I went to the doctor and guess what he told me, guess what he told me

I’ve been struggling to understand Carsonmentum….now I think maybe it’s this:

For those who aren’t on the far right, the dog-whistle references Carson made in the debate to Hillary Clinton following the “Alinksy model” and “taking advantage of the useful idiots” might seem like gibberish, for instance, but they are part of a familiar litany on the hard right, where Obama and the Clintons are seen as thinly disguised socialist revolutionaries.

Here’s one of the things I would do if I was running for president in the Republican primary: hire some staff to hang around the comments section of Free Republic, find whatever buzzwords the wingers are using today, and then pepper my speeches with these buzzwords. No one beyond the lunatic fringe would know what I was talking about, but the lunatic proportion of the Republican electorate would lap it up, and that would probably be enough to push me to the top of the polls.






209 replies
  1. 1
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    He said “girl you better try to have fun
    No matter what you do”
    But he’s a fool

  2. 2
    Doug! says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Great song, right?

  3. 3
    boatboy_srq says:

    “… but he’s a fool…”

    ETA: Germy Shoemangler beat me to it.

  4. 4
    Skippy-san says:

    Don’t forget Brietbart or the worthless douchebags that read Powerline.

  5. 5
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Doug!: There’s one chord in there that hits me every time.

    If I could read music I could tell you what chord it is.

    Who Is Ben Carson?

  6. 6
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    When he was in ninth grade, after a friend teased him, he pulled out a knife and thrust it at the friend’s stomach. The boy could have died; Carson could have gone to jail. Instead, the blade hit his friend’s belt buckle and broke. Carson ran home, locked himself in the bathroom with the Book of Proverbs, and prayed to God to take away his temper. He says that he walked out a different person.

    Good thing there was no Zero-Tolerance, School-To-Prison Complex in those days.

  7. 7
    Cluttered Mind says:

    So what you’re saying is that the GOP primary has turned into a contest between Trump who is openly appealing to the ugliest instincts of the GOP base and Carson who is literally scraping the bottom of the crazy barrel. So it’s a contest between insane right and even more insane right. The top two GOP candidates in the polls, ladies and gents.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cluttered Mind: Give the people what they want.

  9. 9
    kc says:

    Obama and the Clintons are seen as thinly disguised socialist revolutionaries.

    In my DREAMS.

  10. 10
    Belafon says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: At least he didn’t take a clock to school.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Now a days, the kids are more deserving of jail, than they are a second chance.

  12. 12
    boatboy_srq says:

    Funny thing is, you’d expect that any “advantage taken” of the “useful idiots” would be done by Carson and his ilk. Aren’t they the same ones that squalled about FEMA camps, black helicopters, Jade Helm and all sorts of other nefarious misdeeds originating in Washington or Geneva expressly to oppress Good Righteous Xtian Hetero Caucasian Real Ahmurrcans™?

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    Benmentum, maybe.

    It seems to me, the Republican base likes Carson and Trump because they’re obvious amateurs — they don’t know their facts, they offer nonsensical policies, and they don’t present themselves like professional politicians. This may be at least part of why the old pros, the current and former governors and senators, are polling so poorly this cycle. The base’s disaffection is with the party’s office seeking/holding class.

  14. 14
    dedc79 says:

    If we’re talking dog-whistles, hard to ignore that Alinsky was born in the URBAN locale of Chicago to RUSSIAN JEWISH parents and became a pretty vocal AGNOSTIC.

    He hits the nationalist, paranoid right wing’s trifecta of fear.

  15. 15
    Cervantes says:

    @dedc79:

    He hits the nationalist, paranoid right wing’s trifecta of fear.

    And fear him they should, though not for the reasons you listed!

  16. 16
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Well, Carson and Trump are hardly alone among Republicans in not knowing their facts and offering nonsensical policies.

  17. 17
    Mike in NC says:

    Turned on MSNBC for just a minute and Tweety was bloviating about the GOP debate tonight. He’ll need to be heavily sedated.

  18. 18
    NCSteve says:

    Doug? Confused, perhaps, by the way things work on our side of the right wing bullshit bubble alternate universe, you seem to be making the mistake of believing these things burble up from the depths of the fever swamp and then float up into the wider right wing meme-space. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Right wing memes are a more or less coordinated and cooperative invention of a relative handful of Republican opinion leaders and messaging people–the dark PR firms, Roger Ailes, Limbaugh, etc. and distributed each week through Hate Radio, the blogs and Fox. There’s a reason all the right wing trolls on left wing sites all show up saying the exact same things the in a given week.

    Left wing durp is kind of a cooperative project, almost like a folk art. The magic public option that was going to be a government run insurance plan that anyone could opt in to at any time for any reason, even though such a thing was never contemplated by any of the plans considered during the campaign or ACA passage. The certitude that Obama was out to gut Social Security that held sway through most of 2010 and 2011. The vast number of fervently held beliefs about what Greenwald’s reported on Snowden’s that were neither said by Greenwald or supported by Snowden’s documents.

    In the right wing world, however, the durp a hierarchal project. Manufactured at the top and flushed down to ferment into the swamps where the crazies dwell. Sometimes, they come up with something themselves that the bosses are forced to graft into the canon–birtherism, for example. But most of it, the whole Alinskyite thing being a perfect example, is invented by the Minitrue one morning and spewed from the mouths of every good Outer Party man by the afternoon.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    However, most of the other candidates do present as professional politicians.

  20. 20
    Big ole hound says:

    @Amir Khalid: Your description of these two is right on. Unfortunately it could also be applied to the entire GOP if two words were added; guns and evangelicals.

  21. 21
    ant says:

    I think it’s weird too. Ben Carson has zero chance of being nominated.

    He’s the proverbial “black friend” of the republican party. This years Herman Cain.

    What bullshit.

    Carly Fiorina’s rise (and fall) to the top (and bottom) of the polls is also predictable and eminent here shortly for similar reasons as Ben Carson.

  22. 22
    Culture of Truth says:

    They’ve had the White House collectively for 14 years. When does this revolution happen?

  23. 23
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: good song. Wait, wrong thread.

  24. 24
    NonyNony says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It seems to me, the Republican base likes Carson and Trump because they’re obvious amateurs — they don’t know their facts, they offer nonsensical policies, and they don’t present themselves like professional politicians.

    Unlike the other clowns in the clown car, who present themselves like professional politicians who don’t know their facts and offer nonsensical policies. :)

    But yeah – I think this is a (dare I say) YOOGE part of why Trump is getting the numbers he’s getting. Carson too, though I think Carson is picking up on the not-Trump, not-Jeb phenomenon. In 2012 there was a definite “not Mitt” candidate who would rise in the polls for a piece of the cycle and then crash. I think Carson is in that role. The thing is, in ’12 there was a front-runner who was also the party apparatus’s choice. Now there’s a front runner and a party apparatus choice and they’re two different people. I think Carson is snapping up people who are disgusted by Trump, but see the rest of the pols in the race as part of the party apparatus that they despise.

    (I think there’s always a chunk of any political party that longs for an outsider to come in and clean up the mess. Republicans have it really bad right now because they’ve lost the presidency twice in a row and their Congressional victories appear to them to be meaningless in that Obama keeps getting his way. They lack any kind of real leadership, so they’re casting about for someone – anyone – who isn’t tainted by the current power structure. Democrats have this baked into the party, so it isn’t as noticeable when we do it – it’s just part of that whole “Democrats in disarray” narrative that the Dems have lugged along with them since forever…)

  25. 25
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @NCSteve:

    There’s a reason all the right wing trolls on left wing sites all show up saying the exact same things the in a given week.

    And very often it’s word-for-word. Sometimes I’ll run through google a seemingly offhand comment by a RWNJ, and see it repeated verbatim on a bunch of other blogs.

