It’s a Thursday Forum

Pick a topic, any topic.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced an amendment to a resolution that would recognize CNN and the Washington Post “as fake news” that is “part of the media wing of the Democratic party”.
    The amendment read: “We recognize that fake news outlets suggest ideas without directly making accusations so that they can claim innocence from their ivory towers.”

    Republican state representative Micah Van Huss of Jonesboro introduced the measure Tuesday at the state’s capital. According to local station WREG, it amends a previous joint house resolution filed last month.

    The resolution cites instances throughout 2019 in which the Post staff or CNN personalities referred to Donald Trump’s supporters as a cult or “cult-like”. It said: “We condemn them for denigrating our citizens and implying that they are weak-minded followers instead of people exercising their rights that our veterans paid for with their blood.” Lawmakers behind the resolution also criticized the notion of a “spell Trump has cast on the Republican party” as Washington Post editor, Marc Fisher, suggested in an October editorial.

    The resolution will now be debated within the state house’s subcommittee on sentencing and protections before a vote is scheduled.

    Media outlets have received increasing criticism from conservatives and Trump followers over their coverage. CNN recently earned the president’s ire after host Don Lemon, along with guests, criticised Trump, Mike Pompeo and what they called “an administration defined by ignorance of the world”. One of the guests said Pompeo was “playing to [the Republican] base”.

    “We are NOT a cult! We are NOT morons! We just have alternative facts! Take that you ivory tower elitist coastal poopyheads!”

    ReplyReply
    15
    1
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jeff Bezos has some new digs:

    Only a handful of Beverly Hills houses have ever rivaled the Warner estate. With its 13,600-square-foot Georgian-style mansion, expansive terraces and gardens, two guesthouses, nursery and three hothouses, tennis court, swimming pool, nine-hole golf course and motor court complete with its own service garage and gas pumps, the nine-acre property was— and still is—the archetypal studio mogul’s estate.

    My 12.5 acres of hill and hollers suddenly feels so… Inadequate. Yeah that’s the word.

    Hey Jeff, I found just the chicken coop for you. It’s a steal at just a $100Gs.

    (Alas, my google-fu is lacking. I was looking for a different coop for Jeff. The one I was thinking of has a Greek Revival facade with columns, marble floors, heat and AC, etc etc. I think it’s somewhere in Tennessee and cost something along the lines of $500Gs)

    ReplyReply
  3. Jim Brown 32 says:

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/01/17/how-trump-can-triple-his-support-among-black-voters-in-2020/

    Article sums up the grievances I’ve heard for years by casual black voters. Sure, its disingenuous on many points but it captures the themes the Democratic nominee will have to address to drive black turnout over Clinton numbers. If Buttigieg is the Democrats man, he’d better get to work before Trump does. I fear a few panders here and there and a “Whaddya have to lose?” will work again.

    ReplyReply
  4. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: surely that’s a typo and he meant Democrat Party.

    ReplyReply
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: You misspelled Demoncrat again.

    ReplyReply
    5
    1
  6. An Interested Party says:

    Sure, its disingenuous on many points…

    You got that right…let’s look at some of that…

    Most black voters would rather talk about wages, social mobility, and fairness, in stark contrast to those who obsess over pronouns and climate change.

    As if Democrats don’t talk about wages, social mobility, and fairness? Please…

    …who insanely compare LGBT issues to being black in the South during Jim Crow…

    How is that “insane”?

    …gender fluidity is assumed to be more important than jobs and economic mobility.

    More bull$hit…

    Trump must go into black communities, talk, and listen.

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! He can’t even go into white communities, talk, and listen so how in the hell is he going to do that in black communities?

    While liberals obsess about climate change, actual communities where black Americans live have been neglected.

    As if actual communities where black Americans live aren’t affected by climate change…

    More than 90 percent of black Americans shouldn’t be consistently voting Democrat…

    It’s funny when Republicans/conservatives trot out this argument…why do blacks vote for Democrats in such high numbers? Are they stupid? Irrational? Why do they do it?

    Trump is uniquely gifted to bring black America back into the GOP.

    With his friendly embrace of white nationalism? Sure he is…

    ReplyReply
    9
    3
  7. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: At 13,600 sf, the mansion is larger than my suburban lot.

    ReplyReply
  8. Kurtz says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Definitely disingenuous. Interested Party covered it well.

    30% approval is way out of line with other polls. I realized why–Zogby poll.

    Dems have managed to take the black vote for granted and alienate rural white working class voters.

    Dems are bad at this.

    Jim, isn’t that a reason to not pick a conventional candidate?

    ReplyReply
  9. Scott says:

    DOD Identifies Army Casualty

    Let’s reflect and not forget.

    The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

    Spc. Branden Tyme Kimball, 21, from Central Point, Oregon, died Feb. 12, 2020, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

    Kimball was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Drum, New York.

    ReplyReply
  10. Kurtz says:

    I spend an obscene amount of time reading posts and crafting comments on this site. I’m an addict.

    The cool thing is this. I started to feel it while writing my last comments last night, I had hit stream of conciousness mode.

    Weird looking back at them. Seems like I’m still there.

    ReplyReply
  11. KM says:

    @An Interested Party:

    “While liberals obsess about climate change, actual communities where black Americans live have been neglected.”

    To be fair, that’s a common approach from economically-devastated areas. It’s immediate needs vs long-term issues. What does it matter if this place is underwater in 20 years if we’re all dying right now? Humans aren’t great with prioritizing far off benefits when there’s a current issue causing problems.

    However, climate change is like cancer – neglect treatment of early trouble signs at your own peril. It may be more important to spend what little money you have on food and rent rather then get that nagging cough looked at but eventually that cough turns out to be way more detrimental to your ability to stay alive then late rent. The town may want to spend its resources on attracting tourists to it’s lovely beaches but when those nice new structures keep getting wrecked by bad storms or flooding, it’s ultimately wasted money.

    Dems are fighting against a primal instinct: “what can you do for me now?”. Battling climate change gives dividends of the status quo at best; “nothing happened” because somebody did their damn job to make *sure* nothing bad occurred. Struggling madly just to stay in the same place doesn’t seem appealing when the place you are in already sucks. Visible improvement in the quality of someone’s life seems like a little thing to ask but it’s not something working on climate change prioritizes – that’s why so many are so reluctant to accept it.

    ReplyReply
    9
    2
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz: I’m not sure if there is a 12 step program for that or not.

    ReplyReply
  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Bezos spent almost exactly 100 times what I did for a house in LA. I’m guessing he doesn’t have a telephone pole in his back yard.

