Late Night Excellent Reads: More on NR’s Jihad Against Trump

Jeb Lund, in the Guardian:

National Review, a Thurston Howell impression on print and with staples in it, published a special edition yesterday titled Against Trump. Not Stop Trump, or Dump Trump or even Chump Trump. “Against Trump.” Toward a Normative Understanding of Trump Negation. Whatever.

I’m sure it will be very effective with all 5,000 subscribers who are not conservative thinktanks. There is definitely no way that the snob mouthpiece of the Republican party rolling out a coordinated attack on Donald Trump will backfire…

What makes this especially fun is that everything that makes Donald Trump a runaway success is a creation of conservatism. He is their Be Careful What You Wish For candidate…National Review can stand athwart history and yell stop, but they’re standing in front of a snowball they’ve been pushing down a hill for the last half-century. Even the hand-wringing that Donald Trump is such an ugly and hateful candidate is hilarious from a rag that started out defending liberty and segregation…

The number-one rule of conservative mass politics and virality is always punch down. If that’s not possible, weigh the value of punching sideways. You don’t even have to get into some abstract discussion of the Southern Strategy to know that constantly pwning noobs, enemies and the teeming Other in the Republican field gets you clickthrough. If the National Review is going to be mad at Trump for this, they should at least be honest and admit they’re mad because he’s so much better at it….

Tom Scocca, for Gawker“The National Review Makes Its Case Against the Republican Party”:

There are, at this point, two fairly straightforward thoughtful arguments that a conservative publication could make against the rise of Donald Trump. One would be a pragmatic or tactical one: Despite his theatrical contempt for liberal elites, Trump is unpredictable and insufficiently committed to the conservative movement’s plans and goals. Where a President Ted Cruz would fill the federal bench with names from a Federalist Society spreadsheet (or a spreadsheet Cruz himself had prepared for the Federalist Society), for all anyone knows, a President Trump might appoint Nancy Grace to the Supreme Court. That would surely make liberals mad, but it wouldn’t get the big job done.

The other argument that a conservative publication could make against the rise of Donald Trump would be an unsparing self-examination and self-criticism, reckoning with the currents of brutish populism that have run from Nixon through Reagan through George W. Bush to the present-day circus, and humbly apologizing for its role in creating them. Any real attempt to write Donald Trump out of the Republican Party needs to engage, head on, with the fact that Donald Trump is currently polling far ahead of the field with people who identify as Republican voters. What is the conservative movement if it is not the way that voters who identify as conservative are moving?

Instead, the National Review’s anti-Trump contributors offer a wishful litany of things that they would like to hold that conservatism means, and they refer to the established practice of conservative politics as merely a regrettable series of failures to live up to its principles…

The National Review may be upset enough by Trump to challenge him, but it’s not upset enough to challenge the National Review

Finally, for the flashing red cherry atop the NR‘s shite sundae…

A Biblical quotation for Erick Erickson, theological student, to contemplate: By their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16-20)

84 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I object! Thurston Howell, in spite of his blinkered privilege, was a nicer person than anyone ever associated with the National Review

    In other news, Trump responds to Big Bad Bar’s tepid endorsement of her third-least-favorite child

    Donald J. TrumpVerified account
    ‏@ realDonaldTrump
    Just watched Jeb’s ad where he desperately needed mommy to help him. Jeb — mom can’t help you with ISIS, the Chinese or with Putin.

    Jeb!’s attempt at a response makes it sadder, but there’s a visual I can’t post

  2. 2
    David *Born in the USA* Koch says:

    Since Goldwater, the gop has spent 52 years pandering to the crazies. Since Nixon, they’ve spent 48 years recruiting angry racist whites.

    Now they’re shocked the crazies and racists have taken over. Of course, being the party of responsibility, they blame someone for the mess they created.

  3. 3
    Soylent Green says:

    Whatevs. They will all vote for him anyway.

  4. 4
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Here’s a pop quiz:

    Which 20th Century leader most resembles Donald Trump in thought and deed?

    a) Donald Duck
    b) Daffy Duck
    c) Mussolini
    d) All of the above

  5. 5
    David *Born in the USA* Koch says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Here’s the pathetic link posted by the bumbling, stumbling ¿Jeb?