  26. 26
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Trump and Carson have different specialties. Carson is using the traditional conservative-movement fever-swamp buzzwords, with emphasis on the Christianist stuff. Trump isn’t doing that so much; he’s appealing more to general white-guy resentment of liberal busybodies by just acting like a public asshole to women and minorities as much as he can, using some surprisingly leftish-sounding lines about economic unfairness, and making vague promises about his ability to fix everything with his Art of the Deal superpowers. Between them they’ve got enough of the Republican base covered that it’s hard for anyone else to get a word in.

  27. 27
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Belafon:

    At least he didn’t take a clock to school.

    I saw that story this morning. Grotesque how that kid was treated.

  28. 28
    Culture of Truth says:

    Many on the right seem convinced that Obama “only won” because he is black, that Hillary only gets votes because she is a woman. They may think that this phenomenon will work for them if they nominate Carson and / or Fiorina.
    And if it doesn’t work, they look forward to calling Democrats who don’t vote Carson/Fiorina the ‘real racists and sexists’ for not voting on on that basis. Don’t worry, it’s not supposed to make sense.

  29. 29
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @JPL:

    Now a days, the kids are more deserving of jail, than they are a second chance.

    This attitude coincidentally materialized around the same time the for-profit prisons did.

  30. 30
    balconesfault says:

    Meanwhile, as my son put it, Trump has ascended to the top of the GOP polling because he simply blew off the “Dog Whistling” … and instead started “Dog Clapping”. He’s calling the dogs openly and loudly, and he doesn’t care who hears or knows, and the dogs love him for it.

  31. 31
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Culture of Truth: It’s the same reasoning that gave them Sarah Palin, vice-presidential candidate.

  32. 32
    bemused says:

    The far right seems to have their own language. Anyone not far right would have a difficult time keeping up with the latest dog whistles so translators would be helpful in trying to figure out what in the hell they are talking about.

  33. 33
    balconesfault says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I’m just convinced that after 30 or 40 years of conservatives telling their base just how awful career politicians are … their base is taking them seriously and are ready to vote for “anyone but the career politician”. I’m expecting to see Carly continuing to pick up momentum after this second debate as well, until she’s breaking into double digits and the “anyone but the career politician” vote in the GOP rises to the 50-70% level.

  34. 34
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: While he doesn’t mention the profit motive, Coates’ amazing new Atlantic article is apropos:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/mag.....on/403246/

    I think that to a large degree it was a counterproductive political response to a very real crime wave. But as Coates points out, there was actually a delay of more than a decade between the beginning of the crime explosion and the beginning of the prison explosion. The decision to use crime as part of the racial wedge to split apart the Democratic Party, and the Democrats’ increasingly enthusiastic attempts to respond so as never to be out-criminalled again (there’s a quote in there from Bill Clinton that sounds amazingly like Wallace’s famous line), was probably a lot of it.

  35. 35
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    However, most of the other candidates do present as professional politicians.

    I agree — and you may also be right that Trump and Carson, in refusing to even aspire to reason, thereby increase their appeal. Their voters may be too tired to listen to explanations, even lousy ones.

    In short, you may be right about all of it.

  36. 36
    Culture of Truth says:

    Truth is, GOP politicians, especially at the federal level, take much of the base for granted and treat them like idiots. They had the White House for 8 years and the right-wing nuts got big spending, tax cuts for the rich, corporate giveaways and a useless war based on lies. I have friends who are Republicans who vote GOP reliably, because they hate Democrats and liberals, but this is not what they want

  37. 37
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @NCSteve:

    Left wing durp is kind of a cooperative project, almost like a folk art.

    Beautiful…

  38. 38
    japa21 says:

    Next time Carson brings up the “Alinsky model” I hope someone asks him to define, precisely, what the Alinsky model” is.
    I would be willing to put money on his not being able to explain what it really is and instead mouth something that may sound good to the base, but is nowhere near what it really is.

    Also, I was thinking what prompted Trump to come out so strongly against CEO pay recently, then realized it was just after Fiorina was announced as being in this debate. I can imagine him saying something like, ” Yeah CEO’s get paid too much. Heck, they can even drive a company into the ground, get fired and still be rewarded with millions of dollars just to get rid of them. Right, Carly?”

    Of course, that may be a little more gentle than what Trump would really say.

  39. 39

    where Obama and the Clintons are seen as thinly disguised socialist revolutionaries.

    Fuck, I really wish they were. This country could use a lot less unfettered capitalism and obsession with greed and consumption.

  40. 40
    Belafon says:

    @Comrade Dread: The CFPB is a start, for sure.

  41. 41

    I had never even heard of Alinsky till Obama ran in 2008. It still don’t know why he is supposed to be scary.

  42. 42
    benw says:

    My neighbors just stuck a shiny, new CARSON 2016 bumper sticker on their car. I kind of want to ask them about it, but it might be easier to just put out a FEEL THE BERN lawn sign.

  43. 43
    Doug! says:

    @NCSteve:

    I think right-wing derp used to be top-down but it’s evolved into something less predictable.

  44. 44
    Anoniminous says:

    familiar litany on the hard right, where Obama and the Clintons are seen as thinly disguised socialist revolutionaries.

    Good for Bernie, tho.

    Right: HE’S A SOCIALIST!

    Sanders: Yup. So?

    Right: crickets

  45. 45

    DougJ@top
    Are you going to live blog the debate?

  46. 46
    Belafon says:

    I can’t copy twitter links at work, but it looks like a former astronaut is paying to send the clock kid to NASA. One of the guys there wants to show him where the rovers are controlled.

  47. 47
    Cervantes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It still don’t know why he is supposed to be scary.

    Read his books.

    Here are two: Reveille for Radicals (1946) and Rules for Radicals (1971).

    To get a sense of his legacy: Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice.

  48. 48
    SatanicPanic says:

    @ant: I don’t know, they might really like him. Even the most racist people I know (everyone short of face-tattooed skinheads) know a few people of color they consider “the good ones”. I’m not sure it’s a good idea for liberals to assume these people are always tokens

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: That would be awesome!

    BTW there is a https://twitter.com/IStandWithAhmed
    One tweet mentioned that it’s okay for a student to bring a gun on college campuses but you can’t bring a clock to show a high school teacher.

  50. 50
    Belafon says:

    @Anoniminous: There’s going to be so much noice from the right. I can tell you how to write a Republican ad against Sanders: Put his face in front of a waving red flag.

    And Cacti showed a poll yesterday that showed that half of all Americans would vote against a Socialist. He may be able to dent it, but it’s going to be a huge hill to climb. Even atheist did better than Socialist.

  51. 51
    Barry says:

    @Culture of Truth: “They had the White House for 8 years and the right-wing nuts got big spending, tax cuts for the rich, corporate giveaways and a useless war based on lies. I have friends who are Republicans who vote GOP reliably, because they hate Democrats and liberals, but this is not what they want”

    Bull. They loved the wars, the spending, the f*cking everything up.

    Right until it bit them in the @ss, and they lost Congress and the Presidency.

    Then and only then did we see right-wingers protesting.

  52. 52
    Danack says:

    Wow. The polls…..looking at an aggregate result at realclearpolitics, for the guys who are completely unelectable it has:

    Trump 30.5
    Carson 20
    Cruz 6.8
    Huckabee 3.3

    aka 60% of people are saying that they would nominate someone who would someone who would suppress massively the down-ballot Republican vote.

    This is just nuts, and unless either Jeb! or Rubio can actually start gaining support from people who are rejecting the GOP establishment, this isn’t going to end for at least 6 months.

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    Is this the best the New Republic can do? This is lame, stupid shit.

    Dog whistles?

    The same goes for Carson’s argument that the tax code should be based on the Biblical ideal of tithing (conflating religion with secular policy making)

    There ain’t nothing particularly extreme of covert about this. This is just garden variety simplistic Xtian fundamentalism. The notion that all you need to know and all you need to do can be found in and based on the Bible.

