Friday Morning Open Thread: Let Us Savor

Actually, I think Romney sleeps in a full business suit, because it’s what makes him most comfortable, but let’s just set that aside. Lead story in the Washington Post
Time for GOP panic? Establishment worried Carson or Trump might win“:

Less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses, there is growing anxiety bordering on panic among Republican elites about the dominance and durability of Donald Trump and Ben Carson and widespread bewilderment over how to defeat them.

Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot, virtually ensuring a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency and increasing the odds that the Senate falls into Democratic hands.

The party establishment is paralyzed. Big money is still on the sidelines. No consensus alternative to the outsiders has emerged from the pack of governors and senators running, and there is disagreement about how to prosecute the case against them. Recent focus groups of Trump supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire commissioned by rival campaigns revealed no silver bullet…

“The rest of the field is still wishing upon a star that Trump and Carson are going to ­self-destruct,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a former adviser to 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. But, he said, “they have to be made to self-destruct. . . . Nothing has happened at this point to dislodge Trump or Carson.”…

A reminder: That would be Eric “Etch-A-Sketch” Fehrnstrom, whose contempt for the average Repub voter did not exactly help his boss’s 2012 campaign. Not that he’d let that influence his professional opinion in 2015, of course.

For months, the GOP professional class assumed Trump and Carson would fizzle with time. Voters would get serious, the thinking went, after seeing the outsiders share a stage with more experienced politicians at the first debate. Or when summer turned to fall, kids went back to school and parents had time to assess the candidates. Or after the second, third or fourth debates, certainly.

None of that happened, of course, leaving establishment figures disoriented…

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, herself an outsider who rode the tea party wave into office five years ago, explained the phenomenon.

“You have a lot of people who were told that if we got a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate, then life was gonna be great,” she said in an interview Thursday. “What you’re seeing is that people are angry. Where’s the change? Why aren’t there bills on the president’s desk every day for him to veto? They’re saying, ‘Look, what you said would happen didn’t happen, so we’re going to go with anyone who hasn’t been elected.’ ”…

Said Austin Barbour, a veteran operative and fundraiser now advising former Florida governor Jeb Bush: “If we don’t have the right [nominee], we could lose the Senate, and we could face losses in the House. Those are very, very real concerns. If we’re not careful and we nominate Trump, we’re looking at a race like Barry Goldwater in 1964 or George McGovern in 1972, getting beat up across the board because of our nominee.” …

We promised those dumb voters every good Repub would get a pony that shat money! And now they’re screaming for their ponies, the ungrateful rubes!…

And a Canadian japester chimes in:

***********
Apart from enjoying the scent of schadenfreude in the morning air (smells like flop sweat, with an under-note of antacids and faint hints of currency stacks set aflame), what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the week?






65 replies
  1. 1
    mclaren says:

    If [Republicans] don’t have the right [nominee], we could lose the Senate, and we could face losses in the House. Those are very, very real concerns.

    Yet another reason why I’m so optimistic about the 2016 presidential election. I hope and suspect that it will let Democrats regain control of the Senate, and perhaps even the House. As well as the White House.

    That’s why nominating the right Democratic candidate for president is so important. What profiteth us to gain the whole congress, if in doing so we lose our progressive policies by nominating a DINO?

    Philosophers, and many thoughtful people more generally, pride themselves on having a healthy skepticism toward claims made by the media, by politicians, by scientists – by pretty much anyone. And rightly so. Many issues are complex and have not just two sides, but multiple sides. One ought not accept proffered claims without examining all of the evidence and without thinking about whether the evidence supports the claims being made. But are there times when a healthy skepticism becomes unhealthy?

    In my field, philosophy of science, we often have meta-discussions about the extent to which we should accept scientific findings or question them. But even the most naturalistic philosopher of science thinks that we ought to be skeptical of scientific findings at least some of the time and under some circumstances.

    In politics, some claim that we are starting to see a surge from U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. But some are skeptical. Some think that Sanders doesn’t actually have a chance of winning the Democratic nomination or the U.S. Presidency. Should we be skeptical, too – would that be a healthy skepticism?

