Link Roundup, 8/1/2016

From the New York Times: Dropping the Trans-Pacific partnership is a bad idea.

From the Daily Beast: Polls have always said we’re “on the wrong track.” Expectation bias and flawed polls.

From Scientific American: Research is questioning the value of acupuncture.

From Buzzfeed: Marketing Pentecostal religion in Silicon Valley. It’s even weirder than you would imagine.

On a related note from the GOPLifer archives: The rise of Disorganized Religion.

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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239 comments on “Link Roundup, 8/1/2016
  1. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    The unforgiving nature of the terrible present…
    Look back mournfully at the hope of the past.
    Choke upon the bitter irony…
    Let your eyes feast on the horror of deluded aspirations and mutilated ideals

    Here lies the remains of three men,
    who now can only please the scavengers and worms
    who now feed on the remains of their promising youth

    Look upon the works of absurd, false strongmen, and despair!

  2. 1mime says:

    OT if anything political these days can be, is a tale of different news reports of the same situation. See how easy it is for major newspapers to present information in a way that appeals to their bases. Which is accurate?

    Here’s another question I have as a pragmatist. If the U.S. owed the money to Iran, and if the payment was part of the multi-part Iranian Nuclear Deal, and if our detained citizens have been returned, what difference does it make when the money was paid?

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      I am totally, confused. Iran asked for 7-8 billion in the World Court in the Hague and we settled and made a settlement payment for much less than that (30 years compounding interest) would have been much higher…so good deal right? We didn’t transfer funds till January, I think there was a briefing by the WH press corp…..where is this OMG ransom was paid noise coming from?

      • 1mime says:

        Three guesses…first two don’t count….Republicans – the “spin, conspiracy” specialists……trying to embarrass Obama and Hillary and continue to skuttle the Iranian Nuclear Deal….

      • RobA says:

        I’ve heard rumours that it was Trump himself who leaked Intel briefings that he’s getting now.

      • 1mime says:

        What am I missing here, Rob? Is there a story on Trump leaking intelligence briefing information?

    • 1mime says:

      I keep seeing scenes like this and reading about Trump’s small donors ponying up $84M in July, and it makes me crazy. Two. different. worlds.

  3. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    It is important to note that Trump has spent a year running as an anti-establishment Republican.

    I’m not sure GOP folks failing to endorse or un-endorsing him really hurts him all that much.

    I keep thinking that it will make a difference if some well respected, big name Republican stands up and says, “I’m a Republican, but there is no way I can vote for Trump, and I’m encouraging everyone to not vote for Trump”.

    But then I remember that the list of “well respected, big name Republicans” is practically zero.

    McConnell and Ryan would have to say it, but I would venture to say that 60% of the electorate couldn’t pick Mitch McConnell out of a line up.

    • texan5142 says:

      Everybody knows the turtle man.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Maybe it would help if another anti-establishment person like Mrs. Palin “undorsed” him, but then he would just denigrate her and put her in her place. He has a talent for dismissing people.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Just like he did with Ted Cruz. And his supporters will follow suit and also dismiss anyone who speaks out against him. They are a lost cause.

        Our only hope is to lure the undecided over to Mrs. Clinton.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer, here’s a view that asserts that Trump really does represent the GOP establishment. As compared to – the Tea Party…..Further, that the combined efforts of the National Chamber of Commerce and Farming interests defeated Huelskamp and the chamber is making good on funding primary opponents of Tea Party members – who the chamber feels is not working for business’ interests. Opponents are plenty to the chamber position, but it’s interesting to see formerly aligned conservative interests at odds. Interesting in a good way (-;

      Some analysts have argued that Trump’s nomination represents the logical conclusion of the Tea Party’s takeover of the GOP. But Huelskamp’s ouster suggests, as I have argued, that Trump is instead a disruption of the previous party conflict. And it shows that Trump, for all his antiestablishment fury, would, if elected, have an increasingly pro-establishment Congress at his back.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Mime – assuming the Trump doesn’t burn the country down (may be a big assumption), I suspect he governs like a pretty standard GOP president, firmly following the policies of the establishment.

      • 1mime says:

        Trump will govern “like a pretty standard GOP president, firmly following the policies of the establishment.”

        Well, that makes me feel much better.

      • Chris L says:

        If he governs like he tweets, then I doubt Trump will govern at all.

        At best, he’ll play hooky to run his mouth while allowing his cabinet and VP to govern for him like the parents of America’s most unruly man-child.

  4. flypusher says:

    Our contestants left standing in the Trump collapse pool:

    EJ 25-Oct-16
    Rob Ambrose 8-Nov-16
    n1cholas 9-Nov-16
    Houston-stay-at-Homer 21-Jan16
    Mark Maros 9-Nov-16
    duncancairncross 15-Nov-16

    (I may be slightly off on Homer’s- but the iPhone has its limits and I went to the original post).

    If the Trump’s going to quit rumors have any substance, EJ’s looking good!

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      Ahem, please note that Homer is 21-Jan-2017 (not 2016), when our illustrious President Trump declares the country bankrupt and resigns in order to move on to make some other country great again.

      • flypusher says:

        Sorry that was a typo. I actually went to the trouble of typing over it and hit the wrong key!

    • 1mime says:

      Not that I think Trump is “going” to drop out for reasons I’ve already stated (and could be wrong about), but it might be interesting to start a list of potential successors for the GOP nomination….I have to believe wheels are turning within the establishment to have a back up plan, but who?

      I’ll start: (1) Ted Cruz, (2) John Kasich, (3) Mike Pence, (4) Paul Ryan

      Game on!

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Romney/Kasich or Kasich/Romney

        And they would lose

      • 1mime says:

        GOP categorically denies reports of Trump dropping out. He’s raised $80M in July and his campaign is spreading – he is the Republican candidate.

      • Chris L says:

        I doubt the GOP, in it’s fragile state, would commit suicide to pull a last minute bait-and-switch.

        Then again, given Trump’s surprisingly high watermark, I don’t think his voters are smart enough to know why they would care about things like that. Pretty sure right now the establishment Republicans are trying to figure out how to get these Velociraptors back on their leashes and in their cages. That’s why you’re not seeing a total fracture at the establishment level, their future depends on the freak show of Jurassic Platform falling back in line.

  5. 1mime says:

    In light of all the news about Trump, it is easy to overlook articles like this….been there, done that…but, really? It appears that the FBI could have been more forthcoming AND that the DNC should have been more watchful…But – all of us who peruse the internet have had issues, so you do your best to protect yourself by being vigilant and having strong software protection. Where do you draw the line if you’re the FBI? What changes do you implement if you’re the target of suspicious activity?

  6. tuttabellamia says:

    Allow me to repost this perfect comment from Texan which says it all, plain and simple:

    texan5142 says:
    August 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Get out the vote, this is the most important election of our lifetime.

    That is all.

  7. flypusher says:




    If that last report is true, Donnie-dimwit doesn’t understand why using nukes isn’t a great idea. Even after being told at least twice. I wonder where he wants to use then first. I’d bet somewhere in Iraq or Syria.

    Is it sinking in yet, GOP?????

  8. Holy ****, Batman! Meg Ryan just jumped ship! Endorsing and donating to Hillary!

    You know how the Republicans will not agree with Obama on anything? Well, Barry’s saying they should take back their endorsements of Trump sort of makes it more likely they will not, just out of spite!

    Last night i was watching CNN. All they were talking about was Trump and the state of his mind! What is wrong with him!

    And Trump just keeps trumping along!

  9. formdib says:

    “He says he’s a conservative from the conservative wing of the conservative party. He is a soulless globalist from the Democrat wing of the uni-party. That’s what he is.”

    Jeff Swensen, primary challenger of Paul Ryan in Wisconsin.

    …. And then the rest is just:

    “Trump praised Nehlen for running “a very good campaign” in an interview with The Washington Post. He added that Ryan has sought his endorsement, but as of now he is only “giving it very serious consideration.”

    “I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump told the Post. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

    Zack Roday, a Ryan campaign spokesman, said, “Neither Speaker Ryan nor anyone on his team has ever asked for Donald Trump’s endorsement. And we are confident in a victory next week regardless.””

