Morning Ed: Politics {2017.07.25.M}


Will Truman

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

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202 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I can see how voter ID schemes can impact minority voting (e.g. limiting access to getting a valid ID, etc.), but straight ticket voting? Perhaps we should demand a little more considered thought from voters.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      Straight ticket voting is faster, and minority voters tend to face much longer lines for voting. Maybe MI should switch to voting by mail; that would resolve this issue and many others at a swoop.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Michigan appears to be a state where the legislature’s attitude is “I’ll accept vote-by-mail when you force the ballots and envelopes into my cold dead fingers.” They haven’t adopted either of the precursors, no-excuse absentee ballots and permanent absentee ballot lists.

        Vote-by-mail is largely a western thing. I’m betting that Arizona and California will both adopt it by the 2020 elections — IIRC, no-excuse and permanent lists pushed Arizona to >70% of all votes cast were cast by mail two years ago, and California was >60%.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          Right. If elected officials want legitimate reforms (and I think that removing straight-ticket voting counts), I think they really need to build a lot more trust that this isn’t just a roundabout way of making it harder for people they don’t like to vote. The best way to build that trust is to make it as easy as possible to vote in other ways.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        And note when we talk about voting being ‘faster’, the thing isn’t how fast someone is able to vote. Pretty much everyone is willing to spend five times as long at the actual *voting booth* to vote.

        The reason that ‘faster’ is important is when half of the people *in front of you* take only one fifth the time.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I didn’t know you could do straight ticket voting with a single mark. NY and CAs voting systems don’t allow it.

    Dub will probably not be the last GOP Pres unless Trump means the end of the GOP as a party totally. That is a distant possibility. I can see Ben Sasse becoming President or being a formidable candidate.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      The NCSL page on the subject lists nine states where straight-ticket voting is allowed, and a greater number where it was removed over the last 20-25 years. This case seems to be making the somewhat novel argument that the VRA blocks removing a ballot convenience feature that is used disproportionately by minority voters.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        Illinois got rid of straight-line voting in 1997, which is the last year that Republicans held the governorship and both legislative houses. Doesn’t seem to have helped Republicans, nor am I aware of a move to return it. The question is always who draws the maps?Report

        • Avatar PD Shaw says:

          I found in 1998 NYTimes piece about the change in Illinois law, which indicates one-third of suburban voters punched the straight-Republican ballot, but the legislation was directed at further weakening the Chicago machine:

          ‘It doesn’t take very long to make a single punch, and if a voter was in the booth taking his time, the precinct captain would make note of it,” he said. ”Questions got asked. Sometimes garbage didn’t get picked up.”

          It was part of the tight-fisted control that extended even to campaign volunteers. Milton Rakove, the late political science professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, once used a familiar political slogan for a book title, ”We Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent.”

          In Chicago, the rules went, people looking for jobs in city government or campaigns had to come with an endorsement from someone on the inside.


          Terry Brunner, who heads the Better Government Association in Chicago, said precinct captains years ago sometimes went into the booth with voters.

          ”A precinct captain would say, ‘Hey Mrs. Jones, remember how I took care of that ticket?’ ” Mr. Brunner said. ”And then he’d say, ‘You’re a good Democrat, right? Do you know how to operate this machine? Let me help you.’ ”


      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        As far as I remember, my town in NY used voting machines where you had to pull a small lever for each political candidate. The parties were lined up so going straight down was not so hard.

        CA’s ballots require reading. You use a black marker to fill in the candidate you want to vote for but for each election, the candidates are mixed up. HRC might be listed first for President but Kamela Harris could be listed fifth for her Senate run.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          When I was a young teen in Iowa (and we got the tour and civics lectures) the voting machines were that same lever type. Subject to horrible error rates and fraud by election officials, IIRC from the news stories when they were eventually abandoned. At the top of each column was a single larger lever mechanically linked to all the others in that column. You could vote a straight ticket with one lever if your hands were strong :^)

          By the time Iowa got rid of those my family had moved to Nebraska, where the legislature and some of the local offices are formally non-partisan, so “straight ticket” is kind of meaningless.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    There is a lot of craziness in the polls. Princeton and the Upshot are still holding steady for Clinton. 538 is giving Trump a 57 percent chance of winning and a huge post convention bounce.

    Does fear work?

    The Atlantic has an article on how Trump and Sanders show a rejection of Obama’s political vision.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      I’m not sure if most Americans ever really believed in Obama’s political vision even among his most die-hard fans. Most people don’t care about redemptive constitutionalism or technocratic government. Activist progressives always saw the Constitution as a dead white man document and conservatives had a very mystical vision of it. The majority don’t care one way or another. Very few ordinary Americans ever really got excited about technocracy at any time. They wanted a government that did well by them and their group.

      The real issue is that no proposal to the perceived and real problems facing the country can get enough political support to pass. This favors the status quo that people hate.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        This is an interesting thing on which to think.

        In fairness, I’d really have to spend some time reviewing what the *Idea* of a President Obama was supposed to mean, you suggest: “redemptive constitutionalism [and] technocratic government” and I wouldn’t gainsay them as reasonable descriptors of president Obama, but I don’t think that’s what we would mean about the idea of his presidency, at least not in total.

        I think there is a sense in which President Obama is something less than Candidate Obama, and to juxtapose him to Reagan, there is also a sense in which the Presidency itself doesn’t inspire a second, or third generation – which is interesting in itself.

        And, to anticipate the degeneration into Reagan hate, my point is not that Obama was or wasn’t a better president, but that the *Idea* of an Obama Presidency didn’t survive a President Obama. So, as I say, something on which I’ve been thinking, but not something on which I’m fully prepared to pronounce.

        {And, preemptive -10 points for the person who brings up Republican intransigence as a reason}Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          I’ve been thinking about why Reagan inspired decades of political leadership and inspiration to the GOP and seemed to be a strong influence among people like Ryan and Walker.

          One possibility is that Obama’s generation is not running for office yet. Maybe in 15-20 years, we will see Obama receive the kind of acclaim Reagan receives from people running for or holding elected office.

          I partially suspect that there is a generation of liberals/progressives that is tired of seeing old white people as being the face of the Democratic Party even if those old-white people are rather progressive. Kaine was a plaintiff-side civil rights lawyer fighting against housing discrimination before entering politics but not a few people found his selection to be boring and uninspiring and their complaints were kind of “Not another middle-aged white guy!!” in a vibe.

          Another thing I have been thinking about is the extent of our political sympathies. Dreher wrote an article that called Trump the tribune of the white-working class and a lot of liberals and libertarians were tossing the article around social media and saying “I hate Trump but there is something to this article.”

          Yet no one can answer my questions about what makes the white working class different from the rest of the working class and what policies can the Democratic Party pitch specifically to the white working class? What if the WWC wants protection for a way of life that is dying? Why is a farm and factory community in the Midwest more deserving of being saved that an inner-city community that is being gentrified? I think there are people that would be sympathetic to the rustbelt town but uncaring but the gentrifying minority neighborhood.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            Obama has been president for eight years; I’m not sure generations can be an effective explanation. Another way to put it would be this? How did the new generation that swept into power with Obama get marginalized and out raced by septuagenarians and why?

            What if the WWC wants protection for a way of life that is dying? Why is a farm and factory community in the Midwest more deserving of being saved that an inner-city community that is being gentrified?

            What are inner-cities but dead manufacturing centers? Gentrification isn’t the problem; possibly the answer to whites/black/hispanics is the same. Maybe the next guy addresses all the groups at the same time with a plausible plan…if that guy is a democrat, victory; if that guy is a republican, victory; if that guy is a Libertarian Whig, victory.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              Historically young people have a hard time showing up for polls. And Obama did not quite lose per se. He easily won reelection in 2012. His coalition failed to show up in 2010 and 2014. Midterms don’t engage the young so well.

              This might be present on all political sides but I notice it more on the left (my side). Lots of people seem to think that politics is about being 100 percent inspired all the time and they have no stomach for a perfectly competent but kind of dull politician like Tim Kaine. Though IIRC people were also disappointed by Biden being picked for VP and the love was after the fact. People still get upset when Obama does something that is moderate instead of firebrand progressive.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:


            I’ve been thinking about why Reagan inspired decades of political leadership and inspiration to the GOP and seemed to be a strong influence among people like Ryan and Walker… Yet no one can answer my questions about what makes the white working class different from the rest of the working class and what policies can the Democratic Party pitch specifically to the white working class?

            There are likely a couple of things going on here.

