Friday, September 07, 2018

More Friday Male Beauty

A Constitutional Crisis: A Superpower Run by a Lying Simpleton

While Democrats have taken the lead in the resistance to the misrule of the Trump/Pence regime as Congressional Republicans have become co-conspirators with regime efforts to subvert the rule of law, a small cadre of former Republicans continue to raise their voices denouncing the crisis the country faces because of the foul occupant of the White House.  In a piece in the Washington Post, Michael Gerson, a former Bush White House official, laments the idiocy of Der Trumpenführer, while David Frum, a one time Republican stalwart, looks at the constitutional the growing crisis in a piece in The Atlantic.  First, excerpts from Gerson's column:

One of the major problems with President Trump’s impulsivity is its utter predictability.
A recent op-ed in the New York Times by an anonymous administration official accused the president of impetuous, reckless rants, and Trump responded with impetuous, reckless rants (“TREASON?”). Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear” recounts a private “nervous breakdown” in the administration and Trump responded with a public nervous breakdown — accusing Woodward of being a “Dem operative” and raising a possible change in the libel laws. Amid this crisis, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed his “unwavering faith in President Trump,” and the president reacted just as the North Korean leader surely knew he would — touting the positive opinion of a homicidal despot on Twitter as a character reference.
[Trump’s] form of deception is qualitatively different from the deviousness of Richard M. Nixon or the smoothness of Bill Clinton. Trump pursues no deep or subtle strategies. He does not even consistently seek his own interests. He responds like a child or a narcissist — but I repeat myself — to positive or negative stimulation. It is the reason a discussion on “Fox & Friends” can so often set the agenda of the president. It is the reason that Trump’s lawyers, in the end, can’t allow him to be interviewed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. It would be like a 9-year-old defending a PhD dissertation. Or maybe a rabbit jumping into a buzz saw.
Here is the increasingly evident reality of the Trump era: We are a superpower run by a simpleton. From a foreign policy perspective, this is far worse than being run by a skilled liar. It is an invitation to manipulation and contempt.
What we are finding from books, from insider leaks and from investigative journalism is that the rational actors who are closest to [Trump] the president are frightened by his chaotic leadership style. They describe a total lack of intellectual curiosity, mental discipline and impulse control.
The testimony of the tell-alls is remarkably consistent. Some around Trump are completely corrupted by the access to power. But others — who might have served in any Republican administration — spend much of their time preventing [Trump] the president from doing stupid and dangerous things.

Frum's piece is no kinder to the foul excuse for a human being occupying the White House as these excerpts show:
If the president’s closest advisers believe that he is morally and intellectually unfit for his high office, they have a duty to do their utmost to remove him from it, by the lawful means at hand. That duty may be risky to their careers in government or afterward. But on their first day at work, they swore an oath to defend the Constitution—and there were no “riskiness” exemptions in the text of that oath.
On Wednesday, though, a “senior official in the Trump administration” published an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times, writing:
Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.  I would know. I am one of them.
The author of the anonymous op-ed is hoping to vindicate the reputation of like-minded senior Trump staffers. See, we only look complicit! Actually, we’re the real heroes of the story.
But what the author has just done is throw the government of the United States into even more dangerous turmoil. He or she has enflamed the paranoia of the president and empowered the president’s willfulness.
He’ll grow more defiant, more reckless, more anti-constitutional, and more dangerous.
And those who do not quit or are not fired in the next few days will have to work even more assiduously to prove themselves loyal, obedient, and on the team. Things will be worse after this article. They will be worse because of this article.
The new Bob Woodward book set the bad precedent. . . . .What would be better?
Speak in your own name. Resign in a way that will count. Present the evidence that will justify an invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, or an impeachment, or at the very least, the first necessary step toward either outcome, a Democratic Congress after the November elections.
Your service in government is valuable. Thank you for it. But it is not so indispensable that it can compensate for the continuing tenure of a president you believe to be amoral, untruthful, irrational, antidemocratic, unpatriotic, and dangerous. Previous generations of Americans have sacrificed fortunes, health, and lives to serve the country. You are asked only to tell the truth aloud and with your name attached.
Be very very afraid.  Slowly but steadily we are witnessing a worsening situation.  Now it is easy to understand why at times the Praetorian Guard during the Roman Empire took it upon itself to remove the emperor.  At some point, they no doubt thought that the good of the nation must come first.

