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Ben Carson Picked For HUD Secretary

Ben Carson Donald Trump

It’s being reported this morning that Donald Trump has chosen Ben Carson to be Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development:

Ben Carson, who took Donald J. Trump on a tour of blighted neighborhoods in Detroit during the presidential campaign, including his boyhood home, has been chosen by Mr. Trump to oversee one of the government’s main efforts to lift American cities as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, was an early endorser of Mr. Trump after ending his own presidential bid.

“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Monday morning. “We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.”

“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans,” he added. “He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”

With no experience in government or running a large bureaucracy, Mr. Carson, 65, publicly waffled over whether to join the administration. He will oversee an agency with a $47 billion budget, bringing to the job a philosophical opposition to government programs that encourage what he calls “dependency” and engage in “social engineering.”

He has no expertise in housing policy, but he did spend part of his childhood in public housing, said a close friend, Armstrong Williams, and he was raised by a dauntless mother with a grammar-school education. In his autobiography he stressed that individual effort, not government programs, were the key to overcoming poverty.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees programs that provide vouchers and other rental assistance for five million low-income families, fights urban blight and helps struggling homeowners stave off foreclosures.

Housing policy was rarely mentioned on the campaign trail by candidates in either party. When Mr. Trump spoke of “inner cities,” he painted with a broad brush to describe the lives of poor blacks and Hispanics as “a disaster,” pleading for their votes by asking, “What do you have to lose?”

In an opinion article in 2015 for The Washington Times, Mr. Carson compared an Obama administration housing regulation to “the failure of school busing” because it would place affordable housing “primarily in wealthier neighborhoods with few current minority residents.”

The rule, known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, was years in the making and designed to end decades-old segregation by offering affluent areas incentives to build affordable housing. Critics, including Mr. Carson, called it government overreach.

Barbara Sard, a former official at the housing department during President Obama’s first term, said Mr. Carson’s view was a misunderstanding of the regulation and its origin in the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The rule also included development funds for poor neighborhoods.

This announcement comes less than a month after Carson, who had been mentioned as a nominee for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services immediately after the election, seemingly took himself out of contention for any Cabinet position with an announcement through his spokesman that he had asked Trump to take his name out of contention for any Cabinet position because he didn’t believe he had the experience necessary to run a complicated government bureaucracy such as a Cabinet Department. Naturally, this statement raised the question of why he had run for the far more complicated job of being President of the United States. In any case, Carson continued to be involved in the Trump transition process and Trump apparently didn’t take his demurrer from early November literally.

That Carson was selected for a Cabinet position is not, in and of itself, surprising. He was, after all, among the first of the people running against Trump in the Republican primary to endorse him and, notwithstanding Trump’s attacks on him when Carson was surging in the polls in early November 2015, Carson had a relatively good relationship with Trump throughout the race. It is somewhat surprising, though, that Carson would be selected for a position like HUD Secretary rather than for a position that would seem to be better suited to his previous experience in medicine or medical administration, such as Secretary of the Department of Health And Human Services, Surgeon General, or head of the Veterans Administration, which continues to suffer from the problems that have plagued it for the past several years. In any case, though, Carson should be easily approved by the Senate notwithstanding the fact that putting him at HUD seems to be the political equivalent of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Update: This joke was, of course, inevitable:

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Pch101 says:

    Somehow, the fact that housing ain’t brain surgery isn’t very comforting.

  2. slimslowslider says:

    “urban”

  3. Jen says:

    He has no expertise in housing policy, but he did spend part of his childhood in public housing,

    In his autobiography he stressed that individual effort, not government programs, were the key to overcoming poverty.

    Where would they have lived had it not been for public housing? Clearly, that specific government program at very least meant a roof over his head. I’ve known several people who have on occasion relied on government housing/food stamps/other programs. Every one of them are now living either a middle-class or upper-middle class existence. Every one of them acknowledges that the safety net provided was essential.

  4. Jc says:

    Sadly I would assume Trump’s thinking on this goes like this: HUD = blacks, Ben Carson is black. Ben Carson would be great HUD Secretary. Same with his thinking on Defense. Defense = Generals. All Generals are great for defense positions.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    In his autobiography he stressed that individual effort, not government programs, were the key to overcoming poverty.

    That’s funny, considering his appointment to head up HUD seems like nothing more than a government program–Trump’s Token Minority Project…

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    “Urban Development”

    Trump’s infrastructure plan is mostly going to be construction of grain storage pyramids.

  7. HarvardLaw92 says:
  8. CSK says:

    Has Carson accepted?

  9. Andrew says:

    Carson, Ryan…how many other moochers that got to where they are with government help, now feel it’s beneath them?

    ( I am using the term “moochers” as this is the stigma and negative title that is used to talk about pretty much everyone on the teet of government, by Republicans. So, if it walks like a duck…)

  10. Pch101 says:

    The next four years in a nutshell:

    “Mr. President, we need to get rid of Section 8!!!”

    “Ben, I have friends who make money from that.”

    “Oh, nevermind.”

  11. MarkedMan says:

    It has long been said that A level people hire other A levels, but B level people hire C levels. Here we have a case of an incompetent that doesn’t even show up on that grading system hiring someone who is actually delusional for a post.

    I sincerely doubt Trump would pick anyone more competent than him for a cabinet level post, and if he is somehow coerced into it he will make that person’s life a living hell.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    Cheeto can’t make Carson Surgeon General, silly, that’s a job for a general. Right?

  13. bandit says:

    Too bad whiny little b!tche$ – good opportunity for you to project your racism onto other people though

  14. KM says:

    I’ve been staring at the screen for over ten minutes trying to think of something to express my WTF at this and I’m still at a loss.