    When you become a fancy pants intellectual conservative, this becomes an appeal for a flat tax.

    Carson presents himself as a reassuring model of racial reconciliation, a black man who eschews bitterness and can succeed without raising his voice about racism.

    Now here’s a dog whistle. Jeet Heer didn’t have the guts to call Carson an Uncle Tom.

    Carson is a paradoxical figure: a genial fanatic who combines extreme ideas with a comforting, trust-inducing persona. On a personal level he’s much more winning that Trump, but in policy terms no less frightening.

    Carson only frightens certain liberals of the professional pearl-clutching class. He is as dumb as Trump about political matters, but his Jesus-centric world view and platform is nothing new. Fundamentalists have always thought this way, and have always demanded this stuff from their candidates. In the past, they thought that they had found it in Dubya.

    The only difference is that they are no longer satisfied to accept the word of old-style GOP politicians (like a Perry or a Santorum) that they will not compromise faith for politics. And these true believers have far more in common with the anti-government Trump lovers than the writer of the NR piece seems willing to acknowledge.

  54. 54
    NonyNony says:

    @Barry:

    That’s when you saw them protesting in public. Because Republican voters are fricking machines when it comes to keeping their criticism of “their guys” under wraps when they control the government.

    But they were very upset that they got about 4 years of total Republican domination of the government and yet abortion is still legal, medicaid and food stamps still exist for non-white people, and prayer didn’t get back into public school classrooms.

    The complaining started around 2006 – when the Dems took the Congress and the window for the reforms they were demanding disappeared. That was when the tide really started to turn against the GOP “leadership” (such as it is).

  55. 55

    Why does Ben Carson always look like he has taken a heavy dose of sleep inducing pain killers?

  56. 56
    NonyNony says:

    @Danack:

    aka 60% of people are saying that they would nominate someone who would someone who would suppress massively the down-ballot Republican vote.

    I dunno – at this point I’m starting to think that Jeb! is the one who would massively suppress the down-ballot Republican vote. Trump might not end up having coat-tails that help down ballot candidates, but Jeb! might just have negative coat-tails.

  57. 57
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Danack: The head-to-head polls vs. Democrats also indicate, though, that Trump is actually the most electable Republican, not the least.

  58. 58
    SenyorDave says:

    @balconesfault: I’m expecting to see Carly continuing to pick up momentum after this second debate as well, until she’s breaking into double digits and the “anyone but the career politician” vote in the GOP rises to the 50-70% level.

    I think you’re right about Fiorona. She pretty much destroyed HP, but she’s ten times smarter than almost all the other clowns, and just as heartless, so she should rise in the polls. Actually, she truly comes off as nasty, the type that would revel in hurting the poor, and that has to help her with the base.

  59. 59

    @SenyorDave: She is quite a favorite among the folks at KLo’s corner of crazy.

  60. 60
    NonyNony says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Actually, she truly comes off as nasty, the type that would revel in hurting the poor, and that has to help her with the base.

    There’s a faction of the GOP base who has been really, really jealous of the UK for Margaret Thatcher for years.

    Fiorina is the first GOP politician I’ve seen who could credibly be considered an American version of Thatcher. She’s probably not quite as intelligent, but she’s definitely as evil.

  61. 61
    Peale says:

    @Barry: Yep. and they assume that the country must be so fucked up after 8 years of Obama (the country is “broken!”) that the voters should simply hand it back over to them again.

    Broken! Broken! But because they have never accepted responsibility for any of it – because their noses haven’t been rubbed in their cheerleading for the war and the tax cuts paid for by deficit spending, they want us to believe they won’t just do it again. This time, they’ll show them Syrians who’s boss and it won’t matter how much it costs. Those Iranians will learn their lesson if only we had someone in charge who’d be willing to do something about them…who’d build us that 600 ship navy.

  62. 62

    Have you watched Carson on FOX, Doug? This has nothing to do with code words. Carson regularly goes on national television and says that his being a successful neurosurgeon is proof that all other black people are lazy. The closest he comes to code wording it is ‘black culture’, and his reasoning is that welfare has taught blacks to be dependent, so we should eliminate welfare.

    Trump made open racism the topic of the primary. Carson is the ‘even a black guy says blacks are lazy’ candidate. The only mystery about why he’s popular is why only conservative voters seem to know what Carson’s schtick is.

  63. 63
    Anoniminous says:

    @Belafon:

    And Cacti showed a poll yesterday that showed that half of all Americans would vote against a Socialist.

    Start with 47% of voters are Republicans and the numbers begin to look better.

    Sanders is interjecting Democratic Socialism into the national conversation. And he is getting a response. This is the necessary first step.

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    Carson/Hannity 2016!

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Actually, she truly comes off as nasty, the type that would revel in hurting the poor, and that has to help her with the base.

    Her father, Nixon-appointee Joseph Tyree Sneed III, was instrumental in establishing California’s “three strikes” regime. Later he was on the panel that appointed Ken Starr to the Whitewater “investigation.”

  66. 66
    bystander says:

    @Matt McIrvin: …today.

    Nobody has opened any Trump closet in a meaningful way yet. We need to see the pic of Melania lolling around nude wrapped in a fur cost a few times.

    The other day I read that Jeb! was unleashing his “secret weapon”, his wife. All I could think was, what’s she going to do, go to Trump’s camp and smuggle out voters?

  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Many on the right seem convinced that Obama “only won” because he is black, that Hillary only gets votes because she is a woman. They may think that this phenomenon will work for them if they nominate Carson and / or Fiorina.

    Sorry, this doesn’t work. Many in the GOP loved and still love Sarah Palin.

    Carson and Fiorina’s appeal, like Trumps, arises from the idea that they are not regular politicians, and so not business as usual.

    And if it doesn’t work, they look forward to calling Democrats who don’t vote Carson/Fiorina the ‘real racists and sexists’ for not voting on on that basis.

    I don’t think that Carson or Fiorina will end up as the nominee, so I doubt that we will ever have to consider this at all.

  68. 68
    Cervantes says:

    @NonyNony:

    Fiorina is the first GOP politician I’ve seen who could credibly be considered an American version of Thatcher. She’s probably not quite as intelligent, but she’s definitely as evil.

    How is she “an American version of Thatcher”?

  69. 69
    ThresherK says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yep. Carson’s the next step of “black authenticity” to the right.
    Chief among Saint Ronald’s gifts, as others said, was his way of making many people feel good about their bigotry towards the “strapping young bucks getting T-bone steaks with welfare checks”.

    Now one third a century later, deep into the second term of an immensely popular and successful biracial Democrat’s presidency, along comes Carson, who is basically giving the right-wing permission all over again.

  70. 70
    jacy says:

    My Catholic/Republican friends, who are wonderful, reasonable, educated people (They’re friends mostly because they have kids my kids’ age) are suddenly totally enamored of Ben Carson. Just totally. They hate Jindal, because they all work in education and healthcare, but they see Carson as this answer to their prayers. The fuck? It’s mind-boggling. I literally CAN. NOT. UNDERSTAND. IT.

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Belafon: “Socialist” means “takes my hard-earned stuff and gives it away to Those People.” At least a godless atheist doesn’t want to take your stuff!

    (Full disclosure: godless atheist here. One who doesn’t want your stuff.)

  72. 72
    NonyNony says:

    @Cervantes: Note – could be credibly considered. For the right-wingers who love Thatcher. Because she’s as evil as Thatcher, and that’s what they love about her.

  73. 73
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    The reason that GOPers like Carson so much is that he says all the things they truly believe about black people, but are too chickenshit to say publicly.

    That dude really hates black folks. Another Clarence Thomas, albeit without the sordid personal history.

