Election 2016, July 17-23

The Republican convention starts tomorrow.  Your thoughts?


136 thoughts on “Election 2016, July 17-23

  1. Only good thing I can see in the GOP convention is that I have friends in Cleveland who do civil rights-type law. Plenty of business, heading their way. ;)

  2. I am super psyched to watch Scott Baio speak. If they could also get Kirk Cameron to speak, that would be even better.

  3. Coming in to this election cycle, I thought the race was the Republican’s to lose. They could have put up almost any candidate and easily won. I cannot believe what this has devolved into. Even ignoring Trump, the fact that one of the opening night speakers ranted on about Obama being a Muslim – Obama is not running again. Does no one in party leadership see how bat-sh*t crazy this conspiracy theory stuff makes the party look?

  4. Favorite line about the general craziness of the convention from social media so far: “if Trump’s hairdo held a convention, this is what it would look like.”

  5. I caught the tail end of Melania’s speech, and mainly I just felt bad for her. The camera had her in tight closeup, and she looked terrified, like a deer in the headlights. She was also oddly shiny, like she was sweating, or maybe she just wears a lot of shiny makeup.

  6. I love that #CrookedMelania is now trending. WTH?! They totally set her up. I would be so angry if I were her.

  7. I agree, Kate, but it would help if she would stop insisting that she wrote the speech. They need to blame a speechwriter, fire someone, and move on.

  8. I am sure they told her that she should say that she wrote the speech. This convention is such a circus. Giuliani was nuts. Steve King is totally off his rocker. Melania includes a rick roll. I am so excited for Thurs. I have invited people over to watch.

  9. Oh, crap. No! I do not want to see more discussion of the GOP madness. Think it’s great that this has been corralled into separate posts. I meant the credit card topic should be on repeat!

  10. I read the Trump article that you linked to. I’d like to see a separate analysis of the value of liberal arts and STEM degrees for people in the top tenth, 75-90th percentile and 50th-75th percentile of their high school class. RMS has mentioned the successful liberal arts grads she knows, but I think they’re successful because of their innate intelligence and, perhaps secondarily, their social/geographic background. Sitting through interminable explanations of y = mx +b in Econ 101 at Land Grant U is not the root cause of their success.

    I’ve seen prestigious liberal arts schools mention a “rigorous” liberal arts education, and I absolutely see the value in that. But, partly due to adjuncts and large classes, liberal arts courses for the masses are rarely “rigorous.” RMS- how far off base do you think I am?

    Analyses should also separate people who obtained a liberal arts degree after age ~32 from those under ~age 25, because some older grads are people who needed some kind of degree to be managers/supervisors but the degree was a formality. Their raw intelligence and drive is the real cause of their success.

    I’ve tried to ignore the election and I think Trump is a doofus so I have no idea what his proposals are. Apparently no one wants to run for President on the platform of fixing the broken stuff in our existing government programs.

  11. IDK if any of the lawyers here specialize in this kind of thing, but if musicians want a politician to stop playing their music, wouldn’t it be possible to rescind the rights of the licensing organization to sell rights to the song for a few months? That would mean no radio stations could play it either, but its not like the whole country is going to forget these iconic songs after a few months. They’re chosen partially because of how deeply engrained they already are. http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/19/media/queen-donald-trump-we-are-the-champions/

    As it is, I think Queen needs to set up a storyline with “We Are The Champions” mocking Teump as he makes that entrance and pay to have it played everywhere. The image of a business dude in a suit wandering out to that song would be pretty easy to spin that way.

  12. I predict that Clinton wins the election with fewer than 25% of eligible voters voting for her, due to a combination of low turnout and third party candidates receiving unusually high support.

  13. I don’t know much about Trump’s policy proposals either, but I have read news articles mentioning a couple that I have agreed with. That is not enough to make me overlook the aspects of him that horrify me. I agree with your prediction on Hillary, with the caveat that I was certain Trump would not be the candidate, so clearly I don’t know anything. The fact that voters are so disappointed with their choices that we expect the winner to generate so little support just makes me sad for our country.

  14. In reading Trump’s Mum Supporters
    As long as you don’t admit voting for him, a Donald presidency might be OK.
    , this stood out and rang true for me.

    What about the character question? It’s hard to believe voters would have elected Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon or Bill Clinton based on what they know now. Voters know a great deal about Mr. Trump. He might be the biggest sleaze they ever knowingly vote for, but not the biggest to hold the office.


  15. Earlier tonight, DS asked me for some suggestions for the thread he and his friends had going: famous movie lines written by Melania Trump.

    The first one I thought of: “Wax on, wax off.”

    But for this group, perhaps the more appropriate line is, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

    What other lines come to mind?

  16. Finn, the ever famous, “Talk to the hand”. But maybe that could be better attributed to the Trump.

  17. CoC,
    Interesting points on character. Throw iffy health into the mix and JFK would never have gotten the nomination, nor FDR.
    I suspect a number of friends in the “I can’t vote for either” camp may end up voting for Trump. Those who are leaning towards Hillary are fairly candid about it.

  18. Terminator lines written by Melania Trump:

    I’ll be back.

    Hasta la vista, baby.

  19. “wouldn’t it be possible to rescind the rights of the licensing organization to sell rights to the song for a few months?”

