67 Responses to Good News (Savor It)

  1. NatashaFatale says:

    That’s an interesting question. (One thing I do know: Susan Collins is sitting prettier than a poodle at the Westminster dog show. Lordy, the offers that will come her way…)

    Suppose this is the writing on the wall, and not only do McConnell, Ryan, and co know it, their donors know it too. That means they have to ram everything, the whole donor-class letter to Santa, through next year, any way they can. This adds an element of desperation to the feeding frenzy by proxy – if we don’t clean up now, the opportunity vanishes. Do they have the basic political competence and party discipline to do it? (They haven’t shown a great deal of it so far.) Or do the purple-ish-state senators and reps start hearing footsteps and start staking out judiciously defensible non-Trumpish positions, the kind that make voters think “Throw the rest of them out, they’re all crooks, but let’s keep old Joe ’cause he’s done all right by us.”?

  2. KevinNevada says:

    I think the formation of the Non-Trump Caucus among GOP Senators has already happened.
    Sue Collins won’t stand alone.

    Several of these brave souls have kept their heads down and conformed, so far. I think that will now change.

    This result in Alabama yesterday, on top of the widespread anti-conservative swing in the off-year elections last month (from state down into local level, in multiple states), are a clear warning of a tsunami approaching.

    After the latest nasty Hairball Tweet, about Senator Gilibrand, USA Today (which skews conservative) really laid it out, on Tuesday morning.

    That editorial makes another scathing point. The hairball has failed to even nominate anyone for 60 percent of the positions that any President has to fill, to operate the national government. He’s had 11 months.

    But he’s golfed. A lot. After saying that he would not, at all.

    Mitch McConnell’s only response to yesterday’s slap in the face, was to remind everyone that the new Senator won’t be seated from Alabama until after the holiday recess, in January. The vote yesterday won’t be fully counted and certified by state officials until Christmas.

    Until then, he still has Luther Strange’s vote.

  3. KevinNevada says:

    Another point:

    Trump & Co. have no momentum at all, and his first year in office is over.

    He has zero credibility outside the US, is a joke in Paris this week.

    The tax bills are now in serious trouble. They are being pushed as “reconciliation” measures, which means they have to be revenue-neutral, to pass without 61 votes in the Senate.

    But the CBO, and other estimates, persist in stating that they will balloon the debt by about $2 Trillion over the next decade. So they can be challenged as fraudulent, and not passed lawfully.

    There was, as a cherry on the sundae, that trifling $300 Billion error in the hand-written margins of the Senate version. Those final changes departed from what the CBO scored by that amount.

    And, if the final compromise version includes zeroing out the deduction for State and local income taxes (from the House version), then House Republicans from California and New York may have to rebel, to save their own sorry asses. I was in California last week and it’s a lively issue in news over there. A CPA told me that her colleagues are talking to all their clients.

    Be sure, those clients have been calling their local Congresscritters to complain.

    So, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake could legitimately change their votes and kill this farce.
    Neither has to face Bannon’s primary election intimidations, next year.
    Or, they could lose enough House votes to kill the package.

    The 2018 primary elections are fully underway. Democrats will now find it easy to raise money to run everywhere. Purple districts and states will all be targeted.

    And the tsunami is rolling towards the beach, anyway. Fear is a motivator.

  4. KevinNevada says:

    One more thing. Among so many . . .

    The sign that we are looking for is now appearing.

    According to Pew, Trump’s job approval rating has dropped among white evangelical voters, from around 80 percent to the low 60’s.

    He’s lost about 1/6 of that key demographic, 17 percent.

    After the Roy Moore debacle, that may drop further. It certainly won’t go “up”.

  5. NatashaFatale says:


    You ought to have quoted USA Today’s editorial (real editorial, from their Editorial Board):

    A president who’d all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes.

    I’d never expected that from them.

    Those unfilled positions are a feature, not a bug. You don’t drown the government in a bathtub or chip away at the Deep State by hiring people.

  6. KevinNevada says:


    the unfilled positions have the processes of government partially paralyzed. Contracts are not being authorized. Next-phases of work in progress are stalled, in all departments.

    That is annoying and harming people everywhere and many of them are conservatives.

    And, they know it.

    The Trump/Bannon program is a real loser at all levels.

