Link Roundup for 3/4/2016

From Slate: In what is becoming a monthly feature, last month was the hottest ever recorded.

From the Dallas Morning News: Another religious nutter is about to take her place on the Texas State Board of Education.

From Visual Capitalist, via the Big Picture blog: A beautiful map demonstrating where America’s wealth originates.

From LiveScience: The promise and challenges of bio-computing.

From the Washington Post: A surprising comparison of the candidates’ fiscal plans.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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176 comments on “Link Roundup for 3/4/2016
  1. Griffin says:

    Been having some probably pseudo-intellectual ponderings while thinking about Ted Cruz and how modern protestant fundamentalists and far-right Evangelicals claim to have:

    A) The correct, infallible interpretation of the Bible and
    B) That they represent “Old America”.

    There are many arguments that can be used against this line of thinking but I think one of the most obvious is the case of abortion.

    Protestant evangelics and fundamentalists initially did not care about abortion. In fact I think you have written posts about this Lifer, about how the Baptists groups as late as the 1970’s were yawning about Roe v Wade, and that it was only after Carter moved in on private segregationist schools that Falwell and company took up the cause of abortion so that they could strike an alliance with conservative Catholics.

    We can see from this alone that b) can not be true if they have changed their mind on a major issue as recent as the 1970’s so that they could align with a group they have been traditionally hostile to. In fact the tying togeter of conservative protestantism and Catholicism to create a sort of quasi-syncretic belief system is shockingly new and fundamentally opposed to the beliefs of earlier Americans.

    However this makes it difficult for claim A to be true either. If their version is infallible then their having to change their relgious beliefs as recently as the 70’s (when it became politically convenient to do so) is mighty suspicious. And before that revising their stance on slavery. And eventually on Civil Rights. Did they just get it right this time? If their interpretation is correct why do they have to continue to revise their beliefs on the major social issues of their era’s long after they’ve lost? Why are they RIGHT this time when they’ve been wrong every other time?

    Also what happens to all the evangelical and protestant ministers who supported abortion rights and died before conservative protestants changed their minds on the subject? Do they go to hell for supporting abortion? What about the ones that supported slavery? If you must believe in the current interpretation of the Bible as told by current fundamentalists in order to get to heaven, then even virtually every protestant who died before 1978 or so is burning in Hell for having had the wrong belief system the whole time.

    Of course I expect someone to move the goalposts in reply to me, but it’s an interesting thought. If you are a protestant fundamentalist, are you SURE that the “correct” interpretation of the Bible won’t be changed again? If it is does after you’re already dead doesn’t that mean you were wrong all along and going to Hell?

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      I’m not an expert on the bible but where exactly in the bible does it say abortions=the worst thing on the planet? I have loads of trouble with this.

      Seriously, this is best I can find
      http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/where-in-the-bible-does-it-say-that-abortion-is-wrong

      And even then it’s a stretch. I’m quite sure no one was talking about the sperm fertilizing the egg when that was written 😛 At best that’s a case for ~20week limit on abortion. Thought protestants were all about discovering things their own way and not following catholic orthodoxy, *sighs*. Of course, someone had to politicize this 😛

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do?

      • Tuttabella says:

        That was in reply to Griffin.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        The abortion issue infuriates me because that is probably the worst example of using religion for political ends.

      • 1mime says:

        A close second (to abortion) is cutting taxes for the uber wealthy while cutting services for the poor and middle class. Poverty cuts across the entire spectrum of life.

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      Yipes, those emoji look terrible.

      Totally not the feel I was going for

    • Creigh says:

      We have always been at war with Oceania, er, abortion.

    • 1mime says:

      Well, if we’re going OT, why not over abortion…always a campaign rallying point.

      The issue of abortion has always been a sensitive subject, but it has become more visible as a religious and political issue since the advent and wide use of birth control. Until that time, pregnancy couldn’t be prevented save through abstinence which, of course requires two people’s commitment. The only means for voluntary termination was through a horrendously dangerous process or in the case of more affluent people, an agreeable physician. Abortion was often a class-based, racially-based problem. With birth control readily available and prescribed by one’s OBGYN, women finally had a choice about if and when to have children. IOW, control over their own bodies. Women’s rights were in full throttle which added challengs to the “traditional hierarchy” family model. Women became educated and entered the workplace. They were financially independent. They exercised individual choice over many areas of their lives, including their decision to have children. This didn’t always “sit well” with our male-dominated social and religious order.

      With the emergence of fundamentalist protestants from the shadows, coupled with the established Catholic position on life, abortion became the perfect storm issue to combine
      politics and zealotry around an issue that is deeply personal. Conservative elements recognized this issue could be exploited for political gain, and they proceeded to design policies, laws and public campaigns around the issue. Women began to get squeezed from both sides, and it’s gotten worse.

      Double standards abound. Consider, for a moment, how a young, sexually active man is perceived – a “stud”, “just sowing his oats (indeed he is, only it’s sperm”) with no stigma and usually little responsibility. A young woman who engages in the same behavior is called (at best) “promiscuous” and at worst, a “slut”. Babies do result from coupling, whether voluntary or involuntary (think rape, incest) which provides the ultimate complication. Now, there is a real problem – only, it remains the woman’s problem to manage. Those who rail against abortion and birth control then denigrate welfare assistance to care for the children who are born, are the worst hypocrites.

      Fast forward to today where abortion has settled in as a “tool” of political motivation and titillation of the base. Most amazing, the hard right position insists that even birth control is wrong (Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz assert this view.) The issue produces extreme vitriol, lack of rational thought and ugliness (and death) which conservative groups have exploited. (PP videos anyone?) It produces legislation requiring physicians to subject women to invasive procedures. The ultimate irony is that “choice” proponents defend every woman’s right to make their own choice regarding pregnancy, but those who are “life” proponents do not reciprocate. This is unacceptable to me and is protected (presently) under Roe vs Wade, as a basic right of each woman, but is increasingly under attack.

      The emergence of women from their traditional roles as wives and mothers to contributing partners in the workplace has made choice more important. Women wait longer to begin families, choose how many children they can responsibly care for, and balance family and work. It’s not easy and couples and single mothers/dads have a tough time. But, it should be their choice. The choice to have children as well as the choice for abortion should be personal, and it should be left to the woman. She has to bear the child and care for it into adulthood. Children are a blessing and a responsibility. I absolutely defend the right of every woman to her own personal choice on this decision. I expect to be accorded the same respect for my personal views – even if they are different.

  2. flypusher says:

    Now THIS is how you troll:

    http://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2016/3/3/11153050/obama-grassley-mcconnell

    If he makes the announcement (whomever it might be) the day after the FL primary (and Trump beats Rubio), that should really make the GOPe sweat!!

    • 1mime says:

      Obama: The.best.troll.ever. As Lifer observed a few blogs back, the last few years of O’s tenure he has learned to work within/around the political system. Imagine where we’d be today if he had begun his first term with the skills he’s demonstrating now.

      I noted in a second VOX article on the SCOTUS issue, some interesting “what if” scenarios. It quoted Trump (if you can believe anything he says) as saying Justice Thomas was his favorite justice! Now, knowing the double entendre lurking in this remark, what he probably “meant” was, a justice that would do whatever he told him to do…..

      http://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2016/3/3/11153618/trump-supreme-court-nomination

  3. 1mime says:

    Reminder: Clinton and Sanders debate tonight at 8pm est, just in case you’ve forgotten that there is another party participating in this election (-:

    The Hispanic Debate, hosted by Univision, is this coming Wed, March 9th, time ? I hope to watch this one. It should be more interesting given the specificity of its host group.
    There are two more dates for debates as needed. One in April and again in May.

    To be fair: the GOP next debate is Thursday, March 10th. Assume time will be 8pm, cst.

    • 1mime says:

      I am so proud of our Democratic candidates and how they conduct themselves during the debates. What a difference! Substantive answers, passion that isn’t gutter level, staying on point….A viewer can really learn something about the positions and values of each candidate. I hope a lot of people are watching both party debates to appreciate that people drive civil discourse, not moderators.

      Take a bow, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders.

  4. 1mime says:

    OT again, (a girl can only dwell on the unbelievable and outlandish for so long) – but here’s another example of how Republicans govern. IN Governor Mike Pence really stepped in it this time. He illegally withheld funds for Syrian refugee resettlement and was ripped by a federal judge. These refugees had successfully completed a TWO YEAR strenuous vetting process…..didn’t faze Pence. He had some point to score, and his followers lapped it up.

    It’s.about.time. The xenophobia has reached record highs with the Republican Party and they evidently feel impervious to the law or consequences of any kind with their arrogant, narrow-minded governance.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/06/opinion/sunday/a-judges-message-to-the-xenophobes.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-1&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

    • rightonrush says:

      I’m an old man and I’ve never seen so much hateful gall from what the GOP always thought would be their “Great White Hope”. I’m convinced the GOP has gone bat shit crazy. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/opinion/ct-ptb-rutter-pence-st-0306-20160304-story.html

      • 1mime says:

        Not only crazy, Right on, but mean, hurtful. And, I’ll bet every last one of them call themselves Christians. I’m not a Biblical scholar by any means, but I seem to recall a different set of instructions for followers from the Ten Commandments. Guess once you start cherry pickin’, anything’s fair game.

        It may be fishing time, Right on….things are just so damned ugly.

      • rightonrush says:

        You and your husband load up and go with us to the wilds of one of our fish camps Mime. Nothing fancy, but we do have running water (sometimes) and an outhouse. Get’s a bit cool at the one we are headed to in W. Ky. this time of year, so dress warmly and get ready to ride a horse into camp. Wifi is spotty and our cell phones seldom can pick up a signal. Pure Heaven!

      • 1mime says:

        That sounds lovely, Right on, but my husband’s situation doesn’t allow us to travel without taking half a hospital with us. It’s just too much effort, so I don’t try. It’s a nice invite and can’t think of anything I’d enjoy more (well, not sure about the outhouse (-; so I’ll have to wait on your fishing report when you get back to TX. Hope the fish are biting!

      • rightonrush says:

        I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize your husband was in bad health Mime. Forgive me if my invite was crass.

