but finished.” “It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes,” said the President-Elect. “We haven’t put it in [legal form] quite yet but we’re going to be doing it soon.”

January 26, 2017: "It's going to be — what my plan is is that I want to take care of everybody," Trump said. "I'm not going to leave the lower 20% that can't afford insurance." (Only about 10% of the US population currently does not have coverage.)

Trump reiterated his promise later in the interview.

"So I want to make sure that nobody's dying on the streets when I'm president," Trump said. "Nobody's going to be dying on the streets. We will unleash something that's going to be terrific."

February 5, 2017: In an interview with Fox News conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly asked: “Can Americans in 2017 expect a new health care plan rolled out by the Trump administration this year?”

“Yes, in the process and maybe it’ll take till sometime into next year but we’re certainly going to be in the process,” President Trump said.

“(It’s) very complicated. Obamacare is a disaster. You have to remember, Obamacare doesn’t work, so we are putting in a wonderful plan,” he said. “It statutorily takes a while to get. We’re going to be putting it in fairly soon. I think that — yes, I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

February 28, 2017: "We have come up with a solution that's really, really I think very good," Trump said at a meeting of the nation's governors at the White House.

"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject," he added. "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

March 17, 2017: "It's a big, fat, beautiful negotiation," Trump declared during the first meeting of his Cabinet at the White House. "Hopefully we'll come up with something that's going to be really terrific."

March 25, 2017: “If [Democrats] got together with us, and got us a real health care bill, I’d be totally okay with that. The losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because they own Obamacare. They 100% own it.”

"Sorry, where's the slot for the quarters again?"

EUROPE’S first sex robot brothel has been forced to move after real-life prostitutes complained sex dolls were stealing their trade. 
The original location in Barcelona at 2 Baixada de Sant Miquel had been in the Spanish city’s Gothic quarter, north of the cathedral. 
But the brothel, not far from La Rambla in the heart of the city has now moved to a mystery new location with a receptionist saying the address would only be given out to paying customers. 
Prostitutes who work in the city with Aprosex - the Association of Sex Professionals - objected saying a doll cannot match the services of a real person and denigrates real sex workers to merely being an object. 

On making better use of the freedom to ignore stuff.

One mark of a really good writer is that s/he is entertaining even when completely missing the point.

Today's example: Cotton Boll Conspiracy was having a slow news day recently, and so pulled out their Uncle Grumpy mask:
We in the West are drowning in a cornucopia of ill-conceived special celebrations. 
From National Bike to Work Day (May 19) to Global Forgiveness Day (Aug. 27) to International Peace Day (Sept. 21), there are a rash of events that the self-righteous have concocted in order to make themselves feel good, if not morally superior, to those around them. 
These events are largely limited to the Western world because the rest of the globe is too busy trying to stay alive to be bothered with such claptrap. 
This Saturday (8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. for those of you keeping score at home),  the annual self-congratulatory activity known as Earth Hour will be held under the guise of “United People to Save the Planet.” 
Rather than list my many objections to this bit of imbecility, I’ll let you read the words of Canadian economist Ross McKitrick, who, in 2009, was asked by a journalist for his thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour...
Canadian cranks are always the best to cite for such arguments. They have a finely-tuned sense of frustration arising from a native sense that conservative nostrums always work better in theory, and would work better in practice, too, if Canada wasn't such an annoyingly successful lab for treating its residents like humans worthy of respect, equality, good education, and universal health care.

Holidays and commemorative events, of course, don't do a whit of harm to anyone, and silly arguments like, "Gee, I sure hope Terry Schiavo's nursing home doesn't turn off the power for an hour" are just that: silly. They reinforce and revalidate the free-floating sense of anger many have that things aren't going the way they prefer, and someone must be to blame that absolutely nothing bad has come of it.

I bookmark a holidays site to remind me of things I, too, can make jokes about when news is slow.

It reminds me today, for example, that yesterday- while I was aware of National Puppy Day because friends posted photos of theirs on social media- I missed National Chip and Dip Day, Chia Day, Near Miss Day, and Melba Toast Day.

Today I will observe National Goof Off Day, but I will pass on Bavarian Crepes Day.

