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June 26, 2016

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And you wonder why people might be unhappy. This is just insulting bullshit, more a part of the problem than any other thing.

Tell the pollsters. Some people are more educated than others. Trump does well with the least educated voters, on average. Whether or not it's insulting, it's not bullshit. What problem is it more a part of, exactly?

trickle down economics worked great for thirty years in creating a stable economic environment that allowed people to be successful

Should we assume you are talking about the 1950s and 1960s? Because that is the time which seems to best fit your describtion of the economic environment.

I guess you could say "allowed people to be successful" describes the 1980s or 1990s. But only if you define "people" sufficiently narrowly. (I freely admit that *I* would be part of that narrow definition. Which doesn't mean I am not aware that I was more fortunate than many.)

Because there wasn't a whole lot of trickling down going on then. Trickling *up*, sure -- although "streaming" might be more accurate. But not down.

Also, not for nothing but here is a graph of US historical home ownership rates.

As I read it, the rate really took off after WWII, crossing the 60% line somewhere around '57 or '58. It's been between 60-70% ever since then.

Looks like it actually declined a bit during the Reagan years, began climbing again about '95, and then began a pronounced decline right about the time of the '08 follies.

So, I'm not seeing a correlation between home ownership rates and 30 years of trickle down.

for reference, here is the source for the graph.

From Reagans' second term through almost all of Bushes second the goal of government was to create and maintain a stable economic environment. The Feds job was interest rates, the Congress worried about jobs and they were very successful. A few quick recessions, rapid recoveries and pretty happy middle class. In the aftermath of the chaos caused by the ultimate effects of the post WWII boom, high inflation coupled with rising unemployment in the Nixon, Carter years, that stability was great. The 2008 crash was partially caused by pushing even further expansion of home ownership to try to expand the middle class even further. Not done well but a noble venture. We are well into baby and bathwater territory over the last 6 years.

" coupled with rising unemployment" translated to be rising interest rates. Can't drive and type and think too.

We are well into baby and bathwater territory over the last 6 years.

Meaning what? Tax rates returning to what they were during the tech boom? Financial regulation moving generally in the direction it was before Glass-Steagall was repealed, though not all the way?

If you like the way the economy worked over the last 30 years, you should be thrilled with Obama's run. Stock prices and corproate profits have been trending pretty damned well. It's not necessarily the measure I would use, but I don't buy into the trickle-down BS that concentrates wealth more and more narrowly over time.

From Reagans' second term through almost all of Bushes second the goal of government was to create and maintain a stable economic environment.

A noble aspiration.

Everybody sees things they way they see them, and I doubt there will be much value in going back and forth about the benefits or lack thereof of the trickle down theory.

Your claims about the expansion of home ownership are not borne out by the numbers. Your statement that real income hasn't gone down, while true, is kind of ironic, given the expansion of the economy as a whole.

Where's the money, Lebowski, I hear millions of Americans asking.

Your analysis of the causes of the 2008 financial disaster conveniently omit the actions of the financial community, and the role of the deregulation of the financial industry. Briefly, you fail to mention the systematic fraud that was perpetrated.

Many many millions of people are living financially precarious lives right now, and no small part of it is the legacy of the "trickle down" mania.

It ain't called flow down, or rain down, or stream down. It's called trickle down. There's a reason for that.

The housing numbers are obscured by the very real explosion after WWII, cheap housing and VA loans The financial deregulation so often mentioned was concentrated on the expansion of home ownership. While the repeal of Glass-Steagall added some risk, its impacts were primarily to create larger financial institutions that mostly survived(Citibank probably the exception) without help while the investment houses that weren't impacted by G-S required support, and of course the mortgage banks. Big banks weren't the problem, under capitalized investment houses were, baby/ bathwater.

But you are right, the rehash is not particularly helpful.

"Those kids are more edumucated than Trump's. They read."

And you wonder why people might be unhappy. This is just insulting bullshit, more a part of the problem than any other thing.

I know that whenever you analyze a joke, it generally drains it of any humor. I also understand that it is a pattern in modern society to devalue the practical knowledge and wisdom. I know tons of people I grew up with whose knowledge of 'book learning' is pretty weak, but if I were ever in a survival situation, they would be a person I would absolutely want to be with, to the point that if they said to me, in the post-apocalyptic landscape, 'Don't you wish more people would have listened to Trump?', I would say 'yep, you got that right.'

But I'm at a loss to understand Marty's reaction here. If hsh had said 'well, Sanders supporters are more educated than Trump's', that does sound dismissive. But when he says "Those kids are more edumucated than Trump's", he's pointing out a demographic fact and underlining the fact that he understands book learning is not the be all end all. I realize that rhetorically, it's tough nut to crack, but I'm not seeing at all what makes this insulting.

Mostly I meant "they read" to address Marty's point that they didn't live through the glory days of trickle-down economics, if that's what was getting his goat. It's not some obscure aspect of recent history that a reasonably aware person wouldn't know of.

