Election 2016, July 4-10

This week I’m trying something a little different with the election update.

At the request of some Totebaggers who want to see election comments show up in the “recent comments” feed on the side bar, this week’s election update will be an extra Monday “post” instead of the usual “page” that shows up as a tab on the blog header bar.  Due to the way WordPress works, this is easiest way to make comments show up in the regular feed.

Speak up if you like it or if you don’t.  Or if you have other suggestions or comments.

Carry on.


184 thoughts on “Election 2016, July 4-10

  1. In gratitude for CoC’s tireless efforts to keep us from completing our DIN lists, I’ll go first. I saw this quote in the WSJ the other day:

    “Tim Bale, politics professor at Queen Mary University of London, said Mr. Johnson’s decision not to run for prime minister confirmed what many already thought of him. “He’s amusing, intelligent, but he’s not the man to go tiger hunting with,” Mr. Bale said.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/theresa-may-michael-gove-join-battle-to-succeed-david-cameron-as-british-prime-minister-1467276957

    One reason that British TV shows are fun is because they often have dialogue this like.

    Apart from the question whether tiger-hunting prowess is a valid metric for political leaders, I’m wondering how our current candidates would measure up (one of them, of course, not actually being a man). Can’t think of any American leader other than Teddy Roosevelt who would have satisfied this test.

  2. He probably meant more “reliable in a difficult situation, doesn’t quit when the going gets tough” than “excellent shot.”

    The American reference for women and big-cat hunting is probably Mrs. Francis Macomber. Which would not be a flattering comparison.

  3. HM, he probably did. But “excellent shot” would take care of the difficult situation rather well.

  4. Yay! Sorry, Bernie bros. I know you were still hoping for a coup.

  5. “In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

    To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

    isn’t anyone else upset about this?

  6. Upset about what? That they didn’t have a case? No, I’m not.

  7. Upset? No. I feel pretty strongly that we should only prosecute people when there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed. A crime that is set forth in our criminal code.

  8. “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

    the way I parse this rather convoluted statement is that normally, a person who is using private email for government-related messages could be subject to some kind of administrative penalty (ding on annual review?) but this wouldn’t be considered criminal. It isn’t the most clearly written statement.

  9. many are reading that as yes, there should be consequences, just not if your last name is Clinton

  10. “Security or administrative sanctions” doesn’t mean jail time. It means getting a stern letter in your HR file. Or maybe getting your security clearance bumped down a level.

  11. “Or maybe getting your security clearance bumped down a level.”

    That’s the equivalent of getting fired.

  12. I don’t agree with my FIL on many political topics (which I’ve been subjected to hearing about :)
    but he is former military and he is so upset with this ruling, I have to agree with him on this

  13. “many are reading that as yes, there should be consequences, just not if your last name is Clinton”

    ““Security or administrative sanctions” doesn’t mean jail time. It means getting a stern letter in your HR file. Or maybe getting your security clearance bumped down a level.”

    Honest question… how would that work if she was elected President? This is assuming that she will still face consequences from the DOJ. Does the Pres receive a formal annual review? Can the Pres have a clearance lower than anyone else?

  14. I’ve wondered that, too, Rhode. If someone has been Constitutionally elected President, I don’t think it’s possible to deny that person a security clearance, at least not through the normal administrative means. It would have to come from impeachment and conviction.

    winemama – it’s just more evidence of how the Clintons don’t care about the same rules that govern the rest of us. Trump has been floundering, but there’s definitely enough anger and resentment toward the establishment for him to pull out a win in November, if he can stay on message and realize that he actually has to work hard for this.

  15. “That’s the equivalent of getting fired.”

    for clarification, it would be like having your medical license “bumped down a level.” It would mean you’re no longer allowed to do your job.

  16. But Milo, I have friends who work in the gummint and they say there are different levels of clearance. I agree that many times you would indeed lose your job because you probably need whatever level you’ve got to be employed at your job.

  17. So there’s simply no possible set of facts that would cause some of you to believe that Clinton’s behavior didn’t merit an indictment?

  18. I was wondering the same thing, there are no facts that would make you believe indictment should have happened?

  19. As a (currently former) criminal lawyer, Comey’s explanation made no sense to me: the key statutes require gross negligence, not willfulness, for a violation. There are other statutes with more severe penalties for intentional violators.

    He knows that the explanation makes no sense, too.

    It’s amazing to me that he would say what he said and then not recommend prosecution, because what he said satisfied all the elements of section 793.

  20. “I have friends who work in the gummint and they say there are different levels of clearance.”

    Yes, that is true. But you usually have the level that you need for that particular job.

    “So there’s simply no possible set of facts that would cause some of you to believe that Clinton’s behavior didn’t merit an indictment?”

    I can see what Comey is saying, that it’s not unreasonable to look at it and say that what she did was extremely stupid, but there’s not evidence for prosecution.

    But I really despise her a little more every day. She and her husband are so loathsome.

  21. I revise my benefit of the doubt in light of Sky’s comment.

    He was probably promised something big in a few years.

  22. RMS, that would be the set of facts in which she used her State email address for official and all classified business and didn’t delete tens of thousands of emails :)

    Comey is wrong as a matter of law.

    I’d like to say it was a close call, but it really isn’t. Any federal criminal lawyer will tell you that for anyone else, this would have been an easy conviction for the AUSA, because you really can’t look at these facts and read 18 USC 793 with the standard Sand negligence instruction any other way.

  23. What will happen to the effectiveness of FOIA and other sunshine laws now that it is okay for high ranking officials to refuse to conduct any business on the government email systems?

    I know many were doing it anyway, but at least they were risking a penalty.

  24. It’s been fun to read further conspiracy theories by Trump supporters on Fox. I don’t know who I dislike more, Trump or Trump supporters. Probably the later- because of why they are supporting Trump in the first place. And I am closer to Trump on some issues than Hillary.
    Sky- would you imagine the FBI going back and conducting investigation against all past high level official who committed the same “crime”?

  25. “because of why they are supporting Trump in the first place”

    Why am I supporting Trump?

