Link Roundup, 6/27/2016

From the Washington Post: The world’s losers are revolting, and Brexit is only the beginning.

From The Week: UK Treasury Secretary tries to stabilize the pound.

From The Intercept: Confessions of a payday lender.

From Fusion: It’s gonna be a long, hot summer. Several people were stabbed in Sacramento during classes at a Neo-Nazi demonstration.

From Texas Tribune: Courts are inching closer to holding oil companies liable for promoting climate change lies. The State of Texas is using public resources to oppose the effort.

From Smithsonian Magazine: A review of Paul Theroux’s Deep South. Tut suggested this book and I really enjoyed it. Keep this in mind if you decide to read it. Theroux comes off as strangely old and cranky, especially in the first fifteen pages or so. Plowing past that outburst is worthwhile. The rest of the book was spectacular.

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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441 comments on “Link Roundup, 6/27/2016
    • 1mime says:

      Highly plausible, Duncan.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      In 2000, Donald Trump boldly told Fortune magazine, “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”

      Jesus, He basically telegraphed it. It’s like how Hitler wrote Mein Kampf saying what he was gonna do.

    • antimule says:

      I like to think that many republican voters do know that it is all a scam. They just don’t care. They are voting with their middle finger now, because the others in GOP suck even more to them.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Great paragraph from that article:

        “Here is the paradox of Never Trump in a nutshell: Could the people who have been conditioned to think they need to buy the Patriot Power Generator in order to fight off an ISIS attack on America’s power grid really be expected to see through Donald Trump? ”

        Nailed it.

      • 1mime says:

        But none of the Repubs suck as much as Hillary (-;

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      What the hell is wrong with people?

      From Politico, Disqualifying verbal exchange made by Trump (case file 29879-A)

      Donald Trump is not too worried about people calling him a “xenophobe” or “nativist,” if his comments to Boston radio host Howie Carr are any indication.
      Carr wrote in the Boston Herald on Thursday that aboard the presumptive Republican nominee’s plane after attending a rally in Bangor, Maine, he mentioned a protest sign earlier in the day in Boston, which he recalled as saying, “RACIST SEXIST BIGOT FASCIST XENOPHOBE ISLAMOPHOBE TRUMP.”

      “Hillary’s called me a ‘xenophobe’ a few times. How many people even know what the word means? Same with ‘nativist,'” Trump said, according to Carr’s account.”

      “Carr spoke at Trump’s event in Bangor, Maine, and proceeded to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with Indian war whoops, poking at the accusation that she secured a job at Harvard University by claiming Cherokee heritage. Warren, a Hillary Clinton surrogate who campaigned with the presumptive Democratic nominee on Monday in Ohio, has lashed out at Trump frequently for his rhetoric toward women and minorities.”

      “After POLITICO published an article on Carr’s remarks, the radio host wrote that a Trump aide handed him his cellphone with the article. “That didn’t take long,” the Trump aide said, according to Carr.”

      “I thought ‘cultural appropriation’ was a big deal for the PC police. The definition of which is ‘use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture without invitation or permission,'” Carr wrote.

      “Trump’s advice, according to Carr: “Whatever you do, don’t apologize,” Trump said. “You never hear me apologize, do you? That’s what killed Jimmy the Greek way back. Remember? He was doing okay ’til he said he was sorry.”

      The party that was once built by the efforts of William F. Buckley now has a presidential nominee that is including the fact that some people have a poor vocabulary (like him) as a vital part of his strategy to win the general election… plus some people’s apathy towards casual rascism.

      In short, ignorance and hatred as important political weapons.

      Is my reading of the article incorrect?

  1. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    New Iowa poll out with Clinton leading Trump by fourteen points. Astounding, but more important are the unfavorability ratings. Clinton’s underwater by twelve points; obviously nothing to write home about, but Trump’s underwater by FORTY-ONE points. Politics really is a zero sum game.

    http://www.loras.edu/news/clinton-leads-trump-grassley-judge-tight-race-loras-college-poll-finds/

    Also, Grassley looks like he’s in for a tough race; the same poll showing him leading his Democratic opponent, Patty Judge, by only one point.

    • 1mime says:

      What do you & Stephen as Floridians think about this latest Gop tactic against Patrick Murphy? Will it work in FL?

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/florida-senate-race-marco-rubio-patrick-murphy-224933

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        For a question like that, I’m inclined to reference my dear mother who, while a registered Republican, is one of those increasingly rare split-ticket voters who would vote for Hillary Clinton for president and Rubio in the Senate. Not presuming that she’ll do that of course, but that’s her mindset. She always says that she votes for the person, not the party.

        That being said, and having talked with her on the subject, I think Rubio has a chance, but it depends on a couple of caveats. First of all, how much do Democrats put in to defend Murphy and tie Rubio to Trump? If they do that and effectively cancel each candidate’s negatives out, then I’d put my bets on Murphy for a slight win. He’s going to have to try and ride Clinton’s coattails, to put it bluntly.

        One thing Murphy has going for him is that Rubio has made himself pretty ripe for attack over the course of this last year; Christie’s epic take down of him in that debate, his childish rants against Trump, his apparent whim to use the Senate as a springboard to the presidency, etc, etc.

        One way or the other, I think it’s going to be close.

      • 1mime says:

        Maybe you can change your mom’s mind (-; Ryan….One thing’s for sure, Murphy is going to need grassroots volunteers.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Good. Grassley losing is essential. Not just for his Senate seat, but to put these clowns on notice that obstructing for bullshit partisan reasons won’t be tolerated.

      Make him an example to future Sens, lest they be “Grassley’d”

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking of making people an “example”. The author of the infamous (but unsuccessful) SC bathroom bill has just been “Grassley’d” …. in the GOP primary. The voters sent him packing…..Sweet revenge, indeed. Turns out the Chamber of Commerce felt like he wasn’t listening to them that the state was losing business from stupid, homophobic legislation like that.

        http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/29/1543671/-Bathroom-bill-sponsor-in-South-Carolina-defeated-in-GOP-primary?

      • Shiro17 says:

        I think it’s essential that the democrats put more conservative Republican seats like this into play. When the democrats take seats from the Republicans, they tend to defeat the moderates, the very people that are needed to try and strike some sense into that party. Putting up strong fights against the conservatives may either unseat them or at the very least make them realize that they need to start coming back to the center. Either way, it may start breaking up that hard right bloc.

      • 1mime says:

        If I were planning a strategy for the Democratic Party, I’d target the Freedom Caucus. This group is the hardest core of the hard right and if you can cleave them, you may get the GOPe’s attention. They make life miserable for GOPe leadership AND the Democratic minority….”insisting” on the Hastert Rule and an agenda that seeks no compromise.

  2. 1mime says:

    Game. Set. Match. to Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson in his response to Sen. Cruz questioning today. And this man (Cruz) thinks he can be CIC. Lordy, lordy. You go, Jeh!

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/ted-cruz-jeh-johnson-terror-labels-224986

    • 1mime says:

      Oh, and BTW, Sec. Johnson didn’t assume his role as Secretary of Homeland Security until Dec., 2013….yet, he was being grilled on events that went back to 2009…Good goin’ Teddy. Forgot your debate 101 primer? Forget tennis. This was a contact sport – football – Final score: Johnson, 10 – Cruz, 0. Staying relevant is hard…..

  3. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    Apparently, it is possible for governments of the world to do something positive about the environment. This is cause for subdued optimism.

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/30/12067830/ozone-hole-antarctica-healing-study

    • 1mime says:

      Yes, there were some mixed blessings in the report. It’s mind-boggling to me that man has the capability to not only predict but to avert problems. It’s obvious that no one is definitively assigning success to any one measure, but the very fact that people are aware, are trying, and something positive is happening, is good news indeed.

  4. 1mime says:

    Well, I spoke too soon. The gun bill that Ryan apparently will allow is the one endorsed by the NRA, as proposed by Sen. Cornyn/Grassley.

    http://everytownresearch.org/amendments-to-s-2837-filed-by-senators-cornyn-and-grassley/

    Now here is what the Democratic bill proposed by Feinstein and Murphy proposed:

    http://everytownresearch.org/amendments-to-s-2837-filed-by-senators-feinstein-and-murphy/

    Tell me, which do you think is the serious bill?

  5. Rob Ambrose says:

    Get ready for another conservative freak out: Ash Carter just removed any restrictions and prohibited discrimination against transgender in the military.

    The “worst” part?: the military will pay for sex reassignment surgery. Oh, the horror! The humanity!

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Damn, what’s a stalwart conservative christian fighter got to to catch a break around here, huh? It’s like the world doesn’t like what we’re selling, which it does, ’cause GOD says so, so there.

    • fiftyohm says:

      And in other news, the United States Defense Secretary formally changed his name to Ashley today, “to show solidarity with the thousands of US military personnel that are ‘gender-confused'”. Stating that s/he has “sometimes had thoughts”, and that s/her actions regarding identity, “are not associated with making any sort of political point, but addressing a real problem”.

  6. Rob Ambrose says:

    Looks like Exxon is lobbying for a carbon tax in Washington. Now why, oh why, would the largest oil company in the world be LOBBYING for a tax on its major product? Sounds odd. Unless, of course, they understand the systemic risk to society overall and thus, their business (as well as every business) risk by climate change.

    http://gawker.com/even-fucking-exxon-knows-we-need-a-carbon-tax-1782890929

    Unless, of course, one wants to think that Exxon is simply kowtowing to PC culture. And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in New York I want to sell ya (might not be there for long tho😉 )

    In all seriousness, I wonder where this leaves the many politicians and regular ppl duped by this? The oil companies have been bankrolling the “research” and propoaganda which has provided moral and intellectual cover for CC deniers. If THEY bail out, where does that leave all those ppl in the lurch? Are they too far in to turn back?

  7. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    Hey, this is pretty cool. Scientists have come up with a way to artificially breed vitamins and nutrients into sweet potatoes. If it goes global, which it probably will, this could go a long ways towards helping impoverished countries.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scientists-breakthrough-sweet-potato-will-reduce-hunger-for-millions_us_5773dd03e4b0352fed3e869e?section=

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      But Ryan, most importantly: are they GMO free? Are they certified organic? Are they free range sweet potatoes?

      We don’t want to make things worse.

      • 1mime says:

        Wow, and here I’ve been thinking for decades that regular old sweet potatoes are just about the best veg there is………I’m sorry – spend the money and time on expanding potable water in undeveloped countries….

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I still don’t know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Uh, what? Nobody cares if they’re organic or not. They’re safe to eat. eg. all the wheat we have in the world today is GMO wheat. Wild wheat is taller than humans. Everyone, all over the world switched because it produced more and was less susceptible to insects. and everyone all over the world is trying to make better breeds. The only question is how much the company will charge.

        For chrisaake, malnutrition has real and devestating consequences on everything – and it’s literally everywhere the moment you step out of the first world. Better food is better food – organic, free range and all that are all first world concerns. Denying better foods because of some crusade against GMOs is no better than trying to deny vaccines or exporting homophobia.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        They also need to be gluten free, or else whats the point?

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        As far as gluten goes; generally speaking, unless you specifically need to go gluten-free, there really isn’t much in the way of health benefits. In fact, you could actually be intentionally avoiding a lot of other foods with actual benefits just because one, for whatever reason, may perceive a food that says “gluten-free” as automatically being better for you without actually being better for you.

        http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/truth-about-gluten

        So, with all respect, and while that’s not to say that you shouldn’t eat gluten-free foods on occasion, let’s not put the idea on a pedestal and make it into something it’s not.

      • 1mime says:

        You are absolutely correct about gluten. It has become a marketing ploy. People who are genuinely tested and confirmed to have gluten intolerance require special foods – the rest? Need to use more common sense.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Lol the sarcasm detector must be broken around here today.

        I tried to pick things so ridiculous it was obvious I wasn’t serious. I mean, come on…..”free range sweet potatoes “? “gluten free” being a factor in if we should send food to starving humans or not?

        Yikes 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Sorreee…guilty as charged (-;

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        Maybe some emojis would help? x___x

      • fiftyohm says:

        RobA – It’s not broken on this side of the border! I love it!

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Oh lord – this is Poe’s law. I’ve had real people say weird stuff like that. I suppose I should have expected that because naturalistic fallacy is the preferred science denial of the left…

      • fiftyohm says:

        PR – See? One should not generalize.

  8. fiftyohm says:

    There are two areas that could be addressed in the gun violence debate; roots and means. (This is not a mathematical argument.) Many here seem focused on the latter. I’ll begin with the former. Note that all of this is fraught with First and Second Amendment issues, and perhaps others.

    Roots: First, stop the stupid ‘war on drugs’. While the actual impact of this on our homicide rate is difficult or even impossible to quantify with much accuracy, numbers on the range of 50% are not unrealistic. Wow.

    Roots: Mass killings get the most press, but also result in the fewest deaths. These are committed by lunatics and people motivated by ideology. What to do? First, throw ignorant cretins like Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, Neonazis and others likethem out of the country, or if they are citizens keep them under tight surveillance and make their lives a living hell. Advocacy for uncivilized behavior is extremely significant in ideologically motivated crime. This includes creeps like the fortunately now dead Jerry Falwell. On a related note, lock up the lunatics.

    Now to the means: let it be clear that I do not necessarily believe any of this will have significant impact.

    Means: Require everyone who possesses a firearm to be vetted and licensed. This license would be required for all firearm and ammunition purchases. *Retroactively*. If you don’t pass vetting, you lose your guns if you have any.

    Means: Centralize all data collected to allow federal officials to determine exactly who can buy a firearm based on standards likely to read on future behavior. If you’re a member of a ‘radical’ church, mosque, club, association, cult, or whatever, too bad.

    There. Is this a ‘foolproof’ plan? Of course not. Criminals will not participate – and therein lies the central flaw. Will these help the problem? Oh yeah they will. Count on it.

    And just forget some pie-in-the-sky solution by gun technology, OK? If you’d like, I’ll get in to that later.

    If you believe much of the above, (save the first), is possible to implement in our lifetimes, you probably believe unicorns fart rainbows, too.

    • johngalt says:

      I would agree with absolutely everything you’ve written, including the impossibility of it passing.

      • 1mime says:

        JG, I normally agree with you; however, I disagree that gun legislation is impossible to pass “if” there is national support, which I believe is growing. Take a look at the common sense recommendations offered by the Mayors Against Gun Violence. And, yes, this is an advocacy group, but I happen to think their goals are a little less self serving than the NRA. Do you disagree with any of these proposals?

        https://everytownresearch.org/?s=mayors+against+gun+violence+recommendations

      • 1mime says:

        Think public opinion doesn’t move mountains? Though we all sadly know the outcome of the vote, this is a prime example of what focused, genuine concern can achieve. Good for you Dems!

        http://thehill.com/homenews/house/286122-house-to-vote-on-gun-bill-next-week

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        There was a time JG, when Big Tobacco seemed invincible. When Tammany Hall seemed inevitable to always be a dominant force in American politics.

        The only constant in politics is that there is no constant. I think it’s far more likely the opposite: that it’s impossible gun control WONT come if the gun death rate stays the same, let alone grows. It may take time, of course. But it will happen.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      “throw ignorant cretins like Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, Neonazis and others like them out of the country, or if they are citizens keep them under tight surveillance and make their lives a living hell . . . lock up the lunatics. Advocacy for uncivilized behavior is extremely significant in ideologically motivated crime.”
      *************************
      No, Fifty. You can’t deport, put under hellish surveillance, or lock up people just because they post angry comments on the internet. Otherwise, think how many of us would end up in that situation.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Tutt – You’re getting warm.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        If you’re a member of a ‘radical’ church, mosque, club, association, cult, or whatever, too bad.
        *********************
        Same here. The definition of “radical” is so loose that any organization could fall under that category depending on who is making the determination.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Fifty, did you just set a trap??

      • 1mime says:

        Question for ya, Tutta. Are there any limits to what you feel should be excised from internet postings?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        You can’t really fix root causes for gun violence without violating people’s fundamental civil rights. It’s one heck of a tradeoff. And would it even work? You could deport, put under surveillance, and lock up all the angry radicals and lunatics and you would still have root causes, which are usually very personal to each killer, and killers will still find something to grab onto to justify their violence.

      • 1mime says:

        Note to Tutta: in civilized societies, the trade-off for order are laws, many of which limit people’s rights but are necessary in order to achieve a greater good. Respectfully, that is a bogus argument.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I know I complain a lot about ugly comments on the internet, but I don’t think they should be censored, unless, I would say, they violate the privacy of other people, in which case I think people’s right to privacy takes precedence over the other person’s right to free speech. Even that is hard to define.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I thought it was a nice visual, that’s all. 😉 And “high school”? Please!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, which rights are you referring to that are necessarily limited to achieve order for the greater good?

      • 1mime says:

        Tutta: “which rights are you referring to that are necessarily limited to achieve order for the greater good?”

        Possessing weapons in restricted places; driving the wrong way or dangerously on public roads; running street lights and stop signs; standing in the middle of traffic; not allowing children under a certain age to fly alone…for a few.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Tutt – No ‘trap’, really. This is designed to address problems fundamental to our society. For example, did you know in many, many countries, there is no such thing as “freedom of speech” as we know it? In Germany, for example, you can be jailed for saying things we allow people public parades to say. Same in the UK. The list goes on. Our rights a bit different than most other places. And anyone who thinks those rights don’t come with a cost, well, you probably believe that uni…

      • 1mime says:

        (-; Gotta start feeding those unicorns different “hops”, Fifty!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Deportation, surveillance, and locking up should be based on people’s actual acts of violence, not on their POTENTIAL for violence. No one can really say who has the potential for violence.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I think in Germany it’s against the law to display the Nazi flag. That law would never “fly” here.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, it’s just something to think about. We don’t want to go back to the days of when J. Edgar Hoover kept tight surveillance on civil rights leaders because he considered them “radical.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Fifty, it just surprises me that you would be suggesting such things as locking people up for saying outrageous things on the internet. You, of all people.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, wanting to curb gun violence is a noble cause, and I understand the sentiment behind it, but it’s easy to say we are willing to make tradeoffs if we haven’t given real thought to what those tradeoffs entail. It could lead to unfair surveillance of innocent Muslims, of people simply letting off steam on the internet, of harmless eccentrics who some might consider dangerous.

      • 1mime says:

        Do you really think we could have “more” surveillance of Muslim people than we do now? I guess so, although it’s hard to imagine. No one advocates abuse, Tutta, but if people post things on their FB page or whatever site they use to purge, they have to be responsible for that. If I were an employer and read some of vicious, xenophobic statements by an applicant, I would strike their name from the list. Why? Why not? Why bring people into an organization who can’t control their mouths much less their thoughts. Next up? Their actions. I think there need to be limits to free speech even if in doing so we abridge rights. I don’t see anyone in the U.S. feeling particularly limited in that area. Speech is pretty wide open here…

      • fiftyohm says:

        Tutt – I have not “advocated” anything. I stated simply what could (mostly) ‘solve’ the problem. Actually about the only ways. Do you really think I’m advocating trashing the Bill of Rights? Rights aren’t free. Different societies make different choices.

