New Forbes post, 9/6/16

From this morning’s post at Forbes, Trump’s Bad Math:

If the rambling wreck of the Trump campaign can be said to have a strategy, it seems to center on a myth from the 2012 race. A faction on the right responded to the party’s advice with an alternative idea.

Many of the same minds devoted to “unskewing” 2012 polling data are now convinced that Republicans can win with a hardened racial appeal. Their plan is to convert Democratic voters in critical Rust Belt states by transforming the GOP from a party of affluent suburbanites and urban professionals into the political engine of working and lower-income whites.

Proponents of this strategy somehow overlooked changes in their own party over the past few decades. This conversion of the Republican Party into the primary vehicle for populist white nationalism already happened and its political value is utterly spent. Trump’s strategy suffers from more than a moral weakness. It has a math problem.

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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257 comments on “New Forbes post, 9/6/16
  1. tmerritt15 says:

    Below is a link to an article in the NY Times this morning, regarding Trump and Putin. As I read the article I could not help but think of how many in the US and Britain admired the rise of Germany during the 1930’s. They admired the strong, decisive leadership and how Germany was making a seemingly miraculous rise. Many of those people had strong business interests in Germany. Meanwhile the US and Europe were mired in an intractable depression. To some the US President was very weak and ineffective, and to make it worse was a cripple. Fortunately, that cripple was very wise and perseverant. In his own way, he was an “alpha male”. We know how that period of history turned out.

    I fully expect that when history is written, the future “alpha dog” of the US will turn out to have been a “bitch”. I mean that with tongue-in-cheek and with a great deal of respect, using the definition of a female dog.

  2. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Now I know there was a posting recently made here in which Chris Ladd said “This is not a close election” and that assessment I can accept from a guy with obvious experience in party politics…

    But what does this Politico story mean?
    Have they not read his memo?

    “GOP insiders: Maybe Trump can win”

    Has the delusion of Trump being a truly viable national candidate not begun to dissipate?
    Is this a deceptive sales pitch designed for disillusioned mega-donors to keep the party afloat down ballot?

    Or is there something else going on (unknown to a mere plebeian like me) that indicates Trump isn’t quite the dead duck GOPlifer believes him to be?

    • Trump’s dead-in-the-water-ishness comes from demographic numbers, specifically his numbers among minorities (Hispanics and African-Americans in particular), women and especially college-educated whites. Lump those all together in a realistic scenario on FiveThirtyEight’s interactive and Trump looks set to lose this election in a landslide.

      All that said, the elephant in the room is whites without a college degree. Okay, some people argue, Trump’s getting hammered everywhere else, but if he can maximize those white voters and get them to turn out in YUGE numbers, maybe he can pull this off.

      Though morally reprehensible and disgusting such a strategy is, do the numbers give that some credence? Well, to be fair, back in late May, the Washington Post reported on how Trump actually did seem to be garnering a significantly bigger chunk of that vote than Romney did in ’12, with margins of 40% to 25%, respectively.

      To be clear, I mean that Trump had a margin of +40 points with those voters as opposed to the +25 that Romney had over President Obama, a significant increase.

      That said though, that was late May. What do those numbers look like now? A recent Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies poll just out showing Trump with just a +22 lead with likely white voters without a college degree, cutting his previous lead almost down by half and even worse than Romney did in ’12 when he got beaten soundly.

      Side Note: Curse you, Magpie! I had to break my vow of silence on polls in order to find that out! *ANGER FIST*

      Anyways, that isn’t to say those numbers are reflective of what we’ll actually see in November, but if they’re even close, that’s it, game over, man. If Trump’s YUGE deficits among all those other groups hold and he can’t do significantly better than Romney did among whites without a college-educated degree, there’s just nothing left.

      I’m not a pollster and I honestly don’t know why so many polls seem to be tightening (is the media just cherry-picking?), but I do know that you cannot have both these factors in co-existence. One has to be wrong.

      • goplifer says:

        There are some complexities in trying to poll this election. Given those uncertainties, pollsters are going to play it conservatively.

        You have to make assumptions when building a target pool for a poll. Those assumptions are mostly informed by factors like previous exit poll data, historical turnout among different demographic groups, and so on.

        Trump makes this difficult because his campaign is going to mess with factors like turnout and demographics. If you make adjustments based on what seems like the expected numbers, you get crazy blow-out numbers – too crazy for anyone to feel comfortable. So pollsters make adjustments to get numbers that seem more conventional.

        Want to see that that looks like? Examine the assumptions underlying Reuters poll in late August showing Clinton with a fairly modest lead. It gave her a 95% chance of winning, but in a fairly conventional way.

        They assumed record-breaking white turnout (70%), strikingly low black turnout (60%), and absolutely astonishingly low turnout by young voters (13%). Even those absurd adjustments were only enough to make the election seem reasonably competitive.

        NBC got slammed recently for “unskewing” a recent poll showing a tight race, but basically they were right. Pollsters are responding to a very awkward electoral environment by taking extreme measures to stay within conventional bounds.

        As 538 consistently advises, ignore individual polls entirely. Stick with the averages. Even then, the averages are unlikely to encompass what’s happening on the ground, though by late October pollsters may be more confident and cut loose.

      • 1mime says:

        Still, with every new Trump appearance, utterance, action, it is absolutely horrifying to think there is even a possibility for him to become President. Look at the people who he has selected to run his campaign and advise him….Surely this says a great deal about the values of the candidate. Damn! How can so many people listen to him and not understand what he would do to our country?

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Goplifer, thanks for the reminder regarding the polls. I have been getting depressed lately, with Trump seemingly narrowing the gap. I know how his rhetoric will appeal to some people (granted they are white men, without college education). I was raised among such people. While growing up during the 1950’s I recall some men saying that the worst mistake the US made in WWII was in stopping in Western Germany and not continuing into Central Europe. Likewise the only mistake we made in Korea and Vietnam was keeping the leash on the military, i.e. not allowing them to take North Korea and crushing North Vietnam. I have of course since realized the error of such statements.

        Changing the tact a bit, those of you who have read Paul Kennedy’s ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers’ or Henry Kissinger’s ‘Diplomacy’ and are somewhat familiar with Realpolitik and the Great Power Games of the 19th Century will know exactly from where Trump is coming and his appeal to the white, non-college male. The current global system – led by the US and based on defined rules and respect for territorial integrity, is the latest step towards limiting great power competition, which history has shown has led to increasingly destructive conflict.

        One such step was the Concert of Europe with Britain being dominant following the Napoleonic Conflict. That functioned well enough for approximately half a century until the rise of Germany led to the German challenge Great Britain and WWI. After the destruction of WWI & WWII the US stepped up to global leadership and the current system was shaped.

        The fall of the Soviet Union, the economic difficulties in the US and the West plus the rise of China have destabilized the present system. Russia is openly challenging the post Cold War situation and China feels it should have a more prominent global role, including being the most dominant power in the Western Pacific.

        This seeming weakness of the US is very irritating to the white, non-college male in addition to the gender and ethnic changes that are also threatening his perception of the normal organization of society. Now the incidents with the Philippine President and the stair controversy in China is the latest perceived slight. Those are being perceived as insults to America and that normally these nations should be “kowtowing” to the US (to borrow a term that helped set off the conflicts between Britain and China).

        The challenge for our time (and it may fall largely on the next president) is to negotiate these difficulties without the global order breaking down. China needs to be accepted as a rightful great power. Some things will need to granted to them. One of these may be a revision to the global reserve currency being totally reliant on the US Dollar, without destabilizing the current system of commerce. The world is not there yet, however. Also some understanding of China’s role in the Western Pacific will have to be developed. The relationship of the South China Sea to China could roughly be regarded as being similar to the Gulf of Mexico to the US. The US is clearly dominant in the Gulf but we still do not threaten the other states, unlike China. That needs to be smoothed out.

        Likewise Russia has historically been dominant in Eastern and Central Europe. The difficulty is that Russia has never liberalized. Putin is attempting to reassert Russia’s historical role, but many of those peoples are more attracted to the liberalization of the European Union. Also much of that area was more historically associated with the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or were independent nations.

        As my partner put it, Trump sounds just like a self-perceived alpha male in a group of men in a tavern spouting off, while being lubricated by a few beers. I could not agree more, having been there myself. She was very perceptive. Heaven help the world, if Trump is elected President. Rather, that having someone who is well prepared and perhaps capable of negotiating these global challenges (not to mention the domestic ones and global warming), we will have a braggart, who spouts off like a self-perceived alpha male in a bar. We could end up back in Realpolitik and Great Power Competition.

      • 1mime says:

        I never thought I would say this, but I finally “get” what Chris was trying to communicate (I wasn’t listening, obviously) about the difference between a President Ted Cruz vs a President Donald Trump. Cruz would have been a zealot, brought America back to a place that we simply cannot return to, but he would have respected the institutional process. Fundamentally, Cruz would have understood the critical importance of world balance and America’s responsibilities therein. In short, America and the world could better survive a Cruz than a Trump as President. Trump lacks the intellectual and moral capacity to understand world order. He lacks personal discipline, temperament, and an interest to invest the time and energy to develop understanding of critical domestic and international problems and issues. He is volatile, egotistical, and uncaring about the affects of his decisions upon others. He lacks the depth of judgement required to serve as President, and is an egotistical opportunist. I probably left out a good half dozen better descriptions, but, that’s enough to make my point.

        Trump will endanger world order which is critical to the balance necessary to keep our world safe from nuclear holocaust and terrorism. In summary, Trump is worse for our world. Chris, you were correct and I was wrong even though the choices were despicable.

  3. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    I hear Lindsey Graham says this election makes him want to move to Canada.
    Sorry buddy, you and your party will not get off that easy. Not if I have anything to say (and vote) about it.

    That pro-Putin comment by Trump seems to hit a nerve. I think some Republicans who have been gritting their teeth and publicly supporting Trump at all cost are now finally asking, “At what cost?”

    It is without a doubt the most unbelievably revolting, unconscionable, demeaning and dumb statement I have ever seen from a high profile American politician.

    He is as disconnected from history and reality as Michele Bachmann was when she said the Nation’s Founders (Washington, Jefferson, etc.) worked tirelessly to end slavery.

    Um, nope.

    As flawed as Clinton may be she is not as morally and intellectually compromised as Trump. She is in my opinion not even close.

    Are we to believe that Clinton is irredeemably bad and wholly unacceptable?
    While the likes of Cheney barely gets a mouse fart of displeasure from the anti-Clinton block of arch-conservatives?

    Does that sound perverse, unfair and totally true?

    I have to imagine that what ever is left of what was once called “the Moderate Republican” wing of the GOP, many of those voters/politicians will vote Clinton (despite their public statements).

    Metaphor time!

    Clinton is essentially a really potent blunt composed of semi-fresh, organically produced marijuana. Trump is a street produced speedball laced with a dash of fentanyl.

    One of these “drugs” will get you in trouble at work.
    The other drug will get you a quick referral to a local morgue.

    I am aghast some days (much like Chris Ladd) that this party has decided to stand idle and cravenly indulge Trump’s arrogant idiocy. Their spineless and self-defeating silence will be judged most harshly by history.

    Sexism and this election (thoughts)

    I am not a woman, but if this is the sh*t women have to put up with just to get a chance at obtaining leadership positions… heaven help us.

    Sometimes days like this makes me think American culture isn’t much more evolved in regard to gender roles than the Pasthun misogynists who give Malala Yousafzai crap (+death threats) for wanting girls to read and have control over their personal destiny.

    P.S. The latest assertion made by a Trump supporter about what Trump said, that can never be supported or justified. Wrap your minds around that…

    Paul Ryan (in response to Trump saying Putin is a better leader than Obama)

    “Vladimir Putin is an aggressor that does not share our interests,”
    “Vladimir Putin is violating the sovereignty of neighboring countries. It certainly appears that he is conducting state-sponsored cyber attacks on what appears to be our political system.”

    “But it is not my job to comment on everything Trump says.”

    In the spirit of Governor LePage I would say this to Speaker Paul Ryan…

    “Why don’t you stop being a ***ksucker for Trump? You clearly don’t have your heart in it.”

    • I have my disagreements with Lindsey Graham of course, but he’s a decent man and I take no pleasure in seeing him having to suffer through watching his party tear itself apart like this.

      That said, I say he renounces his being a Republican no more than a year after he leaves office.

      • 1mime says:

        I have been disappointed in Colin Powell twice. The first time was when he made the Bush pitch to the U.N. for invading Iraq; the second on the Clinton email advice. Put on your big boy pants, Colin, and take responsibility for what you (1) had to know was wrong (weapons of mass destruction) and, (2) what you actually said that is in digital print.

        Clinton is being held responsible for every utterance. Where’s the equal treatment of other politicians? Why hasn’t the GOP taken Powell to the woodshed? Where was the GOP and media outrage over Gen. Petraeus’ actions?

        I am so over the double standard. It stinks.

  4. 1mime says:

    It’s time for homework. Here’s a pretty detailed, wide-ranging quiz to test your “candidate” match up. Be certain to open the “other stances/ more questions” so that you can expand the number of questions to query your political profile. It will be an interesting self-exam and it won’t be easy. I scored HRC 94%.

  5. formdib says:

    Something amazing happened today.

    Hillary Clinton was interviewed by photoblogger Brandon Staton and featured on his Humans of New York page.

    But that’s not the amazing thing.

    Remember all those Bern-hards I talked about who were 110% anti-Hillary at all costs? A few of them flipped. THIS is what it took for them to flip.

    I’ve literally watched these people write in all caps “I HATE HER!!!” while posting shit about her for going on nine months now, and now I’m watching them argue with a few remaining “Never Hillary” types in their own comment sections about “Yeah I don’t always agree with her policies but look at this, look at what she’s been through and done.”


    If I were on Hillary’s advisement board, I’d get her pounding the “I let obstacles and sexism roll off my back, I’m sorry if it makes me come across as cold” message everywhere and anywhere and, if she really has to throw in some potshots against Trump, compare herself to his inability to handle criticism and conflict.

