Morning Ed: Politics {2016.08.23.T}

Will Truman

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

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62 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Watching conservatives trying to speculate on the internal politics of the Democratic Party is always amusing. The Democratic Party is becoming more liberal socially and economically according to our own analysis.Report

  2. notme says:

    In a statement sure to endear him to other Europeans, EC chief Jean-Claude Juncker declared that, “National borders are ‘the worst invention ever’.”

    I’m surprised that he didn’t include representative gov’ts that allow their citizens to leave organizations like the EU as the second worst invention. Plus I’m sure Soros will give a nice bonus for the statement.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to notme says:

      Sure, let’s rely on the fictional traits of a character from a book written in the 20’s (when psychological understanding was in it’s heyday) as opposed to what is known today.

      No way that’ll end badly…Report

  3. J_A says:

    The Larry Evans option piece is a total waste of electrons. He doesn’t see the consequences of Brexit because Brexit hasn’t even started. Brexit is, realistically, about three years away at a minimum, and we have no clue what it will really look like. See

    Nothing real changed on June 26. To the dismay of Nigel Farage, UK passports printed after June still say European Union in the cover, and still have the text in like 14 languages.

    Even so, there are signs that things won’t be that great. The pound dropped from 1.30 €/£ to 1.20 €/£ immediately after the referendum, and continued dropping to just below 1.15 today.Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to J_A says:

      This. I think the tacit assumption is the faith in the ability of the markets to anticipate the results of any action. In this world view, the markets have had ample time to factor in Brexit, so we have ample basis for analyzing its effects. I point and laugh.Report

  4. J_A says:

    When we were discussing the parliamentary version of USA politics some weeks ago, it was suggested that a party similar to the UK Tories would probably be the biggest block.

    The Tories would command a large majority of the Democratic coalition, including most ethnic minorities, while shedding the far left and a probably a large part of Bernie voters (but not all; there were many Anyone But Hillary Bernie voters). It will be the natural home of the fiscally conservative but socially liberal voters.

    On the right It would take whatever is left of the (now closeted) Rockefeller Republicans; be attractive enough to Law and Order voters everywhere; they would be a better fit to the independent pseudo libertarian Mountain West republicans that are uncomfortable with the Religious right, and could make a good play for the Midwest/KS/MO states.

    Outside of the Tories you would have, on the right and either in combination or alone, the Religious and Social conservatives and the Nativists, including most of the white voters in the South; and, on the left, something that would seem like a sane version of the U.K. Labour PartyReport

  5. Hoosegow Flask says:

    Who wouldn’t want to see Trump pick Secretary of Defense by seeing which applicants could run a lemonade stand the best?Report

  6. DavidTC says:

    I have to wag my fingers at the Democrats, who now apparently have some sort of *objection* to having the president star in reality show.

    I mean, have you *ever* heard anyone say ‘That shouldn’t be allowed’ before Trump showed up? No. Not one objection ever to that idea. It certainly’s never been in the Democratic Party’s platform, no Democrat’s ever run on it…there has never been a single objection to the idea, ever.

    I challenge people to find me a *single article* that says ‘The president should not also star in a reality TV show’ before Trump.

    And now that Trump considers doing it, oh noes, it’s a bad thing, and it’s apparently *always* been a bad thing.

    Are people going to object to *everything* Trump does? What about his plan to put TRUMP in giant gold letters on the White House, despite the fact no one ever told Obama or Bush they couldn’t do that?Report

    • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

      More seriously, you know how on Facebook there are memes about how mothers have to say completely insane things that no rational person would say, like ‘Do not eat that comb’ and ‘Do not put your sock in the DVD player’?

      ‘Trump, do not star in a reality TV show while president. And if you come into the kitchen, you can have some celery with peanut butter!’Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    Gawker is no more and the issue seems to be dividing the left. At least according to my anecdotal evidence.