    ReplyReply
    1
    1
  14. Pylon says:

    Small complaint about the forum topics: a slew of Democratic nomination posts, and nary a one about Trump’s blatant interference in the Stone case, or his firing of impeachment witnesses. I know we have these open forums, but I think they are worth a whole item.

    ReplyReply
    15
    1
  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    You’re not wrong that the far left is obnoxious and tediously superficial with their labeling fixation – and I’m a guy with a trans kid. But The Republican Party is straight-up white supremacist. A black man so obsessed with hating trans folk he’d join the political arm of the KKK is a fucking idiot. How do you propose we appeal to that theoretical idiot, because I haven’t found bigots all that ready to deal rationally with reality.

    You know, Democrats have taken a hit since 1948 and worse in 1968 for choosing to support black civil rights. There were plenty of racist whites who wished we’d shut about about black people. Now you want us to shut up about gay people and trans people. Well, no. We won’t abandon them any more than we abandoned you. We aren’t Republicans, we don’t choose to surrender to fools.

    ReplyReply
    24
    2
  16. Jax says:

    I miss Doug. Steven and James have been working hard to keep us entertained in his absence, but so much stuff has happened, I’m sorely missing Doug’s perspective!!

    ReplyReply
  17. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I fear a few panders here and there and a “Whaddya have to lose?” will work again.

    My biggest fear has always been that Trump would do what he says he would do; tax cuts for the middle class, great health care, grow jobs at an increased rate, eliminate the debt.
    I guess…yeah…my second biggest fear is that he might still be able to con people with his bullshit.
    If after 4 years minorities, of any persuasion, are fooled by him then we actually have bigger problems.
    I guess my point is that, yes, getting rid of Trump is important…but maybe our bigger challenge is to fix an educational system that created so many people ignorant enough to vote for the man in the first place.

    ReplyReply
    10
    1
  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Except the Millennials, the product of the recent educational system, are in general rather sweet, decent people. We can’t travel back in time and fix the educational systems that produced Baby Boomers and Silent Generation.

    ReplyReply
    12
    1
  19. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: As a thought experiment, imagine how easy it would have been for Trump to have split the democratic caucus down the middle by simply pushing legislation that would fix the problems everybody agree that Obamacare has and relabel it trump care. (Those Obamacare fixes aren’t hard to come by, there’s a near consensus on them, there probably are some bills out there that cover most of them, so it’s just a matter of hammering out some of the details and passing it.) The republicans didn’t pass it before because they were trying to repeal it, but rebranding it trumpcare would give them a win and steal the issue from the democrats.

    Then discuss some ideas about infrastructure and pass a medium-sized bill. That would have rendered any opposition by the democrats ineffective, and he’d be free do to nearly everything he wants to do with far less resistance.

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Mike in Arlington:
    I know…if he had half-a-brain we would be fuqed.

    ReplyReply
    5
    1
  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Re-education camps?

    ReplyReply
    3
    1
  22. Kurtz says:
  23. gVOR08 says:

    Last week, in Jame’s Analysis vs Advocacy post there was a little discussion of NYT’s Daily Podcast interview of their executive editor Dean Baquet. Yesterday I stumbled across a thorough fisking of the interview by Dan Froomkin. When challenged on “bothsidesism”, Baquet responded with “sophisticated true objectivity”. Froomkin quotes extensively and comments,

    While technically acknowledging that “on the one hand on the other hand” reporting is “not the best way” to cover stories like the Trump impeachment trial, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet made it clear in a new interview that Times reporters will not be “taking sides” — even when one side is the truth and the other side is a lie – as long as he remains editor.
    Talking to Michael Barbaro on the Times’s “The Daily” podcast, Baquet refused to in any way condemn a recent Times article that was widely and appropriately cited as a canonical example of bothesideism. The article lamented that “the lawmakers from the two parties could not even agree on the basic set of facts in front of them”.
    Baquet instead endorsed something he called “sophisticated true objectivity.”
    “The easy version of what I call ‘sophisticated true objectivity’… is: ‘I’m writing my story on deadline. OK. This guy said this, this guy said that, I’m going to gather, you decide,’” he said. “That’s not what I mean when I say sophisticated, true objectivity is a goal. True objectivity is you listen, you’re empathetic, if you hear stuff you disagree with, but it’s factual, and it’s worth people hearing, you write about it.”
    I agree that’s a wonderful goal.
    But what do you do when what they say it not factual? Do you call it out?
    In some cases, you engage in “deep reporting,” Baquet said. But you don’t do “labeling and cheap analysis.” You don’t call it a lie, he said.
    “Let somebody else call it a lie.”
    “In my mind, I think of the reader, who just wants to pick up his paper in the morning and know what the hell happened — I’m beholden to that reader, and I feel obligated to tell that reader what happened.”
    But Baquet’s aversion to taking sides means that it’s the “easy” version of his “sophisticated” objectivity that has become endemic in his newsroom’s political journalism. There are countless examples, …

    The interview was ostensibly about “The Lessons of 2016.”
    Baquet said the Times failed to see what was going on out in the country, and won’t make that mistake again.
    But he didn’t cop to overcovering Hillary Clinton’s scandals, or undercovering Trump’s.
    He expressed almost no remorse for all the horse-race coverage.
    And for a guy who talks so much about just reporting what happened, when it suited him he argued that “you do have to tell people what to think” sometimes.

    I occasionally complain to NYT that if politician A lies, and NYT publishes the lie without correction, it’s NYT that is lying to me. Throughout, Baquet strikes me as a guy supporting the company line and skating around saying something. “Sophisticated true objectivity” is classic obfuscation. I see that NYT is doing well financially. Trump’s presence has driven up news consumption generally and NYT has used their massive presence to manage their shift to digital well and are profitable, partially due to the success of this podcast series. So the simplest suspicion is that what Baquet is avoiding saying is that, ‘We used Trump as clickbait. It’s working well, for my bosses and my bonus plan, so we’re going to keep doing it.’

    ReplyReply
  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Nope, a tennis court. Or is that the front of his house? Funny thing, I was looking at the circle with the big bullseye in the center of it thinking, “They need to trim the trees back from that helipad.” before I realized it’s his driveway.

    Note: I am not certain that is the correct house, the description from the architecture mag says it has a 9 hole golf course. I don’t see one.

    ReplyReply
  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: That’s a thing that really frustrates me. The GOPs have wanted to destroy Social Security since it was passed. And Medicare. But the people who depend on SS and Medicare are the GOPs biggest supporters. It’s a testament to GOP messaging (lying) success.

