June 23, 2017

Jane Sanders under investigation (Newly updates — lawyering up)

Jane Sanders, via Burlington College
The wife of former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Jane Sanders, IS part of an FBI investigation into financial matters at non-defunct Burlington College, detailed at VTDigger.

Update, June 23: Bernie and Jane have lawyered up, over questions about allegedly improper loans. Part of the allegations? Bernie's Senate staff pushed for shaky loans to be made to Jane for her Burlington expansion dream.

That said, per the story, if one-quarter is true, it mirrors Bernie's own transition from some sort of actual semi-Socialist to "he's really a Dem" in all but name Democratic Party hack.

Also look at the bottom of the piece. Harry Jaffe first covered Bernie in the 1970s. This isn't a fly-by-night journalist, or piece. Jaffe even wrote an unauthorized bio of Bernie.

No real surprise to me. Sorry, Berners, Berners thinking about becoming Greens, etc.

I had speculated on these pages more than once last year if Jane, when president of the college, was trading on Bernie's name when trying to raise a big loan for glorious dreams of the college's future. And, given it closed suddenly last May, Bernie's lucky he wasn't nominated; media might have started nosing around this issue more at that time.

It is interesting that the investigation, per Burlington's board president, appears to have started before the college's official announcement of closure. Bradley Toensing's records request must have been treated fairly seriously from near the start — which could bring in a Barack Obama angle and/or a Hillary Clinton one, as well as the GOP one driven by Toensing — getcha popcorn, round two!

Also per these pages in the past, I've suspected Jane was a fair part of the impetus behind Bernie's run, and in addition to his own political animalism, may have been part of the impetus behind his political shifts from the 1980s to today.

Politics is blood sport, per James Stewart. Bernie's deal-cutting with the Vermont Democratic Party in the past shows he knows this well.

That said, do I think she did anything illegal? Very likely not.

Something unethical, whether by official college ethics standards or everyday ones? Possibly.

Something fiscally dumb, and that she knew it at the time? Yes.

==

Update, June 14: Maybe not "fiscally dumb" after all.

Independent news site VT Digger has a whole nother story about Jane Sanders and her time at Burlington.

Here’s a sample of the mixtape:
While one deal struck by Jane O’Meara Sanders during her time as Burlington College’s president has triggered a federal investigation, another arrangement she engineered is breeding claims of nepotism and allegations of veiled threats against her husband’s presidential campaign. 
The bad blood centers on the relationship the college forged with the Vermont Woodworking School, co-founded and run by Sanders’ daughter, Carina Driscoll. 
Carol Moore, the final president at Burlington College, broadly blames the school’s 2016 closing on Sanders. In a scathing op-ed last year, Moore wrote: “BC’s fate was set when its former board members hired an inexperienced president.” ... 
Moore is equally critical of a deal Jane Sanders brokered between the college and Driscoll’s Vermont Woodworking School, a facility in Franklin County where Burlington College students took courses. 
In interviews with VTDigger, Moore said the college got the short end of the stick.
“This was a sweetheart deal for Carina Driscoll, Jane Sanders’ daughter,” said Moore. Driscoll is the stepdaughter of Bernie Sanders. ...
 
Moore alleges the woodworking school was “gouging the college.” She praised the academic merits of the program but said it was “barely” profitable. 
Students began attending the woodworking school in 2009 on what appears to have been a handshake deal. A formalized contract was made only under Jane Sanders’ successor as president, Christine Plunkett.
That's plenty enough for teaser, and all I can post under good fair use standards.

I lied. One more extract:
The Burlington College-Vermont Woodworking School connection is not the first time Sanders and her daughter have been accused of nepotism. 
Sanders & Driscoll LLC — a mother-daughter limited liability corporation — offered political consulting for Bernie Sanders’ 2002 and 2004 House races, and Jane Sanders drew more than $90,000 from the campaigns. The practice was allowed but frowned upon because of the opportunity to benefit from campaign donations.
It’s true that Bernie was one of 32 Members of Congress to do this in 2012.


Still, that’s little more than 5 percent of the membership, and is another black eye for Sanders’ fiscal honesty reputation.

Based on this story, I think I have a lot more confirmation about my theory of a full year ago and more than Jane was the one pushing Bernie's campaign. That said, Driscoll claims that Moore had it out for her and used the publicity about Bernie's prez run to try to browbeat her. She also claims she admitted the deal was unfair. But, apparently, never actually offered to redo it, which leads back to her mom.

Jane's reward? Running the Sanders Institute, with its hacktacular fellows such as Robert Reich, Ben Jealous and Cornel West. (Greens, stop fetishizing the man.) And, there's also Islamophobic fascist fellow traveler Tulsi Gabbard.

With all that in mind, it's no wonder Bernie won't talk to Vermont media. And, it's not just in Vermont; he and his staffers won't talk to Vermont media from their Capitol Hill perches in DC, either.

==

Sidebars: Too many Greenies are too polite, or something, if they think discussion of this is a "smear" of Jane Sanders. It's not. Per Jaffe, bank fraud is hard to prove, but, it does happen. And, per Jaffe, even if the fraud can't be proven, the influence trading is a mile wide.

Otherwise, on the "Minnesota Nice" or whatever? Dear Leader wasn't the only person wrong to sing Kumbaya.

And, the half-siblings of AccommoGreens, those folks known as GreenieCrats, still don't want to believe their beloved Bernie is in trouble, let alone that Jane was trading on his name.

As for Greens who think it's irrelevant to the Green Party? Erm, wrong! Some Berniecrats, ignoring that the Green Party, and the Socialist Party USA, and others, exist, want him — or at least key loyalists — to start a third party.

Alternative voting systems and cultism

The title is deliberately chosen, and deliberately chosen because it's provocative.

If you don't like it, especially because you're one of those devotees of approval voting whom I, in my second blog post, and first with some depth, about alternative voting around a decade ago, thought were semi-cultic in their attachment, then that's your problem. (I also indicated that worry to some degree in my third post about it.) And your fault. Comments on and about my recent post about ranked choice, the Green Party, and Maine 2018 have only increased that stance.

Also, yes, IRV had a "Condorcet stumble" in Maine; other systems will too, if they're used as often or more. Period.

Per the above, I'm not a pilgrim to the discussion of alternatives to first past the post plurality voting in single-member electoral districts. I'm also not, despite what some may think, a cultist for instant-runoff voting. Or necessarily attached to IRV. See point three immediately below for that.