Tomorrow, my choices for observance include National Fragrance Day, Common Courtesy Day, California Strawberry Day, Single Parent Day, French Bread Day, and Ag Day.

I note with interest, as I do most days I look at my National Day site, that nearly all the holidays are promotional gimmicks dreamed up by commercial interests, which makes them OK, I reckon.

Cotton Boll's day job interests, last I heard, tend to the conservative, which, I guess, explains why their Poster Day for Imbecility (and all the other ones cited above) is a lefty, do-gooder event to remind people just because they can afford to waste electricity, they don't have to all the damn time. Thrift was a biblical virtue before it prideful waste supplanted it in the age of Jesus the Republican. As Vice President Cheney snarked in 2007, "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy."

Now that they control government nearly everywhere, you'd think conservatives would be all over enacting holidays to celebrate the thought leaders who made their ascendancy possible.

It has been tried in the past, but the timing was just off. For example, a 2011 effort to declare Fenruary 2 Ayn Rand Day in Massachusetts went nowhere. I bet Republican Governor Charlie Baker would sign that in a heartbeat today.

In April 2000, Texas Governor George W. Bush- who held the quaint notion that public protestations of faith would get him closer to winning 90% of the evangelical vote for president than talk of pussy grabbing and serial adultery- declared Jesus Day in the Lone Star State, encouraging all Texans "to follow Christ's example by performing good works in their communities and neighborhoods."

In 1958, Congress declared May 1 to be Loyalty Day, "a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom." An interesting test of historical literacy among the senior White House staff this year will whether this excuse to spy on and rat out others will get amped up, or be the subject of presidential repeal demands on grounds the last president to proclaim it was Barack Obama in 2011, which makes it a Muslim Stealth Holiday. QED.

Tax Freedom Day is an existing event but insufficiently celebrated because it moves around, like Easter. It's the day some DC think tank figures Americans stop working for government and get to keep their hard-earned money and start not giving it to all the charities that are supposed to care for all social needs in the New Age.

Tax Freedom Day was invented by a Florida businessman with an ax to grind in 1948. It's as rigged as the tax code:
In America, while Tax Freedom Day presents an "average American" tax burden, it is not a tax burden typical for an American. That is, the tax burdens of most Americans are substantially overstated by Tax Freedom Day. The larger tax bills associated with higher incomes increases the average tax burden above that of most Americans. 
The Tax Foundation defends its methodology by pointing out that Tax Freedom Day is the U.S. economy's overall average tax burden—not the tax burden of the "average" American, which is how it is often misinterpreted by members of the media. Tax Foundation materials do not use the phrase "tax burden of the average American", although members of the media often make this mistake. 
Another criticism is that the calculation includes capital gains taxes but not capital gains income, thus overstating the tax burden. For example, in the late 1990s the US Tax Freedom Day moved later, reaching its latest date ever in 2000, but this was largely due to capital gains taxes on the bull market of that era rather than an increase in tax rates. In other words, variations in capital gains income and their associated taxes cause changes in the amount of taxes, but not in the income used in the calculation of Tax Freedom Day. 
The Tax Foundation argues that the Tax Freedom Day calculation does not include capital gains as income because it uses income and tax data directly from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). BEA has never counted capital gains as income since they don't represent current production available to pay taxes, and so the Tax Foundation excludes them as well. Additionally, the Tax Foundation argues that the exclusion of capital gains income is irrelevant in most years since including capital gains would only shift Tax Freedom Day by 1 percent in either direction in most years.
As a result, "From 1968 to 2009 the date has never left the 21-day range of April 13 to May 3."

That static element, of course, fuels the rage and rhetoric of the ressentiment rentier class, now baying for their latest $600 billion donative from the federal government they blame for having to ask for it.

Another existing but neglected holiday observed throughout the Republican-controlled South is General Robert E. Lee Day. King Day took nearly two decades to become a federal holiday (NC Senator Jesse Helms ran a 16-day filiburster, calling King "an action-oriented Marxist") and three to be recognized in all the states. A number resorted to a variety of passive-aggressive expedients like King/Lee Day; Utah called it Human Rights Day after a legislator objected to holidays honoring individuals; New Hampshire conceded, partially, in 1993, with Civil Rights Day, before caving in 1999.

