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Open Thread - Politics Plus

 
 
blatham
 
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2016 07:43 pm
The idea here is to have a political discussion space which is not restricted in subject. Perhaps you'll have some political idea that occurs to you or perhaps you'll bump into a particularly compelling piece of political writing you'd like to share but don't want to toss it into some active thread dedicated to a particular topic - as most are. So here, we can talk politics and under that broad heading, you'll have licence to bring up anything at all.

Obviously, this could get a tad chaotic but that doesn't bother me much. Folks who wish to continue some theme can do so while others, who might not be interested in that theme, can input what they find interesting.

But let's expand the parameters a bit. Let's welcome humor. If you bump into something wonderfully witty or just knee-slappingly funny, by all means, please share. Perhaps you'll find a piece on an interesting archaeological discovery. That would turn my crank and maybe others' as well. But let's be
intellectually careful as we proceed. Let's link to source material and let's give support to assertions.

Here's what we won't want. Posts on cooking and recipes. This is an absolute. I simply won't have it.

Here's what else we won't want. Mean-spiritedness and personal attacks on other posters. Trolling will not be welcome at all. Let's agree to that as a primary process rule and let's also agree to put any violator on ignore. Give them a chance or maybe two, but then it's the guillotine.

As a beginning, let me link to an extraordinary essay by historian Rick Perlstein on the long-running and pervasive con that has and continues to mark the functions of the modern rightwing universe. Rick is a very bright, dedicated, hardworking and funny writer. I've linked this essay elsewhere but I encourage everyone to read it (semi-longish) carefully. It is worth your time and attention. http://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-long-con

But you don't have to start there. We're liberals because our bones are rubber and our brains are all sparkly.

Oh, and ps... I'm going to be very busy over the next while so you'll be mostly on your own until I'm done a task. But do dive in. I promise your mother won't be watching so you can, you know...





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Type: Discussion • Score: 20 • Views: 11,058 • Replies: 414

 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2016 08:51 pm
Just bumped into this great column by Thomas Edsall at the Times... http://nyti.ms/1kNyFiy

Quote:
[Trump] is tapping into and indeed amplifying anger and fear, primarily among white citizens who are older and less educated than the average Republican voter. He is answering that anger and fear with tremendous self-confidence and 100 percent certainty, which some people find impressive and reassuring.

That's exactly what I've been alluding to when I say that Trump's brand is his ego.

Read the whole thing but take a close look at the chart included. That's damned interesting.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2016 10:05 pm
From Al Jazeera today

Alabama chief justice orders halt to licenses for same-sex marriages
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/1/6/alabama-chief-justice-orders-halt-to-same-sex-marriage-licenses.html
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 06:30 am
@edgarblythe,
Yeah. The Moore story is being covered in the Times and Post today as well. Did you look at the column by Edsall I posted above? The chart/graph included speaks directly to this phenomenon (and many others).
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 06:58 am
This is a very bright take on Trump.
Quote:
As one Trump supporter memorably put it in an interview with the Associated Press, “At least we know where he stands.”

But as Eric Levitz details, exactly the opposite is far more accurate.

Quote:
Donald Trump Assures Voters That They’ll Never Know What He’ll Do As President
...“Bill, I’m gonna do what’s right,” Trump said. “I want to be unpredictable.”

This response was itself fairly predictable, and O’Reilly had a follow-up prepared: “Don’t the voters have a right to know how far you’re gonna go?”

“No, they don’t,” Trump replied. “The voters want unpredictability.”
http://nym.ag/1JZdDV5
Obviously, and as Levitz says, this is a dodge. With these sorts of "answers", Trump excuses himself from offering up any policy ideas or details. It's a great trick given his lack of relevant knowledge and attention to details of any sort.

That he brags about this and yet gains the sort of support we see is remarkable, a "truly novel political innovation" as Levitz puts it.

But perhaps it isn't so novel after all. If we presume or conclude that movement conservatism is marked by a rejection of or distaste for complexity and also an institutionalized zest for the snake-oil salesman's pitch, then it really makes quite perfect sense.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 07:05 am
@blatham,
Don't you defeat the purpose of having a forum if you group all discussion under one topic? Why wouldn't you post your Trump information on the Trump thread? If I find an interesting piece on archeology, wouldn't I reach more interested people if I posted a topic with that in the header? All the threads have the opportunity to wander around but I think being less organized and more random makes it harder for people to engage.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 07:11 am
OK, now here's a delicious soup recipe. Anyone can make this, just follow these simple steps.