I am attached to an honest consideration of the benefits and faults of ALL alternatives to FPTP, and "consideration" means more than lip service.

First, per Wikipedia, in its article on ranked voting systemscardinal voting systems, and tactical voting, a few stipulations.
1. All FPTP alternatives are subject to tactical voting.
2. No alternative to FPTP (other than some unwieldy ones, not suitable for elections otherwise, that Wiki did not list in its statement about this) can guarantee a majoritarian winner. (Just recently, Eric Maskin and Amartya Sen at the NY Review of Books weigh in on this.)
3. "There is no consensus among academics or public servants as to the best electoral system." (From the ranked voting piece.)
4. On cardinal systems, they may not be subject to Arrow's theorem, but that's not necessarily a good point.

Point 1 is the second-biggest issue. On tactical voting concerns, Wiki notes they can vary, in severity and specific effects, from system to system. They can also vary by how much voters know alternatives, and how much information they have about other voters.

In local and regional elections, especially in non-presidential years, major parties could work on informing better-knowledged voters how to vote most strategically. Per Wiki's link, range voting, which some approval voting touters like even more but think it would be too complicated, is according to some research, the system most vulnerable to tactical voting, for example.

Since we're not likely to often hit areas of Point One concern, and also, for this blog post, Point 3, with Points 1 and 4 in support, is the biggie. See below for more.

A few other deck-clearing points.

1. If you're going to point out that, yes, there are systems that will guarantee majoritarian winners, before noting that, yes, they're otherwise unusable, and not note that Wiki was specifically talking about the commonly discussed ones — and apparently didn't check that — you're straining at a bit of gnats.

2. If you're going to offer up a utilitarian defense of approval voting, or even of range voting, note that what utilitarian benefits are best, or most desirable, are in the eye of the beholder. This beholder's eye has already said he doesn't like approval voting precisely because it tends to elect more moderate candidates. In my recent post about IRV, Maine 2018 and the Green Party, I noted that I liked ConservaGreens (or AccommoGreens, if you want another mash-up word) no more than ConservaDems.

Neither Clay on that post, nor Aaron in a Facebook group about such issues, refuted that fact of approval voting.

Beyond that, no alternative to FPTP seems to have an advantage over others on third-party visibility. ANY alternative will increase the possibility of third-party wins, and thus increase third party enthusiasm as well as viability, thus addressing the visibility issue.

3. Bayesian probabilities, and related Bayesian ideas, are a real deal. But, as I've noted repeatedly with Bayesian probabilities as used by leading Jesus mythicist Mark Carrier, most notably at this blog post, followed by this one where Carrier admits to Bayesian book-cooking, and as noted in comments on my previous blog post about IRV about Bayesian regret, Bayesianism in general can be used pretty subjectively. That's not necessarily the case, using "necessarily" both empirically and logically, but it is indeed the case at times.

Indeed:

"When I hear the word 'Bayesian,' I loosen the safety catch on my Browning." — Hanns Johst, falsely attributed to Hermann Göring.

So, yeah, if you're going to make Bayesian regret a prime argument for approval voting, and try to claim its either logically or empirically rigorous, I'm going to pretty much kick you in the nads. Again, deal with it.

My final worry is that cultists or semi-cultists, for 2020 or possibly already for 2018, will work to get the national Green Party to take an official stance supporting approval voting out of the various FPTP systems. That's despite what I said, quoting Wiki, re Point 3 near the top. IF something like that happened, it would probably be yet more reason for me to, in line with the thought of a Mark Lause, look for alternative parties of the left.

Indeed, I suspect people like this are behind the idea that the GP needed to stand against IRV that sprang up immediately after election day this year.

A noun, a verb and Bernie for the #IronStache!

Now that Rob Quist and Jon Ossoff got their butts kicked in special elections, the David Brock wing of the Democratic Party is now touting Randy Bryce, the "Iron Stache," as a hero for the 2018 midterm regular election. A spate of national news stories came out about him shortly after he cut his first campaign video announcing his run in Wisconsin against Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Those stories didn't come out of nowhere. They came out of the D.C.-based Democratic PR former of Hilltop Public Solutions, a place so astroturfy it invented the word "grasstops." That's the "HPS" in the photo.

And yes, it is astroturfy, too.

Meanwhile, in our Peter-principled inside-the-Beltway media, a young Washington Post writer Wednesday was clueless that she was even being fed this shite by high-dollar PR flaks.

When American democracy dies, it will be from the last reporter swallowing the PR sausage in entrails of political flaks, to riff on Voltaire.

As for policies, Bryce has none that he's willing to stand on.

Asked by Sarah Jones of The New Republic to comment on single-payer national health care, the response of the man who went through testicular cancer and whose family is a walking billboard for it, said, "I favor getting there."

Yep, that was it.

This, of course, leeds to spoofing.

Higher minimum wage? "I favor getting there."

Peace in the Middle East? "I favor getting there."

Draining the swamp? "I favor getting there."

Campaign finance reform? "I favor getting there."

Trans Pacific Partnership? "I favor getting there."

Moving beyond the current Democratic establishment? "I favor getting there."

Sadly, short of Counterpunch, that will never be covered. Even at The Nation, John Nichols can't or won't tell you that Bryce is already being "packaged" by DC political consultants. Or that these consultants are ultimately the David Brock wing of the Democratic Party.

Down with Tyranny puffs him too, insinuating he's a Berniecrat, when he's not, per his Twitter at right, and that doesn't mean that much anyway, other than the Sanders Institute funneling money to him, maybe?

(Bryce has now pulled down the Twitter post. I'm leaving the photographically blank space as a sign of how much of a political "Player" he is. In the first 72 hours after his campaign, after people like me and others started looking through his Twitter feed, he started doing — or HPS started doing — a massive cleanup effort on his account.)

Beyond that, the Stache is "meh" on the Trans Pacific Partnership and otherwise closer to being a Hillbot than a Berniecrat. Don't believe me? Go to his website or run through his Twitter feed, especially before he tries to clean up more stuff.

DWT also says "But Obama won that district in 2008." Big deal. Obama won by 3 percentage points while Ryan dodged Dear Leader's short coattails and was re-elected by 19.

Also don't forget he is not the only Dem in the race. Yes, there's an actual primary. And one of Bryce's three previous electoral losses was in a primary.

This obviously a coronation by DC folks sniffing way too much George Lakoff.

And there's more. The Stache loves him some Russian nutbar conspiracy theorist Louise Mensch. Loves her so much that he even offered her some neocon "Freedom Fries" in one Tweet.