I took it as dismissive, perhaps because it id a common theme. If it wasn't meant to be, my bad.

The financial deregulation so often mentioned was concentrated on the expansion of home ownership.

Gramm-Leach-Billey, 1999. Signed by Bill Clinton. Nothing to do with home ownership.

The home ownership numbers aren't "obscured" by the explosion after WWII, the numbers *are* the freaking explosion after WWII. Yes, all the guys who came home from the war, cheap housing, plus FHA drove a lot of that. Why is that of less note than "trickle down"?

In 1980, on the cusp of the Reagan Wonder Years, the rate of home ownership was about 65%. Now, it's about 65%. The difference between 65% and 65% is zero.

The economic policies of the last 30 years haven't really been that great for a lot of people. Millions and millions of people in this country live at significant financial risk. Talking about how trickle down was actually really good for everyone is not convincing, because the reality that people live with tells a different story.

I took it as dismissive, perhaps because it id a common theme. If it wasn't meant to be, my bad.

That's not how it was meant, but no biggie.

The thing is, I end up defending the idea that some Trump supporters have legitimate grievances, that they aren't entirely motivated by racism, but the grievances that they have are actually the same ones that (some segment of) liberals have been complaining about for years, maybe even decades.

Yet conservatives will defend the policies that led to the disenfranchisement that Trump supporters feel while simultaneously defending Trump supporters against liberals who attack Trump supporters for being stupid, but those same liberals have been arguing against those very policies for years - or decades, even.

Who's f*cking side am I on, anyway? I know Trump's a f*cking joke, but after that, I don't know where I am in the grand scheme of things, other than someone who's willing, though unequivocally under the circumstances, to settle for HRC.

I blame New Belgium Citradelic for my failure to italicize my quote from Marty's comment. Please use your special glasses to view my comment as intended.

"Yet conservatives will defend the policies that led to the disenfranchisement that Trump supporters feel while simultaneously defending Trump supporters against liberals who attack Trump supporters for being stupid, but those same liberals have been arguing against those very policies for years - or decades, even."

I feel you.

it's a confusing moment.

The difference between 65% and 65% is about 50 million people.

hsh, I think that one of the big questions is what/when the governments policies actually began to harm people. In the years I am talking about the poor were less poor, the misery index less painful and government spending went up, I would say on the wrong priorities, war on drugs, prison expansion, military budget and some more.

The rich getting richer and everyone else falling behind really accelerated at the end of that, essentially the exploding upside in the markets coupled with a bifurcated labor market where the new jobs were highly tilted toward lower paying service jobs.

My point is that the economic theory didn't create the problems.

The realities of offshoring, the abandoning of jobs training programs by companies, there are lots of policy and business culture reasons that did slowly bring the problem on. I think these are problems we agree on. I think the culture of measuring every public company by growth in its bottom line every quarter is one of the worst incentives in history.

I think we disagree, or not as much as you might suspect, on programs and policies.

So, just for Snarki, I think we should:
1) define a minimum basic health benefit an d make every insurance policy provide it, paid directly to the insurance company for every citizen/legal resident of the US.
2) make SS an actual retirement program, needs based but only to exclude people who clearly don't need it. One of those brief shining moments post WWII was defined benefit retirement plans on a broad scale, mostly for unions but then lots of people got them. They were good for people and the economy. They need to be replaced somehow.
3) Pay for most of that by significantly reducing the military budget and implementing transaction fees on Wall Street. Symbolically you can raise rich peoples taxes 10%, trade that off against not screwing with inheritance taxes.
4) Create more incentives to trickle down, tax breaks get crucified but the most successful tax break in the last two decades was for hiring new people, used a lot by oil companies.

"The difference between 65% and 65% is about 50 million people."

Marty, this is true as stated, but it's not evidence of the goodness of trickle down. it just demonstrates that more people live in the US.

"My point is that the economic theory didn't create the problems."

That is correct. It merely provided the justification for all of the practices you go on to list, plus many others, along with the public policies that enabled them.

it wasn't the theory, it was the fact that the theory was embraced and implemented, enthusiastically.

Yes. A lot of establishment types - pundits, politicians, media owners - have a vested interest in not admitting that the system is not working for most people, hence they blame everything on racism and xenophobia. Opposition to immigration is new to Republicans (and still forbidden to Democrats), but racism has been a staple of Republican politics for over 50 years.

Brexit and then exit, stage right, Booboo!

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/07/05/late-night-national-schadenfreude-open-thread/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4qFxTTi8q0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-home-that-looks-perfect-until-bigotry-rears-its-ugly-head/2016/07/04/f12e5216-420c-11e6-8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html

This will stop or there will violence across the board against the "conservative movement" until it is a rotting, stinking corpse.

Use the market's private sector to disarm the tribe causing all the trouble.

