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March 02, 2016

Comments

I suspect that the only way back for the Republicans as a party is that those who are totally caught up in the bubble decide that elections will never get them anyone acceptable and just walk away. Not least because they assume that pretty much anyone that they do elect is then part of the dispicable elite.

If they walk, then the GOP would be faced with having to build a new (necessarily more moderate) base. It seems unlikely that they could do so; certainly not quickly. But it is a possible road back to sanity.

Whenever the discussion has turned to creating a new party (usually to replace the GOP), I have been skeptical. The only historical case we have of a new party shoving out an old one (the Republicans replacing the Whigs) was motivated by a huge single issue: slavery. And no matter how unhappy people are there just isn't such a single issue at the moment.

But now it occurs to me that we might have a different situation today. Not a new party displacing an old one. But rather an old one committing suicide, thus leaving an opening in the two party system for a new party.

Well. The grimmer possibility is the deepest bubble residents conclude they're disenfranchised and take matters into their own hands. It's not really a stretch given their rhetoric.

"I am less inclined to blame the GOP as a political party for destroying their base's ability to trust. I think the role of Limbaugh/right-wing radio and FoxNews was critical."

It was hand in glove from the get go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGG3vsnWLKI

We've gone from Limbaugh as honorary unelected Congressman to a Democratic President not even being accorded the honor of having his Presidency considered legitimate, and now, having the Constitutional powers accorded to the Presidency via election ignored.

I, as is clear, agree with Nombrilisme Vide that there is no way back, given that over the next eight months, they will have used up whatever is left of the radical revolutionary rhetorical head of steam they started on in 1979.

So it's either into the wilderness permanently or blowing the joint up .... literally ... especially if Trump is nominated and loses in November.

If he wins, there will be trouble enough.


Via a link from John Cole:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/heres-why-this-educated-liberal-couple-are-considering-votin#.mbY3eOV9a

A lot of tangled, but tempting thinking in there, but who knows who Trump really is. He doesn't know either until he hears the response his words provoke.

Funny the couple should mention the sans-culottes.

Nice, concerned people like the former lost their heads at other times in history too.

From counts link, these "reasonable" people say:

She said that with a “corrupt Hillary, silly little Rubio, and mean-spirited Ted Cruz,” they have “nowhere else to go” besides Trump, even though she admitted she was nervous about considering voting for him.

I bet they came up with those views of the other candidates all on their own.

[Doctor Science] This process has been going on for 20 years or more --

More, from Ronald Reagan's "government is the problem" through Newt Gingrich's policy of demonizing liberals, to creating our own reality to today's de-legitimization of President Obama.

Can there be a more vivid example of sowing the wind?

[Doctor Science] I am less inclined to blame the GOP as a political party for destroying their base's ability to trust. I think the role of Limbaugh/right-wing radio and FoxNews was critical.

Certainly, but let's recall, for instance, Roger Ailes' background,

...media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush ...
Wikipedia

I have often though that the Fox News budget should be counted as a political contribution to the GOP.

it's not too hard to find the distrustful and paranoid contingent on the left.

the difference, of course, is that there are far fewer of them. and of course, they get exactly zero attention from the MSM or Congress. they aren't spoon-fed insane conspiracy theories from their political leaders. and they can't find 24 hours a day of conspiracy-mongering radio yakkers. and they certainly don't have an entire TV network dedicated to feeding them nonsense.

the GOP bred and trained their crazies, because they made for good draft animals - they could carry the GOP to victories. but now Trump has come along and grabbed the reins.

"it's not too hard to find the distrustful and paranoid contingent on the left."

I'm right here, at your service.

"it's not too hard to find the distrustful and paranoid contingent on the left."

I was inoculated by massive exposure to Ramparts magazine. The only current manifestations are occasional nightmares involving Jim Garrison.

The GOP has been off the rails since the compromise of 1877.

Oh, my eyes!

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/03/03/late-late-night-horrorshow-open-thread-christianist-edition/

"I have often though that the Fox News budget should be counted as a political contribution to the GOP material support of terrorism."

