The November 25th Thread

Filed in Open Thread by on November 25, 2016

Looks like we didn’t get one up, so here we go:

The Russians tried to re-create their Cold War propaganda machine on the internet this election season. A thing that helped to make “fake news” a thing. Since the US does not censor (mainly) the internet and since Americans still do not get how to vet their news, it seems like we were a sitting target. So now we have a ton of GOPers who think that the Russians are in the business of telling them something truthful about their own country. What a great irony — the group of people who used to be the most reliably fierce Cold Warriors are now being bamboozled by Russia. Because there is no way that the American liberal media could be as reliable as the Russian fake media.

Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.

Don’t remember seeing this in an Open Thread (I’m still on vacation), but Jack Markell and Delaware got a plug in the NYT as a signal of hope for blue collar job creation and job training.

In the wake of the financial crisis, Delaware’s new governor, Jack Markell, and other officials did obvious things, like using stimulus money to stem the damage and even managing to reopen the refinery. But Markell, who’d run as an insurgent Democrat, understood that nostalgia alone wouldn’t help families pay their bills. So he began looking for ways both to save old jobs and to create new ones. His answer wasn’t original — but that’s O.K., because it was right.

In his almost eight years in office, he has made his No. 1 priority lifting the skills of Delaware’s citizens. He worked on traditional education, expanding high-quality pre-K and helping low-income teenagers go to college. And he worked on what academic researchers like Robert Schwartz call “the forgotten half”: the many students who won’t graduate from college but who also need strong skills to find decent jobs. Their struggles are a major reason that America’s work force is no longer considered the world’s most highly skilled.

It’s too early for a final verdict in the state, but the signs are encouraging. High school graduation rates have jumped. Educational attainment is above average — as are incomes. The jobless rate is 4.3 percent.

Fake news is now targeting Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X fame. Some of it specifically led by conservatives doing the bidding of Big Energy. But this is rich:

A similar website called Stop Elon From Failing Again lists its sponsor as a conservative advocacy group called Citizens for the Republic. Diana Banister, a PR executive who serves as CFTR’s executive director, says the site singles out Musk because “he is the epitome of a businessman who gets subsidy after subsidy he doesn’t need.” It’s impossible to tell who’s ultimately paying for CFTR’s campaign against Musk, as the organization is a so-called 501(c)(4) social welfare group, which under federal law doesn’t have to disclose its supporters. Banister says contributors to CFTR are “small donors, mostly” and “nothing competitive with” Musk. Asked whether oil companies antagonistic toward Tesla might be behind the website, Banister says: “We reached out to them [for donations], but they haven’t responded.”

Fun, right? A conservative who objects to a rich guy getting subsidies. But mostly, they object to a rich guy who is looking to disrupt industries that are long time government subsidy receivers without having to produce much for those subsidies.

Kevin Drum notes that Wall Street (specifically the financial markets) seem pretty happy that Clinton lost. No more pesky regulation, it looks like. The thing that confuses me is that so many “progressives” kept insisting that Hillary Clinton was the Wall St shill. Go figure.

Among the sharpest collapses is the link between financial stocks in the S&P 500 and the broader gauge….Shares of banks, asset managers and insurance companies as a group have jumped 11% since election day as investors bet on lighter regulation for the sector under the Trump administration. The financial sector’s performance trounced other groups, such as utilities and consumer staples, each of which are down more than 3%

The U.S. Media Is Completely Unprepared to Cover a Trump Presidency

This may be a repeat too. But I’m a press cynic — wide swaths of the mainstream media haven’t been prepared to cover much of anything from where I sit, except their own complaints of lack of press conferences.

The first reason is that political journalism is highly dependent on official sources, which are chased with abandon. Miller’s defense of stenography seems absurd in hindsight, but there is a grain of truth in it. Government sources are granted a high degree of credibility, and official lies can be difficult to dispute. Contrary leaks from highly placed sources can offer an important check on the official story, but the breadth of the surveillance state built by Bush and Obama, a surveillance state now in Trump’s hands, will make such leaks difficult.

For Trump administration mouthpieces, both public and anonymous, lies will now come with an officiality that will be difficult to contest. The total Republican control of government means that Democrats will struggle to get their objections to carry much weight, much as they did prior to the Iraq War.

Another obstacle is that media objectivity is not a fixed point. It is carefully calibrated to the perception of public opinion, because media organizations do not want to alienate their intended audience. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews offers a telling example of how media figures shift to identify with their perceived audience, which can ultimately mean cozying up to power. During George W. Bush’s absurd war pageantry in May 2003, Matthews remarked that Bush looked like a “high-flying jet star,” and that Bush “won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.” The Iraq War is arguably still ongoing.

The point about media objectivity here is an excellent one and one I hadn’t really thought through.

We Ain’t Gonna Play Trump City

No one goes. No athletes. No championship teams. No performers. No musicians. No celebrities. ALL invitations are rejected. No White House Correspondents Dinners. No Inauguration Balls. No State dinners. No singing Christmas carols with the Trump kids. Nothing. Full boycott. No exceptions. Donald Trump does not get to enjoy the perks of this job. Period.
For the rest of us: we don’t support anyone or any company that enabled Trump. Like those NBA teams, we boycott all Trump businesses. We turn off CNN. We don’t buy Ivanka’s bracelets. This amazing GrabYourWallet campaign will tell you how (@shannoncoulter). We don’t spend money to support the teams of his owners — we don’t buy their merchandise or tickets to their games. We leave their stadiums empty and we reject the advertisers who support them. And we turn away from anyone who violates this ban, no matter how much we might like their work. Any product, team or company associated with Trump is one that tacitly funds bigotry and intolerance.
We vote with our wallets.

I’m in.

About the Author ()

"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (72)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. anonymous says:

    Since the open thread isn’t up yet, let me post this here. It’s from an interview with one of the people who write for the fake news sites.

    “We’ve tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You’ll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out.”

    In case you were wondering why we can’t win elections the way they do.

  2. anonymous says:

    Also, from another Rust Belt Democrat:

    Betras and other Rust Belt Democrats who have found success in blue-collar districts have some advice for their anxious party: the key to recapturing those voters is not a broad change in policy, but a new commitment to listen and act on their economic concerns, and to show Democrats care.

    “You can have all the great ideas on Earth, but if they don’t think you are on their side they aren’t going to listen to you,” said U.S. Representative Dan Kildee, of Flint, Michigan, one of a small cadre of Democrats in Congress who have learned how to win in working-class districts by emphasizing economic solutions.

