Accidentally In Love

I really do try to avoid posting about Trump, but my God:

Trump gloats about the half dozen or so letters Kim has written him as if he were a smitten teenager in possession of valentines from a crush. White House officials refer to the diplomatic correspondence jokingly as “love letters.” Kim addresses Trump as “Your Excellency” and employs flowery language to describe the president’s energy and political smarts, according to people who have read them. Trump has shown the documents to dozens of Oval Office visitors and bragged about them in public.

“He wrote me beautiful letters — and they’re great letters,” Trump said in September at a rally in West Virginia. “We fell in love.”

He’s a rube, a sucker, a mark. Short con or long con, it doesn’t matter, he falls for it. He’s the fool, it’s our money, and they’re being parted.






211 replies
  1. 1
    jl says:

    Emerging scandal of the Trumps being undercover satanic Buddhists, not good evangelical Christians at all. Horrors!
    But my understanding of reincarnation is apparently defective. They misbehave and we are all reborn into a worse life, while they get the WH? Weird. I’ll take it up with the local Buddhist priest.

    Don Jr. On Russia Probe: ‘No Actual Crimes’ Just ‘Things People Did In Past Lives’
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/no-actual-crimes-things-people-did-past-lives

  2. 2
    ThresherK says:

    Does Putin know Trump has a side-dictator?

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    He’s a rube, a sucker, a mark. Short con or long con, it doesn’t matter, he falls for it. He’s the fool, it’s our money, and they’re being parted.

    Never forget…..
    Non-White America gave you Barack Obama…..

    White people gave us Dolt45…

    And no, they will NEVER EVER be able to live this down. THIS is the expression of their character.

  4. 4
    Mandalay says:

    Ironic that little Marco tweeted this earlier today:

    Small circle of paranoid cronies,isolated from reality by yes-men…

    Perhaps he was talking about Venezuela, but with yes-men you never really know what they’re really thinking.

  5. 5
    Amir Khalid says:

    Incidents like this help me better understand how der Scheißgibbon could lose money running a casino.

  6. 6

    Yeah, he thinks of himself as a smart guy, and it’s true, he can con people. A lot of people. But most of all, he’s conned himself into believing he’s some kind of genius. So that makes it easy for others to con him.

  7. 7

    @rikyrah:

    And no, they will NEVER EVER be able to live this down. THIS is the expression of their character.

    They won’t have to live it down as long as white media is willing to cover for them. Privilege means never having to say you’re sorry.

  8. 8

    @rikyrah: Not the Commonwealth. In MA Barack Obama carried all the demographics even white men. And he got 72% in my county which is more than 90% white. But we are more the exception and what you said is the rule. Also, isn’t it funny that our liberal MSM never ever covers MA?
    ETA: We have small towns and diners too. Yet we never got stories of Obama supporters and diners when he was President. Or a NYT Sunday magazine story of how rural MA supports a black President, like they did a story of the few T supporters in California

  9. 9
    Luthe says:

    I wonder how much of the North Korean treasury has been used to pay for thank-you gifts to Vlad. Kim couldn’t have asked for a better sucker.

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    I often wonder how Trump’s gushing praise of KJU sounds to the family of Otto Warmbier, the young man who was sent home virtually brain-dead from abuse received in a North Korean prison (and died shortly after repatriation). Back when Trump was talking tough about KJU, Warmbier’s parents allowed themselves to be used as political props. I don’t blame them; if my child were in the clutches of that lunatic, I’d be willing to become a political prop for a terrible person if I thought it would get my kid back. Anyway, they must feel like suckers now.

    Meanwhile, KJU certainly isn’t the only foreign leader who polishes the stumpy mushroom knob for leverage. When this nightmare is over, I’m sure we’ll find out Trump sold us out all over the world to smooth-talking autocrats — more than we already know about, which is considerable.

  11. 11
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: According to the election results I saw from 2016, fewer black men voted for Hillary than they did for Obama. Black women voted for both at about the same levels. I think there was some misogyny that gave us Trump as well.

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    itgurl (@itgurl_29) Tweeted:
    Conservatives are really reaching this morning with the Oscars, which they all love to hate watch bc deep down they so want to be included and embraced by Hollywood. No host meant almost no Trump jokes, so all they can do is jump on Spike for suggesting people vote in 2020.

    https://twitter.com/itgurl_29/status/1100054372468355072?s=17

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:
    Uh huh
    Uh huh 😒

  14. 14
    SFAW says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    if my child were in the clutches of that lunatic,

    You wouldn’t let your child anywhere NEAR Shitgibbon, so no need to worry.

  15. 15
    Lapassionara says:

    @Yarrow: I agree. That is why I worry about the 2020 dem nominee. I am afraid that, if one of the well-qualified women wins the nomination, we will see a replay of 2016. People will find excuses to support someone other than a woman.

  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: Trump does a lot of tough guy posturing. He’s as weak as can be but he’s skilled at portraying himself as a tough negotiator, great businessman, no-nonsense guy and so forth. A lot of people fell for it. I think it worked better on many men than we still understand.

    Good news is, I don’t think it’ll work nearly as well in 2020. A lot of people who didn’t see what a fraud he was in 2018 have seen it now.

  17. 17
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I can’t remember how I figured this out, but I was curious about which the counties that were majority white and voted for Obama by the largest margins. Berkshire County in Massachusetts was #1 (by margins), with a couple of counties in Southern Vermont close behind. Of large counties, Denver County, Colorado and Multnomah County, had some of the biggest margins, coming in 4th and 5th nationwide. Marin County, CA and Arlington County, VA were in the top 10.

    In advance of the 2012 election, Brad DeLong had a long post that analyzed polling data and showed the degree to which white voting margins are affected by the incredibly lopsided results in Southern states, along with a few Mountain states. For instance, in a state like Pennsylvania, whites might range between 55/45 R/D (2012) to 51/49 (2008), but the closest Southern state that isn’t Virginia or Florida (as in basically no longer really Southern) was in North Carolina, where in 2012, whites voted 65/35 R/D — and that was the CLOSEST. His point was that the media narrative that Obama was really unpopular with whites was masking the degree to which this was only really true for whites in the South and Mountain states, where he was so unpopular that it affected the overall margin for the whole nation.

    So this is not to pile on rikyrah, but it’s not the case that all whites are a lost cause. Many, many whites, including close to an even number in swing states will vote for Democratic candidates.

  18. 18

    @Yarrow: Misogyny is alive and well. Read the haterade in Cheryl Rofer’s thread yesterday.

  19. 19
    Yarrow says:

    @Lapassionara: I have those concerns too but I also think Trump has lost a lot of support. He’s a fraud and a lot more people know it now.

    Any female candidate this time won’t have the decades of baggage that Hillary had. Plus, women are even more motivated now–look at 2018.

  20. 20
    plato says:

    totus thug.
    theresa may.
    perfect examples of white folks failing upwards.

  21. 21

    @Barbara: We are being ruled by the descendants of the losers of the Civil War. Their current treason is not that surprising in that light, is it?

  22. 22
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I missed that thread, I think. Sounds like a good thing.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    I think Trump knows his base really well, and he knows he looked weak on the wall negotiations (he did- any other president would have gotten absolutely slammed by media is ‘weak’).

    He’s desperate for a deal. It’s not a good look either – it’s weak- and he’s going to give away the store.

    I just love how Trump so clearly exposes how bankrupt our 30 year orgy of worshiping rich people has been. He’s both a lousy human being and lousy negotiator. He isn’t good at the ONE thing he was supposed to be good at.

  24. 24
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: Pennsylvania is Exhibit A. There were five statewide elections in 2016: President, Senate, State Supreme Court (2) and AG. The three men running as Democrats won (AG, Supreme Court). The only Democrats who lost were female. I stress, however, that we should not necessarily see past as prologue.

  25. 25
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Step right up, Mr. President and try your luck at a game of chance! Pick the red – get ahead! Pick the black – set you back! I can see you’re an important man of considerable means, so you know you can’t win big unless you bet big! Step right up!

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    @schrodingers_cat: I missed that thread, I think. Sounds like a good thing.

    I think I must of missed it too.

  27. 27
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I am not drawing a straight line the way you are.

  28. 28

    @Lapassionara:

    I am afraid that, if one of the well-qualified women wins the nomination, we will see a replay of 2016.

    I understand the worry, but I don’t think we can let that worry drive the nomination process. Trump barely scraped a win in 2016, and he’s spent the past 2+ years wearing out his welcome. Also, whomever we nominate won’t have the same 25 years of demonization Hillary got, which will make a difference. It doesn’t take much chipping away at Trump’s support to reverse the election.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    He’s desperate for a deal. It’s not a good look either – it’s weak- and he’s going to give away the store.

    Didn’t he already give away the store the last time they met?

  30. 30
    Mandalay says:

    @Yarrow:

    A lot of people fell for it. I think it worked better on many men than we still understand.