    I never understood why so many people in my generation and younger fell in love with Gawker. I see them as snide for the sake of snide. Snarky for the sake of snarky. They are a Page 6 for people who find Page 6 to be beneath them. The writers and editors of Gawker seemed to be filled with a sense of stridency and self-righteousness that I find unbecoming. They got in trouble for trying to out a bean counter a few years ago simply because he was Tim Geitnher’s brother. When Denton needed to pull back the story, two of his editors quit and called the pull decision a “Reichstag Fire.”

    I especially never understood why Hamilton Nolan got viewed as a brave truth-teller instead of as a forth-rate hack.

    So for all the troubling aspects of the Thiel/Hogan lawsuit is (both of whom had completely legitimate reasons for being angry at Gawker despite their general loathsomeness), I find it hard to mourn for Gawker and their inability to be self-reflective and wonder about whether they were in the wrong.

    Yet I find myself arguing with a lot of friends about whether Gawker’s burn it all down is a good hill to die on or not. Lots of people seem to think that Gawker’s distastefulness makes them a good hill to die on.Report

    • Autolukos in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The Gawker hagiographies have been amusing and reflect the frustrating dynamics of these sorts of cases: rather than focus on the First Amendment issues at stake or on the nuts and bolts of the legal proceedings, we get a torrent of pieces on Thiel’s various heresies (sidenote: the extent to which some people see seasteading as evil, as opposed to ridiculous, is very amusing to me) and on how Gawker was actually good. This does not fill me with confidence that the same people will jump to the defense of threatened publications that don’t share their politics.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Autolukos says:

        Thiel had a perfectly legitimate reason to be angry at Gawker. They did invade his privacy as opposed to going after him for more legitimate criticisms.

        Yet what Thiel did was disturbing but I am not sure if there is anyway around it. The ACLU essentially does champery stuff as well. Champery is a two-way street.

        But I think a lot of people in my generation and younger really did like Gawker for their writing style and appreciated Nolan as much as I despised him. Then again, I seem to be one of the few people who finds hate-reading the Styles section to be a waste of time rather than a valid media criticism exercise. I still think the Times does very valuable front page reporting and if it means a silly Sunday Styles section, so be it. Apparently this makes me a tool to the one percent to many people. Many of these people are fairly comfortable themselves.Report

  8. Oscar Gordon says:

    Police kill unarmed deaf man over speeding ticket.

    tl;dr Police attempted to pull the deaf man over for speeding, but he drove home instead (possibly he never heard the sirens or noticed the lights?). Witnesses say the deaf man was killed almost immediately after exiting his car.

    Dash cam/body cam footage would be very informative here.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Could we avoid this in the future by preventing deaf people from driving?Report

      • J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

        In Panama there is a vision and hearing test every time you renew your drivers license (every five years). If you fail one of the two, you don’t get a license.

        Also, people above 70 need a doctor’s certificate that they are able to drive before getting their license renewed.

        I find all those to be very sensible policiesReport

        • Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

          Jeez. I was going for an absurd example that focused on blaming the victim rather than on the downright absurd over-reliance on violence that the police get away with.

          I mean, assuming everything in this article is true, why shouldn’t the cop have his badge and gun stripped and then be placed in prison for 5-10?

          I am constantly wondering whether we’d be better off with 50% of the police force we have now. Examples like this do nothing to make me reconsider.Report

          • J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

            Nothing about being in favor of sensible health and handicapped restrictions to driving should be interpreted as being in favor of police brutality, and the gun trigger culture the police has developed in the last decades, my “I Bleed Blue” t-shirt notwithstanding.

            Regretfully, there are two reasons why we can’t talk about sensible restrictions to driving privileges in the USA:

            1- public transportation is, for practical purposes, unavailable in most of the country.

            2- We have a rights obsessed culture, both in the left and in the right (even though we might disagree what are true rights). Driving has become synonymous with the right to move around freely (see 1- above).