    On top of that, you don’t ‘rebuild the military’ and ‘construct more infrastructure’ (both Trumpian notions for the new year) by drowning the government in any damned bathtub. Nor can you finance those nifty ideas by cutting taxes and exploding the deficits, first.

    And now they are facing an electoral tsunami, which will affect re-districting after 2021 in many states. Combined with their long-term demographic problems, which are only accelerating now, the Republicans are facing a decade of despair in the 2020’s.

    Tommydog made a very good point a few months ago, regarding the dire current status of the Democrats, not only in Federal offices but in so many states.

    The longer term is looking even worse the other way, against the Republicans.

  7. bluthner says:

    A president who’d all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes.

    I just had to repeat that line in print. In USA Today!?

    Jesus Haploid.

  8. KevinNevada says:

    To all:

    here’s a fine background piece on the Alabama election, by a reporter who began her career in Las Vegas, then wrote for the Atlantic, now is with Time: Molly Ball. She is one of the good ones, knows how to listen and then write.

    (She also once appeared on Jeopardy; did well, too.)

  9. KevinNevada says:

    More good news.

    In Virginia, recounts are continuing in the November election, in four districts of their lower house the Chamber of Delegates.

    It is possible that Democrats may control the chamber by January.

    Remember, the Republicans held 64 seats, of 100, in the prior cycle.

  10. Squirrel says:

    Will Moore’s defeat take any of the su out of the GOP in Congress’s supine attitude to their dear leader?

    Somehow I doubt it. They’ll all just be pleased they don’t have to deal with Judge Dreadful any more. Trump’s already rewritten his Twitter history: Judge Dreadful was bound to lose (this week).

    While much of the media is trumpeting the ‘revival of the democrats’ and the ‘fall of Trumpery’ it somehow seems very hard to find the actual result, but I gather the victory was only by something like 1.5%? Against someone as awful as Judge Dreadful? If the French Revolution had started off like that, they’d never have ended up with Napoleon . . .

    I’m getting bored with Trumpery. It’s getting to be like watching a drunk spewing up over the pavement, only not just on Friday night, every night.

    Squ.peeved, anyway: no TV or—worse—FM radio reception. Though that does mean I don’t have to suffer tiresome punditry about Mrs Maybelieve or the Donald for hours at at time. Without TV, I’ve discovered, there is no news.. Especially without 24 hour ‘rolling news’, which always rolls around in circles anyway.*

    Somebody’s been up on the roof and turned my aerials around so they point in the opposite direction to where they should, at a brick wall . . .can’t have been the late wind and rain, they’ve withstood worse over the last 20-odd years. And I can see from the ground my FM aerial’s been badly damaged, so I’ve spent hours this morning trying to get the right replacement. People obviously don’t care about FM radio much anymore. . .

    * I had a neighbour years back who was a Reuters journo, and went off to NY to their ‘rolling news’. We agreed that it was all a bit of a disaster: by the time you got to where something had happened, set up the camera, mics sound and satellite dish, it had all either moved on and was several miles away, or it was all over. . .and you were reduced to asking anybody around what it was they didn’t actually see or know anything about either. But then they were going to pay him a lot more . . .

  11. bluthner says:


    Who would do that to your aerials? Someone who was intent on you not seeing something in particular? I know someone whose mother had a decades long lesbian affair (which her father never figured out was happening) and then one day the mother went on the radio to talk all about it. So the kids had to go round and make sure he didn’t listen to the radio at that time, which he was wont to do. It was, apparently, a near run thing.

    As for Jones’s victory being only by 1.5%, you do have to take into account that the election was in Alabama. Which went for Trump over Clinton by something like 3 to 1. For his coattails to have been cut off so drastically, in the redest of all the red states, which Alabama is, that’s not trivial. If Trump’s coattails couldn’t drag Moore into office, then GOP senators inclined to throw in behind Pence might want to do so sooner than later. They want to run against the Democrats -that’s why Trump won after all, rather than to be running as a defense of Trump, whose numbers are softening up in all his base constituencies.

    What the Moore defeat also seems to suggest is that if an election can be about saying fuck you to Trump, then black voters can be motivated to get out and vote. In Alabama this time more black voters came out to vote against Moore than came out to vote FOR Obama the last time he ran. That really is extraordinary. Republicans in most purple, or even paler red states, depend on black voters staying home.