No gummint intervention required, beyond the SEC OKing the deals.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-how-big-business-can-easily-prevent-the-next-orlando-tragedy-2016-06-16?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

This has the ring of crazy-talk to it, but I'm not so sure it actually is crazy.

The final paragraphs:

I think there is a need to worry about what happens when Trump loses. The base may conclude that the establishment and/or the mainstream media defeated him. There will still be hard core believers in his message. There will be another Trump. I do not know how someone could not see how relatively easily Trump destroyed his political rivals with a mixture of economic populism—saving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and maybe even supporting universal health care—with racism, nativism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, and authoritarianism.

As neoliberalism fails and the Democratic Party does not address its destructive consequences for ordinary people, the more likely the next Trump will be more successful.

The key strategists of the Christian Right—William S. Lind, Gary North, and Edwin Vieira—have written strategic assessments that the financial system will collapse.

The Patriot militia and other paramilitary groups are simply waiting for their turn to have fun.

As neoliberalism fails and the Democratic Party does not address its destructive consequences for ordinary people

if only there was someone promising to Make America Great Again.

... which is to say: it'd really be nice if the left figured out that maybe it's not such a great idea to flatly accept Trump's premise that America is currently the suckiest suck that ever sucked.

That there is is kind of the point, no?

To the extent that it does suck, it should be acknowledged. Who is flatly accepting Trump's premise, which is that it sucks because of immigrants, Muslims, and always-wrong elite know-it-alls (including the guy being interviewed at my link)?

You aren't suggesting that there's no room for improvement in the policies that affect the economy and how resources ultimately are allocated, are you, cleek?

Out of curiosity, who was your preferred candidate in this presidential election?

There's risk in overdoing teh suck when you've been the party in charge of the White House for the past 8 years, even if Congress has refused to do anything.

You aren't suggesting that there's no room for improvement in the policies that affect the economy and how resources ultimately are allocated, are you, cleek?

of course i'm not. there is an enormous middle between "no room for improvement" and Trump's (and some of the left's) "this are terrible". we shouldn't exclude it.

i preferred Clinton.

I'm not suggesting teh suck should be a campaign message. I thought we were talking about political analysis here.

we shouldn't exclude it.

Agreed.

I think the pull of the success of the neoliberal policies, just as everyone knows someone suffering everyone has family and friends doing well, will get Hillary elected.

The underlying assumption that all poor people are just rich people down on their luck will win out.

I think Trump's being complete f*cking idiot will have more to do with Hillary being elected than anything else.

Dear God, hsh, I hope you're right. But after Brexit, nothing bad and stupid would surprise me. I assume the well-read ObWi collective have seen this:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/11/george-saunders-goes-to-trump-rallies

Out of curiosity, who was your preferred candidate in this presidential election?

I'm assuming that this is a game anyone can play (in retrospect)?

Of the folks who actually ran, i.e. excluding those who maybe talked about it but didn't, I think I'd go with Martin O'Malley. (If restricted to those running in the primary in which I could vote, I'd still go with Kasich.)

If we had a choice in November between those two guys, I'd feel a lot better about the future of the country. Alas....

I assume the well-read ObWi collective have seen this:

I had read some, but not all, of it. So I just read the rest.

To cleek's and ugh's about not conceding that America totally sucks, as Trump would have people believe, this jumped out at me, because it is my experience with both Trump's supporters, who are pretty much by default Obama-haters, and Obama-haters who aren't necessarily supporters of Trump:

...and that their grievances were more theoretical than actual, more media-induced than experience-related.

(...)

I ask one of his friends, a thoughtful Chinese-American guy, how his life has been made worse over the past eight years. He comes up with this: he pays more for his insurance because of Obamacare. Anything else? Not really. How has he personally been affected by illegal immigration? He hasn’t, he tells me, but he’s been fortunate enough to have the resources to keep his family away from the danger.

At one point, in line at the Fountain Hills rally, frustrated by a litany of anti-Obama grievances being delivered by the woman in front of me, I say that I think life is good, pretty good, you know?

“You think this is good?” she says.

“I do, yeah,” I say. “We’re out here on a nice day, having a beautiful talk—”

She groans, meaning, You know that’s not what I mean.

But I don’t, really, so I ask her what, in terms of her day-to-day life, she thinks is wrong with America.

“I don’t like people shoving Obamacare down my throat, O.K.?” she says. “And then getting penalized if I don’t have insurance.”

Is she covered through Obamacare?

No. She has insurance through her work, thank God, but “every day my rights are being taken away from me, you know?” she says. “I mean—this is America. In the U.S., we have a lot of freedoms and things like that, but we’re not going to have all that if we have all these people coming in, that are taking our—”

It's like the conversation I had with my Obama-hating friend a couple Saturdays ago. Obama has ruined the country. How? Everything's screwed up and going down the tubes. More specifically? Well, his picks for Attorney General sucked and Obamacare is a mess. Is that it? What's happened to you (or even anyone you actually know)? Well, nothing, really....

