Omens for Ossof

There was a lot of talk that Democrats could flip a traditionally overwhelming Republican House district in Kansas. After a lot of effort and a lot of money, the Republicans hung onto the seat, albeit just barely.

There was a lot of talk that Democrats could flip a traditionally overwhelming Republican House district in Kansas Montana. After a lot of effort and a lot of money, and a full-on body slam and subsequent transparent lie about it, the Republicans hung onto the seat, albeit just barely.

Now, there is a lot of talk that the Democrats can flip a traditionally overwhelming Republican House district in Georgia. After all, the primary yielded a near-majority for the Democrat. But after a lot of effort and a lot of money, the Republicans forced a runoff, albeit just barely.

Why is Georgia’s Sixth District going to be any different than Kansas’ Fourth District or Montana’s At-Large District?

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264 thoughts on “Omens for Ossof

  1. It might not be.

    On the other hand, Democrats did win state seats that were traditionally Republican. One seat in New Hampshire hasn’t elected a Democrat since the War of Southern Treason. They also won a state seat in New York that was part of a decades long Republican strong hold.

    So all these things are good but not great news for the Democratic Party. It does show the strong power of political affiliations and how bad things need to get before a district can change sides.

    The big difference for Ossof is the kind of district GA-6 is. This is a relatively well-to-do district filled with college-educated professionals, the kind of voters that have been inching towards the Democratic Party for years and the kind of voters that Trump did not always do so great with because studies show education level proved who went for Trump. A lot of these voters might not be super-liberals like me but they are not keen on the hardcore conservatism of the self-crowned Freedom Caucus and the more hardcore fundamentalists/social conservatives.

    IIRC Trump barely won or barely lost GA-6 in 2016 and did much worse than a country club Republican like Romney did in 2012.

    So personality. It might not be a liberal SF or even a liberal NYC (which is much more conservative than SF) but it is also not the hardcore leave me alone Montana or super-socially conservative Kansas.

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    • The big difference for Ossof is the kind of district GA-6 is. This is a relatively well-to-do district filled with college-educated professionals, the kind of voters that have been inching towards the Democratic Party for years and the kind of voters that Trump did not always do so great with because studies show education level proved who went for Trump.

      Also, while the national press appeared not to notice, the lawsuit in Georgia was decided in favor of new registrations. Basically, Federal law says that voters have to be able to register X days out from a Federal election, but Georgia was trying to say ‘That deadline meant for the original election, we don’t have to recalculate that deadline for the runoff, because that’s really the same election.’. Georgia lost that lawsuit…and lost it far enough out that people could then go and register.

      So there’s going to be a lot of new voters in that runoff. Most young, and most anti-Trump.

      Handel, for some absurd reason, made the deliberate decision to attach herself to Trump. It now seems that this was a miscalculation. Frankly, I’m not sure why she thought that a good idea to start with, considering how much that district didn’t like Trump compared to how much it liked other Republicans, but it *really* seems like a mistake right now.

      And she has a problem with a lot of the existing voters. They might be conservative, and voted for some other Republican, but they’re not voting for *her*, professional Church Lady, a woman whose claim to fame is politicizing, and seriously harming in donations and respect, the Susan G. Komen foundation, merely to make a statement about how pro-life she is. Even a lot of *pro-life* people found that a hard pill to swallow…there are certain things you don’t politicize, and well-respected breast cancer charities probably are at the top of that list.

      And if only a few Republican votes don’t transfer to her, she loses. All the Republicans, *put together*, got only 52% of the vote. If only 3% of Republican voters wander off because of her obvious false piety or her self-serving behavior, oops. (Georgia voters are often dumb, but we’ve sorta stopped falling for the fake religious nonsense. We wouldn’t elected professional religious conman Ralph Reed the Lt. Governor in 2006, either. We’re not *that* dumb.)

      Instead, it appears that almost 10% of Republicans have wandered off, or possibly 10% more anti-Trump Democrats have turned up, or some combination of those things, and Ossoff is up by 7%.

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      • And again, IIRC, this is a district Democrats have no business even being competitive in.

        “Why can Democrats only manage single-point losses in districts Republicans traditionally win by twice that or more” is not exactly the anti-Democrat talking point some people think.

        I mean if you know jack about politics, you might wonder “How can Republicans even win with Trump on top?” whereas pragmatically you’re saying “Well, if this is…8 or 9 point swing from prior performance, and it keeps happening in districts as far apart as Georgia and Montana, that’s not a great trend for the GOP. It’s too far out to say it’ll be in effect the next election cycle, but I’d rather be the party the trend is favoring than the one it’s against” .

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  2. I think the real story is…those districts should not have been a struggle for the GOP. Those should have been easy wins.

    If you’re struggling to barely win in +10 or +15 districts, what’s gonna happen in +5 or +8 districts?

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    • At least for Montana, the state is the district. The governor is a (D), re-elected this past November. One of the two US Senators is a (D), re-elected in 2012. Proper (D) candidates can win the state-wide elections there.

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      • Proper (D) candidates can win the state-wide elections there.

        Exactly. Which raises questions about the Dem establishment’s priorities and focus.

        To Morat’s point: a rising tide of anti-GOP/anti-Trumpism only works in Dem’s favor if the establishment actually fields and supports credible candidates in all districts, not just “competitive” ones.

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                • Or that the first time Comey went public he ratfucked conservatives by effectively shutting down the email investigation. Back then, Dems viewed him as a man of honor tinged only by his superfluous and clearly misguided assertion that she acted recklessly.

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                  • How is it ratfucking to shut down an investigation when charges aren’t being sustained? Are they just supposed to keep investigating indefinitely.

                    And the assertion *was* superfluous.

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                    • It’s not the job of the FBI to determine whether charges are appropriate or not. They investigate and turn it over to DOJ. Comey intervened in that process, ostensibly because he thought the Clinton apparatus had politicized the DOJ.

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                      • So, wait, doesn’t that actually make it worse from a D perspective?

                        Especially as we now have real evidence that Comey spoke out, in part, due to documents he knew had been forged by Russian intelligence?

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                        • All it does is reinforce the argument that Comey went public because he felt the DOJ had been politicized: re: re: the email in question, if it had been leaked there woulda been calls to ramp up the investigations, not ramp them down.

                          Personally, I don’t understand Comey’s actions in 2016 at this point, except to say (in my own view, natch) that he was responding to a bunch of politically motivated shenanigans that would impune the credibility of the FBI and trying to get in front of it.

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                          • But if the FBI was acting in a way that compromised their credibility, was it fair of him to take action to avoid this at the cos of impacting the election (again, regardless of which way he impacted it)?

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                            • The argument goes the other way regarding the 2016 press conference since he was trying to defuse a highly political issue (both internally to gummint as well as electorally) by trying to defuse the political implications of the – at the time – ongoing investigation into Clinton’s emails.

                              The much later October surprise letter to Congress resulted from an earlier agreement he made with CCers after the first (2016) press conference to inform them of any developments in the investigation. IOW, the second letter (released by Chaffetz) resulted from an earlier agreement and nothing nefarious. The blame for that letter should fall squarely on Weiner’s weiner, and not Comey. (Or blame Chaffetz for releasing a purely procedural update for political purposes.)

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                              • If the investigation into Hillary’s emails was legitimate, it should have proceeded… implications be damned.

                                If it was illegitimate, it should have stopped… implications be damned.

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                                • Yes. The problem is that Comey said in 2016 that charges weren’t justified given the evidence he’d seen. Which isn’t his job as an investigator.

                                  Adding: he’s entirely justified in saying that privately to Lynch, of course, but not publicly. Whether or not charges are warranted is the purview of the DOJ and not the FBI.

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                                  • Agreed. My understanding is that he did take that route because Lynch had been compromised as a result of Slick Willie boarding her plane.

                                    If she was compromised, why was there not some formal process for accounting for that… recusal and naming whomever it was would assume her responsibilities? I’ve seen some people say Comey *had* to do what he did as a result of her being compromised. If that is true, I assume there is a paper trail documenting that transfer of power?

                                    None of which helps me understand the ‘fake’ email. What did the fake email say? Why did Comey not acknowledge it was faked?

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                                • Brandon Weichert makes the point that Comey was Don Quixote

                                  In Quixote’s self-imposed quest to revive chivalry, he often confuses his arrogant urge to feed his ego with a desire to do good. Quixote is also delusional and often suffers from impaired judgment; as he prefers to view the world according to the dictates of his delusions rather than from within the confines of reality. Hilarious adventures ensue.

                                  The characteristics that make Don Quixote such a great fictional character are terrible traits to have in a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With James Comey, the United States had a Don Quixote-like character running the FBI.

                                  After all, Comey was a quixotic individual who was so wrapped up in his own delusions about being the “last honest man in Washington, D.C.,” that he brought professional ruin to himself and likely damaged the reputation of the FBI.

                                  Comey was convinced he was keeping the election fair and untouched, as he rigged and touched it like a mad man.

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                  • I’m still trying to make heads-and-tails of the fact that Comey seems to have presented information he knew or strongly suspected was falsified by the Russians to Congress as real information to protect the integrity of… something.

                    What exactly does that mean? Did he paint Hillary’s actions as worse than they actually were? Better than they were? Simply different? It would seem like figuring out that little wrinkle will go a long way towards measuring the impact of Comey’s actions.

                    Because if he did indeed alter his presentation — in any direction — to protection institutions, it would seem to me that is really problematic. Much more problematic than the generally agreed upon narrative that he was really trying to do the same thing and may or may not have.

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                    • What exactly does that mean?

                      My own view ….

                      Comey knew the email was very likely fake, at least to the extent other analysts in the FBI had concluded as much. So understanding why Comey was (perhaps) influenced by this email is part and parcel of why he went public in any event, given that it’s not his job to make pronouncements re: whether charges are appropriate or not. He clearly stepped way over the line when he exonerated Clinton back in June 2016. Why did he do that? The only explanation that makes any sense at this point is that he was trying to get in front of the political elements in play, which includes his skepticism about the DOJ’s impartiality as well as political fallout re: the FBI.

                      But really, it’s still a mystery why he did what he did.

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                      • But really, it’s still a mystery why he did what he did.

                        Actually, it’s pretty clear what he was doing.

                        Comey knew he was about to be yelled at for *at least* another two years by Republicans demanding he do something about Clinton, and demand he constantly answer questions

                        It’s funny, but it’s weird how almost no one points out the *actual* problem was the environment the Executive Branch was being forced to deal with under Obama, where the Republicans in Congress just run around harassing everyone over make-believe scandals. And how that was *obviously* about to get so much more worse under President Clinton.

                        So Comey positioned himself, and the FBI, where he thought they would best deal with it, and carefully got the Justice Department out of the way so when the *liars* in Congress finally got a hold of the memo about the fake emails saying Lynch agreed to go easy on Clinton, and decided to pretend such an email really existed, the Justice Department wouldn’t have been involved in that decision at all, just the FBI.

                        Thus resulting in Comey doing something that looked odd at the time but, in retrospect, would indeed have helped shield the Justice Department as the Republicans constantly investigated President Hillary Clinton. He was prematurely cutting off another Benghazi, where the Republicans would keep hauling in Justice Department staff and demanding they answer questions about *more* completely made up stuff.

                        It makes perfect sense, except for one possibility no one took seriously…

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                        • , are you trying your hand at writing spec scripts for Sherlock?

                          This comment is a pretty good example of people deploying circular models. To get to the hard version of it was Comey’s fault, it’s not enough to do the very difficult, if not impossible, task of isolating the release of Comey’s letter from all the other noise in the election and from the counterfactual baseline scenario in which there never was a new investigation. No, apparently you also have to posit theories of Comey’s state of mind, while pretending that it is “pretty clear” what happened.

                          One of the reasons that the way we talk about politics is so absurd is because, other than emotions, there are no real individuals stakes. It doesn’t cost us anything to be wrong. So ask yourself this: if it was Comey’s fault were a company, would you invest a significant portion of your life savings into its stock?

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                          • You mentioned ‘Comey’s Fault’ twice in the comment, and for the life of me I can’t figure out if you think I said it *was* or if I said it *wasn’t*.

                            For the record, the reason I can’t figure it out is that I didn’t say either. I gave no opinion about how much fault he bears at all. (I *very rarely* discuss fault in any manner, mostly because almost no one on the planet seems to understand the difference between fault and blame and responsibility. So I just stay the hell away from those discussions.)