    There’s no better example of that than Lindsey Graham. The NYT has a brutal article on Graham which isn’t even a hit job:

    He noted that Trump asked him whether the United States should use force in Venezuela. Graham said that he preached caution and that Trump became exasperated, or pretended to be. “He said to me, ‘You want to invade everywhere except where I want to invade,’ ” Graham said, laughing.

    Two morons – one a con-man and one a yes-man – joking about invading countries. It would be pathetic, except that they have the power to actually do it.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay:

    I just love how Trump so clearly exposes how bankrupt our 30 year orgy of worshiping rich people has been. He’s both a lousy human being and lousy negotiator. He isn’t good at the ONE thing he was supposed to be good at.

    QFT. He’s terrible at all the things he’s supposed to be good at. And worshiping rich people is a terrible thing to do. They’re bad people. Not worthy of adulation.

    It’s all projection with the GOP. They tell you what to look for with them. “I’m a good negotiator!” He’s a terrible negotiator. “This pizza place is trafficking children.” People on the right are trafficking children. “Democrats are committing voter fraud!” The Republicans are committing voter fraud. They give you a road map.

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    @Mandalay: I don’t see how my comment applies to Graham. Graham is compromised. He got told about his kompromat and that’s why he’s Trump’s best friend now. Anything he says or does is in service of protecting himself.

  33. 33
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Betty Cracker: The Warmbiers, who live not too far from me, are well known to be very loyal and committed Republicans. Their capacity to feel like suckers may be limited, how else can you stay a Republican over the long haul?

    (Required disclaimer: even with their lousy political judgement, they and their son did not deserve what happened).

  34. 34
    Barbara says:

    @Mandalay: I read a great article that I now forget where, that discussed the issue in the following terms: When you are inclined to distrust someone you see every flaw, even minor ones, as a validation of their incompetence or inadequacy. If you are inclined to trust someone, you demand a much higher quantum of proof before concluding that they are incompetent or inadequate. That is why it’s easy to undermine women candidates by harping on what seem like really minor flaws (e.g., emails). Whereas, men will get a pass not just for those kinds of flaws but things that should be much more damaging. Which is why I react so strongly to the herd like gravitation to discussing whether Amy Klobuchar is a mean boss — it means you are following a well-trodden path that disqualifies women for what are essentially peccadilloes (in this case, anonymous and thinly sourced peccadilloes at that). In my view, it is critical that we resist that temptation.

  35. 35

    @Barbara: Their ancestors took up arms against the duly elected government of the United States because they couldn’t get their way on the issue of slavery. Almost 150 years later, many of the descendants of the same people elected the current President. His having been in bed with one of our most powerful enemies throughout the twentieth century hasn’t dimmed their fervor for him at all. This is their revenge against for electing Barack Obama twice.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    Trump can’t do the usual last act for a con: leave town in a hurry. If you’re interested in the pattern, read Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. It includes a portrait of Moist von Lipwig– an accomplished thief and con artist. It’s funny, but there’s a lot of truth buried in the novel.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    I listen to his big loud boasting and I hear every disaster from the 1980’s white collar crime spree to Enron to the 2009 crash. It’s the fucking arrogance that is the problem. Stop coddling them. Stop telling them they’re brilliant over and over and over.
    Check them. Hard.

    Everyone wants to say “well, he’s not REALLY a billionaire and most of his business boasting is bullshit” but he’s relying on the worship of deal makers and rich people to run this fucking con. The con wouldn’t work if we didn’t have the worship of this genre of PERSON.

    How many bad deals does it take before they simply say “President Trump is bad at negotiations”. He is. The community organizer was better at deal making than the NYC real estate heir. But we can’t say that, because that might make us question this whole fucking myth of how brilliant these people are.

  38. 38
    Mandalay says:

    @Yarrow:

    Graham is compromised. He got told about his kompromat and that’s why he’s Trump’s best friend now.

    Link?

    Graham’s version of the truth is that he’ll gladly and proudly do whatever it takes to protect and serve the nation, and conventional wisdom is that Graham will say and do anything to ensure his reelection, since he wouldn’t even be selected if he didn’t support Trump.

    Your explanation is “interesting” but I think I’ll go with Occam.

  39. 39
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Sorry, West Virginia seceded from the state of Virginia because Virginia seceded and its voters rank among the most likely to vote against Democrats and people of color. Also too — Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, etc. The Civil War obviously is a seminal event in U.S. history but it is not enough to explain the voting or governing behavior of the descendants of people who fought for one side or the other.

  40. 40
    glory b says:

    @Barbara: I’m more hopeful. In the last five election cycles, Dems won every statewide office except for Hillary and Katie McGinty ( who ran to replace Pat Toomey).

    Those just happened to be the ones most needed by Russians, etc. They didn’t care about who the Auditor General (for example) was. Coincidence?

    Since then, we have over-performed in statewide races, including females running for judicial positions.

  41. 41

    @Barbara: I never said it explains everything. Its like many white people in the south haven’t evolved at all, where race is concerned.
    Rs are now the Confederate party.

    ETA: In many of the Hollywood westerns, weren’t many of the people who “settled” the west confederate soldiers. I don’t know how historically accurate that is.

  42. 42
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Another thing Trump has accidentally exposed: what a bunch of fucking crooks these rich and powerful people are. Even if Mueller doesn’t manage to nail Trump for conspiring with Russia, he certainly proved that neither Trump’s nor his associates’ activities could withstand scrutiny.

    Before being sworn in, Trump had to pay millions to victims of his “university” scam. It came out that his entire family cheats on their taxes, and his foundation was exposed as a slush fund. Manafort has been swindling people since the Reagan administration. Cohen was a two-bit wannabe gangster and crook. Jared is a fraud and an incompetent. Half the cabinet has resigned under a cloud.

    After a while, it starts to seem less like an indictment of one crime family and more an indication that we have a massive white collar crime problem.

  43. 43
    JMG says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Reasonably so. Plus, a great many Westerns are set in Texas, which was part of the Confederacy.

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    @ThresherK:

    Does Putin know Trump has a side-dictator?

    Perfect.

  45. 45
    Seanly says:

    One con-man playing a grift on another con-man who’s too needy & stupid to realize he’s being conned.

    I look forward to the People’s Republic of Korea becoming the proud owners of the US 7th Fleet when Trump deals that away for a delicious doorstop. I also look forward to our very sensible media and Sunday morning regulars & pundits proclaiming how the President definitely can and therefore should give away entire fleets.

  46. 46
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s not accurate if it made it seem like anything approaching a majority of settlers fought for the confederacy. It might be true of some states but I doubt it. Among other things, the South accounted for a smaller proportion of the total population, and a much lower proportion of the white population (think about it). A lot of midwestern states were already settled by the time of the Civil War. Even California became a state in 1850. The west opened up so much after the Civil War because of railroads, not because of disappointed Confederate soldiers.

    And you kind of did make it sound like it explains everything.

  47. 47

    @rikyrah: It was about the treatment of women in the sciences. According to one commenter it was all in our heads because we are wealthy entitled whiners, the most privileged people on the planet . Yes all those researchers and adjuncts toiling away for decades are rolling in dough.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I never said it explains everything. Its like many white people in the south haven’t evolved at all, where race is concerned.
    Rs are now the Confederate party.

    Includes a good chunk of white people in South… Boston.

    The South, the former Confederacy, is a special place, but racism has always been an all American problem.

  49. 49

    @Barbara: My bad. Sometimes the brevity of the comments is inadequate to put things more clearly.

  50. 50
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Mandalay: I gotta go with Yarrow on this one. If Graham isn’t compromised, he’s doing a damn fine job of acting like it. His approval rating has dropped precipitously since getting chummy with Trump (lower than Trump’s now), so that would put a ding in your ‘wants to secure reelection’ theory. Since he’s up in 2020. even his GOP friends have cautioned him about getting too close to Trump. Still he persists.

    Oh, and you wanted a link. Here’s three:

    http://nymag.com/intelligencer.....raham.html

    https://www.businessinsider.com/why-lindsey-graham-and-trump-are-best-friends-2017-12

    https://www.independentmail.com/story/news/local/south-carolina/2019/01/23/lindsey-graham-donald-trump-its-not-complicated/2650215002/

    I’m just an old flatfoot, but like you, I too am a fan of Occam’s razor. Only in my day, we had a simpler saying:

    Follow the money.

  51. 51

    @Brachiator: We are talking about aggregates here. Barack Obama won every fucking county in MA against an R who was the governor of the Commonwealth.
    Results here
    ETA: I am not saying that there are racists only in the South. But institutional racism is of a different order of magnitude over there. Just look at the people they elect.

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Epstein is a child molester and Manafort is a crook. That’s the bottom line. They got special treatment because one is rich and the other is powerful and connected but this is what they ARE.
    Epstein’s victims were as young as 14 and the United States justice system decided they were not victims but instead “prostitutes”. That has absolutely no basis in law. We don’t classify the victim to charge the offender. That’s not how this works.

