Re: Big Business Blowhard Buffoons

1

Ah, Heebie! So touching in your optimism!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 6:52 AM
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Maybe I'm just being humorless again, but it's hard to find these guys funny.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 7:19 AM
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I'll hope right along with you Heebie.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 8:11 AM
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To a large extent there is this stereotype, but clearly it hasn't connected with enough people. But I still believe it's the big thing killing Trump in favorability ratings and general election match-up polls, where he's actually doing even worse lately.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 8:20 AM
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Months ago I was seeing jokes that Trump looked like the villain from a movie where the hero was a dog, or that we needed to organize a massive dance party in order to keep him from the local civic center and turning it into a bunch of condos being elected President and causing hideous amounts of damage to the world.

Those stereotypes have been around for a long time, including back in the '80s when people were even more impressed with Wealthy Business Man! types.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 9:09 AM
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Even assuming he's not elected, it's scary what he's unleashing - "Trump!" is apparently becoming a racial mob-chant.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 9:19 AM
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Turning a name into a slur hasn't happened to a more deserving asshole since Quisling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 9:26 AM
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I've been thinking that Trump is setting himself up for one hell of a fall. He craves attention, right? And so far, it has all been wonderful attention. Crowds chanting for him, big rallies, media mentions.

But he's coming up on a spectacular election defeat, to a chick or a grumpy old man. Some think this all got started as Trump's response to being teased by Pres. Obama at the journalist's roast. But now the most foreseeable outcome is that he's about to live out his life with the humiliation of a landslide loss plaguing him.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 9:38 AM
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8: Yeah, but tell that to Goldwater's ghost.

Jeet Heer just now on the TNR feed: "Even if Trump fails (as I think he will) there is good chance of a Trumpist president later."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 9:39 AM
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"The landslide will bring you down."


Posted by: Opinionated Fleetwood Mac | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 9:40 AM
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There are at least two distinct versions of this stereotype. The most salient version, especially for Unfogged, is the Silicon Valley CEO/VC. Peter Thiel, basically.

In the UK, we've got the Ecclestone/Desmond/Branson version, which is much less evangelical but no less self-satisfied and completely impervious to how buffoonish everyone else considers them to be.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 9:48 AM
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Re 8, a therapist friend recently expressed vague kinda-sorta worry for Trump, because he seems like a textbook narcissist, and they take those sorts of defeats very badly.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:05 AM
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5: My go-to Trump analogy is Greg Stillson, the villain from the Dead Zone. The funny thing is, I've seen an episode or two of the TV series and read the book but never saw the original Christopher Walken movie. So I had no idea until I told someone else about this last week that Stillson was played by Martin Sheen. That guy runs the gamut of playing presidents.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:05 AM
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That was a really good book. I've never had much time for King, but I really liked that one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:08 AM
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11: and in fact Trump's UK counterpart, failed computer salesman and property developer Alan Sugar, had a role in government (as "enterprise champion") back in 2009 - though it's difficult to imagine him going into politics sensu stricto.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:10 AM
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Visually, Trump's U.K. counterpart is that Boris guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:16 AM
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Oh, good call, for some reason Sugar completely slipped my mind. I mean, he even has (had?) his own Apprentice show which seemed mainly to be about advertising his crappy landline phones.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:16 AM
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16: He definitely fits the "buffoon" part, but he's no businessman (not even a pretend one). His pre-politics background was (terrible) journalism.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:19 AM
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18: and he actually has a political career (MP, Mayor of London) which Trump doesn't.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:22 AM
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I thought it was "Lord Mayor".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:23 AM
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Well isn't that the ginger calling the journalism yellow?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:24 AM
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I feel like Boris Johnson is what Americans imagine a typically English buffoon to be like, and Trump is what English people imagine a typically American buffoon to be like. There's a lesson there somewhere. "Clownish national stereotypes can be successful politicians."