                            I didn’t say anything about how much I think what Comey did affected the election, nor was what I offered as an explanation intended as justification. Just as *motives*.

                            task of isolating the release of Comey’s letter from all the other noise in the election

                            What the fuck are you talking about? I did not, at any point in that post, state any opinion on whether or not the release of this information had any effect on the election! (In fact, I don’t even have an opinion on that. I consider it almost unknowable. A bunch of stuff added up to a loss. Did that push it over? We cannot know.)

                            So you’ve basically just *invented* an entirely different comment from me, where I blame the Comey letter for Clinton losing the election (Or..I say it *didn’t* do that. I’m still unclear on that.), and then try to justify the release of it!

                            I didn’t do *either* of those. All I said was point out what Comey thought was going to happen under President Clinton (Which is a ludicrously easy thing to figure out, as Republicans literally said they were going to spend years litigating her email.), and said that offers a very obvious explanation of why he did what he did.

                            I gave no judgement on that at all.

                            No, apparently you also have to posit theories of Comey’s state of mind, while pretending that it is “pretty clear” what happened.

                            So what part of ‘my’ theory are you disputing?

                            Because we already know 90% of it from leaks! We have been specifically told that Comey leaked because he was afraid that the memo about the fake email would come out, and make the DoJ look bad *even though it’s a fake*.

                            We also have been pretty explicitly told by Republicans they would continue to investigate emails until forever.

                            If we assume that Comey, like everyone else, thought Clinton was going to win, it’s pretty damn easy to see how he would think that plays out, in that the people constantly attacking the DoJ for deliberately going easy on Clinton would be Republican Congessmen. That the Attorney General, and the head of the FBI, would be called in *constantly* and forced to relive the investigation over and over and over.

                            Everything to that point is, basically, obvious. I don’t think it’s even *debatable*!

                            And then Comey did something that removed the person who supposedly had the fake agreement to ‘go easy’ on Clinton from the decision-making process. Maybe *everyone else* thinks that’s some inexplicably thing, but a pretty logical reason spring out at me.

                            In fact, *I didn’t even bring the theory up*. Stillwater did! To quote him:

                            The only explanation that makes any sense at this point is that he was trying to get in front of the political elements in play, which includes his skepticism about the DOJ’s impartiality as well as political fallout re: the FBI.

                            As much as I’d love to take credit for the theory, it’s a theory that half the people paying attention came up with, the second they heard about how Comey was afraid what would happen when the fake memo got out. It’s so obvious Stillwater barely had to explain it.

                            I just clearly laid the theory out to make sure I had what Stillwater was talking about correct, and that we were all following along, (Kazzy seemed confused.) and I said the theory worked and was very obvious to me, whereas Stillwater was saying he wasn’t sure the theory was correct. (He didn’t give a reason yet. Or maybe he just meant we cannot ever see inside his mind.)

                            But how dare I posit theories of Comey’s mind in a…discussion of why Comey did what he did!

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                            • So what part of ‘my’ theory are you disputing?

                              I am not disputing any part of it, because there is nothing to dispute. It’s fiction. And that’s not my way of saying that it’s not true. Fiction can be true just like non-fiction can be false. I’m calling it fiction, because it’s non-falsifiable. You may very well be spot on about Comey, but there’s no sources or references or facts that I can go and verify, so I won’t.

                              And apologies if you feel that my statement’s about Comey’s effects on the elections were unfairly attributing beliefs to you. That wasn’t my intention. I’m moving round this thread making points in various comments. And my overall point is that what I’m seeing here is that a bunch of folks have started with the position that Hillary should have won and are backsolving various theories to hang on to that position.

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                              • You may very well be spot on about Comey, but there’s no sources or references or facts that I can go and verify, so I won’t.

                                As I said…90% of ‘my theory’ is just…public information.

                                1) We know how the Republicans would have behaved under a Clinton presidency. Or at least we know how anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge would *assume* they would behave, which is the important thing. They literally told us. Do you dispute *that*?

                                2) We know, thanks to leaks, that Comey knew about the fake memo about the fake email, and was concerned either the memo itself, or something claimed to be the fake email, would eventually become public, causing the public to believe that Lynch had an agreement with Clinton to go easy on her, causing the DoJ and FBI’s reputation to be harmed.

                                We know *that* because it was explicitly leaked. Are you arguing that the leak is incorrect? Or that whoever leaked that is lying? Or Comey was lying to the leaker?

                                None of the stuff, to this point, is any sort of ‘theory’ or ‘conclusions’.

                                #1 was, again, literally stated by Republicans. #2 is leaked information.

                                My ‘theory’ is merely pointing out the *incredibly obvious* fact that if the memo had gone public, in a universe where the Republicans were constantly making up bullshit to take down Clinton, they would use that memo in their attack.

                                This is so obvious that I can’t even figure out how anyone would think otherwise. Why would the Republicans *not* use that?

                                Or, rather, I pointed out that Comey would believe this. (Whether or not it’s true or not is technically irrelevant.) Because it is *obvious*.

                                What part of this, exactly, are you disputing? Facts #1 or #2, or me adding 1 plus 1 and getting 2? Or are you disputing that Comey can add 1 and 1?

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                            • Comey’s mistake was that he was trying to manage outcomes, but justice is supposed to be blind.

                              The only reason he was even involved in the election is that Hillary Clinton decided to be the candidate despite having more felonious baggage than all previous Presidential candidates combined. She quite obviously committed numerous felonies, each punishable by five to ten years in federal prison.

                              Allowing a classified document to move to an unclassified system is a felony. Being in charge and not reporting knowledge that such a move happened is a felony. But she even ordered her people to do it. That’s before we even get to witness tampering, destruction of evidence, and lying to investigators. That’s before we even look into her criminal use of her position as Secretary of State for personal financial gain, which she did.

                              The DoJ and Comey failed in their very simple,simple duty. Its not just that they had evidence of serious crimes, we knew what much of that evidence was. All they had to do was impanel a grand jury and see if it would hand them an indictment. If it did, all they had to do was put a jury in a box. The people would handle the rest.

                              That’s the justice system we use for everyone who isn’t Hillary Clinton. Comey was trying to manage an election. That’s not what he was tasked with and that’s not his job.

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                              • Allowing a classified document to move to an unclassified system is a felony. Being in charge and not reporting knowledge that such a move happened is a felony. But she even ordered her people to do it.

                                As has been pointed out before, George, you are basically wrong in every possible way here.

                                Transferring classified information into the public *email system* is against the law. Full stop. It wouldn’t matter if it was her server’s or the State Department’s. Classified documents can only be transmitted over secure channels, and *no* public email server counts as a secure channel.

                                And thus the situation *you* think happened, where there was a normal transfer of classified documents and Clinton had some of it going to her email server, is completely disconnected from reality. That is *not how classified information works*.

                                There is literally no theory of crime WRT classified information where her *email server* is a cause at all. None. There is no crime where you can remove her server and reduce the crime. If there was a crime with classified information, it would have been *regardless* of her operating her own server.

                                But, of course, not only does ‘people vaguely alluding to classified information over unsecured communications’ happen *all the time* in the government, it is not illegal.

                                Everyone who thinks it is illegal has misread statutes about ‘removing’ classified documents, (which also include copying electronically) into *making a reference to* classified information. But the removal statute clear applies to people looking at a specific classified document and *redistributing* that classified document to others.

                                It does not cover the situation that Clinton ‘committed’, where the *press* kept asking the State Department about drone attacks (Which it literally knows nothing about.), and the State Department wants to know how to respond. You’re trying to invent a legal theory where being *asked something by the press*, and never knowing any actual secrets about it beyond what the press just told you, and mentioning that *they asked you* about it over unsecured channels…is a felony.

                                That is not at all true. It is *technically* not correct behavior, and *in theory* risks your security clearance (In practice, no.), but that does not make it a felony.

                                Not only is it not a felony, it cannot even logically be a felony. If the information is classified, how the hell would random people in the government *know* about it to know it is classified? (And thus that it need to be discussed over secure channels.)

                                Basically, you’re trying to assert that it’s a criminal act for a government employee to be asked about a thing that he has never heard of, and he obviously he has no answer, but then later he asked his boss about in an unsecured park(1) about it, repeating only what he was told by the reporter, and *boom* felony.

                                No. No it is not. There is no crime there. There *might* be incorrect handling of classified information in the strictly technical sense, but that is not a felony, or any sort of crime. The only crimes WRT classified information are mishandling *the documents themselves*, or deliberately passing classified information to people without security clearances. Neither of which she did.

                                1) And you seem to think it was relevant *which* unsecured park it was, that a Federally-owned park would be fine, but not someone’s private front yard, which is clearly not how anything would possibly work.

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                                • David,
                                  You bring a thumbdrive onto government property. You plug it into a computer that has classified information on it. You’re going to get yourself fired, and I don’t care what the fuck you have done or not done.

                                  This is reality.

                                  Clinton did things that would have gotten normal people fired in a heartbeat.

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                                  • You bring a thumbdrive onto government property. You plug it into a computer that has classified information on it. You’re going to get yourself fired, and I don’t care what the fuck you have done or not done.

                                    Which would perhaps be relevant if that was what Clinton had done. Orr was in anyway related to what she did. Again, as I just spent an entire post pointing out, she did not distribute classified information in any manner, and thus did not commit any crime.

                                    Nor was this, as your analogy trying to make out, some weird attempt to commit a crime she eventually didn’t do.

                                    If she wanted to copy classified documents, her email address, which (like any email address, including State Department ones!) is not accessible on computers with classified documents, so is hardly relevant.

                                    Clinton did things that would have gotten normal people fired in a heartbeat.

                                    I started out trying to *guess* what you’re referring to, but honestly I have no idea. For all I know, you think she ran an illegal dog fighting ring on the roof the State Department.

                                    What *is* clear, however, that she committed no crime WRT *the topic under discussion*. She was, however, in violation US government rules.

                                    For which the proper response of Obama should probably have been ‘Start using State Department email or you’re fired’, not ‘You’re fired’…but whatever.

                                    Another, perhaps more useful response for the future would be ‘Doesn’t the State Department have an Inspector General? (For the record, yes, it does.) Isn’t the entire point of an Inspector General to make sure that proper procedure is being followed? Do we need to give them more authority or something?’

                                    BTW, there *is* a current OIG report about how not only did Clinton break the rules, but how document retention at the State Department is such *utter crap* (Before, during, and after Clinton.) they had problems figuring out if email policy was being followed. I had it open earlier, but I misplaced the tab.

                                    Maybe the State Department can work on fixing that while we’re not using them.

                                    Ha! Found it:
                                    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2842460-ESP-16-03-Final.html#document/p21

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                                    • David,
                                      As of now, we have Clinton’s own hired spy passing documents COMPLETELY IMPROPERLY to her husband, an Israeli spy, who Clinton hadn’t even hired (we can, for the sake of argument, consider that Huma Abedin’s compromised allegiance might have been known to Clinton).

                                      Now, look. I said, “bring thumbdrive onto Gov’t Property, insert thumb drive” That’s all. There’s a presumption of guilt, or potential guilt there, that lets the gov’t fire you, no questions asked. I’m not talking criminal proceedings.

                                      Clinton should have been fired for making this channel that could allow classified material to get out of where it ought to reside.

                                      The point I was trying to make is that you can always hire someone else. The government does so. Clinton wasn’t that good a SoS, anyway (in fact, The Mad Bomber was a pretty shitty one)

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                                      • Clinton should have been fired for making this channel that could allow classified material to get out of where it ought to reside.

                                        I swear to God, half the people talking about Clinton’s email are complete morons.

                                        Email is not a proper channel for conveying classified documents, period, full stop, end of story.

                                        It would be exactly as improper and illegal for Hillary Clinton to use State Department email servers to email a classified document to the president at his White House email address as it would be for her to use goddamn yahoo mail to send a classified document to her aide’s gmail account to have it printed off at a public library.

                                        This is because, again, EMAIL IS NOT A PROPER CHANNEL FOR CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS.

                                        And thus *assuming* that her email was full of classified documents is *completely fucking idiotic*.