    It’ll definitely help a percentage point or two among “Millennials”, but it’ll probably also be heard by many women of her generation (and men who’ve listened to them) who’ve had to deal with the same shit.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    • 1mime says:

      Those of us who post here who are older (venerable as EJ prefers)….have watched the fight that women have had to go through over decades. I repeat what I have already stated on this blog: how many of us would survive 40 years of minute scrutiny – that HRC has experienced. Imagine if every email you’ve written in just the last year was published, if every gift you’ve given anyone was analyzed for “intent”, and so forth. Frankly, I don’t know how she has managed to keep her balance. This much I can tell you: HRC is tough as nails. I’m not voting for her to be my best friend or my mother; I’m supporting her because she’s tough and smart and capable. Sanderistas would do well to re-think their impetuous stands opposing her candidacy. If for no other reason (which there are many valid ones), other than the alternative. I am voting FOR HRC and let there be no doubt, I am also voting Against, DJT.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      A million years ago, a bi-racial woman got accepted to Harvard’s MBA program.

      She was told by one of her classmates that he wished she wasn’t there. Why? Because she took the place of one of his friends, who might have been accepted if she just hadn’t taken that slot.

      I think some women just let a lot of crap roll of their backs. And yes, it may harden some aspects of their personalities a bit.

      • johngalt says:

        I’m absolutely sure that the petty nonsense some women have to deal with “may harden some aspects of their personality.” I’m also absolutely sure that we’d never describe a male politician in the same way.

      • flypusher says:

        “She was told by one of her classmates that he wished she wasn’t there. Why? Because she took the place of one of his friends, who might have been accepted if she just hadn’t taken that slot.”

        Would that jerk have said to same thing to a legacy? I’m betting no.

    • Mike S. says:

      Hillary Clinton thinks Edward Snowden is a traitor instead of a hero. I won’t forgive her for that – but Trump is no better, so he gets no points there.

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign also hired organized social media trolls to post misleading statements and antagonize Bernie Sanders supporters. So if there was any doubt whether she fights dirty to win, it’s been eliminated.

      So I still hate her, thank you very much, and would much prefer Bernie Sanders. But Donald Trump proves a dozen times a week that he is a greater threat to world peace and American civil liberties than she is. And he has contradicted himself so many times, I don’t think anyone can be certain of what he would do as president. I will vote for her with a heavy heart but a clear conscience – politics, like life, is about doing the best you can with the resources at your disposal. She’s my best shot at keeping him out of office.

  6. 1mime says:

    We’ve talked often about the importance of this election vis a vis, SCOTUS. What should not be overlooked are all the other judicial vacancies that are slowing the judicial process across our nation. This analysis looks at that more intensely. I think you’ll find it an interesting read. Note to readers: if you still don’t believe that Republicans think they will win this election – presidency, retain Senate and aren’t putting tremendous resources into doing just that, you really need to give that more introspection. There is so much riding on this election…..

  7. RobA says:

    How the hell does NO media oush back against Trumps “TAKE THE OIL!!”” bit?

    That’s state sponsored theft, full stop. The oil doesn’t belong to America, it belongs to Iraq. Does he think the Iraqis will just let America come in and take the oil? It would cause a war far bloodier then either Iraq War. And it’s just morally repugnant. The richest country in the world, by far, has to go around taking the few valuable assets much poorer countries have?

    That is mind boggling that this is being treated as anything other then sheer criminal insanity.

    • Stephen says:

      We have a oil glut. Because we are more efficient, found new ways to get oil cheaply and are rapidly moving to non-fossil energy sources. We do not need Iraq oil. Trump showing his ignorance again.

      He really screwed up when the moderator asked if anything told him in his security briefing alarmed him. He should of said no comment that is classified. He was set up and he blundered right in. Yeah I think he is a match for nasty leaders like Putin. I really worder what his IQ is.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s not Trump’s IQ that concerns me; it’s his utter lack of preparation, temperament, depth, judgement, morality. Those qualities are critical to the leader of America no matter how high his IQ is. Trump had the benefit of a fine education but he has used it purely for personal gain. He is a despicable human being.

      • RobA says:

        I agree with everything you say, but even still, that makes it a suppl/)demand issue (“we don’t need Iraqi oil”) when it should be a foreign policy/moral/security issue.

        Even if America DID need iraqi oil, you simply do not go to another country and extract and sell for your own profit their natural resources. That’s probably the most guaranteed way to disrupt global security, kill American soldiers, and start another major war.

        It’s insane. An insurgency would rise up that would dwarf the insurgency from the last Iraq War. It would more anti American sentiment then likely has ever been seen before, especially in the volatile middle East.

        It would make the most powerful nation in the world into an unapologetic global mobster running the world’s largest extortion racket (“that’s a great oil field you have there. Be a shame if something happened to it”). And who in their right mind thinks that Chiba and Russia wouldn’t start acting the same? If it just becomes open season on poor countries, then a couple superpowers will just plunder the rest of the world.

        This is an incredibly dystopian policy and the press is laying down on the job on it.

      • johngalt says:

        Stephen writes, “He really screwed up when the moderator asked if anything told him in his security briefing alarmed him. He should of said no comment that is classified.”

        I don’t think you are getting the Trump voter. They want to be scared, to be told that something sinister this way lurks. Trump said nothing that was improper (beyond the fact that it was likely a baldfaced lie), but he confirmed to his core that this is a terrifying world and pledged in equally vague terms to protect us from it. It’s perfect political theater.

    • Griffin says:

      Also I’m pretty sure robbing the Iraq of their primary source of wealth would not exactly make the issue of terrorism in the country better. Even from a purely pragmatic perspective terrorism against the US would sky rocket if we were openly stealing oil.

      • RobA says:

        Exactly. If a group of armed strong men come into your house every week and help themselves to a chunk of your paycheck, is that going to be acceptable level to you?

        That’s exactly what Trump is proposing. If Iraq is goibg to right their ship, oil is their meal ticket. Does anybody think the locals will just accept being stuck in third world status because a foreign power is plundering their only major source of wealth?

        The man is a global menace.

    • 1mime says:

      Pres. Obama commented today when asked about how Americans are viewing Donald Trump. He said: American voters are grading Donald Trump “on the curve”. That says it all.

  8. 1mime says:

    The Libertarian Party candidate for President, Gary Johnson, started the panelists on Morning Joe when he was clueless about “Aleppo”…Disqualifier? Seriously, we are less than 70 days from Nov. 8th and he can’t pick up on a question on current events?

  9. Griffin says:

    ISIS seems very scared of the Donalds AWESOME strategy.

    • 1mime says:

      One of the better observations of tonight’s Commander in Chief Forum reflected this blunt assessment: the forum had little to do with national security and dealt mostly with veteran issues. I think this was apt but I also think the time constraints were very limiting. (30′ for each candidate which time included audience questions)

      I felt Clinton erred in definitively stating America would not send more troops into Iraq. Since we currently have 5K troops in Iraq, and since that area of the world is so volatile, that is dubious, even if desirable. Also in criticism of Clinton – be succinct! Long answers put people to sleep and appear to be evasive….

      Trump – did ok – lied on Libya and Iraq – didn’t get fact checked by moderator, Lauer, but didn’t commit any other faux pas. That’s an indicator about debate performance, folks.

      • >] “Trump – did ok – lied on Libya and Iraq – didn’t get fact checked by moderator, Lauer, but didn’t commit any other faux pas. That’s an indicator about debate performance, folks.

        Being in a forum and a one-on-one debate are entirely different, mime. We’ll see how Trump’s performance holds up when that happens. Not too much longer now.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, I understand the difference the format will make, but once more, I cringe at moderators who ask questions to which they either get false answers, or fail to answer and don’t call them out. Trump has so much BS that he counts on bluffing his way through vague, disjointed answers. Hillary has got to get to the point. Lauer had to help her to the word “judgement”…

        Also pointed out in a post-show critique by Republican Nicole Wallace (who I really like…she was part of the team that “tried” to prep Sara Palin…to no avail…) – neither candidate thanked the military audience that was watching this forum…a blunder on both parts…Maddow stated later that she felt 90 minutes would have been a much better program duration. I agree.

      • 1mime says:

        Most of the pundits (both sides of the aisle, felt Trump won the night. FWIW, so do I.

      • >] “Most of the pundits (both sides of the aisle, felt Trump won the night. FWIW, so do I.

        Perhaps, but the people were the ones who lost. What a pathetic ratings grab. I didn’t tune in to hear more questions about Clinton’s damn e-mails and to hear Trump spout his usual crap without so much as a follow-up from Lauer. It’s just… ugh.

      • 1mime says:

        NYT review of Commander-in-Chief Forum. I agree with their assessment. Soft on Trump – lack of challenges when he made veiled comments. He made a veiled comment about something horrendous he learned in the CIA briefings (which are supposed to be classified – evidently presidential candidates (T) can “hint” just not disclose fully the salacious details… The NYT noted that in referencing the briefings it was:

        “a classic Trump moment — a dark insinuation without evidence — and his campaign declined to provide details after the debate.”

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t know if you will be pay-walled with this WSJ article covering last night’s forum, but it is well done – balanced and detailed. Good for the Journal. They noted Trump’s comment about his position on foreign policy and involvement in foreign wars in which he stated he would “use diplomacy” rather than engage….Trump, “diplomacy” ??!!

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        I believe that taking the natural resources from a conquered country, such as Trump’s repeated, “we would take the oil”, is technically a war crime.

        Aside from it being not really feasible, I guess it is refreshing to have a candidate openly talking about committing war crimes rather than pretending they won’t.

      • 1mime says:

        Homer! You don’t believe that! No, it’s better to have presidential candidates understand that war is not for the purpose of enrichment. War is a sad, tragic result to failed negotiations and sometimes horrific attacks.

        I appreciate candor (witness my remarks on Linly’s piece), but comments like this from a potential president are telling about how cavalier and irresponsible a Pres. Trump would be in his foreign policy.

      • RobA says:

        I agree Ryan. In some ways, this may be a good thing. I’m sure the way it played out will give Donald confidence that he really doesn’t deserve heading into the debates, which can o ly be a good thing when you are fundamentally a fraud.

        Hillary gets to respond directly to Trumps bs, and he won’t have as much to hide.

        I still think he’s going to get beaten badly at the debates. Humiliated.

      • Stephen says:

        Remember read my lips. Bush was placating his radical base. Hillary was doing the same stating no troops in Iraq or Syria. This could come back to haunt her. But she needs the progressive base of her party to win.

      • flypusher says:

        “Aside from it being not really feasible, I guess it is refreshing to have a candidate openly talking about committing war crimes rather than pretending they won’t.”

        He smashed the racist dog whistles, so why not the imperialist ones. After all, Darth Cheney once talked about Iraq oil paying for the costs of “liberation”.

      • 1mime says:

        Darth Cheney….gosh, Fly, hadn’t thought of this man in a long time…but, you are absolutely correct in linking the two (Trump/Cheney) re Iraq’s oil….Didn’t “W” also state that Iraq oil would finance the war, or am I getting him mixed up with Cheney…Now, there’s a man who should be in jail………(IMO)

  10. 1mime says:

    Mark Cuban answers FOX news about Clinton.

    • Griffin says:

      Oh God Cuban destroyed him. It’s so hypocritical of these right-wingers to talk about how they care about “free speech” and are against “political correctness” but then when a black man quietly protests the National Anthem they go crazy over it and seem fine with police protection being removed from him. Hypocritical Loons.

      However I’m disappointed Cuban ever supported Trump though. Usually Cuban is very nuanced but supporting someone who was already a Birther at that point wasn’t a good idea. I’m glad he turned against him so quickly though.

      Also the National Review gives us a sneak peak of what Republicans will be preoccupied trying to do during the future Clinton presidency. “IMPEACH HER! IMPEEEEEACH!!!”

  11. Shiro17 says:

    I’ll submit this to the discussion without comment.

    “The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.”

    • 1mime says:

      This kind of thing feeds into people’s worst perceptions of government. Some heads need to roll…..

    • 1mime says:

      Let us hope that questions about this Trillion dollar accounting debacle will be presented at tonight’s Commander in Chief Forum. It should also give pause to members of Congress who are insisting on increasing the defense budget….

    • 1mime says:

      If Trump is elected president, “one” of the first things he says he’s going to do is – lift the sequester. It seems he wants to buy more ships, expand the number of enlisted men (not so much women), and a number of items that have no dollar amount assigned. I guess he’s going to offset these new costs (anticipated to be about $70B) by the resignations of all the terrible generals and all the diplomacy he’s going to implement…which, begs the question….why increase the DOD budget if you plan on putting more emphasis on diplomacy and having regional countries do the fighting? Wouldn’t troop expansion be moot? Number of current ships, sufficient?

      Speaking of the sequester – things are fixing to get real interesting in the House. In addition to all the budget intrigue, there is also the very real question of just what the Republican majority has accomplished thus far. This WaPo article sums up the status quo neatly:

      • tmerritt15 says:

        The issue of military spending is difficult to me. On the one hand, the US does spend a great deal on the military. There is no doubt a great deal of wasteful spending and corruption. On the other hand, if you’ve read some of my other comments, you will realize that I am really concerned about Putin in Russia. I have come to the conclusion that he is a real danger. I kind of expect that the US will ultimately have to stop him. It would be preferable for Europe to foot more of the bill, but until Europe can move towards full federalization (?????, if ever), the US is the only nation that has the capability of so doing. That may mean returning a strong military presence to Europe, maybe several heavy armored / mechanized brigades. That will act as a strong deterrent. We will also have to maintain a strong presence in the Pacific, so China does not perceive the US to be weak. Consequently, a moderate defense increase may be justified, certainly I cannot support a continuing shrinkage of the military. That’s not to say that embarking on a massive military buildup is required. The top officers seem to feel to US is in a very strong position. That is no doubt true. We are in a challenging time.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s my problem with the DOD budget. The DOD itself has recommended base closures that are redundant but Congress refuses to close them. Why? States with bases like the federal $$ that accompany them. There are US bases all over the world…surely “some” of them could be consolidated or closed? The DOD recommended sacking a plane that has been under development for years and over budget by a huge amount (sorry, the name of the plane escapes me) because this plane is not appropriate for Defense needs. Congress authorized the expenditure anyway. Then there is the article that Shiro linked this week:

        “The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.”

