Link Roundup, 8/23/2016

From National Geographic: On the plus side of the climate change equation, you can now enjoy a luxury cruise through the Northwest Passage.

From Gizmodo: How South Florida will disappear.

From the Big Picture: A graphic of the world’s largest companies over time.

From Bloomberg: What costs more and less since 1996.

From AP: The crusading morons at Wikileaks are starting to cause serious harm to innocent people.

From the GOPLifer archives: Has our technology outrun our biological limits?


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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222 comments on “Link Roundup, 8/23/2016
  1. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Yet another interesting phone call made by a Trump supporter/surrogate (I made a post recently about Dan Bongino).

    A another classy and clearly sober exchange from Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage.

    “LePage left the message for Democratic State Rep. Drew Gattine on Thursday, according to the Portland Press Herald, which also was the first to obtain audio of the voicemail. The uncensored audio message, also shared with CNN, contains several explicit phrases.”

    “Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” the audio recording says. “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (obscene term). I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little (obscene term), socialist (obscene term). You — I need you to — just friggin’. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”

    If any of you has forgotten who LePage is, he is the nice fellow who had complaints about large numbers of black drug dealers impregnating white girls all across his state… leaving behind unfortunate biracial bastards.

  2. tmerritt15 says:

    For those of you who do not follow David Horsey, here is a link to his blog that was posted today:

    • tmerritt15 says:

      We were at the U of Washington at the same time and he wrote for the UW Daily. For years he was with the Seattle PI until it quit publishing. He then moved to the LA Times. I have been following him for years. This article is about the Alt-Right and Donald Trump.

    • 1mime says:

      Thanks, Tmeritt, for another quality writer/thinker to follow. His reference to “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt Right on the Breitbart News website is interesting to anyone who is trying to understand the dark forces propelling this presidential campaign (and this nation, sadly). As Horsey notes, “It is worth a read because, as obscure as the alt-right may be to most Americans, it is time to take notice. After all, the movement just stole the presidential nominating process from the GOP establishment.” And, yet, the GOP cannot divorce itself of its role in the cultivation of this group. My fear is that this group is going nowhere, even if Trump doesn’t succeed in his presidential bid. They’ve tasted success in numbers and feel vindicated in their anger and resentment.

  3. So Hillary Clinton was in Reno, NV today and gave a speech that absolutely excoriated Donald Trump. She pulled no punches, directly linking him in a multitude of ways to racist, supremacist groups and figures. It was an iconic moment for such a major political figure to speak so bluntly about what so many here and across the country have become increasingly aware of.

    …That said, white supremacist groups noticed too and they’re all too happy to be getting this kind of national attention. Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, summed it up well, saying in response to Clinton’s speech: “Well guys. We’ve made it.”

    It’s easy enough to say this in retrospect, but it’s nevertheless true that from the moment Trump secured the Republican nomination, this was inevitable. No, perhaps it’s been true for a long, long time, longer than perhaps I or even any of us here have been alive. This demon had to be faced down sooner or later.

    How will Republicans respond as Clinton decries their nominee as a racist and begins a full-on advertising assault (check out Clinton’s latest ad linking Trump to the KKK; devastating) to reinforce that point? So far their response, unsurprisingly, has been silence; not a single word uttered, not a single tweet tweeted.

    History will remember where Republicans stood as supremacist groups declared victory in their takeover of the Republican Party.

    • flypusher says:

      I agree with the take that HRC’s speech today was also a reaching out to the GOPe:

      As I’ve said before, what happens in the voting booth stays in the voting booth. GOPers appalled by Trump don’t have to vote for him, and no one will be the wiser. Trump’s lickspittles are spinning their own bizarre take on secret ballots- that the polls are not accurate because there are Trump supporters too embarrassed to openly admit their intention to vote for him. But get them into the privacy of the voting booth, and there will be a wave election for Trump. The unspoken (but obvious) implication is that all these people are too cowed by the nasty libby-libs and their vicious political correctness to declare their true preference for Trump. The notion that perhaps Trump’s reprehensible behavior and hateful speech might be a factor doesn’t seem to occur the them. Or they are Oscar-worthy master actors, pushing that absurd BS for a paycheck.

      • flypusher says:

        To no one’s surprise, actual evidence doesn’t support the idea of many closeted Trumpkins:

      • 1mime says:

        I still don’t look for Clinton to pick up significant numbers of Republicans. They will either vote for Johnson or hold their noses and take one for the red team. They don’t get just how devastatingly bad Trump will be for their party or our country. Anyone with eyes shouldn’t have a problem interpreting Trump’s weirdness but you have to remember, Hillary Hate is ingrained in Republicans and for them, nothing can be worse. I do worry about the votes that will be peeled away to Johnson/Weld, but it is an option many conservatives will exercise.

      • Griffin says:

        Random personal thoughts on the Alt-Right so feel free to skip:

        A couple days ago I posted about the how the UCLA Republican club had essentially become an Alt-Right hangout, gleefully angering people when possible and harboring a dark vision for the future. I’ve been wondering to myself why they piss me off so much. I mean, if the Alt-Right is just a tweaked version of the traditional far-right for a younger (or at least non-religious) audience shouldn’t they just get the same rise out of me that the older far-right does?

        I think what makes me hate them so passionately is that they embrace these views when they don’t really have as much to “benefit” from, they just like it. Like, when a bunch of older, rural white people desperatly turn to white nationalism because they’re terrified for the economic well-being, their beliefs are still repulsive. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t excuse it. And it doesn’t make a difference to their potential victims what their motive is. But I can at least get what would drive an otherwise normal person to do that (while hoping that offering a post-racial economic future will put an end to it), much like I understand how someone from a poor area could join a gang due to a lack of opportunity. No, it doesn’t excuse either of their choices but I can still see what drove them there and hope that we can offer a future that will put an end to it.

        The kids at UCLA on the other hand, what in the hell do they have to gain from embracing dying racist ideologies? They are going to a top university and don’t really need to rely on a white supremacist structure for their future. In fact they (like almost all people) will benefit from its downfall, since they are pursuing jobs in capitalistic urban areas where the growth of human capital (by giving minorities opportunities they haven’t had before) will create jobs and technology they themselves enjoy. Their only real motive (as far as I can tell) is that they’re assholes. That’s it. They enjoy thinking of themselves as better people via their heritage, they enjoy annoying minority groups under the guise of combatting “political correctness”, it appeals to them on an abstract level and they just do whatever amuses them. This is the group that joins a gang not out of economic desperation but because it gives them cover to screw with people.

        Again motives often don’t really matter much to the people being harrased but from the outside looking in the young, “educated” Alt-Righters have an extra dash of pettiness and cruelty in terms of their reasons for acting the way they do. And for whatever reason on a personal level that is espescially disgusting to me.

      • flypusher says:

        “Their only real motive (as far as I can tell) is that they’re assholes. That’s it. They enjoy thinking of themselves as better people via their heritage, they enjoy annoying minority groups under the guise of combatting “political correctness”, it appeals to them on an abstract level and they just do whatever amuses them. This is the group that joins a gang not out of economic desperation but because it gives them cover to screw with people.”

        Just heard an NPR story on alt-right. They cloak their assholery in claims that they’re fighting for FREEDOM!, but that’s a flimsy excuse. There have to be some rules for social interactions, or your culture is going to fall apart. These losers really do need to be dropped into a 3rd World hellhole to gain some perspective on what real oppression feels like. There’s 1st World problems, and then there’s White male 1st World problems. Can’t say the N-word without social consequences? Boo-effing-hoo!

      • In my opinion, a lot of it has to do with the same reason that people joined the original NSDAP.

        Remember that the Nazi party was not a party of the landless rural poor, or the Depression-struck industrial workers. They drew their core support mostly from the lower middle classes, from small business owners and from white-collar folk. Likewise, one might expect the Nazis to have been strongest in the grim, aristocratic culture of Prussia, but this wasn’t the case: they were strongest in the prosperous towns of south Germany, especially the state of Bavaria, today the wealthiest state in Germany. If you divide Germans into the sort with monocles and spiky hats, and the sort with leather shorts and beer, then the Nazis were always strongest among the latter.

        One finds the same pattern in Italy, among the Fascists: it wasn’t a movement which emerged among the poverty of the industrial cities, or the backwardness of the southern countryside, but in Tuscany, probably the most pleasant place to live in the world. These were well-fed, well-educated people, and they were the ones who chose to follow Mussolini.

        The Falangists in Spain showed the same pattern: the genuinely uneducated and impoverished became communists or left-anarchists, whilst fascism was largely a phenomenon of the middle classes and the wealthier regions.

        Griffin points out, correctly, that modern American Nazis are well-educated, mostly white, and living in wealthier parts of the country. I would suggest that this fits the historical precedent perfectly.