                                        Tons and tons of scrutiny over her entire email produced exactly *three* things that were possibly classified at the time they were talked about:

                                        The ‘most serious’ is various state department employees *talking about how they were being questioned about drones* by the press. Here’s a fun hint for you: If the press are *publicly asking questions about something in government press briefings*, mentioning that they are doing so is probably not that severe a security breach.

                                        The second is a discussion by Clinton about something said to her by a head of state, which a) is only classified because that sort of conversation is automatically considered classified, and b) *could have been declassified by Clinton herself* and she then could have announced it with a bullhorn from the roof of the State Department.

                                        The last is Clinton discussing *her own schedule*, which is classified for security reasons.

                                        That’s it. That’s the ‘classified information’ that passed through her email. Those three things are *technically* classified, but in actuality none of them actually are even *slightly* targets for any sort of foreign intelligence service. (Unless, perhaps, they wanted to assassinate her. Which would be her own damn fault.)

                                        And I will point out, again, just to make sure everyone is following, that *communicating about classified matters* in a lax matter is not a crime. Copying *classified documents* is a crime. Deliberately passing classified information to people without proper security clearance is a crime. Nothing else about mishandling classified information is a crime.

                                        I’m not fucking going over this again. There are *actual facts* here, events that really did occur. Actual real laws, too.

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                                        • David,
                                          Okay. Let me ask you something. We now know that Israel had the e-mails off Clinton’s server a year before the FBI did.

                                          That means that they were indeed targets of foreign intelligence agents (specifically Weiner).

                                          I, at this point, do not really care whether or not they were classified. Her actions created a hole through which a “Not Hired By Her” foreign agent got StateDepartmentDocuments.

                                          I don’t care whether or not they were classified (that’s criminal, if so). She should have been fired for crap like this.

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                                          • We now know that Israel had the e-mails off Clinton’s server a year before the FBI did.

                                            Uh, no, we do not know that! The only source we have for that is Rudy Giulinai, and *he* claims they got the emails because they hacked her server, not due to Abedin or Weiner.

                                            And I feel I should point out your crazy conspiracy theory that Abedin is a foreign operative and Weiner is a foreign operative of a *different country*, and yet they are working together, is complete nonsense.

                                            It’s not only complete nonsense, but it’s basically complete nonsense *solely originating from you*. While I’ve heard dubious claims that Abedin is a spy, I’ve never heard anyone claim Weiner is a Israeli spy.

                                            I, at this point, do not really care whether or not they were classified. Her actions created a hole through which a “Not Hired By Her” foreign agent got StateDepartmentDocuments.

                                            No, you are incorrect there also.

                                            You appear to be operating on the false assumption that Clinton had something to do with Weiner’s lapop having Abedin’s email on it.

                                            This…isn’t correct. It’s been a subject of much confusion, but it is not correct. The reason all those emails were on the laptop is that Abedin’s Blackberry had been set up to sync to it when it was her laptop. Clinton had literally nothing to do with it.

                                            There has been some nonsensical talk about Clinton asking Abedin to print the emails, and Abedin forwarding them to print them, but those were a very small amount of emails, forwarded manually, and there’s no indication there was anything sensitive in them at all. (Nor does it seem particularly obvious why Clinton would even *know* about this.)

                                            Comey, in fact, was saying wrong things about that very recently. The FBI had to correct the record.

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                                            • David,
                                              yes, I do think I have credible sources on this.
                                              You may feel free to not believe me, it’s probably better that way.

                                              I have made no claim that Abedin and Weiner were working together. (Given what you’ve stated about ‘they were just on the laptop!’, it would not seem particularly necessary).

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                          • jr,
                            I bloody well hope not! This is the guy who thinks that Wikileaks had a compelling interest in killing Marc Rich.
                            (My friend the writer for Sherlock howled at the very thought).

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                            • I bloody well hope not! This is the guy who thinks that Wikileaks had a compelling interest in killing Marc Rich.

                              Erm, no I don’t.

                              I said that in the hypothetical world where Seth Rich (Not Marc Rich) was murdered by people because he was the leak, and where everyone apparently can and will hire assassins, his murder makes much more sense as ‘Beneficiaries of the leak tying up loose ends’ instead of ‘Victims of leak vengefully killing leaker, after the information theft but before the information got out, without even slightly attempting to get any information from him’.

                              In reality, he was killed by some random mugger.

                              BTW, Kimmi, you realize there are only *three* writers of Sherlock, right? (Plus Arthur Conan Doyle is credited too.) And two of them would more properly be called the show creators, which just leaves Steve Thompson as the sole person that people would just call a ‘writer’ for Sherlock.

                              So is your friend Steve Thompson, or is it one of the two creators, or is it some person you’ve just made up? (Or is Arthur Conan Doyle talking to you from beyond the grave?)

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                              • David,
                                I strongly suggest you find more friends in show business before believing what the BBC decides to run in the credits. (What gets in the credits has more to do with who is getting paid, and who is paying union dues. As a mostly random example, Morn didn’t pay acting dues, and thus didn’t get to speak).

                                My friend has a gadzillion pennames, and you don’t give writing credits to the consultants. or the publicists, even when they’re giving you writing advice. (And, in the rare event you let the security consultant write your show, you Make Up names instead of putting his name on the tin).

                                [My friend has done more actual writing for Seinfeld than for Sherlock. You may take it for granted that I was merely exaggerating to make the argument flow better].

                                Hi! I’d like to welcome you to America, 2017, where people are apparently hiring assassins on a day to day basis. This is totally a thing. A troubling thing, yes, but a thing. I’m alarmed, and you should be too.

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                    • Also ,

                      One of the more compelling accounts for why he didn’t say the email was false is that doing so would have tipped off the fact that the FBI was actively investigating Russian involvement in the electoral process which, if I’m remembering correctly, everyone wanted to keep a lid on at that point. Ie., stating that the email was a fake woulda invited questions regarding how that was known and the extent of those investigations, which even then included members of Trump’s campaign team.

                      So if that’s true, politics intrudes again.

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                      • So, in a way, the Russian hacking attempts became a self-fulfilling prophecy…

                        The FBI was investigating presumably because they do not want Russian meddling in our elections. By trying to keep a lid on the investigation (because reasons), the FBI itself ended up impacting the election. Maybe in the way Russia wanted, maybe not… but the end result is an election process that was impacted by the attempted meddling of Russia.

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                        • Yeah, something like that. The existence of the Trump/Russia investigation was (apparently) intentionally suppressed by the Obama admin out of a legitimate fear that Dems would be accused of playing politics during the election, and the Clinton email investigation is also now wrapped up – a bit anyway – in Russian meddling, politically if not substantively. Each “side” is now at each other’s throats while trust in American institutions collapses. So, yeah, Russia won.

                          Trump in the WH is another win for Russia, domestically but especially internationally, tho conservatives seem reluctant to acknowledge that fact. Which is one reason why the Russia investigations are being viewed with increasing levels of urgency (imo, anyway).

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                            • Both. The context of the investigation was inherently political (as was Hillary’s tho for different reasons). I’m not sure there was a good/better way to handle it.

                              Personally, I view it as evidence of the decay (maybe even collapse) of American governmental institutions brought on by internalizing the idea that everything, including institutions necessary for liberal democratic processes to even exist, reduces to partisanship, whether ideological or political.

                              (I blame post-modernism…)

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                              • He was asking about Obama (and the FBI, for that matter) suppressing the Russia investigations during the election cycle, which were up and running very early apparently.

                                I find it plausible that Obama didn’t know about Hillary’s private server until it became a public issue. And I see no reason why he’d know about her email “escapades” in the normal course of things without someone in a position to know reporting contemporaneously with the events that she (eg) emailed classified information to someone without clearance. As far as I know that didn’t happen (the reports I mean).

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              • To date, Hillary has blamed her loss on (at least) four things: the Comey letter, the email fake news story, misogyny and vote suppression. She was on her way to winning when forces beyond her control derailed the victory train. The backdrop against which this account is supposed to make sense is candidate Donald Trump. (Let that sink in for a minute: Donald Fucking Trump….)

                So, yeah. I think it’s reasonable to say that the DNC/Dem establishment need to rethink their priorities a bit.

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                • To date, Hillary has blamed her loss on (at least) four things: the Comey letter, the email fake news story, misogyny and vote suppression.

                  And three of those four things undeniably happened, and there’s substantial evidence that each contributed to her loss. On the other hand, many commenters around here repeatedly insisted that Trump was going to get a huge amount of support on account of being a Republican.

                  She was on track to win. Comey put his thumb on the scale. She lost incredibly narrowly. You don’t have to argue that she ran a flawless campaign to acknowledge that there was a lot of scummy deck-stacking against her.

                  And not for nothing, but the guy in the White House got there in large part by telling farcical, racist lies about how the previous President wasn’t legitimate, after the GOP decided to completely reject all the post-mortem analysis about why Romney lost in 2012.

                  This suggests telling the truth about how the current President isn’t legitimate and ignoring complaints about how HRC didn’t go to Wisconsin is the way to go.

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                  • I can’t help but wonder how long we’ll continue to re-litigate this issue, but for what it’s worth, one tidbit from the book on the HRC campaign was that the Comey event also resulted in a sizable increase in donations to her campaign, and thus probably also increased motivation among her supporters.

                    I’m not saying that this settles anything or rules out that the Comey thing was decisive, just pointing out that the effect was not necessarily uni-directional — these things are complicated and ultimately impossible to definitively measure.

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                    • I’m not saying that this settles anything or rules out that the Comey thing was decisive, just pointing out that the effect was not necessarily uni-directional — these things are complicated and ultimately impossible to definitively measure.

                      It may be, but surely that cuts just as strongly against the, “Hillary was awful and deserved to lose,” narrative, doesn’t it?

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                  • “And three of those four things undeniably happened, and there’s substantial evidence that each contributed to her loss.”

                    And for the other one, does anyone really think misogyny had no effect on the election cycle?

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                    • I’m pretty sure Hillary was well aware of her gender prior to declaring. To the extent that misogyny was a determining factor, one way to NOT overcome that deficit is by adopting the campaign slogan “I’m with her”.

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                    • No doubt there were people who would otherwise have been inclined to vote D who were put off by her being a woman. There were also people who didn’t know a lot about her specific positions but who were excited to vote for her because she was a woman. There’s no good way to know how that math works out, so we can all continue to believe what we want to.

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                    • And for the other one, does anyone really think misogyny had no effect on the election cycle?

                      I’m not sure what this question means. Just about everything has an effect on just about everything else. Butterflies flap their wings and all that.

                      I do think that one thing to point out is the fundamental difference in how Obama handled race in 2008 compared with how Clinton handled gender in 2016. Obama very wisely let the first black president narrative develop around him, while pitching himself as post-racial. I think that was the wise strategy, even as it wasn’t without a cost. There are still plenty of black folks who criticize Obama as “not doing enough for blacks.”

                      By comparison, I found the whole Hillary narrative to be pretty tone deaf. The message felt a lot like it’s a woman’s turn to be president and maybe it was, but that message didn’t work very well with the fact that one of Hillary’s biggest weaknesses was the idea that she was just anointed as the one by the DNC and wasn’t supposed to have a particularly competitive primary. And this doesn’t even get into the very strange choice of campaign slogan.

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                      • jr,
                        The Powers that Be wanted an issueless campaign.The idea was that they could start “letting” politicians win and then get them to Rubber Stamp Stupid Policies.
                        *Hillary would have been just as bad as Trump about deportations (if a bit stealthier). Obama was worse.
                        *Hillary would have had the mission to destroy SS/Medicare.

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                  • pillsy,
                    Oh, how you would have LAUGHED to hear Trump apologizing for not sounding ASSHOLE enough!
                    The Powers that Be wanted Hillary to win. They were upset about Trump being more popular than her. Hence said October Surprise.

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              • pillsy:
                Well, yes.

                I’m not sure why we’re supposed to tolerate our candidate being ratfucked by the FBI, or pretend that the election was fair in the face of that.

                2 term US Senator from New York with close allies in both New York US Senate seats in 2016, gets effed over by the NYC field office.

                A former US Secretary of State, effed over by the Russians.

                A person with a lifetime of experience with GOP messaging machine and regular media lies and exaggerations, gets effed over by GOP & regular media lies and exaggerations (despite having over a half billion dollars to counter message)

                A person who went to the wedding of a brazen obvious conman with a decades long career, gets effed over by a brazen, obvious conman

                How did Hillary Clinton lose so many of these home field matchups?