            Remember that when Reagan was President, there wasn’t a Left wing media and a Right wing media. There was just the news, and all of its different forms tended to look at things from the exact same point of view, even as they competed against one another.

            So when Reagan was elected and the Democratic Party went a bit bat-s**t crazy (e.g.: saying things like Reagan just got elected because he wanted to start a nuclear Holocaust to destroy the Earth for some unknown reason), moderates of all stripes shifted toward the President in large numbers in a way the country had not seen in decades. That created a level of excitement about the man that’s probably hard to understand had you not seen it in real time.

            Obama, on the other hand, was President at a time when people who leaned to the right got their news from sources that said everything he did was evil, and every bat-s**t crazy thing the craziest right-wing nut job was doing was perfectly rational. So even though he was elected in a landslide, there was never any great and permanent movement of right-moderates toward Obamaism. So there was never that lasting post-election excitement in the way there was for Reagan, which got piled on because that meant that people on the Left are more inclined to be critical of Obama as well. (Albeit form the other end.)

            As to poor whites, remember that there is policy and there is signaling, and that they are both powerful in politics.

            The left’s policies might well benefit poor whites as much as they do poor non-whites. But it’s also true that over the past several decades liberals and the left have generally talked about poor whites in fairly disparaging ways. Think: Bestselling books where upper-middle class liberals and leftists ask one another about why stupid poor white rednecks in Kansas are so stupid, rather than taking seriously the concerns of working poor whites in Kansas.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              The converse of this is the GOP criticizing urban “culture” but going out of their way to not say bad things about an old-industrial town with the same teenage pregnancy problems.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            Yet no one can answer my questions about what makes the white working class different from the rest of the working class…

            This is a rhetorical question, right?Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              No. I’m serious. What makes the WWC different from the rest of the working class?

              What policies can the Democratic Party announce that will specifically benefit the WWC and not benefit any other part of the working class?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Racist policies. “colorblind” policies.
                Merit scholarships.
                Need-based scholarships, not ones specifically targeted to minorities.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                ” What makes the WWC different from the rest of the working class?”

                They vote differently @saul-degraw. They vote as a block in a different pattern than Working Class African Americans or WCLatinos. They also don’t live in inner cities, thus presenting a separate slate of needs and wants. Another factor is that they didn’t arise from the same class background as the above mentioned groups, leading to the belief that they are different.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                They don’t vote as a block, though. Or, at least, they didn’t. That’s going to be one of the storylines going forward, if his coalition endures and sharpens.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                Seems they are This Years Model then.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                Okay, they vote differently.

                Do you think the Ds can appeal to the WWC without abandoning the priors of their current base? If no, why should they? Do you think the WWC deserve more than the non-white working class or other groups?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                Yes, though triangulation, witch most of the party hates. Should they? Up to the party. Do they deserve more? No, they deserve the same.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Okay, let’s start with “When white flight happened, the urban WWC was allowed to tag along.” So they got decades of being able to put their kids in violence-free relatively-wealthy suburban public schools with college-prep tracks that inner-city minority working class families didn’t get. I went to high school in an Omaha suburb that was full of WWC white-flight kids. Also, when the D’s — or at least some part of the D’s — go on and on about the suburbs being soul-sucking wastelands and money needs to flow heavily into the gutted urban cores, it is not a message that resonates with that suburban WWC.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                That answers one part but not the big issue is that the Democratic Party can’t offer stuff to the WWC without destroying their urban base.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Anything worth arguing over is worth betting on :^) So…

                I offer the following. We settle on a definition of suburban; other folks here are invited to offer definitions; the one you and I agree on has to score both California and New Jersey, regarded by True Liberals™ as overwhelmingly suburban nightmares, as >60% suburban by population. Hillary will win. She will win fewer than four states where she loses the suburban vote. Shorter, the urban base has nowhere else to go, she lives/dies in the ‘burbs. How confident am I? I’ll put up 240 hours of coding/data analysis on projects of your choosing. You put up a bottle of nice California white wine from a winery I’ve never heard of.

                Disclosure: When I do decide to work because a project is interesting, I bill modestly (some good planning and some good luck have put me in a moderately comfortable position). Still, my estimate is that I’m offering better than 100:1. It’s a suburban world.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


                I don’t think people quite get my argument.

                The WWC did well when there was allowed discrimination that gave preference to whites for work and because various policies made it very hard to impossible for blacks to move to the suburbs.

                In short, racism.

                I want to know how the Democratic Party can help the WWC without reverting to racism explicitly or implicitly (which would be totally ignoring the urban vote because they are trapped). As people seem to suggest is possible.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Setting aside what is and is not racist* and moral considerations, the Democrats need not do anything as long as they win with the coalition they have. Or, at least, win with a frequency to their satisfaction. So if winning the presidency and having difficulty everywhere else is okay, then carry on.

                If they stop winning to a level of their satisfaction, they will have to adapt. That may involve the WWC or it may not. The first places to look are the places you (collective second person, the party) are most comfortable with. Then pursue whatever path is the best combination of comfortable and effective, and go from there.

                * – Though starting from some point other than “It’s got to be racism” may not be the worst start?Report

    • Avatar North says:

      57%, I think you’re misreading 538 Saul.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Hopefully. How so?Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Well, because for one thing I just checked their site and they still had Clinton at a 53% chance of winning, and an article discussing the fact that they can’t really tell how much of a bounce Trump got because the pollsters returning now are all a weird bunch (generally with strong house effects, or no previous polling) and there had been a tightening race going into the convention.

          So the article summed it up as “Best guess, more than none, but not a huge one”.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            It’s looking stronger today than it did yesterday. This morning we’ve got polls showing movement, and one of the first non-Gravis pollster showing Trump at above 45%. Combined with the pre-convention ramp-up, he’s doing better than I had hoped. He’s been ahead in every poll since the convention.

            No, no, not worried. Worried about the possibility of getting worried in a couple weeks, though.

            On the other hand…

            So a very lopsided election still a possibility. Just looks like less of one.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Right now their general election aggregate polls forecaster says 53.7% Hillary.

          Which is no consolation, really, because he’s basically doubled his odds in the last month but it ain’t predicting 57% odds of Trump.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Does fear work? Yes. How much? We’re going to find out. I suspect less than economics. I might be proven wrong.

      Interestingly, the projection, as of today, leads to a 269-269 EC tie. But a lot of those are within the range of “too close to call” and the Democrats have only just opened their convention and a lot of the faster polls have stronger house biases, and everyone should calm down and Democrats should get to freaking work instead of eating all that popcorn and thinking Trump will be “easy.”

      Complacency is Clinton’s enemy.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        So, Clinton uses the Remain tactic of fearmongering about Trump.
        Trump, well, gets to win if the oncoming recession is allowed to happen before November. If it happens after November, we all get to blame hillary.


        Lack of intelligence is Clinton’s enemy. The powers that be may be powerful, but they aren’t especially smart.Report

  4. Avatar Damon says:

    Straight Ticket voting: Frankly, I fail to see how this disenfranchises anyone. Instead of checking one box, you have to check several? THE HORROR!

    Cruz: I feel for him.

    Nigel: Wondering why American’s should give a damn about the opinions of non americans.

    Ivanka: Good for her.

    Benjamin Wittes: The part I found funny was the prior column where he links to the Atlantic: “”Under current precedent, the commander in chief can give a secret order to kill an American citizen with a drone strike without charges or trial. Should Donald Trump have that power?”” Yeah, god forbid that Trump has that power, but presidents the Atlantic agrees with should? Let’s not talk about the morality or the potential for abuse when our guy in the Oval office, but when the other side is. Christ, what a limited outlook. As to the issue of the resign when you’re conscience tells you you need to.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      On Cruz… #Firstworldpartyproblems? While being refused admittance into Sheldon Adelson’s Suite:

      Conor Friedersdorf ? @conor64
      CNN reports that a man in a donor suite had to be restrained from assaulting Ted Cruz after he entered it after his speech.

      Don’t f*** with another man’s investment.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      Straight-Party voting: The paradox here is that disadvantaged African-Americans by and large live in gerrymandered districts designed not to be competitive. The insinuation in the piece is that they prefer straight-party voting to picking-and-choosing, when the reality is that they have little choice. If they had meaningful choices on their ballots, that would increase turnout (and lines).Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      As stated elsewhere, the real problem with straight-ticket voting going away is it slows down voting–not for you, but for potentially hundreds of people standing in line in front of you.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        That’s an inconvenience, not an “unconstitutionality”.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          What other rights do you think we should allow the government to selectively encumber in order to make it harder for members of racial minorities to exercise them?Report

        • Avatar DavidTC says:

          The unconstitutional thing is making rules that are specifically designed to place fewer voter machines, and thus make longer lines, in places where minority voters are.