  26. Milo, don’t know why you are supporting Trump and don’t have time to write a cogent reply, but the other supporters I have seen, – many of them support Trump because he is going to keep the Mexicans out so we can get our (white) country back. He will teach the Chinese a lesson and establish our superiority. He will bring back coal jobs (even if that job makes us ill), he will bring Christianity to the government, criminalize abortion and so on. He will stop all the government help to all those who leach off the government.

    Basically they support Trump because they think that Trump will make their xenophobic dream come true.
    – Based on sampling of commenters on Trumps Facebook group, foxnews etc.

  27. Well, YOU’RE doing it because you hate Hillary viscerally.

  28. Dell, is there another official who set up a private server rather than use any government email?

    To me the key difference between what she did and what others have done is that she did it with the intent to conceal all of her and her closest aides’ correspondence from FOIA.

    Other officials have used private email only when the government system was down or unavailable, and often cc’ed their official accounts to make sure the records weren’t lost.

    It’s a terrible precedent.

  29. “Well, YOU’RE doing it because you hate Hillary viscerally.”

    No, I have very good reason to hate Hillary. I hate the corruption that she and her husband represent and embrace.

  30. Extremely careless would get you only a note in your HR file, not fired ?

  31. Milo, and so far from Trumps presentation, you don’t think he will be equally bad or worse? Especially after the tantrum he threw – Judgegate?

  32. He’s a blowhard, and often he’s an idiot, and he makes me wonder WTF is he thinking. But he’s a change, and he’s a big FU to the cozy, crooked Establishment.

  33. Worse how?

    And note that I said he’s different, and he’s an outsider. If he wins, and he turns out to be worse, than we can kick him out in four years (it will be interesting to see what kind of primary challengers he’d inspire from the GOP). But at least he’s different for now.

  34. Milo – why do you of all people think we need something different? By all accounts, your life is lovely. The status quo has been good to you, no? I get why the angry white man who feels as though he cannot compete any more is drawn to Trump. But not you.

  35. Isn’t that a little like asking “Why do you care about those darkies in Ferguson, stirring up trouble?”

  36. I am not following. Trump is against every minority group in the US. Why would you want to align yourself with the candidate who wants to only protect the class of people who has been the majority and had every advantage and protection in history? Particularly when you don’t need what he is selling?

  37. “Trump is against every minority group in the US.”

    Oh come on, that’s BS. He’s against illegal immigration.

  38. A champion? Since when are the only two options “against” vs. “champion of”?

    I think that if he is elected, it will be a start toward countering the pervasiveness of rule by the established elites who are above the law.

  39. I absolutely think we are at a place in our country where we need champions of minorities and women for our leadership.

  40. I think we need a champion for the middle and working classes, regardless of race or gender.

  41. Wasn’t our current president elected to be a champion of minorities and women among other things ?

  42. Agreed. Not sure how Trump gets us there. Xenophobia certainly isn’t going to do it.

  43. Trump ignores laws all the time! Once he has the executive power, he’s going to ignore every single law that inconveniences him!

  44. “Xenophobia certainly isn’t going to do it.”

    Indeed. But daring to suggest that we actually enforce existing immigration laws is hardly xenophobic in my book.

  45. Rocky – so you say, but we may as well give him a chance rather than electing someone who has already proven to do just that many times.

  46. When non-Hispanic whites become a minority, then will it ok for a President to represent whites?

  47. Clinton is a champion of women as long as they know their place, and that means if her husband assaults and attempts to rape them, they’d better keep their mouths shut.

  48. Dell, anyone who runs against Hillary will have a bunch of supporters just for not being Hillary.

  49. 6:30 was me.

    RMS, clearances are expensive, so employers will only pay for the minimum level required for a given job. Having one’s clearance bumped down typically disqualifies one for one’s job.

  50. I don’t get the FOIA argument. Everyone has been complaining about classified stuff. FOIA wouldn’t apply anyway. So is it the classified stuff/national security issues or isn’t it? I think people just want to complain.

  51. Hillary is getting reluctant support from plenty of voters for not being Trump. And I’m convinced that more women are voting for her because she is a woman than anyone is voting against her for that reason.

  52. Anon, it’s both. Of the thousands of emails HRC deleted, probably most were not classified, but would’ve been covered by FOIA. Any classified emails obviously should’ve been treated as such and not been sent or received from a non-secure account on a non-secure server, but classified emails are subject to declassification later. I believe FOIA would apply to declassified emails.

  53. I would not vote for a woman just to be voting for a woman. I’ll be happy when a woman is elected on her merits, and not based on gender. I intend to vote for Hillary despite my strong dislike for several things about her, most notably her belief that the rules don’t apply to her. But unlike Milo, I see Trump as much, much worse. I think he is much more likely to flout laws – he’s already talking about how he’s going to loosen up libel laws so he can sue reporters, he promotes the use of torture, and he seems to not recognize that even minority groups in this country have civil rights. He is terrifying on foreign policy – I think he can do a lot of damage in four years. And maybe he won’t. But I’m not willing to take that gamble. Plus – as long as Republicans control both houses of Congress, I’m less inclined to vote for a Republican president.

    This election is such a disappointment, though. The election was the Republicans’ to lose. I cannot believe that they were almost a sure thing for a victory if they had put forth even a mediocre candidate, and now they’re struggling because they are offering us Trump.

  54. from a friend on fb

    “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were EXTREMELY CARELESS in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

    18 U.S. Code § 793(f) “Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through GROSS NEGLIGENCE permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

  55. I am sure that everyone saw over the weekend reports of the Trump anti-Clinton the cheater tweet with the star of David on the pile of money – out there long enough to please his most rabid supporters, but withdrawn/modified quickly enough to provide a semblance of a fig leaf that it was just a variation of a supporter’s post that had not been properly vetted for the candidate’s twitter feed. Nativist movements may have their local number one and number two despised groups, but outside of Asia the Jews always make the top three. The fact that Trump has a Jewish son in law and a daughter who converted mean nothing – he doesn’t personally hate the groups his supporters hate, or even the ones he attacks in his own public statements. He won’t choose a woman or a non white running mate because that would be “pandering.” But he will say or allow others to say/post in his name almost anything to pander to his base.

