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Trumps Cabinet Transcends the Concept of Parody

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Perfect:

Donald Trump has narrowed his search for energy secretary to four people, with former Texas Governor Rick Perry the leading candidate, said people familiar with the president-elect’s selection process.

Two Democratic senators from energy-producing states — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — are also in the mix, along with Ray Washburne, a Dallas investor and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Heitkamp and Manchin would be shrewd choices, but my guess is that he goes with the most obviously ridiculous selection. That’s been the trend so far. And you can’t get much more ridiculous than an oil company lackey who destroyed his political career in large measure by forgetting the existence of the Department of Energy as the Secretary of Energy.

I have been using a hypothetical Republican cabinet to rail against “not a dime’s worth of difference” dumbshits for years. And the point obviously still stands: if you can see going from Tom Perez to Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor and still view the parties as minor variants of BIG NEOLIBERALISM, writing about politics really isn’t your thing. And yet even I can’t fully believe the Trump cabinet. It’s Jim Inhofe ideologically and Michael Brown in terms of ability pretty much across the board.

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  • Hells Littlest Angel

    By now, I think it’s safe to assume that “considering” Perry for the job is just another attempt to humiliate a former opponent by making him suck up, then rejecting him.

    • cleter

      Yeah, I think that’s it, too.

      Hey, has he ritually humiliated Ted Cruz yet? Or is he saving that for the Supreme Court nomination?

      • Hells Littlest Angel

        I’m sure he’s planning something special for Cruz. Probably he’ll make Cruz let Chris Christie fuck his wife.

      • Warren Terra

        Not since the election I think, though richly before it.

    • kenfair

      By the way, for those who don’t know him, Ray Washburne (a.k.a. “Deal-a-Day Ray”) is married to one of the great-granddaughters of H.L. Hunt, the notorious Dallas oil tycoon. He’s now getting to invest with his wife’s money.

  • Hercules Mulligan

    Okay. You’re obviously correct (though it’s not like activists fighting for higher wages were the ones who failed to come through for the Democratic ticket), and in particular I’m going to miss Perez, who should run for Maryland gov in 2018, or something.

    But it feels a little weird to critique the “both parties are conservative sellouts” argument (wrong as it is) in a post that discusses the abhorrent Heitkamp and Manchin, two conservative sellout Democrats who could completely erase the Dems’ Senate gains this year by accepting positions in the cabinet of a crazy fascist.

    • Denverite

      It would be hard to fault Heitkamp or Manchin from accepting a cabinet post given their likely 2018 fates.

      • Hercules Mulligan

        Ugh. This is true. I don’t know. They’re so awful anyway. It’s hard. As both Scott and Erik said before, any Dem who supports Sessions’s nom should be booted from the party. Both these guys almost certainly will. Do we follow through?

        • DrDick

          The scary part, however, is that I think either of them, as truly horrible as they are, is likely far better than any Republican from West Virginia or North Dakota will be.

          • Manny Kant

            Heitkamp is much, much better than Rounds. Manchin is definitely better than Capito, though she’s one of the less crazy Republicans.

        • brewmn

          Are either of them really that awful? Other than rhetorically, I mean?

        • EliHawk

          Sessions is terrible. But given a 52-48 Senate (and that he’s a Senator), he’s probably getting confirmed. If we lose 3 guys to give him a slightly smaller cushion (and no substantive change in result) in order to by space to hold them on votes where their votes DO make a substantive difference in the outcome, I’d take that deal every time, not run them out of the party.

          • tonycpsu

            This zero-sum thinking has been invalidated by Mitch McConnell’s record of blocking everything under the sun and being rewarded for it politically.

            • EliHawk

              You’re going to need their votes to block everything under the sun. Giving them a freebee to look independent to the folks back home when you can’t isn’t exactly rocket science. Personally, I’d love for Pelosi and Schumer to vote no on any bill that’s got bipartisan support and huge margins, if only to fuck up those “They vote 90% of the time with X ads.”

              • jmauro

                The ads won’t matter. The votes to get the “90%” are cherry picked anyway, if something like that screws it up they’ll toss it out and cherry pick something else.

        • efgoldman

          They’re so awful anyway.

          Who is likely to be any better, and *electable as a Democrat* in their states?

      • Arouet

        I don’t know. I can understand their predicament and still fault them. They have a duty to the country to stay in their seats and fight until they’re unseated.