    If there is *ANY* shred of journalistic integrity left in this world, somebody needs to make the Donald explain his logic on this out loud. I know half the country doesn’t care but for the sake of posterity (and being able to let future generations know we all weren’t this stupid), make him say in on camera. My grandkids are going to have soooo many questions…….

  15. CSK says:

    @bandit:

    And a very good morning to you, too, Mr. Trump.

  16. KM says:

    @CSK:

    Naw, Trump at least spells out his insults. None of that pussy censorship thing for him.

    Somebody’s 8 year old stole their Daddy’s iPhone, is all. Need be careful or auto-correct will let Daddy know what Jr’s been up to….

  17. Mr. Bluster says:

    President Pud
    Appoints a Dud
    To manage HUD!

  18. Gustopher says:

    In any case, though, Carson should be easily approved by the Senate notwithstanding the fact that putting him at HUD seems to be the political equivalent of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

    Another sign of our broken government. If the Senate was actually doing its job of “advise and consent,” he would not be easily confirmed. He is completely unqualified.

  19. KM says:

    It is somewhat surprising, though, that Carson would be selected for a position like HUD Secretary rather than for a position that would seem to be better suited to his previous experience in medicine or medical administration, such as Secretary of the Department of Health And Human Services, Surgeon General, or head of the Veterans Administration, which continues to suffer from the problems that have plagued it for the past several years.

    It’s only surprising if you expect any kind of competence, Doug. The rest of us are resigned to the insane troll logic that runs through the Donald’s brain.

    You know who’s getting really screwed here? Pence. He thought he was going to be the secret President, doing the real work while His Orangeness flitted around for the cameras. Now he’s getting handed a complete mess of a government and still somehow has to make things work AND please The Boss when he decides to play President. Cheney, he ain’t so it’s going to get real ugly, real quick.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    Well, this seems to be completely consistent with the current Republican approach to the federal government – make sure that government does not work in order that you can tell the voters that government does not work so big cuts have to be made.

  21. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    If there is *ANY* shred of journalistic integrity left in this world, somebody needs to make the Donald explain his logic on this out loud.

    It can be summed up in one word: Patronage.

    We’re used to president’s taking merit into account when picking these positions. I don’t know why we’d expect a President Trump to do that.

  22. gVOR08 says:

    Carson used to complain a lot about political correctness in situations in which it didn’t seem to make sense. We finally figured out it meant Carson couldn’t express his real opinions because people would laugh a him. Now we’re seeing discussion of his policy statements, and life experience, and lack of administrative experience because the supposedly liberal MSM are too politically correct to point out the man’s a fruitcake.

    Also, Trump appointed him because every racist needs to have one black “friend”.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    You guys are all missing what this is about…and it ain’t race.
    Carson is being tapped to run the HUD by a con-man, Donald Trump.
    Carson, himself, is a scam artist…selling phony nutrients that he claimed could treat cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS…and running his campaign as a direct-mail scam.
    The HUD is particularly prone to fraud and corruption…both the Reagan and the Bush 43 administrations had pretty major scandals at the HUD. As the Department works with private developers to build housing, it is particularly prone to slush funds and the steering of projects to cronies.
    Trump, as we all know, is a crooked developer.
    This administration is going to be so rife with corruption that no one is going to be able to keep up with it all. Certainly not a complicit Republican Congress.

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    Carson’s insane, but so is his boss, and at least unlike Trump, Carson can’t start any world wars. So there’s that.

  25. KM says:

    @James Pearce:
    Because *quite* a few people voted for him under the assumption he could be reigned in/ balanced out by having “the right people around him”. They were supposed to be the safety net to make sure the country stayed to the Right without veering into the ditch too much. Now there’s a ton of Republicans/ Trump voters freaking out over Romney, Palin, Carson et al because they’re not supposed to be there. Cronies, yes but competent cronies. Kinda hard to run your grift if everyone is staring at the car wreck……

    It’s slowly beginning to dawn on some that picking someone notoriously capricious will lead to unfortunate capricious choices in very inopportune places. Putting the neurosurgeon in charge of housing for reasons is just the blatant icing on an already crappy cake they now have to eat.

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    It’s hard to recruit ‘the best people’ into an administration headed by an unteachable man-baby. The ‘best people’ tend to have better sense. So he’s staffing up on mediocrities. A senile racist creep like Sessions at Justice? Carson at HUD because that’s the ‘black’ department? Mattis at DoD because he reminds Trump of a movie general he saw once? The ‘best’ don’t work for the ‘worst’ unless it’s an act of patriotic self-sacrifice, which is what it would be if Romney or Huntsman took State. (Which I doubt.)

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I worded that badly. I have no beef with Mattis who is apparently a good general and a decent, well-educated, thoughtful guy. My carelessness, mea culpa.

  28. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You should add that Trump always has to be the alpha dog. He’s far too insecure to hire anyone really competent, despite what he says about only hiring “really, really good people.” (How many campaign managers/chairs did he go through in about six months? Three?)

    And…he wants people who will sacrifice their own convictions and beliefs (I’m looking at you, Stephen Moore) on the altar of his ego. He’s looking for yes men and yes women, not knowledgeable, experienced advisors.

    Third: He knows he’s totally outclassed by Romney and Huntsman, and that irks him worse than anything.

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: It does look like we’re going to get to see what happens when the US becomes a kakistocracy. (government by the worst.)