FIFY

I'm right here, at your service.

you don't strike me as paranoid, Count.

exuberant, not nuts. :)

Stuff Trump makes up because he is a lying demagogue:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/03/donald-trumps-big-lies

Here's the deal, though, he just absorbs these fictoids from the air all of us are forced to breath and that has been polluted by all of the usual Republican outlets, including Party operatives and media, and Republican officeholders and candidates across the country.

His mouth is a megaphone attached to the completely full-of-shit Republican Zeitgiest manufactured over the past 40 years.

The entire edifice needs to be blown up, made extinct, killed, hacked to pieces, smothered in their beds.

Mittens is coming to destroy the bankrupt Cyberdyne Systems, and destroy Skynet and the Trumpenator!

Because nothing will convince an electorate motivated in large part by anti-establishment angst like... the last Presidential Candidate nominated by that same establishment! Whose Veep choice is now Speaker of the House!

The flail is strong in this one.

panic on the streets of Washington
panic on the streets of Arlington
i wonder to myself
could life ever be sane again?

Have any of you seen any Republicans doing the kind of analysis hilzoy does, about why Trump is appealing so strongly to much of the GOP base?

A few months ago I asked: "How is the GOP still a thing?"

The consensus answer was more or less that if the GOP did not exist, it would have to be invented. In a system rigged for two major parties, the anti-Democrats basically have to coalesce into a single party, even if some of them hate some of the others.

Well. How's that working out?

--TP

"Stuff Trump makes up because he is a lying demagogue:"

That was a fun read. Everything Trump said was a lie and almost everything Drum said was a lie, also. (Net immigration has been negative for 7 years, odd that those stats changed so dramatically in Obamas first year of releasing them, but heck I'll give it to Drum).

Which is why so many people just don't pay any attention to any detail Trump says, because no one tells them the truth. So how could it matter if his "pants on fire".

"because no one tells them the truth"

Have at it.

Marty:

almost everything Drum said was a lie, also

Prove it, point by point. Unemployment rate, US tax rate, health insurance premiums, southern border immigration, Syrian refugees, education spending.

Net immigration has been negative for 7 years, odd that those stats changed so dramatically in Obamas first year of releasing them

-- there was this *recession*, you might have heard of it.

Which is why so many people just don't pay any attention to any detail Trump says, because no one tells them the truth.

You seem to be an illustration for what hilzoy is talking about. You've been immersed in so much fact-free bullshit for so long that you don't trust *anyone*, and you don't have any sense for what's bullshit and what's likely to be true.

His mouth is a megaphone attached to the completely full-of-shit Republican Zeitgiest manufactured over the past 40 years.

What you are basically saying, Count, is that the only thing different about Trump is that he's saying it on MSM, rather than on talk radio or Fox News. Right?

So the rest of the country is seeing just how crazy things are over there.

Doc,

Could you be more condescending? I have a really good idea of what is true and what is bullshit. Better than the Obamaphiles that just discount the relative reduction in the number of people employed,or those on the right that pretend there aren't more jobs now on an absolute basis.

I understand that the Obama administration touts the number of people that are uninsured while not noting that they conveniently quit counting Illegal aliens the year the ACA was implemented. Or that the 10 million extra people that have insurance mostly have catastrophic insurance with deductibles sso high as to be useless.

I agree with much of what hilzoy said, except that she,like most liberal/progressives, just listen to a different set of bs. So the fault she places on the GOP is really shared across the political spectrum.

The risk, obviously happening but the extent unclear at present, is that a large number of independents and Democrats vote for Trump for the same reasons.

Marty: "I have a really good idea of what is true and what is bullshit."

Prove it, point by point. Unemployment rate, US tax rate, health insurance premiums, southern border immigration, Syrian refugees, education spending.

To some extent, my native skepticism verging on paranoia agrees with Marty regarding the availability of truth in America.

I've always wanted to know what that fifth dentist knows that the other four enthusiastic ones refuse to question.

And what are their names?

