Open thread — politics or whatever

by Grace aka costofcollege

Today we have an open thread to discuss politics, or anything else on your mind.  Hijacks are encouraged.  Go at it.

The presidential race continues to be interesting.
Bernie is giving Hilllary a run for her money.  (The Millennials I know are going for the “Bern”.)  Trump is trumping his rivals, apparently garnering considerable interest among Democrats as well as Republicans.

Political Polarization & Media Habits

A Pew study finds that conservatives rely on fewer news sources.  But could that be because conservatives tend to believe most news sources have a liberal slant?

Have you been following the Flint water crisis?  There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Series of Mistakes Tainted Flint Water
Blame for water crisis is spread among Michigan city’s emergency managers, state environmental officials, the mayor, the governor and the EPA

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138 thoughts on “Open thread — politics or whatever

  1. Well! If threadjacks are welcome, and non-political posts are okay, I’m completely terrified to declare that we are making a lowball offer on a house in Santa Cruz. Yeah, I know four months ago I said Half Moon Bay, but turns out house shopping is a long and winding road, especially with two people with different tastes. I love Santa Cruz, I have a long history with the place, rentals to students should be easy, and as a UC alum I can use any of the UC libraries for free, including Interlibrary Loan, which will go a long way towards keeping Mister-Reads-Thucydides-For-Fun happy. And the campus rec facilities are excellent and only about $35 a month.

    Now of course it will all fall through, but I can’t believe we’re this far along.

  2. As many of you currently are or have experienced, having two parents and two or more children (tweens and above) with extra curricular activities can be a scheduling challenge to get everyone to everything. I am the parent who generally works out the schedule and does my best to communicate it to everyone involved, so both parents know who is going where and each child knows who to look for/coordinate with for the ride and any “stuff” that needs to get in the vehicle as well. I also am the one who works out any carpooling.

    Within the past two months, the other parent has gotten confused and left a child waiting. In one case, the schedule changed after the child was at school and the parent said the communication was vague. In two cases the child knew which parent to call asking where the parent was. In lst two cases, the parent had forgotten.

    While I felt I was clear, it’s hard to argue if the other person thinks it was vague. In the other two cases, it was clearly forgotten. No, the other parent does not and even when asked will not write it down.

    At first I was just miffed about disorganization, as were the left children. But, as this happened again yesterday after we had had a very clear conversation, as there was a child handoff involved, I’m beginning to wonder if there is more to it than that. Any thoughts?

  3. I’ve read recently that the change to river water in Flint may have been motivated by some kickbacks – that the city of Detroit offered to reduce the cost of water to make staying with them the most financially viable option. Such a sad story with likely years of repercussions.

  4. Rocky – Vacation house, or rental investment property? I was surprised you mentioned rentals to students.

    OT, I’m growing tired of the FB political memes and opinion piece shares, and my FB feed incorporates a wide range of views.

  5. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that increasing leaks from the investigation force Hillary out of the race and she is pardoned by the President.

    If the recent reports of 150 agents on the case are true, then (1) that is *a lot* of agents, and (2) it’s going to be really hard to stop leaks from that many people.

    Even if they recovered all 60,000 emails Clinton admits were on the server, plus another 100,000 of her aides’ emails (total guesstimate for hypo purposes here), that’s 160,000 emails.

    For a privilege/relevance review, we expected 500 emails per day reviewed. Even assuming they halve that speed and finish only 250, that’s 640 person-days. If all 150 agents were looking at emails it would be done.

    So what’s everyone else doing?

  6. I’m tired of FB and politics. Wake me up if Bloomberg decides to run.

    For those of you who have done kitchen renovations would you recommend using a kitchen designer?

    Also, I’m on Day 25 of the Whole 30! Feel great but ready to drink a glass of wine.

  7. Also, brought to you by your friends at Free Range Kids: http://reason.com/blog/2016/01/26/rhode-island-children-under-10-shall-not

    RI has proposed that kids under 10 can never be left alone. (This would have totally crimped 9-year-old Ada’s babysitting career). I almost wonder if this is a type of “extinction burst” – the tide is shifting towards legislating more freedom for kids (recent federal law about children being allowed to walk unconditionally to school) – and people are making last grasps to save the kids before it is too late.

  8. Good luck RMS!!

    Anon – I don’t have experience with this, but forgetting kids multiple times like that is just not okay. Is the other parent defensive or apologetic/sorry?

  9. Rocky – Vacation house, or rental investment property? I was surprised you mentioned rentals to students.
    Isn’t that an interesting question? Kudos to you, Milo, for recognizing which questions are very interesting.

    Yeah, we have no idea whether we’re going to rent it out or use it as a vacay property or what. We spin in infinity. But we finally just decided to make an offer on a house that would work well as either type and then decide later. It’s not an impressive house by any means, and the same money would buy a gorgeous place in Denver (or almost anywhere else in the U.S.!) but it’s passable. Cheap finishes and lots of cosmetic work to be done. A weird “wet bar” in the back patio that is essentially a sink that drains into a bucket. Whatevs. And I’m scared to death, but I keep thinking that even after the earthquake that flattens the entire coast AND the horrifying economic crash that is surely coming to Silicon Valley, it’s likely that UCSC will still be there and beach will still be there so maybe we’ll only lose 80% of our investment.

  10. Anon, what is your suspicion? Do you suspect dementia, or passive-aggressiveness taken to an extreme?

  11. RMS that sounds like a fun project! Dh and I will most likely be done with renovations this year on our house and then what will we do with our time? I told him we’d need to go find another house to fix up.

  12. Rocky – It sounds fun. Seriously.

    “and she is pardoned by the President.”

    If she were charged, which seems possible, I don’t see why the President would pardon her, especially if she’s already out of the race. They don’t really like each other, and Valerie Jarrett hates her. He wouldn’t want this hanging over his relatively scandal-free legacy.

    Someone had better figure out a Plan B to keep Biden as a viable option.

  13. @Rocky — awesome — hope it works out! And if so, we expect full play-by-play on the remodel (speaking of, Ada, you’re falling behind here on the updates).