    Read that again: No broad change in policy, just enough effort to show you’re on their side.

    Footnote: I don’t go searching for stories about this, they’re just in my normal news feeds. So it’s not like I’m cherry-picking.

    I mean, basically, that I’ve got my answer on the election: We failed to woo a segment of the coalition that needs constant ego-stroking, and we need to balance the business-friendliness with some employee-friendliness. Which leads me to believe that the problem isn’t the direction in which to move ahead, but the will and passion to fight.

  3. cassandra_m says:

    I moved your posts over here.

    From where I sit, plenty of self-proclaimed liberals fell for right wing messages about Hillary Clinton this year. And the NYT discovered why. Many of these folks were Bernie supporters and then Jill Stein supporters and they are still pushing the same bullshit. Probably not as rampant or deep as the wingnut bubble, but there is certainly a far left bubble.

  4. ex-anonymous says:

    that was a fascinating story you linked to, cassandra, i was wondering what your take on it is.

  5. cassandra_m says:

    Basically this is a white guy who from a combination of risky choices and the wrong timing got caught on the wrong end of the economic ladder. This is a guy who claims to be for the rules, but wants fewer of them and thinks the fact that Trump flaunts them is a hallmark of good business people. Which makes him complicit in his own economic straits, yes? And he wants to rage at whatever it is he is raging at on twitter and then claim that he doesn’t really mean that.

    So basically this is a guy whose expectations of privilege are really broken. And all of the BS rage is, of course, pointed at exactly the wrong group of people.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    What Sanders Doesn’t Understand About Identity Politics

    What the senator demonstrated with his answer was that he views attempts to diversify the Democratic Party as merely tokenism. Instead of welcoming women and people of color into the coalition in order to listen to their concerns and elevate their agenda, they are welcome only if they adhere to his priorities and agenda.

    Based on what he said, Sanders seems to assume that if a Latina wants to run for office, she comes with no agenda other than being a Latina. He repeats that charge with regards to women of other ethnicities. That is remarkably insulting. And then he suggests that the only way they can become “good enough” is if they embrace his agenda. That is precisely how white men have always attempted to dominate their spheres of influence. If you are a woman or a person of color who has tried to have your voice heard, you’ve experienced that response regularly.

    It is true that in order to end racism and sexism we have to begin by giving women and people of color a seat at the table. But that accomplishes very little unless/until we listen to them and find a way to work with them in coalition. To the extent that Sanders wants to avoid doing that in order to foster division within the Democratic Party, he is merely defending white male supremacy.

    I’m not suggesting that the senator’s agenda is necessarily white male supremacy. If he were to actually listen to what that woman wants to accomplish as the second Latina senator, he might find ways that their vision overlaps. But giving her a seat at the table means that first of all, you don’t assume that she has none, and second of all, you hear her out.


  7. ex-anonymous says:

    thanks for the response, cassandra.

  8. anonymous says:

    When someone says, “I deserve a seat at the table because you have nobody who looks like me here,” the proper response is, “Why not somebody else who looks like you instead of you?” That’s the difference between someone who’s just Latina and someone who’s Latina and agrees with you. Which one would you work with if you had to hire one or the other?

    The only information given with the question was that she wants to be the “second Latina Senator.” I don’t know why she chose to phrase the question that way, but it’s certainly defining herself by her ethnicity.

    This was my favorite part of the rant:

    “then he suggests that the only way they can become “good enough” is if they embrace his agenda. That is precisely how white men have always attempted to dominate their spheres of influence.”

    No, it’s precisely how anyone with influence attempts to “dominate his sphere of influence.” Why would he want to give a leg up to someone he disagrees with? I don’t care what she wants to accomplish as the “second Latina” senator; I care what she wants to accomplish as a senator.

    Politics is a little rougher than some people seem comfortable with. Calling people racists only works if they care what you think, and the more you call them that, the less they care what you think.

  9. cassandra_m says:

    That is precisely how white men have always attempted to dominate their spheres of influence.

    No one doing politics ever thinks that they are going to be 100% aligned with anyone, unless you are the GOP. The difference that this writer is speaking of is that writing off the interests of XX group is to write off natural allies. Because the latina Senator or the African American Senator my indeed have the same economic goals, but they certainly know that the path to getting to those goals and holding on to them is different for their groups. Resolutions of income inequality are important to African Americans, but utterly meaningless if you don’t deal with the civil rights issues as well. Because if you don’t work at holding the line and improving civil rights issues, the only thing you are doing is helping white people who don’t have to live with any of the extra burdens.

    And if you aren’t even going to wrap your mind around the fact that minorities in the US (in the main) still have to work at this business harder, smarter and often in spite of the government, then you might as well be clear that you are interested in economic fairness but only for those who don’t come with any of the civil rights baggage.

  10. anonymous says:

    No, I do know it. But a lot of white people don’t want to hear it, because they don’t consider themselves privileged. No matter how you try to couch the term “institutional racism,” they hear it as “you’re a racist.” Defensive? You betcha. But don’t try to tell them that, either. I wish I had a Confederate dollar for every time someone has told me, volume and pitch rising, that they have nothing to feel guilty for.

    Look, I can’t even get them to understand that if the police can treat minorities as they do, they can treat anyone that way. For whatever reason most white people don’t see themselves as the one getting shot to death for running from a traffic stop. Yeah, you don’t have to say it, I do know what the reason is, but white people seem to resent the hell out of hearing it. So why antagonize them, considering it annoys even a lot of white guys who agree with you? I find “Justice for All” a motivating cry, but apparently not everyone agrees with me.

    The Senate is all the way up to 3% African-American, to match its 3% Latino total. We talk about the system favoring rural areas, but results indicate it even more favors whiteness in the upper chamber. The problem of underrepresentation is real. So the answer to the woman’s question is, “You have to be twice as good, just as it’s always been, to give yourself a shot.”

  11. puck says:

    ” Instead of welcoming women and people of color into the coalition in order to listen to their concerns and elevate their agenda, they are welcome only if they adhere to his priorities and agenda.”

    Identity alone isn’t enough. You have to share priorities and an agenda. That is the same reason you didn’t welcome Michelle Bachmann or Carly Fiorina into your coalition. .

  12. cassandra_m says:

    So why antagonize them, considering it annoys even a lot of white guys who agree with you?

    The fact that they are antagonized is their problem and the thing they have to work through. In the meantime, I am not giving up my own claims and work for justice because some white people are offended.

    Go back and read the Letter from the Birmingham Jail.

  13. cassandra_m says:

    Identity alone isn’t enough. You have to share priorities and an agenda.

