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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

OTP 2018 August 27: Pitching politics

George Washington was known to throw a ball—for hours, reported one soldier under his command—with his aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War. Abraham Lincoln would join baseball games on the lawn of Blair House, which still stands across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. “I remember how vividly he ran, how long were his strides, how far his coattails stuck out behind,” the home’s owner, Francis Preston Blair, recalled in a letter to his grandson.

The story of baseball in the United States is intertwined with that of the presidency, says Curt Smith, a senior lecturer in English and the author of The Presidents and the Pastime: The History of Baseball and the White House (University of Nebraska Press, 2018). He traces the points of connection from the colonial era to the present, devoting a chapter to each president since William Howard Taft, who in 1910 inaugurated the practice of the president throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

(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: August 28, 2018 at 07:27 AM | 1644 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, politics

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   201. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:37 PM (#5735149)
No. There has not been that kind of fluctuation.

Re-read #187; only Gonfalon's use of ellipsis in #189 obscures that the data shows exactly that fluctuation. A bit more than one-third of this year's Generic Congressional Ballot polls at RCP show the Democrats with a smaller margin than is likely needed to capture the House, which seems to account for Gonfalon's preference for a source more favorable to the Democrats. And that >5% standard for what is needed to win the House isn't my premise, but a widely-reported observation by many of those keeping close track of such matters. Certainly anyone who thinks a different number is more appropriate can make their case here.
   202. Howie Menckel Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:44 PM (#5735150)
dead heat so far late in the Florida D primary for Governor.
32 pct-32 pct-20 pct etc

African-American challenger - a Bernie Sanders-backed candidate - shocking the favorite to pull even.

MSNBC's Steve Kornacki does a nice, geeky job of tea-leaf reading if you like that sort of thing.

a Trumpster handily won on the R side
   203. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:59 PM (#5735157)
Conversely, anyone who could possibly be wondering whether Yankee Clapper is sincere about correctly analyzing the data can always go look at the friggin' RCP graph.

Note that my diabolical "use of ellipsis in #189" was to knock out a single sentence that has literally nothing to do with the poll numbers themselves.

Note also that Clapper blurs the difference between the aggregated RCP average of all polls, and the individual polls that are components of that average. Though the generic ballot has been relatively smooth sailing, there's "considerable fluctuation" in Clapper's math.

Of course, a guy who held a generic ballot victory parade for a very temporary 0.3% shift undoubtedly has a different standard for what constitutes significant fluctuation.
   204. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5735158)
In these last two months of July and August, there have been 21 polls that showed the Democrats with an 8% generic ballot lead or greater.

Of those 21 polls, 538's average includes all 21 of them. RCP's average incorporates 9 of the 21 polls.

Just in case anyone's wondering why Yankee Clapper is a "one aggregator only" kind of guy.
   205. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:04 PM (#5735161)
The generic House ballot average:

RCP's polls from July/August: 36

538's polls from July/August: 60
   206. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:12 PM (#5735167)
Washington Post:
Trump’s path to a new NAFTA deal runs through Canada, lawmakers say

Trump has said the Mexico agreement, which largely focuses on manufacturing, would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, and that he is prepared to try and formalize this new deal even if Canada refuses to join.

But there were mixed signals on Tuesday whether the Mexican government would go along with such an arrangement, and a number of GOP lawmakers also signaled that this approach was unwise and possibly illegal.

The lawmakers’ views are crucial because Congress must sign off on any trade deal before it can take effect.

........Most GOP senators strongly support the existing NAFTA agreement, which was brokered in 1994, saying it has brought jobs to their states. Although they have reluctantly gone along with the Trump administration’s attempts to renegotiate the three-party deal, the idea of leaving Canada out was met with near universal condemnation Tuesday.

................Several lawmakers argued that a bilateral U.S.-Mexico deal could not even be brought before Congress because the fast-track rules governing the NAFTA renegotiations pertained specifically to a three-party deal. Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters Tuesday that there would be “technical problems” with Congress voting on a bilateral Mexico-U.S. trade deal under fast-track procedures that were expected to apply to a trilateral NAFTA renegotiation.

............Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), whose views often reflect those of many of the free-trade Republicans in Congress, expressed similar views about Senate passage of a deal excluding Canada. “NAFTA was enacted with legislation. . . . Similarly a change to NAFTA requires legislation,” he said.

There was also skepticism generally about the Trump administration’s announcement of a deal with Mexico, given the scant details available and GOP lawmakers’ wariness about the president’s impulsive and scattershot approach on trade – the issue that, more than any other, has divided him from his allies on Capitol Hill.

...............The stock market rallied sharply after the partial deal was announced, with many investors believing it offered a first sign that Trump was shifting away from the protectionist trade approach he adopted earlier this year.

...................The sheer number of issues requiring decisions make it unlikely that a three-way deal will be agreed by Friday, the day U.S. officials plan to formally notify Congress of the pact with Mexico. “It isn’t impossible to get a deal. But in all likelihood, we’re going to move well past the Friday deadline,” said Dan Ujczo,a trade attorney at Dickinson Wright. “There’s both political and practical reasons why it extends beyond Friday.”

The White House is hoping to use a complex legal arrangement to have Mexico ratify the new trade arrangement. This would require the White House to send a letter to Congress on Friday, stating that it has entered into a trade agreement with Mexico. That letter could stipulate that Canada may enter the trade deal in the future.

But within 30 days, the White House will have to send the formal trade agreement to Congress, and at that point it will have to resolve all differences with Canada. After that point, Congress would have an additional 60 days to review the completed deal before the Mexican government approves it in late November, before its new president takes office Dec. 1. And a number of factors could potentially derail talks during that period.


NAFTA remains in place until a superseding agreement is ratified. Hopefully Trump hasn't given up too much negotiating leverage in exchange for a speaker phone moment to distract from a torrent of personal crises.
   207. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5735185)
African-American challenger - a Bernie Sanders-backed candidate - shocking the favorite to pull even.

