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We Are Professionals: Part XXII: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part XXII: We Are Professionals:

It is certainly true that I am not in Romney's core donor demographic.

But if I were, I think this would have led me to put away my checkbook. Here we see how Romney tried to convince his audience of potential donors that he had a professional operation. And what did he do?

Did he talk about the experienced party staff? Did he talk about senior campaign staff who had been mid-level in 2004 and 2008 and been very well-regarded, and mid-level staff who had been well-regarded juniors in 2004 and 2008? Did he talk about people who had successfully run House, Senate, and Governor campaigns in swing states here in the United States and how he had worked to get them on his team?

No. This is what he said:

I have a very good team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants...

Not party staff. Not professionals. Consultants--who bounce from campaign to media gig to free appearances as "strategists" and then back to campaigns. People whose principal aim is to preserve and enhance their media-centered social network rather than believers in your cause focused on getting you into office and your policies implemented.

And then he said:

A couple of people in particular... Karl Rove equivalents... [who do] do races all over the world. In Armenia. In Africa. In Israel. I mean, they work for Bibi Netanyahu in his races...

"Work for Bibi Netanyahu." Right.

Continue reading "We Are Professionals: Part XXII: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


Educating the American People: Part XXI: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part XXI: Educating the American People:

Here Romney expresses his low opinion of the American electorate. In this, he sells them short. I believe that in order to win the center of the American electorate in a presidential race, you need to demonstrate to them two things:

  1. I share your values.
  2. I and my team am competent to do the job.

It's not that the voters are uninterested in policies, it's that they know they cannot learn enough to judge. So they--I think accurately--focus on values and competence.

Successful Republicans have traditionally focused on the first--or had a complaisant press do the first for them. But it is very difficult for Republicans to do, because the requirement that they cling to their base has made it hard since Reagan's retirement for them to claim that they share American values--unless they luck into or frame the contest as a khaki election.

Romney's message, however, was more of the second: that Obama was a jumped-up affirmative action candidate, who--like all affirmative action candidates--was unqualified for the job. He left the "Obama is a Kenyan Muslim socialist" for the fever swamps of his coalition. But he did little to stamp it out, either...

Continue reading "Educating the American People: Part XXI: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


Romney: My Election Will Summon the Confidence Fairy!: Part XX: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part XX: Romney: My Election Will Summon the Confidence Fairy!:

I have remarked before on the strong disconnect between the future "Greece" scenarios that Romney was confident were in our then future and the expectations of financial markets, which were expecting a lot more of the liquidity trap and secular stagnation. But the fact that financial markets disagree with Mitt Romney did not give him any pause, or undermine his belief that he understood them, and could predict them--never mind that he could not even now-cast them.

And here he went completely unhinged: all that had to be done was to elect Mitt Romney, and:

there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back, and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy...

While if Obama is reelected:

The "Taxageddon," as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can't work together, it really is frightening, really frightening in my view...

S P 500© FRED St Louis Fed

We have seen real stock-market gains of 14%/year during Obama's second term.

You would think that somebody as good as Mitt Romney is supposed to be would have done some rethinking by now. You would think that somebody as good as Mitt Romney is supposed to be would have noted, say, that the only Democratic president under whom the stock market has not done extremely well was Carter, while the only Republican president under who the stock market has done extremely well is Reagan, and done some rethinking here.

And this raises the question: Where is the grift? Is Romney the mark, whose grifting briefers--who know better--allow him to believe that all he has to do is take office and the Confidence Fairy will return? Or is Romney the grifter here, and are his donors the marks?

Continue reading "Romney: My Election Will Summon the Confidence Fairy!: Part XX: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


How much backup did David Frum get back in 2009 when he wrote his "Waterloo" piece warning about the self-made hell into which the Republicans were descending?

Nancy LeTourneau: The Republican Waterloo: "The so-called “right-wing media” has ejected the GOP leadership from their epistemic bubble...

