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December 23, 2016

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The post title reminds me of this.

I wish for each you the warmth of hearth and home, the love of those you hold most dear, and the simple joy of a season mostly about giving an sharing.

Blessings for all.

I wouldn't be displeased if at least some of you had a not-entirely unpleasant festivus.

Stay warm, all.

For all of you, the best holidays, of any denomination, that you can possibly have. May 2017 be an improvement on 2016 (a person can wish, after all).

Happy holidays, peeps. Some of you are great sustenance.

Undiluted good wishes to all of you here.

Io! Sol invicte!

Best wishes to all for their time off, whatever they choose to do with it.

May the joy of this season fill all hearts

And may The Donald be visited tonight
by three ghosts.

here we go around the sun again. hope the holiday brings nothing but good things to everyone reading this, and everybody else, too.

peace and good will are damned hard work, as it turns out. let us not grow weary.

all the best to all.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Which will be the lesser evil?

Unholy (belated) solstice everyone!

Merry Christmas, seasons, greetings, all that, I hope you all have a good time with friends and family.

Love to all and thanks for the reminder, Hartmut. :-)

Ugh -- expected that clip, was not disappointed!

Happy holidays to everyone. May you all not get too much indigestion.

I made Holiday Turkey Dinner yesterday for 12 people. It went really well: we didn't do presents (much) this year, so these was lots of time for chatting.

But early this morning my quads were cramping so much I dreamed I was 9 months pregnant and having Braxton-Hicks contractions. "Not as bad as real labor!" I kept assuring people, as we tried to get me to an obstetrician.

Menopause was 10 years ago, but there are some things you don't forget.

...since TiO seems to be down...

Going back a week to find the source of my scoffing? Kind of embarrassing. I don't know, maybe you had it in your mind for 5 days and finally got to deliver your denouement. If so, get a life.

[...]

You still haven't acknowledged that you baldly misstated what I said.

Interesting how you managing to keep an idea (and its origin) that is repeatedly referenced in an ongoing conversation in your head is normal, but my doing so in the same conversation either means I'm pouring over a week's worth of comments to find an excuse to "score points" or am a loser who needs to "get a life".

Doctor lj, heal thyself. Seriously. If you want others to show respect for the conversation, you need to be consistently self-aware and contentious, and while sometimes you're one of the best contributors on that score, other times you're very far from it. You normally do the exasperated dismissive condescending thing more with McK than with me, but it's something you've done on and off for years. We all have our flaws (e.g., I'm prolix, repetitive, and yes, I certainly have trouble letting go of a point - as you obviously do too, which points to us both being a bit petty and pedantic, which sadly also seems a fair assessment for both of us), and they can (and do) impede the conversation if they go unexamined. Expecting others to take the high road when you don't (Cf. how irked you were at being described as "scoffing", but apparently saw no problem in having previously dismissed others as "ranting") is not reasonable.

-----

And to make this comment less than purely meta and navelgazing: first they came for the factory workers, and I said nothing because I was not a factory worker, etc.

Japanese white-collar workers are already being replaced by artificial intelligence

(Nothing new, not anything we haven't discussed before, but progress marches onward as anticipated...)

This one is for sapient. I don't find the "analysis" to be nearly as conclusive as the author does, but I like reading stuff. And so can you!

This is a little more up my alley, though it doesn't contradict the last link at all. I'd say it's consistent with the last, even if it doesn't necessarily confirm it.

TiO is kaput, although LJ handled the back office stuff so I will leave official word to him.

Was surfing over my now ended lunch and read this:

We have a keen understanding for the vices of those who are unlike us.

Maybe worth thinking about? Who knows.

Thanks, hairshirthedonist. It's depressing to think how easily things could have been different, but the story of the "economically anxious" as the core Trump base is one of those things that bugs me the most.

The salon article, just like a bunch in that vein fails to note the most important factor in all US elections--people vote the same way they did last time. So when party control goes from one side to the other it isn't that fact that rules, but rather those tiny few who actually changed their votes (or voted last time but not this time which is like changing half a vote).