However, if the fifth dentist turned out to be a guy with grime under his fingernails and a severe overbite consisting of dingy, broken teeth and rotting gums and worked out of his "office" in a van down by the river, I don't think I would conclude that he was a rational alternative to the other four guys, even if their shiny Burt Lancaster chiclets were flashing 1000-watt insincerity in all directions.

If there was a point-shaving scandal in Olympic wrestling events and these guys were caught taking a fall, I would conclude that someone needs to clean up Dodge, but I wouldn't bounce off the ropes and hire Vince McMahon to look into the manipulation, despite the fact that he would surely recognize it when he saw it, having made a professional life of it.

One of my crackpot macro-theories is that America floats on a delicate membrane of half-truths, fibs, white lies, and barely plausible but elegantly conceived marketing strategies supported by huge advertising budgets, all exceptional in their sheer chutzpah compared to the rest of the world, and all effective in convincing us to buy the convertible underneath the buxom blonde in a bikini draped over the whole operation, but at some point, the sheer weight of these accumulated small prevarications delivered with a wink over 250 years will someday collapse the membrane, just because a plurality will stop believing all of the crap, though the human capacity for believing crap seems to have an exceptionally long half life.

It'll be like passengers on an airliner assuming in common that lift and thrust can overcome the force of gravity and then suddenly, one day, as one not believing it anymore, and all of the planes aloft will plunge to earth.

Sort of.

Maybe it's like when Benjamin Franklin answered "A Republic, if you can keep it" to the question "What has the Constitutional Convention wrought?"

Other than full employment for attorneys filling in the details, few people know that while he was answering that question he was dressed as a woman in a blonde wig and a bustier and serving free cocktails to all comers, but they were expected to stick around and hear John Hancock's pitch for his time share condos in Roanoke.

Then Ben lay down on a magician's table in his lady get-up and Thomas Jefferson sawed him in half as a way of diverting any further detailed questioning about who was three fifths of what or whether the right to bear cannons was permitted by the Second Amendment.

Just buy the big presentation and sign here.

No, the basement of this edifice doesn't need a sump pump.

Now, let me draw your attention over to the imported mahogany paneling hiding the cracked masonry work, so we can seal this deal.

Would you like to talk to my manager about our undercoating program?

"Or that the 10 million extra people that have insurance mostly have catastrophic insurance with deductibles so high as to be useless."

Yes, a conservative, rationalized free market
scheme for rationing healthcare to the sick and the poor.

Because the rich aren't going to stand for a national healthcare plan that tells them they can't have that liver transplant after the age of 93, so costs must be kept in check somewhere.

The high deductibles make it look like people are "shopping" and making rational, freedom-based decisions about which medical services to purchase in the medical "market".

See the above post about the membrane.

"Honey, that lump in your abdomen seems larger since last week, don't you think we should see someone."

"What's our annual deductible, my little worrywart?"

"Twelve grand I think"

"Well, you let me know when that lump looks like a $12,001 job and we'll load up the kids and go shopping, mmmmKay. No one is going to pull one over on me."

This is why the medical insurance market is unlike any other product known to humankind.

It's like if you went into McDonald's and ordered the six buck cheeseburger and the kid in the dumb hat behind the counter said, well, first you have to pay a $500 deductible and then, and only then, may you eat.

Imelda Marcos on the other hand, toting shopping bags full of luxury shoes with big deductibles, would get all the burgers she wanted.

It's the only industry in which they institute pricing to dissuade the people (the sick ones) who need their products the most from even thinking about buying the product.


The real unemployment rate is 42 percent. No it's not. Depending on how you measure, the unemployment rate is currently between 5-10 percent.

Its between 5 and 14.5% based on the numbers the government uses to measure it. Adding in the millions of people that simply aren't counted anymore its much higher. The left writes this off to baby boomers retiring, not figuring they might be doing that because ageism is creating an awareness that there just wont be aa job. Few after 50, fewer after 55, nonexistent after 60.

Partly true but incredibly incomplete

◾Americans are the most heavily taxed in the world. No. We're about the least taxed major country in the world.

No, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. We have a combination of taxes in some states that make his statement true. Again, lets put in the caveat "major" and it will at least be partially true if completely non illuminative

◾Obamacare premiums are up 30, 40, 50%. Wrong. On average, premiums were up about about 9 percent in 2016. If you account for subsidies, the average premium went up about $8, an increase of 7 percent.

Well, lets limit the increase to just 2016? or just some offerings? If you account for subsidies? What? The price of the same policy, on the exchange, is between 7% and 30%, so are we averaging because most people went for a cheaper and less good policy so that kept the average per person down? They even tell you that on the website, "Most people were able to shop and save".

◾Illegal immigrants are pouring across the southern border. Nope. For the past seven years in a row, net immigration across the border has been negative. More immigrants are going home to Mexico than coming to the US.

Net immigration doesn't mean people aren't pouring across the border. It just means that we think more are pouring the other way. We cant actually count either one.

◾Among Syrian refugees, there are very few women and children. It's mostly "young, strong men." False. According to the UN, something around 10 percent of Syrian refugees are males between the age of 15-25. The rest are women, children, and older men.

This is just bs from Trump.

◾When it comes to education spending "we're number one per pupil by a factor of four." Not even close. We spend about 5 percent of GDP on education. That puts us right in the middle of all major countries.

So we changed what statistic we use in mid sentence. Did you get that? Not dollars per pupil, percent of gdp. Pick your statistic day.

All crap.

"This is just bs from Trump."

Had a guy and his wife tell me this just the other day. And then ask me if I feel safe. He got it from the same guy who Trump got it from and now all three of them repeat it to each other so it's now TRUTH.

But, no I don't feel safe. I feel like a crazy/angry American male armed by the NRA is going to blow me away at the library because late fees have gone up.

Marty really susses out the BS, except that every claim is backed with a link with detailed information. Let's use the education claim for an example:

We consulted data collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — an international organization of 34 developed countries — and by the United Nations.

Researchers and policymakers from groups across the political spectrum told us they put the most stock in OECD data, which includes spending from both government and private sources.

Based on 2012 data, the OECD shows that the United States has generous education budgets, spending about 50 percent more than the average OECD country.

But relative to the nation’s overall wealth, the United States was at the middle of the pack. Relative to the size of the economy or overall government spending, U.S. levels were within 1 percent of the OECD average.

Additionally, the United States was not the top spender. Luxembourg, Switzerland and Norway each spent more per pupil than the United States. In the case of Luxembourg, about 66 percent more per secondary school student.

And similar UN data puts the United States eighth among all countries, behind several other developed countries and Macau, a semi-autonomous city inside China.

We looked at a variety of other ways to crunch the numbers, but the United States never rose above No. 4. (see table) That was true even if figures were adjusted for purchasing power, the difference in what $1 buys from country to country.

In fact, the United States would have to increase per student spending about $8,000 per year just to match Luxembourg at the high school level. To spend quadruple what Luxembourgers do would require a $70,000 per student boost.

Whatever it is you think they're underhandedly doing with the numbers, it's laid bare in detail by the very people doing it so you can draw your own conclusions from the facts. Not much of a "Gotcha!" there.

hsh, pick your stat. Trump exaggerates and Drum uses the one that puts us in "the middle of the pack" but changes the stat he uses. That is just as deceitful. I didn't say Trump was honest, I said they all lie. Instead of saying we're not first we're fourth, to which lots of people would say oh ok 4th, he picks on that makes us less good.

I will it admit it is a much trickier way to argue, exacerbating the trust problem. If you have to scour both sides to do what you and I just did it really creates a underlying trust issue.

NOT relegated to just the GOP.

If Luxembourg would cut teacher and administrative salaries to the levels that Mexico, for example, provides to their educators, think of the money they could save.

However, one advantage of getting rid of all these overpaid freeloaders is that they could join the ranks of the permanently unemployed and eventually quit looking for work altogether, thus further destroying Drum's stats and boosting Trump's

Trump himself, via The Apprentice" contributed to nearly half the U.S. unemployment rate. He said "You're fired!" to 45 million losers during the course of the show.

