Monday Morning Open Thread: Positive Thoughts

I’m sure Richard Mayhew will be along to tell us about this in much more detail, but this is good news. Per the NYTimes, “Immigrants, the Poor and Minorities Gain Sharply Under Health Act”

LOS ANGELES — The first full year of the Affordable Care Act brought historic increases in coverage for low-wage workers and others who have long been left out of the health care system, a New York Times analysis has found. Immigrants of all backgrounds — including more than a million legal residents who are not citizens — had the sharpest rise in coverage rates.

Hispanics, a coveted group of voters this election year, accounted for nearly a third of the increase in adults with insurance. That was the single largest share of any racial or ethnic group, far greater than their 17 percent share of the population. Low-wage workers, who did not have enough clout in the labor market to demand insurance, saw sharp increases. Coverage rates jumped for cooks, dishwashers, waiters, as well as for hairdressers and cashiers. Minorities, who disproportionately worked in low-wage jobs, had large gains…

Until now, the impact of the law has been measured mostly in broad numbers of newly insured people — about 20 million by the administration’s most recent account. But the Times’s analysis of census data from 2014, the first year the heart of the law was in full effect, provides a finely detailed look at who the newly insured actually are — by race, education, occupation, immigration status, and family structure…

“From the vantage point of the poor and working poor, Obamacare has been profound,” said Jim Mangia, president of the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, a federally funded health clinic in South Los Angeles that has enrolled 18,000 new patients under the law, nearly all of them Hispanic or black and the vast majority in Medicaid. The clinic reported a 44 percent increase in cervical cancer screenings, a 25 percent increase in tobacco cessation therapy, and a 22 percent increase in the share of patients with controlled hypertension since 2014, the result, he said, of more patients having insurance.

Having insurance does not necessarily mean better health, but experts hope it could start to ease some of the worst disparities that have kept the United States close to the bottom of health rankings of rich countries…

***********
Apart from cheering improvement, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?






164 replies
  1. 1
    Donalbain says:

    What is wrong with the American electorate that they constantly need to be told that they are the best in the whole wide world? It’s like they want to be treated like a baby.

    “Who’s the best country in the world. You are.. yes you are. You the best in the world! Who’s the best in the world? Yes you are!”

  2. 2
    Keith P. says:

    Major flooding all night long, even hail last night. Woke up this morning, and I had a large roof leak with water all in my bathroom, plus there’s about 2 inches of water in my garage (water is at my door step)

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Keith P.: Best of luck. I hate dealing with water in the house.

  5. 5
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: You asked for it last night…The Huntington.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    I tried to Google to get the context for the HRC quote, but can’t find it.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Thanks. Was hoping for a group shot. Who are the mother and kid?

  8. 8
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: No group shot since Mnemo works in the basement of the Pentagon😊.

    Who are the mother and kid?

    LMFAO, mother and kid? I think you lost my step-daughter’s vote with that one(the picture is of Jane when she was 15 and her then 9yo cousin).

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Sorry. Am on my phone and only glanced at the shot.

  10. 10
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: ROTFLMFAO. [cough, cough] ROTFLMFAO.

    ETA: I put that shot in because I pointed out that location to Mnemo and Ruckus as we walked by and said there used to be a lion there(it was a dog, as the pic shows) where there is now a planter.

  11. 11

    @Keith P.: Oh, wow, what a royal pain. I hope you’re not in a place where mold is a problem. It’s like rust: once it starts, you can never get it out completely.

    On the positive thinking front, I had a nice chat with the artistic director of the theatre that is developing my new play and it sounds like we’re on track for it being in their season next fall/winter. Of course now that I’ve written it out loud, it may be jinxed, but that’s the way shit happens.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: You psyched me out. I assumed all the shots were from yesterday.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Congrats. I mean, I hope it falls through.

  14. 14
    Aimai says:

    @Donalbain: americans are not at all unique in this regard. Why pretend that they are? And obviously Clinton is directly rebutting and undermining Trump here.

  15. 15
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Heh, that one was from 17 years and one week from yesterday(April 10, 1999).

    ETA: I should add, that we saw a tiny portion of the Huntington yesterday; I’m thinking of getting a membership for a year. I really think it would give me some nice settings to work with.

  16. 16

    @Donalbain:
    I don’t know, but they do. Maybe it’s cultural bleedover from the fundies, whose religious gospel and particular strain of white supremacy both center on how they are the greatest people in the world, the only ones who are right about everything and not going to Hell no matter what they do. Get enough of those in society, and people who aren’t part of their clique are infected by the ‘The only good message includes that America is the best’ prejudice.