        Also, tangentially, apparently it is still true that no one has told the Trump team that the Department of Energy is really the Department of Nuclear Weapons and Some Other Random Programs. Or he doesn’t care.

      • EliHawk

        If Trump is truly abhorrent and unpopular, they might well be able to save their seats. Plenty of Red State Ds survived in ’06/’08, in part because it’s easier to have a distinguishable identity when your party doesn’t have the nationalized hate figure. A lot of those seats that were lost in ’14 were precisely those seats: Red States like LA/AR/SD/WV/MT where the incumbent wasn’t even challenged in ’08 but could be hammered with Obama 6 years later. There’s going to be a metric ton of sludge directed at both of them from Koch et. al. in 2018, but if Trump’s at under 40% approval (and he’s already close to there, without even a recession), then that probably won’t matter, even in ‘red’ states.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Right. Hell, even this year a Democrat was elected governor of WV — an even worse one than Manchin, granted, but if Trump continues to be unpopular no reason to write off the seats.

          • The other thing about this that I’m surprised no one is mentioning is that it’s not that Democrats do poorly in midterm elections. It’s that the governing party does poorly in midterm elections. By 2018, and with this administration, it’s entirely possible that nearly every state is in play at the Senate level. And even if not, there’s no reason to assume that it won’t be true in December 2016.

            • EliHawk

              I wouldn’t say every state is in play because once you get past Flake and Heller, it really is the Deep Red Brigade (TX/TN/MS/WY/NE/UT) but if you look at what the Dems are defending, it’s easy to see why they have a lot who can hold on:

              You have the Red Staters:
              McCaskill (MO)
              Donnelly (IN)
              Tester (MT)
              Heitkamp (ND)
              Manchin (WV)

              Of those, Tester is probably your safest and Heitkamp your weakest, but Tester/McCaskill have been around long enough to have their own brands, and Indiana isn’t solid red enough that he doesn’t have a good floor to build off of.

              Past that, you have the swing staters:
              Brown (OH)
              Casey (PA)
              Nelson (FL)
              Baldwin (WI)
              Klobuchar (MN)
              Kaine (VA)
              Stabenow (MI)

              Those are all, Baldwin aside, solid incumbents who ran ahead of Obama in ’12.

              Basically, in a world where Clinton won, the Dems could have lost 10 or more seats in 2018. In Trump-ville, the latter are probably safe, and the first five, who might well have been varying degrees of DOA, have a fighting chance. Absolute best case Flake and Heller lose and it’s 50-50 Senate. But even if they only lose a couple, that’s a massive dodged bullet that sets themselves up for a 2020 election with GOP seats up in CO, ME, NC, GA, IA,TX, MT, and AK.

              • Oh, it’s definitely a terrible map. However, given that Clinton came within single digits in Texas, I think you have to run a real campaign and candidate there in 2018. The rest I grant are extremely difficult situations. Still, you never know.

                • EliHawk

                  Yeah. I think as much as anything it depends on the money and the map. In 2008, nobody cared about MT/WV/AR/IA/LA. Long Time Incumbents, plus Bush’s approvals, meant the Senate fight was over GOP incumbents / open seats in AK/CO/OR/MN/NH/NC (with open seat landslide pickups in VA/NM too). So nobody invested either money or recruiting against Democrats representing some states Obama lost very badly. Hell, Mark Pryor didn’t even have a Republican opponent.

                  Six years later, with Obama less than popular, the Senate fight wasn’t just in some of the states that flipped in ’08 (CO/AK/NC/NH) but also those Red State Dems that were such a lost cause they were off the board before fall (SD/WV/MT/AR/LA).

                  If Trump’s approvals are in the toilet, the map will look like TX/NV/AZ/MT/IN/WV/MO/ND with the rest of them sitting pretty. If somehow he’s doing well, then it’s all varying degrees of defense.

                • Manny Kant

                  Landrieu had a serious challenger in 2008 – specifically, the guy who was just elected to the Senate yesterday.

                • EliHawk

                  Landrieu had a serious challenger in 2008 – specifically, the guy who was just elected to the Senate yesterday.

                  Not really. She outspent him nearly 3-1 and won by six and a half points–her biggest margin in any of her 3 winning campaigns for Senate, even despite the post-Katrina depopulation issues with black voters making LA less Democratic friendly in that time.