Ask a conservative how to lower the unemployment rate and here is the answer:

"First, we fire everyone except ourselves. Then we get rid of unemployment benefits."

F*ck off.

"The left writes this off to baby boomers retiring, not figuring they might be doing that because ageism is creating an awareness that there just wont be aa job. Few after 50, fewer after 55, nonexistent after 60."

I never figured that. Why would someone want to hire me and have me bankrupt their company health plan with my chronic, old guy, but low deductible goiter?

Incidentally, the high deductibles in the silver and bronze plans provided by Obamacare are a prime example of the government being run like a private, all-American business.

Besides, to the extent that the Left practices ageism in the work place (I'm talking to you, Hollywood) they are following conservative best business practices to maximize profitability, productivity, and avoiding the adverse aesthetics of the heartbreak of psoriasis queering their youth-oriented full marketing plan.

Ageism is basically a high deductible instituted by American society to encourage us go away and die.

The price of the same policy, on the exchange, is between 7% and 30%, so are we averaging because most people went for a cheaper and less good policy so that kept the average per person down?

What did they go up compared to? To last year? That would be the market adjusting to experience with claims rates. You know, working like it is supposed to.

It obviously can't be compared to alternative offerings. Because, after all, if someone has a better alternative available they would be going to that. In droves? Were they?

So what you are saying is that, for someone who either couldn't get (e.g. due to pre-existing conditions), or couldn't afford, medical insurance, the price isn't as low as it was last year. But it's far lower than anything they could have gotten before the ACA. Assuming they could get anything at all.**


** On this, I speak from personal experience. I didn't have insurance for a decade -- pre-existing condition. And my wife only had insurance at a far higher price. Fortunately, decades of good financial management meant we could afford what we needed. But we were way outside the norm.

Pre-existing conditions are like Original Sin, except no redemption is permitted in the former.

This was entertaining.

I swear this whole thing is a put on.

AND there is a GOP debate tonight. Which candidate pulls out a rotting fish and tries to smack Trump with while yelling "charlatan!"?

My $$ is on Rubes, and that he misses.

...Drum uses the one that puts us in "the middle of the pack" but changes the stat he uses.

He didn't change anything. Who the hell knows what Trump was talking about? There's no stat to support Trump's claim, not even absolute dollars. Either way, Drum provides ready access to the various different ways of looking at the issue. I don't see how that's deceitful. Any equivalency you might draw from a Trump-Drum comparison is a false one.

"various different." Pick whichever word you like.

hsh, Trump says "per pupil we spend" saying by percentage of gdp we are in the middle of the pack is really nonresponsive.

Nor meaningful.

If our GDP is big enough we could spend 4 or 5 times as much per student and be at the back of the pack by percentage of GDP.

Sounds like the upshot is that Trump tells much bigger lies and that is his selling point.

In that case, he's got my vote.

I want a leader a who can tell absolutely shameless whoppers instead of these run of the mill prevarications we've put up with all these years.

No wonder Drudge loves Trump.

If Cruz and Rubio could lie like Trump and with his brio, I'd vote for them. It's funny to watch them try though.

Actually, I have a brother just like Donald Trump. He lies like a rug and then when I challenge him, he wants to head into the backyard and kick my ass.

Any equivalency you might draw from a Trump-Drum comparison is a false one.

Although it is instructive that Trump is the runaway leader in one of the only two wasy to become the most powerful person on Earth, and Drum is a blogger.

Yeah, Kevin scares me more too. Crazy cat person.

"What did they go up compared to? To last year? That would be the market adjusting to experience with claims rates. You know, working like it is supposed to. "

I an not sure I understand your point. The discussion was on the amount that insurance rates have gone up. Over some undetermined time. Drum picked one year. Then pointed to an article that said that the average cost per insured only went up x percent. Not factoring in whether they got the same coverage or not.

I know from purchasing it myself that all of the better policies(zero-$500 deductible) went up significantly more than that. The number of options was significantly less and most offerings had deductibles over $6000. Many were $12000.