          But no one seems willing to do anything about that.

          I might have mentioned before…the first time I voted, I was living in Marietta, in Cobb County GA. I was a student at SPSU, and we had a precinct in basically the city center. This was the 2000 election. (I missed being 18 for the 96 election by a few months.)

          I waited approximately an hour and half to vote. In the middle of the day.

          Somewhere around 50% of the people I was waiting in line with were minorities (college student and otherwise), and another 10% or so appeared to be white college students from my school and Life ‘University’ next door. And, yes, I know Marietta is only 11% African American….I cannot explain why my precinct was the way it was. I don’t know anything about the racial layout of the city or how precincts got set up. (Perhaps a lot of the minorities were students?)

          Now, since then, I’ve voted in a lot of midterm stuff, and local stuff, and all those had almost no turnout so don’t really count. And I early voted for the president in 2008, I think. (I did it once, think that was it.) But I have actually waited, in line, at my rural precinct to vote for the president three times, on election day. Once a precinct out in the boonies, and twice in the small town that I now live in.

          Max wait time in the boonies: 0 second. Literally never had to wait, at all. Signed in, walked to a voting machine.
          Max wait time in my tiny city: About 5 minutes once, and about 20 minutes once. And both times I got there after, I think, 4.

          Now, my country has just closed a lot of the tiny precincts, so the line will presumably be somewhat longer this time…but I’ll be amazed if it’s anywhere close to the amount of time I had to wait down in Marietta.

          And, *completely coincidentally I’m sure*, I’ll also be amazed if I see as many minorities voting there.Report

      • Avatar j r says:


        You’re saying that time is the “real problem.” Is that an established fact or us it just something that seems obvious to you?Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          IIRC, the fact that it made voting slower was a key part of the rationale for striking the law down.Report

          • Avatar j r says:

            Not seeing much about it in the linked article, which mostly references the disparate impact point. Found another article stating that election clerks noticed faster voting with straight party line voting, but nothing definitive.

            Would be interesting to see if anyone has actually studied this and seen how much of an effect it has.

            Mostly this looks like Ds and Rs arguing for the thing that they think will get their respective sides more votes.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The person in Germany who died in a German blast who was the only casualty of a suicide bomber might have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State prior to being killed by the suicide bombing.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    If this article is accurate, we get to start taking bets on when these emails get released out to the wild.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      Oh good, I get to watch more people wear tinfoil over a charitable foundation (Seriously, how does that even make sense? We’re going to somehow bribe the Clintons through a charity, which has rigorous tax auditing and lots of watchdogs making it impossible to withdraw the money, and even paying inflated salaries is hard AND swiftly public, and not through a private bank account in the Caymans? It’s like everyone that brings up the CF thinks the Clinton’s are Machiavillian corrupt masterminds who simultaneously are clever enough to fool everyone but the tin-foil brigade AND so stupid they take their bribes in the one way guaranteed to make it impossible for them to get the money).

      Also, Wikileaks strangely decided to publish SSN’s and CC numbers of tons of people from the DNC hack. Why? Dunno, other than ‘on purpose”. Which is weird, given they claim it takes so long for them to release data because they want to scrub out exactly that sort of thing.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Sister Elizabeth Bruenig Stoker put it fairly well when she put it like this:

        Surely one can think the hacking is disturbing and what it turned up is disturbing, like if you rob someone and find a body in their cellar.— Elizabeth Bruenig (@ebruenig) July 25, 2016

        But EBS is, as we know, a BernieBra.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          And that has what to do with what I said?

          Was that in reference to the weird conspiracies that the CF is designed to somehow enrich the Clintons, despite the fact that it’s the worst vehicle ever, and also they have to report all their spending so we know it’s not?

          Or was that in reference to Wikileaks releasing CC numbers and SSN numbers of DNC donors, in direct contradiction to their own stated guidelines?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            She was saying that in reference to the stuff that wikileaks already released.

            I suspect that, if the article I linked was accurate, we’ll find some other bodies that will be much less troublesome than the fact that somebody found them unethically.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi says:

            CF isn’t spending money (they spend about a dime on the dollar) for charity. That’s part of the issue.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              Hmm. Who to believe? Kimmie or Charity Watch.

              Oh! I know, Charity Watch. Darn Kimmie, looks like you got the numbers backwards. They spend about 88 cents out of every dollar on charity. (The other 12 cents is overhead, which is pretty good for a charity).

              I somehow doubt you’ll stop repeating that line, though.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Actually, as the Clinton Foundation is a ‘foundation’ in name only, they’re even better than ‘88%’ would indicate.

                Most ‘foundations’ are ways for rich people to stick their money somewhere and then direct the interest towards actual working charities. They are merely a pass-through. Which means there’s their overhead, and then there’s the overhead of the *charity that got the money*.

                Now, don’t get me wrong, foundations are useful. For one thing, they can respond quickly, both to new problems and to merely give to the most efficient charity, by altering who gets their largess. For another, they often have fundraising set up and operating at levels that working charities find hard to get, and those working charities *don’t* have to spend as much on fundraising, meaning their overhead is lower.

                But the donations *do* get hit with some overhead twice. Someone had to deal with the money coming in, write a check to send it back out, and then someone else had to deal with the money coming in and do the actual charity.

                But the Clinton Foundation is, itself, a operating charity. It does the work. It has one level of overhead.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          You can, but based on the content we’ve seen so far, it’s really not clear why you would.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            I cannot speak for her (and I think that I would do a very poor job if I tried) but much of the consensus that I get from the amorphous mass of berniebros that I know online seem to be emoting that it has something to do with how they thought that the DNC would be more trustworthy than it actually ended up being.

            They, of course, saw this as a flaw in the DNC rather than in the amount of trust they were placing in the DNC.Report

            • Avatar pillsy says:

              They, of course, saw this as a flaw in the DNC rather than in the amount of trust they were placing in the DNC.

              Well, OK. Let me amend that to saying, “…it’s really not clear why you would if you hadn’t just fallen off a turnip truck.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Their naivete manifests yet:

                They booed during the prayer . #longnight #longweek— gwen ifill (@gwenifill) July 25, 2016


              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I think I’m going to stick with my “pack of credulous idiots” theory, yes.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Sure. Let’s assume that they’re all bad.

                This is fine.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                If you have an alternative explanation that fits what we’re seeing, I’d love to hear it.

                If not, it’s unclear what you’re trying to accomplish here.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Eh, it involves the whole Trust and Collaboration thing which is fitting in so very many different places that I’m wondering if I’ve got this huge blind spot or something else is going on.

                The Bernie Folks had their trust repaid with, by their lights, a defection.

                In response, they are defecting now.

                The argument about how they shouldn’t feel betrayed and they certainly shouldn’t stop collaborating is one that strikes me as being beside the point.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                The argument about how they shouldn’t feel betrayed and they certainly shouldn’t stop collaborating is one that strikes me as being beside the point.

                I’d think that if you’re viewing this as a game of Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, it should matter very much whether the defection was real.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                To whom? The people at home watching delegates boo every time Hillary’s name is mentioned?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Well, yes. Don’t you think it should matter to them, upon seeing these angry folks disrupt the convention, whether their grievance is reasonable? Isn’t that a rather crucial detail?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, I’m sure that the Berniebros will explain that the grievance is terribly reasonable and point to the emails as how the DNC’s deck was stacked against Bernie (and point to such things as the DNC’s official apology as further evidence) and the Hillarybots will explain that the grievance is not reasonable at all and point to the emails and then ask how much less naive these children should have been.

                And then we can discuss whether it’s important that this isn’t a “reason” thing but a “trust/collaboration” thing get into the whole issue of whether the official responses aren’t doing more to further distrust even as appeals to reason are being made.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                But that’s the problem: by saying, “It’s a trust/collaboration thing,” you basically excuse people from knowing anything, thinking about anything, and actually learning anything about the world they live in. We should just assume their grievances are legitimate because they feel them so deeply. In the end, we don’t have any basis for judgment because everybody feels their grievances are legitimate.