        The question then becomes more general: why do well-off people become Nazis? I don’t know for sure, but I remember reading an article several years ago which reported on a series of psychological experiments that had been done studying empathy and privilege. They found that as people become better off, their capacity for empathy decreases: they stop seeing the people below them as real humans and start seeing them simply as resources to be exploited or threats to be controlled. I would suggest that this is part of the issue.

      • 1mime says:

        Walls, EJ. From our gated neighborhoods, to selective schools, clubs, friends – people wall themselves off from those who do not “fit” their definition of acceptable. This week, there was an article (NYT?) that explored the phenomena that many educated, professionally successful Black people continue to live in areas that conform more with their race than with their economic status. Some do so because of family; others because they do not feel “comfortable” in lightly integrated neighborhoods. Whatever the reason, the larger issue that you correctly note, is that as people segregate themselves away from those who are not as advantaged, they make a conscious shift in ability to relate to those who have less.

        The young Alt-right people that Griffin refers to likely have always lived lives of privilege – which doesn’t necessarily equate to wealth, but of being White and secure. One of the most endearing aspects of current Pope Francis is his practiced belief that the poor deserve our concern and help – not to make us better people, but because they struggle and are our fellow man. There is hypocrisy (to me) for those who proclaim to be Christians, attend church regularly, but are not hesitant to disparage and deny assistance to those in need. For many, they are unable to even dignify their existence as human beings, such as Fly noted. “They” simply “don’t exist”. The ability to empathize requires not just an open mind, it requires a forgiving, loving person who practices kindness and understanding. Sadly, too few know how much less care to make the effort. We all can do better, myself included.

      • Oh, and both the Nazis and Fascists were incredibly fond of comedy. It seems weird to us, but Fascist Italy was renowned for the ribaldry of its comedies. Nazi German propaganda was full of jokes, sometimes at the expense of their victims, but often just humour. Hitler was a very prudish man, which meant that Nazi media wasn’t nearly as sexual as Italian media, but they did get away with an awful lot. The stuff that they opposed was the serious media, which had deep meanings and which made people think hard.

        Again, most people outside of Germany tend to think of Nazi media as being all about soaring modernism, austere realism and rows of perfect-bodied young people doing gymnastics, but that’s not particularly Nazi: that’s just what Germany was like at the time. German media like that predated, postdated and paralleled the Nazis; and was used by its opponents as often as by its adherents.

        In other words, when modern Nazis say that they’re just doing it for the lulz, they are also behaving exactly like their historical antecedents.

      • flypusher says:

        “They found that as people become better off, their capacity for empathy decreases: they stop seeing the people below them as real humans and start seeing them simply as resources to be exploited or threats to be controlled.”

        That doesn’t bode well for the future, given the increasing class segregation- gated communities, whole cities where the cost of living is sky-high.

      • @flypusher:
        Income inequality is getting worse, yes, but some other forms of inequality are lessening. The gap between first- and third-world nations is growing narrower, and we are addressing the gap between the genders like never before. Even racial inequality is getting real play these days. I don’t know what America is like but Britain and Germany are a lot better than they were in the ’90s.

        I remain optimistic.

        I completely agree. I have no time for Pope Francis as a person, but I think in this case what he said is sensible; and your explanation of it is something I have nothing to add to.

    • vikinghou says:

      I thought Hillary’s speech was effective and she clearly communicated her concern about Trump, his campaign staff and his followers. She used two quotes that excellently underscored her point about Trump’s character.

      From Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

      A Mexican proverb: “Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.”

      I’m starting to wonder if the whole campaign will consist of Hillary berating Trump for his bigotry etc., and Trump berating Hillary about e-mails and the Clinton Foundation. So much for real issues of the day. The debates, if they even take place, may be the first time the candidates will be asked pertinent questions concerning tax policy, health care, improving the economy, etc.

      • flypusher says:

        The debates may not cover the issues, but at least the Dem side has actual plans, and anyone can go read them. The GOP isn’t offering any details. Hell, Trump isn’t even sticking with his stances on the issues. What’s the immigration position for today, I wonder?

      • 1mime says:

        “What’s Trump’s immigration position today?”….

        He’ll get back to ya, Fly. He’s too busy working out those visa problems for Melania…..

      • 1mime says:

        Those who “hate” Hillary may be interested in this WSJ article.

        “The Wall Street Journal this month reached out to all 45 surviving former members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under the past eight presidents, going back to Richard Nixon, to get their views on this year’s presidential election.

        Among 17 Republican appointees who responded to Journal inquiries, none said they supported Mr. Trump. Six said they did not support Mr. Trump and 11 declined to say either way. An additional six did not respond to repeated messages. Among the 21 Democrats who responded to the Journal, 14 said they supported Mrs. Clinton, none said they opposed her and seven declined to say either way. One Democratic appointee didn’t respond to messages.”

        That’s pretty damning, and that’s from those who have been in the innermost circles of the WH and clearly understand how politics works. They also have heard/seen their share of false rumors, accusations, and witch hunts. I’m not saying they like HRC, but what I am saying is that they understand how seamy the political loop can be/is.

        Don’t know if you’ll be able to get past the paywall for the Journal, but here’s the link:

  4. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    You would think given the poor relations between the police/GOP and communities of color of late that there would be some level of wisdom in publicly selecting heroes for the conservative cause.

    But this latest story shows a level of indifference that is almost epic in scale.

    Apparently the only black member of law enforcement the GOP, Trump and some police unions like is a guy who could have performed Samuel L. Jackson’s character in “Django Unchained”.

    Only he would not be acting…

  5. Griffin says:

    My favorite new Rush Limbaugh conspiracy theory: Barack Obama’s plan to implement Mass Lesbian Farm infiltration to destroy rural farmers.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Um… I did not know that was an issue.
      Or a problem, at least not a problem that I perceived as a social threat in our world..
      or plane of existence.

      I have truthfully never been harmed by the exploits of those who are lesbians. 0% to be exact.

      Maybe Rush Limbaugh is confusing lesbians with the large number of straight women who would never “lay” with him, no matter how much money he throws at them.

      Maybe that is the source of his paranoia and resentments. That and the opioids.

    • RobA says:

      Gotta keep the outrage machine churning. All the obvious low hanging fruit (9/11, Illuminati etc) has been long picked. Gotta settle for whatever you can dredge up to keep the old white folks scared and enraged.

  6. unarmedandunafraid says:

    We are moving closer to a reasonable approach to drug abuse.

    In my dream future, the government at some level, will provide safe places to use drugs by the addicted. And possibly even provide the drugs. This means a legal market will out compete the illegal market, reducing profits, thereby reducing the possibility of new users.

    • RobA says:

      And all it took was for WHITE ppl to have the drug problem.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:


      • 1mime says:

        Double Amen. Boy, America really, really does have a White problem….When caucasians become the voting minority in the U.S., I hope I am around to see how they accept minority status AND how well the former minority/now majority class wields its power.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, the eventual former minority class will consist of several minority groups, so I don’t think its power will be too concentrated.

      • 1mime says:

        It is conceivable, tutta, that they could “unite” on the basis of common interest. That beats the heck out of partisan interest, and in my mind, is totally fair.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:


      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, you mention a “White” problem, but speaking as a minority (Hispanic), at least for myself and my own extended family, we don’t have a problem with “White” people, and we get along just fine. After all, we’re all “people.” You paint “White people” as one big bad blob, but they’re just individuals, both good and bad, but mostly good.

        I don’t speak for all minorities, of course.

      • 1mime says:

        I should not paint with a broad brush, Tutta. My reference was to the fact that many (better choice of words) White people have a problem with brown people. That’s not supposition; that’s fact. It manifests itself in political and personal rhetoric and actions. No one should ever judge another individual by the color of their skin, but it happens all the time, and it shouldn’t. I would not expect you to ever judge anyone by race or ethnicity – that’s not who you are or how you have chosen to live. But many do live like this.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, you’re White (I think). Would you be okay with suddenly being in the minority class?

        Do YOU consider yourself part of the current “White problem?”

      • 1mime says:

        I am White and in our community I am in the minority by political affiliation, not race. You might be surprised to know how important one’s political choice can be in a strong WASP setting. I hope I am not part of the White problem for anyone but I am probably an irritant to those who don’t welcome those with a different political pov. It comes up, believe me, and depending upon circumstances, I am either diplomatic or engage. Honestly, I am so busy caring/coordinating my husband’s needs that I don’t have much opportunity to participate in forums where I could share, but I do observe.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        In other words, I don’t consider White people the enemy.

      • 1mime says:

        Then, my question to you is this: do you think members of the Hispanic community do feel threatened by the White community?

      • Nick Danger says:

        I’m non-Hispanic white, and I’ve lived in Albuquerque since the 1980s. There are slightly more Hispanics here than whites. It works fine for me. When I go to Minneapolis or Salt Lake City, and everyone is fair-skinned, that looks weird to me.