    I’m in a good mood tonight, so this is striking me as funny for now, but man, when even Paul Ryan is too centrist for the conservatives…

    Other thoughts: would love to be a journalist paid by the word for any articles quoting Trump at this point. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.” 23 words where 9 suffice, and they’re such short words they don’t fill up too many inches of column space.

    And I find Zack Roday’s rebuff significant. It’s not the same thing as Ryan un-endorsing Trump, but it shows that card is in hand to distance from the campaign if necessary.


    I’m indulging in a bit of schadenfreude tonight. This rollercoaster year will have it’s downturn around the corner I’m sure.

    • flypusher says:

      Better to sell your souls to the devil than to Trump. At least the devil always upholds his end of the bargain. Trump will stiff you.

      ““Trump has moved in exactly the opposite direction from our recommendations on how to make the party more inclusive,” said Ari Fleischer, who worked with Bradshaw on the GOP’s so-called post-election autopsy and was a senior adviser to President George W. Bush.

      Fleischer still supports Trump over Clinton.”

      I’ve got an idea for a research project- I what to study the effects of that much cognitive dissonance on the human brain. I dare say n would be more than sufficient.

      “Veterans and families of fallen soldiers continue to call on Trump to apologize for his treatment of the Khan family, who spoke out against Trump at last week’s Democratic National Convention. Trump said the grieving father had “no right” to criticize him, only later acknowledging their son is a hero.”

      So if Trump ever did read the Constitution, he stopped reading before the Bill of Rights. He’s showing exactly the sort of authoritarian garbage he’s made of, saying that a citizen has “no right” to criticize him. Think about that.

      I really would like to be a fly on the wall at Trump HQ when everyone is trying to tell Trump to back off on this. The little bits of rumor are quite delicious.

      • 1mime says:

        Are the jellyfish listening?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        The whole cognitive dissonance thing is hard to fathom.

        My Trump-supporting friend is a Vietnam-era vet. If any other candidate had treated the Khans the way Trump did, he’d condemn them. But no: Hillary bad, worse even.

        And the white guy anger thing. What do they want, for gods’ sake? He hangs around with white guys who have ***damned airplanes. And big houses. And expensive cars. What more could they possibly suck up before somebody else gets it? These Trumpettes are not white male workers who have lost their jobs.

        I wonder if cognitive dissonance bouncing around inside their skulls has turned their brains to a soupy mess. Is there assisted living for the politically demented?

        Get out the vote.

      • flypusher says:

        “My Trump-supporting friend is a Vietnam-era vet. If any other candidate had treated the Khans the way Trump did, he’d condemn them. But no: Hillary bad, worse even.”

        I once got one of those FW: fwd: Fwd: fw: FWD: fw e-mails from conservative relatives totally ripping Hillary a new one for refusing a meeting with a group Gold Star mothers. I fact checked it (100% bogus) and hit “reply all” with the rebuttal. I am wondering if they are similarly rationalizing Trump’s total disrespect for the Kahn family, but since 2000 my rule with some relatives has been don’t-ask-don’t-tell concerning politics. It’s mostly kept the peace.

    • RobA says:

      GOP right now: “what the hell?! That rabid dog we were playing with keeps biting us! How could this have happened?!”

      It does kinda seem like the Trump campaign (and the GOP) is disintegrating before our eyes. All I can say is it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch

    • RobA says:

      Looks like the GOP thinks (or hopes) Trump might just quit.

      I must say, this is like watching a train wreck, if one train was full of Nazis, and the other, the NY Yankees. There’s no downside lol.

      • flypusher says:

        So if Trump quits, anyone think his adoring fan base will boycott the vote?

      • 1mime says:

        I think it would be an incredibly loud, messy election. I am really curious about Lifer’s views on this. Anarchy or boycott?

      • Fair Economist says:

        Some Trumpsters will boycott, and it won’t take many. If 1 in 20 Republican voters stay home, combined with demographic shifts from 2012, the Democrats are shoo-ins for the House and the Presidency, and 50/50 for the House.

      • Fair Economist says:

        Bah, shoo-ins for the *Senate* and the Presidency

      • 1mime says:

        Watch out for Ted Cruz. Lifer’s been warning us that Ted’s been very quiet…Cruz would be the obvious choice at this stage – pre debates….Pence couldn’t handle the nod or the job….

        Lifer, any reaction to this possibility of what might be going on behind the scenes?

    • 1mime says:

      The time may come sooner than later, or both. One of the Republican Party’s chief strategists is circulating a plan for incumbents up for reelection that counters Trump’s positions, this may finally indicate that the GOPe finally “gets it”.

  10. In an interesting turn of events, one of the infamous Freedom Caucus members, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, looks well on track to lose his primary. With just over half of the vote in, Huelskamp has been trailing by about 15% with no sign of catching up.

    A not so fond farewell to one, as Sen. McCain would put it, a far-right whacko bird. May we be graced with so many more this November.

    • 1mime says:

      I heard earlier today that the Koch brothers had committed a lot of financial backing to his campaign. What a harbinger of things to come….let us hope…in KS. May the people speak.

    • 1mime says:

      Oh, as for the Freedom Caucus? That group has been dead quiet. Wonder what they’re up to? It would make me happy if every member of that group lost. One less member is a great start.

    • 1mime says:

      Huelskamp was one of the big Boehner busters…here’s Boehner, celebrating the news of his loss.

    • RobA says:

      Looks like up and down the GOP ticket in KS, moderates are sweeping out extremist pols loyal to Gov Brownback. This is likely going to be widely seen as a referendum of Brownbacks tax cuts and looks like the tax cuts days may be numbered.

      Maybe…..the extremist fever is starting (just starting, mind you) to break.

      • Keep in mind that Kansas’ economy had to be thrown into the virtual doldrums for sensible Republicans to regain a foothold, Rob. Not that I don’t hope for sensible-minded Republicans to regain their foothold in Kansas politics, but it shouldn’t have had to come to this in the first place and Kansans only have themselves to blame in the end. We all get the government we deserve.

        I sincerely hope they can keep it up in November.

      • 1mime says:

        The Kansas economy is in the pits, Ryan, and it is self-imposed. The decline in the energy sector hasn’t helped offset insufficient revenues from other sources. Brownback cut the school year, cut higher education, funding for infrastructure, and when specifically ordered to reverse the cuts to public education by the state SC based upon constitutional requirements to adequately fund it, he challenged their ruling, they stood fast, then he and his cronies ran justices to replace certain members on the court! Combine insufficient revenue to fund basic state services with elimination of the state income tax, the resulting major cuts to services, and you have a clear case for gross abuse of power and failure of Brownback’s “courageous” economic experiment of “trickle down economics”. “For the second consecutive year, S&P Global Ratings has lowered its credit rating for the state from AA to AA-, the Associated Press reports. ”

        Yet KS citizens have returned him and his legislature to office in previous elections. Maybe not that more of its citizens are being financially impacted, not just the poor, maybe there will be changes in representation. It is long overdue.

      • 1mime says:

        Eleven, (11) conservatives in yesterday’s KS primary lost their elections.

        Here’s how the WSJ reports what is happening to KS economic experiment: “(In 2012) the legislature dropped the state’s top income-tax rate by 25% and eliminated a tax on small-business income. The Brownback-supported cuts were intended to jump start Kansas and help it compete with states like Texas, but instead the state’s economy has sputtered by many measures.”

        Sputtered?!!! WSJ, try “crashed and burned”………as more accurate reporting. This is what happens when conservatives take over a fine journal. Fair and balanced? No Way.

      • 1mime says:

        Kansas is such an extreme situation that I don’t think it will be typical of things to come for the GOP….wish it were, but, the people there put up with atrocious governance. At least, for those who were the primary beneficiaries of the cuts – school children, college students and professors, the KS Supreme Court….Remember, Brownback’s legislature has supported him 100%, so they should also feel the pain. Combine S***ty governance with the decline of their main industry – the energy sector – and you have the perfect environment for voter motivation.

  11. RobA says:

    Khuzr Khan is being interviewed by AC right now on CNN and he just absolutely melted Donald Trump about that weird purple heart thing today.

  12. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Thank you Trump. I take back every bad thing I said about a lack of artistic/linguistic creativity among most arch-conservative activists. Some of those guys right now are killing it… they are on fire!