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Late September 2012: Mitt Romney and "Those People": Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates Weblogging

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Mitt Romney and "Those People": Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates Weblogging: Ta-Nehisi Coates:

No One Left To Race-Bait To: Dave Weigel points out the difference between the covert racism of a young cagey Pat Buchanan in the days of the Southern strategy, and overt racism of the pariah Pat Buchanan banished to Fox News…. Calling the first black president a "drug dealer of welfare" is… Buchanan deploying symbolism. The problem is that the world has changed, and this is precisely the kind of rhetoric that would end a presidential candidacy today.

Continue reading "Late September 2012: Mitt Romney and "Those People": Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates Weblogging" »


Winning the Middle: Part XVIII: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part XVIII: Winning the Middle:

And then the fit passes. The moocher- and loser-loathing werewolf turns back into the centrist manager-politician. Romney talks about how his task is to convince the "independents that are thoughtful". And he says that it is doable. And here we lose our video for a few minutes.

Nobody in Romney's camp has ever volunteered to fill in what he said between the end of the first and the start of the second video file. Which is too bad. We presume that it is not seen as a big winner for Romney...

Continue reading "Winning the Middle: Part XVIII: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


47%!: Part XVII: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part XVII: 47%!:

And now we come to the famous--and revelatory--47% passage. The number "47%" seems to play a very strong role inside Romney's brain. It is, respectively:

  1. the size of the Democratic base...
  2. the share of Americans who don't pay taxes...
  3. the share of Americans who are losers who believe they are entitled victims who will never "take personal responsibility and care for their lives..."

What appears to have happened to Romney is that three briefings, each of which referenced 47%, each of which he only half-understood, have collided inside his brain and formed themselves into a Monstrous Regiment named "47%" that threatens America.

The first briefing, I presume, was about the partisan polarization of America's electorate these days. People told Romney that the Democratic base was solid. 1984 was the last time that a Democratic presidential candidate wound up with less than 46% of the two-party vote. Romney has absorbed this briefing. Thus he is focused on rallying the base and winning the middle. He has been told not to go after the Democratic base and he has internalized it:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him.... My job is not to worry about those people...

The phrase that is supposed to follow here is "in the context of this campaign: I won't win their votes". And then Romney is supposed to follow that with: "But, of course, I will be President of the United States of America. As President, I will care deeply about them and strive to help them learn to live better lives..."

The problem is that Romney feels that he has to explain why the Democratic base comprises of 47% of the electorate. And so he reaches into his brain for another briefing about the 47%:

These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years...

Now we all know that, of the 47% who "pay no income tax", 10%-points of them are elderly and retired: they are more likely to be in the Republican base than in the Democratic base. We all know that 28%-points of them are paying payroll taxes, but because they are not making much money their notional income tax burden is covered by their EITC: a message of cutting payroll taxes would connect, but that's not what Romney means by "our message of low taxes".

But Romney has been badly briefed. His brain jumps from what was supposed to be an argument that the 47% did not benefit directly from the principal Republican policy proposal of cutting the top-bracket tax break to a belief that the 47% pay no taxes to a belief that they are moochers and takers. And then he is off and running with his description of the Monstrous Regiment of the 47%, the people who are...

...with [Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what...

And so he washes his hands of them: social scum, unworthy of his time and attention, unreachable:

My job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives...

What was supposed to be a riff about how the electorate is polarized, the race will be close, and he is focused on putting his effort where it will do the most good to win the votes he can realistically win--that riff has turned into something else, something ugly, something very revealing about Mitt Romney and his view of the world.

Continue reading "47%!: Part XVII: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


I do wonder whether in the end historians will lay root responsibility for the destruction of America's Republican Party to Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Nino Scalia, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas's decision that what they really wanted to do was to transform the political order to enable whack doodle billionaires to break things (Live from the Republicans' Trump Hell)

Benjy Sarlin: [@BenjySarlin][]: Take a sec to read this @DouthatNYT piece. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/opinion/campaign-stops/what-the-rights-intellectuals-did-wrong.html

Dana Houle: @DanaHoule: Always some glaring, self-refuting flaw in a Douthat piece...