            • Wamba

              It’s both actually. Dems drop off more in the midterms, so Dems do do worse in midterms. But there is also an independent factor of outparty does better ceteris paribus.

            • Manny Kant

              Democrats did badly in 2002.

              • EliHawk

                If somehow Trump goes into a midterm with a 60-70% job approval rating like W did, yeah, they may be in trouble. That seems unlikely at the moment, though it’s hard to predict 2 yrs out with certainty.

        • Manny Kant

          Retirements also helped the Republicans here – Harkin, Johnson, Rockefeller, and Baucus all retired (or in Baucus’s case, had announced his pending retirement before accepting an appointment from Obama)

          Johnson likely would have lost anyway, but I think Harkin, Rockefeller, and Baucus all could have won.

      • malraux

        I’d argue Machin has a shot given the screwing of miners that the GOP just passed. But that would require voters to pay attention to what the two parties are actually doing. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/08/504823965/retired-coal-miners-at-risk-of-losing-promised-health-coverage-and-pensions

      • cpinva

        “It would be hard to fault Heitkamp or Manchin from accepting a cabinet post given their likely 2018 fates.”

        is being re-elected now considered a horrible fate? because, well, let’s face it, both of their constituent groups knew what they were when they elected them, it’s not like they did some huge 180 from the campaign to actually being in office. absent some scandal or something, I fully anticipate they’ll be re-elected.

        • Manny Kant

          Like Mark Kirk and Kelly Ayotte just were?

      • SNF

        If they leave, it definitely costs Democrats those seats. And since they’re incumbents, they’re more likely to win re-election in 2018 than another Democrat.

        So yes, I can fault them for ditching the Senate when we need every seat we can get.

        • We should defintely fault them before they’ve even left the senate.

    • JonH

      “in a post that discusses the abhorrent Heitkamp and Manchin”

      Because two outliers are clearly representative of the entire party, right?

    • Scott Lemieux

      in a post that discusses the abhorrent Heitkamp and Manchin, two conservative sellout Democrats

      What’s your plan for getting more liberal senators elected from those states? And how dumb would you have to be to believe that senators from deep red states are representative of the party? Did you think Lincoln Chafee was a typical Republican when he was in the Senate?

      • EliHawk

        As I said yesterday. Getting Lindsay Graham from a South Carolina that’s otherwise likely to produce another Jeff Sessions or Jim Demint is a blessing. To get a Democrat who votes with us even a bit from West Virginia these days is a bonafide miracle. And to start plotting purges in a party that’s already almost entirely shut out of power is complete and utter lunacy.

        I mean, who, exactly, are they selling out? The liberal internet activist, who doesn’t actually give them money or support?

      • Just a Rube

        Yeah, for all people can criticize Heitkamp and Manchin, it’s not like they were installed in place of some true progressive who was overlooked. I can’t speak about West Virginia these days, but the Democratic-NPL in North Dakota is essentially dead. It had great difficulty finding even placeholders willing to run for state office this year (and of those that did, none cleared 30% statewide), and had nontrivial difficulties providing enough state legislators to fill the various legislative committees for this session. Heitkamp is literally the only state-wide elected Democrat in North Dakota.

        It’s hard to blame Red State Dems for not emphasizing purity in that sort of environment.

      • cpinva

        “What’s your plan for getting more liberal senators elected from those states?”

        first, I would replace the current populations of both states with populations that were more liberal/progressive. after that’s accomplished, getting more liberal/progressive people to represent them in congress should be relatively easy. these people don’t get elected in a vacuum, which I think sometimes is forgotten. they get elected by people who want them to be elected, because they feel their expressed views and previous actions line up reasonably well with their own.

        don’t ask how I would go about replacing the entire populations of two states, I haven’t worked out the logistics of that yet. however, both states have relatively small populations, and should be easily replaced from NYC and LA, without being obvious to most people.

        • Scott Lemieux

          don’t ask how I would go about replacing the entire populations of two states, I haven’t worked out the logistics of that yet

          Better messaging should do the trick.

    • Perez might be running for DNC chairman.

      • Not going to happen. It’s going to be Ellison. The AFL-CIO was waiting on its endorsement when the rumors of Perez starting floating. It has now endorsed Ellison.