    @Anon: Not ok. *Especially* if the immediate response is to look for ways to blame you. Both parents are equally responsible for the kids; even if one takes on the scheduling, the other must either understand or ask questions to clarify. But what to do depends on the cause. Default should be doctor’s visit, unless there is something else that explains the sudden change (e.g., massive work deadline that is consuming all attention). Medical issues or short-term crises require help and patience and understanding, etc. OTOH, if it is just passive aggressive crap, call them on it. You’ve already shouldered the bulk of the load by taking on the logistics; someone who can’t even pull their assigned far-less-than-50% of the load, and who then blames you for their failures, would drive me absolutely guano. (Of course, you’d probably be better served by starting off with a friendly/concerned “I’ve noticed . . . what’s going on?” tone, vs. the “I am going to throttle you imminently” that feels so tempting).

  14. Anon
    Does this person forget other things as well? Any problems at work or with self care tasks?

  15. Atlanta — you should hire a kitchen designer if you don’t want to do things yourself and/or don’t want to invest the time to plan everything. Me, I totally geeked out over my kitchen — to the point that I learned the different cabinet-makers’ nomenclature and did multiple scale drawings on graph paper, plotting different cabinet options in different locations. But that’s because I wanted to — I knew exactly how I cook and how I wanted to organize things, I knew exactly the colors and feeling that I wanted, and I was worried that someone else wouldn’t get it right. And I’m cheap — why spend money if I don’t think I’m going to get something better? (We actually hired an architect at one point when we were considering moving walls, and she ended up calling me “the client who doesn’t need an architect”). But, you know, I imagine I’m pretty far to the skinny end of the bell curve on this. So if you don’t want this to be your sole hobby for the next 6 months, then just hire someone whose style you like and be done with it.

  16. RMS – ooo, fun! Good luck! Also, “Mister-Reads-Thucydides-For-Fun” – snort.

    Anon 10:47, I echo RMS’s question. Some people are very forgetful when they are focused at work – like my college roommate who would FORGET TO EAT and lost 10% of her body weight while working on her thesis – but forgetting like that is not OK and the parent should have a stopgap (or at a minimum writing things down!!!!) as a reminder.

    I have been slammed at work, and in other real estate news, our house is going on the market next week. We still have an S-ton of stuff to drag out of the house into our dumpster or to the storage unit before then. And of course this is all getting done on evenings and weekends because neither DH nor I are taking time off work.

  17. I’m not sure. Other than the one time the “vague” card was played, it has always be “I forgot” or “I got confused about which day I was supposed to do ___” Doesn’t seem very apologetic or concerned about it happening more than once.

    Now maybe more concerned…just received a hotel confirmation for a trip that other parent historically takes with friends to an event that the children also have a keen interest in, but I do not. This past fall, the whole family discussed the children going on this trip because it is the only time in the next 5 years it falls before they return to school. The confirmation is only for the parent and friends. When I asked about the children, he said he thought they couldn’t go. I said they would be very disappointed, but he would have to be the one to tell them.

    On one hand, I’m leaning passive-agressive as the comment has been made, when I was a kid I never got to do any extra curriculars…on the other, I’m worried about dementia as the last time it was discussed everyone seemed excited to be going together. But, the step to confirm school start dates was not taken.

  18. I love politics, but agree that I am tired of political Facebook posts. It is interesting to me how drastically differently people interpret things, most likely driven by their news sources. The indictment yesterday of the individuals who made the PP videos is a perfect example. I am in a Catholic women’s group that predominantly saw the indictment as evidence of a plot to crush and silence the pro-life movement, while my more liberal friends saw it as an ironic twist and justice working as it should. I know that each group considers the other side to be fairly radical in their quest to ram their respective agendas down Americans’ throats. I find it really interesting.

    Anon, I had the same question that was already posed re: what you think the cause is. I would be very annoyed if I were in your shoes, but wouldn’t want to come down hard if it’s something medical.

  19. Some part of my opinion of government was formed by reading about Flint (and Saginaw) during my stint twenty years ago in the city 64 mi northwest of Flint that would never, ever ignore potential for corrosion in its water pipes. I suspect people who live in well-run, liberal cities with significant upper middle class populations and adequate financing (Boston, Seattle, Bay Area, DC) envision top decile or top quartile government functionality when they envision the proper role of government, where I envision bottom decile functionality. Utility regulation is a proper role of government. It appears that the EPA personnel concerned about the lack of a corrosion plan by the city of Flint didn’t have a timely mechanism to have their concerns heard (an issue with urgent environmental issues) and that the city ignored citizen complaints. Would lawsuits be a worry in a wealthier city? In Flint, I doubt if lawsuits are a realistic worry, given the lack of funds for settlements.

    Sky, exactly what do you think Hillary will be in trouble for? I wouldn’t vote for her under any circumstances, due to her lack of integrity, but have been largely resigned to her becoming President. In a race between her and Trump, I will either not vote or vote for a third party candidate.

    For the person whose spouse forgets/forgot the kids, roughly how old are the kids and why doesn’t the spouse see the forgetting as a problem? If the kids are in high school and can walk/take public transportation, the problem is different than if the kids are elementary school kids stuck at soccer practice. My flaky ex-SIL has forgotten the kids a few times and my BIL or MIL ends up getting a call to pick them up. I expect my niece (now 9) to have a basic cell phone sooner rather than later due to this problem, assuming it’s allowed by her school.

    Milo, I missed the boat discussion, and I think that “The Whole Cookie” is the best of the nominees, but I must also nominate “Cheaper Than a Fourth Child.”

  20. Anon for this — My spouse asked me to take a dementia screening test in my early 50s because I seemed to be forgetting stuff. We’ve talked about dementia a lot because it runs in our families, so it was not out of the blue. I was a bit annoyed, but I followed through (negative results). OTOH, another member of our family is sometimes amazingly clueless, forgetful, and unaware how his behavior negatively affects others. But it sounds as if your spouse’s behavior is new, so I would try to find a kind way to suggest a dementia screening.

