Morning Ed: Politics {2016.09.29.Th}


Will Truman

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

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84 Responses

  1. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    What the “7-11 election” tells me is that maybe ordinary Americans are just sick of being told they have to share their political opinions/choices with the world. (Or, alternately: they’re sufficiently afraid of being harassed or attacked for holding an opinion others might disagree with).

    Also: an awful lot of states have no 7-11s. I didn’t realize my state didn’t because my town is small and I wouldn’t expect it to, but I guess there aren’t any anywhere?Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Neither of your options bodes well for the established parties.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        yeah, well, from looking at what the established parties have given us as candidates…

        (And yes, I get that it’s partly a ‘we get what we deserve’ thing, but still.)Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        Call me snobby but I don’t trust the 7-11 election because:

        1. These things are easy to punk/prank.

        2. The people who do the 7-11 election type things sometimes vote but many do not.

        The United States has very low voter participation as developed nations go.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          The 7-Election is pretty skewed to the right. Except where it’s not. I remember in 2008, McCain won most states but lost Utah.

          On the other hand, different results from one year to the next might signal something. Even if it’s something not perceptable in vote tallies. (ie like it matters that we have two unpopular candidates, even if the vote share turns out about the same as if we had two popular candidates.)

          In this case, though, since the NOTA cups are new, it’s hard to glean much from that. It would actually be more interesting to see those results discarded and go with red/blue.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          These things are easy to punk/prank.

          On a *NATIONAL* level?
          Not even anonymous drinks that much coffee.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Yeah, it’s not pranked. It’s just skewed towards 7-11 customers. Who, as it turns out, lean either towards the right or are disaffected.

            Except in Utah.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              I would say disaffected is the biggest issue. Most people do not vote, participate in politics, and they seem to have inchoate political views when they give them.

              People who vote tend to be more ideological and driven and ideology seems to confuse a lot of people as a concept.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      The problem is that most Americans don’t get involve in politics at all. They don’t vote in the general election, they don’t vote in primaries, they don’t vote in off-year elections, they certainly don’t go to local meetings for their local Democratic or Republican committee meetings.

      Now some of this is because it is a real time drain and you have to do it instead of happy hour with your friends or spending time with lovers and family. But if people want things to change, people need to get involved.

      My other view is that most people really don’t understand ideology and they tend to make a hash of things. The profound gridlock in politics is because the people who do vote and get involved tend to have more defined ideologies and these ideologies are becoming more incompatible with each other. The parties are no longer big tent.Report

  2. Avatar j r says:

    This is the first two paragraphs of the Politico story on the Obama administration taking on zoning regulations:

    The Obama administration Monday is calling on cities and counties to rethink their zoning laws, saying that antiquated rules on construction, housing and land use are contributing to high rents and income inequality, and dragging down the U.S. economy as a whole.

    City zoning battles usually are fought block by block, and the president’s involvement will create friction, particularly among environmental groups and the not-in-my-backyard crowd. But the White House jawboning is welcome news to many others, including mayors and builders increasingly foiled by community opposition to development.

    And this is buried down at the bottom:

    Earlier this year, environmentalists and labor unions quickly shut down a plan by California Gov. Jerry Brown that would have made it easier for developers to build apartments and condominiums. The proposal got nowhere, despite the support of mayors, businesses and the White House.

    Seems like as situation where some of that context could have been brought up a little farther in the page, seeing as so many Americans have a magical theory of the presidency.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    It also seeks to tackle the corrupt collusion between Big Government and Big Business in its call for amendment of the Federal Reserve Act, enabling direct investment in public works.

    Lol wut?

    And why have self-styled “conservative” pundits nailed themselves to the homosexual mast? Why have they abandoned marriage to the enemies of the family?

    Lol? WUT?!Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Can’t you just feel the Solidarity?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        He makes me want to throw Polish shipyard workers in jail.

        It’s like, you know why we can’t get a majority with Trumpism? No enough LGBT bigotry in Trumpsim.

