Archive for Political Science Fiction

For your consideration

For President in 2020, Lynn’s cat Dax:

She is, for the most part, quite honest. She has literally never told a lie. She has on a few occasions tried to steal the dog’s food and she has been seen licking her own butt but she has never tried to hide these habits and we do not think they will interfere with her ability to serve the nation as President, especially when you consider the habits of some former and soon to be Presidents.

She shoots, she scores.

Dax is a peace lover but she does believe in self-defense when necessary. She is in favor of universal health care and enough food for everyone (as long as she gets hers first) so, at heart, she’s a Democrat but, as her chief advisor has observed, labels are what is most important to people and since it has recently been demonstrated that Republican voters will vote for anyone as long as he or she is Republican, after much soul searching Dax has decided to run as a Republican.

Hey, it worked for Nanny Bloomberg, didn’t it? (It technically did not work for Donald Trump, who is no more Republican than I.)

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Quote of the week

Why the election came out the way it did, by Francis W. Porretto:

Americans have long cherished a view of political institutions as servants: agents charged with providing us certain services, rather than masters to which we are obligated regardless of any contrary inclination. The Left, of course, and much of the Establishment Right dislike that premise; they would prefer that we concede our subjugation to the State, that we might be more efficiently “managed.”

The 2016 election makes plain that a substantial fraction — probably a majority — of the people of this nation are unwilling to be managed. We defied the luminaries, the pundits, the bien-pensants, and in many cases our friends, relatives, and colleagues to elevate a Queens real-estate mogul to the highest executive office in the land … and it’s driving those aforementioned luminaries, pundits, bien-pensants, friends, relatives, and colleagues completely batshit.

“How could they have done this?” they wail. “We thought they understood!”

That’s their problem, you see. We did understand. We grasped, in sufficient numbers adequately distributed, what was being done to us. We decided we didn’t like it, wouldn’t have it, and reached for the sole available alternative. That alternative will be inaugurated this coming Friday.

I admit that it’s a lot of fun, watching our would-be overseers drowning in their own guanophenia. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to crawl into a hole and die, so they will have to be carefully watched for the next four years.

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Bubbleheaded reasoning

As of the first of the year, Philadelphia has imposed a 1.5-cent per ounce tax on soft drinks. Inevitably, this has meant an increase in retail prices, much to the surprise of the Mayor:

Mayor Jim Kenney, who proposed the soda tax and championed its passage through city council last year, told reporters on Tuesday it’s not the new 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax that’s making it more expensive to buy a can of Coke in Philly. No, according to the mayor, those higher prices are caused by city businesses price gouging their customers in order to stir up opposition to the tax.

Is he kidding or what?

[T]he new tax technically is applied at the wholesale level. That is, the city is charging a tax on the transaction that takes place when a business, like a sandwich shop or grocery store, purchases soda (or the syrup used to make soda in a fountain) from a distributor. In the mayor’s mind, it seems, distributors and retailers are supposed to eat the cost of the tax and continue selling their products at the same price as before the tax went into effect.

In the real world, those sandwich shops and grocery stores, of course, are adjusting the retail price of sugary drinks to make up for the added cost imposed by the tax. Some of them have posted signs to inform customers why drink prices have skyrocketed.

Kenney doesn’t like that. He called those efforts “wrong” and “misleading” and suggested that it could be an extension of the expensive fight put up by soda companies, retailers, and even the city’s Teamsters Union in a failing effort to prevent the tax from passing in the first place.

How does someone this dumb-with-a-capital-D get elected, anyway?

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Buy your Pepsi in Camden, New Jersey

I am a fan of neither Pepsi nor of Camden, but foiling the pols in Philly would be worth it:

Philadelphia rang in the new year with a controversial new beverage tax on soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks. The tax, which went into effect on Sunday, is the first one of its kind in a major city in the United States.

