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Monday, June 12, 2017

OTP 12 June 2017: McCain Stays Up Late to Watch Baseball

The obvious baseball/politics tie-in of the week:

Arizona Sen. John McCain is blaming his convoluted line of questioning at Thursday’s James Comey testimony on his decision to stay up late the night before to watch a baseball game.

Many on Twitter were left scratching their heads after the 80-year-old Republican senator grilled Comey during the hearing about why the FBI closed its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, while continuing its probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

McCain responded by releasing a statement that read: “I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads. Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.

I just see this as McCain setting good priorities.  Prepare to investigate threats to our democratic way of life, or watch baseball?  Seems like one of the easier choices a politician could face.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:08 AM | 1635 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, politics, why are nl west games on so late

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   1. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5474360)
Didn't someone note that the Dbacks game the night before the Comey hearing ended before 10pm Eastern?
   2. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5474361)
Someone said that, but I think it was an alternative fact.
   3. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5474362)
Yeah, some moron. I have him on block now.
   4. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5474364)
Slowly but surely it keeps getting worse ... President Trump Job Approval

RCP Average 5/13 - 6/11 Approve: 38.8 Disapprove: 55.8 Net: -17.0


There has to be a floor here somewhere, and I bet the GOP is hoping the floor comes soon. And of course I will note again that all of this is with the economy doing pretty well and with no huge foreign or domestic crises (non-self inflicted anyway). What happens when something goes sideways?
   5. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5474366)
The game started at 9:40 pm EST and lasted three hours and forty eight minutes (per bb-ref)
   6. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5474367)
And the generic ballot is at Democrat +7.6% (link). So it seems not just Trump is hurting. Still a long way to the next national election for it to go up or down.
   7. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5474369)
Someone said that, but I think it was an alternative fact.

Okay, you're right. Looks like first pitch was at 6:40pm Pacific and the game went almost 4 hours.

EDIT: Coke to Brian
   8. BDC Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5474372)
I will mention again that today's is the last OTP thread I'll be able to post for a while. If someone else will post the 19 June and subsequent threads, for as long as they like, I will be grateful and really, all of Primer will appreciate this except the hundreds of baseball fans exasperated by the existence of these threads in the first place :)
   9. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5474374)
6-4-3 will do it.
   10. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:37 PM (#5474378)
It's especially funny considering his characterization that "no one won" US presidential elections where a president was elected based on a plurality.
Of course, that's not what I said. Trump won in 2016. Clinton (Bill, not Hillary) won in 1992 and 1996. What I said is that they didn't win the popular vote.
   11. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:40 PM (#5474382)
And the generic ballot is at Democrat +7.6% (link). So it seems not just Trump is hurting. Still a long way to the next national election for it to go up or down.

Which I think puts the Democrats' chances of re-taking the House right about 50/50 (although the shape of the distribution is bimodal, with peaks somewhere around +20D seats and +30D seats). Even though a +7.6D national mood would put a lot of districts in play (more than enough to give Democrats 218 seats), Democrats need to overcome incumbency advantage in a lot of those districts. Really I think that the Democrats need that measure to be over 10% before they become the favorites for the House (unless there are a bunch of unexpected retirements by GOP incumbents, which tends to happen in elections where there is a dramatic shift of power). And they need to actually get people to the polls for a midterm (most voting groups that lean Democratic are all low-propensity midterm voters).
   12. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5474383)
6-4-3 will do it.

LOL, thanks but I don't want the responsibility.
   13. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5474384)
Talk about stupid ...
Okay. Believe it or not, there's a guy who thinks that the party that ended up out of power (yet again) is the winner of an election. Even more absurd, he thinks they're going to do even better because they drove away all of the people who helped them win the last time they did win.
   14. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5474385)
Well, if you were wondering what interesting and fascinating twist DJT would put on the presidency today, wait no longer:
First, he reviewed the various alleged successes of his first 143 days and made this remarkable claim: "Never has there been a president....with few exceptions...who's passed more legislation, who's done more things than I have."
Is he under oath yet? Alright, he did add "done more things," so it could actually be true. He'll always top WHH.
At first, I thought Trump was just going to have the new members of the Cabinet spend a few minutes praising him. NOPE! It soon became clear that Trump planned to have every Cabinet member speak. And when I say "speak" what I really mean is "praise Trump for his accomplishments, his foresight, his just being awesome."

You think I am exaggerating. I am not. Here's what White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said about Trump: "We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda."

I mean, WHAT?!?

The whole thing reminded me of a scene directly from the boardroom of "The Apprentice." A group of supplicants all desperately trying to hold on to their spots on the show by effusively praising Trump -- each one trying to take it a step further than the last. And Trump in the middle of it all, totally and completely pleased with himself.
ETA: I hope he got a "harrumph" out of that guy...
   15. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:49 PM (#5474387)
I will mention again that today's is the last OTP thread I'll be able to post for a while. If someone else will post the 19 June and subsequent threads, for as long as they like, I will be grateful and really, all of Primer will appreciate this except the hundreds of baseball fans exasperated by the existence of these threads in the first place :)


I did it for a long time before the election and my hiatus from the thread. I can pick it up again.
   16. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5474388)
It is indeed normal, everyday English (whether you speak American, English, or Canadian English) that the party who obtains the most seats and forms the government "won" the election, even if it was a disappointing result.
   17. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5474390)
That's what I meant. Mouse will do it.
   18. zenbitz Posted: June 12, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5474391)
there's a guy who thinks that the party that ended up out of power (yet again) is the winner of an election.


Not losing as badly as you were before your opposition challenged is a KIND of winning! And gaining seats is a more quantitative kind of winning.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:05 PM (#5474396)
Three months ago May was winning the table by 100 bucks. She called the pot and doubled down hoping to win the table by 200 after. She lost the double down and is now only winning the table by 20.


Which card game is this?
   20. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5474397)
Okay. Believe it or not, there's a guy who thinks that the party that ended up out of power (yet again) is the winner of an election. Even more absurd, he thinks they're going to do even better because they drove away all of the people who helped them win the last time they did win.

In addition, he also apparently believes that all votes for Labour MPs should be interpreted that those voter fully support all Corbyn's policies, even though there is little doubt that most are still very much on the fringe within that party (e.g., his preference to renationalize various industries).