This guy is Joe the Plumber with the addition of a David Brock tramp stamp.

And an FEC fine for failure to disclose campaign contributions when treasurer for Rob Zerban's Congressional run, it seems.

Others are noting his establishmentarianism, along with some of his fence-straddling. This one is not bad, though it tries to paint him as a full Berniecrat, which he wasn't at all.

June 22, 2017

The Sanders Money Mafia Machine, part 1

It's no wonder Bernie Sanders won't talk to Vermont media, especially independent media or NPR/PBS.

To extensively update a previous post, not only did VTDigger break the details that Jane Sanders, Bernie's wife, was part of an FBI investigation into financial matters at now-defunct Burlington College, it's now added newer, and juicier fuel to that fire.

Update, June 23: Bernie and Jane have reportedly "lawyered up."

We'll keep an eye on that. Meanwhile, note that that's not the only problem they face.

Jane Sanders, via Burlington College
VT Digger now has a whole nother story about Jane Sanders and her time at Burlington.

Here’s a sample of the mixtape:
While one deal struck by Jane O’Meara Sanders during her time as Burlington College’s president has triggered a federal investigation, another arrangement she engineered is breeding claims of nepotism and allegations of veiled threats against her husband’s presidential campaign. 
The bad blood centers on the relationship the college forged with the Vermont Woodworking School, co-founded and run by Sanders’ daughter, Carina Driscoll. 
Carol Moore, the final president at Burlington College, broadly blames the school’s 2016 closing on Sanders. In a scathing op-ed last year, Moore wrote: “BC’s fate was set when its former board members hired an inexperienced president.” ... 
Moore is equally critical of a deal Jane Sanders brokered between the college and Driscoll’s Vermont Woodworking School, a facility in Franklin County where Burlington College students took courses. 
In interviews with VTDigger, Moore said the college got the short end of the stick.
“This was a sweetheart deal for Carina Driscoll, Jane Sanders’ daughter,” said Moore. Driscoll is the stepdaughter of Bernie Sanders. ...
 
Moore alleges the woodworking school was “gouging the college.” She praised the academic merits of the program but said it was “barely” profitable. 
Students began attending the woodworking school in 2009 on what appears to have been a handshake deal. A formalized contract was made only under Jane Sanders’ successor as president, Christine Plunkett.
That's plenty enough for teaser, and all I can post under good fair use standards.

I lied. One more extract:
The Burlington College-Vermont Woodworking School connection is not the first time Sanders and her daughter have been accused of nepotism. 
Sanders & Driscoll LLC — a mother-daughter limited liability corporation — offered political consulting for Bernie Sanders’ 2002 and 2004 House races, and Jane Sanders drew more than $90,000 from the campaigns. The practice was allowed but frowned upon because of the opportunity to benefit from campaign donations.
It’s true that Bernie was one of 32 Members of Congress to do this in 2012.

Still, that’s little more than 5 percent of the membership, and is another black eye for Sanders’ fiscal honesty reputation.

Based on this story, I think I have a lot more confirmation about my theory of a full year ago and more than Jane was the one pushing Bernie's campaign. That said, Driscoll claims that Moore had it out for her and used the publicity about Bernie's prez run to try to browbeat her. She also claims she admitted the deal was unfair. But, apparently, never actually offered to redo it, which leads back to her mom.

I had speculated on these pages more than once last year if Jane, when president of the college, was trading on Bernie's name when trying to raise a big loan for glorious dreams of the college's future. And, given it closed suddenly last May, Bernie's lucky he wasn't nominated; media might have started nosing around this issue more at that time. Vermont local media probably were nosing around more.

I now have more confirmation for that idea, that Jane was trading on Bernie's name when she launched her big Burlington expansion scheme for "huge tracts of land." Maybe not a full shakedown, as she may already have been thinking about Bernie for Prez at that time, but hints, nods and expectations? Oh, hellz yes.

No real surprise to me. Sorry, Berners, Berners thinking about becoming Greens, etc. (And there aren't a lot of the latter; I see Berniecrat Twitterers touting Tulsi Gabbard for 2020; you're really, really wedded to the duopoly.)

It is also interesting that the investigation in the first link, per Burlington's board president, appears to have started before the college's official announcement of closure. Bradley Toensing's records request must have been treated fairly seriously from near the start — which could bring in a Barack Obama angle and/or a Hillary Clinton one, as well as the GOP one driven by Toensing — getcha popcorn, round two!

Also per these pages in the past, I've suspected Jane was a fair part of the impetus behind Bernie's run, and in addition to his own political animalism, may have been part of the impetus behind his political shifts from the 1980s to today.

Politics is blood sport, per James Stewart. Bernie's deal-cutting with the Vermont Democratic Party in the past shows he knows this well.

That said, do I think she did anything illegal? Very likely not. I'm not totally sure one way or the other now, to update from the original.

Something unethical, whether by official college ethics standards or everyday ones? Pretty likely.

Something fiscally dumb, and that she knew it at the time? More than just "dumb."

Jane's reward? Running the Sanders Institute, with its hacktacular fellows such as Robert Reich, Ben Jealous and Cornel West. (Greens, stop fetishizing the man.) And, there's also Islamophobic fascist fellow traveler Gabbard.

Any of them getting paid with the dark or soft money they're already starting to rake in? As a 501(c)3, not a (c)4, they're likely going to peddle in soft, not dark money, per Open Secrets' explainer. But, ALL of the 501(c) classes do not have to disclose any donors. So, in that sense of the word, it's darkness all the way down.

Now, Jane and Bernie may make a voluntary decision otherwise.

Don't hold your breath.

Do hold your breath, or rather, stand by, though, for something else.

Per the header, I'm sure there will be at least a Part 2 on this.

June 21, 2017

The Emoluments Clause does indeed apply to presidents

I love me some Alan Smithee (make sure you click that link for the right one) on Twitter. Sharp, smart, a demon for fighting dark and soft money in the political process. Hates neoliberalism. Doesn’t yet vote third-party, I think, and a bit harsher on Stein, and a bit more harsher on the Green Party as a whole, than I am.

But, those are minor quibbles.

A big error?

He’s simply wrong when he claims the Emoluments Clause doesn’t apply to the president.

Per Wiki, here’s the actual language, first of all.
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
Seems pretty clear to me. And to tens of thousands of constitutional law scholar lawyers and academics, and thousands of U.S. judges down through history.

