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2022-08-09 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 599 references
[Comments enabled]  

The original assumption flying around was that it was related to January 6th.

It soon developed that no, that wasn't it.  Allegedly there were documents that Trump removed from the White House to Mar-a-Largo, including classified ones.

The Presidency is a relatively odd bird when it comes to a job.  Basically nothing you do or generate during your time as President is yours.  It belongs to the American People and goes to the Archivist.  I'm willing to bet you can't wipe your ass as President without the archivist knowing the brand of TP you used.

Anyone who becomes President knows this.  The strum and furor is not shocking to see, but the facts are what they are.  Either Trump did or didn't and what he had he either had the right to or he didn't.  Someone in the FBI managed to get a Judge to believe that he had things he had no right to, and they were at Mar-a-Largo.  We'll see.

The classified circumstance, if it exists, is actually a less arguable offense.  Why?  Because The President can declassify anything he wants, any time he wants, irrespective of why.  He's also the only government official who can't be denied access to basically anything; there is no such thing as denying a President a security clearance.

Of course one second after his term expires that power vanishes and a President is just another American.  If he took the material then that's a problem.

Politically this looks like a hit job, of course.  Is it?  I don't know.  The 48 hour rule should generally apply, but this was a surprise.  It was clearly timed for when Trump was out of town, but that's not an "offense", its actually fairly common when it comes to such things.

I'm bemused, actually.  This is the guy who was going to "drain the swamp" and "lock her up", remember?  He did neither.  He certainly had the capability; firing people in offices under the Executive is perfectly legitimate.  It might provoke political consequences but then again he did get impeached twice anyway, right?

Perhaps the proper way to look at this is "Do stupid things, win stupid prizes."  That includes not doing things you know damn well you should, when you should.

I'm waiting until I learn more to pass judgement on this one.

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2022-08-08 09:22 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 128 references


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2022-08-08 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 465 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh, it's all the outrage that Griner was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for possession of illegal drugs.

My answer: So what?

Griner's strategy was to claim that yeah, she did it (obviously, since she was caught with it) but it wasn't intentional.  The fact that she was prescribed the drug (if she was indeed prescribed it) in fact goes to the intentionality of the act rather than "honest mistake" (e.g. "I did have it, Your Honor, but didn't intend to pack it.)

Her claim was garbage and the court saw through it.

Griner seemed to think she had some privilege being a basketball player and, possibly, due to some other factors including race.  I will note that in some states there is no such thing as medical marijuana eitherso you can get busted in those states even with a prescription.

Of course there'd be an excuse there too, right?  I'm sure there would be.

Other nations have every right, under the basic principle of national sovereignty, to make their own laws regarding what drugs are legal, which ones are not, and what you can and can't possess, use, distribute or whatever within their borders.  If you are traveling there it is your responsibility to know whether their laws impact what you may normally possess or consume.  You have zero rights as a US Citizen to impose your, or our, legal view on whatever items are in question upon another nation just as they have no right to do so upon us in the United States.

Nine years is a pretty harsh sentence but its not particularly out-of-bounds for the offense in Russia.  Others have drawn similar sentences for similar conduct.  I remind you that in Malaysia they can and do execute people for drug possession, which is obviously much worse than nine years in the graybar motel.

I do not understand the mental space that leads people to believe they have a right to ignore the laws of a nation in which they're a visitor, and then once they get caught expect to be bailed out by our government.  Uh, no.  Its one thing if you were framed or otherwise didn't actually break the law but that does not apply here; Griner does not assert there was no vape cartridge, or that it was planted in her bag and not there as a result of her own voluntary act.

BC (before Covid) I traveled internationally on occasion, as did my daughter.  When my daughter came of age and began doing so on her own I warned her quite explicitly that comporting yourself as a guest in another nation was not really optional, particularly when you are admitted to that nation as a guest and not a citizen, and thus there is both an explicit and implicit expectation on the other nation's part as regards your conduct while there.  Whatever attitude, say much less items, you may bring with and express and use within said other nation are your responsibility to check against their rules and laws before you go, and if you don't the consequences can be extremely severe, up to and including imprisonment or even capital punishment.

If you disagree with whatever their viewpoints are in that regard don't go.  That's the beginning and end of it.

Griner thought she was "special" and could play some sort of "privilege" card.

She was wrong, and now she's paying for it, exactly as one would expect in a rational world.

The Biden Administration may well extend condolences to her family and friends but has no business executing any sort of "prisoner swap."  That, especially if the rumored arms dealer imprisoned here is part of the transaction, we simply must not do.

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2022-08-07 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 474 references
[Comments enabled]  

I've waited a bit for the strum and furor to die down on the Kansas vote (at the primary level) to not remove from the State Constitution language protecting abortion rights.

First, in perspective, primary elections are usually rather tame affairs. This time.... not so much with ~34% turnout, which is wildly higher, perhaps 10 whole points depending on where you look, than usual.  Thus plenty of people may have come out for this specific issue and it only takes one side to swing it when you have a smaller turnout.