While the tax is technically 1.5 cents per ounce, which doesn’t sound too terrible, when buying a 10-pack of 20 oz bottles those numbers climb pretty quickly … a 10-pack of Propel flavored water that originally retailed for $5.99 had an additional three dollars tacked on to it in taxes.

The Cola Wars being what they are, I can usually find one of the two and a half major brands — I do love the zip of RC, but it’s lacking in majority — in a two-liter bottle for a buck. Tack on a cent and a half per ounce and that two-liter bottle is suddenly $2.01.

Where is all this money going to go? Ostensible community-health programs? Not a chance:

The money generated from the tax will help fund Mayor Jim Kenney’s Pre-K program.

Answer me this. Did any of your friends attend Pre-K? It didn’t even exist for some of us: as a resident (then) of Texas, I couldn’t start first grade until I was almost seven. This might not matter if the School District of Philadelphia were doing a good job. Fat chance of that:

The Philadelphia public schools do not educate any group of their students as well as national averages for each group. They fail to come anywhere near to providing the quality of education given to students in nearby districts. Although family income and parental education levels have some effect on student achievement, this simply defines the task of the schools. The extent of these failures in Philadelphia is too great to be attributed to anything other than the quality of the schools themselves.

All the more reason to get those kids as early as possible, so they can get used to their eventual fates: smuggling Dr Pepper from Delaware.

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The cycle begins anew

Thursday afternoon, a new insurance card arrived in the mail. Apparently CFI Care (not its real initials) is not dumping me, despite $150,000 worth of claims in the latter half of the year. (You know, 2016 really did suck out loud.) The employer hasn’t divulged what it’s spending for this coverage next year, but it’s got to be a ton of money, especially since I have enough tenure to get them to pay for the entire ball of wax. The ID and group numbers are unchanged, so I suspect the actual coverages will remain as they were.

As if to ratify my new status, if status this be, the County Election Board sent me a blank absentee-ballot application, which will supposedly put me on the mailing list for any ballot that comes down the pike during 2017. Truth be told, I was hoping not to need one ever again — but with my physical condition in No Improvement mode, I may have to deal with them after all.

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A defiring moment

Francis W. Porretto’s been hanging around that Plutarch guy again. Here he evokes the tale of the Ship of Theseus:

At this time, the Obama Administration is, for all practical purposes, the State that governs the U.S. However, as of the coming January 21, that will no longer be the case according to our Constitution. But what if every single component of the federal executive branch as it stands today were to “re-assemble” somewhere after 1/21/2017 and assert that it’s still the government of the United States?

FWP concludes that this can end in only one of two ways:

Clearly there are only two possible outcomes to such a development: raucous laughter and civil war. Hope for the former.

I suspect it at least partly depends on the impostors’ (as I assert they would be) fear of the latter.

I’d be willing to bet, though, that Presidential advisor/string-puller Valerie Jarrett has at least thought about it.

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The Age of Trump

To hear some people tell it, it’s the end of the world as they know it. We should be so lucky.

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Russian unleaded

Vladimir Putin has a shot at rather a lot of American petroleum-refining capacity:

A Delaware Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing against Citgo parent PDV Holding, Inc. on November 30 reveals that Venezuela has secretly mortgaged their Citgo refineries in the United States to Russia’s state-controlled oil company Rosneft.

Redd Intelligence uncovered the UCC filing and broke the news.

PDV Holding Inc., owned by Venezuela state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), owns Citgo Holding Inc., which in turn, owns Citgo Petroleum Corporation, which has 3 refineries and pipelines throughout the United States.

The lien means that should Citgo or PDVSA default, Russia’s state controlled oil company Rosneft could end up owning strategically important oil refineries and pipelines in the United States.

Citgo owns oil and gas pipelines throughout the country as well as oil refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Lemont, Illinois (outside of Chicago). Citgo’s refineries can refine 749,000 barrels per day and the Lake Charles refinery is the sixth-largest refining facility in the U.S.