That's now called for Gillum. We'll see how popular Bernie's brand is in the general election. I'm doubtful it plays that well. Perhaps more interesting, the GOP turnout is higher for that Florida Governor's race, so far tonight. From Politico:

Democrats for Governor
90.5% of precincts reporting (5,400/5,968)
1,437,952 total votes

Republicans for Governor
90.5% of precincts reporting (5,400/5,968)
1,576,257 total votes

Not sure where the remaining votes are from, and it's Florida so they may have miscounted a few hundred thousand, but that doesn't look like a Blue Wave to me.
   208. Lassus Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5735189)
Because you're a pathetic bot with no principles.
   209. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5735190)
Oh look, another zero substance post from Lassus. Can you folks do nothing but talk of other posters?
   210. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5735193)
Pretty weak showing by Donna Shalala in FL-27, polling less than 32% - enough to win in a multi-candidate field, but given her $$ and name recognition, not that impressive. The general election may be an actual contest. It's almost like the voters aren't thrilled by first-time-older-than-Andy candidates.

EDIT: And we won't have Alan Grayson to kick around anymore. I enjoyed kicking Alan Grayson around.
   211. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:48 PM (#5735195)
but that doesn't look like a Blue Wave to me.


Independents can't vote in partisan elections in Florida primaries. Thus, they are not counted in your cited vote totals, if they even bothered to vote today. Trump's approval among independents is ~36%, and independents prefer a D controlled Congress by 20 points more than a R controlled one. There's your blue wave. But sure, keep whistling past the graveyard.
   212. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5735197)
209. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5735190)
Oh look, another zero substance post from Lassus. Can you folks do nothing but talk of other posters?

2
10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5735193)
Pretty weak showing by Donna Shalala in FL-27, polling less than 32% - enough to win in a multi-candidate field, but given her $$ and name recognition, not that impressive. The general election may be an actual contest. It's almost like the voters aren't thrilled by first-time-older-than-Andy candidates.

Don't ever change, Claps.
   213. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:59 PM (#5735204)
209- Man I still don’t even know who’s who here, just that you all hate communism so I use a collective “they” when I post.
   214. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5735213)
Pretty weak showing by Donna Shalala in FL-27, polling less than 32% - enough to win in a multi-candidate field, but given her $$ and name recognition, not that impressive. The general election may be an actual contest. It's almost like the voters aren't thrilled by first-time-older-than-Andy candidates.

I just looked her up—yeah, the 77-year-old head of the Clinton Foundation who opposes Medicare for All. Damn the DNC has their finger on the pulse of this country!!!

If they were being paid to lose, they wouldn’t be doing anything different.
   215. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:13 PM (#5735220)
211 - Everhthing you say is true, and it’s still a pathetic showing by Democrats in Florida.

The Brand is ####### tarnished, bro, when Republicans outvote us in a battleground state in a year where the GOP President is a ####### cartoon villain.
   216. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:17 PM (#5735223)
The time is now! Vote Green! Vote Green! Vote Green!
   217. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:27 PM (#5735230)
On Arizona, I see it noted that: "Polls close at 10 p.m. ET. First results are expected around 11:10 p.m. ET." An hour & 10 minutes before reporting a single vote? Unusual, these days.
   218. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:33 PM (#5735239)
I may have missed it-- did anyone post about Devin "Sherlock" Nunes flying to England to investigate Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr, but uncovering nothing while essentially getting told by the British government to go home and get his f'ing shinebox?
   219. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:34 PM (#5735240)
   220. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:35 PM (#5735243)
And both real estate & equity prices are in bubbles right now.


I had a co-worker (who has 3 properties that he rents out, plus one that lives in himself) say to me with a straight face on Friday "I'm confident that housing prices (in Canada) will never stop rising. There is no reason why the real estate market will ever stop growing."

I didn't want to get into any sort of discussion with him about this (as he gets very heated about even the smallest things)...
   221. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:49 PM (#5735255)
re: #220,

He should get in early on the Canadian Riviera up on Hudson Bay.
   222. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:22 PM (#5735270)
Until future Presidents Gillum and Arpaio become eligible, all we have for now is this, taken from the new Econ/YouGov poll (PDF):

"Who was the best president in U.S. history?"

Abraham Lincoln 17%
Barack Obama 16%
Ronald Reagan 13%
George Washington 10%
Franklin Roosevelt 10%
John Kennedy 8%
Donald Trump 6%
Bill Clinton 4%
Thomas Jefferson; Teddy Roosevelt 2%
Adams; Jackson; Eisenhower; Carter; G.W. Bush 1%


"Who was the worst president in U.S. history?"

Donald Trump 41%
Barack Obama 28%
Richard Nixon 5%
George W. Bush 5%
Carter; Bush Sr.; Clinton 2%
Jackson; Van Buren; Tyler; Fillmore; Buchanan; Harding; Hoover; LBJ; Reagan 1%
   223. greenback slays lewks Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:23 PM (#5735271)
Is Martin Van Buren in the worst list because of that Seinfeld episode?

And Millard Fillmore because of an annoying comic strip?
   224. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 28, 2018 at 11:58 PM (#5735274)
With 99.8% of precincts reported in Florida (all but 10), there are 1,494,225 votes in the Democratic Primary for Governor, and 1,609,738 votes in the Republican Primary for Governor - a 115,513 vote margin for the GOP in a state where the Dems have a ~ 245,000 voter registration edge. That doesn't look much like a Blue Wave to me. I'm also a bit skeptical that the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, an Abolish-ICE, Medicare-For-All, Impeach-Now (actually, 9 months ago) liberal, is best-positioned to pick up the votes of Independents. Not all those Independents are too liberal to join the Democratic Party.
   225. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:08 AM (#5735277)
Guys, if Yankee Clapper says the Democrats need to move to the right to appeal to moderates, we should probably listen to him, he has only our best interests at heart.
   226. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:10 AM (#5735279)
Congresswoman McSally already declared the winner in the GOP Arizona Senate Primary, with but 3.4% of precincts reported, getting 51.3% at the moment. She's certainly the most electable, and as the first American woman fighter pilot to fly in combat she presents quite a contrast with her opponent, the pink-tutu-clad-protester.
   227. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5735280)
Republican: "Democrats need to run more moderate candidates to appeal to centrists if they want any shot at winning elections."
Also Republican: "Donald Trump is the President."
   228. Stormy JE Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:11 AM (#5735281)
Anyone who minimizes Trump's racism and corruption is a Trumpkin in spirit. You've done nothing but minimize his racism since the day he was inaugurated, refusing to call it out for what it is. Calling a few of his more blatant actions "classless" doesn't negate that central point.
So either embrace wokeness or Trumpkinism? LOL.
   229. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5735284)
Republican: "The Democrats made a really big mistake nominating a candidate with such a controversial background in the Primary, she has no shot against the establishment Republican in the general."
Also Republican: "Donald Trump is the President."
   230. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:19 AM (#5735286)
C.I.A. Officer-Turned-Candidate Says PAC Obtained Her Security Application

A former C.I.A. officer running for Congress accused a super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday of improperly obtaining her entire federal security clearance application — a highly sensitive document containing extensive personal information — and then using it for political purposes.