    Certainly not the expert, but I would guess that once they sell the rights of the song, it is no longer theirs to rescind, even temporarily. My guess is that’s the most common arrangement, but not the only one.

  20. It’s reminiscent of Bruce getting pissy when Ronald Reagan’s team used “Born in the USA” (focusing, of course, on the catchy refrain but none of the actual downtrodden lyrics).

  21. Queen should have followed Dolly Parton’s model if they wanted control of the songs:

    “Born the fourth of twelve children into a family so “dirt poor” her father paid the delivering doctor at her birth with a bag of oatmeal, Dolly Parton has amassed a net worth that puts her comfortably [a]head of the Queen of England. Over a career spanning half a century, the country music royalty – in the genre, she’s the most celebrated female artist of all time – has adhered to a specific business strategy based on her own personal opportunity costs that allowed her to build her capital levels despite a lack of startup funds.

     Spend years developing skill capital (musical ability) and beauty capital (maintaining her weight, never going out in public unless she looked like she wanted).
     Create intellectual property in the form of songs, which are then licensed to other singers in exchange for on-going cash flow streams. No matter what the pressure, never sell the intellectual property; always choose the annuity stream.

     Start your own music publishing company so you get to keep the publisher’s share of the earnings (which the songwriter usually has to split), double dipping into the cash flow stream.

    This meant she almost never, under almost any condition, sold her copyrights or intellectual property even if it meant turning down what looked like the biggest opportunity of her life by telling Elvis Presley he couldn’t cover her music (Presley’s manager, a man named Tom Parker, had his own rule of only letting Elvis release songs to which he had at least 50% of the publishing rights, giving the King of Rock ‘n Roll an annuity stream of his own since it was his fame that would turn it into a moneymaker in a lot of cases). One of the things that often isn’t told in that story is that, the news was sprung on her the day before the recording session when the band had been hired, the studio had been booked, her friends had been told it was happening … she was totally undeterred by social proof. She shut it down, refusing to let inertia to get her to do something she’d regret because Parton had identified her line in the sand and stuck to it. She kept the annuity streams for her creations. No matter how many people were disappointed, it wasn’t up for negotiation.

    “I Will Always Love You” … was written in a single evening, yet would turn out to be the most lucrative work Dolly Parton ever composed. How did it come into existence? To paraphrase her comments, back in 1967, she had the good fortune of landing the gig as the female singer on the Porter Wagoner Show, which was a big deal for her at the time. When she started working with Porter, she told him, “I had come to Nashville to be my own star and have my own group, but the money was so good, I told Porter I would stay for five years. And he agreed to that. Well, five years came [she actually stayed for seven] and I wanted to go and the show was doing great and Porter was having a real hard time with that – and he was stubborn, we used to fight like cats and dogs ’cause we were both stubborn – but anyhow, I told him I wanted to go on out on my own so he was just havin’ a fit about it and we argued a lot and I thought, ‘He’s never going to listen to me, he’s not hearin’ a word I’m sayin’, so why don’t you just go home, do what you do best, write a song.’ So I went home, wrote a song about it, came back the next day, and I said, ‘Porter, just sit down. Let me sing you somethin’ then you’ll know how I feel. And I just want you to know that I will always love you.’ And that’s what I [called the song].”

    Porter said goodbye to her and she sang it on his show, with him introducing it to the audience …

    The song hit #1 on the charts in 1974. In 1982, Parton re-released it for a movie called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and it went to #1, again; the first time in history an artist had done such a thing. Later, at Kevin Costner’s insistence, the song was licensed title theme of The Bodyguard soundtrack, taking it to #1 for a third time when Whitney Houston covered it. Finally, when Houston died decades later, the song once again topped the charts, coming in at the #1 spot for a fourth time. In each and every situation, across multiple decades, it was Parton cashing the royalty checks.


  22. I love Dolly Parton.

    WCE, I feel like you want me to say that studying the humanities (not the liberal arts, which includes science) is worthless, but I’m just not going to. I do think having adjuncts teach everything is a bad idea, but it’s a bad idea across the board.

  23. “I love Dolly Parton.”

    I do, too, but that song has never done anything for me.

  24. I love that song, love Whitneys version the best!

    Wow, that Dolly is one shrewd business woman!

  25. “Wow, that Dolly is one shrewd business woman!”

    She is. There’s more good stuff in the blog post, but I tried to limit the excerpts to the parts about song rights. Buying Silver Dollar City and turning it into Dollywood was a pretty good move.

  26. RMS, maybe part of our difference is definition. At my school, there was a “college of liberal arts and sciences” and biology, chemistry, physics and com sci were considered sciences, not liberal arts.

    Do you think the successful theology PhD’s that Scarlett knows are successful because of their theology degrees or because they have the innate aptitude (top decile in high school) to read and interpret in multiple languages? How does that compare to the numerically-more-common BA in psychology who has limited engagement with coursework?

    My argument is that incoming aptitude is the top variable, and many programs screen out people with less aptitude.

    Another question is how we assess people like physicians. In other countries, people become physicians without a bachelor’s degree at all, so does it really matter whether a physician’s bachelor’s degree is in history or chemistry? I doubt it.