    RedState’s Ben Howe

    “I view him (Trump) as a less ethical David Duke,” said Howe. “His idea of minority outreach is to stop calling people ‘colored’ and tweet pictures of taco bowls.”

    Rick Wilson (Republican Media Consultant)

    “The fact of the matter is most of Trump supporters are single childless men who masturbate to anime.”

    Damn that was cold. Even I felt that one, maybe because I love shows like Cowboy Bebop.

    • >] ““The fact of the matter is most of Trump supporters are single childless men who masturbate to anime.”

      O rly? As opposed to stalwart Republicans like Gingrich and Hastert that cheat on their wives and molest children? I think I’ll take my chances with the Trump supporters, Rick, but thanks for the input.

  13. Shiro17 says:

    A very interesting article from the Economist analyzing what new coalitions of voters may be viable and what may be the new defining issues that separate the two major parties.

    They had an interesting thought: now that this past coalition cycle seems to be on its last legs, where it seemed that the split between the parties was dominated by social and identity issues more than anything else, the new split starting with this election may be globalization v. anti-globalization.

  14. In a landmark ruling, Delaware’s Supreme Court has just ruled the state’s death penalty law unconstitutional. How long before the Supreme Court takes up one of these cases?

    Tick tock, tick tock.

    • RobA says:

      The death penalty is one of those things that within 12 months of it being outlawed, ppl will be like “Jesus, we were still killing ppl in 2017? Wtf”

  15. Among a slew of non-interesting segments on Morning Joe today, there was one that stood out to me, and it was a short one where Donny Deutsch raised the prospect of Trump TV, but in a way that I haven’t heard anyone seriously consider.

    We’ve all been focusing on November and the threat that Trump poses, but let’s just assume for a moment that Trump really doesn’t want to win the presidency, that he’s in this for the marketing and has essentially co-opted the Republican Party just to make a few bucks.

    Take the next logical step and let’s assume that he loses badly, but afterwards we have Trump TV and a sizable portion of the most far-right of the Republican base (around… 10 to 15 million, give or take) chip in a couple of bucks every month to watch Trump sit in his lounge chair in Trump Tower and comment on whatever is going on in the world, politically or otherwise.

    What, exactly, does that mean for the Republican Party?

    There seems to be a certain far-out hope among Republicans that they can somehow regroup, even if they’re beaten senseless this November, and regroup for 2020; that they can distance themselves from Trump if they can just manage to survive in relative tact.

    Mistaken though I think that belief is, there comes a certain dangerous assumption with that that Trump’s just going to go away after it’s all over. But what if he doesn’t? What if Trump TV keeps it stranglehold on millions of disaffected Republican voters and Republicans in Congress and across the nation are left constantly replying and being held to account on everything he says?

    Could the Party of Trump be far and away more of a reality than we’ve even realized?

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Yes. I think he’ll make some kind of media move after he loses the election.

      Will it attract the same audience as Fox and Rush or will be it be a whole new set of listeners? Nobody knows.

      Would absolutely crushing him in the election make it very difficult for him to get some kind of media thing going? Probably not. He’s got resources and a built-in fan base and it doesn’t seem they’ll leave him no matter how horrible he acts.

      So I’m concerned, too, about what may happen after the election.

      • 1mime says:

        Call me short-sighted, but I alternate between worrying about a Trump win despite all odds, and a strong visceral desire to see him soundly defeated. It is difficult to think beyond this crucial point because everything that happens after depends upon what happens before.

        Let us also remember that there is a second party that needs repudiation, and that is the GOPe. If Trump is beat for POTUS but the GOP wins down ticket, we will be left with a very mixed message. So, let’s bundle the presidential and down ticket outcome and hope for a very clear message. If that message is not what we want, the soul searching will be on us.

      • texan5142 says:

        Get out the vote, this is the most important election of our lifetime.

        That is all.

    • goplifer says:

      “What, exactly, does that mean for the Republican Party?”

      Nothing. Go look up subscription rates for Sarah Palin’s channel. Once this is over Trump himself will disappear back into the murky depths with Palin and Coulter and Allen West and the rest of the psycho has-beens. That doesn’t mean the party will be OK. Far from it. The Party will be in ashes, but Trump will be the least of our problems going forward.

      Want to know about future problems for current/former Republicans? Look at what Ted Cruz is brewing and see who emerges as the white nationalist successor to Trump.

      • 1mime says:

        What is Ted Cruz brewing? He’s never far from my radar but I haven’t heard a peep recently.

      • texan5142 says:

        Funny how their vision of America in their minds does not conform with ….

      • @1mime: When Trump loses in November, there isn’t going to be any unifying figure to pick up the shattered pieces of the Republican Party, save the one man who went out of his way to give Trump the one-fingered salute at the RNC.

        So-called “leadership” like Paul Ryan and others have forfeited any modicum of respect they may have had. Trump has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt, and as Lincoln said, once you forfeit the people’s respect, you can never get it back. Anyone who has the base behind him/her can make Republicans bend to their will, no matter how they despise it.

        Rep. Peter King is a perfect example. Here’s someone who came out early against Trump and yet now he’s supporting him like a whipped dog.

        Cruz has the second-place finisher status, financial backing (the Koch Bros will be sure to support him openly, unlike Trump), and he wisely set himself apart as the only ‘principled’ Republican with an apparent spine. Whatever venom he earned after the RNC will be dealt with, given enough time and patience.

        2016 was a setback for Cruz, surely enough, but flip the proverbial chessboard over and you can argue that this year was great in terms of breaking the back of anyone who might’ve given him any competition in 2020. Now there’s no one left to stand in his way.

  16. flypusher says:

    Damn, things are getting crazy. Enjoy another helping of tasty “I told you so’s”, Chris, because you had the guts and the critical thinking to call out the Orange menace early and often.

    • RobA says:

      Did you see the clip where he booted the baby from his speech today?

      Man, this guy just makes it too easy lol.

      • In all fairness, I can’t stand crying babies either, but I just tune them out.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, Formdib suggested yesterday that we find people (Babies are people too!) that irritate Donald Trump. Guess we’ll see fewer unruly tots and unhappy babies at Trump events from here on. Whatever it takes, right? Of course the Trump bouncers will probably make a new policy forbidding any babies in the crowd, right?

      • flypusher says:

        Banning a baby is actually an improvement in his behavior, given his antics this past week!

      • 1mime says:

        And, all the insults about the fire marshall in CO keeping thousands of Trump supporters out? Bogus. The guy is a piece of work. FINALLY, the media is starting to do their jobs and Trump is not getting away with his insulting lies.

      • Turtles Run says:

        When I heard Trump kicked out a baby I thought it had to be an exaggeration, then I heard the clip. My God was I wrong.

        Based on his actions it is now easy to tell who is an arse-hole. If you support Trump you must be an arse-hole..

    • tuttabellamia says:

      The bouncers will be bouncing babies on their knees!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Just to keep them quiet. That’s how to control those babies.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I KNOW! The next time a crying baby irritates Mr. Trump, I predict he will crack a joke about how the baby should have been aborted. THE END.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        That MIGHT be the start of his descent.

    • 1mime says:

      Here’s another man with guts – Warren Buffet. He sent out a message to Donald Trump telling him he would meet him anywhere with his income tax return in exchange for Trump bringing his. Btw, Buffet is also being audited but said there is no law saying you can’t publicly disclose your tax return while it is under IRS review.

      Mano a mano – Show those returns, Trump! Whatsamatter, afraid yours won’t stack up?

  17. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    I’ve been resisting the notion of ‘Politics of Crazy’ on the left mostly because it’s obvious that the left is no where near GOP territory in terms of crazy. I’m beginning to have second thoughts…

    In an amazing display of pretzel logic, Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers at TruthDig, have demonstrated that liberals voting for Nader in 2000 did not lose Al Gore that election. It was, apparently, the fact that Al didn’t carry Tennessee or Arkansas that lost him the election. Wow, who would’ve thought that carrying more states would have had such an impact?!?! They go on to make the point that voting green party (or whatever) will not impact this election either. [hang head and sigh]

    But the real reason for my second thoughts is the similarity of BernieBots and Trumpnistas when they lose an election. Call the whole process rigged and demand your candidate be handed the office.

