Wednesday, November 1, 2017

John Kelly and Robert E Lee

Of particular interest: the pattern.

Secretary Kelly praises traitorous, insurrection-leader Lee (who was never legally a general), implying that Lee wouldn't have opposed compromise.

But the slaver side -- Lee's side -- refused compromise. The abolitionists worked hard to avoid war, arguably far harder than they should have. The their efforts to compromise with slavers might be the greatest taint on the legacy of the abolitionists. In the end, Lee's side utterly rejected working with those who wanted progress, even if Lee's side would have gotten excessive concessions in the bargain.

Today, we can see this in the party whose members typically praise Lee, today's Republicans. Today's Democrats were so desperate to improve healthcare that -- failing to get Republicans to accept their ideal -- they settled for adopting a Republican plan (which became Romneycare and then the ACA / Obamacare) ... just to have some chance of finding a way to compromise and get some meager improvement. But the Republican party rejected compromise, even if that compromise was built upon accepting their designs, their approach.

It's no wonder they praise the Lee's of history. They are the inheritors of Lee's anti-compromise, anti-progress ways in all but name.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Latest WSJ Revelations on Flynn and Russian Involvement While On the NSC

"According to the [Wall Street] Journal, the ethics advisors on the National Security Council actually told him to remove himself from this project but quote the activity continued." - Rachel Maddow

See the rest in "New revelations deepen Flynn legal jeopardy".

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Payroll Coasting

A picture of coasting:

Total nonfarm private payroll employment 04/2002 to 07/2017

What was the question we collectively were asking ourselves? Perhaps, "Hey, what would happen if -- before really fully recovering -- we stopped pushing the economy back towards health as soon as we pulled it out of actively crashing?"

If we aim a car up a very slight incline and get going pretty fast and don't hit the brakes, it'll keep going at a fairly steady pace for a while even after the driver's foot leaves the accelerator. Not forever. But for a while.

Realistically, the foot isn't all the way off the pedal. It's more like we've cut back on the gas after quickly getting up to speed on the on-ramp.

We're way below speed limit though. Was that the plan? Why did that seem like a good idea?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How Necessities Have Eaten America's Personal Discretionary Spending Capacity

The Rent Is Too Damn High

A Business Insider article tells us "How America's spending habits have changed since 1941".

Spending "habits"? How about how costs have changed?

Seriously, who really believes that Americans want to allot such large portions of our income to housing -- whether rent or mortgage -- and transportation? Let's not forget about debt service, largely for housing and for investing in education to get jobs. And how many wouldn't want to be able to spend more on clothing, food & dining, and personal care?

New headline: how necessities have eaten America's personal discretionary spending capacity.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

There Is No Fuzz On that

"There is no fuzz on that."

James Comey former FBI director: The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that. It is a high confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community and the members of this committee have seen the intelligence. It's not a close call. That happened. That's about as unfake as you can possibly get. It is very, very serious, which is why it's so refreshing to see a bipartisan focus on that. This is about America, not about a particular party.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

If that's not conservative enough, what is?

If that's not conservative enough, what is?

I've yet to read a single positive analysis of the House's Obamacare bill. Try going 2 a conservative source? Open up your reading habits 2 include those w/ whom u would naturally dismiss. I'm the editor of the National Review Online.

Monday, February 20, 2017

What Drove the 2016 Election Results

Already, this is too easy to forget.

We've covered that Republican turnout was actually low. Not by much, but slightly below trend. Meanwhile Democratic turnout -- although not high enough to win the crucial red states -- was fairly good nationwide, if down somewhat from the previous peak. It just wasn't quite good enough in a few keys states. Why? Was there some winning over of voters on a policy issue? No, most folks who voted stuck to their usual party. So how did it happen? Largely, the voter data shows it hinged upon that just barely enough-to-swing-it previously Democratic-leaning voters didn't vote in 2016. While voter data alone can't tell us exactly what drove that swing, it shows that the question of the election was what kept just the critical number of voters in the key states from showing up.

Aside from rather successful Republican voter suppression efforts with voter ID laws, Matthew Yglesias performed a solid analysis of how the story rolled. In short, it was the emails. As Yglesias puts it, "Indeed, research from Gallup indicates that emails dominated what voters heard about Clinton all throughout the campaign."

That's it. That's ultimately the issue on which the 45th Presidency turned. The choice of which email server to use. Not jobs. Not healthcare. Not taxes. Not immigration. It's the emails.

Yes, arguably, the Democrat's candidate might have been able to win despite the email issue had she been more charismatic, better able to inspire even more people to look at her carefully developed set of sensible policy approaches. That it was the emails does not defend the performance of the candidate who merely won the popular vote. While the campaign platform may have been solid and the campaign pitched those policies enough to earn a sizeable majority of the popular vote nationwide, the 2016 Clinton campaign failed to make it about all those thoroughly thought-out policies in enough states. Crucially, she failed to make it not be about the emails in key swing states.

But any "might have" doesn't change what it was about. Where the votes counted, it was about the emails. If there was anything the 2016 election can be said to be about: the overriding mandate from the electorate was, "do not use a private email server as a public servant".

Let's not forget that. No matter how tempting it might be to forget.

Meanwhile, if there's a lesson for future campaigns, it would seem to be this: pick a candidate far too charismatic to have their message drowned out by some flap about what server they used for their email.