    As for Bill Clinton, I felt at the time that his abuse of his position as president with an intern, in the context of his long history of similar actions, indicated a pattern of workplace sexual harassment violations so egregious that he should have resigned. I did not, however, think it was an impeachable offense. His wife, many of you may be too young to recall this, became a sympathetic figure for a while. Many believed it was her place to stand by her man, and felt sorry for her trying to excuse him and for humiliating herself in the “vast right wing conspiracy” interview.

  56. Wine, I agree.

    I’m wondering how the threshold of gross negligence differs from that of extreme carelessness.

  57. Making broad assumptions about Trump supporters being xenophobic just based on a sampling of social media only weakens your argument against him imo. Trump supporters I know irl are not xenophobic.

  58. The FBI cave may have convinced me that Clinton would be worse than Trump. She had the advantage of actually having experience in two branches of government, and has demonstrated that she cannot be trusted to follow very simple rules on national security matters if the greater good of HRC will be served by flouting them. If the rule of law means nothing, it matters little who sits in the White House.

  59. Meme – this is just for discussion, not arguing. Do you think that Watergate was impeachable?

  60. Just when I have been paying attention, here are a few things Trump has said:

    Mexicans – rapists
    Asians – mocking now they speak – “we want deal”
    Muslims – registry
    Women – too many things to count
    African Americans – lots of inaccurate things about crime statistics

    And then the general mocking of anyone who dares to disagree with him.

    If you think he isn’t pandering to the worst among us, you are nuts. If you think he isn’t a xenophobe or at least playing one on TV, you are also nuts.

    I suspect that Trump doesn’t believe most of what he says. He is just an idiot. I guess that is different from what we have.

  61. Watergate itself – the break in and the associated financial shenanigans – was not impeachable. The cover up likely was, but Nixon resigned. My mother was court reporter on half of the Watergate trials – those in the court of Judge Gesell, not Judge Sirica.

    I don’t think that the majority of people who support Trump are xenophobic or something similar/worse. I don’t think Trump himself is, as I stated. But I do think that he is running a campaign that actively encourages that segment of his support base and legitimizes that form of targeted speech and in addition does not condemn and is oblivious to the harmful actions that may follow from it. I also recognize that in addition to those who will vote against Clinton on character grounds, the majority of Trump supporters do not want the Supreme Court that will result from her presidency and do want some legislative changes/direction that will likely result from a Trump presidency. Just as there are those of us who would fear those governmental changes enough to overlook her flaws.

    The NYT ran an article that says that the FBI director has never been afraid to attack those in power. It said that he wanted to throw the book at Petraeus and was overruled by the AG who had him plead out to misdemeanor, and that plea deal set a precedent for prosecution. Petraeus’ conduct included knowingly handing over highly classified material to a journalist. Clinton’s direct actions despite the negligence/arrogance were not considered as severe in a legal offense as Petraeus’. Both individuals were in positions of great responsibility and should have known better. Reasonable people may disagree with that splitting of hairs or that the Petraeus deal sets any sort of precedent, but there is no reason to think that the FBI director has been bought out.

  62. Kate – There are a lot of inaccurate and misleading statistics all over the place. You can’t pin your accusations on that. I think Hillary’s record of being a rape apologist is worse than anything Trump’s said about women–he’s all bluster, but she’s evil. The registry was stupid, but he backed away. His complaints are against illegal immigrants, not “Mexicans.”

    Anyway, Hillary has publicly declared that she is enemies with me. How could I vote for that?

  63. Anyway, Hillary has publicly declared that she is enemies with me. How could I vote for that?

    what do you mean, Milo?

  64. I understand why you don’t like Hillary. I just don’t understand how you (and so many others) can support Trump. And how he is your (collective your) candidate. How did he make it when there were so many more normal Republicans? I find it a very interesting case study. And I really do think he was able to do it because he appealed to a base that is angry and does want American to be great again like they think it was when white men dominated everything.

    And certainly I do not think that everyone who supports him now is a xenophobe or racist or terrible. But I do believe that is why/how he has was able to get traction.

  65. yes, I think Trump is all talk, but I worry the most about what others have said, motivating hatred in others and foreign relations

  66. the older white men I know who support trumpo would say they aren’t sexist or racist, but long for the good old days, and I think some of them are blind to their privilege

  67. “And how he is your (collective your) candidate. How did he make it when there were so many more normal Republicans? I find it a very interesting case study. And I really do think he was able to do it because he appealed to a base that is angry and does want American to be great again like they think it was when white men dominated everything. ”

    The only mistake here is that you keep obsessing about race and gender. It’s class and economics.


    Anyway, if I had to place a bet on who’s going to win, at this point I’d say Hillary. But the big caveat to that, and to the current polls, is that the polls, as reported, are adjusted for anticipated voter behavior and turnout based on what that respondent has reported doing in the past. So if someone reliably turned out for Obama, they assume that the person will turn out for Hillary; likewise, if a respondent couldn’t be bothered to vote for Romney, his support of Trump is numerically factored down.

    But it’s those scaling models that I think could be way off this time around and lead to a big surprise in November.

  68. “Republicans?”

    Yes. I’m a registered Republican. I can’t vote for someone who is most proud of being my enemy.

  69. Re: rapist apologis. What are you talking about?

    As a woman who strongly believes in protecting women’s rights, I am pretty confident that HRC will do that. Not so confident that The Donald will.

  70. I think the class and economics part is directly tied to race and gender. It is easy being the top when you aren’t competing against much.

  71. “I think the class and economics part is directly tied to race and gender. It is easy being the top when you aren’t competing against much.”

    It seems like this line of attack is generally used to dismiss the concerns of the white working class. Basically saying “you had it good, or your grandparents did, so it’s your turn to suffer for a while.”

  72. But it’s not as if working class women or persons of color are doing fabulously well. Nor will they, unless the labor movement suddenly resurges.

  73. Rocky – Exactly. That’s why we should stop separating everyone into disparate and competing groups based on skin color.