Rosneft, it appears, cut PDVSA a check for $1.5 billion against 49.9 percent of Citgo. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, except for this minor detail:

In October, in addition to a 20% bonus, PDVSA used 50.1% of Citgo Holding Inc. as collateral to induce $2.8 billion of holders of PDVSA debt maturing within the year to extend into a new 4 year amortizing bond. As a result, should PDVSA default, the holders of the new $3.4 billion PDVSA 8.5% of 2020 would be able to take 50.1% of Citgo Holding Inc.

So 100 percent of Citgo is now in hock. This does not strike me as a Good Sign.

(Via Fausta Wertz.)

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Quote of the week

What the hell is wrong with Europe these days? A lack of adult supervision, says the Z Man:

For close to fifty years, Western Europe was America’s daycare center. Americans did all the heavy lifting with regard to the defense of Western Civilization both militarily and economically. European elites were allowed to play dress up and pretend to be in charge, but everyone knew the Americans were in charge. If something broke, America fixed it. If someone got an ouchy, America would salve their boo-boo. The Pax Americana allowed the West to remain in a state of perpetual adolescence.

The result was at least one generation of leaders lacking any training in responsible government. They dress up like proper rulers, but they have no idea what it means to defend their people. In fact, they don’t even think about the hoi polloi as their people. They are just the great unwashed, an undifferentiated mass of greedy mouths and grasping hands. They were free to evolve this way because the Americans were always there to make sure nothing bad happened. As the protective bubble is removed, all of this being exposed.

At some point, people get tired of being murdered. The young German with a taste for politics is going to start to question why he is loyal to people, who show more concern for foreigners than they do for him. A lesson of the French Revolution is that once people begin to question the legitimacy of the system, everything is soon up for grabs. The reckless disregard for their duties, by people like Merkel, is planting the seeds for something much worse than the monthly Exploding Mohamed we see in the news.

What he doesn’t say, but probably doesn’t have to, is that the Americans don’t even bother with overseeing America these days; they’re busy with their tedious little cultural proscriptions and other trivia.

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Feces in the news

The Orange Street News (December ’16 hard-copy edition) reports on Snyder County’s write-in votes. Donald Trump carried the county, 11,710 to 3,991 for Hillary Clinton, but there were single-digit totals for John Kasich (4), Ted Cruz (2) and Bernie Sanders (2).

Those, at least, are explainable. In the race for Attorney General, won by Democrat Josh Shapiro over Republican John Rafferty, one Snyder County voter wrote in “Turd Sandwich.”

That’s what it says. OSN publisher Hilde Lysiak printed a picture of the official Commonwealth of Pennsylvania form, completed by hand by Snyder County election officials, and that’s definitely what it says.

Said Lysiak: “Turd Sandwich was not available for comment.” Well played, Ms. L.

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Yeah, good luck with that

A legislator in the Palmetto State doesn’t want you looking at those feelthy pictures on the Intarwebs:

People buying computers in South Carolina would be limited in their access to porn online under newly proposed legislation.

A bill pre-filed this month by state Rep. Bill Chumley would require sellers to install digital blocking capabilities on computers and other devices that access the internet to prevent the viewing of obscene content.

The proposal also would prohibit access to any online hub that facilities prostitution and would require manufacturers or sellers to block any websites that facilitate trafficking.

Chumley, a Spartanburg Republican, presumably did not offer a definition of “obscene.”

Both sellers and buyers could get around the limitation, for a fee. The bill would fine manufacturers that sell a device without the blocking system, but they could opt out by paying $20 per device sold. Buyers could also verify their age and pay $20 to remove the filter.

Money collected would go toward the Attorney General Office’s human trafficking task force.

“Step right up and get yer PORN LICENSE! Only twenty bucks!”

