Those Who Missed Trump’s Election Now Know The One True Thing That Will Defeat Trump™

Probably not. With Il Trumpe’s daily bolus of Twitter-rrhea, there have been many calls to ignore that and focus on the ‘real’ nightmare. This makes little sense to me. Before we get to the post title, it’s worth remembering that over 64 million people voted for Clinton: surely there are enough people to decry ALL THE THINGS. Because I doubt any one single thing in isolation is going to topple Il Trumpe. It will be several things working in concert.

Bashing Il Trumpe’s tweets does serve two purposes. First, it lays the groundwork for the belief that Trump is out-of-control. People will put up with that for as long as he is successful, but when things go south–and this happens to every president–people will not want an erratic, urge-driven president. As the internets might put it, there isn’t just one trick to stop Il Pepe. Second, some of the tweeting really seems to piss Trump off (I’ll discuss what it’s like to have a narcissist as a boss in a future post). Leaving aside any possible entertainment value (we do love publicly funded entertainment!), Trump’s narcissism will lead him to make political mistakes.

But what I really don’t understand is how most centrist and centrist-left thought leader types can be so damn certain they will be able to identify what would stymie Trump. While it was clear that the ‘Clinton Rules’ would be operative (and perhaps the ‘electability’ arguments should have considered this), it wasn’t clear at all that the emails would be the weak link. What Republicans are good at doing is throwing lots of shit against the wall and seeing what sticks (they’re also good at avoiding the consequences of doing so, but that’s beyond the scope of this post). Point being, nobody knows what The One True Thing That Will Defeat Trump™ will be, especially our Mandarin Class betters. So hit him in lots of places and see what works.

An aside: like most post-election analysis, the tweetsplaining is also an example of debate-by-proxy.

Posted in Democrats, Fucking Morons | 2 Comments

Links 11/29/16

Links for you. Science:

Scientists Across the World Are Nervous About Trump, Survey Says
Florida’s decade-old incentive program to lure research institutions is going belly up
Why Fake Data When You Can Fake a Scientist?
New study: Salmonella thrives in salad bags


Yes, Betsy DeVos Can Privatize Large Numbers of Public Schools, with the Help of Red States
An ice skating nonprofit provided a sanctuary for low-income kids. Now its success could be pushing them out.
Trump’s new ed chief is a disaster for Philly
If you’ve ever described people as ‘white working class,’ read this
The End of Identity Liberalism. Or The Re-Branding the Democratic Party
A tree I planted in Shaw 20 years ago was recently chopped down. I see that as a sign of life.
Taking it to the states
Trump Foundation admits to violating ban on ‘self-dealing,’ new filing to IRS shows
Trump’s team of gazillionaires: The self-styled champion of the working class assembles an administration that could be worth as much as $35 billion
DeVos family showers GOP with contributions after DPS vote
How I Detect Fake News
One More Myth About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked
How Much Democratic Cooperation Is Collaboration?
What Happened to Job Killing Robots? Businesses Complain About Shortage of Low-Skilled Workers
Sunday Morning Comin’ Down
How tech and media can fight fake news
What History Tells Us About the Time of Trump

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Marginal Versus Median Voters

In all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the election, one thing that has gone missing by some very smart people is that winning over median Trump voters is a waste of time: they are very unlikely to switch or even stay home.

It’s the marginal voters–those who either are on the fence or choosing between voting Democratic or not voting–who matter. In close elections, whether they be certain states in the electoral college or down ballot races, the margins matter. Democrats aren’t going to win Clay County, Kentucky–or KY for that matter. But we just needed a few more voters–about 100,000 out of over 13 million cast in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin–and Democrats win this election.

While #NotAll hastags make for great snark, they seem to have blinded some on the left to the idea that there are any white working class voters who can be reached. I can’t help but think if Clinton had closed with anti-Trump approaches like this, in those battleground states where the white working class is a significant force (just as in other states, other demographic groups are vital), maybe we would have won this thing:

And for the life of me, I don’t see how this is oppositional to combating racial and gender inequality.

Posted in Democrats, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Links 11/28/16

Links for you. Science:

The Nucleoid Binding Protein H-NS Biases Genome-Wide Transposon Insertion Landscapes
A tale of three dogs
Trump’s plan to defund NASA’s climate research is … yikes
Five reasons why cutting NASA’s climate research would be a colossal mistake
A Belated Thanksgiving: The Atlantic Ocean Is Healing Itself


On Krugman And The Working Class (must-read)
Trump changed everything. Now everything counts (“Our civic momentum is to trust the famous checks and balances and resist any notion of a new era that will require a new kind of response….That instinct is officially obsolete.”)
Ben Carson May Be the Perfect Trump HUD Secretary
Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group
Graydon Carter on Trump’s “Only in America” Election Win
Betsy DeVos and the Wrong Way to Fix Schools (nobody likes her)
Fifty Eyes
Let’s Please Kill Off the “White Supremacy” Fad
Bernie Sanders meets Spike Lee: ‘Where do we go? Where is the hope?’
How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used Facebook Ads to Win the Election
Sanders Statement on Carrier and Outsourcing
Kazin: Even history was against the Democrats
Castro: It’s Complicated!
Everybody Hates Betsy
Many in Milwaukee Neighborhood Didn’t Vote — and Don’t Regret It
Trump calls for mass deportations. This Indian state is already weeding out undocumented Muslims.