    And Clinton is not going to say anything that could be construed as meaning Obama didn’t do a bang-up job. Which she shouldn’t.

  17. 17
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @Keith P.:
    Ach, that is awful! Hope the weather gives you a break soon.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: The Huntington is beautiful.

  19. 19
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    You could have fooled med (and many have) I thought those were all new.

    I still think the IR shots are really interesting but also seem so cold. I look for ward to The Huntington II, the Huntingtoning! coming to a computer near me soon!

  20. 20
    Cermet says:

    With climate change, I discovered my gutters can’t cut it any more in handling the new standard heavy shower. Even through I had installed two (!) more down spouts some time ago these just can’t handle the load and this allowed water to get into the house. Had to convert to the extra large size down spouts (working three stories up is no fun.)

  21. 21
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Schlemazel (parmesan rancor): The IR shots are cool(alot of blue) because part of the processing is switching the red and blue channels. The reason you do this is so that you don’t have red skies. I’m adding some red in when I think it’s appropriate and as I get better with Photoshop.

    ETA: I did add some red to these IR shots(actually more of a brown) for the roofs of the buildings.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Do you spend a lot of time with post-processing?

  23. 23

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Those are amazing. Thank you.

  24. 24
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    Had lunch today with an American friend. I’m clearly (a) too much of an expat and (b) too much of a Boston Democrat that i was totally shocked by my friend’s ideas. He’s a knowledgeable, involved, regular left-wing voter. He’s a proud union member and world’s for a union. He does not trust or feel comfortable with joining political parties. I know it’s a thing in the states (I’ve lived abroad since I was 20) but seriously would someone explain how you can be involved in the union movement but think a political party is a step too far? To my mind the two go hand in hand – collective action, the group stands stronger than the individual, stand together or fall apart etc. I really seriously just don’t get it.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Baud: white cis straight.

    Tell me more about white male aversion to parties. Please. I really mean it.

  27. 27
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Probably less on the IR shots than the visible light shots. I bring the raw format pics into Adobe Camera Raw and set the white balance to the trees(I can provide more warmth by not doing that and get trees with a yellow tint*); then open the file in Photoshop and run the channel switch macro. If I want to alter the color of some element; color select and add a hue adjustment layer with a mask.

    * I was just playing around with this after Schlemazel (parmesan rancor)’s comment.

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Beautiful. Was there no drought?

  29. 29
    Gindy51 says:

    @Donalbain: More like a dog, who’s a good doggy type of shit.

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😎

  31. 31
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @debbie: We were on a guided tour of the Japanese Garden and that question came up. San Marino(where the Huntington is located) does have drought restrictions that only allow watering on alternate days. The docent assured us that the garden does follow this drought restriction. The new entry area also has native, drought resistant plants.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Is he averse to the idea of political parties altogether?

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I tried to self-learn Photoshop once. If I ever get back into photography, I’ll have to take a class.

  34. 34
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Here’s what an IR pic looks like if I DON’T do the white balance adjustment: IR without white balance adjustment.

  35. 35
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    I taught myself Photoshop. Amazing all that it could do with just 0s and 1s!

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: That’s neat.

  37. 37
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: There is ALOT of Photoshop instruction on the intertubes.

  38. 38
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:
    We talk a lot about Nixon’s Southern Strategy but the big win was peeling the union member from the Dems. It not only won elections for Reagan and Bush despite their being brutal on unions and on working people but it starved the Dems of money and foot soldiers. To replace the money they have had to beg the same billionaire base as the GOP (it was the DLCs big ‘win’). Meanwhile union members keep voting for Republicans who then do everything they can to destroy the tools unions had to get better conditions and a bigger piece of the profits.

  39. 39
    Schlemazel (parmesan rancor) says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    I like that a lot!

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    This series of books is great. Quick step-by-steps with pictures of menus, drop-downs, etc.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Screwing union people is a bipartisan thing. Dems are better, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

  42. 42
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: And here’s the same picture directly out of the camera.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @debbie: Sometimes I wish I were a tech guy. Or a math guy. Anything that involves technical know-how rather than dealing with people.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: You weren’t kidding about the red sky. I kind of like this best.

  45. 45
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Heh, I’m a tech guy; I HATE PEOPLE!

  46. 46

    @Keith P.: Oh ow. Good luck getting dried out today. Or at least pumped out.

  47. 47
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    People are the most difficult machines of all!

  48. 48
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @debbie: People are illogical.

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I hate people but nowhere near the loathing I hold for all things techy.