        Our friend Duncan’s country will jail you for certain kinds of speech. Here in Canada, the homeland of our friend RobA, there’s a ‘political correctness commission’ that gets to decide what you can say. (And they have!) This is not theoretical BS. The US is different. Our First Amendment means many things. Yes, there are reprehensible assholes who take advantage of it. (Just as they do the Second.)

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Fifty
        Yes NZ will “jail you” for certain types of speech
        So will the USA!
        If fact historically the USA has jailed (and worse) far more people for “speech” than NZ has
        Probably more people than actually have lived in NZ!

        Your right to “free speech” has limits
        The “FIRE” in a crowded theatre is the traditional one
        Lying to the police is another one

        Being black and utilising your right to “free speech” has caused death by cop (and still does)

      • fiftyohm says:

        Back in a bit – I have a major alpha-amylase reaction to attend, and need to sparge and vorlauf…

      • fiftyohm says:

        Not the same thing, and you know it, Duncan.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Fifty
        It is EXACTLY the same thing!
        All “rights” have limits
        As Robert Heinlein said – “your right to wave your fist stops at my nose”

        Free speech has limits – in the USA and in NZ
        In the USA it is perfectly legal to bribe politicians (unless they are incredibly obvious about it) here they would be jailed

        In the USA money = speech
        Here it does NOT

      • fiftyohm says:

        Hello Duncan – Utter nonsense. New Zealand’s population, (for the information of the rest), is about four and a half million. Let’s have some support for this assertion that 4.5 million people have been jailed in the US for speech.

        And no – bribery is absolutely illegal here too. Plenty of Illinois governors have found that out the hard way.

        And if you think that yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater is a good example of free speech, I can’t help you. And perjury? Really?

        And then you trot out that old saw “money = speech’? The origin of that had to do with influence, not freedom of speech, for cry-eye.

        You are capable of so much better than this, I’m pretty certain.

    • 1mime says:

      Fifty, I really am going to have to talk to your high school English teacher….”unicorns farting rainbows”? Colorful….must be the Canadian air, or water, or…….heck, maybe it’s just you.

      • objv says:

        And here I thought that unicorns farting rainbows was a well known naturally occuring phenomenon….

        Tutt, Lifer said the world’s losers were revolting. Let’s call the censors. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        One of the comments I frequently read on Lifer’s blog is how “civil” the conversation is. That is a credit to those who post here, and those who Lifer blocks. I choose not to participate or read forum comments where there is a lack of civility, respect, intelligent thought. If that changes, I’m gone. I choose not to subject myself to that level of discourse.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Now, your last comment wasn’t directed at my ‘colorful’ metaphor, was it? 😉

      • 1mime says:

        Let me just say that it was immediately visualized…thankfully, not inhaled.

      • fiftyohm says:

        A rose by any other name!

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      fifty – I’m with you on the War On Drugs.

      But you left out another root. Suicide.

      Means: If only we had an organization that concentrated on educating the public about gun safety. That organization could use real studies to educate the public. That organization could conduct classes and tell the gun owner that their kids are safer without guns in the house. Especially teens that feel that their world is crashing down on them that week. And this educational organization could tell the gun owner that if he felt depressed, or his marriage wasn’t going well, or he was in danger of loosing the farm or business, he should get all guns out of the house, pronto. Statistically speaking.

      Why do you include “retroactive” I don’t suggest any retroactive conditions. My opinion is that all FUTURE gun sales be done in a responsible way. And yes, I’m saying supporting the status quo is irresponsible.

      And as future behavior, we set policy on predicted future behavior all the time. We use past behavior to give us an indication of future behavior. That is why we say convicted felons have a “record” and restrict their rights. And if someone has battered his wife, whose rights should we protect? Are restraining orders not to be used?

      • fiftyohm says:

        unarmed – First, suicide. By western standards, the US does not have a ‘suicide problem’. Our rate of suicide is about in the middle of the pack. The highest are to be found where firearms are essentially prohibited from private hands. (Those poor souls obviously find different means.) Firearms account for the vast majority of US suicides here, but there is no reason to believe, based on other developed cultures, that our rate would drop precipitously below the mean were the availability firearms to be prohibited, let alone severely restricted.

        I said retroactive because there are 300,000,000+ firearms in private hands. There are perhaps 100,000,000 gun owners. Unless those owners and those firearms can be reached somehow, and be covered by laws prohibiting private transfers absent NCIS checks, the effort would be essentially useless. 3 x 10^8 is the number, unarmed.

        Your other questions regarding future behavior and all that are valid, IMHO. But to make it actionable in some Minority Report kind of way, raises serious constitutional issues. Heck – so do all the other things I mentioned earlier.

      • 1mime says:

        Happy to see we’re working towards the same goal regarding reducing gun violence. There have been some worthy ideas presented today, and this is just a wee, little blog…

  9. Rob Ambrose says:

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/florida-ag-pam-bondi-and-donald-trump-hit-with-bribery-complaint-over-shady-trump-u-arrangement/

    Corruption Barbie starting to feel the heat.

    Gotta give it to GOP AG’s tho. It’s a great scam they’re running: get a complaint about a rich PoS scamming money from citizens, hit up the scammer for a “donation”, and then make it all go away. Everyone wins! (Or at least, all the people who matter).

    At least the Texas AG had the decency to wait 2 years to make his case go away. Bondi dropped the case, like, two days after Trumps donation.

    I don’t know what’s more disheartening: that this actually happens so blatantly, or that the cost to buy the justice system is so low. I mean….IVE got $30k in a retirement account. That’s not a huge sum. Can I scam single moms out of millions too?

    • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

      I doubt she even considers it a scam. Too morally bankrupt to process that information. Prison, after all, is for poor people caught with a weed in their pocket. Rich gentlemen should never be bothered (after the contribution).

  10. Rob Ambrose says:

    Interesting then in the Brexit saga. Boris Johnson won’t run for PM.

    http://forums.talkingpointsmemo.com/t/discussion-brexit-campaigner-boris-johnson-wont-run-to-replace-pm-cameron/39920/2

    What an absolutely piece of garbage. He knows it’s a bad idea, he never thought Brexit would win. He doesnt believe in Brexit and doesn’t want his career stained as the guy who calls article 50. He thought the ‘stay’ vote would win, but do enough damage to Cameron to depose him, and Johnson could become PM of a “grudgingly” EU country.

    At least that’s my take. Either way, it’s shocking. The rats leaving the sinking ship.

    • antimule says:

      Lovely clusterfuck. Well, if there is no one to invoke the 50, they might stay in, right?

      • Fair Economist says:

        Theresa May, the likely winner now, campaigned for Remain but says the UK must now leave. Well, she can *say* it but it’s not going to happen. Amongst other things, she’s not stupid (she’s actually very smooth and very smart).

        I can tell you the eventual outcome now – when May puts Brexit up for a vote in Commons, 30 Tories will vote against and it will fail. May will whip them like a madwoman, to give herself an excuse, but there will be plenty of Tories either from a strong Remain riding or with a personal interest in the UK staying. May will savage them publicly, but she won’t really mean it, and, really, there’s probably nothing any PM could do to get a Brexit resolution through against 3/4 of Parliament.

  11. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    Interesting – remember the video about the racists and the guy in the tram in the UK?

    He’s apparently a US army vet. I dunno why, but now I’m extra furious at those damn racist teenagers.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-36644699

    • johngalt says:

      I read stories about young men being assholes and cannot help but remember the line from Dean Wormer in Animal House, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” The kids on the tram were probably only two of the three, but still.

  12. unarmedandunafraid says:

    I could not leave this alone. I was away and could not answer in a timely way. So I’ll revive this thread that happened way down below.

    Tracy says – “How, exactly, would you enforce universal background checks, 1mime? As far as I can figure, universal background checks are approximately as enforceable as sodomy laws.”

    fifty says – “Now if some genius here is going to tell me how in the hell the government is going to require background checks on the sale of your legally owned firearm to your friend or neighbor sans universal registration and mandatory inspections, I’ll listen.”

    First I assume that both of these gentlemen mentioned above would obey the law because it is the law. If they have a tissue shredder that was bought from an individual, and therefore not “registered”, they may take a chance selling to a close relative that gun. We would have to depend on their judgement.

    But in the case of most gun sellers, we would have to depend on penalties for breaking the law. It seems to me that a few “mystery shoppers”, sometimes known as undercover law enforcement, would be enough to make sure the seller would take a responsible attitude when selling a tissue shredder.

    After all, it would be illegal to sell, not just to buy, with penalties for selling guns without background checks. Whether it works, depends on whether we want to live in a safer country.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      Tracy and fifty’s problem (though admittedly less so in fifty’s case) is the inference that if we can’t get 100% of what we’re after, then what’s the f-ing point? Another way to put it is the notion that what’s the point in passing laws if criminals are going to break them anyway? It’s a cynical POV that seeks to satisfy an ideology rather than seeking pragmatic solutions.

      Frankly, we have to go at the issue from a number of angles. As far as enforcing universal background checks, the first step is to close the gun show and internet loophole(s). Secondly, have smart gun technology installed in all guns so that only the registered owner can use them. This is particularly important when it comes to transferring a gun to someone else. When that happens, the buyer will also have to go through a background check in order to legalize the transfer and make it so they can use the gun, otherwise the weapon’s useless.

      Thirdly, have a gun buyback program like they did in Australia. It was a commendable effort that brought in a good number of weapons that many people had no use for or wanted anymore. Cash incentives do wonders to motivate people; always have, always will.

      Fourth, follow Lifer’s suggestion and have licensing and insurance requirements for all guns.

      And finally, have a political environment that can jump on any new problems that arise. Even with all that, one always has to be prepared for new issues that will inevitably arise. People will find a way around smart gun technology, whether by hacking or some other means. We have to be ready to invest in new research and development that can strengthen the technology when that happens. Have the mindset and political will to meet such challenges whenever they arise so we can keep our people safe and have a sensible, respectable agreement on arms at the same time.

      • 1mime says:

        Thank you Unarmed and Ryan for your contributions. There are some states that have passed universal background checks (The CNN article cited WA and CO. I haven’t had time to do more research but I will.) They are going through some growing pains but, as you noted, they think it will get better because people support them. It’s been more challenging to get sheriffs and some law enforcement leadership on board as they see it as one more burden rather than helping reduce the number of people who shouldn’t ever be permitted for gun ownership. I think that will come. It really comes down to desire and numbers. If enough people want this to happen, the enforcers will find a way to make it work. If you come up with any other organizations or states that are already committed to universal background checks, please share. I’m trying to be constructive and offer concrete examples of how this can work effectively, or, if not, demonstrate other practical, enforceable ideas.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Ryan
        No matter what you do on your guns you can’t fix the problem quickly,
        BUT you can start the fix – it may take 20 years but if you don’t actually start it will NEVER be fixed

        I would be looking at requiring gun registration
        And requiring a “gun license” before buying ammunition

        It will take a long time but eventually you will get control of the problem

      • We have laws that say you can not drive drunk! People still do it. And when they get caught, they are punished. Same with gun sales and backround checks. If you owned a gun that was sold and no mandatory backround check, then if that weapon was used in a crime, you are responsible. Enforce that law and the problem would be, not 100%, but for a good part, solved!

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @Justanotherhuman: Ah, the infamous “just enforce the laws we have on the books and everything will be A-OK”, is it? Couple problems with that (yeah, here we go again…):

        – Doesn’t do anything about the proliferation of mass shootings we have in this country

        – Doesn’t stop people from acquiring assault weapons

        – Doesn’t stop people from abusing the gun show and internet loopholes

        – Doesn’t stop states like Indiana from having intentional language that makes it possible for sellers and others to sell guns to people that have no business owning them, such as mentally-ill people and the like.

        Etc, etc, etc.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Seems relatively simple. If your gun is used in a crime later on, and you haven’t reported it stolen, there’ll be an investigation and if it comes out you sold it illegally, there will be consequences.

      You can’t buy a car from someone else without registering it first. Same thing.

    • MassDem says:

      Saw this yesterday on HuffPost. I thought the author made some good points: owners of record should be responsible for their guns. Require transfer of a title for private sales. The beauty is that it shouldn’t affect responsible gun owners, for example Tracy.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-r-miller/the-freakonomics-of-gun-c_b_10673182.html?utm_hp_ref=crime&ir=Crime

      My concern with gun bans is that with the number of weapons already in circulation, they would be unenforceable. Not to mention that bans drive up the price of guns on the black market, which may prove counter-productive to goals of decreasing gun violence, similar to the effects of Prohibition. Furthermore, the vast majority of gun deaths are due to hand guns, rather than the typical targets of gun bans.

      People with a history of violence or who are grossly irresponsible should be able to lose this right of course.

      Ensuring that every legally procured gun had an owner of record who was responsible for what happened with the gun might provide a financial incentive for smart-gun technology.
      This pretty much echoes what Justanotherhuman and Ryan said, but it’s the first time I’ve seen these ideas out in circulation.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Exactly MassDem. That linked article is right on target. A way for government to know who owns what guns is necessary for effectively reducing gun violence. And the selling party must make insure a gun is registered to the new owner, as Rob says above.

        The essential part of Lifers plan is this, from the article, “Herein lies the elegant solution to gun violence in America: simply hold the owner of record accountable for crimes committed with their guns — that’s it.”

        Also from the article, “Not surprisingly, the NRA is hostile to the concept of a national gun registry — this despite the fact it in no way infringes on 2nd Amendment rights. Though the Constitution may allow you to own a gun, it doesn’t say anything about prohibiting the government from knowing that you own a gun.”

        It seems that a registry system of some sort is required, whether we institute an insurance program or a set of penalties for non-compliance.

        We do have a registry of sorts that is supposedly maintained by the individual gun dealers. Universal background checks that required entry into this registry would help control the number of guns sold on the secondary market. And possibly used for illegal activity.

      • 1mime says:

        At least, or maybe “at last” SCOTUS has moved to remove domestic abusers from eligibility to purchase or own guns (see my post here with link to that decision from last week’s SC action). That decision, of course, does not keep them from getting a gun as 40% of all gun sales/transfers do not go through a licensed dealer, but, it’s a start.

        Which is precisely the point. Things that look impossible may be difficult, they may require more time and greater public support, but until we try, until we start the process, doing NOTHING is not saving lives.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Good morning, all. I heard my name used in vain, so I think I must clarify a few points here.

      First, the assumption that firearms purchased through a federally licensed dealer, (FFL), are somehow ‘registered’ is incorrect. Here’s how it works. The manufacturer has to maintain records of the serial numbers of firearms he builds and sells, and to whom he sells. This proceeds down the chain to your local gun shop (FFL). When you but a firearm from him, he does a NCIS check, (or possibly refuses to sell to you at all, as was the case with a Florida dealer to Mateen). You fill out another form that identifies both you and the firearm, as well as statements that you certify you meet certain eligibility requirements. This form goes in the dealer’s file. Please read that last line again. It is not, and indeed cannot be sent to any sort of central database. The paper trail stops at the dealer’s file. That’s it. To find the history of a firearm after a crime, one would need to go to the manufacturer’s records via the serial number, figure out who the next seller in the chain was, and on down to the final FFL who sold the weapon to an individual. If that individual has subsequently transferred the firearm, the trail goes cold.

      OK. What does this have to do with closing the ‘gun show loophole’, and requiring background checks for private transfers? Well, there’s just no gosh darn way to enforce it, and no way to prosecute. The current FFL system was designed to avoid national or sidestep national gun registration. It was *meant*to be as it is. At this point there are probably north of 300,000,000 firearms in the hands of the US citizenry. Those are essentially invisible.

      I hope clears up some misconceptions.

      • 1mime says:

        And, why is the data from the gun sale not entered into a national registry? Research that and you will find NRA fingers all over it. Even law enforcement agencies cannot exchange information without laborious court orders etc. So, Duncan is correct: a national gun registry is needed. Responsible gun owners have nothing to worry about from that, right? Then you have a base to build upon.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Fifty – I commented above before I saw your contribution. I do and did know how the paper trail for guns works. And reading your description does describe how the system was designed to protect the criminal by “breaking” the paper trail. I know that was not the way you intended it to read, but in reality that is what it does. And it does it well. Our whole system is designed to protect gun owners from confiscation and then being overrun by the zombie hordes in the apocalypse.

        But if you were designing a system to allow gun runners to bring guns into cities and sell them, it is a well designed system. Or if you were designing… You know what, I’ll stop. You know what the negatives of our present system. You know the trade-offs we make every day to protect ourselves from a possible future tyrant.

        As to whether the system is a “database” or not, is semantics. I would describe it as a poorly maintained database with a veerrryy ssloooww retrieval. But you can call it cumquats, if you like. A funny thing, denying the use of that word.

        You doubled down on the original point. “OK. What does this have to do with closing the ‘gun show loophole’, and requiring background checks for private transfers? Well, there’s just no gosh darn way to enforce it, and no way to prosecute.”

        There is a way to enforce it. As mentioned by Rob, Duncan, Ryan, and me. And the article that Massdem linked. I’m curious as to why you can’t see it.

      • fiftyohm says:

        mime – Any constructive way forward does not involve vilifying the NRA. The Gun Control Act of 1968 is the place to start. (See below for additional stuff.)

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @fiftyohm: >] “Any constructive way forward does not involve vilifying the NRA. The Gun Control Act of 1968 is the place to start. (See below for additional stuff.)”

        Just to make things clear, I’ve no intention of vilifying the NRA in so far as we’re talking about their members, most of whom are responsible, well-meaning people whom I have no real quarrel with. The majority of them expanded background checks and other provisions, so I have no real quarrel with them. It’s the crave bunch of assholes in the NRA leadership that I’ve got a bone to pick with.

        And, frankly, how do you NOT say that Wayne “The Pierre” LaPierre is worthy of condemnation? Seriously, he’s right up there with Nigel Farage as one of the world’s top ten most punchable faces.

        >] “OK. What does this have to do with closing the ‘gun show loophole’, and requiring background checks for private transfers? Well, there’s just no gosh darn way to enforce it, and no way to prosecute.”

        Yes, that does clear up a good deal in that you’ve made exactly the case why we need to have national registration of firearms. The current system is ass backwards and we’re not going to get where we need to go without reforming it.

      • 1mime says:

        As long as the position of the NRA is to refuse to participate in any efforts to address gun violence outside those which they endorse, they have chosen to be obstructionist, rather than constructive. As was mentioned earlier, the leadership of the NRA is the problem here, not the many members (including my brothers) who support universal background checks and other sensible legislation.

