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Discussion Starter #1
Jones beat Moore in Alabama. Maybe there's a limit to tribal loyalty after all. There's hope for humanity when a pedophile molester and the horse he rode in on loses. Even though he's a bullshit Christian in a land of bullshit Christians who reflexively vote for the dumbest Republican over any "lib'r'l". Maybe the rump of the old Dixicrats, who were the same people wearing Democratic Party badges, will finally break up, die off, and disappear. Then the residual poison of those assholes can finally be leeched out of the nation's bloodstream.
 

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There no end of analyses of how Jones pulled it off floating around the internet. Of course, my go-to source for such things is the Times and occasionally the WaPo. Tom Friedman seemed positively giddy and I commented that euphoria over this election may be a bit premature ,especially as it relates to statewide elections in the Deep South. Nevertheless there are some interesting ideas bubbling up from the stew.

  • T'was an outright rejection of Moore because he was just a lousy candidate.
  • The increase in urban, better educated voters in the major population centers, esp. Birmingham. I have a liberal voting son in Atlanta who is 35 years old. He isn't alone (Atlanta is a great young people's city) and he told me just last week that he thought Jones might pull it off. He was right.
  • Women "silently" voted for Jones.
  • Trump and Bannon f'ed up, backing a candidate who credibly is accused of pedophilia and who has been twice thrown off the state Supreme Court bench in Alabama.
  • Younger (millennial) Alabamians went for Jones bigly.
  • All of the above.
I personally think the jury's out until the results from 2018 are in. This may be a one-off election or it may be just a demonstration of what's to come but it may be that the "Goober factor" in Southern states with a lot of new industry are changing. The Goobers are getting out numbered.
 

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I hope the "goobers" are on their way out. Moore said things that could easily have been interpreted as sympathetic to the KKK. He made other comments that were, on the surface, racist. Jones prosecuted racist killers. That's another aspect of it. Racism is alive and well in parts of the deep south (and everywhere else for that matter), but it isn't as pervasive as it once was. Plus, African American voters showed up. "Goobers" didn't so much. Maybe it will emphasize the importance of showing up to constituencies who are historically underrepresented.

Then again, it may just be a one-off. A decent Democrat ran against an abhorrent Republican who was beyond the tolerance of all but the most die-hard "goobers." If you look at the polling data, there's also the potential that we are seeing the beginning of a changing of the guard. Younger voters overwhelmingly went for Jones. In a place like Alabama, that means younger evangelicals were part of the shift. That's interesting, to me anyway, right in and of itself.
 

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One other thing, though. The 2016 election cycle is a cautionary tale. There were those (including me sometimes) who thought that Trump was so awful and so transparently dishonest and sleazy that Hillary would win and have long coattails. That was the opposite of what actually happened. Let that temper any obituaries of the GOP or the numb-nut wing of the electorate. Each election cycle is its own thing, and the 2018 election is almost a year from now. All kinds of things could happen between now and then that would make the Alabama special election a blip. Let me restate that a little more definitely - all kinds of things WILL happen between now and then that would make the Alabama special election a blip.
 

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One other thing, though. The 2016 election cycle is a cautionary tale. There were those (including me sometimes) who thought that Trump was so awful and so transparently dishonest and sleazy that Hillary would win and have long coattails. That was the opposite of what actually happened. Let that temper any obituaries of the GOP or the numb-nut wing of the electorate. Each election cycle is its own thing, and the 2018 election is almost a year from now. All kinds of things could happen between now and then that would make the Alabama special election a blip. Let me restate that a little more definitely - all kinds of things WILL happen between now and then that would make the Alabama special election a blip.
The GOP will shortly get its "Donor Relief Act" passed and signed into law. The numbers of Americans this bill hurts and the economic classes it affects negatively are huge.

Once this is done, and before the ink is dry on the DRA, Ryan is going to begin pushing for massive spending cuts in "entitlements" (I hate that word) programs to offset the anticipated MASSIVE budget deficits and resulting debt increase. The bad news will become public early on as it dribbles out of every new report. Bet on it.

This fucking around with taxes and the budget was always a 2-step process. First taxes, then the budget. Paul Ryan ought to be taken out and shot dead for his hypocrisy. I so ashamed of his claiming to be a practicing Catholic with an Irish surname, no less....like myself.

Somehow, the GOP thinks it can finesse (?) its way into holding on to power in 2018 and 2020. I just can't see that happening. The whole country—excluding the wealthy and corporations—will be in agony. I see a huge recession sometime after the '18 elections—or possibly earlier.
 

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The GOP will shortly get its "Donor Relief Act" passed and signed into law. The numbers of Americans this bill hurts and the economic classes it affects negatively are huge.

Once this is done, and before the ink is dry on the DRA, Ryan is going to begin pushing for massive spending cuts in "entitlements" (I hate that word) programs to offset the anticipated MASSIVE budget deficits and resulting debt increase. The bad news will become public early on as it dribbles out of every new report. Bet on it.

This fucking around with taxes and the budget was always a 2-step process. First taxes, then the budget. Paul Ryan ought to be taken out and shot dead for his hypocrisy. I so ashamed of his claiming to be a practicing Catholic with an Irish surname, no less....like myself.