    Well, if we’re lucky, the Republicans will have screwed up enough during the next two years that the Democratic side can make headway in the midterms…

    Oh, by the way–anyone notice that yet another company which was selling long-term care insurance is about to go under?

    Why Paul Ryan thinks that privatizing Medicare will be anything more than a quick slide to the bottom is beyond me. So many people are going to end up with Granny with Alzheimer’s in their living room that there will be a mutual scream from the middle class to Have The Government Bail Us Out. At which point we will start creating something like Medicare again….

  30. Pete S says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Why Paul Ryan thinks that privatizing Medicare will be anything more than a quick slide to the bottom is beyond me.

    Why would you think he believes that? Paul Ryan believes that he got his government benefits young, and he deserved them, but in future years other people in his age group may collect more than he does. So it is time to cut them back. He couldn’t care less if Medicare disappears altogether as long he and his buddies don’t have to support someone else.

  31. CSK says:

    Laura Ingraham is apparently up for press secretary.

  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    LOL, the hits just keep on coming.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James Pearce:

    It can be summed up in one word: Patronage

    In Trump’s case, I think that a better term would be “sycophancy”. He’s surrounding himself with raging mediocrities who’ve proven that they’re willing to genuflect & kiss the behind.

    Which is pretty much the same thing that he’s done for most of his adult life.

  34. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    Laura Ingraham is apparently up for press secretary.

    It’s as if Saturday Night Live has taken over the government.

  35. barbintheboonies says:

    @Jen: Every one has lifted themselves into middle class BS I grew up in neighborhoods where there were several generations living in the same project. Our system has rewarded people for bad behavior. I can see kids do foolish things. Then there are women who`s husband`s or boyfriends left them to fend for themselves. Okay, but for the many who keep getting pregnant by men in no better financial shape as them BS. There has to be consequences. It just is not fair to make everyone pay for irresponsible people. If you people here say there will not be working middle class soon, then who in the Hell is going to pay for this. You cannot have it both ways. You think the working class should get out and educate themselves and move on, so what about the irresponsible ones Is that okay. Try educating them when they have 3=6 kids to tend to. Then we pay for all of them, multiply that by Thousands. Then you say let`s bring in more needy people while leaving the old working class behind, who were paying for a lot of this. Will the lower class be whiners too? Is that politically incorrect? I know educate the shit out of them. Then we will have all chiefs and no Indians for the sissy la la class we seem to have already. Little whiny babies all getting a prize for being alive. When the shit hits the fan, and Uncle Sam no longer has anything to give, because America becomes dependent on other countries to do everything for them. What then? All of you artist, and teachers getting federal money, when it runs out because of the working mans loss, what will you say then.

  36. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    @Pch101:

    Don’t laugh too soon. (I know, I know.) Ivanka Trump Kushner and Jared Kushner are apparently shopping for a house in D.C., and Ivanka’s put out a call for a chief of staff.

    Maybe she’s the new secretary of state.

  37. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    One thing that this has in common with SNL: Neither of them are very funny.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    @KM:

    If there is *ANY* shred of journalistic integrity left in this world, somebody needs to make the Donald explain his logic on this out loud.

    I get your frustration, but am not sure how this would work. Trump doesn’t seem to be talking directly to the press. I’m not sure how the press will be able to “make” him answer questions.

  39. It goes beyond competency. There is the issue of being able to work together with the President. Trump, of sharing a common goal. Trump seems to be filling his cabinet either with sycophants or with random people. That´s not going to end well.

    Besides that, Ben Carson did real estate dealings with a guy convicted of Medicare Fraud.

  40. It goes beyond competency. There is the issue of being able to work together with the President. Trump, of sharing a common goal. Trump seems to be filling his cabinet either with sycophants or with random people. That´s not going to end well.

    Besides that, Ben Carson did real estate dealings with a guy convicted of Medicare Fraud.

  41. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Seriously, if Trump is going to cede control of his businesses to Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., why does Ivanka need to move to D.C. and require a chief of staff?

    This is less funny than bizarre. The de jure First Lady will live in New York with her son, as opposed to living in the White House with her husband, the de jure president, while the de facto First Lady, de jure First Daughter, and de facto secretary of state, the daughter of the de jure president, will be moving with her husband and children to D.C.

  42. C. Clavin says:

    @barbintheboonies:
    Doh…Barb’s meds must have run out.

  43. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    It’s odd how all of these half-wits who were howling about the allegedly corrupt Clinton are supporting a guy who doesn’t even try to conceal this burgeoning kleptocracy.

    It is incompetence wrapped in hubris, inside of a con job.

  44. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Little whiny babies all getting a prize for being alive.

    barb, put the bitter down. It’s not a good look.

    It just is not fair to make everyone pay for irresponsible people.

    I totally agree. Red states, please refund the money the blue states have been supporting you with these past few decades immediately. barb says there needs to be consequences – you voted Republican, you get to deal with the messes they leave behind by yourselves. It’s not fair to make California pay to support West Virginia’s dying towns. They should do the responsible thing and not burden taxpayers by living there. If you must work in the coal industry, head west as they seem to still be doing ok.

    Oh, that’s not what you meant? Working class people in blue states are being taxed to death to support irresponsible red state moochers but somehow I get the feeling that not the people you’re ranting about. I grew up in a town where generations of the same family lived in the same trailer till the local meth lab blew and took it out. 3-4 kids each and not a diploma of any kind to found among the adults. The highest paid earner of the few that worked was a low-level Walmart employee. Guess what color the family was? (Hint: they ranted much like you do)

    And what’s your beef with teachers? They’re middle class or lower since it’s not exactly a profitable profession.