Abigail Spanberger, the Democratic candidate challenging Representative Dave Brat of Virginia, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Corry Bliss, the executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, which has raised more than $100 million to help Republicans in the midterm elections. She demanded that the super PAC destroy all copies of the form and agree to not use the information in any fashion.

That's some real ###### dirty pool.
   231. tshipman Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:21 AM (#5735287)
With 99.8% of precincts reported in Florida (all but 10), there are 1,494,225 votes in the Democratic Primary for Governor, and 1,609,738 votes in the Republican Primary for Governor - a 115,513 vote margin for the GOP in a state where the Dems have a ~ 245,000 voter registration edge. That doesn't look much like a Blue Wave to me. I'm also a bit skeptical that the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, an Abolish-ICE, Medicare-For-All, Impeach-Now (actually, 9 months ago) liberal, is best-positioned to pick up the votes of Independents. Not all those Independents are too liberal to join the Democratic Party.


If only we had results from more than one state ...
   232. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:33 AM (#5735288)
C.I.A. Officer-Turned-Candidate Says PAC Obtained Her Security Application

Well, the material was released by the Postal Service, where she had been employed, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. If she thinks the Postal Service erred, she can sue them, but I don't see any report that she plans to do so
   233. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:34 AM (#5735289)
@sahilkapur
McConnell says he’s negotiating with Schumer on a package of judges they can agree to fast-track to a vote.

(...)And here it is: Senate just cut a deal to fast-track votes starting at 3:45p today on 11 nominations—including SEVEN Trump nominees to be district court judges.

(...)Big victory for Trump and McConnell, who are already confirming federal judges at an extraordinary pace and are poised to get seven more done today.

(...)UPDATE: The seven judges have all been confirmed by the Senate.

@nycsouthpaw
Replying to @sahilkapur
What does Schumer get from the deal, if anything?

@sahilkapur
His members get to go home

@chrislhayes
for three whole days!

Paid to lose.
   234. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:50 AM (#5735293)
BAM, the unexpected shock opinion from Yankee Clapper! Apparently in this election cycle, in a state where Trump's approval has slipped nearly 20 points since the last election and Rick Scott, who can read a Florida poll, is gingerly running away from Trump, the shrewdest possible route for Democrats would have been for them to return yet again to the Charlie Crist/Alex Cink/Jim Davis 0-for-3 "bland centrist" route. Meanwhile, the Republican primary is different and wasn't upended by the wrong insurgent guy.


#224: With 99.8% of precincts reported in Florida (all but 10), there are 1,494,225 votes in the Democratic Primary for Governor, and 1,609,738 votes in the Republican Primary for Governor - a 115,513 vote margin for the GOP in a state where the Dems have a ~ 245,000 voter registration edge. That doesn't look much like a Blue Wave to me.


But it looks a whole lot like a Florida midterm primary.

The 2014 Republican primary for Florida Governor had 949,144 votes; the corresponding Democratic primary had 837,796.

The 2010 Republican primary for Florida Governor had 1,281,650 votes; the Democratic primary had 860,567.

The 2006 Republican primary for Florida Governor had 985,986 votes; the Democratic primary had 857,814.


Despite the above "margins" in 2014 and 2010, each of Florida's last two gubernatorial elections were won by 1%, with nobody getting 50%. Here, Democrats only need a Blue Ripple.


A black candidate on top of the Florida state ballot is a big plus for Bill Nelson.
   235. OCF Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:52 AM (#5735294)
I saw an election day story to the effect that a bunch of incumbent Oklahoma state House members had lost in Republican primaries. One last name from the list of losing candidates sounded familiar to me; I tracked it down, and found a brief bio and a picture. He was born in the mid-80s and I would never have met him, but the face looked familiar, as in I at least know the family. And the geography matches. My best guess is that he's the nephew of one of my closest high school friends. Small world.
   236. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:59 AM (#5735296)
GOP primary results for the Oklahoma Governor nomination:
Kevin Stitt 54.6%
Mick Cornett 45.4%

Aw, BULL STITT!
   237. Ray (CTL) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:00 AM (#5735297)
I sometimes lurk in this thread and last week a few comments seemed odd to me. A few people put forth the sentiment that the left had put all their eggs in the Russia basket (not a direct quote) and the Russia topic was repeatedly brought up in this context.

I thought it was a bizarre claim but now I think I figured out what is going on. There are dozens and dozens of legitimate and all-but-indisputably valid criticisms of Trump. But the Russian collusion is not yet proven, the information either way will probably come out in the future. So some people are trying to create the revisionist history that the critics of Trump were only (or mostly) fixated on the Russia thing. This handwaves away all the other bad things (incompetence, lack of integrity, corruption, embarrassment etc etc etc) that people accurately predicted in advance and have criticized as they came true in clear view of everybody. This is done in the hopes that nothing comes of the Russia investigation or that they can muddy the waters in advance enough to cast doubt - all in pursuit of retaining credibility where otherwise the just-as-bad viewpoint has been completely discredited. So ironically, the just-as-badders become the ones obsessed with bringing up Russia while they try desperately to paint the picture that it's everyone else who is. It's their only hope to avoid recognition that the critics were mostly right, and the critics mostly were not being the boy who cried wolf. So, the fiction that the Trump critics were all-in on Russia and nothing else is their version of the fictional conspiracies that comfort the diehard Trumpers who believed that he literally would have Clinton arrested once elected etc.


It was not fiction that the usual suspects were all in on Russia. They were. With David Mae Brussell (DMBN) leading the charge.

The Russia collusion issue is fundamentally different from the money laundering and campaign finance issues (not that Trump has been charged with a crime there either). This is because:

1. "Russia collusion" has been held up by the left as the reason why Trump won the election. The narrative goes that Trump won the election illegitimately, because of Russia collusion. They know that Paul Manafort laundering money or Michael Cohen paying off mistresses for Trump can't account for the election win -- but in their minds Russia collusion can.

2. Russia collusion is the reason for the Mueller investigation. Without alleged Russia collusion it would be clear to even the dimmest bulb out there that Trump et al were being investigated for the crime of winning the election.