As one writer has noted, among other states, "Mississippi has attempted to thread the needle on this one, by proclaiming the third Monday of January a day of commemoration of both [Dr Martin Luther King Jr] and Confederate Army Gen. Robert E. Lee, thus celebrating the legacies of two men whose aims were completely and diametrically opposed."

Lee's actual birthday is January 19 (Florida still recognizes it legally, and Floridians ignore it, on that date).

I call that fair and balanced.

In any event, Earth Hour is purely voluntary, not even rising to the level of conservative ire over federal holidays clipping worker productivity.

It's a lot like TV. You don't like a show, change the channel. Or go puzzle out now many anti-Earth Hour curmudgeons it takes to change a light bulb back to the old design God gave us.

President to health care holdouts: "I'm coming after you."


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Always in the deep rough, the President*

Vanity Fair says The President* is a worldwide butt of jokes. And he's got a biiiig-ass butt:
Trump’s one brief moment of acting presidential—when he read off a teleprompter for 60 minutes and 10 seconds during his address to Congress—served only to show just how low the bar for presidential behavior has plummeted since January. Watching TV commentators applaud him for containing himself for a little over an hour was like hearing a parent praise a difficult child for not pooping in his pants during a pre-school interview. Besides, vintage Trump is not going anywhere anytime soon. A couple of weeks earlier, during a visit by the Japanese prime minister, Shinzō Abe, the president told an acquaintance that he was obsessed with the translator’s breasts—although he expressed this in his own, fragrant fashion.

"Let me listen to me and not to them."

Time magazine has attempted an interview with the President*, who speaks as if he is the Oracle at Delphi channeled by Gertrude Stein and Chevy Chase:
But isn’t there, it strikes me there is still an issue of credibility. If the intelligence community came out and said, we have determined that so and so is the leaker here, but you are saying to me now, that you don’t believe the intelligence community when they say your tweet was wrong. 
I’m not saying—no, I’m not blaming. First of all, I put Mike Pompeo in. I put Senator Dan Coats in. These are great people. I think they are great people and they are going to, I have a lot of confidence in them. So hopefully things will straighten out. But I inherited a mess, I inherited a mess in so many ways. I inherited a mess in the Middle East, and a mess with North Korea, I inherited a mess with jobs, despite the statistics, you know, my statistics are even better, but they are not the real statistics because you have millions of people that can’t get a job, ok. And I inherited a mess on trade. I mean we have many, you can go up and down the ladder. But that’s the story. Hey look, in the mean time, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know. Say hello to everybody OK?
 Thank you very much, Mr. President.


Now a year since the passage of House Bill 2, Sen. Terry Van Duyn, D-Buncombe, said it’s getting to the point where the state doesn’t even know what it’s losing anymore. 
“People aren’t canceling,” she said. “They’re just not coming.”
HB2 is a year old today. I've had some pretty robust discussions with people over the last 365. To celebrate, I invite supporters to tell me how we are all better off after a year of legalized discrimination.

No automatic alt text available.

Let's start with Rebekah Johnson, who wrote on my HB2Day Facebook page last August,
I responded,
Thanks very much for sharing. I am sure you will be able, easily, to now explain how blocking minimum wage increases protects your privacy; and how, if gay men and lesbians use the correct bathroom, they need to be subjected to new discrimination under HB2, yet LGBT employees of the state are exempt under HB2? Extra points for explaining how HB2 protects your privacy by only applying to public facilities and without any enforcement provisions. Also: Franklin Graham says there are only a hundred transgender people in the state. The Governor's legal brief defending HB2 says there are none. Why is HB2 needed, then? 
Ms Johnson responded with alacrity and enthusiasm:
I read her answer, then asked some questions:
Dear Rebekah Johnson: thanks very much for your reply. Kindly use upper and lower case lettering in your posts here. All caps is universally considered to be shouting, and the enemy of calm, rational discussion. It is nice to know you like some gay people. Most people who support antigay laws say that. Before the gays came along it was popular to say, "Some of my best friends are Negros" before explaining why we needed Jim Crow laws to keep them away from white women in bathrooms, too. But that is beside the point here. I asked how supressing the minimum wage across North Carolina makes you feel safer peeing. I asked how denying gay North Carolinians- some of whom you say are your friends- the protection of all discrimination laws makes you feel safer peeing. I asked how a law with no enforcement provisions can make anyone feel safer peeing. Since you said anyone who can't see the wisdom of HB2 is a fool, I'd have thought it'd be easy for you to answer those specific, fact-based questions. Maybe in your rush to assure me of your fondness for some gays, answering them slipped your mind. So why not take another swing at them? I'd like to have it explained to me.
Much to my regret, Ms Johnson did not reply. That's why I want to give her a chance to look back and give me an update.