(His IRA probably went up in value quite a bit over the last 8 years, though.)

If we had a choice in November between those two guys, I'd feel a lot better about the future of the country.

What about Clinton v. Kasich? Is there a discernible difference as between O'Malley and Clinton? (Don't get smart, I mean policy-wise.)

And why go for a rabid right winger like Kasich?

Thank you, bobbyp.

Why, indeed?

This is why peaceful protest against armed filth never works.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/house-leaders-investigation-sit-in-guns

Never do a sit-in without automatic weaponry at the ready, safeties off.

I don't know how much policy difference there might be between Clinton and O'Malley. Although I have the distinct impression that he may rather less of a hawk on foreign policy. But I have some doubts about Clinton's judgement; and while it is true that even paranoids can have real enemies, I find her level of paranoia worrisome.

As for why Kasich? Consider who else was on offer among the Republicans this time around.

Kasich is pretty far right in any absolute evaluation. But compared to the others? At least there was some pragmatism and sanity apparent. For ecxample, was there another GOP governor among the candidates who took the Obamacare Medicaid money? Who defended doing so and refused to back down? Not that I recall.

So why Kasich? Well, it's not like someone like Susana Martinez was on offer, now, is it?

Kasich is pretty far right in any absolute evaluation. But compared to the others?

Not as rabidly reactionary as Ted Cruz; not as glibertarian as Rand Paul...other than that those two, pretty much standard issue GOP....a hater.

I'd call this damning with faint praise.

For example, was there another GOP governor among the candidates who took the Obamacare Medicaid money?

Chris Christie.

Walker's Wisconsin accepted the Medicaid expansion, but refused the funding for it. Go figure.

Many of the rest were ex governors. They don't count.

Well, it's not like someone like Susana Martinez was on offer, now, is it?

You mean the Sara Palin promoted, climate change denying governor of New Mexico?

That Susana Martinez?

See, the problem is why ask the question? If they are a Republican you (bobbyp and the Count in particular, the vast you in general)are going to find someone calling them racist and hateful and whatever and then imply you must support all that hate.

Kasich is as reasonable guy as you could hope for and smart to boot, experienced and just flat disagrees with you(see above)on a lot of policy. Most people do. Susanna Martinez may be smarter, Nikki Haley more reactionary and smarter. Unless it's Clinton then there is a rain of stupid crappy opinion pieces to support any view you want.

All of that is a desperate attempt to make Hilary seem like a good enough person to be elected. Like, we aren't going to charge her even though she did everything she was accused of, but she didn't really mean to threaten security. Well, is stupid a crime? We could get rid of them both and run people who might have ideas.

f them all.

Bobby, to second (sort of) what Marty said, which Republican, Governor or otherwise, would you prefer to see get the nomination?**

A mayor even? (Hint: Fresno, California has a Republican mayor. Just for one I happen to know of.)

You know, just so there is some alternative on offer in November. And because there is always a chance that the Republican nominee will win.

** I'm assuming that your passing mention of Gov Christie wasn't an endorsement. Feel free to correct me if I went wrong there....

And Marty, since you obviously don't like Clinton, and show no sign of being a Sanders fan. Which Democrat(s?) would you consider a good option?

Kasich is as reasonable guy as you could hope for and smart to boot, experienced and just flat disagrees with you(see above)on a lot of policy.

Spoken like someone who's plainly not from Ohio. Kasich isn't a reactionary fanatic like Cruz, but that's not enough to make him reasonable, even if he may seem like it from afar.

Bobby, to second (sort of) what Marty said, which Republican, Governor or otherwise, would you prefer to see get the nomination?**

A strange question. First we are informed that a race between O'Malley and Kasich would somehow "be better" for the future of our country, and then you ask that question?

Perhaps you should answer mine first? How would such a race be "better"?

As to your query, and to be frank, I would prefer the GOP nominate Donald Trump because he will be an utter disaster for the GOP, and I can only hope it will result in a Clinton presidency and a Democratic Senate.

There is near zero probability of him winning.

I take that as a good thing.

...because that outcome is better for the future of our country than the election of ANY Republican to the presidency.

You see wj, you have a party that, as an institution, opposes women's health, opposes secure retirement for the elderly, supports absolute owner power over employees in the work place, seeks to limit the voting franchise, unnecessarily kills people who could otherwise live a bit longer under the medicare expansion, denies the science of climate change, is comfortable with de facto racial segregation, and seeks to grant even more huge tax breaks to the already wealthy.

Both major parities are fine with the national security state, American world hegemony, drones, and pretty much unquestioning support for Israel. So there is that.

And John Kasich is the best you got? You cannot be serious.

wj,

I am not a big fan of any Democrat. Most important, they couldn't put one up that I would think would be more middle of the road than Hilary. Except maybe, I would listen to Tim Kaine, and then not vote for him probably. Although this year I might. But as VP he wouldn't be enough to get me to vote for Hilary.