    I don’t think it is. I don’t think we should have the same skepticism toward towards claims about future political outcomes as we have towards scientific claims. The reason is simple: in evaluating scientific claims, we are evaluating existing evidence. As new evidence comes in, we might change our evaluation, but our beliefs, whether in favor or against a given claim, are not affecting the evidence or the truth of the claim itself.

    But when evaluating claims about future political events, the situation is different. To see this, let’s suppose that Jane Voter likes Sanders’s platform, agrees with his values and proposals, but, being of skeptical bent, Jane decides that Sanders is too much of a long shot and doesn’t really have a chance. This belief leads her not to support Sanders’s campaign; it also leads her to suggest to her friends and and family that it would be a waste of time to do so.

    The more Janes there are in the world, the more they can convince their friends and family, the more their beliefs become a foregone conclusion. That is, unlike like beliefs about scientific claims, beliefs about political outcomes actually change the outcomes. The skepticism becomes unhealthy.

    We should act to bring about the outcomes that we find desirable, not sabotage those outcomes while brandishing the banner of skepticism.

    Source: “Unhealthy Skepticism: Foregone Conclusions and Bernie Sanders,” Roberta Millstein, 18 August 2015.

  2. 2
    Punchy says:

    That beliefs about Joe building pyramids for grain doesnt automatically dequal Carson from serious consideration just demonstrates to the GOP Estab that the base of GOP voters cannot be swayed by logic, experience, or embarrassment. They built this monster thru RW radio and Fox, and now they’ve lost all control.

  3. 3
    gene108 says:

    Said Austin Barbour, a veteran operative and fundraiser now advising former Florida governor Jeb Bush: “If we don’t have the right [nominee], we could lose the Senate, and we could face losses in the House. Those are very, very real concerns. If we’re not careful and we nominate Trump, we’re looking at a race like Barry Goldwater in 1964 or George McGovern in 1972, getting beat up across the board because of our nominee.” …

    I disagree.

    Republicans have a locked in floor of 45% of the electorate for the Presidency, plus the gerrymandering in the House pretty much guarantees them a level of security that their assholery will have minimum electoral impact on down ticket races.

    Add on how Republican voters turn out more regularly than Democratic voters and this is just a John Bush partisan bemoaning the fact his candidate sucks and is going to lose and there’s nothing much he can do but watch the “anointed one” sink into oblivion.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Way too early to be sniffing the air in search of schadenfreude.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Way too early for schadenfreude.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The problem is as we’ve been saying for some time around here: they created this monster that they cannot control. There is a precedent for all this…the rise of Hitler, who the German industrialists and financiers thought they could control. They were wrong, and in the process the Junkers were destroyed.

    The GOP will continue on, but the GOP establishment we have known for the last fifty years has sealed its own doom.

  7. 7
    EconWatcher says:

    Surprised that Kasich is not a more skillful politician. I swear, I could frame my positions in a way that would sound more palatable to wingnuts than he does, and I’m a liberal.

    Someone described him as showing up at the last debate in a suicide vest. Pretty much.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: But one can certainly take note of what Republican operatives are anxious about, and their worries are real enough. That said, these are people who suck at the teat of conservative PACs– and anxiety among the billionaires is considered a good thing in these consultants’ business plans.

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    It is still entirely conceivable that The Donald or Dr Ben, while hopelessly unsuitable, could win the nomination and the Presidency. After all, nothing has happened yet to rule this out; and no such thing can happen before the primaries.

  10. 10
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    My congresscritter is going to be on Morning Joe, wonder if he’ll do his rendition of “Meet the Mets”.

    ETA: I’m a 10. That’s a first.

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gene108:
    The surname looks familiar. Is Austin Barbour any relation to Haley Barbour, the former Governor of Mississippi?

  12. 12
    Satby says:

    The blog is refreshing weirdly for me, but I can’t tell if it’s the server or my ISP, which has also been acting up after 2 days of high winds.