            Hence I don’t see much chance of restricting deaf or old aged driving privileges, and much chance of these events to continue happening. .Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to J_A says:

              I can argue that being deaf is not a hinderance, as such, to driving, thanks to not only very loud car stereos and the constant improvement in automotive sound insulation – both of which could very easily prevent a person with normal hearing from hearing a siren. This is why police cars also have lights.

              Of course, unmarked cars sometimes have the lights placed only in the grill, which can be hard to see in certain cases. So it’s possible the man neither heard nor saw that he had an officer behind him.

              The real issue is officers who seem to get overly worked up over people failing to stop. If they aren’t obviously trying to flee, just keep cool and follow while radioing for marked backup to intercept from somewhere ahead.Report

              • J_A in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Deaf people driving might or might not be a good idea. We can probably think about it. But I do carry a Panamanian driving license because my mother lives there and I drive when I go several times a year. And I get a hearing test, so it’s not like the idea has not come before.

                The idea that police department should review a lot of their engagement policies, like the way you describe, I fully subscribe to. I’ve said it before: I blame the 9/11 Terrorists Are Everywhere We Are Under Siege mentalityReport

            • Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

              I did not mean to imply any support for police brutality. Forgive me if I presented identically to that.

              I was just immediately going to “obviously there’s a problem with deaf people driving” instead of “obviously there’s a problem with the police” as a grim joke.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            I am constantly wondering whether we’d be better off with 50% of the police force we have now. Examples like this do nothing to make me reconsider.

            I’m of the opinion, that, right now, the only solution (Barring simply *dissolving* every police department and rebuilding it) is to basically split the police in half.

            There’s a group that is allowed out on patrol, to investigate crimes, etc. These people…are not allowed guns, or any weapons. They are not even allowed to detain people. (They can, of course, take someone to the police station if that person *wants* to go.) They have exactly the same right to use violence as any human being does, aka, only if attacked, or to save the life of others..and, of course, not having guns, have fun with that.

            And there is an arrest squad, or they can be called SWAT if people want. They get guns…and they are only allowed to leave the police station to serve an arrest warrant. That’s it. That’s the only situation in which police-initiated force of *any* sort is legal…to follow through on something authorized by the court system.

            This doesn’t literally have to be two different types of police, of course. I’m fine with police officers switching modes, hell, I’m fine with them investigating a crime, discovering some evidence, calling it in, getting an arrest warrant based off that immediately, and doing the arrest. Maybe they should have to wear different hats, or continually loudly announce that they are serving a duly-authorized arrest warrant.

            But until you have in your (electronic) little hands a signed warrant to take someone into custody, you can’t do *anything* to them, at all, except stop them from directly harming someone…and even then, you still can’t *arrest* them, all you can do is *stop* them. If someone is standing there, directly breaking into a car, hotwiring it, and driving off…tough shit.

            Because I’m sorry, the current situation is just completely unacceptable, and has essentially given the government the right to kill anyone they want.

            I am aware this will make the job of the police infinitely more difficult, and in some occasions, put their life in danger…but they fucking did it to themselves. The police *cannot be trust with the right to commit violence*. They refuse to (ironically) police themselves, or to allow the system to police them. So they should *no longer have that right*. They should have to get permission from the courts every single time they want to use violence, end of story. After a decade or so we can review this.

            As an aside, the *total hypocrisy* of ‘conservatives’ in this regard is astonishing. If they had had *actual* conservative beliefs, all these well-documented instances of the police (aka, the *government*) out of control should have created a Sister Souljah moment that maybe slightly higher taxes aren’t *quite* as repressive as the government actually, for example, systematically killing people without a good reason, and maybe that thing needs to be looked into.

            Nope! Gather around, conservatives, time to defend the government!Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC says:

              “If someone is standing there, directly breaking into a car, hotwiring it, and driving off…tough shit.”

              So is this one of those Swiftian satire things where we aren’t supposed to take it seriously?

