Hot political issues

Today’s post includes two submissions, both offering the writers’ perspectives on what they consider crucial issues surrounding this year’s presidential election.

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by Sheep Farmer

Healthcare

Our recent discussion on health care made me realize how important this issue is in this year’s election cycle. For me, it will probably be the deciding factor as I head to the polls for my state’s primary next week. My family has benefited greatly from the Affordable Care Act, and I would hate to see it dismantled. The ACA is a great start, but as shown in our discussion last week, health care in this country is still too expensive and complicated. It is an issue that needs to be addressed. The economy, government spending, social issues, foreign policy, and immigration are all issues mentioned regularly by the candidates. If you are headed to the polls in the next few weeks, what issues are driving your decision?

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By Mémé

Why I fear a Republican President

I put this post off for a long time because I didn’t know how to say what I meant clearly without giving possible offense to other members of our online community. But after a couple weeks of pointed political discussion in our new and less timid iteration of the Totebag, I have decided to go ahead.

It comes down to one word. Religion. The conservative religious supporters of the GOP have been loyal for 30 plus years and have received little or nothing in return. The bill for services rendered will be presented to a Republican President and Congress and it will be paid. (The Supreme Court without Scalia, even if the new Justice is appointed after the election, is always a wild card. We could get a corporatist or even a true libertarian.)

So why do I care? Plenty of economic but not social conservatives, including non Christians, are not particularly bothered by the idea that so-called individual religious liberty will become the first criterion in determining the hierarchy of civil rights when there is a conflict. That government will be forbidden to enforce any law or regulation that anyone objects to on religious grounds. Social moderates often assume that the inability to enforce will lead to lifting of legislative and regulatory mandates, so that the market and common social norms will be decisive. It will require adjustment from people (usually not “people like us”) whose current rights and freedoms (many of which were established over the past century, bit by bit) will as result no longer be guaranteed. They will gradually take their business elsewhere or move to more hospitable localities or home school or find workarounds or accept the conditions that their forebears endured – after all, many of the things the social conservatives want to see changed resulted not only from changing social standards but also from government granting and enforcing rights that the conservatives consider immoral or that impinge on their personal freedom. And this does not even take into account the likelihood that the legislative legacy will not be entirely libertarian/reduced government, but will also include new morally inspired restrictions (and more government interference) on personal freedom that is deemed to have crossed over into immorality or socially destructive behavior.

Ross Douthat, in a column on Islamophobia sets out the terms of the ideological conflict from his conservative religious point of view. “[C]osmopolitan liberals… are also convinced that many conservative Christians are dangerous crypto-theocrats whose institutions and liberties must give way whenever they conflict with liberalism’s vision of enlightenment.”

I really don’t see how a requirement to serve all comers in a public business or gay civil marriage or Season’s Greetings means that anyone’s institutions or liberties are being constrained. Please, conservative Totebaggers, explain this to me. I do from my own people’s experience see how religion has been used for millennia as an excuse to limit personal and property rights or worse – periods of acceptance/inclusion/honor alternating with periods of actual persecution, so I don’t buy the argument that the march of progress and economic power means that it won’t happen again.

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384 thoughts on “Hot political issues

  1. The bill for services rendered will be presented to a Republican President and Congress and it will be paid.

    Why if that haven’t done anything for 30 years would they start now – it’s not like presenting the bill to President Trump is going to get them anywhere.

  2. Our family has not always had employer provided insurance. I agree with Sheep Farmer on the importance of the ACA. In addition to health care, I will vote for the least hawkish candidates that are on the ticket. I think these endless wars and meddling in the affairs of other countries have got to stop.

  3. What progressives sometimes refuse to understand is that a liberal democracy has the right, and indeed the obligation, to take those steps necessary to perpetuate itself.

  4. Well, sadly, my criteria this voting cycle has come down to: does this candidate offer proposed policies that are at least somewhat plausible? Can he or she explain them in enough detail that I can evaluate whether this could possibly work or not?

    One would think this would be a basic prerequisite to being a candidate, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this time around.

    So on that basis, I have to immediately eliminate Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders. They all subscribe, in my opinion, to the Promise Magical Unicorns school of policy planning. I think Ted Cruz is borderline. So in the current group, I am now down to Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich.

    Then we get into my lines in the sand: keeping the ACA, and supporting reasonable gun control. So Hillary it is.

    By the way, I have son who would have been uninsurable on the open market under the old system. He would have been consigned to making life plans based on the need to work for an employer with a group policy. I worked in industry with a guy like that, a 20 something pediatric cancer survivor who was petrified to do anything that might endanger his job, and who was doing work he hated, because he couldn’t take the chance of being without insurance. I happy that under the ACA, my son can now consider striking out on his own as a practicing architect, for example.

  5. ACA has also benefitted our family and was very timely in the gap between being laid off and COBRA being too expensive and becoming medicare eligible.

    While I would put our family in an agnostic grouping, I am very frustrated by the whole idea that the Christian religion is under attack. I mean, in all seriousness, just because another faith wants recognition of their religious holidays and to not be penalized in the workplace for taking them, how does that put a Christians holiday under attack?

  6. “I really don’t see how a requirement to serve all comers in a public business or gay civil marriage or Season’s Greetings means that anyone’s institutions or liberties are being constrained.”

    I can only answer regarding one of those….

    Saying Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Seasons Greetings to those who celebrate or refraining from any of the above to those who don’t celebrate is mere politeness, while I see the kerfuffle every year on my facebook page, I don’t understand it.

    Gay civil marriage. God created people who are gay and straight. He created within us the need and desire for partners and the ability to be partners. I don’t understand why He would restrict marriage to only a subset of His children.

    Part of being a free citizen in a free society is the ability not to associate or do business with people with whom we disagree. In the same fashion that I would not wish to be forced to do with someone whose belief’s I find objectionable, I don’t feel like another person should be forced to buy or sell to those whose actions or beliefs they find objectionable.

  7. I agree with Houston on the least hawkish, and I also want someone with a sound fiscal plan. We cannot build a wall, ramp up in the Middle East, cut taxes, and reduce the deficit all at the same time. It is insulting to be told otherwise.

  8. I like Kasich but if any of those other people get the Republican nomination, I will probably vote for Hilary. I think it’s good to have the President/Congress in different parties, one side can’t go too far.

  9. I could have written Mooshi’s response. I will vote for Hillary. If she doesn’t get the nomination, I will vote for whichever Republican does unless it is Trump or Cruz. If it ends up being Sanders v Trump or Cruz, I hope Bloomberg gets in it. At this point, I am willing to vote for candidates who aren’t even without the realm of my political views just to avoid the ridiculousness of some of the candidates.

  10. DH and I have been having an ongoing discussion of who of the candidates in either party we would vote for. The discussion runs somewhere along the the lines of….

    Bernie, well he couldn’t get anything done, so he couldn’t cause major damage. Oh wait, he will nominate Supreme Court justices and manage foreign policy….NO

    Hilary, she will under indictment or threat of impeachment from Republican controlled Congress and so will be amenable to deals. Starting to understand my grandmother’s comment about why she voted for Nixon. MAYBE

    Trump….favors eminent domain to take out the little guy in favor of his enterprises. Is PT Barnum for the 21st century…NO

    Cruz…just something wrong about that guy….NO

    Rubio….smarmy, but given the options….MAYBE

    Kasich….not crazy, sounds kind of like a grownup who understands tradeoffs, but he has no chance

  11. I haven’t voted for a Democrat in over 30 years and I’m voting for Hillary if it’s Trump, Cruz or Rubio. ( In the department of Magical Thinking, I’m still hoping someone will save the Republicans). I favor the ACA, I think the Little Sisters case is a crock, and if you don’t like same sex marriage, don’t enter into one.
    And Mitch McConnell the American people did get a voice into who our next Supreme Court justice will be. They elected Obama knowing he might appoint someone. You don’t like the choice they made, but stop saying we didn’t get a voice.
    Yes I’m cranky.

  12. Cordelia – I was with you until your last paragraph, when thoughts of women needing their husband’s permission to open a bank account, lunch counters and Rosa Parks, came to mind.

  13. Cordelia, you are making the same arguments about private businesses that were made in the early 60s about stores/restaurants serving black people. It’s true that black people aren’t black because of their “beliefs”, but that’s irrelevant. The argument you are making is that a private business owner should be able to serve all and only those people he wishes to serve.

  14. y’all keep forgetting Ben Carson in your analyses. Last I heard, he was still in the race..

  15. There are people we don’t do business with because they are difficult to deal with, or because they don’t pay on time. From my perspective, there just aren’t enough good customers to toss some because they want to marry their same sex partner. My fear is that we would have to do business with someone who doesn’t pay their bills because they were of a special class.

    I know there was discrimination in the past, but, it is 2016.

  16. Cordelia – sounds like our house. My husband, who is a Republican and has never voted for a Dem has said he probably will have to vote for Hillary. And he hates Hillary.

  17. Cruz…just something wrong about that guy….NO

    I’d be fine with anyone other than Cruz. Something about him he disgusts me I find his whole persona totally repellent on a very basic level. Skeeves me the F out.

  18. I have strong feelings about republican candidates and the people who vote for them including their reasons to do so, so I will refrain from saying anything. If we are to get a repub prez, I hope to god it’s Kasich. For the rest of it, I will just so sign Mooshis post. I don’t love the democrat candidates either, but really really hope they get to nominate the SC justice!

  19. Cruz is an evangelical. Rubio is Catholic. Cruz doesn’t really speak Spanish. Rubio is fluent in Spanish.

  20. The sentiment in favor of Trump seems very like the sentiment in favor of Arnold Schwarznager (cannot figure out how to spell his name) when he was elected governor. We had an exceeding incompetent governor, were experiencing power blackouts, and other chaos. Arnold seemed like a good idea at the time, because how much worse could he be?

  21. “I’d be fine with anyone other than Cruz. Something about him he disgusts me I find his whole persona totally repellent on a very basic level. Skeeves me the F out.”

    Can you put what you find repellent into words? I can’t.

  22. Rubio tried to put forth a bill on illegal immigration before he realized the subject was toxic. He was at least willing to discuss and work on the issue.

  23. Well, the good news is that the one whose looking like the probable nominee (Trump) would probably be the least likely to push the Christian agenda. The bad news is that he’s one of the more likely ones to start a major international conflict through acting like a strongman without a good understanding of foreign affairs.

    I’m glad Cruz seems to be falling back. Even apart from his personality, the Christian Dominionism unnerves me. Rubio is way too conservative for me, but at least there’s been no suggestion that his family members believe he’s the Messiah. Kasich, same thing.

    Bernie is using “and then a miracle occurs” in his financial math and his answer to everything is “the system is rigged.”

    So, Hillary it is. And I do like that she’s competent and pragmatic, and the way every time she comes across a new issue she studies up on it and works up a 50 page policy brief. I’m resigned to the inevitable future scandals about her skirting close to the ethical edge on something or Bill being too cozy with some shady billionaire.

  24. Oh, that’s fine Rhett. Now Obama. Not fine despite, you know, actually being born in the US to a mother who was in fact a US citizen.

  25. Within his first 100 days, if Trump doesn’t start a major international conflict, he will probably dismantle a lot of the federal agencies on his march to “making America great again”. DH and I will be out of jobs, and will gladly take the jobs that Trump opens up by deporting all the illegals, or anyone that doesn’t look like him. (How many orange people do you see, Mr. Trump?) Sure, we’ll be highly over qualified, but without the security net of the ACA (I’m sure unemployment insurance will be OK because it’s state run), we’ll have to take those jobs to keep food on the table.

    Of the top 3 Repubs, I’d take Rubio. He seems the most civil. I’d like to hear more from Carson, but if he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the others, how is he going to be President?

    Oh the Dems… I want to like Bernie (in fact, all my 20-30-year old friends love the man), and I love that he gives details to his ideas, but even the ideas and examples are pipe dreams. Break up the big banks? How is that going to happen? I don’t think you can just take an axe to BoA and call it good. Hilary… I know in my heart of hearts that she will skirt ethics and lie. But I also know that she’s got the stuff to lead and the know-how to do it. She probably ran the White House back in the 90s. Of them, I want to vote Bernie, but will have to vote Hilary.

    At the end of the day, Hilary will have my vote. At least I know my uterus will not be the topic of the government, and the federal agency which supplies the grant I’m paid through will still exist.

  26. As you all know, I will vote for Trump in the Republican primary. I agree with Rhett on Cruz. Kasich, I think, achieved his best, most useful purpose as a Fox commentator. He led us to Joe Scarborough. I am embarrassed by my junior senator. He doesn’t like his job– geez, I’d be honored to be in the senate– ignores his constituents and doesn’t believe in climate change. He is owned by big sugar. In the five minutes he was a lawyer, he (like Jeb!) worked for the developers to pave over what’s left of the Everglade. I’d love to have a drink with Ben Carson– what a neat guy.

    Trump, of course, is a joke, but I like what he is doing to the tea partiers and the republican party as it has morphed itself into over the past two decades.

    Of course, I’ve been for Hillary all along. I like her. I like her politics. I don’t like her husband. I think women can, in fact, be evaluated separate and apart from their husbands. I like her stand on healthcare, I like her stand on human rights. I thought she was a very good senator from NY. I had no problem with her as Secretary of State, and Lord knows, she certainly worked.

    So my vote in the general will be happily for Hillary and in the mean time, Trump will continue to amuse me and I will continue to wear my Trump t-shirt proudly to show myself as the republican I currently am.

  27. Chris Christie just endorsed Trump

    Maybe A Preference Cascade is Forming.  I don’t completely discount that idea.

    Republicans have supported guaranteed health coverage for pre-existing conditions, but just do not want most of the other aspects of Obamacare.

  28. I don’t like any of the Republican candidates but I won’t vote for Hillary. In some way, I’ll probably vote against Hillary, for all the reasons Milo has previously stated. Last cycle, I voted for Romney, who was the best presidential candidate I’ve ever voted for (edging out Dole, Bush 43 and McCain, for the record). I thought Romney, based on his record in Massachusetts, would attempt some actuarially sound health insurance proposal, in contrast to the Affordable Care Act, which is actuarially unsound. (The “loans” made to the “health co-ops” will never be repaid, because rather than listening to actuaries, they listened to the Magical Unicorn proponents.) Was Romney a terrible governor in Massachusetts?

    The civil rights/religious freedom conflict is a huge mess. Thanks to the Supreme Court for clearing up that sodomy is a protected right for Catholic high school teachers but heterosexual fornication and adultery are still offenses for which one can be subject to termination. I think people who are not religious don’t recognize that there is a cost to forcing people (who are small minority) to recognize gay marriages (by selling cakes or whatever). When Ada discussed whether the ban on gay blood donors should be removed, using statistics, this group was largely unwilling to accept a small increase in diseases (a cost) in order to avoid discrimination against gay blood donors. When I had my late term abortion, I had to schedule carefully because the hospital allows nurses opposed to late term abortion to opt out of assisting. What would be gained by forcing nurses to participate in something that violates their consciences? Why would I want to do that, as long as I can find some other competent practitioner? And with Cordelia, I think civil rights laws are often a smoke screen to threaten businesses. Is the statistical discrimination that banks show(ed?) in lending to African Americans at all related to the probability that the loan will not be repaid? Should obesity be a protected class? Why is it OK for me to refuse to sell you a cake because you’re fat, but illegal to refuse to sell you a cake because you’re lesbian?