      • 1mime says:

        On the contrary, your fishing invite was very sweet and I wish we could take you up on it. My husband loved fishing both fresh water and salt water. He has Parkinson’s Disease, which was diagnosed 8 years ago. He is very limited in what he can do at this stage so mostly we go to Dr appointments and the occasional holiday event close by. It’s why I spend so much time on my computer. It gives me an interesting outlet to engage with nice people like yourself and learn more about subjects that interest me. Life throws curve balls and I am grateful we had time and money for travel earlier in our marriage of 52 years. I know you can relate to a lifetime of work to provide for family, college for kids, savings and those golden years. My advice is: don’t wait. Travel is most enjoyable while you are healthy and mobile. Still, the experience has helped me acquire more patience and humility which I sorely lacked (past tense is probably up for debate), and hopefully it has helped me become a better person. (That’s probably up for debate too (-:

        Carpe diem!

      • rightonrush says:

        Those 52 years mean so much Mime. We will have been married for 50 come April, and I’d do in again in a NY minute. With my military service, going almost broke during Enron, plus building a company from scratch and fighting our way back has been tough on my wife. I married the jewel of the Nile IMO, and I’m sure your husband feels the same way. You ladies are one of the reasons I switch my vote to the Dems (mostly). I can’t imagine insisting one of my granddaughter’s/daughters-in-law bear the child of her rapist or of incest. The GOP has become the party of intolerance and religious nuttery

    • 1mime says:

      The GOP hedging its bets? A savior in the wings…already registered and ready to go?

    • flypusher says:

      He’s still better than anyone in the field right now. But if the GOPe pulls the strings to get him the nom, it’s open civil war in the GOP, because the Trump faction and the Cruz faction would go ballistic.

      I thought I heard that he said he wouldn’t run, but OTOH, this is politics we’re talking about.

      • rightonrush says:

        That’s what he said Fly, however I take everything any of’em say with a grain of salt.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      If true, pretty stupid decision.

      What better proof that the establishment will not tolerate the base actually having their voice heard.

      Whatever credibility Romney had the other day with his little speech will be destroyed. Especially the fact that this application was started in October, according to the date.

      More proof (if true) that the GOP elites truly don’t understand the dynamics of Trumps rise.

      To quote a relevent figure: “The Republican Party doesn’t have the solution to the problem. The Republican Party IS the problem”

      • rightonrush says:

        If they try to screw Trump over it will be the dumbest thing they could ever do. But, as we know we aren’t dealing with folks that live outside their bubble when it comes to the GOP elite.

      • 1mime says:

        “More proof that the GOP establishment doesn’t understand…”

        It’s way more fundamental than that, Rob. The GOP doesn’t CARE. All they want is someone who will win with an R that they can “control”. Mittens would be that person as would Rubio. Cruz, not as much although once he became President he would be clever about his choices. Trump is absolutely an enigma, a loose canon, and, I believe deep down is a fiscal conservative and a social issues liberal.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Not to mention, they’d be absolutely right to be livid.

        As much disdain as I have for Trump, hes the clear choice of voters (so far) and he’s done it with massive turnout as well. If the GOP wants to totally destroy the party, I can’t think of a better way to do it

      • 1mime says:

        The risk the GOP would take with a “ghost” nominee like Romney pales in comparison to the tsunami that would be unleashed by Trump and Cruz supporters. However, consider this possibility: Romney names Cruz as VP, thus dividing the opposition and adding evangelicals to his Mormon crowd. We need to get Nate Silver to run the odds on all the various scenarios once we get closer to “D” day (big D, not little d (-:

      • rightonrush says:

        I agree Rob, I detest Trump but fair is fair.

      • 1mime says:

        I feel the same way, and I’m trying hard not to let my selfish interests intrude upon my sense of fair play…..

      • 1mime says:

        Hope I didn’t post this already, but Kathleen Parker pretty well sums up the GOP dilemma, and tracks Lifer’s position neatly:

        http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Parker-The-party-s-almost-over-for-the-GOP-6872573.php

      • flypusher says:

        “I agree Rob, I detest Trump but fair is fair.”

        Same here, but I’ll admit that I’m rooting for the GOPe to try it. Why? Because while they are finally becoming aware of the monster they created, they are still looking for short term gain (success in this year’s election) rather than seeking an actual end to it. They’ve pandered to Trump’s base, taken their votes, and done very little to address their economic distress. Even now, with the prospect of Trump getting the nomination, what positions are these candidates taking that would actually benefit un/under-employed, low-education White people? All their tax/fiscal plans are more tax cuts for the wealthy. Trump’s plan is no better, but he’s got those people distracted for the moment by saying all the politically incorrect things that they never dared to (at least outside their echo chambers). The GOPe hasn’t finished learning their lesson, and I think ALL the chickens need to come home to roost for that to happen. So I want a brokered convention where neither Trump nor Cruz wins, and all the fallout that will result. I want McConnell and Cornyn and Rove and their merry band of obstructionists to watch all their plans go down in Götterdämmerung style flames. Then maybe the adults can start cleaning up the mess. I’d very much like to see Chris and others of his mindset get some reforms going.

      • 1mime says:

        Well put, Fly. The Republican Establishment just can’t get a pass on this. If they do by virtue of a win with the miserable candidates representing them, nothing is learned and a critical opportunity for change is lost. People like Chris and other conservatives who are in Congress and other positions of limited influence within the party, are unable to open their mouths for fear of being primaried or banned from the inner circle. They just need the opportunity. I think we all concur in that regard.

        BTW, I think the DNC has a little house cleaning to do as well. Hopefully Sanders will influence some changes that will make Democrats more responsible in reaching out to hard working Americans who are struggling. It’s beyond food stamps and welfare; it’s jobs and re-training and dignity. There’s plenty of room for improvement in the political process within both parties.

  5. texan5142 says:

    Who most resembles Greg Stillson on the GOP side…you get one guess.

    • rightonrush says:

      I’ll take “Who is Rafael Edward Cruz” for $1000 Alex.

      • 1mime says:

        Ooh, Right on, you are tuned in (-: Does travel outside the continental U.S. help the brain to heal? Have you made a deposit on a little plot of land over there in Israel in case Repubs sweep it all (-:

      • texan5142 says:

        Too surreal flipping the channel from watching Ted Cruz speak on the news to Greg Stillson speak in The Dead Zone this morning…shudder!

      • rightonrush says:

        We may buy an apartment close to our son’s family in Haifa but no, I’m not leaving the USA for good. I’ll just spend more time isolated at our fish camp away from the BS of the talking heads.

      • 1mime says:

        Even as retirees can somewhat isolate themselves from the rancor and absurdity of our nation’s politics, I worry about our grandchildren and the world that Republicans are controlling. It’s good that you can get away from the noise, Right on.

  6. flypusher says:

    Here’s an interesting little piece on the odds of the GOPe getting the replacement they want for Scalia:

    http://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2016/3/3/11153618/trump-supreme-court-nomination

    If Trump is indeed the GOP nominee, those odds are not good. What’s your prediction on this Chris? If it’s Trump, does McConnell et al cut their loses and take the sure moderate, or dig in further with a diminished hope for a more conservative SCOTUS pick?

  7. texan5142 says:

    Watching Fox news this morning…bizzaro world. These guys will start another war, cut taxes and regulation, sprinkle fairy dust and suddenly the same shit they have been doing for thirty years will suddenly work this time. Unbelievable.

    • 1mime says:

      “The same shit will work this time.” If the Republicans capture the presidency, retain the Senate and get to appoint the next few SC justices, you can bet their fairy dust will work. We won’t like how it works, but they will, and it will be a scary environment to live under. A GOP that wins it all will rightfully take that as an endorsement for all their fairy dust stuff and will have learned nothing. Why would they?

  8. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    Lifer, I’ve got lots of questions! I’ve been only lurking on this site but paying attention to politics. I’m finding the Dem side a lot more interesting than the GOP though.

    The power of the black church has held back the Sanders tide in the south. Can the power of the establishment+media hold back the tide in places like more dem places? They seemed to have failed in a couple of states today, but you could count that as states where both the establishment and black churches are weaker.

    Also, if the improbable happens and Sanders wins pledged delegates but the nomination goes to Clinton, do you foresee a Democratic split?

    How beneficial is the bernie or bust thing to a new GOP? Assuming a significant portion of the population goes there – and I’m seeing that a lot if it is because voters are reacting very badly once they’re exposed to “The Party Decides”, thanks to the internet.

    Millenials are breaking HARD for Sanders. Do you think it’s the honesty, integrity and anti-establishment message or do you millenials as a group genuinely tend left wing?

    You’ve long described the Democrats as a corrupt patronage machine, and I do believe that a lot of Democrats have suddenly realized it too. Can anyone not named Drumpf capitalize on that?

    How does the internet change things? The establishment+media combination which worked for “The Party Decides” is crumbling. In hindsight, the power of the internet has been steadily growing and now matches that of the establishment+media. Howard Dean and Ron Paul were candidates who mostly ran of the internet, but they faded quickly. Bernie Sanders is not fading away that easily, even though MSNBC and CNN have been ridiculous – and I do remember reading somewhere that the greater share of info a person gets from the internet, the more likely they’re to be sanders fans. Hell, I’d go as far as to say that the Sanders’ reddit page (as opposed to the actual campaign) does a large portion of the campaigning. Not to mention that I got introduced to Sanders many many months ago via youtube videos.

    Clinton appears to be having blowouts in her favor in the south while she’s losing badly or just about breaking even everywhere else. Is this an advantage for the GOP if they’re facing her?

    Clinton to me is like the triangulating democratinc Mitt Romney, who was turn is like the triangulating Republican Bill Clinton. Do any of you guys feel the same way, or is it just me?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      PR…you seem to be wildly over-estimating Bernie.

      The Dems have primaries coming up in Illinois, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. Hillary is going to win all of those (and will probably win relatively big).

      Bernie has a shot at the Caucus in Utah (and maybe Wisconsin).

      Hillary is receiving huge support from Blacks (and Hispanics), but that is hardly “holding back the tide”. There is no tide. Hillary is killing Bernie in every model there is.

      Bernie won two states tonight, two remarkably White and liberal (for Democrats) states. That is exactly the group he is able to win. Even with his win in two states, he fell farther behind Clinton than he was when he woke up this morning.

      As much as Reddit may love Bernie and as much as the media loves anything that would hint at a competitive race, there is no groundswell and there is no tide. You might note that Democrat turnout in the primaries is down by about 20% from 2008. I get that you are feeling some Bernie excitement, but it isn’t there for most of the country.

      I love Bernie, but he has been, is, and will be getting swamped by Clinton.

      Your only hope for Bernie is if Clinton is indicted. Then, Bernie loses to Cruz, and you give President Cruz a GOP Senate and House and the opportunity to nominate the next Supreme Court justice (and probably an additional one in his first term).

      I’ll be really impressed with Bernie’s supporters when they show up to vote in 2018.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Don’t think he’ll win. It’s improbable.

