Political violence

It may be possible for America to survive a second Clinton Administration, but only if true patriots are willing to shed blood to achieve our nation’s redemption. If Clinton is elected, only violence can redeem what our apathy has lost.

Republicans have been toying with this kind of hyperbole since the 90s, but it has mostly been confined to the margins. It might have remained there if leaders had possessed the courage to confront this kind of thinking. They didn’t. Instead they quietly and cynically stoked white outrage, imagining it was a tamable beast that they could ride to power.

That opening paragraph is no AM radio rant. It’s not some misspelled, ALLCAPS Facebook post from your crazy uncle. It summarizes comments made by an ambitious Republican Governor this week at the Value Voters Summit.

Beyond the reddest of the red states, very few people appreciate the level of hysteria building at the edges of the Republican Party. Election results this fall are likely to sweep away any delusion among white nationalists that they can “restore” their country through the democratic process. Get ready to see them explore alternatives.

Our system is far more vulnerable to political violence than we realize. Hype over international terrorism has obscured a remarkable fact – we have been living through a remarkable period of domestic calm. More Americans are killed every year by falling TV sets than by terrorists. Toddlers accessing their parents’ guns rack up a higher death toll than political violence. Oblivious to rising rage and over-estimating their power, establishment political figures will be surprised by their own weakness when faced with organized domestic violence.

Today, what we often call political violence is generally just random individual violence dressed up in a cause. The Orlando nightclub shooting, the San Bernardino shooting, the church attack in Charleston, these were acts carried out by disturbed loners. They differ from the Columbine school shootings or the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan only in the perpetrators’ garbled themes. These incidents emerge not from strategy, organization, or protected political cover, but from a background level of violence. They are a default, the static produced by a violent culture saturated in cheap weapons.

As recently as the 60’s the country was awash in organized political violence aimed at achieving specific policy outcomes. Perhaps nowhere in the country was political violence carried out with more success and impunity than in the South. National news captured a few high-profile cases like the Birmingham church bombing and the deaths of visiting civil rights workers, but there was virtually no coverage of the bulk of the paramilitary campaign. Seldom were these acts investigated or prosecuted as they were commonly carried out with the complicity of local authorities.

When FBI pressure forced the Klan and other mainline terror organizations to moderate in the mid 60s, splinter organizations like the Silver Dollar Group stepped up their violence. The Greensboro massacre against labor organizers in Greensboro, NC occurred in 1979. The Cold Case project has attempted to document and investigate more than a hundred unsolved murders, but no one knows the full death toll. The political impact of this terrorist campaign has never been gauged.

On the left, a kaleidoscope of violent groups emerged in the 60’s. Some were almost comically addled, yet still deadly. Bizarre groups like the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army carried out high profile attacks that were difficult to predict or suppress.

As frustration grew over the pace of civil rights reforms, the Black Panthers promised a more muscular approach to black liberation. Efforts to suppress the Panthers led to military-style engagements across the country. In 1969, a massive para-military raid on the Black Panthers’ headquarters in Los Angeles was carried out by an innovative new police unit created specifically for these kinds of tasks. It was the first engagement for a “SWAT” team.

As recently as 1979, Councilman Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by a colleague on the San Francisco city council angry over their politics. Until the late 70s, it was not at all uncommon for political groups to leverage violence as a strategic tactic. The practice declined across the political spectrum in the 80s. Organized political violence is now rare, though it has persisted at a kind of low-boil in anti-abortion circles. As this era of relative calm comes to an end, keep an eye on anti-abortion activists. They are the most likely starting point for a re-emergence of strategic violence.

How is this era of relative calm likely to be broken? To avoid inadvertently sketching a blueprint, you won’t see much detail here. However, a few of the outlines are already clear.

It will probably start on the right, but will not be confined there. The most volatile event, something likely to be noticed and remembered, will probably resemble the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Reserve. However, instead of being located in the middle of nowhere and perpetrated by a band of misfits, it will happen in a major city with tacit (or perhaps even semi-accidental) support from local political figures.

It will probably occur in a red state, creating pressure on a Republican Governor and Republican local administrations who will struggle to find the political will to act. Their dithering (if not outright sympathy) would place on the onus on Federal authorities, inviting a conflict on a very troubling scale.

Governor Bevin and others like him may come to regret their intemperate remarks. Republican political figures who have stoked this kind of hysteria will find themselves in a very difficult position when people start taking their comments seriously.

Our era of relative calm reflects an era of relative political success. That success is coming to end as the Republican Party descends into chaos and its refugees push the Democratic Party toward the middle. Frustration on the chaotic right and the disenchanted left are fuel for trouble. Responsible leaders could defuse the tension, but instead they are stoking outrage.

We have been relatively fortunate in recent years to enjoy a period of political calm. Thanks to political figures like Matt Bevin and political entertainers like Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, that calm is probably coming to an end.

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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Posted in Election 2016, Uncategorized
270 comments on “Political violence
  1. 1mime says:

    Here’s a play on each candidate…….First Trump, then Clinton…with input from the talented VEEP writing team….Lighten up for the weekend!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/books/review/melania-trump-in-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-short-story.html?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/books/review/hillarys-first-100-days.html?

  2. Stephen says:

    Trump has just announced that Obama was born in the USA period. Does he think that Blacks and other people did not notice that McCain actually was not born in the United States when he ran against Obama when the birther nonsense first started. No one question McCain’s citizenship or right to run for the presidency. And to his credit McCain did reject birtherism. Only difference that matter to Trump and his die hard core was the Blackness of Obama. No Donald the stinking of racism is heavy on you. The fact you realize that angry low educated white people are not enough to win is not going to change that.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      “Trump has just announced that Obama was born in the USA period.”
      ********************************
      I guess it’s official, then.

    • Sorry, your premise is wrong. Hillary started the birther argument in 2007. McCain was born to American parents in the Panama Canal zone on an American military base. He is an American citizen and he was questioned by the NY Times, Obama wasn’t. There is no original birth certificate with a state stamp for Barack Hussein Obama. Period.

      • 1mime says:

        Prove what you are saying, newgolf. Show us a link from a reputable journal that substantiates your charge that Clinton started the birther argument in 2007. We validate on this blog. I look forward to hearing from you.

      • 1mime says:

        Oooh, so you’re calling Trump a liar? That takes courage……

      • RobA says:

        Ugh, you can’t be serious.

        You nutcases will fall for anything, won’t you?

        How about the fact that the Honolulu newspaper had his birth announced in 1961. Is this just the longest running, most visionary cover up ever? Did his parents know he was gonna be Prez in 50 years, but his Kenyan birth would pose a problem, and so paid for a phony birth announcement?

        And if you believe that, I’ve got a wall along the US border I want to sell ya.

  3. RobA says:

    So Trumps announcement was a joke.

    Something that interests me a lot. On CNN at least, the anchors seem MAD, in a way I’ve yet to see. They’revery aggressively fact checking the “Hillary started it” meme, and are using words like “fraud” and “joke” and “crackpot” and “we got played by the Trump campaign, again”

    I wonder if this will change some of the coverage.

    I know that’s probably wishful thinking, but I’ve never seen mainstream media being so blunt about Trump. It’s kind of cathartic.

    • RobA says:

      Trump made a gaffe here. He had it all wrapped up, just ready to out a nice bow on it: cone out, show some contriteness (obviously an apology was never going to happen), say you have absolutely no doubts about the president birth, and take some questions.

      Make up some BS about being improperly advised by someone back then, but now that you reflect, you realize you were always wrong, and the media would be all over him, talking about how “presidential” he seemed, or how he’s “pivoting”.

      That’s all he had to do. Instead, it appears he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I really think that ridiculous display of smug satisfaction will hurt him, not least of all because he seems to have truly infuriated the media for the first time.

      • Actually he was right. Hillary did start the birther argument in 2007. Just for the record. There is no original birth certificate for Obama with the state seal. There is only a copy whose witness was killed in a Hawaiian Airlines crash. So you can believe it or not.

      • RobA says:

        “So you can believe it or not”

        I choose not. I also choose not to believe that the Earth is actually flat, that the moon landing was fake, and that airplane contrails don’t contain behavior controlling chemicals designed to keep the population docile.

        I like things like “facts” and “empiricism”. Call me old fashioned.

    • flypusher says:

      “I know that’s probably wishful thinking, but I’ve never seen mainstream media being so blunt about Trump. It’s kind of cathartic.”

      They should be, because they did get played. They basically gave him some free advertising, and then he dropped another damned lie in blaming HRC for all that birther lunacy. So the question for the media is-are you just going to get mad, or are you finally going to do your jobs?

      • If the media did their jobs, Obama would not be president and Hillary would be in jail not running for president. The latest fiasco with that little girl running up to her in NYC is another example of them not diing their job. Why was the Secret Service pulled back before she came up. If this was a set up the media has egg all over its face.

      • 1mime says:

        New golfsolutions, you just double-bogeyed. Back to the clubhouse for you………..

      • 1mime says:

        And, Trump made them wait – an hour plus – and when you’re in the world of news – time is everything.

        Why don’t they just not show up the next time he calls a press conference? Why continue to let him jerk their chains? It’s sickening.

      • RobA says:

        Mime, I wouldn’t waste your time with rational rebuttals.

        I’m all for opposing views, as long as they are sane and reasonable. This guy is either a troll who doesn’t actually believe what he says, or a true believer who does.

        If it’s the latter, you won’t ever find satisfaction. And if it’s the latter, he’s too unintelligent to debate with.

        You couldn’t debate physics with someone who denies gravity. Same principle here.

  4. RobA says:

    Got to give Trump credit, he’s mastered the journalist/entertainment news cycle and using it to great effect.

    I think I’ve figured out his strategy: say something outrageous, but fundamentally irrelevant. Let the press have a field day for 24 hrs. Then come in, make a big deal, and throw us all a bone. Then the media can pat themselves on the back for bringing me Trump to heel, for “doing their job”, and alll the while, everyone completely ignores the stuff that REALLY matters, like where are your taxes? Explain all your foreign financial ties and potential conflict of interest? How do you account for scamming millions of dollars from regular ppl via Trump U? What’s the deal with your bizarre admiration for Putin? What are your Russian ties?

    It played out with the David Duke thing. The Khan thing. And now the birther thing.

    All the media is breathlessly reporting today “will he or won’t he admit the President was born in the US?” And of course he will. He wouldn’t last night, knowing full well it would cause a media firestorm. Plus it was a nice dog whistle to his white nationalist base (just like they heard when he played coy about denouncing David Duke. Even though he “clarified” the next day, his whistle was well understood by those it was meant to reach), who heard him loud and clear. Now today, he’ll admit he was born in the US to great fanfare, and probably get credit for “pivoting”.

    And he’ll have sucked up the oxygen for a full 48 hours for an issue that, frankly, doesn’t matter. And it’s one less day the media can talk about the stuff that really, truly, does matter.

    Kudos to him, and shame on the media and the rest of us. He’s figured out a bug in the system and is exploiting it well.

    • 1mime says:

      Precisely, Rob. “And it’s one less day the media can talk about the stuff that really, truly, does matter.” The media is “choosing” to ignore the trivial and instead is doing exactly what the Trump campaign wants – chasing after nonsensical. That way, serious candidates (such as his GOP competitors who tried to debate in the primaries on the basis of policy and fact – never get traction.

