2016 politics open thread, November 20-26

The 2016 presidential election is over but we still want to have a forum to discuss politics.  Here it is!

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466 thoughts on “2016 politics open thread, November 20-26

  1. WCE – My neighbor in the home country had a pet goat. She stabled it but occasionally she would bring it on a “visit” and keep it on the balcony of her apartment. She had it registered with the municipality. She heard rumors that her pet would be kidnapped because one woman’s pet is another man’s dinner.

  2. Not politics, really, other than the politics of close/stay open, but today is the first snow day of the year for schools, justifiably so. I don’t know the ‘official’ totals but we got ~12-14″ at out house since about 4pm yesterday and the forecast is for 5-9″ more today. My one HS kid is on a retreat with his school so he wasn’t going to be in class anyway but yesterday when I mentioned the possibility of a snow day he said he’d be pissed to miss out.

  3. “One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past 40 years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out.”

    That seems a tad extreme.

  4. That seems a tad extreme.

    I think the book missed the part where Trump is a refutation of the Republican elite as well.

    Speaking of extreme have you been reading Krugman? He’s become unhinged.

  5. “He’s become unhinged.”

    I’d stopped reading people like Krugman, Milbank, Blow, and anyone from Slate, because, after Trump won, they made it very clear, unapologetically, that they completely hated me and my family.

    But searching on your recommendation, this column from Krugman seems like some reasonable concerns, assuming his premise is correct:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/opinion/build-he-wont.html?_r=0

  6. Yes, let’s talk about the infrastructure plan. I fully support one but now that the details are starting to form, oh man. This is going to be a long 4-8 years.

  7. Kate – where are the details of the infrastructure plan? I could support his stance on paying for infrastructure, especially since I live in a city where a major bridge collapsed. I haven’t seen how the infrastructure plan will be funded.

  8. “What makes you think that?”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/there_is_no_such_thing_as_a_good_trump_voter.html

    Trump campaigned on state repression of disfavored minorities. He gives every sign that he plans to deliver that repression. This will mean disadvantage, immiseration, and violence for real people, people whose “inner pain and fear” were not reckoned worthy of many-thousand-word magazine feature stories. If you voted for Trump, you voted for this, regardless of what you believe about the groups in question. That you have black friends or Latino colleagues, that you think yourself to be tolerant and decent, doesn’t change the fact that you voted for racist policy that may affect, change, or harm their lives. And on that score, your frustration at being labeled a racist doesn’t justify or mitigate the moral weight of your political choice.

    To insist Trump’s backers are good people is to treat their inner lives with more weight than the actual lives on the line under a Trump administration. At best, it’s myopic and solipsistic. At worst, it’s morally grotesque.

  9. Kate,

    We shall see what the plan ends up being. I think the tax credit plan was just something they grabbed off the shelf not something to which they are deeply committed. Even Bannon’s comment about cheap borrowing, if the projects are financed privately the face much higher financing costs. That makes me think their ideological commitment to privatizing is fairly weak.

  10. Thanks to the Hamilton discussion here, I knew how hard it is to get tickets. I personally dislike being lectured to (lots of that from family, friends and strangers in the home country). I didn’t think that lecturing to a customer at a show was appropriate.

  11. Do people think Trump will try to enact a Muslim registry? Or is that one of those things he doesn’t really mean? If he does implement one, I wonder what it would entail. I guess I’d become a Muslim then.

  12. Louise – It’s also ridiculous to start lecturing someone with a disguised attack (after telling the audience to record it on their phones) when that person is sitting in the dark and has no microphone to respond.

  13. tcmama – please advise as to what you believe to be reliable news outlets and I will try to find the details for you 😄. The basic gist that has been floated so far is a plan of tax credits/cuts for private businesses.

  14. I’m not seeing how he hates you. He just disagrees with how much weight you gave to some of his comments.

  15. Kate – thanks. I’ll start looking for more details on the plans. I hadn’t seen it laid out anywhere. I’m sure it’ll be great.

  16. “You know, we have a guest in the audience this evening — Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out but I hope you hear just a few more moments,” Mr. Dixon said. As some in the audience booed, Mr. Dixon hushed them, then added, “Sir, we hope that you will hear us out.”

    As Mr. Pence stood by the exit doors, Mr. Dixon said, “We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”

    This doesn’t seem like an attack. The actor told the crowd to stop booing. Pence didn’t seem bothered by it. Trump’s reaction to the criticism was out of line. They are leaders of the most powerful nation in the world. They are going to receive criticism, and I think trying to silence criticism is scary. So the actors shouldn’t have spoken out, but I also don’t think the answer is to silence the critics and protestors.

  17. I think Pence’s response was much better than Trump’s. And I would have been fine with the comments if not for the “we are alarmed that your new administration won’t protect us — our planet, our children, our parents.” That’s clearly a direct attack against the way they view his political positions.

  18. I think we are missing the point by discussing if this was rude or that we don’t agree with what they said. This is the peaceful operation of the first amendment and our President-elect is whining about it. Pence’s response was normal. Trump is abnormal.

  19. Krugman wrote that the U.S. was a failed democracy immediately after Trump won so I haven’t been reading since (not that I read him a whole lot before that).

    As an aside, DH was telling me their new hire who graduated from Emory Law school recently, told DH that Emory Law School (presumably where adults who are at least 21 years of age) has therapy dogs during exam time for stressed law students. How does that prepare them for the stress of working as an attorney?

  20. I’m not missing the point. I think Trump was wrong to respond the way he did. On the other hand, he was elected by people who are sick and tired of the unabashed moral superiority and righteousness of the media/elites/Hollywood/awards ceremonies and lets add Broadway to the list, and he purposely cultivated this as a major factor of his appeal.

    So it’s possible that Trump knows exactly what he’s doing in keeping his supporters energized in the pushback against those groups.

  21. Also, Trump’s tweet meant the news over the weekend focused more on that than the Trump University settlement. I agree with Milo – I don’t think he’s thin skinned as much as he is smart about how to direct the story/attention. I think there’s more purposefulness than people recognize.

  22. ” How does that prepare them for the stress of working as an attorney?”

    Encourages them to either (a) recognize that they need to do something to alleviate stress (b) volunteer at your local shelter when you need a little calming presence or (c) get a dog of their very own.

    Atlanta, I understand your point, totally. We didn’t have therapy anything during my stressful exam times. And during comps/defense, I took on house projects to be my escape. I actually think teaching Type A people how to recognize their limits is important – most don’t seem to think they have any and keep going until they can’t – like literally can’t, full physiological stop.

    On Hamilton – Pence’s response was a class act. Whether Trump is still trying to keep his followers engaged aside, Pence demonstrated that he knows what is needed by a leader of the Free World. It’s not uncommon for B-way shows to call out famous guests, and many get a speech. While I may agree with the cast/production crew’s words, I know that the delivery may not have been the best thought out. But Pence took the high road. He earned my respect for that – for recognizing the right of those who spoke.

  23. the unabashed moral superiority and righteousness of the media/elites/Hollywood/awards ceremonies and lets add Broadway to the list,

    What specifically?

    From what I see, skills based technological change and globalization has been very hard on a large segment of the population, especially non-college educated whites. It’s manifested itself in the form economic stress, falling life expectancy, opiod addiction, etc. But, there was never the support among the elite for them that there is for minorities, gays, etc.

    Trump tapped into the idea that these people are hurting as well and need the government to help them.

    Or, do you see it differently?

  24. Lark’s got a good point. I hadn’t heard a thing about Trump U. settlement until my Mom mentioned it in an email. And I’ve had the news on.

    So we’ve got Trump deflecting the lawsuit scandal, keeping his supporters energized, and Mike Pence coming across as a class act while the median voters in the country continue to roll their eyes at the smug elites (just in case any were inclined to feel sorry for them).

    Not a bad outcome at all from the little visit to the theater.

  25. Atlanta – my DH’s law school had therapy dogs 10+ years ago during finals. DH has never liked dogs due to being attacked by one as a small child. The therapy dogs caused his stress to go up. I think it is ridiculous too.

    Nobody has commented on the Muslim registry? No concerns?

  26. “It’s manifested itself in the form economic stress, falling life expectancy, opiod addiction, etc.”

    “Or, do you see it differently?”

    I see it differently. The opioid addicts aren’t voting for Trump. God love ’em, but they’re probably not voting at all.

    There have been numerous analyses of the data showing that Trump’s supporters have some of the highest median household incomes among all voters. This was true in both the general and the primaries. One Clinton adviser is quoted as saying angrily “that’s because they’re fuck1ing old!!” but that’s what it is.

    They’re more rural of course. In every recent election, there’s a radius from every urban center where blue turns to purple and then to red. The outcome is determined by the size of that radius, and that’s never been more true than in 2016. If you go county by county, there has never been a Democrat who has won the popular vote while winning as low a number of counties as Hillary did.

    I think the divide is primarily urban/rural in geography, mindset, values, and culture. Economic anxiety is more of a motivator for turnout, and it certainly is a part of life for a lot of people. But it’s just not true that Trump’s voters are the poor downtrodden.

    From 538 during the primaries:

    As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.

    I disagree with the Clinton adviser who screamed that they’re “fuck1ng old.” I think it’s more due to the fact that they’re fuck1ng married, which makes it a lot easier to get to $72,000 a year.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/

  27. tcmama – I think it will be like NSEERS which was abandoned for some legit reasons (cost, didn’t provide much intelligence, might have made things worse because it made people who would otherwise cooperate become distrustful) but I guess trying it again is on the table. I don’t think it will be something that we can sign up for even though many are saying that they will.

  28. Nobody has commented on the Muslim registry? No concerns?

    I don’t. If there is a Muslim registry for American citizens, I will sign up. I have sufficient faith in the police (and I don’t have a lot of faith in the police) that they will not enforce it.

  29. “I am surprised that you guys haven’t seen anything about Trump U. He even tweeted about it.”

    Me too – I’m not totally following every story to figure out the “real” story, but even my cruise across headlines found 4-5 headlines all weekend. It took me longer to figure out the Hamilton thing.

    I heard he has other pending litigation… if that’s true, I wonder how they will go in the next ~60 days and beyond. This is my first brush with a President-elect having pending litigation and how that plays out after Inauguration Day. Can he still go to trial? Does he have to go to court? Does his new title affect previous issues? How about conflict of interest? I have so many basic questions I’ll never be able to answer them effectively enough to understand everything going on.

    But, the “new” story is that Melania and Barron won’t be moving in January. That’s a first – I can’t think of any modern president where the First Lady and children stayed put until a specific date.

  30. Rhode – They were discussing that on NPR this morning, comparing it to Paula Jones’ lawsuit against Bill Clinton. I caught the story a little late, but it seemed to me that the rules aren’t entirely clear. I think there are provisions, for example, where the president doesn’t have to testify in court but can give a deposition instead.

  31. Milo,

    But it’s just not true that Trump’s voters are the poor downtrodden.

    My understanding is that those who swung the election were middle class people from depressed areas. Trump won by focusing on their economic concerns not on the culture war issues of the past.

  32. Rhode – much to the glee of the Republicans at the time, Clinton v Jones established as the law of the land that a sitting President is not immune from civil suits for acts done before taking office.

  33. Rhode – much to the glee of the Republicans at the time, Clinton v Jones established as the law of the land that a sitting President is not immune from civil suits for acts done before taking office.

    It is amazing how often both sides forget that they are only in power temporarily and that whatever power they grant themselves or punishment they mete out to the defeated party they will have to deal with at some point.

  34. Rhode – I read a very complimentary article about your governor. Do you think she is doing a good job ?

  35. +1 Cordelia! I’ve been thinking the same thing on a lot of fronts… both in the truly political arena and the personal/political arena that “governs” family and how that plays into our politics.

    It’s very frustrating to deal with family and friends who believe “their” side is the one with clean noses. Our human memories are very short, but the library’s and the internet’s are seemingly forever. Christmas, when I visit my dad’s family, will be interesting. My dad’s family plays out the dynamic Rhett and Milo are referring to above, and if/when politics come up, it’s a very interesting divide.

  36. ” they will have to deal with at some point.”

    Only if you see it as a war between competing ideologies. It’s more realistically a battle between individuals, and the worst long-term outcome is a $5M job “consulting” on K St.

  37. Louise – can you link to it? I’m curious to see what it says.

    On the whole, she’s doing the best she can with what she was given. RI is last in the country on a lot of things – jobs being #1. Many think that the Republican contender would have done better, but given how much of our budget is wrapped up in things that started long ago, I’m not so sure.

    I applaud her efforts on the environment, and infrastructure. We have some of the worst bridges in the country (Biden called one the “lincoln log bridge” and it is, or was… it’s completely fixed now). However, some missteps have been annoying – she wanted community buy-in for one huge repair, but then backed out immediately because a grant didn’t come through. She wasn’t entirely honest from day one that the community’s idea would be chosen IF the grant came through. She passed legislation that would work to end cesspools along the coastline, tied to the sale of the property, which will reduce the amount of pollution to the bay. She also added to some wetlands protection regulations.

    She campaigned on the fact that, as Treasurer, she cleaned up the state pension system. Many people were not happy with that for good reason. Her cleanup made things less transparent, and changed too much too fast for some retirees and soon to be retirees.

    There’s also some question on who she’s hired for things – most laughable is her attempt to get RI a “brand”… and the video showed images from Iceland. The money she payed out would have been better spent if she went with local talent, but I’m not sure how she went about getting proposals and if she specifically targeted local talent.

    Overall – I think she’s doing well. We are a blue state. Unless the Republicans can mount a significant candidate, she hasn’t done much to kill re-election potential.

  38. I personally think the Hamilton kerfuffle was designed to keep our attention off the looming corruption of the Trump presidency. If we are passing around Hamilton memes, we aren’t reading the very good reporting on the million and one conflicts of interest.

  39. And does anyone besides me get the sense that Melania really really really wanted no part of this gig?

  40. “I personally think the Hamilton kerfuffle was designed to keep our attention off the looming corruption of the Trump presidency.”

    Those Broadway right-wingers were in on it!

  41. Milo, nah, I mean the over the top Tweetfest. That has been Trump’s pattern for a while – shoot out a Tweet rant or two whenever he wants to defect attention

  42. I does make me feel better that the conservative commenters over at the WSJ are distraught over Trump. Maybe that’s a good sign?

  43. Rhett – that makes me feel worse. It would be better if those with whom I disagree with on policy could nonetheless assure me that things will be ok, even if the policies aren’t what I would like. Speaking of which, has Mittens reported back about his meeting?

  44. Kate,

    They have a terrible track record so if they are upset it could mean we’re on the right track.

  45. “Speaking of which, has Mittens reported back about his meeting?”

    I’m sure it was excellent. Very productive.

  46. If Romney takes Secretary of State, he will end up like Colin Powell, ignored and disgraced.

  47. Trump’s tweeting to distract attention reminds me of Hillary’s changing hairstyles. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  48. Mooshi – I agree with you re. Melania. I wonder if she’ll move down permanently at all, or if she’ll stay with Barron in NYC, at least during the school year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ivanka takes over some of the hostessing and representational duties that are traditionally done by the First Lady.

    I have thought to myself that I will register if there is a Muslim registry, even though I’m not Muslim. So glad to hear that I have Totebagger company on this one!

  49. I don’t have a problem with the Hamilton “lecture” or whatever you want to call it, and I agree Pence handled it all perfectly. I do have a problem with all the audience members who booed Pence before and after the show. I thought that was totally classless.

  50. Denver Dad, I agree with you on the booing, but that is why I think the statement at the end worked – they were telling the audience not to boo. Pence handled it the way that a politician should. There was no reason for Trump to fly off the handle (unless of course he wanted to make sure the memes that weekend were about Hamilton and not about Trump U or about his refusal to put his businesses into a blind trust)

  51. “To implement Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” of some Muslim immigrants, Kobach said the immigration policy group could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry of immigrants and visitors who enter the United States on visas from countries where extremist organizations are active.

    Kobach helped design the program, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, while serving in Republican President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by al Qaeda militants.

    Under NSEERS, people from countries deemed “higher risk” were required to undergo interrogations and fingerprinting on entering the United States. Some non-citizen male U.S. residents over the age of 16 from countries with active militant threats were required to register in person at government offices and periodically check in.

    NSEERS was abandoned in 2011 after it was deemed redundant by the Department of Homeland Security and criticized by civil rights groups for unfairly targeting immigrants from Muslim- majority nations.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-idUSKBN13B05C

    Had to Google NSEERS. So it’s not a proposal to register Muslim Americans, but to require extra screening for immigrants and visitors from certain Muslim-majority countries with “active militant threats,” whatever that means.

    Interesting parallels in Germany’s crackdown on Salafists.

    “For years, the authorities in Germany have warily monitored the swelling ranks of Salafists, followers of an ultraconservative branch of Islam who are known for aggressive proselytizing and their sympathies for the Islamic State.

    But after long being perceived as dithering, German officials are cracking down with new resolve, as evidenced in a nationwide sweep against one Salafist group this past week, just days after the arrest of a high-profile imam.

    The sudden vigilance has been propelled in part by increasing concern that the Salafists are trying to recruit among the hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who arrived a year ago, encouraging some to sign up for jihad in Syria and Iraq or to carry out attacks in Germany.

    Some 400 cases in which Salafists approached refugees have been reported nationwide in recent months, said Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony, in north-central Germany.”

    NSEERS would have missed this one though:

    “The alleged security lapses have been especially highlighted by an intriguing case, now before a judge, of a teenage girl from Hanover who stabbed and seriously wounded a police officer during a routine identity check at a Hanover train station in February.

    Opposition politicians in Lower Saxony say the authorities missed several clues that the girl, now 16 and identified only as Safia S. under German law, had long veered toward jihad…..Jens Nacke of the Christian Democrats quoted a police officer as saying, “We were looking for bearded 26-year-old men, and they use a 15-year-old teenager.”

    Another lawmaker, Mr. Birkner, said, “It has shown us that we must imagine everything.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/world/europe/germany-salafists-refugees.html

  52. Scarlett,

    “We were looking for bearded 26-year-old men, and they use a 15-year-old teenager.”

    Another lawmaker, Mr. Birkner, said, “It has shown us that we must imagine everything.”

    That would seem to argue for the registration of US citizen muslims as well. You’ve mentioned many times that Omar Mateen was born in the US.

  53. No I disagree. It suggests that we need to pay more attention to how these people become radicalized, recognizing the religious beliefs at the root of the radicalization process. Most American Muslims are peaceful and have far more to lose from Islamic jihad than many of the rest of us. Apostates are executed. Mere infidels may be given a pass if we pay a tax.

  54. NSEERS reminds me of the programs to drug test people for welfare benefits. Sounds like a good idea to some, costs a lot of money, no benefit obtained.

  55. It suggests that we need to pay more attention to how these people become radicalized, recognizing the religious beliefs at the root of the radicalization process.

    Then a list of all the deeply religious muslims in America would be very helpful.

  56. On Melania Trump not moving to the White House right away, it does give her a couple of months to prepare for the role.
    Perhaps, I have been taking The Crown too seriously, where Queen Elizabeth has hired a tutor to teach her more than constitutional law, horses and dogs.

  57. I think a bit too much is being made of some sea change in politics because of this election. There are a few large states that are more purple than anything. They didn’t really care for either candidate and Trump won. It wasn’t a landslide just like it wasn’t a landslide when Obama won. There are a lot of independents of all demographic types who really decide the election every time.

    If you look at the county where my parents live in rural flyover country, it is pretty close to 50/50 Dem v Republican. In 2008, Obama won about 7000 to 6000. Trump won ~6500 to 5900 with a few hundred also voting for Johnson. (Hardly any 3rd party voters in 2008.) I wouldn’t say that’s a massive margin. There are heated discussions about politics at the Hy Vee. Politically, it is much more diverse than my neighborhood of Bernie signs where they often don’t even bother to run a Republican challenger for local, state and congressional elections. I’m not convinced that Trump reflected some massive seachange in the attitudes of the rural white vote there as much as more people chose him as the best of two bad candidates. But I’m willing to keep reading the columnists apocalyptic rants.

  58. According to polls, Trump is the most disliked President elect in modern times. He is now somewhere between 1.5 million and 1.7 million votes behind Hillary Clinton. It would seem prudent for him not to institute a sea change, wouldn’t it? But his picks so far are not supporting that idea. He has made no effort, none whatsoever, to try to bring over the voters who did not vote for him, as well as those who voted for no one. He is simply not a person who can unify this very divided country
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/11/21/trump-takes-office-as-the-most-disliked-president-ever-how-much-will-that-matter/?utm_term=.0f8bb74e7540

  59. “According to polls, Trump is the most disliked President elect in modern times.”

    And he isn’t even President yet.

  60. If Trump lost, Clinton would be the most disliked President in modern times. What an election.

  61. But at least Clinton would have carried the popular vote. Trump couldn’t even manage that

  62. “He has made no effort, none whatsoever, to try to bring over the voters who did not vote for him, as well as those who voted for no one. He is simply not a person who can unify this very divided country”

    “President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning – but he also left no doubt about who’s in charge of these negotiations. “I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.”
    http://www.politico.com/story/2009/01/obama-to-gop-i-won-017862

  63. There was a difference – at that point in time, Obama had won both the popular vote and the electorial college, and had a high approval rating. I am not trying to dissect who was right or who was wrong – I am trying to point out that what Trump NEEDS to do, in the face of the fact that the majority of voters did not vote for him and do not like him – is to try to win those people over.

  64. “But at least Clinton would have carried the popular vote. Trump couldn’t even manage that”

    Someone should tell that to people who are presumably taking Trump’s win as a mandate to be racist, uncivil, misogynist, etc.

    I think a fair amount of blame for such a perception belongs to the liberal media. The Slate article someone posted a link to last week was a good example– the writer placed all the blame (or credit, depending on your POV, I guess) on people who voted for Trump because they were endorsing all the mean and nasty stuff Trump had said during the campaign. My perception is that a very big reason Trump won had nothing to do with that at all, but many in the liberal media seem totally in denial of how poor a candidate Hillary was, and how many people voted not so much for Trump as against Hillary.

  65. “I am trying to point out that what Trump NEEDS to do, in the face of the fact that the majority of voters did not vote for him and do not like him – is to try to win those people over.”

    Why does he need to win them over? My guess is that he’s not planning to run for re-election, and absent that motivation, I don’t see any reason why he NEEDS to win them over.

  66. Moonshine – If Trump wanted to win the popular vote, it’s likely that he could have. He would have gone to Texas, rural California, upstate and western New York, rural Illinois, and so on to turn out the vote. It’s reasonable to assume that the first time you visit a place, you get the most bang for your buck. Each subsequent time you visit the same place, you see diminishing returns in persuading more voters to support you. So if you make it your goal to win the popular vote, you don’t spend every single day in PA, NC, FL, MI, WI, and OH. But when you play for Electoral votes, you play the winner-take-all battlegrounds. And to give credit where it’s due, Trump did this almost perfectly. There’s no benefit to winning 60% of a state’s vote vs. 50.5%.

    Hillary, on the other hand, and God knows why, was arrogant enough to believe that she could waste time trying to turn TX and GA and AZ blue, while totally neglecting WI. Was she arrogant? Stupid? Out of touch? What happened to this Democrat Party machine of great micro-data?

    The point is, the popular vote and the Electoral vote are related, but they’re ultimately distinct games. And that’s a good thing, because if no candidate in history has won the popular vote with such a low percentage of the counties, and if roughly one-third of all her votes came from three states (CA, MA, NY), then I say the Electoral College functioned exactly as it was intended by the Framers.

    Oh, and don’t look now, but Trump’s approval rating just surged nine points.

  67. with such a low percentage of the counties

    Is that based on your own analysis or are you reading that somewhere? As much as you doubt dubious statistical analysis it seems odd for you fall for that metric.

  68. “President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning – but he also left no doubt about who’s in charge of these negotiations. “I won,” Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.”

    Elections have consequences.

    And whining about the popular vote is like whining that your losing team gained more rushing yards.

  69. Milo,

    I’m also curious what you find so appealing about Trump? You’re a card carrying member of the establishment but you don’t seem to be a fan… Where does that come from?

  70. It’s been in RealClearPolitics, Rhett. It’s not up for debate; they’re actual results, not exit polling.

  71. Finn, I am not discussing why Trump voters voted the way they did. I am discussing the fact that we have a President elect who won only 47% of the popular vote, and who is disliked by a lot of people – his favorability ratings are historically low for a new president elect. Even if he does not want to run again, I would think he would hope that another Republican could get elected after him. But if he doesn’t get a least some of the people who don’t like him now to get behind him, he risks 4 years of anger at the policies he rams through.

  72. I’m working on studying for a spelling test. I’ll write about my anti-Establishment feelings later.

  73. Milo,

    I don’t doubt it. But WCE will be the first one to decry the depopulation of rural counties. It only stands to reason that she’d win the popular vote with fewer counties.

  74. “It only stands to reason that she’d win the popular vote with fewer counties.”

    Sparsely populated counties tend to be conservative.

    I was going to ask Cordelia and WCE about that. My pet theory is rural counties tend to have a lot of self employed people. If you are self employed it’s primarily you vs. the government. If you live in an urban/suburban area you most likely have a boss. As such you’re more likely to view your life as having two power centers: government power and corporate power.

    There are tons of holes in my theory so fire away.

  75. “I would think he would hope that another Republican could get elected after him”

    Why? He’s not part of the R party establishment, and they’ve not done much to endear themselves to him.

    Perhaps wanting Ivanka to succeed him would provide him motivation to win over those who didn’t vote for him or didn’t like him.

  76. Rhett, my guess is that, to a much larger extent than any other POTUS in recent memory, becoming POTUS was the endgame for Trump.

    He doesn’t appear to have an ideology he’s championing. He’s not part of the R establishment, and thus doesn’t have a stake in entrenching the part or implementing their ideology.

    The more people denigrated him and dismissed him as a candidate, the more serious he seemed to become as a candidate, in part to show up those who dismissed him.

    He’s not held office before, so I think he’s much more likely than past POTUS to not enjoy being POTUS.

  77. “I’m also curious what you find so appealing about Trump?”

    I thought it had a lot to do with him not being Hillary.

  78. “we have a President elect who won only 47% of the popular vote, and who is disliked by a lot of people”

    I think we’ve known for a while that we’d have a President-elect who is disliked by a lot of people.

  79. Omg, the frustration over which witch is which, whether the weather will be nice, and there/they’re/there.

  80. Don’t forget some of the other common errors:

    it’s/its
    you’re/your
    effect/affect
    loose/lose
    peddle/pedal
    there/they’re/their
    where/wear
    hear/here
    led/lead
    lie/lye
    die/dye

  81. HRC won the popular vote with fewer counties because the counties that are populous are REALLY, REALLY populous. Oregon’s 7 largest counties include 2.7 million of its ~4 million people. Its 7 smallest counties include 26,000 people. (There are 36 counties in total.) Iowa has 99 counties but probably similar statistics. Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota are, like Oregon, dominated by a single large metropolitan area.

    Sparsely populated counties tend to be conservative because the people tend to be self-reliant. Most people are homeowners, with a need to maintain their homes, and rental situations are commonly single family homes rented from an individual landlord who is responsible for repairs, not apartments managed by a corporation. Some towns have no restaurant or cafe and in some, the cafe is open ~20 hr/week, so you have to cook or at least reheat your own food. It’s common to travel for medical or legal services and for law enforcement to be provided by the county sheriff, with backup by the state patrol when the county sheriff is off-duty. My grandma’s beauty shop was a chair in the sideroom of someone’s house, with services only by appointment.

    Rural counties used to have a lot of self-employed people, then it became less common as people commuted to factory jobs and now it’s becoming more common again. Some of our fellow parents are young retirees/semi-retirees who chose this area for its beauty and pace of life. A new person at church (age 73 with 25 grandchildren, the oldest of whom is 35) commented that his neighbors worked remotely, one for the Washington Post and one for a pharmaceutical research company. He joked that they don’t have jobs, but in reality, he understands that technology lets them work remotely.

    I live in a small city. The Oregon counties with fewer than 2000 people in hundreds of square miles are unique.

  82. “There was a difference – at that point in time, Obama had won both the popular vote and the electorial college, and had a high approval rating.”

    and that was in January 2009, before he had actually *done* anything. He made absolutely no effort to reach out to Republicans or those who did not vote for him. On the third day of his Presidency, he told Eric Cantor, “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

    There is no difference, except that you love Obama and despise Trump. What’s good for the goose, and all of that.

  83. He’s up to 46% approval and rising fast. Typically we see something in the mid-50s now. This is not a huge distinction. He’ll be in the mid-50s by Inauguration. Melania will have one Hell of a dress.

  84. “But if he doesn’t get a least some of the people who don’t like him now to get behind him, he risks 4 years of anger at the policies he rams through.”

    You mean policies like Obamacare? Passed without a single Republican vote? Perhaps the Democrats can form their own Tea Party movement.

  85. The other great statistical imagery I read recently in RCP is that, come January, you’ll be able to get in your car in the Florida Keys and drive nearly 4,000 miles, to the very northwestern tip of Idaho crossing into Canada, and never once pass through a state that does not have both its legislative houses and its governor’s mansion under Republican control. Not one single state.

  86. “walkway in Baltimore?”

    No!

    Finn, most of those are on the test, too, but are not a source of confusion.

  87. “My pet theory is rural counties tend to have a lot of self employed people.”

    We live near rural areas. A lot of the semi-skilled residents work for small manufacturing firms, or for one of the universities or local government, especially the school system. My lawn guy is self-employed, but his workers are not. Same thing with the pool service company, the cleaning company, and the appliance repair guys. There may actually be more self-employed folks living in major metro areas, where they are consultants or attorneys or screenwriters.

    I agree that the big cultural divide in this country is not red state/blue state, but urban and rural. But not sure it is rooted in whether you get a W-2 or 1099.

  88. You mean policies like Obamacare

    What do you figure Obama would have had to give in on to get 35 Republican votes in the House?

  89. “Perhaps the Democrats can form their own Tea Party movement.”

    If Ellison is elected, they just might.

  90. You and Finn should arrange a meeting there. It is by the water and a lovely area. LfB can advise as to its actual name.

  91. I think part of the rural/city divide is that people who live in cities see more of their $ at work.

  92. “have you seen the homophone walkway in Baltimore?”

    Hey, none of that stuff now that Trump is President-elect.

  93. My pet theory is rural counties tend to have a lot of self employed people. If you are self employed it’s primarily you vs. the government

    Also, I think, at least in the west, that sparsely populated counties have a LOT of land owned by the federal government, and the feds are terrible neighbors. They do not manage their weeds, they contribute to fire hazards, they don’t pay taxes, or contribute to the community.

    I’m going to have to think about self employed is primarily you vs. the government. I’d like to come back later with a reasoned answer.

  94. Kate,

    I think part of the rural/city divide is that people who live in cities see more of their $ at work.

    Could you elaborate?

  95. “most of those are on the test, too, but are not a source of confusion.”

    I’ve seen peddle get confused with pedal more than once here.

  96. Cordelia – in DC it is on steroids – funding for the metro, the parks, the Smithsonians, call an ambulance and it arrives in 3 minutes, etc. I see my tax dollars at work in tangible ways.

  97. I think part of the rural/city divide is that people who live in cities see more of their $ at work.

    Perhaps, but they said one of the reasons Trumps stimulus won’t pass as written is because it’s focused on places where infrastructure makes money. If they use that metric, the benefits will only occur in urban areas where the volume of cars is there to make it pay off. Rural areas have long existed in the back of big government – the Erie Canal, land grants to the rail roads, rural electrification, rural telecommunication even a first class stamp being a flat rate vs. reflecting where it’s going.

  98. Kate,

    Interesting. I see my tax dollars working to make my life more difficult, or, as is my constant source of frustration, paying tenured teachers to not come to work. There is no museum or functional public transit. The local hospital went bankrupt and closed earlier this year. The roads are filled with potholes.

    I have spent at least 5-6 hours per week for the past year trying sitting on a local board trying to figure out how to make recent state legislation actually fix the problem it was supposed to address without bankrupting innocent bystanders. I have to buy a new dishwasher every couple years because the feds decided that dishwashers have to electronic control panels. I’ve watched programs call for throwing away machinery worth tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    I see a lot of programs designed to make sure that the peasants don’t have too easy a life. No bags at the grocery store!!!!

  99. And I don’t think any of this is rational because if you look at dependent states and where the $ is going, red states get a lot more fed $. But I think in urban areas you have more of a tangible view of tax dollars at work.

  100. Cordelia,

    Then you seem to agree that if you lived a more typically totebag life, you’d see the government doing more and corporate American causing more of your aggravation?

  101. In my area, the greenway has a board that says “Your tax dollars at work”. Well, just so they know I the voter, am keeping an eye on them.
    We have one off items on the ballot asking for money. It is usually flood control coupled with greenways/beautification. The other intiatives are either pertaining to schools, low income housing. We don’t have more than three.

  102. You guys are ignoring a big reason why rural areas are more conservative: race. Rural areas are whiter. In rural areas that are largely black, Democrats do well. In rural areas of New Mexico, which are heavily Hispanic, Democrats now do well because Hispanics have moved to the Democratic party. I think race is a big part of the explanation

  103. I have to buy a new dishwasher every couple years because the feds decided that dishwashers have to electronic control panels.

    Electronics are almost always more reliable. Think fuel injection vs a carburetor. Yet, you attribe the lack of reliability to the government. Is it at least possible it’s due to corporate malfeasance.

  104. Small business owners also pay more taxes than w-2 workers so that could be the cause of some of the frustration.

  105. Rhett, I attribute the lack of reliability to appliance electronics to poorer power stability/more brown-outs. I recommend surge protectors here for expensive appliances.

  106. “we are alarmed that your new administration won’t protect us — our planet, our children, our parents.” That’s clearly a direct attack against the way they view his political positions”

    Ok, I don’t follow how this is an “attack.” Seems like a strong word. They expressed their fear that the new Administration won’t protect them (for good reason, given the campaign and Pence’s past actions), and they asked him to think about what this country stands for. How is that an “attack”? It’s not like they said, hey, you’re a racist homophobe.

  107. Mooshi –

    My parents’ rural county in Iowa (pop. approx 25,000) referenced above is 99% white. Yet it’s gone nearly 50/50 in every election since 1992. You can’t oversimplify rural America as voting on race/gender. Slightly over 50% of voters in that county voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012, FWIW.

    And yes. Hillary should have spent more time in Wisconsin. Obama worked hard to win Wisconsin.

  108. Louise, that was an interesting article. There was the mandatory but half-hearted suggestion that new voter ID requirements may have affected the dismal turnout, but also this observation:

    “As for the claims of racism that have dogged Mr. Trump, Mr. Babar wasn’t so worried. “It’s better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors and voting against our kids,” he said.

    Tarvus Hawthorne, 45, a program coordinator at a local nonprofit, agreed.

    “He was real, unlike a lot of liberal Democrats who are just as racist” but keep it hidden, he said, his jaw slathered with shaving cream. “You can reason with them all day long, but they think they know it all. They want to have control. That they know what’s best for ‘those people.’”

    Still, he voted for Mrs. Clinton, as did many others here.”

  109. Ok, I don’t follow how this is an “attack.” Seems like a strong word.

    So imagine if the newly elected Tim Kaine (or Hillary Clinton) and his family were quiet, respectful, paying guests at a Saturday night concert at the Grand Ole Opry. And at the end of the performance, the hosts told the audience to get their phones out and record this (wtf?) and said “we’re alarmed that your Administration won’t protect us — our religious freedoms, our individual liberties, our children’s economic futures.”

    That would be an attack.

    They expressed their fear that the new Administration won’t protect them (for good reason, given the campaign

    Be specific, please. What part of the campaign? Are you saying that Broadway actors include a lot of illegal immigrants?

  110. Also, if you have an issue with safe spaces and other PC ideas you can’t get all hyper defensive about this stuff. It makes you sound like a hypocrite.

  111. Rhett – It has nothing to do with safe spaces and political correctness. To the contrary, the objection to safe spaces is that they allow only one viewpoint to be heard. The same thing was true here when a couple dozen people are on stage with lights, microphones, and the forum to criticize someone who is sitting in the dark with no reason to expect to be put on the spot, and no way to respond.

  112. Milo,

    It has nothing to do with safe spaces and political correctness.

    It has everything to do with it. Come on, you can’t see the parallels at all?

    The same thing was true here when a couple dozen people are on stage with lights, microphones

    He’s the VP-Elect he has ample opportunity to get his point across on a daily basis.

  113. But, we can disagree on the optics of the Hamilton comment. Back to your issues with the political establishment. What’s brought that about?

  114. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to say it (which safe spaces are all about). I’m saying that their actions, with those words and in that forum, were rude and condescending.

  115. I’ll certainly give you condescending. Certainly more about virtue signalling than an attempt to change Pence’s mind.

  116. If they had yelled “You lie!” like that Republican congressman yelled at Obama in 2009 during one of his speeches. that would be an attack. But simply asking Pence to hear them out, asking the audience not to boo, expressing their fears, and the finishing with the hope that the show had inspired Pence – that is not an attack. And Trump, withi his call for apology and a safe space, sounds as silly as the over;y sensitive PC types on campuses.

  117. “And Trump, withi his call for apology and a safe space, sounds as silly as the over;y sensitive PC types on campuses.”

    According to some reports, the use of “safe space” language was deliberate and meant to send a message. That’s the way I saw it.

  118. In speaking to people privately, there was a feeling that under President Obama we should have been in a different place than we have been this year. The shooting of black men, the the violent protests followed by the shooting of police officers in different parts of the country is a situation that was not expected. Our cities and citizens should have progressed forward.
    When people think of Chicago, they think of that part of the city where the murder rate continues to increase. I would say communities are afraid of having to deal with that sort of situation, having to shield their kids from gunfire, their neighborhoods destroyed by looting or sometimes their kids looting on TV.

  119. “Certainly more about virtue signaling”

    Yeah, that’s probably a more precise way of summarizing it. And tying this into your bigger question, it speaks to why I don’t feel like a card-carrying member of the Establishment, because I like Broadway plays and live theater, I have no desire to stop supporting and attending them, and while Pence has a platform, I don’t, and this incident to me feels like yet another example where the cultural elites are, by extension, looking down at me in disgust (for voting for Trump and Pence). At the very least, they’re “alarmed” that there are enough people like me in this country to elect them.

    There were some joking comments at the recent funeral of my grandmother, someone who always loved a spirited and lively battle, that it must have been her doing to drag the whole family together the day after this election. We span a wide range, from a couple of daily-Mass Catholics (quiet Trump voters — taxes, Supreme Court) to several gay couples, including two who had been so happy the day before posting selfies on Facebook as they deposited their little voting stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s gravestone, commenting that doing so was a “wonderful antidote to the Trump *campaign*” (emphasis mine — they thought they needed an antidote for the CAMPAIGN!!!). Obviously, they were in for quite a surprise about 12 hours later. You can imagine the subsequent posts, about how they don’t recognize their country any more, yadda yadda yadda.

    We also have some family members who are very Establishment conservative who I think were driven to third party, and I find their actions a little more curious. In the car ride from the church to the cemetery, my mom and I were discussing this, and we decided that, while the media has zeroed in on the underlying characteristic of Trump’s appeal to be authoritarianism, a better characterization would be irreverence. Although it’s not always apparent, my mom and I have a strong inclination toward this. Ignoring the traditional party boundaries and issues, we’ve always taken a certain delight when stuffy conventions and rules are challenged (my late grandmother — my father’s mother — had this irreverence trait in spades). So, yeah, we love John McCain (and Trump does, too) but it’s kind of fun watching someone who’s willing to jokingly question how much of a war hero can someone who got shot down really be? And it’s even more fun watching the horrified reaction in the media. “The beginning of the end! Off the rails!” And it’s exponentially more fun watching that person defy their expectations and keep fighting and winning. But the aunt and uncle I’m thinking about, the Republicans who went third party despite being far more traditional and conservative than us, are not so amused. They’re very serious, kind of dour people. They don’t have a sarcastic bone in their bodies.

    So to answer the question, while I’m a moderate on social issues who supports gay marriage, while I feel that the best fix for Obamacare at this point is to make the penalties much stronger and actually enforceable, I feel like the Democrats have pushed so far in the direction of the much-celebrated “Obama Coalition” that they don’t really want me in their tent, but I’m still supposed to join them, anyway, and be grateful for the opportunity. Otherwise, I’m a hopeless bigot who’s just looking to regain some lost privilege. I read a lot of news from many viewpoints over this election, I watched both parties’ primary debates and the regular debates, and I can’t think of a single time when Hillary ever tried to appeal for my vote. Everything from her, and really, from Obama and Michelle, too, was like an admonition that I’d better get in line behind them or else. In such an environment, irreverence holds a lot of appeal.

  120. But simply asking Pence to hear them out, asking the audience not to boo, expressing their fears, and the finishing with the hope that the show had inspired Pence – that is not an attack.

    This gets to the crux of the issue. Trump supporters (as a generality) genuinely don’t understand why minorities/LGBT/etc. are worried. So you have the protesters and other groups on the losing side getting more upset and frustrated because Trump and Pence aren’t making an effort to reach out and reassure them, and then you have the groups on the winning side who truly don’t see any reason why they need to.

    Trump supporters see the Hamilton statement as an attack, because they really don’t understand that it came from a point of genuine fear. They perceive is as coming from a bunch of sore losers.

    Conversely, Clinton supporters (as a generality) don’t understand that people had many good reasons for voting for Trump and didn’t do so just because they are a bunch of racists and misogynists.

    There is a huge chasm between the sides and neither group is making much of an effort to understand the other.

  121. “Trump supporters (as a generality) genuinely don’t understand why minorities/LGBT/etc. are worried.”

    What are they specifically worried about?

  122. “‘That would be an attack.’

    I wouldn’t classify it as an attack.”

    I’m with Rhett. And I was thinking of something right along the lines of your example — newly-elected Hillary goes to a play in TX, and she gets booed from the audience, and the cast breaks in and says “don’t boo, but we are alarmed at the message of your campaign, we are worried your policies are going to send our jobs abroad and we won’t be able to feed our families.” That’s totally not an “attack.”

    As to what policies, if you didn’t see enough this election to understand why gays and minorities don’t feel safe under the new Administration, there’s really nothing I can say to convince you.

    But the “attack” language is what is bothering me. It seems like every minor slight is now being awful-ized, on both sides. At most, I’ll grant you ill-mannered to seize the opportunity for a bully pulpit (although you counteract that with the fact that the recipient has his own bully pulpit available any time he opens his mouth). But we escalate the description, and then we end up arguing about the argument, instead of engaging on the substance.

    The old saying back when I was in law school was “if the law’s against you, argue the facts. If the facts are against you, argue the law. If they’re both against you, holler.” It seems as a country all we do is holler any more — not just with our politicians, but in the trickle-down to ourselves. Everyone is defensive, every feels under attack and not heard by the other side, and so we react defensively and get our backs up and start hollering and escalating our language and name-calling. And it just gets in the way of real communication.

    The day after the election, I was in client meetings in a very red state, with very red clients. It was a difficult and depressing time to have to go put a face on. But I ended up having really, really good conversations with really, really red voters, about the real fears we all had, and the validity of each side’s concerns and points — we actually agreed about the fundamental problems, just disagreed about who was the right person to move us toward solving them. It was actually I think healing in a weird way (yeah, I know that sounds froofy), on both sides, to just talk as people.

    It’s sort of like the conversation above — Trump doesn’t *have* to do anything. He won, his party won, he can do whatever the F he wants for the next four years (unless he pisses off enough people in the next 2 to switch the Senate). The real question is what *should* he do? I would hope he would recognize that he doesn’t exactly have a mandate and work to heal the division (though that doesn’t seem likely, given appointees to date, but I’ll give it time to see). Because otherwise we’re all going to just keep hollering past each other.

  123. Milo – I would imagine:

    Supreme Ct who overturns Obergefell
    Deportation that separates families
    It isn’t helping that the alt-right (is that the new PC term?) REALLY supports him

  124. “but we are alarmed at the message of your campaign”

    You’re softening the actual words here.

    “As to what policies, if you didn’t see enough this election to understand why gays and minorities don’t feel safe under the new Administration, there’s really nothing I can say to convince you.”

    That’s an internet commentary cop-out, and you know it. The old “if you don’t know, I can’t explain it.” What policies has Trump proposed during this campaign to make gays and minorities feel unsafe?

  125. “Supreme Ct who overturns Obergefell”

    Who has expressed any inclination for this?

    “Deportation that separates families”

    If you want to talk about illegal immigrants, then fine, and we’ll recognize that most Americans think we should actually enforce existing immigration laws, as Bill and Hillary used to champion. But it’s disingenuous to extend that in a blanket statement covering “minorities.”

  126. What policies has Trump proposed during this campaign to make gays and minorities feel unsafe?

    I think a lot of people somehow feel we’ve elected someone far to the right of Ted Cruze. Personally, I think we’ve elected someone very much to the left of Ted.

  127. Trump has a policy stance? I thought his appeal was that he wasn’t beholden to either party and didn’t have a consistent stance.

    I think some of the fear and worry comes from who his appointees are. Pence’s stance on social issues is worrisome. The way Trump refers to “the blacks” etc doesn’t sound very enlightened.

    Milo, I can’t tell if you are being obtuse on purpose and trying to get a rise out of people or if you are really trying to understand.

  128. You cannot dismiss the large possibility that a conservative Supreme Court would over turn Obergefell. That is huge. Especially when Trump has said he would appoint someone to overturn Roe. His explanation that Obergefell is settled makes no legal sense when he then follows that up with Roe.

    And, yes, I would like to talk about immigration.

  129. “Trump supporters see the Hamilton statement as an attack, because they really don’t understand that it came from a point of genuine fear”

    I still don’t get this. I can no longer discuss with my Jewish lawyer friend his Ivy-League grad daughter’s inconsolable sobbing after the election and still remain friends, but I can ask it here. On what rational basis does anyone (other than a person who is present in this country illegally) have to *fear* from a Trump administration? Plenty be angry and disappointed and bewildered about, sure. But genuine fear?

  130. Fine. (a) Pence, not Trump. (b) Here’s one article: http://time.com/4406337/mike-pence-gay-rights-lgbt-religious-freedom.

    I also have a meeting to go to and will have to search more later. Gay rights have been hard-won over decades at the state and federal level. It would not take much to reverse course completely — new Administration interpretations of federal law, new S.Ct., boom, you’re done.

    But DD basically nailed the bigger-picture point with this:

    “:Trump supporters see the Hamilton statement as an attack, because they really don’t understand that it came from a point of genuine fear. They perceive is as coming from a bunch of sore losers.

    Conversely, Clinton supporters (as a generality) don’t understand that people had many good reasons for voting for Trump and didn’t do so just because they are a bunch of racists and misogynists.”

    I hear you on the frustration at being assumed to be a racist and misogynist. You don’t seem to hear the genuine fear on the other side. Whether you think it’s legit or not — whether you saw anti-Semitic messages, misogynistic messages, anti-minority messages, ant-gay messages — people who live in those groups sure did, and they feel extremely vulnerable. And the wingnut response sure hasn’t helped — swastikas, “go home,” “nigger,” etc.

  131. Kate – As a serious legal question, what kind of plaintiff would have standing to challenge Obergefell?

    I’m fine with talking about immigration. I just wish we could keep it to that and not presume that all immigrants, and all Hispanics, are, by their nature, illegal and suddenly subject to deportation.

  132. Milo – I think the way it would probably happen is like what happened in Indiana. Refusal to issue a marriage license to a gay couple. Then we are off to the races with the courts.

  133. “You cannot dismiss the large possibility that a conservative Supreme Court would over turn Obergefell. That is huge.”

    This is what happens when advocates for social change, of whatever stripe, make a deliberate decision to bypass the ordinary state and federal legislative channels and depend upon a handful of Supreme Court justices whom they perceive are friendly to their arguments. Works great until those Justices are replaced by unfriendly ones. So Roe and Obergefell are sacred, but Citizens United and Heller must be repealed.

  134. From my close up experience with undocumented immigrants, they are some of the hardest working and most vulnerable of people. Many of them came to this country as children by their parents. They don’t have somewhere to go back to. They have children here who are citizens.

    I have seen so-called good Christians take advantage of them by not paying them for work done or by paying them below-market rates. I would love to publicly shame those people who take advantage of others. They are not justified in treating other human beings that way simply because of their status.

    I have not heard much on immigration policy on what we should do for minor children who are citizens but their parents are undocumented.

  135. Why is Trump responsible for the wingnut response, but Obama not similarly responsible for the racist and hateful rhetoric coming from the BLM leaders who advocated that people go out and kill white cops? Obama has embraced this movement, and, yes, he apparently tells them to behave, but so did Trump, on national TV.

  136. On what rational basis does anyone (other than a person who is present in this country illegally) have to *fear* from a Trump administration?

    How do you think he’d respond to a major terrorist strike? I’m 100% Jeb!/Rubio/Clinton etc. would stick to the script: o mass arrests, internment, etc. I’m probably 95% sure Trump would stick to the script.

  137. You guys are asking why people are fearful. I am trying to give specifics. We know you don’t agree philosophically, but I hope you can see why some are fearful.

    Tc – I totally agree with you. If we were really serious about immigration issues, we would go after the people/companies who hire undocumented workers.

  138. Pence is to the right of me on gay issues, but I’m with him that the federal government does not need to be strong-arming schools and colleges to allow transgendered boys to shower alongside girls.

    And if we’re supposed to be alarmed about his comments from a decade ago, we shouldn’t just dismiss Hillary’s comments from 2004:

    I believe that marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman. I have had occasion in my life to defend marriage, to stand up for marriage, to believe in the hard work and challenge of marriage. So I take umbrage at anyone who might suggest that those of us who worry about amending the Constitution are less committed to the sanctity of marriage, or to the fundamental bedrock principle that exists between a man and a woman, going back into the mists of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults.

  139. I think the bathroom stuff is dumb and a distraction. Everyone should just use whatever bathroom they want/as they have always done.

    But Pence is a total nutter on gay marriage.

    And we should probably retire the HRC comparisons. She lost. Your guy won.

  140. Also, if we’re building a wall with Mexico to protect our borders can we build a wall with Canada too?

  141. Why is Trump responsible for the wingnut response,

    He’s not. But, you can see how it might be of concern to some.

    Five year old George Takei was rounded up by the US government and interned. You can imagine he gets a little worried about what this country might do.

    In 1942, the Takei family was forced to live in the converted horse stables of Santa Anita Park before being sent to the Rohwer War Relocation Center for internment in Rohwer, Arkansas.[12][13] The family was later transferred to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California

  142. ITA that those taking advantage of illegal immigrants should be ashamed of exploiting vulnerable people. But at the same time, we do have immigration laws, and illegal immigrants have no more legal right to be here than the hundreds of millions of other non-citizens who might prefer to live here but haven’t broken those laws. Those who were brought here as children are in a difficult situation, but the person responsible for that situation is the adult who brought them here, not Trump or anyone else. Obama has deported more people than all of the Presidents before him put together, and yet somehow he is perceived as the good guy.

  143. “You guys are asking why people are fearful. I am trying to give specifics.”

    I understand. I believe you a little more on gay marriage, although I just don’t predict it changing.

    And for TLC, while I do remember Trump addressing on the stump concerns about illegal immigrants with citizen children to the effect of “we’ll keep the families together, but they’ve got to go,” that’s not going to happen. The focus will be on criminals who are here illegally. And border enforcement. “A beautiful border wall.”

  144. “And we should probably retire the HRC comparisons.”

    :) Oh no! Not a chance. Bush didn’t even run against Obama, and we were hearing about him for at least the first four years!

    Last night I was watching an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, and Jay went to the Secret Service’s vehicle training facility in Maryland, which is apparently the only place where Vice President Biden is allowed to drive a car. He and Jay went for a ride in Joe’s ’67 Corvette Stingray, which was a wedding gift from his Dad and he’s owned it ever since. Toward the end of the ride, Colin Powell drove up in his brand new Corvette and smoked them.

    I was convinced that if Biden had run, he would have won PA, NC, MI, OH. At the very least.

  145. Scarlett – where are the now adult children who were brought here supposed to go? They are American in all but name only. By not giving them a path to being here legally causes more costs to the system, and I’m guessing more crime too.

    We helped one of the people get their DACA paperwork. The amount of hoops they have to jump through and the cost was huge (some might even say bigly). But they were able to do it, because they want to be here and are contributing to society.

    The lack of compassion people have for those who are already here is astonishing to me.

  146. Scarlett – that is why I kind of cannot stand Trump. Obama has departed a bunch of undocumented people. Many of whom have been convicted of crimes. And I think most people support that. But he does it in a way that doesn’t unnecessarily antagonize and excite people. Trump uses these positions to appeal the lizard brain. His speech surrounding his views is very disturbing to me. No civility. No acknowledgment of the humanity of people. We need to maintain civility. And to me, Trump’s whole campaign was to scapegoat marginalized people in an effort to promise things that he can never deliver. But I digress. I like talking about specific issues. I suspect that both sides have a lot more in common than what it seems like right now.

  147. Milo – but Bush had been president. Obama is far game. As well as HRC for SoS. But HRC as a candidate is silly. You won!

  148. “Obama has departed a bunch of undocumented people.”

    Most of Obama’s claimed deportations, from back when he was eager to brag about this sort of thing, were from turning people away at the border who were never here. He changed the definition of deportation so that he could claim more people were “deported.”

    What are your thoughts on mayors promising to defy federal law and continue as sanctuary cities?

  149. Re: sanctuary cities – I don’t know. I think it is a very complicated issue. My empathetic side is totally with the mayors who are saying they will do this. I would feel better about the whole thing if there was a plan for families where one person is here legally and one is not. I am totally against splitting up families and think they should get to stay. And I fully support the Dreamers.

  150. I have never posted before but love the discussion here.

    What policies has Trump proposed during this campaign to make gays and minorities feel unsafe?

    I would add near total cessation of civil rights and voting rights enforcement (see Jeff Sessions record) to the list. Also, the prospect that Roe might be overturned (requiring women to travel “to another state” for health care, as though we all have private jets) causes many women to fear.

  151. Milo, you’re forgetting about Biden’s amazing ability to wedge his foot into his mouth at least twice a day.

  152. Longtime Lurker, I have the opposite feeling. This discussion depresses the hell out of me, but I can’t seem to tear myself away.

  153. Milo, you’re forgetting about Biden’s amazing ability to wedge his foot into his mouth at least twice a day.

    That’s an asset now.

    In other news, the meeting with the NYTimes is back on.

  154. Don’t any of you “Hillary is CORRRRUPT!!!” people think it’s problematic that Trump just told the IRS that his Foundation was self-dealing? Why don’t you care about that? Scarlett? Milo? Why was Hillary’s Foundation such a big deal but Trump’s isn’t?

  155. And for the record, I thought it was really bad judgment on Obama’s part to say “I won” and “elections have consequences”. But I never, ever liked him.

  156. I had to look up the definition of Sanctuary City. From Wikipedia:
    A sanctuary city is a city in the United States or Canada that has adopted a policy of protecting undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them solely for violating federal immigration laws in the country in which they are now living illegally. Such a policy can be set out expressly in a law (de jure) or observed only in practice (de facto). The term applies generally to cities that do not use municipal funds or resources to enforce national immigration laws, and usually forbid police or municipal employees to inquire about a person’s immigration status. The designation has no precise legal meaning.[1]

    I live in a sanctuary city. My understanding based on the above is that the city is not actively looking for undocumented immigrants. I am fine with that. My city has a large Somali population with an active terror cell. I do not fear for my safety on a daily basis. Nor do I think that we should get rid of the entire Somali population because of an extremely small segment have been recruited to be terrorists. I think a more effective solution is to integrate more fully into our society. If we ostracize them (e.g. calling all Muslims potential terrorists), then they are more likely to be recruited successfully. We have our first Somali lawmaker representing the state. I think this is a good thing.

  157. It’s possible to have compassion for children brought here illegally while also pointing out that their parents or other adults broke the law to bring them here. Trying to find a way to keep them in the only home most have ever known without setting up expectations for those who sneak their kids in today is difficult. If it were easy it would already be done.

  158. And for the record, I thought it was really bad judgment on Obama’s part to say “I won” and “elections have consequences”.

    I wonder if that’s part of Trump’s genius. Just the other day Scarlett brought up Obama’s flag pin which had been a scandal 8 years ago. Remember, “read my lips no new taxes.” etc? Everything a president says has to be filtered and parsed and focus grouped. But, if you just run your mouth constantly, it just reaches a certain point where it doesn’t matter.

  159. “his Foundation was self-dealing?”

    What does that mean?

    Yeah, I’m a little concerned about the implications that Trump, or his family, is going to be able to profit immensely from his position. As I understand his business, he really hasn’t been a builder/developer for a long-time. He doesn’t develop, build, or even own the properties. All he really does is license his brand. How do you put THAT asset into a “blind trust,” even if it were not managed by his children?

    What can I do, though? I voted for Kasich.

    My dad will talk politics, but I’ve never seen him get emotionally invested in it in the slightest degree. I remember him chuckling about Trump’s run and early success by telling a story that I believe I recently heard Newt Gingrich re-tell on the news. Trump was trying to figure out how much it would cost to run for President, how much money it would take, assuming he would initially self-finance. to get through IA, NH, and SC.

    Gingrich responds “$70 to $80 million.”

    Trump casually mulls over this figure and says “So, like a yacht.”

    Other accounts of this exchange have Gingrich as the one making the yacht comparison.

  160. Rhett – yes. Trump does so many things that people are fatigued. Had the genital grabbing comment come from an otherwise upstanding person (like Mittens), it would have been career ending. But with Trump it was just on a long list of things. I think it best to take Oliver’s advice and remind myself every morning that this isn’t normal.

  161. “But, if you just run your mouth constantly, it just reaches a certain point where it doesn’t matter.”

    That’s an astute point. Did you see the SNL parody of the CNN commentators?

  162. “What are your thoughts on mayors promising to defy federal law and continue as sanctuary cities?”

    I, for one, do not really want my city’s limited resources to be used to prioritize immigration laws over other crimes. Enforce when you catch someone in another criminal act, but don’t use my police force to check for papers when the officers could be doing something more productive. Hell, I’d rather have them tracking down the people who are petty criminals like the people who steal Amazon packages from people’s porches in my neighborhood or making college students turn down their music at 2am than troll around Little Village just asking people for ID.

    In the “fear” category – what about the fact that he spent months talking about instituting Stop & Frisk nationally? Can you really not see how “the blacks” might see that as a violation of their civil rights?

  163. “Had the genital grabbing comment come from an otherwise upstanding person (like Mittens), it would have been career ending.”

    But the media that relentlessly laughs at and attacks Mittens for a completely innocent stumbling over words like “binders full of women” deserves the big FU(K YOU that Trump has given them over the past 18 months.

  164. like the people who steal Amazon packages from people’s porches in my neighborhood

    Right? What’s up with that? It’s a huge ongoing topic on my Nextdoor group.

  165. Milo – I think you have a fair point. But i don’t really care about the media. I care that we have to live with this man as our president. So great that everyone gave the big old middle finger when voting. But, yes, elections have consequences.

  166. Mittens for a completely innocent stumbling over words like “binders full of women”

    Obama’s claim to have visited all 57 states?

    It’s not like it all goes one way.

    That said, I draw comfort from norms and rituals of the candidates, presidents and the press that have grown up over +200 plus years. There was a way things were done. Now, all that’s been cast away. It’s a little disconcerting, especially in a Chesterton’s Fence sort of way.

  167. “But, if you just run your mouth constantly, it just reaches a certain point where it doesn’t matter.”

    To draw a parallel…kids & moms (well, to be fair I should probably say “SAHPs”, but I’m not sure that’s really right). Meaning, Mom is (often) the one who is on the kid’s butt to bathe properly, dress nicer/more appropriate for the occasion, do homework, clean room, set table, do dishes, write thank you notes, etc etc. “are you in the shower yet?” So kids tune it out.

    But then the parent who is around less / probably less involved in that kind of stuff decides they’ve had enough and they jump in. The kids pay attention.

    I had a boss once who said if you want people to listen to you, speak quietly and infrequently.

  168. “Now, all that’s been cast away.”

    We shouldn’t ascribe too much permanence to one candidate and one election. Since I started paying close attention to politics, I’ve seen Bush win, barely, in 2000, followed by the GOP becoming the first party in something like 70 years to gain seats during the President’s first midterm in 2002, and everyone was talking about a permanent majority of the Religious Right.

    That lasted exactly four years, and the GOP took a “shellacking” in 2006, then elected Obama in 2008 with a filibuster-proof Senate, and everyone was talking about a permanent blue wall, demographic trends proved it. That lasted only two years, at which point the assumption from 2010 until now was that the Democrats would forever hold the White House because of their permanent Electoral majority (funny how they weren’t complaining about the Electoral College then), but since only Republicans voted in midterms, they would win those.

    And now here we are. I don’t think that Little Marco Rubio, Goofy Elizabeth Warren, or anyone other than Trump, could easily enjoy the same latitude that Trump successfully assumed. He just has that strong of a combination between personality, self-assuredness, size, and dominant body language, along with an unmatched willingness to say whatever the Hell he felt like. His appeal to many was based in his total lack of risk aversion, which comes across as authentic. But he’s not going to be repeated any time soon.

  169. Milo said (with respect to the Trump Foundation’s admission of self dealing ) “What does that mean?”

    You weren’t foillowing the extensive reporting on what was going on in the Trump Foundation during the campaign? Sigh. This is why Trump won. No one was paying attention to the important stuff.

    David Farenthold, a reported for WaPo, did a deep dive into the Trump Foundation, using mandated reporting of its finances. Evidently, it was a place for Trump’s associates to put money, most likely to curry favor with him. Trump used it to pay his legal settlements, to buy portraits of himself, and most frighteningly, to give money to Pam Bondi’s campaign for AG in Florida, right before she decided not to pursue a suit against Trump University. And yes, that is the same Pam Bondi who is now on his transition team. NY is now looking into the Trump Foundation.

  170. Milo, the stuff about the self-dealing admission just came out a few hours ago.

    Trump also says he’s not going to pursue Hillary, which will piss off some of his followers.

  171. The self dealing admission was actually inside the foundation’s 2015 tax filing, which is available unlike his own tax filings. Foundations have to be more transparent which is why the WaPo reporter was able to analyze it to start with.

  172. Mooshi / Rocky –

    Other than the possible bribery of FL’s AG, is there a crime with the Foundation’s dealings, considering that Trump was (and still is) a private citizen? Or is it just a charity that wastes a lot of money on itself, like Wounded Warrior, and it can get cleaned up to fly right before January 20th?

  173. Big problem that he paid legal settlements out of the charity. That isn’t allowed. But this was reported before and no one cared.

  174. I agree no one cares. He’s vastly more corrupt than Hillary but the Hillary-haters just don’t care.

  175. Milo,

    In one case, Trump settled a dispute with the town of Palm Beach, Fla., over a large flagpole he erected at his Mar-a-Lago Club. The town agreed to waive $120,000 in unpaid fines if Trump’s club donated $100,000 to Fisher House, a charity helping wounded veterans and military personnel. The Trump Foundation paid that donation instead — effectively saving his business $100,000.

    In another, Trump’s golf course in New York’s Westchester County was sued by a man who had won a $1 million hole-in-one prize during a tournament at the course. The man was later denied the money because Trump’s course had allegedly made the hole too short for the prize to be valid.

    The lawsuit was settled, and details on that final settlement have not been made public. But on the day that the parties told the court that their lawsuit had been settled, the Trump Foundation donated $158,000 to the unhappy golfer’s charity. Trump’s golf course donated nothing.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-foundation-apparently-admits-to-violating-ban-on-self-dealing-new-filing-to-irs-shows/2016/11/22/893f6508-b0a9-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html

  176. On illegal immigration, I feel sorry for families who will be divided, but that is how immigration law is practiced around the world. To me, part of coming to a compromise that lets existing illegal immigrants remain is new immigration law. I would support a Constitutional amendment changing citizenship law. But if we don’t fix the system problem, immigration law won’t be respected. The 1986 immigration reform and control act did not solve the problem.

    On Roe, I don’t understand why the Supreme Court decision is considered to be so important, considering how poor access to abortion is in the few states where abortion might become more restricted. Even in my liberal state, it’s hard to get a late term abortion for reasons other than the health of the mother or baby. When I discussed the matter with my specialist, who I believe has done the controversial D&X style procedures, he commented on the emotional toll it takes on the physician. If I were worried about abortion access, I would be more worried about the lack of providers than on the low-probability of a Supreme Court decision returning lawmaking power to the states.

    On gay marriage, I hold a similar view of states’ rights. I don’t get too excited about gay marriage one way or the other, but if some states can allow first cousin marriage and not other states, it seems entirely realistic to manage gay marriage based on individual state law with reciprocity. The Supreme Court would be justified in mandating reciprocity.

  177. Milo,

    I think the charity things is just another made up scandal. He’s very aggressive to a point beyond shady in his taxes. But we knew that.

  178. I do care about the Trump Foundation corruption, but (and Kate is going to scream) we had to balance that with the Clinton Foundation paying for Chelsea’s wedding.

    “Not smart,” Band added.

    Podesta responded: “You are perfecting your skills for understatement.”

    http://nypost.com/2016/11/06/chelsea-clinton-used-foundation-to-help-pay-for-wedding-emails/

    And it was a bigger deal when that foundation was controlled by a Secretary of State vs. a private citizen.

  179. But Rhett, part of his campaign was attacking Hillary for conflicts of interest regarding the Clinton Foundation. So I think it is only fair to hold him accountable for conflicts of interest with his foundation.

  180. Sorry, I don’t buy the private citizen defense. This stuff is still wrong for a private citizen, but more importantly, if you are running for President on a platform of “clean up the swamp”, you better not be part of the swamp.

  181. “if you are running for President on a platform of “clean up the swamp”, you better not be part of the swamp.”

    If you are running for President on a platform that the system is rigged for powerful interests at the top, you better not be part of the powerful interests at the top rigging the system.

  182. “He’s very aggressive to a point beyond shady in his taxes.”

    Maybe. Or maybe we saw a small glimpse of the picture when his billion dollar “loss” was a perfectly legal portion of a real estate improvement depreciation schedule.

  183. So I think it is only fair to hold him accountable for conflicts of interest with his foundation.

    I really don’t think it’s in the best interests of the country or our discussion here to keep trying to win points with these made up scandals. You said he played fast and lose with the rules. OK. Then Milo jumps in about something Chelsea did. OK What good have we accomplished?

  184. If you are running for President on a platform that the system is rigged for powerful interests at the top, you better not be part of the powerful interests at the top rigging the system.

    Exactly! So you’ll hold Trump to the same standard, then. Good.

  185. WCE – so how does that work for federa stuff? Can a gay couple who resides in a state that doesn’t allow gay marriage file their taxes MFJ? If a gay couple marries and then moves to a state that doesn’t allow gay marriage, what does that mean in terms of rights? Who is the default for making medical decisions when the person is unconscious? Does the dr look at the marriage certificate and determine that they were married in a state that allows gay marriage? What about when someone does intestate in a state that doesn’t have gay marriage. I don’t quite understand the reciprocity part.

  186. “What good have we accomplished?”

    I really am in favor of forcing Trump, and hopefully, by extension, other politicians, to abide by the tax and conflict-of-interest laws. As a country, we should be able to do this. On the other hand, I do think Trump presents a unique challenge, as I said before, because his assets are mostly his name itself. But the simple stuff, like Foundation misuse, he should at least be put on notice to knock it off.

  187. Or maybe we saw a small glimpse of the picture when his billion dollar “loss” was a perfectly legal portion of a real estate improvement depreciation schedule.

    I agree with that. If you need to save your empire you save your empire, I can’t fault him for that.

    As for the charity stuff?

    Back when you could still work 1099, I had friends who would put additions on their homes, hire their wives to drive them to the airport, have their kids make their travel arrangements, etc.. Is it legal? Meh, if you even got caught and had a good enough attorney, you’d probably get away with it.

    I never did that because I don’t consider it ethical.

    What Chelsea and Trump did may very well be legal. But, to me, it’s unethical for someone with so much to nickle and dime like that.

  188. to abide by the tax and conflict-of-interest laws.

    No one cares. His supporters think it’s great he can steal from the government.

  189. Kate, I’m no attorney, but if reciprocity works for marriage of first cousins, why can’t it work for gay couples, at least in terms of medical decisions and the legality of marriage across state lines? You’re right that federal tax policy might have to be modified to allow same-sex couples to file, but that could have been done without a Supreme Court decision and that was arguably in the works before Obergefell. And you’re right that the Supreme Court might have to enforce marriage reciprocity across state lines in the recalcitrant states initially, but enforcement of marriage law across state lines is an existing precedent and doesn’t create a new “right” to gay marriage the way Obergefell did.

  190. “No one cares. His supporters think it’s great he can steal from the government.”

    Rocky – We’ve had numerous discussions on here where you specifically said that you didn’t care what Hillary did with her emails.

  191. Rhett, i actually think his conflicts of interest are the most scary thing about him. Look at the way Putin uses Russia as his own personal enrichment scheme. I think Trump would like to do the same. The fact that he won’t release his taxes, that he won’t disclose anything, that he is OK with having his children both run his company and be on the transition team (and with Kushner, maybe more) – that does not make me feel confident that he intends to be on the up and up with respect to conflicts of interest. What if his China policy is driven by fear that China will penalize his holdings in some way?Is there anything in his history that suggests he would be able to resist that kind of temptation?

    Honestly, I am most worried about two things with him: that he could be influenced in his policies by his financial interests, and that he could be influenced into a war based on advice from his very hawkish choice for National Security Adviser

  192. I think both the e-mails and the charity are just made up scandals. I think it would be best to just admit it. The media needs clicks, the pols need talking points, so they just blow these things up all out of proportion.

    I think it would be better to talk about the actual issues.

  193. Rhett, I think you may be right that the scandals are insignificant. But for those of us in less political parts of the country, the constant search for “scandal” against high level politicians creates negative views of government in general.

    To want to be POTUS, you have to start with a strong desire for power, an enormous capacity for rejection and relentless drive. Is it surprising that we wound up with the candidates that we did?

  194. WCE – so if I am understand you correctly, you are in support of gay marriage in states that want it and states that do not still need to recognize it if the marriage was performed in a state that does? Plus federal recognition? So the only limitation is where the license is issued (all states v those that want it)? I can get on board with that. I suspect many opponents of gay marriage would not. They don’t just want it to be a states rights issue. They also don’t want to recognize marriages from other states. Despite marriage being a fundamental right, it is a little less fundamental for the gays in some people’s eyes.

  195. I have some very conservative, evangelical acquaintances from my adoption contacts. We have discussed politics. They were all appalled by Trump. Most did not vote for anyone, but some did vote for Trump. However, they are all in agreement on one thing: they believe Trump will be impeached, and we will end up with Pence. Obviously, that makes my friends pretty happy. But I would think it is concerning for a Trump presidency that even some of his voters have so little confidence in him

  196. I also wonder if his statement that he won’t prosecute Hillary is driven by the realization that he has similar vulnerabilities and would not want to be treated in like fashion.

  197. I also wonder if his statement that he won’t prosecute Hillary is driven by the realization that he has similar vulnerabilities and would not want to be treated in like fashion.

    That’s pretty much what Guliani said when they first started to walk back the prosecution.

  198. However, they are all in agreement on one thing: they believe Trump will be impeached, and we will end up with Pence.

    Did you watch SNL? “Pence” walked into “Trump’s” office and “Trump” said, “Ah, Mike, the reason I won’t be impeached.”

  199. Rhett, I see the opposite – Pence is the reason he is vulnerable. The Congress is controlled by mainstream Republicans who would vastly prefer Pence.

  200. I think Trump fits the bill for most of these qualities: “strong desire for power, an enormous capacity for rejection and relentless drive.” However, he does not have capacity for rejection – he has capacity for an inordinate amount of risk taking, which is necessary to be a real estate developer. He is the most effective marketer that has ever run for president. He doesn’t believe half of what he says and glosses over any failures on his part. It’s all spin. The man hasn’t held up most of the promises he has made – just talk to his lenders, investors, and former wives! It still makes me throw up a little bit to think this many voters gobbled up his drivel.

  201. Mooshi – I still kind of think the Clintons early on favored Trump’s run in the theory that he would be a more beatable candidate or at least drive off the more viable republican candidates primaries and then drop out to leave Clinton with a run away victory.

  202. The Congress is controlled by mainstream Republicans who would vastly prefer Pence.

    To impeach requires a 2/3 majority of the Senate. If Trump’s pissing off main stream republicans, I don’t see democrats going along with reliving them of their burden.

  203. Depressing story about a pizzeria in DC that was reported to be the physical location for the sale and trafficking children by HRC. I actually saw the story about a month ago via Facebook – promoted by true believers that the Clinton Foundation was an actual front for selling children and that many of their donations from foreign governments were in the form of humans that they could sell. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/technology/fact-check-this-pizzeria-is-not-a-child-trafficking-site.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    It was promoted by college-educated, top-quintile in income, rural folks. Spending some time reflecting this morning (based on the earlier conversation) about why the rural vs urban divide.

  204. Someone on Facebook just pointed out that if Melania stays in Trump Tower, so will the Secret Service personnel, which means they will need to rent apartments. That is taxpayer money, going right to the Trump family, Hmmmm… Trump is a rich guy. Couldn’t he volunteer to absorb those rental costs, to avoid the icky optics?

  205. Milo, Hillary didn’t in fact do anything with her emails. Nor did she self-deal. Come on, let’s try to be a little more fact-permeable than the world at large.

  206. Trump is a rich guy. Couldn’t he volunteer to absorb those rental costs, to avoid the icky optics?

    There are no icky optics.

  207. Rhett, it is already a FB meme. I agree it isn’t a huge one, but lots of little tawdry things start building up

  208. “Hillary didn’t in fact do anything with her emails.”

    None other than John Podesta and Cheryl Mills privately disagree with you, as you can see from Wikileaks.

  209. “Nor did she self-deal.”

    So paying off a legal settlement or buying a self-portrait from your charity is self-dealing, but paying for your daughter’s wedding from your charity is not?

  210. Not sure of the costs but he has offered to not take a salary so couldn’t that possibly be a wash in terms of the cost of secret service being in New York?

    This whole thing is like the craziest season the Veep writers might have ever dreamed up.

  211. Milo,

    but paying for your daughter’s wedding from your charity is not?

    You do know in both cases it’s just made up scandal nonsense, right?

  212. Kate, I am neutral about gay marriage. I wouldn’t vote for it, but I’m not emotionally bothered if other people do. I think Europe has the best solution- separate civil and religious marriages. I am very bothered when the Supreme Court gets used to resolve social issues because it makes the issue much harder to resolve long-term than with more democratic channels. That, to me, is the main lesson of Roe.

    I have similar neutral views about stepsibling marriage, adopted sibling marriage, first cousin marriage, half-sibling marriage, especially if the parties didn’t realize they were half-siblings when they married, and setting up some sort of system for refugee immigrants with multiple wives to have that situation recognized in terms of social security in old age, if applicable. Like gay marriage, all these are rare situations where traditional marriage law becomes complex.

  213. “Not sure of the costs but he has offered to not take a salary so couldn’t that possibly be a wash in terms of the cost of secret service being in New York?”

    Costing is an art. The Secret Service already maintains a field office in New York City, and it’s been there long before Trump came on the scene. If there’s nobody to protect, then they get to work on “investigation.” When they have protectees, they focus on them. If Melania and Barron stay in NYC for a while, maybe some extra agents will be transferred up to NYC temporarily, or per diem, or who knows?

    The cost of protection even for ex-Presidents is estimated (but not disclosed) to be something in the tens of millions of dollars per year, so him giving up his $400,000 salary is not meaningful in this regard. Figure the First Lady and Barron will have at least as much protection as Jimmy Carter, and likely a lot more. But whether they’re in the Tower or the White House probably doesn’t make that significant of a difference in terms of costs.

  214. @Mooshi- I completely agree with you about what I am really worried about when it comes to Trump. I do not believe that he will put the good of the country above his business interests. And I think all the arguing about Hamilton is a planned distraction from that fact. I don’t think he really believes half the other stuff, and I think his “connections” to white supremacists are a little overblown. I don’t think he has any intention of carrying out the parts of his plans that would hurt his business – like enforcing immigration laws more tightly in a real way. He may make a show of adding Border Patrol agents, but I don’t think he’s really going to crack down on the people who may be housekeepers or groundskeepers for his businesses (perhaps via a 3rd party).

  215. Milo – I will grant you that it is completely inappropriate for the foundation to pay for her wedding. Seems unethical and just plain old distasteful in my opinion. I can’t envision using my child’s wedding as a business proposition but I am not a wealthy global politician. Do we know who paid for Ivanka’s? I would find it hard to believe that Trump wrote checks out of his own account. Probably put it in the marketing budget for whichever Trump property it was held at. If she was getting married this year, there would probably be links to pinterest pages and instagram and you too could buy your Ivanka brand wedding day look. So much more tasteful….where do i buy the bracelet she wore at the 60 minutes interview again?

  216. But whether they’re in the Tower or the White House probably doesn’t make that significant of a difference in terms of costs.

    Why should it matter? The cost of the President and his family’s security has been born by the taxpayer since at least Andrew Johnson. It’s like all those silly arguments about Reagan vacationing at his ranch, or Bush at his or Obama going to Hawaii.

  217. Of course security costs money, and the taxpayers have always borne the cost. But in this case, the money goes into Trump pockets (I am assuming that they will need to rent apartments in Trump Tower to set up security)

  218. I really don’t think there is significant incremental cost to Melania staying in Trump Tower. More money has been wasted by multiple administrations on both sides for world travel tours that were not specifically required for foreign policy reasons. On the positive side, she will probably have little desire to do these first lady dog and pony shows around the world. She might end up saving the taxpayers money.

  219. (I am assuming that they will need to rent apartments in Trump Tower to set up security)

    Trump owns the 1st-17th floors which are shops and offices and the top three floors which is his penthouse. The middle 37 floors are condos which were all sold when it opened. If the Secret Service needs to rent a unit they will likely rent it from the unit’s current owner.

  220. Rocky – Are you arguing with Podesta’s hacked emails? You’re getting something of a tinfoil hat over this. This is from Podesta:

    “The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents,” he wrote. “I hope that you will speak to her and end this. Once we go down this road.”

    “But in this case, the money goes into Trump pockets (I am assuming that they will need to rent apartments in Trump Tower to set up security)”

    There was a fake news thing back in 2000 when the Clintons bought Chappaqua that they were renting the guest house or quarters or whatever it was out to the Secret Service. The story got traction because, in reality, the policy is that the Secret Service will pay protectees some designated amount of money in these circumstances. After the story circulated around, the Clintons decided to not accept the monthly payments from the Secret Service. But it’s not like this idea is totally unprecedented.

    Your FB friend might be giving Trump too much credit though; I’m not all that confident that he actually owns the building or the other units so that he would even be in a position to collect rent. Or maybe he gets a portion of it or something. But it’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. His brand value has skyrocketed.

  221. It’s not as if we live in the 18th Century and it’s an onerous carriage ride from New York to DC. Everyone can get back and forth easily, especially if you have your own plane.

  222. I am pleased that Melania and Barron will be staying put for now. There was a lot of hand wringing about which school he would attend and traffic issues. It likely wasn’t going to be Sidwell, so people were very anxious.

  223. So worse than the wedding, Chelsea was using Clinton Foundation “donations” to pay off her tax bills on money that her parents were passing down to her. Or perhaps the chairman of Hillary’s Presidential campaign was making all this up?

  224. And also talking about the investigation, he’s complaining about that too. And that’s the entirety of the reference. Band hates Chelsea.

  225. Rocky – I read the exchange bottom to top, and they’re both in agreement that these things have been going on, that it’s very stupid, that calling it stupid is quite an understatement, and they want whoever’s investigating it to stop, because they don’t want to go down this road.

    I don’t see how you can read that and say that those things (“using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents”) weren’t happening. Both parties of that exchange agree that they’re legitimate and could be a big problem.

    And their domain name is “presidentclinton.com”? The presumptiveness is rich.

  226. Milo,

    What do you think really happened with Chelsea? I think she worked there, had an assistant etc. and wasn’t being as conscientious as she should have been about not using work resources for personal errands. I’m sure you’ve had co-workers getting married and it sucks up weeks worth of their work time.

    I’m sure if you look at Ivanka’s wedding the line must certainly have been crossed many times where goods and services that should have been paid out of pocket were instead paid for by the company. I don’t think it would even be possible to throw a wedding for your daughter at a hotel you own without running afoul of the law.

    Do you really want Trump, Ivanka, Hillary, Chelsea etc. deposed on where they got the extra chairs from the wedding and did they have Bob from security drive them out to the venue?

  227. Rhett – I’m not saying to prosecute anyone. I’m arguing against Rocky’s insistence that the Clintons have done nothing wrong.

    And sure, people spend a lot of time at work doing wedding planning. But when it actually comes to writing a check to the vendors, there’s a decision to make about which checkbook you grab.

  228. Re: your 1:29 comment — Tinfoil hat indeed! Band is saying it’s stupid that Chelsea is TALKING about the investigations. Jesus. No, the payment for the wedding did not happen.

  229. “No, the payment for the wedding did not happen.”

    Both parties in that conversation appear in total agreement that foundation resources were used for the wedding, and — more importantly — to pay the taxes on money from her parents.

  230. No they’re not. Band’s email is totally indeterminate as to what’s going on and Podesta’s reply is to Band’s EARLIER email.

  231. Rocky – You’re being willfully obtuse. I can’t argue any more with someone who won’t accept the clear, primary evidence that is right in front of her.

  232. On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM, Band complains that Chelsea is talking to some Bush kid about internal investigations. Band complains this is not smart

    On Wednesday, January 04, 2012 05:00 PM, Podesta seems to agree that Chelsea’s talking about investigations to Bush kids is not smart.

    On 2012-01-04 21:45 (i.e., Wednesday, January 04, 2012 09:45pm), Band says this: “The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents….

    I hope that you will speak to her and end this
    Once we go down this road….”

    Is Chelsea talking about these investigations to the Bush girls? Because it’s the talking about the investigations that Band is complaining about.

  233. Podesta agrees that talking out of turn is a bad idea. You’re obtuse, dude, not me. You’re not looking at the timeline and you have no grounds for saying Podesta agrees with anything other than that Chelsea should stop talking to the Bush kids.

  234. I’m arguing against Rocky’s insistence that the Clintons have done nothing wrong.

    Wrong…. Do I think Chelsea Clinton embezzled $3 million from the Clinton Foundation? No.

    Do I think Ivanka embezzled $3 million from the Trump Organization? No.

    Do I think both probably have not abided by the strictest interpretation of the law? Likely.

  235. They’re in agreement that it’s not smart because you can see how casually he lists off the various offenses as accepted facts.

  236. Regarding Melania staying in Trump Tower: Right now, East 56th Street is closed to traffic between Fifth and Madison avenues, and shoppers having to go through a security cordon and subject to bag checks. There are a lot of shops and restaurants there, and I have heard that they are suffering. I also understand that the NYPD will be involved in security. Who is going to reimburse the stores and restaurants if they are living in that tower longterm? Who is going to make the lives of residents of that block less hellish? And are NYC taxpayers going to get stuck with any of this?

  237. “and — more importantly — to pay the taxes on money from her parents.”

    Where is anyone getting the idea that Chelsea owes taxes on assets that her parents give her as gifts? Under the transfer-tax laws, gifts are not taxable to the recipient.

  238. This comment on an Atlantic article reminded me of the SNL Black Jeopardy episode, ’cause I am “Doug” playing with Zeeky34. Original article and comment are here.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-minority-talent-pool-in-science-is-growing-and-draining-away/508481/

    “I’m not a PhD but I am a scientist who recently left a Harvard lab to work in big pharma and I’m black. I’m sure there’s some discrimination at play but I would argue that one of the biggest issues here is the pay that is associated with academic life. I grew up in a working class, inner city family in Boston and was bussed 1.5 hours both ways to go to school. I was highly modulated to do well because I saw the lives of the kids I went to school with which were SUBSTANTIALLY better than mine (median income in my neighborhood of $40k vs median income in the town I went to school in of $150k) I realized education was going to be my way out and threw myself behind that 100%. In college, I studied 50 hours a week. I was a biology major. This was a total of 16 years of sacrifice. Remember, I didn’t have any family wealth, so I had to actually give up stuff to get this education, unlike rich kids who still get family trips and nice clothes while they study. I didn’t know what the professional world looks liked, but I assumed a STEM major would get me money. When I graduated and started working at Harvard, I was making $28k a year. Most construction workers made more than I did. I had to live at home for 3 years because I couldn’t afford rent anywhere. I became extremely resentful because I felt like I wasted all that effort for no pay off, but I quickly realized that immunology was super hot. My lab was an immunology lab and I learned that with 3 years more of lab work, I could jump out of the academic treadmill and go to big Pharma where the real money was. My final pay rate at Harvard was $32k after 3 years of work. The job I took in pharma paid $70k and after a year of working every day, I was given a raise to $90k.

    Academia is really the land of the trust fund kids. The pay is so bad, you need to either have a Trust fund or a spouse who will support you. My boss in academia went to Harvard for undergrad and PHD and had 5 years of postdoctoral experience. She was making $50k. Black and Hispanic people are disproportionately from poor families. People like me who have the smarts to work at a place like Harvard, aren’t all that interested in making $50k a year. You have the chance that no one in your family has ever had to be rich. Why waste that? Someone has to generate wealth for the family. Academia requires a life of sacrifice. I had zero interest in sacrificing a day longer than I had to.”

  239. Milo & RMS,

    Reading between the lines, the most likely explanation is that with the wedding, the baby and being the boss’s daughter she was slacking off at work and it risked looking like the foundation donations were being spent on a no-work sinecure for Chelsea. I assume they spoke to her and she started being more conscientious.

  240. WCE – it’s hard to argue with his experience. Plus, at Pharma he’s less likely to be cut due to lack of funding…

  241. was it here that someone posted an article that basically said a science major is better off financially being a K-12 (more likely 6-12) science teacher than getting the PHD and going into academia? I didn’t realize the numbers are so low for post-doc salary. You could not attend college and make more money in an hourly wage manual labor job.

  242. “The cost of the President and his family’s security has been born by the taxpayer since at least Andrew Johnson.”

    Milo, add borne/born to your list.

  243. “separate civil and religious marriages. ”

    I sort of agree, but I think the government should get completely out of the marriage business. Marriage can be a social convention, and civil partnerships can be a legal construct. The word. “marriage,” has too much baggage, and too many people are unable or unwilling to differentiate between civil marriage and any other type of marriage.

    “I have similar neutral views about stepsibling marriage, adopted sibling marriage, first cousin marriage, half-sibling marriage. . .”

    Girlfriend’s adopted daughter marriage. . .

    OTOH, civil partnership would make total sense in a lot of cases of unmarried siblings, whether step, adopted, half, or other.

  244. I think Europe has the best solution- separate civil and religious marriages.

    We already have that. The legal side (signing the license) can be completely separate from the religious aspect (the church service). A lot of people combine them but that is purely a choice. There is no requirement to do so.

  245. Finn, I agree. We need some sort of default arrangement that allows medical decision making and some level of default mutual responsibility similar to power of attorney for unpartnered adults. There is no reason that sort of care/financial arrangement must be coupled with any sort of sexual relationship, as is assumed in marriage.

  246. WCE, not only that, but also things like covering each other in medical plans, inheritance (e.g., of homes owned jointly), survivor benefits, etc.

  247. Milo sounds like he reads too much BREITBART! The real Breitbart MIlo put out an article the other day claiming that women should be restricted from getting STEM degrees because they are more likely to drop out or not use their degree. And the poor endangered white males are missing out on those spots taken by girls/women. So there has to be a quota on girls being admitted to STEM programs.

  248. “And the poor endangered white males are missing out on those spots taken by girls/women. So there has to be a quota on girls being admitted to STEM programs.”

    You think white males are missing out on those spots, what about Asian males?

  249. “Academia is really the land of the trust fund kids.”

    Another reason it’ll be a long time before there are a lot of URM in academia.

  250. Finn, that is not my quote, it is MIlos quote (paraphrased). I just added “endangered” to it.
    So Asian males are all illegal and should be deported! (is what he would say)

  251. “Academia is really the land of the trust fund kids.”

    Funny, I don’t know a lot of trust fund kids working in academia. I cannot think of a single case among my friends and colleagues in fact. Most of us are really boring middle class, or are strivers from Asia. I am good friends still with several of my Chinese grad school friends who went into academia. Several of them survived terrible conditions during the Cultural Revolution. My best friend from grad school, who is now chair of her department, was from a farm family that went bankrupt after her father died when she was a kid.

  252. WCE, that observation about why URM’s don’t go into academia has been common knowledge for decades.

  253. WCE – those salaries are really low. My friend got his PhD in Comp Sci and as the commentator mentioned got his green card. He did start working as an assistant professor and was going the academic route when two things happened – he felt like the students didn’t care and he could make a very fat paycheck working on Wall Street, so that’s where he went.

  254. RMS, if “that observation about why URM’s don’t go into academia has been common knowledge for decades,” why do people keep attributing the lack of URM in academia to racism?

  255. Louise, academic salaries in engineering/com sci are competitive. Academic salaries in biology/medical research are abysmal. It’s not realistic to expect a smart, URM teenager to realize that, though.

  256. ” I assume they spoke to her and she started being more conscientious.”

    LOL! Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.

  257. Finn – for a professor? Among the highest paid. It is a pretty good gig. And only a JD is required.

  258. Yep, law prof.

    DS has a couple classmates (twins) whose dad is a prof at the local law school. I figured pay must be decent because for a long time his wife was a SAHM, and they still sent both kids to private school. And even when his DW went back to work, it was as a judge (sort of an inside joke that HM would get– the former Lt. Gov. here stepped down from the bench because the pay was too low).

  259. “I figured pay must be decent because for a long time his wife was a SAHM”

    How were the grandparents set up?

  260. I think the average is close to $200k for tenured full professors. And a lot consult and get more $. Law schools are cash cows.

  261. Neighbor friends are both profs and they are pulling in double all-in what our household is making. Business school profs – two different universities. Wife is a Dean.

  262. Finn, if it’s a public school, the salary schedule might be online.

    RMS, if “that observation about why URM’s don’t go into academia has been common knowledge for decades,” why do people keep attributing the lack of URM in academia to racism?

    Well, there is some racism involved, but I have always rolled my eyes a bit about the hand-wringing about how few black faculty there are in the humanities, for example. If you’re bright enough to be a humanities professor, you’re bright enough to go make some actual money. So if you don’t have a comfortable cushion of family money, why wouldn’t you go make some actual money?

  263. ” It’s not realistic to expect a smart, URM teenager to realize that, though.”

    WCE – I wonder why this is, because in the home country parents and kids even from lower income backgrounds had a good idea of what jobs pay in relation to each other. They would not want their kids to go into teaching or government jobs because those are poorly paid. An “office” job on the other hand pays much more and is a way to middle/upper middle class.

  264. Louise, I think the writer didn’t realize that medical research is low-paid even though it’s prestigious because it’s such a small career subfield. Medical researchers are often paid far less than clinicians, from what I’ve read, even though the hours can be far more demanding.

    One of my best situations as an intern was having a manager who went back for her PhD at age 40 because she wanted to. She had her kids in her early/mid 20’s after finishing her bachelor’s degree, and she was brutally analytical about the financial return to an engineering PhD. Her candid assessment was “Your bachelor’s degree is your most valuable degree, a master’s may have a positive return, but the years of income you give up in your 20’s to obtain a PhD are almost impossible to recoup. And it’s easier to get a PhD at 40 than it is to start a family.”

    Best advice I ever got.

  265. Keep in mind, in biology, the published salaries look low because they are actually 50% The norm at a lot of schools in bio is for professors to fund 50% of their salaries off grants.

    Medical professors are also very highly paid.

  266. Going back for the PhD: The guitarist for the Velvet Underground went back and got his PhD in medieval literature later on in life. He did not do academia though – he ended up as a tugboat captain!
    Brian May from QUeen, after retiring, got his PhD in astrophysics and ended up as a researcher at Imperial College in the UK

  267. “For a law school full professor, looks like the minimum is $141,624 and the max is $239,040. ”

    That’s for a full prof. And the numbers are weird, e.g., the 25%ile number is lower than the min, and 75%ile is lower than average.

    But overall, the numbers are quite informative. I’ll need to share them with my kids. Thanks for posting the link.

  268. “Academia is really the land of the trust fund kids.”

    I know tons of academics, but none are trust fund kids. Most are children of the comfortable UMC, though DH’s dad did not finish high school so he is definitely an outlier.

    Law school profs have the best gigs, by far, with no grad students to supervise, minimal teaching loads, and a short tenure track. Publication demands are also minimal, and as every decent law school has multiple law reviews, it is not all that difficult to get even mediocre articles accepted.

  269. I know tons of academics, but none are trust fund kids. Most are children of the comfortable UMC.

    I recall that we’ve discussed a study that noted that those who enter high status/low paying careers tend to come from families at the highest end of their community’s SES. An example would be the child of a surgeon making $750k in a town of people making $250k. They would be far more likely to enter such careers than those who grew up in a family making $150k in a $250k community.

    As for WCE’s quote, I don’t know that the person quoted really understands the difference between an UMC family and someone having an actual trust fund.

  270. “the difference between an UMC family and someone having an actual trust fund.”

    I’m thinking that trust funds aren’t all that uncommon in UMC families. I’m also thinking that a lot of those funds aren’t all that big. E.g., I think there was a trust fund in DW’s family, but the value of the fund was about $20k.

  271. Rhett – some UMC families provide an ongoing stream of assistance starting with debt free educations, then wedding and home buying assistance, school/college tutition for grandkids and family vacations. So though not actual trust funds quite a bit to boost one’s standard of living.

    I just thought about it, the only law school professor I “know” of is Amy Chua !

  272. Just thought about this, in families from the home country, siblings also helpout especially with tuition for younger siblings. DH helped his younger brother and I did for mine. The aim is to get everyone launched with little to no debt.
    It doesn’t mean that everyone gets an exact equal share but everyone gets the assistance they require at the time.

  273. The aim is to get everyone launched with little to no debt.

    That’s an interesting way to think about it – rather than a formal debt to Sallie Mae you have a network of informal debts.

  274. Medical researchers are often paid far less than clinicians, from what I’ve read, even though the hours can be far more demanding.

    I am not sure what you mean by “medical researchers.” If you are referring to physicians engaged in translational/clinical research, this is not even remotely true. It’s a highly paid field, in many cases better paid than straight clinical practice depending on where you are. If you are referring to MDs/PhDs engaged in bench research it can be true, but it’s not an apples to apples comparision, as it’s an entirely different field.

  275. I guess we were fortunate NOT to have parents in a financial position to launch us into a debt-free life. From my observations, there are often many strings attached to that sort of help, and you never get that lovely “paid in full/debt discharged” letter that banks send out.

  276. rather than a formal debt to Sallie Mae you have a network of informal debts.

    I agree, Scarlett! Better to have the faceless institutional lender.

  277. Regular Poster, I wasn’t necessarily thinking of medical research on humans or clinical trials. I was thinking of the sort of medical research that can be done by science PhD’s rather than physicians. The original commenter had a background in biology. Genomics draws people with math/physics PhD’s.

  278. “I guess we were fortunate NOT to have parents in a financial position to launch us into a debt-free life. From my observations, there are often many strings attached to that sort of help, and you never get that lovely “paid in full/debt discharged” letter that banks send out.”

    This is exactly how I feel. Especially seeing this play out among friends who have had more family help. The money “lost” is absolutely not worth the strings avoided to DH & I. We’ve had some gifts here & there – don’t get me wrong. But nothing of the magnitude that came with serious informal debts or obligations. And never requested by us.

  279. Medical professors are well paid compared to History professors, but often poorly paid compared to other clinicians. University faculty are compensated in prestige and it is supposed to make up for $. Looking at local academic medical center, most faculty are making in the 200s. Typically, all of their revenue is from patient care (direct or resident supervised) and sometimes from research grants. The teaching time is often “volunteer”. These people could increase their income by 20-100% by working in the private sector.

    For example, at the Children’s hospital where I trained, all of the faculty were specialists. So, Dr. Joint, a pediatric rheumatologist was on faculty. He had a clinic where he saw patients one day a week and billed for those services (perhaps would see 40+ patients – he had two fellows and a resident who also saw patients in clinic and he would supervise the care). He would be “on wards” 1-2 months per year, meaning be the supervising doctor for a set of admitted general pediatric patients, overseeing a team of 2 med students and 2-3 residents, and perhaps 10-20 patients. The kid that got admitted for asthma would be managed by the resident, Dr. Joint (who doesn’t know a particularly large amount about asthma, but was a pediatric resident a few decades ago) would make sure that tests and meds and consults were being done appropriately. During that month, he is available 24 hours per day, but may only put in a few hours of work per day (rounding in the morning, work rounds in the afternoon, a few phone calls). He still needs to see his rheum patients once per week. He also probably does a few months a year of Rheumatology attending – supervising a consult service that consists of a fellow and a resident and a medical student. He must be available 24 hours a day for supervision, but spends just an hour or two seeing inpatients who are in the care of someone else, but need a little help with a rheum problem. The other six months of the year, there are no call or clinical responsibilities (except that weekly clinic) and he is working on research, and giving an occasional lecture at the medical school or to the pediatric residents (perhaps 4-5 hours per month). He is also supervising the rheum fellows’ research projects. The lectures are “uncompensated” but required as part of his faculty appointment.

    So, Dr Joint makes $225k per year, for one day of week of clinic, and billing for the inpatient care and revenue from research grants. In private practice (which doesn’t really exist for most pediatric specialists), he would see patients 40 hours per week, rarely have call, and make 300k+.

    No real point here, except thought people might enjoy an explanation of what a “medical professor” does. I’ve always thought I would enjoy lecturing medical students, but that is a tiny part of the job (and not what gets you hired).

  280. Both my BILs are college professors – one in Biology (but more in the Life Sciences area) maybe makes $75K, the other in Psychology who probably makes around $55K. There’s also little variation in salary by region so you’re better off in the Humanities to be in a low COLA. I had no idea law professors made that much. I have a good friend who is a law professor but we’ve never discussed her salary but I thought it was likely not over $100K. The other thing about law professors is it is really hard to become one if you didn’t go to a really good law school. Deans make a lot of $.

  281. OMG….
    From the WSJ:
    Donald Trump Jr. Held Talks on Syria With Russia Supporters
    Disclosure of the Paris meetings in October could heighten focus on the president-elect’s desire to cooperate with the Kremlin

  282. “In private practice (which doesn’t really exist for most pediatric specialists)”

    Is this true in most places in the US?

    One of DW’s good friends/HS classmates is a ped orthopedist, and has his own practice which is quite busy. Apparently lots of kids get sports injuries.

    When the kids were young, they were both referred to an MD who specializes in kids with asthma (not sure what you call that specialty) who also had his own, quite busy, practice.

  283. “In private practice (which doesn’t really exist for most pediatric specialists)”

    My son is seeing a pediatric gastroenterologist in private practice.

  284. The other thing I would say about professors is it makes a difference if they are adjunct or on staff. My cousin has done both and one pays much better then the other.

  285. DH’s department pays brand new hires at least $150K. Pretty sure that full professors in humanities are not earning that much here. A new senior hire who was making $250k at a top public university is getting $350K here. It’s all supply and demand, which the humanities profs don’t always grasp because they evidently skipped economics. There are pay differentials in DH’s field between high and low COL areas and women and black or Hispanic faculty with decent job papers can write their own ticket.

  286. “So, Dr Joint makes $225k per year, for one day of week of clinic, and billing for the inpatient care and revenue from research grants. In private practice (which doesn’t really exist for most pediatric specialists), he would see patients 40 hours per week, rarely have call, and make 300k+.”

    Sounds like a pretty good gig for a Dad who wants time for his family.

    I could see someone wanting to work a lot more hours before kids, to pay off debt and build a base of wealth, then more to a gig like this when the kids are home. When the kids fly the nest, perhaps ramp up the hours again for a while, then ramp down again into retirement.

  287. which the humanities profs don’t always grasp because they evidently skipped economics.

    Exqueeze me! I understand it perfectly. Sheesh.

  288. Jared Kushner was an excellent student in high school and graduated from Harvard with honors.” (About 90 percent of Jared’s 2003 class at Harvard also graduated with honors.)

    Srsly? 90% graduate with honors? The hell?

  289. As Gladwell has noted, someone has to populate the bottom quartile, and you don’t want it to be the kids who are academically deserving.

  290. RMS – it says somewhere in the comments that a senior thesis is the requirement for honors, so 90% perhaps chose to do it and were awarded honors.

    After Daniel Golden’s book came out I haven’t been surprised when children of legacies, donors, famous people etc. get into highly selective schools. The kids go to good schools, get decent enough grades and have access to tutoring and support so they have good enough, if not absolutely the top score.
    I was reading a home country billionaires least academic child got into Brown.

  291. Tell me again the point of going to Harvard if there aren’t heirs to multi billion dollar real estate fortunes, who will go one to be the President’s top advisor, to hang out with?

    It wouldn’t work if it was all billionaire scions and it wouldn’t work if it was all ernest totebag kids. But, a proper balance? That’s ideal.

  292. Rhett, as I pointed out, you don’t want the earnest, bright, hard-working, high-achieving totebag kids to be in the bottom quartile anywhere, so that’s where kids like Kushner, legacies, and recruited athletes come in. Apparently a lot of URM and low SES kids also end up there too, although that’s probably not by design.

  293. Even if Harvard admitted only the highest-scoring totebag students, 25% of them would still end up in the bottom quarter.

  294. Interesting reading the drama about the pick for education. I don’t have enough experience/skin in the game to have a well-formed opinion about charteres and vouchers. I suspect any increase in such things could benefit me and mine, though I’m unsure of the effect on the system as a whole.

    Who doesn’t benefit from charters and vouchers? Rural kids. And most of Trump’s voters, I would speculate.

  295. While peds ortho and gi sometimes have private practices, it is not common (compared to adult sub specialists). Making this number up, but I would suspect 80% of peds subspecialists are academics.

    A private subspecialty gig is a very good deal. But it is a long path (at least 6 years post Ned school, often more like 8+ – so easily 16 years post high school). Lucrative, procedure-intense specialties are very competitive.

  296. Indiana allows vouchers to be used at any accredited private school, I think- my brother said something about how state vouchers made their private Christian school affordable for more families. What private schools exist in rural Iowa are disproportionately small and Christian. I don’t think Iowa has a voucher program.

    With charter schools, freeing schools from some ordinary rules can make things better or worse than the public schools, depending on the people running the charter school. Vouchers that allow some families to attend private school by subsidizing it reduce absolute funding to public schools while probably increasing the funding-per-child in public school, since the voucher is less than the cost of educating a child in public school. The primary effect of vouchers/charters is to allow motivated lower income parents to remove their children from classrooms with behaviorally challenged children, as upper income parents already do in a variety of ways.

    It’s a complex set of trade-offs, and The NY Times will doubtless report that whatever is decided will hurt minorities and the poor.

  297. Vouchers made our sons’ independent Christian school more affordable for many families already in the school after the requirement that the student have been previously enrolled in a public school was dropped. They also attracted some students from well-educated but voluntarily low-income academic families. What may change the school dynamics would be an influx of students without the academic prep of the typical student, which is unlikely given the unique curriculum but a risk I was glad we did not have to take. When there is only one class per grade and no tracking, a handful of kids who aren’t really ready for algebra in 8th grade can slow down everyone else. Some of the local Catholic grade schools are beginning to see these developments. And our school has a focused tutoring program to help all kids who struggle to keep up with a relatively demanding program. On balance, the vouchers have been a godsend for communities like ours without Totebag-quality public schools. The state gives donors a hefty tax credit for contributing to scholarship funds at private schools, which has helped to attract corporate donations.

  298. Vouchers:

    I wonder what that will do to real estate prices? It would certainly make the Back Bay and Beacon Hill relatively more attractive than Wellesley and Weston.

    I also wonder if there would something akin to an insurance death spiral in the totebaggy suburbs. Take Wellsley for example. The top private schools start to recruit the top kids from Wellsley due to the extra funding available, which drives down the average at the public school That makes the next deciile of parents more eager to pay extra to get them into a good private school. And so it goes until Wellesley public is only dealing with the most challenging kids.

  299. I am not sure how I feels out vouchers. My gut reaction is that it probably hurts the kids left behind and I am not wild about govt $ going to religious schools. But I don’t have a horse in this race and the appointment of the Ed Secretary has relieved any guilt that I had about not sending my kids to a public school.

  300. In our urban area from what I have heard, the behavioral issues of students are what causes middle class and lower income parents to move to alternatives other than their neighborhood public school. The teaching, facilities or funding is not a cause for complaint. I haven’t heard similar complaints from the Totebaggy schools. I have noticed that Totebaggy parents tend to enroll their kids in the magnet programs, so the world language magnet, arts magnet, IB magnet are filled with different subsets of Totebaggers.
    Here a few parents have taken to online schooling (one professional income, with an educated SAHM).
    I like hearing from WCE, Cordelia and also reading NYTimes (the P.S. #x vs. P.S. #y) type articles. Again, it is one of those subjects where it is hard to tell what’s going on in different areas of the country.

  301. Vouchers siphon off money from the public schools because they are largely used by families that can afford private school without them. And here in Colorado, the courts have held that vouchers can’t be used for religious schools.

    If you want to have a true free market in education, then you need to completely open things up. Free the public schools from the mandates of standardized testing and tying funding to test scores. Get rid of common core and give schools the freedom to teach how they want to. And vouchers should be good for full tuition at private schools, and private schools would have to have admission policies that aren’t based on ability to pay.

    I know there are a lot of flaws with this idea and details that can be nitpicked to death. My point is that if you believe that parents should be able to use public money to send their kids to private schools, then you need to provide a level playing field for all schools. Public schools can’t compete when they have to operate under significant restrictions that private schools don’t have.

  302. HIgher education is in some sense a voucher system (Pell grants, scholarships, etc) and that hasn’t driven down costs.

  303. I don’t think vouchers will make a whit of differene in the tony suburbs. Local control of high quality schools is just too much of a draw. It is the same reason that the ridiculous microdistricts persist – people here LOVE the idea of hyperlocal schools.

    In MA, there is already a school choice system in that school districts can choose to take out of district kids, and the funding will follow. In general, the midtier districts all participate, but not the high end districts. I don’t think Wellesley participates.

  304. For the high end suburban schools, I see no death spiral. Right now, in Westchester, there are really very few private schools compared to NYC, despite the fact that Westchester residents are more able even than NYC residents to pay for them. There are some boarding schools that actually draw more from Manhattan, and Catholic schools that cater to middle class residents of our few disaster districts (Yonkers for example). But when you go to towns like Scarsdale or Bronxville, where residents could EASILY pay for the best private schools without even thinking about it, you see most kids going to the public school. Why? Because they are as good as the best private schools. It isn’t a money thing at all. In those districts, parents spend tons of their money on the schools – not just in high taxes, but also in large donations to the sports teams, the libraries, the science labs, etc. A voucher program will make no difference in those districts. The wealthy captains of industry and media love the Bronxville public schools.

  305. I don’t think Wellesley participates.

    Roxbury Latin (depending on the year) has the highest percentage of kids accepted to the Ivy League of any high school in America. It’s $30k a year. If the government is putting 10k in, that’s certainly going to tip at least some of the parents of top performing Wellesley kids into going private.

  306. there are really very few private schools compared to NYC

    The market would presumably respond to all the newly available cash?

  307. For the high end districts, no. There is already a boatload of cash in those districts. And I don’t think you realize how tightly the local schools are woven into these districts. In my district, I could see some peeling away to Catholic schools if that were permitted, but there is still intense loyalty among that population (the Italian-Americans) to the district. Their parents went here, their grandparents went here, and the district really caters to them, so there just isn’t a huge impetus. In Westchester in general, the Catholic schools are all closing

  308. There is already a boatload of cash in those districts.

    I think you’re overestimating how much extra money the people in this house have:

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/10-Ross-Rd_Scarsdale_NY_10583_M49666-83218?ex=NY593921597

    I assume that’s in a good school district and that the typical couple buying that house isn’t going to have an extra $60k for private school for two. Would they make a different choice if the government were kicking $15k per kid?

  309. In any case, as with healthcare, the devil is in the details. I am not even sure how a voucher system would work in microdistrictland. Forcing local districts to pay for vouchers would be a huge intrusion into local control. The alternative would be a state or federal fund providing the money. I think some states would not go along with it – NY would be pretty dicey – and putting huge amounts of federal money into schools is hardly a conservative ideal.

  310. easy walk to Fox Meadow is a very swanky area, because people really WANT Fox Meadow. That is a very popular school. I go bike riding through that area all the time and see the fancy cars and nannies.

  311. and putting huge amounts of federal money into schools is hardly a conservative ideal.

    The president elect is not a conservative.

  312. I suspect that vouchers would mostly benefit kids on the margin with parents who care about their education, but can’t afford private school. I am very much in favor of both vouchers and charter schools. My gut feeling is that if the public schools are good (not that I have any experience with this scenario) that most parents aren’t going to take the effort needed to send their kids to private. If, as has been my experience my entire life, the public schools are lacking, a voucher system would allow some kids to escape the public schools and access the type of education that totebaggers take for granted. I am not sure why some people see this as a bad thing.

  313. “I am not sure why some people see this as a bad thing.”

    I have no data on this stuff and would like to see some, but it seems like it is giving up on public schools and all of those kids who don’t get to go to a private school.

  314. “But when you go to towns like Scarsdale or Bronxville, where residents could EASILY pay for the best private schools without even thinking about it, you see most kids going to the public school. Why? Because they are as good as the best private schools.”

    Montgomery County adjacent to DC probably has similar demographics, yet there are many private independent and religious schools. Some are drawing from northwest DC and northern Virginia, but there still appears to be a healthy demand among UMC families for expensive private education, even with top-tier public schools like Walt Whitman High School. Some 20% of students are in nonpublic schools, with the percentage likely higher in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Potomac than in Silver Spring. Not sure why the Westchester area residents make different choices, but perhaps it is because so many families in the UMC communities in the DC area are newcomers and therefore less attached to the traditions of the local school system.

  315. I have no data on this stuff and would like to see some, but it seems like it is giving up on public schools and all of those kids who don’t get to go to a private school.

    It might incent some public schools to improve. If not, then at least some kids escape the public schools. Once again, why is letting a few more kids have a chance at a decent education worse than not letting those kids have a chance.

    In my experience, it is insanely difficult to improve public schools, and at least in my town, the people with resources are bailing. There are some people who can’t afford to go private, with a voucher, their kids could go to a school where all the kids have books, where teachers show up to class, and show up prepared, where teachers don’t detail their history of sexual abuse to thirteen year olds. Why is it bad to let at least some kids escape this?

  316. HIgher education is in some sense a voucher system (Pell grants, scholarships, etc) and that hasn’t driven down costs.

    However, at least in my experience, the quality is an order of magnitude better.

    On the plus side of vouchers, I think this could tie in nicely with the arrival of self driving Ubers a few months ago. I think most of us have had jobs that just weren’t a good fit. The company culture, your coworkers, your boss, the nature of the job, etc. just weren’t working. So, you put your resume out, start working your contacts and you find a new job. Kids and families should have that same freedom when it comes to schools.

    I think self driving vehicles and vouchers could allow kids to find schools that are a better fit. Which to me, seems like a better system then when all kids in a certain area a forced to attend the local school regardless of how any of them fit in.

  317. Why is it bad to let at least some kids escape this?

    To play the devil’s advocate, I’ll use MM’s point. Imagine we had a system of public higher education where everyone went to their local university and 75% of people were happy or very happy with the system. Then, someone came along and said we’re going to let people go to private universities with the help of government funding. Then years later, we find the same exploding costs we find today with higher education due to government funding.

    It’s certainly possible that’s what could happen. Rather than living in Wellsley and paying your property taxes and sending them to public school, you’d pay the same taxes, get a voucher in return, have to pay $5k or $10k on top of that to get them into what your peers think is a “good” school.

  318. “I think most of us have had jobs that just weren’t a good fit. The company culture, your coworkers, your boss, the nature of the job, etc. just weren’t working. So, you put your resume out, start working your contacts and you find a new job. Kids and families should have that same freedom when it comes to schools.’

    Rhett, you’ve made this point before, and it is an excellent one that, along with our own experience with various school systems, has caused me to be more supportive of school choice. There is only so much that a single school or classroom can do to accommodate the range of abilities and learning styles of human beings that are reflected in adult workplaces. Giving parents even a single affordable alternative to the local public school is a step in the right direction. The children who will remain behind in failing public schools because their parents are unable or unwilling to make the effort to seek a better fit may not get much benefit from school choice, but they aren’t getting much benefit from the current system either, and if the public schools are forced to improve in order to retain their public funding, surely those kids will be better off.

  319. “But I don’t have a horse in this race and the appointment of the Ed Secretary has relieved any guilt that I had about not sending my kids to a public school.”

    One family of relatives continues to point out to us, that their DD got into our state flagship, from a very run of mill public school, we are wasting our tax dollars etc. Trying their best to guilt us/saying that we are making a foolish choice.
    This is where I get irritated. Each responsible family makes their own choices given what works for them at the time. If they choose to pay nothing or $40k a year it is their choice.
    One is not morally superior to the other.

  320. As for the risks?

    1. Grade inflation – when schools are all competeing is anyone going to give anything less than an A?

    2. All the totebag parents will send their kids to the STEM magnet but what about all the dance moms and sports dads? Will their kids end up at schools with entirely too much focus on things that won’t prepare them for the real world?

    What are some others?

  321. Back to the devil is in the details… I am still trying to understand how this would work in practice. We pay our taxes to our local district. The taxes vary wildly across the country, across states, and even between microdistricts. School spending also varies wildly. The amount spent per pupil in Scarsdale is well above the NY state average, and the parents pay high taxes.

    Now, if we go to a voucher system, how does it work? If you send your kid to a private school, does the per pupil amount from your local district follow? If so, voucher schools are going to ignore the kids in Elmsford and kill themselves going after the kids in Scarsdale, even though it is the kids in Elmsford who would benefit the most. If not, is the amount going to be a standard amount? If it is a nationally standardized amount, then it won’t go as far in Westchester as in say Wyoming. For example, one of the few private schools that could compete with Bronxville might be Fieldston, where tuition is now $47,000 a year. I suspect a standard voucher amount would be a drop in the bucket in comparison. And what happens if people are paying more in taxes to the local district than the amount of the voucher? Will they continue to pay local taxes if they take the voucher, even though they are now getting far less? Per pupil spending in Bronxville is near 27K per student, in Blind Brook it is 28K per student and in Chappaqua it is 30K. Will any voucher program come near that amount?

    My guess is that voucher programs will get the most customers in the big urban districts, just as charter schools have, and with not always great results.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/us/for-detroits-children-more-school-choice-but-not-better-schools.html

  322. “In my experience, it is insanely difficult to improve public schools”

    Yes, even with tons of FB money the Newark school district showed little improvement, except for some success of new charter schools.  In general, changing public schools is a daunting challenge due to any number of issues, certainly entrenched bureaucracy and non-progressive union work rules.

    “Why is it bad to let at least some kids escape this?”

    I see vouchers and charters as an effective way for taxpayers to leverage the support and involvement of parents, probably the most important factor in academic success.  Why not do that?

    “My guess is that voucher programs will get the most customers in the big urban districts, just as charter schools have, and with not always great results.”

    From the linked article: But half the charters perform only as well, or worse than, Detroit’s traditional public schools.

    So half perform better than traditional schools? And non-performing charter schools are usually much easier to close than similarly failing traditional public schools.

  323. Yes, even with tons of FB money the Newark school district showed little improvement, except for some success of new charter schools.

    Which would tend to argue that the schools are doing as well as can be expected given the quality of the students they are given.

  324. One of the complaints I have heard is that it is really hard to close charter schools.

    Mooshi, if the school is worse than the alternatives, the parents just don’t send their kids. Then the school closes.

  325. “Which would tend to argue that the schools are doing as well as can be expected given the quality of the students they are given.”

    Not always, but it depends on what you mean by “as can be expected”. When a public school is paying salaries and benefits to unfit teachers that cannot be fired but are assigned to administrative duties, I guess they’re doing as best as can be expected given the constraints under which they operate.

    Traditional public schools are really hard to close for non-performance. I’d like to see a comparison of closure percentages for charter and traditional schools. I would say that oversight of charter schools has not been adequate in some areas, so improvement is needed there.

  326. When a public school is paying salaries and benefits to unfit teachers that cannot be fired but are assigned to administrative duties, I guess they’re doing as best as can be expected given the constraints under which they operate.

    Conservatives object to Head Start and other such programs because the data shows that lavishly funded programs, with dedicated teachers that can be fired at will, have little to no long term impact. I think even if we changed everything about the system you don’t like, the grains would be fairly negligible.

  327. Newark was supposed to be the poster child for the technocratic reform ideas of the Totebag crowd, the pro charter, pro small school, pro close the failing schools, ideas that we have heard from people ranging from Bloomberg to Zuckerberg to the Robin Hood Fund to Chris Christie to Cory Booker to Bill Gates to Zuckerberg. Instead it became a poster child for how not to do reform. The fundamental mistake was parachuting in from above. They dropped piles of money into the district without building any kind of community support. The result was incredible anger from the community, resulting in the election of Ras Baraka who was very much against many of the reforms.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/nyregion/rebuke-of-charter-schools-is-seen-in-newark-election.html

    Interstingly, even people who send their kids to charter schools voted for Baraka. I really think the problem was resentment at the arrogance of the reformers, who came in ready for “disruptive change”. The community didn’t want disruptive change, they just wanted some improvement

  328. “Will their kids end up at schools with entirely too much focus on things that won’t prepare them for the real world?”

    Many students are already at schools with too much focus on things that won’t prepare them for the real world. The real world demands that they demonstrate at least minimal competence in language and math, that they show up for work on time, that they dress and behave appropriately while working. Many employers don’t really care about the things that many teachers and school systems seem to reward, such as following detailed rubrics for note-taking, or showing all of their work on math problems.

    The fundamental premise of school choice, whether through vouchers or magnet programs or charter schools, is that parents can be trusted to find the best school fit for their children. The fundamental premise of the many public school systems, especially large urban districts, is that bureaucrats know best.

  329. “Mooshi, if the school is worse than the alternatives, the parents just don’t send their kids. Then the school closes”
    No, it does not happen. Non-Totebag parents often do not have the tools to tell if a school is low performing or not. They have found a place that seems safe, and made their transportation plans around it. Changing schools can be really disruptive. Their kids may not even have a place any longer at another school

  330. is that parents can be trusted to find the best school fit for their children

    Given how many of the bottom 10% are currently out trying to score some heroin, I have my doubts.

  331. And there are many other factors besides quality that can encourage parents to sign up for bad charter schools. In a number of states and districts, there is a quiet effort to push kids into online charter schools, because they are really cheap. But they are also dreadful and have very poor outcomes, especially for at risk kids. So how is it that they continue to exist?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/10/31/study-on-online-charter-schools-it-is-literally-as-if-the-kid-did-not-go-to-school-for-an-entire-year/

    I think the problem is that schools are kind of like healthcare – it is really hard for people to understand the ins and outs, and to figure out which schools are good and which are not.

  332. if the public schools are forced to improve in order to retain their public funding, surely those kids will be better off.

    But you have to give public schools the ability to improve. Let principals get rid of bad teachers (I know that goes to the union contracts). Let schools expel the troublemaker students. Let schools choose their own curriculums. Let teachers teach how they think is best for their specific students.

    If you are going to create a true free market, you have to level the playing field.

  333. is that parents can be trusted to find the best school fit for their children

    I think that falls into the great conservative and liberal wonk hole of thinking there is some great untapped font of cognitive ability and executive function. The solution always and everywhere is for Americans to do more: more analysis, more research, more comparisons, more education, fill out more forms, sign up for yet another tax advantaged health/retirement savings account, etc. I don’t think the font exists to any meaningful degree.

  334. One of the things I also want to make clear is that it isn’t so much that I am against school choice (except for taxpayer money going to religious schools – that is something I am really against). My problem is more that I don’t think it will make any real difference. In order to really have fullscale school choice, including private schools, the entire funding model of our school systems would have to be changed. Otherwise, it will always be nibbling at the edges. And if we change our entire funding model, will we get that much improvement? I am guessing not. Why? Because we will have moved to a model much more like higher education, which people already gripe about constantly.

    I do think that magnet schools within the public school system are a very good idea. In fact, I wish we had magnets here in Westchester, but again, we bump up against the microdistricts. I also would love to change the funding model so that we no longer have microdistricts. But going through a big disruption so we can have lots of chain managed charter schools? I just don’t see it making a difference.

  335. “I think that falls into the great conservative and liberal wonk hole of thinking there is some great untapped font of cognitive ability and executive function.”

    That is a valid point. But we live in a complicated world that, for better or for worse, does present us with choices. We allow parents to make choices with regard to housing, food, household composition, medical care, entertainment, safety and a whole plethora of factors that influence kid outcomes, yet we don’t think that they can be trusted to sort through a handful of school options.

    I’ve argued before that many of the kids in low-income households might well be better off if we replace the federal/state/local government aid programs with boarding schools, but if that’s not going to happen then we need to nibble at the margins. The status quo is not fair.

  336. We allow parents to make choices with regard to housing, food, household composition, medical care, entertainment, safety and a whole plethora of factors that influence kid outcomes, yet we don’t think that they can be trusted to sort through a handful of school options.

    Because “housing, food, household composition, medical care, entertainment, safety and a whole plethora of factors that influence kid outcomes” has sucked up all the bandwidth.

    If you agree with me, as you seem to, that the great untapped font doesn’t exist and you think school choice is a great idea, you need to reduce some of other cognitive and executive function burdens if you’d like to add another.

    To go all “Art of the Deal,” I’ll give you school choice if you give me a German style healthcare system.

  337. I don’t know that there would be that great a different in the amount of bandwidth required to sort through the choices. Right now, people have to sort through a very opaque system, finagle a way to get their kids into the less bad teacher’s class, find tutors, sort their way through the incompetent/malicious counselor advice. How much harder would it be, really, so determine if a school provided somewhat transparent child placements and was able to teach.

    I think that you all with totebagger school underestimate the bandwidth necessary to navigate a public school.

  338. “I don’t know that there would be that great a different in the amount of bandwidth required to sort through the choices. Right now, people have to sort through a very opaque system, finagle a way to get their kids into the less bad teacher’s class, find tutors, sort their way through the incompetent/malicious counselor advice. How much harder would it be, really, so determine if a school provided somewhat transparent child placements and was able to teach.”

    Totebaggers do all this. I doubt that the parents of my college students have ever done any of this. Many of the parents speak little English and come from cultures in which you do not question the schools

  339. Cordelia,

    finagle a way to get their kids into the less bad teacher’s class, find tutors, sort their way through the incompetent/malicious counselor advice

    To second what MM said: What makes you think the 25th percentile parent is doing that?

  340. Rhett,
    “finagle a way to get their kids into the less bad teacher’s class, find tutors, sort their way through the incompetent/malicious counselor advice”

    My point is that with vouchers, that the 25th percentile parent might be able to get into a school where that isn’t absolutely essential.

  341. My point is that with vouchers, that the 25th percentile parent might be able to get into a school where that isn’t absolutely essential.

    Why would they suddenly have the ability to navigate the voucher system and the numerous and dubious claims put forth by various charter, for profit, public, charter, magnet, religious etc. schools when they didn’t have the ability or desire to navigate the current system?

  342. One reason why people in Montgomery county might send their kids to private school is that their school taxes are not comparable to Westchester, Nassau or Suffolk counties. In all three of these counties, there are towns that are similar to Bethesda or Potomac. The difference is that a comparable home will have property taxes that are at least double or triple. The local newspaper just did an article about the highest paid state employees in NY, and every single one was a school superintendent from one of those three counties. I don’t think that is a good thing because I happen to think they’re overpaid, but people that can afford private schools are sending their kids to public schools. Their local school boards approve these ridiculous salaries because they want to insure their kids have high quality educators and administrators.

    The residents are used to complaining about the high cost of living in these counties, but they’re also proud of their public schools. The high school in Scarsdale looks like a private school. The public schools in towns like Rye, Bronxville, Scarsdale, Manhasset, Jericho etc., are essentially private publics because the communities invest so much in their school districts. They know that their property values are highly correlated to the schools and the railroads.

    Some of these districts are so desired that people will pay tuition to a public school if they live in a nearby town. This costs 20-24K per child/per year, but I have friends that do this because they want their child to be in one of these top tier districts.

  343. My point is that with vouchers, that the 25th percentile parent might be able to get into a school where that isn’t absolutely essential.

    Why would they suddenly have the ability to navigate the voucher system and the numerous and dubious claims put forth by various charter, for profit, public, charter, magnet, religious etc. schools when they didn’t have the ability or desire to navigate the current system?

    I think that the parents might have the desire, but not the ability. I think I’m well over 25th percentile and I don’t have that ability. I think that sorting through the perhaps dubious claims of the various schools might be less difficult than navigating the public school system. After all, it shouldn’t be that hard to see if a school offers AP classes and what their pass rate is. It is really difficult to get a public school to offer AP classes.

  344. Your voucher money might go very far in Wyoming, if you had a school to spend it on. As far as I can tell, the two largest cities in WY have exactly 0 non religious private school (other than alternative schools for delinquents). Perhaps all kinds of private schools would sprout up, but it seems bad to create a system that says our rural kids can get a good education if a business decides to build a school nearby. Regardless of whether school vouchers and charters are good and fair, who benefits? Not kids in Wyoming, not kids in the exurbs of Houston, not kids whose parents both work and rely on neighborhood schools or school district transportation.

  345. The Indiana vouchers provide a 90% scholarship (~$5500/child) for households eligible for reduced price lunches (household income = ~$45k for a family of 4) and 50% scholarship (~$2900/child) for household incomes up to 200% of that threshold (so ~$90k for a family of 4)

    That is not going to pay for a prestigious private school.

    Mooshi, do you think that Pell grants/federal student loans to private colleges with a religious affiliation should be disallowed? Why or why not? I’m on the fence. In Robert Putnam’s book, he talks about how “religiosity” improves outcomes for working class kids by ~50%, independent of parental education level or income, and I personally have no problem with tax dollars going to accredited schools with a religious affiliation. I think it’s constitutional as long as all religions are eligible. But in many areas, the only non-public school might be religious, and arguably that overly constrains students.

    On-line schools are clearly a bad option for children without supportive parents. They can be a very good, flexible options for a minority of students. Based on personal observation, I think they are a godsend to families determined to homeschool where neither parent has a strong academic background, because a teacher oversees student competence in conjunction with a parent who is motivated to help her/his child. I know several families whose children struggled in public school and thrived with an on-line model.

  346. After all, it shouldn’t be that hard to see if a school offers AP classes and what their pass rate is.

    Do you feel there are enough totebag parents in your area to support the school you want, given the likely logistical and financial challenges vouchers would entail? I can only assume it’s been so hard to add AP classes because so few kids and parents any actual interest*.

    * They may be interested in theory but not interested if it involved any financial or logistical challenges.

  347. I personally have no problem with tax dollars going to accredited schools with a religious affiliation.

    I think that’s fine. The only issue I’d have is with the: Amish, Kiryal Joel Orthodox community, Muslim girls etc. where parents deliberately withhold education so their children have no option but to stay in the faith. I think you need rigorous standards such the kids have a choice to stay or leave.

  348. Do you feel there are enough totebag parents in your area to support the school you want, given the likely logistical and financial challenges vouchers would entail? I can only assume it’s been so hard to add AP classes because so few kids and parents any actual interest*.

    I think there is. Parents and kids have interest. For the past several years it has been easier to drive kids an hour each way to high school for four years than to get AP classes. Many parents have done this, and there is another subset pulling their kids out of elementary and middle school to drive 30 minutes each day. This is a solution that works for families with a SAHM parent. This is the first year that more than four AP classes total were offered at the high school.

  349. Another solution the well to do parents in my area use is to hire a tutor every week. There is at least one guy who drives the hour each way to my area and spends his entire Saturday tutoring kids in math. I suspect there is more than one, but everyone keeps this knowledge close.

  350. For the past several years it has been easier to drive kids an hour each way to high school for four years than to get AP classes.

    How do vouchers solve the logistical challenge?

  351. Cordelia, I just do not see a lot of the poor families in eastern KY having the resources (working car) and energy to drive their kids an hour for AP classes. In fact, even when schools have them, the kids don’t take them. For example, Harlan County High, which is a very high poverty school, offers 4 AP courses, and 4% of the students take them.
    https://projects.propublica.org/schools/schools/210254099999

  352. There are a subset of people who can’t manage the hour drive, but with vouchers, could pool their resources and hire an uber-like service. Or maybe the prospect of losing the kids who could pull up the test score averages might provide an incentive for the kids to improve.

  353. I received a Pell grant, and I went to a college with a religious affiliation. It is not my religion, but I couldn’t have afforded to attend without the federal assistance that I received in addition to financial aid. I think it might be different today because a lot more students receive some form of financial aid today, and a larger percentage of it is supplied by this university.

  354. After all, it shouldn’t be that hard to see if a school offers AP classes and what their pass rate is. It is really difficult to get a public school to offer AP classes.

    You’re assuming that the parents even know what AP classes are and what their value is.

  355. Lots of parents know what AP classes are and for those who don’t, its actually fairly easy to explain the value of an AP class to both parents and kids. Getting schools to offer AP classes is another matter entirely.

  356. NY Times has an opinion piece today on the disastrous charter school implementation in Michigan (which I understand that the pick for Education secretary had a lot to do with). For those of you who like charter schools, the article contrasts with a much better charter school implementation in New Orleans, but then goes on to note that the Louisiana voucher program resulted in declines in scores
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/opinion/betsy-devos-and-the-wrong-way-to-fix-schools.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

  357. I agree that even with significant school reform many of the worst performing students would only see small gains in achievement levels. However, I doubt we’d ever see the reforms that truly make a difference, in areas like curriculum, mentoring, instructional methods, or longer school days. So that’s one reason I support giving families more choices, and on balance it’s hard to imagine the results of that being any worse than the status quo.

    Yes, low-income families would find it challenging to pick the best school for their kids if they had choices. But I tend to agree with the point made by Cordelia that navigating the traditional public school bureaucracy may be equal in difficulty to the task of choosing a good charter school and then having that school handle the ongoing details of educating your child. And I can’t argue with the benefits of choice even when parents base their school choice mainly on the safety of their children.

  358. CoC said “However, I doubt we’d ever see the reforms that truly make a difference, in areas like curriculum, mentoring, instructional methods, or longer school days. ”

    I agree that these are things that make a difference (and the successful charter schools all pretty much do the longer school days, so that does seem to help), so why waste so much political energy on changing the wrong things? My fear is that we will spend huge amounts of energy, angst, and money ripping apart our existing school system, only to end up with pretty much the same half-assed curriculum and instructional methods. The real changes need to be in the education schools, and helping parents understand what works (because honestly, the reason we have half-assed curriculum is because most parents are happy with it or don’t know any better)

  359. Around here, once some parents started explaining the rationale behind AP classes, enrollment soared. Last year, there were 32 kids in my daughter’s AP English class. Not every kid had a desk. This year, we finally got some more AP classes offered and all of them have at least 20 kids, some have 30. A number of teachers, particularly those high up in the union, have actively tried to discourage kids from taking AP classes.

    One of the hidden benefits of an AP class is the test at the end. After taking the test, there is a clear indication if the kids learned what was taught. Getting As in classes then going to college and realizing that you didn’t actually learn the material in high school is a bad outcome. If a number of them failed, or, if, say, no non native Spanish speaker has ever passed the AP Spanish test, that is a pretty clear indication of the teaching ability of the instructor.

    WCE’s article shows at least one explanation of the widening income gap in this country. If access to high paying jobs requires access to paid, out of school math instruction, then the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is likely to continue. Increasing minimum wage will not help decrease the gap.

  360. And I know the idea of choice sounds tempting (“I’ll just get my kid the h@ll out of this stupid school”) but I fear that outside of the big elite cities, that choice will never be there. I know when I go to my sister’s mid sized town out in Trumpland, we often want to go out to eat. And what are our choices? There are several fast food chains, a Chinese takeout (of the type with no seating inside), a Ruby Tuesday, a Cracker Barrel, a Dennys and a Bob Evans. If we then decide to cook, there are two supermarkets, with lots and lots of pork products but not a lot of fresh produce. It isn’t that pork products are bad (I load a cooler with them to haul back home in fact) but there isn’t much other choice. I suspect if school vouchers or charters came to her town, the choices would be similarly limited. You want the Baptist school or the Assembly of God school?

  361. If there were enough parents who wanted a secular humanist school instead of a Baptist or Assembly of God school, then that choice could also be available. But right now, many kids have no choices. Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  362. I would rather have an excellent public school that tries to be a school for every kid, rather than pray that 100 more secular families move to the town before my kids grew up

  363. “Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
    But that isn’t what it will be. We will end up with the illusion of better schools rather than the reality. And we might lose some important things in the process, such as community schools that tie people together.

  364. We will end up with the illusion of better schools rather than the reality.

    How is this worse than what we have now?

    And we might lose some important things in the process, such as community schools that tie people together.

    Right now, in my community this is happening, as the people who can manage the 30-45 minute drive and starting to pull their kids out and take them to private schools. The really wealthy rent or buy a second residence in Capital City where one parent lives with their high schooler during the week. One can imagine the socioeconomic split between the people who stay, those who commute, and those who maintain two homes.

    A fundamental reform would be to eliminate teacher tenure, but since that isn’t going to happen, at least some kids should be able to get a decent education even if their parents aren’t wealthy.

  365. “How is this worse than what we have now?”
    Because we are likely to lose some important things, like a sense of community, without gaining much if anything. You know, the fundamental lesson of Newark was that community was very important to the people there, and ignoring the community simply stoked a lot of anger.

    And the process you describe, of people fleeing, will get much worse if we go to vouchers. For example, that town in Trumpland, the one that hypothetically would end up with several evangelical Christian schools as the “choice”, is already having problems with people fleeing to a much larger city about 40 minutes away. If that town ended up with just evangelical Christian schools, anyone left there with kids who wants a good secular education, including the Chinese pediatrician who treated one of my babies once, and the profs and administrators at the local CC, is simply going to leave for the city. There just aren’t enough of them to support their own school. The town will end up even more hollowed out than it is now.

  366. Based on my experience, I would say well-educated secular professionals in non-Totebaggy areas already realize that they will need to teach their children vs. leave it to the untracked public schools. As one of my Asian colleagues noted, “Everyone homeschools. Some people do it for a diploma.”

    I think the culture is changing. When I was in high school, our nationally competitive a capella choir sang mostly traditional Lutheran pieces, and the few Asian/non-Christian parents accepted that as part of having a good choir program in a traditional Midwestern town. Once that director retired, the choir has gone to more modern, mainstream, nonreligious pieces.

  367. But I tend to agree with the point made by Cordelia that navigating the traditional public school bureaucracy may be equal in difficulty to the task of choosing a good charter school and then having that school handle the ongoing details of educating your child.

    But the bottom 25 percent or whatever you want to call them aren’t “navigating” anything. They are putting their kids in the local public school rend letting the school do its thing. They are too busy working 60 hours a week to put food on the table to argue with the school about whether their kids are in the right classes.

    I’m a proponent of charter schools and I think Denver has done a great job with them here. At the same time, not every family has the ability to have their kids go to a better school an hour away or the time and ability to figure out the differences between a bunch of different school options.

  368. DD,

    What about the bottom 75%? The mid range between the 25th-75th percentile might well be equal to the task of sorting out a decent school for the kids and not equal to navigating the public school system.

  369. Here, even with long established charters and magnets families who are on an equal footing economically still make different choices. Not everyone is moving to a charter or magnet. Many parents (like Cordelia) have tried to participate more and improve their neighborhood public schools. And some of the neighborhood public schools have improved, it’s just that the process take a much longer time than starting with a new school and a clean slate.

  370. If someone in the 50th % is not able to navigate the local public school like a Totebagger, they aren’t going to navigate the voucher system like a Totebagger either. The things that are truly hard, like finding the right approach for your special needs kid, or advocating for better STEM courses, are still going to be hard in a voucher world. Parents who don’t worry about those things in a public school won’t worry about them in a voucher world either. They will simply pick the school that seems safe, has the right sports teams, and possibly fits their religion, and be done with it. The educational outcomes will be the same.

  371. “We will end up with the illusion of better schools rather than the reality. And we might lose some important things in the process, such as community schools that tie people together.”

    Why illusion? If school choice options don’t produce better schools, why would they continue to enroll students?
    When we lived in the DC area, children in our neighborhood were already attending many different schools, between the public magnet options and private schools. We found the same situation here, in a decidedly nonTotebaggy demographic. People are tied together in the university community, their churches, and some of the parochial and private schools, not only or even primarily the public school system, which parents are increasingly abandoning.

  372. “Why illusion? If school choice options don’t produce better schools, why would they continue to enroll students?”
    But “better” is an extremely subjective result- most parents would agree that safety is important, but the relative importance of foreign language, vocational education, music/art/drama, competitive athletics, AP classes and religious instruction will depend on each family’s values. The goal is not a better school, but a better fit. And some people won’t find a good fit in their community and will have to move, homechool or accept a suboptimal fit.

  373. The mid range between the 25th-75th percentile might well be equal to the task of sorting out a decent school for the kids and not equal to navigating the public school system.

    But they are happy to very happy with their current public school.

  374. If school choice options don’t produce better schools, why would they continue to enroll students?

    Third tier law schools continued to enroll students long after their was any hope of them finding a job after they graduated. Not to mention all those humanize PHD programs. Why would charter schools be any different?

  375. I think our goals for reforming education may be subtly different. Scarlett and Cordelia have as their goal happier parents and a better fit for individual students, as perceived by the parents. My goal is a better educated US citizenry. The two goals only intersect some of the time. Color me cynical but I don’t think most parents want better education, at least not in the sense of kids graduating with better writing skills, more knowledge about the world, more understanding of science, etc, etc, etc. They want nice safe school buildings, plenty of sports teams, a nice but not too demanding curriculum and teachers who at least appear to care. Those aren’t bad goals, but on their own, they won’t lead to a better educated citizenry. So that is why I see school choice as an illusion of improvement. We will spend lots of time and money ripping apart the current system, and when the dust settles, everyone will be in their chosen schools, playing sports, half learning to write, not learning much science, and perhaps also now learning a lot about Assembly of God dogma or Muslim dogma, or whatever they have sorted themselves into.

  376. Aargh, I wish I could edit my posts once submitted. I meant to finish with
    The educational outcomes will remain about what they are now.

  377. Mooshi, it’s insightful of you to realize we want different things. I know far too many people with adequate writing skills and knowledge of the world who can’t get jobs that use those skills and wind up as nurses, etc. If they had less intellectual curiosity/writing skill, they would be happier people.

  378. Um, nurses do need to write, reason well, understand science, and do some amount of math. My guess is that those skills helped your friends get into nursing programs (which can be rather competitive) and succeed. Ending up as a nurse is a good outcome. My concern is with people who are so poorly educated they can’t succeed as nurses.

  379. Then allowing future nurses to attend schools that are a better fit- that offer music or athletics or whatever on top of “adequate” academic preparation- seems like it would be a good thing, whether or not people who are uneducated now become better educated or not.

  380. Well, we could have those things – music, athletics, and BETTER than adequate educational outcomes – for everyone – if we concentrated on what matters rather than distracting ourselves with vouchers for private schools. Because otherwise, we will end up with the same mediocrity we have now, except it will be private rather than public.

  381. “The educational outcomes will remain about what they are now.”

    As WCE mentioned, a better fit would seem to be a good thing, an improvement of some kind. Now, what are the risks that educational outcomes will be worse than they are now, especially for that bottom 25%ile? Hard to say, but I’d think the risks are low.

  382. DD,

    What about the bottom 75%? The mid range between the 25th-75th percentile might well be equal to the task of sorting out a decent school for the kids and not equal to navigating the public school system.

    Cordelia,

    I’ve gotten way away from my original point. Here’s where I stand on the issue:

    I am in favor of school schoice. In Colorado you can go to any public school as long as there is space and you provide transportation. I think we’ve also had good success with charter schools.

    I am against vouchers. I think they would only serve to take money out of the public schools to subsidize families who can already afford private schools, and most people who can’t afford them now still wouldn’t be affordable to. I think there is a very small group that falls in the range where the voucher amount tips the scale for them to be able to afford privates.

    If there would be a voucher system, then there needs to be a completely level playing field. Public schools should be completely free of all the testing requirements, common core, and other restrictions they have now. Private schools should be required to take all students without charging more than the voucher, and not pick and choose who they want.

    If there was this pure free market system, I think the bottom 25% or whatever percentage of parents would still be unable to take advantage of the options due to a lack of desire and/or ability to sort through the options, transportation limitations, or other factors. Rural areas would still have a lack of options because they don’t have the population to support multiple schools.

  383. “Color me cynical but I don’t think most parents want better education, at least not in the sense of kids graduating with better writing skills, more knowledge about the world, more understanding of science, etc, etc, etc. They want nice safe school buildings, plenty of sports teams, a nice but not too demanding curriculum and teachers who at least appear to care.”

    Right now, lots of kids aren’t getting either of these. They are in unsafe school buildings with mediocre teachers who aren’t helping them develop writing or any other meaningful academic skills, despite significant spending increases.

  384. know far too many people with adequate writing skills and knowledge of the world who can’t get jobs that use those skills and wind up as nurses, etc.

    Wow. Just wow. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you really didn’t realize that statement comes off as a huge slam.

  385. They are in unsafe school buildings with mediocre teachers who aren’t helping them develop writing or any other meaningful academic skills, despite significant spending increases.

    Or are they good teachers who aren’t allowed to do what they do best because of all bureaucratic BS they have to deal with?

  386. wind up as nurses, etc.

    I going to give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. What do you actually mean?

  387. Good teachers don’t regale their class with stories about their sexual abuse

    I think you may be overestimating the talent pool available in rural CA. Will vouchers lead to a suddenly influx of Newton MA/Palo Alto, CA quality teachers? I have my doubts.

  388. Denver Dad, you’re right that I didn’t mean to have it come off as a slam. It’s because there are so few jobs in forestry/engineering here, and to stay in the area near their families, people who didn’t WANT to be nurses had to retrain to be nurses.

  389. The specific person I was thinking of who transitioned to nursing spent his teenage years making and grinding his own lenses and was really interested in photolithography.

  390. To use a “public school only” model for meeting the needs of the bottom 25%, we’d need to better define who is in the bottom 25% (based on aptitude or achievement) and understand what factors are limiting their education. Lots of kids in the bottom 25% come from challenging family backgrounds but have normal aptitude. Some kids in the bottom 25% come from normal family backgrounds and have normal aptitude but attend schools with so much behavioral disruption from other students that they can’t learn. Some kids in the bottom 25% have low aptitude and require more repetition to learn and more review in order to retain what they have learned, so a modified curriculum that emphasizes, say, consumer math and not algebra is most logical. What is most logical is probably not what’s politically correct.

    And none of our judgments of why kids are struggling would be perfect, and the categories I’ve listed above are not exhaustive or exclusive.

    The research that someone referred to above on the poor outcomes associated with online education looks like good research for the population at large, but I know a family whose daughter was still struggling with multiplication in 6th grade. No one at school helped her because she attended a Chapter 1 school where a well-behaved child working below grade level wasn’t anyone’s concern. But her mother cared enough to homeschool her with the on-line curriculum. She needed more review with a single multiplication approach than what the school curriculum offered.

  391. Denver Dad, you’re right that I didn’t mean to have it come off as a slam. It’s because there are so few jobs in forestry/engineering here, and to stay in the area near their families, people who didn’t WANT to be nurses had to retrain to be nurses.

    The didn’t HAVE to retrain, they CHOSE to retrain because they didn’t want to move.

    The specific person I was thinking of who transitioned to nursing spent his teenage years making and grinding his own lenses and was really interested in photolithography.

    That’s basic economics and geography. Rural areas have fewer job opportunities than urban areas, especially for a highly specialized field.

  392. Good teachers don’t regale their class with stories about their sexual abuse

    I never said there are no bad teachers. Like any other profession, they are probably distributed pretty nicely over the bell curve. And I really believe that most teachers become teachers because they genuinely want to do it. They sure as hell aren’t doing it for the money.

    All the teachers I know say they would be able to do a better job if they had the freedom to teach to the needs and learning styles of their specific students.

  393. Denver Dad, point taken and you’re right. My mind has been on the situation because the nursing position my colleague started in was in a group home for psychiatrically troubled teens. (This was several years ago.) In the past few weeks, the group home has been shut down (or might not be completely shut down because there are no other options) for repeatedly violating state standards and the violations were discovered as a result of a suicide investigation. I suspect my conscientious colleague was bothered that standards were not being followed. So please pardon my careless writing because my thoughts were elsewhere.

  394. And just to pile on a little, WCE, you don’t know “far too many people”, you know one guy.

  395. RMS, that’s true. I know-and have known others around Flint, MI and in eastern Kentucky- other people who made similar choices, although the situations were slightly different. The mindset that rural people should change and urban people shouldn’t have to is part of what enabled Trump.

  396. I’m sorry, how are urban people supposed to change such that people who like grinding lenses magically have jobs EXACTLY where they want to live?

  397. “Rural” means that there aren’t any jobs. That’s the precise thing that defines “rural”.

  398. Pingback: 2016 politics open thread, November 20-26 — The Totebag – Guinea Conakry Presidential Election 2020.

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