      • 1mime says:

        I know several people who have or are living in Albuquerque and all love it. NM is a very diverse state and very interesting to me because of that. I hope that I have an opportunity to spend time there to appreciate the culture and its people. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, interestingly, it’s rather common among Hispanics to trust White people more than they trust fellow Hispanics.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        We don’t think of White people as enemies or “others,” especially since we do mix and mingle with them. It’s not as though we’re segregated or that different. We do see the difference in culture and perhaps skin color, but that’s just a sign of diversity, and diversity is a good thing.

        To notice that someone is White, Black, or Brown is not bad in and of itself. Diversity is a reality, and it is good.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I don’t see several very different minority groups ever becoming a true majority class.

      You’d have to have one minority group large enough and inclusive enough to become a majority class. Hispanics, perhaps, consisting of people of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Central American, and South American descent.

      Kind of like the current White majority which consists of people of British, Germanic, Scandinavian, and even Italian descent.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, maybe that’s a good thing, Tutta. Maybe allowing each group to stand on its own, buttressed by common interests, is more democratic than forming a majority by ethnicity. Isn’t that the ideal in a pluralistic society?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        This [long-ish] article suggests we’re headed for one, big blended group. What to call ourselves?

        FWIW when some form asks for my race, I write ‘pan’, as in pan-racial. If it’s the census form, I write ‘pan, trans, multi’.

        This race business is way out of hand.

      • 1mime says:

        What I fail to understand is what so many people fear about those who are a different race or ethnicity? Why can’t people see this as a positive – an opportunity to expand awareness – the joy of new friendships? Live, and let live. Enjoy life fully and embrace differences.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Whenever my boyfriend, who is White, participates in surveys and is asked his race or ethnicity, he always chooses “Other” or “Prefer Not to Say.”

        I’m Hispanic, and when asked my race, I say “White,” and when asked my ethnicity, I say “Hispanic.”

      • 1mime says:

        I have read that the correct use of Hispanic and Latino is as follows: Hispanic refers to anyone who is Spanish speaking, and Latino references place of birth in South America. Is this correct, Tutta?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I’m not sure of the correct usage, but I tend to use Hispanic and Latino interchangeably, and to mean of Spanish-speaking heritage, but not from Spain, only from the Americas.

        I consider Hispanic and Latino to be very general terms. Personally, I describe myself more specifically, as “Mexican-American,” which means American of Mexican heritage.

  7. 1mime says:

    Millennials? What millennials? Need to get them on board and the way to do that is to: listen and hear their broader concerns – not just student loan debt….

  8. It’s been on my mind as to what kind of tangible results we can expect from Trump’s non-campaign. He’s invested next to nothing in advertising, has no real GOTV to speak of and his state operations are a ridiculous mess (with one in Colorado being run by an actual twelve-year old, iirc). What does all that mean for November?

    This article attempts to explain that:

    We’ve still a fair ways to go of course, and there are a lot of factors to consider (modestly depressed Republican turnout, how many college-educated whites either stay home or break for Clinton, etc, etc.) but if nothing major happens, we could be looking at a serious wave here. Very curious to see how that impacts down-ballot races.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      You know the standards and expectations are truly low for the Trump campaign when that 12 year old who has been running his campaign office in Colorado has gotten praise for his organizational skills and professionalism : )

      One can only imagine what goes through the minds of professional Republican operatives (who have worked many national campaigns) when they see an absurd situation like this in Colorado.

      Perhaps they occasionally break out into mirthful laughter like Sam Neil did at the end of the movie “In the Mouth of Madness”.

      • flypusher says:

        Look who’s not on the ballot in WI:

        I suspect they’ll meet the 8/29 deadline, but how embarrassing is that?? Well how embarrassing for anyone who is not devoid of all shame?

      • RobA says:

        Gotta be Obama’s fault Fly.

        Trump only hires the best ppl

      • formdib says:

        “Look who’s not on the ballot in WI:”

        Well, Minnesota, but…

        … THAT would still be my favorite headline to come out next week, if they managed to drop the ball and the concept that Trump can’t even organize a ballot goes mainstream. Right now it’s us fussy wonky political discussion board types who talk about things like ‘ground games’, while Real Americans (r)(tm) care about stadium attendance.

        Even more fun is if it were shown that 2000 people attended a Trump rally in Minnesota, but they couldn’t get 2000 people to sign the petition.

        Alas, all wishful thinking. It was just like how Chris Ladd imagined Trump failing to get the delegates on the ballot in Indiana, and they pulled a last minute save by filling the list full of scarecrows with beating hearts.

      • 1mime says:

        Is anyone else wondering what the Trump Campaign is planning with the millions they’re sitting on? They’ve spent precious little on ads – are letting the RNC coordinate the ground game (the “real” ground game ) , set up the field offices etc. (Of course, 12 year olds running solo offices probably are a real bargain….) The closer to E day you get, the more expensive ads are to buy…guess that’s where the disenchanted PAC $$ are investing…since other than Robert Mercer, PACs aren’t funding Trump like they are Hillary…which in her case, is a negative, but Trump’s lack of PAC support? Haven’t heard too much commentary on why they are sitting on their dough.

    • 1mime says:

      Not that I need “anything” more to convince me that Citizens United has seriously warped campaign financing – note “no donor disclosure” – but here is more evidence:

      “A new report from the Wesleyan Media Project helps explain why FEC records haven’t shown that much fundraising by Senate-focused super PACs: Almost half the ads (45 percent) were bought by nonprofits that don’t disclose their donors. The proportion is much higher than in House (25 percent) or presidential (7 percent) contests. “With the presidential election garnering so much of the media and the public’s attention, the real ad fight is in down-ballot races,” Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics , said in the report. “And what we’re seeing there, especially in Senate contests, is that dark money groups are buying tens of thousands of ads – and they’re doing so without any donor disclosure and, often, without even reporting their spending their spending to the FEC.”

      From: (8/25/16)

  9. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Hypocritical act of the month: The Louisiana GOP

    “The Louisiana GOP is holding a vote this weekend on whether to block David Duke, the white nationalist and former Klan leader, from being able to run for Senate as a Republican.”

    Here is the official statement of louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger F. Villere Jr.

    “The Republican Party opposes, in the strongest possible terms, David Duke’s candidacy for any public office,” he said in a statement immediately after Duke’s announcement. “David Duke is a convicted felon and a hate-filled fraud who does not embody the values of the Republican Party.”


    But what may I ask makes David Duke’s past comments about minorities that much different and more horrible than comments by the party’s current presidential nominee Donald Trump?

    Why is David Duke wholly objectionable, but House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who once told a reporter he was “David Duke without the baggage” still a respected conservative leader in Washington D.C. and Louisiana?

    Obviously I am not (nor will I ever be) a supporter of David Duke, but the party cannot act high and mighty condemning flamboyant racists like Duke while embracing the “no frills” bigotry/racism of moral monsters like Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Steve King and Rudy Giuliani.

  10. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Here is an interesting fact one should contemplate while assessing the potential success of the Trump campaign this November.

    Courtesy of a column by Jonathan V. Last, taken from the venerable liberal publication… The Weekly Standard.

    “A conspiracy-obsessed narcissist who is hated by 60 percent of the country and whose operation spends more money on hats and private planes than on voter turnout isn’t going to do it.”

    Anyone who would give moderate reformist Republicans/or former Republicans like Chris Ladd grief for hopping off the Trump Train needs go do something more productive, like go kick rocks.

    Who in their right mind wouldn’t want the stench of this campaign to be associated with their reputation even if Trump prevails?

    Using the argument of “party unity” to justify a divisive abomination of a presidential candidacy like Trump’s does not in the end foster “party unity”.

    • RobA says:

      I still contend that any well k own Republican today will have the rest of their careers defined by where they stood on Trump. That’s the Ryan’s and McConnels of the world.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I used to have a morbid curiosity about the latest news about Trump.

        Somewhere along the way I reached the point where I just stopped caring. I’m an avid listener of BBC Radio and NPR, and whenever his name comes up, I just turn off the radio. I find anything he says, or anything said about him, boring, and I’m relieved to feel that way.

      • vikinghou says:


        I’m coming around to your way of thinking. I’m tempted to ignore the news until perhaps the debates begin (or IF they begin). Like you, I’m also a big fan of BBC World Service.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Viking, is having no debates at all a real possibility?

      • vikinghou says:

        I think so. Trump has already been complaining about the dates (opposite NFL football games) and is blaming the Democrats. Actually the debates are scheduled by an independent nonpartisan organization. I don’t think he wants to go up against Hillary face to face. She is always uber prepared and will nail him on the issues.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Viking, I could live without internet but I keep it because I have to be able to access BBC World Service 24/7. It’s my nourishment.

      • RobA says:

        Tutta, I reckon you’re not alone. There’s always a morbid fascination for watching train wrecks on TV that often gives the illusion that these disasters have actual staying power, a la Jersey Shore or Duck Dynasty. Trumps jumped the shark.

