Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Well, I Hope So

Martin Longman suggests that Mitch McConnell's coquettish dance with Donald Trump in order to preserve his Senate majority won't work.  That if it appears that Trump is going down in flames with a fractured party squabbling behind him, that will create a wave that will decimate people like Kelly Ayotte.

If we take it as increasingly likely that Clinton will win in November, the next big battle is for control of the Senate.  Knocking off Ayotte, Johnson, Kirk, Toomey and Rubio is going to be the big battle that Democrats need to win.

I hope Booman is right.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lots Of Time, But...

Donald Trump is going to lose.

Those numbers are devastating for the overgrown racist Oompa Loompa.  He trails by over 10 points in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.  He trails by over 5 points in Ohio and Virginia.  Those are extraordinary numbers.

Unlike, say, 1988 when Dukakis had a big lead and blew it, Trump is largely defined in the public mind in ways that Dukakis was not.  Because both candidates are viewed negatively, but Trump is viewed both more negatively and fundamentally unqualified, I don't see how there is going to be the sort of seismic change necessary to tip this election to the Great Orange Satan.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Trump Might NOT Be A Compulsive Liar

Certainly the evidence suggests that Trump is a compulsive liar.  He seems incapable of registering what is true and what is false.  However, this suggests that perhaps he is not a liar at all, but is in fact simply completely steeped in bullshit.

Bullshit is simply unconcerned with the truth.  Rather a bullshitter is simply trying to impress the listener and obfuscate the truth or falseness of any situation.

However, the end result - whether Trump is a liar or a bullshitter - is a startingly fact free campaign.  Being fact free does seem to be the sustained condition of the Right globally.  Take Paul Ryan's budget proposal.  He produces a deficit reduction plan that cuts taxes without specifying the slashing and burning of the budget that would be necessary to pay for it.  And of course...Brexit.

Part of the problem I had with Sanders was that his numbers just never added up. Not a fudge-the-curve sort of not adding up, but a basic innumeracy.  That's not the way for liberals to win.  We don't win by adopting the fact-free politics of the Right but by illuminating them and shaming them.

Monday, June 27, 2016


I've seen a fair number of pieces like this one from Glenn Greenwald, where the rise of Trump and the triumph of Brexit are demonstrations of people turning on elite opinion.  To that point, this is correct.  Greenwald, who has always been better at lobbing bombs than building solutions, elides is whether or not elites have a point.  He just assumes they don't because Iraq.  And Libya, I guess, though I remain convinced that the action to stop Qaddafi was legitimate.  What came next was a clusterfuck.  Certainly, the twin disasters of 2003 and 2008 legitimately call into question some elite opinion.

However, not all elites believe the same things.  And not all of their opinions are wrong.

Brexit was supposed to be about trade agreements, but ultimately became about bigotry.  And it certainly appears that those elites that Greenwald and others decry are going to be right about Brexit's effect on the very working class people that vehemently objected to continuing in the EU.  What we are seeing from the developed world working class is sense of outrage over relative decline.  In many, many ways, life is better for the working class.  But it's SOOO much better for the elites.  The Republican strain of neoliberalism that pushes wealth upwards and guts social service is unsustainable, and certainly a large part of Brexit was tied up in the folly of austerity.

So, in the sense that Brexit was a response to austerity and a relative decline among workers, then it represents a legitimate response to poor elite decision making.  Of course, Brexit itself is unlikely to remedy any of those problems.

That is the critical problem with Greenwald's argument.  He gives away the game here:

The solution is not to subserviently cling to corrupt elite institutions out of fear of the alternatives. It is, instead, to help bury those institutions and their elite mavens and then fight for superior replacements.

OK, yes, elite institutions are not always right and certainly not always moral.  There needs to be more accountability.  But burying elite institutions is not the way to affect real, positive change.  Greenwald wants MORE tantrums, not less.  He's right that economic elites are largely unaware of the pain at the bottom and do so very, very little to alleviate that.  He is fundamentally wrong when he says that Clinton is simply another Wall Street jackal intent on feeding on the bodies of the poor.