              Because one popular slur-gument against libertarian ideals is “oh well you’re happy to pay for POLICE, bucko, so STOP telling me that you think there should be no taxes and no government!”

              But now here you are telling me that the police won’t be able to stop crime…by design.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to DensityDuck says:

                But now here you are telling me that the police won’t be able to stop crime…by design.

                Oh, there’s not satire at all. (The two different forces is a bit of a joke, but only because that’s obviously really inefficient.)

                The police CAN NO LONGER BE TRUSTED TO STOP CRIME. They can no longer be trusted to initiative violence, period.

                The police just shot an unarmed deaf man for no reason. This is, literally, just the latest example . *Checks to make sure something else hasn’t happened.* As of August 23, at 4:38 EST, this is still the latest example. Tune next week for the next person they kill for no reason.

                Your outrage that the police will no longer be able to stop crime is basically outrage that the guy who’s gotten six DUIs will no longer be able to drive when we take his license away.

                Well…duh? They can no longer be trusted to do that safely.(1)

                1) In fact, looking at the history of policing, the history of them serving as muscle for monied interests, the racial bias, the documented history of them framing people, etc etc, etc, there’s a very real question if the police ever *could* be trusted, at all. Seriously, did the system *ever* work, or has it been utterly shitty its entire existence?Report

              • notme in reply to DavidTC says:

                Sorry to have to point it out, but just because you don’t know the reason behind the cop’s actions doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a reason. Whether or not that reason is legally sufficient will be decided once the investigation is completed.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to notme says:

                Whether or not that reason is legally sufficient will be decided once the investigation is completed.

                I do not actually give a flying fuck if the reason is ‘legally sufficient’ under the legal standards we have now. (I suspect it is not legal.) Nor do I give a flying fuck if it’s*found* legally sufficient. (I suspect it will be found to be legal because of some made up thing.)

                I am saying we need to *change* those standards. Actually, no. I’m saying we need to *completely remove* those standards. I’m saying police should be required to follow *exactly the same laws* as everyone else, literally the same laws(1), period, until they have a goddamn court order in their hand to arrest someone.

                There is no justification I can think of for shooting someone for ‘failure to pull over when the police want them to’ that *should* be legal. I don’t care if it *is* legal or not. If it is, it *needs to not be*.

                1) I mean, I’m willing to be nice and exempt them from *some* laws. Parking laws, for example, and stalking laws. It’s their ability to use violence that concerns me.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to DavidTC says:

                Welp. I guess if you think there shouldn’t be police then you can move to Somalia.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Oh, and if that really is upsetting, perhaps some of that huge pile of monies shoved at police forces can instead be used to hire more judge who are actually on call at all hours, and can be used to *issue* arrest warrants.

                But then of course police would no longer be able to arrest people Friday and delay their processing until ‘after hours’, so they can’t get bail until Monday.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to DavidTC says:

                Do you have any opinions on whether judges have played a part in getting to this point, or do you think their behavior has nothing to do with the current situation?Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Joe Sal says:

                The entire government can, in a way, be blamed for this, but I think judges probably have the *least* guilt here.

                Legislatures made the incredibly lax standards.

                The DA refuse to prosecute police officers whose behavior fails to meet even those absurd standards.

                The police fail to do any sort of internal oversight at all.

                Most of the problem with ‘judges’ is the fact there are not enough of them so they do not have any time to spend on cases. It’s pretty much the same problem as defense attorneys.

                We frankly need a lot more judges *anyway*, and I’ve argued in the past they should actually be *on call*, along with defense attorneys, to stop completely idiotic situations where the police arrest the wrong person. Not ‘someone they wrongly believe is a criminal’, but someone who literally is not the person they were intending to arrest, and this could *trivially* be proven, except that person has to spend *days* in jail before getting in front of a judge.

                In fact, you know what?