    Think about the timing, too: If Trump is removed before the 2018 elections, and Pence goes down as well – I agree that’s probably far fetched, but we don’t really know how dirty Pence is, though Mueller by now probably does- then Paul Ryan takes the White house. But after the 2018 midterms, it’s highly likely the Dems will take the house, which means if both Trump and Pence go down in 2019, the Dem speaker of the house, whoever that might be takes the white house.

    When I wonder if the GOP in congress might become less supine, I hardly expect them to do so out of a sense of integrity or duty, but only out of self interest. As Mueller closes in on Trump the self interest of the GOP senators starts to look more and more Pencian.

  12. NatashaFatale says:


    …but I gather the victory was only by something like 1.5%?

    On the one hand, it’s Alabama, where any Democratic win is the Bastile and the October Revolution combined. On the other hand, Moore, the alternative spelling of which is “Anomalous.” On third hand, it does terrible damage to the GOP in the senate. On the fourth hand, Jones is a no-fooling, grade-A traditional Democrat, nothing the least bit blue-doggish or Dixiecratish or corporate-puppetish or. especially, Hillary-boosterish about him.

    But on the fifth hand, because of the second hand, the first hand needs to firmly grasp a whopping grain of salt. Talk of a Democratic juggernaut in 2018 may be sensible (I certainly hope it is), but it isn’t sensible because of Jones v. Moore. We’ll not see very many punching bags like Moore eleven months from now. Moore’s humiliation – and it is one – was a rejection of Moore, not of Trump.

  13. KevinNevada says:


    Hope you restore the important facilities soon!

    To counter your post: the victory by Jones on Tuesday did not happen in isolation. Throughout this year, in special elections in various states and local elections in June in places like rural Illinois (very conservative territory) we’ve seen a pronounced swing away from the Trumpian brand.

    A general shift of about 15 to 20 percent has held steady, in votes cast.

    Then, in the Nov. 2017 elections: two states held state-wide elections and many cities and counties held theirs, too.

    That election day was a triumph for progressive and new faces, everywhere. Not only in Virginia, but also New Jersey, in a key special election in Washington State, and in municipals all over the map. And again, 15 to 20 percent shift in votes cast.

    The awfulness of Trump and his ugly brand of politics, with ignorance, sexism, nativism, overt racism and new-age Fascism in one nasty stew, has provoked a lot of people to get off their butts and run for something. And many of those people are women, many aren’t straight, we are getting a serious intake of diversity into elected offices. Hoboken, NJ has a Sikh for their Mayor now, and Helena, Montana, an immigrant from Liberia.

    And for Jones to win at all, took an enormous swing in opinion and voting in that very conservative state. It’s stunning. We’ll take that 1.5 % win (against the usual 20 to 30 percent losses!) and pop the bubbly.

    Because if this trend holds, the Republican Party and conservatives in general are in for a very rough year in 2018. I’m not the only person to use the word tsunami.

    It could still be screwed up, this wave of success could get pissed away. But the momentum is clear, right now.

    And as a companion movement, the woman aren’t putting up with the pigs any more. The downfall of Roy Moore intersected that nicely. That too, I think, came to a head with Trump and his personal nastiness. The latest voice to speak up, yesterday, was Salma Hayek about dear old Weinstein. And Uma Thurman has already signaled, that she is about to unload her own Harvey story. (“Harvey, I’m glad this is happening slowly for you, because you don’t deserve a bullet.”) And the Weinstein’s leading executive over in Hong Kong also got in trouble yesterday, for abusing women on sets over there. This thing is going global.

    (Yeah, the liberals have lost Franken and Conyers. Well, so. Conyers should have retired ten years ago, at least, and he’s asking his district to now elect his son, so he’s another clueless one. The Minnesota Governor just appointed Franken’s replacement: a woman. And here in Nevada, Rep. Rueben Kihuen is in deep trouble.)

    And Trump is now facing questions, again, about the women he abused personally.

    It’s like Brexit, the companion movement to Trumpism. That too is dead in the water right now, screwed and tattooed, awash in its contradictions, lies being unmasked, the lot.

    So hell yes, let’s savor this and keep it rolling.

  14. KevinNevada says:


    my latest was written without seeing your replies to Squirrel.