        If it is fair game to investigate Medicare, the ACA, Medicaid and every other department the Republicans don’t like “in the ‘name of fiscal prudence'”, surely we should demand to know exactly where these tax dollars were spent….Where’s the outrage?

        I want America to be secure. We are fortunate to be a big island bordered on our north by a coherent, friendly neighbor and on our south by an incoherent, but friendly neighbor. There is only so much money available. I don’t want defense to take precedence over our safety net but I want all programs, including defense, to spend money as necessary and responsibly. I do share your concerns about Russia, however, if it is to become a bedroom community to Trump’s Gold House, maybe we should plan for a quiet coup instead.

      • tmerritt15t says:

        Mime, I concur with everything you are saying. Like I said Defense spending is a difficult issue for me. The base closure issue is a case in point. Also unnecessary weapons systems are funded over the recommendations of the military. Congress does use the DOD budget to replace the earmarks that were often used in years past. Objective analyses of the global security environment show that the US is safer now than ever before. Yes there is a lot of waste there. It would be ideal if Congress did not try to micro-manage defense spending. On the other hand, every program that can be remotely construed to be a safety net program is mercilessly investigated for fiscal prudence. As you know I definitely support a strong social welfare system.

  12. Griffin says:

    If there’s a recipe for success on winning on an important social issue in a liberal democracy it’s dismissing 69% of voters on the basis of their race because a handful of radical activists apparently think that’s a good idea.

    Also I’m genuinely curious as to how attributing a negative trait to a group of people on the basis of their “race” is not racism but oh no, that’s just me expecting to be “educated”. Seriously the prescriptions given by the radicals seems like a recipe for disaster.

    Saudi Arabia getting in a (verbal) spat with Iran again.

    Trump’s hilarious contradictory plan on fighting ISIS.

    • I have a great deal of sympathy for Zach Linly’s article in the Washington Post. It is not the responsibility of oppressed people to stop oppression: like with all misdeeds, that responsibility lies with the person who’s misbehaving.

      • Griffin says:

        Disengaging with 69% of the electorate is still a terrible idea and while I know that this argument is considered a meme by many on the far-left the idea of attributting a negative trait to a entire group of people on the basis of their race (here that white people are “full of it”) seems to easily veer into racialism territory and screams hypocrisy when it’s coming from someone who claim they want to combat racial prejudice.

        Again this argument would seem to make it easy to dismiss any white person who disagree with virtually any “social justice advocates” views as being based in their own race. Arguments would essentially boil down to being based in little more than about the identity of the speaker rather than what they’re actually saying and comes across as bizarrely racist to me.

      • 1mime says:

        I disagree, Griffin. This piece cries out with hundreds of years of frustration, anger, and living with gold plated BS. I’m with EJ 100%. Those of us White people who try to understand the message within Zack Linly’s powerful piece, aren’t the problem. Engaging on White terms has brought very little change to Black lives. Is it any wonder that Black people are fed up with talking to people who will not hear? The honesty within this article was moving to me and it ought to make each of us think more deeply. How much, if anything, has changed for Black people at the hands of law enforcement, and in the justice system (which is a whole nuther story)….No, I think Linly got it dead right. That 69% doesn’t want any part of dealing with Black people issues. I did not feel that Linly was dismissive of those who genuinely care about their problems, but rather that the charade of pretenders is too long a parade to ignore.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        From the Linly article: “The fact is, we can fight systemic racism without white validation.”
        I tend to agree with this assertion, and it sums up what I’ve been thinking for a while, and maybe at some point posted when Lifer’s blog was on the Houston Chronicle. When you protest, when you put your heart and soul out there and air your grievances, you are making yourself vulnerable, and by reaching out to your oppressor, you’re essentially seeking the validation and the approval of the very people who are oppressing you, and you should not be surprised if and when they reject your pleas. In this way, Blacks continue to give Whites too much power. It’s a way of acknowledging that Whites still have the upper hand, that they need them, so I think it’s good for Blacks to reject the need for White validation.

      • 1mime says:

        Tutta, you and I are in total agreement. Beautifully, clearly stated. Good job.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        If some Whites can’t or won’t understand, I think it’s healthy for Blacks to say, “To heck with them,” and just continue to protest, march, and proclaim that “Black Lives Matter,” even if it falls on deaf ears.

        In any case, there are many people out there who are sympathetic to the BLM cause, so it shouldn’t matter that a handful of people don’t agree. You will never have 100% support no matter what, so just ignore the naysayers and keep marching.

      • Griffin says:

        Yes it’s true minorities shouldnt need “white validation”, obviously, but Im still seeing issues with how exactly more just legislation on an issue passed when you dismiss about 70 percent of electorate out of hand. The Civil Rights Act passed thanks to alliance between the black community and the growing number of Northern Whites who decided to ally with them, how would such a coalition be possible if the strategy put forward in the article were to be put in place?

      • 1mime says:

        I heard an interesting interview the other day, and learned something I am ashamed to say I did not know this history. Maybe you don’t either. It’s not that there weren’t benefits to Black people prior to Civil Rights legislation, but other ethnic and racial groups benefited far more. This is important to acknowledge in order to understand today’s abject frustration of Black people. They are tired of getting the crumbs and having to depend upon the very people who least care about them.

        Did you know: “In order to pass major New Deal legislation, Roosevelt needed the support of southern Democrats. Time and time again, he backed away from equal rights to avoid antagonizing southern whites; although, his wife, Eleanor, did take a public stand in support of civil rights.”

        Most New Deal programs discriminated against blacks.

        GI Bill? Same thing.

      • Griffin says:

        Ah yes Tutt I one hundred percent agree with your second comment, the All Lives Matter crowd aren’t worth the energy and I could see why a black person wouldn’t even want to bother with them. The sense I got from the Linly article was that he was talking about virtually all white people but maybe I misread it?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Griffin, he does seem to be calling for disengaging with all Whites, even the sympathetic ones, because he says even they have no skin in the game, so I would disagree with him there for painting with too broad a brush, but I agree with the concept of not having to depend on the validation of White SOCIETY, which I see as different from White PEOPLE.

      • 1mime says:

        Again, my different take was that he sees no point in trying to convince some White people of the legitimacy of the Black cause because it’s a waste of time and effort. I’m going to have to read this piece again. I didn ‘t read the comments. I focused on the author who put himself out there in total candor. Like it or not, I understood his lament.

      • Griffin says:

        I dont disagree Mime but the CRA still came about from an electoral and legislative alliance that ran across racial groups would the CRA have passed if Linlys strategy was used?

      • 1mime says:

        Griffin, when you have time, add the LBJ biographical series by Robert Caro, to your reading list. The nitty grittyabout how the CRA emerged and passed is a history lesson summa cum laude. Book 3, “Master of the Senate” focuses on passage of the CRA.

      • 1mime says:

        I didn’t answer your question, Griffin. Truthfully, I don’t know. But this much I do know, old, deep problems only get worse over time. EJ nailed it when he stated: the oppressed are not responsible for correcting the wrongs perpetrated against them, rather, it is the responsibility of those inflicting hard to change. If anything, the oppressed are burdened. Terribly so.

        It is impossible to change people if they don’t want to be changed. Race is a complex issue and it is also a simple one. How can anyone not look at how Black people have been treated and not feel responsible for how they were (and are) being treated? There have been “gains” but not nearly enough. Black people have shown patience, resolve, and dignity. Maybe it’s time for a little honest anger and outrage.

      • Griffin says:

        I dont think old deep problems necessarily get worse over time. While there’s plenty more work to do to work towards a post-racial society and white nationslism/supremacy is still a powerful force we are nonetheless more racially egalitarian than we were in the 1850’s, 1950’s, or even 1980’s. As Michele Obama noted at the DNC the USA has made alot of progress on this issue even if it’s not enough.

      • 1mime says:

        If we have made such progress, why is racism still so entrenched in America?

      • Griffin says:

        I’m not denying that there’s still racism entretched but progress has been made compared to eatlier decades, no? The situation for Black Americans is still unacceptable but nonetheless better than it was in the 1800’s. Even if there’s still more progress that needs to be made.

      • RobA says:

        Griffin, it’s been, what, 150+ years since slavery ended? Obviously, the group with power (white ppl) are not negotiating in good faith in order to bring black ppl fully into society. At some point, black ppl will just say “enough. They really just don’t want to help us”. That’s a dangerous thing, because when an oppressed group starts to feel like they have no political options, they often turn to less peaceful ones.

        If that happens, there will be plenty of blame on both sides. But the Lions share will go to whites. The onus is always more on the group with power doing the oppressing then the group without power being oppressed to make things right.

      • Griffin:
        The way I read the Linly piece, there are four groups of people:

        A) White people who are already on-side. It is unnecessary to spend time and energy convincing them.

        B) White people who are not on-side. By now, the only people remaining in this group are doing it out of malice rather than ignorance. Time spent trying to convince them is time wasted.

        C) Black people who are already on-side.

        D) Black people who are not on-side. There are precisely two of these people, Herman Cain and Ben Carson, and neither of them will be listening anyway.

        Linly’s point is that there is no intermediate step between A and B, of White people who can be persuaded over to the side of the angels with patient diplomacy, and it’s time to accept that and behave appropriately.

        This is disengagement, yes, but it’s a) disengagement from a much smaller group of people than 70%, and b) it’s not an ideological disengagement but a resource-management-driven one.

      • Also, on a tangent: Griffin, I’ve noticed that you use the terms “racialist”, “racist” and “extreme left.” I’m puzzled as these aren’t the usages of those terms I’m familiar with. Is this a European vs American thing?

        To me racism is defined as prejudice plus power, meaning that a disempowered group may be bigoted but cannot be racist; the extreme left are the hammer-and-sickle crowd rather than mainstream groups like BLM; and racialism is a term I’ve never come across.

      • Griffin says:

        “Griffin, it’s been, what, 150+ years since slavery ended? Obviously, the group with power (white ppl) are not negotiating in good faith in order to bring black ppl fully into society.”

        Literally zero progress has been made since slavery ended? I keep saying, over and over again, that it’s obvious more progress needs to be made but the denial that any has been made is simply baffling. Much of the “progress” that’s come so far has been from an alliance between blacks and white sympathizers, Linly’s proposed strategy would make that far more difficult.

        “Also, on a tangent: Griffin, I’ve noticed that you use the terms “racialist”, “racist” and “extreme left.” I’m puzzled as these aren’t the usages of those terms I’m familiar with. Is this a European vs American thing?”

        Racialism is attributing a trait to a people as innate based on their “race” (or at least the social construct we call race) as far as I know.

        “To me racism is defined as prejudice plus power, meaning that a disempowered group may be bigoted but cannot be racist; the extreme left are the hammer-and-sickle crowd rather than mainstream groups like BLM; and racialism is a term I’ve never come across.”

        I fundamentally disagree with the “Power Plus Prejudice” construct. Power would make racism more dangerous, obviously, but to me racism is a tribal desire to prefer ones own “race” or think they’re superior. Under the Power Plus Prejudice label a white Neo-Nazi currently living in Zimbabwe could not be labeled a “racist”. This strikes me as fundamentally wrong.

        Well I wouldn’t call the mainstream of BLM “far-left” either, and I never did. Most of BLM, I suspect, would not agree with the Linly article and do not want to basically politically disengage from all whites. The problem BLM has is that it wants to be a leaderless movement so a handful of genuine radicals can call themselves members of BLM and claim their views represent the movement.

        “Far-Left”, in its common usage, means left of social democratic/social liberal in the US. A group of political radicals whose views are too “far out there” to work within mainstream organzations like the Democratic Party or call for a fundamental reorganization of society along utopian lines. “Far-Left” can mean communists who call for perfect economic egalitarianism or postmodern critical theorists who view the whole of society as fundamentally repressive and thus society needs to be redone from the ground up.

        Linly’s article struck me as far-left or radical left because its proposed strategy, a return to de facto racial segregation when it comes to political activities because whites (or at least their perspectives) are too different from blacks to ever be true allies, came across as far too extreme for most mainstream civil rights organizations. I disagreed with your interpretation, if that’s what he was saying I think it would be fine but he also disparages and wants to disengage from whites who side with his cause.

      • 1mime says:

        One wee little comment, Griffin. Those gains that Blacks have made? They have mainly been through the courts, not through the generous heartfelt acceptance of responsibility by White people. Those gains have been made in blood, through beatings, through marches, and yes, some through the ballot process.

        I know you are a good person and are looking at race through a broad lens. Yes, progress and gains have been made over time but a deeper look at the fight that remains for Black people (and to some extent, all people of color in the U.S.) supports how very much more needs to be done. I am tremendously hopeful that Millennials like yourself, Rob, Ryan (that’s all I know here) will close the door on inequality for good – for all races, genders and ethnic groups.

      • RobA says:

        “Literally zero progress has been made since slavery ended? I keep saying, over and over again, that it’s obvious more progress needs to be made but the denial that any has been made is simply baffling. ”

        I didn’t say no progress has been made, that’s a straw man argument. Of course progress has been made. But considering its been over 150 years, clearly the progress made has been inadequate.

        That’d be like if you had a project assigned at work and given a month to complete, a reasonable timeframe. And then when your boss calls you 10 years later and says clearly, you aren’t serious about completing your task, your response is “well hey, you’re talking like I’ve made NO progress. I’ve made some, that should count”.

        20 years might be a reasonable timeframe. Even 70. But when you’ve been negotiating for 150+ years, and progress is still moving at a snails pace, it’s entirely reasonable to suspect that the counterparty is not acting in good faith.