    I think this is why I wish the government would not be involved, aside from the selective enforcement of civil rights laws. They only seem to get enforced when the protected person of interest already has power.

  29. Republicans have supported guaranteed health coverage for pre-existing conditions

    At what price? Do they support community rating?

  30. Ditto what Rhode said about Hillary. I’m a little uncomfortable with her past, but I trust her to protect my healthcare and the rights of all women and religions. It just makes me sad that the decision comes down to protecting myself from crazy people who want to take away what I consider basic rights that past generations have fought & died for instead of actually being inspired by someone with fresh ideas. Trump, Cruz, and Carson are all just too terrifying to think about, and while Kasich or Rubio might be slightly more moderate than those 3, they are both still pretty darn conservative. I would definitely consider voting for Bloomberg if he runs.

  31. I’ll probably vote against Hillary

    That would then mean voting for the thrice married, serially bankrupt, short fingered vulgarian would it not?

  32. “They will gradually take their business elsewhere or move to more hospitable localities or home school or find workarounds or accept the conditions that their forebears endured – after all, many of the things the social conservatives want to see changed resulted not only from changing social standards but also from government granting and enforcing rights that the conservatives consider immoral or that impinge on their personal freedom. ”

    Why is this different from what is happening right now to the people who are not like those in power?

    Yesterday, WCE pointed out that increased fuel costs negatively impacted the rural poor, and Rhett countered with the idea that the rural poor didn’t have a right to live where they did and could move elsewhere.

    WCE has pointed out many times over the years the impacts of regulations on light bulbs and washing machines because her preferences are not in accordance with the majority view of what is right and correct.

  33. CoC, guaranteed health coverage for pre-existing conditions without close to universal coverage = Magical Unicorns.

  34. Why is it OK for me to refuse to sell you a cake because you’re fat, but illegal to refuse to sell you a cake because you’re lesbian?

    Since when is it okay to refuse to sell a customer cake because they’re fat?

  35. At what price? Do they support community rating?

    I’ve seen info about plans for subsidies to high risk pools and requirements for continuous coverage.

  36. CoC, guaranteed health coverage for pre-existing conditions without close to universal coverage = Magical Unicorns.

    +1

    Or, it will work until the insurance companies exit the market or go bankrupt.

  37. If Trump wins, we will have a “First Ever” First Lady – first First Lady to have posed in the nude!! But I think that some of the European countries have already been there done that.

  38. Why should health insurance be tied to employment anyway? If someone is sick, how likely are they to manage a full time job with benefits?

  39. CoC, they tried high risk pools in the 80’s and 90’s. They all failed because they were so incredibly expensive that state governments couldn’t fund them

  40. and requirements for continuous coverage.

    What is the penalty for a failure to maintain continuous coverage?

  41. “Since when is it okay to refuse to sell a customer cake because they’re fat?”

    It may be a really bad idea, but it’s not illegal.

  42. I don’t have all the details about Republican plans for healthcare, but it seems that with all the money spent on ACA, the federal govt could subsidize the costs of insuring those with pre-existing conditions or otherwise help guarantee such coverage.

    What is the penalty for a failure to maintain continuous coverage?

    Maybe Medicaid; I don’t know. But in any system, including Obamacare, some people will fall in between the cracks.

  43. the federal govt could subsidize the costs of insuring those with pre-existing conditions or otherwise help guarantee such coverage.

    That’s basically all the ACA does.

  44. Why should health insurance be tied to employment anyway?

    This is the question we need to keep asking over and over and over again. Health insurance is only tied to employment because at some point in history, a few employers decided to hire a company doctor to care for their employees. Over time, it morphed into employer provided insurance rather than the employer actually providing health care. Then Congress decided that was a Good Idea and offered tax incentives for all employers who provided insurance. If we really want a free market for health care, take the employers out of it and let everyone pick their own insurance. (But don’t get me started on how the system is too complex for a normal person to be able to figure out which plan is in their own best interest!)

  45. CofC,

    Your opposition to the ACA doesn’t seem to involve all that much familiarity with the republican alternative.

  46. Medicaid is largely a state program, and severly limited in many states. It would require a federalization, and pouring huge amounts of money in, to cover all those with pre-existing conditions. If the expansion actually were designed to do the job – offer actual honest, affordable coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, then it would essentially become a variant of Bernie Sanders Medicare-for-all, except it would be Medicaid-for-the-most-expensive-to-insure. If on the other hand, it ends up being severely limited as the state high risk pools were, then it just won’t work in the same way the state high risk pools didn’t work/

  47. If Trump wins the nomination, he’s going to get softer and nicer very quickly. He’s already transitioning, I’d say. At that point, I’d predict Hillary still wins, but it’s certainly no done deal.

    I could really be OK with Hillary (or at least 2008 Hillary rather than Bernie-wannabe Hillary) politically, if only she weren’t such a criminal. But she is, and she’s one of the worst. I could be more forgiving if she even occasionally admitted wrongdoing, but she never does. She just dismisses everything as crazy or sexist attacks, and woe is she for enduring them for so long on our behalf.

    A Trump-Hillary contest will see a crumbling of party lines and fall much more along social class lines, and I’d have to hold my breath and vote with the populists.

  48. “That’s basically all the ACA does.”

    I’m under the impression it does much more.

    “Your opposition to the ACA doesn’t seem to involve all that much familiarity with the republican alternative.”

    I don’t think I stated my opposition, but I do think Trump must really love me.

  49. “And retirement savings.”

    Do you expand this to Social Security? That’s tied to employment too.

    The basic question is how do you de-link retirement savings from employment? At some level one must be employed (make money) to save. So, are you proposing a fund that a person carries with them from job to job? That’s social security. As long as you work, you pay into it. When you retire, you get to take from it.

  50. Why should health insurance be tied to employment anyway?

    And retirement savings.

    Not that anyone should notice a correlation between the amount of my postings and the difficulty/annoyance level of some of the paperwork required by a small business.

  51. I’m under the impression it does much more.

    Any examples other than the birth control mandate? Or are you referring to the end of lifetime caps? Or mental health care?

  52. if you’ll indulge me, here’s some self-promotion that’s on point and hopefully useful/interesting. (If not, just erase this. No offense!)

    I have two (readable journal) articles on the economics and politics of health care/insurance:
    http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=974
    http://www.realclearmarkets.com/blog/cj31n1-2.pdf

    And you might get a kick out of my book on Christianity and public policy, where I take both the Religious Left and the Religious Right to the woodshed: Turn Neither to the Right nor to the Left.

  53. “At some level one must be employed (make money) to save. ”

    Ahem, if one spouse in a community property state works, the incomes belongs equally to both spouses. Actually if the other spouse works too, the income belongs equally to both spouses.

    “What’s yours is ,mine and what’s mine is yours”

    So, a stay at home parent with a working spouse should be allowed to contribute to a retirement account, just as the working spouse is.

  54. The ACA does a lot of things:
    Preventive care
    Coordination of deductibles with out of pocket max ( big for people on lots of Rx)
    End of lifetime limits
    Employer mandated coverage
    End of expensive mini med policies that provide no protection
    Coverage to age 26 ( important to totebaggers with kids in grad school)
    No rescissions except for fraud
    Expanded Medicaid
    The exchanges for individual coverage

    Besides the no pre existing coverages.

    No Republican has come up with anything that begins to approach this.

  55. One of the aspects of the ACA that I struggle with, (and I generally support the ACA) is the coverage requirements. No company can sell my family a policy that does not cover pregnancy, for instance. Part of the reason policies are so expensive under the ACA is that they are required to cover a broad spectrum of services, and some people might prefer not to pay for coverage of pregnancy or rehab.

  56. “So, a stay at home parent with a working spouse should be allowed to contribute to a retirement account, just as the working spouse is.”

    Absolutely. But, if we talk pre-tax, then the unemployed spouse cannot make pre-tax contributions because that spouse is not taxed like a working spouse. If we are talking post-tax, then the spouse already has vehicles to do so – you can open your own IRA not tied to employment.

  57. “Absolutely. But, if we talk pre-tax, then the unemployed spouse cannot make pre-tax contributions because that spouse is not taxed like a working spouse.”

    Why not? Marriage is a partnership, particularly in a community property state. If the couple files married, filing jointly, why shouldn’t the money be contributed pre tax?

  58. As someone who is not Judeo-Christian the overt evangelicalism of the Republican candidates is baffling and concerning. I just don’t understand the mentality of ‘well my religion says this so everyone has to follow it’ it’s so far away from the way i was brought up it baffles me.

    I have zero connection to Christmas (as a religious holiday) but I love decorating and sparkly lights and the music and will watch every single Hallmark/lifetime christmas movie. but if someone doesn’t like those things its ok and they don’t have to wish me if they don’t want to

  59. Part of the reason policies are so expensive under the ACA is that they are required to cover a broad spectrum of services, and some people might prefer not to pay for coverage of pregnancy or rehab.

    In case of pregnancy, if it wasn’t mandatory, then you’d have exorbitantly expensive plans for women age 18 to 42 and everyone else would pay less. Children being a public good, do we really want only those women to pay for the cost of bring the next generation into the world?

    As for rehab, we have a hard time telling someone who got addicted to oxy during her cancer treatment that because she decided not to pay for rehab coverage she’s SOL.

  60. HFN – Why should any member of an insurance pool be allowed to opt out of sharing the cost to serve pregnant women and addicts seeking treatment? As a contributing member of society, you can’t just opt out of paying the portion of your taxes that covers some service you don’t use. We all benefit from healthy mothers & babies and rehabilitated addicts.

  61. “some people might prefer not to pay for coverage of pregnancy or rehab.”

    So you prefer not to pay for rehab, but what happens when you have a stroke and will not be able to function without rehab? Do you just go without? Do you go bankrupt? The whole point of insurance is to plan for the unimaginable, which is why I always find the idea of “preferring to not to pay for XYZ coverage” or “after analyzing my costs this year, I only need insurance for XYZ” to be so utterly baffling.

  62. Ah, by rehab you mean drug rehab? Still the same – there are an awful lot of people out there who became addicted due to chronic severe back pain.

  63. And what happens if you elect not to get rehab coverage, and then your 15 year old gets in with the wrong crowd and needs the services? It *can* happen to any of us with kids.

  64. “Why not? Marriage is a partnership, particularly in a community property state. If the couple files married, filing jointly, why shouldn’t the money be contributed pre tax?”

    Under the current system, you suggestion is not possible. However, couldn’t the unemployed spouse just ask the employed spouse to up the contribution percent? What is the origin of the money from the unemployed spouse (savings?)? In the end, the source doesn’t matter, but it does to me in this example because I feel like I’m missing something obvious.

    Now, if Rhett has an idea to uncouple retirement and employment, then the answer to your question is probably going to be yes. I do not have an idea to do this. Not in a way that forces savings, which is what pre-tax contributions are. Sadly, people need forced savings. If we don’t want forced saving, then a system could be set up that takes all contributions as post-tax, but counts as a deductible on your income tax filing to get you back some of the pre-tax benefit. More paperwork though.

  65. Rhode,

    I think we are talking past each other.

    Under the current system, you suggestion is not possible.

    I was talking about a system in a better world, run by the benevolent dictator, ME,

    The source of the unemployed spouse’s earning is the employed spouse.

    A few days ago, I was whining about the difficulty of setting up SIMPLE retirement accounts, which led to a discussion about why retirement account contribution limits were tied to employer decisions about what type of retirement account the employer offered. And that it might be fairer to have the same contribution limits regardless of whether the account was provided by the employer (aka 401b, 457) or by the individual (IRA, etc)

  66. “Can someone explain to me the difference between Rubio and Cruz, other than Rubio is more liked by his fellow congressmen?”

    Perhaps Cruz still has some money in his retirement accounts?

  67. “y’all keep forgetting Ben Carson in your analyses. Last I heard, he was still in the race..”

    Not if you listen to the Cruz camp.

  68. WCE – the Atlantic has an article on mortgage rates to Hispanics and Blacks;

    From the article: “According to [the researchers], even after controlling for general risk considerations, such as credit score, loan-to-value ratio, subordinate liens, and debt-to-income ratios, Hispanic Americans are 78 percent more likely to be given a high-cost mortgage, and black Americans are 105 percent more likely. ”

    “The greater exposure of minorities to the high-cost loan marketplace accounted for about 60 to 65 percent of the differential in loans, the researchers found. And once committed to these lenders, minorities were likely to receive worse terms, such as higher or fluctuating interest rates, than whites, even if they had similar financial profiles. ”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/02/blacks-hispanics-mortgages/471024/

  69. “So, are you proposing a fund that a person carries with them from job to job? That’s social security.”

    So are IRAs, which can include funds rolled over from 401k or 403b.

  70. From a practical standpoint, my vote will not matter in the POTUS election (I hate the electoral college system) because my state is so solidly D. Thus I will continue my (quixotic, according to some) tradition of voting for the L candidate to try to get the L candidate automatically on the ballot for the next election.

    My state does not have POTUS primaries, but it does have caucuses. DS wanted to go to the D caucus, but it’s on the same night that Sarah Chang will be performing here, so that was an easy choice. He also thought about the R caucus, but he has a conflict with a school activity.

  71. I have a friend who refuses, even under ACA, to get health insurance as it costs too much. We have been through many scenarios and the response is always, the ER/doctor will give me a bill and I will pay on it as I can or I will refuse treatment. I know ER care cannot refuse you based on ability to pay, but my understanding is that no one else doctors and facilities are required to treat you if you cannot pay.

    About MM earlier point on un-insurable. Even some employer plans, pre ACA, excluded pre-existing conditions. It was a news item some years back that an employed young woman, always had asthma, didn’t have the money to pay for her inhaler until her next pay check – insurance wouldn’t cover any part of it as it was treatment of a pre-existing condition, had an attack and died before the ambulance got to her. Half the response was that she was irresponsible for not having the money and/or getting her prescription; the other half was horrified that she could be denied access to the medication.

  72. Just got home from perfect morning with my youngest granddaughter, so I am particularly mellow today, even about the state of the nation.

    I agree with Rhett that a President Trump would not have any reason to advance a religious agenda, but that doesn’t mean he would choose to stand in the way of wider party forces that did have such an agenda. Prior Republican Presidents, with the support of the party elders who wanted conservative religious votes and not policy, could manage to avoid action because of divided government or more important priorities or just because the votes are in the bag anyway. Trump would advance a nativist agenda, which does have a bias by reason of historical era of immigration toward those of white north and western European, usually Protestant, origins.

    I appreciate Cordelia’s response and her clear explanation of how equal access mandates might affect ordinary non discriminatory business practice. I don’t happen to agree that because it is 2016 historical discrimination is all but eradicated and we can relax. I don’t really want to find out how it would turn out if it became okay to refuse to do business with anyone with a Muslim appearance, accent or surname, or if the police, as they were in Arizona briefly, were empowered to hold in jail until documentary proof was produced anyone whose complexion, name or language gave the officer the impression that they might be an illegal immigrant. (My Greek friends had some harrowing stories after 9-11.)

    Eric S., I was hoping that you would weigh in. I am aware that you have written on these subjects.

    As for wedding cakes, I came up with a reasonable solution. A bakery could offer to the general public a catalog of stock wedding cakes – say three choices each of number of tiers, flavors, decorating schemes, color palettes. These cakes would be sold with room for a standard sized topper that the buyer would purchase independently – the permutations and personal style variations are widely available online. The cakes would be store pick up only, either by the buyer or the caterer. Custom cakes and delivery would still be available, but only by special order “from the trade” – a prescreened select list of wedding planners, caterers and/or venues.

