Patterico's Pontifications


This Is The Greatest Thing I Have Seen on The Internet in Ages

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:44 pm

The wonderful band House of Freaks had this great song about the development of the atomic bomb, and the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

I was surfing the Web and saw this description of the song by singer Bryan Harvey, may he rest in peace (and may his and his family’s murderers rot in hell):

Dark and Light in New Mexico

Another one by me before I met Johnny. Title came from some folk record I have about music in New Mexico … I turned it into a song about the development of the a-bomb. I have a video tape of George Wendt, aka Norm from Cheers, singing this song on a British Karaoke show in about 1988. He was a Freaks fan, we used to see him at shows. The video is great. He’s huffing and sweating and trying to hit those notes. This was the pinnacle of my career up to that point. We were baffled that a famous guy would like us.

You can’t read that and not want to see the video. Behold the miracle of YouTube:

The whole “why this song?” interchange is awkward, but this is still a keeper.

Trump And His 2 Simple Rules: Buy American And Hire American

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

During a victory rally in Iowa yesterday:

“My administration will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American,” Trump said. “Remember years ago, we used to proudly display ‘Made in the USA.’ You’d go get a car, right? And you’d have it say, Made in the USA. We don’t see it. Have you seen it? I don’t see it anymore. We ought to start doing that.”

Haven’t we been here before?


Selling his name to the highest bidder to have his brand produced somewhere other than America, and by workers not American.


Giuliani Is Officially Out

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:32 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The short list is now even shorter:

President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced that during a meeting with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani held on November 29, 2016, Mayor Giuliani removed his name from consideration for a position in the new administration.

President-elect Trump said, “Rudy Giuliani is an extraordinarily talented and patriotic American. I will always be appreciative of his 24/7 dedication to our campaign after I won the primaries and for his extremely wise counsel. He is and continues to be a close personal friend, and as appropriate, I will call upon him for advice and can see an important place for him in the administration at a later date.”

Mayor Giuliani will remain a Vice Chairman of the Presidential Transition Team led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, which is making historic progress in bringing highly qualified people into the administration.

“Rudy would have been an outstanding member of the Cabinet in several roles, but I fully respect and understand his reasons for remaining in the private sector,” said President-elect Trump.

In explaining his withdrawal Mayor Giuliani said:

“I joined the campaign because I love my country and because having known Donald Trump as a friend for 28 years and observing what he has been able to accomplish, I had no doubt he would be a great President. This is not about me; it is about what is best for the country and the new administration. Before I joined the campaign I was very involved and fulfilled by my work with my law firm and consulting firm, and I will continue that work with even more enthusiasm. From the vantage point of the private sector, I look forward to helping the President-elect in any way he deems necessary and appropriate.”

Reince Priebus, incoming White House Chief of Staff to the President-elect, said that the former Mayor “was vetted by our team for any possible conflicts and passed with flying colors.” He also said “the team appreciates Rudy’s contributions to the victory and considers him a close friend and advisor.”

It is being suggested that his work for foreign governments may have been problematic.

So, will it be Romney? Or perhaps Exxon C.E.O. Rex W. Tillerson, who is reportedly a favorite of executives, and who made a pilgrimage to Trump Towers this week…

If Romney does become Trump’s choice, he would bring with him a healthy skepticism of Putin and a resistance to being walked all over by world leaders and players in the way that we’ve seen happen with our current administration. And aside from being thoroughly vetted, respected and well known, there is also this unique benefit to a Romney selection:

[The] main beneficiary of a Romney appointment would be Trump himself. Ironically, the insults that Trump and Romney shared earlier this year are a source for opportunity. After all, if Trump picks Romney to be his secretary of state, Romney would be grateful.

At the same time, Romney would take his nomination as a sign that Trump values his honest advice. The President would thus have not only a loyal official, but one who is implicitly (albeit privately) expected to challenge him. As Trump moves to avoid new conflicts and mitigate existing chaos, that loyalty would be crucial.

Managing US foreign policy, Trump needs good assistants. In Mattis, he has an arrow against US adversaries. In Romney, he would have an olive branch.


Ted Cruz Calls for Term Limits for Members of Congress

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:00 am

Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Ron DeSantis have an op-ed in this morning’s Washington Post titled If Republicans really want to drain the swamp, here’s how to do it. The piece advocates for a constitutional amendment providing for term limits for Congress:

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump called for enacting term limits, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has endorsed the idea. As soon as the 115th Congress convenes, both of us will move to restore accountability among the entrenched Washington establishment by introducing a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that a member of Congress can serve to three in the House and two in the Senate.

Passing term limits will demonstrate that Congress has actually heard the voice of the people.

Cruz and DeSantis argue that term limits will change how politicians behave:

Term limits will change the calculus of those who serve in Congress.

Without term limits, the incentive for a typical member is to stay as long as possible to accumulate seniority on the way to a leadership post or committee chair. Going along to get along is a much surer path for career advancement than is challenging the way Washington does business.

I used to be foursquare in favor of term limits after reading George Will’s book Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy back in the 1990s. But since that time, I have watched how term limits have played out in California, and the results have not impressed me. Career politicians are still career politicians; they just bounce from job to job. A feeling of civic duty does not pervade the halls of our state senate or assembly. If anything, they seem more beholden to our governor and his quirky schemes for overregulating business and freeing as many criminals as possible. I can’t say California’s silly policies these days are a result of term limits, but term limits seem to have done little to prevent them.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe politicians not facing term limits do lose some courage. Take Ted Cruz, for example. The man who had the guts to take on his own party back in the day — a man who believes in the free market enough to oppose ethanol subsidies in Iowa during a presidential race! — has been remarkably praiseworthy of the Carrier deal that picks a winner (Carrier) over a loser (its competitors). The Carrier deal flies in the face of Cruz’s longstanding opposition to such government intervention — which, interestingly, he subtly alludes to in this op-ed, saying: “The Washington Cartel is hard at work picking winners and losers, with hard-working Americans typically winding up as the losers.”

But he knows the politics of criticizing this deal openly, at this time, with Trump’s popularity high, would be costly. And so, for now, he refrains from open criticism, and even praises the deal. Is that because he faces re-election in 2018? Because he hopes to run for President again? Because he hopes to have a long Senate career? Who knows for sure?

Ultimately, Cruz may have calculated that his support of term limits today is a cost-free position to take, because there is no chance Congress will propose an amendment that reins in the ambitions of its own members. (Note that Cruz does not propose an Article V convention for the purpose of passing this amendment.)

Cruz’s support for term limits may be prove to be a miscalculation, though. Having proposed a Constitutional amendment to limit Senators to two terms, Cruz is likely to be reminded of his position . . . if and when he runs for a third term.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Reminder: Trump Is Still a Liar

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

In October, I quoted a news story that noted Trump’s routine pledge to put $100 million into his campaign by election day. At that point he had put in only $56 million. My comment was this:

OK, everybody raise your hand who believes that Donald Trump will put another $44 million into his campaign before election day.

I have bad news for you. If your hand is in the air right now, you are an idiot.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Trump steered $2.9 million to his family businesses in the waning days of his campaign . . . oh, and also this:

Mr. Trump also gave $10 million to his campaign in the final weeks of the election, bringing his total donations to his campaign to $66 million. While a substantial investment, that figure fell about $34 million shy of the $100 million he had routinely pledged to give.

He knows he can lie about stuff like that because he knows people will shrug off his lie, as almost everyone reading this post assuredly will. And that’s fine. It doesn’t upset me much either. He won. That’s what matters.

It was still a lie, though, and he is still a liar. Forget that at your peril.

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