Labour did better than expected last week in spite of being handicapped by Corbyn, not because of him. It's kind of unprecedented that both major parties in the UK are currently being led by total incompetents; usually they take turns (occasionally both parties are led effectively, even if one is out-of-power).

   21. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5474400)
Which card game is this?
Alternative poker?

Only the best pot(s). The best.
   22. simon bedford Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5474401)
6-4-3 must have been asleep through the early 70s when Heath and Wilson took turns showing who could be the most ineffective.
You can actually break down and read some UK papers and read what the actual people involved are saying , the conservatives see this as a loss, and a win for Corbyn. Its not like a position I invented, its actually what happened.
   23. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:18 PM (#5474406)
At first, I thought Trump was just going to have the new members of the Cabinet spend a few minutes praising him. NOPE! It soon became clear that Trump planned to have every Cabinet member speak. And when I say "speak" what I really mean is "praise Trump for his accomplishments, his foresight, his just being awesome."

You think I am exaggerating. I am not. Here's what White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said about Trump: "We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda."


No president's ever going to top Trump, but for the most asskissing comment ever made by a presidential aide, I nominate Jack Valenti:

I sleep each night a little better, a little more confidently, because Lyndon Johnson is my president. For I know he lives and thinks and works to make sure that for all America and indeed, the growing body of the free world, the morning shall always come.


In Valenti's defense, he spoke those words when our ground troops were only seeing their first month of combat in Vietnam, but I don't recall that he ever retracted them.
   24. BDC Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:33 PM (#5474411)
Thanks, Mouse, for OTP'ing!
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5474414)
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:43 PM (#5474418)
Comey in the center of the action - again
it's the Federalist, so warning for some and delight for others, I guess.

what fascinated me is that frankly I didn't realize that Comey was the Martha Stewart case guy, and the Anthrax case guy, and in the Scooter Libby kerfuffle and..... other cases of note.
   27. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5474421)
So there's the bizarre cabinet meeting, plus POTUS got himself sued by the District and Maryland for violating Emoluments, plus the Ninth Circuit whacked the ban again, plus DJT Jr seems to contradict his father's Rose Garden denial, plus Ivanka apparently wasn't paying attention to her father's demeanor during the campaign, plus there's another circus on tap for tomorrow... it's been quite a day for 9D chessplayers. Be curious to see how this one ends up being a net positive.
   28. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:07 PM (#5474424)
Having some fun with Cook PVI numbers to substantiate my earlier comment that the Democrats need to get the national generic ballot up to around 10% to make them favorites to win back the House (currently at 7.6%).

There are 8 seats rated as Democratic districts currently held by the GOP:
- CA-21 (+5D)
- CO-6 (+2D)
- FL-26 (+6D)
- FL-27 (+5D) (GOP incumbent has announced her retirement)
- IA-1 (+1D)
- MN-3 (+1D)
- NY-24 (+3D)
- VA-10 (+1D)

There are 8 "even" districts (4 GOP, 4 Democrats). The ones currently held by the GOP:
- CA-10
- CA-25
- CA-39
- WA-8

There are 6 +1R districts held by the GOP (2 held by Democrats). They are:
- AZ-2
- CA-49
- IA-3
- NJ-2
- PA-7
- TX-23

There are 7 +2R districts held by the GOP (3 held by Democrats). They are:
- IL-6
- ME-2
- MN-2
- NJ-3
- NY-19
- PA-6
- PA-8

There are 7 +3R districts held by the GOP (1 held by Democrat). They are:
- CA-45
- IL-13
- NJ-7
- NJ-11
- NY-2
- NY-11
- VA-2

There are 11 +4R districts held by the GOP (1 held by Democrat). They are:
- CA-48
- FL-25
- KS-3
- MI-6
- MI-8
- MI-11
- NE-2
- NY-21
- OH-10
- PA-15
- WA-3

There are 9 +5R districts held by GOP (1 held by Democrat). They are:
- FL-18
- IL-12
- IL-14
- NY-1
- OH-1
- OH-14
- PA-16
- TX-32
- WI-1

There are 9 +6R districts held by GOP (none by Democrats). They are:
- CO-3
- FL-15
- MI-3
- NM-2
- NY-22
- NY-23
- NC-13
- VA-5
- VA-7

There are 10 +7R districts held by GOP (none by Democrats). They are:
- AR-2
- FL-6
- FL-16
- MI-7
- NV-2
- NC-2
- OH-12
- OH-15
- TX-7
- WI-8

There are 12 +8R districts held by GOP (plus one vacant). They are:
- CA-22
- FL-12
- IL-16
- MO-2
- NJ-4
- NC-8
- NC-9
- OH-16
- VA-1
- WA-5
- WI-6
- WI-7

There are 20 +9R districts held by GOP (none by Democrats). They are:
- AK-AL
- AZ-6
- CA-8
- CA-42
- FL-3
- GA-1
- GA-7
- GA-12
- IN-5
- KY-6
- MI-1
- MI-2
- NC-6
- NC-7
- OH-2
- SC-5
- SC-7
- TX-6
- TX-10
- TX-24

There are 10 +10R districts held by the GOP (none by Democrats). They are:
- CA-4
- KS-2
- MI-4
- NC-5
- OK-5
- PA-11
- SC-1
- TX-21
- TX-22
- TX-31

It's pretty unlikely that the Democrats have any sort of a shot at any district not previously mentioned (and they're not going to be competitive in most of the more conservative districts, but wanted to err on the side of inclusiveness in constructing the universe of seats in which the Democrats have any chance of competing in 2018).

To summarize, districts currently held by GOP:
- >=+5D: 3
- [+1D, +4D]: 5 (running tally: 8)
- Even: 4 (12)
- +1R: 6 (18)
- +2R: 7 (25)
- +3R: 7 (32)
- +4R: 11 (43)
- +5R: 9 (52)
- +6R: 9 (61)
- +7R: 10 (71)
- +8R: 12 (83)
- +9R: 20 (103)
- +10R: 10 (113)

All other things being equal, estimates of incumbency advantage is somewhere between 5-8% in House recent races (the estimates varies depending on what sort of assumptions you make about strategic retirements). So a +7.6% preference for a generic Democrat suggests that if they're running against incumbents, Democratic challengers will only be favorites in +2R and less conservative districts. Obviously all races are somewhat idiosyncratic and incumbency advantage is partially a function of each incumbent's personal characteristics. But for ballpark purposes, a +7.6% national generic ballot for Democrats only translates to about a 50/50 chance of getting the Democrats to 218 seats (assuming the lower end of the incumbency advantage estimate). A retirement by a GOP incumbent in any of the districts mentioned could put that seat in play.