Greenwald falls into the Sandernista purity trap, where the fact that - for instance - Obama can't raise the minimum wage because Republicans won't do it, is proof that Obama is a corporate sellout.  Look at this statement and see if you can spot the whopper:

Brexit — despite all of the harm it is likely to cause and despite all of the malicious politicians it will empower — could have been a positive development.

I mean, what the everloving fuck?  Brexit will be bad, but....unicorns!

The problem is not elite rule, necessarily.  I don't want a medical student doing my brain surgery, much less my barista.  Elites become elites through some demonstrated ability.  Too often there is an advantage of wealth, so we need to address creating more true meritocracy, especially in the US.  Barriers to decent health care are falling, but we still need to do more to reduce barriers to better education.  We need to lift the bottom and restrain the very top.

And you will hear Clinton say that very thing from now until November.

That will be followed by people like Greenwald and the Bernie or Bust crowd saying she's lying because it suits their narrative that everything must be torn down.

Be very careful when you start indiscriminately tearing things down.  The rubble will almost certainly wind up falling on you.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Globalism's Realignment

Yesterday, I wrote about how the Brexit vote could signal the end of the British party system.  If Labour collapses in its contradiction between urban, cosmopolitan liberals and working class voters, and the Conservatives crack up between its cosmopolitan wing and its nativist wing, what does that mean for the US.

Like Britain, the US has two main dominant parties.  Unlike the US, Britain has viable third parties.  Some new coalition between the Lib Dems and the cosmopolitan Labourites could come into being.

But we are getting wind of the effects of Trumpism on the GOP, too.  As Josh Marshall notes, both Brexit and Trumpism are a phenomenon of the older, whiter portions of both countries.  In both cases, the relative decline of white men is a real thing.  This isn't to say - as many Trump supporters believe - that white men are treated worse than minorities.  Ask the Stanford rapist about that.  But it is a relative decline, and it is real.

Demographically, there are enough old white people in Britain to engineer Brexit.  I don't think there are enough old white people in America to give us President Trump.  Certainly today's poll would suggest that Trump has very little room for error.  And some old white men - I'm looking at you, George Will and Hank Paulson - are unable to throw their support behind Trump.  A Trump thrashing in November might suggest a crackup of the existing Republican party.  If the white ethnonationalist, Trump wing of the GOP is truly ascendant, and if Trump brings ideas and rhetoric into the GOP lexicon, where does the cosmopolitan right in America go?  Where does Wall Street go?

And if they reluctantly move to the Democrats, what does that do to the Sanders Left?  They have already shown great hostility towards any accommodation between the Democratic party and finance.  They don't want Dodd-Frank, they want blood.  Are there any working class Democratic votes left to move to the GOP on economic nationalism terms?

During the '60s civil rights movement, one of Martin Luther King's arguments was that you had to deal with him or you would wind up dealing with Stokely Carmichael or Malcolm X.  For the global elite - college educated, internationally connected through trade and culture - this year should be a wake up call.

It is time to take the plight of working class people in the developed world seriously.  That means wealth transfer from the top to the bottom.  Guaranteed minimal income.  Housing and food benefits.  Something.  Otherwise, you are looking at more Trumps and more Brexits.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Will Labour Be A Casualty Of Brexit?

This makes an interesting argument that the Labour Party is basically a defunct coalition of urbane liberals and working class nationalists. Similarly the Conservatives are also riven over this issue. 

It will be interesting to see if there is a political realignment from this.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Here Is What Worries Me

The EU has a lot of pretty good reasons to inflict as much pain as possible on Britain. If they take policy measures to inflict pain on the UK, that could blowback and cripple Europe, with potential consequences for the US and the world. 

Does Brexit Mean Trump Will Win?