    • Manchin has been extremely scathing towards Trump since the election. I’d say there is almost exactly zero chance he accepts a cabinet position. He appears to know where his bread is buttered.

    • Manny Kant

      Manchin taking a job in the administration would not erase Dems’ senate gains, as West Virginia has a Democratic governor.

  • keta

    Speaking of energy:

    Trump has been given the daily intelligence briefing just a handful of times since winning the White House last month, alarming some in the national security community. But those briefings do not always change day to day, Trump told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace in an interview taped over the weekend. And when he does receive the briefing, Trump said he always instructs those offering him the information to contact him should new developments emerge.
    “You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years — but eight years. I don’t need that,” Trump said. “But I do say, ‘If something should change, let us know.’”

    Oh my.

    • Taylor

      Is this what they refer to as situational awareness?

      • DrDick

        For all values of “situational awareness” = “yep, still got my head wedged solidly up my ass.”

      • keta

        If “situational awareness” means being most absorbed with your own bigly awareness in every situation, then yes.

        And I love the passing, “…let us know.” It’s of a pattern with telling PM May “if you travel to the US you should let me know.”

        Future Trump presidential utterances will include, “leave it in that pile over there,” and “I only read when I’m on the throne and that means tomorrow, now, at the earliest.”

        • John Revolta

          Don’t forget “All right, you’ve covered your ass, now.”

    • Karen24

      That’s going to end well.

      If I worked in the NSA I think I would make up a country, have it have a fake coup attempt and crackdown just so there would be something novel to report every day. I would find someone who would send out fake Tweets from the leader of the opposition in Fakistan for Trump to follow.

      • (((Malaclypse)))

        I’d totally tell him how Captain Ernesto Tequilla y Mota just led a coup on the island of Fernando Poo.

        • Serious question: Is this the year the Eschaton has finally been immanentised? I was hoping it would be less depressing when it finally happened.

          Sadly I’ve misplaced my copy of Illuminatus. I may have to order another one.

          • Wamba

            That is two hilariously clever laugh out loud comments in a row!

            Kudos ((((malaclypse))) and (((CassandraLeo)))!

            • Thanks, but to give credit where it’s due, both of us owe a substantial debt to Shea and Wilson’s Illumimatus! trilogy, to which I alluded in my previous post. If you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend doing so. It’s probably more relevant now than it’s ever been.

      • efgoldman

        I would make up a country, have it have a fake coup attempt and crackdown just so there would be something novel to report every day.

        And then watch while he tried to send troops or order a bombing campaign. .

        • Hogan

          There was a Doonesbury strip while Duke was ambassador to China where he was talking to Honey, who explained that Mao spoke an obscure rural dialect of Chinese and wasn’t talking very clearly after the stroke, so she was the only one who understood him. She said he told her one morning that the Great Wall was a symbol of old imperial China and needed to be torn down. So she told him that millions of workers had been mobilized and the wall was gone. Then in the afternoon he decided that the construction of the original wall had been a great achievement of the Chinese people and should be rebuilt. So she told him at the end of the day that the Chinese people had responded to his call and restored the wall exactly as it had been before.

          “Actually I spent the whole day watching TV, but he thinks I’m some kind of genius,”

          “In a way, Honey, you are.”

          Ivanka, your country needs you.

    • DrDick

      Based on the actual evidence, however, he is a profoundly stupid man who is incapable of learning anything new, regardless of how many times he is told or smacked upside the head.

      • Thom

        He is ignorant, but seems to be pretty clever in terms of electoral politics.

        • Shalimar

          Trump is a narcissist. Regardless of how ignorant he is about everything he doesn’t care about, he still has that innate narcissistic sense for what people want to hear and how to manipulate them.

          • cpinva

            “Regardless of how ignorant he is about everything he doesn’t care about, he still has that innate narcissistic sense for what people want to hear and how to manipulate them.”

            this, not “cleverness in electoral politics.” had you asked him, before the election, how many electors there are, and how many of their votes you needed to win, I doubt he could have told you.

          • DrDick

            Exactly. He really is not very smart when it comes to business, as witnessed by his cavalcade of bankruptcies. As has been pointed out by others, he would have been much richer than he is if he simply conservatively invested his inheritance in an indexed fund.

            • As has been pointed out by others, he would have been much richer than he is if he simply conservatively invested his inheritance in an indexed fund.

              Money isn’t everything! Think of the fun he’s had doing things his way!