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:25 AM
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I feel like Silvio Berlusconi deserves a mention here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:37 AM
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20: the Mayor of London is completely different from the Lord Mayor of London. For one thing, the Lord Mayor has a much better hat. The Mayor of London is the democratically elected mayor of the whole of the city of London. The Lord Mayor is the largely ceremonial mayor of the City of London, which is the financial district where almost no one really lives, and has virtually no real power; he's really just a general business lobbyist, in, as I said, a very nice hat.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:38 AM
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22: enlighten us; isn't Trump what Americans imagine a typically American buffoon to be like too?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:40 AM
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We Americans have 99 different words for buffoon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:40 AM
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IF YOU'RE HAVING MAYOR PROBLEMS I FEEL BAD FOR YOU SON
I GOT 99 PROBLEMS BUT BORIS AIN'T ONE.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:41 AM
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24: I'm looking for a nice hat, but that one would probably stand out too much at kiddie soccer games.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:41 AM
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Maybe in tan?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:47 AM
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Is it the Lord Mayor or the Mayor who has the theoretical power to bar the Queen (or King when there is such) from entering the City or the city of London? Or am I totally making that up?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:52 AM
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"It is sometimes asserted that the Lord Mayor may exclude the monarch from the City of London. The legend is based on the misinterpretation of the ceremony observed each time the sovereign enters the City."

Well, there you go.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:53 AM
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Probably has something to do with paying the congestion charge.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:56 AM
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21 is excellent.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 11:00 AM
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I think the most apt description of Trump I've heard is that he's a college Marxist's idea of a capitalist.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 11:22 AM
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Ben Stein is on CNN right now completely melting down over Donald Trump. He's just losing it over Trump's economic illiteracy. It's a wonder to behold.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 11:52 AM
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That's rich from the guy who put up his own money on a game show.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:00 PM
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Sad!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:12 PM
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But he's coming up on a spectacular election defeat, to a chick or a grumpy old man.

You may think that. I think if he's polling at 120 electoral votes in August he's going to say "Screw this" and some other candidate will take over. Based on that woman's annoying behind-the-scenes article from last week, it sounds like he would have dropped out already if he had any respect at all for any of the other Republican candidates.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:18 PM
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39

Have you seen the other Republican candidates?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:20 PM
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I've been pondering what would be the Democratic equivalent of a primary where 90% of voters are supporting either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

Candidate A:
- Has been a celebrity for 30 years
- Hosted a TV show
- Friends with many of the elite, although they do not take him seriously
- Has many working-class followers, who the elite also see as fools for believing his B.S.
- Bizarre hairdo

Candidate B:
- Showed up in Congress and immediately started trying to be a leader there
- Hated by everyone who has ever met him
- Spends all his time on publicity stunts designed to embarrass his colleagues and prove that he is the only honest man in Congress

Al Sharpton vs. Alan Grayson!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:23 PM
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38 raises an interesting point: which states will definitely go for Trump? Are there any for which we can say that with near certainty?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:29 PM
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Dixie.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:33 PM
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Look away. Look away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:36 PM
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Are there any for which we can say that with near certainty?

South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming. All of the reddest of the red except Utah, which is a swing state.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:41 PM
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Texas is likely but is it near-certain? In the same way that "Mississippi goes red" is normally a certainty? Lot of Latinos there...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:43 PM
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38: I dunno. If he gets that far, it would be hard to quit. It must be really hard to believe the polls when every day of your new life is a stadium rally for you. How can all those people only be a minority of the voting population? There are so many of them!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:44 PM
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And that's not to mention that there's a whole industry of pollsters willing to tell you that you're totally winning, and make up whatever theories or assumptions are required to get there. That's how we got the beautiful schadenfreude of Romney's loss.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:49 PM
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Well, not just pollsters - acolytes generally. Lot of money to be siphoned off a campaign, until it stops running.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 12:51 PM
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Yeah, polls can be unskewed. I don't see that as an issue.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 1:07 PM
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It's indulging my tastes, but I liked this Nixon/Trump dialogue:

"The worst thing you can do in politics is surround yourself with people who say nothing but 'yes,'" I said. "I know a thing or two about that."
...
"No one but your son and that thug Lewandowski is loyal to you. That's the measure of a man. You don't know how to be subtle or avoid traps. No one cares to teach you. Your head is too far up your own ass on this. And I think you know it."

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 1:27 PM
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I've visited the City a few times but never been even close to being introduced to the Remembrancer, allowing me to continue to imagine him as something like John Hurt in the first Harry Potter movie.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 3:55 PM
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8: But he's coming up on a spectacular election defeat, to a chick or a grumpy old man.