    As usual, you aren’t even in the conversation. Go back and re-read the section you highlighted. There is *nothing* there that says that identity is all. It *does* say that there is some intersectionality to be had and without giving up specific issues of civil rights.

  14. puck says:

    “there is some intersectionality to be had”

    This is the kind of language and thought that lost the election.

  15. Steve Newton says:

    This is the kind of language and thought that lost the election.

    Ah, then intellectual thought lost the election, and the sooner we jettison that, the quicker we’ll get the rubes back in the fold?

    I think cassandra writes on a liberal/progressive blog in the precise language she expects political wonks to be able to parse pretty easily. I don’t think she’d write political advertising the same way.

  16. puck says:

    “there is some intersectionality to be had and without giving up specific issues of civil rights.”

    There is NO proposal on the table to give up civil right issues or to trade them for anything else, except in the minds of some defenders of identity politics, who find it a useful smear.

  17. pandora says:

    If we are trying to win back white Trump voters it’s pretty hard to separate Civil Rights from what they voted for – it was part (a yuge part) of the Trump package.

  18. puck says:

    In the news right now is Trump trying to convince Carrier to keep its air conditioner factory in Indiana instead of moving it to Mexico. I suppose it’s a racist pro-white factory?
    I’d rather Obama had done it his own way, but he didn’t. And now the optics are good for Trump.

  19. puck says:

    Speaking of identity politics…. here’s 50 Dems who would rather be in the minority than in their “own special place in hell”:

    Female lawmakers are lining up to form the backbone of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) campaign to hold on to her leadership position atop the House Democratic Caucus.

    Sixty-five women will vote in Wednesday’s House Democratic leadership elections, and 50 of them have signed on to a letter declaring support for Pelosi’s bid to lead her caucus for an eighth term.

    To be sure, Pelosi’s expected support comes from a diverse coalition she has held together since becoming the party’s leader in 2003.
    Yet women are likely to make up more than half of the minimum 100 votes she needs to win the leadership race against Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio).

    Among many female Democrats, there’s a sense of loyalty toward one of their own.

  20. ex-anonymous says:

    “intersectionality.” how could regular folks fail to respond to that? who would worry about having a job when “intersectionality” is on the table — even after they learned what it meant? save it for salon.

  21. cassandra_m says:

    There is NO proposal on the table to give up civil right issues or to trade them for anything else, except in the minds of some defenders of identity politics

    Well sure there is. Otherwise, *you* wouldn’t be here defending it, right?

    If you have to speak about the end of Identity Politics then you are definitely communicating that civil rights issues are no longer on the table. And again, that communicates that you have no idea about the lives of all of the minorities that you are dismissing. For plenty of us, the civil rights is of a piece with economic justice or equality. You can’t separate them. There is no “trickle down theory” of economic justice that makes the civil rights issues moot. Except for white people.

  22. cassandra_m says:

    save it for salon.

    If someone here is speaking about something you do not understand, the graceful thing is to ask that person what is meant. Take the time to freakin’ educate yourself, right? If you find yourself in the position of dismissing language you do not understand and that you refuse to do the work to understand, then STFU. Don’t dismiss it and remind people of how limited you really are.

  23. ex-anonymous says:

    i know what intersectionality means. i read salon. i’m just saying there’s a lot of bullshit in it.

  24. Dave says:

    “most white people don’t see themselves as the one getting shot to death for running from a traffic stop.”

    Actually, most white people don’t see themselves as running from a traffic stop. Simply put, they do not identify with those who do run from traffic stops.

    You have to get them to empathize. If you don’t create empathy, it’s just someone who is challenging authority. White people don’t understand that because most of them have never been in a situation where challenging authority is necessary.

    In fact, most white people who are parents, have more empathy with the cops because they have been in a situation where one of their children just refuses to comply. My son just walked away and refused to stay in the room or in the house. What was I to do? Run after him and physically restrain him? Beat him? Shoot him? I wasn’t just angry, I was also fearful. If he didn’t obey, that means I was powerless.

    Wouldn’t that be similar to the cop’s situation? Wouldn’t white people (or perhaps any people) be more inclined to empathize with the cop?

    Obviously I recognize the wrong of being shot simply due to running from a stop, but I also have difficulty comprehending (and subsequently empathizing) with the need to run from a traffic stop.

  25. puck says:

    Using words with more syllables doesn’t mean your argument is more “intellectual.” That is a dumb person’s idea of how a smart person talks.

  26. puck says:

    Cassandra claims there is a “proposal on the table to give up civil right issues or to trade them for anything else” and that I am defending it.

    OK, now prove it. Link please, or stand exposed as a smear artist.

  27. cassandra_m says:

    I’m not making any claims of intellectualism. But I don’t write here thinking that I write for first graders. And I’m not going to start.

  28. puck says:

    Your links do not prove what you were challenged to prove. Smear artist (sneer).

  29. pandora says:

    Some of these comments bothered me, puck.

    “‘I’m not even sure how to address some of these comments. Obviously, sexism is alive and well among some Progressive men.”

    Feminist hyper-vigilance weakens progressives, and contradicting that hyper-vigilance is not sexism. I would hope progressives can focus on real issues of women’s rights, on which there is real work to be done. But even so, new gains in women’s rights are being made at a breathtaking clip.

    Most of the issues that make women’s lives difficult are the same issues that make men’s lives difficult. Economic power, by which I mean having actual discretionary income, would advance women’s power and equality in society more than anything else at this time. The single greatest, most immediate improvement in women’s rights would be an increase in the minimum wage. To $15/hr.” [emphasis mine]


    “Also not seeing what you consider “real issues of women’s rights”

    I am not terribly concerned about the middle and upper-income professional women I know. They seem to have rights in spades.

    I do have concerns for lower income Americans of either gender and those who are now falling into the lower incomes. Lower income women are particularly affected by lack of access to child care. It’s time the schools just keep the kids until 6pm and feed them dinner. In the 20th century women wanted the right to work, but somebody forgot to tell them that they would HAVE to work.

    Lower income women at some point decided it was OK and sometimes even preferable to raise children by themselves on their own income. Partly this is cultural, but mostly it is driven by lack of economic opportunity for the fathers. Access to birth control and abortion is important but is not the whole story. [emphasis mine]

    There were also comments about Social Justice Warriors and “I’m much more concerned about being able to collect my social security and not having it go to feed tax cuts for the 1% than I am social issues.

    There are more comments like these, which, to me, send a message. If I’ve misread these then I apologize, but this message seemed pretty clear to me.