        And the really worse part, in the same way Confederates in the 1860s and the 1960s ruined state sovereignty for everyone forever (Thanks, Davis*), this type of thinking ruins the very good ideas of the devolution of poltical power and maximizing individual autonomy. Plus, there *does* need to be something that makes the financial sector more ofa part of a balanced world economic breakfast instead of a huge bowl of Chocolate Covered Sugar Bombs.

        *the article that is linked to as a foundation for the article linked above has Confederate ‘hero’ [exact word used] memorial apologia, natch.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          That’s what pisses me off so bad about the whole thing. The language gets hijacked by awful people, and everyone else is so used to the easy thinking of Reasoning Via Contagion.

          You hear “we think that the states should have authority to control what happens within their borders, like it says in the Tenth Amendment”, and you’re like “yeah, right on!” And then they say “…because we want to ban gay marriage and teach people that evolution is only one of many theories,” and you’re like “fuuuuuuuuck”Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar says:

      If you take libertarianism and basically just invert it, then you get the political philosophy behind the ASP. So if a reasonably fair description of the LP would be “More economically Conservative than Conservatives and more socially Liberal than Liberals”, where Liberal and Conservative are taken in their contemporary American political sense, then ASP folk are the exact opposite. So OF COURSE it looks nutty to you.

      But understand that the same perplexity exists between the left and right here as well. Also note that “LOL WUT??” is a common reaction from normals to Libertarians too.

      It should be cause for some serious reflection to consider that in a race between two of the most reviled major party candidates in modern American history, and where the LP is fielding their best, most normie-friendly ticket probably ever, they still struggle to crack 10% in the polls.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        It doesn’t help that Johnson can’t seem to sell dime beers in Cleveland. I thought he was better than this; at least I thought I *saw* him do better than this back in ’12.

        I agree with your analysis. To be clear, the first lol wut was the incoherence at attempting to stop the collusion of Big Gov and Big Biz by funding public works projects via the Federal Reserve system. How is that even supposed to work? At the end of the day, you still have taxpayer money flowing to private enterprises (which is always going to be necessary for those public goods that are actually goods and not services)

        The 2nd lol wut was attempt to be not too breezy regarding an opinion that is, well, deplorable.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Not always. As Stranger Things pointed out, sometimes the quarries are actually run by the State (PA in particular won’t give them back to private management).

          It’s a better idea to buy things than to make them as gov’t entities, mindReport

        • Avatar Kazzy says:


          “At the end of the day, you still have taxpayer money flowing to private enterprises (which is always going to be necessary for those public goods that are actually goods and not services).”

          Is that necessarily true? I sometimes wonder why governments don’t just have people on staff to fill these roles? I understand scale is an issue and some jobs are so short-term and infrequent that you are going to need to contract, but it seems others would be better served by full-time staffing. I realize that “bloats” government but maybe that is a good thing?

          My former school went from a full-time janitor to an outside cleaning service. I don’t know how the finances broke down but the quality of the work really suffered. And this was true even when shifting employees within that service and eventually services. They just weren’t invested in the school the way our old guy was. We were just another job, for which they received very little of the actual money their company collected. I imagine this might be the case with many of these public works projects.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe says:

            I was actually trying a prebuttal of I’m trying to privatize MUH ROADZ argument (even though I’m in favor of privatizing the roads).

            I’m definitely more leery of privatization schemes of government services than I was, say, 5 and especially 10 years ago, but I still think they can work. The key (and this goes for goods too) is that the private sector having a reasonably robust market already for that particular service to provide real market pressures on both the supply and demand side.

            Putting aside ‘inherently governmental’ judgements, which are just that, judgements, what generally doesn’t work is when the government is a monosopy for something. So for instance, even putting aside perverse incentives, private prisons are a bad idea.

            Management of contract employees is a management task just like management of regular employees is. There may be different rules superficially, but it’s still fundamentally the job of management to get the best long term results pursuant to the required task. The flip side of your example (which I’m not denying is a decline in service) is the superannuated union employee that will only work to task, and it’s even a chore to make sure they do that.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        citing Johnson as an example of Libertarian anything is like citing Clinton as an example of radical Leftism.

