paulsimmons

Person #2547: 113 Posts

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  1. Carter's DCI was Admiral Stansfield Turner (1 Reply)

    Casey was appointed by Reagan as Director of Central Intelligence after serving as his campaign manager in the 1980 election.

  2. A possible, REPEAT POSSIBLE, silver lining (0 Replies)

    One of the things that irritates me to no end is this premise (mostly in Democratic wonk circles; their Republican colleagues are usually smarter) that they can model elections and avoid doing competent work on the ground. In particular folks who think that they can micro-target their way to Heaven (while being illiterate about little nuances on the ground) are on my perpetual shit list.

    Well we now see what happens when people memorize the map and ignore the road.

    But there is hope.

    One of the bigger ironies of this race is that many Sanders supporters have a great deal of credibility in many pro-Trump geographies in Appalachia and the industrial Midwest. Equally important is the fact that (unlike many Clinton operatives) they live in these areas.

    If things don’t get to far out-of-whack in Philadelphia, and enough on-the-ground Sanders supporters are enlisted to stop Trump (and not micromanaged by the Clinton campaign), it’s not out of the realm of possibility that virtue can triumph over evil.

    Thank God that Bernie is a class act.

  3. I don't recall laughing at Trump (0 Replies)

    …and I know firsthand how successful he’s been in Pennsylvania.

    Regarding that last point: I’ve noted my concerns on occasion.

  4. From John Nichols in The Nation: (0 Replies)

    Who also saw the implications of the poll.

    Trump knows how to exploit fears of the future. Democrats can only counter him with a vision for the future—a vision that respects those fears and addresses them. America is not a banana republic, but it is a vulnerable republic. Trump and his backers will seek to exploit that vulnerability—just as they exploited the vulnerabilities of an increasingly delusional Republican Party. Democrats must name and shame Trump’s politics of exploitation, and then they must counter it with a new politics that speaks to the better angels identified by the first Republican president: a fellow named Lincoln who would not recognize what has become of his party

  5. One problem: Trump's speech was successful (1 Reply)

    Per CNN/ORC’s instant polling:
    Overall Reaction:

    Very Positive: 57%
    Somewhat positive: 18%
    Negative: 24%

    Affect on voting for Trump:
    More Likely: 56%
    Less likely: 10%
    Not much affect: 32%

  6. No (0 Replies)

    Portugal, then under the Salazar dictatorship was a charter NATO member, and neither Greece nor Turkey’s periods under dictatorships adversely affected their NATO status.

  7. From the article: (0 Replies)

    Around her swirled a kinetic mix of police officers and protesters. Dozens of demonstrators had blocked Baton Rouge’s Airline Highway on Saturday to denounce the death four days earlier of Alton Sterling, shot by police outside a convenience store.

  8. To reinforce the point: (0 Replies)

    A report will be released on Friday which analyzes police procedures by offence by race.

    The study, “The Science of Justice: Race, Arrests, and Police Use of Force,” did not seek to determine whether the employment of force in any particular instance was justified, but the center’s researchers found that the disparity in which African-Americans were subjected to police force remained consistent across what law enforcement officers call the use-of-force continuum — from relatively mild physical force, through baton strikes, canine bites, pepper spray, Tasers and gunshots.

    “The dominant narrative has been that this happens to African-Americans because they are arrested in disproportionate numbers,” said Phillip Atiba Goff, a founder and president of the Center for Policing Equity, based at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “But the data really makes it difficult to say that crime is the primary driver of this. In every single category, the anti-black disparity persists.”

  9. Actually police fatal force incidents are increasing (1 Reply)

    Per the Washington Post, and:

    …The Post’s analysis suggests that the ubiquitous nature of video has not yet had the deterrent effect that police and civil rights groups have predicted — at least as it applies to fatal force.

  10. For your consideration (1 Reply)

    …an analysis of a recent Democracy Corps battleground poll in the Washington Post:

    What about Sanders’s impact? It’s true that the poll also shows that Democrats are very united behind Clinton, with 89 percent of them in these nine states supporting her.

    But peek below the toplines, and it’s clear there’s plenty of room for a Sanders endorsement to help Clinton. This becomes clear when you look at the breakdown of numbers among not just Clinton and Trump, but also with libertarian Gary Johnson factored in, because apparently, a lot of Sanders supporters are now going for Johnson.

    The poll finds that among voters who supported Sanders in the primary in the nine battlegrounds polled, 69 percent support Clinton, while six percent back Trump and another 17 percent support Johnson. What’s more, among millennials, it’s even more stark: 46 percent support Clinton, 24 percent back Trump, and 22 percent support Johnson.

    I mention in passing that Democracy Corps polling tends to have pro-Democratic house effects.

  11. Without revisiting the Hillary v Bernie civil wwar (0 Replies)

    …johntmay is correct about the lack of competent outreach to working class voters (of both genders), which is unfortunate, because there is underutilized potential for Democratic candidates.

    As is noted here and here, it is a cohort that is largely open to a culturally literate field operation.

    Alas, modern progressives aren’t generally known for culturally literate grassroots field…

  12. These programs (and the abuses thereof) have been going on for years (0 Replies)

    …and serve the primary purpose of driving down labor costs for employers. An early example is the Bracero Program (1942 -1964):

    Under the program, total farm employment skyrocketed, domestic farm worker employment decreased, and the farm wage rate decreased. Critics have noted widespread abuses of the program: workers had ten percent of their wages withheld for planned pensions but the money was often never repaid. Workers also were de-loused with DDT at border stations and were often placed in housing conditions deemed ‘highly inadequate’ by the Farm Service Agency. Other scholars who interviewed workers have highlighted some of the more positive aspects of the program, including the higher potential wages a bracero could earn in the United States.

