I want to clarify in general terms what is going to happen in Westminster this week.
Broadly, the "Brexit" protocol for Northern Ireland provided for Irish decisions by Irish people - that is, how to spend money previously administered by the EU. Westminster, fearing ever closer union of the North with the Republic, now wants control of that money.
In other words, the government seeks to break a binding international treaty. It now says a hard-won agreement, which it was lucky to get - an agreement they endorsed months ago - is flawed, and they will do what they like.
This, of course, threatens Britain's ability to negotiate with anybody about anything ever again. In particular it puts a trade deal with the United States in serious doubt. Ireland has many friends in the Congress.
Johnson faces a growing revolt from his backbenches. His former Attorney General calls the bill illegal, as do John Major, Tony Blair, Michael Howard, and Norman Lamont.
There will be a second reading of the bill in the House of Commons tomorrow, then a vote before going to committee. Many Tory MPs will abstain. They suport an amendment to give parliament a veto of changes to the agreement.
Nobody knows their ass from their elbow, and as our friend @matthew_shamas says, they are going to end up as Weimar if they are not careful.

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More from @dick_nixon

11 Sep
The circumstances of Fr. Mychal Judge’s death on September 11 obscure his place as one of the great New York characters. If you don’t know, Judge was chaplain to the FDNY and a legend among them. He chose poverty, first of all. He felt it brought him closer to God.
Yet like a great Irish priest Judge had ten thousand best friends, some very powerful. He delighted in the best food and drink. But he had limits. He was a sober alcoholic. He knew the bottom. Most of his ministry was to outcasts, the sick and homeless.
In spite of all his great friends, few people knew him well. He was a gay man, and made no apology for that. He simply felt it was his own business. Some of the firefighters knew. No one cared. He was always first to a fire and last to go.
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
I think it's more important now. Six months ago it's MSNBC and two minutes on the nightly news. Now a lot of people are dead or out of work and for two months you won't be able to watch television in six states without hearing it.
I don't think Woodward's tape changes things six months ago, and I don't think it does on its own now. In March they would have said, "Well, we shut the country down. We had a bill and so forth."
You are talking about mask-wearing. Assholes. These are the people who think taxation is theft. You can't tell them anything.
Read 4 tweets
28 Aug
Nothing is surprising here. But the delivery is sedate, to say the least—a laundry list without unity or theme. You don’t feel the knife to the throat, like he’s capable of. In a way it’s surprising because that’s exactly what they need to turn people out.
I think it’s further proof that whoever has his ear this week rules—for all the talk of the elder son, the Kushners are all over this speech.
The idea, of course, is take care of the balloon-blowers and bell-ringers on previous nights, then make him look mild for the big audience. It’s fair enough, if many of those people were still up for grabs.
Read 7 tweets
2 Jul
This is a minor German bureaucrat speaking in 1934. Sir Ian Kershaw uncovered the document; it is the basis for his analysis of Nazi Germany, the only one that holds water. Image
Image
Image
Read 4 tweets
5 Jun
Teddy was gregarious. He loved it. He was warm. John Kennedy on the other hand was quite a shy person. It was not easy for him to get out and shake hands and the rest. He did it very well, but it wasn't easy for him. He was quite a private person.
Bobby, on the other hand, I would compare him as Alice Longworth used to: "He was like a 17th century Jesuit priest." Passionate. One who brooked no opposition. Very intelligent. He was the only man Lyndon Johnson was afraid of.
Bobby was the coldest man I ever met. He should have been an Inquisitor, burning witches. And yet in spite of that you see the depth of thought and feeling he was capable of. That is why he would have made a good president.
Read 6 tweets
8 Mar
I am going to say this once. I’ve said it before and will brook no argument about it. Ocasio-Cortez is the best young politician on either side. She is learning, but she has a great feel for how the game is played. She has done nothing wrong. Warren hasn’t either.
Warren doesn’t bring anyone to Sanders who isn’t already inclined to be with him. The political choice, as I said, is to bide her time and trade her later endorsement for power. Ocasio-Cortez is aware of this. I’m sure Sanders is. Many of you are not.
Warren is doing the politically smart thing, something she did not always do in the campaign. Ocasio-Cortez is keeping her powder dry for a natural ally in the Senate. This is politics.
Read 4 tweets

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