        But for a candidate who the establishment seems to be actively hostile to, and one who the media both underestimated and ignored, he has come ridiculously far. And he did so purely on the power of the internet. I don’t think there is a precedent for this, and that’s what makes it interesting.

        You know, lifer has been saying for ages that the DNC is a corrupt patronage organization and looks like a lot of Dems feel that way too – how does one capitalize on that?

        I’m no big fan of Sanders, frankly, when it comes actual policy, mind you. Something to consider – isidewith.com puts Gary Johnson and Sanders near or at the top….

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Yeah…apparently I’m weird. I mean, who gets Gary Johnson, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, and Hillary Clinton within 5 points of each other?

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Come on. You don’t honestly think Cruz would beat Sanders do you?

        I vehemently disagree. Cruz’s America doesn’t exist.

      • 1mime says:

        Boy, I wouldn’t be that bold, Rob. Cruz is a real threat. For one thing, in comparison to Trump, he is painting himself (rather successfully) as a reasonable alternative. Rubio is out, Kasich not too far behind. The GOP establishment will sell its soul to win the Presidency and their record turnout is indicative of base enthusiasm. Dems are going to have to rally more than Blacks and Hispanics to get to the kind of numbers they’ll need to be competitive in the general.

        Naturally, I hope I am wrong, but my gut is telling me that Cruz is one slick person and the GOP is going to do whatever it takes to win. Whatever it takes. Watch FL.

      • flypusher says:

        Cruz’s America absolutely does exist, Rob. Hopefully it’s too much in the minority to get him to the WH.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I hear you Mime, but let’s remember this is still a GOP primary. These voters are all more are less ideologically receptive to everything he’s saying.

        The general public will not be, and Cruz (more then any other candidate) will move very little to the center in the general, I believe.

        Trump will basically become a flaming k beral the day he wins the nom (if he does)

      • 1mime says:

        OT, but another indicator of how radical and exploitative the GOP thinking has become, today we learn that the EX-IM Bank obstruction by TX Congressman and Banking Committee Chairman, Jeb Hensarling continues. Despite support from the US Chamber of Commerce and business executives, and a House vote to approve the bank, this chairman is using the power of his position to continue to block the EX-IM Bank from functioning, by refusing to fill a director’s position which effectively doesn’t allow a quorum for action to be taken. Thus, despite all of its support, the EX-IM Bank is unable to function. It’s wrong for a lot of reasons, as outlined in a piece today by Houston Chronicle Business Commentator, Chris Tomlinson.

        This is EXACTLY how Republicans have used the “system” to impose their will. We’ve watched a Senator Cruz filibustering approval of America’s debt ceiling or days while our credit and the world economic powers wondered what in the name of zeus was happening in the U.S.(and all sorts of other nefarious acts of obstruction before declaring his presidential candidacy). We see an appropriations committee which has refused to allow a presentation of the President’s traditional annual budget. We continue to see the antics of the House Freedom Caucus using their block of votes to block appropriations and the budget unless their demands are met. Then there is the most recent snub, the Senate refusing to even hear a nomination from a sitting president for S.C., this is how the GOP has used the power vested in them by their base. Expect much, much worse from them if they succeed in November. These are the tactics the Republicans are employing to gridlock government until they get their way. It’s devastating to the conduct of the legitimate business of our nation’s people which has become subservient to the business of the Republican Party.

        http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/tomlinson/article/Conservatives-still-blocking-Export-Import-Bank-6869103.php

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Another point to remember re: Sanders in the general.

        The groups that Sanders is losing (black voters, Hispanics etc) are not voting for Cruz or Trump ever, and the ones political enough to get out the vote for Hillary will also get out out the vote for any Dem (in the general l. The group hes killing it with though (working and middle class whites distrustful of free trade and establishment candidates) are exactly the type that makes up a lot of Trump supporters.

      • 1mime says:

        And, may I point out that many of these Trump working class voters are registered Dems and this may be the first time in decades that they’ve been energized by a candidate who is speaking directly to them.

        I think all bets are off, but the one I won’t take my eye off of is Cruz. He and Sanders are running incredibly smart, effective campaigns. The difference, Sanders is genuine; Cruz is genuine and an ideologue.

    • 1mime says:

      PR, Here’s a little Politico analysis about Bernie that is timely.

      “Sanders declared that his campaign was, among other things, “about dealing with some unpleasant truths that exist in America today and having the guts to confront those truths.”

      “The big unpleasant truth is this: Sanders may have already changed things in this campaign as much as he ever will. By credibly challenging Clinton in the early days of the race, Sanders moved the needle—and Clinton herself—on the issues he cares most about…”

      Still, Sanders is a formidable fundraising machine. His message is obviously resonating and the incredible individual number of contributions is staggering. “On Tuesday morning, his campaign announced he had raised $42 million from 1.4 million contributions, averaging $30, in February alone.”

      It is suggested that Bernie may achieve his deepest goals with the Democratic Convention platform. More power to him. He’s earned it.

      http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/bernie-sanders-2016-future-213694

  9. Rob Ambrose says:

    Watching Trumps speech, he is all kinds of flustered by losing two states to Cruz. He looks weak, panicky, and kinda sad.

    When the inevitable happens and he starts going down seriously (whether that’s now or in the general against HRC) its not going to be pretty. Hes going to go down with a bang, not a whimper.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      I’m more concerned about what his supporters would do if it looks, and it will, like Trump is cratering. Not good.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        This speech is…..I don’t even know.

        I’m embarrassed this man could be elected dog catcher (to steal a phrase)

      • 1mime says:

        Some have been dismissive of the impact of huge GOP turnouts – everywhere, thinking that Dems always have bigger turnouts for the general election and not to be concerned about their much smaller turnout for the primaries. That has been true in the past, but I do not recall Republican turnout for Presidential primaries ever being this robust. In listening to the ME Republican Chairman report out their results, he noted that not only had voter turnout tripled, but the number of newly registered Repub voters (within the last month as I recall) was very large – He cited a number in the thousands. The combination is significant. The Republican base is very disciplined and motivated about voting and a great deal of money and effort is spent by candidates and the party to GOTV.

        From comments here and elsewhere from Bernie supporters, I am hearing more anti-Hillary reaction….Older, more experienced voters whose favorite candidate lost in the primary would understand the importance of going to the polls to support the winning candidate, to help the party. I don’t know if we can count on that happening with Bernie’s Millennials. They might flip off the whole election once their “candidate” has lost the party nomination.

        Hugely important is which Republican candidate the Dem nominee will face – which, of course, is impossible to predict. Trump? Cruz? Trump/Cruz combo? A “ghost” nominee? From the number of times I have heard Trump call Ted Cruz a “liar”, I can’t see that combo happening, but, stranger things have happened. Would Millennials get fired up to oppose one more than the other? Or, would they simply stay home because they don’t have a dog in the hunt. Who knows….and, that’s the problem. The Dem Party is going to have to make a super-human effort to rally Black, Asian, Hispanic and female voters and “hope” Bernie will rally his base if Hillary is the nominee. That’s just looking at the Presidential race and doesn’t consider the 10 Republican Senate seats up for election. This is going to be one election for the books, and one party or the other is going to be very disappointed.

        I will say this – every one of these candidates are working their butts off, so I commend them for their effort. Unless you’ve ever run in a campaign, you just can’t imagine how grueling it is, especially on the national level. To Rob’s point about Trump appearing to be “beat down” due to two state losses today, it may be that he’s tired. I salute all of them – even the ones I dislike – for working so hard to win. I’ll try to remember this if Dems lose. Generosity in defeat is not easy.

    • 1mime says:

      Here’s a “what if” scenario with Cruz as Trump’s VP. The article was written before yesterday’s primary results, so there are a couple of corrections in that regard. Fundamentally, the article lays out the scenario pretty well. Food for thought and all that stuff.
      Frankly, I’m of the opinion that Cruz wants it all and is working hard towards that goal, as he should be. But, what if Trump wins? Then what’s left for Cruz?

      http://theweek.com/articles/610304/why-ted-cruz-tapped-vp

  10. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    How reliable are these guys? Citizens for tax justice? A Sanders friendly site referred to this…

    http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2016/02/bernie_sanders_health_care_tax_plan_would_raise_13_trillion_yet_increase_after-tax_incomes_for_all_i.php

  11. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Krugman says:

    “The point is that Kasich is running on a false boast about his past and a nonsense slogan about the present. No, he’s not the grownup in the room.”

    Why?

    Because Kasich says he wants to “Uberize” government. Krugman says there’s nothing in the Uber model that applies to governmental functions and suggests Kasich really means ‘privatize” but knows that really wouldn’t poll well.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/05/the-kasich-con/

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      I feel like “uberize” sounds even worse.

      I can’t imagine that’s a euphemism that would pick up steam. We don’t even know if Uber is a viable long term model yet. Uber itself might not be able to “uberize”

      • 1mime says:

        Watching the election returns on MSNBC and an interesting comment was just made about Kasich: “Kasich is the Democrat’s favorite Republican.” Evidently that hurts him with Republicans.

        I have to comment on Cruz’ win in Maine. That was a really big win as it is not an evangelical area. That shows a big expansion in appeal for Cruz….Kansas is not as hard for me to understand due to its proximity to OK and its energy industry similarities. Maine was big.

        Rubio continues to lag behind….Rumors floating on the discussion stage are if Trump wins nomination, Cruz could be VP…..

      • rightonrush says:

        Curz’s win in Maine wasn’t that impressive IMO. Out of a state with 1.33 million only 18,627 Rep. showed up to caucus.

      • 1mime says:

        What was significant about Cruz’ win in ME, is that it does not represent his evangelical base. The voters there are well educated. They are predominantly White, which is consistent for him, but that’s about it. Of course, a well educated populace can still elect nut jobs like LePage, so there is that. But the win was important because he won with a completely different constituency, demonstrating the breadth of his ground game and appeal. I don’t think many have noted that his is the best ground game on the GOP side. Extremely well organized and well funded, and has been operating for a long time…He doesn’t just “pop” into states, the states are worked well before the primaries. This comes from pundits on the left as well as the right, so it’s not simply hyperbole. Add to this organization the fact that the GOP establishment is going all out to bury Trump – money, big name attacks, you name it – and Cruz has a real shot. Rubio isn’t cutting it and neither is Kasich. Cruz may be the only “sane”????!!!! Republican candidate standing as a Trump alternative. If trump pulls off wins in FL and MI, he might be able to overcome the forces working against him, but it is not a lock.

