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Those Contradictions Won’t Heighten Themselves!

[ 394 ] May 27, 2016 |

This NYT article shows a variety of #BernieorBust rationalizations. One (which, it must be said, Sanders has helped to cultivate with his arrant nonsense about the system being fundamentally rigged against him) is to argue that if not supporting Clinton means Trump winning, it’s all Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s fault:

Ms. Peters, who makes a living selling goods online, said that she would not vote for Mrs. Clinton under any circumstance — and that she would blame the Democratic Party for a Trump victory in November.

“If the D.N.C. wants to go ahead and put out the candidate who can’t win and we lose in November, it’s not because I didn’t vote,” she said. “It’s because they were looking out for their interests and not for the better interests of the country.”

“If the DNC wanted to win, it should have overruled the will of the party’s voters by fiat.” Hard to see anything wrong about this except that it’s wrong on every possible level. (Even if you believe that Sanders would be a better candidate in the general, it’s rather obvious that a Bernie Sanders installed as the Democratic nominee against the preferences of a substantial majority of Democratic voters would not be.)

But at least Peters implicitly concedes that a Trump presidency might be even worse, even if she ignores these consequences. Some take the Brogan W. Bragman IV line that Trump won’t really be able to do anything:

“Everyone is like: ‘Trump has these terrible social issues. He hates Muslims and he hates the L.G.B.T. community,’ ” she said. “But our world is big enough that he’s not actually going to implement any of those changes in a realistic way. But what he will do is potentially audit the federal government, and he will try to break up some of the banks and try to at least influence government that way. However, with Hillary, it will just be a complacent, run-of-the-middle-of-the-road presidency.”

I dunno, replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg and/or Stephen Breyer and/or Anthony Kennedy with a fifth and/or sixth and/or seventh vote to overturn Obergefell seems like a pretty concrete harm to me! But yes, I concede the point; if you focus on bad stuff Trump can’t accomplish, ignore all of the horrible things he would have the power to do (including signing bills that a Republican Congress puts on his desk), and assume that he will do some good things there is absolutely no chance he will do, then his presidency seems better. As for Hillary Clinton doing boring stuff like “ensuring that the Supreme Court isn’t controlled by neoconfederate cranks for decades,” BORRRRR-ING.

Another special snowflake likes this idea. A Trump presidency might not be so bad because BUNGA BUNGA!

Victor Vizcarra, 48, of Los Angeles, said he would much prefer Mr. Trump to Mrs. Clinton. Though he said he disagreed with some of Mr. Trump’s policies, Mr. Vizcarra said he had watched “The Apprentice” and expected that a Trump presidency would be more exciting than a “boring” Clinton administration.

“A dark side of me wants to see what happens if Trump is in,” said Mr. Vizcarra, who works in information technology. “There is going to be some kind of change, and even if it’s like a Nazi-type change. People are so drama-filled. They want to see stuff like that happen. It’s like reality TV. You don’t want to just see everybody be happy with each other. You want to see someone fighting somebody.”

A Trump presidency would be a like a reality show! A reality show in which poor women in many states couldn’t get abortions, tens of millions of people would lose health insurance, carbon emissions would skyrocket, countless same-sex couples would have their marriage licenses invalidated, federal aid for the poor is slashed while the taxes if the upper class are slashed, etc. etc. etc. Hell, maybe even some fascism. That’s entertainment! And sometimes you have to focus on what matters.

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[Meme by Noon.]

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“As An Admirer of Barack Obama, I Cannot Support A Candidate Who Has Indistinguishable Views.”

[ 335 ] May 27, 2016 |

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This interview in which Shaun King explains why The Party Left Him is…amazing:

ER: You say in your piece that in 2008 you were an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama. Do you think he’s been a successful president?

SK: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I think so. I respect President Obama a great deal. I’m probably to the right of Cornel West’s critique of President Obama, but I’m also not that guy who thinks he is beyond criticism.

ER: But the president — and there are some places where this isn’t true, especially on foreign policy — but the president’s political positions are certainly closer to Hillary Clinton’s than they are to Bernie Sanders’s. In the past eight years, how have your politics evolved in a way where now you won’t campaign and aren’t even sure you’ll vote for Hillary Clinton?

