Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Iowa, Inanity, SOTU and political games

In the wake of those frenzied and overblown Iowa Caucuses, a number of interesting thoughts:

1) That Donald Trump should have done a little traditional Expectations Dampening - you know, like politicians do. But that is not in his nature.  Anyone could tell you (as I did) that Iowan conservatives are very religious and that faction turns out - hence Cruz was always the leader there, whatever the polls say. (Weirdly, Iowa democrats turn out to be way more leftist than liberals nationwide.  What a state.) In any event: "The bad news for Ted Cruz: His Iowa win looks very similar to Mike Huckabee’s and Rick Santorum’s."

Only I still maintain Cruz has a cunning plan.

2) The near tie between Clinton and Sanders is actually great news for democrats. Both candidates will benefit from lively and invigorating tension. But this assumes Bernie is able to keep perspective and not get so caught up that he forgets -- you are vying, vigorously, for captaincy of a team you both know must win. Bruise each other... a little... but not too much for genuine hugs and kisses, later.

Oh and Hill? No thumbs on the scale. A cute trick would be to offer Bernie at-minimum the right to pick your Inspector General and your SEC head. No quid pro quo.  Just offer it.

3) NYT Nobelist economist Paul Krugman highlights ‘uplift’ in his analysis of the Iowa returns. 

Yes, he chose that word. His point being that we should choose to be more ambitious -- the one core thought that Bernie Sanders has contributed. Can we ‘uplift’ our society, our civilization? 

Right now, the American public mood is addicted to downer memes, despite almost every statistical metric having improved. While science fiction is filled with many negative stories, often unecessarily so, it remains the one medium where perhaps 10% of the time, we see real optimism and hope. Prof. Krugman knows this, else why would he feature a Michael Whelan sci fi cover to illustrate his essay?

4) Did I mention demmie 'hugs?' Among many young Sanders supporters I have been noting a bit of a shrill tone, even hatred for the Clintonite Democratic 'establishment.' And sure, some degree of complaint about that is valid. And yet, I am from the 1960s, and you kids are pure amateurs at indignation. Seriously? Some persepective is called-for. Especially when some bright-bozos have been proclaiming that "radicalism" is preferable to "well-meaning but too-moderate incrementalism."

The implication is that pragmatic moderate are tepid in desiring reform. But indeed, I warned about the threat of a secret world oligarchy in my novel Earth way back in 1989 -- see my portrayal of the "Helvetian war" -- and no one dissects that trend more often or deeply than I do. Also, that novel was early re Climate Change warnings.

Do I agree with much that Sanders says? Sure. I am glad of some of the radical enthusiasm he's fired up. And note that PAC money is playing a much smaller role in this election. Cool.

Still, the world is ultimately made by pragmatists and incrementalists. Franklin Roosevelt reset capitalism and gave the workers such a big stake that it created the fantastic American middle class. Which oligarchs are busy undermining, sure. So? All that means is another Rooseveltean reset is needed.  Hey, if our parents in the Greatest Generation could achieve that miracle, without diluting the best aspects of creative-competitive capitalism at all -- then we should be able to, as well.

Only dig this well, The New Deal had some radical aspects! But deep down, anyone who knew Franklin Roosevelt also knew that he was above all a politician, a pragmatist, an arm twister, and a moderate. A negotiator! The only way you can reconcile those two facts is by recognizing this: radicals will not accomplish as much in the American context as fierce pragmatists will. 

And we must do our part. Obama or Clinton needed us to give them a Congress. Any failure of their incrementalism was our fault. And "radicals" without a Congress will be even more pathetically ineffective.

== Congress listens -- in sullen crankiness ==

President Obama’s State of the Union address (SOTU) got a lot of attention, including nervy Paul Ryan, who either smirked "knowingly" or else scowled, theatrically-disrespectful through the entire address, then accused Obama of “degrading” the office of president… this from the party that gave us Richard Nixon and both Saudi-Bushes. 

Obama’s content – appealing for a return to the politics of actual-negotiation – was in fact filled with things to which we might all reasonably agree.  But one topic I have long inveighed against… electoral cheating. Especially gerrymandering  --  "the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around."

This article appraises how easy it would be to create fair electoral maps based upon “compactness of districts". In fact though, I do not agree with this solution – though it would be a vast improvement.  Elsewhere I offer a ‘minimum overlap” proposal that would require just three sentences and end the problem in a shot.  

Only here I want to comment less on President Obama’s SOTU address than on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's official GOP response. The sub-text implications are quite interesting. Haley admitted in an interview on CNN that her speech partly targeted Trump & Cruz and that party leaders reviewed her speech before she delivered it Tuesday.

Choosing her as SOTU responder was one of the few actions that the Republican establishment could take, having completely lost control over the wild presidential nomination race. Earlier, I suggested 1:3 odds that they are setting up Paul Ryan to step in, should the convention be deadlocked after a first or second ballot (see below). (Ryan's scowl, all through the SOTU? A hour of silent-and-free publicity.) But back to Haley...

The GOP establishment knows that Jeb is toast and Rubio - their new boy - is unlikely.  The Ryan Gambit is plausible, but their backup plan...?  

Set up their choice to be the VP running mate.

Let's back up a bit. I believe Ted Cruz never intended to win the GOP presidential nod.  He knows how hated he is, by the GOP lords.  (In fact by almost anyone with normal intelligence.) His role model has to be Richard Nixon in 1952. And sure, if Jeb or Rubio or Ryan get the nom, then Cruz would be their shoe-in VP pick -- their envoy to the fundies and tea partiers, to keep them in line.  


What's Cruz's payoff?  Either 4 or 8 years as VP, pulling in IOUs... or else, if the GOP ticket loses this year, becoming the heir apparent to oppose the sitting dem's re-election in 2020.

Only now that plan is dashed!  The rebels - Trump and Cruz - have been too successful! If Trump wins the nomination, he simply can't choose Cruz as his running mate. They'd torch the whole party. Donald would have to find a "moderate" to mollify the Lords and to soothe offended folks in Trump's wild wake. (Unless Trump then intends to dash-for-the-center! In which case Cruz might make sense as veep, after all.)

Moreover, Ted Cruz - if by some chance he wins the main nom - would have to do the same.

And so we arrive in South Carolina, where the most important Republican primary will be held. Nikki Haley will be potent there. Moreover, she is a solid VP choice for many reasons.  A woman and a soother... and somewhat of an ethnic minority... though not Hispanic and not from a state the GOP needs. No matter! How better to reach out to GOP grownups and urge them to stay loyal, while either Cruz or Trump rampage about?


Haley: “It takes everyone to get their egos out of the room and really sit down and say, ‘OK, how are we going to get to a solution? That’s not something we’re seeing in D.C. right now.”  

Further: Haley said that Republicans share the blame with Democrats for the nation’s distrust of Washington and need to “recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership.”

Look, it's possible she's even sincere about wanting to forge a path for American conservatism out of the hellish pit Roger Ailes led them. If so, then her getting a VP stint on a losing zombie-festival could be good news for us all, putting her in position to bring back some version of the party of Eisenhower, in 2020.  It's a scenario.

I'll put no money on it though.  I do know this... actually winning the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2016 was not Ted Cruz's plan. As in The Manchurian Candidate, his scheme was a patient one, and now his prize, the VP slot, is slipping away from his hands, because he's been too successful.  And I can just imagine him murmuring "Oh crap, now what!"

Summary: If Trump or Cruz win the nom - VP goes to Haley or some hispanic GOP pol.
If it's anyone other than those two, then Cruz gets what he really wanted - (though perhaps sugar plum fairies are now dancing in his head) - the VP slot.

== Has Trumpism run its course? ==

Donal's lack of savvy expectations limiting before Iowa means his aura has taken a hit. So, is it over? Of course not.  Still...

The Eight Causes of Trumpism: This stunningly cogent article from The Atlantic fills in the historical trends that - since 1990 - have contributed to turning American politics from being about policy argument and negotiation, to an utterly polarized hate-fest. "The 8 causes of Trumpism" is actually not about Donald Trump, at all, but the forces that made 1/3 of Americans so volcanically (and illogically) furious that only a manipulative outsider-savanarola like Trump or Cruz can be viewed as appealing.

There are factors that Mr. Ornstein leaves out.  Like the role that Saudi investment played in building Fox News into the incendiary fuel behind a New Confederacy.  Or how  those petro-sheiks and our own coal barons created a populist frenzy that (to their chagrin) is now slipping out of their control, much the way Junker-class lords in 1920s Germany thought they could foster another right-wing populism, then lived to regret it. 

Still, Ornstein does feature a crucial moment -- the treasonous know-nothing act when Newt Gingrich's House GOP dissolved its own Office of Technology Assessment, and sent all the techies and boffins and nerds packing, openly declaring that science and facts that conflict with dogma have no place within the Capitol walls..

Now that phase 8 of the American civil war is thoroughly blatant, is it time, at last, to call it what it is? (Start ordering your blue-kepi 1865 caps now, for next Halloween!) Only then might the Blue Union do what it was forced to do, during other phases of this recurring, national fever.  Win.  Overwhelmingly.  Then, "with charity for all," resuming our ambitious role in remaking a better world.

126 comments:

Treebeard said...

The world is made by pragmatists and incrementalists...until that model breaks. Maybe it's a good model for the Summer season of a civilization, after the early eruptions of passion and violence that created it are over, and before the cataclysms and decay that bring it down set in. The mid-20th century American Summer that you remember (born of massive violence and upheaval) is fading from memory, and as it fades and its children die, so will its values, myths and ability to inspire the young. It may just be that we're approaching our Autumn phase, if not the onset of Winter, and there's not much a few old politicians, writers and economists, or anyone else, can do about it.

Tacitus2 said...

I didn't see Ryan smirking during the S o t U speech, but of course I only watched some excerpts. However, seeing him sitting side by side with Joe Biden I certainly do remember the latter gents horrific performance during their VP debate last cycle. It was embarrassing.

Tacitus

Treebeard said...

I'm always curious to know where a non-religious person gets this "remaking a better world" impulse. Which God granted you the right to remake the world, and what makes you different from all the dictators, conquerors and prophets of history who had the same impulse?

Mark said...

If you don't think Sanders is a compromising pragmatist, I'd suggest you read these two articles, the first from liberal Alternet and the second from conservative National Journal:

Bernie Gets It Done: Sanders' Record of Pushing Through Major Reforms Will Surprise You
Bernie Sanders Is a Loud, Stubborn Socialist. Republicans Like Him Anyway.

The difference between him and Clinton is Sanders never pretends (or actually believes) the compromised solutions are the best possible ever. Obama and Clinton tend to negotiate with themselves, come up with pre-compromised positions and use that as the starting point of negotiations. At the end they declare victory in a way that leaves some supporters doubting they ever really wanted what it looked like wanted when they campaigned.