  21. Thx, LfB. I do like the design part and I don’t want to start a renovation until summer when kids and I will be out of the house for a good three weeks on vacation. Will have to think about this. Our last house the contractor redesigned our kitchen (it was small) and so that was fine but this time we are taking down a wall…

  22. Anon, based on my experience with my mother’s mild dementia, I think you really might pursue that angle, particularly if this is all relatively recent behavior. (Like, when the kids were infants, did s/he remember to feed them?) One thing that startled the hell out of me was the way Mom became so cavalier about stuff she’d forgotten to do (or the bizarre things she had done). “Mom! You left the thermostat set to 90 for three days!” “Oh, really?”. “Mom! Don’t pick that hot pan up with your bare hands!” “Oh, it’s fine,” she said blandly. I couldn’t really shake her into recognizing the importance of…anything. So keeping an eye out for other signs at work or wherever is probably a good idea.

    If you could get him/her to take the Mini Mental State exam, that would be useful. The instructions say that it can only be administered by a qualified professional!! But I found it useful to occasionally spring a question on Mom to get a sense of how bad she was on any given day.

    http://www.heartinstitutehd.com/Misc/Forms/MMSE.1276128605.pdf

  23. It’s hard for me to imagine that any parent holding down a Totebaggy job would fail a dementia screening. My FIL and MIL were aware that my FIL had decreased mental functioning after chemotherapy, but he was still way ahead of the population norm and would have aced a dementia screening.

    Maybe it’s because of tool installation, spouse in Germany last week, five meetings at work yesterday and a sick baby, but I’m feeling like it takes a lot of mental capacity to juggle a family schedule and two careers.

  24. L, where are you moving to? I missed this! Are you moving to your wooded property?

  25. Anon – Does your spouse have a device that can be used for reminders? I would send calendar notices with reminders set to beep/vibrate at whatever time he needs to leave for the pickup. If he doesn’t use a calendar, just use the native task reminder app on the device. “Siri, remind me at 4:15 to pick up Child from school and drop off at piano lesson.”

  26. Regarding questions — Other parent:
    * was great with infants and toddlers, probably a better parent than I was.
    * is retired, so no other setting to determine if it is an across-the-board problem
    * unknown if its a family problem – only has a sister living, even extended family deceased
    * kids are teens, but due to location need parental transportation.
    * kids have cell phones, but that doesn’t help timing issues (if late picking up, late to activity)

    RMS – thanks for the link…readking now

  27. “Cheaper Than a Fourth Child”

    That’s true, even if it doesn’t roll off the tongue on radio traffic (not that you do any radio communications on a lake).

  28. Anon, I’m with RMS.

    If a mental test is going to cause conflict, you might try a complex set of forms that need to be done, like taxes. A friend noticed a relative’s dementia when she couldn’t put her address on a medical reimbursement claim.

    Or a game that they usually do well at, like Scrabble or trivia.

  29. @Anon — from the logistical perspective, I agree with SWVA Mom re: appointment reminders. DH and I schedule everything on Outlook — when my mom is going to get the kids, I send all three of us an appointment; when I am out of town, I send him an appointment; etc. And I always set the reminder notice sufficiently in advance so they can get there. I do this for *me* as much as anyone else, as I am one of those for whom time is a completely fluid entity. At best, the reminders provide an “oops” in time to correct it; at worst, it eliminates all excuses for not showing up.

    Obviously there are many ways to accomplish this, and it doesn’t need to be Outlook. But the one consistent place for the schedule + checkable from anywhere + reminders when it’s time to go = makes life manageable with forgetful spouses and/or complicated schedules.

    @L — congrats! Do you have a new place yet, or are you selling first?

  30. Anon: First step = dementia screening. If negative, then therapy. Sorry, but it seems that you’ve tried and tried to communicate and that the other parent is not hearing you or does not care. Either of these might require talking to a neutral third party.

    For my spouse, it sometimes takes a total fit for him to hear me (screaming, crying, hand waving). The kind that scare DH and the kids. However, he hears me, understands it’s important and modifies his behavior. Also, it feels good. He often says “Well, why didn’t you just say something?” Good guy, but sometimes, it’s difficult to get through. Luckily, this only happens every 3-4 years.

  31. So we are only putting it on the market – IFF we can get a good enough price for our house, we have our eye on a house that is further out but about 2x the size of ours and kind of like a mini-estate. It is close to the same price, so it is really unknown if we will be able to make it work.

    Not moving out to the forest land – schools are bad there and the town is really methy. :)

  32. Anon, I hope Meme visits today, because the situation may not be binary between memory issues vs. not hearing you/not caring. My mom and my ex-SIL both are less literal, schedule-focused people than I am, and therapy would not change that. (How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb has to want to change.)

    I concur with SWVA and LfB about creating a system that will accommodate your spouse’s limitations if at all possible, even though it’s not “fair”. BIL is divorcing his third wife (different ex-SIL than in previous paragraph) because she’s erratic, etc. and I think, “Now you’re leaving your kid to deal with that erratic behavior with no parent around to provide stability, plus he has to move between houses.”

  33. WCE, I think there must be a public corruption investigation of Hillary – the email can’t be taking this long.

    If they wanted to indict her now, I think 18 USC 2 (conspiracy) to violate 18 USC 793(f) with the conscious avoidance instruction from Sand would be a winner, based solely on the existence of the server and the State Department’s redaction of more than zero emails with classified material. 793(f) bars disclosure of classified material and applies a negligence standard.

    Mukasey had a good editorial on it in the WSJ recently, but I think he overstates the proof required for knowledge and intent in light of the jury instructions that usually are given with such charges, which in this instance would require the jury to find only that she closed her eyes to the likelihood that classified info could be disclosed. (the conscious avoidance standard always makes me think of the three little monkeys that see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil).

  34. Anon for this, how long has the other parent been retired? It’s one of those weird paradoxes, but it seems like the less tightly scheduled someone’s life is, the worse they get with punctuality and reliability for scheduled events. I wondered if it could be part of adjusting to retirement.

  35. I would agree that mini-mental status is a pretty blunt instrument (though no harm trying it at home). We had a very informative lecture in medical school with an elderly lady who had dementia and great coping skills. She was interviewed on stage (knowing this was a lecture about dementia) and her ability to deflect questions or answer them in a seemingly appropriate way was impressive. I believe she got a perfect score on the MME. She couldn’t remember what the recent holiday we had just celebrated (Thanksgiving), or if she had hosted the meal.