  13. 13
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid: They just showed ‘The Donald’ going after Dr. Ben on Morning Joe in Iowa.

    @Amir Khalid: I believe Austin is Haley’s son. Nope, nephew.

  14. 14
    Cervantes says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    What matters is what Haley believes.

  15. 15
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    I think it’s safe to say that ANYTHING that Dr. Ben says is being pulled out of his ass.

  16. 16

    The Donald went all Howard Beal stream-of-conscious last night in Fort Dodge, and for real this time. One of those “ask your doctor if Prozac is right for you” rants for almost an hour and a half.

    His poll numbers will go up, I’m sure.

  17. 17
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Cervantes: Can’t argue with that.

  18. 18
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mustang Bobby: They showed part of that, eh speech, on Morning Joe.

  19. 19
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Firefox is screwing up this morning. Neither of my posts showed up when viewing in FF. In fact nobodies did.

  20. 20
    Lonnie says:

    My agenda’s pretty straightforward: Finish work, 2 miles walk/light jog, antimouse campaign, and work on RPG adventure writing. If I work fast, mebbe some Skyrim, too.

  21. 21
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Punchy:

    They built this monster thru RW radio and Fox, and now they’ve lost all control.

    Before Limbaugh there was Lew Rockwell and his racist newsletters and Jerry Falwell, his stolen satellite (from Jim Bakker no less!) and the Moral Majority. If the Dominionist right wing Xtian grift set, fresh off victories steeplejacking the SBC and others, wasn’t responsible for Reagan’s 1980 victory they sure as hell took credit.

  22. 22

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Which proves he had a double major in med school: neurosurgery and proctology.

  23. 23
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gene108: I disagree also about their capacity to lose, but I think it’s fascinating that a Republican would still believe that in 2015. They could still hurt enough on margin to lose control of the Senate, though.

  24. 24

    @Another Holocene Human: And going back to the John Birch Society and before them Gerald L.K. Smith, Father Coughlin, and the America First gang before WW2 and during the Depression. The stuff they’ve done to Obama pales in comparison to what they did to FDR and Eleanor. My grandfather refused to carry dimes in his pocket when they put FDR’s profile on it, and my mother got sent away from the dinner table when she mused that perhaps it was a good idea for FDR to run for a fourth term in 1944.

  25. 25
    Ben Cisco says:

    I’m sorry, but all the “establishment” whining has a whiff of drama about it. This is all for show and serves three purposes: 1) keep the Tiger Beat on the Potomac crowd busy, 2) keeping their voters at a slow boil, and 3) pissing the rest of us off. Let’s face it, the absolute “best” of these candidates will promote the exact same policies as the absolute worst of them. Select the same judges. Espouse the same beliefs (or at best, not push back against them). This process is worse than any fake reality show in existence, and their guys aren’t just lapping it up with a spoon, they’re tipping the freaking bowl and gulping like a kid trying to get the last of the milk to wash down their Fruit Loops.

    It figures – we finally have a media willing to write about Republicans in disarray, and it’s in the service of those same Republicans…same as it ever was.

  26. 26
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Well, it’s almost like SBC being steeplejacked couldn’t have happened to a better set of slavery-defenders, though plenty of churches with less sketchy histories got the same treatment. (And it’s still going on in a smaller way.) What the Moral Majority did was provide cover for the Southern Strategy party realignment vanguard. Millions of whites changed parties not because of busing. Oh, no. Because of abortion.

  27. 27
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Ben Cisco: I thought that Romney guy was implicitly stating that. He was talking about the GOP losing power in the legislature, and if that’s a bad thing it logically follows their candidate has the same agenda as all the others.

  28. 28
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Why do they think Trump and Carson are less electable than they guys they like? The head-to-head polls gauging their performance vs. Hillary Clinton say they’re more electable. The one possible exception being Rubio.

  29. 29
    SFAW says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Which proves he had a double major in med school: neurosurgery and proctology.

    Now, if only he had combined the two, and performed an operation to pull his own head out of his ass …

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    Romney/McCain ’16.

