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May 17, 2016

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This is hilarious:

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/29/1531149/-Economists-discover-people-don-t-behave-rationally

An economist observes a couple snogging on a park bench and ponders this utterly inefficient use of labor and decides humans don't behave as rationally as the dismal science has concluded all long.

Perhaps a tax cut would put an end to the awful waste of kissing and people would finally put their noses to the grindstone and take as many low paying jobs as they could fit into a day for more productive ends, like ...

Not addressed in the article is the very odd, antisocial behavior of the voyeur economist himself, as he stares at the couple with one hand in his pocket on a fine summer day and expends perfectly good man-hours trying to think of ways to ruin their fun.

We need a second economist to watch the first economist and report HIS conclusions back to us.

Too true. But it does get you off the hook for complicity in the greater evil. Sometimes, that's the best you can do.

And sometimes, it's not about today, but tomorrow.

How would the Republican primary field have looked this year had their establishment continued to successfully ram the parallel version of this argument down their selfish, naive, childish purists' throats?

Change never happens if you're never willing to take risks. Loss aversion is a cruel master; you may end up bearing a lesser complicity in the greater equal today, but is that really worse than planning to accept greater complicity in a continuous string of lesser evils for the rest of your life? The closer your preferences are to the status quo, and thus the less the lesser evils are evils to you, the easier it is for you to say, "Duh, of course", but in the end you can only speak for yourself.

How would the Republican primary field have looked this year ...

NV,

You ask a rhetorical question, which usually implies an obvious intended answer. But I confess I can't figure out what that answer is. Are you suggesting that lesser-evilism on the GOP side in the past would have produced an even more repulsive nominee than He, Trump this year?

I ask in all sincerity. I'm looking to understand, not to dispute.

--TP

NV line of thought seems to be leading toward the classic lament "first they came for the X, and I said nothing..."

Even though "saying something" in that case would probably earn one a quick ticket to the camps, rather than toward the end of the line.

You don't necessarily know how bad it will get overall, or how effective any particular action (or no action) will be, or the price that will have to be paid.

It's a luxury not to have to worry about that stuff.

He got the Republican votes. And if we're not careful, he'll get more of the clueless. This is when not voting Democratic in the general is really a crime against the future.

My personal social and political views are closer to Sanders' than to Clinton's. I've expressed that over the last year by supporting Sanders, most significantly with a modest amount of money.

I'm glad Sanders is running, I'm glad he's done as well as he has, and I support him running right up to the convention if that's what he wants to do. I expect him to advocate to get the issues he champions onto the (D) platform, and support him in doing so.

I do not support the increasingly negative tone of his campaign, or the increasingly belligerent tone and actions of his supporters. For the record.

As someone who has tangibly supported Sanders, I have no problem saying that Clinton, by virtue of the range of her experience, is a better qualified candidate for POTUS than he is. I expect her to win the nomination, and then I expect Sanders to get in line and support her. More than that, to the infinitesimally small degree to which my druthers matter, I basically insist that he do so.

I don't expect any political process in the US to create results that suit my personal preferences, because most people aren't just like me. What I ask is that my point of view have a place at the table. Via Sanders, I feel that has happened, to some reasonable approximation. More so than I would expect, frankly, to my own pleasant surprise.

Clinton is a damned good candidate for POTUS, one of the most qualified we've seen in a generation or more. The animus towards her seems to be rooted in a sense that she is corrupt, or that she seems like some kind of bluestocking scold. In the context of modern US national politics, the first objection seems almost laughable. The second objection tells me that a lot of people have personal issues to deal with.

In the context of Clinton vs Trump, to refer to Clinton as the "lesser of two evils" seems, to me, almost insane. If it's Clinton vs Trump, IMO the reasonable response is to thank whatever powers there are that she is available as an alternative.

Whether you like her politics, or just her, personally, or not, Clinton is a tremendously accomplished and effective national politician. If elected, I have no question that she will be good at the job.

Trump is a f***king ass-clown. Anything that anyone does to enable his accession to the office of POTUS needs to be seen as a contribution to the demise of small-r constitutional republican governance in this country.

And yes, I know he has a lot of supporters. That tells me that there's lots of dry tinder in the American house. It's no excuse for lighting the match.

The Trump rallying cry seems to be "F**k it, it's all crap, just burn it all down!". Unfortunately, that impulse appears to have an appeal. The actual consequences of implementing that as national policy would be a freaking disaster. And I mean, really, a disaster.

sapient says, it's a crime against the future. I cannot agree more.

There's a lot at stake. The US is a really, really flawed nation, but we play a fairly valuable role in the world, in a number of forms of coin. And, a lot of people paid fairly dearly, over many many generations, to make that happen.