The floor is your, Ms J....

Rick Perry: How can you tell an election's been stolen? The gay guy wins.

America's 14th Secretary of Energy- the one who forgot that was an agency he wanted to abolish during one of his two flame-out runs for President,

the one who then flamed out on Dancing With the Stars-

-turns out to have so much energy that running Energy (and more past, unknown, and unique qualifications for public policy pronouncements) cannot contain him:
As Texas' first Aggie governor and as someone who was twice elected Yell Leader of Texas A&M University, I am deeply troubled by the recent conduct of A&M's administration and Student Government Association (SGA) during the Aggie student-body president elections for 2017-2018.
What got the Man in the Genius Glasses so het up?
When I first read that our student body had elected an openly gay man, Bobby Brooks, for president of the student body, I viewed it as a testament to the Aggie character. I was proud of our students because the election appeared to demonstrate a commitment to treating every student equally, judging on character rather than on personal characteristics.
But according to Perry, the gay guy stole the election.
Brooks did not win the election. He finished second by more than 750 votes to one Mr. Robert McIntosh. However, McIntosh was disqualified by the SGA Election Commission and Judicial Court through a process that - at best - made a mockery of due process and transparency. 
At worst, the SGA allowed an election to be stolen outright.
...Every Aggie ought to ask themselves: How would they act and feel if the victim was different? What if McIntosh had been a minority student instead of a white male? What if Brooks had been the candidate disqualified? Would the administration and the student body have allowed the first gay student body president to be voided for using charity glow sticks? Would the student body have allowed a black student body president to be disqualified on anonymous charges of voter intimidation? 
We all know that the administration, the SGA and student body would not have permitted such a thing to happen. The outcome would have been different if the victim was different.
Reaction has mainly been of the gobsmacked variety.
"It's astounding," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University who has studied Texas politics for decades. "He's written it as a call for fairness, not that he's come out against the first gay student body president at A&M, but the extraordinary part is that he took the time to do this when he should have so many bigger fish to fry in his current job." 
Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor who has watched Perry political career rise and fall for years, said he, too, was surprised by Perry's intervention into the A&M election. 
"This must be his inner Aggie speaking, because this is certainly not something you expect a cabinet secretary to weigh in on – actually, probably not even a governor," Jones said. "It's strange. Of all the things he could have an opinion on, this is probably not the smartest move for a cabinet secretary. He must really be upset about it."
Jones is right. Perry despises LGBT Americans. In 2007-08 he took time from his schedule as Texas governor to write On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For, a long screed against the present and the future and wannbe gay Scouts in particular.

A 2016 HRC survey of his views found,

Marriage: Perry supported a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Texas, supports a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide, and has attacked judges who have ruled against same-sex marriage bans. He even defied a Department of Defense rule that would have granted LGBT service members access to domestic partner benefits.

Discrimination: Perry attacked the Obama Administration’s work to protect LGBT people around the world from discrimination, and he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have protected LGBT workers in the United States from employment discrimination. He also defended Gov. Mike Pence’s right to discriminate legislation.

Conversion Therapy: Perry has campaigned with and given speeches to organizations that promote dangerous “conversion therapy” that has led to LGBT minors committing suicide.

Adoption: Perry defended Texas’ ban on LGBT couples adopting children, and said he would support a federal measure to ban LGBT couples from adopting.