        Johnson is a libertarian who thinks that business behavior should be compelled by government fiat, and that abortions should not be performed.Report

        • Avatar Road Scholar says:

          But that’s sorta the point, isn’t it? Every political orientation — and I count six major ones, FWIW — has their true believers, the ideologues, and a larger group of moderates and “directionals”, folks who want the country to move one way or the other but eschew the utopianist vision thing.

          The way that typically has worked out in the presidential races is a contest between a centrist Republican and a centrist Democrat in order to court the mushy middle. So wouldn’t it stand to reason that a viable Libertarian candidate would also necessarily be something of a moderate or centrist as well? Johnson and Weld, as reasonably well regarded former governors with relatively non-scary (to the rest of us) policy proposals are pretty much the dream ticket for a LP that actually hopes to win.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            “wouldn’t it stand to reason that a viable Libertarian candidate would also necessarily be something of a moderate or centrist as well?”

            So the only way that people will take Libertarians seriously is if they stop being Libertarians and become vaguely-liberal-ish psuedo-Democrats?Report

            • Avatar dragonfrog says:

              Well, how are things going for the Communist Party USA? I hear the Democrats are ahead of them.Report

            • Avatar Road Scholar says:


              No, that’s not what I’m saying. In the first place that’s certainly not how I would characterize the Johnson-Weld ticket since both of them had an -R behind their name last time they held office.

              You seem to be stuck in the uni-dimensional left-right political spectrum whereby being centrist necessarily implies movement towards the left, implying that libertarianism is a right-wing philosophy. This seems strange to me given that I was introduced to the bi-dimensional Nolan Chart by libertarians.

              A centrist Libertarian would be happy that ssm is now the law, seeing it as a step in the right direction, rather than insisting that government get out of the business of marriage entirely. Similarly for the moves toward marijuana legalization as opposed to immediate full legalization of all drugs and the disbandment of the DEA and FDA. Reducing business regulations, starting with the most worthless and egregious, rather than than full-blown laizzes faire capitalism Ayn Rand style.

              See the pattern? Moves in the right direction rather than shooting for libertopia.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Nobody joins the Libertarian party to results.

                People who actually want results join a party that can win elections. Third parties are for the purity obsessed, the ‘above the fray’ types….

                Kinda like political hipsters. They’re too cool for real parties, and also they don’t want to work. Just hang out and kvetch.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Nu, so tell me, what laws have you gotten fixed recently?
                What laws have you even lobbied about?

                It turns out that some people actually value doing things over flagwaving.

                And your sermon on third parties utterly fails to explain the Abolitionist Party. Care to revise?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “A centrist Libertarian would be happy that ssm is now the law”

                okay honey I know it’s really a problem for you that one in five women will be raped but we both know that “no rapes” is simply not going to happen right away so let’s compromise and say that we’ll reduce it to one in ten? That’s movement in a non-rape direction, right? And you should be happy with that rather than insisting on some sort of norapetopia.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I know you are being sarcastic, but this incrementalist approach is actually how we do approach rape, and murder and everything.

                We really could reduce rape to zero, if we were willing to sacrifice a lot of other concerns like civil liberties.

                But we willfully choose to tolerate a certain number of rapes and murders to balance out those concerns.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Sex and politics: I guess this makes a moderate. I’m not ambitious but I’m not satisfied either.

    Trump and mosques: The man can’t be that dumb.

    The US also tells countries to adopt a parliamentary system and not our system.Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:

    Damn it, my politics don’t drive my perversions nor vice versa. :p

    Debates: “When it comes to presidential debates, the United States does not practice what it preaches:” You could swap out numerous phrases before the comma and it all would be true.

    Ballot Pics: Hell, I’d want a pic of the ballot to help ensure there wasn’t any shenanigans–you know all those dead people voting can’t take selfies…..Report

  6. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    My only real concern with ballot selfies is if it slows down the voting process. In my polling place, in the past, there have been as few as three stations set up in which we have some “privacy” to vote (we use Scan-tron ballots). I’d be annoyed if I wound up standing in line an extra 15-20 minutes because all the people ahead of me had to get the “perfect” selfie of themselves voting.

    Otherwise, I can’t be bothered by it. If it causes drama between friends (“OMG you voted for THAT PERSON?!!?!”), fine. People overshare anyway.