                So now you’re effectively telling me that Elizabeth Bruenig et al. are totally right to be distressed by the content of the emails, not based on anything that’s actually in them, but simply based on what they thought should be in them. What the heck are we supposed to do with that? The more seriously we take it, the more we encourage people to get really pissed off with no reference to anything outside their own heads.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                My first thought was to write a comment asking something like “have you ever dated? This is like that. Chicks are crazy and they care about the dumbest stuff!” but it went into some places that some might consider misogynistic and/or heteronormative and so I dumped it.

                But, yes. I agree that trust/collaboration models are exceptionally fragile and people care about stuff that they shouldn’t and you end up with stuff like the WWC feeling betrayed by immigration policy and Berniebros feeling ripped off by the DNC and by Odin’s Beard we could fill a shipping container with hard drives made in Asia that were entirely full of examples of trust “betrayed” when the other people should have understood that people were just responding properly to incentives and we shouldn’t be so freaking naive.

                Yes. This absolutely freaking happens.

                Is it that they’re *RIGHT* to be distressed?

                I don’t freakin’ know. I haven’t read the freakin’ emails.

                I do know that freakin’ people like freakin’ EBS are freakin’ feeling that freakin’ way and *THAT* is a freakin’ problem that will *NOT* be freakin’ resolved by freakin’ telling them how freakin’ naive they were and how they freakin’ should have freakin’ known freakin’ better.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I do know that freakin’ people like freakin’ EBS are freakin’ feeling that freakin’ way and *THAT* is a freakin’ problem that will *NOT* be freakin’ resolved by freakin’ telling them how freakin’ naive they were and how they freakin’ should have freakin’ known freakin’ better.

                Except we don’t even know what the problem is until we determine whether they actually have a sensible reason to feel betrayed. Surely, “These people are incredibly upset because they had bizarre and unrealistic expectations about how they would be treated,” is a very different problem, and demands a different sort of solution, from, “These people are incredibly upset because they got egregiously screwed over by people that owed them better.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Except we don’t even know what the problem is until we determine whether they actually have a sensible reason to feel betrayed.

                Without getting into “sensible”, because that’s a minefield, I tell you what, let’s just look at the DNC’s apology today and see if we can agree that they admit fault over anything.


                Okay, that has everything.

                Hrm… “inexcusable remarks”, “do not reflect the values”, “steadfast commitment to neutrality”, “disrespectful language”… some crap in there about individual staffers “rightfully” apologizing…

                Hrm. Nothing really concrete but, just basing off of what they think they need to look like they’re apologizing for, I’d say that the issue has do to with something like deliberately stacking the deck against Bernie.

                Now, of course, we don’t know that they’re *REALLY* apologizing just because they recognize that they did something wrong or because they say “well, those crazy Berners aren’t going to calm down unless we pretend to apologize so we should write something up that will calm them down” but… if I assume something approaching sincerity, I’d say that it has something to do with betraying trust.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Without getting into “sensible”, because that’s a minefield,

                But that’s my whole problem with your approach. Just because it’s a minefield doesn’t mean picking through it isn’t important, and we can just walk around the minefield and get where we want to go.

                Walking around the minefield doesn’t get you where you want to go. It gets you to Trump.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                This could be a “getting it out of our system” thing, as the first day of the GOP convention was.

                Or it could be a “Booing Hillary Clinton during her acceptance speech” thing.

                If it’s the latter, it really may not matter how justified or not-justified they are.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It’s weird that for sooooo many months we’ve been explaining that we can’t say how things are as good/bad as people have been saying but merely that we don’t know how good/bad things are but we will definitely be able to know soon.

                We’ve got people booing on the floor of the convention and we don’t know whether that’s bad yet.

                Maybe we’ll know by Friday.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                If you have an alternative explanation that fits what we’re seeing, I’d love to hear it.

                Gonna take a blind shot, hail Mary from way out of right field on this one, but maybe — just maybe — the candidate you all have been insisting is beloved by everyone who doesn’t listen to Fox News 24/7 isn’t actually as popular as you’ve talked yourselves into believing that she is, by like maybe just a wee small tiny smidge.

                We’ve got people booing on the floor of the convention and we don’t know whether that’s bad yet.

                I’m sorry, but this whole conversation in these threads is just getting silly. If ‘we’ don’t know if our party’s own conventioneers loudly booing whenever the name of our party’s own POTUS and VEEP nominee are mentioned is bad, then ‘we’ are probably seeing what we desperately are hoping to see.

                ProTip for all of my OT liberal and leftist friends: Your own party booing your own candidate is always bad.

                Seriously, it feels like we are getting into some real Dean Chambers territory in these threads.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                Which, by the way, isn’t saying that Clinton can’t turn it around by November or even the end of the convention. But this insistence by everyone here that HRC is so popular and beloved that there is zero cause for concern and that nothing needs to be done is just mind boggling to me.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Out of curiosity, my Todd, who round these parts has been saying HRC is deeply popular and beloved by everyone outside the fox news set? I think I may have missed it.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:


                Then I invite you to go back and read every post this past year where I have suggested that Hilary has like-ability issues, or that they DNC was playing a dangerous game by putting all of their chips on the “and then the GOP blows itself up” strategy.

                Hell, just this week I was being lectured by people on how she’s totally secure because if you take out the right, she’s actually quite popular. And it’s only Monday,Report

              • Avatar North says:

                If you’re referring to me I do recall saying she had a point when she was Sec of state where she was pulling good popularity. Otherwise my own position has generally been that HRC is about average as politicians go.

                I do recall emphatically going a few rounds with you over whether her nomination indicated something broken with/in the Democratic Party itself that nominated her. I still am not convinced it does.Report

              • She’s not beloved by the people she beat. I admit this freely.

                But y’know, if Joe Biden had beaten them, they’d be cheering him, because he’s so damned likable.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Gonna take a blind shot, hail Mary from way out of right field on this one, but maybe — just maybe — the candidate you all have been insisting is beloved by everyone who doesn’t listen to Fox News 24/7 isn’t actually as popular as you’ve talked yourselves into believing that she is, by like maybe just a wee small tiny smudge.

                That may be the case (though I’ve never argued that HRC was particularly beloved), but the relevance here escapes me.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                As a general rule, people tend to cut lots and lots of slack for people/candidates that they like. Likewise, they tend to go out of their way to find reasons to rationalize their dislike/distrust of people they don’t particularly care for.

                It’s why some politicians are “Teflon” and others can never seem to shake bad press — even silly, totally made up, innocuous, “I bet he once said he invented the internet because he looks like that kind of guy” kind of press.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                IIRC, Jerry Brown die-hards booed Clinton in 1991.

                Then again, pretty sure I just saw Sanders booed by his own supporters. Which means Sanders is also bad.

                I don’t think Obama was booed in 2008, so there’s that.

                Bluntly put, it happens. A lot. I think you’re attributing a sense of unity, love, and eager embrace to a party convention that is…at odds with most conventions. I’m not saying some haven’t been love-ins, but this sort of stuff is more the rule than the exception.

                On the bright side, it appears the second place finisher will endorse Clinton (unlike on the GOP side), and also that former Democratic Presidents and high-profile Democrats will actually appear, instead of being mysteriously busy.

                So….one up on the RNC there.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                There’s no denying it’s far from an ideal start though.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Of course it wasn’t.

                But most conventions aren’t. Obama in 2012 was a love-in (most incumbents get those). There was a lot of drama leading up to the 2007 one, however. 1991 was pretty nasty. I don’t really recall 1987 or 83 though.

                It’s pretty raw, personal politics and the people there are committed, intense, and very invested. They wouldn’t be on the floor otherwise.

                I think we tend to forget how rambunctious they normally are.

                Sanders getting booed by his own delegates was pretty unusual though, although also kind of predictable.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Oh yes it was sparks flying in the lead up but I remember the 2007 convention itself being pretty solid. Not like this. Of course the Democratic Party was hungry for a win, center, left and wingnut left alike. They were starving to repudiate W. After two terms of Obama, well it looks like the outer reaches aren’t hungry for a win as much as they’re hungry for purity. That shouldn’t be to surprising, they were the same way in 2000.Report

              • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

                Is there some subtlety I’m missing about moving the dates of past conventions one year earlier than the year they occurred? Not meaning to be a nitpicker, but it appears you are trying to convey something, and I am damned (which is likely to be the case anyway 🙂 if I can figure out what.

                Ach, I see Mike has caught it too. Still seems kind of odd.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Because I’m dumb and was thinking inauguration (which is the year after the election) despite the fact that this is 2016 and the conventions are happening now.