And Russia collusion may well end up as one big conspiracy theory, pending the results of Mueller's investigation. This is important because it goes to the fundamental issue of whether people can accurately perceive the world. And the usual suspects are already making excuses for why Russia collusion might not pan out; someone said here the other day that collusion may exist but not be found by Mueller. That's transparently having it both ways. Mueller has put a ton of resources into this investigation; he's leaned on people, squeezed people, searched and seized their documents, sent people to jail. If he can't find collusion then the objective and reasonable person concludes that it very likely was never there; the objective and reasonable person doesn't go "Oh, well it was there they just couldn't find it."

Folks couldn't understand how 63 million people voted for Trump, and rather than face up to the fact that they couldn't accurately perceive the world they invented all kinds of reasons why the election result happened. One of those reasons was Russia collusion.

(All of this is even setting aside the Steele dossier and what it means to all of this and to the Hillary campaign's behavior, and of course there's much ground to cover there.)

That's why Russia collusion is fundamentally different from money laundering and campaign finance violations and the like. The left (and DMBN!) sold out on it. They pushed the theory hard. They swallowed it whole. It forms the basis for declaring the election results invalid, for investigating Trump, for ultimately (if they get the numbers) trying to remove Trump from office.

That's why the only thing I care about is Russia collusion. If it's not there it says a lot about the people who were pushing it. I never said other crimes weren't there; show me the man and I'll show you the crime but random other crimes are not in the same category as collusion. That you could fail to understand the above is frankly stunning.
   238. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:02 AM (#5735298)
Following up on #224 and #234, Jared Leopold on Twitter:
Historical totals in #FLGOV D primaries:
2018: 1,402,804+
2014: 837,796
2010: 871,335
2006: 857,814
2002: 1,357,017
1998: (uncontested)
1994: 836,414
1990: 1,074,056
1986: 1,005,465
1982: 993,402
1978: 1,037,533
   239. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:05 AM (#5735299)
Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine:
[Trump’s supporters are] relying on the well-known legal principle of Anglo-American jurisprudence. You can’t charge Al Capone with tax evasion, and you can’t charge Donald Trump with campaign finance violations. A person can only be charged with their worst crime. And now Trump is prepared to join Al Capone as one of history’s most sympathetic victims of prosecutorial misconduct.
   240. Stormy JE Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:08 AM (#5735300)
Conservatives had a good night with the McSally and DeSantis victories. Ward may have been more right-wing but not more conservative.
   241. Stormy JE Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:14 AM (#5735302)
I may have missed it-- did anyone post about Devin "Sherlock" Nunes flying to England to investigate Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr, but uncovering nothing while essentially getting told by the British government to go home and get his f'ing shinebox?
Not surprisingly, Bertrand seemed way more interested in this non-scandal than Members of Congress questioning Bruce Ohr.
Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine:
Wasn't this the same Jonathan Chait who, back in early 2016, openly backed the incredibly corrupt Trump over Rubio? Indeed, it was.
   242. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:15 AM (#5735303)
I saw an election day story to the effect that a bunch of incumbent Oklahoma state House members had lost in Republican primaries.


Five months ago, 19 Republican state house members voted against a tax hike to fund a pay raise for teachers. Now, fifteen of the nineteen incumbents are gone from the November ballot.
   243. Ray (CTL) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:16 AM (#5735304)
EDIT: Clapper just sort of ignores Trump as much as he can.

But he, like Juannity Jason John Paul, will vote for him in 2020 if given the chance. As such, they're on the wrong side of the barricades and should be treated as such.


Does it ever get tiring waking up in the morning and shaking your fist at the world, Sam?
   244. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:18 AM (#5735305)
Some 538.com Florida observations:
NATE SILVER9:36 PM
The #FLGOV race is weird enough where you might expect a well-credentialed independent candidate to have a chance. But I’ve just looked at the websites for the independent candidates who appeared to qualify for the November ballot — would not recommend — and they’re basically all variations on Florida Man.

NATHANIEL RAKICH9:36 PM
Here’s a crazy-sounding statement that may actually be true: After tonight, Democrats have a better chance at winning the Oklahoma governorship than the Florida governorship.

Silver also compared Gillum to Kendrick Meek, the 2010 Democratic Florida Senate nominee, who finished third, behind Independent Charlie Crist, in a race Marco Rubio won by more than a million votes.

Oh, also noted at 538 - Gillum's Administration is under investigation by the FBI.
   245. Count Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:59 AM (#5735309)
1. "Russia collusion" has been held up by the left as the reason why Trump won the election. The narrative goes that Trump won the election illegitimately, because of Russia collusion. They know that Paul Manafort laundering money or Michael Cohen paying off mistresses for Trump can't account for the election win -- but in their minds Russia collusion can.

2. Russia collusion is the reason for the Mueller investigation. Without alleged Russia collusion it would be clear to even the dimmest bulb out there that Trump et al were being investigated for the crime of winning the election.


The "left" isn't monolithic - this is a typical sloppy Ray post. IMO the FBI tilting the scales in favor of Trump, particularly the inappropriate Comey letter, likely was much more impactful on the election than the Russian hacking (this is one of many reasons that JE's conspiracy theories don't make sense and his cheerleading for arresting the people investigating Trump is so appalling, of course- Zonk was right that conservatives in the U.S. would fall in line behind an authoritarian, he was just wrong about Trump's competence). Given how close the election was, it's possible that Russian hacking made the difference, but seems unlikely to me that Trump coordination with Russian hacking (which at this point appears likely) or his support of Putin and Russia as a thank you for the hacking (which is ongoing) changed the election results. It's still very bad and worth investigating; at the very least, the public should know what the facts are.

Mueller was appointed because Comey was fired. His mandate is to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” as well as other matters that “may arise directly from the investigation.” Given the strong evidence that's emerged of "links and/or coordination," including contacts and meetings that Trump and his associates repeatedly lied about, and the fact that the hackers tried to hack Clinton's server the day Trump asked them to do so, the investigation certainly seems warranted. And it's been fruitful, given the guilty pleas and indictments, both in terms of punishing the guilty and providing the public with more information.
   246. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2018 at 02:39 AM (#5735311)
(...)UPDATE: The seven judges have all been confirmed by the Senate.