This virtually guarantees the out-of-office party will gain seats in off election years.

With Sanders, there is little chance anyone will ever doubt he is still fighting for income equality and workers. This gives him a real chance to make the 2018 election a referendum on congress, the same trick FDR used.

Treebeard said...

I do think it's instructive to see the naked imperial power agenda that lurks behind the Amerikan progressive facade. The way I read the message here is: we're gonna remake this planet into Star Trek whether you backward inland peons like it or not, because not only are we intellectually superior to you, but we have SCIENCE! And we're pragmatic and incremental to...unless you piss us enough enough, in which case we'll bomb you back to the stone age where you belong. What a hoot!

Mark said...

On Trump, there is another theory I've heard. To do well in caucuses requires a good ground game. Apparently Trump didn't even try to organize for this until almost the last minute. Given that, some have speculated Trump actually pulled off a second place finish at the end and this could have been much worse for him. The polls weren't particularly wrong, they just assume everyone has roughly the same ground game.

Anyone who has actually been paying attention, of course, realizes Trump is not an actually good businessman. His best trick is to get money from others even after declaring bankruptcy (four times!). If he was good at business, he would have hired the right people to manage the Iowa caucus. Apparently, he did not.

His persona is so based on being a winner, I'm curious if he can survive this. Just as he finally convinced me he could actually win the nomination, his obvious incompetence actually hurt him.

LME said...

I'm not sure Treebeard is clear on the difference between religion and spirituality. The notion that religion and belief in a God are requisites for acting out of love seems rather parochial to me. And I don't really think anyone needs to have marching orders from any God to want the world to be a better place. Saying people with progressive ideals have totalitarian motives "lurking behind" is the negative trope that self serving libertarians always love to trot out in discussion like this.

matthew said...

Doc, Here's the image of Spike Lee in the union blue kepi, btw. http://www.tvguide.com/news/spike-lee-oscars-diversity-boycott/

A.F. Rey said...

I'm always curious to know where a non-religious person gets this "remaking a better world" impulse. Which God granted you the right to remake the world, and what makes you different from all the dictators, conquerors and prophets of history who had the same impulse?

Just about every human being who has trod the Earth has tried to remake it into a better world. Planting food, building a barn, building a house, installing plumbing, having kids--all is in an attempt to make the world "better" for ourselves. It's not an impulse, its being human.

What makes dictators, conquerors and prophets different is the methods they used. And no one is advocating using such methods in creating a "Star Trek" paradise.

We couldn't. Then it wouldn't be "Star Trek" (unless you count the Mirror-Mirror universe.) :)

Anonymous said...

I for one will be supremely happy to see the Confederate Party and it's oligarch paymasters get hoisted by the petard of White Supremacy. They patiently been building up white resentment with zero-sum lies and cheating America out of trillions in lost productivity pave the way for the Right Wing Coup the Bushes, Birchers and Kochs have been fantasizing about since the end of WW2. I for one think they will all rue their miscalculations and will bankrupted by the backlash.

-AtomicZeppelinMan

locumranch said...


When our fine host notes the "shrill tone (of) hatred for the Clintonite Democratic establishment" expressed by Sanders supporters, he doesn't how absolutely & precisely correct he is.

The coming US Presidential Election is about Anti-Establishment Hatred. Bipartisan Hatred. Hatred of a 'do nothing' oligarchic establishment that has pandered to extreme statistical outliers at the cumulative expense of the cis-normative (+/-1 SD) political core.

The results of the Iowa Caucus? It's 'winners' are those hated by the establishment.

Trump is despised by the US Republican Party; Cruz is similarly despised but only more so; and, this is especially true in terms of the Democratic Party Establishment & a pro-NRA/Socialist/non-WASP like Sanders (need I say more?).

And, the Big Establishment candidates?

Hillary ties for second out of a Democratic Party field of two; and, we can stick a fork in Jeb! because he's well-done, garnished with fava beans & served up with a nice Chianti.

Although more garish & apolitical, we see a greater quantity of the same Anti-Establishment Hatred in an EU-dominated Europe & a convulsed Middle East, so much so that we risk the same fate if we choose to ignore their bloody precedent.


Best

Anonymous said...

@AtomicZeppelinMan

Transfer payments are zero sum facts rather than zero sum lies, and those constitute a larger and larger fraction of government expenditures.

While I often don't understand what locumranch is saying he is pretty clear on this one.

Right now we have the cheap communications needed for a direct democracy, if there was a referendum on every serious policy, you would be guaranteed that the current policies of welfare and warfare would not continue.

Currently we have a Molotov Ribbentrop pact where Republicans represent Ribbentrop, the Democrats Molotov, and Romney's 53% represent Poland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov%E2%80%93Ribbentrop_Pact

Likewise, my Norwegian friends (that remained there) remarked that the establishment implemented an immigration policy that is significantly changing the nature of the Norwegian demographics totally outside the democratic process.

-Anonymous Viking

Jumper said...

Yeah, yeah, Treebeard, we're all doomed, doomed I must say. And when you grow up your heart dies.

It's knowledge that's remaking the world. Quick, kill it.

locumranch, you're usually too angry to make much sense but it appears from what you wrote that you went after some entity that did you wrong. I hope you triumph in that matter.

Jumper said...

Here is a working link to Gov. Haley's response to SOTU.
http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/12/politics/state-of-the-union-2016-republican-response-nikki-haley/
(You post a LOT of bad links, David... just saying.)

Alfred Differ said...

I'm not convinced the world is made by pragmatists and incrementalists. Civilizations are forged by barbarians and then improved by the incrementalists.

America is still being forged, because we transitioned after WWII from America to Pax Americana. It's the switch from Republic to Empire that required strong contributions from our barbarians.

FDR was an internal pragmatist.
On the world stage, he was the barbarian we needed.

David Brin said...

The balas wood ent said: ""I'm always curious to know where a non-religious person gets this "remaking a better world" impulse. Which God granted you the right to remake the world, and what makes you different from all the dictators, conquerors and prophets of history who had the same impulse? "

Ignoramus. Look at the Tower of Babel scene in Genesis, one of the most remarkable amazing and underexamined and one of the few that look DIRECTLY at the core of human capability. We are a bit too ambitious too soon, but there is no wrath, no anger, no drownings or fire. God says: "If they continue thus, nothing will be beyond them. We were MADE beings capable of Godlike creative powers! As when God asks Adam to name all the beasts -- science! And a page earlier we learned that naming things IS creative power!

Sure He scattered us at Babel. It was too soon. But language is no longer any barrier. And again Nothing Is Beyond Us. And either he's about to stop us again -- (in which case why ever make us capable of nothing-beyond-us, in the first place?) -- or else the time has come.

And our resident ent - being too dumb and ignorant to even follow this logic... and stunned that a scientist and progressive knows more bible than he does ... is left stammering.

Oh, those dicators were monoliths who tried to command it. We criticize each other and compete and cooperate, skills they never had. We also know we will not build a BEST world... just one better enough that our smarter kids can improve it, in turn... and that is exactly what Americans have been doing for 200+ years.

fool.

Anonymous said...

If you aren't radical, you're superficial. I think you are confusing radicalism with unwillingness to negotiate.

Paul SB said...

If you aren't radical, you're superficial. = False Dichotomy. How about adaptable? Slide the scale wherever it serves your needs the best, then slide it again when times change. As usual, simple labels fail to answer complex questions.

On the last thread Alfred and couple others were discussing the social contract, an idea that has some antiquity. One thought that came to my mind is that the idea of the social contract was conceived at a time when people widely believed in multiple gods. Polytheism is much less monolithic, with its competing and cooperating gods and their respective cults. It makes sense that people would think of a social contract under such a theology, where even the gods have to learn to get along eventually, rather than having just one who has dictatorial powers. Just an odd, heterarchical thought.

Will Feret said...

Only then might the Blue Union do what it was forced to do, during other phases of this recurring, national fever. Win. Overwhelmingly. Then, "with charity for all," resuming our ambitious role in remaking a better world."

Isn't this a temporary solution though? Even if we managed to suppress (metaphorically speaking) the current Confederate revolt won't we just have to deal with it again in another two to three decades? Do you think there is a way to permanately get rid of this reactionary impulse that started in the South but has since spread throughout the country?

Paul451 said...


David,
"But this assumes Bernie is able to keep perspective and not get so caught up that he forgets -- you are vying, vigorously, for captaincy of a team you both know must win. Bruise each other... a little... but not too much for genuine hugs and kisses, later."

Jesus, you're chiding Sanders not to salt the earth? The guy who has refused to run attack ads? Whereas the Clintons invented modern Total-War campaigning. The Obama "birther" crap was started by the Clinton camp during the 2008 primaries. Dubya's guys studied Bill Clinton's campaign strategies to learn from them, which was used successfully against first McCain in the primaries then Gore, then Kerry in 2004.

Re: Trump's apparent decline.
Everyone's been predicting this for so long it may become a self-fulfilling prophesy. But not yet. Trump has a 20 point lead in NH... and South Carolina... and Florida...

(Sanders also appears to have a 15-20 point lead over Clinton in NH. But Hillary has 30 points in S.C and Fl.)

Re: Cruz merely wanting to position himself as VP.

People said the same thing about Obama.

locumranch said...


Chiding Sanders not to salt the earth is typical progressive double-think, inseparable from (1) the Blue Urban impulse to destroy, disarm & neutalise the Red Rural confederates who support, feed & protect the utterly dependent urbanites or (2) the ersatz EU masculine impulse to parade their men around in skirts & pumps as a show of force and/or strength.

To confuse 'naming' with 'creative power' is, quite literally, the definition of magical thinking, so I find it quite puzzling & ironic when I watch a scientist using both optimism & nomenclature in the attempt to invoke, summon & conjure a better future.


Best

Robert said...

Here's one thing Dr. Brin has not thought of: Sanders is being careful not to attack Clinton partly because if his is a congenial and polite campaign, he isn't alienating her most fervent of supporters. Barack Obama went hammer and tongs against her, and angered a number of her supporters. It took some soothing of egos afterward to fix things, and Clinton as Secretary of State... and that proved to be problematic given her e-mail server thing which is starting to look more and more serious (despite being something that the Republicans would have done as well).

Indeed, you have to wonder: why did she do that?

When you look at her actions after her failed bid against Obama, you don't see someone who has been being careful and avoiding landmines for Republicans to use against her. And part of that is because 30-40 years ago, she and her husband would have been Republicans. In fact, she worked on Goldwater's Presidential campaign.

------------

On a tangential note, I have come up with an argument supporting abortion.

Let us consider the 2nd Amendment and the fact the NRA and other pro-gun people are so vehement against legislation controlling guns. The reasoning is that if they give an inch, Leftists will go for a mile and start confiscating guns and stripping everyone but criminals of the right to have a gun. Yada yada yada. We've heard this tired old song time and time again, and no matter how hard you try to argue on reasonable measures... this is a no go. To the point liberals are now arming themselves.