                So, because I’m dumb. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                “On the bright side, it appears the second place finisher will endorse Clinton (unlike on the GOP side), and also that former Democratic Presidents and high-profile Democrats will actually appear, instead of being mysteriously busy.”

                Yeah, there’s no doubt that this is yet another sign that one party is in a far, far deeper hole than the other.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                IIRC, Jerry Brown die-hards booed Clinton in 1991.

                This is true.

                On the other hand, I don’t recall Jerry Brown die-hard supporters turning on and booing him.

                Which isn’t a sure sign of the apocalypse, obviously. But it is somewhat troubling to those of us who are counting on the Dems not to blow it.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I think the sad part is Sanders was surprised by it. He shouldn’t have been.

                But one thing to always remember — the folks at party conventions are die-hards. I mean they are 100% committed. You don’t GO otherwise. If you’re there to attend, to protest, to whatever — you are pretty far out of the mainstream of the party. (Which is good and bad).

                Especially the delegates.

                Everyone here focuses a lot more on politics, and are far out of the mainstream on that. The folks on the convention floor make us look like we’re barely aware there’s an election this year.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                This is all true. However, if the boos whenever Clinton’s name in mentioned continues throughout the week I am not sure that it will matter.

                I don’t think they will. I’m pretty sure they’ll stop after Bernie speaks tonight, if not before.

                But I’m not 100% sure.

                Which is worrying.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I didn’t watch, but per Kevin Drum it seemed well over by prime time.

                So it seems like “not a worry”.Report

              • I don’t recall any of this stuff.

                Seriously, there were conventions in odd-numbered years?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                That was me being dumb on years.Report

      • Avatar Autolukos says:

        They also released PII of almost every female registered voter in Turkey, which seems not great.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        I get my tinfoil from someone who works for Hillary.
        Money is not power, and power takes precedence over money. I may be misquoting House of Cards, but then again House of Cards based itself off the Clinton Foundation.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Jesus, Kimmie, no it’s not. House of Cards is NOT based on a freaking charity.

          But DO get back to me when Xenu explains how the CF funnels money to the Clintons, who haven’t taken a dime from it. Also, when Xenu explains why they’d use a charity in the first place, despite it being possibly the worst vehicle in existence to cover that sort of thing.Report

          • Avatar Don Zeko says:

            This explains a lot. House of Cards* and the Kimmieverse have a similar level of connection to the real world.

            *The show in which somebody who has significant circumstantial evidence to the effect that a sitting Democratic vice president murdered two people can’t get anyone to follow up on the story. The show in which Republicans are go balls to the wall obstructionist to block a bill privatizing and cutting social security. That show.Report

            • Avatar Kimmi says:

              House of Cards may have some unreality to it (they really muffed Russo and Pennsylvania), but there have been enough dead babies in washington that I wouldn’t put it past someone to have managed it (but I haven’t finished watching the show, please note, so don’t spoil) — please bear in mind that “according to the show” the Veep has managed to erase a lot of the evidence (or at least make it really difficult to get to).Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko says:

                JOE REPORTER – Hello Ms. Malkin, I have some evidence here suggesting that Joe Biden murdered my friend and fellow reporter at the Not Washington Post, who was clearly pushed in front of a train and whose murder remains an open case. Are you interested in helping me investigate this further?

                MICHELLE MALKIN – HAHAHAHAHA, why would you expect me to engage in that sort of conspiratorial nonsense? Don’t you know we have journalistic standards here? Go back to your tinfoil hat manufacturing and leave me to my diligent of reporting of real stories.

                JOE REPORTER – But that’s what Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Hannity, Drudge, and Breitbart News all told me! Will I never find justice? Curse you, Biden. Curse you!

                How plausible does that exchange sound to you?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Here’s a somewhat more realistic vignette.

                RANDOM PERSON: I have information that Joe Biden once failed to pay not one but three parking tickets, before he was admitted to the bar and represented to the court UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that he had never committed any crimes! I AM NOT A CRANK!

                REPUBLICAN PUNDIT: We air at 7:00 p.m., so we need you in for makeup at 6:30. Do I need to send a driver to pick you up?

                [Ten minutes later]

                SAME REPUBLICAN PUNDIT: Hello, Congressman King? I’ve got a guy coming in may have information you’ll want to use in an amended statement of your pending articles of impeachment.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                The last episode of “we murdered the fucking reporter too” didn’t get a whisper of investigation. That was in Britain, and had to do with bankers mysteriously getting access to tops of skyscrapers and jumping off them. “Presumed suicides” with a reporter looking into them.

                It is beyond idiotic to kill reporters (they’re relatively distractable), but that doesn’t mean that if you kill them you’re going to see any prison time.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi says:

            It’s called background research.
            In other news related to House of Cards, there’s a rather funny story behind the giardia in the show…Report

          • Avatar DavidTC says:

            But DO get back to me when Xenu explains how the CF funnels money to the Clintons, who haven’t taken a dime from it. Also, when Xenu explains why they’d use a charity in the first place, despite it being possibly the worst vehicle in existence to cover that sort of thing.

            I think a lot of people have internalized ‘You can use charities for scams’, and have failed to realize that the way charities are normally used for scams is to avoid paying income taxes on something they personally want.

            I.e., guy has an income of $10,000,000 a year, wants to give $250,000 to his son-in-law without them paying income taxes twice on it. Normal solution is nepotism and hiring the kid at his business, but what if that’s not possible? He start a bogus charity and put himself on the board, donate $300,000 a year, which he gets a tax deduction for, and then the charity hires the son-in-law for $250,000 a year, who then rather crappily proceeds to distribute the remaining $50,000 to…other charities.

            Or the same thing, except with a private airplane instead of a son-in-law. Want to own a private airplane without paying taxes on it? Have your charity own it. (And there actually *have* been accusations of this sort leveled at the Clinton Foundation…but very few of them hold up to anything at all. But they at least *make sense*.)

            Or you get your charity to buy Tim Tebow’s jersey, and presumably (Because your charity has no actual location) hanging it up at one of your personal houses or corporate offices and in general acting like it’s your personal property. *ahem*

            But the Clinton Foundation conspiracy stuff seems, surreally, to think this can operate the other way around. That the people who *run* the charity can have other people put money in that *they* take out.

            The previous things I described were illegal, but not *obviously* illegal. They’re tax dodges. The IRS would get around to them eventually…or not.

            But you start taking actual money out of your own charity, though, you’re going to be arrested. It’s just not a credible claim. It’s *especially* not possible when that charity had to go through special scrutiny when Clinton was Sec of State. Actual, official, government scrutiny.

            Now, of course, it would be possible to have a charity operate like a tax dodge, except using other people money. I.e., the Clintons want a private jet, so they use the Clinton Foundation’s, and said CF private jet is being funded by donations from the Saudis. The Clintons couldn’t take money out, but they still could ‘profit’. This wouldn’t have made it though the government scrutiny, but would at least make sense.

            Except that the people alleging wrongdoing don’t actually seem to be alleging this. They seem to think the Clintons are literally taking money out of the Clinton Foundation.Report

            • Avatar Kimmi says:

              A dime of every dollar on actual charity.

              Clintons are drawing a salary from the foundation, aren’t they?

              The issue is less about what they’re doing with the money, and more about the State Department cutting arms deals with foreign non-democracies.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                BS article by the NY post. The CF isn’t a pass-through charity. They don’t take donations and redonate to other causes. If you’re an idiot who can’t read a tax filing, you might come to that conclusion.

                FactCheck had a nice piece on it (and I’ve referenced Charity Watch’s own report above)

                Daniel Borochoff, president and founder of CharityWatch, told us by phone that its analysis of the finances of the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates found that about 89 percent of the foundation budget is spent on programming (or “charity”), higher than the 75 percent considered the industry standard.
                By only looking at the amount the Clinton Foundation doled out in grants, Fiorina “is showing her lack of understanding of charitable organizations,” Borochoff said. “She’s thinking of the Clinton Foundation as a private foundation.” Those kinds of foundations are typically supported by money from a few people, and the money is then distributed to various charities. The Clinton Foundation, however, is a public charity, he said. It mostly does its own charitable work. It has over 2,000 employees worldwide.
                “What she’s doing is looking at how many grants they write to other groups,” Borochoff said. “If you are going to look at it that way, you may as well criticize every other operating charity on the planet.”
                In order to get a fuller picture of the Clinton Foundation’s operations, he said, people need to look at the foundation’s consolidated audit, which includes the financial data on separate affiliates like the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
                “Otherwise,” he said, “you are looking at just a piece of the pie.”
                Considering all of the organizations affiliated with the Clinton Foundation, he said, CharityWatch concluded about 89 percent of its budget is spent on programs. That’s the amount it spent on charity in 2013, he said.
                We looked at the consolidated financial statements (see page 4) and calculated that in 2013, 88.3 percent of spending was designated as going toward program services — $196.6 million out of $222.6 million in reported expenses.
                We can’t vouch for the effectiveness of the programming expenses listed in the report, but it is clear that the claim that the Clinton Foundation only steers 6 percent of its donations to charity is wrong, and amounts to a misunderstanding of how public charities work.

