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Monday, April 09, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 9: A Curveball From the New Tax Law: It Makes Baseball Trades Harder

As President Trump congratulated the World Series champion Houston Astros at a White House ceremony last week, he also heaped praise on himself and congressional Republicans for passing a sweeping tax cut last year. He hailed Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the House’s chief tax writer and an Astros superfan, as “the king of those tax cuts.”

What he did not mention is that the new tax law Mr. Brady helped draft, and which Mr. Trump signed, levies a large new tax on the Astros, and similar franchises across professional sports.

 

(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.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 09, 2018 at 12:46 PM | 1677 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: houston astros, off topic, politics

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   1. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5650679)
Will the GOP Abandon the House to Save the Senate?

If it’s true that the Republicans are losing their edge with educated white voters over 60, they’re going to suffer a political bloodbath in November bigger than anything most people have given themselves the right to dream about. And there are signs that they’re already moving in triage mode. If they can’t save their majority in the House of Representatives, then the smart thing to do is to divert resources into protecting their majority in the Senate.

There are problems with this strategy, however. People don’t die a little bit or a lot. They either die or they survive. It’s one thing to lose their house majority, but it’s another thing to give up on trying to save it. They could make a bad election night into an historically catastrophic one. This election season is setting up in a counterintuitive way, and I’m not sure the Republicans understand the dynamics yet.


I think the GOP would abandon its own children to keep a majority anywhere they can. The question is will it work?
   2. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5650682)
Trump’s politics of outrage is failing him

Trump is a demagogue who relies on the angry energy of his supporters. But he finds himself in an untenable position: No matter how many hot buttons he pushes, he cannot arouse the passion he needs on his own side to counter the determination and engagement of those who loathe him.

The upshot is a vicious cycle that could be disastrous for the Republican Party this fall. So far, Trump has failed to stir his base, but he has become, unintentionally, one of the most effective organizers of progressive activism and commitment in the country’s history.

Revulsion at Trump is now the driving force in American politics, and this petrifies the traditional GOP. Responding to the outcome of last week’s election in Wisconsin — a candidate backed by Democrats won an open state Supreme Court seat for the first time since 1995 — the normally loyal Republicans at the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page took off their gloves.


Nothing new here.
   3. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5650684)
In light of the Cohen raid -

Trump cancelling a scheduled trip to a South American summit... to monitor the situation in "Syria".

Syria, of course, being an acronym for So Your Ruse Is Annihilated.
   4. Traderdave Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5650688)
If he had any sense he’d resign right now. He’s accomplished the two things he cares about: ego & money. He won the election and then pushed through a nine figure tax cut for himself and his irredeemably contemptible progeny.

The rest of his term is going to continue to take on water and will sink, it is inevitable. He clearly hates the job anyway.

He doesn’t give a fiddler’s #### about the nation, only himself, but he can & should save himself by resigning sooner rather than later.

The alternatives are pretty clear: He can suffer the grind of another year of investigation, face impeachment and possible removal and go down as the worst President in history, or he can walk now and spend the rest of his days at a very lucrative Fox News desk bellowing about being the Greatest Of All Time and pressing to reopen the investigation of Hillary’s murder of Vince Foster whenever the ratings get slow. And he’ll get to keep his tax cut.

If he had any brains he’d choose Plan B right now.
   5. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5650689)
A closer version to reality is the number of people who are against helping the poor with other people's money is vanishingly small. Many are willing to use their own money (charity), many are willing to use everyone's money (taxes), and nearly everyone is willing to use other people's money.

I agree with this generally, although it needs to be pointed out that many people (like a ton of them) in this country do not pay income tax.
   6. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5650690)
I agree with this generally, although it needs to be pointed out that many people (like a ton of them) in this country do not pay income tax.


It really needs to be pointed out that there are more taxes than just income tax. And most of them are regressive.
   7. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5650691)
Gore Vidal once said that it's not enough that you succeed: all your friends must fail.

I don't know, but Trump has a mentality that is never at rest. He thrives on two things: asserting himself and putting everyone, even friends and cohorts, down. He's a carrier of the plague chaos.
   8. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5650693)
#4 is heartening, if fantastical. Also, it gets us President Pence, which is rather quietly troubling.
   9. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5650694)
So if true and it continues this is pretty much the death knell* of the GOP** in the short term.

Trump Losing Older, Educated Voters

“Older, white, educated voters helped Donald Trump win the White House in 2016. Now, they are trending toward Democrats in such numbers that their ballots could tip the scales in tight congressional races from New Jersey to California,” a new Reuters/Ipsos poll and a data analysis of competitive districts shows.

“Nationwide, whites over the age of 60 with college degrees now favor Democrats over Republicans for Congress by a 2-point margin… During the same period in 2016, that same group favored Republicans for Congress by 10 percentage points.”

“The 12-point swing is one of the largest shifts in support toward Democrats that the Reuters/Ipsos poll has measured over the past two years. If that trend continues, Republicans will struggle to keep control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate, in the November elections, potentially dooming President Trump’s legislative agenda.”



* Yes, an exaggeration.
**Of course the GOP will start to distance itself from Trump, as they did from Nixon and W, but that takes time. Man the GOP tends to dislike its former Presidents (Ronnie excepted, of course).
   10. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5650695)
#4 is heartening, if fantastical. Also, it gets us President Pence, which is rather quietly troubling.


I am the last person to pretend I understand how GOP President Trump thinks. Maybe he resigns maybe he doesn't. However, the fact that he won in 2016 despite the polls and everyone thinking he would lose may lead him to think he can do the same thing again. And Ray believes, so there is that.
   11. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5650696)
The headline could have ended earlier. After "plan" to be precise. White House Has No Plan for Countering Comey

“Former FBI director James Comey is about to return to the national spotlight with the release of his memoir next week — but the White House is doing little to prepare for the onslaught,” Politico reports.

“These officials said it’s understood within the West Wing that laying out an advance media strategy is largely a futile exercise since President Trump could blow up any prepared talking points with a single tweet.”
   12. Traderdave Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5650697)
#4 is heartening, if fantastical. Also, it gets us President Pence, which is rather quietly troubling.


