Exodus

We’re traveling in Texas, so the writing will be thin for a while. Just thought I’d point out some Republican defections that I hope are building toward a movement.

Republicans from the top of the stack to the bottom are taking this opportunity to express concerns about the direction of the party. A few examples:

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) has stated his intention to vote for Hillary Clinton. Hanna is retiring this year.

Harvard’s Republican Club issued a lengthy letter explaining their unwillingness to support Trump. If you’ve lost tomorrow’s hedge fund managers, what hope do you have left?

A group of precinct committeemen in Berks County, PA (Reading) resigned over Trump. Much love to my former Republican block-walking brothers. I know how tough that is.

Dennis Sanders, who like me has been writing about the state of the GOP for years, penned his departure notice this week.

Kansas voters, disgusted with the results of the far-right project in their state, booted Tea Party nutjob Tim Huelskamp in a primary this week. Another 10 far-right Kansas legislators lost their primaries.

Sally Bradshaw, a Bush aide and the author of the party’s 2013 “autopsy” report resigned from the party and expressed willingness to support Clinton.

There might be critical mass for some form of authentic realignment on the right. It should be noted, however, that the far-right wing of the party isn’t sitting still either. Supporters of Ted Cruz are rumbling their dissatisfaction and making plans. A GOP crackup may finally be in the works, but no one can say with confidence which forces will emerge most powerful from the wreckage.

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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245 comments on “Exodus
  1. RobA says:

    So Ryan beat his Trumpesque challanger with over 80% of the vote, as bug a landslide as your ever going tonsee in a free and fair election.

    Does this give him the confidence now to dump Trump? I’m sure Eric Cantour was in his mind up until yesterday, but it’s starting to seem like the opposite dynamic now: the extremists are the ones getting badly routed everywhere. Between Huelskamp, the KS GOP, and now Ryan, it’s beginning tonbe as dangerous now tonbe an extremist as it was until recently tonbe “establishment”.

    Starting to look like the anti establishment surge that took Trump to the GOP nom may have actually been the last gasp of extremism.

    Or, sumarrized, it’s starting to look like the extremism in national politics MAY have jumped the shark. If so, not an entirely shocking result. The whole tea party/GOP “politics of crazy” thing was never about the majority. It was about a COMPLACENT majority who didn’t bother to vote in primaries or off years or what have you. Looks like Trump may have knocked the REAL majority (sane ppl) out of their complacency.

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see Ryan unendorse in the next few weeks. He needs to start thinking about what’s more important to him: keeping his career, or tax cuts.

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      Rob: Ryan’s district is hardly representative. Ryan survived because his constituents like him. They didn’t vote for Trump, IIRC, so it isn’t surprising that they’d back Trump’s bro.

      The problem is that libertarianism as espoused by Goldwater is extremely attractive to racists and theocrats, both of whom benefit from a weak central government as it allows them to do their noxious work without interference.

      The Republican party is about 40-50% Trump supporters. The problem is that the other factions can’t decide who gets to be in charge – the reality is that the whole Republican coalition is mostly built for the benefit of the Romneys and Bushes of the world, and that the Cruz types and the Trump types aren’t natural allies of them (indeed, they’re much closer to the Clintons and Obamas of the world).

      Cruz is willing to set everything on fire for his own political advancement. Trump isn’t even aware of what a mess he’s creating.

  2. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    I have discussed this issue before… the nexus of racial bias, militarized police, excessive force and mental disability.

    Well it has apparently happened again.

    And this incident is as disgusting as the other previous events (such as that black behavioral therapist in Florida who was shot accidentally when his autistic charge was targeted).

    What I find must galling about this needless death is how the innocent person was dishonored further by the police after being dead. Designated as some common criminal when he was anything but.

    This incident involved the LAPD in Compton.

    Yeah, great history there.

    When people like Trump say they are a “law and order” politician I ask again, “What does that mean?” What will your policies entail? Cause that is kinda important…

    Here are the “highlights of the story”.

    “It was not yet dawn when the armored vehicles, black and hulking like Batmobiles, rumbled into the residential neighborhood in Compton, Calif. A carjacker had stolen a vehicle in Los Angeles, exchanged gunfire with sheriff’s deputies and then ditched his prize, disappearing on foot into a dense patchwork quilt of pink houses.”

    “The armored vehicles — and the heavily armed deputies inside them — were there to find and capture the armed carjacker.”

    “Instead, they found a different black man, Donnell Thompson.”

    “As the carjacker hid in a house several blocks away, Thompson slept in a stranger’s yard. He was 27 years old but possessed the mental faculties of a much younger man. He loved Uno, Michael Jackson and the Lakers. He was so gentle and shy he went by the nickname Little Bo Peep, his family told the Los Angeles Times. He had a clean record and was unarmed.”

    “From inside one of the armored vehicles, however, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies knew none of this. When Thompson didn’t respond to commands, the deputies detonated flash-bangs. When he still didn’t move, they hit him with foam bullets.”

    “And when he allegedly ran towards them, a deputy atop the armored vehicle opened fire with an assault rifle, striking Thompson twice in the torso.”

    “Thompson died. At almost the same instant, the real carjacker was arrested.”

    “That was July 28. For almost two weeks, the Sheriff’s Department insisted that Thompson was a second suspect in the carjacking.”

    “On Tuesday, the department admitted it had killed an innocent man.”

    “No question this is a terribly devastating event,” Capt. Steve Katz said during a press conference. He said there was “no physical evidence” connecting Thompson to the carjacking or shootout.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/10/a-terribly-devastating-event-black-man-killed-by-swat-team-was-innocent-officials-say/

  3. Griffin says:

    Explaining why some conservative intellectuals like Trump, and why many intellectuals in general have had a weakness for other authoritarian movements:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/trumps-intellectuals/492752/

  4. 1mime says:

    Straight out of Lifer’s playbook: Mac McCann, Dallas (TX) Editorial Board Intern.

    ” Rather than splashing water on the flames, it’s time for the GOP to come to terms with reality and wait for the party to burn to the ground.

    Only then, when the smoke of bigotry clears, can supporters of small government and personal freedom rise from the ashes to provide a fresh new vision for all Americans.”

    http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20160809-the-gop-is-dying-let-s-pull-the-plug.ece?ref=yfp

    • Titanium Dragon says:

      How is any “small government” party not going to attract racists and theocrats who want a small government so they can work their noxious work?

  5. flypusher says:

    Trump just can’t stop being Trump:

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_57aa2f6de4b0ba7ed23dd652

    “If she gets to pick her judges-nothing you can do folks. Although, the 2nd Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”

    Of course Trump’s soulless mouthpieces are spinning this as really being a call for unity and to go out and vote. Bullshit. If that’s what Trump really meant, nothing was stopping him from actually saying “Hey, if you don’t want Hillary picking judges, then get united and vote!!” But he chose not to say that. Trump lost the right to the benefit of the doubt long ago. He has yet again lowered the bar on inappropriate speech for Presidential candidates.

    • Trump is who he is. Those still invested in the idea that, surely, he’s going to start acting more “presidential” or finally take this campaign seriously need to wake up.

      • lomamonster says:

        Even as the so called “King of Debt”, Trump already owes the American People much more than he could ever pay…

    • texan5142 says:

      I do not think he remembers the name NRA, Reagan all over again. Puppet on a string.

      • texan5142 says:

        Bush got played also, he was way over his head.

      • Griffin says:

        Trump’s many things, almost all of them bad, but he’s not a “puppet”. He’s nigh impossible to control and causing massive damage to the GOP brand, which is why conservative donors initially avoided him. Now the conservative right-wing is just hoping he’ll win and blindly sign off on all their bills that go through Congress, though they’ll probably have to also support his even-more-than-usual blatant white nationalist and authoritarian agenda.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t recall if I posted this link earlier, but this is exactly responsive to your comment. How much damage could a President Donald Trump cause for America? Turns out, a lot.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-kleiman/donald-trump-damage_b_11402038.html

    • RobA says:

      Some genius on CNN was saying he clearly was talking about non criminal things you could “do” to stop her. Specifically, she said “amicus briefs”.

      Yes, a fully functioning human suggested that Trump meant that what those 2A could ” do” to stop HRC SCOTUS picks is “file an amicus brief”.

      • 1mime says:

        Like Tutta said of journalists, “they don’t make ’em like they used to…” (paraphrase)…

        Here’s what’s important. When a President speaks, he/she need to be cautious and clear in their remarks. They must say what they mean, and mean what they say. Can you envision a PRes. Trump on the world stage flipping off loose rhetoric as he has on the campaign trail? Would foreign dignitaries and military leaders be as forgiving of his brand of speaking?

        Here’s an important poll – one week long through Aug. 7th from Quinnipiac. It’s substantive. Note the impact that the Libertarian candidate has (Johnson is now polling in double digits) on the FL race where Trump/Clinton are basically tied with 3rd party candidates and she leads him by only 2 points head to head. This is FL with 29 electoral votes….folks.

        http://www.qu.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/2016-presidential-swing-state-polls/release-detail?ReleaseID=2371

      • Griffin says:

        Was it Jeffrey Lord? It was probably Jeffrey Lord. The fact CNN has a totally nuts far-right paleoconservative, if not an outright (as Van Jones puts it) “Alt-Righter”, as one of their main panel pundits is kind of amazing.

        I really only watch those panels mainly because Van Jones is the only one I find consistantly insighting, and the idea that he has to waste his time debating freaking Jeff Lord… Ugh, it would be one thing if he was debating a sane right-winger but it’s ridicilous he has to go in circles with Lord of all people. He has infinitly more patience then I’ll ever have.

      • RobA says:

        Griffin, no it was the pretty blonde girl. Kayleigh something?

        But yeah, Lord is the absolute worst. Him and that angry racist cop, Harry Houck.

        It’s embarrassing that CNN gives these clowns a platform.

    • 1mime says:

      I think Trump, like most bullies, is actually a coward. He’d rather bluster and suggest through innuendo than actually have the guts to say what he really thinks. Oh, he acts like he’s being truthful, but watch his delivery. It’s all theatrics. No honesty. The little spoiled brat in a man’s body is still lurking. It’s time for him to grow up.

      I heard a good discussion about how he will fare in the debates. He, of course, says he will do “fine”, that he vanquished 16 other debaters. And, that was true but the format was 30 second responses, not one on one substantive questions with follow up. He states he wants to make sure the debates are fair….what he means, of course, is that the debates follow the protocol he prefers. I don’t think he will get away with evasion or playing coy. I think Hillary knows what to expect although with Trump, he will always throw a curve or two. I’d have liked to have seen him endure 11 hours of House grilling by a panel of hostile men and do it with as much substance and dignity as Clinton did.

      Still, I remain convinced that this will be a nail biter. Too many unknowns due to such an unusual candidate who has no respect for rules of engagement. Plus, the wikileaks threat and , and, all the other crapola that you know is going to be thrown at Clinton in the coming weeks.

  6. flypusher says:

    Would a President Trump really be that bad- there’s all those checks & balances- right?