                I demand that judges are part of the arrest process from start to finish. They should have to sign off on someone being arrested, and they should be required to have some sort of preliminary hearing with a few various ‘sanity checks’ like ‘Is this the right person?’ and ‘Is what they were arrested for a crime?’ *before* that person is put in a cell.

                I am aware this would be a massive hassle for the police.

                But you know what? Arrests are *already* a massive hassle…for the person being arrested.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to DavidTC says:

                Thanks for the response. It’s an interesting concept. Do you think that would lend itself to ‘field judges’, usually it’s two policemen partered together. Do you think a police officer, and a tag along judge would lead to different results?Report

              • notme in reply to Joe Sal says:

                You mean Judge Dredd?Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to notme says:

                Well, just for the sake of argument lets assume that there aren’t budget cuts and the two positions aren’t consolidated into one.

                Will the outcome be much different than what is going on now?Report

              • notme in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Yes, more folks would be shot if we were working on the Judge Dredd model.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to notme says:

                How ya figure?Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Joe Sal says:

                I’m not sure that makes much sense. That’s what radio is for.

                ‘Witness to robbery stated she knew the attacker, he was James Jameson. Request arrest warrant.’

                ‘Arrest authorized of James Jameson’.

                And, yes, this sorta assumes police officers will be truthful over the radio, but I think ‘blatantly lying to judge’ is already something the legal system is not too fond of.

                Hell, even if it *does* produce a lot of lying, it will, at minimum, required police officers to state, for the record, the exact reason for the arrest, and *some* justification for it, *before* they try to arrest someone, and at least some sort of sanity check that such a thing *actually is illegal*.

                This would both stop police officers from trying to change their story after the arrest, and it stops those insane circumstances where the police try to arrest someone for a thing that is not illegal, the person being arrested is indigent and correctly argues that’s not a crime…and now they just argued with a police officer during their arrest and are guilty of resisting arrest, apparently.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to DavidTC says:

                If a judge is going to be doing considerable processing, and to minimize communication errors it may make sense for him/her to be on site. I just wonder if another link in the system won’t adopt/allow certain behaviour to continue, just with the authority of a judge involved.Report

            • J_A in reply to DavidTC says:

              What you describe is not too different from how things are in Europe.

              Here, the Houston ISD police guy that oversees the crossing in the elementary school across the street has his gun in his holster. I’m sure he will shoot little Calvin for pulling little Susie’s pony tailReport

            • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

              Oh, and if people want to point to where it became clear this system was broken, I don’t know, but I nominate the oft-overlooked case of Atwater vs. Lago Vista.

              That decision, when boiled down, essentially gave the police the power to imprison people for things that were not actually crimes that could be punished by imprisonment. I.e., the police are allowed to use violence to imprison people for things society has *explicitly decided* should only be punished by a fine. Cure conservative outrage in…three…two…one…and crickets.

              And it wasn’t so much the *decision*, despite that being stupid, as that *being something the police were arguing for the right to do*. Sure, the police shouldn’t be allowed to do that…but why the hell would they be *wanting* to do that anyway?Report

        • Francis in reply to J_A says:

          You can pass the hearing test, fail the vision test and still get a license? wow.

          LA freeways are pretty noisy but I don’t think I could drive a car based on audio inputs.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to J_A says:

          Most places in the United States are too car centric for this to work.Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

            The first really big market for autonomous vehicles (either privately owned, or from some sort of pool) will be allowing aging Baby Boomers to stay in their car-centric environments.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Michael Cain says:

              Doesn’t Uber kind of fulfill this function? Its not like the Baby Boomers are going to be behind the wheel but the same is try for autonomous cars because the car will drive itself.Report

          • J_A in reply to LeeEsq says:

            I know

            That’s another big problem

            I once heard an NPR program about a young woman somewhere in the middle of some flyover state (WV rings a bell), whose car broke. She didn’t have enough money to repair it, so she couldn’t get to work (I think she was an assistant nurse), so she got fired, so she couldn’t make her rent payment, so she got evicted, so the Children Protection Agency took her kids away…. It went on an on. It did not have a happy ending.