As far as far lefties, I might vote for Tom Paxton.

Only because Phil Ochs aint amarching anymore.

I miss the 60's and 70's when I'm a liberal meant something, or not much more than now.

...and then imply you must support all that hate.

I speak in a collective sense. Nothing personal.

I remember the days when I was told to "love it or leave it" because the policies I supported made me a commie symp, the "same as Stalin and Mao", and therefore I was just like them, a hater of True Freedom....and, worst of all, "Unamerican".

Feel the Bern, baby.

You see wj, you have a party that, as an institution, opposes women's health, opposes secure retirement for the elderly, supports absolute owner power over employees in the work place, seeks to limit the voting franchise, unnecessarily kills people who could otherwise live a bit longer under the medicare expansion, denies the science of climate change, is comfortable with de facto racial segregation, and seeks to grant even more huge tax breaks to the already wealthy.

See that's the best summary of what I said. Not a word of truth in that paragraph. None. So you are running against your own strawman.

** I'm assuming that your passing mention of Gov Christie wasn't an endorsement. Feel free to correct me if I went wrong there....

Just pointing out that you had a factual error, nothing more.

Christie is Donald Trump without the money or a hit TV show.

Marty,

"Not a word of truth in that paragraph"?! Wow.
Does water run downhill in your universe?

wj,

Keep in mind that even if Kasich is not repulsively right-wing when graded on a curve, he does belong to a party that didn't come even close to nominating him.

--TP

"I speak in a collective sense. Nothing personal."

This is working less and less for me these days, but I do understand that you make some distinction.

I truly believe that there are people in the party that are for lots of stuff in your description above. I don't think it comes close to describing the party that is nominating doofus.

I could write an equally pejorative paragraph about my assumptions as to the outcome of Democratic platform policies. It would read very similarly as to what I think some of the outcomes would be. But then I would be accusing you of supporting racism etc. So I start from the premise that you want good outcomes, I want good outcomes and we disagree on policies to achieve most of them.

Keep in mind that even if Kasich is not repulsively right-wing when graded on a curve, he does belong to a party that didn't come even close to nominating him.

Tony (et al), I wasn't necessarily suggesting that Kasich was a good, let alone ideal, choice. Merely that he would be a better President than Trump.

The point that I was raising is that Bobby and Marty are denouncing the other's candidate . . . without indicating who the party could have nominate instead who would be better.

If you simply think that anybody and everybody in the other party is utterly reprehensible, fine. But then say so. Don't slam that party's choice as an individual, slam the party. And admit that you think that, of the people who ran, the person being nominated is the BEST that they could have come up with -- and Bobby, that's "best" as in "the best President for the country, should he happen to win."

Of course, if that is your opinion of everybody in the other party, allow me to observe that your contacts with people in the other party seem to be minimal. Because, even as heterogeneous ideologically as the parties have become, they are still anything but uniform. Not in their beliefs. And certainly not in the extremity to which they take those beliefs.

The underlying assumption that all poor people are just rich people down on their luck will win out.

This dog, I think it's hunting days are over.

Kasich is as reasonable guy as you could hope for and smart to boot, experienced and just flat disagrees with you(see above)on a lot of policy.

Yes, John Kasich flat disagrees with me on a lot of policy.

Not a word of truth in that paragraph.

Behold the optative mood - "would that it were so".

I don't think you, Marty, endorse any of the things in the paragraph you refer to. The GOP endorses many of them, and folks who endorse every single freaking one of them are all voting (R).

I'm sure it sucks to be a reasonable person who has historically identified with the Republicans, but it is what it is. No point in being angry at non-Republicans about it, we didn't make it that way.

No Russell, the GOP endorses none of them.

Find me anything that says Republicans will be good with racial segregation, or people dying or women having health problems. Each of those is an assumption of policy outcomes. That's a difference in opinion. The closest thing to a factual difference in the whole paragraph is climate science, and that is also based on the assumed outcome not the underlying fact that things are changing.

I am pretty sure the Democratic platform will endorse racial segregation through any number of programs that will ensure that there is no progress on addressing black poverty.

Democrats are perfectly happy to play roulette with Social Security and Medicare by not addressing them at all, old people starving, dying of exposure and dying from lack of medical care is all okay with the Democrats.

I could go on but, can the crap. The GOP doesn't support a single thing in that paragraph, its your imaginary enemy. We will call him Harvey from now on.

Of course, if that is your opinion of everybody in the other party, allow me to observe that your contacts with people in the other party seem to be minimal.

You (and perhaps Marty) continue to miss the point. It is not a question of "best". It is a question of policy. Are you really going to tell me that the "best" (I have no clue who that is) GOP candidate who, if lucky enough to be nominated and win the presidency in 2016 would veto a GOP Congress passing huge tax cuts for upper income people?

Are you REALLY, REALLY going to make that claim?

Are you telling me that person would send to Congress legislation to overturn the Hyde Amendment, repeal Taft-Hartley, or Shelby County?