Offices, of course, being normally executive offices, as constitutionally, the executive conducts foreign policy, and is most liable to being “emoled.”

But not to Smithee. He cites a Northwestern law prof. Seth Tillman, whoclaims that “office” in this case is only appointed offices.

Balderdash! And laughable in a great degree if not coming from him. It reads like a TrumpTrain claim. In fact, I stopped reading at that point, because I did start laughing!

Back to Wiki, and some background:
The prohibition against officers receiving a present or emolument is essentially an antibribery rule to prevent influence by a foreign power. At the Virginia Ratifying Convention, Edmund Randolph, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, identified the Clause as a key "provision against the danger . . . of the president receiving emoluments from foreign powers." 
The Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel has held
The language of the Emoluments Clause is both sweeping and unqualified. See 49 Comp. Gen. 819, 821 (1970) (the “drafters [of the Clause] intended the prohibition to have the broadest possible scope and applicability”). It prohibits those holding offices of profit or trust under the United States from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever” from “any . . . foreign State” unless Congress consents. U.S. Const, art. I, § 9, cl. 8 (emphasis added). . . . The decision whether to permit exceptions that qualify the Clause’s absolute prohibition or that temper any harshness it may cause is textually committed to Congress, which may give consent to the acceptance of offices or emoluments otherwise barred by the Clause.
The word "emolument" has a broad meaning. At the time of the Founding, it meant "profit," "benefit," or "advantage" of any kind. Because of the "sweeping and unqualified" nature of the constitutional prohibition, and in light of the more sophisticated understanding of conflicts of interest that developed after the Richard Nixon presidency, modern presidents have chosen to eliminate any risk of conflict of interest that may arise by choosing to vest their assets into a blind trust. As the Office of Legal Counsel has held, the Constitution is violated when the holder of an Office of Profit or Trust, like the President, receives money from a partnership or similar entity in which he has a stake, and the amount he receives is "a function of the amount paid to the [entity] by the foreign government."
Broad and sweeping. Indeed.

Next, the historical interpretation:
Foreign states often present the President of the United States with gifts. In order to comply with the Clause's prohibition on accepting presents from foreign governments, the President of the United States has traditionally sought permission from Congress to keep the present himself. Absent permission, the President will deposit the present with the Department of State. For example, Andrew Jackson sought permission from Congress to keep a gold medal presented by Simon Bolivar; Congress refused to grant consent, and so Jackson deposited the medal with the Department of State. Martin Van Buren and John Tyler received gifts from the Imam of Muscat, for which they received congressional authorization either to transfer them to the United States Government or to auction them with proceeds vesting to the United States Treasury. 
While President, George Washington received a present from the Marquis de Lafayette, who considered Washington to be his "adoptive father." and kept the gift without obtaining congressional consent. There is no indication in the historical record that Lafayette was presenting the gift on behalf of the French government. To the contrary, the letter that Lafayette sent to accompany the gift stated that it was "a tribute Which I owe as A Son to My Adoptive father." Because the gift did not come from a "foreign state," it did not violate the Clause. George Washington also took home to Mount Vernon a portrait of a then-guillotined French King that he had received from the then-monarchy while President.
I mean, even Andrew Jackson, who ignored the Supreme Court on Indian removal, followed the will of Congress. It’s clear that both Congresses and Presidents have historically understood it as applying above all to Presidents.

The fact, per Prof. Tillman, that Hamilton gave members of Congress a list of “office holders” that included appointed officials only proves nothing. Later history, per Jackson, et al, shows that Presidents and Congresses alike didn’t think that held on the Emoluments Clause, if they even knew it existed. Plus, Hamilton, the man who once proposed a president for life, had every reason to be Cheney-like here.

In short, absent a specific judicial ruling — a specific Constitutional ruling that would ultimately come from the Supreme Court — to the contrary, we have what we might have Constitutional common law on this issue.

Smithee then goes on to cite that last-mentioned action of George Washington as proof for his interpretation.

Bullshit.

What happened is that Washington acted unconstitutionally, as Louis XVI held the throne at the time of the gift, which would legally be considered the controlling time. He then split hairs trying to justify his unconstitutional action and got away with it because Congressional Federalists weren’t about to call him out, and only the more radical Republicans (not yet Democratic-Republicans!) would have attacked “The Father of the Country.” Smithee himself once said, in essence, the only good presidents were dead presidents. Weird for him to cite this as a proof action.

Zephyr Teachout, to whom Tillman is responding, suggests the same as one possible interpretation.

And, not all of them are needed, as far as her different possible interpretations.

The only other one I’d entertain is that Washington claimed it was a “personal” gift. That, in turn, is a distinction the Emoluments Clause doesn’t recognize, in its clear language, therefore it’s really, ultimately, a subset of him acting — and deciding to act — unconstitutionally. *

Tillman then claims he’s refuted what I note about Jackson, Van Buren, etc., claiming that she hasn’t proven these are more “controlling” than Hamilton.

Actually, Tillman, my “constitutional common law” has proven exactly that. YOU are the one who’s proven nothing.

The Blount impeachment? Red herring by Tillman. Has nothing to do with the Emoluments Clause, therefore irrelevant to its definition of “office.”

I ignore their back and forth over state officials, as the constitution did not begin to be federalized until 1868, and that’s an incomplete process today.

I now, instead, break from Tillman and go back to history.

Modern history.

The US interaction with foreign powers increased after World War I and greatly after World War II.

Something else started then — presidential libraries.

Do you actually go to such a place as a library? NO! You visit it as a museum.

A museum where the president of library naming has donated all the tchotchkes he got while president, rather than handing them over to Congress at the end of his term.

The PRESIDENT can’t keep them, but the library can. And they know it.

Otherwise, presidential grifters would have Saudi swords and other shite hanging on the walls of their homes.

Finally, once more, unto what I said about “constitutional common law.”


-->
Tillman doesn’t cite a judicial ruling supporting his interpretation. He can’t. Neither can Smithee.

This isn't a pissing match with him. But, given that he has a lot of followers, they need to know that — even though he tells them to check everything he posts — he's not always right.

==

* If you're shocked by the idea that George Washington would act unconstitutionally, either wake up or grow up. Probably half our presidents violated the letter of the Constitution they swore to uphold at least once, and all have violated its spirit, I'll bet I can show.

June 20, 2017

eXXXon head-fakes on #carbontax part three

I guess two separate blog posts about Exxon Mobil's alleged enthusiasm for a carbon tax, and the reality behind that, aren't enough to get some allegedly green people to open their eyes.