                (And the stakes in the fight against the Russians and the deep state actors trying to thwart her agenda was just gonna to get tougher. The election should have been an easy scrimmage to hone her skills as a mananger, a leader, and as someone who wanted to a key player in The Great Game.)

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                • How did Hillary Clinton lose so many of these home field matchups?

                  Because, among other things, all of those fucking-overs happened at once, and were mutually reinforcing. Consider the way the Comey letter was sent out in violation of pretty much every rule and norm imaginable, leaked by Chaffetz, splashed all over the New York Times, which a couple days later ran with FBI sources peddling a (false) story about how there was nothing to claims that Trump had ties to the Russians.

                  Oh, and of course we now know that Comey inserted himself in the process because of emails he knew were forged by the Russians.

                  That’s my problem here: all this focus on Clinton’s ordinary political and campaigning failures [1] ends up exonerating the FBI (of course they’ll meddle in the election), the media, Congressional Republicans, the Obama Administration, and the Trump campaign for extraordinary failures and ineptitude, and in many cases outright perfidy.

                  And the stakes in the fight against the Russians and the deep state actors trying to thwart her agenda was just gonna to get tougher.

                  Well it’s a good thing we don’t have to worry about any of that with Trump in the White House.

                  [1] And now a campaign is evidently supposed to single-handedly fight off meddling from foreign powers and federal law enforcement I guess.

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                    • I haven’t seen anything written about her reasoning during the general, but during the primary she and her team decided that campaigning in Michigan was inversely correlated with her approvals. If that view generalized to all the other rustbelt states then maybe she found herself in a situation where campaigning in those states would likely drive her numbers down, in which case – bizarrely – she made the tactically correct decision.

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                    • Like I said, those are ordinary political failures of the sort made by pretty much every Presidential campaign (including winning ones)! What I think in retrospect was probably Clinton’s worst unforced error (the “deplorables” comment [1]) closely matches similar mistakes made by Mitt Romney in ’12 and Obama in ’08.

                      [1] Some may remember that I really appreciated the comment when she made it. This should have been a strong sign to me that it was actually dumb and bad.

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                            • Context:

                              “So for example, I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?

                              And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories.

                              Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.”

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                              • Good point. Watch the whole segment to understand the context, and she STILL gleefully says she’s gonna put a whole lotta miners outa work. :)

                                Happens every time I watch it, actually.

                                BTW, I don’t care that people interpret what she said into something more politically palatable from their pov, but I do object to people dismissing the suggestion that she did, in fact, gleefully say she was gonna put a whole lotta miners outa work. Cuz she obviously did, in fact, say it.

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                                • If we’re going to be pedantic, she said “out of business” which kinda sorta matters.

                                  ETA: “Coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
                                  Not “Coal miners out of work.”

                                  Did you read my offering the entire quote as suggesting anything opposition to what you offer here?

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                                  • Surely if Donald Trump’s victory has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t possibly win the Presidency unless you consider every word you say extremely carefully, lest it offend someone when taken out of context, or, you know, in context.

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                                      • Argh. You gotta do some of this work yourself, Kazzy.

                                        Here, I’ll help: paraphrasing her as saying “outa work” seems perfectly appropriate for the context of the conversation since it’s actually accurate. Ie, putting people outa business means putting them outa work.

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                                        • So… here’s the thing…

                                          Someone claimed Hillary said something.
                                          Greg pointed out that she didn’t really say what that person said she said when you consider the context.
                                          You pointed out that the context didn’t really matter because of the real meat of the quote.
                                          You then proceeded to misquote her.

                                          So if you’re going to say that all that matters is the money line, you have to at least get the money line correct.

                                          A paraphrase of an edited quote is a poor rebuke against claims of media bubble influence and priors.

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                                              • “Or her gleeful comment about closing mines?”
                                                “Ah the power of talking points and closed media bubbles.”
                                                “Miners heard it loud and clear.”
                                                “No glee involved. I’m just noting you misunderstand what was said because it suits your priors.”
                                                “greg, there is no media bubble. It’s observable. She gleefully said she was gonna put a whole lotta miners outa work. “Right Tim?””[followed by a link to a heavily edited version of the comments in question]

                                                I’m pretty sure I know exactly what we’re talking about.

                                                But, if you think I’m wrong, please explain what it is you are talking about.

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                                                • We’re talking about: the political significance of the comment, in particular as it relates to policy; the role it played in dissuading voters to vote for Hillary, if any; and to what extent having made it is evidence that Hillary is or is not good at politics.

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                                                          • But your disagreement was predicated on wrong information, namely that she didn’t say the words you said she said. And you continue to act as if that isn’t true.

                                                            We can disagree on what Hillary meant and what conservatives heard. But we can’t disagree on what words she actually said.

                                                            Now, maybe you look at the gap between the words Hillary said, what she probably meant, and what conservatives heard and still think, “I think that gap arose absent a conservative media bubble.” That is a totally valid position to hold.

                                                            But you don’t seem to have done that. When presented with *facts* that countered your argument, you dismissed them as if they weren’t facts. Which is silly.

                                                            Disagree with Greg or whomever all you want. Just don’t pretend that things we have video of happening didn’t happen… especially when waiving a highly-edited video of what happened in someone’s face as definitive proof of what happened!

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                                                            • “greg, there is no media bubble. It’s observable. She gleefully said she was gonna put a whole lotta miners outa work. “Right Tim?””

                                                              That was *not* observable because she did not say that. As the video you provided showed (despite the heavy editing!).

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                                                              • Here is the quotation:

                                                                We Are Going To Put A Lot Of Coal Miners & Coal Companies Out Of Business

                                                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksIXqxpQNt0

                                                                I imagine that there are two complaints. The first is that she said “We Are Going To Put A Lot Of Coal Miners & Coal Companies Out Of Business” and not “We Are Going To Put A Lot Of Coal Miners Out Of Business”.

                                                                Given how “&” works, this criticism is technically accurate given that “We Are Going To Put A Lot Of Coal Miners Out Of Business” is a paraphrase of what she said and not a direct quote and if you’re saying that you’re quoting someone, then you should give a quote of what they said rather than paraphrase it.

                                                                That said, if the argument goes further into “you shouldn’t paraphrase what she said like *THAT*, you should paraphrase like *THIS” and wander into the territory where you’re explaining something to the effect of how if you understood her full speech, you’d see that the best paraphrase of what she said was that we’re going to get all of these people jobs! Jobs, jobs, jobs! They just have to change careers and move!, then the argument immediately stops being technically correct and has wandered into “whether it’s possible to hear what she said and reach the conclusion that you don’t want to vote for someone like this” territory.

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                                                                • But wanted to have it both ways…

                                                                  “No, Greg… your interpretation is OBSERVABLY wrong… and here is a paraphrase and edited clip to show why!”

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                                                                  • He shouldn’t have done that.

                                                                    I hope, for his sake, that at some point in these comments he said something like “so replace my mistake with the actual quote and you’ll see that my points aren’t materially different” or something to that effect.

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                                                                    • We never got there… still haven’t!

                                                                      But it goes a little deeper than that because, again, he wasn’t simply refuting Greg’s point but was claiming that his own position was “observable” and therefore Greg’s was necessarily false.

                                                                      So if he swaps out the paraphrase for the full quote, he probably has to reposition his entire argument.

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                                                                      • We never got there… still haven’t!

                                                                        Kazzy, what you’re arguing is absurdity bordering on farce. Hillary said “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”. She smiled cheerfully at the end of that sentence and said “right Tim?” Those are observable facts. The place you say we haven’t got to yet is actually the observable starting point of the discussion. So we’re already there.

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                                                                        • But those are not the facts you used to refute Greg’s point that what conservatives heard — which was other than what Hillary actually said — was informed by a conservative media bubble.

                                                                          You used non-facts and claimed them to be observable.

                                                                          Neither your nor Greg’s position with regards to the impact of the conservative medial bubble on how conservatives interpreted her remarks is observable and probably isn’t even knowable. It remains a matter of opinion. That is all. If you can agree with that, then we are done here.

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                                                                          • You used non-facts and claimed them to be observable.

                                                                            I used the actual video to demonstrate the point. Why the hell do you think I linked to it, Kazzy?

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                                                                              • Kazzy, the video is a record of the actual words uttered by Clinton. And in that clip she said she was going to put a lot miners out of work. That’s the factual starting point, and no amount of liberal or conservative spin changes the fact that she said what she said: that she was gonna put a lot of miners outa work. So the claim that people only believe she said that is because they live in a conservative bubble is obviously, observably, false. People believe she said it because she actually, in fact, did.

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                                                            • But your disagreement was predicated on wrong information,

                                                              No, it was predicated on the information contained in the video I linked to Kazzy. The actual words she said and how she said them. Which is why I linked to it.

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                                                              • She never said she was going to put coal miners out of work.
                                                                Something being said “gleefully” or what part of someone’s comments are inspiring glee is open to interpretation.

                                                                My issue isn’t your position. it is your contention that your position was “observable”… that your position wasn’t a position but was a fact.

                                                                Your position was not a fact.

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                                                                • So you contend that 1) she only said coal mines or business and 2) no actual coal miners would lose their jobs? Please provide an unedited video if you you don’t like the one linked to. Honestly the idea that you can shut down coal mines or businesses without job losses is silly.

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                                                                • My issue isn’t your position. it is your contention that your position was “observable”… that your position wasn’t a position but was a fact.

                                                                  Well, and as I said upthread, focusing on these types of trivialities are why we can’t have nice things.

                                                                  Replace my paraphrase with the actual quotation and nothing changes. Also, I’m mystified that you accuse me of disingenuously paraphrasing Clinton’s words when I provided a link to video of her actual words. Do you think I didn’t watch that video? Your argument right now makes no fucking sense. You’re basically saying “hey Stillwater! That video you link to doesn’t support your argument, it actually proves you’re wrong cuz never says the phrase “miners out of work” in it, you big dummy!” Which is an amazing display of either cynicism or confusion on your part.

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                                          • Sure. But now you’re neither talking about Hillary’s comment nor notme’s claim that conservatives heard it loud and clear. You’re talking about an academic issue regarding attribution and accuracy that simply doesn’t matter in the context of this discussion. See, for example, j r’s comment below as an example of why.

                                            The exact same arguments and views we’ve all been expressing apply if people were as disciplined and intellectually honest as you’re demanding they be. So go back thru this little subthread and substitute the precise quotation into each incorrect attribution, and I bet you’ll notice not a single substantive deviation in the arguments, opinions and responses presented.

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                                            • So the questions are:

                                              What did Hillary mean?
                                              What did conservatives hear?

                                              I posit that what Hillary meant and what conservatives heard were two different things.

                                              And I don’t consider that to be particularly problematic.

                                              What I do consider problematic is the Hillary camp saying, “They only heard what they heard because they wanted to hear it and a conservative media bubble told them to hear it,”
                                              -AND-
                                              Conservatives saying, “This is obviously what she meant and the only reasonable interpretation of what she said.”

                                              A reasonable person from Hillary’s camp would say, “Christ, how the fuck could she say that? Doesn’t she know how that’ll play?”
                                              And a reasonable conservative would say, “I understand she might have meant something else.”

                                              As the candidate, the onus is on Hillary to provide clarity of message and avoid saying things that make her camp say, “Christ, how the fuck could she say that?” and to not rely on those across the aisle from her to be reasonable.

                                              But none of that changes the fact that conservative assertions as to what Hillary must have meant are unreasonable.

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                                              • So the questions are:

                                                What did Hillary mean?
                                                What did conservatives hear?

                                                I’d go back to a theory I thought was useful during the election. Three groups:

                                                1. People who, if they’re to vote at all, will vote for your guy.
                                                2. People who, if they’re to vote at all, will vote for the other guy.
                                                3. People who could be persuaded to vote either way.

                                                The only thing you can do with the #1s, recall, is get them to turn out. The only thing you can do with the #2s, recall, is get them to stay home. #3s you either want them to come in and vote for you *OR* stay home from voting for the other guy.

                                                So with *THAT* in mind, I’m looking at your questions again.

                                                What did Hillary mean?
                                                What did #1s hear?
                                                What did #2s hear?
                                                What did #3s hear?

