SocraticGadfly: 6/26/16 - 7/3/16

June 30, 2016

Brexit without Boris Johnson

Just when you thought Britain's post-Brexit fallout couldn't get weirder, it has, with former London mayor Boris Johnson pulling himself from the Tory leader battle.

That leaves Theresa May, who backed Remain, as top dog in the scramble.

But, this doesn't change the likelihood of Britain actually leaving, per my original post. She's already announced she'll form a Cabinet Department of Brexit if she's the next PM.

Per the first link, this sounds like it could be a bruising battle.

And Labour may get just as bad, as Jeremy Corbyn shows himself to be a British Tom Mulcair of sorts. I can partially understand some of his Old Labour reasons for fearing the EU, but others of them were unfounded, and leaving the EU is unlikely to help British workers in any way. Lack of job mobility may hurt, and most post-Brexit Conservatives will likely support some sort of ongoing "austerity" as long as the Tories keep office. He otherwise comes off as a bit of Little England.

And, whether or not the Telegraph fully and accurately reported, or framed, his Israel-ISIS comments, he opened himself up for this, including in part by apparently tolerating antisemitic attacks on a party member. Corbyn last-ditchers may indeed save his leadership, at the cost of wrecking the party.

And if Marc Wadsworth, who apparently claimed right-wing, but NOT Zionist, press conspiracies, is one of the Corbyn last ditchers, then some of Corbyn's friends are worse than his enemies. Of course, enemies like Ruth Smeeth aren't helping when they play the anti-Semitism card. Now, if Smeeth has proof actual antisemitism, and not what Wadsworth said, bring it on.

Anyway, this relates to what seems to be Corbyn's problem. I don't think he was comparing Israel to ISIS; that said, I don't think the Telegraph was smearing him, at least not deliberately.

Rather, he's bending so hard to avoid anti-Semitism that his Israel comments could be seen as a refusal to condemn hardcore versions of Zionism.

June 29, 2016

Israel and the Democrats — another reason to vote Green

Yet another reason I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party's stance on Israel and Palestine.

Per Mondoweiss, supporting Jerusalem as Israel's capital doesn't fly with me. And I don't care if it was also in the 2008 and 2012 platforms then ignored. If anything, that's worse. It both shows that party platforms aren't worth the paper they're on, AND the degree to which Democratic elites will pander to Zionists.

Nor is a two-state solution with "secure borders" acceptable. "Secure borders" is NOT "1967 borders."

And for good measure, the Dem platform fully opposes BDS. Bernie Sanders fought on the first two. He probably soft-shoed BDS, as he never mentioned it during his campaign. (And I'm sure he did not fight for a Honduras plank.)

Finally, I assume many of these Dem elites support the MSM's ongoing demonization of Mahmoud Abbas.

June 28, 2016

TX Progressives eyeball pre-convention Democrats

The Texas Progressive Alliance admires the Scottish facility for creative insults and salutes the preservation of some reproductive choice rights as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff takes a look at the first general election poll of Texas, which has some encouraging bits for Democrats.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos explains, with the help of two award winning political writers, how the Republican Party has become like a religious cult.  The Cult Called the Republican Party.

Socratic Gadfly notes how the Supreme Court's rcent anti-Fourth Amendment ruling was decided by the fifth vote of a Democrat-appointed justice, notes its not the first time this has happened, and uses this to undercut one argument against third-party voting.

As Bernie Sanders climbs on the Clinton bandwagon, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs steps away from the Democratic Party.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why Mark Scott is so anti-wind farm for Corpus Christi.  One smells a large rat.

Neil at All People Have Value kept an eye open for the value of everyday life. APHV is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Grits for Breakfast looked beneath the surface of the latest numbers on homicide rates.

TransGriot congratulates Lou Weaver for being the first ever out trans masculine Texan to serve as a national Democratic delegate.

BOR observes the difference between "thoughts and prayers" and actions.

Scott Braddock reports on worker misclassification and how it may affect the upcoming Uber/Lyft legislative debate.

Juanita has had it with Paul Ryan.