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @David *Born in the USA* Koch: as President Nixon said

    Richard M. Nixon ‏@ dick_nixon 3h3 hours ago
    In substance this just reinforces Trump’s point.

  7. 7
    divF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Agreed. A better comparison is the Duke brothers in Trading Places.

  8. 8
    Howard Beale IV says:

    This is what the NRO really wanted to have on their front cover, but couldn’t dare admit the truth.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    Repeating from earlier to add to the suggested reads.

    This is the rub with Trump. Conservatives fear him not because he is an ignorant demagogue, but because he’s not their ignorant demagogue.Source

    @Viva BrisVegas

    You left out George Wallace, whose presidential campaigns are in many ways a template for Trump’s.

  10. 10
    David *Born in the USA* Koch says:

    First line of Erickson’s “Against Trump” essay in National Review: “I’d vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton”

    This is the guy who threw Trump out of his stoopid Red State forum for insulting Meygn Kelly, saying “It was obvious to even Donald Trump supporters that he was out of his depth [at the debate]. He did not have a grasp of issues and could not resort to rhetorical hyperbole to answer many of the questions.”

    So he’s going to vote for someone who he says knows nothing.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    amk says:

    one day, the kenyan is a feckless weakling.

    next day, he is the monster who so divided their precious country and made the thugs smack their own faces.

    fucking corrupt clowns who can’t even get their fucking lies straight.

  13. 13
    22over7 says:

    Read something that said Trump is promoting the resurgence of the white working class, which has been destroyed by companies sending factory work overseas as well as a steady stream of immigrants, who took awful work at very low wages. Immigration, and his recent call to Apple to move their production here, signal to the 2nd-generation white poor.

  14. 14
    max says:

    @efgoldman: Maybe the hamsters took a snow day.

    Around here snows days are work days. OW.

    [‘Too worn out to do anything, not tired enough to sleep. Bah.’]

  15. 15
    David *Born in the USA* Koch says:

    Trump is promoting the resurgence of the white working class, which has been destroyed by companies sending factory work overseas as well as a steady stream of immigrants, who took awful work at very low wages.

    I disagree with this. If they were concerned about economics they’d be lining up behind Sanders. But they’re not. The reason they’re lining up behind Trump is because of his steady stream of racism. He validates their long standing hate, which was stoked and fed by the gop for 50 years to split whites away from the Democrats, but the hate has now reached fever pitch and taken over the gop.

  16. 16
    seaboogie says:

    Apparently the “Authoritarians” can’t agree either – once their agenda plays out beyond the punditrocracy, think tanks and the 1% that is now having second thoughts about what they have wrought in bringing the crazy under their tent for the “feels” votes that used to further their agenda – until they got out of hand.

    Even if Dems are like herding cats in our big tent, we still believe in the usefulness of good government. Our quibbles between Hillary and Bernie are still reasonable options, though our opinions differ on the better one.

    On the right, it is pick your brand of crazy – oh, noooooes, they are too crazy – and the their moderates make Martin O’Malley seem like a possibility – If we were Republicans, we’d be hoping for an O’Malley surge, right about now.

  17. 17
    gene108 says:

    I think Congressional Republicans are to blame for the rise of Trump.

    In 2014, on the RWNJ circles, there was chatter that it was finally time to impeach Obama. But Boehner et. al. decided to not impeach, fearing it would galvanize and energize Democratic voters, so they went with some weak-ass lawsuit against the Obama Administration about something, something no one even remembers a year and a half later.

    From a Republican voter’s point of view this cowardice by the Reoublican establishment is understandable fuel for their rage. Congressional Republicans were able to impeach Bill Clinton and he’s white.

  18. 18
    David *Born in the USA* Koch says:


    Trump had to pull an ad aimed at veterans cuz the background film was of Soviet vets, not US vets.

  19. 19
    pea says:

    Donald Trump
    Newt Gingrich’s red haired child

  20. 20

    President Trump might appoint Nancy Grace to the Supreme Court

    O.K., now I am officially nervous.