The Senate also agreed to take up 8 judicial nominations after Labor Day, apparently without requiring cloture votes, based on the skimpy reporting thus far. These are mostly non-controversial District Court nominees for which the GOP had the votes. Democratic opposition didn't get them much - except more time in Washington, DC - and created a precedent that could haunt them if a future Democratic President has to deal with a GOP Senate.
   247. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: August 29, 2018 at 02:47 AM (#5735312)
1. "Russia collusion" has been held up by the left as the reason why Trump won the election. The narrative goes that Trump won the election illegitimately, because of Russia collusion. They know that Paul Manafort laundering money or Michael Cohen paying off mistresses for Trump can't account for the election win -- but in their minds Russia collusion can.

2. Russia collusion is the reason for the Mueller investigation. Without alleged Russia collusion it would be clear to even the dimmest bulb out there that Trump et al were being investigated for the crime of winning the election.
Meanwhile, in the real world, actual people think any number of things that don't fit into a neat little box of Ray-projection.

Trump won the election because Hillary was a poor candidate and Trump ran rings around her strategically. Part of the strategy may or may not have involved strange bedfellows. There's no single factor in Trump's victory.
That's why Russia collusion is fundamentally different from money laundering and campaign finance violations and the like. The left (and DMBN!) sold out on it. They pushed the theory hard. They swallowed it whole. It forms the basis for declaring the election results invalid, for investigating Trump, for ultimately (if they get the numbers) trying to remove Trump from office.

That's why the only thing I care about is Russia collusion. If it's not there it says a lot about the people who were pushing it.
So because Ray can find some people that "went all in" on collusion, he doesn't care about racism, or pandering to white supremacists, or lying, or anything else. He gets to feel superior about everything because of... reasons.
   248. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:00 AM (#5735313)
A bit more detail on the judicial nominations deal that got the Senate out of town early:
The seven newly confirmed judges are Terry Fitzgerald Moorer in Alabama, R. Stan Baker in Georgia, Charles Barnes Goodwin in Oklahoma, Barry W. Ashe in Louisiana, James R. Sweeney II in Indiana, Susan Paradise Baxter in Pennsylvania, and Nancy E. Brasel in Minnesota.

Eight more of Trump’s district court nominees are set for confirmation next week, said McConnell’s deputy chief of staff, Don Stewart. Acting on the judicial nominations was one of the primary reasons the Republican leader scrapped the Senate’s annual August recess.

"In August alone, the Senate confirmed another 15 judges — with eight more locked in for next week. These are judges who will be in place for decades," Stewart said in an email.

Goodwin was the only "controversial" nominee who received a roll call vote confirming him 52-42, with the support of 5 Democrats. The others received a voice vote, a once standard practice.
   249. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 04:53 AM (#5735316)

Does it ever get tiring waking up in the morning and shaking your fist at the world, Sam?
Probably almost as tired as you get of pretending you were right in 2016.
   250. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 06:38 AM (#5735318)
It was not fiction that the usual suspects were all in on Russia. They were. With David Mae Brussell (DMBN) leading the charge.

The Russia collusion issue is fundamentally different from the money laundering and campaign finance issues (not that Trump has been charged with a crime there either). This is because:

1. "Russia collusion" has been held up by the left as the reason why Trump won the election. The narrative goes that Trump won the election illegitimately, because of Russia collusion. They know that Paul Manafort laundering money or Michael Cohen paying off mistresses for Trump can't account for the election win -- but in their minds Russia collusion can.

2. Russia collusion is the reason for the Mueller investigation. Without alleged Russia collusion it would be clear to even the dimmest bulb out there that Trump et al were being investigated for the crime of winning the election.

And Russia collusion may well end up as one big conspiracy theory, pending the results of Mueller's investigation. This is important because it goes to the fundamental issue of whether people can accurately perceive the world. And the usual suspects are already making excuses for why Russia collusion might not pan out; someone said here the other day that collusion may exist but not be found by Mueller. That's transparently having it both ways. Mueller has put a ton of resources into this investigation; he's leaned on people, squeezed people, searched and seized their documents, sent people to jail. If he can't find collusion then the objective and reasonable person concludes that it very likely was never there; the objective and reasonable person doesn't go "Oh, well it was there they just couldn't find it."

Folks couldn't understand how 63 million people voted for Trump, and rather than face up to the fact that they couldn't accurately perceive the world they invented all kinds of reasons why the election result happened. One of those reasons was Russia collusion.

(All of this is even setting aside the Steele dossier and what it means to all of this and to the Hillary campaign's behavior, and of course there's much ground to cover there.)

That's why Russia collusion is fundamentally different from money laundering and campaign finance violations and the like. The left (and DMBN!) sold out on it. They pushed the theory hard. They swallowed it whole. It forms the basis for declaring the election results invalid, for investigating Trump, for ultimately (if they get the numbers) trying to remove Trump from office.

That's why the only thing I care about is Russia collusion. If it's not there it says a lot about the people who were pushing it. I never said other crimes weren't there; show me the man and I'll show you the crime but random other crimes are not in the same category as collusion. That you could fail to understand the above is frankly stunning.


That’s some serious analysis!

Hey, wait - aren’t you the “Global warming is a hoax” guy?
   251. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 29, 2018 at 07:50 AM (#5735324)

Hey, wait - aren’t you the “Global warming is a hoax” guy?


Get out of his catchers throwing lane!
   252. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 07:52 AM (#5735325)
He’s a very serious intellectual and totally not a pampered effete prissy fancy lad! Also he totally doesn’t support Donald Trump but if he does it’s because you people who don’t support Donald Trump are all deranged and crazy. Not like him! Not like the Human Veal!
   253. BDC Posted: August 29, 2018 at 07:55 AM (#5735326)
Is Martin Van Buren in the worst list because of that Seinfeld episode?


Resentment still smolders over the Panic of 1837.
   254. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2018 at 07:58 AM (#5735327)
It was not fiction that the usual suspects were all in on Russia. They were.
This is the false narrative that I found bizarre. But I guess the mystery is solved:
That's why the only thing I care about is Russia collusion.
You know, just because you only care about Russia and just because you only care about the election results doesn't mean you have to invent fiction about everyone else. That is not a sign of you perceiving the world accurately.
That's why Russia collusion is fundamentally different from money laundering and campaign finance violations and the like. The left (and DMBN!) sold out on it.
It being fundamentally different is not evidence that people sold out on it compared to all the other Trump problems. You want to believe that everyone sold out on it.
   255. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:20 AM (#5735332)
You know, just because you only care about Russia and just because you only care about the election results doesn't mean you have to invent fiction about everyone else.