Clinton lost 3 key swing states that went for Obama, a black man. You can see he is black by looking at him.

She lost those states to a strong sense of economic anxiety.

Clinton lost 3 key swing states that went for Obama, a black man. You can see he is black by looking at him.

She lost those states to a strong sense of economic anxiety.

I don't deny that economic anxiety played some role, but in 2 of those 3 states, there are large black populations. Nationally, black turnout was down significantly compared to when Obama was elected and re-elected, and I would assume those states followed suit.

And it sure as hell isn't that blacks as a group don't experience economic anxiety. They just might be more used to it, though.

She lost those states to a strong sense of economic anxiety.

Please provide evidence to support that. I would suggest that people voted for Obama (even though he was black) because of economic anxiety. This makes more sense, because people actually were economically anxious in 2008, and somewhat in 2012. They were much less anxious in 2016, so they could let their freak flag of racism and misogyny fly.

Also, it's silly to ignore the effect of the email drumbeat and the Comey letter, as well as a few other factors that I'm determined not to mention anymore.

As to the "what people usually do" factor: presidential parties usually change hands after eight years. I'm not convinced that this was would have happened without a few other variables this time, but certainly "outsider" was a theme.

Obviously, economic anxiety rings true for a lot of people anytime, and Democrats address those anxieties with strengthening the safety net. Republicans address them with tax cuts. Nothing new.

Nationally, black turnout was down significantly compared to when Obama was elected and re-elected, and I would assume those states followed suit.

Voter suppression tactics were being pursued very diligently in many swing states, including North Carolina and Wisconsin, for sure. This was not the whole story, but definitely played a part, as did the other things mentioned above.

On skepticism with regard to Russian hacking, mine was never anything like this load of sh1t, which I link purely for the purposes of subjecting it to ridicule.

My confidence is higher, now that the intel people have put themselves out there in front of the senate committee today.

For the narrow purpose of talking about this election, racism is being used as an excuse by Democrats to not look at some of the other problems they have.

This is not saying that racism isn't a real thing. This is not saying that racism doesn't make lots of people's lives horrible. This is not saying that racism isn't having a potentially scary upswing.

This is saying that racism in the narrow context of the Clinton/Trump election is being used as a form of denial to avoid crucial self reflection about key failings in important areas.

If we are talking about the kind of racism that causes white people to vote for a black President, you are talking about an excuse not a functional explanation.

A majority of poor people vote for Democrats. Why? Lots of reasons including: Democrats propose better safety nets, Democrats have at least as good a history on the economy, and for people of color Democrats are WAY better on race issues. Just as importantly, they voted for Obama last time.

So when you do naive cross-section analysis like the salon article, you see hey most poor people voted for Clinton, therefore it couldn't be economic anxiety.

That's bad statistics.

Poor people shifted AWAY from Clinton more than any other Democratic to Republican presidential race since they shifted Carter to Reagan. That is how elections are won and lost in the context of the fact that most people vote the same way they did last time.

These people voted for Obama. Obama is a black man. You can't get away from that with hand waving.

Even if you want to call it racism, you would be better served by adequately explaining why people willing to vote for a black man for President are suddenly so much more racist.

And when you do that, you're going to find economic anxiety. In my view the Democratic Party apparatus would much rather seek solace in blaming racism through poor statistics than looking at how 30+ years of neglect left a bunch of people thinking that they might as well gamble on something new because the same old Democratic Party promises had been proven false to them for at least 2 generations.

"And it sure as hell isn't that blacks as a group don't experience economic anxiety. They just might be more used to it, though."

Yes. And in the context of "people tend to vote the same way they did last time" Clinton still lost black votes in key states.

One thing worse than Democratic promises being proven false will be Republican ones proving to be true. I guess now we'll see.

Yes. And in the context of "people tend to vote the same way they did last time" Clinton still lost black votes in key states.

That was my point. The question is whether you can call that a matter of economic anxiety.

Sebastian, you are welcome to your "view" but I don't agree with it, and there really isn't any evidence for it. But that's fine because 2020 will be a very different time, with a very different set of challenges.