    Nice Democracy this is turning into.

    • RobA says:

      To me, idea of “the politics of crazy” cannot exist without complicity from the establishment of said party. Fringe morons have always and will always exist on both sides. The difference is, the GOPe has been pandering to the RWNJ’s for years and that’s been their undoing. The Dems in no way whatsoever do the equivalent to the LWNJ’s.

      Where is the Dem equivalent of calling out the national guard to protect against the US army? Or the Dem equivalent of GOP elected officials showi g support for the Bundy Bros? The Dem equivalent to CC denial? Or a platform even remotely similar to the GOP platform?

      To translate that to LWNJ’s where are the elexted Dem officials saying that vaccines are maybe bad? Or that all schools should enact safe spaces and trigger warnings?

      And where’s the left wing talk radio full of wing nuts? Where’s the well funded, well organized tea party equivalent that’s actually electing state and federal pols? Where’s the left wing “freedom caucus”?

      There is still a huuuuge difference, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in the PoC on the left as compared to the right, and it isn’t even close.

      Doesn’t mean that it won’t happen at some point. But it’s not there, or even on the horizon, yet.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        Thanks for bringing me back, Rob. I was starting to wobble.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree, Rob. I know Lifer looks a long way down the road, and it may come to pass that a far left fringe could overtake the main Democratic Party, but it will be a long time. I think that it’s sort of like parenting. Those who make their children live within such rigid narrow rules are setting their kids up for more difficulty as they leave home for college or even social gatherings. Far better to demonstrate where lines must be drawn and the dangers and consequences of making poor choices. After all, we should all want people to know how to be good decision-makers, not write the book of life for them. If they choose a life that is irresponsible or puts them in harm’s way despite our best parenting efforts, that doesn’t mean you, the parent is at fault – unless you failed to teach your child about respect for others, the law, and consequences.

        Kinda basic but kids tend to mirror their environments and they do have a habit of growing up with certain predilections.

      • RobA says:

        I could be wrong, but I’ve got a guy feeling (or just Rose colored glasses, depending on how generous that one wants to be) that the overall better educated Dem electorate will inculcate it to the worst of the “politics of crazy” effect.

      • formdib says:

        “And where’s the left wing talk radio full of wing nuts?”

        Rob, I have mentioned this before but I’ll go ahead and mention this again, because it was downplayed last time but I really think you should pay attention to it:

        Millennials don’t get their news from the radio . They get their news from bloggers.

        Last time I argued off the top of my mind some of the more awful ones I notice happen often, this time I’m just going to go to my Facebook feed and list them as they show up:

        Real Progressives

        Red Flag


        Revolution News

        Liberation News (fun fact: Russian)


        Real Fact (!)

        Notice a theme implied by the choice of names for these digital rags?

        And that’s in addition to the usual

        US Uncut
        Think Progress
        Now This
        Buzzfeed News
        The Young Turks

        which, when they aren’t posting inane memes and bullshit listicles, are publishing Bernie grievance and Hillary is just as bad as Trump because bipartisanship! op-eds.

        Or even the more radical nonsense that ends up finding is way into the feed despite people who should know better, such as

        Zero Hedge
        Natural News
        Bankster Bubble

        Of course, compared to us, we all follow this thing called ‘GOPLifer,’ so the optics are bad. But does Chris Ladd (who actually uses his real name, not a dumbass Fight Club reference like Zero Hedge?) write titles like

        “Politics are Going Crazy and the Media Stays Silent!”

        “I’m Leaving the Republican Party because Trump is a False Flag Operation to Scare Us into Voting Hillary!”

        “The Story of the 2014 Elections NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT”?

        In the end, what does he and the commenters link to? We link to The Atlantic, Bloomberg, CNN, Washington Post, Politico, The Economist… as well as those various other perspectives. Doing that is barrier to entry in discussion with people who consistently post these other sources. The mere act of responding to a “Real Progressives” article with a CNN article is where you see the nice shimmering contours of the information bubble.

        And from there, everything else follows. These people actually believe, flat out, end of story, as Truth and Fact and undeniable, that Hillary stole the primary election with fraud and insider corruption — they are EXACTLY like the wingnuts who’ve been passing these laws to suppress voters under ‘voter fraud’ that doesn’t even exist. Once the ‘system’ is delegitimized in their mindset, and all commentary and counterfactuals in support of that system Otherized to the point of conspiracy paranoia and the visceral sense of being disenfranchised and persecuted, amplified by an echo chamber constantly recycling Hillary’s e-mails like social network forwards from grandma, that becomes their reality whether it’s on the radio or not.

        There is no discernible difference between right wing talk show hosts and these social network reactionary blog posts. It’s the exact same psychology. That much is here and Bernie persecution is the next step to all the other stuff you’ve listed.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Formdib

        Your examples are different from the right wing radio in two important ways

        (1) – the number of people “tuned in”
        Radio has one or two orders of magnitude more people

        (2) Blogs tend to be two way –
        You can reply to a blog – you can’t reply to your radio

        These two show that the loony lefties exist in much smaller numbers than the loony righties

      • 1mime says:

        Good points, duncan, but do we really know how large the blogging audience is? I have to say that the breadth of activity and communication within the Sanders campaign operation was amazing. What’s more, we don’t know if or how this “nebulous” group of Millennials will vote. What I am observing is that their strength is in their fearless, passionate involvement, and this is also their weakness. This is probably the first campaign many of the Bernistas have ever engaged in and their candidate lost. Further, for all the criticism of the DNC emails which were unfavorable to Sanders, the lack of reason and facts out in the extreme left is just as concerning.

        With radio, those speaking are at least putting themselves out there. No pseudonyms, no filters, just raw commentary….agree with it or not. It may be one way but what good is a two way blog if nothing is being learned only vented or spewed without substantiation? As formdib noted, on a blog such as GOPlifer, there are standards – Lifer’s and the commentators. There is an effort to contribute information which has some basis of fact and an effort to support the statement. In the hyper-left, there seems to be no “check” on what is said….if it is spoken, it is so. That is not to say that Sanders encouraged this behavior or that every hostile statement made by this element is untrue. How can one reach people who are so “certain”, often without factual basis and driven by emotion.

      • formdib says:

        “(1) – the number of people “tuned in”
        Radio has one or two orders of magnitude more people”

        Reach or numbers so far, the behavior of the people being reached is the same. It’s the behavior and the type of information that matters.

        “(2) Blogs tend to be two way –
        You can reply to a blog – you can’t reply to your radio”

        Comment sections may reduce reading comprehension:

        Of course this becomes, again, a matter of venue and behavior. A radio talk show host may shut down people who argue, but a blogger may ban or censor disagreeable comments. A radio talk show host may be open to disagreements but for the purpose of getting callers-in to argue with each other, a comment section can become a cesspool of flame wars and trolling depending on the moderation. Notice that the former examples are inverse of the latter examples, and basically requires attention and care in either case: when to shut someone down, and when to let them express themselves.

        Now look again at the titles of the ‘news’ sources I’ve shared. Do they look like they curate for discussion, or have some other discourse in mind?

      • 1mime says:

        Pure venting.

      • formdib says:

        Or another way of looking at it is this:

        It was funny when these weird old white people were talking about ‘teabagging the President’, with no apparent sense of awareness or irony, until they became an actual fucking political block that obstructed the Republican Party and the federal government.

        It was funny when these weird young hipster kids were practically inventing new forms of math, with no apparent sense of awareness or irony, to ‘prove’ that Bernie was totally winning well past the point where he had any feasible hope of winning, until they ____________.

  18. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Hot off the virtual printing presses!

    “Trump boots baby from Virginia rally”

    “Donald Trump asked a woman with a crying baby to leave his rally in Ashburn, Virginia on Tuesday. The GOP nominee initially suggested that he did not mind the disruption.”

    Here, let me re-edit this headline.

    “70 year old whining baby tells crying baby to leave”

    Now that’s better.

  19. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    Although I am the one of the ones most worried about Trump actually winning the election, I’m one of the one’s least worried that he will destroy the country as President.

    However, i’m starting to change that thinking:

    “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest,” Donald Trump said at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, the Associated Press reports. The Republican nominee did not offer specifics, although he said that he’s been hearing “more and more” that this is the case.