You must not be familiar with Ray, because that is exactly what that means to him.
   256. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:25 AM (#5735333)
Anyone who minimizes Trump's racism and corruption is a Trumpkin in spirit. You've done nothing but minimize his racism since the day he was inaugurated, refusing to call it out for what it is. Calling a few of his more blatant actions "classless" doesn't negate that central point.

So either embrace wokeness or Trumpkinism? LOL.


It's got nothing to do with "wokeness", and everything to do with not hiding from clear evidence that's been around about Trump since before you were born.

For the 100th time: WHAT WOULD YOU BE SAYING IF TRUMP'S REAL ESTATE COMPANY HAD SYSTEMATICALLY EXCLUDED JEWS FROM HIS APARTMENTS?

Why do you keep ducking that question?
   257. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:35 AM (#5735336)
Wasn't this the same Jonathan Chait who, back in early 2016, openly backed the incredibly corrupt Trump over Rubio? Indeed, it was.

I've gotta admit that that was the most spectacularly misguided prediction** since SI called 1987 Indians the best team in the American League.

** Chait obviously wasn't favoring Trump because he thought he could actually win the presidency. He favored him in the primaries because he thought he'd get crushed in November.
   258. DavidFoss Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:35 AM (#5735337)
That's why Russia collusion is fundamentally different from money laundering and campaign finance violations and the like. The left (and DMBN!) sold out on it.

The money laundering and collusion are obviously connected. It's really not that hard to connect those dots. Trump & the Trumpkins want to compare themselves to Al Capone and that the investigation will never reveal clear slam-dunk evidence of a quid pro quo. They may be right. They can be Al Capone if they want.

The main reason why people are locked in on the whole collusion thing is that Trump constantly acts so guilty! This isn't some wild theory pulled out of thin air. Trump himself practically confesses to it constantly. An innocent man/campaign could have easily gotten past this, but they keep making things worse for themselves.

Discussion above seems to dismiss the hacking as not a big deal. Daily wikileaks dumps throughout the convention and October were a huge deal. The Clinton campaign was constantly in damage-control mode trying to heal the rift between themselves in the Bernie wing of the party over some candid statement made in a behind the scenes email months earlier.
   259. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:42 AM (#5735338)
You know, just because you only care about Russia and just because you only care about the election results doesn't mean you have to invent fiction about everyone else.

You must not be familiar with Ray, because that is exactly what that means to him.

Sort of like the way Trump's base apparently thinks everyone else is lying awake nights with loaded shotguns, worrying that some swarthy illegal immigrant is going to break into their houses and rape their wives and daughters.
   260. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:50 AM (#5735343)
Is Martin Van Buren in the worst list because of that Seinfeld episode?

Resentment still smolders over the Panic of 1837.


A nickname like Martin Van Ruin sticks with ya...
   261. -- Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5735344)
The Russia collusion issue is fundamentally different from the money laundering and campaign finance issues (not that Trump has been charged with a crime there either).


There was no bona fide basis for the FBI's Russia investigation. It was merely a pretext to attempt to gain political intelligence and to otherwise smear the candidate. Essentially a way to bug the DNC headquarters a la Nixon, but "legally."
   262. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5735349)
Clap louder Fake Lawyer!
   263. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5735350)
For the 100th time: WHAT WOULD YOU BE SAYING IF TRUMP'S REAL ESTATE COMPANY HAD SYSTEMATICALLY EXCLUDED JEWS FROM HIS APARTMENTS?


Why would Juan care? By Trump's own admission he claimed Dutch ancestry to con Jews who might be put off by his Germanic roots.
   264. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5735352)
Is Martin Van Buren in the worst list because of that Seinfeld episode?

Resentment still smolders over the Panic of 1837.


What's James Buchanan got to do to get a little respect? Allow a civil war to start and do nothing?
   265. -- Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:02 AM (#5735355)
This isn't some wild theory pulled out of thin air.


"Collusion" is the quintessential "wild theory pulled out of thin air." It's entirely shapeless and the product of whim.
   266. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5735357)
I still expect him to win, but this just keeps getting more amusing ... Cruz Allies Sound the Alarm

“Republicans are sounding the alarm about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s closer-than-expected reelection contest, with an influential conservative group racing to his aid,” Politico reports.

“The Club for Growth, a Washington-based anti-tax group, is drawing up plans for a major TV ad campaign boosting Cruz — the first such intervention by a Republican outside group in this race. The move comes as Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an online fundraising behemoth who has attracted national support, continues to narrow the gap in polling.”
   267. Joe Bivens is NOT a clueless numpty Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5735358)
"Collusion" is the quintessential "wild theory pulled out of thin air." It's entirely shapeless and the product of whim.


Nice. Now give us your take on "conspiracy".
   268. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:07 AM (#5735361)
136

Since we've been investigating Russia!!! since forever, why not spend a little time checking out China hacking too?


Because the Daily Caller really IS fake news.
   269. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5735363)
137

Stark contrast from the predictions in the 2016 OTP election night thread.


Yes, yes, we get it, Johnny One Note.
   270. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5735364)
"Collusion" is the quintessential "wild theory pulled out of thin air." It's entirely shapeless and the product of whim.


Except for the fact that Trump oddly ran most of the GOP primary praising Putin, much to the shock of the other 16 GOP Candidates... that the Trump campaign drew all sorts of Russian apologists and "helpers" - Manafort and Page just to name two we knew about in the summer of 2016.... AND - as has now been confirmed by everyone BUT Trump (well, beyond misplaced 'would's when he's doing his Reek act next to his Ramsey Bolton) - that Russia was heavily trolling social media in favor of Trump, while it was ALSO hacking his opponent/opposing party, things Trump encouraged publicly.

That's without even getting into things we've learned SINCE 2016 -- "I LOVE IT!", Roger Stone's back channels with well-known Russian funnels for hacked info, odd timing around certain Trump stratements (including the "big news" speech about Hillary that got cancelled which just happened to occur around I LOVE IT).

I know, I know - we should have put it in footnotes...
   271. -- Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5735365)
Except for the fact that Trump oddly ran most of the GOP primary praising Putin, much to the shock of the other 16 GOP Candidates... that the Trump campaign drew all sorts of Russian apologists and "helpers" - Manafort and Page just to name two we knew about in the summer of 2016.... AND - as has now been confirmed by everyone BUT Trump (well, beyond misplaced 'would's when he's doing his Reek act next to his Ramsey Bolton) - that Russia was heavily trolling social media in favor of Trump, while it was ALSO hacking his opponent/opposing party, things Trump encouraged publicly.