The linked article then quickly tacked to the absolute number and how few people actually paid that due to the subsidy which has jack to do with how much the average policy increased in cost.

few people know that while he was answering that question he was dressed as a woman in a blonde wig and a bustier and serving free cocktails to all comers

No, that was Jefferson, in Paris.

Regarding Drum vs Trump: you can disagree with Drum's reading of the factual information, but at least he's working from a base of factual information.

Trump just says stuff. True, not true, doesn't matter. It popped into his head, so he said it.

...saying by percentage of gdp we are in the middle of the pack is really nonresponsive.

Except that it's not. Otherwise, you're completely right.

Forget all the information Drum links, too. Why would you take that into consideration?

I am gratified that Marty wants much cheaper insurance and accessibility to medical care and must believe, as I do, that government grows on trees.

"However, if the fifth dentist turned out to be a guy with grime under his fingernails and a severe overbite consisting of dingy, broken teeth and rotting gum"

You need to reread your _Encyclopedia Brown_ books: the 5th guy would be getting his dental care from one of the 'group of 4'. Conclusion...

much like the barber with the bad haircut in a two-barber town is the one to cut your hair

"If our GDP is big enough we could spend 4 or 5 times as much per student and be at the back of the pack by percentage of GDP."

Why not? We spend four or five times the amount any other country does on swimming pools, compared to both percentage of GDP and per head cost of drowning, plus swimming pools contribute to 30,000 shooting fatalities a year, and no one bats an eye.

Maybe American kids are dumber than other countries' and it takes moolah to catch up.

4 or 5 times as much on explodey and making people dead stuff too.

bomb-makers need swimming pools, too

Think how we could boost our traffic fatality stats if the tens of millions of bullshit artists in positions of power and influence on this country decided to take the easy way out:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/energy-pioneer-mcclendon-dies-fiery-car-crash-day-010052839--finance.html

What we really need is a gun you can swim in. That would be ... wait for it ... the bomb!

If we built a wall around all the swimming pools we would be much safer. We should also note that deporting them is not a realistic option. This policy would also put a dent in unemployment.

Win win.

That's a great painting, I wasn't familiar with the artist though I think I know the period quite well. And without shouting "Weimar! Argggh" I think it's fair to say that there are salient parallels which is scary... George Grosz anyone?

Meanwhile here in merry old England a passenger has just been thrown off a plane because he was trying to organize a prayer meeting on his phone and someone screamed "terrorist", incidentally he was black ...


http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/03/man-removed-easyjet-flight-luton-prayer-message-phone

Marty's not wrong all the time.

Brought to you by the vast left wing conspiracy.

I wonder what measures I would take if Franklin Graham was sitting next to me on an airplane.

I picture him being sucked through the window like Goldfinger.

@bobbyp: I call shenanigans; if you subtract that number from 100% you still get a much smaller number than Trump was asserting.

...Trump's number was much bigger even than the completely made-up one claimed by Shadowstats, which is kind of mind-boggling.

"Math is hard" --GOP Barbie

Matt,

If by "unemployed" you mean "not working full time" then the unemployed are about 40% of the total population-not far from Dumpf's claim. However, that number would include children, the elderly in retirement, the jailed, students, the in-betweeners, and the sick, as well as those who are involuntarily unemployed (aka "the unemployed").

So shenanigans? Perhaps. :)

What if we count robots (even the unemployed ones)?

we should probably exclude people who work at destructive jobs, like Trump staffers.

They're anti-employed. We need a new category.

And what about the fetuses? If a pregnant woman is (un)employed, does that count as two (un)employed people?

What if we count robots (even the unemployed ones)?

There's a Rubio joke in there somewhere....

Meanwhile, here is a preview of tonight's GOP debate, starting about the 2:12 mark...

And what about the fetuses? If a pregnant woman is (un)employed, does that count as two (un)employed people?

Since the fetus is a person, they should count as unemployed, but only if they are actively seeking work (there is an innocence exception, but the paperwork is a real hurdle for most). Similarly, they should be counted in the census, and as a dependent for income tax purposes for the gestation period.* Their status as property is unclear, an issue as yet to be addressed by any property rights infected GOP legislatures, much less our esteemed courts.