June 27, 2016

Kennedy, Scalia, abortion and the lamestream media

WAY too many lamestream media, starting with Texas shame The Dallas Morning News, are writing "false drama" stories over the Whole Woman's Health ruling, claiming the death of Antonin Scalia, per the Snooze:
The contours of the case changed in February when conservative Justice Antonin Scalia — a staunch abortion opponent — died suddenly, leaving the court with an even ideological split.

Not at all.

That's nice as fake drama but bullshit as truth. 

Were Nino alive, the case always was going to go down to Anthony Kennedy's vote for  5-4 one way or the other.

And Tony Kennedy had made clear for a couple of years that he had a bright line on this issue. Until today, he hadn't made clear where it was, but many court watchers had some idea it was in the vicinity of where he wound up placing it.

This isn't about publishers cutting reporters and editors, or their salaries, to keep more spending green in corner suites and thus hamstringing coverage.

No, this is simply about crappy, or lazy (or both) reporting.

That said, though the Chronic doesn't follow the Snooze into fake drama, it still gets the narrative wrong:
The chances of victory for the state dropped with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a fierce abortion opponent who died just before the oral arguments in Washington, D.C., in early March. 
Nope, the chances didn't change at all.

It's at times like this that I despair of the current hand that feeds me ... 


That said, a delicious sidebar is that this undermines the 'oh the SCOTUS' cry of Hillbots vs. Green voters like me.

Could the British chicken out on #brexit?

First, it's true that the vote was a purely advisory referendum, as FT notes, so the Commons legally could decide to never invoke the Lisbon Treaty's Article 50.

That said, it's possible, per that link, that Brussels bureaucrats could fudge and hope the above happens, or it's possible that the Commons, where a majority of current members allegedly were 'Remain' (if only for public consumption) could indeed do nothing, as discussed further here by Slate.

Each in turn.

Brussels, having the measure of the UK Independence Party, the long run-up to the referendum, and, for good measure, decades of British soccer hooligans traipsing across Europe,, probably is in no such mood.

Contra the 'no drawbridges' words of former London mayor and 'Leave' leader Boris Johnson, the EU is determined to have no shilly-shallying, judging by first, the comment by the foreign ministers of the original six members, urgings from leaders of member nations and now, the note to David Cameron, or hint, or push, that he can start the process on Tuesday. (Even if Angela Merkel is a bit more charitable.)

It's true the EU cannot force the ball to start rolling. However, it can clearly indicate from the start, in ever more forceful terms, that any halfway house associate membership is not up for negotiation.

As for the Commons doing nothing?

That first presupposes Theresa May winning the Conservative leadership vote over Boris Johnson, I think. It second presumes that Labour ousts Jeremy Corbyn after a party no-confidence vote against him passes and that his replacement is fully Remain. And, I do not think Hillary Benn (now sacked) was some eminence grisé behind Corbyn; his muffled mouth was his own choice — and votes of rural Labour in Sunderland were their own choice. And if the party really had serious concerns about Corbyn on this, the non-confidence vote should have been brought at the start of the campaign.

(That said, how a Labour-leaning area thought voting for a measure favored by the right wing of the Tories, and even further right, would help their plight, I don't know. Another sign that many British voters are at least as dumb as American ones.)

Let's say Johnson is tapped on the Conservative side as leader.

It seems clear that if a Johnson (I doubt Nigel Farage had this attitude) thought of playing a Leave vote as part of a renegotiated associate membership deluxe or similar, that's not in play across the Channel, per the note to Cameron link.

And if he tries to backtrack, when Brussels spells that out again?

No way this can be stalled out to 2020. A no-confidence vote would happen (I assume Cameron was at least somewhat accurate on his intra-party worries) and fat chance of some bizarre Remain coalition being formed, at least not before the fall of the government and a general election.

Related to that, wouldn't UKIP and Farage, on a stall, resurrect the old NDP referendum to take Commons to national list voting or similar, and make that part of its next election campaign? And wouldn't it be more likely to succeed with both Conservatives and Labour in tatters?


Sidebar to the Scottish Nationalist Party — call for second referendums on independence all you want. The EU isn't likely to admit you. In a word, on why: Catalonia. (OTOH, a Merkel ally says Come on Down!)

And, as I said last week, the idea behind Brexit wasn't totally wrong. Whether Brussels listens is anybody's guess.