    (Actually, I don’t think the GOPs want to straight out destroy SS anymore, they want, like W, to piratize privatize it. It must make Goldman Sachs crazy to see such a huge pile of money and have no hooks into it.)

    ReplyReply
    6
    1
  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Clearly you are unfamiliar with stealth golf technology.

    ReplyReply
  27. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: the NYT would be improved if Dean Baquet, Ross Doubthat, Bret Stephens, Maureen Dowd, and a few others fell into a manhole tomorrow. But I still subscribed a week or so ago because journalism is important, K-thug is there, the science reporting is superior, and several other reasons.

    ReplyReply
    3
    1
  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I am unfamiliar with golf.

    ReplyReply
  29. gVOR08 says:

    Under the heading of the more things change the more they stay the same: https://twitter.com/beschlossdc/status/1129570363040522240?s=21

    ReplyReply
  30. Fortunato says:

    Heading into Valentines Day, my heart is warmed by the fact that –
    1) Donald Trump got himself impeached (and impeachment is forever)
    2) the modern GOP demonstrated, in full regalia, that it has in fact devolved into a ‘a cesspool of lies populated by demagogues, idiots, and invertebrates’.
    It is manifestly evident that it is self-interest before party and party before country.
    3) there remains a very real possibility that Colludy Rudy will yet face criminal indictment
    – and all of this because Donald Trump was desperate to take down and smear none other than Sleepy Joe, reach-across-the-aisle, Biden.
    Ol’ three-peat Joe, a man who was NEVER destined for a POTUS embrace by the Democratic base. A man elevated and promoted almost solely by a punditry class, the sum total of which you could squeeze into a Greyhound bus.

    Two years of extortion, collusion, threats, bribery, gangland endeavors and serial violations of countless laws, foreign and domestic. Add to that the truly bizarre series of goon squads Trump has sent abroad – squads including the most powerful leaders in America – names like Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Devin Nunes, John Durham, Mike Pence and countless others.
    All this time, effort, money and third world criming – all of it to take down a political non contender in Sleepy Joe Biden.

    I pray to god the next President chooses to relentlessly pursue these people.
    It’s nothing short of shocking when one stops to think about what Donny Two Scoops and his crime syndicate have put this nation through.
    It’s truly a goddamn Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole into which these lawless, morally bankrupt cretins have drug our nation.

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  31. Fortunato says:

    @gVOR08:

    “sophisticated true objectivity.”

    my arse.

    Maybe Baquet should consider a name change for the Gray Lady, might I suggest:
    “Chuck Todd’s New York Times”

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  32. Teve says:

    Now Trump’s attacking one of the jurors in the Roger Stone case. Fucking christ.

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  33. Kingdaddy says:

    A very good discussion about the existential threat to the Justice Department:

    https://youtu.be/LOiUi7xfAsI

    ReplyReply
  34. reid says:

    @Pylon: Agreed (though we all know the posters will post whatever they feel like; them’s the rules). I actively tune out any Democratic primary-related material, whether on the internet or cable news.

    ReplyReply
  35. Kingdaddy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I occasionally complain to NYT that if politician A lies, and NYT publishes the lie without correction, it’s NYT that is lying to me. Throughout, Baquet strikes me as a guy supporting the company line and skating around saying something. “Sophisticated true objectivity” is classic obfuscation. I see that NYT is doing well financially. Trump’s presence has driven up news consumption generally and NYT has used their massive presence to manage their shift to digital well and are profitable, partially due to the success of this podcast series. So the simplest suspicion is that what Baquet is avoiding saying is that, ‘We used Trump as clickbait. It’s working well, for my bosses and my bonus plan, so we’re going to keep doing it.’

    I couldn’t agree with you more. If the news of what is happening is that someone is lying, then there is no ambiguity about what you should report. As you said, it’s your duty as a truth teller to avoid abetting lies.

    Journalists and politicians are often part of the same class. In the DC area, they go to the same parties, marry, take their kids to the same schools…Confronting a politician over lies, therefore, has social consequences that some journalists, particularly those near the op of the organization, are not willing to pay.

    ReplyReply
  36. Kiingdaddy says:
  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I did the same last week and mostly for the same reasons but I’m already thinking about canceling it. Why? I was already reading too much depressing news without it, do I want to read even more?

    sigh… I’ll keep it for now, every now and again Krugman, Collins, Blow, Bouie, and Goldberg are bound to write about something other than trump, hell even Douthat writes something interesting every now and again, and besides, $4 a month ain’t gonna break me.

    ReplyReply
  38. Kurtz says:

    this is highly recommended. Browse through it. Interesting tidbits all over the place. The one I will give was the number of Republicans who said that “violating the Constitution” would not be disqualifying for a President. Low single digits.

    EDIT: 4%

    It was worded as a question to Trump supporters who were asked if there was something he could do to lose their vote.

    ReplyReply
  39. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Republican state representative Micah Van Huss of Jonesboro introduced the measure Tuesday at the state’s capital.

    Are you sure it’s Jonesboro and not Jonestown?

    ReplyReply
    1
    1
  40. Jen says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I know…if he had half-a-brain we would be fuqed.

    His real problem are the people who surround him. Any of that–fixing the flaws in Obamacare, or an infrastructure bill, for instance–requires the acknowledgment that government serves a purpose. He has surrounded himself with ideologues who believe that government IS the problem, and cannot do anything right. Their objective is to destroy from within, doling out as much power and favors to corporate interests as possible. They have no interest in fixing things.

    Yes, if he had half a brain he’d see this path and insist on it–but the White House is staffed with fringe types like Steven Miller who want it to all burn down.

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  41. Kathy says:

    It’s getting busy here at the salt mine (not literally), so I won’t have much chance to post today. I wanted to get this out, though:

    The lasting damage Dennison is doing will take time to manifest, and many implications are rather abstract. He should be attacked on it, yes, but not as the central point of attack.

    As has been suggested here, the central point should be his rank incompetence. Also it would help to ridicule him. run the clips of the UN General Assembly laughing at him, of his dear friend Boris mocking him to Macron and Trudeau, etc.

    Ideally in the debates, whoever runs against him should laugh in trump’s face when he inevitably says something stupid. It doesn’t have to be a literal laugh. Check how Reagan told Carter “There you go again,” in their debate.

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  42. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A black man so obsessed with hating trans folk he’d join the political arm of the KKK is a fucking idiot. How do you propose we appeal to that theoretical idiot, because I haven’t found bigots all that ready to deal rationally with reality.

    We could create a fictional group of people, promote negative stereotypes about them, and then discriminate against them. Just spitballing here, but Umpa Lumpas, with their orange skin and their green hair…

    I think Trump might be part Umpa Lumpa on his mother’s side.