She was a terrible candidate with a terrible campaign who lost to a joke - thank you, Hillary!

Clinton still lost black votes in key states.

Voter suppression.

She was a terrible candidate with a terrible campaign who lost to a joke - thank you, Hillary!

Thanks, Brexit, for being the role model for our horrible election!

She was a terrible candidate with a terrible campaign who lost to a joke - thank you, Hillary!

Thanks, Putin, for doing all you do to help the worst outcome happen! You'll probably keep doing it since people are denying that this is happening!

Voter suppression in Pennsylvania? That's an interesting theory... How was it done?

Clinton still lost black votes in key states.

[response]: Voter suppression.

No doubt there was voter suppression in some places. But Clinton lost black votes in other places where there wasn't voter suppression. So the question is, why?

I don't know how much of a factor it was, but there was this (at least).

So the question is, why?

Well, I did mention some other reasons, but one big one would be that compared to Obama, the first African-American President, she wasn't as attractive.

She was also subjected to the "corrupt Hillary" message, which also won't be repeated in 2020, since she won't be the Democratic nominee. There will, no doubt, be another negative message that the Democratic nominee will have to combat. But, as I also mentioned before, it's kind of silly to keep reviewing the many different variables that could have been tweaked in order for Hillary to have obtained the electoral vote (especially keeping in mind that she won the popular vote by a healthy margin). She won't be running again.

The 2020 election will have its own challenges, but it will be a very different election from the 2016 election. The "economic anxiety" issue might look very different in 2020. We will have to see.

I don't know how much of a factor it was, but there was this (at least).

The effect of that sort of thing was probably pretty significant.

And this. Even though the court put a stop to it, you have the intimidation factor.

Excerpt:

The rush by Republicans to send poll watchers to heavily Democratic and minority polling places was prompted in large part by the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, who has singled out Philadelphia during rallies as a place where his supporters need to be on the lookout for “shenanigans.”

Why does it have to be one factor to the exclusion of all of the others?

Every single thing mentioned in this thread played a part in the outcome.

Simplicity?

It's been called the 'rust belt' for going on 50 years. So all these 'economically anxious' white voters finally, finally, at long f*cking last decided to fly their "economic anxiety" freak flag...such heroic patience!!! But wait, there's more....they waited nearly a decade from the economic disaster of 2008 to express this anxiety.....DURING A TIME OF MARGINALLY RISING REAL INCOMES AND LOWERING UNEMPLOYMENT RATES.

But not racism....nosirrrreeee. Are you kidding me?

What's different this time? We had an explicitly white nationalist asshole as one of the candidates.

And whites, across ALL class and income markers, voted for this guy overwhelmingly.

You can opine all you want about what happened at the margins (HRC=Martha Coakley, EMAILS, etc.) and term it 'decisive', but you cannot deny this one central fact.

Trump's racism was not a deal breaker for white America.

It should have been. Shame on us.

"What's different this time? We had an explicitly white nationalist asshole as one of the candidates."

And last time we had a noticeably black man who ran for President. And won.

"And whites, across ALL class and income markers, voted for this guy overwhelmingly."

You know who else whites, across ALL class and income markers, voted for overwhelmingly? Mitt Romney, who lost to a black man both over the nation and in the states in question.

You know who *else* whites, across ALL class and income markers, voted for overwhelmingly? John McCain, who lost to a black man.

Racism absolutely is a nasty part of core Republican voters. We shouldn't live in a nation which is narrowly divided between two parties, at least one of which has huge racist overtones.

But Democrats have been capable of succeeding in that context before.

The reason Democrats lost this time, is largely related to three states which have been voting for Democrats for many recent elections--including the election of an actual black man with a Muslim sounding name: Barack Hussein Obama.

All three of these states have been hit hard by a trade policy which has been the stated policy of both parties for decades.

Trump promised to end that policy and fight for their jobs. He's probably lying. But that is what he promised.

