Link Roundup, 5/2/2016

From the Washington Post: What happens when you have virtually no sensible gun regulation or accountability in a nation of 350m people? Toddlers on a rampage.

From MarketWatch: Mexican immigration has been declining since 1999. It has been negative since 2008. Thanks Obama.

From Calculated Risk: The 50-year decline in personal energy costs depicted on a graph.

From FiveThirtyEight: What makes Indiana is so hard to poll and predict.

From FT: Profiling job losses in China due to automation.

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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87 comments on “Link Roundup, 5/2/2016
  1. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    OK….last chance to get everything wrong regarding voting predictions:

    My guess, Trump wins Indiana with 47% of the vote, and a Rubenesque young lady starts warming up her vocal cords ’cause if Trump wins Indiana, it is all over but the singing.

    • 1mime says:

      )-: and you have to vote for the S.O.B……Couldn’t you arrange to have some type of mild infectious issue that would require quarantine?

  2. texan5142 says:

    Chis, I wish you were known nationally and syndicated, but that would ruin this blog with all the vitriol that is out there.

  3. 1mime says:

    As we inch closer to the 2016 general election, there are new or strengthened voter ID laws in place in TX and in 14 other states for the first time in a presidential election…….coincidence?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/us/stricter-rules-for-voter-ids-reshape-races.html

  4. Rob Ambrose says:

    Cruz’s little meltdown today made me smile.

    Yes, Trump is a raging narcissist. But is the guy whose father (and official surrogate) calls him God’s chosen one the right guy to make that charge?

  5. 1mime says:

    OT but interesting and who knows?

    “Lawsuit challenges Senate inaction on Garland
    By Josh Gerstein
    05/03/2016 02:28 PM EDT
    A citizen gadfly in Maryland has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Senate leaders’ decision not to act on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
    Liberal activist Brett Kimberlin filed the suit against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley late last month in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.
    “Defendants have waived their right to advice and consent by (a) stating publicly and on the Senate floor that they refuse to advise and consent on the nomination of Merrick Garland, (2) putting pressure on other Republicans not to advise and consent, and (3) refusing to advise and consent,” the suit asserts. “Plaintiff is entitled to a declaratory judgment against Defendants stating that they have waived their right to advise and consent.”
    The suit seems to be a longshot, in part because courts are often reluctant to wade into disputes between Congress and the White House and in part because there is debate about whether the Constitution really does obligate the Senate to act on Obama’s nominee or whether the Republicans’ current refusal to act is one of the responses the Constitution contemplates.”

  6. Rob Ambrose says:

    It is beyond me who anyone thinks a candidate with such little substance could beat Hillary. The man is the personification of those pop up ads that promise $5000/wk on their “guaranteed money system” online.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/05/trump_s_moronic_unpredictability_doctrine.html

    His whole pitch is just “trust me, I got this”. That’s just not going to fly.

    Him winning the GOP nom isn’t impressive. The GOP has cultivated extreme views so long, extremists are the only ones left. To win over those ppl isn’t a feat that gives Trump credibility.

    In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

    • vikinghou says:

      I hear you, Rob. But the last few elections have taught me to never overestimate the intelligence of the electorate.

    • 1mime says:

      “It is beyond me who anyone thinks a candidate with such little substance could beat Hillary.”

      You have to consider the base Trump is appealing to, and that these people are angry for a myriad of reasons. They are not thinking rationally; they are reacting emotionally. Think of the times when you may have done this – the result may have “felt” good at the moment, with regret or reason following after the heat of the moment. In this case, as so many thoughtful journalists have substantiated, people feel they have been ignored and their prospects for the future are dismal. They need to blame someone and Trump is the only candidate who is feeding into their anger. HRC for all her expertise is hardly an inspiring alternative to them as she is perceived (and is) an establishment figure….and, many of these people don’t find Bernie angry “enough” to compete with the ego gratification that Trump is playing to.

      That’s my thinking on the subject. Rational people will either not vote or will vote for anyone but Trump. That’s not necessarily an endorsement for Hillary, but it is probably going to be the natural course of events.

      The GOPe has so poisoned the well that they are drowning in their own situation and can’t solve their own internal problems (TP Freedom Caucus demands) with a base that many conservatives frankly don’t care to appease because they have really been a necessary evil to the possibility that they would shift their allegiance to the Democrats. Since the Democratic party has moved more to the left, openly, vigorously advocating for equality, the angry, White blue collar (and others who simply don’t think) can’t make the switch as deep down they resent the hell out of the people who Democrats are trying to lift up while they are being ignored….or, so they think. This doesn’t speak well for Dems as Lifer has mentioned numerous times, but I’m not sure if our changing economic model will allow either party to meet the needs of this group.