    You see it again with the football celebrity. The issue is “trafficking”. They brought those women in on false pretenses and held them in all but actual chains and we’re all discussing whether he should or should not hire a prostitute. That’s not the issue!

  53. 53
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Thank you for your comment on the STEM post that went horribly awry yesterday.

  54. 54
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Seanly:
    It’s the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — we mustn’t forget any of the blatant falsehoods in the name of the nation, which is an autocracy, the effective property of its ruling family, a de facto kingdom, and in many ways the less significant part of Korea.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    The only thing drumpf is good at is being a complete and total asshole. He excels at failure at every other human metric. And his “friends” are trying to show their appreciation for having such a negative role model.

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Their ancestors took up arms against the duly elected government of the United States because they couldn’t get their way on the issue of slavery. Almost 150 years later, many of the descendants of the same people elected the current President. His having been in bed with one of our most powerful enemies throughout the twentieth century hasn’t dimmed their fervor for him at all. This is their revenge against for electing Barack Obama twice.

    Ah. There is a lot of truth here, but Trump supporters are not just descendants of the Confederacy.

    But Trump clearly hates Obama because he was elected president, and many of Trump’s supporters share that rage. Many of them also clearly believe that America must throttle black people and minimize the presence of other non-white people.

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    I actually disagree with a lot of people here because I think Trump cares a lot about whether people like him. I think his team cares too and they know it’s a problem for the re-elect outside the base.

    They care. They just can’t appear less like assholes because they are assholes. It isn’t that they don’t care to appear decent. It’s that they’re incapable of even pretending to be good people. Have you ever seen that frozen smile he uses when he’s trying to imitate a nice person? It’s a fucking freak show. It isn’t in him.

    Not wanting something is not the same as not being able to get it.

  58. 58
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @rikyrah:

    Exactly right. This is why Kamala Harris must be the democratic nominee.

    Black folks don’t turn out to vote for white candidates in the same numbers they do for black (or even 1/2 black) candidates.

  59. 59
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Kay: Michelle Obama said something to that effect in her book, on the order of: I’ve been in meetings with these guys, they’re not that smart, they’re not smarter than you so don’t be intimidated by their reputations.

  60. 60
    Seanly says:

    RE: Confederacy – there are a lot of people who identify with the mythology of the Confederacy in many states. I saw more Confederate flags in Central PA (esp Perry County) than I did when I lived in Midlands SC. While there are a lot of asshats in SW Idaho, there’s thankfully not a lot of Confederate flags. For some, I’d like to think it’s an identification with the romanticized ideals of the Confederacy (which is just rebellion good I suppose?), but it’s a racist emblem no matter the erstwhile reasons for someone to fly one.

    I could probably have a very long post about my personal journey away from the subtle racism I was taught as a young student in Little Rock to the hopefully open & accepting person I am now. It took a positive effort on my part to overcome my own prejudices. To be racist, sexist, etc, is a choice though I don’t blame children – ‘otherness’ from sexual oreintation to religion to race are all used as fodder against each other. But at a certain point, one is choosing to be prejudiced.

  61. 61
    opiejeanne says:

    OT, update from my Hotel of Fools post from last night, still no power at the hotel at 8am, so no food and the hotel is running on emergency batteries, just the lights, but then there’s no power anywhere in Roseburg. This is the town that had the shooting at the JC, Umpqua Community College, and was so nasty to Obama when he came to comfort them.
    We are in a McDonalds about 10 miles south and it’s slammed. I think they’re running a generator.
    And it’s snowing, so we won’t run out of snow.
    All of the weather apps hwe use are lying to us, telling us it’s a light rain and 41. It’s 33 according to our car and it’s snowing pretty good, but the freeway is in good shape so we can travel.

  62. 62
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    but Trump supporters are not just descendants of the Confederacy.

    Perhaps not genetically, but ideologically/temperamentally they are.

  63. 63

    @O. Felix Culpa: You are welcome. There is a strange antipathy to STEM and people (women) in STEM in our Balloon Juice commenteriat. One of our popular regular lawyer commenters made a comment about how only ugly girls do math or something to that effect. You will also see comments about how logical reasoning is superior to math and how liberal arts are superior to STEM and so on. But yesterday’s thread took it a whole another obnoxious level.

  64. 64
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    The whole political media discussion around why Trump doesn’t behave better assumes that “behaving better” is an act, and no one actually believes there’s real value in behaving better. That the whole concept is grounded in nothing more than “optics”, or self-interest.

    “Behaving better” COMES from something. It comes from respecting other people. It’s not that he “won’t” do it. It’s that he can’t do it. He doesn’t have the essential qualities he needs to do that. Why does he go with “asshole”? Because that’s all he’s got.

  65. 65
    ruemara says:

    @rikyrah: The thing is, White America decided to shit on their country to demonstrate that a lowlife moron of a con man would be as good or better than the excellence that is Barack Obama. As with a long standing rap career for Vanilla Ice, the great white hope performed even worse than expected.

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:

    They give you a road map.

    It’s an interesting map, illustrated, well lit, easy to read. Every clue to look for to find the guilty aren’t hidden, just mis-named.
    They spend their entire careers adding things to the map to explain exactly what to look for but because so many people can’t find their butts with both hands or they actually like/admire thieves, or quite often both, and hold on to the racist, misogynistic bullshit they are raised with and are too stupid/venial to see that their lives would actually be better if it wasn’t for all that bullshit they can’t let go of, they might just be able to see that their “saviors” really aren’t. IOW, they are suckers who can’t read maps.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Heidi Mom:

    They could change the way they cover business. Instead of attributing every success to the CEO, they could look at how it really works. How tens or hundreds or thousands of people make things “successful”.

    I think they don’t because we have to justify these insane differences in pay, so we have to pretend these people are superheroes.

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    We are talking about aggregates here. Barack Obama won every fucking county in MA against an R who was the governor of the Commonwealth.

    I agree.

    I would also say that a good chunk of the people in the state who voted against are racist, and that includes those municipalities on your electoral map where Romney got the majority of the vote.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brickley Paiste: I don’t think your commitment to this particular line of performance artistry will work out for you long term.

  71. 71
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @ruemara:

    As with a long standing rap career for Vanilla Ice…

    OMG! I thought you were joking, but I looked it up. Vanilla Ice is still touring! I don’t know the first thing about rap music but I know enough to know he sucks. I guess we really are at full employment!

    P.S. – for those of you jackals who are interested, Vanilla Ice will be performing at the Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, MN on March 16th.

  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    There is a strange antipathy to STEM and people (women) in STEM in our Balloon Juice commenteriat.

    This is weird. I get the impression that a lot of commentators are engineers, programmers, etc.

    One of our popular regular lawyer commenters made a comment about how only ugly girls do math or something to that effect.

    Wow. I’m glad I missed that comment and thread.

  73. 73
    J R in WV says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    (Required disclaimer: even with their lousy political judgement, they and their son did not deserve what happened).

    Actually, their son’s poor political judgement allowed him to commit a political crime in a total dictatorship where all political acts are under a microscope. If he had not torn down a “Dear Leader” poster while on camera, he would not have been treated exactly like every other person in DPRK would have been treated for that “crime”!

  74. 74
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Meh- the push for STEM education – indeed the popularization of the very term – was the work of right wing materialists as a tool to distinguish between legitimate higher education i.e. STEM and all f those other frivolous subjects: English, Sociology, liberal arts , etc.

    All Of the right wing assholes in my family are huge on cheerleading for more STEM classes at their fucking Christian lite charter schools

    Just some background in case you didn’t know it.

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @opiejeanne:

    OT, update from my Hotel of Fools post from last night, still no power at the hotel at 8am, so no food and the hotel is running on emergency batteries, just the lights, but then there’s no power anywhere in Roseburg.

    Did this start out as a vacation trip?

    How did you maintain power for your computer and cellphone?

  76. 76
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Did you miss his recent career as a contractor/home flipper?

    Better than his music

  77. 77
    patrick II says:

    He likes me! He actually likes me!

  78. 78
    Elizabelle says:

    @opiejeanne: Bit of an exciting trip.

    Stay safe! How far do you hope to get today? Any point to heading to the coastal route?

  79. 79
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @rikyrah: He REALLY wants that Nobel.

  80. 80
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    I’m an oldie who remembers when in my neck of the country regular, working folks generally didn’t have much use for wealthy people “too big for their britches” who blatantly showed off their wealth and their perceived superiority over everyone else. They didn’t trust or respect people continually bragging about their wealth, possessions, and so-called expertise and talents. Even most Republicans saw right through people like that.

  81. 81
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Brickley Paiste: Yeah… I’m really more of a jazz/R&B guy, so no, I haven’t really been paying attention to his career. But I’ll put it in my cue right behind Duck Dynasty.

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    Ugh! The hateful slime from Westboro Church are making local news here.

    A handful of people associated with the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are demonstrating outside Sequoyah High School in Pasadena on Monday, spurred by a single student: openly bisexual 2019 Rose Queen Louise Deser Siskel.