                Charity Navigator’s own page on it says:

                We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity’s atypical business model can not be accurately captured in our current rating methodology. Our removal of The Clinton Foundation from our site is neither a condemnation nor an endorsement of this charity. We reserve the right to reinstate a rating for The Clinton Foundation as soon as we identify a rating methodology that appropriately captures its business model.
                What does it mean that this organization isn’t rated?

                It simply means that the organization doesn’t meet our criteria. A lack of a rating does not indicate a positive or negative assessment by Charity Navigator.

                But by all means, keep tinfoiling the CF based on easily debunked smears.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Over 2,000 employees. What’s the average salary? How much of it is being redeployed?

                (Seriously, if you asked me to run this as a money-laundering scam, I’d have my employees making the soft and hard money contributions).


                Funny how you’re “they’re required to report” gets lost. Gonna tell me the NYT is bunk too?

                NYT has it at 250 million dollars of assets. That’s a hell of a warchest, ain’t it?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Over 2,000 employees. What’s the average salary? How much of it is being redeployed?

                I like how you’re asking *us* these questions. Why don’t *you* go look it up. Half the stuff you’re asking is in the mandatory public filings. The other half has been voluntarily released.

                Wait, don’t you have some forensic accounting friend that could tell you all this?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                I did pull a quick reference or two above. *shrugs* The second question is something that would practically require some sleuthing, at least as I meant it, as you’d be looking at private donations of people who work for the Clintons.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Over 2,000 employees. What’s the average salary? How much of it is being redeployed?

                Yes Kimmie, because they aren’t just a foundation, they do the charity works themselves.

                Which requires — and I understand this may be hard to grasp — hiring people to do stuff, in addition to volunteers.

                12% overhead — the industry standard for charities is 25% or less. That’s the number you should pay attention to because that number directly answers the questions “How much are they paying staff” and “how is this number compared to other charities”.

                But you won’t, because this is the Clinton’s and that number is both good AND strikes to the heart of the conspiracy theory you’re clutching to your bosom.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                You can judge a charity by how much of the problem they fix in a given period of time, and by how much of a profit they make while doing it. Or you can judge it by the burns on the children they employ.

                Your choice.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                So having dropped your previous…incorrect…information, you have decided to imply the CF injures small children?

                Bravo, Kimmie. I’m sure that’ll make people take you seriously!

                And they don’t make a profit, Kimmie. Charity’s are non-profits. They’re not legally allowed to make profits, and are audited to heck and back again. AND YET AGAIN only 12% of their money goes to overhead, which is considered top-tier for charities.

                Is that seriously all you have? Implied insults, vague sneers, and easily proven false information? Whomever you’re getting this stuff from, maybe you should start questioning their judgement.

                They’re making you look quite the fool.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Oh, absolutely not.
                I’m saying that I support charities that do.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Clintons are drawing a salary from the foundation, aren’t they?

                The Clintons are merely on the board of directors of the CF (Except for Hillary, who had to step away entirely while Sec of State) and are *legally barred by law* from accepting a salary for that. Charities cannot pay board members for being board members.

                They could get a salary for other duties, but appear to have no other duties….but more importantly, charities are required, by law, to publish the salaries of all sorts of people, including everyone on the board. They thus have published the salaries of the Clintons. It is literally ‘no salary’.

                Charities, before you ask, are also forbidden from engaging in ‘self-dealing’, aka, the charity giving things to board members. Them being on the board actually makes it *harder* for the charity to operate as a scam existing to benefit them! (If they weren’t board members, the charity could just rig up a raffle or something.)

                This is basic Charity 101, people. Really fucking basic shit.

                In my previous post, I explained the *only* way the CF could be used to bribe the Clintons…it requires the charity letting the Clintons *use* some of the charity’s resources, while the charity still legally owns them. For example, the charity having an airplane or car and letting the Clintons use it, or the charity owns real estate that the Clintons treat as their own private property. (1)

                Those are the only *hypothetical* ways of money going to the CF benefiting the Clintons that are not *blatant* violations of the law that would have been *immediately* detected in the CF’s books.

                And those hypothetical ways are not very likely, considering the CF was dissected pretty thoroughly by the government before Clinton was made Sec of State, looking for *exactly* those sorts of things. But you want to have a conspiracy theory that those hypothetical ways are happening, go right ahead…I can’t disprove random conspiracies with no basis in fact.

                But anyone who asserts things *outside* those ways are happening, that the CF is just handing money to the Clintons, or thinks the Clintons get *paid* anything by the CF, does not know anything about charities and should not be taken seriously at all.

                1) You may recognize these as *exactly* the same thing as corrupt businesses do with their executives, calling them ‘benefits’. Or have remembered that a lot of ‘megachurches’ provide ‘free housing’ to their pastor…giant, giant free housing.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                What you’re alleging is that the Clintons are playing at being Trump.
                (Fair and fine, he’s been doing it a long time. He controls far more money than he actually has).

                I know forensic accountants, and when they say something’s rotten, I trust them. (They had Enron pegged well before the authorities did — not that that was hard, it was all in the filings.)

                Playing for Power is a different game than playing for money. Playing for power is actively letting foreign dictatorships launder money to politicians (not necessarily the Clintons) through your charity, in return for weapons deals.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                What you’re alleging is that the Clintons are playing at being Trump.

                That doesn’t even make any sense.

                I know forensic accountants, and when they say something’s rotten, I trust them.

                Did those same unnamed forensic accountants, in the discussions you had with them, inform you the Clintons were drawing a salary?

                You don’t get to play ‘I have spoken to experts that tell me things about the CF’ and at the same say completely dumbass things like ‘Clintons are drawing a salary from the CF’ like that’s some sort of reasonable thing instead of an obvious gross violation of the law.

                Either those experts are *not* experts, or you aren’t listening to them very well…or, more likely, you just made it all up.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                Trump doesn’t own his own plane, or half the other things that people think he does. He controls a lot of money and uses that to romp around.

                No, my friend didn’t mention the Clintons drawing a salary. He said that the entire DNC and Democrats were well tied up with the Clinton Foundation’s corruption — and that’s why it would take hell and high water to bring it crumbling down. [Mentioned above to morat20 — this friend does currently work for Hillary Clinton (among other people), so he has an obvious conflict of interest].

                I am not a lawyer (obviously). I am not a forensic accountant, and I do not run double books. I do know someone who sent enough gigabytes to the IRS to keep an auditor busy for nearly a year (and got a refund at the end) — this is from a business, obviously.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC says:

                Trump doesn’t own his own plane, or half the other things that people think he does. He controls a lot of money and uses that to romp around.

                Yes, I know Trump does that.

                I was *not* asserting that the Clintons did that. I said that was the only *hypothetical* way for them to be getting benefits from the CF, not that they *were* doing that.

                You were basically asserting that the Clintons were setting up secret windmills to lower the temperature. I was pointing out that is not how windmills work, and furthermore if they *were* setting up secret windmills, it would be harness the existing power of the wind, not to make a cool breeze, because windmills, again, do not do that.

                That does not mean I believe your dumbass theory about secret windmills, just that your theory does not even make *sense* as presented.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        I am sort of amazed at how many people don’t understand that the DNC is a private org and it can weight for candidates and care about party loyalty.

        Lots of people seem very heavily invested in having shadowy cabals be real and they are being played by Russia.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Erstwhile brother Ryan Noonan put it well when he put it thusly:

          A number of disagreements I've had this election season stem from the fact that I don't consider political parties private organizations.— Ryan Noonan (@noonanville) July 25, 2016


          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            That could be part of it. Better phrasing would be “I don’t think political parties should be considered private organizations” which is something I could consider and debate.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          *shrug*. So far, the sum total of the actual grievances here seems to be (1) the debate schedule (the only thing the DNC controls, which was set long before Bernie threw his hat in) and (2) An email between two people, long after a winner was clear, that was never acted on by anyone.