  74. 74
    trollhattan says:

    @jacy:
    The man does not “believe” evolution, which in any advanced nation should automatically disqualify him from office. Would he move the Department of Education to the Creation Museum?

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Sanders is interjecting Democratic Socia lism into the national conversation. And he is getting a response. This is the necessary first step.

    Sure, why not. Republicans may be stupid enough to actually vote for Trump. Maybe Democrats will actually vote for Sanders to be the nominee.

    And we’re seeing an old style honest-to-goodness social ist rise to the leadership of the Labour Party in the UK. In a sane world, people won’t have to throw around labels and ignorant accusations, and might actually try to discover a politician’s actual positions. Naw, will never happen.

  76. 76
    shortstop says:

    But all of us here get the Alinsky reference for what it is, and we’ve understood for years. I want the doctor to give me something that makes political junkie fools like us not understand wingnut code. Or maybe just a lip balm. We could call it Ignoranceisblistex.*

    *I’ll just see myself out.

  77. 77
    Hurling Dervish says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Why are places like the Washington Post and the Hill overwhelmed with rightwing comments? Do they have nothing better to do or do the Koch Bros employ a team of knuckledraggers to troll the tubes?

  78. 78
    Seanly says:

    My wife was reading off the headlines of some of Carson’s statements and it was sounded exactly like the Things-My-Racist/Idiot-Uncle-Forwards-To-Me that Wonkette is always making fun of. I don’t think that’s a good way to win the general election. I also don’t think he’ll do well in the southern primary states. Our collective racist uncles may agree with what Carson says but Trump’s ulgy rhetoric or Cruz’s constipated grimace will win their votes.

  79. 79
    Paul in KY says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Because he abuses them? Would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  80. 80
    shortstop says:

    @Seanly: Hard to say. There is a HUGE contingent of racists who don’t want to stop being racist but very much want to stop being accused of racism. They’ll eat Ben Carson up with a spoon because they think supporting him is proof against those accusations.

    Never mind that he packages himself strictly for aggrieved white folks. A distant relative of mine says he’s an “excellent leader for the black people.” To my credit, I haven’t smacked her across the face yet, but I haven’t been in the same room with her for years, either.

  81. 81
    Calouste says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    And very often it’s word-for-word. Sometimes I’ll run through google a seemingly offhand comment by a RWNJ, and see it repeated verbatim on a bunch of other blogs.

    One thing that explains that is that a large chunk of the right-wing literally believes in magic. This dawned on me when I was waiting one day in the pharmacy for my prescription, and the couple in front of me told the pharmacist how they had prayed to Jesus that their prescription would be delivered in time, and hey, there it was. FedEx, or whatever logistics company the pharmacy uses, apparently had nothing to do with that.

    So for the RWNJs, these phrases they all use are like spells, wards, curses. If they say them often enough it will diminish their opponent, or at a minimum the adherents of that opponent, hearing the phrases, will (magically) come to see the light and denounce that opponent. Of course, to people outside the RWNJ bubble, they sound like people sounds who are talking in spells, wards, and curses, like idiots muttering gibberish.

  82. 82
    Paul in KY says:

    @NonyNony: She doesn’t have Thatcher’s charisma either.

  83. 83
    Elie says:

    I tend to agree with Charles Pierce that (to paraphrase him), Trump is so thin skinned that if he swallowed a flashlight he would glow like a jack o lantern. He cited how Trump pouted when Obama ran it down to him at the correspondents dinner several years ago. No one has taken advantage of that yet and that mocking Trump would get him to sulk, erupt and look weak and vulnerable. I personally also think that would be largely true of the other egomaniac, Carson. Both Carson and Trump are narcissists and like most narcissists, never get their true vulnerability and are usually poor in responding to effective mockery. Trump especially is very mockable… it would take just one time to blow up his whole shtick… he just needs to blow it by pouting and being unable to counter with anything that really harms those making the accusations. They just need to laugh in his face and shake their heads as they go on to ignore him.

  84. 84
    gene108 says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    They had the White House for 8 years and the right-wing nuts got big spending, tax cuts for the rich, corporate giveaways and a useless war based on lies. I have friends who are Republicans who vote GOP reliably, because they hate Democrats and liberals, but this is not what they want

    I do not think wing-nuts have a clue what they want, because what they have been sold as the basis of their ideology is all a bunch of bullshit.

    They are sort of starting to realize it is bullshit, but they do not want to turn Left. Because that would be taking common cause with godless* liberals.

    * Even liberal Christians (yes they do exist) are seen as godless.

  85. 85
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @jacy: Carson hits the anti-abortion rhetoric really really hard, doesn’t he?

  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hurling Dervish: The WaPost does not moderate its comments, and it should. It does become a cesspool.

    Also suspect you do have some paid trolls and political operatives in there. I’ve noticed that the earliest comments in on a [moderated] NYTimes thread are frequently rightwing or anti-Democrat. That frequently seems like a campaign to me. The thread smooths out as more readers comment.

  87. 87
    shortstop says:

    @Elizabelle: You know, people are always accusing the other side of having paid trolls, but those are a real rarity. Loser volunteer true believers who spend all their unpaid time doing this stuff–yeah, plenty of those out there.

  88. 88
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Why are places like the Washington Post and the Hill overwhelmed with rightwing comments? Do they have nothing better to do or do the Koch Bros employ a team of knuckledraggers to troll the tubes?

    @Hurling Dervish: My local news outlets, same deal. It took me a long time to figure this out, but I did; they’re all unemployed, most of ’em retired.

    A demographic issue. The outlets love it; more comments, more clicks, more lies to get advertisers to give them monies.

  89. 89
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Belafon:

    I’d pay good money to see a poll that identified the overlap between people who would never vote for a socialist and people who are completely dependent on Social Security, Medicare and/or VA benefits for their survival.

  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    @shortstop: Yeah, agree about the not necessarily being paid.

    Much better to call them a troll with an agenda.

    Sometimes the objective is just to be so obnoxious that others flee the thread.

    So: one thing the WaPost has — which I love — is an “ignore user” feature — a pie filter. You don’t miss those pied.

  91. 91
    gene108 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    The decision to use crime as part of the racial wedge to split apart the Democratic Party, and the Democrats’ increasingly enthusiastic attempts to respond so as never to be out-criminalled again

    The crime wave started in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s and carried on unabated until the early 1990’s.

    Maybe some of the solutions have been counterproductive in the long run, but I think people were genuinely trying to find solutions to a problem that had been getting worse for more than 20 straight years, by the time Clinton came into office.

    I am willing to give 1990’s era politicians the benefit of the doubt, when trying to see what works with regards to crime reduction, because the urban crime wave had been getting out of control for so long.

    Now that crime has come down dramatically for 20 years, we do have a better understanding of what works and what does not and what needs to be scrapped from the 1990’s.

    Unfortunately it is too hard to push out what have become entrenched interests.

  92. 92
    jacy says:

    @trollhattan:

    Exactly. And these people have advanced degrees, many of them in science/medical fields. They just think he’s so sincere, and honest, and such a role model. They’re holding him up as something their kids should aspire to. It’s insanity. They pass around his book and have reading clubs. It feels like they live on a different planet.

    Part of me thinks they’re just so tired of the overt meanness of so many candidates that this is a straw they’re grasping at and trying to make him be something he just isn’t. Gah.

  93. 93
    Poopyman says:

    At the end of the Republican convention, the nominee will be Willard Mitt Romney. All the prelude is just noise.

  94. 94

    @jacy:
    Not believing in evolution is a group identifier adopted by the fundies when they turned into a movement. They turned into a movement in response to desegregation, and their movement is all white – black churches need not apply. Carson is a black person with a degree who says they’re right about everything, especially blacks being lazy. Of course they think he’s a role model.

    BUT, far more important than that, it’s wonderful to see you online! Even if the topic you’ve come back to is so sordid.