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    I think the most interesting thing about that NR piece is how they’re coming around to admitting conservatives don’t do anything for working and middle class people- the principles and policies conservatives love and are wholly committed to do not actually benefit the vast majority of conservative voters. As Republicans get further and further Right conservative economic policy gets less and less attractive to ordinary voters because their voters aren’t doing well on a whole host of measures- economically (specifically) but probably more importantly on quality of life.

    That’s a much bigger problem than politics. It means the theory doesn’t work. As they get closer and closer to Barry Goldwater, their voters lives get worse. That’s a real dilemma.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I didn’t read the piece, so I’m surprised to hear that they’ve come around to admitting that. It’s quite different from the usual tack of blaming someone else.

  23. 23
    Botsplainer says:

    Just took a gander at the article about the latest meeting between Bundy and the sheriff. I find myself musing over the satisfaction I’d feel if the sheriff just said “fuck it”, and drilled one into Bundy’s forehead, putting him out of his stupidity forever.

    Its the only way.

  24. 24
    Kay says:


    The Trump voter is moderate, disaffected, with patriotic instincts. He feels disconnected from the GOP and other broken public institutions, left behind by a national political elite that no longer believes he matters.

    They knew white working class didn’t come out for Romney, but they attributed that to style. This time they had a whole host of governors who were supposedly able to “connect” with regular people- Walker, Kasich, Christie, and those governors did connect with regular people when they ran at the state level btwn 2010 and 2012. GOP primary voters are rejecting all of them in 2015 and 16.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    @M. Bouffant: Aw, come on — it’d be fun! Imagine a Supreme Court Justice assigning odd nicknames to plaintiffs, such as “Tot Mom.”

  26. 26
    Baud says:


    They knew white working class didn’t come out for Romney, but they attributed that to style. . . . .GOP primary voters are rejecting all of them in 2015 and 16.

    Doesn’t that prove that those voters just care about style over policy? Say what you want about Trump, he has pizzazz.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: Couldn’t be much worse than Alito.

  28. 28
    Kay says:


    With all the carping about “political correctness” among conservatives, I think it’s amusing how they’re all ignoring this aspect of the stand-off. This may not be mentioned:

    Bundy said the negotiator contacted him for the first time Wednesday by phone.
    He was hoping to talk with him in person at the FBI base. The two ended the conversation with a promise to speak again Friday.
    Bundy asked to talk with the negotiator face to face next time.
    Before they hung up, Bundy asked the negotiator if he’s LDS — a member of the church of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    The negotiator said he is not.
    Bundy told reporters that meant he’d lost a bet.
    “That’s just usually how they do it. They get people that are like-minded. The FBI, they’re smart people, they want to get along,” said Bundy.

    They have kids out there at “the compound” now. That wasn’t confirmed up ’till now. That complicates things.

    OPB has confirmed that there are children staying at the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The two young girls now staying at the occupied refuge are sisters, ages 8 and 9.

  29. 29
    Botsplainer says:

    My take is that the LDS component is borne of the credulousness that seems wired into LDS culture.

    If your whole faith structure is based on the obvious nutty ravings of a con man, why wouldn’t you be inclined to fall for more cons?

  30. 30
    Kay says:


    Doesn’t that prove that those voters just care about style over policy? Say what you want about Trump, he has pizzazz.

    I honestly don’t give conservatives shit about that because it’s true of Democrats too- working class Democrats are the same way. I give you John Kerry, Baud. John Kerry would have been better for them and their families than Bush was, but they just didn’t like him.

    I remember doing canvass calls for Kerry where my list was registered Democrats- in Ohio that means you voted in a Dem primary at least once. I was getting noncommittal answers two weeks out. They either didn’t come out or they may have even voted for Bush.

  31. 31
    amk says:

    @Kay: Didn’t they all re-elect the same inept govs including the ones from kansas and florida with a landslide?

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I hope that they at least got to have that beer with Bush.

  33. 33
    Betty Cracker says:

    @amk: Rick Scott was reelected in Florida, but it was the opposite of a landslide; he won with 48% of the vote to retread former Republican guv Charlie Crist’s 47%. Scott won his first term with less than 50% of the vote too.