Also, it's by no means guaranteed that they'll hold onto all of their current 194 seats (or 195 if they win GA-6 next week--but that's going to be an exceptionally difficult one for them to hold in 2018). Retirements will play a huge role in determining which, if any, of seats currently held by Democrats are in play. For example, if Collin Peterson (MN-7) retires (he's 72, been serving since 1991), then they almost certainly lose that district (+12R).

Unfortunately for the Democrats, a lot of the competitive districts will be in pretty expensive media markets. All other things being equal, media buys yield a higher expected ROI for challengers because they need to establish name recognition.

It's not impossible for them to win back the House at just 7.6% generic ballot, but they'll need to benefit by having at least a half dozen or so GOP incumbents retire as well as minimize retirement by their own incumbents.
   29. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:12 PM (#5474427)
Q: "If the president does have evidence that the FBI director lied under oath, what is he waiting for?"

Sean Spicer: "I think the president made it very clear on Friday that he would get back as soon as possible on this and his position on that conversation."

Q: "So what is he waiting for? What's the delay?"

Spicer: "He's not waiting for anything. When he's ready to further discuss it, he will, but I think he laid out his position very clearly, very concisely on Friday."

   30. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:14 PM (#5474431)
Q: "If the president does have evidence that the FBI director lied under oath, what is he waiting for?"

Sean Spicer: "I think the president made it very clear on Friday that he would get back as soon as possible on this and his position on that conversation."

Q: "So what is he waiting for? What's the delay?"

Spicer: "He's not waiting for anything. When he's ready to further discuss it, he will, but I think he laid out his position very clearly, very concisely on Friday."

We'll see his evidence that Comey perjured himself last week as soon as the audit of his tax returns are complete.
   31. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:20 PM (#5474434)
6-4-3, I live in WA-8, and I think the Dems will have to wait until Reichert goes to the grave. He caught the Green River Killer! He's not going anywhere, unless he decides to try for something higher.
   32. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:31 PM (#5474440)
We'll see his evidence that Comey perjured himself last week as soon as the audit of his tax returns are complete.
I don't think there are any tapes. Trump has a habit of blurting out the first thing that comes into his mind without thinking through the consequences, and this is one of those times. Just like the ISIS evidence (or whatever it was) to the Russians, or the armada heading towards North Korea, or "so-called judge". The fact that he takes the time to Tweet this stuff, not just say it, is telling, and sooner or later the odds are that he will say something that truly damages a relationship or puts lives at risk (if it hasn't happened already).

The "100%" willingness to speak under oath is another example. He can't help himself. It worked just fine to BECOME president, but it's not working at BEING president. Even the YCs of the world are starting to get it. What's the phrase? The cognitive dissonance must be a beyotch.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:31 PM (#5474441)
Sean Spicer: "I think the president made it very clear on Friday that he would get back as soon as possible on this and his position on that conversation."


Trump actually said "In a very short period of time." :-)

I was waiting for AlecBaldwinTrump to go:

"I will let you know about the tapes in a very short period of time."
<short pause>
"Ok, the very short period of time has passed. I will now tell you."
   34. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5474443)
6-4-3, I live in WA-8, and I think the Dems will have to wait until Reichert goes to the grave. He caught the Green River Killer! He's not going anywhere, unless he decides to try for something higher.

Yeah, that's going to be true of others. Incumbency advantage is heterogeneous; an estimate of 5-8% is just the average incumbency advantage. I suspect that my current representative (a GOP incumbent who is also on the list) probably enjoys a much weaker incumbency advantage than average (past vote totals not withstanding--he went up against a really weak opponent in 2016).

There's some literature on estimating incumbency advantage conditional on observables (both of the incumbent as well as the district)--in grad school, I was co-author on a paper that did this with school board elections (the faculty member on that paper later ran for school board and finished 5 out of 6 [top 3 elected], which amused me to no end because he was kind of an #######, but his model predicted that he would have received the most votes, even though he went up against 3 incumbents [2 were re-elected]).

If I have the time and find myself really wanting to invest spare time into Stata (as well as assembling a data set), I may make a run at some point this summer trying to provide an incumbent-level estimate of incumbency advantage. Cook Political Report does something along those lines in classification of districts, although my understanding is that they only control for tenure (this may have been updated in the a more recent version).

But yeah, all you can really do with PVI-based analysis of the generic ballot is get ballpark estimates of how many seats will be in play. The MN-7 (the +12R district held by a long-time Democrat since 1991*) is an example that incumbency advantage can be considerably greater than just 5-8%.

*-When he was first elected, his district probably wasn't anything close to +12R.
   35. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:35 PM (#5474445)
And just when it couldn't get more bizarre:
It's unclear what the purpose of Rodman's visit to the secretive country could be, but the eccentric former basketball player -- and a former contestant on Donald Trump's pre-presidency reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice" -- is one of the only Americans to have met current North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
   36. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:46 PM (#5474446)
And just when it could't get more bizarre:

Kim is a huge basketball fan (so was his father) and apparently Rodman was one of his favorite players when he was a kid. IIRC, Rodman helped convince Kim to release a US citizen in captivity a few years after Bill Richardson (the more conventional special envoy to North Korea in recent years) failed.

FWIW, I don't really see the harm. Worst that can happen is that he somehow pisses Kim off and winds up being publicly executed by way of an anti-aircraft gun (Kim's preferred method of high-level executions because it's so gruesome--usually makes the condemned's family watch). That might actually be the perfect end to Rodman's life. But most likely they just go over there, enjoy each other's company, and that's that.
   37. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5474450)
Most likely they just go over there, enjoy each other's company, and that's that
Agreed - it's just the theater of the bizarre. Ivanka's surprise over the "viciousness" isn't harmful, either - it's just another element of weird.