Pence would be such an empty ribbon cutting placeholder he'd make Gerald Ford look like FDR. I'll take a hobbled Pence over a loose cannon Il Duce any day.
   13. Ishmael Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5650699)
Re. the on-off discussion about consciousness over the last few weeks, you might enjoy this paper I read the other day:

Eric Schwitzgebel, "If Materialism Is True, the United States Is Probably Conscious"

A planet-sized alien who squints might see the United States as a single diffuse entity consuming bananas and automobiles, wiring up communications systems, touching the moon, and regulating its smoggy exhalations – an entity that can be evaluated for the presence or absence of consciousness.

You might say: The United States is not a biological organism. It doesn’t have a life cycle. It doesn’t reproduce. It’s not biologically integrated and homeostatic. Therefore, it’s just not the right type of thing to be conscious.



What is it about brains, as hunks of matter, that makes them special enough to give rise to consciousness? Looking in broad strokes at the types of things materialists tend to say in answer – things like sophisticated information processing and flexible, goal-directed environmental responsiveness, things like representation, self-representation, multiply-ordered layers of self-monitoring and information-seeking self-regulation, rich functional roles, and a content-giving historical embeddedness – it seems like the United States has all those same features. In fact, it seems to have them in a greater degree than do some beings, like rabbits, that we ordinarily regard as conscious.

What could be missing?
   14. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5650700)
I'll take a hobbled Pence over a loose cannon Il Duce any day.

No disagreement.
   15. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5650701)
I'll take a hobbled Pence over a loose cannon Il Duce any day.

No disagreement.


Thirded, even if he's not hobbled.
   16. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5650704)
Thirded, even if he's not hobbled.


I've been on this bullet since 2016, so yeah. Fourthed, or whatever.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5650706)
#4 is heartening, if fantastical. Also, it gets us President Pence, which is rather quietly troubling.

More than quietly troubling. Pence wouldn't reverse a single bit of damage that Trump has already caused, and simply by not being Trump he'd be able to do further damage with a lot less public scrutiny. Hell, he'd probably even have a ####### honeymoon period with much of the media----again, simply by not being Trump.

I don't want Trump out of office until he's wrapped around the necks of every goddam Trump-loving and Trumpspinning Republican** from the Senate to the local school board. I want him to bring the whole stinking apparatus down in flames, and replacing Trump with Pence will only make that harder to accomplish.

** Like JE's pal Rich Lowry, another former "#NeverTrump" who's now chugged the Kool-Aid
   18. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5650708)
9

**Of course the GOP will start to distance itself from Trump, as they did from Nixon and W, but that takes time. Man the GOP tends to dislike its former Presidents (Ronnie excepted, of course).


Oh, I think they may still have a soft spot for Lincoln, TR and possibly Eisenhower...
   19. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5650710)
Oh, I think they may still have a soft spot for Lincoln, TR and possibly Eisenhower...


None of which would allow the modern GOP within a 50 mile radius of their homes, were they alive to see what it has become.
   20. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5650711)
I don't want Trump out of office until he's wrapped around the necks of every goddam Trump-loving and Trumpspinning Republican** from the Senate to the local school board.


You value your partisanship over the good of the nation.
   21. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5650712)
Oh, I think they may still have a soft spot for Lincoln, TR and possibly Eisenhower...

I'm not sure that The Great Emancipator, The Trustbuster/Wilderness Preserver, and the president who warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex would be flattered by the phony flattery.
   22. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5650713)
Trump is a true narcissist. The entire world talks about him every day, his ego can't get enough. There is zero chance he resigns. None.
   23. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5650715)
19

None of which would allow the modern GOP within a 50 mile radius of their homes, were they alive to see what it has become.


Agreed, wholeheartedly.

21

I'm not sure that The Great Emancipator, The Trustbuster/Wilderness Preserver, and the president who warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex would be flattered by the phony flattery.


This, too.

Cokes all 'round! On my tab.*

*I know I said Coke, not Tab, but there you go...

   24. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5650716)
It really needs to be pointed out that there are more taxes than just income tax. And most of them are regressive.

That's true, especially if you consider flat taxes regressive. But, sales taxes and property taxes don't go to help the poor, do they? That's not what pays for welfare and food stamps and Medicaid and the like, and that seems to be what your initial post had in mind.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5650720)
I don't want Trump out of office until he's wrapped around the necks of every goddam Trump-loving and Trumpspinning Republican** from the Senate to the local school board.

You value your partisanship over the good of the nation.


Serious question, Sam: Do you think that removing a president who commands the support of 80% to 90% of his party is going to accomplish anything in the long run? I'm simply being a pragmatist here.

If I thought for a second that removing Trump from office would in and of itself do any good, I'd string him up from a lamppost and set him on fire. But not before first castrating him in public, just to hear him scream.

But once that wonderful cathartic exercise was over, then what? You've got a Falwell-loving president with a calm demeanor, along with the same ultra-right wing cabinet, a Dr. Strangelove as a National Security Advisor, and a Republican congress. I fail to see where that's any improvement over what we've got now, with a Democratic base energized and Trump as an absolutely perfect pinata.

The GOP created this stinking cauldron. Let them present it in all of its glory before the voters in the next two elections.
   26. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5650726)
Like your certitude before right up to the last election, your Pauline Kaelism may get the better of you. There's a lot of people in this country who don't live in that bubble you glory in--that, in fact, loathe it to the exclusion of almost everything else. It won't take more than a couple of things going right for Trump along the lines of his promise to them to put them back on his side.
   27. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5650727)
But, sales taxes and property taxes don't go to help the poor, do they?


Schools don't help the poor? Because the main source of funding for schools is property taxes. In any event tax money is in large part fungible. You wanted to limit the scope to Federal income taxes for ideological reasons, but that doesn't speak to my point other than passingly.
   28. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5650729)
It won't take more than a couple of things going right for Trump along the lines of his promise to them to put them back on his side.


As a nice counterpoint to this and a fabulous pairing to the post up thread which talks about GOP President Trump losing older more educated voters ... Wave of Young Voters Expected In November

A new Harvard Institute of Politics poll finds a huge jump in enthusiasm among young Americans about voting in this year’s midterm elections.

Key finding: 37% of Americans under age 30 indicate that they will “definitely be voting,” compared to 23% who said the same in 2014.