    ReplyReply
    1
    1
  43. Teve says:

    Kingdaddy posts a link to something i just saw on Twitter. I think it’s worth posting in full.

    Someone asked “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump? Nate White, articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent and brilliant response:

    “A few things spring to mind.
    Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
    For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities ..with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
    So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief. Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
    I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
    But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

    Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
    And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness. There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface. Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul. And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist. Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
    He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat. He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege. And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully. That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead. There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.
    More to come.
    So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
    Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
    You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man. This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty hard to miss. After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid. He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

    In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
    And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

    ‘My God… what… have… I… created?
    If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”

    ReplyReply
    10
    2
  44. t says:

    @Kurtz:

    I spend an obscene amount of time reading posts and crafting comments on this site. I’m an addict.

    every day here is another day of suffering.

    ReplyReply
  45. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher:

    We could create a fictional group of people, promote negative stereotypes about them, and then discriminate against them. Just spitballing here, but Umpa Lumpas, with their orange skin and their green hair…

    I’ve been reading Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized. He talks about a social psychologist named Henri Tajfel who published a paper, Experiments in Intergroup Discrimination showing how easy it was to split a homogenous group of subjects into two groups who discriminated against each other. He got interested in this because he recalled a Slovene friend talking about stereotypes of Bosnians. He realized it was the same way Englishmen talked about ‘colored’ immigrants.

    From this, Tajfel took a lesson. Discrimination varies in its targets and intensity across cultures, but it is surprisingly similar in its rationalizations.

    It would be very easy to generate discrimination against the Umpa Lumpa, or the Amazons, or the North Elbonians.

    Tajfel was sensitive to the effects of identity because he was a Jew born in Poland. He traveled to France because a Jew couldn’t get a university education in Poland in the 30s. Got to France in time to join the French Army and fight the German invasion. Ended up a POW. Had to very carefully guard his identity. As a French Jew he had some protection, had the Germans discovered he was a Polish Jew, they’d have killed him. Same man, same behavior, but completely different treatment based solely on identity.

    Krugman, no more than half tongue-in-cheek, suggested another plan. We should fake an alien invasion. Then the whole world would unite to prepare for their return.

    ReplyReply
  46. a country lawyer says:

    @Kiingdaddy: This brings to mind Jackie Gleason’s comment as Minnesota Fat’s in the Movie “The Hustler” to Paul Newman’s Fast Eddie Felson “You got no class Fast Eddie, you got no class”. Describes Trump perfectly.

    ReplyReply
  47. Moosebreath says:

    @Kurtz:

    That is an interesting, if slightly dated (from November ’19) survey. For me, the most interesting finding was near the bottom:

    “Most swing voters in these states see bans on fracking, stopping detainments at the U.S. border, and Medicare-for-all as bad ideas. The poll also consistently finds that while Medicare-for-all has played a significant role in the 2020 Democratic primary debates, it is not the top health care issue for Democratic voters. Large shares of swing voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin say stopping detainments at the U.S. border for people cross into the country illegally and a national Medicare-for-all plan are “bad ideas.” Swing voters are slightly more divided in their views of a ban on fracking with large shares of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin swing voters saying such a ban is a “bad idea” as do a slim majority in Michigan and half of Minnesota swing voters.”

    ReplyReply
  48. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    My biggest fear has always been that Trump would do what he says he would do; tax cuts for the middle class, great health care, grow jobs at an increased rate, eliminate the debt.
    I guess…yeah…my second biggest fear is that he might still be able to con people with his bullshit.

    Your second thought is quite correct. Why go to the trouble of doing good things when they can simply lie about it? Plus middle class tax cuts and good healthcare would piss off Chuckles Koch something fierce.

    ReplyReply
  49. Kurtz says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Yeah I was thinking about that today. That, combined with some discussion over the last week with Andy and Dr. Dave have kind of changed my thinking a little.

    I’m suspicious of their share of swing voters. It leads me to think their definition may be a little too wide, which is why I think I am only leaning toward a conventional view rather than scrapping what I’ve formulated.

    As you pointed out, it is a little dated, but it’s hard to assess how to analyze the data.

    The fracking thing being a top issue is weird. I would need to look at the cross-tabs, but Minnesota and Wisconsin do not have viable resources for fracking, as of 2015 at least.

    One thing I’ve been wondering is how people would feel if it was more well known how much money in subsidies goes to fossil fuel development.

    Anyway, yeah. A lot of cool data there.

    ReplyReply
  50. Kurtz says:

    @Jen:

    Jen, you know that “government is the problem” isn’t a fringe idea within the GOP. It is the central animating principle since Reagan.

    ReplyReply
  51. Fortunato says:

    It appears the Microsoft News division may be trying to one-up the NYT in their for-profit fealty to BothSiderism. Here’s the headline of their story re Bill Barr’s brazen corruption –
    Barr pledged that investigations would be ‘sacrosanct from political influence.’
    That’s in real doubt now.

    That’s in real doubt..
    now..

    YA THINK!!

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  52. wr says:

    @gVOR08: “It would be very easy to generate discrimination against the Umpa Lumpa, or the Amazons, or the North Elbonians.”

    To be fair, North Elbonians really suck.

    ReplyReply
  53. Teve says:

    @wr: everybody knows north elbonians are lazy, they’ll corrupt our women, and north elbonia is a shithole.

    Some, i assume, are good people.

    ReplyReply
  54. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    In a History of the English Language class I took, the professor explained that the term class is different for Americans. Here, for most people, class is defined economically. Whereas for certain social groups here, and for the English, it signifies social customs.

    I realized how much easier it would be to explain that concept now than it was then. Not only is Trump an example of a ‘wealthy’ person without class, he is exactly the type of person that would confuse class with the number of digits attached to your name. It neatly explains his appeal to white people who feel left behind, but vote against their economic interests.

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  55. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kurtz:
    I don’t know that it’s all that different here.
    Trump could never become accepted in NY social circles, no matter how much money he had.
    He’s ridiculed by “High Society” in NYC.
    I also don’t think the old money in Palm Beach much cared for him.
    That may have changed since he’s become #IMPOTUS

    ReplyReply
  56. CSK says:

    According to ABC News, Hope Hicks is returning to the White House as a senior advisor reporting to Jared Kushner. Her official title will be counselor to the president.

    ReplyReply
  57. Chip Daniels says:

    @Kiingdaddy:
    I needed a cigarette after reading that, and I don’t even smoke.

    ReplyReply
  58. Kurtz says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Right, my post acknowledges that. But broadly, especially among rural working whites, don’t understand the distinction.