        When all’s said and done, it appears you can be as racist as you want and succeed in American politics; what you CANT do is bore ppl, and I think his camoaign is in its 14th minute.

        “Bigot Trump” was far more interesting then “Pivot Trump”. He’s now starting to sound more like a politician then any actual politician.

        “Tells it like it is” my ass

      • 1mime says:

        Of course the content of Trump’s speech is offensive to me, but I don’t seem to be able to watch his sneering, lecturing visage either. So much drivel. So predictable in content.

        I will say that I found the Maddow interview (last night) of Kellyanne Conway refreshingly frank and civil. It’s hard to imagine how she can function between Bannon and Trump. She is definitely all in on the Hillary invectives, however. Guess she’s Republican to the core in that regard.

      • vikinghou says:

        I began listening to BBC World Service during the years I lived abroad (late 80s to early 90s). Back in those days the internet wasn’t widely available so I listened on a short wave radio. Short wave transmission by the BBC is no longer available in North America because so many public radio stations carry their programming and it’s available 24/7 on satellite radio. I love it because it makes me feel like I’m a citizen of the world. They provide news coverage of events all around the world that Americans would never hear during domestic news broadcasts. We are so insulated here.

      • 1mime says:

        “We are so insulated here”………That’s no accident. Helps keep people feeling that America is the only great nation in the world, instead of one of many good nations….larger than most, true, but greatest? I guess I’ve become too cynical to buy into the American Exceptionalism argument.

      • flypusher says:

        I find myself hitting the mute button/ changing the channel these days when I hear you-know-who’s voice. I’m also completely tired of hearing about him. I also wouldn’t be shocked if there were no debates, given how he’s flouted the traditional disclosure of tax returns, and that very bogus sounding doctor’s report. So far he hasn’t faced any consequences for such things. Hopefully that bill comes due, with interest, on 11/8.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rob, I like it — “the campaign is in its 14th minute” — the reference to 15 minutes of fame. Very clever. Did you make that up?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Viking, I especially like hearing news and cultural segments about Africa on the BBC. Africa is a revelation. I’m seeing it with new eyes. It doesn’t get the same exposure here in the US.

      • flypusher says:

        KUHF broadcasts some of the BBC World Service, from 3pm to 4 pm, and 10pm to 4 am M-F. Besides the stories not covered by American media, it’s also interesting to hear American stories covered from the outside. And I can’t say often enough how I love the persistance of the BBC reporters- they don’t put up with evasions.

      • 1mime says:

        Yep, the BBC reporters are kick-ass, alright. Wish we could import them for the debates as a tutorial to American network moderators. Won’t happen, of course, but one can dream..

      • 1mime says:

        All Ryan cares about is his speaker position….in so far as this is driven by Repubs holding a majority in the House, he is clearly hedging his bets. BUT, whether any of us believe this race is a done deal or not, Republicans clearly think they’ve got a chance to pull it out. That’s why you see so many leaders playing footsie with Trump and why the Clinton Foundation and email server attacks will intensify. This is going to get reeeeal ugly before it’s over. There is simply too much at stake for the GOP to not pull out all stops. Count on it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Fly, I listen to as much BBC as I can on KUHF, and I also like NPR, but I go through withdrawal during those few hours when it plays shows I don’t like. I need my BBC fix, which is the main reason I still have internet service.

      • 1mime says:

        NBC has an in depth piece on how Donald Trump’s candidacy will impact the future of the Republican Party.

      • Creigh says:

        Oh admit it, Tutta, the reason you keep your internet service is so that you aren’t deprived of the wisdom imparted to you by us Lifer commenters!

      • Creigh says:

        Personally, I think a good reason to keep internet is Ocean Beach Radio, which plays an eclectic and imaginative mix of mostly folkish music (Americana, maybe ,or folkish in the sense of Louis Armstrong when he said “Man, it’s all folk music”) but occasionally straying into rootsy R&B or even Satchmo himself.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m not familiar with Ocean Beach Radio but I love Satchmo. His renditions “What a Wonderful World” and “My Country Tis of Thee” are distinctly L.S. Armstrong.

      • Fair Economist says:

        That analysis is optimistic for the Republicans as it gives a strong weight to held seats, based off a regression back to 1946. The problem is that held seats has been a weaker predictor since 1994. I think the Princeton Electoral Consortium is closer to the truth, with the turning point at 6-8% rather than at 14%. PEC is a bit democratic-friendly because they’re not accounting for the relatively poor recruiting for the Democrats, so it might be more like 8-10%.

        One of the possible nightmare scenarios, though, is a narrow Republican majority. With the split between the Tea Party crazies and the less-crazy Republicans they may not be able to elect a Speaker (that requires an absolute majority of the House) and it’s not clear how the House could get *anything* done in those circumstances.

      • 1mime says:

        You’re still seeing a Dem Senate win? Frankly, unless Dems pick up the full complement of seats necessary to re-take House majority status, anything else is going to be bad for both parties. The biggest problem in that scenario is the increased power of the Freedom Caucus block. They might by default, control the House, with Ryan or any Speaker, merely a figurehead. Believe me when I say that they are hoping for that very opportunity. They’ve been quite open about their political goals in the House.

  11. In all the articles I’ve read about gerrymandering, the overwhelming majority talk about its contention with respect to the Voting Rights Act. For me at least, I’ve never heard the argument that it’s actually in violating of the 1st Amendment, in that it violates any given district’s right to “political expression and association”.

    But that’s exactly what a suit filed against Maryland’s districts, which Democrats have gerrymandered to give them control of seven out of its eight seats, argues, and it’s a case that could well be on its way to the Supreme Court. If it’s successful there, it’s a potential ruling that could reverberate across the country and change the face of gerrymandering forever.

    In other words, this could be a big f*****g deal.

    • 1mime says:

      I have always believed gerrymandering was unconstitutional. Both parties have used it but the Republicans have elevated it an art form. I welcome its SC challenge. I want voter districts that are as balanced as possible, but not weirdly so. I like the concept of independent voter district commissions as long as they remain “independent”.

    • RobA says:

      Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Maryland state GOP wins the battle that sets the precedent to weaken gerrymandering nation wide, which by far benefits the GOP nationwide?

      Talk about winning the battle but losing the war.

      • Politically, those were more or less my thoughts, but the idea of nationwide gerrymandering reform will benefit Republicans too (if they can survive long enough to see it, of course). Because they’ve insulated themselves from outside competition, the only serious kind, as we all know, is from their most extreme members to the point that even when they win, they can’t do anything. They have a historically large margin in the House right now and what do they have to show for it? Nothing.

        Even if reform cost them their majorities in Congress, I genuinely believe that a more accountable map, electing more moderate and pragmatically-minded members, would give them the space they need to make compromises and actually get something done.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree, plus, it would do wonders for the democratic process…….

      • 1mime says:

        Be careful what you wish for (-:

        I want gerrymandering gone. Both parties. It is possible, however, that the SC could make a narrow ruling addressing just this one state. I haven’t read much about this case but assume it wouldn’t impact the 2016 election at this late date. If the SC rules broadly, that has huge implications for 2018, which will be very important especially to the Repubs (they have a good chance of re-taking Senate due to seats up for re-election and don’t want to lose more seats in the House). They will not want to screw around with any broad-based voter district changes that could hurt them in House races.

        The ultimate political chess game…….

      • If it somehow makes sense that the SC would rule purely with respect to Maryland, mime, please explain to me how.

        Granted, I know next to nothing about the intricacies of law, but why waste time ruling purely with respect to one state when you know that both Democratic and Republican suits challenging gerrymandering on the 1st Amendment would be coming your way in the blink of an eye? Wouldn’t it just be better to define it in one sweep and be done with it?

      • 1mime says:

        I’m not saying that “will” be the case, but it may be that with a deadlocked court, and the proximity of the general election, that they will make a narrow ruling, OR, they will punt until after the election when the ninth justice will be nominated.

        I’ll dig around in Scotusblog to see what the thinking is there, if anything has been written about this suit.

      • RobA says:

        I read an article (can’t find the link) about the guy bringing the suit.

        Interesting fellow. He’s an engineer by trade who retired early and went to law school (where he’s currently studying for finals) SOLELY to argue this lawsuit . this guy basically did it himself.

        The best part? He’s a hardcore Dem whose all in on HRC. He’s bringing the suit because even though he’s a Dem and it benefits Dems in MD, he thinks gerrymandering is an existential threat to democracy and thinks it’s more important to fight that then get a political advantage. Admirable man.

        More for the oppo file re: “both sides do it meme”. Any examples of Republicans doing something similar? Like, even just one example?

      • Fair Economist says:

        Having looked at House districting in the course of discussions about House control, I have to agree with this guy that gerrymandering is an existential threat to democracy. You see it in action in North Carolina where the Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the statehouse in a fairly purple state. You see it in Texas, where out of 36 Congressional districts NONE are competitive. It’s become a modern version of rotten boroughs. It has to be ended.

