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jberryhill's Journal
jberryhill's Journal
May 26, 2017

I got it! - Trump's Plan To Get Mexico To Pay for the Wall

I think I have this figured out... it just hit me...

Step 1 -

First, he tells them, "Okay, look, we'll keep NAFTA, but you gotta do one thing." He tells them that he'll authorize bonds, exclusive high interest bonds, just to Mexico, to finance the wall. These bonds are so good, let me tell you. They are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States just like Treasury bonds, but much, much better terms. Higher rates, earlier maturation, you name it. These are GREAT bonds. And look, he can say, "You don't even have to like me, and you might think I'll be impeached or whatever. You don't have to like me. These bonds, once they are issued by the US Treasury are Constitutionally guaranteed. Now, they can throw me out the very next week, but you'll have these bonds, and no matter what, the US Treasury HAS to honor them, no matter what. And, look, maybe we'll be the next Argentina, but the court is still going to order these bonds be paid."

Step 2 -

The Mexican say, yeah, well, the guy's a complete asshole, but he's right about these bonds. So Mexico gathers every cent they can muster, and then they offer subsidiary deals to attract foreign capital, so they can monetize the difference between their exclusive deal on these bonds and whatever they offer other investors.

They get the money together and finance the biggest, bestest, most beautiful wall in the world. Believe me. Everyone will love it, and say, "What a wonderful, beautiful wall."

Step 3 -

The minute the last piece of that wall is finished, we default on the bonds. Zip, zilch, zero, nuthin. We don't pay 'em. The Mexicans get squeezed by their creditors in turn and, hey, maybe we make a deal for pennies on the dollar with them.

But otherwise, fuck it. We don't pay it. And they can't touch us because WE GOT A WALL, AND THEY PAID FOR IT!!!!


Think about it. This is how he built damn near everything else.

May 25, 2017

Does the GOP health bill eliminate the Death Panels?

And, if not, why not?

As I recall, they particularly disliked the Death Panels, but I haven't heard anything about getting rid of them.

Someone should ask them "Which section of the bill eliminates the Death Panels?"

And if they don't have an answer, ask them why they aren't getting rid of them.
May 24, 2017

In what other sport would this be a key moment?

Tom Dumolin's lead in the Giro d'Italia went from more than two minutes to 31 seconds over Nairo Quintana on yesterday's queen stage of the Giro....

May 23, 2017

"Terrorism Is Mass Murder With A Media Strategy"

Good piece from Buzzfeed:


"ISIS has a media strategy, and unfortunately, it is aimed exactly at generating this type of coverage. In fact, this media strategy is instinctively shared with other sensational mass killers — school shooters, white-supremacist terrorists, and others. They crave the distorted infamy they hope they will get after their death; they carefully prepare manifestos they hope will be published; they record videos they hope will be played on loop on cable TV.


We don’t have to do this. We can give such news incidents the coverage they deserve, somber and proportional, while respecting and embracing the victims. We have examples of such media restraint: In the '80s, the world went through suicide clusters that spread via mass media. In the aftermath, the CDC developed sensible guidelines for media coverage of especially young suicides: Don’t romanticize it; don’t say they are now in a better place; emphasize that help is available and describe how; do not describe the method of suicide (practical ideation increases the odds of re-creation); do not create overexposure. Media followed these sensible guidelines, and indeed dampened the suicide contagion.

We can and should do this for terrorism and mass shootings. The guidelines won't be the same, but the outlines are clear. Don't go into loop mode. Mention names of killers sparingly. Avoid their photos, manifestos, and coverage they left behind for us except in brief mentions. Don't overreact. Report news when there is news. Don't retraumatize victims.


There is a better way: Let’s kick off the murderers from the producer seat. Let’s deprive them of our attention on their terms. Let’s embrace the victims, and their families, across the globe, not just here but also over there. Don’t splash the names and faces of the killers on TV; don’t repeat their manifestos on loop. Each death is horrible, but that isn’t a reason to exaggerate the power or the reach of the killers."

May 18, 2017

Clients Who Follow Instructions Poorly

Any lawyer will appreciate the problems of counseling a client on what, if any, statements to make.