    Natasha, dear Natasha, you need to check with the Senior Management about this:

    Moore’s humiliation – and it is one – was a rejection of Moore, not of Trump.

    I think that you are wrong about that, in the context of everything else that is breaking, this MeToo movement, a tsunami that has already hit the beach.

    Because the spark that lit this particular bonfire of assorted vanities WAS the election of Trump, and the decision by so many voters to ignore the obvious testimony of so many of his victims, the grabbed and assaulted and disrespected. I think that was the final straw for many.

    And the MeToo movement is not done with Donald J. Trump. Hell no.

    “MeToo” intersects with something I reported on these boards in January: the flood of women into candidate training seminars all over the nation. Here we are in December and many of those new faces are now holding offices, in city and county governments and Virginia Delegate’s seats too.

    (In Virginia, as a direct result, a 64/36 Republican majority there, may be about to go 52/48 Democrat, a stunning shift.)

    And a further wave of that tsunami is about to hit the primary elections for 2018.

  15. NatashaFatale says:

    Kevin, dear Kevin, to believe that Moore lost because of Trump instead of being personally rejected for being Moore is to believe that his history with the high school girls accounted for less than 1.5% of the vote. And that I won’t believe.

  16. KevinNevada says:


    As already noted here, the vote swing in Alabama was not 1.5 percent. It was quite a bit more.

    Moore lost for both reasons, his own stench and the Donald’s too. I think that the late endorsement by Trump helped to seal the deal, by disgusting just enough additional voters to help make that defeat occur.

    Some research is needed and I’m sure this is being polled by both parties, right now.

    But the deeper issue is, that MeToo didn’t come from ‘nowhere’. It was triggered, I think, by Trump’s election and how so many voters ignored the victims of his pussy-grabbing. It was the final straw for many. Remember that Moore’s victims never spoke up when he ran for the Alabama Supreme Court (twice). Or, if they did, no one listened or cared.

    Moore ran again, for a higher office, at the worst possible time for his particular brand of sick.

    The reaction to Trump is still unfolding. In the long run, the Republicans and the conservative movement may be destroyed by his 2016 victory – for a variety of reasons.

    And all the new and more diverse faces and especially, many many more women running for office, will transform the Democrats. It’s already happening.

  17. NatashaFatale says:


    Polling yesterday in Alabama shows approval and disapproval of Trump tied at 48%. So yes, that is an enormous swing from last November, when Trump could do no wrong, and it has to scare the GOP to death. But I wasn’t talking about vote swings, wonderful as they can be. I was talking about winning and losing. And Moore lost by being Moore – the lecherous version of Moore, the one without any self-control, not the over-the-top preacher-judge Moore or the man-was-life-great-when-we-still-had-slavery-and-the-women-couldn’t-vote Moore, both of which would probably have squeaked by. And squeaked by neither because of Trump nor in spite of him.

  18. KevinNevada says:


    I think that Moore lost by being Moore, true, but the sleazy kid-chasing stuff came to light this time, only because Trump triggered MeToo as such a big movement, first.

    It wasn’t the year to ‘sell’ Roy for the Senate.

    As for the other aspects of Moore’s rottenness, I think his overt racism contributed to the stunning turnout and near-unaminity of the black voters. They’ve had enough, too. And they’ve watched Roy up close for decades, now.

    They certainly served old Roy a hearty helping of a very special pie.

    The sick aspect of this is, Moore almost won anyway and DID win with the white folks.
    Those voters deserve a special slice of pie each, also.

  19. NatashaFatale says:

    The Post has a nicely put together (and infinitely discouraging) article about Trump’s visible relations with Russia, not the invisible ones we usually talk about. Being the trivial and easily distracted person that I am, I find one small piece of it to be inexpressibly delicious. The context is the Obama administration’s seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds it alleged were used for espionage, and Russian efforts to get them back once Trump took office.

    “I told Rex we’re not giving the real estate back to the Russians,” Trump said at one point, referring to Tillerson, according to participants. Later, Trump marveled at the potential of the two sites and asked, “Should we sell this off and keep the money?”

    You can take the boy out of the realty office but you can’t take the realty office out of the boy.