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/11402038

  7. RobA says:

    Don’t know how reliable this is, it doesn’t seem to be on any major media sites, but it wouldn’t be entirely surprising in some ways. In other ways, of course, it would be pretty shocking.

    http://www.smobserved.com/story/2016/08/08/news/romney-mccain-bush-other-major-republicans-set-to-endorse-libertarian-gary-johnson-for-president/1713.html

    • 1mime says:

      Smart. They are recognizing that the only way they can sure-fire cost Hillary votes, is to endorse the closest alternative conservative, who would be – Johnson. That will have a multiplier effect, signalling to the Republican base that there is an alternative to voting for a man they don’t want, not voting, or voting for Clinton. This will hurt her, that’s for sure. The danger they run is that this move takes more votes “from” Clinton, and effectively puts Trump ahead.

      Or, they may be playing a much deeper game. Doing the above with the full intent of helping Trump, in exchange for which (and we will likely never know for sure), Trump wins and allows Congress to run things.

      Interesting. Deadly. Desperate.

      • RobA says:

        I think this will hurt Trump more then it helps HRC.

        Anybody WANTING to vote Dem but just not able to vote for HRC doesn’t need GOP elites to give them permission to do so. But for those wanting to vote GOP but just not able to vote for Trump, this will encourage a lot of them.

      • 1mime says:

        And the play here is to the disenchanted GOP base. Purely. GOTV is critical this election because their base is so disillusioned. ONe thing the GOP has always been able to count on is that the Republican Party “block votes”. They don’t split votes. This is why many feel Trump’s latest economic plan is an intentional pivot to not only re-direct negative attention, but to also encourage this same wavering GOP base that he is a serious conservative.

        Here’s a Forbes article that goes into more detail about Trump’s financial advisory team. And, yes, as noted, “they are all male.” Here’s how the really big boys play the tax game:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2016/08/08/billionaire-trump-econ-advisor-knows-a-lot-about-tax-shelters-that-is/#3dc2629182f3

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking of GOTV. North Caroline should go down in the annals (pun intended) of history for voter suppression. Not rebuffed by a recent appellate decision that was scathing in its criticism of targeting Blacks for voter suppression, they are looking for another work around. It appears they think they found it. This is shameful. I hope the appellate court that is supervising this case is watching closely. I am sure the plaintiffs are, but it’s all about timing….keeping things in flux to make it as difficult as possible for “some” people to vote…

        (1) Eliminate the “straight ticket” choice. (This increases confusion, takes more time, and thus makes longer lines which coincidentally, makes it harder for all people to vote within polling hours.
        (2) Eliminate all voting precincts in each county to one only. ( This makes transportation access very difficult and, ta da, makes it harder for people to vote who lack a way to the polls.)

        If conservatives focused as much of their time and energy on governing as they do on obstructing voting, they might just win votes on the basis of accomplishment.

        http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/voting-fight-shifts-local-level-north-carolina-n625751

      • flypusher says:

        I’ve got to agree with Rob here- it’s very bad for Trump, and doesn’t do much bad for Clinton except lessen the damage downticket for the GOP. Johnson could take Utah away from Trump; there are a lot of Mormon voters who can’t stand him, but aren’t likely to vote Dem.

        But the biggest blow will be to whatever threads remain of a perception of party unity. I also think it will be too little, too late for people like McCain. His opponents have a lot to throw in his face over Trump.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I don’t think this is reliable.

    • vikinghou says:

      This would be a long shot, but the Johnson candidacy could alter the election sufficiently to deny any of the candidates the 270 Electoral votes needed to win. The election would then go to the House of Representatives, controlled by the GOP, allowing the GOP to elect anyone they want. A true nightmare.

    • 1mime says:

      It’s looking more likely that this is the plan. Note this follow up by Sen. Susan Collins who says she will not vote for either Trump or Clinton, but for Johnson.

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/09/politics/sen-susan-collins-explains-opposition-to-donald-trump-says-he-will-make-the-world-more-dangerous/index.html

      • 1mime says:

        Correction to Collins comment: She also said she would consider a “write-in” candidate (or Johnson). Yet another possible Republican strategy?

  8. Slightly off topic, twice in the last week i have heard that Fox News will be changing, moving away from it’s anti Dem attitude. The second time was a discussion on NPR yesterday. it seems the Murdock sons are no fans of Roger Ailes and his political views. What kept Ailes in place was the huge profits Fox generated. Now that he is gone, the sons can make changes.

    One can only hope!

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Does this mean profits will go down?

      • 1mime says:

        All in how you define “profits”, Tutta. If better quality, fairer journalism results, I’d say we all win.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I mean profits as in money, since Human mentioned the huge profits generated by Fox with Ailes there.

        I am no fan of Fox, have never watched it, don’t have cable TV, but I think there’s enough good journalism out there that there’s no need to curb alternative, conservative stations, unless of course the Murdochs decide to take a different approach.

      • 1mime says:

        My pitiful attempt at humor fails again!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, you fail to profit from your subtle sense of humor.

      • 1mime says:

        I’ll keep trying, Tutta )-:

  9. Chris L says:

    Unfortunately, this is only going to add to the GOP’s condition. Having sensible leadership depart the party isn’t going to ‘realign’ it away from the fringe, but instead condense the party around it.

    I stick to my Jurassic Park analogy: The dinosaurs are loose in the party. Old, defunct ideas that shouldn’t exist are running amok. Their former handlers have only two choices: Run away or embrace a ‘futile’ hope right up until they drag you into their cave.

    The GOP had a lot of promising ideas, but were too hinged on Orwellian plans for creating a bloodthirsty and loyal voter base, willing to disregard facts, reason, and alternative perspective. They’ve created a second America, wholly alien in thought to the rest, where their ‘pack’ can do no harm and everyone else is a complicit and conspiring enemy to be defeated. Now, they see enemies in their own ranks, their ‘handlers’ who thought to tie the party platform on their backs. They will not go back into their cages. Those who could have already fled the party.

    Paul Ryan is no less the ‘Mr. Hammond’ of the story, clinging to the futile hope that once power is restored, the dinosaurs will all return to their cages. To spoil the book, he’s devoured by a dozen little venomous dung-eaters and never makes it off the isle. I’m sure he’s rooting for the movie ending where he gets away instead.

    • duncancairncross says:

      Hi Chris

      “The GOP had a lot of promising ideas”

      I can’t think of ANY!!

      And if they had any good ideas WHY didn’t they implement them?

      They had all three branches for 8 years and have had the two legislative branches for the last six years

      If they had ANY ideas (other than to try and defund the ACA) why haven’t they put them into practise?

      • Duncan,

        In North Carolina, the GOP has a great idea. Limit voting for those pesky minorities who do not vote correctly by limiting early voting sites to one site per county! That way the lines will be long and people will not vote!

        Why decent people vote Republican in a state like North Carolina is a complete mystery to me!

        http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/voting-fight-shifts-local-level-north-carolina-n625751

      • RobA says:

        Duncan, they had the idea to get rid of slavery. That was undoubtedly a great idea.

        Since then though? I’m drawing a blank.

      • 1mime says:

        Sorry for the repetitious post, Just Human, didn’t see your link.

      • Chris L says:

        There are choice sections of fiscal conservatism which have merit, not the least of which as a counterbalance to the idea that federal money is ‘free money’, which gets exploited by non-federal businesses like colleges.

        I worked as a DOD contractor for a while. Technical certifications like Network+ was eventually required for technical positions for policy compliance. What did the certification company do? They changed their ‘lifetime’ certifications to ‘lifetime learning’ certifications where you had to either keep taking more certs to keep what you had, or repay the pricetag on the exam. College isn’t expensive because they’re offering quality education, College is expensive because they’re gorged on federal funding to build stadiums and run ads, with the expectation that students’ parents fork the bill or have ‘free money’ from the gov’t.

        The Bernie/Democrat solution to college is to pump more ‘free money’ into the collegiate system instead of weaning these institutions off the federal dime, or at the very least getting better results from colleges receiving these funds.

        So.. yeah. the GOP has a choice selection of good ideas, but they get overshadowed by the moral bankruptcies of their social policies.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Chris

        Your answer is a typical GOP bad appalling “throw the baby out with the bathwater” solution
        If the funds that are going to education are being misapplied the solution is to stop that from happening
        NOT to stop the funding!!

        You should ask “why” the misapplication is going on – my answer would be because it has become the goal of the colleges NOT to provide an education but to “Get Money” – following the example set by their leaders

    • 1mime says:

      Those venomous dung-eating dinosaurs that plan to eat Ryan? They are: The Freedom Caucus. Mark my words. They’ve been quiet but they are planning.

  10. 1mime says:

    Add Sen. Susan Collins to the list of Republicans who have announced that they will NOT be voting for Donald Trump.

    Now, Collins is big. Well respected, thoughtful. I am not surprised of her decision, but I am pleased she made her announcement this early in the process. We’ll see if there are any other brave souls left in the Republican Party.

    • A commendable stand from the last moderate Republican Senator. Well met, Sen. Collins.

      That aside, and though it probably wasn’t the intention, this puts Kelly Ayotte in an unshakeable squeeze; no more excuses. If she keeps trying to have it both ways now, she’ll get crushed in November.

      • 1mime says:

        That’s good thinking, Ryan. I hadn’t connected those dots. Ayotte is already in an incredibly tight race – this will pressure her to take a stand.

    • 1mime says:

      I knew 3 names on that list….which doesn’t say much for how informed I am, but I do try to know who the players are. I suspect from the job titles that these are the policy grunts…the ones who do the hard work, the ones who survive from President to President because they know what in the heck is going on.

      Still this list won’t make any dent in the average “joe” because until the familiar names chime in, they simply think it’s all more of the same cover up.

    • formdib says:

      Wadi Gaitan, communications chief of Republican Party of Florida, is out:

      http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/donald-trump/article94408202.html

      “He is not the first Hispanic Republican political operative to leave a high-profile job once confronted with defending Trump. Ruth Guerra, a LIBRE alumna who had worked for Miami U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, stepped down as Hispanic communications director for the Republican National Committee in June for the same reason. The national party then struggled to replace her, eventually hiring Miamian Helen Aguirre Ferré, who herself has seemed reluctant at times to embrace Trump.

      When RPOF hired Gaitan in May 2015, it trumpeted his bilingual skills — something top Florida Democratic Party staff did not have at the time.”

      ‘Post-mortem report’ indeed.

      • 1mime says:

        When the RPOF hired Gaitan, they likely told him they would be sensitive to the needs of the Hispanic population Gaitan knew so well…….and then the GOP backed Trump – however reluctantly, they all fell on their red swords. Good for Gaitan for putting his people before a party that really only wants their votes – and none of their problems.

    • formdib says:

      I’ve been reducing my political news consumption over the last week (mostly to my benefit and better for my productivity), but in a way I haven’t had to ‘look’ for this sort of stuff as it’s now, like, Facebook trending sidebar content rather than obscure op-eds by liberal rags.

      But the side-effect of them being Facebook trending is, of course, Facebook comments.

      Here’s a meaningful one that, not the least bit surprising, but says it all in a nutshell:

      “It’s so good to see all these RINO establishment shills running for their life. Trump is already doing a great job getting them out of our party. The more the better. First we fix the party, then the country.”

      It’s fun because, how exactly is a party supposed to win without members?

      • formdib says:

        Night of the Comma Splice Errors. Real horrorshow.

      • rulezero says:

        That’s the low-educated vote that Trump’s base consists of. They’re still trying for purification of “RINOs.”