Thus generalizing is dangerous, because the mid-terms, being a general election, will likely have materially higher numbers.  That blunts the impact.

But with that said, the Kansas results likely also reflect some unease in the electorate.  Certainly there are zealots who wanted to kill that provision in the Constitution.  But just as certainly are people who saw a path they did not like, and its not limited to abortion per-se.

No, I'm not talking the crazies on the left who are trying to claim "gays are next!" or even "birth control pills and rubbers are next!"

Neither is a view that anyone with two firing neurons will subscribe to.

However, it is entirely reasonable that a State which holds that from embryonic fusion of the two gametes a human life with Constitutional protections exists that a wild variety of knock-on effects in the law will immediately show up, and many of these are flatly unacceptable even to those who are strongly anti-abortion.

Consider this: A woman of child-bearing age who knows, or has reason to know, she is fertile -- that is, she can conceive and carry a child under such a paradigm acquires an affirmative duty to provide a reasonable and hospitable environment for said potential child!

You can't get away with having a filthy, rat-infested "nursery" in your home along with tainting the baby's food with booze or drugs, can you?  Of course not; that's child abuse.

So what about the woman who consumes alcohol in any amount, any recreational drug or even a prescription known to be at risk of causing birth defects, or....... to go not so far further down the road how about a woman who is 50 or 100lbs overweight?

If said woman gets pregnant and if said child is born with a congenital defect or medical problem reasonably traceable to that woman's behavior prior to birth...... oh, here come the child abuse charges.  Under the "no abortions except to save the mother's life" paradigm in point of fact such charges are not only appropriate they're mandatory.

You think this is theoretical?  It most-certainly is not!  If that embryo is a legal human being with the full plethora of Constitutional Rights then said embryo has a right to a reasonably-healthy environment in which to develop which includes, to the best reasonable capacity, no intentional compromise or destruction of same which being obese, consuming drugs, alcohol or tobacco, or the use of a huge number of pharmaceuticals does indeed constitute.

Of course the zealots on both sides are screaming about unreasonable things.  I reject all of that.

But one of the reasons, in fact the primary reason I agree with the Supremes punting this back to the 50 States is that this debate was never held in those legislative chambers when Roe was originally filed, both that decision and Casey intentionally short-circuited said debate, the landscape in terms of reproductive prophylactic choices has wildly changed in the years since and in addition we have both learned much more about how important the maternal biological environment is to the developing fetus and both men and women have wildly degraded their own health all the way down well into the child-bearing range, and have done so deliberately, especially in the last 20 or so years.  You need only walk around any part of this nation to find a majority of child-producing-age persons who are wildly unhealthy to a degree that is extremely likely to result in serious harm to any children they conceive prior to birth.

How does all of this intersect with conception and the vesting of Constitutional rights in a new person?

THAT debate is one we must have and thus until that debate is held and the matter resolved neither of the extremes is, from my point of view, supportable.

Not on ethics, not on morals, not on physical facts and thus, it should and indeed must not be short-circuited again by the law either.

Kansas, in other words, didn't strike one of the extreme positions.  Rather, they said STOP to one of the attempts to drive the outcome of that process before the debate occurred to one of the extremities.

Those supporting the extremes on either side have something to learn from this.

We'll see if they do, but Indiana appears to have decided the extremes are just fine, and Pence loves it.  We'll see how that position winds up impacting his political future.

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2022-08-06 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Macro Factors , 515 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's not because you should take credit for anything, other than destroying the economy.

Look right here folks.

Yes, prices are down.  Why?

Right here:


That's a 14% drop in gasoline demand .vs. last year, same week at the end of July.  Summer comes every year at the same time.  Vacation season is in the summer.  Driving vacations, to be exact, and everything looked more or less OK and in fact was a very nice economic recovery signal right up until July 4th when it all went to Hell.

Now that's the consumer side, because most gasoline is, of course, burned by ordinary schlubs doing this and that, whether it be going to work or going on vacation, and in the summer that demand spike occurs every single year and is due to vacations and other leisure activities, all of which requires that the average schlub have money they can expend on same.

When they don't that then filters back up to suppliers and businesses, with some sort of lag, because everyone does the happy dance until they can't.  "It's transitory!", "The weather was crappy", choose your excuse everyone makes them in business for a little while.  It is in fact the lag between consumer behavior and supplier actions, along with both exuberance and fear, that drives the business cycle and always has.  In short imperfect information and both the happy and fear game is why there is always a "boom and bust" of some size and nothing you can do has ever, or will ever, change that.

Sometimes the happy dance turns out ok.  But most of the time it doesn't.

This had better not continue to confirm as, you should note, when we start into the late summer and early fall distillate demand goes up because that's the movement of goods for the upcoming holidays.


Is that a blip or is that light in the tunnel an oncoming freight train?

We'll see.

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