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May 11, 2018

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People's lives aren't so great. Trump said he would fix that. Hilary didn't seem like she cared enough, as far as they could tell.

So, they voted for Trump.

There's also class bias and resentment, and resentment of various kinds of "those people" who are taking our hard-earned stuffs.

But that's about it, as far as I can tell.

Not a very thoughtful approach to decision making, but a lot of people don't have the time or inclination to spend that much thought on politics.

I actually do think the (D)'s need to get their sh*t together. At a basic policy level, they have much to offer than the (R)'s. That isn't getting through.

IMO the country is being eaten alive by the whole neo-liberal free market government-is-your-enemy project, and I don't see what's going to change that.

I see more pain in our collective future. Which disturbs me, because people appear to be responding to that by voting for a palpable crook like Trump.

Not a good sign.

Good luck everyone.

and yeah, the stories just seem to write themselves.

who knew the folks at the WaPo and NYT would have such a deep and prolonged interest in the jeans and flannel crowd?

if folks in the heartland really want a leg up, they should invest in travel accommodations for visiting reporters from The Big City.

scenic little B&B's, maybe an agriturismo. bagels, lattes, and wifi. egg white omelets from free-range local hens. side of ham and grits for the authentic local flavor.

they'll clean up.

Almost two thirds of Americans and a majority of Democrats support torture - maybe we should start by asking what went wrong there.


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-torture-exclusive/exclusive-most-americans-support-torture-against-terror-suspects-poll-idUSKCN0WW0Y3

Similarly, the best indicator for voting Brexit was support for the reinstatement of the death penalty.

maybe we should start by asking what went wrong there.

9/11

I actually do think the (D)'s need to get their sh*t together. At a basic policy level, they have much to offer than the (R)'s. That isn't getting through.

The reason it isn't getting through is the culture of resentment. Nothing is going to change until that goes out of style. And they're still resentful even though their people are in three branches of government pursuing more and more outrageously destructive policies.

Democrats need to get their people out to vote, and overcome the culture of the resentful left, or figure out how to focus that lefty resentment toward the real enemy. They don't need to appeal to these racist, ignorant nihilists who wallow in their self-pity.

Democrats need to get their people out to vote

What sapient said.

Oh, to really get a perspective on this, I recommend Amartya Sen's An Uncertain Glory. This is an indepth policy and politics book, as in how do we get the neoliberal hightech winners to support public education rather than charter schools. India has very similar problems to the rest of us.

Mentioned because there is a geographical element in India, with semi-independent provinces; some progressive and efficient, like Kerala and Tamil Nadu; some urban and neoiberal; and some poor backward and corrupt.

And overall they elected Modi.

Or you could look at Abe's Japan. Or Macron's France.

I watched "Get me Roger Stone" on Netflix recently which goes some way to explain Trump - it's interesting that the key people putting him in power (Stone / Manafort) have been major players since the Nixon campaign.

have been major players since the Nixon campaign.

As I've said before, it's Ike's fault for not throwing Nixon of the Republican ticket in '52. Although there still was Goldwater.

There's also class bias and resentment, and resentment of various kinds of "those people" who are taking our hard-earned stuffs.

I think you are actually right. Just not the way that you mean.

They were OK with Trump being rich, because he was born that way and claimed to care about them. Hey, it worked with FDR. Only problem is, once in office FDR acted like he did care; Trump not so much.

I think maybe the trouble they had with Hilary was that she wasn't born any richer than them. But by working hard, she got rich . . . while they have not. That, coupled with her not wearing her heart on her sleeve convincingly, caused them to resent her.

Oh, the classic explanation is that the WWC has no contact with Trump types anymore save on television. What they hates is those damn buroocrats, administrators, academics, revenooers, inspectors, and technocrats who tell ya they have a better way to run your life now like it. These they encounter with hassles every week.

HRC.

But just reading the bad place about Charlotte and its black establishment I have to say that year sure racisms but the jerks don't just hate the black Democrats because they are black but also because they are Democrats with the Dem policy agenda. I think the reason there is a laser-like focus on the first half is because a lot of liberals are just a little attracted to the Republican economic agenda.

cleek: 9/11

And yet many Americans who lived through 9/11 seem to think the best way to get certain other countries to support our policy goals is to threaten to blow their shit up if they don't do what we want. Do they remember their own reaction to 9/11? How well did that work for bin Laden?

@Dave W. -- I think you're presuming more capacity for introspection and self-examination than is in evidence. In my more discouraged moments I think we must rank right up there as one of the least self-aware nations in the history of the world.

There are lots of reasons for that. I remember when I first went to Ireland (1979) and the major newspaper had US-centric articles every day. The US loomed over the world. When was the last time the major papers in the US had Ireland-centric headlines...ever?