      • Griffin says:

        “One wee little comment, Griffin. Those gains that Blacks have made? They have mainly been through the courts, not through the generous heartfelt acceptance of responsibility by White people. Those gains have been made in blood, through beatings, through marches, and yes, some through the ballot process.”

        This is true (though, in the case of the Supreme Court, “allies” of the black community still had/have to be elected president in the first place to keep the white nationalists from appointing Supreme Court Justices, and the executive branch still had/has to willing to enforce it as Eisenhower did. I imagine a Trumpian/Wilsonian president would not do this) but it’s also true significant gains were made when Blacks allied with sympathetic whites AGAINST white nationalists, like during the abolitionist movement and later for legislative movements such as the Civil Rights Acts, Affirmative action, further anti-discrimination laws, etc. even though this did not go far enough.

        “20 years might be a reasonable timeframe. Even 70. But when you’ve been negotiating for 150+ years, and progress is still moving at a snails pace, it’s entirely reasonable to suspect that the counterparty is not acting in good faith.”

        I would say there is a subset of the counterpart that is not acting in good faith, which are the white nationalist who primarily define themselves in their defense of “whiteness”. It is true that white allies should have moved quicker on these issues but my POINT is that in order to work with political allies you kind of, um, need to interact with them in the first place and talk about, um, politics, you know? I suspect that’s why most Civil Rights Organizations have not and would not adopt Linly’s strategy, or are they just naive too?

      • Griffin says:

        I think Noah Smith made a similar argument to the one I’m trying to make here but he’s obviously a much better writer than me:

      • 1mime says:

        Griffin, the Noah Smith piece was well articulated and does help me better understand your POV. My cynicism comes from seeing people “use” Black people when they’re not “abusing” them. These practices are frequently subtle and sometimes overt. The voting suppression acts that many red states have passed are reminders that there is a large group of White people in politics who may not wear KKK hoods, but harbor deeply rooted feelings of resentment and rejection of people of color. We keep making progress, but there is so much double-checking to do to keep these people honest. Here’s a recent example from TX where they are openly defying a SC order – and, if people weren’t checking their compliance, they would get away with it! This kind of thing happens in subtle ways but it is real.

      • Griffin says:

        Mime you still don’t have to convince me of anything I’m aware racism is still very much a problem. I’m really just saying that proposing racial separtism when it comes to political organizing does not seem like it’s the answer and yes, to me at least, someone saying they want to combat racial prejudice while also wanting for two races to politically “disengage” from each other comes across as undermining their original position.

        I honestly don’t think the hyper-cynicism is a good idea. I think some activists are (understandably) afraid of being seen as “apologetic” or understating the plight of the black community and taking an very pessimistic view can be a shield against this, since it would make it much more difficult to understate the situation and “overstating” how bad the situation seems (and often is) a minor error in comparison. However extreme cynicism can eventually blur reality just as much as extreme optimism and can undermine movements by making them unable to build bridges, turning off former allies, and eventually developing a sort of generally misanthropic, fatalistic philosophy that can (IMO) harm their original cause. Most movements and organizations that allow for a larger influx of cynical radicalism than it can control seem to just burnout (see: The Students for a Democratic Society and many other New Left organizations). And I don’t want to see that happen because I do agree with much of the mainstream of organizations such as BLM.

    • 1mime says:

      Loved, loved, the Linly piece….That’s the most astute, direct, honest statement about race that I think I have ever read. Bravo!

      “We need to stop arguing with them (White people) because, in the end, they aren’t invested like we are. They aren’t paying attention to these stories out of fear for their lives and the lives of their children and spouses; they are only tuned in out of black and brown contempt. This is trivial to them, a contest to see who can be the most smug, condescending and dismissive. When black people debate these issues, we do so passionately — not always articulately, and often without a whole lot of depth to our arguments — but we always come from a place of genuine frustration, outrage and fear.”

      As Linly stated, “Let them gripe about how white is the new black and they are now the true victims of racism because their black co-workers don’t invite them to lunch or some black guy on the train called them a cracker or because black people on the interwebs hurt feelings. (How nice it must be to have the option of simply logging off of your oppression.) We need to let them cry. And we need to learn how to just sit our intellectual selves back and enjoy it.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        “a contest to see who can be the most smug, condescending and dismissive.”
        Welcome to social media, where rudeness is an art.

      • flypusher says:

        It is true that White people do not have skin in this game. They have something less tangible, but just as precious to some of them- the whole narrative of America as a majority White nation with a pristine, sparkling exceptional history, that has built the greatest civilization ever. Now that is not a complete fabrication- despite the problems we are dealing with right now, we have more people living in greater peace and prosperity right now than in any other time and place in history. The fantasy aspect is all the people who wear the historical blinders and don’t want to face the fact that there are some ugly things buried in the foundation of the edifice we live in and continue to build- the hard physical labor of enslaved people building the economy, land and resources taken by force from people who weren’t as technologically advanced. We Americans have the same sort of sins in our history that all other human civilizations do, we are not exceptional there. Where we are exceptional is in progressively including more groups of people into full citizenship, but even that is still a work in progress. We’re bucking our tribal instincts and that’s very hard work. I can see why many White people want to say “We had the Civil Rights movement and it’s all fixed. Why are you still complaining?” Acknowledging that centuries of institutional racism don’t just vanish takes soul searching and self reflection and when you are longing to feel good about yourself it’s just so hard. Some people just aren’t going to get that and they’re going to go into full defensive/ deflection mode if these things are pointed out to them. That’s what I see in these comment sections. They can’t grok what hasn’t happened to them. They think of themselves as good, moral, civilized people, and questioning things like policing practices is an attack on that belief.

      • 1mime says:

        Geez, Fly, you’re gonna make me read the comments…..I really didn’t want to do that….I agree with what you said and I understand that there are White people who are afraid because they are having to compete with Black people for the first time in their lives. For that matter, they’re having to compete with women as well, and I am all for that. You know what? That’s the way it is and how it’s going to be and how it should have always been. It took a while for the girls and it will take more time for our people of color, but it is right. I all people – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity – to have this opportunity. That is an America that makes me proud.

    • flypusher says:

      The comment sections of Yahoo and USA Today would have to be one of the worst places to form an opinion about any group of people. I know, I’ve been there and read the ignorant dreck. I’m not sweating Mr. Linly’s comments as I prefer to focus on the people who choose to associate/converse/engage with me rather than fret over those who choose not to. But it’s not surprising to see people from both groups making the same errors- talking past each other, making broad assumptions. That tribal subroutine in the human brain is very hard to override.

      And of course no comments section on this issue can truly be complete without the large school of Black-on-Black-crime red herrings. It can make you sympathize with the frustration behind the essay.

      • Griffin says:

        Yes most of the comments section on the Linly article are pretty loony and racist.

      • 1mime says:

        I read Zack Linly’s piece with a completely different take. I didn’t perceive it as an “in your face diatribe” rather, I heard a Black voice that was unequivocally, brutally honest about his frustration with trying to be heard – really heard.

        Wow. Guess I understood that in a different way than most – which is fine. I do agree with you about the comments on websites but it’s not just those two. Read the comments on the WSJ site…they may be better written but the venom and smallness of thoughts can be just as ugly.

      • flypusher says:

        1Mime, I read it a 2nd time to doublecheck my impression that’s he’s washing his hands of all White people, and I think he is. He talks at great length about the one’s who evade and make excuses, and then he says this about those who don’t:

        “Yes, there are plenty of white people who aren’t racist, who think shouting “Blue Lives Matter” is wrong, who truly do wish things would change. But the fact is, they figuratively and literally have no skin in the game.”

        I would disagree there; I’d say that they (or we) have a different type of skin in the game. We do not face the same physical danger from bad cops, but we just might be disturbed by injustice going on and feel some responsibility for it. We perhaps might want to make America a genuine shining example rather than an illusion of one. But just as Mr. Linly doesn’t need my validation to do what he feels he needs to do, I also do not need validation from him.

        To put a different spin on this, what if a feminist said something similar about men? Would we buy the notion that no man could ever really be sympathetic to the struggles of women and it’s useless to even talk to them?

      • 1mime says:

        I didn’t take the comment you quoted as dismissing all White people, but understand how others could. And, no, I don’t believe in sweeping indictments (even tho I am guilty of doing so from time to time) about anything. There are a lot of good people in our world who genuinely care about others…This includes men who for the most part, treat women with respect, as they should, and should expect to be treated in kind.

        The Linly piece had an emotional appeal to me in many ways, mostly for its complete honesty about a difficult issue. We need as people to stop talking past one another. This was the message I got from his piece. Maybe I read more into it than others did. Maybe he’s wrong in his approach or his examples, but at least he spoke it out loud without apology. In this world of total complete bullshit, that is refreshing. Wouldn’t you love to see Obama tell some of the people who have mistreated him so profoundly exactly how he feels about them? I would.

  13. 1mime says:

    Think things aren’t in flux in Texas? The Dallas Morning News endorsed Clinton this morning….This marks the first time in 75 years that this bastion of conservatism has endorsed a Democrat. Bully for them…wonder how many votes it will sway “for” Clinton and “against” Trump. To be clear about exactly where they stand in this presidential campaign, the DMN ran an editiorial yesterday presaging their endorsement today of Clinton in which they definitively announced their strong stand against Trump. First, the Trump stand:

    Then the Clinton endorsement:

  14. moslerfan says:

    I’ve always thought that Trump’s economic plan would virtually eliminate unemployment and stimulate the economy.

    What’s that you say, “Make America Great Again” isn’t actually a plan? Oh, but listen:

    Step 1: Give the generals 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS.

    Step 2: The generals come back with a plan that costs $1.7 trillion a year.

    Step 3: Congress passes an emergency defense appropriation bill 2 weeks later. Directly or indirectly, a couple of million people are hired. The deficit soars. (Hey, I never said the deficit wouldn’t soar.)

    Contrast with Hillary’s plan:

    1. rebuild infrastructure, which will benefit and enrich future generations.

    2. Congress says we can’t do that, because the deficit would soar and burden future generations.

  15. Bobo Amerigo says:

    OT for this post perhaps, but in an earlier thread I expressed surprise that Clinton has a position on animals on her website.

    Today, Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post writes about that very topic.

    Her piece identifies trump’s agriculture advisors. Included is the Iowa governor who signed a law giving factory farms total say over animal and worker safety. Another guy appears to want zero animal cruelty laws.

    In the Times this morning, Friedman says, “We Are All Noah Now” to emphasize the role of animals in our natural environment.

    Animals at home and in the wild have a lot of emotional appeal. I hope it’s enough to sway a few voters to Clinton’s side.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Any candidate who takes the time and effort to mention the importance of animal welfare on his/her website gets points in my book. I would say it’s courageous as well, because it potentially opens one to criticism that one puts the lives of animals over people.

      • flypusher says:

        Outlawing things like cramming laying hens into tiny cages and cutting off their beaks doesn’t put the lives of animals above those of humans. It does cut into the profit margins of agribusiness, so I get why these RWNJs bitch about such regs.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The response I get that irks me the most when I mention that I don’t eat most meat for ethical reasons is along the lines of: “Oh, well, plants are alive, too. Ooh, I hear my lettuce screaming!”

      • flypusher says:

        “Oh, well, plants are alive, too. Ooh, I hear my lettuce screaming!”

        That is pretty stupid. The bottom line, biologically speaking, is that all life feeds in some way on other life. Even autotrophic plants need nutrients from the soil that come from decaying organic matter. Since we First World humans have brains that can contemplate such matters, and the luxury to do so, everybody draws their own personal line on what is acceptable to eat. But I would hope than even the most enthusiastic carnivore can agree that some of these factory farm practices are horrid. Even if you don’t give a $&@# about animal suffering there’s the misuse of antibiotics and pollution issues to concern you.

      • RobA says:

        Agreed Fly. I’m a die hard carnivore, and I feel as guilty about it as a lion feels eating a zebra (none).

        That said, I still think factory farming is unethical, and I don’t mind play ng more for a steak that was raised in a humane way, both for the ethical concerns, as well as it’s healthier beef. Cattle should be primarily fattened on grass, not grain and steroids.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s people and situations like this, justified under the “guise” of religion that make me crazy.
        “Out of respect for religious preferences!!!! we’re going to close Sunday voting (mostly in minority areas).” Remember, NC is a key state and one which the courts have had to step in more than once to block illegal voter suppression tactics. Note also that local election boards are “stacked” with Republican majorities so that objection from minority representatives is futile.

        “Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the state Republican Party, sent an email to GOP activists urging Republican elections board members to make changes to early-voting times. Woodhouse wrote that many Republicans opposed Sunday voting out of respect for religious preferences.”

      • flypusher says:

        “Woodhouse wrote that many Republicans opposed Sunday voting out of respect for religious preferences.”

        Unless you’re some super-ultra-extreme-orthodox religious type who thinks pushing elevator buttons on the Sabbath is actual work, I’m not buying it. There’s also the matter of if you don’t like voting on Sunday, then don’t vote on Sunday. But you have no valid reason to deny others who might vote on Sunday. Seems like that could be very efficient, go to Sunday services, then go vote/volunteer at the polls. But convenient for the wrong people, no doubt.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s bullshit, Fly. Black people prefer to vote on Sundays. Repubs know this and thus do all they can to make it harder for them.

      • A Non Mouse says:

        RobA, I agree. We occupy a position in the food chain which entails killing animals in order to eat them. In the final analysis, we can only digest organic material, so we cannot eat at all without killing something. However, there’s no reason that we can’t be humane about it.

        Like you, I will pay more for meat that has been ethically raised. At this point, I can acquire pretty much all I need between local sources (the area in which I live is seeing a mini-resurgence of small-scale agriculture) and hunting.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:


    • Stephen says:

      Actually conservation and animal welfare is an old conservative idea. The extreme way the food industry treats animals purely on their economic value versus the idea they have rights show the conflict of capitalism and conservatism. One of the tenets of conservatism is not all things of value have a measurable market value, like treating animals humanely. And yes the Republican party has not been conservative for awhile. The Bible writes that a rightist man even treats his animals kindly. Animal rights are important to me.