SK: I think we would have to go down each and every one of the president’s positions to really evaluate, what does the president think about health care? Yes, there is a thing called Obamacare — but was that what he campaigned on? What came out of the sausage factory, was that his dream? No. Of course not.

So is the president for universal health care? Well, he was. For years and years and years. And I don’t know that he stopped being for universal health care. It was just that he used virtually all the political capital he had in his first term to get something decent through Congress, and what came out was very different.

ER: Isn’t this effectively the Hillary Clinton theory of politics? Her argument throughout this campaign has been, “We have to defend the president’s accomplishments, and it’s very hard to get things through Congress. It’s instrumental. Sanders has no chance of passing this plan.”

SK: I hear that, but I think of it like this: Had the president’s idea been Obamacare, had his initial idea been, “Let’s just require everybody to have private health insurance and make a few tweaks here and there and create a website for it” that wasn’t anywhere near his original idea. His original idea was much more significant, a much bigger shift, than what ended up coming out of the other end.

As K-Drum says, this is all risible nonsense. Obama and Clinton ran on nearly identical health care plans, and the extent to which Obama’s plan differed involved rather dishonest pandering that he abandoned after he got elected. Not only that, Clinton has a much longer record of being committed to universal health care. And, also, the Affordable Care Act is notably inconsistent with the idea that you create political change by a president proposing something far outside of the expected negotiating space. Had Obama’s opening bid been “Single Payer or Bust!” it wouldn’t have resulted in more progressive legislation, and indeed probably would have resulted in nothing passing.

There’s isn’t a penny’s worth of difference between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on domestic policy. Clinton is worse on foreign policy, but as the fact that Clinton was Obama’s Secretary of State makes clear it’s a difference of degree, not kind. The idea that the differences between Obama and Clinton are big enough to be worth leaving the party over but the differences between Clinton and Trump are too minor to make the former worth supporting is even more ridiculous than the idea that the Democrat Party is suppressing America’s natural social democratic governing majority.

What exactly are King’s DEALBREAKERS?

President Obama tried removing lobbyists from donating. Then they put all those things back into place. If Hillary is the nominee, whether she becomes president or not, she’ll be the face of the party. And I don’t just disagree with her on war or campaign finances; there is also the death penalty. There are 10 different issues that I disagree with her. And her as the face of the party, I disagree with. I think there are millions and millions of progressives who are finding themselves uncomfortable in the Democratic Party, and I’m one of those people.

Clinton’s position on campaign finance is nearly identical to Bernie Sanders’s, and on the issue where presidents can most impact campaign finance (Supreme Court appointments) Clinton and Sanders’s Supreme Court appointments are also likely to be equally good on the issue. On the death penalty, Hillary Clinton is indeed wrong. It’s also true that the federal government has executed exactly 3 people since 1976, and in the absence of the federal death penalty all three likely would have been executed by the benevolent local overlords in Texas and Oklahoma anyway. The idea that this is worth blowing up the Democratic Party over is, like pretty much every word of this, self-refuting. Also, the historical period in which leftists could agree with Democratic presidential nominees on every issue is for some reason unspecified.

There is of course no remotely coherent theory of political change in this call for a third party; the arguments here are, as such arguments almost always are, fundamentally aesthetic rather than political. But King’s invented differences between Obama and Clinton are particularly telling. Third party politics was really dumb in the 90s, and led to utter disaster in 2000, but at least one can understand why people had trouble accepting the direction the Democratic Party was taking in the 90s. The picture in 2016 is completely different. The Democratic Party is well to the left of where it was. At most, three presidents in American history have had greater records of progressive accomplishment than Barack Obama, and all three did so in more favorable circumstances. The traction Sanders’s campaign has gotten shows that the party is moving in a more progressive direction. Comparing Hillary Clinton’s agenda to Bill Clinton’s agenda also makes this clear. Picking now as the time you want to take your ball, go home, and leave America to Donald Trump among other things shows remarkable ignorance of American political history.

Theater Critic Analysis of Politics Is Tautology All the Way Down

[ 142 ] May 27, 2016 |

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David Brooks explains Hillary Clinton’s problem:

Can you tell me what Hillary Clinton does for fun? We know what Obama does for fun—golf, basketball, etc. We know, unfortunately, what Trump does for fun.