  30. anonymous says:

    “The fact that they are antagonized is their problem and the thing they have to work through.”

    Really? The way they work through it is to vote for Trump. It’s not just their problem once they do that.

    You once again confuse the fight for justice with political campaigning. Martin Luther King did not pitch his tent among the politicians. Once again you confuse the needs of campaigning with the motivating principles of the left. This is about how you campaign, not how you govern. Do you think Trump is going to govern according to what he said in the campaign? Obviously not, but his minions won’t care. Watch.

    Take a cue from the white supremacists. They didn’t announce ahead of time they were going to take over the GOP. You lead with the carrot, not the stick.

    You can insist you’re right until doomsday, and it still won’t win you elections. This is not about being right. It’s about winning elections.

  31. anonymous says:

    I would also like to discuss this idea that if civil rights isn’t the top priority, it’s being thrown out the window. This has consistently been the way that a few people here, Cassandra and Pandora in particular, keep presenting our argument even though they’ve been corrected by us dozens of times.

    If I want leadership like that, I can join the GOP. You’re doing exactly what you claim we’re doing — not listening to what we’re saying.

  32. anonymous says:

    To continue, we have said over and over that the campaign failed to pay even the necessary lip service to the white working class. That’s a far cry from saying, “We’ve got to be as racist and misogynist as the Republicans or we’ll never win!” Can you not even concede that failing to pay attention to those people in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania was a poor strategic move? Or are you going to insist, without evidence to back it up, that those places were going to vote Trump no matter what? If so, what they hell was she doing in Arizona and Texas then?

    You can defend your position until doomsday, but it won’t improve the campaign that was waged. And it was the campaign, not the message of one side or the other, that fell short.

    Like it or not, power is a zero-sum game. IN the end, I intend to take it from the capitalists, not white people. Because lots of white people don’t have any power either.

    If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow. And the same thing goes for pictures of Michael Brown. You carry those at protests, not political campaigns.

    I’m starting to wonder if you’ve ever won a political campaign that was waged in competitive circumstances, because if you did, you’re not demonstrating anything like that level of strategy or insight about this election.

  33. Steve Newton says:

    @anonymous: This is not about being right. It’s about winning elections.

    To an extent, but only to an extent. Which is not to say that I disagree with many of your points, but I think the election argument is fighting the last war. Literally.

    You can normally expect the party in power to lose seats, perhaps even Congressional majorities, in the first off-year election. Except that for the first time we’ve got an economically populist party led by a man on horseback in the White House. He got there by not playing by the rules. He got there by blowing up not one, but two major political parties in the process.’

    The Democratic Party will require months, if not a full year, to digest what just happened, and even if digested correctly it–like the Titanic–will not change course on a dime. Howard Dean was the last glimpse of anything like populism in the Democratic Party (leaving aside Clinton’s pathetic turn that way in the PA and OH primaries in 2008); the Dems don’t do populism well. That’s why they never built off the Occupy Movement successfully. The Daily KOS is about as much nod toward populism as they can stand.

    By contrast, Trump knows exactly what he needs to do: (a) dismantle as much government as quickly as possible (always quicker to destroy than build); (b) make the right deals to blow up the bottom line for his investors; and (c) create enemies to blame for the jobs that didn’t come back and the inflation that will result if he actually tries to spend a trillion on infrastructure.

    His approach to an “enemies’ list” is going to make Nixon look like a pacifist, and Newt has been waiting his whole life to become Tail Gunner Joe.

    The correct answer here is not so much to look back at what the Dems did wrong before the paradigm shifted, but to look ahead at what Trump will try to do and figure out how to slow him down if we can’t completely stop it.

    New times, new rules.

  34. puck says:

    pandora… I thought my comments you selected were pretty well stated. You said they “bothered” you, but you didn’t offer any reason why. Perhaps your botheration was simply a bit of undigested beef. or a blot of mustard.

    Except for the “Social Justice Warriors” part – that is not a phrase I use anywhere. You must be conflating me with someone in your Facebook hangouts you love to hate.

  35. puck says:

    Also pandora, you said there were more of my comments that “bothered” you:

    There were also comments about Social Justice Warriors and “I’m much more concerned about being able to collect my social security and not having it go to feed tax cuts for the 1% than I am social issues.”

    None of those comments were from me. Get some rest, pandora.

  36. pandora says:

    I haven’t seen where we’ve said not to pay attention to those voters. We have asked what that attention/message would look like. So far, none of us have been able to craft one. To me, this lack of being able to put forth a message that brings in white voters while not losing POC and other minorities is a big obstacle.

    We’ve also never said that jobs or income inequality wasn’t important.

    We understand political strategy. What we don’t have is a message that appeals to, and brings in all sides. I’m sure it exists, but so far it hasn’t been produced.

  37. ex-anonymous says:

    cassandra, i’m finally responding to the story you cited at 5:50 friday, and to your later comment about it.

    either you were predisposed not to like this guy, or, i’ll bet, your revulsion didn’t really kick in until the part about what he wrote online, as it did with the author. those were some bad words, but only words. other than that, he just seems like the kind of guy who muddles through and hopes for the best. more or less like most people. he just chose a different (and probably less successful) way from you or the author. although i did notice he didn’t sit on his ass but kept finding some kind of work for himself.

    the writer of this article sounds like somebody who has come out of her, yes, bubble and discovered some people who were not gender-studies majors or crunk professors. she seemed truly shocked that the guy had guns on display (no, he didn’t shoot or threaten her). after that horror, nothing he could do would satisfy her. culture clash for sure.

    as for his for his truly vile words online, he has apparently never acted on them. that’s a big difference, one that certain segment of the left doesn’t get.

    probably like everybody else, he was crafting an image — yes, a disgusting one — for himself online. i notice that almost everybody on facebook does that in a way they hope makes them look good.

    i’ve been watching “search party” on tv, and it’s partly about millennials who talk online about how much a missing former college acquaintance meant to them, when they don’t care at all. it’s mostly just self-aggrandizing crap, which is what this guy was doing in his way.

    so, yes, this kind of attitude toward benighted trump supporters probably contributed to the failure of democrats to do the icky work of appealing to them. and to president trump.

  38. pandora says:

    Sorry I wasn’t clear. The first two blockquoted comments are yours, puck. I used a new paragraph for the other commenters. I could have been clearer.

  39. anonymous says:

    @Steve: I am in complete agreement about looking ahead rather than back. But we must move ahead talking about basic human rights for all groups rather than citing those groups individually. All rights are now under attack, not just equal rights. I anticipate it will be very, very soon after Jan. 20 that crackdowns on dissent will begin.