    • 1mime says:

      Here are a couple of thoughtful articles (that don’t have run-on sentences!) on the subject of the causes and consequences of our dysfunctional politics from WaPo. The first link is self-explanatory:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-understood-the-voters-the-gop-forgot/2016/05/02/22011614-1088-11e6-81b4-581a5c4c42df_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_opinions

      And, the second speaks to the “new math” in politics:

      “We are seeing the interplay of (1) fear caused by rapid economic change, (2) deep political polarization, (3) declining trust in almost all institutions and (4) strong resentment against political and economic elites. The result is a political atmosphere charged with radicalism and heavy with threats.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republicans-and-democrats-are-fixated-on-nostalgia/2016/05/02/ab000350-1081-11e6-93ae-50921721165d_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_opinions

    • flypusher says:

      Don’t overlook the jerk vote, Rob,

      http://theweek.com/articles/621937/how-donald-trump-locked-jerk-vote

      What a piece of work Bobby Knight is! He’d be the perfect running mate, jerk-wise.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Knight praising Trump for his percieved willingness to drop the bomb is what I’m talking about. We’re not even at war. If that isnt a big negative for at least 80% of Americans, then everything I think I know about America is wrong.

        That’s just one example, but theres literally dozens of similar things he’s said that just frankly make him unelectable in the general.

        You could make a plethora of devastating attack ads by doing nothing then playing clips of things Trump has said, or his supporters.

        Saying that Trump is a threat in the general because he won the GOP primary is like saying I’m a threat in the 100 m at the Olympics because I won my high school track meet. As exreme and diseases as the current GOP is, the ability to win it confers no particular advantage in the general. To the contrary, I think the ability to won the GOP primary PRECLUDES the ability to win the general.

        In the current environment, I don’t think any Republican who could win the general could win the primary. Andi don’t think any Republican who could win the primary could win the general.

      • 1mime says:

        Ha! Which leaves us with the hope that Democrats “win” the general rather than serve only as the default party. You can bet your knickers that H’s team is compiling a luscious montage of Trumpisms.

        Here’s another OT post for all who are interested in proactive steps to address resettlement due to climate change – a first of its kind effort in the world.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/us/resettling-the-first-american-climate-refugees.html?_r=0

  7. MassDem says:

    Clinton in coal country, Williamson WV. That’s where I was last year–I remember those offices well. She could have done better with her answer; should not have resorted to the tired “I misspoke” cliche. If her advance team had done their homework better, she could have worked in a reference to “Sustainable Williamson”, an effort that shares many of her own plans for the region.

    http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_wte_b_160503

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      This is such a tough position for politicians and people.

      Coal companies are going to get shut down. Right now, it has more to do with cheaper alternatives than anything Obama did (or anything Hillary would do), but coal is simply not going to be a much used energy source going forward for both economic and environmental reasons.

      For people working at coal companies, it is going to suck. For people living in cities, counties, and states built to provide infrastructure to coal companies, it is going to really suck.

      Politicians can and should talk about and fund retraining workers, but retrain them for what? There aren’t dozens of high-tech, sustainable energy companies dying to move facilities to West Virginia and Kentucky, and frankly, many of the people working for coal companies are never going to be trained well enough to work in a high-tech field.

      Like manufacturing jobs, these jobs are not coming back in any great number, and it is going to cause lots of pain for people, and lots of pain for the politicians who happen to be in power while it happens.

      • 1mime says:

        Why not repair our desperately frail infrastructure with the help of these workers? Surely this work would better align with this type of job than any others and it could be fairly long-term given how badly how infrastructure has been allowed to decline in our country, which is insane, but then, this whole scenario is insane.

  8. MassDem says:

    With so much interest in the Indiana primary GOP, I went over to RedState and Breitbart to see what people were saying.

    Unquestionably, the Cruz supporters on RS are far and away more civil and articulate in their remarks than the Trump fans over on BB, which is basically a free-for-all. It’s kind of interesting–some Cruz supporters seem to believe that Trump is winning because of Dems crossing over and voting in open primaries. I know there are some Clinton supporters who think Republicans or Republican-leaning independents boosted Sanders in Dem open primaries. Seriously doubt that strategic voting was a factor for anybody–too much interest in the hometown horseraces.

    Also, Northeastern Republicans aren’t “real Republicans”. Kind of like how Southern Democrats aren’t “real Democrats” because they don’t support your candidate.
    Your logical fallacy is no true Scotsman.