    “Two losers are better than one!”

  31. 31

    @SFAW: He does have a serious case of cranial rectitus.

  32. 32
    SFAW says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    Let’s face it, the absolute “best” of these candidates will promote the exact same policies as the absolute worst of them.

    Oh, piffle. That’s like saying that the policies of any/all of them are borderline-insane. Or anti-American (as opposed to ‘Murican), at the very least.

    Not sure WTF your problem is, buddy. It’s almost as if you WANT some commie-type Dem to do things that might benefit persons other than the .01 percent. Move to the CCCP, if you like it there so much!

  33. 33
    Another Holocene Human says:

    The Republicans have a couple of problems:

    a) They refuse to accept or understand the fact that Obama is one of the most brilliant politicians of our age. I didn’t say campaigner, although it’s true, and he’s not just good at campaigning, he’s a fucking genius at fundraising and organizing as well. But he’s also pretty fucking good at that political thing–he’s been handing their ass to them repeatedly and all they can do is take their whooping and scream it’s not fair.

    b) That said, at this point, in 2015, winning a national race is going to be more of a heavy lift for them. Just as they struggle now to win statewides in some states where they firmly control the lege. It’s not just the demographic change, it’s a shift in voter participation rates among certain non-white groups that has proved to be enduring. Their numbers people know this, but the rest of the party responds to this reality with fantasies about voter caging, token candidates, deportation (??), and massively increasing their white voter share. (To be fair they have minorly increased their white voter share, but it wasn’t enough.)

    c) Their media game was boss but it was old media and they’re confused and astounded by this here “intert00bs” thing what the younguns are playing on all the time. Eventually they will catch on but they’re late to the game. They haven’t caught on that fundamentally younger people are not giving their propaganda eyeball time–they’ve tuned out.

  34. 34
    SFAW says:

    @NotMax:

    Great bumper sticker, but the spelling would need to be modified for Anne Laurie’s neck of the woods.

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: I thought it was Roger Ailes’ ass he had his head up.

  36. 36

    […] Anne Laurie in this morning’s open thread is highlighting another Washington Post article that has an excellent analysis of the Republican base by Republican governor Nikki Haley: […]

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    @EconWatcher: The big money is not going to sit on the side lines no matter the candidate. Kasich appealed to me because the nation might be able to survive his policies. His short fuse, excludes him though.

  38. 38
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    It’s not just the demographic change, it’s a shift in voter participation rates among certain non-white groups that has proved to be enduring.

    Do we know this? Or is it just that, as you said, Obama is a historically brilliant politician, and got them to turn out when another candidate couldn’t? The implication of persistently terrible Democratic performance in midterm and off-year elections is not good. OFA could never get people to turn out for anyone or anything other than Barack Obama, and it wasn’t for lack of trying.

  39. 39
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @SFAW: People are so funny. We were discussing what happened if $15/hr min wage came in where I work and we figured the 10-15 year people would just absolutely die. They just made it to $15 and here some newbie waltzes in and gets it walking in the door. It’s like you took their raise away!

    Feature, not bug, but one of the biggest problems with the safety net is that there’s no ramp out into gainful employment. Working families know this, if they haven’t fallen their coworkers and neighbors and siblings and cousins have. They all seem to know somebody living the life of Riley on disability while they have bills past due and stress out the wazoo.

    Stress’ll kill you. Another factor never discussed when we discuss the dignity of work. Maybe if we weren’t socializing risks life wouldn’t be so stressful. But we are and it is. It’s a lot less stressful to be on Medicaid (until they make you wait 9 months for a hip replacement, but let’s not get into that).

  40. 40
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Po-TAY-toe, po-TAH-toe?

    Actually, that brings up a semi-serious question: does Ailes target the insane voter? Or the merely dumb-as-a-fucking-post voter. Likewise with Carson. (I realize the usual “why not both?” response might work here, but am ignoring that possibility for the moment, because the “AND” population is certainly smaller than the “OR” population.)