Correspondingly, in the minds of a lot of Americans, the US is the blower-up, not the blowee. That's unthinkable and so need not come into the calculation.

I suspect in a number of countries, some people's shoulders are perpetually hunched not knowing when the next drone strike will take them out regardless of whether they're terrorists are not. Who's the terrorist can depend on your point of view. Drones are pretty terrifying.

Do they remember their own reaction to 9/11? How well did that work for bin Laden?

we're America.
we're exceptional.

I should just always wait until cleek says it pithierly.

That ... caused them to resent her.

That plus a thirty year campaign of vicious, dishonest propaganda intentionally waged by a handful of wealthy Republicans, and the collusion of the gormless "mainstream" media (fuck you, New York Times), plus Fox News, plus a last-minute micro-targeted disinformation by Russian-funded monkeywrenchers on social media ...
Plus, of course, misogyny.

The US's moral high ground is looking a lot like China's islands in the South China Sea.

Kidnaper in Chief?...

"A crying toddler calls out for his mother as he is kidnapped by armed agents of the state, who drive away with him in the back of their car. This is the face of Donald Trump's immigration policy. Even more appalling, it is the face he wants the world to see."
Trump's Official Policy: If You Cross the Border, We'll Kidnap Your Children: The president hopes that forcibly separating parents from their kids will deter illegal entry.

I could have sworn that courts had previously ruled separating children from their parents for illegal-immigration deterrent purposes was illegal and/or unconstitutional.

More broadly, children are not their parents.

A crying toddler calls out for his mother as he is kidnapped by armed agents of the state

I have good friends who have been approached by undocumented immigrants, asking if they will take their kids if they are deported.

We should really just take the Statue of Liberty down at this point. Or replace the torch with a hand with upraised middle finger.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/5/2/1761310/-HHS-officials-say-they-can-t-find-1-500-migrant-kids-they-placed-with-U-S-sponsors

I need to get my dark radio mirror image webshow up and running ala Limbaugh/Levin/Jones and state plainly the facts that migrant children are being kidnapped by right wing gummint jackbooted thugs at the border and trafficked to child molestation rings in red states where republican politicians and their wealthy business patrons, men and women, gang rape the kids at luxury resorts and then kill them, and process their remains into meat products to be fed to their cannibalistic private school-educated children as one method of reducing the high cost of education, while bypassing troublesome USDA regulations, for the reptilian one percent, overhead being a concern.

When Mitt Romney say "I like hot dog", we need to read the small print and examine the contents of his alimentary canal following the reptilian autopsy.

It's America. If you say it, especially in the shadows of the dark intellectual web, tens of millions of Americans will believe it.

Yes, take the Statue of Liberty down and IF mercy is still a thing, which it will not be, when we get done prosecuting and sentencing 70 million plus assholes to the gallows, I would offer mp and his 1000 top ass kissers the opportunity to eat the statue piece by piece, at gunpoint.

Livestream it on the Food Channel.

Look at this way, Baron mp will be separated from his parents too, quite soon as a matter of justice.

We should really just take the Statue of Liberty down at this point.

Absolutely! After all, it was a gift from France originally. (I believe there's an identical one in Paris even now.) So it is obviously just part of a dastardly plot by the Europeans to make us more like them (i.e. a bunch of socialists), instead of remaining "real Americans"™ ™.

There IS a duplicate SoL statue in Paris, smaller than the one in NYC (by eye; I haven't measured it). And you can get a lot closer, with almost zero crowds.

The intro sequence from "Man In The High Castle" is apropos, sad to say.

maybe kinda sorta off topic -

Can anyone conjure a guess on how many bricks would have been shat by our conservative fellow-countrymen and -women if Obama, or Bill Clinton, or god forbid Hilary, or anyone else with a (D) after their name, would have opined about getting an "extension" for their time in office?

I don't expect any better from Trump. It's the folks who cheer him on that bug me.

I don't mind if people are conservative. I am getting freaking sick and tired of the utter lack of self-awareness.

IOKIYAR, and bugger that. I'm running out of tolerance for this BS.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mexico-says-wont-rushed-bad-140647826.html

Mexico needs to develop nuclear capabilities with launch sites along the entire border wall.

mp demands NAFTA be renegotiated every five years.

mp demands a third term as President.

I'm running out of tolerance for this BS.

Basta! says Michael Avennati. I've fallen in love with him and Stormy Daniels, both. Who'd a thought.

I wonder if newspapers in Trump country ever send reporters to NYC or Boston to find out why we think as we do about Trump and politics in general.

I wonder if newspapers in Trump country ever send reporters to NYC or Boston to find out why we think as we do about Trump and politics in general.