  73. Of all the so-called major candidates, the one I see as the least worst is Kasich (due in part, no doubt, to how little I know about him), followed by Trump.

    I think Trump is a real wild card who is playing all of us, and he knows his outrageousness is part of his appeal. But I don’t think he is an idiot, and as Milo suggests, if he becomes POTUS, we will see much different behavior.

    I don’t like the religious conservatism of the others, and Rubio especially seems like he would want to put us on a backward path socially (and RMS is right, and that’s why we need to vote against candidates who would do that, when we can).

  74. WCE, in hindsight I”m disappointed that Romney decided not to run, as I see him as a better candidate than anyone else, with the possible exception of Trump.

  75. “The source of the unemployed spouse’s earning is the employed spouse.

    A few days ago, I was whining about the difficulty of setting up SIMPLE retirement accounts, which led to a discussion about why retirement account contribution limits were tied to employer decisions about what type of retirement account the employer offered. And that it might be fairer to have the same contribution limits regardless of whether the account was provided by the employer (aka 401b, 457) or by the individual (IRA, etc)”

    So, in your experience as a business owner and retirement planner, do you have an idea to uncouple employment and retirement?

    Would the system be mandatory (you don’t have to work, but you do have to have an account), with no minimum or monthly requirements (again voluntary the whole way)? And how would it handle the folks who don’t save (i.e. open the account and then put nothing in it)? Would this effort replace social security? If it does, how the country deal with the non-savers? If it doesn’t, then the non-savers are dealt their SS payouts (tied to income taxes, I guess).

  76. “”If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.” — Lindsey Graham, earlier today.

    I would love to know more about how Cruz managed to alienate everyone to this extent.

  77. This campaign has been an interest contrast. Hillary started out so strong that she scared away just about everyone else (it didn’t help when Biden’s son passed). I think a large part of Sanders’ support is due to the fact that he is not Hillary. (SNL might have helped too; after seeing Larry David as Sanders, I was ready to vote for him).

    OTOH, the R side started wide open, and despite some elimination (Jeb! > Jeb? > Job?), it’s still open.

    One thing that’s still tantalizing on the D side is the possibility of something, most likely the email issue, blowing up in Hillary’s face. Hillary’s history suggests she has other skeletons in her closet that have yet to be brought to widespread attention.

  78. “I think Trump is a real wild card who is playing all of us, and he knows his outrageousness is part of his appeal. But I don’t think he is an idiot, and as Milo suggests, if he becomes POTUS, we will see much different behavior.”

    So you really think that The Donald will all of a sudden become himself and not the celebrity? Do you think he has real ideas on how to solve our problems and work across the aisle rather than making it wider?

    I’m not so sure. Nor do I think I want to find out – that’s a pretty big gamble.

  79. Assuming Trump will mellow if elected seems like the naïve bride marrying the rakish cad, assuming that he’ll straighten up and fly right once he’s a married man. It’s a gamble with a four-year commitment that I’m just not ready to make. My biggest area of concern with him is in matters of state

  80. “I would love to know more about how Cruz managed to alienate everyone to this extent.”

    His downturned eyebrows and lack of crow’s feet.

  81. Perhaps Cruz still has some money in his retirement accounts?

    Courtesy of his wife the Goldman Sachs executive.

  82. Courtesy of his wife the Goldman Sachs executive.

    How could anyone with free will and her own money marry that clown?

  83. “I’m not so sure. Nor do I think I want to find out – that’s a pretty big gamble.”

    Which is a bigger gamble, Trump as the R candidate, or Rubio, who has stated positions indicating he will attempt to roll back social progress made recently?

    I agree with Mémé’s concern about religion, and one thing Trump has not done is give any indication that he will attempt to force any religious views on the country.

  84. I rarely agree with WCE anything political, but I thought Romney might be an excellent president. I was prepared to vote for him when it looked like he was going to run against John Edwards. Howeve, Romney the presidential candidate was so different than Romney the governor. He seemed to move backwards on healthcare, abortion, and many other issues.

  85. If Trump is elected, how long until Trump House is emblazoned on the White House in huge letters?

  86. I’m a Republican, but have been a big fan of Obama. Not sure that I will vote in this upcoming election, because I really do not like any of the candidates. Given where I live, it doesn’t really matter anyways.

  87. @Temp Handle – you’re absolutely right. Your doctors are required to treat you under any circumstance. They are also allowed to bill you. In some states they cannot or do not aggressively collect their bills, but in most places they do.

    However, ERs cannot provide much of the care that a person might need. Beyond management of chronic conditions, there are acute ( but not emergent) issues such as gallbladder disease, cancer, etc that can crop up in an otherwise healthy person and require extensive medical care. If you go to the emergency department for abdominal pain and they do a CAT scan to evaluate for appendicitis, and find that you have a tumor on your kidney, it may be very difficult to get that biopsied and treated without insurance. The ER can’t do it, and private physicians won’t do it.

    To be fair, most large communities have systems in place that will enable a person to get discount or free medical care through an academic hospital or public clinic. This requires significant executive function to navigate. This is why it was so galling when President Bush noted that we did have healthcare for everyone, as anyone could be seen in an emergency department.

  88. OT, this has been an epic car buying experience.

    Whoever told me to go to Carmax (Fred? Finn?) should get dinner on me, because they beat the dealership by $2k (about 20%) on our trade in.

    I have also learned that most “new” prior year models still on the lot are loaners.

    Will post whole story when I am done in a few hours.

  89. I will be voting democrat this election, Bernie in the primary. I’ve never voted D for president before, except Obama in the primary (liked him better than HRC)

  90. Sky, while I would love the dinner, I wasn’t the one who suggested Carmax.

    “I have also learned that most “new” prior year models still on the lot are loaners.”

    Would the category of loaners also include demo cars, the ones used for test drives? IME, those are often the hiighest end, most loaded models.

  91. Cruz is a natural born US citizen by virtue of the fact that his mother is a US citizen and she appears to pass the residence tests described below, which apply to his birth as well as to Obama’s. Prior to the change in the mid 20th century, if an individual was born abroad only the children of US citizen fathers were deemed citizens at birth. Children of US citizen mothers and foreign citizen fathers had to obtain citizenship via naturalization. The details of the law changed frequently from 1934 to 1986.

    The reason Obama’s place of birth was an issue to some was the law in effect when he was born for a child born outside the US – If only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, that parent must have resided in the U.S. for at least ten years, and at least five of those years must have been after he/she reached the age of 14. His mom was very young at his birth and she might have failed the 5 year test, and how could anyone prove it at this point.

    Married filing jointly as a tax status was established because the different treatment of marital earnings in English common law states and French/Spanish community property states led to different tax outcomes for similarly situated people, and most married couples back then had one earner. Of course, that means that similarly situated workers are taxed differently based on marital status. No system can balance equity perfectly, in money or personal freedom or regulation of trade/use/action.

  92. I don’t know for whom I will vote. I’m registered R, so at least I’ll get a ticket into that part of the (primary) game. Our state is solidly D, much like Finn’s, so my vote really won’t matter a lot.

  93. I rate this field as worse than 2012 and that makes me sad. I will vote against Trump in the primary (for whoever has the best chance of beating him). I am at a loss as to who I would vote for in a Trump vs. Hilary contest.

  94. ” my vote really won’t matter a lot.”

    My #1 reason for not liking the electoral college. Seriously, we want people to get out to vote, but then tell them their vote doesn’t count because their state is Dem/Rep, or the electoral college. Why vote if all you ever hear is “my vote doesn’t count”, or “my vote only counts if I’m a corporation”

    Count me as someone who’s vote doesn’t matter – I live in a democratic machine state. HRC had the vote way back in 2008, and will have it again in 2016.

  95. Rhode, Fred, please consider voting L for the reason I gave earlier– it could help the L candidate automatically be on the ballot for the next election.

  96. I’m guessing the fully loaded car was a demo, and the loaners are relatively spartan versions.

  97. I’m not registered to either party, but I’m tempted to go to the R caucus and vote for Kasich. If all the haters of Trump, Cruz, and Rubio show up perhaps a shift could happen? But I have no intention of spending an hour with my two little ones up past their bedtime to attend a caucus meeting. I primary would be so much easier.

  98. One good thing is that there is ample pre-voting in Texas, so voting is very convenient. You don’t have to go on election day.

  99. “You don’t have to go on election day.”

    DW and I have permanent absentee balloting, aka voting by mail for all elections until/unless we opt out.

    WCE, don’t you have all elections conducted by mail? Any problems? Our state has discussed that, especially when a recent election was disrupted by the aftermath of a hurricane that prevented many people from reaching polling places.

  100. SWVA Mom – I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said today. Hillary bothers me quite a bit from an ethical standpoint, but the alternatives are not good.

    Cruz is creepy and exudes the aura of an a-hole. I can’t put it in better words. He is inherently unlikable.

  101. I loathe Trump, but would have to vote for him if he is running against Hillary. As Milo pointed out, she is a criminal and liar and there is no way she is getting my vote. I have the same visceral reaction to Cruz that others have described, Carson is way over his head, and Kasich is probably on his way out. Sanders has a lot of bad ideas, but he’s neither stupid nor venal, so I could possibly vote for him instead of Trump if Hillary goes down. Rubio is the best of the sub-optimal field of candidates. It would be great if Cruz stepped aside and let Rubio have the nomination, with Nikki Haley as his VP.

    On the religion thing — though I am (trying to be) an orthodox Catholic, I share some of Meme’s concerns over the religious issues. I don’t need the President to be a religious person, but I would prefer that he/she at least made an attempt at living by the Ten Commandments. I would rather have an honest atheist than a faux Christian like Obama or Trump or Clinton. I have no sympathy for the county clerk who didn’t want to issue gay marriage licenses, but I don’t think that Notre Dame or the Little Sisters of the Poor should be forced to violate their religious convictions in order to placate the Planned Parenthood faction of the Democratic party. If the government is convinced that women don’t have access to contraception (which is demonstrably NOT the case, but whatever), the government can find a way to provide it directly. When my kids were in public school, I did not appreciate the extent to which the system went out of its way to avoid using the word “Christmas” in connection with the generic Winter Holidays Which Just Happened to Coincide Each Year with Christmas. What people say to one another during those winter holidays is another story, and everyone is free to insult others by using their preferred greeting. Unlike some of my observant friends, I do NOT want the government to be run according to Catholic or Christian teachings.

  102. Finn,
    the way it’s done here is by party line. e.g. trump might be listed on the R, Independence, Conservative, and Libertarian lines. If that’s the case I could vote for him on the independence line and if that line gets enough votes, the party will automatically qualify for the next election.

  103. “One good thing is that there is ample pre-voting in Texas, so voting is very convenient. You don’t have to go on election day.”

    We have Early Voting too, and I chose it everytime. I walked a block over during my lunch break earlier this week and voted – you can vote at any early voting place in the city with no need to go within your ward. Our primary is March 15th. There were 50 machines, and I was the only person there. Lines will get longer as it gets closer.

  104. It seems as though there is an open question of law as to whether Cruz is a natural born citizen. Certainly con law experts disagree. What I find so fantastic is that the undocumented immigrant children born here have a much clearer right.

  105. Trump versus Hillary…..

    I haven’t figured out who I would vote for.

    Hilary is a liar, a crook, and will do anything to get/stay in power.

    Trump want big government that he runs.

    Sanders v Trump…Sanders
    Hilary v Cruz…ick…Cruz
    Hilary v Rubio Rubio
    Hilary v Kasich…..I could actually vote for someone, instead of against someone.

  106. Thanks for finally explaining the natural born citizenship issues with Obama and Rubio. I had always thought that if your mom was a citizen, you were, no matter where you were born.

  107. I am not registered with either party, but am voting in the R primary. My vote is going to Kasich, even though I think it’s likely he will drop out.

  108. Cordelia – here is a good summary https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

    But none of that answers the natural born part and what that means. Scalia-esque interpretations would conclude that you are only a natural born citizen if you were born on US soil since that is what the framers intended and any other way (by Congress) is a naturalized process, even if you don’t have to take any steps. Others will say that Congress is free to define what a natural born citizen is and that is why McCain and Romney Sr were free to run despite not being born in the US.

  109. “As a contributing member of society, you can’t just opt out of paying the portion of your taxes that covers some service you don’t use. We all benefit from healthy mothers & babies and rehabilitated addicts.”
    Wow. I am pretty sure I did not suggest that. I thought I just observed that my private, non-subsidized, $1700 per month health plan, which I’m required to buy, was a one size fits all plan.

  110. What I find so fantastic is that the undocumented immigrant children born here have a much clearer right.

    How can you have a clearer right than being born here? Cruz was born in Canada and was by birth a Canadian citizen and remained so until 2013.

  111. From that Cruz article they seem to hate him in the Senate because he’s the world’s worst co-worker. Per the sentencing reform proposal, it’s like if you were presenting an idea at work and your best work friend tore into you without warning to try to score brownie points with the boss.

  112. Rhett – you can’t. That is the point. The anchor babies he despises have a clear right, whereas he doesn’t, at least under some interpretations.

  113. I wonder if having other world leaders hate the POTUS is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m thinking it’s a bad thing for friendly countries, but I’m wondering about someone like Putin.

  114. Back to the car saga:

    Last night I called four dealers, and confirmed that the six 2015 models we are interested in were still for sale.

    This morning I sent each salesperson an email indicating we are willing to buy tomorrow for the right price, and asking for the
    MSRP
    All discounts and rebates
    All fees and charges
    Sales tax and registration fees
    The final amount we would write a check for to drive the car home by noon

    Plus current mileage and the window sticker so we could confirm color and options.

    The first hint of trouble was when someone directing my call referred to it as the loaner. Four out of five remaining turned out to be loaners. Make sure you ask, because no one volunteered this information in the listings.

    MSRP ranged from $48k to $53k, and the offered price without sales tax was $42k-$45k. Truecar value on the 2016 new model with the exact colors and options we want is $46k.

    Considering the lost value at 40 cents/mile and the $3k in rebates available to everyone, the additional discount offered was about $2k per car.

    For last year’s model. Used.

    The bright spot of the day was the experience with CarMax, which I would recommend. Half an hour of my time, fair estimate, pleasant staff.

  115. “How can you have a clearer right than being born here?”

    That wasn’t clear to a lot of Obama birthers.

  116. Sky, since you now know that you are looking at used cars, have you compared the asking price to blue book?

  117. The current Republican primary season continues to exemplify all of the things that prevent me from considering switching sides. On the one side, you have Trump, who is Mr. Free-Market bow-at-the-altar-of-capitalism, who loves to talk about personal responsibility and bootstraps while happily taking advantage of the bankruptcy system to avoid paying for any of his own mistakes. On the other, you have several who would be more than happy to inflict their religious beliefs all over my life, because apparently “small government” matters only in the economic sphere.

    I have been a Hillary supporter, but you guys have done a good job persuading me on the email issue, and that bothers me a lot. Still, the alternatives on the other side seem to be between really significantly horrible foreign and monetary policy that will do significant, long-term damage (sure, let’s let the US default on its debt — I did it a bunch of times, and look at me now!), or rolling back at least the last 50 years of social progress. Whereas get the impression Hillary will think a lot about the issues and try to make a reasonable decision — if she does make it, she will have a lot of weight on her shoulders and a lot to prove, so I suspect she will err on the side of “let’s not F things up irreparably”). So given the choices, I am still in her camp.