I've seen that panicked question a lot on Facebook this morning.  Brexit was England's Trump moment, where they allowed emotive ethnonationalism and diffuse anger at elites to make an irrational choice based on resentment over reason.  You know, Trumpism.

First of all, you could argue that we've had our Trump moment when he won the nomination.  His incompetence as a campaigner is now on stage for the world to see.  He can't raise money, he can't stay on message, he can't control his narcissism.  Hell, when asked about Brexit, all he could think of was his own properties in Scotland.  When Brent Scowcroft and most of the McCain campaign from 2008 endorses Clinton, you know there is a sizable portion of the electorate who simply can't stomach Trump.

Secondly, the US and UK are very different ethnically.  The UK is 87% white, 7% Asian and 3% black.  The US is 63% white, 12% black, 16% Hispanic and 5% Asian.  Trump - like every GOP candidate in a long time - will win the white vote. Leave won the white vote, too.  But there was much more white vote in England to win than in the US. Since the main commonality between Leave and Trump is ethnonationalism, Leave had a lot more voters to draw on that Trump will.  Similarly, there are simply more Democrats and Democrat-leaners than Republicans.  About 48% of Americans lean Democrat, whereas 41% lean Republican, and true independents lean away from Trump.

The same partisanship that has destroyed the Congress's ability to do anything is likely also to give the White House to Clinton.  In Britain, the cities voted Remain, while the shires voted Leave.  In the US, the Electoral College has a baked in advantage for Democrats.  Clinton likely starts at around 240 EVs before she really starts to stretch herself.

So, Brexit doesn't guarantee anything about Trump.  But a global recession could be the factor that tips enough votes his way to claw his way to 270 electoral votes. Will there be a global recession?

Remain campaigned heavily on the economic apocalypse that would follow a Leave vote.  Markets all over the world are in chaos right now, but markets aren't the economy.  Basically the following could happen:

Nothing.  Stock and currency markets go haywire for a bit, people realize that Britain can't leave for two years and things reach an equilibrium.

Britain's economy craters. The collapse of the pound leads to a recession in Britain, but the EU is able to contain most of the damage to Britain, as investments flee London and head to the EU.

Europe's economy craters.  The British collapse sends Europe into a free fall, but in a "flight to value" investors prop up the relatively safe US markets.

The global economy craters.  The British collapse creates a contagion that once again exposes how interconnected yet poorly managed the global economy is.

Only one of those - the last, obviously - helps Trump.  Theoretically, a global recession that is triggered by Brexit would suggest that America electing Trump to do more of the same would be a BAD THING.  Theoretically.  This would require a sober and rational assessment of the economic factors that led integrated markets to experience a crisis in confidence and a firm grasp of cause and effect.

Anyone want to lay money on the US electorate doing that?

The sign for hope is that when China's stock market imploded last year, the damage was largely contained.  If the economic damage is limited to Europe or Britain, then you have an excellent talking point about the disasters of ethnonationalist policy.  Britain is a laboratory for Trump's policies in some ways, although - Britain being Britain - it will play out much slower and more moderately than it would in the US.

I would argue the best case scenario for Clinton (and those Americans who don't wish to open the seventh seal and usher in the apocalypse) would be massive pain in Britain that largely stays in Britain.  Clinton already owns a massive cash-on-hand advantage over Trump and a massive campaign infrastructure advantage.  If Britain degenerates into misery, all that Wall Street money that Bernie hates will flow to Clinton just to keep the short fingered vulgarian out of the Oval Office.

Trump is going to win somewhere between 41-45% of the vote simply by being the Republican nominee.  He is going to violate norms in American politics and inject language and ideas into our politics that are deeply troubling and damaging.  But unless Brexit triggers another 2008-type crash, I don't think this makes him the 45th president.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


I've been trying to keep an eye on the Brexit polling leading up to today's referendum.  It looks neck and neck with a surprising number of undecideds.  Typically, whether it's Quebec, Scotland and now Britain as a whole, those undecideds break for the status quo pretty heavily.  I would wager that Remain gets about 53-55% of the vote.