“Young Democrats are driving nearly all of the increase in enthusiasm; a majority (51%) report that they will ‘definitely’ vote in November, which represents a 9-percentage point increase since November 2017 and is significantly larger than the 36 percent of Republicans who say the same.”


The obvious counterpoint is young people always disappoint in voting, but while I suspect older voters will continue to vote at higher rates, still there is no reason a surge in younger voter enthusiasm won't result in a surge in younger voters actually voting.
   29. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5650730)
Yeah, passingly.
   30. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5650732)

I quoted your post and found it wholly unrealistic.
You found what unrealistic? You think there are significant numbers of people who actually say, "Ha, ha! There are poor people out there, suffering! I'm glad!"? (I'm not talking about trolls on twitter or the like; I'm talking about actual people.)
The offhanded example I used to highlight that was not an argument against your goofy view on peoples' reactions to poverty, and the assertion that you live in a fantasy world on various topics was not a non sequitur.
Offhanded example of what? What did it have to do with whether to help the poor? What did it have to do with the poor at all? It was about a guy who lived in Trump Tower.
   31. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5650734)
You value your partisanship over the good of the nation.


Nonsense. Assumes without any proof that removing a legitimately elected President causes no damage and also that the outcome of having Pence in charge causes less damage than the counterfactual of having Trump in charge for however long.

Yes, Trump is a bigger fool than Pence, louder and more obnoxious, but Trump's traits (taints?) also limits certain types of damage he can do. In any event you are simply mindless in your hatred of Trump and even if presented with evidence that it was better for the country to have him over Pence I suspect you would still opt to get rid of Trump.
   32. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5650736)

A closer version to reality is the number of people who are against helping the poor with other people's money is vanishingly small. Many are willing to use their own money (charity), many are willing to use everyone's money (taxes), and nearly everyone is willing to use other people's money.
Even for the very highest-paying taxpayer in the country, taxes are 99.9999% other people's money. For most people, it's a lot higher than that.
   33. BrianBrianson Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5650737)
It really needs to be pointed out that there are more taxes than just income tax. And most of them are regressive.


Yeah, but income tax has a really big lag, which is also not desirable.
   34. PepTech, Bane of Epistemological Foundations Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5650738)
And the SDNY office is run by a deep state Democrat in the pocket of the Clintons and Obama
Sarcasm being a helpful nudge, this post connected my dots - Berman is the guy Trump appointed to this position after firing Bharara. Maybe I'm the last person to realize that...
   35. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5650739)
Offhanded example of what?

Fantasy worlds that don't exist.


at gunpoint through the government... By tearing down the rich... Etc.

Like that one.
   36. Traderdave Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5650740)
Oh, I think they may still have a soft spot for Lincoln, TR and possibly Eisenhower...


I'd be willing to bet a majority of Trump voters do not know that all three were Republicans, and a very large chunk would think TR was FDR misspelled.
   37. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5650741)
Also, it gets us President Pence, which is rather quietly troubling.
You¹ just can't help yourself, can you? Trump is the worst ever; he's Hitler, Stalin, Jeter, and Robespierre all rolled into one. And yet, every time you contemplate some other Republican, you blink and decide that maybe that other guy is just as bad. We saw that in the primaries where multiple liberals/Democrats announced that Trump was preferable to Cruz.

¹EDIT: And other people in this thread.
   38. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5650743)
Even for the very highest-paying taxpayer in the country, taxes are 99.9999% other people's money. For most people, it's a lot higher than that.


Even for the biggest welfare moocher in the world other people get 99.9999% of the benefits. For most people, it's a lot higher than that.
   39. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5650745)
We in this country never get around to letting those elected to govern actually govern. It's all always about figuring out ways to obstruct and frustrate. And I'm not talking just about the clown now in presidential office. Are other modern western democracies like this?
   40. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5650746)
Do you think that removing a president who commands the support of 80% to 90% of his party is going to accomplish anything in the long run? I'm simply being a pragmatist here.

Principle must occasionally - if not universally - trump pragmatism.
   41. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5650747)
and decide that maybe that other guy is just as bad.

rather quietly troubling.
Words. Mean. Things.
   42. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5650748)

Even for the biggest welfare moocher in the world other people get 99.9999% of the benefits. For most people, it's a lot higher than that.
And? That doesn't make sense as a rebuttal, since it doesn't rebut anything. Yes, spending goes to lots of people rather than one single individual person. So? That doesn't in any way respond to the point that when one supports taxes, one is supporting giving other people's money -- not one's own money -- to people.
   43. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5650749)
Principle must occasionally - if not universally - trump pragmatism.


The trick is, of course, which principle?
   44. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5650752)
Speaking of #40 and #41, we did This Joyful Eastertide for a hymn this week:
1 This joyful Eastertide,
away with sin and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified,
has sprung to life this morrow:

Refrain:
Had Christ, who once was slain,
not burst His three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain;
but now has Christ arisen,
arisen, arisen;
but now has Christ arisen!

2 Death’s flood has lost its chill
since Jesus crossed the river;
Lover of souls, from ill
my passing soul deliver: [Refrain]

3 My flesh in hope shall rest
and for a season slumber
till trump from east to west
shall wake the dead in number: [Refrain]

Verse 3 caused some issues (go ahead, find it, I'll wait), with a few people actually wanting to change the damned hymn. SBB and David will be happy that I told everyone that was letting the terrorist win and they should STFU and sing. Maybe not in those exact words in a religious setting, but everyone saw reason.
   45. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5650753)
And? That doesn't make sense as a rebuttal, since it doesn't rebut anything. Yes, spending goes to lots of people rather than one single individual person. So? That doesn't in any way respond to the point that when one supports taxes, one is supporting giving other people's money -- not one's own money -- to people.


Your point and my point were equally as valid (meaning mostly not at all). My post was the simplest way I could think of to point that out.

Who cares about the percents you posted? They are meaningless. No one says "Hey I want to raise my taxes, because the vast majority of the money raised comes from other people".

Seriously that is just dumb. When one supports taxation they are supporting ... wait for it ... taxation. Transferring money from one group to a different group via the government. Of course people take into account how a particular tax impacts them personally and they take into account the projected impact of the money spent. However in a country with hundreds of millions of people no one thinks their taxes amount to much of the percentage (for VERY obvious reasons), which is all your silly post pointed out.