    I do agree, though, that my liking of Sanders probably has a lot to do with Larry David’s portrayal, which was truly Tina Fey-worthy. Maybe Larry David should run for President.

  118. DH isn’t home yet, but I am leaning toward buying a 2016 instead.

    Blue book is $39k, considering options and mileage.

  119. RMS, you’ll have to ask your spouse what my liability is if I refuse to sell a cake to or hire a fat lesbian on the grounds that she’s fat, not on the grounds that she’s lesbian. Some of these details are beyond me.
    Finn, all our elections are vote-by-mail. I think it’s great and would be great anywhere fraud is uncommon. As far as I know, no one is mailing back identically-filled-out ballots from nursing homes so any imperfections in the system are outweighed by participation and time savings.

    ATM, here’s a chart from a federal reserve paper showing subprime default rates by race. Your Atlantic article said, “the researchers suggest focusing on the way lenders do business, specifically ending the division of major lenders’ subsidiaries into “prime” and “subprime” entities, which can unfairly channel minorities into riskier, more expensive loans for no good reason.”

    If minorities are getting subprime loans for “no good reason”, we should expect their cumulative default rates to be lower than those of comparable whites. In fact, minority borrowers have subprime default rates much higher than those of financially comparable white borrowers in this federal reserve paper, which I have no reason to suspect is unrepresentative. If anything, the data is probably worse after Bush’s 2002 minority loan initiative. (See Table 3 of this federal reserve paper to observe that white subprime borrowers had ~5% cumulative default rates compared to 8-10% average for Black and Hispanic borrowers. http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/ppdp/2008/ppdp0806.pdf)

    The Atlantic wants to use “racism” as an explanation for many correlations that do not meet my (admittedly narrow) definition of racist. Banks exist to make money. They want to be paid back with interest. They do not want to loan to borrowers who do not pay them back, regardless of race. Two reasons come to mind as to why Blacks/Hispanics might be more likely to default, given the same borrower finance credentials.
    1) They are less likely to have extended family members who will step in to pay the mortgage in the event of disability, divorce, or unemployment.
    2) They are more likely to live in expensive urban areas, compared to whites, who are likely to live in cheap, rural areas. It’s easier to find a job that lets you meet the payment on a $100k mortgage than on a $300k mortgage.

  120. SWVA – the Ted Cruz roommate Twitter feed is hilarious. That guy just creeps me out, he is so smarmy. This made me laugh..

    “Getting emails blaming me for not smothering Ted Cruz in his sleep in 1988. What kind of monster do you think I am? A really prescient one?”

  121. Sky, you might want to look up blue book on what they have, but leaving off the options you wouldn’t pay for if you had a choice. Then use that as a starting point, and make a lowball offer.

    I’m not familiar with Truecar. Is their estimate what you should expect to pay out the door?

    Another couple of thoughts, since you’re also looking at new 16 models:

    -Take a look at Costco.
    -If you or your DH belong to a credit union, see if they you can buy from them at set prices. It’s been a while, but I remember going to my CU, picking a car and options, and getting a firm price.

    Perhaps one of those options can get you a lower price than Truecar, in which case, unless the dealers are willing to drop their price, you might be better off buying new.

    OTOH, since you now know you’ve been looking at used cars, and you liked Carmax– could you buy a car through or from them? Is that an option worth exploring?

  122. Yes, Truecar estimates what price you can negotiate, and if you pay them a fee they will negotiate for you.

    The difficulty with used cars is that DH wants colors that about 2% of buyers seem to order (I’m exaggerating but only slightly). Plus a moonroof, which is on about 40% of cars.

    Of course we could compromise and save money.

    Once the purchase hits a certain threshold in terms of money and time of use, though, we rarely compromise, and a nearly new car falls in that category.

    DH says something like, “if we own this car for five years, the moonroof costs $20.67 per month, and since the car will still have value on resale it is really more like $13. I pay more than that for lunch.”

    That’s how we end up buying new cars ordered custom.

  123. We spent ~4 hours deciding which minivan we wanted while in a city with vehicles in stock where Grandma could watch the kids. Went home, did a couple hours of internet research, called and said we wanted to buy the car through the Costco program, picked up car the next (open) day with ~1 hr of paperwork. Done.

  124. WCE – It wasn’t obvious to me that the figures in that report are comparing apples to apples, controlling for general risk considerations within the subprime category.

    As for “for no good reason” – sounds like plain old greed to me.

  125. ATM, you’re right that the report didn’t necessarily control for variation within the general subprime category. But if The Atlantic article is correct- minority borrowers are being unfairly channeled to subprime mortgage products- we should expect to see lower minority borrower default rates, not higher ones, all else being equal.

    To your point about banks being “plain old greedy”- is the Pope Catholic? Of course banks are greedy. But that doesn’t convince me that banks don’t consider the loan interest paid back by Blacks and Hispanics to be just as green as that paid back by whites and Asians.

  126. “rolling back at least the last 50 years of social progress.”

    Seriously?
    Even Obama, with his expansive interpretation of executive power, can’t really do much to budge “social progress,” however one defines that term. The person in the White House has far less influence on such things than do state governments, the courts, and Congress.

  127. WCE – I’m not sure I’m following your point.

    If two people came in with the same credit history, etc., why is one charged a higher interest rate or other more onerous terms than another? That is the point of the Atlantic article.

    If a recession hits, of those same two people, I’d expect the one charged the higher rate/having more onerous terms to struggle with payments more.

    Just looking at subprime alone, won’t tease that out. It’s too big a group of mixed credit quality borrowers.

  128. I’m a Republican, but have been a big fan of Obama.

    Houston, you crack me up. This is maybe the fourth time you’ve said, “I’m conservative, but I support XYZ progressive candidate or program”. I think maybe you should start calling yourself an Independent.

  129. ATM, I think I see your point. You are saying there are so many “really poor credit risks” in the subprime category who are also minorities that the effect of the “really poor credit risks” dominates the effect of the moderately poor credit risks who might have qualified for prime rather than subprime if it weren’t for racial discrimination. Do I have that right?

    I’m saying if banks are discriminating against minorities sole because they are minorities (and not because they are, based on data not contained in their files, actually poorer credit risks), then we should expect to see lower default rates among subprime minority borrowers.

    I think the question comes down to how well credit history predicts repayment, how this varies by race (if it does), and who pays the cost of that delta or receives the benefit of that delta (lenders, the government, or ??)

    I think the EEOC should investigate why Jews are underrepresented among subprime borrowers, based on their credit history. I think banks may be discriminating in their favor.

  130. Sky, a moonroof has been an absolute necessity for every car I’ve gotten since I was 25. Your husband has excellent taste.

  131. I think the nomination of Sup Ct justices is one of the most powerful/far reaching things a President does. The next President could nominate replacements for Scalia, RBG, Breyer and Kennedy. That’s a whole lot of social progress that can be affected.

  132. ATM, I think I see your point. You are saying there are so many “really poor credit risks” in the subprime category who are also minorities that the effect of the “really poor credit risks” dominates the effect of the moderately poor credit risks who might have qualified for prime rather than subprime if it weren’t for racial discrimination. Do I have that right?

    I thought she was saying that these decisions should be race-blind. And in fact, you know perfectly well that’s what she was saying, you’re just being a Sophist, as is your occasional wont, and a snotty one at that.

  133. Will race-blind lending practices redound to the detriment of black, Hispanic, and other borrowers? Maybe. Why don’t we try it for real and see? You’re the one who usually argues that there’s no such thing as race, and that all divisions in society are class divisions.

  134. “I have been a Hillary supporter, but you guys have done a good job persuading me on the email issue, and that bothers me a lot.”

    Really, that’s all I want to hear.

    I was thinking earlier about this topic combined with the persuasive one, because I’ve realized that even when I disagree with many of the views here, I’ve come to highly respect the person, so I have to at least consider the merits of their argument, and I can usually find some common ground.

    Back to Hillary, what can be most infuriating is when supporters toeing the party line will insist that none of it matters, or that there’s something wrong with me for caring about these things. So maybe our modern, polarized politics has bred a self-reinforcing feedback loop along those lines. It’s probably the same effect that led to Bush Derangement Syndrome, or my FB friend (DH of DW’s college friend) to share memes like “Obama has ISIS right where he wants them…Coming into the United States.” (When I comment “Isn’t that a little outlandish?” he writes “Nope.”

    As for emails, I must have done a better job than I thought explaining SIPR and NIPR nets.

  135. I have said that I think the true problem of our age is classism, not racism. In this case, I think I was being a statistician, not a sophist. I was just using the Fed’s categories for race.

    I think lending practices are legally required to be race-blind, so banks are not legally allowed to consider the fact that credit history may not predict repayment equally well for all races. I suspect doing a statistical analysis on default rates similar to that completed by the Massachusetts Fed would be a Career Limiting Move at some banks.

    If banks discriminate against minorities, why do you think minority default rates are roughly double white default rates, and Asian default rates are so low as to be ignored from the study?

  136. Is it really that odd that I don’t care about the moral character of ANY of the candidates? Cruz is apparently a nasty piece of work, Trump is lying about a variety of things including his religious beliefs, etc. Maybe Hillary is, after all, the anti-Christ, but who will she put on the Supreme Court? Will she protect reproductive freedom? My progressive friends hate her because she’s a neo-Con on foreign relations. Well, that’s bad, but it doesn’t override my preference for most of her policies. And if Cruz supported the policies I prefer, I’d vote for him, even if all his Princeton classmates hate him and he’s the biggest douchebag on the planet.

  137. All this talk of subprime has me thinking about The Big Short. Lauren can correct me if I am wrong – bankers believed what their models told them, there could not be greater than x% defaults on subprime. Being on the East Coast, just like the banker team in the movie – I had no idea that you could get a mortgage without income or credit history. We were asked for all documentation and considered but didn’t go in for an ARM because DH didn’t want the possibility of a higher payment in the future.

  138. I don’t really care about the moral character of any of them. I care about the ability not to be a loose cannon and to maintain control. If nothing else, I think Hillary has fantastic self-control and is very calculating. I love that about her. Many others think this is a huge flaw.

  139. The problem with current republicans is that they are all sophists- Government is too big, government is passing costly regulations etc etc etc on issues that affect them, but are entirely comfortable with government actions when it comes to curtailing personal liberties that their own religion proscribes. I do question Hillary’s judgement on certain issues (email being a minor one for me) but overall foreign policy! But I think that short sighted foreign policy is a hallmark of our politicians, not just Hillary!
    But by god, I will take a Hillarynover any of the current republican candidates!

  140. On the Supreme Court topic, I think the GOP candidate, even if that’s Trump, will be motivating a lot of turnout with guns. Guns and Heller. You’re going to hear so much about guns between this Spring and November, it will make your head spin (if you’re in CO, NC, FL, VA, etc.) Guns vs. abortion. And Hillary will probably have to re-adopt to her Annie Oakley persona, as the President so aptly described it.

    I thought this was an interesting commentary

    Particularly:

    With control of the Supreme Court on the line. It’ll be easy for The Donald to assure the base here: I loved Scalia — what a class act. Maybe I’d appoint his son — what a gorgeous service that was. Why can’t we put a priest on the court? By the way, the Catholics love me . . . Anyway, we’ll practically clone Scalia, and maybe that Alito guy too. I love Italians — such a warm people. Clarence Thomas — what a mensch. They tried the same crap with him that they’re trying with me. A great American.

  141. “Asian default rates are so low”
    The thinking is that with a mortgage, the bank not you owns the house – the building equity doesn’t factor into the thought process, I don’t own it outright – it’s almost like renting.

  142. “Is it really that odd that I don’t care about the moral character of ANY of the candidates?”

    As sexual assault and “rape culture” have become an increasingly popular topic in the past decade, does Hillary’s history here not bother you at all?

  143. “My progressive friends hate her because she’s a neo-Con on foreign relations.”

    What do those progressive friends think of her economic policy, and her close ties with Wall St.?

  144. “minority default rates are roughly double white default rates, and Asian default rates are so low as to be ignored from the study?”

    So on one hand race-aware college admission policies screw Asians, and OTOH race-blind lending policies screw Asians.

  145. ““My progressive friends hate her because she’s a neo-Con on foreign relations.””

    On this issue, my brother, Alex Keaton as a teen, has become almost a one-issue voter who voted for Obama solely because he was less interventionist than McCain. He doesn’t really have any candidate this year since Rand Paul dropped out.

    He’s gotten very suspicious of increased police power and abuses, but he’s also very pro-gun rights (even though none of us own guns), on the basis that civilization is a lot more tenuous than many people assume.

  146. “He doesn’t really have any candidate this year since Rand Paul dropped out.”

    I very much liked Paul’s position on inverventionism.

  147. As sexual assault and “rape culture” have become an increasingly popular topic in the past decade, does Hillary’s history here not bother you at all?

    Nope. And if the Donald supported women’s rights and reproductive rights, the fact that he’s been unfaithful and has had bunches of wives and so on wouldn’t bother me either.

  148. So on one hand race-aware college admission policies screw Asians, and OTOH race-blind lending policies screw Asians.

    Well, no. If your credit score is good, then you’re fine, Asian or otherwise. And housing lending is not the zero-sum game that college admissions is.

  149. Prior to the American Dream Act under President Bush in 2002, loans to risky borrowers (of any race) with no down payment were quite rare. The American Dream Act was an effort to expand home ownership among underrepresented minorities. It appears that few Asians sought subprime mortgages with no/minimal down payments during the period that they were widely available.

  150. I am not able to respond to your comment about the Big Short because I’m still recovering from that shocking comment about Jews. I hope it’s a sarcastic joke, but I’m not sure if it is a joke.

    I never knew you could track repayment rates on any type of loan by religion. After spending almost 25 years in the industry, I find something new on The Totebag.

    Anyway, there were models. The models were impressive, but greed did take over. The book and the movie are fairly accurate. The movie actually explains why some things got out of control. The original mortgage backed and asset backed securities were great. I worked on deals for over many years and there were just two defaults. Both of those were due to real fraud. Even asset backed deals for companies that went bankrupt didn’t default. Worldcom is an example of this because the underlying assets and the people that paid their bills were fine.

    The problems really began when they ran out of clients that could really pay back mortgages, and it became so easy to borrow. I remember one moment at a first bday party for a neighbors kid. I knew we had reached a low point, when this guy told me that Chase was giving him the money for free. I must have told him ten different ways that banks don’t do anything for free. It was guys like this that were receiving these crazy cheap mortgages, and my peers that were repackaging the garbage into more garbage.

  151. If the EEOC is chartered with seeking out discrimination based on race, religion, etc., shouldn’t they be LOOKING for evidence of discrimination in something as significant as mortgage subprime lending and repayment rates? I suspect quantitative analysis is so good that the EEOC could break down mortgage lending and repayment rates based on race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation and religion. If the EEOC isn’t doing this, how do we know banks are following the laws? This ties into my usual question about whether a “disparate impact” is evidence of discrimination.

    Of course, the root of this is my belief that there are now so many protected classes that almost all of us will be part of one at one time or another, and that there will be pros and cons, and that we should structure our lives to “just deal with it” except in egregious cases, like redlining. I think that engineers who are 7 months pregnant with twins are discriminated against in hiring, but I don’t expect the federal government to create a bureaucracy to investigate and deal with the situation.