      I heap a big load of blame on the media, but I also blame people for not thinking for themselves. The *ucku mentaility of the Trump supporters illustrates just how broken our political system is.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Rob, you explained it very well. Congrats. It’s still early, but I declare it post of the day.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Another example of how he’s got the media folks flummoxed is giving his health report to Dr. Oz.

      Oz has a popular show. it is dismissed by many, including mainstream media, because Oz gives out weird medical information, some at odds with accepted medical practice.

      So thousands of viewers saw him on the Oz show appearing to be all generous with his health data.

      How does a typical mainstream reporter deal with a candidate lacking credibility seemingly sharing information with a media personality who also lacks some credibility — in front of a nationwide audience?

      I think you just sit back in awe.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        How should the media go about treating seriously someone who doesn’t take himself seriously? There is nothing to grab onto. Trump flits this way and that, up into the air, while the media tries to pin him down. But he won’t be pinned down. He is out of the media’s grasp. No definite answers, says nothing that can be used against him, because, well, he was joking, or he changes his tune, but only somewhat, and only temporarily. How can anyone possibly work with that? The only solution is to completely ignore him, not to take seriously someone who doesn’t take himself seriously.

      • 1mime says:

        I disagree, Tutta. The media has plenty to work with. They can fact check him and call him out on outrageous and untrue comments. I think people are “cowed” about challenging him because he’s so combative, but that is their job.

        Possibly they are learning, but it could be too late. Here’s a story from the Progress Report:

        “Donald Trump spent the last five years building, beautiful, tremendous things and also championing the Obama birther movement. (Here are some highlights). Yesterday, the Trump campaign tried to put a Band-Aid over the last five years by issuing a statement saying, “of course Mr. Obama was born in the U.S.” Trump though, wanted to “keep the suspense going.” And keep it going he did. Finally, Trump announced that he would address his views on President Obama’s place of birth once and for all in a press conference at his new Washington, DC hotel.

        But not before he rick-rolled the media first. Trump was more than an hour late to the press conference, giving all three cable networks time to effectively run an infomercial for Trump’s controversial new hotel and air an hour and a half of endorsements from veterans and military leaders. John King finally admitted on CNN, “We got played, again, by the Trump campaign.” And the media isn’t taking it well. When he finally did show up he said, “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.” So that’s settled then? Not quite: He also said Hillary Clinton started the birther theory (lie) and he ended it (also, lie). Here are his remarks in their entirety. Not only does he give only one sentence meant to undo years of conspiracies, but he also makes no apology for, or mention of, the racism and prejudice of the birther movement. Instead he just lies again.”

        (Remarks) https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CsfHFwaXYAE1qZW.jpg

        If the media continues to allow this crap, and he doesn’t get called out BIG time, they are being totally irresponsible. Make him explain. Don’t let him roll off an absurd statement like that and walk off the stage. Holler out the question if he won’t pause…make sure the viewers see and hear how ridiculous he is being.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Or members of the media should just come right out and tell Mr. Trump to his face that he’s a joke, totally full of it, and to GET OUTTA HERE!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Maybe the media is cowed because he will literally have them thrown out of the press room if they displease him.

        We need to find the bravest member of the media around, someone with courage, who has nothing to lose. Any ideas?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        A fellow New Yorker, maybe? Someone just as brash as Mr. Trump. Perhaps even a lady.

      • 1mime says:

        Little Lizzie Warren, wahoo

  5. duncancairncross says:

    Hi Guys
    Have you seen David Brin’s latest?
    http://davidbrin.blogspot.co.nz/

    He is saying that the Democrats should leap and grab Trump’s latest tirade that the election could be “rigged”

    We all know that the most blatant riggers lately have been the GOP
    So they would have no interest in an investigation

    BUT with the actual GOP candidate howling about rigging the DEMs should push it
    With BOTH candidates pushing for a fast impartial investigation Obama could set one rolling

    • flypusher says:

      The primary voting advice is also worth following. I jump between parties depending on the local situation, and I NEVER vote for bad candidates as a sabotage attempt.

      • In 2012 Rush Limbaugh asked Republican voters to vote for Hillary in the primary. he called it “operation chaos”!

        This year have to admit i voted in the Republican primary here in Florida, voted for Trump! My purpose was that i felt, and still feel, Trump was the only Republican candidate, other than a few who dropped out, that Hillary could beat! I can not see her beating jeb Bush or Gramham.

        Every analysis i see or read says the same thing. Trump’s numbers are not so much going up as much as Hillary’s numbers are going down. I know Lifer thinks Hillary would have beaten other Republicans. But i am not so sure. The negatives against Hillary, some deserved, a lot not deserved, are very high!

        For the record, i am voting for Hillary and contributing to her. The last Republican I voted for for president was Reagan in 1980 and i regretted that vote very quickly!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Don’t sweat it. After all, you’re only human, right?

      • 1mime says:

        Right, you might just get what you voted for, right!

    • 1mime says:

      Great point, Duncan! Beat ’em at their own game, honestly!

  6. formdib says:

    So here’s an open question I have I could use some literature for:

    Previous elections, wizened media heads nod their noggins and declare, “You know, social media is taking over. One day social media outreach will affect voting patterns and turnout more than traditional media.”

    THIS year, there’s none of that. There’s lots of literature on Trump’s command of social media, and there’s lots of literature on Clinton’s ground game. What I don’t see much of is the exploration of the question, “What if this is the year social media takes over traditional campaigning and drives more voter turnout?”

    Is that question not asked because it’s ridiculous, or is it not asked because previous lack of it happening makes it written off as being ridiculous, despite the fact that it may not be ridiculous?

    Everyone keeps claiming the ground game goes to Clinton. What if a thousand knocking volunteers turns out less people than a single tweet saying, “Remember to go to the polls today to make America great again!”

    This is one of those questions where I simply don’t know if I’m naive or asking the question people don’t want to consider. Opinions stand everywhere, but I’m wondering what the data is on this.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I would like to see figures on voter turnout during the primaries for both parties. Did it increase overall, perhaps due to the influence of social media? Or did the same voters turn out who always turn out no matter what, and the same people stay home? Does increased influence of social media actualIy lead to increased turnout? I know a couple of people of both political persuasions who were very vocal on social media but were unable to pull away from their phones to actually go vote, or somewhere along the way just lost interest.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree, again with the caveat, it depends upon the group…Older voters are not as dependent upon social media. That said, Trump has achieved dominance in that arena.

        The group of media I feel has fallen flat is our news media. They have become lazy about researching the basis for social media comments and, as a result, they stand as fact simply by virtue of being repeated so often. Of course, there is the real responsibility of the voter to think beyond the 140 character tweet as well.

        Regardless what one thinks of DJT, he is “everywhere”. Constant media presence – print, internet, tv…he’s always visible. For the less informed, this visibility may equate with power and leadership. To me, of course, it’s show and blather, but hen I like to get down in the weeds….and, I am 73, so I still try to apply critical analysis to elections.

      • RobA says:

        The issue I have with social media is its notoriously shallow. It takes literally no effort/time or energy to follow someone on social media. I’m extremely skeptical Twitter is the new ground game until we see concrete results of that.

        I heard somewhere that over half of all Trumps Twitter followers are fake accounts (there are businesses out there where you can buy fake accounts if you want to give the impression that your business/page/organization has more followers then it really does). Not to mention the large number of ppl who follow Trump for reasons OTHER then being a Trump supporter.

        I follow Trump on twitter, mostly to get first dibs on the latest train wreck he puts out. I imagine there are many others who do the same.

        I just don’t think social media will be a proxy ground game. Going out of your house and voting requires real life effort, time and energy. There’s a reason why campaigns have developed big, expensive GOTV operations and ground games: because voting requires energy, and campaigns know if they don’t provide some of that energy and make it as easy as possible to vote, many ppl who are ostensibly supporters just won’t do it.

      • RobA says:

        Here’s some reading materiel for how fake and shallow Trumps Twitter support actually is.

        http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/08/trumps-biggest-lie-the-size-of-his-twitter-following

      • 1mime says:

        Looks like Hillary has some work to do to rally Millennials to GOAV for her……..

        WSJ: “polls show younger voters moving away from Mrs. Clinton. Among those under age 35, Mrs. Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump fell from 24 points in late August to just 5 points this month in Quinnipiac surveys. That was one reason her overall lead among likely voters fell from 7 points to 2 points.”

    • tuttabellamia says:

      The question is not being asked enough not because it’s ridiculous but because of denial.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        We roll our eyes at Trump’s obsessive use of Twitter, dismissing it as a sign of instability, immaturity, etc, when in fact it’s galavanizing his voter turnout.

        I have always wondered if he himself is the actual tweeter, or if he delegates the job of tweeting to an underling.

      • 1mime says:

        Both, Tutta. He and his campaign utilize twitter.

    • 1mime says:

      I don’t have data but I will give you my opinion. I think the type of voter matters greatly in terms of what type of contact motivates them to vote. For Millennials, social media was an outstanding driver for the Sanders campaign – for older people, clubs, organizations, peers matter more. Race also matters. In Black communities, the church is central to dissemination of voting information. It serves as a quasi-political entity that organizes voting transportation, candidate information outreach, and endorsements. Black people have HAD to rely on block voting so they self-organized out of survival. I am not sure how other ethnic groups fare in this regard – Hispanics seem more fragmented and Asians, which are a rapidly expanding group.

      I do think door to door campaigning still works in local and state level races where people will still open doors to strangers. That is going by the wayside and that’s too bad because it removes a personal interaction that may not happen later in the process.

      Don’t know if this helps, but FWIW, those are my thoughts.

  7. Kenneth Devaney says:

    OT but this is an important case and while I don’t know how they did it the British newspaper The Guardian got a copy of the John Doe file investigation of corporate giving to support Walker in his recall campaign. This John Doe investigation was shut down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. There is an appeal to have the records unsealed and allow the case to move forward pending before SCOTUS. So much for unsealing the records…..wonder what SCOTUS will make of this since they ruled corporations are people and money is speech.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2016/sep/14/john-doe-files-scott-walker-corporate-cash-american-politics?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    • 1mime says:

      Kenneth, when all of the outcry and organization to cast out Walker was going on, I recall the whole judicial election thing being a pivotal point in the ability of his detractors to at least have a trial on the merits of what he was doing in WI. As I recall, there was another issue – someone being appointed to the bench but will have to do some research as I am admittedly hazy on the details.

      It all smelled. That the Guardian would have to be the one to bring this forward speaks volumes about not only our political process, but also the American media. Please keep us posted as you see articles related to this. I am not hopeful of SCOTUS taking this on because of the split, unless Clinton is elected and somehow …. The Senate were taken as well. Then, with a full court, possibly justice can be rendered.

      Chris, money in politics under C.U. has made a mockery of the process. It has to be repealed so that voting actually is meaningful.

      Great post, Kenneth.

  8. Griffin says:

    An slightly older Chait article but a good one. How our political radicals fuel each other.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/how-trump-and-illiberal-left-feed-off-each-other.html

    If the extremists are a powder keg waiting to go off than one large attack would be enough to light the fuse for BOTH of them, as one side would keep using the other sides violence to justify their own. From their it could escalate for awhile.

  9. Stephen says:

    Thought you guys might enjoy this. This is one popular local politician.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-republican-orange-county-comptroller-haynie-endorses-clinton-20160915-story.html

    Florida is a swing state and close. This politician is in the swing I-4 Corridor. Think she might swing a few reluctant Republicans to her way of thinking?