    There are millions of people in this country just waiting to be called on to become our brownshirts. Heck, they’ve been doing it for years down on the southern border. Attacks on protesters are going to be brutal. The coming showdown at Standing Rock (they intend to remove the camp Dec. 5) should provide a preview.

  40. ex-anonymous says:

    addendum: as words go, those by the guy in the story were far more creepy than the facebook self-flattery i mentioned. that would be false equivalence. still, it’s all words, not action.

  41. anonymous says:

    As for the Trump-supporter story: He lost me when he talked about smoking $50 cigars in the hot tub. That’s not a risky choice, as Cassandra put it, but a tellingly vulgar one.

    Only a guy trying to impress people — including himself — drops that kind of dough on a cigar. This is why people voted for Trump — they envy him. They want to live like him.

    We liberals look at that picture of Trump, his catalog wife and his unhappy kid in his penthouse and say, “Who in God’s name would want to live in an apartment that looks like a hotel lobby?” The Jersey guy, though, identifies with Trump, and so do millions of others, because they don’t see money as a tool, they see it as a way to look down on others. His casual cruelties give them a sense of vicarious power, as do his attacks on the relatively powerless.

    This is the way “men on horseback” derive their power. Even our most charismatic recent presidents, especially Clinton and Obama, have been solidly part of a technocratic system. Trump harkens back to an earlier system, when the man made the institutions.

    It is crucial to resist this from the beginning. This transition period is crucial, because it must be stressed — to the media, to society at large — that Trump’s is a minority government, that we will not accept a presidency that tears down or corrupts American institutions. If this results in constitutional crisis, so be it.

    The Constitution, some like to say, is not a suicide pact. Well, neither is a presidential election.

  42. cassandra_m says:

    Or are you going to insist, without evidence to back it up, that those places were going to vote Trump no matter what?

    Interesting deflection, yes? I’m talking about not jettisoning the Dem base and you are fighting the last war.

    Until you tell me what message was going to beat one that relied on racial and gender superiority, that told you that you had been screwed over (even though you were a willing partner to that) and that you will bring back everything you lost, just believe me, then I am free to still look at this as a white grievance election. The only one you could even put forth was infrastructure, which Hillary did talk about and highlight and yet they all bought the magic beans.

    Because the difference is that you think that they bought something rational. I do not.

    And I doubt that you’ve even seen — outside of the GOP — a Democrat who could fully jettison their base coalition and win an election. Bernie Sanders is really instructive here — a great economic message, but could not make part of his message the fact that there are plenty of Americans who have extra speed bumps along the way. And those Americans by and large did not vote for him.

  43. cassandra_m says:

    as for his for his truly vile words online, he has apparently never acted on them. that’s a big difference, one that certain segment of the left doesn’t get.

    If you are black or brown in America, one key thing you are raised with is to listen to what people say. Because people will tell you when you are a target or in danger. You are free to ignore what this guy says. I am not. Pretending that he doesn’t mean what he says is not a strategy for survival for me. The fact that you can justify it and make it inconsequential just means that you are a white guy who is not a target for this BS.

    And my reaction to this guy is pretty much of a piece with the reaction of folks who make the case that people making minimum wage don’t *deserve* $15.00. Right?

  44. puck says:

    Cassandra has a point. Holding rallies or running ads in the Rust Belt telling them how Democrats would offer job retraining and lower-interest college loans wouldn’t have made a difference. Nor would better messaging about a $150 billion infrastructure project that would have resulted in some good jobs for a few years, then back to square one. The Rust Belt workers have heard that all before from Democrats. We need to tell them something different.

  45. ex-anonymous says:

    cassandra, as a liberal east-coast educated elitist tasteful (relatively) science-affirming person, i think i’m probably on his list of troublesome people as well. just lower down.

  46. anonymous says:

    “Until you tell me what message was going to beat one that relied on racial and gender superiority, that told you that you had been screwed over (even though you were a willing partner to that) and that you will bring back everything you lost, just believe me, then I am free to still look at this as a white grievance election.”

    First off, I’m under no obligation to craft a message to your satisfaction. That was the candidate’s job, and she failed.

    Second, you’re free to interpret the “last war” however you want. Yet you’re always going to be wrong as long as you claim we wanted her to “jettison” her support for social justice. I”ve said over and over again they just wanted some attention. Democrats in those areas said the same thing. But no, they just wanted to exercise some of the racism they forgot to show voting for Obama twice. You’ll be wrong as long as you insist on not just a single reason for the loss, but the one that guarantees there’s no better way to woo white voters.

    So you are free to interpret it any way you want. Just don’t expect me to buy it. You clearly don’t know beans about how to market a candidate to straight white guys. Your approach manages to put off even the white guys here who agree with you, so I’m sorry, but I’m free to question the validity of your conclusions.

    I”m not fighting the last war here. I’m fighting your interpretation, because down your path lies semi-permanent minority-party status. I say that because it sounds to me like you’re saying there’s no way for a party that supports minorities to attract any white voters but the virtuous ones. That’s patently absurd; we’re talking her failing to get about 150,000 more votes than she got.

    And let’s not overlook the fact that millions of those Trump voters were not voting for Trump but against Hillary, not for any rational reason but as the result of decades of propaganda. We should stop pretending that had no effect on the outcome. It could be that the messenger rather than the message failed to resonate.

    @pandora: “Holding rallies or running ads in the Rust Belt telling them how Democrats would offer job retraining and lower-interest college loans wouldn’t have made a difference.”

    Oh c’mon. Thousands of people showed up to cheer Bernie Sanders talking about the economy. These forlorn Rust Belters weren’t asking for solutions so much as looking for evidence of sympathy and shared purpose. And if all you’re got to sell them is job retraining, then you deserve to lose. They’ve heard those solutions, and they’re not the solutions they’re looking for. All Bernie said was he was going to clean up the banks and the crowds went wild. You have to give them something to rally around, some red meat. Job retraining is tofu.

    Ultimately you’re saying that an economic message wouldn’t have motivated you. Trouble is we just had an election in which the people motivated by the let’s-all-hug message were too few to defeat the worst candidate in history.

    We did this your way, and we lost. Every breath you spend defending Clinton’s approach is a wasted one, because nobody is ever going to try it again.

  47. cassandra_m says:

    First off, I’m under no obligation to craft a message to your satisfaction. That was the candidate’s job, and she failed.