  95. 95
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Paul in KY:

    She doesn’t have Thatcher’s charisma either.

    What you call Thatcher’s charisma, I call two decades of grotesque incompetence and mismanagement on the part of Labour.

  96. 96
    jacy says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    You know, I hadn’t really thought about that in particular. (There are so many unsavory and stupid things to choose from!) But that’s probably a very valid point. Catholics here are crazy forced-birth proponents, and they get their kids involved early. My 15-year-old attends a Catholic high school (even though he’s militant agnostic) and they’re always planting white flags on the lawn and organizing marches and prayer vigils. A very small group is pro-women’s-reproductive-rights, and they are held in high suspicion, if not downright contempt. Must be soothing to have a Doctor! making them feel good about forcing their views on everybody else. Not that they need the help.

  97. 97
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Have you watched Carson on FOX, Doug? This has nothing to do with code words. Carson regularly goes on national television and says that his being a successful neurosurgeon is proof that all other black people are lazy.

    Really? When did he do this? Are there clips or links?

    One thing I ran across was this YouTube video, “Dr. Ben Carson: Stories Of African-American Inventors Can Inspire Todays Youth To Greathness”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MhP4ZgJ7J4

    Doesn’t quite support your assertion.

  98. 98
    jacy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    These are Catholics, and supposed to believe in evolution. (I know, who can explain the cognitive dissonance?)

    I’ve been around, just really quiet — life is still fun, fun, fun. (she said sarcastically) I owe you a long and rambling email in which we can discuss writerly things and the vast mysteries of life.

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    Irving PD spokesman, on allegations about racial/religious profiling: “This has blown up, I think, largely for reasons that are untrue”

    hahahahahha

  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elie: Trump’s behavior reminds me of nothing so much as the kid who always got pantsed in middle school, then got rich and has spent the rest of his life getting even.

  101. 101
    Bokonon says:

    The right wing has created an “Alinsky” bogeyman that is the funhouse mirror image of their own top-down and subversive ideologies and tactics. Such as their enthusiastic embrace of Leo Strauss’s tactics for manipulating voters and amassing and exploiting political power.

    Not to mention the Tea Party’s adoption of the tactics of a certain guy called Lenin.

  102. 102
    Paul in KY says:

    @Citizen Alan: She did have a bit of wit. Could parry well with a soundbite, etc. Labour was a bunch of nimrods also back then.

  103. 103
    ok says:

    The right in this country couldn’t do a better job of dumbing-down our political culture than if that had been their plan all along. The folks at Fox make sure half the electorate is so mis-informed and mal-informed that they drag every election down into the gutter they’re in.

  104. 104
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I have friends who are Republicans who vote GOP reliably, because they hate Democrats and liberals,…

    Out of curiosity, have you had them explain to you why they hate Democrats and liberals, and if so, what explanations did you get?

  105. 105
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I never understand when people are surprised that Republicans do stupid or venal things.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    Update on Ahmed Mohamed: no charges, but not much honesty from the authorities, either:

    Update at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday: At a press conference this morning, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing “a hoax bomb” to school — and not a clock, as Mohamed said he repeatedly told his teachers.

    But, Boyd said, “we are confident it’s not an explosive device” intended to cause “alarm.” Rather, he said, officers determined it was “a hoax bomb” and a “naive accident.”

    As a result, he said, no charges will be filed against Ahmed, and “the case is considered closed.” He also said “the reaction would have been the same regardless” of the student’s skin color.

    Irving police released a photo of the clock during the press conference.

    Police won’t call it a “clock”, but the newspaper did.

  107. 107
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: is it so ugly that you needed a giraffe filled with whipped cream?

  108. 108
    Poopyman says:

    @Elizabelle: A clock “intended to cause alarm”???

    Who knew?!?

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle:

    So it was a “hoax bomb,” but they let him go. Yeah, right. This is one of those times the internet done good.

  110. 110
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Elizabelle: The polices’ explanation doesn’t pass the Stranglove test- why would you make a “hoax bomb” and then tell everyone it’s a clock? That’s backwards and not how hoaxing works

  111. 111
  112. 112
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Poopyman: I see what you did there

  113. 113
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    a giraffe

    ? Ahh, Frank Zappa…

  114. 114
    cokane says:

    i’ll still never get the right’s obsession with Saul Alinsky, a name I’d never heard any of the socialists or anarchists that I hung out with in college ever utter.

  115. 115
    Elie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The problem for him is that he has such a high stakes shtick, there won’t be an easy landing on the exit — and there WILL be an exit. I have no idea whether he planned all along to get this deep, but he is in deep and like a shark, all the teeth in this situation make it hard to pull out… they all face to the back and will tear him up when/if he tries to “pull out”. All exits to this will be very harsh for Trump once the cracks start to show — and they will — that is just how it is… Also, this man is very overweight and just does not look well – all that puffiness around his eyes and mouth. Hope he had a check up before he waded in…. He may be under some pressure now, but he really has no idea…

    Carson was willy enough to stay low key. Whenever he has to exit, he most probably will not be as damaged, but we will see.

  116. 116
    Elizabelle says:

    @Poopyman: Well done, sir.

  117. 117
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Elie:

    all that puffiness around his eyes and mouth.

    I just assumed it was cosmetic filler. Maybe not botox… collagen.

    The spray tan, the cotton-candy hair.. he probably had some wrinkles filled in for the tee vee.

  118. 118
    Baud says:

    @cokane:

    Yeah, I first heard about him from Newt Gingrich.

  119. 119
    Belafon says:

    Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.

    — President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015

  120. 120
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Bill Moyers did a long segment on Alinsky, as I recall. The theme was “who was he, and why do they keep defaming him?” Moyers called him a good man.

  121. 121
    JPL says:

    @Belafon: Fox News will now check for granite tops in the kitchen. This is just proof that the President doesn’t respect the Police officers.

  122. 122
    Tommy says:

    @cokane: Honestly I feel I am a card carrying hippie liberal. I had never heard Saul Alinsky name until the Republicans said Obama was palling around with him. Had to Google the guy.

  123. 123
    Baud says:

    @Belafon:

    Will miss him.

  124. 124
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Belafon:
    Does President Obama (@POTUS) win the internets today?

  125. 125
    Poopyman says:

    @Baud: He’s not gone yet.

    And that is one awesome troll. Have the usual suspects gone nutso over the tweet yet?

  126. 126
    rdldot says:

    Looking forward to tonight’s festivities. The only thing Carson did in the last one was repeat ‘political correctness’ and that’s enough for some people. I knew he was going places after that.

  127. 127
    Tommy says:

    @Bill Arnold: You know the next time Republicans tell us how they will protect us we might mention this story to them. I mean do they wet their beds daily?

  128. 128
    Baud says:

    @Poopyman:

    He’s not gone yet.

    Let us savor.

    I hope it comes up in tonight’s debate.

  129. 129
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud:

    I hope it comes up in tonight’s debate.

    Me too.

  130. 130
    Jamey says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: What the fuck is it with Republicans/Wingers that they ALL need to have a “superhero origins” backstory? (bka, “911 Changed Everything.”)

  131. 131
    Elizabelle says:

    Do you think we are nearing peak wingnut?

    I wonder if we approach. The Christianist county clerk in Kentucky got slapped back by the courts and didn’t find much love in the greater community.

    Now most of the [thinking] country has Ahmed Mohamed’s back, and he’s got invites to the White House, to tour Google, all sorts of opportunity.

    The larger world is not what the wingnuts anticipated, and their presidential candidates are loons. To a person. (OK, Kasich’s not a loon. But he ain’t a moderate either.)