    From my smart web sites: “When the history suggests cognitive impairment but the mental status examination is normal, possible explanations include mild dementia, high intelligence or education, depression, or rarely, misrepresentation on the part of the informants”. In other words, I think someone high functioning is going to have to be in pretty terrible shape before the MME is helpful.

    I would join the chorus recommending a neuropsych eval. Depending on your insurance and community, this may be 3-4 months out. In the meantime, the refusal to write things down make this seem like maladaptive behavior, not a neuro problem.

  36. Clearly the Hillary e-mail thing is being seen very differently by those of differing political persuasion.

    I will say on the election that I thought that Cruz was going to end up as the Republican nominee, but when mainstream Republicans started warming up to Trump recently I realized that I really hadn’t understood how intensely they all hate Cruz.

  37. I completely agree about the MMS being a blunt instrument, and my super-smart mother was waaay far gone by the time she started answering “1948?” to “What year is it?” Smart people have a long slide.

  38. The conventional wisdom I’ve read is that Bloomberg would fizzle in a general election because he simply could not muster up a sizable base for himself. Right now, after chatting with my centrist Republicanish neighbor who supports Kasich, I’m wondering if Republicans will end up with Rubio or Kasich after all. I was thinking Trump was the likely winner, but these first few primary results should hold a clue for what’s ahead.

  39. I think I had mentioned wanting Bloomberg to run and I was happy to read that he was considering that possibility. I really don’t like any of the candidates that are running and I feel they aren’t presidential material.

  40. “It’s hard for me to imagine that any parent holding down a Totebaggy job would fail a dementia screening.”

    I’ve appeared before a number of judges who were gaga. It takes YEARS to get some of them to step down from the bench. Article III judges stick together.

  41. “and I think, “Now you’re leaving your kid to deal with that erratic behavior with no parent around to provide stability”

    Yeah, that. I had a rough patch with DH a while ago, when the kids were very little, and he was getting angry and scary pretty frequently, and it was definitely affecting them (and me, because he’d get mad at the kids, and I’d get pissed at him because they’re kids, and he’s 40, what’s his excuse?). At one point, he got borderline-inappropriately-physical with DS (i.e., got pissed, yanked DS’ coat on in a way that could have pulled the arm out of the socket), and I lost it with him, told him he needed to get in counseling and get under control ASAP, because it was just pure dumb luck we weren’t in the hospital and CPS wasn’t at our door. I thought that night and over the next few days about whether I needed to leave to protect the kids. But the reality was that he wasn’t doing anything that would have qualified as “abuse,” I wouldn’t want to take the kids away from him anyway, and so the result would just have been to leave them alone together half the time without me there as a buffer and to manage them all. Might have made life easier for me, but it would have been much, much worse for the kids. So we took the slower-and-harder path of (me) figuring out how to work through it as a family (serious talks, visits to a counselor under the guise of “for DD,” I force-fed him 1-2-3 Magic and took the lead in managing the kids, we got DD diagnosed and medicated, etc.). It was exhausting at times, trying to manage everyone, but it was the best option I could think of for the kids.

  42. The conventional wisdom I’ve read is that Bloomberg would fizzle in a general election because he simply could not muster up a sizable base for himself.

    Is this the same conventional wisdom that says Trump can’t possibly clinch the Republican nomination?

  43. I think a lot of Republicans would jump on the Bloomberg train (maybe not in the deep south) but everywhere else.

  44. I’ve appeared before a number of judges who were gaga.

    I still remember the hearing with the senior judge who wasn’t listening to the arguments because he was too enthralled with his clerk’s laser pointer.

  45. Agree with people being able to masquerade — we have just dealt with this with someone whose performance had been slowly degrading over a few years, to the point where people were asking them to do less and less. But people loved this person and helped cover the problems, the person always had excuses (similar to the “you weren’t clear”), and as an employer we were limited in what we could ask about medical conditions. We finally heard dementia through the grapevine, but it literally got to the point of doing the exact opposite of what an email said, accusing people of taking files that were left on the desk, etc.

  46. accusing people of taking files that were left on the desk, etc.

    Yeah, that’s another thing to watch out for — paranoia. Seems to go with dementia. My friend’s mother in North Carolina started accusing my friend (who was living in Boston) of poisoning the food in the refrigerator. Hard to do from such a distance, Mom. And this same woman wound up putting 37 deadbolts on the front door and 42 deadbolts on the back door.

  47. LfB – when one of our colleagues recently passed away, I discovered mistakes in his documents (whole clauses left out, etc.) and stuff that he just hadn’t done, like terminated trust accounts sitting untransferred for 1.5 years. Makes me appreciate a mandatory retirement policy!

  48. I’m pretty conservative and I’d vote for Bloomberg (knowing almost nothing about him) over Trump or HRC. I don’t despise Bloomberg, just know that he’s been mayor of a city I’ve never visited.

  49. Those questions can be answered. A short shopping list can usually be remembered, for example. I sometimes can’t remember the 5 things I went for with out writing them down!
    Retired about 5 years ago and prior work did not have a lot of things to schedule.

    Will try to have a discussion tonight and see where it goes. I’ll keep you posted.

  50. “I’m pretty conservative and I’d vote for Bloomberg ”

    Well, if he can win over WCE . . . OTOH, when you learn that he wants to take away your guns and your large sodas, you might change your tune.

  51. If he frames gun control as “fix database issues so thorough background checks can be conducted in a timely manner” and publicly recognizes that in counties where 10%+ of the population has a concealed weapons license, murder rates are lower than in many large, Democratic cities, he could win over many people.

    The gun control debates feel a lot like the abortion debates, both of which feel like trench warfare in WW I. Neither side will give an inch from whatever spot they’ve happened to stake out, regardless of the actual merits of the territory.

    Regarding soda purchases, maybe he’ll visit a theater in Salt Lake City, where he can vilify large families who share soft drinks.