  34. 34
    Zinsky says:

    Republicans only care about their core agenda: no taxes whatsoever on the wealthy; a grossly over-sized and aggressive military, complete repeal of all social programs; and punishment (i.e. more prisons and cops) for the poor, blacks and Hispanics. Whoever the vessel is who carries that core agenda forward, is fine with them – even an ignorant, narcissistic shitbag like Trump.

  35. 35
    Kay says:


    I think the Democratic Party is further along on the “quality of life” thing for working class people than Republicans are.

    Working class people never had “good jobs”. If they did they wouldn’t be working class. The jobs were always dull and physically demanding. The difference now is not just wages but that the jobs truly suck. They offer no security, irregular hours including weekends and holidays, constant monitoring and measurement, no room for error without really harsh sanctions and no one respects the people who do them. I have people who tell me they have to clock in by 1:15 or whatever or get fired. They can’t miss a day for court. It’s just brutal.

  36. 36
    raven says:

    @Kay: Sounds to me like working the dock at the post office 40 years ago.

  37. 37
    Kay says:


    Right, I don’t dispute that Democrats have real problems with state races. That’s true and it is the fault of the Democratic Party.

    Democrats lost a re-elect in Illinois. Prior to that they lost a re-elect in Ohio. They can’t even keep them in once they’re in. That’s a problem.

    For elite Republicans, national people, that’s not enough. They need the Presidency for the things they really care about- federal tax policy, trade, foreign policy, federal judges, gutting federal environmental laws (which have real teeth, when they’re enforced).

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I can’t imagine how tough it is.

  39. 39
    Botsplainer says:


    Part of it is milennials vs boomers. Boomers still aren’t moving out of the way to make room, and two thirds of them were conservative.

    To give an example, the local public defender’s office is run by a guy who got the job at about 35, and never left, he’s now been running the office over 30 years – too long. Their administrative methodology is inefficient and burns out young lawyers, there’s an atrocious rate of quits at lower levels, and supervisory levels are held by underearning lawyers ossified due to longevity while desperately awaiting advancement.

  40. 40
    Kathleen says:

    @Zinsky: N-Word, Guns and Suffering. GOP Viagra.

  41. 41
    Zinsky says:

    Kay – well said. I think what you said about jobs becoming more brutal is true even for many white-collar jobs below the executive level.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Zinsky: Agree. Our culture currently does not value work at any level below the topmost.

  43. 43
    raven says:

    @Botsplainer: And some of us aren’t moving out of the way because we got delayed in our development because of military service and the aftermath. I spent 66-69 in the Army, took 9 years to finish my undergrad and didn’t get my doctorate until I was 50. If I work until I am 68 I’ll have 21 years (counting the 3 years of Army that I purchased) toward my retirement. Xin Loi right?

  44. 44
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: I’m afraid the “constant monitoring and measuring” aspect will just get worse and more widespread thanks to the rise of “big data.” Several months ago, I heard an interview with someone on that topic — can’t remember who it was or where, but it was probably on an NPR program. Anyhoo, the interviewee was very optimistic about the implications of analytics for the workforce; he thought it would give rise to a true meritocracy. That’s a nice idea, but I’m thinking it’s more likely to be used to foment crab-bucket competition among peons for scraps.

  45. 45
    J R in WV says:

    Trump’s political rallies are like hour long info commercials, only without any real info. Can’t believe any thinking person would vote for a foul mouthed vicious bastard like him. He is so obviously only out for number one, how is that a good thing for numbers two-333,000,000??

    At bed time we had 15 inches, and it snowed all night. I’m not going out to measure it until I dressed for 14 degree snow storm weather, as opposed to got out of bed for a glass of milk, going back to bed now for there’s no point in getting up early to do nothing but watch it snow.

  46. 46
    Kay says:


    I think regular hours alone would go a long way, as would going back to “step raises”. If you’re making 10.40 now but you know you go to 11.40 March 1st you have a reason to look ahead 2 months.

    They get the uncertainty and risk and stress of people who make a lot more- “professionals”- without any of the pay. I have to tell people who they work for sometimes. They say “I work at Racini” which is a factory, and that’s true, that is where they work but they work for a staffing agency. There are real Racini employees and they get step raises and a regular shift. They’re not one of them.