  132. 132
    Tommy says:

    @Baud: Oh I bet it will. I go to bed most nights with CNN on when they go to their international feed. But of course this means I wake up to CNN, which I can’t stand. Just a few minutes here or there and all their debate promos I get they are going to troll all these folks. Try to make it not a debate but a three ring circus. Maybe that is what they deserve but how giddy CNN seems to be about it is kind of sad IMHO.

  133. 133
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Peak wingnut requires the rest of us to vote. So no.

  134. 134
    Tommy says:

    @Elizabelle: Not yet. I have hope when I come here, but then I go out into the real world or talk with family members, friends, and clients and realize we are not even close. In my head I think we have gotten to peak wingnut and then they show another level. I feel like we have a few more levels we’ve not witnessed yet.

  135. 135
    Calouste says:

    New NH poll today: Trump 22 Carson 18 Fiorina 11 Kasich & Bush 9 Cruz 5 Paul 4 everyone else 2 or less.

    Carlymentum is starting.

  136. 136
    Elie says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    No way, man… no way that is collagen alone on his face… No one puts bags under their eyes. That is circumorbital fat and water…At his age he is laying down fat around vital organs and in his arteries…and that big gut. Other than Christie, a younger man, none of the other candidates are that overweight and outashape. He has never had this much attention (which he loves), but that will come with more and more scrutiny and judgment — something he does NOT like and is not used to any accountability.

    We will see. My gut says something weird is going to happen to him…but its been wrong before, so …

  137. 137
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Except that Trump was always rich and went to a private school that had his father on the Board of Trustees. And then they sent him to a military school to get him to behave, which makes it sound like he might have been the one doing the pantsing.

  138. 138
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    he might have been the one doing the pantsing.

    Or directing the pantsing.

    @Elie: You’re probably right. He’s probably a steak and potatoes man, with a few sprinkles of vegetables the waiters take away uneaten.

    But the super wealthy usually live a few decades longer than the rest of us.

  139. 139
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Jamey: good point. They’re all “I used to be like… you… but then I [fill in the blank]”

  140. 140
    Doug R says:

    @NCSteve: Don’t forget all the TPP hatred which seems to come from the flip side of the Tea party. ..I got mine, screw the rest of the world.

  141. 141
    Elie says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    the super wealthy usually live a few decades longer than the rest of us

    Yeah, but that is on average in large population statistics. Individual experience may vary, as they say. Sorry, I don’t think its a good thing for an overweight outashape guy in his 60s to try to run the hardest race on this planet — the Presidency of the United States. Its extremely stressful and very long marathon — for which he has had no prep or previous experience. As I said, we will see… Did I mention risk for stroke? The medical literature talks about rage emotions before cardiac and neurologic events such as heart attack and stroke. Most candidates try to tune up before they run. Jeb! lost 20-30 lbs. All of em look like they at least try to monitor their health. Why? Cause they know this is really hard on you…

  142. 142
    Elizabelle says:

    @Tommy: Aargh. Wish it was a fever that will break, sooner rather than later.

  143. 143
    Tommy says:

    @Calouste: I once had Lucent as a client. Fiorina was running things to a large extent before she went to HP (also a client). I never met with her but on many conference calls with her. The lady could not think her way out of a wet paper bag.

    Now Lucent was AT&T’s equipment division, spun off. Their tagline was “we make the things that make communications work.” That was very accurate. They made the things that the RBOCs (like Verizon) used to make phones work. They were very, very good at it.

    I sat in on a conference call with Fiorina. 1996. She said she thought the Internet was a fad and went on to say how she was directing her division to move away from product development and R&D on that front. Let me say that again, she felt the Internet was a fad.

    I will admit in 1996 I didn’t see what the Internet would become. But I wasn’t the SVP of a billion dollar company with unlimited resources at my fingertips. Lucent should have been a rock star. They were not and Cisco ate their lunch and laughed all the way to the bank (and many great stock options).

  144. 144
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Belafon: Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.
    — President Obama

    Wow. That’s the best thing I’ve seen in a while.

    @Calouste: New NH poll today: Trump 22 Carson 18 Fiorina 11 Kasich & Bush 9 Cruz 5 Paul 4 everyone else 2 or less.
    Obviously, this means Hillary should just get out.

  145. 145
    Elizabelle says:

    @Tommy: NHK or the Beeb referred to Fiorina as a “successful business executive” a few days ago, as a quick introduction.

    Um, not exactly …

  146. 146
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Elie:

    The medical literature talks about rage emotions before cardiac and neurologic events such as heart attack and stroke.

    You’re right. He’s not a lean specimen. I haven’t read any of his books so I don’t know if he mentions his eating habits or lifestyle, but he isn’t someone I can imagine going for a jog.

    Karl Rove is probably googling “heart attack/stroke and stress” as we speak.

  147. 147
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Elizabelle: Well, she was successful. Her companies, not so much.

    These people see themselves as free agents. She walked away with a fortune. Therefore she is a success. The worst crime (to them) is ending up with nothing.

  148. 148
    PurpleGirl says:

    Looks like a great thread but I gotta leave for a few hours.

    Yeah, Alinsky was a social revolutionary but he wanted people to be able to effect change and control their situations.

    Some time back, when I was attending a Lutheran church, I took the community organizing training from the Industrial Areas Foundation — Alinsky’s legacy group. The Queens group didn’t get a lot done, but the Brooklyn group did a lot to get affordable housing.

  149. 149
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Even Nixon gets it

    Richard M. Nixon ‏@ dick_nixon 9m9 minutes ago
    .@ IStandWithAhmed @ anildash Mrs. Nixon and I are very proud of you. Rest assured you have our full support.

    and

    Richard M. Nixon ‏@ dick_nixon 4m4 minutes ago
    .@ IStandWithAhmed Though I would advise you not to meet Zuckerberg.

  150. 150
    Tommy says:

    @Elizabelle: Here is a question I’d ask her. Tell me about your former employer, no not HP but Lucent. At the time you were there it was the most owned stock in the country. Almost $300 a share. A few years after you left things got so bad the stock was trading for a few dollars and eventually they were sold to a French telecom company for pennies on the dollar.

    See I get both the French and slamming her business skills in the same question :).

  151. 151
    Julie says:

    @Tommy: The main guy that Obama supposedly “palled around with” was Bill Ayers. Alinsky died in 1972 when Obama was only 11 years old. But hey, maybe Obama palled around with him too.

  152. 152
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Tommy: I don’t understand her calling the internet a fad.

    I remember reading articles in the 1980s about how in a decade or so we’d all be doing our shopping and communicating with our home computers. It wasn’t science fiction.

    And these were articles in mass-market magazines, not obscure tech journals.

  153. 153
    Calouste says:

    @Tommy: The following doesn’t get mentioned very often, but it should:

    Fiorina left Lucent for HP in July 1999. In January 2000, when presenting the numbers for the first full quarter after Fiorina left

    Lucent made the first of a string of announcements that it had missed its quarterly estimates, as CEO Rich McGinn grimly announced that Lucent had run into special problems during that quarter—including disruptions in its optical networking business—and reported flat revenues and a big drop in profits. That caused the stock to plunge by 28%, shaving $64 billion off of the company’s market capitalization. When it was later revealed that it had used dubious accounting and sales practices to generate some of its earlier quarterly numbers, Lucent fell from grace.

    Quote from Wikipedia. The earlier quarterly numbers were of course during Fiorina’s time at Lucent.

  154. 154
    Belafon says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    I don’t understand her calling the internet a fad.

    Back in the 60s, DARPA asked AT&T to help set up the internet. AT&T didn’t feel it was useful or would be successful, so they declined.

    Businesses see things in terms of threatening their current structure.

  155. 155
    Paul in KY says:

    @cokane: I graduated with a Poli Sci degree and took several history courses focusing on USSR/Communism & like & I never heard of Alinsky.

  156. 156
    Mandalay says:

    @Elie:

    Also, this man is very overweight and just does not look well

    I had wondered why a billionaire was always wearing jackets that were a size too large until I realized that Trump was trying to hide his girth.