  50. 50
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Heh, I was raised by an engineer; I had little choice.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    If he’s sincerely against all political parties, then I don’t know why that is.

    If he’s against our two parties, I can understand that. Most cis white males are GOP, but if you’re a white guy that doesn’t want to drink that flavor of kool-aid, then you’re out of luck there. Dems are more diverse, and since most cis white guys are GOP, Dems tend to focus on other groups. There is therefore no natural home for cis liberal white guys in either party.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: So is everything people create. Especially computers.

  53. 53
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Figures you’d like the red sky, Damn Commie!

  54. 54
    Brendan in Charlotte says:

    Anne – That NYT story also explains in a nutshell why the Republicans are so deadest against it. It’s a trifecta – the 3 groups of people they despise most actually benefit from the program. Why, that’s reason enough for them to try to kill it.

  55. 55
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: …OR he’s just being contrarian or just not a “joiner”*.

    * These are the guys that think they’re too pure for a label.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @debbie: Yes! Especially for those of us who try to treat people with a modicum of respect.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I think contrarianism is a symptom of what I described.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Sez you.

    ;)

  59. 59
    Keith P says:

    @Baud: Total house flood…4 inches in my living room..don’t even know how I am getting to dialysis today, and Monday is the worst day to skip

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    These are the guys that think they’re too pure for a label.

    Or maybe they just feel none of the labels fit them? Some people don’t like being pigeon holed. I know I never have.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    @Baud:

    To explicate, TMT’s friend is not contrarian about unions, but is about parties. If he was just a contrarian, you would think he would sneer at all organized groups.

  62. 62
    srv says:

    We all know Hillary will throw a country up against the wall and make an example of it. Which country will Baud take on?

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Keith P: Oooooffff.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    @Keith P: Oh, man. I wish I had a boat and lived near you. Keep us informed of what happens.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @srv: All of them, Katie.

  66. 66
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @srv: I’m rooting for Mississippi.

  67. 67
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Brendan in Charlotte:

    Exactly. It’s the same reason why this country can’t have nice socialist things, because the benefits of such programs go to all of those undeserving people. Racism is the root issue. I see it in my husband’s own family, and other white people I know. Their SS disability (because of the long term effects of drug abuse) is shrugged off, and their Medicare and their government pensions that allowed them to retire at 50 were earned. Those people are lazy criminals. I’m curious as to what the immigrant crisis in Europe will lead to in terms of political fallout. There have been some huge right wing rallies in Sweden, for instance.

  68. 68
    John D. says:

    @Baud: I think you’re overthinking this.

    There is therefore no natural home for cis liberal white guys in either party.

    There are millions of cis liberal white guys in the Democratic Party. The split among white men is under 10 points (I haven’t found a poll for cis inclusion, but self-identified liberal at this point is almost wholly Democratic Party).

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Or maybe they just feel none of the labels fit them? Some people don’t like being pigeon holed. I know I never have.

    Me either. I’ve never fit in anywhere. In reality, I don’t even fit in that well with the Democratic Party. But I support it because it’s far and away superior to all of the alternatives (including independent or “nonpartisan” status).

  70. 70
    different-church-lady says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You know what everyone has in common? They all think they’re unique.

  71. 71
    satby says:

    @Keith P.: That stinks. Good luck, cleanup after a flood is the worst.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @John D.:

    There are millions of cis liberal white guys in the Democratic Party.

    Yes of course. There are also millions of women and Latinos in the Republican Party, and gay Republicans are a thing too. But when you look at it as a percentage of the group population, it tells a story about modern U.S. politics. And while I don’t have statistics or surveys to cite you, it does seem like most (but not all) of the stories we hear from people who rail against the two-party system are from cis white males.

  74. 74
    Riley's Enabler says:

    @Keith P: Keith, news is saying stay home because of the roads. It might clear this afternoon but please be safe. Getting hammered in Sugar Land now…this storm is as bad as the Memorial Day floods so far. Wonder how high the Brazos will get.

  75. 75

    A large number of Americans scorn politics and politicians as corrupt and inept on both sides. They see parties as part of politics. Why would they want to associate themselves with that?

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Riley’s Enabler: News was saying that Houston set a record for rainfall.

  77. 77
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @different-church-lady: They are. Their mistake is also thinking they are important. When I die I will leave as much a hole as a finger removed from the water.

  78. 78
    satby says:

    @debbie: I have to check those out! I also have been trying to learn Photoshop online and it would help to have a book instead of switching back and forth between Windows. Thanks!