              • DrDick

                Well, yes, he does enjoy making other people suffer for his mistakes, but pretty much everything he touches turns to shit.

                • AB

                  He’s a copro-Midas.

            • efgoldman

              He really is not very smart when it comes to business

              Smart enough to get almost a billion bucks in deductions.
              Actually, smart enough to hire some really sharp accountants and lawyers. Too bad he isn’t exercising the same acuity with his cabinet.

              • DrDick

                I suspect that, like his money, he inherited those from his father.

      • Slothrop2

        He’s definitely not stupid. He beat HRC, hypergenius, utterly qualified for everything. And she’s a woman too!

        His cabinet is designed to return the country to the halcyon days of 1888– Wait a minute, 1886 before the ICC. My thinking is that policy incrementalism will surely rescue us.

        • Ronan

          I don’t know. I think he is actually a moron. I generally don’t like the tendency to pathologise a political opponent (stupid, evil etc) but I really can’t see any other explanation for trump

          • Ronan

            I mean his ideology, so to speak, is consistent (cronyism, corruption, egomania and nativism) There’s definitely something there, in that respect. But on a personal level he really does appear to be an idiot

            • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

              He’s a narcissist. His ideology, ethics, gestalt and spirituality boil down to “I love everyone who kisses my ass without pausing for breath, and everyone who doesn’t I must destroy utterly.” Please note he’s already the most unpopular President ever to take office.

            • liberalrob

              At least it’s an ethos…

          • cpinva

            “I think he is actually a moron.”

            and this explains his cabinet picks so far. he’s self-aware enough to know he isn’t that smart, so he wants to surround himself with people who come off appearing even dumber.

            • weirdnoise

              There a name for that.

            • John Revolta

              I believe he’s been quoted as saying almost exactly this. Well, without the “isn’t that smart” bit probably.

        • DrDick

          No, he is very shrewd at manipulating people, but that is his only real skill.

          • efgoldman

            he is very shrewd at manipulating people

            Right. Narcissism.
            Considering what he inherited, that his main business is Manhattan real estate, that he hasn’t vastly increased his father’s fortune is a criminal abdication of fiduciary responsibility.

        • Wamba

          He is definitely stupid. To the extent that he has any native aptitude it is overwhelmed by his ADHD and generally dickish attitude.

          Trump deserves no credit for political or communicative genius. He was merely the right kind of lucky asshole at the right assholish time.

          • Davis X. Machina

            THe times demanded an asshole. And Trump is the Michael Jordan of assholes.

            The hour and the man have met.

            • MilitantlyAardvark

              *cough* The New York Times demanded an asshole *cough*

              And they’ve certainly got what they paid for.

    • tonycpsu

      I bet this critic of Obama not reading his PDBs is going nuts watching the new guy do the same thing.

      Fact–Obama does not read his intelligence briefings nor does he get briefed in person by the CIA or DOD. Too busy I guess!

  • brad

    I still follow Html Mencken, once of S,N! fame, on Twitter and it’s becoming… tragic where these bros are taking themselves. We stand on the cusp of American fascism taking office and they’re more concerned about blaming “neoliberalism” for all the ills of the last 30 years. I can’t even tell what they’re trying to accomplish, at this point.
    Oh wait, yeah, I can. Guilt is a horrible thing to feel, so externalize it. Hillary is a convenient target. Slothrop told us so, he’s not a useful idiot.

    • Slothrop2

      What’s your favorite guns n’ roses album?

      • brad

        Serious question; how old are you?

      • postmodulator

        I have this live bootleg they did, called Slothrop Steps On A Lego Four Times An Hour For An Entire Month, that one’s pretty good.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          was that before or after Izzy left the band?

    • Scott Lemieux

      We stand on the cusp of American fascism taking office and they’re more concerned about blaming “neoliberalism” for all the ills of the last 30 years.

      I haven’t read HTML for a long time, but this idea that the Democrats are almost entirely responsible for the rightward shift in American politics when they’ve been even nominally in control of the government for 4 years since 1980 is grimly hilarious.

      • brad

        I’m mostly mystified by it when it’s someone who I remember being capable of recognizing and responding to reality. My best guess is it’s a side effect of life in a political bubble. No one on the right will listen or respond in a meaningful way, if at all. But the rest of us on the left are dismayed and annoyed, and don’t share those “race is a distraction” brocialist blinders, so they have a target rich environment here. And habit becomes belief despite the obvious priorities reality presents us with.