  74. Then let’s stop trying to make America great again. It wasn’t great for minorities and women. We need a different plan.

  75. “Then let’s stop trying to make America great again.”

    There’s a winning slogan!

  76. Sound bite campaign slogans can’t possibly convey nuanced concepts and strategic plans.

  77. Do you think Trump has nuanced concepts and strategic plans? He seems to be shooting from the hip at all times with no thought to the future.

  78. I think they’re both shooting from the hip to see whatever can give them a bump in poll numbers. That’s how Hillary has managed to evolve on the TPP from being the “gold standard” to something that she opposes. She has never had any plans other than securing power.

  79. Yes, they may not be all xenophobic, but they are the very same people who harken back to good old days when jobs were secure because women and minorities did not get to compete with them.

    Also these very same people who insisted on giving benefit of doubt – you don’t know how it is until you are in their shoes, innocent until proven guilty etc for every controversial cop shooting, are quick to jump on the bandwagon to criticize Hillary and believe every possible accusation against her without so much as a glance at evidence.

    And even if we consider Hilary “evil”, I don’t want to give repubs any chance to appoint scotus justices.

  80. So evil Democrats are better than ANY Republicans?
    And the FBI director made clear that there is overwhelming evidence of Clinton’s extreme carelessness.

  81. The reason that working class jobs are less secure has far more to do with globalization and automation than with competition from minorities and women.

  82. I would and have voted for Republicans. But I do think that one of the most important things a president does is nominate Supreme Court justices. So, it would have to be a pretty moderate Republican for me to vote for a Republican this go around with Scalia’s empty seat and the other ones that will likely be coming up in the next 4-8 years. And in this case, it is a no brainer.

  83. I could get behind a good republican presidential candidate. But with the current make up of Republican Party, and upcoming justice appointments, I just cannot and will not support any republican candidate.

    I was being facetious about Hilary being evil. It is ridiculous! Obviously anyone who does not think the way you think is called evil. If what Hilary is is evil then yes, that evil is better than any republican.

    I did not vote in 2008 because my state was 100% Obama. But I supported McCain until he chose his running mate.

  84. I called her evil because she purposely demeans and tarnishes women who are sexual assault and rape victims in order to promote her own advancement. I don’t think my characterization of that behavior is ridiculous.

  85. Kate, if you can’t understand why people can support Trump, then you don’t really understand why many of them don’t like Hillary.

  86. Kate – Are you of the opinion that, if elected President, John Kasich would have nominated Supreme Court justices far more moderate than the ones on the list Trump released?

  87. I honestly don’t know who I will vote for in November – it will be a pick of the lesser of two evils, and I still need to determine who I think is less evil.

    After listening to my dad rally behind Trump my take on why he has a following is this: Trump doesn’t care about being PC. Back in the day Americans could basically say what they wanted without fear of being labeled sexist or racist. Or if they were labeled that it only went so far. Now with social media your life and career would/could be ruined. Trump comes along and says it, takes all the heat, and keeps saying it. He is saying everything that so many people in this country think, but are afraid to say.

    I’m not saying what Trump is doing is okay or that it is okay for people to be sexist and racist, but for a lot of people this is appealing.

  88. Milo – don’t know. I don’t consider Kasich to be a moderate Republican. I wouldn’t vote for him this round against HRC. I voted for him in the primary because I was pretty sure HRC would get it and I am an anybody but Trump person.

  89. Milo – Bloomberg, Colin Powell, I liked McCain but thought his vp choice was scary. I voted for Bush once. I probably would have been a Nixon supporter back in the day. I thought Romney via Mass was pretty good but didn’t like him as a presidential candidate. Huntsman is another fairly moderate Rep I could probably back.

  90. And of the above, I like Powell the best. I wish he had run for President. He would have been great and the Republican party might not be the shit show that it is now.

  91. Kate – LOL. That’s like saying “Oh sure, I’d vote Democrat. I’d take Manchin, Landrieu, Tester; I’d probably have voted for JFK since he was trying to cut taxes…”

    ““free college for those under 125k incomes?””

    It will never happen, and it’s a huge overreach for the federal government, but if by some miracle it does, we’ll be availing ourselves of it. we’ll both retire, maybe do some spotty consulting and keep our earned income just below the threshold. Honestly, why would I work more than that?

  92. ? Those are your party’s moderate Republicans. You guys can’t get anyone normal nominated any more. The Tea Partiers kind of destroyed everything for you all. You guys have a nominee who is praising Saddam Hussein. Come on. You know your party sucks!

  93. “The Tea Partiers kind of destroyed everything for you all”

    That depends how you look at it. The tea party has made it difficult for us to get a moderate Republican with strong chances of winning the presidency. On the other hand, we have never had this much power in all the other offices combined for about the past 80 years. In practical terms, that means that the signature achievement of the transformative Democratic president is a Republican health care plan, something similar to what we probably needed to establish anyway. And while it doesn’t make much news, much of the day today governing of the country is done at the state and local level.

  94. The other way to look at it, Kate, is that from 1992 on, the Democrats have moved right word so much that they haven’t really given the Republicans much room in the center anymore. So where were they supposed to go? Clinton agreed to cut welfare, Obama kept most of the Bush tax cuts, ditched single payer, ditched cap and trade. They’re all champions of Wall Street. Until Sanders and Trump came along, they were fine with things like NAFTA and TPP–fully endorsed by U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Nobody is eager to pass any real gun control laws. Nobody will raise taxes on anyone earning less than about 400,000. So with Democrats like that, what exactly are the Republicans supposed to stand for? To get elected nationally, Democrats have turned themselves into Nixon. And policy wise, Hillary is much closer to that than Obama. She doesn’t care a fig about free college, and that proposal will die a quick death.

    Democrats have been winning the White House because they have not given the upper-class moderates any reason not to like them. Now, if someone like Sandor’s actually got elected, you can bet your boots that a huge chunk of the totebaggers would be coming screaming back to the Republicans begging to get back in the tent.

    Please excuse voice to text typos

  95. And I am perfectly happy hanging out toward the center. I think it is where most reasonable people will be. That’s why I don’t understand your allegiance!