I'm honestly not sure the RNC/establishment will let him have the nomination. I read something earlier today -- damned if I can find it now -- quoting a political operative saying that the party was prepared to lose any new Trumpish voters who might sit out the general election in the event he's not the nominee; that the party was, in essence, comfortable with its usual base, and that if the price to be paid for welcoming those Trumpian voters into the fold was such a drastic change to its face, those voters could go fuck themselves. Huh.

Cruz is doing a lot of background work to garner delegates for a second ballot at the convention.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 5:24 PM
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Yep. Being the second biggest asshole in the room has to be a big change for Cruz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 6:28 PM
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I read something earlier today -- damned if I can find it now -- quoting a political operative saying that the party was prepared to lose any new Trumpish voters who might sit out the general election in the event he's not the nominee; that the party was, in essence, comfortable with its usual base, and that if the price to be paid for welcoming those Trumpian voters into the fold was such a drastic change to its face, those voters could go fuck themselves.

This position seems to demonstrate quite a bit of willful ignorance about how many Trump voters have been a key part of the Republican base for decades.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 6:40 PM
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54: yeah but most of them will turn out for anyone that's on the ballot in order to stop Hillary. The diehards who say Trump or bust are likely a slim minority.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 6:49 PM
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56

Yeah, fair enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 6:54 PM
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I do think 52 is right. There's starting to be a lot of very open dialogue to lay the groundwork for this. Going in with a plurality of the delegates doesn't mean anything if it's not a majority, at that point it's the convention's responsibility to choose the best candidate, not to blindly support whoever had the plurality of votes, etc. The party hates Cruz and thinks he'll lose, but a more traditionally ideologically conservative nominee who loses is better than Trump, who would also lose but would potentially change the public face of the party in a bad and unpredictable way. Cruz losing very badly even has the side benefit of potentially taking his career down a peg, which most establishment Republicsans would welcome.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 6:57 PM
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I think public talk like that by the Republican establishment plays in to Trump's tiny tiny hands. I think Trump is going to win outright on the first ballot. With the establishment gunning for him, two opponents and a bunch of winner take all states he is all but unstoppable.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 7:43 PM
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I'm not convinced that the normal Republican authoritarian falling-into-line stuff won't happen no matter who the candidate is, but the idea that Trump is bringing literally anyone new to the table is nonsense. There are definitely a bunch of strategists/operatives/etc. who are desperately in denial about what they've been doing their entire lives and what the Republican party is, and I'm sure they think that he's doing something like that. But the truth is that his appeal is all Republican base voters.

I wouldn't be surprised if they try something no matter what the votes look like, though. It's not that Trump would lose or that he's bringing any new groups into the party or anything. It's that he's just too impolite about it for the press to cover for him even if they wanted to. So he makes them look bad in a way that Cruz wouldn't, even though Cruz is at least as awful if not moreso. The interesting question is what story they tell if they lose. It would be a real uphill battle to pick "if we'd chosen a real conservative..." with Cruz. God only knows what they'd go with if it's Trump.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 8:14 PM
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I expect Trump to do quite a bit worse with married white women than Romney did. Depending on how down ballot candidates react to him, this might hurt them too.

I really can't see the GOP taking the nomination away from Trump. He'll squeal all the way to November, and it's not like they have some great unifier waiting in the wings.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 10:05 PM
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I expect Trump to do quite a bit worse with married white women than Romney did.

But Trump loves women, IYKWIMAITYD.

But apparently women do not return the favour. About 47 percent of Republican women hold a negative view of The Donald, and cannot imagine voting for him. And American women trend Democratic, not Republican, in the first place. I think Trump is missing a key demographic, and I doubt there are enough angry white men to make up the difference.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 11:04 PM
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I doubt there are enough angry white men to make up the difference.

Yeah, this is the key thing about Trump. He's hugely popular among angry white men who feel left behind by the social and economic changes of recent decades, which leads a lot of people to assume that he's tapping into a huge disaffected population the way Reagan did, but the country's demographics have changed and there just aren't that many guys like this around anymore to offset the way he's alienated every other demographic group.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 4-16 11:09 PM
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A huge difference between Boris and the Donald is that basically none of Boris's shtick is based on fear or violence. Boris doesn't threaten to use nuclear weapons in Europe, demand money with menaces from NATO, promise to build a huge wall around London, harangue his followers to beat up protestors*. He doesn't even do the statesmanlike appeal to keep you safe from the threats you fear, which is the respectable version of the politics of fear. Trump, though, fear fear fear violence violence violence.