  10. RobA says:

    Mime, I know you (and all of us) are starting to feel uncomfortable with the polls lately, this should maybe help a bit.

    http://www.salon.com/2016/09/15/its-already-happening-yes-trump-is-closing-in-on-the-polls-but-heres-why-thats-meaningless/

    • 1mime says:

      Rob, Salon does some good pieces but they are so partisan that I don’t feel as comfortable about their reporting as I do 538, or TPM, Real Clear Politics….We all are worried. Thanks for staying positive.

      • 1mime says:

        Trump is putting out more information on “his” agenda and as articles appear, I will post them. This from an economic address – analysis from CNBC.

        http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/15/trumps-25-million-new-jobs-promise-doesnt-add-up.html

      • I’m sick of being worried about this election, so I’m done with that. In the worst-case scenario, you have Trump with his cocktail sausage fingers potentially on the nuclear button and a backwards agenda for America that could plunge our economy into another recession, if not an outright depression.

        Ignore all the noise and keep your eyes on the fundamentals. Does Trump have sufficient support among specific demographics to win? Is he doing well enough among African-Americans, Hispanics, college-educated whites and others to pull this out?

        No, not even close.

        That reality is why you hear Nate Cohn and others arguing about how minority support isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In Cohn’s case, he actually has the audacity to assert that that support is what helped push President Obama to victory and in the same breadth asserting that it’s only going to help Clinton at the margins.

        If I might say, um wut?

        As long as the fundamentals of this race go unchanged, there is no hope of victory for Trump. Period.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m sorry I have been so negative, Ryan. I need to stop harping on my concerns. Make my point and move on. It doesn’t help advance the discussion and there’s plenty of worthy “other” news to chat about.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Ryan…for your viewing pleasure

        http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-trump-could-win-the-white-house-while-losing-the-popular-vote/

        Exactly how Trump and the demographics work…and “no hope of victory” probably qualifies as some pretty twitchy boles.

      • I hate to break it to you, Homer, but when you punch in those numbers in FiveThirtyEight’s own interactive, Clinton still wins the election with 347 EV and 52.9% of the vote.

        Anything else?

      • 1mime says:

        The Senate (-;

        Could you please wave that magic wand over there, too?

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Reading is FUNdamental…

        “Using a prototype of a demographic election calculator that FiveThirtyEight will be unveiling in the next few weeks, I decided to simulate a few election scenarios. “

      • >] “Reading is FUNdamental…

        “Using a prototype of a demographic election calculator that FiveThirtyEight will be unveiling in the next few weeks, I decided to simulate a few election scenarios. “

        Mhmm, and I’ll have tons of fun projecting any number of hair-on-fire scenarios with that simulator too. Just because it’s a probable scenario doesn’t make it a likely one.

        Homer, I understand that you might call your views “realistic” or something close to it, but there’s just nothing in your argument to substantiate Trump having an honest chance. Yes, there’s a decent chance minority support, particularly among African-Americans, will decline some, but it’s not going to be a terrible drop and the losses that Trump has suffered among other demographics more than compensate for it.

        The only other argument, and it’s a bullshit one, is one that Nate Cohn makes in that Trump will bring out a surge of non-college-educated whites out to vote for him. Yeah, that “secret Trump bloc” of voters argument we all know so far. Actually, even calling it an “argument” is being unfair. It’s an assertion, really.

        It’s nonsense. Republicans have maxed the white vote out. There is no significant number of voters out there that Trump is going to bring out that the GOP didn’t already bring with President Obama.

        As I said with mime, the fundamentals are key and the fundamentals point to an easy Trump loss.

      • 1mime says:

        I respect your studied opinion, and I mean that seriously, but you may also be wrong in your interpretations. Without doubt, those who are looking at the trendline of this election “hope” we are wrong and you are right, but how about some respect other POV…even if they appear hokey. I love the debate, don’t fear being wrong, but this election (and I’ve been through many in my years of following politics – in which I have had a long, serious interest) is unlike no other that I can ever recall.

        BTW, you keep referring to Nate Cohn….do you mean Nate Silver?

      • >] “The Senate (-;

        Could you please wave that magic wand over there, too?

        Surely, but it’s gonna be a quick one. Democrats need a net gain of four seats to regain the majority if they hold the presidency. Trump will not win, so four is the magic number.

        Wisconsin and Illinois are both gone. There is no remote chance that Republicans hold those seats. Two out of four right there.

        NH, as I told you about in a previous comment, is still not looking good. 40 million dollars of Republicans’ money and all they have to show for it is a statistical tie. Not good enough. Ayotte needs to be running several points ahead if she’s going to keep her head above water. That race still looks done.

        Pennsylvania is much the same. The Keystone State is not going to be close and in the Philly suburbs particularly, it’s going to be a damned bloodbath for Trump. Toomey needs several points of breathing space to have even a chance. Like Ayotte, he doesn’t have that and it’s going to drag him under.

        There ya go, there’s your Senate majority.

        Also, just in case anyone’s thinking of throwing up Nevada as a huge “BUT”, let me say in advance that that doesn’t change anything. The four I listed above are already gone, but that doesn’t mean Democrats aren’t going to pick up seats elsewhere. Indiana, Missouri and N. Carolina are a few that have a good chance to flip.

      • 1mime says:

        Ryan, EVERY, poll I have seen shows Ayotte at least 5 points ahead. Every.one. (of those 538 ranks as legit.) What poll or info are you basing your NH opinion on?

      • >] “Ryan, EVERY, poll I have seen shows Ayotte at least 5 points ahead. Every.one. (of those 538 ranks as legit.) What poll or info are you basing your NH opinion on?

        Mime, you know very well that it’s the averages you look at, not the actual margins of any one poll or even two or three.

        It doesn’t matter where you go. Go to HuffPollster, RealClearPolitics or whatever else; Ayotte doesn’t have more than a point or two of an average advantage at the most. As I said, that’s not good enough to keep her head above water.

        >] “I respect your studied opinion, and I mean that seriously, but you may also be wrong in your interpretations. Without doubt, those who are looking at the trendline of this election “hope” we are wrong and you are right, but how about some respect other POV…even if they appear hokey. I love the debate, don’t fear being wrong, but this election (and I’ve been through many in my years of following politics – in which I have had a long, serious interest) is unlike no other that I can ever recall.

        BTW, you keep referring to Nate Cohn….do you mean Nate Silver?

        I don’t fear being wrong, mime, but there’s no point in ceding anything when my overarching argument remains standing. Essentially, you’re asking me to show respect to others’ opinions as a matter of course between fellow commentators. I don’t necessarily disagree with that on its face, but the caveat is that the opinion has to have a show of strength behind it. Why should I give a weak opinion that crumbles under inspection anything more than my full effort to knock it down?

        Actually, I view my efforts in that respect as my own way of showing respect. If I didn’t care at all, then I wouldn’t even bother with a response in the first place. It’s never anything personal, and I genuinely hope that once all is said and done, regardless of how fiercely contested the argument was, we can still get along.

        Also, I do mean Nate Cohn. He’s the one whose article in the Upshot you linked to a few days ago.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        I don’t know Rob…the position that it is silly to assume that non-college educated Whites will have an increased turnout while also suggesting that Hispanics are going to turn out in increased numbers seems a bit cherry picking.

        Hispanics have never hit a 50% voting rate, and until they do, those are not chickens to count. In fact, the 2012 trend line is for less Hispanic voting turnout (which got even worse in the 2014 midterms). Even if your position is accurate, more Hispanic votes in Texas, California, and New York are somewhat meaningless Hispanic votes, at least for 2016.

        The idea that Hillary gets the same percentage of the Black vote as did the first Black president seems a stretch.

        You know which states have a disproportionate number of non-college educated Whites? Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, etc.

      • >] “I don’t know Rob…the position that it is silly to assume that non-college educated Whites will have an increased turnout while also suggesting that Hispanics are going to turn out in increased numbers seems a bit cherry picking.

        Didn’t you mean to say that non-college-educated whites won’t have an increased turnout while Hispanics do? Regardless, it’s not cherry picking at all the reason is easy to understand.

        Some still look to increased Republican turnout in the primaries and to think to themselves, my gosh, look at all those extra voters Trump brought out, he must really be tapping into something here. Sounds great until you realize that those voters were already Republicans who were voting in a general election and just came out to vote in the primary.

        In other words, the Republicans’ numbers didn’t improve by any significant margin at all while Hispanics’ registrations have skyrocketed in the mean time. You counter this by saying that all those Hispanics are in states that are either solidly Democratic (California, New York, etc) or solidly red Republican states like Texas. Two important caveats to take away from that observation:

        1.) Just because California didn’t have a prayer of going Republican doesn’t mean those votes are wasted, not by a long shot. There are numerous House races in the state that might otherwise go Republican that have a real chance at flipping if a decent number of those registrations are in the right districts. Same could be said of New York.

        2.) We’ve gone over this before, but it bears repeating. Don’t assume all those votes are going to be wasted in Texas. Recent polling has Trump leading only by single digits in the state, exceptionally poorly for a Republican. That’s not a mistake, so keep an eye on the state on Election Night.

        >] “Hispanics have never hit a 50% voting rate, and until they do, those are not chickens to count. In fact, the 2012 trend line is for less Hispanic voting turnout (which got even worse in the 2014 midterms). Even if your position is accurate, more Hispanic votes in Texas, California, and New York are somewhat meaningless Hispanic votes, at least for 2016.

        Just got through explaining why Hispanic votes in CA, NY and TX are hardly useless, but that aside, there’s a perfectly good reason to expect turnout among Hispanics to increase. You can’t look at the increased registrations and then turn around and tell me that those people just decided not to turn out all of a sudden. That’s just silly.

        >] ““The idea that Hillary gets the same percentage of the Black vote as did the first Black president seems a stretch.

        With all respect, you’re trying to turn this into a zero-sum game. Just because Clinton doesn’t get the same margins that President Obama did doesn’t mean she doesn’t get a perfectly respectable margin of it. African-American turnout isn’t going to fall off a cliff in November.

        >] “You know which states have a disproportionate number of non-college educated Whites? Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, etc.

        So are you insinuating that Trump has a chance to carry Pennsylvania, ie Republicans’ Fools’ Gold?

  11. RobA says:

    Why does it always seem to be the GOP that gets caught subverting democracy? Read some of these quotes. These assholes are explicitly saying they want ppl to believe the election was “rigged” if their guy loses .

    The GoP is a far, far bigger threat to America then ISIS is right now.

      • 1mime says:

        No surprises but it is nice to catch them in the “act”. If their agenda is so great, why do they need to do things like this? Can’t they win by playing fair?

      • There’s no incentive not to cheat, because there is no negative publicity. Nobody on the Left is surprised that it happened, and nobody who supported them would believe it.

      • 1mime says:

        So, EJ, who’s to blame here? The media for not calling the GOP out on fabricated voter fraud, or, the GOP base who wouldn’t believe them if they did?

      • Archetrix says:

        My home state of Wisconsin, once such a bastion of clean, well-run government that it was kind of a local joke, is beginning to look more like Kansas. Outside of the cities people are mainly white and frightened of minorities. Scott Walker is skilled in the racist dog whistle to the white-flight suburbs west of Milwaukee. He has leveraged fear and racism, both stoked by talk radio, to keep his voters mobilized. Meanwhile he is using every possible executive and legislative advantage to restructure the state, including the judiciary, to achieve his aims of suppressing the minority vote, gerrymander the liberal vote, and cement his lock over the state. Despite his doofus appearance and skeevy eyeball, he is ruthlessly efficient.

