Monthly Archives: February 2016

I Exhale: Trump won’t be president

I watched the Thursday debate from the North Shore during a little getaway.

Marco stepped up to assertively vanquish Trump, and that was great.   But the bigger truth is Trump U is now out there conversationally, and is a disqualifier.  This is a lock, Trump U disqualifies, it closes the Overton window because a plurality of Americans wouldn’t be able to look past that.  He won’t be elected and as such probably won’t be the nominee.  But here’s the possibilities:

A Trump stalls out now, Rubio or Cruz reaches a decisive delegate count pre-convention

B Trump keeps rolling, reaches a near decisive delegate count pre-convention, Rubio is nominated on the 2nd ballot.

C Trump keeps rolling, reaches a decisive delegate count pre-convention, runs as the nominee, loses to Hillary.

I go with B.  Does Rubio ascend above all the Republican acrimony and win at that point?  Maybe.  I suspect it’s not as hard a hill as its perceived now.  But goodness this is a mess.

PS: I’m not voting for Trump, ever. I may go caucus tomorrow night.  I went and voted for Arne Carlson in the primary once so that he would defeat Allan Quist, but otherwise I (proudly) do not do this stuff.

PPS:  I’m looking at this Trump U thing and wondering how it did not work for these people to dispute it on their credit cards

PPPS:  Yeah there’s the David Duke thing also, which is equal to Trump U as a disqualifier.

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I do not like this future Republican President

This has every sign of happening, its happening.  The energy and momentum are there, not only for Trump to be the nominee, but for him to be the President.

Now that last hurdle is supposed to be where for smart people its certitudinal that the glass slipper falls off right….   He can’t really win it all, you presume that when this spectacle / manifestation of Republican boobery is the choice opposite Hillary, that a plurality will elect her on the basis of her seriousness and traditional credibility….

See, this is going to happen.

I’m deeply uncomfortable with it.   It’s a truth I think that Trump is inadequately principled and inadequately intellectual and inadequately conservative to be a (Republican…) nominee.   And such that he’s got this appeal, it’s proper for smart thinking people to be repelled by the inadequate contemplation of those who support him.

I am properly repelled, despite for years having very negative reactions to those who’d call Republicanism’s white cracker base idiots and worse.  But with Trump they are not receptive to reasoned discourse, they are (or are being) idiots.

So I’m prepared to acknowledge that’s true, in supporting Trump the Republican’s white cracker base is exposed for a certain idiocy.  But we’re ultimately protected right, by the Democrats’ coalition of smart, diverse, properly thoughtful voters who have a plurality to elect Hillary….

I don’t think so.  We’re having a moment here where distrust for institutions is so high that what you got going on is the crowd’s adulation to a charismatic strongman persona who says he’ll make it better.  http://www.vox.com/2016/2/23/11099644/trump-support-authoritarianism

I would soften the analysis around ‘authoritarianism’ per se, because we don’t have a very good American context for ‘authoritarianism’ and we have constitutional protections (for now).  But for sure it’s the sheeple in mass psychosis assenting to the charismatic strongman persona, in some cases at odds with their own interests.  And while I’m prepared to acknowledge the idiocy of the Republican base, what I know as wisdom is this is an idiocy that exists everywhere, and it will ‘trump’ in Democrats also, certainly superficial ones without actual well thought ideologies.  IE, There’s going to be quite a few Latinos and blacks and old school Democrat laborites who defect to Trump, they aren’t going to vote for Hillary.  They are going to vote for Trump because he’s assertive and masculine and vulgar…. attributes that are seen as virtues in these communities.  That might be unflattering, but it’s no different than the way white rubes are being taken in by Trump.

So, he’s going to win it all.   The good news is that while vulgar and shallow he’s got some mainstream Republican and Democrat instincts and he’s not ‘evil’.  The country will survive 4 years with him.

Thanks, Obama!

With personal income taxes, in my adulthood (cough starting in my late 30’s cough) I ended up rejecting say conservative attitudinal gamesmanship about withholding.  You used to hear on Limbaugh a lot that you shouldn’t over withhold yada yada because you were just loaning the govt money at 0% interest yada yada.