  96. Because it has become too chummy for those in power. Somebody needs to stand up for the vast working class that doesn’t belong to a grievance group.

  97. I hate when they call anything “free”. There is no magic here, and all of the costs are still there. Free college with no restrictions on grades/test scores drives me crazy. Expand Pell Grants for lower income families. If this were to happen, I would expect there to be grade requirements to keep the “free” funding, and a certain bar to hit to qualify in the first place. That will never fly, though, as whatever group gets less of the “free” will declare it racist/sexist/classist. I have no desire to supplement someone who’s just looking to avoid the workforce for 4-5 more years. It’s not taxpayers’ job to send kids off to state flagship. If they are cost conscious, they can go to the closest in-state public university and commute. A college education is an investment in yourself, and I think a reasonable level of debt is acceptable for the benefits gained.

  98. The promise of “free” college is nothing more than pandering and it will be interesting to see how quickly it dies the death it deserves. Also wondering whether this was a desperate ploy to divert attention from the Comey decision, given the lack of details regarding little matters like how much it will cost and where the money will come from. Low-income kids already have plenty of affordable options, with the real problem IMO being their lack of preparation for college-level work and lack of sophistication regarding for-profit schools, useless majors, and the job market. Everyone else can take care of themselves.

  99. I’m old enough to remember when the California community colleges (then called junior colleges) were free. I think that’s a good thing. You had to live at home or find your own housing, and there weren’t any frats or sports teams. You could take your lower-division classes and get a jump start on your career or further education. I’d like to see that system restored.

  100. RMS, is it a good thing you are old enough to remember?

    Wasn’t the spending on colleges one of the things that drove up
    Properly taxes in CA, leading to Prop 13?

  101. “lack of sophistication regarding for-profit schools”

    Like Trump University? What a man of the people he is, offering his fantastic education to so many!

  102. I have no great love for Prop 13, Finn, despite the fact that it was very good to my family.

  103. “Like Trump University?”

    Move over Trump University, because Hillary Clinton has her own fraud scandal involving higher education.

    While there has been much focus on Trump University and the lawsuit against it (and Donald Trump’s despicable comments about the judge handling the case), very little has been written about Laureate Education and its ties to the Clintons.

    Laureate is a for-profit online college that received an unusually large amount of money from the U.S. State Department. This happened while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and after her husband Bill was named “honorary chancellor,” a position that paid him $16.5 million over five years. His role included giving speeches around the world and lending his name to attract prospective students.

    During the time, when Bill was acting as honorary chancellor, the U.S. State Department, under Secretary Clinton, gave Laureate Education a whopping $55 million in grants. . . .

    Like Trump University, Laureate Education has also been sued for fraud. Its Walden University Online subsidiary allegedly “worked like a scam designed to bilk students of tens of thousands of dollars for degrees,” according to liberal professor Jonathan Turley, who recently documented the organization’s ties to the Clintons. “Students alleged that they were repeatedly delayed and given added costs as they tried to secure degrees, leaving them deeply in debt. Sound familiar?

  104. I fully agree with MBT and Scarlett about the promise of “free” college tuition. However, it’s a good campaign strategy to help drum up votes.

  105. Do you think that back when public colleges were affordable, kids were “just trying to avoid the workforce” for 4 or 5 years? Back when Fred and I were at different branches of the University of California, tuition was running around $300 to $600 a semester (depending on the year). You could work part time and put yourself through. Why is that so terrible?

    And what about the states like Georgia where you get free tuition if you meet some grade standard (is that still in place?)? Or in Indiana, where we’re still trying to pry my husband’s niece out of her mother’s home and get her into college, if you jump through some pretty easy hoops, you get tuition free for most of the state schools in Indiana, including Purdue and IU. The plan info is here:
    and it reads like a desperate crash course in how to be middle-class (think ahead, make a plan, do some extracurriculars, visit college campuses, etc.).

  106. “Back when Fred and I were at different branches of the University of California, tuition was running around $300 to $600 a semester (depending on the year). ”

    What was the total cost per student then compared to now? The ultimate problem is that when the government is willing to throw a lot of money at colleges, colleges find a way to make the costs go up.

    Now, if Hillary were talking about ways to reduce the total costs back to a level near where they were in your day (adjusted for inflation), I’m all for it.

  107. IN college program – not sure if this was around when I was in HS, but saw this
    *The scholarship amount may be reduced depending on the availability of funds and the availability of the student’s family to contribute to college.

    not sure if my parents made “too much”

    they definitely weren’t UMC, but made too much for me to receive need based grants

  108. Milo, I agree with you. There are too many administrators and too much emphasis on fancy facilities. The gyms and pools were a lot more stark back in the day. And there were fewer administrators. But you’d have to do something to combat the kids taking offense at statements like “the sky is blue” and the schools having to respond by setting up a new office for Students With Different Understandings of the Word “Sky” and Students With Different Understandings of the Word “Blue” and Students Who Were Once Traumatized By Looking Up at the Sky and so on.

  109. Wine, I guarantee you that my SIL’s income is low enough to qualify.

  110. The demographics of college students are different than they were back in the day. The serious problems are not at the schools with new climbing walls and too many assistant deans (though those are definitely issues). Those kids will graduate and eventually get real jobs to allow them to pay back the loans that funded the amenities and some of them will come back to work as assistant deans running the programs for Students With Different Understandings of the Word Sky. But making community college “free” will not necessarily help boost the dismal graduation rates there. Many community college students are “nontraditional” working parents, and they often drop out of school because life gets in the way — an eviction notice, a childcare crisis, an unexpected car repair, problems in the extended family. Even if life doesn’t get in the way, they don’t have Totebag parents or friends who can help them navigate the system and figure out course selection and transfer requirements, and you can imagine the sort of advice they get from the college counseling center, if they are savvy enough to seek it out. They are not reading “Community College Confidential.” So I think that significant structural changes are necessary before making it easier for even more unprepared and ill-advised students to enter the system.

  111. “Did Laureate gain “unbelievable access” to the State Department thanks to Bill Clinton? We asked both Clinton’s staff and Laureate Education, Inc., if there were any arrangements made for his role as honorary chancellor regarding access Laureate may have to Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Both sides said there were none.”

