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Nancy Pelosi Beats Back Challenge For Leadership Of House Democrats

nancy-pelosi-5-23-09

Nancy Pelosi has won re-election as leader of the House Democratic Caucus for another two years, beating back a challenge by a small cadre of younger Democrats who argued that the party needed new leadership in Congress if it was going to regain control of Congress at any point in the near future:

WASHINGTON — Representative Nancy Pelosi of California beat back a challenge Wednesday from a fellow Democrat who said the party had lost its connection to the American working class, quashing increasingly anxious calls for a change in the House leadership she has directed for 14 years.

Her victory over Representative Tim Ryan, a 43-year-old congressman from a blue-collar district anchored in Youngstown, Ohio, ensures that the party will be led in the next Congress by the established “coastal” Democrats who have increasingly defined it — Ms. Pelosi, 76, who represents San Francisco, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, 66, who has held various leadership posts since 2005. The vote for Ms. Pelosi was 134 to 63.

Mr. Ryan got the support of about a third of the House Democrats — a significant defection for a leader who has maintained such a tight grip on power for more than a decade that few have been willing to challenge her. In 2010, the last time she was opposed, she lost just 43 votes.

“It is obvious that the current strategy doesn’t work; millions of Americans don’t feel that our party represents them anymore and they’ve said so, loudly, in multiple elections,” Representative Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, said in a Twitter post.

Democrats also re-elected Representative Steny H. Hoyer, 77, of Maryland as whip, the No. 2 position, as well as Representative James E. Clyburn, 76, of South Carolina, in the No. 3 spot as the assistant Democratic leader. Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Clyburn have been part of the Democratic leadership team since 2003 and 2007, respectively.

After a dismal Election Day for Democrats, the fight for Ms. Pelosi’s post had become a proxy battle for the future of the party, with House Democrats agonizing over how to reconnect with the working-class voters who abandoned them.

Though he collected just a dozen or so public endorsements, Mr. Ryan mounted an unlikely challenge to Ms. Pelosi, long considered a legislative and fund-raising powerhouse. Driven by the conviction that Democrats need a new leader, he tried to harness discontent with a leadership team that has failed three times to reclaim the majority since being swept out in 2010.

Trying to quell calls to replace her, Ms. Pelosi announced her nominations last week for a handful of other positions, and proposed that three members from Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York share the leadership duties of the party’s messaging committee, offering more regional diversity. She also released plans to incorporate more junior members into leadership roles, among other ideas, such as including a freshman Democrat in the leadership team’s regular meetings.

Given the fact that Pelosi has been in Congress since 1987 and a member of House Democratic leadership since 2002 when she become House Minority Whip, it’s not entirely surprising that Pelosi was able to beat back this challenge notwithstanding the fact that we’ve just completed the third consecutive election in which Democrats failed to take back control of the House. For the most part, the Democratic Caucus in the House has been far more united and deferential to leadership than Republicans have been and Pelosi seems to have done a very good job of developing her network of supporters among both long-serving members and newcomers. Pelosi was challenged by Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, whose primary reason for running appears to have been the fact that Democrats continued to remain in the minority in Congress’s largest chamber. Ryan argued that one of the primary reasons for that loss was the fact that Democrats needed “new blood” and that they had lost touch with the working-class voters that the party claimed to be fighting for, a fact made blatantly apparent by Donald Trump’s victory at the Presidential level thanks in no small part to working-class voters in states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He also argued that House Democrats needed a leadership team that relied less on the two coasts and big cities (Pelosi represents a district in San Francisco, and her co-leaders Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn are from Maryland and South Carolina respectively.) Another obvious difference between Ryan and the rest of the leadership team, which is entirely made up of people in their 70s whereas Ryan is in his late 40s. The Democratic Party needs ‘new blood,’ Ryan argued, if it was going to regain control of the House anytime soon.

Ryan made a persuasive case for change in his media appearances prior to today’s vote, and the fact that the vote had been continued from its original date prior to Thanksgiving was favorable to him to the extent it gave him more time to try to put together a winning coalition among a group that had likely become used to having Pelosi as their leader. At the same time, though, Ryan’s argument that Pelosi should be replaced merely because the Democrats had failed to regain the leadership wasn’t a very strong one for several reasons. First of all, the fact that Donald Trump won the Presidential election and that Republicans managed to maintain control of the Senate in what seemed like it was going to be a difficult year meant that the odds of Democrats making anything other than incremental gains in their membership in the House were essentially zero. Even if Hillary Clinton had won the Electoral College and gone on to the big win against Trump that many were hoping for, it was unlikely that Democrats would have won back the House. Thanks to a combination of factors including the fact that the number of truly competitive House seats has shrunk significantly in the past ten years, redistricting which has made it difficult to defeat incumbents in both parties, and the fact that members of the House are almost always re-elected, winning back the House was simply an unrealistic goal for Democrats. At this point, that’s a goal that is unlikely to be achieved until after the 2020 Census and the redistricting that follows, and even then it may not happen. Given all of that, Ryan really didn’t give House Democrats reason to turn their backs on a leader who had incurred a vast portfolio of favors that she could call on to put away his challenge rather handily.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    How exactly does one communicate with voters who have abandoned reality? They bought the most transparent lies, what are we to do, tell bigger lies? Show even greater disconnection from reality? Free ponies, everyone! No, wait, free unicorns! And you’ll all be princes and princesses.

    Some voted for a fairy tale, some voted for a return to Jim Crow. I’d love someone to explain how we square the circle and appeal to the reality challenged and the haters. What policies, exactly, should we advocate, because it looks very much as if the voters picked a man who is going to make their lives significantly worse, while making the lives of people like me better. How does one appeal to people that hopelessly stupid?

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  2. al-Alameda says:

    Her victory over Representative Tim Ryan, a 43-year-old congressman from a blue-collar district anchored in Youngstown, Ohio, ensures that the party will be led in the next Congress by the established “coastal” Democrats who have increasingly defined it — Ms. Pelosi, 76, who represents San Francisco, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, 66, who has held various leadership posts since 2005. The vote for Ms. Pelosi was 134 to 63.

    First, I’m with Michael on his basic observation: there is no future actively pursuing the angry resentful white voters who embraced Birtherism, are anti-education, anti-science.

    I like Pelosi, she’s strong, and one of the very few Democrats who is not the least bit intimidated by the Republican Party, however, I would like to see a change in House Democratic Party leadership.

    I’d like to see who is capable enough to take the Democratic Party into the next 12-20 years.

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  3. Jc says:

    No offense to the older folks on this board, but at 76, 77 and 77 you should be retired. They may not feel it is time for a change or good cause for one, but its overdue

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  4. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Good.

    She will not be one afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes.

    I expect some solid legislative action from the Dems, ignoring the circus that an authoritarian president is likely to try to run.

    There will be time for a transition of power in the Dem party. Right now, we need some solid people there to make sure that the Trump clan doesn’t try to scam America.

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  5. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:

    How does one appeal to people that hopelessly stupid?

    Jenos, the quintessential Trumpist, has proven to the rest of us, repeatedly, that you cannot appeal to people like him whom are hopelessly stupid They form their opinions based on emotion and not on facts.

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  6. Tyrell says:

    I remember a person who ran for the house seat from our area. They ran on “term limits”. This person won and stayed in office for close to thirty years.
    The Democratic leadership needs to work on attracting voters in the south.

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  7. SKI says:

    Pelosi is her father’s daughter. She knows how to count votes and that doing so is lesson #1.

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  8. Guarneri says:

    I’d sure like to have the adult diaper concession for the Democratic Leadership. Who do I bribe now that Hillary has washed down the sewer?

    But maybe therapy dogs would be a better business. There seem to be so many angry old men here, reduced to calling everyone stupid. Of course, why would I want to turn back a losing strategy for the Democrats for as far as the eye can see?

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  9. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    One does get a good laugh from some guy lecturing about emotions while the lot of you go on and on like raving lunatics.

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  10. Scott says:

    I like Pelosi and believe she is as tough as they come; however, there has to be some transition planning and the raising of new blood in an orderly fashion

    .@michael reynolds:

    How exactly does one communicate with voters who have abandoned reality?

    It is hard but you got to do it anyway. Even if it take a while. And that communication should be local to reach them. You got to believe a narcissistic, New York billionaire is an anomaly.

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  11. george says:

    @al-Alameda:

    First, I’m with Michael on his basic observation: there is no future actively pursuing the angry resentful white voters who embraced Birtherism, are anti-education, anti-science.

    Well, if voting for someone means embracing their worst characteristics, a vote for Clinton was embracing military adventures in the middle east, killing people at weddings with drone bombings, and telling Wall Street one thing and voters another.

    If that’s the case, the only morally correct vote would have been to write in someone. The reality is, most people hold their noses against the worst part of the candidates. I suspect most Clinton voters held their noses against her hawkish ways (I did), and most Trump voters held their noses against his racism and sexism. Because for a lot of people underlying philosophy is more important than being morally pure.

    And if that’s the case, its possible to reach out to the 5 to 10% of Trump voters it’d take to win back the Senate and House in 2018, and the Presidency in 2020. Or we could just make ourselves feel superior by talking about how evil Trump voters are and tell ourselves that they’re all doing fine (because if their median income is 70K that means every single one of them makes 70K, right?) lose those elections.

    There are many kinds of stupid. Doubling down on a losing tactic because it feels morally superior is one of them.

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  12. the Q says:

    “…….there is no future actively pursuing the angry resentful white voters who embraced Birtherism, are anti-education, anti-science.”

    What a blatantly racist statement! Unfortunately, it accurately sums the view of most out of touch neolibs Dems who just got waxed by an unhinged lunatic because too many in the party are fey elitists who actually despise the white blue collar high school educated working class. Oh, btw, many millions of them voted for Obama twice, but who needs facts when you can channel wingnut drivel?

    Can you imagine the schitt storm by some of you if that moron Jenos would have written:

    “There is no future actively pursuing the angry resentful black voters who embraced BLM, are anti-work, anti-police….”

    You guys would rightly crucify him for the racist idiot he is, yet the above attack on whites will get thumbs up and a polite nodding of the head in agreement.

    Wake up!!!! Pelosi is a disaster and this complete disdain for the white blue collar is exactly what Bernie and Ryan are railing against.

    FYI, there’s not enough Latino, black or LBGTQRSTUV to win. Obama got many of your distasteful white boys to vote for him because they believed in hope and change. And then we run the most unpopular establishment woman nominee in history and we lose naturally the vote because people are desperate for “change”.

    So stick the anti white bullschitt where Jenos usually has his head and wake the phuck up you coastal elitists. We are losing the war while you smug SOBs sip your lattes and look down your noses at the rabble….or what the Republicans have done since I was born.

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  13. grumpy realist says:

    @the Q: It’s not coast vs. central, really. It’s rural vs. urban.

    I have no interest in pretending to a bunch of people in the Appalachians longing for Dear Old Dad’s job in the coal mine that yes indeed we’ll be going back to the 1950s. It’s time that these people stopped dreaming fairy tales and started coming to grips with the changes that have occurred in manufacturing, the shift from coal to natural gas, the fact that coal mining companies have become much more automated–basically, reality.

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  14. grumpy realist says:

    This is the sort of thing that makes the rest of us wonder how brain-damaged you guys in the Appalachians are.

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  15. James Pearce says:

    @grumpy realist:

    how brain-damaged you guys in the Appalachians are.

    A couple years ago, I saw a documentary called “The Wild Wonderful Whites of West Virginia” about a semi-famous family of dirtbags in Boone County, WV.

    There’s an interview with a guy, the district attorney or something, who said that these poor rednecks in coal country see how the coal companies come in, despoil the environment, extract all the wealth, and leave them with almost nothing, and they think….I can do that too.

    So they scam the welfare system and snort Xanax.

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  16. michael reynolds says:

    @george:
    I’m open to the idea, but I’m not seeing the script. How? How do we appeal to them without hemorrhaging base voters out the other end? What is it we put on the table for those folks? The problem is they want things they are never going to have. Is there any realistic future in which it’s going to be a good thing to be poorly-educated and living in the rust belt?

    We tried to ensure that at the very least they had health insurance, but they’ve blown that up. We ensured for decades that they had social security and Medicare and now the elected representatives of these people are busy trying to blow that up. They actively undermine education, they reject modernity, they ridicule and attack the people trying to help them and fawn over their exploiters. They just voted for an emotionally fragile psychopath who wants to pile debt on them in order to give tax breaks to the very folks who despise ‘those people,’ while simultaneously empowering the financial predators who wiped out the fool’s retirement plans and moved their jobs overseas.

    It’s like trying to help alcoholics. Until they get a clue as to their true condition they will actively subvert any effort to help them.

    So, like I say, I’m open to being persuaded, but I’m not seeing the connective tissue. What I’m seeing is half the country heading to the future while another half does its best to drag us into the past. Either we get ‘those people’ to change direction, or we do, which means we’d have to turn away from the future to salve the hurt feelings of people who still think it’s brilliant to stay in Youngstown, Ohio because the factories will be coming back soon.

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  17. Gavrilo says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I have no interest in pretending to a bunch of people in the Appalachians longing for Dear Old Dad’s job in the coal mine that yes indeed we’ll be going back to the 1950s. It’s time that these people stopped dreaming fairy tales and started coming to grips with the changes that have occurred in manufacturing, the shift from coal to natural gas, the fact that coal mining companies have become much more automated–basically, reality.

    You mean the reality that states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan would love to shift from coal to natural gas production, yet are continually met with opposition by Democrats because FRACKING!!

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  18. grumpy realist says:

    @Gavrilo: What does that have to do with anything? You have a bunch of states where a lot of the locals (Republican and Democrat) are saying NIMBY to fracking because they don’t trust the fracking companies with keeping their secret sauce fracking liquids out of the water table and because they’re worried about earthquakes. Some may have done the calculation that the vineyards that dot the area are even more productive money-wise per square acre than handing the land over to fracking. Some may have realized that “fracking” and “tourist destination” don’t go together very well.

    So no, it’s not “Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan would love to shift from coal to natural gas production”. The natural gas companies in those states would. But don’t mistake them for being the inhabitants of the states. The inhabitants may have very different ideas.

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  19. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. Speaking of fracking and vineyards….

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  20. the Q says:

    grumpy…..”I have no interest in pretending to a bunch of people in the Appalachians longing for Dear Old Dad’s job in the coal mine…..”

    Lets change that to “I I have no interest in pretending to a bunch of illegal aliens in Mexico and Central America longing for Dear Old Padre’s job in the strawberry fields of California or meat packing plants in Nebraska……”

    Again, substituting “white” Appalachians that you could give a schitt about, with illegals which the GOP could give a schitt about and you have one side being called racist and the other getting a pass on such outrageous stereotyping.

    And all of us on this blog knows who gets the pass…hint, it ain’t the rednecks.

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  21. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds: When you take economic issues off the table all that’s left to appeal to is sexism and bigotry. You want them back? Have them vent their anger on bankers and billionaires. Truml is handing Democrats the rope to hang him as he fills his administration with cronies, wealthy failures and insider goons. His voters will be itching for payback, not that I expect Democrats will be bright enough to take advantage of this.

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  22. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    How do you put economic issues on the table when reality itself is unacceptable to voters? Obamacare was a bit of low-key socialism, and that sure went down well. Warren’s consumer protection thing will be gone soon. Dodd-Frank will be gone. The tax increases will be rolled back. I realize these people don’t understand what they’re voting for, but nevertheless they just voted to screw themselves and enrich coastal elites. How exactly do we appeal to people who will cut their own throats out of a combination of spite and stupidity?

    It’s the fantasy that makes this so dangerous, because they aren’t going to get what Trump promised them, but you’re wrong if you think they’ll turn against him, they won’t. He’s an idiot but he has excellent instincts for dealing with the mob, and he will find ways to shift the blame, and his voters will buy it. Unless you have some magic IQ potion you can drop into the water supply we come right back to the fact that the voter and reality have parted ways.

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  23. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Nice avatar by the way. Reminding self to rewatch the movie, minus the ironic distance of the Pax Americana, and with all the 60’s paranoia we thought we’d moved past.

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  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    How exactly do we appeal to people who will cut their own throats out of a combination of spite and stupidity?

    Point in fact – I saw an excellent interview today with folks in Kentucky who are now worried that they’ll lose their healthcare. One lady in particular had never had health insurance until Kynect came along – couldn’t get it or afford it – and now she is worried to the point of being sick that she’ll lose it.

    She voted for Bevin and Trump. Her explanation?

    “Oh, I’ve always been a diehard Republican”. :roll:

    You can’t fix stupid.

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  25. michael reynolds says:

    @the Q:
    Stupid comparison. The job in the strawberry field? That still exists. People are still eating strawberries as much as ever, but they are not burning as much coal, and they are not digging as much coal in as labor-intensive a way.

    And no one on the left is saying we don’t care about human beings in West Virginia, why the fwck do you think idiots like me vote to raise our own taxes? But after your helping hand gets slapped away a few dozen times you go help someone else.

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  26. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds: Dude, I know these people. It’s where I came from and I tell you now they hate the banks and Wall Street. They don’t understand why their lives keep getting more precarious but they know someone is responsible. We’ve ceded the field by letting Republicans spin a monstrous lie that it’s the fault of all-powerful liberals who love to make them miserable. That’s begun to crack as many have realized four decades of that sh*t have gotten them nowhere and they’re lashing out in all directions. I don’t know one Trump voter (and I know a lot) who thought he was anything but detestable; they can be persuaded if they’re given a target for their anger and Democrats haven’t bothered to do this.

    What they’ve seen is elite liberals making six-figure salaries running back and forth from Manhattan to Martha’s Vineyard to do the bidding of Goldman Sachs while MSNBC and Comedy Central lampoon them every 30 seconds. That ain’t a recipe for an alliance.

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  27. grumpy realist says:

    @the Q: People still pick strawberries but I’ve never heard that those were jobs the WWC longed for and were aiming for.

    What people seem to like about the coal mining jobs is that they were relatively well-paid and yet available for people without a college degree.

    Unless you want the US to shift to a situation where we create make-work for WWC people, those jobs have or are disappearing with more automation and with how the industry presently mines coal.

    In other words, those jobs aren’t coming back. Whining for them isn’t going to help.

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  28. Monala says:

    @george: George, you’ve made this point a lot. Here’s the difference: what good qualities does Trump have? Clinton at least represents and has a history more positive than simply her questionable foreign policy stances – children’s health care, disability rights, women’s rights, etc. that people were voting for. Regardless of how much his supporters like his supposed “tough talk” and supposed “business success,” Trump has a string of business failures, cheating others, and only working to benefit himself.