  52. WCE- I consider myself a moderate but I am probably slightly left of center (Mass resident and all that), and I would probably vote for Bloomberg over Hillary (and certainly over Bernie). Kasich is the only one in the republican field I find tolerable.

    Maybe there is a “base” of practical people for Bloomberg after all.

  53. I would strongly consider voting for Bloomberg. I am currently planning to vote against Trump and Clinton, but it would be nice to have a person to vote for.

  54. “I think a lot of Republicans would jump on the Bloomberg train (maybe not in the deep south) but everywhere else.”

    Not a chance, considering how passionately he’s fought and funded efforts for gun control. He couldn’t win as a Republican or a Democrat, when you consider states like PA and VA and NC and CO and OH. You just can’t be as eager as he has been to restrict guns and expect to win those states. There’s a reason Hillary set up photo ops with a shotgun in 2008, and went around “talking like she’s Annie Oakley,” in Obama’s words.

    Speaking of Hillary,

    “Clearly the Hillary e-mail thing is being seen very differently by those of differing political persuasion.”

    How do you see it?

    The current news, reported in the Journal and elsewhere, is that her server contained information at the highest level of classification, known as SAP, or Special Access Program. This is a level so high that even the inspector general for the intelligence community who reported the discovery did not initially have clearance to examine it.

    The server also contained messages showing her contempt for classification procedures. This was bred at least in part by obvious familiarity with exactly “how it works”—such as when, an email shows, she directed a staff member simply to erase the heading on a classified document, converting it into “unpaper,” and send it on a “nonsecure” device.

    No criminality can be charged against Mrs. Clinton in connection with any of this absent proof that she had what the law regards as a guilty state of mind—a standard that may differ from one statute to another, depending on what criminal act is charged.

    Yet—from her direction that classification rules be disregarded, to the presence on her personal email server of information at the highest level of classification, to her repeated falsehoods of a sort that juries are told every day may be treated as evidence of guilty knowledge—it is nearly impossible to draw any conclusion other than that she knew enough to support a conviction at the least for mishandling classified information.

    This is the same charge brought against Gen. David Petraeus for disclosing classified information in his personal notebooks to his biographer and mistress, who was herself an Army Reserve military intelligence officer cleared to see top secret information.

  55. “And this same woman wound up putting 37 deadbolts on the front door and 42 deadbolts on the back door.”

    My guess is that many holes in the doors would affect them structurally to the point of being easily broken, and thus much less secure than with only two or three deadbolts.

    Then there’s the Elaine Boosler approach: six locks, and lock every other one.

  56. Anon, you might want to take a two-step approach to your problem.

    Step 1 is to immediately and practically address the problem of spouse not picking up. My suggestions for an immediate response are largely along the lines of sending reminders, e.g., a phone call 15 minutes before spouse needs to leave to pick up kid. Give kids some of the responsibility for reminding spouse of chauffeur responsibilities.

    Step 2 would be to address the why.

    I’ve definitely seen my memory slipping over the last 15 years or so. My doctor told me it’s normal, in part because of approaching the brain’s storage capacity. I think part of it, in my case, is due to medication as well.

  57. Anon, have any other parents been affected by your spouse’s not picking up your kids? E.g., have any parents hung around until your kid got picked up to make sure your kid wasn’t left all alone? If so, you should try to impress on your spouse that his/her inactions are inconsiderate to those parents and could affect your kids’ relationships with their kids.

  58. I will save my political commentary for another day when I deliver the post I promised last fall.

    To the parent of teens whose father is unreliable about details, I would say that my first assumption would be depression manifesting itself through passive aggressive behavior. From what you write, the forgetting never rises to the level of endangerment. Retirement is tough emotionally on men, especially in the modern totebag version where the nest is not empty and mom is very busy with the kids and her continuing employment, so that he is enjoying few of the promised perks of retirement – travel, lots of golf or other hobbies, freedom from the clock, decreased financial responsibility. I see many fathers, working or retired, who just don’t think that teenagers really need to take up so much time, have all those activities, attend the perfect school halfway across town, require all that special handling. So they don’t get on board with all of the work involved. It is sort of like the footdragging or even obstructionism that one spouse can do about chores or expenditures that matter much more to the other spouse. But it is about the children, so even though the pick up and homework supervision are in reality not a lot different from other chores, failure is a big f-ing deal. In my experience, the dominant planning parent believes that there was full agreement and buy in when the school location was chosen or activities signed up for or even on adult work schedules and retirement timetable, when there may have been something more like acquiescence or resignation (can’t fight city hall) on the part of the other parent.

    It is certainly possible that incipient dementia can be a contributing cause or even the root cause. Everything that was said above about smart people being able to put on a good front is true, so it is not likely that he would fail a crude memory test. I am not sure what would set him off more – a request that he see a shrink or a neurologist.

    The very last thing I would consider is overt hostility or malice. Your circumstances (if I have you identified correctly) over the past several years have been exhausting, and both of you from time to time likely feel hemmed in and resentful that life is the way it is.

    I also doubt that fiddling with electronic calendars or reminders will do much good. The tools are already there – it is either the inclination or the ability or both to pay full attention that is not.

    I personally never found in either marriage that it paid to beat on my depressive husbands to do what they were not able to do. My first husband was unmedicated and mean. The second is medicated and generally sweet, but so “quirky” that he sometimes doesn’t grasp how to fulfill the task at hand , even with explicit instructions, and is easily frustrated.

  59. “I am currently planning to vote against Trump and Clinton”

    Please help me understand how this is done. Seriously, since we lack “anybody but” and/or “not” options on our ballots. We can only vote for someone or abstain.

    Perhaps unrelated curmudgeonly thought: “deciding vote”. The press likes to talk about a supreme court justice or congressperson casting the deciding vote. Uh, no. e.g. If all the 218 of the “aye” votes are counted first and then all the “nay” votes are counted, is the last “aye” vote the deciding one? Really?

  60. “’Clearly the Hillary e-mail thing is being seen very differently by those of differing political persuasion.’

    How do you see it?”