  20. bluthner says:

    I reckon, if everything else had been equal, if Moore had run against Jones for the same seat and Obama was still president, Moore would have won. I can’t prove that, so it’s just useless conjecture, but if I’m right then a lot of other Senators have to start asking themselves, or will have to start asking themselves after Mueller drops the book on Trump, will more peole vote against me with Trump in the oval office or with Pence. Trump fires up his hard core base still- no one can deny that- but he also is firing up more and more people to get off their butts and their high horses to vote for anit-Trump candidates, even ones that aren’t even close to perfect.

  21. KevinNevada says:


    good post with one flaw.

    Trump is losing his base now.

    Check out that Pew poll, I linked above. About 1/6 of the evangelicals have soured on the hairball. It’s the significant decline that we have been watching for.

    He’s down to the low 60’s in support there – used to be 80+.

  22. bluthner says:


    I noted that fact upthread. But we have to admit that the 48 point something of Alabama voters who had the stomach to vote for Moore are pretty well certain to ALL be in Trump’s hardcore base, and all of them fired up by Trump’s support for Moore. And we had better admit that the really hardcore, like them, just aren’t going to fall away no matter what Trump does. Which is why the GOP in the senate are so jelly-legged about standing up to Trump. They don’t want to get punished by those in the unshatterable hard core. What I am saying is, that, for a lot of GOP senators, at some point the prospect of firing up extra anti-Trump voters is going to outweigh by the prospect of getting punished by the the pro-Trumpers. I’m saying that point is getting closer, and Alabama just proved it.

  23. Squirrel says:

    Just caught this from Odorosa Manifesto or whoever:

    “As the only African American woman in this White House, as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people,” Omarosa said.

    “And when I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear,” she continued.

    Since she’s an ex Trump apprentice and crawled absurdly to him, my only question is not ‘When?” but “How much?” But “profound’? I doubt that very much.

  24. NatashaFatale says:

    What I am saying is, that, for a lot of GOP senators, at some point the prospect of firing up extra anti-Trump voters is going to outweigh by the prospect of getting punished by the the pro-Trumpers.

    At least for the moment (and we’ll see how long it endure), there’s a third source of pressure: Bannon, in his role as uber-Tea Party. To the extent that pro-Trumpery is a source of pressure, it’s being augmented but also distorted by Bannon’s anti-McConnellism, which increases the danger in playing the good soldier to the GOP senatorial leadership’s general staff. So following the party line may soon amount to betraying Trump. “He choose his establishment master instead of our President.” Not, if you’re counting on the pro-Trump base, a good thing to have said about you. It’s almost enough to make me sympathetic to poor Mitch’s band of looters.

  25. bluthner says:


    I do wonder if it’s at all useful to try to parse the pro-Trump hardcore from the Bannon-led alt right neonazi nativist pro-Trump camp from the Tea Party Libertarian pro-Trumpsters. Or even possible. Me I’d lump them all together and guess that no matter what Trump does says doesn’t do doesn’t say they will always, between them, stick hard at about 25-28% of the country and at 50-6-% of the GOP base. Unless Bannon goes off and starts his own party, which if he could do that and make money doing it, which I imagine he could pretty easily, he may well do. Of course that would end his chances of re-gaining power, but hell, what’s power when you look as ill as he does, compared to serious money.

  26. NatashaFatale says:

    “…hell, what’s power … compared to serious money


    Which reminds me of a line from the immortal Mike Royko from a political biography of the elder Mayor Daley. In Daley’s first few years in office he was opposed in everything (think Stalin and Trotsky) by a very powerful and unbelievably rapacious alderman named Tom Keane. The struggle went back and forth for a while but in the end Keane went down hard and had to go off to prison. Royko said that this proved that “a man who wants money and power has no chance against a man who wants only power.” Looking at the current cast of critters I think that if another all-the-power-there-is-plus-three-squares-a-day-is-all-it-takes-to-satisfy-me guy like Daley the 1st showed up, he’d be on top in no time at all. But I also think it couldn’t happen in a million years.

  27. KevinNevada says:


    you may be over-thinking the distinctions between the various brands of hardcore Trump support. The only major distinction that matters, in my opinion, is between the religious nuts and the arch-conservative gang who are motivated by something other than fundymentalist fervor.

    The fundymentalists are falling away, now, some of them.

    I doubt that any of the others are wavering, one little bit.