    Right. Because people who keep insisting on better messaging frequently haven’t a single clue about what a better one would be. And in this case, you can’t come up with anything better because you can’t come up with a way that will motivate this “white working class” voter any better than the racist, nationalist and free ice cream message that Trump sold them.

  48. cassandra_m says:

    Tim Wise has been on fire about this:

    I am trying to remember a time when commentators insisted that white rural voters needed to “feel the pain and frustration” of urban black and brown folks and get away from focusing so much on their identity as farmers or coal miners, or whatever…yeah, that never happened.
    In fact, what I recall is hearing white folks like that berate black and brown folks in the cities for not “getting up and moving if there aren’t any jobs available,” and to “stop complaining and waiting for someone to give you something.”
    But presumably some would have people of color and especially those in cities put their issues on the back burner so the Democratic Party can focus on dying towns in the Rust Belt and Appalachia. For folks there, we are not encouraged to tell them to “get up and move” or to stop waiting for the government to “bring back King Coal,” or do something to better their lives, or take “personal responsibility.” No, we are supposed to be sympathetic to some guy who wants to work in a coal mine because his daddy did, and his daddy did, and his daddy did…

  49. cassandra_m says:


    A few thoughts about the white liberal demand that the Democratic Party needs to get away from “identity politics” and focus on the (white) working class in order to win elections, or build a more broad based progressive movement…
    While any progressive politic must, by necessity, embody a strong commitment to the needs of working class folks as members of an economic strata, the critique of identity politics is horribly off-the-mark. What critics of “identity politics” routinely fail to acknowledge is that all politics are ultimately about identity – one’s status in particular and specialized groups – and that virtually nothing in politics is about some broader notion of universal interests. When Republicans focus on tax cuts for the wealthy they are appealing to that group’s identity atop the class system, and offering policies that are particularly in the interest of that group. When Democrats offer public policies to increase funding for schools or public job creation or health care access they too are appealing to the identities of voters as parents, the unemployed, or those lacking affordable health care. These are all identities, no less so than being black, LGBT, a woman, and/or a Latina. Only a persistent and tellingly white racial frame could obscure the way that class status is an identity, no less than race, and specifically how being a member of the so-called white working class is just as much about one’s particular group status as being a person of color. It is quite the linguistic and racist trick that manages to redefine appeals to black and brown folks in cities as divisive identity politics, while simultaneously rendering appeals to white rural folks as “universal” in nature.

  50. cassandra_m says:


    Keep in mind too: all this talk about how critical it is to reach out to working class and rural whites is only a thing right now because HRC failed miserably to inspire voters in and around Milwaukee, Detroit and Philadelphia to anywhere near the extent Obama had. If she had done so — and that is her fault and the DNCs, not those voters’ faults — we wouldn’t even be having this conversation about the “salt of the Earth hardscrabble white working class” and how they need to be “wooed.” We’d be talking about how those same whites would have to make a decision…the burden would be on THEM: either join the struggle for multiracial democracy and let us build a new world together, or stay stuck in their provincial fantasies of a bygone era, and die, along with their towns. That is not to say that we shouldn’t take their concerns seriously. We should, of course. But not at the expense of prioritizing them above and beyond the folks who have always stood for justice.

    This would be the core of my point right here.

  51. cassandra_m says:


    A key problem with the call for “reaching out” to working class whites with a populist economic message is that it assumes they were motivated by economic bread-and-butter concerns in the first place when they voted Trump. But were they? His base in the primaries had median household income of $73k. Even though he obviously peeled off some formerly working class white Democrats in the Rust Belt with lower incomes than that (or in Appalachia), the fact is, the jobs that have fled those places have been fleeing since 1973 and left most “bigly” in the 1980s…but these voters didn’t turn right wing (at least at the ballot box) at that time… And of course for many of them, it was only with the ACA (Obamacare) that they and their families could afford health insurance, and yet they voted for the guy who vowed to dismantle it.
    So what changed? Not their economy. It’s where it’s been for many of them for two decades or more.
    What changed was the culture: whereas they used to be able to take themselves for granted as the floor model of an “Amurkan” (white, Christian, straight), now they are having to share the designation with others, and they experience this as a loss or even “dispossession.” In short, they are not economically anxious so much as culturally and ethno-racially anxious at the loss of hegemony (however symbolic, since real hegemony was always exercised by the wealthy). Told that they WERE the “real America,” once America became darker, and more culturally urbane, and wired and religiously pluralistic — in a word, less provincial — those whose entire existence is provincial and revolves around a mythologized and nostalgic longing for “simpler times” could not cope. This is the irony of white normativity and white identity: it set white folks up to believe in the taken-for-grantedness of our daily existence on top of the pile called “normal.” The privilege of being considered the prototype of a real American made millions of us ill-prepared for change. But change is a constant in human history…only those who never really studied history, because they were led to believe they didn’t need to (all they needed was a strong back and an ability to lift things), have had the luxury of not knowing it, and not knowing what to do when confronted by it.
    In a sense people of color were always better prepared for this moment…again, an irony. People of color have never had the luxury of taking ANYTHING for granted: not their normalcy, not the idea that jobs would be there for them, not the idea that if they played by the rules everything would work out…not their very existence or the assumption that others even recognized their right to it. Only whites, and especially white men, and especially white male Christians, and especially those who are straight, have had this luxury. And now it has proved to be like a shiny diamond, beautiful to behold, but which emits a toxic gas, invisible at first, and imperceptible until it is almost too late.
    White America needed desperately to know what black and brown America knows and has always known: that the whole damned system is a hustle.

    I used too much for Fair Use here, but it is so on point. So on point.

  52. Steve Newton says:


    HRC failed miserably to inspire voters in and around Milwaukee, Detroit and Philadelphia to anywhere near the extent Obama had. If she had done so — and that is her fault and the DNCs, not those voters’ faults — we wouldn’t even be having this conversation about the “salt of the Earth hardscrabble white working class” and how they need to be “wooed.”

    –is precisely the point that pandora used to make about why she thought Trump could not get elected–that if the women, the urban voters, the LGBTQ voters, etc., etc., came out and voted, there were not enough of the “salt of the Earth hardscrabble white working class” to elect him. She was right about the math; wrong about the turn-out.

    This was a near tipping-point election. The demographics are balanced on a knife edge. Eventually those demographics (in about eight years) will have tilted significantly away from those disaffected whites (and Trump will have failed them), but in the meantime expect every potential piece of gerrymandering and voter suppression you can imagine.