1) pick up an orange plastic bucket from Home Depot

2) go around to all the old folks homes and geriatric facilities in your area and collect up all the toenail clippings. (Important: discard the few you gather that are free of nail fungus)

3) dump them into a pressure cooker with one liter of water

4) cook for three months

5) open, allow to cool, serve

It's my own recipe which I call Primordial Soup. Yummy!
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 07:18 am
@engineer,
There's a risk here. But it is, I think, mainly a consequence of how this site is organized and the traditions of use that have evolved.

There are quite a few commentary sites where the writer/blogger posts five days a week but on weekends offers up an "open thread" where folks can toss in whatever they find of interest and things run willy-nilly. My experience is that such threads are often far more enjoyable and varied than are the weekly threads.

So it's a bit of an experiment here, I confess, but there are lots of precedents.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 09:25 am
@blatham,
Soup made of strained depends can be served cold with watercress and Hi Ho Crackers.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 01:28 pm
Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job
Glenn Greenwald

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/05/obamacare-fowler-lobbyist-industry1?CMP=share_btn_fb
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 06:25 pm
I see a sea of zeros.

I'll be back to rabbit..
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 08:13 pm
@edgarblythe,

Quote:
Re: blatham (Post 6103214)
Soup made of strained depends can be served cold with watercress and Hi Ho Crackers.

My god in heaven. That is repulsive. How can you live with yourself? For the good of your soul, I recommend you listen to my BBC recording of The Wanderer in the Dell, a symphony in three parts for pipe organ and firecrackers.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 08:21 pm
@blatham,
I happen to like real watercress from creeks.

You're both just wrong.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 08:35 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job
Glenn Greenwald
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/05/obamacare-fowler-lobbyist-industry1?CMP=share_btn_fb

Pretty ugly, ain't it. "Politics is the shadow cast by business", as Dewey observed.

I suspect that if we really comprehended the depth of corruption surrounding governance, we would be led inexorably to some act of poetic despair, like attempting to behead ourselves with a weedeater.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 08:42 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I happen to like real watercress from creeks.

I just can't say enough about how wonderful that isn't.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2016 08:59 pm
@blatham,
Trump wants to become the leader of the strongest country in the world to build a wall between the US and Mexico. Simple minded, uneducated, whites, are prone to that kind of simplicity. His bluster also sells.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Jan, 2016 08:23 am
@cicerone imposter,
You get to the really interesting question here, CI. What does Trump want?

Does he yearn to finally be positioned such that he might be able to put his years of dedicated study of foreign affairs, American history, political science and the constitution to use?

Does he thrill to the prospect of engaging the philosophical and practical issues related to the tension between state and federal governments' roles and responsibilities?

Is he driven by the prospect of rising at 6 AM to begin reading detailed briefings on matters pertaining to the office, of sitting and listening carefully to advisers and cabinet staff because each knows far more than he in their respective areas of expertise and because he is eager to learn from them?

Has he always dreamed that one day he might be situated so as to improve the lots of Americans in desperate life-situations?

On each of these, and much more, we'll guess not.

Trump doesn't want to be POTUS. He wants to be Pharoah. He's been practicing for this. It's why the enormous physical structures with his name on them.

blatham
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Jan, 2016 08:35 am
You might ask, "Bernie, how do you know so much about the man?"

Fair enough question.

Because I've read the books he's written, reflecting on his life, his ideas and his achievements. For example...

"It Takes A Pillage"
"The Battle at Wounded Ego"
"The Seas That Role in a Young Girl's Mind and Body (They're Disgusting)"
"Pus Cake Zarathustra"
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2016 05:14 pm
Bernie Sander's Plan to Tame Wall Street Riles Team Clinton

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/07/bernie-sanders-plan-tame-wall-street-riles-team-clinton

ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Jan, 2016 05:26 pm
I've been reading a lot of books lately, some related to WW2, others having to do with human behavior in small towns, which can include politics, and have started the dastardly behavior of turning some page corners (they're used book buys to start with, so don't shudder) - the turned pages having something I want to remember or find again. Oddly sometimes someone has turned a page edge before I read it.. an odd kind of communication with someone you don't know.

I'll be back..
 

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