Let's not piss it away.

Tony,
I can see a couple of (very!) different possibilities.

First, the Repbulican Establishment could have had their own Sister Souljah moment a couple of decades ago. Told the far right to take a hike, and moved their party back towards the center. Would it have been easy? No. But it would have left folks like Trump to the irrelevant third parties.

Second, the GOP Establishment could have decided to actually deliver on what they have been promising their base all these years. They had several years during the Bush II administration where they controlled both the Presidency and both houses of Congress. So they could have made it happen.

Of course, the consequences for the nation would have been dire. But at least everybody would be clear on what was being promised/demanded, and what the (unexpected, I suspect) consequences were. Probably it would have lead to a massive change in where the party was going.

Not to mention a lot of destroyed careers -- although it is not good to underestimate how far professional politicians can go to reinvent themselves. See these pairs of comments about Mr Trump. One can only be in awe of the mental, and moral, flexibility involved.

You ask a rhetorical question, which usually implies an obvious intended answer. But I confess I can't figure out what that answer is. Are you suggesting that lesser-evilism on the GOP side in the past would have produced an even more repulsive nominee than He, Trump this year?

To the contrary. I really thought my meaning was obvious. The likes of Kasich and Bush would be skating towards nomination, with the likes of Trump, Cruz, and Rubio being beyond the pale. Instead, the purists held out and didn't get in line when the establishment told them they had to accept a lesser evil or see a greater (Democratic) evil triumph and face generations of negative consequences.

Clinton is a damned good candidate for POTUS, one of the most qualified we've seen in a generation or more. The animus towards her seems to be rooted in a sense that she is corrupt, or that she seems like some kind of bluestocking scold.

My personal animus is rooted in her staunch center-right politics and gleeful hawkishness. The "range of her experience" suggests she'll be far worse than Obama was, and I never managed to bring myself to vote for Obama even with the memory of Bush still fresh in my mind and my vote being cast in a swing state. Under certain circumstances, I could see her being worse in foreign policy (my "single issue" if I have one) than Trump, even, because her hawkishness is deeply rooted and sincere, whereas his contains far more posturing and bluster, and because she has credibility that he lacks that can be used to convince the international community to align themselves behind her adventurism.

I may be able to simultaneously hold my nose and twist my arm hard enough to vote against Trump, but Clinton is evil in a very banal, callous sort of way... not coincidentally, much like her husband was. The most likely way I'll manage to do so is if my suspicions and fears appear vindicated: I think the popular opinion here really overestimates her quality as a candidate in terms of the vaunted "electability". I really don't share the general optimism among the commentariat that Clinton will bulldoze Trump - I'm of the mind that it'll be unsettlingly close, and that plus voting in OH may be enough to convince me to actively endorse evil. But we shall see, won't we?

"I really don't share the general optimism among the commentariat that Clinton will bulldoze Trump ..."

I'm not sensing any such general optimism among the commentariat here.

In fact, I share many of the views expressed here, including yours, that Clinton's callous adventurism abroad is her major drawback.

I'm under no illusion either that the Clinton's give a crap about anyone but themselves, but that places them right at the center of the American conservative way.

Therefore, I'm expecting the f*cking ass-hat clown Trump to win, but either way, win or not, I fully expect him and his conservative Republican crowd to ignite the "dry tinder" that has been permitted to infest our American house.

The torches they have lit are like those birthday candles that you can't blow out. There will be chaos and violence on a national scale, especially if he loses.

Why do we think conservatives have been stockpiling their weapons and ammo?

http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/video_of_60s_blacks_being_beaten_at_lunch_counters_with_trump_speaking_about_protestors_goes_viral

The blacks are going to love him.

There is no drought in California. He's going to turn the water on.

There are no floods in Texas. He's going to turn the water off.

Muslims love him.

The Mexicans adore him.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/katrina-pierson-alisyn-camerota-trump-cnn

Bikers love him. He loves bikers. Or vice versa:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/he-likes-limo-better.html

A former dick has an appedickektomy and comes home to Jesus:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/abortion-can-no-more-be-legislated-than.html

Use headphones. He uses the English language.

A former dick has an appedickektomy and comes home to Jesus:

One (or at least I) would hope the orchestra would stop playing when a conductor like this guy decides to drop his arms and walk away, especially after he admits they've been playing the wrong tune at his behest. But there's another conductor standing behind him holding the same f*cked up sheet music, so they don't miss a beat.

"Pecker hires Dick!", the headline ejaculated:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/06/this-was-inevitable.html

America, the dick joke that just keeps on giving.

The Enquirer is Trump's go-to first read for foreign affairs, especially if the blonde is Hungarian.

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