    And I don’t think Ailes is a big Skousen fan — although he certainly plays to the morons/nutcases who are — and from what I’ve read, Carson loves him some Skousen, second only to his love of Republican Jesus.

    Anyway, I think the Ailes thing is just a collateral sucking-up

  41. 41
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Nope, look at African American voter participation. This is not a 2008 general election only effect. Participation is up at midterm time as well. New voters in 2008 have kept voting.

    I haven’t looked at Latino numbers too closely but I’m pretty confident you will see a secular rise. Lotta activism, lotta registration activity, lotta attention in Spanish language press, lotta close elections. IDK about Texas, but progressive activists have been making gains in other states.

  42. 42
    Lee says:

    To add to Government. Haleys statement, in states where the Republicans have been able to completely install their economic model those states have turned into economic graveyards (see Kansas)

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    Nina Turner is a big deal in state Democratic politics. This is a surprise and a big endorsement for Sanders in terms of local politics.

    Sanders was very passionate on voting rights at the Maddow interview. I wonder if that’s it:

    Nina Turner, the former state senator from Cleveland and a top Ohio Democratic Party official, is ditching Hillary Clinton in favor of Bernie Sanders.
    Turner and Sanders’ presidential campaign confirmed the endorsement Thursday.
    “I’m very attracted by his message and his style — and that he has held pretty much strong on his beliefs and the world is catching up with him,” Turner said.
    Turner added that Sanders’ positions on voting rights and wage issues have stood out to her. While she is expected to be active in his campaign, a Sanders spokeswoman said whatever role Turner has will not be paid.

    “We are extremely, extremely humbled by the support of Sen. Nina Turner,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said. “She is nationally known as a voice for voting rights, for workers’ rights and for marginalized people. The support of someone with that record of standing up for middle-income and working people is tremendously important.”

    The move comes as a surprise — and a blow for Clinton. Turner had been among her most enthusiastic cheerleaders in the Buckeye State and nationally. She was involved early with the Ready for Hillary super political action committee that promoted Clinton as a presidential candidate before the former U.S. secretary of state launched her campaign.

  44. 44

    “If we’re not careful and we nominate Donald “She talks like a truck driver” Trump, we’re looking at a race like Barry Goldwater in 1964 or George McGovern in 1972, getting beat up across the board because of our nominee.”

    This totally works for me, and I support it enthusiastically.

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning. Bed, they made it.

  46. 46

    @BruceFromOhio: I’d prefer an even more lopsided win for the Dems such as the reverse of 1984 Reagan/Mondale, but I’ll take what we can get. The only caveat is that after every such blowout, a cycle or two later the tide switches back.

  47. 47

    @Kay: I think this is a win-win, although it may not seem like it at first blush. Turner was all-in for Clinton. Well and good. One year out, she throws her hat in Sanders ring. Yay for Bernie! Good for Ohio? Clinton isn’t going to stop in her tracks for one endorsement, and the Clinton campaign is going to carry on regardless. Now Sanders has a better toe-hold in Ohio than he did before, though again, one endorsement does not a victory make. So both candidates are slightly/better worse off, with the new guy (Sanders) benefiting. So we go to the primary, and oh Gaia curse it, Ohio Dems have two great candidates to choose from. Whoever gets the nod, Turner and company will continue supporting Dems in the state, no love lost, and off we go to the general.

    Sanders gets a key endorsement, Clinton carries on, Ohio benefits. Not seeing a downside here.

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: does Ailes target the insane voter?

    My thinking is he creates them by deliberately misinforming them.

  49. 49
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Lee: see Wisconsin also, compare to MN. MN and WI started recession the same. MN elected Ds, WI, Scott Walker.

  50. 50
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Kay: Yeah, that is a BFD. Turner is big in lefty labor circles (where there is a lot of Bernie love). Kind of surprised she flipped on Hilary. Agree with Bruce that it seems like it could only increase voter participation in Ohio.

  51. 51
    Lee says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I was going to add in WI and Louisiana but I was not sure of their economic status.

    I know LA is getting close to the crater like Kansas is.