...For instance, no mention of donors/funding sources. Douthat talks about the GOP like it’s just rubes w pitchforks outnumbering the people of ideas who he thinks should be guiding the rubes & keeping them from excess. Well, dude, those rubes have the financial backers, including elites.

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Paul Krugman: [@paulkrugman][]: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/opinion/campaign-stops/what-the-rights-intellectuals-did-wrong.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0 "A tweetstorm on conservative intellectuals, inspired by Ross Douthat's brave but I think incomplete essay. (Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Trump Hell)

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Brian Buetler says: He told us so (Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Trump Hell)

Brian Buetler (March 1, 2016): [Donald Trump’s Nomination Will Have Real, Lasting Upsides][]: "In 2008, Republicans suffered a landslide defeat after placing Sarah Palin on the ballot and setting her loose... with the overwhelming approval of the conservative commentariat, to whip up an ugly right-wing populism...

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Late October 2012: The Republican Base Was Ugly, Ugly, Ugly Then...

Today's Exemplary Republican Tea-Party Voter: "I'm a Hard-Working Suburbanite Who Never Took a Bailout and I Wan't [Sic] Pay for Inner-City Health Care":

J. Bradford DeLong @delong: Duncan Black: The Evolution of Republican Suburban Tribalism http://bit.ly/RZEAQV

Tea Cardman @TeaCardman: @delong Growing up in a small town in a poor state and now owning my own home in a suburb makes me proud. You'll probably never understand.

J. Bradford DeLong @delong: @TeaCardman and the point is? That the changes the top 0.1% have made and Romney wants to reinforce have made this much harder?

Tea Cardman @TeaCardman: @delong I didn't answer your question. I am a hard working suburbanite who never took a bail out & I wan't pay for inner-city health care.

"Inner city" health care. I get it. Sheesh…

The curse of Barry Goldwater-Richard Nixon-Ronald Reagan still haunts the Republican Party--and through them the rest of us--this Halloween…


Obama Is Weak and Naive: Part X: Romney Secret 47% Video

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part X: Obama Is Weak and Naive: :

One way to look at American foreign policy since 1945 is to draw a contrast between the Kennanites and the Kissingerites. The Kennanites believe, by and large--except for when George Kennan and his followers would get into depressed Spenglerian moods--that the tide of history is running our way. They believe that our system and our values are immensely attractive They believe that all we need to do is to contain sources of trouble and then in the end--not too distant an end either--our soft power will win through for us.

The Kissingerites believe, by contrast, that we are, as Romney quotes Kissinger, "VEAK!" We are "VEAK!" because our people are unwilling to send our soldiers to die in substantial numbers in distant places over lengthy periods of time for dubious geopolitical advantages. We are "VEAK!" because the media, members of congress, and occasionally presidents do not have the stomach to bomb and burn things down in ways that kill substantial numbers of civilians.

Since we are "VEAK!", the Kissingerites think, we need to be scary-weak. We need people to fear that we will respond irrationally and destructively to whatever is going on if it crosses our interests. We cannot be predictable. We need to be drunk and abusive, so that people know that they must tiptoe quietly around this.

The fact that pursuing such a Nixonian-Kissingerite foreign policy strategy of rationally acting irrational is unfit for any self-respecting American to adopt, and furthermore greatly undermines our most powerful foreign-policy instrument--our soft power--is something that the Kissingerites do not grasp. Why? Because they do not understand that we have the soft power and that it is very strong indeed.

Kissinger did not start the Kissingerite strain in Republican foreign policy. John Foster Dulles did. Neither "massive retaliation" nor Nixon's four-year extension of the Vietnam War to get in 1972 the agreement of 1968 nor supporting Pakistan in its attempt to kill everyone in Bangladesh with a college education nor letting the Argentine generals think they had a blank check nor George W. Bush's many misadventures have served us well. But at least George H.W. Bush was a Kennanite.

