Well, This is Fucking Insane

This is every bit as bad as defaulting and then some:

One day after assuring Americans he is not running for president “to make things unstable for the country,” the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, said in a television interview Thursday that he might seek to reduce the national debt by persuading creditors to accept something less than full payment.

Asked whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”

He added, “And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose.”

Such remarks by a major presidential candidate have no modern precedent. The United States government is able to borrow money at very low interest rates because Treasury securities are regarded as a safe investment, and any cracks in investor confidence have a long history of costing American taxpayers a lot of money.

Experts also described Mr. Trump’s vaguely sketched proposal as fanciful, saying there was no reason to think America’s creditors would accept anything less than 100 cents on the dollar, regardless of Mr. Trump’s deal-making prowess.

“No one on the other side would pick up the phone if the secretary of the U.S. Treasury tried to make that call,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP. “Why should they? They have a contract” requiring payment in full.

This jackass actually thinks defaulting on the US Debt would work just like arbitration after a bankruptcy where bond holders would settle for pennies on the dollar. The US is basically the fucking Lannisters of the world, and as we all know, a Lannister always pays his debts. That’s why the American dollar IS the gold standard. And what no one wants to talk about is that if this gets interrupted, every single pension, investment, and what not owned by an American is essentially worthless.

We’re so fucked if this lunatic wins.

One Small Point of Disagreement

DougJ wrote earlier:

If I were a conservative, I’d be pretty fucking scared by the fact that, not only do young people vote overwhelming Democratic in general elections, they also just voted overwhelmingly for a Democratic socialist in the primary.

They are too stupid to recognize it, but they should actually be overjoyed by this. It means that when these conservatives are elderly, they will probably be treated far more compassionately than the conservatives have been treating the poor.

Trump Veepstakes

Well, I was totally wrong about who would win the Republican nomination. Now let’s see how wrong I can be about who Trump will select as VP!

My guess is that Trump will choose FL Attorney General Pam Bondi. He has to win Florida to have a prayer of winning the election, and he has to do something about his abysmal ratings with women, or he’s toast. Bondi is a woman, and Trump is sexist knob enough to believe one vagina cancels out another, just as McCain thought La Palin would lure Hillary supporters.

Bondi was an early Trump endorser. She serves in the administration of Florida Governor Rick Scott, so she clearly doesn’t have any problem working with skeevy con men. She allegedly did Trump a solid by failing to prosecute Trump University for swindling gullible Floridians, and three days later, Trump cut a $25K check to Bondi’s reelection campaign, so they’ve already expressed a grift-affinity.

Before she went full-metal wingnut, Bondi was an assistant state attorney in Hillsborough County (home of Tampa), where she served as a spokeswoman for the office and was a media favorite. She’s good on TV, unlike Rick Scott, who is the worst retail campaigner, public speaker and debater I’ve ever personally seen.

Bondi would add some wingnut cred to the Trump campaign, but not too much. Like Trump, she’s had to straddle the line, appeasing the hardcore wingnut contingent in Florida on the one hand while not pursuing so-con issues so vigorously as to alienate the Club for Growth types. But in general, hardcore wingnuts like her.

It also doesn’t hurt that Bondi looks as if she could have been stamped from the Trump female entourage member mold, i.e., carved out of cream cheese with long blond hair. I’ll be surprised if he chooses someone else.

What say you?

Friday Morning Open Thread: Simply Irresistable

From the Politico article:

Not to worry, says Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer: There’s no crisis in the GOP.

Speaking after Paul Ryan stunned the political world on Thursday by saying he wasn’t ready to back Donald Trump — and Trump shot back that he wouldn’t support Ryan’s agenda — Spicer said Republicans have “plenty of time” to unify their party, as many were anticipating the fight for the nomination to last longer.

Ryan and Trump will meet sometime next week, he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer…. When Blitzer asked which of the two men would change, Spicer said: “It’s not a question about changing. It’s a question about understanding.”