        What they don’t realize is that by doing so, the Republican will cease to be a national party and will become a regional fringe party that exists in its own little echo chamber while the rest of the country’s demographics pass them by.

        They’re very foolish.

      • 1mime says:

        “myopia” rulezero.

      • 1mime says:

        I think the message there, formdib, is that these RINOs weren’t pure enough….Leave and the “real” conservatives will get the job done. …

      • flypusher says:

        Better to be a RINO than a pigeon.

      • 1mime says:

        OK, Formdib. I’m going to drop this extremely informative, juicy Politico piece in your face just to tempt you away from reducing your political consumption. I promise, you will read it through in one sitting. I thought I knew more about this than I did. Fabulous research.

        http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/obama-courts-judicial-legacy-226741

      • Stephen says:

        @ rulezero:
        My neighbor across the street daughter married her brother’s best friend he meet while in the service. He is from West Virginia and has that hillbilly accent bad. His mother was from Korea and dad from West Virginia. You can tell their kids have Asian ancestry. My neighbor is from Alabama originally but most of her life lived in Florida. My half sister’s dad is from Puerto Rico. My dad was native Floridian and in his day Florida was deep south. Where is the old dude going with this story? That echo chamber you wrote about is getting more and more crowded with diversity. The old South and it’s confederacy is dying and will be gone when it’s last generation is dead. Same with the West. My mom was born in Colorado and we all know the tale there and other western states. The GOP will not even survive as a regional party unless it reaches out to nonwhites. I hope I got this reply under the right column.

  11. flypusher says:

    So, Trump’s latest attempt to pivot- it’s an endorsement of the trickle-down economics that have made Kansas such a juggernaut? Am I reading that correctly?

    • 1mime says:

      No, I think it’s a better plan than KS. There are some good elements – corporate tax reform, simplification of the tax code, lower tax rates across the board…but, there is this thorny little problem: How do you cut taxes, grow the economy with “less” revenue? This is Trump’s re-worked Tax Plan so it hasn’t been scored by the Tax Policy Institute or picked apart by the economists, who are conspicuously absent from Trump’s advisory panel. The few questions I heard asked looking for details from Trump’s team said these details weren’t out yet…..

      Really? At least the guy proved he could read. Either that or he had a recorder implanted. He did use the teleprompter and did a good job with it. He also did not respond to several interruptions from hecklers which makes me wonder how much Valium there was in his hair tonic that morning.

      • flypusher says:

        “He did use the teleprompter and did a good job with it. ”

        The bar is too damn low.

      • 1mime says:

        This New Yorker article puts it all out there. The author’s sentiment exactly matches my own. This should be a very close race, and Trump could win, if he got his &*%( together “just” enough to get his base to vote. See if you agree with Cassidy.

        http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/can-donald-trump-rebound?mbid=nl_160808_Daily&CNDID=24419463&spMailingID=9324060&spUserID=MTE3NDg4MjU3NDg2S0&spJobID=980648535&spReportId=OTgwNjQ4NTM1S0

      • RobA says:

        Mime, you’re giving Trump way too much credit.

        “Simplifying tax code” and “tax reform” are just euphemisms for exactly the same failed trickle down policies that destroyed Kansas.

        The thing is, corporate taxes are pretty low already. Yes, the overall rate is high. But literally NOBODY oays that rate. Once you fa for in deductions and tax havens, the average corporate tax rate is 12.6%.

        The simple fact is this: of all the economic challanges facing America, “high taxes” probably isn’t even in the top 10.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I agree with Rob and fly. I listened to part of his speech on the radio. It was light and airy, a phrase followed by an amount of money, usually in the billions or trillions. Repeat. Repeat.

        The bar is too low.

      • 1mime says:

        No detail. That’s a big problem. Hillary’s plans have been posted on her website for ions. Specifics as to plans and how to pay for the programs. But, if the comparison is KS, that’s a pretty low bar as well.

        BTW, Bobo. The article on the reporters difficulty covering Trump was very well done. But for me, the final paragraph summed up their responsibility quite well: “…journalism shouldn’t measure itself against any one campaign’s definition of fairness. It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.”

        We need more of that in reporting in days ahead. Fortunately, Trump has gone out of his way to childishly deprive major newspapers and media access to his rallies. This makes it harder to play nice even as media’s bar always has to be highest.

    • antimule says:

      > So, Trump’s latest attempt to pivot- it’s an endorsement of the trickle-down economics that have made Kansas such a juggernaut? Am I reading that correctly?

      Especially puzzling since the rejection of glibertarianism is what got him so far (well that and crazy ultra-nationalism)

  12. Bobo Amerigo says:

    This article discusses the issues journalists face now when covering this norm-shattering campaign.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/08/business/balance-fairness-and-a-proudly-provocative-presidential-candidate.html

    Excerpt:

    The media reaction to it all has been striking, what The Columbia Journalism Review called “a Murrow moment.” It’s not unusual to see news stories describe him as “erratic” without attribution to an opponent. The “fact checks” of his falsehoods continue to pile up in staggering numbers, far outpacing those of Mrs. Clinton. And, on Sunday, the CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter called upon journalists and opinion makers to challenge Mr. Trump’s “dangerous” claims that the electoral system is rigged against him. Failure to do so would be unpatriotic, Mr. Stelter said.

    Reporters do have their work cut out for themselves.

    • 1mime says:

      It’s about.damn.time. that journalists/reporters start doing their jobs. If they had exposed Trump as the emperor who had no clothes early, he wouldn’t be the GOP nominee.

      There really is no principled way journalists “can’t” expose Trump but, will they do the work?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I think journalists originally failed to do their job because they didn’t take Mr. Trump seriously, and now it may be too late to tame the monster. They are intimidated by him. Not only is he not a normal candidate, but the relationship and communication between candidate and media is not normal, either. It’s like the roles are reversed — he puts them on the spot and questions them when it should be the other way around.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, if journalists are intimidated by “Trump the candidate”, imagine how intimidated they might be of “Trump the President”! How do we protect Democracy by being too intimidated to challenge a bully like Trump? These people are professionals. They know he’s full of &*i%. They need to drop the bravado and go after the SOB with all guns blazing.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        1. How does one deal with a presidential candidate who doesn’t follow the unspoken rules?

        2.. How does one deal with a crazy person?

      • texan5142 says:

        tuttabellamia says:

        2.. How does one deal with a crazy person?

        I dunno, you could ask my wife, she would know.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, maybe this is something they never learned at school (how to deal with a crazy person who won’t follow the rules).

        They are used to dealing superficially with the people they cover, going through the motions, saying all the right things, providing mostly positive coverage for those they agree with and dismissing those they don’t agree with, except Mr. Trump won’t be dismissed, and they don’t know quite how to react.

        Maybe they really are the “lame-stream” media — too politically correct. Cowardly, perhaps.

        Maybe they just don’t make them like they used to.

      • 1mime says:

        I’ll go with your last suggestion. “Maybe they just don’t make them like they used to.”

        They don’t make “parents” like they used to either, and teachers get blamed for how kids turn out, not mom and dad or gangs or poverty. How should we feel about that? We can’t always succeed in our jobs, but the best among us try as hard as we can. Do you feel that is the case here? Do you think with Trump’s fragile ego that if the media hadn’t fallen all over his every word at his “free” press “meetings”, and they had, instead, challenged him to answer the questions that he might have flamed out months ago? Then, of course, there was his “party”, and those of us – including myself – who never ever thought trump would make it onto the debate stage. But, it wasn’t for lack of not seeing him for what he was, it was for believing that the “political process” would deep-six a candidate who was so flawed. That didn’t happen either. Then there was the fact that Trump cleverly latched onto a message that hit home with millions of voters who have been neglected if not ignored – the working class that sees minorities compete with them for “their” jobs; a social movement that was actually working to make America more diverse, more fair, more open for all people.

        It is a perfect storm: disbelief, people who were/are ready to stick it to the system that ignored them, plus a party (GOP) that had perfected the art of obstructing government so thoroughly that they stopped governing and caring for their flock. Heck, they didn’t even know who was in their flock. All the GOP knew was that they were kicking some serious *ss across the aisle and showing that Black President who the boss really was. They.were.in.control. Not anymore. It’s payback time.

        Do I feel sorry for the GOP? Not.a.bit. Do I feel sorry for our country? A lot.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Thanks, Texan. We will ask her one day over grilled swordfish.

      • RobA says:

        “They are intimidated by him.”

        I think that’s the crux of it. In general, today’s “journalists” are really no such thing, at least as far as television goes. The ppl that do live interviews are, first and foremost, hired for their television friendly faces and demeanour. That’s their meat and potatoes.

        It’s not that they don’t WANT to call Trump to task. It’s that they don’t have the skillset to challenge such bold faced lying.

      • 1mime says:

        IF reporters had the backing of their network to go hard after Trump, they could. Everything is being driven by ratings, and never a day goes by that Trump’s name or image isn’t out there. It’s like all the people who slow down approaching the scene of a wreck. All the bodies are gone, but the smashed up cars are still there to affirm that something bad happened. Once seen, people accelerate and go on with their lives. But we all slow down because we know something bad happened there. Only this time, the bad guy survived.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I think journalists haven’t done a good job of explaining the fundamentals of their profession. And most of us don’t take any journalism courses in school.

        Everyone gets hung up on the issue of bias and then discussion stalls out.

        It’s a hard job. In the course of a few hours, a journalist can be on the receiving end of the same level of ire for transposing a phone number AND perceived political bias AND for pushing an elected official hard for an answer AND for a grammatical error.

        Plus, people lie to journalists all the time, even in semi-formal situations like an interview with a newspaper’s editorial board. When they provide an exact quote, I think they are depending on readers/viewers to be able to evaluate that quote and person who said it. Some do, many don’t.

        They frequently see things most of us don’t. A television reporter who spent years covering the courthouse in Dallas said it was very clear to her: if you’re rich, you can get away with a lot. Her sense of our judicial system is likely much different than your average person’s.

        Being an informed member of the public is impossible if you only watch news on television or (alert: editorial comment ahead) limit your news to Fox outlets. There simply aren’t enough minutes in an hour for all necessary words to be spoken aloud to get the gist of a complex story.

        In the link, I was struck by the association of reportage with patriotism. Many reporters are cynical. I wonder how they’re reacting to that assertion.

      • tuttabella says:

        I apologize for painting journalists with a broad brush. Lord knows foreign correspondents are some of the bravest people on the planet, risking their lives in the line of fire in war-torn countries, witnessing the ravages of disease and starvation, risking imprisonment, etc.

    • 1mime says:

      From the NYT link, Bobo posted. That’s the first time I’ve seen Trump’s “free press” time quantified. $2B in free media for Trump…..I knew it was Yuuge….

      Think he’s not “gaming” the system?

    • 1mime says:

      Bobo, I think you will appreciate this “take” on Trump and journalism. Some news organizations have had enough. Keep kicking news reporters out, Trump. It’s really paying off.

      “WaPo just said, “Screw it! Let people call us biased! We’re still printing the truth and the GOP can suck eggs. Trump is simply too dangerous to treat like a normal candidate.”

      Let us hope this idea is contagious.

      http://leftwingnation.org/washington-post-fact-checkers-kick-trumps-ass-in-real-time-tweets/

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Another thing wapo — and others — are doing is quoting Trump verbatim. It’s like chopped salad.

