ITW Morning Edition (1/5): Politics


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

66 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Grieder’s scenarion is amusing and would certainly be welcome but it seems to me that, in the (extremely unlikely) scenario that the Trumpkins take the nod, Hillary would clean their clock in the general even if there wasn’t intra-GOP insurrection.Report

  2. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    As nearly as I can tell from the linked article, the Obama administration did not in fact call Puerto Rico a “colony.” That fighting word is a characterization applied to criticize the administration’s position regarding whether or not Puerto Rico has sovereign status in the same way that US states do. I don’t know the history of this issue, but it would not have occurred to me that a US territory had such sovereign status.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Right, they didn’t call Puerto Rico a colony, and what they did do they certainly didn’t do inadvertently.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

        I don’t doubt that you are correct. Legal briefs tend to be scrutinized pretty closely by multiple sets of eyes before they go out the door. That being said, what they did so advertently seems to me pretty unremarkable. The USA is, in legal theory, a federation of sovereign states that delegate limited aspects of their sovereignty to the federal government. Puerto Rico, however, is not one of these states, and indeed never has been an independent nation. If the argument is that Puerto Rico nonetheless is imbued with sovereignty like unto that of the various states, when and how did this happen, and why wasn’t I cc’ed on it?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      That’s fair. It was what some Puerto Ricans heard, but not really what was said.

      I honestly don’t understand the “colony” argument with regard to territories that the UN and outsiders like to apply. There is some history there, and territorial status is murky at times, but it’s also not a bad arrangement for the territories themselves. Any of them that want to go independent or the “Free Association” route likely could. And Puerto Rico itself could choose to become a state.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “but it’s also not a bad arrangement for the territories themselves”

        That’s apparent now, but remember, their talking about a mindset that follows from the years immediately after WW2. (which is longer from today that those years were from the Spanish American War).

        One of the primary purposes of the UN was a to create a new world order to rearrange the political conglomerations of the 19th century in a way more equitable for all the populations involved. Now, a lot of this was naiveté on the part of Roosevelt/Truman State Departments, and power politics on the part of the Soviet Union, but nonetheless they had a point. (although of course, the people that conquered by simply moving in and outbreeding the local population – the case in the USA and Russia – didn’t have to play the game).

        The current status is a detente between ‘decolonization’ movements and the state of play of American culture in the mid 20th century, which in living memory (back then) had aggressively suppressed (mainland) Native American culture and even stated to do some of the same on the island. (e.g. changing the name to ‘Porto Rico’)

        We are, naturally, a few generations past that point, and now statehood is a viable political force (and independence nearly not anymore) but the same sort of cultural revanchism that one sees in Quebec is still present. Things that are perceived to disturb the equilibrium of the status quo will have an outsized reaction to the intention of those things.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          The biggest problem for Puerto Rico statehood during the mid-20th century was that it was Spanish speaking and had it’s own national culture and identity in a way that most other states. A person could move from Vermont to California or Texas and adopt the state culture as their own. This wouldn’t really be possible for Puerto Rico. Most Americans did not want and would not stand for a Quebec like American state, especially if most of the population was perceived as non-white. Getting Hawaii into the union was difficult enough and Hawaii had the benefit of enough population replacement that indigenous Hawaiian culture was an influence but not dominant. The fact that most Hawaiians were either Asians, native Hawaiians, or ethnic white was too much for many Americans though. Puerto Rico would have been even a bigger fight.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe says:

            Most of what delayed Hawaii’s statehood was the fact that it was really far away and hard to get to before the jet age.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            I oppose statehood for Puerto Rico without conditions being met above and beyond 51% support. But if they ever get 51% support in a legitimate publescite, it’ll take less than a decade for statehood to occur.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          I understand the history behind the notion, and in the past there have been some pretty legitimate concerns. It just seems to me a lot of the criticisms are based on outdated notions that no longer apply to the actual lay of the land.