    They’re carrying signs that say, “God H8s Sin & Sinner,” and “God Hates Proud Sinners.”

    They are supposed to keep this short and then climb back under their rocks.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The phrase “or something to that effect” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.

  84. 84

    @Brickley Paiste: This is a poor excuse to hate on people who spend their lives studying, teaching and/or doing science.

    ETA: I know the background. I love the liberal arts and fine arts and don’t hate on people who have studied the same. Nor do I think that every student needs to code or become a STEM major.

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    Racism has been a human problem since time started for us. It’s a blame issue, a place to put the blame for any and all problems in your life, a place to put others down so you think you can shine. It is not a specific american problem, it’s just that we as a nation made it worse than it needed to be and we acted as we formed this country to be better. But it’s taken a civil war and over two hundred years for a lot of people to see this, and they still don’t or still don’t want to see it. But it started long before this country existed and it will be with us for as long as people look different from each other. We can mitigate the damage, we can learn if we want to and we can not believe the bullshit if we want to. But this is not an exclusive american issue, it is a human issue. We can dismiss it as if we are the only guilty parties but that won’t help, because it isn’t even close to that. We weren’t the first to hold slaves or profit from it. Not sure that anyone else has fought a civil war over the specific issue of slavery but we aren’t the first to kill each other over it either. And we didn’t all agree with it but we haven’t done enough to change that perception and the actual issue. Two years ago we elected a useless fuck of a human being because of this failure to move forward nearly as much as we needed to, to be better people and a better nation. We aren’t the first to fail at this concept but we have an idea here that we can use to at least try to be better. But it will take all of us to make this happen.
    Shorter, we aren’t the first, nor will we be the last to be racists. But we can do better. We saw that in the 2018 election. We see that in the current political climate. There are enough of us to change the direction of the country, but just like last time, it won’t be easy.

  86. 86

    @Omnes Omnibus: The thread and I were awaiting your liberal arts mansplaining.

  87. 87
    cope says:

    I can’t stand trump, his face, his voice, his hair, his mannerisms, his sartorial choices, his family, his speaking style, his complete and utter lack of taste…there is nothing about the man I can stomach. One of the reasons I have quit drinking is to increase my odds of out-living him.

    That said, I just set the DVR to record the first episode of A&E’s biography of trump that begins tonight. I can’t guarantee how far into it I can get but I’m willing to take a look. The bar is set just nanometers above the floor but I’m guessing even that will be too high and I am likely to hit the “delete” button well before the show ends.

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    @cope:
    He is the embodiment of all, or at least most of the possible ills of the human race isn’t he?

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I said my piece in my comment above.

  90. 90
  91. 91

    @cope: Dear god. If you manage to watch any of it, please report back.

  92. 92
    eclare says:

    @Ruckus: I read an article examining which of the seven deadly sins he exhibits. All of ’em, Katie.

  93. 93
    catclub says:

    @Kay:

    They could change the way they cover business. Instead of attributing every success to the CEO, they could look at how it really works.

    I wish they would cover so-called sports [NFL/NBA/MLB] on the business pages.

  94. 94
    cope says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Will do, good, bad or ugly. Somebody’s gotta do it.

  95. 95
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I was driving home after spending the weekend trying to clear out my mother’s house for sale. I am so glad I missed that thread.

  96. 96
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @cope: Let me save you some time.

    Born into wealth. Poor student who once struck a teacher. Daddy got him out of serving in Viet Nam (would’ve been fragged, so Daddy was right). Series of shady construction projects where he screwed investors and workmen alike. Got into the casino business and lost money (?). Daddy bailed him out again and he still went bust. Trump Vodka – bust. Trump steaks – bust. Trump University – bust and sued by thousands. Couple of strong years as a reality TV star then went bust. Russian mobster buddies help him win election to the highest office in the land.
    I left out the stuff about all the wives/girlfriends/prostitutes because that part is just too icky.

    Now you can hit delete and start drinking again. You’re welcome.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    I lose track but didn’t we already have a fake deal with NK that was flogged for a week as a huge success but was just another lie?

    Get back to me when someone from a credible country witnesses…something. Even then I might require video plus a sworn statement.

  98. 98

    Not everyone needs to become a scientist but the lack of basic science illiteracy is what gives rise to climate science denialists and anti-vax people. When you deny scientific facts you are denying verifiable the truths, which is usually a precursor to the fall of a civilization.
    Apparently, people who believe that the earth is flat has gone up in recent years.
    As for math, our innumerate media and electorate makes it possible for the Rs to pull the same bullshit with tax cuts and deficits every fucking time.

  99. 99
    ruemara says:

    @cope: I couldn’t

    @The Midnight Lurker: Yes. This is the full truth, sans ephebophilia.

  100. 100
    john b says:

    @Barbara:
    I don’t have a strong feeling about Klobuchar, to be honest. But apparently the talk of her being a toxic boss have been out there for years among DC staffers. Now would the same rumors be there for a similarly temperamental male Senator? I don’t know. But these ideas didn’t come out of the blue and they didn’t come from Republicans (or specifically men).

    for example

  101. 101
    gene108 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Meanwhile, KJU certainly isn’t the only foreign leader who polishes the stumpy mushroom knob for leverage. When this nightmare is over, I’m sure we’ll find out Trump sold us out all over the world to smooth-talking autocrats — more than we already know about, which is considerable.

    I hope you are right.

    My biggest fear about this president and his corrupt crew is that we only scratch the surface of all the corruption they have indulged in.

    So many Republican criminals keep getting recycled as respected elders, who keep serving in administration after administration, as well as continually getting invited to talking head cable programs as experts that I just hope the crap the Trump admin pulled will be so bad he and his flunkies get shunned forever and the media gets so outraged they stop giving a free pass to Republican criminals.

  102. 102
    sherparick says:

    @Brachiator: Actually, both in actual immigrants and in changes in local culture, particularly religious culture, a huge emigration of white southerners in the 20th century had a strong impact on states, particularly when not offset by migration from Northeast or Black migration from South. See this chart impact on Ohio, Indiana, Mountain West, and Arizona. http://depts.washington.edu/moving1/diaspora.shtml

  103. 103
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @ruemara:

    sans ephebophilia

    I said I left out the icky parts.

  104. 104
    Ksmiami says:

    I’m being controversial but I have a question- we all know that Trump is an irredeemable human – lowest of the low but in a way, his followers and enablers are worse… so how do we take the pain / war to them? I just think we need a reckoning similar to denazification in Germany

  105. 105
    sherparick says:

    Sad news. The well beloved mayor of Coromant, Minnesota, Duke, passed away at approximately 91 in dog years. A good dog.

    http://www.citypages.com/news/...../506327331

  106. 106
    Kay says:

    @john b:

    I think the parental leave stuff is a problem. This is a basic Democratic policy objective and she didn’t value it enough to put it in, even knowing she’s in a high profile job now and also running for president. I don’t understand that. For someone who is so demanding of the people who work for her it’s a big error. Maybe she should spend less time on them and more on her own shortcomings. Parental leave practice is the boss’s job. It was a dumb own-goal and she can’t blame it on staff.

  107. 107
    stinger says:

    @opiejeanne: Safe travels!

  108. 108
    stinger says:

    @Seanly: I for one would like to hear about it.

  109. 109

    @sherparick: Thanks that was my understanding too. But I was not 100% sure.

  110. 110

    @john b: The Pod Save America guys heard complaints about her as a boss while they were working for Obama. I’m with you in that I don’t have strong feelings about her one way or the other yet. I find her kind of boring.

  111. 111
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Barbara: @john b:

    Let me preface this by saying: yes, there is definitely a double standard when it comes to ‘tough’ male and female bosses.

    That having been said, stories about Amy Klobuchar’s mistreatment of staff go back ten years or more. Harry Reid had to call her on the carpet for it.

    And in case you’re wondering where all these ex-abused staffers are, just wait until the general. If Klobuchar is on the ticket – they’ll appear.

  112. 112
    Plato says:

    Kushner Cos. reportedly sought a $1.15 billion loan from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Trump appointed Joseph Otting to oversee the agency which regulates Fannie and Freddie. Otting reportedly served as the CEO of OneWest Bank, founded by Steve Mnuchin. https://t.co/WI7U5m3qfs— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 25, 2019

    The swamp. Yet another projection from the totus thug and his mob ‘family’.

  113. 113
    jacy says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    STEM and liberal arts are equally important. (I’m one of those people who believe that even in the sciences you need liberal arts, because it just makes you a more welll-rounded person, and better able to reason. For example, a lot of engineers don’t realize how the world works, only how things work.) But speaking as a woman who got STEM degrees in the ’80s, there has always been a problem with women and girls being discouraged in the sciences and math, and even when they persevered, the the path was twice as hard as for boys. It’s endemic and needs to be addressed. I would like to live in a world where every path is legitimate for every person, but we’re a ways off from that.