    He followed up with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday night: “November 8th, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

    I know this is just hyperbole from a loud-mouth, but some of his supporters are going to take this seriously. Things like this were said about Obama, but it wasn’t be the actual GOP candidate.

    This kind of stuff is a more fundamental threat to the stability of the country. We generally have remarkably smooth transitions of power, and for the candidate to start talking about this three months out, is a bit scary.

    One of Trump’s advisors, Roger Stone, then went on this very scary tirade:

    “I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly,” Stone said. “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

    “If you can’t have an honest election, nothing else counts,” he continued. “I think he’s gotta put them on notice that their inauguration will be a rhetorical, and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will not stand for it.”

    Someone needs to swat these kids upside the head.

    • RobA says:

      These pieces of excrement would gladly burn it all down as long as there’s a chance they’ll get to rule over the ashes.

      • Giving them a bit too much credit, IMO, Rob. Those keenly invested in politics have an interest in winning and losing. Those invested in statesmanship want to see the country’s business moved forward.

        And then there are those, in the immortal words of Michael Caine, “who just want to see the world burn.”

        The fun of the game itself, as they perceive it, is the end. There’s no victory to be had, but if they’re going to lose, they’ll make sure to drag as many people down with them as they can.

        Thankfully, the vehicle for that kind of anarchy, the Republican Party, is falling apart before our very eyes. We just have to try and mitigate the results. It ain’t gonna be pretty.

      • 1mime says:

        Not to split hairs, but there are times when in order to pursue statesmanship, one also has to pursue “winning”. Now is such a time. We have seen what statesmanship without consensus governing has achieved and it has been little and hard fought.

      • Fair Economist says:

        This is Trump continuing to dogwhistle to the fascists. The point is to discredit the electoral process so that he could call on his followers to invalidate an election he lost. And, as usual, this horror has been set up by the Republican party, in this case by bleating against the non-problem of voter impersonation.

      • flypusher says:

        I think in Trump’s case he’s only thinking with his ego- if he loses, it’s because the game was rigged/ it’s someone else’s fault. But some of his fan base?? Yeah, they’d burn things.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I’m glad the Republican establishment didn’t seize the nomination from Mr. Trump at the convention!

      No violence, of course, just a bloodbath.

    • 1mime says:

      Maybe old Homer needs a swat upside the head, as well. You really haven’t thought Trump would destroy the country? All the warning signs have been there, Homer. There really is no viable alternative to HRC, and the more people who not only accept that, but vote that, and help convince others, the less likely we’ll have a Donald Trump for POTUS>

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, didn’t you post not long ago that if Mr. Trump wins our country would still make it through intact?

      • 1mime says:

        The country would “survive” but it would be a very different place – and not a better one. Democracy is pretty enduring but you don’t have to look very far back in history to see how bad leadership can set a country back…prohibition, McCarthy Hearings, lynchings, etc. We would get “through” it but I don’t think any of us would like the ride or the outcome.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer, more food for thought on Trump’s fitness for POTUS. People who are at least trying to make a good decision for the sake of country, really need to read this and give it some deep thought. This is serious.

    • flypusher says:

      I think in Trump’s case he’s building a rationalization for losing. He can’t deal with the idea that he’s done anything wrong, so it’s all someone else’s fault. I can only hope that his defeat is so crushing that only the most brainwashed will buy his excuses. I also hope the National Guard is ready in those toss-up states in case somebody wants to riot.

    • Archetrix says:

      Vox has a good summary of the dangers Trump is flirting with here:

    • flypusher says:

      More Roger Stone talking revolution:

      Are you willing to take that first bullet, mofo????

  20. Armchair Philosopher says:

    I know conservatives don’t care what the NYT has to say, but this article will be the first of many in major publications calling Republicans spineless for endorsing Trump.

  21. Armchair Philosopher says:

    Trump has insulted nearly every constituency out there, with the exception of lesser-educated white males. Is it just a matter of time until he knee-jerk reacts to some perceived slight and insults even that group as well?

    I say this in all seriousness. He seems incapable of letting an insult slide without defending himself. Would non-college educated whites stop supporting him if THEY were finally the ones on the receiving end of his bullying? Makes me wish a Joe the Plumber type had spoken at the DNC convention and baited him.

  22. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    I admittedly don’t know the details of this story, but like it for it’s face value. Someone, somewhere, is holding a banker accountable for their misdeeds.

  23. A Republican voting for Hillary. Of course, he is not running for re-election but it’s a start!

    Today on Morning Joe the consensus of opinion is Trump does not want to win. Trump will loose and say the election is rigged and millions of low information voters will agree. Then Trump will start his own cable network, similar to Fox, with borrowed Russian money!

    Off topic, But is it just me or do other people think the Joe of Morning Joe fame talks way too much? I rarely watch but when i do, i see lots of interesting people and Joe just talks right past them!

    • 1mime says:

      Joe Scarborough does talk too much and he doesn’t say much of substance.

      • rightonrush says:

        Chris Matthews suffers from the same problem.

      • 1mime says:

        I totally agree. He butts in so much that he disrupts the conversation and no one can be understood. Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow are head and shoulders above him and L. O’Donnell. I think Matthews is outright rude.

  24. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    I sh#t you not people, but this just happened to me today…

    I was chatting with a nice lady at a nearby business. We have talked on friendly terms in the past a number of times. The economic/social environment around us is classic suburbia, the population primarily Caucasian.

    I initiate our conversation by saying something about having to constantly lower my expectations for the political discourse of the election due to the GOP’s nominee propensity to make offensive comments.

    I also intimate my voting standard for choosing a presidential candidate this presidential cycle is quite simple.

    Whichever candidate who has the most support from admitted white supremacists is the one I am not likely to vote for.

    She chuckled at that.

    And then she told me this most amazing personal exchange with her own mother.

    “My mom says “Trump this, Trump that!” and I’m like “Mom… Trump’s a bigot. Your grand-kids (her two children) are half-black. If he gets elected he is gonna try and send them away!”

    Here is my take or hypothesis:

    If there is any validity that Trump is actually losing rapidly political ground in polls to Mrs. Clinton in the wake of the 2016 Democratic Party Convention, and is on the path to losing the election… it will have been because of exchanges like this among family members (specifically white families) in regard to other loved ones who may in their eyes be threatened by a President Trump led America.

    For a candidate who has decided to bet his political future on exclusively the white vote (to the virtual exclusion of all other demographic groups) he can’t afford to alienate any white voters like those nice white suburban soccer moms.

    He has to get a higher percentage of the white vote to win, and as this has been discussed here at length on this site, that would be almost unprecedented in modern times.

    From my standpoint he is blowing it bigtime.

    P.S. I also got a chuckle from this exchange on the very conservative website RedState.
    I guy there in the comment section posted to fellow readers that he had designed new bumper stickers lined up for printing that say this…

    “Republicans for Hillary: Because in your guts, you know he’s nuts!”

    Catchy, huh?

    • 1mime says:

      Thanks for the late night chuckle, Sir Crow…

    • Trump doesn’t have a ghost of a prayer of a wisp of a chance to win this November and he never did. He has to win around 64% of the white vote (save for President Reagan’s 1984 tsunami when he won 66%; inconceivable for one as divisive as Trump) and, this is key, at least 30% of the minority vote.

      You can slice that pie whichever way you want, that ain’t gonna happen. Trump, infamously, is polling at 0% with African-Americans in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio and he barely cracks double-digits with Hispanics, averaging about 16% as far as I’ve seen.

      And last, but nothing even resembling least, let’s not forget women. Trump was, what, underwater by more than twenty points with those representing more than half the electorate, iirc?

    • And yes, that is catchy. 🙂

  25. formdib says:

    Hillary’s had a good coupla weeks. The convention bump happened + a couple-three points, and this Khan thing is solidifying my tactical observation that the only way to fight Trump is to distract him with petty fights with individuals that even Republicans would get upset over. The longer Trump’s dealing with the Khans, the less time he’s doing anything else, and the more Republicans start speaking out.

    So FYI, that’s the plan moving forward, if any of you know somebody who knows somebody who wants some way to fight Trump.

    But Hillary’s about to get another bad couple of weeks. Wikileaks is going to release 17,000 emails that ‘prove’ that she ‘gave arms to ISIS.’

