Lyndon B. Johnson: The Civil Rights President

Roxy Music – More Than This (Lost in Translation)

Another Poverty Huckster

International Liberty

There are some policy fights that focus on technical disagreements (for instance, how much do deadweight losses increase when tax rates go up?) and other policy fights that involve moral disagreements (for instance, should drugs be legalized when that may lead some people to harm themselves?).

Other policy fights, however, involve dishonesty.

Poverty hucksters might be the most irritating example. These are the people who push an utterly dishonest definition of poverty, which I first wrote about back in 2010. But this article from 2019 has the best summary.

…folks on the left have decided to use an artificial and misleading definition of poverty. One that depends on the distribution of income rather than any specific measure of poverty. Which is insanely dishonest. It means that everyone’s income could double and the supposed rate of poverty would stay the same. Or a country could execute all the rich people

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March 20, 1412: Death of Henry IV, King of England and Lord of Ireland

European Royal History

Henry IV (c. April 1367 – March 20, 1413), also known as Henry Bolingbroke, was King of England from 1399 to 1413. His grandfather King Edward III had claimed the French throne as a grandson of Philippe IV of France, and Henry continued this claim. He was the first English ruler since the Norman Conquest, over three hundred years prior, whose mother tongue was English rather than French.

Early Life

Henry was born at Bolingbroke Castle, in Lincolnshire, to John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster. His epithet “Bolingbroke” was derived from his birthplace. Gaunt was the third son of King Edward III. Blanche was the daughter of the wealthy royal politician and nobleman Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster.

Henry of Grosmont was the only son of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster (c. 1281–1345); who in turn was the younger brother and heir of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster…

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Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany dismisses Chancellor Otto von Bismarck

European Royal History

Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was sixteen years older than Emperor Friedrich III. Therefore, Bismarck did not expect he would live to see Emperor Wilhelm II ascend to the throne and thus had no strategy to deal with him. All of that changed with the early death of Emperor Friedrich III in June 1888?and the accession of his son Emperor Wilhelm II.

Conflicts between Wilhelm II and Bismarck soon poisoned their relationship. Their final split occurred after Bismarck tried to implement far-reaching anti-socialist laws in early 1890. The Kartell majority in the Reichstag, including the Conservative Party and the National Liberal Party, was willing to make most of the laws permanent.

However, it was split about the law granting the police the power to expel socialist agitators from their homes, a power that had been used excessively at times against political opponents. The National Liberals refused to make this law permanent…

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Germany electoral system change

Fruits and Votes

Note: This is a revised version of an older post (originally 15 Jan. this year). The electoral system changes changes (with some modifications) have now been passed. Rather than make a new planting I am just re-upping this older one, as the comment thread has continued to grow with useful information. I particularly recommend a new comment by Thomas D for good detail. In addition, see the post by Verfassungblog for background and Twitter thread by Heinz Brandenburg which has both background and excellent detail on the final version. (The Verfassungblog post refers to an earlier version of the draft; in the finally passed version the 3-districts alternative threshold is indeed being abolished.) The law is sure to be challenged before the Constitutional Court, and some or all if it may fail the constitutional test. As Thomas notes, the law could be a mortal threat to the CSU as…

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French cabinet survives no confidence motion

Fruits and Votes

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron invoked Article 49:3 of the constitution, under which a bill proposed by the premier is considered passed unless the National Assembly majority votes no confidence in the premier and cabinet. The bill in question is a package of pension reforms, which have provoked widespread street protests and strikes. In the first no-confidence motion since Macron invoked the 49:3 procedure, the government has narrowly survived. The motion attained 278 votes, where 287 were needed. This motion was brought by a group of centrist deputies. Another has been put forward by the National Rally and is even less likely to pass.

The current government is a minority cabinet, due to the underwhelming performance Macron’s legislative allies had in the assembly election of 2022–relatively weak, that is, in comparison to a typical honeymoon election (one held shortly after the election or reelection of a president).

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Progressive against free speech

Spanish and Portuguese empires


Best Chess Opening Against 1.e4 & 1.d4 [TRAPS Included]

They ‘lit the kindling’: New memoir exaggerates Woodward, Bernstein’s agenda-setting effect in Watergate

Media Myth Alert

A new memoir by former Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan praises the newspaper’s Watergate reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, for having “lit the kindling” that set off investigations that brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency.


Such praise is misplaced. Exaggerated. A way to sidestep the tenacious media-driven myth that Woodward and Bernstein brought down Nixon while insisting their reporting had significant effects nonetheless.

The Woodward-Bernstein agenda-setting effect in Watergate was weak at best. The influence of their reporting, if it much existed at all, was shared influence.

After all, Woodward and Bernstein had plenty of company in reporting on the emerging scandal in the summer and fall of 1972. They very much were not alone in directing attention to suspected misdeeds of Nixon, his top aides, and officials of his reelection campaign.

While Woodward and Bernstein did some commendable reporting during those early days — such as…

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Leftist Myth Busting: The Democrats and Race

No Minister

One of the many reasons that the Democrat Party is in trouble in the USA is not just the short-term effects of inflation and a looming recession, but a longer term one where their grip is slipping on their traditional voting groups of Working Class Whites, Hispanics and even (to a much smaller degree) American Blacks.

By contrast, university educated Whites, who used to majority vote for the GOP, are now a very important part of the Democrats: probably too important since they’re the primary group that has swallowed whole the insanity of Identity Politics and now it’s even more diseased cousin, Woke ideology, both of which are playing a role in driving away the groups mentioned in the first paragraph.

Working class Whites are increasingly a lost cause for the Democrats, Hispanics are slipping fast, and Blacks may be next, especially when you’ve got Black Republicans increasingly pop up…

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Leftist Myths on the Iraq Invasion

No Minister

While the other day we had the three year anniversary of the start of Covid Lockdown insanity in America, there’s also a twenty year anniversary of another huge event – the start of the Invasion of Iraq.

Some might argue that it is even bigger in terms of global impact than Covid-19, and it certainly seemed huge at the time, but in hindsight I don’t think it can compare, whether in terms of deaths, restrictions on our civil liberties or the global aftermath.

Okay, I have to admit – once again – that I supported it.

I don’t suppose there’s much purpose in digging up the layers of reasoning now, but all I can say is that, while I thought it was a waste of time to try and build Afghanistan into a liberal democracy, I figured Iraq was worth a shot and might steer the rest of the…

View original post 2,021 more words

Brutally PUNISH Scholar’s Mate & Early Queen Attacks

Otto von Bismarck: The Iron Chancellor

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