The surprising strength of Brexit is not based on factual information.  Most of the arguments for leaving the EU are spurious, if not outright lies.  What is striking is the anger and vehemence among working class Britons, many of whom could respond to this by abandoning the Labour party for UKIP, the slightly less racist cousin of the BNP (which is outright fascist).  The asshole who shot Jo Cox was a BNP-type.  UKIP is somewhat less racist and xenophobic, but we are talking measures of degrees not type.  The horrible irony is that much of the British racism is focused on South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis) and not Eastern Europeans.  And immigration from South Asia has nothing to do with the EU.

You have an incoherent anger against brown people and a desire to wall yourself off from your biggest trading partner.

Britain is having its Trump-Moment.

British politics isn't quite as polarized as American politics, and Boris Johnson has already insulted Donald Trump, so there isn't a lot of common ground in the details.  When you step back, however, you see a great deal of similarity.

Point that out to your British friends when they shake their heads about the GOP nominating Trump.  Tell them he's really just the unholy child of Johnson and Nigel Farange.

One thing should be clear to people around the developed world from the politics of 2016: the age of meek acquiescence to globalization is over.  While I think that outsourcing is only about half the problem the working class faces in Detroit and Manchester and Marseilles (the other, unspoken half is automation), it's a big deal.  Since the benefits of globalization - lower consumer prices, relative peace - are effectively invisible it's a very hard sell, especially when you layer xenophobia and racism on top of it.

I lean free-trade.  But increasingly, the idea of a universal minimum income looks like it will need to be the handmaiden of free trade.  There are benefits to free trade, but unless someone steps up and delivers some of those benefits to the bottom 60% of the developed world, there's going to be hell to pay.

Of Course It Was A Publicity Stunt

The Democratic Sit-In has sent Paul Ryan to his fainting couch.  He decried it as a "publicity stunt" and not a "very proud moment for democracy."

As John Cole noted, of course it was a publicity stunt.  Neither the House nor Senate will allow a vote on gun control measures that enjoy super-majority approval ratings from the American people.  If there was a referendum on gun control measures, they would pass handily.

Paul Ryan wants to make democracy proud?  Have a vote.  Get your members on the record as voting against the no-fly/no-buy bill.  Then let the voters decide is they should fire their reps for prioritizing gun industry profits over American lives.  Murphy's filibuster really only succeeded in getting people like Susan Collins and Ron Johnson on the record.  It was never going to pass.

And what's more, the no-fly/no-buy idea is a flawed one.  The no-fly list lacks due process.  In no way, shape or form is this the bill a Democratic House or Senate would wish to pass.  Instead, it's a show vote that illustrates that the GOP has zero interest in responding to the will of the American people on this or many other issues.

It is not a proud moment for democracy, you Zombie Eyed Granny Starver.  But the smear on democracy is not coming from the Democrats.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I was reading through Vox's description of the latest Clinton Scandal.  This one is pretty typical.  There is smoke, but not much fire.  A Clinton Foundation donor was given a seat on an unpaid nuclear security advisory board, despite not being very well qualified.  He seems to have been something of a foreign policy enthusiast, and this stuff interested him.  The Clintons gave him a seat so he could have some (very discrete) bragging rights.  Nothing illegal, but reeks of the sort of log-rolling the Clintons are known for.  And the response is typically Clintonian: attack, hide, bunker down.

It's Machine Politics in the age of Super PACs.

Meanwhile, we are being confronted with really vetting Trump for the first time.  What is truly remarkable is that in the frenetic scrum of the GOP primaries, no one thought to seize on the mountains of shit that Donald Trump had his tiny little hands in.