    (I also wish we still had the kind of voting set-up they had in Ann Arbor back when I was first registered to vote – the giant old machines with levers that you flipped for various candidates or questions, and then a big lever – like a slot machine lever – on the side that you pulled to register your vote. The “scan-tron” voting we do is much less satisfying, as was the punchcard voting they had when I lived in Illinois.

    I also remember joking about the machines that they should have had them set up to make the sound of a toilet flushing when you pulled the lever. I guess I was cynical about politics from the get-go…..)Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      The paper ballot scanning machines they use now in my area are efficient enough, but it does look like a giant shredder at first glance.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      I don’t think you have identified the problem correctly. Absurdly inconvenient voting often is by design. Not always: sometimes it is merely incompetence. But if your precinct does not typically vote the way the people who run the elections want it to, then it is entirely likely that there are only three booths, with a line snaking out the door of people waiting to vote, because they want to make it as difficult as possible. Does your jurisdiction allow you to vote by mail-in ballot? If so, apply for one now. My jurisdiction has early voting. If I wait and vote on election day I have to stand in line, especially if I do this after work. But if I go in the early voting window (to the exact same polling place, though this isn’t true for everyone) then I will walk right in, and be back in my car in about ten minutes. If neither of these is an option, I suppose there might be some legal remedy, but not beginning the process in late September, and probably beyond an individual’s resources in any case. Voting the rascals out is, of course, the best option, if possible.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        no, no mail-in ballots, but there is “early voting” a couple days (usually the Friday) before the election. I did that in, I think, 2012? It was a pain because the line was horrific – everyone in town who wished to vote early had to go down to the small, cramped Election Board and wait in line, and then sign an affidavit we would not try to vote on Tuesday, show ID (I live in a state that still is allowed to request ID), get our ballots, and vote.

        I had a busy day on that Tuesday so I went Friday afternoon. Waited in line well over an hour.

        For off-year elections, I’ve always voted on the day in person and never had to wait more than about 10 minutes at the most, usually for the little local elections I can just walk right in and get it taken care of.

        I don’t know about this year. Not sure if I’m going to go the early route or take my chances on how long I’ll have to wait in line after I get out of class for the day. But there better be no one slowing things up taking selfies, that’s all I can say.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      One way I’d like to reduce voting times is simply to reduce the number of offices that need to be voted on.

      Year one: County Executive*, County Commissioner**, City Council Members***, special elections for state and federal level.
      Year two: US Senate**, US House, State Executive*, State Senate**, State House, special elections on the local level.
      Year three: County Commissioner**, City Executive, City Council Members**, special elections for other levels.
      Year four: National Executive, US Senate**, US House, State Senate**, State House, special elections where appropriate.
      Never: Judges.

      * – May include more than one office, but preferably fewer than present.
      ** – Potentially staggered, so not everybody has an election here.
      *** – Assuming we don’t go Full Trumwill and consolidate lower governments and more-or-less eliminate municipalities.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      …the giant old machines with levers that you flipped for various candidates or questions, and then a big lever…

      Of course, as they aged they were terrible from the perspective of voting accuracy and integrity. They were subject to certain kinds of user error, to miscounting due to wear of the moving parts and poor setup, and to fraud on the part of election officials. “Recount” meant reading the totals off the dials again, as there were no ballots that could be examined. They were expensive, and as populations grew, required painful amounts of space for storage. They were fine in an era when everyone basically trusted the process and were willing to assume that chronic undercounting didn’t make a difference. For better or worse, those conditions are no longer true.Report

  7. Avatar notme says:

    Investigators may probe Cascade Mall suspect’s citizenship status, voting record.

    And yet we hear that voting fraud never happens.Report

  8. Avatar notme says:

    Congress Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill

    Oddly Time Kaine was 20 min away in VA at a fundraiser but couldn’t be bothered to show up for the vote.Report

    • Kaine failed to cast what could have been the the deciding vote in a 97-1 outcome.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        Is that the new liberal excuse? I was 20 min away but my vote didn’t really matter so no matter.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        I really wish that Kaine would have gone on the record on this, as someone who presumably will have some measure of influence in the next Presidential administration. Kaine hasn’t been shy before about he disagreements with the Obama administration on the procedural aspects of foreign policy. (i.e. Kaine’s been pushing for a vote on a new AUMF resolution whether it passes or not, because he’s doesn’t like how Obama has been winging it for some years now.) (and Kaine is correct about that).Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          Saudi Arabia is an interesting case in that it doesn’t lend itself to an easy alignment with our internal politics.
          Neither conservatives nor liberals has a full throated love affair with the Kingdom, but neither is either side willing to demonize them.