I've read that local newspapers in those parts are suffering. Not sure what that means - I surmise that no one reads the paper. Also, local papers have been taken over by media conglomerates (mostly conservative). People who don't identify with that ethic have probably missed an opportunity (which may still be there, who knows!). But Trumpsters are largely illiterate, even the billionaires (at least it seems that way).

So, if your information technology is Fox, right-wing news feeds, Facebook posts by people like you, and social interaction (including right-wing racist churches), what are the odds that you're going to buck that info?

There's a new book that I want to read very soon: Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion, by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, with an introduction by Rev. [William J.] Barber [II].

So a lot of people have learned and learned this. But ...

I was brought up Catholic. You are introduced to the Truth: it's up to you to accept it. These people have no excuse. I'm not judging them as far as the hereafter goes, and I'm absolutely willing to forgive them (given the right set of circumstances), but I'm not cutting them any slack either.

City newspapers across the country hardly have the circulation to support junkets to furrin coastal lands.

In Denver, now a one paper town, the survivor, the Denver Post, no longer has the staff and resources to even cover local news. The Police Chief resigned recently and the Post didn't send a reporter to the news conference.

The conglomerates have "rationalized" journalism to the profit-center bone.

We're ripe for fascism. There is nothing standing in the way.

America is full of shit.

We're ripe for fascism. There is nothing standing in the way.

Horse is out of the barn. Question is whether we can rein it in.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/editorial-trump-deals-painful-blow-to-trans-atlantic-ties-a-1207260.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#ref=rss

American conservative vermin have torn the world asunder.

We need a nuclear weapon that targets only conservatives in every country.

American conservative vermin have torn the world asunder.

No, they haven't.

If we can provide useful and constructive leadership to the world, some significant part of the world will recognize that and accept our leadership.

Short of that, if we can present transactional arrangements to the world that is in some way to their benefit, some significant part of the world will enter into those arrangements with us.

Short of all of the above, the world will just work around us.

We aren't the world's magical sparkle pony. We're good when we do good, and when we don't, we aren't.

The rest of the world is neither stupid, nor dependent on us for their well-being. If we're going to be the belligerent loud-mouth bully on the block, they'll take their bat and ball and find other people to play with.

Things may get torn asunder, but it won't be the world, writ large.

Open thread...thinking of the border police separating parents and kids to Clickbait's pride and glee. This morning, reading one or two of GBS's letters over breakfast as usual, I came across this passage from a letter he wrote to the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell in 1913:

The trial of the Virgin Mary for "sleeping out" and for being in a gentleman's stable for an unlawful purpose! Imagine a perfectly realistic modern court, and her witnesses: shepherds, three kings (one a native prince, colored), four archangels, finally, her son. Ending with her Assumption. I could do that. Perhaps I will.

He never did.

Since the other thread is moribund, if you're bored and need some snark on a gorgeous Saturday in May, go over to BJ for some entertainment at the expense of Bari Weiss.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/05/12/the-conservatives-nightmare-respectful-disagreement-but-between-social-equals/

Also scattered around in this one:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/05/12/cake-wreck-future-tense/

LGM's been having fun with it, too.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/05/murcs-law-sarah-palins-first-amendment-edition

Holy Fncking Shit, Adam Silverman just went to town on her. And he's usually one of the most restrained of the BJ front-pagers.

*****

In other spring Saturday news, I just dug up half a dozen tiny baby maples, possibly the last of the ancient trees that were taken down a couple of years ago. I don't know where I'm going to put them. Years ago I raised two in a corner of the vegetable garden, and they're now growing out front, maybe 25 feet tall. But I don't have a garden anymore, and the owner I sold out to (stupid me) will probably cut them down too one of these years, because they're not prefect enough.

Maybe I can get some friends with a new house in the woods to transplant them at their place. Fingers crossed.

Maples are grand trees, but they tend to want all the water.

re: the dark Web - Weiss and others seem to believe that "liberals" are piling on the dark Web folks because they're conservative.

that's not really accurate. and, they're not all conservative, they're kind of all over the map.

folks are pointing and laughing because the dark Web folks are a bunch of self-important gits.

it ain't the politics, it's the vibe,

"that's not really accurate. and, they're not all conservative, they're kind of all over the map."

This is correct.

I don't believe dark web intellectuals of any stripe should be disallowed by law from adopting children from religious adoption agencies:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/oklahoma-governor-signs-law-allowing-religious-groups-bar-lgbt-adoptions

I hope those kids up for adoption in Oklahoma are not among the kidnapped and now missing children abducted at the U.S./Mexican border by dark gummint intellectual border agents.