    @the Q: Here’s the difference: those meat packing plants and strawberry fields where undocumented workers toil still exist.

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  29. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    I tell you now they hate the banks and Wall Street

    Yet they voted for a “billionaire” who has essentially screwed people like them his entire life.

    They want the impossible. Their desired way of life is dead. In the grave. Never coming back.

    Our options are to lie to them (and get caught along with Republicans in the inevitable crossfire when it becomes clear that they’re never going to get it) or sit back and let them turn on the folks who promised it to them and failed.

    There is no quick solution. Britain had decades of riots over this exact same issue – and still has nativist problems which are a residual product of it. Our options are legitimately to pay them to shut up (i.e. welfare) or end them (i.e. foreign wars). There is no third path.

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  30. the Q says:

    “How exactly do we appeal to people who will cut their own throats out of a combination of spite and stupidity?”

    Hmmmmm, maybe by not running a candidate who amassed $150 million speaking to exactly the kind of groups “those” people despise, i.e. the establishment.

    How do we appeal? We run Bernie instead of the Hill and we win. Thats how. Pretty simple really except to those out of touch neolibs who disdain those voters.

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  31. Hal_10000 says:

    Only in Washington can failure be met with this kind of support. Pelosi was unable to stop anything Bush did; kicked the ball on bailouts into her own net, resulting in a far weaker bill that had no accountability for the big banks; has led the Democrats to three straight electoral defeats despite a popular President and a decent economy. Not that she’s alone in this. The entire 70+ crowd of Democratic leadership has played their role. At point, do you admit this isn’t working? At what point does whatever you like about her matter less than her total failure? At what point do you have a party leadership that was born more recently than 1950?

    As for the Democrats appealing to Trump voters, what you guys are saying above is the exact same rubbish I’ve heard from Republicans re: minority voters for years. “They’ll never vote for us. They’re too wedded to that party. They’re unreasonable.” It was garbage then and it’s garbage now. The Rust Belt areas that voted for Trump voted for Obama. If the Democrats want to win those voters back, they need to figure out how to build a healthy economy for people outside of coastal cities. They need to show that Trump’s protectionism and crony capitalism won’t work. Unfortunately, they are currently wedded to more coastal ideas ($15 minimum wage that would be completely untenable in rural areas; more crony capitalism)

    This is just the embodiment of Democratic blindness. Faced with a blue collar revolt within their own party, they’re keeping a 76 y/o San Francisco liberal with a poor track record because they like the cut of her jib. Or something.

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  32. Hal_10000 says:

    (And yes, the GOP will happily commit to their own failed leaders when it suits them. Trump is dragging the architects of the failed Iraq War and the failed reprehensible torture program to man government positions. Many of Bush’s worst people got high-paying jobs in industry, academic or political commentary. And they are slithering back into govt now. I’m just disgusted with the whole thing.)

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  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’ve never heard that those were jobs the WWC longed for and were aiming for.

    Judging from the response in states that passed strict laws related to immigrant employment, they don’t want those jobs.

    They want “go to the factory or the mine and earn enough, despite having only a high school education or less, to live comfortably”

    They’re not going to get it, but they haven’t figured that out yet. They’re still desperate enough to believe anybody willing to pander to their pain & fears.

    Witness the situation with Carrier in Indiana – the company was planning to move 2,000 jobs to Mexico. Now, with extensive incentivesbribes from the state of Indiana, which are not sustainable, they’re keeping 1,000 jobs there (for the time being anyway).

    The net result there is the loss of at least 1,000 jobs and even more precarious state & local finances (they’re essentially buying their own jobs), but these nimrods are celebrating it.

    You can’t fix stupid. You can only wait for it to die out or wise up (or buy it off …)

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  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    How do we appeal? We run Bernie instead of the Hill and we win. Thats how. Pretty simple really except to those out of touch neolibs who disdain those voters.

    God, this dumb shit again …

    Republicans had video spots cut & ready to go of – among other gems – Sanders standing on a stage in Nicaragua smiling & saying nice things about Castro and the Sandinistas while the crowd chanted “Death to America”.

    They’d have accused him of wanting to raise taxes (and been right) and his response would have been not only to admit to it, but defend it.

    Wonder how that would have played out in the Rust Belt?

    He’d have spent his entire campaign on defense while being shredded by the GOP attack machine. You know what happens to candidates who play nothing but defense? They lose.

    Enough already.

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  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If the Democrats want to win those voters back, they need to figure out how to build a healthy economy for people outside of coastal cities.

    Yeah, just one teeny, tiny problem with that: it can’t be done. Youngstown is not coming back.

    Democratic attempts to help have included: welfare, food stamps, Medicare, Social Security and Obamacare. And they voted for the guy who ran a fake university to fleece suckers like them.

    Washington DC does not control or define the economy. At it’s best Washington puts a little spin on the ball. At its worst it puts the wrong spin on the ball. But Washington does not make the ball or throw the ball. Washington is like wind – a headwind sometimes, a tail wind some other time, but just wind.

    Virtually none of the economic problems we have is a result of political action. Washington did not cause China to suddenly join the market, Washington did not create automation, Washington does not depress the wages of Malaysians so they can take the jobs. Washington can raise taxes, or it can raise tariffs (same thing) or it can lower same. That’s really about it. The government exists to create a stable foundation upon which markets can be built. Well, we’ve done that. And guess what? Youngstown is still screwed.

    So what exactly would you do to bring jobs to the rust belt? Let’s assume your answer is, “I dunno,” because that’s the answer of pretty much everyone living in the reality-based community. So your advice to the Left is to do something that cannot be done. Which is where this conversation started.

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  36. the Q says:

    Let me clarify my point, Liberals could care less about white inbreds in Appalachia losing their coal mining jobs. Wingnuts could care less about the illegal dreamers going to UCLA or having access to Medicare.

    One side is righteous, the other a bunch of ignorant racists. As Ben points out, this kind of hypocrisy drives the white people crazy.

    If Hillary would have toured the border just once and said, “Our system is broken. Lets fix it once and for all”. She may have won. But she didn’t because that doesn’t play well to the 5 million Latino voters who never vote their numbers. And thats all you need to know about the coastal party’s death march.

    I am a hard core New Deal Democrat and if we ran on those economic meat and potato issues, Hillary wins in the landslide that was predicted.

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  37. michael reynolds says:

    The problem is that we are not having the usual sort of problem. Most problems are easily solved once people stop being aszholes. Life is mostly what we in the fiction trade call, “idiot plots.” But sometimes the problems escape the idiot plot tropes and get to be real, serious, existential problems.

    Here’s the thing. The value of unspecialized, uneducated human labor is now less than the cost of maintaining life in the United States. If we artificially raise that value – by increasing the minimum wage, say – we risk making automation and off-shoring even more attractive. On the other hand, if we let the market find its own level we end up exacerbating the rich-poor division until it becomes Eloi and Morlock.

    That is not going to be solved by re-negotiating trade deals or cutting ‘red tape.’ This is a crisis for this country and for the west generally. The markets can’t fix it, politicians can’t fix it, not without major structural changes that will carry with them a whole host of unforseen consequences.

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  38. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    If Hillary would have toured the border just once and said, “Our system is broken. Lets fix it once and for all”

    IT

    CAN’T

    BE

    FIXED

    Social Security and Medicare / Medicaid alone already consume 60% of federal spending. Toss in Veterans benefits and interest on the debt and we’re up to 71%.

    There is no way – zero – that you expand Medicare / Medicaid without raising taxes across the board, let alone initiate the level of spending that would be required to artificially make all of those displaced workers economically viable. The simple fact is that the value added of their labor is now less than the cost of keeping them alive. There is no “well, just tax the rich” magic pill solution and corporations are not going to subject themselves to US taxation.

    I am a hard core New Deal Democrat

    The New Deal depended on an economic base that no longer exists, and even then still ballooned the federal debt. We are no longer a net exporter with a positive balance of trade. We are no longer a manufacturing powerhouse, and what manufacturing does still take place here is largely dependent on automation, geographic limitation and backdoor tax incentives to remain in place. The New Deal is dying a slow but inevitable death. Wake up already.

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  39. the Q says:

    Harvard Law, anybody that flaunts their degree in their moniker is a total poncy douchebag, if you even graduated from there.

    By the way you pedantic asswipe, Bernie was up in every poll over the trumpster, beating Hillary’s numbers so don’t be such a pompous twit to assume he would lose, especially the blue wall which totally lurched to the Sanders position on TPP and NAFTA,

    HAL1000, spot on. It seems on this blog, we have the lib version of the teabaggers on the right. No way can they admit how phucking wrong they are on what just happened to them electorally.

    Just as the GOP played way too much to these fools, the Dems did the same thing with the dreamer/TG nonsense.

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  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    Bernie was up in every poll over the trumpster, beating Hillary’s numbers so don’t be such a pompous twit to assume he would lose, especially the blue wall which totally lurched to the Sanders position on TPP and NAFTA,

    Had never been attacked sweet lovable Uncle Bernie was.

    The bloodied Bernie that would have been left standing heading into November would have more closely resembled Joe Stalin by the time that the Republicans got through with him. That one ad alone would have lost us Florida by margins that would have made Clinton’s loss there seem desirable.

    This is the problem with far-lefters – you’re just as bad as the far-righters are when it comes to living in your own little ideological bubbles. Here in the real world, Sanders would have lost – McGovern style. The far-left is politically dead in this country.

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  41. Tyrell says:

    The textile and furniture mills around here used to run 24/7. Jobs were always available. Good, steady employment. Then the trade deals of the early ‘70’s sold out the textile and furniture industries. Now factory buildings stand empty or are used for flea markets. Some of these structures date back to the 1800’s. A way of life and a culture gone. The mill villages a thing of the past. The huge steel furnaces at Homestead and Bethlehem now gone. The legendary Ford River Rouge Plant at Detroit a thing of the past.
    We can’t keep watching these things disappear and writing these people off.

    “Well, we’re living here in Allentown, and they’re shutting all the factories down…and the union people crawled away” (Billy Joel)
    “Buy American”

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  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Tyrell:

    We can’t keep watching these things disappear and writing these people off.

    We not only can – we will continue to. The flip-side of that situation is that they get to buy a whole lot of cheap crap at Wal-Mart. Give them the realistic alternative of their jobs coming back, but their consumer goods costing a whole heck of a lot more and their taxes shooting up to replace the lost Chinese continual capital reinjection and they’ll complain just as much, if not more.

    In essence, they want the game fixed in their favor so that the standard of living which they believe themselves to be entitled to (high paying jobs with little to no education required coupled with affordable goods) can be theirs again. It’s a fantasy.

    They want the relatively easy security of a bygone era which was predicated on an economic aberration back, and that’s just not going to happen. 1955 wasn’t normal. Today – NOW – that’s normal. They can get on board that train or get run over by it, but they’re not going to get what they want. Given the choice between lying to them in order to get their votes or waiting for them to realize that it’s over, I prefer the latter.

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  43. the Q says:

    Harvard Law,

    Let me explain something to you about int’l trade. That happens to be my metier. I started with my brother selling Orange County oranges to GIs on Guam in the 50s. Then branched out brokering franchises around military bases worldwide in the 70s ;and 80s. KFCs Burger Kings etc. Do the math dipschitt, millions were made.

    Now let me explain Carrier and all the other greedy companies which went to Mexico after NAFTA.

    Labor costs in Mexico as everyone knows are a tenth of the U.S. and thats conservative.

    I would bet that in a Carrier HVAC product, labor is probably 70% of the cost in manufacturing their air conditioner in America

    So, Carrier charges lets say $1,000 for a unit. They go to Mexico and all of a sudden their labor costs go down by 90%.

    Theoretically, the unit should now cost $200 or $300 to reflect the labor saving..BUT IT DOESN’T The price stays the same, only the profit is now almost entirely kept by the capitalist.

    The price stays the same, yet the fixed costs to the company have been drastically reduced. This surplus profit if you are a Marxist, goes entirely to the capitalist and not to the worker. Hint, its called who controls the production function.

    Stanley Tools a venerable New England hammer maker for 200 years went to Mexico a decade ago. A stanley hammer cost 20 bucks back then, now its 22. Their labor costs went down drastically yet the price did not change. All of that surplus profit is not shared with the worker, its taken by the capitalists.

    And what do they do with their profits? Well companies now do two things, They buy back shares or they issue dividends. Or both. Fully, 80% of corporate profits go to just these two things. 80%

    Corporate business investment is way down from my era. Google it ponce. Hence, employee productivity has dived recently.

    Your rather obtuse observations parrot the bullschitt from the free traders who benefit by this rotten deal for labor.

    You realize most of the iphone components are built by well paid Japanese and German factory workers correct? The Chinese supply the labor which is literally about $10 for every $600 iphone.
    And you wonder how these CEOs can make hundreds of millions of dollars?

    When Obama said the “TPP is family friendly” I wanted to puke. Obama needs to raise the funds for his Presidential library and he was willing to do on the backs of those displaced workers you people schitt on.

    I could go on but won’t.

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  44. @the Q:

    Let me clarify my point, Liberals could care less about white inbreds in Appalachia losing their coal mining jobs.

    These coal mining jobs are not coming back. There should be some kind of Federal Economic Policy for Appalachia, but these coal mining jobs are not coming back.

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  45. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    Here’s I think an important thing to realize: when people say ‘your job was shipped overseas,’ that’s not actually true. The job in Malaysia is not your old job, it’s a job with a tenth of the pay, no safety regulations, no overtime, no paid sick days, no guaranteed number of hours, no benefits whatsoever, no appeals if you’re fired because you don’t want to work six weeks straight without a day off.

    Your job is no longer. It’s not because your job went somewhere, your job died. And at the same time some guy sharing a hut with six other guys and no indoor plumbing, got a job similar to the one you used to have, but way, way sh!ttier.

    The reason your job went away is because you want/need X dollars a day to keep body and soul together, and someone in the third world is prepared to scrape by on a tenth of X.

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  46. @Tyrell:

    The textile and furniture mills around here used to run 24/7. Jobs were always available. Good, steady employment. Then the trade deals of the early ‘70’s sold out the textile and furniture industries.

    No. In the 50’s and in the 60’s, the United States was basically the sole capitalist industrialized economy in the whole world. Europe was rebuilding from World War II, China was starving under Mao, India was a very poor, Latin American countries were still building their first industries. Singapore and Hong Kong were large shantytowns during that time.

    These times are over. And they are not coming back. The United States is just one among dozens of highly industrialized economies, not the sole one.

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  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Tyrell:

    The huge steel furnaces at Homestead and Bethlehem now gone.

    Know why? Homestead was built in 1902 and not substantially upgraded throughout its operational life until it died in 1986. Likewise Bethlehem Steel in Lackwanna (1902), Sparrows Point (18 fricking 89 …), etc. You had 80 and 90 year old dinosaurs competing with exceptionally modern foreign plants whose operational costs were a fraction of these open hearth and blast furnace behemoths.

    Management stupidity (failure to modernize) coupled with union problems (unrealistic demands in the face of dying plants and refusal to accept the automation that could have prolonged the life of the plants) killed them.

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  48. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Well, if we valued any of the “caring” professions, I can see where paying a good deal more for carers would help matters.

    But “caring professions” (daycare, nursing, etc.) are irredeemably tainted with being “feminine” professions, it seems, and thus not worth paying for.

    (I am especially sardonically amused with the rants I’ve read by career women who complain about how “women’s work” is so unappreciated and devalued and then turn around and bitch about what they have to pay for daycare.)

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  49. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I don’t disagree. Trump’s “solutions” aren’t really solutions at all. Trade barriers and immigration restrictions won’t bring jobs back. He’s now touting this “deal” he made with Carrier to keep jobs in Indiana, but that’s precisely the problem: politicians trying to help the economy by making crony capitalist background “deals” with powerful businesses. I think there are some things we can do in general — streamlining regulation, tax reform, etc. But those aren’t going to save rural areas.

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  50. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Most problems are easily solved once people stop being aszholes.

    “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” — H. L. Mencken

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  51. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    Gosh, I really do live, rent-free, in so many people’s heads. It’s downright flattering. I’m blushing.

    @the Q: So stick the anti white bullschitt where Jenos usually has his head and wake the phuck up you coastal elitists.

    The rest of your comment was so spot-on, I had to give you up-twinkles despite that part.

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @the Q:

    Oh, but I wish you would go on to offering a cure not just yet another diagnosis. You want to close the borders to trade? China will close their border, India theirs, the EU. . . and pretty soon, what? Prosperity? Show me the countries that got rich by killing trade.

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  53. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: How exactly does one communicate with voters who have abandoned reality?

    There are enough of those voters to have kicked your candidate’s ass most thoroughly by the one metric that actually matters, and you’re so “grounded in reality” that you’re getting ready to flee the country.

    I propose that you’re the one who has abandoned reality (along with the country), if you’re that badly outnumbered. Just playing the odds here, it’s far more likely that you’re the delusional one.

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  54. The United States is not the only consumer market in the world. There are dozens of large corporations that are unknown for the American Consumer. We are not talking about jobs moving from Michigan and Kentucky to Malaysia or Indonesia, we are talking about lots of new companies competing with American Companies.

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  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    Theoretically, the unit should now cost $200 or $300 to reflect the labor saving..BUT IT DOESN’T The price stays the same, only the profit is now almost entirely kept by the capitalist.

    The alternative is nosediving profits and crashing stock prices. What do you tell Granny when her 401(k) is suddenly worth a tenth of what it once was? We won’t even get into the economic consequences – suffice to say that stock market crashes historically haven’t turned out that well.

    There is no free lunch. No matter what you propose, there will be a consequence that smacks the American workforce dead in its face.

    Once again, for the learning impaired: we are no longer a net exporter. We no longer have a positive balance of trade (and haven’t for nearly 5 decades now).

    You can have cheap goods – OR – you can have high wages – OR – you can have high stock prices. You can’t have all three, so choose.

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  56. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    There are enough of those voters to have kicked your candidate’s ass most thoroughly by the one metric that actually matters, and you’re so “grounded in reality” that you’re getting ready to flee the country.

    The asses that they kicked were their own. You’re so focused on this pique-induced “HA! My team won!!” gloat fest that you either can’t or won’t realize that in the end you’ve only hurt yourselves.

    The likely outcome of this set of events is tax cuts (which generally result in economic contraction) and cuts to entitlement spending (which generally result in economic contraction).

    Between Reynolds & myself, and the great unemployed who just voted for Trump, who does that benefit / who does it hurt? You may call a friend if you need to.