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    I agree- but I don’t think Clinton will be happy about it. I’ve only met Nina Turner once, at the Kos event in Detroit, but people say she goes her own way. She has strong opinions and she’s not afraid to say what she thinks. My husband was on a voting process panel discussion with her about a year ago and he was really impressed.

    I like primaries and I think rank and file Ohio Democrats do too. They will want a contest.

  53. 53
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Actually, I see Turner’s endorsement as a protest of Clinton being perceived as going softer on Wall Street than Bernie would. I hope she doesn’t dismiss this kind of thinking.

  54. 54
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @gene108: this.

  55. 55
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Feature, not bug, but one of the biggest problems with the safety net is that there’s no ramp out into gainful employment.

    Innumerate and/or dishonest people are always complaining about tax brackets, saying that they have to be careful not to make too much money or the higher bracket will take more of their income away and they’ll go home poorer. The thing that makes me steamed about this is that tax brackets don’t actually work that way, but means-testing for social-welfare programs for poor people all too often does work that way, cutting off suddenly at some income level. And people have known since forever that this is the wrong way to do it, but it keeps happening–various provisions in the ACA being the latest example. Maybe because an abrupt cutoff is the best available compromise between people on the left who want to maximize the benefits being paid out by the program, and people on the right who want it slashed or eliminated.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    Romney II: Rafalca’s Revenge

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    Oh, I don’t pretend to know what she’s thinking. She’s just sort of the point person on voting rights so I always think it’s that. I don’t have any problem with Clinton on voting rights. I think she’s solidly in the “cares about voting rights” camp and would be good on the issue, as would Sanders.

    Sanders has been making an argument about how civil rights intersect with economic issues and he’s sharpened and refined it. It’s better than it was 3 months ago. Obviously it’s not new to him but there aren’t a lot of Democrats who even try to make it and it’s central to his campaign. For younger people it may be the first time they’ve heard it.

    The dynamic of David Pepper and Nina Turner as “co-leaders” of the state Party is interesting. I don’t know if you’ve heard or encountered him him yet but he’s really intense too. I couldn’t decide if I liked or disliked him when he came out here, but he’s very driven and focused, I will say that. There would be no middle ground- one would either like or dislike him :)

    It’s two really strong personalities at the top which must make for lively meetings.

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    I like Pepper. He’s intense and he’s more focused than Redfern ever was.

  59. 59
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    interview with the woman who read her book during the Trump rally.

    “I’m genuinely not interested [Trump] him as a person, but if you have the chance to see a presidential candidate, why not?” Idusuyi said.

    She and some friends ended up with a spot directly behind the Republican candidate after seeing an open seat and being invited into the VIP section by a campaign staffer.

    “I think we were chosen for obvious reasons,” Idusuyi told Jezebel. “We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there. He also instructed us to sit in the middle, so we kind of already knew what this was.”

    Idusuyi insisted she went into the rally with an open mind, but she took out her book and began reading after Trump demanded the removal of some protesters, and she said supporters cheered after a supporter removed a woman’s Obama hat and tossed it into the crowd.

    “I thought, ‘That’s bullying, that’s aggressive,’” she said. “I don’t think Trump handled it with grace. I thought, ‘Oh, you’re really not empathetic at all.’ That’s when the shift happened.”

  60. 60
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Voters would get serious, the thinking went, after seeing the outsiders share a stage with more experienced politicians at the first debate.

    This has to be the funniest line I have read in a long time. Those “more experienced politicians” are as idiotic, delusional, and dangerous as the two outsiders. Not to mention slimier. Seeing all these candidates together probably cinched it for a large number of Republican voters that “Yeah, maybe Carson and Trump aren’t as crazy as I thought.”

    And by the way, the absolute last thing the Republican “professional [libel on all real professionals] class” should want is for their base to suddenly get serious. They want them scared, angry, and ignorant.

  61. 61
    benw says:

    @SFAW:

    Move to the CCCP, if you like it there so much!