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                                                    • The question I see being debated is whether or not a conservative media bubble contributed to the gap.

                                                      I will say that when you create a need to answer that question… when you leave a media bubble room to exploit a gap, you probably done fucked up.

                                                      ETA: Greg said yes to that. Stillwater said no. The latter argued his position was observable. My contention is that the answer is unobservable and likely unknowable.

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                                                      • The question I see being debated is whether or not a conservative media bubble contributed to the gap.

                                                        If I can find you an NPR story covering how Hillary Clinton apologized for saying what she did, can we broaden the question to whether a media (no adjective) bubble contributed to the gap? A Mother Jones story?

                                                        Because if I can, it seems to me that we’re talking about something bigger than merely a conservative media bubble twisting her words.

                                                        I know that I, personally, heard her quotation on the radio while driving home. I remember thinking “my God, her opponent only needs to put that on a loop for the perfect radio commercial.” I wasn’t listening to Rush. I was listening to NPR.

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                                                        • That is really for Still and Greg to hash out.

                                                          Again, I have not taken a position on which of those two is correct.

                                                          My position from the get-go is that attempting to refute Greg’s position by doing what Still did — that is, offering a paraphrase of her quote and an edited video and saying, “We can observe that you are wrong from this evidence,” is a flawed and ultimately failing refutation.

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                                                      • Greg said yes to that. Stillwater said no. The latter argued his position was observable. My contention is that the answer is unobservable and likely unknowable.

                                                        No, greg didn’t say yes to that: he accused notme of adopting conservative spin as the basis for his views of Clinton’s words, a view which is based merely on observing the actual speech act Clinton engaged in.

                                                        I haven’t expressed an opinion about whether conservative media contributed to a “perception gap”, so I don’t know why you’d say my answer to that question is “no”.

                                                        What you keep saying is unobservable is clearly observable: I linked a video of Clinton saying the actual words in question.

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                                                          • Here’s what I’m arguing, Kazzy (see if you can keep up): That Hillary Clinton did, in fact, gleefully say she was gonna put a whole lotta miners outa work (she smiles cheerfully at Tim Kaine and says “right Tim?”); that video of that debate confirms that she did (observable evidence); so rejecting that view of her words and actions as resulting from conservative spin is false.*

                                                            *I haven’t got this far in the debate yet, but the idea that conservatives only believe Hillary gleefully said those things, given the evidence from the video, strikes me as a perfect example of evidence-denying liberal spin.

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                                                            • Only she didn’t say she was going to put anyone out of work. She said she was going to put workers and companies out of business as part of a speech about helping those people find new jobs in more modern industries.

                                                              Honest people could very easily interpret that as her saying she wants to put miners out of work.

                                                              And it is easier to arrive at that interpretation if you are exposed to the quotes out of context and/or edited as in the clip you offered.

                                                              As to why her words were presented in those manners… maybe because they were meaty and the media goes toward the meat. Or maybe because that was a way to unfavorably spin her words and gin up opposition. Or both. Who knows.

                                                              Now, looking ONLY AT WHAT I’VE SAID IN THIS COMMENT, what have I said that is observably wrong?

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                                                              • Now, looking ONLY AT WHAT I’VE SAID IN THIS COMMENT, what have I said that is observably wrong?

                                                                Insisting a) that there’s some sort of ambiguity in the phrase “put coal miners and coal companies out of business” which b) allows people to interpret her words as implying something other than “put miners out of work”, especially when c) no one has ever defended her words on the absurd grounds that they imply something other than what they unambiguously mean: putting miners and coal companies out of work.

                                                                I mean, look at the absurd lengths you’re going to to somehow deny the obvious: that in that debate Clinton said she was going to put coal miners out of work and then smiled cheerfully at Tim Kaine while saying “right Tim?”.

                                                                And the context doesn’t help her at all here – in fact, it hurts her – so I don’t know why people insist that it does. Right in the middle of telling people how she wants to help folks make the transition to new jobs which they’ve lost due to market forces she says she’s going to actively “put” those people out of business. I have no idea how, or why, people try to defend her as NOT saying what she clearly and obviously said.

                                                                Adding: I’m totally down with a partisan arguing that she misspoke in that debate, or that people are making a bigger deal of those words than they warrant, or any other attempt at mitigation, just so long as that person concedes that the she did in fact cheerfully say those words.

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                                                                • I’m not the one parsing words, paraphrasing, or using edited clips. I’m pointing at her actual words, unedited.

                                                                  Who’s going to great lengths?
                                                                  We’ve run our course here. Later dude.

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                                                                  • Kazzy, the video clip I linked to is a video of Clinton actually saying the words we’re talking about. It’s just a basic fact, an observable fact, that she said them. Why the insistence that she didn’t say them? Why the insistence that there’s an ambiguity in words that are clearly unambiguous?

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                                                                  • I’m rather a big fan of it when someone says, “Okay, we’ve been back and forth on this for a while and I’ve said what I have to say,” and thereafter abstains from further discussion. Particularly when they refrain from proclaiming victory on the way out.

                                                                    It’s okay for discussions to end, and it’s very okay to allow readers (who care) to decide for themselves.

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                                                                    • is a generally good dude and I’d rather avoid things turning unnecessarily ugly. One or both (probably both) of us went astray somewhere so better to just disengage.

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                                                                      • I don’t think we’ve gone astray, Kazzy. I think we’re not talking about the same things and are frustrated by the inability to connect on the substance. I’ve done my best – repeatedly – to clearly state my views on this topic, and I’m sure you feel the same way about your own arguments. Yet we seem to be arguing past each other and, personally, I can’t figure out why that’s the case.

                                                                        So yes, better to just leave the discussion unresolved than persist in talking past each other.

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                                        • This is the fuller quote:

                                          So for example, I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?

                                          And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories.

                                          Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.

                                          This could be a lot of things, but gleefully putting miners while twirling her eviiilll mustache this isn’t really that. The full quote is, well, has a lot more to it.

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                                          • It doesn’t need more too it. I’m from coal country. She is the embodiment of Satan. The only way green power would work in Appalachia is if we started clear cutting all our forests to feed wood chip plants.

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                                            • That’s fine george. I don’t’ have a problem with that comment at all except for the Satan sleaze but that is the way you role. My only point was that her comment was willfully taken out of context to make an untrue point. Now of course i could call that locker room talk and you would be fine with that i’m sure. Right?

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                                                • If you read the entire quote it’s clear. She isn’t doing as George says since she clearly says she wants to help the miners find new jobs. Will that work? That is actually a good and policy related question. But as has been noted mine employment has been going steadily down and it’s going to keep going down. There are actually easy policy issues to argue with her since it may not be easy or all that possible to find new good jobs for miners. But she sure as hell is saying a lot more then you suggest.

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                                                  • I am from coal country. There are no new “other” jobs.

                                                    We’ve heard the same thing from these people for eighty years. As we say, we’ve been helped to death. We don’t need even more people on welfare and unemployment. That’s all she was offering. The rest is just lie #8237 we’ve heard from such people.

                                                    Our liberal newspapers fully covered the nuance of Hillary’s statement. My local paper agreed with her wholeheartedly. But nobody agreed with the papers.

                                                    So Hillary got 17 percent in my home county, which is actually pretty good compared to many of the other counties. In 28 other counties she did even worse, and in three counties she didn’t even get 10%. And that’s in a former Democratic Party stronghold. She single-handedly flipped our state house to Republican control for the first time since 1920. Democrats won’t flip it back for generations because we have long memories about betrayal.

                                                    She was the most awfullest candidate ever.

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                                                      • Creative destruction is different from destruction destruction, which is what the coal industry is faced with.

                                                        Per BTU, coal is the cheapest energy source there is. It is, along with nuclear, also the most reliable. It wasn’t falling to market forces, it was falling to a Democrat party determined to destroy so they could signal their virtue. They’ll probably move on and wipe out the beef, pork, and chicken industries for the same reasons, as they’ve already targeted fishing.

                                                        And the irony is that we’ll still be mining the coal, we’ll just be shipping it to India and China where it will give them a huge cost advantage at making things we used to make here, such as cement, brick, glass, and steel.

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                                                          • The biggest expense with coal is Democrats using every tool of government to kill it by making everything associated with it vastly more expensive.

                                                            Currently natural gas is at $3.28 per million BTU, was at about $4.70 per million BTU in 2015, and hit $13.00 per million BTU in 2008. Coal has stayed slightly above $2.00 per million BTU. Though natural gas plant efficiency has improved to make it competitive at current prices, coal plants haven’t upgraded because of Obama, Hillary, and the EPA, who convinced everybody that there’s no future in coal.

                                                            However if we retire too many of the existing coal plants, natural gas demand might exceed supply (production would need to increase by over 30%), and then we get big fat price jumps. Natural gas prices are historically spiky, which is a reason we had avoided using it for base load power.

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                                                            • Not just Democrats. Republican-controlled legislatures in some states are starting to pass laws to force the coal-burning utilities to meet much stricter conditions on coal-ash ponds. Republican-controlled states have joined the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards lawsuits on the side of requiring much tighter controls on emissions from coal-fired plants.

                                                              I agree with you on fuel diversity to some extent. NG for base load is a regional sort of thing. The grid reliability organization for New England puts over-dependence on natural gas — none of it produced within the region — at the top of their list of risks. Texas, OTOH, has used NG for base load, exceeding generation from coal, for decades, because they have enormous in-state resources.

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                                                    • George,
                                                      Where, precisely, are you from?
                                                      Coal country takes on a lot of places.
                                                      Some of them are dying, right now, because of coal.
                                                      Guvmint ain’t gonna tell you when the water’s gonna kill you, not if some big corporation, that runs the government practically, says not to.
                                                      But if you’re from coal country, I ain’t tellin’ ya anything new.

                                                      I got a friend, what got agents in state governments — cept in coal country. There, he’s just got agents in the companies, because the government does the corp’s bidding, and it’s more efficient that way.

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                                                  • If you read the entire quote it’s clear. She isn’t doing as George says since she clearly says she wants to help the miners find new jobs.

                                                    That’s the context, greg, but then she throws in curve ball about “putting” miners out of work. In that sentence she isn’t saying she has programs to catch people as they fall, she’s saying she’s gonna push them over the cliff.

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                                                • “How was her quote taken out of context? ”

                                                  In exactly the same way that Romney’s things about 47% and “binders full of women” were.

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                                                  • I don’t mean to act dense, but tell me how his statement was taken out of context in your opinion. Can we agree that she was talking about putting actual human miners out of work? That fact seems to be an issue here.

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                                                    • Can we agree that she was talking about putting actual human miners out of work? That fact seems to be an issue here.

                                                      Amazing, but true. Even members of the evidence-based crowd seem unable to concede that basic fact.

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                                                      • Okay, i’ll do penance for some past sins by responding. First SMH x 5. Second, yes she said the part about putting people out of work. That is her “special” way with words. But the entire quote talks about trying to do something replace those jobs. That is the context. You want to tell me that we can’t replace those jobs with analogous jobs, then you might have a good point depending on whatever her actual plan was. You want to tell me her turn of phrase was not well chosen, yup. So now that i have cleared up this thread i’ll go SMH for a while.

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                                                        • The critical flaw in what she said is that it’s BS. If the Democrats could bring new jobs to Appalachia, why haven’t they already done so? There’s no connection between job training and closing the mines. If building wind turbines was a viable option for Clay or Knott counties, why aren’t they already there training all the massively underemployed residents to build wind turbines?

                                                          It’s a bait and switch, a con, an empty promise, and we’ve seen it time and time again. But usually a politician just says they’ll bring jobs without any follow through. So what we heard was “I’m going to throw you out of work – and then empty employment promise #2387.”

                                                          She violated our sense of basic wisdom: Make sure the new job is real before you quit your old job – otherwise you’re just heading for the unemployment line.

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                                                      • You know who else tries to throw miners out of work? The Horta on Janus 6. In Appalachia, the Horta would’ve gotten more votes than Hillary. The Horta knew mining, came to like miners, and was brave enough to get shot at while protecting baby Horta eggs, instead of, oh, letting Americans die in Benghazi.

                                                        Star Trek TOS, 1967, season 1, episode 25.

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                                                  • I’d actually say it is more analogous to Romney’s “I like to fire people*” line, which I thought was unfairly twisted and used against him in a way completely divorced from his actual meaning because it made for a good sound bite.