  152. Interesting perspective:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/25/donald-trump-supporters-brexit-preference-falsfication-2016-primaries-column/80856410/

    Brilliant point:

    It used to be, of course, that the lower and middle classes were stuffy and constrained by social convention while the freethinkers at universities and in the ruling class got to experiment with unconventional ideas. If their experimenting got enough success, then it might eventually filter down to ordinary people. (The sexual revolution worked this way, more or less).

    But now it’s our ruling class that is hidebound by political correctness…

  153. I think that engineers who are 7 months pregnant with twins are discriminated against in hiring

    Pregnant women are a protected class in employment.

  154. Whoops, I think I’m wrong about which federal bureaucracy is supposed to look into cases of discrimination. Sorry. I don’t know which federal bureaucracy is charged with ensuring that discrimination laws are followed when businesses are dealing with customers.

  155. But now it’s our ruling class that is hidebound by political correctness…

    It so isn’t. The Totebag class is, but as you repeatedly have pointed out, the actual ruling class isn’t constrained by any morality.

  156. I think that perhaps what is getting lost in this very confusing back and forth about subprime loans is that subprime loans are WORSE for the borrower and better for the loan originator, i.e. in the end they have higher fees, higher rates, and have terms and more frequent re-sets that are more likely to trip up borrowers. So once you have a subprime loan when you could have qualified for a regular loan, any bit of bad luck is going to make it more likely that you will run into trouble repaying it and eventually default than if you had received the loan your equally situated coworker got. And it is even worse when some more predators come along and get you to refinance into an even worse loan, just so they can collect their fees.

    The people who were originating a lot of these mortgages were not Bedford Falls’ Bailey Building and Loan or even your local branch of Big National Bank. They were specialized mortgage companies (who often worked with large banks) who collected higher fees from subprime. What was documented in the Atlantic article was that qualified African American buyers were disproportionately steered away from loans that were better for them, but not as profitable to the mortgage lenders.

  157. ATM and RMS have forced me to think a lot today, and I recognize another correction I should make.

    Analysis of subprime borrowers by race/religion/sexual orientation/sex is the language of evidence, and percentages are a zero sum game in that if some groups are overrepresented, some are underrepresented. I remain unconvinced that assigning the federal government to write and occasionally enforce discrimination law will achieve social justice.

    But statistics isn’t the crux of their social justice argument. Racism exists in the sense that it’s still hard to be Black or Hispanic in this country. Those of us (is anyone a majority?) who don’t experience negative stereotypes often don’t focus on those harms, or on the sense of loneliness that successful Blacks and Hispanics without a local peer group experience. An African American female professional acquaintance recently moved away, and I suspect part of her decision was that it’s hard for her to find people who like the same music or humor or dance styles.

    I like discussing politics, but it’s more important that those of you with different opinions on discrimination law recognize that I like and respect you. And that my opinions might be wrong.

  158. But now it’s our ruling class that is hidebound by political correctness…

    It so isn’t. The Totebag class is, but as you repeatedly have pointed out, the actual ruling class isn’t constrained by any morality.

    Political correctness is different from morality.  An immoral person can be very politically correct.

  159. “Those of us (is anyone a majority?) who don’t experience negative stereotypes often don’t focus on those harms, or on the sense of loneliness that successful Blacks and Hispanics without a local peer group experience.”

    Who among us has NOT experienced a negative stereotype? No question that it can be hard to be black or Hispanic in this country, but it is also hard to be a female in a male profession, a Jew among Christians, a Catholic among secular liberals, a nerd among jocks, a working class student among trust fund kids. Or vice versa. I think that most of us understand that feeling very well; it’s just hard to know how what to do about it. One of the reasons this board is such an addiction is that, as others have noted, it provides the opportunity to have conversations with people whom we do like and respect that we could never have as easily IRL.

  160. WCE – I think it is the CFPB today that is the agency looking out for the borrowers. I am pretty sure there were other government agencies before the formation of the CFPB came along that were tasked with the same mission. They failed.
    From what I have read there are several non bank lenders that have recently started up. They seem to be far less regulated than the banks. Who are they lending to, what rates are they charging their customers, what is their risk profile ? Also, subprime is coming back under different guises. Even with all the regulation, there is still risky lending out there.

  161. Tone of voice is hard to communicate online. I like and respect you, WCE, and sorry if I came down on you too hard.

  162. Milo, Cordelia posted that link yesterday. I don’t know if it’s entirely accurate, but it’s telling that the WSJ Commentariat is kind of supportive. The editorial writers and the commenters have been at odds so far this year.

  163. If you are an unprotected American—one with limited resources and negligible access to power—you have absorbed some lessons from the past 20 years’ experience of illegal immigration.

    I grant you that many people feel that way, but is it actually true? We’ve talked before about Cordelia’s difficulty with finding legal workers for some of her projects. Are the undocumented really taking away jobs that documented workers want?

  164. sky,
    if you are going with a 2016, even ordering one to your spec, you should still seek bids from several dealers. Special order cars are additions to dealers’ allotments which is good for them in the future and may put them into the next level of bonus/incentive from the manufacturer.

    good luck.

  165. “If you are an unprotected American—one with limited resources and negligible access to power—you have absorbed some lessons from the past 20 years’ experience of illegal immigration.

    I grant you that many people feel that way, but is it actually true? We’ve talked before about Cordelia’s difficulty with finding legal workers for some of her projects. Are the undocumented really taking away jobs that documented workers want?”

    There is so much to unpack here….

    The costs of illegal immigration to someone of limited resources and negligible access to power go far beyond Citizen A losing a job to Illegal Alien B.

    Once a majority portion of the employees speak a certain language it becomes imperative that every employee speaks that language. You can’t run a company that is operating as the Tower of Babel, People need to be able to communicate with each other. In our operation, that means that everyone needs to be able to communicate passably in Spanish. In other farms, it might be Punjabi, or Armenian, or Hmong, but there needs to be a common language. So, those unprotected Americans with only one language (English), maybe don’t want the jobs that the undocumented have, but they also aren’t qualified, because they don’t speak the correct language.

    Another cost of immigration occurs at the schools….if schools are spending their time and resources getting English Language Learners kids to learn English, that time and resources are not being used on the kids who already speak English. And believe me, this is obvious and significant sore spot. Watching your kid be told to sit at the back of the classroom and that you should be happy that your kid doesn’t get help because they don’t need it is one of the lessons absorbed.

    Part of living in an area with diversity is seeing and hearing conversations. It is not uncommon to hear discussions of how to maximize SNAP, unemployment, Healthy Families (subsidized health insurance).

    Also, the DREAM act, and granting instate tuition and space in over crowded universities to undocumented immigrants is another sore spot.

  166. Funny how Sky and family went from buying a used car for short term to purchasing a special order! Car buying comes close to home buying with emotional and practical considerations. Keep us updated Sky! We are enjoying vicariously through you.

  167. “In wise governments the top is attentive to the realities of the lives of normal people, and careful about their anxieties. That’s more or less how America used to be. There didn’t seem to be so much distance between the top and the bottom.”

    I don’t know about that. The people at the top have ALWAYS been insulated from the effects of the policies they create. Think of the Boston in the 1970’s — the protected class imposed mandatory busing of unprotected black and white children while their own children were safe in private schools or public schools in totebag neighborhoods beyond the busing boundaries. In the 1960’s, the protected class kept their sons out of the draft with student and National Guard deferments. State university affirmative action policies affect middle- and working-class white students far more than the children of the protected class who can afford private colleges. Members of the protected classes are far less likely to be operating the sorts of small businesses that get shut of government contracts in favor of minority-owned firms.
    There has always been a distance between the top and the bottom.

  168. The same degree of insulation for the privileged also applies to policies designed to regulate personal behavior, in great part because they have money and access, and they can afford to ignore or have the opportunity and “bandwidth” to work around any inconveniences in leading their lives pretty much as they wish, even in violation of law.

    The greatest victories for the true ruling classes or shadow governments is in pitting one group below them against another, usually by slicing the pie differently in different eras and allotting the results of productivity increases to the top, so that it is not just propaganda but fact that one group benefits only at the expense of another. Socialist/liberal democracy, nativism or neo-fascism, totalitarianism, true libertarianism, partial theocracy, none of that really matters to those who are above all that. The US/European postwar boom is an egalitarian blip on the graph of history, and as soon as technology, transportation and other infrastructure made it possible for modern globalization of communication and industry, the rest of the world was ready to get some of the non maker pie. This includes the way in which the educated MC and UMC lackey class that is necessary to the makers is paid off with a few gourmet crumbs from the table, but kept in cut throat competitive line by increasing workload, decreasing job security, and making it harder and harder for their children to step automatically into their shoes.

  169. This includes the way in which the educated MC and UMC lackey class that is necessary to the makers is paid off with a few gourmet crumbs from the table, but kept in cut throat competitive line by increasing workload, decreasing job security, and making it harder and harder for their children to step automatically into their shoes.

    Preach, sister!

  170. My grumpy political comment for today: Do you really believe that if Hillary had had an out-of-wedlock child in the late 1960s, as Bernie did, that she’d be given the absolute free pass that Bernie is being given by the media and his supporters?

  171. This includes the way in which the educated MC and UMC lackey class that is necessary to the makers is paid off with a few gourmet crumbs from the table, but kept in cut throat competitive line by increasing workload, decreasing job security, and making it harder and harder for their children to step automatically into their shoes.

    Preach, sister!

    Amen!

  172. My grumpy political comment for today: Do you really believe that if Hillary had had an out-of-wedlock child in the late 1960s, as Bernie did, that she’d be given the absolute free pass that Bernie is being given by the media and his supporters?

    No.

    What else has Bernie been up to?

  173. So, DH’s friend was at an industry conference/lobbying thing in DC last week. Apparently the feeling is that the investigations on Hilary will continue until she needs a pardon, at which point, Obama will trade a pardon for her for full support of Joe Biden for president.

  174. In case we needed proof that those connected to the military-industrial complex also like to indulge in conspiracy theories.

  175. “Do you really believe that if Hillary had had an out-of-wedlock child in the late 1960s, as Bernie did, that she’d be given the absolute free pass that Bernie is being given by the media and his supporters?”

    I didn’t know about that one.

    What surprises me is how far we’ve come from 1992, when Clinton’s draft-dodging was feared to be a significant issue, and now Sanders was a conscientious objector, and it barely gets a mention.

    I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but it reflects the way the military has gone from being something of mainstream familiarity to small, specialized interest group, something to be lauded from a safe distance.

  176. I think being a conscientious objector is significantly different from just weaseling out of military service the way Bush did. COs have to do alternate service and have to face public scrutiny in a way that people who just sort of happened not to show up don’t.

    But everything about Bernie barely gets a mention, while no one can shut up about Hillary’s email. And yes, thanks, I ran enough email servers of various sorts to understand the technology. Unlike LfB, I still don’t care.

  177. One reason that the criticism of W.’s service didn’t stick is that he still put on a uniform and flew jets. The fact that there was some ambiguity about whether he showed up for all National Guard requirements probably comes as no surprise to anyone who’s the least bit familiar with Guard/Reserve practices. Also, he was up against Gore who was a Public Affairs Officer. Flying jets is more manly, even if it’s only for the state of Texas.

  178. My cube neighbor at work is a person who carries grievances. She has spent a couple of years complaining, multiple times per week, about things that have no impact on her in any way because someone is getting a perk that she is not. Every day is like Festivus, with the Airing of the Grievances. She is a Trump supporter, and in my mind represents the people who are drawn to him. There is nothing in her grievances that you could pin on immigration policy or economic policy. She just resents the hell out of anyone that gets anything “better” than her, down to parking place in the company garage. And from her worldview, I can see where Trump has appeal.

  179. “Do you really believe that if Hillary had had an out-of-wedlock child in the late 1960s, as Bernie did, that she’d be given the absolute free pass that Bernie is being given by the media and his supporters?”

    What would they say? That she should have kept her legs closed? Got an abortion? I assume the focus groups would say to shut up about it.

  180. I didn’t know about Bernie’s kid. Really? That happened?

    Bernie has been given a total free ride by the press. I think in the beginning, it was just that they did not take him seriously. But now, I think it is because they kind of like him and think it would look mean to go after him.

  181. One of my issues with Bernie is that he is so completely and totally of my parents generation and mindset. Everytime I hear him, I am transported to my parents dinner parties, where everyone was a CO (or went to jail even) and had done something vaguley civil rightsy when they were younger,

  182. If just considering Trump’s stated political views (I don’t believe for a second he means anything he says or has any sense of the common man’s experience/problems), I could maybe understand voting for Trump. But he is just an asshole who can’t control himself. He insults and mocks everyone. People who are disabled, people who are overweight, people who are women, people who breathe and don’t worship his narcissistic self. My preschooler saw him on TV mocking the reporter who was disabled and asked why he was so mean. The Pope has called him out. The Pope! How can you vote for someone like him? I do not understand. I don’t care how much you hate Hillary or can’t trust her. Vote for a third party. Don’t vote. But a reasonable person can’t vote for him.

  183. I honestly think Trump, when he first ran, was doing it as a publicity stunt. I think he never planned to get so far. I keep waiting for him to pull out, saying “Fooled ya!”

  184. Mooshi – what would your parents make of students protesting on campus regarding various issues today ? How would they see it ? My whole family stayed far from getting involved in politics. The treatment of prisoners in the home country is not good.
    There seemed to be a couple of decades without student protests or am I getting my history wrong ?

  185. What would they say? That she should have kept her legs closed?

    Yep. C’mon, look at what folks on this very blog say about unmarried mothers? Remember Dan Quayle and Murphy Brown? Those attitudes are still flourishing. But I guess it’s okay for Bernie, because hey, he paid child support.

  186. I don’t know any Trump supporters, but the photo with Noonan’s article included a Portlandia-esque woman with a tattoo and several young multicultural folks who could have been featured on a diversity website. Not many of those supporters seemed to fit the typical profile that elites tend to associate with Trump.
    And Clinton seems to attract plenty of support from angry feminists who resent their treatment in a man’s world and are determined to send a message by putting a woman in the White House. There was a piece in the NYT last Sunday claiming that the young women supporting Sanders over Clinton will come to their senses after they have been in the workforce a few years. Trump is not the only candidate who is benefitting from this dynamic.

  187. I am amazed at how many people don’t know any Trump supporters.

    I know Trump supporters, I’m related to Bernie supporters, I know Hilary supporters, Rubio supporters, Carson supporters, Kasich supporters, and heaven help me even a Cruz supporter.

  188. I stopped by to post an article that relates to conversations I’ve had with Murphy and WCE on here several times: the original meaning of “organic” as opposed to its coopted version in the USDA standards. (Yes, Miles, it even gets around to your favorite way to pick a fight on this topic, though I’m sure you won’t give up, or you’ll find something else to fling). The first half is mostly intro; the discussion of organic is from the “markets” heading on down. http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/wellbeing/michael-pollan-why-organic-isnt-all-its-cracked-be?cid=Soc_Facebook_Grist_022216

  189. Just looked at the last few comments here. Given RMS’s remark, it’s probably best I’m not hanging around. And the thing about the press giving Sanders a free ride is a strange twist on the way he was ignored, couldn’t get any attention for months and months, while they lavished free attention on Trump, and continue to do so. If he is the next POTUS, the media collectively bear a huge part of the responsibility.
    I’ve been trying to understand various viewpoints this election and am amazed at how very differently the same event can be seen. The day that lefties were praising Bernie’s history of supporting civil rights by showing pix of him being arrested at protests (widely understood on that side as an honorable thing to do, and a measure of his courage and convictions), several right-wing sites picked it up by the end of the day and ran the same pix with headlines about how he is a criminal and what bad news for his campaign that this awful thing in his past has been discovered.
    I’ve also picked up a few FB friends who are far right wing. I am amazed at how frequently I have no idea what they are talking about, even on things that have nothing to do with politics. It took me several iterations to understand a story about what happened in a weight room. I also notice a difference in how the stories are written and websites are set up. This may be related to times that Savannah, MBT and a couple others told me I should not be telling others not to be so rude as to intentionally misrepresent what someone said because I had said X, which they found very rude, but every time I asked them to explain how X was rude they completely refused to answer. I assume it was not ill will on their part, but the way different cultures are developing and people honestly assume that the way they see things simply is reality, that there can be no other “obvious” and natural way to see it.
    Anyhow, tata for now. I’m out of here.