  13. 1mime says:

    Unless I’ve missed it, no one has commented on the tragic events in Turkey where 3 men detonated bombs and cost 61 people to date, their lives and hundreds more, injuries. Our world is a very dangerous place. I know the families and loved ones of those who were killed and injured are seeking closure. Unfortunately, people who perform acts like this are impossible to understand using any rational thought. I’m saddened at yet another senseless act of violence.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/06/istanbul-airport-attack/489200/?utm_source=nl-atlantic-daily-062916

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      This also happened mime.

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/india-detains-11-suspected-of-plotting-terror-attack-1467213046

      Interesting thing is that cover photo – the tag says “Indian Activists” but it shows what looks like the a right wing Hindu group. I wonder how much backlash against Muslims there is over there. I don’t understand how it works at all – Indians can be openly racist and/or sectarian, while being completely unaware that they’re being so (experience+reports from Indian-Americans. I wonder what Tracy thinks though – he said he was there not too long ago), but it’s still a peaceful functioning democracy. How on earth does that work?

    • Fair Economist says:

      Not white, not Christian; sorry, they don’t count. Yes, it’s very sad. Europe is fortunately taking it more seriously. I’m surprised nobody’s claimed responsibility yet – are they starting to realize how evil it makes them look?

  14. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    When poor people, in this case Puerto Ricans, get help; it looks like this…

    From Mother Jones…
    “Obviously, the bill isn’t perfect,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said after its passage, according to the Washington Post. “But here’s why we should support it: It won’t cost taxpayers a dime; it prevents a bailout; and it offers Puerto Rico the best chance to return to financial stability and economic growth over the long term so we can help prevent another financial crisis like this in the future.”

    So I guess they will be afforded the chance to stroke really hard and fast and see if they can stay afloat, but, my favorite is this tidbit…

    Again, from the MJ article.
    On Monday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to McConnell arguing that failure to pass the bill by July 1 could lead to Puerto Rico defaulting on a $2 billion debt and interest payment and a possible court order forcing the island’s government to pay creditors before providing essential services for its people. The result could have been that Puerto Rico would have stopped paying police officers and firefighters, shut down public transit, and even closed medical facilities.

    So, if poor people default; no cops, no firefighters, no transportation, and no medical help. If big banks default than the tax payers pay up. What a crock o sh*t.

    • flypusher says:

      McConnell won’t change for the better, ever. He’s a dishonest obstructionist jackass who puts party before country. The solution is a new Senate Majority Leader next year: Sen. Warren.

    • 1mime says:

      Gotta take care of the banks…..they donate.

      • objv says:

        That’s Hillary’s motto. Money, money, money …

      • 1mime says:

        Actually, Ob, I was referring to your friends in Congress, the Republicans, who were quoted regarding their decision to help Puerto Rico..

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Bernie is such a cutie!

      • Turtles Run says:

        “That’s Hillary’s motto. Money, money, money …”

        Yet Trump has used his campaign to enrich himself, rip of students at Trump U, and tries to sell his Scotland resort on the collapse of the British pound. Yet it is Hillary that is about money, money, money.

        You get a gold in the Olympic Mental gymnastics event. Bravo

      • objv says:

        Ha! Go turtles, go!

        I meant no defense of the Donald. I like him even less than Hillary although he has my vote for the sake of the future of the Supreme Court.

      • objv says:

        Hiya, Tutt! I agree. Bernie is a cutie! I love watching his facial expressions while Hillary talks.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @objv: Come now, objv, let’s be fair here. If Clinton were about the “money, money money”, then it hardly makes sense that she would waive fees altogether and speak for free, such as she did when she spoke to the United Methodist Women Conference in Kentucky and others.

        Furthermore, there are many, many other people that have received huge speaking fees: Trump, Tony Blair, Rudy Guilani, Alan Greenspan, Sarah Palin and Richard Branson, just to name a few. They all rake in the cash, and some of them make far and away more than Hillary ever has. Hardly the sign of a money grubbing politician out for herself, wouldn’t you agree? Then again, if my inclinations are right, that’s hardly even the issue is it?

        Not to say this applies to you, but curiously, Hillary Clinton’s disapproval and subsequent approval ratings have taken quite the curious course over her political life. Whenever she’s running for office, her approval ratings sink like a rock, but once she’s in office, she shoots up again. Let’s not forget that while she was SOS, she was one of, if not the single most popular political figure in America.

        It’s almost as if a significant numbers of Americans just don’t like the idea of a woman asking for power…

        http://www.people-press.org/2015/05/19/hillary-clinton-approval-timeline/

      • objv says:

        Ryan,

        I am woman, hear me roar.

        I want power, muahhaha.

        I just don’t think Hillary is entitled to power even if she is a woman.

        While taking speaking fees is not wrong in itself, Bill and Hillary have profited extraordinary while taking fees from some corrupt individuals and companies from countries with abysmal human rights violations. (Not to mention big banks.)

        http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bill-clinton-cashed-hillary-secretary-state/story?id=30522705

  15. flypusher says:

    In reference to a topic discussed below, the family of the late Ambassador Stevens discusses the latest Benghazi panel conclusions:

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/chris-stevenss-family-dont-blame-hillary-clinton-for-benghazi

    If they are not outraged, I dare say that the people claiming outrage on their behalf are wasting their time. Or being very dishonest.

    • texan5142 says:

      Interesting read. That money they spent/wasted on the “investigation” could have helped with security beforehand.

      http://thehill.com/homenews/house/250237-gop-embassy-security-cuts-draw-democrats-scrutiny

      So lets review. Republicans cut funding for security at embassy, but do not have any problem spending money after the fact to investigate the lack of security. That sounds about right.

    • objv says:

      Um, I hate to break it to you, but the families of the other three victims ought to have their say too.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        I couldn’t do. Just couldn’t do it. I tried to click on the Fox&Fiends video but could not bring myself to do it. Sorry.

      • flypusher says:

        They untitled to a say, and they’re entitled to hate HRC too if they want, but they’re not entitled to cherry pick any more than you are. The CIA also changed their assessment of what caused the attack as time went on-are they just as mad at the CIA? Wouldn’t the CIA also be lying if they’re judging them the same way they’re judging Clinton? Or are they equally mad about the refusal by Congress to put more funding into security for diplomatic teams? This selectivity with the blame is very suspicious.

        There is NO evidence that this was a preplanned attack. None. If you want to blame Obama and Clinton for underestimating the potential for violence in Libya, you have a valid point. If you want to criticize them for fumbling on the explanations as more things were learned, that’s also legit. But if you want to spin some deliberate coverup, you have nothing, and those family members you quote also have nothing.

      • objv says:

        fly, you can debate on how much planning was done beforehand, but considering the weaponry involved, there was no way that the Benghazi attack was caused by a spontaneous demonstration gone awry.

      • 1mime says:

        Dammit, Ob, what difference does it make in the long run whether it was pre-planned or spontaneous? People are just as dead. What difference does it make who flew the planes into the towers on 9/11. Focus on what’s really important – a lot of innocent, very good people died at the hands of evil people. I don’t care what color or ethnicity they were – they killed innocent people. THAT is what is important here. You are becoming trivial and losing effectiveness in your argument. Benghazi was a terrible tragedy. So was the loss of even more lives under GW Bush at one of our embassies. You don’t see anyone here harping on that or blaming Bush because these events are senseless abominations. Move on.

      • objv says:

        Jeff, there are a couple of clips from CNN in the video. Relax, all will be well when you see Anderson Cooper’s face. 🙂

      • objv says:

        fly: I’d judge the CIA the same way as Hillary if what you’re saying is true.

        Yet from the start of the attack and from all reports from Libya, the State Department knew that there was no protest.

        From http://hotair.com/archives/2015/11/04/video-family-members-of-three-benghazi-victims-contradict-hillary-campaign-claim/

        “As for the broader issue of whether Hillary Clinton intentionally lied about Benghazi, the recent hearings revealed two messages she sent on September 11th and 12th, several days before family members of the deceased say she attributed the attack to the video. The first was an email sent to her daughter, informing her that Americans had been killed in a terrorist attack perpetrated “by Al Queda-like group.” The second, a message sent to a high-ranking Egyptian official, was very specific on several crucial points:

        “We know that the lack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.” This is neither ambiguous nor colored by the “fog of war.” It was a real-time conclusion bolstered by multiple American officials’ subsequent statements and sworn testimony: “The former acting CIA chief said the video protest fable did not originate from the intelligence community. David Petraeus testified that the US government knew Benghazi was a premeditated attack ‘almost immediately.’ State Department documents confirm this. And Amb. Chris Stevens’ second-in-command testified that the obscure online film was a ‘non event‘ on the ground in Libya.” Yet on September 14, a top White House aide circulated a messaging memo underscoring the political importance of casting the violent events as “rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” That same day, Hillary blamed that very “non event” video for the bloodshed, according to multiple grieving family members present at the time. “

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        It is odd, most of the family members say that Hillary never mentioned the video, and they are perplexed that other family members are pushing this issue.

        One mom says, Obama, Hillary, Biden, Rice, and everyone else specifically told her that it was the video. She also is the one saying, “Obama killed my son” because he issued the stand-down order.

        If you read/listen to Fox/Briebart/etc., the discussion is that Hillary lied to the families.

        If you read/listen to Politico/Washington Post/ABC, they point out the conflicting reports from private conversations three years ago and highlight that not all the families agree.

        Why, it is almost as though Republicans want to believe Hillary lied and Democrats want to believe that Hillary didn’t lie and that people’s memory in stressful situations is not perfect.

      • objv says:

        Homer, all you say is true. Memory is unreliable and partisan convictions are a factor in what is remembered. The most convincing person is the father who wrote everything down.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        You find him convincing, but I’m not sure everyone else does. He was taking notes after the fact, not during the conversation.

        He also managed to write, “6 am: Ty killed in Benghazi working for the State Dept.”, which seems an odd thing to need to note.

        He’s also the guy who was on Beck, Hannity, Geraldo, and Laura Ingraham within a short time after the attack, and in each interview, he seemed to want to emphasize negative things about Obama/Biden/Hillary. He said, when Obama talked to him, “it wasn’t in a powerful voice. It was more of just a whiney little voice—‘I’m sorry.’ You know? And I could tell by his voice he wasn’t even sorry.” In the Ingraham interview, Woods says that the president couldn’t even look him in the eye.

        He was also the one on all those shows talking up the false claim that Obama watched the whole attack live via drone video.

        Initially he said that Hillary “did not appear to be one bit sincere at all, and, you know, she mentioned that thing about, ‘We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.’ That was the first time I had even heard anything like that.”

        As part of any number of conversation points, she could easily have said they were going to arrest the guy with the video without saying the attack was the cause of the video.

        He also says that Hillary said, ‘We’re going to go, and we’re going to take care of these people that were responsible for your son’s death.’”, which again, does not contradict the other statement and does not mean that the person doing the video was responsible for the deaths.

        Grief is a funny thing, and how people manifest the grief is even more odd, so I’m not going to overlyy begrudge what the man is doing, but there does seem to be a little politics involved

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        But again Obj, we all seem to be viewing this through partisan colored glasses.

        I think my view is likely more objective and accurate.
        You think your view is likely more objective and accurate.

        You are voting for Trump.
        I’m not voting for Trump.

      • objv says:

        Homer, I’m always fascinated by the mental disconnect between conservatives and liberals. It is one thing that keeps me coming back to this blog.

        If you can stomach another Fox News piece, here’s one by Greg Gutfeld:

        http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/06/28/greg-gutfeld-brexits-babies-why-leavers-won-and-losers-cant-stop-crying.html?intcmp=hphz05

      • objv says:

        From my link:

        “Philosophers who are way smarter than me have studied this perplexing priority — that despite leading moral lives we tend to care more about a small problem in our vicinity (my roof is leaking), than a larger problem far away (a mudslide kills hundreds).

        Even more, research shows that the larger the suffering, the less we react. Meaning our heartstrings will be pulled harder by the photo of one starving child – than many children equally in pain. It’s weird but true. We care less when there is more.”

    • 1mime says:

      I’ve run flat up to the New Yorker paywall, Fly. Think you could copy/paste the salient points in the article. I’m very interested in it.

  16. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    As others here, myself included, believe that Democrats are more or less easily going to romp to Senate control this November, the real question is just how many seats they’re going to pick up. Well, as of last night, Republicans have essentially ceded Colorado as even being competitive:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/28/republicans-may-have-just-forfeited-half-their-senate-pickup-chances/?postshare=1471467168149689&tid=ss_tw

    Republican primary voters picked a gem by the name of Darryl Glenn, a self-proclaimed “unapologetic Christian constitutional conservative” (seriously, it’s like the more words they pack on, the more kickass they think it make themselves sound) who has openly vowed not to work with Democrats if he were elected and, naturally, is a Trump supporter who has called the man a “patriot”.

    You could practically hear Michael Bennet and Senate Democrats popping the champagne corks last night.

    • johngalt says:

      I can think of no greater insult to the many men and women who have fought for this country that to demean the word “patriot” by applying it proudly to Donald Trump.

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      As the contrarian, I do not believe the Democrats are going to romp to anything this November.

      I know polls are generally useless at this stage, but for every, “Clinton leads by 9%”, there is, “a new national poll of 1,610 registered voters released by Quinnipiac University found that 40 percent supported Donald Trump while 42 percent supported Hillary Clinton”.

      The same poll in early June had Hillary up by 4 points. Now, in what could only be called a horrible month for Trump with all sorts of bad statements, pad press, staff turnover, and no fundraising, Trump actually cut into Hillary’s lead.

      We also had another terrorist attack yesterday, and Trump wins the polling on who would better handle Isis. You are going to hear, “Hillary and the democrats cannot keep us safe. They created all this turmoil by being weak militarily, and we are going to change that. They even refuse to say the word terrorism, but we are going to call them terrorists, we are going to hunt them down, and we are going to kill them.”

      I hope you guys are right and I’m wrong. I still like to believe Hillary will win, but I do not see a blowout.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, and never underestimate the power of voter turnout.

        Polls, opinions, gut feelings, social media commentary, public sentiment, love or hate for this or that candidate mean nothing. It all comes down to the vote.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        Just for perspective, that Quinnipiac poll also had Trump doing better with Hispanics than Mitt Romney did. Take that as you will.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        I think tuttabellamia is maybe right. Mitt Romney and the Republicans in general have had some dissappointing results in turning out the vote during general election cycles.

        It seems that a ground game, a coherent ground game is essential in winning votes and national elections. Why do you thing the GOPe made the choice to work with the great unwashed masses of the Tea Party movement? They had a ground game.

        I keep reading multiple stories, insider complaints, etc. surrounding this election and
        one of the consistent narratives is the broken/fragmented nature of the Trump campaign, the fact the RNC is torn between giving Trump the requisite support for the party’s nominee versus their desire to not let down ballot Republicans go down in flames because of his frequent jackassery.

        Trump has thus far had a skeletal version of the infrastructure GOP nominees in the past had worked hard to establish in the lead up to the Presidential election.

        How sustainable is it for a party to be in such flux or working constantly at cross purposes?

        If the Democrats can replicate that door to door outreach of previous election cycles, organizing transportation for voters with minimal resources and hold a light to local races and how Republican candidates would support a Trumpian legislative agenda… they will have a better chance of prevailing.

        I think it is going to be a question of who is more energized. Will it be the people who almost exclusively hate those they have chosen to be the scapegoats for all America’s ills versus the people who genuinely give a sh*t about all people even if they may not belong to their respective tribe.

        That is why when you talk to alot of black people they often don’t respond in a positive manner when a figure like Trump says their economic lives will improve dramatically if we can (for example) keep out all the rapist, drug dealing, social welfare stealing “wetbacks”.

        Why?

        A. they rightly figure that man is full of sh*t.
        B. they might have relatives of hispanic/latin descent
        C. They know as soon as a son of a b**** like Trump is done with the Mexicans, he will probably switch things up when it is politically convenient to go after the “Negroes”.

        That is the truth of what happens after a racial scapegoat has been lynched… a search begins almost immediately to find somebody else’s neck fill the noose.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Quinipiac also had HRC leading by 9 pts in Fla a few weeks ago. I find that very, very hard to believe as well.

        Seems like this cycle whenever there’s a poll that seems completely wack, it’s a quinipiac poll. Who knows, maybe THEYRE the only ones getting it right?

        I’m willing to bet they’re wrong though.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        538 just put their first forecast out, and it has Trump with a 20% to 25% chance to win right now. Those folks are wizards with data, but they also freely acknowledge they’ve been wrong about Trump all primary season.

        I think there is clarity in that Hillary is leading nationally, but the state polling right now is all over the place. Trump is not doing as well in heavy Red states, but it doesn’t matter in the electoral college if he wins Texas and Alabama by 20% or 2%.

        The Hispanic population in Texas and California may hate Trump, but that just means he losses California by a bigger margin and wins Texas by a smaller margin. It only matters if states like Arizona flip to blue, and Arizona has a bit of a history of enjoying xenophobic wall-building talk.

        Tutt’s point about getting out the vote is key, but it is sadly key in only a handful of key states. Trump is currently doing better in the swing states than he is nationally. He is still not doing well in those swing states, but he’s doing less bad.

      • 1mime says:

        Homer, I think we can count on Clinton’s experienced team to know where they have to do well. Robby Moock (sp?) is no slouch. Those who are hoping Trump’s late start in organizing his national campaign will hurt him are forgetting that the GOP 486 field offices nationwide that will assist him. Plus, mega donors like Adelson are waiting for the proper time to drop millions into Trump’s campaign. He has been quoted as saying he may invest $100 million dollars in the 20-16 election. HRC’s war chest presently is about $42 Million.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sir asked: Will it be the people who almost exclusively hate those they have chosen to be the scapegoats for all America’s ills versus the people who genuinely give a sh*t about all people even if they may not belong to their respective tribe.
        *********************
        It will come down to who is passionate enough about their cause to get out to vote.

        Which is stronger? Love or hate?

        Which is most complacent? Love or hate?

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @1mime: As far as what Mr. Plouffe said, we can take that to mean the entirety of the states President Obama won in 2012 (I absolutely agree) + N. Carolina and, at least, one other. Arizona, perhaps? I’ll put my bet on that and Georgia going blue, bringing Clinton up to 374 EV.

        Now if it’s a real, honest-to-goodness historical blowout, and the right circumstances come together, I can see Clinton carrying Utah (Mormons just despise Trump; no ifs, ands or buts about it), Kansas (Gov. Brownback had an absolutely abysmal approval rating in the mid-twenties last time I checked, and the state’s economy is cratering) and Missouri (a red-leaning state, but it does regularly elect Democrats to high office, so we could see a November surprise). If all that happens, Clinton comes just shy of 400 EV, an absolute landslide.

      • 1mime says:

        I have tremendous respect for David Plouffe’s abilities. His plan for the Romney/Obama campaign was absolutely brilliant. I note that Repubs have learned a few things from him on micro-campaigning which allowed them to pick up some surprising wins in the last campaign, but Plouffe is an amazing numbers guy.