  47. 47
    JGabriel says:

    Tom Socca, Gawker via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    Instead, the National Review’s anti-Trump contributors offer a wishful litany of things that they would like to hold that conservatism means, and they refer to the established practice of conservative politics as merely a regrettable series of failures to live up to its principles…

    Conservativism never fails, it is only failed by its practitioners – its big, strong, never racist or xenophobic, gloriously brilliant practitioners who are never wrong, except when they’re failing Conservativism. And we don’t know how that happens, because WE have never done anything to fail Conservatism, it must have been those other Conservative, the fake Conservatives, the CINOs, the Conservatives In Name Only, the Conservatives WE don’t like, because obviously someone is failing Conservativism, so it must be them – which is to say, not US.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Seems to me that if you’re “on call,” you are working and should be paid for it.

  49. 49
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Botsplainer: I don’t know the situation of the people you mention, but many of my parents’ boomer contemporaries can’t afford to quit because they don’t have pensions, their crappy 401Ks took a beating during the Bush economic collapse and they are upside-down in their mortgages. It may be satisfying to vilify demographic cohorts and pit generations against each other, but the truth is, the vast majority of us are getting screwed; the difference is in degree.

  50. 50
    Botsplainer says:


    Yes, but you’ve not been hoarding a managerial position for 30+ years. The example I make is a major local irritant, and is negatively impacting the service provided.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    From the same Tom Scocca, Gawker article, that Anne Laurie quotes above:

    “Republicans promise free-market alternatives but end up caving in to pressure or carrying water for the GOP’s own big-government special interests,” writes David McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth.

    Think about that for a minute, the Club for Growth complaining about special interests. Savor the irony.

    It’s like these guys never look in a fucking mirror.

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m afraid the “constant monitoring and measuring” aspect will just get worse and more widespread thanks to the rise of “big data.”

    I am too. The “true meritocracy” argument for big data is a constant tension everywhere it’s used. It was central to modern policing, what Martin O’Malley gets so much grief about.

    The idea of Big Data in law enforcement was grounded in equity. There would be less bias because they’re removing the subjective element. They would police heavily where there were “hot spots”- spikes in reports or arrests. The same was true for mandatory minimums. If you mitigate judicial discretion you’ll get a more equitable result, because human beings introduce bias. The problem was the bias entered much earlier than sentencing. It entered in the decision to arrest, or they decision to indict and prosecute.

    It’s huge in education, too, but they’re further along in questioning the validity of the premise than criminal justice is. The equitable idea behind standardized testing was removing subjective decision-making. “Numbers don’t lie”. They use this idea in my son’s school, but it’s a tweaked version because they recognized that testing is too narrow for human beings. They used to place in “accelerated” classes based on a test score. Now they use three measures- teacher recommend, test score and grade. The test score placement reliance was well intended. They wanted to reduce the effects of a teacher’s possible bias against a race or class or just kids the teacher likes better but they were missing kids who test poorly (or did on that day) so they added more subjective measures.

    People know that’s a lack of trust, a loss of agency. Judges certainly knew it with mandatory minimums. They resent it. Physicians are subject to it now too and they hate it.

    Data won’t save us from ourselves, we still have to think and feel, and numbers do lie.

    We have one employee who is incredibly productive. She can churn out perfect paper. But she’s impatient with our clients. They’re inarticulate or scared or they need 500 explanations or they”re just unpleasant people. We have another who is great with them but she’s much less “productive” (because she’s talking to these people, probably!) Who is “better”? I don’t know. They both are.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think there will be more pushback against “analytics” in the workforce as it moves up the chain to prestigious jobs, jobs where people really value agency and using their own judgment.

    “I wouldn’t do it again, and it has nothing to do with the money. I get too little respect from patients, physician colleagues, and administrators, despite good clinical judgment, hard work, and compassion for my patients. Working up patients in the ER these days involves shotguning multiple unnecessary tests (everybody gets a CT!) despite the fact that we know they don’t need them, and being aware of the wastefulness of it all really sucks the love out of what you do. I feel like a pawn in a moneymaking game for hospital administrators. There are so many other ways I could have made my living and been more fulfilled. The sad part is we chose medicine because we thought it was worthwhile and noble, but from what I have seen in my short career, it is a charade.”