The inhabitants of these three states, who just 4 and 8 years before voted for Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, voted for the person who spoke to them about their situation for the first time in 30 years.

We COULD call that racism.

Or we COULD try to speak to them about their situation.

I know which path the Democratic Party elite seem to be going, and it is the first one.

I'm not a brilliant politician. But I think that tactic isn't likely to work.

So here's a second hand anecdote: I was down in a fairly liberal north Florida city last week for a holiday visit. Met a friend out for beers, and he related a conversation he had a few days before at the same pub. Talking to two black dudes in their early 20s, he was flabbergasted to hear they voted for Trump. Because they thought he'd "shake things up".

Pretty sure they'll be getting what they voted for, broadly speaking. They may not be cool with the particulars, but hey, you've got a break a few eggs, and all that.

I know which path the Democratic Party elite seem to be going, and it is the first one.

Disagree. The party elite seem to be focusing more on EMAILS, Comey, and Russian hackers...and defending Clinton as a candidate for a variety of other reasons.

Clinton ran on a platform that was further left than any Dem platform since the 60's.

So naturally, the Democrats get blamed for "leaving the WWC behind"? Basically, you are arguing that Trump's messaging was the decisive factor that finally roused these anxious folks to vote for the GOP?

Sebastian, if you're on twitter, you should go visit @JamesSurowiecki who posted a tweetstorm a few hours ago, and is posting again, with real numbers and theories about who voted for whom and why. I hate tweetstorms, so shorter James Surowiecki: read bobbyp's comment.


Pretty sure they'll be getting what they voted for, broadly speaking. They may not be cool with the particulars, but hey, you've got a break a few eggs, and all that.

Even African-Americans make stupid voting decisions sometimes.

The argument that it can't be racism because Obama was elected seems awful similar to the argument that I can't be racist because I have a black friend. If it were the same electorate with the same body of facts voting each time, maybe you could argue that. But it's a different group of people mobilized in different ways.

I said much earlier that it is good that we've made racism such a toxic marker that no one wants to own up to it. We've done that so well that it has affected other languages. In Japan, you often hear the phrase 'kubetsu wa sabetsu de wa nai' which translates to 'treating people differently is not discrimination' Unfortunately, this often comes up when people are asking why there are unequal conditions that impinge on groups of people, not up front when they are hiring.

The problem is that we've done it so well that we hesitate to call anything racism except the most absolutely blatant examples. <*cough* Carl Paladino *cough*> This suggests that the threshold for saying the campaign hinges on racism would require that Trump only spoke about Obama's skin color the entire campaign and if he had been elected, we could then say that it was racist. That seems to make racism something that could never happen in the US. Which is probably what a lot of people believe, but I don't think it is necessarily true.

We shouldn't live in a nation which is narrowly divided between two parties, at least one of which has huge racist overtones.

Agree wholeheartedly. You know, going back to Nixon, the GOP has implicitly donned the mantle of white racism, and it has proved a potent force in national elections.

The difference is: Trump has now made that explicit.

Bill Clinton squeaked in twice thanks to Ross Perot, and Obama won in 2008 thanks to the GOP driving the economy into the ditch. He repeated in 2012 as the economy turned around, and he held on to his minority voters for the most part.

Overall, the Dems got "lucky" when they won over the last 50+ years as the New Deal coalition had pretty much been shattered by 1980.

Building a new one is going to be a real challenge, and focusing all your explanatory attention on the perceived grievances of a small sliver of the WWC is not going to get you there.

Just sayin'

He's probably lying.

What the hell do I know about what goes on in Trump's mind? Damned little.

That said, here is my thought about "he's probably lying".

I think Trump thinks he actually is going to make America great again. I think he believes he is going to create millions of jobs.

I think he believes that he actually is what made Ford decide not to open the plant in MX, and that he actually is the guy who got Sprint to bring 5000 jobs back to the US.

I think he believes he is going to do that, and he is going to kick a big leg up to the oil industry, and that is not going to cause any environmental problems, and it is going to make a lot of money for his American cronies and also for a bunch of Russian oligarchs, who may or may not be his creditors.

