For the Record, First Draft of History: Sidebar to Adam’s Post



Late Night Open Thread: The Common Clay, a/k/a Crab Bucket Politics on A Global Scale

How dumb are your voters, Mr. Trump?… Very fuggin’ dumb indeed, Mr. Carlson!

So, McDonald’s twitter account got hacked…

Our Modern Victorians (who, like their forebears, are inherently patriarchal and racist) are busy promoting the myth of the noble-savage Trump voter, straggling survivors of an earlier more primitive culture whose quaint customs and fantastical beliefs must be respected (but never honored). These simple, unlettered tribalists — the last of their kind! an endangered almost-human species! — are to be granted endless lip service for their perceived grievances and genuine sufferings, as long as doing so doesn’t involve one iota of inconvenience or expense for Their Betters. Let them vote, predictably for grifters who lie to them about revenge upon their traditional enemies and the return of the buffalo herds good jobs in their neighborhoods that don’t require education. The results of those votes are only going to impact other members of the lower classes, anyway. (If there were any risk those votes would affect Very Serious People, well, *that* would be quite a different just-so-story.)

As any Irish country-dweller under English occupation, Native American exiled to a reservation, or Appalachian hillbilly during the last century could’ve warned the Trump voters, the people who romanticize your poverty and ignorance are not your friends.
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Open Thread: It Only Looked Easy

Professor Krugman, “Populism and the Politics of Health”:

[W]hy are Republicans having so much trouble? Health reform is hard; but why were the Dems able to pass the ACA in the first place? I’m seeing a lot of talk about Paul Ryan’s inadequacy and Republican lack of preparation as compared with Pelosi and the Dems in 2009, all of which is true. But there’s a more fundamental issue: who is being served?

Obamacare helped a large number of people at the expense of a small, affluent minority: basically, taxes on 2% of the population to cover a lot of people and assure coverage to many more. Trumpcare would reverse that, hurting a lot of people (many of whom voted Trump) so as to cut taxes for a handful of wealthy people. That’s a difference that goes beyond political strategy…

And yet, and yet: Trump did in fact win over white working-class voters, who thought they were voting for a populist; Democrats, who did a lot for those voters, got no credit — rural whites, in particular, who were huge beneficiaries of the ACA, overwhelmingly supported the man who may destroy their healthcare.

The answer, presumably, is that what we call populism is really in large degree white identity politics, which can’t be addressed by promising universal benefits. Among other things, these “populist” voters now live in a media bubble, getting their news from sources that play to their identity-politics desires, which means that even if you offer them a better deal, they won’t hear about it or believe it if told. For sure many if not most of those who gained health coverage thanks to Obamacare have no idea that’s what happened.

That said, taking the benefits away would probably get their attention, and maybe even open their eyes to the extent to which they are suffering to provide tax cuts to the rich…



Late Night Horrowshow Open Thread: “A man with no fixed address”

Dolt45’s Brain (Bane?) as described by the Washington Post:

In the three years before he became Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon lived as a virtual nomad in a quest to build a populist political insurgency…

He owned a house and condo in Southern California, where he had entertainment and consulting businesses, a driver’s license and a checking account. He claimed Florida as his residence, registering to vote in Miami and telling authorities he lived at the same address as his third ex-wife.

At the same time, he routinely stayed in Washington and New York as he engineered the expansion of Breitbart News and hosted a live Breitbart radio program. By 2015, Bannon stayed so often at Breitbart’s townhouse headquarters on Capitol Hill that he kept a picture of a daughter on a mantle piece, beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln…

The issue of Bannon’s legal residency has been simmering since last summer, shortly after he became chief executive of Trump’s campaign. The Guardian reported in an Aug. 26 story that he was registered to vote at a then-vacant house and speculated that Bannon may have signed an oath that he was a Florida resident to take advantage of the state’s lack of state income taxes. In California, where Bannon had lived and owned property for more than two decades, income tax can exceed 12 percent…

In the digital age, when most Americans leave a clear footprint of their whereabouts, Bannon left a meandering trail filled with ambiguity, contradictions and questions. The Post found that Bannon left a negligible footprint in Florida. He did not get a Florida driver’s license or register a car in the state. He never voted in Florida, and neighbors near two homes he leased in Miami said they never saw him. His rent and utility bills were sent to his business manager in California.

Bannon’s former wife occupied the premises, according to a landlord and neighbors.

At the same time Bannon said he was living with his ex-wife, she was under investigation for involvement in a plot to smuggle drugs and a cellphone into a Miami jail, a law enforcement document obtained by The Post shows…

The two were married in 2006, when Bannon was 53 and Clohesy was 36. They divorced in California in 2009. She had moved to Florida in 2008, “starting a new life in Miami,” Bannon said in court papers during the divorce. But the two remained in touch, and she worked on three political documentaries he directed in 2011 and 2012…

The $4,900 monthly rent was a big jump for Clohesy, who declared on the lease application that her most recent apartment had cost her $950 a month, documents show. But by his own account, Bannon could afford it.

He stated on the application that he earned $750,000 a year as chairman of Breitbart News Network, a figure that has not been previously reported. He also earned $270,000 as executive chairman of Arc Entertainment, a film distribution company based in Santa Monica, Calif.