    ReplyReply
  59. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: The fake ethnic group should not differ from a real group by only vowels. We don’t want Albanians being persecuted for the crimes of the North Elbonians, do we?

    “While most Scandinavians are good, hardworking people, the drug-addled filth from South Gadunk have been a never-ending plague upon the Norwegian and Finnish social safety nets, and now they are showing up here as their shithole country continues to collapse into a briney despair of sour lutefisk liquor and ethnic strife with the even worse people of North Gadunk.”

    ReplyReply
  60. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kurtz:

    But broadly, especially among rural working whites, don’t understand the distinction.

    Well, yeah.
    Trump is an idiots idea of a smart.
    A poor person’s idea of rich.
    A MAGAt’s idea of classy.

    ReplyReply
    3
    1
  61. Guarneri says:

    @Kurtz:

    As a general proposition, politicians are not paragons of virtue and “class.” Welcome to the real world. Vaginal cigar insertion anyone? Your apparent (and others faux horror here) discovery is generally arrived at by time one is in high school.

    Politics is dirty business, and ultimately about results.

    I suspect this is what pisses you all off.

    ReplyReply
    1
    3
  62. An Interested Party says:

    As a general proposition, politicians are not paragons of virtue and “class.”

    Even Bill Clinton, as shady as he was/is, has more virtue and class than Donald Trump…

    Politics is dirty business, and ultimately about results.

    I suspect this is what pisses you all off.

    Ahhh, so that’s why you hate Obama (and probably Clinton too) so much…

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  63. the Q says:

    Well here goes, to all you feckless, timid boomer/genX neolibs having a heart attack over democratic socialism and Bernie…we’ve heard it all before. When I say “we” I mean old New Dealers (and I’m old) who basically transformed the modern state with…..GASP….democratic socialism. The Hillary clones and the Bernie bashers got an immoral lunatic elected because we ran yet again, another uninspiring corporate friendly DLC “moderate” in Hillary. And now, the “gee we’re too liberal” rant is being rehashed again by those centrists who question the party’s path toward…again, …”I’m feeling the vapors”…. democratic socialism. Here’s a quote that illustrates what many of you neolibs think of Bernie

    “Make a test for yourself. Just get the platform of Bernie’s Democratic Party, and get the platform of the Socialist Party, and lay them down on your dining room table, side by side, and get a heavy lead pencil and scratch out the word “Democrat,” and scratch out the word “Socialist,” and let the two platforms lay there.

    Then study the record of Bernie up to date. After you have done that, make your mind up to pick up the platform that more nearly squares with the record, and you will put your hand on the Socialist platform. This country was organized on the principles of representative democracy, and you can’t mix Socialism or Communism with that. They are like oil and water; they refuse to mix.”

    Is this from Carville? Chris Matthews? A GOP attack ad? No, it was said in 1936 by Democrat Al Smith (I substituted Bernie for FDR) railing against FDR’s Revenue Act of 1935 which soaked the rich by instituting a “wealth tax” on millionaires and raising estate tax rates. Outlawing child labor, putting in social security….ok..but raising taxes on millionaires and taxing their heirs, why my God, this “socialism” just won’t stand.

    You see, back in my day, we had the American Liberty League….a bunch of Wall St. centrist corporate Democrats who warned that FDR would lose in 1936 because of his “socialist” policies under the sway of “The young Brain Trusters who caught the Socialists swimming and they ran away with their clothes.”

    FDR responded the way Bernie has “we have earned the hatred of entrenched greed…and we welcome their hatred.”

    And how, boomers, did the election of 1936 go with all the foreboding talk of FDR and New Deal socialism? FDR won every state but 2 with 61% of the vote.

    The lesson? Run Bernie and phuck the centrist pull as it loses just about every time. I shudder to think how different this country would be if we had followed the advice that some on this blog advocate of the Dems being “too socialist”. Had Landon won, vielleicht haben wir alle diese Diskussion auf Deutsch – we might all be having this discussion in German.

    So 85 years later, we are now subjected to the same pusillanimous blather by neolibs afraid of their own liberal shadow and would run in this age of Citizens United and humongous wealth inequality, a Wall Street billionaire and other corpocrats.

    The time has come to radically alter the rigged oligarchy which has hijacked the ability of the middle and lower classes to rein in their hegemony. Amy, Joe or Pete ain’t gonna get it done.

    ReplyReply
    2
    2
  64. Michael Reynolds says:

    @the Q:
    Q: Mr. Sanders, will you decriminalize illegal immigration?
    A: Yes.
    Q: And you’ll make college free?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Will you limit what people getting free college can study?
    A: No.
    Q: So you’re saying we have to raise taxes on Americans so undocumented people from Guatemala can get degrees in art history?

    Try polling that. Then repeat with health care and daycare.

    Democrats have laid off Sanders so far, the Republicans won’t.

    As for loser Hillary, she won 3,000,000 more votes than Trump did, despite the historical difficulty of holding the White House for three terms in a row.

    ReplyReply
    5
    2
  65. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Q: And you’ll make college free?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Will you limit what people getting free college can study?
    A: No.”

    Or maybe: “No. Because I believe education is a public good and every educated citizen makes this nation just a little bit stronger. I’m not going to say you can have free education if you study engineering but not if you study poetry — because a well-rounded society needs engineers and it needs poets. What it doesn’t need is hereditary fortunes that warp our entire politics around the whims of half a dozen people. So I will tax those fortunes and we will spend it on colleges and universities so that we can be a smarter, happier country.”

    It’s really easy if you get to play both parts and choose to make your opposition stupid.

    And yes, I know you didn’t go to college and therefore no one in the world needs to go to college.

    ReplyReply
    5
    2
  66. Jen says:

    @the Q: You have not been paying attention.

    People LOVE Bernie’s programs…in the abstract.

    Ask them to pay as little as $4 more in taxes a month? Support plummets.

    Most American voters are center-left ideologically, but they want a vague-waves-hands “someone else” to pay for it. Most voters are also aware that a free lunch is paid for by someone, and they’ll be damned if that someone is going to be them.

    ReplyReply
  67. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Michael Reynolds: he’s said he wants to decriminalize border crossings, but that doesn’t mean an open border policy, just changing the penalty from a criminal one to a civil one. I suspect that part of that reason is so people can’t be rejected for citizenship based on convictions for illegal border crossings, but I’m not entirely sure.

    However, that nuance may not be understood by most Americans.

    ReplyReply
  68. Neil Hudelson says:

    @the Q:

    I assume you know that Hillary won the popular vote by a very wide margin, so your rant assumes that Bernie would’ve won the electoral vote. Are you saying we would’ve won Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by going farther to the left?