  190. And Clinton seems to attract plenty of support from angry feminists who resent their treatment in a man’s world and are determined to send a message by putting a woman in the White House.

    Angry Southern feminists for the win tonight.

  191. By the way, are there any cheerful feminists? Or are we all angry? Inquiring minds and all.

  192. Now now, WCE. I may have shelved my feminist credentials for a few years, but nursing a fourth or fifth child while barefoot does not invalidate them permanently. Neither does owning a pen expressly designed for ladies (my winter solstice present to myself), especially if like me you wear size 6 gloves.

  193. I just saw Micheal Pollan’s In Defense of Food and Cooked. I liked his message on trying to cook and eating less processed foods. I don’t know how I missed seeing his programs before this. Anyhow, the method I use he calls “pot cooking” – I know what you are all thinking – no, it’s not that pot.

  194. “I think nursing my fourth child to sleep- while barefoot- disqualifies me from feminism.”
    Au contraire, I think this is an important part of feminism. Nursing our babies to sleep is one of the things (of course not the only thing) that gives us women a unique POV that needs to be heard.

  195. To the person who asked what my parents would have thought of the campus protesters of today… I am sure they would be all for it. My mother was a big Jesse Jackson supporter – it is a shame she did not live to see Barack Obama who would have been her ideal of a president. When a riot broke out in the black neighborhood in her town in the 90’s, she horrified a bunch of her colleagues by expressing support for the rioters.

    My parents had also been Eugene McCarthy supporters as wel as McGovern supporters. The McGovern experience is a big reason I would not want to see Sanders as the nominee.

  196. I think nursing my fourth child to sleep- while barefoot- disqualifies me from feminism.

    You’re the target audience, sister-woman. Shoes are bourgeois anyway. Rise up! Well, no, actually, go ahead and sit down, you must be tired.

  197. I’m still hanging onto my feminist credentials. Maybe that’s allowed because I only nursed 3 babies to sleep barefoot? I think I’m fairly cheerful, though I can certainly cross into angry when someone crosses my brood. There’s a lot of us out there.

  198. Despite my bitchy resting face, I have been told that I am quite cheerful. Bubbly even. My southern friend has told me that I have the “well, bless your heart” persona down.

  199. Count me as another cheerful, not particularly angry, feminist. And I have a 16 year old niece who has joined the Feminist Club (it’s a thing!) at her high school, and I can vouch for her pleasant demeanor.

  200. Cordelia – I appreciate you sharing your experiences here. I learn a lot from you, and wouldn’t be exposed to the things you share in any other forum.

  201. I am a very cheerful feminist. Truth be told I want to prevent frown lines and need for fillers.

    I love you, Louise, that’s priceless.

  202. Speaking of feminists, I’m disgusted with Lands End. Really disgusted.
    I have to find a new source for bathing suits and linens and some kids stuff too.

  203. At this point I couldn’t vote for any of these candidates with enthusiasm. I suppose the nice thing about living in a democratic machine state is that it doesn’t make an iota of difference what I do: the cities will print out as many fake ballots as they need to outvote me.

    Most likely I will stay home to dig my bunker and start my winter survival garden. Anybody have good recipes for chard?

  204. That’s quite an investigative report on some of Sanders’ positions. I’m thinking that the reason he gets a pass on much of this, and wins the affection of so many young people, is actually a sort of reverse age-discrimination. It’s cool to like him because he’s so old and–one would expect–uncool. It’s like the temporary obsession with Betty White. They’re the grandparents that you kind of wish you also had.

  205. Bernie’s age is actually a big strike against him in my view. He is within a couple of years of my parents, and I see the differences in them as they age, and they are retired. I think the 24/7 demands of being president are better met by someone younger.

  206. As evidenced by the discussion I just had, I’m pretty sure I’m not a feminist. (I’m in the middle of changing Baby WCE.)
    DH: Where are the frozen burritos?
    Me: I don’t know, I’d have to come look in the freezer.
    DH: Which freezer are they in?
    Me: They were part of the $300 grocery run a couple weeks ago. I’d have to come look in the freezer. I can look after I change Baby WCE.
    DH, after moving one item in the freezer where we normally keep the frozen burritos: “Oh, here they are.”

  207. I think one reason Sanders gets a pass is because he’s the D candidate who is not Hillary. He’s the token opposition that most media do not give a serious chance of beating her, but they want him to hang around to give them something to write and talk about.

  208. Not sure that I can classify myself as a happy feminist. More like a tired feminist. The kind who starts asking at 4pm “Is it bedtime yet?”

  209. If having a husband who can’t find stuff in the fridge makes you un-feminist, I think we’re all doomed.

  210. What is a feminist? The people who don’t like them seem to have a very different opinion than the ones who do.

  211. WCE,

    You know what a feminist is. It’s someone who believes that despite the fact that 98% of Fields Medal winners are male, 15yo WCE should still be allowed to take calculus.

  212. How do feminists feel about selective service registration, and drafting both genders into combat roles?

  213. The costs of illegal immigration to someone of limited resources and negligible access to power go far beyond Citizen A losing a job to Illegal Alien B.

    And even those with ample resources (and education) have reason to find some appeal in Trump’s message about the problem of open borders.  A suburban parent is charged with racism when he complains about the high costs of requiring public schools to educate illegal immigrants.  Even using the term “illegal” is viewed as a sign of racism.  Then there’s the issue of national security.  It becomes frustrating for many.

    “Many Americans feel the government is working against them.”

    BTW, I’m generally of the opinion that we are all “racist”, as some studies have found.  Most of us are more comfortable with people who look and act like us.  I was reading about Chris Rock’s stint last night, and saw this quote attributed to him:  “You see all these writers and producers? They don’t hire black people. And they’re the nicest people on earth. White liberals!”

  214. “How do feminists feel about selective service registration, and drafting both genders into combat roles?”

    Someone who opposes dropping standards for firefighters or similar jobs to accommodate different genders or ethnicities is often labeled as being against equal rights.

  215. CoC- True, but that’s a moot point. There are no positions in the military closed to women, which erases the previous justification for exempting women from the draft. This is one court case away from changing.

    The more I think about Trump vs. Clinton, the more I’m starting to think that he may have a very good chance winning in November. He’s performed more consistently in GOP primaries than any recent non-incumbent candidate, among many demographics. You just can’t do that well and not be a very strong candidate, especially when the electorate at large is as angry and anti-Establishment as it is.

    As for November, he already beats Hillary among Independents; he certainly crushes her in the enthusiasm factor. But what’s even worse for her is that the criminal investigations are still brewing, and there’s no easy way out of this for the Clinton camp and the Obama Administration. Either option is disastrous for her campaign.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/02/29/hillarys_victories_mean_painful_legal_choices_for_doj_wh.html

    I’m thinking we’re actually going to see a President Trump.

  216. Also, Trump has already shown that he is the only one who will directly and unapologetically call out the Clintons on their criminal behavior and hypocrisy, without any fear of backlash from her or the press. Like nobody else could, he shut her down when she Tweeted something about all rape victims need to be believed and supported.

    He’s going to mop the floor with her in a Presidential debate.

  217. “I’m thinking we’re actually going to see a President Trump.”

    So does he emblazon a big Trump logo on the White House?

  218. If young men have to register for the draft, so should young women. As a parent of a boy who is too rapidly approaching the age where he has to register, the draft is very much on my mind. I am old enough to remember the Selective Service lottery. I hope we never see that again.

  219. No doubt that we could have a President Trump. But it has nothing to do with his ability to debate (he doesn’t debate. He doesn’t really have policy positions. He just yells things out and insults people). What that says about the typical American isn’t very comforting. But it isn’t surprising given many people’s attitudes.

    If we are going to have a Selective Service registration and subsequent draft, I am not sure why women should be excluded.

  220. “He doesn’t really have policy positions.”

    That didn’t seem to hurt Obama.

    We elect on personality now.

  221. He’s going to mop the floor with her in a Presidential debate.

    Make up your mind. Is Hillary a criminal mastermind who has dirt on everyone and knows how to play hardball, or isn’t she? Remember Ross Perot stomping off when the oppo research started hitting his family? Trump is as thin-skinned as a dessert tomato. Drop him in boiling water and he’ll burst.

  222. You might now like Obama’s politics, but I think you would be hard pressed to say that he isn’t a good guy. Smart, well-spoken, thoughtful, good dad and husband. Inexperienced when he ran, but can you imagine him mocking a disabled reporter? How do we go from a personality like that to Trump in 4 years? Can you imagine a woman running who acts like him? Three times married with children by 3 different women. One of whom was conceived before marriage. Affairs. Repeated business failures. Calls other people pigs on national TV. Talks about how he would hook up with his daughter if she wasn’t his daughter. The guy is just creepy and gross.

  223. Milo, I actually disagree quite a bit about Obama. Yes, his campaign in 2008 was very much a cult of personality. But I have never been one to fall for cult of personality without something to back it up. That is precisely why I am not backing Sanders despite the fact that politically speaking, he is closer to my views. When Obama first ran, I was skeptical but was won over by the fact that he did have actual policy positions, and I could read statements, and they made sense and were about as detailed as any of the candidates. I think it is easy to think he ran without positions because so many supporters were not paying any attention to his positions. But they were there.

  224. CoC, I think Clinton could get us into various wars, yes, but they would be likely to be the same sort of small scale wars that we saw under her husband. Trump on the other hand is such a wild card. Could we end up in a massive war in Central Asia as a Putin ally? Under Trump, one could imagine it.

  225. Trump was a kind of NYC celeb when I first moved to this area. He was married to Ivana then. SHe always called him The Donald, which my mother thought was hilarious. She started referring to lots of people that way. Now, I can’t get that out of my mind. As president, I could never refer to him as The President. He will always be The Donald to me.

  226. the criminal investigations are still brewing,

    You honestly think there is something there? The fact they aren’t going after Colin Powell for doing exactly the same thing makes me think it’s just a witch hunt.

  227. Cat – I do like Obama. I’m just pointing out that you don’t have to have detailed policy positions spelled out and debated in order to get elected.

    “Is Hillary a criminal mastermind who has dirt on everyone and knows how to play hardball, or isn’t she?”

    She’s a criminal, but she’s not a very good campaigner.

    “Trump is as thin-skinned as a dessert tomato. Drop him in boiling water and he’ll burst.”

    I’m not so sure about that. He continues to outperform everyone’s expectations and predictions of imminent implosion. It’s not like he hasn’t been attacked already.

    “Three times married with children by 3 different women. One of whom was conceived before marriage. Affairs. Repeated business failures. Calls other people pigs on national TV. Talks about how he would hook up with his daughter if she wasn’t his daughter. The guy is just creepy and gross.”

    If he were running against Obama, I would agree with you. If Biden becomes the nominee, I’d agree with you. But Trump is better than a “feminist” who worked to destroy sexual assault victims, and a criminal facing felony indictment.

  228. “Colin Powell for doing exactly the same thing makes me think it’s just a witch hunt.”

    Colin Powell most certainly did not do the exact same thing. His mistakes, which are common, are the unintentional transmission or distribution of information that, upon further review, should have been classified. That’s entirely different from purposely devising means to transmit and communicate material that is already properly classified, including SAP material.

  229. Regarding Clinton, I’m wondering when the issue about the Clinton Foundation taking large donations from foreign governments while she was Secretary of State will come up.

  230. Re: the draft, yes, if we have it, both genders should be required to register. And that Ellen clip was priceless.

    Had an interesting dinner Sat. night with friends, complaining about how polarized things are (one article that I think was linked to here springs to mind, about how it actually made more sense for Republicans to grandstand on the S.Ct. vs. appear reasonable and then object to an individual pick, because the last Republican who appeared to cooperate with Obama got voted out at the next election). DH made a good point about the elimination of pork: for decades, politicians had to reach across the aisle to get stuff for their constituencies. You might not have liked or agreed with the other side, but you had to be collegial and polite and learn how to negotiate, so you could get that million bucks for your university, and he needed to be collegial and polite with you to get the million bucks for his bridge. Then people got greedy (*cough*-TedStevens-*cough*), and we cracked down and got rid of the pork, in favor of a more transparent and less inside-baseball version of politics. But what no one realized is that we also got rid of the primary reason that our politicians had to be collegial and negotiate on anything — plus taken away the little bonuses they used to be able to bring home to show how they’re looking out for their constituents’ interests. So now all they can do is holler and show their pissed-offedness, and there is no negative repercussion to that any more.

    DH is even more PO’d about the campaign, because he well and truly hates Hillary, for many of the reasons Milo has espoused. But say the words “President Trump,” and he is planning our new lives on other shores. So he’s really, really pissed that he’s going to have to vote for someone he hates, because the alternatives are even worse.

  231. I think you’re mistaken, Milo.

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said the FBI has contacted him about his use of personal email when he was the nation’s top diplomat, as a review conducted by the State Department inspector general concluded that Powell and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice both received classified information through private email accounts.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/fbi-colin-powell-email-probe-218748#ixzz41Z7uzzDr

  232. Rhett – That article says exactly the same thing that I just stated.

    Let me give you an example that I’m familiar with. If you’re the CO of a sub, and I’m the duty officer (senior guy onboard in-port) and I call you at home to tell you what’s going on with the nuke plant, I might phrase a statement that I had them raise primary coolant temperature to “high in the band” rather than give you the exact temperature, as discussing the latter on an unsecure phone line would be a breach of Confidential information. A minute later, I may slip up and say that we also did a chemical add and moved primary pH to ___, giving you an exact number. That would be an actual breach of Confidential info., but it happens. Where this might get confusing is if I’m emailing non-secure with a vendor that I need a valve that is certified to withstand X psi of seawater, because that could be translated into a specific depth. That’s the level–Confidential–that they have found on Powell’s emails. But there was no intentional cover-up.

    Much higher up the classification spectrum would be TS/SCI. That’s like the messages that would tell you “go to X spot, Y number of miles off of here, and do Z” that can only be printed on pink paper, have to be tightly controlled and locked in a safe when not in use, etc. The Hillary equivalent here is photocopying those messages with tape over the confidential markings, putting them in a .pdf, and emailing them to your gmail. But hers were even worse, because it went higher up the spectrum, to SAP.

  233. Milo – I understand that. So, if we vote people in based on personality, do you find it a little disconcerting that Trump’s personality is doing so well? Out of everyone, Trump is the guy many Americans think has the best personality? Why isn’t Rubio doing better? He seems like a good guy. Shiny personality.

    And for the record, I disagree re: Obama’s campaign. He and all of the other candidates had much more detailed policy positions than Trump has.