And he is going to build a wall, maybe, or maybe not, but whatever he does, it will stop illegal immigration, unless it doesn't, in which case it's not really a problem anyway.

It's all going to be good, and we're all going to make buckets of money, and if it isn't all good, we'll do something else, and that will be all good.

And the folks who supported him will by and large be OK with all of that, because they understand that he's generally full of crap. They voted for him because he made them feel good, for any of 100 reasons. They don't particularly expect him to deliver policy-wise, and they don't really care all that much, because they'd rather not have the feds do much of anything anyway. Except in the fairly narrow ways in which it touches them, and in those areas they're just crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

I don't think most folks put as much thought into their support for Trump as seems to be under discussion here. He is kind of an ass, and everyone knows that, and they don't care.

He made a lot of money, so he must know something about something. He speaks bluntly to the point of being offensively obnoxious, which sort of feels like a version of honesty. And people in government suck anyway, so he can't be any worse.

Fill in the rural resentment / racial animus / economic anxiety details as needed.

Basically, he seems like somebody who is going to do "something different", where "doing something different" is, simply, not doing the thing you don't like, whatever that is. Just fill in the blanks according to your own personal set of issues.

I don't think people think about stuff like this all that much, when it comes right down to it.

He made a lot of money, so he must know something about something.

Well, he says he made a lot of money. How close he is to declaring bankruptcy (again), and who is financing his empire . . . nobody can say. Except maybe his accountants.

Russell, I guess that was part of the point of sharing my second-hand anecdote. At least, it matches up pretty well with your last sentence.

"I don't think people think about stuff like this all that much, when it comes right down to it."

Agreed.

In some ways, modern civilization has been TOO successful, so that people don't have any concern about how things can go south on them.

Unlike prior ages, when war, famine, disease, disaster and economic problems could kill you, your family, your neighbors very easily, and if you wanted to survive, you paid attention.

Hey, the GOP is doing their best to toughen up those softy citizens, amirite?

Nope, probably not right. Their actions may be having that effect. But to be "doing their best" that would have to be their intention. And I somehow don't think it is. (Well except maybe for the true devout libertarians among them. But those are a distinct minority among GOP politicians.)

To follow up russell's previous comments on what handed Trump electoral-college victory, even decisively, it still may well be *all of the above*. He won by very slim margins in 3 states that, had they gone the other way, Clinton would be PE.

I don't claim to know how many votes any of the factors under discussion were responible for going one way or the other (or to minor parties or non-votes). But you may only have to remove one of any number of them (assuming that were possible) to flip the outcome.

Was it younger people and minorities staying home, be it for lack of enthusiasm or voter suppression? Was it racist white people? Was it people swayed by emails or Wikileaks or the Clinton Foundation? Was it economic anxiety? Was it a sense of cultural inferiority? Was it anti-establishment/anti-elite sentiment? Was it misogyny? Was it plain stupidity or ignorance? Was it a bad sense of humor? Was it fake news? Are all these things complete separate or do some of them have interdependencies?

In some ways, modern civilization has been TOO successful, so that people don't have any concern about how things can go south on them.

For whatever reason, I like to use the example of being able to go into any grocery store and buy a can of peas grown and canned by who-knows-who who-knows-where without fear that they're going to make you sick or poison you. That is not the natural state of things.

Well, he says he made a lot of money

he craps in a gold-plated toilet. that's more than good enough for a lot of folks.

in fact, if he's actually broke, even better. he's putting one over on those big money boys.

yeah, he's richie freaking rich. he's a comic book rich guy. so what? he's got his own plane, and he has a gold plated toilet.

do you have your own plane, or a gold plated toilet?

QED

The gift I think Trump actually has is some kind of intuitive sense for whatever it is that gets up people's noses. He has all the trappings of success, but in the circles he wants to travel in, he's always been a gauche bridge-and-tunnel arriviste. So I think he just has fine-tuned radar for that kind of resentful thing. if there is one over-riding theme in what he's run on, that's it.