    So glad that is all settled.

  112. But Trump tweets it so it must be true. Come on. You know how this works. If you are going to make accusations, you need to prove them up. You are not entitled to your own set of facts.

  113. Kate, thanks for clarifying that part of the story.

    The ridiculous amount of money given to Clinton alone raises legitimate questions.

    “Facts are important”

    Indeed, and it’s frustrating that both candidates don’t seem to believe that.

  114. And anyone who doesn’t think minorities need champions needs to go watch the Alton Sterling video. They killed the man in cold blood. In video. I am ashamed to live in a country where this kind of stuff keeps happening.

  115. There are a number of totebaggers whose family members went to college in NYC (city not federal support) for free in the 1930s and for peanuts into the 50s and 60s. The colleges were open to any who could be admitted, and there was a hierarchy among the schools based on academic prowess, not just borough location. Hunter College was originally for women, and many smart girls who could gain admission and still manage to keep working in the family business or otherwise bring in money while attending had the opportunity for higher education even in the face of parental indifference or opposition, unlike my mother who was sent to work at 18 in Chicago and had to give her paycheck to her own mother each week (until she left for the war effort). This worked because there was a ready pool of college hungry children, mostly of immigrants, college was not an automatic path after high school so there was some social/cultural rather than economic limitation to the applicant pool (probably both from the families and from the teachers’ encouragement or lack thereof), almost everyone commuted from home each day on the subway and there were no special facilities.

    Public works, public education, what we now deride as excessive government or Euro style socialism can work. As many conservatives preach, often these initiatives work better when they are localized and fit specific conditions.

  116. “And what about the states like Georgia where you get free tuition if you meet some grade standard”

    Last time I checked this program increased college enrollment but not college completion. Their requirements were based solely on grades, probably inflated and a poor indicator of college readiness. As was mentioned, the bigger problem is the lack of preparation non-totebaggy students receive in K-12 public schools.

  117. “And anyone who doesn’t think minorities need champions needs to go watch the Alton Sterling video. They killed the man in cold blood. In video. I am ashamed to live in a country where this kind of stuff keeps happening.”

    I’ve seen an analysis, but can’t find it now, of the numbers of police killings, and when controlled for percent of the population and percent of violent crime arrests, there is no statistical correlation between skin color and likelihood of being killed by the police.

    I definitely agree that we’ve militarized our police forces, and we’ve generally shifted toward prioritizing their safety more than we did before, which sometimes comes at the tragic expense of the lives of nonviolent or non-threatening suspects. Despite the popular media narrative, however, there’s not much numerical evidence (facts matter, remember) to suggest that it is a racially motivated issue or one that is unique to minorities.

  118. “You know how this works. If you are going to make accusations, you need to prove them up.”

    No you don’t. You can just run an ad that says that Romney’s firm’s takeover of a plant caused this poor woman to die of cancer.

  119. “The colleges were open to any who could be admitted”

    In the 1970s the CUNY system began to offer open admission (just a non-Regents high school diploma required) and their reputation dropped as they began to offer remedial courses for the many students unprepared to do college work. I remember CUNY graduates of that era who always felt it necessary to explain that their degrees really meant they had learned something in college.

    “Euro style socialism can work”

    From what I know, only qualified applicants receive free college in Europe.

  120. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/

    “This kind of stuff” doesn’t actually happen very often. In 2015, of the 990 people killed by police, 38 were black and unarmed (55 were not black and unarmed). But when the small number of questionable incidents are horrific, caught in part on video, and subject to wall-to-wall media coverage, it’s not surprising that the impression is otherwise.

  121. To clarify Georgia’s HOPE scholarship – yes, if you graduate from high school with a 3.0 grade average and then maintain 3.0 during college, you automatically qualify for the scholarship and get dramatically reduced tuition (although it does not cover room and board). HOPE Scholarship is considered a merit award, so the higher your GPA throughout college, the more $$ you get. There is also a separate program called the HOPE grant, which funds community college attendance and those seeking certifications, and that has a 2.0 GPA requirement. The programs together have been a huge success here. The same program that funds HOPE also funds free pre-K in Georgia. All 4 and 5 year olds can attend a pre-k program at no cost. It’s all lottery funded, so there have been years the programs have been retracted – less $$ awarded, but it’s overall remained stable for 20+ years.

  122. probably inflated and a poor indicator of college readiness

    CofC, this comes across as a pretty disparaging remark and not based on facts. Your high school GPA matters only for your first qualification, and I’ve not ever heard of any allegations that grades are inflated for purposes of this. Georgia has a vast state education program. I’m sure you have heard of UGA and GaTech because those are the flagship schools, but there are a TON of lesser known state colleges here, and HOPE applies equally to those students. It has been a true game changer for the state of Georgia in improving its educated/skilled/trained workforce, and a big reason that Georgia has had so many corporate entities move either their headquarters, factories, or large part of their operations here in the past 10 years.

  123. Philando Castille was shot last night after being pulled over for a broken tail light. Dead.

  124. Coc we are not disagreeing. I was referring to the City College system before 1970s when there were clear admission standards. It worked very well as free or close to it for its stated objectives for forty years. Whether it served the entire target population or only a subset of the target population is the million dollar question, and a lot of so-called educational and college funding reforms since then have had the effect of causing the publicly funded bootstrap level of higher education to be less effective for the students it was originally intended to serve.

  125. “This kind of stuff” doesn’t actually happen very often. In 2015, of the 990 people killed by police, 38 were black and unarmed (55 were not black and unarmed). But when the small number of questionable incidents are horrific, caught in part on video, and subject to wall-to-wall media coverage, it’s not surprising that the impression is otherwise.

    What % of the US population is black? doesn’t 38/93 seem rather high?

  126. And because facts matter, here are some regarding the so-called “Ferguson effect” on proactive policing:

    “A study published this year in the Journal of Criminal Justice found that homicides in the 12 months after the Michael Brown shooting rose significantly in cities with large black populations and already high rates of violence, which is precisely what the Ferguson effect would predict.