            And while hearing it my blood started to boil and I was thinking: there’s not an inhabited place in the UK that public transportation doesn’t reach. Yes, it might be twice a day (morning and evening) and you might have to walk a couple of miles, but you can live at the top of a moor and get public transportation to get to work.

            Lack of access to transportation is a major contributing factor to poverty in the USA. The story of this nurse would be incomprehensible to a Western European.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to J_A says:

              Most European communities are also more walkable even if public transportation options are lacking. Many American communities have no transit and are not walkable. Americans tend to be car crazy though. Most of us like to see ourselves as free wheeling and dealing and cars fulfill that vision more than buses or rail based transit. There are many places in the United States where transit is not a realistic option because of a very low population density but we can do better.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

        In Illinois, driver’s education classes must now teach students what to do when they’ve been pulled over by the cops. I believe cops go to the schools and help with the demonstrations, at least they did at my daughter’s school. In the future, a driver’s failure to follow simple steps taught in school will be used against them (or their heirs) in a court of law.Report

        • notme in reply to PD Shaw says:

          Good, I hope they help them understand that getting out of your car during a traffic stop, unless told to, is one of the worst things you can do.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to notme says:

            True, but in the case here, if the guy truly did not know an officer was trying to pull him over…

            Like I said, cam footage will be helpful here, I hope there is some.Report

          • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

            Well, it’s pretty bad, but is it as bad as approaching the TSA guy at the airport before he waves you over? I mean, there’s degrees of evil, right?Report

          • Kazzy in reply to notme says:

            This implies a threat evaluation system that is binary: people either are or are not a threat and all threats are treated equally (i.e., that they are grave, imminent, and potentially fatal).Report

        • El Muneco in reply to PD Shaw says:

          “In Illinois, driver’s education classes must now teach students what to do when they’ve been pulled over by the cops.”

          What do we do?

        • Kazzy in reply to PD Shaw says:

          This assumes there is a standard set of behaviors cops expect/desire during a stop.

          Somewhere along the line, I was taught to keep my hands on the wheel as the cop approaches so that he can see them at all times and doesn’t have to worry what I might be rummaging around for. But then I’ve had cops give me some attitude that I didn’t have my paperwork at the ready when they got to the window.

          It also isn’t uncommon for me to drive without my license physically on my person. After the gym and many other times my wallet may be in a bag that is in the backseat or in the trunk. Hell, it might just be on the passenger seat. And even if I wait for the cop to approach and explain that I’m reaching into this big bag for my wallet, that could still put him on edge. So is the expectation now that the license being physically on the person? And what issue does that present for women, for whom clothing often lacks pockets?

          And, really, expect and desire are the wrong words. If a cop can shoot you and have it deemed justified because you acted in a way inconsistent with their expectations, that is essentially making whatever those expectations are the law. So do we want to say that the law requires a specific set of behaviors during a traffic stop and, absent them, deadly force is justified?Report

          • notme in reply to Kazzy says:

            This assumes there is a standard set of behaviors cops expect/desire during a stop.

            Generally cops are taught that that a person who exits their vehicle without being asked to do so either intends to flee or fight.Report

          • PD Shaw in reply to Kazzy says:

            Yeah, I meant to ask my daughter what exactly they were taught, because I remember believing when I first got pulled over for speeding that I was supposed to get out of the car with my hand in the air. Perhaps I learned this from C*H*I*P*S, but I got yelled at to stay in my car, which is how I learned.

            I was being partly sarcastic about drivers being blamed for not doing what was taught in school. But IMHO the underlying issue is about the limitation of a rules-regime, the cop here probably followed the rules, and those rules stem from civil rights laws which use the liability system to create the rules. The rules created over time are going to map to the norms expected by a jury.Report