      • 1mime says:

        Let’s hope he reaps what he sows. Bullies are really hurtful people and too many of them pay the price.

  13. New polling has come out showing Clinton actually extending her lead in Georgia and FiveThirtyEight has Georgia showing leaning Democratic for the first time ever.

    http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/georgia/

    I’d like to see some recent Texas polling, please.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Are you from Texas?

    • 1mime says:

      Don’t look for Texas to turn blue anytime soon, Ryan, but keep looking (-;

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I know I will be feeling blue when Trump wins Texas.

      • 1mime says:

        (-: Me, too.

        Want to see how bad economic decisions impact investment? Look no further than the impact BREXIT has influenced global investment. Think about how a President Trump would appeal to investors who at present see the U.S. as a safe haven?

        http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2016-08-08/private-equity-deals-uk-plunge?shareToken=st3e66f24b9b654bf7a26db70e43e3f17c

      • Texas already has the numbers to turn blue, mime. A strong enough coalition of Hispanic turnout and affluent whites would be more than enough to make the state competitive, maybe even enough to flip it. Question is whether enough resources are put in and turnout is sufficient.

      • 1mime says:

        I would love for you to be correct, but here’s how it works here: Hispanics don’t turn out in correlation to their numbers, and TX Republicans do. Affluent White Texans tend to be Republicans and they share an incredibly deep hatred of Hillary Clinton. I would expect most of those who don’t/can’t vote Trump (and I think most will), to vote Johnson. Unless you’ve got some data that clearly supports your belief, I just don’t see it happening. Not yet. One day.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ryan may be right. It ain’t over till it’s over. GOTV.

      • @1mime: I’d be happy to, but I need a little help first. It’s on a site that I know I should’ve bookmarked before, but I didn’t. 😦

        Lifer, you gave a link a while back to a site that allowed you to freely alter demographics, turn-out rates and the like to project what it would take for a candidate or a party to win a state. Do you still have that, and could you post it if so?

      • 1mime says:

        Ryan, could one of these two interactive electoral maps be the one Lifer posted?

        http://www.270towin.com/

        http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-swing-the-election/

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Texas isn’t the darkest red on the 538 map. 🙂 Nor is Ohio the darkest blue 😦

      • 1mime says:

        You live here, Bobo. You know that TX isn’t turning blue any time soon. What will be interesting is to see if Trump can recover enough that he can carry TX. I’m not sure of that. I’ve heard a lot of our Repub friends say they’re voting Libertarian….Johnson. At this point, I could care less what TX does. Trump had a very strong message today and it is designed to keep wavering conservatives from either not voting or crossing party lines. This election can’t be over quickly enough for me.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, what about Texas Governor Ann Richards? She was a liberal Democrat.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, one of the memorable ones. Unfortunately, she’s no longer with us….But, I found about 100 of ’em in Rice Village’s Main Street Theater, so it was good to rub shoulders with folks who share my views….even if it was just for a few hours (-;

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s an interesting graphic that shows where the heavy hitters are shifting their bucks….in many cases, with Clinton the beneficiary. (Like a horse race, the favorite got pulled, so they’re looking for another pony to win…..these people back winners…many of them hedged their bets from the start, giving Clinton $$ and their favorite Republican(s) contenders. Now that the GOP nominee process is (almost) over, they are moving their money around to the probable winner…)

        Note Cruz’ supporters didn’t bite, which shows how singular their support for him is, which is good for him for his obvious interest in 2018 senatorial re-election and in 2020. when he gives Republicans another chance to “like him”. (He’s going to take a Dale Carnegie course between now and 2018 to become “likable enough” (-;

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/09/us/elections/Bush-Rubio-and-Kasich-Donors-give-to-Clinton.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    • Stephen says:

      http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/texas/

      Also from 538 blog. There is right now about 4% between Hillary and Trump with Trump in the Lead.

      • 1mime says:

        The day a Democrat wins Texas is going to be an earth-shattering election. Who knows? Maybe we’re there. Remember, Texas used to be solid Democrat. In fact, Gov. Perry first ran as a Democrat and then changed his party when the GOP started making progress in the state. Living here, I just don’t run into many Democrats; however, I went downtown on a rare trip to the theater this weekend to see a play about Molly Ivins. Molly was the consumate Democratic satirist who made life miserable for many Republicans during her day. Unfortunately, she succumbed to cancer. It was fun to see a (small) room filled with liberals who could enjoy Ivin’s many experiences. It may have held all the Dems in TX, for all I know, but it was a rare occasion. I laughed about this with the performer after the show.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, what about Texas Governor Ann Richards? She was a liberal Democrat.

  14. tuttabellamia says:

    I think the so-called exodus from the Republican Party is just a temporary, desperate defection from Trump to the Clinton camp. Once the dust settles I expect things to return to normal, more or less.

    If Mrs. Clinton wins, there will be 4 or 8 more years of the status quo, and then we will have establishment versus outsider Republicans duking it out again. I don’t see establishment Republicans voting Democrat forever.

    If Mr. Trump wins, a lot will depend on what type of President he is. Will he be as crazy as he seems? Will he be a hands-off President? There’s still a lot of mystery there.

    • You’re partially right, but in some respects, you’re comparing apples and oranges.

      It’s true that a decent chunk of Republicans are just voting for Clinton as the quote-on-quote “lesser of two evils”, but people who leave a political party are much less likely to return to it afterwards. Trump’s damage extends well beyond a single election cycle and those who do leave, now freed up from Republican politics, are free to look seriously at other candidates or contribute their efforts to a new political party.

      What’s really got Republican officials spooked is if Trump pushes Hispanics and other minorities away from the GOP in the same way that Goldwater pushed African-Americans away. That’s a political death sentence right there.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        “now freed up from Republican politics”
        *********************
        Good observation. You could say people are now free to “vote their conscience,” so maybe the damage done by Trump will be a good thing in the long run overall.

        I also agree that Trump has done a spectacular job of alienating minorities from the party.

      • flypusher says:

        If you are Black, or Hispanic, or female, or not of a Judeo-Christian religious bent, or a Christian who actually pays attention to what Jesus said, or LGTB, or you care about science, or you care about national security, why would voting for a GOP with Trump as its leader be in your best interests?? What can they offer you???

      • 1mime says:

        They are not Hillary. That’s it.

      • Stephen says:

        If Republicans wanted Latino votes they would of did away with the Hastert rule and with Democrats pass immigration reform. But they out foxed them self when they gerrymandered so many districts. Now to err from fright wing radicalism is to be primaryed and lose their job. So they rather lose their party than their seats. I shed no tears over them at all.

    • flypusher says:

      I think he’d be both crazy and hands off. Ryan and Pence would no doubt try to keep him distracted by having him appear frequently in front of his adoring fans while they pushed legislation, and put out any diplomatic fires Trump started with his careless mouth. But I think they would be setting themselves up to fail spectacularly, because in addition to Trump’s tendency to say stupid things, there’s the fact that trickle down economics won’t help the working class. They deserve that fail, but lots of us don’t.

      • 1mime says:

        For those who follow the stock market, Larry Kudlow is a familiar face. He is advising Trump on economic ideas including supply side economics. (Let me state that I am not an admirer of Kudlow.) Trump’s formal team of financial advisors lack economists, per the CNBC analysts, and is heavily staffed by those in the investment and real estate industry. What he is doing that is smart, is to focus on growth and elimination (?) of regulations, because he can’t honestly criticize the economy which is doing well, albeit with a slower recovery.

        He attacked Hillary on the basis of today’s WaPo critique of her lack of success on bringing jobs to North NY. There was more in the article on this issue but it was not pointed out. Here’s the full article for your perusal.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/as-senator-clinton-promised-200000-jobs-in-upstate-new-york-her-efforts-fell-flat/2016/08/07/339d3384-58d2-11e6-831d-0324760ca856_story.html?tid=pm_politics_pop_b

      • moslerfan says:

        To the extent that Clinton represents a continuation of Obama’s policies, we’ll do ok on the job front. Obama’s record for job growth over the span of his administration is astonishing.

        I need to look at Trump’s proposals. The clip that just flashed across my TV called for infrastructure spending. A good answer, but hardly original. Also, tax cuts (leading to higher deficits, no doubt) is the right answer too but the cuts need to be aimed at people who will increase consumption spending. In other words, tax cuts for poor and working class people, not rich people, will give you the most bang for the buck.

      • 1mime says:

        You’re preaching to the choir here, mosler! But, I’ve linked some of analysis of Trump’s latest tax plan so you can do a quick study. Assume the Tax Foundation will do the heavy lifting as will the CBO….Hope so. Here’s affirmation for your observation – offer tax cuts where it’s needed most and will put more money to work in the economy…not in offshore accounts or 401k accounts that are already in 7 figures.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/is-america-due-for-a-tax-hike/494795/?utm_source=nl-atlantic-daily-080816

      • moslerfan says:

        Fascinating article, Mime. It’s hard to imagine a viewpoint like that being published not long ago. It did have a somewhat moralistic tone, whereas I think there are good purely economic reasons for opposing inequality. It simply isn’t possible to have a healthy economy that isn’t broad based.

      • 1mime says:

        The problem is, those who have been in charge of writing the rules, really didn’t care about broad-based economic health. I believe there is a moral underpinning to wealth/income disparity when it reaches the levels we’re seeing today. There is also the fact that it is not sustainable. Ultimately, a democracy depends upon opportunity that is shared. This hasn’t been the model for a long time now. The gap between the “hugely wealthy” and the “struggling to get by” is unconscionable. To that extent, framing it in “moralistic” tones is fine with me. Once you get to greater parity, then extract morality. We have a long way to go before that will happen.

    • 1mime says:

      It’s not the “mystery” about Trump that alarms me, it’s the reality of what we have already seen. I’m sure it will get worse, but there shouldn’t be any expectation other than it will get much, much worse. His status quo is pretty bad even if it didn’t change at all.

      • 1mime says:

        As much as I cringe even looking at Trump, he is giving his economic speech extremely well, maybe the best presentation he’s made since he’s announced his candidacy. I think this is the Trump we will be seeing from here on. On message, presidential, not easily riled, focused. Get ready because the pivot has happened. The question at this point from many, is which Donald Trump will be President? However, Republicans so loathe HRC that it won’t take much convincing for the majority to vote party and “hope” this “new” Trump will prevail.

        Trust in Trump vs hatred of Hillary. Quite a choice Republicans have there.

      • Stephen says:

        Larry Kudlow? This guy is know to get it wrong repeatedly. A sure fire way to destroy your portfolio is to follow this guy’s advice. Trump using him for economic advice sure follows the Trump pattern. And this tells me that Trump does not know investing and economics , especially macro-economics are not the same.

      • 1mime says:

        Kudlow says he is an “informal” economic advisor to Trump and that there are a dozen men who are the official economic advisors. (no females, btw. guess there aren’t any females who impress T with their financial chops to make the team…)

        I can’t stand Kudlow. I find him condescending and he laces his economic analysis on so much political rhetoric that what he says doesn’t stand on its own merit.

        But, there is a team of formal advisors so I assume Trump was smart enough to figure that out.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        See, Mime, I TOLD you he was a mystery.