I have no idea how the South Carolina General Assembly, which is largely Republican, will vote on this thing, though undoubtedly there will be Republicans playing the Jesus card, and I can see several Democrats homing in on that twenty-dollar tax fee.

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Ring, meet hat

A friend of mine is seeking a spot on the Minneapolis City Council. From Erica Mauter’s campaign info:

I grew up in Detroit. My mom is a small business owner. My dad was an auto plant cafeteria manager while I was growing up. They worked really hard to send me and my sister to good schools, made sure we got good grades and participated in lots of activities, and sent us off to good colleges. With that foundation, as soon as I graduated from college, I moved here to the Twin Cities. I thought for many years after moving here that I would be leaving. And then I realized I like it here and I don’t want to leave!

My wife Missy and I live in the Tangletown neighborhood of Ward 11 with our two dogs, Peanut Louise and Florence. I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities to serve. I’ve given my support to a number of arts and social justice nonprofits, and issue and candidate campaigns. I have season tickets to the Minnesota Lynx. I serve on the City of Minneapolis Capital Long-Range Improvements Committee, the citizen committee that advises on the city’s capital budget. Having worked for over a decade as a chemical engineer, I know the importance of systems that work well and how they can be adapted for better results. As the leader of a small arts organization that primarily serves women, I see on a daily basis what people can do when they are empowered and affirmed, and when they come together around shared experience and common goals.

How far do we go back? When we met, she was still a resident of Detroit. And she drove a Jeep.

She was a director of Project 515, the Minnesota same-sex marriage initiative; it was a group for which I had considerable respect, especially since once the achievement was unlocked, they dissolved the group, which is unheard of in these days of the Perennially Overactive. (Disclosure: I donated a small sum to Project 515.) I can’t help but think she’ll do great things for Minneapolis.

Donations: Neighbors for Erica Mauter, 4631 Harriet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419.

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Is anyone surprised by this?

Furthermore:

Only 13% of the public say they blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media because of what they posted about politics. Again, sharp political divisions emerged in the tendency to remove people because of the political opinions they expressed.

Nearly one-quarter (24%) of Democrats say they blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media after the election because of their political posts on social media. Fewer than one in ten Republicans (9%) and independents (9%) report eliminating people from their social media circle.

Political liberals are also far more likely than conservatives to say they removed someone from their social media circle due to what they shared online (28% vs. 8%, respectively). Eleven percent of moderates say they blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended someone due to what they posted online.

Lesson to be learned: Different echo chambers have different volume-control settings.

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Replace and repeal

Or maybe just rename:

It’s just barely possible that Obamacare will be repealed, though I don’t think that will really happen in practice. Maybe the Republicans will change its name; maybe they’ll pass a bill titled “repeal of Obamacare,” and President Trump will sign it. Maybe they’ll simply amend Obamacare to the advantage of different constituencies. Whatever they do, the powers of the federal government over doctors, nurses, and patients will remain, and grow.

Whatever powers we granted to President Obama will be used by President Trump. Whatever powers we grant to President Trump will be used by his successor. The founding fathers understood what people seem to have forgotten.

So long as the level is unchanged, the swamp will not be drained.

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A majority in perpetuity

I don’t know if this would actually work, but I’d be interested in seeing it being tried:

I’m confident that if Trump really wants to found his own party, and make sure it never loses another election, he should immediately create his own version of the Bund Deutscher Mädel. Give women social sanction to be feminine again, and the rest takes care of itself — no more Pajamaboys, no more Bronies, no more whatevers calling xyrzelves “xyr.” Suicide rates would crater, birth rates would skyrocket, and two young folks will be able to make googly eyes at each other without needing three cameras and a lawyer present.

“Yeah,” you say, “but … Hitler Youth!”

Trude Mohr, the group’s first Reichsreferentin:

Our volk need a generation of girls which is healthy in body and mind, sure and decisive, proudly and confidently going forward, one which assumes its place in everyday life with poise and discernment, one free of sentimental and rapturous emotions, and which, for precisely this reason, in sharply defined femininity, would be the comrade of a man, because she does not regard him as some sort of idol but rather as a companion!