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  57. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jc:

    JC, I’ll count myself among the “older” contingent of this blog and I agree with you. These 70 somethings should be retired. The fact that they can do these jobs, contributes to the fiction that a simple way to ‘fix’ the problems with Social Security and Medicare is to simply raise the eligibility age. It is one thing to be a teacher, attorney or car salesmen and do the job at 70 or 75 and be a roofer, electrician or even work in many retail environments.

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  58. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @the Q: You neglected the increased shipping costs and the costs of bringing items across borders, but I suspect that that constitutes essentially a “rounding error” level of magnitude.

    But as we’re seeing now, there’s now an intangible cost added in — public ill will. It’s always been there, but now it’s almost weaponized.

    There’s also some weirdness in the auto industry regarding CAFE standards and what, legally, constitutes a “domestic” car versus and “imported” car, but I don’t recall the details adequately, and that’s a highly specific case that doesn’t lend itself to general principles.

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  59. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:
    Long ago I was faced with a temptation. It was the temptation to start congratulating myself on the fact that I ‘lived rent free’ inside hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of heads. And I made the decision not to do that, despite the tear-stained letters claiming I saved some kid’s life or whatever. I made the decision not to, um. . . pleasure myself . . . that way, because I realized that I was not that weak or that needy.

    But hey, to each his own, right?

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  60. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: It’s a brief thrill, seeing how fixated on me others are. I don’t seek it out or dwell on it, but it’s always a pleasant ego boost whenever I stumble across it.

    There’s also a fundamental difference between the two. You’re being lauded by admirers; I’m being cited by people who insist on saying how inconsequential and irrelevant I am. Yes, I see it as a compliment, but one of the most sincere ones — because the people paying it really, really, really don’t want to admit it.

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  61. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    But back to the topic… I rather enjoyed one observer who encouraged the Democrats to stick with Pelosi. You don’t change horses when you’re plunging off the cliff.

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  62. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Indeed, if cutting off outside trade could enrich a nation, why would the effect not exist for smaller groupings too? Enrich Pennsylvania by banning trade with California, enrich Philadelphia by banning trade with Pittsburgh, and so on until we reach the pinnacle of human situation, which would apparently be a world composed entirely of subsistence farming hermits.

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  63. wr says:

    @the Q: “Hmmmmm, maybe by not running a candidate who amassed $150 million speaking to exactly the kind of groups “those” people despise, i.e. the establishment.”

    Which is why they voted for the billiionaire real estate developer with a history of screwing working people who has just announced a Goldman Sachs alum who made a fortune foreclosing on the little guy as his secretary of the treasury.

    Yeah, they all wanted a socialist for president.

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  64. @the Q:

    So, Carrier charges lets say $1,000 for a unit. They go to Mexico and all of a sudden their labor costs go down by 90%.

    Theoretically, the unit should now cost $200 or $300 to reflect the labor saving..BUT IT DOESN’T The price stays the same, only the profit is now almost entirely kept by the capitalist.

    Carrier is not the only manufacturer of air conditioners in the world. They have to compete with Asian and European companies. And in fact, the price of manufactured goods is getting lower and lower.

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  65. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Jenos is actually proving the point, and he’s not even a coal miner. He’s beside himself with glee because he’ll soon lose his health insurance, and we’ll each get tax cuts bigger than his annual income. Trump’s moving yet another Goldman banker in at Treasury and Jenos still doesn’t know he’s the mark in this game of 3-card monte.

    What is the thing Democrats can offer someone like that? We can’t do IQ enhancement.

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  66. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    What an interesting point. I’ll be using that. Creative Commons, right?

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  67. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    This is what I’ve been saying for weeks now – you can’t fix stupid. They’re going to run around buying different varieties of snake oil until they figure out that it hasn’t cured their cancer and they’re still dying.

    Middle America still believes that it can be 1955 again. I’m fairly convinced at this point that time favors our position, because we’re offering the only realistic set of options for them, but the only thing that is going to turn on the epiphany switch is truly hitting bottom. They’re not there yet, but they inevitably / unavoidably / absolutely will end up there, and that just requires time.

    You can’t make a heroin addict seek treatment. You can be there if / when they do, or you can go to the funeral, but both options are something only they can choose to pursue.

    In the meantime, if they want to hand me an extra half million a year instead of seeing it get spent on programs that might have a chance at improving their broken lives, well, thanks I guess.

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  68. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You’ll have to ask the person I stole it from. ;P

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  69. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “This is the problem with far-lefters”

    Excuse me, but speaking as one who is much further left than you, allow my to assure you that Q is not a “far-lefter.” He is an anachonism, an economic lefty who holds the racial and societal views of the Democratic party circa 1932. He thinks that white people are all that matter, and all these darkies and weirdo sex people — and I’m sure all those sluts who want abortions — are getting between the deserving working whites and their just rewards.

    He has about as much connection to the world of the 21st century as the Tyrell-bot. There are real far-lefters out there trying to find ways to deal with the real problems of the contemporary world, some who are quite brilliant, some who are quite nuts, some who are somewhere in between. But none of them are pining like Q for the days when Social Security was aimed only at white guys.

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  70. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: He’s beside himself with glee because he’ll soon lose his health insurance, and we’ll each get tax cuts bigger than his annual income.

    My health insurance isn’t going away. But, if I’m very lucky, I’ll be able to afford to use it now. A friend of mine (well, his wife) just had their first kid. They’ve got ObamaCare-approved insurance, so they now have to fork over $9,000 before that policy picks up the tab ($3,000 deductible for him, her, and the little guy each). But hey, they’ve got insurance, and that’s all that matters, right?

    And you’re getting to keep more of your own money? Good for you. Maybe that’ll make you less cranky. But if not, then you can always voluntarily pay what you consider “your fair share.”

    How much you gonna pony up for President Trump and the GOP Congress to spend as they see fit? What’s the price of your conscience?

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  71. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Tyrell:

    The banks of the Merrimack River through the cities of Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Nashua and Manchester are lined with huge brick structures that were once the largest textile mills in the world. After WWII these mills began moving moving to South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama for lower wage workers and to avoid unions. Except for Lawrence, all of those cities have recovered and prospered. Those old mill buildings have been re-purposed and today have companies that are paying their employees far more than the mill owners of yore paid when you adjust for inflation. The workers adapted and found new jobs and new businesses developed the hollowed out rust belt cities and states that relied on extraction industries need to do the same and if the jobs don’t develop, the workers need to move where jobs are being developed.

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  72. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Oh, good, you renewed your prescription for stupid pills before you God-king takes your health care away.

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  73. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @wr:

    Fair point. I’m not sure what else to call him besides some sort of ersatz communist, but it’s a fair point.

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  74. the Q says:

    Harvard, those high stock prices you are correlating with wages and cheap goods is totally laughable. Stick to law, you haven’t a clue on int’l trade or business.

    Stock prices have been manipulated by easy money, Fed policies, market grifters., currency hawking. Very little to do with fundamentals.

    I just got through explaining to you just where all corporate profits are going – dividends and stock buybacks which are a function of our tax laws which rewards capital gains – and not into productivity investment.

    As far as high wages, high Dow, and cheap goods being mutually exclusive….i guess you weren’t around from 1945 – 1973 when we had all that. Inflation low, productivity high, a stable financial system and wages that doubled in that time period. We had cheap goods back then if I recall a cup of coffee going for a dime, and not the $3 at starbucks.

    Again, most of you are brainwashed by the neoliberal trade policies which have been a disaster for some sectors.

    Mr. Reynolds, nowhere do I say close the borders. Nowhere do I say we stop trade. Nowhere do I advocate turning our back on the world.

    I am merely pointing out that we lost an election by focusing on bullschitt peripheral issues and not the bread and butter living standard issues. And we paid dearly for our elitism.

    Again, for the learning impaired, we had a very small deficit in the early 90s, then we entered into all sorts of trade pacts and literally our deficits ballooned nearly 20 fold from a 30 billion dollar deficit in 1991 to todays 550 billion dollar deficit.

    Those CAFTA, NAFTA, WTO, US KOREA treaties all accelerated the trend.

    Also, Mr. Reynolds, the U.S. is an example basically from Hamilton to Bretton Woods of high tariffs and restrictive policies of a nation that can thrive under those policies. Japan in the 60s – 90s was a brilliant example of a protectionist trade policy fueling huge growth and higher wages.

    Sorry, gota go boys.

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  75. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    My health insurance isn’t going away.

    I suspect because it never existed to begin with, but …

    They’ve got ObamaCare-approved insurance, so they now have to fork over $9,000 before that policy picks up the tab ($3,000 deductible for him, her, and the little guy each). But hey, they’ve got insurance, and that’s all that matters, right?

    This is in which state? I’d like to read that policy brief for myself. Methinks I’m smelling exaggeration caca

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  76. Paul Hooson says:

    A change in leadership and direction would probably be wise at this point. Bernie Sanders offered a populist direction that might be a stronger theme for Democrats to promote right now that might keep more White blue collar voters in the party and add to the strong coalition of core support among Jewish, African American and Hispanic voters.

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  77. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    As far as high wages, high Dow, and cheap goods being mutually exclusive….i guess you weren’t around from 1945 – 1973 when we had all that. Inflation low, productivity high, a stable financial system and wages that doubled in that time period. We had cheap goods back then if I recall a cup of coffee going for a dime, and not the $3 at starbucks.

    Know what else we had during that period? A captive market to which we could essentially sell everything we could produce. Goods were relatively cheap (you really should price the cost of a refrigerator at 1955 prices relative to 1955 wages, but …) because – and this is important, so pay attention, WE HAD EXCESS CAPITAL FLOWING INTO THE US ECONOMY. Strong dollar = not many of them required to buy shit.

    Because we were the only industrial economy left standing in the wake of WW2.

    Now, unless you’re moronic enough to think that the rest of the world was never going to rebuild – and rebuild with more modern factories & more efficient machinery – then even you have to understand that, absent protective tariffs, it was never going to last forever. The rest of the world DID rebuild. They DID implement more efficient infrastructure and they DID therefore enjoy cheaper costs of production, enabling them to undercut price on domestic products hampered by aged, inefficient factories and labor agreements which were only sustainable in the fantasy world of “we’re the only game in town, so step right up and get your widgets here”.

    Our response to that? Unhinging the dollar from any sort of standard and the greatest capital injection of all time. Real dollar wages have been stagnant since the late 1960s for two reasons – manufacturers can obtain the same work product more cheaply elsewhere, thereby decreasing the competition for workers (supply / demand – more idle workers = less need to utilize wage incentives to attract them) and a devaluing dollar (they get raises, but their dollars buy less, so on net they move exactly zero in terms of buying power). Americans, rather than critically evaluating the situation and thinking “oh crap, my way of life is dying, so I’d better strategically adapt myself before I’m surplus material”, decided “hey, I have credit cards, so I can still have the same stuff I used to have.”

    They’ve participated in creating their own nightmare – by refusing to accept that it’s over. This election is just the latest iteration of that.

    Now, as Reynolds noted – if you actually have a workable plan to make 1955 viable again, then let’s hear it, but for the love of G-d, STFU about how awful everybody else is just because they call you out on your bullshit.

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  78. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: This is in which state? I’d like to read that policy brief for myself. Methinks I’m smelling exaggeration caca

    Just because a few of you here feel free to blab personally-identifiable information here doesn’t mean I’m going to do the same. thanks. I haven’t seen my friend’s bills or policy, but that’s what he told me.

    Here’s Michelle Malkin talking about how she’s lost her family’s policy three years running. And her daughter has a rather serious medical condition.

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  79. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    Again, for the learning impaired, we had a very small deficit in the early 90s, then we entered into all sorts of trade pacts and literally our deficits ballooned nearly 20 fold from a 30 billion dollar deficit in 1991 to todays 550 billion dollar deficit.

    Um, no. This is not rocket science.

    Federal deficit (nominal)

    1987 $149.73
    1988 $155.18
    1989 $152.64
    1990 $221.03
    1991 $269.24
    1992 $290.32
    1993 $255.06
    1994 $203.18
    1995 $163.95
    1996 $107.43
    1997 $21.89
    1998 $(69.27)
    1999 $(125.61)
    2000 $(236.24)
    2001 $(128.23)
    2002 $157.75

    You’ll note that the deficit essentially rises every year through 1993, then begins to drop every year through 2000, then begins to go up again.

    DESPITE NAFTA, which was enacted in 1994.

    I’m sure you know the why – tax increases in 1993, tax cuts in 2001. This is not rocket science.

    Even for a communist :-)

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  80. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Right, because which state you live in certainly identifies you with specificity on the internet.

    Nice try though. Points for effort.

    :roll:

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  81. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Here’s Michelle Malkin talking about how she’s lost her family’s policy three years running. And her daughter has a rather serious medical condition.

    Yea, she insists on buying individual market plans. Her choice, her problem.

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  82. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “My health insurance isn’t going away.”

    Right. Because “run away when the bill comes” never goes out of style.

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  83. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “This is in which state? I’d like to read that policy brief for myself. Methinks I’m smelling exaggeration caca”

    Yes, I’d like to see the health insurance policy that covers birth but gives the newborn a deductible. Even Rick Scott’s sleazy medicare scams never thought of charging a newborn for his own birth.

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  84. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yea, she insists on buying individual market plans. Her choice, her problem.

    She’s a small business person, head of her own corporation — and she’s successfully built two separate media businesses that she later sold off for tremendous profits (Hot Air, Twitchy).

    She says she never had any problems like this pre-ObamaCare. I guess she’s just one of the eggs that had to get broken to make that omelet, huh?

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  85. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:
    Dude. She’s a liar. Can you just turn down the stupid knob? WTF is the matter with you?

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  86. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You’ve given plenty of information that would make you fairly easy to identify you, should someone wish to. When and where you got your law degree. Past government service, with specifics. Current geographic location. You also spoke of making a donation towards the recount effort, with a precise dollar amount — and that is, I believe, public record.

    Were someone interested, they could probably look through the donors list for that amount, find out who gave about that much from your city and state, then see which of them had worked for a certain government agency, in a certain role. Then, see when they received their law degree and from where. Verify that by checking current employment for a firm located in a certain building.

    I know I’m actively disliked here, and I have no desire to give those who dislike me more ways to go after me. And that kind of cautiousness makes me quite aware of when others do such things.

    And far more motive than I need to NEVER even attempt to go after others like that.

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  87. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: Dude. She’s a liar.

    And you’re a world-renowned professional liar, a guy who gets paid to make stuff up. Your bread and butter is literally falsehoods.

    So we should trust that you keep all your dishonesty to the stuff you explicitly label fiction?

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  88. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    and she’s successfully built two separate media businesses that she later sold off for tremendous profits (Hot Air, Twitchy).

    And yet she feels threatened by the rising cost of health insurance.

    Mutually exclusive …

    (Not for nothing, but the company she sold Hot Air to, Salem Communications, finished CY 2014 with $30,000 in the bank and 71% of its balance sheet assets represented by intangibles. Whatever they paid her with, it wasn’t actual money :-) )

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  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    You’ve given plenty of information that would make you fairly easy to identify you, should someone wish to. When and where you got your law degree. Past government service, with specifics. Current geographic location. You also spoke of making a donation towards the recount effort, with a precise dollar amount — and that is, I believe, public record.

    Assuming all of the dates are correct :-)

    Interesting though, isn’t it, that someone like myself, who actually would represent a worthwhile target, has never had the slightest problem and is pretty open about who he is and what he does for a living. Likewise Reynolds.

    While someone like yourself, who I’d wager has few pots to piss in, thinks he’s somehow going to have his igloo targeted.

    Not to spoil the fun, but nobody cares enough about you to look you up. Sorry :-(

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  90. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Salem bought Hot Air in 2010, on undisclosed terms. What Salem’s later financial status might be says nothing about Malkin’s deal with them four years earlier, and I wouldn’t be sure that it didn’t involve “actual money.”

    The deal was satisfactory enough for both parties that Salem followed up by buying out her next wildly successful venture, Twitchy, three years later.

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  91. Ratufa says:

    Keeping Pelosi as speaker is a great choice, if you want someone to who understands the details if the legislative process and can keep Democratic congresspeople in line. She is not a great choice if you believe that she’ll be one of the public faces of the Democratic opposition to Trump.

    Wrt the ongoing discussion about blue-collar Rust Belt voters:

    – It’s really hard to get members of a demographic to vote for your side if your side, or many members of your side, are openly contemptuous towards that demographic. The natural reaction to such contempt is the electoral version of a middle finger.

    – People are correct to point out that the days of good-paying union jobs at the local factory/mill are gone. In her campaign, Hillary said little or nothing to even acknowledge the problems of the Rust Belt working class. If one doctor’s response to a sick patient is, “Ask me if I care.” and another doc’s response is, “Come to my Laetrile clinic and I’ll cure you”, the doc with the Laetrile will get some customers, even if they think that he’s probably a fraud.

    – Saying that these economically-distressed Rust Belt voters should have voted for Hillary because the Democrats support various entitlements (Obamacare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc) that help them, mirrors some GOP arguments that minorities vote for Democrats because Democrats give them handouts. Whether due to racism, or not wanting to be a government charity case (or both), that argument does not sit well with many of those voters.

    – There are no easy answers to the problem that decent blue-collar middle-class jobs are rapidly vanishing. That problem is going to get worse (e.g. self-driving trucks). White collar jobs are not immune to the effects of automation and outsourcing. Mark Blythe makes an argument that the effects of these changes can be seen in Brexit, the popularity of Le Pen, and in Trump’s election, and that these effects threaten democracy. The election of Trump should be a wake-up call to our political elites to take these issues seriously, even if solutions are not at hand.

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  92. grumpy realist says:

    @the Q: It’s not the tax laws that are causing the problem. It’s the fact that Alan Greenspan and the Chicago crowd convinced everyone that “Greed is Good” and we had a bunch of legal decisions come out of Delaware that basically said the only thing public corporations ever had to worry about was keeping the stockholders happy, fughettabaht

    In short, they licensed American business to act like a bunch of sociopaths burning and looting US neighborhoods.

    If you have a neighborhood where half of the population act like sociopaths, LEGALLY, and the other half of the population is supposedly constrained to fair play and morality, guess which set ends up broke and without power?

    You’ve guessed it.

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  93. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: And yet she feels threatened by the rising cost of health insurance.

    And if you’d actually read Malkin’s account, it wasn’t just the cost. It was having to find and negotiate a brand new policy every year, where the costs kept going up and utility kept going down.