  79. 79
    Eric S. says:

    @Baud:

    There is therefore no natural home for cis liberal white guys in either party.

    I do OK with the Dems although in my misspent youth (as opposed to my current misspent middle age) I was more of Republican. I’ve defied the old adage of getting more conservative as I age.

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    @different-church-lady:
    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I feel like that’s a side effect of libertarian thinking. Too many people now believe they’d be better off if they shun organized groups, which are complex and messy and frustrating.

  81. 81
    satby says:

    @Keith P: go to dialysis any way you can. That’s first priority,the house will wait a few hours.
    Edited to add: call the dialysis place maybe to get help getting there? I have no idea how bad it is but it sounds bad. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  82. 82
    Baud says:

    @Eric S.: I was never GOP. I spent several years as an independent until I realized I was always going to support the Dems the way the two parties were heading. I too have grown more liberal as I’ve grown older, which I attribute to gaining experience and knowledge about the world around me.

  83. 83
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    OT, but after months of trying to think about who or what Boston’s top cop reminded of me of, it just came to me – Dobby!

  84. 84
    Riley's Enabler says:

    @Baud: 13 inches overnight, more to come today. The problem – beyond immediate street flooding- is the water that comes down the creeks and bayous over the next few days. Pretty bad today, all schools have been canceled and all city transportation has been shut down.

  85. 85
    MattF says:

    Interesting article from Dahlia Lithwick. She says that the reason R Senators are refusing to have hearings on Garland’s nomination is that they expected 2016 would be the year that Obama got kneecapped by the SC. But with Scalia gone and the SC attempting to be the adult in the room, all that’s come to naught.

  86. 86
    Immanentize says:

    @Riley’s Enabler: my In laws line in Richmond just west of the Brazos. Slough is up, but no flooding yet. Good luck to you!

    And Keith, hang in there!

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @Brendan in Charlotte:

    Anne – That NYT story also explains in a nutshell why the Republicans are so deadest against it. It’s a trifecta – the 3 groups of people they despise most actually benefit from the program. Why, that’s reason enough for them to try to kill it.

    OK, Brendan that’s the theory but what do we do about it? Turn out drops with income. Republicans don’t worry about gutting these programs because they can rely upon much lower turnout among lower income people. There was a practical reason for extending benefits to middle class people and it was that they turn out.

    It doesn’t seem that hard to me- “what is the possible group of voters who benefit most from a program, where are they and do they vote?” They aren’t voting for Republicans. They are non-voters. We know this. We’ve known it since Chuck Schumer said it when the law passed. He said it would be hard to translate into votes. It is! Now what?

  88. 88
    Betty Cracker says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: Mahster has presented Dobby with a badge. Dobby is freeeee!

  89. 89
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Possibly, tho I see a lot of what I call “special snowflake parenting” now bearing fruit. I was one of six, so there was never any of that for me or my siblings when we were growing up, but we certainly saw more than a little of it around us. In later years it only seemed to get worse.

    shrug

  90. 90
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud:

    Too many people now believe they’d be better off if they shun organized groups, which are complex and messy and frustrating.

    To be part of an organized group requires a skill that a lot of them don’t have: the ability to care about something “not me”.

  91. 91
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: one other thing on the Unions — I think we need to go back a bit further than Reagan or even Nixon and lay some blame about the Dem/Union split at the feet of Bobby Kennedy and his rather aggressive ‘anti-corruption’ crusade that still had a wiff of red-baiting about it.

  92. 92
    satby says:

    @Eric S.: @Baud: I identified as independent for years because I was and continue to be more left than the Dems. In my precinct in Chicago when I worked elections they always assigned me as a Republican judge just because the real Republicans wouldn’t volunteer or were over 80 😉
    I’m uneasy about party identification, since it clearly has led a youuuge chunk of the other side to abandon the good of the nation in favor of the good of the party.

  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Interesting. I don’t have children, so parenting issues are foreign to me. I don’t think I was raised as a special snowflake, although my mother was overprotective.

  94. 94
    MattF says:

    @Baud: Once upon a time, ‘enlightened self-interest’ was the byword for actual conservatives. But that requires thinking about the needs of other people and then working with them to deal with those needs. A quaint thought.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Bingo. Straight white male privilege is a helluva drug, and the addicts don’t even know they’re addicts.

  97. 97

    @Baud: That’s exactly what happened to me. I thought I was an Independent and then noticed I always voted Democratic. Or nearly always. Bill Milliken was a Republican governor of Michigan, and I voted for him. That was back in the days when not all Republicans were crazy. Mea culpa. I don’t think I’ve done it since.