          So as this develops, its going to be interesting to see how America reacts, if it turns out that the Saudis did in fact play a larger role in 9-11 than previously believed.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe says:

            This is where Obama’s foreign policy doctrine of ‘do what seems expedient and practicable at the time of the decision’ means he’s not going to leave much of a substantial legacy. If there’s any sort of consistent vision that one can glean in Obama’s foreign policy, it’s undermining the House of Saud e.g. through deals with Iran and a massive increase in North American oil production.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David says:

          I think at this point, for good or bad, he has been co-opted by the current administrations machine. No way is he gonna buck Obama when he is a contender for VP as a Democrat. Not right now, wait until Trump is president, then he will be good to go. If HRC get elected, then he will be right in toeing the line. Politically.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    The Imaginary Conservative article made the constantly wrong fallacy of big government/big brother argument while ignoring all the governments that manage to have better welfare states than the United States while not being authoritarian governments. Such countries include Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, the UK, France.

    This leads me to believe that when the right-wing talks about freedom, they only care about their rights as business people to do as they please, nothing else. They don’t care about freedom from want or fear, they don’t care about the freedom for minorities and dissenters to fully participate in economic and civil life. Their definitions of freedom and liberty are archaic and connected to the maintenance of privilege.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar says:

      Those guys aren’t right wing, at least not unless you consider Pope Francis right wing.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:


      i’m amused by the idea of considering Sweden and France to not have authoritarian governments

      i mean does your idea of authoritarian start at Stalin’s Russia and go up from thereReport

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        This is when agreed upon and useful definitions of words become necessary. Neither Sweden or France strike me as meaningfully authoritarian. Most business publications in the United States generally give Sweden pretty high marks when it comes to economic liberty and the ease to start a business. The government tends to be filled with very earnest do gooders but that is a reflection of the rest of Swedish society. The average Swedish person can do as they please when it comes to living their life.

        France is less economically free and their are certain tensions when it comes to religion but generally French people can do what they want. The state doesn’t punish them for drinking Coca-Cola.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar says:


        Everyone’s authoritarian, even libertarians albeit in their own very special way.

        I think what confuses people is that the social research types have defined authoritarianism to mean only the one obvious type. At the meta level authoritarianism really just means the willingness to both submit to and wield what you see as legitimate authority. There are at least six distinct flavors of legitimate authority that do a fair job of describing the six political personality types.

        1. Divine. Solidarity Party.
        2. Positional. Trumpism.
        3. Economic merit. Objectivism.
        4. The individual. Libertarianism.
        5. Expert. Liberal Technocracy.
        6. The majority. Democracy.

        The individualistic flavor of authoritarianism manifests in the power of an individual to wield the veto over the will of the majority.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          “4. The individual. Libertarianism.”


          so if I decide something for myself then I’m still submitting to an authority that consists of me?

          haw. Your body chemistry forces you to engage in the Krebs cycle. And gravitic interaction forces your mass to be attracted to other mass. You can never not exist in an authoritarian state because the laws of physics are the ultimate authority!Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I will give this to Evangelicals, they are much better tactical voters than the left:

    Yes, they know Donald Trump is almost certainly not religious, he is a hedonist with multiple wives, and he appeared on the cover of Playboy (when Playboy was still relevant in the pre-Internet days, what an innocent world 1990 was) but they also know that as the GOP nominee (and a really lazy guy), Trump will just outsource his Justice and Judge picks to Pence and right-wing think tanks.

    The left (or at least I notice it more because it is my side) seems to be filled with people who use voting to prove how good and pure and kind they are and seem unable to do anything tactically because it is oh so dirty. So enough go and vote for St. Ralph or Jill Stein while being righteous with their Berkeley Bowl shopping totes. Berkeley Bowl are a bunch of union busters anyway.