And maybe there *is* some element of 9D chess, because potentially serious issues like the Emoluments violation (which is probably small potatoes, but has needlessly negative optics) or the Eric Trump/Trump Foundation laundering scheme (which may actually be a large potato) are pushed aside by the sheer volume of crazy. But that would involve actual planning and at least a whiff of evil, and I honestly don't think that's part of the equation, it's just narcissistic asshattery.
just when it could't get more bizarre
And I'm already sorry for even taunting the Cosmic Powers by making this statement. If we've learned nothing, it is that it can *always* get more bizarre.
   38. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:05 PM (#5474451)
Your Rabbi? Probably a Democrat. Your Baptist Pastor? Probably a Republican. Your Priest? Who Knows.
Interesting visualizations of the party affiliations of religious leaders.

I wish that they broke it down by race, because I would expect that's probably going to be a major confounding variable (e.g., white Baptists are going to be mostly GOP, while black Baptists mostly Democrats).
   39. zenbitz Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5474456)
the more conventional special envoy to North Korea


I read this as "spectral envoy"
   40. Morty Causa Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5474457)
I always found it interesting and puzzling that white fundamentalists are anti-science creationists, often rabid, antagonistic to science creationist, while it all that is water off a duck's back for black fundamentalist. It's as if it means nothing to them. I don't know whether to admire that or be appalled by it.
   41. Franco American Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:36 PM (#5474468)

But there's also a pretty clear definition of "win" whereby, if you get the most seats in an election and form a government, you have won.

Rickey! got it exactly right. Like a drunken gambler, May doubled down and lost a majority. I share many of the doubts about Corbyn. Like Sanders and Melenchon, how could he govern if he were elected?

Others understand British politics much better than I, but you have to to articulate an alternative political vision before you can win anything. There is massive discontent amongst today's youth with the status quo that these Quixote's tapped.
   42. Franco American Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5474471)
There's massive political discontent throughout the West with the neoliberal status quo. Their shaky power rests upon the ol' generation gap. When both the grandparents and the kids move back into the house, watch out!
   43. Franco American Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:51 PM (#5474473)
what fascinated me is that frankly I didn't realize that Comey was the Martha Stewart case guy, and the Anthrax case guy, and in the Scooter Libby kerfuffle and..... other cases of note.


He's ####### terrible.
   44. Franco American Posted: June 12, 2017 at 07:54 PM (#5474474)
A big Dennis Rodman fan since his Pistons days.
   45. PepTech Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:04 PM (#5474478)
Interesting visualizations of the party affiliations of religious leaders.
That ~30% of Catholic priests swing blue is a surprise to me. I'm in a blue state, and the church proselytized hard and long on pro-life. Marches and events throughout the year, a touch of brimstone now and then... if there were any unifying issue, I'd have thought that would be it. That three out of ten priests buck the leadership is a bit of a shock.
   46. Morty Causa Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:09 PM (#5474481)
American Catholics, even be they priests, are rather more independent-minded than third-world Catholics. This probably applies to some European Catholics, too, like, I suspect, the French.
   47. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:23 PM (#5474491)
That ~30% of Catholic priests swing blue is a surprise to me. I'm in a blue state, and the church proselytized hard and long on pro-life. Marches and events throughout the year, a touch of brimstone now and then... if there were any unifying issue, I'd have thought that would be it. That three out of ten priests buck the leadership is a bit of a shock.

It is a little surprising. Three possible explanations that come to mind:

1) Catholic priests simply aren't single issue voters;

2) Maybe they're including nuns in the survey; and

3) There may be a selection bias whereby likelihood of the researchers being able to match records is partially a function of the priest's characteristics that also related to his progressiveness on social issues.

IIRC, they said that they were only able to match 130k of 180k (72%). That's not terrible for these sorts of studies, but it's very possible that those missing are not missing at random. If that's the case, then their estimates are going to be biased.
   48. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:26 PM (#5474492)
Maybe it's because I grew up Catholic and urban, but I've always thought that Catholics have been blue voters. They might be conservative on family values, but liberal on everything else.
   49. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:26 PM (#5474495)
Your Rabbi? Probably a Democrat. Your Baptist Pastor? Probably a Republican. Your Priest? Who Knows.

Interesting visualizations of the party affiliations of religious leaders.

I wish that they broke it down by race, because I would expect that's probably going to be a major confounding variable (e.g., white Baptists are going to be mostly GOP, while black Baptists mostly Democrats).


There was at least one almost exclusively black church referred to on the graph, the A.M.E. / African Methodist Episcopal. It had the second highest percentage of Democratic religious leaders (about 83%), and the highest percentage of Democratic laypeople (looks close to 99%). That was the only denomination with "mostly Democratic" or "mostly Republican" leaders whose flock was more partisan than the leaders themselves.

What surprised me was the fact that there were more Democrats than Republicans among Orthodox Jews, since it runs contrary to other findings on the subject. What doesn't surprise me is that Reform Jews are the most Democratic denomination of all religious groups.
   50. BDC Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:32 PM (#5474497)
As Morty notes, the Catholic Church is pretty diverse ideologically. Anywhere where there's more than one church within easy reach (and most places, there is) people will sort themselves into more-conservative and more-progressive congregations – kind of like Protestants, come to think of it :)
   51. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:32 PM (#5474498)
That ~30% of Catholic priests swing blue is a surprise to me. I'm in a blue state, and the church proselytized hard and long on pro-life. Marches and events throughout the year, a touch of brimstone now and then... if there were any unifying issue, I'd have thought that would be it. That three out of ten priests buck the leadership is a bit of a shock.

Maybe they're looking to their leader in Rome, whose obvious antipathy to conventional Republican doctrine** comes through with almost every one of his public proclamations. It's hard to imagine any Catholic who pays attention to Francis supporting a candidate who so openly demonizes whole classes of immigrants and who so completely embodies the sin of greed.

** Other than abortion
   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:47 PM (#5474508)
It is a little surprising. Three possible explanations that come to mind:

1) Catholic priests simply aren't single issue voters;

2) Maybe they're including nuns in the survey; and

3) There may be a selection bias whereby likelihood of the researchers being able to match records is partially a function of the priest's characteristics that also related to his progressiveness on social issues.
4) They live in regions where there are pro-life Democrats.

I'm more shocked that as many as 5% of Reform Jewish rabbis are Republican. If you listen to the average URJ missive, you'd think the 10 commandments are just suggestions but the Democratic Platform is gospel.