They're now Tweeting the newest version of its idea, written in conjunction with other Big Oil companies and "moderate Republicans," a species in reality almost as extinct as the dinosaurs from which eXXXon gets its oil.

Here’s big problem No. 1:
The proposal also says companies that emit greenhouse gases should be protected from lawsuits over their contribution to climate change.
I presume that is eXXXon wanting a legal shield if New York State’s attorney general brings it to trial over misrepresenting to shareholders its liabilities over carbon. More details in the Carbon Leadership Council's "Four Pillars," the fourth of which is specifically titled "Significant Regulatory Rollback."

NO, NO, NO!

A legal flack at the piece then says if carbon is taxed high enough, that would be better than lawsuits. Un, Michael Gerrard, only if part of that carbon tax remediates climate damage also done. And, that doesn’t address the shareholder issue.

Then, a direct rebate of the tax?

NO, NO, NO! 

I’ve addressed various problems with that in both previous posts.

From the first blog post, I brought up this issue directly when I asked rhetorically if eXXXonMobil had suddenly "gotten religion" about climate change because it's calling for a carbon tax?

Don't you believe it, not for a minute, I responded.

Here's the nut graf:
The world's largest oil company wants a simple tax charged on extracted carbon, such as oil and gas, in lieu of complicated regulations or trading schemes that too often create unintended consequences. Exxon chief executive Rex Tillerson also wants the money returned to the public to offset the cost to consumers.
Note the last sentence.

No, what that really does is remove any "bite" from a carbon tax, making it a toothless tiger, hence harmless to Tillerson, eXXXon and the rest of Big Oil.

And, there's also the fact that this might be a deliberate trap, as I noted in the second post.

How the hell are you going to cut rebates, as nearly exactly as possible, for 320 million Americans? You imagine how massive a bureaucracy that would take?

I suspect eXXXon already HAS imagined just that, and envisions a full rebate as a black knight, lead anchor, or whatever. Something that would make a carbon tax prohibitively expensive.

Next, "border adjustments" aren't the same as "carbon tariff." Until I hear "carbon tariff" out of these folks' mouths, I have another reason to stay skeptical.

Don't even cite Nature Conservancy. Yes, it protects land, but other than that, it's the most right of Gang Green environmental groups.

In my second blog post, I asked mainstream biz media:
Why don't you ask old Rex Tillerson about that, next time he talks up a carbon tax? Why don't you also ask him why his company continues to fund climate change denialist groups? That alone should tell you the carbon tax proposal it has on the floor is a head fake, a big biz move, or both.
I make that same statement now to alleged greenies touting the eXXXon move. DO NOT trust these people. Like anybody who has worked for David Brock, they have forfeited the right to be trusted.

The fact that tech-neoliberals from Silicon Valley, like Steve Jobs' widow, are signing off on this, make me even more skeptical. So does that of Michael Bloomberg. Folks like this will only support something like this if it does little to hurt hypercapitalism, which comes ahead of truly addressing the problem.

Between individuals and businesses signing off, you've got petroleum and related businesses that would be hurt by a real carbon tax, vulture capitalists both inside and outside politics, and turd-polishing politicos and academics.

I'm still trying to figure out how skeptical, or not, basic income guru Scott Santens is of libertarian versions of basic income. His touting of this eXXXon PR move doesn't help him on the basic income count in my eyes.

Texas Progressives extend belated #Juneteenth wishes

The Texas Progressive Alliance has a full load of scurrilous innuendo for you in this week's roundup, while hoping you celebrated Juneteenth if you were in a place that had an event. If you’re not a Texan, here’s what you’re missing.

Off the Kuff looks at the latest approval ratings in Texas for Donald Trump.

SocraticGadfly takes a much more extensive look at basic income, finding it one tool — one nice tool, yes — but just one tool in a full arsenal of what working Americans need.

Maybe he's just a little crazy from the heat and a slowly-forming tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, but PDiddie at Brains and Eggs arrived at the conclusion that voting might not be making enough of a difference in our country's future direction.

Neil at All People Have Value asked for citizens to consider in advance their response if Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Jobsanger talks about income inequality.

Lewisville Texan Journal notes that that city’s state reps recently held a town hall — but only answering pre-submitted questions.

==================

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

Grits for Breakfast applauds Samantha Bee's takedown of junk forensic science.

Sen. Kirk Watson invites Greg Abbott to take a deep whiff of Austin.

Paradise in Hell finds the transcript to that Trump Cabinet meeting.

Kyle Shelton and Yujie Hu identify what makes some intersections dangerous.

Lone Star Ma suggests an old school tactic for pressuring lawmakers on Trumpcare.

R.G. Ratcliffe tackles Greg Abbott’s war on local government.

Somervell County Salon has Sid Miller in its sights.


June 19, 2017

Green Party: Headed closer to a crack-up?

On Friday, the Green Party tweeted a report saluting Jill Stein's recount.
It sure seems that way.

First, a couple of weeks ago, the national party gave Chemtrails Bob Fitrakis a platform to tout Jill Stein's recount of last fall, even though it was Stein's private recount, not the party's recount, because the executive committee never approved it. Left hands, right hands, and lack of knowledge, eh?

That, in turn was part of a larger post about how the Green Party is still having trouble distinguishing itself from Berniecrats. Why? Probably in part because both Stein and her campaign manager, and 2004 party presidential candidate himself, David Cobb, are both AccommoGreens.

Then, there's the Texas Greens, with an even bigger cracking up at this year's state convention. Friend Brains has the intro, on a post talking about how voting options seem to get worse and worse. (Hold that thought.)

One of his links is to Texas Greens stalwart David Bruce Collins, who was at the convention and reports his thoughts. There were apparently a number of rifts at the convention, some of them driven by troll-like personalities, at least one of whom Brains has had a run-in or two with in the past. Brains also links to Kat Gruene, who apparently was a target of multiple shitstorms at the state convo, some driven by personality animus, others driven by old white dudes who continue to give the party a bad image in more ways than one at times.

Collins does note one good thing. Apparently, 2018 candidates will actually have professional websites, which was one of my main complaints at the state level in my 2016 post-mortem. Now, let's see if Greens get some more professional candidates next year. (Brandon Parmers need not apply.)

That was just one of my plaints, though.

Although Stein herself is not anti-vaxxer, she did play some political footsie on the issue.