    OK, so I haven’t been following this closely, but is the allegation that she actually *did* stuff with classified documents, or is it still just that she had them on her server, which wasn’t allowed? To me, the former is a big deal (e.g., Petraeus). The latter just reads like all of the high-tech mumbo-jumbo updates and notifications that I get all. the. time from IT, with new processes and procedures and requirements that get in the way of my ability to do my job efficiently and effectively, and which almost no one actually complies with in the real world.

    Yes, it’s important; yes, our leaders need to be aware of the real threats posed by international hackers, etc. And my political inclinations and general Luddite-ness probably make me more likely than most to give her the benefit of the doubt — i.e., that it wasn’t some horrible evil intent but more lack of understanding of the huge difference in the levels of security provided on the various devices. If no harm was actually done, slap her on the wrist, recover the docs, and move on.

    *Can* you prosecute her? I’m confident you could. But I’m also confident that every single client I have ever had could have been criminally prosecuted — and every single person here who has any sort of regulatory compliance role could be as well, because the standards for criminal knowledge are laughably low (I once represented the guy who reported a problem to the government, who then himself became a target because they claimed he didn’t tell them exactly how bad it really was). Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    In short, the amount of resources and level of rhetoric being devoted to this investigation seems disproportionate to the problem. Kind of like impeachment for a blow job. Which makes it pretty easy to write off as political theater.

  61. PS — Milo, you win on the “over” — just got the call that school is canceled tomorrow, too.

  62. LfB – When I worked with Secret, TS, and SCI information, it was done on separate computers with red stickers on them, and they plugged into separate Ethernet ports that also had red stickers on them, etc. Obviously, things might have to be a little more streamlined at higher levels, but the idea that one can deliberately ignore the requirements and intentionally put SAP material on her home server is pretty egregious. I don’t see how it’s just “political theater.” It’s Obama’s Justice Department that’s investigating it.

    that it wasn’t some horrible evil intent but more lack of understanding of the huge difference in the levels of security provided on the various devices

    From some of what has been released, the transcripts show that she clearly knew what she was doing was illegal and was directing subordinates on how to circumvent it.

    I don’t think it was necessarily horrible evil intent (unless it may have ultimately been to hide behind-the-scenes deals where State Dept. favor was granted for Clinton Foundation contributions) but, at the very least, it shows a complete disregard for the law and a belief that she is above the law, that the rules don’t apply.

  63. “Milo, you win on the “over” — just got the call that school is canceled tomorrow, too.”

    It brings me no comfort. They need to go back to school. Good grief.

  64. I don’t see how it’s just “political theater.” It’s Obama’s Justice Department that’s investigating it.

    Obama hates her.

  65. I don’t understand the plow thing. I am too tired (and lazy) to look it up, but if someone wants to look at snowfall totals in northern VA, DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, and Boston for the last ten years – I would guess that the numbers might be close. When will DC/Baltimore metro ever admit that they are not Charlotte or Atlanta, and the area receives a decent amount of snow each winter?

    I grew up with two snow days in 13 years in NYC publics, so I have high standards about school and snow. I’ve seem the pictures from Queens, Brooklyn and Newark. I know they’re struggling with snow removal too, but their kids were in school all of last week. I think my friends in no. VA have kids that went to school 1 or 2 days in this two week period because they missed school last week due to extended MLK break, and then ice, snow , and blizzard. I’m an impatient NYer, and I would lose my mind with the school closures that LfB and Milo seem to handle with a better attitude than I would have in the same situation.

  66. “How do you see it?”

    I see it as her putting her own convenience and privacy concerns above the national security concerns of the country. I also see reason for concern about her understanding of technology.

  67. ” LfB and Milo seem to handle with a better attitude than I would have in the same situation.”

    Well, I kind of enjoy having homework-free nights.

  68. “that it wasn’t some horrible evil intent but more lack of understanding of the huge difference in the levels of security provided on the various devices”

    If she doesn’t understand the difference, then she’s too stupid to be president. I don’t think that understanding that difference is beyond her.

    She can’t have it both ways.

  69. “I also see reason for concern about her understanding of technology.”

    I think she could well understand the technology well enough to understand the risks, in which case I see reason for concern about her judgement.

  70. “any one want to do a survey to see who totebaggers plan to vote for in the primary?”

    Not all states have presidential primaries. Some have caucuses that are only open to party members.

  71. “I would lose my mind with the school closures that LfB and Milo seem to handle with a better attitude than I would have in the same situation.”

    I am a Bad Mom. DS has spent all of today in his PJs in front of the computer. I just got out of my PJs around 1 and am ensconced in my comfy recliner with my heater running and my laptop. Our offices are still closed today, so while I feel the billable hour pressure generally and have things that must be done, it feels like an awesome excuse for having a lazier day and getting maybe 5-6 billable hours in. I made DS fried chicken and waffles yesterday because I felt like it, and today we are having leftover chili because I don’t feel like it. DD is gallivanting with friends, whose parents are doing the driving (cheapest $20 I ever spent).

    Plus Milo’s “no homework” thing. Plus the “I’m finally done with shoveling” thing.

    Fundamentally, I am way too Type B *not* to enjoy a snow day. It is much more annoying when schools are out and I am stuck at home on the computer for 10-12 hrs and can’t enjoy it at all.

    @Wine — crap, thanks — DD needs a new passport by 4/15 for her summer trip — crap, better get on it!!

  72. On Hillary: I do actually get why people who know about these things see it as a big deal, and I do find it troubling (I try to keep myself somewhat honest by asking what my reaction would be if W had done the same thing, which provokes the immediate response of “I’d think he was terminally stupid.” But since that’s what I thought about him anyway, it’s not exactly a stretch).

    But, you know, I read Milo’s original question as less a question and more of a “there’s only one side to this story, how could anyone see it any other way?” So part of what I was trying to do was lay out the thought process that says, “meh, not that big a deal.” Because I don’t think most of the American public knows as much about security procedures as Milo or as much about tech as Finn. So without something like “the Chinese hacked Hillary’s phone!” it just comes across more like when the IT department gets bent out of shape because I tried to reuse a password.

  73. “any one want to do a survey to see who totebaggers plan to vote for in the primary?”