EDIT: I see my proposed #4 doesn't work now that I read the link. So perhaps the answer is the opposite: that they live in places with pro-choice Republicans (such as NYC), and so party registration doesn't work as a proxy for pro-life.
   53. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:48 PM (#5474510)
Seriously, is this the United States or North Korea? How do these people look themselves in the mirror, and / or what are they saying behind closed doors?

Praise for the chief: Trump’s Cabinet tells him it’s an ‘honor’ and ‘blessing’ to serve

At Monday’s Cabinet meeting — the first President Trump had held with everyone on board — White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus spoke up to thank Trump “for the opportunity and blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the American people.”

Priebus said he was offering words on behalf of everyone in the room. But one by one, pretty much everyone else seated around the table took the opportunity to lavish their leader with praise, too, as the media looked on.

“It’s an honor to be able to serve you,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“I am privileged to be here,” said Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. “Deeply honored.”

“What an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership,” Tom Price, secretary of that department, added when it was his turn to speak. “I can’t thank you enough for the privileges you’ve given me and the leadership that you’ve shown.”

When other Cabinet members got the opportunity, they offered more specific adulation. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, thanked the president for his “direction in pulling that budget together.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao thanked Trump for visiting her department last week, relaying that “hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled.”

And Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, after noting that some of his colleagues had touted their international travels for Trump, served up this: “A lot of us just got back from Mississippi. They love you there.”


Chuck Schumer had the only appropriate response: Parody.


The effort to buck up the boss drew immediate notice on social media, with some comparing Trump to King Lear. In the opening of the Shakespeare play, the aging king of Britain, having decided to step down from the throne, asks his three daughters to tell him how much they love him.

More biting still was a parody video sent out on Twitter by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“GREAT meeting today with the best staff in the history of the world!!!” Schumer wrote.

The video depicted him sitting at a conference table with three staffers.

“Lucy, how’d we do on the Sunday show yesterday?” Schumer asked one of them, his immigration counsel, referring to his appearance the day before on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“Your tone was perfect,” the aide said. “You were right on message.”

“Michelle, how’d my hair look coming out of the gym this morning?” Schumer asked next, posing the question of his director of scheduling.

“You have great hair,” she said. “Nobody has better hair than you.”

A Schumer budget adviser then chimed in, parroting Priebus.

“Now before we go any further, I just want to say thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda,” he said....


But let Trump have the last word, since he always seems to get it anyway:

“Never has there been a president, with few exceptions — case of FDR, he had a major depression to handle — who has passed more legislation and who has done more things than what we’ve done,” said Trump, referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
   54. GregD Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:48 PM (#5474511)
Interesting visualizations of the party affiliations of religious leaders.

I wish that they broke it down by race, because I would expect that's probably going to be a major confounding variable (e.g., white Baptists are going to be mostly GOP, while black Baptists mostly Democrats).


Essentially they did:

In order of Democratic-leaning

Amer. Baptist--presumably American Baptist Churches, not American Baptist Association. ABC is a mainline descendant of old Northern Baptist (plus some mergers with multiple-affiliated black Baptist churches). So a mix of Northern mainline white churches that in rejecting biblical support of slavery ended up edging away from biblical literalism and more spread out black Baptist churches

Southern Baptist--descendants of the churches that endorsed biblical support of slavery and through it literal readings of the Bible and that refused to merge back with Northern churches even after abolition unless Northern churches post-abolition admitted that slavery had always had God's blessing even if it was now gone. Has diversified recently and is very internationally ambitious

Baptist General Conference--evangelical Baptists with roots in pietism

Independent Baptists/Fundamental Baptists--both these have fewer than 10% Democrats among church leaders--I don't know how they draw this line since one of the groups is the Independent Fundamental Baptists


They don't seem to list the National Baptist Convention--unless I missed it--which is the largest predominantly black Baptist body and presumably would be among the most Democratic-leaning in the group.



Methodism is simpler:

Methodist is presumably UMC, the mainline denomination formed by the merger in 20th century of the divided Northern and Southern branches (unlike Baptists who haven't unified) and some others later on

AME is African Methodist Episcopal Church, the largest predominantly black Methodist

I don't see AME Zion or CME churches, other large black Methodist denominations
   55. Morty Causa Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:54 PM (#5474512)
   56. Franco American Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:57 PM (#5474514)
   57. simon bedford Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:58 PM (#5474516)
David
Again the party that squandered a majority and now holds power by the virtue of dingbat party of northern irelands good graces only are not holding any victory parades. Perhaps you could stop and ask yourself why.
   58. Franco American Posted: June 12, 2017 at 08:59 PM (#5474517)
Baptists have been a strange lot all the way back to John.
   59. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:02 PM (#5474520)
Cute Couple

Is that Megyn Kelly and Alex Jones?
   60. Franco American Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5474532)
A Twitterer remarked that the Smokey and the Bandit remake looks terrible.
   61. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5474536)
Again the party that ... now holds power
Really, you could have stopped there.
   62. simon bedford Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5474543)
David
ONLY holds power by virtue of the dingbat union of folks who think dinosaurs are a lie.
you really should give up on this one you know you are wrong yet you keep pedantically pointing at the scoreboard going "this team won" when in fact almost any small ripple in the waves sends everyone back to the polls. and the conservative are in no position to win in that case.
They are in power by a technicality only , a situation that will change long before their term is up.
   63. BDC Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:43 PM (#5474551)
ONLY holds power by virtue of the dingbat union of folks who think dinosaurs are a lie

And Americans ask, "this is unusual how?" :-D
   64. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:49 PM (#5474567)
ONLY holds power by virtue of the dingbat union of folks who think dinosaurs are a lie.
Setting aside the fact that people who believe in socialism probably shouldn't throw stones, last I checked in a democracy even crazy people's votes count.