      • RobA says:

        “One of the tenets of conservatism is not all things of value have a measurable market value, like treating animals humanely.”

        Stephan that is an extremely, extremely generous interpretation of “conservatism”. I admire you for your take on it, and I trust that you are sincere, but that just seems at odds with literally everything that conservatism stands for in the real world, both today and in any remotely past.

        “Conservatism” seems to be me that NOTHING has value beyond its tangible market value.

      • goplifer says:

        Um, no. Conservatism is deeply at odds with capitalism. For an example that bring this home, think about religion.

        In conservatism, religion (organized) is an absolutely vital element of the social fabric. It has no market value whatsoever, but in that worldview deserves protection from market forces.

      • 1mime says:

        Religion has no market value, and as such should be protected from market forces.

        Non profit status by religious entities is abused, which is troublesome to me. I understand that they claim they are not making a profit, but, is this truly the case? When it is, then I am all for it, but when it isn’t, I have a big problem with it.

        And, that doesn’t even get close to the whole 501c4 non profit discussion….for another day/another post.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I would put the anti-abortion stance in that category as well — human life as valuable in and of itself, and not at all in utilitarian terms.

      • 1mime says:

        After all, we are all “animals”…some are just higher functioning than others…..

      • RobA says:

        “In conservatism, religion (organized) is an absolutely vital element of the social fabric. It has no market value whatsoever, but in that worldview deserves protection from market forces.”

        Interesting point Chris, but I disagree. “Religion” has immense market value. it’s become is nothing but a highly profitable business, where customers come to secure their place in the afterlife, and all it costs them is 10% of their wages. Add to that, these businesses enjoy unprecedented subsidization in the form of total tax free status.

        Ask Creflo Dollar if religion has market value.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Chris, would you say it’s SOCIAL conservatism that is at odds with capitalism?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, speak for yourself, you high-functioning little critter!

      • 1mime says:

        Must be all the meat I devour, Tutta (-;

      • johngalt says:

        I also agree that religion has a market value. Many traditional conservatives value it at 1/10th of their income. Why their social club should be tax exempt while the ways I prefer to spend disposable time and income are not is not clear to me.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        John Galt, speaking of religion, I like how your new avatar is in the shape of a cross. Rather ironic considering you’re an atheist, don’t you think? 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Chris – another point about religion and conservatives. I have become extremely cynical about how religious beliefs and personal morality intersect within the political process. For far too many politicians, religion is a means to an end rather than how one lives their lives. There are far too many contradictions in how people judge and treat others for me to approach contemporary religious practices without a hefty dose of skepticism. I wish I didn’t feel this way because it is judgmental on my part, but I have seen too many abuses in this area.

      • >] “Interesting point Chris, but I disagree. “Religion” has immense market value. it’s become is nothing but a highly profitable business, where customers come to secure their place in the afterlife, and all it costs them is 10% of their wages. Add to that, these businesses enjoy unprecedented subsidization in the form of total tax free status.

        Alrighty then, let’s get this thing a rollin’.

        Religion is not a market insofar as the ideal where you have two sides with respective degrees of bargaining power that try to come to an agreement on a transaction. Hucksters, liars, fraudsters, pyramid schemers and all manner of reprehensible fellows who try to ‘market’ off salvation are not engaging in good faith (no pun intended). It’s an extraordinarily perverted interpretation of markets that, IMHO, has no place in our business community and should be dealt with as swiftly and severely as possible.

        That said, how do we deal with the slew of businesses abusing the tax-free status that comes with being a “religious institution” without imposing on religious freedom in this country? Let’s take a crack at it:

        One idea is to have tax exemptions only for nonprofit organizations – religious or secular – that the government would have to step in and take over for if those organizations suddenly disappeared, something that would have to be involved in any major tax reform.

        Another is to simply say that if a religion is in the business of being a business and they have revenues in excess of a certain amount from selling products, whether material or spiritual (you all know where I’m going with here), then their tax-exempt status should be revoked. Exemptions would be allowed in certain situations of course, but those would have to be filed and approved. Abuse of this would involve a hefty fine and immediate revoking of tax-exempt status.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t disagree with you at all, Ryan, but it’s just like with gun violence – prevent the keeping and reporting of records of violence/profits, and there is no way to examine these issues in the light of day. Think about some of these mega-churches who offer everything but acupuncture and compete with private do we know if they are making a profit or not if their tax status is protected? Think about the televangelists who proselytize and enrich themselves. Where’s the love, brother? I admit to this being an issue that deeply irritates and bothers me because in my opinion, religion should be service to others, not exploitation, which it all too frequently is. The good people doing good work in the name of faith and religion deserve tremendous credit. There are far too many for whom religion is a tool rather than an avocation. Mother Teresas, they’re not.

    • 1mime says:

      Since the OT door is open, I’ll sneak in this delicious nomination of a highly qualified Muslim for the federal district court in DC by Obama…You go, O!

  16. Armchair Philosopher says:

    And in other news, our venerable Republican legislators have made headlines this morning for the following reasons:

    1) Adding a planned parenthood/confederate flag rider to the Zika bill, then blaming Democrats for not passing it.

    2) Potentially holding up the spending bill in order to stop Syrian refugees from coming to our country.

    3) Potentially holding up the spending bill in order to impeach the head of the IRS

    4) Trying to pass a bill that would allow victims of 9/11 to sue a foreign government in US courts

    • 1mime says:

      Some of the objectionable “poison pills” Republicans added to the ZIKA funding component include: weakens environment restrictions on pesticide use, takes $540 M from the ACA, impacts “net neutrality” and existing dedicated funding for the Ebola Virus, forbids any funds from going to Planned Parenthood and other similar agencies which are resource centers for womens care. Republicans have done their damnedest to make the bill a political test. Meanwhile, the President has cautioned that temporary funding shifts to combat ZIKA are almost gone…….There are actually two proposals – one from the Senate and the one which is being toyed with politically in the House….Here’s info on the Senate bill. The games that are being played are inexcusable.

  17. JK74 says:

    OT, but I figure this blog is forgiving enough for me to get away with it.
    One reason for Clinton’s struggles with the press is that they resent her for never holding a press conference. Also, I think most people agree that there would be huge amounts of dirt in Trump’s tax returns – but the press just isn’t hounding him to release them.
    So; she announces “I’ll do a press conference on Thursday – and every Thursday until the election. At those press conferences, I’ll take one question for every year of his full tax returns that Donald Trump has released, starting with the most recent. See you Thursday.”
    Think that might work to get the press on the DT tax returns?

    • 1mime says:

      Clever. Another suggestion was to tell Trump that until he releases his tax returns, no more press will attend hid conferences. No more freebies, Donnie…until you show us the money!

      • JK74 says:

        Yeah, that would do it – but the press has no incentive to do so. My suggestion gives them an incentive to get something they want (a press conference), in order for her to get what she wants (DT’s taxes released). And every week she can turn up at a “press conference”, say “OK, how many years has he released? Still none? Well, no questions today then – see you next week.” Really keeps it in the public eye that he hasn’t released them.

      • 1mime says:

        Cute, but the press will get pissed. She needs to hold regular press conferences because she should. Trump needs to release his tax returns because he should. The media should insist because they should. All these games……

  18. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    Meanwhile, with a bunch of new polling, we see Hillary back with a 4-5 point lead, which is where it was before the conventions.

    I’d rather have a 4-point lead than a 4-point deficit, but there is just no indication that Hillary is going to run away with this thing by double digits.

    Hillary came out of the conventions with a big bump, but it has essentially gone away. Her position is good, and she essentially bought a month sitting on a 4-point lead. This may all mean she just needs to run out two more months without any major shakeups.

    However, Trump has essentially cut her post-convention lead in half. Does that mean the race is simply settling back into “normal” with Clinton winning by 4-points or does Trump continue to eat into that lead?

    For your changing demographics. Over half of Hispanic voters live in Texas and California. Rising numbers of Hispanic voters (which we have yet to actually see) in those two states are meaningless for this election. Trump wins Texas and Hillary wins California. Want to guess the percentage of Hispanic voters in Ohio, Iowa, and Pennsylvania?

    But what about those millennials? You mean the least reliable voters of all voters? They showed up for Obama in 2008, but does anyone believe Hillary generates that kind of energy and support?

    We’ve gone a couple of weeks without Trump being insane. He got his photo-op with the Mexican president, and he toned down the rhetoric on immigration. There has been almost no, “can you believe Trump said….?” news for the past week or two. It is horrible that being less insane makes one look presidential, but for the big chunk of folks who just hate Hillary, they are looking for an excuse to back Trump, and Trump seeming normal will be a big enough excuse.

    It is a matter of time before he comes out with an “economic plan” that resembles every other GOP economic plan. He’ll talk about taxes being too high and entitlements being out of control, and he’ll do it in the same non-insane tone he’s been using lately. The plan will suck as all the other GOP economic plans do, but it will be an excuse to vote for him.

    Maybe Obama was the transformational candidate the changed the political landscape. We attribute the voting patterns to demographics and failed GOP positions, but maybe without a candidate Obama, we are back to nip and tuck Bush/Gore and Bush/Kerry

    • 1mime says:

      Or, if your continuing concern materializes, a Trump/Pence….

      Don’t forget tomorrow night, 8pm central, MSNBC, there will be a “Commander In Chief” Forum where moderators and audience members will be able to ask each of the two candidates questions with focus on foreign policy, defense, etc. Clinton drew the short straw so she will go first. Trump will be second.

    • pedneuro says:

      That’s exactly my worry houston-stay-at-homer. Trump acting not crazy is the new normal now.

      • 1mime says:

        Come on, guys (“broadly” speaking)! You had to know this was the plan, right? Trump plays the game off balance all the time. With Ailes guiding him for the debates, you think Trump is going to mouth off?

        Here’s what I am afraid of. Clinton needs to get back to selling her plan and stop bashing/responding to Trump’s stuff. He’s driving her agenda and people are tired of hearing it. Give them a reason to want to vote FOR her. She’s gotta get back to running her campaign.

      • RobA says:

        Still got 4 debates to come. Trump can’t go head to head against HRC in debates. That will be obvious.

      • 1mime says:

        Trump can’t go head to head with Clinton….THAT will depend upon the moderators, Rob. If T is allowed to equivocate and deflect, then serious viewers will see him negatively – the rest, well, it’s worked for him before. If he trains for the debates, adopts a more studious manner (which is what I expect), then we will see Clinton shine because he may be glib but he has no depth of issues. What he does have is debate experience from the GOP primary in which he ruled the process through outrageous commentary…except with Megyn Kelly, who is not one of the moderators.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Trump also has a decade of being on television as something of an “actor”. I don’t suspect he’s going to be flummoxed by the debates.

        With that said, his poll numbers generally went down after the GOP debates, they just went right back up a few days later. He’s not in a position to go down any farther now and still have hopes to catch up.

      • 1mime says:

        Hopefully, more attention will be paid to things like this…hold Trump to the same level of accountability as you do Clinton…

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      Houston Stay At Homer: I’m sharing a link to an amazing tool at Latino Decisions. You can use the most conservative make up of electorate as you like and I can never get Trump over 44% and stay realistic based on national demographics.

      It doesn’t seem to matter too much the quality of the Democratic candidate as long as they are alive, not insane or under indictment…and I’m not too certain about that last caveat. The Blue Wall isn’t a Democratic structure as Chris points out in his article. The Republicans built it, and for the time being incapable of dismantling it. I’m paraphrasing his point, that the election is about repulsion not attraction. The blue states will stay blue only as long as the Republicans scare them with “evolution needs further study, the oceans aren’t getting warmer and higher, women can’t be trusted with their own health decisions and gays don’t deserve equal treatment under the law”. Not to mention math…their workshops on how to cut taxes while maintaining armed forces at Empire standards.

      Maybe Iowa slips but North Carolina will more than make up for that. I think this cake is baked in the electoral college as well as the popular vote. Nate Silver also has an interesting demographic tool on his web site as well. The Republic will survive…you know, for now.

      • >] “I’m sharing a link to an amazing tool at Latino Decisions. You can use the most conservative make up of electorate as you like and I can never get Trump over 44% and stay realistic based on national demographics.

        Same here, but more interesting is just what kind of defeat Trump could be looking at. On FiveThirtyEight’s interactive, if you grant Clinton winning just over 50% of college-educated whites, say around 52% (not an unreasonable assumption, give Trump’s hemorrhaging of college-educated white women in particular) and around 80% of the Latino vote with turnout modestly above what it was in ’12, that’s enough to put GA, IN, NC, AZ and TX in play with a potential EC landslide of over 400.

      • JK74 says:

        Wow! I’d like to see that. For me, the best bit would be that it gets a whole lot of people voting D for the first time. Once that happens, the next time is easier, and the next easier still. They might be called “Clinton Republicans”, but really, within a few cycles, they’ll just be “Democrats”. (In the same way that “Reagan Democrats” were soon plain old “Republicans”).

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        JK…your point here is huge, and this is where I think the difference can be bigger.

        Folks generally like to be on the winning side of things. We are going to have a whole lot of first time voters (especially true with Hispanics) who will remember nothing other than Obama winning two elections and Hillary winning one. Their “default” position will be that Democrats win the Presidency.

        If the Democrats can hold those first time voters for an election or two, they are less likely to change as they get older.

        I think the effect is more cumulative over time with Hispanics than necessarily immediately felt in this election. As noted below, over 60% of Hispanics live in states that aren’t going to change political parties any time soon, so we have to look beyond “any time soon” to see huge electoral impact.

    • With so many unprecedented events upending the modern political landscape, it’s tempting to try and look to the past to try and make some sense of it all, but that would be a mistake right now, IMO. I’ve been indulging in the polls for a good while now, no doubt, but honestly I’ve gotten next to nothing from them that I couldn’t have learned from my mother, who doesn’t even pay any attention to them at all. It’s why I’m taking a break from them, at least for a week or two. There’s just too many unknowns floating around right now to be placing too much faith in them.