I also hope any further NRA efforts to legalize no-permit gun carrying in that state includes prohibitions against LGBT human beings carrying no permit weapons onto the grounds of religious adoption agencies or anywhere near conservative republican gummint types in that state as the LGBTers ATTEMPT to adopt children, just to be the safe side.

Wow, right out in the open on the well-lit web:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/05/quote-of-the-day-even-republicans-admit-that-republicans-have-a-racism-problem/

Maples are grand trees, but they tend to want all the water.

The better to make maple syrup with....... ;-)

in the spirit of unorthodox views, may i just say... i don't find Cohen's wink-wink pseudo-lobbying all that shocking. i'm sure companies like AT&T throw money at powerful politicians (and those politician's advisors) all day long.

it's shady, it's gross. but it's lobbying - even if Cohen wasn't registered as a lobbyist.

convince me otherwise?

Lobbyists are expected to, you know, lobby. Is there any sign, even a hint of one, that Cohen actually did that. That is, did he ever talk to Trump, or anyone else in government, on behalf of the folks whose money he was taking? Or was he, as seems at least as likely, just another con man, promising but never delivering?

I'm not a lobbyist either, but please send millions of dollars to me and I'll go through the motions.

I notice the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood didn't give Cohen any money to gain access to mp.

i'm sure companies like AT&T throw money at powerful politicians (and those politician's advisors) all day long.

Bribery is exchanging something of value for an official act. In this case, value is money, and official act could be the AT&T - Time Warner approval or the net neutrality decision. I don't think it matters whether they got what they paid for - it only matters that they were trying to influence an official act. McDonnell was exonerated because the court held that the actions he was being asked to take weren't official acts. I think this is different.

Oh, and lobbyists usually don't pay hush money on behalf of public officials.

Is there any sign, even a hint of one, that Cohen actually did that.

not yet. i expect there will be, though.

Bribery is exchanging something of value for an official act.

but Cohen isn't an official. and we haven't seen any evidence that the money got to Trump. i hope we see some. but we don't have any yet.

Oh, and lobbyists usually don't pay hush money on behalf of public officials.

those were, so far as we know, two separate acts (and Trump hadn't been elected at the time of the Stormy payment).

but Cohen isn't an official. and we haven't seen any evidence that the money got to Trump. i hope we see some. but we don't have any yet.

Cohen seems to have acted as Trump's agent, so payment to him can mean the same thing as payment to Trump. I agree that not all i's are yet dotted, and they may never be.

Cleek, your faith in Cohen living up to a commitment is touching. But, I suspect, also a touch over optimistic.

"Oh, and lobbyists usually don't pay hush money on behalf of public officials."

I don't think I believe this as a generalization.

I don't think I believe this as a generalization.

Sometimes it's good to have at least a tiny bit of evidence for beliefs.

By the way, Marty, your boy Trump, who you claimed to disavow early on, is yelling at his cabinet members for not being cruel enough, fast enough, to separate parents from their children at the border. (I've had chats with some of these families fleeing horrific violence and direct murder threats.)

Okay, that's nice. Keep defending this monster. We'll all die eventually, and maybe it will be sorted out then.

it's shady, it's gross. but it's lobbying - even if Cohen wasn't registered as a lobbyist.

the fact that he's not registered as a lobbyist removes it from the category of lobbying.

lobbying is protected by the 1st A. it is a form of petitioning.

paying for influence is not protected by the 1st A. maintaining that distinction is the reason lobbyists are required to register.

cohen is not a lobbyist, not a quasi-lobbyist. he's a crony.

The better to make maple syrup with....... ;-)

works for me! :)

It's so brave of him to notice something no one else has.

Romney goes all dark webby, expressing an opinion never before spoken about the foul, bigoted vermin who infest the length and breadth of the scum political party he has tried and tried again to emulate and appease with his own clumsy appeals to the lowest among them:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/romney-says-religious-bigot-should-not-give-opening-prayer-at-embassy-in-jerusalem

If Jeffress gets anywhere near that so-called "embassy", that abomination of a building in Jerusalem, with his Texas-sized hatred, may the Middle East ignite and destroy the world.

May the flesh of vermin republican right wing in America burn Biblically. Get thee behind me, Republican Satan!

Die!

FFS 41 people dead and 500 injured with live ammunition - not that I'm surprised, sadly:

https://twitter.com/amnestypress

Following in the footsteps of the bullshitters of fake American Christianity who have helped ruin the republican party with their profit-seeking apocalyptic crap, I give you the fake news Tower of Babel:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/report-trump-staffers-impersonate-each-other-when-they-leak

Ventriloquists speaking in tongues.