  98. 98
    Baud says:

    @different-church-lady:

    To be part of an organized group requires a skill that a lot of them don’t have: the ability to care about something “not me”.

    Maybe. I tend to care only about myself, and I’m not overtly hostile to good but imperfect organizations. On the other hand, I’ve hardly been an activist member of any group, so you may have a point.

  99. 99
    Technocrat says:

    @Baud:

    There is safety and power in coalitions. I can see how that would be very important to minorities, while not being very important to widely-represented groups.

    Also it may be family-cultural. I’m a black guy, and have been a Dem since I could vote, as were my parents, as are my siblings, as is my daughter (although she’s Socialist-curious), and as far as I know most of my cousins. It’s probably very different to grow up in an environment where your family has a different political affiliation than you.

  100. 100
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @different-church-lady: And acceptance of the reality that “I can’t have everything I want.”

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @satby:

    I’m uneasy about party identification, since it clearly has led a youuuge chunk of the other side to abandon the good of the nation in favor of the good of the party.

    I’m not so uneasy. I don’t think what’s happening to the GOP is about “party” per se, but about the ideology of privilege that the GOP has actively promoted for decades now.

  102. 102
    MattF says:

    @Technocrat: Similar for me, but Jewish rather than AA. My father thought Stevenson would win the 1956 election because everyone he knew was voting Democratic.

  103. 103
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: The unions themselves maybe should bear some of the blame too. Is it really a good idea for someone named Hoffa to represent the Teamsters? I believe strong unions are a necessary counterweight to big business interests, but the people who assume unions are corrupt and don’t truly represent them aren’t 100% wrong. I think the Fight for $15 movement is a hopeful sign for the future, a back-to-grassroots phenomenon.

  104. 104
    Baud says:

    @Technocrat: I agree. I put great weight on the social networking aspect of this. For whites, it’s more likely that your social network will include Republicans and even full-on wingnuts. These are the people you work with, who you marry, who watch your children, and are there for you when your parents die. Just like in all other contexts, it can’t be easy for people who don’t fit into the dominant political strain of their social network.

  105. 105
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Baud: thanks for the thoughtful answers. I think you’re probably right. It’s just such a foreign way too think for me that my whole brain turned to static when he tried to explain.

    Also this is why my vote goes to Baud 2016. 😊

  106. 106
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    ….and that I have to share what I do have – like the same rights and access – and that my tax dollars go to those people… There’s a lot of zero sum thinking in conservatism. If you are given what I have, then it’s not just mine anymore and I lose.

  107. 107
    msdc says:

    @Baud:

    There are also millions of women and Latinos in the Republican Party, and gay Republicans are a thing too.

    Yes, but gays and Latinos don’t make up the second largest voting bloc (after white women) in the GOP the way white men do in the Democratic party.

    In 2012, more white men voted for Obama than African American men and women combined. Think about that.

    If some white guys have a hard time joining the Democratic party, maybe it’s because a) they aren’t all that liberal, or b) they buy into the purity pony “voting as self-expression” nonsense. It’s not because there’s “no natural home” for liberal white guys.

  108. 108
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: Part of the problem, I think, is that union organizations have always been havens for lefties. Wingers are very aware of this and have always aimed their guns in that direction in order to keep their ideological adversaries off-balance.

  109. 109
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Can’t speak for all unions, but back in the ’80s Reagan successfully turned all the construction unions, who had a very uneasy alliance to begin with, against each other. It has only gotten worse over the years.

  110. 110
    Baud says:

    @msdc:

    I think you are confusing two different things. Yes, the Democratic Party still needs millions of white male voters, and millions of white male voters have no qualms about supporting Democrats. But if you are examining the politics of white male voters as a (large) cultural subgroup, they are overwhelmingly GOP compared to all other subgroups. The result of that, IMHO, is that you have (what seems like) a larger share of white male voters who are politically active but yet can’t commit to a party.

  111. 111
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    The first group of marathoners are off – the injured and disabled from the bombing and generally, and their supporters. Beautiful morning here and generally a special day.

  112. 112
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Baud:

    90% of poor white males in the South vote GOP. Because you know, they’re against the estate and capital gains tax.

  113. 113
    Eric S. says:

    @Baud: To say I was GOP is overstating it. My phrasing could have better. I definitely voted for some candidates from both parties. I also was much more pro big business. Like you, experience has taught me a different lesson. Weekly, if not almost daily, I am amazed at the incompetence of executive management.