*serial abuse of this tax shelter by getting pregnant and then terminating them should, it goes without saying, be discouraged.

Trump may be everything everyone has been hankering for -- Hitler and Stalin. You know, a guy who can make the tough decisions:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/03/03/who-wants-to-break-the-news-about-uncle-joe/

Maybe he can channel a little touch of Pol Pot too next rally and tell his henchmen and henchwomen to take the lousy elite-looking four-eyes in the third row for a ride in the countryside.

Fetuses should be treated like human beings at birth.

Fire their asses.

Their status as property is unclear, an issue as yet to be addressed by any property rights infected GOP legislatures, much less our esteemed courts.

Clearly if they are property, they should only be counted as 3/5 of a person.

Eminent domain, people. A womb, like a house, can be taken by eminent domain. The GOP riff-raff may oppose eminent domain when it comes to little old ladies' houses, but young women's wombs are a different story.

--TP

i've been trying (and continue to try) to understand the Trump phenomenon. what I keep coming back to is "Berlusconi".

not an exact march, because nothing is, really. but close enough for an analogy.

he's our clown prince.

Folks love themselves some high deductibles:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/03/yet-again-obamacare-still-working

It's almost like have been desperate for a long time.

russell, yes, Berlusconi has been my thought too. Of course, Italy isn't a nuclear weapons state.

Based on his live blog, I think this debate is going to drive Josh Marshall insane.

Kevin Drum too.

So, all 3 non-Trumps allowed that they will support the GOP nominee even if it's He, Trump. And He, Trump said that he will support the GOP nominee even if it's one of the others.

It's the one thing any of them said that I'm willing to believe.

--TP

Oh, and He, Trump's parallel is not so much Berlusconi as it is Eric Cartman.

--TP

I could imagine Cartman as president.

Trump, however...

This from Drum's play by play:

"On national TV, Trump just defended the size and virility of his package. Seriously."

What else is new? Republicans have big swinging dicks. They've been telling us this forever.

It's how they f*ck the world. It's how they will f*ck Americans with pre-existing conditions, presumably not the Elephantiasis Republicans on Obamacare, including the Republican women and their children, who plan to maintain the conditions their conditions are in so they can swing around their strap-ons when they facef*ck immigrants.

Raise our little fingers and get the knives ready, and cut.

The entire Party needs a gelding without local anesthetic.

The Foreskin Fathers are so proud of their disgraceful scum standard bearers.

Just kill the Republican Party.

Off topic, but this is a remarkable piece of US history that I'd never come across before:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2016/03/how_a_detachment_of_u_s_army_soldiers_smoked_out_the_original_ku_klux_klan.html

Beinart has clearly been reading the Count's posts:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/the-violence-to-come/471924/

(Unless he's been posting here pseudonymously all along....)
:-)

So, all 3 non-Trumps allowed that they will support the GOP nominee even if it's He, Trump. And He, Trump said that he will support the GOP nominee even if it's one of the others.

It's the one thing any of them said that I'm willing to believe.

It's a little nutty, as at least Cruz and Rubes spent the debate bashing Trump left and right as something that would be terrible for the party and Country should he win the nomination/presidency... but I will support him if he's the GOP nominee! Because it's all tribal at the end of the day, I guess.

yup. they'll fall in line. it's as simple as ABC: Anyone But Clinton.

Because, Scalia.

Because, Scalia.

That's gonna cut both ways.

I have to say, in my mind there is no guarantee Trump would nominate someone in Scalia's mold should he be President, although I suppose there's certainly a greater chance than if Clinton wins.

I agree Ugh, but we would have yoga in the Oval office.

Because, Scalia.

i knew you'd come around.