    Which, of course, will be like the emails that ‘prove’ that the DNC rigged the election against Bernie.

    Here’s what I suspect the emails will say:

    “We have pretty good evidence to support that some of the arms we gave to rebels to fight Assad include ISIS forces and they’re using our arms.”

    “That sucks. Anyway to stop that from happening?”


    “Okay then.”

    Which will correlate to precisely everything anybody who watches the ‘liberal lamestream media’, since this whole ISIS-armed-by-US thing has been covered already.

    But you know. Fog of war and all the public optics that political sausage should be free range organic and gluten free.

    • formdib says:

      To be perfectly honest, I wonder if after a certain point the public will be inoculated to Wikileaks. I have mixed feelings about that eventuality, but it just seems like after a certain point people will be like, “Yup, looks like another 17,000 e-mails of bureaucrats bureaucratizing are out again.”

      • 1mime says:

        I wonder if the Khans will push too long. Their message has been so powerful but if it lingers too long, it could run the risk of losing its point.

      • formdib says:

        Yes. Eventually the Khans will need to be switched out by someone else.

        That’s why the #NeverTrump crowd (left or right) should, right now, be searching for people to speak out against Trump on the media,

        except what they’ve been doing so far is trying to put people against Trump to catch the attention OF THE VOTERS. That’s a non-starter. Put them on the media to attract the attention of Trump. Trump will then bring it to the attention of the voters by how he handles it.

        How? Well, when Trump calls in to a news show for some of that precious free media, have a Trump confronter call into the same show for equally precious free media.

        Have them in the wings ready to go. We have 15 weeks left until the election. Surely you can find 15 people who were personally screwed by Trump or feel directly attacked by him, who are stand up Americans that exhibit all our bipartisan cultural values, who have no public office or major job to lose as a result of sticking their neck out.

        Get ’em in a Tweet war with the Donald,


      • 1mime says:

        Hey, from what I’ve read, there are many small contractors that have been screwed by Trump. I have seen an ad featuring one but I’d like a less formalized presentation and more one from the gut, because, as Sir Crow says, In your gut, you know he’s nuts…… (-;

    • 1mime says:

      Interesting that you bring up the arms from America falling into the hands of the wrong players in Syria, including ISIL sympathizers if not outright members. I distinctly recall the President and experts on Syria and ISIL saying that it was impossible to know who were the “good” guys in Syria. There were so many factions that you could help one, thinking they were going to help the U.S., and then that didn’t turn out right. Wikileaks can release whatever it likes. The public will believe whatever it wants. That region of the world is so fraught with deceit, sabotage, and innuendo that one wonders if the only solution is to let them immolate themselves into oblivium. That truly is a tempest. The people who have been able to get out at least have a chance if they can find a country that will accept them. With Assad still in power, and all the various soldier groups, how does anyone know who is the enemy?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I recall that, too. So many questions:

        Who is fighting in Syria? Do we consider each group to be a good guy or a bad guy? Among those we might support, who might actually have a chance at prevailing?

        I think about the these things every time i hear some wag say we should have entered Syria earlier.

  26. Griffin says:

    Master Levin talks first ladies.

    In the words of the Donald he seems like a real “Classy” guy, and like Trump’s apparent definition of the word “Classy” I mean tacky and idiotic.

  27. Tired as I’ve gotten of Paul Ryan throwing the word “principle” around like it’s a bottle of water, one honestly has to wonder how long he can keep this up. Seriously, what’s his end game?

    We have to do a better job of taking the moral high ground … showing [conservative] ideas in practice,” he says, which is laughable coming from one who continues to endorse Trump for purely political reasons. “Conservative ideas” apparently take a backseat when they’re not convenient, which kind of defeats the point.

    Also, this gem: “As Republicans our challenge is to become a pro-market party and not be a pro-business party.

    That’s some logical pretzel Ryan’s twisted himself into, as if it were possible to separate the two, but maybe that’s just that political convenience again?

    Honestly, I’m inclined to think he’s just given up somewhere deep inside. Paul Ryan has forfeited any right to use the words “principle” or “morals” with what he perceives as political expedience or necessity. Whether he runs in 2020 or not, the Speaker has already failed that most fundamental of tests to which the words of Lincoln ring true:

    Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

    • 1mime says:

      Agree that Ryan’s forfeited the right to run for Pres in 2020. As for this Ryan quote: ““As Republicans our challenge is to become a pro-market party and not be a pro-business party.”


    • moslerfan says:

      I actually like Ryan’s formulation “pro-market not pro-business.” It implies open, competitive markets not giveaways to businesses. Now let’s see what he proposes to enable that.

  28. RobA says:

    From Trumps rally:

    “It’s a very big subject for me. And border security’s very big. And when you have radical Islamic terrorists probably all over the place, we’re allowing them to come in by the thousands and thousands. And I think that’s what bothered Mr. Khan more than anything else.”

    Am I reading this wrong?……Trump isn’t now explicitly saying the gold star father is a terrorist sympathizer, right?

    It sounds like he’s saying he’s bothered because Trump is trying to keep out thousands of terrorists, and he wants them in.

  29. RobA says:

    Well this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Still though, in a way, I though even Trump might have SOME sense of decency way down there.

    When he loses, he’s more then happy to destroy the whole thing as long as it absolves him from being “a loser”

  30. 1mime says:

    Polls show that the public trust Trump on the economy more than they do Hillary. I’m betting few have read both plans, and you can be certain, Hillary’s adds up and is very detailed. Some in the campaign are suggesting her detailed policy proposals, including her budget and response to the Trade issue are too nuanced and complicated. I guess they’ve never had to prepare a federal budget before for a nation of 320 million people, but, I digress.

    In essence, she is being advised to “dumb it down”, so that people understand her. That T’s simplicity is reaching through…people get overwhelmed with details…they just want to know, what she plans to do in broad terms so they can compare her plans with T’s broad economic policy.

    What a high bar. Here’s the discussion. We have on the one hand, a Republican candidate who is unable and unwilling to prepare specific policy proposals, and a Democratic candidate who is too smart and offers too much detail. Go figure.

  31. Griffin says:

    The TPP may be good but it’s almost equally as important not to oversell it. From what I’ve seen some economists view it as a bit of a wash ( but more good than bad. However one issue free traders have is over promising like many did with NAFTA (, so even when we experience mild benefits to those deals it looks like a “failure” because it’s being compared to what was promised. This can fuel strong protectionist backlashes in countries that open their markets.

    • antimule says:

      Economy is one field where “trust the experts” mantra might not always work. (Although trusting Trump is almost certainly even less likely to work). Hilary is seen as “Wall st candidate” in the way Trump isn’t. So overselling promises of economists is probably not wise, coz if they happen to be wrong it might help Trump.

      • 1mime says:

        What I think is valid, is the plan that each candidate puts forward. It is vetted by the CBO, and by any and all economists of whatever stripe. It is an indication of the candidates thought and seriousness of economic issues. Further, he/she should be able to defend their economic plan, demonstrating not only seriousness but involvement in its creation and knowledge of detail. There are lots of economists out there but once the candidate’s economic plan is published, it is fair game for all to read, critique, diss, support, etc. It is interesting to note that when Paul Manafort (T’s current campaign manager) came on board, that is one of the first areas he focused on, whittling down some areas to make the plan less budget busting.

    • duncancairncross says:

      I have a different “take” on the TPP
      It may be OK for you guys but we (NZ) seem to be giving up three decades of advances in IP and environmental concerns in exchange for the promise that you guys may eventually open up your markets to us
      And we may end up losing PHARMAC – a body of doctors that decides which medicines actually work and negotiates low prices for the whole country as the US Pharmaceutical industry thinks it is anti-competition

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        “Giving up three decades of advances in IP and environmental concerns” and the rest is not a bug in TPP — it’s a key feature. Which is why the NYTimes link is idiotic. The alternatives were not TPP or nothing, as they suggest, but to achieve economic unification with or without tossing out all the environmental, worker, and consumer protections that get in the way of unrestrained corporate profit. The corporations — and the current administration — chose the latter, so we need to throw it out and start again, and this time make the priority improving lives for ordinary people.

