Sunny Side Up

Here’s some reading sure to match your mood this evening, whatever mood you are in. If you are keeping on the sunny side, read the first two. If you are feeling in a dark and troubled mood, skip down.

There’s a Bright and Sunny Side of Life

The Limp Caudillo: How Trump’s incompetent power grabs are actually weaking the imperial presidency

Ross Douthat expatiates on how Trump’s stupidity weakens his hand.

Voting Rights Roundup: How the Electoral College could give way to a national popular vote by 2024

If the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact achieves its objectives, in the national election five years from now, every vote might count, and count equally. What a concept.

There’s a Dark and Troubled Side, Too

The One Trait That Predicts Trump Fever

Politico publishes a long excerpt from a book that will be published this week, ALIENATED AMERICA: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse.

The one trait turns out to be institutional collapse within a given community or region—i.e., institutions like marriage, civic engagement, and the church.

Apparently, when your wife done left you, when you don’t have a religious community to remind you each week how people are supposed to behave, when you don’t belong to any organizations, and when you don’t have any friends, you get pissed off with the world, and you see Trump as a very appealing character.

Who knew?

Aardvark’s Animadversion

Let us grant the general point that like calls out to like. And the specific point that jerkish followers will gravitate toward a leader who is a jerk.

But jerks are not necessarily incompetent. I have known many jerks who had could easily find their ass with both hands. Trump is not one of these.

One of these days, all of these racist loners whose wives done left them may wake up and realize that they need to find a much more competent jerk to support.

That National Popular Vote Interstate Compact cannot come soon enough. We really need to deep six the Electoral College and, instead, count the votes of the progressives in Arkansas and Georgia. Not to mention all those folks in California.

Tweet, Tweet

And Now, a Tweet from the United States Constitution:

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.

And Now, a Tweet from Ann Coulter:

The goal of a national emergency is for Trump to scam the stupidest people in his base for 2 more years.

Who Will Investigate the Lieutenant Governor?

MoFo

This sounds like a rhetorical question, but actually it’s a real question, with a real answer. It turns out that the office of lieutenant governor of Virginia is a part time job, paying an annual salary of $36,321. Virginia Lieutenant governors are expected to have a day job.

Up until a couple of days ago, Justin Fairfax’s day job was partner of Morrison & Foerster, a top tier corporate law firm (AmLaw ranks it number 28 in the country). Now he’s been placed on leave by his law firm, and they have hired outside counsel to investigate the rape allegations against him.

Morrison—universally known as MoFo—has compelling economic interests that dictate a full and fair investigation. The most important among these is the need to continue to attract top legal talent to the firm.

Many law school graduates would hesitate to accept employment with a law firm perceived as railroading an African American partner, based on flimsy and unreliable evidence.

But by like token, many law graduates would hesitate to accept employment with a law firm that disregards serious accusations of sexual misconduct.

MoFo urgently needs to get to the bottom of the matter, and that right quickly. As a matter of cold, hard economic calculation, they urgently need to do justice, and to be seen to do justice.

Organizations like MoFo do not hesitate to act on the basis of cold, hard economic calculations.

Trump’s Pecker in Trouble Again

Bezos Pecker

The headline pretty much sums up the situation, I think.

Meanwhile, permit my indulgence this afternoon in some confirmation bias.

For some time my intuition has been that Matthew Whitaker—lightweight, amoral, opportunistic, bottom feeder though he may be—is also a terrified, self-preserving bottom feeder

As I predicted, his terror and minimal sense of self=preservation seem to have stopped him from interfering with the Mueller investigation. Based on today’s hearing’s, Paul Waldman shares my view, and concludes, Whitaker hearing confirms it: On Mueller probe, Democrats have already won.

And, by the way, Mr. Whitaker’s days of public service are soon coming to an end, permitting him to retire into that deep obscurity that he so richly merits. Soon, William Barr will replace him as attorney general. Please let the record reflect my continued view that Mr. Barr—who is also an opportunist, though surely not a bottom feeder—is a Man with a Plan. And that plan is not to save Donald J. Trump.

Theodore Roosevelt Steering a Ship