      • formdib says:

        “Trump is not doing as well in heavy Red states, but it doesn’t matter in the electoral college if he wins Texas and Alabama by 20% or 2%.”

        Dare I say that does matter?

        Not that I’m counting on this or anything, but I could easily imagine a scenario where Clinton is winning a majority of the votes (30% chance according to Nate Silver), a heavy red state is 51 Trump, 49 Clinton, and one or two or maybe even a few Electors end up voting Clinton, because that member is thinking a) Clinton is clearly winning a majority nation wide, b) I hate Trump, c) I believe she should win in this situation despite my state’s popular vote.

        It will sell the idea of the institution in it together against Trump, but if Trump continues to piss people off enough, whose to say those people don’t vote against the popular vote in their state?

        I know it’s far-fetched, but man, this whole season has been wonky.

      • antimule says:

        I think that Democrats are lucky that Trump is so obviously crooked and incompetent. Imagine that there was no Trump U scam, and that Trump was skilled enough to pivot to the center (but with dog whistling) after the primaries? Democrats would have been in a potential trouble. As it is, I think this will end fine. But the next nationalist could wreck havoc, especially if politic of crazy touches Democrats, as Ladd thinks it will.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Well this is a lovely little story. I really wish more journalistic organizations, political blogs across the whole political spectrum would seriously investigate this important issue further…

      from NBC news:

      “Poll: Trump Supporters More Likely to View Blacks Negatively”

      “Supporters of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump are more likely to describe African Americans as “criminal,” “unintelligent,” “lazy” and “violent” than voters who backed some Republican rivals in the primaries or who support Democratic contender Hillary Clinton, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.”

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/poll-trump-supporters-more-likely-view-blacks-negatively-n601221

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        In other news: new research shows the sky is blue. Water? It’s wet.

      • 1mime says:

        They probably consider this so obvious as to not need to be explained. Of course, it needs to be put out there if for no other reason than to make sure they know – we know. Not that they care, Sir Magpie…

      • tuttabellamia says:

        From the same article:”the poll also showed significant numbers of Americans in both the Republican and Democratic parties view blacks more negatively than whites, harbor anxiety about living in diverse neighborhoods and are concerned that affirmative action policies discriminate against whites.”
        ***************************
        No one is off the hook. Investigate THAT.

  17. Rob Ambrose says:

    Paul Ryan with a shot across the bow.

    http://forums.talkingpointsmemo.com/t/discussion-paul-ryan-issues-warning-shot-he-will-not-tolerate-another-dem-sit-in/39868/14

    “We will not tolerate another Dem sit in” he says. “Mass shootings, of course, will be tolerated” he thought afterwards (probably).

    This seems…..ill advised, shall we say? I can’t imagine John Lewis is going to be cowed by the threat of arrest by the Capitol police. And I think the optics of arresting an entire party over refusing to even hold a gd vote in which 90% of the American people agree on an issue can’t possibly be helpful to Republicans.

    The GOP has gotten so far into their echo chamber they really cannot see outside their little bubble. They truly have no clue how they look to normal ppl on the outside. It’s like when Turtles says the Garland thing has nothing to do with obstruction. Like….do they REALLY hold the American ppl in such low regard that they think they’ll believe that?

    Ryan doesnt want to go on record on a gun control vote. We get that. But does he REALLY think that it is better to arrest 40% of Congress instead of holding a freaking VOTE? Does he think that somehow because he refuses to hold the vote, none of us will know that they’re bought and paid for by the NRA?

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      I get what you’re saying, but Paul Ryan is really stuck between a rock and a hard place, so what else can he say? He can’t bring up a gun vote to the floor and he can’t do that most horrible of political sins (actually compromising with Democrats *GASP*), so the only thing he can do is to try and save face as the Speaker.

      In all seriousness, the guy should’ve stuck to his guns and not become Speaker. Even if you just look at modern political history, Republican Speakers just don’t end well. It’s like a curse or something.

      • flypusher says:

        Here’s a radical notion, maybe he could put country before party, ditch the odious Hastert rule, and actually let Congress function as intended. Yes, I understand that there is a danger of being primaried. But is working under the tea party’s thumb really what you want? If nobody stands up to these assholes, they will continue their self-fulfilling prophecy of gov’t is broken.

      • 1mime says:

        As Lifer indicated in an earlier post, it will take a Republican with real courage/cajones to break away from the status quo. I think Ryan is really thinking about being President and won’t challenge the GOPe because of his personal plans.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @1mime: If it were me, I’d go for broke and openly rebel against Trump in order to try and solidify my own brand and run for president (if that were my goal), in 2024. We’d have had four successive Democratic terms by then and the Republican Party (or whatever it’s going to be called by then) should, hopefully, be in a much different place.

        Paul Ryan is trying to be all things to all people and he’s going to get smothered in the process. I don’t know if it’s politically possible to wipe the stain of Trump off now, but he is making it increasingly difficult the longer this goes on.

      • 1mime says:

        Instead of making everybody happy; he’s making everyone unhappy, and it all links back to him. As for him openly rebelling against Trump, you need to recall that Ryan has been in government his entire professional life. Entire. He has worked his way up the ranks, acquired a great deal of knowledge along the way, and finally earned his seat in Congress. Having this background undoubtedly makes it double hard for him to abandon/directly oppose Trump. His life has been spent in Republican service. I’m not giving him a pass here, but I do think it is relevant to note that he doesn’t come to politics from the private sector. He is “beholden” to the party that has groomed him for leadership.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Fly, I think the Dems should start referring to it officially as “the admitted child molesters rule”. See how long it lasts then.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        All true, Ryan. I guess my point (which rereading now, I see ibgot away from) was if Ryan is trying to nip any future sit ins in the bud, this seems like literally the worst thing you can do.

        For a civil rights vet like John Lewis, to tell him it “won’t be tolerated” and imply arrest is a possibility is going to do nothing but give him and the Dems energy to continue the sit in. I have to imagine most civil rights leaders (correctly) consider that time among the most important and consequential time of their lives. And probably, the most exciting (they are humans, after all). I would be shocked if Lewis now can’t wait to get back to resume the sit in.

        I just feel like a white guy telling a civil rights legend that he needs to fall in line, that his civil disobedience won’t “be tolerated” under possible penalty of arrest is probably a bad strategy. Somehow, I doubt t Lewis will just be like “oh lawdy Massa, I’se sorry!”

      • 1mime says:

        I assume there will be private dialogue between Ryan and Lewis – if Ryan is smart. But, really, to think Lewis will back off on this? No way. Not unless he gets an ironclad promise from Ryan that a vote will be calendared….which is all they’re asking for.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @Rob Ambrose: Can’t argue with you there. It would seem, to me at least, to be an unintended consequence of a minority’s virtually nonexistent power in the House. In a more salient political environment, people could get along and try to come together on stuff. Conversely, in an extremely politicized environment where a fractured majority effectively steamrolls the minority, you get people that feel like they have nothing to lose, so they may as well go for broke.

        Frankly, there’s no one better than the esteemed John Lewis to follow that mentality.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Sir Magpie, this of course could all be avoided by just holding a GD vote. Nobody is holding a sit in to demand the GOP PASS the bill. Just hold a vote. Last time I checked, that’s the job of Congress.

        If Ryan thinks he can convince the public that it’s unreasonable to even hold a vote on an issue that 90% of Americans support, I think he’s in for a rude awakening

  18. Rob Ambrose says:

    Wow. Can you imagine not only thinking this, but taking the time to type out this response to a constituent with a sick child and then pressing the send button?

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/ms-republican-tells-diabetic-girls-mom-buy-her-medical-supplies-with-money-you-earn/comments/#disqus

    And people wonder why everybody hates the GOP. Very Christ like attitude.

    I’m sure he’s very pro life too. They should change it to pro fetus, be far more accurate.

  19. formdib says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-02/middle-classes-around-the-world-grow-weary-of-democracy

    “From middle-class Bangkok residents who initially embraced Thaksin’s strongman style to Americans who, in the recent editions of the World Values Survey poll, show growing support for the idea of “a strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with Congress or elections,” the middle classes seem exhausted by free politics.”

    When I was in middle school, I remember kids innocently stating aloud platitudes about, “In a democracy people could even vote to remove their own democracy.” I remember thinking to myself, “That may be true that they can but nobody ever will, that’s just stupid.”

    I also remember those same conversations going along the lines of, like, “If people wanted, they could just vote for the government to give them free money all the time.” Why couldn’t THAT platitude be predictive?

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      This is 100% the fault of austerity right wing politics. The 1% reaaaaaaaaally needs to stop rigging democracy in the US in their favor using their money.

      I don’t think it’s likely, but I no longer think it’s impossible that middle classes everywhere could vote out the entire system. There is still time (or else a centrist globalist like Hillary would have no chance, and she’s clearly going to be elected) but the elites need to get their foot off the neck of the middle class.

      • antimule says:

        > This is 100% the fault of austerity right wing politics. The 1% reaaaaaaaaally needs to stop rigging democracy in the US in their favor using their money.

        I agree that it is largely the fault of austerity right wing politics. But I am not sure about 100% (probably more like 75% or so).

        There is also the issue that white collar professions are gated by credentialism and thus largely protected from illegal immigration but blue collar isn’t. And lefties act exactly like Trump voters when it is their Ox getting gored. There was much outrage when skilled immigrant animators replaced natives at Disney. We need to stop skilled worker visas! Right Now!!

        And, no offense, but recently you said something like “white males used to be privileged for centuries, it is perversely just that they are being displaced now”. Problem with that attitude is that white males that will end up squeezed out are always at the bottom of privilege ladder. Those really privileged will remain so. Collective punishments never work uniformly.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        @antimule

        I have to ask – both the tech industry and the medical field is chock full of immigrants, but I haven’t seen anyone complaining. Why do you think this is?

      • antimule says:

        @Pseudo

        No idea, to be honest.

      • 1mime says:

        Could better education be a reason?

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I don’t either – but I’m not entirely sure white collar professions being gated by credentialism and being protected from immigration is entirely true.

        The tech sector, and the medical field require some pretty high end STEM field credentials – and yet, they show huge numbers of immigrants. They aren’t illegal, but they’re immigrants all the same, and I simply don’t see the same kind of resentment and backlash in these sectors. If anything, they want even more talent. Hell, Google’s gone and promoted one to CEO – and no one did so much as celebrate **or** condemn that, beyond the usual articles that turn up whenever there’s a new CEO. Pinchai is very well respected, and he got the top job. Same with Microsoft and Nadella. It was just business as usual – an example of a post racial world, where all discrimination is purely based on your competence and talent.

        The only difference between the two groups really is austerity and the breakdown of the “shadow safety net”, as Lifer puts it.

        Austerity because the modern global economy does screw over the working class in developed class in the developed world. That same global economy helps all white collar workers – and working closely with people from all over the world in real time means they identify with each other far more than to a race or a nation.

        Trump makes perfect sense, if you consider it from the racial angle. From your perspective, your wages haven’t gone up, you’re facing hard times (relatively, people’s feelings are based on relativity, relativity to the past, and relativity to your neighbors – absolute measurements don’t really count to anyone except the wonks) and now you’re being forced to compete against Mexicans who’ll work for a pittance? And the left tells you that you’re the “privileged oppressors” and that your group needs to lose even more ground to equalize things?

        And part of the reason why Sanders had so much support is exactly that – he spoke right to the economic concerns without pandering to racial tensions too much. He managed to direct that anger towards the 1% – which is pretty damn fine in my book. Most people who earn a few hundred thousand dollars a year will tell you, at least in private, that they probably wouldn’t care about taxes going up a few %.

        That’s the overlap between a Sanders supporter and a Trump supporter – the only difference is that Sanders directs that anger towards people who can handle it just fine, while Trump directs that anger against basically all non white people, whether they be immigrants or not. I’ll guarantee that there are many Trump voters who probably aren’t racist or xenophobic but just feel that he’ll fight for labor and the working class far more than Clinton would.

        I’m really concerned that the Left really doesn’t understand this dynamic. They have a readymade candidate – one who can convince all those independents and possible trump voters that the left really will fight for them. Clinton won – everyone gets that. But people really need to leave Sanders the fuck alone – he’s already said he’s going to vote Clinton. They really need to let him come in as an independent and then make a big show of fighting to get his agenda on the Dem platform – and then let it seem like he won at least some victories, and then have someone like Warren swoop in as the standard bearer for freshly added progressive policy positions – perhaps as vice president. Clinton will never be trusted on those matters – she’s just too far in with the winners of global capitalism. Let her attract the moderates and center right folks and stop trying to fit her square peg into the populist round hole.

      • 1mime says:

        That’s a very thoughtful assessment, Pseudo, and I think you are correct. You will appreciate today’s opinion piece by Houston Chronicle Business Editor, Chris Tomlinson. I think he nails the opportunity/income inequity issue and is able to make valid points on inter-connectedness, i.e., global trade, walls, tribalism, class wars, etc.

        http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/tomlinson/article/Indignation-over-economic-conditions-is-righteous-8330854.php

      • 1mime says:

        Great article.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        True antimule, of course nothing is “100%” anything. I used that more as a figure of speech as opposed to meaning it literally.

        75% probably sounds about right.

      • johngalt says:

        I think PR is right – white collar jobs are not magically protected from the effects of immigrants. Read some of the tear-jerking stories about newly minted lawyers trying to find jobs recently.

      • Stephen says:

        @Pseudo
        Half of the technicians in the industry I retired from (power) are foreign born. No one gives a crud because even so there is a talent shortage. With out the import the industry would have trouble getting enough skill Labour to operate.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I wonder if the fact that there is a distinct lower anxiety about immigrants amkmg white collar workers is that they tend to be more educated, and thus know that whatever pain they may be feeling has nothing to do with immigration?

        Studies have proven time and time again that immigration CREATES jobs and CREATES wealth. There is no set number of jobs and once those are given out, that’s all there is. As you add more people, you add more consumers, more consumption means more jobs.

        When the ratings agencies downgraded the UK since Brexit, one of the main factors in their negative outlook was “decreased immigration”.

        Immigration is a good thing for society.

      • johngalt says:

        Rob, I agree with you that immigration is a net positive, but I think economists are coming to the realization that it is not quite that simple. Immigration and globalization probably suppresses wages at the bottom of the skill scale, even up to the manufacturing jobs that have been outsourced, even while it makes the society better off as a whole. We have lacked a coherent (any, really) policy to help mitigate this damage and the result is Trump, Brexit, Le Pen, Wilders, and others who capitalize on these anxieties.

      • formdib says:

        @Pseudo, re: “I have to ask – both the tech industry and the medical field is chock full of immigrants, but I haven’t seen anyone complaining. Why do you think this is?”

        Whenever the news reports Silicon Valley companies calling for more H1B visas because they have open positions they can’t fill with Americans, look at the comment sections. Typical argument is that there ARE skilled Americans with that specialty who demand higher wages, so Silicon Valley should raise their wages rather than try to undercut them; or that there are plenty of people near that skill set who could grow into that specialty with on-the-job training if Silicon Valley companies were more interested in investing in workers like companies used to.

        Those are the complaints I see, not my own, so I can’t represent them better than a vague and broad brush.

        Medical doctors is a more subtle issue. First off, the same regions that are stagnated economically see professional services leaving, because people with higher demand skills can get paid more other places. Staying in Podunk Backyard, USA may be a nice thing to do but isn’t as profitable as moving to Midsized Metro, USA. Those degrees and years of investment in the training don’t come cheap, y’know.

        So some of the more arguably ‘anti-immigrant’ areas may not really have doctors of any type, immigrant or citizen; but if they do it may be an immigrant because immigrants would be more willing to work for lower wages? That could show that the ‘white’ doctors are being replaced?

        All speculation because I don’t live in Immigrantphobiatopia. But I did grow up in Midsize Metro USA and moved to Metropolis USA, and there’s certainly unease around immigrant doctors. Basically it’s any time the person under their breath says, “I wonder where she got that degree though.” “I hope his education is modern.” Keeping in mind that doctors can get better and worse training relative to each other across the US, you don’t see such a sudden concern for the quality of their service when they’re white. The idea being that if the doctor learned medicine in one of those there third world countries you can hardly remember the name of, less point to in a map, that doctor may not know how a stethoscope operates.

        And, funnily enough, that’s why professional services get licensed and schools get accredited, as per this discussion.

      • antimule says:

        “Studies have proven time and time again that immigration CREATES jobs and CREATES wealth. ”

        Yeah, at least until we get to resource shortages. Or global warming gets worse. Hence the need to stop overpopulating the planet.

      • 1mime says:

        There are a number of population studies that show (in the northern hemisphere) that birth rates are going down for minority populations – Mexican and other southern ethnicities as well as Black families. Contraception is key. The challenge appears to be east of the Atlantic….But, I agree with its importance.

  20. 1mime says:

    Meanwhile, the “don” continues to amaze………In his speech on the economy, Trump offered this admonition:

    “”I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers,” Trump said during remarks at an aluminum facility in Monessen, Pa., near Pittsburgh.
    “And I don’t mean just a little bit better, I mean a lot better,” he said.

    “If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.”

    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/285189-trump-says-he-will-renegotiate-or-withdraw-from-nafta-without-changes

    To which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (you know, those bastions of liberal fiscal policy) responded: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce answered Donald Trump’s trade policy speech on Tuesday by attempting to pick apart the presumptive Republican nominee’s policies point by point, engaging in a rapid-fire succession of social media posts hitting him for his opposition to international trade deals.”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/trump-trade-speech-chamber-of-commerce-reaction-224900#ixzz4CuRlZeKv

    The gift that keeps on giving…………

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Anybody remember that Matthew Heinbach fellow?

      The Dylan Roof sympathizer? Who also shared the South Carolina’s Church shooter’s love of the history of the Confederacy?

      Is it ringing any bells?

      The openly white supremaist at that Baltimore college (Tomson University)?

      The guy with the signature red Trump “Make America Great” ballcap… who shoved, pushed and yelled slurs into the face of a plack protestor at the eminent nominee’s rally last year in Kentucky?

      The guy who has in the past communicated and met with European fascist groups such as “Golden Dawn”.

      The guy the Southern Poverty Law Center which keeps tabs on domestic terrorists and hate groups has deemed the young Matthew Heinbach ‘the modern face of white nationalism”

      The guy who after his graduation appeared in a photo with members from both the Aryan Terror Brigade, a racist skinhead group, and the Imperial Klans of America, a Kentucky based Ku Klux Klan organization that was sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2008 for severely beating a Latino teenager at the Meade County Fair in Bradenburg, Ky.

      The guy who started that white nationalist group “Traditional Worker’s Party” that was involved in that stabbing melee with a much larger force of anti-Neo Nazi demonstrators?

      Alright, I guess everyone has a good idea who I’m talking about.