  114. 114
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gene108: It’s a reasonable fear, no question. I’m somewhat encouraged by the thought that Trump is such a bumbling jackass that he practically forced the conservative FBI to appoint a special counsel. His administration (and the GOP-controlled Congress) almost certainly could have swept all this Russia unpleasantness under the rug, if only he’d kept his big fat yap shut. This gives me hope that most of his misdeeds will be exposed eventually.

  115. 115
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    but the lack of basic science illiteracy is what gives rise to climate science denialists and anti-vax people. When you deny scientific facts you are denying verifiable the truths, which is usually a precursor to the fall of a civilization.
    Apparently, people who believe that the earth is flat has gone up in recent years.
    As for math, our innumerate media and electorate makes it possible for the Rs to pull the same bullshit with tax cuts and deficits every fucking time.

    I’m fine with this as a general theory, but to me the trouble comes in when it’s used comparatively, as if there was a time when we were not innumerate or science illiterate. The way we measure this is (mostly) thru test scores and it’s not a valid comparison because in the past we simply didn’t test the whole bottom half. They didn’t take college testing because they weren’t going to college. They weren’t even finishing high school.

    We might not understand tax rates now, but we also didn’t understand them in FDR’s time because something like 25% didn’t even get past 8th grade. We didn’t lower the bar. We applied the bar to almost everyone. When we did that the whole relative measure changed. We basically included poor people, where we didn’t before. It’s good we included them! The old numbers were phony as hell, given that they only really measured 25%. But it’s a much bigger job.

  116. 116
    cope says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Thanks for the Cliff Notes version. That’s the stuff we all know already, I’m ready for the deeper dive into things like the story of how he cried himself to sleep the night Fred wouldn’t buy him that new baseball mitt and vowed “never to be hungry again” or something.

    I’ll start watching anyway for as long as I can stand it. I think I’ll stick to the no drinking, though, it seems to be working for me.

  117. 117
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Ksmiami: I’m down with going George S. Patton and bussing the lot of them down to McAllen so they can see the obscenity first hand.

  118. 118
    thalarctosMaritimus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    One of our popular regular lawyer commenters made a comment about how only ugly girls do math or something to that effect.

    Every once in a while, I get nostalgic for where I grew up in Alabama, and I start playing with fantasies about going back someday.

    It’s times like that when a reminder of exactly why I got out as soon as I was of age comes in handy.

    Other than that, of course, Counselor can go fuck himself.

  119. 119
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @cope: You are brave! Better have a friend hide that bottle though.

  120. 120
    thalarctosMaritimus says:

    Yoo-hoo! Any front-pager who’s around, I’m in moderation for some reason I don’t understand. Thanks for helping me out.

  121. 121
    gene108 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Its like many white people in the south haven’t evolved at all, where race is concerned.

    No one in North Carolina is looking to murder Robert Johnson for re-establishing a basketball team in Charlotte, after the original franchise moved to New Orleans, as well as current majority owner Michael Jordan, for being more successful than pretty much every white guy in the state.

    Compare this to the Wilmington, NC coup of 1898.

    Progress for white’s in this country, on matters of race, is a really low bar to clear.

    And I think that’s one reason many whites don’t think of themselves as racist, because unlike great-grandpappy, they are just harassing a black guy in a park, in their apartment building, etc. and not burning down their business and running them out of town or murdering them outright.

  122. 122

    @Kay: I am not arguing for the good old days or saying that we were better then. I am saying that literacy and some proficiency in both math and science is necessary to be a good citizen. Right now science denying ignoramuses are making policy and it is a disaster. Science is what gave United States is edge in the post war world. Slowly but surely the Rs are pissing it away.

  123. 123
    thalarctosMaritimus says:

    Yoo-hoo! Any front-pager who’s around, I’m in moderation for a typo in my email. Please help–thanks!

  124. 124
    Ksmiami says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: the only way through this is way more spending on social programs esp education and a fundamental change in how we view our country as a competitor. Fact- the countries that have been spending more on human uplift have experienced gains in longevity etc and we’ve fallen

  125. 125
    gene108 says:

    @Ksmiami:

    I just think we need a reckoning similar to denazification in Germany

    There’s not a foreign power invading our country, reducing us to rubble, and then dictating terms of what we have to do, in order to get our sovereignty back.

    And how can we figure out, who would be in our “American ‘Nazi’ Party”?

    All Republicans? Everyone with a Confederate flag on a piece of clothing, on their car, flying on the flap pole at home?

    We have to do what we have been doing, making each generation more tolerant and less racist than prior generations.

  126. 126
    ruemara says:

    @Ksmiami: I think so too.

    @gene108: yes, the bar is that low.

  127. 127
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    In 1940, more than half of the U.S.
    population had completed no more than an eighthgrade education. Only 6 percent of males and 4 percent of females had completed 4 years of college(table 4). The median years of school attained by the
    adult population, 25 years old and over, had registered only a scant rise from 8.1 to 8.6 years over
    a 30-year period from 1910 to 1940 (table 5).

    If they’re getting dumber is isn’t because they have less formal education. We’re not treading water. We’re adding millions and millions of people to the pool and then measuring 100% and acting as if we’re still measuring the top 50% in income. The bottom 50% income weren’t measured in 1940 because they weren’t in school at all.

    Every Ohio junior in high school will take the ACT next year. I can almost guarantee the scores will go down, because half of them wouldn’t have taken it in our high school unless it was 1. free and 2. required. It’s a more complete measure.

  128. 128

    @schrodingers_cat: That’s true.

    I think there’s another contributing factor though, and that’s the collective loss of faith in experts. Most of us hold certain scientific beliefs because we have faith in the certified experts who lay them out. I accept the reality of climate change, not because I’ve done the science myself, or even because I’ve paid a lot of attention to the details of it. I accept it because people who know what they’re talking about say it’s happening. If we lose that faith in expertise and certification thereof, any charlatan can spout stupid theories and be taken seriously.

  129. 129
    trollhattan says:

    @jacy:
    Yes X10.

    As one who has edited and compiled the prose stylings of engineers and scientists for a couple decades, I’ve encountered poor correlation between technical competence and the ability to either put results in writing directly or understand when it’s not being well described and seek assistance to make that happen. The worst are those who believe because they’re good in one area they’re therefore good at everything, including their own brilliant prose. It gets doubly sketchy when they start to do the attorneys’ job, too.

    As an aside, my kid signed up for the Girls Who Code program in middle school and utterly hated it. Don’t know if it was dumbed down too much or what, but she wants nuttin’ to do with it now. This, from a kid who’s tutoring calculus as a high-schooler.

  130. 130
    Ruckus says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Daddy got him out of serving in Viet Nam (would’ve been fragged, so Daddy was right).

    You say would’ve been fragged like it was a bad thing….

  131. 131
    C Stars says:

    @opiejeanne: Oh geez, safe travels and godspeed!

  132. 132

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I am not a climate scientist either but I can figure out the difference between peer reviewed research and some crackpot spouting something on a random website. We had a front pager who would try to pass off her own beliefs about veganism and vegetarianism as scientific fact by quoting some random sites on the internet. I was labeled mean for calling her out on it.

  133. 133
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I’m with you, but anti-vaccers can’t be explained that way, because pro-vaccers were dominant at a time when fewer people had formal science education. They were relying on something else. I don’t know- trust of science? Something. I think “belief” is important. These aren’t conclusions, they’re beliefs. And those don’t always respond to information. As you know :)

    We always try! And there’s value in trying. Remember the special “vaccination courts”- they were supposed to conclusively debunk this. It got worse.

  134. 134
    Kent says:

    I’ve spent the bulk of my life in the Pacific Northwest but my wife’s career brought us to Waco TX from 2003 to 2016. During that time I mostly taught in one of the local high schools so had lots of opportunity to observe racial issues and voting in the south. When we got there in 2003 there were still lots of white Democrats in office. Waco had a white mayor who was a Democrat and we had a quite excellent Democratic congressman named Chet Edwards who was white. Then came Tom Delay and redistricting and by the time we left in 2016, every white part of the state was deep red and both the state legislature and congressional deligation were heavily GOP. That seems to have shifted back to some extent in 2018.

    My observations of whites in that part of the country is that there was very little neo-Confederate nonsense anywhere in the culture. Certainly not the middle class suburban culture. You’d see the occasional confederate flag sticker on the back of beat up pickups and hanging on crappy double wide meth-lab type trailers out in the country. But never in middle class areas at all. I see as many confederate flags here in rural WA as I did in that part of TX. People flew a lot of TX state flags, maybe that was sort of a more PC stand-in for confederate flags. And you’d see a lot of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and the “Come and Take It” flags which also pretty much serve the same purpose. At football games, kids would wave giant TX flags and also giant “Come and Take It” flags.