      • 1mime says:

        No, no mystery, just one clever, self-serving, unstable spoiled rich kid who grew up much the same. I think his faults are pretty clear. What is happening now is that the Repub Party has become so fearful of losing not just the presidency but also Congress, that they are willing to support him even though he is unqualified and unstable.

        It’s all about party. All.

  15. While it comes as absolutely no surprise that Trump’s still treating us all like a bunch of gullible chumps, it still pisses me off that he’s treating us all like a bunch of gullible chumps.

    Behold, The Donald’s ‘plan’ to offer “fully tax-deductible” childcare for all Americans:

    http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/290701-trump-to-announce-fully-tax-deductible-childcare-in

    Really, this should go over well, I think. Not so much for anyone who’s ever filed taxes and knows what a cap on deductions means, but Trump’s approval ratings among the homeless should at least tick up a bit.

    • flypusher says:

      Lots of trickle down in the proposal too.

      • lomamonster says:

        At least we will shortly discern the more technical descriptions of our upcoming fiscal doom with Trump at the helm of Bad Bank, USA…

      • 1mime says:

        Trump on tv now delivering his tax plan. He is demonstrating remarkable restraint despite repeated hecklers interrupting his address. Just saying. I think Trump has pivoted which isn’t to say he has changed his core, but he is acting more presidential. It’s catch-up time.

      • @1mime: >] “Trump on tv now delivering his tax plan. He is demonstrating remarkable restraint despite repeated hecklers interrupting his address. Just saying. I think Trump has pivoted which isn’t to say he has changed his core, but he is acting more presidential. It’s catch-up time.

        With all respect, mime, Trump can’t stay on message. It’s just not who he is. You can take the monkey out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the monkey.

        Every time the pundit class or whoever talks about Trump finally making the pivot or is looking more presidential, it never lasts. You tell me why this time should be any different.

    • 1mime says:

      Ryan, Why would you think Trump supporters wouldn’t look upon this full childcare tax deductible as a positive? …..Seriously, not having children to declare for decades, how does this work in “real” life tax filing currently?

      When we were raising children there was zero deduction for childcare. I do know that much.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      The Trump Chumps

  16. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Behold!
    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
    which now feed on the remains of their promising youth

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

    • lomamonster says:

      I almost threw up my coffee after glancing at that picture!

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        I totally understand. It’s an epic non-prophetic image. It goes to show… be very careful when making predictions about what the future will look like, or maybe don’t make any predicitions at all.

  17. Stephen says:

    I just finish this article in The Atlantic, “How American Politics Went Insane”, by Jonathan Rauch. The author is of the more progressive persuasion. His essay covers pretty much what Lifer’s book “The politics of crazy” covered. It does get into the weeds a bit more, and at the end offers some things to improve our politics. He pretty much agrees with Chris 100% in the why things went insane and that the Democrats are not far behind. Like Chris he uses Bernie as one of his chief arguments that Democrats are only a step behind Republicans and like Lifer sees Unions and Blacks slowing down the decay of the Democratic party. I finally subscribe to the magazine. I do not think the author plagiarize Mr. Ladd but independently came to the same conclusion. When smart people, especially on the opposite ends of the political spectrum , independently come to the same conclusion the probability you are on to something greatly increases.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/how-american-politics-went-insane/485570/

    • flypusher says:

      “When smart people, especially on the opposite ends of the political spectrum , independently come to the same conclusion the probability you are on to something greatly increases.”

      Excellent point. I’m hoping to see more of these dominoes fall.

    • Griffin says:

      I wonder if Hillary’s election basically safeguards national Democratic politics until 2024, or would it be possible for a true crazy to challenge her in 2020? I don’t think a US president has ever been unseated in a primary from their own party before.

      • 1mime says:

        Gosh, I hate to be the naysayer here, but this race is going to get a lot closer. Trump has already started making adjustments – endorsements, focusing his attacks on Clinton vs other Republicans. He does.not.want.to.be.embarrassed.

        Like most here, I hope Clinton crushes Trump and that the benefits accrue down ticket, but let’s not count our chickens before they’re hatched, folks. Even as things right now look very good, we have 3 months ahead of seriously negative campaigning headed our way. GOTV is less assured when people feel their votes aren’t needed. Let’s not fall victim to false exuberance.

      • flypusher says:

        1mime, I ain’t relaxing until Trump’s chances fall to zero. I think Hillary will be smart enough to not interfere with Trump imploding, and there are more shoes to drop on him. And on that note, Kasich is confirming the story of the VP offer.

        http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/07/politics/john-kasich-donald-trump-election-2016/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

        There’s also the issue with his wife’s visa status, and we’ll see if Wiki-leaks is serious when they say they’re going after his tax returns. That would be a bombshell, I’ll bet. There’s all his pending lawsuits. As long as Trump has his Twitter account, I will expect him to tweet something stupid.

        Hillary really needs to stop trying to explain the e-mail thing. You screwed up back then, just say it and move on. Let’s hear about infrastructure and immigration reform and campaign finance reform and banking reform and energy policy and all that other stuff that’s going to actually affect people’s lives.

      • 1mime says:

        Agree Hil needs to zip it. It’s done, don’t make it worse. As for the WikiLeaks investigation of Trump’s tax returns, the organization has denied it. It is Assange who is stoking the topic.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Now is when we need Dr Brin’s Henchman Prize

        $1,000,000 to the guy who publishes the Donald’s tax returns

      • RobA says:

        I mean…..anything’s possible, but there is absolutely nothing in the Dems recent history to suggest anything remotely like this would happen.

        Bernie Sanders and his common sense policies that every other Western nation generally has is by no means evidence of the PoC on the Dems.

        Sanders is a pretty typical left leaning politician with pretty standard leftist policies in the rest of the world. It’s only in America that he could seem relatively radical.

        And despite all that, HRC beat him handily and without ever really any serious doubt that she would.

        Now, if Jill Stein had gotten as many votes in the Dem primary as Bernie did, then maybe there could be a comparison.

        As much as I respect Chris’s political instincts, he’s not immune to unconscious biases, as all of us are. I tend to think that his ideas that the left isnt far behind on the road of the PoC is just wishful thinking on his part.

        Also, he is likely influenced by the dysfunctional state level Dem leadership in his home state, which is understandable. At the national level though, I’m just not seeing it.

        If Jill Stein had given HRC

      • 1mime says:

        Democratic leadership is way behind Republicans at the state level. They hold 31 gubernatorial positions to Dems 18 plus 1 Independent. The dominance is more striking legislatively at the state level. 26 both chambers/Repubs; 11 both chambers/Dems. Here’s how they did it and if Dems are wise, they will work to regain parity. Remember, when you control state legislatures, you control gerrymandering. When you control gerrymandering, you control the House.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/03/04/the-remarkable-republican-takeover-of-state-legislatures-in-1-chart/

      • RobA says:

        Not to mention, after Sanders lost his hard fought campaign against HRC, he spoke at the convention, whole heartedly endorsed her, and will campaign for her on the trail

        Hardly the behavior of the “politics of crazy”.

      • Depends entirely on two factors: what Clinton accomplishes in her first four years and the reach of her hand in rebuilding the Democratic Party at the state and local level.

        If Democrats ride a wave this November to control of Congress for two years and run the legislative branch for all its worth, along with a strong economy, Hillary should have more than enough to fend off any sizable challenge. Not to say that she won’t have one, but it won’t have the sustaining force of frustration and angst that would seriously threaten her.

        Furthermore, Clinton’s the one who said she was going to focus on rebuilding the Democratic Party. However far those efforts go in these next few years will play no small measure in determining just how far whatever challenge she does get will go. We shall see.

      • flypusher says:

        “Now is when we need Dr Brin’s Henchman Prize

        $1,000,000 to the guy who publishes the Donald’s tax returns.”

        Indeed we do. I wonder what he’s trying to hide. My bet would be he’s not as rich as he claims, but maybe there’s stuff like loans from Russia. The public has every right to know if he’s got a conflict of interest there (or anywhere else).

      • 1mime says:

        Full disclosure of income tax returns for a number of years should be a standard criteria to register to run for POTUS for all candidates of all parties. We had this same problem, if you recall, with Mittens. He never released his full return, only a financial statement. Americans have a right to know more about the investments and finances of anyone seeking the highest office in the land, bar no one. To her credit, HR Clinton has released her tax returns since 1992. For someone who is pilloried for deceit, that’s pretty forthcoming.

    • 1mime says:

      One thing I disagree with Lifer about is that Bernie Sanders is representative of the crazies on the right. Sanders was a serious candidate, with clear ideas and made the effort to present them in full daylight. I disagreed with Sanders in terms of the more extreme positions, but I have never felt he was even a little off the charts. I do think he has hurt Hillary’s chances but that’s what elections are about. And, I wish he had pulled out sooner than he did, but he was fighting for his opportunity and I understand how difficult that is to give up. In his wildest day, Bernie Sanders doesn’t come close to the far right crazies and he certainly never, ever took positions that would hurt anyone, which is a great deal more than can be said for the far right advocates.

  18. formdib says:

    Lower in significance but just an observation:

    http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/sean-hannity-battles-back-after-wsj-editor-calls-him-fox-news-dumbest-anchor/301451

    1) Old angry white men really, really do not handle social media well. They type of shit they engage in is indistinguishable from a thirteen year old.

    2) “The in-family fight raises questions a shift in culture at Fox News in the post-Ailes era, as Roger Ailes was known as a fierce protector of his talent, and the shop he ran kept a tight lid on public displays of discord.”

    This reminds me of the American revolutionary war tactic of just sniping the commanders of the British army rather than trying to engage in one-on-one field volleys. Now that the leadership of the GOP is splitting, the support is starting to scatter.

    “By false presumptuous hope, the rangèd Powers
    Disband; and, wandering, each his several way
    Pursues, as inclination or sad choice,
    Leads him perplexed, where he may likeliest find
    Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain
    The irksome hours, till his great Chief return.”

    Paradise Lost, Book 2, lines 522-527.

    • flypusher says:

      Man oh man is Hannity in over his head. You know how it’s not a good idea to heckle a stand up comedian unless you have the right skills? Same thing with getting in a snark fight online. When you’re going up against so many people, odds are you’re run into a few with much sharper and quicker wits than you. Compound that by going in with a very weak case for yourself/ many logical fallacies, then you have earned the online evisceration that you will receive. Hannity is especially vulnerable because of all the cheap debate tactics he employs on his show to cut off dissenting opinions- he’s had no real practice in defending his positions.

      For those of you who didn’t see John Stewart’s guest appearance recently on Cobert’s Late Show, enjoy:

      http://tvline.com/2016/07/21/jon-stewart-sean-hannity-feud-late-show-stephen-colbert-video/

      • flypusher says:

        The irony of this Hannity tweet is exquisite. I leave it here with no further comment for your enjoyment:

        “It’s arrogant, elitist, enablers like you that never hold R’s accountable that created the opening for Trump!!”

      • 1mime says:

        Hannity is full of it. Bailing out of that sinking ship is he? So principled.

      • 1mime says:

        Sean Hannity is a weak, whiny announcer. He is not a news journalist. He preys on any news that makes him look clever, and still doesn’t succeed.

    • 1mime says:

      I am just waiting (with barely contained hope) for Bill O’Reilly to be the next egomaniac at FOX to go too far. How he has survived is probably in large part to Aisles protection because it surely isn’t from lack of arrogance or poor journalism on his part.