    • flypusher says:

      The Cruz vs Trump exchanges in freeperville are also quite heated, for those who dare to look. I’m sometimes amazed they have any vitriol left over for Obama and HRC and the liberals, but the supply looks to be infinite.

  9. flypusher says:

    Ted Cruz tries to reason with Trumpkins:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-ted-cruz-exchange_us_57278e5ce4b01a5ebde63637

    Teddy makes some valid points. Trump is a flaming hypocrite on many issues, and he is playing those people for suckers. But the mutant super power of the Trumpkins is that they are immune to facts. There’s also the matter that they and Trump are not wrong when they call Cruz “Lyin’ Ted”, and the harsh truth that the Goldman-Sacs crowd doesn’t willingly mingle with the blue collar crowd if there are no votes on the line.

  10. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I can’t take credit for this, but Albert Brooks is generally funnier then me, so I’ll use his words:

    “If Ted Cruz loses tomorrow it will be exciting to see who he picks as his Secretary of State.”

  11. Rob Ambrose says:

    Just saw a clip where Trump protestors showed up to a Cruz rally, saying Cruz is way too soft on the 2nd amendment.

    Like, wtf is wrong with these ppl? That’s like saying Satan is too soft on evil.

  12. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    My wife and I had a conversation last week about guns and our kids. We have two that are about to turn 4 and one that is turning 2 this summer.

    Without a doubt, if any of them found a loaded gun today, they would pick it up and try to “squirt” someone or happily look in the barrel as they fumbled with the trigger. No doubt, someone would end up dead or at least wounded if any of them found a loaded gun.

    This means that although we don’t have guns in the house, we are going to have to do some level of gun safety with our kids. Who knows if the parents of their playmates are idiots with easily accessible guns in the house?

    We are going to have to have the wildly awkward discussion with follow parents of whether or not they have guns in their house, and then we’ll have to have a discussion of whether we want our kids playing in a house that has guns.

    As much as this pisses me off, I am struck by the language I use for this and the language that parents used when opposing having schools teach sex education:

    “Well, we don’t have guns in the house, so why should I have do deal with gun safety education?”

    vs.

    “Well, my kids don’t have sex, why should I have to deal with sex education?”

    • objv says:

      Toddlers: Public enemy # 1?

      Homer, from my decade of teaching two-year-olds in Sunday School, I might have agreed with the above sentiment a time or two (or three). It is imperative that parents be ever vigilant and, yes, they need to educate their kids about gun danger as soon as the cute, little rug rats can understand.

      However, Homer, do you keep any medications, cleaners, bleaches, paint thinners, corrosive agents, fertilizers, bug killers or any other potential poisons in your house or garage? How about sharp kitchen knives? I thought my knives were safe from my kids on top of the refrigerator, but my son was able scale Mt. Frigidaire before the age of two.

      Does your house have a bathtub or a bucket? Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death of toddlers.

      Do you drive your kids around in one of those dangerous contraptions known as cars? Motor vehicle accidents are second on the list.

      Personally, I don’t like guns. My husband kept his gun locked up (and still does). It was less accessible than any number of potential dangers lurking about at home and especially at grandma’s house who didn’t think it was necessary to baby proof her cupboards since all her children, including my husband, survived.

      The long and short of it (and this has gotten exceptionally long) is that it might be better to worry more about kids being behind your car while backing down a driveway.

      No one says anyone has to own a gun, but as long as a gun owner keeps his or her guns properly locked up, toddlers are safer in that home than those with access to a kiddie pool filled with a few inches of water.

      • objv says:

        BTW, don’t let your sons play sports.

        From http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/overview/key_data.html

        “Unintentional Injury Data

        •Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 33,000 people died from motor vehicle crashes in 2013 alone.1
        •Opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, with 16,000 people dying from prescription opioid overdoses in 2013.4
        •Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.2
        •In 2009, approximately 250,000 children were treated in emergency departments for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or traumatic brain injury.”

      • goplifer says:

        “Someone got hurt doing something else once, so we shouldn’t place sane restrictions on guns.” That makes no sense whatsoever.

        In a few more years we’re going to wish we’d had the intelligence to accept a few sensible rules that would limit the ability to dumb people and lunatics to hurt themselves and others with guns. Our window for reasonable regulation is closing. Public opinion is building toward something much more draconian.