Cyrus the Great, this FOX News republican mp toadie spews:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-compared-to-cyrus-the-great

I preferred Cyrus Vance, but merely out of curiosity, I looked up Cyrus the Great on the shadowy dark web to see what became of him:

https://www.google.com/search?q=how+did+cyrus+the+great+die&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS774US774&oq=how+did+cyrus+the+great+die&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.7896j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

I didn't expect such a plainly abrupt ending for his Greatness, but there it is.

I guess avoiding the military draft via fake news hemorrhoids or anal cysts or a pox of boils amidships, or whatever malady every war-loving white republican fuck in this land used to let a black guy go ahead of them just that one time into the meat grinder of battle, didn't quite work out for Cyrus I.

Get to work, boy:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/trump-admin-poised-to-give-rural-whites-a-carve-out-on-medicaid-work-rules

Redlining Medicaid.

Fuck you, racist republican cocksuckers.

Blow all of it up. May the nuclear conflagration over Jerusalem take out Kentucky.

What is it about pigfucking America that causes illegal immigrant scum from shitholes to become blonde, elitist, privileged, conservative Aryan assholes within a generation or three?

I mean, besides what only what their Jamaican and Korean hairdressers know for sure.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/05/keep-out-this-means-you-by-bloggersrus.html

If I was a dark webster, the New York Times would bring me out of the shadows for these comments and proclaim me courageous, repressed and deserving of six-figure payouts for my victim putuponedness.

I'm a putuponapuss.

As it is, every time I tell the truth, I create another Nazi.

For those convinced that I'm the only sane Republican left, allow me to present this. A recommendation (from the MSM, not Faux News!) of a Republican politician:
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/05/12/editorial-baker-a-thoughtful-centrist-deserves-assembly-re-election/

Granted, examples are thin on the ground at the national level. But closer to the ground, there are more than you might think.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/05/14/white-evangelicals-celebrate-opening-of-us-embassy-in-jerusalem/

I'm trying to put myself in Sheldon Adelson's shoes.

Putting aside the initial task of shopping for odor-eaters, do I convert to Christianity first, under threats of being burned to death by Reverend Jeffress and his crusaders, or do I first bring the right Reverend in as financial partner, with mp and sons enterprises, in my scheme to have sacred mosques condemned and razed in Jerusalem to make way for casinos.

It's so complicated navigating among the many conflicting, self-dealing, and murderous interests of the worldwide conservative movement.

People should think twice about which prophecies they want to facilitate.

Just saying.

Have you ever noticed how seldom today's conservative Christians mention Jesus going after the money-changers in the temple (John 2:13-16)? But then, they don't seem to mention the Eye of the Needle (Matthew 19:23-25:26, Mark 10:24-15:35, Luke 18:24-23:26) all that much either.

"For those convinced that I'm the only sane Republican left, ..."

I'm not sure any of your fellow republican lurkers here are convinced of your sanity. ;)

The Congresswoman sounds like a pragmatist, or as a right-winger might say, a RINO, or worse, a liberal.

She's sane, because the electorate in her district are sane.

In the setting of THAT particular race in THAT particular district in THAT particular state, her Democratic opponent sounds like a shrill piece of work, to be avoided.

However, set that race down in a red district in a red state and watch the Congresswoman avoid RINOhood at all costs by embracing all manner of republican racism, poor-stomping, foreign carpet-bombing, and gay and birth control bashing ... and maybe ... maybe pull off a primary win against a right wing troglodyte sans trousers.

Then her Democratic opponent could repeat the same calumnies and sound like Cyrus Vance the Great.

For those convinced that I'm the only sane Republican left, allow me to present this....

Granted, examples are thin on the ground at the national level. But closer to the ground, there are more than you might think.

Under the ground, even more examples. I think maybe the count is working toward the goal of making more.

It's a sure-fire plan, I must say.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/05/trump-picks-bigot-pastor-claims-jews-going-hell-lead-prayer-new-jerusalem-embassy/

We don't have Ambassadors appointed to dozens of countries around the world, but that guy, that fake Christian high marginal tax rate insect, is representing all of us to the world, in hateful prayer.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/05/goper-busted-tape-fantasizing-terrorism-one-terrorist-attack-will-candidate/

Those terrorist attacks leading into the midterms next Fall?

The least the White House could do is leak the plans, or is the candidate in fact leaking them in the link, hmmm, so innocent but duped conservative voters know what locations to avoid as they make their way to the polls in one piece so fascism can be consolidated over the two years leading up to mp's re-election in 2020 and every fours years afterward, his preserved reliquaried corpse sitting upright in circa 2044 Cabinet meetings as his pigshit republican cult worships him.