Note: This nonsense is why I am forced to post banal facts, because people say really dumb things. Yes it is banal how taxation works and yet David can't seem to wrap his head around it. And no, once more it is not "other people's money", after it is taxed it is the government's money. Promise.
   46. Hot Wheeling American in his sleazy salon Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5650756)
@CRTV:
Is YOUR church aiding and abetting illegal aliens?

@MichelleMalkin discusses the disturbing trend sweeping the country
   47. Larvell B Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5650757)
And no, once more it is not "other people's money", after it is taxed it is the government's money. Promise.


No, it's still other people's money. The legitimacy of the government's title to it doesn't affect this in the least.

   48. Larvell B Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5650758)
If he had any sense he’d resign right now.


TDS??

What TDS??????
   49. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5650759)
Also, it gets us President Pence, which is rather quietly troubling.

You¹ just can't help yourself, can you? Trump is the worst ever; he's Hitler, Stalin, Jeter, and Robespierre all rolled into one. And yet, every time you contemplate some other Republican, you blink and decide that maybe that other guy is just as bad. We saw that in the primaries where multiple liberals/Democrats announced that Trump was preferable to Cruz.

¹EDIT: And other people in this thread.


Obviously we agree on Trump, although I'd substitute Whitey Herzog for Jeter. But the difference between you and those of us who'd fear a President Pence more is that unlike us, you're not all that opposed to most of the actual policies and programs that Trump has undertaken, or even to his worst cabinet appointments. With you---and I respect this POV---it's purely a matter of character and competence that causes your revulsion to Trump.

The problem for some of us, though, is while we loathe Trump's character every bit as much as you do, the last thing we'd want is a competent ultra-right president to sugarcoat his agenda with soothing (and completely phony) bromides about nonpartisanship. Just the fact that you've defended a racist pig like Sessions is a perfect illustration of that chasm.
   50. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5650760)
No, it's still other people's money. The legitimacy of the government's title to it doesn't affect this in the least.

I do so enjoy watching SBB and David draw ever closer to one another.
   51. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5650762)
Who cares about the percents you posted?
Sigh. I'll speak slower. You were pretending, as you like to dishonestly do, that there is a distinction between wanting to spend other people's money and wanting to spend tax dollars. You did this by labeling tax dollars "everyone's money," even though the overlap between other people's money and tax dollars is almost 100%.

There are only two choices: my money or other people's money. No amount of misdirection on your part can change that. Taking money from lots of people and throwing it in a big single pile doesn't change the character of it; it's still not my money (or at least 99.999999% not my money), which makes it other people's money. Double promise.
   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5650765)
Just the fact that you've defended a racist pig like Sessions is a perfect illustration of that chasm.
I don't know whether that's a reference to dubious old stories about him or your notion idea that opposing illegal immigration is inherently racist. Either way, your claim is pretty much false, so it's a perfect illustration of something.

you're not all that opposed to most of the actual policies and programs that Trump has undertaken,
No, that's not true at all.
   53. dlf Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5650766)
Even for the very highest-paying taxpayer in the country, taxes are 99.9999% other people's money. For most people, it's a lot higher than that.


Hyberbole. Total taxes at the state and federal level are something like $6T. One ten-thousandth of that would be $6M. I'm betting that quite a number of baseball players are paying more than that annually, let alone the mega-wealthy.

Edit:
it's still not my money (or at least 99.999999% not my money)


Hmm, I would have expected that you pay more than $60k in annual taxes all things included.

...

Serious question, Sam: Do you think that removing a president who commands the support of 80% to 90% of his party is going to accomplish anything in the long run? I'm simply being a pragmatist here.


God forbid I'm ever mistaken for Rickey, but yes, there is a lot that would be better with Pence or any other generic GOP. First, DJT is pretty much alone among Rs in his desire to engage in a trade war and apparent belief in the ease of winning them. Switching DJT for Pence is a step in the right direction, in my opinion, economically. Second, and more significantly, neither Pence nor any other member of the GOP engages in demagoguery to anywhere near this extent or this destructively to the institutions of our (lower case r) republic. There is a long line of Presidents making comments adverse to the Courts (e.g. BHO's statements post Citizens United, FDR's court packing scheme, etc.) but there have been none since Andrew Jackson who show such complete contempt for the judiciary as an institution. Similarly, Presidential statements adverse to members of the media are far from uncommon; DJT has taken it to a level of affirmatively trying to destroy the independence and importance of the press.

   54. Hot Wheeling American in his sleazy salon Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5650767)
TDS??

What TDS??????

Love being the non-deranged one but using bold, italics and eight question marks.
   55. manchestermets Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5650768)
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/04/09/will-the-gop-abandon-the-house-to-save-the-senate/


Is there any benefit (beyond it being easier to get the votes for the things you want to pass) to a party to having a particular number of seats in the house, the same as there's benefit to having 60 seats in the senate?
   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5650769)
Just the fact that you've defended a racist pig like Sessions is a perfect illustration of that chasm.

I don't know whether that's a reference to dubious old stories about him or your notion idea that opposing illegal immigration is inherently racist. Either way, your claim is pretty much false, so it's a perfect illustration of something.


Jeff Sessions was one of Stephen Miller's acknowledged mentors. Jeff Sessions has often praised Steve Bannon. Nuf sed.
   57. Greg K Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5650770)
Gore Vidal once said that it's not enough that you succeed: all your friends must fail.

Zizek tells an old Slovenian story where a fairy comes to a farmer and says she will grant him whatever he desires, but his neighbour will get double. So he asks the fairy to pluck one of his eyes out.
   58. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5650771)
The problem for some of us, though, is while we loathe Trump's character every bit as much as you do, the last thing we'd want is a competent ultra-right president to sugarcoat his agenda with soothing (and completely phony) bromides about nonpartisanship. Just the fact that you've defended a racist pig like Sessions is a perfect illustration of that chasm.