      • 1mime says:

        A little more research reveals: case will be heard after Nov election; the attorney assisting Mr. Shapiro, who filed the suit, is optimistic that the suit could have nation-wide ramifications. Ironically, the Gov of MD, Repub Larry Hogan, is also in favor of the suit … (of course he feels Repubs would likely benefit more than Dems…so there is that factor.) Personally, I don’t care which party benefits as long as the replacement process is fair. That’s how it should be in the democratic process, not contorted to comport with political goals. From a legal standpoint, there is a difference in racial vs political gerrymandering, or at least there was in Justice Scalia’s mind in the decade preceding his death when other suits have come before the SC.

        “While the Supreme Court has been active in enforcing the Voting Rights Act, which bars racial gerrymandering, it has not definitively addressed partisan gerrymandering. The reason, Justice Antonin Scalia said in writing for the majority in the 2004 case Vieth v. Jubelirer, is that it is difficult to devise a test to determine when lawmakers have gone too far in adjusting district boundaries for partisan advantage.

        In a concurring opinion, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy left the door ajar for a challenge to redistricting based on the First Amendment, if plaintiffs can prove that redistricting created “disfavored treatment” of groups because of their voting preferences. Shapiro and Kimberly picked up on Kennedy’s suggestion.”

        Can you imagine the turmoil that will ensue if the SC holds in favor of Shapiro and gerrymandering is found to fall under the First Amendment….2018 elections could really be interesting!

    • 1mime says:

      Scotusblog out with a piece on the Shapiro v McManus MD gerrymander appeal. It offers more nuanced thinking on how the SC justices might approach the 1st Amendment argument.
      Notice that the blogger, Rick Hasen, references two other gerrymander cases pending appeal – one in WI, the other in NC. There are active links in the body of the article.

      There is a second piece on the appeal to add Johnson/Weld to OH presidential ballot as Libertarians. They only filed on 8/10 and ballots are to be printed next week. Neither major party benefits from having them on the ballot in OH, a major swing state, but it appears they will be listed, just not certain if as Independents or Libertarians.

  12. RobA says:

    So CNN is saying Trump is basically going for it with this “pivot” thing. He’s going to talk about basically supporting amnesty tonight?

    Will be really interesting to see how this plays out. There’s a really good chance (I think it’s likely, actually) that it will be a big net negative. That is, those he wants to convince he’s not a racist will be LESS then those that leave because they WANT him to be racist.

    • 1mime says:

      The Trump Team is walking on eggshells…wink, wink, nod, nod….”We’re not really going to deport all the illegal immigrants, just those who have committed crimes; we’re gonna build the wall to keep any more illegals out (the Hispanic attorney who was on MSNBC last night said Hispanics were “for” that…and that Trump really “heard” their concerns…..that he would be “humane” in his deportation efforts…”

      Expect more smoke & mirrors policy but also expect that his base and other gullible people will be swayed. That’s reality. I do not look for Black people to be so easily co-opted. They’ve been promised too much and delivered of too little for too long. They know lots of White people like Trump.

    • formdib says:

      Why are you assuming Trump fans pay attention to details?

      • 1mime says:

        I just said that about the Hispanics he is trying to “woo”.

      • formdib says:

        1Mime, I was responding to RobA’s comment:

        “those he wants to convince he’s not a racist will be LESS then those that leave because they WANT him to be racist.”

        That’s assuming they pay attention to details. They don’t. Trump delivered his racist credentials and that’s locked in. The people he’s aiming for now are educated white and white women.

        These are groups that can believe a pivot because it’s easy to self-justify away the dog whistles when they’ve been made opaque and Trump shows ability to change tone. He did his outreach to black people (“What do you have to lose?”) and that earned him no additional black voters, but he rose one point in the polls. Why? Because it won’t earn him black voters, it’ll earn him white voters who THINK it’ll earn him black voters.

      • 1mime says:

        And, in my response to Rob, I noted that Trump is to deliver his immigration plan tonight which will “likely” be well received by many Hispanics who will take him at his word, not require details. We are both driving the same message – different target group.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s what’s happening in FL where Trump has pulled ahead of Clinton by 2 points…Interesting observations about the split in the Hispanic vote….

      • Griffin says:


        One point could just as easily be a statistical variance, or it’s within the margin of error in other words.

      • formdib says:

        No, by one point I mean ‘on average’, or trending upwards.

    • vikinghou says:

      I expect to see a new series of Clinton ads highlighting Trump’s inconsistency on various issues including undocumented workers. Comparisons between what he was saying a year ago and the positions he’s trying to establish today. Ask voters which Donald Trump they think they’re considering.

      There will also be spots exposing Trump’s use and treatment of illegal immigrant labor during the construction of Trump Tower and other buildings erected by his organization.

  13. 1mime says:

    The Clinton Foundation is taking lots of heat from the right, with the AP story on lead for many sources. Here’s a little wider look at the topic from VOX.

    Anyone who wonders how HRC can handle a job as complex as POTUS, just needs to think about how many balls she has had in the air throughout this campaign. Amazing….I don’t know how she focuses……

    • No one person’s approach is the same of course, but I imagine Clinton just keeps her eye on the prize and doesn’t let any useless noise intrude on her. Not that there isn’t plenty that bothers her, but it’s a momentary thing that passes by as q

      • Whoops, cut off there. o__o

        Like I was saying, it’s a momentary thing that passes by as quickly as it comes up. It’s just the sort of mindset that comes to people when they’re embroiled in constant struggle. If she hadn’t, Clinton probably would’ve broken down a long time ago.

      • 1mime says:

        Still, as Lifer (begrudgingly but nicely) noted, it’s good to know the “grit” of a person who is seeking the highest position in the land.

      • RobA says:

        Agreed. Even if it was a real scandal (it isn’t) it’s far too complicated to have any real bite. Ppl who already hatebher will take as proof that she’s crooked. And ppl who are undecided won’t be affected in any great numbers.

        It’s a bit rich that Trump, by all accounts a greedy PoS billionaore who hasn’t given ANY money to charity in any substantial amounts is hammering on Clinton because of a charity that helps millions of ppl around the world, and is very highly rated by all independent charity watch dogs.

        And Trump HINSELF donated $100k to it. Hard to now say it’s “the most corrupt foundation ever”. Thank goodness for his buffoonery and over the top hyperbole. He said today ” Hillary Clinton ran the State Dept like a third world dictator plunders his country!!”. I mean, come on. Nobody with any sense thinks that’s the case, and it’s so obviously untrue that it totally eclipses any reasonable criticism that might actually hurt her.

      • 1mime says:

        On the WSJ article on the Clinton Foundation issue (quoting the AP story which has many, many problems), here is a reader comment that I think makes total sense.

        Rufus Smith: “I read through the reports on this, and the characterization of foreign entities donating to a charity that does work around the world seems normal. The issue, then, is the meetings with HRC while she was SOS, and worries that foreign entities are influencing US policies and politics, and I can understand the worry.

        But the whole time, I cannot help but sense the irony of the matter and notice some double standards. Our lobbying system in the US, especially post Citizens United, is one that has emphatically declared that money is speech, and those who have it are free to spend it to gain influence over pretty much everything. We have SuperPACs who don’t have to disclose donors, who surely collude with the campaigns, and you have the quid, you have the quo, and yet when one points this out, so-called conservatives, JT included, declare that you must oppose the First Amendment.

        I mean, does anybody expect to get nothing from a million dollar donation for anything?”

  14. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    More info from Trump’s best pal and unofficial campaign advisor Roger Ailes.
    Warning: It’s gross.

    “Andrea Tantaros claims that fired Fox News CEO Roger Ailes referred to network contributor Stacey Dash as “the black girl” and co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle as a “Puerto Rican whore” in a newly filed sexual harassment lawsuit.”

    Sexist, verbally abusive and racist. Or as I like to call it now, “The Roger Ailes Trifecta”.

    So RNC…
    Please tell me again why black people, women who don’t like their bosses grabbing their a$$ and Latinos should support Trump and his bid for president?

    Clearly he is not picking “the best people”.

    Rumor has it Ailes will be helping Trump prep for debates. Yeah, against the first major party female candidate for president.

    I imagine their first debate encounter will be further illuminating of the mentality of the GOP’s “Mad Men”.

  15. 1mime says:

    Ok, I am all over the map today…apologies…but these good articles keep popping up and I want to share….Of course, this article relates to early childhood education, which relates to one’s personal development and eventual opportunities in life…which relates to reduced unemployment and more ability-relevant employment, so, yeah, guess it ties in, sort of (-;

    Head Start – I’m a fan. I’ve seen it work and it is one of the few public school programs that targets the disadvantaged family AND prepares young children with a safe, nutritious, learning environment. One of those “other” government programs that is worthy of our tax dollars and support.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I prefer your green avatar. This purple one changes the quality and tone of our conversation. It’s just not the same.