    So much for “if you like your policy, you can keep your policy,” right? Pretty much everyone knew Obama was lying when he said that (but a lot wrouldn’t admit it), but it’s ironic that it’s being proven a lie against someone who called it a lie from day one.

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  94. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Ratufa: I like a lot of what you say, but one part strikes me as a bit odd:

    Mark Blythe makes an argument that the effects of these changes can be seen in Brexit, the popularity of Le Pen, and in Trump’s election, and that these effects threaten democracy.

    A large number of people engage in the democratic process and elect the candidate(s) and policy/policies that they believe will advance their interests is somehow a threat to democracy?

    I really, really, really dislike making predictions, but I will go out on a limb that there will be another Congressional election in 2018, and a presidential election in 2020. Hell, the pages here are littered with comments about how Trump will NOT be re-elected in 2020, for various and sundry reasons, and those predictions are based on an assumption that there will be an election, and it will not be rigged to the point where Trump could not lose.

    If anything, it’s a threat to the notion of a democratic republic as an alternative to pure democracy.

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  95. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Ratufa: Keeping Pelosi as speaker is a great choice, if you want someone to who understands the details if the legislative process and can keep Democratic congresspeople in line.

    OK, I fibbed. I disagreed with the first part of that first line. The first thing I think of when I think of Nancy Pelosi is her description of ObamaCare: “But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

    I suppose one could argue that it does demonstrate her knowledge of the Byzantine world of passing laws, how it’s not possible for anyone besides legislators to understand just what a law means before it’s passed into law (and then, by and large, too late to make changes or corrections), but I see that as more of a bug than a feature.

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  96. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Salem bought Hot Air in 2010, on undisclosed terms. What Salem’s later financial status might be says nothing about Malkin’s deal with them four years earlier, and I wouldn’t be sure that it didn’t involve “actual money.”

    You’re being baited, nimrod. Learn when you’re behind. Nothing relative to the finances of a publicly owned company is undisclosed.

    They paid $2 million for the website, in common stock, at $5.01 per share. Assuming she’s held on to every share, at their pathetic dividend, she earns about $100 grand a year in dividends.

    Or what I earn in about 10 days.

    Or what you earn in, you know (Hmm, average $2 tip = 50,000 pizza deliveries / on average maybe 10 deliveries per evening=5,000 evenings / 365 days in a year ) 13 years.

    I almost feel bad for you. Do you have one of those GuFundMe pages where we can send you money?

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  97. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    And if you’d actually read Malkin’s account, it wasn’t just the cost. It was having to find and negotiate a brand new policy every year, where the costs kept going up and utility kept going down.

    She chooses to negotiate the individual market despite Colorado having some pretty good exchange options. Her problem, not Obama’s. Not mine.

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  98. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: She liked her pre-ObamaCare policy, she wanted to keep her pre-ObamaCare policy, that wasn’t allowed. And each time she settled for a policy she liked less, it got canceled, too.

    You’re right, it’s not Obama’s problem, it’s hers. Given to her by Obama. With your support.

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  99. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    She liked her pre-ObamaCare policy, she wanted to keep her pre-ObamaCare policy, that wasn’t allowed. And each time she settled for a policy she liked less, it got canceled, too.

    Insurers detest individual market plans, for the simple reason that they tend to be money losers or at best marginally profitable. They were stuck selling them pre-PPACA because it’s rather difficult to lump disconnected individuals into a group plan. They have no connectivity.

    Along comes an enormous pool of group plan money and, well, what are they going to do with the fringe products they never really wanted much to sell in the first place. Dump them.

    She chooses to continue to select individual market products that insurance companies don’t want to sell her, so they keep raising the price or canceling the products. . They’d rather she choose one of those nifty group options that are now available to her, but much like the nimrod that she is, she prefers to pay more for less.

    That’s her problem.

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  100. EddieInCA says:

    I walked precincts for Clinton in freaking Georgia of all places. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I don’t want the government in my healthcare, but they’d better not touch my medicare”. I’d have a whole lot more money than I do now.

    The sheer ignorance of so many of the Trump voters was shocking. Here are some random thoughts.

    1. Brown people aren’t responsible for your problems: Your problems are the fault of the very system (Capitalism) that you support. Capitalism is what allows people like Trump to make millions of dollars while screwing people just like you.

    2. The USA of 1950 is never coming back. Ever. It’s gone. Those great manufacturing jobs are gone. They’re not coming back. Factories in the USA are actually doing well. But the jobs aren’t coming back because a robot can do most of what a human used to be able to do.

    3. What happens 2-3 years from now, when Driverless cars and Trucks are finally perfected. Long haul trucking jobs? Gone. Taxi/Lyft/Uber Driver? Gone. The car will show up and drive you with no human interaction. Your app and a credit card will be all you need. Bus Drivers? Gone. The bus will drive itself. Shuttle Vans at the airport? Gone. No need for most drivers. You’ll still need people for FedEx and UPS, but drone delivery is coming too. What about those jobs? They won’t be coming back.

    4. What happens when the Chinese stop manipulating their currency and it’s pegged against the dollar or euro, and prices go through the roof for Chinese imports, which will still be cheaper than American made goods? How will people handle their cheap Wal-Mart shit being 20% more expensive?

    I’m fortunate. I’m in an industry that produces a product that there is a need for, and I’m in demand. I am going to save a shit-ton in Taxes under President Trump. I have my healthcare covered by both the DGA and Motion Picture. – as does my wife. We will close escrow on a lovely apartment in Ealing in London right after the 1st. We will be there Jan 8th to take possession and turn on utilities. Bottom line is that the people to voted for Trump look at me as a Coastal Elite. Yet, I’m fighting for to better THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE more than they are. I’m voting for higher taxes for myself so that we can improve roads and infrastructure. I’m voting for healthcare for all American citizens – despite that I have – through the DGA – one of the best health care plans available. And I don’t pay a dime for it. I’m fighting for pay equity for women, even though my wife is a successful therapist in her own right and makes a great living, and my sister is the manager of a huge touring company. I’m voting for religious freedom for Muslims, Christians, and Jews despite my being an atheist.

    Most Trump voters voted to gut their healthcare, gut their 401Ks (if they even have one), dirty their water, pollute their air, and ban brown people as much as possible. In other words, as usual, they voted against the very things that could help them.

    If you want to know what this country will look like in a few years, look to Kansas and Lousiana, which tried the GOP experiment with disastrous results.

    But, hey, “Drain the swamp.”

    Idiots. All of them. Every. Single. One.

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  101. t says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Your problems are the fault of the very system (Capitalism) that you support. Capitalism is what allows people like Trump to make millions of dollars while screwing people just like you.

    “”I guess the trouble was that we didn’t have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist.”

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  102. al-Ameda says:

    @the Q:

    “…….there is no future actively pursuing the angry resentful white voters who embraced Birtherism, are anti-education, anti-science.”

    You seem to have reading comprehension problems.
    What is racist about my statement? How is it racist to refer to the obvious fact that many angry white voters embraced Birtherism, and were anti-education, and anti-science. It is a true statement.

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  103. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Well, my Obamacare policy has a $1000 deductible (my state has more generous Silver Level policies than other states and I was able to get a Kaiser HMO policy) but the deductible is collected over the course of the year, not all at once.

    I suppose that it is possible that since I live in a Left Coast socialist paradise (and relentlessly blue state because almost 65% of the population lives in Greater Seattle/Pugetropolis) that my deal is better than that of Jenos’ friend, but I’m more inclined to believe that Jenos is trying to zoom us.

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  104. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Consulting the interwebs thingie, Mrs. Malkin is listed among several websites dedicated to such issues as having a net worth of between $3 million and 75 million. (Full disclosure: I discounted the one source that pegged her net worth as $73,000 because I’ve never made as much money as either a produce truck loader or part-time college instructor to match her income as a syndicated columnist and former owner of the website Hot Air [how appropriate, considering] and MY net worth is higher that THAT!)

    You’ll have to forgive me if, all things considered, I find the plight of Mrs. Malkin and her stay-at-home-dad husband less compelling than you do.

    Click

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  105. MBunge says:

    @EddieInCA: Yet, I’m fighting for to better THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE more than they are.

    1. I could certainly be wrong but I’m getting a very strong sense of deja vu. I can’t stop thinking of all those conservatives braying about how Bill Clinton’s tax increase was going to destroy the economy.

    2. You and your kind don’t genuinely care about “those people” or their quality of life. And if you did, what else is there to say except you folks are the biggest damn failures in the history of politics. Or are you saying you strongly support trade policies that prioritize agriculture and industry over the protection of intellectual property? You know, the sort of thing that WOULD demonstrate how concerned you are with the welfare of others?

    Mike

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  106. Eric Florack says:

    The problem isn’t that Nancy Pelosi does not represent the insanity of the Democrat Party but that she does

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  107. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: (click)

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  108. dxq says:

    The problem isn’t that Nancy Pelosi does not represent the insanity of the Democrat Party but that she does

    Have you seen who the GOP just elected? Are you right in the head.

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  109. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MBunge: As much as I’d like to say that I understand this last post from you, it’s more of an argument against blogging at 2 am. What?

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  110. Mikey says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Bus Drivers? Gone. The bus will drive itself.

    The exception will probably be school bus drivers. I can’t think of a lot of parents who would accept putting their children on a school bus that doesn’t have a human behind the wheel.

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  111. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    Actually, Mike, the quality of life of ‘those people’ would have been greatly enhanced by Obamacare, had their state and local governments co-operated. But right-wing propaganda turned these people off and soon they’ll have no insurance and be back to running to the emergency room and going bankrupt trying to keep up with dialysis.

    So, we tried. And who stopped us? The very people we were trying to help.

    And we’ve been trying to raise the minimum wage to some standard of decency. Do you think that was for the benefit of Eddie and me and Harvard?

    Again, we tried, and who stopped us? The very people we were trying to help.

    Two examples among many. Proving once again what we’ve been trying to get you to understand which is that you simply cannot defeat stupidity.

    But hey, I’m sure Trump’s all-Goldman government will do wonderful things for the rust belt. Good times for all. Enjoy.

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  112. dxq says:

    You’ll never guess what their economic plan is.

    (hint: Cut taxes)

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  113. Guarneri says:

    Fascinating. Anyone who disagrees with the commenters is stupid. the voters are stupid. Probably should have to give their proxy to dead ended hippes, NY and SF elites………if they knew what was good for them.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, its President Elect Trump. Say it five times. Say it again. And the progs put Nancy “Pass it to Know What’s in It” Pelosi back in. A black separatist for head of DNC. And Hillary in 2020??? Yeah. I’m with her. Keep it up you brilliant folks. More identity grievance politics, all so a few wine and scotch sippers on the coasts can preen for the cameras. Simply brilliant.

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  114. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    More identity grievance politics, all so a few wine and scotch sippers on the coasts can preen for the cameras. Simply brilliant.

    True, Republicans had narrower scope of identity politics than did Democrats:
    white men and white women

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  115. Unsympathetic says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, Michael.

    They voted against neoliberalism, which Pelosi and Schumer and Clinton embrace completely.

    9:54 on the link to hear Schumer’s absurd logic.

    Yes, Democrats need to return to populism — but they need to discard the nonsense that has now made them the second party of the money. And don’t forget the way Democrats stayed after money/power/big corporations in the early 1900’s — they kept handing out lists of tangible advances to those rural citizens. In the 20’s they got that done.

    The reason why Trump won the rust belt is because he actually ran to the LEFT of HRC — yes, his positions were lies, but they were positions. And Hillary didn’t have anything to offer.. because she simply isn’t a progressive. OK, she wants to offer $30B to WV.. how, exactly? Expand on that. Pound on the policies, not the personal attacks that voters tune out.

    Don’t get it twisted: I didn’t vote for Man With Bad Hair.

    But the problem is simply that she was a terrible candidate, not because she was supporting Obamacare but because she was just a continuation of the Third Way/budgetary austerity neoliberal nonsense that continues to infect the Democratic Party.

    My pastor predicted Trump.. because the people even here in Massachusetts that he talked to thought the following: “I know Hillary will do absolutely nothing to improve my life prospects in the next 4 years, but Trump might. And I want that chance.” Democrats need to focus on policy, not on identity nonsense.

    Stoller’s article in The Atlantic is still worth reading..
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/how-democrats-killed-their-populist-soul/504710/

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  116. michael reynolds says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    I don’t disagree with most of what you wrote. One of my pet wheezes is to go on about a loss of narrative thrust in the Democratic Party and in the Left generally. It’s something I can write without garnering upvotes or downvotes because people think, “Ah, just a writer seeing the world through that prism.” But there has been a loss of purpose all across the political spectra, a loss of narrative direction for the country, for the people, for the parties.

    In short: we don’t know what we want or where we are going. We have lost definition. That’s not a problem for most countries – the purpose of France is to be French. But we are not a single tribe, we are a country built on an idea. Our national myths are all about pioneering and pushing limits and expanding human liberty, but we’ve disconnected from that mythology and put nothing in its place but facile cynicism, individual greed and a kind of lazy, self-satisfied stupidity.

    It was stupid, faced with a choice between dull continuity and probable disaster to choose the latter. It may have been fun, but it was stupid. It placed a permanent stain on this country’s honor and history. It was a wonderful, tragic lesson in the failures of American democracy. Both sides contributed to the failure, the Left with identity politics and narcissistic virtue-signaling in lieu of practical thought; and the Right by thinking they could feed the tiger and then ride it.

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  117. Ratufa says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I totally agree with you that Trump is awful in many many many ways, and that his policies are, overall, almost certainly going to be worse for the Rust Belt demographics that voted for him than Clinton’s would have been.

    But, once the rage and whinging dies down, Democrats need to do a hard-headed evaluation of what lead to this debacle, and how to prevent a repeat. Simply ascribing it to “some voters are dumb” is not sufficient.

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  118. grumpy realist says:

    @Ratufa: I think that what is happening is the US is reverting to its historical norm. We had a huge injection of European-style thoughts and concepts with the influx of refugees before WWII, but the cultural impetus provided by those people has died down and we’re going back to what we were before that. Yup. Get rid of all those nasty elites/Yankees/whatever and go back to being Reeeal Murkans only.

    Oh well. Hope you enjoy your economy based on nail salons, strip malls, and casinos, guys.

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  119. michael reynolds says:

    @Ratufa:
    What went wrong for Democrats is fairly obvious: they fell for demographics-as-destiny and for identity politics over communitarian politics. No one ever bothered to look at the math, which still adds up to 2/3 of votes being from white people. Identity groups imagined a coalition of PoC and gender groups and women – a coalition which did not exist. These identity groups then decided to amuse themselves by doing everything they could think of to alienate their white and/or male allies. They erected big Go Away We Got This signs.

    Well, they didn’t have it, because Latinos my be 17% of the population but they cast just 11% of the votes. African Americans ditto. And women are not and never have been a ‘minority’ and assuming that they would vote as a bloc was wrong. 53% of white women went for Trump.

    The Left made two crucial mistakes in the 60’s. They bought into the myth of the activist college kids who ‘got us out of Vietnam,’ and they discarded Martin Luther King in favor of Malcolm X. In reality the 60’s anti-war radicals almost certainly prolonged the war, and Malcolm X was a political idiot who promulgated the bizarre notion that a small, widely-dispersed and easily-identified minority had a path to equality that did not need to depend on majority support. You get the same kind of ‘fwck off we don’t need anyone but our identity group’ mentality from a number of racial and ethnic and gender minorities, and it’s politically just plain dumb.

    The question is how we shift from identity politics and the vacuous politics of virtue-signaling, and forge a real alliance that rests on common interests not parochial ones. We need to stand firm and defend every minority advance, but we need to take down the ‘fwck off, we got this,’ signs and realize we need a coalition formed around ideas not identities, and actual, practical plans, not random virtue-signaling.

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  120. Guarneri says:

    You guys crack me up. Shamelessly ripped off from Schulers place, and Monty Python:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7nD9C4

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  121. Ratufa says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I think that what is happening is the US is reverting to its historical norm. We had a huge injection of European-style thoughts and concepts with the influx of refugees before WWII, but the cultural impetus provided by those people has died down and we’re going back to what we were before that.

    A problem with that analysis is that the rise of “populist” causes and politicians is also happening in Europe. You can see that in Brexit, in the popularity of Le Pen, and the rise of Podemos in Spain, for example. What these events have in common is that many people are unhappy about things such as the effects of globalization, a perception that government is run by a corrupt elite (for Brexit, this includes anger at Brussels) , the decline of their living standards, and the effects on them of the financial crisis, particularly since many of the people who caused this crisis seem to have done quite well for themselves since then

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  122. C. Clavin says:

    Has anyone seen the fwcked up deal Trump negotiated to keep 1000 Carrier jobs in Indiana?
    It’s so fwcked that you can imagine Guarneri or Jenos negotiated it.
    If this is the super negotiator that is supposed to straighten this country out…we are totally fwcked by the end of one year…forget four years.
    OMG…what a cluster-fuck.
    Trump just encouraged every single corporation in the country to go-ahead and hold jobs for hostage. Carrier got $7,000,000 million in tax breaks over 10 years to keep 1000 jobs.
    What an idiot this guy is. And anyone that voted for him, for that matter. This pathetic man-child is going to destroy us.
    Embarrassing!!!

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  123. C. Clavin says:

    Has anyone seen the idiotic deal Trump negotiated to keep 1000 Carrier jobs in Indiana?
    It’s so imbecilic that you can imagine Guarneri or Jenos negotiated it.
    If this is the super negotiator that is supposed to straighten this country out…we are fotally tucked by the end of year one…forget an entire term.
    What a cluster-fwck.
    Trump just encouraged every single corporation in the country to go-ahead and hold jobs for hostage. Carrier got $7,000,000 million in tax breaks over 10 years to keep 1000 jobs.
    What an idiot this guy is. And anyone that voted for him, for that matter. This pathetic man-child is going to destroy us.
    Embarrassing!!!

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  124. C. Clavin says:

    Sorry for the duplicate post…the first went to moderation…so I cleaned it up a little and re-posted.

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  125. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I think that what is happening is the US is reverting to its historical norm.

    Exactly. Historically, there was no such thing as the “middle class”. There were the Rich and there was the Poor. While there was gradation (Rich Noble vs Rich Merchant, Poor Farmer vs Poor Hobo), the idea that an entire economic class millions strong existed in the comfortable financial center is an extreme aberration in history. “Toil and then the grave” was a simple fact life for your ancestors. Boomers’ nostalgia is for essentially a black swan event in the financial history of the world.