This idea that Hillary Clinton doesn’t have hobbies is silly, easily disproven nonsense, but that’s not the point. When pundits analyze “character,” it is almost without exception pure tautology that tells the reader nothing. Personal characteristics are cherrypicked (or, in the style of Brooks here, presumably influenced by his colleague Maureen Dowd) outright invented, which amazingly always prove the politically expedient ex ante views of the pundit correct. My favorite example of the genre is Jacob Weisberg’s analysis of iPod playlists. Amazingly enough, George W. Bush’s bog-standard middle-aged-white-person playlist showed that George W. Bush was an Authentic Straight-Shooting Comfortable In His Own Skin You’d Like to Have a Beer With Brush-Clearer and Hillary Clinton’s bog-standard middle-aged-white-person playlist showed that Hillary Clinton was an Inauthentic Politically Calculating Ice Queen Who Doesn’t Know Herself And Would Scold You For Having A Beer. (Theater critic analysis of political figures, among its many other problems, has a strong tendency to be preoccupied above all with the concept of Authenticity, which is even more useless applied to political leaders than it usually is.) To state the obvious, there is no collection of songs that would have caused Wiesberg not to reaffirm the standard pundit wisdom.

Brooks’s column is a case in point. You could make the same point about Clinton by discussing her hobbies, and you could draw pretty much any other conclusion from Clinton’s hobbies, and none of these conclusions will actually be of any value. Elspeth Reeve helpfully demonstrates how Brooks would react to hypothetical new Hillary Clinton hobbies:

Future Hillary hobby: A chatty podcast with her friends.

Future Brooks column: “Another tone-deaf decision by Clinton (or, more likely, her aides). They are seemingly unaware the vast majority of Americans do not listen to vocally fried podcasts on subway rides from their pleasant Park Slope apartments, but plainspoken drive-time radio spoken from the heart. And furthermore this ‘hobby’ brings up uncomfortable associations for Clinton with financial misdeeds, as countless podcasts are kept afloat by unsavory subscription companies that use auto-billing to prey on consumers who can’t be bothered to closely check their statements. No wonder Americans are in so much debt. But they owe Hillary nothing.”

Future Hillary hobby: Improv.

Future Brooks column: “In perhaps the darkest hour in the history of the republic, Hillary Clinton expects us to laugh. It is unsettling to see a presidential candidate giggling like a schoolgirl over some Justin Bieber reference as the entire Middle East burns. Serious times call for serious candidates, Madame Secretary.”

Future Hillary hobby: Adult coloring books.

Future Brooks column: “Yet another example of liberals’ sad infantilization of the American public, ever the Mommy Party forcing us to sign up for health insurance and creating ‘safe spaces.’ Coloring in the lines? Typical Hillary.”

Future Hillary hobby: Home brewing.

Future Brooks column: “While she remains desperate to reach out to the common man, she can’t help but wallow in coastal liberals’ corrosive commodification of the working class. Here’s a tip, Hillary: Want to drink a beer like an authentic white man, one who works with his hands? The kind who has grease stains on his plaid shirt, woven in a rustic fabric? Drink a Lite Coors.”

Future Hillary hobby: Colorguard.

Future Brooks column: “Who could have imagined a year ago we’d be witness to the ludicrous spectacle of Hillary Clinton prancing about a football field and twirling a purple flag? The whole stunt is a disaster. And it’s doubly bad for Clinton, as it recalls uncomfortable associations with Obama’s failed foreign policy. Why not wave a white flag of surrender?”

Future Hillary hobby: 3-D printing.

Future Brooks column: “Americans are tired of distractions. Elections are about ideas. They are hard-fought battles of intellect and ideology—the stuff that actually matters. Blah blah moral seriousness.”

Exactly. This genre of political writing just doesn’t have any added value.

…see also Jia Tolentino.

Talking With Proactive Strategery And Saying Nothing

[ 13 ] May 27, 2016 |

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As Paul noted below, Ken Starr has been moved to a new sinecure rather than being fired, although at least Coach Briles has been fired. Meanwhile, Baylor’s report shows that the admin has mastered the art that corporate masters must master above all else when their malfeasance leaves no choice but to communicate with the public:

You can read the second so-called report, the Board of Regent’s “finding of fact,” here. It contains almost no facts; it has no names, no timelines, no dates, no specific examples; and it has no quotes from anyone who was interviewed or selections from emails or documents that were cited. Yes, it levies some horrifying allegations—that administrators discouraged people from reporting, that there was a failure to respond to reports that were levied, and that in one case “those actions constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault”—but it doesn’t address them in anything more than the broadest possible language.