Now let's look at abortion. At its core, abortion is about Bodily Autonomy. The so-called Pro-Life group is for stripping women of their bodily autonomy because the rights of the fetus are greater than that of women. But this is a very slippery slope that Pro-Lifers should avoid, lest it bite them in the ass (or more specifically, the kidney, lungs, and liver).

Bodily Autonomy is also the policy by which you cannot be forced to donate blood even if it is the only way to save someone else's life. You cannot be forced to donate a kidney or part of a liver or lung. Even after death, your bodily autonomy is in force and if you didn't sign an organ donor form (or even if you did and your family protests), your organs can't be harvested and given to other people.

If it is decided that the life of a fetus, which may not even be viable or survive long after birth, is greater than that of a woman... then what of a grown person? If your blood is the only thing that could save a dozen or a hundred people... then what right do you have to say "I will not donate my blood."

If some rich person needs a kidney and you are a perfect match but you refuse... that rich person is more important than you. His life has more meaning than yours because he is responsible for finance, commerce, business, whatever. So his bodily autonomy is greater than yours. And laws could be passed, related to the Pro-Life ethic that unborn life is greater than that of a pregnant woman, to FORCE you to donate your organs to that other person.

Why should we support abortion? Because by refusing abortion we start down a slippery slope where people are forced to donate blood and organs for other people, no matter what their own personal opinions.

Rob H.

P.S. - Naturally other people can put this is more... persuasive tones. I just come up with ideas. I'm not big on the polish. ;)

Howard Brazee said...

I sometimes think about reasons for candidates who don't have a chance to win to run.

Sometimes it is to set themselves up for a future campaign (looks like O'Malley).

Sometimes it is to make a lot of money (they all will have lucrative futures)

Sometimes it is to be famous.

Some have a single issue that they want to publicize)

Tacitus2 said...

Robert said:

"Indeed, you have to wonder: why did she do that?"

Lets assume she is not stupid. Fair enough. So the private email server was a conscious act that came after weighing risks and benefits.

She must have decided that the risk of not getting away with it ( odds of it not being discovered at all or that as a campaign issue it never caught fire) as compared to the risk of her communications being FOIA accessible made her actions a logical move for her long term prospects.

Most conservatives, many moderates and a certain number of progressives assume that this means the imperfectly hidden information contains some really bad stuff. Quid pro quo for the Clinton foundation, shoddy politically motivated actions in Libya, dire warnings about ISIS that conflict with the official Junior Varsity line at that time.

Most of us can deal with honest mistakes. I have said all along that this smells like a chain of dishonest actions with leaden attempts to cover it up.

Our host is wont to assure us that the Obama admin is by modern standards almost scandal free. Conservatives, for whom I presume to speak this morning, feel that the media and Justice department are "in the bag" to the point that it is hard for scandals to see daylight.

See also Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting. I'm sure she is enjoying her prosecution free, government pension funded retirement.

Tacitus

note, you are by no means obliged to agree with me on the scandal potential of any of this, I am simply putting forward some opinions that are widely held. See also the polls of Hillary Clinton on the Honest/Dishonest question. Unless you consider it all part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Jumper said...

I remember when the middle class had no problem staffing the military, in fact there's a lot of evidence that poorly educated soldiers are not the best, and I suspect it could more-or-less easily be so again. Meaning the "red states" have no permanent lock on this honor. This is interesting, too:
http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/17/money-talks-military-cash-goes-to-obama-2/

Jumper said...

BTW Factcheck, Politifact, and Politico all checked out the rumor that Clinton's team started the birther rumor, and came up empty. Always question the echo chamber. Unless Breitbart is your cup of tea.

Douglas Fenton said...

I don’t think you can draw many valid conclusions from just one primary but a couple of things stand out to me one of which is that Clinton did so badly with the younger voters who voted massively for Sanders. If this pattern persists then it will not bode well for the presidential elections. The voter age distribution of the Republican candidates was much more even. She will still win at the Convention because honestly, I don’t see Americans voting for an avowed socialist but that brings in another question. Why are there only two Democrats left in the race? What happened to the choice of candidates voters are supposed to have in the Primary process? Hillary Clinton is a deeply flawed candidate while Bernie Sanders is just a straw man for Hillary to ensure her nomination. At least on the Republican side you have ethnic diversity and differences in their messages while on the Democrat side you have only two. This is an aberration and I wonder how did the Democrat Party leadership allow this to happen?

A.F. Rey said...

She must have decided that the risk of not getting away with it ( odds of it not being discovered at all or that as a campaign issue it never caught fire) as compared to the risk of her communications being FOIA accessible made her actions a logical move for her long term prospects.

Most conservatives, many moderates and a certain number of progressives assume that this means the imperfectly hidden information contains some really bad stuff. Quid pro quo for the Clinton foundation, shoddy politically motivated actions in Libya, dire warnings about ISIS that conflict with the official Junior Varsity line at that time.


This is illogical, Tacitus, because most of the examples you provide happened after she set up the server.

She could not have known, at the time she set it up, that she would be storing shoddy actions in Libya or dire warnings about ISIS. Perhaps she may have known about political illegalities with the Clinton foundation, but then why put those on her server with official government communications? Wouldn't it have been safer to put those on another, entirely private e-mail address?

She couldn't have known there would be "some really bad stuff" in her e-mails, thus you can't know that they are there. You may suspect there might be something (and that she set the server up just in case), but you can't be sure. Anyone who is sure is practicing wishful thinking.

Berial said...

Reading the comments I'm reminded of two quotes I keep for future use:

"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
- George Bernard Shaw

and

"Extremists think "communication" means agreeing with them"
- Leo Rosten


Then again for myself:
"A witty quote proves nothing"
- Voltaire


Early days in the campaigns. I just hope the Democrats don't start treating each other like the Republicans treat EVERYBODY, not as political opponents you'll eventually have to compromise with to get things done but as actual enemies.

Tacitus2 said...

A F Rey

"It was already there," she said of the server. "It had been there for years. It is the system that my husband's personal office used when he got out of the White House. And so it was sitting there in the basement. It was not any trouble at all."

Clinton's unusual email system was originally set up by a staffer during Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, replacing a server used by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The Libyan intervention was 2011. Note that I am not among those who shriek Benghazi and look for the black helicopters. But the run up to the 2012 election was no doubt a time where policy and politics intersected.

I would think that any Clinton Foundation business that occurred after she became Sec State would warrant a higher level of scrutiny than the earlier time period.

Don't get me wrong, if it comes down to Trump vs Clinton I vote for her. And I totally think are ready for a female POTUS or VPOTUS this cycle.

Your contention that she should have had exclusive servers for work and personal matters, while correct and logical, is controverted by her blithe assurance that she deleted 30,000 personal emails. That, my friend, is a lot of yoga classes and wedding planning.

Look, its out there. It will be a factor in deciding the election. If you contend that the issue at hand (Supreme Court for instance) require you in good conscience to hold your nose and vote for her I understand. See prior comment re a Trump Clinton choice. Can we agree that our political system should be giving us better choices?

Tacitus

Jumper said...

All the furor about the emails presumes, against all reality, that there was some rule or law against it. There was not. There is also no requirement to record all your phone calls and turn the recordings over to Congress. Nor all your personal conversations about work. It's insane. The word "bullshit" isn't too strong.
The IRS thing is similar. In the midst of massive changes wrought by the Supreme Court, employees tried to streamline their work. Most of this "scandal" is centered on one single word: "targeted." It implies all sorts of nasty motives and carries suggestions of "shooting at." The dems missed perceiving this. The news uniformly used the word "target" in their headlines.

Berial said...

"All the furor about the emails presumes, against all reality, that there was some rule or law against it. There was not."

I honestly thought that there WAS a new rule implemented to stop the personal email hedge. It seems obvious that these things are done to avoid FOIA and I think almost all the previous Secretaries did this same thing or similar. It IS shady, but probably politically necessary. I don't hold doing this against Clinton but it's not points in her favor either. The way they've dealt with the issue is probably the best they could do but it DOES make it look like they've been up to no good.

I still get my back up at the various Republican/conservative commentators that use terms like 'pre-felon' with regard to Clinton. It's like they believe the law is set up just for them to use as they want. (Not saying that's been done here, but it has turned up enough times on some other blogs/Facebook that I think it's being purposefully spread.)

Catfish N. Cod said...

Our resident is a bit too wedded to the Spenglerian model of civilization, thinking there is some preset schedule built into the design of human civilizations. Even if there is data backing the model (and there's a bit) it's madness to use it predictively without identifying the motivating factors and establishing where the model might break down. Industrial civilization has a number of factors, both physical and social, that might make the model inaccurate -- electronic communications, from telegraph to Twitter; industrial fertilizer; political science.

I see better evidence for the Strauss-Howe generational cycle theory, but it too is only predictive as long as its surrounding conditions are correct.

=======================

Locum correctly identifies the existence of bipartisan anti-establishment sentiment, but doesn't appreciate the differences that still exist. Berners just think Clinton is a sellout, but that the Democratic Party itself is still capable of being their advocate. Trumpeters and Cruz Controllers feel that the Republican establishment NEVER intended to represent them.

And you know, to a point, they're right!

As for your rant against "Blue Urbanites", I remember the ubiquitous signs throughout the Boston Metro area in support of local troops, and the number of minority urbanites who sign up for the Armed Forces to escape poverty and obtain education... and just sit in amusement at how terribly ignorant you are of those you smugly insult.

========================

Berial, the rule was developed towards the end of Clinton's tenure. It was a gray area during her term, and the furor is about how she probably shouldn't have pushed to the edge of the tolerable. It's a ding on her in my book but not the giant one many wish it were.

Jumper said...

Also Clinton was the head diplomat. If the chief diplomat can't have a little elbow room when it comes to private job-related communications, this country is too moronic and in denial of historical reality to survive. I extend the same to any party in power. I don't need to read Ms. Rice's emails either.
No, the Republicans, some of them, would be happy to unnecessarily offend all sorts of people in other countries, and risk the lives of all sorts of people friendly to us, just to spill tidbits that made Clinton look bad. Look at what Assange did. Or maybe you don't know.

David Brin said...

Obama admin is about to join the Bil Clinton Admin as the only 8 year admins without ANY high officials even indicted for malfeasance of office. The cleanest years in the history of the republic... and if there were coverups, despite relentless and hugely finances witch hunts by the GOP including the Bush White House?

Then they are almost godlike-competent. And that speaks well for them as leaders.

We are the world's only healthy economy, propping the entire world out of recession. And yet OUR leadership is wrongheaded and "feckless."

Jeff B. said...