Those People think they're better than you. I'm going to help you stick it to them.

the particulars of who Those People are, or what it is exactly that They Do that bugs you, are kind of a blank slate for you to fill in.

I don't think it much matters what Trump actually does or doesn't do, or which of his various and often contradictory promises he keeps or doesn't keep. It doesn't matter what outrageous or irresponsible thing he does or says.

Those People think they are better than you, and Trump is going to stick it to them. End of story.

Those People think they are better than you, and Trump is going to stick it to them. End of story.

I posted this before, but I just feel that it's emblematic of the Trump "movement", not to mention what the country's going to look like if we don't stop him somehow.

my thing with Trump is this:

All Marty wants is no more Rethugs and Demo-whatevers.

That's a nice wish but given the history of the US since about 1800 I think it's unlikely.

All I want is to know who (likely plural) has a piece of Trump, financially. Who, how big a piece, and what levers that affords them. Who owns Trump, and how much of him do they own.

I suspect that knowing that information would clarify many things that are, at present, confusing. And given the stakes, it is not a big ask.

Thus far: crickets.

Follow the money, said Deep Throat. It was advice for the ages.

Those People think they are better than you, and Trump is going to stick it to them. End of story.

Yeah, but....

It's only the end of the story if Trump actually is sticking it to Those People. If his current fans decide that he's responsible for sticking it to them instead, it's a different end to the story.

And it doesn't even matter that much if it's a Republican Congress that's doing it. Because Trump promised to stick it to Those People, and it didn't happen. The specifics of what happened, like the specifics of what was promised, are irrelevant. The specifics of who got stuck do matter.

Talking to two black dudes in their early 20s, he was flabbergasted to hear they voted for Trump. Because they thought he'd "shake things up".

As I have mentioned before, that's imo very similar to the Jews that voted for Hitler against the old establishment. They did not see him as a saviour but one who promised to try something new and although he would likely not last long it would be the necessary kick to the system. Hitler ran on a decidedly anti-establishment platform (at least in the major part of the Reich, the East was a bit more complicated including the Nazi party campaigning in Polish while at the same time attacking Polish immigrants in the West as job stealers).

"The specifics of who got stuck do matter."

Or they would, if they were not little clots of self-deluded tribal flotsam, washed away in a tsunami of blatant lying.

In the meantime, The U.S. labor market turned in a solid performance at the end of 2016, sending job gains above 2 million for a sixth year as paychecks rose by the most during the current expansion.

The one thing that sometimes gets anti-vaxxers to change their minds is when their kids get really sick from something they should have been immunized against. If Trump screws up this economic recovery or allows some community to be clearly harmed from pollution or goes police-state on the wrong group of people or gets us into some dumb fncking war, people will turn on him. I hope it somehow comes to a less dramatic end, but none of that what be particularly surprising.

And then the GOP will go full 'Dubya who?' again. And 'he was actually a liberal, not one of us'. The media will then of course obediently unbury all those anti-Trump soundbytes from the primaries to support those claims.

If his current fans decide that he's responsible for sticking it to them instead, it's a different end to the story.

If Trump screws up this economic recovery or allows some community to be clearly harmed from pollution or goes police-state on the wrong group of people or gets us into some dumb fncking war, people will turn on him

All of that would make sense. I'm not sure if that is a reliable predictor of what will actually happen.

The country is profoundly polarized. Publicly changing your mind about supporting Trump would be a big walk-back. Personally, I think it would take a hell of a lot for most folks to do it.

Maybe, like, ten years after he's out of office, see also (frex, not trying to pick on anyone) McK's recent observations that W was in over his head.

But in anything like real time, I would be very surprised to see it.

People are funny. Not ha-ha funny, quirky funny. All people, not just the Great Unwashed Trump supporters.

What makes sense isn't what always happens.

Plus, I'm guessing Trump is really good at shifting blame.

We'll see what happens.

"I'm guessing Trump is really good at shifting blame."

He's clearly an expert, otherwise he'd have wound up hanging from a lamppost in Atlantic City 20 years ago.