          I do think independence is a viable option should there be popular support for it. There isn’t, but there is a fair chunk in favor of mostly-indepedent “Free Association” that could increase over time. Not that I expect it to, because being a part of the USA is a pretty good deal.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        You need to have a very particular mindset that is based in certain parts of Leftist thought that were really popular during the 1960s to currently see Puerto Rico as a colony. It was true enough as a description from 1898 until the current status was created after World War II and the economic relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico certainly mirrored metropole-colony relationships at times. During the mid-1960s, when Third Worlidism was a big thing Puerto Rico looked as one of the biggest gapping holes in the decolonization that was going on. It was populous to be a sovereign state unlike say the Virgin Islands and some other Caribbean or Pacific islands but it was remaining loosely connected to the United States without being a state. To some people this was galling. It still is regardless of what the actual Puerto Ricans think.Report

  3. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Unless the candidate in Texas deliberately changed his name to confuse voters, I kind of say tough nuts to the Democratic Party there. Their complaints that turnout is low and voters are uninformed is something they should address, not attempt to work around by demanding a guy go by a different name.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      He knew what he was doing, and it’s pretty cynical, but if people are just voting for a name they recognize, they’ll get the representative they deserve.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      He did change his name, for what looks like an attempt to capitalize on confusion, but it was a name that he had a rationale. I’m not sure what, if anything, could be done if Jane Smith changed her name to Nancy Pelosi.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The Eddie Murphy movie in question also dealt with the Cancer Clusters created by high voltage power lines, if I recall correctly.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This story explains much.

    Here’s the headline:
    California Drug Enforcer Caught With Marijuana in Pennsylvania

    Here’s the last paragraph:
    The paper reported that the deputy had been placed on leave but would continue to receive his salary during the administrative investigation.

    We’ve got a structural problem with law enforcement in this country. I suspect that any discussion of any problem that entails new/better laws will fail without first addressing the structural problem we have with law enforcement.

    Body cams are a necessary component. Ending the War on Drugs/Prohibition 2.0 is a necessary component. I suspect that these are not even close to being sufficient to address the problem to a point where we’d be able to start saying “there oughta be a law” when we encounter (yet) another crime/criminal problem… but without addressing the structural problem first, we will never (EEEEVER) be able to fix (yet) another crime/criminal problem.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      So what is the structural problem?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        A fundamentally untrustworthy law enforcement system that has corrupt police officers (and, on top of that, corrupt prosecutors and corrupt judges) willing to subvert the laws to protect/enrich themselves (and those they consider their own).

        Even those who are not directly corrupt will be part of the thin blue line explaining “well, you have to understand…” on behalf of those who are.

        For example: how egregious does a particular act have to be for it to get a prosecutor to get it past a grand jury into a regular trial? We have some very recent examples of acts that couldn’t make it to the other side of a grand jury. How many don’t even make it that far? How many result in “we’re sending you from this jurisdiction to that one over there”?

        The closest analogy that I can think of on short notice is the Catholic Church Molestation Scandal.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Sounds realistic to me, now how to kill that culture….Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Body cams are a necessary component. Ending the War on Drugs/Prohibition 2.0 is a necessary component.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Well yes, but neither of those will end the comfortable relationship between DA’s and Police. Each are essential for the other to do their job, each are capable of making the other’s life hell, each have every interest to make life easier for the other.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Since most of the cases we’ve spent the last 15 months talking about have included video, and since in only a couple have the cops faced any consequences, it’s clear that cameras aren’t enough. We need to change our very philosophy of policing, so that cops go into a situation looking to deescalate, so that they understand how to help people with mental health issues, so that they value lives over arrests, and so on.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Sounds great, but how does one do that?Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                How would I do it if I were dictator for a day? Disband the lot of ’em and start from scratch with Peelian principles and close oversight by civilians who have no conflicts of interest (as prosecutors do), strictly enforced penalties for the unjustified use of force (where putting yourself in a position in which you have to use force is itself unjustified unless absolutely necessary), and extensive deescalation training, as well as training on how to handle people with mental illness. But that’s not possible, so for now I’d push really hard to get politicians to require such changes at every level, and push departments to get rid of cops who don’t go along with those changes. This is, by and large, what I think activists are trying to do.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Yup, wouldn’t be easy. Unions would fight like hell on it, police would fight like hell against it, and as soon as some photogenic crime or cop killing occurred the ordinary folks would fight like hell against it too. Nasty problem all around.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I readily admit that these solutions are necessary but not sufficient.