  12. Rob Ambrose says:

    Ted Cruz just said in a speech on CNN, verbatim, “we are one liberal SCOTUS justice from becoming subjects of the UN and global order and giving up our American sovereignty”.

    Seriously.

    He then bragged about how he would ” never compromise with the Democrats ”

    What a dangerous, disgusting sack of excrement.

    • 1mime says:

      If Lifer’s prediction comes true, this miserable human being may be the GOP nominee…which would be fine if he didn’t win, which, is not guaranteed. He offends me.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I’m watching Rubio now on CPAC.

        I’m convinced that he’s the most dangerous candidate, the one I want least to win the nomination, because I think he’s the only one who can beat Hillary.

        Hes got the same toxic mix of extreme Conservative rhetoric that Cruz does (both on social and economic issues) but without the physical repulsion, and all wrapped up in a funny, witty package that manages to sound eminently reasonable while at the same time as using pretty dangerous rhetoric (example, “America is the only country where the poor can become rich without having to make the rich poor!”). We all know where he’s going with that: more tax cutting forbthe rich while lecturing poor people about bootstraps.

        I find his arrogant American Exceptionalism to be both childish and repellent.

        I may be biased not being born here. Do most Americans actually think they have something unique that NO other nation has? Freedom doesn’t exist anywhere else? Free markets don’t exist anywhere else? Charitable giving doesn’t exist anywhere else?

      • 1mime says:

        Yes. Most Americans do believe in American exceptionalism. (small “e” for me lest you doubt where I stand on the issue)

      • flypusher says:

        There are actually some things that can make American truly exceptional (and by exceptional I don’t necessarily mean unique, but more leading the way/ setting the example). Take birthright citizenship; that sets us apart from Europe. But that doesn’t sit well with the “American Exceptionalism” crowd. They’d gladly trash the 14th Amendment. Or our freedom of religion. In many places in the world, it can be very dangerous to express any idea perceived to disagree with the dominant dogma. Here we have a wonderful tradition of not fearing for our lives based on how we choose to spend our Sundays (or Fridays, or Saturdays). But if some of the non-Christians want to take their 1st Amendment freedoms to their logical conclusions, the Venn diagram of the people who get bent over it, and the “American Exceptionalism” crowd has a pretty big overlap. Or our concept of “the Great American Melting Pot” (although I like gumbo or goulash as a better metaphor). The idea that being an American isn’t about your race/ethnicity, but rather a state of mind about living in a free society, and chasing your dream, and everyone is equal under the law. That is an idea that we can truly be proud of. The “American Exceptionalism” crowd likes it too, unless you also want to share with Mexicans, or poor Black people, or Muslims, etc., etc.

        To paraphrase from one of the best movies ever: you keep using those words (“American Exceptionalism”). I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, my problem with today’s concept of American Exceptionalism is that it has been contorted to fit a political framework rather than the broad coalition of terrific ideas you’ve recounted. When the concept becomes exclusionary rather than inclusive, then its meaning has changed to one that I cannot embrace.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Fly, don’t get me wrong: America truly WAS exceptional at one point.

        The Marshall Plan, and how it behaved right after WW2 stands out. As the only major power left in devastated (as well as the only nation with the bomb) America could have literally done whatever it wanted unchallenged.

        Instead, it rebuilt the shattered countries, even the ones it had defeated, such as Germany and Japan. Within a crazy short time, America had become legitimate allies with the countries it had devastated just years earlier, alliances which are going g strong to this day.

        American benevolent leadership immediately following WW2 created much of the diverse, interconnected and tolerant planet we have today. I do believe globalization is a net positive (despite some obvious negatives) and yet it could be gone the other way. If America had closed its borders (as the only major consumer market left standing, its decision to open its markets to the world so they could rebuild), or not supported the UN, or not used its vast naval resources to secure global trade routes (an arrangement that continues to this day), things could have turned out much different and today’s world could be a very different place.

        America was pretty much the first true democracy. The first true secular nation.

        There are many times in Americas past when it has truly been exceptional. The present day is not one of them.

      • flypusher says:

        Rob, I agree with you that the Marshall Plan era was the USA’s finest hour. The Civil Rights movement also ranks very high on my list of things that make me proud as an American (and the moon landings). But this post-9/11 era is most definitely NOT. It’s not our low point (which I consider to be the lead up to the Civil War, starting with the invasion of Mexico). I hope we don’t sink so low again, but we could, if we don’t deal with our racial issues and this income inequality.

    • Creigh says:

      The Tax Policy Center isn’t wrong, but you have to admit they’re only telling half the story. Their analysis is only about costs to taxpayers, and doesn’t mention the value of benefits. You can hardly fault Sanders’ campaign for pointing that out.

      That being said, the optics are awful. For one, the plan appears way too complicated. Taxes really need to be a lot simpler. And it’s not because there are multiple tax brackets – that’s easily built into the tax tables – it’s because there are pages and pages of rules about allowable deductions, ordinary income, dividends qualified and ordinary, capital gains long term and short term, and so on, taxed at different rates.

      What i’d like to see is elimination of corporate taxes altogether, in favor of simply taxing people when they receive payments from corporations. It would make life much simpler for corporations by eliminating all of the things corporations do trying to game the tax codes, like inversions and location-based profit-shifting and lobbying for special favors and a bunch of other unproductive stuff. Hey, if you’re going to propose a tax reform that isn’t going anywhere anyway, why not make it a good one?

      • Stephen says:

        I have supported for years doing away with corporate income tax and instead taxing individuals at their marginal tax rate on all types of income.

      • 1mime says:

        Me, too, Stephen, but obviously, those who design the rules, benefit most from the rules, have carved out a nice little tax niche for themselves and until the power structure changes, that won’t happen. Look at the break that hedge fund managers (and others) enjoy via the “carried interest” tax loophole, as one egregious example. Then look at tax returns of big corporations and wealthy people (Mittens comes to mind but he is hardly alone – just a hypocrite about how much he contributes to America’s economy while not mentioning how little he pays in taxes.) and see how they benefit. Instead, the lament from these businesses and wealthy people is that we need tax reform. Fine. Let’s do it. But let’s do it in a way that doesn’t carve out a niche for the wealthy. Let’s help middle class and low earners as well. IOW, let’s have a fair process which requires all to contribute but according to their ability. That means, tax reform that eliminates loopholes – and it won’t just affect corporations, it will impact people up and down the line. Because, fundamentally, if America wants to live a certain way, it has to fund that way in a manner that is fair AND adequate. It can’t discriminate according to class and ultimately not result in an economic (and social as a result) divide like we are seeing.

        This anger and frustration that we are witnessing should be sending a code blue to our leaders that things are out of balance and need to be righted. Will anyone have the courage or opportunity to do so? (Lifer, just ended with a question (-: so I know that is not good.)

      • 1mime says:

        Kind of an “S” corporation as a general tax plan? Do you support a flat tax, Creigh, or do you still think a progressive tax plan is most desirable?

      • Creigh says:

        Progressive, and fer cryin out loud, quit taxing labor at a higher rate than capital.

      • 1mime says:

        We agree, but there’s a reason the elite want it that way….they have $$ to invest (-:

    • 1mime says:

      Good for Sanders! He’s got spunk!

    • flypusher says:

      Just looked at the WaPo link. I want to know why, why, WHY we can’t get rid of the scam that is trickle-down economics? Yes, a wealthy person who pays less in taxes COULD expand a US-based business and hire more people, but they also could sit on the cash or build a factory in China, or do any number of things that don’t put it back into the US ecomony. If you want to put some strings on those tax cuts that actually do put that $ to use here, I’m willing to consider that plan.

      Trump’s plan is just as bad as his GOP rival’s from the vantage point of the economic well-being of his lower class White supporters. Voting for him does nothing for them other than stigginit to the GOPe.

      • 1mime says:

        Mosler made a simple suggestion earlier on one of the blogs that parallels your observation: give tax cuts to the people who will spend the money – put money into circulation while raising their standard of living. Trickle down is flim flam. It is an economic theory born to justify and “spin” economic control for top earners.

        What are businesses doing right now to survive a stagnant economy? Hoarding cash, reducing staff (aka – RIF), paring non-essential operations and divisions, reducing benefits (insurance deductibles getting higher, benefits smaller; eliminating pensions; clambering for reduction in corporate taxes “sans” removal of coveted loopholes; outsourcing jobs and factories; keeping money in shell corporate headquarters outside of the U.S. to avoid paying taxes on profits; rewarding CEOs with outlandish bonuses while cutting dividends….and so much more.)

        I totally agree with you Fly. As Ms. Taub points out in her excellent VOX article – people are realizing that it is them who aren’t wearing any clothes, and they are speaking out and organizing. To hell with those who dare challenge their justification for doing so! What has government under either party done to address their needs and fears!

        Nope, trickle down economics ain’t working for anyone except those that control the process.

  13. Rob Ambrose says:

    Looks like the Dems are going to make the Flint crisis a major election issue this November to try to take the house. Saying, in essence, THIS is what happens when you let Republicans govern. They cut so much to pay for tax cuts to the 1% that these things happen inevitably. It happened in Michigan, and it will happen nationally, if allowed to govern.

    Using the “States as the laboratories of democracy etc….” concept, you’ve got two very real life examples of what Republican policies look like, in KS and MI.

    I think it’s a brilliant strategy, not just because it’s effective, but because it’s absolutely correct.

    The GOP “brand” has taken an awful pounding these past few years.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/house-democrats-flint-michigan-gop-election-220132

    • 1mime says:

      Michigan has an interesting political history. Democrats dominated in the first half of the 20th century, then lost power in the late 80s. Currently the House has a small Democratic advantage over Republicans although the House has shifted several times between the parties. The Senate has been solidly held by Republicans since 1983. (wiki) The last 25 years has been Republican-controlled.

      I think a more positive approach for Hillary, given all the negativity that other candidates are yelling, would be to use the example of Flint, Cleveland, Detroit as models for the kind of change that is needed to restore distressed cities by bringing back jobs and security for working people. It’s going to be tricky. If she simply blames Republicans, I believe the distrusting worker class will feel she represents more of the same….These people don’t care which party helps them, they just want someone to help….Someone to offer a concrete plan that gives them real help not just verbal support. It is an election year, after all, and they have seen all the promises before. She has to differentiate herself and her personal commitment to addressing the plight of cities in decline.