    America had a great run taking advantage of the fact that we were the Only Game in Town for nearly half a century. We as a nation were the Rich and the rest of the world was the Poor. Aberrations are temporary though and we’re going back to the extreme gulf between “struggle to live” and “can burn fortunes for giggles”. Our unskilled workers can no longer expect to live comfortably just because they happened to be born here in the Land of High-Paying Jobs; they now face the reality they are only one in a labor pool *billions* strong with nothing to promote themselves but the fact they are American.

    Welcome to the ugly side of capitalism, America. It’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

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  126. john430 says:

    @michael reynolds: “How does one appeal to people that hopelessly stupid?”

    For starters, how about reviewing how left coast Marxist mentalities are soooo out of step with American values? Next you move on and reconsider your elitist “identity politics.”

    Playing one so-called victim off against another so-called victim is vicious and cruel but what do you care? To you they’re only the lumpen proletariat, right?

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  127. michael reynolds says:

    @Ratufa:

    Globalization and the internet.

    Globalization wipes out local conditions in wages and living standards, bringing living standards up in places like Malaysia and Thailand and India, lowering them in the developed world. Overnight our uneducated, untrained masses who need 40k a year to survive were in direct competition with other people’s uneducated, untrained masses who can get by on 5k a year. You mix hot water with cold water you get lukewarm water.

    The internet because it accelerated social liberalism in the educated classes without reaching beyond the identity groups themselves and their white allies, and allowed all groups to fashion an individual reality not connected to consensual reality. Half the country is racing off to some prematurely-declared multicultural Star Trek utopia, and the other half, scorned for being unable to keep up, outsources their thinking to con men, conspiracy nuts and religious cranks. The internet, the ultimate teaching tool, became silos stuffed full of people agreeing with each other and excluding all opposing points of view.

    A lot of stuff has happened in an extraordinarily short period of time. Not everyone is benefitting, not everyone can benefit, and in a polarized world where people can simply make up ‘truth’ there’s no practical way to reach people without making absurd promises of happy endings all around. So we spiral ever downward on a vortex of lies and deceptions.

    We’ve just seen a huge con pulled on American voters. Populism, populism, populism. . . brought to you by a billionaire fraudster and Goldman Sachs. Because if you just love the common man you want to go straight to Goldman to enact your populist agenda. But it will take years for the suckers to admit they’ve been cleaned out.

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  128. al-Alameda says:

    @john430:

    For starters, how about reviewing how left coast Marxist mentalities are soooo out of step with American values? Next you move on and reconsider your elitist “identity politics.”

    Yes, California is an abject Marxist failure.
    You really need to update those stale Kremlin-like stereotypes.

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  129. KM says:

    @michael reynolds :

    The internet, the ultimate teaching tool

    I think the internet made us all forgot teaching =/= learning. The best teacher in the world can’t reach a mind that just DGAF about anything other then what interests them.

    We beheld the repository of the knowledge of all mankind, thinking it the new Library of Alexandria…… forgetting libraries were never really hip places to be in the first place. Most went there for something specific (information, a book, a genre) and never partook of the whole. That guy that only checked out non-fiction real-crime thrillers and ignored everything else? He never changed – now he just goes to specific websites and talks to specific people about his preferences, ignoring the greater whole at his fingertips. I can’t blame the internet for this compartmentalization since all it did was create a bigger cave for these kinds of people to hide in.

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  130. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You make good points, but we’ve been pretty good at working on other groups who’ve been in as bad or worse conditions, and turning things around. As you’ve said before, we need a dramatic change in the way work is done – pretty soon 90% of the jobs in America will be done by robots (including computer work, medicine, finance and just about everything else that makes money).

    And that doesn’t even take into account really serious artificial intelligence, I’m just talking about expert systems – we’re a decade or two away from CAD (computer aided design) programs doing almost everything better than humans do, and its turning into a positive feedback loop. CAD programs are being used to make even better CAD programs, rinse and repeat the cycle. It’s not going to be that long before the human input isn’t even needed.

    So what are we going to do with 90% of humanity? Just giving them money to sit around won’t work, there’s a need to feel useful. This is what we’re seeing the start of in the mid-west. The same thing is going to happen on the coasts as the white collar jobs are replaced by robotics/AI – it might be in everyone’s interest to start working on that now.

    In the short term, for the 5-10% we need for the next election or two, I think all we need to do is to listen to them sympathetically. After all, that’s all the Republicans do (at best, I personally agree the GOP has been lousy for working people). The problem is that currently the Democratic Party alternates between condescension and downright mocking towards them.

    Look even at this forum. People point out that the median income of Trump supporters was 70K, as if that meant all of them were just whining about nothing. I can think of only two explanations for that.

    1) People on OOtB don’t understand even the most basic statistics (ie that a median value by itself tells you nothing without some information about the frequency distribution – at an absolute minimum you’d need to know the standard deviation to have any idea of how representative that number is for lower income Trump supporters)

    or

    2) People on OOtB have so much contempt for blue collar workers that they’re willing to accept what they know is grossly incomplete statistics for another chance to mock them as whiners etc.

    I agree that probably most can’t be reached. But 10%? Yeah, easily. Look at the threads calling them all idiots. I know several Trump voters who I suspect are easily as intelligent as anyone on this forum (Phd’s in the sciences, extremely successful in both their work and personal lives), but who voted based on the supreme court (playing the long ball as they say), on who they thought was less likely to get us into another war, or on personal finances wrt taxes. You can argue they’re evil or selfish, but trust me on this, they’re anything but stupid. And even with the tax issue, the major Democratic politicians are happy to take tens of millions from Wall Street. Its hard to tell someone its okay for the very elite to put their own interests first but its wrong for the rest of us to do so.

    Its like people like Cameron or Di Caprio flying private jets but telling others that we should be cutting back on fuel – people resent the hypocrisy. Which is unfortunate, since climate change is another problem that’s going to become incredibly serious.

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  131. grumpy realist says:

    @Ratufa:@george: I just keep hoping that at least someone in the US will keep the science & technology going…..from that viewpoint I’m more of a globalist.

    What we should be doing is a full-blown national program to really push for nanotechnology development, particularly using nanotech for medicine. Its’ the only way we’re going to be able to really cut the continually rising health care costs. It’s also the technology most likely to be able to do something about CO2.

    Oh well, I guess we tech entrepreneurs are going to have to rescue everyone’s asses from frying to death…..but I’m not going to feel any sympathy whatsoever for people who refuse to admit that there’s a problem with global warming in the first place. Stupidity should HURT, especially when your stupidity has an impact on other people. (Hence why I’m also for draconian punishments against DUI idiots and texting-while-driving idiots.)

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  132. Rick DeMent says:

    @Guarneri:

    I know i’m beating my head against the wall but you do know that the “Pass it to Know What’s in It” was taken out of context right. She and other lawmakers knew what was in it. But it was a complex law that was not treated to a nuanced explanation like most laws. She should have said you will appreciate it more once it’s passed becase the benefits will be obvious. I haven’t run into one person I know who depends on Obamacare who didn’t like it better then what we had before. The only people who seem to hate it are those who never had it or who had cheap policies that were little more then scams that waited until you made a claim and then excavated a pre-existing condition you didn’t tell them about andpocketed your money.

    Pelosi: People won’t appreciate reform until it passes

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that people won’t appreciate how great the Democrat’s health plan is until after it passes.

    “You’ve heard about the controversies, the process about the bill…but I don’t know if you’ve heard that it is legislation for the future – not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America,” she told the National Association of Counties annual legislative conference, which has drawn about 2,000 local officials to Washington. “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it – away from the fog of the controversy.”

    During a 20-minute speech, she touted benefits she thinks will be tangible to the audience’s employers. She said there’s support for public health infrastructure and investments in community health centers that will reduce uncompensated care that hospitals now need to deliver.

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  133. ltmcdies says:

    @EddieInCA: perhaps one of the best posts I’ve read about the frustrations of giving a rodents backside about those just as likely to spit on you.

    The temptation to just say…”fine…sink like a rock following your pied piper Trump….we’ll be fine” must be high sometimes

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  134. KM says:

    @george :

    Look at the threads calling them all idiots. I know several Trump voters who I suspect are easily as intelligent as anyone on this forum (Phd’s in the sciences, extremely successful in both their work and personal lives), but who voted based on the supreme court (playing the long ball as they say), on who they thought was less likely to get us into another war, or on personal finances wrt taxes. You can argue they’re evil or selfish, but trust me on this, they’re anything but stupid.

    You do realize smart people do stupid things frequently, right? Can use poor logic, do something clearly self-destructive, fall for con artists, etc? That their intelligence level does not preclude them from being effectively dumb in a particular instance? High IQ doesn’t save one from the depths of idiocy.

    There used be a forum for MENSA members who told stories about how they locked their keys inside their car and other bone-headed moments. Didn’t stop them from being in the top 2% or invalidate their PhDs. Stupid is as stupid does. One can easily be the smartest guy in the room and vote Trump because of reason X. Voting for the guy who’s temper gets riled up over Twitter and picks fights right and left as the better choice on war is, quite frankly, STUPID. Therefore, if that was a reason someone cast their vote for him, they did something stupid and can reasonable be called stupid for that action. Are they always stupid? Probably not. Did they do something stupid to prove they weren’t to some “lib” somewhere? Oh hell yes.

    Again and again, it comes down to a segment of the population was, for lack a better term, butthurt and decided to do something dumb to prove they aren’t dumb – the Great FU so to speak. Now they keep trying to justify their choice with logic like “Liberals were so mean to ignore us we picked Trump who have never given a crap about us before and never will again. It’s *your* fault we did this so sympathize with us!”. I understand their pain but have a hard time sympathizing with someone punching themselves in the face and then complaining their nose is broken. They keep voting for the people that hurt them deeply and now seem to have given a blank check to a man with spending issues.

    They’re most likely not stupid and are right to want their personal intelligence respected. But boy howdy did they do somethin’ stupid last month and we’re just callin’ a spade a spade. Not to be indelicate, but stupidity hurts and this country looks like its in for a beating it invited.

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  135. EddieInCA says:

    @john430:

    For starters, how about reviewing how left coast Marxist mentalities are soooo out of step with American values? Next you move on and reconsider your elitist “identity politics.”

    A couple of years ago California was in dire straits. Our economy was strong, but we were spending too much. We had a Republican Governor, Schwarznegger, who was going to shake things up after we recalled Governor Gray Davis. Fortunately, Schwarznegger realized that he inherited the same problems that Gov. Davis had been trying to fix. Schwarznegger had supporters on both sides of the aisle, but his policies didn’t work.

    So what did we do in Californa? We booted out the Republicans. Almost all of them, We have a Dem Senate. We have a Dem Assembly. And we have a Dem Governor. You know what happened? Gov. Brown raised a few taxes, raised some fees, added some regulations, cut other regulations. Now California is a model of fiscal responsibilitiy. Kansas and Louisiana, on the other hand, went All GOP about the same time.

    Compare the differences. Do it. All we had to do was get rid of the GOP in the state legislature.

    Yeah… It must be horrible living in Los Angeles, or Marin, or Encinitas, or Monterey, or Sausalito, or Mammoth Lakes. Yep. Horrible, I tell you.

    It’s just a matter of time before Trump economics hurts the very people he said he would help. What would help them is solid infrastructure jobs, education, healthcare, and decent benefits. But if you voted for Trump, you voted against all those things.

    He promised to drain the swamp. Instead, he’s filled it with Alligators.
    He promised to punish Carrier for leaving Indiana for Mexico. Instead he’s paying them to stay.
    He promised to hire the best people. Instead, we get people with zero experience.

    Idiots. Every. One. Of. Them.

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  136. KM says:

    @george:

    In the short term, for the 5-10% we need for the next election or two, I think all we need to do is to listen to them sympathetically. After all, that’s all the Republicans do (at best, I personally agree the GOP has been lousy for working people). The problem is that currently the Democratic Party alternates between condescension and downright mocking towards them.

    Actually, I’m curious as to what you are defining as “listen to them sympathetically” since the GOP doesn’t “listen”, it actively promotes and takes sides. How do you propose “listening sympathetically”? What qualifies as “condescension”? I keep hearing that liberals need to do this but nobody clarifies what that really means. What does rural America mean when it uses those words because I get the feeling its not the same definition others use.

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  137. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @KM: “The internet, the ultimate teaching tool”

    On the other hand there’s this notion:

    The web isn’t a library, it’s a mall. It isn’t about education, it’s about commerce.

    I’m inclined to believe that’s just as true as it was when I read it 20 some years ago. I wish I was more sanguine about it, but I just spent a day in a credit recovery program in my local high school. The students use what is regarded as, possibly, “the best internet teaching tool ever invented (per the advertising),” Apex systems. It provides GED-level instruction to people who don’t really want to go to school, read books, talk about what they’re reading, write about ideas that they have, or much else as far as that goes. When they finish, we give them a diploma and they leave.

    Out of the 25 or so kids in that program, only one that I met has any sort of plan–he needs a diploma to qualify for an SBA loan. Several don’t qualify for credit recovery at all (still in school as frosh and sophomores), but like this program because the work is easier and they don’t have to do “all the crap regular classes make you do.” It’s sort of like MOCCs for K-12; you read an article, listen to a lecture, and you’re done with the lesson. There may be a 10 question T/F or Multiple Choice quiz at the end of a unit for credit granting purposes, so it does have features that MOCCs lack.

    And that’s THE BEST on line teaching tool ever.

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  138. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @george:

    So what are we going to do with 90% of humanity? Just giving them money to sit around won’t work, there’s a need to feel useful.

    You’re missing the big picture–the elites will be able to hire very well educated people really cheap to do things like sweep the floor, clean the pool and other stuff that machines will be too valuable to use for menial labor. Like in my early days in Korea, I hold a Master’s degree in English with a focus in linguistics studies and a teaching certificate. A job agent was taking me to visit various people who ran private schools and were hiring tutors. The pay at the time was $2000/mo. plus housing (studio normally, even for couples) and socialized medicine–which many schools refused to pay for, so a lot of the time, people didn’t have medical.

    The owner of the school told me and the agent, “I like him, but I already have two PhDs, an MA, and an MS, so I don’t need any advanced degrees right now.

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  139. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @george:

    2) People on OOtB have so much contempt for blue collar workers that they’re willing to accept what they know is grossly incomplete statistics for another chance to mock them as whiners etc.

    THIS! I wish I could up vote it more than once. Actually I can, so I will.

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  140. C. Clavin says:

    @john430:

    For starters, how about reviewing how left coast Marxist mentalities are soooo out of step with American values?

    You mean your racist misogynistic values?
    Give me a break idiot…you speak for American values like Trump speaks for American values. Hint…He doesn’t.

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  141. Ratufa says:

    @KM:

    How do you propose “listening sympathetically”? What qualifies as “condescension”?

    The first step in “listening sympathetically” to somebody (or a group of people) is to acknowledge their feelings and their problems. You don’t need a (Bill) Clintonian, “I feel your pain”, but at the very least don’t act like you’re ignoring them. Actually helping the people we’re mostly talking about (Rust Belt voters without much education) is much harder, of course. In the specific case of this election, Hillary could have done things like piggy-backing on Obama’s proposals to emphasize funding for vocational education and community college. This doesn’t have the appeal of the “Make America Great, Again” snake oil, but it would have been a proposal that fits in well with current liberal values, and is much better than silence about that group’s problems.

    As for what counts as condescension: It’s not hard to find examples of condescension or, perhaps more accurately, contempt, in various discussions about how Trump voters, gun owners, the very religious, people who live in rural areas, and various other groups, are dumb, or “hicks”, or racists, etc. One form of condescension is to consider a group’s worries as not worth caring about. Read some of Thomas Frank’s recent stuff (e.g. His Guardian articles) for some discussion of that.

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  142. michael reynolds says:

    @Ratufa:

    We tried to help those people. It was called Obamacare. It extended health insurance to millions, and it cost tax money that many of us here pay.

    Putting it in very personal terms Obama basically said, ‘Hey, Michael, do you mind if we jack up your taxes so you can help cover health insurance for poor folks in Appalachia?’ And I said, ‘sure.’ And the people on the receiving end of my money said, “Screw you, you’re a commie who loves homos, we’re sticking with our racist political hacks.”

    So what do you want next? More of my money to do more for people who will slap my hand away and tell me to drop dead?

    This is what people aren’t getting about this. It isn’t Trump that’s the problem, it’s the voters. The voters are a) whining about neglect and b) sh!tting on anyone who tries to help them. The voters voted to stay pathetic. They voted to reject the modern world. They voted for crazy.

    Seriously, just what the hell do I owe these people now? Because it looks like nada to me. It looks like I did my best to help, and they told me to drop dead.

    So, I owe them nothing, because they are behaving like assholes. Like entitled assholes determined to crawl back into the past. Well, fwck ’em. I’ll take my Trump/Goldman tax cuts and as soon as my daughter is out of high school we are outta here. American democracy is in trouble, and it’s in trouble because of morons on the Left and Right, both out-of-touch, both belligerent and intolerant, both entitled and frankly stupid, and absolutely insistent on staying stupid.

    It was a very big mistake these people made. They let themselves be brainwashed into believing absolute drivel then cut their own throats, like a bunch of brainless cult members. Fine. Bleed out. Learn the hard way.

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  143. An Interested Party says:

    Playing one so-called victim off against another so-called victim is vicious and cruel…

    But enough about the current Republican strategy of playing the white working class against ethnic minorities…a strategy that stretches back to the days when Southern Democrats played poor whites against black people…the parties may change, but the vicious and cruel manipulators stay the same…hell, if only the white working class and the black and Hispanic working classes could all form one united front…

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  144. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    My thinking exactly. Every time I hear this “but they just want somebody to understand them” garbage, I want to vomit. Bullish!t. What they want is to preserve their ingrained prejudicial social strata.

    “I can’t take that government thing because then I’m no better than a n**ger”.

    Anybody who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

    They will never accept that they’re all in the same boat, destined to drown together. Accepting that their way of life is over means accepting many more things (like the above) which they can’t deal with.

    Apparently I’m evil for voluntarily kicking in a half million or so in federal taxes (that I could easily have avoided paying) simply because I felt like I had a duty to give back. Evidently that’s not enough – I’m supposed to commiserate with them as well.

    No more. I’ll take the cash and they’re on their own. My mental response to these people is the Barbara Billingsley scene from Airplane:

    Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don’ want no help, chump don’t GET da help!

    Jive-ass dude don’t got no brains anyhow! Shiiiiit.