There is Trump University, of course.  There is Trump's routine business practice of stiffing people who worked for him or made deals with him and then suing the pants off of them for asking for what they were promised.

Finally (or not really finally, there's so much more) there is the fact that Trump himself is a compulsive liar.  Nowhere is this more evident than in his statements about his wealth.  His Cash-on-Hand statement to the FEC was embarrassing, befitting more a rural House race than a campaign for the Presidency.  Trump has said he could self-finance, but it's also clear he can't and/or won't.  He won't reveal his tax returns, because it's pretty clear that he's not nearly as wealthy as he says he is.  He claims to be worth billions, but it's pretty clear he's worth less than a $100 million.

Now, we have some interesting claims of something VERY weird going on in New Hampshire.

It will be interesting to see if the media can gin up false equivalencies with stuff like this:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


There have been calls in the wake of the Sanders "Revolution" for the Democrats to embrace "populism."  Those calls are wrapped in complaints that Trump is ruining the good name of populism with his racism, sexism and overall assholishness.

The thing is, populism really doesn't have a "good name" or at least it shouldn't.  Populism was the credo of Andrew Jackson.  Jackson rode roughshod over the rule of law and precipitated the worst depression in the country's history (to that point).  He was an emotive, violently angry asshole who appealed to the people's worst interests - racially, economically.

The Populist Party had some very good ideas.  Many of them - the direct election of Senators, secret ballots, inflationary monetary policy, the 8 hour work day - eventually became law.  But a lot of those were sort of free-floating reform ideas that the Populists co-opted.  The actual political movement of the Populists was fraught with racism, once they realized they couldn't win the South by appealing to racial solidarity between poor whites and blacks.  The journey of Tom Watson from racial progressive to racial troglodyte is a great example of this.  The actual Populists were a collection of angry cranks who happened to have some very good ideas.

But it was the Progressive movement - largely sober middle class reformers - who took those ideas and made them law.

Populism, by definition, eschews expertise and reasoned argument in favor of emotional appeals and gut feelings.  While the Populists were right about inflationary currency, they were often right for the wrong reasons.  Richard Hofstadter pretty persuasively argues that most Populists were reactionaries rather than liberals.  The fact that their chosen reforms actually brought about progress was kind of an accident.  Populists wanted to return to an imagined agrarian idyll.

Populism is an attitude towards politics more than a policy agenda.  Populism can be George Wallace or Father Coughlin or Donald Trump just as easy as it can be James Weaver or Jacob Coxey.

The Democrats on the left have taken the moniker "Progressive."  That was another difficult to define reform movement.  But broadly speaking, the Progressives worked within existing political structures to make them better rather than pulling stunts, like when the Populists seized control of the Kansas legislature by force.

Democrats are bound by outlook to make appeals to reason and policy, not emotion and boasts.  Work with that.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Donny, You're Out Of Your Element

There is some speculation that Donald Trump really has no intention of winning, and may even be open to being bought off the ticket.  Some have suggested that this is really just a way of creating a media empire.  Certainly that would explain the parallels to Sarah Palin.

However, the news today that Trump finally fired odious man-creature Corey Lewandowski goes against that line of thought.  Trump may be finally getting the message that the tactics he used to win the GOP nomination simply aren't adequate to running a national general election.  There remains the question as to whether or not he is congenitally capable of changing himself, but at least he seems more intent on not hiring brutish assholes.  Whether or not he will ever get his national organization off the ground is another question.  There are worries that Trump's flaming assholeness could cost the GOP Utah's electoral votes.  A strong showing by Gary Johnson could flip that state Blue, which would likely be irrelevant as it would be part of a Blue wave.

Still, the sign that Trump fired Lewandowski is a sign he may finally be learning.  He still has a steep, steep learning curve though.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

So, I Met A Nazi Last Night

I went out to a local brew pub with a couple of friends, and I got pigeonholed by a - I swear - a Nazi.  He wasn't a frothing at the mouth lunatic.  In fact - chillingly - he teaches AP US in the Waterbury school system. But he had a clear fascination with Hitler and  - surprise, surprise - Trump.  He longed for that magical leadership that comes from a "strong man."  That charismatic rabble-rouser who can strike a new course.  He also embraced a few wild conspiracy theories, of course.