                                                    The binders full of women line is close. I don’t think the 47% is fair because I think the actual meaning behind it and the accuracy of the statement were problematic.

                                                    (*This is a rough paraphrase.)

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                                                    • Mitt Romney couldn’t inspire a puppy to run to a food bowl. I did not vote for him. I had clover and crabgrass in the yard and I found that fighting the noxious weeds was more pressing than his political future. I will admit that Romney was inspirational in the fight to preserve American lawns.

                                                      Perhaps I’d have showed up to vote if he could have found a point of disagreement with any of Obama’s policies, but he just promised to implement them better. “I’m the Osmond versoin of Obama”: didn’t work for me. He had no spine. He had no guts. He would’ve given the Democrats a majority in both houses. I’ve found more inspiring candidates in my belly button lint.

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                                                    • I don’t think the 47% is fair because I think the actual meaning behind it and the accuracy of the statement were problematic.

                                                      I’m not sure how you don’t see the same thing about Hillary’s statement, at least not from the standpoint of someone living in coal country.

                                                      The most charitable and objective overview of what she said is something like: One of the priorities of my administration will be to make renewable energy cheaper, which will also make non-renewable more expensive and put coal mines out of business and miners out of work. But don’t worry, because we are also going to do everything we can to make sure that the folks in coal country get integrated into the new clean energy economy.

                                                      That’s a campaign promise to do two things: pick winners in the energy sector and adequately compensate the losers (or at least those who used to work for the losers).

                                                      For argument’s sake, let’s say that I think that’s the right thing to do from the perspective of the overall economy. Even then, I can honestly admit that government’s tend to be very good at doing the former (picking winners), but very bad at the latter (adequately compensating the losers).

                                                      From that perspective can you understand why HRC’s statements might grate some people.

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                                                    • The “binders full of women” wasn’t the same thing, really. It wasn’t a ‘gaffe’ in the same way 47% or ‘deplorables’ or anything that can be read as an attack on a group of voters.

                                                      He was asked about pay equality for women, and he basically said, paraphrased, ‘We specifically looked for women when hiring in Massachusetts, and were given a long list of qualified women, and as a result, I am proud my administration in Massachusetts had more women in a senior leadership position than any other state’.

                                                      This is, admittedly, a fine example of a politician answering a *completely different* question than asked (What does that have to with pay equality?), but it would have been fine as a standard non-answer. There’s nothing *offensive* in there, there’s nothing disrespectful.

                                                      The problem is he just used completely goofy phrasing. If he’s said ‘binders full of names of women’, no one would have blinked.

                                                      This seems closer to Obama saying he had visited 57 states…his mouth just stopped working correctly for a second. But the 57 states is just funny for about ten seconds, whereas binders full of women is a hilarious mental image, and it didn’t help we, as society, had just discovered image macros didn’t have to be about cats.

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                                                      • Fact is, intentional outreach to find otherwise-qualified candidates from an underrepresented group is the core technique of affirmative action.

                                                        I did find it odd to see a bunch of Democrats criticizing Romney for using one of the classic techniques of affirmative action because it was a Republican doing it and it came along with an awful-sounding phrase — and then to see a similar number of Republicans reflexively defend that same sort of affirmative action in response, because if Democrats were criticizing something a Republican did, it must have been a good thing that Republican was doing.

                                                        It didn’t address pay equity, per se, but did address the issue of inclusiveness of women in Romney’s gubernatorial administration, which is, um, kind of maybe a little bit similar.

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                                                        • Burt,
                                                          I think that people found it kinda funny that Romney didn’t already know women who were good fits. He coulda introduced it better to explain why “I’ma total newb!” is the right read, and not “I’ma Total Doofus!”

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                                                        • “Binders of women” carried the implication of tokenism. “Okay, guys, we need a black guy on the team. We can’t all be white in the diversity photo shoot! I dunno, just fill an empty spot with one”.

                                                          It’s got an implication that you don’t, off the top of your head, actually work with anyone that fits the bill (female, minority, whatever) but realize you’ve got to tick off that checkbox.

                                                          Which is, to be fair, how I’ve noticed a lot of conservatives describe AA anyways. Kind of the professional version of “I have a black friend who thinks the joke I’m about to tell is funny, so clearly it can’t be racist” shtick right before someone tells an incredibly racist joke.

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                                              • Her statement is what it is, fancified elitist talk that boiled down to “I’m throwing you garbage mining deplorables in the garbage bin.”

                                                In my home county, which was strongly Democratic and pro-union and voted twice for Bill Clinton, Hillary only got 17% of the vote. 17 percent.

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                                            • George,
                                              I live in Appalachia. I see green power working in the hills, all those wind turbines. I see green power working on houses in my area, all those solar panels.

                                              Here in Appalachia, we don’t have real forests, all third growth — taken down for steel.

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                                              • You must live up in Pennsylvania, where there’s some wind.

                                                There are zero wind turbines in Kentucky because we don’t have wind, with central and southern Appalachia being among the least windy places in the entire US. We also have a lot of large hail, and trees that grow over everything, so solar isn’t a particularly good idea, especially where it would be trying to compete with coal plants near the mine mouth, which is the cheapest electricity there is.

                                                Appalachians know this. They know Hillary’s promised “retraining” is for jobs that don’t exist, and won’t exist.

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                                                • George,
                                                  You don’t have low wind.
                                                  http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/wind_resource_maps.asp?stateab=ky

                                                  Hail’s a problem down South, sure. (I live in Pittsburgh, but my husband’s family is from East Tennessee, so I have heard of the levels of nasty that thunderstorms turn into down there).

                                                  Natural Gas is cheaper than Coal, in current regulatory climate. All our power plants up here are switching.

                                                  As for Solar, I’d be more worried about kudzu than about trees. (Besides, if trees grow so well, you could always just farm those).

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                                                  • Okay, perhaps I should have said no wind. Look at your own map. Green isn’t “good”, it’s bad. Appalachia is especially dark green, which is the bottom of the scale. Wind power follows a square law. We have less than 4 meters/sec, whereas to be economically viable you’d want 8 m/sec or more to put in a wind turbine. That’s why we put wind turbines offshore or in the central plains. We don’t put them in southern Appalachia because they’d produce electricity at four times the cost (that’s really bad) of wind turbine somewhere else, which means only a fool would place them here.

                                                    So Hillary said she’d throw us all out of work and train us for jobs that will never, ever exist here, and thus she didn’t get 20% of the vote in Appalachia.

                                                    And yes, we’re still waiting on the jobs liberals promised us in the Great Depression – and during the Great Society, and pretty much every election before and since. We’ve learned that all they do is lie, right to our faces, all the time.

                                                    Meanwhile Trump is bringing in jobs and investment. Toyota just announced a $1.3 billion expansion in Kentucky, and an aluminum company is investing $1.3 billion in Eastern Kentucky. That might have something to do with Kentucky finally throwing the Democrats out of the state house and going for real jobs instead of imaginary green jobs.

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                                                    • George,
                                                      I hear good things about Kynect. Not so good things about Ocare, from the same people down in Kentucky.

                                                      That mighta had something to do with stuff too.

                                                      We’ll just note that Knoxville is growing tons of Green Jobs, to say that part of your argument is full of shit.

                                                      Liberals promised you electricity, and electricity you got, didn’t you? No More Sad Irons, that was what LBJ said.

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                                                      • Um, we always had electricity. We supply the Northeast with it. Always have, because we’re where the coal is. We’re the fourth largest producer of electricity in the US, and it’s almost entirely coal fired, and it’s entirely private sector – by coal barons and big evil energy companies.

                                                        Knoxville and Oak Ridge do have over 10,000 green jobs, a lot of it in waste cleanup, as they have old nuclear sites to maintain. Tennessee also has three wind turbines built by TVA. They produce 3 MW. That’s almost enough to heat Al Gore’s outdoor swimming pool.

                                                        Kentucky has no wind turbines.

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                                                        • “Always had” since the TVA, you mean.

                                                          I was more impressed by Oak Ridge before a nun broke onto it, honestly. (A friend of a friend used to do security there, before that incident).

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                                                          • We’ve never had TVA, which is in Tennessee. Our main electric companies are Kentucky Utilities, started in 1912, and Louisville Gas and Electric, which started in 1913 from a parent gas and water company founded in 1838, that had invested in the electric market in 1890, and bought Louisville Lighting, a company that was founded in 1903.

                                                            The TVA wasn’t even founded until 1933, and mostly just gained control of long-existing private companies.

                                                            And again, Hillary was wanting to shut all our coal plants down (which provide 83% of our electricity) and train us for imaginary green jobs that will never exist here, unless of course we just start clear cutting our forests for wood pellets. And we still have some old growth forests, not touched in 150 years.

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                                                                  • notme,
                                                                    Well, It does provide perspective, and it does say “hey, this might be an easy thing to ameliorate!” rather than “OH, My GOD you made a PITTSBURGH” (where, when the steel left, so did a very significant part of the populace).

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                                                                • Thankfully nobody here works in rail and truck transport, or in power plants, or in maintenance of coal mining and transport equipment. We outsourced all those jobs to India and Bangladesh.

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                                                                  • Cali’s EcoFriendly Carbon Tax (or the “they might make that soon” if they haven’t already) is keeping mines in WV in business. Seriously, look it up (something about capturing waste products from the mines, which they can do more efficiently than installing scrubbers on Cali power plants).

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                                                                    • This sounds silly on its face. California is doing its best to put coal-fired generators out of business: (a) California in-state generation from coal is insignificant, and is all by-product using waste heat from industrial processes; (b) California out-of-state production and purchases from coal-fired plants will hit zero in about 2025; and (c) no one ships steam coal from KY to power plants in the western states.

                                                                      In the other direction, western coal has no doubt done a lot of damage to KY coal mining. The Scherer power plant in Georgia, largest coal-fired plant in the United States, is fueled exclusively with Wyoming Powder River basin low-sulfur coal.

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                                                  • This is basic engineering. You are stuck on the voodoo level of technological development. We don’t put dams in a desert. The Sun God isn’t going do his magic and destroy the enemy fleet. It does’t matter who Kentucky elects, he’s not going to double our wind speeds. Neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton can change our geography or the weather. Enter the modern world of science and give up magical thinking.

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                                                    • George,
                                                      Ain’t never heard of the Hoover Dam?
                                                      Kentucky would benefit from more money sent towards horse racing, and less towards “saving the coal mines.” I know you know that too.

                                                      Now, if we were to talk WV, that might be a different story…

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                                                • What Appalachia *can* have, however, is hydroelectric. Which also are a lot more consistent than wind and solar…yes, sometimes they cannot function, if water is low enough, but that’s generally known well in advance.

                                                  But those have to be built *in advance*, as it can take a lot longer to build a lake. You can’t just throw them up in a week, like you can a wind turbine.

                                                  Coastal states also have the option of tidal energy. Or even, yes, wind energy on the coast.

                                                  But the thing is…none of that has anything to do with *jobs*.

                                                  However, it is, in reality, somewhat stupid to look at energy policy via jobs it will provide. Mostly because coal is actually bleeding jobs *anyway*.

                                                  It has become more and more automated. And paradoxically communities that have long let coal companies get away with anything because they provided all the jobs are discovering that letting them do *mountaintop removal*, uh, means they don’t have to hire anywhere near the number of people. Oops.

                                                  All the people talking about the ‘war on coal’, need to go take a good hard look at the amount of coal produced in the US vs. the amount of people working in the coal industry.

                                                  Because the amount of people has been dropping for *decades*, in a manner completely unrelated to the amount of coal.

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                                                    • Sure no war on coal. Keep up the fantasy.

                                                      I actually didn’t say there wasn’t a war on coal. There certainly are people trying to reduce the use of coal to almost zero.

                                                      I said, that while pro-coal people are trying to win *that* war under the guise of ‘saving jobs’, they might want to notice that coal mining *employment* has been falling forever, in a manner completely unconnected to the amount of coal mined.

                                                      We’re reaching the very stupid point where Republicans may ‘save coal’, and all those ex-coal miners look around and notice that they *still* don’t really have any jobs, somehow. Doh!