Indian Supreme Court Strikes Down "Indefensible" Gay Sex Ban

Like so many places that the British colonized and where Christian missionaries took their anti-gay animus, India was subjected to the imposition of criminal penalties for same sex relations.  Also, like many other former colonies, India clung to anti-gay laws - many African countries are still doing so - bizarrely claiming that homosexuality was imported from the west when in fact it was anti-gay hate and religious bigotry that was imported.  Sadly, legislators in many such countries lacked the courage to challenge such idiocy and it has been left to the courts to end the anti-gay legacy of colonial rule.  Now, the Supreme Court of India has struck down that country's ban on homosexuality that dates back 150 years.  In a unanimous ruling, the Court deemed that archaic law irrational and indefensible.  Here are highlights from the New York Times on this most welcomed development:

India’s Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down one of the world’s oldest bans on consensual gay sex, a groundbreaking victory for gay rights that buried one of the most glaring vestiges of India’s colonial past.
After weeks of deliberation by the court and decades of struggle by gay Indians, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the law was “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.”
News of the decision instantly shot around India. On the steps of an iconic courthouse in Bangalore, people danced, kissed and hugged tightly, eyes closed. In Mumbai, India’s pulsating commercial capital, human rights activists showered themselves in a blizzard of confetti.
The justices eagerly went further than simply decriminalizing gay sex. From now on, they ruled, gay Indians are to be accorded all the protections of the Constitution.
“This ruling is hugely significant,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director for Human Rights Watch. With restrictions on gay rights toppling in country after country, the ruling in India, the world’s second-most-populous nation, may encourage still more nations to act, she said.
Still, however historic the ruling of the court, considered a liberal counterweight to the conservative politics sweeping India, gay people here know that their landscape remains treacherous. Changing a law is one thing — changing deeply held mind-sets another.
Much of this may also be true in other parts of the world. But what made India stand out from most — at least until Thursday — was its application of an anachronistic law drawn up by British colonizers during the Victorian era and kept on the books for 150 years.
The law banned sex considered “against the order of nature,” and thousands of people were prosecuted under it. But for gays in India, prison was only one of the risks. The law was often used as a cudgel to intimidate, blackmail and abuse.
In their ruling, the justices said homosexuality was “natural.” They also said that the Indian Constitution was not a “collection of mere dead letters,” and that it should evolve with time.
The court did not rule that the law being challenged, known as Section 377, should be excised altogether. It can still be used, it said, in cases of bestiality, for instance. But it can no longer be applied to consensual gay sex.
The justices seemed moved by the stories they heard from the petitioners about harassment, blackmail, abuse and persecution.  “History owes an apology to members of the community for the delay in ensuring their rights,” Justice Indu Malhotra said.
India has a complicated record on gay issues. Its dominant religion, Hinduism, is actually quite permissive of same-sex love. Centuries-old Hindu temples depict erotic encounters between members of the same sex, and in some Hindu myths, men become pregnant. In others, transgender people are given special status and praised for being loyal.
But that culture of tolerance changed drastically under British rule. India was intensely colonized during the height of the Victorian era, when the British Empire was at its peak and the social mores in England were austere.
In the 1860s, the British introduced Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, imposing up to a life sentence on “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” The law was usually enforced in cases of sex between men, but it officially extended to anybody caught having anal or oral sex.
Not surprisingly, those most be moaning and opposing the ruling were "Christian" groups, some likely bankrolled by American Christofascists who continue to export anti-gay hatred around the world. 

Friday Morning Male Beauty

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Bob Woodward's New Book Paints a Damning Portrait of Trump