  234. That article says exactly the same thing that I just stated.

    The article says the FBI contacted Powell three weeks ago. The who what when and why are still being investigated.

  235. Rightly or wrongly, Americans are voting for Trump and Sanders because they think that these candidates give a sh*t about them and their families–that they are not in the pockets of the oligarchs, media, and party elite. That they will fight for them, even if it means doing unpopular things. You can see it on the right and on the left.

  236. There are so much arguing in our house over the candidates. It gets heated at times and I wish we could give it a rest till the fall.

  237. “do you find it a little disconcerting that Trump’s personality is doing so well?”

    For years, I’ve been surprised that people from both sides of the aisle are so negative in their outlooks about the country. Trump is just harnessing that. I have friend from work who’s a big supporter, which shocked me, because this guy’s very soft-spoken and polite, you might describe him as an Evangelical Christian, sends his four kids to private school, well-educated, decent income, SAH wife. No immigrants are going to be taking his job any time soon. And he’s specifically said “I wish Trump didn’t have such a filthy mouth; I don’t approve of that at all.”

    I think there’s just a lot to the “finally, someone who’s not afraid to tell it like it is” attraction. Look at CoC’s comment that you’re not even allowed to say “illegal immigrant.”

    I probably find it more disconcerting that so many people aren’t bothered by Hillary’s behavior than aren’t bothered by Trump’s boorishness. Trump is the 21st century’s Andrew Jackson.

    “The who what when and why are still being investigated.”
    If they find a similar level of intentional skirting of the rules and subsequent cover-up, I’d support an indictment against Powell, just like there was against Petraeus. But there’s no evidence to support that.

  238. “Why isn’t Rubio doing better? He seems like a good guy. Shiny personality. ”

    Sorry, I forgot this part. I don’t know. I kind of want to like him, and I’m sure he’d be fine for my own interests. But he comes across as kind of whiny and entitled. Also, his hair needs to be shorter. (Trump’s hair is so bad it’s an asset.) Rubio needs a haircut closer to the FBI guy on the Blacklist, he looks like 1977 right now.

    I don’t know whom to vote for tomorrow. Rubio for the best chance of prevailing, Kasich because he’s my favorite? A tiny part of me wants to vote for Trump just to say FU to the Establishment.

  239. In my first 100 days in office? Leap day will be a be a holiday and it will be in June rather than February.

  240. That’s another thing I don’t get about Trump. He has no ability to understand the average person in this country. His father was very wealthy (real wealth, not UMC). He was shipped off to military school to try to contain his jerkiness (failed attempt). He uses the bankruptcy code to maintain his wealth. He is a strong supporter of eminent domain. He hires tons of low paid workers for his businesses. This is a guy who was born with and continues to have a diamond encrusted spoon in his mouth.

    Why does anyone think he understands their lives?

  241. “Why does anyone think he understands their lives?”

    Because he’s not patronizing and fake when everyone else is. He’s not claiming “We were dead broke!”

    FDR was born rich, too.

  242. My kids are fascinated with Trump’s hair. They know he disproved the theory that it is a wig, but they still are a little disbelieving.

  243. He’s the opposite. Always telling everyone how rich and fantastic he is, all while being one of the top filers of business bankruptcies. One or two bankruptcies could be ok. But 4? Come on!

  244. I dislike Rubio. The only reason that he’s still considered a contender is because the elites (party, media, rich people) hate Trump so much, they’re grasping at straws to find another candidate.

    I think “shiny personality” (but not much else) sums him up very well.

  245. A tiny part of me wants to vote for Trump just to say FU to the Establishment.

    The Establishment’s been bery bery good to you, Milo.

  246. Although there is little doubt that Clinton will head the Democratic ticket, there is still a possibility that Trump will not head the GOP ticket. Kasich’s people clearly believe that he will emerge as the establishment candidate, and he has a real chance of winning the electoral college. Most of the Trump supporters who would fail to vote are in Republican states, and the hold your nose and vote for Clinton voters would have a welcome alternative.

    FDR was a true upper crust liberal reformer, who pushed through his agenda in a crisis period in an imperious manner. He was plenty patronizing in private, and a political wheeler-dealer, but had a way with people in a radio and newspaper age, and a First Lady who was beloved by the populace in part because she was so frumpy and principled. He also had a long career in government prior to becoming President, in part because he was bred to it.

  247. “The Establishment’s been bery bery good to you, Milo.”

    Yeah, but I’ll never be part of the Romney or Bush Establishments.

  248. I had no idea Trump is 70. That is another strike against him, in my opinion. I have heard comments about both Dem candidates ages, but never heard Trump’s mentioned. Maybe it’s insignificant relative to the rest of his issues.

  249. We spent the weekend trying to find another used Enclave, and it has not left me with much faith in human nature.

    Rhett, so far I haven’t heard any allegations that Powell or Rice refused to have a government email address or blackberry and set up their own non-secure system instead – it sounds much more like they were out of the office, couldn’t get the government email to work or the underling wasn’t sure they were checking the government account, and someone sent something to their personal account on several occasions.

    If it turns out that they too refused a .gov address, set up their own server for all of their email for four years, and deleted half of those emails before turning it over to the State Department under duress, then I will wholeheartedly support their indictment, conviction, and imprisonment.

    The corruption involved in the Foundation donations is going to be the bigger issue.

  250. I really don’t think Trump can win the general election. Maybe I am in denial, because I agree with Cat on her views on him. He is just a narcissistic bully. But winning a plurality of the vote in the Republican primary is very different from winning the Electoral college nationwide when turnout is much, much higher. I mean – I also agree with Mooshi that I thought he was running basically as a goof for publicity and now he’s addicted to the game and the stage. I’m not sure that he even really WANTS to be president to be honest. I keep waiting for him to say, “Just kidding” and drop out, but I guess that is not going to happen.

    Obama had policy positions in 2008 and a political record. He was nothing like 2016 Trump. Andrew Jackson won at least partially due to his charisma and popularity with the “common man” but he was also a Congressman and Senator, and he had the political machine of his time behind him when he won.

  251. Sky,

    it sounds much more like they were out of the office, couldn’t get the government email to work or the underling wasn’t sure they were checking the government account, and someone sent something to their personal account on several occasions.

    How would we know:

    Colin Powell, Rice’s predecessor at State, said on Sunday that he didn’t retain any of the emails he sent from his personal account while he was in office.

    Awfully convenient that.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/condoleezza-rice-emails-state-department-115941#ixzz41ZVDTtkK

  252. We saw some Kasich supporters yesterday. Apparently he (and everyone else who is not Trump) is holding out hope for a brokered convention.

  253. Rhett – You’re suggesting that there’s evidence of a crime because there’s no evidence available?

  254. “Apparently he (and everyone else who is not Trump) is holding out hope for a brokered convention.”

    I think that would be a horrible idea. You gotta dance with the girl you brought.

  255. I also think it would be a mistake to hand the Dem nomination over to Biden “just because” when Sanders has been the only one fighting for it.

  256. Sky – 2016 Enclaves in my area are showing at $35k (discount of $5k). 2015 Models are not coming up.

  257. You’re suggesting that there’s evidence of a crime because there’s no evidence available?

    No, just mentioning how convenient it is that all his emails are gone.

  258. I was reading that delegates are only bound to the first ballot. After that, they can vote for whomever.

  259. I heard a good quote on WNYC this morning. The person being interviewed was discussing the GOPs inability to deal with Trump. She said that first the GOP needs to figure out WHY they hate Trump – is it his racist, xenophobic statements, or is it simply that he is too tacky to be President? I think that nails it – I believe there are some people in the GOP establishment who don’t really disagree with the rascist statements, but just think he is too tacky.

  260. “I was reading that delegates are only bound to the first ballot. After that, they can vote for whomever.”

    Regardless, you need the actual voters to turn out in November. The GOP keeps talking about how Cruz will win in TX, and Kasich OH, Rubio in FL. But Trump is polling ahead of them in all those places, too. They have this idea that somehow coming in second and third place is as good as winning. There’s the spin that you tell your supporters when you come in second in an early state (“We defied expectaions, we took on the biggest political machine in history…”) but at some point you actually have to *win*. If Trump keeps this up, people will fall in line. Christie, Brewer, LePage are already leading the way. Nobody cares what Romney thinks.

    On the Democratic side, I just don’t see how they can snub their noses at all the Sanders supporters–crazy as he is–and say “Sorry, but we really want Biden or Warren, even though neither has run in a single primary.” They’ll have mass defections and voter apathy.

  261. Rhett, three weeks ago the NYT reported that a total of 12 emails were found to Powell or to Rice’s assistant that were later marked confidential.

    State has marked 1,818 of the released emails to Hillary confidential, and 22 top secret or above.

    Leaving aside the difference in magnitude, there is a *big* difference in the level of planning and forethought here, unless someone is now alleging Rice and Powell were also maintaining their own servers in an unlocked apartment in Colorado.

  262. Sky,

    Rhett, three weeks ago the NYT reported that a total of 12 emails were found to Powell or to Rice’s assistant that were later marked confidential.

    Powell deleted all of his emails so I guess we’ll never know.

    , unless someone is now alleging Rice and Powell were also maintaining their own servers in an unlocked apartment in Colorado.

    Is that worse than using hotmail?

  263. If Trump is too old at 70, so is Clinton at 68.
    And Clinton doesn’t understand “regular” people either (nor does Obama), though her husband clearly does.

  264. Scarlett, I agree that 68 is too old – I’m still hoping for another alternative. I’m rooting for Kasich until he drops out.

  265. Rhett, from the perspective of someone involved in criminal investigations, yes: hotmail is run by Microsoft, which will cooperate with law enforcement in responding to a subpoena. They do not typically produce emails housed on a hard drive rather than their servers, but they do produce emails on their servers, and have a strong incentive to be as helpful as possible.

    When you use a big email service provider and have experience with document productions and FOIA (as all three secretaries would), you know you can’t prevent a major service provider from responding to a subpoena.

    On the other hand, if you use a tiny provider in Colorado without a big name to protect and with only two owners…well, let’s just say you have more influence on what gets produced and when. Especially if you have a few hundred million lying around.

    Does anyone really think that Hillary erased half a server all by herself? (“With a cloth?”)

  266. But people aren’t voting for Hillary (and didn’t for Obama) because she (he) is (was) the common man’s candidate. The explanation for Trump’s popularity is that he will fight for the common man. BS. We just have a lot of people in our country who feel like they haven’t received their due and they blame it on groups receiving what they perceive to be unfair advantages. . And racism/sexism/etc has a lot to do with their feelings. That’s why Trump appeals to people.

    Milo – are you being serious? Just google Trump and racist remarks. You will be able to busy yourself for a while reading them.

  267. Cat – I am being serious. I imagine that it would point to comments about Mexico sending us criminals or something like that, which, while possibly absurd, clearly does not denigrate an entire race. (If Mexicans are a race? I don’t know, I can’t keep up with what’s PC on that question lately.) Muslims are not a race. What are the racist comments?

  268. He says stuff about Black Lives Matter. He was a birther. He thinks people from Mexico are rapists. He wants people who are Muslim to register in a database.

  269. you know you can’t prevent a major service provider from responding to a subpoena.

    In Powell’s case, the e-mails were deleted. Using gmail as an example, the last of the backups are recycled within 30 days so there is no way for them to respond to a subpoena as it’s all gone.

  270. “He says stuff about Black Lives Matter.”
    What did he say? “All lives matter”? That’s not racist.

    “He was a birther.”
    Yeah, he’s a character.

    “He thinks people from Mexico are rapists.”
    Some are.

    “He wants people who are Muslim to register in a database.”
    Muslim isn’t a race, but I agree that this is one of the more questionable positions he’s taken. I guess I just see it as a sort of hyperbole against the Establishment’s refusal to call terrorism what it is.

  271. Milo, you may be able to whistle away his comments about Mexican immigrants being rapists and criminals, his retweets of white supremacists with false statistics about race/crime, his proposal to require all members of a disfavored religion to register and to prevent them from entering the country, the birther thing, the refusal to disavow David Duke and the KKK’s support. OK. I’m willing to believe that you assume all of that is unimportant because it doesn’t affect you personally, rather than because you actually agree with him. But I doubt that non-Republican voters are going to see it as harmless nonsense.

  272. “’He wants people who are Muslim to register in a database.’
    Muslim isn’t a race, but I agree that this is one of the more questionable positions he’s taken. I guess I just see it as a sort of hyperbole against the Establishment’s refusal to call terrorism what it is.”

    I just see it as the first step toward the required gold star.

    This is a huge, huuuuuuuge disqualifier for me, period. Not made ok by the fact that it is some other “other” to which I do not belong.

  273. “But I doubt that non-Republican voters are going to see it as harmless nonsense.”

    Hey, some of us Repulicans find it problematic too.

    The problem is that none of the above isn’t an option.

    So, PT Barnum, or someone who tossed away national security secrets….

    Ugghhh

  274. “Powell and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice both received classified information through private email accounts.”

    There’s a big difference between receiving and sending classified info in terms of culpability.

  275. “That’s another thing I don’t get about Trump. He has no ability to understand the average person in this country.”

    Which candidate do you think does? I don’t think Hillary does, and one concern I have with her (and not necessarily only with her) is that she doesn’t really appreciate the effect of deploying our military not just on the military personnel and their families, but on communities as well.

    Among other takeaways from the email saga, consistent with some other past episodes, is that Hillary thinks that rules and consequences are for other people, not her. Does that sound like someone who can understand the average person?

  276. Understanding the common man isn’t an important factor when I choose a candidate. I voted for Obama twice. He is a fantastic elitist. And I kind of thought Romney was okay, too. And he was totally out of touch. But time and time again I hear people say they like Trump because he tells it like it is and understands. He will fight for them. I don’t get it.

  277. “Among other takeaways from the email saga, consistent with some other past episodes, is that Hillary thinks that rules and consequences are for other people, not her. Does that sound like someone who can understand the average person?”

    Well, given that it sounds exactly *like* the average person, I’m going to go with yes. . . .

  278. It all depends on the degree that one finds a particular candidate’s brand of arrogance, underlying prejudices/preferences, and lifetime venality/criminality intolerable, somewhat tolerable, or excusable. And they are ALL arrogant.

    And as LfB says. Exodus 1:8. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

  279. “they like Trump because he tells it like it is and understands. He will fight for them. I don’t get it.”

    I don’t mean this in an argumentative way, I’m just trying to understand. What don’t you get? Trump connects in a way that Romney and Hillary don’t.

  280. I don’t understand how one who feels disenfranchised thinks Trump will help. They seem to hate the Man. Well, Trump is the Man. He is everything that people who feel marginalized should hate. If you don’t like Romney because he is out of touch and you think Obama is an elitist, how can you like a guy like Trump? He is the business establishment. Which leads me to my conclusion that there are many people who are racist/bigots (mostly covert, but some overt). They like him because he says the things that shouldn’t be said. Because he is a bigot.

  281. There was an article a few weeks ago that claimed the clearest predictor of whether one was — or would become! — a Trump supporter was the degree to which he or she held authoritarian inclinations.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533

    I’ve been mulling that over for a while, and it made me think of something one of my best friends told me in college. His father was having a rough few years, having lost a low-level job with the county and not finding any other work at the same level, he was working entry level retail at Home Depot. But my friend mentioned that his Dad was completely devoted to watching COPS and Judge Judy whenever they were on. I couldn’t understand why, and he said “Something you wouldn’t understand about people like my Dad is that they have a strong need to feel like justice is being served.”