      Anyways, his little merry band of blue collar… brownshirts “The Traditional Worker’s Party” are mending their wounds, stitching up their superficial gashes and are heading out to defend their rights… by apparently working towards denying it to others.

      “Members of a prominent white nationalist group have pledged to provide some unsolicited protection to supporters of Donald Trump at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.”

      “Traditionalist Worker Party spokesman Matt Parrott told McClatchy on Monday that about 30 members of his group, which held a rally at the California state capitol over the weekend where at least five people were stabbed, will head to the convention to “make sure that the Donald Trump supporters are defended from the leftist thugs.”

      So with their presence I suppose we can expect more interest interest groups at the GOP convention. The Donald has sought the support of biker’s, so maybe we can expect a contingent of the Hell’s Angels.

      How about David Duke who has endorsed him? Maybe we can have some KKK action at the convention. Think of the extra money local laundromats will be able to make from their business!

      Hot in Cleveland indeed!

    • formdib says:

      “If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.”

      I’m actually super, super curious to see what the polls show as they update to the post-Brexit public mood. Don’t get me wrong — I’ll still be surprised despite myself, and disheartened, if Trump surges — but what a perfect moment to learn more about what Americans ‘really’ think (more or less, with noise).

      Judge Curiel really stretched the conversation about what talking about Mexicans really means, Orlando showed that Americans may just not be as into strongman speeches once real corpses are involved. Brexit is a perfect look at just how much Americans are willing to risk short term chaos (potentially long term recession and further chaos) for their otherwise relatively abstract dream of ‘bringing down the system.’

      Since Trump is explicitly citing Brexit, and explicitly using that policy to model his own NAFTA policy he’s never shown details of before, this will be illuminating. If he surges, it means Americans really do value isolation and strongmanship over stock markets and trade. If he plummets, Americans may show that on second thought, they like their IRAs and maybe even trade deals. And if no change occurs, it’ll show that Americans just really don’t care about what’s going on in Europe.

      Nextly*,

      Clare Malone said something interesting recently: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/conventional-wisdom-was-firing-his-campaign-manager-a-turning-point-for-trump/

      “Now, weeks are “campaign weeks,” a unit of time commensurate with “dog years.” A campaign week is an eternity, often featuring a shocking event, a quick adjustment to the new normal and increasingly frayed serotonin receptors.”

      It’s difficult for any given individual to maintain a high level of stress. I’ve even been considering how this election season is affecting my mindset and attitudes in non-political related things, and have thought about shutting off the newsfeeds — only to be hit by withdrawal symptoms.

      And Trump as a reality television entertainer is used to a medium that’s meant to be loud, shrill… and short. Long-haul narrative storytelling requires breathes, downbeats, and progressions. A reality tv star will move no more forward in self-discovery and improvement from episode 1 to the finale, even if she wins contests on the way. A long term narrative hero, however, has to learn shit on the way.

      FiveThirtyEight writers have theorized that Trump won the nomination once Republicans got sick and tired of the twists and turns of the stressful primary process. They wonder the same about the Democratic primary. Once it got the point where contested conventions were very real possibilities, the voters noped out.

      At least that’s one theory.

      I’m wondering if the stressfulness of the campaign itself won’t cause people to shut down to the ‘establishment’ choice out of sheer fatigue. If a week with Trump campaigning is so stressful, imagine four years with him.

      Just a thought.

      *Totally a word, absolutely.

      • 1mime says:

        Formdib, I continue to maintain that those who believe Trump can’t win this election are not reading the mood of the electorate. Plus, they are not counting on Trump being able to pivot – even if it’s the most fake thing he’s ever done. One thing that seems amazingly true is that Republicans will vote for Trump. Their hate of Clinton is that visceral and partisan.

        James Carville noted this:
        ” I didn’t think it was possible, but it looks like Trump might be pulling a real campaign together.

        First, he fired his campaign manager, then he brought on a bunch of new staff, then I’ll be damned if he didn’t (supposedly) manage to raise $5 million in two days last week. Last Thursday, he even went almost 12 hours without sticking his foot in his stupid mouth — mostly because he was in an airplane, on his way to putz around a golf course in Scotland for the weekend, but still.

        If this is a sign of things to come, then Trump is going to be a tougher opponent than anyone thought, and I’ll guaran-damn-tee you that we all better take that seriously. ”

        James Carville may seem looney but he’s been around the political block a lot. I think you are correct in sensing that people want to burn the house down. Once it’s gone, they’ll build a new one. Forget long term – this is about two things: Party and Pay Back.

        I hope I’m wrong about all of this because I cannot imagine our country led by Donald Trump.

      • formdib says:

        I’m not saying Trump can’t win.

        At this point I refuse to make predictions. Trump’s primary win and Brexit officially prove that what I thought was ‘common sense’, my priors, are simply off. I’m doing a LOT of listening, reading, soul searching, and writing in the meantime.

        Even if Trump loses the general and UK wonks its way into staying in the EU, we’ve entered a new world where old political assumptions don’t stand muster anymore.

    • 1mime says:

      This Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury for those who follow his comic strip – I do!) retrospective on Donald Trump is eery. Take a gander at what Trudeau was prognosticating some 29 years ago….Life imitating fiction?

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2016/06/23/how-doonesbury-predicted-donald-trumps-presidential-run-29-years-ago/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_2_na

  21. 1mime says:

    I know you all have seen the news that the long-awaited Benghazi Report has been released (2 years, $7 Million). It is 800 pages, and Chairman Trey Gowdy promises it will take less time to read it than it took for the terrorists to storm and kill Chris Stevens and the others. Democrats have issued their own report. I link both for your assessment.

    House Republican Benghazi Report:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/benghazi-report-clinton-was-planning-a-trip-to-libya-before-the-attacks/2016/06/27/582980a6-3cb5-11e6-80bc-d06711fd2125_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

    House Democratic Benghazi Report: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2016/06/27/house-democrats-release-benghazi-report-counter-republican-inquiry/bvrosohRWf81lIO5dAmbLN/story.html?s_campaign=email_BG_TodaysHeadline&s_campaign=

    • 1mime says:

      Oh, two members of the House Committee on Benghazi thought the report didn’t go far enough. Freedom Caucus members Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo issued their own 48 page report. Consensus be damned. My, my. Here it is.

      http://benghazi.house.gov/sites/republicans.benghazi.house.gov/files/documents/19%20Jordan%20and%20Pompeo%20Additional%20Views.pdf

    • objv says:

      Mime, you’re barking up the wrong tree if you think that the two articles above reflect what Republicans are most concerned about.

      The fact that the State Department and the administration spent a good deal of their time during the attack and during the weeks afterward crafting and promoting a lie about the attack being caused by a video strikes at the heart of the matter.

      While the security in Benghazi and government response to the attack was incompetent at best, the real outrage most conservatives feel was caused by the lies propagated by the State Department headed by Hillary Clinton. Instead of honesty, the families of the victims and the rest of American people were misled to sway an election.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/06/28/house-gop-report-despite-eyewitness-accounts-clinton-administration-pushed-video-explanation-for-benghazi.html?intcmp=hpcmt

      • texan5142 says:

        Four people died….conservative outrage

        Thousands upon thousands of American soldiers killed and/or wounded based on a lie in Iraq.

        ” During the George W. Bush period, there were 13 attacks on various embassies and consulates around the world. Sixty people died. In Karachi, there was a death of one of our diplomats, and those were not investigated during that period of time because it was a tragedy.”

        Conservative response…..crickets.

        Your faux outrage is duly noted.

      • objv says:

        Texan, it is a great tragedy when any American dies in the line of duty. And, yes, the government can be incompetent in its response under any administration.

        However, the situation in Benghazi was different in that Hillary Clinton and the rest of the State Department and some officials in the Obama administration worked together to promote a lie concerning the true cause of the terror attack.

      • 1mime says:

        Now, I object to that statement, Ob. ” Benghazi was different in that Hillary Clinton and the rest of the State Department and some officials in the Obama administration worked together to promote a lie concerning the true cause of the terror attack.”

        3 intensive, lengthy investigations have not proven this. Support your statement.

      • texan5142 says:

        However, the situation in Iraq was different in that Bush and the rest of the State Department and some officials in the Bush administration worked together to promote a lie concerning the true cause of the terror attack.

        FIFY

      • 1mime says:

        The public response to Benghazi was very poorly executed. I do not agree that there was a conspiracy or that there was an attempt at cover up. I do agree that what should have occurred in the immediate aftermath was to state what they knew without any supposition, and that more time allowed for analysis by the appropriate parties. I do not think this tragedy merited 3 investigations, the last of which took two years and cost $7million. As was pointed out today, the investigations for Pearl Harbor and 9/11 took less time.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi 1mime

        As an outsider I would disagree with
        “The public response to Benghazi was very poorly executed”
        The immediate response was actually wrong – but that was ONLY clear after further evidence was found
        The later (1 day?) response was dead on

        IMHO “The public response to Benghazi” was pretty average – neither good nor bad

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        “However, the situation in Benghazi was different in that Hillary Clinton and the rest of the State Department and some officials in the Obama administration worked together to promote a lie concerning the true cause of the terror attack.”

        The 28 pages that remain redacted in the 9/11 report which implicates the Saudis for funding the 9/11 and would give much clarity towards the “true cause of the terror attack” say ‘hi’.

        Where’s the committee to get to the bottom of THAT? Frankly, as terrible as it is that 4 Americans died, there has to be a certain expectation if you accept a diplomatic post in a failed terror state, or you join the army, that you MIGHT someday become a casualty unfortunately. It’s unfortunate all around, and if there is actual evidence Hillary caused it or allowed it to happen, that would have come out in the Benghazi committee’s unprecedentedly deep investigation. I consider thousands of non combatant Americans who simply wanted to go to work and earn a dollar who were murdered to be far more deserving of such an investigation.

        I guess Clinton learned her lesson here: If you want to avoid GOP scrutiny on national security, just be a foreign oil rich petro state.

        What about the thousands of American soldiers killed in Iraq, a war started by a Republican presidential on a pretext of lies and obfuscations?

        They don’t matter? But we’ll spend 2 years and $8 million because someone below HRC denied the embassy request for more security? Even though the Pentagon, military experts, even the Republican general who quit the committee because of its partisan nature, all say there was nothing that could have been done.
        Sometimes, shitty things happen that are unavoidable in any real sense.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Rob
        Was it not the GOP congress who refused the request for additional security?

      • 1mime says:

        Gosh, duncan, that is excellent recall….all the way from NZ!!! Recall the Benghazi attack occurred in 2012. The budget for international security increased significantly after 9/11, but terrorism had also increased, resulting in larger security funding requests which were routinely cut beginning in 2010. Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies were also cited as causative for Benghazi rather than budget cuts alone. There is plenty of blame to go around, but nine investigations have not proven that there was conspiracy and lying. It was a tragedy just as the other embassy deaths were.

        ” For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.
        GOP vice presidential nominee Paul] Ryan, [Rep. Darrell] Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions.”

        http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/10/10/985191/chaffetz-absolutely-funding-embassy-security/

      • objv says:

        Mime, please read the article.

        “Clinton issued the only statement that night from the administration, following the White House meeting. It read in part: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

        However, Clinton said something very different privately.

        In an email provided to the Select Committee, Clinton told daughter Chelsea, “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like [sic] group.”

        Clinton also told Egypt’s prime minister the following day: “We know that the attacks in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.”

        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/06/28/house-gop-report-despite-eyewitness-accounts-clinton-administration-pushed-video-explanation-for-benghazi.html?intcmp=hpbt1

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, I make it a point to never comment to a post or a link that I have not read. In a situation like was occurring, I do not doubt that many assumptions/explanations were faulty. That does not make them an attempt to “lie”. If any heads needed to roll, it was the SD staffer who turned down the request for more security. Tragedies like this are complex, just as Tex pointed out they were for G.W. Bush and for all other leaders who have had to grapple with them. BTW, I did make one error – the Gowdy Report was not the third investigation on Benghazi; it was the ninth.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi objv

        I know American English is a different language than British English but I fail to see the contradiction here

        Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like [sic] group

        And – paraphrasing – the riot was caused by the video

        The two are not in any way contradictory

        Example
        During a riot caused by football hooligans some local villains smashed windows and stole televisions

        There is NO requirement that the “local villains” caused the riot

        The comment to Egypt prime minister was THE FOLLOWING DAY – after the evidence had been found

      • flypusher says:

        “However, the situation in Benghazi was different in that Hillary Clinton and the rest of the State Department and some officials in the Obama administration worked together to promote a lie concerning the true cause of the terror attack.”

        According to yet another House Select Committe on Benghazi report, that’s total bullshit. But your mind has been made up for years, and godforbid that a huge lack of evidence should change that.

      • objv says:

        fly, what’s so hard to understand? The report shows that Clinton knew from the start that the attack on the embassy had nothing to do with an online video. She admitted as much to her daughter and Egypt’s prime minister privately. Yet, officially, she lied to family members of the victims and the American public. There’s also a matter of the maker of the video being jailed.

      • texan5142 says:

        “There’s also a matter of the maker of the video being jailed.”

        When you are in a hole, stop digging. He was jailed for probation violations, not the video itself.

        http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/27/world/california-anti-islam-filmmaker/

        “While on probation, Nakoula was prohibited from using aliases as well as accessing computers or any device that can access the Internet without approval from his probation officer.”

        “Dugdale pointed to a probation report citing eight allegations in which Nakoula had allegedly violated his probation. One of those was a requirement not to use aliases without permission from his probation officer, something the prosecutor said Nakoula did on at least three instances: during his fraud case, when he tried to get a passport in 2011 and during the making of the film. Dugdale said Nakoula had deceived the cast of the film as well as his probation officers.”

      • johngalt says:

        objv, I cannot for the life of me think of why you, or anyone else, would be outraged about this. It is simply gobsmacking. Clinton’s office issued a statement that I am sure she approved and equally sure she did not write stating that “some have sought to justify…” That is the blandest most non-committal statement it is possible to write. Why did she not come out an blame terrorists? Well, to you, it is blatantly clear that she was intending to deceive – well, who, exactly? The press? The American people? Muslims? I really don’t know.

        Listen, maybe this statement was simply a mistake. Maybe it was an insidious plot for some nefarious purpose and a woman who had GOP investigators probing every pore of her being for the previous 15 years never considered that she would be investigated for this as well. Maybe it was an intentional smoke screen to give military and/or covert personnel time to track down the real perpetrators. I don’t really know and I don’t really care. Four brave Americans died in the service of their country. It was not the first time and will not be the last. Learn some lessons and move on.

      • 1mime says:

        And, one last point. No one in the military or CIA would have been able to get to the attack in time to avert the deaths. Arguments over “the military should have been stationed close by” speak to the same lack of reality as the other criticisms. This tragedy happened. Good people died. The response was not perfect. It.could.not.have.been.stopped. Nine investigations on this. Almost makes me support smaller government (-;

      • texan5142 says:

        I read the link and it has some very sloppy reporting,

        “Unlike the Usama bin Laden raid in 2011, in which Clinton, President Obama and his national security team watched events unfold from the Situation Room, they never gathered for Benghazi.”

        Of coarse they never gathered for Benghazi. The Usama bin Laden(sic) raid was planned and the national security team watched events unfold from the Situation Room. How is it even possible that the national security team knew of the Benghazi attack ahead of time so they could gather to watch events unfold from the Situation Room.

      • 1mime says:

        Hey! Maybe the Benghazi raid was a right wing conservative plot!

        A sick joke, but, really!

      • flypusher says:

        “The report shows that Clinton knew from the start that the attack on the embassy had nothing to do with an online video.”

        Then it shouldn’t be any trouble at all for you to quote the part that concludes that. So go ahead.

      • objv says:

        fly: “In addition, a senior watch officer at the State Department’s diplomatic security command described the Sept. 11, 2012, strikes as “a full on attack against our compound.”

        When asked whether he saw or heard a protest prior to the attacks, the officer replied, “zip, nothing, nada,” according to the Republican majority report.

        “None of the information coming directly from the agents on the ground in Benghazi during the attacks mentioned anything about a video or a protest. The firsthand accounts made their way to the office of the Secretary through multiple channels quickly,” the report concluded.:

        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/06/28/house-benghazi-report-slams-administration-response-to-attacks.html?intcmp=trending

      • objv says:

        JG, The Benghazi attack happened less than two months before the 2012 presidential election. The administration was doing its best to promote the narrative that they had kept Americans safe from terrorists. Thus, a terrorist attack occurring when people were making up their minds on candidates had the potential to sway voters into thinking that Republicans could handle terrorist attacks better than the Obama administration had.

        Far better for them to change the story to a spontaneous protest gone wrong than to admit that a planned, coordinated terrorist attack directed toward Americans had occurred.

      • flypusher says:

        You’re cherry picking objv. Where’s the part about how the CIA initially believed that the attack grew from protests?

        Were there screw ups? Yep. Where there even more screws in trying to explain the initial screw ups? Yep again. Some preplanned diabolical coverup? Nope. No evidence for it. I can only hope no more $ is going to be wasted on this.

      • flypusher says:

        “Far better for them to change the story to a spontaneous protest gone wrong than to admit that a planned, coordinated terrorist attack directed toward Americans had occurred.”

        Are we even reading about the same incident/investigations? The CIA and other intell agencies concluded that it was NOT significantly preplanned, but more the product of the chaos in Libya post-Ghaddifi. Armed militia groups + power vacuum + opportunity for mayhem.

      • johngalt says:

        You’re grasping at straws, objv. Sure, the administration could have handled this better, but Americans do not equate paramilitary attacks on a diplomatic facility in a war-torn country with terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But when you are hellbent on finding a conspiracy, it is not surprising when you find what you think is a conspiracy.

      • objv says:

        fly, didn’t you read what Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister the next day? SHE said that it was a planned attack.

      • duncancairncross says:

        objv

        “fly, didn’t you read what Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister the next day? SHE said that it was a planned attack.”

        The key words – the next day – Hilary only said that it wasn’t a planned attack just after it happened – which is exactly what her CIA analyst told her

        The “Next Day” the CIA changed that to saying that the attack WAS planned so of course that is what Hilary told the Egyptian prime minister

        DUHHHHHH

      • flypusher says:

        “fly, didn’t you read what Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister the next day? SHE said that it was a planned attack.”

        Which would mean at the very worst she jumped to a conclusion before all the facts were in, given which all the intelligence agencies eventually figured out. Not a good idea, but not even close to this horrible conspiracy you so badly want to believe.

      • objv says:

        JG, What conspiracy theory?

        Don’t you remember anything about the 2012 election? Obama was running on “al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is no more.”

        Since there was the strong possibility that the attack was connected to al Qaeda, (see Hillary’s email to her daughter), it was advantageous to blame the attack on a video.

        Just for curiosity’s sake, what other explanation can you offer for the deception? There was no evidence at any time that there had been a demonstration connected with a video. Everything pointed to the fact that terrorism was involved.