      • 1mime says:

        I’ve been watching Scott Walker for a long time. To think that men like him are perceived as one of the “bright stars” of the Republican Party. I was so hopeful his recall was going to work. It wasn’t through lack of effort that they lost that fight but so unfortunate for WI that they did.

      • >] “Despite his doofus appearance and skeevy eyeball, he is ruthlessly efficient.

        “Ruthlessly efficient” eh? That’s some praise aimed at a guy who ran a joke of a presidential campaign and was the first one to drop out.

        That said, he’s certainly had his success in WI, surely enough, though it’s also fair to keep in mind that both his elections were in midterm years with notoriously low turnout. Walker’s never had to face down a general election electorate.

        It’s probably true that the Badger State has a ways to go to fix itself up, but that isn’t as far away as some would think. The same’s true for a lot of states across America.

      • 1mime:
        When you ask “who’s to blame”, here are my thoughts.

        The hyperpartisan atmosphere is the first culprit. You and I would forgive Mrs Clinton for terrible crimes, or just ignore that she had committed them, because the alternative is so much worse. It’s the same on the other side of the fence. But why is there a hyperpartisan atmosphere?

        I’d argue that it’s because of a hyperpartisan news media. People learn to see the world through the information they consume; if that information is designed to make them cheer for a particular team, then they will. However, Rupert Murdoch aside, the news media is largely like this because it’s what consumers want. Humans enjoy it when the world is simplified into good and evil, black and white.

        The question then goes, why does the news media pander to its consumers rather than taking a more high-minded path? Many industries have extremely strict professional codes which prevent this sort of pandering: medicine, for example, or education. It’s unthinkable that a teacher would go out before a class and teach something which is designed to make the parents feel good, regardless of whether it’s true. Why isn’t journalism the same?

        I’d argue that it’s down to advertising. Teachers, doctors, lawyers and such people get paid depending upon results; journalists get paid depending upon eyeballs. We are comfortable with paying doctors to give us harsh truths, but will click to the other channel if a journalist does the same. As a result a noble journalist will starve, whereas Andrew Breitbart did not.

        If we fix the economics of this situation, I think it would help reduce the hyperpartisanship of society.

        I have spoken before about the desirability of a global and complete ban on all forms of advertising. However, I feel that this is probably not something that would be widely supported.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi EJ

        Interesting thought – banning advertising

        I don’t think a total ban on advertising would be possible and probably not a good idea

        BUT treating “Advertising” like a dangerous drug – alcohol – could be a good idea

        Regulate it and tax it!
        We already have regulations about “truth in advertising” – some more restrictions about advertising aimed at minors would be good thing

        Then we come to taxes! – An Advertising Tax – say 50% of the cost of the advert with the money going to non advertising news and entertainment media

        Like an American “BBC” for example

    • 1mime says:

      Just got an email update from Maggie Hassam who is trailing Kelly Ayotte in NH. Here’s what she’s up against:

      “The total spent by outside groups to make sure Governor Hassan doesn’t win is now $40 MILLION.”

      $40M in a Senate race! In little old NH – population 1.3 million in the entire state. But, it is a must win Senate seat to hold on to the GOP Senate majority so this is where the bucks are being focused. $40Million! Think of how many bottles of water that would provide for Flint residents, or how much it would assist ZIKA research, or, or………There is something rotten in America…………

  12. “There is no way in hell for Republicans to hold the Senate. Tranquilo. The stakes may be high, but the odds are very good.”

    Lifer, you have no idea how much I hope yo are right. Without the Democrat senate there goes the Supremes!

    When i listened to Trump today, my first reaction was that the GOP would never pass what he wants. But they could easily pass some of it. Like the tax cuts. Republicans always say tax cuts do not add to the deficit. They would easily go for big tax cuts, especially if those cuts are tilted toward the wealthy, which Trump’s are!

    I have read every Republican tax plan proposed by each of the candidates this year. Each plan has big, as in really BIG tax cuts for the wealthy. Rubio’s plan eliminates income tax for investment income and estate taxes.

    I can not prove it but i do not think the Republicans really care about deficits. The bigger the debt, the easier it is to cut social security and medicare, and help for the poor. All those things are issues the Koch brothers and their billionaire friends are all in favor of. The Ayne Rand agenda, which oddly enough is exactly what Paul Ryan has in his budgets.

    so, short term deficits actually fit right in with the Republican goal of screwing the poor and the working class to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy!.

    • RobA says:

      But he tax cuts can’t exist in a vacuum. Of course a GOP Congress wants to pass tax cuts. If that’s all you do though, you balloon the deficit, and the deficit hawks wouldn’t allow it.

      They’d have to cut entitlements at the same time, but Trump says no way.

      You can’t tease apart the tax cuts from cutting spending.

      • Fair Economist says:

        There aren’t that many genuine deficit hawks among the Republicans. They didn’t have any trouble with W’s tax cuts. Mostly they’re just hypocrites. As soon as Clinton left off, the mantra became “deficits don’t matter” only to revert back to “burdening out children” once Obama did (and in spite of the real need for deficits then).

        It’s possible that an alliance of Tea Partiers and Democrats could jam Trump’s insane tax cut package but I doubt they could stop a monstrous one like W’s.

      • Rob,

        i must disagree! Reagan had big tax cuts and no cuts to spending.

        As did G. W.!

      • Economist’s right, Rob. Republicans just use the deficit as a hollow talking point to bludgeon Democrats when they’re in power and then cast it to the side when it suits their convenience.

        Republicans have no coherent ideology anymore aside from those of white identity politics, so that’s no surprise. Save yourself the frustration of giving them the benefit of the doubt anymore.

      • RobA says:

        Good points made here, now that I think about it, I think I may have fallen for the oldest trick in the book: believing what Republicans SAY instead of what they DO

      • 1mime says:

        Let’s hear it from the big boys who score these tax plans….GOP deficit hawks?

        http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/analysis-house-gop-tax-plan?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_wonk

    • 1mime says:

      “Here are five things Trump should worry about as he enjoys his resurgence.” Note #2, which is: “The cable and TV networks are going to vet Trump like he might actually be president of the United States. …….This one is wishful thinking based on zero evidence. Move along.” (That comment is from the author of the article….think this campaign doesn’t have a media responsibility factor?)

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/is-donald-trump-surge-real-228228#ixzz4KMcmCmz4

  13. RobA says:

    So Don Jr made a big mistake yesterday: he told the truth about Trumps taxes. He said, in no uncertain terms, the real reason they won’t release them is because it’ll be too politically damaging.

    Let that sink in: a presidential candidate is dodging established transparency norms because if he complied, it would damage him politically.

    I mean……THATS THE REASON THEY GET RELEASED! To allow the American ppl to determine if there is anything in their personal affairs that are bad. And bad things tend to be, yes, “politically damaging.”

    If the press let’s this one slide, they have truly gone too far to ever come back. Even if Trump loses, this is very bad news for future elections.

    There are plenty of ppl out there much worse then Trump in every way, only not so much as an obvious buffoon, that are watching and taking notes right now.

    • Unless Anonymous somehow pulls out the rug from under Trump to pull off a hack job and release his returns that way, it’s a moot point. There’s nothing to force him to release his tax returns and nothing any of us can do to change that.

      • RobA says:

        No, nothing will force it. But if the media dies their job and hammers him on this obvious breach of transparency, it would likely affect his poll numbers more then it has.

        They certainly had no issue breathlessly covering 24/7 for a few days of “pneumonia gate”. And that’s ok, I thought it was overkill, but that’s the press job: holding candidates accountable. Where’s the same accountability for Trump?

        The press can’t force him to release them. But they can apply as much pressure as they can, which at least informs he public that yes, it IS a big deal to not release them.

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s the thing: if the GOP hold the Senate, they will be able to manage Trump. He will make mistakes but he is too intellectually lazy and too shallow to cause any problems that a solid red Congress backed by a conservative majority SC can’t fix. Honestly, I think Trump will function (if elected) as a king would – and leave the rest up to staff, Congress, family. He won’t care.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        mime – I think you are in the 5th stage of grief.

      • 1mime says:

        I am definitely working on acceptance. It’s hard when it applies to a situation that is so much bigger than oneself, as this election is. I keep telling myself that America will survive, but I worry about what we will lose as a nation in human terms. The rest will unfold as it will, but basic rights – equality, voting rights, women’s rights, the safety net for the poor, elderly and disabled, our children – these things worry me the most. What will our nation’s moral core be when those who rule care so little about those with so much less have unchecked power? I have no trust in the Republican Party to use their power kindly, but it is largely out of my hands.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        U&U: Trump hasn’t even won the election. If he wins, THAT’s when the true grieving process would begin, starting with denial, etc.

        We are admitting defeat way too soon. We’ve gone through the 5 stages of grief over something that hasn’t even happened yet.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I take back the YET. That implies it’s going to happen, eventually.

        Instead of wasting our time and energy grieving over something that hasn’t even happened, let’s get out the vote.

        And you never know — Mr. Trump may get his own October surprise. It may seem that’s he’s Teflon Trump, but there’s still time for a change in events and circumstances.

      • 1mime says:

        Good for you, Tutta (-;

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking of SCOTUS, this from today’s Scotusblog.com: Did you know?

        “Here’s a too-little appreciated fact: it has been nearly fifty years since the Court was composed of a majority of Justices appointed by Democratic presidents. A more progressive Court would bring prospects for improved understandings of the constitutional value of equality that would reinforce and deepen the Court’s current protections of individual liberty.”

        http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/09/the-court-after-scalia-stark-divide-means-threat-to-roe-but-promise-for-womens-reproductive-justice/?

    • 1mime says:

      Two of the best, most creative campaign ads I have seen – Democratic candidate for Senate in Missouri, Jason Kander, opposing incumbent Republican Roy Blunt:

  14. Just listened to Trump’s speech on his economic plans. If this gets passed, you can forget about worrying about voter suppression, guns in everyone’s hand, global warming and all the other stuff I, we, talk about. He wants to add another entitlement, child care, cut income and corporate taxes, eliminate the Estate Tax, which tax basically only is paid by the wealthier amongst us, and which will save his family a few billion, along with every other billionaire. And all this will be paid for by a growth rate in the economy that has never consistently happened under any president!

    All based on the failed theories that tax cuts alone create growth!

    He wants to start a trade war with china! And bring back coal. The hell with the environment!

    And his poll numbers are going up!

  15. tuttabellamia says:

    I’m curious to read Sara Robinson’s take on this issue. I believe she’s an expert on the topic of political violence by right-wing extremist groups.

    • flypusher says:

      The chapter’s decision drew criticism online from organizers working for Students For Trump, a national organization unaffiliated with the Trump campaign. Josh Gremillion, the organization’s national social media director, said in an email to the Thresher that leaders of chapters that do not support Trump should resign.

      “There is no reason why they should not be supporting our Republican nominee,” Gremillion, a freshman at the University of Houston, said. “If the leader of the chapter refuses to endorse Trump, they need to resign because they are not doing their job by [not] backing the Republican nominee.”

      Wrong Mr. Gremillion. There are many reasons for them to decline to support Trump. The fact that so many GOPers are declining to support him or even endorsing Clinton ought to be telling you something.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Nice.

  16. RobA says:

    Pertinent to the topic, how is this allowed to go on?