(*although he did help his mate the fraudster have a journalist beaten up that one time. he doesn't give speeches about it though)

Also, Boris doesn't do the politics of success. He projects as an amiable buffoon who lucks out of hilarious scrapes. Trump constantly calls himself a winner - David Cameron or Barack Obama transparently are, and can afford to understate their success, which is of course one of the best ways to flap your success.

As for the Republicans, their problem is that they already ran off the voters they might lose due to Trump - Bush burned off a hell of a lot of normal people, McCain/Palin some more, the teabagger phase another layer, Rmoney was a weak-sauce effort at seriousness that just demonstrated how little was left, this just leaves The Base (Arabic trans: Al-Qa'ida). What's happening is that the people who were in denial are moving on through the K├╝bler-Ross stages - someone like Kevin Williamson is feeling the anger, the Kasich plotters are onto bargaining (hey, electorate, if we dump Trump will you give us another chance?).

I imagine the depression will kick in after the convention, but I still find it hard to see them getting to acceptance.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 2:06 AM
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64

Untapped Democratic Anger

Kevin Drum, radical centrist HRC supporter, looks at a chary of ideological challengers in both parties over the last, notices there are few for Democrats and many many for Republicans, sees the tipping point in 2008-2010, and like many here

More likely, given the 40-year history of neither party mounting many ideological primary challenges, something very unusual happened among conservatives in 2010. As much as they hated Bill Clinton, he never prompted a tidal wave of right-wing challenges to Republican incumbents. But something about Obama was different. Suddenly an awful lot of Republicans decided that their party needed to get a lot more conservative.

Right, Drum, has to be racism, cause nothing else happened a little too late for the 2008 elections but plenty early to recruit candidates for 2010. Nothing interesting happened 2008-2009 at all.

Jesus fuck, what is amazing is that it took eight years for an ideological reaction in the Democratic Party to the greatest economic collapse since 1929 and a general acceptance of permanent secular stagnation and miserable prospects for the economic future. It isn't as if even mainstream liberal economists have anything more than minor tweaks to a system they apparently think would be running just fine if we had a Democratic Congress.

An astonishing form of denial, in its most virulent form. Grass roots Republicans may not have reacted wisely or sanely to the economic failure, but at least they showed signs of life and a spine, while the Dems are only now starting to come out of Stockholm Syndrome.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 4:57 AM
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It isn't as if even mainstream liberal economists have anything more than minor tweaks to a system they apparently think would be running just fine if we had a Democratic Congress.

Actually, Bob, if mainstream liberal economists had their druthers, we'd have seen the following:

A. 50% more stimulus in 2009, adding about $750B to GDP in 2009-2010, decreasing unemployment by millions.

B. Additional stimulus in 2010, probably in the form of aid to states, that would have saved half a million public jobs--schoolteachers, public works, plus nonprofit employees whose salaries are largely from public funding.

C. No interest rate hikes in the EU, combined with aggressive spending by Germany and other northern European economies designed to raise inflation (good for debtors, bad for lenders). This would have resulted in years of growth in Europe instead of years of stagnation, including the massive youth unemployment that Spain et al are only just getting over.

D. Drone strike on David Cameron.

E. With the economy in proper recovery mode by 2011, there would be wage growth at the bottom end, and it would be time for tax hikes on the 1% as well as a return to the pre-Bush estate tax. The latter policies would pull hundreds of millions of dollars out of the 1% and use them for goodies at best or deficit reduction (appropriate if the economy really is growing without stimulus) at worst.

F. Oh yeah, a carbon tax/cap & trade regime that would 1. reduce the wealth held by the petrochemical industry, 2. reduce the wealth held by other carbon-intensive industries (eg big ag) that have been free-riding on the climate, 3. transfer wealth to the poorest, because everyone gets direct payments for a certain amount of carbon use, payments that would exceed the taxation on the bottom 20%; this would be a permanent subsidy for the poorest, 4. oh yeah, and help save the fucking planet.