They are in power by a technicality only
Yes, the "technicality" of having more support. (Admittedly, that wasn't sufficient for Hillary, but...)
   65. simon bedford Posted: June 12, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5474577)
The parliamentary system clearly confuses you, again consider why the leader of the tories is apologizing and why their party considers it a loss. Having more seats than labour while losing their majority and right to control government doesnt seem to resonate with you at all, Not sure what part of the UK system confuses you. I am guessing the more than two party business is whats throwing you off.
The tories come OUT of an election with LESS support than going in and now no longer control their own destiny and you remain convinced that this somehow is a win.
Crazy dinosaur people get votes for reasons that would take too long to explain here, but they DID NOT vote for the tories and the tories in england dont want their help. this is all going to go very very badly .
   66. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 11:24 PM (#5474685)
You seem not to grasp that May is the PM and Corbyn isn't. The goal isn't to beat expectations; the goal is to control the government. The Tories still do that. Yes, they need help, when they didn't before. Yes, it was an unforced error that led to that situation. Blah, blah, blah. End of the day, scoreboard is actually what counts. Yes, they have fewer seats than before. But they've got more than Labour. And winning ugly is still winning.
   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 12, 2017 at 11:41 PM (#5474702)
Not even Trump could possibly be this stupid---or could he?

Trump friend floats possibility of firing special counsel in Russian probe

I don't know which would be more amusing: Watching Trump's approval numbers sink into the low or mid-30's in the aftermath of such a move; or reading Ray's defense of it on the grounds that it was legal.
   68. Covfefe Posted: June 12, 2017 at 11:52 PM (#5474711)
Not even Trump could possibly be this stupid---or could he?


Is that a serious question?

Though, I think he probably would need to "fire his way down" wouldn't he?

Can Trump actually fire Mueller directly? IIRC from the Saturday Night Massacre, Nixon had to fire his way down to a Bork that would follow orders to can Cox.

In this case, wouldn't Trump first have to demand Rosenstein fire Mueller and keep working his way through deputies until one submitted to his whims.

Given the farcical exercise in public fellatio via cabinet meetings, I have little doubt he'd eventually get his man.
   69. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 11:52 PM (#5474712)
Trump friend floats possibility of firing special counsel in Russian probe

I don't know which would be more amusing: Watching Trump's approval numbers sink into the low or mid-30's in the aftermath of such a move; or reading Ray's defense of it on the grounds that it was legal.

Um, definitely watching DJT's approval numbers take a hit. We already know the gist of what Ray would write about it.

But there's not really any sort of a story here. According to that WaPost article, Chris Ruddy hasn't spoken with DJT about this issue. His commentary is entirely based on his interpretation of what Jay Sekulow said on a Sunday show, which was basically "no comment." There is absolutely no indication that they're actually thinking about terminating Mueller. At the very least, it would be really dumb for them to do it before the new FBI Director is confirmed.

Newt trying to impugn Mueller's integrity is disappointing, but not terribly surprising. And a total sideshow.
   70. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 12, 2017 at 11:55 PM (#5474714)
Though, I think he probably would need to "fire his way down" wouldn't he?

Can Trump actually fire Mueller directly? IIRC from the Saturday Night Massacre, Nixon had to fire his way down to a Bork that would follow orders to can Cox.

In this case, wouldn't Trump first have to demand Rosenstein fire Mueller and keep working his way through deputies until one submitted to his whims.

At the very least, he'd probably have to fire Rosenstein. Not sure who would be next in line after him. But I'm sure that Rosenstein was well aware when he appointed Mueller that there was some chance that he would be fired over that decision.
   71. Covfefe Posted: June 13, 2017 at 12:02 AM (#5474719)
Seth Abramson seems to lay out the scenario... and does seem to confirm that it would be a long and winding road to actually fire Mueller (i.e., that Trump would need to fire his way down to a lackey that would follow orders. Hey, maybe he can promise deep stater a SCOTUS seat! And then Clapper can sing the praises...)

If it comes to that, then to hell with, a pox on, shame on, and #### the GOP in Congress if they just play ball.
   72. zenbitz Posted: June 13, 2017 at 12:04 AM (#5474721)

Given the farcical exercise in public fellatio via cabinet meetings,


Don't worry -- that's not impeachable.
   73. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 13, 2017 at 12:05 AM (#5474722)
Newt trying to impugn Mueller's integrity is disappointing, but not terribly surprising. And a total sideshow.
Is it? It sounds more like laying the groundwork. I agree that the talk is very very premature, but Newt doesn't just utter something like that out of the blue.

And of course all someone has to do is double dare Trump to do it...
   74. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 13, 2017 at 01:03 AM (#5474745)
Is it? It sounds more like laying the groundwork. I agree that the talk is very very premature, but Newt doesn't just utter something like that out of the blue.


Well, it would certainly clear up Podhoretz's confusion, as expressed in this tweet.
   75. PepTech Posted: June 13, 2017 at 02:38 AM (#5474759)
Hmm - having a friend discuss the contents of supposedly private conversations with the president. Leakage!
   76. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 13, 2017 at 03:48 AM (#5474762)
You seem not to grasp that May is the PM and Corbyn isn't. The goal isn't to beat expectations; the goal is to control the government.

They alreadt had control of the government. Now they have less control. They lost something they had, that they did not have to lose. Because they wanted to gamble that they could get more. That's a loss any way you slice it.

Your analysis only makes sense, if it was a scheduled election, that had to be held. But it wasn't. It was entirely voluntary to do this for the Tories, and they ended up with less than before. It's impossible to come up with exact analogies to the US system. But if the GOP could move the 2018 midterms up to next month, then proceeded to lose the house and maintain the senate, it would be stupid to call that anything but a loss, even though they still "control the government" by virtue of holding the White House and the Senate.
   77. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 13, 2017 at 05:05 AM (#5474766)
It seems the term Pyrrhic Victory could apply perfectly here. May has not only weakened her party and her government, she's weakened her own political career enormously (polls now show her neck-and-neck with Corybn in personal approval, where once she had an enormous advantage), and she's burned two months of post-Article 50 Brexit negotiations.

The best sporting analogy I can think of is skipping a few rounds of the draft while volunteering to play an exhibition game against a team a couple of leagues below you, winning 8-7 despite a huge rally from your opponents, and having one of your best players seriously injured in the process. Yes, you successfully got a victory in a contest that didn't need to happen, where you and your team are weakened (and your opposition strengthened) and you missed the opportunity to do actual work that will help you in the future. Now you need to go out and trade prospects to replace your injured player.

But you won the game!
   78. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 13, 2017 at 05:39 AM (#5474767)
You gotta hand it to Wrestlemania President, he's fully committed to consolidating The Stupids into one administration.

The White House affirmed over the weekend that Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. will participate in a task force on higher education.


