Totalitarian Twitter

The service has just blocked all of my accounts (including my parody @HealthDotGov) account from posting, with no explanation other than:

Tweet from @HealthDotGov failed: To protect our users from spam and other malicious activity, your account is temporarily locked. You cannot use the team account while your account is locked.

This is outrageous. No moron who objects to something that I tweet should be allowed to do this.

Trump’s Art Of The Deal

Thoughts from Jonah Goldberg, with which I completely agree:

I am coming around to the position that the vast bulk of punditry in defense of Donald Trump is little different from hepatoscopy, chiromancy, tasseography, and other “sciences” that imbue essentially random phenomena with deep and prophetic significance (this is not to say that orbistry, the practice of explaining everything weird in this crazy world, is not 100 percent correct).

Let’s just look at the past week. On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to “immediately terminate” the DACA program if elected. In June, he flipped and said it would stay in place. Going into this week, the White House signaled that it would get rid of the program. On Tuesday, Trump’s attorney general came out and declared that the program was unconstitutional. And, in a move I praised, Trump said that he would give the task of dealing with the issue to Congress. But, after watching negative TV coverage and bristling at Barack Obama’s criticism, Trump flopped. In a tweet, Trump suggested he wants Congress to legalize the program, not get rid of it. And if Congress failed, he might have to “revisit” the issue, implying that Trump might use the same unconstitutional measures Obama used.

Now, in fairness to Trump, he’s always been torn on the issue, and rightly so. Deporting the “Dreamers” is a terrible idea. But the position of most immigration hawks has always been that we should trade some form of amnesty in exchange for serious border-security measures and/or implementation of E-verify or similar steps.

So, let’s consider instead the other big news this week. President Trump threw Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the House Freedom Caucus under the bus to cut a deal with “Chuck and Nancy” on a short-term extension of the debt ceiling. Wait, scratch that. He didn’t “cut a deal” with the Democrats, he simply took their first offer in exchange for . . . nothing. He took a “deal” to get Harvey relief passed despite the fact that Harvey relief would have passed anyway. This was not The Art of the Deal. It was — to borrow a phrase from Seth Mandel — The Art of the Kneel.

Trump kicked the can to December, when his leverage will be weaker, apparently in a glandular act of spite against McConnell and Ryan. John Boehner was hounded out of office by tea-party types for even considering cutting far better debt-ceiling deals with Barack Obama. In both of these cases, the response from legions of Trumpers was rapturous approval of his genius and/or his willingness to punish McConnell and Ryan.

It’s almost as though his vaunted ability to do deals is highly overrated.

Also, read on for a devastating critique of Rachel Maddow’s misleading history of the Wilson administration.

My Computer Problems

One of the reasons that posting has been non-existent (in addition to prepping for a hurricane) is that we came to Florida with a broken laptop. Our Toshiba Satellite (a year and a half old) is flaking out, refusing to boot, and when you can cajole it to, it will die in mid session. That means that the only computers we have are our phones and Patricia’s iPad. Which means that I haven’t had a keyboard (other than finger painting on glass, which is largely useless).

I ordered a Bluetooth keyboard from Amazon on Sunday, and it arrived today. I’m typing this with it on the iPad, and I don’t feel crippled any more, but I still have to stab at the glass to make things happen. The mouse is supposed to arrive tomorrow, which will allow me to clear out my mailbox.

I’ll probably write a long essay sometime soon about how much I hate Steve Jobs and his hatred of useful user interfaces over aesthetic ones.

[Late Saturday evening update, as the storm approaches]

It’s not utterly impossible to blog from an iPad, but it’s close enough to it that it’s not going to happen. It is almost impossible to copy and paste, or to embed a tweet. Because apparently Steve decided that mice would not be allowed with His Preciousssss.

[September 19th update]

Welp, the authorized Toshiba repair place says it needs a new mobo and battery. Over $500 for a machine we paid $350 for a year and a half ago. I’m going to go pick it up and see if I can find some used parts. Despite the fact that it only had a year’s warranty, you’d think that Toshiba would be a little embarrassed to have it fail so soon.

[Bumped]

Global Warming

…may be happening more slowly than the models predicted.

You don’t say. But those of us who were appropriately skeptical about the models at the time were called “deniers” and worse.

[via Iain Murray]

[Update a few minutes later]

Tim Ball: Climate models can’t even approximate reality. The hubris of these people who think they can model climate with any confidence whatsoever is astounding.

Freedom Of Expression

This gay couple is awful.

Mr. Phillips, 61, grew emotional as he talked about the case.

“I have no problem serving anybody — gay, straight, Muslim, Hindu,” he said. “Everybody that comes in my door is welcome here, and any of the products I normally sell I’m glad to sell to anybody.”

But a custom-made wedding cake is another matter, he said.

“Because of my faith, I believe the Bible teaches clearly that it’s a man and a woman,” he said. Making a cake to celebrate something different, he said, “causes me to use the talents that I have to create an artistic expression that violates that faith.”

Mr. Mullins and Mr. Craig, speaking in the kitchen in their Denver home, rejected the distinctions Mr. Phillips drew.

“Our story is about us being turned away and discriminated against by a public business,” said Mr. Mullins, 33, an office manager, poet, musician and photographer.

Who would want to have a wedding cake provided under legal duress? It’s totalitarian.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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