      • goplifer says:

        Federal law places more stringent safety controls on your bottle of Clorox than on your Beretta. If you decide that the design of your Clorox bottle was too poorly secured to protect your kids, you can sue and let a court decide. You can’t sue a gun manufacturer for the absence of an effective safety feature. It isn’t just a gap in the law. Federal laws bars any remedy against the manufacturer.

        We don’t let vendors sell easy-to-open bottles of drain cleaner, but we place no such requirements on gun manufacturers. Say whatever you want about gun rights or the 2nd Amd. That’s just stupid. And we have lethal results to show for it.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…what lifer said.

        By your logic, since kids get killed in car accidents, we shouldn’t have childproof caps on Draino because hey, there are bigger things to worry about.

        You bring up car-related deaths, but folks had to take drivers’ education and pass a test in order to legally drive a car. No such requirements exist regarding legally owning a gun.

        My car is registered with the government and must be regularly inspected for safe functioning. No such requirements exist regarding guns.

        I am required to have insurance on my car. No such requirement for a gun.

        Aside from all that, I’m just not sure your point (other than the fact that you and I like to poke at each other).

        You state, “The long and short of it (and this has gotten exceptionally long) is that it might be better to worry more about kids being behind your car while backing down a driveway.”

        I’m moderately sure I’m capable of worrying about backing over a kid in my driveway and also worrying about other things. Doesn’t seem to need to be an either/or issue.

      • 1mime says:

        “Grasping”

      • Crogged says:

        And 33,000 died in automobile crashes despite the auto manufacturers long campaign to force our national government to create automobile safety regulations. Fortunately they learned from the tobacco companies that it is difficult to improve your product unless you get help from the government.

      • goplifer says:

        At the heart of the right’s insanity on guns is a simple false choice: rules=confiscation. Mention an insurance requirement, safety rules, training, liability, any form of owner accountability and it is immediately equated with gun bans. That’s just dumb.

        We place more limits on cars, household cleaning supplies, or allergy medications than we place on the tools we construct for the sole purpose of killing people. There is something deeply bent in people’s heads that makes it impossible to think straight on this subject.

        We are using every available political lever to block fairly weak regulations supported by nearly 90% of the voting public. Do the math. If you fear serious, genuinely intrusive gun regulation and you’re not completely f’g insane, you should have leapt out of your seat to support the modest gun restrictions proposed after Sandy Hook.

        I like guns. A lot. I want to keep my right to own them, use them, and carry them. This is not how you do that. This kind of obstruction is a tailor-made strategy to end gun ownership as legitimate personal choice.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree, Lifer. Every counter argument to even the modest gun legislation that’s been proposed begins and ends with: “The government will take our guns.” That’s such patent BS that it totally denigrates any valid argument gun proponents make. Be a part of the solution; not the problem.

      • flypusher says:

        ““Someone got hurt doing something else once, so we shouldn’t place sane restrictions on guns.” That makes no sense whatsoever.”

        It’s a whole school of red herrings, but that doesn’t prevent the right wing from trotting it out again and again and again. I’m just surprised at the absence of swimming pools, because nearly every time I see this the rebuttal it is about swimming pools. Never mind that there are actual rules about limiting access and the purpose of a pool isn’t to kill. The car/ gun analogy (in terms of requiring training and a license) is perfectly logical, and the way out of this mess. But the NRA types hold up the 2nd Amendment with a religious style fervor, and it is blasphemy to draw any analogies between a sacred right spelled out in the Constitution (bearing arms) and a very useful privilege (being able to drive) that is not. Never mind that in the absence of reasonable rules and regs both will cause carnage. I too would like to see the right of responsible citizens to own personal fire arms preserved. But the gun nuts are in classic Greek tragedy mode- all their actions to prevent the outcome they fear are more likely to make it happen instead.

      • johngalt says:

        A group of buddies and I could invade and take over a Caribbean island nation armed solely with the in-stock merchandise of the Academy Sports near me. It’s a little scary to think of what other groups of disaffected people could do closer to home.

      • Griffin says:

        What’s baffling about anti-Muslim bigotry in the US is that we are already succeeding in secularizing Muslims. The number of Muslims who think society should approve of homosexuality is already quickly outnumbering the number that think society should disaprove. Considering how conservative the nations many of them are from on issues like that we’re seeing an amazing success in defeating Salafist ideology and in integrating the Muslim community.

        And these far-right wingers want to throw all that success out the window and emulate failed European policies (so much for American Exceptionalism). It’s bizarre.

      • objv says:

        Homer, yes, I hope it’s mutual fun poking or goading each other. There’s little mental workout when everyone agrees.

        You guys (and mime and fly), it was never my intention to say that we shouldn’t put any restrictions on guns because toddlers often get hurt or die in other ways.