    Maybe one day things improve, although I have my doubts (Britain is us, and we’re Britain – same mess, same fate) but regardless they’re going to get a great worse before they get better. You and I (and our people) are the canaries in the coal mine of Western civilization, so better to be somewhere else when it all goes to shit.

    And it will …

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  145. Ratufa says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We tried to help those people. It was called Obamacare. It extended health insurance to millions, and it cost tax money that many of us here pay.

    From a political perspective, Obamacare is a mixed bag for Democrats. On one hand, it has allowed a lot of people to get insurance coverage, and the restrictions on insurance companies denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions are, by themselves, immensely popular with voters. On the other hand, propaganda from Republicans and real problems, such as premium increases and high deductibles for many plans, have made it justly unpopular with a large number of voters, either based on personal experience or the experiences of people they know.

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  146. Eric Florack says:

    @dxq: did you see who the Democrats tried to elect?

    And just for a point of reference, I’ve never been a trump supporter. But it was more than just the Republicans that elected him.

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  147. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @michael reynolds:

    people who still think it’s brilliant to stay in Youngstown, Ohio because the factories will be coming back soon.

    Agreed! but BTW, it also raises a pet peeve that I harbor about the reluctance of many american workers to actually move out of their hometown. Folks that I know in Youngstown will complain bitterly about not being able to find high-tech jobs (for example) and are absolutely appalled when someone suggests that they move to where there are jobs available.

    If find this particularly true among the younger workers, who I suppose should be most capable of mobility around the country. When I talk with many of them, they say ” why should I move away from my family, when I know that I’ve got essentially free room and board at my parents”.

    Frankly I don’t have a great compassion for people who are unwilling to go to where the job is, but rather hunker down (freeload) with parents and complain they can’t find a job.

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  148. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Gavrilo:

    met with opposition by Democrats because FRACKING!!

    As an Ohio resident I can tell you that fracking is alive and well in Ohio, contrary to your assertion.

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  149. george says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    What they want is to preserve their ingrained prejudicial social strata.

    Sure, in the same way that everyone who voted for Clinton want to keep bombing weddings in Pakistan, destabilizing middle eastern governments, and giving free rides to Wall Street. Because voting for a candidate means supporting the worst of what they represent.

    Jeeze, I’m a bloody engineer and I understand 60 million people aren’t that uniform. In fact, even 60 million iron rods aren’t that uniform. You’re a lawyer, how can you be so blind to the diversity and complexity of human motivations and goals? My experience in leading engineering teams is that ten people can do the same thing for ten different reasons, the reasons involving a complex variety of trade-offs, of alternating desires and aversions. Engineers and managers who don’t know that fail, because their teams fall apart. Successful managing means talking to each one, and finding out their particular mixture of motivations.

    Is law really so different that your experiences in it lead to you expect all ten to have identical desires and aversions?

    The other thing I’ve taken from decades in engineering is that when a bridge fails, you take a very close look at what happened, especially including what you did wrong, and what you can do better next time. Because it might be emotionally satisfying to feel righteous anger, but it feels even more satisfying to have your next bridge survive the same bad circumstances.

    The point is to win in 2018 and 2020. If its not obvious how to get there (and I agree its not), then we should start now to figure it out. That’s what professionals do, isn’t it? If you don’t know how to win a legal case, do you sit around and say it can’t be done, or do you start trying other angles?

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  150. Guarneri says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I hate to break it to you, but it wasn’t management stupidity at the root of the major wasted wave of capex in open hearths in the sixties. Fearing a steel shortage and commensurate price increases the industry was heavily Kennedy/Johnson administration jawboned to put in OH capacity just as the basic oxygen furnace was becoming technologically and commercially viable, and adopted by the Japanese. They lost years of productivity improvement for this.

    Look at the mills n the Chicago district (Inland, Beth Burns Harbor, US Gary Works). They came right on stream with BOFs, continuous casters, ladle metallurgy etc and those mills did just fine until the commodity collapse and inflation extinguishing high interest rates of the early eighties. Because they made so much profitable sheet for auto and appliance.

    Those mills actually lost share later to the scrap and electric arc furnace based mini mills in bar products. All non-Union.

    Endeth the lesson.

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  151. michael reynolds says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:
    I should clarify that I tweak Youngstown for reasons of my own, going back 46 years, to a day when a young, bushy blond Michael was trying to hitchhike through Youngstown. A Sunday morning. And not one of those Good Samaritans would give me a ride. I ended up having to walk into town and spend some of my very limited funds on the Greyhound.

    On the other hand, while deliriously tired in the Youngstown dog station, I reached the conclusion that I was an atheist. So, if I burn in hell, it’ll totally be Youngstown’s fault.

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  152. anjin-san says:

    @john430:

    left coast Marxist mentalities

    Ah the left coast Marxists – by that do you mean the people that do most of the innovating in our country and drive a great deal of it’s economic activity?

    Where do you want to live, California, or Kansas?

    It’s kind of ironic that the alleged Marxists are so much richer than the self proclaimed uber capitalists…

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  153. Davebo says:

    @Guarneri: It’s almost as if you’re knowledgeable on a subject here!

    Therefore you surely know what US Steel did with the windfall Reagan provided them right? Think a long foot race, about 26.2 miles.

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  154. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    how can you be so blind to the diversity and complexity of human motivations and goals?

    In your endless quest to find equivalency in everything, what you miss is that Trump doesn’t have a single redeeming quality. He’s a bully and a jerk and a scammer.

    What baffles some liberals and what is driving some of the angst that you see here is the revulsion at the thought that anyone could possibly even think for a moment about voting for such a person, let alone actively support him. Trump has crossed so many lines that it is hard to imagine that anyone with a shred of decency could possibly prefer him to None of the Above, let alone Clinton.

    So on one hand, it’s fair to say that a lot of those who voted for Trump are pricks and we aren’t obligated to like them very much. And it’s rather glib for you to suggest that we should find the good in them, since you aren’t one of the people who they would deport or ship off to Gitmo just for kicks or strip of their health insurance or bully in the street.

    On the other hand, Clinton could have won the electoral college with a relatively small number of additional voters. Liberals need to figure out that it isn’t necessary psychoanalyze every drooling braindead redneck or turn said redneck into a Rhodes Scholar. It’s just a matter of winning a few more votes in key districts.

    This should be a math exercise, not a moral crusade. And some voters obviously want to be lied to, so just go ahead and lie to them.

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  155. grumpy realist says:

    @Ratufa: Reading some of the reports in Vance’s book “American Hillbilly”, I’m not so sure that some of these people would even bother to take advantage of any educational opportunities offered.

    (There’s an equivalence in the urban ghetto. One of my friends’ parents, ardent liberal, African-American, finally gave up when the agency he was working with was driving a mobile vaccination clinic around to families and the parents couldn’t even care enough to bring their kids down the stairs to get inoculated. A five-minute effort, totally free, with definite benefits for the kids–and the parents couldn’t be bothered. This was before the whole anti-vaccination craze got started, so they didn’t even have that excuse. After that, he was much more cynical about how much his agency could actually help people.)

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  156. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Heavens! The white smug and tears in this thread are primo quality today! If I could bottle it up I could make a fortune.

    Anywho…. libruhl whitey still don’t get it. Pssssst….You lost the suburbs idiots. THE SUBURBS. You don’t need rural America….You need the suburbs back. You wanna know how you lost the suburbs? All the election year turnout stunts around birth control, transgender bathrooms, gay marriage wedding cakes, and other assorted issues that have nothing to do with kitchen table economics.

    As long as the white equivalent of neegros…and actual neegros are getting a$$ pounded by globalization it’s certainly not a problem to this commentariat. Globalization is a thing that unfolds and happens…to THEM. But you can be Damn well sure that when AI replaces lawyers, engineers, and authors…the government had better do something.

    Globalization is a strategy created by people, and implemented by people. The Jobs” aren’t coming back”– because people in the highest levels of business and government don’t want them too. If jobs were a national policy….we’d have them. Instead, finance is the national cash cow….so the people in that industry are pretty high on the hog.

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  157. Guarneri says:

    @Davebo:

    I was a process engineer in the Inland #4 BOF shop and have been in half the mills in America. Anytime you want to talk steel you tell me.

    And your point in the exchange is? Do you believe in no diversification? Do you understand why South Works is no longer but Gary Works still stands proud? Do you understand US Steels remaining statute in the industry? Does the Mttal/Arcelor evolution surprise you?

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  158. Mikey says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    The Jobs” aren’t coming back”– because people in the highest levels of business and government don’t want them too. If jobs were a national policy….we’d have them. Instead, finance is the national cash cow….so the people in that industry are pretty high on the hog.

    You will probably find this book interesting (it’s free as a PDF): http://deanbaker.net/books/rigged.htm

    His position is that the way things are isn’t a result of the natural workings of the market, but rather a specific and conscious set of policies intended to push wealth up to the 1%.

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  159. george says:

    @KM:

    You do realize smart people do stupid things frequently, right? Can use poor logic, do something clearly self-destructive, fall for con artists, etc? That their intelligence level does not preclude them from being effectively dumb in a particular instance? High IQ doesn’t save one from the depths of idiocy.

    Absolutely. Again, I’ve always said Trump is a disaster waiting to happen – I definitely don’t think supporting him is smart for most people (exceptions being CEO’s likely to make billion, leaders of countries competing with America politically or militarily and so on).

    But as you point out yourself, doing some stupid things doesn’t necessarily mean someone is stupid. For example, its easy to find extremely intelligent people who smoke, who drink too much, who eat too much and exercise too little, who partner up with abusive people – all of which are more self-destructive than having 1/60,000,000 of a share in electing Trump. But most of us wouldn’t call such people stupid, we’d simply say they make some bad choices.

    The same is true for many Trump voters. Thinking of them all as stupid is a mistake for a number of reasons. One is that intelligent people can change habits, another is that underestimating opponents never works out well.

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  160. george says:

    @Pch101:

    In your endless quest to find equivalency in everything, what you miss is that Trump doesn’t have a single redeeming quality. He’s a bully and a jerk and a scammer.

    No, I get that. However, if you’re a conservative worried about the supreme court (to take just one example) you’re as likely to hold your nose at Trump’s personal lack of redeeming qualities (I completely agree on that score) as someone who hates war is likely to hold their nose at Clinton’s hawkishness and vote for her because there are bigger issues in elections than choosing the person you’d like to hang out with.

    For you the election seems to have been choosing a leader. I’ve been arguing that for many people the election was about many other things. I held my nose and voted for Clinton (I hate her hawkishness, her willingness to cozy up to Wall Street). I find it easy to believe that someone could hate Trump as a person but still hold their nose and vote for him with something like the supreme court in mind.

    Presidential elections aren’t about personalities for everyone. We’re talking about 60 million people, do you really every one votes based on what they think of someone’s character? Would that even be a good way to choose a leader?

    Put it this way. If Trump had ended up running for the Democrats and say Jeb had ended up running for the GOP, I’d probably have held my nose and voted for Trump, because I think the overall Democrat policies are considerably better.

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  161. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I got an early lesson in this. My grandfather was a bit of a slumlord in Long Beach, CA, and for a while in my teens I was his rent collector, along with my aunt’s husband who became my pal as well as uncle.

    Now, we knew this was a slum. We knew our tenants were junkies and whores and guys scamming disability and so on. One day we had this young woman apply for one of the vacant homes. Nice, middle-class seeming woman with a young daughter. We thought it was a bad idea to move her daughter into this neighborhood. So we went and found her a better place in Lakewood, a place with decent schools, that was the same rent.

    And she rejected it. She rented in our little slum, moving in right next door to people whose spoons were always black on the bottom. Some people cannot be helped.

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  162. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mikey: I’ll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  163. michael reynolds says:

    @george:

    I find it easy to believe that someone could hate Trump as a person but still hold their nose and vote for him with something like the supreme court in mind.

    Not quite that simple. Because you cannot vote for Trump if you consider the lives of black people, Latinos, Muslims and others to be fully equal as Americans. You cannot vote for Trump unless you are at least passively racist. You can only vote for Trump if you are willing to throw minorities under the bus.

    And that’s one of the reasons why we are writing these people off. They aren’t just economically distressed, they are distressed and willing to say, “Hey, who knows, maybe something good will come of this. . . and all we have to do is sacrifice the Jews! Er, the Mexicans!”

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  164. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    For you the election seems to have been choosing a leader.

    That isn’t what I said at all.

    The point is straightforward: Trump is so appalling in every way that there are many who believe that it should have been absolutely unthinkable to check the box next to his name. The reaction that you are seeing here is the sense that Trump’s failures go anything beyond what we have seen in a century or more, and that there is no way that Trump could have possibly been the lesser of two evils in any scenario.

    I expected a close result in the popular vote, so that aspect of the election didn’t surprise me at all. Unlike many of those who post here, I am willing to accept that many of the Trump voters aren’t necessarily bad or stupid. However, even the lesser-of-two-evils voters have such glaring blind spots that you will have to forgive me if I probably don’t end up liking some of them because of it, as Trump was simply that bad and there are some lines that you just don’t cross.

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  165. Experts don’t have a good answer about what to do about the loss of jobs to automation. Countries like Germany and Netherlands manage do keep a large manufacturing base because they heavily invest to keep their labor force well qualified and well trained. But even these countries face huge challenges in the future. Middle and Upper Income Countries that ignores this reality have permanent double digit unemployment numbers.

    I don´t REALLY know what can be done about underemployment among noncollege educated workers in Appalachia and in the Rust Belt, and I think that Obama did not have a policy for that(And I think that a policy in the Federal Level is necessary).

    On the other hand, the usual policy of blaming China, Coastal Elites and Brown People from South of Rio Grande is going to do absolutely nothing for them. They need public policies, and public policies that involves “federal government”.

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  166. C. Clavin says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    You really need to change your commenting name…you are just insulting the man.

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  167. al-Alameda says:

    @george:
    I understand the points you’re making George, I really do.

    Having said that, I suspect that Liberals will do as much soul-searching and introspection as Conservatives did following the 20008 and 2012 elections.

    Which is to say, they (Conservatives) did no soul searching, did absolutely nothing to reach out to liberal constituencies, nor try to understand liberals, rather, they doubled down on hard-nosed, bare-knuckle street fighting and obstructed as much the Obama presidency as they possibly could, they twice shut down the federal government, and paid absolutely no political price for this approach.

    Suffice to say, I’m not real excited about holding encounter group sessions to determine how to better understand and communicate with people who were attracted to a racist (yes, he actually is a racist) con man like Donald Trump.

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  168. Guarneri says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    And when we’re there not tremendous challenges and automation? We farm with one where it used to take a hundred. No one rides a horse. There is an excess of blacksmiths. And so it goes. The notion that government is going to fix it is ludicrous. Get the hell out of the way and let the competent get to the task. Paul Krugman doesn’t create jobs.

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  169. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Not quite that simple. Because you cannot vote for Trump if you consider the lives of black people, Latinos, Muslims and others to be fully equal as Americans. You cannot vote for Trump unless you are at least passively racist. You can only vote for Trump if you are willing to throw minorities under the bus.

    But by that reasoning, you couldn’t vote for Clinton if you consider the lives of innocent people killed at weddings in Pakistan, or as collateral damage in destabilizing governments in the middle east, or lives ruined by the bailing out banks instead of home owners. If that’s the criteria, then people who voted 3rd party or not at all were the only morally responsible ones.

    Is killing people overseas really that much better than throwing the lives of minorities under the bus here? All the choices stink to high heaven. Voting makes you a racist or a war monger or an anti-vaxer if you take the reasoning that you are everything associated with the candidate you vote for.

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  170. george says:

    @al-Alameda:

    Suffice to say, I’m not real excited about holding encounter group sessions to determine how to better understand and communicate with people who were attracted to a racist (yes, he actually is a racist) con man like Donald Trump.

    Trump is very much racist and sexist. Clinton is very much a war hawk willing to trade hundreds if not thousands of overseas lives for advantages. I’m not real excited about talking to people attracted to either.

    I’m more interested in talking to people who held their noses and voted for one or the other. I know there were a lot of people voting for Clinton who disliked her casual approach to innocents overseas. I’ve met some who disliked Trump’s racism and sexism but voted for him as well, and from what I read there’s a sizable number (at least a quarter of his voters, probably more going by the fact he only got 40% of the GOP primaries). Those are the targets, not people who were attracted by racism/killing/war.

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  171. al-Alameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    And when we’re there not tremendous challenges and automation? We farm with one where it used to take a hundred.

    The notion that government is going to fix it is ludicrous. Get the hell out of the way and let the competent get to the task. Paul Krugman doesn’t create jobs.

    There is a lot of manufacturing done in America today, but where it previously took hundreds or thousands of workers to accomplish tasks, automation has made it possible to design, manufacture and assemble with far fewer workers.

    Finally, I’m not sure Paul Krugman is an especially good straw man. At every point along the way Paul Krugman has accurately assessed economic policies and actions necessary the since the economic collapse of 2008.

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  172. KM says:

    @george:

    But most of us wouldn’t call such people stupid, we’d simply say they make some bad choices.

    The same is true for many Trump voters. Thinking of them all as stupid is a mistake for a number of reasons.

    This is where the disconnect lies. Liberals are saying Trump voters are *being* stupid, *acting* stupid. Trump voters are hearing they *are* stupid and taking it personally. It’s the origin of the hurt feelings that keep surfacing in every complaint. It’s like saying “Boomers did a lot of drugs in their youth” and having someone complain “Well, I never did! I’m not a druggie!”

    Quite frankly, nobody likes to hear they made a mistake. Nobody likes to admit fault or hear something they feel is judgmental. This is a very understandable human trait. However, it is a personal fault that one cannot accept criticism without personalizing it. Even constructive criticism is too much for some as any version is seen as condescension. Rural America is in a bind and not willing to accept that some criticism of it is justified. It needs to accept change is coming and that it’s made some very questionable life choices that’s made its situation worse.

    People who make questionable life decisions and want sympathy for them generally don’t get it without somebody pointing out how……. unwise….. those decisions were. It’s kinda how people work.

    One is that intelligent people can change habits, another is that underestimating opponents never works out well.

    They don’t *want* to change – that’s the whole point. Don’t want to move, don’t want to accept cultural and economic shifts, don’t want to give up dying industries, don’t want to vote differently even though it’s pretty clear it’s going to hurt you personally. They voted for the person who promised them “AGAIN”, not “new” or “going forward”. Liberals could have been the most sympathetic, helpful, non-mocking, non-unwise pointers out in the world with a detailed plan for future jobs and that lever was still going to be pulled for Candidate (R). Because Candidate (R) flat out lies and says nothing has to change.

