Talk and Sovereignty

French President Emmanuel Macron has embarked on a “debating tour” of France in response to the uproar surrounding his gas tax increases, decision to impose from the center a “carbon free” economy on France, and the yellow vest demonstrations against first the tax increases and subsequently in broader opposition to that overweening centrality of governance.

And Macron laid bare his basic misunderstanding of his own political environment and of the nature of French sovereignty.  He’s already met with 600 mayors in Normandy, and there he laid out his basic tenets.

Bigotry and the Left

Nicole Wallace, of MSNBC, says there isn’t any on the Left.  She insists, regarding Congressman Steve King’s (R, IA) remarks, there is no analogue on the Left.

…this does not have a parallel on the left. It doesn’t. There isn’t. There isn’t a strain of racism on the left.

Never mind that the identity politics of the Left, especially with the segregationist bent inherent in it, is fundamentally racist.

Never mind the overt racism of the Left’s heroine Tamika Mallory and her praise of the anti-Semitic bigot Louis Farrakhan.

Never mind the Left’s routine labeling conservative Blacks as Uncle Toms.

Negotiate on the Wall?

That’s what some Progressive-Democrats in the House claim they want to do.  After the partial government shutdown is ended.  Congressmen Eric Swalwell (D, CA) and John Garamendi (D, CA) have made such commitments.

However.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) has told President Donald Trump she will not negotiate on a border wall, demanding no funding whatsoever, even after the partial shutdown is ended.

Some questions arise.

Was Pelosi lying when she said that to Trump?

Was Pelosi lying to her caucus when they elected her Speaker on the basis of her promise to a significant fraction of her Party that she always and forever would oppose border wall funding?

Hiding Their Heads in the Sand

Recall last Wednesday’s meeting among President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY), Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D, IL), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and others.

Nielsen was there to present the current situation on our southern border as prelude to negotiations for funding for a border wall.

Pelosi refused to listen.  As Nielsen was laying out statistics related to illegal border crossings, Pelosi interrupted (among several interruptions by her and by Schumer, as they refused to listen):

Walls and Negotiation

Last Friday, President Donald Trump hosted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY), and a few others for another round of attempted negotiation over the border wall we so badly need.

The outcome?  Pelosi and Schumer continued their refusal to negotiate at all.  They demanded the government’s partial shutdown be ended before they’ll say a word about funding for a wall.  Never mind that, as they’ve made clear since last month, that word, their only word, is “No,” anyway.

Brexit and a Pan-European Military Establishment

Recall the year-old EU effort with PESCO (the EU’s carefully euphemistically named Permanent Structured Cooperation), the bloc’s effort to form an EU army that would represent and act in the (sovereign) name of the European Union in defending Europe from outside incursions.  Oh, and be less dependent on us and our nuclear umbrella, our treasure, and our blood for their defense.

We’re seeing yet another example of the too-broad effort to unite all of Europe under one political flag, as this PESCO effort continues to lag.  More importantly, we’re seeing the cost to the EU of Brexit.  As Handelsblatt Today observed, the current situation is one of military failure:

Racism and Naming Schools

Jason Willick had an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that recounted a failed effort to rename a Palo Alto, CA, middle school in honor of an American WWII war hero. That hero was PFC and Silver Star recipient Fred Minoru Yamamoto of the US Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team; he was killed in action in 1944 in the Vosges, in eastern France, by German artillery.

Facebook’s Secret Rule Book

Facebook has written a massive, byzantine, and secret document of rules packed with spreadsheets and power point slides to help it censor the news posted tackle misinformation posted to its facility.

Even the New York Times gets it, at least to an extent.

The closely held rules are extensive, and they make the company a far more powerful arbiter of global speech than has been publicly recognized or acknowledged by the company itself[.]

It’s also internally inconsistent.

The [NYT] discovered a range of gaps, biases and outright errors—including instances where Facebook allowed extremism to spread in some counties while censoring mainstream speech in others.

Child Molestation and Bankruptcy Escapes

Ironically, it’s the Catholic Church that has invented this ruse.

The Archdiocese of Portland was the first to do it. Three months later the Roman Catholic Diocese in Tucson, AZ, followed suit and three months after that the diocese in Spokane, WA, did it, too.
They all filed for bankruptcy and since then more than 15 other Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy to seek protection from lawsuits by sexual-assault victims, resulting in about 4,000 claims seeking compensation for past wrongdoing. This year, three more Catholic dioceses announced intentions to file.

Election Fraud

I follow a tax strategy discussion board on The Motley Fool and one question asked was whether the stipends a county pays its election monitors is whether the stipend is taxable income (whether or not a 1099 is issued.  Answer: Yes.)  This comment in the thread jumped out at me.

We both [husband and wife] got a stipend for the working at the polls [election monitor] this year…$150 each. The county did not ask for our SSN’s, nor a W-9.

There is no reason to believe this commenter is dishonest, but this lack of checking is election fraud waiting to happen.