    At the end of his performance last night he was chucking baseball caps into the audience. He dropped one accidentally and when he stooped down to pick it he moved like he was ninety years old.

  157. 157
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Saw my first Carson bumper sticker last week. On a car with an Auburn license plate, so there you go.

  158. 158
    Brachiator says:

    @Julie:

    Alinsky died in 1972 when Obama was only 11 years old.

    Ah, but you’re relying on that fake birth certificate. We don’t really know how old Obama is.

    More seriously, the nutballs tried to link Obama to some supposed hard core anti-Amurrikan revolutionary cell that carried on the ideas of Alinsky and others. At the same time, Obama was a secret Black Panther and Black Muslim who regularly entertained Louis Farrakhan. It was all part of a general radical Chicago connection.

  159. 159
    Paul in KY says:

    @Tommy: Good question. Excellent working the French into that one.

  160. 160
    raven says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Fucking figures, ignorant cheating assholes.

  161. 161
    danielx says:

    Favorite Alinsky quote (if remembered correctly):

    Don’t worry, boys, we’ll weather this storm of approval and come out as hated as ever.

  162. 162
    shortstop says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Everyone here in Chicago knows of Alinsky. But I agree, no one from elsewhere ever had reason to know of him until he became the right’s bogeyman.

  163. 163
    shortstop says:

    @Baud: I’m thoroughly enjoying the trolling of wingnut Murica by this lithe-duck president.

  164. 164
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Here in New England, Carson has been winning the crucial Peggy Noonan yard-sign vote for a long time now. He seems to have a loyal fan base of exurban New Hampshire wingnuts. Though Trump is catching up.

  165. 165
    Anoniminous says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    I don’t understand her calling the internet a fad.

    From this I deduce you’ve never had the pleasure* of discussing future technological products with an MBA.

    * something like rolling around naked in a pile of broken glass, without the joie de vivre that implies

  166. 166
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    Cool! I’m typing this on the little Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard I just received. It’s only 9.5 by 4.25 inches but works surprisingly well with the Nexus 7 tablet. Took only a minute to pair them. And when the keyboard’s top is flipped back there is a little groove to hold the tablet. This is like a poor man’s Surface. A very poor man’s Surface.

  167. 167
    Tommy says:

    @Calouste: Well yes. They wouldn’t invest in taking their tech that ran most phones to the Internet. When it was clear the Internet wasn’t a fad they got into bidding wars with Cisco (and others) to buy any small tech firm with hardware. That is just one of the places the accounting issues came up. They would buy these firms with stock so they tried to inflate their earnings to keep their stock up. As you might guess all the house of cards came crashing down.

    It wasn’t directly because of Lucent, we had many other clients, but my firm soon went out of business. In business for more than 30 years and never not turned a profit. 60+ people without a job. I guess I could ask that of her as well, but guessing 20,000 people at HP would be in line before me.

  168. 168
    Mandalay says:

    @Tommy:

    Almost $300 a share. A few years after you left things got so bad the stock was trading for a few dollars…

    You may have something of a point, but focusing solely on the stock price isn’t that persuasive. Can you name a single technology company – just one – that was immune to the bubble and subsequent burst in stock prices?

    I’m sure that there were plenty of tech companies which fared better than Lucent, but I’m equally sure that there were plenty that fared worse.

  169. 169
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: Almost as bad–one of my neighbors has a Maserati with a Clemson license plate!

  170. 170
    Tommy says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): Wow your Nexus is still running? That was my first tablet and loved the thing. Currently I use it as a digital photo frame :).

    BTW: If you have an old tablet collecting dust, Google digital photo frame and tablet and it is a pretty easy thing to set-up. Also pretty darn neat once done.

  171. 171
    Schlemazel says:

    @Mandalay:
    Lucent was caught cooking the books. People deserved, but never got, jail time. They bought & destroyed the company I worked for in the 90’s. The purchase was in stock so I do hope the bastards that sold us lost a fortune on the trade.

    Someone should Ask her if she was aware the books were cooked, if she had any part in the cooking and if she was unaware of it why was she not paying more attention.

  172. 172
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I’m puzzled by the Carson support among people I know to be quite racist

  173. 173
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @raven: Who said anything about the Patriots?

  174. 174
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Schlemazel: I know several people who retired from AT&T but with Lucent stock instead of AT&T and had to go back to work. Thanks, Carly!

  175. 175
    Schlemazel says:

    @shortstop:
    I read an interview with him in the late 60’s & fell in love. He had great tactics to achieve his goals. Never threatening, never illegal but difficult to impossible to counter and uncomfortable for the targets of his protest. A genius; we need someone like him today.

  176. 176
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Cute, but Auburn has long been the dirtiest program in the SEC. It’s just disgusting.

  177. 177
    danielx says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I have friends who are Republicans who vote GOP reliably, because they hate Democrats and liberals, but this is not what they want

    1. You need some new friends.

    2. The hatred of Dems and libs is, at this point, a matter of theology as much as anything else. They’ve been told for years that among other things Democrats are going to take away their munnies and give it away to brown people who don’t work, and they believe it. No matter that there are more Caucasians on public assistance than there are brown people…facts are irrelevant, they are and have been told what they want to hear for decades.

    3.

    Truth is, GOP politicians, especially at the federal level, take much of the base for granted and treat them like idiots.

    This is true at least up until the 2014 midterms, when a lot of wingnuts* who have no interest in governing as such got elected to Congress. But it explains a lot of Trump’s appeal – the ‘burn the motherfucker down’ sentiment runs deep. They have been taken for granted, which also explains a lot of the Tea Party’s early (before they got co-opted) appeal. Trump doesn’t owe anything to anybody in the Republican power structure, such as it is, and they eat that right up – that and he says what he (they) think. He hasn’t actually come out and referred to ni-CLANGs or spics (yet), but his admirers ‘know’ that’s what he thinks about black/brown people. Trump doesn’t give a fiddler’s fuck if he ever gets a single vote from blacks or Hispanics, so he doesn’t even pay lip service to racial issues other than to insult non-white people.

    *For people who ostensibly hate DC and government, they sure as hell were and are in a hurry to get there. And once they are there, how you gonna get them back to Cedar Rapids when they’ve seen Sodom on the Potomac?

  178. 178
    Schlemazel says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    because Carson is “one of the good ones” There are a couple of insulting terms that I will skip but you know they mean the same thing as “one of the good ones”

  179. 179
    Tommy says:

    @Mandalay: No I really can’t. They all got pounded into the ground. I won’t attempt to argue that isn’t the case. But few if any fell as hard as Lucent. They were not some start-up. They had billions in revenue. Been in business for decades. Almost overnight, they went away to almost an afterthought.

  180. 180
    Elie says:

    @Mandalay:

    Yeah — that “girth” is called “fat” and it is surrounding his intestines, liver and heart. Importantly, he is also laying it down in his arteries. Stress produces cortisol which makes that even worse and elevates his stress hormones which jack up his blood pressure and effect the circulation to his heart and brain. Every time he scolds and fusses — and goes out of his way to say mean nasty things or to have pointless arguments, he is jacking up those hormones. The stress of “being on” all the time keeps the levels up, making him tired and weakening his reserves.

    Not good.

  181. 181
    Calouste says:

    @Schlemazel: Fiorina just said the following:

    “We had to report our results publicly. And if I misrepresented those results or those projections, I could be held criminally liable.”

    1) The statue of limitations must have run out.
    2) Offense is the best defense.

  182. 182
    Belafon says:

    @Tommy:

    They were not some start-up. They had billions in revenue. Been in business for decades.

    Lucent was the research arm of AT&T. They would lose a bunch of money and and occasionally create something amazing, but often enough to be worth it. They were never going to make it as a public company because that wasn’t their model. AT&T was stupid for spinning them off like they did.