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/construction-of-georgia-mosque-halted-due-to-threats-by-armed-militia/

    Hiw can an armed group of citizens dictate to the government and be allowed to get away with it? They’re not even hiding their true colors, explicitly saying they oppose another religions house of worship being built because it’ll be “an ISIS training ground”.

    • goplifer says:

      Who’s going to stop them? Seriously?

      I didn’t want to describe the scenario playing out in my head out of a genuine fear of enabling something terrible. However, if you take Georgia situation, then picture it happening in a more prominent place, at…let’s just call it a more polarizing site…you can see the dilemma.

      Republican politicians will not have the power, even if they somehow had the will or nerve, to enforce the law against the will of armed and otherwise “peaceful” protests that shut down some key piece of…infrastructure.

      Timebomb.

      • The government, our government, stood down when well armed “patriots” protected Clivan Bundy. And I do not remember any Republicans saying anything negative about either Bundy or his friends. In fact Bundy was hailed as a hero on Fox News! Sean Hannity was beside himself with glee at what was happening!

        The Republicans have put themselves in a position where they can not afford to loose the militia vote, the anti-Muslim vote.

        I just do not see this changing. people feel they have a right to do whatever they want and what with laws that enable and encourage the carrying of weapons, in some states open carry, this is a genie that i do not see being put back in the bottle!

      • 1mime says:

        But, here’s the problem. Respect for authority is the basis for civilized society. These incidents start small, grow more numerous, and then the entire system of law and order is engulfed – police are overwhelmed and policing quality suffers (Chicago), mobs challenge authority on “their” issues, states make it easier to own weapons, members of Congress play games with the budget that have health and economic impacts, and now we may have a “president” who has no respect for our institutions and no experience at governing.

        What’s not to fear?

      • flypusher says:

        I think that was a big mistake, not cracking down on the elder Bundy when he first started openly defying the law. He and his sons are now in jail and facing charges, and usually I say “better late than never”, but I think the failure to quickly arrest these jerks when they first crossed the line will cause future problems.

        I see this whole “give the land back to the people” movement as nothing but a scam to allow these lands to eventually go over to private ownership for a really cheap price. As Federally held land, it already belongs to me and every other citizen of the USA.

    • 1mime says:

      As I commented to Unarmed, I am concerned about what I am seeing happening in our country. I don’t have answers because I cannot understand why there is so much irrational fear and anger occurring.

      • Mime,

        I put almost all the blame on the Republicans. They stoke these fears either by what they say, or what they do not. if you make a list of all the republicans who in 2009/2010 actually said Obama was born in the USA, it would be a very short list. who in the GOP has ever said people do not have a right to carry an AR 15 around for protection? Name who the the GOP ever says the environment needs to be protected. Here is Florida, the sugar and phosphate industries are polluting the waters with the complete approval the the GOP legislature! The NRA almost got open carry passed this year. Our governor actually forbid state employees from using the term “Climate Change”!

        i read Lifer’s posts where he says the GOP will have to change or loose power. But I just do not see it. If you do not agree with their right wing agenda, the GOP just does their best to stop you from voting!

        And, through all this, people, especially Dems, do not vote!

      • 1mime says:

        I know, it’s very discouraging. I don’t have any answers.

      • 1mime says:

        Dems usually vote in presidential years, but this is an exceptional election so I expect record GOTV on both sides. In mid-terms, you are absolutely correct – Dems don’t turn out and that has allowed Repubs to take state and national seats that should have been competitive.

        At this point, unless there is a major change, the Senate is going to remain in GOP hands. That will be big trouble even if Clinton ekes out a win. As Ryan noted, each of us looks at the election probabilities differently, but trends to matter as do polls now that we’re past Labor Day. As Nate Silver pointed out yesterday, Trump is leading both in national and state level polls. Whether his lead expands or not time will tell. What I don’t see happening is the kind of “sweep” for Clinton that will change the Senate outcome.

        Nate Silver, I’m not, so take my opinion for what it’s worth.

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/upshot/senate-election-forecast.html?nlid=41048410

      • Republicans have a lot to answer for, surely enough, but ultimately responsibility comes down to the citizens themselves. If one has to waste their time putting all the blame on others and saying “Democrats don’t vote!!”, that’s precisely the kind of despair-inducing pessimism that got us here in the first place.

        I’ll say it once more. Republican weakness does not translate into Democrats’ strength, and even after all this time they still don’t have a coherent vision for where they want to lead the country. If you had to ask yourself what Clinton’s plan for the economy is, you’d come up short because there isn’t one. It’s essentially a mishmash of smaller proposals, appealing to one group or another, but nothing that the people as a whole can really wrap themselves around. There are no “New Frontier” Democrats like JFK anymore.

        An individual can brilliant, but as a whole, Americans are idiots. They have an extraordinarily difficult time coalescing around something that isn’t simple, easy-to-understand and takes less than five minutes to read. In that respect, Trump outpaces Clinton by a mile. Reprehensible and vile a human being though he is, “Make America Great Again” is about as simple and memorable a slogan as you can get, regardless of how disgusting the actual message it.

      • 1mime says:

        Yeah, well, saying it is one thing, getting it done is another. That’s where consensus is so critical. For all his shortcomings, Obama could have accomplished so much more in terms of stimulating growth if the Republicans had worked with him. I have a real problem with candidates for an office as significant as the presidency touting simplistic slogans without any basis in fact other than raw appeal. If Repubs hold the Senate, it won’t matter if Clinton has an economic plan or not. The House won’t agree with it and they control appropriations, and a Republican Senate is not going to buck the House.

        Having a plan is one thing, having a plan that is responsible is another. Paul Ryan has a plan that the Republican House has endorsed, but it is so narrow in its benefits allocation that I can’t support it. In this nation, divided as it is, economic progress is wishful thinking. There are many plans out there but there is less will for the consensus necessary to get it done. But, consider what could happen if the GOP controls Congress, the Presidency, and the SC. We’d get an economic plan alright but I don’t think those of us in the middle and lower economic rungs would be fairly treated.

      • @1mime: “At this point, unless there is a major change, the Senate is going to remain in GOP hands. That will be big trouble even if Clinton ekes out a win. As Ryan noted, each of us looks at the election probabilities differently, but trends to matter as do polls now that we’re past Labor Day. As Nate Silver pointed out yesterday, Trump is leading both in national and state level polls. Whether his lead expands or not time will tell. What I don’t see happening is the kind of “sweep” for Clinton that will change the Senate outcome.

        Surely it’s what Trump wants, but I’m honestly finding it difficult to even muster the energy to care right now. Part of me can’t help but think maybe the people deserve to have their country thrown into the gutter. Let everyone, myself included, suffer and reap the consequences of what they’ve brought on themselves.

        I know that’s the easy path and it just equates to giving up, but this election cycle is just such a drain that it’s hard to even keep going sometimes.

      • 1mime says:

        It is depressing, Ryan, I agree. If you are a young person, it’s depressing to consider a future driven by an ideology and its proponents who have such different priorities than you do. If you are an older person, you are past the point of being able to supplement against the cuts to entitlements that will surely come from solid party control of all branches of government. Scary, weary times. It does get to be too much to cope with….

      • vikinghou says:

        Ryan,

        That’s why I’ve been taking a break from politics for a while. It stopped being fun. I’ll get back into it when the debates begin.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ryan and Viking, I’m so overwhelmed by the possibility of so many negative outcomes on such a grand scale, be they the election of Mr. Trump, or political violence, of the end of life as we know it, that to cope, I just focus on my own personal sphere — my home, my neighborhood, my city. It’s not that I don’t care about the rest of the country. It’s not “I’m ok, to heck with everyone else.” Nor is that I don’t have the brain cells to understand complicated issues. Simplicity for me means viewing and acting on a small, local scale. It’s more manageable that way, and I can accomplish more, instead of worrying about all these possible horrible scenarios on a national and world level.

        I prefer to focus on making my local community a positive place to live and work, to be kind to my neighbor, to respect his privacy, and hopefully, that will help to diffuse any potential violence, if that is really a possibility.

        Politics is important, but all this arguing about it just makes tempers flare.

      • 1mime says:

        Those are all positive actions and thoughts, Tutta, but when personal economics is hit, it’s more difficult to hunker down and ignore the world around you. Ex. People in your immediate community lose jobs, your school loses students, it has to lay off staff or shut down….the spiral of consequences only becomes real to each of us when we are directly affected.

        However, until then, finding peace and positive experiences where one can during turbulent times is still smart for each of us. I agree with that goal but find it hard to ignore the noise around me.

  17. Off Topic sort of! One must wonder just what is going through these people’s minds!! Possibly their goal is simply to make Florida look good:-)!

    “Missouri lawmakers pushed through bills on Wednesday eliminating the need for permits to carry concealed weapons”

    “The weapons bill abolished a state law requiring a permit, training and background checks for people who want to carry a concealed weapon in the state.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/missouri-concealed-weapons-voter-id_us_57da2938e4b04a1497b28f6d?section=&

    • 1mime says:

      All of these actions, piled on to a presidential race that is just as strange, are telling us something about the mood of the people in this country. Despite positive economic news (except for those in rural areas where incomes dropped 2%), there appears to be fear, anger, and irrational thinking.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      I think they want to discourage those pesky vacationers and other out of state visitors. Missouri for Missourians!

  18. Griffin says:

    A reminder that even with all the bad news, America is getting better in many ways:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/14/opinions/america-doing-better-bailey/index.html

    Trump’s utterly failed attempt to reach out to the black community (what is currently unknown is how well he did with Republicans who want to convince themselves he’s not racist so that they can try to tell themselves it’s acceptable to vote for him):

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/14/politics/donald-trump-pastor-flint-michigan/index.html

    Four more years?! Sure! And how deep denial is among Republicans that Obama has been a really good, popular president. I’m not looking forward to when he leaves office.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/clinton-is-running-for-obamas-third-term-yes-please.html

    Now in 14 cases since 2010 Chicago Police are found to have shot unarmed people after saying they were armed. While de-escalation training has been added it’s still extremely difficult to convict officers and the union is reluctant to allow reforms.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/ct-chicago-police-shootings-no-gun-20160914-story.html

    Bill Burr’s great rant on Colin Kaepernick and sport radio hosts laughably over the top objections to his protest.

    http://www.maxim.com/entertainment/bill-burr-colin-kaepernick-2016-9

    And a book excerpt from Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer” which I deeply recommend.

    “All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die and a proclivity for united action; all of them, irrespective of the doctrine they preach and the program they project, breed fanaticism, enthusiasm, fervent hope, hatred and intolerance; all of them are capable of releasing a powerful flow of activity in certain departments. all of them demand blind faith and singlehearted allegiance.

    All movements, however different in doctrine and aspiration, draw their early adherents from the same types of humanity; they all appeal to the same types of mind.”

    • 1mime says:

      The Trump campaign may not “need” the Black vote. I agree, those who seek to harm others out of ignorance and anger, seem to be growing in numbers. I will look for the book Rob, as I confess that I need help to understand where these people are coming from.

  19. Shiro17 says:

    Somewhat off-topic, but very interesting look into the mindset of modern policing:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/09/12/west-virginia-cop-fired-for-not-killing-a-man-with-an-unloaded-gun/?utm_term=.bee7712a2e50#comments

    “West Virginia cop fired for not killing a man with an unloaded gun”

    Tl;dr – New cop who was an army vet correctly deduced that a man was trying to commit suicide and was not a danger to anybody else. He used his words to defuse the situation. Two of his partners came in, saw the gun in the guy’s hand and shot him dead. New cop got fired for “putting his partners in danger” by “failing to take out a target.”