                The fact that they are not sufficient does not particularly dissuade me from them being necessary.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                On that you and I are in complete agreement.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      Is it important that he receives his salary while under investigation? I know for some it is but that seems like a diversion from the good part that he is being investigated. In any case i don’t have a problem with him being paid while he is under investigation, i think innocent until guilty is a good principle to abide by.

      Can a prosecutor avoid a grand jury? I think they have to go through GJ’s for certain crimes, it isn’t up to them whether to go straight to trail.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I wouldn’t mind if he were told “we will put your salary in an arrears account while you are under investigation, your firing date will be considered the date of your arrest. If the investigation finds you innocent, you will be reinstated to your position and your back pay will be given to you with interest.”

        Is the concern that cops will frame other cops?

        Can a prosecutor avoid a grand jury?

        Do we have any recent high-profile examples of cops being disciplined for, say, excessive force and said uses of excessive force never made it to trial?

        If so, I’d say that we’ve got examples of grand juries being avoided.

        Do you agree that we have some recent high-profile examples of acts that couldn’t make it to the other side of a grand jury due to poking and prodding on the part of prosecutors?Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          I’m still going with innocent until proven guilty is a good principle even for cops accused of crimes.

          Re: Grand juries. I believe for felonies ( or at least some level of them) you have to go through a grand jury before going to a formal trial. That is the procedure, so they can’t be avoided. There isn’t a way to just go to trial.

          Do DA’s manage the GJ to avoid a trial, yeah. But that is about the DA. I’m still not sure you can just go to trial w/o a GJ first. I’m talking more about the legal order of proceedings.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Is “getting fired for being arrested for transporting weed” something that falls under “innocent until proved guilty”?

            I can understand the whole “going to jail” thing as falling under that, but getting fired?

            As for “But that is about the DA”, yes. I’m talking about the corruption that exists within the system, Greg.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              agghhhh. I think innocent until proven guilty a good idea. So i dont’ like the idea someone, even a cop, being denied pay or benefits until it’s determined they, you know, actually did something wrong.

              So we agree about DA’s…yeah. Of course. My point though was that, afaik, DA’s can’t just say, no grand jury. Going to a grand jury is a set part of the legal process, not an option.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Can you get fired from McDonald’s for being arrested for transporting marijuana? As a matter of fact, can you provide a list of jobs that will *NOT* fire you for being arrested for transporting marijuana?

                Here’s my list off the top of my head:
                1. Police officer

                I don’t see why being a police officer should give immunities to being fired for being arrested for transporting marijuana that literally are not given to *ANY OTHER JOB*.

                My point though was that, afaik, DA’s can’t just say, no grand jury. Going to a grand jury is a set part of the legal process, not an option.

                In theory or in practice?Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’m not all that fond of people being fired for being arrested. I understand why businesses do it but sometimes, just sometimes, people are arrested but aren’t subsequently charged or convicted. So yeah it sucks to be them to be fired and innocent, but for what should be obvious reasons, i don’t think that is a good thing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Which brings me back to: I wouldn’t mind if he were told “we will put your salary in an arrears account while you are under investigation, your firing date will be considered the date of your arrest. If the investigation finds you innocent, you will be reinstated to your position and your back pay will be given to you with interest.”Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                If that makes you happy then great. It might push the org to complete an investigation really fast which could be good or bad depending on the case.

                Or i could slightly change that: If you are found to have been at fault then you forfeit all salary from your arrest date but up until then you get paid.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If that makes you happy then great.

                I believe the topic is less “Jaybird’s own happiness” and more “the structural corruption”.

                Though if we make it about my own happiness, it makes it a lot easier to say “do we really need to do anything?”

                Let me just state for the record: I am a white cis-het dude who lives in the right part of town. The structural corruption, insofar as it has an effect on me, generally tends to benefit me and mine insofar as I am given leeway that is not given to others, treated well by police officers who see me and automatically assume that I have been up-to-date on my protection payments (and, yeah, they’re right), and if I make a call complaining about the 12-year-old brandishing something that looks like a gun in the local park, the police are more likely to pay attention to how someone like me made the call so it must be important than pay attention to issues of what, exactly, the kid has in his waistband when they roll up.

                Moreover, I live in a state that has legalized marijuana so my complaints about police officers involved in marijuana rings are not related to how they’re artificially inflating the price. I don’t partake.