And, although Greens are very willing to "follow the science" on climate change, they generally refuse to do so on GMOs, even though their safety has at least as high a degree of scientific consensus as does the idea of anthropogenic global warming.

Hey, I'm OK with questioning (with factual knowledge) business matters of Big Ag. And food safety. But, again, with facts. (Oh, on the financial side, Monsanto of GMO "infamy" has, and has had, a smaller market capitalization than Starbucks. Just saying.)

That said, in a closed Facebook Green Party-affiliated group? I can't quote, or name names, but, my ethics will let me make several observations. Neither anti-vaxxerism nor anti-GMOism have been huge. But, I've blocked multiple 9/11 Truthers. Several of them believed in other conspiracy theories, most notably the chemtrails of Chemtrails Bob Fitrakis.

Like Mark Lause, who had a great post in North Star late last year that I blogged about in detail, if the Green Party has reached the end of its tether, it then has done so.

To riff on Brains, I seriously considered voting Socialist Party USA's presidential candidate Mimi Soltysik last year. He was available by write-in here in Texas. Unfortunately the "reveal" about Stein having Big Oil stocks and Big Military stocks, just like Ralph Nader, came after I had early voted.

BUT ... Soltysik has said that the SPUSA will look at its platform. On GMOs, it's currently where the Greens are, but he supposedly wants to move it in a more science-friendly direction.

If that happens before 2020, especially if Greens don't up their game nationally, and get some of the state parties, like Fitrakis' Ohio, to stop being private fiefdoms, etc., then that's my tipping point and I move on.

If SPUSA does NOT improve, and keeps a platform that I noted was worse in some ways than Greens, and Greens slouch further toward Gomorrah, than at least a selective non-voting is also possible.

June 15, 2017

Your #USOpen winner for 2017 is?

First, I have confidence that Erin Hills will be much better than Chambers Bay of two years ago, if for no other reason than having real greens. Its particular blind spots may challenge many golfers, but unless the rain there is heavy, it should play "short," despite its stated length, and the wider cuts on some fescue will allow for aggressiveness.

In short, perhaps a bit like nearby Whistling Straits, yet not exactly the same. Even more links-like, perhaps, in some ways.

That said, it DOES have some blind shots, which are very links-like. And, it's going to have a lot of uneven lies.

And, of course, it's a first-time track.

So, how does that factor into picking a winner?

Two stories are a guide.

The first? This, suggesting a top-10 player is the likely winner at a first-time U.S. Open or PGA track. 

The second? This one, suggesting that the blind shots, the sideways lies, etc., will all likely favor a European golfer.

So, European. Top 10.

In order, that's Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, the hot Alex Noren and the hot earlier this year Jon Rahm. Justin Rose is just outside that list at 11, and gets bonus points for being a previous major winner and his second at this year's Masters.

So, that's six against the field. I'll take that as a prop bet right there.

But, which of the six? Rory's still rebounding from the rib injury. Scratch him. Stenson's been not so hot this year, with five missed cuts. Scratch him.

Sergio may be on a post-Masters high, or he may be locked in, per this piece. Let me think.

The final three?

Rose isn't thought of as a bomber, but he has a slight driving length edge over Rahm and a bigger one over Noren. The three play the same on putting average, too.

So, with that in mind, my money is on Justin Rose.

With Sergio locked in enough for second.

And my money, along with that of the Weather Channel, is NOT on Phil Mickelson playing. Sorry, Philly Mick fans, but weather delays only likely Friday and Saturday.


That said, per Golf.com, maybe rain will be bad enough on Saturday to force a Monday finish if Sunday's start is a problem.

June 14, 2017

#BasicIncome: ONE tool in a working-class arsenal, no more

Basic income. Can it really be “the thing” to address what ails the American working class, as well as the gray- and white-collar middle class?

I offered up my initial thoughts a couple of weeks ago, and since then, have had further time to reflect, and further stimulation to do so.

A number of further thoughts on basic income have been provoked by this excellent piece from the Boston Review and the nearly dozen responses to it.

Basically, it has sharpened and deepened my thoughts about what types of basic or guaranteed income are good, and what are not. It’s also, skeptically, sharpened my thoughts on its likelihood, especially that of a non-libertarian version.

It’s also sharpened other thoughts.

I’m afraid that some touters of basic, or guaranteed, income, view it as “the tool” in the arsenal to fix all the problems of late Western capitalism. It’s not.

And, if you’re at the point where every employment-related problem, let alone larger workforce and income problem, seems like a nail and GI seems like your hammer, you’re probably going to have problems.

Scott Santens, while he seems nice and earnest, also may be an "everything's a nail" person on this issue.

And, the hunger for people to read about and hear about basic income? That still doesn't justify an "everything's a nail" approach.

On the other hand, with this primer about how basic income will not be inflationary, he at least seems to give a hat tip to problems not readily addressable by BI.

That said, enough about Scott for now. While he’s a visible evangelist for basic income, this blog post is about Brishen Rogers’ thoughtson basic income in Boston Review, to repost the link, approximately a dozen responses to him, and my thoughts on the whole schmeer. Let’s dive in.

Rogers notes that in both the original piece and his response to the critiques. BI or GI has to be one tool that’s part of a broader arsenal. And, for the rights of labor, especially here in the US where both Republican and neoliberal Democrats have seen fit for its powers to continue to be gutted, GI is not going to address that. 

I largely agree. Basic income will not be big enough to provide major leverage to workers on a variety of issues, whether minimum wage, their own personal working conditions, job safety or other things. For smart, conscientious employees, it may be a moderate catalyst to a fulcrum they've already developed through other means, but that's about it.

With those notes on Rogers' essay (without by any means claiming that's a detailed summary), let's look at some of the responses to him, and my takes on tyem.

The first response is by Patrick Diamond. A sample at the core of his ideas:
Neoliberal advocates of basic income celebrate the idea because, in the words of Charles Murray, it would be a “replacement for the welfare state.” Market liberals argue individuals could use their basic income to purchase services currently provided through the state: education, pensions, healthcare, unemployment insurance, childcare, and so on. Thus perversely (and contrary to the intentions of many of its advocates on the left), basic income might end up encouraging the marketization of the public sector, while limiting the funding available for social investment.
That's an interesting concern right there. It's not one that I had thought about before this, but now that it's been broached, I can certainly see it. I'm sure the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world would present this as a "public benefit," and that Zuck himself would make this a keystone of his non-running (sure) for president.