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking of Flint, the water “still” isn’t safe, and the issue will be getting a first hand look by media who will be converging upon the area for one of the debates. It seems,…..there are a lot of concerns suddenly about the water THEY will be drinking and the food they will be eating…The ultimate irony is that one of the worst environmental disasters America has experienced in years didn’t get two cents worth of serious discussion at the FOX debate. Instead, our august cast of candidates took this issue and stood their ground about how Democrats were using it as a political wedge. Uh, excuse me? The question was about the seriousness of the water problem? Their responses – what water problem – what we have here is a political witch hunt!!

        The media, distracted by the campaign, did the usual event of the moment coverage, then were gone. Now, they’re baaaaack…and THEY are the ones who will have to worry about the water. Such sweet irony. It makes me want to bottle the current water available through existing lead pipes in Flint, and stock all the beverage stations at the various agencies and offices of those who played a role in this tragedy….Just cause…..a problem never seems so serious as when it’s your neighbors. It’s when it becomes yours that it suddenly becomes so serious…..

        http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/03/media-flint-220327

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Mime is absolutely right, and its antics like this from Democrats that just piss me off SO damn much. They always try and turn Republicans’ incompetence into their strength and it never works. Incompetence and stupidity is not a rallying cry for voters to turn out to the polls. They want a message of hope and optimism, not political pandering that voters see as exploiting a tragedy for personal benefit.

      What would Democrats do not just to fix Flint and other cities like it? What’s the plan?

      And Democrats wonder why they have problems turning people out to vote? It makes my head hurt…

      • 1mime says:

        To speak to the heart of Rob’s comment, Ryan, the Flint problem as a singular issue is legitimate. It will be a part of the debate. But, like you, I find the Democratic Party is too willing to campaign against versus for ideas that have merit. It’s harder in one respect, but necessary so that people are informed about what Dems stand “for” and what they have done and plan to do to further their values. It’s about being concrete and clear and honest. I think there is a need and a thirst in America for this type of honesty. People are important. They can’t simply be used up and then thrown away. America is better than that, and THAT is the message Democrats need to shout from the mountain tops. Stand for something good. Tell people what it is and why you think it is important. I give most Americans credit for having the capacity to understand a simple, forthright message. If only we stopped spinning.

  14. 1mime says:

    Per the Slate article on the hottest temps on record, this doesn’t appear to faze the Southern CA Air Quality Board who regulate air quality in that area. It appears that all one has to do to thwart pollution controls is simply change the people who vote on the rules!

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-southern-california-air-board-20160304-story.html

  15. Tom says:

    Lifer, since you’ve said the Democrats are not immune from the politics of crazy, I’d be interested in your thoughts on why the Democratic primary has to this point looked so much different from the Republican primary. It looks like Clinton is going to be the nominee (even if Sanders is going to drag it out for no particular reason — which, I guess that’s a sign of the crazy.)

    • goplifer says:

      Oh, your turn is coming. This year is just a bit of foreshadowing. Wait till you see the challenge to Clinton’s renomination in 2020.

      Basically, this year the remaining Democratic firewall, black churches & community organizations along with the union establishment, held firm. That firewall is crumbling. Union members broke from the union hierarchy pretty consistently in 2016. Union leadership is pretty resistant to internal pressure, but they can’t hold out forever.

      There’s an old blog post describing why Democrats are a little behind Republicans in the Politics of Crazy, though the longer version in the book is a lot better.

      http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2012/04/republicans-democrats-and-“the-crazy-gap”/

      • 1mime says:

        I had not read this post, Lifer. Good one. Given that we’re four years down the road, your prophecy about union influence and power has materialized, but the Black vote has steadied. On the right, the religious ideologues have expanded and organized as has the Tea Party. I find it interesting to consider the role that Millennials will play as a buttress within the Blue Wall as a replacement for unions. Of course, there appears to be an opposing force as has materialized by working class conservatives on the opposing flank, so maybe the two will cancel each other out…or, maybe both parties will undergo a radical shift.

        What do you think?

      • Griffin says:

        I don’t think it will pan out that way, at least not fully. The Politics of Crazy is one of many reasons why the GOP has gone crazy, and while the failure of institutions may affect both parties there are other reasons the GOP will remain more extreme.

        1) The explosion in popularity of right-wing talk radio and news in the 80’s and 90’s, but no such explosion on the Dem side. The influence of Republican Pundits and their extremeness can’t really be explained by the Politics of Crazy, which has more to do with the base. The pundits are PART of the social institutions.

        2) The popularity of Religious fundamentalism. Here were organized interest groups and institutions that were feeding the Politics of Crazy instead of being a barrier against it. Also the right has had far more activists (Phyllis Schafly, Jerry Falwell, etc.) who actievely tried to radicalize the GOP, while the Dems haven’t had that, and there isn’t any Democratic answer to religious fundamentalism, at least none that approach it’s level of popularity (radical environmentalism and all five of its adherents?).

        3) As you’ve noted before things like Busing and the collapse of white supremacy is what’s caused the Dixiecrats to revolt and actively take over the GOP. The Democratic controlled regions haven’t suffered any failures or losses to that degree so they have less incentive to radicalize.

        4) As politics is set up right now, the GOP is much more likely to attract Right-Wing Authoritarians (RWA’s) who are willing to believe anything, while the Dems are too ideologically incoherant to pull in as many people with that mindset.

        I have to wonder if the Dixiecrats of the mid-20th century we’re really any less crazy than the GOP today. It’s just that they were tempered by the other factions of the Democratic Party at the time, while now they have a party all to themselves. Even if Clinton does face problems in 2020 would that be much different from Ted Kennedy running against Jimmy Carter in terms of crazy? The GOP side is an unprecidented level of insane.

        @Tom Sanders has plenty of money left to spend and no reason not to use it if he thinks he can pull Clinton to the left and will take enough delegates to be noticed by the DNC.

      • 1mime says:

        Griffin, I am curious about your choice of words to describe Democrats: “ideologically incoherent”….I look at this differently. To me, there is a much more consistent set of values shared by all Democrats, but a great deal more latitude. I’d rather think of it as “ideologically tolerant”, than incoherent. Does that make sense to you?

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. The Republican Crazy was kept in modest check as long as they held the presidency. When they lost it, there was no coherent leadership to hold it back and so it exploded into the sordid mess we see today.

        It’s an interesting irony, but the Republicans’ creation of the Blue Wall could actually serve as the bulwark that keeps the Democratic Crazy in check because it secures them the presidency. That said of course, it’s a double-edged sword that could flip the entire thing on its head if Republicans get their shit together and actually become a nationally competitive party again.

        In the mean time, I’m with Mime in that I’m interested to see how the growing block of Millenial voters will play out in all this.

      • 1mime says:

        I have a great deal of confidence in our Millennial group. They are, I think, the hope of the Democrats if the party is responsive to their concerns. If HRC is the nominee, it will be a great time for party leaders to reach out to this group and welcome them into further involvement in the party. Change in the GOP is so obvious that it’s easy for Dems to ignore the weaknesses in our own party. Both parties are flailing about trying to represent a dynamic people who are undergoing tremendous change. My hope is that both parties succeed so as to ensure the health of the democratic process in our country. Lots of people have been left out. That has to change.

      • Griffin says:

        Sure ideologically tolerant works better I suppose. The point is you can have Conservatives (in the traditional sense of the word, not a religious reactionary) and Liberals and everything inbetween stuffed into a single party. It’s hard to have extremes in that situation. If Bernie Sanders is as “liberal” as it gets that’s (relatively speaking) not saying much, he’s a social democrat not a communist or even an actual Democratic Socialist. If hard greens or (actual) race-baiters or communists or anarchists takeover the Democratic Party I’ll start to get worried but we’re not there, and we’re probably not going to get there.

        @Ryan That sort of fits into the Right-wing authoritarian mindset. Read Bob Altmeyer’s research on it it’s quite interesting. RWA’s judge EVERYTHING based on whether or not the “right” people with the “right” values are in power, not based on what they actually do. They have a constant persecution complex and are much more prone to having an Apocolyptic mindset. That can be said for any ideology but they are more extreme and consistant about it.

      • Hainous says:

        Hi Chris,

        I was actually wondering about the whole union issue. When you talk about union members breaking from hierarchy, do you mean towards Sanders or towards Republicans? Given your previous emphasis on unions’ “interesting” racial history, I’m curious which way they would break. I would think the rank-and-file would be prime targets for Repubs (Trump especially) come general election time. It certainly seems like it could be a real time-bomb for Democratic candidates.

      • Tom says:

        @1mime: I think your confidence in the Millennial group (however you’re defining it) is misplaced. The Millennials make up probably the bulk of the Sanders supporters; if you ever talk to any of them their reasons behind supporting Sanders are incredibly vapid. They exaggerate relatively minor (or sometimes nonexistent) issue differences between Clinton and Sanders. Many of them hate Clinton, and for similar reasons, as your average Republican.

        I didn’t notice it at first but there is a ton of similarity between Sanders and Trump supporters. Both are angry about influence-peddling in Washington. There’s an undercurrent of racism to some of the Sanders support. It’s not the gutter racism that you see with Trump, but much more paternalistic racism. Much of it comes, by the way, from white people who have pretty minimal interaction with blacks; Sanders’ supporters are about as clueless about what issues matter to black voters as your average Republican (frequently they simply point to the myth that Sanders marched with MLK, as though that trumps anything else, or they point to the crime bill and welfare reform that happened under Bill Clinton — not realizing that the crime bill was actually a black priority in the 1990s as blacks were disproportionately affected by crime and that welfare reform was mostly a Republican initiative that Clinton went along with, as he’s pointed out, to prevent an even worse bill from becoming law.)

        @Lifer: so what can be done about the decline of institutions?

      • 1mime says:

        I recognize the that many millennials are immature, but I think most of them are pretty straight on social and cultural issues. They’re just young people who are passionate and enthusiastic. For many, the Sanders campaign is their first political experience where they were active participants. I think that is fantastic! I have heard others comment on their animosity towards Hillary and a tone of racism, and that certainly detracts from them, but, and that is a big “but”, they are our future, are a very large age group, are better educated and have been exposed to the best and the worst of our times. I’m pulling for them to do great things going forward.

        Democrats also will benefit from minority groups other than the strong Black presence. Asians and Hispanics have been largely Democratic in their preferences and their numbers are growing in size and geography. Women are a little more tricky. But you can take this to the bank: if Republicans keep messing with womens’ right to control their own bodies – I’m talking about denigrating contraception, choice, equal pay for equal work – women will lean left.

        So, I will be watching the Millennial group with interest in coming years and I hope I am correct about where they will end up as mature adults. We need more people who believe in equality and inclusion. For the most part, Millennials get this right.