    Intelligent people with their head buried in the sand are often mistaken for fools. To be fair, it’s very hard to tell the difference when one acts like the other so often. Picking Trump, the epitome of everything Rural America claims to hate and is taking clear actions to reinforce that image, is a foolish act. Time will only show just how much rural America paid in order to avenge the slight being considered foolish. Ancient wisdom: fools and their money are soon parted

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  173. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    I am seeing that this comes down to the fact that you don’t think Trump is all that bad.

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  174. EddieInCA says:

    @Guarneri:

    It’s awesome how you pretend that 2000-2008 didn’t exist. Look at job creation from 2000-2008 and compare it to 2008-20016.

    Compare the two terms.

    Or compare 2000-20098 to 1992-2000.

    Go ahead.

    We have Kansas and Louisiana to look forward to as a nation. You can’t cut taxes and increase spending and have a stable, growing economy.

    Awesome

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  175. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    You wouldn’t know competence if it bit you in the arse.

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  176. C. Clavin says:

    @george:
    Holy false equivalence, Batman.

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  177. Pch101 says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Bush 43 failed to understand that tax cuts and extended warfare cannot possibly work in tandem with each.

    Unlike entitlement or infrastructure spending, military spending has a fiscal multiplier of less than 1. Building a missile and blowing it up abroad does not create economic growth at home, unlike the payment of unemployment benefits or building out transportation that helps Americans to keep passing money around to each other as an economy requires.

    Wars need to be funded through tax increases, but Bush managed the budget as if there was no war at all. (More to the point, supply siders pretend that the fiscal multiplier does not exist, so they see no difference between different kinds of spending.) Deficits will necessarily balloon with such policies, which they predictably did. You can have guns or butter, but not both.

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  178. Guarneri says:

    @al-Alameda:

    You don’t say. I’ve owned more than 20 manufacturing companies over the years. Sometimes the realities dictate automation, sometimes you get job growth. On balance we have become more productive. That’s a good thing, and nothing new. It is a centuries old phenomenon. If you have a Luddite view that this is a bad thing then you are as clueless as Clavin. Call me crazy, but outlawing the tractor and issuing 50 picks and shovels to 50 workers isn’t going to get a good result.

    Pick any straw man of your choosing. But Paul Krugman? Really? Surely you jest. For just the most recent set of faulty predictions look at what he said just post Trump election.

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  179. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Thankfully my ass is intact. I would know a losing and incompetent candidate if it bit me though. Has Hillary finally swirled down the toilet? You did see that, right?

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  180. Guarneri says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Select data much? Not very analytical are you?

    How’s the labor force participation rate, the thing that really matters, doing?

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  181. grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: Guffaw. 20 companies. Right. And I’m the Empress of China….

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  182. michael reynolds says:

    @george:

    Of course. Yes. When I voted for Hillary I knew she might blow up some jihadis and kill innocent people in the process. Guess what? I want her to kill jihadis. One of the reasons I voted for Obama was because he made clear from the start that he meant to blow up jihadis.

    And yes, it means I was willing to turn a blind eye to her, shall we say, interesting notions of ethics.

    I take responsibility for my votes. As Trump voters must now take responsibility for electing a racist, woman-hating, ignorant, unstable man-baby.

    Don’t act as if that’s not what Trump voters knowingly did. They knew he was a racist, they knew he was a pig, they knew he was unsteady and unready, and they pulled the lever anyway because fwck black people and fwck Latinos they get all the good stuff and we white people are denied our proper place in the social hierarchy, waaah, that will teach all those uppity liberals.

    Now, I’m sure you know people you think of as good people who voted for Trump. No one ever wakes up in the morning thinking, “Today, I’ll do some evil.” The people doing evil always think of themselves as good. Auschwitz guards made sure to show up for their kid’s school plays, and always bought the wife flowers on Valentine’s Day.

    This is the real world, not a Marvel movie, the bad people don’t wear fright masks. This is what evil looks like: ‘good’ people pursuing their own ends at the expense of others who are racially or religiously different from them. And it’s compounded by the fact that they aren’t even helping themselves, so the net effect of their votes was just evil, just racism, just misogyny, just bigotry, that’s all that they will ‘get’ for their votes.

    If you have some practical way to ‘help’ these cretins, please tell us, because all we’re getting is ‘listen to them.’ What exactly would you do today to help a machinist in Youngstown who has been unemployed for ten years since the factory left? And please, not the usual, ‘education’ dodge, because we both know at least half the population in this country is not capable of handling college.

    So what would you do?

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  183. al-Alameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    If you have a Luddite view that this is a bad thing then you are as clueless as Clavin. Call me crazy, but outlawing the tractor and issuing 50 picks and shovels to 50 workers isn’t going to get a good result.

    I don’t know why you think otherwise but, I am and always have been a strong free trade advocate.

    Pick any straw man of your choosing. But Paul Krugman? Really? Surely you jest. For just the most recent set of faulty predictions look at what he said just post Trump election.

    Interesting, but you’re off topic. Paul Krugman, as I said previously, has been exactly right about the economics of economic recovery since the catastrophic collapse of 2008.

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  184. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pch101: “The point is straightforward: Trump Hillary is so appalling in every way that there are many who believe that it should have been absolutely unthinkable to check the box next to his her name. ”

    Fixed that for you, based on the reality of life in my little town, population ~35,000 (and where the kids aren’t waiting for the mills to reopen but are planning to leave to places where they will have a future). Perceptions differ. Calling these people racist homophobic SOBs (and some are) will not help the Democratic Party regain the place it had here when, in 1995, most precincts in the area didn’t have enough Republicans to have even one candidate for precinct committee person.

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  185. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Calling these people racist homophobic SOBs (and some are) will not help the Democratic Party regain the place it had here

    I agree. But I’m not a Democrat, and I am free to call ’em as I see ’em here on the interwebs.

    If I was involved with a political campaign, outreach, etc., then it would be a completely different matter, of course.

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  186. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    Sure…she only got 2.5M more votes than the incompetent Cheeto.
    I’m sure you think the Carrier deal is brilliant.
    What a maroon.

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  187. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @C. Clavin: Did I touch a nerve? Some chamomile tea and a Xanax might soothe the butt hurt.

    If you know anything about the great Jim Brown (which you don’t) you’d know he was especially hard on people like YOU that have all these great solutions for Black America which is nothing but bigotry and white paternalism in different clothes.

    Have you ever lived in a predominately black community? Doubtful (I’ll bet you have black friends though right?) If you did you’d have a clue how our community works and what its key issues are….and you wouldn’t be on this blog every day pontificating on the dark days coming to my community. THE DAYS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DARK IDIOT!

    You see, contrary to what prejudice liberals like you think. Most black people work jobs and are outside the scope of many of these great paternalistic, focus-grouped “programs” you try to pretend are there to help my community–most of us won’t even qualify. Supporting Obama was about vindication of what the best of our community is–because it damn sure isn’t the media representations of us. We got to have our sons and daughters have the ultimate role models in the white house to show them the realm of the possible–that went a whole lot further than the paltry policy delivered.

    You know what’s sad about boomer liberals like you? You’ve been conditioned to need “n!&&3rs” to openly hate. Now that its become politically untenable for it to be People of Color–you’ve made it rural Caucasians. I read every one of your posts and think to myself…if this was the ’60 or 70s your exact same words would have been directed towards me. So don’t every try to lecture me about what one of the actual heros of my community stood for when its obvious you have your head up your a$$.

    The Dave Chappelle/Chris Rock SNL election night skit—that’s our reaction to you.
    The Chris Rock Oscars monologue—Chris made that speech to Liberals.

    BTW: Jim Brown recently gave and interview where he stated he was “pulling for the President-elect”. Jim Brown cares about black people and doesn’t care which political party is willing to facilitate that. He’s the opposite of a zealot like you.

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  188. KM says:

    The truth is Carrier is a bad deal, especially from someone who brags he’s a fantastic deal-maker. With his supposed skillset, he should have gotten more and given less and not one damn job should be gone. Instead, the more details that come out, the more it looks like Carrier fleeced the state and Trump’s running around bragging he scored a home run.

    Meanwhile, another manufacturing company down the street from Carrier is leaving. When should they expect Trump’s call and a nice bundle of incentives (*cha ching!*)? Don’t those jobs deserve the President’s personal attention and effort to save or are the 350 Rexnord jobs not worth it? Employees at companies all over America are now going to pin their hopes on Trump intervening and he’s not going be able to save them all. So many Trump voters are going to get a rude wake-up call when he can’t be bothered……

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  189. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @KM:

    The takeaway from this for every manufacturing CEO in America just became “threaten to move production to Mexico – even if you have zero intention of actually doing it. You can get your labor costs subsidized by the public fisc.”

    It was a PR stunt – nothing more – and not even much of that.

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  190. Pch101 says:

    @Guarneri:

    I have some nifty ideas for increasing the labor force participation rate:

    -Put Alzheimer patients back to work (lazy bastards)
    -Force stay-at-home mothers back into the workforce (to hell with that childrearing crapola)
    -Kick kids out of school on their 16th birthdays, make ’em get jobs
    -Get rid of Social Security so that people have to work until the day that they die. Who in the hell do they think they are by retiring, anyway?

    All of those people are screwing up our statistics, and we surely can’t let that happen!

    In the alternative, we could toss Zero Hedge onto the rubbish heap where it belongs, and dedicate a whopping five minutes of our precious internet time to learning the difference between “unemployed” and “not in the labor force.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics will be glad you did.

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  191. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: No, that’s possible; look at how many enterprises Trump has had. Also note that he didn’t say “successful companies,” just “companies.” This is Drew, the Baron von Munchhausen of Capitalism after all.

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  192. An Interested Party says:

    Jim Brown recently gave and interview where he stated he was “pulling for the President-elect”. Jim Brown cares about black people and doesn’t care which political party is willing to facilitate that.

    He can pull all he wants, but Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell, among many others who will now be in complete power in Washington, don’t care as Jim Brown does…

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  193. grumpy realist says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Estimating Drew’s age by his vocabulary–oh wait, we’ve got Trump as a counter-example, don’t we. 70 years old and talking like a 5 year old.

    I guess it really is true what they say about second childhoods.

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  194. @Guarneri: Try saying that for non-college educated workers in Appalachia and in the Rust Belt.

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  195. KM says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    I worked at a toxic company like that when I first started out. There was a terrible trend of forcing pay hikes by threatening to leave. It became widespread because it worked: you could get a measly grand as the standard raise or score 10 grand and new title easy. Some people did it so often you wonder why HR didn’t say “FU faker, take a hike.” I lasted 2 years before pulling that stunt; although i will say I actually had accepted a offer somewhere else but got a counteroffer that put me in a new tax bracket. I made it another 2 before I couldn’t take it anymore and no counteroffer was worth the BS corporate culture that kind of blatant disrespect and inter-dept hostility fostered. From what I hear, that’s still the way it goes over there. Once the precedence it set, it’s really hard to discourage. Mercenary tactics rarely stop on their own.

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  196. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: You’re probably right. Meet the new bosses of Washington…same as the old ones.

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  197. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: We’ve been subsidizing the finance industry for decades now. Why not?

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  198. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If you have some practical way to ‘help’ these cretins, please tell us, because all we’re getting is ‘listen to them.’

    What science says on the matter:

    Does Fighting Racism Make Racists More Racist?

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  199. restlessness says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Since the current Democratic/liberal (which aren’t necessarily the same thing) policies obviously didn’t appeal to Trump supporters, what policies do you propose that might win them over?

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  200. george says:

    @Pch101:

    I am seeing that this comes down to the fact that you don’t think Trump is all that bad.

    No, I said before the election what I’m saying now, he’s a disaster. What this comes down to for me is winning in 2018 and 2020. Winning teams in sport, successful companies in engineering study their losses for technical mistakes on their part, but focus on the next competition, the next project. What I see here is a lot of giving up and hand wringing.

    You win by converting voters. You don’t convert voters by insulting them. How hard is it to understand that?

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  201. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yes, the Trump voters I know openly voted for Trump, knowing what he was. They seem to be able to live with that as well as you can live with hundreds of dead people at wedding receptions, and thousands of dead people and refugees from destabilized countries like Syria and Libya.

    I guess that’s just how people work, we rationalize our choices. If other people suffer, well they had it coming, or were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I suppose the one difference is that Hillary was aiming at people outside America, Trump is aiming at people inside America. Or at least that’s what I tell my uneasy conscience – killing innocent foreigners isn’t really bad, is it? Its not like their lives were important or anything.

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  202. Mikey says:

    @george:

    I suppose the one difference is that Hillary was aiming at people outside America, Trump is aiming at people inside America.

    I never heard Hillary calling for a return to torture and the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians as Trump did (to cheering and adoring crowds).

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  203. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    You win by converting voters. You don’t convert voters by insulting them.

    Are you claiming that the Republican candidate who tripled the vote for the Libertarians and spoke of Mexican rapists wasn’t insulting people? Or does it only matter when white people are offended?

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  204. Since at least 10 years I see Democratic Pundits and Political Analysts arguing that Democrats can’t win in the South, that they should ignore that and saying that the White Working Class wasn’t going to return to them.

    I think that there is a problem here, because Democrats may not win in Alabama, but they need at least not to lose badly among voters that are not culturally so different from people in Alabama in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

    It’s a matter of infrastructure, maybe more than about politics. Democrats can´t win just with hipsters, PoCs and Single Women. Besides that, both White, Black and Hispanic Working Class people share a lot of the issues and concerns. It´s no wonder that when Democrats lose REALLY badly with White Working Class voters turnout among Black Voters is low.

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  205. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @restlessness: The term Trump supporter requires a qualifier. IIRC close to 40% of people that voted for the guy can’t stand him– and 64% of people that hated both candidates pulled the lever for Trump. If Trump supporter refers to the 30% of the his voters that actually like him–why waste the time when you can go after the 40% of his voters that hate him (but will never vote for a Clinton), and the 64% of people that hated Trump and Clinton but still voted for Trump? Most of these people are the suburbanites that HRC lost

    What to target these voters with? First you need an overall narrative and problem statement that your policies all feed into. “The system is rigged” or something like that works fine.

    Because the system is rigged, the party is going to:

    (Trump has proven you don’t need to say how until elected–these are themes)

    – Attack the cost side of health insurance (vice subsidies)
    – Attack the cost side of health care (vice subsidies)
    – Attack the cost side of educational expenses (vice subsidies)
    – Eliminate financial sector subsidies (including low cost borrowing by USG that causes main street’s savings accounts to accrue interest at .01%)
    – Incentivize investment into capital good vice paper investment vehicles
    – Use the Sherman Antitrust act to break up monopolies
    – Reduce the cost of entry into the marketplace for small business entrepreneurs.
    – Offer protections for employee-owned business to stimulate the formation of more.
    – BRING BACK PENSIONS!

    If you want to get Black people energized:

    Address urban gentrification
    – Roll back unqualified Police Immunity
    – Incentivize business to relocated to low wage areas
    – Abandon the War on Drugs
    – Hold police accountable for IMPACTFUL police work–while police are harassing small-time crooks, real gangsters are terrorizing the community. Most of these people have killed double-digit people and are still walking the street

    Im not a marketing person but if you sloganize those themes (or something like that)—the Democrats would be cooking with gas.

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  206. Monala says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I need to correct you here:

    All the election year turnout stunts around birth control, transgender bathrooms, gay marriage wedding cakes, and other assorted issues that have nothing to do with kitchen table economics.

    Birth control is an enormous kitchen table economics issue for women (and men, if married to one). Being able to control how many children you have, and when you have them, affects your ability to work and provide for yourself and your kids. It’s one of the most basic economics issues there is.

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  207. Monala says:

    @george: But Trump is also a war hawk. Even though he post-facto criticized the Iraq War, he has made numerous militarily threatening statements throughout his campaign. And in his personal history, vengeance has been a long-standing trait of his. Why someone would expect that his foreign policies would be more peaceful than Clinton’s are beyond me.

    On the other hand, I felt pretty confident that Clinton would be better for the country in terms of human rights, women’s rights, etc. So when one candidate has flaws, but the other one has the same flaws and then some, the former is a much better option.

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  208. restlessness says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Thank you! I love me a list.

    I agree, ‘Trump Supporters’ is too broad a term – ‘reachable Trump Supports’, or perhaps, ‘former Obama Supporters’ is better. They voted for ‘Hope’ once…

    And, yes, having a story arc, a narrative, is important. A charismatic, crowd-comfortable person, as mentioned upthread? on another thread? needs to be the story teller. Hillary wasn’t that. Bernie was better, but I think he would have been Dukakis-ed in the general election.

    However, the ACA tried to address your first two issues, and that didn’t work since the focussed opposition of Congress meant it’s problems couldn’t be fixed.

    The low-cost borrowing was the only stimulus the administration had available, again, given the opposition of Congress. It helped Wall Street and other investors (3% 30-year home mortgages? – my first was at 9%!) at the expense of savers, unfortunately.

    The focus on shareholder returns means ‘bigger is better’, and works against anti-trust efforts.

    Education and small business support are mostly state-level issues. Same problem with gentrification and police – the actual rules need to be passed locally. I expect a party focus on the issues would help – maybe a liberal version of ALEC? :)

    I’ve read that we lost pensions, and are losing health care, because these were tied to employment after WWII. They were benefits that employers used to attract employees, instead of salary increases. Globalization means these programs are too expensive for employers to support.

    Strengthening Social Security and creating a govt-managed 401K, available to all, might work? Start expanding Medicare down and up the age curve (say, Medicare for under 12 and over 50, to start)?

    Neither of these is possible, today. Or for at least two years.

    Personally, I’d like to see a sustained effort, a broad talking point, that the Reagan tax cuts, based on the ‘Laffer Curve’ has had a chance to work and has failed. Elizabeth Warren has pointed this out; it needs to be brought up constantly. Once people internalize that the tax cuts that were supposed to ‘trickle down’ have only been pocketed, maybe we can make progress on some of these issues.

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  209. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It may surprise you to learn but in my other persona as a writer I’m in all kinds of hot water for fighting against PC in kidlit. So you’re preaching to the choir to some extent. I literally cannot go to kidlit conferences* because I’m in such bad odor for pushing back on silly horseshite like trigger warnings and cultural appropriation.

    The fact that in kidlit I’m somehow way to the right, while here I’m way to the left, reassures me a bit.

    Unfortunately nuanced political and philosophical discussion is impossible at either end. <— comic understatement. The underlying issue is that people are very poorly educated on issues about which they have strong and wrong opinions.