  183. 183
    Paul in KY says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Have been wanting to get a used Maserati Quattroporte (more a dream, really). Wonder if his stays out of the shop?

  184. 184
    Tommy says:

    @Schlemazel: Sorry to hear that. Fiorina has worked for and left two companies a smoldering mess. HP and Lucent were not start-ups. They were old, established firms. Not like she ran MySpace into the ground. If you are going to run for office and tell me how stellar of a business person you are, is it asking so much for you to bring up the basics the firms she worked for, ran, sucked more after she left.

  185. 185
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Paul in KY: I’ll ask him. I assume the Clemson plate reduces the value of it, so maybe he’ll sell it to you cheap.

  186. 186
    Schlemazel says:

    @Belafon:
    They had products, decent ones at that, that were selling well enough in the crazy days before 1999. But they flat out lied about sales & bookings. Those lies inflated their revenue numbers and made millions for a few at the very top. The strike price for my options was adjusted down 3 times from $80 to $2 and many were still under water when they expired.

  187. 187
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Belafon: I assume AT&T had a business reason for spinning them off, though I can’t recall it. They have been shedding non-core business, such as Yellow Pages, I think to focus on wireless and digital.

  188. 188
    Tommy says:

    @Belafon: That is not correct. Lucent was the equipment division of AT&T. Bell Labs went with them, yes. But they had many billions in revenue.

  189. 189
    Mandalay says:

    @Schlemazel:

    Lucent was caught cooking the books.

    Ah, I did not know that – fair enough. But in that case pound her on the books being cooked rather than the stock price.

    It’s rare that an argument will be won on arguing about numbers anyway, since there are usually ways to cherry pick data and make it look good. That’s exactly what Fiorina has done on her web site when describing her tenure at HP:

    Under Carly’s leadership, great things happened at HP:
    Doubled revenues
    More than quadrupled its growth rate
    Tripled the rate of innovation, with 11 patents a day
    Quadrupled cash-flow
    Moved from 28th to 11th largest company in the United States

    All factually true, and a layman might be impressed by that, yet she was fired as CEO because the company’s performance under her was just horrible.

  190. 190
    Elizabelle says:

    @shortstop:

    lithe-duck president

    Love it. So stealing that.

  191. 191
    Tommy says:

    @Mandalay: I am a very brand loyal person. Or maybe I just like products that work well and I buy again and again. HP is a firm like with Samsung and Dell I buy and buy. I got somewhat inside info and what Fiorina did is terrible. HP should have better leadership.

  192. 192
    Origuy says:

    @Mandalay: Easy to double revenue by buying a company the same size. Most of those other metrics were also a result of the Compaq merger. Measuring innovation by the number of patents is BS, because all you need to do is file lots of patent applications for stuff you were doing anyway.

    I was at Compaq when HP bought us. I’m still there, at the moment. I’ll be part of the HP Enterprise company, if they don’t lay me off.

  193. 193
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Tommy:

    It’s only a couple of years old! Okay, maybe getting on for three. It’s the first version, with less memory, so it’s getting a little creaky.

    I’m thinking about upgrading and seeing if tablet + keyboard could sub for a laptop when I travel. I have been considering the Nexus 9 or the iPad Air 2. What’s your current tablet?

  194. 194
    Paul in KY says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Thanks! Be worth ever so much more with a UK plate.

  195. 195
    Tommy says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Love it. But as I said in another comment I am brand loyal. I got a Samsung Chromebook. Cost me less than my tablet and I love the thing.If you are looking around I’d look there first.

  196. 196
    Mandalay says:

    @Origuy:

    Easy to double revenue by buying a company the same size.

    Exacly, and it’s also easy to quadruple cash flow. But when someone brags about revenue and cash flow, and does not want to mention expenditure, profits and EPS then warning bells should start going off very loudly.

    Fiorina is not blatantly lying on her web site, but she is certainly being economical with the truth.

  197. 197
    Cervantes says:

    @shortstop:

    But I agree, no one from elsewhere ever had reason to know of [Alinsky] until he became the right’s bogeyman.

    As an organizer, he was legendary — for decades, across the country and abroad.

    Obama was inspired by him. Hillary Clinton wrote her thesis about him at Wellesley.

  198. 198
    Cervantes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It still don’t know why [Alinsky] is supposed to be scary.

    Read his books: Reveille for Radicals (1946) and Rules for Radicals (1971).

    To get a sense of his legacy: Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice (2003).

  199. 199
    Cervantes says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I graduated with a Poli Sci degree and took several history courses focusing on USSR/Communism & like & I never heard of Alinsky.

    He had nothing to do with the USSR or Communism.

  200. 200
    Cervantes says:

    @cokane:

    i’ll still never get the right’s obsession with Saul Alinsky, a name I’d never heard any of the socialists or anarchists that I hung out with in college ever utter.

    He was neither a socialist nor an anarchist.

  201. 201
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Tommy: I’d love to hear her answer – although I’d really prefer that Mum were here to hear it too. Mum had some of that Lucent stock (from the AT&T breakup). Finally persuaded her broker to take let us take the hit on it and write off the loss (at $7/share). He kept saying their projections for the next few quarters looked good – at least until I pointed out that they’d been saying that for the previous eight quarters, without performing to expectations once, and since Mum had had the stock from issuance wasn’t it time to take the loss and liquidate while there was still some value to realize. Mum lost about $100k on that trade, but it was worth it to prune the dead weight, and it helped get her into some stocks that actually did perform well.

  202. 202
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Most American racists outside of the white-sheet/terrorist-militia core believe, and desperately want to believe, that they’re not racist. They’ll go out of their way to demonstrate their lack of animus toward a member of a despised group who acts against stereotype, and only does and says things they approve of. Where the racism comes in is just how they react whenever such a person does something that seems to confirm a stereotype, however innocuous.

  203. 203
    J R in WV says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    He’s scary because he was a left-wing union labor organizer who put together a good book about how to organize people to fight the bosses.

    I don’t know off-hand if Alinsky was actually a socialist or communist, I doubt either, because labor organizers already knew back then that those labels made it harder to organize workers, and in many cases you became illegal if you were organizing as socialists or communists.

    That’s how scary the “Red Scare” was back in the 20s and 30s. I have a letter from a prosecutor to my Grand-dad after the Blair Mountain battle ( a real shooting war with WW I vets and towards the end Billy Mitchell’s air force dropping bombs in August of 1921 ) between UMWA miners and coal company thugs about how he was going to “put those Reds away” for good. Only that didn’t happen at all, he didn’t do a good job of scaring the jury members.

  204. 204
    PurpleGirl says:

    @J R in WV: As I wrote in my comment at #148, I took the community organizing training from the Industrial Areas Foundation. It was founded by Alinsky in 1940 to carry forward his work on how to organize.

    http://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/

    It is still around and carrying on his work.

    ETA: What I found interesting is that IAF likes to work through faith communities for their training. When I was taking the training, an individual could not join the local group, you had to be a member of a church congregation which joined. You’d think the righties would understand this and applaud it. But they don’t.

  205. 205
    Cervantes says:

    @J R in WV:

    I don’t know off-hand if Alinsky was actually a socialist or communist, I doubt either

    You’re right: Saul was not a joiner.

  206. 206
    PIGL says:

    @Culture of Truth: when does the revolution happen? As soon as we take their guns, Comrade. As soon as we take their gunzzzz.

  207. 207
    shortstop says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Exactly this. It’s what I was trying to say at #80, conveyed more succinctly and much more elegantly.

  208. 208
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Belafon: There is not a single fuck left at 1600 Pennsylvania.

  209. 209
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cervantes: He was a left winger, though. Might have come up in some portion of Political Science, back in late 70s (not history focused on USSR).

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