      • Griffin says:

        I’m pretty sure this this is the ultimate First World Problem.

      • Griffin says:

        OMG I cri evrytiem

      • tuttabellamia says:

        This is sooo social media, but LOL.

      • 1mime says:

        Life is short, but at least I agree not to post the you tube reading of The Monster book (-;

      • Griffin says:

        I think that if we all put our minds and hearts together we can work to make this comments section just a little worse, but maybe I’m just a dreamer.

        BTW tutt try zooming in on this page 10% and it should revert Mime’s avatar to its original green.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Griffin, I don’t know how to zoom in by 10% on the Safari browser, on a Mac, as I can on the Chrome browser. With Safari I zoom in by hitting command plus. I hit command plus and Mime’s avatar is still purple. I checked the Safari browser on my iPhone as well and her avatar is purple there, too.

        As you said, this is a first-world problem, so I’m not particularly worried.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I apologize for being silly and going off on a tangent. I read the article you posted and found it interesting. I need to think about the connection between Head Start and the long-term positive results mentioned, versus the short-term ones that did not come to pass as commonly as was anticipated.

      • 1mime says:

        At least there is data to measure the long term results. I witnessed the immediate results during the decade I was involved in public education advocacy, with children better prepared to learn in their elementary grades. The program is so much more than simple academic rudiments. It teaches children how to listen, to remain focused, how to communicate. Further, it offers their parents/guardians parenting skills training as well. I’m a big fan although the program may operate differently in different areas of the country. The fact that it’s hung around so long is further testimony to its benefits.

        We talk about wanting to put people to work and for single mothers/dads, childcare is a real impediment. I believe we should have more pre-K programs especially for children from poor or minority families. The long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs.

  16. 1mime says:

    O.T., but, what they hey…….It’s worth thinking and talking about….Privatization – the linchpin to capitalism – you recall – government so small you can drown it in a bathtub? Here’s another way of looking at this practice….Turns out that there are services and functions that not only can be done more affordably by government, but more importantly, can be done better.

    • Griffin says:

      Yes privatization seems to have mostly been a disaster in the long-run, at least in how it was implemented. On the other hand government bureaucracies will grow increasingly inefficient as it struggles to deal with creative destruction and new technologies. What’s the answer? I don’t know, but there has to be a more flexible method of providing these services.

      • 1mime says:

        I am not an opponent of all privatization but it shouldn’t be justified on the singular belief that any service performed by government can be done better by the private sector. On an apples to apples basis, using the same budget and resources, private business usually can’t compete AND make a profit. The sad thing is that this has become such a contentious issue. Why not accept that some services/functions should belong in the public domain and hold them accountable? The normal response is: “look at the disaster of public education”. I would have to agree that public education is failing many students; however, if private schools were required to take the same population with the same resources (financial and parental), they would not look look so good either. The beauty of the American system is that both options exist for “most” children – but not for all. And here is where it becomes more difficult as children who come from the least advantaged environment are most often enrolled in the poorest performing schools. It’s a vicious cycle and one that education advocates have studied and studied. And, this is just one area of comparison. It would be interesting to have a post that offered specific topic comparisons between public and private.

  17. 1mime says:

    Obama’s newest E.O. Wonder how long it will take for the Republican Congress to pass legislation to counter it… they did to O’s effort to increase wages for people working under Defense Contracts. It is absolutely amazing how fast the Repubs can move legislatively when it’s something they want….ZIKA funding anyone? Since the original Feb request?

  18. RobA says:

    WikiLeaks has really become a disappointment.

    I have no issues with leaking Dem decouments. A wikileaks business model SHOULD be non partisan, and relevant info from any side is fair game. And there absolutely is a need for a wikileaks type entity.

    That said, Assanges bizarre Clinton witch hunt has really hurt the image of the group, and his unique personal circumstances (wanted for a potentially politically .motivated rape charge, holed up in an embassy for the past few years stewing in his own grievances) perhaps make him no longer fit to lead such a group.

    The thing most infuriating is its obvious he could care less about anything to do with Trump, even though WikiLeaks was created to battle against precisely the kind of authoritarian abuse of executive power that Trump perfectly personifies.

    People who care, first and foremost, about transparency and the unlawful use of state military might should be far more worried about Trump then Clinton, but Assanges is letting his personal issues with HRC totally blind him to this fact.

    Dont get me wrong, I’m OK with leaks that hurt HRC, if they’re relevant or contain info that deserves to be public. But wikileaks feels like a right wing smear campaign, going incessantly after Clinton specifically while totally ignoring Trump, who is a far bigger threat tonthe values Wikileaks espouses then she is

    • 1mime says:

      These leaks are compromising many more people’s private health and financial information than just the political. Anyone who has ever had to clean up an intrusion on their computer or deal with fraudulent invasion of one’s credit can attest to the expense and worry it brings about.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Anarchists just want to destroy, they don’t care what. I think he’s an anarchist.

    • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

      There was a time when I respected Julian and his work at wikileaks (think apache helicopter firing on civilians, classic job of truth to power). They used to worry a lot about who might get hurt by the release and redacted information that could harm innocents, at one time even offering to let the US gov help with the effort before making a release. What I’ve seen lately is worrisome. He no longer believes in redacting information at all regardless of who might get hurt and he seems to have festered a hate for a certain political group. Moving from journalism to something else. I no longer have any respect for the man.

  19. flypusher says:

    Talk radio host Charlie Sykes has his “WHAT HAVE WE DONE???????” moment:

    “In effect, they broke reality. And Dinald Trump came oozing out of the ruins.”

    It’s like a toxic waste dump- it’s going to take a long time and a lot of effort to clean it up. That’s very sobering, but I can’t totally resist a bit of schedenfreude over people like Sykes getting called sellouts by Trumpkins.

    • 1mime says:

      And, what about Sean Hannity openly, brazenly acknowledging that he is advising Donald Trump? On the other hand, that is clearly a case of the blind leading the blind, so maybe it will work for HRC instead of against her. Sorry, I literally am repulsed by Hannity from the stupid part in his hair to his “better than thou” preaching and mundane, frequently incorrect, commentary. Not much to listen to there….

    • RobA says:

      Oh, there’s a ton of schadenfreude Fly.

      I hope Progressive leaders don’t get too much on their high horse tho. Admitting you’re wrong is hard enough, and if Dems rub it in their faces too much, that will have a chilling effect on the kind of mass mea culpas that will help heal the damage Trump has done to the nation.

      • 1mime says:

        Right, for me, just watching the conservative commentators squirm is kinda fun…..Of course, I have to admit, there are some who have earned a harder take down….Limbaugh comes to mind and Breitbart is sure working on becoming his print book end.

      • flypusher says:

        I agree Rob, those of us from the center and the left should reach out to the people from the right who have these coming to Jesus moments. We need a zero-tolerance-for-BS pact, that we will agressively call out the lies and warping of reality anywhere and anytime we find it.

  20. 1mime says:

    This interview by FOX’s Megyn Kelly of Trump’s Campaign Manager, KellyAnne Conway is well done.

  21. flypusher says:

    Here’s a tragedy that didn’t happen (thanks to neighbors who got involved):

    Your suspect has dreadlocks and facial hair, and you chase down a child who’s too young to shave and has a buzz-cut?? That’s some fine police work, Lou!! And anybody who wants to pin any blame on a 10-year old kid for getting scared and running when men with guns suddenly appear can just STFU in advance. That’s not a reasonable argument and you ought to know it.

    • 1mime says:

      Thank goodness the ten year old wasn’t shot – only scared to death. Policing is fraught with problems. So much more and better training is needed for our law enforcement, and, when situations like this occur, those involved need to be reprimanded and penalized.

  22. vikinghou says:

    The Arctic cruise article is disturbing on several levels. I’m sure there is beauty to behold but the environment is so fragile that such tourism can’t help but cause damage. Let’s hope there won’t be on-shore excursions for tourists to tramp on the tundra. And I feel sorry for the natives up there whose tranquil villages will be confronted with the arrival of 6,000 people. No thanks.

    • 1mime says:

      Arctic cruise – not to mention the very real fact that melting glaciers increase sea level, and that impacts more than just the Arctic.

  23. Early results for Berkeley, CA’s soda tax are looking quite promising, with soda consumption down a solid 21%. Long-term results will matter far more of course and things could still change, but once again the Golden State is helping to lead the nation.

    • flypusher says:

      True confessions- I absolutely love, love, love an ice-cold Coca-Cola on a hot summer day. But I’m under no delusions that the stuff is anything but bad for me, and it’s therefore a very occasional indulgence. If I’m indulging, a few cents more won’t matter. But for those who are buying less because of that tax- how poor are you and how much of that stuff were you drinking????

      • 1mime says:

        If you are buying colas for a family, the quantity can be large. CA is big on health – the GMO issue, non-vaxers are rampant, healthy air/water….not a bad lifestyle and the people there pay for it as CA is expensive real estate.