    I don’t even know when our primary is. I don’t usually anticipate voting in a Presidential primary. I still like Kasich, and Rubio as a second choice. I think that Kasich has a chance of pulling out the nomination after all the early chaos and craziness, and if so, he’ll easily defeat Hillary.

    As for Trump, I am disliking him less and less. More than anything about him, personally, I enjoy his success because I have a soft spot for the working middle class that is despised by the Establishment elites. He’s a modern day William Jennings Bryan. If he were to actually become President, the country would go on. It would certainly be entertaining.

  74. LfB, the fedgov puts a lot of effort into keeping classified material secure from hacking. My understading is that one measure taken is to create air gaps, that is, there are separate networks for classified material, which are not connected to the internet, which makes hacking into that material via the internet impossible.

    If Hillary used her personal email server for any classified material, she put that onto the internet, and thus created the possibility of it being compromised.

    IMO, there are any number of ways she could’ve availed herself of the classified material without making it vulnerable. E.g., she could’ve gotten an aide with security clearance to carry a second device, since she claimed that it was too hard to carry more than one device.

    I think her judgement, and motives, are open to question.

  75. @SWVA – yes! I heard his interview on our local NPR affiliate en route to work this AM and thought of you immediately! I meant to post right away and forgot to. I was amazed to learn he paid for a lot of the testing himself. What a cluster. There is concern now that Spanish-speaking residents have still not figured out they shouldn’t drink the water, because the notices have all been in English. FFS.

    RMS/L/Winemama – good luck with the real estate transactions!

  76. RMS – how exciting. Good luck and keep us posted.

    @ Anon – just from what you’ve described, I’m less concerned about the actual forgetting than I am about the lack of horror at forgetting and the lack of effort to keep it from happening. I have 2 close relatives with dementia, and I echo RMS’s comments that in the early days their responses to being forgetful are weirdly defensive and inappropriate, compared to cognitively normal people. In retrospect, it was one of the red flags.

    However, it’s also possible he’s just being an ass, in which case nothing but a good hashing it out will work.

    I consider myself politically independent – voted for Obama twice, but in the same election voted for our Republican governor, and have split in last 2 elections on senators. No way would I vote for HRC and the idea of Cruz or Trump is just too awful to consider. I’ll be voting for Kasich.

  77. It’s funny to me that people will criticize Hilary for not understanding the technology, but Donald doesn’t send or personally receive email. I highly suspect he also does not understand the technology.

    The only things I know about Bloomberg are that my liberal-est friend was practically dancing a jig when she heard he was going to join the race and the soda tax. Both are great reasons to vote for him, even though I really like Ms. Clinton.

  78. RMS, good luck with the SC property.

    Another possibility if you get it is to rent it out during the school years, and use it yourself during summers.

  79. “the three little monkeys that see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil”

    When the kids were very young, we once saw the monkeys, the third of whose hand covered his nose as well as his mouth, and I told them they stood for “see no evil, hear no evil, smell no evil.” It was several years before they became aware that the monkeys stood for something else.

  80. Another possibility if you get it is to rent it out during the school years, and use it yourself during summers.

    That occurred to me too, but oddly, the rental property manager I talked to (recommended by our real estate agent, who came recommended to me by a good friend from high school who was herself a real estate agent for a few years) said that summer rental money is higher. Which I guess makes sense, since it’s summer at the beach and all that. See, if it were *just me* , I’d rent out the ground floor bedrooms and retain the rights to the second story master bedroom/bath for myself. That way I’d get maybe $2K a month in rental income and I could crash there once a month or so. This works fine in the student-rental environment. But DH would hate it, so I suspect it’s a non-starter.

  81. “people will criticize Hilary for not understanding the technology”

    I think she understood it well enough to have known that she shouldn’t have done what she did, and why she shouldn’t have done it.

  82. It’s been a while since I looked into rental property, so tax laws may have changed, but back then you could’ve blocked out two weeks for personal use (not necessarily all at once, and time spent maintaining or upgrading the property did not count against the two weeks) without affecting the property’s status as a rental property. I.e., if you limited your personal use to a cumulative two weeks per year, you would not have to allocate any expenses to personal use.

  83. I think Hilary understands technology, I think she thinks she is above the law. I’m not a Trump fan but his lack of understanding of technology didn’t occur while he was Secretary of State.

    I don’t vote in primaries but I would vote for Kasich if I did.

  84. I don’t understand why people don’t vote in primaries. After all, they select the eventual nominee (usually). That is why I am voting the way I intend to in the republican primary. In the general election, I might vote for someone else. I want to vote for Hillary, but I don’t think she will make it to the general. Too much resistance for any strong woman breaking the glass ceiling.

  85. Depression is a treatable illness, not a copout for being less than fully functional. Depression in men is woefully underdiagnosed, and male depressives are often disagreeable and shut down, not actively needy like many women. If I had known anything about it at the time, I might have not assumed that my first husband and the marriage were beyond hope. I would be far happier to discover that my 60(?) year old spouse were depressed or had a sleep disorder that affected his functioning, than that he had early onset dementia.

  86. Our tax attorney (i.e., DH’s friend at the firm “Mary”), told us to form an LLC and do a bunch of other crap to limit our liability and make the property much more like a business, which of course meant that the interest rate would go from, like, 4% to 6% and be impossible to get, and a bunch of other stuff. So prolly we’ll just use it as a vacation home. Maybe.

  87. “I see it as her putting her own convenience and privacy concerns above the national security concerns of the country. I also see reason for concern about her understanding of technology.”

    I agree completely. And I am neither an IT professional or an engineer. I see it as bad judgement and frankly, selfishness. Whether she understands technology well not, it shows both. It absolutely influences my thoughts on her candidacy. And I lean pretty Democratic, generally.

    I don’t know if I’ll vote in our primary. I probably will, but we’ll see how it’s going at that point on which ballot I decide to pull. I can make a game time decision – but there are state offices that I need to consider too.

  88. PTM,
    My guess is that there would be equal or greater resistance to a Mr. Hilary Clinton with her CV. And that more voters support her because she is a woman than despise her because she is a woman.