Yeah well that’s not great wisdom for most people.  On working peoples wage’s it’s an enormous pain in the ass to have a tax balance of several thousands due and it’s an enormous pleasure to get back several thousands.  So I adjusted my budget over several years to have no withholding exemptions.  Pay into the max with paycheck withholding and relieve yourself of some worry, get a nice bump back when you file.

I filed this year on 2/9, and got my state refund Tuesday and my fed refund today.  That’s pretty flipping quick.  Nice size refund, we’re eating food tonight.

Liberal outrage du jour: Jeb’s gun

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/02/16/jeb-bush-america-monogrammed-gun/80468556/

Couple few things….

… ya know, for what it’s worth Jeb’s tweet there is a signal, a dog whistle to his pack…  of course it is.

… yet there’s a little bit of a liberal pile on here that wouldn’t have happened for say Cruz.  That’s because why, Jeb is supposed to be one of the ‘moderate’ Republicans right.  Well he’s not that moderate, or moderate in that way.  He’s not been guilty of weasling around on his gun position, he’s solidly pro 2A.  This isn’t a gross pander here far as anyone should discern, it’s not like Obama saying he’s against gay marriage because of his personal religious beliefs…

…So he’s at the FN plant in South Carolina.  It’s branded ‘FN’ here in the states because ‘Fabrique Nationale’ is a little too frenchy eh.

…FN is making some sales inroads here in the states, this is a thing, a hot thing.  Their basic plastic fantastic semi-auto is cheap, good, and ubiquitous.  I think my father just bought one, and not like he needed it.  They are flying off the shelves because they are understood as good and a good value.

…My anachronistic side vocation requires some understanding of the presentation pistol as a social transaction eh, historically and what not.  I’ll say we’ve lost something when a presentation pistol is a plastic-fantastic with the recipient’s name laser engraved on the slide.  Ugh….

Ah, Scalia

Sung to the tune of Ah, Leah by Donny Iris….

There’s some analysis out there with a premise that McConnell and the Republicans aren’t being honest.  Ah, I think they are being totally honest.  IE, don’t bother is a straight answer.  http://www.startribune.com/senate-gop-to-obama-don-t-bother-nominating-to-court/368919441/

Then, there’s some analysis out there that the McConnell and the Rs are too honest and candid.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/15/why-senate-republicans-made-a-big-mistake-on-the-supreme-court-opening/  This tends to be concern trolling, and a warning for Republican overreach.  Meh.

Thing is, McConnell isn’t talking to the public or the press.  He’s talking to Republicans and conservatives, for whom there can be no equivocation.  And for us, this is a hill to die on.  If it don’t work out in the end, and you get HRC nominating Gloria Allred… whatever.

Call it originalism or textualism, but to me it’s the people’s protection…..  A Kagan, Breyer, Sotomoyer, Ginsburg type….  They are smart, certainly (well maybe not Sotomayer), but they are not principled.  All discernment is done for the purpose of giving a big A-OK to the progressive administrative state, and there is no limiting principle, no having the meaning of the words exist as they were intended for the protection of the public.

So hell with it.  Obstruct away, Mitch, and fear not about looking bad.  It’s great to start that you, McCain, Ayotte, Graham, Portman et al are not unclear about that.

I do figure this would be a concern.  http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/there-might-be-limited-supply-judges-willing-make-supreme-court-kamikaze-run  Whoever gets nominated is not going to get confirmed. Rilly… it’s not going to happen.  So I imagine you don’t end up picking off the A list of judicial talent at that point, though I’m sure you can find a reliable Sotomayer.

Recess appointments:  Some Republican concern there on what sort maneuvering it would take to keep the Senate in session to thwart a recess appointment.  Meh.  The President has showed admirable balls and gamesmanship over a couple years now in spiting the Republican congress, but I think a recess appointment is a bridge too far.  You’d be provoking a cataclysmic clash the effects of which are too unpredictable.  So the President will chill here to a certain extent.  He’s got to.

Give me a break  http://www.startribune.com/nominee-or-not-klobuchar-in-the-mix-as-talk-swirls-around-supreme-court-seat/368791531/  Klobuchar is a lightweight, and this is puffery.

I don’t know where to start on the hypocrisy.  The Ornstein critique is out there, and makes a somewhat persuasive case that conservatives are responsible for “gridlock”.  The Democrats started this thing with the judges, and its not surprise we end up here.

What would be ironic now is we get a Bush v Gore style tie in November, and it has to go to the 4×4 supreme court.