    Bannon’s brand is a bit stinky in GOP circles this week. The establishment gang can justifiably load some blame upon his slouched shoulders for the Alabama Fiasco.

    And, for example, if they stick with the current Bannon-ite candidate running for Flake’s seat in Arizona, who really is a loon, then that seat could be won by any sensible Democrat, in the current voting climate. Arizona is morphing into a purple state anyway. Trump is accelerating that process. His rally a couple of months ago in Phoenix was a bust, very very low turnout.

    And here in Nevada, the Trump/Bannon candidate who is challenging our Sen. Dean Heller (R., Spineless), one Danny Tarkanian, has a proven ability to win GOP primary races and then to lose in general elections. If Tarkanian is the candidate next November, then that seat can easily be won by Jackie Rosen (D., NV-2).

    And at this rate, other GOP-held Senate seats may be in play.
    Why should 2018 be any more predictable or ‘normal’ than 2016?

  28. KevinNevada says:

    Over in electoralvote.com, I just found the following quick summary of the status of Trump, as of Tuesday’s election:

    Day 327
    Wall length: 0
    Wall height: 0
    Pesos from Mexico: 0
    Healthcare reforms: 0
    Tax reforms: 0
    Mining jobs added: 0
    Clintons jailed: 0
    Illegal votes found: 0
    Senate seat total: -1
    Hands: tiny
    Swamp: yuge
    Voters: black
    Alabama: blue
    Winning: bigly

  29. NatashaFatale says:


    Bannon stinky: sure. He’s never made any secret of his wish to supplant both parties, which made him a useful weapon against Clinton, but the kind of ally smart revolutionaries stand against the wall the day after they win. But the GOP didn’t do that and he’s still a force working against Republican party unity in congress. It’s perfectly true that his candidates don’t win general elections but in primaries they sure as hell defeat Republican incumbents now and then, and if you’re one of those incumbents you have to be hearing footsteps – and asking yourself how far you can be seen to do the leadership’s bidding. When your immediate agenda is nothing more than pure destruction, you just have so many more options than your enemies do.

  30. NatashaFatale says:

    I think it’s time for me to be enlightened about Brexit again. What I (silly me) think I’m seeing is, one, May suffers a crippling defeat in parliament that completely undermines her authority to negotiate – followed by, two, the EU saying “All right, let’s move on to the really tough and ugly stuff.”

    Makes me speculate whimsically that maybe they’re trying to force her out of her job and poison the prospects for any kind of Brexit at all. And I know that’s almost certainly not true, so what are they up to?

  31. KevinNevada says:


    You are correct regarding Bannon and the GOP Civil War.

    After the Bama Fiasco, there will be no peace in their valley. Candidates are already declared, and Arizona may provide a double chance for party-switching for the next Congress. John McCain is not likely to survive through next year.

    Bannon’s candidate down there rivals Sharron Angle in sheer nuttiness. Oh, and here in Nevada, Sharron Angle has come out from under her rock again, too, running for a House seat, against Nevada’s only current Republican incumbent.

  32. bluthner says:


    I think what happened is a bit more mundane: May made the EU a promise about the Irish Border; Eu said okay we can move on to trade talks; Davis went home and said the promise wasn’t a promise after all, just an expression of ‘intent’; EU said hold on, no moving on to trade talks until we get that promise you made us in writing; May duly gave the EU a written undertaking.

    The written undertaking basically commits the U.K. to a soft Brexit. So the EU is fine with that.

    The vote in Parliament was on another issue altogether, which is Parliament’s oversight of the changes in U.K. law that have to happen after we leave the EU. The hardcore Brexit group, and May, wanted to take all that power away from Parliament. Enough of the Tory backbenchers balked, and it didn’t happen. And they have promised she will get no fixed date for leaving, either.

    Both the Parliamentary oversight of the new laws and the lack of a fixed date all skew hard towards a soft Brexit.

    May was always in favour of a soft Brexit. But the more she makes a soft Brexit inevitable (which is what is happening more and more, day by day) the more she makes a leadership challenge by the looney right wing inevitable. At which point we may end up going into an early election, which will probably put Labour on top, which means an even greater chance of a softer Brexit.