        • efgoldman

          Or maybe they’re just as stupid as RWNJs, except the wingers actually know how to count votes and do politics.

      • EliHawk

        Yeah, but it’s really the fault of Watergate Babies and other Dems getting so much more conservative on economics. It’s really a kind of reactionary leftism: Things would be so much better if we could just go back to the New Deal, when everything was perfect and Democrats weren’t sellouts (you know, like that true leftist FDR, who told the fat cats where to stick it!). Actually engaging with what’s changed in the last forty years, from diversity to technology to the economy, isn’t on the agenda.

        • BartletForGallifrey

          That’s the. Hair table interpretation of what they’re reacting to.

  • N__B

    It’s Jim Inhofe ideologically and Michael Brown in terms of ability pretty much across the board.

    Serious question: is evil and incompetent better or worse than evil and competent? I tend towards the incompetent being better in most cases, as the evil plans will fail, but I’m not sure there’s an overall trend.

    • efgoldman

      I tend towards the incompetent being better in most cases

      Until, as inevitably happens, some huge [natural] disaster comes along.

    • Manny Kant

      Depends exactly how evil, and to what end. Nixon was almost certainly a better president than Trump will be.

  • NewishLawyer

    Thesis: This might be giving Trump too much credit for a long game but Trump decided to become President when he was mocked by Obama in the 2011 White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Trump hated the mockery and now has the revenge of being President after. Now he really doesn’t care about anything and is willing to let traditional GOP points come in.

    I kind of get why working class people would be into working in the extracting energy business. It is one of the few ways for working class people to earn a lot of money via manual labor. Six figure salaries seem common if a person is willing to put in a lot of hours. Even if we get to a 12-15 dollar an hour minimum wage, those kind of annual salaries will not be possible at service work. Service jobs also don’t seem to come with those kind of overtime hours.

    A few weeks ago, there was a story about a BART janitor who earned a healthy six-figure salary. He did so by working nearly every single over time shift he could.

    There seem to be a lot of people who want as many overtime shifts as possible to jack up their earnings. There are also a lot of people who would rather not work three part-time jobs and be dead tired. Is there a way to appeal to both groups? What kind of economic policy can create a lot of overtime shifts?

    Though I don’t understand why the GOP donor class is so addicted to
    not exploring alternate energy. You would think that they would love to find more ways to make cash.

    • aturner339

      Alternative thesis: Donald Trump is a sincere advocate for rule by “captains of industry.”

      His allowing the GOP to have a few token positions in the cabinet is just to keep them in his pocket.

      • DrDick

        I do not think that even that necessarily follows. My read is he is only a sincere advocate for his own narrow self interest. I think his actual selection criteria are find the man least suited for the position who stands to gain the most from the agency’s destruction and makes him the best offer for the job. It is not like there are not a plethora of candidates among the plutocracy.

      • rpick

        I have problems believing Trump is a sincere advocate for anything, and I never got the impressions that his fellow billionaires ever liked him that much. The man is a creature of spite and resentment and this applies to his fellow plutocrats as much as anyone else. Honestly, our main hope at this point is that Trump is such an asshole that he is going to end up shanking the Paul Ryan, the Koch Brothers for the lulz.

    • Murc

      Service jobs also don’t seem to come with those kind of overtime hours.

      Yes, they do. They absolutely do. I’ve had a long series of service jobs and they all had tons of overtime lying around for me if I wanted it.

      A few weeks ago, there was a story about a BART janitor who earned a healthy six-figure salary. He did so by working nearly every single over time shift he could.

      … like this one. You just described a service job.

      Though I don’t understand why the GOP donor class is so addicted to not exploring alternate energy. You would think that they would love to find more ways to make cash.

      No, you wouldn’t.

      The GOP donor class largely comes from established industries. Established industries hate, hate hate hate, finding more ways to make cash. That’s disruptive and risky; it means you either need to work a lot harder or compete with more firms.

      This isn’t true across the board. Existing energy companies would really love it if we discovered a way tomorrow to refine oil into an elixir of youth using existing plant. But why on earth would a traditional energy company be enthused by something like solar or wind? They have to invest in that. Investing is awful, terrible; you’re risking your money for uncertain return. Nobody likes to do that! We have entire grotesque industries set up precisely to eliminate risk of that nature.