Tacitus,

There is a simpler explanation for the Clinton email issue that your dual options. Speaking from the inside, as a rule senior government officials (political appointments)do not pay attention to minor details. Any server would be set up by a flunkie, who at most would tell the boss that this is standard practice- which it was, up until the email scandal. As a member of the rank and file, it irks me when things like this happen, because everyone should have to follow the same rule, but often it's not the case.

I am not and have never been fans of the Clintons. But I am convinced that the reason we keep hearing the "she just seems untrustworthy" meme is that certain parties have been making allegation after allegation after allegation for 20 years. The general public does not see that absolutely nothing comes of any of the allegations, they just catch the sense that "something must be wrong." It's so old hat now that even some political pundits even make that assumption, without questioning the source.

And Lois Lerner was a minor govt. functionary (I'm pretty sure she wasn't even a political appointee) whose error was seized on by the media (not just conservative outlets) because it made a sensational story. In reality? Much ado about nothing- it doesn't even rise to the level of political scandal, unless we really, really want it to count as such.

Howard Brazee said...

I am a strong believer that we have way too much secrecy in government. I'd vote for a constitutional amendment saying that anything over a year old should not be secret. The government should work for the people, and as bosses, we need to know what the government is doing. Sure there are tactical reasons for temporary secrecy. But strategic decisions need to be checked by us.

David Brin said...

HB see how I handle secrecy in EARTH. Past 3 years agencies must buy secret caching yearly out of their budget. And anything more than 6 years requires yearly hearings.

Howard Brazee said...

I haven't read Earth since it was brand new. I'll have to re-read it.

Jonathan Sills said...

"I am not and have never been fans of the Clintons. But I am convinced that the reason we keep hearing the "she just seems untrustworthy" meme is that certain parties have been making allegation after allegation after allegation for 20 years. The general public does not see that absolutely nothing comes of any of the allegations, they just catch the sense that "something must be wrong." It's so old hat now that even some political pundits even make that assumption, without questioning the source."

People like to say, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." In my experience, however, frequently where there is smoke, there's a smoke bomb. And those allegations are a big ol' smoke bomb.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

See also the polls of Hillary Clinton on the Honest/Dishonest question. Unless you consider it all part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy


The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy has proven in the ensuing 20+ years to be more correct than not. Just as the idea that the IRS targeted the Tea Party but not left-leaning political organizations has been proven to be an outright falsehood (Daryl Issa specifically subpoenaed only the Tea Party stuff, and then used this to "prove" that the Tea Party was singled out).

So yes, I could be shown a video of Hillary and Bernie sitting down at a table eating baby parts and going "Mmmmm, tastes like chicken!" and I'd still vote for either of them over any Republican.

LarryHart said...

Catfish N Cod:

Berners just think Clinton is a sellout, but that the Democratic Party itself is still capable of being their advocate. Trumpeters and Cruz Controllers feel that the Republican establishment NEVER intended to represent them.


As long as you're throwing out humorous organizational names, a caller to Norman Goldman's radio show was going on about so-called evangelicals who back Donald Trump. He referred to such people (multiple times) as "Evil-gelical hypo-Christians."

locumranch said...



The conflict between Blue & Red States has very little to do with ideology. It has to do with the mostly dependent & urban Blue states running a 'Company Store' confidence game by controlling & manipulating US currency, overvaluing their own material contributions to the collective, and undervaluing Red State resources, contributions & support, in order to keep the Red States & the vanishing Middle Class in a state of submissive co-dependent wage slavery, forever dependent on government largess. The so-called Free Market is not 'free'; the US government is firmly controlled by a single bi-factional political party; the US polity suffers from Stockholm's Syndrome; and, according to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton is an Establishment Sellout who whores herself out to Wall Street Oligarchs.

"No man is free as long as another owns the means by which he must make a living".

Or, so I've heard.


Best :)
___
'Hypochristy' is the best neologism I've heard in a long time

Howard Brazee said...

Conflicts are rarely about ideology - they're almost always about culture. Ideology is an excuse. Red states get more federal money per capita than blue states, but fight harder against labor.

LarryHart said...

Jumper:

Unless Breitbart is your cup of tea.


May he rot in hell.

Seriously.

LarryHart said...

Berial:

It seems obvious that these things are done to avoid FOIA and I think almost all the previous Secretaries did this same thing or similar. It IS shady, but probably politically necessary.


Karl Rove set up shadow e-mail systems so that the Bush administration and his re-election campaign could collude and communicate free of scrutiny. Despite Tacitus's repeated assertion that Democrats would be out with pitchforks and tumbrels "if a Republican did that", as if that's a purely hypothetical situation, my recollection is that Democrats merely snarked a bit, but along the lines of a cynical "Well, what do you expect?"

You are correct that probably everyone has done something like that since e-mail was invented. To single out Hillary and go, "Yeah, but she's disqualified for the presidency because she did it" is to do exactly what Tacitus says the IRS did to the Tea Party. Only they didn't do really do that thing.

I don't hold doing this against Clinton but it's not points in her favor either. The way they've dealt with the issue is probably the best they could do but it DOES make it look like they've been up to no good.


Remember how the Republican stance used to be "Reagan taught us that deficits don't matter", until suddenly on Jan 20, 2009, it became a crime for a president to deficit spend, even in a depression? Likewise, the next time (God help us) there is a Republican administration, they will doubtless circumvent government e-mail again, and once again, it will be a non-issue with officials, the media, and the voters. Can that go into the predictions registry?

Jumper said...

Larry, I knew you were no fan of Breitbart! ;>]
It was a sort of rhetorical remark.

Did anyone else read that O'Keefe the video faker got indicted for urging one of his video actors to break the law in NC?

David Brin said...

Red states receive net tax influxes and largesse and aid and have for 100 years. ONLY in volunteers to the armed forces do they pull their weight. The only fantasy grudges against blue america that are anything more that raving arm-waved drivel are (1) that yes most media was based in blue america and (2) the brightest sons and daughters of every small town high school immediately LEAVE for the big city. That's gotta hurt.

The rest is raving niny-sense.

Jumper said...

Here is an interactive map of the big questions. Except for a few.
https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150803-physics-theories-map/
It has a lot of answers with more questions, of course.

Howard Brazee said...

Part of the reason red states have more military is because rural careers are hard to come by - so there is a bigger incentive to become career military. Urban military people are more interested in acquiring job skills and returning home. Career military acquire pensions and return home.

Compare comparable states which practice austerity with those which spend money and look at the economic results.

Or look at how much money Apple borrows and tell me how poorly run the company is for its stockholders because of such tremendous debt.

Invest in the future in was that have been shown to work. Or else, if your way fails to work, double down and next time it will work, right?

LarryHart said...

Jumper:

Larry, I knew you were no fan of Breitbart! ;>]
It was a sort of rhetorical remark.


I'm having a hard time thinking of an individual I despise more.


Did anyone else read that O'Keefe the video faker got indicted for urging one of his video actors to break the law in NC?


Yup. No wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood, but the instigators of the fake videos were indicted. I wonder what those conservatives Tacitus talks to in Wisconsin say about that.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Red states receive net tax influxes and largesse and aid and have for 100 years. ONLY in volunteers to the armed forces do they pull their weight.


Not only that, but the ones who want to turn those productive farmers into serfs are not the Blue State progressives.

locumranch:

"No man is free as long as another owns the means by which he must make a living".

Or, so I've heard.


How can you be so spot-on about some things, and then direct your anger at precisely the wrong targets. It reminds me of a stand-up comedian yelling at his audience because so few people are in attendance.

locumranch said...


As David concedes, "Red states receive net tax influxes and largesse and aid and have for 100 years" which amounts to Hollywood-style Accounting Fraud (wherein expenditures are artificially inflated to reduce or eliminate apparent profit) in order to mislead, manipulate & maintain dependency in an unwary victim class.

These are all Classic Abusive Behaviours:

(1) Control achieved with criticism, verbal abuse, financial control, isolation, cruelty, etc;

(2) Abuser Entitlements described as special rights justified by either the assumed relative superiority of an abuser over an inferior victim;

(3) Selfishness & Self-centredness which prioritises the abuser's desire as the centre of attention while belittling those of an inferior or undeserving victim;

(4) Feelings of Superiority which manifests as contempt for the victim as stupid, irrational, unworthy, ignorant, unenlightened, incapable or diseased;

(5) Possessiveness which portrays the victim's person, abilities, resources & property as the exclusive property of the abuser;

(6) Confusing Abuse with Love in order to justify violence against the victim as an expression of concern, love & good intentions;

(7) Manipulation as a tactic of confusion, distortion & lies in order to allow an abuser to portray himself as good & the victim as undeserving, crazy or evil;

(8) Contradictory Statements & Behaviours such as saying one thing and doing another, as in the case of an abuser threatening to abandon its victim while simultaneous exerting increased control & dominance over said victim;

(9) Externalization of Responsibility which allows an abuser to 'shift blame' & responsibility for his actions onto either the victim or other non-specific 'external factors'; and

(10) Denial, Minimization, & Victim Blaming (as above) as evidenced by a refusal to acknowledge (or an attempt to minimise) abusive behaviour -- its seriousness and/or its effects -- by blaming the victim.

Need I say more?


Best

Paul451 said...

Robert,
"Clinton as Secretary of State... and that proved to be problematic given her e-mail server thing which is starting to look more and more serious"

Que? There was no classified material on the server. A couple of email chains have been retrospectively classified to prevent public release at the request of (possibly over-enthusiastic) security agencies; but they were not in any way restricted when they were sent to/from Clinton's email server, and her lawyers have objected to their classification (hardly the behaviour of someone hiding something).

So what is it that "is starting to look more and more serious"?

"Indeed, you have to wonder: why did she do that?"

Because it was SOP for high-ranking political appointees, across both parties. (Whereas hypocritically getting hysterical over such things is only SOP for one party.)

Paul451 said...

Jumper,
"BTW Factcheck, Politifact, and Politico all checked out the rumor that Clinton's team started the birther rumor, and came up empty. Always question the echo chamber."

Politifact (2015): "The allegation about Obama's birthplace tracks back to the bruising 2008 Democratic primary between Obama and Clinton. According to a Telegraph article, as early as April 2008, a Clinton supporter passed around an email that questioned where Obama was born.
"Barack Obama's mother was living in Kenya with his Arab-African father late in her pregnancy," it said. "She was not allowed to travel by plane then, so Barack Obama was born there and his mother then took him to Hawaii to register his birth."
[...] a Clinton volunteer in Texas, Linda Starr, played a key role in spreading the rumor."


Politico (2011): "Where did this idea come from? Who started it? [...] The answer lies in Democratic, not Republican politics, and in the bitter, exhausting spring of 2008. At the time, the Democratic presidential primary was slipping away from Hillary Clinton and some of her most passionate supporters grasped for something, anything that would deal a final reversal to Barack Obama."