Those of us of a certain age remember the Watergate crisis all too well.  We also remember two journalist who helped pave the way for the ultimate removal of Richard Nixon from the Oval Office: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.   Now, Woodward has a new book about to hit the stands entitled "Fear" that paints a picture of a hideous and unstable regime that has Der Trumpenführer in spittle flecked rants. The Washington Post looks at the book that once again tells Americans that Trump is unfit for office, something that was always obvious to Americans not consumed by greed and religious and racially based hatred of their fellow citizens.  The take away?  Be very, very afraid. Secondly, Trump voters DO deserve to be viewed with contempt and derision.  Here are article highlights (read the entire piece): 
Woodward depicts Trump’s anger and paranoia about the Russia inquiry as unrelenting, at times paralyzing the West Wing for entire days. Learning of the appointment of Mueller in May 2017, Trump groused, “Everybody’s trying to get me”— part of a venting period that shellshocked aides compared to Richard Nixon’s final days as president.
The 448-page book was obtained by The Washington Post. Woodward, an associate editor at The Post, sought an interview with Trump through several intermediaries to no avail. The president called Woodward in early August, after the manuscript had been completed, to say he wanted to participate. The president complained that it would be a “bad book,” according to an audio recording of the conversation. Woodward replied that his work would be “tough,” but factual and based on his reporting.
A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump’s inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead.
Woodward describes “an administrative coup d’etat” and a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch, with senior aides conspiring to pluck official papers from the president’s desk so he couldn’t see or sign them.
Again and again, Woodward recounts at length how Trump’s national security team was shaken by his lack of curiosity and knowledge about world affairs and his contempt for the mainstream perspectives of military and intelligence leaders.
At a National Security Council meeting on Jan. 19, Trump disregarded the significance of the massive U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula, . . . . After Trump left the meeting, Woodward recounts, “Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ”
In Woodward’s telling, many top advisers were repeatedly unnerved by Trump’s actions and expressed dim views of him. “Secretaries of defense don’t always get to choose the president they work for,” Mattis told friends at one point, prompting laughter as he explained Trump’s tendency to go off on tangents about subjects such as immigration and the news media.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly frequently lost his temper and told colleagues that he thought the president was “unhinged,” Woodward writes. In one small group meeting, Kelly said of Trump: “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”
Reince Priebus, Kelly’s predecessor, fretted that he could do little to constrain Trump from sparking chaos. Woodward writes that Priebus dubbed the presidential bedroom, where Trump obsessively watched cable news and tweeted, “the devil’s workshop,” . . . .
A near-constant subject of withering presidential attacks was Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump told Porter that Sessions was a “traitor” for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, Woodward writes. Mocking Sessions’s accent, Trump added, “This guy is mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner. … He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama.”
With Trump’s rage and defiance impossible to contain, Cabinet members and other senior officials learned to act discreetly. Woodward describes an alliance among Trump’s traditionalists — including Mattis and Gary Cohn, the president’s former top economic adviser — to stymie what they considered dangerous acts.
Cohn came to regard the president as “a professional liar” and threatened to resign in August 2017 over Trump’s handling of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Cohn, who is Jewish, was especially shaken when one of his daughters found a swastika on her college dorm room.
Trump was sharply criticized for initially saying that “both sides” were to blame. At the urging of advisers, he then condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but almost immediately told aides, “That was the biggest fucking mistake I’ve made” and the “worst speech I’ve ever given,” according to Woodward’s account.
Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ”
Later that month, Dowd told Trump: “Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.” . . . . “I’ll be a real good witness,” Trump told Dowd, according to Woodward.  You are not a good witness,” Dowd replied. “Mr. President, I’m afraid I just can’t help you.”  The next morning, Dowd resigned.

GOP Message to Most Americans: Get Sick, Go Bankrupt and Die

Liar and modern day Pharisee, Mike Pence.
Sitting in Le Marais area of Paris as I type this post, several things come to mind.  One is that the French truly have a love of life and, unlike Americans work to live rather than live to work.  Another is that they are free from the constant fear of that one major illness or pre-existing medial condition that could wipe them out financially,  Why this freedom of such fear?  It's simple: France's healthcare system, rated by many as the best and most cost effective in the world. Yes, the French pay higher taxes, but walking around the city one sees few signs of poverty and an enviable lifestyle.  The contrast could not be greater compared to America where health care cost remain a continued concern for all but the very wealthy.  Indeed, the message the Republican Party seemingly sends to millions of Americans is like the caption of this post: get sick, go bankrupt and die.  This from the political party that pretends to embrace "Christian values"  and that now finds it strongest support from evangelical Christians and white supremacists (in my view, the two are increasingly synonymous).  A column in the New York Times looks at the menace of the GOP towards millions of Americans:  Here are excerpts:

Despite his reputation as a maverick, John McCain spent most of his last decade being a very orthodox Republican . . . . But he redeemed much of that record with one action: He cast the crucial vote against G.O.P. attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That single “nay” saved health care for tens of millions of Americans, at least for a while.
But now McCain is gone, and with him, as far as we can tell, the only Republican in Congress with anything resembling a spine. As a result, if Republicans hold Congress in November, they will indeed repeal Obamacare. That’s not a guess: It’s an explicit promise, made by Vice President Mike Pence last week.
In the case of health care, however, there’s an even deeper problem: The G.O.P. can’t come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act because no such alternative exists. In particular, if you want to preserve protection for people with pre-existing conditions — the health issue that matters most to voters, including half of Republicans — Obamacare is the most conservative policy that can do that. The only other options are things like Medicare for all that would involve moving significantly to the left, not the right.
Health economists have explained this point many times over the years; but as always, it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
If you want private insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, you have to ban discrimination based on medical history. But that in itself isn’t enough, because if policies cost the same for everyone, those who sign up will be sicker than those who don’t, creating a bad risk pool and forcing high premiums. That was the case in New York, where premiums for individual policies were very high before the A.C.A. For what Obamacare did was provide incentives to get healthy people to sign up, too. On one side there was a penalty for not having insurance (the individual mandate). On the other, there were subsidies designed to limit health expenses as a share of income. Republicans have tried to sabotage health care by doing away with the mandate, and have succeeded in driving premiums higher; but the system is still standing thanks to those subsidies.
The point, again, is that Obamacare is the most conservative option for covering pre-existing conditions, and if Republicans really cared about the scores of millions of Americans with such conditions, they would support and indeed try to strengthen the A.C.A.
Instead, they’re going to kill it if they hold on in two months. But covering pre-existing conditions is popular; therefore, they’re pretending that they’ll do that, while offering proposals that would, in fact, do no such thing.
Do they imagine that voters are stupid?  Well, yes. In recent rallies Donald Trump has been declaring that Democrats want to “raid Medicare to pay for socialism.”
But the more important target is the news media, many members of which still haven’t learned to cope with the pervasive bad faith of modern conservatism.
Sadly, when it comes to the GOP base, they are stupid.  Or, in the alternative, are so motivated by their racial hatreds that they blinded to the reality that they are voting against their own interests in most instances. 

Wednesday Morning Male Beauty

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Paris 2018: Day 1 and Day 2

Plaza Athenee from Avenue Montangne

Plaza Athenne - Cour Jardin
Looking up from the Cour Jardin
Our arrival in Paris was delayed due the closure of Dulles International on Saturday evening due to severe thunderstorms which closed the airport for roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes.  The result was that we missed out connection in London to Paris and had to catch a flight 3 hours latter than planned.  Our apartment on Rue de Perche is a wonderful two bedroom, two bath apartment in a early 1800's building a block from the Picasso Museum. We spent our first afternoon walking around the Marais and end up having dinner at Vito's, a restaurant that at lest on Sundays is the equivalent of Annie's in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC.   We ended the evening with a nightcap at Raid Bar on Rue du Temple, a gay bar.  

Yesterday, we had a lazy morning and then had lunch at the elegant and opulent Hotel Plaza Athenee, a hotel I stayed at frequently during my days as in-house counsel for an oil company.  While extravagant, it was my "thank you" treat to our friends who treated the husband and I to this trip where we are the trip planners and tour guides. We followed that with a stroll up Avenue George V and then the Champs Elysse to the Arch de Triomphe.  We rounded out the afternoon with a visit to a favorite men's boutique on Rue de Rivoli back in the Marais (I bought two sport coats). 

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Congressional Republicans: Unindicted Co-conspirators in Trump Crimes

Following up on what Megan McCain only hinted at is a piece in New York Magazine which, in my view, accurately calls out Congressional Republicans as unindicted co-conspirators in the many crimes of Donald Trump - an by extension, Mike Pence who smilingly goes along with every Trump outrage as he positions himself for power should Trump be impeached or die of aneurysm during one of his screaming rants.  Instead of oversight of the occupant of the Oval Office as designed by the U.S. Constitution, we now see what most charitably might be called enablers and at worst co-conspirators in a scheme to undermine the Constitution itself.  All is part and parcel with the Republican Party's descent into moral bankruptcy and behavior reminiscent of conservative Germans who thought they could control Hitler (the only difference is that those Germans still wanted the rule of law whereas today's Republicans seemingly do not)..   Here are article excerpts:

After John McCain’s death, as official Washington set its flags at half-staff, Chuck Schumer proposed another kind of tribute to the iconic senator and war hero: that the Russell Senate Office Building, currently named for a segregationist southern Democrat, be renamed for McCain. His Republican colleagues, however, demurred.
They could not admit that their real reason for opposing the honor was that McCain had crossed Trump. Nor could they defend Senator Richard Russell’s ardent white supremacy, which extended to denouncing laws to ban lynching. Instead, they flailed about, inventing pretexts on the fly.
What was at stake in this absurd stance was something large: Donald Trump was once again demanding a display of submission from his party. And once again, he received it. As in a Stalinist show trial, the preposterousness of the statements made them more rather than less valuable. Senate Republicans demonstrated their willingness to turn on a colleague out of fealty to Trump, and all the better for him that they did so out of transparent fear rather than conviction. . . . Whatever restraining force Trump’s party exerted against him has now almost completely dissipated.
Take, for instance, the election-security bill both parties worked together to craft this summer. The measure would have given top state election officials security clearances to view warnings about hacking threats, convened a technical advisory board to share best practices, and increased the use of paper ballots that could be checked in case of a hack, along with other steps that are both obviously needed and just as obviously unobjectionable. But the White House came out against the bill, so Republicans dutifully paused work on it. 
Senate Republicans have likewise all but abandoned the wall of defense they had once maintained around Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Trump demands and expects the attorney general to gin up criminal charges against Trump’s enemies while ignoring misdeeds by Trump and his allies. [Trump] The president told an interviewer, “The only reason I gave him the job [is] I felt loyalty.”
What has prevented Trump from firing Sessions until now were the quiet warnings from the attorney general’s former Republican Senate colleagues that they would refuse to confirm a successor.
A recent list circulated by congressional Republicans to members of their party demonstrates the degree to which Trump’s party has internalized its role as enabler of [Trum's] the president’s misconduct. Republicans have used their majority in Congress to quash almost any oversight of the administration. The list tallied all the scandals and acts of gross incompetence that Democrats would like to investigate if they win control of at least one chamber of Congress. The point of this impressive litany of scandals was not to show that Republicans have abdicated their basic responsibilities or that the public has a right to information about which business interests directly pay the president and his family, exactly which sources of blackmail he is vulnerable to, and so on. The point was to help Republicans warn their own side what might come to light if Democrats win the midterms. The prospect of Congress acting independently has “churned Republican stomachs,” Axios notes. That the GOP should or could restrain Trump’s corruption has become unfathomable.
As Republicans’ scant interest in inhibiting Trump has waned, his authoritarianism has grown more uninhibited. He threatened Google with unspecified consequences unless it tweaks its algorithm to drive readers toward more pro-Trump stories. He has edged closer to issuing a pardon of Paul Manafort as a reward for his former campaign manager’s refusal to cooperate with prosecutors. And he ranted in a meeting with leaders from the Christian right that antifa will launch violent attacks against them unless Republicans win in the midterms.
And he has increased the frequency of his Lenin-esque charges that the parts of the news media his party does not control are the “enemy of the people.”
Trump’s latest maniacal outburst coincided with — and was likely caused by — the deepening investigations. . . . . As Trump plunges deeper into his war against the rule of law, the Republican Congress marches along beside him, unindicted co-conspirators all.