      And frankly, I think Bruce Bartlett and Chris make a fair point in that the media has every incentive to be portraying this race as being as close as possible.

      That said, I still don’t have any reason to believe this election is going to be close. It doesn’t make any sense that Trump could be doing as poorly as he is with college-educated whites, minorities, women, Catholics and others and yet still be doing as well as some in the media would seem to infer. Barring a cataclysmic collapse on Clinton’s part, those are all devastating trends that portend a landslide loss for Trump in November.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Ryan –
        “I still don’t have any reason to believe this election is going to be close. It doesn’t make any sense that Trump could be doing as poorly as he is with college-educated whites, minorities, women, Catholics and others and yet still be doing as well as some in the media would seem to infer. ”

        Except, you know, all the polls showing it to be about a 4-point race right now.

        Maybe it is something of a media conspiracy/bias to make the horse race seem more plausible, but when respected polling companies are showing the numbers, they are hard to ignore.

      • If you genuinely believe the polls, then you show me how those numbers parse out with Trump’s abysmal showing with key demographics (minorities, women, college-educated whites, Asians, etc.) come out even close to a win.

        Seriously. Go to FiveThirtyEight’s Interactive – – and tell me how that works.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, you start with a list of 88 former generals….

      • Kenneth Devaney says:

        Thank you Ryan,
        I played with the 538 tool and it is informative. I tried your approach assuming just a 51% win for Clinton with college educated whites and was shocked at the states that moved. I didn’t even touch the Latino or African American numbers. There really is a potential for an electoral blow out if turn out is near normal relative to 2012. Thank you for the heads up.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        “If you genuinely believe the polls, then you show me how those numbers parse out with Trump’s abysmal showing with key demographics (minorities, women, college-educated whites, Asians, etc.) come out even close to a win.”

        You are asking me if I believe the poll numbers overall by using poll numbers for specific demographics. For the most part, those are the same polls. The same showings you are discussing are what make up the larger polls. So yes, despite losing women and minorities (just like the GOP always does), Trump has it at about a 4-5 point deficit right now.

        If college educated white males completely flip, then that will be a bigger deal. The Democrats already had college educated white females. It will be those college educated males, who have had 25 years of negative media coverage of Hillary, who are looking for a way to support Trump, and I fear that “Trump not acting completely insane” is the low hurdle they’ll accept.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m not sure if our military veteran population reflects a large college educated demographic, but would assume that a good percentage do. As polls go, here’s one that is concerning about Trump leading Clinton among military veteran voters…….

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Ryan, I probably spend way too much time on 538, and their swing-o-matic suggests it is not all that far-fetched.

        I don’t believe Hillary gets the turnout or percentage of Black votes that Obama got. She may do better than John Kerry, but I cannot imagine a scenario where her Black turnout and leanings match Obama. So, adjust those down to 90% and probably the lower 60s in turnout.

        Then, I think given Trump’s target audience, non-college educated White folks are likely to vote for him at a higher percentage than they did for Romney. So, nudge that percentage over a bit. The big question there is whether he drives up the turnout in that group. If he does, then there are all sorts of scenarios in play.

        Given Trump, I would assume that Hispanics are going to vote for Hillary at a percentage a bit higher than Obama, but over 60% of Hispanic voters are in Texas, California, New Jersey, Illinois, and New York, and those states aren’t going to change.

        If you look at swing states, they are remarkably non-Hispanic, so it would take an absolutely unprecedented immediate increase in Hispanic turnout and percentage voting Democrats for it to matter in the electoral college. Maybe you could get something like Arizona to flip, and maybe it makes it easier for Hillary in New Mexico, but that doesn’t shake up the 2016 election. It may have an impact in 2020 and beyond, but the concentration of Hispanic voters is too low across a significant number of states for an immediately huge impact.

        There are data to suggest also that minority men (and White dudes too) are a bit less likely to endorse a woman for President. Obama had headwind with some backwards looking White voters, but Hillary is going to have headwind with backwards looking men across race groups.

        I’m also saddened to note that were it not for Trump, Hillary would be the least liked Presidential candidate in modern times. I like Hillary, and I think she is competent as hell, but if Trump can act moderately normal to give people any cover or any excuse to vote for him, a sizeable group of those undecideds will move back to their natural GOP leanings.

        I still think Hillary is going to win, but I don’t think it isn’t going to be an unprecedented landslide.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree, and will be ecstatic if I am wrong…….

      • With all respect, Homer, you’re tiptoeing around my question a bit, but essentially your counter-argument comes down to the point that African-Americans aren’t going to turn out at the same rate they did for President Obama and the majority of Latinos are in states that aren’t going to make a difference, is that right?

        Alright, let’s play with those numbers. Turnout for African-Americans was over 75% in ’12 (, so let’s drop that to, say, around 65%, a ten-point decline, but let’s also say that Trump’s condescension and patronizing of them puts a few more points into the Democratic column, around 94% (not unreasonable, if Trump’s truly polling at a statistically insignificant 0% in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania).

        Parse those numbers out with what I’m suggesting with Hispanics and Clinton winning a very slight majority of college-educated whites, only about 52%, and GA, AZ, IN, MO, NC, and TX are within Democrats’ reach.

        Now none of that’s to say that Clinton’s on the verge of a ’64-esque landslide and I hear what you’re saying about the polls, but if the actual demographics aren’t matching up, then something’s off. I don’t believe I’m shooting for the moon here. All I’m saying is that college-educated whites give a slight majority to Clinton (which the polls say they are) and Hispanics are more motivated to turnout by just a few percentage points with virtually everything else being unchanged, including African-Americans’ turnout dropping some. That’s it.

        That being said, I absolutely do not believe that everything else will remain unchanged. There’s way too many x-factors thrown into the mix for that to be the case.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Ryan – I kinda like to quibble, so let’s quibble.

        The WAPO numbers are “crunched” by an expert to get to 76% Black turnout, the Census and almost all other groups (including 538) have Black turnout at 66% in 2012. Which was a higher turnout than Whites. If you believe Black turnout eclipsing White turnout out for the first time in history in 2004 and 2008 didn’t have something to do with the first Black presidential candidate, then we aren’t going to find common ground.

        In 2004, Black turnout was 60%, and 57% in 2000. So, assuming some drop without Obama but not a complete reversal, maybe you get 63%.

        You are also suggesting that Hillary gets a higher percentage of the Black vote than did Obama, who again, received the highest percentage of Black vote in history. I would rather strongly argue that voting against Trump will not be as powerful a motivator as voting for Obama, so I simply do not believe your position that Hillary will capture a higher percentage of the Black vote than did Obama.

        Hispanics have never cracked 50% turnout. In fact, their turnout dropped in 2012 from 2008. Maybe it skyrockets with Trump, but again, few Hispanics are in battle ground states.

        I think you would agree that Trump is likely to win non-college educated Whites to a higher degree than did Romney. That is Trump’s target appeal.

        You are basing a large portion of your argument on Hillary carrying more college educated White males than did Obama. I think that certainly is a possibility. I think that reasoning probably isn’t unsound, but the results right now are “squishy” (technical statistical term), and I think history would suggest that these folks would rather not vote for the Democrats in general or Hillary in specific. So, if Trump can give them a reason to vote for him, they may be willing to take it.

        I like your optimism, and I’m just a random dude on the internet, but each time you put Texas as a state that is within the Democrats’ reach for 2016, it decreases my ability to take your other analyses (which I generally agree with) seriously.

      • Let’s get this popcorn-kernel-stuck-in-your-gum problem that is Texas out of the way, shall we? I’m not arguing that Dems are going to carry it, not at all. I do however side with people like Chris, Josh Barro, George Will and others who see signs of weakness in an otherwise Republican stronghold, weakness that could have the margin be a whole lot closer than people are expecting in November.

        I’m not trying to be overly optimistic here. All I’m saying is that the numbers are there for Texas to be a whole lot more interesting than it usually is if things break just right.

        >] “ If you believe Black turnout eclipsing White turnout out for the first time in history in 2004 and 2008 didn’t have something to do with the first Black presidential candidate, then we aren’t going to find common ground.

        2008 and 2012 you mean, but I get your point. Yes, the first African-American president being on the ballot absolutely had an effect, no question about it.

        All that said however, if you believe that African-Americans have a good deal to be invested in in this election (they do), then I’m modestly optimistic about turnout. Some may be motivating purely out of fear of what a Trump presidency could bring to bear, but I hedge more on the Clinton campaign’s operations and deep ties to the black community that will have them bringing every available resource into turning out as many of them as possible. I would be genuinely shocked if that weren’t the case.

        >] “You are also suggesting that Hillary gets a higher percentage of the Black vote than did Obama, who again, received the highest percentage of Black vote in history.

        Actually, President Obama got 93% of the African-American vote in ’12, so I’m just saying that Clinton has to do just about as well. With Trump to run against, I don’t consider that a long shot by any stretch of the imagination.

        >] “Hispanics have never cracked 50% turnout. In fact, their turnout dropped in 2012 from 2008. Maybe it skyrockets with Trump, but again, few Hispanics are in battle ground states.

        I assert once again that Hispanics are a sleeping giant that’s just waiting to wake up, and when it does, it’s going to shock everyone. It’s just a matter of time. Maybe that’s this year, maybe it’s not, but it’s coming. Registration numbers are skyrocketing and whether they’re in “traditional battleground states” or not is of little consequence. It’s not about them so much as it’s about turning otherwise reliably red states into purple and blue ones.

        >] “So, if Trump can give them a reason to vote for him, they may be willing to take it.

        90% of voters, iirc, have already made up their mind about who to vote for. We can nitpick about who those remaining voters are all day long, but the overwhelming majority have made their choice and they’re going to stick with it. Trump’s image is baked in and there’s no changing that now. Frankly, any argument to the contrary has to rely on the presumption that voters are incredibly fickle and easily change their minds; an interesting argument to make in this time of increasing polarization, if nothing else.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree with your estimate of 90% having their candidate picked….which is why Clinton needs to re-direct her campaigning to more content on her plan than the constant harping on Trump. Defend what must be defended and sell yourself, Hillary!

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Rob, to your last point, from 538:

        “Many voters — close to 20 percent — either say they’re undecided or that they plan to vote for third-party candidates. At a comparable point four years ago, only 5 to 10 percent of voters fell into those categories. High numbers of undecided and third-party voters are associated with higher volatility and larger polling errors. Put another way, elections are harder to predict when fewer people have made up their minds. ”

        Depending on how those undecideds break, things can be dramatically different. It could be Hillary in a landslide if they break one way or Trump in a squeaker if they break the other, and more than likely, it all stays a bit of a wash and Hillary wins by 3 or 4 points.

        However, with a larger than normal group of undecideds and the lead at 4-5 points, “stuff” can happen.

        The first debate is one that can move things a few points in either direction, and then things level off from there. You have to assume Hillary does well in the debates, but as we have learned, the media coverage and resulting spin does more to shape the perceptions than the debate itself. Trump will be blessed with incredibly low expectations (e.g., will he or won’t he talk about his penis or call Hillary a bitch) while Hillary will be expected to mop the floor with him. If Trump even comes close to holding his own, he is going to be viewed as winning.

        Then, the external forces may come into play.

        A terrorist attack could shake things up, and more wiki-leaks things could slightly erode Hillary’s support for no other reason than it is just another negative thing that will be talked about. We had the latest jobs report last week, and it was a wash politically. Assuming the next one is OK, Hillary is in better shape.

      • 1mime says:

        Don’t forget tonight is the “Commander-in-Chief” forum (MSNBC) 8pm, in which the two candidates face the same audience, in sequence (not head to head) with Trump going last.

      • objv says:

        This popped up on my msnbc home page after I read this thread:

        Diddy, for all it’s worth, thinks Hillary needs to do a better job working for black voters. Is it possible that African-Americans are sick and tired of their votes being taken for granted? Will they stay home in November to send a message?

      • 1mime says:

        I think that all politicians seeking office should have to earn the votes of their constituents. That would include both Dems with people of color and Repubs with their blue collar base.

    • RobA says:

      I read a piece where the “dead even” polls CNN released where seriously skewed. Roughly 50% of all respondents were non college educated whites, while they represent something like a quarter of the expected electorate. When you adjust for that and give the proper weighting, the poll reads as HRC by 4, which is perfectly in line with everything else.

    • 1mime says:

      Speaking of voting patterns – You and I have been the drag on the Dem victory parade, Homer, and I think for good reason. Here’ s how internal Dem re-election leaders feel about the “sureness” of taking back the Senate. Spoiler alert: not assured.

  19. pedneuro says:

    Honestly I am starting to worry about the prospect of Trump getting elected now, notwithstanding Chris’s assurances to the contrary. I just read an article on NyTimes (an old one, which may have been discussed here before but I missed) that there were more old, working class voters in the 2012 election than the election indicated and who voted for Obama. So basically, Obama was more popular with this demographic than previously believed. If Trump converts these working class old white folk, Clinton is toast, truly. Please tell me this isn’t so.
    I’ll update this post when i can find that article.

    • Archetrix says:

      That Trump media site isn’t going to be a cable network, it’s going to be a much cheaper online site. That’s not a good fit with the GOP’s aging base. I doubt they’ll spend the money to patrol the comments section, which will ikely become a swamp of alt-right antisemitism, racism. and mysogny. I give it a couple of years.

  20. Congrats on the Forbes gig, Chris. A much classier rag than the Barnacle, IMHO.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Chris, you will have to be even more careful with your spelling and grammar over there. Forbes may be classier, but public scrutiny will be greater, and expectations will be higher.

      • 1mime says:

        We already know the quality of Chris’ research and writing. Forbes readers are just getting started. My hope is that he has as nice a group of followers there as he does here. It makes all the effort worthwhile.

      • goplifer says:

        Believe me, I’ve been noticing that. Forbes even has their own style guide. Actual rules. This isn’t going to be easy. My wife edited both posts. Not loving the constraints, but it might finally force me to fix some bad habits.