It was a fascinating reminder that there are people out there who really aren't keyed into the traditions of Anglo-American liberal governance.  That's kind of scary.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Reading this about an Alabama official who won't lower the flag for Orlando because of the flag code really reminds me of a persistent strain of thought on the right: fundamental literalism.

These are people who can't read intent into anything.  Everything has to be exactly as the words say.  Bible says the world was created in six days?  It was six days.  Constitution says nothing about health care? We can't do health care.  You confuse automatic and semi-automatic weapons in a gun debate?  You are not qualified to speak about guns.

If you are a parent, you know this behavior.  It is the behavior of an angry tantrum thrown by a four year old.  And this makes sense, because the modern conservative movement is really nothing more than a sustained tantrum anyway.  This makes the GOP a group of people who are really just a bunch of 60 year old 4 year olds.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Holy Shithead

Recently, Pennsylvania passed a bill extending the age to which sexual abuse survivors could sue to the age of 50.  The argument is that it can take half a lifetime for survivors of abuse to come to terms with what happened to them and come forward.

The Catholic Diocese of Pennsylvania has attacked the Catholic lawmakers who supported the bill.  Against the law, they lobbied against the bill, too.

I doubt, sadly, that anything will come of this, but it would be nice if Francis sacked Bishop Chaput.  Then again, if he sacked all the bishops who have hidden the crimes committed by priests, he might have a clean church not have an bishops left.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Murphy Is The Man

Chris Murphy is a damned fine public servant and I'm proud to have him as my Senator.  As I've mentioned before, I got to meet him back when he was my Representative, and he was remarkably intelligent, unscripted in the best way and really willing to meet our students at the point of their concerns not his.

Now, he's won a vote on the smallest of gun control measures (that will probably go down to defeat in the House), but it feels like a huge victory.

If you want to give money:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Worst Of All Worlds

Apparently there has been a wedding of Trump with the avid zealots of extreme supply side economics.

Trumps only redeeming quality as a candidate was his willingness to throw populist shade on Republican economic orthodoxy. This was reflected in his support by voters with only a high school degree who really aren't interested in reducing marginal tax rates on top earners. 

So they have wedded an authoritarian narcissist with a starve the poor ideology. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

No, Donald, You Didn't Predict It. It Was Inevitable

It was just a matter of time before an Orlando type shooting occurred with links to Daesh. So many guns. So little restraint.

I'm amazed it took this long. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Upon Further Review

You know what hurts most about Orlando?

It doesn't hurt enough.  I've seen some moving eulogies at the Tony's and on Jon Oliver's show.  I've seen the inevitable changing of Facebook photos.  That'll work, thanks.

Before long, we will move on.  Something will catch our attention.  And then another mass shooting will kill dozens.  And we will change our Facebook photos.

But nothing else will change.

That's what hurt most about Orlando.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

On Some Level We Are A Sick Nation

We live in a time of wonder and relative peace.  Crime is down.  We are currently not fighting any real "wars."  Medicine proceeds to provide cures to fatal diseases.  We do not face famine or want.

But we have become paralyzed in the face of guns and the gun lobby and the gun fetishists.  That asshole in Orlando should not have been able to buy a gun.  The other day, Obama was doing a town hall and someone asked him about "taking away guns."  Obama responded that he was in the situation room and realized he could put someone on the No-Fly list, but he couldn't stop that person from buying guns.  Lots of guns.

The asshole in Florida was known to have flirted with radical Islam and was known to be an angry abusive person.  He beat his first wife.  This is not someone who should be able to buy guns.  Any guns, much less the semi-automatic weapon he used to mow down people last night.