Blitzer asked if Trump would have to drop his proposals to ban Muslims from entering the country and deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

“That’s not what the speaker said. And I don’t think you’re going to have a question of ‘You give up this.’ It’s not a question of compromising. It’s a question of understanding,” Spicer reiterated.

Blitzer also asked who Republicans should consider the leader of their party: Ryan or Trump.

“It’s not an ‘either or,'” Spicer said, though Trump is “the largest voice out there.”

When asked about George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain skipping the GOP convention, Spicer said: “At the end of the day, this is what happens.”

Good eye, Ms. Haberman.

Apart from schadenfreude (so much more healthful than Reince Priebus’ Baileys-over-cereal breakfast), what’s on the agenda as we wrap up another nutballs-to-the-walls week?

Thursday Night Open Thread: Let’s You and Them Fight!

As a famous Republican strategist would say: Let. Us. Savor…

Any chance Trump will actually offer Sean Hannity his VP ticket, or is that a dream too far for us luzers & haterz?

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Feel the Webbmentum

This would not surprise me:

Retired Dr. Ben Carson told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that he doesn’t want to be the running mate on the ticket with Donald Trump, the GOP’s presumptive nominee—but that Democrats could be under consideration for the vice presidential slot.

The newspaper reported that Carson suggested that a Democrat could be considered for the role and that he doesn’t want any part of it.

“I’m not interested in doing that for a number of reasons,” Carson told the publication. “I don’t want to be a distraction. I’m sure you remember how crazy the media was about me, I don’t want to be a distraction, it’s too important a time in our life.”

Jim Webb is self-absorbed enough and filled with enough Scotts-Irish working class white guy ressentiment that he would do it in a heartbeat.

Trump-proofing the Republican nomination process in the future

This post is speculation. It assumes that Trump will lose and lose big in November and that the Republican establishment as defined by a variety of rules committees has the power and the will to institute changes to the Republican primary process to Trump-proof the process.

The easiest way for the Republican Party to Trump-proof itself is to stop lying to its supporters. The Republican Party elite is fundamentally not trustworthy to its base voters. The core example is the promise that a Republican House and a Republican Senate could force President Obama to unwind PPACA while he sat in the White House. That was not going to happen. Trustworthy elites won’t happen as there is too much money to be made from fleecing the rubes. Once we take policy honesty off the table, rule changes are the next step.

Trump is the delegate leader (and presumptive delegate majority holder once the process plays out) with a low proportion of the total vote.

He benefited from a split field and a rules system that allowed factional plurality leaders to amass delegate strength out of proportion to their actual vote counts. Winner take all elections with more than two candidates have this common failure. There were two sets of winner take all elections in this current Republican primary. The first was state level delegates where the winner of a state received a significant bonus number of delegates and then winner take all at the Congressional District level. The Republicans assigned three delegates to each Congressional District without regard to how many Republicans actually lived or voted in that district.

538 has a good example of how this flat allocation of winner take all delegates by district helped Trump:

If Ted Cruz wins by a huge margin in Milwaukee’s suburbs, as expected tonight, he’ll get all three delegates from Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District, which cast 257,017 votes for Mitt Romney in the 2012 general election. But in two weeks, Donald Trump could capture just as many delegates by winning a majority of the vote in New York’s heavily Latino, Bronx-based 15th Congressional District, which cast only 5,315 votes for Romney four years ago.

Three weeks ago, Trump won three times as many delegates — nine — at the Northern Mariana Islands convention, which drew just 471 participants.

This is problem #1. The GOP primary delegation process favors plurality winners and it favors candidates who can win in very low turnout environments. There is a massive variance between the minimum number of votes needed per delegate and the maximum number of votes needed per delegate. Some districts are extremely efficient and some are extremely inefficient places to win. The Republicans treat districts like the Senate treats states. The first rule change would be to scale the delegate award to some measure of Republican vote strength.

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