      • 1mime says:

        As I stated earlier, international trade is not only a good, it is a necessary. It is only fair when the big players such as the U.S. or Germany, (and others) do not take advantage of their power. Is this realistic given the purchasing power of these economies? Maybe, maybe not, but that is why trade agreements have to be so carefully designed…just like Democracy, to protect the smaller countries who must trade in order to advance their economies. It should be mutually reciprocal.

  32. flypusher says:

    Homer, are you writing for Vox???? 😉 I was thinking of you as I read some of the points about Cruz:

    I don’t demand that any GOPers endorse Clinton. I’m perfectly fine with them doing what Cruz did and saying “vote your conscience”.

    • 1mime says:

      Not me, Fly. I want them to vote for Clinton (-; Why not reach for the moon and the sky?????

      • flypusher says:

        There’s a difference between voting for Clinton in private and openly endorsing her. Perhaps some vote and don’t tell. But even if they vote for Johnson, in a swing state that’s effectively -0.5 of a vote in Trump’s column.

        Every bit helps.

      • 1mime says:

        I never asked them to endorse her, just vote for her. They know that a third party vote helps Trump. Pull that curtain close and do the right thing for country.

      • flypusher says:

        A 3rd party vote helps Trump if it’s someone who would be usually inclined to vote Dem voting for Stein or Johnson instead. Someone who always votes R but this time votes Johnson hurts Trump.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, that is not necessarily correct. In surveys (538 and others), which include 3rd party candidates, Hillary has lost more votes than Trump. I posted a link supporting this a post or two ago. It surprised me.

    • 1mime says:

      All kidding aside, Douthat could have stopped the “what if” with this one Trump description:

      “He’s an unprincipled hustler who’s incompetent, unknowledgeable, incurious, and unqualified.”

      That takes care of it for me. Guess it’s not enough for the jellyfish.

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      I wonder if Vox pays better than Lifer?

      I do think the point is accurate. If you really care about abortion, don’t want gays to get married, and believe your religious freedom is under attack, then Trump is the only option you have.

      Given as the only choice, would you vote for Sheila Jackson Lee or Mitt Romney for President?

      SJL would be a nighmare, but she’d appoint liberal judges and not actively try to restrict abortion or gay rights.

      • 1mime says:

        Trump is your only option…..I’ve given that statement some more thought, Homer, and here’s what I think. There is another option: if none of the candidates is far right enough for you, but you are afraid (as you should be) of Trump, then DON”T VOTE For PRESIDENT! Vote down ticket for members of Congress and state legislatures. They create legislation thus they can push whatever agenda they favor if they are in the majority – as the GOP is now.

  33. RobA says:

    The evidence us mounting that Trumps campaign is going off the rails.

    The new CBS poll that had both tied last week nowbhas Hillary up 7 points. Now Gallup says that Trump, for the first time ever, came away from a convention with more ppl LESS likely to vote for him then more likely.

    And later in the week, we should start to see the results from this whole Khan debacle. I can’t imagine that won’t hurt him significantly.

  34. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    The TPP should be dumped but not for the reasons being talked about; not ‘to bring our jobs back’. The TPP should be dumped because it undermines national sovereignty. This from Hunton & Williams Lawyer Insights…

    “The TPP’s dispute resolution provisions had been controversial. Opponents of investor
    -state dispute settlement, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, had argued that IS
    DS undermines U.S. sovereignty by allowing large multinationals to challenge health and environmental regulations before secretive panels of corporate lawyers rather than in national courts”

    I am all for smoother trade but not at the expense of having Ohio/US courts losing the ability to determine Ohio/US environmental and health laws.

    • goplifer says:

      We already have that, including the WTO and numerous others. Hasn’t really mattered so far. Overall effect has been to bend countries like China toward international norms.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        Agreed but this is ramping up. I’m not convinced it will continue to not matter.

        As free trade agreements have proliferated across the world, ISDS has become an important tool for investors to resolve disputes with foreign states. Only three arbitrations were registered at ICSID in 1994 compared with 38 in 2014. The TPP promises to accelerate that growth.

      • 1mime says:

        I’d like to learn more about this aspect of international trade dispute resolution. I am in favor of trade agreements, but obviously they need to protect both parties. Equally obvious is how fine the line is in protecting one more than the other simply because they’re the biggest kid on the block. Keep posting about the ISDS, Jeff. I’m interested and this is important.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        Hopefully, I’m worrying about nothing but it seems that if the citizens of Ohio, through our elected representatives, pass a law that forces tobacco companies to show pictures of lung cancel on cigarette packages then a company selling that product in Ohio should have two options…
        1. Put the picture on the package.
        2. Make and win their case in Ohio or Federal court.

        That third option of arbitration via trade agreement doesn’t set well.

      • 1mime says:

        There is another option. The tobacco companies could sue. If they are allowed to require a photo of what could go wrong, think of the many possibilities that could emerge. Endless. Business has to step up.

  35. And the dominoes keep on falling…

    Dennis Sanders, an openly gay African-American, has now committed that the Republican Party has become the Party of Trump and is henceforth beyond saving.

    He writes a thoughtful, strong piece worth your time:

    Also, Sally Bradshaw, former adviser to Jeb Bush (!!!!!!), has officially left the GOP and has openly declared that she will vote for Hillary Clinton in Florida if the race looks close.

  36. Stephen says:

    My church has significant cultural influence in my community. First we are diverse and many different kinds of people worship together and work together on church projects. Which speaking of one is our youth program. We have about 60 to 80 kids every Wednesday night where they are feed and encouraged. We provide a safe place to play with a play ground and basket ball court. Also we have establish a clothing bank to help kids with back to school clothes and school supplies. Many of our kids are in need. The youth paster is a retired Air Force Captain. A good role model. This is a mid size church of about 100 to 150 members.

    One evening service a homeless person came in drunk. We ministered to him. Got him to accept salvation. The congregation took up an offering to put him up for a few days at a local hotel. Our paster knew of a program to help people like this man. Got him in it. He is now sober and self supporting. Does not always happen like that but it did that time.

    A wise black friend ,a co-worker told me that many behaviours have a spiritual component. To fix many problems that has to be address which is why religious organizations often have better success rates than secular ones with problems like addiction and other destructive behaviour.

    Both Hillary and Obama are people of faith. But instead of just talking about it they practice it by what they do. It is not a means of gain for them like it is for some politicians. This does not mean I am in 100% agreement with them but I can see the real thing (faith) and the fake thing. The Democratic Convention was full of Christian symbolism. The Republican one not so much. To your blog post “Disorganized Religion” I can say religious organizations will keep being significant. We are not going anywhere. And we will keep having an influence on our political process.

  37. Coming on about four months now, one of my two dogs, Sophie, woke up and was barely able to move around any of her body. Her left side seemed particularly hard hit and I had to take her to the vet right away. Honestly, at the time, the doctors weren’t quite sure what had happened to her and they started her on a variety of treatments: antibiotics, fluids, and more specifically, daily acupuncture to see if they couldn’t stimulate her body and get her moving again.

    At the time, it’d be a lie to say I wasn’t skeptical of the idea. Perhaps part of me still is, but I can’t deny my girl’s up and walking around almost as good as she used to. Her front left leg still needs some work, but she honestly seems to improve when she goes back every month now for another round.

    There are a few key differences though with the actual treatment though. Rather than just relieving pain, they hook up several key points to a small machine that sends an electric current through them to stimulate Sophie’s leg and other parts of her body; “getting the energy flowing there”, as they like to say for my uneducated benefit on the issue.

    In the end, results are what counts, obviously, and though I’m not entirely sold on the procedure as a whole, there does seem to be quite a potential for good, if it’s used right.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      I had acupuncture for a second time in 2009, after I had finished a half-marathon, sat down after the race, couldn’t walk when I got up, and exited the finish area in a wheelchair. (First time was some thirty years, to deal with lower back pain.)

      At about 10 days after the race, walking was still very painful. So I tried acupuncture. It reduced the pain. Ultimately, it was a chiropractor who got me moving again.

      I’m glad acupuncture helps Sophie. Good dog, Sophie.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        And, I find “It’s probably not.” from the acupuncture article to be oddly off-tone editorial choice in an article discussing scientific validity 🙂

      • As a scientist, I can confirm that “it’s probably not” is how we talk to one another all the time, especially in fast-moving or poorly-understood fields. If you want certainty you’ll have to wait decades if not centuries.