      • duncancairncross says:

        objv

        “There was no evidence at any time that there had been a demonstration connected with a video”

        You must live in a different world!
        There were violent demonstrations in dozens of different cities around the world because of THAT video!!

        Or are you saying that they did not exist either??

        In this particular case the CIA later found evidence that the video was used to cover an attack – but the violent demonstrations about that somewhat nasty video were world-wide

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        According to this theory, we live in a world where saying this was a terrorist attack and the raining down 300 missiles on brown people carried live would have done anything but help Obama get re-elected.

        Obj is consistent with my sister’s hatred of Hillary. When asked why, she simply says, “Hillary lied to those families”

        Like JG, i see her statement and it is absolutely an unstatement that doesn’t state anything, which I guess makes it the perfect Rorschach statement that lets folks who dislike Hillary read into what they want.

      • flypusher says:

        “.. I guess makes it the perfect Rorschach statement that lets folks who dislike Hillary read into what they want.”

        She just keeps eating those damn crackers like she owns the effing place!!!!

    • vikinghou says:

      If you count the Ken Starr witch hunt, the GOP has wasted $100 million or so on trying to nail Secretary Clinton and her husband with something — anything.

      • 1mime says:

        This Ken Star? What is really a travesty is that Baylor kept him on in a teaching position. Mommas, tell your daughters to avoid his class.

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/25/is-kenneth-starr-historic-sleazeball-at-least-getting-his-just-deserts.html

        And, this. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/opinion/ken-starrs-squalid-second-act.html

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I love that the NYT headline included the word ‘squalid’.

      • johngalt says:

        If there is an adjective I less want associated with myself or my family than ‘squalid’ I cannot think of it.

      • flypusher says:

        Ken Star still keeps his faculty position, and I know a number of fine teachers denied tenure. Not enough justice in this universe.

        Also, as sleazy as the whole Clinton-Lewinsky affair was, it happened between two consenting adults. Starr’s hypocrisy is sickening, and I hope the students demonstrate regularly outside his office.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        I wonder what objv thinks of Ken Starr? Very vocal about minor mistakes from Clinton. All with a brain knew Ken was on a witch hunt in the nineties but it was another classic case of who the fuck cares what the electorate thinks. I’m not a huge Clinton fan, never liked NAFTA, didn’t get health care done, etc. and so on, but it boggles the mind how much hate they inspire.

      • flypusher says:

        “..it boggles the mind how much hate they inspire.”

        There was a whole lot of butthurt after the ’92 elections-quite a few GOPers who just couldn’t process how Bush the elder could have lost (spoiler alert- H. Ross Perot helped out there). I’ve heard some conservative commentators be honest enough to admit that the current cycle of political nastiness started with attacks on Clinton. He really didn’t get much of a honeymoon period when he took office.

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      Completely off topic but also too funny not to share: The Trump campaign has been erroneously emailing requests for contributions from UK Members of Parliament: https://twitter.com/NatalieMcgarry/status/745790016891289602/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

      • flypusher says:

        That is hilarious!!! But I’m inclined to chalk it up to stupidity rather than sinister intent.

  22. 1mime says:

    I’ve slowly been working through the links in this post. The payday article was heart-breaking and infuriating. Texas leads the nation in interest rate charges of: 662%!!! The fact that Congress is fighting the CFPB on modest pay rate protections is incredibly sad. It reinforces all my concern that the real problem in Congress are lobbyists and PACs. Millions and millions of dollars from so many special interests….How can we ever expect government to be accountable when there is so much money flowing. Little people don’t have a prayer.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “Texas leads the nation in interest rate charges of: 662%!!!”

      Of course Mime. FREEDUM!! and LIBURTY!!!!! and all that.

      The founding fathers, in their infinite wisdom, could envision a time when a tyrannical government would stomp on a corporations God given rights to totally rip off the poorest, most vulnerable people with exorbitant interest rates. Texas is just doing more of its fine work for liberty.

      • flypusher says:

        I’m pretty sure even loan sharks never jacked their interest rates up that much!!

        There was a proposal to run a loan service for the poor out of the post office IIRC, since most banks can’t or won’t serve that customer base. But you can guess how far that idea has gone.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I think that would be a good additional mission for the post office. Personally, I think member-oriented credit unions should do the same.

        Together, they would offer an alternative to the payday loan sharks — and I hate to defame sharks in that way.

      • johngalt says:

        On my blessedly short commute to work I sometimes listen to an “old school hip-hop” station. Its target demographic is pretty clear (and I’m not it). With all my presets playing ads at the same time, I got to listen to an entire commercial break – three straight spots for payday lenders. No mention of the fees involved. But the process was easy – get an answer in under 60 seconds! On the phone, smartphone, or computer! Money in your hand or in your account the next day!

      • flypusher says:

        Bobo, I’ve had a credit union account since high school. It’s an outstanding credit union and I totally love it! There are no branches in the Houston region, but in the age of the internet that really doesn’t matter anymore. There’s no good reason for the little guy or gal to do business with the banks that only care about the big corporate accounts if a well run credit union is an option.

      • 1mime says:

        Credit Unions perform a valuable service. They are like banks “used to be”. Unfortunately, people who use payday loan services lack knowledge about credit unions and probably don’t think they would be eligible for loans through them. Possibly the credit union industry could more aggressively seek out this market….oh, wait…then the banks would shut them down like EX-IM……can’t have competition, not one cent gets past daddy warbucks.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        fly, I joined a credit union when I moved to Houston. Generally, I think they are preferable to banks. I’m even thinking about seeing if I can get elected to the members’ board.

        Something I find dismaying is that a credit union bought naming rights to the UH stadium. $15M for a 10-year span with options to extend. Seems way out of the credit union intent.

      • fiftyohm says:

        “I sometimes listen to an “old school hip-hop” station”. Really, JG? Really?

      • johngalt says:

        Absolutely, 50. They play a lot of stuff from my college days and, unlike most of the other morning radio stations, they actually play music. I’m not in the car long enough to make Sirius worthwhile and I prefer to get my news in the written form rather than NPR or something (and don’t even get me started on AM radio) because I read faster than they talk. Old stuff from Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Beasties, and others – it’s fun.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Well my friend, by that measure, going to the dentist is “fun”! 😉

      • johngalt says:

        Agree to disagree, old friend. There’s some nostalgia for me in this music.

  23. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Sometimes, after elected Republicans in Washington commit yet another short-sighted, stupid act, I imagine citizens from all over the country turn toward D.C. and shout in unison, “No!”

    The resulting sound wave knocks the traitorous Republican on his butt from whence he proceeds to re-think his harmful act.

    I wish I could send such a sound wave to this guy, Dick Shelby from Alabama.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/28/business/international/a-single-senator-stymies-the-export-import-bank.html

    • 1mime says:

      I have been all over the EX-IM Bank issue. What is so ironic is that it is within the purvue of the Senate Banking Committee to offer changes to the scope of loans offered through EX-IM. They have chosen instead to block the entire process. It’s petty, it hurts small businesses particularly. As noted in the article, the major corporations like GE, Caterpiller etc can relocate plants to other countries. It would be a long commute for the prior workforce. This is absurd.

    • 1mime says:

      This is going to be crass, so, “cover your ears”. Senator Shelby is 82. He can’t live forever. One could argue, he should retire – soon. But, he is from AL….”that” AL. The deepest of the deep South.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      That is outrageous. These ideologue Republicans would quite literally destroy the country if they had enough numbers. They’re doing a hell of a number on it as it is. And I say that without hyperbole.

      Articles like this should come with a hyperlink to the senators official email. I bet more then a few people would use it.

  24. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    I find that article about stabbings very troubling.

    This is a case where both sides have committed violence. It’s not a good sign.

    The fact that one side is neo nazis doesn’t excuse violence from the other side. Their horrid discriminatory viewpoint is still protected speech.

    Sometimes I wonder if the concept of free expression, and why it’s important for a functioning republic is made clear to enough people. I wonder if people understand that the alternative to that is violence, even when one side is neo nazis, is violence.

    Violence is not acceptable however whether it’s the fascists or it’s the antifascists. Violence has no place in a free society

    • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

      I do not think the concept of free expression is expressed at all in public education or in public debate. And that is a sad fact. I graduated public high school in 1981 and the idea of free expression was talked about in a vacuum. All examples of it were of the sort everyone could agree on… kinda defeating the purpose in my opinion.

    • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

      And that reminds me of something I haven’t thought about since 1980. In the seventies a popular expression was ‘teach tolerance’. Things changed quickly in the early ’80’s to ‘zero tolerance’. It felt strange at the time and seems ever more strange now.

    • “Their horrid discriminatory viewpoint is still protected speech.”

      Yes, but apparently, according to Chris’ links, disagreeing with anthropogenic global warming hypotheses is not. Go figure.

      2nd Amendment. 5th Amendment. 1st Amendment. And counting. Gee, which I wonder which Constitutional right our dear friends on the left will target next. It’s certainly been an interesting summer so far.

      • johngalt says:

        Complete nonsense, of course. Like the tobacco companies before them, the issue with the oil companies is whether they suppressed or distorted their own research to pretend that their products were not causing negative impacts. In doing so they essentially defraud their own investors while continuing to harm their customers. These are actionable issues according to securities and torts laws. There is a saying you might be familiar with: “Ignorance is bliss.” For companies that know they are doing damage to the societies in which they live and actively cover this up, why should they not be held liable for this material fraud?

      • 1mime says:

        And, for the record, I object to my tax dollars being utilized to protect EXXON’s interests, just as I object to the dismissal of claims against Trump University for defrauding TX citizens.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        If I claimed to have safe healthy cigarettes, and sold them, and then I used falsified research to support my position, should I be safe from litigation from customers, second hand smokers and investors? Should I be able to say “I’m allowed to lie under my first amendment rights they were stupid to believe me”?

        The global warming thing is essentially the same. There are consequences to speech.

        First amendment is alive and well, however – otherwise we won’t have half of our elected officials pretending it doesn’t exist and the other half taking the worst case “the world is ending” scenario.

        I, for one, tend to trust the experts on this. We do know anthropogenic global warming is real, the questions now are “what are its effects?” and “how can we deal with it any negative effects?” and “What’s the cost-benefit ratio?”. The institution of science, taken as a whole,, has been the best available tool in the human arsenal to overcome human bias – and I see no reason to not trust it on this one topic.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Oh fer crise sakes Tracy, get off your pity pot.

      • vikinghou says:

        At least Shell publicly acknowledges the role of CO2 emissions in climate change.

        http://www.shell.com/sustainability/environment/climate-change.html

        However, as I’ve said before, the more daunting problem is ocean acidification and its negative effect on marine life and, by extension, the food chain. This has the potential to get us before global warming.

      • 1mime says:

        DENY, DENY, DENY!

        EAT MORE BEEF!

      • objv says:

        It’s ironic that Tracy is being attacked here even though he is the only one who has any degree of authority on the subject of global warming.

        The rest of you are relying on the logic of “4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum.”

      • 1mime says:

        And, you, Ob? What is your opinion on global warming?

      • objv says:

        Mime, I don’t have the science background to come to any kind of a valid conclusion about climate change. I’ve heard arguments from both sides and all have points that sound good.

        My own philosophy is to be a steward of natural resources by limiting how much energy I consume. My husband and I downsized when we moved to New Mexico and we limit our driving, not because we can’t afford more, but because we choose to live using less energy. We bought solar panels to recharge the battery connected to our tiny RV and will probably get solar panels for our house once battery technology improves and the panels become more affordable.

        I’d like to keep an open mind regarding global warming. Having worked as a nurse, I’ve seen abrupt changes in the treatment of patients as new information became available and old studies became discredited. After all, didn’t almost 100% of doctors and dieticians recommend heart patients staying away from eggs only a year ago?

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi objv

        I DO have a very good science background and the Climate change situation can be explained very simply

        (1) CO2 is a “Greenhouse gas” – this was discovered over 100 years ago and is not in dispute

        (2) CO2 is rising – this is from actual measurement

        (3) The extra CO2 is from fossil fuels – Carbon isotope ratios show this very clearly

        (4) The atmospheric and ocean temperatures are rising – again numerous actual measurements

        (5) The oceans are becoming more acidic (CO2) – actual measurement

        (6) The extra heat is causing the sea levels to rise – water expands as it gets warmer and the ice on land melts and runs into the sea

        (7) The sun’s output has NOT increased during that time period – measured

        Those seven are simply real – there is no possible argument against them

        (8) The “model” shows where we are going
        This is “just” a model to predict the future – it could be wrong – but the initial models from 20+ years ago have been bloody accurate so far

        Note –
        The planet is not yet at an equilibrium position with our current amount of CO2
        if we stop the increase in CO2 then temperatures will continue to rise the seas will continue to rise for decades to come

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Objv

        Your comment about Nursing and medical information is a good one BUT medicine and the human body is COMPLICATED – and our understanding is very limited

        Physics (and Engineering) is much much less complex – and our understanding at the gross physical level is much much better

      • objv says:

        Hi to you, too, Duncan.

        I will have to tell my engineer husband

      • duncancairncross says:

        Glad to help
        If he has any questions I will try and answer them

      • flypusher says:

        “It’s ironic that Tracy is being attacked here even though he is the only one who has any degree of authority on the subject of global warming.”

        I won’t claim to have read every post here, and I may have missed something, but from what I recall of Tracy’s arguments, they are based more on politics than science. A political basis is fine for discussing responses. But for trying to deny there’s a problem? No, and that’s why Chris and many of us “attack”, although strongly disagree is a more accurate term

      • objv says:

        fly, I guess you and I DO see and read differently. Tracy has often written long and well thought out comments on how his knowledge of geophysics relates to claims made about climate change.

      • objv says:

        Sorry about the short comment, Duncan. My computer decided to freeze up on me last night, and I gave up and pushed the post comment button and headed to bed. 🙂

        Is climate change really so simple? I would think that with so many variables and lack of data from geologic ages in the past, climate change would be harder to study than the human body where one can do multiple studies in real time. It seems to me that 130 years of measurements pale in comparison to the billions of years the earth has existed

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi objv

        Climate change is like “Rocket Science” – it is at core incredibly simple and a few simple equations cover the whole thing

        But in its details it is very very complex

        Calculating the whole thing is easy –
        The greenhouse gasses mean that the earth is radiating less energy and the temperature has to rise until the energy flows equalise

        What that means for say Miami or Bombay is much more complex,
        Forecasting the effects at a particular location – we can do that BUT it is difficult and the certainty is low

        Forecasting the overall effect on the world? – again we are not sure – but at minimum we know what is going to happen
        There are things like the methane under the Tundra that could make things much much worse
        Nobody knows of anything that would make things better!!

        Measuring what has already happened? – we are rock solid on that – measured a lot of different ways by literally thousands of different people – and forget about conspiracies – just imagine having the French the Brits and the American scientists in the same conspiracy when the reward for breaking ranks would be millions of dollars AND a Nobel Prize

        We actually do know a great deal about historical and prehistoric climate change way back to a “Snowball Earth” a few billion years ago
        We also know a great deal about how the sun’s output has changed over the long term – unless our physics is all wrong!

      • objv says:

        Thanks for trying to explain climate change to me, Duncan! I know the subject will come up again.

        I’m looking forward to hearing more from you and Tracy.

        As for me, I have no problems with acknowledging the importance of physics – it’s just that I’ve never even taken one class. I’m totally out of my league and I’ll admit it. 🙂

      • objv says:

        Duncan, thank you for taking the time to try to explain climate change to me. I know the subject will come up again in the future. I’m looking forward to any discussion between you and Tracy. 🙂

        I trust physics unfortunately I’ve never taken a physics class and am totally out of my league on the subject.

      • objv says:

        Oh well, this is just not my day. My computer froze up again and wouldn’t let me send the first comment. I opened up a new window and rewrote the comment. Then when I closed the first window, the comment automatically was sent out. Sorry for the duplication, folks!

  25. 1mime says:

    Thanks for the reminder on Theroux’s “Soul of the South”. My husband grew up in Natchez, MS, and we have traveled Highway 61 many times over the years. Looking forward to reading it in one sitting.

  26. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    Is the country ready???

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-and-warren-electrify-ohio-crowd-sparking-visions-of-a-ticket/2016/06/27/8b169f8e-3a59-11e6-9ccd-d6005beac8b3_story.html#comments

    This is a powerful combination. A comment seen often is “I’m ready but I don’t think the country is…”

    • 1mime says:

      I’m on record saying these two should not pair up. Much prefer Bacerra or Kaine….

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        Sorry, previously posted this on wrong thread…

        You have to admit they campaign well together. Watch the video yet?

    • antimule says:

      I myself like it, especially because Warren is an actual progressive.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        And not a limp noodle but a powerful progressive.

      • 1mime says:

        She’s more effective as she is in the Senate. That’s my take.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Im really coming around to it. Warren brought a lot of energy tobthaf crowd.

        Hillary is extremely competent and has a lot of skills. Charisma is not one of them.

        At the end of the day, Hillary has the moderate vote locked up. Whether it’s Warren or someone else, she would do well to pick someone tobher left, a true Progressive.

      • 1mime says:

        With Bernie’s more committed followers, do you think a Warren on a Clinton ticket would be good or bad? I’ve read negative comments about Warren’s endorsement of Clinton.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        The Warren folks I know have been there for years, not months. I think they may be the more ‘committed’ followers.

      • 1mime says:

        She’s a firebrand, alright, and whip-smart. She doesn’t back away from calling things as she sees them. Her honesty and directness is both refreshing and compelling. I cannot imagine why Clinton would be campaigning with her if she doesn’t plan on asking her to be VP, but, who knows. Maybe Warren’s just “whipping” up enthusiasm for Clinton.

        Consider this interesting scenario: Trump picks Gingrich as VP; Clinton picks Warren. Can you envision a debate pitting Gingrich against Warren? She would eat him alive! It’s almost worth having her as VP to see the match up with the pudgy, narcisistic, hypocritical Gingrich. (Did I miss anything there?)

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Mime, there is massive overlap between supporters ofnthe two. I would imagine anybody who supports one, but really dislikes the other to be a very rare bird indeed

      • 1mime says:

        I am certain of this: whoever Clinton picks as VP will have passed through a very deep vetting process….They don’t need my advice (-;

      • 1mime says:

        Not sure where to place this link, but for those who are curious about how Sanders’ reps scored on the Democratic Platform Committee, here’s an inkling:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/06/27/heres-what-bernie-sanders-has-won-in-the-democratic-platform-so-far/?utm_source=nl-politics-daily-062716

      • formdib says:

        “With Bernie’s more committed followers, do you think a Warren on a Clinton ticket would be good or bad? I’ve read negative comments about Warren’s endorsement of Clinton.”

        Gonna state again that among Bernie’s more, uh, ‘passionate’ supporters, there are plenty who’ve written off Warren’s years of work because of her endorsement.