    Doctors sound like teachers now :)

  54. 54
    Woodrowfan says:


    It’s like these guys never look in a fucking mirror.

    Why bother, they can’t see themselves, they don’t cast a reflection.

  55. 55
    satby says:

    @raven: and that job introduced us all to the quaint term ” going postal”.

  56. 56
  57. 57
  58. 58
    satby says:

    @Betty Cracker: Everything you described I am: not quite no pension because they ended offering them three years after I started at big IT outsourcer so I will get the princely sum of $243/month, upside down on a mortgage on a tiny house I bought to pay off for my retirement, and 401k completely gone after being laid off from my last good job.. the one that pushed everyone into 401k plans that rose for a while and then lost 1/2 their value.
    The last replacement job I found paid $10/hour, higher than average for this part of MI. BUT, I was required to transport my disabled clients to and from their jobs in my own vehicle, so also was required to show proof of liability insurance at a million dollars; required to be at 6 a.m. staff meetings; required to submit daily paperwork in lockboxes (the closest was 9 miles away from me); and required to do the jobs my clients were hired to do with them because they alone couldn’t really manage them so the big fast food corporation essentially got 2 employees for the price of 1 with the second one subsidized by the state. The parts I got paid for was washing fast food tables with my clients and driving them. All the rest was on my time and dime, in the case of the increased insurance. Jobs today are horrible.

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @David *Born in the USA* Koch:

    Now they’re shocked

    Yep, that’s not how they gamed it out on their napkin scribblings at the mens club.

  60. 60
    satby says:

    @satby: And the point is I am far from the only person who played by all the rules for 44+ years and still got shafted. I guess the difference is I know in which direction the blame should be placed. Immigrants and minorities didn’t create these conditions.

  61. 61
    debbie says:


    As Republicans get further and further Right conservative economic policy gets less and less attractive to ordinary voters because their voters aren’t doing well on a whole host of measures- economically (specifically) but probably more importantly on quality of life.

    Quality of life is not for the little people.

  62. 62
    debbie says:


    My situation is a bit less dire than yours because I have a job now, but I’ll be working until I die. Do you have any Social Security to look forward to?

  63. 63
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Botsplainer: from Ruthless People: “This could very well be the stupidest person on the face of the earth. Perhaps we should shoot him”

  64. 64
    satby says:

    @debbie: I do, and I very much am looking forward to it in 16 months. And I’m looking for other jobs, which I will ultimately work into retirement age. I’m not a fan of the idea of hanging on to a job just to pad my retirement for luxury living, which many of my former colleagues were doing well after they should have left. I just wanted to point out that real people have had all those things Betty mentioned happen. And so will be in the workforce way longer than even they planned competing for jobs way shittier than they used to be.

  65. 65
    Kay says:


    I would accept that, but lawyers are an exception. They work forever. They’re just not the best example of “ossifying” Baby Boomers because they simply don’t retire. My husband makes me laugh because he talks about retiring at some point and he has a lot of hobbies and things he likes to do, but he always reserves “I might keep” this or that aspect of his practice or his clients because those are the areas he is very familiar with.

    I think it’s a value-added calculation. The longer you’re at it the easier it becomes. I think they reach a point where there is very little downside, as far as stress and issues they aren’t familiar with. With a new issue or practice area you lose money but you get that back later because you’re familiar with all the possible twists and turns. The extra years are pure payback.

    We had a situation here, a family firm, where they actually had to fire their uncle. They had to tell him he was too old to practice- they want a younger associate. He would have kept coming in until he dropped dead.

  66. 66
    Ben says:

    @Kay: @Baud:

    The Trump voter is moderate, disaffected, with patriotic instincts. He feels disconnected from the GOP and other broken public institutions, left behind by a national political elite that no longer believes he matters.