    I thing the heavy GOP tilt in the white population is really more tribal and no small part religious. People would just assume that if you were white you were GOP. Walking around the hallways of my school before class I’d see lots of teachers playing FOX news on their classroom TVs. Mostly white women who were mostly married to professional men like bankers, insurance guys, etc. The GOP was heavily pushed in all the local Baptist churches and abortion was an overwhelmingly everpresent issue. Honestly I think abortion serves as an easy proxy for race. In other words, white educated people who would be reluctant to admit they won’t vote for Obama because he is black feel free to say they won’t vote for him because of abortion. In the south it is the acceptable non-racist reason to vote for the GOP that basically has no counter-argument. A lot of them are your basic racist assholes who never go to church. But they claim to be voting on abortion? And of course guns serves the same purpose. People who aren’t really worried about gun control will cite that as a reason to vote GOP becuase it is more politically acceptable to say guns than race.

    It all comes down to race though. And the only way for black people to break out of it in the south is to be more white than the whites. If you are black and want to play at being a good old boy business guy in a suit who goes to the local baptist church and says all the right white-sounding things then they will love you. But you live on thin ice. God forbid you ever express a contrary thought. At least not in “mixed” company.

  135. 135

    @trollhattan: I find programming extremely boring too. You have dumb your thought processes down so that a machine can understand it. I see it as a necessary evil. A means to an end, not an end in itself. These days there are software packages that can do everything from graphing to integrals. The need to program from scratch is becoming less important in research settings.

  136. 136

    Just take all the memes about Lady Gaga gazing at Bradley Cooper at the Oscars during their performance and just superimpose trump gushing over Kim and now I wanna bash my own brain in because that’s a horrifying thought and we’re all doomed.

  137. 137

    @Kay: People lived with the effects of infectious diseases like polio etc.They probably knew someone who had died as a result of childhood infectious diseases. Now the dangers are more abstract.

  138. 138
    opiejeanne says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: we are just now out of the snowstorm and it’s just raining here. We followed a snowplow that was also de-icing the road. It took 2 hours to go about 45 miles but now it’s just rain.
    We are nearly to Grants Pass now. The big pass is still ahead, Siskiyou Pass. It may be bad. It’s at the state line, so it should be clear in California until we get to Mount Shasta. They’re getting hammered with snow today.

  139. 139
    germy says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I remember her! And then she disappeared after the election.

  140. 140

    @germy: She was a BS supporter.

  141. 141

    @schrodingers_cat: Yeah, it’s a question of who’s a reliable source, and you know enough to know that peer review is one way to be sure information is reliable. Maybe one thing wrong with our science education is that we don’t teach enough about how scientific information is established. Beyond running quickly through the steps of the scientific method, we give students the results and say learn that.

    At least that’s my memory of science education. Things may have changed.

  142. 142
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @ThresherK: We have love triangle now.

    Vlad has bigger nukes than Kim, just saying Donny.

  143. 143
  144. 144
    Brachiator says:

    @PaulWartenberg:

    Just take all the memes about Lady Gaga gazing at Bradley Cooper at the Oscars during their performance and just superimpose trump gushing over Kim

    Oh please, NBC, give me a SNL skit with Alex Baldwin and a guest or regular doing this duet.

  145. 145
    trollhattan says:

    @opiejeanne:
    Have spent a few unexpected overnights in Ashland due to I-5 closing over Siskiyou summit. Not a bad place to be stuck, presuming there are rooms otherwise it’s Medford, which is a whole other kettle of fish.

    Good luck! Storm supposed to hit the Sac Valley about 2:00 and last for 2-3 days of heavy rain and wind.

  146. 146
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    This.
    If you are in your 60s and up you probably saw a lot of people with diseases that we see rarely or not at all anymore. Polio, measles, chicken pox, etc. They are mostly wiped out, by vaccines. So the disease is not near as scary to people who are of child bearing age now, because they have never seen these or know people who died from some of them. But they do see autism and they hear about how many more kids there are with it. But is that because of the number of people and social media that now spreads the alarm a lot faster and farther than the back fence or local church used to do? Because even then the word may have spread fast but not very far. How many things become more acceptable/believable/noticeable because we see it more on social media/TV rather than hear about it once a week on Sunday or Saturday?

  147. 147
    Elizabelle says:

    @opiejeanne: Where do you hope to stay tonight?

    Safe travels!

  148. 148
    Mandalay says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Oh, and you wanted a link. Here’s three:

    I still want a link. None of those came close to supporting the notion that Trump is blackmailing Graham.

    It’s an appealing idea, but that’s all it is. In contrast, the evidence that Graham would lose his seat in the Senate if he didn’t support Trump is pretty solid. Ask Flake and Corker.

  149. 149

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: True. Also science does not usually proceed like how text books are written. Its not a straight line. Bad ideas don’t immediately get discarded. But usually truth does win out.

  150. 150

    @Mandalay: There is a third possibility, he likes what T is doing. And now feels free to say it.

  151. 151
    trollhattan says:

    We’re in the final year of college recruitment and the physical and email load is impressive. Finally figuring out where a ton of schools are actually located, yay me!

    Duke is the walk-off winner of the best recruiter’s name competition: Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag.

    And “Gutentag” to you too, Christoph.

  152. 152
    scav says:

    Trump-pee and Kimmy, sitting in a Tree-ty
    Kay-eye-ss-ss-eye-nn-gee!
    First come wuv, then come marridge,
    Then comes Putie in the babee cartridge

    clearly I need more coffee.

  153. 153
    Princess says:

    @Kay: Were pro-vaxxers more trusted because they were relying on authority and people had greated trust for authority back then? Is that part of what has changed? (It has changed but I don’t know how/if it has affected the vax issue — everyone now is their own authority?)

  154. 154
    Kent says:

    @trollhattan:

    We’re in the final year of college recruitment and the physical and email load is impressive. Finally figuring out where a ton of schools are actually located, yay me!

    Duke is the walk-off winner of the best recruiter’s name competition: Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag.

    And “Gutentag” to you too, Christoph.

    Heh. My daughter is a HS sophomore but she aced the early PSAT. Since scores came out in Dec we have gotten at least 100 pieces of mail from different colleges.

    Most blatant? A very slick brochure from Stanford University advertising their “highly competitive” summer sessions for HS students. That is supposed to help their “college readiness” I wonder how many Tiger parents fall for this, thinking that sending your kid to some ultra-expensive summer institute at Stanford will actually increase their chances of getting admitted. Suckers.

  155. 155
    opiejeanne says:

    @Brachiator: sort of a vacation/work party. We’re selling the cabin in California so we are heading down from Seattle to stage it and list it. We thought we were escaping the sort of bad weather at home on this trip. Ha!
    I used my phone for a hotspot for the computer, until the phone died. Then we watched the show in the parking lot as people spun their wheels and slid around. No one hit our car, which was a minor miracle.
    Now we’re south of Grants Pass and doing between 50 and 60 in the rain. Traffic is very light. Mr opiejeanne is driving and I’m trying to figure out if the road is closed at Mount Shasta. Supposed to get 12” of snow.

  156. 156
    The Moar You Know says:

    There is a strange antipathy to STEM and people (women) in STEM in our Balloon Juice commenteriat.

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m one of them. Have worked in the field (IT security) most of my life. Not a big fan of it or the people who work in it.

    That thread yesterday was a stellar example of why I don’t care for a lot of STEM folks. Being an expert at one thing makes you an expert at precisely nothing else.

  157. 157

    @gene108: Point taken. They have progressed but still have a long way to go.

  158. 158
    Mandalay says:

    @Barbara:

    Which is why I react so strongly to the herd like gravitation to discussing whether Amy Klobuchar is a mean boss — it means you are following a well-trodden path that disqualifies women for what are essentially peccadilloes

    While I agree that the media blew the story up out of all proportion, treating your employees like shit is not just a pecadillo – it’s a major failing in a presidential candidate. And what I found more disturbing than the allegations about her management, was Klobuchar ‘s response, trying to make her own conduct virtuous: she said that she demanded high standards of her employees, and didn’t accept any responsibility for her own behavior.

    The NYT recently published a gratuitously vicious attack on her behavior, How Amy Klobuchar Treats Her Staff, but I’m not convinced that they did it because she is a woman. While the allegations were mostly unsourced (which is not good, but understandable), there was plenty of raw material for them to use.

  159. 159
    opiejeanne says:

    @Elizabelle: we had hoped to stop on I-5 adjacent to Bakersfield but we may end up stopping a lot sooner if mount Shasta got 12” of snow.

  160. 160
    Ksmiami says:

    @gene108: Fox and the Internet has made the cultural toxicity worse

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:

    @sherparick:

    Actually, both in actual immigrants and in changes in local culture, particularly religious culture, a huge emigration of white southerners in the 20th century had a strong impact on states, particularly when not offset by migration from Northeast or Black migration from South

    This is great stuff. But it should not detract from the fact of discrimination and racist practice that always existed in the North.

  162. 162
    Steeplejack says:

    @Brachiator:

    I read that thread last night and didn’t see any “popular regular lawyer” comment to that effect. Would love to have it pinpointed.

    Although that thread did get very toxic.

  163. 163
    JanieM says:

    @trollhattan:

    Duke is the walk-off winner of the best recruiter’s name competition

    My fave when I was applying to college all those gazillion years ago was Otto Graf.