  114. 114
    tinare says:

    In Pennsylvania you cannot vote in Primaries if you register as an Independent. You have to be a member of a party. I have several friends and family members that have done that and they seem to think somehow that this makes them above it somehow. I’ve never really gotten a good answer when I ask them why they would want to have less of a say in elections. I had a high school political science teacher who urged everyone to just pick the party that most closely aligns with you and not to look for perfection, and that has always stayed with me. You are free to vote as you want in the general, but in Pennsylvania if you don’t pick a party you can’t influence part of that ballot ahead of time.

  115. 115
    different-church-lady says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: I’m heading for the Wellsely “Tunnel of Screams” to get some audio recordings for a documentary. Then maybe downtown on the T, to see if my press credentials get me in the finish line area.

    Spent yesterday interviewing some of the significant women who have run during the history of the race. This year is the 50th anniversary of Bobbi Gibb’s wildcat run. Much later the BAA retroactively recognized her as the first winner of the women’s division, even though there wasn’t such a thing at the time. It would be another eight years before American athletics officially caught up to the reality that women were capable of running marathon distances and sanctioned women’s marathoning.

  116. 116
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    You’ll be 5 mins from me – I’m in Needham Heights. Wellesley is cray cray. They are actually interviewing Bobbi Gibb right now on Ch 4. It seems like they’re talking about another world and time, yet, it’s so within our lifetime it’s crazy.

  117. 117
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Keith P: I hope there’s a way to get you there. As satby suggested, could the dialysis place have any ideas/plans in place for events like this?

  118. 118
    Anya says:

    @Baud: I guess that’s why white male democrats never hold a position of power anymore. And why all of those are taken by non whites and women democrats. I mean, look at all the non white male senate democrats.

  119. 119
    rikyrah says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    Exactly. It’s the same reason why this country can’t have nice socialist things, because the benefits of such programs go to all of those undeserving people. Racism is the root issue

    yep yep yep

  120. 120
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Sanders thinks racism and sexism are distractions. So there you go.

  121. 121
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Is “break an arm” the appropriate phrase of good wishes for that situation.

  122. 122
    Chris says:

    @Donalbain:

    What is wrong with the American electorate that they constantly need to be told that they are the best in the whole wide world? It’s like they want to be treated like a baby.

    So much this.

    It’s blatantly not true in so many categories it’s not even funny, but Americans can ignore that as long as we have the most powerful country in the world. Which is why I’m not looking forward to the inevitable day – whether it’s in ten years or one hundred or five hundred – when America is no longer the most powerful country in the world. Imagine the existential shock and identity crisis that’ll hit the “American Exceptionalists” once they have to face up to the fact that even in simple schoolyard bully terms they’re no longer # 1.

  123. 123
    Immanentize says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: I’m in Medford and instead of going in to watch the marathon, I will be performing our family’s annual ritual of cheering on Paul Revere as he rides through town on his way to Concord.

  124. 124
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I am sick and tired of people running for President who view our country through a negative lens.

    Way to flip the script on them, Hil!

  125. 125
    Emma says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I love this image. Love it.

  126. 126
    Emma says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: This one is completely surreal. Love it too.

  127. 127
    MomSense says:

    @Keith P.:

    Keith I hope you are safe. I’m so sorry about the flooding and your home.

  128. 128
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Immanentize:

    I love all that shit. I grew up in Framingham and my father used to take us to see Paul Revere ride his horse through the old Shoppers World parking lot, then we’d set up shop to watch the race either in downtown Framingham or Natick. All while listening to the Red Sox. This might be my favorite day.

  129. 129
    Aimai says:

    @different-church-lady: how cool! I wave to you from the other side of the river. Mammogram for me and sick kid so I’m staying home

  130. 130
    cokane says:

    I dunno about her “we’re the best in the world”. But I also don’t think the US has to be

  131. 131
    satby says:

    @Baud: I read Hoffer’s True Believer at a youngish age, it made me leery of all mass movement type things for life. I agree with your analysis of the current GOP, but worldwide they’re hardly the first political party to put party power over the good of whatever country.

  132. 132
    Technocrat says:

    @Baud:

    These are the people you work with, who you marry, who watch your children, and are there for you when your parents die.

    That’s a great way of putting it. For my family (and maybe for MattF’s), Republicans are Bad People, at a visceral level. I suspect that’s one reason black Republicans are treated so poorly by black people. We think they’re like that smiling pig on the pack of sausages. Fuck that pig.

    But if your mother or father or best friend is GOP, your associations are completely different. It’s at least plausible to vote for either party.

    I’m sure there’s a similar dynamic for parts of the GOP, where Democrats are considered automatically evil. Probably down South.