      • tonycpsu

        Yes, they do. They absolutely do. I’ve had a long series of service jobs and they all had tons of overtime lying around for me if I wanted it.

        Do you have any data to support your anecdote? I could only find data from 2005, but overtime hours in service industries is below average, and well below that of mining.

      • DrDick

        They have to invest in that. Investing is awful, terrible; you’re risking your money for uncertain return.

        This shift, which occurred in the 80s, is what led my father, a research chemical engineer, to take early retirement. Before that, he mostly was working on projects that would not even be marginally viable for a decade and would not be profitable for double that (coal liquification was one he worked in late in his career).

        • ScottK

          I work in medical software, and I interviewed a guy a few years ago, a MIT nuclear engineering grad who’d studied a bunch of fascinating new types of efficient and safe reactors. He was looking for a programming job because he’d determined that none of the stuff he’d learned to do would ever be done in his working lifetime.

    • addicted44

      Conservatives by definition support the existing elite.

      Alternative energy will lead to a lot of money (it’s arguable if it will be more, because stuff like solar allows the middle man between the producer and consumer of energy to be cut out) but that money will go to the new elite, which will not overlap completely with the existing elite.

    • CrunchyFrog

      I know a little about the resource extractive boom town industry having lived a number of years in before I escaped for college in a small town with a lot of oil jobs. Not like the big boom towns, but along with moderate tourism and some farming it’s all our town had. A number of friends in my circle got oil jobs after high school because they really had no skills except that some played in bands and others went along as their volunteer roadies, and while hard work oil paid better than anything else around. When the jobs dried up as they do from time to time (oil price drops making the local fields non-profitable) one of them went to Odessa, TX (yes, Friday Night Lights et al) because they were advertising oil jobs in the local paper and the rest soon followed. I’ve actually been to Odessa/Midland a few times because of relatives who used to live in Big Spring, of all places, and a greater hell hole is hard to imagine. When Colorado’s oil industry would pick up for a while quite a few of them would migrate back to claim those jobs because Colorado is nicer and they had some local family.

      These are not the smartest of people. And while I could count on them if needed for anything, they hated outsiders of any type (“Texans hunting OUR deer?!!? THAT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!!!”) and were as gullible as the day is long. More then once I tried to explain that the boom/bust off/on nature of oil work (they were paid only if there was work, and often there wasn’t because a rig failed and needed maintenance or a myriad of other reasons) meant that they weren’t paid as much as they imagined and they inevitably had tough financial times frequently because when work was good they spent the money as it came in, so didn’t have buffer when it wasn’t. Add to that injuries that kept them from working, which were frequent (there was no union there), and being contractors they had to cover medical themselves (this was 1980s – not as bad as now but still bad). My arguments fell on deaf ears, although their long-suffering wives or girlfriends understood fully. Even in the best of times their “peak” was living in the nicest rental at the trailer park. Every one of them lived in a trailer park or worse – and yes, there is worse.

      I really don’t know that these people are reachable at all except via false promises and focusing their hatred on other groups.

    • Hogan

      What kind of economic policy can create a lot of overtime shifts?

      Taking infrastructure seriously.

  • aturner339

    Rick Perry has the distinction of offering the most accurate assessment of Donald Teunp to originate from the Republican Party. Referring to him as “a cancer on conservatism”

    He promptly endorsed cancer the minute it won the nomination.

    • cpinva

      close. more like a cancer on the country. if we catch it early enough, can it be treated by surgery?

    • The Great God Pan

      “a cancer on conservatism”

      Cancer of the cancer?

    • EliHawk

      “Donald Trump is a cancer on this fair conservatism! He is the cancer and I am the…uh….what cures cancer?” — Chief Rick Wiggum

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO
  • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

    I have decided that Pence was the VP choice because he makes Trump look smart, Flynn because he makes Trump look sane, and everyone else because they piss off liberals.

    • cpinva

      I just figured all of them make Trump look relatively smart, by comparison.

  • Davis X. Machina

    I think this belongs here

    Jose Canseco @JoseCanseco

    Hey little buddy @realDonaldTrump good pick on bobby for Japan. I would be open to Ambassador of Cuba job or Fed Chair. See u soon

    • Rob in CT

      All is forgiven, Jose.

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