  45. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    Because *quite* a few people voted for him under the assumption he could be reigned in/ balanced out by having “the right people around him”.

    Whoever made that assumption may be an idiot….

    It seems like Trump had two kinds of voters: The suckers who had no clue he would, ahem, govern like this, and the assholes who were absolutely sure he would.

  46. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    The usual response is this: “The Clintons were much, much worse!. If it was okay for the Clintons, then it’s okay for Trump! He’s a successful businessman.”

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @barbintheboonies: Since when did teachers get federal money?

    The rest of your rant is too stream-of-conciousness for me to address.

  48. SenyorDave says:

    @CSK: Laura Ingraham is apparently up for press secretary.

    Now there is a truly nasty woman, as evidenced by her younger years at Dartmouth:

    Alumna and radio talk show host Laura Ingraham once published the names of LGBT students in a campus newspaper, outing some students who weren’t necessarily open about their sexuality.

  49. CSK says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Certainly. But she’s been slavishly devoted to Trump, and he rewards that kind of devotion.

  50. grumpy realist says:

    Another “why people voted for Trump” article.

    Trump has been great at selling himself as The Great White Savior Who Will Fix Everything. What happens when his supporters discover he can’t?

    Probably will listen to all the fake news claiming that the reason Trump hasn’t fixed everything is because of Those Damned Liberals and Commies. Much easier to believe that then the fact that you’ve been taken for a ride and treated as a chump.

  51. Jen says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Every one has lifted themselves into middle class BS

    The ones I KNOW PERSONALLY have done this. I was not speaking of the entirety of the population receiving assistance. Good grief.

  52. barbintheboonies says:

    @KM: I did not vote Republican. You cannot have it both ways. Why do you defend a system of government who rewards people who wish to suck of the government, and you are disgusted by people who want to live in rural America who want to work and take care of their families. Why are you calling them idiots and raciest. You hate when people generalize Muslims as terrorist, but your own country men you choose to despise. No wonder we are so polarized we all drank the media Kool-Aid. Be honest with yourselves

  53. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Truer than you know. “Fake news” is now regarded as anything that’s not reported by Breitbart, Infowars, The Gateway Pundit, and The Conservative Treehouse. The Trumpkins don’t even believe anything on Fox, Fox being in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

  54. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @grumpy realist: @barbintheboonies:
    I’ve found barb’s comments too taxing to try to unravel, I’ve just given up trying to follow her logic.

  55. michael reynolds says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Barb, you’re missing the point.

    First of all, taxes are paid in this country by the middle class and up. They are not paid by poor people, or by working people, and certainly not by unemployed working people. Virtually every federal dollar comes from the classes of people you despise.

    In other words: STFU about supporting losers, you aren’t supporting losers, I am. Today I have to make out a check for $359,000 to the IRS. I receive zero dollars in any sort of payment from the federal government despite being one of those ‘artist’ types you sneer at. The bulk of federal income from all sources – 2/3 – is spent on ‘mandatory’ expenses, essentially Social Security, Medicare and debt service.

    The remaining third – about a trillion bucks, round numbers – goes to the military 53%. Veterans get another 6%. Any issues with any of that yet, Barb? Shall we cancel Social Security, Medicare, the army and the VA? Are those the leeches you’re upset about?

    The entire food stamps program costs 74 billion, out of a four trillion dollar budget. Less than 10% goes for all safety net programs combined – welfare, food stamps, the earned income tax credit, etc…

    You’re in an uproar over 10% of the budget. And of that, how much goes to people who make bad decisions? Let’s say it’s a full half of that money. Half! Which makes it 5% of the budget which means you are getting worked up and ranting about those folks tearing the country down when at worst it involves 5% of the budget. A nickel out of each dollar, and it’s nowhere near that much in reality.

    And you aren’t paying it, I am, so before you bloviate, learn something. ‘Those people’ aren’t costing you anything, and frankly, with the federal government’s giant phallus buried deep in my ass, I’m not too worked up over the extra few millimeters of penetration. ‘They’ aren’t that expensive, and you aren’t picking up the check.

  56. SenyorDave says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: I’ve found barb’s comments too taxing to try to unravel, I’ve just given up trying to follow her logic.

    I once made the mistake of getting into a rather long argument with barbintheboonies over a point that was not subjective. By the end I realized that I would do better arguing with my six year old granddaughter, she could at least stay on point. When the following is part of a person’s argument, there is no point in further discussion.

    Will the lower class be whiners too? Is that politically incorrect? I know educate the shit out of them. Then we will have all chiefs and no Indians for the sissy la la class we seem to have already. Little whiny babies all getting a prize for being alive. When the shit hits the fan, and Uncle Sam no longer has anything to give, because America becomes dependent on other countries to do everything for them. What then? All of you artist, and teachers getting federal money, when it runs out because of the working mans loss, what will you say then.

    My wife was a teacher for over 25 years. I never thought she was better or worse than a “working man”, not sure why someone thinks they are in conflict. And hopefully she did educate the shit out of her students, that pretty much sums up her goal as a teacher.

  57. barbintheboonies says:

    @grumpy realist: Are you saying universities and other schools get no federal aid. I guess all those grants are from home owners Taxes. Which will be depleted if the middle class goes away. My home owners taxes go up every year and the Teachers are constantly asking their kids at school to tell their parents to vote Democrat to improve things. I have no problem paying for schools, but Teachers need to stop talking politics with the kids. How much money do you think will come to schools when the middle class is gone forever as you said.

  58. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Why do you defend a system of government who rewards people who wish to suck of the government, and you are disgusted by people who want to live in rural America who want to work and take care of their families.