Who retaliated? Was it a member of the athletics staff? Was it physical or verbal? More broadly, who decided that athletics could handle sexual-assault reports internally, which goes directly against what universities were told in 2011 regarding Title IX—that complaints “must not be addressed solely by athletics department procedures”? You won’t find any of this information in either of these non-reports.

Having names matters. Who did the cover up? Was it the head coach? His assistants? The waterboy? How often did this happen? Did they know it was wrong or were they genuinely never educated in the law? Did anyone ever intervene? Did they take action to suppress the information from their supervisors? The public? How widespread was all this?

If the reports’ purpose was to inform the public about what happened here, they failed; if their purpose was, as perhaps it may have been, to get right-thinking sportswriters issuing outraged tweets and columns about how Baylor had diligently investigated itself and found itself wanting, as laid bare in searing reports, they succeeded.

[…]

Remember nine months ago, when Baylor was issuing statements and bragging about all its investigations without actually saying anything? This was better orchestrated, but I’m not sure it’s any different. As for September, I’m prepared for whatever might come out then to be equally useless. What happened today was nothing more than an immaculate demonstration of how to generate pages and pages of words that don’t actually say anything.

Things may have happened, but let’s not all caught up in exactly who covered up for and/or botched investigations into whose alleged crimes. Go Bears!

Don’t Look At Us, We Didn’t Do It!

[ 178 ] May 26, 2016 |

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Megan McArdle proposes that the Donald Trump taking over the Republican Party was an amazing coincidence the previous actions of party elites had nothing to do with. Jonathan Bernstein disposes:

Republicans had encouraged, or at least tolerated, schoolyard taunts and far-fetched conspiracy talk long before Trump’s campaign. He started out in Republican presidential politics by accusing the president of not being a U.S citizen, a slur that had been bandied about by many highly visible Republicans. He has now moved on to recycling conspiracy theories from 20 years ago about Hillary Clinton that were promoted at the time by talk-show hosts and Republican members of Congress.

The fact that Donald Trump rose to prominence within the Republican Party by promoting birtherism while Republican elites first looked the other way and then eagerly sought his support is indeed crucial.

Another part is how Republicans lowered the standards for their politicians. Normally voters might oppose Trump as flat-out unqualified for the job, both by lack of relevant experience and lack of knowledge of government and public affairs. But by giving a megaphone to people like Pat Robertson, Herman Cain, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, Republicans showed their voters what counts as a “normal” Republican presidential candidate — and it isn’t all that different from Donald Trump. Republican voters had many well-qualified candidates in 2016, but they had been taught by their party to ignore normal qualifications, and they did so.

Jonathan is actually leaving out the best example here: Sarah Palin. John McCain — at the urging of party elites — selected her to be second in line to the presidency with no input from the voters, and party elites and conservative pundits* strongly defended the choice contemporaneously. It’s pretty hard to convincingly claim that an ignorant buffoon like Donald Trump isn’t a serious candidate for president when you’ve put an ignorant buffoon on a presidential ticket. (And while George W. Bush was not as unqualified as Palin, the proudly ill-informed anti-intellectualism that was central to his shtick was not incidental to the rise of figures like Trump.)

That same observation can be made about how Republicans have tolerated and promoted bigotry, forging a path for Trump to go even further. McArdle is wrong to say that the Republicans’ “Southern strategy” of the Richard Nixon era was only incidentally pitched to bigots. In 1968, Nixon was clearly and deliberately going after pro-segregation voters abandoned by the Democratic Party, a strategy continued (for example) by Lee Atwater in the 1988 presidential race on behalf of George H.W. Bush.

Right, the southern strategy had nothing to do with racism. When, say, Richard Nixon worked with the not-at-all-racist Strom Thurmond’s top political advisor to try to gut the Voting Rights Act, that had nothing to do with race.

The idea that the Republican Party doesn’t own Trump is simply absurd.