That's without even getting into things we've learned SINCE 2016 -- "I LOVE IT!", Roger Stone's back channels with well-known Russian funnels for hacked info, odd timing around certain Trump stratements (including the "big news" speech about Hillary that got cancelled which just happened to occur around I LOVE IT).


Concession accepted. This kind of "dot" connecting and exaggeration is quintessential "wild theory." The Trump "encouraged publicly" thing is pure clownshoes.
   272. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:14 AM (#5735366)
147

You and yours should be pretty damn embarrassed that TDC is now more reliable than ABGL.


You have lost your damn mind.
   273. Lassus Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5735367)
I missed that one. Holy crap.
   274. DavidFoss Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5735368)
Concession accepted.

Dude. I already explained above. Trump's main problem is that he acts guilty. But you didn't reply to that part of my post. :-)

Trump himself is tweeting all sorts of crazy defensive stuff this very morning! He's the President. He can actually do things rather than whine defensively on twitter about how he is somehow being framed.
   275. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5735370)
Randy Rainbow's newest -- "If you only got impeached" -- is worth the 5 minutes....
   276. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5735371)
Trump's main problem is that he acts guilty.


Reek.

His name is reeek.
   277. Hot Wheeling American, MS-13 Enthusiast Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5735372)
this is a typical sloppy Ray post

Sloppy writing and analysis...from the man who was taught to to think real good in law school and brags about how smart he thinks he is to a baseball message board? Not sure about that.
   278. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5735374)
179

As for the "fair amount of movement," the generic ballot has been more stable than most cycles, more than any cycle since 2006-2008. And should there be any important late movement, as there was in 2010, you're not likely to be comforted by it.

Cue Charlie Cook:
Once you get within 100 days or so of the general election, electoral dynamics are pretty much set. In modern history, we’ve never seen a directional change in the last three months of a midterm-election campaign. Waves can stay the same or increase in the closing months, but they don’t reverse direction or dissipate.


Keep hope alive, Clapper!
   279. BDC Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5735375)
"Collusion" is the quintessential "wild theory pulled out of thin air."


I think it's pulled out of the meeting the candidate's brain trust held with Natasha Fatale.
   280. Hot Wheeling American, MS-13 Enthusiast Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5735377)
@callygingrich:
Dinner in Roma with @newtgingrich
   281. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5735378)
207

Not sure where the remaining votes are from, and it's Florida so they may have miscounted a few hundred thousand, but that doesn't look like a Blue Wave to me.


Keep hope alive, Clapper!
   282. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5735379)
You have to admire the commitment to the bit if nothing else ... GOP Hopes for Another Shot at Obamacare Repeal

“Senate Republicans say they would like Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to appoint a successor to late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who, unlike McCain, would support GOP legislation to repeal Obamacare,” The Hill reports.

“GOP lawmakers say they won’t have time to hold another vote to repeal the law in 2018 but vow to try again next year if they manage to keep their Senate and House majorities.”


But hey, at least ACA is ... unpopular?

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it." -- W. C. Fields


   283. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5735380)
Does it ever get tiring waking up in the morning and shaking your fist at the world, Sam?


Yes. Extremely so. Living in a world populated by morons and scum is ####### exhausting. Knowing that the state of the nation is dependent upon the whim of ill-informed idiots like Jason, and morally odious cvnts like Clapper, is ####### horrifyingly tiresome. But what's the option? Go fetal and pretend it isn't so? Crater like a little ##### and let the subhuman filth win? No. I'll keep throwing fists, until such time as it's necessary to throw more than fists.
   284. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5735382)
234

BAM, the unexpected shock opinion from Yankee Clapper! Apparently in this election cycle, in a state where Trump's approval has slipped nearly 20 points since the last election and Rick Scott, who can read a Florida poll, is gingerly running away from Trump, the shrewdest possible route for Democrats would have been for them to return yet again to the Charlie Crist/Alex Cink/Jim Davis 0-for-3 "bland centrist" route.


Clapper thinks the Republicans are the 1950's Yankees and the Democrats are the K.C. A's.
   285. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5735386)
258

Trump & the Trumpkins want to compare themselves to Al Capone and that the investigation will never reveal clear slam-dunk evidence of a quid pro quo. They may be right. They can be Al Capone if they want.


Raving syphilitics? They may already be there...
   286. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5735387)
Except for the fact that Trump oddly ran most of the GOP primary praising Putin, much to the shock of the other 16 GOP Candidates... that the Trump campaign drew all sorts of Russian apologists and "helpers" - Manafort and Page just to name two we knew about in the summer of 2016.... AND - as has now been confirmed by everyone BUT Trump (well, beyond misplaced 'would's when he's doing his Reek act next to his Ramsey Bolton) - that Russia was heavily trolling social media in favor of Trump, while it was ALSO hacking his opponent/opposing party, things Trump encouraged publicly.

That's without even getting into things we've learned SINCE 2016 -- "I LOVE IT!", Roger Stone's back channels with well-known Russian funnels for hacked info, odd timing around certain Trump stratements (including the "big news" speech about Hillary that got cancelled which just happened to occur around I LOVE IT).


Concession accepted.


Fake Lawyer fabricates Fake Concession.
   287. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5735389)
"Collusion" is the quintessential "wild theory pulled out of thin air."

I think it's pulled out of the meeting the candidate's brain trust held with Natasha Fatale.


Oh so now it's collusion with Pottsylvania? You hippies can't even keep your wild conspiracy theories straight.
   288. BDC Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5735393)
Al Capone is a common reference point for many discussions, but I have never quite understood why. Everybody knows from watching The Untouchables and Boardwalk Empire that the feds got Al Capone on tax evasion. But tax evasion was central to Capone's whole enterprise. One of the advantages of making millions illegally is that you don't pay tax on it. This wasn't like convicting Capone for bathing in a too-short suit or something.

It's just odd that "Capone" has become shorthand for "drum up something oblique and trivial to convict somebody of." And hence, yes, hilarious that (like Trump) you'd want to be analogized to Al Capone.
   289. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5735394)
Fake Lawyer fabricates Fake Concession.


This is why I usually don't bother engaging the Trumpkin quartet on the collusion stuff anymore - whether they're actually as addled as a child and unable to grok the obviously suspicious or just playing at it - it's not worth the time.