    Because quite of few of those rural families are the ones “sucking off the government” while acting like its everyone else that’s the damn problem? Because those families just voted in that system of government that screws them over again and again and again but somehow liberals hating them is what’s making their lives suck? You act like leeches only exist in cities and rural citizens are as innocent as a lamb.

    Everyone wants to take care of their family, barb – I’m not sure why you seem to think this is exclusive to rural areas. Be honest with *yourself* – you’re whining (and possibly drunk). You’re complaining and blaming and finger pointing instead of offering viable solutions. You complain about people generalizing rural America while shamelessly generalizing everybody else as takers and haters. You’re angry and focusing on the people who you think slighted you instead of those who actual stole from you. So concerned with what liberal city people think, nobody’s minding the store for Republican crooks to rob you blind.

    Now you can stay pointlessly mad or you can do something. Frankly, you’re not going to like what you need to do but life’s never been fair. America is the land of opportunity still but you can’t demand it to knock on your door. The country can revitalize or it can sit around waiting for the good ole days to come back. Who cares what people think when there’s money to make and a country to rebuild? We can’t save it all but I bet we can save more then you think.

  59. grumpy realist says:

    @SenyorDave: It’s the typical primal scream: “People aren’t treating me as I DE-ZEEEEEERVE!!!!”

    (Go ahead, Barb. Scream all you want. It’s not going to keep the hospitals over in the boonies when Paul Ryan and his crowd finally manage to totally eviscerate Medicare and Social Security because hey, you shoulda planned better and made more money for your old age pension and old age medical support and too bad that the amount of money the government is paying you only covers 2% of the cost of health insurance you need at 72, isn’t it?)

    Honestly, if we’re going to talk about who’s doing the gimme gimme gimme game why don’t you look at the number of companies who are threatening to move out of the country unless they get state tax breaks.

  60. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Teachers need to stop talking politics with the kids.

    Tell the pastors to STFU and you’ve got a deal. Fair’s fair after all – kids hear one side in the pews and one in the classroom.

    So if they are urging kids/parents to vote Democrat to “improve things” (I call BS on this, BTW), I’m guessing you’re in Repub territory. Therefore, it’s their fault taxes are going up and the voters fault for putting them in to power. I’m unclear why you’re singling Dems as the problem out in this scenario other then while you say you don’t vote republican, you seem to be one to the core.

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @barbintheboonies: Most of that “federal money” is for research. I should know; I’ve had to deal with that dog-and-pony show for years….

    Now if you want to scream about government providing money to universities so that professors and grad students can figure out how to actually make devices out of graphene, go ahead, it’s your right. Just don’t be surprised when after you cut off all that money that the professors and grad students decide to jump ship and move to countries that actually DO appreciate them and what they can do. Go ahead, hand over even MORE science and technology to places like China and Singapore. They’ll be extremely happy with your helping the U.S. shoot itself in the foot AGAIN. And when you end up discovering that you’re reduced to a lifestyle of dirt roads, subsistence farming and prayer-for-medicine because the nearest doctor is 300 miles away
    , remember–you. chose. this.

  62. C. Clavin says:

    Forget Barb’s incomprehensible word salad.
    Trump owes China hundreds of millions of dollars…and now he’s playing footsie with Taiwan…risking the stability of the entire region. Are we really going to spend four years pursuing policy based upon Trumps own personal agenda?

  63. Scott says:

    @barbintheboonies: My wife is a teacher, I know lots of teachers. And many are Republican. And none of them would discuss politics with the kids. I think you are full of crap.

  64. SenyorDave says:

    @grumpy realist: Honestly, if we’re going to talk about who’s doing the gimme gimme gimme game why don’t you look at the number of companies who are threatening to move out of the country unless they get state tax breaks.

    The funny thing is that the manufacturing companies threatening to move out are a pimple compared to the offshoring that is occurring in tech companies. I work for a very large media rating company that is constantly pushing jobs out to India. We use an Indian consulting company and just wait for a few open head count and poof, the positions are now located in India. We know that we’ll need about 1.25 to 1.5 Indian workers per US worker because of language issues and other factors, but since they cost about 40% of what a US worker does it still saves a ton of money. And all the tech companies do this on a continual basis, but Trump could care less because there is no photo op. And the number will dwarf the manufacturing job loss. And who knows, with training maybe the kids of some of those unemployed manufacturing workers could get some of those jobs, but many of them are waiting for the companies to come to America.

    Trump and the Republicans care so little about average workers that it is pathetic. That a thing like Trump could manage to appeal to anyone who is not a millionaire is truly amazing. Time’s person of the year should be the middle class person who believes that Donald J Trump cares about them, other than as a vessel to make few bucks off his latest scam.

  65. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The short answer to that question appears to be “yes.”

  66. Scott says:

    @KM:

    people who want to live in rural America who want to work and take care of their families.

    There must be some kind of meme out there amongst certain groups of people. I heard this a couple of times just in the last few days. Just yesterday there was letter to the editor talking about blue states and cities being “takers” and the great red state “back bone ” being “makers”. Of course, the opposite is true.

  67. CSK says:

    @Scott:

    Oh, that’s been around for a long time. Sarah Palin used to rattle on about the self-sufficiency of Alaskans and how they looked after their own till someone tartly pointed out that Alaska gets back two dollars for every one dollar it pays in federal taxes.

  68. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott:

    Hey, you elitist, what’s wrong with people wanting to live in remote, sparsely-settled places far from useful road networks or ports or airports, and have a convenient factory right next door that pays 75k a year? Trump is going to make that happen by giving me a tax cut, after which I will open a factory next to every rustic trailer park.