Really? Really?

right off the top of my head, I remember watching the audience at a (R) debate loudly applaud the idea of someone dying for lack of health insurance, and I recall a (R) office holder quite candidly state that the motivation for voter registration changes was to suppress the (D) vote.

I could go find lots more, but I worked all day and I'm too freading tired. it's bedtime,
.
I won't be voting for trump, which means i'll probably be voting for hilary. I have my own crap to deal with. you identify as an (R), this is your pile of crap not mine. like it or not.

In my opinion these people are ghouls. I wouldn't associate with them. you are free to do as you wish. not my circus, not my monkeys.

best of luck.

Marty,

I look forward to having this conversation after the conventions, and a perusal of the GOP party platform.

Here's an example.

The party, as an institution, has apparently undergone a marked reversal in its attitude on climate change.

This is the voice of an institution, not some politician judged to be the "best" candidate.

But then say so.

I believe that is precisely what I have been saying.

bobbyp, I don't miss the point although it is mostly buried in invective and insults.

Why would anyone want to send to Congress legislation to overturn the Hyde Amendment, repeal Taft-Hartley, or Shelby County? Any of them?

Trump is unfit to be President because he actually is racist and stupid and unstable. He shouldn't be the GOP nominee because he probably has no idea what those three things are, much less have a conservative bone in his body.

My view of best is someone who will govern, work with Congress, pass budgets, compromise on a few things to get other things. Have the capacity to understand the impact of both legislation passed and not passed, have a cool head in international affairs. Best is the best candidate to accomplish something. Not by executive fiat.

If you simply think that anybody and everybody in the other party is utterly reprehensible, fine.

Again. Point missed entirely. The policies espoused by the GOP as a party and as exhibited by the actions of their elected representatives are utterly reprehensible.

Perhaps you could tell us the positive policy outcomes that would follow from defunding Planned Parenthood?

Go ahead. Give it a try.

Why would anyone want to send to Congress legislation to overturn the Hyde Amendment, repeal Taft-Hartley, or Shelby County? Any of them?

Because they are public policies that hurt, respectively, women (especially poor ones), workers, and minorities.

They are poor public policy.

The GOP supports, nay originated, those poor policies. As somebody who opposes those policies, and a member of a coalition containing a significant number of folks who agree with me that they are poor public policies, I will continue to support that coalition until something better comes along, or I get an inspiration on how better to attain the policy goals I support.

Therefore, I oppose any and all Republicans who run for elective office. The political defeat of that "heterogeneous" coalition is my goal.

Therefore, I don't particularly care who their "best" candidate is. I only care that they go down to electoral defeat.

Perhaps 100's of thousands of babies would have a better chance at living. In any event, there would need to be some prioritization of resources at PP, so we would see if women's health is really their focus, or just talking women into an abortion if they decide that's what should happen.

I would also note that PP doesn't go out of business without federal money. So whatever policy choice that's made, the impact is probably less than imagined by either side.

Answer to first comment: Yes being pregnant is often the biggest health risk faced by a woman up to that point in her life, going to PP is definitely the first health risk faced by the baby.
And no, PP is not the only place a woman can get prenatal care.

Answer to second comment: Two wives, three daughters, three sisters, not to mention friends, I have had many experiences with the health of the women in my life so no, you don't get to say I don't get an opinion because I'm an old white man.

And while they don't all agree with me, they don't all disagree either.

Lastly, defunding PP isn't a priority for me. I wouldn't vote based on it either way. Keeping the Hyde amendment in place would be higher.

Bobby, it looks to me like you are the one missing the point.

The question isn't Can you pick out a candidate from the other party who would be good? It's Of the possible candidates, who do you prefer? Or, to put it another way, which one would be least bad?

I hope you can look at the field objectively enough to see that there are some who are worse than others. Personally, I dislike all of the Democrats on offer. Which doesn't prevent me from seeing that some are (from my perspective, obviously) far more likely to do the job right than others.

Let me say also that, no matter how much you want the Republicans to be defeated, the reality is that some of them are going to win. (Hey, it's an imperfect universe.) So you really should care about who they nominate.

With some of the possible Presidential candidates, should they win, the country will survive. Not really the way you want it to be, but intact and able to recover and improve. But with others, that survival is IMHO far from certain.

there would need to be some prioritization of resources at PP, so we would see if women's health is really their focus, or just talking women into an abortion if they decide that's what should happen.

wtf?

PP spends ~3% of its budget on abortion services. less than half of what it spends on cancer screening. a 15th of that it spends on STD testing and treatment.

https://issuu.com/actionfund/docs/2014-2015_annual_report_final_20mb/1

In RWNJ world, those wimmins lack all agency, so the only reason they get abortions is that PP has a really convincing sales pitch, amirite?

Or perhaps it's free toasters and a frequent-abortion card: get four punches in your card, and the fifth is FREE!