      • Creigh says:

        Tom, why would anyone not be angry about influence peddling? Also, I hear you about the paternalistic racism, if you will, at least to the extent of Sanders’ basic assumption that economic issues are at the core of African American problems. But isn’t that what Martin Luther King himself said?

        Finally, yeah, I feel that Trump’s supporters have some legitimate gripes with the direction the economy has been taking them for 30 or so years now. These are people who used to be able to provide good lives for their families even without a lot of education. That’s a hugely important thing that is slipping away from them.

        Bernie talks about a revolution, I think we are going to get one. It might not be Bernie’s. I hope it’s not Trump’s.

      • 1mime says:

        “Hillary’s renomination in 2020″…Hey, that sounds good, Lifer! Have you got any hints for her probable Democratic prototype opponent? A Greenpeace, GMO, Non-Vac lefty? And, a conservative who denies climate change, no exceptions lifer, walls everywhere, bombs everywhere, a military that exceeds that of all nations combined, a budget balanced by ending the social safety net, government so small you can drown it in a tub, more tax cuts for the rich….you get my drift (-: (just messin with ya)

        Hope we’re both around in 2020 and still sparring on your blog.. Who knows, the way things are going, we may both be members of the same (new) party!

      • Kanye West has said he’s going to run in 2020 although he hasn’t said which party will benefit from his august leadership.

        There is nothing I can say that can make this statement funnier than it already is.

      • WX Wall says:

        I’m going to play devil’s advocate, Chris 🙂

        What if the politics of Crazy has already hit the Dems, it just looks a lot different than the Repubs?

        I’d probably say Repub’s 2012 moment (Mitt Romney coming from behind to beat the crazy insurgents) was Dem’s 2004 moment. Howard Dean was an outsider running on a radical platform of ending the Iraq war and universal health care. He was dismissed as a crank by the entire establishment, but nearly took the nomination using grassroots organizing outside the party infrastructure. Then a mealy-mouthed rich guy from Massachusetts backed by the establishment came from behind to win the nom and lose the election 🙂

        If Trump will be the first insurgent Republican to win the nom against the establishment, the Dems had their moment in 2008. Recall that the establishment Dem candidate was Clinton, and the insurgent was Obama. Obama talked about revolution the same way Sanders did (I agree if you listened closely to his policy positions he was a moderate, but few of his supporters cared. Incidentally, I supported Clinton then because she was more liberal and never bought Obama’s Purple State Kumbaya BS). He was a neophyte outsider running against corrupt DC, promising to end the wars, universal health care, etc etc. Heck, he even had a ‘black problem’ like Bernie in the first few primaries, including Jesse Jackson badmouthing him off the record (he literally said “I want to cut his nuts off”). Clinton was even more dominant than Jeb Bush at the time. And yet, Obama, by exciting [white] millenials and using the internet to raise small-dollar cash from his base, ended up winning the nom.

        So by your definition of the politics of crazy, the takeover of a party by insurgent outsiders due to the destruction of party and social infrastructure, the Dem party has been taken over. Why is it not crazy? Could it be that the Dem and Repub bases are fundamentally different in a way that means they’ll turn out with different results?

        FWIW, I think there’s a far simpler explanation (although I do accept that party and social infrastructure is decaying. If anything Dem infrastructure has decayed even faster than Republican’s; just look at how many local and state positions the Dems have lost in the 8 years Obama has been President). Religious fundamentalists are crazy (please note, I’m not saying religious people are crazy, just the fundamentalists). Whether they wear a cross or a burka, they always have been. And whatever party they choose to inhabit, they ultimately take over and destroy (unless the party has the foresight to expel them on their own, like LBJ and the Dems did).

        So, if I’m right, you’re seeing the ‘crazy’ Dem party right now, focused on an expanded social safety net (universal healthcare, improved education access), universal rights (e.g. ending discrimination, equal pay), ending the wars in the middle east, cutting military spending, increased taxes on the rich, higher regulations on corporate activities (whether its election financing, pollution, etc.) and a science-based policy platform (dealing with climate change, investing in science and tech). Even current Dem ‘crazies’ like Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and even (gasp) Alan Grayson would easily fit within this platform. Or do you think there’s a proto-Cruz in the party somewhere, slouching towards Bethlehem, waiting to be born in 2020?

      • 1mime says:

        WX Wall, that was insightful. I disagree as to when Republicans began their “come-back”. I recall that this began in the 80s with the indomitable Reagan and slowly and painstakingly, the GOP worked from the bottom up to capture train and capture more elected positions. This has proven to be strategically very important as Republicans recognized that even if they lost the presidency, they could use state legislatures to pursue their policy platform, forcing the issue to the Congressional level, then on to SCOTUS where they had a business-friendly majority to help usher the legislation into law. There have been bumps along the way, but I hand it to Repubs for at least having a plan and the discipline and resources to pursue it.

        Unfortunately, in their zeal to “own it all”, they embraced the religious right that the Dems rejected via their stand for civil rights, etc. They mistakenly believed they could control this element within their party – which they did until the slumbering giant of bigotry decided it wanted to lead, not follow. That is where we are today, with the party split by moderates who get primaried if they dare think independently. (Rubio pointed out at the debate that party control is of paramount importance – unfortunately, with Republicans, this has meant total loss of individual thought and opinion.)

        I think you are on something about the Dems “crazy” time. If anything, I have been worried about the party becoming too complacent to sit on the sidelines as the Republicans self-destructed. I mean, what more could they ask for, right? An opponent that grabbed that football and was sprinted a hundred miles an hour – towards the wrong goal! It’s been tempting to simply “watch”, but what the Democratic leadership has failed to do is to take advantage of the opportunity before them and strategically use the time to build the party’s base and refine its platform to meet a changing society. That failure is lazy and is costing them as their stable of young, experienced aspirants for higher office aren’t being groomed. Instead, the Dem Party is being led by an old crowd. A small old crowd.

        That is why I am so hopeful that Millennials can be welcomed, nurtured and integrated into the Democratic Party. WE NEED THEM! We also need the minority groups who we have supporting us by default….the other guys are so unacceptable to them that they have little alternative. WE NEED THEM, TOO! In short, if the Democratic Party loses this election, they not only will have lost all branches of government for the foreseeable future, but they will have lost the opportunity of a lifetime to offer a relevant, important alternative to a conservative alternative that will become increasingly narrow in its views. AFter all, if conservatives don’t pay a price at the polls in the 2016 election, why would they believe this is anything but a mandate for the direction (however ill advised) they are taking?

        I’ll be anxious to read Lifer’s response to your theory, WX Wall. Good work.

      • Brent Uzzell says:

        Perhaps not Chris. There is growing documentation that authoritarianism is really driving our politics and it is limited to the right. The link below is a good summation but I’m really sorry Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba wasn’t credited for his life-time of research. Here’s the link from Vox: The Rise of American Authoritarianism
        http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

        I do highly recommend Altemeyer: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

      • 1mime says:

        Wow, Brent! What a tremendous essay from VOX. So many thoughts ran through my mind as I was reading this worthy “tome”. I need to re-read it and jot down my thoughts at critical junctures.

        My biggest take-aways are: (1) The author, Amanda Taub, has compiled the best explanation I have read on what is happening in today’s politics. (2) It mayl become necessary for the moderate GOP to finally work “with” Democrats to keep order in our political process. (The Freedom Caucus within the House is a microcosm of the authoritarianism elite). (3) Democrats, because of their underlying capacity to embrace change, has been protected from authoritarianism, which turns out to be both fortunate and unfortunate as there is a battle royale looming between the two forces for the soul of America. (4) Leadership will never be so important. IF, as the author demonstrates, this “authoritarianism” movement (really psychological and social change) continues to grow and openly, actively express itself politically and socially, what does the future hold? Think of how these authoritarians will raise their children. How they will vote. How radical they could become, even culminating in violence and open rebellion.

        This was incredibly interesting. I found myself taking every test posed by the questions and have concluded that although I am a bossy broad with strong opinions, I am non-authoritarian. My take on this category is that it is inhabited with people who are independent thinkers, not prone to being manipulated, and likely Democrat…..which is the only party available as a default. It also gives me hope that sanity will prevail offering potential for a party and a counter-movement of rational thought to emerge – either within or as a new party.

        Wonderful, deeply thoughtful insightful piece of journalism. I so hope it gets wider distribution to provoke debate where it can be most important. Please share with your contact list.

        Thanks Brent. I will follow the second link when I have more time.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @WX Wall: With all respect, it sounds like you’re looking at things through pretty rose-colored glasses.

        That said though, you’re right when you say that the respective Republican and Democratic crazies are fundamentally different. Much as I imagine Lifer relishes the thought of Democrats enduring the same sordid political quicksand that the GOP has, I don’t think that’s the route we’re headed down.

        Regardless, President Obama has NOT instigated a takeover of the Democratic Party. That’s ridiculous. Yes, he advocated for universal healthcare, an ending to the Iraq War and other things, but there was already broad consensus among Democrats for these things at the time. Many of these positions were simply the logical conclusion from others that had been adopted in the past, like paid sick and medical leave being the conclusion of the Family Leave Act that Bill Clinton signed when he first came into office.

        Bernie Sanders is a departure from this in the “have your cake and eat it too” mentality that he espouses, the overwhelming majority of which he believes can be paid for by taxing the rich and socking it to Wall Street. That’s not the way our system works nor is it the way it was designed to work. It’s a dangerous example to set for young people just coming into the political process.

        Furthermore, and perhaps even more important, is the inference of unquestioning faith in the government’s ability to do good for the people that I find disconcerting. Now that’s not to say I don’t believe government has a role to play. I absolutely do, but Sanders takes it too far; his advocating for a single-payer healthcare system being the most best example.

        This isn’t the only potential Crazy lurking within the Democratic Party, but it should be handled very carefully going forward.

      • 1mime says:

        One quick question about the VOX piece by Ms. Taub. If her thesis is proven, i.e., the social change we are witnessing from principally working class White people is a “movement” not a one-candidate aberration, it seems likely that this large group of people will need a vehicle to channel their energy and promote their platform going forward. It will either involve a new party, as I cannot fathom the GOP Establishment embracing this group within their party structure (they have already reaped their just desserts with the far right) – or, it will revive unions for those who are still working. The rest will find other splinter groups that allow them to direct their anger into action – via supremacy or militant organizations. There has to be an outlet for this roiling discontent and, if their candidate isn’t elected, I don’t see the problem going away, UNLESS, the party that wins addresses their fundamental needs concretely and timely. They will not be ignored any more.