In addition, Bannon received about $100,000 in salary that year as part-time chairman of the Government Accountability Institute, a new nonprofit charity in Tallahassee, according to filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Bannon, two Breitbart writers and other conservative activists had launched the organization a year earlier and it produced reports and books that were promoted by Breitbart. Bannon claimed he worked 30 hours a week at GAI, according to IRS filings…

On April 2, 2014, more than a year after Bannon signed the lease on the residence in Coconut Grove, he registered to vote in Florida and listed the Opechee Drive address as his legal home. Bannon did not have to show an ID to register. He provided the last four digits of his Social Security number to verify his identity.

One of the allures of Florida is its zero income tax rate for in-state residents. The Post was unable to determine what state Bannon claimed as his primary residence for the purpose of income tax…

On Feb. 18, 2015, Bannon ended the water and sewer service at Opechee Drive and switched the service to Onaway Drive, less than a half mile away in Coconut Grove, records show. Five days later, Bannon changed his voter registration to Onaway Drive.

The Opechee house was left in disrepair, according to an email between the landlord and Bannon and interviews with the landlord.

Padlocks had been placed on interior doors — or the doors had been removed altogether. A hot tub was destroyed.

“[E]ntire Jacuzzi bathtub seems to have been covered in acid,” the landlord wrote in the February 2015 email to Bannon…



Weird Read: What Bodies Does Trump Want to Bury?

Not a euphemism, for once. The Washington Post‘s David A. Fahrenthold on “The mystery of Donald Trump and the New Jersey cemetery“:

In rural New Jersey, the president’s business has proposed an unusual real estate project.

It wants to build a cemetery.

Or maybe not. Or maybe two.

According to plans filed with local and state authorities, the Trump Organization has proposed to build a pair of graveyards at the site of its tony Trump National Golf Club Bedminster course.

One would be small: 10 plots overlooking the first hole. It was intended — or so they said — for Trump and his family. “Mr. Trump . . . specifically chose this property for his final resting place as it is his favorite property,” his company wrote in a filing with the state in 2014…

The other proposed cemetery would have 284 lots for sale to the public. There, buyers could pay for a kind of eternal membership in Trump’s club — even if it isn’t clear Trump himself would ever join them…

But Trump has been talking about cemeteries here for 10 years — and he has shown the same unpredictable decision-making style about his death that he has about so many things in his life. His plans have gone through at least five major overhauls. Trump has reconsidered his own burial spot at least twice.

Local officials were left puzzling, wondering what angle Trump was playing.

Did the world’s most famous Manhattanite really want to be buried in nowheresville New Jersey?…

******
President Trump already has a family burial plot: His parents and his brother Fred are buried together at All Faiths Cemetery in Queens.

So it was a surprise, back in 2007, when Trump announced he wanted a mausoleum for himself in New Jersey…

The plan was big: 19 feet high. Stone. Obelisks. Set smack in the middle of the golf course. In Bedminster — a wealthy horse-country town 43 miles west of New York City — officials had some concerns about hosting a reality TV star’s tomb. The huge structure would seem garish, out of place. And there were ongoing worries that the spot might become an “attractive nuisance,” tempting curiosity-seekers to trespass on club grounds.

Trump offered a concession.

The tomb would be versatile.

It could also be a festive wedding . . . tomb.

“We’re planning a mausoleum/chapel,” Trump said, according to a news report from the time…

Trump withdrew the plan to be buried in New Jersey. But five years later, he was back with another one. Now, the mausoleum was out — but, instead, he had a plan to build a large cemetery with more than 1,000 graves, including one for him.

The idea, apparently, was that Trump’s golf-club members would buy the other plots, seizing the chance at eternal membership…

The town was, again, skeptical. So Trump whittled it down to just 10 graves, enough for himself and his family members.

Which family members, exactly?

“Only the good Trumps,” Russo said, according to a video of the town land-use board. He did not elaborate…

******
… Could this whole thing have been a scheme to reduce the Trump Organization’s real estate taxes? After all, nonprofit cemeteries pay no taxes on their land.

That’s possible, experts said.

But, in this case, the savings would hardly be worth the trouble. That’s because Trump had already found a way to lower his taxes on that wooded, largely unused parcel. He had persuaded the township to declare it a farm, because some trees on the site are turned into mulch. Because of pro-farmer tax policies, Trump’s company pays just $16.31 per year in taxes on the parcel, which he bought for $461,000.

“It’s always been my suspicion that there’s something we don’t know” about the explanation behind the seemingly inexplicable cemetery plan, said Bedminster land-use board member Nick Strakhov. So why were they doing it?

“I did not ask,” Strakhov said. “It’s an obvious question.”…

For I am Trumpymandias, King of Kings!… Probably it’s just some errant impulse on Lord Smallgloves’ part, another futile attempt to prove that he’s a world-historical figure and not just a jumped-up Queens slumlord’s Fortunate Son.

Best response from the Washington Post comments:

Bill Payer
Q. Who is buried in Trumps tomb?
A. Nobody but rumor has it that is where his tax returns went to spend eternity.



Sunday Evening Open Thread: Prime PBS Totebagger Viewing Time

Of course it’s seriously tragic that the So-Called Leader of the United States (#SCROTUS) is threatening our democracy this way. On the other hand, if we’re gonna re-litigate you-know-what (Waterbedgate?), then at least us aging totebaggers should be able to get some entertainment out of it, yes?



Open Thread: Can the Nerd Prom Be Saved?

… and if it were to disappear, who would notice?

Even if this lineup is too perfect to happen, could we at least spread the rumor that it will? Maybe “leak” this tweet to the Fox News twitter feed?…