"I miss the 60's and 70's when I'm a liberal meant something"

you and me both, brother.

"I miss the 60's and 70's when I'm a liberal meant something"

This should be the title of a weekend open thread, because I would love to see it unpacked from Marty's and Russell's respective points-of-view.

Not to mention the rest of us.

Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater girl in 1964 and might have been levitating the Pentagon by 1967.

Were we liberals inside the Democratic Convention in 1968 or were we liberals being beaten by Democratic machine cops outside in the streets.

Were we Hubert Humphrey? Bobby Kennedy? Martin Luther King? Wavy Gravy? Meathead?

LBJ?

Or were we the self-convenient Rush Limbaugh/Dick Cheney style liberal of the time, taking advantage of the mayhem to lance the boils on our asses in case our numbers came up, later and soon after realizing that what the sexual revolution really meant was license to cynically and sexlessly f*ck our fellow humans, mostly tramps anyway, any way possible?

Regarding Marty's PP riff, welp?

May we please have Doctor Science, Girl of the North Country, and our few other remaining women chime in on this.

I'd like fewer abortions too, but I want them done legally, not like they were most certainly done before outfits like PP, uncounted and wherein the women died or were mutilated too.

As far as I can see with broad elements of today's Right, saving a fetus from abortion is merely a route to outfitting them as toddlers with "Born To Kill" t-shirts, military-style weaponry, and then cheering like a miserable Hutu when they f*cking die after Obamacare, Medicaid, and the rest of the safety bet is savaged.

in 1968 I was a 12 year old middle school twerp.

now I'm just a twerp.

wavy gravy is a personal hero of mine. the man has lived a life of helping always, harming never, for 80 years.

can't think of a better thing to say about anyone.

I spent small part of 1968 as a zygote, a bit of it as an embryo, most of it as a fetus, and the rest as an infant. I may still have been in my libertarian phase, though I was hardly self-sufficient. We can't always live up to our ideals.

Of the possible candidates, who do you prefer?

None.

Or, to put it another way, which one would be least bad?

Doesn't matter. I am not a member of that party making the choice, but if they nominated Jill Stein I guess I wouldn't complain too much.

When you tell me that a O'Malley-Kasich would be "good for the country's future" as opposed to a Clinton-Trump race, what I am hearing is that you want a contest where the probability of your team's candidate winning is higher. Is this what you mean by "better"?

This also seems to imply that a choice as between Malto-meal and Quaker's is somehow something to be desired....which ain't necessarily so (i.e., depends).

It's not far from this to averring that the self-proclaimed centerism of somebody like Mike Bloomberg "has something to offer".

He brings nothing.

I can understand that Trump's candidacy is more likely to fail, thereby keeping an undesirable party (to someone of a particular point of view) out of the White House. By that measure, Trump is preferable to a more viable Republican candidate. But what is the effect of his campaign on our political culture?

I don't think he's creating, for example, racists (not many, anyway), but he is enabling their behavior, which may have been tamped down before he legitimated it to some degree or other.

By that measure, is Kasich preferable, putting aside his potential for actually winning in a general election and undesirably affecting policy?

I remember when moderates owned the parties. They called themselves moderates. They discussed issues seeking a moderate solution. Liberals were unreasonable and conservatives were sometimes fiscally useful. Big tents suck. They pander to the lowest common denominator on both sides yet never actually represent them.

*This week just set me off for some reason. So stay off my lawn. CCDG

I remember when moderates owned the parties.

like this time? Perhaps before your time.

Or a more recent example?

Moving along, we have this and who could forgetthis!

Moderates all!

I hear the only phone calls Trump is making these days are desperate pleas in an ongoing search for a VP candidate.

Go long popcorn futures.

When you tell me that a O'Malley-Kasich would be "good for the country's future" as opposed to a Clinton-Trump race, what I am hearing is that you want a contest where the probability of your team's candidate winning is higher. Is this what you mean by "better"?

Obviously I have been unclear. I am NOT picking either of these two because I think them more likely to lose. I am picking them because, compared to the other candidates on offer in their respective parties I consider them less likely to do damage, especially permanent damage, to the country. That is what I mean by "better".

The fact that you aren't voting in a particular party's primary doesn't restrict you from having an opinion on the relative merits of the candidates. At most, it might mean that you have not bothered to think about them in any depth. But, as we see in every election (not to mention in scores of political discussions not related to candidates), failure to think about something in depth still doesn't prevent us from having opinions.

Moderates per The Atlantic

Moderate: someone who is willing to acknowledge that there are a fair number of extremist nut cases on his side, as well as on the other.

May we please have Doctor Science, Girl of the North Country, and our few other remaining women chime in on this.

In 1968 I saw the Doors and Jefferson Airplane play the Roundhouse in London. I was a young teenager, but I had two extremely cool older sisters.