    A study of gun violence in Baltimore by crime analyst Jeff Asher showed an inverse correlation with proactive drug arrests: When Baltimore cops virtually stopped making drug arrests last year after the rioting that followed the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, shootings soared. In Chicago, where pedestrian stops have fallen nearly 90%, homicides this year are up 60% compared with the same period last year. Compared with the first four and half months of 2014, homicides in Chicago are up 95%, according to the police department. Even the liberal website Vox has grudgingly concluded that “the Ferguson effect theory is narrowly correct, at least in some cities.” ”


  127. “What % of the US population is black? doesn’t 38/93 seem rather high?”

    It would, except for the fact that African Americans commit a disproportionate share of all violent crimes.

  128. winemama,

    Here are some more facts on the race and crime issue, from Chicago but probably comparable to other large cities with significant minority populations:

    “In 2014 blacks in Chicago made up 79% of all known nonfatal shooting suspects, 85% of all known robbery suspects, and 77% of all known murder suspects, according to police-department data. Whites were 1% of known nonfatal shooting suspects in 2014, 2.5% of known robbery suspects, and 5% of known murder suspects, the latter number composed disproportionately of domestic homicides. Whites are nearly absent among violent street criminals—the group that proactive policing aims to deter.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-chicagos-streets-became-the-wild-west-1466029701 [same author, Heather McDonald, as the other wsj link]

  129. Proactive policing involves both armed and unarmed suspects — and keep in mind that police don’t always have the benefit of hindsight in determining into which category a suspect fits.

  130. As for grade inflation, I don’t think anyone believes it’s specific to Georgia.

    Fairfax County will no longer give “zeroes.”

    Under a new policy in Virginia’s Fairfax County, one of the nation’s largest school systems, middle and high school students can earn no lower than a score of 50 if they make a “reasonable attempt” to complete work. And for the first time this year, high school teachers who were going to fail a student had to reevaluate the student using “quality points,” making an F less detrimental to a student’s final grade. Prince George’s County in Maryland will limit failing grades to a 50 percent minimum score when students show a “good-faith effort.”

    Honestly, you can’t make this shit up:

    “The bottom line is that a zero on the 100-point scale distorts a student’s overall grade,” said Gregory Hood, principal of James Madison High School in Fairfax County. “A zero provides no information about what a student has learned, and it negatively impacts a student’s grade when averaged with other grades”

    I never would have guessed that not turning in an assignment would negatively affect my grade. I’m glad the principal cleared that up.


  131. RMS I fully support reasonably priced college. I pay almost $1k per semester just for books for my oldest. That would have covered a full year’s tuition and then some in my day. I just think people should have some skin in the game – not crushing levels of debt, just a commitment on their side. I do not believe people value what they get for free. I have the same annoyance with the health plan requiring free doctor visits every year for everyone and not just those at the lowest income levels. I can pay for my own appointments.

  132. Most undergraduates don’t actually have crushing levels of debt. Some 70% of students graduate with debt, which means that 30% are debt-free. And the average is about $30,000, or the cost of a new car. For all of the benefits that a college degree confers, isn’t $30K pretty reasonable?

  133. I agree that it makes more sense to borrow that much for a college education than for a new car. OTOH, I can’t see borrowing $30k for a car– if I needed to borrow that much to buy a car, I’d buy a less expensive car.

    MBT, ITA WRT skin in the game. Most, if not all HSS that guarantee aid to meet need, also agree and assume a student contribution of about $6k/year.

  134. More and more cops are getting aggressive day by day for sure! I our part of the country, it seems like almost every month we have video evidence of police brutality caught on camera! Many victims are white, but disproportionately minorities.

    Ironically, some of my Facebook friends are rabid republicans or libertarians. Their Facebook feeds are constantly about how bad HRC is. They are strangely quiet when incidents like Ferguson happen. Or post about “innocent until guilty” laden platitudes. Last year a suburban cop supposedly got gunned down by black suspects trying to escape. Wouldn’t you know, their face books lit up with every rhetoric you can imagine- how cops put their lives in danger etc. we support blue badges and flags everywhere, let’s collect money for the family etc.
    Later it was found out that the cop and his entire family were highly corrupt and staged the entire thing. The cop committed suicide and deliberately had called in black suspects to stage this ruse and had support of his family.
    Not a word of condemnation from all the Facebook posters.

    The conversation here always reminds me about that incident.

  135. I’ve definitely mentioned the militarization of civil law enforcement agencies before. After 9/11, Congress authorized so much money to fight terrorism, and then you get to the point so common in bureaucracies where there’s all this money available and nobody knows what the hell to do with it. So they start buying toys. Even, I think it was with the Cliven Bundy standoff, following the initial media reports, a lot of commenters said “Wait just a second…since when does the Bureau of Land Management have a SWAT team???”

    Then again, during the terrorist attack at the Orlando nightclub, the police broke through in one of these:

    So sometimes it helps to be prepared. (although this particular picture belongs to Nashville’s police department–everyone’s got one)

  136. Jane Doe, MD
    You can’t grow up in the US & not absorb antiBlackness. It’s up to you to examine & actively combat that – in yourself & your community.

    What do you think of this tweet?

  137. Probably some truth to it. Most people are good and well-intentioned. Those who are particularly passionate or angry are almost always that way because they feel belittled or demeaned or disregarded in some way, and that’s definitely true on both sides.

  138. I think it’s true, wine. I catch myself making negative snap judgments about black people. I try to stop myself.

  139. Rocky – that’s not what it said, but the article is clearly biased and intentionally misleading. It’s confusing the difference between classified information and information marked classified. There were thousands of documents containing classified information on her server; that’s not even in dispute. Clinton’s typical half truth for the past few months was that there was nothing MARKED classified. Now, even this is shown to be another lie. What your article references is a report that the two things marked classified were incorrectly marked classified (overly cautious).

    What this proves is that she did send and or receive both classified information and information marked classified, and couldn’t care less about either.

  140. Milo, is it your opinion that Trump would be better at keeping classified information within appropriate channels than Clintin would be?