      • Creigh says:

        Ryan, I have to defend Bernie’s “sock it to the rich” strategy. Basically, the problem with Wall Street is that they are misdirecting resources for their own purposes. Finance’s public purpose is to provide financial resources for increasing productive capacity, for the benefit of individuals and society. They dont like to do that because it’s risky. They would much rather provide loans to buy existing assets, primarily real estate, which they can foreclose on if necessary. That bids up asset prices, but doesn’t increase productive capacity. This preference also turns streams of income into streams of interest payments. That has adverse tax consequences (deprives the gov of revenues) and also, through the power of compound interest, concentrates wealth. Along with other policy aspects that are tilting the playing field away from labor and towards capital, the concentration of wealth starves the economy of consumer demand and growth.

        How to solve this problem is complicated. Sanders’ ideas could certainly be improved on. More discussion would be really helpful, and hard to do in the midst of a campaign. But Sanders seems to me to be a lot closer to understanding the problem than any other candidate.

      • 1mime says:

        FWIW, I agree with you about Sander’s understanding of basic economic issues. It may be why Robert Reich is supporting him. He’s a pretty plain-spoken economist. The problem is, Bernie has the right general ideas but I still don’t think he has the organizational ability nor the political heft to implement them. That would leave the Democratic Party with another failure or stalemate – which ultimately is the same in that nothing gets done – and the need in the United States right now for someone who can govern and make things work is of paramount importance.

      • 1mime says:

        Here ya go, Lifer. This Salon article expands upon what can lie ahead for Dems if they don’t learn from the politics of crazy we are witnessing.

        http://www.salon.com/2016/03/05/stop_laughing_democrats_as_the_gop_goes_down_in_flames_your_post_bernie_civil_war_is_almost_here/?source=newsletter

      • Creigh says:

        Mime, the article you mention outlines exactly why I think we’re going to have a revolution. We need to think carefully about what kind of a revolution we want to have. Sanders is presenting one vision, Trump another. It might have been Ryan A who called Sanders’ ideas “failed policies from the past.” I think on the contrary it’s Clinton and Mitt Romney whose time is fading. The future hopefully belongs somewhere between Obama and Sanders.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @1mime: My response to that annoyingly long Salon article (nothing personal, but it was) is that Clinton has to do what she said months ago and that, as soon as the Democratic nomination is assuredly hers, to start rebuilding the party from the ground up. If she doesn’t, that is a political vacuum that will just be begging to be filled, and you don’t have to be a political genius to figure out what that ‘something’ will be.

        The best and strongest counter against the Crazy is a strong, unified establishment that can quell it, which is precisely what the Republicans didn’t have. Democrats have a chance not to repeat that mistake if they seize on this opportunity. If not, slap on your hard hats, my friends.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @Creigh: With all respect, Creigh, I called Sanders’ ideas those being of the past, true enough, but I didn’t call them “failed”. What I’ve tried to argue is that Sanders himself is a candidate of the past and isn’t suited to carry the torch into the future. I believe that the path we, as a country, should and will take is one that gives everyone a basic minimum income, universal healthcare by way of a hybrid system that makes the best use of both the public and private sectors, immigration reform that not only welcomes people to America, but actually ENCOURAGES them to come here, and so many other things.

        Yes, Sen. Sanders and I have many of the same goals, broadly speaking, but the devil is in the details and he and I just have an honest disagreement on the best way to get there. Once again, I think his ideas are borrowing too much from the past to lead the way into the future.

      • 1mime says:

        Ryan, you feel Sanders is rooted in the past which makes him an unattractive alternative to HRC. I have to agree with Creigh that Hillary represents the Democratic establishment which, I am sad to say, is pretty stuck in the past. We criticize Republicans for being rigid yet aren’t as critical of the Democrats who also have a lot of changing to do. I am supporting Hillary not because of her forward-thinking ideas, but because of her competence amidst a sea of unacceptable alternatives. She will do a fine job, work hard, and will do no harm. She stands for the values that are most important to me. Another point in H’s behalf is that she can take office knowing how to work within the political process. She will not have Obama’s naivte nor any real expectation of cooperation from the right. She’ll set out her goals, develop a plan, and pursue them. She will work well with those members of Congress who are reachable….especially her Democratic colleagues – from the beginning. In short, HRC will help America function. It won’t be easy as the GOP hasn’t learned a damn thing yet, but she won’t be an easy mark. I’ll take that. If Sanders is the nominee, I will support him and help him win because at his worst, he’s a better person and stands for values I hold dear.

      • Creigh says:

        And, I do see glimmers that Hillary Clinton gets this. She gave a really good speech on labor the other day, and she has at least one advisor who understands Wall Street’s pathological tendencies. If Sanders accomplishes nothing more, that’s still an achievement to be proud of.

  16. Griffin says:

    Good link with that Washington Post article. That’s what Clinton should be campaigning on, not just going with the old Democratic strategy of saying “I’m not as crazy as Trump/Rubio/Cruz”. Democrats have to start winning elections instead of just counting on Republicans to lose them.

  17. Stephen says:

    You hear the nonsense about the makers and takers. But the Washington Post article on the candidates tax plan show massive deficits on all of the GOP candidates plans. But GOP base voters still want their government benefits, like Social Security and Medicare with out paying for them. Want a massive military and infrastructure without paying for them. And the donor class still want their tax cuts. If you really care about the national debt taxes have to match spending. I do not think Hillary would be able to totally stop the deficit spending as spending is a power given to Congress but she would slow it down. Recent history shows Democrats have been more fiscally responsible. Here is a link to a study done on her proposals for taxing and budget.

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/2000638-an-analysis-of-hillary-clintons-tax-proposals.pdf

    • Griffin says:

      It’s funny that people think of Bernie Sanders as the “spendaholic”, but even if you had the harshest interpretations of his plans they still aren’t half as crazy as the plans being put forward by the top three GOP candidates. That’s because the GOP candidates can’t merely add to the debt with their plans because they ALSO want a Balanced Budget Amendment (or at least claim that balancing the budget is a top priority). They would have to cut virtually all government spending on social programs and thus crash the economy without people having any services to fallback on. The political and economic instablilty that would be caused if they got even half of what they wanted is incalcable.

      What’s also scary is that Sanders would HAVE to greatly moderate his plans to get them through even a Democratic controlled Congress, whereas the GOP politicians have repeatadly demonstrated they would endorse anything that protects them in the short term (in the primaries mainly) even if it backfires in the long-term, so a GOP President with a GOP controlled Congress might actually be able to pass most of his insane economic plans if the far-right base applies enough pressure.

  18. Crogged says:

    It’s as if Vox were aware of the previous blog.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/4/11161060/gun-control-black-homicide

  19. El says:

    How can The Onion compete with reality?

    http://is.gd/utqign

    The newly elected chair of the Travis County Republican Party spent most of election night tweeting about former Gov. Rick Perry’s sexual orientation, Bill Clinton’s penis, insisting that members of the Bush family should be in jail, called Hillary Clinton an angry bull dyke, and accusing his county vice chair of betraying the values of the Republican Party.

    The apoplectic vice chair Matt Mackowiak immediately announced over social media that he would do everything in his power to remove Morrow from office.

    Mackowiak told the Tribune, “We will explore every single option that exists, whether it be persuading him to resign, trying to force him to resign, constraining his power, removing his ability to spend money or resisting any attempt for him to access data or our social media account. I’m treating this as a coup and as a hostile takeover.”

    “Tell them they can go fuck themselves,” Morrow told the Tribune.

    • Rob Morrow wants to be “Sec. of Sensitivity Training” in a Trump Admin 🙂

      I’m sorry – I just can’t stop laughing. This guy attacks everybody in the most vulgar fashion but got elected by 25,000 voters as the Republican Chair this week. 25,000 people voted for this guy! What is going on down there in Texas.

      The last time I was in Texas was a conference in Dallas, where a senior consultant in the oil/gas industry practice for a major consulting firm (I’ll withhold the name, but you’d recognize it, his firm pays this guy upwards of $300K + bonus) volunteered over evening cocktails that “one volcano emits more CO2 than all humanity has for 100 years”.

      When you have this level of ignorance in the supposedly highly educated, Rob Morrow has fertile territory.

      But that only explains the ‘lack of reality’ axis. Morrow’s other high score comes in the ‘lack of basic civility’ axis – the bounds of which are being pushed by Trump on the national level.

      As Chris put it earlier, Trump horrifies the party establishment not because of his policies, but because he figuratively uses the wrong fork. Rob Morrow is just a vivid reminder that the Country Club conservatives are a distant memory now in the Republican Party.

  20. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I’m officially applying for Trump’s speech writer:

    ****************************************************************************
    Thank you all for coming today…I love these crowds. You all are the greatest.

    I hope you all had a chance to watch the debate in Detroit. I think it was beautiful, and it shows you the difference between the politicians and all of us.

    So Cruz and Rubio got together and teamed up, with the media helping them out. I tell ya, Kasich, he’s got some class. He’s a good guy. These other little guys, well, I think we all know what to think about them.

    Look, I can take it from these guys. I’ve been dealing with bigger guys than this since I was a teenager. Little Marco yapping like a little dog at someone’s heels isn’t going to hurt anybody. Cruz can go on and on about how all these people don’t like me, but have you seen his vote totals. Man, if folks don’t like me, they must hate Ted.

    I can take it from these guys. They aren’t a big deal. The thing that bothers me is that they aren’t trying to stop me. They are trying to stop you.

    They don’t want you to have a say in who the nominee is. They brought out Romney to whine and complain. That is what these guys in Washington want. They want a low energy guy who begged me for an endorsement and then went out and did nothing, so he lost a very winnable election.

    That is what they want to give you. I’m not that. That is why they are trying to stop us. That is why they are afraid, and they are trying everything they can to stop us.

    Look, Marco is a nice guy, but he’s barely finding the bathrooms at this point. You want him dealing with Assad? You want him handling North Korea? He isn’t up to the job.

    Cruz, you saw it at the debate and you’ve seen his insider game in Washington, if you don’t agree with Ted on 100% of every issue, he’s not going to work with you, and he’s going to take his little balls and go home to pout. You know who agrees with Ted Cruz on 100% of the issues, no one. I don’t even think his family agrees with him. No one likes the guy, and no one will work with him.

    I tell you, a lot of folks in Washington won’t like me, but they’ll work with me. This is going to be great.

    We are winners, and we are going to make America great again.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Excellent! It’s only March, but you win the prize for post of the year.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        My favorite line: “if you don’t agree with Ted on 100% of every issue, he’s not going to work with you.”