Factcheck (Nov, 2008): "This claim was first advanced by diehard Hillary Clinton supporters as her campaign for the party's nomination faded, and has enjoyed a revival among John McCain's partisans as he fell substantially behind Obama in public opinion polls."

Not seeing the debunking here.

Each of the articles merely insists that there's no public connection between the rumour being spread by and amongst Clinton campaign volunteers and "the Clinton campaign", but I wouldn't expect there to be any connection to the leadership. These kinds of sleazy tricks and whisper campaigns never trace back to the leadership, but they are damn well shut down quickly if they are not approved by that leadership. The usual tactic is that they're passed on to a loyal but disavowable lower level operative, who organises volunteers to do the actual dirty-work. It's possible that Clinton's campaign team weren't actually responsible for spreading the rumour, but it would be the exception not the rule.

That is not to defend the Republicans pushing the birther nonsense. And particularly not to defend those Republicans (like Trump) trying to now deflect their attachment to the conspiracy by saying "Hillary did it first!". I mean, the accusation against Clinton is that her campaign mandarins promoted an entirely fictitious, sleazy rumour to give dumb racists a fake reason to oppose Obama. So when Republican candidates float this "defence", they are saying that they....

Duncan Cairncross said...

Gerrymandering
I can't help but think that you are missing the best solution to your gerrymandering problem
And it would help fix your problem with political extremism

Proportional Representation,
There are lots of different types but they are all fairer than "First Past the Post"

I don't think your constitution requires FTP?
So it should be possible at least

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Need I say more?


Maybe not, but somehow, I think you will.

:)

Paul SB said...

Yes, Larry, you can count on it. But to little avail. This latest is a clear example of a major flaw - some people think it deserves the title of THE major flaw - in human logic. It's all one big metaphor. It assumes that what works on the level of the individual must work exactly the same way on the level of a society - that there is an exact equivalence between the body politic and the human body. Thomas Hobbes used that metaphor famously in "The Leviathan" and it was just as flawed in his day as it is today, and just as typical of the conservative mindset. The trouble with a metaphor is that it gives the false impression of perfect equivalence where only partial equivalence exists. Unfortunately, it is exactly how the human mind works, so it isn't always easy to spot. Way back in the 1920's psychologist Lev Vyogotsky, not knowing at the time about the arborization process, referred to 'schema formation' as the natural way our minds file information. Now we know the mechanism of neural network formation through dendritic connection. Either way, it's a natural tendency for us to think in metaphors, so it can be hard to spot. Abusive relationships between individuals and exploitative relationships between subcultures do not work in exactly the same way. His list of classic abusive behaviors just don't apply.

Tacitus2 said...

Larry Hart

I will of course give you a pass for florid language regards Cannibalistic Politicians. Because I know you to be a good person. Wishing Breitbart to burn in hell is getting close to the line but that gent's Eternal Status is presumably unaltered by your opinion or mine.

Regards this: "Just as the idea that the IRS targeted the Tea Party but not left-leaning political organizations has been proven to be an outright falsehood.."

Do me the credit of assuming I have waded through the entire mess of BOLO lists, types of 501 organizations, Lois Lerner's personal animus towards Conservatives, etc. We arrive at different conclusions from this data. Citizen's United is hated by one side of the political spectrum. I am not a big fan myself. But I see a politically connected agency slow walking enforcement of a law for the support of the Administration. I don't ask you to agree with me, in fact I said it was likely many here would not. But to call your perspective Truth and mine Outright Falsehood shows either an entrenched viewpoint on your part or an assumption that I simply get my truthes from Fox News and like low grade sources.

We go back a ways, I will forgive you the former because I know you do not accuse me of the latter!

Man, its gonna be a long political season. Stay optimistic in changing times.

Tacitus

Jumper said...

Paul451, I will eat a little crow but not a bushel, because there is a big difference between a volunteer and paid (central)campaign staff, who organize planning and tactics and write commercials, etc.

And I was mistaken about which of O'Keefe's stunts got him in hot water, although I didn't detail which when I commented on it. Now that makes two indictments on two different stunts: the Canadian contributor thing (I thought it was the fake immigrant voter) and now the Planned Parenthood one.

locumranch, that was a great list of abusive behaviors. Unfortunately for your argument merely posting that list does nothing to validate your thesis. It does provide the reader an interesting exercise to see how much of it applies to conservative ideology.

David Brin said...

If some over-zealous person put an anomalously large fraction of rightist orgs on an initial list of those to be give the very first, cursory glance for filing errors, then that is a bad thing. But on the scale of Noxonian scandals it is small stuff. Sure, glad you caught it and made an example of them. Yet, um... iz dat all yo got? Benghazi and emails? Cripes. You guys have a real bad scaling problem.

locumranch said...


PSB's use of dendritic non-sequiturs & Jumper's blanket denials do little to undermine my assertion. After all, the refusal to acknowledge (or the attempt to minimise) abusive behaviour is considered by many as proof of abusive behaviour.

We all agree that the Abuser/Victim Paradigm applies to individual cases of domestic violence and, by extension, to many cases of institutionised minority, racial, ethnic, gender & sexual orientation discrimination, so it is no great reach to extend it to other population categories that a majority finds 'undesirable'.

I therefore encourage you to review that nasty & discriminatory things that this site posts about conservatives, republicans, confederates & red rural voters being lazy, violent, uneducated, immoral, diseased & unenlightened, and ask yourself if the poster could get away with saying the same things about any Black, Mexican, minority or religious group without rancorous progressive denunciations.

My analogy goes much much further:

Not only are we constantly reminded about how distastefully INFERIOR conservatives, republicans & red confederates are when compared to progressive blue urbanites, we reds are also told how (1) we are being abused 'for our own good' out of 'concern and love', (2) the heavily-populated blue urbans are 'entitled to' utilise, possess & 'own' red rural resources on their own terms and (3) we are forbidden to either renegotiate or dissociate from this undesirable relationship, all while (4) the federal blues threaten us with summary military action, punishment & execution if we dare to leave or disobey.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35406324

As the BBC does, you may as well ask why so many Americans are so angry.

In a bipartisan fashion, we are so angry because we have been abused by an increasingly oppressive collective which belittles us as individuals, dismisses our concerns as unimportant, attempts to control our thoughts, legislates even the smallest aspects of our behaviour, disregards our desires, demands conformity, forbids disassociation and punishes disobedience for 'our own good' BECAUSE Love, Brotherhood & Progress.


Best

Tacitus2 said...

".....made an example of them..."

How exactly? A couple of folks took early retirement. Nobody lost their pension, nobody went to jail. It is hard to see much in the way of disincentives here. Those responsible are mostly still at their jobs.

We can disagree as to whether this was a trivial screw up from an understaffed agency or something darker. But the lack of accountability is hard to swallow. The IRS can be a very coercive arm of the Federal Government when it is misused. We come down harder on beat cops who profile on skin color or out of state plates.

Tacitus

Ioan said...

This is one of the best descriptions of the differences between the Clinton and Sanders camp I've come across:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/clinton-sanders-progressivism-divide_us_56b39b58e4b04f9b57d8c76f

Catfish N. Cod said...

Our 'rancher continues to amaze me.

"....lazy, violent, uneducated, immoral, diseased & unenlightened...."

You think we think that of all "red states"? Buddy, I'm IN a red state. I won't say which one, but it's darn red, I'll say that much. You think I'm insulting myself? Please.

What infuriates me is when people who DO hold those views towards "red staters" -- and towards blacks, Mexicans, and so on -- get support from the very people that insult them.

But I know the history of America and the world, and I have seen how the divide et impera strategy works. There is one group in all history who have consistently held those views irrespective of target--- and then pretended desperately to care about the target, just to keep their followers at each others' throats.

Aristocrats.

I don't actually think Democrats are, historically, any better; heavens knows the Democrats supported any number of corrupt labor leaders, party bosses, and (going back far enough) aristocrats themselves. But right now the relative support by Republicans of those who disdain anyone with less than eight figures is, to me, distressing. It's nice to see Trump splitting some of that vote away from the more colluding aristocrats, but he is still a wealthy son of privilege.

That being said.... so was FDR.

(By the way, you implicitly insult 'red staters' themselves by claiming they're too "unwary" to figure out this vast conspiracy you seem to think all urbanity is perpetrating. I half expect you to start talking about free silver in a minute.)

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I will of course give you a pass for florid language regards Cannibalistic Politicians. Because I know you to be a good person. Wishing Breitbart to burn in hell is getting close to the line


I don't usually speak ill of the dead. For Breitbart, I make an exception. He and the organization that lives on with his name did deliberate and permanent damage to our civilization, and were dang proud to do it.

"May he rot in hell", is, of course, the refrain following any character's mention of Nathan Holn in "The Postman".


Do me the credit of assuming I have waded through the entire mess of BOLO lists, types of 501 organizations, Lois Lerner's personal animus towards Conservatives, etc. We arrive at different conclusions from this data. Citizen's United is hated by one side of the political spectrum. I am not a big fan myself. But I see a politically connected agency slow walking enforcement of a law for the support of the Administration.


"Slow walking" at least in part because the agency was underfunded by congressional Republicans. When forced to do "more with less", it doesn't surprise me that the agency makes choices in its own political favor. And I haven't followed Lois Lerner's career particularly, so you may be right about her motives. I have looked into Darryl Issa's motives, and his committee did conduct a witch hunt. He limited his subpoena specifically to the evidence that the IRS investigated Tea Party groups, and then used that to prove that the IRS targeted Tea Party groups in particular. It would be as if I gathered statistics on how often a particular umpire called a Cubs player out, and only on his calls against the Cubs, and then said "See, he's biased against the Cubs!"

In my opinion, right-wing groups who were legitimately caught cheating by the IRS are exhibiting a sort of "right privilege" here. When I dontate money to left-leaning groups such as Planned Parenthood or the Sierra Club, those donations have not been tax-exempt for decades. If investigations didn't turn up the same kind of malfeasance among lefty groups, I'd hazard a guess it was because lefty groups had long ago given up on tax exempt status. Although, I did read that Greenpeace was among the groups "targeted" by the IRS. If groups with "Tea Party" in their actual name were attempting to claim to be non-political--well, I don't blame anyone for giving that claim closer scrutiny. Do you?


I don't ask you to agree with me, in fact I said it was likely many here would not. But to call your perspective Truth and mine Outright Falsehood shows either an entrenched viewpoint on your part or an assumption that I simply get my truthes from Fox News and like low grade sources.


I'm willing to chalk up our differences here as two guys feeling different parts of the elephant. You focus on Lois Lerner, and I on Darryl Issa. We might both be right as far as we go.

We go back a ways, I will forgive you the former because I know you do not accuse me of the latter!