      Megyn Kelly is the premier staffer there, IMO.

  19. sciprojguy says:

    Howdy. Long-time listener, first time caller. 😉

    I’m a boomer (56 as of this writing) and have been a Democrat since I registered to vote. I’m a big science supporter and married father of two grown daughters and you couldn’t get me to vote Republican these days at gunpoint.

    It’s one thing to make anxious angry white people your constituency; it’s another to keep them in that state by stoking their anger and their anxiety so the 1% (or 0.1%) can get tax breaks they don’t really need and that we as a country can’t afford. It seems to parallel the Saudi royal family funding the militant Islamic madrasas so the mullahs would let them have their luxury and leave them in power.

  20. Did anyone notice this? AARP has been funding ALEC, the right wing secret organization that writes “Stand Your Ground” statutes for states and is for privatizing of social security and reducing medicare!

    Obviously in the case of social security and medicare, AARP’s funding ALEC is in direct opposition to it’s member’s interests!

    Makes me wonder what kind of a world we live in where this is happening. You can not trust anyone anymore!!! And, the directors of AARP are paid with member dues!

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-aarp-alec-20160805-snap-story.html

    • 1mime says:

      Wow, didn’t know that. I’ll make my feelings known to them even if it’s belated. ALEC has been doing the GOP homework for a long time. They’re pros at drafting legislation on key conservative issues, figuring out where to pilot it, then tweaking and expanding its launch. Another example of how Republicans govern.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      When my mom was elderly she was a member of AARP, and she would receive all kinds of notices in the mail from them saying she needed to act URGENTLY to protect her benefits and write to her members of Congress, and they would enclose form letters, and since she thought it was somehow tied to her Social Security pension and Medicare, so she thought it was mandatory. Her English was not very good, either, but I can see how any elderly people might get duped into supporting stuff they have no clue about. I would read the paperwork and explain it to her properly but she wouldn’t believe me, and she would sign and send off these form letters without fully understanding them.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      AARP angered me when I heard they partnered with United Healthcare, a despicable insurance company. When I wrote to express my displeasure, a snippy PR person wrote back to inform me they were “QUITE satisfied” with their selection of a company that paid a CEO over a billion dollars. (Okay, that last part was supplied by me, not the PR person.)

      A medical professional I know tells a funny story about the difficulty of getting reimbursed by United Healthcare. He says when he finally gets their check, the perforation is so crooked it is difficult to tear off the check without ripping it — making it impossible to deposit and necessitating another round of back-and-forth with the insurance company. He considers it just another ploy in delaying reimbursement for services rendered.

      It doesn’t surprise me that they supported ALEC. AARP is not the image they try to project.

    • 1mime says:

      Speaking of not being able to trust anyone….There is so much overlap and serious grounds for conflict of interest in our political process that one wonders if it is possible to unravel the donors from the beneficiaries, i.e., politicians.

      Think Tanks have always seemed “suspect” to me, but I have not known enough about how they work to criticize them with any specificity. I watched the Heritage Foundation morph from a credible think tank to a patently open political agent. Most of these tanks enjoy 501 (c)(3) tax status as well. It’s no wonder the IRS is having a tough time figuring out who is legit these days, especially with the advent of the new 501 (c) (4) status.

      It really, truly validates the concern from ordinary people that the deck is so “stacked” that Democracy doesn’t have a chance. It’s like there’s this panel of puppeteers holding all these strings and manipulating them at will. The power of the vote is about all the people have left, and the GOP has been chipping away at that for a long time. SCOTUS gave a big assist when they denuded the Voting Rights Act which opened the flood gates for 17 states to immediately start filing voting rights changes in their legislatures. That is why it is important to keep balance in our state legislatures – so that one party doesn’t dominate and become enablers of controlling the Democratic process from the top down.

      Here’s a tip of many icebergs – if we only knew where they all were…These situations didn’t just suddenly appear, they’ve been in the works for decades, and Democracy as our framers designed it is but a skimpy template.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/08/us/politics/think-tanks-research-and-corporate-lobbying.html?emc=edit_th_20160808&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=41048410&_r=0

  21. duncancairncross says:

    Re – two parties
    The UK with a “First Past the Post” voting system has always had two main parties but it has managed to have a couple of other parties
    Which does help in keeping the main ones under control

    NZ has Proportional Representation – so we have about six parties – but still two “main” parties

    The Australian (and Irish) system – “Single Transferable Vote”
    would be good for your presidential elections
    Vote for your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, ….. preferences
    The votes are counted – if a candidates 1st is over 50% he/she wins
    If not the lowest one is dropped and the voters who have put them first have their second preference counted
    And so on until somebody gets over 50%

    • duncancairncross says:

      I have been reading the nonsense about Melania Trump and immigration

      There is a claim that she was NOT working in the USA illegally because she had an an H-1B visa
      Unfortunately you need to have a degree before you can be considered for an H-1B visa and Melania dropped out of college
      Looks like the Donald married an illegal!

      • Fair Economist says:

        Maybe she had an H-1B under false premises. Her online cv used to say she had a degree, before somebody checked with the university. She might have made that up to get her H1-B.

      • 1mime says:

        It would be an interesting “twist” though, and wonder “if” Donald loses, if there will be more blow-back on the issue. Of course, “if” he wins, he’ll pardon her indiscretion because, you know, it’s Donald….

      • Susan says:

        I think there is an exception in the law especially for models. Because of course there is. We don’t have any out-of-work models in this country.

    • 1mime says:

      I like the Australian/Irish system….in theory. How’s it working out in real life?

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi 1mime
        One of the ozzies on the Contrary Brin site (Tony) answered

        “I think the system’s working, Duncan. There’s definitely more than two parties in play. Winners of marginal seats should be well aware of where the votes that got them over the line came from.
        The failure lies in the players.”

        Followed by a complex explanation of what is currently happening – it is a LOT easier to understand what is happening in a two party state!!!

        https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8587336&postID=4591363527118282726&page=1&token=1470617798824

      • 1mime says:

        Sigh….just when I hoped we’d found the magic solution (-; Maybe it really is as simple as having two functioning, responsible, accountable political parties who field functioning, responsible, accountable candidates!

  22. formdib says:

    I take it for granted that Trump will bounce back from these last couple weeks, the question is by how much.

    I think he can, actually, be lassoed into some degree of ‘strategy’ by his accomplices, who will basically understand that Trump is a bull in a china shop, so if he’s going to destroy shit they just have to have a few matadors keep him on the Hillary branded china side. Yes, occasionally a matador or two will get skewed, but as long as they keep him on the Hillary side of attacks, the rest can work behind the matadors to repair the china that’s already been destroyed.

    (That analogy went way further than originally intended, apologies.)

    What will make the difference now is this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/us/politics/donald-trump-gop.html

    The majority of this article delivers information already covered here in detail, until we get to this:

    “In the past week, the campaign of Representative Mike Coffman of Colorado, who represents suburban Denver, began airing a television ad in which he pledges to stand up to Mr. Trump if he becomes president. Other Republicans are expected to follow suit as early as this month.”

    As I’ve mentioned before, Trump’s numbers really seem to fall when he fights with Republicans, not with anyone else. If enough Republicans bake in anti-Trump positions in their campaigns, then Trump will probably never regain enough ground to be competitive.

    But if all this is walked back as the matadors take control, then it’ll be the same as it’s been this entire last year: Trump says outrageous things nearly weekly, but it doesn’t change anything because his fans are his fans and his detractors are his detractors.

    So basically, what I would pay attention to is whether and how many Republicans are campaigning against Trump. Other than that, it’s politics as normal driving the political abnormal.

    • 1mime says:

      We’ve heard “noises” from Trump and his surrogates as recently as last week that “the election is going to be rigged”. Here’s some thinking of the strategy behind the message:

      ““They are setting up a ‘throw your hands in the air’ scenario, saying that winning the election is just unattainable because it’s rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, therefore preserving the support of millions of voters that like him to keep them motivated for another race or whatever comes in the future,” GOP strategist Ron Bonjean said. ”

      Think: down ticket races. GOTV.

      “…while many Republicans would dismiss claims that the entire system is rigged, recent rulings undercutting state voter ID laws could provide Trump with an opening to land some of his punches.

      Federal courts have ruled against laws in Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin, rulings that Stone agreed could help Trump argue his case.

      Republicans have long preached that the laws are necessary to ensure the integrity of the ballot box, waging many successful fights to pass laws mandating that people bring identification to vote. ”

      Think: reinforcement of voter fraud. Keep base riled up.

      “…If people don’t believe in the validity of election results, that could create instability and a lack of faith in the democratic process,” said Geoffrey Skelley, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. That would be bad for the country and bad for the legitimacy of the next government, whichever party wins.”

      Think: Sabotage Clinton’s ability to govern. Validate more obstruction until 2020.

      Here’s what I want to know. If Republicans are so good at everything they do, if they are so smart, why do they need to play all these nefarious games? Why don’t they simply win by demonstrating they are the better party through good governance? Why keep “rigging the system” with: Citizens United, ALEC, Voter Suppression Laws, Gerrymandering, Court stacking, The Hastert Rule, The Freedom Caucus, to name a few…….

      http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/290596-trump-casts-doubt-on-electoral-system

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s an analogy of the seeds of anger and distrust that are the current political focus of the Trump campaigning, harkening back to Israel’s Rabin/Netanyahu conflict. And, we all know how that ended. History is a pretty good teacher – if we would just be good learners.

        Did you know, (I didn’t) that: “During the anti-Communist hunts of the early 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy’s notorious chief counsel was Roy Cohn. He later became Trump’s valued personal counsel for many years. Trump has said of Cohn, “If you need someone to get vicious toward an opponent, you get Roy.” He also praised Cohn. “Roy was brutal, but he was a very loyal guy,” he told journalist Timothy O’Brien. “He brutalized for you.” Trump seems to have absorbed Cohn’s methods.”

        What kind of cabinet would a “President Trump” select? We know he would delegate everything, making it a valid and important next question about Trump’s fitness and judgement.

        http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2016/08/06/rabin/i4epXl1gDL4PEuLhBTj7QN/story.html?s_campaign=email_BG_TodaysHeadline&s_campaign=

  23. johngalt says:

    There seems to be a popular notion that this election marks the end of the GOP, with a schism of some sort inevitable. I wonder about that. In 2012, after a loss that blindsided many conservatives, the GOP commissioned an autopsy that resulted in a report with many obvious suggestions (like stop pissing off young people and minorities). This was summarily ignored in favor of a double-down approach.

    Now in 2016, the GOP establishment has lost control of the presidential process to a person who appears to support none of the core DNA of the party (the abortion/gay marriage social issues, the commitment to free trade, foreign policy, etc.). Given the precedents, I think it is more likely that the establishment will revert to its Pavlovian response after a Trump defeat (if that is the outcome) to double-down again on the “true conservative” gambit. The argument will go that, of course we lost – what did you expect with Trump? He only won the nomination because of the fragmented primary. If only we had nominated a true believer (cue the angels singing Cruz’s name), we would have won. I can’t really see any way forward for people like Paul Ryan other than this line of thinking.

    Snatching continued defeat from the jaws of defeat seems likely to continue.