  38. RobA says:

    Breaking news out of Fla, 10 more zika cases, bringing the total to 14, all suspected mosquito bites (and not Americans who came back with it, a first for the US) and all in a small area.

    Zika could be an absolute game changer. Two thoughts cross my mind:

    1) if this becomes an outbreak, the GOP might even have the House in play. They were warned and warned, and they chose to go on vacation and not assign enough money. That could have catastrophic optics if the Dems want to hammer it, which they would.

    2) One wonders if this could have strong implications for attitudes about abortion, breaking a multi secade stalemate. If zika is not eradicated, and instead becomes just another disaese that we have to live with and act accordingly (kinda like Lyme) it will probably become pretty standard procedure for all pregnant women in America to regularly get tested throughout their pregnancy. And standard procedure for a positive test will almost certainly be to abort the pregnancy.

    Of course, some will still choose to have the baby, but the financial, social and emotional costs will almost certainly cause the vast majority to abort regardless of their position on abotion. Once that’s been “normalized” it won’t take very long for social norms and attitudes about abortion to change. There will always be opponents, of course, but for the most part, it would be considered an unfortunate medical procedure that sometimes one has to get.

    • antimule says:

      > 1) if this becomes an outbreak, the GOP might even have the House in play. They were warned and warned, and they chose to go on vacation and not assign enough money.

      Or the claim will be “Zika was due to all the illegal immigrants!” This might help Trump, actually.

      • 1mime says:

        Mosquitoes are illegal immigrants? (humor….)

      • RobA says:

        That might play to the nuttiwst ofnthe nutcases, but the issue isn’t WHY zika came to the US. Its been thought to be inevitable for a while.

        The issue is that the do nothing Congress once again did exactly that: nothing. Zika infections are a bipartisan issue. Nobody from any party wants deformed children that require a lifetime of care. If this Congress refused to do anything to combat zika, what is the point of their existence?

      • antimule says:

        Then the claim might be “we don’t have enough money left to fight zika because the Democrats are wasting it on God knows what!” You are underestimating the power of spin, RobA.

      • 1mime says:

        Sadly, I agree. Remember the audience. Average 4th grade….that they have “been educated beyond their intelligence”…someone said …

      • Zika is caused by Obama. Everyone knows that:-))!!!

    • 1mime says:

      I would rather suspect that the Repubs will point out that they offered a funding bill and Democrats didn’t vote for it. Never mind the fact that by supporting the bill, funding for PP was cut and a few other conservative issues addressed. That is how they will spin it. Dems need to get out front on this issue to set the record straight.

      Abominable. Obama has asked, early, and appropriately, and nada. This is how Republicans govern. Critical issues become political footballs. Don’t address the main issue in solo, but pack a bill with such objectionable amendments. Everything is being done for politics sake, not issue specific. They did the same thing with the opiate funding. Disgusting.

      • RobA says:

        “I would rather suspect that the Repubs will point out that they offered a funding bill and Democrats didn’t vote for it. ”

        They’ll try, all right Mime, but it won’t matter. The GOP controls the house. For better or worse, whoevr controls the house will bear the brunt.

        They can say all they want, all Dems have to do is say “it’s a Republican house”

      • People like short, simple answers, mime. Republicans’ strategy was always to blame Democrats in the Senate when they were in charge or had control of Congress as a whole, no matter what kind of obstructionist role they played.

        Democrats just to take a page out of the Republican playbook and say the exact same thing:

        “Republicans are the ones in charge. They control the House and Senate, and they can’t pass a bill to fight Zika. Then they schedule themselves to be on vacation and won’t come back to help the American people. Are these the people you want controlling government?”

        It’s a devastating 30 second ad that practically writes itself. Play it in every single swing state and across America as much as you can.

      • 1mime says:

        Ryan, you need to find a way to get that idea to the Clinton camp. Seriously. This ZIKA problem is just starting. They need to get out in front of it. And, they can succeed with the ad because it is not only true, it is frightening. Dems can also play the fear game though I’d rather they travel the high road which is to speak truth to power.

      • Dunno if it’ll get through, mime, but I just send that idea to them. Regardless, I hope they do something with it.

      • 1mime says:

        Good for you. I would think that there are Clinton campaign offices in FL that would love to hear from supporters. Hope it works. I think it is a great idea and especially resonant in FL right now. You might also consider working through Patrick Murphy’s office. I don’t know how FL’s Dem system is set up but you can also call the DCC and the DNC. I have done that before and got to speak to a live person.

    • 1mime says:

      It may touch the abortion issue, but I would think it would have far more impact on contraception, and this would be very positive. Especially since part of the reason Dems opposed the zika funding bill was that it defunded PP, which provides, ta da, contraception and family planning services.

      This constant homophobia, etc., is finally getting its day in the sunlight. And, it is high time. This is so outrageous that they would have made this issue the “last” piece of legislation they dealt with when Obama brought the problem to them early spring when there was time to intervene, develop vacines, innoculate, educate, research, etc.

      There should be consequences. Let’s see if there are. It took a good man (Mr. Khan) to shame the xenophobes what will it take to shame the crowd that puts party before womens’ choice. After all, who will have to care for these babies who are born deformed? Not the men. Who will have to pay for the care of these babies? the families and the tax payer.


    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      The more catastrophes and assorted problems we have between now and November, the more it benefits the outsider who claims that everything is broken.

      I’m hoping for a boring next few months on all financial, health, economic, and terrorism fronts.

      • It might be different if Trump were playing the outsider card on a consistent and level-headed basis, but that is not what he’s doing.

        Being an outsider only helps if people believe you’re still competent. Bloomberg, perhaps the person best suited for it, absolutely decimates that argument.

        As if that weren’t bad enough, Trump keeps getting caught up in these mind-numbingly stupid fights, playing right into Clinton’s argument that he’s so short-tempered and self-absorbed that he just can’t help himself. Now that we’re out of the conventions and people are finally starting to pay attention, all they hear about him is that he’s attacking a Gold Star family who lost their son in Iraq.

        So let’s not raise being an outsider onto some pedestal that can’t be knocked down. If anything, Trump’s making trouble for anyone from here on out who wants to run as an outsider.

      • 1mime says:

        As we live in Texas, please add weather to your list (-;

      • flypusher says:

        But are the people who simply want an outsider a large enough group to elect Trump? Trump blusters and talks tough, but the fact that he didn’t have enough sense to simply respond to the Kahns with “You son was a hero and we honor his sacfrice” and move on, seems to be resonating beyond his unreasoning fan base, finally. This is the sort of thing that makes the GOPers with less integrity than Chris start jumping ship. I hope Trump keeps tweeting about his poor hurt fee-fees; how DARE someone criticize things he actually said.

        I agree with Ryan in that this election could really poison the well for outsiders. Competence should matter. Relevant experience should matter. Outsider for the sake of outsider is bullshiat.

        But I’ll also agree with you that quieter is safer. Much easier to hear Trump shoot himself in the foot too.

    • flypusher says:

      Two things Congress should ditch in the name of responding to problems like this:

      1) Ditch the Hastert rule

      2) Ban the practice of putting poison pills in bills

  39. Stephen says:

    I enjoyed the rap song on Buzz Feed News. The rapper got it right. It is all about relationships not religion. God has some one to reach each group of people and individual. Even nerdy software engineers.

  40. flypusher says:

    A sort and simple summation of globalization:

    “Everybody gets a discount,
    Some people lose their jobs”

    I agree it’s overall for the better, and the genie isn’t going back in the bottle. But the working class of the 1st World ought not to take so much of the downside.

    • goplifer says:

      Correction to: “A sort and simple summation of globalization:”

      Because that’s what capitalism does as it eases us ever farther from subsistence.

      • Stephen says:

        Capitalism trends towards more and more specialization and further interdependency which necessitates more trust. We need a social structure that can help provide that trust. If we really were not stronger together capitalism would not be desirable. So at least in that aspect Ms. Clinton is right. It is the same old conflict, of individualism and socialism. We need both in the right mix for each individual and the whole to reach it’s potential because we cannot make it alone and we all want the most choice possible as individuals.

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