                                                      Here are the chart that *everyone* needs to look at before having any sort of opinion on this:

                                                      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Coal_and_jobs_in_the_United_States#Coal_mining_jobs

                                                      And scroll down slightly to the chart by year. And look *really hard* at that last column, where it shows the ‘Production Per Miner’. That, right there, is where all the coal jobs went.

                                                      Taking the newest stats, the 2015 ones, from:
                                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining_in_the_United_States
                                                      there were about 50,000 miners, mining 896,000 tonnes of coal, which means the ‘Production Per Miner’ had reach 17.92 for 2015!

                                                      Let’s round and say there were 225,000 coal jobs in 1980, or approximately 4.5 times what there are now.

                                                      To get coal *jobs* back to that amount of jobs, we’d obviously have to produce 4.5 as much coal we currently do. (This is pretending there is no economies of scale that would show up, and also that new coal mines wouldn’t be designed more efficiently. In reality, we’d need probably need even more.)

                                                      4.5 times what we mined in 2015 is 4,032,000 tonnes.

                                                      Which is literally more than three and a half times more coal production than *at any point in US history*. There is *no conceivable economic model* where we can suddenly need 4 million tonnes of coal!

                                                      In fact, if we suddenly wanted to power the entire country with coal (And had the coal plants in place), we *still* wouldn’t need that much coal! We’d need about half that, in fact. Somewhere around 2 million tons, or slightly more than double what we make.

                                                      Which would take a bit more than 100,000 coal miners. Let’s round up to 125,000, because there’s another 10% of coal *isn’t* going to power plants.

                                                      That means, of the 175,000 jobs lost in the coal industry since 1980, it is *impossible* for more than 75,000 of them to return, even if *all our power plants operate entirely off coal*.

                                                      The rest, aka, more than half the jobs, are *permanently gone* due to technological advances in coal mining, even in the insane hypothetical scenario where we tear down literally every non-coal power plant that exists and replace them all with coal plants!

                                                      And this is, I should add, pretending that the technological advances *are finished*. That we will be forever at one coal miner only able to supply 18 tonnes of coal a year. This is obviously not true.

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                                                      • Given dem efforts to shut down coal fired plants of course we may not need that much coal. Some may be gone bc of tech but should the govt force the others out?

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                                                        • Some may be gone bc of tech but should the govt force the others out?

                                                          The government, in some sort of hypothetical universe where they are responsible for *all* reduction in coal, have managed to reduce the total demand for coal…uh, none since 1980. We mined 829,700 tonnes in 1980, and 896,000 tonnes in 2015.

                                                          Coal employment, again, has dropped by *80%* over that time. Coal production basically the same, 80% of the workforce laid off.

                                                          But, okay, I’ve already proven we cannot *possibly* get back to the coal heyday of 1980, as that level of employment would require producing basically twice the amount of coal we could even *conceivable* use if we made our entire economy coal based. I don’t need to keep harping on it. Maybe what we should be trying to counter is the more *recent* drop in production since 2006.

                                                          So let’s attempt to go back to 2006. Where we mined 1,162,750 tonnes, the most ever, and employed 82,595 workers.

                                                          ‘Now’, in 2015, we now mine 23% less. Which means, we should be employing 66,000 people to do that, at 2006 levels of productivity.

                                                          We are instead employing 50,000 people.

                                                          Only nine years, and 25% of the workforce that *should* be there, even at reduced production levels, has *totally vanished*. They’re simply not needed anymore.

                                                          In fact, technically speaking, you might notice that 25% is larger than 23%. Yes, over the past nine years, slightly more mining jobs have vanished *due to increasing productivity*, than by any reduction in production that could possibly be blamed on the government.

                                                          But, wait, shouldn’t production of coal be *increasing*? Why am I assuming we’d go back to 2006? Wouldn’t we have more than that now if the government hadn’t meddled? Not just a return to 2006, but more?

                                                          Well, no. Coal production held basically flat 1990 to 2006. There’s really not a lot of reason it would go up above that, mostly because we’ve basically countered our increasing population with increasing energy efficiency. We’ve basically stopped using ‘more energy’, and electrical production is holding steady.

                                                          Again, I present all this information *without presenting any arguments* that the government is not the cause of most of the coal production decrease. They *aren’t* the cause (As demonstrated by other countries making massive investments in other forms of energy production.), but if I bring up *that* allows people to wander off into the weeds of subjective nonsense about the results of complicated government policies.

                                                          So I’m not touching that. I’m merely pointing that the *math* that proves that ‘working in the coal industry’ is a disappearing job, and that fact is happening *regardless* to the amount of coal produced, so there is literally no ‘pro-coal’ government policy that could stop that.

                                                          By 2020, if we keep course on coal reduction, we will have 20,000 jobs in the coal industry. If we reverse course, go balls-to-the-wall on using coal, back up it slightly more than million tonnes, we will have…30,000 jobs.

                                                          By 2030, if somehow we are still burning coal, there will like 1000 supervisors and inspectors, and that’s it. Even if we are mining a million tonnes of coal.

                                                          We have probably reached peak coal-miner employment. It will probably *never* be as high again as it is this very second. Maybe there’s one last spike in there, maybe some crazy government policy might bump it up to 55,000 before the last hurrah, but it is *done*. It is *over*.

                                                          Anyone says otherwise, anyone who indicates there is some government policy that can bring back enough coal mining to save those dying towns, or, hell, anyone who even indicates they can keep the amount of jobs *level*, is a liar, or completely uninformed. (Oh, well, both.)

                                                          No one *is ever* getting their coal mining job back.

                                                          Politicians need to stop *lying to them* about that.

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                                                          • All this screaming and effort over a mere 50,000 jobs spread out over several states.

                                                            For Pete’s sake, talk about screwed up priorities. I

                                                            Arby’s employs half again as many people as there are coal miners. Solar employees five times –260,000 workers– as many n the US alone.

                                                            Unless you actually work in a freaking coal mine, whining about disappearing coal jobs is BS political posturing. There aren’t enough of them.

                                                            Now truck drivers? Taxi drivers? Those are millions of jobs that are looking down the barrel of extinction. But they don’t seem to get the conservative foot-kissing that 50,000 miners do.

                                                            Weird, right?

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                              • The entire political process is about people stripping their opponents statements of context and trying to associate them with unpopular opinion.

                                Shouldn’t “the most qualified candidate in history” have known that?

                                That’s a serious question and not an attempt at a gotcha. Citing Comey and the Russians as the reasons that Hillary lost is willfully blind to all the ways that Hillary wasn’t a particularly great candidate and her campaign wasn’t particularly compelling outside of the group of people who were already going to vote for her no matter what.

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                                • Shouldn’t “the most qualified candidate in history” have known that?

                                  Strangely enough, I can think of examples like this–where something gets pulled out of context and pointed to as proof of a candidate’s perfidy–that apply to a ton of candidates, including quite a few who won.

                                  Citing Comey and the Russians as the reasons that Hillary lost is willfully blind to all the ways that Hillary wasn’t a particularly great candidate and her campaign wasn’t particularly compelling outside of the group of people who were already going to vote for her no matter what.

                                  This argument only makes sense if Comey and the Russians had no real impact on the race, and we have quite a bit of evidence that suggests the opposite is true.

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                                  • This argument only makes sense if Comey and the Russians had no real impact on the race,

                                    Comey and Russians had an effect on the outcome because those events effected people who already didn’t like Clinton, Pillsy. They already viewed her as a bad candidate, sufficiently so that the merest nudge – the Oct Comey letter – was enough for them to flip. The Comey letter and DNC hack can be identified as causes of the outcome, but only by obfuscating the reasons for why that was the case: a pervasive dislike and distrust of Clinton’s policies and person in the relevant voters.

                                    Add: remember that everyone was aware who the alternative was!

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                                    • They already viewed her as a bad candidate, sufficiently so that the merest nudge – the Oct Comey letter – was enough for them to flip.

                                      The idea that a completely unprecedented intervention in an election on the part of the FBI–which was subsequently treated as a major, even “game changing” event by pretty much every media outlet–constitutes “the merest nudge” seems, well, incredibly strange. What would a major push constitute, in your opinion?

                                      The Comey letter and DNC hack can be identified as causes of the outcome, but only by obfuscating the reasons for why that was the case: a pervasive dislike and distrust of Clinton’s policies and person in the relevant voters.

                                      There was a pervasive dislike and distrust of Trump’s policies and person, as well–indeed, it’s implicit in your discussion of why the election came out the way it did, as people who disliked both candidates broke to him.

                                      But this severely undermines your case, because Trump won, yet he was more disliked than she. Indeed, we’re left looking for asymmetries, and among the most glaring asymmetries are the behavior of the Russians [1], the FBI [2], and elected officials in Washington [3].

                                      Also, we’re left saying, “Well, maybe members of the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, but that’s not nearly as bad as failing to campaign in Wisconsin.”

                                      [1] Explicitly favoring Trump and embarking on a partly criminal campaign to undermine Clinton.

                                      [2] Repeatedly, publicly playing up its investigation into Clinton, even with an October Surprise, while downplaying its investigation of Trump.

                                      [3] For various reasons, effectively covering for the Russian interference.

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                                      • You’re still arguing after the fact, tho. If not for the low level of committment in her bottom end favorables, the Comey letter wouldn’t have mattered.

                                        I’m not arguing that it didn’t have an impact, but that the impact it had was on voters whose commitment to Clinton was easily tipped. Which again, given her opponent, I take as evidence that she was a weak candidate going into the election and who’s biggest political problems – including the email scandal – were self-inflicted.

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                                      • pillsy,
                                        What, Walker wasn’t the gamechanger?
                                        What the hell?
                                        Ravenstaahl had an FBI investigation talk him out of running for mayor again.
                                        This is a NORMAL thing. FBI kinda takes corruption seriously you may have noticed.

                                        Clinton? Well, she had gotten to the big people in the FBI. Took half the FBI handing in resignation letters to get Weiner’s laptop looked at. Don’t beat up on Comey for being in a lose-lose situation.

                                        Clinton had quid pro quos out the wazoo since well before the 2008 election. That’s why Obama had to give her Secretary of State — if she didn’t make good on some of her tab, it wasn’t looking good for her.

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                                      • pillsy,
                                        FBI not symmetric?
                                        We had walker out, Rubio out before 2008. This is simply what they do.
                                        I’m sorry, the FBI is in the Democrats favor, but that’s the cold truth (mostly because Democrats don’t run corrupt politicians as high as the president often).

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                                    • everyone was aware who the alternative was!

                                      Well, sort of. Everyone was aware he was a terrible candidate. But back then he hadn’t abandoned all his campaign positions and was still promising better healthcare and no medical cuts (for example). Now he’s just a bog-standard GOP platform (approximated through the least-competent lens in the last 100 years)

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                                • To clarify, , I have never argued that Hillary was “the most qualified candidate in history” or that the comment was a smart one to make… either in terms of substance or tone.

                                  Rather, I think if we are going to discuss what was said and how it was said and whether people who are referring to it are coming from a bubble informed by sound bites or not, that looking at the entire quote would go a long way towards helping us get there.

                                  And yet the response you offered was argumentative as if I took a stand other than, “Here is the actual quote.”

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                                  • That was a question to thread more than a direct response to you, .

                                    This whole topic is very interesting, but also a frustrating one. I spent the whole election season making a series of points against the inevitability of the Hillary landslide. I still thought that she would win, but I thought it would be close. The 538 odds seem about right to me.

                                    The idea that Hillary was going to ride some wave of women and minorities to victory was always deeply flawed. And every time that I pointed that out here in the comments section, and elsewhere, people would inevitably push back and tell me how blind I was to some other person’s perspective. Well, turns out that was exactly 180 degrees wrong.

                                    And now the same folks who were telling me I was wrong, when I wasn’t, are using the same bad model to tell me that I’m wrong now. There’s not much I can say to that, except to point it out and except that some people will never update their model with new information when that information goes against what they want to believe.

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                                    • Ah, got it. Thanks for clarifying…

                                      “…some people will never update their model with new information when that information goes against what they want to believe.”

                                      Yes.

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                                • Citing Comey and the Russians as the reasons that Hillary lost

                                  Three reactions.

                                  1. The election is over. The idiot won. Stop relitigating it.
                                  2. You’ve slipped an extra “the” in there, to allow you to tilt at straw-men
                                  3. Every campaign that’s ever lost has lost for more than one reason. Comey and Russians are two of the reasons HRC lost, unless you think they somehow helped her.