  69. SenyorDave says:

    BTW, getting back to original topic of this thread. I would say that most of the people commenting on this thread are more qualified to be Secretary of HUD than Ben Carson. I base this on some interviews with him I saw and heard, and his debate performance. He is truly ignorant of government and finance (e.g. he clearly does not understand the difference between the deficit and the debt). His sole qualifications are that he supports Trump and he lived in public housing, which he seems anxious to reduce and/or eliminate. I guess an added bonus, at least for Trump, is that Carson is a pretty fair scammer in his own right.

  70. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The mayor of Taoyuan confirmed rumors on Wednesday that US president-elect Donald Trump was considering constructing a series of luxury hotels and resorts in the northwest Taiwanese city.

    “The law’s totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

  71. grumpy realist says:

    @Scott: Go back to the 1880s and look at what people wrote. The “innocent but poor rural dweller” and “wicked city” has been a trope in US culture since, well, forever.

    Methinks it’s a typical case of projection and trying to keep your kids from vamoosing.

    Because How are you gonna keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?

  72. SenyorDave says:

    @michael reynolds: Hey, you elitist, what’s wrong with people wanting to live in remote, sparsely-settled places far from useful road networks or ports or airports, and have a convenient factory right next door that pays 75k a year? Trump is going to make that happen by giving me a tax cut, after which I will open a factory next to every rustic trailer park.

    Can I use this story line? It sound like a Hallmark movie in the making. You know, small town boy goes to the city, makes it big, returns to his hometown and realizes that’s where he belongs. Saves the local factory, marries his childhood sweetheart and everyone lives happily ever after (although, in fairness, that is pretty much the plot of every Hallmark movie).

    Its as believable as Trump actually giving a shitr about factory workers.

  73. Scott says:

    @CSK: @michael reynolds:

    Yeah, the rural areas were emptying out for decades (maybe they still are). Where would they be without subsidized roads, electricity, telecommunications, healthcare, etc.

  74. KM says:

    @Scott:
    It’s older then that – it goes back to City Mouse vs Country Mouse. The idea that cities are inherently full of shiftless, thieving, immoral snobs and rural areas are populated with good-hearted, hard-working, honest family folk is centuries old. It gets conveniently yanked out to justify everything under the sun and reinforces the us-vs-them necessary to keep small towns small. So what if they have stadiums, theaters, museums, theme parks, and a plethora of stores and goods that your single street town doesn’t? They’ll burn in hell for their sins after stealing your money – you’re better then they are in this tiny town without a single chain restaurant. It’s a cultural inferior complex that’s going nowhere because its a great marketing scheme for con men, huckster politicians and nostalgic writers.

    Rural America tends to get shafted politically more then it should but its purely demographic power turned political – nobody in DC is sitting there Monty Burns-style plotting how they’re going to strip Marceline of its last few jobs for the evulz. There’s no cadre called FURurals and no grand plan to ruin “good hardworking families”. It’s a consistent lie that’s been told for generations to propel ambitious people to power…. who promptly go to live in the big city and rule them from afar. Look at the rats currently moving into DC for some stellar examples of this deception.

  75. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Damnit grumpy, beat me to it 🙂

  76. Scott says:

    @grumpy realist: One of my favorite books is “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” by Daniel O’Krent. One of the motivators, among many, of pushing Prohibition, was the fact that city politics, primarily Democratic, revolved around the taverns. Prohibition was an early attempt to inhibit the practice of politics.

  77. KM says:

    @SenyorDave :

    I truly don’t get this appointment. As Doug said, Surgeon General or VA are far more logic and useful choices. The only thing I can think of is Carson saying he didn’t feel qualified to lead. Maybe he knows he couldn’t hack it as SG, decided to not screw up medicine as a favor to mankind and went for Section 8 destruction instead?

  78. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Hollywood in the first half of the 20th century had a lot to do with perpetuating this stereotype. The country folk were always virtuous, hard-working, brave, and patriotic, while the city folk were sinners and cowards.

    It may all go back to Thomas Jefferson and a misreading of what he meant by “natural aristocrat.”

  79. Davebo says:

    @CSK: Alaska also gets a one of a kind sweetheart deal on state/federal royalty splits for Oil & Gas/Mining on federal lands.

    Fifty percent of onshore lease revenue goes to the state in which the lease is located (except in the case of Alaska, where 90 percent of the royalties go back to the state).

  80. EddieInCA says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Why are you calling them idiots and raciest. You hate when people generalize Muslims as terrorist, but your own country men you choose to despise. No wonder we are so polarized we all drank the media Kool-Aid. Be honest with yourselves

    Because many of them are idiots and racists. Look at Louisiana and Kansas as examples of what we have to look forward to as a nation with full GOP control.

    People in Kansas voted back in the very guys and gals who put their state in the toilet. What would you call that if not stupid? Misguided? Mistaken? idiotic? If you’re being beaten and you have a chance to change the narrative, and you don’t, you’re being stupid.

    Trump voters think those great mill and factory jobs are coming back. They’re not. Ever.

    Trump supporters think he’s going to stop immigration – legal and illegal. He’s not. Ever.

    Trump supporters think he’s going to crack down on ISIS. He’s not. He’s not even reading intelligence briefings – according to multiple sources.

    Trump supporters think that getting rid of brown people – Muslims and Mexicans – will make their lives better. It won’t. Your lives suck because sometimes you have made bad decisions, and compounded them by more bad decisions.