        What I was getting at was that the statistics don’t match up with the conclusions drawn in the toddlers on a rampage article.

        The article stated that there have been 11 actual deaths so far this year caused by toddlers wielding firearms. A link to a previous article written in October last year stated that 15 people had died up to that point.

        In a country of 300 million plus people with an estimated 357 million guns, that is a relatively low number of gun deaths by toddlers. I don’t mean to say that ANY toddler deaths by guns are acceptable or that there shouldn’t be safety features built into new guns. It’s just that the article was obviously politically motivated since toddlers accidentally die of other causes in exponentially greater numbers yet there is little written in news articles about them.

        The author of the article may have made a stronger point if he included older children and teenagers. I believe that we do have a serious problem in the older age groups because not only can they have problems with impulsivity and anger, they may also be suicidal.

        As I’ve written, my husband and I keep the guns he owns locked up. I have no desire to ever shoot a gun but I realize that many enjoy guns for recreation and protection and are not a danger to society. There is no way to totally shield ourselves or our children from all the bad things that could happen. I agree that we can mitigate some of the risk.

    • Stephen says:

      This is also interesting. Florida recently ungerrymandered its congressional districts. I wonder if this will effect the House?
      http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/florida/2016/05/8598048/florida-poll-republican-brand-damage-bolsters-clinton

      • 1mime says:

        The FL Supreme Court required the Legislature to re-draw their districts after a lawsuit was filed challenging the map. Gerrymandering should be against the law. I wish FL well in this next election so it can shake the hanging chad cloud.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        Trump is unique in that he alienates the kinds of voters Democrats need in order to make more Republican-leaning districts competitive and even winnable. In a close election, a few House seats could make the difference. Keep an eye on Florida.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m keeping my eye on Senate seats (-; You watch the House seats!

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I feel that I am contractually obligated to point out that a similar Red Wall existed through the 70s and 80s, and it wasn’t until a shiny Bill Clinton emerged to flip the electorate on its head.

      A whole slew of states consistently voted GOP until 1992, and with an odd election and an energetic candidate, everything flipped, and we’ve had five of six elections with a Democrat winning the popular vote.

      Sure, all of that is ancient history, but if folks are going to point out “the last five elections”, then it is worth noting that historical models are only predictive until they aren’t predictive any more.

      With that said, while we are having an odd election season, there does not seem to be anyone on the GOP side (so far) that has Bill Clinton’s campaigning skills.

      • 1mime says:

        “there does not seem to be anyone on the GOP side (so far) that has Bill Clinton’s campaigning skills.”

        Maybe a few of his predilections (-;

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Yeah but doesn’t a “red wall” which gradually became a blue one just seem like exactly what you’d see in a nation gradually going from overall conservative to overall liberal?

        To go back to a red wall, you’d have to assume that 200+ years of steady progressive change will reverse course, when there are no signs of that. The opposite, in fact, as the long term secular trend towards progressive values seems to be speeding up, not slowing down.

      • 1mime says:

        I sure would feel more confident about the march towards a more progressive nation if/when all that “red” in the center of the U.S. showed at least a few Blue states…

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Cant just look at the geographic size of the state tho Mime.

        If they redid the map so that each state was proportioned in size according to population, you’d see a vast canvas of red with a few blue spots, and one big one in Texas.

      • 1mime says:

        “If” and “when”…..I’m ready and waiting, Rob!

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Sorry, mixed up red and blue.

        You know what I meant 🙂

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        The Red Wall didn’t gradually become Blue. It was really, really red until Clinton came along.

        The only democrat in that span was Carter, and that was almost purely anti-GOP backlash from Watergate.

      • MassDem says:

        Homer, you make a good point. With the exception of the 1976 election, it wasn’t a Red Wall, it was the Red Sea with a few blue islands here and there during the 70s and 80s.

        How did conservatives manage to push the whole country to the right? Rather than emulating the tactics of the current TEA party, progressives should be looking back to Republican post-Goldwater politics to see how that was accomplished. Hint: taking a long view & organizing like crazy

  13. MassDem says:

    In Massachusetts, if you are a parent, and you refuse to take your gravely ill child to a doctor and your child dies as a result, you will be tried on a manslaughter charge even if modern medicine is against your religion (Christian Science). But if you leave a gun lying around your house, and your kid shoots and kills someone, then it’s a “tragic accident”. No one responsible, so no consequences. It’s BS like this that makes me irritated with Second Amendment absolutists–too often there are no consequences for irresponsible boneheads.