    I don’t have to. The Kenyan Muslim Atheist usurper has already shredded the constitution, aborted the guns, rounded up the fetuses, used Jade Helm to fake his birth certificate, locked the true Americans into FEMA camps, convened death panels on everyone’s gramma, and turned the US into a socialist paradise!

  62. 62
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Yeah, that comment about paying more to the government than you actually take home is repeated ad nauseum up here in Canada too. If you want to say that working overtime is not worth it to you because, after taxes, you will earn less than if you did not work at all……you really don’t know what you are talking about.

    This kind of stupidity stretches across national boundaries. I blame the education system for this.

  63. 63
    SFAW says:

    @benw:

    Well, except for leaving out Obama’s plan to nuke the gay whales for Jesus Allah, I think you have it mostly covered.

    Thanks!

  64. 64
    J R in WV says:

    @Satby:

    For anything as complex as this blog, there are way multiple points where confusion may occur.

    The base of WordPress, written by a team of volunteers years ago, very complicated, using multiple tools and poorly documentes.

    WordPress as altered repeatedly for special purposes over many years by multiple teams with different objectives, also poorly documented.

    The normal web interface with a given browser, somewhat determined by things like scripting and style sheets. Scripting is done with a language, usually called Javascript which is totally unrelated to a more complex language named Java (and owned by Oracle). Different release versions of Javascript (and the many other scripting languages) have different rules and behaviors.

    Cascading Style Sheets exist in a stack, or maybe like drapes, since they cascade. Interactions between otherwise proper style sheets can become very odd, even though each individual style sheet is proper. This can change if the order or precedence of the individual sheets changes, which can happen somewhere else out of your control.

    Each browser (Internet Explorer, whatever the new MS browser is, ah, Edge, Firefox (my fav), Chrome (a Google product), Opera, Sea-Monkey, Safari, Konqueror, Mozilla, etc) comes in multiple versions, for different platforms, and with many different code-base plug-ins, with no way to tell which plug-ins which users have installed ahead of time. So the rendering engines are various and different in many ways.

    Back end servers – this is where a database lives to contain the parts of the blog – posts, photos, drawings, comments, and the links that turn a post and a bunch of comments into a thread, and all the links that turn a bunch of post/threads and graphic features into a blog.

    Then that data is selected by a given operating piece of WordPress, maybe on the same server as the database, but not necessarily so, and assembled into what WordPress thinks is a snapshot of a blog that a user has requested. It get passed, in pieces, across a large set of networks, with the user’s IP address as a target, and eventually all (or most) of those pieces arrive at the user’s IP address, where that random browser will attempt to assemble all the bits into a whole.

    That whole will be a piece of a blog, hopefully the blog piece this user asked for, in a shape the user can successfully interpret.

    This look at how one favorite part of the Internet sometime works is not guaranteed to match any individual experience by a user of B-J or any other blog. It’s just an example of the complexity of how web pages are sometimes handled in a WordPress environment, as understood by a former practitioner of software development who hasn’t ever developed with WordPress.

    Tommy or Alain or any of the team working on our project will know better, and could correct my errors, but we would all prefer than they leave well enough alone and keep working on the spiderweb called Balloon-Juice, running on WordPress. I wrote this to help some who don’t seem to understand much about software work, so that they can understand remarks by the developer team.

    I didn’t even mention the commenting plug-in, which is being worked on by a team not closely related to the team working on B-J. The B-J team will have a lot of work to do hooking up the new commenting engine into the rest of the tools when it’s more nearly done.

    I used to report to engineers who were managers of the shops my software was used by. They put up millions of dollars for multi-year development projects, and as we neared full production for their tools, they would ask “When will the system be finished?” (Subtext: “When can we let some of the $120K/year software developers go?”) and I would answer: “That depends partly on when you stop asking for tweaks to very complex edit rules, changing environmental rules for your specific industry, and when the courts stop changing their interpretation of those rules. Otherwise, 6 to 9 months…”

    Really, never. No complex system ever stops being developed, you just adjust the speed at which you modify them.

  65. 65

    @benw: I find your ideas compelling, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

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