    • RobA says:

      More evidence that the problem is institutionalized and not just “a few bad apples”.

      Also, more evidence that cops just don’t get it. In todays hyper politicized issue of police conduct, cops should be more reluctant to fire their weapons, not more trigger happy

  20. 1mime says:

    Oh, the sweet irony………..

    “House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul said Wednesday that Russian hackers have penetrated the computer systems of the Republican National Committee.
    “It’s important to note, Wolf, that they have hacked not only hacked into the DNC but also into the RNC,” McCaul (R-Texas) said in an appearance on CNN. “So they are not discriminating one party”

  21. flypusher says:

    It this point in the campaign, I can’t see how anyone who has paying attention can seriously believe Trump is qualified for the job. I know some people don’t care, and this is their big miidle finger at the rest of us (lots of the deplorables are in this group), or they know even if they won’t admit it publically, but they figure Pence and Ryan and McConnell will do the actual governing stuff (the sell outs), but the people who truly believe?? It’s just like a cult.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      My boss is a true believer, and he is a totally sane, reasonable person.

      He’s of the opinion that Trump is best for small businesses via low tax rates, and that Trump will do away with all the trade agreements that have led to the complete shutdown of factories in the US, which he has witnessed firsthand in Kentucky, where he resides. My boss says that doing away with the trade agreements will cause a crisis at first but that it will be worth it in the long run.

      I told my boss that I don’t trust Trump to actually follow through with anything positive, and my boss says he DOES trust him. Also, I told my boss that Trump is crazy, and he replied that he had to appear that way to appeal to his base, and that now he is moving toward the middle, to broaden his appeal for the general election.

      Just thought I’d pass on my boss’s thoughts. I told him that even if Trump had any redeeming qualities, I could never vote for him simply because of the way in which he has denigrated the Mexican community. He totally effed up by doing that. No forgiveness.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Also, my boss continues to insist that Hillary is totally corrupt. So, he is both FOR Trump and AGAINST Hillary.

      • 1mime says:

        Then, your boss is double screwed. If he thinks Trump is going to be able to deliver on eliminating trade agreements (which are supported by the majority of Republicans in Congress and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce), he’s really bought it. But, you have to work with him, I don’t.

      • flypusher says:

        So is he going to refuse to read the Newsweek report, or find some excuse to rationalize it away?

        Depending on the business, I could see why a business owner would think Trump would help their bottom line. It’s a f$&@ everyone else, I’ll get mine mentality, be there is actual reasoning behind it. But to rail on HRC for corruption while ignoring Trump’s shady history is willful ignorance.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        That’s the thing, Mime. I’ve worked for my boss for almost 30 years, and he’s a delight to work for. He gives his employees complete freedom, lets us make mistakes and learn from them, doesn’t micromanage us. He’s kind, generous, and laid back.

        That’s why I can’t understand how he can support Mr. Trump. But he does, and he’s entitled to his opinion. When he realized that his entire Houston office is opposed to Trump, he good-naturedly told a colleague of his over the phone, “I guess I’m outnumbered,” and laughed.

      • 1mime says:

        It sounds like your boss is nice just not very smart (-; Good for him that he has kept a talented, smart crew to keep the business running….He’s lucky to have you, and he probably knows that.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, it doesn’t have to be adversarial, as long as we respect each other’s views, even if we don’t quite understand them.

    • flypusher says:

      Ivanka Trump is supposed to be the smart and sane one in the family, but now she’s telling some egregious whoopers:

      http://www.vox.com/2016/9/14/12914688/clinton-child-care-ivanka-trump

      Shame, Ivanka.

      • 1mime says:

        Shame Trump handlers, too. Turns out Trump is stating he has child care for moms at his businesses…turns out its a child care program at his gold facilities….for the guests…not the employees. I’m waiting for a through vetting of T’s child/woman proposal…of course, there was no cost estimate – only the “feel good – voter pitch thingy”. That evidently works with his base.

      • RobA says:

        Ivanka is starting to seem just as morally bankrupt as the rest of them.

      • 1mime says:

        Conway has really climbed into the ditch. I guess the only way to work in that environment is to totally buy into it…..ugh….

      • 1mime says:

        It’s what people seem to want to hear…..From Nate Silver, today.

        “my impression is that the commentariat has been slow to recognize how much the race has tightened already. It’s never a good idea to freak out over any one poll. But the trend toward Trump has been clear for a few weeks now, and it’s been just as clear in state polls as national polls. ”

        http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-has-clintons-bad-weekend-moved-the-polls/

      • flypusher says:

        “Ivanka is starting to seem just as morally bankrupt as the rest of them.”

        Yep. I think she’s smarter than her father or her brothers, but looks like integrity is lacking. But given that there’s plenty on HRC’s website about childcare policy, it’s pretty lazy and/or stupid to not fact check first.

  22. 1mime says:

    For those who are perplexed about Paul Ryan’s seeming difficulties, don’t feel too sorry for him. He is focused on his own plan. “He has been trying to recast the presidential campaign as a contest between Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump, but rather his “Better Way” agenda — basically tax cuts for the rich, spending cuts for the poor and deregulation for big business”

    “Ryan’s budget would give less money to the market cops at the Securities and Exchange Commission. It would also get rid of the CFPB’s independent funding — right now it gets its money from the Fed so that it’s free from influence from members of Congress who might not be free from influence from bank lobbyists — and replace its independent director with a five-person bipartisan committee. His anti-poverty plan, meanwhile, would make it legal for financial advisers to once again recommend things that are in their own — but not their clients’ — best interests. ”

    Turns out they’re actually doing a pretty damn good job for the consumers of America.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/14/and-now-a-case-of-really-bad-republican-timing/?wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

  23. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    While on the subject of political violence…
    Exhibit A for the day:

    Minnesota Congressional Candidate Nolan West

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/minn-gop-candidate-apologizes-inflammatory-facebook-posts-article-1.2792212

    “A rookie Republican candidate for the Minnesota House apologized Tuesday for a series of old, inflammatory Facebook posts — including a call for “lynching time” right before President Obama’s 2008 victory.”

    “The deleted posts, which CityPages collected, show West insulting blacks, gays, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Irish, deaf people and Abraham Lincoln — and they date to the candidate’s high school years.”

    “West has shown admiration for the Confederacy and the Confederate flag as recently as last year. In one 2011 post, he called Abraham Lincoln — a fellow Republican who defeated the Confederacy, and also ended slavery — “the single worst president this country has ever seen.”

    “In a post on Nov. 3, 2008, the day before Obama won the presidency, West wrote, “IT’S LYNCHING TIME!”

    “In a comment, he added, “bumper stickers will be made if the elections goes sour.”

    From Rawstory.com, a sentence that sums the whole terrible spectacle of that election.

    “The Party of Lincoln may soon have someone who hates Abraham Lincoln representing it in the Minnesota House of Representatives.”

  24. Stephen says:

    I had forgotten how violent the sixties and early seventies were. People wondered if civil war would break out. Like the pre Civil War south, the fifties are gone forever. The country is not going back. Trumpsters are being used by ruthless people to futhor their aims. If violence breaks out those souls will bare the brunt of it. If Hillary wins I think she will devote effort to defuse poor rural whites by addressing some of their concerns.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy…my brain went ‘they’re killing them all’….of course, my brain had no single ‘they’ identified… so much violence.

      Newspaper photos of police dogs attacking civil rights demonstrators rocked me.

  25. flypusher says:

    Powell’s leaked e-mails make me wonder-how many GOPe types will hold their noses and vote for HRC in secret?

    http://www.vox.com/2016/9/14/12913808/colin-powell-leaked-emails-trump-benghazi

    • flypusher says:

      This also has to worry them:

      http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

      Remember, what happens in the voting booth stays in the voting booth. The Hamilton option is there, and you don’t even have to admit to it.

      • 1mime says:

        No, that is not alright, not when you’ve led men and women into battle and know what is required of our presidents. He gets no pass nor should any of them. You expected our soldiers to charge the hill – well, this is your moment. Be consequential – do what is right, don’t continue to protect the Republican Party that has allowed a man of Trump’s ilk to be its standard bearer. Nope, nope.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, from what I understand, for members of the military, whether leaders or soldiers, unity is of utmost importance, so I’m not surprised at General Powell’s reluctance to speak out publicly against certain members of the GOP.

      • 1mime says:

        Nope, not buying that, Tutta. Powell is now a private citizen and with his experience in matters of national security, he has no excuse to not publicly endorse Clinton and justify his decision on the basis of his concerns for our country. If he were active duty, he wouldn’t be able to say anything.

        How do you explain Gen. Flynn, who is on Trump’s transition team and openly endorsed him? Or any of the 88 retired generals who endorsed T?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Good point, Mime. I was thinking General Flynn was a Republican displaying party unity, but it turns out he was once a Democrat who served under President Obama, and he seems to have had no problem splitting off and speaking his own mind.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Kinda OT, but the CNN video that accompanied Newsweek’sTrump story was followed by a nifty proposal by Robert Reich on how to deal with corporate income taxes and companies that desert the U.S. while still claiming to be American.

        Tidy explanation with proposed solutions at his website (http://robertreich.org/), under recent posts.

        Title: WHY CORPORATE TAX DESERTERS SHOULDN’T GET THE BENEFITS OF BEING AMERICAN CORPORATIONS

        Here’s a link to the video on youtube:

      • 1mime says:

        Bobo, Reich has it right….want to bet on this ever happening?

    • 1mime says:

      Personally, Powell and the other Republicans of note, need to come out of the closet and influence as many voters as they can to help Clinton. Where’s the courage, Colin? He fully understands the danger posed by Trump, so he has a greater obligation to speak out publicly, not via “leaked” emails..

      • 1mime says:

        More on these “shadow-less profiles in courage”. This race is going to be too close for anyone who cares about this country, knows how dangerous a Pres. Trump would be, to stay silent. This is one time when Salon gets it dead right.

        http://www.salon.com/2016/09/14/donald-trumps-spineless-foes-lurking-within-the-republican-party-is-deadly-silent-opposition/?source=newsletter

      • flypusher says:

        This is the best part:

        “Added to the farcical nature of the anonymous whining is that these Republicans are apparently mad that Clinton has struggled to put Trump away. This after 25 years of often-baseless attacks and bad-faith complaints about and attacks against the Democratic candidate by the GOP have helped drive her unfavorable ratings with the public into sky-high territory.

        In other words, the same people who have suffered from Clinton Derangement Syndrome for a quarter century are now upset that Clinton can’t destroy the candidate created by years and years of their own dishonesty.”

        That’s a rock and a hard place, I’ll admit, but they got there by their own poor choices. If you truly think Trump is that bad, the only choice is to aid the only person left who can stop him. Put your $/influence/reputations where your mouths are or STFU.

      • 1mime says:

        The GOP has done such a good job of brainwashing its base to put party before country, that they are having a hard time thinking for themselves.

        The real irony is that they are managing to justify their own failure at allowing 16 other more “acceptable” Republican candidates go by the wayside AND dissing Clinton for her “weakness” at running Trump into the ground.

        No, The GOP still.doesn’t.get.it. As Chris has stated before, Trump is a despicable, dangerous man, but he is the creation of the Republican Party. They OWN Trump.