I know you to be a good soul as well. Sometimes, certain issues you home in on mystify me (such as the distinction between Hillary's use of private e-mail and every one of her predecessors since e-mail was a thing).

Man, its gonna be a long political season.


"Gonna be"? It already has been. :)

LarryHart said...

From today's (Feb 5) http://www.electoral-vote.com/


Powell and Rice also Used Personal Email Accounts for Classified Data


Hillary Clinton has been dogged for a year for her use of a private email server that sent and/or received emails that were later classified. Now it appears that former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice did the same thing. Clinton is certainly going to use this revelation to argue (1) you can't fault someone for sending or receiving an email that wasn't classified at the time but was classified later, (2) the Republicans are harping on this issue for strictly partisan purposes, and (3) the classification system has simply run amok. The third point is so well established that in Oct. 2010, Congress passed Public Law 111-258, entitled "Reducing Over-Classification Act." At that time Congress recognized that bureaucrats were overzealous in classifying documents as secret long after they had been produced, often to hide some bureaucrat's mistakes by keeping nosy reporters from seeing them.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Not only are we constantly reminded about how distastefully INFERIOR conservatives, republicans & red confederates are when compared to progressive blue urbanites, we reds are also told...

Are you complaining about this blog in particular, or society in general? Because it's my experience, at least since the Bush II years if not the Reagan years, that liberal/progressives are the ones who are constantly reminded how inferior we are, and how we don't count as real Americans.

If you can't stand the occasional time and place where you are made to feel the same way I've been made to feel watching the 10:00 news every night for 30 years, then you're to used to exercising your "right privilege".

I'm re litigating all my old arguments from the "Cerebus" comics list.

LarryHart said...

Catfish N Cod:

but he is still a wealthy son of privilege.

That being said.... so was FDR


Having super powers doesn't make one a bad guy.

FDR used his powers for good rather than for evil.

Howard Brazee said...

While there are some liberals who put down conservatives - don't you think there are at least as many conservatives who put down liberals?

Alfred Differ said...

@Will Ferret: It IS a temporary solution, but it is far saner than a 'final' fix. Think of it in terms of geopolitical struggles between cultures. The only way to end them is for one of the cultures to be wiped out.

I'd rather not do that to my neighbors no matter how much I dislike their culture. I'd much rather knock them down occasionally and afterward do something more appropriate to Matthew 5:16. Live the example.

Jumper said...

It's the same old argument: my ignorance is as good as your knowledge. More to the point, is that people who refuse to respect hard-gained knowledge in others in any degree whatever are deliberately excluding themselves from rational discussion. As rationality is a major design principle of our government, so they deliberately exclude themselves from rational government.
By the way, locumranch, your points 1 through 4 are every one bullshit. No one says those things about rural people. Anyone who actually meets successful farmers meets a higher proportion of Democrats than a stupid person would think, and finds an educated person. A punk with no education and no respect for one, who drinks too much, has anger issues, and knows nothing whatever about history, the human animal, or civics, and has an eternal chip on their shoulder is a self-created entity.

Zepp Jamieson said...

I'm active on the Guardian Comment is Free bogs, and as a Sanders support, I am spending about half my time swatting my fellow Sanders supporters who have decided that Clinton is the Great Evil and must be defeated at all costs. Some of them sound like they came out of 1997 and the age of dittoheads, and so not only are they babbling on about Monica Lewinsky and how Clinton caused the Wall Street meltdown, and from there to the complete lunacy of the David Brock years, the sagas of Whitewater and Troopergate and Vince Foster. These are mostly Democrats going on like this. (Ironically, David Brock works with Hillary Clinton these days).
Just today, one Sanders supporter argued that Clinton caused the meltdown by slipping the Commodities Futures Reform Act into a must-pass omnibus bill. He didn't. The bill was stand-alone, went through committee process in the House and Senate, and the final bill passed the House with only 60 votes against. 51 of those no votes came from Republicans who felt the bill didn't go far enough to deregulate credit default swaps. Clinton signed it, but it was a formality; it had veto-proof majorities in both houses. Oh, and Bernie Sanders voted for it as well. Virtually nobody back then foresaw the damage it would do.
Sanders himself is better then that (Mr. Brin please take note). He finished last night's generally excellent debate with this: "It's important to remember, no matter what that we both (he and Clinton) are 100 times better than any of the candidates the Republicans are offering." I have a feeling I'm going to be using that quote a lot to keep the True Believers from derailing Sanders.

Howard Brazee said...

I suspect you won't need to use the quote, except in trying to get volunteers to work for Clinton. While there are people who object to voting for the "lesser of two evils" (Steven Brust had done this) - most all liberals will still vote for a Big Business loving, War loving Democrat over anybody the Republicans might nominate.

The recent history of the Supreme Court is sufficient argument here.

Zepp Jamieson said...

That's why I'm supporting Sanders. I'm sick and tired of settling for "only a little bit fascist" and "at least better than the Republicans."
I can give you an idea of how far to the right America has drifted as a result of that policy: Sanders, the "extreme leftist radical", doesn't have anything in his platform that wasn't also in Dwight David Eisenhower's.

Howard Brazee said...

Forgetting personalities, I don't see that Obama is to the left of Nixon, and is in many ways no more liberal than Reagan (certainly with regards to the budget).

But so many people vote on personalities and images.

Howard Brazee said...

Yes, you're supporting Sanders, and working hard to see that he's nominated. But in a Cruz/Clinton election, do you plan on staying home?

Zepp Jamieson said...

I think Obama might be more honest than either Reagan or Nixon, but certainly not to the left of him.
I supported Obama in '08, but with little enthusiasm, and likewise '12.
I'm tired of being herded into the lesser of two evils.
So yes, even if it's Cruz, I'll stay home rather than support another suborned centrist. I don't hate Clinton, but I don't see her making any serious effort to change the course the US is on. It's time to end this charade.

Jumper said...

Unless Clinton starts picking anarchist saboteurs for her administration, she will have to populate it with some people you find more to your liking than the alternative. I see her as a SOB coach who nevertheless will field a much better team than the Republicans. Vote.

Howard Brazee said...

It's whomever gets on the Supreme Court that will matter the most.

Tacitus2 said...

Ah Larry I do have the ability to Think Progressively. Hey, Russ Feingold is running for Senate again. He came by the workshop where our FIRST Robotics team is building. I shook his hand. He did not ask but if he had I would say that I had voted for him. And another time against him. There must have been a third time but I can't recall which way I went then!

Tacitus

Anonymous said...

Yes vote Zepp! You're falling for the same nonsense that was repeated about Gore - a Republican in the Whitehouse will be a true tragedy. Even Noam Chomsky says he'll vote for whatever democrat gets nominated.

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

Just today, one Sanders supporter argued that Clinton caused the meltdown by slipping the Commodities Futures Reform Act into a must-pass omnibus bill. He didn't. The bill was stand-alone,..


How could a president "slip something into" a congressional bill?

LarryHart said...

Howard Brazzee:

It's whomever gets on the Supreme Court that will matter the most.


Exactly! Which is why I need to be convinced not only that Sanders would make the better president, but that his candidacy will induce people to vote for Democratic Senators and representatives.

I've said before, my heart is with Bernie, but my head thinks Hillary will be a better candidate in November. I'm not sure who I'll vote for in the Illinois primary in March, but I do know that I'll vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is in November.

I do think Republicans would prefer to run against Bernie, as evidenced by the fact that they're not attacking him right now. That thought does give me pause.

Robert said...

but they are. they are calling him a socialist and all that. the big attacks appear online, especially from the libertarian wing of the republican machine. trust me. republicans want to run against hillary because republican politicians are worried their own voters are going 'you know, what he says makes sense' and because they have so riled up their base against hillary that a quarter won't show up to vote if hillary isn't on the ballot.

rob h. (keyboard issues, sorry for the lack of caps)

Paul451 said...

LarryHart,
"If groups with "Tea Party" in their actual name were attempting to claim to be non-political--well, I don't blame anyone for giving that claim closer scrutiny. Do you?"

This might be a case of "reality having a liberal bias". Tacitus2 might not realise (because he doesn't lurk in the swamp of... "loud" rightwing media) the sheer number of fraudulent organisations that attach themselves to right-wing causes or scandals-du-jour.

Not only are most organisations with "Tea Party" in their name not charities, they aren't even political lobbyists and have nothing to do with the actual Tea Party Movement, they are a way for the founders to leach money off of naive conservatives who are foolish enough to get on a right-wing mailing list. Often the same handful of people are responsible for dozens or hundreds of indenti-kit "charities", churning through them as they try to find the trick that nabs unsuspecting marks.

It's considered a scandal when a left-leaning charity or activist group spends 25% of their donations on internal costs (such as senior managers' salaries), but many of these fly-by-night right-wing "charities" often spend 10% or less on the supposed cause, the rest goes to the founders or are channelled to "consultants" firms run by friends/family.


I was going to mock Locumranch's hysterical "the federal blues(*) threaten us with summary military action, punishment & execution if we dare to leave or disobey." Ooh, Jade Helm, FEMA death camps, Blue Bell Icecream! Etc etc. But then... you know... got bored. But talking about FEMA camps did remind me of something...

Has anyone watched the restarted X-Files? The big shift in the central Conspiracy is that it's no longer evil invading aliens (the aliens are the good guys, literally shot in the back by Teh Gummit), it's human conspirators pretending to be aliens. Anyway, the weird thing was when Mulder launched into a generic rant about recent government power grabs, it included "secret FEMA camps", which is a classic rightwing/JBS conspiracy. Likewise, the guest-ally-of-the-week was a right-wing conspiracy-promoting millionaire shock-jock (a la Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, etc); who turns out to be a genuine patriot, gives Mulder his new insight, and at the end of first episode gets (apparently) "disappeared" by the powers-that-be.

Is the new show pushing for a right-wing conspiracy audience? More reliable (and sellable) audience than lefties?

[ * "He got the blues... He got the fed-er-al blues... Oh, mercy."]

Paul451 said...

Zepp Jamieson said: "So yes, even if it's Cruz, I'll stay home rather than support another suborned centrist [...]"

David,
This is an example what many of us are saying about Clinton and the Democratic left. Zepp will "stay home" if Clinton gets the nomination. Not "Vote third-party in the Presidential race," but "Stay home".

Even if she still wins the Presidency, which seems likely, Clinton costs Democrat votes in the Senate and House. And in state legislatures, and in all the lower positions where Republicans are rigging the game.

Likewise, Clinton has an equal-but-opposite effect on Republican voters, they will pour out to vote against her, to be seen voting against her, no matter who the Republican nominee is; and as a side-effect, that boosts the Republican ticket down the line. Whereas if Clinton doesn't get the nod, many many more will (like Zepp) just stay at home.

