Saturday Evening Mockery Open Thread: IS This Donald Trump?

I’m not 100% convinced… but if so, Adam’s right that the bulletproof vest really *does* add considerable girth to the Oval Office Squatter’s business attire!

(Also, for once the subject is standing like an adult male, not sticking out his rear like an elderly lady balancing her heavily corseted breasts.)

Not so unsure that I won’t enjoy a Saturday night snarkfest…


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Interesting Read: Iowa Does Not Look Like America the Democratic Party

Nor does New Hampshire. Philip Bump, in the Washington Post:

There’s a pretty obvious reason that white men make up the vast majority of Republicans elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 but only about 4 in 10 Democrats: The Democratic Party has a lot fewer white members than the GOP. Pew Research Center data indicates that, in 2017, about 83 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters were white, compared with 59 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. In fact, the Republican Party is more heavily white now than the Democratic Party was in 1997 — by a fairly wide margin.

This data about the composition of each party allows us to run an interesting experiment. Which states have a racial composition that’s most like one party or the other? (Below, any non-Hispanic racial group excludes any Hispanic members.) To figure that out, we compare the density of each racial group to the density of each party. The closer the size of each group is to either party, the smaller the bar showing the deviation from that party…

It is February 2019, less than a year until the Iowa caucuses. As is the norm, Iowa will be the first state to weigh in on the Democratic Party’s presidential nominees next year, according to the primary-tracking website Frontloading HQ. It will be followed, as usual, by New Hampshire (barring some weirdness from New York that the link in the preceding sentence explains).

Why is that important? Because Iowa and New Hampshire have populations that look a lot more like the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. Of the 50 states, Iowa is 39th most like the Democratic Party. New Hampshire is the 44th most like the Democrats. New Hampshire is also the 13th most like the Republican Party in terms of racial composition — and Iowa is the third most similar to the GOP in the country, following only Wyoming and North Dakota.

In other words, the first two states to weigh in on who should be the Democratic nominee — undoubtedly helping narrow down the field of contenders — are states that are more likely to resemble the GOP racially…

Full tables at the link. Yet more reasons why the current cavalcade of primaries is harmful to everyone except a handful of hotel / restaurant profiteers — and the GOP.



Economic Terrorism Open Thread: Eat the Rich… ‘s Taxes

Didn’t find a space to post this during Davos, but now Bregman’s work looks to be going viral, as the Youngs say…

Hard to think of a more fitting poster child for ‘Expropriate Unearned Wealth’ than Tucker Carlson, yes?

More on this topic, from the Guardian:

No, wealth isn’t created at the top. It is merely devoured there (May 2017)

Fightback against the billionaires: the radicals taking on the global elite (Feb 2019)



Monday Morning Open Thread: Bread & Roses

I’m still of two minds about Senator Warren’s campaign. On the one hand, she’d make a fine president; on the other, we here in Massachusetts — and the country in general — would lose a dedicated legislator and a fierce proponent for consumer protection. But, yeah, I’ve donated already and will no doubt continue to chip in as necessary.

Elizabeth Warren formally launched her presidential campaign Saturday with a call for “fundamental change,” even if the “cowards and armchair critics” call it “extreme or radical.”

“Because the man in the White House is not the cause of what’s broken, he’s just the latest — and most extreme — symptom of what’s gone wrong in America,” Warren said of President Donald Trump at an outdoor rally on a chilly, but sunny winter day.

“It won’t be enough to just undo the terrible acts of this administration,” Warren continued. “We can’t afford to just tinker around the edges — a tax credit here, a regulation there. Our fight is for big, structural change.”…

Her staff said 3,500 supporters filled the courtyard of the mill complex, some of whom had ridden campaign busses from as far away as Cape Cod.

Then she told the story of why she wanted them here.

After realizing their pay was cut in the winter of 1912, the women who worked here stopped the looms and started a political conflagration that became known as the Bread and Roses strike, which saw tens of thousands of workers clash with police and armed militiamen called out by political leaders aligned with the mill owners.

“Nevertheless, they persisted!” Warren said, invoking her now-famous slogan as she looked out at the phrase plastered on hundreds of signs waved by supporters in the crowd…

“People will say it’s ‘extreme’ or ‘radical’ to demand an America where every family has some economic security and every kid has a real opportunity to succeed. I say to them, ‘Get ready, because change is coming faster than you think,'” Warren said…


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All-Too-Thrilling Adventures Read: Crypto-Anarchists, Anarcho-Capitalists, and Old-Fashioned Drug Cartels

I’m surprised there hasn’t been more written about this incident, although it may just be that my dark-web access skillz are less than subpar. As reported here, it sure sounds like an example of the old truism: Just because ‘the cops’ are your enemies doesn’t make ‘the crooks’ your friends. From the Washington Post, last Monday, “An American ‘crypto-anarchist’ fled the country. He was just killed in Mexico’s ‘murder capital’”:

Bathed in the sunlight of Mexico’s dry season, his dreadlocks tumbling down his back, a man who went by the name “John Galton,” an apparent nod to the hero of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” observed almost two years ago, “There’s pockets of freedom all over the world if you’re willing to live in freedom.”

Galton paid a high price for that freedom. He was gunned down Friday by a band of men who stormed his home in Acapulco, where he and his girlfriend had found safe haven from drug charges in the United States, as they explained in a March 2017 video interview with the conspiracy site Press for Truth.

Joining a community of like-minded expatriates, Galton had sought to build a life as a self-made man. He advocated drug liberalization and taught classes on cryptocurrencies. He was set to be featured in a documentary called “Stateless.”…

His girlfriend, Lily Forester, nodded. Defending the once-glamorous Pacific Coast city now considered Mexico’s “murder capital,” she said, “It’s not perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than anything I’ve experienced in the States.”

On Friday, she was left pleading for help after the rampage left her boyfriend dead and another man, Jason Henza, injured…

Guerrero State police said in a statement Saturday that the survivors reported armed men showing up at a “cannabis greenhouse” and targeting Galton. The attorney’s office, which confirmed that Galton had been killed, said in a statement Sunday that it had found a marijuana laboratory on the premises, including white lights and gas tanks. No suspects had been named, and a motive for the killing remained unknown.
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