Pence will be a lame duck. While just a few Quixotic Republicans will want to mount a primary challenge against Trump in 2020, they will be coming out of the woodwork to challenge Pence. They will not be falling over themselves to support his theoretical theocratic agenda. Pence will be a toothless placeholder, though he will probably restore some respect for the office and the US in general.
   59. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5650772)
Sigh. I'll speak slower. You were pretending, as you like to dishonestly do, that there is a distinction between wanting to spend other people's money and wanting to spend tax dollars. You did this by labeling tax dollars "everyone's money," even though the overlap between other people's money and tax dollars is almost 100%.


Nonsense. That just is not how it works, no matter how you imagine it to be. Sorry.

I have a say in how I spend my money, and so does my wife - :). As a voter I have an indirect* say in how the government spends tax revenue. I also have an indirect* say in how much and how the government raises that revenue.

No matter how many times you fervently want the government's tax revenue to be categorized as "other people's money" it isn't. At all***. Once it has been taxed it is the government's money. The fact you just can't admit this fact is truly spectacular and nearing religious in fervor. Yes, the source is from other people** for the most part, but so what? The beneficiaries are for the most part other people** as well.

Tax money is largely fungible and so even when specific tax revenue streams (sourced from specific other people**) are allocated to specific programs (with specific other people** beneficiaries) it is largely irrelevant other than from a macro level where the government is taxing in aggregate from here and spending to there. From the perspective of those aggregates everyone's contribution and benefits are an insignificant slice of the pie.



* Sometimes it is direct, through amendments, propositions and other direct voter such things, but mostly it is indirect.
** Of course using the word people is imprecise here, because tax revenue is raised from corporations and a variety of sources which are not really people.
*** (EDIT) Well, it is not my money, even that which I paid in, so it is other's money and the government is run by (for and of) the people, so in that sense, I guess.
   60. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5650774)
54

TDS??

What TDS??????

Love being the non-deranged one but using bold, italics and eight question marks.




Actually, I see what he did there...
   61. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5650775)
Is there any benefit (beyond it being easier to get the votes for the things you want to pass) to a party to having a particular number of seats in the house, the same as there's benefit to having 60 seats in the senate?


In a perfectly unified caucus not much (according to my understanding), other than you can give political cover to some members, letting them vote against some things knowing you have enough votes to pass them anyway.
   62. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5650776)
Trump is a true narcissist. The entire world talks about him every day, his ego can't get enough. There is zero chance he resigns. None.


How about suicide?
   63. Greg K Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5650777)
We in this country never get around to letting those elected to govern actually govern. It's all always about figuring out ways to obstruct and frustrate. And I'm not talking just about the clown now in presidential office. Are other modern western democracies like this?

I'd be curious to hear others' thoughts on this question.

Part of the answer is structural. In Canada the opposition party has far fewer opportunities to obstruct legislation (if any). But even in a "political culture" sense it doesn't seem like there's same kind of partisan resistance to any kind of governance by the other guy. I mean, the left hated Harper, and the right is endlessly exasperated with Trudeau, but I think the majority of Canadians are happy to just let the government go about its business and gripe in their spare time.

In my lifetime it does seem like politics is getting more polarized. But maybe I'm just under-estimating how hated Jean Chretien was because I was a kid at the time.
   64. Ishmael Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5650778)
Verse 3 caused some issues (go ahead, find it, I'll wait), with a few people actually wanting to change the damned hymn.

One can never be too vigilant against the heresy of psychopannychism.
   65. Larvell B Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5650779)
Just the fact that you've defended a racist pig like Sessions is a perfect illustration of that chasm.

Jeff Sessions was one of Stephen Miller's acknowledged mentors. Jeff Sessions has often praised Steve Bannon. Nuf sed.


Andy, you couldn't adequately marshal up actual evidence well enough to be able to persuade Steve Buscemi to want to #### Mila Kunis. The art of stating a proposition and proving it with evidence is simply beyond your means. So you're left with having to emote your "ideas" through the use of shrill, bizarre adjectives like "racist pig."

The end of the last thread was a perfect example, that I wasn't able to get to in real time. You went through a whole laundry list of questions in the vein of "How much wealth would black people have gained from not being racisted against through means A, B, and C, etc." and then you cited the white household median wealth of 111K and the black household median wealth of 8K as a footnote ... and it simply never occurred to you that the very wealth gap you cited answers the questions you asked.

If the entire wealth gap that now exists was due to racism and racist policies, the wealth gap caused by racism and racist policies would be $111K to $8K, or $103K. Per household, not per person.
So there's no need to wildly guess. (Of course, the entire wealth gap isn't due to racism or racist policies, but if it was, we'd know its scope.)

I've written this before, but extra wealth of $102K per household really isn't that much. At the risk-free investment rate (*), we're talking like two to three thousand per year it would kick out. So, again, if you attribute every single penny of wealth difference that now exists to slavery, racism, etc, we're talking something on the order of $200 to $250 per month advantage at the median to Whitey. That could easily be made up in transfer payments -- and to some degree probably is (and has been).

(*) Of something on the order of 2-3 percent for 10 year US treasuries.


   66. Hot Wheeling American in his sleazy salon Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5650780)
@davidfrum:
Vice President Pence will fundraise in Boston tomorrow. The commonwealth's Republican Governor Charlie Baker is too busy to greet him. "My calendar has other stuff on it."

Trouble in paradise for the dominant political party? Hmm, this seemingly interesting development may be worth monitoring at some point in the future.
   67. Greg K Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5650781)
I was struck by the difference between American and non-American politics in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

To me, it went without saying that David Cameron would resign as PM. He lost a major initiative and his ability to lead the nation was clearly compromised.

But I recall here discussions of how, legally speaking, he was under no obligation to resign and could have battled on. Which was technically true, but politically impossible.

I'm not sure how representative that actually is of the difference between American and non-American political cultures, but to me it is normal that a politician who makes a stand and loses would retire (with whatever dignity he can manage) from the stage. The notion that he would fight tooth and nail until he was forced off doesn't seem consistent with how I expect politicians in a mature democracy to act.
   68. Larvell B Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5650782)
I was struck by the difference between American and non-American politics in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

To me, it went without saying that David Cameron would resign as PM. He lost a major initiative and his ability to lead the nation was clearly compromised.


Not seeing where you're going with this. Trump has suffered nothing like a Brexit loss. He's suffered really nothing.