Continue reading "Obama Is Weak and Naive: Part X: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


Iran: Part IX: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part IX: Iran:

If you ever thought the Republican Party was in any sense "the responsible Daddy Party" on foreign affairs. This should disabuse you. Mitt Romney is as good as it gets for Republicans as far as foreign policy is concerned since the retirement of George H. W. Bush. And this is "the drunk, abusive Daddy Party" in action:


Romney: Please. Yeah—I heard a voice, please.

Continue reading "Iran: Part IX: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


Asking for Advice/National Bankruptcy: Part VIII: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part VIII: Asking for Advice/National Bankruptcy:

Here it is very clear: Mitt Romney has been listening to the wrong economists. It is not clear whether John Whitehead actually said any of the things Mitt Romney attributes to him. It is clear that--no matter who is theoretically signed up as Romney's economic advisors--nobody who actually understands what a liquidity trap is at all had been let in to brief him on the Federal Reserve, on why it was doing what it was doing, on the sources of demand for Treasury debt, or on the difference between the short-run fiscal situation (in which austerity was unhelpful) and the long-run (in which intertemporal budget balance is essential) in a time of secularly low interest rates.

The wall of the fact-free bubble was very thick indeed in the Republican Party in 2012. And it has only grown thicker since:


Romney: With that introduction, I'm going to turn to you for counsel, advice, or questions. Policy questions. Wanna talk about tax policy? Or political questions? How I win? Please.

Continue reading "Asking for Advice/National Bankruptcy: Part VIII: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


Late October 2012: Bill Galston Wanted the Obama Administration to Nuke the Recovery: Looking Back at the Internet Past

Bill Galston Wanted the Obama Administration to Nuke the Recovery: Looking Back at the Internet Past: Three years ago, in late 2009, Bill Galson was telling Obama to anticipatorily adopt the austerity policies of Cameron-Osborne-Clegg that have been so disastrous for Britain. It is remarkable:

Continue reading "Late October 2012: Bill Galston Wanted the Obama Administration to Nuke the Recovery: Looking Back at the Internet Past" »


It is starting to look like the stab-in-the-back legend that Drudge, Breitbart, Hannity, O'Reilly, Ingraham, Coulter, and company are already starting to propagate to explain Trump's (likely) loss will be primarily directed at Paul Ryan and company, and not at Democrats or minorities. The focus, so far at least, looks to be on Republicans who betrayed Trump, rather than--as Mitt Romney claimed after 2012--on Democrats who got minorities to vote for them by promising them "free stuff" (Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Trump Hell):

Oliver Darcy and Pamela Engel: Trump's effect on the conservative media: "'There is no autopsy this year that does not include dealing with the right-wing media', Sykes said. 'There is none'...

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Late October 2012: John Podhoretz Badly Needs Some Better Friends than Fred Barnes...

: John Podhoretz Badly Needs Some Better Friends than Fred Barnes...: Watch Fred Barnes snooker John Podhoretz in real time...

And then watch Podhoretz get angry at those of us who point out to him that Barnes has snookered him https://twitter.com/jpodhoretz:

John Podhoretz @jpodhoretz: Correcting earlier tweet: Battleground poll Romney 52-47. In response, Nate Silver raises Obama victory likelihood to 99 44/100 % pure

John Podhoretz @jpodhoretz: link to [Fred Barnes] Battleground Poll story: http://www.weeklystandard.com/new-poll-projects-romney-52-obama-47/article/658066

But Fred Barnes was lying to his audience--including John.

Continue reading "Late October 2012: John Podhoretz Badly Needs Some Better Friends than Fred Barnes..." »


Late October 2012: The Unarmed Dylan Byers of the Politico Engages Nate Silver in a Battle of Wits on Twitter!

Dylan Byers of the Politico Is Back! And Tweeting! And Meat's Back on the Menu, Boys!: Nate Silver Really Is a National Treasure Weblogging:

Dylan Byers @DylanByers: Honest Q: People are aware that RCP poll aggregate also predicted 49 of 50 states in 2008 & also missed Indiana, right?