I'm sure this snake-handling huckster will help identify the real problems facing higher education today - godless atheism and creeping sharia law.
   79. simon bedford Posted: June 13, 2017 at 06:21 AM (#5474770)
Ben
A better "sports" analogy would be you entered a boxing match you didnt have to be in and allowed the 70 pound weakling to not only steal a ton of rounds and gain a ton of public support but only won by managing to get the evil northern irish villain to hand you a metal chair to eke out a "win" and now you have to sell this to the public as something they want. Which it isnt. .
   80. manchestermets Posted: June 13, 2017 at 06:34 AM (#5474771)
Johnson isn't ideal, but he's probably better than May. He did get elected Mayor of London twice - yeah, he can be a bit of twit, but he can have a certain charm. Gove would be a far worse choice than Johnson, for instance (though I'd peg him about equal with May, here).


Beyond the fact that they both involve a political campaign, getting elected mayor of London bears pretty much no similarity to winning a general election. The electorate is significantly different, and Johnson's upper-class twit act just isn't going to sell in the north of England and Scotland. Also, he was a piss poor Mayor of London, with his most notable achievements being follies - a cable car that nobody uses, the New Bus for London that turns into a furnace on a warm day because there are no windows and the aircon doesn't work and costs more than better off the shelf vehicles, and the attempted Garden Bridge that his successor couldn't cancel quickly enough.

As for the other candidates, well, early polling does not augur well for them.


In addition, he also apparently believes that all votes for Labour MPs should be interpreted that those voter fully support all Corbyn's policies, even though there is little doubt that most are still very much on the fringe within that party (e.g., his preference to renationalize various industries).


You're aware that this wasn't a Presidential election, right? Nobody was voting for "all Corbyn's policies", they were voting for the published party manifesto. Now, it was to the left of recent Labour manifestos, but the hysteria with which is was met suggested it was more akin to Capital than a manifesto that would be seen as thoroughly mainstream across most of mainland Europe.

Whoever is in power for the next six months, there's no doubt that the election is viewed as a failure for the Conservatives and a success for Labour. I don't know what North American media is saying, but people's view of Corbyn drastically changed for the better during the campaign. If there is another election this year, Labour are strong favourites.
   81. simon bedford Posted: June 13, 2017 at 06:44 AM (#5474773)
Manchestermets
Great post, I think the "pulse" of UK elections are so radically different from the US versions that some people struggle to grasp them ( and some just struggle because their political leanings are in line with what 4 out of 5 Rush fans say is the "most rockin") .
Trying to explain why an alliance with the DUP could cost votes from the more central leaning voters ( another area where Boris would be a disaster) is a tough sell as well, most Americans have no idea who Ian Paisley was or how deeply this issue can divide folk on the mainland.
   82. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 13, 2017 at 06:45 AM (#5474774)
Yeah, re-nationalising the privatized rail lines - by letting the current franchises expire and taking them back into public ownership, rather than compulsory sales - is a mainstream, popular position in the UK. At the moment, almost all the rail franchises are government-owned anyway; they're just other countries' governments, who openly state that they are funnelling the profits from UK franchises to their home countries. As well they should, given the chance. But it's near-impossible to create genuine competition on rail lines, and privatization never made that much sense.

Energy supply (as opposed to energy transmission) makes a lot less sense, and some of the other manifesto commitments are well to the left. Free tuition surely can't be a top priority for our budget right now. But the 2017 Labour manifesto was not only more popular than the Tories', it was more coherent, too. That's one of the main reasons May's catching flak from all parts of her own party; a lot of her campaign errors were not only avoidable, they were consistently in areas where she had an in-built advantage over Labour - credibility, mainstream appeal, 'safe pair of hands'. Her campaign made the Tories look ideological (fox-hunting?!) and confused ('dementia tax'), while throwing away the tabloid press dominance they've enjoyed since 2005.
   83. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 13, 2017 at 07:27 AM (#5474776)
Question for our resident Brits: Am I correct in remembering that Northern Ireland voted against Brexit? If so, isn't the increased support for the DUP (which supports Brexit and is absolutely committed to the continuation of the UK) somewhat paradoxical?

[I suppose the same question applies to Scotland as well, where the voters strongly opposed Brexit, but support for the SNP dropped dramatically this time around.]
   84. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 13, 2017 at 07:41 AM (#5474777)
But there's not really any sort of a story here. According to that WaPost article, Chris Ruddy hasn't spoken with DJT about this issue. His commentary is entirely based on his interpretation of what Jay Sekulow said on a Sunday show, which was basically "no comment." There is absolutely no indication that they're actually thinking about terminating Mueller. At the very least, it would be really dumb for them to do it before the new FBI Director is confirmed.

I saw that interview on the News Hour last night, and while she played her usual disinterested role, you could tell that Judy Woodruff was taken aback by what Ruddy said. But both of her "Politics Monday" panelists (Tamara Keith and Stu Rothenberg) seemed to take it with a big grain of salt. To me it sounded like a trial balloon, in that Ruddy was trying to defend the idea even while saying it would be a mistake, and as you can see by that opinion piece in The Federalist by Mollie Hemingway, clearly some conservatives are trying to lay the political and moral groundwork for such a firing in the event it becomes clear that Mueller is taking obstruction of justice seriously. But as I implied with my rhetorical question last night, the backlash against such a dismissal would be so swift and so certain, even among many of Trump's loyal congressional lapdogs, that I can't believe that even a president as tone deaf as Trump would ever dare to go through with such a suicidal move. No matter how the Rays and the Dershowitzes might try to spin it, it would be the biggest de facto admission of guilt this side of an actual confession under oath.

But then this is Trump, so reason and rationality won't necessarily be the operative forces, so you'd have to give it at least a 10% or 20% shot. And then you'd really start to see the Nixon comparisons.
   85. simon bedford Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:11 AM (#5474783)
DUP is strictly a Protestant party and a majority ( about 60 %) of Protestants voted "leave" while the vast majority of Catholics and some Protestants voted to remain which is why the remain side was able to win in Northern Ireland.
   86. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:14 AM (#5474784)
Breaking news (Not really) - Republicans See House at Risk In 2018

“What does all this mean? Republicans will be less willing to take risks as they shift into political survival mode.”
   87. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:27 AM (#5474785)
So Simon, are you saying that in the Parliamentary election, Protestants--even those who had previously voted "remain"--voted en bloc for DUP, even though this essentially negates their support of the EU?