    But that does not alter the fact that voters made a very serious mistake. A mentally unstable man now controls 4500 nuclear weapons, not to mention 13 (IIRC) aircraft carriers, quite a few missiles, Predators, tanks. . . All in the hands of a man who wakes up at 3 AM to sh!t on some ex Miss Universe. There are more reasons it was a completely moronic thing to do, but that's the biggie.

    *Full disclosure, not being able to do conferences is a Bre'er Rabbit thing for me. Oh, no, Bre'er Fox, don't stop me going to conferences! Anything but that!

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  210. grumpy realist says:

    @restlessness: I wonder what would happen if we did a double health care system: something like an NHS for those of us who want it, and total free-for-all for those who don’t (private insurance only, no regulations, period.) The NHS would be available for all children up to age 15, no questions asked and no money demanded of their parents.

    Oh, and you can go off the NHS plan whenever you want. If you want to jump on to it you have to show that you are at least as healthy as the average NHS user of your age and sex.

    If you’re on the NHS plan the government gets to practice triage and tell you to eat your veggies. If you want something more than what the NHS system offers you can get supplemental insurance.

    Comments?

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  211. michael reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    If you want to get Black people energized:

    Address urban gentrification
    – Roll back unqualified Police Immunity
    – Incentivize business to relocated to low wage areas
    – Abandon the War on Drugs
    – Hold police accountable for IMPACTFUL police work–while police are harassing small-time crooks, real gangsters are terrorizing the community. Most of these people have killed double-digit people and are still walking the street.

    As pointed out above, none of that is the job of POTUS. Obama began the job of winding down the war on drugs. Hillary would have continued that policy. Trump has called for a return to harsh anti-drug measures.

    As for incentivizing businesses to move into poor neighborhoods, good luck with that. When I travel overseas my go-to metric to determine the wealth and health of a community is the ratio of businesses to people. Rich people (surprise!) have lots of restaurants and coffee shops and grocery stores fighting to sell $5 bottles of magic water. It’s a money thing at least as much as a race thing. Drive around Sicily outside of the tourist areas and walk around the stores. Basically bodegas like you’d see in the ‘wrong’ parts of NYC or LA. Poor people get lousy choices. If you ever want a quick and easy way to find the money neighborhoods of an American city, open Google Maps and punch in, ‘banks’ or ‘Starbucks.’

    So it wouldn’t be enough to give some entrepreneur a tax break to open a store in a poor neighborhood, it would mean on-going subsidy for years, maybe decades. I can’t see that happening.

    I don’t know if you’ve been poor, but I’ve been poor, actual poor. People think the poor sit around all day filled with envy and resentment. That’s not it, in my experience. From what I remember quite vividly, poverty is all about fear. When you’re poor you’re walking a high tightrope. One wrong step. A car tire that blows out, a kid who needs wisdom teeth pulled, a missed bus sometimes, is all it takes. Ramp that fear up to eleven if you have kids.

    I think what poor people – and increasingly that includes people holding down full-time employment – want is a relief from fear. They want some sense that if sh!t really hits the fan, they can survive and recover. That’s what the safety net is meant to be, but the net is all holes where working poor are concerned. Minority poor have additional fears: trigger-happy cops for African-Americans, ICE for Hispanics, random attacks for gays and trans folk.

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  212. KM says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    – BRING BACK PENSIONS!

    Hmm, let’s ask a business person about that. “Mr. President-Elect, why didn’t you provide pensions for your employees? Surely as part of your plan to MAGA, you’d have taken the lead in securing their future retirements as an example to the country. Oh well, it’s a done deal your children will now take that cause up in your stead, right? Right?”

    Pensions aren’t ever coming back for a simple but harsh reason: you cost too damn much because you live too long. Paying a pension for a few dozen employees for maybe 10 years or so? Can be done in larger companies. Paying for thousands for 30 years or more with an ever-growing retiree list? That’s a second payroll for a company to maintain. Boomer population numbers and rising life expectancy killed pensions, corporate greed just made it die a little faster then it would have naturally.

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  213. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist: The German system is something like that. Coverage is mandated, it’s funded through payroll deductions, but above a certain income threshhold it’s permitted to opt out and go to entirely private coverage.

    However, if you want to get back into the publicly-funded system, you have to pay extra and it’s a substantial contribution. So even most of the people eligible to go fully private will stick with the public option.

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  214. Stormy Dragon says:

    @KM:

    The other big problem with pensions is that there’s too much temptation for the people in charge of them to monkey around for short term gain knowing that the problems caused won’t come due for 40 years, at which point they’ll be long gone.

    Have a good year on your investments? Let’s skip our contribution payment to help our budget.

    Trouble negotiating pay? Bump up the pension benefit instead of a raise

    Next thing you know the pension is bankrupt and we’re stuck with either starving retirees or the taxpayers picking up the difference.

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  215. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But that does not alter the fact that voters made a very serious mistake. A mentally unstable man now controls 4500 nuclear weapons, not to mention 13 (IIRC) aircraft carriers, quite a few missiles, Predators, tanks. . . All in the hands of a man who wakes up at 3 AM to sh!t on some ex Miss Universe. There are more reasons it was a completely moronic thing to do, but that’s the biggie.

    It’s almost like allowing the President to unilaterally murder people without absolutely no outside oversight was a bad idea.

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  216. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Talk to Congress. They have the power but they don’t like the responsibility.

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  217. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: And let’s not mention what happens with the public union pensions (cough Brownback Kansas cough)…..

    I’m at the tail end of the Boomer generation, so am pretty well resigned to having everything run out by the time it gets to me. My older Boomer brothers and sisters will have skimmed off the cream and left me and those who come after me with sour skim milk. If anything at all.

    (What I don’t understand is how in the HECK does Ryan think he’s going to be able to sell “privatizing Social Security if you’re less than 55”. Why in the world would people be amendable to pay money into a system when they’ve already been told it won’t be around for them? And who’s going to be willing to have SS ripped away from them when they’ve already been paying over the years? I would expect a complete revolt from everybody.)

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  218. Tyrell says:

    Hopefully she will start reading bills before she votes on them.

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  219. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: In Korea, they say second childhood begins on the day of one’s 60th birthday, but my Korean host suggested that, in addition to a relationship to a zodiac cycle, very few Koreans lived to be 60 in earlier times and so living that long was noteworthy.

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  220. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    What I don’t understand is how in the HECK does Ryan think he’s going to be able to sell “privatizing Social Security if you’re less than 55”.

    No shit! I’m 50 and have been working since I was 15, so that’s 35 years of Medicare payroll deductions…and he’s going to try to tell me I’m going to pay for another 5 years and then have, what, exactly? “Premium support?” I have that now with my employer-provided insurance and it sucks ass.

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  221. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: In case you haven’t noticed, the President is now Spokesman for their Party and their vision of how the Country SHOULD be. It’s immaterial if it’s within the President’s or Federal Governments actual power to accomplish. The President sets the table for party devotees at all levels to pile on the train. They bring the TV cameras to show off best practices that can be modeled in other cities and states.

    Almost ever detail of our lives are man made which means they can be undone by men. The President charts a course and let’s the experts at out the options on how best to get there. It’s not relevant that Democrats at the federal level have no jurisdiction in many of these Themes…the goal is to establish a brand for the party that cuts across gender, race, age, and sex. If Trump can go around the country talking about building a wall…a Democrat can go around talking about bringing back pensions–which do you think is more interesting to voters?

    PS: Yes, I started poor. Lived in the hood several times. Got food stamps, WIC, free school lunch,etc. Been at the end of police guns multiple times. Had old ladies clutch purses and locked doors when I passed by. Went without health insurance to pay for food and gas. I’ve good decent poor and black creds.

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  222. michael reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Fair point. Interesting point.

    My creds are poor white of course, and the only time anyone pointed a gun at me it was a white dude (who looked vaguely like Andy Garcia wearing Columbo’s raincoat) robbing me at a Sambo’s restaurant where I was graveyard manager. I gave him the money and offered to cook him a steak. One of those weird events where I wasn’t at all scared while it was happening. Later. . .

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  223. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    How (and you’ll want to be specific here) do we, on net, subsidize the finance industry?

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  224. Stormy Dragon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    How (and you’ll want to be specific here) do we, on net, subsidize the finance industry?

    When they screw the pooch and are about to go bankrupt, we give them a half trillion dollars of other people’s money to save them.

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  225. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Funny, I recall Treasury purchasing preferred stock in the largest banks, being paid healthy dividends on its shares for a while, then getting its money back when the banks (many of whom didn’t want to participate in the first place) repurchased them. Treasury made a profit on that deal.

    In fact, Treasury made a tidy profit on just about every aspect of TARP:

    AIG – $67.8 billion disbursed – $72.9 billion recovered

    Banks – $250 billion disbursed – $275.3 billion recovered

    Credit Markets – $19.1 billion disbursed – $23.6 billion recovered

    Net benefit to Treasury from the financial industry as a result of TARP? $34.9 billion. You didn’t subsidize Wall Street. We ended up subsidizing you.

    The only portions of the program which lost money for Treasury? The auto bailout (which was absolutely necessary anyway) – net loss of $9.2 billion and Housing assistance to mortgage holders – net payout of $22.9 billion – which will never recoup a dime for Treasury (and wasn’t intended to, but I think you get the point).

    The State of Indiana will lose money on this Carrier deal. It’s a false equivalency (and stupid policy to boot).

    Do you have any examples of banks actually having been GIVEN money (as opposed to having been LOANED money)?

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  226. Jim Brown32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You’re don’t think government policy of zero inflation which allows banks to borrow free money and loan it at retail isn’t a defacto subsidy? Government equity investments to prevent the natural death of firms that overleveraged themselves and gambled wrong aren’t subsidies? Look, your industry is crawling with intelligent but greedy lawyers who are way to smart to pimp the taxpayers in a way that looks like welfare. You’re way to smart for that.

    The bottom line is the regulatory and tax incentive/disincentive structure favors finance. If anybody with have a brain wants to make money why on earth would they do anything with it BUT put it in the “market”. It must be nice being in an industry that’s the favorite child of Uncle Sam and looking down your nose at the rest of us in the real economy. I don’t hate the Playas– but I do hate the Game

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  227. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown32:

    You’re don’t think government policy of zero inflation which allows banks to borrow free money and loan it at retail isn’t a defacto subsidy?

    I think it’s more of a subsidy for borrowers than it is for banks, but that said, banks borrow from each other or raise capital in the CM to fund longer term investing. They aren’t sourcing their retail funding from the Fed.

    And I don’t hear many people complaining about sub 5% mortgages and sub 10% credit cards …

    Banks borrow from the fed via the discount window on a short term basis (usually overnight) in order to maintain minimum capital requirements and ensure liquidity. The discount window rates are always higher than the FFR precisely to disincentivize banks from doing what you’re suggesting that they’re doing. It is ALWAYS cheaper for a bank to borrow from another bank than it is for them to borrow from the Fed. About the only reasons banks choose to utilize the discount window at all, when they even do, is simplicity. It costs more, but it’s easier, so if you’re in a time crunch, you just hit the Fed, otherwise you reach out to your interbank partners.

    The entire purpose of the discount window is to incentivize CONSUMER lending.

    Government equity investments to prevent the natural death of firms that overleveraged themselves and gambled wrong aren’t subsidies?

    No, they aren’t. They were temporary capital injections intended to prevent the collapse of the entire financial system – which would have happened. If you’re dim enough to believe that the net result would have been a few banks failing in isolation, but no threat to the system as a whole, then you need to go take a finance class and get better acquainted with how derivatives interconnect banks in a way that drags them all down if just a few of them fail. Had AIG alone been allowed to fail, the net result would have been bank failures across the country, smashed ATMs and no bread in the store, nevermind what the result would have been if the failure was Citi or JPM.

    I’ll be the first to admit that the street over-leveraged, and that was our mistake, but you have to place equal blame on the nimrods who signed mortgages that they couldn’t afford.

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  228. Pch101 says:

    @Jim Brown32:

    The banking system is effectively an extension of the monetary system.

    Allowing the banking system to fail would have produced a global depression that would have made the 1930s look like a picnic. If there is any lesson to be learned from the Great Depression, it is that banks cannot be allowed to fall like dominoes because they take everyone else down with them.

    We didn’t subsidize the banks because we like them. We bailed them out because we had no choice.

    Fortunately, it is possible to generate a profit from bailing out banks, so it ultimately doesn’t cost us anything to do it. In contrast, the cost of doing nothing would have been horrendous.

    There could have been more done to clean up the management of the banks. But those kinds of changes would have prompted the GOP to claim that the country had gone communist.

    (Obama should have done those things, anyway, but he was too much of a consensus seeker to have gone that far. Too bad.)

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  229. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    I wonder what would happen if we did a double health care system: something like an NHS for those of us who want it, and total free-for-all for those who don’t (private insurance only, no regulations, period.)

    That’s more or less the German system. It still suffers from some issues (preferral treatment of higher-paying private plans, poverty trap for older people in ill health who made unwise choices in their youth, problematic risk pools due to lots of small insurers etc.) but it’s pretty good.

    If I had to do an improvement I would probably go Swiss: “free” standard healthcare for all. Private companies can compete on extended coverage (cosmetic dental, the more involved reproductive therapies) and luxury items (single rooms, wifi, designer rooms, personal visits by the department head …).

    Central would be to use the buyer leverage a unified first world market has to negotiate costs without depressing quality. As long as we keep throwing subsidies at the system, costs will always outperform available funds (just look at college tuition).

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  230. Jim Brown32 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That’s the Investment industry’s speculation on what would have happened. We’ll never know will we? At any rate, the only reason your madmax scenario has a decent probability of being possible is because guys and girls like you were smart enough to remove the firewalls that insulated the regular, real economy from Banker fwckery. Quite a nice dead-mans switch you’ve built into your detonation vest. Well played.

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  231. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: The whole real estate boondoggle was such a CF that I still can’t figure out who I think should have most been stood up against a wall and shot. The gullible individuals, who did “liar loans”? The bank employees, who sold them thinking only of their commissions? The banks, who tried to commodify the loans? The companies who packaged together all the CDOs and totally misused the probability of default charts? The quants, who came up with the math? It was an epic folie a cinq (ou six, ou sept…). Everyone wanted to believe that they had a machine that produced free gold and no one bothered to look under the hood.

    I realized the whole set-up was totally screwed up and would crash when I had my bank try to explain to me an ARM loan and I couldn’t understand it. And if I, with my background in theoretical physics, couldn’t get a hang of it, what would the ordinary Joe be thinking?

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  232. An Interested Party says:

    Speaking of the whole real estate boondoggle, I wonder how many of those good, decent, hardworking folks who voted for Donald Trump because he claimed he was going to drain the swamp and go after the fat cats will realize that they have been had in yet another version of the particularly Republican game of three-card Monte…I mean, the likes of Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross serving in Trump’s Cabinet of Deplorables…yeah, I’m so sure they’ll be looking out for the little guy and doing everything they can to save the middle class…

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  233. anjin-san says:

    @the Q:

    Liberals could care less about white inbreds in Appalachia losing their coal mining jobs

    Screw you pal. My grandfather grew up in coal country. Five of his siblings did not live to adulthood. He almost died in the minds when he was still a young boy.

    Don’t presume to speak for me, or anyone other than yourself.

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  234. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jim Brown32:

    That’s the Investment industry’s speculation on what would have happened

    No, this is not a matter of opinion where you get to see it in whatever way best suits your particular agenda. Speaking as someone who helped unravel it – it is fact. AIG had exposure to potential derivative payouts approaching $2.8 trillion.

    Those swaps were structured in such a way that even a 5% default rate in the underlying mortgage pools would have shifted some $330 billion in losses back onto the books of the banks they insured. All of them would have gone under – on the same day

    The entire system would have collapsed. The depression of the 1930s would have seemed like a vacation at the shore in comparison.

    At any rate, the only reason your madmax scenario has a decent probability of being possible is because guys and girls like you were smart enough to remove the firewalls that insulated the regular, real economy from Banker fwckery.

    This had little to nothing to do with Gramm-Leach-Bliley or the dismantlement of the Banking Act of 1933. This was derivatives exposure, and you can thank congressional Republicans for that, via CFMA 2000.

    Stick to topics you know something about

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  235. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I realized the whole set-up was totally screwed up and would crash when I had my bank try to explain to me an ARM loan and I couldn’t understand it.

    I realized it when a client sent over a prospectus for an MBS wanting to know what I thought. It took a bit of digging to get the data on the underlying pools, but when I realized that the entire thing was rated AAA – but comprised almost entirely of zero option negatively amortizing mortgages – well, the warning lights went off to say the least.

    Only one type of person takes out a mortgage which gives them the option to make zero payments and allow the accumulating interest to amortize into the principal of the loan on a rolling basis.

    Someone with no job … :roll:

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  236. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    The bank employees, who sold them thinking only of their commissions?

    To be fair, the vast majority of those loans were written by mortgage brokers working for paper houses, not bank employees. The banks just purchased and securitized them.

    But they knew what they were buying and selling – the magnitude of the swaps exposure is evidence of a massive effort to shift risk. They just didn’t care until some nimrod kept too much of the junk on their own books. Everybody had a massive incentive to look the other way – the fees were just too astronomical and nimrods who never should been allowed anywhere near buying a home got to live the dream for a bit – until it turned into a nightmare.

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  237. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Actually, you probably DID understand it. You just got confused when the little voice inside your head said “the folded card isn’t the queen anymore! There’s no queen at all!”

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  238. Tyrell says:

    So, more years of the fingernails on the chalkboard.
    “Raven hair and ruby lips
    Sparks fly from her fingertips
    Witchy woman ” (Eagles)
    ” We will have to pass it so we can see what is in it” Pelosi.

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  239. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Looking back on it, I think I dodged a bullet when Moody’s decided to not hire me after four rounds of interviews….(they liked my background, but had just been flooded with quants looking for a job after the crash in London.)

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  240. Matt says:

    @Tyrell: Look man I’ve seen it explained to you at least once before. Her comment was taken completely out of context AND shortened/mangled to make it mean something else. Just like that crap people peddle about Al Gore claiming he invented the internet (he didn’t). Gore did play a major role in getting what we call the internet going though through legislative and public action. If not for Gore (along with a bunch of other people) the internet wouldn’t be what it is today .

    Anyway the affordable care act that was passed was easily readable before it passed. You can read all of the bills before congress on the official government web sites.

    https://www.congress.gov/

    Even has a handy dandy search for you on the front page. The ACA was up there for months and anyone could of read it.

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