    • 1mime says:

      I completely agree, JG. The only wild cards that may alter this expected conservative response, assuming Trump loses (which is not a lock), is how this newly energized Republican base will accept more of the same from the remaining GOPe. They may not play nice down ticket in ’18 and ’20. The second factor are the burgeoning millennial population. Outside the Bernie Revolution wing, this newly energized group of young people will be a little wiser and more demanding on the front end than they’ve been in the past. The Dems have already made a shift to accommodate them but if they stay involved in politics, and if they vote and run for office, it would most assuredly not be as Republicans. It may not be Democrats either, but that party is far more aligned with their social agenda than the conservative position. Add to this the continuing progression of the U.S. as a more diverse nation, and hopefully, with less despicable voter suppression, and the electorate may look and act completely different in two or four years.

  24. Orange County, CA, once touted as the single most Republican-leaning county in the entire country, has seen a surge of Democratic voter registration, cutting Republicans’ once overwhelming lead to slightly less than six points. For the first time in almost fifty years, more Democrats than Republicans turned out to cast primary votes.

    Josh Barro has called OC “ground zero” in showcasing just how badly Trump has alienated minorities and, more specifically, upper-class whites, a demographic that the GOP has carried for longer than most of our respective lifetimes.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-724744-republicans-democratic.html

    Keep an eye on Cali in November.

    • 1mime says:

      Trump undoubtedly deserves some of the motivational credit, but CA demographics is trending pretty solidly diverse, and where you have diversity, you have Democrats.

      Thank god.

    • johngalt says:

      No offense intended, Ryan, but why should we care about California in November? It will vote for Hillary in a landslide. The exact breakdown in Republican-leaning counties in suburban LA is rather less important than whether entire states like Indiana, Georgia, and North Carolina, flip.

      • Win California. Win America.

        California is microcosm of the nation. In this year alone, the GOP has actually shrunk in proportion to the rest of the state, a decline that’s been in motion ever since then Cali Gov. Pete Wilson (R) made the stupendously stupid decision in ’94 to support a ballot initiative that would deny immigrants state services. Obviously, they didn’t take well to that and in the time since, Republicans have paid dearly for that by being relegated to permanent minority status; some actually arguing they’re third-party status now.

        If flipping a state like Georgia or North Carolina important? Definitely, but look no further than Orange County, CA, if you want to get some real insight into the damage that Trump has done and what we can expect on Election Night.

        If she secures a victory there, the combination of minority support and affluent whites that would make that happen will likely be seen all across the country and make it an electoral slaughter for the Republicans, putting not just states like Arizona and Georgia in the Democratic column, but others like Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas into play as well.

        Just look at Clinton’s numbers in the latest ABC poll. She’s +19 with college educated white women, as opposed to before the conventions when she was only +3.

        http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/clinton-opens-23-point-lead-women-gains-democrats/story?id=41148222

      • RobA says:

        I think what JG means is that there is a 100% chance HRC will win CA.

        If the premise is “win CA, win the election” then we can definitively state right now that HRC will win the election.

      • Fair Economist says:

        Orange County IS a Republican-leaning county in suburban LA. I assume you’re talking about the swing districts the Democrats need to take the House, of which California has 4. OC itself doesn’t actually have any of those districts, but changes in OC might be representative of changes in the actual swing districts. Issa’s district is right over the border from OC in San Diego county and has a similar personality to OC. CA-25 is in LA/Ventura county and also has a similar personality. CA-10 and CA-21 are in the Central Valley and probably different stories.

        The current polling is so strong for Hillary that combined with having two Democrats as the candidates for Senate I wonder if we could maybe even flip Ed Royce’s R+5 district. That one actually is partly in OC.

      • 1mime says:

        Issa is the one I want to get beat.

  25. lomamonster says:

    The comprehensive knowledge of governance in all its aspects is overwhelming compared to that of the Republican Party. In fact, it is becoming painfully obvious that the GOP has not technically governed in so long that it has become nothing but an obstructionist embarrassment to this nation and is now paying a heavy price and might be brought down by its intellectual bankruptcy.

    How fitting it is to see this coming bankruptcy led by one Donald J. Trump…

    • I’ve been feeling increasingly uneasy about even calling it the Republican Party anymore. It’s been feeling more like an insult to even compare what we’re seeing now and the once proud party of the past.

      • 1mime says:

        Yeah, I’ll bet Chris is feeling much the same. When you’ve put in the canvassing miles, dug the post holes, gave up time with your family….for this?

  26. Creigh says:

    Tim Huelskamp, Tea Party nutjob, who represented a heavily agricultural district managed to annoy John Boehner so much that Boehner kicked him off the Ag Committee, and then he voted against the Farm Bill. No telling what crazy ideas his opponent will come up with, but I’m guessing he won’t vote against the Farm Bill.

    • 1mime says:

      The US Chamber and agricultural interests invested $2.5m in defeating Huelskamp. The winning candidate is a physician who has pledged to win back a seat on the House Agricultural Committee and work within the GOP with moderation. The Chamber pledged to primary Tea Party incumbents who were stalling business’ interests through legislative obstruction. They are basically doing the GOPe’s job who have been unwilling or unable to keep these incumbents under control. Gerrymandered districts and one-party states are not healthy for the democratic process. It is interesting to note that the conservative Club for Growth heavily funded Huelskamp’s campaign, which means that the Chamber essentially took on a TP candidate and a hard right fiscal PAC and won. Politics frequently makes for strange bedfellows. This is hardball politics.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/huelskamp-defeated-in-kansas-primary-226603

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_for_Growth#History

    • RobA says:

      Huelscamp penned a ridiculous, whiny op ed in the WaPo titled something like “I lost my congressional seat because I dared stand up to the establishment”.

      No, you idiot, it’s because you’re an obstructionist incapable of doing your job (working with other lawmakers to pass legislation that helps the country) and you use your vote in Congress to vote against your constituents interest (I.e. the ag bill).

      • 1mime says:

        Classic Freedom Caucus arrogance. And, this group plans to expand its core membership. The loss of Huelskamp was neutralized by a win for Boehner’s seat. This is a dangerous group of men and they are just getting started.

        “…the Freedom Caucus has already notched its first victory of 2016: Warren Davidson, the group’s chosen candidate, beat out more than a dozen other Republicans in the March 15 primary for Boehner’s old House seat in Ohio, a win laden with symbolism.

        http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/freedom-caucus-house-conservatives-221481

  27. Stephen says:

    There are dissatified Democrats too. Many people are looking for a home in a pragmatic problem solving party. One that is tolerant and inclusive. That has policies that are fact base and pragmatic. I have not been comfortable with either major political party. Some thing good may yet emerge from this train wreck building on disatisfied Republican and Democrats.

    • 1mime says:

      Every time I ponder comments like this, “I am not happy with either political party”, it comes down to this problem: unless or until a “new” party emerges, an amalgam of the best of both parties, all one can do is live with the parties we have and work within to bring about change. Bernie Sanders really has been a force in this regard. There have been many Democrats who felt the party was losing its progressive focus. There are others who are concerned that the party is not centrist enough. Then there is the Republican Party which has gravitated so far right that it may not be able to heal itself. I think this is where Lifer feels the momentum needs to happen.

      • What amazes me is when people say “Both parties are the same!”

        Where do they ever get that idea? i admit there are faults in both parties but to say they are similar, that is just lunacy!

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      Stephen – I’m wondering lately if the two party system is not what we should be striving for.

      I am not a dissatisfied Dem, probably align with 90% of the party platform.

      But it seems that the two party system is too “either/or” for the good of our kids.

      • Pete Davis says:

        For what are largely statistical reasons, a 2 party system is all that would remain stable (relatively so) in our political system. The issue largely comes down to people usually falling into either a liberal or conservative description. If you have 3 parties, say a conservative, a liberal and a centrist party, the centrist party is still going to drift one way or the other and you’ll effectively end up with races with 2 liberals (one more so than the other) and 1 conservative or vice-versa. The singular candidate will usually be the winner because the other 2 are splitting votes.
        This was written about in 1972 by French sociologist Maurice Duverger and has since been shown to be accurate. It’s a good bet that Nader cost Gore the election in 2000. It’s a good bet that Perot cost Bush the ’92 election. Obviously you can’t go back and rerun the election without the candidates, but the numbers make it look as if that would be the case.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Pete – Thanks for the Info about Maurice Duverger. I’ll have to do more research and think about his ideas. Because it is still true that we are polarized on many issues and can’t seem to debate them sensibly.

        If I designed a three party system, the moderate party center would alway win the “at large” races i.e. presidential and senatorial because it would be the larger of the three.

        But really, I was thinking more about trying to get more true independents elected. Possibly those with policy ideas that align with mine, but not necessarily in a party. It seems an independent without party ties would have greater influence than otherwise.

      • 1mime says:

        It didn’t work for Bernie Sanders until he went to the party platform to make his pitch…Not saying it wouldn’t ever work, but Sanders was a life-long Independent and his legislative record does not reflect much legislation given his longevity.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        1mime – There are gaggles of dems and repubs that got less done than Bernie. He got things done that he cared about. And was good for his state or he would not be so well liked and re-elected. But thats not my point.

        In my scenario, in an evenly matched senate, a few independants with moderate policies could swing a vote either way. And if they advertised the fact, expressed willingness to do compromises with their own beliefs, this group of independents could wield a lot of power. Bargaining with each side to cause compromises to happen.

      • 1mime says:

        Unarmed, I like Bernie, and I think he’s probably the most honest member of Congress up there. But, he didn’t author any major legislation that I am aware of although he signed on many pieces that did pass and which I support.

        But, I see your point and it is a good one. More “Bernies” in Congress would provide some interesting negotiating…and, every now and then, a refreshingly different and honest point of view. I agree totally on that point. Sorry I missed it the first go around.

    • Stephen says:

      Justanotherhuman:

      Never said the two major political parties are the same. I have completely different grievances against them.

      I like the fact that the Democrats are a rainbow coalition. Are socially tolerant and believe in Science. Their concern for the weak is very attractive to me. But they often think one size fits all and think one massive radical change is preferable to a more conservative gradual change. My decades of life have taught me that gradual change is more likely to succeed and last. I believe that we are socially intertwine and mutually dependent but want as much personal freedom as possible with intruding on other rights. Government under Democrat control often does intrude on the rights of others and push solutions unfit for some parts of our population.

      I like traditional Republican values of pro-business and anti-monopoly. Of environmental conservatism. Pushing a system of merit instead of the spoils system. I like the old values of true fiscally conservatism which includes having a government big enough to do it’s job and the money to do it without excessive borrowing. Unfortunately as Lifer has pointed out that party is dead and the husk houses a coalition of white nationalism and big money interest rent seeking.

      So no they are not equivalent. I also understand humans are imperfect and you have to work with what you have. Sixty years ago Obama and Hillary would of been Republican not Democrat. You can find the old brand of Republican party more in the centralist branch of the Democratic party than the current Republican party. Hopefully out of the current ashes that old brand will re-emerge in the GOP.

      • Pete Davis says:

        Everyone says Republicans are pro-business, but I disagree. Republicans tend to offer the short-term gold to business. But the economy tends to fare better under Democratic presidents (yeah, I know the president doesn’t make the budget, but the president has to sign it, so it at least has to be acceptable to the president) and has pretty reliably since the 30s. And when I say the economy tends to fare better, it fares better in nearly every measurable way: Stock market, employment, salaries, etc.
        The truth is, we’ve always been best when we’ve had a mix of parties in the executive and legislative branches when they’ve worked together. That came to a grinding halt largely thanks to Gingrich and his contract on America.
        Speaking of Gingrich, his campaign 114 (mostly small) businesses for over $4.6 million. Another pro-business Republican?