  164. 164

    @Steeplejack: That comment was not in yesterday’s thread.

  165. 165
    scav says:

    @The Moar You Know: A trait shared by MBAs everywhere. We may very well have a problem with a general class of bipeds.

  166. 166
    trollhattan says:

    @Kent:
    You won’t be surprised to learn that Stanford is but one of many. Enjoy the show!

    At some point I became numb to the reality of the $70k/year price tag. And all the assurances of N% undergrads getting some kind of financial assistance aren’t all that helpful. “Here’s five-grand and an invoice for sixty-five” doesn’t speak to me.

  167. 167
    JanieM says:

    Removed as redundant; someone beat me to it.

  168. 168
    trollhattan says:

    @JanieM:
    “Otto Graf”

    Oh, he would be a real contendah!

  169. 169
    Brachiator says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Now we’re south of Grants Pass and doing between 50 and 60 in the rain. Traffic is very light. Mr opiejeanne is driving and I’m trying to figure out if the road is closed at Mount Shasta. Supposed to get 12” of snow.

    What an adventure! Safe travels.

    I’ve been to Grants Pass a few times, but only in the Spring. And half the time it was raining.

  170. 170
    Barbara says:

    @Mandalay: Let me say, I am not part of the AK fan club. I don’t think that she has anything to offer that is better, different, newer, more powerful, whatever, than just about any other candidate, male or female. I also think it would be spectacularly stupid to build a campaign around being “Minnesota Nice” if you aren’t, you know, all that nice. Having said that, I am holding the press to a high bar in 2020, especially when it comes to female candidates. So whether AK is mean or not, I am not going to credit “off the record” accusations about her actions as a mean boss as anything other than personal gossip. It’s just not good enough for me anymore.

  171. 171
    trollhattan says:

    @opiejeanne:
    Oregon DOT web cams show the summit bare and wet, so you may just pull this off.

    FWIW this storm is warmer than the last one we had, which even dumped snow in Redding.

  172. 172
    Kent says:

    @trollhattan:

    @Kent:
    You won’t be surprised to learn that Stanford is but one of many. Enjoy the show!

    At some point I became numb to the reality of the $70k/year price tag. And all the assurances of N% undergrads getting some kind of financial assistance aren’t all that helpful. “Here’s five-grand and an invoice for sixty-five” doesn’t speak to me.

    This is daughter #2 for us. She is a very eclectic and high performer. The kind of kid who during her elementary after school program she would sit quietly and do all her homework before going out to play with all the other kids. Always been like that. Daughter #1 was a more median type kid. We sent her to an out-of-state public university. University of Arkansas. We were living in TX at the time. She wanted all the big SEC school experiences, sorority, big campus, football games, etc. Now she is a JR and has dropped the sorority nonsense and has grown up a bunch and is more serious about school. But it was the right choice for her. She would have been in over her head at a really top school. And out-of-state tutition at Arkansas is still reasonable. We are paying full freight which is about $24,000/year for tuition and fees. Her rent is $330 for a duplex shared with 2 other girls so nice to have her in a LCOL area rather than paying rent in a big city.

    Daughter #1 is still a sophomore so not sure where things will go for her. Nice to see her off to the UW or one of our other decent state schools here in WA. I’m afraid she might get into someplace like Stanford or Reed and then we’ll have to make decisions.

  173. 173
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    [A]nother contributing factor though n… [is] the collective loss of faith in experts.

    Winner, winner, tsikken dinner! Anyone can play an expert on the Internet; all you need is a VERY LOUD MEGAPHONE & a half-arsed explanation of why your beliefs are correct & everyone else’s is wrong, particularly if the explanation involves a conspiracy among the sort of folks the knuckle-dragging mouth-beathing (KnDMB) masses despise. People these days don’t know what to believe, so they believe whatever makes them feel good.

    I am consistenly gobsmacked by the KnDMB idiotariat that believes academics warning about climate change are OF COURSE corrupted by the relatively paltry sum they obtain in grants, whereas “scientists” who are paid directly (& handsomely) by fossil-fuel corps intent on denial so they can make more $$$ are OF COURSE pure as the driven snow… {ptui!}

    @trollhattan:

    I’ve encountered poor correlation between technical competence and the ability to either put results in writing directly or understand when it’s not being well described and seek assistance to make that happen.

    FTR I made quite a decent career as an analyst or engineer in various technical firms in the 80s & 90s precisely because I had an advanced degree in applied math plus a demonstrated ability to write well. I must have managed 10 years of additional employment because the bosses liked having someone on staff (who they controlled) to draft their proposals instead of turning it over to a “Proposal Center” staffed with humanities majors who had no acquaintance with the expertise required to fulfill the contract & otherwise couldn’t find its arse with both hands.

    The worst are those who believe because they’re good in one area they’re therefore good at everything, including their own brilliant prose.

    Yeah, engineers, like MDs & lawyers, seem to think they are sooooo freakin’ intelligent that once they’ve put in 10 minutes of medium-deep thought on a subject (any subject) they know more about it than people with advanced degrees & a lifetime of experience in the field. Mofos demand respect for their expertise (program a PC, solve an integral, BFD) but deny it to anyone else.

  174. 174
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @opiejeanne: Just google Caltrans for their mobile web or call 800.427.7623
    I can’t find anything about I-5 being closed. It does does slow through the pass. They only have a wind advisory for trailers and and high vehicles.

  175. 175
    Kent says:

    @Barbara:

    @Mandalay: Let me say, I am not part of the AK fan club. I don’t think that she has anything to offer that is better, different, newer, more powerful, whatever, than just about any other candidate, male or female. I also think it would be spectacularly stupid to build a campaign around being “Minnesota Nice” if you aren’t, you know, all that nice. Having said that, I am holding the press to a high bar in 2020, especially when it comes to female candidates. So whether AK is mean or not, I am not going to credit “off the record” accusations about her actions as a mean boss as anything other than personal gossip. It’s just not good enough for me anymore.

    Maybe she can serve a useful purpose and get all Medieval on Wilmer so to speak. Someone has to carve him a new one and call him out on all the misogyny and other nonsense. Clinton gave him the kid glove treatment. I sure as hell hope these other candidates don’t fall into that trap. She would win my respect and possible vote if she cut him down to size.

  176. 176
    trollhattan says:

    @Kent:
    At least they won’t be enrolled at the same time!

    Fingers crossed for UC Berkeley. Some “safety school.” 👀

  177. 177
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: glad I missed that!

    @Steeplejack: @Brachiator: for the record, it wasn’t I. While I am a regular lawyer commenter, I am not popular!

  178. 178
    dww44 says:

    @Lapassionara: I don’t honestly believe Democrats could choose a candidate who could somehow avoid being attacked in ways we recognize and in new ways we’ve not even thought of yet. It won’t matter whether we choose a woman, or an older white male, or a not so old white male, or a person of color of either gender, they’re gonna smear and tear down. They’ve no ability to debate ideas and character in the political arena. They believe that only they are entitled to have power in this country and they are willing to do anything to retain control Thus far it’s worked for them.

  179. 179
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I get personally mad at anti-vaccers because I am going to be furious if I get one of these diseases, due to their pigheaded ridiculous theories.

    I sat thru a hearing where magistrate went after one of them- the lawyer trick where demand they get specific. She wanted to know which vaccinations the chatty witness objected to and why. She didn’t know- she was getting all tripped up on even the DTTP v the chicken pox, or whatever. It was all hand-waving and woo woo.

  180. 180
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Hold on a sec. Wasn’t there a golf game between Twitler & Graham Cracker that was the inflection point? IIRC, before sashaying onto the 1st tee Miz Lindsey had been a (relatively) calm voice of (some) reason, bur after coming off the 18th green started raving like a hydrophobic hyena. Something Needy Amin showed him on the links must’ve popped his top.

  181. 181
    Kent says:

    @trollhattan:

    @Kent:
    At least they won’t be enrolled at the same time!

    Fingers crossed for UC Berkeley. Some “safety school.” 👀

    Daughter #3 is currently in 7th grade. So we do have one year of overlapping college enrollment to look forward to (assuming they all finish in 4 years). After that we can finally retire!

  182. 182
    JR says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I have antipathy for STEM because I think the outcomes for STEM trainees are not what is being sold to them. But that’s a different issue entirely.

  183. 183
    Kent says:

    @Kay:

    I get personally mad at anti-vaccers because I am going to be furious if I get one of these diseases, due to their pigheaded ridiculous theories.

    I sat thru a hearing where magistrate went after one of them- the lawyer trick where demand they get specific. She wanted to know which vaccinations the chatty witness objected to and why. She didn’t know- she was getting all tripped up on even the DTTP v the chicken pox, or whatever. It was all hand-waving and woo woo.

    Saw in the news somewhere that a French family showed up to Costa Rica on vacation with a measles infected child who had not been vaccinated. Costa Rica had been measles free for half a decade and the authorities had no sense of humor about that. So they threw the whole family into mandatory 2-week quarantine, wouldn’t even let them fly home. And then charged them $$ for it. Sorry about those vacation plans, you get to do mandatory quarantine at a Central American govt facility. THAT is how you deal with anti-vaxers.