The second response is from Annette Bernhardt. A snippet: 
A truly progressive agenda …  needs to expand beyond the current fixation on automation.
While mitigation and bargaining over impacts are important, ultimately the progressive goal should be governance: a seat at the table when decisions are made over which technologies are developed in the first place and in pursuit of which goals.
Agreed that, while there are legitimate concerns about automation, they still seem somewhat overblown. In any case, whether overblown or not, without a labor seat at the table, labor can't weigh in. German-type workers' participation on boards, etc. would be a much bigger tool here.

The third response is by Tommie Shelby. A few of his thoughts, which focus on racial issues and income and employment, and what BI might or might not do there:
One of the basic problems with the current work-welfare regime is this: many of the ghetto poor who have submitted to its requirements nevertheless remain poor. They simply become part of the working poor, often serving the private needs of the well-off—performing the roles of maids, nannies, dishwashers, maintenance workers, and so on. Others fall back into poverty because of recessions and economic restructuring. And because many of the schools available to the ghetto poor are so substandard, they do not allow for opportunities to develop marketable skills, limiting upward mobility.  … 
Therefore one of the strengths of basic income is that it would empower marginalized black workers by enabling them to refuse demeaning, insecure, exploitative, and low-paying jobs. They could do so without having to live in degrading forms of poverty and without having to bear the risks of the underground economy. Basic income would deal a real blow to ghettoization and mass incarceration. It would not solve all problems of racial or economic injustice. But any civil rights–labor alliance should seriously consider fighting for it.
To the degree this is true, I say Amen. But, many libertarians and neo-racialists like Charles Murray want to replace the entire safety net with a base-level guaranteed income. Watch it, and them, Tommie, more than you did in this pied.

The fourth response comes from Peter Barnes. His focus is on just what level of "income" basic income will actually provide and this is an important issue indeed, especially per what I said about Shelby's response.
What is the difference between the two levels of universal income, and why does it matter? A base income of, say, a few hundred dollars a month does not have the same economic, political, and moral ramifications as a basic income of, say, $1,000 a month. The latter, at least in some places, offers enough to survive on; the former decidedly does not. And while the latter is a dream of many, it is far too expensive—and threatening to our work ethic—to be enacted in the United States any time soon.
Rogers said the same, about the VERY heavy political slog needed for a true basic income. That said, as far as geography, I'm with Santens on this. Basic income should not be adjusted for cost of living, certainly not cost of housing. Liberals — and beyond — need to confront directly that blue states are more economically unequal, overall, than red states. Besides, this is a way of empowering rural and small town America.

My other main personal thought is the same as in my original piece.

If we’re talking about just a “base” income, then we absolutely cannot use it to lessen or further weaken the current “safety net.”

The fifth response is from Juliana Bidadanure. She goes even further down the road of worry about specific acolytes of Murray or worse. 
(B)asic income could be “designed to serve white nationalist ends,” Rogers worries. The policy could be sold as part of a package including harsher anti-immigration policies. Prisoners and ex-cons could also be denied basic income, which would further entrench basic income as a right that privileges white Americans. This concern is not specific to basic income though. Far-right populist parties often embrace the welfare state in an exclusionary and xenophobic manner.
She goes on to talk about international basic income, in part, but by no means mainly, to reduce the immigrant pull that “basic income in one country,” to riff on Stalin, might have.

If REALLY done right, this would involve flipping the IMF and World Bank on their heads and REQUIRING that part of their assistance packages in the developing world include an insistence on basic income.

That would be ideal, but, that's got even less chance of happening than does getting basic income adopted here in the US.

The sixth response is by Dorian T. Warren. Going beyond Shelby on racial issues, he tries to get reparations in the back door, it seems:
There is, in fact, a model of basic income which is not only acceptable but preferable to common proposals: the Universal PLUS Basic Income. It is identical to most basic income proposals but includes a pro-rated additional amount for black Americans over a specified period of time. The Universal PLUS Basic Income draws on the concept of “targeted universalism” in designing social policies.
That would NEVER fly. Or if basic income itself would never fly, this would never-squared fly. And, per what some class-based leftists like Doug Henwood have said, that undercuts the rationale for affirmative action and other things that have been deemed payment in lieu of reparations.

And, thus, it wouldn't fly with me personally.

The seventh response is from Diane Coyle.

Hers, briefly? Don’t be a Luddite or an overdone alarmist about robots stealing jobs. She notes the differences between US and elsewhere on some economic issues.

The eighth response is by Philippe van Parijs.

He talks about empowerment effects.
Of course, the actual monetary value of the basic income matters. But even a basic income that amounts to less than the current level of means-tested social assistance for people living alone would make a significant difference. At that level, the right to conditional benefits over and above the basic income would need to be kept, so as to prevent poor households from becoming worse off. But the secure access to a modest income that can be relied upon even if one gives up a job voluntarily and that can be combined with other income would broaden the options of the worst off and thus increase their power. Such a modest basic income could not eradicate poverty on its own. But it would be more than the “baby step” discussed by Rogers, namely a basic income for parents or a universal child benefit of a sort that already exists in a number of countries.
Again, it's all about how big basic income is.

The ninth response is from Connie Razza.

Briefly, she says “the question of the redistribution of power is vital.”

The tenth response is from Roy Bahat

He talks about the emotional insecurity that accompanies job insecurity.
The biggest ill a basic income might heal is fear. 
With a basic income, a spouse can leave a domestic abuse situation. With a basic income, a writer might write, an actor might act, and our culture might reflect the breadth of our peoples’ lived experiences. With a basic income, an entrepreneur might put a few dollars into opening a family business.
However, unless the payment level of basic income is set pretty high, and see the caveats above, no, it can NOT help that much with this, and it can NOT help nearly as much as national health care can. Period. End of story. Per average co-pays on health insurance today, national health care with no co-pay on getting the insurance would itself be worth as much as $200-$250 a month of basic income and offer at least as much actual security.

And, I'll be doing another blog post in a couple of weeks about the "top tool" in the arsenal, if one can only get one tool passed.

The eleventh response is from David Rolf and Corrie Watterson
Companies could earn a label or certification by registering with a worker-led nonprofit organization, adhering to certain labor and employment standards, and agreeing to audits by the certifying organization.
It sounds good, but I'm not sure how much power it would have in the US unless a lot of other change happens. Plus, such issues can become "gamed." Even if not gamed, we've seen unions willing to become management pets in the past.

Rogers responds back to the critiques, to end the piece. 