And to Zepp,

You don't have to choose between Clinton and a Republican. You can not vote in that race, but still vote in all the other races. (Or if your state has some system where you are forced to cast a vote in all races, you can vote for a minor/third-party candidate in the Presidential race, which in the US is the same as not voting.)

It's not just about the Presidency, it's about judges, prosecutors, police chiefs, school boards, electoral officers, etc. It's about referendums trying to give, protect or take-away your rights.

Paul451 said...

LarryHart,
Re: Republican attacks on Sanders.

They are starting to roll out the memes on right-wing sites, but it's weak and late. "Crazy Uncle Bernie" is the standard trope. Contrast that with the sort of conspiracy theories aimed at Clinton. She's an evil criminal mastermind. He's a silly old eccentric.

Sure they'll ramp up the hatred if Sanders gets the nod, but the moment Clinton loses the Primaries, ten million rank'n'file Republicans will instantly decide from then on ignore anything political until after the election.

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

Has anyone watched the restarted X-Files? The big shift in the central Conspiracy is that it's no longer evil invading aliens (the aliens are the good guys, literally shot in the back by Teh Gummit), it's human conspirators pretending to be aliens.
...
Is the new show pushing for a right-wing conspiracy audience? More reliable (and sellable) audience than lefties?


That hardly surprises me. Was it right before the 2012 election?--I don't remember the timing any more--but there was a short-lived remake of the 1980s show "V" that was making the reptilian aliens seem to be working their evil by implementing essentially President Obama's agenda, or at least right-wing caricatures of what they claim President Obama's agenda was. Some sort of drug or poison or disease organism (I forget which) was going to be administered to humans in their flu shot!!!. That sort of thing.

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

Re: Republican attacks on Sanders.

They are starting to roll out the memes on right-wing sites, but it's weak and late. "Crazy Uncle Bernie" is the standard trope. Contrast that with the sort of conspiracy theories aimed at Clinton. She's an evil criminal mastermind. He's a silly old eccentric.


You're talking about attacks by individuals. Individual right-wingers can hate jews too, but that's not the GOP party line. I'm afraid that the GOP power brokers are hanging back with the attacks on Bernie, hoping he gets the nomination. Then they can cry "Socialist!" 24 by 7.


Sure they'll ramp up the hatred if Sanders gets the nod, but the moment Clinton loses the Primaries, ten million rank'n'file Republicans will instantly decide from then on ignore anything political until after the election.


I hope you're correct, but I'm not yet convinced. It's still early, though.

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

David,
This is an example what many of us are saying about Clinton and the Democratic left. Zepp will "stay home" if Clinton gets the nomination. Not "Vote third-party in the Presidential race," but "Stay home".

Even if she still wins the Presidency, which seems likely, Clinton costs Democrat votes in the Senate and House


How many women might "stay home" if Hillary is locked out yet again?

Bernie excites young people, many of whom don't actually vote. Hillary excites women voters, and the Dems need the gender gap on our side.

I say this as someone who would like to see President Sanders, but whose first and really only goal is not to be ruled by Republicans.

Laurent Weppe said...

"Proportional Representation,
There are lots of different types but they are all fairer than "First Past the Post"
"

Proportional representation has a whole host of problems as well: you vote for a list, but you don't get to choose who sits where on the list: which often means that you get a couple of well known and well scrutinized candidates on top of the list, followed by a whole host of unknowns who, more often than not, are chosen by their party's higher up because they are expected to reflexively support whatever the boss decides. You may then end up with assemblies where only a handful of elected officials actually do some politicking while the rest are what we call "les élus pots-de-fleurs": literally "flower-pots officials", because you could replace them with a flower-pot and not perceive any difference in the way the assembly deliberate.

Plus there's the fact that you can get very nasty results: if you end up with a three-way elections between a liberal, conservative and fascist list, and the liberal list gain a plurality of the vote, you can, after the election get conservative politicians striking a deal with the fascists, allowing them to enter the halls of executive power (and sabotage these from the inside) even if their own voters wouldn't have approved of the deal if told beforehand.

The best form of elections is a mix of the two: introduce proportional representation, but keep dividing the land into districts: for instance, divide the House of Representatives into 39 or 40 11-members districts and introduce a two-turns election: each party needs to earn at least one eight of the vote to get to the second turn, and when said second turn results are in, give three seats to whoever came first then divide the rest proportionally to the vote received: you render gerrymandering much more difficult (and with a much lower number of districts, egregious cases won't be lost in the mass and the "both sides do it" argument will become a much harder sell), make third party candidacies viable without giving extremists the opportunity to take the institutions hostage, and since each given list is rather short, it will become harder for party higher-ups to shove obedient lackeys in electable positions.

***

"Has anyone watched the restarted X-Files? The big shift in the central Conspiracy is that it's no longer evil invading aliens (the aliens are the good guys, literally shot in the back by Teh Gummit), it's human conspirators pretending to be aliens."

Then again, weren't the aliens invaders defeated by the rebels back in the original series? I always thought it was one of X-Files most clever twist: instead of Mulder revealing the conspiracy to the world like the audience would have assumed, he remained a peripheral actor, mostly witnessing the conflict from the sidelines.

***

"Sure they'll ramp up the hatred if Sanders gets the nod, but the moment Clinton loses the Primaries, ten million rank'n'file Republicans will instantly decide from then on ignore anything political until after the election."

And the next day, the same thing that happened with Obama will repeat: GOP-affiliated propagandists will accuse Sanders of every sin possible and imaginable, call him an ally of Daesh, bring back the old antisemitic tropes, and any other sleazy eliminationist trick they can think of. Just like Obama became has hated by the right as Clinton, Sanders also will.

***

"I say this as someone who would like to see President Sanders"

Was I the only one who hoped for a Warren/Sanders ticket?

Howard Brazee said...

Some Republicans are regretting the campaign issue that tells voters that the largest part of the federal budget is for payments to people. Sure it worked, when voters wanted to vote against "lazy welfare cheats". But just the F-35 will pay the welfare budget without noticing. When voters find out that it is Social Security which is where the money goes, people with family getting "we earned that" money start looking at issues over labels.

With Bernie, his issues are much, much, more popular than his label.

Howard Brazee said...

I don't see how selecting Warren for Sanders' vice president will help him get elected. People who like her will already be voting for Sanders.

LarryHart said...

@Howard Brazeee, I think Laurent wanted Elizabeth Warren at the top of the ticket

Howard Brazee said...

OK, but either way - the choice of vice president won't convert voters who wouldn't have voted that way anyway.

Jumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jumper said...

http://www.stonekettle.com/2016/02/bomb-shelter.html

Another fine piece by Jim Wright. Note Rumsfeld's acquiescence. This makes voting for lesser evil a no-brainer. Which reminds me of a comment a friend made recently when someone "accused" him of voting for the lesser evil: "So effing what?! I've been doing it my whole life. what's your point?"

Paul SB said...

Catfish,

I gave up being amazed by the faux rancher a long time ago. There just isn't much point to it. He's a legend in his own mind, and no matter how many times people detail the flaws in his arguments, he always comes back with more. I (as well as you, Alfred, Jumper, Dr.Brin and others) have given him honorable outs and he's too dense to even perceive them, much less take advantage. His rants all amount to "It's true because I say so" like in this little gem:

After all, the refusal to acknowledge (or the attempt to minimise) abusive behaviour is considered by many as proof of abusive behavior.

So if one person says the sky is blue, another person can say it's grey and insist that disagreeing is abusive behavior. When the first says that it is simply a statement of fact, the grey sky obsessive now has proof of abuse. When I typed my last I was eating breakfast and didn't have time to take him on point-by-point. I figured I would do that when I got home, but I would just be wasting my time. It all goes right over his head if he doesn't want to hear it, or if he doesn't understand it he calls it non-sequitur.

He said above that he liked the term "hypochristy" - a word I was using way back in my larval stage. Can you think of any neologism for a person who ignores or dismisses any facts that shoot down their most fundamental assumptions? It's a really common phenomenon, on around (not just in the supposed red rural/blue urban false dichotomy).

I'm out the door, renting a couple kayaks and taking the family out for some healthy entertainment - a much better use of my time than pointless debate with the willfully ignorant.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Gore won the popular vote. He almost certainly won the popular vote in 2000.
You're in effect telling me that support for Sanders is not feasible, but that I must vote for a weak and suborned centrist in order to avoid catastrophe.
I'm tired of being herded into a slow death by threats of a fast death. If the only options left are those, I'll stay with Sanders and risk the catastrophe.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Your point about downstream voting is well taken, although I live in an extremely red county in an extremely blue state, so with me or without me, my state reps are going to be Neanderthals without a voice. My state rep supports those Bundy idiots, just to give you some idea. He got 70% of the vote last time. But there are times where it will make a difference, and fortunately, I'm not in a state where the voting is blatantly rigged.

locumranch said...



If you think that it's fine & dandy for the government prison-industrial complex to routinely imprison mostly minority men for tax evasion, non-payment of court-ordered child support & unpaid debts to local, state & federal agencies, then perhaps the time has come to imprison all of those enlightened, lily-white & predominately female university attendees who fail to pay their debts to the federal tuition loan program.

Because 'Equality for All' and, mostly, because our beneficent government would NEVER resort to summary military action, punishment or execution (as in shooting a fleeing child-support delinquent in the back) in response to disobedience, plus our prison system in NO WAY resembles a death camp where the incarcerated run a higher risk of hepatitis, HIV, rapes & systematic brutalisation.

"Prison Camp for Federal Loan Delinquents" would be a great motto for the coming Presidential Election, don't you think?

Some paid-up university graduates and EVERY uneducated yahoo would think that was 'fair', wouldn't they?


Best

Jonathan Sills said...

Right now, the sky outside my window is gray. (Welcome to Washington!) :-)

I can't say now when or where the term "hypochristian" originated, but while playing the superhero MMO Champions Online yesterday, I ran across a character named "Hypochristian", whose deal was that he was acknowledging his hypocrisy in being a devout Christian yet using violence to deal with the criminal element in Millennium City and beyond.

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

I'm tired of being herded into a slow death by threats of a fast death. If the only options left are those, I'll stay with Sanders and risk the catastrophe.


I don't have a problem with you having that attitude. I'm just not ready to go there myself.

But the year is still young, and I'm open to persuasion. But I need to be persuaded that Bernie is viable in November, and will help, not hurt, the Democrats down-ticket. It's not enough to try persuading me that I prefer Bernie's policies if he'll never be able to implement them.

The Illinois primary is in March, and I'm still not sure which of the two I'm voting for.

LarryHart said...

Johnathan Sills:

while playing the superhero MMO Champions Online yesterday, I ran across a character named "Hypochristian", whose deal was that he was acknowledging his hypocrisy in being a devout Christian yet using violence to deal with the criminal element in Millennium City and beyond.


Sounds like the old Charlton Comics hero called "Peacemaker", whose schtick was that he loved peace so much he was willing to kill for it.