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The Best Grifters Get You To Sell Yourself

I’m, of course, referring to this guy (he hates that picture by the way, so don’t spread it around the internet or anything…):


Because here’s what a recent poll found regarding some issues:



Flynn, who was in Japan on the invitation of a U.S. company for which he serves as an adviser, also held talks with a number of other senior Japanese government officials and politicians. They included former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Akihisa Nagashima, a lawmaker of the main opposition Democratic Party who once served as senior vice defense minister.

In his meetings, Flynn is said to have claimed Trump’s controversial campaign-trail remarks were merely part of the rhetoric needed to secure an election win, according to informed sources. His actual policies after taking office would be different from what he said to galvanize his support base, Flynn predicted.

Trump is the same as he’s always been: five-star sizzle for a one-star steak. There’s going to be huge buyer’s remorse (BIGLY!), though so much damage will have been done by then. The thing Trump doesn’t realize is that it’s really hard, over the long term, to bullshit your way out of trouble when the whole world is watching.

Posted in Conservatives, Fucking Morons | 1 Comment

Links 11/27/16

Links for you. Science:

What Happened When a Prison Brought in a Brain Injury Specialist
In The Weeks Before Trump Takes Office, Obama’s Mad Dash To Save Public Lands
Beyond business: Disgraced Theranos bloodied family, friends, neighbors


Protesting Trump, the District of Columbia Way (the reaction Il Trumpe receives from the locals will be very interesting)
This Single Concept Explains Trump’s Many Outrages
Steve Bannon Isn’t a Racist. He’s Worse.
How long before the white working class realizes Trump was just scamming them?
Remembering SEK
Days after Trump spoke to Argentina’s president his stalled Buenos Aires tower project picked up steam
The tricky political optics of resisting Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s Business Dealings Test a Constitutional Limit
Bill Black: Krugman’s Failure to Speak Truth to Power About Austerity
She helped bring down Sheriff Arpaio. Now she’s ready to take on hate nationally.
An Insider’s View: The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America
Democrats: Revoking Trump’s Fast-Track Trade Authority Is Good Policy and Good Politics
What a Betsy DeVos appointment would tell us about Trump’s education plans
A 40-Year Teaching Career Ending After Trump/Hitler Comparison in Mountain View
Hey, This Is Bad: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Is Refusing to Concede An Election He Lost [Updated]
Is Donald Trump’s transition being outsourced to the Heritage Foundation? That’s not good news
Untangling Trump’s Conflicts of Interest
Trump Foundation Received $150,000 Donation In Exchange For 2015 Ukraine Speech
Democrats neither can nor should ditch “identity politics”
Inside the Mayor’s Secretive Search for Schools Chief (Queen Bowser strikes again!)
Donald Trump lost most of the American economy in this election

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You Can Control Your Own Message

Paul Krugman among others has worked himself into high dudgeon over political reporters who accuse the Clinton campaign of not focusing on economic issues–after all, there was so much coverage of the damn emails. Yet the Clinton campaign didn’t help itself either (boldface mine):

If you think back to this year’s presidential campaign and recall a lot of articles mentioning Hillary Clinton’s email troubles and Donald J. Trump’s various controversies, you wouldn’t be wrong. If it seems there were fewer articles about jobs, the economy and taxes, that’s because there were. The temptation to blame news organizations for this imbalance is strong, but there is at least some reason to resist it. Critics have long assailed campaign coverage as focused too much on candidate personality, campaign strategy and assessments of who’s winning, instead of on policies and ideas. But this year, the candidates share the blame.

…But before anyone blames the news media, it’s important to examine what the candidates themselves were talking about over the course of the campaign. If media reports reflect candidate discourse accurately, then it is not merely the media choosing to report on scandals. It might be at least as much the candidates’ choosing to campaign on them that results in unending coverage of traits and characteristics.

To figure out if this was the case, I used data from Kantar Media/CMAG on all the candidates’ campaign ads aired between June and Election Day. I coded all of the appeals in each ad and weighted the appeals by how many times the ads ran on television. Mrs. Clinton made more ads than Mr. Trump, and she vastly out-advertised him, running nearly three times as many ads as he did. All told, over half a million ads were run in 2016 during this period.

The content of the ads is revealing. Both candidates spent most of their television advertising time attacking the other person’s character. In fact, the losing candidate’s ads did little else. More than three-quarters of the appeals in Mrs. Clinton’s advertisements (and nearly half of Mr. Trump’s) were about traits, characteristics or dispositions. Only 9 percent of Mrs. Clinton’s appeals in her ads were about jobs or the economy. By contrast, 34 percent of Mr. Trump’s appeals focused on the economy, jobs, taxes and trade.

Since the start of presidential campaign television advertising in 1952, no campaign has made 76 percent of its television ad appeals about any single topic. On average, traits typically garner about 22 percent of the appeals. The economy typically generates about 28 percent of the appeals. There’s usually much more balance.

You can’t control what the media decides to cover (yet, anyway), but you can control what your message is. You can push that message out to targeted audiences. And if you are going to attack Trump’s character, you can tie it back to economics like this ad does:

We needed a handful of votes in three states in which the white working class matters (just as other demographic groups are critical in other states). Maybe running a campaign targeted at upper-middle class voters, while successful in the primary (that’s who shows up), wasn’t the best strategy when the electoral college is considered. And pages on a website aren’t a targeted message either.

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