                So, for the record, while I suppose we could say that my interests in this sort of thing could technically be related to my “happiness” insofar as some parts of my happiness are, in fact, related to some theory of justice and sustainable order, it seems to me that reducing the argument to something related to my happiness either fundamentally misunderstands the criticism or is fundamentally dishonest.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                That is a nice speech and all but is that supposed to have much to do with my statement that i don’t like people being fired for being arrested? Not thinking cops should be fired while under investigation doesn’t really in any real way ( i’ll allow magical thinking) that police violence isn’t a major issue and has been so for decades. There are a bunch of reforms i’d make that we would likely agree on but you are pontificating about this?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, if we wanted to just discuss the various things we do and do not like, I guess I misunderstood the conversation.

                I apologize for pontificating.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Is there a gray area wherein a cop did not break a law but acted in a way which justifies his termination?

        I can think of *plenty* of things I could do that would be perfectly legal but which would get me fired the moment they were substantiated.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          Oh hell yeah. There are plenty of things cops should be quickly canned for that aren’t breaking a law. The cop in the Sandra Bland case should be fired even if he is never convicted. I’d bet plenty of cops would agree. He escalated a simple stop into a major confrontation.

          I’m against people being fired just because they are arrested. I understand why it happens but i think it likely screws over innocent people and isn’t always a good thing for people who are guilty depending on the crime.

          A couple years ago a teacher in town was fired for allegations about something inappropriate with a student. He was fired the same day it hit the papers. I completely understand that. The thing is i never heard what happened after that. Was he found guilty, did he plead out? Beats me. He was fired that is it. The charges could have been dropped or ended up being far less then the original accusations, but he was fired none the less.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            “I’m against people being fired just because they are arrested.”

            Yes, though I think it depends on what they are arrested for.

            And given that the bar needed to be cleared before a cop is arrested is so much higher, I’m relatively comfortable saying a cop’s arrest is pretty good grounds for firing.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      The problem is *not* that he’s on paid leave. That is actually sorta a moot point.

      The problem is that he, almost certainly, will not be *convicted* of this crime, and thus probably not fired. It might not even make it to trial.

      Running around demanding that cops don’t get paid when charged with crimes is near nonsense.

      And despite what you seem to think, people do not, generally, get fired from jobs when they are *arrested*, and that’s actually a pretty bad thing when it does happen. It is something we want less of, not more of. In fact, that’s one of the major arguments *against* the current bail system, that often very poor people can’t use it and then get fired. (Although at least they’re being fired for not showing up to work and not for merely ‘being arrested’.)

      We shouldn’t punish police officers who commit crimes via not paying their salary. We should punish them via *the same system everyone else is subject to*, the court system, where they end up getting fined and/or going to jail.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        We shouldn’t punish police officers who commit crimes via not paying their salary. We should punish them via *the same system everyone else is subject to*, the court system, where they end up getting fined and/or going to jail.

        Sure. Fine.

        But given that we agree that The problem is that he, almost certainly, will not be *convicted* of this crime, and thus probably not fired. It might not even make it to trial., I’m finding room to be incensed at the additional privileges extended to police officers when it comes to the whole “on drug task force arrested for transporting $2Million worth of marijuana” issue.

        While we may agree that you or I shouldn’t be fired from our jobs for being arrested for transporting $2Million worth of marijuana, I’m pretty sure that both you and I would be (and I am certain that *I* would be given the whole “I haven’t had a job since 1993 that didn’t make me pee in a cup first and that includes that time that I applied at Blockbuster (except they made me take a hair test)” thing that I’ve got going on).

        It seems ludicrous to me that we extend this privilege to cops.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          But it isn’t a privilege nor should it be. FWIW i’ve known many people who were arrested for DUI who weren’t fired. And that is good. They were convicted because they were hella guilty and had to do treatment. But they were able to keep their jobs which meant they could support themselves and their families. Sure they biked to work which sucked for them in the winter.

          I think we would both agree we punish people to harshly in this country in general. It seems like some ironic irony that you are pushing for more and quicker punishment before someone is even convicted. It would be a better assumption if we treated people as innocent until proven guilty. That is of course really hard when they is video evidence or strong evidence. Of course if their is video evidence of a cop shooting someone in the back while they are running away ( like that would happen….well more than a few times a year) the department can do their investigation and fire him.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Please understand, Greg. I am not talking about “people who get arrested for anything”.