Does anyone really think that a universal database would really have impinged on law-abiding gun owners?  I need a license to drive a car, but literally anyone can buy an arsenal of weaponry that would make George Washington blanch with fear and disgust.

So, to all the politicians who are offering their "thoughts and prayers" but won't do a fucking thing to stop the flood of military-grade weaponry onto our streets: Fuck you.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Coming Contradiction

Like most people who aren't aggressively trying to be assholes, I've been outraged by the conclusion of the Stanford rape case.  Not a He Said/She Said case.  Not a judgment call.  A conviction.  And then the judge decided to engage in the worst sort of excuse making.

The Stanford Rapist deserved a harsher penalty from the law.  He's getting some penalties from USA swimming and the judge may lose his seat on the bench.  But he should have been in jail longer.

When he gets out, he's a registered sex offender, and given the notoriety of his case, he's going to find it difficult to integrate into society.  And that's all well and proper.

However...the outrage over this is largely tied to the idea of white privilege (because it's such a glaring example), and yet the inverse is true when we talk about the criminal justice system.

The Stanford Rapist was white and privileged, and so he will not see much jail time.  Routinely, minority - or simply poor - defendants get longer sentences for crimes they might not have actually committed.  As OJ and Michael Jackson taught us, perhaps it is wealth more than race that warps the application of justice in this country.  Two sets of laws for two sets of people.

If so, that's incredibly disturbing.  For democracy to work, the rule of law must apply to everyone the same, but the Stanford Rape case shows that this isn't true.  The rape aspect brings in other disturbing elements of how rape is under-reported, under-prosecuted and under-sentenced - at least when the defendant is white - but the larger question is how well our criminal justice and legal system is working.

Finally, as we deal with the mass incarceration of minorities, we want to extend justice to the falsely accused and falsely convicted.  The Stanford Rapist was neither falsely accused nor falsely convicted.  The glare of the spotlight and circumstance of the case make that clear.

But if he WAS some poor person caught up in the web of the criminal justice system, we would want leniency for him.  Unless he was a rapist or murderer, I suppose.

This contradiction among liberal activists that will have to be carefully negotiated in the coming months.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Veep Pick

Trump will pick an establishment pol, but probably one that has no current connection to Washington, DC.  My guess is Newt Gingrich.  He will be Premier to Trump's General Secretary, running the day to day government.

Clinton is in an interesting position.

She will need someone dynamic, but not too dynamic.  The buzz is Elizabeth Warren, but she is really to valuable in the Senate.  Bernie is too old and also belongs in the Senate.

I love Chris Murphy, but he isn't ready yet, and Kristin Gillibrand can't run, because the President and Vice-President can't be from the same state.

If there was a popular, young, liberal governor, that would be perfect, but there really isn't anyone like that.  The various drubbings that the Democrats have taken in midterm elections have shortened the bench.

Given her age, the Veep pick matters.  Can she reach out to Sanders supporters, even though it looks like some of the pro-Bernie vote was really just anti-Hillary?  Can she peel off more Republicans?

I have no idea who her pick will be, so it's an interesting moment for signaling how she will govern.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Buyer's Remorse

Trump hit about 75% in all the primaries last night. For all the talk about the Bernie or Bust crowd, there are a sizable number of Republicans who can't stomach their nominee. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Leaving A Mark

The Curiel thing is leaving a mark and giving GOP machers indigestion. 

The punchline is that there will be a dozen more incidents like this before the election. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

My Yearly Despair

AP US history exams.....meh.

On the bright side, I only have time to peruse Trump-related news once a day.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Curiel For Trump

Will Trump's attack on a federal judge finally cause a rupture with mainstream Republicans? 

Magic 8 Ball says,"no."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pitchfork Please

I spent ten minutes listening to CNBC at the hotel gym, and I was ready to switch my vote to Bernie Sanders. 

Those people are sociopaths.