Grifting pigs all the up and down:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a20683183/devos-for-profit-colleges-fraud/

Ben Shapiro (who dat?) takes the dark web sock out of his mouth, makes twit noises:

https://www.dailywire.com/news/30588/ben-shapiro-triggers-feminists-mothers-day-tweet-james-barrett?tm_medium=referral&utm_source=idealmedia&utm_campaign=dailywire.com&utm_term=68883&utm_content=1

He was soon after picked up by ICE, at Hillary's discretion, on a public street, his daughter hustled off in a separate vehicle to a dark web republican sex resort for "adoption", and mis-identified as an immigrant Palestinian DREAMER, given his vaguely tribal swarth, described as a marker on Pathway To Victory Online, but he quickly explained he was a REAMER, that's R-E-A-M-E-R of Liberal pieties and orthodox asshole and was released to be victimized again and paid a pretty penny to do so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reamer

He's just a Tool.

https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/pathway-to-victory/

A Tweet from @realDonaldTrump today:

President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
Hey, why should we care about the sanctions that we just implemented against them for breaking our sanctions about Iran? (Save that kind of thing for punishing our allies.) Why should we care that the Chinese government is suspected of using its ownership of ZTE to put cybersecurity loopholes into their phones?

Let's hear it for saving Chinese jobs! America First!

Not just Chinese jobs. Chinese manufacturing jobs. Chinese high-tech manufacturing jobs.

No matter. He, Trump knows where to draw the line: notice that He is not promoting Chinese coal mining jobs.

--TP

Tony,
Yet.

This comment is not only on the wrong thread. It's on the wrong blog. I'm depositing it here in case the American Conservative's "moderation" censure shuts me the FU on a Rod Dreher thread, dark and web-footed as I am.

'“I actually do not care that religious leaders delivering anodyne prayers at public events may believe that my own particular religious convictions may lead me to hell — as long as they don’t lift a finger against me and my co-religionists to send us there prematurely.”

(That's a Dreher quote)

Well, every pogrom in history, regardless of religious or cultural origin, even secular atheist, was prefaced repeatedly by some faith, somewhere, delivering anodyne prayers in public charging some group somewhere else with convictions that may lead them to Hell.

It’s not surprising that eventually what follows is that the thick, ordinary, and literal-minded among the worshipers (they won’t be poets who mine metaphor like Dante) get it into their heads that maybe a premature Hell in the here and now for the Other is precisely what their God or the Gods have in mind.

Maybe stop the first instance of praying for it, anodynly or not, all around …yes, an ecumenical gathering of the world’s religious leaders from which a clear statement emerges that no one knows, no human religion can predict squat about the afterlife, should there be one, and its rewards and punishments, and that why don’t we just agree that Hell and the Other who might go there will not be alluded to in worship.

For all we know everyone gets a cookie or a Little League trophy for merely participating in this mysterious life.

Let God, in its infinite variations and masks, deal with it. No doubt we will be surprised who ends up in Hell, should it exist, without the premature guessing.

If you think that someday, if and when the Benedict Option is adopted far and wide, that some dyspeptic Benedict Option variant will not become radicalized by what you believe are repeated anodyne prayers in Benedict Option houses of worship about how wrong and maybe damned the rest of us outside the option are, and who might want to advance the time of our punishment to the here and now, then your hypocrisy, as evenly distributed as it is throughout the population like the nitrogen in potatoes, is not the problem.

There’s something else wrong.'

from this post:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/mitt-romney-really-mormon-jerusalem-embassy/

Granted, examples are thin on the ground at the national level. But closer to the ground, there are more than you might think.

I'll concede that there are some sane Republicans in state/local positions here in Colorado (also some that are insane*). But not enough, who are consistent enough, that I'm willing to take a chance on them any more. The last few I voted for some years back, at some point, toed the line and supported the growing insanity in Washington.

* To be honest, the problem appears to be more that they're caught in a time warp than anything. They still think of Colorado as a small population poor rural state. Not a medium population high income well educated state whose GDP depends far more on finance and software and other tech than it does on mining or agriculture.

A new dawn is arising. How many republicans will be shot by firing squad ... at it:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/5/14/1764303/-Former-Obama-aide-speechless-at-Trump-s-autocratic-power-grab-on-U-S-sanction-policy

I'm telling ya, all Kim Jong-un is in it for is that world wide Mar-a-Lago exclusive membership card and hookups with American pornstars.

The Clinton Foundation is a lemonade stand compared to the worldwide conservative republican
criminal syndicate.

It’s not surprising that eventually what follows is that the thick, ordinary, and literal-minded among the worshipers (they won’t be poets who mine metaphor like Dante) get it into their heads that maybe a premature Hell in the here and now for the Other is precisely what their God or the Gods have in mind.

No, it's not. And there is another angle.

"Look, if you convert to my particular religion you will save yourself from eternal torment. Therefore, even though you are reluctant, I am going to do you the enormous favor of torturing you util you convert, or doing you various physical and other harms unless you do."