Nate Silver @fivethirtyeight: .@DylanByers: We have a lot of readers because we use data to cut through the drivel that you obsess over. Not because we make predictions.

BGrueskin @BGrueskin: It's hardly a fair fight when @fivethirtyeight takes on @DylanByers

J. Bradford DeLong @delong: @DylanByers Honest Q: Are you really unaware that RCP's Obama up by 2.4% in Ohio right now is the same reality as Silver's 75% Obama chance?

Dylan Byers @DylanByers: @delong that was exactly my point, brad

J. Bradford DeLong @delong: @DylanByers that not your point. Your point was coffee-drinking NPR types would be shocked to learn that many think Silver highly overrated

Continue reading "Late October 2012: The Unarmed Dylan Byers of the Politico Engages Nate Silver in a Battle of Wits on Twitter!" »


Late October 2012: Dan Drezner Accidently Reads Niall Ferguson

Dan Drezner: Does the international affairs community need some Razzies?: "I made the mistake of clicking....

An alternative surprise... I have long expected the president to pull if he finds himself slipping behind in the polls. With a single phone call to Jerusalem, he can end all talk of his being Jimmy Carter to Mitt Romney’s Reagan: by supporting an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities...

A few things: (1) Here’s a pro tip:  if your foreign affairs observations represent a reprise of wacky Donald Trump musings, maybe it’s best to take your ball and go home.

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Hoisted from Late October 2012: The Half-Month of MittMentum

Late October, 2012: The Half-Month of MittMentum: Fox News and all its friends claiming Romney was way ahead if the polls were properly unskewed, the New York Times, Washington Post, major networks, and all the rest of the MSM claiming it was a toss-up because of "MittMentum". Plus the War on Nate Silver for, you know, actually counting up what people who had been asked how they would vote had said:

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For the Weekend...

Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys: There's no one as Irish as Barack OBama:

We all remember that Donald Trump got his start in American politics as an unhinged loon ranting that Barack O'Bama was not really one of us. I would not say he has only descended since--there is no possible descent. But this is what the Republican primary electorate wants, and this is what the Republican political establishment supports.

We will not forget...


Americans as Lucky: Part V: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part V: Americans as Lucky:

Having (falsely) established that he is as much of a pull-himself-up-by-his-own-bootstraps I-was-raised-with-good-values everything-I-have-I-earned-the-old-fashioned-way-by-hard-work kind of guy, Romney then does something that makes me like him. He pivots to making the very true point that all Americans should be very grateful for the opportunities that this great country offers us all.

Continue reading "Americans as Lucky: Part V: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


America as a Land of Opportunity/I Inherited Nothing: Part IV: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part IV: America as a Land of Opportunity/I Inherited Nothing:

Romney is still telling his and his wife Ann's personal and ancestral story. He seeks to present himself and his wife as links in a chain of upwardly-mobile hard-working immigrants, believing in their dreams and willing to sacrifice to take care of and assist family members. It is an inspiring--and true--story. That it was and is still (albeit to a lesser degree) possible in America is one of the things that keeps America great.

Then, however, Romney takes what I regard as an interesting rhetorical turn.

Continue reading "America as a Land of Opportunity/I Inherited Nothing: Part IV: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


Minorities Have It Easier!: Part III: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part III: Minorities Have It Easier!:

Here we see Romney push the first of the Republican hot-buttons that he is going to push with his audience this evening: that because of affirmative action and "diversity" minorities have life easy in America today, and have life undeservedly easy. It's a joke. But it's not. It's a half-joke that reveals a truth that everybody in the room believes and yet knows it is not polite to speak openly.

Continue reading "Minorities Have It Easier!: Part III: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


The Choice: Does America Stay America or Become Like "Europe"?: Part II: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search

I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part II: The Choice: Does America Stay America or Become Like "Europe"?:

As I said before, Republicans "wrong track" rhetoric tends to be much more apocalyptic--and not in a good way--than Democrats'. This has, I think, powerfully fueled the rise of Trump: "make America great again"--and the feeling that America is not in need of a course correction to become more itself and even greater, as the arc of the universe tends toward justice, but rather is no longer great and no longer itself.