For those familiar with "Watchmen", the heroes in that book/movie were take-offs on the Charlton characters, and Peacemaker was the inspiration for The Comedian.

Jumper said...

"imprison mostly minority men for tax evasion"
Citation needed. Tax fraud by inmates doesn't count.

David Brin said...

I just returned from an exhausting trip to DC, offering perspectives on the future to various worried groups of public servants.

I'll offer here a few replies then post a new blog for the weekend.

Let's start with the most hilarious impromptu comeback joke I've heard in months. It had a table of a dozen top officials at a federal agency snorting beer and choking/guffawing.

All right, the topic was political, sure. But the punch line wasn't!

The setup: One fellow (NOT one of the civil servants) commented on all the hurrow over how President Obama, inexperienced amid his first months in office, bowed a bit too low when greeting the Saudi King.

"You don't see the same fuss over pictures of George Bush, walking hand-in hand with Saudi princes. Heck there's even a picture of Bush actually kissing the Saudi king... on the lips!"

To which another fellow replied:

"Well... in fairness... have you seen him?"

One beat. Two beats. And we all fell apart.
Fair enough! Some temptations I guess are impossible to resist.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

I just returned from an exhausting trip to DC, offering perspectives on the future to various worried groups of public servants.


Are you able to say what role these public servants are in, and what they're worried about?

David Brin said...

"Sanders finished the generally excellent pre-NH debate with this: "It's important to remember, no matter what that we both (he and Clinton) are 100 times better than any of the candidates the Republicans are offering." I have a feeling I'm going to be using that quote a lot to keep the True Believers from derailing Sanders."

Zepp, thanks for being an ambassador of sanity among the over-wrought wing of the Sanders camp. And yes, Bernie is sane and he will embrace Hillary, either way. Still, it is vital that the zooming surge of young Sandersites not go off-rails. So here are a couple more points:

1- Young folks should be trying hard NOT to be like the sanctimony-addicted Baby-Boom generation. We're a bunch of screaming assholes! Have been since the 1960s, refusing even to notice when the stuff we fought for actually worked or came true! Gen Ys and Millennials are supposed to be more logical than us cranky boomers. Self-righteous indignation is a drug high that liberals cannot afford. They are the last continent of sanity on Planet America. And this... is... not...fucking 1968.

2- Just win. And by that I mean win the Supreme Court and end gerrymandering and limit money in politics, get a sane Congress filled with grownups who appreciate science and who don't pray for the world to end soon. To get those things, it does not matter which democrat. Sanders? Hillary? A yellow dog? I... don't... care. (Much.) Just win.

3- Please, please everyone look up the phrase "agent provocateur." I’ll bet you that a good fraction of the most-shrill voices attacking Hillary are not "pro-Sanders" in real life.

Think about it. The Koch-Saudi-Adelson-Murdoch PAC money is not doing them much good anymore through TV ads and such, so I betcha they are shifting a lot of it into social media. Their billions can buy a lot of anonymous and pseudonymous trash-talkers.

They cannot buy Sanders himself. So take Bernie’s word for it, young zealots. Calm down, fight for your guy. And whether or not he wins the nomination, come out of the convention arm-in-arm. Not in love with Clinton? Fine! Shift your attention to local Congressional and state assembly races! That is where the real difference can be made by young activists. Change Congress and your state house! That is the only way that some of Bernie's reforms will happen.

David Brin said...

locum's recent spill of swill is a textbook case of a bully whining when his victim fights back. He knows who started the name-calling. Reflexively and volcanically hateful attacks spewed at "New York Values" have been a sewer tsunami for decades. We are sick and tired of being yammered-at how decadent and immoral city folk and educated people and moderates and even atheists are... when in fact, by any statistical metric, they simply aren't.

We have a perfect right to retaliate, pointing to those statistics about teen sex, STDs, domestic violence etc. And if you don't like us finally waking up from our almost-endless patience, then how about trying this. STOP casting those insanely vile aspersions at your neighbors and fellow countrymen!

You stop and we'll stop. Watch how quickly your urban-educated-professional-caste and minority and other "blue" neighbors cease pointing at your proved and factual red-turpitude and instead return to sympathizing, continuing the century of net largesse from our taxes that has kept you afloat.

Look, I have long explained that I know how much it hurts and traumatizes when, each June, the best and brightest graduates from rural high schools go scurrying off to Blue America. It's gotta hurt and we can talk. I am all in favor of ramping up wonderfully successful endeavors like Raleigh-Durham and U. Texas and Huntsville and so on.

But we will not put up any longer with spittle and howls of contempt at Blue "cowardice" when it is urban America that has the terror target on our chests, as we were the targets of potential nuclear devastation. We are the ones in danger! And yet it was New Yorkers who stood atop the rubble, looked east and shouted at the terrorists: "Iz dat all you got?"

And it was Bostonians who hunted down the Marathon bombers and who stood up in the aisle and led the stunningly wonderful uprising on flight UA93.

We're not the ones panicking, who sent America into hubristic-futile spasm wars of endless quagmire in Asia. We're not the ones who wrecked the reserves and darn near ruined the Army and Marines (services President Obama has repaired and healed, after the Bushite disaster.)

We are not the science haters who are impervious to facts, unable to change our minds in the face of overwhelming evidence. And we are not the ones who started this tit-for-tat over "values." You guys started it. And your psychological reasons are irrelevant.

You stop. And we will.

David Brin said...

onward
onward

Zepp Jamieson said...

"Well... in fairness... have you seen him?"

Wow would never have guessed in a million years that George W. Bush was a Furry....

Zepp Jamieson said...

"I don't have a problem with you having that attitude. I'm just not ready to go there myself."

And that's fine. It's a personal decision. I might even change my mind before the election because yes, I do know what a Cruz or Rubio presidency might mean, and I'm not ready for what will in all likelihood result in a civil war.

But I don't see Hillary steering us away from that course. If anything, she would be another placeholder president, like her husband and Obama, unable to stir people to resist the slow slide to the extreme right that has made America unrecognizible to a time travellor from, say, 1978.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Dr. Brin said, " Young folks should be trying hard NOT to be like the sanctimony-addicted Baby-Boom generation."
Agreed 100%. I think that one thing that will help is social media and comments sections for politically oriented publications, where sanctimony is I'm sure that you were around in the days of BBSes, when god-botherers realized they had an electronic pulpit and showed up to teach us all the error of our ways, and the reception they got. "Savage ridicule" just meant everyone was in a good mood that day.
"Just win."
I think we've very nearly run out of time on that one. We cannot afford a placekeeper president like the four or five leading up to the Civil War. (You'll recall that Lincoln ran as a centrist for his time, and it didn't matter by then.)
"agent provocateur."
Political comments sections are riddled with those. From all sides. The most common ones (and generally least offensive) are the Concern Trolls. "Yes, but" is their favourite phrase.
"The Koch-Saudi-Adelson-Murdoch PAC money is not doing them much good anymore through TV ads and such, so I betcha they are shifting a lot of it into social media."
True, that. One breed we're seeing a lot more of are the rapid-response ones, the ones who stay at a site, constantly hitting refresh, watching for news stories they can act upon. (Climate Change deniers are notorious for this tactic.) Most are fairly easy to spot, though. They rarely respond to other posts, and it's usually pretty clear that they either ignore salient points in the article they are responding to, or haven't read it at all.

David Brin said...

Zepp sorry but you are wrong. A "place holder" who gets to appoint four supreme court justices, while demographics work in the dems' favor, while the rising population of educated young people in Virginia and N Carolina and Texas augment the ethic shifts to turn those states purple then blue?

And Hillary would only be a place-holder if we fail to shift Congress. If we succeed, then lots will happen. Yes, even under her.

Zepp Jamieson said...

"Zepp sorry but you are wrong. A "place holder" who gets to appoint four supreme court justices, while demographics work in the dems' favor, while the rising population of educated young people in Virginia and N Carolina and Texas augment the ethic shifts to turn those states purple then blue?"

Exactly so. The right know that it's now or never, and I have trouble picturing Hillary was being a weak centrist. Like Obama, she will be unable to capitalize on public outrage with the banks in order to bring about reform, and like Obama, she'll negotiate away key parts of her platform before negotiations even begin. Yes, that's supposition, but the Clintons all but invented the phrase "political triangulation." I just can't see her fighting, and I can't see her inspiring others to fight.

On another topic, out-of-control followers, Clinton had her own problems from two well known activists in her corner today. Madelyne Albright made the amazing statement that "there's a special kind of hell" for women who don't support Clinton, and then Gloria Steinem managed to top that one, telling the press that young women supporting Sanders where just doing it to please the boys. Since I doubt Hillary is daft enough to support such views, I imagine she got people out doing a little bit of True Believer Suppression of her own tonight.

David Brin said...

Albright and Steinem said that? Well, well. Fools. But certainly not on the payroll of any Koch PAC. Geez get it through your heads, boomers. This is no longer about you.

David Brin said...

onward

onward

Zepp Jamieson said...

They said it. Luckily for them and Clinton, it will probably be lost in the glare of the meltdowns by Trump, Rubio, ABC and Indian Hill in tomorrow's news.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Quick follow-up on the Steinem/Albright thing, and the issue of demented True Believer followers:
Steinem apologised this morning, saying she misspoke. Clinton dismissed Albright's statement, saying “Madeline has been saying this for many, many years.” Which is true: she used the same 'no True Scotsman' approach in Hillary's '08 campaign, too.
Sanders was asked about the so-called "Bernie Bros" who have been attacking Hillary, in part, based on her gender. He said, “I have heard about it. It’s disgusting. Look, we don’t want that crap."
Meanwhile, Rubio, caught out using the same soundbite 4 times during the debate, picked up the nickname on CIF of "Rubot". Trump got booed for making sense (pointing out the social necessity of eminent domain) and said he would go much further than waterboarding in political interrogations.
Not a year for sane, calm, reflective politics, eh?

Howard Brazee said...

I've seen lots of people making fun of Rubio for making the same statement 4 times. Don't all politicians repeat their positions over and over again? What's so different about the way Rubio did this?

It's kind of interest comparing Republicans who think Obama is incompetent and those who think he is the devil. Most seem to want him to be both at the same time.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Well, if you MUST have a devil, I suppose it's rather in your best interest that he be an incompetent devil...

David Brin said...

Zepp, Howard... Fox guys adore the "devil" Putin... for comnpetence he has never shown.

Now onward!

onward!

Ioan said...

My understanding is that Republicans are hoping to turn the Great Lakes States to compensate for the loss of N. Carolina, Virginia, and Texas. Who knows, they might succeed?

Nouman ullah baig said...


Nice post Vector Apk

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can earn cash by locking special pages of your blog / website?
All you need to do is join AdscendMedia and use their content locking tool.