          Clearly, that swung 4 million votes.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC says:

          I am sort of amazed at how many people don’t understand that the DNC is a private org and it can weight for candidates and care about party loyalty.

          The DNC is not a private organization, it’s not an organization at all. It’s part of the Democratic Party, which is a private organization.

          The Democratic National *Committee* is the *committee* in charge of running the organization between conventions…aka, it is the ‘board’ of the Democratic party that runs it between meetings. This ‘board’ consists of all the state chairs and vice-chairs and a bunch of elected delegates and appointed super-delegates.

          And here is my point:

          The *officers* and *staff* of a non-profit should not be running around making decisions behind the backs of members and *especially* not behind the back of the *board*.

          The board, again, in this case, consists of the *every state chair* and *every elected delegate*.

          The DNC can indeed, as a private organization that is a political party, legally throw their weight behind anyone it wants to get elected. (I assume. Normally non-profits can’t do that, but obviously political parties are not normal non-profits.)

          That’s not the same as officers and staff *secretly* doing the same thing, because they know members of the board (aka, their *bosses*) would not approve of their actions.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            The *officers* and *staff* of a non-profit should not be running around making decisions behind the backs of members and *especially* not behind the back of the *board*.

            Well, the million dollar question is — did they?

            So far the only two pieces of evidence that have been brought to light are the debate schedules (which is pretty weak sauce) and the fact that, two months after the primary was effectively over, two people had a discussion that led to no actions by anyone.

            So who went behind whose back and did what?Report

            • Avatar DavidTC says:

              I didn’t say they did.

              I was just pointing out that saying ‘the DNC is a private organization’ and thus could freely do this is wrong, both in that it’s not an organization, and the issue isn’t whether the *DNC* could do this, the issue is whether the staff and leadership of the DNC could do this against the actual ‘DNC’ (Aka, all the delegates) wishes, and without their knowledge. (And probably against the Democratic Party bylaws also.)

              This entire idea of the leadership of the DNC ‘picking a side’ is roughly akin to a company where the bylaws say that, every year, the board votes on whether they should do X or Y the next year…and the chairman of the board secretly works with the corporate employees to try to get the board to vote a certain way via manipulating information presented to the board, even to the level of trying to manipulate who should be *on* the board so the vote goes the right way.

              That…sounds a bit more obviously wrong when I simply restate everything using the *corporate* terms, doesn’t it? It explains a bit more why people were outraged at the possibility.

              Whether or not that’s actually what happened I don’t know. But I do know that people shouldn’t be justifying the possibility of misbehavior with ‘The DNC can do what it wants’.

              Yes. Yes the DNC, as in, the *actual* DNC, can. For example, it could remove the chair it elected and fire its staff for running around behind its back, if that’s what they did. Just for an example of ‘things it could do’.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I didn’t say the DNC could do anything it wants because it’s private, although that’s technically true. In the same sense that my favorite restaurant can decide to serve the most inedible dreck it can legally call ‘food’.

                Just because it can do that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea — or that it’ll stay in business doing it.

                The problem here is there’s a lot of shouting about apparently nothing. Some emails were exchanged, but nobody acted. I mean call me crazy, but I’ve yet to hold ANY job where some bad ideas didn’t get passed around once in awhile.

                We don’t seem to have any emails shouting the ideas down, but there’s no telling if we have all the emails — and we DO have the benefit of having lived through the primaries so we know however bad the idea, nobody acted on it. Which indicates that the powers-that-be, including the devil DWS, didn’t think it was a good idea.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos says:

                “There’s no telling if we have all the emails” is a particularly salient point when they seem to have been extracted and released by groups that may not have the best interests of the Democratic party or American progressivism in general in mind.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                The more damaging e-mails we see doled out over the course of election the more likely it is a deliberate attempt by a powerful group to torpedo Clinton and put Trump in the prez. That could be Trump himself or Russia or SPECTRE for all we know. But if this keeps happening then we have shadowy powerful figures messing about in our elections. Of course that will be Clinton’s fault but that goes without saying.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                The new right-wing meme is that Putin’s actually rooting for Hilllary, because since Russia has hacked the DNC it also must have hacked her, and thus clearly has blackmail info on her.

                Why they would be using it against Clinton now is sorta hand-waved away, as is why they’d be backing Clinton when Trump’s promising to ignore NATO, among other things.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                If they’re rooting for Clinton to win, then they’re killing the story by releasing enough to be boring and enough boring stuff.

                I don’t pretend to know everything about the Russians.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos says:

                While I can understand the “intent to sink Clinton” take, I tend to agree with this take: provocation is the primary goal, with tilting the election one way or another secondary. Had the Russians been caught with their hands in the RNC’s cookie jar instead of the DNC’s, we would be seeing leaks from them instead.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi says:

                The russians weren’t the first with a man on the moon, either.

                When dealing with the russians, you have to explain both “why they hacked DNC” and “why they admitted to it.”Report

      • Avatar j r says:


        Out of curiosity, does this mean that you support the majority SCOTUS decisions in Citizens United and McCutcheon v FEC?Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Nope. I think it was a bad decision.

          But them’s the current rules, and so those are the rules you use.

          Lots of people like to talk about having the ‘moral high ground’ on that, but that’s naive and a great way to lose elections. “Let’s turn down money and hope our moral fiber wins us votes” said no winning politician ever. I mean, outside of a Sorkin film.

          There’s a reason Obama forwent public financing of his election.

          (That doesn’t even get into the real curse of Citizens United, the SuperPacs and the fact that candidates can’t legally stop them from doing anything they want, pro or con).

          Politics ain’t beanbag, and I outgrew my romantic illusions on that subject 20 years ago.

          I’d be thrilled if HRC’s SCOTUS picks took one look at CU and said “Yeah, nope, bad call” and repudiated it. I’d be thrilled if the Constitution was amended to get rid of it.

          Corporate personhood is a kludge in a lot of ways, and I’d be pretty happy to see it fixed. (Especially when it’s LLCs playing “pierce the veil only when it’s advantageous to me” games).Report

          • Avatar j r says:

            I don’t have any illusions about high-minded politics. I do find it odd to defend the Clintons for doing the sort of thing that you think ought to be prohibited. Not odd to defend them against histrionic claims that they ought to be in jail or anything like that, but it seems that, in principal, you find this sort of thing unethical and wish that there were more laws against it.

            In the absence of more laws (which in full disclosure I do not support), I would thik that more information on how political operators operate would be something to welcome.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              I do find it odd to defend the Clintons for doing the sort of thing that you think ought to be prohibited.

              Why? When I play Spades, the rules I’m used to penalize under-bidding.

              However, when I play with people who don’t use that rule, I don’t penalize myself by taking points off for underbids. Do you find that odd? Mystifying? Hypocritical that I don’t penalize myself because I prefer a different ruleset than the one we’re playing by?

              I find nothing to critique about playing by the rules even if I wish to change them.

              Not odd to defend them against histrionic claims that they ought to be in jail or anything like that, but it seems that, in principal, you find this sort of thing unethical and wish that there were more laws against it.

              Who said I found it unethical? I think it’s a bad idea, granted. But again, the bulk of CU spending is stuff candidates can’t really do anything about. The limits on individual donations to parties and candidates remain. The SuperPac stuff is legally severed from candidates and parties.Report

              • Avatar j r says:

                Hypocritical that I don’t penalize myself because I prefer a different ruleset than the one we’re playing by?

                I guess what I find odd is that you approach this more from a perspective of teams and wins and losses than from a perspective of here is the behavior that I find ethical in politicians and I’d like to see more of it; here is the behavior that I find unethical and I’d like to see less of it.

                More precisely, I find it a bit odd that you’re deriding people for “wearing tin foil hats” because they want more information regarding behavior that you think is unethical.

                And I’m not talking about Super PAcCs and corporate personhood. The legal basis for the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions are that the government can regulate quid pro quo transactions, but can’t make whole areas of political activity illegal just because it looks bad. And the dissents in both of those cases argued that the integrity of the elections process mattered enough to make the restrictions justifies. I believe the phrase used was problem of democratic legitimacy.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                No, I approach this from a perspective of rules and laws. Not teams.

                I don’t have this weird urge to force people to play by rules that don’t exist.
                What’s funny is this ENTIRE thread started because of a comment I made about the Clinton Foundation, which is not at all related to Citizens United because it’s a charity. It’s not involved in politics at all, does not run ads, does not endorse candidates, and is utterly immaterial to Citizens United.