I consider legal, safe abortion to be an absolutely necessary right, on demand, in any society which aspires to equality for women. I consider comprehensive sex education, and legal, safe contraception and education thereon (which would probably avoid very many abortions) to be absolutely necessary for the functioning of a civilised society.

I am too tired to check if Count's invitation requests information on any other preferences or opinions; I gave Mr GftNC frostbite this morning (really and truly) when icing his back to help with the sciatic pain down his leg (usually an extremely effective treatment) before he went in for an epidural steroid procedure, so have spent the day beating myself up. He: "But you didn't do it on purpose", me: "No, because if I had I would be a psychopath". Crikey, it's been a very long day.

Thanks, GFTNC.

Men discussing abortion among themselves is all very well, but it's like those all-day sports bloviating radio talk shows; exactly none of the callers have tried to hit a 95 mph fastball.

I'm foursquare against sciatica, if that helps.

Roger Ailes is against abortion too, unless he's paying for it on the outa-town down low like all good conservative families have done for eons.

But then it's an easy missionary position for him to take since the there is not a woman on Earth, including his wife and the bevy of FOX blondes/brunettes his ample flesh quivers over who would care to could handle the weight of his grotesqueness.

He's a Jabba the Hut billboard for eternal chastity.

Steve Doocy apparently talks a good game too, but I'm sure he keeps an abortion doctor on retainer, or merely abandons those dear out-of-wedlock fetuses he goes on about, especially when they are half black.

If the fetuses brought to term are blue-eyed females, he pimps them out to Sean Hannity when they come of age.

Donald Trump wants a piece of that action.

The Third Way think tank is anything but moderate.

Please take just one pressing social, political, or cultural issue we debate here all the time and spell out the so-called moderate position.

Moderate: someone who is willing to acknowledge that there are a fair number of extremist nut cases on his side, as well as on the other.

Ever talk to a dyed in the wool Trotskyite?

Are they on my side? Hope so.

Are they "extremist nut cases"? Opinions vary.

Do I acknowledge them? Well, sure.

Does that make me a moderate?

Hey, GfNC, give the hubby some tramadol. It's the bomb for sciatica. Been there.

And what you said about abortion rights. Safe and legal.

If you don't want an abortion, don't get one. I don't eat red meat, but y'all can! And I will keep hope alive that y'all will convert.

Oh - that third paragraph was meant for all the folks, not GfNC, and the conversion is about non-red-meat! Sorry!

So stay off my lawn

Take three fingers of bourbon and listen to this if it will help.

Regards,

Moderate: someone who is willing to acknowledge that there are a fair number of extremist nut cases on his side, as well as on the other.

The problem with this definition, pithy though it may be, is that it says nothing about the actual beliefs of the hypothetical "moderate". Indeed, it's the kind of definition that would leave basically everyone able to be called a moderate; as long as they don't have to own up to being one of the extremists, most people will be willing to admit that there are a fair amount of "fringe nuts"...

Is somebody who favors both
1) the guns-for-all interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, and
2) the Medicare-for-all approach to health insurance
a "moderate"? I suppose yes, "on average" -- in the same sense that the fellow with his feet in the oven and his head in the freezer is comfortable on average.

Surely one alternate definition of "a moderate" is "someone who takes a middle-of-the-road position on practically every policy question". Another may be "someone who is never more than moderately for or moderately against any policy".

It would be nice if people who consider themselves moderates would specify which definition of "moderate" they're using.

--TP

Is somebody who favors both
1) the guns-for-all interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, and
2) the Medicare-for-all approach to health insurance
a "moderate"? I suppose yes, "on average" -- in the same sense that the fellow with his feet in the oven and his head in the freezer is comfortable on average.

I think Woody Allen had this covered with free-thinking fascist-anarchism, though I might go with radical statistical centrism.

Sapient - Mr GftNC is a nutter from the North Country (I am that only by marriage), and their loony, macho code involves toughing it out and resisting all offers of help, even Tylenol or Advil unless in extremis, let alone something like Tramadol which is, heaven forfend, an opiate. Here's hoping the epidural works....

Tribal:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/whats-good-workers-terrible-investors-113004861.html

Our corporate elite, the one percent, are the only ones permitted to belong to BOTH tribes AND call in the cavalry when the lesser tribe's sisters won't put out.

This speaks to Russell's dictum on distribution instead of redistribution.

If things as they are were not a self-imposed mindset taken as an iron law of physics, think how much less government those who THINK they want such a thing, would get.

Mass stupidity.

Speaking to things I read. I don't know where I saw this but it is an interesting' if a little dated, article on gun control effects.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/11/charles-atlas-shrugged-by-barry-blitt

reading Marty's link, i kept thinking of the Lead/Crime hypothesis.

that's when i wasn't thinking "wow, this paper really wants to assume that all countries are equal in every way except for their gun laws! Luxembourg vs the US?" and "well, that's a strawman." and "John Lott? really?"

these folks had many of the same problems, and thoroughly addressed them.

I blame the Soviets.

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