      • 1mime says:

        Chris, your writing is top tier. The only thing you have to worry about is finding the time to research and compose. It must be gratifying to see views in 4 digits….Unless I’m missing some comments (I am “following”), there don’t seem to be many comments as they are here. Is this expected in a journal blog post, versus an online one? I know you must get pleasure from reading the responses, and I hope they measure up to what you have here. I did read through the comment agreement which is a good idea…can’t imagine some poor gnome glued to the computer watching for things that to strike…

        You are doing a great job and I look forward to having two of your blog posts to follow. For some reason, I am notified of comments but not of new posts (I learn of them through this site). Is that how it works or am I missing something?

      • Griffin says:

        Wait os the Forbes blog temporary til you get your own website or will you have it for awhile?

  21. Griffin says:

    I posted an article about how alot of working class whites aren’t on board with white nationalism, it’s appeal seems more limited (albeit not exclusive) to the South. However a bigger question is what happens to these voters after the GOP collapses? They’d have to enter a coalition with someone to have a chance of winnning the White House. For a long time that coalition was with Urban Workers and Northern Liberals, then it was with Urban trandesman and businessmen. Who would they even turn to next?

    • 1mime says:

      I think southern working class people are being joined by their northern equivalents in their support of Trump, who is about as nationalistic as they come. Given a better choice, it’s possible they would support a strong labor candidate who pushed jobs without the racist angle, but, that’s not what’s happening in this election. Ohio, IL, Iowa…maybe IN….This election is turning all the former voting calculus on its head.

      What I am interested to see is what happens if: Clinton wins, she tries to help the working class, and Republicans obstruct her because hurting her is more important than helping their blue collar base. Will the blue collar voter, having had a little success in being “noticed” in the election, take out their frustration on the GOP which is not allowing any progress, or the Dems, who will be unable to make progress? Sooner or later, these hard working people are going to figure out where their best chance really rests, and it will not be with the Republicans.

    • 1mime says:

      Griffin, Joy Reid is subbing tonight for Chris Hayes on MSNBC in case you want to check her out.

  22. tmerritt15 says:

    As long as the governmental dole is being discussed, there is another aspect that I’d like to mention. Consistently throughout the nation the areas that receive the most federal support are the most conservative. This factor is true not only in regard to transfer payments to less well off people, but in other aspects as well. I will use Washington’s 4th Congressional District as an example, but the same is true in California’s Central Valley.

    Washington’s 4th Congressional District is the most conservative in Washington. It has had two Republicans on the general election ballot, ever since the top two primary was adopted. In this election and the 2014 election one was a TEA partier. Yet it is also the most dependent on the federal government. It is a rural agricultural district. Its agriculture largely depends on irrigation provided by USBR projects and US Corps of Engineers Dams. True, irrigation fees are supposed to repay the development cost, but they are very low. The Corps’ dams also provide for barge navigation on the Snake and Columbia Rivers, thus enabling low cost transport of agricultural products to market and petroleum products upstream. Other non-agricultural industries that significantly contribute to the economy are the federal cleanup at the Hanford Works and the Yakima Training Center for the US Army. Boeing has a significant operation at a closed air force base, but the long, heavy-duty runway was built by the government for long range bombers. Two major interstate highways cross the district and the state highways are generally very good. In essence the entire economic base depends on infrastructure built by governmental units. The funding for theses projects was paid for by taxes largely generated outside the district in urban areas.

    Yet despite this dependence on governmental infrastructure, this district is quite anti-government. True, for the most part the workers are in the private sector, but the private sector would not exist without the government infrastructure. Most of us who live in more urban areas are also dependent on government infrastructure. But, we realize that. We typically want a government that functions well for all and where applicable, works in conjunction with the private sector. We do not maintain the fiction that we are independent of the government.

    In general, I believe that this dichotomy is true throughout the nation. Your comments would be most welcome.

    • 1mime says:

      Study after study has proven your point. As Chris noted, welfare, food stamps, and medicaid are greatest in rural white poor areas. What is so incredibly sad, is that these services which do so much good, have been denigrated so thoroughly by conservatives that those who receive them, feel like lesser people for doing so.

      I don’t know if you had time to read the link I posted about the five-year study in LA, but this offers a perfect example of this phenomenon. Fundamentally, I believe most people want to be independent of government assistance, yet through the quirks of mostly “birth” (not all, but for many people this is determinant) and the exigencies and foibles of life, life isn’t as easy for some. Given easy access to multiple media, this disparity is not as segregated from view as it once was. That builds resentment which when accompanied by a real income disparity, builds anger. Enter Trump who designed his campaign around this groundswell of frustration.

      And, you are correct that there are many many places throughout our nation that have enjoyed and benefited from government subsidy…military bases (TX has at least 4), NASA, TVA, other government agencies, aerospace, health care (VA), subsidies (crops, oil and gas, renewables)…the list is long. And, local government also helps private industry. AND, in my opinion, that’s exactly how a democratic, great nation should operate. That’s what taxation and representation and development do best. Can it be abused? Yes. Is it the core of a healthy society? Yes.

      Conservatives have done such a stellar job of demeaning government that most don’t even know how they are benefiting while they rail against government! Ronald Reagan perfected this deception and the GOP has run with it ever since.

      I don’t know if this is where you were headed with your thoughts, but this is my seguey from your piece.

      • “I believe most people want to be independent of government assistance…”

        That’s a sweet belief, 1mime, but flies in the face of evolutionary biology and thermodynamics. Given a choice between expending a) more or, b) less energy to meet minimal survival needs, any organism that does not elect option b) is not going to fare well in the natural selection sweepstakes.

        In a natural setting this ingrained tendency towards energy conservation causes no problem. We encounter the rub when we set up an *artificial* environment that encourages zero expenditure of effort to meet minimal survival requirements. It’s unhealthy for all involved. No matter how carefully you craft any given subsidy, you’re always working against this natural tendency. Once accustomed to subsidy, the subsidized are going to become resistant to becoming unsubsidized. It’s just the way of things.

        BTW, hunters and trappers use this natural tendency towards energy conservation against their quarry. My Dad taught me how to make pole snares for squirrels when I was a kid. No more complex than a handful of wire snares on a pole leaned against a tree. Squirrels use the pole rather than go directly up the tree trunk because it’s easier – until they run into one of the snares. Similarly he’d “enhance” deer trails at fence crossings by wiring up the top and bottom barbwire strands on the fence, making it easier to jump over (or crawl under) the fence at that spot. A small thing, but it didn’t take long for the deer to find the low spot in the fence…

      • 1mime says:

        It will not surprise you that we disagree about this. There will always be those who take the path of least resistance, however, I maintain that the majority of people want to be productive, know it will require effort, and commit to that process. Squirrels and tent poles be damned. Those who never contribute who could are worthy of criticism and penalty.

        I believe that a safety net is important. I know many people who have experienced problems of various types that have created great financial difficulty in their lives. These people deserve help – it should be temporary, but long enough and sufficient enough to allow them to get back on their feet. I am happy to see my taxes used in this manner and those needing this help shouldn’t be made to feel shamed for taking it.

        It is the prevailing view among conservatives, that anyone – obviously even those of us who leech off entitlement programs, SS and Medicare – who doesn’t go cradle to grave without taking one cent from the government is a lessor person. I hope that is not your view. There are many ways each and every one of us benefit from our government – roads, safety, defense, research, postal services, education, health, and yes, welfare of various kinds. Count me among those who have contributed, do partake, and don’t feel guilty nor privileged. This is part of living in a civilized society. We help one another. If that is too “sweet” a concept for you to grasp, so be it.

      • 1mime, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have subsidies, just that we should be *very* careful about what we subsidize, and how we structure those subsidies. Recognize human nature for what it is, and you’ll face fewer unpleasant surprises, and face fewer lessons in unintended consequences.

        “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, ~170AD

      • 1mime says:

        As long as we’re being careful about “what” we subsidize vs “who” we subsidize, I am in agreement. To which, I’d add a caveat: “Whatever” we subsidize, we should do so without criticism of those who are the beneficiaries.

      • And not a tent pole, 1mime, just a branch, stripped mostly clean. I don’t know where Dad learned the fence trick, but he learned the pole trap in RCAF survival school. ‘Cept he didn’t catch a squirrel; he caught a porcupine. Said it was the single worst tasting thing he ever ate in his entire life. Squirrels, on the other hand, are good groceries. 😉

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Marcus Aurelius may not be a notable source of wisdom when it comes to a safety net.

        I recall reading on Stoicism many years ago in class on the history of Rome and Greece.

        I have to say, ol’ Marcus seemed like an attractive, down to earth, centered guy. Admirable even.

        Until I got to the part where he said the right thing to do was to abandon a servant of many years when he became sick and was no longer able to serve.

        Stoicism: practical but horrific. My romance with Marcus was over.

        He’d fit right in with today’s elected Repubs.

      • johngalt says:

        Tracy writes: “Given a choice between expending a) more or, b) less energy to meet minimal survival needs, any organism that does not elect option b) is not going to fare well in the natural selection sweepstakes.”

        Not quite. Meeting “minimal survival needs” is not the same thing as thriving, and having one’s offspring thrive. Nobody is suggesting that we make a basic income, welfare system, or whatever one wants to call it, generous. It is suggested that it be minimal. Humans are not immune from the pressures that drive mate selection in other animals. Renaissance artwork depicted the ideal of feminine beauty as a bit on the portly side (given modern tastes) precisely because this indicated an access to abundant resources. In modern times, are you more likely to choose a mate who is sitting on the couch collecting the UBI and eating Ramen five nights a week or a successful professional who can buy his or her kids piano lessons and private tutors? Success quite literally breeds success.

      • fiftyohm says:

        JG – Your comment leads me to wonder whether the UBI, or whatever other system we come up with will affect birthrates. Fact is that children are very expensive. Very few ‘successful professionals’ have rafts of children for any number of reasons. While the evidence is undeniable that the elimination of poverty, and the empowerment of women to control their own reproduction inevitability reduces family size and birthrates, I wonder how this translates in the American context.

      • 1mime says:

        Have you forgotten the Mormons, Fifty?

        Just kidding, of course you are correct. So, why would conservatives who are so “fiscally-focused” not get that money is saved in a myriad of ways if contraception is expanded? Do you think it’s a male ego thing? If so, women are ultimately going to exert their rights if through no other means than pure numbers. Put women in charge of family planning and the UBI will be more effective, not less. Children are loves, but they are “work”! No one knows that better than women.

        Of course, the UBI issue is more complex than any single component, but birth control would seem axiomatic to the process. Men (generally speaking) have to get on board with this concept because they are the stumbling block regarding birth control….

  23. Kenneth Devaney says:

    First, I love the way you tied in the data from Civic Analytics with the autopsy report and the Blue Wall logic. It makes the discussion of demographic polarization so much clearer even if its still riddled with ironies. Congratulations again on becoming a Forbes contributor. And now an apology, I apologize in advance for asking an unrelated question…but, knowing you are a true Texan I was hoping for an insight.

    Most recent Texas polls show a 8-8.5 lead for Trump (no surprise). Even so, that is half the ratio by which Romney carried the State in 2012. I know Trump is an AWFUL candidate, but buried in those numbers in the PPP poll is not only an expected jump in the hispanic unfavorable numbers but a decline in white support….Am I wrong to speculate the decline in white enthusiasm is coming from millenial white voters, or is Trump such a problemmatic candidate he is losing support across the board with White Texas voters?

    The PPP polling data is a pdf but can be reached via this link:

    My intrigue with this notion of millenial malaise is they are looking for a home…my party doesn’t have much street credibility with them but we’ll likely get their vote this round because the Republicans have chased them away with pitchforks…we will have far less credibility with them after Clinton Part II…they may be ripe for a movement party….

    • 1mime says:

      Millennials will be ready for a movement party … If Clinton can implement those common agenda issues that she shares with Sanders, this group may not be so disenchanted. They might give her a second chance. Of course, it depends upon who else is running, but we know Sanders won’t be at his age, plus, I doubt the Dem Party would be as welcoming to him a second time around. Also, Millennials will be four years older, hopefully a little “wiser” and experienced. It’s amazing how aging humbles humans…;

    • flypusher says:

      Also MY demographic (White, college educated women) could give you-know-who a rough time in TX.

      I’m not getting my hopes up too much, but oh how deliciously satisfying it would be if my vote could play a role in deflating that noxious and grotesque gasbag!

      • 1mime says:

        I’m with ya, Fly. All.the.way. I have to say that I also hope to send a message to the Republican leadership who is already spinning this election as a “one-off”. I believe we are getting an unvarnished look at the real Republican Party, and I don’t know if the establishment is going to be able to stuff that genie back in the bottle. I hope not. Anything less than a slow, painful, rational re-ordering of the conservative movement will be for naught.

    • Actually, I’m kind of amazed at the candidates of both parties, and not just for the obvious reasons, but because of their age and ethnicity – a 70 year old white man and a 68 year old white woman. WTH, millennials? You would think millennials would have had enough baby boomer cowbell by now to last a lifetime, and yet these two yahoos are at the top of the ticket. Go figure.

    • johngalt says:

      Actually, the most recently released poll in Texas was the huge WaPo/Survey Monkey poll that has dominated my news feed today. This has Clinton with a 1% LEAD in Texas. Hard to believe that will hold up, but the fact that it is even close to even is a shock.

      • 1mime says:

        MSNBC announced tonight that 5000 Texans were part of the nationwide monkey poll. That’s a big number even for Texas.

      • Nah. Hearing of our impending doom from the vile threat that is the taco truck; that was surprising. Hearing of Texas’ growing competitiveness was just a matter of time.

