Election 2016, August 14–August 20

Are you tired of this dismal presidential campaign yet?


45 thoughts on “Election 2016, August 14–August 20

  1. So tired. The whole process this time has exposed things about acquaintances that I did not ever wish to know.

  2. The mood here in Québec is utter horror over Trump. I think they might be afraid he will invade.

  3. I thought that this was an interesting piece on the views of millennials.

    “Of the more than 70 millennials interviewed by The Washington Post, only a small fraction sounded genuinely enthusiastic about a candidate.

    Though a few people voiced admiration for Clinton, most talked about both her and Trump in searing, caustic words: Super villain. Evil. Chameleon. Racist. Criminal. Egomaniac. Narcissist. Sociopath. Liar. Lying cutthroat. Panderer. Word salad. Willy-nilly. Douche. Joker. Troll. Oompa Loompa. Sad. Absurd. Horrifying. Dishonest. Disgusting. Dangerous. Disaster.”


  4. For New Yorkers, it is old news but I saw the documentary “Weiner” and it was so interesting.

  5. I fear my own family at this point. On social media they show no intelligence – sharing sound byte after sound byte without any thought to the meaning behind the sound bytes.

    To them it’s all black and white. You are for or against. God help you if you show signs of dissent.

    I tread very carefully at family functions now.

    I can’t wait for November at this point.

  6. Scarlett,

    I agree. Is there some sort of structural flaw that has brought us to this low ebb in terms of nominees?

  7. “Is there some sort of structural flaw that has brought us to this low ebb in terms of nominees?”

    I think it’s money – you have to be rich to run for president now, or have rich backers. Regular people don’t have those backers, so matter how well they are liked in the Senate or Congress or wherever they came from.

    Add in a dash of “who wants that job” and here you go. Remember the struggle it was to find a speaker of the house? No one wanted the job because that person would be crucified and potentially end their career. I think we’ve hit that point nationally.

    My MIL and I are usually on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and have been for the last 4 Presidential elections. When we end up on the same side of the aisle for the Presidential election, the world is ending.

    The world is ending folks, I hope you enjoyed the ride.

  8. I don’t know, but can’t help thinking that our toxic media environment, both traditional and social, has discouraged normal, emotionally grounded grownups from getting into politics at all, mostly because of the unavoidable negative impact on their families. Honestly, who in their right mind would WANT to be under that sort of scrutiny?

  9. And the influence of money has been around for a long time. JFK would never have been elected without having been groomed since childhood by his wealthy father.

  10. I wish Mitch Daniels was the one from Indiana involved instead of Pence (but not with Trump of course)

  11. The Clintons do not have hereditary wealth. They parlayed their expertise, influence, whatever into significant wealth. And they’ve done it under the scrutiny of releasing their tax returns every year for the past 30 years.

    I think I’ve been clear that I am a huge Hillary Clinton supporter. Just because millennials have a lot of negative words that they apply to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton does not mean that they are both equally negative choices, that there are not people out there with informed enthusiasm for their candidate. I feel it’s kind of like asking high school seniors about that really hard history teacher or really crappy English teacher. Too hard! Dresses funny! Not cool! Weird! Unfair! Word salad! Sad, absurd, horrifying, Oompa Loompa.

    People don’t like politicians. Especially not in August.

  12. But that means that the rich weren’t backing the “winner” (Trump). Not sure how that supports the argument that money talks.
    In any event, on the left, it certainly wasn’t difficult to predict that Clinton would be the nominee, was it?

  13. But that means that the rich weren’t backing the “winner” (Trump).

    They aren’t.

    Not sure how that supports the argument that money talks.

    It did. But, there is only so much it can do at some point Joe and bane Sixpack stop buying it.

  14. “In any event, on the left, it certainly wasn’t difficult to predict that Clinton would be the nominee, was it?’

    Scarlett – I would have believed this statement up until the day the DNC emails were leaked. After that, I don’t think it is 100% accurate. Maybe David never stood a chance against Goliath, but with Goliath having the backing of the entire “City” we just don’t know. Had it been solely David v. Goliath, the fight would have been more interesting.

    Also, the rich don’t need to back a “winner”. They just need to make their tax-deductible donations so that they can get money back for themselves. And the rich may be backing more than one candidate. No law that states you can only give to one candidate.

    If you have the money, you can hedge your bets and get a nice return from Uncle Sam in the process.

  15. “Scarlett – I would have believed this statement up until the day the DNC emails were leaked. ”

    Should be “I believed this…”

  16. I am of the opinion that super pacs are awful. I think we need significant reform in campaign finance. Individual contributions are totally drowned out by expenditures and Citizens United is a really terrible decision.

  17. “I am of the opinion that super pacs are awful.”


    “Labor unions spend heavily on political campaigns.”

    IMO, they should be in the same boat as corporations, and not treated as people.

  18. The Democratic party apparatus functioned as the wealthy backers intended – the chosen candidate who had swallowed her 2008 defeat and cooperated with both the Obama administration and said backers was allowed to run without mainstream opposition. The Sanders campaign moved the platform to the left, but the most leftward pieces of that platform have no more likelihood of being enacted than the most rightward pieces of the GOP platform. Wiki-leaks agenda is to make sure that people do not deceive themselves as to the fact that both parties are in the pockets of shadowy wealthy interests – the major party system in every country just a puppet show to give us the illusion of choice.

    The Republican party apparatus failed its wealthy backers miserably. If emails were leaked on that side, it would show that the GOP apparatchiks never got together to anoint a candidate in part because too many of them were true conservative believers and did not recognize that the Sanders equivalent (Cruz) was not a viable general election candidate, and of course they thought Trump was just fooling around. Starting with the two losing Tea Party Senatorial candidates in 2010 who got through the primary process, you would think that the Super PAC guys would have understood that the Party did not have sufficient control over the voting choices of populist-nativist segment of the core to deliver what should have been a slam dunk compliant nominee not only to defeat Clinton but also to direct sweeping changes in the direction of the US government for at least 30 years.

  19. Some historical perspective – the parties used to be far more influential in choosing the nominee than today. There were many reforms in the 70s that decreased the power of the parties. Likewise, money has always been crucial, and although the amounts today are far higher, the need for money and access has always meant that the wealthy and big companies had more influence. Corruption was rampant and sometimes was used to counterbalance the power of the wealthy – for example, the big city bosses who used unions to gain power. What has changed is transparency. We now can inspect every detail and demand perfection. The scrutiny is new and we haven’t learned yet to deal with it in our political process

  20. Scarlett and Finn, it was that CV Supreme Court decision that gave BOTH corporations AND unions the right to be treated as people for the purpose of giving money to politicians

  21. I agree that labor unions should be treated like other entities, which is to say that I do not believe they are people and should not be afforded first amendment rights. I don’t think expenditures are speech and I don’t think entities are people (and this applies in non-campaign finance situations, too). I think our campaign finance laws are ridiculous.

  22. 4 comments:
    1) I have said to my Fox-watching, O’Reilly-believing that I think between Hillary and Trump, Hillary would be better for the country. Neither keeled over of a coronary.

    2) Soon after both the D & R nominations were secured, pre-convention, each party came out with comments like “we have to stop (Trump)(Clinton) from winning the White House.” To which I have reacted…I’ll help both of you achieve that goal…have the people vote for Johnson!

    3) My 19yo and I have been discussing on and off for a few weeks now whether (many) people will vote to prevent or vote to elect. As the economist, I say that in the sanctity of the voting booth, people will for the person they think will help their situation / issue(s) the most, so by definition people are always voting FOR a candidate. DS says, no, (many) people will go into the booth with the idea of preventing a candidate from succeeding, since they do not feel strongly in support of anyone. Do we actually have different view, or is it just parsing words?

    4) I really hope Johnson’s poll numbers increase to the 15% needed to be part of the debates. Then he can stand there (a la Frank Underwood) and look presidential while Donald and Hillary go after each other.

  23. Mooshi, what”s CV Supreme Court?

    I’m aware of the Citizens United SCOTUS ruling, and disagree with it.

  24. Finn, it was a fake keyboard glitch. I am posting from my smartphone, sitting on the Ottawa River

  25. On the local level at least, I’ve thought that it might help to disallow campaign contributions in general. I’m thinking that this could be done without violating the 1st amendment because it wouldn’t infringe on peoples’ rights to make public statements for or against any candidates.

    It seems that a lot of people and organizations try to buy influence with campaign contributions, and many of them contribute to multiple candidates in the same race to ensure that they’ll have influence no matter who wins. This would largely negate that strategy.

  26. Fred, I think that you are your son are saying the same thing, in different ways. But I agree with him that in this election, more people will be motivated by the conviction that they are voting for Trump/Clinton as a lesser of two evils, not out of any sense of genuine support for that candidate. My millennial kids say that none of their friends, colleagues, or classmates is very interested in this election, and that they really don’t talk about it much. From what I can tell, there are considerably more political conversations going on at my dad’s retirement community than the young adult workplaces and campuses of our kids. College DS did have some female friends who were Sanders supporters, but now that he is out there is nothing to talk about.

    And if corporations should be deprived of First Amendment rights, what happens to The New York Times Corp?

  27. Not interested?? Are you kidding? My kids and their friends are totally into this election. They are all having a blast passing around and creating Trump joke memes. They seem to alternate between laughing and horror. My DD has asked several times if Trump could win, because her Asian friends all say he hates Asians

  28. They are the generation that will be voting in the next presidential election. They are also very influenced by older sibs and peers that are voting. I just don’t see the dispiritedness. I was a similar age when Carter ran. We were far more jaded, and prone to the kinds of stupid pronouncements that inexperienced kids make (“Republicans and Democrats are all the same”), to my regret now since I think Carter was a far better president than the press at the time made him out to be.

    My college students have not really been around this summer but I will see them soon. Given our demographics, I predict a lot of Clinton support on campus.

    BTW, are the 12 to 16 kids still considered to be millenials or are they a new generation?

  29. Here there is no open support for either candidate. In the past presidential cycles there were Obama/McCain/Romney stickers by this time. There is one Hilary lawn sign but that is it.

  30. From my recent reading of White House history it seems like the most tumultuous times in recent Presidencies were the 60s and 70s.

  31. HRC avoids one of my favorite topics- conflict between zoning laws in high income communities and affordable housing.
    Assessment of a public housing policy professor: “The agenda as stated does not address the fundamental problem that is at the root of the concentration of poverty — the ability of local governments to effectively exclude lower-income people from their communities through zoning and restrictive land use policies.”


  32. Interesting article, WCE. Because of my ongoing interest in the San Francisco Bay Area (and now also the Monterey Bay Area), I see these fights up close and personal. I don’t see a solution; looks like permanent gridlock to me.

  33. And actually Denver’s not as affordable as it used to be, and there’s lots of local screaming about that.

  34. We could reduce immigration (legal and illegal) and/or have different federal corporate tax rates depending on the availability of housing and infrastructure to influence some companies to consider less popular areas with existing infrastructure or room to build it cost effectively. (Cleveland, Grand Island). It doesn’t take that many people to build a largely self-sustaining economic community, as evidenced by national labs and company towns dedicated to a particular niche.

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