Meghan McCain’s Eulogy for Her Father Rebuked Today's GOP

Traveling overseas is one way to escape what might aptly be called "Trump fatigue" but one never truly escapes the toxicity emanating from the Trump?pence regime.  The Internet has truly made it impossible.   Thus, it was with some relish that I followed Megan McCain'e eulogy for her father which hopefully will be  remembered for its explicit rebuke of the Trump-era Republicans who engage in cheap rhetoric, deep a callousness toward others that is the antithesis of the Christian values the pretend to honor, and a betrayal of country for sake of partisan power.  Making it all the sweeter was that Trump's daughter sat in the audience, not that the self-absorbed Ivanka and her hapless husband realized the message. The full text of the eulogy can be found here and is worth a read.  Here are some excerpts:
We gather here to mourn the passing of America greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly. Nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.
My father, the true son of his father and grandfather, was born into an enduring sense of the hard-won character of American greatness and was convinced of the need to defend it with ferocity and faith. John McCain was born in a distant and now vanquished outpost of American power and he understood America as a sacred trust.
He understood our republic demands responsibilities even before it defends its rights. He knew navigating the line between good and evil was often difficult, but always simple. He grasped that our purpose and our meaning was rooted in a missionary’s responsibility stretching back centuries.
Just as the first Americans looked upon a new world full of potential for a grand experiment in freedom and self-government, so their descendants have a responsibility to defend the old world from its worst self.
The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She is resourceful and confident and secure. She meets her responsibilities, she speaks quietly because she is strong. America does not boast because she has no need to.
The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.
That fervent faith. That proven devotion. That abiding love. That is what drove my father from the fiery skies above the red river delta to the brink of the presidency itself. 
It is good to remember that we are Americans. We don't put our heroes on pedestals just to remember them.  We raise them up because we want to emulate their virtues. This is how we honor them and this is how we will honor you.
Today's Republican Party has no column in the New York Times looks at Megan McCain's stunning rebuke of what today's Republicans represent.  Here are highlights:
But as Ms. McCain shared one of her father’s dying directives — “Show them how tough you are” — her voice stopped wavering. The warrior’s daughter steeled herself, drew her eyes up and stepped into battle.
“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again,” Ms. McCain said in a broadside against President Trump, “because America was always great.”
This passage from Ms. McCain’s eulogy, delivered as Mr. Trump’s own daughter Ivanka sat among the mourners, will be remembered for its explicit rebuke of the Trump-era Republican politics that Mr. McCain had condemned as too partisan, too tribal and, as Ms. McCain put it, defined by “cheap rhetoric.”
Her emotional call to arms was also proof — as if any was needed — that Ms. McCain is her father’s daughter, a paradoxical Republican figure willing to pay the price of being politically direct.
In the hours since Ms. McCain — the eldest and by far the most publicly visible child of Mr. McCain and his widow, Cindy — delivered her eulogy, conservatives have debated whether it was appropriate for her to have used the funeral to make a political statement, with one prominent Republican coming to her defense.
This surely would have delighted her father. Even with a deeply felt and loving eulogy, Ms. McCain, 33, did as Mr. McCain had done so often: provoked and divided his own political party in dramatic fashion.
Ms. McCain, who built her career as a blogger and writer and is now a co-host of “The View” on ABC, shares her father’s ability to pivot between righteous anger and effusive love in the span of a breath or two. Like him, she has honed a sense of timing: She understands how to toggle between each for maximum effect.
A disciple of her father’s straight-talk approach, Ms. McCain has long confounded Republicans who say they cannot easily suss out her beliefs, and she has frustrated Democrats who want to believe that she is secretly one of them — a sentiment that only grew on Saturday. She has said that abortion is tantamount to murder, but has been a proponent of sex education and birth control. She supports same-sex marriage. She also supports gun rights, but has said she favors some restrictions. She is not a politician. At least, not yet. So far, Ms. McCain has shied away from questions about running for office, in part because she has been vocally critical of the obstacles women in politics still face. But some conservatives have viewed her as destructive to their causes. A decade ago, when blogging about Mr. McCain’s run for the presidency, she found herself in open warfare with conservatives like Ann Coulter. Ms. McCain was banished from the campaign weeks before it ended. In the years since the 2008 election, the Republican Party has yielded to conservatives like Ms. Coulter, a onetime provocateur whose views now feel decidedly more mainstream, and paved the way for a president whose supporters tend to celebrate his divisiveness. [T]his past weekend, Ms. McCain was back at war with the president and some of his supporters, a point made crudely clear as a doctored image with a gun pointed at a grieving Ms. McCain circulated online. On Saturday, after a funeral where he was uninvited and unwelcome, Mr. Trump — whose animosity to Mr. McCain even led him to once mock the senator’s time as a prisoner of war — issued his own pointed tweet: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
In the political world, Ms. McCain had at least one notable defender. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime ally and friend of Mr. McCain’s — and another surrogate uncle — said Ms. McCain’s eulogy had been a reflection of how her father raised her.
“If you say something bad about her dad, you will know it, whether you’re the janitor or the president of the United States,” Mr. Graham said on CNN. “She is grieving for the father she adored. I think most Americans understand that.” . . . . “She was direct,” Mr. Graham said. “The way John was.”

I respect her directness and refusal to throw out all morality and decency like far too many Republicans - indeed, I would almost all of them - have done as they have embraced the racism and rank immorality that define the Trump/Pence regime.  Kudos, Megan.

Tuesday Morning Male Beauty