            I am specifically talking about “being arrested for transporting $2Million worth of marijuana”.

            Additionally, I am 100% cool with saying “you’re fired unless the system finds you innocent at which point your job will be reinstated and your pay will be back-dated.”

            So framing my argument as “Jaybird thinks that a guy who gets arrested for public urination should lose his job!” doesn’t quite capture the nuance of my argument.

            It’s more of a “a policeman who works on a drug task force in California who is arrested in another state for transporting $2Million in marijuana should be fired unless the system finds him innocent at which point his job will be reinstated and his pay will be back-dated.”

            Also: I put “getting fired from your job” in kind of a different category than “punishment”. Jail is punishment. Prison? Punishment. A civil servant job in the form of a police officer on a drug task force job? Privilege.

            We should cease to extend the privilege of working as civil servant job in the form of a police officer on a drug task force to police officers arrested for freelance interstate transport of $2Million of marijuana.

            With, of course, the caveat that if found innocent, blah blah blah.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              That is getting into a fuzzy area. What are the bounds of bad enough you get fired; over a million, drugs, etc??? What is fireable and what isn’t.

              There is an obvious issue in that when cops are arrested for somethign like that the cops who arrest him want to really make sure they have their case nailed down tight. They cross their i’s and dot their t’s. There are certainly some cases that when they are brought we can assume a very high chance of the alleged perp being guilty. But that also leads to the problem where people assume the cops are always right and that if you are arrested you must be guilty, which isn’t good.

              I’m thinking of the church leader who leads the sect the Duggar’s are in who was just accused of sex crimes with 10 women. Wow. A lot of people will assume it’s true for lots of reasons. It it? maybe. I can see why he might resign or why his church might not want him around. I’m sure we will hear.

              Also a few years ago the judge in the court i work at was arrested for DUI. Ouch. Very embarrassing. He wasn’t fired but had to do treatment. He was guilty. But he is also a very good judge; very respectful to the people in his court, clear headed and makes good decisions both before and after his arrest. I’m glad he was able to stay as a judge even if i understand why it torks some people off.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                We’ve already agreed that there are things that a cop can be caught doing that should result in his being fired even if he is not found guilty in a court of law.

                Now we’re just haggling.

                Personally, I think that being caught doing some light freelance interstate transport of $2Million worth of marijuana is a fireable offense for a drug task force cop. (With the added caveat of being found innocent, reinstated, back pay, blah blah blah.)

                I am not talking about DUI.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’m fine with departments firing the hell out of cops and i can think of a whole bunch in the last few video killings we’ve seen that should be fired for filing false reports.Report

  6. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Re: Tweeting behavior:

    Based on previous findings, we hypothesized that the language used by liberals emphasizes their perception of uniqueness, contains more swear words, more anxiety-related words and more feeling-related words than conservatives’ language. Conversely, we predicted that the language of conservatives emphasizes group membership and contains more references to achievement and religion than liberals’ language. … The results support most of the predictions and previous findings … .

    What surprises me most is that liberals use more anxiety-related words. It seems to me that a lot of the propulsive force that is driving the right in America today is anxiety in a way different than what is driving the left.

    But that hypothesis doesn’t stand up to data; at least, not to these data.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I’d submit that by and large you simply don’t find the kind of conservatives who you’re talking about on twitter, whereas the kinds of liberals you’re thinking of have basically moved wholesale onto that platform. See, for instance, League Alumn Freddie’s exasperated diatribes at his left wing compatriots about how there’s a world outside twitter.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Think of anxiety as the clinical word for neurotic, and you’ll understand why it’s more of a liberal thing.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      I see a fair deal of anxiety/paranoia on the left, just for different reasons.Report

  7. The Giants used to have a shortstop named Jose Gonzalez who wanted to be called Uribe Gonzalez and finally settled on Jose Uribe. For a while, he was known as the player to be named later.Report

  8. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Mark Warner won his first US Senate term pretty easily, but I’m sure a few percentage points of his skunking of Gilmore was because he was running for the seat John Warner had just retired from.Report