But you're right, Bob, mainstream liberal economists have no answers. If they had answers, Paul Ryan would just write them into law and everything would be fine. Republicans oppose Democratic solutions because Dems don't have solutions, not because Republicans oppose Democratic goals like helping anyone who isn't a fucking oligarch.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:17 AM
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Grass roots Republicans may not have reacted wisely or sanely to the economic failure, but at least they showed signs of life and a spine

Yessss. Come on, bob, only a little further to go. You know where your natural home is. You're an angry out of touch bloodthirsty old white man in Texas! Where else are you going to go?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:20 AM
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Can I suggest that the drone strike in 65.D catch George Osborne, too?

I'm thinking of the old joke where the assassin tries to save the guy $N pounds.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:25 AM
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And I just realized that bob's 64 is even more stupid than it seems, since he's looking at evidence that there's still no Democratic ideological backlash. Between 2012 and 2014, there was exactly 1 Democratic Representative primaries from the left. How many are there this year? It would have to be 10 to be any meaningful departure form the norm. And we're now 8 years out from the crash, with enough jobs that people who had given up on employment are returning to work.

Meanwhile, there have been about 50 primaries from the right since 2010. So what's the claim, Bob? That literally nobody in the Democratic electorate noticed the collapse? That everyone is equally screwed and equally mad--but only about economic issues--but only the far right thought to do anything about it? That sure is a parsimonious explanation.

Remember: by definition, ideological primary challenges are not sanctioned by the parties; you cannot blame the Democratic Party for a lack of outsider challenges. So what's the mechanism? So whose fault is it that OWS evidently never put up any primary challengers? Obama's? Paul Krugman's? Kevin Drum's?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:32 AM
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67: I actually thought about that. If you only had one Hellfire missile...


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:32 AM
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57.last is a very good point. Cruz going down to crushing defeat is pretty much the best loss possible for establishment* Republicans. Hell, if he takes a dozen Freedom Caucus members with him, so much the better.

I wonder how many Republican strategists/insiders even still think they have a shot to win the general? I mean, we all know that something shocking could change things, but as it stands, their only two plausible nominees look absolutely unelectable. And it's really hard to see a convention that overthrows the 2 guys who got 65-75% of the primary votes resulting in an electorate that comes out in droves for Paul Ryan or whoever.

*a twisted and abused term at this point, but I think it still captures the core insiders who A. have some contact with reality, and B. want to keep the government efficiently funneling cash to their donors.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:40 AM
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Keep waving your hands, not Obama's fault, not Krugman's fault, not Democrat's fault, nothing is ever our fault, blame the Republicans cause they have all the power

If He Loses Bernie May Have Demands

"So I read this as Sanders is setting the stage for not endorsing Clinton or giving such a tepid endorsement that it is clearly a non-endorsement as far as his voters are concerned."

Not that you are capable of learning from a catastrophic loss. That won't be your fault either. You won't have to change.

Democrats are the "We have no power and they are oppressing meeeee"....Party


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:54 AM
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58, 60: Tonight will be very telling. There's been some evidence, for the first time really, that Trump is actively bleeding support, but he's not on pace right now to win the nomination--he's projected to end up 5-10% short. So he needs to pick up steam to win the candidates he needs.

So, 3 scenarios between here and Cleveland:

1. Trump is actually toast: between the abortion comments, fatigue with his schtick, and the hard ceiling on his support in a small field, he underperforms his current projections and ends up with 80% or fewer of the delegates he needs.

2. He's not toast, he's just wobbling a bit, but the projections are basically correct. He goes to Cleveland with, say, 93% of the delegates he needs.

3. He surges to victory tonight, the story of Trump the Unstoppable takes hold for good, and he gets to Cleveland with, say, 99% of the delegates he needs (if it's 100%, I don't think anyone risks the shenanigans necessary to steal the nomination from him).

In #1, he has no chance. As we now know, the state parties mostly get to choose "his" delegates, so there's no inherent loyalty, and if he limps into the convention with a mere plurality (40% of all delegates to 30% for Cruz), they'll be looking to bolt. In #3, he probably wins because he looks like a winner, and some chunk of delegates pledged to other candidates are genuinely happy to switch to him on the 2nd votes.