    Any evidence you can provide that this is true?

    You argument also seems to be based on how American politics looked in 1936. Care to make a case on how your plan would work at least post-Reagan? (Explaining how it would work in the 21st century would be even better.) Because so far in this past half-century or so, moderate Dems (Carter, Clinton, Obama, other Clinton) won the majority of American votes while McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis lost. To be fair, the moderates Gore and Kerry also lost, but that makes the moderate’s record 4-2 in terms of convincing a majority of Americans to support them, while the libs are 0-3.

    ReplyReply
  69. Liberal Capitalist says:

    OK.

    Here is my .02, when I should be working rather than doing this virtual water cooler chatter.

    First, I have been a Democratic Socialist since before there was such a thing. For me, that means pro-worker, pro-family, pro-social safety net, and that folks like me pay a bit more. This has been tough for me… as holding that belief and being an unapologetic atheist is difficult in the corporate world.

    I want to overthrow the establishment and create a worker’s paradise… but from a pragmatic perspective. We can do this.

    But this Bernie Sanders goomer… he will not defeat Trump. It WILL NOT HAPPEN. He is not now, nor has he been a Democrat.

    We seem to have gone into two camps: 1) Idealism is everything, or 2) Gotta beat Trump.

    Sen. Sanders will not get elected, no matter the passion of his supporters. and the rest of the Dems will not rally behind him.

    I love me some Sen. Warren, but… she will not be able to take the fight to Trump day after day. She may be a very functional and powerful VP.

    Biden. Jesus F@ck. He has aged SO quickly during this campaign. I don’t think that he has anything relevant to say, other than he is not Trump.

    Buttigieg. Do you even think the swing voters will vote for a gay married mayor that has “Butt” right in his name? In this country, that should not matter. But still, if Joe Biden can make him looks like an inexperienced pol, do you think that he even has a chance? No, FFS.

    Klobuchar – You know, good. Any other election cycle maybe even great. Maybe a contender… but the Trump deplorables will find a way to shred her.

    Steyer – a great guy to have on your side… But the leader?

    So, that leaves Bloomberg. A New Yorker. A real billionaire (unlike Trump). Maybe tough enough to go up against Trump.

    I read this, it seems to make some sense:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/opinion/bloomberg-president-2020.html

    If beating Trump is the goal, as much as I don’t necessarily like it – Hell, I may be holding my nose when I pull the lever… but Bloomberg may be the candidate to win.

    Tell me why I am wrong.

    ReplyReply
    1
    1
  70. Kurtz says:

    @Guarneri:

    How about instead of suspecting something, you read, and listen.

    Example: Kathy had a question about CDS in terms of how the product is structured. You mocked the whole comment section instead of answering her good faith question.

    Your suspicions are unfounded, because it is based on your assumptions that you never examine.

    You know what else is a dirty business? Business. Just about everything you bitch about in terms of government can be applied just as easily to private enterprise.

    If you listen to people who actually understand both sides if a debate, you may be a more valuable voice. But you choose to be a child.

    ReplyReply
    7
    2
  71. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:

    As a general proposition, politicians are not paragons of virtue and “class.”

    It’s one thing to not be a paragon of virtue and class.
    It’s another thing to be completely lacking in virtue or any semblance of class.

    Politics is dirty business, and ultimately about results.

    Slowed job creation.
    Massive deficits.
    Failed foreign policy initiatives.
    Degrading environment.
    Breakdown of Democratic institutions.
    Such wonderful results!!!
    With every comment you further beclown yourself.

    ReplyReply
    6
    1
  72. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Then repeat with health care and daycare.”

    You are making this way too easy:

    Q: So you’ll give free healthcare to illegal immigrants.
    A: Yes.
    Q: So you’re saying we have to raise our taxes to give illegal immigrants from Guatemala free check ups.
    A: Until the day science invents a way to force germs and viruses to check citizenship papers before they infect someone. Look what’s happening in China right now — people were afraid to report the existence of this terrible virus because they thought they’d be punished for it, and now we have an epidemic sweeping the world. Do you want that to happen here, too? Do you think if an illegal immigrant gets sick and can’t get treated that somehow the bugs that cause it are just going to go away? Whether we like it or not, we are all connected, and while we might not like paying for the health care of the people we use to cut our lawns and take care of our kids, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than fighting the next coronavirus.”

    ReplyReply
    4
    2
  73. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Neil Hudelson: the rejoinder here is that most americans aren’t terribly ideological. I believe that a vast majority of americans who use the word “socialist” to describe something pejoratively wouldn’t be able to give even a very broad definition of the word (and don’t get me started on their understanding of capitalism).

    ReplyReply
  74. wr says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: “So, that leaves Bloomberg. A New Yorker. A real billionaire (unlike Trump). Maybe tough enough to go up against Trump.”

    It’s remarkably easy if you list all the negatives of all the other candidates and leave his out.

    ReplyReply
  75. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    My comment to @Q had nothing to do with the value of a college education. And given that my political positions closely track college educated voters, why would I want fewer?

    Everyone favors free stuff, right up until the bill comes or their ox is gored in some other fashion. It’s bad analysis to assume that support now, before a wave of attacks, will be the same as support afterward. We have to anticipate attacks. They will come.

    ReplyReply
    1
    2
  76. wr says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Dukakis was a liberal, not a moderate?

    Seriously?

    ReplyReply
  77. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    Very old political truism: when you’re explaining, you’re losing. You have a much higher opinion of voters than I do. I think it’s laughable to imagine that middle class taxpayers are going to shrug and say, “Well, if it’s good for the world…” We can’t get them to pay attention to climate change or foreign policy, but we’re going to talk them into higher taxes to support foreigners?

    ReplyReply
    4
    2
  78. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Sure, but their misunderstanding of the word socialist doesn’t change how they act in the voting booth.

    ReplyReply
  79. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Of course we have to anticipate attacks. But the way to anticipate them is not to abandon any candidate who might be subject to them — because EVERY candidate will be subject to them — but to figure out in advance how to respond.

    It’s true that so far we haven’t seen a lot of that. But you know who is worse at this than anyone so far? Michael Bloomberg. Every day there’s a new piece of tape with him essentially saying that minorities and poor people need to sit down, shut up, and let the smart rich folks run the show. And every day his response has been “Hey, I apologized for stop and frisk.”

    Bloomberg has looked like a great candidate — because he’s been spending millions on ads and hasn’t had to respond to a single criticism. Now that he’s under the microscope, so far he ain’t looking so good.