      • 1mime says:

        My favorite line was: “I can take it from these guys. They aren’t a big deal. The thing that bothers me is that they aren’t trying to stop me. They are trying to stop you.”

        Homer – You do get the prize! As a matter of fact, your speech was YUUUGE!

    • flypusher says:

      100% right about Rubio and Cruz. But I don’t want someone as thin-skinned as Trump involved in foreign policy, or those short fingers anywhere near the button!

      • 1mime says:

        The question is: Is anybody listening on the right? Kinda puts the whole “Black crime” thing into a little more perspective, doesn’t it, Crogged?

    • tuttabellamia says:

      May I add a line to Trump’s speech? How about:

      “I promise reparations for the Black community will be completed by the end of my first term in office, and that way we can all put this whole reparations thing behind us and move on.”

    • goplifer says:

      Message is spot-on, but what’s with all those complete sentences? A man of the people speaks in fragments and run-ons. Also, I’m suspicious about the absence of mispellings.Do I detect a whiff of elitism?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Searching for the Donald’s email address….maybe I can get a paid gig.

      • 1mime says:

        Hmm, I don’t think you’ll fit the Don’s “profile”…You’d have to work reeely hard at learning how to kiss up….which, I think will be just about impossible….Of course, think of all the “freebies”…all those Trump hotels, golf courses, casinos…..it might be worth it (-:

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I love, love, love casinos and golf…so I think the Donald and I would get along just fine.

        As long as I could get him to just stop talking (or at least stop talking to me).

      • 1mime says:

        You do realize that part of sucking up involves letting the “Don” beat you at golf, right? And, I am sure I don’t need to alert you to the fact that House Odds are gonna hurt ya, right? You sure you want this gig?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, you can be personal assistant to MRS.Trump.

      • 1mime says:

        Ha! Good one, Tutta! Who knows, maybe she’s even a worse golfer than Homer (-:

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        It would take some work for someone to be a worse golfer than me.

        My wife might not be game for me being Mrs. Trump’s assistant, but she too could use a speech writer.

        I do believe at one time I admitted to having a bit of a crush on Ivanka. She is by far the most tolerable Trump.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s too bad that Ivanka is so ugly, Homer. It makes what could be a really sweet deal a little less rewarding (-:

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I was reading your excellent ideas about medical policy and technology when my short attention span was sidetracked by HT’s cute Donald speech.

        I hope you find a way of passing on those ideas to people who might actually put them into effect. How do ideas such as yours turn into actual proposals and eventually legislation? Every idea starts as a little seed in someone’s brain.

      • 1mime says:

        When I was involved in government, I would take ideas (or concerns) to the appropriate division and seek an appointment with the aide to the elected official or department head. I found that if I could get a one on one appointment, I was more successful in reaching the ultimate individual who had the authority to make things happen. From that point on, it was a matter of follow through and sustained contact.

        At this point in my life, my ability to follow through on things like this is limited. But, it is possible, for example, that I could set up an appointment with someone from Congressman Brady’s office which is not too far for me to travel, and present my ideas about Medicare and Medicaid. What really should be happening is that each member of Congress be tasked with encouraging constituent input in areas that are known to have budget deficits. The goal, of course, should be to reduce and eliminate waste and increase efficiency, not to give a political weapon to an elected official to destroy a program.

        Short of that, it would be helpful if technology could be utilized to allow people with ideas to directly and easily share them with the governmental agency online. The product design ideas I have would have to be presented to someone in manufacturing, which, again, requires a great deal more time and freedom than I have at my disposal. Our son has a relationship with a manufacturer and he and I have talked about taking my ideas to them for consideration. AT this point in my life, I’m not seeking a new career, but trying to help others by virtue of what I have learned through direct experience. Little changes make a big difference to handicapped individuals on items that have to be used frequently. That’s where one can make a lasting contribution to their comfort and safety.

        Thank you for asking, Tutta.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, what’s funny is that Trump has gone through so many generations of ladies.

        Back in the late ’80s his wife Ivana Trump was all the rage in the celebrity news, and then Marla Maples.

        Now it’s wife Melania and his daughter.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Trump gets older, but his wives stay the same age.

      • 1mime says:

        Homer, your wife must have a terrific sense of humor! Not only do the ladies have to be the correct age, they must all be gorgeous….A quick research reveals that Trump spent $25M in his first divorce (Ivana) and $2M (Marla – she obviously didn’t take the Trump course on negotiation that Ivana developed for Don’s school)…so, let’s see, that’s $27M total….wonder what the rule of seven would do for putting that cash in the bank, instead?

  21. 1mime says:

    Technology has such YUUUGE (sorry, couldn’t resist) potential across the board. One area I am particularly interested in is Tele-Medicine. Presently, there is little actual utilization of this promising technology because doctors and states legislatures are fighting it. Consider, however, the benefit to older patients who have mobility and transportation limitations. Of course, doctors need to be compensated for their time and the rules and practical application of who and what situations should be eligible need to be carefully studied, but, what a help this would be to our growing elderly population. I submit that doctors’ would benefit in the long run because older patients require more time in appointments (which either lengthens their day or reduces the number of patients they can see in a day) and Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements are already low (which is why many doctors who “can” refuse to serve the elderly).

    The need is there, the technology exists, but the politics, bureaucracy and profit incentive simply hasn’t fallen in line. What a promising area for technology to serve a very useful purpose and make health care more accessible to people who have great challenges getting to doctor appointments. It’s interesting to note that Medicaid patients who require medical transport to doctor appointments receive this service free of charge. Medicare patients, OTOH, are on their own. It would seem that Medicaid costs would be substantially reduced by reducing the medical transport expense in favor of a Tele-doc appointment with the patient in their home setting whenever appropriate. There are numerous examples of common sense changes that would reduce costs in Medicare if the rules were more flexible. EX. A patient requiring a 10-14 day infusion to treat a medically necessary health problem is eligible to be placed in a nursing home for the duration of the treatment, at no cost (other than the Medicare deductible which is very small). If, however, the patient or his caregiver elects to have this infusion in their homes, the out of pocket cost assigned by Medicare rules makes it prohibitive. Think about that for two seconds: 14 days of 24 hour care – free; vs the cost of a home health nurse for one hour daily and the medical equipment necessary. Not to mention the comfort of the sick person…Medicare pays for the nurse and RX, but none of the required medical equipment and supplies, which can top $1000. Why wouldn’t Medicare incentivize the home health approach and greatly reduce the cost for the same procedure?

    I have learned so much as a caregiver about how designs of medical equipment could be improved and how processes could be more practical while still achieving the goal of medical care. Wish I had another lifetime to live so I could start with what I have learned in the last ten years ….. I’ve been thinking hard about a new improved design for a male urinal, and safety improvements for shower chairs, and bed rails….shoulda been a bio-medical engineer…if I had only known….

    In my spare time, when I’m not razing everyone on GOPlifer’s blog (-:

    • tuttabellamia says:

      This is what I love most about this blog. It’s a sort of think-tank, a place to come up with creative ideas and solutions to problems instead of just wringing our hands.

  22. The funniest thing about this election is that only the two Dems have put plans on the table that economists argue about, though Hillary’s plans are more vague compared to the already vague Bernie plans. It’s odd that only the dems have a reasonable shot at keeping the deficit reasonable. But even then, I barely trust Hillary and the DNC to follow through with their promises, while Bernie’s plans are probably not be good in the mid to long term, and he’s kinda too optimistic in his revenue calculations, it will probably not be the end of the world.

    All of the republicans have suggested gigantic tax cuts without explaining how they’re going to be paid for.

  23. Rob Ambrose says:

    Man, Rubio is dangerous. His defense of Rick Snyder last night was indefensible.

    “Don’t politicize Flint. I’m sure nobody woke up and decided to poison ppl”? Are you f’n kidding me?

    It is INHERENTLY political when political forces conspire to devastate poor communities. It SHOULD be.

    Not only should we politicize it, we should criminilize it.

    • 1mime says:

      I would tweak your sentence to state: “It is inherently ‘criminal’ when political forces conspire to devastate poor communities.”

      They do so by neglect and ignoring the poverty that ensues.

    • flypusher says:

      A politician saying “Don’t politicize” is the ultimate irony

  24. NoMas says:

    The map link is not working.

  25. Rob Ambrose says:

    Actually came here to post an article about Hillarys tax plan.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/03/04/hillary_clinton_s_tax_plan_is_really_progressive.html

    With that, she’s got me. I love what Bernie tried to do and what he actually DID do, but Clinton seems to get it.

    Although I think Bernie should still stay in the race as long as he’s not being embarrassed (and as long as he’s not attacking Hillary in a way that will hurt her in the general) he still has a role to keep Hill honest

    • Hillary is closer to my econ stances than Bernie is…but honestly, I really don’t trust her at all. She has a history of flipflopping – not to mention later revelations of her saying one thing in public and then the opposite behind closed doors (Colombian trade agreement, for example). My problem with her is the same problem I have with Trump, and had with Romney. I genuinely have no idea how she’s going to behave once she’s in the WH, or how corrupt it’s going to be. I have little faith in the Dem establishment right now. It’s a patronage racket. Clinton foundation get’s Saudi money, and Saudis get fighter jets. DNC suddenly lifts restrictions on lobbyist cash put in place by Obama, possibly to stave off Bernie’s fundraising juggernaut and boost the Hillary Victory Fund. She holds fundraisers with lobbyists and her spokespeople tell us straight that it’s only to counter Bernie and it won’t affect her decisions. Meanwhile, the chair of the DNC, DWS is openly opposing regulations on payday lenders, after she receives money from them. It’s a corrupt mess.

      Honestly Clinton vs republicans is currently a choice between corporatist corruption vs plain nutjobbery

      • 1mime says:

        At least with Hillary, you do have a rather large, public record….If there is any facet of her life that hasn’t been released, it would amaze me.

        So, given your distrust of the Dems, dislike of HRC, who do you like for POTUS?

      • “Clinton foundation get’s Saudi money, and Saudis get fighter jets.” Any proof for this, beyond links to “infowars”?

    • 1mime says:

      I wonder how much exposure the media will give Clinton’s budget plan? Every time I hear a conservative describe their budget cost as being covered by “growth”, I laugh. Really? They expect people to believe that? I guess they do, and, sadly, few will take the time to delve into the details of the budget comparisons from an august body like the Tax Policy Institute…and, that includes the media.

    • That’s a very interesting article. Thanks Rob.

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