That leaves #2, which is where normal candidates for normal parties win despite not definitively proving themselves in the primary. In that situation, I think that insiders basically have a choice between him and Cruz, because Cruz delegates will, IMO, be loyal (because most state parties think he's their kind of asshole), and there simply won't be enough free delegates for any other option. But if insiders made the call in 52, they could pick their poison (knowing they'll lose the general).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 5:54 AM
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Actually, I quite like Obama.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:00 AM
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71.1 is a good, substantive rebuttal to 65. I've now seen the error of my ways.

Since you can't be bothered, I'll actually supply one: Republicans aside, the fantasy of 65 didn't come to pass because too much of the Democratic Party is captured by the 1%, and would rather lose than see a substantively liberal outcome, let alone democratic socialism. Certainly the presence of Joe Lieberman in the 111th Congress is evidence of that. It's cynical, depressing, and almost certainly true.

But that's not enough for bob's blood-in-the-streets wank fantasies. No, the whole system needs to be so corrupt that nobody associated with the current Democratic Party can have good intentions, that even the left half of the party actually consists of class traitors and imbeciles who just don't get it, man. But if we just united people who think Raul Grijalva is a sellout with Trump voters, boy howdy, then we'd have something.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:03 AM
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Romney won white women 56-42.

I don't know what kind of deal they can make with Trump to get him to yield. His people are motivated by fear and resentment, especially resentment of betrayal, so any play to knock him out is quite possibly worse than letting him stay in.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:07 AM
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Romney had the binders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:12 AM
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And he got 62% of married white women.

Contrary to 63.3, there's still a ways to go before the bottom.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:15 AM
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78

As Adam Smith once said, there's a lot of ruin in a party.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:26 AM
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79

75: they have the advantage that Trump, quintessentially, loves a deal.

This is, I think, the tao of the big business blowhard - they're people who got to the top by selling. Selling is a very specific skill and it's one that you can train completely in isolation, like doing nothing but huge bicep curls until you look like an ant stuck between two watermelons of arm-pork. Dumb but successful salesmen are as common as dog shit.

It goes with a couple of related qualities - empathy, bumptiousness (aka "unsinkability" in the training handbooks), cynicism, and superstition. This last is because selling is fundamentally very random. Some days you're Jesus, or The Donald if you like, some days you're Willy Loman. Fundamental attribution error and irregular positive reinforcement means you'll keep doing whatever you did the last time you won, so magic tends to accumulate.

Because they've got to always be closing, the sales people can easily fuck the business up by screwing themselves on price or by promising quantity, quality, deadlines, customisation, or whatever you're never going to be able to deliver. Similarly, they're notorious for taking other people's horrible sales pitches with their own money. The analogy with Trump I leave up to you.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:28 AM
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80

"Secretary of Walls"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:31 AM
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81

I think if the rich people get half a chance, they're going to shove Kasich in. I'm thinking that is why he hasn't dropped out (or even faced much pressure to do so). Maybe tonight will affect that, since Wisconsin is basically just a low-rent Ohio with more cows and fewer alien corpses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:33 AM
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82

I was concerned that 81 was unsupported, so I looked it up. Not only does Ohio have fewer cows than Wisconsin, but it has less than half as many. And Indiana has ever fewer cows that Ohio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 6:39 AM
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Cows aside, I think 81 is right. Katich can't do better than third place, but if he sticks it out and ends up a respectable 3rd place, then you've got one person at the convention who is A. acceptable to the establishment, and B. able to get the nomination without a complete betrayal of voters. Emphasis on "complete".

Is he projected to win any more states at all?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 7:06 AM
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84

Looking at the numbers, Trump would actually be in a very strong position for the general election if we didn't let women or African-Americans vote. That's a pretty scary thought. Remind me again why we allow white men to run anything?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 7:08 AM
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85

www.cattlenetwork.com was silent on that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 7:08 AM
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84: After 2012, there were a few Republicans who said that they would have won if just white people were allowed to vote. I'm sure even more thought it but were smart enough not to say it aloud.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 7:14 AM
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87

84: David Duke won white people when he was running for governor of Louisiana.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 7:56 AM
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88

70: I agree that 57.last is very perceptive. It hadn't occurred to me that the Republican Establishment might support Cruz, but that really is the best-case scenario for them.