Your garden-variety feminist would of course hurl at this, but then she has no desire to be the companion, let alone the comrade, of a man.

And bronies, I suspect, will persist regardless.

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The actual Inauguration timeline

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Zero charisma

Tam watches Reince Priebus on Meet the Press, and is suitably unimpressed:

[T]hat’s two RNC chairs in a row that you watch on TV and think “How did this midwit paper-shuffler wind up with the chairmanship of one of the nation’s two major political parties? This guy doesn’t have the suave command presence of the night shift assistant manager of the grocery store I worked at in high school.”

Remind me to ask her how close “midwit” might be to “halfwit.”

Historical note: It took seven ballots for Priebus to win RNC chair. Predecessor Michael Steele had dropped out after the fourth.

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Oh, well, there are other Amendments

No one will ever miss the First:

Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act is a bipartisan bill, introduced to the 114th United States Congress to respond to propaganda and disinformation. The bill was initially titled as the Countering Information Warfare Act.

That word “bipartisan” should set off an alarm: it almost always means that both sides are in cahoots and Up to Something.

In both the House and Senate the bill was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017. It passed the House in this fashion in a conference report vote on December 2, 2016. The Senate then passed the measure in a conference report on December 8 — by a tally of 92-7.

Fallout from the CIA allegation that the Russians tried to influence the 2016 presidential election prompted this. The immediate Congressional response, evidently, was “Don’t blame us.”

In the version of the bill incorporated into the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. Congress would ask the United States Secretary of Defense to collaborate with the United States Secretary of Defense and create a Global Engagement Center to monitor information warfare from foreign governments, and publicize the nature of ongoing foreign propaganda and disinformation operations against the U.S. and other countries. The bill said this inter-agency effort should: “counter foreign propaganda and disinformation directed against United States national security interests and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests.”

Sure they will. I’m inclined to believe as Gail Hapke does:

This must stop. The Portman-Murphy Act shreds the First Amendment. What’s the problem? Basically anything the government disagrees with can be labeled “Russian propaganda” with the full force of this law behind it. Read the bill. Dissenters will start to disappear. Contrarians and gadflies will go bye-bye. This is BAD. This is Gulag Archipelago bad.

And this is apparently what some powerful people want: the ability to dismiss stuff from overseas without any repercussions. Count me out.

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All you need is one

Brent Scher has come up with the Top Ten reasons Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, is a swell choice for Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. We’ll just recount one of them here:

And that was Number Ten.

Ed Driscoll, who posted the link at Instapundit, cracks in classic Letterman style: “From the home office in the third booth in the Ardmore, Oklahoma Carl’s Jr.” According to Yelpers, the Ardmore Carl’s Jr. has closed.

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Snitch marketing

This flyer has turned up on a couple of college campuses, and it’s probably reasonable to expect there will be more of them:

If you believe someone is an illegal immigrant there are ways you can report them to the authorities

Obviously this isn’t an official publication of the Department of Homeland Security. Debra Monroe, a professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, reports seeing them on her campus; others have appeared on the East Coast.

That’s a real URL, though.

“We are entering,” says the flyer, “an era of law and order in this country.” I dunno. Ratting people out might be legal, but it hardly seems orderly.

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On Scott Pruitt

Some folks seem alarmed that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, has actually spent a fair amount of time fighting the EPA, and the Usual Suspects are quite aware of that:

Grunwald writes for Politico, so undoubtedly he’s suffering some amount of butthurt these days, but there’s nothing extreme or even really remarkable about his observation: it’s been replicated in some form or other all across the Left.