I look forward to election night as Trump-backer Caitlyn Jenner runs into Hillary-backer Kim Kardasian in the Ladies Bathroom at FOX News between interview segments as the FOX staff run around measuring dicks, shrieking "Who's gotta dick and how big is it?", fact checking dicks, and trying to keep dicks in their proper places (O'Reilly and Hannity will ask for a show of hands), as the dickless North Carolina Republican contingent, led by dicktator Ted Cruz, covers its collective eyes and does a manual crotch-check outside the facilities, while Roger Ailes lays down the law that no dicks may enter the ladies room, but AK-47s are good to go:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/03/yeah-im-guess-thats-not-going-to-happen.html

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/03/of-penises-and-potties-by-bloggersrus.html

Shots will be fired, and Wayne La Pierre will immediately apologize and explain he forgot which one was for fun.

Meanwhile, at the end of the night, a dickconsolate Marco Rubio will sob into dicksheveled Steve Doocy's shoulder "Don't you realize Donald Trump dresses Left!!!", after which they'll cut away to the victorious Trump unveiling his replacement nomination for Scalia:

Scalia's dick, cryogenically preserved as a reliquary since last month and thawed for the occasion, and unveiled hooked up to a car battery to electrify racist conservatives for its lifetime appointment.

The look on Cruz's mug and its juxtaposition to Jenner for some reason reminds me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, not that there is anything wrong with that, Ted:

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/4/1495647/-I-wish-I-could-make-this-stuff-up-Caitlyn-Jenner-offers-to-be-Trans-Ambassador-for-President-Cruz

And so Jenner says to Kardasian "Mine used to be bigger than yours."???

Count, you have a lot to answer for, for the things that you sometimes put in my head!

The dark and lonely work keeping one joke ahead of the disgraceful Republican Party.

Look at it this way, Count. Keeping your crazy ahead of reality constitutes a "stretch goal". (One of those things the HR departments in corporations love, because they think it keeps everyone working at maximum productivity.) Like most stretch goals, it is probably not achieveable....

GOP Primaries tomorrow:

Louisiana 47 delegates
Kentucky 45 delegates
Kansas 40 delegates

Trump was leading in all three but I think all those polls predate Super Tuesday. Will be our first indication of how the uber-establishment pile-on has gone over.

On the debate last night, I think what the non-Trump faction succeeded in doing is making running for the GOP nomination no longer fun for The Donald. AFAICT Trump has, to date, been having the time of his life. Adoring crowds, mocking the other candidates, shooting his mouth off, being the star. Good times. But last night it finally seemed like work for him (maybe he was just tired).

If the non-Trump elites can make the rest of the primary a calendar a slog, rather than uniting behind him if he, e.g., wins Ohio and Florida on 3/15, then he might just quit, even if he has a delegate lead. Then he could play kingmaker from the sidelines, which would be fun for him again.

having Trump voluntarily quit in early October would be the absolute best outcome for the GOP. the party faithful would rally behind Crubio or whomever, with a huge burst of energy and relief. and it would throw the Dems into panic as they tried to cram a whole election worth of opposition into a few weeks.

My only real takeaway from last night was that Rubio was actually funny a few times. I mean I actually smiled when he pointed out we could see yoga because Trump was very flexible. Both he and Kasich seemed to enjoy it more than ever.

And yes, Trump seemed like it was getting tiresome to have to remind people how unbelievable he is. He keeps using that word, I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

having Trump voluntarily quit in early October would be the absolute best outcome for the GOP. the party faithful would rally behind Crubio or whomever, with a huge burst of energy and relief.

Oh I think if he wins the nomination he will go all the way to November. I think he's tired of all the GOP debates (thousands of them, it seems) and having to deal with Rubio/Cruz/Romney. If he is the GOP nominee, then he gets to pile on Hillary with the full support (I'm guessing) of the party apparatus, and only has to get on stage with her for a debate 3 times. There's only one election day, instead of endless primaries and he only has to take fire from one direction rather than all sides.

ISTM, if he quits, it will be in April or May.

"having Trump voluntarily quit in early October would be the absolute best outcome for the GOP. "

That's getting awfully close (past?) the HARD deadlines imposed by ballot-printing.

Sure, the whining will be loud and sustained, the lawsuits will fly, but I'd guess that the GOP would be SOL in that case.

oh yeah, ballot deadlines.

well, the later he quits, within time for the GOP to go with someone else, the better.

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