Not questioning your conclusion, just trying to make sure I'm understanding correctly. [ignorant yank here!]

Thanks.
   88. BrianBrianson Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:29 AM (#5474786)
and Johnson's upper-class twit act just isn't going to sell in the north of England and Scotland.


Or: People who don't vote Conservative won't vote for Johnson's Tories. Which is ... true. But you can't just look at that isolation.

David certainly misestimates the problem with Corbyn, who'd be find and mainstream but left domestically. The problem with Corbyn is entirely in international politics. The problem with Corbyn is that Gibraltar votes 99% against sharing sovereignty with Spain, and Corbyn still wants to give Gibraltar to Spain. The Falklands' join Argentina advocates couldn't organise a bridge game and Corbyn still wants to give the Falklands to Argentina. Simon doesn't want to hear it, so he tries to fob everyone off as Americans who don't get Britain. (Well, and some wishcasting - hoping the Tories will let the DUP run the government to ruin their reputation, rather than recognising the DUP said they'd support the Tories as long as Corbyn leads Labour - and thus being essentially free spaces for the Tories who will pay basically nothing.

Or: If a Labour "win" has the Tories fifty five seats up, how does Labour ever form a government? Win twice in one election (or would that mean they were 100 seats down?)
   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:29 AM (#5474787)
Not even Trump could possibly be this stupid---or could he?

Trump friend floats possibility of firing special counsel in Russian probe

I don't know which would be more amusing: Watching Trump's approval numbers sink into the low or mid-30's in the aftermath of such a move; or reading Ray's defense of it on the grounds that it was legal.


Yes, who could ever dream of defending the firing of a special counsel who was appointed to investigate the fakecrime of winning the election?

But are you kidding me? I wouldn't dream of supporting the firing of Mueller. This is great fun. The longer this goes on with nary the slightest prayer of it leading to Trump being out of office the more the TDSers lose their bleeping minds.

What would be even more amusing is Trump firing Mueller, having his unicorn rating "approval numbers" sink into the low or mid-30s in the after math of such a move -- and then proceeding to win the 2020 election anyway.

So why not roll the dice for an even bigger and better TDS-affecting outcome? It's all house money, at this point.
   90. BrianBrianson Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:32 AM (#5474789)
Brexit is essentially seen as a given at this point. Exactly how "hard" or "soft" it'll be remains unclear, but that's really all. The Lib Dems were really the only ones even hedging on that point, and it got them nowhere. DUP wants a very soft Brexit on borders (but a very hard one on institutions), which lines up pretty well with what you'd expect from Unionists who aren't morons (well, on that issue, anyhow).
   91. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:32 AM (#5474790)
The government only has enough money to pay its bills through September, Trump administration says

"We've run lots of models and there are lots of different assumptions," he said. "I am comfortable saying we can fund the government through the beginning of September."

Asked what would happen if the debt ceiling wasn't raised, Mnuchin said "I can't imagine that that would ever be a scenario. But it would obviously create significant market disruption."
   92. Lassus Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:37 AM (#5474791)
Ray is an Anarchist without the balls to say so.
   93. Franco American Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:39 AM (#5474792)
They alreadt had control of the government. Now they have less control. They lost something they had, that they did not have to lose. Because they wanted to gamble that they could get more. That's a loss any way you slice it.


Thank you (and others). The obvious too easily gets lost in the political weeds.
   94. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:40 AM (#5474793)
Yes, who could ever dream of defending the firing of a special counsel who was appointed to investigate the fakecrime of winning the election?

But are you kidding me? I wouldn't dream of supporting the firing of Mueller. This is great fun. The longer this goes on with nary the slightest prayer of it leading to Trump being out of office the more the TDSers lose their bleeping minds.

What would be even more amusing is Trump firing Mueller, having his unicorn rating "approval numbers" sink into the low or mid-30s in the after math of such a move -- and then proceeding to win the 2020 election anyway.

So why not roll the dice for an even bigger and better TDS-affecting outcome? It's all house money, at this point.


My apologies for quoting all of #89, but ... wow. Ray you have lost your mind. There is not a single non-insane sentence in your post, it is turtles all the way down. Among other problems Trump is - nominally anyway - trying to run a country. His administrations goal - though clearly it is yours - is not to annoy a bunch of liberals. A "bunch" which, in your formulation, seems to be north of 50% of the country.

The idea that an administration can punt trying to run the country just a few months in, because now they are "playing with house money" is complete lunacy. But hey, if that is how you feel who am I to ruffle your feathers. If it comes to pass we Democrats will be over here winning a crap-ton of elections while you cackle about how great all this "TDS" is. Works for both of us, so win-win.
   95. Morty Causa Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5474794)
Yes, who could ever dream of defending the firing of a special counsel who was appointed to investigate the fakecrime of winning the election?

Ray, at long last, sir, have you no sense of decency?
   96. simon bedford Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5474795)
Hysterical
Yes , protestants vote en masse for DUP in northern Ireland , just as Catholics vote SF.
The Brexit divide for protestants followed the division in mainland Britain for the most part, the educated and well to do voted remain , the poor and working class voted to leave.
   97. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5474797)
I wake up every morning feeling just a little bit safer, knowing that Ray is here to protect us against the onslaught of sanity. I don't know what we'd do without him.
   98. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5474798)
Was this posted already? Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step -- complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.


I was told none of this really happened though, that it was all derangement and sour grapes. In any event I am sure Russia's most stalwart enemy - GOP President Trump - will take bold steps to secure our election infrastructure before any more elections happen. Right?
   99. simon bedford Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5474799)
Brian
The DUP will hang in as long as May backs off on several of her proposals ( which she most certainly will have too) and she goes soft on Brexit.
If for any reason she does not, or somehow Boris or someone else unpalatable to the loony party takes over, the coalition is done .
Which is what you do not want to hear.
I am no fan of Corbyn but he is the one with momentum moving forward something you just refuse to admit cause reasons...
   100. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:49 AM (#5474800)
In case Rickey! Is lurking this morning, I have a question. I am in Atlanta right now. I'm going to take my son on a tour of Georgia Tech this morning. We are planning on lunch at The Varsity before heading out of town. Worthwhile stop or tourist trap? If the latter, any authentic recommendations near GT? Thanks. I'll hang up and listen.
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