    So it all boils down to soft, not hard. Which is making the looney right of the Tory party go mad. Check out yesterday’s Daily Mail headline. completely OTT.

  33. NatashaFatale says:

    “…Parliament’s oversight of the changes in U.K. law…” My goodness – I thought Cromwell settled all that. Shows what I know.

  34. bluthner says:

    It’s a thing they’ve been doing since Henry VIII:

    from the official parliament website:

    The Government sometimes adds this provision to a Bill to enable the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament. The provision enables primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation with or without further parliamentary scrutiny.

    Such provisions are known as Henry VIII clauses, so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation.

    What May’s government wanted to do was, basically, subsume ALL statues affected by Brexit under one of these provisions. Which is to say eliminate the role of Parliament altoghether.

  35. NatashaFatale says:

    And 305 MPs voted to cut themselves out of the loop? The things I never knew…

  36. Expat says:

    ….a bit like executive orders issued under a broader legislated or constitutional authority in the USA?

  37. NatashaFatale says:


    I don’t know but this seems quite a bit more sweeping to me.

  38. Squirrel says:

    Ah, yes, that vote in Parliament . . .

    It boils down to a bit of a constitutional oddity (if I remember the swotting I did for my O Level in the British Constitution long ago), in that what was once the ‘Royal Prerogative’ that allowed the monarch to basically legislate on some things without any annoying debates in parliament until they were, basically, told ‘OK,dunnit, now you get to say “Yes, thanks Your Majesty”, devolved back to. . .well, in theory the Prime Minister (if s/he could get away with it) which is basically what Mrs Maybe was trying on. (Possibly she actually knew it would fail, pace Bluthner.) Whatever the Brexit agreement turned out to be finally (if ever) would be presented to Parliament for them to say “Yes, thanks, Prime Minister’.

    This was never exactly popular among MPs. (Not since Charlie the First especially, not much while James I/VI was in business, and it caused a fair bit of bother with the Puritans—who, technically, which looks odd now, then ‘The Left’—during the latter half of Elizabeth I’s tenure, in fact.) The Hard Brexit ones obviously wanted to be able to say ‘No, we want it to be a lot worse, we just want to fuck off out of it and the hell with everybody’ and plenty of others had a fundamental objection to Parliament just being asked to say ‘Yes, OK, we’ll swallow it whole.” Bear in mind that a lot of MPs read a lot of history, especially political and parliamentary history, and quite a few write it.

    Since (I hope) the ‘Hard Brexiteers’ are actually in a minority, just obnoxiously very, very LOUD, this means, again hopefully, we get a ‘Soft Brexit’ which is actually the next best thing for most people (even if the stupid buggers who voted to leave the EU a long time ago still haven’t realised it) to staying in the EU.

  39. Squirrel says:

    And now Trump . . .just caught on Sky News he’s bloody well at it again, dissing the FBI (seemingly to a chorus of approval about ‘FBI bias’ from the Far Right) and practically promising a pardon to Flynn . . .which one of his own lawyers then said he wouldn’t. . .

    (You can tell I got my aerials fixed, with the help of landlord’s odd job man. Bloody, hell, I froze up there on the roof, but at least it wasn’t raining. Turned out they’d been messed about with by someone next door putting up another TV aerial and two satellite dishes. Landlord very annoyed: no-one asked. And the really annoying thing is there’s plenty of space on their bloody roof. They are probably going to find their dishes and aerial removed when the weather warms up. . .We talked a bit about The Trump . . .I thought I loathed him . . .Odd Job Man would definitely be a 9k-er in all respects. Landlord voted Leave, of course. But he’s got a house in Spain . . .which he won’t find so easy to get to in a couple of years, will he? And he hasn’t bloody well thought of that either.)

  40. Squirrel says:

    On aerials . . .flat roof, in case anyone worried about Squ crawling about on a sloping one or climbing chimney stacks. . .Rather inclined to drop a sharp note next door demanding at least the £50 my new replacement FM aerial cost me.

    It is nice to get HD TV back again. I can watch Blue Planet II properly. And (on Freeview on my HD tuner/recorder now, but not, oddly on my TV) PBS would you believe?

  41. bluthner says:


    a bit like executive orders issued under a broader legislated or constitutional authority in the USA?