Don't confuse this place, and what you hear here, with reality.
   69. manchestermets Posted: April 10, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5650783)
To me, it went without saying that David Cameron would resign as PM. He lost a major initiative and his ability to lead the nation was clearly compromised.

But I recall here discussions of how, legally speaking, he was under no obligation to resign and could have battled on. Which was technically true, but politically impossible.


I'm not sure I agree with this - there was, and remains, a widely held view here that his resignation was cowardly and disgraceful. "Right, someone else clear up the mess I created, I'm off to my £25,000 shed."
   70. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5650784)
He's suffered really nothing.

How's that ACA repeal and replace and Great (Mexicano-paid) Wall going?
   71. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5650785)
Vice President Pence will fundraise in Boston tomorrow. The commonwealth's Republican Governor Charlie Baker is too busy to greet him. "My calendar has other stuff on it."

Trouble in paradise for the dominant political party? Hmm, this seemingly interesting development may be worth monitoring at some point in the future.
Hillary beat Trump in MA 60-33. No one's going to win a statewide election here if they're seen as embracing the Trump administration.
   72. Omineca Greg Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5650786)
I'd be curious to hear others' thoughts on this question.

This was a major theme of Michael Ignatieff's book about his time as Opposition Leader.

As far as Ignatieff was concerned, Harper was the first Canadian PM to be in the 24/7 campaigning mode. Ignatieff wanted to put more of his personal energy towards governing and hammering out legislation, and he felt that everything the Conservatives said or did was geared towards winning the next election. As you point out, the Opposition in Canada doesn't have much sway or pull of any kind, so I thought it was an odd criticism; Ignatieff wanted the Conservatives to be implementing more policy, much of which he disagreed with, but he wanted the opportunity to at least nominally help shape those public policies based on their intrinsic merits , which he felt Harper never allowed.
   73. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5650787)
Andy, you couldn't adequately marshal up actual evidence well enough to be able to persuade Steve Buscemi to want to #### Mila Kunis. The art of stating a proposition and proving it with evidence is simply beyond your means. So you're left with having to emote your "ideas" through the use of shrill, bizarre adjectives like "racist pig."

The presidential election of 2016 seems to have been Jolly Old's Rose McGowan moment. The hosing he took has transfigured, if not transmogrified, him. You can almost hear the bones cracking and the muscles tearing like in An American Werewolf in London or something.
   74. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5650789)
I'd be curious to hear others' thoughts on this question.


Here in the US the founders made governing hard on purpose. They didn't want government run amok and designed a system to frustrate those governing in no small measure.

They saw it as a feature not a bug. Over the centuries things have changed a great deal, but many of those checks and balances still remain, though I wager that government today functions more smoothly and on a much larger scale than they imagined it would.
   75. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5650791)
67:

I think our system encourages to an extreme degree standing on one's individual rights. As Bill James says somewhere, this is America--nothing dies without a lawsuit. It's led to the preciousness and lack of appreciation of social cohesion you see in the posts of many here. It's all about what "I" think is God's law and plan. The attitude permeates our culture to a suicidal degree.
   76. BDC Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5650793)
it is normal that a politician who makes a stand and loses would retire (with whatever dignity he can manage) from the stage. The notion that he would fight tooth and nail until he was forced off doesn't seem consistent with how I expect politicians in a mature democracy to act

One thing I sometimes find odd about the U.S. is that second-term Presidents, who are lame ducks per the Constitution since the 1950s, stay in office their whole four years, accountable to no party or parliamentary majority, not facing any further referral to the electorate. Eisenhower and Reagan were in increasingly poor health; Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush 43 were politically embattled to the point of ineffectiveness in many areas. Obama is an exception (healthy, not under direct political siege), but even in this best-case scenario, nobody pays any attention to a lame-duck President for the 18 months or so of the Presidential campaign.

In a lot of democracies, such leaders resign (or lose a leadership vote) and are replaced for the next general election by a new leader. They don't always go graciously, but they go and their parties and policies benefit. This could happen here, and with a powerful advantage to the VP who would succeed. Or at least theoretically. Nixon did resign and Ford still lost; Bush 41 won anyway; no way in Hell could Cheney have won in 2008. But President Gore would probably have won the 2000 election, and maybe even President Biden in 2016.

This is all speculative on my part and I doubt it would ever become American practice; the status quo is just a bit odd.
   77. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5650795)
Governing should be hard; it shouldn't be impossible.
   78. Greg K Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5650796)
Not seeing where you're going with this. Trump has suffered nothing like a Brexit loss. He's suffered really nothing.

Don't confuse this place, and what you hear here, with reality.

Oh I wasn't equating Cameron with Trump. Just making a general observation about how politicians are expected to act in different political cultures.
   79. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5650798)
Serious question, Sam: Do you think that removing a president who commands the support of 80% to 90% of his party is going to accomplish anything in the long run? I'm simply being a pragmatist here.

God forbid I'm ever mistaken for Rickey, but yes, there is a lot that would be better with Pence or any other generic GOP. First, DJT is pretty much alone among Rs in his desire to engage in a trade war and apparent belief in the ease of winning them. Switching DJT for Pence is a step in the right direction, in my opinion, economically. Second, and more significantly, neither Pence nor any other member of the GOP engages in demagoguery to anywhere near this extent or this destructively to the institutions of our (lower case r) republic. There is a long line of Presidents making comments adverse to the Courts (e.g. BHO's statements post Citizens United, FDR's court packing scheme, etc.) but there have been none since Andrew Jackson who show such complete contempt for the judiciary as an institution. Similarly, Presidential statements adverse to members of the media are far from uncommon; DJT has taken it to a level of affirmatively trying to destroy the independence and importance of the press.
I endorse this -- while saying bite me to dlf's attempt to introduce actual math into the discussion -- and wanted to add that Andy is confusing support for the president with support for Trump. The party mostly supports Trump (though 80% is a terribly low figure) because Trump is president, not because they like him. Yeah, there's a small percentage of the party that genuinely likes Trump, but for the most part, if he were gone nobody would give him a second thought.
   80. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5650799)
76:

The lame-duck president is not without power. First, there's his veto power. Then there's foreign affairs--and many presidents have concentrated on foreign affairs in that second term.
   81. Greg K Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5650800)
In a lot of democracies, such leaders resign (or lose a leadership vote) and are replaced for the next general election by a new leader.