    Evangelicals though. “We care about the Supreme Court and social conservatism. Donald Trump will appoint right-wing Justices and judges. Everything else is irrelevant.” Now that is tactical voting.

    Why doesn’t my side understand this?Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      If you consider African Americans (in aggregate) in the Democratic party to be the counterparts of White Evangelicals (esp in the South) in the Republican party,* your side does understand this.

      *correct as a first approximation, but one shouldn’t take it too far.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      they also know that as the GOP nominee (and a really lazy guy), Trump will just outsource his Justice and Judge picks to Pence and right-wing think tanks.

      They don’t know this. They just know there is a chance of this, which is more of a chance than they have with the alternative.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      I read some Evangelical sites. The rationalization is fascinating to watch, but if you believe that abortion is the one issue that matters, then the rationalization is perfectly, um…, rational.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        Yeah. They simply have their issue(s) and are willing to overlook almost anything (or anything) in order to achieve victory on those issues or have the chance of doing so.Report

      • Here’s a nice reductio about evangelicals voting Anyone But Hillary. Old-timers will recognize one of the dissenting commenters.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          I gotta say, that wasn’t that good as that style goes. For starters, it took me about a third of the way through (to ‘baby Christian’) to see where the author was going with it. And the emeritus is right that there is some level of false equivalence throughout the analogy.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Many people on the liberal side do understand this. Its why you get so many articles by liberals for liberals about the importance of tactical voting and elected that most viable liberal possible. There are lots of people on the right who do not understand this because they can yell at betrayal just as loud as many liberals. Finally, Will’s observations on African-Americans in the Democratic Party is spot on.

      My guess is that the people opposed to tactical voting are genuine radicals. They want it all or they want nothing. Purity is also very important to many people because when you take ideas seriously, any compromise is a deadly sin. If you really see your cosmology as the one right way to utopia than you do not compromise one freaking bit.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      “So enough go and vote for St. Ralph or Jill Stein while being righteous with their Berkeley Bowl shopping totes.”

      Or maybe they figure that Clinton will be exactly as awful as Trump, and if they’re going to be forced to eat a shit sandwich they’d at least like the moral consolation of knowing it wasn’t their choice and they don’t have to pretend they wanted it.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

        Sure, some do figure this. It is the “not a dime’s worth of difference” argument, and is routinely made by vanity candidates. The thing is, you have to be willfully blind to actually believe it is true. At best, it is a variant of single-issue voting. One might reasonably be unhappy with Clinton’s hawkish tendencies. If that is the only issue you care about, then you could semi-plausibly decide to burn your vote on a vanity candidate. But this breaks down once you allow any other issues to enter the discussion.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck says:

          “you have to be willfully blind to actually believe it is true.”

          Hm, maybe you should keep insulting me. That might convince me that I should vote for Clinton.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            “Why don’t you (slur)s trust us? Why won’t you (slur)s cooperate with us?”Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            As far as I can tell, you like to keep your politics at the level of ornery libertarian contrarian.

            But @richard-hershberger is right. Unless someone is a maniacal single issue voter, (and even then like Evangelical social conservatives or gun people), there is often a big difference between the parties.

            The Obama admin just announced that they are banning mandatory arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. HRC is likely to continue this policy. Trump is not. See also Obama’s Labor Department decisions to fight against wage theft.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              If a tree falls in the woods, when the woods are on FIRE, does it really make any difference? Will anyone care?

              *use of acronym intentional. do not disregard.Report

          • Avatar Road Scholar says:

            You should vote for your true choice, or not at all if that’s your choice. But what Richard says is true; asserting that there’s no difference between Trump and Clinton is ridiculous. But from your perspective they are indeed equally bad , like choosing between a shit flavored jelly bean and a vomit flavored one.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          “The two candidates are equally bad”


          “The two candidates are the same”

          Are two different statements.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            True but they are usually used interchangeably as I remember from my campus during the 2000 election (2004 to a lesser extent).

            A lot of young millennials (and old hippies) seem hellbent on this.