Anti-Bullying: Perry signed a bill that required schools to have anti-bullying policies, but the bill did not include LGBT-specific provisions. He also signed a hate crimes bill that was opposed by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Harmful Rhetoric : Perry has attacked LGBT members serving openly in the military, and in opposing LGBT participation in the Boy Scouts, compared himself to an abolitionist fighting against slavery. He said that those Texans who support same-sex marriage should move to California.

According to the Texas Tribune, during a campaign stop in Temple, TX, Governor Perry said, “We're creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. ... Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?”

In 2014, “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry said at an event in San Francisco. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

But rather than be accused of #AltFacting a good Christian man, let Rick Perry speak for himself:

Today just feels like an Orson Welles day.

Orson Welles has been dead 32 years, and life is the duller without him.

Urine, my thoughts: no matter one's politics, though, the Asparagus Rule still applies.

American conservatives still cite Andres Serrano's controversial art piece, Immersions (Piss Christ) thirty years ago, as reason enough to shut down the National Endowment for the Arts in the President*s budget.

Yet evangelicals keen to beat the Gospel into whatever looks like the heads of aliens via a big new NASA appropriation for space travel to Mars may already be, unawares, pissed off here on earth:

Astronauts who live on the International Space Station drink their own urine, which is recycled into purified and potable water. If you live in San Diego or Singapore, you have probably sipped highly treated sewage water straight out of your tap—the California city has said it will use treated wastewater to provide one-third of its water supply by 2035. 
Even a few enterprising brewers are starting to experiment with it. San Diego-based Stone Brewing recently showed off its aptly named Full Circle Pale Ale (a one-time event, so it's not currently for sale), which is made of recycled water. "It has notes of caramel and tropical," spokesperson Colleen Gatlin told me. Mayor Kevin Faulconer declared it delicious.
Urine therapies- and enthusiasts- abound. Madonna (well, wouldn't  you just know) and J.D. Salinger sang its praises. Well, Salinger didn't, not really, not vocally.

Perhaps the first American acquaintance with two-way uses of the stuff came in 1978, during an American tour by the then 82-year-old prime minister of India, Moraji Desai, who couldn't STFU about
his practice of drinking a glass of his own urine every day, and as veteran journalist M.V.Kamath...noted rather despairingly, the problem wasn’t just that Desai did this, but he was very eager to talk at length about it: “in a 15-minute appearance on a very popular Sunday TV show called ’60 Minutes’, Mr.Desai was seen taking practically half the time to commend urine therapy.” 
How sensational this was in the US can be seen in celebrity TV interviewer Barbara Walters memoir where she writes of how, when Desai first revealed this to her, ABC news for which she filed the story was so repulsed it didn’t carry the story. Only when CBS (which ran 60 Minutes) came out with the story “finally, then, playing catch-up, ABC ran my footage. The network urine wars.” 
Desai was admirably unfazed by such American attitudes. [The Times of India] reported how on the plane from San Francisco to Washington ‘belying his image as a rigid, unsociable person, Mr.Desai remained in the company of travel-weary reporters.” Standing in the aircraft aisle he lectured them on going vegetarian and how nature-cure – on which he would write a book – could deal with many diseases.
Desai lived to be 99 years old. Serrano is 66 and his photo still drives people nuts.

Need your own personal stalker? Google rolls out a real-time interview system!

Google acknowledged location sharing is a sensitive topic but told TechCrunch, “This is about making things simple, accessible and giving people that access to transparency…Anyone with bad intentions can find many other apps and means out there. We are focused on adding on that layer of convenience.”

Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar Duggar, as the parking lot signs at The Learning Channel read-

Josh Duggar, the family values adulterer and incest enthusiast ("Thanks, God, mom and dad, for so many sisters!") has been sued for stealing the image of a stranger to sex up the now-defunct Ashley married cheaters website profile he used to trawl for strippers and whores in between taking  selfies with Republican presidential candidates at his makework Family Research Council job.

Duggar now sells used cars and gets his wife pregnant in his spare time.

Our populist President says, "Make America Golf Again."