        To be honest, of late I’ve heard them grumbling about Bernie playing nice with Clinton. Tl;dr: they’re not gonna vote blue, no matter who.

      • 1mime says:

        Let us hope Sanders most passionate supporters are few in number and that the rest are inspired at some point by Sen. Sanders to buck up and support the party that can retake the Senate, install a progressive in the White House, and make strides to cutting into the conservative majority int tthe House. To do ANYTHING else is not just ffoolish, it is dangerous. Think Trump can’t win? Do not make that bet.

        This is why it is so important that Sanders stop playing games and do what he demonstraated so capably during his campaign: lead.

      • 1mime says:

        Here is what progressives are fighting for, in state after state. Sanders supporters need to get real. You don’t win fights like these by wishing. It takes unity of purpose and effort.

        http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article74534012.html

      • rulezero says:

        I believe the newest ABC poll showed only 8% of Bernie supporters are backing Trump. It was 20%. In 2008 at this same time, around 15% of Clinton’s supporters backed McCain.

        I think the Bernie folks will mostly come around.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Warren especially was devastating. For all the worry about “how badly Trump is going to attack her” after the numbers he did on his GOP colleagues in the primary, by far the heaviest, most cutting blows have come from the HRC side. Mostly by Warren herself.

      His attacks have been decidely weaker. Warren is landing haymakers, and he at best is returning jabs. “Goofy” and “Pocahontas” are not going to drop mics anywhere. Trump used up all his powder early on HRC. What can he say about her we haven’t already heard?

      • 1mime says:

        Don’t worry, Rob. If they can’t “find” anything, they’ll make it up…..

      • 1mime says:

        Finally got to see the videos. Warren: ” Trump is a small, insecure, money-grubber”! That’s pretty clear……I still would rather see her stay in Senate and be an independent attack dog. Time will tell.

    • You mean Pocahontas? 😉 (Trump, like a blind squirrel, finds an acorn once in a while.)

      • objv says:

        Tracy a more culturally sensitive name would be Fauxahontas. 😉

      • Griffin says:

        Making a mountain out of a molehill? Race-obsessed while pretending to be “colorblind”? You guys really are right-wingers!

        Unless your own candidate is an ACTUAL blatant liar and race-baiter and is both of those things to a far greater degree than if even the worst accusations against Warren were even true. Then what do we get? Shoulder shrugs and a “Meh, still got my vote”. How pathetic.

      • flypusher says:

        Explain to us exactly what opportunity Warren cheated a more deserving someone else out of by saying that she has Native American ancestry.

        Here’s a hint- it’s NO ONE.

  27. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    Re: Payday loans

    I wonder where the chairman of DNC, Debbie Wassermann Schultz stands on pay day loans today.

    She was in favor of weakening rules set by Warren’s agency last time I checked…

  28. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    Not sure this belongs here but this made me smile.

    I’m very likely in that left-wing box myself…

    • antimule says:

      Yeah… too much truth in it, unfortunately.

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      It’s like the primer you need before entering the libertarian subreddit.

      I can’t say I don’t enjoy the madness there though…

    • antimule says:

      To be fair, there are also folks like our host Chris Ladd, who identifies as a libertarian but is thoroughly decent.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I’m just coming back from yelling and trolling on the libertarian subreddit. There is no place for a moderate centrist libertarian in the libertarian party.

        It’s composed mostly of nutjobs (the purists for whom all government is a sin and gary johnson is too soft) and the paleolibertarians (the racist neo confederate types that Lifer talks about who just want to oppress and drive out “the other people” in peace without stupid govt getting in the way).

        Gary Johnson is one of the few out of the tiny pragmatic wing – and he’s probably already too extreme for many people.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t believe Lifer considers himself a Libertarian, antimule, but a conservative Republican of the Jack Kemp tradition. Of course, these days he might prefer that label given the GOP nominee.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        And once in awhile, those “paleolibertarians” come up with some truly incredible posts, like this one

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      In the past, I’ve visited Libertarian reps sitting in a booth or behind a table at local festivals. Those were odd experiences. Those recruiters — I presume they are recruiting — actually insulted just about everyone who came up to talk to them. Just saying Hi! got them going. Weird, very weird.

  29. 1mime says:

    Re: BREXIT – CNBC just announced that Standard and Poors has reduced the rating of the UK from triple A to double A.

    Elections have consequences.

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      YAY!! Now the US is better than the UK, YAY!! The US not the worst!!

      • Ken Rhodes says:

        Not the worst???

        People with seriously large sums of money lend it to the USA at net negative interest because they believe it’s safer than depositing it in a bank–any bank.

        Whatever S&P says with their hugely overestimated credit ratings, the folks whose opinion counts think USA credit is the real bullet-proof safe deposit box.

      • 1mime says:

        The haven of last resort or first resort! It is an ill wind that doesn’t bring any good ( or something thereabouts!)

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Trump may finally begin to realize that hitching his wagon to Brexit like he did is political suicide. Even dumber since he isn’t really a true believer (he didn’t even know what it was a few weeks ago). He thought it would pump up the populist masses.

      Hillary’s got a perfect opening to say “Make America great again? You mean just like the Brits just made the UK great again? With trillions in retirement funds wiped out and the currency at 35 year lows? If that’s your opinion of great, by all means, vite Trump”

      • 1mime says:

        Yeah, before any Americans celebrate being rated higher than the UK, better check today’s market, on top of Friday’s market…..It’s sort of like the headlines in the Houston Chronicle that the regional economy is starting to feel the effects of downsizing from the oil and gas industry. Really? What did people think was going to happen? Only this time, it is going to be a lot harder for the oil and gas industry to go back up to $100/barrel oil and stay there – if it can get there.

        Reality is painful – for all of us as the world is really a house of cards………

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        There was just a bit of sarcasm in my comment mime. I’m a little tired of the idiocy of it all.

      • 1mime says:

        Sorry I didn’t pick up on your sarcasm, Pseudo. I appreciate your views and read them with interest.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Mime, I think the global markets in general and American in particular will bounce back pretty soon. This is fundamentally a political crisis and not a financial one. And at the end of the day, once some of the initial shock wears off, people will realize that this is probably beneficial to America. Of course the EU is a tight partner and Ally. They’re also a competitor, and the EU is undoubtedly weaker without the UK then with it.

        Now, the British markets I think are in for a lot of pain over the next few months.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        “Only this time, it is going to be a lot harder for the oil and gas industry to go back up to $100/barrel oil and stay there ”

        I doubt we’ll see $100 anytime over the next few decades Mime. The fracking boom was a technological game changer which basically increased the US recoverable oil reserves several fold, overnight. And that’s just the US. The technology will eventually find its way elsewhere, as tends to happen.

        Fracking is also relatively cheap and mobile. I.e. anytime the oil price gets above a certain level, say $50-$60, you’ll see hundreds or thousands of rigs quickly come online to cash in on the high price. When that activity naturally drops prices as excess supply floods the markets, those fracking operations will close up and wait for the next time.

        Not to mention, renewable energy investment has increasingly become decoupled from the price of oil. Typically, if oil was low enough, renewable energy investment dropped in concert. Under that model, permanently low oil prices would basically kill renewable energy investment. What were seeing nownis that RE investment is increasingly understood to vital to our interest irregardless of the price of oil, due to the threat of cliamte change. As we make breakthroughs in RE, that will greatly reduce the demand for oil overall. Within 15 years, electric cars will be everywhere. That’s going to have a huge affect on demand.

        These two dynamics I believe will prevent oil from going higher anytime soon. Frankly, we may never see $100 oil ever again.

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      Fitch did too, to AA with negative outlook. Sigh.

  30. 1mime says:

    The Weekly Sift linked this excellent article on gun violence. It offers breadth and rational ideas. Sorry to again be OT. This is such an interesting news day (-;

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/23/gun-control-violence-what-works-what-doesnt

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      I’m really sorry mime, but can I have a moment of “I told you so” here please 😀
      “A ban on military-style assault weapons might save a small number of lives, but is unlikely to make a larger difference.”

      But you get to say that too
      “If you’re concerned about military-style weapons, experts suggest, it may be more effective to focus simply on limiting ammunition capacity”
      I think this is how our last discussion ended, with some additional musing about reloading mechanisms

      Going to read the rest now. This article seems a lot better than the shouting and partisan hackery I see everywhere else.

      • 1mime says:

        That was why I posted it, Pseudo. Something broader. Didn’t say it was a perfect prescription but it is refreshing to read fact-based, practical and logical suggestions without political rancor on a subject that is deadly important.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s another piece on gun violence that I think you’ll agree with Pseudo. Lots of room here for agreement and action. If only we could talk to one another.

        http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/04/the-gun-fight-in-congress?mbid=nl_160627_daily&CNDID=24419463&spMailingID=9118347&spUserID=MTE3NDg4MjU3NDg2S0&spJobID=942630610&spReportId=OTQyNjMwNjEwS0

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Pseudo, I think there is massive value in passing some form of gun control. ANYthing, even if it’s minimally effective, if only to prove to a skeptical Progressive base that, yes, it is possible to beta the NRA, and no, gun control laws are not politically impossible.

        Once you break the seal, sure, spend political capital on the most effective solutions, and I think the easiest sell politically IS in the ammo/magazine area rather then guns directly. The 2A says absolutely nothing about ammunition or mags.

        But you can’t do any of that if the conventional wisdom is that ANY form of GC is impossible because the NRA is too politically powerful.

      • 1mime says:

        I still say closing the loopholes in gun sales at gun shows and wherever else they exist. I think there is broadest agreement that this is not only reasonable, but enforceable.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        “The 2A says absolutely nothing about ammunition or mags.”

        Can you legally make it so that all semi-automatic weapons (i.e. including semiautomatic pistols, and rifles) are limited to shooting ranges and/or specifically trained or created militia units of some sort?

        But that stuff like hunting rifles is basically unregulated?

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Pseudo, I prefer market solutions that will shape behavior rather then outright banning.

        What if, for example, all ammunition deemed unnecessaririly destructive (specifically, soft mushrooming rounds) get slapped with a tax so absorbitant that it prices pretty much everyone out of the market. Sure, those bullets are legal. But make them cost $500/round or something. I’m serious. Who could afford them?

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I understand that soft mushrooming rounds are used by law enforcement because they don’t run the risk of piercing the target and hitting collateral. Is that wrong? I suppose that a tax like that could easily be waived for law enforcement though.

        In any case, insurance requirements really are one of those things that will automatically and dynamically do this. I expect prices for semiautomatic pistols to go up, but prices for rifles to go up a little, while prices for shotguns and hunting rifles shouldn’t change much at all…

      • 1mime says:

        Since we’re on the “I told you so trip”, this backstory on the NRA, and two even harder-core gun organizations lays bare the workings of the gun advocacy groups. Excellent background.

        “The N.R.A.’s true power has always come from its membership. Today, the group’s hardball tactics and extreme positions are trying the patience of many members. The cracks in the N.R.A. edifice come from more than one source and splay in more than one direction, but they all have the effect of separating the leadership from its base. If N.R.A. officials are nervous, it is because they may remember what happened once before, nearly 40 years ago, when a coup by the membership deposed the men at the top and radically changed the group’s course.”

        http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/06/the-civil-war-that-could-doom-the-nra?utm_source=nl-politics-daily-062716

      • “I still say closing the loopholes in gun sales at gun shows and wherever else they exist. I think there is broadest agreement that this is not only reasonable, but enforceable.”

        Well, the comments in this particular thread have been unmitigatedly silly, but I must admit to some curiosity. How, exactly, would you enforce universal background checks, 1mime? As far as I can figure, universal background checks are approximately as enforceable as sodomy laws.

      • 1mime says:

        I would give the proper authorities the power to do so within the legislation.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Hmmm… “The Gun Show Loophole”. Newsflash. There is no such thing. What it sort of refers to is “private transfers”. Now if some genius here is going to tell me how in the hell the government is going to require background checks on the sale of your legally owned firearm to your friend or neighbor sans universal registration and mandatory inspections, I’ll listen. Otherwise, just cut the noise, will ya?

        And “soft mushrooming rounds”! You mean *all* hunting ammunition, right? You mean those bullets that are entirely *unlike* any used in any mass shooting like the one in Orlando that has all of you that know absolutely nothing of the subject, in such a lather?

        Good grief.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, Fifty, since there is only one genius here, maybe you can explain it for the rest of us…….

      • fiftyohm says:

        Sorry for my tone, mime – but the onus is on those proposing laws for which no basis of enforcement is in place. It’s a bit like making walking on sidewalks mandatory without frickin’ sidewalks. I know you’re following me here. This is not an obscure point.

      • 1mime says:

        If the NRA has its way, it will always be obscure. I admit I lack knowledge about whether or how universal background checks could be devised so that it would be enforceable. Frankly, that’s not my job. If I were the first ijit to suggest universal background checks, then your criticism would be spot on. Many, many law enforcement officers have recommended this as a tool in better controlling access to gun purchases. I assume they know more about enforcement than you and I. In my opinion, when you are facing a difficult problem such as gun violence, you put everything on the table, bring the smartest and most experienced people into the circle and figure out what is most important, will be effective and is possible. (The old “let’s go to the moon philosophy”…figure it out, don’t say it “can’t be done just because it never has been done.” I have never started problem solving by saying “that won’t work” just because I don’t know how to make it work. Maybe you ought to give that some thought, Fifty. No disrespect intended, but let’s be constructive here. If you don’t support universal background checks, you are entitled to defend your opinion, as am I.

      • fiftyohm says:

        And furthermore – this so-called “soft mushrooming ammunition” is freely available in – wait for it – let the point sink in – *Canada* for chrissake!

      • fiftyohm says:

        Dear mime – The fact is this: Without universal and retroactive gun registration, (which simply ain’t gonna happen), background checks for private transfers are completely unenforceable. . Tracy, above, is absolutely correct. It’s like a sodomy law. C’mon – think it through. “I’ve had this gun for years!”. “I didn’t sell that gun to him!”. “How do you know that was ever my gun?”. “OK then, *prove* it!”

        One doesn’t need to be a law enforcement official to see the glaring, obvious folly of this. I really don’t care what politician flaps their gums about this. Without retroactive registration and ownership licencing, background checks on private transfers cannot work. Period. And even then, it’s all post facto in the event of a crime. You must have an enforcement means *in place* first, or it’s’ all just so much noise, as I said, we’ve quite enough of that, now haven’t we?

        We have enough stupid and unenforceable laws without adding more just so people can feel good. (To no actual result.)

        Unless and until someone has the heuvos so stand up and admit this simple fact, and take the backlash from it, they’re nothing but a gum-flapping politician, and should just shut the hell up.

      • 1mime says:

        As always, Fifty, you’re entitled.

      • fiftyohm says:

        But not to my own facts, m’dear. There seems to be quite a bit of that going around on this topic around here.

      • 1mime says:

        We shall see, Fifty.

      • 1mime says:

        The gauntlet has been thrown. Looks like I’ll be doing more research on universal background checks. Tonight, here’s one that offers some interesting facts (since that’s what is important, I agree). I’d like to know more specifics but that will take some time and daylight. The article does point out the need for better sharing of information so that the background checks performed by licensed gun dealers has comprehensive records. Of course that means law enforcement and HIPPA will have to get on board……What good is any background check if those who shouldn’t be approved aren’t in the system? There’s a whole lot of changes that would make the process work more effectively. I’ll be checking on the loophole angle, too.

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/14/us/universal-background-checks/

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      I remember reading about threat assessment to deal with mass shootings before. It works, and it significantly decreases chances of mass shootings happening. Besides, it works on a basis on intervention and counseling – it’s still intervention without proving someone guilty, but at least it’s not sticking someone on a list or designing restrictive laws without determining guilt in courts. Besides, observing someone when they’re out of their homes is not a violation of their privacy. You’re guaranteed privacy in your home – you shouldn’t expect it when you’re out of it. Counseling without stigmatizing is definitely far better than “no fly” lists.

      The main problem with this approach is that it won’t give people the certainty that people crave – like the certainty of the illusory sort that a “ban on assault weapons” does.

  31. 1mime says:

    From the BREXIT link: “If we want to avoid learning that firsthand, though, we’re going to need to build bigger safety nets for globalization’s losers, and, in the case of the E.U., make it more responsive to voters. Otherwise, we might get the toughest lesson of all.

    History doesn’t always move forward.”

    Is there any upside to this? Could the commentator quoted by the WaPo be correct? Is the “leave” vote in political purgatory?

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      Hence, the overlap between Sanders and Trump voters. It doesn’t matter what Clinton says – she’s too far in with the global economic elite – the bankers, the experts, the professionals and the like.

      Most of the fixes without xenophobia and racism all involve a government with a large welfare safety net, preferably as a UBI. You can get this by blaming the 1%, and pushing for higher taxes, or you can blame “the other people”. You can do the first without significant disruption to lives and to the economy. But blaming “the other people” is pretty terrible for both, as shown by the whole Brexit shenanigans.

      The bright side is demographics. Younger generations, especially those that have grown up with the internet are not very nationalistic at all. It’s hard to be when half the people you know don’t come from whatever artificial border you’re in. Both Trump voters and Brexit voters are older. The older you are, the more nationalistic you are.

      The globalization and the centralization of the world will continue – it’s just that a few more working class people will be screwed over now.

  32. 1mime says:

    Regarding BREXIT, the WaPo published an amazing comment on political gamesmanship executed by Cameron in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. Very insightful, but, is it prophetic?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/26/an-astute-online-comment-has-many-wondering-whether-brexit-may-ever-happen/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_wv-incidents-140pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      WAHT?! Internet comments being insightful? WAHT? My worldview is shaken! Alert the press!

      • 1mime says:

        Pseudo – did you read the comment? The quality of thought was impressive. What are we but “commentators”? I enjoy reading comments here and others where there is some actual thinking going on.

        I get your point but the blogging world which has its weaknesses, definitely has opened the door for many incredible people to contribute to the world conversation. Consider that on this blog, we have people from all over the U.S., NZ, England, Australia, Canada, and lord knows where else. That’s pretty amazing! Of course it’s a compliment to Lifer. Do you have any doubt that when this BREXIT comment was posted that the commentator thought it would end up being quoted by the WaPo? Isn’t that marvelous?

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Yes, but I wonder if the commenter is even British, just like we don’t know the nationality of half the commenters here – and it doesn’t matter.

        And that is something that could never have happened before the internet age. And that is why the demographics for both Trump and Leave are heavily skewed towards older people. Young people really don’t have much use for nationalism – how would they, when their favorite internet group is likely to have people from multiple countries.

      • 1mime says:

        And, multi-nationalism is a good thing, Pseudo. In case you haven’t noted, most (not all) of the older commentators here are supporting HRC, not Trump. And, I daresay most would have supported Sanders if he had defeated Clinton – because it is a matter of values we support even more than the candidate.