    Sound familiar?

  13. Actually the NRA is on the ground in far more places than the Democratic Party (1 Reply)

    Linked here is a monograph analyzing NRA influence in the 1994 Congressional elections. Furthermore, the NRA was instrumental in electing Bernie Sanders to Congress and supported him in his Presidential race.

    While many (I would argue most) NRA members look askance at some of the organization’s more outrageous positions, they are not about to support outlawing semiautomatic weapons, are better organized than their opponents, and have the advantage of the current political climate wherein support for gun control is soft. Per Gallup:

    Americans are skeptical that gun control laws would be highly efficacious in controlling acts of gun violence and mass shootings. As is evident from the list discussed previously, in battling terrorism, Americans assign below-average effectiveness to a ban on assault-type weapons, out of a list of 11 different proposals tested in December.

    However insignificant in Massachusetts, the National Rifle Association is a major player in rural and suburban America, particularly in the South, Midwest, Rocky Mountain West, Southwest, and Appalachia. Regionally, the NRA is strong in Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon. In New England, the organization is strong in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.

    I would hardly call that astroturf.

  14. I repeat: Wall Street as an institution is indifferent to gun control, not opposed (2 Replies)

    The gun sector is a pretty small part of the aggregate economy, as reflected by individual portfolios.

    Furthermore, individual players at the top level of financial services and financial instruments are probably reflective of their social cohorts. (For example, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Menino founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns back in 2006.)

    Billionaires from, say Dallas (I presume that “Wall Street” is your synonym for the ultra wealthy) would probably think otherwise. The same applies if we restrict “Wall Street” to the financial service and financial instrument communities.

    The greatest opposition to gun control is at the organized grassroots level.

  15. A possible context for Trump's action (2 Replies)

    …is the low (and declining) confidence Americans have in newspapers. The confidence among Americans as a whole is at 20%; among Democrats in isolation, confidence in newspapers is 27%.

    Per Gallup:

    The decline in public confidence in newspapers since 2000 is part of a larger pattern of decline in Americans’ confidence in U.S. institutions. However, since 2000, confidence in newspapers has fallen more steeply than the average of 14 institutions Gallup has tracked annually since 1993. While average confidence across all 14 institutions fell from 40% in 2000 to 32% the last two years, confidence in newspapers fell from 37% to 20% over the same period.

    Like it or not, manufacturing a feud with the Washington Post makes political sense.

    That said, Democrats should be grateful that Trump is his own worst enemy.

  16. My point was that, given the facts referenced above (1 Reply)

    …Wall Street as a culture is indifferent to gun control.

    More important, in a majority of Congressional Districts it is generally more dangerous to one’s incumbency to support gun control (of any type) than oppose it.

    The irony is that mass shootings such as what happened in Orlando tend to strengthen opposition to gun laws, however reasonable. I don’t see that dynamic changing in the foreseeable future.

  17. Apropos Wall Street , here's some news from the real world (1 Reply)

    From the Boston Business Journal:

    A day after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history claimed the lives of 49 people in Orlando, shares of one of the largest gun manufacturers in the country rallied by 7 percent Monday.

    Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC), the Springfield-based company that makes guns for law enforcement and consumers, saw its shares rise to $22.96 just after noon Wednesday. Rival Sturm, Ruger & Co. (NYSE: RGR) saw its shares rise by nearly 10 percent to $62.86.

    The firm typically sees its shares rise as some politicians talk about the need for gun control and investors bet that more Americans will feel the need to go out and purchase guns to avoid any potential crackdown. Shares in the company rose 11 percent this past January after President Obama announced new gun-control measures that he said would enhance background checks and boost gun-safety technology.

    Shares in Smith & Wesson, which will report quarterly earnings on Thursday, have risen 624 percent over the past five years

  18. In light of the origin of that quote, you might want to reconsider your analysis (1 Reply)

    …since the original source of “dime’s worth of difference…” was George Wallace in 1968.

    Indeed it was one of his campaign slogans.

    I’ve heard this premise from folks on the Left (in and out of the Democratic Party) since my adolescence. So, purely as a thought experiment, tell me how Hubert Humphrey was the same as Richard Nixon; and Jimmy Carter was the same as Ronald Reagan; and Al Gore was the same as George W. Bush.

    Even if Clinton is guilty of of everything on your bill of particulars, the danger to the country is too great from a Trump Presidency.

  19. Here's the problem (1 Reply)

    …per Charlie Cook in today’s National Journal (sub.req.):

    This is currently an election in which more people vote against a candidate than for one. While I get a lot of satisfaction from the current Trump meltdown, I’m not willing to bet the farm that the he will simply lose by default.

    Among other things, I’m acutely aware of Trump support in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. In addition – and I speak from personal observation and conversation with local players – Pittsburgh aside, there is no competent pro-Clinton field on either side of the western Pennsylvania/southeastern Ohio border. furthermore, according to friends whose business it is to do pro-Democratic data mining, the same is true in central Pennsylvania.

    So yes, I’m going to have concerns until Clinton’s field and message operations flip the dynamics.

    Simply put, Ernie’s post reflects a meme; and that meme has to be addressed and refuted.