*Guess which conservative pundit said the following things when McCain selected Palin:

This woman is an Obama-level political natural. She is a ferociously good speaker, and almost preternaturally composed.

The Democrats are, as my colleague Clive Crooks notes, in trouble. Whatever you think of her as a potential president, she is a politically brilliant choice, and Democrats are going to have a very hard time finding traction to attack her.

I have no reason to think that she would be a particularly bad president. Obama hasn’t any more relevant experience than she has; he’s simply been coaching for the thing longer.

The fact that Republican voters took Donald Trump seriously is truly mysterious.

…much more here.

The Wages Of Inequality, Cont’d

[ 188 ] May 26, 2016 |

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If a plutocrat wants to destroy a media outlet, it will be almost impossible for all but the best-capitalized to stop:

Thiel’s interview with the New York Times about his legal campaign, in which a $10 million investment on lawyers managed to bring an entire media company to the brink of disaster, is the new required reading in Silicon Valley, especially the bit where he says that it’s “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve done.”

Thiel, like most Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, loves to think of himself as a visionary. His first company, PayPal, started as an attempt to create a whole new global currency; since then he has invested most of his time and money into ambitious attempts to change the world. But it’s his investment in a campaign against Gawker, intended to inflict as much damage as he can on Gawker Media and its proprietor, Nick Denton, which could prove to be his most effective – and his most harmful.

Thiel’s tactics in going after Gawker are very, very frightening for anybody who believes in freedom of speech; they’re also extremely effective, in an evil-genius kind of way.

[…]

It gets worse. If Thiel’s strategy works against Gawker, it could be used by any billionaire against any media organization. Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump, the list goes on and on. Up until now, they’ve mostly been content suing news organizations as plaintiffs, over stories which name them. But Thiel has shown them how to go thermonuclear: bankroll other lawsuits, as many as it takes, and bankrupt the news organization that way. Very few companies have the legal wherewithal to withstand such a barrage.

This is a problem that’s likely to get worse before it gets better.

…JMM:

It all comes down to a simple point. You may not like Gawker. They’ve published stories I would have been ashamed to publish. But if the extremely wealthy, under a veil secrecy, can destroy publications they want to silence, that’s a far bigger threat to freedom of the press than most of the things we commonly worry about on that front. If this is the new weapon in the arsenal of the super rich, few publications will have the resources or the death wish to scrutinize them closely.

The Hogan case, it must be admitted, is not one that makes Gawker look very sympathetic. Hogan’s lawsuit was not at all frivolous, even if the size of judgment was far too high, and even if we assumed arguendo that Gawker didn’t violate Hogan’s legal rights it showed horrible judgment in publishing sex tapes without his consent. But whatever one thinks about the case at hand, the tactics being used against them can be used against anybody.

Fallen Starr

[ 105 ] May 25, 2016 |

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Ken Starr might outdo Inspector Javert when it comes to the consensual sex of political enemies. When it comes to sexual assault by his football players, not so much:

Ken Starr isn’t exactly in Bill Cosby territory, but with the revelation that he’s apparently being canned from the presidency of Baylor University for ignoring charges of sexual misconduct by football players, he has made himself into one of the most exquisite hypocrites of our age. (I should note that the university, responding to reports Tuesday of Starr’s impending dismissal, refused to confirm the news, although it didn’t deny it either.)

Here is morality according to Starr, who by the way is (of course) a great Christian. It’s appropriate to expose sexual misconduct (wrong, but consensual) when it gives you a shot at bringing down a president you loathe and creating a constitutional crisis over a few blow jobs. But when sexual misconduct risks messing with the football team, well by God, you brush it under the rug! You’re in Texas, boy.

A great deal of excellent background here. And it shouldn’t just be Starr’s head that metaphorically rolls here either.

…More here.

“We need something for readers who love Paglia’s content, but find her writing too coherent and unpretentious.”

[ 149 ] May 24, 2016 |

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This is something that was published on Salon. It has words, some of them big ones, but alas the rare occasions in which the combinations of words generate something close to meaning leave you begging for the pure gibberish:

In this election, abstraction will clearly lose, and corporeality, even if—or particularly if—gross and vulgar and rising from the repressed, will undoubtedly win. A business tycoon who vigorously inserted himself in the imaginations of the dispossessed as the foremost exponent of birtherism surely cannot be entirely beholden to the polite elites, can he? Trump is capital, but he is not capital, he is of us but also not of us in the way that the working class desires elevation from their rootedness, still strongly identified with place and time, not outside it. After all, he posed the elemental question, Where were you born?