  133. 133
    Denali says:

    Hungarians/Japanese also thnk they are the best – ethnocentrism is universal, actually. But it is a little bit of a disconnect in a society as diverse as the United States. I think it is because our ideals are so appealing. Too bad the reality is quite different.

  134. 134
    Immanentize says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: me too. When my son was about 6 we got up at four, drove to Lexington, and watched the re-enactment on the green. It is really moving. And Paul changes horses every year about a quarter mile from my house at the Medford/Arlington line so we usually wander down there to see this year’s Paul, thank him, and pat the gorgeous horses.

  135. 135
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Immanentize:

    I’ve never done that. My daughter and her husband moved to Medford a little over a year ago, and they’re both school teachers – I wonder if she knows about this? They always have this day off (and the week), and this is right up their alley.

  136. 136
    Denali says:

    @Bill,

    Beautiful pictures!

  137. 137
    Immanentize says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: And probably right down the street! Paul Revere gets to the Arlington border from the Medford side on High Street (Rt 16) right about noon. He changes horses on the banks of the Mystic on the Medford side so your sister would never have to leave town! Bring a camera, lots of kids, and cuteness.

  138. 138
    ruemara says:

    Dearest Baud. Dems barely focus on non-white, non-male, non-cis issues. The natural home for straight white males is every where; for straight white liberal males, it’s nearly every where. Anyone feeling left out because of the relatively nominal time Dems spend on those others, probably not a Dem, but since I’ve heard supposedly liberal males saying this before, probably is. Sorry, had to say it. Still voting Baud for the Electrolytes We Need!

  139. 139
    Original Lee says:

    @Cermet: You might want to consider also switching to bigger gutters. We did that about 3 years ago, plus we got this gutter liner that lets the water through but keeps the leaves up top, and it made a YUUUUUGE difference.

  140. 140
    Chris says:

    @Denali:

    Every country has ethnocentrism. I’m not sure I’d say that every country ritualizes and obsesses over it to this degree. Or as I put it in a conversation with a European friend a couple years back, everybody’s got patriotism, but not everyone turns it into a religion the way the United States has.

  141. 141
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Technocrat:

    We think they’re like that smiling pig on the pack of sausages. Fuck that pig.

    I love that simile so much! Makes me smile like that stupid fucking pig! :)

    @Chris: I suspect every country that’s had its turn as King Shit on Turd Mountain is just as into patriotic puffery. The Brits were insufferable prior to WW2, from what I hear/read…

  142. 142
    Aimai says:

    @Immanentize: i am so sorry to miss this! Gorgeous day for it! Maybe next year.

  143. 143
    Technocrat says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    LOL, Betty. Ewwww. The smiling animal thing has always creeped me out. Except for the Chik-Fil-A cows. Those cows have their heads on straight.

  144. 144
    J R in WV says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I like it straight out of the camera best, it looks like a SF stage setting on a Movie Sound Stage. Most foreign/strange of all the IR. Perhaps you could combine raw IR with oddly white balanced normal spectrum photos for divergent looks?

    Nice work.

  145. 145
    Miss Bianca says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Goodness, you take some beautiful photos. So envious, as that is *so* not a skill of mine!

  146. 146
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    Merle said it better:

    I hear people talkin’ bad,
    About the way we have to live here in this country,
    Harpin’ on the wars we fight,
    An’ gripin’ ’bout the way things oughta be.
    An’ I don’t mind ’em switchin’ sides,
    An’ standin’ up for things they believe in.
    When they’re runnin’ down my country, man,
    They’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.

  147. 147
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: Al Franken said it even better:

    We [liberals] love America just as much as they [conservatives] do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That’s why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well.

  148. 148
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @rikyrah: There was an amazing Twitter rant that I saw a month or two ago that made this point amazingly well: The reason we don’t have Socialism in America isn’t because nobody has dared to propose Socialist policies or explain their virtues to the American public, it’s because White Supremacy/racism has always stood in the way.

  149. 149
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Betty Cracker: well, if we’re being serious here, I’d say I agree with you and Mr Franken.

  150. 150
    Joel says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: looks vintage.

  151. 151
    Joel says:

    @Baud: I’m a scientist and I deal with people all the fucking time.

  152. 152
    cleek says:

    @Joel:
    i’m a programmer and if i say/write more than 10 sentences at work today, i’ll be surprised.

  153. 153
    J R in WV says:

    @Keith P:

    I would call the local fire department and explain your situation to them. You don’t need “rescued” so much as you need to get to a specific medical facility – check to see if they’re even open first – and then get back home after your treatment. Or even to a evacuation center after your treatment, since the weather is going to suck for another day or two.