Continue reading "The Choice: Does America Stay America or Become Like "Europe"?: Part II: Romney Secret 47% Video" »


Weekend Reading: Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video

Mitt Romney (2012): Secret 47% Video:

Romney: ...And I guess everybody here is a dignitary, and I appreciate your help. And by the way, I am serious about the food. Bring that... clear the place, but Hilary has to eat her beets... [Audience laughs.]

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I wish Paul Krugman wouldn't say "white working class" here. It's not so much white as southern and rural. And it's not so much working class--it's people who hoped to wind up higher in the income distribution than they have (Live from American's Not-Better Self)

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Paul Krugman: On Twitter: "Terrific piece by Mike Konczal...

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Weekend Reading: Matthew Yglesias: The Best Book on the Wild 2016 Campaign: Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels: Democracy for Realists

Democracy for Realists Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government Princeton Studies in Political Behavior Christopher H Achen Larry M Bartels 9780691169446 Amazon com Books

Matthew Yglesias: The Best Book on the Wild 2016 Campaign: "The best--and in some ways, most disturbing--account... comes from a recent work of political science that doesn’t mention Clinton or Donald Trump... Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels... Democracy for Realists...

...based on years of scholarship they’ve done on the ugly realities of how American voting behavior really works. It sheds crucial light on a question that liberals have been banging their heads over for months — why on earth would anyone vote for Donald Trump? Their analysis is both troubling and important: Throughout history, people in general have cast their votes for no particularly good reason at all, so there’s no reason to expect Trump supporters to be any different.

Continue reading "Weekend Reading: Matthew Yglesias: The Best Book on the Wild 2016 Campaign: Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels: Democracy for Realists" »


This is intolerable   Stop this madness Michelle Obama rallies women against Trump The Washington Post

https://www.c-span.org/video/?416885-1/michelle-obama-speaks-latest-allegations-donald-trump

Live from America's Better Fraction: Michelle Obama: "Remember this: When they go low, we go..." AUDIENCE: "High!" "Yes, we do.": "My goodness! You guys are fired up!...

...Well, let me just say hello everyone. I am so thrilled to be here with you all today in New Hampshire. This is like home to me, and this day — thank you for a beautiful fall day. You just ordered this day up for me, didn't you? It's great to be here.

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Unshackled! (Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Trump Hell)

Kevin Drum: [Donald Trump Finally Tells Us What He Really Thinks | Mother Jones][]: "Donald Trump's latest speech... is an absolutely spectacular—and chilling—rant that paints a paranoid picture...

...of the world hardly seen since The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was published. Everyone is out to get him. The Clintons, the press, conniving women, Wall Street, Washington DC, global special interests, corporations, Barack Obama, illegal immigrants—you name it, they're out to destroy our great nation:

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Weekend Reading: Ted Cruz: The Real Story

Sad Ted Cruz Phone Banking For Donald Trump Is The Meme Of The Campaign Huffington Post

As Josh Barro likes to say: "Trump only takes your dignity if you voluntarily give it to him..."

I do not like Ted Cruz. I don't like anybody who ever found Donald Trump "refreshing". I don't like people who have expressed sympathy for Ted Cruz. I do not like his negotiating strategy. I am disappointed that somehow his Republican colleagues failed to managed to convince Ted Cruz that the negotiating strategy of 'we will blow up the country unless you change the laws in ways we like' is a losing strategy in a country in which it is considered a bad thing to give in to blackmail. I always found it curious that there were Senators Cruz and Lee--and fifty Republicans in the House--who thought that their constituents cared so little about the well-being of the country that would applaud threats of ‘we will damage the country unless you change the laws in ways we like’. And I thought it was remarkable that Cruz thought he would be the beneficiary of drenching America with gasoline and getting out the lighter in order to attempt to generate peak wingnut.