  14. Creigh says:

    OT for linking pleasure: http://static.currentaffairs.org/2016/02/unless-the-democrats-nominate-sanders-a-trump-nomination-means-a-trump-presidency

    I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusion, but I have long agreed 100% with his premise: that a Clinton-Trump matchup would be more to Trump’s advantage than a Sanders-Trump matchup.

    The author says “Every one of Clinton’s (considerable) weaknesses plays to every one of Trump’s strengths, whereas every one of Trump’s (few) weaknesses plays to Sanders’ strengths.”

    Hilary’s supporters insist that she has been “tried and tested” and that the attacks are “sensationalist distractions.” Author says “But for Donald Trump, sensationalist distractions are the whole game. He will attempt to crucify her. And it is very, very likely that he will succeed.” And “The defense offered by Clinton supporters is that none of these issues amount to anything once you look at them carefully. But who is going to look carefully? In the time you spend trying to clear up the basic facts about Whitewater, Trump will have made five more allegations.”

    He continues: “Sanders is thus almost a perfect secret weapon against Trump. He can pull off the only maneuver that is capable of neutralizing Trump: ignoring him and actually keeping the focus on the issues…There’s only one real way to attack Sanders, and we all know it: he’s a socialist fantasist out of touch with the Realities of Economics. But Trump is in the worst possible position to make it.”

    Read the whole thing. Although he doesn’t take a Trump nomination for granted, the author concludes, “Ones support for Sanders should increase in direct proportion to one’s fear of Trump.”

    • MassDem says:

      Wishful thinking. Sanders couldn’t even convince the majority of Dems to support him, and we are far more sympathetic to left-wing causes than your average GOP voter. Interesting that the author seems to think that the GOP would not be able to find even one itty-bitty negative to use against Sanders. Yeah, right.

      I rate this article “bargaining” on a scale of the 5 stages of grief.

    • 1mime says:

      As I mentioned before, it would be real interesting to see Sanders as the nominee and as Pres. as an exercise in political theory, anyway. Sanders does poll better than H but he has never really been on the GOP radar. Once he becomes the nominee – that will change and so will his ratings. Still, I agree, Sanders v Trump would be fascinating. The ultimate match up of a loose canon against a pit bull…..

    • johngalt says:

      “every one of Trump’s (few) weaknesses”

      I almost fell off my chair when I read that. Sure, beyond being a completely unqualified, misogynist, borderline racist, reality TV star turned demagogue with no concrete plans for any of the hot air he belches out, he’s got few weaknesses.

      • Creigh says:

        Absolutely, Trump’s weaknesses are glaring, but none of his rivals to date have been able to take advantage of them, whereas his attacks against Jeb! as an establishment elitist worked well. Everyone can be attacked with both true and false attacks; the question is will the attacks stick.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      She lost me at “Trump has few weaknesses”.

      I mean, if you consider an unprecedented pushback FROM YOUR OWN PARTY, zero realistic policies, an embarrassing grasp of foreign policy, and the highest unfavorables of all time ” a few minor weaknesses ” it’s likely that anything else you have to say is equally absurd.

      You simply cannot win a general with 80%+ unfavorables among Hispanics, blacks and women.

      And these things are comparable to Hillary’s emails? Come on.

      • 1mime says:

        The GOP has long since stopped worrying about “how” they win, just that they “do” win….That’s why they are climbing slowly aboard the Trumpmobile……..

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Agreed Mime. And I truly believe this is a major factor in why the party as we know it probably won’t exist in 5 years. When the party rallies around Trump, as they surely will, it will be the inevitable path of this strategy. And it’s going to break the party apart from the inside.

  15. flypusher says:

    Re: the toddler rampage, there’s just too many irresponsible dumbasses with guns. I think your prediction of a backlash that sweeps up the responsible people too is unfortunately very likely.

  16. stephen says:

    The fertility rates are falling all over the world. The fact that most immigrates are between 15 to 30 years old and imploding fertility rates for Mexico explain why Mexican immigration is falling. This is a new correlation for me. If we would just put in jail employers who hire undocumented workers we might finally get immigration reform. We need these people to keep our economy humming. Put boss in jail and there will be no job. And no job those people will leave the country which is why out immigration rose during the Great Depression as unemployment rose. Many employers prefer slave labour but faced with no labour will pay the rate for free citizens. They will get out of the way so reform can happen. And we don’t have to build a stupid useless wall.