  89. The vast majority of women I come into contact with (even democratic ones) have an allergic reaction to Hillary. Liddy Dole or Kay Bailey Hutchinson (same person) would be fine (in theory) for them, or some obscure just happened to be there accidental woman VP, but not a strong woman.

  90. “form an LLC and do a bunch of other crap to limit our liability and make the property much more like a business, which of course meant that the interest rate would go from, like, 4% to 6% and be impossible to get,”

    Can’t you buy it personally, then move it into the LLC?

    A lot of people buy houses, live in them, then move out and turn the houses into rentals under the same mortgages.

  91. Can’t you buy it personally, then move it into the LLC?

    Good question. This will all become clearer in the fullness of time. First question is: Will they accept our lowball offer?

  92. “Liddy Dole or Kay Bailey Hutchinson (same person) would be fine”

    Elizabeth Dole was a Secretary of Transportation and a U.S. Senator. Hillary was U.S. Senator and Secretary of State. How is Clinton strong and Dole not strong, in your estimation?

  93. Can’t it be that people just don’t like Hillary. Period. Or don’t like the Clintons in general? Why does it have to be because she is a “strong woman”?

  94. I also wonder how much traction Hillary’s opponents will get in pointing out how closely she’s tied to Wall St, e.g., the $250k speeches.

  95. @Anon – I thought Meme’s comment was spot on. My DH couldn’t care less if the kids were enrolled in no activities outside of school. On weekends when he is not working he’ll help me out in a rare instance but hasn’t signed up to drive the kids on a regular basis. It wasn’t something that we sat down and discussed. It has never been his preference to take on that responsibility.

  96. @RMS – we have bought things personally and then moved them into an LLC. We have been told that is providing us with an extra layer of legal protection.

  97. Actually – curious if anyone knows the right legal structure to do something.

    If we had a free standing MIL on property we own (and live on) and wanted to make it a rental, how do we put it into the LLC? Lease it to the LLC?

  98. My only comment on the LLC comment is to be careful with how you represent things on the loan, because if you change it to something that isn’t on the loan docs, they can call the loan. (As I understand, it’s different if you live in it for some period and then convert it — the key is whether you never intended to do what you represented).

  99. Have you ever gone to Trulia and looked at the listing of crimes near your house? I was getting a little nervous about some of the houses we were considering until I looked at the crime near *my* house. Dang! My neighbors get up to some troublemaking! Violent crimes and drunk-and-disorderlies and so on even though this is an upscale neighborhood and I never hear a thing after 10pm.

  100. This most-liked comment on a story about Hillary Clinton STILL doesn’t have a good answer for questions about her emails seems to capture what I hear, especially from younger folks.  (From what I read, first she apologized for her “mistakes” and then later she refused to admit she had done anything wrong.)

    I am not a fan of Clinton, and I find her inability to engage in self-examination on this issue very, very damning.

    Still – and this question comes from a pretty tech-savvy millennial, so maybe this is just my bias – what are the odds that she just literally does not understand the issue from a technological standpoint? “Server? Home server? Who cares?” might be her way of thinking.

    Let’s face it. She’s old. She’s a boomer. Although I’m sure she’s very smart, I doubt she knows much about tech. Maybe no one in her campaign has sat down and talked with her about WHY this is a big deal?

    That doesn’t really help exonerate her, of course, in the court of public opinion. She’s still massively messed up by even allowing a team to allow this all to happen. She’s the leader, she needs to take responsibility.

    Bottom line: I don’t want four (or heaven forbid, eight) years of her simply refusing to learn!

    Meanwhile, I can only predict that Trump’s latest media ploy refusing to participate in the next debate will likely help him.  Everything other idiotic thing he does seems to help him!

  101. According to Trulia, I live in a very safe area. But I do wonder if their statistics are accurate.

  102. Ada- I would think you could just lease it to the LLC

    when we ran the winery, that is what we did. it can be for a nominal amount ($1) I think or a rate more in line with market, which only shifts the income/expense between earned and unearned income

  103. If you want to put properties in an entity to reduce liability, you need to really do it. Not have it be a sham/fake transaction, otherwise you run the risk of the entity being disregarded. This is a state law question, so you should really talk to someone in your jurisdiction. Also, you should check your loan docs to see what consents you might need and the local laws in your area for recording deeds and mortgages. Many will make you pay the recordation fees again.

  104. If you go the LLC route, I believe you need to purchase the property through the LLC. It takes 5-10 minutes to register one, and another 5 minutes to get an EIN number. You also need to get the loan through the LLC, and you are correct that the interest rate will be higher. You will need to file a separate tax return, but that’s not too expensive.

  105. “I don’t understand why people don’t vote in primaries”

    I agree with PTM

    I always vote in mine, if you have one, don’t you want to vote for who will be running in the fall?

  106. I have skipped voting in the primaries when the races that I care about have all been essentially decided already by the time our primary comes around. This year, I’m not sure that my vote will matter much for the Presidential race, but there are some state & local primaries that I care about – hence I still have to decide which ballot to pull.

  107. which states do not have primaries? I feel like I need to brush up on my government 101, I’ve always lived in Indiana, so I forget some states don’t have primaries

  108. I have to learn geography. As RMS changes the location of the vacation home, I have to look it up on the map.

  109. In our experience (eight years ago, extra cash, perfect credit), we could not get a loan as an LLC. No one would give us a loan at any rate. We ended up buying the house under our names, and legally making the transfer.

  110. Even with an LLC, personal liability can still attach. One of the reasons we haven’t formed one is that it is extra paperwork and expense without a clear benefit. Our lawyer and accountant just suggested having a high umbrella policy. Which we did.

  111. Winemama — I think it’s more accurate to say that some states allocate their delegates in the party caucuses, and some states allocate them based on the result of the primary. So caucus states can still have a primary, but it’s not necessarily affecting the delegates awarded, although candidates presumably have to have filed to be on the primary ballot in order to be eligible for selection in the caucus. This is all based on some combination of party rules and state law — state law setting when primaries are and primary ballot eligibility standards, party rules setting when caucuses are and how delegates are awarded.

  112. On the politics-or-whatever topic, I see they’ve finally cracked down on Vanilla ISIS.

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