    Trump’s comment today about “millions” of illegals voting was not accidental. It was the early opening salvo in a multi-year attempt to get an ironclad national voting ID law passed. See, here’s the thing: if you eliminate the electoral college you eliminate the legal fiction of 50 separate state elections, each with their own rules. You create a national presidential election for the first time in our history, which will open the door to national rules for voting. The Democrats who want to scrap the electoral college are playing directly into the hands of this–because scrapping the Electoral College opens the door for voter suppression like you’ve never seen.

    I’m coming to realize that Trump has one major weakness. His ego requires him to telegraph what he wants to do (e.g. the voter suppression scheme above), because he is convinced that it doesn’t matter–he can make it real because his opponents either won’t decode it in time or won’t coalesce against it. Right now he’s got the immense power of the entire government coming into his hands, which means he can start more fires than can reasonably be put out. The trick is to figure out which fires could hurt us, and which ones could be fatal.

    The damnable thing is that the Democrats have nobody–nobody–on the bench right now for 2020 except Elizabeth Warren, and, with respect, she’s not the one to kind the fires of enthusiasm in America’s cities.

  53. anonymous says:

    “I used too much for Fair Use here, but it is so on point. So on point.”

    Yeah, I get it: Sucks to be black. Sixty-three percent of the white people in the just-concluded election didn’t give a fuck. Go ahead and write them off.

    BTW, if I wanted to cherrypick an equal number of articles that disagree with you I could. You and Trump — two people who have never been wrong in their own eyes. You’ll never see it, but it was you and Pandora — specifically your obnoxious moral arrogance — that a lot of those white people were voting against.

  54. Dave says:

    “moral arrogance — that a lot of those white people were voting against.”

    Although they use different words, that is exactly what they were voting against. You don’t understand them or care about them or their lives. That moral arrogance was personified by the Melissa Click safe space incident at Mizzou which helped to typecast liberals and liberalism as a ridiculous circus act.

    Try selling free college education to people who live in place like Mingo County, WV where the unemployment rate is 12%, the HS graduation rate is 69% and where a few years ago they were earning $30 an hour, but now are making $10.50 an hour at Wal Mart. They fought hard (Battle of Blair Mountain) for those union jobs and a measure of security for themselves and their families.

    Sure you can point out the many areas where you may fight for workers rights, health care and the like, but you didn’t change their lives. And in the end it’s not what you did or the messages you sent, it’s what they heard and saw. And what they heard is that they don’t matter or rather many lives matter, but not theirs.

    Trump won Appalachia, because liberals had more important issues, like Halloween costumes and cultural appropriation. In my opinion, these last couple of years liberalism jumped the shark.

    Liberals can argue and deny all they want, but like ACA, which insured millions who were previously uninsured, you hurt millions who already had insurance and are now faced with unaffordable policies. You may have risen some people up, but you did it at the expense of those who could least afford to be pushed down.

    And as my family tells it, things might not get any better under Trump, but they are pretty sure it can’t get any worse.

  55. Steve Newton says:


    What I think you are describing is not liberalism run amuck, but the new world of memes and social media and (even) fake news. This comes in two fashions:

    1) the specific to the generalization–any time there’s a shooting, liberals want the shooter to be a surrogate for all gun owners, and any time there’s something ridiculous at a campus, conservatives want that to be a surrogate for all liberals. We now live in a world wherein anecdote (even if bogus) has replaced evidence, and wherein people no longer apply critical thought to examples that at least superficially appeal to what they already believe. The Melissa Click story is a case in point: the “liberal” university fired her. Nobody on the liberal side supported her attempt to close down freedom of the press through physical intimidation, but I can find you a dozen memes claiming just the opposite, with as little evidence to back them up as Trump today has about election fraud.

    2) the weaponization of fake news–whether by Russia or the alt-right it really doesn’t matter–has had the affect of creating a post-truth atmosphere in which all that really matters is instant emotional credibility and/or the claim that “they don’t want you to know this.” This was deployed so effectively against Clinton that it is not–as you put it–that she didn’t convince them she cared about them, but that the fake news convinced them not only that she didn’t care, but that she was a criminal and a child molester.

    It was an amazing battle, partly because the Left entered into it virtually unarmed. When Trump was clearly shown to have victimized women, stolen money from thousands of Trump U. students, never paid his taxes, bought dumped Chinese steel, etc etc ad nauseam the Left mistakenly believed that reporting all this would hurt him. They failed to weaponize it through an orchestrated series of fake news sites and memes, while the Trump alt-right was relentlessly hammering the meme message that

    –both Clintons and John Podesta were child molesters
    –Clinton let our people get killed in Benghazi
    –Clinton lost hundreds of millions of dollars while Sec State
    –Clinton wanted Iran to get nukes
    –Clinton’s foundation was a criminal enterprise
    –Clinton was a lesbian
    –Clinton was leaking American secrets to ISIS through Huma Abedin

    In other words, the meme noise machine convinced a significant number of already disaffected voters that “Killary” Clinton was a criminal and belonged in jail not in the White House. The machine converted Clinton from the second-least popular Presidential candidate in history to the least popular in the key states.

    The irony here is that understanding how social media changed is what elected Obama twice. In 2008 his campaign and the Daily Kos were the state-of-the-art, and sites like Drudge and Breibart and The Blaze were fringe. Today they are competing with the MSM for the hearts and minds of tens of millions of voters.

    While liberals were all watching John Oliver and Samantha Bee and SNL and thinking that resonated with America, the alt-right all too cleverly used the power of the new noir media against them.

    And they still don’t know what happened to them any more than John McCain or Mitt Romney got it.

    jason used to say here never to bring a knife to a gunfight. This year the Clinton campaign brought spoons.

  56. anonymous says:

    ” as my family tells it, things might not get any better under Trump, but they are pretty sure it can’t get any worse.”

    Tell them to keep a notebook, because they’ll be happy to have the evidence afterwards that they were wrong.

  57. anonymous says:

    “you hurt millions who already had insurance and are now faced with unaffordable policies.”

    Thing was, those cheap “insurance” policies they had were worth less that what they were paying for. If you had one of those catastrophic-illness policies, you might have been able to afford the monthly payments but you would have been bankrupted if you actually got a million-dollar illness. No, you wouldn’t have to pay the million dollars, but between your share and the deductible you get a bill of about $200,000. If you can pay that, you shouldn’t be bitching about insurance costs in the first place.

  58. Steve Newton says:

    If I were in charge of messaging for Democrats (and I’m pretty sure that phone is not going to ring) I would explain that that it’s not so much the message as the process that went wrong for them. We now live in a world in which information (and misinformation) has to be weaponized.