            As it stands, I am not very sympathetic to either argument because it generally shows someone is not paying attention, doesn’t care too, and lives in a fantasy land where tough choices never have to be made and resources are unlimited.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David says:

              Or they value different things than you, and place different weights on the importance of various positions.

              Or worse, they might not like the “tough choices” someone made and different ideas about how to spend limited resources.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck says:

              “lives in a fantasy land where tough choices never have to be made and resources are unlimited.”

              Maybe the tough choice is to choose someone who actually best represents your interests, rather than trying to figure out which team is gonna win and jump on it right before the game ends.Report

  11. Avatar notme says:

    Pentagon sending 615 more US troops to Iraq

    But our peace president got us out of their for good, right?Report

  12. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    The Imaginative Conservative article is interesting.

    Its essentially a thinly veiled Social Justice Catholicism hearkening back to words we never use any more- distributism for example.

    It illustrates Saul’s observation that beneath religious leftism there does in fact lurk a very conservative heart.

    The expressed desire for smallness, simplicity, localness and direct connection to things; sort of the pastoral small town ideal is on the one hand tremendously appealing to me and you can hear its tones in a lot of the leftist commentary about GMOs and trade agreements and banking.

    But I have to admit, however grudgingly, that when seen in the light of Corey Robin’s theory of conservatism (that it is chiefly about the preservation of private power), all this localness and distributed power and absence of a central power is immensely conducive to a feudal tyranny, of the lord over his estate, employer over his shop, father over his house.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      My comment got eaten.

      FWIW, I think that a lot of secular liberals like that small-town atmosphere as well. What city dwellers really like is neighborhoods. The ideal for many city dwellers is a good High Street or Two as the British would call it surrounded by housing and you can walk to your chores and entertainment.

      The High Street would have bakeries, cafes, book stores, groceries, restaurants, maybe a movie theatre or music venue, clothing and design stores, and other odds and ends, a gym or two perhaps. 24th Street in SF is like this. Smith Street in Brooklyn was like this but rising rents and multi-family units becoming single family units changed.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Pittsburgh is 90 different little small towns. I think it’s all the hills, it divides up the place and makes walking and retail something people naturally desire.

        And the “high street” would have 3 movie theaters (each a single screen), a couple druggists, a greengrocer or three, and a pizza shop, with one high end restaurant or so. (I’ve actually looked at what Squirrel Hill looked like circa the early 1950’s). Preferences were different then.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I will officially shut up about my formula.

    This time last week, I said that I expected Trump’s numbers to go up following the various happenings.
    At that moment in time, Sam Wang, our numbers guy, said that the numbers were:

    Snapshot (143 state polls): Clinton 289, Trump 249 EV Meta-margin: Clinton +1.4%
    Clinton Nov. win probability: random drift 68%, Bayesian 79%

    At this moment in time, Sam Wang, our numbers guy, says that the numbers are:

    Snapshot (166 state polls): Clinton 297, Trump 241 EV Meta-margin: Clinton +1.7%
    Clinton Nov. win probability: random drift 73%, Bayesian 82%
    Senate snapshot (47 polls): Dem+Ind: 49, GOP: 51, Meta-margin: R +0.7%, Nov. control probability: Dem. 55%

    I consider my formula falsified.
    I will not bring it up again.Report

    • Avatar J_A says:


      I said it the first time I saw your formula. I’ll repeat it at the occasion of its last appearance.

      I think your formula made sense for small values of clusterfishing.

      In those cases the “Yes, we need to take the gloves off and kick some ass and break some heads” candidate would get a boost.

      Past a certain point of clusterfishing, the “we need a pair of sensible, experienced hands that we can trust, because this is a big clusterfish, and we can’t wing it” candidate gets preference over the “we’ll teach these goons a lesson” candidate.

      Imagine if a hurricane hits now? What do you want to happen, Katrina, or Sandy? Which candidate would you think would deliver a Sandy, which one a Katrina?Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird says:

    A story in which the importance of supporting local police forces is made clear.

    An excerpt:

    A two-month undercover operation involving a Thurmont police officer posing as a Burger King employee netted 5 grams of marijuana and two morphine pills, according to police.