    Another thing related to this is many people including employers do the right thing because they know there is a army of lawyers who make a living suing if they don’t. Little regulation and enforcement needed so you get those reduced as well as the cost of government. Which makes you wonder why one major party is trying so hard to put them out of business. I want the GOP to return its roots and not be the plutocrat party but the party of free enterprise and commerce. The only way to do that is to educate people which this blog is helping to do, so people make better voting choices.

    • flypusher says:

      “Many employers prefer slave labour but faced with no labour will pay the rate for free citizens.”

      Business models that depend on objectionable things like the equivalent of slave labor or dumping your externities on others ought to fail. Unfortunately unethical people still get away with them

      • 1mime says:

        Is this indicative on America losing its moral core?

      • flypusher says:

        No, it’s nothing new. Back when we had all that frontier to exploit and a low population density, you had the illusion of getting away with polluting, for example. But I think that the fact that
        there’s more calling out of these things is moral growth.

      • 1mime says:

        There is moral growth “for those who do the calling out”….the others, do they even understand what they’re being told much less what they are doing?

    • antimule says:

      Fertility rates are falling is a good news, but are still too high in my opinion. Planet is overpopulated.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree, antimule. Here’s another point to consider in the whole “birth control issue”. In our generation, the percentage of working moms has never been higher, thus, raising children is being relegated to others – whether pre-schools, nurseries, nannies, relatives. While it’s better than having a barely older sibling performing mom’s job, it’s still a substitute for a traditional role that women used to relish. There are prices for these cultural shifts.

      • Stephen says:

        Actually antimule it is not good news. The population world wide is shortly due to peak and then decline. Look at towns where depopulation is happening, government revenue is droping, so goverment cannot full fill basic functions. Think Flint Michigan. Countries like China will have way more old than young people so productivity falls while social cost rise. Side issues like a lopsided male population over females has develop because of their one child policy. Society becomes unstable with depopulation. What we want is a stable population rising slowly or static. Depopulation historically for a society has been a disaster. That Mexico’s population is declining is not good news for the US. One of the main reasons our economy is better than Japan’s or Europe’s is because of our high immigration rate. As lifer points out wealth is now more tied up in people their skills , knowledge and experience. Not natural resources like land or commodities. Many immigrats are high skill people trained on another’s dime. They make us wealthier not poorer.

      • 1mime says:

        There is truth to what you state, STephen, but people shouldn’t have more children (or any) that they can’t care for properly. The baby mill concept where women churn out babies is history. More and more women due to better education and financial need, are reducing the size of their families and waiting later to have their first-born. Personally, I think that is responsible. One way or another, society pays for children who are born into circumstances which cannot sustain their needs. Lots of children used to be necessary due to farming and lack of birth control. No more. If people want more children, they need to be able to care for them, educate them and prepare them to be able to participate in a new type of economy.

      • vikinghou says:

        I would argue that the global population is already higher than what the planet can support in a sustainable manner. The environmental and ecological devastation around the world, particularly in Africa where the fertility rates are still high, is an existential threat to human existence.

      • You can’t grow your way out forever, Stephen. At some point you better at least break even. My view is we need shrinkage, precisely because of the issues often discussed here (what to do with surplus labor/people). That won’t be easy. The way up is a fun ride. The backside looks a little more somber. Maybe Small is Beautiful.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Frankly, Stephan, I consider small rural town dyingout and the cities absorbing their numbers to be a good thing.

        Non diverse, mono cultural rural areas, especially in the South, live in their own bubble and are wholly unsuited for existence in a dynamic, diverse, modern society. They are breeding grounds for the bigotry and hate and small mindedness that is at the root of somany problems today.

        The more they die out, the better.

        Don’t get me wrong, everyone has the absolute right to live wherever and however they want. But that said, if market forces kill these communities, I’m not shedding any tears. And as a voter, I’m not electing any politicians that want to spend taxpayer dollars subsidizing these places.

        When ppl are forced to live side by side with ppl of other cultures and values and race and sexual orientation (as tends to happen in cities) not only do ppl just treat each other better, but the cities bwnefit from efficiencies and the economy grows much stronger.

        Cities are the engines of economic growth, and also the incubator for strong, moral progressive values.