        The other irony is that the GOP would rather have Clinton in office to batter in order to fire up their base. The duplicity is endless.

      • RobA says:

        There’s a really good chance, Mime, that Powell himself leaked these emails to DCLeaks.

        I agree though, that there should be explicit denouncing of Trump by GOPe types.

      • 1mime says:

        I posited as much in my post, Rob, but it’s not enough. Stand up for your country and stand up for someone he well knows is qualified. Full stop. Where’s the courage, Colin?

    • goplifer says:

      **how many GOPe types will hold their noses and vote for HRC in secret?**

      All of them that I know about, with the exception of some in Texas who will instead go to Gary Johnson.

    • Turtles Run says:

      I am more concerned about the GOPe types that publicly claim o despise Trump but in secret will still do so. In the end they know they are not one of those kinds of people so their world will remain unchanged.

      • 1mime says:

        What if they are wrong, Turtles? What if Trump wins? As the old song goes, “who’s crying now?” Only thing is then we all have to survive a T presidency. This is a time for people to stand up. My gosh, they have all the “cover” they need, but what about a little guts to go with it?

    • RobA says:

      A lot Fly. A lot.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, read today that: Not only did the NCAA give North Carolina the heave-ho, now the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has too. Jason Kirk writes:

        “The ACC followed on Wednesday, announcing its December conference [football] championship will relocate from Charlotte to an unspecified location”

        Stupidity and bigotry have consequences.

      • flypusher says:

        “Rob, read today that: Not only did the NCAA give North Carolina the heave-ho, now the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has too. Jason Kirk writes:”

        That hurts. They love them some NCAA hoops in NC.

  26. 1mime says:

    Turns out that demographic shifts may not be as significant as voter turn out and support. The difference may account for as little as 1% in votes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/upshot/hispanic-and-black-support-for-hillary-clinton-is-overrated.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_up_20160914&nl=upshot&nl_art=0&nlid=41048410&ref=headline&te=1

    • pedneuro says:

      Shall I start looking at scarves for you, 1mime? The NYTimes article is pretty depressing.

      • 1mime says:

        It is important to be realistic and well informed. There is so much hyperbole about minority voter turnout that I thought this article helpful. I’m not meaning to be pessimistic, but as noted, I am not confident of a Clinton win nor re-taking Senate. This election has too many unknowns.

    • pedneuro says:

      Then why is Chris himself so confident about the election outcomes..?? 😦

      • 1mime says:

        Chris hasn’t given us an update in some time, pedneuro. The race is getting tighter and the one caveat he always had was whether Clinton would damage her own chances. Everyone expected Trump to sabotage his own campaign. That is not happening which doesn’t mean he hasn’t been trying, but his base doesn’t appear to care. As the race gets closer and we start seeing states that Clinton must win become tied or reflecting extremely narrow leads, that is not good news, but it doesn’t mean she can’t win. The Senate, however, is in peril for Dems (I am ready to buy blue scarves in bulk). The only way the Senate flips (even narrowly) is with huge margins for Clinton in states where there are tight Senate races.

        Possibly it would be advisable for Chris to speak for himself on this. I am admittedly not encouraged.

      • pedneuro says:

        That only means that Trump’s support, whatever it is, is pretty hard set. Clinton support is mostly soft support – her supporters can change their minds on a dime? I don’t what else could’ve been done for us to not find ourselves in such a situation. I find myself thinking whether or not we would’ve been better off with Bernie as a candidate? He does not seem to have the negatives that are inherently present in the form of a Clinton baggage? Maybe his youth support would’ve been more enthusiastic?

      • With all respect to my fellow commentators, there’s no point arguing about this anymore. If you think Trump has an honest chance to pull this out, then that’s what you believe. If you don’t, you don’t. Stick with it and see where you land on November 8th.

      • pedneuro says:

        Ryan, I am kind of on the fence. I am not sure what to believe. All the conventional wisdom suggests that Clinton should win easily, but then the tightening polls makes me conflicted. I am also not happy about her perceived lack of transparency, and her lack of access to press. They think the press is the enemy (which it is) but ignoring press make the MSM even more determined to push negative stories about her. Trump, as compared to Clinton, is a thousand times more dishonest and lies shamelessly, but he has the charms and knows how to play the MSM, and MSM, always eager to gain more access, is ever eager to oblige Trump.

  27. rightonrush says:

    Got a robo call last night from Trump asking for “emergency funds” for his campaign. Press 1 to make a donation…I haven’t gotten a call like that in years.

  28. 1mime says:

    Newsweek has a big piece out today on the Trump business empire and the implications for national security.

    http://europe.newsweek.com/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081?via=newsletter&source=CSAMedition

  29. 1mime says:

    The Hillary 9/11 pneumonia collapse story is getting a little old, but Arianna Huffington raised some important points about our “superwoman” expectations and how this creates a dangerous model for our presidents.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/running-with-walking-pneumonia-a-teachable-moment_b_11993596.html

  30. RC says:

    what are the chances that this really is a close election? What if Trump actually wins?

  31. flypusher says:

    http://theweek.com/articles/648450/what-hillary-clintons-liberal-defenders-miss-deplorable-flap

    I have to disagree with Mr. Linker’s conclusion. I don’t think any anti-Trump person, even the most liberal, thinks that the hard-core Trumpkins are going anywhere after the election. See this blog post as one of many examples. I also see calling out the truly despicable subset on their vile behavior as really nothing to lose. The people who fit the deplorable moniker had already dialed up the hate to 11, so we should point at them and call them what they are. And also hopefully find something more constructive for them to do.

  32. Anse says:

    What I found really remarkable, and perhaps unprecedented in its brazenly open way, is how this guy acknowledged that even the true believers among them would have to give their lives to the effort, perhaps even their children.

    • flypusher says:

      The quickest and easier way to whip up religious fervor is to convince people they are being persecuted. I think this is a response to diminishing cultural dominance and declining Church membership. Easier than actually following what Jesus said, and he did set that bar pretty high.

      • 1mime says:

        This group intones with regularity on the “world is ending”…which, of course, is more fear tactics to frighten congregants who may legitimately have a very good reason to worry that they won’t make through the pearly gates….

  33. rigoletta says:

    Beyond the reddest of the red states, very few people appreciate the level of hysteria building at the edges of the Republican Party.

    Chris maybe you need to talk to some of the folks who would be the targets of that violence. They understand very well what’s going on.

  34. Creigh says:

    I always cringe when I hear people casting doubt on election integrity. That always seems like an invitation to obstruction if not actual violence. I’m hoping that some good will come out of the talk of Russian hackers though, in the form of more verifiable voting methods. In NM we vote on paper ballots that are counted electronically, but the paper ballots are retained for possible verification or recount. It’s my understanding that some states use purely electronic methods that have no backup method for verification.

  35. Off-topic, but it was too good not to share: on another blog I came across a quote from an Al-Quaeda internal document which was intercepted in 2011. They were planning to send videos to American television networks on the ten-year anniversary of the New York attack, and were discussing which networks to send them to. The conclusion was “don’t send it to Fox, they’re deeply unprofessional and we don’t want to work with them.”

    To quote a commentor, how bad do you have to be that even Al-Quaeda think you’re dodgy?

    “2- The Issue of preparing for the Tenth Anniversary, and how it will be marketed in the Media, and How to Exploit the Media in General: As far as the American channel that could be used to deliver our messages, whether on the tenth anniversary or before or after, in my personal opinion there are no distinct differences between

    SOCOM-2012-0000004-HT

    the channels from the standpoint of professionalism and neutrality. It is all as the Shaykh has stated (close to professionalism and neutrality) it has not and will not reach the perfect professionalism and neutrality, only if God wants that. From the professional point of view, they are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too.

    As for the neutrality of CNN in English, it seems to be in cooperation with the government more than the others (except Fox News of course).”

  36. Griffin says:

    I hope you’re wrong about this Lifer… but I don’t think you are. Worst case scenario is that as the Republican Party breaks down to the point that the rump GOP is basically what the Democratic Party was during Reconstruction, an organization run pretty much purely for organizing and giving cover to white supremacist terrorists in certain states.

    As for leftist violence, yes I think it’s inevitable though it won’t get as much political cover. Most leftist “terrorist” groups will probably look like little political cults each doing their own thing. I’ve noticed a lot of leftist websites popping up that are growing increasingly extreme and through Facebook I know actual far-leftists who celebrate violence against cops or want a revolution. Hopefully it’s just a stereotypical “college phase” for them but there is a definite growing pessimism on the far-left that will probably be dangerous. Most of this group of extremists seem to follow an ideology that is a bizarre variant of Insurrectionary Anarchism that comes across as a sort of entry-level Maoism, as weird as that sounds, though I’m obviously no expert on the subject.

    I wonder if the Democratic Party can handle having such a big-tent. I think it will break up into two pieces if it keeps growing.

    • >] I wonder if the Democratic Party can handle having such a big-tent. I think it will break up into two pieces if it keeps growing.

      Honestly, it’s difficult to say. There’s no real historical precedent for anything like this. Even in the days of Reconstruction and afterwards when Republicans more or less ran the table, national elections were more closely contested than not. Chris raises some valid concerns about the stability of such a large party being able to hold itself together, but I think things could go a couple of ways:

      1.) A large scale defection of moderates and conservatives into the Democratic Party would be a desperate move to maintain some semblance of national relevance, but it would likely take the form of a sub-party within the broader one. Think of it like reverse engineering the old days when differing opinions within a national political party gave us labels like Conservative/Moderate/Liberal Democrats and the same for Republicans, only in this case it’s coming from the outside in.

      2.) No such defection occurs and Liberal/Progressive Democrats gain overwhelming dominance across America, both in Congress and state legislatures across the country as Republican remnants slip into true irrelevance. Some holdouts will be likely in states with significant rural populations (Wyoming, Idaho, the Dakotas, etc), but it’ll be the relevant equivalent of defending the Alamo. Expect to see significant third-party efforts sprout up to try and fill the void left by the GOP. To what end, wait several election cycles and roll the dice.

      3.) The Democratic Party really does collapse in on itself and we enter no-mans land. To what end, f*** me if I know. X___X

      • 1mime says:

        Of interest also is what the election means in terms of the power alignment in the House. The GOP has gerrymandered a solid majority position, so they will not lose that, but there are internal schisms that are going to make it difficult for Ryan and moderates to prevail. Democrats will benefit in that their numbers will be a little better, and from the dissension within the GOP, but the big problem will be with the Freedom Caucus, who have already shown how they plan to play ball. They didn’t even give Ryan a chance to forge consensus.
        (This may be pay-walled so have a snippet from the article below to give you an idea of what’s at stake here.)

        “On Tuesday, members of the Freedom Caucus took a procedural step on the House floor to force a vote on whether to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, two days before Mr. Ryan’s scheduled discussion of the issue among House Republicans. Conservatives are also opposed to a short-term spending bill that would keep the government running until Dec. 9, after its current funding expires on Sept. 30. They want to avoid having Congress pass a single, sweeping spending bill in December.”

        http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/09/14/house-gop-could-keep-majority-but-lose-leverage/?mod=djemCapitalJournalDaybreak

  37. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    The walking/talking moral vacuum that is Donald Trump seems to have corrupted self-styled morality defender Governor Mike Pence in record time. He is taking positions that make no sense and is making him look spineless, disengaged from reality and grotesquely hypocritical.

    In other words, he is a shining example of a social conservative politician.
    If he is the ideal of American Christian values… count me out.