    Maybe he’ll get better. Maybe he’ll learn how to feign a little humility. But right now every time he opens his mouth, the message is “I’m the smart guy so I should be in charge.” Maybe he’s right on both counts — but I don’t think a lot of people are going to vote for that message. Not in the Democratic party, anyway.

    ReplyReply
  80. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: So then the only answer is to get “tougher” on immigration than Trump?

    ReplyReply
  81. Michael Reynolds says:

    We seem to have gone into two camps: 1) Idealism is everything, or 2) Gotta beat Trump.

    It’s a bit like the Trolley Problem. I’m a utilitarian, I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I’d have no problem sending the trolley to kill the one rather than the five.

    Our core job as a party is to defend the weak from the strong. We have an obligation to racial and religious minorities, women, the handicapped, the sick, and recent immigrants. And now we also have to also defend the rule of law and common decency. We don’t have the right to fail. That’s my idealism.

    ReplyReply
  82. Tyrell says:

    @the Q: A lot of people like their health plans and want to keep them. For many people their health plan is part of their work benefits. They don’t want to be forced on a second rate plan. I would prefer a private health insurance plan with the company of my choice.

    ReplyReply
    2
    3
  83. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    Why don’t we see what black voters have to say about Bloomberg and stop and frisk. If that’s a deal-breaker for them, he won’t win.

    I don’t believe in making the perfect the enemy of the good. I’ll take medium gray over jet black any day.

    ReplyReply
  84. Kurtz says:

    Of course we have to anticipate attacks. But the way to anticipate them is not to abandon any candidate who might be subject to them — because EVERY candidate will be subject to them — but to figure out in advance how to respond.

    Exactly this.

    On Sanders: “The attacks write themselves.” That is a direct quote from a sharp commenter in a recent thread. Anticipating the attacks isn’t even difficult, it’s three or four attacks that get recycled, often the same point with a different label.

    The thing is, the label doesn’t have to be accurate, it just has to be adhesive

    ReplyReply
  85. the Q says:

    So some think Bernie has less chance than a guy named Barack Hussein Obama, an anti colonial Kenyan, in winning white voters in the upper midwest? You mean all those Hussein voters who switched to Trump because HRC didn’t campaign in their states can’t be won over by a man who has consistently railed against bad trade deals, global finance capital and union busting which has decimated the manufacturing base? And some think the guy who blames the end of redlining as the cause of the mortgage crises, backed stop and frisk with the enthusiasm of 18 year old Navy virgin on shore leave can get black and other people of color to turn out to vote for his centrist programs?

    And I thought trump voters were deranged.

    To Mr. Reynolds (who I immensely agree with 95% of the time).

    Q. Should kids coming out of UCLA be saddled with a $100k debt when boomers in the 50s, 60s, 70s and early 80s could work their way through school on a minimum wage job if they worked during the summer and stayed home with mom and dad? or they could get a degree from Long Beach State or San Diego State for literally 200 bucks a semester up till 1990?

    A. I think all will agree that some figure between “free” and 100k should be vigorously pursued. Make college costs pegged to some factor of the minimum wage. Virtually every other OEDC country has free college.

    Q. Is an open border policy and free tuition to illegals something that we should pursue?

    A. Is being openly anti immigrant, jingoistic, racist and insular really in our best interest? No question our system is a mess and needs to have border control, an amnesty and path to citizenship and public hearings on the history of our policies and how we got into the present mess. Both sides have contributed to the problem.

    And finally, Clinton and Obama were NOT centrist candidates!!!!! They became centrist.

    Bill ran on an infrastructure investment bill of hundreds of billions to bolster job growth and replace our worn infrastructure. He was going to put Hillary in charge of a vast overall of the healthcare system. He promised to raise taxes on the rich (he did). Hardly moderate, centrist GOP friendly Dem positions.

    As for Barack Hussein Obama? He was a “community organizer under the influence of his Marxist friends” He ran on “hope and change” for chrissakes, not “incremental baby steps designed to not piss of DINOS” His message, anti war positions, skin color was anything but “centrist” when he ran in 2008.

    Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, Hillary ALL DLC centrist losers and you folks want to double down on the stupid? Again?

    It was asked, “hey, this ain’t 1936. Try doing this shit in the age of post Reaganism?” Doing what shit? Breaking up banksters? Lowering tuition to zero? Medicare for all? Both have overwhelming support among the broad public.

    What many forget is that class warfare WORKS. Its only when one side stops fighting (neolibs) that we lose.

    ReplyReply
    2
    3
  86. CSK says:

    From TPM: Bill Barr says that Trump’s Tweets make it impossible for him–meaning Barr–to do his job.

    ReplyReply
  87. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Why don’t we see what black voters have to say about Bloomberg and stop and frisk”

    I’m white. Do I not get a say in whether or not I believe that police should be able to harass and arrest anyone they like simply because they feel like it?

    ReplyReply
    3
    2
  88. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @the Q: Bernie may be right on the majority of the issues (I happen to think so), but I think Reynolds is right on the politics. Especially the callback to “when you’re explaining, you’re losing.” Most voters are depressingly low information, and the simple sad truth is that sound bites and simplistic, misleading attack lines just work.

    It’s depressing, but being right doesn’t mean you’re going to get elected. If Bernie isn’t effectively fighting off relatively mild accusations of socialism from the Democrats, how is he going to fight off the Republican attack machine? That’s a valid question, because if you can’t get elected it doesn’t matter how right you are on the specific details of complex issues.

    For me, it’s not about “centrist” vs “socialist”, which are nothing more than vague labels used more to attack than promote understanding. It’s about who can turn out the votes for one side, minimize the desire to vote against you by the other side, and have coattails to help the D’s take the Senate back.

    ReplyReply
    3
    1
  89. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Well, that’s that. If he can’t have his shame surgically removed, he’ll have to be fired. Via Tweet. And by a Twit.

    Think about it: working for Trump gave Baghdad Bob a bad name!

    ReplyReply
    1
    2
  90. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I don’t think Trump has caught up with this yet. He’s too busy trashing John Kelly for Kelly’s speech at Drew University last evening. So are the Trumpkins over at Lucianne.com.

    It must be so exhausting to be a member of Cult45. Every day you have to hate someone you professed undying love for the day before

    ReplyReply
    4
    2
  91. Gustopher says:

    @CSK:

    It must be so exciting to be a member of Cullt45. Every day you get to hate someone you professed undying love for the day before

    Edited your statement for clarity and accuracy.

    ReplyReply
  92. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    You’re right. I suppose if one suffers from extreme short-term memory loss as well as cognitive dissonance, this would not be a problem.