And for anyone who thinks Ted Cruz would in any sense have been a preferable candidate than Trump, I want you to remember this. And recognize: nobody was willing to lift their procedural little finger to give Ted Cruz any more time to blather further:

Weekend Reading: Ted Cruz: The Real Story: "Mr. President, there is a reason the American people are fed up with Washington...

Continue reading "Weekend Reading: Ted Cruz: The Real Story" »


3 Twitter

Comment of the Day: Question for Trumpists: Okay. I take it that you are sure that Trump didn't mean it about the sexual assault as an everyday thing--that he wasn't really boasting about being an Arnold Schwarzenegger whom you would not get into an elevator with. I take it that you are confident that he was just winding up Billy Bush in order to make him feel small just because that was fun.

So why are you so sure that Trump is not doing the same thing to you--winding you up to make you feel small just because he finds it fun?

Or, if you are not sure that that is not what he is doing, why are you taking it?

There does seem to be a strong difference in reactions among white men of my acquaintance between those who are relatively secure in their lives--whose reaction to Trump is "what is this BS!?"--and those who are not--who seem to take Trump as the leader they have been looking for to tell them what to do in large part because he makes them feel smaller and more like, as he calls them, losers:

Altoid: Pussy Grabs Back: "'Nobody respects women more than me'--Glenn Beck made it his laugh line of the morning...

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Weekend Reading: Barack Obama on 5 Days That Shaped His Presidency

Barack Obama: 5 Days That Shaped My Presidency:

Barack Obama shares with Jonathan Chait a very early draft of his memoirs.

Chait: Let’s start with the time in 2010 when Mitch McConnell publicly says that his No. 1 goal is to make you a one-term president. How did that comment strike you? Was it news?

Obama: By that point it was pretty apparent by his actions that it was already his No. 1 goal. He validated what I think most of this town knew. When I came into office, my working assumption was that because we were in crisis, and the crisis had begun on the Republicans’ watch, that there would be a window in which they would feel obliged to cooperate on a common effort to dig us out of this massive hole.

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Weekend Reading: RIck Perlstein: Diverse and Perverse: RNC 2016

Rick Perlstein: Diverse and Perverse: RNC 2016: The Coalition that Trump Built:

Welcome to the House of Trump: The convention began with a prayer for God to bless his chosen political party, from a black preacher who announced it was fitting and proper to do so “because we are electing a man in Donald Trump who believes in the name of Jesus Christ.” And because “our enemy is not other Republicans, but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.” Rev. Mark Burns is a devotee of the “prosperity gospel.” At a Trump rally in March, he had said: “There is no black person, there is no yellow person, there is no red person, there’s only green, people! Green is money!”

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Republican debate preparation is going really well!

Donald J. Trump: Twitter: "The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly - I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN! #MAGA... (Live from the Trumpublicans' and the Rumpublicans' Self-Made Hell)

...So many self-righteous hypocrites. Watch their poll numbers - and elections - go down!...

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Live from the Senate's Self-Made Gehenna: Jennifer Williams: [The Obama administration's case against the 9/11 bill, explained for Congress (and you)][]:

The Senate on Wednesday voted 97-1 to override President Obama's veto of... JASTA, that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for its alleged financial support of al-Qaeda. And then things got weird. Almost immediately after the vote, 28 senators who had just voted for the bill sent a letter to the bill's Senate sponsors, Republican John Cornyn of Texas and Democrat Charles Schumer of New York, saying they were concerned about the "potential unintended consequences that may result from this legislation for the national security and foreign policy of the United States"....

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Must-Read: Since Dick Schmalensee left the GHWB Council of Economic Advisers, it has been nearly impossible to get any Republicans on board for a serious push to do smart pro-growth regulatory reform--patents, copyrights, occupational licensing, land-use NIMBYism. Instead, Republicans' ideas of regulatory "reform" have been either a broad-brush approach that on net does more harm than good, or have been positively focused like a laser on getting rid of regulations with strong positive benefit-cost ratios: enabling consumer fraud, the freedom to pollute, and the manufacture of financial-sector toxic assets of one sort or another have been at the core of the Republican regulatory reform agenda. That and more tax cuts for the rich.

