Friday, February 3, 2017

My Fantasy Visit with Eudora Welty


Eudora Welty once said that “Each writer must find out for himself, I imagine, on what strange basis he lives with his own stories.” This has always struck me as a particularly profound observation about not only the writer’s life, but “life” in general, the “stories” we all live.

Eudora Welty. One of America’s all-time great writers. One of America’s all-time great “Southern” writers. Master short-story writer. The best, maybe. And I’ve always had this secret fantasy that she and I, we’d meet. Maybe share a tall glass of lemonade. Talk about, oh, Truman Capote, maybe. I’d ask her things like “What was Truman Capote really like?” Things like that.

In this visit I’ve fantasized having with Eudora Welty, she’d graciously answer my pestering questions in that uniquely Mississippi way I’d imagine she has of speaking molasses-soft and ever so careful with her words, like she had only so many and didn’t want, couldn’t bear, to waste even one, as though she were giving directions to a hopelessly lost four-year-old who’d come to her crying uncontrollably, asking how to get home, then each word she’d utter would have just the exactly proper spacing between each one, their sounds coming out slowly, resembling, somewhat, a Norman Rockwell painting of a red-headed, freckle-faced, gap-toothed little boy seated at the local soda fountain sipping a tall chocolate milkshake, the kind they don’t make anymore.

Trump slashes regulation output by 70 percent

Via Billy

The volume of regulations that pours out of the federal government has been cut dramatically under President Trump, who so far is publishing a daily federal rulebook that on average is about 70 percent smaller than the last several published under President Obama.

In its first seven business days, the Trump administration's Federal Register has averaged 189 pages. That includes the 510-page Federal Register published on Jan. 23, which included many last rules that were developed under Obama.

Since January 23, the size of the register has only eclipsed 200 pages on one day, and three times, it has been less than 100 pages.

In contrast, the register averaged 642 pages a day during Obama's last 12 business days. On Obama's last full day in office, Jan. 19, the register was a whopping 1,466 pages, and even last year, a typical Federal Register was several hundred pages long.

Republicans begin rollback of Obama's war on coal

Via Billy

President Trump has already promised to end his predecessor's campaign against coal. (AP Photo/Mauricio Medel)

One year ago, West Virginia sought divine intervention for an Appalachia coal industry left reeling from downward market forces and heavy federal regulation. Republicans just started answering.

On Wednesday, the House deployed the Congressional Review Act to strike down one of the Obama-era's most controversial regulations, the Stream Protection Rule.

Just before exiting the Oval Office, then-President Barack Obama put the finishing touches on his regulatory legacy by ordering the Dept. of Interior to finalize the rule. On paper, it's designed to prevent the pollution of waterways near coal mines. In practice, it adds a regulatory burden that the industry insists it can't shoulder.

Former Obama Official Mentions ‘Military Coup’ As A Possibility Against Trump

Via Billy

Ex-Obama official, Rosa Brooks calls for a ‘military coup’ against Trump in a blog post for Foreign Policy Magazine.

According to Breitbart 

In a blog post for Foreign Policy magazine, Rosa Brooks, a former Obama administration official, outlined four ways to “get rid” of President Trump, including declaring him mentally unfit for command or carrying out a military coup.

Brooks is a Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation, which is funded by billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. She served from 2009-2011 as Counselor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and served as a senior adviser at Obama’s State Department.

Her posting is titled “3 Ways to Get Rid of President Trump Before 2020,” although the piece actually outlines four ways….

 Elect him out of office after his four-year term. “But after such a catastrophic first week, four years seems like a long time to wait,” she wrote. 
Impeachment. However, she lamented, “impeachments take time: months, if not longer — even with an enthusiastic Congress. And when you have a lunatic controlling the nuclear codes, even a few months seems like a perilously long time to wait.” 
Utilizing a claim of mental instability to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which sets the path for the commander-in-chief’s removal if the “president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” 
A military coup. She writes: “The fourth possibility is one that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders.”

How Trump's Use of Social Networking Changes Governance

The Trump presidency operates very differently (obviously) than those of his post-WW2 predecessors.  First off, its goals are completely different:  it's dismantling the neoliberal system.  A system that earlier administrations built up over decades.  Second, and equally as interestingly, it operates more like a network than a bureaucracy.  Specifically, the Trump administration is:
More autocratic than bureaucratic.  Single decision maker (softly autocratic) rather than decision through a consensus of bureaucratic elites.  This is faster, particularly within a network setting, but more prone to error.

 More socially networked than hierarchically networked. Its external social network is on the same level as the governmental bureaucracy.  The social network is now a means of governance on par with the bureaucracy.   