The notion that there exists a just and loving divine being who is happy to condemn non-believers to Hell is so irrational that it is hard to understand how anyone could take it seriously.

I cheerfully consider myself out on the lunatic fringe in my own way, but when the Count is on a roll, I sound like the voice of reason :^)

You have better maps, Michael.

The notion that there exists a just and loving divine being who is happy to condemn non-believers to Hell is so irrational that it is hard to understand how anyone could take it seriously.

Ditto the notion that there exists an omniscient and omnipotent being who is content to let any old bozo represent him/herself as the inerrant interpreter of His Word.

During the many gay rights/marriage referenda in Maine, I used to marvel at how many people were convinced that the Bible was the inerrant Word of God, and they and only they knew the correct interpretation. Once there was just one Pope, and that led to some problems. I'm not sure several million popes constitutes an improvement.

The comment made it through the "moderation", so Dreher yoyos back into the the middle of the pack of aggravations for me.

He's a lessor fish to fry when the fish fry gets underway.

I don't expect cake from him, however, even though I wouldn't be disqualified under his rules for receiving cake.

I don't accept cake unless everyone else at the table gets a piece of the pie.

Now I've made myself hungry.

Maps are just one tool.

Myself, I'm more curious about the narrative the WaPo (and NYTimes, for that matter) are trying to tell that has them returning over and over again to the same region: northern Appalachia and across the extended Rust Belt. The story I think they're pushing is that there's a certain type of ruralia that voted for Trump this time, that the Trump thing is a new trend, that it can be reversed and the Dems reclaim political power in that part of the country.

It's a ruralia that only appears across that limited area: lots of small towns, lots of white-owned small farms, lots of small cities with old shuttered manufactories. Rarer in the South, non-existent across the western half of the 48 states occupied by the Great Plains and West. I've occasionally described it as the NE urban corridor's idea of what rural America is like.

The Republican trend there isn't new: look at the IA/MN/WI trends in state legislature control, governors, and Congressional delegations. MI/PA too, where the "blue wall" also failed. Trump may have pushed it to a tipping point sooner, but it was already getting close. The trend may have a glitch this year, but I don't think it's going to reverse for long.

I think I even understand why those papers ignore where the trend favors the Dems regaining control. In 2016, in the West, the Dems went +6 using my scoring: +1 for every governor, Congressional seat, and legislative chamber flipped. None of that included the coastal states CA/OR/WA. The West could go as high as another +10 this year, although I don't expect that much. The West went for Clinton 98-30, more Clinton EC votes than any other Census Bureau region. If you split the country in four regions my way, expanding the CB's Northeast to include the rest of the NE urban corridor states, the Northeast produced only six more EC votes than the West. I think the WaPo and NYTimes are terrified of the West. They don't understand it; it's a whole 'nother country as far as they're concerned.

I do think there's something to be said for expanding horizons a bit. Maybe look at places like Arizona. Actually, I believe James Fallow has a new book out which does look at a much broader cross section of the population outside the major urban areas. Perhaps those WaPo and NYT writers will read it and learn something.

During the many gay rights/marriage referenda in Maine, I used to marvel at how many people were convinced that the Bible was the inerrant Word of God, and they and only they knew the correct interpretation.

and God's top priorities seem to change from year to year, depending on what the GOP thinks will motivate its base.

SO WEIRD!

I've occasionally described it as the NE urban corridor's idea of what rural America is like.

as a life-long denizen of the dreaded NE urban corridor, i'd say we NE urban correadors have a variety of understandings of what "rural America" looks like.

we even have our very own rural America, just a hop skip and a jump away.

i sometimes wonder what "rural America's" idea of the "NE urban corridor" is.


we even have our very own rural America, just a hop skip and a jump away.

For example (from wikipedia):

Maine's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Maine. Covering 27,326 square miles (70,770 km2), it comprises nearly 80% of the state's total land area. It is the largest district east of the Mississippi River and the 24th-largest overall. It is the second-most rural district in the United States, with 72.11% of its population in rural areas, behind only Kentucky's 5th congressional district.[2]

The state as a whole ranks 38th among the 50 states in population density, at 43/sq.mi. (cf. Colorado at 37th with 52/sq.mi.). Also from wikipedia.

Maine is redder than Virginia.

cleek: ... God's top priorities seem to change from year to year ...

This year -- or at any rate, today -- God's priority seems to be real estate.

I have hopes, myself, that the heathen Chinese will someday buy every square inch of Jerusalem and turn it into a Confucian theme park. They can afford to pay top dollar, or shekel, or dinar, or any other currency the self-styled leaders of the Abrahamic faiths care to pocket. Whatever else you can say about China, one thing it's got going for it is that it never fell prey to the notion that Yahweh/Jehovah/Allah created the universe and only bothered to tell some Middle Eastern shepherds about it -- and give all of them a deed to the same "Holy" Land while He was about it.