    Right now–before there’s even a candidate or a new message–the Democrats need to find a core cadre of social media and meme-savvy people to become “meme-killers.” That’s where the current war is being fought. You can’t stop memes with facts. You can only kill them with dilution, with humor, with accusations, and with lookalikes that compromise the actual message. Somebody needs to get into the business of tracking adverse memes and developing strategies to reach the same audiences (preferably anonymously) and neutralizing them. It can be done–I’ve spent time talking to people who know how to do it. The Democrats don’t even know it has to be done.

    Until that happens, there is no way for the Democratic message–no matter what it is–to reach its intended audience, and there is no way to begin breaking through to the Trump core to begin to erode his support.

    An example: a meme exploiting Trump’s waffling on Clinton–“He told us that he’d put her in prison, now he says she’s a ‘good person.’ Did they buy him off already, or was he always lying to us?”

    An example: “When they attacked Steve Bannon, remember what Donald Trump said in his defense? Neither do I. Trump left him swinging in the wind, and that’s where he’ll leave us, too.”

    Yep, it’s fear-mongering. Yeo, it’s low-road. So is negative advertising, which the Dems have absolutely no trouble with. But if they don’t start now, more than just the Democratic Party is toast.

  59. anonymous says:

    @cassandra: Just to illustrate the problem vis a vis white people, check out this story:

    To make it short for the time-challenged, a white woman buying stuff at a crafts store was told by a black employee that the reusable bag she was using would cost her $1. She went off, claiming it was racism.

    To white people, being told a basic fact by a black employee is the equivalent of 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow.

    And then they turn around and bitch at liberals over “trigger warnings.”

    I think we’re in agreement that the vast bulk of these people are unreachable and unteachable. My argument applies not to the 60 million who voted for him eagerly, but the 1 million or so in the Rust Belt who just wanted more from the Democrats than they thought the Ds were offering.

    Also, the best argument I’ve seen against my side is the fact that Feingold ran on the economy and underperformed Clinton.

  60. cassandra m says:

    You’ll never see it, but it was you and Pandora — specifically your obnoxious moral arrogance — that a lot of those white people were voting against.

    And in this we find that we are arguing the same thing. Because the arrogance of women, people of color, LGBT people who think that they should be full members of the American project is pretty much the grievance that is the core argument of the contemporary GOP and that Trump worked so well. And just because these same people don’t mind fighting for their place at the table and for their own slice of the American dream, doesn’t mean that any of us should stand down because there are white people who just resent that. An African-American President certainly was a daily reminder that whiteness (and maleness) doesn’t have the currency that it used to. Plenty of the D base thinks that is just fine. There are some who don’t and a better economic message — certainly one that could compete with the free ice cream wasn’t going to get past that.

    But the “moral arrogance” of people like me and Pandora is just one more way of decrying the change of order and if that is how you need to “explain” that, then that works for me.

  61. cassandra m says:

    I saw that video as well as the one of the guy on the Delta flight who screamed at passengers that Trump was all of their President now even the Hillary bitches or some such. I was amazed that the guy was still allowed to fly, because if I stood up and had a tantrum just before a flight left, they would have marched me right off.

  62. anonymous says:

    Delta said later that they should have.

    I, too, think we’re arguing the same thing. All I can do is tell you how I hear this playing with white guys. If you are saying you’re trying to draw that response, all I can do is ask you to reconsider whether that’s really the best route to 50% + 1.

    On free ice cream: When my brother was a teenager he got a job at the ice cream shop at the mall. The owner told him he could eat all the ice cream he wanted. He gorged himself the first day and got sick, and didn’t eat any more ice cream for two years. But of course, the owner actually had ice cream, and Trump doesn’t.

  63. anonymous says:

    Update: Delta has banned the passenger.

    “The memo states that passengers on the Tuesday morning flight from Atlanta to Allentown, Pennsylvania would be refunded the cost of their tickets and that the man in the video “will never again be allowed on a Delta plane.”

  64. Steve Newton says:

    @anonymous–but I think you slide past cassandra’s point: she wouldn’t have been banned later as a result of investigation and consideration.

    She’d have been tackled and taken from the plane with zip ties on her wrists and ankles.

  65. anon says:

    Thing was, those cheap “insurance” policies they had were worth less that what they were paying for.

    My policy was a private Highmark BC/BS policy that went from around $500 a month to over $900 a month over the course of 2 years. How many middle class families can afford one bill that goes up over $400 a month? Health insurance policies that actually cover a family and prevent that “$200,000 bill” can now cost more than the average mortgage.

    Read about real people right here in Delaware struggling to pay for outrageous healthcare increases:

  66. Steve Newton says:

    @anon–you can only blame part of what has happened in Delaware on the ACA.

    The General Assembly–at the behest of (finally) former Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart–not only invited Highmark into Delaware, gave it a $175 million present for coming, but also removed 90% of the AG’s office ability to regulate anything to do with health insurance.

    As a result of KWS’s pimping for one of the largest corporate conglomerates in the nation, Highmark now controls about 92% of Delaware’s private insurance market, about 33% (and growing) of the Medicaid market, and holds the processing contract for all Medicare in Delaware. In addition, Highmark has a 10% stake in MedExpress and its parent corporation owns Visionworks.

    In other words, our own State Insurance Commissioner and legislators handed Highmark a virtual monopoly on Delaware insurance, where it is slowly doing for us what it did to western PA and WV already.

    An example of Highmark’s tactics include trying to drive all independently owned urgent cares in DE out of business and trying to force BayHealth to slash its rates below rates that had not risen (by contract) in over five years–all the while getting its pet Insurance Commissioner to approve double-digit rate increases every year.

    Delaware is listed as having the 4th least competitive health insurance market in the country. We were on that road before the ACA, which has only been a small element of Highmark’s gouging.

  67. cassandra m says:

    All I can do is tell you how I hear this playing with white guys.

    I work with these guys. Construction guys. I am the “black friend” that some of these guys point to when they want to claim they are not racist.

    I’ve been hearing that it is immigrants, poor people and kids with sagging pants are what is keeping them back.

  68. cassandra m says:

    To white people, being told a basic fact by a black employee is the equivalent of 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow.

    I saw that and the retort that she voted for Trump as a signal to that employee that she was not being subservient enough.

  69. anonymous says:

    They ought to give out bonus points for being a white person’s black friend, so that if you’re the Black Friend for 10 people you get a free sundae at Friendly’s or something.

    The worst thing about saggin’ is that you have to spend money on stylish boxers. The worst thing about the lady in the video is that every white person knows someone just like her, especially once alcohol is applied internally.