      • rulezero says:

        Personally, I’m of the opinion that if there was ever a time for Her Majesty to invoke the power of the throne, it would be now. Imagine her news conference, chiding voters for not educating themselves, scorching David Cameron for his idiocy, and advising everyone that she’s still the queen.

        That’d be a sight to behold.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb Mime, I don’t think Brexit will ever happen.

      I don’t think the £ or the UK markets will recover anytime within the next year or two. Why would it? Global capital hates uncertainty and the UK will be uncertain forba very long time. That said, the UK is not going to call a second referendum. That’s a horrible precedent to set.

      Here’s what I think will happen: The buyers remorse is going to increase over the next few months, and “Leave” will become a pretty unpopular position. Either Cameron or the next PM will call an election sometime before 2017, and one of the candidates will be a clear “leave” proponent who runs on the platform that the day after he/she is elected, they’ll activate article 50. The other candidate will run on the explicit platform that they will never invoke article 50. In a way, this will act as a proxy referendum without going through the democracy nullifying process of calling a second referendum just because ppl don’t like the result.

      Remember, the referendum was an internal British affair which was designed to let the people decide if they SHOULD invoke article 50. Only the UK can invoke it, and even tho Europe may feel dicked around (and, honestly, probably pretty relieved) if the UK doesn’t invoke A50, there’s nothing legally that can be done to force them too.

      • 1mime says:

        You may be right, Rob, but what if the EU decides it wants the UK gone? Sooner, rather than later. After all, leaving the entire situation in legal limbo is more harmful to them than it is to the UK.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I don’t believe the EU has any legal path whatsoever to force them out. Article 50 is just the mechanism for any nation to leave the EU. And once A50 is invoked , the UK will be out whether they have a change of heart or not. But UNTIL A50 is invoked , the EU has no power to force them to out.

        And there is no mechanism for A50 to be invoked FOR other nations, only BY. If the UK never officially invokes it in Brussels, the UK cannot be forced out.

      • 1mime says:

        You are probably correct, but it does rather “roil” the organization operation, don’t you think?

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        The EU won’t want the UK out. The EU is not a jilted lover with mood swings. The UK is good for the EU.

        Hell, if anything, assuming the UK doesn’t leave, the EU will *thank* them for putting up a good show – because if that kind of nationalistic madness can wreak that much havoc on one of the richest countries in the EU, what chance does a smaller country, which is a net recipient of the EU, have? It’ll crush them completely.

      • 1mime says:

        That is very interesting pseudo. I haven’t read any other spices that considered that angle.

      • 1mime says:

        Solid thoughts, pseudo. Undoubtedly, there are many possibilities. The EU might come out of this “smelling like a rose!

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Good point Pseudo. How would possibly want to leave now, after the spanking the UK is getting?

      • 1mime says:

        And now for the back story on BREXIT (and a little humor on a dark subject):

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Well, I think it’s still possible for people to want to leave – but that’s got nothing to do with any perceived economic benefits.

        https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PostRefRacism

        This is saddening – if that isn’t an unraveling of Western liberal values of a sort we haven’t seen the 30s, I don’t know what is.

      • 1mime says:

        I think emphasis on capitalism has created an individualistic, materialism focus that has stripped people’s understanding and importance of the “common good”. In and of itself, capitalism offers much that is positive to guide one’s life. But there are changes that I feel have moved our nation in a different, and possibly not better, direction in terms of our values. Lifer has written about the era in which I grew up – and has found flaws. In no disrespect for his opinion, my personal experience was very positive, and I think many of the values you lament passing, were nurtured and practiced in this era. Yes, there was poverty, racial divide, suppression of women and the poor, but there was much more that was good – at least in my generation. We weren’t wealthy but we had “enough” to feel secure. Families and communities were strong and relatively safe. And, yes, our “white privilege” helped. Black families didn’t experience the same rights, financial security or safety. For them, education and agitation have leveled the playing field of life but boy is there still a long way to go.

        We live “fast” – gone are family meals – everyone eats when they can to accommodate busy schedules – we don’t spend enough time sharing family experiences – “things” have become integral to our self-importance and a sense of “entitlement” has subtly transformed our lives. Tolerance has yielded to opinionated judgement…This shift in attitude, priorities, and lifestyle has permeated our culture and reduced an enduring value system to today’s more narrow version. Where is this most evident in our society? In Caucasian circles.

        Waxing poetic here but as an older person I clearly see a difference in how people treat one another today versus yesteryear. I think back when I was a kid – eleven/twelve – we had a Black yardman who helped out occasionally. I recall my mother taking a plate of lunch out to him. He didn’t ask for it but he was poor, and hungry, and she knew that. She was a kind person but was also had an awareness of need. I assumed this was how all families treated those who worked for them. Today, we all have people help in our homes in a myriad of ways. Do we fix a plate of lunch for them or expect them to provide their own lunch? Common courtesies and respect for others are losing to the “I, me, my” mindset. It diminishes us and I lament its passing.

  33. 1mime says:

    This is a busy news morning and lots of OT potential (-: I love this article for what it says about courage and principle and because it demonstrates that righteous indignation can still be effective in the political process.

    ” If sit-ins are a way for the powerless to call the powerful to public account, the House sit-in contains a powerful meta-message: The class of powerless people now includes members of Congress.

    With bipartisanship dead and the Republican majority living by the Hastert Rule — nothing comes to the floor unless a majority of the Republican caucus supports it — the normal procedures of the House offer Democratic representatives nothing. But that in turn invokes the Bobby McGee principle: There’s no reason to keep living by their rules if they’ve already taken everything away from you.”

    And this: “The public staggers from one gun massacre to the next, numbed by the belief that nothing can be done. Politicians call for prayer, and Congress holds moments of silence. Other countries somehow avoid getting 30,000 of their citizens killed by guns each year, and do it without being overrun by criminals or taken over by tyrants. But of course we couldn’t, because … because we just can’t.

    The immediate point of Lewis’ sit-in and Murphy’s filibuster is to shake that fatalism and put responsibility where it belongs: There are things to do, but the people in a position to do them refuse to act.”

    https://weeklysift.com/2016/06/27/whats-up-with-congressional-democrats/

  34. Rob Ambrose says:

    Hill/Liz in Ohio giving a speech right now. Warren is very strong on unions (“unions built the middle class and unions will rebuild it!”) as well as being strong on social security (“we honor hard working Americans by strengthing and expanding social security!”).

    Hill hasn’t spoken yet, but she’s pretty clearly running on a progressive platform like we haven’t seen in a really long time. Which I’m all for. If you’re going to lose, you may as well lose beibg yourself.

    And frankly, I think she’ll be rewarded. There is a whole lot of pent up Progressive energy wanting to be released in the electorate, as Sanders insane funding prowess shows.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Hillary speaking now:

      “it’s time for those who profited most since the great recession to give back to society. I will not raise taxes on the middle class but I will raise taxes corporations and the wealthy!”

      “There are some companies who look at their employees the right way: as assets that need to be invested in, and not as costs that need to be cut. As president, I will do everything I can to reward companies that act the right way and penalize those that don’t”

      Strong statements. She’s talking very specifically about how to protect American workers (“stop allowing China to dump steel into our markets”). Good to see her getting away from “I’m not Trump” and getting wonky. At this point, everybody knows how racist and bigoted Trump is. The best way to hurt him now is by being specific with your own policy proposals. Trump literally cannot be so specific because he knows any specifics willl allow economists to thoroughly debunk them. If Hillary gets specific about proposals, Trumps lack thereof will be highlighted

      • 1mime says:

        Hillary needs to build enthusiasm for her own agenda. As I recall, in the last couple of months in the ’08 campaign, she was picking up steam. Maybe she’s a strong finisher…let us hope, because coming are: the FBI email investigation report and the Benghazi Report, two years in the fabrication/oops – “making”. Who knows what other nefarious charges are hiding under Trump’s comb-over….She needs to make her case now because as Trump’s war chest builds, and it is and will, she needs a committed base.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Good, that is encouraging.

        Now all that is needed is for people to stop demanding Sanders to go away, wait till the convention, and make a big show of putting his agenda on the dem party platform.

      • 1mime says:

        Sanders lost the nomination. I think it’s time for him to step back but since he’s determined to go to the convention, so be it. I read a piece yesterday where he noted the gains his appointees to the rules committee had made and those he wasn’t successful with. He plans to pursue the others at the convention. Fine. What does bother me is this: he hasn’t changed his political affiliation to Democrat – he is still registered independent….why? He campaigned on doing so. And, this: he has refused to endorse Clinton despite knowing full well she won. A one-word “yes” that he will vote for her is not the same as him endorsing her. He is still free to go all the way to the convention and make his case there for platform ideas, but, as what? An independent? Doesn’t that seem a little presumptuous? IOW, he won’t register Democrat unless he gets what he wants? That’s been part of his problem.

        I admire the heck out of how he ran his campaign. I would have supported him had he beaten Clinton. He didn’t and now it’s time to put up or shut up.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Mime, what on earth are you talking about – this is the best possible way to bring as many Sanders voters as possible into the Dem camp.

        You do realize that a very large proportion of Sanders voters were independents, right? He consistently won independents by large margins in the primary.

        Him staying independent, and continuing till the convention – and then, hopefully, the Dem party will making a big show of things and adopting a slightly more progressive platform is the best possible way of convincing those Sanders independents that the Dems will represent their interests.

        Asking him to go away just makes those very same independents think the Dems are desperate to bury Sanders and his ideas so that they can continue with their corrupt corporatist policies.

        What’s the harm in him doing what he’s doing anyway? Clinton’s already won, and she is going to be the nominee. Democrats will vote party line, anyway – it’s the independents you have to worry about. Why, why is it so important that we demand declarations of loyalty to the Democratic party? The people we’re trying to win over – the independents, hate the DNC as it is, but as long as we can convince them that the Dems will fight for their causes, we will have their vote.

      • 1mime says:

        You’re missing the point, Pseudo. Sanders said he would become a Democrat – his commitment, not something that was extracted from him. And, no one is telling him he “can’t” go to the convention and lobby for his ideas. What I would object to would be ultimatums. There is a process and many people with many ideas. They should all be heard and voted on. Then the party should unite. How is Sanders going to fit into this process if he is coming from the vantage of being an independent? Again, I remind you, Bernie offered that up, he wasn’t obligated to make that statement, but having made it, he needs to honor it. He will have 1900 delegates at the convention – most likely will be Independents, that’s ok, but he needs to follow through.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I’ll be entirely happy if Sanders keeps doing exactly what he’s doing right now, and then switches his affiliation *after* the convention, or maybe even during it – preferably after making a big show of having the Dems accept more of the progressive platform.

        Seriously, I couldn’t care less if he wanted to march to the convention half naked like Gandhi did or whatever.

        Right now, my priority is crushing the xenophobic, nationalistic, shortsighted and racist forces that have been awoken and are being fanned to madness by opportunistic fools. That is dangerous for the western liberal (as in liberty) order as a whole, and threatens the prosperity and peace that has been par for the course for decades. I don’t want crazy nationalistic fools lead us into full scale wars like in the olden days – and it will happen eventually, if your entire governing philosophy is hate for the “the other people”. The few fluctuations from the norm are bad enough as they are. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to get support from Sanders independents, white male video game nerds, or centrist moderate libertarians like myself.

        Loyalty to the tribe is overrated. And in this situation, that gains you nothing but resentment from people who don’t care to belong to the blue tribe.

  35. johngalt says:

    As a Texas taxpayer, I want to thank Attorney General Paxton from taking the time from his fighting his felony indictment to help downtrodden businesses like ExxonMobil from the the bullies in the government of the Virgin Islands. How, after all, would a company whose 2015 profits exceed the Virgin Island’s GDP by only 11-fold be expected to withstand this unfair assault?

    • 1mime says:

      Paxton is a disgrace. Abbott is a disgrace for allowing Paxtonto continue functioning as TX AG. The people of TX who voted for Paxton and Abbott need to have a serious conversation with themselves. He is the archtypical far right conservative who keeps doubling down on the outrageous because: he is allowed to get away without consequence.

  36. tuttabellamia says:

    Off topic, but I wanted to clarify my comment from Saturday night about video game nerds.

    It was my way of pointing out that misogyny does not necessarily just come from “angry old right-wing men,” who seem to be a favorite target on this blog, but that it can also come from angry young left-wing men, and that hatred from either side is unacceptable.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I am assuming that the angry young video game nerds are left-wing, but I may be wrong.

      And yes, with regards to the stories about women who have been harassed online and off, I admit I only know what I read in the papers, because I don’t participate in the world of video games, so this topic is probably over my head.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Yeah, I would say so. At the fringes, though. Certainly not in any sense accepted by the mainstream left the way that fringy nutbars hold governorships/senatorships/congressional seats/talk radio/super PACS in the mainstream right.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I would say that at 50 I’m too old for video games, but my boyfriend is also 50 and he is totally into Angry Birds, but that’s about the only angry thing about him.

      • smokiesmom says:

        Tutabella – it seems that most videio game nerds ( especially the ones who have issues with women ) tend to lean to the right and a large number are Trump supporters

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rob, so we don’t have to worry about an angry video game nerd winning the presidency?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And I apologize for having disappeared Saturday night, but my post about angry young white video game nerds seems to have taken on a life of its own, in a direction I absolutely did not expect and could never have imagined, but I guess I should be prepared for any possible interpretation of anything put out there.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Off topic again, but . . . the political slant of this blog is mostly center-left, with 90% of the participants agreeing with each other 90% of the time, but the place is not without conflict, except that instead of Left versus Right, our conflicts tend to be increasingly about Young versus Old, which I think is cool, especially since I don’t have kids, and I rather enjoy seeing the young’uns here saying some of the stuff I used to say when I was in my 20s.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t know what this says about this 72 year old, but I like how our young people are thinking. I also bring the experience that living longer offers but I don’t let that get in the way of trying, at least, to see the world through wider lens than my own generation.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I agree, Mime. Today’s young people are smart, energetic, and earnest.

        What I find interesting and challenging is to be addressed confidently and matter-of-factly by people so much younger than myself, to be disagreed with. That’s something I had not really experienced until now, and I am enjoying it, as long as they continue to be respectful.

        It’s like all these kids grew up somewhere along the way and now suddenly there’s this whole new pool of adults that didn’t exist before, that just came out of nowhere, who have formed their own opinions and ideas, and now they are a force to be reckoned with.

      • 1mime says:

        With numbers comes power. With power comes responsibility. With responsibility comes hard choices. Let us hope creativity, education and youth combine to make the world a better place for all of us and that old people don’t get in the way……except an occasional, “really”?

        (-;

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I would say that “angry” video game nerds are probably not left wing.

        But I would also say that most video game nerds aren’t angry. And most video game nerds aren’t in the Trump wing, at least not by default – unless people drive them out of the left by calling them harassers…

        Here’s some somewhat conflicting data though.

        https://reason.com/archives/2014/05/07/whats-libertarian-about-gamers
        http://www.theesa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Political-Survey.pdf

    • antimule says:

      Nah, no problem at all. It is just that it is popular narrative these days even though no one has proven that it is actually worse than anywhere else. Beware the Chinese cardiologist* fallacy. Which on itself wouldn’t bother me all that much, but now they are also rewriting history to “show” that the old games were also sexist. As someone who played many old games (that are now deemed sexist). I can tall you that at least that part of a narrative is largely false. That’s the “batshit postmodernism” I was talking about befor . Though, as I am no longer gaming intensively as before and I don’t live in America, I will grant the possibility that young American punks really are that horrid, but I don’t know.

      Also those of the gamers that are sexist are largely in Trump camp, so not leftists.

      * http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/09/16/cardiologists-and-chinese-robbers/

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I’d totally forgotten about that article, or I’d have posted it last week. Oh, well. Thanks for reminding me of it.

        Also,

        “I chose to pick on them at random – well, not quite random, one of them yelled at me the other day because apparently contacting the cardiologist on call late at night just because your patient is having a serious heart-related emergency is some kind of huge medical faux pas.”

        This is true.

        Cardiologists are terrible people.

  37. Rob Ambrose says:

    SCOTUS is in. Struck down the Texas law as unconstitutional, specifically the requirement to have admitting privileges forbdoctors, as well as the surgicial requirements.

    Haven’t seen whobthe conservative who crossed the aisle is, bit it would be very interesting if it was Kennedy.

    I posited last week that he’d be interesting to watch after the affirmative action decision. I thought he might become more liberal as a result of clear right wing obstructionism re: Merrick Garland. This is another decision that supports that theory.

    The judges are human too. Seems to me that any moderate conservative who is not ideologically bound to right wing thought is going to be turned off by what they’re seeing from the right, and there’s a good chance that they could (consciously or subconsciously) drift towards to the left as a counterbalance to the rights actions.

    • 1mime says:

      It was Kennedy.

    • flypusher says:

      Good. Those laws were based on a foundation of lies.

      So pro-lifers, if you want to reduce abortions, support access to contraception, and/or better sex-ed, and/or stop demonizing single mothers.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s the opinion from Scotusblog.com for those who are interested. I am curious as to which other states will be impacted by this ruling. Guess we’ll find out as media starts digging. I looked for info on the restricted use of the “morning after pill” but couldn’t find it. Post if you can locate info. Contraception is key. This is not just a matter of “womens’ rights”; it’s “family” rights. Male spouses are also impacted by family planning decisions.

        http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/15-274_p8k0.pdf

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        If I recall correctly Mime, there are lots of States who have passed laws like this (10-15 maybe?). They’ll likely be struck down just as fast as they can be challenged.

      • 1mime says:

        There are purportedly two dozen states which will be impacted by the ruling.

      • 1mime says:

        I knew someone would crunch the numbers on states that will be impacted by the SCOTUS decision on Hellenstadt. Thank you, NYT. There is some pretty telling graphics shown in the body of the article. For those who may not know this, one of the many bogus claims to justify requiring abortion clinics meet hospital standards was “womens’ safety”. Consider this: there is higher risk to a colonoscopy than there is to an early term abortion. Now, we’ve all had colonoscopies, right? Remember where you had it done? 9 times out of 10, it was in a doctor’s clinic rather than a hospital….why let the hospitals make all of the money?

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/02/29/us/why-the-abortion-clinics-have-closed.html?emc=edit_ne_20160627&nl=evening-briefing&nlid=41048410&te=1&_r=0

    • 1mime says:

      If anyone doubts the importance of a single justice on the SC, consider this: Hellerstadt would not have been thrown out if Scalia had been on the bench. More importantly, it appears that the court is being much more thoughtful in its deliberations – even when the decisions don’t always go the way I prefer. Instead of one loud, opinionated, highly partisan (did I miss any descriptors?) justice dominating, we have a court that is honest to god deliberating. I have no doubt that this is more difficult than following the lead of a bellicose member, but it certainly gives more appearance of respect for the law and the acumen of all the justices who serve on that body. In short: the SC is bigger than any one member, as it should be.

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