    “Patriotic instincts”? Really? Finally watched American Sniper last night and kept thinking that NOT ONE of the GOTP freaks running for POTUS, writing for NR, blathering on faux or talk radio or the 101st chairborne have even the slightest inkling what all of their tough talk (i.e. bumper sticker bullshit on nuking, well, whomever they don’t like) looks like in real life. None of them served, the set foreign policy with the lives of other peoples kids. Obama is more of a patriot that all of these assholes put together. Troglodytes.

  67. 67
    lol chikinburd says:

    @satby: I’m a generation back from you and in the “looking for a replacement job” stage, and knowing I have this kind of thing to look forward to in my declining years isn’t helping me deal with the enormous load I have to deal with now. “Yeah, survive this year and rebuild your life, and then you’ll have the privilege of having to keep doing whatever you end up ‘doing’ until you drop dead.”

    (Mom’s service is today. Finally shed first tears last night.)

  68. 68
    different-church-lady says:

    @David *Born in the USA* Koch: But until Palin, nobody was poking them in the snout with a stick.

    That’s the moment the monster got out of the lab.

  69. 69
    Betty Cracker says:

    @satby: That sucks, and I’m sorry. I know many boomers and Xers who are in a similar boat, and the outlook doesn’t look any better for millennials long term. I hope they get / stay mad at the right people. It doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe they can change things.

    I hope things look up for you when you move. The job market is allegedly better here; I don’t know what it’s like in the IT field, but generally, the fact that the pay sucks is somewhat offset by the relatively low cost of living, or so recent transplants tell me.

  70. 70
    Kay says:


    I think he means “patriotic” in the most bumper stickery way- “Make America Great Again”

    Trump is really attractive because his voters don’t have to change or do anything. He simply tells them he’ll get a “better deal”. They don’t have to examine if what they believed was perhaps not true or renounce conservatism. They just need a better negotiator.

    Sanders is the opposite, which is why I hate the comparison. Sanders says huge effort and lots of participation will be needed but it’s worth it.

  71. 71
    Betty Cracker says:

    @lol chikinburd: You’re in my thoughts. It’s been almost two years since I lost my mom, and sometimes the pain of it is still so raw that it takes my breath away. But it does get easier to bear with time. I no longer wake up in a panic of fear and grief over it. In a way, I measured my progress through the grieving process by how long it took between the time I first woke up until I was knocked over by the knowledge of my mom’s absence from this world. You don’t “get over it,” ever, but you integrate the loss into your life, and if you’re lucky, you’re able to focus on the whole length of your time together instead of the final part only. Love and courage to you.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    “This water is supplied from the Great Lakes.” A reassuring note from a Flint area hotel.

    God almighty, I wonder what Mr. Run Government Like A Business is going to cost Flint.

    He hired a PR firm. He better.

  73. 73
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: His entire campaign seems to be “I wrote the book on making deals” and “I am awesome and you get to come along for the awesome ride.”

  74. 74
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Good morning. Still snowing here in NoVA. The robins aren’t happy…

    Oooh. More popcorn please.


    The NYTimes is reporting that Bloomberg is “revisiting” thinking about running for President.



  75. 75
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Kay: I think its a horrible practice-its like with ossifying SCOTUS justices-they are simply and completely out of the loop with regards to how people behave in modern society (like with personal electronics).

  76. 76
    debbie says:


    God almighty, I wonder what Mr. Run Government Like A Business is going to cost Flint.

    I just listened to an NPR interview with the state manager for the Flint water crisis (Holland?), and he’s already negotiating with the White House as to whether all of the funds they’re getting have to be dedicated to Flint or if they can also be used somewhere else.

    ETA: It was Harvey Hollins and here’s the clip:

  77. 77
    gelfling545 says:

    @raven: And others also may not have yet been able to gather sufficient resources to retire. A lot of people’s retirement savings went bye-bye in the last couple of decades. I know several people who would like to get gone yesterday but just do not have that option.

  78. 78
    eyelessgame says:

    Just to reference a bit about Frankenstein and his monster:

    Intelligence is knowing Trump isn’t really all Republican.
    Wisdom is knowing Republicans are all really Trump.

  79. 79
    The Pale Scot says:


    I wouldn’t do it again, and it has nothing to do with the money. I get too little respect

    Really? Boo Hoo, welcome to reality. I’d have some sympathy if these people hadn’t voted GOP all their lives. Especially since it seems much of the oversight they resent is being implemented to catch their mistakes. And they sold their practices to get out from under insurance co. hassles. You do that, you just another employee to the bean counters.