    ReplyReply
  93. Tyrell says:

    @Kingdaddy: It appears to me that there is a growing connection between some of the main stream news and the political parties. That is concerning. Many people now are getting their news from social media. Many people also are not watching any news except for the weather and latest basketball scores. On a recent “Jeopardy” the contestants did not know who Adam Schiff is.
    Another newspaper chain is bankrupt: McClatchy is filing bankrupt and will probably go to internet news edition only. We used to subscribe to a morning and afternoon newspaper. Everyone took the paper. There would be seven or more different paper boxes at the store fronts. Now all gone. They lost me completely when they cut out their comics, movie theater listings, and started putting sports stories on the front page! We had taken the newspaper since I was too small to reach it in the box. I spent many an afternoon sitting outside waiting on the afternoon edition. And the Sunday paper had comics in color! Somewhere in my storage is a box of historic newspaper editions: JFK assassination, Alan Shephard in space, Glenn orbit, Apollo moon landing, death of Elvis, Green Bay Ice Bowl.

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Heh. 1 thumbs up.

    ReplyReply
  95. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Guarneri: Yeah, the law has no place in politics.

    ReplyReply
  96. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    A lot of people like their health plans and want to keep them.

    “A lot” is doing some pretty heavy lifting there. Most of the people I know (not including my fellow union carpenters) hate their health plans.

    For many people their health plan is part of their work benefits. They don’t want to be forced on a second rate plan.

    And yet their companies force them on to 2nd rate and 3rd rate plans every year, making their employees pay more and more so they can pay less and less.

    I would prefer a private health insurance plan with the company of my choice.

    And I want a magic pony. In case you haven’t noticed, the company of most people’s choice is the company that offers them a job. For some reason or other they never choose to work for the company that doesn’t offer them a job.

    Funny how that works, isn’t it?

    ReplyReply
  97. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That is valid, but I think I would have more options and coverage with a private plan. I can get some supplement coverage now, but not a lot. The plan I have now does not even cover outpatient oral surgery, and this was not an elective procedure. That is after assuring me more than once that it would be covered.

    ReplyReply
  98. MarkedMan says:

    @Guarneri: Every day, I try to remind myself that there are many reasons people support Trump, and that doesn’t make them evil. But it’s hard when a Trumper like you says things like that and confirms the worst stereotypes.

    So laws and ethics, rules and fair play mean nothing? They are for suckers and losers? Get what you can, any way you can and it’s all good as long as you win in the end and the choir boys have to suck dirt?

    This is why I say that you can never trust a Trumper. At worst they are liars and thieves that would steal from you or betray you, all for the power trip alone. At best, they admire and suck up to someone who is a liar, thief, con man, and clown. Perhaps G is only the second, a pathetic groveler. But I doubt it. I feel bad for anyone who ever trusted this Trumper with their money or their secrets or their heart.

    ReplyReply
  99. Jax says:

    @Tyrell: If it makes you feel any better, a lot of private plans don’t cover that, either. If they do, it’s a percentage, never more than 50%, at least in my experience with them. In fact, a lot don’t even offer dental OR vision, unless it’s a “supplemental”.

    It kinda seems like you have this “pie in the sky” view of private insurance, and….it’s not like that anymore. It’s why so many people view M4A as an improvement.

    ReplyReply
    4
    2
  100. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    I’m white. Do I not get a say in whether or not I believe that police should be able to harass and arrest anyone they like simply because they feel like it?

    That wasn’t the question. As you well know.

    You do not get a say in whether black voters should be sufficiently angry about stop-and-frisk as to not vote against Trump if the alternative is Bloomberg.

    ReplyReply
  101. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Can you give a reason why unauthorized border crossings should illegal? It seems to me that laws should exist for a reason.

    How does making crossing the border against the law reduce illegal immigration?

    ReplyReply
  102. de stijl says:

    Crunch is a term in software development where deadline is nigh, so effort and time must be ramped up. Else we miss the deadline which everyone’s bonus is tied to.

    Crunch is effectively working extraordinary hours to meet hyper aggressive project goals. Stress x time.

    It is brutal. It is brutally effective.

    Goal setting in projects is a rigged game. It favors those that set the goals and deadlines.

    I got introduced as a newbie. I was at that that time autodidact, self taught. They seduced me with middle class salary. I did not understand then the difference between salary and rate. I bit.

    I was salaried. The contractors were amazed at my stamina and stupidity. I did a 107 hour week as a salaried drone – I was such an idiot. I wanted to impress my boss. Super impress. Then, I’d bought in.

    Worked the entirety of a weekend. Went to work on Friday, went home on Sunday. Went to work again on Monday morning.

    I got seduced early. It was abusive.

    I worked for years as a person who worked on projects. It changes you.

    Crunch is a problem. In later years it became a psychological issue.

    Crunch, long-term, guts you.

    Crunch begets anxiety. Overwhelming pressure and overwhelming time constaints. That is abuse. Flat out. Inflicted by choice by people.

    My life is profoundly changed by Crunch. Anxiety. Agoraphobia. The desire to be left the fuck alone – to be invisible. Always.

    Crunch is abusive.

    ReplyReply
    1
    1
  103. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Always remember that failure is an option.

    I’d add more, but I need to get some sleep.

    ReplyReply
  104. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “You do not get a say in whether black voters should be sufficiently angry about stop-and-frisk as to not vote against Trump if the alternative is Bloomberg.”

    Which is the idiocy of the whole “must have Bloomberg” drive. It’s all about whether or not he can compete against Trump, and never stops to consider what he’d actually be like as a president.

    Yes, Trump needs to go down. But I’m tired of this attitude that it’s a sentimental foolishness to want someone to replace him who would actually be good for the country.

    ReplyReply
    2
    1
  105. Teve says:

    @de stijl: When I lived in Raleigh I briefly looked into a programming job at a local gaming company. When I found out about the routine 80 hour work weeks I crossed it off my list. That kind of thing is just stupid.

    There’s a much better, world-class software company in Cary, and I was at a party one time with an HR person from there, and she told me that they don’t allow any of the programmers to work more than 40 hours a week, because “after 40 hours, you’re just adding bugs.”

    ReplyReply
  106. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    Which is the idiocy of the whole “must have Bloomberg” drive.

    Non-sequitur. What does that have to do with your standing to tell African Americans how to feel?

    I am not arguing with you about whether Bloomberg would push bad policies. I am not even arguing with you about whether or not Bloomberg has a better chance at beating Trump than other candidates. I am certainly not saying “must have Bloomberg”. Go back and read the original comment.

    ReplyReply

Speak Your Mind

*