Though he is in fact the libertine (certainly not Clinton, who is libertinism’s antithesis), he will be able to tar her with being permissive to an extreme degree—an “enabler,” as the current jargon has it, for her husband’s proclivities, for example. It has nothing to do with misogyny. It has everything to do with the kind of vocabulary that must substitute for people’s real emotions, their fears and desires, in the face of an abstract market that presumes to rule out everything but the “rational” utility-maximizing motive.

If you don’t believe that these grafs could be representative, it’s your funeral.

This Is Reassuring

[ 91 ] May 24, 2016 |

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Say what you will about Woody Johnson, the man has an eye for talent: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Mitt Romney, Jeb! Bush. He’s backing another winner:

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is the latest major Republican donor and fundraiser to get behind Donald Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Johnson, who was finance chairman for Jeb Bush’s failed presidential campaign, plans to raise money for the Republican National Committee and Trump through a joint fundraising committee, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Johnson met with Trump Monday and is prepared to lean on potential donors to get on board, the person said.

For years, Johnson has been a major player in fundraising circles. He was a bundler for the Republican candidate in each of the past four elections, and has written some big checks himself, including the $500,000 he contributed to Right to Rise, the super-PAC that supported Bush. Johnson is likely to donate some of his own money this year, too, the source said.

Johnson, who has known Trump for years, has had an even bigger impact as a bundler. In May 2008, he arranged a fundraiser for John McCain’s cash-starved presidential campaign that brought in $7 million in a single evening. Johnson was also a top bundler for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns and for Mitt Romney’s 2012 effort.

His tastes in political candidates and quarterbacks are similarly unerring:

20 (51). New York Jets: Christian Hackenberg | Grade: D-

The Jets have been looking for a quarterback and they’re taking the chance on Hackenberg. The tape has been horrible, and that includes his freshman year that everyone touts as his saving grace. He’s been one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in college football for three straight years and his -12.1 overall grade ranked 41st in this draft class alone in 2015. The Jets are hoping that he can be a reclamation project, but he has to take monumental strides to become a viable NFL quarterback.

Hackenberg had a 53.5 COMP% as a junior. Woof! I think I understand why Fitzpatrick’s agent isn’t blinking.

Don’t Forget the Drug-Running At Mena!

[ 83 ] May 24, 2016 |

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Some more real authenticity from Donald Trump:

In one recent interview, Trump said another topic of potential concern is the suicide of former White House aide Vincent Foster, which remains the focus of intense and far-fetched conspiracy theories on the Internet.

“It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince Foster or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary,” Trump said in the interview.

Well, all three of these things involve equally scandalous behavior by Hillary Clinton, you have to give him that.

Oh Brother

[ 223 ] May 23, 2016 |

Trump_the_art_of_the_dealAbove: a book Donald Trump may or may not have read

Um:

Leaving aside the worthlessness of “authenticity” as a criterion of value, Donald Trump? Nothing says “authenticity” like a rich blowhard with a bad toupee and an almost aggressive indifference to the truth (not to mention his previously expressed views.)

This wouldn’t be worth mentioning except that Sanders made the, ah, interesting choice to make West one of his choices for the platform committee. I guess if he wants to use this the committee a vehicle for trolling that’s his privilege, but it strikes me that someone who not only believes that Barack Obama has been a terrible president but considers it obvious that everyone on the left side of the American political spectrum thinks Barack Obama has been a terrible president is not going to be a very effective negotiator with a group of powerful party regulars.

The Crucial Questions for Getting to Universal Health Coverage

[ 22 ] May 23, 2016 |

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This is a really valuable discussion. Pollack uses “single payer” as a synecdoche for “European-style health care,” and I continue to think it’s obvious that the hybrid European systems are vastly more likely destinations for the American system than single payer. But that doesn’t really matter, because most or these questions are equally pertinent to a transition to any system of universal or near-universal coverage. Politically, #6 and #7 are the key roadblocks leading to the questions in #10.

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