      • 1mime says:

        I heard last night that the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is working to ensure that there will be a taco truck in front of a polling place in every state in the nation on election day…to “send a message”. (Also to service those long lines of Democrats….those who are new registrants and those whose polling places have been reduced in number “to combat voter fraud, you know…”)

  24. WX Wall says:

    That was an informative article, although nothing new to people who don’t have blinders on about where the Republican party has been headed for decades 🙂 (Don’t know if you ever saw the website, made after GWB won re-election, ranting that the highest rates of govt spending, crime, divorce, teenage pregnancy, etc. and the lowest rates of income, tax revenue, education, etc. were Republican southern holier-than-thou strongholds. Although they used slightly more incendiary language than yours 🙂

    One point I’d make: the data about counties dependent on govt transfers includes Medicare / SS. To you and me and your loyal readers, we recognize that there’s no moral difference between welfare for the elderly vs. the poor. But when most Trump supporters talk about “Welfare” they mean payments to racial minorities. This despite statistics that show the average medicaid / food stamps / welfare recipient is white, rural, stays on welfare for < 6 months (although they may go back on when times get tough again), and has fewer children than the average American. So much for Reagan's black Chicago welfare queen with 12 kids and a Cadillac who's spent her whole life on welfare…

    That's one of the biggest reasons why a UBI would be attractive: by paying money to *everyone*, it promises to have the type of broad political support that Medicare / SS has and not become "ghettoized" the way medicaid / welfare has become.

    PS. I'd be curious to pinpoint exactly when welfare became associated with urban blacks vs. rural whites. After all, the Great Society was spawned by the immense poverty of rural Appalachia, and the traditional image of the poor in America (in everything from politics to art) has always been a hardscrabble rural white family living in a shack without running water or electricity. Not that African Americans weren't suffering as much or more during those times, but they were never the public face of poverty the way they are now. What evil genius realized associating American poverty with urban minorities would be a great way to eliminate support for them…?

    • 1mime says:

      Good question, WX Wall. I’d like to know who/when the evil genius first successfully scapegoated Black people. Hope Chris can drop a name or movement or party in answer to your question. Trump’s campaign depends upon scapegoating – Mexicans and Muslims…He avoids lumping Black people in with these other two groups only because he wants their votes. Good luck with that.

    • WX Wall, one suspects the dichotomy results from the fact that people ‘pay’ for SS/Medicare via payroll taxes, and therefore feel they are ‘owed’ their SS/Medicare benefits, whereas welfare is just… welfare. (Never mind that SS and Medicare are actually massive wealth redistribution engines.)

      • Turtles Run says:

        TTHOR – Welfare like mortgage interest deductions. Last I checked “welfare” was paid for with taxes and most of the people on it actually work. Maybe we should tax those companies that pay so little the taxpayers have to supplement their wages.

      • Stephen says:

        Anyone who lives off of capital, which includes pensions, and annuities (which is what Social Security is) are living off of the labor of those working. Adam Smith realized this centuries ago. When you sell a piece of your IRA or 401K to live off of what you really have done is use some of your call on the labor of working people. I really admire Adam Smith as he gets to the brass tacks of true reality. The reason we have so many people supported without working (young people, old people and playboys living off the capital their ancestors created, is because we are a wealthy productive society. The whole maker versus take nonsense is a distraction from the real question of how we distribute the goods and services that we all create. According to Adam Smith we even in his day were specialist that traded what we do well with other specialists for what they do well. It is overall a much more productive economic system. Problem today as Chris has pointed out is it is taking fewer and fewer people to produce far more than we can all reasonably consume. What do the unemployed do? Capitalism has been overall good to us but in the future it is going to need some tweaking. One idea is a basic income. Just as our politics are in the midst of major change our economic system is also. Like it or not change is coming our way.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Stephen- Really? I now live “off capital” that I accumulated over decades of effort. I receive absolutely no government subsidies, stipends, or any other remuneration whatsoever. Kindly tell me how exactly I am “living off those who are working”. I’ll be waiting…

      • 1mime says:

        Hiya, Fifty! Long time no hear….Will you never take social security or medicare?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Hi mime! Haven’t decided. “Well, I paid for it, so it’s mine!”, right? 😉. Actually, Stephen made a blanket statement that was untrue.

        Been busy brewing, racing, and making furniture. So boring… Miss all you guys, though. I’ll try so stay more in touch. Back to Houston in November. Best to you!

      • 1mime says:

        I tell you what, Fifty, you can donate “your” SS to me and I will write lovely thank you notes every month until I croak (-; Regardless, it’s nice for you and Mrs. Ohm that you don’t need it…happy for you there.

        I have a problem with paying taxes twice on the earnings (my portion) I contributed, but understand the logic behind taxing the employer contribution….I wonder if businesses got a tax break for their portion, and, if so, are they taxed retroactively as we mortals are?

      • Stephen says:

        Fifty did you eat today? I suppose it fell out of the sky. Did you drive a car today? I suppose the car bunny deliver it to you today. All of the things that sustain you someone had to take material and labor to produce. This is not my idea but Adam Smith’s idea. You know the father of capitalism and economics. I too live off of capital now I accumulate. But most everything I use someone else actually made it. I do some fruit and vegetable gardening so some of my food I produce. But you get the gist. Not saying you have not earn the right to be retired and live off of other’s labor. But it is a fact you like all of us are living off of the working man and woman. I once was one of them but now am retired.This is why I like Adam Smith. He strips away illusions and exposes what is real as far as economics are concerned.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Stephen – You misread Smith. Labor is a commodity. Capital can be accumulated through labor, and traded for commodities, (including labor). Spending that capital is not on the backs of ‘working people’, but rather gives them the opportunity to accumulate excess wealth in turn.

        The labor was done long ago, and converted to capital. If your point is that some of it is now being converted back to labor, I’ll buy that – but that’s not exactly what you said.

        The larger question regarding what is going to happen when labor is less important, and goods and services are increasingly produced without it, but rather by machines that represent capital is extremely interesting, of course. In Smith’s world, capital was essentially a proxy for labor – basically a medium for generally exchanging it for other forms. Without it, the intrinsic value of capital is reduced substantially as there is less and less to exchange it for. My hunch is that we’ll need just enough people to design, build, and maintain the machines – and very few more.

      • 1mime says:

        Hence, population control becomes axiomatic.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Bingo, mime. Somehow the reproductive urge needs to evolve. Shifting control towards women is the first step. I think, (hope), the rest will follow.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Mime – To your other questions:. First, you did not pay taxes on your FIFA contributions. Those are deductable. Therefore, there is no double taxation. And yes, employer contributions are of course deductable too. The theory is that you are taxed on what you keep, and only once. You can look at the employer’s contribution as an extra 7% income, to be taxed later. (Of course, and for most people, SS withdrawals so far exceed lifetime contributions, that the point is a little academic.)

      • 1mime says:

        Fifty, I”m sorry if I wasn’t clear. I understand that FIFA contributions are deductible during active employment. What I am referring to is post retirement SS taxation whereby combined income over pre-set amounts (see below) results in a hefty tax. My objection is not to paying taxes on money that was tax deferred, but the rate of the tax once SS kicks in, a rate which seems exorbitant. I would rather have paid taxes on my aggregate income (no tax deduction for FIFA contributions like the ROTH IRAs offer today) at the time when I had active income than in retirement. Possibly I am too unsophisticated to appreciate the wisdom of the formula that the government applies to retirement income. However, those FIFA deductions represent investment income lost for “us” and gained by the federal government until SS begins. I am thankful that we planned well to be debt free and have savings. I’d just like to keep more of my savings (-;

        SSA: File a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income* that is
        between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits
        more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.

      • Stephen says:

        1mime I pay tax on 85% of my and the wife’s Social Security the maximum. At least that money goes back into the Social Security trust fund not the general fund. Also my payment is less acuarity than it should be according to what I contributed so lower income workers who could not save as much have a higher benefit than what their contributions would dictate
        This is some salve to me. That my tax helps older widows eat and not subsidize millionaires and billianares tax cuts. If any of your Social Security is taxable you are doing better than most retirees. If taxes are still an issue in retirement you have arrived.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I will attempt to translate into DemSpeak as to why you shouldn’t mind paying tax on SS.

        You are a white, southern woman over the age of 65 and undoubtedly privileged because of it. Your husband is even more white privileged because he is male. Right? Are you here with me?

        Any wealth you have accumulated is due to the fact that the government provides roads, bridges and other infrastructure. It is not due to the fact that you worked hard or saved. (Obama said that you “didn’t build it.”) In fact, your wealth was earned on the backs of the slaves your white ancestors once owned and whose descendants continue to be discriminated against. Are you still here with me? Do you agree?

        Social Security came into being so that older people wouldn’t have to live in extreme poverty and children who lost a parent wouldn’t have to starve.

        Therefore, the government feels that it can take any of the money that you and your husband have put into Social Security because you are living way above the poverty level and give it to someone more deserving.

        As an added bonus, taxing your SS will probably decrease your estate making your children and grandchildren slightly less white privileged.

        On the bright side of things, the government is only taking half. By the time I reach retirement age, they’ll probably be taking all. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, Fifty and Stephen’s comments were helpful to me in better understanding how SS taxation works. I am not certain what your point is but If you read the entire exchange you might have noted that my basic objection is not paying taxes on deferred income but on rates of 50%-85% at the end of one’s life. It is law, it applies to everyone, and one abides by the rules in force, whether I like it or not.

        There have been many who have argued for a private savings vehicle in lieu of paying into SS….where they could invest it with higher returns than SS laws allow and pay taxes on the front end (sort of a Roth SS) rather than the back end as most do. The development of 401K plans and far more generous IRA contributions offer an option to your generation to do just that. This was not available to us in our prime earning years. It may be that our generation is the last to enjoy SS in its current iteration, and I’m sorry about that. For people our ages, retirements were planned with SS as a planned part of their income. If one was prudent and able, saving was a priority and debt elimination was as well. This planning becomes even more important in later years when health and mobility are compromised.

        Let me be clear: I do not object to paying taxes on deferred income but I do wish the rates on SS income were less onerous. As Stephen noted, (and President Obama), each of us needs to “give back” to our communities and nation as we all benefit from the services and infrastructure surrounding our lives. We are grateful to have SS in whatever amount we receive and deeply appreciate medicare, another senior entitlement. I am sure that like most people, we will receive more from SS than we ever contributed. I should not complain.

      • objv says:

        Mime, you’ll have to forgive me, but I’m amused that you as a Democrat have a problem with taxation.

        During the first few years after retirement, my dad worked part time. He insisted that I wasn’t doing his taxes right when I told him his SS was being taxed. 🙂 I also remember that he had a 401K and an IRA, so weren’t those available to you as well? My dad is in his 80s. Currently, my parents pay no federal or state taxes because their income isn’t high enough.

        As a Republican, you very well know that I don’t like to be taxed. However, it helps to think of SS being a type of insurance. Besides paying retirement benefits, SS covers disability claims and payments to children who lost a parent.

        One of my brother-in-laws died leaving my husband’s sister and a one-year-old baby. My nephew received benefits for 17 years. Another brother-in-law became disabled and is also collecting benefits. So, thank you 1mime for continuing to pay taxes to help my relatives out. 🙂

        I would rather that SS would not be taxed. I wish the government would be a little more concerned about fraud, but in any case, it’s tough tiddlywinks to the two of us. We’ll have to pay. Fortunately, there should still be enough money in the system to prevent us from becoming bag ladies at the end of our days. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        The 401k was not approved by Congress until 2001 and my husband retired in 1999. SEP IRA and KEOGH Plans were available (they didn’t offer near the benefits to small businesses) but they didn’t fit my husband’s small business model well. Individual IRAs allowed us to contribute a whopping $500/year, and there was no ROTH IRA.

        I can assure you that I do care about taxes, as do most people irrespective of party affiliation. When you are running a business, raising a family and saving for retirement, taxes are an important part of the planning process.

        As I stated, we pay taxes and take very seriously our obligation to contribute to our community and our nation. We also expect our tax authorities to use the money wisely and assess it fairly, as you or any other taxpayer should. For most people, SS is only a part of their retirement, with savings rounding out the plan.

        I’m glad SS was able to help your family and I’m glad it is able to help our family and many other people. It is a great program and I hope it will be around to serve future generations, yourself incuded.

      • objv says:

        Huh? Mime, 401Ks were around since 1980. I definitely know my husband was making contributions to one in the mid-80s when we married. My dad retired in 1994. He had a 401K. Perhaps, you had a small business or earned too much to make a full IRA contribution? In any case, it sounds like the government thought you were too rich to get a tax break which is a beloved principle to liberals who want to equalize society. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s the WIKI history. It appears there was a corporate 401K earlier but the solo 401K (which would have fit our business profile) wasn’t approved until 2001 as I stated earlier. My husband confirmed he had a SEP IRA but I don’t know when he started this.

        As soon as traditional individual IRAs were available, we utilized them every year, but they started out with an annual cap of $500 and verrrry slowly increased. Believe me, we took advantage of every tool the government offered us. We paid our taxes but never more than we had to.

        We were not wealthy people, but we were secure, we saved like crazy, and we lived within our means. Money was only important to us to meet our family’s needs, our children’s college needs (no loans), and our retirement. We kept it all simple – boringly middle class but secure in retirement because we prepared…as secure as anyone can ever be given a long life and the uncertainty of the aging process.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I reread your comment and I see that you did have a small business, so I realize that you were shut out of a major perk of working for a larger company.

        Please take comfort in Obama’s words: If You’ve Got A Business, You Didn’t Build That.

        Sorry, that’s the only solace I can give you.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, we didn’t build all the things we got to use in life and that’s ok. As Stephen said, it’s good to give back.

  25. flypusher says:

    OTOH his math looks pretty good in the area of skimming (or pumping) campaign $ into his own pockets.

  26. 1mime says:

    Chris, will you have a “set” day each week for your Forbes blog?

    • goplifer says:

      It’s a good question, but no. I plan to be unpredictable.

      • RobA says:

        Good idea. We’ve all become too predictable.

        Especially foreign policy. Our allies count on us TOO much. We need to keep em on their toes. When they get threatened or harassed by a local strongman dictator, we want em to be keep em guessing if we’re actually gonna help or not. They’ll love it, believe me.


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