  154. 154
    Davebo says:

    @Keith P:

    That sucks. If I were you I’d shut off your electricity. It’s only going to get worse as the day goes on.

  155. 155
    Brachiator says:

    A reminder to all the Party People. In California, at least, Independent or decline to state voters continue to increase. And California has always been a leader in electoral experiments.

    The percentage of California voters registered as independent or decline-to-state voters as of the June 2014 primary was 21.2% —it has more than doubled since the November 1994 gubernatorial election (10.3%). Over the same period, the percentage of voters affiliated with each of the major parties has fallen: Republicans from 37.2% to 28.4%, Democrats from 49% to 43.4%.

    And California Independents are not Republicans who are ashamed to admit it.

    Our surveys over the past year indicate that more independents who are likely to vote lean toward the Democratic than toward the Republican Party (42% to 30%), while 28% lean toward neither party.

    In 2014, Independents were unhappy with the bullshit peddled by both mainstream political parties, but they are not fools and will vote for the party that comes closer to doing the right thing.

    Most independent likely voters have unfavorable views of the Democratic Party (59%), the Republican Party (73%), and the Tea Party movement (59%). Leading up to the 2014 gubernatorial election, independents prefer Jerry Brown, the Democrat, to Neel Kashkari, the Republican (52% to 28%).

    Source: Public Policy Institute of California

  156. 156
    VFX Lurker says:

    @Baud:

    I tried to self-learn Photoshop once. If I ever get back into photography, I’ll have to take a class.

    One of your large local library systems may offer free access to Lynda.com. My Los Angeles Public Library card does, for example. It’s a good deal.

  157. 157
    gex says:

    @Baud: It’s possible that in a patriarchal capitalist society, where men’s worth has been overly defined by their profession and earnings, union membership doesn’t chafe the way being lumped in to other groups might.

  158. 158
    nutella says:

    @Anya:

    I guess that’s why white male democrats never hold a position of power anymore. And why all of those are taken by non whites and women democrats. I mean, look at all the non white male senate democrats.

    A lot of people in long-time dominant groups, like white straight men in politics (and everywhere else), get totally freaked out when their dominant group falls to around two-thirds of the total in their profession/job/neighborhood. It looks stupid to those of us not in the dominant group (Two-thirds is still a big majority!) but it makes the dominant group desperately uncomfortable because they can no longer count on a sea of white male faces with just a few others that they graciously tolerate. They start to realize at two-thirds that they might be on the way to becoming the graciously tolerated group and they make sure the numbers never get there.

    I don’t know if anyone’s counted but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Congress were approaching or at two-thirds straight white men these days. That plus a black president and a major candidate who is (gasp!) a woman makes them even more nervous.

    A note from the time I saw this play out with gender at my office: About 80% of the men there did everything they could to bring the totals in the office comfortably back over two-thirds and the other 20% were surprised that anyone even cared about something so silly.

  159. 159
    Paul in KY says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Unless he’s a civil service employee, I don’t understand it.

  160. 160
    Linnaeus says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I believe strong unions are a necessary counterweight to big business interests, but the people who assume unions are corrupt and don’t truly represent them aren’t 100% wrong.

    They’re not 100% wrong (which could also be said about any number of institutions in American life), but the extent to which those people are right is considerably exaggerated.

  161. 161
    gwangung says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Propane Jane ‏@docrocktex26

    She has several of them that are worth looking at and thinking about.

  162. 162
    msdc says:

    @nutella:

    I don’t know if anyone’s counted but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Congress were approaching or at two-thirds straight white men these days.

    The current Congress is about 20% women, a little less than 20% nonwhite, and around a half-dozen openly LGBT members. There’s some overlap, of course, so one-third sounds just about right.

    I wonder what a truly representative Congress would be able to accomplish.

  163. 163
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @gwangung: YES! Thank you. Bookmarking now.

  164. 164
    Mike G says:

    @Chris:

    everybody’s got patriotism, but not everyone turns it into a religion the way the United States has.

    The Danes probably come closest in Europe, flag-waving everywhere. I’m guessing it’s a defensive reaction to being sandwiched between much-larger Germany and Sweden.

    What’s curious to me is the people who most stridently insist that ‘Murka is perfect and should never be criticized and that they are personally awesome for being born on this patch of dirt, are usually the ones also sneering at kids’ games where everyone is constantly praised and cheered and everyone gets a trophy for showing up.

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