A word from the plantation.

To be fair, you can’t fault Trump apologist and Fox commentator Laura Ingraham for taking at offense at LeBron James’ words, that the current president  “doesn’t give a f*** for the people.” Still, Ingraham does stick her foot in:

“Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately, a lot of kids — and some adults — take these ignorant comments seriously,” Ingraham said Thursday night on her show. “And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a hundred million dollars a year to bounce a ball.”

“Oh, and LeBron and Kevin: You’re great players, but no one voted for you … So keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”

It seems that in the democracy of the market and the hierarchy that is sports, star athletes do get a platform. Dollars are a kind of vote, and anyone who lived through high school knows that the jocks got status.

Eugene Scott provides more commentary at The Washington Post



Mercy Frozen Out

I want to believe we are better than this.

“So wait, y’all just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes on?” said Imamu Baraka, referring to a dazed woman wearing only a thin hospital gown and socks whom they had left alone at a bus stop Tuesday night in mid-30s temperatures. Her face appeared bloody, her eyes empty.

The entire, sad story is here.

He saw a dazed woman put out in the cold by a Baltimore hospital. He started filming.


A Democratic raid on the country club?

Neil Carlson on Facebook points to a Jennifer Rubin column on the possibility that so-called County-Club Republicans may be in play. Carlson goes for the heart of Rubin’s column,

“These voters want a good education system, college tuition that does not break the bank, investment in R&D, a dynamic economy (which requires trade, immigration and U.S. leadership in the world), fiscal sanity and a spirit of sensible compromise. They want the U.S. to be respected in the world and not to bask in the approval of tyrants. They don’t want the government doing everything, but they know we aren’t going back to the pre-New Deal era. They support a safety net but want programs to “work” (meaning, result in fewer impoverished people). These are people who navigate in their daily lives by persuasion and compromise, not bullying and insults. They want, in short, some semblance of civil and effective government and international leadership grounded in American values.”

He then adds a point about pro-life that should not be missed by Democrats.

Got me about pegged; add something about respect for faith and respect for life without rigid dogmatism about how policy must reflect such respect, and you’re very close.

Pro-life and concerned with building the common good: I do miss those folk, but I wonder. As a Dem, I’m not sure I want this group, but not for the political reasons one might imagine. Our nation and neighborhoods get far better when two sides can dialogue and even disagree. A discourse expands the potential set of ideas, defeats groupthink, and builds a broad consensus — a real patriotism.

In the meantime, the dangers of a small nation leadership (Make America Great, indeed!), are such that yes, Dems should pursue this group. Regarding Carlson’s point about pro-life, one of the real tragedies has been the shrinking of the pro-life base so that it becomes an ideological property than a matter of common approach. There is a world of good that could be done. In the meantime, as a Dem, welcome.

The Purple Republic

Monkey Cage explores the post-industrial landscape of the Heartland. Not surprising to those who live here, the political story is mixed (and for the cities, more Democratic).

Clinton lost crucial Midwestern swing states in large part because of a significant collapse of Democratic support outside of major city centers.

Author Jonathan Rodden goes on to conclude

One of the clearest lessons from 2016 is that the Democrats cannot win the crucial swing states just by running up the score in the biggest cities. They will need to reinvest in understanding the heterogeneous areas beyond the city limits.

‘Red’ America is an illusion. Postindustrial towns go for Democrats.

Second thoughts?

Some folks got seriously wrong ideas about the Second Amendment  ,  — what  police officer wouldn’t respect the rights of a hood wearing,  body armored, open carrying citizen walking into the station? At least they lived to tell about it. Oh, and then there what was seized:

Officers seized a loaded AP-14 firearm, a rifle magazine containing 47 rounds, a loaded Glock 19 handgun with four additional magazines containing 66 rounds, body armor and ballistic vests, the ski mask, a gun belt, several pieces of camera equipment, an AR-15 rifle and an AK-47 style rifle.

Open Carry advocates recognized immediately, there is protection, and then there is the sort of craziness.

Open-carry advocates walked into a police station with a loaded rifle. Officers were not amused.




Another Day at the Office

It’s no surprise that the President follows the same path as he had in business. After 50+ years, you go with what has worked for you. The challenge is learning that the skills that served one so well elsewhere, the entrepreneurial, relational, and certainly the hyperbolic are insufficient for leading a large enterprise like the national government. It is something of the distinction Max Weber makes between charismatic and bureaucratic leadership.

Two takes on the challenging first week reveal problems.

Trump’s government looks an awful lot like a badly run business, Catherine Rampell,
Washington Post

Trump’s First Week: Governing Without a Script,