  184. 184

    @JR: I agree with you on that one.

  185. 185
    J R in WV says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    While I am a regular lawyer commenter, I am not popular!

    Aw, now, don’t be like that. Just because many of us are union families, that doesn’t mean we hate you for that!

  186. 186

    @Uncle Cosmo: So I have heard. Yarrow’s theory could be right.

  187. 187
    rikyrah says:

    @Barbara:

    Which is why I react so strongly to the herd like gravitation to discussing whether Amy Klobuchar is a mean boss — it means you are following a well-trodden path that disqualifies women for what are essentially peccadilloes (in this case, anonymous and thinly sourced peccadilloes at that).

    I keep on going back to this….it’s not that the stories say that she’s a tough boss….they say that she’s a rotten tough boss…which is something totally different. I have always been of the belief that ‘how you treat the least of these’…..

    She has dealt with people who consider themselves to be professional..she didn’t get staff off the street corner….

  188. 188
    Kent says:

    @JR:

    I have antipathy for STEM because I think the outcomes for STEM trainees are not what is being sold to them. But that’s a different issue entirely.

    As a teacher I get tired of the current trend of trying to teach all kids how to code as some kind of answer. Like they are all going to get rich developing the next big app.

    I have this converation with tech teachers sometimes.

    “Instead of coding, why don’t we teach these HS kids neurosurgery. Or maybe corporate law? Those are very high paying careers also?”

    “Ha ha….seriously. Those are really competive fields that require lots of training”

    “Um…so you think a HS kid who took a coding class as a sophomore is going to get a job at google? Or develop the next SnapChat app? You don’t think tech is as competitive as medicine or law?”

  189. 189
    opiejeanne says:

    @Elizabelle: somewhere on I-5 near Bakersfield but we may get stuck in yreka

  190. 190
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kay: There’s always been a strong anti-vaxxer streak throughout the history of vaccination, particularly in the US. If you’ve never read “Pox: An American History” by Michael Willrich, do yourself a favor and do it – one of the most fascinating history books out there, and offers a truly incisive look at the “civil liberties v. public health” aspects of the smallpox vaccination campaigns of the early 20th century.

    The problem with vaccination, historically, is that there actually *was* reason to fear that they would do more harm than good, once upon a time – before there was the FDA, vaccines could end up tainted in all kinds of ways, from lack of refrigeration to outright adulteration, and some of them did kill people.

    That being said, the fact that the big bad government actually took steps to make *sure* that vaccines were safe and effective, after the big bad government came down on the pro-vaccination side in the public health debate, somehow manages to escape anti-vaxxers.

  191. 191
    eemom says:

    @Kent:

    So they threw the whole family into mandatory 2-week quarantine, wouldn’t even let them fly home. And then charged them $$ for it. Sorry about those vacation plans, you get to do mandatory quarantine at a Central American govt facility. THAT is how you deal with anti-vaxers.

    Co-fucking-sign.

  192. 192
    eemom says:

    @rikyrah:

    I have always been of the belief that ‘how you treat the least of these’…..

    I wholeheartedly agree. Also, as Malcolm Forbes put it, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

    OTOH, I am so tired — already — of how every legitimate concern about any of the primary runners devolves into some beside the point bullshit about whether the same would be said about a man, so fuck it. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to have someone who throws binders in the oval office. Sure as shit better than what’s in there now.

  193. 193
    opiejeanne says:

    @trollhattan: yes, we’re over the pass and getting lunch in Yreka. Mt Shasta is still to come and the predictions were for 12” yesterday, 13” today, and 12” tomorrow.

  194. 194
    Barbara says:

    @rikyrah: I mean, never mind the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, the only thing that matters is that Lyndon Johnson was such a kind boss . . . . oh, wait a minute . . .

    @eemom: This isn’t a bedside point about how men would be treated. This is about punishing women for not being nice enough. You and I both know all about that. Or at least, that is my strong presumption until some person is willing to put their name on a complaint and withstand scrutiny in the light of day.

  195. 195
    J R in WV says:

    Anti-Vaxers — mandatory quarantine until they either develop the diseases on their own (highly unlikely in quarantine) or decide to get vaccinated and develop immunity that way.

  196. 196
    Barbara says:

    @J R in WV: When California had an outbreak of measles, every unvaccinated public school student was told to go home and say there for 21 days unless they could furnish proof of vaccination. The number of principled anti-vaxxer parents plummeted at the prospect of shouldering the inconvenience of having to deal with finding some other arrangement for their kids. Most of these people are not true believers. Seth Mnookin’s book on anti-vaxxers makes this point really clearly. The “ringleaders” feel strongly and then guilt trip and bully their friends and family members into following them.

  197. 197
    opiejeanne says:

    @WhatsMyNym: saw that wind warning but we didn’t encounter any. The predictions are old, I think.

  198. 198
    eemom says:

    @Barbara:

    Either way, I wasn’t being facetious when I said fuck it. I really AM tired of all the petty sniping and sideshows, and it’s barely even started yet.

    Bottom line is, I have realized I really do NOT give a shit if AK was mean to her staff or not. Nor do I give a shit anymore about Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test or Kirsten Gillibrand’s throwing Franken under the bus or her former position on guns, all things I previously ranted about. None of that matters. There are bigger issues at stake, to put it mildly.

    Indeed, amidst all the hand wringing and pontificating that goes on here wrt “I’m still undecided, but my CURRENT favorite is XYZ,” I think I personally am gonna skip all that. The ONLY thing that’s going to matter to me in terms of who to vote for in the primary is who has the best chance of winning. Case closed.

  199. 199
    stinger says:

    @dww44: Don’t forget that whatever is broadly perceived as a candidate’s strength will be turned into a point of attack by the GOP.

  200. 200
    Barbara says:

    @eemom: Co-sign!

    ETA: The DNA test was perhaps clumsy but I anticipate all kinds of people scratching their heads and saying, “but what’s wrong with a DNA test!”

  201. 201
    opiejeanne says:

    @opiejeanne: ok, now we’ve got the high wind, between Yreka and Weed. The snow predictions have been revised down quite a bit to 3” today.

  202. 202
    opiejeanne says:

    A young guy in need of some personal hygiene at the next table came over to tell me something “incredible”, that only happens every 823 years: this year February has four of each days of the week. I pointed out that there are four of each days of the week every February because 4×7=28.
    “No no, it’s a matter of scientific fact!”
    So I showed him February 2020 on my phone and he would not look at it. I pointed out that there’s an extra day because it’s a leap year and asked if he was excluding it because of that.
    I should have gone back a year to 2018, but this nonsense has been around the Internet for several years.
    Then I noticed that beside his laptop he had a paperback Bible that was grimy and torn from use and realized he is looking for patterns, probably based on some weird numerical code that assigns values to letters of words in order to tell us when the world will end.

  203. 203
    Steeplejack says:

    @Kent:

    Good comment.

    In the south [abortion] is the acceptable non-racist reason to vote for the GOP that basically has no counter-argument.

    That’s the whole reason it was created as an issue in the 1970s.

    Ditto about the guns.

  204. 204
    opiejeanne says:

    Mount Shasta is getting hit really hard with the snow. The plows haven’t done the southbound lanes and we’re just following tire ruts in the snow and ice. We have a Subaru and it’s been really great so far but this is pretty nasty here. We’re following another Subaru. People have pulled over and now they’re stuck.
    Shasta is gonna get that 12” today for sure.
    We’re ok, just a bit excited.

  205. 205
    opiejeanne says:

    We’re going about 15-20 mph because it’s bad.

  206. 206
    opiejeanne says:

    It’s still snowing like mad but we’ll be out of it soon. Northbound traffic is stopped. CHP isn’t letting semis through at all, but all traffic is stopped on that side.

  207. 207
    Steeplejack says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Hope you make it (made it?) through!

  208. 208
    sgrAstar says:

    @trollhattan: Berkeley is a fantastic place. I’m an alum, and I volunteer there now, pretty intensively. There is so much opportunity for undergrads at Berkeley…plus, according to two recently graduated family members, it is just so exhilarating and fun to be a student there. Berkeley is huge, complex, diverse, and competitive. Students who do well thrive in that environment, which really favors initiative and determination. Good luck…and Go Bears!

  209. 209
    opiejeanne says:

    @Steeplejack: we made it nearly to Sacramento. Stopping in Woodland for the night. It’s raining pretty good right now but we’re happy to be out of the snowstorm.

  210. 210
    Steeplejack says:

    @opiejeanne:

    And you’ve got power (I presume)!

  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    @dww44:

    They’ve no ability to debate ideas and character in the political arena.

    They know that their bullshit is just that, and they don’t care. They can’t debate because their ideas are to plunder and steal. Really difficult to talk about that realistically without getting into legal trouble, let alone political trouble.

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