  80. 80

    And at least they still have an income stream, unlike all those poor bastards Paul Campos has been documenting who are just getting out of law school.

    The MBA class has had 70 yrs to refine their playbook on how to manipulate the system and the people in it.

    • Connect Labor with communism
    • Cast a progressive tax structure as unAmerican
    • Frame environmental issues as loopy hippy shit
    • Spend hundreds of billions of dollars on think tanks, astro turfing and psychologists to shape a meme in of support for their desires

  81. 81
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @satby: It’s horrible that you’ve gone through all of that. :-(

    Far too many people have similar stories, and there’s a lot of anger out there about the unfairness of it all. People who got good educations, did a good job at work, raised good kids, and then lost it all because the brainiacs in the financial sector created a huge housing bubble and blew up the financial sector.

    The changes with American jobs have been going on a long time.

    Lots of RWNJs long for an economy like they remember from their childhood. Like my dad. He started working when he was about 8 (being a pin-setter at a bowling alley). He worked his way through school and saved enough to feed his ham radio hobby. College was cheap, even at elite private schools. He graduated, married young, and joined the Navy to not be drafted. He served his time and was in the reserves another 10 years or so. He got a good engineering job and worked until he was 58 when he was able to retire. Retiring at 58 would be extraordinary now, but he had been working for 50 years…

    We didn’t talk about politics when I was a kid, but I always knew he was a Republican. He’s pretty close to a Teabagger now (he’s a birther among other things).

    When I was in HS, the teachers went on strike my senior year. We lost weeks of instruction at a pretty critical time when one is thinking about college. Gas prices spiked just as we were discovering the joy and freedom of being able to drive. Financial aid became much harder to get, except for loans, which didn’t cover the rapidly increasing costs. Things seemed to be falling apart…

    I had a couple of temp jobs after my grad school education in the late ’80s. One was for a company that ran rewards programs for car dealerships and the like. (It was part of a travel conglomerate. Car salesmen and dealers would get “points” toward things like vacations, etc.) The work was all white-collar, but the place was run like a prison and the pay was barely above minimum wage for most of the positions. Everyone had to be there to work at exactly 8:00. If you weren’t ready to work when the bell went off, you were in big trouble. So, of course, everyone worked to the clock and there was almost no incentive to do more than was absolutely necessary. The top managers did well, of course… The company was gone a few years later – I assume they either automated it all or shipped the work somewhere where the cost of labor was even less.

    My best friend’s stepfather in HS worked “machine repair” at a GM factory. He kept the machines running that build the cars. It was backbreaking work, but he always had overtime if he wanted it, and it gave him a decent middle-class living. Even with the decent pay, he had to keep working until he was eligible for SS.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that what we’re seeing now is the culmination of changes that have been happening since Reagan’s time. The rewards have been going to the managers and the top of the pyramid for far too long. People who do the work of keeping our economy going have been giving more than their fair share with less and less to show for it.

    So, lots of people want to vote for someone who will change the economy so that they benefit again. That’s a big part of Trump’s appeal, and of Bernie’s appeal. That’s why someone can say they might vote for either one of them and not be totally insane.

    I think that Bernie brings up the importance of addressing lots of the issues we all see. I’m not confident that his proposals will actually help though. I do think that Hillary has the potential to make things substantially better, but it depends on people actually turning out to vote…

    Best of luck with the search! We’re pulling for you! Hang in there.


  82. 82
    The Other Chuck says:

    Donald Trump could only get as far as he did as a Republican, among Republican voters. Primary voters, sure, but still die-hard loyal Republicans. That is all.

  83. 83
    J R in WV says:


    And this insight is part of why I miss you as a front pager here.

    Maybe you could pick it up again, and only post a couple of times a week?

    And of course we know that the policy of the R party isn’t good for workers, no matter their pay grade, nor for America, because their policy is to steal everything not nailed down, and then to get a crowbar for the rest.

    And Fk everyone else, very much, thanks.

  84. 84

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