Trump says he’ll reverse rule barring churches from endorsing political candidates

Via Billy

 President Donald Trump speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The 1954 IRS provision prevents tax-exempt organizations from campaigning for or endorsing political candidates. Some Republican lawmakers want to repeal it, and Mr. Trump had promised during his campaign to get rid of the measure.

The president did not elaborate on how he intends to carry out the proposed move. But two House Republican lawmakers and Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, introduced legislation Wednesday that would amend the tax code to “restore free speech” for churches and nonprofits as long as the speech takes place “in the ordinary course” of the organization’s activities, and related expenses are minimal.

“For too long the IRS has used the Johnson amendment to silence and threaten religious institutions and charitable entities,” said Rep. Jody B. Hice, Georgia Republican. “As a minister who has experienced intimidation from the IRS firsthand, I know just how important it is to ensure that our churches and nonprofit organizations are allowed the same fundamental rights as every citizen of this great nation.”

Morale at Homeland Security has 'skyrocketed' under Trump

Via Billy

Image result for Morale at Homeland Security has 'skyrocketed' under Trump

When the House Subcommittee on Government Operations held a hearing in April 2015 titled "The Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government," an agency manager at the Department of Homeland Security was called in to testify.

"[DHS] rests as the worst place to work among cabinet agencies," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said at the time.

The third largest federal department had just received an abysmal 44 percent score in the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Fewer than half of its staff felt that morale, leadership and compensation deserved positive ratings.

But those days are gone, according to DHS employees and one senior administration official who spoke to the Washington Examiner on the condition of anonymity.

Cornyn Looks To Kill Obamacare ‘Death Panels’

Via Billy

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas introduced legislation Thursday to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which was created by the Affordable Care Act.

IPAB — a panel of 15 unelected officials tasked with finding ways to cut Medicare spending — was dubbed a “death panel” by opponents of the ACA and has long been criticized by Republicans as an example of government getting in between patients and their doctor. Cornyn’s package will help begin the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Gorsuch Will (May?) Not Shift The Balance Of Power On The Supreme Court As Much As You May Think

Via comment by Unknown Reaper on The three numbers that will keep Democrats from bl...

 Neil Gorsuch And Donald Trump - Public Domain

Fortunately, Gorsuch appears to be one of the rare breed of judges that actually cares what the U.S. Constitution and our laws have to say.  In that respect, he is very much like Scalia

 On Tuesday, President Trump announced that he would nominate Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Gorsuch currently serves on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate when he was appointed to that position by President George W. Bush in 2006.  Gorsuch appears to have some strong similarities to Antonin Scalia, and many conservatives are hoping that when Gorsuch fills Scalia’s seat that it will represent a shift in the balance of power on the Supreme Court.  Because for almost a year, the court has been operating with only eight justices.  Four of them were nominated by Republican presidents and four of them were nominated by Democrats, and so many Republicans are anticipating that there will now be a Supreme Court majority for conservatives.

Unfortunately, things are not that simple, because a couple of the “conservative” justices are not actually very conservative at all.

Commies Protest and Attack Gavin McInnes’s Speech @ NYU

Via comment by Unknown Reaper on Milo Tells Tucker Carlson: "The Left Does Not Want...

 “You have the moderator who is asking people to be reasonable when they have no reason,” Rectenwald said. “He’s appealing to logic and civility which they obviously do not exhibit or have the slightest idea about. Therefore what we see is a shouting match instead of the exchanging of ideas and intellectual activity. These people are obviously anti-intellectual and that is quite obvious. We have an anti-intellectual left.”

VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes spoke for only three minutes without interruption until the jeers started. He exited the Rosenthal Pavilion in the Kimmel Center for University Life 20 minutes after he took to the podium and was escorted from a mixed room of fans and sneering students — once he was in the back, McInnes decided to leave the premises immediately.

NYPD and NYU Public Safety Officers secured both the interior and exterior of the building, and even before he had entered, McInnes was attacked with pepper spray. He was treated immediately by EMT while security and university officials waited outside the Kimmel bathroom door.

And once he started speaking, students verbally harassed him — they began the ridicule once McInnes made the first joke that did not bode well with the audience.

 More with video @ Washington Square News

FBI Allegedly Investigating Mayor of Berkeley, CA For Inciting Riot And Ordering Police to Stand Down - CNN Doing Damage Control

cophere22 standdown2
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin (D) on Thursday described right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos as a “white nationalist” in a statement encouraging inclusion and peaceful demonstrations.

Last night, domestic terrorists on the UC Berkeley campus successfully barred conservative gay Jew Milo Yinnopoulos from expressing his opinion, after Antifa-incited riots closed down a speaking engagement. CNN - by the way, is in full propaganda damage control mode over this. Check out the CNN app notification popup: