2017 Politics open thread, January 8-14

What’s on your mind?  Feeling better or worse about our presidential choice?

 

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356 thoughts on “2017 Politics open thread, January 8-14

  1. The Fresh Air podcast aired Reflections on Moderate Islam and spoke with Omar Siaf Ghobash on Wednesday. Omar has written a book of letters for his son’s calling on them to reject hate and extremism. Furthermore, he is the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Russia. He spoke briefly on Trump’s win and the Russian Hacks. I will say that he disappointed Terry Gross by not furthering the notion that Trump will end the world as we know it. Anyways, I thought folks here might enjoy listening to his opinions regarding many of the topics that come up in these Politics threads.

    PS – for those Hamilton fans, she interviewed Li-Manuel Miranda, it’s creator, on Tuesday that was also great.

  2. Thanks for the podcast tip!! Looking forward to hearing his thoughts and perhaps reading his book.

  3. thanks, Usuallylurks! I am always looking for new podcast episodes. I used to love Fresh Air when it came on during my drive time, and it didn’t occur to me there was a podcast now.

  4. On political podcasts – Katie Couric’s podcast is also pretty good, although her liberal leanings can be a little much even for me sometimes. But she has on some really smart people and asks the good questions.

  5. I am now following MatureTrumpTwts on Twitter. It is kind of like Goofus and Galllant from Highlights magazine. Interestingly, Goofus also had bad hair.

    Example: Real DT tweet:
    Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!

    MatureTrumpTwt:
    Let me be clear this is not a partisan issue. Both parties were hacked. American democracy was attacked. And my admin will not stand for it.

  6. I am probably the only NPR listener out there who does not like Fresh Air. It always feels so smarmy. I like The Takeway much more, as well as our local NPR call in shows (Brian Lehrer Show and Leonard Lopate). Even if you do not live in NYC, if you can stream WNYC, take a listen – they often have really good topics in areas like cybersecurity, food history, all kinds of science, and politics of course.

  7. Anyone think that having a son-in-law who owns a newspaper and being appointed as a senior advisor is a huge conflict of interest? Aside from that, how is Kushner going to get paid enough to support themselves if both are stepping down from their positions? I would think one of them would keep running a company to pay the sizeable bills. Although Jared and Ivanka might actually be worth more than dear old dad. Likely have more in liquid assets.

  8. Mooshi – I only rarely like Fresh Air. We have a local show that I prefer much more and I think it is going national. It is called Think with Krys Boyd. She is extraordinarily prepared for her interviews and I always learn something new.

  9. I don’t like Fresh Air either. I still miss Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan (sniffle).

  10. Based on web traffic volume, Breitbart is now more popular than Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, FOXNews.com (although they’re the most popular cable network), and Washington Post.

  11. Does that surprise you Milo? That seems pretty consistent with what is going on in the US. Milo Yiannopoulos is the face of young alt-right movement.

  12. The numbers surprise me. I’ve been checking out Breitbart periodically; there’s nothing on it that seems particularly scandalous. Slate seems far angrier and farther from the center, to be honest.

    But with those numbers, there’re not really a fringe, or an “alt” movement. What is the “mainstream” press, anyway, if Breitbart has more traffic than Washington Post? Some theories on interpretation: WP still has a print edition, and many online subscribers probably view it only in an app, so that may not be counted in web traffic. On the other hand, in purely political terms, a lot of WP readers are looking only at ads, Sports, Local, Real Estate, etc., and aren’t paying any attention to how Dana Milbank or Ruth Marcus thinks they should feel about Trump.

  13. That’s comforting that Breitbart has published that Milo Y says he isn’t part of the alt-right. Totally reliable.

    And Milo – agree with you that it isn’t really alt any more. Just plain old Republican. Reagan is rolling over in his grave.

  14. Thanks all for the podcast recommendations. I will check them out.

    In regards to the Fresh Air podcast,I was recommending the guest and his take on radical Islam as opposed to the podcast itself. We talk a great deal after terrorist attacks that many feel that Muslims do not decry radicalization or call anyone out on it. Omar’s responses and book does just that.

  15. You can take it from the man himself, if you’d rather not rely on the media, mainstream or otherwise.

    “Just to be clear, I don’t consider myself a member of the alt-right. Here are a few of the things I disagree with them on.

    Firstly, I quite like Israel. The alt-right is sort of fundamentally hostile to these foreign entanglements that may or may not serve America’s interests, and I’m a fairly unreconstructed Zionist. I don’t expect everyone to agree with that.

    I also really like this man [Slide: President George W. Bush]. And I was pro-Iraq [war] and I still am. The alt-right would mostly find that horrifying.

    And there’s one last most obvious one… [Slide: Interracial gay porn film]”

    http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/09/19/milo-destroy-alt-right-speech/

    Breitbart is filled with large photos taken at strange angles, lots of shouting (too many caps) and exclamation points. But it’s hard to see what all of the fuss is about, except to drive up their page views. And that seems to be working.

  16. The alt-right isn’t a monolith and he is generally understood to be part of it even if he doesn’t claim it on his own. Bannon is the one who called Breitbart the platform for the alt-right.

  17. He is generally understood by whom to be part of the alt-right? The alt right may not be a monolith, but various representatives of the movement not only don’t claim Milo as one of their own, but are openly hostile towards him.

    “MILO has also sparred with various white nationalist and fringe sections of the right, so much so that white supremacist site The Daily Stormer waged a “war” against him.

    Alt-right icon Richard Spencer has also dispelled claims that MILO is a part of the alt-right, stating simply that “Milo is not a part of the alt-right,” during a debate.

    Many white nationalists have also branded MILO a “race-mixing kike faggot,” declaring their distaste for him.

    Popular alt-right outlet “The Right Stuff” also bluntly declared in an article that “Milo isn’t one of us,” while self-proclaimed “leading thought leader of Alt-Right,” Paul Town also rejected claims that MILO is anything close to a white nationalist or in a member of the alt-right movement, branding him a “cultural libertarian.” ”
    http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2017/01/04/usa-today-falsely-brands-milo-white-nationalist-racist-alt-right/

  18. On the other topic, if we’re allowed an NPR complaint, can I say that I really hate The Writers’ Almanac with Garrison Keillor. Whenever he says “here’s a little poem…” I can never figure out what the hell makes it a poem vs. a few lines of random prose or musings.

    Here’s a litttle poem from Someone You’ve Never Heard Of.

    Whenever I would wander outside on a snowy morning
    I would spot a bird looking for seeds
    And think about how difficult it is to find seeds in the winter.

    In the Spring the seeds are plentiful
    And in the summer there are worms to eat
    Even the Fall has acorns

    But in the winter, when the ground is covered with snow
    There are no seeds for the birds
    And yet the birds survive the winter and make it to Spring.

    That’s it for the Writers’ Almanac. Do good work and be well.

    (I just made that up. I know I’m plebeian to think poetry should rhyme, but isn’t it supposed to have some sort of rhythm or meter? It’s like the guy’s just screwing with us to see how stupid he can make these choices and nobody calls him on it!)

  19. Kate, I did take a look at it.

    “Despite being the alt-right’s mouthpiece, Yiannopoulos won’t say for certain if he’s one of them. Earlier that day, lounging on a couch in the living room of his apartment, located in a huge residential complex a good 45 minutes from Central London, he replaces Wagner with Chopin so he can talk more easily. He turns to Allum Bokhari, a 25-year-old half-Pakistani Oxford graduate, who used to work for a Liberal Democratic member of Parliament and now writes for Yiannopoulos at Breitbart, and asks, “Am I a member of the alt-right?”

    “No,” says Bokhari, who wears a white dress shirt, gray blazer, and gray trousers to work at a desk next to a garment rack in Yiannopoulos’s living room. “Because they wouldn’t have you. You like Israel a lot more. Some on the alt-right would describe you as a degenerate.” ”

    Yes, he’s rather a loudmouth and certainly not a gentleman. But alt-right? He says no, the alt-right groups say no, but that’s not good enough?

  20. Don’t know what you want me to say. He is the face of the young alt-right. Breitbart is the platform of the alt-right. Bannon is the mastermind of it becoming mainstream. And Trump was the candidate of the alt-right. That’s just where we are. It doesn’t matter that Milo and Trump are totally undisciplined in their views.

  21. “And Trump was the candidate of the alt-right.”

    That’s nonsense. He has none of these views, and the vast majority of his supporters could barely even tell you what this “alt right” is, myself included. My eyes glaze over trying to figure out what “Gamergate” is.

  22. Count me among:
    – those who generally don’t like Fresh Air. But, it comes on a 7pm here on the regular NPR station which is usually when I’m getting home from the gym. If I’m a few minutes later than usual I hear the top of the hour news
    – those who miss TOTN. Here and Now just is not the same.

  23. Aside from that, how is Kushner going to get paid enough to support themselves if both are stepping down from their positions?

    Kushner is heir to a multi billion dollar real estate fortune I’m sure they’ll muddle through. He also won’t be taking a salary apparently.

    This is also quite good.

    https://psmag.com/rigid-partisans-flexible-ideologues-7ee4140e02b3#.acsrb6ga9

    How long do you think this holds together?

    How long do you think Republicans in Congress can hold it together? I give it six months tops.

  24. Rhett – Is the shift any more radical than Clinton’s 1994 pivot to balanced budgets and welfare reform?

  25. Milo,

    I’d say no. Clinton was moving the Democratic party to the right. Trump is moving the Republican party in a populist direction. It sort of doesn’t fit within our left/right paradigm.

  26. Milo, I hate Garrison Keillor in every shape, form, and fashion. OK, everyone can hit me now!

  27. The WSJ had a handy graph showing that Obama spoke twice as long in his farewell address as any recent President. Still awaiting the first-person singular word count.

  28. Milo – my understanding is that just recently the info was given to the US IC (by McCain no less!) and they then prepared a synopsis and gave those to Obama and Donald. That is why we are hearing about them now. Maybe because people now think there is more credibility/authenticity to them. Regardless, Twitter is awesome and hysterical. Focusing on the wrong stuff, but Peeotus and so much hysterical stuff. And the really funny thing is no one is defending Trump and saying he is such a good guy that he never would have done this stuff. They are quietly waiting to see if any of it is real.

    I did get to see Kellyanne’s response. She said he was not properly briefed about it! Oh my!

  29. I have this slight feeling that it’s going to be 50 years from now when we learn some of the details of the 2016 campaign.

  30. Milo,

    You’re being disengenious. They are also reporting on it because the FBI and CIA saw fit to brief Obama and Trump about it.

    Obviously, when the video comes out you and Scarlett will be all, “So he likes to watch girls pee. Is the President not allowed to get his freak on now and again?” My question is: What’s the over/under on the girls being underage?

  31. Rhett – I didn’t realize the briefing of Obama and Trump was the threshold. That makes more sense.

    Maybe we’ll have to swear in Pence next Friday.

  32. I totally don’t care about golden showers. Unless he’s peeing on puppies. Who cares what the president’s sexual preferences are? Least of my worries.

  33. I think that there is a not insignificant chance that Trump gets impeached in the first two years. I would much rather have Pence even though I think he sucks. At least he can conduct himself like a human being.

    RMS – there is a lot more than golden showers in the report. Everyone is just focusing on that because it is fun. I wonder if Manafort is freaking out.

  34. Mainly it entertains me to see Trump getting hit with the same kind of bombshell-but-unverifiable leaks that Clinton had to deal with. It kinda reminds me of Comey’s letter about the supposed new emails on Weiner’s laptop.

  35. While I would fight against Pence’s policies tooth and nail, at least I don’t think he would tweet us into a war with China.

  36. On Kate’s suggestion, I just opened my Twitter feed. Trump is definitely animated on there, to say the least.

    On the other hand, if I have four or five Tweets from Trump, (plus a re-Tweet of his from Wikileaks) I have about 50 from the White House essentially re-stating point by point Obama’s goodbye speech, plus more tweets directly from Obama (including one that I “Liked”), and some from Michelle. They’re inoffensive and harmless, of course, but there’s just so much overload now.

    One reason people may choose to live in echo chambers is that they’re going to be bombarded no matter whom they choose to follow, and you can’t entirely blame them for cutting off the opposite side if this is the alternative.

  37. “Mainly it entertains me to see Trump getting hit with the same kind of bombshell-but-unverifiable leaks that Clinton had to deal with.”

    It’s my recollection that Clinton’s camp didn’t dispute the accuracy of the materials leaked in the DNC emails, but rather the manner in which they were acquired.

  38. I don’t follow any of these people on Twitter. I just read about them later in the news. My Twitter feed is mainly weather, computer science news, local news, and Lego stuff (huh?)

  39. My kid, though, is doing a sentiment analysis project using Twitter messages. Everyone who does text mining ends up using them because there are so many and they are all public and easy to download.

  40. This is a good point.

    Fourth, it is significant that the document contains highly specific allegations, many of which are the kind of facts it should be possible to prove or disprove. This is a document about meetings that either took place or did not take place, stays in hotels that either happened or didn’t, travel that either happened or did not happen. It should be possible to know whether at least some of these allegations are true or false.
    https://lawfareblog.com/about-explosive-trump-story-take-deep-breath

    And this:

    “The story is “totally fake, totally inaccurate,” Cohen said.

    “I’m telling you emphatically that I’ve not been to Prague, I’ve never been to Czech [Republic], I’ve not been to Russia,” Cohen said. “The story is completely inaccurate, it is fake news meant to malign Mr. Trump.”

    Cohen said that during the time the report places him in Prague, he was actually with his son visiting USC and meeting with the baseball coach. A USC baseball source confirmed Tuesday night that Cohen and his son had visited USC on August 29th. Cohen said that he was in Los Angeles from the 23rd through the 29th of August, and that the rest of the month he was in New York. He said that his only trip to an EU country over the summer had been a vacation to Italy in July. In one instance, the dossier places the alleged Prague travel in “August/September 2016.” Cohen said he was in New York for the entire month of September.

    Cohen also tweeted a photo of his passport: “I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/michael-cohen-it-is-fake-news-meant-to-malign-mr-trump/512762/

  41. It’s my recollection that Clinton’s camp didn’t dispute the accuracy of the materials leaked in the DNC emails, but rather the manner in which they were acquired.

    So you’re holding their tenuous grasp on reality against them? As opposed to your boy who isn’t so constrained by logic or facts.

  42. Interesting that Cohen’s alibi involves a very Totebaggy college sports recruiting meeting…

  43. Rhett,
    He’s not my boy. And I’m not sure I understand your point. What false materials were leaked about Clinton?

  44. And it gets weirder.

    “In a story that is getting more surreal by the minute, a post on 4Chan now claims that the infamous “golden showers” scene in the unverified 35-page dossier, allegedly compiled by a British intelligence officer, was a hoax and fabricated by a member of the chatboard as “fanfiction”, then sent to Rick Wilson, who proceeded to send it to the CIA, which then put it in their official classified intelligence report on the election.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/4chan-claims-have-fabricated-anti-trump-report-hoax

  45. I love that Cohen tweeted the cover of his passport. That proves nothing. Nor does not having a stamp. Does he think everyone is a moron. Wait. Don’t answer that.

  46. I think there is a good chance that these allegations will come to nothing, just as Comey’s letter came to nothing. I am just amused that Trump has to deal with it. He better grow a thicker skin because this stuff will keep coming, just like Obama kept getting hit with allegations of being a foreigner, hurled at him by a certain orange loudmouth.

  47. Scareltt,

    Cohen also tweeted a photo of his passport: “I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews.”

    You’re a smart girl. Do you need your passport stamped to go from Italy to the Check Republic/

    The Czech Republic is a part of the Schengen area i.e. a group of countries which carry out no checks at their common borders and which have brought their efforts to fulfill the right of free movement of persons to a successful end.

    http://www.mzv.cz/sydney/en/visa_consular_information/visa_information/the_czech_republic_in_schengen.html

  48. I agree that if the Cohen portion of it has been proven as baseless, than it makes the other allegations from the same source highly suspect.

    I saw the Tweet of the passport. Although it was just the cover, not a page-by-page slideshow to show no applicable Prague stamps, the implication that “here it is, I didn’t go there” was effective communication.

  49. What false materials were leaked about Clinton?

    That she’s running a child brothel out of a DC Pizza Shop?

  50. No Wikileaks is saying that there’s no truth to the latest Russian thing.

    The difference between this and Pizzagate is that no real media source ever took Pizzagate seriously. (I say that with 98% certainty.)

  51. No Wikileaks is saying that there’s no truth to the latest Russian thing.

    How would they know?

  52. McCain has confirmed that he passed the info to the FBI.

    Scarlett – I don’t get it. Trump is known to have narcissistic personality disorder and you voted for him. Why do you care that Obama refers to himself in a speech about his presidency?

  53. The mystery is solved.

    Phew, at least that’s over. You’re boy so much more humble, it’s a breath of fresh air.

  54. Because I genuinely do not understand the cult of personality that surrounds and enables Obama.

  55. “Trump is moving the Republican party in a populist direction.”

    Is he really though or is he just appearing to move it in a more populist direction with lip service & a few showy nothings (like the Carrier/Ford) while really wanting to implement primarily pro-Business ideas? I think that remains to be seen. Can’t really tell until he actually takes office. I am really curious if he will really roll back NAFTA or crack down on immigration – both of which are probably good for him personally from a financial standpoint.

    Did Breitbart report in Pizzagate as if it was potentially or probably true? I really don’t know.

    I’m with Kate – I also don’t understand how you can think that Milo Y is just “a loudmouth and not a gentleman” and think Trump is just fine, but then clutch your pearls at a 2-term president talking about his legacy in his farewell speech. All Trump talks about is himself!!

  56. “Phew, at least that’s over. You’re boy so much more humble, it’s a breath of fresh air.”

    LOL!

  57. I don’t think that Trump is just fine, but he’s not nearly the uniquely dangerous personality and character that many have insisted. He’s actually not that different from Obama in his amazing self-regard.

  58. I don’t have such an aversion to Obama (especially not since he’s become a lame duck), but he does have a pretty high self-regard. The guy wrote his first memoirs at the age of 35!

    But I think he’s mostly handled himself well since Trump’s election, which is normally just expected of a President, but is particularly admirable when his successor is the guy who took over the Birther Movement.

  59. While I’ve been a supporter from Day One when he was running for Senate here, I can see how Obama can come off to some. To me, he comes across as an academic type, which is definitely a type of personality that feel arrogant and can rub people the wrong way, including me sometimes. I do find it interesting that he rubs people who hang out here the wrong way, personality-wise, because I think that he is very “Totebaggy”.

    I’m not sure that I believe that Trump is going to lead us into war with China or start purging the government payrolls of anyone who doesn’t pledge full loyalty, And I don’t know what to think about the craziness from yesterday yet. But I do think at a minimum, that is is embarrassing and a step down for our country that he personally tweets about the ratings of his old Reality TV show when he is less than a month from becoming President. His thin skin is also distracting from the real issues he will be facing. And the cast of billionaires that he has assembled for his Cabinet does not make me feel warm and fuzzy about him having the best interests of the whole country in mind, not just his business interests. But I am trying to stay open minded because what is the alternative? He hasn’t even taken office yet.

  60. LOL Rhett. Do you tweet? I would like to follow you if you do.

    Me too me too!

  61. “To me, he comes across as an academic type, which is definitely a type of personality that feel arrogant and can rub people the wrong way, including me sometimes. I do find it interesting that he rubs people who hang out here the wrong way, personality-wise, because I think that he is very “Totebaggy”.

    Ha. Excellent point. And you’ve put your finger on one reason for my aversion. He has the academic vibe without having done the actual academic work. I know tons of law school profs, and he wants to be in that club, but didn’t have the resume to get a tenure-track position.

  62. I know tons of law school profs, and he wants to be in that club, but didn’t have the resume to get a tenure-track position.

    You don’t think YLS would offer him a tenured prof position?

  63. I remember we made fun of Obama in 2008 for having a podium with “Office of the President-Elect.”

    Now Trump’s got it. Oh well.

  64. They would NOW.

    But he had no offers THEN.

    Think about that one…law schools are desperate for black professors. Here’s a guy from Harvard, who was not only on the Law Review, but President! Those people usually go on to lofty careers, beginning with appellate clerkships, Supreme Court clerkships, partnerships in BigLaw, endowed chairs at top law schools. But, nope.

  65. Those people usually go on to lofty careers, beginning with appellate clerkships, Supreme Court clerkships, partnerships in BigLaw, endowed chairs at top law schools.

    That’s a lot less impressive than POTUS. I really can’t understand your point. It would be like complaining that Warren Buffet really isn’t that impressive because he was rejected from Harvard Business School.

  66. Rhett – by your logic, it’s silly to ever insinuate that Trump made poor business decisions, since being President is a lot more impressive than being a real estate developer.

  67. by your logic, it’s silly to ever insinuate that Trump made poor business decisions, since being President is a lot more impressive than being a real estate developer.

    Harry Truman was an appalling businessman but a decent president.

    Scarlett is saying (I think) that Obama comes across as too professorial despite not having produced the quality and quantity of academic research that would, in her estimation, qualify him to act that way. I’d say being POTUS is far more impressive in terms of cognitive ability than an endowed chair at YLS.

    Milo, Trump getting himself elected president is vastly more impressive than any business deal he’s ever done. In fact, it’s vastly more impressive than all the deals he’s ever done combined.

  68. I am not following either of your arguments. Scarlett doesn’t like O because she thinks he is an imposter because he wasn’t a law professor. I don’t like Donald because I think he is a vile and unstable human being. I have no idea what kind of business man he is because he won’t release his tax returns.

  69. Here’s a guy from Harvard, who was not only on the Law Review, but President! Those people usually go on to lofty careers, beginning with appellate clerkships, Supreme Court clerkships, partnerships in BigLaw, endowed chairs at top law schools. But, nope.

    Do we know that he wanted those things? I thought he was always angling towards politics.

  70. Part of Trump’s “record” for his campaign was his supposed business genius. People, including Hillary, have attacked that, pointing out his numerous bankruptcies.

    Part of Obama’s record for his campaign was his supposed academic genius. If it’s fair to attack Trump’s business record, and it is, then it’s fair to attack Obama’s academic record.

  71. We aren’t taking about weaknesses for running. We are talking about why we don’t like them.

  72. Milo,

    What I can’t understand is your fondness for Trump despite the fact you don’t agree with most of what he says.

  73. I find it almost impossible to believe that Obama couldn’t have had a prestigious clerkship or a BigLaw job if he’d wanted one. Again, do we have any evidence that he pursued those things and was rejected?

  74. What is wrong with Obama’s academic record? He went to Ivy League schools and was on Law Review? That seems sufficiently academic enough.

  75. I don’t think things are going to be worse. Things aren’t horrible now, but they could be better. I’m happy that we’re getting a conservative Executive branch.

  76. Obama started law school in 1988 and graduated in 1991. In an interview with Ebony in 1990 (still in school, in other words), he said that “he saw a degree in law as a vehicle to facilitate better community organization and activism: ‘The idea was not only to get people to learn how to hope and dream about different possibilities, but to know how the tax structure affects what kind of housing gets built where.'”

    So it doesn’t sound to me as though he were aiming for a BigLaw job or an academic post. He was a summer associate at Sidley & Austin. Again, I find it difficult to believe that they wouldn’t have offered him a position.

  77. And I don’t even like Obama, okay? I just think Scarlett’s criticism is weird.

  78. Of course being in academia, I am very comfortable with people who come off like Obama. I am probably pretty Obama-esque myself, though I always saw myself as coming off more like Hillary. The funny thing is, a lot of our lower level staff and admins are old school middle class Staten Island, Queens, Long Island, and talk like Trump, not just accent but that same demeanor. But they are not like him at all – they are service oriented, devout Catholics who detest him.

  79. “We’re not getting a conservative executive branch.”

    You’ll have to explain this one. Sessions? Pruitt?

  80. Trump is not a conservative. And he isn’t a populist. He has no discipline and doesn’t seem to adhere to any sort of political ideology.

  81. I think Trump is not much of a Protestant moral conservative, but

    1) He’s happy to let political conservatives run his executive branch; and

    2) He doesn’t have much patience for the types of progressive policies that are formulated based on ideas like climate change is the greatest current threat to our national security.

  82. “So what is Trump hiding in his tax returns?”

    1) Less reportable income than he’d like people to believe.

    2) Lots of potential conflicts of interest.

    3) Enormous deductions for depreciation.

    4) The idea that his main business is branding rather than developing.

    But, as a general rule, it’s just not realistic to think that the billionaire head of a privately held family corporation is ever going to make public all the financials of that corporation, or that they could simply divest, sell, or put it in a blind trust. People knew this about him, they elected him anyway, it’s not unconstitutional.

    If Charles Koch or Dan Cathey (Chick fil A) or Jackie Mars is ever elected President, he or she is not releasing any tax returns, either.

  83. If Charles Koch or Dan Cathey (Chick fil A) or Jackie Mars is ever elected President, he or she is not releasing any tax returns, either.

    Why not?

  84. He’s happy to let political conservatives run his executive branch

    Eh, his chief adviser is lifelong Manhattan democrat Jared Kirchner.

  85. Well, now, no one will ever release their tax returns. And while we are at it, why go through all the fuss of making the cabinet nominees release their financials? If their boss doesn’t have to, why should they?

  86. To me, refusing to disclose his tax returns is simply profoundly disrespectful. The President, in the end, is our employee. And the reality that no President will ever again feel compelled to be subject to conflict of interest scrutiny means that our country will be worse off in a major way. All for the sake of the thrill of a big FU. Sad.

  87. “Eh, his chief adviser is lifelong Manhattan democrat Jared Kirchner.”

    Then it’s a wonder progressives are freaking out so much.

  88. Kennedy certainly never released his tax returns. Neither did Eisenhower. Nixon did not release his until well after he was RE-elected, and he wanted to squash rumors about some tax break he was supposedly getting. (The Clintons released a bunch of theirs with the notable exception of the year in which Hillary made a fortune trading cattle futures.)

    So it’s not as if this is somehow unprecedented. Candidates release it, or they don’t. The voters can decide whether they care.

    Why do they need a big FU?

    As we’ve increasingly become more of a meritocracy, one of the unintended effects is that those who have reached positions of power tend to attribute their success entirely to their own merit. This leads them to believe that they are fully deserving of the right to manage the lives of others with little regard for values that are different from their own. These are the Grubers of the world.

  89. Milo, I don’t think you get it yet. We are freaking out because Trump is a disrespectful, juvenile, shady, mean con man. Should Pence end up as President, we will have a policy freakout.

  90. “those who have reached positions of power tend to attribute their success entirely to their own merit”
    And you don’t believe Trump thinks that about himself?

  91. “We are freaking out because Trump is a disrespectful, juvenile, shady, mean con man.”

    There’s that. But others have been screaming that he’s going to undo all of Obama’s progressive legacy.

    “And you don’t believe Trump thinks that about himself?”

    He definitely projects that, which is part of the FU package. That’s one of the things that make him so entertaining. Deep down, he probably does realize that he couldn’t have done much of anything without his father getting him started. Or maybe not. It doesn’t really matter at this point.

  92. And thus, you must not think it OK that Ryan, Pence, and Trump himself, who have reached positions of power, think they are deserving of the right to manage the lives of those whose values differ from theirs?

  93. “Part of Obama’s record for his campaign was his supposed academic genius.”

    Except that he steadfastly refused to release any of his academic transcripts. Not really part of his “record,” per se, but part of the aura he and his campaign successfully created around him. The smart, cool community organizer who, by the way, was also a PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. That is the reason that Ivy’s comment resonated, because he tries to pass himself off as something he is not.

  94. Well, for one, Speaker Ryan was on the receiving end of the FU in 2015 and 2016. But generally, of the two parties, the Republicans are the ones less likely to favor government oversight of people’s lives and livelihoods.

  95. “I find it almost impossible to believe that Obama couldn’t have had a prestigious clerkship or a BigLaw job if he’d wanted one.”

    Prestigious clerkships go to the students at the top of the class.

    BigLaw jobs go to students at the top of the class who are also willing to suck it up and do the grunt work without glory for years. That’s not how he rolls.

  96. “But generally, of the two parties, the Republicans are the ones less likely to favor government oversight of people’s lives and livelihoods.”

    Generally less likely to favor government oversight of business activities, yes. Of State over Federal, yes. But I take umbrage with the “personal freedom” portion – there is a contingent that very much wants to control how citizens live our lives to be in concert with “Christian values” and that is a big part of the platform.

    “BigLaw jobs go to students at the top of the class who are also willing to suck it up and do the grunt work without glory for years. That’s not how he rolls.”

    But he was a summer associate at Sidley Austin. People “who are willing”. Was he really not capable/offered or was he more not willing/interested? I don’t know, and I’m not sure if I care.

  97. The Republicans are the ones less likely to favor government oversight of people’s lives and livelihoods.

    Unless you’re a woman, and you want some bodily autonomy. Then all bets are off.

  98. “Unless you’re a woman, and you want some bodily autonomy. Then all bets are off.”

    Agree with it or not, those who are pro-life see the issue as a life worthy of protection. Other than that, you can do what you want. You might have to pay for your own birth control, though.

  99. “Agree with it or not, those who are pro-life see the issue as a life worthy of protection. Other than that, you can do what you want.”

    It seems Rs are more likely than Ds to tell someone you can’t marry someone of the same sex because I don’t approve.

  100. “It seems Rs are more likely than Ds to tell someone you can’t marry someone of the same sex because I don’t approve.”

    Since when? The outgoing Democratic President was elected, twice, saying that very thing.

  101. “Prestigious clerkships go to the students at the top of the class.”

    I heard that, at least prior to Obama, HLR presidents went on to clerk at SCOTUS.

    “he steadfastly refused to release any of his academic transcripts.”

    I’ve not heard anything that suggests he was a great student in HS. The fact that he went to Occidental before transferring to Columbia is consistent with that.

  102. “Since when?”

    At least since Biden forced the issue.

    On a local level, since at least 1996.

  103. “On a local level, since at least 1996.”

    FYI, the lawyer who won Baehr vs. Miike in 1996 is retiring from his judgeship this month. It’s taken about a generation to get here.

  104. It is my perception that many Ds were unwilling to take a public position in favor of marriage equality due to the political risk, but did not specifically disapprove of it, while Rs were more likely to actively oppose and disapprove of it.

  105. “It seems Rs are more likely than Ds to tell someone you can’t marry someone of the same sex because I don’t approve.”

    Well the intolerant, hateful belief that marriage is a relationship between members of the opposite sex was a well-established one for quite some time, and shared by Mr. Obama until he suddenly evolved in 2012. After the election, of course.

  106. “It is my perception that many Ds were unwilling to take a public position in favor of marriage equality due to the political risk, but did not specifically disapprove of it, while Rs were more likely to actively oppose and disapprove of it.”

    IOW, Rs were willing to take the political risk of standing up for their beliefs, while Ds were willing to lie.

  107. “IOW, Rs were willing to take the political risk of standing up for their beliefs, while Ds were willing to lie.”

    Right. I don’t think you really want to go down that road. What about the closeted Republicans who get caught with men? And do you really believe that Trump is anti-choice personally? I don’t.

    Both sides have plenty of members of Congress and other elected offices who are willing to take political stances that they don’t necessarily believe in 100%. They also change their minds with the times, which I don’t think is a bad thing.

  108. Cannabis legalization — another issue where Rs are more likely than Ds to favor government oversight of people’s lives.

  109. “Cannabis legalization — another issue…”

    My SIL (a moderate and quiet Hillary supporter, btw) reported from her pediatric rotation in CO that a not-insignificant number of parents are bringing their kids in for checkups entirely unaware that they shouldn’t smoke marijuana around their children. People who would never allow someone to smoke tobacco around their kids are telling pediatricians and their staff that they thought marijuana was fine because it’s “natural.”

  110. “Rs were willing to take the political risk of standing up for their beliefs”

    Those beliefs being that their ideas of people should live their lives should dictate how others, who don’t necessarily share those beliefs, should live theirs.

    Remember, this is in response to an assertion that “those who are pro-life see the issue as a life worthy of protection. Other than that, you can do what you want.”

  111. I’m pondering the question of “doing what you want” in response to Rhode’s observation about snow days. I have no desire to probe whether working class families are leaving their students home alone on snow days in my city because parents have to be at work. The “We must protect the children with laws against being left home alone” people are mostly progressives/liberals/whatever-your-term-of-choice is.

    Whether we are willing to let people have the freedom to live their lives as they choose depends on what the specific freedom in question is.

  112. This leads them to believe that they are fully deserving of the right to manage the lives of others with little regard for values that are different from their own. These are the Grubers of the world.

    But you don’t disagree with Gruber either.

  113. Well the intolerant, hateful belief that marriage is a relationship between members of the opposite sex was a well-established one for quite some time

    Kinda like stoning your son at the gates if he’s disobedient.

    And it really is tragic that men and women can no longer marry. It’s heartbreaking, really. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I hope you’re liking your new wife.

  114. And Scarlett, you were in such a lather about how Obama wasn’t a true Christian. I suppose you think Trump is? Prays every night that Jesus’s kingdom will arrive on this earth? Uh huh.

  115. IOW, Rs were willing to take the political risk of standing up for their beliefs, while Ds were willing to lie.

    So was Pence lying in 2009 when he said the free market can’t fail or recently when he said the free market was failing the American worker?

  116. So Milo, other than every important personal decision that people make in their so-called private lives, you agree that the Republicans are hands-off about individual choice.

  117. “But you don’t disagree with Gruber either.”

    No, not really. He’s just such a weasel. It’s a mini-rebellion against that whole smarmy class of people. Gruber, Lena Dunham, Paul Krugman, Meryl Streep, Pajama Boy:

  118. Rocky – Nobody is fighting to take away gay marriage. I don’t know why we’re arguing over that.

  119. Milo,

    I’m getting closer to understanding. What could Gruber (and the marketing people behind pajama boy) have done differently to make you feel better about everything? What type of ad would have worked better for you?

  120. They are introducing FADA again. Perhaps you should research this area re: rights of gay people.

  121. “The “We must protect the children with laws against being left home alone” people are mostly progressives/liberals/whatever-your-term-of-choice is.”

    What is your source for that? I would guess the opposite, but I don’t really have any evidence for that.

  122. Why do we think Obama isn’t a true Christian? What is a true Christian and why do we care if he is one?

  123. The “We must protect the children with laws against being left home alone” people are mostly progressives/liberals/whatever-your-term-of-choice is.

    Yeah, I’m with Ivy. Where are you getting that from?

  124. “Those beliefs being that their ideas of people should live their lives should dictate how others, who don’t necessarily share those beliefs, should live theirs.”

    That’s not quite it. People are free to live and have sexual relations with any consenting adult or adults of their choosing. However, those who support gay marriage want to insist that others, who don’t necessarily share their beliefs, recognize same-sex relationships as equal to marriage.

  125. Oh, I seem to recall that your brothers and extended family are always worried about CPS overreach, WCE. I have no idea why that’s such an issue to your family.

  126. “Well the intolerant, hateful belief that marriage is a relationship between members of the opposite sex was a well-established one for quite some time

    Kinda like stoning your son at the gates if he’s disobedient.”

    Kind of a reach.

  127. However, those who support gay marriage want to insist that others, who don’t necessarily share their beliefs, recognize same-sex relationships as equal to marriage.

    That’s kinda rich coming from a group that wanted the government to enforce it’s beliefs on the general public.

  128. “However, those who support gay marriage want to insist that others, who don’t necessarily share their beliefs, recognize same-sex relationships as equal to marriage.”

    There’s legal marriage and there’s social marriage. Many of the supporters of marriage equality are primarily interested in legal recognition of their relationship on the same level that mixed-sex marriages are recognized.

  129. “Why do we think Obama isn’t a true Christian? What is a true Christian and why do we care if he is one?”

    Not sure where that came from, but Obama was not raised as a Christian. He says he became a Christian as an adult, and spent some 20 years happily listening to the hate-mongering of Jeremiah Wright and bolstering his street cred as a black politician before cutting Wright loose and going solo with his Christianity. (He hasn’t attended a regular Sunday service since he was elected). Obama’s faith or lack thereof is a matter between him and God, but one who takes the approach of “if you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? would find precious little evidence in the case of Obama. Which doesn’t mean he’s a bad person by any means. He’s very typical of his kind of Totebagger who takes what works for him from various spiritual sources, including but not limited to Christianity, and doesn’t live his life as part of a Christian church community and does not follow the teachings of any particular Christian denomination. Neither did Ronald Reagan, for that matter.

  130. “That’s kinda rich coming from a group that wanted the government to enforce it’s beliefs on the general public.”

    You mean, that you should pay for your own birth control?

  131. “No one cares if you personally or your religion recognizes gay marriage.”

    Of course they do. If I run an adoption agency, they will insist that I place children with same-sex couples even if that placement conflicts with my belief that children deserve to be raised by both a mother and a father. Taking just one example.

  132. You mean, that you should pay for your own birth control?

    You’re not answering the question. Was it wrong for the religious right to try to use the government to enforce their religious beliefs?

    As for birth control, I’m all for having folks buy their own birth control as long as it no longer requires a prescription.

  133. If I run an adoption agency, they will insist that I place children with same-sex couples even if that placement conflicts with my belief that children deserve to be raised by both a mother and a father.

    And if your sincere belief is that kids are better off with white families than with black families, you have a similar right to not let black kids be adopted into black families.

  134. Are you running this agency as a sole proprietorship? If not, I don’t understand how an entity has any views on gay marriage.

  135. “You’re not answering the question. Was it wrong for the religious right to try to use the government to enforce their religious beliefs?”

    What particular religious beliefs do you mean?

  136. What particular religious beliefs do you mean?

    That marriage is between one man and one women.

  137. Kate, Catholic Charities has been forced out of the adoption business in a number of states because it will not place children with homosexual couples. Other states, such as Michigan, have passed laws allowing faith-based adoption agencies to make their placements in accordance with their religious convictions.

  138. Rhett,
    The position that marriage is between one man and one woman is really a facet of natural law. It is a belief held by members of various religions whose beliefs are otherwise inconsistent on many theological points — Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Catholics, and Muslims all reject homosexual marriage. Google tells me that there are atheists against gay marriage. http://secularsagainstgaymarriage.blogspot.com/

    So I’m not seeing how restricting marriage to its traditional definition is enforcing a specifically *religious* belief, such as requiring attendance at or financial support of a particular church.

  139. So you don’t like that it is a states’ rights issue? I thought that is exactly what you all wanted? Instead you want the federal govt to specifically protect a religious institution’s right to practice such religion in a non-religious area? Am I understanding this correctly? We all need to be subjected to your religious beliefs when we are not in church?

  140. Don’t tell Solomon. Or all the other old-testament polygamists, or all the current polygamists all across the world.

  141. “It is?”

    Your girl thinks so, anyway:

    “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.”

  142. She no longer supports that view. And your boy changes his view about pretty much every topic pretty much every day. So don’t go there.

  143. Scarlett,

    Your argument is that because all religions believe it it’s not a religious belief? That’s quite the argument.

  144. Milo,

    And 10 years ago your boy was blogging about how wonderful it was that Sir Elton and David Furnish were getting married. On social issues he remains the Manhattan democrat he was for so many years.

  145. Political hijack – happy birthday to Alexander Hamilton. Santa got me the Hamilton CD. I’m late to the Hamilton craze. Even with all the hype, the music is amazing. I’m fan-girling hard right now.

    So who is your favorite American politician? Any good biography recommendations. I need to read Chernow’s Hamilton, but others?

    Rhett – I think you used the word stabby lately and that is my new favorite word. I’ve been using it a lot.

  146. “She no longer supports that view.”

    Ohhhhhh, right. She “evolved.” I forgot. Amazing how she evolved on the exact same timeline that Obama “evolved.”

    Or is it that anti-gay Hillary was her public view, and pro-gay Hillary was her private view (or the other way around?) and like she said, she maintains them separately.

    No, the reason that your party is in the worst position it’s occupied in the entire past century is their rigid ideology and purity tests where anyone who does not hold the exact same views as they do (even if they themselves just adopted these views) is a deplorable bigot. No room for nuance. That’s how you manage to lose 30 states and 306 electoral votes to a reality show clown

  147. She (HRC?) is wrong about that. It happens. It is important to recognize when politicians that you support are wrong.

  148. Rhett – Trump and I are both fine with gay marriage. I’m not sure why you think I’m surprised by that. He’s been far more consistent on that than Obama or Clinton.

  149. No, the reason that your party is in the worst position it’s occupied in the entire past century is their rigid ideology and purity tests where anyone who does not hold the exact same views as they do (even if they themselves just adopted these views) is a deplorable bigot. No room for nuance. That’s how you manage to lose 30 states and 306 electoral votes to a reality show clown

    Don’t be ridiculous, darling. It was the eeeeeeeeemail. That was so important.

  150. “Your argument is that because all religions believe it it’s not a religious belief? That’s quite the argument.”

    Not all religions hold this view, but some atheists do. It’s not a specifically religious belief, like the conviction that Saturday is the Sabbath or that Jesus is the Son of God or that Muhammad is the final prophet of Allah.

  151. “It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law,” Trump said in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night. “It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done. These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m fine with that.”

    These comments appear to contradict statements Trump made during an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace in January, where he said he would “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court justices who would repeal same-sex marriage.

    But he never changes his mind or evolves.

  152. Touché .

    Point is, if we can allow our politicians the latitude to evolve on an issue like this, surely we should extend at least the same consideration to average citizens. Rather than ranting about “homophobia” because someone doesn’t evolve in the exact same year that you found it politically expedient to do so, we should consider ways to coexist as we tolerate different viewpoints. Reasonable accommodations, like we do for other things. Mutual respect.

  153. “So I’m not seeing how restricting marriage to its traditional definition is enforcing a specifically *religious* belief, such as requiring attendance at or financial support of a particular church.”

    It is at least to the extent that many opponents of marriage equality cite their religious views as their reason for their opposition.

    OTOH, I think many of them cite that reason because it is more PC than to cite homophobia.

  154. Slavery abolitionists generally were based in churches, and cited their religious views against slavery.

  155. “That marriage is between one man and one women.”

    Interesting typo (I assume) in light of the subsequent discussion of polygamy.

  156. I probably agree with you on that.

    Here’s my pro-conservative comment for today: I like that Mike Pence named his rabbit Marlon Bundo.

  157. “Well, you wouldn’t.”

    OK. So what’s the problem? Why does everyone have to suddenly agree with your view of the world?

  158. “He hasn’t attended a Sunday church service since he was elected.”

    This was news to DH, who sat several rows in front of him, Michelle and the girls at a Sunday church service last year.

  159. @tcmama – I also enjoyed Louisa, which is about Louisa Adams (wife of John Quincy). I liked Hamilton, but it is a project – very long.

  160. Scarlett, I’m interested in your take on my belief that government should stop recognizing marriages in general, and leave that to churches, other social organizations, individuals, and groups of individuals (e.g., couples).

    Instead, government should recognize civil unions, and expand that beyond what it currently recognizes as marriage, e.g., siblings who provide each other with much of the same support spouses do, e.g., pooling of financial resources, shared living quarters, making medical decisions.

  161. I might slip and fall into philosophy mode, but I don’t think it’s bad to use religious arguments in the public sphere, as long as you’re clear that they’re religious in nature. Martin Luther King used religious arguments for civil rights, too. The reasons need to be held up and examined and debated publicly. Sometimes religious arguments have secular-humanist equivalents. “We are all God’s children” gets secularized to “all men are created equal” (yeah, I know how the rest of the passage goes.)

  162. I misspoke. The Obamas go to church about three times a year, usually on Easter. But mostly, they don’t. It’s not exactly a state secret.

    “Mrs. Obama said: “We try to go to church as much as possible, but when the kids get older, you know, Sunday is some kind of practice, rehearsal, birthday party, you know. So getting us all together on a Sunday is becoming more difficult now that the girls are getting older. But if we’re not going to church, we really try to use Sunday as family downtime where we can kind of breathe and catch up and maybe take a little nap every now and then if we’re not working.”
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/22/michelle-obama-obama-family-sundays-more-napping-c/

  163. BenL, in fairness to Scarlett, she said “He hasn’t attended a regular Sunday service since he was elected”. I took “regular” to be the key word in that sentence. He very likely does attend Sunday services on occasion.

  164. Okay, we’re all talking so fast that some of the replies are hard to trace back to the initial comments.

  165. “Instead, government should recognize civil unions, and expand that beyond what it currently recognizes as marriage, e.g., siblings who provide each other with much of the same support spouses do, e.g., pooling of financial resources, shared living quarters, making medical decisions.”

    In general, it’s not a bad idea to get government out of the marriage business, but for this idea you proposed. The notion of having the government comb through affidavits to determine whether two people living together are just roommates or are part of a civil union because sometimes they have sex, or pay for each other’s groceries, is not particularly appealing.

    “OTOH, I think many of them cite that reason because it is more PC than to cite homophobia.”

    This is the sort of statement that helped put Trump in office. It seems impossible for many so-called progressives to accept the fact that many people can disagree with same-sex marriage without hating homosexuals.

  166. “That marriage is between one man and one women.”

    Interesting typo (I assume) in light of the subsequent discussion of polygamy.”

    Polygamy is next. If there is no principled basis to limit marriage to opposite sexes, there is no principled basis to limit marriage to two people.

  167. It seems impossible for many so-called progressives to accept the fact that many people can disagree with same-sex marriage without hating homosexuals.

    It’s not the disagreement that’s the issue, it’s using the government to enforce your beliefs that’s the problem.

  168. I honestly don’t care about your views on same sex marriage or homosexuality. Why you oppose it just doesn’t matter. I don’t care if you harbor bigoted views or are terrible. So long as you allow others to live their lives when it doesn’t affect others is fine with me. Not my business.

  169. Scarlett,

    there is no principled basis to limit marriage to two people

    What are your reasons for denying religious freedom to orthodox Mormons?

  170. “It’s not the disagreement that’s the issue, it’s using the government to enforce your beliefs that’s the problem.”

    How is that different than any other person who tries to pass or change a law based on their beliefs?

    Look, property rights are extremely important. They go back to natural law at least as outlined by John Locke. So someone citing their religious beliefs and attempting to use the government to impose those beliefs on slaveholders, denying them autonomy over their legal, Constitutionally sanctioned property, would be totally wrong based on your logic.

  171. Because it all seems to come down to you feeling that the government should enforce your specifc beliefs.

  172. My SIL (a moderate and quiet Hillary supporter, btw) reported from her pediatric rotation in CO that a not-insignificant number of parents are bringing their kids in for checkups entirely unaware that they shouldn’t smoke marijuana around their children. People who would never allow someone to smoke tobacco around their kids are telling pediatricians and their staff that they thought marijuana was fine because it’s “natural.”

    Parents often get drunk around their children with bad outcomes. Should we ban alcohol? And let’s not forget how many parents still smoke tobacco around their kids despite the well-documented harm it does.

  173. ” having the government comb through affidavits to determine whether two people living together are just roommates or are part of a civil union because sometimes they have sex, or pay for each other’s groceries, is not particularly appealing.”

    The notion isn’t for the government to have to do that. The idea is the couples can decide for themselves, and make that decision known to the government via some sort of registration process (similar to marriage licenses) or by having the appropriate documents drawn up.

    And long-time roommates who are friends without benefits are another group that might make sense to include under this umbrella.

  174. “Because it all seems to come down to you feeling that the government should enforce your specifc beliefs.”

    Which was the basis for the Abolitionist Movement.

  175. Milo,

    I just have an issue with religious reasons having more weight than any other reasons.

    I believe everyone should live in high rises in the city. The Flying Spaghetti Monster told me in His magic book that everyone should live in high rises in the city. One should not have more weight than the other as both are equally ridiculous nonsense.

  176. “It seems impossible for many so-called progressives to accept the fact that many people can disagree with same-sex marriage without hating homosexuals.”

    It’s also possible to accept that fact while still recognizing than other marriage equality opponents oppose it because they don’t like gays.

    Many people oppose marriage equality for many different reasons.

  177. “Many people oppose marriage equality for many different reasons.”

    That’s why it’s best not to always the worst about people.

  178. Polygamy is next.

    No, you have it exactly backwards. It is the fact that the role of a spouse is so unique and individual that makes it immoral to deny it to same sex couples. The role of spouse grants automatic community property, right to inherit, right to make medical decisions, putative father status, immunity against testifying/spousal privilege, and that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head while simultaneously cooking dinner.

    Our laws and society have a fundamental recognition that your spouse is the most important relationship it is possible to have. And therefore to deny those rights and privileges to homosexuals is wrong.

    Polygamy goes in completely the other direction – marriage is so unimportant, you can have multiple spouse it doesn’t matter.

  179. “Polygamy is next.”

    I would hope the government gets out of the marriage business before it gets to that.

  180. Which was the basis for the Abolitionist Movement.

    Two points:

    1. Abolitionist were opposed to the government enforcing your property rights to other humans.

    2. And since you went there, if you were living in Virginia in 1834 do you figure you’d be hiding slaves in your basement or would you be out looking for a deal on a used housekeeper?

  181. Why does it matter the reason people oppose gay marriage? The effect is the same whether you are a lovely, religious person who spends your days tending to the poor and sick or if you are a terrible, bigoted homophobe.

  182. “1. Abolitionist were opposed to the government enforcing your property rights to other humans.”

    They were indeed in conflict. But remember that, like fetuses today, those humans were not legally recognized as people.

    Personally, I have no illusions that if I were an 1834 Virginian of sufficient means, I would not be a minor slaveholder. I think one has to be pretty arrogant and sure of himself to really think he’d have risen above that environment. And what basis do I have for thinking I could do that? I eat meat, I shop at Amazon, I turn a blind eye to child labor in other countries.

  183. Personally, I have no illusions that if I were an 1834 Virginian of sufficient means, I would not be a minor slaveholder.

    Does that not influence your current decision making process?

  184. In what way?

    I think people are products of their times and environments, certainly. I’m no Confederate supporter, by any means, but I really like the inscription I’ve read about on some memorial to the rank-and-file Confederate dead that reads “To Duty, as they understood it.”

  185. “I think people are products of their times and environments”

    I like to watch old movies, and it’s pretty interesting to see how different some of the attitudes reflected in those movies are different than those of today.

  186. This is the column that taught me that phrase, and I realized it happens to be fitting in light of yesterday’s death penalty verdict:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-lowering-the-flag/2015/06/25/d1194310-1b6f-11e5-93b7-5eddc056ad8a_story.html?utm_term=.84a197f8b28b

    But there’s a deeper reason for this rush to banish Confederate symbols, to move them from the public square to the museum. The trigger was not just the massacre itself, but even more tellingly the breathtaking display of nobility and spiritual generosity by the victims’ relatives. Within 48 hours of the murder of their loved ones, they spoke of redemption and reconciliation and even forgiveness of the killer himself. It was an astonishingly moving expression of Christian charity.

    Such grace demands a response. In a fascinating dynamic, it created a feeling of moral obligation to reciprocate in some way. The flag was not material to the crime itself, but its connection to the underlying race history behind the crime suggested that its removal from the statehouse grounds — whatever the endlessly debated merits of the case — could serve as a reciprocal gesture of reconciliation.

    Perfectly stated. Personally I never understood why the flag would ever fly above a house of government post-Appomattox; then again, I wasn’t born in the South.

    We will probably overshoot, as we are wont to do, in the stampede to eliminate every relic of the Confederacy. Not every statue has to be smashed, not every memory banished. Perhaps we can learn a lesson from Arlington National Cemetery, founded by the victorious Union to bury its dead. There you will find Section 16. It contains the remains of hundreds of Confederate soldiers grouped around a modest, moving monument to their devotion to “duty as they understood it” — a gesture by the Union of soldierly respect, without any concession regarding the taintedness of their cause.

  187. Funny. I never really noticed the skulls:

    “As others have said the symbol is very, very old. The meaning is both “loyalty unto death” and about remembering your own mortality, not “badassery” or anything else. An excellent reference on the subject is “Death’s Head” by Joost Holscher.

    As a symbol for soldiers it pre-dates even that by pirates actually. As others have stated it was used by almost all European armed forces. The history of its use for the Germans begins with the Purussian hussars in the 18th Century and the Brunswick forces who went to fight for the British in the Napoleonic wars. It stayed as a famous and respected symbol for the Prussian Lieb hussars into the early 20th century and then was absorbed into the German army. The Nazis tried to co-opt it in the 1930s in order to cash in on its extensive history with the German army. The army protested this however so the Nazi version had to be altered with the addition of a rather goofy oversized jaw to placate them. The totenkopf used by the SS is different from that used by the German army in WW2.

    It’s also largely an exaggeration (approaching a myth) that Hugo Boss had much of an influence on the look of Nazi uniforms: those uniforms were based on a universal style used by almost all armies since before WW 1, from Australia to the USA, to Japan etc. The style originated in Britain in the late 19th century. Actually it was already present in Prussia at the time of Frederic the Great, whose inspiration for this emblem might have come from some Pandurs units. Two Prussian hussars regiments used this symbol at this time :the 5th and 8th, the later even shown a complete skeleton on its shako. And a “Death hussars” unit also existed during the french revolution, between September 1792 and April 1793.They were dressed in black with the skull and crossbones on the top of their jacket sleeves and on the sabretache.”

  188. not “badassery” or anything else.

    Which is obviously false. That in scared your enemies was certainly a factor.

    Which brings us back to pajama boy. The fall
    of the Second and Third Reichs, which very nearly brought the entire world to ruin, were the result of excessive martial spirit and militarism. Modern elities and globalization are a direct result of efforts to keep those terrible instincts in check.

  189. As near as I can nail down that smugness that you object to it’s, the same thing that the Imperial elites objected to at the turn of the last century. What they wanted was war to clear all that effete smugness from the system and let those who were truely destined to lead to rise to the top.

  190. I’m good with some globalization. But Trump is correct that we’ve borne a disproportionate share of the security burden. And sensible globalization shouldn’t result in blindness to legitimate threats out of misplaced deference to political correctness.

  191. Milo,

    But you’ve stated repeatedly that your objection isn’t policy based. It’s based on your objection to smug elities. Your objection to Gruber isn’t that he’s wrong, it’s that his ability to control things is somehow illegitimate.

  192. Oh, it’s definitely policy-based. Like I said, conservative Cabinet. Defeating the smugness is just the cherry on top.

  193. Rocky–fair enough. I had interpreted “regular” to mean “not special” as in not Easter or a special occasion.
    But, I don’t think we want to be defining who gets to be a “real Christian”, whether by church attendance or otherwise. I know lots of people who don’t consider Catholics to be real Christians (I’ve been told I’m not a Christian to my face many times), and maybe that makes me more sensitive to this.

  194. If Obama said this to a Fox News reporter, how outraged would conservatives be?

    “Your organization is terrible,” Trump told CNN’s Jim Acosta when he tried to ask a question.

    “You’re attacking us, can you give us a question?” Acosta replied.

    “Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news,” Trump responded, before calling on a reporter from Breitbart.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/313777-trump-berates-cnn-reporter-for-fake-news

  195. Is the number of times one goes to church each year really a litmus test for how good of a Christian that person is?

    “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

    — Jesus Christ (as quoted in Matthew 6:5, RSV)

  196. Mr. Simpson hired Mr. Steele, a former British intelligence officer with whom he had worked before. Mr. Steele, in his early 50s, had served undercover in Moscow in the early 1990s and later was the top expert on Russia at the London headquarters of Britain’s spy service, MI6. When he stepped down in 2009, he started his own commercial intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.

    Suites at the Ritz, shadowy billionaires, high priced Russian prostitutes, British secret agents! How is this happening in real life?!?

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-intelligence.html

  197. The NYT article acknowledges that the authors of the report, originally hired for political opposition research, decided on their own to continue even after nobody was paying them because “they thought the work was so important.” That’s a euphemistic way of illustratimg that they’re not operating in any professional capacity, but that they’re personally motivated against Trump.

    The Weekly Standard makes a humorous but effective point about the document’s opening statement:

    “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions within the Western alliance.”

    “For at least five years”—in other words, starting no later than 2011, Vladimir Putin believed that the host of “The Apprentice” was the linchpin holding together NATO. You see, Putin has special insight not only into Trump but also the American electorate. Unlike most every other expert who handicapped the 2016 elections, and gave Trump zero chance of victory, Putin knew Trump would win—and he knew it five years ago.

  198. NoB,

    That is a good point. Christianity is not about getting your ticket punched each Sunday. But considering that Jesus was a Jew immersed in a Jewish community in Nazareth, and that Scripture confirms both that he and his disciples were regulars at the synagogue, and that the early Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42), it’s evident that Christianity generally involves a Christian community. Obama was nominally part of a Christian community in Chicago, but his longtime pastor, jettisoned when he became a political hot potato, confirmed that “church is not their thing.”

    “And when she [Michelle Obama] came to the church, both of them came to the church — their kids weren’t raised in the church like you raise other kids in Sunday school,” Wright said. “No. Because church is not their thing, it never was their thing. We knew it wasn’t his but she was not the kind of black woman whose mamma made her go to church, made her go to Sunday school. … She wasn’t raised in that kind of environment, so the church was not an integral part of their lives.”

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/rev-wright-obamas-church-not-their-thing

    Many people return to religious practice when they become parents. The Obamas had their daughters baptized by Wright, but Obama admitted that they drifted away from regular attendance because, well, it took some effort.

    “‘I don’t know if you’ve had the experience of taking young, squirming children to church, but it’s not easy,’ he [Obama] says,” Newsweek reported. “‘Trinity was always packed, and so you had to get there early. And if you went to the morning service, you were looking at — it just was difficult. So that would cut back on our involvement.’”

  199. “If Obama said this to a Fox News reporter, how outraged would conservatives be?”

    The equivalent would be if CNN had decided to publish a bunch of unverifiable documents written by an opposition research consultant hired by Mitt Romney’s campaign, and a bunch of the allegations in these documents were immediately proven to be demonstrably false, and other, more vague allegations claimed that Obama had been participating in a child sex ring operating out of a pizza restaurant.

    These allegations were so questionable that every other major media outlet — with the exception of the click-bait tabloiod Buzzfeed — declined to publish them, including media sources that were unabashedly and ideologically opposed to Obama’s politics. But along with Buzzfeed, CNN published it under the guise of “hey, we don’t think these are true, either. They’re certainly not verifiable. The major intelligence agencies of the United States are not able to verify them, but we figure we’ll publish it so that you can make up your mind for yourself. [How exactly are we supposed to do that, short of forming our own Eastern European intelligence networks?] People are talking about it, that’s all we’re saying.”

    Now, if Obama called CNN “fake news,” after the reporter repeatedly shouted over the questions of other reporters trying to drown them out, you’re asking if conservatives would be upset with Obama. Yeah. I guess some would be.

  200. This is totally unrelated to politics – all of my kids have been hit with a stomach bug within a few hours of each other. Jesus. I am a dead man walking, correct? I don’t know how, but we have escaped any and all stomach bugs before.

  201. tcmama – maybe, although a bunch of kids we know have had the stomach bug, so I lean towards that. And I have eaten everything that they have commonly had, and I feel fine. Blech.

  202. You never know, Kate, you might have had it in the past and therefore be immune.

    Three kids with a stomach bug. Dear God. I’d be inclined to put them all in a tiled room with showers and just run the showers every half hour.

  203. “For at least five years”—in other words, starting no later than 2011, Vladimir Putin believed that the host of “The Apprentice” was the linchpin holding together NATO.

    Trump was the head of the birther movement and Putin thought he might be useful. The FSB does this for 10s of thousands of people they feel might one day be useful.

    Do you actually believe what you’re saying or are you (as I often do) just making an argument to move the discussion more productive?

  204. The equivalent would be if CNN had decided to publish a bunch of unverifiable documents written by an opposition research consultant hired by Mitt Romney’s campaign

    No one published anything until it was included in the President’s security briefing. You acknowledged that above.

  205. Rhett – My views on its publishing have evolved after reading the criticisms of the decision in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and The Week — not exactly the alt right press. But their conclusions are that the report contains such obvious bullshit that publishing it only legitimizes Trump’s claims about “the very dishonest media.”

  206. Milo, did CNN publish the content, or just report on the existence of the dossier? I know Buzzfeed published it, but they publish all sorts of garbage so I don’t think anyone takes them seriously (attacking Chip and Jo Gaines?!) i looked at CNN after Trump called them fake news, although not thoroughly, but all I saw was reference to the fact that Obama and Trump had been briefed on its existence, but not any link to the document itself.

    i think it’s clear that some of the accusations are ridiculous and likely untrue, but after all of the effort he put into his birther campaign, including saying his investigators were there and “you won’t believe what they have found!”, I have a hard time getting bothered by it.

  207. Milo,

    If it’s such obvious bullshit why did the CIA include in the briefing and then leak it? My theory is it was because Trump wants to reorganize the intelligence agencies. I bet he abandons that plan and if he doesn’t, the tape surfaces along with a picture of the girl holding her 1999 birth certificate.

  208. When I am bothered by, however, our reports that Congress has created rules that forbid the Congressional Budget Office from tracking the costs involved with repealing Obamacare. The sites I have seen that on are Salon and another I’m not familiar with, so I’m not certain that is true. Simarily, I saw a report that members of Congress have created a new rule allowing them to choose not to release information to ethics investigators if they do not want to. This is the same as getting the ethics office, if it is true.

  209. the girl holding her 1999 birth certificate.

    At which time you’ll no doubt point out that the age of consent in Russia is 16 so what is everyone getting so excited about.

  210. MBT – I totally agree that Trump does not have a legitimate moral high ground to complain about conspiracy theorists. But as the liberal magazine The Week has written:

    http://theweek.com/articles/672551/why-medias-trump-dossier-coverage-suicidal

    The media is sacrificing any claim they had to a moral high ground when they do the same thing.

    Joan Walsh has a similar and interesting take:

    It seemed as though CNN was bending over backward to make clear that it wasn’t really the news agency Trump had a beef with, it was those low-lifes over there. (For his part, BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith declined to respond.) When Trump gets journalists fighting among themselves, he’s won the news cycle. Once again,

    https://www.thenation.com/article/when-trump-pits-journalists-against-each-other-hes-won/

  211. “At which time you’ll no doubt point out that the age of consent in Russia is 16 so what is everyone getting so excited about.”

    As my conservative religious coworker pointed out this morning, “Nobody thought we were electing a pastor.”

  212. Rhett – It naturally depends on the alternative.

    What would it take for you to long for the Democratic Party’s Ted Cruze aka Hillary?

  213. “What would it take for you to long for the Democratic Party’s Ted Cruze aka Hillary?”

    If you want to continue discussing Hillary, then I have to bring up Paula Corbin Jones, etc., etc., the way Hillary trashed her and other victims, directed smear attacks against them (and even if you dispute that aspect, clearly looked the other way for decades while her political partner did that) and from there I have to decide how much worse the Republican would need to be for me to prefer a Clinton and the natural political consequences that come with it. So to meet that criteria, we’d probably be talking prepubescent children.

    “I checked in to see if Milo is still defending Trump, looks like he is”

    Well, I was asked. That’s what happens in a political discussion.

    I like Sessions. What do you want me to defend?

  214. I see. The treasonous delivery of our most vital secrets into the hands of the Russians is the same as talking sh_t about your husband’s mistress(s). Good to know.

  215. “Sessions is a known racist ”

    LOL. Everyone’s a racist if they don’t fully embrace the progressive viewpoint.

    No, he’s not a racist.

    Rhett – Your comment was a strawman argument.

  216. Right. Because while I’m really not interested in yet again hashing out Hillary’s shortcomings, you know perfectly well that it goes beyond spousal loyalty.

  217. I’m not sure I buy into the Session is a racist story line.

    From a policy standpoint, I strongly disagree with his position on asset forfeiture (that the government – state or federal – can take property used in a crime, even if that property doesn’t belong to the person committing the crime. A car, for example.). This is hot (okay maybe lukewarm) issue in Georgia right now, because it appears the most negative effects are on women, whose property is seized when their boyfriend/husband/brother does something wrong.

    This is a civil liberties issue, not a civil rights issue. But Sessions’ position on this is consistent with most republicans, at least around here. I can’t say its a disqualifying issue.

    I don’t know enough about his other policy positions to have an opinion. This is just one that is current where we are.

  218. In the past, Sessions has publicly stated his belief that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
    busy at work, but I think now 25% of the population can use recreationally and that doesn’t include all of the many medical states

  219. The senator (Sessions) also said just last year that “we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized… that it is, in fact, a very real danger.”

    Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol

  220. I’m pretty upset about this issue today. I friend of my husband’s passed away after being taken off of life support (he lived in the Indianapolis area). This friend had chronic pain and had to use illegally to help with his pain. It is unethical for the federal government to have this outdated “reefer madness” attitude that everyone knows was pure fabricated propaganda

  221. But that’s not racist.

    I’m not in favor of legal marijuana. I believe there are ways for people in chronic pain to be medically managed without legalizing marijuana for all uses.

  222. I didn’t say it was racist, that is another reason I don’t like him

    But it is true that African Americans are in prison for possession etc at higher rates than Caucasians

  223. Lark, if you could , would you allow medical marijuana in all 50 states for anyone with chronic pain?

    KY is voting on one bill that would only allow for terminally ill, my husband is in his 30’s and will have terrible pain for the rest of his life with no viable treatment options (with medical science at this time)

  224. “we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized… that it is, in fact, a very real danger.

    That’s why their talk of liberty always rings so hollow to me. They only mean the liberty to live the way they see fit.

  225. I’m not really passionate about recreational MJ either way, but I think you have to be careful about saying one is “less dangerous than alcohol.” The abuse of alcohol, or the consumption of it before driving a car is dangerous. Infrequent use is not. But I think even infrequent use of marijuana is probably harmful to the brain. As obsessed with health and purity as some people are, it’s hard to imagine that so many want to suck smoke down their lungs.

    I’m absolutely in favor of allowing it for chronic pain, though, with a prescription.

    It’s unfair to say that because someone is opposed to marijuana legalization that he’s a “known racist.” The best we can get for racism on Sessions is that someone who didn’t want him confirmed as a judge 31 years ago claimed that, 36 years ago, he told an off-color joke about liking the Klan except for the fact that they smoke pot.

    He’s been a U.S. Senator for three decades. Even Barbara Feinstein’s testimony the other day began with an admission that they know him well and are possibly friends. If they can’t come up anything better than some joke he may have told almost four decades ago, spare me your faux outrage about “known racist.”

  226. “But it is true that African Americans are in prison for possession etc at higher rates than Caucasians”

    If we follow your logic, laws against murder are racist, too.

  227. I want it all legalized. I’ve been persuaded by a lot of the libertarian arguments, as well as the arguments about the destructive effects on international relations (with Mexico, Afghanistan, etc.)

    Also, if you’re going to move to a more market-based medical care system, then I want my laudanum readily available at Safeway, and I don’t want a damn overpriced doctor to gatekeep my choices.

  228. it’s hard to imagine that so many want to suck smoke down their lungs.

    You know you don’t have to smoke it, right?

  229. Milo, you know that is completely different

    Think about cops

    I’m not saying they even realize they are racist, but why are young black men targeted more than young white men? We’ve discussed this before.

    It isn’t because more of them use marijuana , trust me, I know plenty of upper income white people who use the stuff

    And just so we are clear, I do not (though I have tried it in the past and even inhaled!) Not my cup of tea, would prefer a beer or wine any day

  230. Also, if you’re going to move to a more market-based medical care system, then I want my laudanum readily available at Safeway, and I don’t want a damn overpriced doctor to gatekeep my choices.

    Exactly, a free market for healthcare can only function with the repeal of the Controlled Substances Act. You would go to a doctor because they add value not because they’ve been granted a government monopoly over the allocation or prescription drugs.

  231. I’m in favor of evidence-based medicine, and clinical trials that demonstrate efficacy and provide knowledge of adverse effects. I would not object to pain medicine being approved by the FDA on the basis that it is based on cannabanoids.

    But I do object to the legalization of recreation marijuana use.

  232. “but why are young black men targeted more than young white men?”

    In general? Because young black men tend to live in higher-crime neighborhoods than young white men.

  233. “their liberty arguments just ring so hollow.”

    That’s one of those open-ended arguments that makes a good Facebook meme, but is essentially meaningless. Nobody has ever suggested that there should be no laws.

  234. I agree with Lark on the civil forfeiture issue, btw. I hadn’t realized that about Sessions. To me, it seems like an arbitrary penalty that is often imposed without due process.

  235. I think going after Sessions is a mistake. He is just a run of the mill Republican. I am probably more appalled by the ex General who is into conspiracy theories, or the possiblity that Robert Kennedy Jr, an avid anti-vaxxer, might be appointed to head the vaccine commission.
    I would rather focus on the big con man himself.

    And legal marijuana is something I don’t really care one way or another on. It is a minor issue compared to all of our big ones.

  236. there should only be laws to protect others, not to destroy individual liberties and invade the privacy of what one does in their own home (if it doesnt hurt anyone)

  237. I think MJ should be legalized, we should tax the heck out of it & use it to fund heath care subsidies of some kind, personally. Why keep all that money in the black market for a drug that is probably no worse for us than lots of other legal things like cigarettes, alcohol, and candy? I’d rather have the money fund initiatives in my state than go to some international cartel.

  238. Winemama, I actually think chronic pain is a big issue, and actually is something that plays into the dropoff of people in the workforce (which in turn may influence the sense of white working class malaise). I watched my father deal with chronic pain for years, which resulted in him being unable to do things he wanted to do, and ultimately took him onto opiods with all their side effects, I think the medical ommunity needs to focus far more research on chronic pain rather than just dismissing people. But what we saw over the last couple of decades – the wholesale adoption of supposedly safe medications for pain, which of course turned out to be not very safe at all and which now is decimating communities – should be a warning. Just hopping over to yet another supposedly safe drug is not going to be the answer. A lot more work needs to be done in the area of chronic pain, which of course is unlikely in a budget cutting Republican administration.

    And legalizing recreational use – it is a distraction. States can do it or not do it.

  239. seatbelts?

    I’m fine with repealing those laws and allowing health and life insurers to deny claims if they aren’t used.

    but is essentially meaningless

    It’s not at all. Liberals are at least honest about wanting to regulate what people do. Conservatives also want to regulate people to an equal degree. Which is fine. But at least stop with these liberty arguments which are obviously nonsense.

    Libertarians are the only ones who should be making liberty arguments.

  240. Great article on Trump and why he will never put the country’s interests ahead of his own

    “Trump could have sold his casinos, too, in 1996, according to O’Brien’s reporting, but he didn’t, and the heavily leveraged publicly traded company never turned a profit for the 10 years from 1995 to 2005. His casinos were largely failures—but it was his shareholders who were left holding the bag. Trump, on the other hand, used the cash flow for other endeavors. “The money I took out of there was incredible,” he said last June. “I made a lot of money in Atlantic City,” he tweeted in July. It was his backers who lost.

    “Shareholders and bondholders have to be total fools ever to think that Donald Trump will put their interests ahead of his own,” financial columnist Allan Sloan wrote in Newsweek in 1997. Three years later, in Fortune, Jerry Useem called attention to Trump’s predilection to “use the casino company as his own personal piggy bank.””

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/why-trump-cant-let-go-214625

  241. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

    And good people don’t get glaucoma, or have to undergo chemo that depresses appetites to dangerous levels.

  242. “I’m in favor of evidence-based medicine, and clinical trials that demonstrate efficacy and provide knowledge of adverse effects. I would not object to pain medicine being approved by the FDA on the basis that it is based on cannabanoids.”

    Then are you in favor of changing the federal classification of MJ that makes it extremely difficult to get run clinical trials on its efficacy?

  243. “I agree with Lark on the civil forfeiture issue, btw. I hadn’t realized that about Sessions. To me, it seems like an arbitrary penalty that is often imposed without due process.”

    I think the penalty to those from whom assets are taken is, from the law enforcement perspective, collateral to the assets they seize and assimilate.

  244. Related to asset forfeiture:

    We have a yuge problem here with homelessness. The approach to that currently in vogue is “housing first,” where the priority is to first house the homeless, then deal with the issues causing that homelessness. Local governments have been encouraging landlords to rent their properties to the homeless to facilitate this approach (of course ignoring the impact that has on another local problem given a lot of lip service, that of the lack of “affordable housing.”)

    Were I a landlord, I would stay far, far away from this. Many of the homeless are users of illegal drugs, and if they continued to use them in lodging owned by me, that would put my assets at risk of asset forfeiture.

  245. “Great article on Trump and why he will never put the country’s interests ahead of his own”

    One of my biggest concerns raised by HRC’s email issue was that she appeared to put her own interests ahead of the country’s.

  246. I’m trying to digest Mooshi’s article instead of just arguing against it. It’s obviously making a leap from business dealings to presumed political leadership, but what I’m wondering is how common the business behavior was. They financed it with risky junk bonds. It was a risky endeavor. didn’t the bondholders and shareholders understand the risk?

  247. And legalizing recreational use – it is a distraction. States can do it or not do it.

    There is a huge federal issue in regards to legalization, which is access to the banking system. Banks will not do business with dispensaries because they are afraid of running into trouble with the Feds. That’s a chance that can only be made at the federal level.

  248. Then are you in favor of changing the federal classification of MJ that makes it extremely difficult to get run clinical trials on its efficacy?

    Yes

  249. 2 of my family members are scheduled to fly here on Sat am. Given the current status of the health of my progeny, I should cancel this, correct? It is supposed to be our get together because we missed each other at Xmas because of schedules. Even if everyone has recovered by then, they could still get sick? Sorry for the dumb questions. Stomach things are not my forte.

  250. Milo, I have watched Trump operate since the 80’s. This is how he has always operated. Think about Trump University, for example. I honestly think that if people knew him in the way that New Yorkers knew him, over the years, they wouldn’t have liked him so much. Why do you think he did so poorly in the election his own hometown?

  251. Again, while I have nothing against easing the ability to run clincial trials on marijuana, I overall think our approaches to chronic pain are misguided, and too focused on finding miracle drugs. Prevention and rehabilitation need to be studied too. I say this as the mom of a kid who spent two years in terrible pain while doing cancer treatment. None of the pain drugs worked, and they all had terrible effects. As much as I tend to be a skeptic with regards to alternative medicine, we often found the most effective approach was a combination of small amounts of pain meds in conjunction with a therapist who worked with the kids on relaxation through pain. And I am not saying that relaxation is going to be the answer either, just that there are a lot of approaches out there, but nothing is being studied in depth because no one takes chronic pain seriously in the research world.

  252. “I honestly think that if people knew him in the way that New Yorkers knew him, over the years, they wouldn’t have liked him so much. Why do you think he did so poorly in the election his own hometown?”

    Because he’s a Republican, and his hometown happens to be NYC? But setting that aside, why was he able to win 57% of the vote on Staten Island, which had voted for Obama in 2012?

  253. They financed it with risky junk bonds. It was a risky endeavor. didn’t the bondholders and shareholders understand the risk?

    From what I understand in order to be a successful trader on Wall St. you need to be able to not get emotionally involved with your trades. If the market starts going against you, you need to cut your losses and move on. Trump seems to get emotionally involved in his deals such that won’t cut his losses. The bond holders presumably felt that he’d be more pragmatic and he’d sell rather than taking it all the way to bankruptcy.

    The political risk is that he will become so emotionally involved with his policies that he’ll be unwilling to change course or see the bigger picture when “the market” starts moving against him.

  254. did you know that marijuana wasn’t prohibited until 1937, read about Harry Anslinger

    Prior to the end of alcohol prohibition, Anslinger had claimed that cannabis was not a problem, did not harm people, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent. His critics argue he shifted not due to objective evidence but due to the obsolescence of the Department of Prohibition he headed when alcohol prohibition ceased – seeking a new Prohibition. Anslinger collected dubious anecdotes of marijuana causing crime and violence, and ignored contrary evidence such as doctor Walter Bromberg, who pointed out that substance abuse and crime are heavily confounded and that none of a group of 2,216 criminal convictions he examined were clearly done under marijuana’s influence

    Anslinger sought and ultimately received, as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, an increase of reports about smoking of marijuana in 1936 that continued to spread at an accelerated pace in 1937. Before, smoking of marijuana had been relatively slight and confined to the Southwest, particularly along the Mexican border.
    The Bureau first prepared a legislative plan to seek from Congress a new law that would place marijuana and its distribution directly under federal control. Second, Anslinger ran a campaign against marijuana on radio and at major forums.[11][12] His view was clear, ideological and judgemental:
    By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_J._Anslinger

  255. The La Guardia Committee, promoted in 1939 by New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, was the first in-depth study into the effects of smoking marijuana. It systematically contradicted claims made by the U.S. Treasury Department that smoking marijuana resulted in insanity, and determined that ‘”the practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word.”[27] Released in 1944, the report infuriated Anslinger, who was campaigning against marijuana, and he condemned it as unscientific.[28]

  256. Staten Island has unique demographics, and honestly, as the hometown boy, he should have done *much* better there. Staten Island is Republican, overwhelmingly white, and older. It is also very suburban, and attached more to NJ than to NYC. And finally, there is a significant Russian population. He should have gotten 75%

  257. In 1997, Giuliani won the race for Mayor on Staten Island with 78% of the vote, and I think it was an even higher margin in the 1993 election. Staten Island votes far more Republican than the rest of the city. Trump should have done as well as Giuliani, but he didn’t

  258. Staten Island has only voted for a Democrat for President 3 times since 1964. Given that Trump was the NYC candidate, and that Staten Island always goes strongly Republican, I don’t think 57% was an especially good showing.

  259. And in Queens, where he grew up and where he is most identified with, 75% of the voters went for Clinton.

  260. “And in Queens, where he grew up and where he is most identified with, 75% of the voters went for Clinton.”

    79% of Queens voters went for Obama over Romney.

  261. I am not saying that Trump would have ever won Queens, just that he should have done a tad better than he did. I work with some very traditional Queens Catholic types, who often vote Republican, but they were horrified by Trump because he is locally seen as a sleazebag.

  262. “they were horrified by Trump because he is locally seen as a sleazebag.”

    Only locally?

  263. “Yeah, but Romney was some weird Utah guy. Trump is the Queens boy.”

    Hillary was their senator.

    I know what you’re saying, and I’m not disagreeing that more local knowledge of his sleaze turned off some of his would-be voters. But the numbers don’t show that it was very significant. Also, consider that, nationwide compared to Romney, he did better in rural areas and worse in more urban areas. So the fact that he outperformed him in Queens, but did worse in Buckhead or Brentwood, does not help your theory.

  264. Hillary is not seen as a NYC person. Because she was a senator, she always spent a lot of time upstate. And culturally, she is a Midwesterner, from flyover country as they say. Trump is a Queens boy, a local. It makes more sense to compare his stats with Giuliani, who is also an outer borough local. In 1997, Giuliani won Queens with 64% of the vote. Trump did far worse in Queens. His stats were similar in 1989 and 1993. Giuliani won his mayorship every time by sweeping the white middle and working class vote, but Trump couldn’t get those people in the same numbers.

    Last April I had to drive to a conference with a colleague who is a very conservative, religious Catholic woman from Queens. During the 5 hour drive, we finally hit politics as a topic. This woman always votes Republican, yet she said she couldnt’t possibly vote for Trump because she felt he was a con man and amoral. She sat out the election.

    Most Americans think of Trump in terms of a reality show, or maybe golf courses. But he has been highly visible in NYC since the 80’s. If you asked a New Yorker, especially one old enough to go back that far, to free associate on Trump, you would get terms like “bankrupt casino developer”, “Manhattan playboy”, “Howard Stern show”, “dalliances with models”, “nasty Ivana divorce”, “Atlantic City mafia”, “cheap”, “skirts the law”. You wouldn’t get anything about building things up, or doing good for New York or for anyone else. He isn’t known in NYC for being charitable the way say Bloomberg is, and he isn’t known for making anything better. And this feeling goes way back, back to when he was a Democrat. I am sorry, but that is the reason he is loathed in New York City.

  265. “His stats were similar in 1989 and 1993.” should read “Giuliani’s stats…”

  266. This is interesting:
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/epa-accuses-fiat-chrysler-of-diesel-emissions-violations-1484237791

    But the reporting on this topic is really lacking. It’s a long article with back and forth about who said what, and who’s “deeply troubled,” though there’s practically no attempt to explain the technical side, with the exception of:

    ““This is a clear and serious violation of the Clean Air Act,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles of the allegations against Fiat Chrysler, adding the auto maker failed to disclose eight so-called auxiliary emission-control devices on the 3.0-liter diesel engine-powered vehicles when getting them certified. “AECDs that are not disclosed are illegal.”

    I’m no diesel expert, so why are auxiliary emissions control devices bad?

  267. Milo – I’m no diesel expert either, but could this be a “once bitten twice shy” thing left over from VW?

    according to https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/86.004-2: “Auxiliary emission control device (AECD) means any element of design which senses temperature, vessel speed, engine RPM, atmospheric pressure, manifold pressure or vacuum, or any other parameter for the purpose of activating, modulating, delaying, or deactivating the operation of any part of the emission control system (including, but not limited to injection timing); or any other feature that causes in-use emissions to be higher than those measured under test conditions. ”

    So the AECDs aren’t bad, just that if you don’t disclose them, you are essentially saying that “hey, we have a really efficient engine all by itself!” and that’s akin to what happened with VW.

  268. So what do you think of this little drama going on in my old hometown?

    The Palo Alto School Board is in the final stages of considering whether to change the names of Jordan, Terman and Cubberley because each of these men (for whom these schools were named) were proponents of the study of eugenics. This issue has been addressed by a district committee since early 2016. In summary, the committee is now recommending to the School Board that the names of the three schools be changed so all students feel safe in our schools. Those opposed to this decision believe that the names should be not be changed because name changes will erase the ongoing opportunity to learn about this important part of history as well as destroy tradition and incur costs.

    I went to Jordan and I, of course, want the name to stay the same, because get off my lawn.

  269. Interesting question, CoC. I guess I think there is a difference between Civil War figures and academics studying eugenics. It’s possible I could be talked out of it. Eugenics was a very popular idea before WWII. Even Margaret Sanger was interested. I suppose I think that we can use the names and the history as a teachable moment, but I suppose you could make the same argument for Lee High School.

  270. Oh I don’t know. I’m torn. I’m more in the “leave it” camp, even for Robert E Lee HS. It’s part of history, and I do buy the “let’s not try to wipe our history clean” camp. It always enrages me when I am at a historical site and they change “slaves” to “servants”. e.g., at Mount Vernon – “Those were the servants’ quarters”. Oh please – they weren’t servants, they were slaves.

    I am also fine with Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs or whatever it is at Princeton. He was PRESIDENT for God’s sake. And a product of his time. He was flawed in many ways and had policies that I wouldn’t have agreed with (I hope), but so were most of our leaders. I certainly think it is appropriate for there to be a George W Bush school in Houston (if there is one now or in the future), and I didn’t agree with all of his policies either.

    FWIW, I think that the Redskins name, the Chief Wahoo logo, the giant Indian head on the Blackhawks sweaters, and the Tomahawk chop are all over the line and should probably be voluntarily phased out. But I’m less sure that every generic reference to Native Amercians should be wiped from sports. e.g., I thought that the University of Illinois getting rid of the white kid doing a fake “Indian dance” at halftime was a good thing, but I was fine/happy that they kept the Illini name & just changed the mascot to a big dancing “I”.

    So I’m not quite sure where my line is, but compared to today’s far left – Get off my lawn I guess.

  271. RMS and CoC – until this became newsworthy, would the students of the Palo Alto schools even know who their school was named after?

    I went to a Catholic School with a saint’s name in the title. You know what I knew about him – that he was an Apostle because that was in the name of the school too.

    I get your point CoC, but at the end of the day, is this really what should be debated? Maybe we should just name schools after numbers, like in NYC?

    Milo – a friend of mine has a VW diesel, so she’s been dumbing the whole thing down for me. Her diesel is approved for buyback by VW and she already has her new gasoline VW. Because she switched engines, she made money on her deal.

  272. Rhode, in junior high I knew that Jordan was named for David Starr Jordan, and that he was Some Guy who had some connection to Stanford University. Wikipedia tells me he was the founding president of Stanford, he was an ichthyologist, educator, eugenicist, and peace activist. I didn’t know any of that.

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