  282. I think that Trump is the Presidential candidate of Judge Judy. They’re both New York loudmouths who “tell it like it is,” and they’re both enormously popular, and the elites have no idea why.

  283. “Which leads me to my conclusion that there are many people who are racist/bigots (mostly covert, but some overt). They like him because he says the things that shouldn’t be said. Because he is a bigot.”

    That’s probably what many people think, which in a way may have the effect of strengthening the resolve of Trump supporters.

  284. “which in a way may have the effect of strengthening the resolve of Trump supporters.”

    Exactly. If you disagree with them, just call them racists.

    “And I am not an elite.”

    Oh, come on…

  285. “everyone I know IRL who supports him is one.”

    I wouldn’t say that I support him (yet); I’m just trying to make peace with the idea. But am I a bigot?

  286. I’m not. Grew up middle class. State schools my whole life. Scholarships to pay for them because the other option was huge amount of loans. Worked since age 14. I just married someone who is one. Big difference.

  287. Nah. You’re just playing devil’s advocate. But the ease at which you wave away his transgressions does frighten me a bit.

  288. “But the ease at which you wave away his transgressions does frighten me a bit.”

    I went over to my friend’s office to see whom he’d be voting for tomorrow (still Trump) and we got to talking about this. I mentioned the database thing, and he said “Oh, I know, he’s got knock that sh1t off…”

    So, I guess, like meme said, it just comes down to which brand of criminality you are less disturbed by.

  289. “I voted for Obama twice. He is a fantastic elitist.”

    A couple years before he decided to run, I was having lunch at a local plate lunch joint when Obama and his family (Michelle, kids, and an older black couple that I’m guessing was Michelle’s parents) came in for lunch. They sure seemed like any other family, other than it looked like Michelle’s parents weren’t familiar with the menu. He was dressed like a normal guy on a day off from work– shorts, t-shirt, slippers.

  290. “It really makes me sad for America. It just seems like the worst of it. And I am not an elite.”

    Is part of the reason you’re sad the alternative?

  291. What is the difference between assuming that all Mexicans immigrants are criminals and assuming that all Trump supporters are racist bigots?

  292. “Well, one is not true. ”

    It’s not actually what he said, either, although I don’t know who the “They” is when he says “they’re sending…” The Mexican government?

  293. Yes. The Mexican govt is cunning. That is why they send their rapists and killers here.

    On the other hand, not that cunning, as he will be able to trick them in to paying for the anti-Mexican wall he will be building. Don’t worry. The Mexican govt will pay!

    I just can’t with this man.

  294. Yeah, I don’t see how he’s going to get the Mexican govt. to pay for The Wall, but just taken on its merits, I can’t quite figure out why The Wall itself is such an offensive idea. We have a fairly robust U.S. Border Patrol. In fact, the agency is one of DW’s clients. They have a lot of equipment like helicopters and trucks, and they have guns and thermal imaging and night vision and all sorts of things. So why is a wall such an offensive idea? Is it just the cost of that it is astronomical?

  295. The cost. The futility. The repair and maintenance. (HOW many roads and bridges need infrastructure work? Let’s build a whole bunch more of enormous infrastructure we won’t pay for!!)

  296. “The cost. The futility. The repair and maintenance… Let’s build a whole bunch more of enormous infrastructure we won’t pay for!!”

    See, I would think Krugman would be all for it. It’s shovel-ready.

  297. Sure Trump is rich but he’s been laughed at for a very long time by the elites so he seems less elite to the people that are voting for him. That and I think the whole he can’t be bought is appealing to people. My dad likes Trump and he usually votes Libertarian.

  298. “why The Wall itself is such an offensive idea. ”

    Environmentally it’s potentially a disaster.

    OTOH, a DMZ can be an environmental boon. I’ve also read that minefields could potentially provide elephants in Africa with some protection from poachers.

  299. It is the sheer stupidity of it. He just says things that are in no way based in reality. We have an illegal alien problem? We’ll send them back. Deport them all! Who cares that they have minor children who are US citizens. Maybe we can just strip them of that!

    Bernie and his everybody gets a pony views are not based on reality, but at least his come from a good place. Trump’s are just hateful.

  300. “My dad likes Trump and he usually votes Libertarian.”

    Apparently Cat would categorize him (not to mention PTM) as something else, although the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

  301. I think Trump appeals to non-Totebaggers because he embodies the non-Totebag version of wealth. Made his money through his own companies — agree with him or not, he has turned his initial stake into a buttload of money, and done so legally within the boundaries of the existing tax code and bankruptcy laws — he’s basically worked the system for all he could and come out on top. And his view of “wealth” is the ostentatious “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” version that Totebaggers inherently despise but that most of America aspires to. He embodies that particular version of the American dream.

    He’s also a raging asshole and sexist/racist/xenophobe, and I despise him at a very deep level. But I can absolutely see how a big chunk of America — e.g., working-class white guys who feel like they are losing the game to women/minorities because of “special interests”/advantages — finds that appealing. I think they’re wrong, because I think he’s in it for himself and will do whatever it takes to preserve his own interests above all else. But, you know, I could be wrong in that. He would certainly do anything he could to dismantle many of the social programs that that part of the electorate complains about, which would likely make them happy.

  302. “Bernie and his everybody gets a pony views are not based on reality, but at least his come from a good place. Trump’s are just hateful.”

    If Trump is hateful, Bernie is equally hateful, it’s just that the hate is directed at different groups: capitalists, the military-industrial complex, whatever. And if Bernie were in charge and had his way, his hate would quickly extend to the same Totebag class that so quickly revolted against Obama’s idea for them to forfeit their 529 savings benefits.

  303. “Bernie and his everybody gets a pony views are not based on reality, but at least his come from a good place. Trump’s are just hateful.”

    It’s not the impracticality, it’s the cunning. He proposes a simplistic solution that he knows will never have a chance in hell of being enacted, but he knows that proposing it will buys votes from the xenophobes, because it’s code that says that he gets it, those damn wetbacks are ruining America. But of course because it’s just a “wall,” when someone calls him on being a racist or xenophobe, he can throw it back on the liberal media that is intent on bringing him down.

    It’s not just the one, it’s a pattern. The wall; the “all lives matter”; the Muslim registry; the multiple and repeated comments against and about women. It is all code that panders to our most hateful and exclusionary impulses.

    I did not like W because I thought he was stupid. I cannot abide Trump because he is smart and savvy and powerful and has chosen to use his powers for evil.

  304. @Finn – The Obamas are elite in the sense that he & Michelle are Ivy educated, met at a prestigious BigLaw firm, and went on to have high level positions at the U of Chicago. But I still agree that they are closer to middle-class Americans, especially Big City types, due to the fact that he was a State Senator and she was a middle-manager at a hospital as little as 15 years ago. The Clintons have not been eating anonymous plate lunches for a very long time.

    I love that in one of the other clips from this same episode, he talks about having small children, and how getting a babysitter to go out to dinner at 9pm is just not going to work.

    http://chicagoist.com/2016/02/29/watch_president_obama_review_restau.php

  305. I don’t know her dad from Adam or what his true feelings are, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that my family members who support Trump are bigots. I sincerely wish they weren’t and I have asked them not to discuss certain things around my young children. As you can imagine, this makes me very popular at extended family gatherings.

    And PTM is voting for Hillary.

  306. “Well, one is not true. And the other one is. In my experience.”

    They are exactly the same sort of statement, both based on gross stereotypes that project the characteristics of a portion of a population to the entire group.

  307. Not really. One reflects your views and how you want to see the country’s leadership act. The other has to do with who your parents were at birth.

  308. I don’t think my dad is a bigot. I think Trump appeals to those who have a fundamental distrust of government and politicians, just like Bernie seems to appeal to those who think government needs to step in for those that are less fortunate. This is just my guess based on my FB feed.

    I have only seen Kasich signs around me but I sense that my little area is not representative of my state as a whole.

  309. “But I can absolutely see how a big chunk of America — e.g., working-class white guys who feel like they are losing the game to women/minorities because of “special interests”/advantages — finds that appealing.”

    Why is this also not a stereotype? Isn’t it possible that these white working class guys are equally if not more resentful of the other white men with elite degrees, who are, after all, still running most businesses and the government?

  310. We have one relative on my DH’s side who posts pro-Trump stuff on FB, so I assume he likes Trump. He is a decent guy – a union electrician who has had some trouble getting work after the 2009 crash, whose wife was a bank teller but who had to quit because one of their kids has disabilities. I think he is very typical of the demographic that supports Trump. There are some other relatives on that side who are also in that demographic and may be supporting Trump. However, the main branch of the family are all strong moderate Democrats, so Trump doesn’t get talked about too much. I honestly don’t know anyone else who supports Trump.

  311. My other conservative friends are all Cruz supporters who are appalled by Trump because they don’t see him as a real conservative

  312. I don’t agree with how she phrased it, but you are born Mexican (or not). You aren’t born a Trump supporter. That’s a choice.

    I’m even more amused that all of this is from the conversation about people finding it super difficult to use politically correct language. Someone dislikes that Trump implies that Mexican immigrants are rapists. Milo replies that some of them are. Well, yes. And some American citizens are rapists too, but we generally don’t go around referring to the scourge of American rapists.

  313. “It’s not the impracticality, it’s the cunning. He [Sanders] proposes a simplistic solution [free college for everyone] that he knows will never have a chance in hell of being enacted, but he knows that proposing it will buys votes from the xenophobes [millennials], because it’s code that says that he gets it, those damn wetbacks [greedy corporations/universities/rich people] are ruining America.”

    I honestly don’t see the difference.

  314. “but we generally don’t go around referring to the scourge of American rapists.”

    We talk about it all the time. Rape culture on campus, sexual assault in the military…

  315. Discussing “rape culture” is not the same as dismissing an entire category of humans based on some horrible thing that some small % of that group commits.

    LfB– I loved that NYT piece and hadn’t seen it. Thanks for sharing it.

  316. “I don’t agree with how she phrased it, but you are born Mexican (or not). You aren’t born a Trump supporter. That’s a choice.”

    It’s also a choice to break American immigration laws. Trump was describing illegal immigrants from Mexico, not Mexicans in general.

  317. Not at all, Milo. You either are or are not Mexican. You don’t control that and the fact that you are then a rapist in some eyes. You don’t have to support Trump. And if you do, I don’t think it is an illogical conclusion that you support his policies. And his policies are bigoted. Therefore, you support bigoted policies. And in my mind, you are then a bigot.

  318. “You either are or are not Mexican.”

    But, as Scarlett said, you have to make a choice to break the law and be an illegal immigrant Mexican.

    “And his policies are bigoted.”

    Aren’t his policies on illegal immigration really just about enforcing the laws that are currently in place?

  319. Or (as I see frequently here), your parents break American immigration laws and bring you over as a child. Now you live in America, you are not a citizen, but you have never chosen to break the law.

    I truly don’t want to play keyboard warrior all day. By the time the news is discussing who David Duke, of all people, is endorsing for president, I’m clearly not the target audience.

  320. And if Trump had said that those who come here illegally have broken US immigration laws, I would agree. But he said they are rapist and killers. And that is just factually untrue for almost all.

  321. He said “in many cases,” not all.

    “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”

  322. “Isn’t it possible that these white working class guys are equally if not more resentful of the other white men with elite degrees, who are, after all, still running most businesses and the government?”

    Well of course it is, and I’m pretty sure you’re intentionally mischaracterizing what I said to make a point. Someone asked why would the “common man” like Trump, because he doesn’t come from their world. I explained why I thought some people, such as some working class white guys who think they’ve gotten the short end of the stick, might find him appealing. That’s a far cry from stereotyping “working class white guys” by assuming that they all feel disenfranchised, must like Trump, or some other characteristic.

  323. “You don’t have to support Trump. And if you do, I don’t think it is an illogical conclusion that you support his policies.”

    Some might support Trump because of who he is not. It is a logical fallacy to conclude that supporting Trump necessarily means supporting Trump’s policies.

    I think it’s more common for someone to disagree with the candidate they support on some issues than to agree with that candidate on all issues.

  324. “And you think that is a factually true statement about undocumented persons?”

    It depends on your definition of “many.” It’s not the same as most. Even a small minority can be “many” when you’re talking about several hundred thousand annually.

  325. “You either are or are not Mexican. You don’t control that”

    In the context of the statement in question, it seems like Mexican is a nationality or citizenship, not a race. Citizenship can be renounced.

  326. I would agree with that, Finn. For almost all other candidates. But for Trump, almost every policy embodies some sort of bigoted view. He has a long history of saying about people with less power, minorities, women, etc. At some point, your choice reflects your beliefs. I find it very hard to wave my hands at this point in the process and believe that people can’t find someone else to support. Now, whether you stategically decide to cast your vote a certain way, that’s different. But the people who really support him and think he is the way the direction of the country should be going? I am ok with my conclusion.

  327. “I would agree with that, Finn. For almost all other candidates.”

    It’s easy for me to conceive that some might support Trump because of a perception that he is the least bad of the candidates.

  328. More reading.

    Cat –
    “This class’s fatal feature is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever won’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes, have led it to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/02/29/thunderdome-gone-savage-for-trump/

  329. Yeah, ok, I take back the self-made bit. Apparently that was his dad. From WaPo:

    “One of the richest people in America in the 1970s, Fred Trump built a real estate empire developing apartments for middle-class families in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island after World War II. After the younger Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1968, he joined his dad’s firm and, in 1971, took over the business. He built on his dad’s success, deploying leveraged capital on risky ventures that paid off: the Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42nd Street, the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, and Trump Plaza on 61st and Third Avenue. . . .

    In the debate last week, Trump claimed that he took a loan of $1 million from his father and he turned it into a fortune of $10 billion. . . . The $1 million loan doesn’t include any of the benefits Trump received from his family’s connections and joining his father’s real estate business after he graduated from college, and it doesn’t count an estimated $40 million inheritance in 1974. The $10 billion figure, which is what Trump claims as his current net worth, is also disputed. Bloomberg News has estimated Trump’s net worth at only $2.9 billion, while Forbes put it at $4.1 billion. Since Trump’s businesses aren’t public, the true figure isn’t clear. . . .

    Business Week estimated Trump’s net worth at $100 million in 1978. If Trump had merely put that money in an index fund based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index — the kind many Americans use to save for retirement — he would be worth $6 billion today.”

  330. “If Trump had merely put that money in an index fund based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index ”

    True, and a very powerful point.

    OTOH, that’s assuming he parks all of his net worth in the index fund, and then does what? Buys a modest, fixer-upper bungalow and drives a used Oldsmobile Cutlass?

  331. @Milo — hah. Nah, it’s his money, he can do whatever dumb-ass thing he wants to do with it (besides, I’m not exactly MMM — I’m the one with a Porsche on my “next ten years” plan). :-) I just think it’s a useful metric to measure his self-touted phenomenal success as a businessman. I suspect I too could turn $40MM into multiple billions over the next 35 years — well, at least, I’m willing to take one for the team and give it a shot if someone will stake me the $40MM.

  332. I agree with that. In a nod to the Totebag belief that the rest of Americans just don’t get the power of compounding, I remember when we were touring Biltmore and the docent explained that Vanderbilt Jr. inherited $100M, the tour group quietly marvels, and she goes on to explain that in just 10 years he doubled it to $200M, and everyone audibly gasps at this.

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