  27. Well. I guess I don’t really know, WCE. Seems like it would be a useful topic for research. Of course my first guess is that natural aptitude plays a big role in long-term success. But I wouldn’t necessarily limit it to some kind of academic smarts. People skills, good looks, the ability to sell, etc., all play a big role in long-term success. And then “drive”, whatever that really boils down to, is critical as well, even if the individual can’t write a useful essay about modal logic.

  28. When I was thinking about my response to MBT, about what criteria I would use to limit college loans, my thought was that academic aptitude as measured by standardized tests and OCEAN/career aptitude testing in the upper 3/4 of graduating students in your field would be a reasonable screen.

  29. LBJ was a sleaze, for sure, and Nixon’s character flaws were well known at the time and of course even more well known now. But Trump is different. It isn’t JUST the sleaze factor, or JUST the paranoid character. It is the fact that he makes no danm sense at all. He bounces from thought to thought, contradicting himself over and over. His main policy proposal is “I’ll make some great deals”. Go and read some of his speeches and interviews. They are like this weird mishmosh of random thoughts, strung together into rambling run-on sentences. Nixon may have been a paranoid drunk, Bill was certainly sleazy in his Bubba way, and LBJ was as corrupt as all get out. But all of those people made coherent sense. They had plans and policies which you might have disagreed with, but were at least rational. Trump is something else altogether -sleazy in business, sleazy in his personal life, corrupt, and ALSO makes no sense whatsoever.

  30. Many people have said that he has narcissistic personality disorder. I think a lot of presidents fall on the high side of the scale for narcissism, but Trump really does seem to take it to a new, pathological level. He cannot handle any criticism and goes in to attack mode. It is really bizarre and concerning. Especially since he doesn’t seem to understand basic things about government.

  31. Isn’t there a story about Nixon wandering to the Lincoln Memorial late one night? I believe he was rather incoherent, if I remember the tale correctly.

  32. Trump must be laughing in his sleeve about the irrational anti-Hillary cadres. I know I am. They are so full of hate that they have become almost fundamentalists judging from their reactions these past few days/weeks.
    Never knew Presidential election could be so entertaining.

  33. I am very excited for the main event tonight. Cruz was fun last night. It is easy to understand why no one in Congress likes him. Even though I think it is great that he wouldn’t endorse, he reminds me of a lizard.

  34. I think he only made the people who already supported him energized. My Facebook feed is full of Republicans who are saluting Kasich and Cruz for sticking to their principles. They, too, think this whole thing has been a circus.

  35. I didn’t actually watch it last night, but I saw the shocked reactions of NBC News, including Lester Holt, what must have been about 10 minutes afterward. Their immediate assessment was that “tomorrow morning,” every headline is going to be Cruz Refuses to Endorse Trump.

    I check the headlines this morning, and just about all of them are some variant of “Cruz Booed off the Stage for Refusing to Endorse Trump.” And the general consensus is that Cruz is a weasel and Trump was very gracious for letting him speak at all. The follow-up coverage is how Cruz was assailed at the breakfast for the Texas delegates and forced to admit that he really was just still smarting from Trump’s attacks on his wife and conspiracy-theory insinuations about his father. And, among many others, you have Ronald Reagan’s son attacking Cruz and defending Trump, so I’d say that’s a victory for Trump.

    I was getting my hair cut last night, and I got to talking with the stylist about Facebook. I mentioned that most of my news feed is political stuff now, from both sides, constantly back and forth. She seemed a little surprised and replied that she sees no political comments on Facebook, ever. Hers is mostly back and forth battles in the pop-entertainment industry, e.g., Taylor Swift and some Kardashian, and she’s tired of it.

    It confirmed my suspicion that there’s a fairly significant portion of the population that really couldn’t care less about politics. They may or may not be motivated to vote during any particular cycle. I have no idea if she will or not, but she’s definitely not in tune with who’s endorsed or snubbed whom.

  36. At best, I think about 60% of eligible voters actually vote. And I don’t think that % includes people who could register but don’t.

    I have some Kardashian v Taylor Swift stuff in my feed. Apparently it is quite the scandal.

  37. IME, at least outside DC, people are far more interested in popular culture or their personal lives than in politics at any level.

  38. So now I have to go look up what’s going on with Taylor and Kimye.

  39. I watched trumps speech last night for rwo reasons. One, to experience his style and evaluate his message and appeal. Two, more important to me, who rarely sits through full speeches from either side, to read my usual commentators to see where their filters processed the speech in a way that differed from my direct experience. He is good at this. Did not change my opinion of him as a potential president.

  40. And he kept returning to the “illegal immigrants=murderers” thing over and over and over. Definitely the dark and paranoid side of Nixon.

  41. It was fun! When he went off speech, it was ranty and crazy, but when he followed the script, his delivery was good. Content was mostly paranoid and not exactly what one would call normal. And I loved the You Can’t Always Get What You Want part. Paul Ryan and the rest of the establishment quietly nodded and cried.

  42. I watched for a bit! And although I agree with him to an extent over some policy issues- stricter enforcement of laws, illegal immigration, better trade deals for America vis a vis China, etc. his extreme and/or racist version of it leaves me cold.

  43. Mike Pence looks exactly like someone who would be cast as misogynistic egomaniac who gets elected to powerful office only for people to realize later what a monster he is!

  44. That was EXACTLY the speech he needed to give, and he did so at precisely the right pitch, mostly with a lot of confidence and assuredness, but also with a couple key moments of humility (re: the support from evangelicals and the religious, and his acknowledgement about “Yeah, I *know* how the system works”, and you really needed to see the body language in those two moments). And when the crowd was chanting “Lock her up,” as has been a regular feature all week, he stayed just far enough above it to give only a knowing smile of acknowledgement, but then redirect it to a wiser “Let’s defeat her.” His criticism of her weird campaign slogan was perfect. His focus on simple issues–jobs, safety and security, and *LAW AND ORDER!!–was disciplined, relentless, most effective at motivating frustrated voters to his side, and his base to his polls, and beyond criticism from the Democrats (who DOESN’T like law and order?). He’s not getting into culture wars over abortion or gay marriage. He’s hitting precisely at the issues people are focused on, and he’s tapping into their frustrations and concerns. This is exactly what needs to be done to deny a party a third White House term.

    If he can stay as disciplined, consistent, and relentlessly on-message as he was last night for the next three months, he will win hands down.

  45. “If he can stay as disciplined, consistent and relentlessly on-message…”

    You write that as though it is even a possibility.

  46. Of course it’s a possibility. With no political experience, he’s defeated politicians far more talented than Hillary Clinton. And he’s now defined the terms in a way that puts her on the defensive about her record as Secretary of State, and the Democratic Party’s uneasy alliance with groups like BLM.

    When 70% of Americans say that the country is on the wrong track, when 50 people are shot by a terrorist in a nightclub and 84 are run over by a truck in France, and while there’s an absolute feeling that the current administration refuses to even call the problem what it is (you can debate whether that’s true, or an argument about semantics, but that’s the perception), it’s a tough time to be arguing for a third term of keeping things pretty much the same.

    Hillary wants to battle on issues like equal pay; Trump is going to say “absolutely, we need equal pay for women. And now back to this issue about security, terror, and law and order…”

  47. He’s defeated other politicians in his own party with a very small group of voters who won’t be the ones deciding who gets this.

    And all I mean is that he has no self-control or ability to hold back. It is part of the NPD. Kind of text book.

  48. This has been a weird summer with different things bubbling. Terrorism, police shootings, protests, Pokemon and the Presidential Campaign. The Great Recession in 2008 picked up steam but more towards the fall.

  49. “And all I mean is that he has no self-control or ability to hold back.”

    Bullshit. You can’t make that claim after he allowed Ted Cruz to keep his primetime speaking spot knowing that Cruz was about to stab him in the back. People who can’t handle criticism do not do that. No way would Hillary have allowed Bernie that opportunity.

    And someone who has no ability to hold back would have said something far worse in the aftermath of Cruz’s speech than what Trump said.

    And he clearly held back several times during his speech last night, in the example I gave about his response to the chant, and when the Code Pink protestor tried to disrupt his speech, he waited quietly and patiently and said only “Aren’t the police great?” Your earlier iteration of Trump would have laughed and said “Knock the crap out of her!”

    If you don’t think he’s evolved into a much more formidable and disciplined candidate, you’re simply not paying attention.

  50. Milo – the man wants to be Emperor. In order to stay disciplined, he’ll have to take “orders” from a speech writer. He’s criticized others for using speech writers. Sure the content and ideas will be his but the words will not be. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just a hard row to sow for a man used to flying off the cuff.

    If he can continue to find what everyone is truly afraid of (and he’s doing a damn good job) and telling everyone who’s to blame for it, he will win the election. He doesn’t need to have ideas on how to solve these problems. Just “I alone am the one who can fix it” is enough. And if the Bernie supporters (or any Dems really) go 3rd party, then Trump will win.

  51. “He’s defeated other politicians in his own party with a very small group of voters who won’t be the ones deciding who gets this. ”

    Yeah, yeah, things are always a little bit different. He defeated Jeb Bush, who spent how many hundreds of millions of dollars compared to Trump? Hillary’s running the same strategy as Jeb, with less charisma.

  52. ” Sure the content and ideas will be his but the words will not be.”

    But last night showed that he can blend a speechwriter’s words with his own authenticity, and there is no loss of the latter. And even his ad-libbing was good, like the part about how it’s nice that the GOP delegates are able to cheer for his comments on the Radical Islamic hatred for LGBTQ.

  53. Milo, you really think that is the speech he needed to give? Are Americans really that dark and paranoid? Both Reagan and Obama won. despite a lot of misgivings in the electorate, because they appealed to people’s happier side. Even Bill “I feel your pain” Clinton tended to be relatively upbeat. I think Trump really played into the hands of people who are ready to label him a fascist. Did you see Jennifer Rubin’s column today?

  54. “Both Reagan and Obama won. despite a lot of misgivings in the electorate, because they appealed to people’s happier side.”

    I don’t know quite where you’re getting that from. I wasn’t yet crawling when Reagan won, but in 2008, I remember a hell of a lot of doomsday talk from Obama and the Democrats. “Devastating wars in the Middle East are only getting worse, our international reputation is in tatters, worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we’re on the brink of global financial catastrophe and collapse, one more ounce of carbon into the atmosphere and it’s GAME OVER for Mother Earth–floods, tornadoes, droughts, famines, locusts, dogs and cats, living together–young people crippled by student loans and no futures whatsoever, Peak Oil that will lead to natural resource wars…

    And all Obama really said was “HOPE.” (You can Google videos of Hillary mocking him for this.) And you think that’s sooooo different from saying “everything now is a disaster, but I’ll Make America Great Again”?

    No, it’s just how you unseat a party after two terms, especially when, again, 70% of people think things are not going well.

  55. I think it really comes down to the Bernie supporters and young voters. The moderates seem to be pretty much splitting and the ones who won’t vote for Trump don’t really care about how viewpoints and think he lacks discipline in that area, so I don’t think many will be swaywd. In the last week, almost every Bernie Bro in my feed has said that a vote for Trump is 1000 steps back and a vote for HRC is 10 steps back, so HRC it is. Trump has already won over the right. HRC needs to get the young people who got Obama elected. And that is hard for her. She is not an inspiring candidate. But the Dems are good at GOTV stuff. So we will see.

  56. For a long time it seemed that Trump was running as a lark, unlike Clinton who has been aiming at the Oval Office for years. But now he appears really to want it, so much so that he has been willing and able to modify his style. And evolve.

  57. “almost every Bernie Bro in my feed has said that a vote for Trump is 1000 steps back and a vote for HRC is 10 steps back, so HRC it is.”

    This is not to be snarky, but are any of them people who did not graduate from college? Are any of them working class?

  58. Sadly, I do remember Reagan’s first campaign – it was my first time voting. Reagan said that things were not right ,but his tone was really optimistic, especially compared to Jimmy Carter. It was the optimism that got him elected. And it was totally the same for Obama. He SAID that things were not going well, but he always came off as supremely optimistic, and that was what inspired the hordes of college students. The only candidate I remember being so apocalyptic was Nixon, (OK, I was a kid, but I kind of do remember him), and Trump is really on the dark side of Nixon. And I think people do not have good feelings about Nixon, especially as more and more of his character issues surface.

  59. Well, Nixon won, keep in mind. Twice. So in the right climate, it’s not like it’s a losing strategy.

    And I still don’t think you’ve drawn any sort of contrast between the apocalyptic proclamations of 2008 vs. now, or why you think Trump, who is nothing if not supremely optimistic about his ability to fix things, is somehow less hopeful than Obama. Perhaps you just wanted to believe Obama more, so the optimism seemed more real to you?

  60. Milo – yes, sir. My extended family (which is quite large) is very working class. Lots of people who did community college only or no college at all. My parents/my nuclear family growing up was the anomaly. I also have many family members who are the old school Dems who worked in union jobs their entire lives. They all support Trump.

  61. My city is having visits from both candidates next week. Not looking forward to the road closures.

  62. DH’s relatives are largely union Democrats. One of them, judging from his FB posts, is probably a Trump supporter, but the others are pretty anti-Trump.

  63. I guess I shouldn’t say that they all support Trump. The ones who have been vocal all support Trump. It is possible that the others won’t vote or support HRC. I am not really sure.

  64. Mooshi – The Jennifer Rubin column is a mirror image of the conservative opinion pieces from 2008 mocking The One, The Saviour who appeared before faux Grecian columns to declare that he, alone, would deliver us from all of our ills.

  65. Jennifer Rubin certainly despised Obama, and still does. But her critique of Obama was that, besides being too liberal for her tastes, he was a lightweight, and would disappoint his followers. She thought he was getting everyone’s hopes up on the basis of nothing. Contrast that to her language on Trump, which is that he is scaring everyone and fanning the flames of despair. She uses terms like “dark and foreboding”, “strongman”, and “authoritarian”. And it is her own party too!

    “In the gloom and doom is the repudiation of Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism. In the isolationism is the banishment of Teddy Roosevelt, Ike, both Bush presidents and every other Republican who believed in America’s unique ability and responsibility to lead the world. Forget the Shining City on the Hill. Now it’s the Heart of Darkness.”

  66. Haha Trump is a salesman for sure! He knows what tune to sing when. He obviously read his voter base yesterday. They are ecstatic.

  67. Well, Reagan was running against Eyeore. If I have my history right, Carter was already pretty downtrodden himself about things, or at least was perceived as so. He was saying “this is the best we can do. I’ve sold the Presidential yacht for some spare change. Every little bit helps. Energy is expensive, so we’re wearing sweaters around here; I recommend you do the same, it’s not going to get any better.”

    Against that opponent, it makes sense to be a little more optimistic, saying “*YOU* may suck, but *WE* can do better.”

    On the other hand, the Obama and Clinton camp are saying that things are pretty good now, all in all. So what if ISIS is killing a few hundred people a week? They’re just lone wolves. Learn to live with a little bit of terror. Hey, we got bin Laden, isn’t that enough? Gays can marry now, men can use the women’s bathroom, this is what matters. Oh, and the stock market’s great, unemployment is low, and if all you are qualified to do is work in a factory, sucks to be you. You enjoyed white privilege for too long, anyway, you should appreciate the opportunity to taste a little poverty. If you can’t successfully compete in the labor market with illegal immigrants, you’re a bigot. We like them, and those laws don’t really matter, anyway. We’re going to be putting a lot of coal miners out of business. If police are getting executed on the streets, well, shit happens.”

    So yeah, it’s up to Trump to say that no, this is not right, these people are ignored, forgotten, dismissed.

  68. I’m waiting to see what Trump’s version of “There you go again” will be in the debates.

  69. Yes, old white men really do need a champion. And Trump is just the guy! I think you are ignoring the realities of the demographics. You need women and young people and minorities.

  70. Kate – You could say the same about Hillary in reverse. The polls are pretty close.

  71. Specifically:

    Trump is ahead by 13 points among men, while Clinton posts a 10-point lead among women.

    Clinton runs strongest among those under 40, but voters in this age group are also far more likely than their elders to prefer some other candidate.

    The likely Democratic nominee continues to maintain an overwhelming lead among blacks and is slightly ahead among other minority voters. Trump has a double-digit advantage among whites.

  72. Milo – agreed. I think it comes down to voter turnout. Hopefully Nov 8 is a good weather day.

  73. ATM – Even as someone who follows politics more than your average person does, I really don’t know much of anything about him. I never hear much, good or bad. Maybe that he’s very rich and fairly moderate as Dems go, new-business, technocratic elite-oriented.

    So basically a generic Hillary without the ethics baggage.

  74. “I think it comes down to voter turnout.”

    I do, too. I read something from a journalist recently who had traveled and interviewed the mythical working-class Trump supporters. I guess they were mostly the Reagan Democrat types that Mooshi mentioned, so they weren’t going to be voting for Hillary or Obama ever. But she asked around, and not a single one had bothered to come out for Romney, either.

    So I agree that I think there are very few people who are switching back and forth. It’s just a matter of who actually gets to the polls. This is the part that you and I, as reliable Totebag voters, really can’t fathom.

  75. ATM – I think he is well-liked. I think most of our politicians are. They have to keep pretty moderate or at least be willing to compromise to keep everyone happy. Northern Va is so different from the rest of the state. I think it helps kee everyone in line.

  76. Milo – yep. Honestly, against anyone else the Republicans could have put up, HRC would be toast. So, as much as I rail against Trump because I just cannot stand what he stands for/peddles, he is her best shot at the White House. He has even turned my husband in to a supporter of HRC, which is something that I never thought would have happened.

  77. Kate – Maybe. Or maybe she would have had an easier time against Cruz. In such case, we’d just be re-hashing the same old War on Women trope, and Hillary would have an easier time fighting that, because the playbook is already written.

  78. A day after accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for president, Donald Trump rehashed a conspiracy theory that claims the man who killed President John F. Kennedy once cavorted with Ted Cruz’s father.


    I don’t cavort enough. I hang out, and I talk to people, and sometimes I get together with friends, but I hardly ever cavort. I should cavort more.

  79. “All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.”

    I like how even Oswald rates a nickname.

  80. There are several things I don’t understand about that, though. WAS that Cruz’s father with Oswald? Why did Cruz Sr. support Castro? What the hell’s going on, anyway?

  81. The top headlines right now on CNN are a split between Obama saying that Trump’s doom-and-gloom scenario does not match reality right alongside breaking news of a mass shooting in a shopping mall in Munich.

  82. “One group is responsible for America’s culture of violence, and it isn’t cops, black Americans, Muslims or rednecks. It’s men”



  83. Still trying to wrap my head around the N. Miami shooting. Cop shoots at autistic man playing with a toy (car? train?), wounds nearby (black male) caregiver who is lying flat on the ground with his arms up.

  84. I think the story is that they meant to shoot the person with autism (white) to protect the caregiver (black) but missed and shot the caregiver who was flat on the ground yelling, “don’t shoot.” Awesome! Regardless of BLM or whether the police act with bias, etc., why are we not enraged over this bs?! WTF are the police shooting so many people?

  85. Oh! And after they shot the caregiver that they were protecting, they handcuffed him! Obvious next steps and all.

  86. are they, or is it just better documented now? I don’t pretend to know that answer. The Miami thing was pretty screwed up. Thank God he wasn’t killed.

    My uninformed opinion is that, as many professions have done, law enforcement has actively evolved to reduce their own risk. My feeling is that, in the old days, it was more or less expected that occasionally taking a few punches was part of the job. Somewhere along the way, we decided that was no longer acceptable. You don’t see police carrying batons any more (at least I don’t). They used to have the big wooden ones, and that can go a long way in fending off an angry or drunk suspect. For a while, they had extending/telescopic asp batons, but you don’t see much of those any more, either. Maybe those were replaced by Tasers, but then those got a bad rap.

    So it does seem that they’re more likely to resort to protecting themselves with the threat, and sometimes deployment, of lethal force. But again, I don’t know the stats on that, and it would also be difficult to compare it from year to year, because as crime has generally gone down (until recently), if the use of force is constant, does that mean it’s working, or being used more unnecessarily, etc., etc.

    There’s that Fresno video that’s just released now. On one hand, the [white] suspect had plenty of opportunities to follow directions, get on the ground, and so forth. His actions could probably fall into the category of “suicide by cop.” On the other hand, the officer wasn’t waiting to see a gun before shooting. I don’t know if I can blame him, but that’s just the way it is. What’s more questionable, to me, is how many times I see on the news a suspect is killed in a justifiable shooting after getting shot multiple times. My question is that the initial shooting may have been justified, but the wound is almost certainly incapacitating, although possibly survivable. But so often it seems that once lethal force is used, you’re looking at 14-30 rounds going toward the guy, often from multiple officers. In the Fresno video, it looks to me like the guy is already down on the ground with a bullet in his abdomen when he’s shot again. Would the first one have been survivable? And is it reasonable to pay a 24-year-old officer $40k a year and put him in that situation and really expect him to be able to decide in that instant that one shot was enough, take cover and wait, or shoot until the threat is totally neutralized. Having never experienced anything like that, I don’t think I can really say if that expectation is reasonable.

  87. I don’t know if this kind of stuff is more prevalent or not. I suspect that it is. My dad’s good friend is a retired police officer and he said he pulled his gun once. Lots of fights and tussles. But almost no threats or actual use of lethal force. But regardless, now that it appears that the police are using lethal force in certain situations where it probably isn’t ok, they should probably work on getting that under control.

  88. Pasting this because it’s like it was written to contradict Mooshi’s assertions. It was only Morning in America from Reagan when he was running for RE-election. From RealClearPolitics:

    Many are comparing the present time to 1968, but I believe 2016 feels an awful lot like 1980 in several ways.

    First, the RCP wrong track number reminds us that it’s not morning in America by anyone’s standard. That theme emerged, and that spot aired, in 1984 after Reagan had turned things around.

    In the 1980 campaign, Reagan’s overarching theme instead was a question: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

    Trump’s theme – “Make America Great Again,” a phrase employed by Reagan in 1980 – is not that different from this question. Both phrases drive the same theme, that things have gotten worse under the current leadership and we need new leadership for things to get better.

    The Reagan campaign and the Kennedy primary campaign against Carter hit the arguably dark and negative themes of a broken country: American hostages and overseas, weakness in foreign policy, high inflation, interest rates and unemployment here at home.

  89. The situation in Florida where the caregiver of the autistic guy was shot is significant for me and some of my friends/acquaintances. A few cops go to church/school with us and if you’re belligerent, criminal and threatening, they (and I at their advice) might give cops some margin for error. Cops who shoot cooperative people should face criminal charges.

  90. I believe that police are necessary for a functional society, but they cannot be above the law. I agree with WCE. Cops who shoot cooperative people should face criminal charges, and as trained professionals, they need to be able to bring a situation under control without killing people.

  91. I 100% agree that you have to give the police some leeway when dealing with threatening people. The issues I have are: (1) situations like the caregiver one, (2) shooting at people who are fleeing (no imminent threat to police officer’s life), (3) Milo’s scenario where they shoot to kill over and over again, (4) what seems like the police escalating things when they should be trained to try to de-escalate things. Re: #4, I think I told you guys about my encounter with a police officer when my daughter was a newborn. He completely flipped out on me and I have no idea what I even did. Certain certainly I was in no way intending to be threatening and I fully complied with everything that he asked. And why are tasers not used more often? I feel like police shootings are inevitable but should be rare and a last result (e.g., shooting to kill shouldn’t be ok just because someone doesn’t fully comply unless the person is also threatening a life or the police reasonably believes they are).

  92. “they need to be able to bring a situation under control without killing people.”

    Agreed, however, there’s got to be some allowance for a small but inevitable failure rate here. We seem OK with the fact that some people are going to die on a regular basis from careless hospital practices. We’ve got to accept that some mistakes will be made, and we want to minimize those, and particularly minimize the fatal ones. We also have to be careful about assigning criminal liability where no criminal intent exists. As a famous passage reads, we “must be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetency, and well-meant shortcomings from heedless or stupid blunder.” If Hillary can claim that defense for four years of careless incompetence, a beat cop deserves it for a three-second decision.

    The guy in North Charleston who shot the fleeing suspect in the back is a criminal case. The Miami one who, God knows why, put a round in this dude’s leg should be fired. He needs a new line of work. But criminal charges? I’d need to investigate further.

    I know some cops are jerks. The DoD police don’t have the best reputation. My freshman year roommate was on some prank one night where they snuck into the clock tower to hang a sheet banner from the top–typical stuff. The DoD cops responded like it was a terrorist attack and came running up the stairs with guns drawn, ordering everyone to the ground and screaming, like out of control. And these are students in the school’s standard workout uniform of a t-shirt and mesh gym shorts with no pockets.

    An hour later, to the Navy duty officer, they lied and insisted they had never drawn their guns.

  93. Could we arm police with the sorts of dart guns we use to tag animals? They aren’t fast, but if you’re trying to flee, it might be better than either letting you escape or shooting you with a real gun.

  94. Hearing republican mouthpieces talk makes me so frustrated. One guy openly admitted that Trump I’ds so good at Branding – crooked Hilary etc and it does not matter if it’s true. And what he said is completely true. I don’t think a Trump supporters have the mental wherewithal to look past that or choose to look past that based merely on their personal hate of HRC.

  95. WCE – my understanding is that, generally, letting someone flee is not that big of a deal. Unlike in the movies, people in real life are extremely predictable about where they’ll go: mom’s house, on-and-off girlfriend’s house. That’s pretty much it. I’ve read arguments that we shouldn’t even bother to do high-speed pursuits of fleeing drivers, it’s just not worth the risk, and you’ll get them soon enough, anyway.

    Dell – I’m torn between acknowledging what I am sure is genuine frustration on your part, and asking why you think this is something new. When George H.W. Bush expressed admiration for the technology of a grocery store scanner, the Clintons and the media seized on that as an indication that he’s definitely aloof and out of touch; it was, supposedly, just the sort of admiration that Rhett and I often write here, along the lines of “if you stop and think about it, this really is an amazing development.” Sometimes there’s more truth to these labels than other times. Even if the label is unjustified for that particular instance, it might stick if it seems to line up with the general persona. A label that points out the Clintons’ habit of always straddling the boundaries of legality and ethics (to put it mildly) is hardly the most unjustified in politics.

  96. I think the name calling is the least of our issues. I think Hillary needs to stay above the fray and not acknowledge that kind of stuff. Trump is best (and excites his fans the most) when he is insulting and glib. Hillary’s strengths are not those. And I think those who are still undecided aren’t swayed much by that kind of stuff and are potentially turned off by it, so I see no benefit to fighting it. Everyone says that Hillary’s rise has been one that was done in a very female way. She isn’t flashy and she wins people over through hard work and logic. She needs to tap in to that and compare his craziness to how steady she is. Her commercial with the kids watching Donald’s insults of so many people is excellent.

  97. “Everyone says that Hillary’s rise has been one that was done in a very female way.”

    Not everyone. And certainly the very female way encompasses more than being willing to do anything to be President.

  98. I just mean that a woman can’t win by doing what a man does and that is good for her. No one likes when a woman yells and is aggressive. Which is good, because that is not her. Like her or not, she is a good politician, just not in the traditionally male way.

  99. Milo, how do you think letting people flee would change the rate at which people flee? As long as we still have the resources to still follow up on people who flee, I’m OK with your approach. But I fear a feedback loop in which only some people are pursued, due to police resource limitations, which makes other people more likely to flee.

  100. Milo – did you see Kaine’s speech? He killed it. He is trending very favorably on Twitter, so Trump is probably losing his mind. Trump did tweet out something referring to Warren as Pocahontas.

  101. “Definitely the dark and paranoid side of Nixon.”
    “Trump is really on the dark side of Nixon.”

    I thought Hillary was the one channeling Nixon.

  102. “Democratic Party’s uneasy alliance with groups like BLM.”

    When I first read this, I wondered why the Bureau of Land Management would have an alliance with the Dems.

  103. “If he can continue to find what everyone is truly afraid of (and he’s doing a damn good job) and telling everyone who’s to blame for it . . .”

    Such talents would serve him, and us, well if he’s elected.

  104. “Both Reagan and Obama won. despite a lot of misgivings in the electorate, because they appealed to people’s happier side.”

    My recollection is that Reagan won in 1980 largely because of the Iran hostage situation.

    BTW, the vice-presidential candidate for the Ls (the political party, not the regular poster here) was David Koch.

  105. “Honestly, against anyone else the Republicans could have put up, HRC would be toast.”

    I don’t think so. Trump initially gained traction, at least IMO, because of the dearth of good R candidates.

    Looking forward a bit, if HRC wins this year, I think any potential R candidate would be looking forward to 2020. This campaign is showcasing all her negatives, and unless things really turn around in the next 4 years, which I don’t see happening (e.g., Brexit probably precludes economic high times), the presidency will be ripe for the picking if the Rs (or perhaps even another party) can come up with a decent candidate.

  106. “And why are tasers not used more often?”

    I don’t think tasers are as benign as many people think they are.

    I’ve seen people get tased, up-close. These weren’t criminals or suspects or anything like that; they were demonstrations.

    When someone is tased, he loses bodily control, and unless supported will fall like a rag doll (in the demonstrations, at least two people held the person being tased to prevent that). Without the ability to reflexively break one’s fall, I think it’s quite likely that someone tased will often have his head hit the ground, or anything else on the way down, quite hard.

    Such impact can easily lead to serious injury or death.

  107. “But her critique of Obama was that, besides being too liberal for her tastes, he was a lightweight”

    I’m wondering about the context in which he was considered a lightweight.

    Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, a position not typically associated with lack of intellectual gravitas. I’m wondering if HRC has anything comparable on her resume.

  108. If it is between shooting me and tasering me, I think I would pick the latter. Maybe I am wrong to think that?

    Hillary was on the law review at Yale and served on the board of editors. Neither are academic slouches.

  109. Milo, I remember the 1980 Reagan campaign, since that was my first vote. I did not like Reagan and I did not vote for him. But the campaign he ran, and his speeches, were NOTHING like Trump. His tone was always sunny and light. That was his genius as a politician. There was a great article today, comparing the two, written by someone who covered the 1980 campaign:

    “This was Ronald Reagan, accepting the nomination of the Republican Party on July 17, 1980, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit with a speech that in tone and much of the substance was the resonant opposite of the dark vision that Donald Trump presented in Cleveland. Reagan wanted to govern. He believed as firmly as Trump does now that the Democratic administration then in power had failed the American people, but he also realized he needed the support of many Democrats and independents — not just to win but to have a successful presidency.

    Beyond tactical calculation, Reagan had an in-bred distaste for the politics of derogation that have become a Trump hallmark. Reagan would have been appalled by Trump’s description of opponents as “Lying Ted” or “Crooked Hillary.” I covered Reagan’s two campaigns for governor of California and his four presidential campaigns, and interviewed him for books. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he engaged in personal put-downs.”


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