--TP

What pisses me off about the "poor us Democrats are mean to us" line is that it simply is not true. Democrats do not have a propaganda outlet that pretends to be news and spends 24/ smearing anyone who is not a Democrat with emphasis on mocking rural voters. Democrats do not have an array of "pundits" commentators, speakers, blogs, web "news" sites dedicated to mocking rural voters and promoting demeaning memes about them. The claims the the mean old Dems are mocking the rural or working class white voter comes from the R propaganda machine: the lie about so-called urban elites.

There no reason why white people in small towns or working class neighborhoods should feel any more left out or ignored than anyone else. In fact they have a lot less to claim of than the people of Flint or Detriot or the people of Puerto Rico or anyone who needs disability o Food Stamps...and Midwestern R voters have nothing to complain of at all since their life style is based on tax dollars paid to them by blue state voters.

I think that Democrats running for office in white working class areas need to be strongly pro-union pri federal funding for infrastrcuture and in other ways teach the voters the relationship between their standard of living and regressive Republican policies and positive Democratic alternatives. But privately the fact remains that the only reason all those white people feel left behind is because they believe they are endowed by their creator with seats at the front of the bus and can't tolerate sharing and dont believe in making the bus bigger if it means benefiting anyone but them.

As mostly always, what wonkie said.

we got our own rust belt up here in the NE corridor, too. maybe the original one, fwiw.

we have immigrants, and federal interference into traditional ways of making a living from the land. or, actually, sea.

we have opioid addicts, and income inequality. we have juridictional conflicts with native americans.

we have long-forgotten communities that have seen better days, and which are struggling to hold on.

you all have bigger mountains, out there in the west, and less water. more mining, we don't do all that much of that anymore.

could be your weather is better, other than may and september.

other than that, what's your issue?

so maybe get over the whole "NE urban corridor" thing. you got cities, too, what's the big deal.

regarding the Jerusalem embassy:

anyone with half a brain knew it was an inflammatory move, and that people would end up dead.

Trump did it anyway. whether to throw red meat to his base, or suck up to adelson, or just to flip the bird to everyone who told him it was a bad move. who knows what goes through his head.

it's gonna be a mess, because that is how he rolls.

I think the WaPo and NYTimes are terrified of the West. They don't understand it; it's a whole 'nother country as far as they're concerned.

Terrified? Those papers report local news. What's wrong with the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times? Plenty is wrong. Western newspapers need to step up their game.

Trump did it anyway. whether to throw red meat to his base, or suck up to adelson, or just to flip the bird to everyone who told him it was a bad move.

Or because somebody paid him. Because that's a thing with Trump, either that or Putin's going to kill him. Payment seems to be what's going on with the ZTE situation.

If November doesn't work to get a grip on this, the Count's mentioned methods are looking more and more likely.

Or because somebody paid him.

And Adelson definitely has the money to pay him. (Unlike Trump, he knows how to run a casino, and really is rich as a result.) Doesn't prove he did pay off Trump, of course....

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/05/14/repub-venality-open-thread-jefferson-davis-beauregard-iii-lives-out-his-authoritarian-dreams/

The SCOTUS gambling decision is interesting.
Possibly the first thing Justice Alito has ever done that I can approve of:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/05/justice-alitos-opinion-on-sports-betting-shows-up-federalism-can-be-good-for-liberals.html?

The embassy move had bipartisan support.

Thought I had fixed my name. Guess not. Anyway, bipartisanship. Yay.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/14/us/politics/trump-jerusalem-embassy-middle-east-peace.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

I think the WaPo and NYTimes are terrified of the West. They don't understand it; it's a whole 'nother country as far as they're concerned.

The West is a whole other country, a country based on a self-serving self-aggrandizing lies:

The claim to being the last real true independent hardworking Americans from people who have been living off the tax payers for generations and not only demand subsidies access to public resources but want that access to be unrestricted.

An area that claims to be forgotten while having a ridiculously over represented in the US Senate.

An area that claim to be the victims of big city and coastal elites--when the actual snobbery an prejudice is theirs toward 'outsiders".

They claiym to be misunderstood--which is code for the don't get to do whatever they want to our public land, sulk pout whine...

Fr sitting on their butts, feeling sorry for themselves and demanding government support, is there any demograph tha can beat rural wihte folks?

I wouldn't say that the support of Chuck Schumer and Joe Lieberman makes it truly bipartisan. Schumer's great on some issues, but this one not. Lieberman isn't a Democrat. And there's this.

So please stop with the both sidism. Thanks.

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