Milwaukee 2/11 (D) Debate

Came home from work yesterday and took the historically precocious 11 year old with me to the grocery store.  Ya know, he’s my child, apple didn’t fall far from the tree…  so he asks me, while we’re shopping:

  • Is Lt. Calley still alive
  • Why did Nixon \ Kissinger bomb Cambodia

I think his questions are prompted by the book selection at his school library… he’s going through the history stuff there somewhat voraciously.

My Answers:

  • I think he is, probably a retiree somewhere
  • Dunno, I’m not confident of an answer you’d put on a history exam, I think they thought the VC were taking refuge in the Cambodian frontier and they needed to put some pressure on them

So we get home and watch the D debate and get an extended lesson on Kissinger, and per Sanders that’s ostensibly one of his war crimes, bombing the VC within Cambodia.  It was ironic to us this would come up is all….

Now, Sanders is kind of commanding as far as it goes…. Setting the various premises from the 35000 foot level with a stirring self-righteous confidence.  But as this archetype of what he is and with his inability to get into the weeds and part them with the machete of wisdom I see him as one of these guys on the alt/hippie fringe who is simultaneously over and under informed, usually as a function of getting their keystone knowledge from Rolling Stone and the rest of the counterculture press.

Thing is, he’s got a choir he’s preaching to and I don’t know how Hillary talks sense to them.  The D’s got a problem here.  But they brought in on themselves I’d assert, in say the same way the Republicans brought Trump upon themselves.  They have been aping the language of ‘inequality’ since Occupy or before, and their base has some expectations now.  All Sanders is saying is that he’s assured to act on the expectations, which are say to remove the cap on payroll taxes and get the top marginal rate somewhere north of 50%.

It’s far from impossible:  President Bernie  http://theweek.com/articles/604872/bernie-sanders-needs-face-daunting-possibility-that-might-actually-president  The institutional Democrat worry is that he’s unelectable, right… I have my doubts that’s true.  1.  The proper McCarthyite abhorrence of socialism in this country is dead or forgotten.  2.  You telling me Bernie wouldn’t get all the states Democrats always get?  I think he would.  The electoral college floor for a Democrat is Kerry 2004, IE 252 votes.  You get Ohio at that point, and you’ve won.  Or Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado.  Or Florida.  Highly achievable for Bernie.

Chait stains:  http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/democratic-primary-fight-did-obama-succeed.html  Chait might be correct, but I’m not sure it’s as important a point as who’s the ideological heir to Obama.  Hint, it’s not Clinton.  Hint: Obama is to Bernie as Bernie is to Obama.  They were both academic lefties who moderated to become Democrats and partake in the political process…. and that’s where much of the base is.

On Trump:   Yeah, I’m a little worried, at peak worry here that he’s the GOP nominee. But its sensible to understand he doesn’t make it to the finish line.  That’s the Douthat  view, and I keep telling it to myself.

Super Bowl 50, etc

Bernie on SNL was fine, he’s kind of got an ‘it’ factor oddly enough

Liberal and conservative outrage dujour  http://hotair.com/archives/2016/02/08/i-suppose-we-should-talk-about-that-doritos-ultrasound-ad/  Everything’s got to be political….

Opioid pooping commercial  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/08/this-super-bowl-ad-proved-just-how-much-america-loves-its-opioid-painkillers/  Kind of took me aback when I saw it, like hey, this is where the country is now…  We got a crisis going right http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430886/heroin-addiction-crisis-doctor-sentenced-murder-prescribing-opiates  I’ll just say, it’s at odds with my relevant experience with this zeitgiest.  My mother had her hips done in the last couple years, and the physicians were pretty stingy with their opioid prescriptions.  AND…I had invasive surgery on my leg for a staph infection 17 months ago.  Briefly, I found opioids the only thing effective for post-surgical pain, but when the pain subsided… I didn’t have a craving for opioids that lingered.  I’m not saying I have an accurate perspective, I’m saying I’m puzzled by what’s going on.

What about Rubio’s gaffffeshttp://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/rubio-debate-spinners-doing-worlds-hardest-job.html I didn’t see this happen.  http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-02-07/marco-rubio-faces-the-risk-of-going-off-script  I really doubt it’s a big deal, and if it is, then Cruz is the nominee… which I can live with.