He starts by getting back to his first main concern.
I have not seen a single quote from a tech leader or thinker to the effect that “basic income is a great idea, but we also need a high minimum wage and much stronger unions.” In fact, while I was drafting this response, Harvard Business Review published a piece tracing how information technologies have exacerbated income inequality by encouraging outsourcing and the growth of new mega-firms. But its proposal to help low-wage workers is through a negative income tax; it never once mentions minimum wages or collective bargaining.
We all know Silicon Valley is highly neoliberal to put it politely, or often tech-libertarian.

Indeed, I see Mark Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm for “exploring” basic income (no, Scott Santens, not FOR basic income, but for “exploring” it) and I wonder what’s up his sleeve. I also wonder despite current disclaimers, if a presidential campaign isn’t part of what’s up that sleeve.

Rogers then continues in this vein while also addressing the issue of tech-related job loss.
Silicon Valley’s enthusiasm for basic income is having some detrimental effects on the ground. When foundations and think tanks flood the zone with research into the “Future of Work” (now a genre of its own), research into the realities of work today can go unfunded. That has happened to some of my colleagues. Similarly, as it becomes common sense that workers’ largest challenge is automation, basic labor standards and worker organizing seem futile since higher wages will just hasten the robots’ arrival. This is a false choice. I agree strongly with Coyle and Bernhardt that those concerned about inequality should embrace technological development and steer its path.
He says he appreciates Warren, but believes his own ideas are NOT race neutral, and in a good way.

And, his nut grafs
To be clear, I agree fully with Bidadanure—and Warren, van Parijs, and many others—that “everyone should have an unconditional right to be free from basic economic insecurity.” I just disagree that organizing around basic income is obviously the best strategy to advance that goal in the United States. 
Why? First, because a basic income cannot substitute for social insurance, and social insurance remains meager in the United States.  … Second, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we cannot hope to pass an egalitarian basic income in the United States without changing the power structure.
And, with that, he is OK with “alienating libertarians.” And alienating their refusal to challenge power structures, or, in many cases, their willingness to reinforce them while using basic income to fob off challenges.

That said, Rogers says that we should still push the ball forward.
None of this means we should abandon basic income research or organizing, or that we should give up on steps toward it. These include universal child credits, elder credits, and even state-level efforts in places such as California, where labor and the left are already strong. But it does mean we should, as I wrote, “be clear-eyed about the policy’s justifications, merits, and limits.” That, in my view, is the path to economic security for all.
This all said, BI is part of the solution, I believe. Just not the only tool, and probably not the primary tool.

Cheezed-off neoliberals like Neera Tanden and the rest of Center for American Progress don’t want to admit even that, though.

The Center for American Progress, true to its neoliberal roots and worried about "the dole," proposes a "guaranteed job" idea instead.

But, this itself has a number of actual or apparent problems. (The author's list is not entirely accurate, and his approach to such concerns seems to be more from the right than the left.) 

And, if we are rightly going to see BI as one tool in our arsenal, this is important.

I do agree very much with Santens here, that BI should NOT be adjusted to housing costs. And I agree with why.

We don't need to subsidize pricey areas. And, all they'll do is get pricier yet.

New York City, indeed, offers more opportunity than Des Moines, Iowa, let alone Elko, Nevada.

Based on 1 and 2, it's also not politically smart to subsidize highly blue areas at the expense of red areas.

Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders aren't CLOSE to alike (Update: Neither are Sanders and Ted Cruz)

On Friday, the Green Party tweeted a report saluting Jill Stein's recount.

I immediately replied that:
A. It was NOT unbiased, given the recount was done in states that flopped to Trump only, and that I (and other concerned Greens) had blogged about this, including noting that blue-state Minnesota and New Hampshire were as close as any of the red states recounted. Beyond that, the election was not rigged in that sense.
B. That I didn't really trust Contrails Bob Fitrakis (author of the piece) for much of anything. That includes him, David Cobb, and other Stein legal beagles raking decent money for their recount services. Given that Fitrakis has raised such election conspiracy theories before, I believe he has a legal, fiduciary and ethical conflict of interest in serving as a lawyer in such cases. More about Contrails Bob's background here.

I later added that I was far from alone in concern A, and included the point that the Green Party executive committee did NOT unanimously approve the recount, which was Stein's, not the party's. But, don't let me say that. Let Dr. Margaret Flowers say that.

As a sidebar, I find it troubling that the Green Party is retweeting this when we're 3.5 years away from the next presidential election and said election, it must be highly hoped, will have a better candidate than Stein, and will NOT have ANY AccommoGreen candidate willing to play footsies with Dems. As it is, this is very close to Dems electing Tom Perez as new party chairman and pretending that Bernie Sanders, and the backing for his stances, didn't exist.

As part of this, I first ran into a Tweeter called "JillOrBernie." After giving him/her/it smackdown as a #Berniecrat, complete with hashtag, in a couple of comments, I then muted him/her/it. Muted, not blocked.

Said smackdown included pointing out I was not alone in such issues, and that's NOT limited to the lack of party executive unanimity for the recount. I pointed out the likes of Mark Lause in Fitzrakis' own Ohio and his extensive concerns for the Green Party.

Next, I ran into another Tweeter called GrLibertarian, who is the subject of this title. He/she/it (presumably male, given Libertarian trends) provoked this mini-Tweetstorm.
I then realized I would need four, not three Tweets:
And the third:
Then, finally, and forgetting to number it:
And then muted GrLibertarian.

In turn, this reminds me of how much some other Greens talk up Rand and/or Ron Paul. Even if Rand is sincere in his criminal justice reform, he may still be half the racist his dad is which is 10 times too much. Plus, libertarians small-l and capital-L alike and gutting our regulatory state, etc.

And, these aren't Greens who are Berniecrats in conversion, even. They've include those as active with the party as I am or more. And, I highly doubt libertarians, especially capital-L party members, say, "Cool, Jill Stein agrees with us on something."

Between the GP officially taking a stance/take it shouldn't have, conspiracy theorists abounding among members, and more, I will, I hope, at least for the 2020 presidential campaign, keep my eyes peeled on the Socialist Party USA as needed.

Update, June 14, 2017: Add to the world of cluelessness.

Yes, you read that correctly. Someone who backed both Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. That's from this Newsweek story about James T. Hodgkinson, the alleged shooter of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

LinkedIn has now pulled that profile offline, lending substance to Newsweek's tentative identification.

Via Mark Ames of Exiled Online, Hodgkinson also, like Reality Winner, apparently got delusionally sucked into the "Putin Did It" trap.