We get that powerful monied groups in the Republican coalition seek the freedoms to pollute, to manufacture toxic financial assets, and to engage in consumer fraud. But why have so many right-leaning economists been willing to enable them, and why have their been so few voices on the other side pushing for real pro-growth regulatory reform? Why hasn't Dick Schmalensee the Lord God King of Republican economists is somewhat the way Henry Aaron and Charlie Schultze have been of Democrats? There was a moment when Dick would say that Doug Holtz-Eakin would do the job... but simply no...

Paul Krugman comments on the Economists for Trump.

Paul Krugman: The Curious Confidence of the Charlatans and Cranks:

Notable... [is] the absence of many usually reliable Republican hired guns economists. But they do have a Nobelist, Eugene Fama, at the top...

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Economists for Trump!

2016 09 21 Economists for Trump pages

They are the usual suspects--people who have been 100% wrong since at least 2007, and yet lack any intellectual curiosity to try to rethink their view of the world and so understand why things have developed differently than they had thought they would: Eugene Fama in the lead, with June O'Neill, Richard Vedder, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, David Malpass, James Miller III, Steve Moore, and a half-dozen or so others. At least they are thin on the ground this morning...

The interesting thing is that they don't dare attempt to get signatures for an "Economists for Trump" letter. All they dare do is try for an "Economists Concerned by Hillary Clinton's Economic Agenda" letter. (And, of course, they do not have a parallel "Economists Concerned by Donald Trump's Economic Agenda" letter...

Curiously enough, only three of the signatories on the infamous "Bernanke is debasing the dollar!" letter of 2010 have signed up: Calomiris, Holtz-Eakin, and Malpass.

The other living signatories--Asness, Boskin, Bove, Chanos, Cogan, Ferguson, Gelinas, Grant, Hassett, Kristol, Senor, Shlaes, Singer, Taylor, Wallison, Wood--are missing in action. Don't think I've seen any of them on Team #I'mWithHer, though...


Ed Kilgore Smackdown of Michael Barone: The Biggest Obama-Hating Hack in the World: Hoisted from a Year Ago/Late Monday Smackdown:

I must say the Michael Barone is the biggest Obama-hating hack in the world:

Ed Kilgore: The Ultimate “Blame Obama” Column by Ed Kilgore):

Michael Barone is a colossal hack... but not a big conservative ideologue...

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Bullshit Mountain: Hoisted from 2012

*Duncan Black: Bullshit Mountain:

Good Daily Show segment. I like the inclusion of Craig T. Nelson saying, "I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No." Because I think that quote really gets to the true core of bullshit mountain...

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Live from Capitol Hill: Martin doesn't sharpen this enough. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and Ted Cruz--and JEB! Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and company too--made a decision to treat Barack Obama not like a President who had adopted John McCain's global warming plan and Mitt Romney's health care reform plan, but as an alien enemy of America who had captured Washington. And they were all too stupid to recognize that the longer time went on with them saying this and Obama still sitting in the White House, the more they became, in the eyes of their own base, the Washington they were whipping up sentiment against:

Martin Longman: You Break It, You Own It:

You might want to take out the tiniest violin in the world to play for the sad, sad Trump-supporting Washington staffers and consultants who are getting shunned by their peers....

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A Gift That Keeps on Giving: Invictus on Niall Ferguson from Four Years Ago

Invictus (2012): Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Going Viral?:

I had barely finished reading Niall Ferguson’s takedown of President Obama when a flood of  takedowns of Mr. Ferguson started hitting the web. This post, then, will not be about his Newsweek piece, but instead about his recent Bloomberg TV interview with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen. And, in particular, one very specific part of that interview where Ferguson makes what is well beyond what I could even charitably refer to as a rookie mistake.

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