Which is why Theresa May is such a trailblazer!

I'm not sure I agree with this - there was, and remains, a widely held view here that his resignation was cowardly and disgraceful. "Right, someone else clear up the mess I created, I'm off to my £25,000 shed."

Oh yeah, I don't think Cameron scored high on the dignity scale. But I think the bitterness is more that he caused the mess, not so much that he resigned. I think there was some sentiment that he ought to drink from the poisoned chalice rather than passing it on. But I think that was more motivated by a desire to see Cameron get poisoned than see him continue to govern.
   82. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5650802)
@jonkarl - ABC News has learned that Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is recused from the Michael Cohen investigation. He had no role in raid of Cohen's office. Another recusal that will make @realDonaldTrump unhappy.


Also, Homeland Security advisor Bossert resigned, allegedly shown the door by Bolton's foot.

Also also, I can't watch it at work, but I see there's a Hannity/Dersh interview going around about the Cohen raid. I assume that will be examined here thoroughly.
   83. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5650803)
This ones verified:

Scott Adams

Verified account

@ScottAdamsSays
13m13 minutes ago
More
President Trump is on the verge of winning three simultaneous impossible-to-win wars: ISIS, North Korea, and trade with China. . . while the economy is booming. At this rate, he'll be a top-five president by the midterm election, with six years to go. #POTUS @realDonaldTrump


What is wrong with this guy?
   84. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5650804)
The problem for some of us, though, is while we loathe Trump's character every bit as much as you do, the last thing we'd want is a competent ultra-right president to sugarcoat his agenda with soothing (and completely phony) bromides about nonpartisanship. Just the fact that you've defended a racist pig like Sessions is a perfect illustration of that chasm.

Pence will be a lame duck. While just a few Quixotic Republicans will want to mount a primary challenge against Trump in 2020, they will be coming out of the woodwork to challenge Pence. They will not be falling over themselves to support his theoretical theocratic agenda.


No, but it'd be harder to motivate the part of the Democratic base that's now motivated solely by its hatred for Trump. And with Trump still around, few GOP candidates will be able to repudiate him for fear of being primaried, which in turn means that they'll have a harder time in a general election. It may not matter in states or districts where any GOP candidate is a mortal lock, but some of these recent off-elections have shown that there may not be as many of those states and districts as there were just 17 months ago.

Pence will be a toothless placeholder, though he will probably restore some respect for the office and the US in general.

It's going to be hard to restore much respect from abroad unless Pence reverses many of Trump's major decisions, which he's not likely to do. He wouldn't even have the nerve to make a symbolic move like firing Dr. Strangelove and bringing back McMaster.
   85. BDC Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5650806)
The lame-duck president is not without power. First, there's his veto power. Then there's foreign affairs

That's certainly true; it's just that so few Presidents have been effective in those last two years. People point to Reagan and the INF treaty with Gorbachev – heck, I point to it, I think it was Reagan's best moment – but it's the rare major success in the 22nd Amendment era. And even then, as you note, the success was largely diplomatic, not legislative (the INF drew broad support and was ratified 93-5).
   86. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5650807)
Part of the answer is structural. In Canada the opposition party has far fewer opportunities to obstruct legislation (if any). But even in a "political culture" sense it doesn't seem like there's same kind of partisan resistance to any kind of governance by the other guy.
Don't know much about the culture of Ted Cruz's homeland, but I would just point out what may be obvious to all except Morty: that the structure and the culture in the U.S. aren't independent. It was structured that way on purpose. It's like cops (and their supporters) complaining that a court ruling shouldn't come out in favor of a particular civil liberty because doing so makes it harder for them to do their jobs. Yes. By design. Lamenting that it'll be more challenging to prosecute people if we, e.g., enforce the Confrontation Clause is not an argument against doing it; we know that, but that decision was already made.

If we had wanted to be the type of country where (as Ray thinks we are) we hold an election and then say, "Okay, we won so for the next four years we get to do what we want," then all those hurdles to governing would be problematic. But we didn't want to be that way.
   87. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5650810)
What is wrong with this guy?


Practicing his hypnotism in front of a mirror again...
   88. OCF Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5650811)
I voted this morning. Municipal election. Two races: mayor and city council, both with incumbents running. No party labels. I got to the polling place at around 8:00 a.m. and the poll workers practically fell all over themselves - I think I may have been the very first voter they'd seen all morning.

All of which is a good reason why the city needs to consolidate its elections with national and state elections. (And why elections shouldn't be held on Tuesdays.)

Incumbent mayor is a D. Opponent is some dude. Four candidates for city council. The incumbent is R, I think, but managed to get endorsed by the mayor and some other D politicians. Opposing her: a D, an ultra-NIMBY, and some dude. I mean, they're all NIMBY - that's the default position - but this one is much more vehement.
   89. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5650812)
Serious question, Sam: Do you think that removing a president who commands the support of 80% to 90% of his party is going to accomplish anything in the long run? I'm simply being a pragmatist here.

God forbid I'm ever mistaken for Rickey, but yes, there is a lot that would be better with Pence or any other generic GOP. First, DJT is pretty much alone among Rs in his desire to engage in a trade war and apparent belief in the ease of winning them. Switching DJT for Pence is a step in the right direction, in my opinion, economically. Second, and more significantly, neither Pence nor any other member of the GOP engages in demagoguery to anywhere near this extent or this destructively to the institutions of our (lower case r) republic. There is a long line of Presidents making comments adverse to the Courts (e.g. BHO's statements post Citizens United, FDR's court packing scheme, etc.) but there have been none since Andrew Jackson who show such complete contempt for the judiciary as an institution. Similarly, Presidential statements adverse to members of the media are far from uncommon; DJT has taken it to a level of affirmatively trying to destroy the independence and importance of the press.


Look, I'm not denying that a lot of things would be better with Pence, but they all come down to tone, and little more. And that's not enough.

Would Pence call off Sessions and ICE and their nativist agenda? Would Pence get rid of Pompeo and Bolton and Pruitt and DeVos and Carson and Perry and Mulvaney? (Forgive me if I've left anyone out.)