                And the “tinfoil hat” comments were about people who thought using a charity was a good way to bribe people, or who spin other delusional tales about the big, bad, naughty charity that *somethingsomethingClintonCorruptsomething*. Usually involving dark speculations on how much money the charity has, because clearly the Clintons can just withdraw cash from it.

                Why you brought up CU or think it’s related to the CF is confusing here.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Remember how Madoff couldn’t pull off his scheme because of all the reports and auditors that verified things every year? Remember how the Great Sh**Pile could never accumulate because all the accountants and rating agencies were giving everything an Aaa OK?

        Edit – I mean I just listened to two sitting United States Senators say that Big Finance is still corrupt, when it’s not outright criminal.

        Edit 2 I didn’t see that there were already fifty eleven million comments on this subthread.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          One key diff: It made a lot of people money to not look to closely at Madoff or the financial dumpster fire in the making. They knew people didn’t want to see and would look away from problems It paid to be blind. The Clintons know they will be looked at with a Hubble sized fine tooth comb and that many would love love love to find any scandal. In fact people would be well rewarded FOR seeing and finding any speck of dirt.

          If they were going to take a bribe why not just put in a secret swiss bank account. Those things exisit.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe says:

            If people look too closely at Clinton’s books and there’s stuff there, Trump becomes President.

            That’s a hell of incentive to not look closely at Clinton’s books.

            Eta – Trump keeping a forensic accountant around on his team is like a garden slug keeping a salt shaker on his kitchen table.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

              That would explain the last few months of The Conspiracy. What about the years leading up to it?Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              But they started the CF years before Trumpy was anything but a joke for the prez. That doesn’t wash. But plenty of people have had their eyes set on the C’s for years. They would know their books would be gone over and over by conservatives. That is just life. Trump is irrelevant to that. And again why not just put all the bribes in secret accounts. Why even give people a chance to find it. That just makes no sense and leans on whatever the C’s do must be hinky. That is makes no sense is not material.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Hillary Clinton sure is rich though, for someone that was dead broke in 2000 and has had a government job for 12 of the 16 years since then.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Yeah making speeches pays real well for famous folk and she is married to Bill who has racked it in. Being famous and powerful tends to breed money. It’s worked that way for lots of famous peeps. In fact Trumpy has benefited a lot from free publicity and starting off rich. But then again i haven’t performed an audit of her finances like everybody else. Did she take a tax exemption losing staff in Benghazi?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Senators Warren and Sanders just finished telling me that rich people suck, especially those that got rich during the Bush Administration. Should I ignore them?Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                You watched the convention? You have to much free time. Somehow i doubt “rich people suck” is a complete description.

                You want to hate rich jerks, fine by me there is a long line of far richer people than Hillary. Lots of rich libertarian techy types or the Kochs. Do you hate them the same way as Hillary? Trumpy is far richer than Hillary. But somehow its going to come back to Hillary did this or something.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Trump is probably richer than Clinton, but nobody’s entirely sure. If he is richer than Clinton, it’s by less than an order of magnitude.

                Rich people on the Republican side tried to buy the nomination – and it didn’t work.

                At all.

                The Democratic side, worked entirely as planned.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Donnie claims he’s a billionaire. Not just one crappy ol billion either. Of course he was born rich so he earned his the old fashioned way. Wow you sound bitter about money buying elections. Nothing to do about that i’ve heard tell though.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                Trump also claimed his steaks and university were great, and Ted Cruz’s dad was involved in killing President Kennedy. So none of us should take his claims at face value.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Oh yeah Trumpy has been a serial liar and scam seller for decades. That explains Hillary’s deeply suspicious ( cue dramatic eerie music) bank balances, bengahzi and Trumpy’s fondness for Putin.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                IIRC, they also wrote books with multi-million dollar advances. And pretty sure Warren Buffet will take their calls on investment advice. 🙂Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Must be ISIS.

      More seriously it is absolutely horrible, those poor people.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        I was content to leave that portion of the commentary unstated, but yes, crazy violent people do crazy violent things. Without the pernicious cultural subversion of #Black Lives Matter, and without the malignant religious preachings of Daesh.

        But this observation doesn’t bring back the lives of the people who were murdered or ease the anguish of their families.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        And with that, the oft defended claim that all mass killings are ultimately caused by ISIS dies a clear death by counterexample.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          “He is reported to have told police he wanted disabled people to disappear.”

          Kinda like the cop who shot Kinsey.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

            Now you’ve piqued my curiosity. Are you genuinely arguing that, “All spree killings are attributable to ISIS” or something like it is a widely-held problematic belief that needs to be pushed back against?Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              I assume he means we’d be so lucky if a counterfactual was actually effective in countering the factual.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              The latter.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                Can you articulate clearly what you think the people you’re arguing against actually believe? I’m just trying to find a belief that is:

                A) Widely held. Or at least articulated around here or held by a nontrivial number of people.
                B) Cannot be reasonably reocnciled with the observation that people other than ISIS kill people.

                I’m completely perplexed by this line of argument, and I’m fairly certain it’s because I genuinely don’t understand what’s begin argued against.Report

        • Avatar notme says:

          And with that, the oft defended claim that all mass killings are ultimately caused by ISIS dies a clear death by counterexample.

          That’s odd b/c it seems the only one making that argument is your strawman.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Avik Roy explains that conservative intellectual denial over racism and white identity lead to the Trumpization of the GOP

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Hey, remember when we were making fun of the Libertarians for having a guy get naked at their convention?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Libertarian convention is proving to have been the sanest of them all.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        And Gary Johnson is probably the sincerest, and almost certainly the best, person among the four nontrivial candidates.

        I just can’t shake the suspicion that everything would be going perfectly swimmingly in a Johnson presidency, then one day he’d seize up like an android from the original Star Trek for about 20 seconds, then declare “we’re going on the gold standard tomorrow!”. Or the ruler in Myanmar who woke up one morning and decided that from that day forward, traffic would drive on the right side of the road (the left being sympathetic to Communists, you see), despite all the vehicles still being right-hand-steering (and, possibly worse, all the buses having passenger doors on the left, which would then be the traffic side rather than the curb side).Report

        • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

          Perhaps an executive order that henceforth the national language would be Swedish. Libertarians don’t worry about underwear 🙂

          Somewhat more seriously, the “have a beer with” standard is one of the most truly ludicrous category errors of my adult political life (which goes back to 1976 :), but I’m pretty sure I’d rather have a conversationwith Johnson than any of the others (though see the recent Voxer on Clinton’s listening ability if you haven’t already: it certainly improved my opinion of her, starting from a pretty low bar).Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          You know, no choice is free of all risk.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Woah, did Bernie strip down at the DNC? I would appreciate a warning because I do not want to see that!Report

  9. Avatar El Muneco says:

    I can’t find in the archives here anymore, but the law-n-order crowd had a “that’ll show ’em” response when Dallas police chief David Brown said “We are hiring. Get out of that protest line and put an application in”.

    Well, turns out they are – applications are up 344(!) percent this month.

    (Hat tip – the inestimable Radley Balko)Report

    • Avatar notme says:

      Nice try. The increase in applications does’t actually prove that those applicants are coming from the pool of protesters. For all you or Radley know, not one protester applied.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        I will strongly agree with your contention that there is no proof – with no actual demographic breakdowns, it’s certainly not beyond reasonable doubt. However, in return, honesty demands you admit that such a radical shift in the opposite direction from what would be expected is strong circumstantial evidence.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:


        There it is again. Word abuse.Report

  10. Avatar Kolohe says:

    One set of rules for The People, a different set of rules for The Party.

    All hail special privileges for The Party, who are working so hard on The People’s behalf.Report

    • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

      Come on now: if you were somehow forced to attend the convention (not necessarily as a party apparatchik – the linked article did not imply that the late night hours would only apply to Party members) wouldn’t you want to drink heavily after each night? Anterograde amnesia is both a thing and sometimes handy.Report

      • Avatar scott the mediocre says:

        Rats – timescale for alcohol-induced, non-permanent anterograde amnesia doesn’t work out right. And heavy drinking, no matter how otherwise justified, does not seem to produce retrograde amnesia (i.e. forgetting the convention day you just underwent).Report

    • Avatar Autolukos says:

      The reprieve also allows businesses to circumvent the costly requirement that all wine and liquor be purchased from the state-run wine and spirits stores

      I guess this is the deregulation I keep hearing people complain about.Report