      • 1mime says:

        I support your theory and history does as well. The economy does perform better under Dems while checked by a rational conservative party. As a Democrat who measures quality of life by more than financial gains, I also believe that there is greater social balance when there is mixed government. Why? Consensus is necessary to get things done, which places the focus on broader goals than party control. It has been said that Republicans invest in return of money whereas Democrats invest in improvements for the country. Obviously, when politics wasn’t divisive, government worked better, public service was more productive and satisfying, and our country wasn’t in constant political turmoil.

      • Pete Davis says:

        Oops, word got lost. Should be “…his campaign stiffed 114 (mostly small) businesses…”

      • 1mime says:

        Stephen, would you provide some examples of what you mean when you say (Democrats think) “one size fits all and think one massive radical change is preferable to a more conservative gradual change.

      • RobA says:

        I too Mime would like to hear a specific example.

        Even if correct, at least the Dems HAVE solutions. The GOP has nothing other “cut faxes on the rich and privatize everything!”

      • Stephen says:

        @ 1mime:

        Lets take the last question first. Many Democrats wanted to go for broke when healthcare reform was finally accomplish. Either Medicare for all or at least a public option. Health Care is a huge piece of our economic system. Many peoples beans and corn bread are involved. Too much change at once would disrupt their livelihoods making keeping the change very unlikely. Also a political coalition had to be formed to get er done. President Obama and speaker Pelso had to take a more gradual approach to get enough people on board to get a bill passed. Had to make sure the medical and insurance industries had a stake in getting something passed and help make it work. Other wise they would again derail reform. Do I want single payer, yes. Do I want true universal coverage, yes. Do I want the quality and cost to start moving towards 21th century standards, yes. But doing all of that at once would of ruin the chance to get any meaningful reform. Now we have a frame work that when the political stars align right more progress will be made. And significant improvement was accomplish. And it was the more pragmatic and centralist part of the Democratic party that made that happen.

        Now the first question. A couple of decades ago I had a very rebellious head strong daughter that lack maturity. We got involved with consulting with other parents with similar problems. Kids come in all kinds of personalities. My mother and mother in-law were both rebellious and very strong willed in their youth. So one daughter being like that was no surprise. One piece of destructive behaviour shared by my daughter and my mother when both were about 14 years old was running off with an adult in their twenties. My mom travel from Nebraska to Tampa Florida were she got hit by a car. My grandfather was told she was in a coma and not expected to live. Well she made it but carried the scars on her legs the rest of her life. She did not want to go to school or listen to her parents. Granddad put her in a Catholic Covent of Nuns who ran a boarding school and she would not see a man except the priest or the pot belly middle age janitor until she was 21 or graduated. She had no choice and with her bad immature judgement should not of. She decide to graduate at age 17 and leave the Covent then. An officer track down my daughter and brought her home to safety. We had a long talk and I discovered that he had in the past a similar situation. He gave me good advice.

        My mom actually contacted her old school to be told they had disbanded the school years ago. But it would not of mattered. See my daughter had rights and could refuse to summit to our parental authority. We once were investigated because I would not let her entertain a boy friend in her bedroom with a close door by the state. I was trying to keep her from being a statistic. And the state was a major impediment to that goal. We are again very close and discuss at times her own strong will children and how best to help them to make it to adulthood with out any major hiccups.

        In the group we were a part of , one 12 year old boy keep getting in trouble with the law. He finally got into enough trouble he was locked up in state custody where he got hurt so bad he had to be hospitalize. After that he decided to listen to his parents and avoid that bad experience.

        It would of been kinder to let dad in his case administer corporate punishment which he wanted to do but stopped by the state. That dad would not of actually hurt his child and most likely avoid the hospital stay he got from state custody. In my case I should of been able to over ride my daughter’s bad judgement. Both of these kids were particularly strong willed and needed a firm hand. That is not necessary an abusive hand.The state had been in control of the Democratic party when all those so called progressive changes were made. That is when I changed parties from Democrat to Republican. Some kids are really being mistreated and need state protection and some are much meeker than my daughter and care must be took to avoid crushing their spirit. But not all situation or children are like that. One size does not fit all. Life is more complicated than that. I hope these examples explain why I see things that way I do.

      • 1mime says:

        Thank you for sharing these stories, Stephen. Yes, it does help me better understand where you’re coming from. From your posts I can tell that you have received great comfort from your church and congregation, and I am happy for you. Life has many challenges that test us and our children. I think parenting is one of the most difficult jobs that exists. We all do our best but sometimes things just go wrong. I’m happy things turned out well for your daughter and I have no doubt that she is a better parent having had these experiences and having you by her side.

        As for health insurance. I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet. I absolutely believe in universal health care, as you do, but when you live in a capitalistic society with so much income disparity, it is difficult to devise a model that will work and will be affordable to all parts of the process. What does upset me is that this issue, health coverage, should have been something so important to all politicians that they would work for the good of America’s people. That didn’t happen, the Republicans refused to work with Democrats to develop a solid plan and they continue to obstruct its existence. This is one of the reasons the ZIKA funding legislation failed and that, to me, is indefensible. This funding should have been stand alone, instead, the Republicans larded it up with amendments that were designed to fail so as to put Democrats in a difficult position. This is what I abhor about politics. ZIKA kills, don’t play games with something like this.

        I’m happy you’re finding more to admire in the democratic party now. With all it’s failings, it is a party that I believe is focused on important issues and needs in our country.

      • Stephen says:

        Some thing funny but not funny is the change of heart of governor Scott of Florida and his merry band of Republican state legislators recently. They cared less about health care for the working poor or funding for the zika virus. Then other countries put out a travel warning about travel to Florida. Now faced with lower hotel occupancy and attendees at attractions they are lobbying Congress for zika funding. Pretty disgusting.

  28. 1mime says:

    Add nuclear security experts to your list, Chris – more specifically targeting Trump, but these are people who typically are apolitical because they work for the government through contract positions. I wonder when these groups of varying federal leadership will join with those singularly outspoken Republicans to push the reluctant GOP masses to movement momentum. Will it take the election of a D.J.Trump, or, the “near miss”?

    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/290538-nuke-fears-grow-over-trump

    • 1mime says:

      Or, an international challenge like this? China and Russia are paying attention to the Trump distraction, you can count on it. With the Republican Party lacking cohesion and a sense of reality, it weakens the U.S. Our attention, instead, is all internally focused, leaving the rest of the world to their own devices….pun intended. While there is certainly a credible argument against “too much America involvement in foreign affairs”, it is also true that the U.S. is a major force in maintaining world stability. It’s like the police remind us: everyone criticizes us until they need us. So it is with America.

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4761dde1297741b2bc803e0a0f9f55e6/chinas-air-force-flies-combat-patrol-over-disputed-islands

      • flypusher says:

        The only coherent Trump supporter I’ve conversed with (assuming not a troll) was a die-hard isolationist.

      • 1mime says:

        I love to hear about “die-hard” isolationists. Do they never travel? Have children posted overseas? Understand global inter-connectivity in commerce? Understand terrorists buy plane tickets? Have no awareness of the need for allies and our resulting treaty agreements?

        Where to stop the list…..Even he should recognize that Trump has foreign investments and utilizes foreign labor and markets. Where does one draw the line as an isolationist? I’ve never been able to “grok” (your term) the logic or realistic practicality of this theory.

      • 1mime says:

        I hope you don’t hit a paywall on this “WSJ” article because it squarely and substantively speaks to the issue of isolationism, by Richard Haass. He favors internationalism and free trade, but asserts that those in this camp need to build consensus around greater protection and fairness for those who lose jobs as a result of this policy. He clearly recognizes that although America is protected from many of the threats across the Atlantic, it is only through our allied relationships that we are able to deter and protect ourselves from conflicts. Well done, Mr. Haass.

        “Isolationists must not prevail in this new debate over foreign-policy fundamentals, one which I had never imagined would take place in my lifetime. Turning away from global engagement would mean not just opportunities lost: in jobs reliant on exports, the chance to invest overseas, the ability to travel without fear. It also would bring conflict and nuclear proliferation. As the world unraveled, Americans would be more vulnerable to terrorism, illegal immigration, climate change and disease.

        We do not have the option of becoming a giant gated community. Sooner or later, we would feel compelled to step in to restore stability and to right the balance of power.”

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-isolationist-temptation-1470411481

  29. 1mime says:

    The list is going to get longer but my concern is what Republicans do with their concern. This “movement” you refer to, is it substantive or is it reactionary to the Trump candidacy alone?

  30. antimule says:

    Chris, what does it take (in terms of resources) to create a new national party?

    • Griffin says:

      Yeah I’m guessing any new party would have to start on the local and state level first, and if it does well enough then it should receive funding from sympathizers. So far the defections from the GOP don’t seem to indicate anything nearly large enough to create a nationwide movement in and of itself. Any new party would have to absorb a decent chunk of Democratic voters as well, probably in this case of the centrist variety.

  31. Maybe time for a blog re-naming?

  32. vikinghou says:

    Enjoy your Texas travels.

    Another example to add is Meg Whitman (HP CEO), who ran for Governor in California and is a powerful GOP fundraiser. During the 2016 primary campaign she was finance co-chair of Chris Christie’s campaign. Recently she denounced Trump (comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini), endorsed Hillary, and is actively fundraising for the Clinton campaign.

    • flypusher says:

      For every public denunciation of Trump, I wonder how many GOPers will privately vote for someone else or leave the top of the ticket blank?

      • Fair Economist says:

        I’ve seen many claims that “lots” of top Republicans will vote against Trump, at least if it seems needed (like Bradshaw). There’s no way to verify it though. So far few voters seem to feel that way, except among the young (<30) where Johnson is beating Trump.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s an interesting assessment of a trend that may prove very significant not only in the coming election but more significantly, decades of party preference.

        http://hotair.com/archives/2016/08/05/mcclatchy-poll-among-young-voters-trumps-now-fourth-in-a-four-way-race/

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s another positive trend for Democrats, along with millennials leaning blue. Democrats are actively recruiting women for office and in other key positions, and their numbers in Congress are expanding while their Republican female Congressional counterparts, are declining. From what I have observed of conservative policies and discourse, Republicans would benefit from giving women more meaningful opportunities in their policy development. The problem is, the majority of new positions are crowding women out in Republican races. Not so over on the Democratic side, as you will see described in the Politico article linked below.

        What’s interesting to me are the sheer numbers these two groups represent. 76 million 18-34 year olds, and women exceed men in all states except Alaska, and six states which are 50/50. Good odds, ladies…Lots of votes, too. Add these trends to naturally occurring demographic expansion, and our country is ripe for a boom in Democratic Party expansion.

        The best part though, is that women are being encouraged and solicited to run for Democratic Party seats because they are wanted. They work hard and they get things done. They are awarded prominent roles within the party and key committee assignments. They are not stuffed in a closet somewhere to be trotted out for photo ops.

        Here’s more on the subject from Politico:
        http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/gop-republican-women-politics-disparity-feminism-214140

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