"Okay, now, look, they might turn up evidence of collusion between your campaign and the Russians. So, in order to be able to act surprised and betrayed later on if that evidence turns up, I want you to make sure that any denials you make on the subject of collusion are just about yourself. You need to isolate yourself from anyone in the campaign for whom there is evidence of collusion Be sure to say that you didn't collude with the Russians, but don't take the rap for anyone else. You got that?"




“The entire thing has been a witch hunt,” Mr. Trump said. “There’s no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign — but I can only speak for myself — and the Russians — zero.”

May 18, 2017

HOLD THE PRESSES! Karl Rove says there may be numbers in Ohio keeping Roger Ailes alive!

Someone send Megyn Kelly to check in the morgue.

May 18, 2017

The "Jeane Dixon Effect"

Jeane Dixon is popularly known as the psychic who "predicted the assassination of JFK", and is probably the best known demonstration of what is known as "confirmation bias".

If you want to do well in the prediction business, you do the following:

1. Make a lot of predictions
2. Promote the ones that "came true" or ones for which you can shoehorn the facts into it "sorta, kinda" happened.
3. Make sure your predictions contain enough "slop" in them that you can more easily do #2.

This has been the stock in trade for psychics and soothsayers for a long time.


John Allen Paulos, a mathematician at Temple University, coined the term 'the Jeane Dixon effect', which references a tendency to promote a few correct predictions while ignoring a larger number of incorrect predictions. Many of Dixon's predictions proved erroneous, such as her claims that a dispute over the offshore Chinese islands of Quemoy and Matsu would trigger the start of World War III in 1958, that American labor leader Walter Reuther would run for President of the United States in the 1964 presidential election, that the second child of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his young wife Margaret would be a girl (it was a boy), and that the Russians would be the first to put men on the moon.


Demonstrating that someone "is really good at predicting stuff" is not done by rattling off a list of predictions which came true, or which are too vague to have "come true" or not.

May 17, 2017

Federal Rule of Evidence 803 - Exceptions to Hearsay

The legal definition of "hearsay" is poorly understood by a lot of lawyers, let alone non-lawyers.

Simply defined, with a lot that unpacks, hearsay is an (a) out of court statement, (b) offered as evidence for the truth of what is stated therein.

It includes a lot more than the classic "someone saying what someone else said", but also includes things people wrote down.

The Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 803, distills judicially-derived and somewhat "common sense" exceptions to things that are hearsay, but under certain conditions will be allowed as evidence of what is asserted. My favorite is the "excited utterance" - "A statement relating to a startling event or condition, made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement that it caused."

That rule is known to a lot of people, for example, police who will shout "stop resisting" when someone isn't actually resisting, as an excuse to rough them up. But, normally, it is for situations where you have a witness who was having a cell phone call with someone who shouted "Holy Shit! That red pickup truck just ran over the naked guy who was jaywalking, ran the redlight, and almost hit me!" if, for example, there was a factual issue over what type and color the vehicle was.

In general, the are things which are hearsay are statements made under certain circumstances of "reilability", and also conditioned on whether the declarant is available to testify. The "dying declaration" is a popular one.

One of the important exceptions to something being considered hearsay, deals with things that people wrote down at the time something happened:


(5) Recorded Recollection. A record that:

(A) is on a matter the witness once knew about but now cannot recall well enough to testify fully and accurately;

(B) was made or adopted by the witness when the matter was fresh in the witness’s memory; and

(C) accurately reflects the witness’s knowledge.

If admitted, the record may be read into evidence but may be received as an exhibit only if offered by an adverse party.
May 17, 2017

This overseas trip is going to be a hoot

Not only does "Trump on Islam" promise to be one humdinger of a speech, but if you like things now, the mice are going to have one hell of a party while the cat's away.

He's going to be more isolated than he already is, since he can't just wander the halls screaming like Caligula. All of his communications have to be made via secure lines, and he's going to be under whatever scrutiny foreign intelligence agencies can apply.

The topper is that he's going to be out of synch with the news cycle and the business day here. He already shows enough signs of mental imbalance, and claims not to get a lot of sleep, but his sleep deficit is going to be a lot worse when he's up late at night catching up on his favorite news shows.

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