On the other hand, there have been times when I wondered if the Agency hadn’t given up on actual environmental protection in favor of politicized environmental protection, in which all decisions are made to support The Narrative at the expense of everything else:

A major water infrastructure bill introduced Monday by the Republican leadership would put states back in charge of enforcing one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s costly coal rules, while making sure the agency pays for the damage it caused states during last year’s toxic waste water spill in Colorado.

The new Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation bill includes pending water resources and water waste bills, as well as significant tribal and natural resources legislation, and other important measures to improve the nation’s infrastructure, according to a fact sheet.

“Fact sheets” are, well, not always factual, though dissembling was and is a bipartisan activity of the worst kind. Then again, EPA hasn’t exactly rushed to take care of that toxic waste, have they? If Pruitt’s mission is to strangle EPA in its crib, as Betsy DeVos is supposed to be dismantling the Department of Education — well, think how much we’ll save in the long run if the states resume control of functions that Washington was never Constitutionally authorized to perform.

Of course, some states are in better shape than others. I’m thinking back to January:

Attorney General Scott Pruitt sent a letter Monday to Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders, asking that about $6 million in state appropriations for his office be withheld in the next budget in view of financial problems affecting the state.

A hole of about $900 million is expected in the next state budget as revenues have fallen because of a downturn in the oil industry.

And hey, you can’t have things like agency heads asking for budget cuts. It’s un-American, for certain spendthrift values of “American.”

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We have all been here before

The running gag on the Holy Roman Empire was that it wasn’t holy, wasn’t Roman, and wasn’t an empire. It takes very little to update this gag for the European Union:

There’s a Holy Roman Empire vibe to Europe these days. At some point, one of these problems is going to prove unsolvable. At that point, the logic of the whole enterprise gets called into question. That was the reason the Germans were hell bent on bringing the Greeks to heel. The sensible solution was to let them leave, but that would have meant the EU was a voluntary association of nations. If the Greeks left then anyone could leave. It turns out that political unity only works when it is compulsory.

Quelle surprise.

That’s what may be tested now that the Italians have voted to reject the structural reforms most thought necessary to avoid a banking crisis in the country. Like the Greeks, the Italian banking system is in shambles, but the bigger issue is their political and legal system. Italian society is not engineered to work in a German economic model. That leaves two possible solutions. One is for the Italians to adopt the German political system or for them to go back to the Italian economic model, that is, leave the EU.

It turns out that Italians like being Italian and will not abandon their culture without a fight. This is a replay of the Greek crisis, except that the Italian economy is twice the size of the Greek economy. There’s also the fact that the Italians are much more of a core European nation, in the broader political and cultural sense. No one in Europe felt bad about stomping on the Greeks. The French and the Spanish will not be enthusiastic about siding with Berlin against Rome in a fight, because what comes next for Rome is next for Madrid and Paris.

And there are echoes of that sort of thing even in this hemisphere:

Inevitably, people begin to look at the managerial class the same way the commoners looked at the aristocracy in 18th century France. The average citizen of a Western country feels as if they are ruled by strangers. The result is the rising tide of populism we are seeing, which is nothing like the top-down variant a century ago. The Italian vote was not about nationalism. It was about rejecting rule by strangers. It is why Trump will be the next president and Britain will leave Europe. People prefer the familiar to the foreign.

Expect the next person who boastfully describes himself as “a citizen of the world” to wonder why some people are calling for his deportation.

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Fallin into place

The AP put this out yesterday:

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been added to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, it was announced Tuesday evening.

According to a statement from the Trump organization, Fallin is one of seven vice-chairs being added to the transition team. It was not clear what her duties will be.

If she’s a Vice Chair, I hope they put her in charge of some form of vice.

Fallin reportedly is under consideration for a post with the Department of the Interior and met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York City last week. She said afterward that she would consider a job in Trump’s administration if it were offered.

“He didn’t give me any timeline on anything,” Fallin said of Trump last week. “We just talked in general about a lot of different issues. We talked about different positions he had to fill.”