      • Fair Economist says:

        There’s a lot of psychology involved. People hate taxes and fees, even when they’re small. Put a fee on just a few cents on plastic bags and use will plummet, even though they’re bought to carry groceries costing 200 times as much or more. It’s the principle of the thing.

  24. JeffAtWolfcreek says:

    Interesting that the cost of a T.V. is down 96% from 1996 but the cost of a college education is up 200%. Apparently, we are all meant to have one but not the other.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      You could look at it that way, but you could also say that a college education is more valuable than a TV so it makes sense that it would cost more.

      • Creigh says:

        Tutt, price and value are two different things.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        True. Water is cheap.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I consider manual labor such as cleaning homes and restrooms and caring for the elderly and children to be extremely valuable yet these jobs are among the lowest paid. What’s up with that?

      • 1mime says:

        Education connotes value….most manual laborers are poorly educated. These services are valuable but easily replicated by other poorly educated, but equally hard working people.

        I prefer to use the example of teachers for value and price. The value of a great teacher in a child’s life yields rewards far in excess of what teachers are typically paid….too little, in my opinion.

      • flypusher says:

        “I consider manual labor such as cleaning homes and restrooms and caring for the elderly and children to be extremely valuable yet these jobs are among the lowest paid. What’s up with that?”

        It’s “women’s work”. Undervalued and under-appreciated.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Not just women’s work, but work often performed by immigrants, such as gardening and yard work, out in the heat.

      • 1mime says:

        In my comment to your concern about the value/pay for manual laborers, I didn’t mean to infer that these people are less important. I was responding to the pay component vis a vis education only. When I see people roofing in 100 degree heat, working on roads in same, helping the elderly and sick, I think about how our country would function without their hard work and how much they are criticized even as they perform jobs that few people would ever do.

        As to Fly’s point about women – that is real. How many women work full time jobs and then go home and care for their children, households, spouses, and frequently – parents.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        Tutt, I don’t believe I compared the price (or value) of a T.V. to the price (or value) of a college education. Your reply doesn’t at all address what I did comment on… That the system that is has produced a result where T.V.’s are becoming much more accessible and educations much less so. Healthcare likewise.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        What is interesting is the concept that what is most valuable – water, food, etc — should actually be provided free of charge, because it’s necessary for basic survival.

        Would education fall under this category? I’m a big fan of education and often call for it as a substitute for a basic income, but is it as necessary as food and water?

        I certainly don’t consider the internet to be necessary for survival.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Jeff, perhaps not, but your comment did give me a lot of food for thought. I don’t think I digressed too much.

      • Creigh says:

        One of the failings of capitalism.

    • RobA says:

      I get your point, but it’s apples to oranges. TV’s are down because of increased automation, outsourced jobs, and free trade. I.e. globalization and technology. Neither has a whole lot to do with attending university, which has basically the same model, I.e. a human standing in front of a classroom talking about stuff.

      • 1mime says:

        Wo, Rob! Are you saying that all these smart people who invent TVs and related gizmos did not benefit from education? I know there are some who quit college because it didn’t help them grow intellectually, in fact – slowed them down – but they are surely in the minority.

        Education makes most of the advancement of society possible. Pricing aside, the ability to make improvements is a direct result of smart people using skills that, for the most part, they acquired in higher education. Not all, but most.

        Am I missing your point?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ok, so let’s forget about TV sets. Why did the cost of a college education go up by so much??

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The reason for the decrease in the price of TV sets is easily explained.

        Why did the price of a university education increase by so much?

        It’s true there is no correlation between a TV set and a college education, but the huge decrease in the price of one versus the huge increase in the price of the other is ironic.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        In the case of TV sets, the COST went down, so the PRICE went down as well.

        Did the COST of a college education go up so much to merit such a great increase in PRICE?

      • RobA says:

        Oh, absolutely, education is important. But I’m not talking about value, I’m talking about price.

        The reasons why the cost of a TV has gone down so much the past decades is entirely different (and has no bearing) on the cost of education.

        I took Jeff’s point to mean “the cost of TV’s have gone down. Why hasn’t the price of education?”

        Asking why education is so expensive is an important question, and has its own separate answers. But using the cost of TV’s as a barometer is mistaken, IMO.

      • RobA says:

        Tutta, now that’s a valid question.

        I haven’t dig extremely deep into it, but I’m going to hazard a guess: like almost every major problem in America right now (from high tuition, to poor education, to crumbling infrastructure to Trumpism) I honestly believe they all have their root cause in failed trickle down economic policies.

        America isn’t overtaxed; it’s UNDER taxed. As decades of GOP policies have lowered the tax rate astronomically since Reagan (I believe the top tax bracket was an astonishing 90% when RR came into office), those tax cuts have to be paid for by cutting spending. This lack of reinvestment back into the country has, predicatbly, led to a lack of return in lots of areas.

        I think this is probably a major cause of high tuition. Be interesting to see the rate of education spending on universities over that time. Perhaps the high tuition is just universities getting students to cover what the government has stopped paying

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        Sorry, I may have been a bit vague about my point. It is basically just a gripe that the very complex economic/political system we live in produces these types of outcomes. And that I feel people at the top (0.1 percenters) don’t feel the system is broke or in need or repair.

      • moslerfan says:

        RobA, there’s good reason to believe that taxes too high (relative to spending) cause unemployment and taxes too low (r/t/s) cause inflation – one of the basic premises of modern monetary theory. So at this point I couldn’t argue the overall tax rate is much out of whack. But certainly distribution matters. What has really happened since Kennedy, and especially since Reagan, is that taxes on labor have gone up and taxes on capital have gone down, relatively speaking. Because labor’s income is going to taxes, and more and more to student loan debt, demand for consumer goods and services is down, so investment in new production doesn’t pay.

        What that means in relation to education isn’t clear. Government spending on higher ed hasn’t gone down all that much, but what has changed is student loans. Maybe what’s driving tuition increases is simply availability of student loans?

      • 1mime says:

        We have some commentators here who hail from academia. I have read that part of the reason for education cost increases deals with two factors: (1) fewer hours of instruction being required of teachers; and, (2) more emphasis on publishing at the expense of instruction. This doesn’t seem adequate to explain the huge increase in cost thus I have to believe that there are other factors. Maybe some will share on this topic.

        Regardless of the reasons for the increased cost (textbooks costing $150/book?!) – student loans should be revenue neutral. Government shouldn’t make money off student loans and private business shouldn’t profit from them either.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        Hey Rob, I think George Carlin said it best…

        Funny and, sadly, true.

      • moslerfan says:

        Pardon, should have said that stuff about taxes was a conclusion of modern monetary theory, not a premise.

      • JeffAtWolfcreek says:

        “I haven’t dig extremely deep into it, but I’m going to hazard a guess: like almost every major problem in America right now (from high tuition, to poor education, to crumbling infrastructure to Trumpism) I honestly believe they all have their root cause in failed trickle down economic policies.”

        Indeed. I often wonder how a load of crap that large can be peddled for 30 years by ‘Very Serious People”.

      • 1mime says:

        No you don’t wonder, Jeff. You know! Those who benefit the most under the current economic policies have to somehow try to justify their profits. AFter all, they are way up the food chain from those who are barely making it.

      • RobA says:

        Mosler, perhaps “undertaxed” was the wrong term. “Inappropriately taxed” or “mistaxed” may be better.

        To wit, the richest ppl need to pay more. That means the capital gains tax needs to be taxed at much higher rates then they currently are, and the top tax bracket needs to go up. 90% is a bit extreme, but I think 50% is appropriate (on income above, say, $1 million, or some other appropriately high number).

        There’s just no reason not too. Does any body think there are ppl who wouldn’t take $1 million /yr job because they’ll “only” take home, say, $650,000 or so? Are they just going to say “f*** it, I’ll go on welfare”

  25. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Comments in the Big Picture article are angry, a surprise to me. Tech companies are generally depicted as the salve for many ills.

    The commenters, though, sound like manufacturers, people who make/made things and know the worth of physical objects. Put Facebook on your roof when it starts to rain… 🙂

    One even offers charts that warn of the coming bust of tech valuations.

    Computers/internet/tech have changed my life for the better. But I lean toward manufacturing as a nexus for problem solving and innovation. Nothing like a walk through a tidy factory to get my brain cells all fizzy.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Even newspapers can be shredded and used as cat litter, and magazines to line the base of the litter box, after they’ve been read. Nothing like the physical.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        My brain cells get fizzy coming up with ways to reuse and recycle physical items, including supposedly obsolete electronics. There’s fun in resourcefulness.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I love recycling, too! In fact, me and my 90-year-old neighbor are about to drive off to one of the city’s glass recycling centers.

        As to flotsam and jetsam I find while I’m out walking, I am sometimes able to incorporate bits into artwork, primarily retablos.