Personally, I think it would take a hell of a lot for most folks to do it.

I agree. My point was that "people" will turn on him, by which I meant enough to vote him out of office, as opposed to most folks (out of those who supported him in the first place).

At the very least, he will mobilize the stay-home non-voters and minor-party protest voters to actively oppose him, should he screw up in any (or all!) of the ways I described.

Hopefully, he'll take some congress members down with him if that happens.

But, all that said, yes, there are plenty of Trumpers who would stick with him if he walked into their house and took a giant sh1t on their living room floor.

I meant enough to vote him out of office

Works for me.

Well, there is some hope for another war--

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trump-continues-to-babble-about-yemen/#post-comments

Yup, me talking about Yemen again. What I would say is starting to look like genocide, Trump sees as a business opportunity. The kind of business where you shake down people for their money. In this case the Saudis, not that one should cry too much about that aspect.

Who does the check get made out to?

I suppose the Treasury, but he isn't clear. The Larison link to the Trump interview is at Breitbart-- my first visit there. But it's worth a look. Trump wants us to be reimbursed.. He actually uses that phrase.

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/01/04/trump-im-not-going-to-tell-what-id-do-with-disaster-iran-deal-people-dont-have-right-to-know-how-far-id-go/

You don't need lots of people turning against him. He only won by a little bit.

But it's worth a look.

Thanks but no thanks. No Breitbart for me, I'm not up to date on my shots.

The interview is apparently from the O'Reilly Factor, but I don't suppose that is much of an improvement. We might have a President where you have to read Twitter or go to far right sources to hear him firsthand.

I'm sure all the right-wingers who found fault with Obama for not being transparent enough will hold Trump to the same high standard.

On Breitbart, a FB friend of mine who is a rightwing crank posted a story about Obama giving himself the DOD medal for distinguished public service, you know, because he's such an egomaniac. They fail to mention that he's the 3rd president in a row to receive it just before leaving office. That's their standard of "journalism" - contextless outrage du jour.

We might have a President where you have to read Twitter or go to far right sources to hear him firsthand.

I'll find a way to live without the firsthand experience.

second-hand Trumping will be noxious to health too, although it may take a little longer.

I'll wear gloves.

Also - mark it down before it goes down the memory hole.

And yeah, Obama said similar things that didn't come true. And, folks have held that over his head ever since.

No-one who has coverage will lose it. That's the bar. I didn't say it, they did.

@hsh
it still may well be *all of the above*

This is probably the most irritating thing about "it was the racism, stupid" narratives. Racism works better as an explanation of why registered voters turned out to vote Trump than it does for why registered voters stayed home. Economic anxiety works for both, though that doesn't rule out the first one as meaningful. I find it very telling, though, that the common thread among things Democratic elites and pundits are willing to consider as factors affecting voter turnout in either direction are exclusively things the other party did (They turned out? Republican racism! They stayed home? Republican Crooked Hillary memes, and Republican Comey on the emails!).

To state the painfully obvious, the factors causing some groups to vote can and often will be different from reasons why other groups don't vote, but both can be significant, and one factor not explaining both doesn't mean it's meaningless.

(Also, add "Republican voter suppression" to the "stayed home" list. That isn't to say these things weren't factors, but they're harder for Democrats to control than plenty of things that could have swung this oh-so-close election but would require self-examination and/or change.)

the common thread among things Democratic elites and pundits are willing to consider as factors

Fortunately for us, there are no Democratic elites or pundits here to smell the place up.

People vote or don't vote for all kinds of reasons. They vote for one person or another for all kinds of reasons.

If anyone thinks plain old animus toward black and brown people, whatever name you want to give it, wasn't a factor in Trump's rhetoric, his campaign, people's response to him, and his eventual victory, I'd say you are naive.

If anyone thinks it's the only factor, I'd say you are naive.

From my own personal interactions with Trump supporters, the most general common theme I can see is a general sense that somebody out there was looking down on them, or getting stuff they weren't getting, or imposing on their right to something. Somebody was big-footing them in some way or other, and Trump was going to make them stop.