    Trump supporters think that getting rid of Obamacare will improve their medical insurance. It won’t. It’s going to be horrible when millions get kicked out of their insurance plans. It will be like it was before Obamacare. But, hey…. I guess you can go to the emergency room.

    Trump supporters think that Trump is going to build a wall. Not gonna happen. Ever.

    Trump supporters are thrilled that he is tweaking the Chinese. Idiots. China owns most of our debt, plus they have 5 times the population we do, plus they’re much more ruthless than we will ever be. So.. keep poking the bear. I’ll be in the UK when Trump finally goes too far.

    Trump supporters think they have – by birthright – an entitlement to a great job, great healthcare, an awesome pension, and they’d have it, if only those damn illegals would stop doing the work Americans don’t want to do.

  81. KM says:

    OT: Slagger just got a mistrial in killing Walter Scott. After being on video of clearly shooting him in the back.

    Unbelievable.

  82. Scott says:

    @EddieInCA:

    keep poking the bear

    Or poking the dragon in this case.

  83. CSK says:

    Slightly OT, but Trump just Tweeted (what else) that he would Tweet far less if the press treated him “accurately and honorably.” But he doesn’t think that will happen.

    So…get ready for non-stop Tweeting from The Great I Yam. The Trumpkins are in ecstasies because now they’ll be getting the real news straight from the horse’s ass…excuse me, I meant mouth.

  84. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @barbintheboonies: I grew up with Free Lunch and Food Stamps and wore hand-me-downs, and a mother who was determined to find every single possible advantage she could for her kids despite having her own learning disabilities and working at McDonald’s and a dry cleaner to make ends meet. She made friends with the local children’s librarian, who would let her use the library as an emergency day care in the summer and get us enrolled in every free summer program the library offered.

    She volunteered – somehow – for scouts and sports programs and anything else she could find that would let kids participate for free if their parents paid for it in sweat equity. When someone told her that she should live in the worst house she could find in the best school district she could afford, she listened to them, and moved us onto a poor street in a school system in that regularly shows up in top 100 in the US News rankings for public high schools.

    I have an AA in Arts & Sciences from a community college. I was able to scrape my way from that into BA in English and then a decade later I finished an MS in Accounting and became a CPA. And now I teach full time at a community college because I want to help other people get ahead and because I, now, take care of my elderly mother, and our safety net *as it exists now* pretty much means that she has to live in my guest room when she isn’t doing inpatient rehab and I need to use the flexibility of a job in academia, the promise of the Public Employees Loan Forgiveness program, and unpaid FMLA to be able to afford to be her caregiver while remaining meaningfully employed myself.

    And all of that is threatened to be taken away by people who see “welfare queens” around every corner. And who don’t understand how paragraphs work. And who can go to Hell.

  85. al-Ameda says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    My home owners taxes go up every year and the Teachers are constantly asking their kids at school to tell their parents to vote Democrat to improve things

    Your homeowner (or property) taxes are not a federal tax, they are a state or local tax.

    Here in California approximately 55-60% of every local property tax dollar goes to support K-12 education, the state determines the amounts to be allocated to each district.

    The reality is that that amount quite often is not sufficient to run a school with the programs that constituent parents want for their children, so districts often go to the voters for special parcel taxes (that usually require 60% or 67% voter approval) to augment local/state funding in their district.

    The way it typically ends up is that in districts with a majority of white collar middle and upper middle class voters, the voters usually approve of the parcel tax to support their schools, while working class districts usually vote them down.

    Frankly, wherever you go in California It’s not hard to find the best schools, it’s usually where parents are well educated and families are middle to upper middle class.

  86. MarkedMan says:

    In this pile on of Barb, I’m going to be the contrarian.

    A few above have mentioned that people in the less densely think that all the moochers live in the city. Before I was in my current field I was in manufacturing equipment which means I’ve spent a lot of time in those rural areas spending a lot of time with line-level factory workers. I couldn’t begin to generalize on what they thought, but I can tell you that almost all of them knew a whole slew of people who had made bad choices, gotten into drugs, and had somehow got themselves onto “the disability”. And not a few of them resented those people. And yes, part of their paychecks do go to pay for those messed up friends and relatives, because “the disability” often comes from those portions of their check that are deducted every pay period.

    I think a winning message would be that the government should insure that every child has the education and access they need to join the economy, and that everyone willing to work can have a decent job. Getting into this back and forth about freeloaders and leeches is non-productive. Many, many fewer people would be on assistance if they could get a halfway decent job. Let’s concentrate on them.

  87. Pch101 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I think a winning message would be that the government should insure that every child has the education and access they need to join the economy, and that everyone willing to work can have a decent job.

    I agree. But there is no way that the feds can deliver on that promise, and it will become obvious soon enough that it was a lie.

  88. Tyrell says:

    The other week there was this ill fated meeting between members of the Trump and Clinton campaign staffs. It evidently was supposed to be a “kumbuyah”, “sing row your boat at campfire”, warm fuzzy deal. Seems like it degenerated into a bunch of hollaring and name calling. This was way too soon to have this sort of thing. In ten years, okay. They could sit around and reminisce about the campaign and laugh at things.
    What they should have done was agree ahead on the rules: Texas saloon free for all, Chicago street fight, or Louisiana cajun style chain wrestling.

  89. Scott says:

    @Tyrell: Make it simple: Irish Stand Down

  90. Matt says:

    @EddieInCA: Actually the USA public owns the majority of our debt. 47% of the debt is owned by foreigners. Of the debt owned by foreigners 21% is owned by China. Japan is right behind china by a couple percentage points

  91. DrDaveT says:

    Ben Carson. Shee. It.