    Courtesy of New York Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/us/politics/mike-pence-campaign.html?_r=0

    “Mr. Pence was greeted warmly by Senate Republicans when he joined them for a lunch of Chick-fil-A sandwiches, but received a firm rebuke from John McCain of Arizona, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Calling Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, “a thug and a butcher,” Mr. McCain said Mr. Trump’s embrace of the autocratic ruler was unacceptable, according to a Republican official present who also insisted on anonymity.”

    “Mr. Pence insisted that he and Mr. Trump were trying to belittle President Obama rather than to laud Mr. Putin.”

    Really? That is his best explanation?

    Making Obama look bad due to petty political partisanship, resulting in raising the esteem/respectability of Putin is a great example of the derangement on the conservative movement.

    Is Obama a no good communist/socialist while an ex-KGB spook like Putin (who has used government to control 99% of the media) is a real stand up guy. Mike Pence is down for that?

    Gross.

    Why the hell can’t Pence see the horrible consequences for the country when people like him legitimizes abhorrent views like that?

    Mike Pence, the former strong advocate of “religious freedom”, meeting at Chik-fil-A while discussing your running mate’s verbal love fest with Putin. Putin and Chik-fil-A… real friends to the LBGT community.

    Of what earthy reason do blacks, gays, Latinos, Muslims and female citizens of the United States have in supporting the GOP as it is now.

    A party lead by the likes of Trump…
    Supported by white supremacists like David Duke, admires the likes of Vladimir Putin and is being politically advised by prolific sexual harassment degenerate Roger Ailes.

    The amount of opposition research on this Republican presidential campaign (or League of Truly Awful Men) must be epic in scale.

  38. Peter Gray says:

    Outstanding essay, Chris! I’ve had a steadily increasing feeling, sort of on the back of my neck, that this is coming. I didn’t quite articulate it as you have.
    What can we do about this, other than (try to) stand back and watch? There seem to be numerous positive feedback loops, such as with propaganda, lack of true education, privatizing everything in sight, and very few people with the ability and power to push back. I try to educate my undergrads about a lot of this, but that feels like a tiny drop in the ocean.
    I also noticed your not mentioning Trump, which felt odd at first, or maybe that’s a DT24/7 withdrawal symptom. Then I kind of appreciated it as a good reminder that most of this is not about DT, and it’s surely not his creation. I see it more as the opposite. As the ultimate applause-hound, DT is like a heat-seeking missile, who homes in on the kooky right wing, then amplifies and broadcasts their message. Trump might be an outlier in terms of spewing accelerant, but he didn’t light the fire.
    Any bets as to reactions from Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity when major violence is committed in their names?

    • flypusher says:

      “Any bets as to reactions from Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity when major violence is committed in their names?”

      “Taking responsibility” wouldn’t even get 1,000,000 to 1 odds.

  39. flypusher says:

    Bevin is deplorable.

  40. JK74 says:

    WTF is wrong with this fellow (and, presumably, a whole bunch of others who feel the same way)? Does he really think that a Pres. H. Clinton would be a threat to the republic? Such that the only appropriate response is some kind of armed revolution? I guess maybe he thinks that a Pres. Tim Kaine is acceptable, as assassinating Clinton post-inauguration, absent anything else, would just result in the VP ascending to the top spot. If so, why is Kaine OK but Cinton deserves killing? Un-bucking-felievable.

    I had thought, a couple of months ago, that “sensible” Republicans would, in many cases, announce they’d be voting for HRC, or at least not for Trump. So far, those who have done so are a pretty small group; the esteemed Mr. C. Ladd, P. J. O’Rourke and not many others.

    PJ is interesting; I remember thinking that after going wild at Bill Clinton for 8 years, he went pretty quiet during the GWB period; apart from the Monica thing, there wasn’t much that he ripped Bill for that Bush wasn’t worse. (E.g. spending like crazy, Patriot Act, wars that really put some “Wag the Dog” bombings of Al-Qaeda in perspective). Similarly, there wasn’t anything that he could criticize Obama for; no personal scandal, steady economic recovery, sane leadership. He’s since come out for HRC; he still claims that she’ll be “wrong”, but admits that she’ll be wrong within normal parameters, whereas Trump will be off the charts wrong, and that would be worse for the country.

    The rest of the R party seem to be lining up behind their guy – “My party, right or wrong”, so to speak – and it looks like the mental effort of doing so is making them absolutely loony.

  41. antimule says:

    Chris, what do you make of claims that BLM movement makes things worse, which is claimed by conservatives, such as with this Wall St Journal article (paywalled):

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-black-body-count-rises-as-chicago-police-step-back-1473631079

    The claim is that BLM made policing harder, which is causing escalation in violence. I am not American and have no way to prove or disprove the assertions.

    • 1mime says:

      Well here’s one statement in the WSJ that I think is patently unfair: “President Obama takes every opportunity to accuse police of racially profiling blacks and Hispanics. ” Pres. Obama has not sugar-coated the Fact that racial profiling occurs, but he has gone to great lengths to speak to how difficult policing is. It’s statements like this which denigrate the entire article. Find one glaring untruth and the whole article is suspect.

      That said, Chris is the expert as he lives there. As far as I recall, the problems with Chicago policing go back decades.

      • antimule says:

        > That said, Chris is the expert as he lives there. As far as I recall, the problems with Chicago policing go back decades.

        Yeah, that’s why I want to hear his view.

    • goplifer says:

      1) Every time black people ask to be treated fairly they are “stirring up racial tensions” and “making things worse.”

      2) Policing in this country will require a complete overhaul if it is ever going to be remotely just. Overhauling something is very difficult. It takes time. Murderers and rapists aren’t going to pause their activities while we figure it out. On the other side outcomes will be better for everyone, but while these disruptions are occurring you can expect problems.

      • flypusher says:

        Do you find the fact that they are at least starting to compile data on police use of force to be encouraging? That was my gobsmacked-did-not-know-that moment from this issue; I had not realized how poor the record-keeping was. Mandatory reporting is absolutely necessary- you cannot fix a problem if you haven’t defined the problem.

        Also, if you see something, record something. Citizens with smartphones can do a lot to combat police coverups. It is your 1st Amendment and 4th Amendment right.

      • 1mime says:

        Is it your understanding that all states are required to report on matters of police violence? Body-cams are not required in most jurisdictions and dashboard cams are not always turned on…if it weren’t for the advent of phone-video, we wouldn’t have made much progress on accountability, as you noted.

      • 1mime says:

        That’s interesting. Because the WaPo has for the last two years on their own been collecting this data because there was no central repository. I thought I understood that Congress had passed NRA drafted legislation that expressly forbids the collection or sharing of information on gun violence? I’ll have to re-visit this issue.

      • 1mime says:

        Still looking for the legislation that prohibits collection and sharing of gun violence information, but did find this interesting compilation from Al Jazeera…who obviously has a dog in this hunt…

        http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2015/11/3/these-states-have-the-highest-gun-death-rates-in-america.html

        And this from plumbing Wiki:

        “In 1996 the NRA lobbied Congressman Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) to include budget provisions that prohibited the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from advocating or promoting gun control and that deleted $2.6 million from the CDC budget, the exact amount the CDC had spent on firearms research the previous year. The ban was later extended to all research funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). According to an article in Nature, this made gun research more difficult, reduced the number of studies, and discouraged researchers from even talking about gun violence at medical and scientific conferences. In 2013, after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, President Barack Obama ordered the CDC to resume funding research on gun violence and prevention, and put $10 million in the 2014 budget request for it.”

        Good for Pres. Obama. Keep those E.O.s comin’!

      • flypusher says:

        ” I thought I understood that Congress had passed NRA drafted legislation that expressly forbids the collection or sharing of information on gun violence?”

        The CDC cannot (which is FACEPALM level stupid), but I don’t think that applies to the FBI keeping stats on the local police forces.

      • 1mime says:

        I think the problem is that the FBI cannot share the information it collects….but the data that the CDC was researching on gun violence also had a records component, which is one of the reasons the NRA defunded it. I’m still looking for the info I alluded to…back to you later (-;

      • 1mime says:

        If my brain weren’t so fried, I would have remembered the law that restricts information sharing among other limitations, the Tiart amendment.

        http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-laws/federal-law/other-laws/tiahrt-amendments/

    • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

      I think those who blame BLM for violence against police are confusing the people who drew a target on the backs of police officers (through police actions and culture) with those who are pointing it out & trying to get police to remove it.

      • flypusher says:

        The excuses people will make defy logic. How can anyone defend the police in cases like Tamir Rice and Eric Gardner, where there were obvious stupidly bad tactics or violation of department regulations?

        But I do see some of that on the other side-Michael Brown wasn’t shot in the back while fleeing.

  42. Bobo Amerigo says:

    You said:

    Governor Bevin and others like him may come to regret their intemperate remarks.

    I don’t think so. They’ll just slink further into the role of victims. Bevin’s recent comments indicate they already see themselves that way. They’re republicans, you know. They do nothing but harm.

  43. RobA says:

    Looks like Powells personal emails got hacked. Apparently, he’s not a fan of Donald Trump.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/colin-powell-calls-trump-national-disgrace-in-personal-email

    • 1mime says:

      Apparently Colin Powell is also not a fan of Hillary Clinton – even given the choice of a former colleague and fellow SOS, and Donald Trump. Powell and all of us may be looking a President Trump in the face if things don’t start improving for Clinton’s campaign. How many quiet opponents of Trump will wring their hands and say, I wish I had spoken out earlier.

  44. RobA says:

    I just posted on the old thread about the 69 y/o woman who was protesting tonight in SC and got sucker punched.

    Seems more appropriate to this piece.

  45. 1mime says:

    You carefully avoided any mention of the Trump effect. If he loses, or if he wins, is this election the catalyst that will launch the type of violence you predict? Has the rhetoric spilled into the campaign from Trump laid the groundwork for the physical engagement that Governor Bevin suggested?

    • Little doubt about it, unfortunately. As Chris just said, this election is the hammer ready to smash apart any piddling sense of fantasy that white supremacists and nationalists have about “making America great again” through politics. There may be a momentary sense of despair about them as soon as the Great White Hope is soundly throttled in November, but don’t expect that to last for long.

      You can already hear it coming in the incendiary rhetoric from right-wing hate mongers like Coulter, Limbaugh, Bevin and others, about how this is the “last election” and how if Clinton wins, she’ll legalize so many immigrants in the country that will assuredly vote Democratic that Republicans will never be able to win another election again and… blah blah blah, you get it.

      This is what they do and they have nothing to lose and every paranoid fruitcake to try and get to tune in and buy their merchandise to gain by keeping at it. This is bad.

      • 1mime says:

        The other point is that is is looking extremely likely that the Republicans will hold the Senate. Even if Clinton is elected, she would have no backstop of any kind. This will exacerbate the rhetoric coming from the right who will be emboldened through more perceived affirmation of their agenda. That will lead to the reality of a newly elected president who is impotent to lead in a time of great unrest because she will have no authority support from Congress.

      • Believe whatever you want about the Senate, mime. All I’ll say is is that the bet’s still on.

      • 1mime says:

        I’ve got a pretty blue scarf all picked out, Ryan (-;

      • pedneuro says:

        1mime, don’t count the Republican Senate chickens yet. The Senate polls are still in flux and I read that a Clinton presidential win will move the Senate races around 2% towards Dems. Trust me on this, we are looking at 51-49 type of scenario.

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