        Yes, recycling can be satisfying. 🙂

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Re electronics, I’m trying to hook up a Sony digital radio to a Logitech speaker system.

        Not quite the vintage of your equipment, Tutt, but I solder on…. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I enjoy connecting old technology to new. I once hooked up a Web TV box to a Sylvania console TV from 1953, so I was able to surf the internet on the antique TV.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I was surfing the internet in black and white, but still, it was fun.

      • Fair Economist says:

        Surfing the internet on a B&W tv deserves a youtube video or something similar. It’s impressive and rather funny.

    • 1mime says:

      I find too few sites where comments are civil much less substantive as they are on Goplifer, therefore, I rarely read them, depending upon the article’s authors to either make their point or not.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I enjoyed the comments to which Bobo is referring. They were not rude or insulting.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, what happened to your avatar?

      • 1mime says:

        Guess I don’t pay much attention to it, has it changed? Same green is all I notice.

      • flypusher says:

        1mime, it looks blue and has a different shape on my iPhone. IIRC it’s the standard green one on my other devices. Viking’s looks different right now too.

      • 1mime says:

        Maybe the GOP “bot” is messin’ with me (-; I’m not interested enough in it to pursue it with WordPress….unless it starts affecting my ability to comment. Everybody knows who I am….

    • Creigh says:

      “Tech companies are generally depicted as a salve for many ills.” They don’t provide much salve for unemployment, though.

  26. Griffin says:

    Fun fact: Julian Assange wants Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential election because he believes it will make things more unpredictable.

    • “All agents defect, and all resisters sell out.”
      – William Burroughs, Naked Lunch

      Assange has just proven the truth of the second part of that statement.

    • 1mime says:

      Assange should be brought to trial internationally.

      • I dislike the idea that Assange should be brought to trial for any sort of espionage charges. Yes, Assange has annoyed various groups intensely by releasing documents which embarrass them; and yes, he’s been utterly indiscriminate and partisan about this; but that is something that should not be illegal.

        On the other hand, he should certainly stand trial for rape, because that is definitely a thing which should be illegal.

        It’s something of an indictment of our society, sadly, that people seem to have ignored the rapes until it became a means of punishing him for the politics.

      • 1mime says:

        Rarely do we disagree, EJ, but we do on this point. The indiscriminate publication of personal information is not only an invasion of people’s rights, but the disclosure of key data (social security/tax records) can cause immense problems. I also deeply object to his stated personal vendetta against HR Clinton as motivational to his release – timing and content – of documents that he thinks will hurt her campaign.

      • I agree that what he did was utterly without ethics, especially the Saudi Arabia data leak, but I would be very hesitant to claim that there should be any trial for it.

        A citizen of state A, while resident in state B, is accused of publishing documents which are illegal in state Z. State Z demands his arrest; state B refuses. In this case state Z is America and state B is the United Kingdom. However, precedents set in cases that we approve of must also hold for cases we disapprove of, and a precedent set in this case would also hold if state Z were North Korea or Syria or China. That’s too high a price for me: I don’t want to have to obey North Korean information laws even outside their borders.

      • 1mime says:

        Where does one draw the line, EJ? What about hacking into the Defense Department?

      • If an American civilian living in, say, Canada hacks into the Russian department of defence (for their own amusement rather than on anyone’s behalf) would Canada imprison them or hand them over to the Russians?

        What if it’s not the department of defence, but rather something which is even more important to them – say, the documents which indicate which oligarchs are receiving which money from whom?

        Remember, once you create a precedent, then you agree that every person and every nation must be bound by it.

      • 1mime says:

        I assume that this is what treaties and international monetary policy is supposed to flesh out, EJ. By your definition, if someone from Canada hacks into Russia’s government, should they receive zero consequences? After all, there are patent laws, trade agreements, banking agreements, and other global matters which are tested continuously, yet they are resolved either through arbitration or litigation. Should anyone who “can” be able to enter your computer and steal all your personal information just because they know how? And share your data with anyone just because they were smart enough to get past your computer defenses? Is there no standard for proprietary control over a nation or person’s private business?

      • Remember that the charge against Mr Assange isn’t that he hacked anything (others, including Ms Manning, did the actual data theft.) The charge is that he received and published documents containing information which is considered secret in the US.

        In most countries, it is illegal to steal and publish people’s credit card and medical information, regardless of where that person lives. As such, if a resident of Canada published stolen Russian credit card data, they would go to a Canadian court and then either be extradited or go to a Canadian prison. Likewise, when Mr Assange was resident in the UK, he was expected to obey British law, and if he broke it then he would go before a British court, which may then choose to extradite him.

        However, while I am not a lawyer, I believe it is the case that the publication of secret information is only illegal if your country of residence chooses to make that particular information illegal.

        This isn’t about data theft law. It’s about whether or not you have to obey the information-publication laws of third-party governments. As I’ve said above, I feel that this is an area in which we have to be very careful about which precedents we set.

      • 1mime says:

        What seems imperative, given the expanding role of information sharing and availabiity in our global society, is that issues like this receive the due deliberation they deserve so that problems like this have a consistent basis of resolution, internationally. If, as you say, each country has different rules pertaining to data theft, disclosure, etc., that creates greater problems for everyone. There has to be a line drawn where all parties concur that personal information is protected – the definition of which – will keep international attorneys busy for years (-;

      • I’m definitely in favour of international settlement of such issues, but then again I’m more internationalist than most people.

        I think you might get pushback on your idea on two fronts:

        A) Many countries may not be willing to tell an international body exactly what is and is not secret within their nation, or hand over information regarding it to a supranational entity, because that would be a giveaway that such things exist. For example, Iran and Israel’s nuclear programmes, America’s overseas black prisons, and the names of the Russian spies within China (and vice versa): these are secrets whose spilling cannot be prosecuted unless the court has knowledge of what the truth in fact is.

        B) Most nations have espionage services. They would like their agents to be able to see other nations’ data, but would like to prevent other nations’ agents from seeing theirs. According to Glen Greenwald, over 90% of present-day hacking attacks against America come from government-backed Chinese groups; I can’t see China being willing to sign up to a treaty which bans this, just as I can’t see America being willing to sign up to a treaty which bans their own agents from investigating those hackers.

        As ever, the distrust between nations casts long shadows, in which bandits may hide.

      • 1mime says:

        I know it’s difficult, EJ. It’s also wrong. Resolution of complex situations like this are far beyond my ability to predict, but I genuinely do believe that there should be a serious effort made to seek agreement on basic information protection. Whether that is possible, who knows?

    • flypusher says:

      ‘Mr. Assange replied that what Mr. Trump would do as president was “completely unpredictable.” ‘

      I object to that on sooooooo many levels. I can get why he disagrees with Clinton. Were she running against someone with clearly defined opposing positions on those issues and Assange was working to help that person, I could see that, even thought I don’t want non-citizens trying to tilt our elections. But this blind throw of the dice on someone unpredictable and also supremely unqualified? Reprehensible. The sort of unpredictability can wreak havoc on many people’s lives.

    • RobA says:

      I dont want to fear monger about things I know nothing about, but Assanges seems a bit…..unhinged lately?

      Considering he’s been basically trapped in one building for the past 6 years, doing nothing but using the internet, following the news, while he stews in his own juices, I don’t think it’s nuts to think that his mind is not in a healthy place right now.

      I wish hed step down or take a sabbatical until everything gets sorted out. Frankly, Wikileaks is too important to have someone like Assanges in charge

      • 1mime says:

        Yeah, I agree. I think Assange should go for a walk in the park. And, in the process, get nabbed by the Danish police for his long-detained rape trial, or brought up for charges by the U.S. for illegally accessing email. Say what you will about him leaking info, he is invading people’s private domains and that is illegal, isn’t it?

        Yep, get outside, Assange, and enjoy the weather….We got your back!

  27. 1mime says:

    Assange – I have nothing but disgust for this man. He must be severely mentally ill.

  28. JK74 says:

    Uh, that Gizmodo link, well, isn’t.

    • goplifer says:

      Ah. Yes. Fixed.

      • RobA says:

        Nice article JK.

        It is appearing more and more likely to me that Angry White Males are in the process of jumping the shark as we speak.

        Theyve hit the ramp, are currently in the air, and will land in November.

        There is a concept among stock traders called a “blow off top” whereby a long term trend often sees immense gains (or losses) that immediately precurse a reversal of the trend. In other words, the strongest, most bullish moves in a long term trend happen directly before the trend itself breaks down. I think that’s what’s happening. What some may see as evidence of a new paradigm of “Trumpism” I tend to think is the last gasp of a political constituency to try to hold onto cultural supremacy.

        Obviously, it’s impossible to tell in real time the difference between the start of a new political movement and the last gasp of a dying one, but within a few years, we’ll know one way orbthe other.

      • 1mime says:

        I want to know in 76 days, Rob (-;

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