   290. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5735395)
288

It's just odd that "Capone" has become shorthand for "drum up something oblique and trivial to convict somebody of." And hence, yes, hilarious that (like Trump) you'd want to be analogized to Al Capone.



It's like Grisham wrote in The Firm about nailing the bad guys for mail fraud: "It's not sexy, but it has teeth..."
   291. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5735399)
@BloombergOpinion
Capitalism isn’t working right. The U.S. economy is growing, but workers are seeing less and less of the benefits

“This shower isn’t working right, it keeps getting me wet.”
   292. Morty Causa Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5735401)
288

Would we feel the same about, say, an illegal alien running a business, otherwise legitimate, and not paying taxes, including the Social Security tax?
   293. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5735404)
I think we need to take a minute and consider the unlikelihood of BLOOMBERG admitting that capitalism is broken.
   294. bobm Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5735405)
What's James Buchanan got to do to get a little respect? Allow a civil war to start and do nothing?

Arguably and ironically he was the most qualified presidential candidate ever, before Hillary.


United States Minister to the United Kingdom

17th United States Secretary of State

United States Senator from Pennsylvania (2 terms)

United States Minister to Russia
In office

Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (5 terms)
   295. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5735406)
Is Martin Van Buren in the worst list because of that Seinfeld episode?

Resentment still smolders over the Panic of 1837.


In a review I did of a book on (I think; we're talking something like 35 years ago) Andrew Jackson for my U.S. historiography class at Arizona State, I asserted that the author pretty much portrayed Van Buren as Jackson's familiar. The prof (who was Jewish & so far to the right he made JE look like Trotsky), alas, didn't recognize the term. *sigh*
   296. Morty Causa Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5735407)
What Follows the End of History? Identity Politics

Informative interview with Francis Fukuyama. Snippets:

Liberal democracy can deliver peace and prosperity, but what happens if peace and prosperity aren’t enough?
It’s a question Fukuyama returns to in a new book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The answer, he suggests, is all around us: A global surge of identity politics, which has in turn fueled populist nationalism, authoritarianism, religious conflict, and democratic decline. "Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today," he writes.

Q. Let’s start where you start Identity: Donald Trump. The book is a response to his election. He also made an appearance in The End of History and the Last Man.
A. One of the arguments I made in The End of History was that it’s good to have a democracy linked to a market economy because it acts as a sponge for the ambitious energies of people who could otherwise become Julius Caesar or Adolf Hitler. That’s the context in which I mention Donald Trump. Our political system has to absorb such people and render them safe. At that time, it looked like our system was doing that. He could be a real-estate developer or, later, an entertainer. That wasn’t enough for him, and he went into politics. Now we’ve got a real problem. Our constitutional system was designed to prevent the rise of fantastically ambitious individuals, to limit them through a system of checks and balances. That’s the test we’re up against right now.

A lot of these recognition struggles flow out of the social movements that began to emerge in the 1960s involving African-Americans, women, the LGBT community, Native Americans, and the disabled. These groups found a home on the left, triggering a reaction on the right. They say: What about us? Aren’t we deserving of recognition? Haven’t the elites ignored us, downplayed our struggles? That’s the basis of today’s populism.

Q. In the book, you quote a leader of Stanford’s Black Student Union in the late ’80s arguing that the university’s Western-civ curriculum "hurts people mentally and emotionally in ways that are not even recognized."
A. Instead of saying we want to read authors that are outside the canon because they’re important educationally and historically and culturally, the way it’s framed by that student leader is that the exclusion of those authors hurts people’s self-esteem: Because my people are not equally represented, I feel less good about myself. That is part of the motive that drives administrators and professors to expand the curriculum, to fulfill an understandably therapeutic mission. But I think it can get in the way of universities’ fulfilling their educational missions. What makes students feel good about themselves is not necessarily what’s most useful to their education

Q. You have an unusual background for a political scientist. You majored in classics at Cornell, then did graduate work in comparative literature at Yale, where you studied with Paul de Man. Later you spent time in Paris sitting in on classes with Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. Any memories from this journey through deconstruction?
A. I decided it was total bullshit. They were espousing a kind of Nietzschean relativism that said there is no truth, there is no argument that’s superior to any other argument. Yet most of them were committed to a basically Marxist agenda. That seemed completely contradictory. If you really are a moral relativist, there is no reason why you shouldn’t affirm National Socialism or the racial superiority of Europeans, because nothing is more true than anything else. I thought it was a bankrupt way of proceeding and decided to shift gears and go into political science.

Q. You went through a public falling-out with your fellow neoconservatives over the Iraq war. What was it like to break ranks?
A. It felt like a liberation. Two things made me no longer a conservative. One was the Iraq war; the other was the financial crisis in 2008. Both came out of conservative ideas that I had supported, and both were complete disasters. That led me to a more fundamental rethinking of a lot of things.

Q. A majority of Republicans and right-leaning independents now think higher education has a negative effect on the country. Is higher ed to blame for this perception problem?
A. When faced with the sort of threats to free speech that trigger conservative reactions, a lot of professors and administrators tend not to be outspoken. And they ought to be. I admire the president of the University of Chicago [Robert Zimmer], who has been out front on these issues. We need more presidents like him. They should say they’re not going along with any of this nonsense. We’re a university, we’re dedicated to the free debate of ideas, so that’s what we’re going to do.


You get the feeling that we're taking Marx one step further: you have history as tragedy, then as farce, and finally as tragi-farce.
   297. DavidFoss Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5735408)
I think we need to take a minute and consider the unlikelihood of BLOOMBERG admitting that capitalism is broken.

It is an opinion article by economist-writer Noah Smith who leans quite a bit to the left politically.

He's complaining that wages aren't going up as one would expect in an economy with low unemployment.
   298. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5735409)
   299. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5735410)
296

Q. A majority of Republicans and right-leaning independents now think higher education has a negative effect on the country. Is higher ed to blame for this perception problem?
A. When faced with the sort of threats to free speech that trigger conservative reactions, a lot of professors and administrators tend not to be outspoken. And they ought to be. I admire the president of the University of Chicago [Robert Zimmer], who has been out front on these issues. We need more presidents like him. They should say they’re not going along with any of this nonsense. We’re a university, we’re dedicated to the free debate of ideas, so that’s what we’re going to do.


Props to Fukuyama for giving a thoughtful answer to a pretty dumb question. "Is higher education to blame for anti-intellectualism?" Please.
   300. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5735411)
Flip flop & fly.
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