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                                  • This is one of those comments that I could call frustrating, but it’s really more amusing.

                                    A bunch of people were having a conversation about the election and I came in relatively late and made a point, but you decided to respond to my comment. And a bunch of folks are making claims about the efficacy of Comey’s action and his motivations, but you decide to call me out for “relitigating” the election.

                                    I’m sure that’s just a random error. It’s not because you were emotionally invested in a particular election outcome.

                                    But hey, I’ll bite. Exactly what strawman did I construct?

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                                  • nevermoor,
                                    Well there’s also the alternative of “The Russians didn’t do jack shit”
                                    I mean, are you REALLY going to say that the Israelis and the Saudi Arabians helped/hurt Clinton?
                                    If you can’t even fucking say which way those two swung, and they had visible spies in Clinton’s own camp, then shut the hell up about which way the Russians swung.

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                      • The problem with the comment is that it’s easy to chop it for rebroadcast so that all the nuance – including the very existence of the second basket ends up on the cutting room floor and all anyone remembers is the sound bite version.

                        I’m not saying that the full verbatim statement was the wisest thing to say – for all that it’s turned out to be literally true.

                        But the real lesson is: don’t, in front of a camera, say anything that requires a qualifier, because your enemies will, intentionally or not, forget the qualifier ever existed. Don’t say anything nuanced because the nuance will be first to go when it’s repeated at the water cooler. Stick to clear, declarative statements.

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                        • Of course, if someone follows your advice — they get criticized for speaking only in soundbites, for sounding “formulaic” and for not being “authentic”.

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              • pillsy,
                Because the FBI ratfucked Walker, and Rubio too?
                Since when is it “fair” to drop an October Surprise like Trump’s “locker room” disgusting shit??

                You aren’t apparently familiar with how the FBI works. Or How Clinton works, or anything.

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  3. Nate Silver said something to the effect that at this point nothing in the statistical everything suggests a something. I’m pretty much in that camp, myself. We could be on the front end of a Trumpist (not Trump) wave or we could be on the front end of a Dem wave. Or neither. We’ll only know after the results for 2018 are in, and even then people will disagree on what those results really mean.

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  4. As far as I can tell, the official explanations are that Trump deliberately picked people from districts that would go red no matter what.

    The fact that democrats came close to winning is a sign of how weak Trump is. Not of how weak the Democrats are.

    There’s no reason for the Democrats to change anything.

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  5. I think the fellow in Montana assaulted the reporter two days before the election, and was charged the day before. If it had happened a week or two before, he probably would have lost.

    I can easily see myself voting for a candidate who just the day before was charged with a crime, finding out about it a few days later, and shaking my head…

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    • Sure.
      We all know how Old Blue Eyes lost all that popularity siccing thugs on photogs to rip the film out of the camera.

      Sure.

      I can easily see myself voting for a candidate who just the day before was charged with a crime, finding out about it a few days later, and shaking my head…

      I can see myself cheering if Trump said, “I inhaled, and I meant it.”

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      • Rather depends on the crime, yeah. I’d consider time in the pen for small time marijuana cultivation an asset in a politician. Assault, not so much…

        I’d not be so happy about Trump being linked with pot in particular, as I wouldn’t want his behavior linked with a cause I favour.

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  6. The short answer is that it doesn’t matter.

    A narrow defeat means an emboldened local party, and the next election is in a year (with strong GOP majorities in the house already). Plus, who knows what happens next in the Montana saga.

    One of the things that creates a wave election is the majority having to devote resources defensively on districts that used to be freebies. I think narrow defeats in double-digit R districts is a good sign on that front, however the special election needle falls.

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  7. With the caveat that 2018 is still along ways away, much less 2020, I think I’d much rather be a DNC strategist right now than his RNC counterpart. Does a day go by that Trump doesn’t make you go WTAF?

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      • How far away is “Mister Brightside”?

        No frickin clue. I have no idea who or what Mister Brightside is and I’m too lazy/don’t care enough to Google it. I’ll take your word for it that 13 years is the right answer and that the question is somehow germane to the topic at hand.

        To return to the question posed by the OP my take is that Trump in combination with a GOP Congress that doesn’t particularly want him there and doesn’t know how to deal with him and his base is doing serious damage to the GOP brand. These special elections should have been walk-away home runs and they turned into squeakers. This suggests to me that if congressional elections were held tomorrow the Dems could easily retake the House and possibly the Senate.

        But we aren’t having elections tomorrow; they aren’t happening for another year and a half.

        There’s a hell of a lot that can happen in the interim that can affect the prospects in either direction. We talk about “The Base” a lot, but in reality, as evidenced by the primaries, both parties really have (at least) two bases. And these bases are going to react in different ways to various occurrences like impeachment — or no impeachment, Ryan and McConnell getting dream legislation passed — or not getting it passed, etc. The list of scenarios is practically infinite and if there’s one thing you can say about the Trump administration is that predictability isn’t a strong suit.

        So yeah, 2018 is a long ways off.

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        • So then the question becomes “would I rather have something like ‘The Republican’ or something like ‘The Democrat’?” come 2018.

          Assuming that we won’t *REALLY* be able to measure this oh-so-important question until October 2018, we’re stuck asking “well, what do voters hope to get?”

          So we should probably ask which party is making more absurd promises wrt Medicare.

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          • Your brain just sort of works different, doesn’t it? LOL Honestly, Jay, I like you man, but I have a hard time understanding what you’re saying or where you’re coming from. Can you expand/elucidate/clarify for this dumb old truck driver?

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            • Where I’m coming from is mostly that we don’t even know what to measure.

              For what it’s worth, I 100% agree with this point that you made:

              These special elections should have been walk-away home runs and they turned into squeakers. This suggests to me that if congressional elections were held tomorrow the Dems could easily retake the House and possibly the Senate.

              The best analogy I can think of is Clinton vs. Sanders in the primary and how well Sanders did. Sure, Clinton ended up winning. But Sanders doing well should have been an indicator.

              But, again, we don’t know what the electorate wants.

              I think we don’t know the right questions.

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              • “The best analogy I can think of is Clinton vs. Sanders in the primary and how well Sanders did. Sure, Clinton ended up winning. But Sanders doing well should have been an indicator.”

                Well, sure. Thing is, it can be an indicator of whatever we want. Like, maybe it’s an indicator of how dangerous the White Male Misogynist demographic is and how we need extra-special legal protections for and privileges given to Not-White Not-Males. Maybe it’s an indicator that the electorate is full of wooly-headed fantasists who haven’t got the stomach to deal with real-world political issues and therefore aren’t worth listening to.

                “But, again, we don’t know what the electorate wants.”

                Or maybe we do but we don’t want them to want that thing.

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                • My take on it is that you saw a lot of non-elite types on both sides of the aisle looking at the establishment pols and asking, “Now just wtf have you actually done for me lately?” And I seriously doubt that the establishment types have really grokked that yet, or perhaps they’re psychologically incapable of processing the repudiation.

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                  • And that doesn’t refute Jaybird’s contention that while we can tell that people don’t want what they’re being given, it’s hard to tell what they actually do want.

                    And that the result is that we keep getting given the same thing; people searching for their keys under the lamppost because the light’s better. The issue is that we hear from these people that all the rest of us ought to be looking under the lamppost too because we have to start searching somewhere and there’s no use going for the hardest problem straight off because being able to show some progress in the search is as much a victory as finding the keys.

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                    • And that doesn’t refute Jaybird’s contention that while we can tell that people don’t want what they’re being given, it’s hard to tell what they actually do want.

                      So, the contention is that all people don’t want the totality of what they’re being given? Or is it that there are elements within that totality which all people don’t want? Or that for everyone, there is an element within what everyone is being given which they don’t want?

                      If that’s Jaybird’s contention, I don’t think anything important follows from it other than democracy and policy are hard. Which everyone already knew. Hence, politics.

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                      • ” the contention is that all people don’t want the totality of what they’re being given?”

                        The contention is exactly what he said: That we don’t even know how to ask what people want, much less what we should be asking about, or how we would know whether or not they’re actually getting it.

                        Like, just asking “what do you want”, there are doctoral theses involved in the definition of every word in that sentence as it relates to the question being asked and the information that you want to get.

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        • This analysis seriously misses two things:

          1) Efficient allocation of resources.
          When Delay was majority whip, he set a record for number of bills passed by less than five votes. That’s all it takes. Move the superfluous elsewhere to where it counts.

          2) Elections are about turnout.
          With 1) a Republican President, 2) a Republican Senate, and 3) a Republican House, nonetheless, people still came out to vote to make sure one more R made it in.
          From the voters’ view, it makes sense. Do you want to eat from the table, or crawl on the floor for crumbs?
          Having a representative from the majority party in the House means it’s a lot more likely that representative will be able to deliver the goods for the people back home.

          ATTN: Idealists:
          Pragmatism is also an Ideal.
          Getting things done counts. Getting all you can take is where most people are at anyway. Welcome to the Real World.

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          • Not sure I see your point. Thus far the unholy triad of Republican House/Senate/President doesn’t seem to be able to gather its feces in a pile long enough to actually do much. Apart from installing Gorsuch what have they accomplished? That could change of course, and that’s one of the known unknowns.

            As to the second point, I certainly agree that turnout matters. Are you contending that special elections, by virtue of being special with all that entails, aren’t necessarily indicative of prospects in a regular election? I would agree, but I’m not sure why you would take comfort in the fact that the Republican – with substantial support from the national party and a late smear campaign – barely managed to retain a safe seat against a poorly funded Democratic challenger with basically no support from the national party. I don’t want to harsh your buzz but SRSLY?

            In the end I agree with North about it being way too early to prognosticate but the signs and portents at this point don’t seem to favor the Republicans seems to me.

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  8. I believe the Dems put little money into Kansas.

    And 60-75% of votes in Montana were cast early, before the body slam.

    So while none of those are wins, there is important context to keep in mind.

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    • Nevertheless, at some point, the Dems have to put up a win somewhere outside the NE urban corridor (today, with Boston exurbs spilling over, NH counts as urban corridor) and the urban/suburban West*. US House or Senate seats; flip legislative chambers; gain non-incumbent governorships. With occasional weird years, they’ve been losing the (Census Bureau defined) South and Midwest for a long time.

      Put it this way — if Republicans can win the South, the Midwest, and the rural/exurb portions of the rest of the country, they can control the federal government.

      *Much of the West is peculiar, in the sense that there’s a relief valve that helps Republicans: ballot initiatives. Montana restores medical marijuana against the wishes of the Republicans in the state legislature; Arizona passes independent redistricting and minimum wage hikes; recreational marijuana in Colorado and Nevada.

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      • I don’t disagree with that Michael, I just don’t know how much it says about the Dems that they weren’t able to pull off wins in special elections in safe Republican districts. That’s sort of the point of the OP, right?

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  9. Does this mean that we have arrived at the permanent election cycle?

    Does anyone think that this is a positive development?

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  10. There was a lot of talk that Democrats could flip a traditionally overwhelming Republican House district in Montana. After a lot of effort and a lot of money, and a full-on body slam and subsequent transparent lie about it, the Republicans hung onto the seat, albeit just barely.

    I’m not sure about this. Unlike the Kansas and Georgia race, I hadn’t heard a single word about the Montana race until literally the day before the race. It wasn’t something the Democrats were expecting…until the assault.

    Then suddenly half the people were saying ‘This could get a win for the Democrats!’, and then everyone else was like ‘Most people already voted, guys’.

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    • Unlike the Kansas and Georgia race, I hadn’t heard a single word about the Montana race until literally the day before the race.

      Idle speculation, in no particular order…

      The largest city is a hair over 100,000 people. The state is one of the most rural by population in the country. Not territory that the Democratic national party organization looks on favorably. By contrast, KS-4 is 80% non-rural (Wichita) and GA-6 is Atlanta suburbs.

      Montana lacks the specific minority groups favored by the Democratic national party.

      Quist ran as an economic populist. The Dem national party is still torn over this. Bullock’s winning campaign for governor included streamlining regulation on small business, requiring state-funded projects to hire heavily in-state, etc (to put words in his mouth, plenty of “Montana first”).

      Quist asked for money, but wanted the national party kept at a distance because, well, “coastal elite” is a thing in Montana, and not one you want to be associated with.

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