He'd probably stop threatening trade wars via twitter, but he's not likely to reverse Trump's pullout from the Paris Climate Agreement. He's even more hardcore than Trump on most social issues.

In short, there's really nothing to recommend Pence beyond the fact that he's not a temperamental narcissist. He's more like a smiling assassin.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I endorse this -- while saying bite me to dlf's attempt to introduce actual math into the discussion -- and wanted to add that Andy is confusing support for the president with support for Trump. The party mostly supports Trump (though 80% is a terribly low figure) because Trump is president, not because they like him. Yeah, there's a small percentage of the party that genuinely likes Trump, but for the most part, if he were gone nobody would give him a second thought.

Talk about wishful thinking. You're confusing his sub-majority support in the primaries with his actual support among Republicans today. But then since our long range goals are about 170 degrees apart from each other, we're starting this discussion from wholly different premises: You want to get rid of Trump but keep most of the GOP agenda. I want to get rid of the whole kit and kaboodle.
   90. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5650815)
Practicing his hypnotism in front of a mirror again...


The outstanding feature of so many Trump sycophants is how much BS they willingly swallow, digest, and spread. Trump hasn't done jack #### to "win" against NK or China and ISIS was on the run thanks to the Iraqis and ISIS' own idiotic tactics long before Trump was elected. To be fair this is a phenomenon among many "cult of personsality" pols. Hillary and Obama and random Democrats certainly are not exempt. Trump nutriders just take it to 11.

In short, there's really nothing to recommend Pence beyond the fact that he's not a temperamental narcissist. He's more like a smiling assassin.


And in a post-Trump world where he is POTUS he's going to be an assassin holding a rubber pen knife. Just get Trump out. I've been consistent on this position since he was elected. Trump is dangerous in ways Pence is not. Pence does not have the authoritarian (and yes) fascist instincts that Trump has. I'm not going to here Pence talking about ending term limits because of Xi or putting drug dealers to death because of Duterte. And he certainly isn't going to be doing the "you think we're so innocent" routine and cover his boy Putin.
   91. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5650816)
It's hard to know what to do with all this stability:

Homeland security adviser Tom Bossert resigns as turnover continues in the Trump administration
White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert is leaving the Trump administration, another departure during what has been a chaotic few months of personnel changes.

Bossert, a favorite of Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, is leaving one day after national security adviser John Bolton began the job. Bossert was believed to be on shaky footing in the Bolton era and he resigned two days after Michael Anton, the National Security Council spokesman, also quit.

Bossert’s resignation was requested by Bolton, according to two people familiar with the situation who requested anonymity to discuss internal personnel issues.

So far this year, the president has changed his secretary of state, national security adviser, veterans affairs secretary, CIA director, chief economic adviser, staff secretary, communications director and members of his legal team.

“The president is grateful to Tom’s commitment to the safety and security of our great country,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement....

Did Sanders say that before or after Bossert found the horse's head on his pillow?
   92. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5650817)
What is wrong with this guy?

He's a wannabe bottom, which is appropriate because Trump only qualifies as a wannabe top.
   93. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5650818)

You're confusing his sub-majority support in the primaries with his actual support among Republicans today.
No, I'm not. I'm talking about the nature of his support today, not the level of it. The support today is tribal. He's got it because he's the de facto head of the GOP, not on his own merits. If you make it a choice between Trump and Pelosi (or Schumer, or Clinton, or whomever) then most Republicans will choose him. If and when that's not the choice -- if and when one can be anti-Trump without being pro-Democrat -- then Trump's support will largely fade away.
   94. Larvell B Posted: April 10, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5650819)
The presidential election of 2016 seems to have been Jolly Old's Rose McGowan moment. The hosing he took has transfigured, if not transmogrified, him. You can almost hear the bones cracking and the muscles tearing like in An American Werewolf in London or something.


A-yup. Rose McGowan crossed with King Lear.
   95. BDC Posted: April 10, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5650821)
If and when that's not the choice -- if and when one can be anti-Trump without being pro-Democrat -- then Trump's support will largely fade away

Do you think that a challenger like Kasich or Flake has a fighting chance in the '20 primaries? (Not asking rhetorically, it's a genuinely open question. I know they'd have my vote.)
   96. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5650822)
Jolly Old's Rose McGowan moment. The hosing he took has transfigured
A-yup. Rose McGowan crossed with King Lear.


I await with bated breath how this comparison makes any sense.
   97. Larvell B Posted: April 10, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5650825)
Also also, I can't watch it at work, but I see there's a Hannity/Dersh interview going around about the Cohen raid. I assume that will be examined here thoroughly.


Law enforcement is supposed to tread very carefully when it comes to lawyers, because of the privilege. This is codified in the US Attorney's Manual, at least. Absent some sort of real urgency or fear of destruction, Cohen should have been subpoenaed and been allowed to cull out privileged documents and documents revealing privileged communications.

It's quite possible that, as reported, Cohen is himself in deep #### in which case the analysis is a bit different. The reporting about what was obtained could also be bad and if I had to bet, I'd bet it is bad. Cohen has an incentive to say USG took things they didn't actually take.
   98. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 10, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5650826)
So far this year, the president has changed his secretary of state, national security adviser, veterans affairs secretary, CIA director, chief economic adviser, staff secretary, communications director and members of his legal team.


And it's only April! God, what a disaster. This is the hidden damage that Trump does and it's not so hidden when you lay it out like this. Most of us assume, whatever side of the aisle we are on, that the POTUS will be competent executive. That's not the case with Trump. See the countless unfilled positions at State. Pence, again, will fix some of these issues.
   99. Larvell B Posted: April 10, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5650827)
I await with bated breath how this comparison makes any sense.


You really need an explanation as to how a comparison between Andy and an aging guy screaming out the things the voices in his head are telling him, to no one in particular, makes sense?

I doubt you actually do.
   100. Morty Causa Posted: April 10, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5650828)
Kasich is too vanilla (although he wasn't always that) and I don't have much of a picture of who Flake is.

Part of the problem for the Republican Party, and part of Trump's advantage, is that in comparison to him, other candidates or possible candidates seem and will seem boring.
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