      • 1mime says:

        Cities are great incubators of progressive growth, but small “burbs” and towns have a place as well….maybe at different points in one’s life, but each contributes something that makes the location worthwhile. For millennials – city life must be an outstanding experience. I get that. Until the driverless car or light rail become prevalent, outlying residential areas will be vital and important to our way of life – for affordability and for raising families. All of the attributes of diversity are possible in small towns though I admit that the mix of people is not as diverse as in a city environment. I have met some really bigoted characters who live in the city center so there’s resistance yet from people who choose to be close-minded whether they live in a luxury high rise, gated community or small town. Think back to Houston’s recent “HERO” referendum defeat…happened in the city….there were reasons but it still didn’t pass. Many of your wealthy conservatives live inside cities in bastions of pricey neighborhoods behind gates and security. They choose an environs within the city that contains like minded individuals and frankly don’t care to venture out into the bigger scene. From cradle to grave, their network is circumscribed among people who share their status and values and really aren’t interested in diversity except for those who work in their homes, yards and businesses.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, I enjoy reading James Fallows (The Atlantic Magazine). He and his wife have been traveling across America for the past three years in their single engine prop plane on a mission they entitle: “How America Is Putting Itself Back Together Again”. It’s a story about people, pluck and small cities. I think you’ll find a different perspective on the value of small cities and the people who choose to live there. For your reading pleasure and inspiration on “the little towns that could”:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/03/how-america-is-putting-itself-back-together/426882/

      • stephen says:

        @ Rob,
        I was talking about planet wide not just rural villages. And Flint is a city not a rural town. We all will get to deal with the problems of depopulation.

        Orange County Florida about 40 years ago was about as rural south and hayseed as they came. In the day it had more lynchings than most other places. Now it is a bright blue. What happen? When Disney come in , many people world wide were attracted because of the jobs available in tourism and construction. People worked together, live together in the same neighbourhoods, worshipped together and intermarried. The older original generation who would not adapt are mainly gone now. The rest of us have changed. The old racist white supremacy culture is dying out. This is happening across the south. During a visit to mom in law in Georgia during a flea market visit I heard people negotiating in Spanish.

        I made good money in my career and retired pretty well off. I could easily afford to live in that white bastion to the north of Orlando, called “The Villages” where old white people live isolated from multiculturalism. But multiculturalism has seeped into my bones and that would be boring now. My grandson who has many southern ancestors, best friend is a cousin who like our President is half white and half black. He will never embrace racism. Don’t worry the Old Confederacy is going to eventually capitulate.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      “I want the GOP to return its roots and not be the plutocrat party but the party of free enterprise and commerce. The only way to do that is to educate people which this blog is helping to do, so people make better voting choices.”

      That is an entirely helpful statement Stephen. I like the idea of giving information out so that people can come to make better choices in regard to who they choose to represent them in government.

      Perhaps this bit of info will also help. It comes from the ultra-liberal website… Red State:

      “In Virginia, NBC affiliate WWBT ran an investigation into the local KKK after fliers were circulated in the area recruiting new members. As part of their coverage, the station interviewed the “Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” who, in making the case that they are not a hate group, volunteered that they are more political than anything.”

      “Yep, he endorses Trump. It’s important to note that this wasn’t some cable news producer sniffing around for a “racist Trump fans” story. The KKK actively recruited in the area. They did so specifically for political reasons … you know, the “up and down the ballot” concerns they have. The leader of the group volunteered that they were political, and stated that they support Donald Trump. And here is the reason he gave:

      “I think Donald Trump would be best for the job.”

      “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in. We want our country to be safe.”

      “Neo-Nazis and Skin Heads are socialist. We are not socialist. We are patriotic American citizens standing up for our God family and country. We are not white supremacists. We are white separatists. We choose to stay within our own race. We are not the big bad hate group that everybody thinks we are.

      From Red State’s Caleb Howe

      “Look, yes, you can’t control who endorses you, or the candidate you support. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt to ask yourself why they do. What is it you believe in?”

      http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/04/30/kkk-leader-hates-ted-cruz-endorses-donald-trump-believes-believe-in./

      So all this comes on the heels of that David Duke (sorta-of) endorsement, and Trumps sheepish response from getting his support (as well as support from those wacky white supremacists).

      In Trump’s defense, I suppose he has muddied the waters in regard to being a consistent white nationalist by making supportive comments of convicted rapist Mike Tyson, which I am sure will further endear him to women voters.

      But lets get back to the KKK.

      I hate to be a killjoy, but to most black people (Jews, Catholics, Latinos, etc.) when a political candidate starts getting endorsements from members of the Klu Klux Klan that is read as a big warning flag. Their natural response to supporting such candidates is…
      Don’t. Vote. Evah.

      I have to have hope that more of this stuff/info will start to sink in with people leaning toward voting for Trump between now and November (or at least with potential supporters who don’t like white nationalism).

      As far as the GOP nomination process is concerned, I’m afraid we have gone past the point of no return when it comes to Trump.

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