I’m torn on this matter. While I’m sure the Guv is simpatico with Trump’s idea of Interior, if she goes she leaves behind Todd Lamb as governor, and I’m not entirely sure I’m ready for Todd Lamb as governor.

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Quote of the week

Gagdad Bob on influence-peddling:

[P]erhaps the central purpose of the founders was to create a political system in which government would have less power and influence. It is certainly not something we would put our hope in, except insofar as we hope it leaves us the hell alone.

As they say, the less things politicians control, the less it matters who controls the politicians. But the hundreds of millions raked in by the Clinton Foundation is simply a measure of just how much it matters who controls the politicians. The value of a 20 minute talk by Hillary Clinton has plummeted from $200-300,000 to negative territory, in that you’d have to pay people to listen to her now. What happened? What is the nature of the thing that has gone from being so valuable to being less than valueless?

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what I can persuade your country to do for you. Oh, and be sure to sign the check.”

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Politics in a nutshell

Says it all.

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Activists just want to be loved

Gagdad Bob is reading Extravagant Expectations: New Ways to Find Romantic Love in America by Paul Hollander, and he reprints an improbable-sounding personal ad:

These women are so perfect, one wonders why they have to resort to advertising their qualities. There are dozens to choose from — they’re everywhere! — so I’ll just pick one at random:

“Blonde, slender, tall, willowy DWF. Very attractive with graceful lightness of heart, refined intelligence, smiling eyes. PhD/academic. Optimistic, elegant, physically sensual, aesthetically attuned. Lovely profile, long legs. Considered great package: head, heart, spirit. Puts people at ease.” Etc.

I’ll bite. What’s the catch?

D’oh!

“Progressive worldview, passionate about social justice.”

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly put me at ease, if you know what I mean.

Seriously, I hope she (1) exists and (2) finds someone with a compatible worldview. Were I looking — God knows I have no reason to look — I’d probably look elsewhere.

I just wish there’d been a photo.

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Watch those dadgum signatures

Is this fellow still employed?

Kara Brown is a staff writer for Jezebel.

(Update, 5:45 pm: See also The Lost Ogle’s take.)

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No sense of perspective

A writer for New York magazine feels the strain:

He followed a few days later:

And I would happily have let it go at that, except perhaps to note that people’s capacity for empathy is inevitably diminished by claiming it in public, until things like this came along:

Even I, despite my reputation as an Olympic-class complainer, can’t beat that.

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Yuge data

Yeah, sure it is:

Reince Priebus is running around saying it was the GOP data operations that got the Trump vote out on Tuesday. He was on the radio claiming that his team “knew what people ate for lunch, when they went to work and how they voted in the past” so they could target these voters and get them to the polls. He made it sound like they had studied all of us since birth so they could maximize their vote.

This is nonsense. Trump had none of this stuff in the primary and he poleaxed everyone in his way. His “ground game” was to go on TV and radio and be interesting. Then he went on Twitter to give reporters something to ask him. In the general, he preferred the old fashioned whistle stop tour. Instead of a train, he flew around on his plane and did stadium shows near airports. His campaign was lean and mean, avoiding the trap of hiring an army of experts. Trump was outspent something close to 5-to-1 when including outside groups.

I think Reince is trying to psych out the Democrats, who have been crunching numbers for a heck of a long time. And I think they will not be deceived.

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Leave it blank

An Oklahoman editorial from yesterday:

Trump’s victory in Oklahoma was among the most lopsided in all 50 states. Yet he achieved that domination while attracting fewer Oklahoma voters than [George W.] Bush or McCain. Perhaps Trump did draw new voters out of the woodwork in Oklahoma. But if so, it seems he may have also prompted some traditional GOP voters to sit this election out.

The #NeverTrump hashtag bunch perhaps saw that it had no place to go; independent Evan McMullin wasn’t on the ballot and couldn’t be put there. (We have no provision for write-ins.)

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