}

Friday, December 29, 2017

Arthur Answers 2017, Part 6: Penultimate answers

One thing that’s common in these Ask Arthur series is that I often miss questions, even though I’m much more careful than I used to be (for example, I put all the questions into one document so I can track and them make sure I answer). Sometimes, mostly because I group questions thematically, I sometimes miss questions, and today’s totally different questions from Roger Green are two such skipped questions.

So, to start out this penultimate post in this year’s Ask Arthur series, here’s Roger’s first question, a political one:

Who will be the last person standing after Mueller implicates Jared, Jared rats out Sessions, et al?

This assumes that the current occupant of the White House doesn’t fire Mueller before he has a chance to hand down indictments of people close to him. I’m not sure I’d take that bet. The current occupant is clearly and obviously setting up an attack strategy to fire Mueller to prevent him from issuing indictments—especially of the current occupant himself. The whole smear campaign against the FBI is intended to set the stage so that he can use it as “justification” for blocking the pursuit of justice.

However, if for whatever reason the current occupant doesn’t fire Mueller, then the last person standing will probably be the current occupant himself. If, as seems obvious, senior staffers and advisers were all in on collusion with the Russians, then there’s no one who’s innocent. But the current regime is arguing that collusion with the Russians isn’t even a crime, which under some circumstances might actually be true—though it’s unlikely to be true in this case. That would leave Mike Pence to step in and pardon the current occupant, probably as part of a deal to get him to resign rather than face criminal trial, so technically Mike would be the very last person standing—assuming he wasn’t already indicted.

Let’s suppose the speculation accurately foreshadows Mueller being fired. And let’s further suppose that the current occupant of the White House pardons everyone indicted by Mueller (again using his smears against the FBI as “justification”). With all the evidence of obstruction of justice, the US House of Representatives should impeach the current occupant and the US Senate should convict him and remove him from office. But none of that will happen. There is, in fact absolutely nothing the current occupant could do that would be bad enough to make them remove him—he really could even shoot someone in Fifth Avenue in New York without any consequence, as he famously bragged during the 2016 campaign. In this scenario, too, the current occupant would be the last one standing.

So, it all comes down to when the current occupant fires Mueller. But at the moment all signs point to the current occupant himself being the last one standing.

Roger’s next question is totally unrelated:

Which blogpost or posts have gotten the most comments well after when you first posted?

This question has a very short answer: I have no idea. The problem is that I use the Disqus commenting system, and it tracks total numbers, not the number of comments per post (something Blogger’s built-in—and spam-plagued—system did do).

Even so, the bigger issues is that like most small bloggers (meaning small readership; I’m actually rather tall), I generally get very few comments. In fact, Roger is often the only commenter. So, when I do get comments well after I first published a post, they’re almost always spam, but even then there’s not a huge number.

The old posts that attract spam comments are usually ones with popular topics that spammers can try to leverage, or things that show up in Google searches. If I had to pick a post that attracted a lot of spam comments, it would be a 2011 post called “Coffee or Tea?” that kept getting comments well after I published it, including some VERY spam-ful comments I deleted. But, even so, at the moment there’s only six comments in that post, one of which is from Roger (I sometimes, though seldom, get more comments on a current post). I also had an emailed request to use one of the graphics I made in a UK course teaching students how to interpret infographics, something I particularly liked since that sort of graphics work isn't something I do all that much. In fact, that’s the main reason that particular post sticks in my mind.

Thanks to Roger for these questions!

The next Ask Arthur Post will be the final in this year’s series—and that’s music to all our ears. Look for it on New Year’s Eve (New Zealand time, of course).

All posts in this series are tagged “AAA-17”. All previous posts from every “Ask Arthur” series are tagged, appropriately enough, ”Ask Arthur”.

Previously:
Let the 2017 asking begin The first post in this series
Arthur Answers 2017, Part One: NZ Example
Arthur Answers 2017, Part Two: Addiction and song
Arthur Answers 2017, Part 3: Easy answers
Arthur Answers 2017, Part 4: About the regime in DC
Arthur Answers 2017, Part 5: About the nasty folks in DC

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