The details vary with each person's particular grievance. The people who were harshing their mellow could be coastal elites, or big money guys, or entitled political insiders. The particular complaint could be somebody's gonna take my guns, or weird people are going to be in the bathroom, or somebody's going to make me drive a Prius.

There is also a strong strain of insufficient sticking up for America and/or insufficient deference to symbols and institutions of authority, which shows up as not respecting cops / the military / the flag, right on up through Obama is not really POTUS but is a cat's paw for an international conspiracy that is fulfilling a diabolical end-times morality play.

And yes I do know people who think that, literally. The Left Behind contingent is alive and well.

To me, personally, it seems like a big stew of resentment and paranoia. I think folks would be well served to turn off their TVs, read actual books - with hard covers, even - rather than social media, and quit worrying about what other people think about them or have that they don't have.

Turn off your electronics and go outside. Take a walk. Read a book. Cultivate some self-awareness. Meet some people who aren't just like you. Broaden your mind.

But it's been obvious to me for a damned long time that I'm a couple of sigmas out from the mainstream of American life and culture.

The other thing I notice is people trying really freaking hard to act like that there is nothing particularly odd about Trump's behavior since the election. That, or they just really don't think there is anything unusual, or care.

Just business as usual, nothing to see here.

One guy's argument was that Trump would just do "state things" (his scare quotes), the folks who do the real work of government are the GS-13's. This is a smart guy, PhD in theology, written books on medical ethics.

He sort of has a point, but it was weird to get my head around "the POTUS is just a figurehead" as a good thing.

I don't know what Trump would have to do, exactly, to ruffle the feathers of his supporters.

Also, too - the churches address Trump.

Among other things, one of the signatories to this letter - the National Council of Churches - represents a community of 45 million people.

Some people believe in God, some don't. Some people are church-goers, some aren't.

All good. It's a big country, all kinds of people here. Whatever floats your boat.

But the persistent assertion from conservative and/or (R) people that they have any kind of exclusive claim on the support of religious people just bugs the hell out of me.

It ain't so.

"...nothing particularly odd..."

Thus far, Congress has been almost outdoing Trump in the odd stakes; this is freaky:
http://lawnewz.com/opinion/gop-sneakily-revives-rule-allowing-congressmen-to-gut-federal-agencies/

To me, personally, it seems like a big stew of resentment and paranoia. I think folks would be well served to turn off their TVs, read actual books - with hard covers, even - rather than social media, and quit worrying about what other people think about them or have that they don't have.

Oh fnck, social media has turned the US into one big high school, or worse, junior high school.

I hope that everyone has read the primary source document provided by the intelligence community. Of course, it won't convince everyone. But it has some interesting information that may help to illuminate the quality of news.

One take-away I had was that "DHS assesses that the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying." But "Russian intelligence accessed elements of multiple state or electoral boards." Does this mean that they might have compromised voter rolls? As I've mentioned in previous comments, as someone who observed the polls on election day, the biggest problem in our district was that people who thought they were registered were not on the voter rolls. I wonder whether other issues might have come up that were not specifically related to vote tallying.

I'm still reading, but Hillary Clinton's alleged health problems was another theme. There's a lot of confluence in Donald Trump's rhetoric and the Russian themes to discredit Hillary Clinton.

This is really ugly, and I don't think that we're doing enough about it. It's shocking to me that we're allowing Trump to take office. I don't understand why he's not being indicted.

Donald, I have always enjoyed your posts. Please keep them coming. The Yemen stuff is important, thanks.

Hillary Clinton's alleged health problems, as in a debilitating disease which would cause her to be unfit to run for the Presidency, as opposed to the same flu I had at the time, was a theme of a couple conservatives here too.

I'm hoping the CIA will look into that too.

There must have been some connected dots.

Nobody I know has their health quite the same way lately, speaking of that.

True, Carrie Fisher got out just in time.

That way, there will enough Prozac left for the rest of us.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/01/06/resting-places-open-thread/

I wonder where you get those.

Here we go again. Economic anxiety?

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