Breitbart celebrates another 100 Days milestone:

Gobble, gobble, gobble-

Today is the first anniversary of the passage of HB2 by the North Carolina General Assembly.

hb2 birds.jpg

There are now 10 bills pending in the legislature to repeal HB2. None of them are going to pass.

This is because, in December, the Republican supermajorities convened a special session to repeal the law. They went into the special promising a clean repeal. However, the iron-fisted, if rather pudgy otherwise, leader of the state senate, Phil Berger, proposed a substitute bill that would repeal HB2 but then repeal that repeal through a seemingly endless series of postponements of the restoration of the right of cities and counties to pass local ordinances granting LGBT residence legal protections the Republicans do not want them to have.

Berger, who is an astonishingly angry and bitter little man - both physically and emotionally - has been blaming legislative Democrats, and the new governor, Roy Cooper, for his inability to pass a repeal.

Keep in mind that Republicans hold 35 of 50 Senate seats and 74 of 120 House ones. They have veto-proof majorities in both houses. He likes to say that North Carolina may have three branches of government but that doesn't make them equal.

The Republicans plan to celebrate HB2’s birthday today by marshaling their veto-proof majorities- instead- to override Governor Cooper's veto of their bill to make state judicial elections partisan.

Republicans say voters do not have enough information to make good choices about judicial elections. They also say that what constitutes enough information is seeing “R” next to the names of candidates for judgeships.

The override vote in the Senate will pass easily. That is the nature of veto-proof majorities.

It also demonstrates that if Phil Berger wanted to repeal HB2, he could repeal it and still have time to rig the judiciary before House Speaker Tim Moore waddles over to peel and feed Berger his chocolate-dipped muscadines for lunch today.

Burger, however, is content to sit back and watch a sideshow being run by my state senator, Democrat Joel Ford.

 joel ford 2.jpg

Ford is running for mayor of Charlotte end means one big idea to offset his other lack of other ideas. He has seized upon repeal of HB2 as his chance to be the savior of the Queen City.

So Ford has picked up the stricken banner of Berger’s December bill, slapped his name on it, and begun attacking a fellow Democrat, Governor Cooper, for not supporting it- and Equality NC, an LGBT advocacy group, for pointing out its shortcomings.

Ford actually seems to believe the Phil Berger will let him get the credit for repeal of the Republicans’ most significant achievement since passage of their surgically precise, racially - driven comma redistricting and voter suppression law four years ago.

Nor are North Carolina Republicans limiting the conferral of their boons to the state legislature.  The chair of the House Freedom Caucus in Washington, North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, says he has the votes to defeat #DontCare today, and save the souls- if not the bodily health- of all Americans.

Meadows and his 30 colleagues see passage of the Trump/Ryan health care bill in excretory, rather than legislative terms.

They are upset that the bill is not extreme enough. It annoys them that the bill would still include 10 types of health insurance coverage all insurance plans would have to include.

They believe that what Americans yearn for most and health insurance coverage our plans that cost less because they provide less. Sent home to die, Americans will sigh, “at least I got what I paid for.”

Congressman Blake Farenthold, a failed sexual harasser who sublimates his urge to grope women by regulating their childbearing functions, told NPR this morning that he has come on board with #DontCare  after a promise that a miniscule number of Americans who might get a healthcare tax credit bigger than the cost of their health insurance will be barred from using the surplus to go out, get pregnant, and then blow the money on an abortion.

He admitted to his interviewer, Steve Inskeep, that his conversion is less driven by concern for improving the quality of Americans’ health care than it is by his view that nothing is too extreme to save one life.

Except, of course, the death penalty- just not until after birth.

Another Freedom caucus leader, Congressman Jim Jordan, also told NPR he remains opposed to #DontCare  for two compelling reasons.

One is that it does not truly repeal Obamacare.

The other is that it does not “unite Republicans.”

Whether they pass #DontCare  or not, and with or without the interventions of the world's greatest dealmaker,  Republicans will find out today that owning healthcare Is an encounter with the tar baby. The president told his Republican colleagues in the house last week that if they do not pass his bill comma they will all lose their seats in 2018.

That turkeys are not noted for calling for early thanksgivings is well-known. That makes watching them do it both phenomenal and delightful.