    We’re on the verge of a complete meltdown of the Executive Branch. Can you imagine being a senior bureaucrat, facing the prospect of changing diapers and putting out fires for 4 years while the Trump appointee above you tries to learn the job (if you’re lucky)? Why would you stay?

    The system can flex enough to deal with the occasional James Watt or Earl Butts. But what happens when the whole freaking cabinet is that bad?

  92. Senyordave says:

    @Tyrell: This was way too soon to have this sort of thing. In ten years, okay. They could sit around and reminisce about the campaign and laugh at things.

    Kellyanne Conway seems to spend most of of her time going na na, we won. I saw he on Sunday on MTP with Joel benenson, senior pollster for Clinton. Appeared to be a reasonable, thoughtful guy who actually wanted a discussion. Did not appear possible with Conway, numerous times she reminded him that they won. At the end, she seemed to somewhat recognize how she had acted, and made some joke about how they had something in common, they were just a couple of Jersey guys and gals. Benenson corrected her, saying with an obvious edge to his voice, that he was from New York.

  93. MarkedMan says:

    @Pch101:

    But there is no way that the feds can deliver on that promise,

    Fair enough. I should have been more clear. I’m not proposing it as an election year promise but as a guiding principle. Not as a reason to elect a single individual for one term but as the grand project of a whole party, a project where incremental steps can provide benefits on their own.

  94. Guarneri says:

    Golly. Reading this thread makes me think all hope is lost unless we all move to New Zealand.

    You first…..

  95. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    Gaurneri, the interminably incorrect, seems quite enthusiastic about living in a Banana-Republic.

  96. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Or Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach’s Kansas.
    Same thing.

  97. Blue Galangal says:

    @Scott: Three words: Tennessee Valley Authority

  98. Pch101 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’m not proposing it as an election year promise but as a guiding principle.

    It’s a guiding principle that would never be funded by Congress, for a number of reasons.

  99. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Really, it would easy to give some credibility to this pitiful display of reactionism if Carson was replacing someone who had a relevant resume. A former city councilman and city mayor is the current Secretary. I’ve spent a lot of time in San Antonio–sprawl and gentrification were the orders of the day under Castro. Hardly a record of accomplishment you’d want at HUD but none of you cared because sprawl nor gentrification never affect you personally–I think we know why.

    HUD secretary is where you stash a token to boost the diversity stats of your cabinet so Carson is in a place where he can do the least amount of damage.

    You guys are going to need to be more strategic in where and how you attack Trump if you want a chance at making him a 1-termer. This guy is not who you think he is or want him to be. Sadly, hes beating you before the game has even started. He’s taken good notes from Obama’s playbook in this regard.

  100. charon says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Perhaps he is merely a stupid person’s notion of how smart people behave.

  101. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jim Brown 32: San Antonio is a wonderful city – the only large city in Texas I would move back to if I ever left Aggieland. You aren’t making the point you think you are making.

  102. Jim Brown32 says:

    @charon: Then its equally as plausible that your criticism is a stupid person’s caricature of what a stupid person does.

  103. Jim Brown32 says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Who said SA wasn’t a great place? My point is that HUD is notionally about housing policy. Large factors in nation policy is home ownership, gentrification, and sprawl. These issues matter to non-white people that are working class and below and SA has problems in those areas. If we wanted to appoint an expert I would expect the HUD Sec to come a metropolitan area that controls these issues more tightly. No one on this blog about Sec Castro’s appointment because he’s a Democrat and most people here are white with a different set of of problems for their life beyond owning a home or being priced out of a neighborhood. Now Carsons misqualifications are problematic. The commenters here are no different than the ones at Red State.

  104. Tyrell says:

    @Senyordave: Another option would be a WWE John Cena – Randy Orton ladder type of match between the campaign chair persons.

  105. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @KM:

    So if they are urging kids/parents to vote Democrat to “improve things” (I call BS on this, BTW),

    Good call. Teachers in Washington State are expressly forbidden from taking partisan political positions while serving in their duties as state employees.

  106. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: That doesn’t make any sense at all! A trailer park doesn’t have enough people in it to staff a factory; you need a city to get those kinds of numbers!

  107. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @KM: I noted this in the earlier post about this topic, but I think you guys are overcomplicating Carson’s thought process. In his objection to taking HHS, he noted that he wouldn’t want to do anything that would embarrass or complicate Trump’s administration. If he takes that notion to heart, he has to realize that as HHS Secretary, he might need to confront the administration because he actually cares about the health of children, for example and he’s not going to be willing to go along with proposals that will injure their health.

    On the other hand, he cares little or nothing about the problems involved with homelessness or substandard housing. There, his Social Darwinist inclinations have free reign. While he may care some about the issue of homeless children, their homelessness is the fault of their parents and is not an issue that the government should address. We saw in the thread, to far away to go back to and hunt up now, that he’s a profound critic of public housing. Well guess what, so is his party! It’s a match made in heaven. Congress gets to gut whatever remaining funding there is in the budget for housing and he gets a job managing… well, nothing.

  108. al-Ameda says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Can I use this story line? It sound like a Hallmark movie in the making. You know, small town boy goes to the city, makes it big, returns to his hometown and realizes that’s where he belongs.

    Shift the focus from ‘small boy’ to a conservative woman. Try to get it on the Lifetime channel, with Heather Locklear in the lead role and I’m sure it gets bankrolled.

  109. Rick DeMent says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I assume then you are fine with farm subsidies?

  110. Gina says:

    And I thought I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me stairght.

  111. Matt says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: I was thinking the same thing. I’m probably going to move there in a couple years once I finish here.