    In short, no. Not at all. What happens under a Henry VIII proposition is the executive rewrites the statute. Which is about as far from an executive order (which can seek to change the spin that agencies give to ambiguous statues, or to ambiguous parts of statues, but which in now way alter the statue itself. And the distinction is hardly trivial, it goes to the very heart of who or what is sovereign. Trump can overturn Obama’s executive orders with another excecutive order. And whoever is 46 can overturn Trump in turn. With a signature. Whereas a statute can only be overturned or superceded by another statue, which must be enacted into law in the usual, time consuming and politically fraught and horse-traded way.


    If the neigbours messed with your aerials they would have had to trespass upon your roof to do that. They owe you your damages: whatever it cost to put your equipment back in order. Also make sure they didn’t break any of your roof tiles or punch any holes in your tarpaper or whatever. Leaky roofs cause very expensive damages. They might need reminding about that.

    As for Trump’s nominees for the Federal courts: he’s turning every lawyer who worked hard to learn the law against him, and not just mildly. It’s like he’s spitting in their faces.

    You spit in the faces of the lawyers, and the judges, and the FBI and the CIA and humiliate the legistlative branch of your party, make them have to suck it up and pretend they aren’t appalled by you, or angry about carrying your water- who will he have left to stand up for him but the nutters? Soon, almost no one at all. Apparently Paul Ryan is bailing out of the house in 2018, now. He wants to run for president in 2020 or 2024, and he wants to wash the stink of Trump off his clothes as best he can in the meantime.

  42. Squirrel says:

    You spit in the faces of the lawyers, and the judges, and the FBI and the CIA and humiliate the legistlative branch of your party, make them have to suck it up and pretend they aren’t appalled by you, or angry about carrying your water- who will he have left to stand up for him but the nutters? Soon, almost no one at all.

    How soon? My god, the man must be even thicker than we think, or have a totally impervious ego.

    (Local burger place on Portobello when Trump was elected advertised ‘TheT-rump burger: our thickest burger yet!’. That was the time a pub, I think in the Borough, had a placard outside that said “Americans only admitted in the presence of an adult.”)

    I owe you a pint at The Artesian; I’ll be the one with the squirrel on my shoulder. (My friends who are lucky enough to have a garden square tell me it’s acquired a rabbit somehow. Which has made friends with one of the garden square squirrels, and they play together. And unite to tease the (now mightily puzzled) garden square cats and dogs . . .Friend’s husband, who’s more of an expert on rabbits than I am—he used to shoot them—insists it’s not an escaped pet, but a wild rabbit. Goodness knows where it immigrated from.)

  43. bluthner says:


    I’m guessing someone with a country place must have smuggled that rabbit in. Or else it’s actually a rat of great size and the bankers have been fooled (and your friend is letting them continue to be fooled?) Or maybe the gardeners brought it in, in a load of plants?

    I haven’t had a drink at the Artesian since they went up market, but would happily down a pint there with you. Just name the day and I’ll be there.

  44. NatashaFatale says:


    When you do threaten the lawsuit don’t forget the pain and suffering from missing I’m a Celebrity, etc. You can practice right here trying to convince us it’s ruined your life. “It’s no joke, Milord – I’ve been reduced to making up stories about the squirrels and rabbits in the neighborhood gardens. And just yesterday I thought I saw a toad driving a motor car.”

  45. Squirrel says:

    There was once a guy who drank at a pub (I’ve forgotten the name) just along from the cop shop off Ladbroke Grove who used to take pet duck (on a lead) with him. . .I’m assured it’s definitely a rabbit.

  46. Squirrel says:

    Just yesterday I nearly got run into by a toad driving a white Audi SUV as I was just beginning to cross Ledbury Road in my wheelchair. AndI had my very bright flashing LED lights on too.. Well, he looked like a toad to me anyway.

    It’s the stress. . .

  47. Expat says:

    In short, no.

    I was only asking.

    We had a feral white bunny that frequented our yard and the adjoining woods. We assume it escaped from the petting zoo at the hippy Garlic Fest that takes over the field at the bottom of our street for a weekend in the autumn. It was bigger and more obvious than the wild grey ones and managed to survive a couple cold winters. Perhaps its white camouflage helped it to outwit the coyotes. I even saw it out run a fox. But eventually it disappeared. Mauled by a neighbor’s dog I am told.

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