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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 24,235

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More footage from Trump cabinet meetings and rallies

Consider when it began, in the 1970s...

Inflation was high, foreign competition was on the rise, computerization was beginning to have real impact on traditional trades (e.g., typesetting), etc. The New Deal framework had become creaky in places and clearly needed updating. The framework needed some modernizing, and to portions of the Democratic establishment, some degree of deregulation and privatization seemed like a more flexible structure.

Add to that the fact that relations with unions had become strained, over the Vietnam War and other things, and they were a major source of resistance about changing things.

There was also a geopolitical aspect: the economy of most ex-colony nations was resource extraction, in which most of he population was poor peasants ripe for revolutions the Soviets were happy to encourage. If they had some form of industry and a middle class dependent on it, there would be more internal stability and less volatility. Or at least, so the thinking went.

Then also consider the Democratic Party's internal structure and how it was evolving at the time. Coming off the blow-out of McGovern by Nixon, dealing with the New Left who attacked the Democratic establishment for its role in supporting the war in Vietnam, demographic shifts away from traditional centers of Democratic power, changes to the primary system to get away from the "men in a smoke-filled room" method of selecting candidates (or perception thereof), the rise of television advertising, etc.

Heap on top of that changes to what was allowed in terms of campaign financing, both from new laws and court decisions.

Those began a shift toward a more open method of choosing candidates than had been the case, with TV advertising and exposure rising in importance. Politics has always been a money game, but TV ads added rocket boosters to it, and that means more backing from wealthier donors, most of whom are ok with neoliberal changes that improve returns on their portfolio.

Enter 1980, when fifteen years of conservative efforts to pry apart the Democratic coalition come into full flower with the "Reagan Democrats" who give Reagan a blow-out win.

To avoid droning on even further, suffice to say that the intellectual climate, political math, incentives, and disincentives for charting a more "pro-business" neoliberal path outweighed the comparable factors arguing not to do so.

Check-in for members of the "I'm indifferent about Louise Mensch" Club...

Can't tell if we're growing or not without a headcount.

I've seen too many breathless tidbits that surely herald the implosion of various Republicans over the decades to get all excited about what her Twitter feed and website say. There's no percentage in "I knew it first!" Without frogmarches it's vaporware.

There's also people going above and beyond "cool your jets", sometimes with comically inept attempts to discredit her (e.g., the "discrediting" can be debunked within two minutes) that I find curious too.

She's a self-described conservative (British variety), so everything she says should be taken with a mine's worth of salt. But I don't get the kamikaze attacks either. So....sew buttons.

But mostly I damn everybody paying so much attention to her that I felt the need to spell her name right in this post.

Say, does anybody remember when RWers lost their shit over Obama's coffee salute?

Y'know, when he tried to return salutes to Marines attending to duties when he had a coffee cup in his hand?

That it was disrespectful to people personally sacrificing to serve our country?

My Facebook feed is strangely absent about comments on this:

...but not enough to have noticed Bush's vacations and golfing...

Obama took about a quarter of what Bush did, and about half of what Reagan did.

So why was he bitching about that? Why is he bitching now?

Hopefully his independent thought will progress to "jeez, I just swallowed every horseshit claim that came down the pike, didn't I?". But I'm not making any bets on it.

Going to bed. What wacky highjinks will the Kremlin Don Show get into before I arise?

Evidently he bribed flunky #147 (a.k.a. Billy, no, the other Billy) into getting his phone back, so anything could happen.

Although the old childhood prayer of "If I should die before I wake..." has a note of immediacy that was always lacking in the past.

Even more than his pandering is their Play-Doh-like self-malleability...

They decry situational ethics, but bypass moral dilemmas by doing it one better: situational reality.

Need Kremlin Don to be "Godly"? Poof! Done! The barest, most blantant pandering is proof he has come to Jesus.

To people who swallowed every horseshit claim about Hillary and Obama that came down the pike like it was chocolate, this sort of mental and moral shape shifting is child's play. And reflexive.

The first letter of St. Don to the Plasticineians.

When they call for unity, remind them of their own track record...

1992: After George H.W. Bush lost the election, Rush Limbaugh used his show to rally demoralized Republicans, railing that Bill Clinton was only "technically" president because he won with a plurality, not a majority, and so had no mandate. This frame of illegitimacy was the justification for the relentless hunt to find something, anything, to force him from office.

2000: The Republican candidate, short on track record but long on brazenness, squeaks into office having lost the popular vote but getting an EC win under circumstances ripe with politically-motivated interference with the process. The Democrats acquiesce in the interests of national unity. Rather than reciprocate in light of an obvious lack of mandate, the Republicans push a hard right agenda, hold secretive energy meetings and push through tax cuts that will double the national debt. The president's team is contemptuous of its predecessors, and having sneered at the Clinton administration for thinking non-state actors like Al Queda were threats, they drop counterterrorism as a priority and divert resources to other things. When he decidedly did NOT keep us safe, his people used the worst attack on us since Pearl Harbor as a springboard for their pet project to oust Saddam Hussein. Their ideological devotion to deregulation led to the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

2008: Obama wins hands down. No "plurality" shit this time, it's as clean a win as you could like. Republican reaction? Dust off the playbook they'd built up during the Clinton years and start at DEFCON 1. Total resistance. Despite job losses, bankruptcies, and millions of Americans standing to lose their homes, their Number One Priority was making Obama a one-term president. When that failed, they just kept it up and added more scandal mongering against Hillary Clinton.

Obeisance is not unity. If they want unity, they need to show some. We gave it to them the last time, and all we got was terrorism, war, floods, financial crisis, bankruptcies, and the absolute shredding of any stability in the Middle East.

This time, once again we have another ignorant, arrogant good salesman/terrible businessman who is contemptuous of expertise, leading a pack of ideologues, cronies, and opportunists set to grab power with both hands and ram through their wish list and use their power to attack their domestic critics. Unity? You get what unity you've earned: none.

One dumb orange antichrist coming up...

In another thread I was asked to post this as an OP. I posted it in response to a comment about Trump as a "Dumb orange antichrist".

From http://www.dumbingofage.com/2016/blog/antichrist/

A little context: the cartoonist, Dave Willis, grew up in a strict conservative evangelical household, and Joyce, the little kid/older kid/young woman in this progression is something of an alter-ego of his about how that bubble bursts for some people, and of some of the hypocrisies that manifest in the people for whom it doesn't burst.

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