Kasich is no longer running for president in 2016. If he thinks a brokered convention that rejects Cruz is going to turn to him, he's nuts. Romney has a better chance than Kasich, as do any number of other people. In that scenario, you gotta figure that Paul Ryan is the guy.

Kasich is running to be Cruz's vice president.

I wonder if Cruz would agree to be Trump's VP.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:02 AM
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89

If Kasich wanted to be Cruz's VP, he'd have dropped out before Wisconsin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:04 AM
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88.last has got me wondering who Trump could get to second him if he wins. Maybe somebody with a big name on the chance that Trump doesn't serve a full term?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:07 AM
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I mean, I could be wrong because this whole thing is insane, but I think that if Kasich were really open to being Cruz's VP, he'd have taken the anyone-but-Trump movement as a reason to drop out after winning Ohio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:15 AM
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you gotta figure that Paul Ryan is the guy.

Paul Ryan isn't going to run in an environment where he is set up to take a near-guaranteed loss. He'll position himself to be the one to pick up the wreckage for a run in 2020.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:16 AM
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93

Romney will do it, on the other hand, because he thinks God has chosen him and its his destiny to be President.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:19 AM
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94

I think if Kasich really had plotted it out with Cruz they'd be doing things a bit different, or at least slightly more coordinated about it. But neither one has an actual path to the majority of the delegates, and hasn't for a while now. Going to the convention with three "strong" candidates support-wise and then having two of them join forces does look a bit more democratic than if Kasich dropped out but kept campaigning for Cruz, so I can still see that as something both campaigns are thinking about.

The only advantage to the GOP in picking Cruz that I can think of is that it keeps their base mostly voting* and it means that in 2020 they'll be able to tell the people saying "If only we'd had a true conservative candidate" to shut up.

*Not in the sense of enough to win, because the chances are low there. But enough that in 2020 they won't have to convince as many people to come back to the polls after skipping a year.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:24 AM
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95

94 - there will never be a candidate conservative enough for the "if only we'd nominated a true conservative" crowd.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:27 AM
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96

I think 95 is right. It's not a falsifiable hypothesis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:30 AM
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94.1: Maybe. But I don't think Cruz/Kasich willl look any more democratic to the Trump voters than Cruz/OtherGuy or Kasich/OtherGuy* if Trump has a plurality.

* Kasich/OtherGuy will, of course, drive the Cruz people batty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:33 AM
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95: exactly. "If we nominate a real conservative, we'll win!"
"But last time you nominated a real conservative and you lost."
"He wasn't a real conservative."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:50 AM
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Paul Ryan isn't going to run in an environment where he is set up to take a near-guaranteed loss.

This is also why he'll never let himself be drafted to be Speaker.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:57 AM
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There's also the way in which any conservative, no matter how real, is going to tack to the center some in the general. At which point they are no longer real.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 8:59 AM
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101

Even Ted Cruz?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:04 AM
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102

99 is a good point, but I think presidenting is different enough that you can't figure the precedent will hold.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:05 AM
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Which is to say that I'm sure that being Speaker right now is an unpleasant, humiliating experience. But it's also not quite so public as running for president.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:09 AM
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Speaking, somewhat belatedly, of buffoonish mayoral politics, the latest policy proposal from quite possible successor to Boris, Zac Goldsmith, is arguably worse than anything Trump has put forward.

The Conservative London mayoral candidate said the new 'cyber specials' would police social media, forums and other websites in return for a 50% discount on their council tax.

The officers would be expected to take part in "live digital investigations" into online extremism, under the guidance of tech experts.

Goldsmith also promised a new "integration test" for spending by City Hall, which would forbid any project which did not "benefit the whole community, [rather than] just a single group."


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:13 AM
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This is also why he'll never let himself be drafted to be Speaker.