  141. Trump would probably brag about sharing classified info. Clinton lied about it. I don’t know which is worse.

  142. “Milo, is it your opinion that Trump would be better at keeping classified information within appropriate channels than Clintin would be?”

    Yes. I think the Clintons are unique in that they’ve been at the pinnacle of power for so long that they have lost all reverence for it, and they’ve adopted the mindset that if they do something, it can’t be illegal.

    If Trump is elected and turns out to be just as corrupt (or one-tenth as corrupt), then we should absolutely not re-elect him, but at least the voters will have said that we have some standards for ethics.

    If Biden were the nominee now against Trump, I’d be resigned to supporting Biden. Probably even Elizabeth Warren, mainly for the many faults of Trump that Kate has detailed.

    But the corruption of the Clintons going back decades and continuing right through today, I just can’t stomach. And I can’t reconcile how feminists are so up in arms about someone like Brock Allen Turner that many are moved to start a recall petition against the judge who gave him too lenient of a criminal sentence, then in the very same moment declare on FB “I’m with Her.”

  143. Okay, so what’s the difference between classified information and information marked classified?

  144. If I give you a piece of paper on which I’ve written the location of tomorrow’s drone strikes, I’ve given you classified information. If I take the red rubber ink stamp and stamp “Top Secret – SCI” on the top and bottom, it is now marked classified (or marked TS/SCI, if you want to be specific).

    The presence or absence of the markings does not change the nature of the information. What Hillary and her staff typically did was exchange classified (including Top Secret) information that they never bothered to mark as such (you wouldn’t mark an email with an ink stamp, of course, but it can be done electronically and the law would then require that it only be transmitted on the SIPRnet.)

    Understandably, there are also things that get marked Classified even if they don’t need to be (but you’d better treat it as such just the same until you can properly destroy it). The article you shared was gleeful about the fact that the two apparent files that actually were marked Classified ultimately did not need to be.

  145. Lark, as Milo mentioned grade inflation is not limited to Georgia. Our local affluent high school graduates have the grades that indicate they are ready for college, but according to other measures only about 60% are actually able to do college-level work.

    Studies from ACT and College Board, the companies that run the two preeminent college-entrance exams, show GPAs increased while scores on the standardized ACT and SAT did not, a phenomenon they say likely indicates inflation….

    This is from a NYT article about how so many affluent college students take remedial courses.

    Part of the problem is that high schools offer a rigorous curriculum for relatively few students and often use a grading system that masks underperformance.

    I would like to see specifics about the Hope Scholarship’s success.  To be sure some students have benefited, but I don’t like the idea of upper-income families having their college tuition paid for by mostly low-income people through the state-run lottery.

    Most students drop out of the program, and I suspect that low-income participants represent the majority of college drop outs.

    Approximately 30 percent of students who start out with a HOPE scholarship end up keeping it. This means that, on average, more than two-thirds of students must eventually take out student loans, find employment, reach out to their parents and relatives for help, or drop out of college.

  146. HOPE and High School Grade Manipulation

    Because the HOPE scholarship is merit-based, eligibility is based on high school GPA. In 2003, Bradbury and Campbell reviewed whether local school districts, because of the subjective nature of assigning grades, were lowering academic standards and rewarding higher grades to students so more would qualify for HOPE scholarships. They concluded that systemic grading differences across counties existed and suggested that there was grade manipulation in some county and district high schools to increase the number of their graduates earning HOPE scholarship eligibility.

  147. Okay, so my friend’s response to you is (And this friend is, like you, former military, and he’s as smart as you and worked in government and has an MA in history, so he’s not to be ignored any more than you are to be ignored):

    “The difference between classified information and information marked classified is simply the marking. However, without the marking, it’s not easy to know if the information is classified or should be classified. If State had the kind of security-conscious culture which is found at DoD, one could rely on the lack of marking as an indication that information is not classified. Indeed, DoD classifies information which should not be classified.

    People generally have the impression that government is some homogenous group all doing things by the same rules. That’s not the case. Assuming that State would handle information the same way that DoD does or that the DoD rules for classified information handling are used throughout government is just wrong. State had/has a looser attitude toward information handling than does DoD. They also don’t have the personnel or IT resources to do anything like the job DoD does in protecting information. At DoD, there would have been a server in place for the Secretary. There would have been a server farm on which *all* mail traffic in the department would be backed up and on which that backup was backed up. There would have been 2 separate computer networks, one secure and one non-secure. No computer would be on both networks and access to the secure system would have been closely controlled. There’s nothing like that outside of DHS and DoD.

    “Another thing about that disparity in how government offices work: Your correspondent in government can’t speak for how things work as though they are the same in their office as they are at State.

    “‘Clinton’s typical half truth for the past few months was that there was nothing MARKED classified.’
    Actually, the article above says that nothing was marked classified at the time it was used in e-mails. It says that documents were retroactively classified.

    To add insult to your friend’s injury, Comey said (under oath) that there were only 3 Clinton e-mails containing classified information and they were not marked as classified when she received them.

  148. My friend also says I’m an idiot to argue politics with you. See? Toldja he was smart!

  149. Rocky – i’m your correspondent in government? I’m flattered!

    I don’t know where your friend and I disagree, other than his claim that Komi said only three emails contained classified information. I have not followed the coverage of his congressional testimony today, so I’ll have to check into that.

  150. Just read the news about the sniper shootings of Dallas police. I am sick – what the hell is going on? This is going to end so badly.

  151. The BLM protesters in Dallas whom the news has grabbed off the street for quick interviews have all come across very well. They’ve talked about how it had been a peaceful march, one said he did not come out to March against the police but to work with them, and so forth. On one hand, this can set the conflict way back, but on the other, there’s a possibility that it leads to more of a mutual understanding.

  152. “The conversation here always reminds me about that incident.”

    I wonder why.

  153. Scarlett, a freeway here had a sign indicating it was the ‘Veteran’s Memorial Freeway.’

    Shortly after that sign went up, a local columnist wondered, in print, which veteran was being memorialized.

    Not long after that, the sign was replaced by one saying, ‘Veterans’ Memorial Freeway.’

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