I don't know how sincere it was, but he did put on a pretty good show of kicking and screaming before agreeing to take on the job. And that had a clear benefit of "gets to be one of the most powerful people in the government," which is a lot more enticement than "get stuck holding the bag for the GOP's massive election loss."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:22 AM
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PR is on a major PR campaign lately. He's super doe-eyed and pro-poor people and pro-work-family-balance, in the most suspicious Disney Villain way possible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:25 AM
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Also I love the Lego villain's name ("President Business") so much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:26 AM
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108

TED CRUZ IS A RINO AND WE SHOULD NOMINATE SOMEONE WITH AN AMERICAN NAME NEXT TIME


Posted by: OPINIONATED REPUBLICAN BASE | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:35 AM
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Here is my list for of possible outcomes of the Republican primary in descending order of probability:

1. Cruz wins the nomination but without winning a plurality of delegates on the first ballot and his Veep pick is not one of the three candidates currently running.

2. Trump wins the nomination on the first ballot with a majority of delegates and selects an asshole as a running mate.

3. Trump wins the nomination but without a majority of delegates on the first ballot and selects an asshole as a running mate.

4. Kasich wins the nomination but without a majority of delegates on the first ballot and selects an asshole who isn't Cruz as his running mate.

5. Cruz wins the nomination but without winning a plurality of delegates on the first ballot and his Veep pick is Trump or Kasich.

6. Kasich wins the nomination but without a majority of delegates on the first ballot and selects an asshole who is Cruz as his running mate.

7. Somebody who isn't one of the current three candidates wins the nomination and selects Kasich as a veep nominee.

8. Somebody who isn't one of the current three candidates wins the nomination and selects Cruz as a veep nominee.

9. Something else (I like to have exhaustive lists).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:37 AM
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He's super doe-eyed and pro-poor people and pro-work-family-balance

This is what makes me think 2020. That pro-puppies and orphans thing will never go over with the current GOP, but if you think of it as setting up a framework for where to take the party in the wake of the wreckage left behind by Trump and Cruz, it make sense. He's positioning himself for the realignment; its a long game.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:37 AM
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10. Rest of world takes one look at Trump and Cruz and invades in force for our own good.

11. Gigantic meteor extinguishes all human life on earth.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:39 AM
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109: I still think Trump getting a majority of delegates is the most likely outcome.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:45 AM
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I don't know how sincere it was, but he did put on a pretty good show of kicking and screaming before agreeing to take on the job.

He was allegedly worried about the time demands of the job. Not being president leaves you with a lot of free time.

And the Republican Establishment would be grateful if he accepted the nomination. One assumes that this is the reason he ultimately took the Speaker job.

It's at least plausible that a loss this year wouldn't disqualify Ryan four years from now. The gratitude of the establishment may actually be worth something in 2020. And if it's not, then Ryan is screwed anyway. He's what passes for the establishment now.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:46 AM
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He's peaked too early, I think. Granted, I think that both my #1 and #2 are far more likely than #3 and many times for likely than #4.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:47 AM
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111.1 -- We don't need the rest of the world to invade, just for Canada to come in as 10 new states. For the good of the whole world.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:48 AM
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114 to 112.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:50 AM
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114 -- No, I think Trump totally dominates Cruz on 4/19 and 4/26. Cruz might even come in third in one or two 4/26 states.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:52 AM
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I've said before I thought Cruz was now running for 2020, and I think Ryan definitely is. Whichever Dem wins in 2016, odds are still pretty good for a Republican win in 2020. Especially for Ryan.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:54 AM
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The polls for Trump in California and New York do look much better than I thought.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 9:56 AM
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CT, RI, DE, MD -- Kasich could come in second in any one of them, I think. I assume Cruz can do well in PA, but surely Trump wins by a good measure.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 10:07 AM
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In PA, the winner gets a quarter of the delegates, and the other three quarters are uncommitted spread evenly from the various congressional districts. God knows if Trump has figured out how to play that game to win.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 10:12 AM
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Possibly I was giving too much weight to this morning's report that earlier reports of new Republican registrations were greatly exaggerated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 5-16 10:38 AM
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Less big business buffoonish than Silicon Valley creepy, but according to Azealia Banks, CEO Twitter Jack Dorsey "sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-14-16 1:45 AM
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Azalia Banks is a shaman now?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-14-16 2:22 AM
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Apparently so.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-14-16 2:38 AM
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The arts can be a fickle career. It's good to have a trade to fall back on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-16 5:14 AM
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