Somehow, the GOP thinks it can finesse (?) its way into holding on to power in 2018 and 2020. I just can't see that happening. The whole country—excluding the wealthy and corporations—will be in agony. I see a huge recession sometime after the '18 elections—or possibly earlier.
We shall see. I never count out ignorance and ideology. The issue I see coming is that the GOP has created a coming bomb that will go off in the next few years. The bomb went off a little early under Bush II, but they trashed the economy and then did everything they could to keep it trashed under Obama. Why? Political advantage, of course. Now, they are setting another bomb that will crater the economy and hurt a lot of people, but it may not go off until they are out of power. Which they will use to regain power and set another bomb. I'm baffled about how anybody who considers himself or herself a public servant would do that, but it's demonstrably what's happening.
 

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Absolutely right. I can't agree more.

What I've always wondered is this: So these jerks REALLY believe in ha they're doing or is it all, in fact, just a heist. A shell game? I'm pretty sure it's the latter but I keep reading in the MSM that some "libertarians" and REpublican poobahs actually believe all the crap about supply side economics.

Yes, it will once again be left to the Democrats to clean up the mess. Don't know how many more times they can keep doing this, though. At some point you run out of paper to print money on.
 

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"Printing" money isn't the issue as much as it is when that happens. The GOP seems to think pro-cyclical policies are a good idea. Contract the government when everything else is contracting. Provide stimulus when the economy is doing fine. Look what happened to Europe when they did that - it wasn't until fiscal policy finally loosened up that Europe started the recovery it is having now. There are still plenty of people who are doing poorly. And, then look at Greece. That's the low tax/tax evasion capitol of Europe. It's not overspending that keeps getting Greece into dire straits by itself. It's the fact that Greeks don't seem to understand that somebody has to pay for the services that keep a country operating. We are headed down that same path with mindless tax cutting and tax evasion by the wealthy. We are just b***** than Greece, but selfishness is the same.
 

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"Printing" money isn't the issue as much as it is when that happens. The GOP seems to think pro-cyclical policies are a good idea. Contract the government when everything else is contracting. Provide stimulus when the economy is doing fine. Look what happened to Europe when they did that - it wasn't until fiscal policy finally loosened up that Europe started the recovery it is having now. There are still plenty of people who are doing poorly. And, then look at Greece. That's the low tax/tax evasion capitol of Europe. It's not overspending that keeps getting Greece into dire straits by itself. It's the fact that Greeks don't seem to understand that somebody has to pay for the services that keep a country operating. We are headed down that same path with mindless tax cutting and tax evasion by the wealthy. We are just b***** than Greece, but selfishness is the same.
What I'm saying is this: Every time there's a recession they prime the pumps,as the Fed did in 2009-2014 (See "quantitative easing") with cash to get money in consumers' hands and to keep interest rates low so businesses can borrow cheaply. They do it by the Fed buying up US bonds issues created by Congress. IOW, it's how they make money out of thin air.

I think we're at around 107% of GDP to debt right now. Right up there in the top 3 or 4 nations. At some point (a) the cost of servicing the bonds becomes so onerous the government cannot spend on the really important stuff, like Medicare/Medicaid, wars, infrastructure, etc., and (b) the strength of the US dollar (currently a reserve currency) wanes and international buyers of dollars and dollar denominated debt (bonds) eases, pushing interest rates higher becoming a kind of vicious circle.

Keynesians correctly say that you prime the pump at the consumer/labor level rather than the investor/capital level. When the economy heats up, tax revenue increases and your pay down the debt.

The important point is that we're going to be in a permanent condition of excessive debt if we allow it to get so high.....even though you may need to to clean up the GOP fuckups to the economy. We can't ALWAYS just print money when we need to and especially when you do tax breaks and give the cash the owners of capital.

In the end taxes will HAVE to increase and we wind up looking like Japan.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, really, the GOP's tax dodging spree will have us looking like Greece, unlike a truly Keynesian stimulus when things are in the toilet. Oh, well. Drooling idiots will remain tribal.
 

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moore is still saying he can get the 20k votes from all the incoming votes still lol. yeah ok buddy...I guess they'll have to call the sheriff to remove you again.
 

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moore is still saying he can get the 20k votes from all the incoming votes still lol. yeah ok buddy...I guess they'll have to call the sheriff to remove you again.
Fuck him.....and that poor horse he rode into town on! ROTF. (Moore doesn't know which end of the horse goes forward.)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Too much Toynbee again. Or maybe not enough. There's the potential that we are seeing the disintegration of what he calls Western Christendom, or more to the point, modern western society. The rise of nationalism was part of the rise of our current political system, and it had both a unifying and dividing effect. Regionalism, like the EU, is the logical outgrowth once you get past the xenophobic and bigoted aspects of nationalism. We are seeing those xenophobic and bigoted aspects rear their ugly heads again, especially in places that are less prosperous.

Which leads to another observation about what's going on now. In the US, coastal cities and places like them are more involved in the global economy than old manufacturing areas and rural areas. The prosperous cities don't need goods and services from those other parts of the country near as much now as they once did. They need to be connected to the world for their prosperity. Their prosperity derives from IT, financial services, biomedical research, trade, and things like that. A place that has a steel plant cannot be as nimble and cannot weather changes that are blowing through as readily. So, what does this mean? We may start seeing the rise of city-states again. It won't be that the prosperous cities set out for independence. It may be that a resentful hinterland pushes them out by pushing self-destructive measures aimed at punishing the prosperous cities in a disproportionate way. The irony is that those measures get pushed by people who decry handouts, but expect handouts from the people they denounce. Eventually, the cities will figure out that they don't need the hinterland much and will insulate themselves from it, to the detriment of all.

This is probably apocalyptic and alarmist. I don't think it will happen, but it's worth thinking about as an exercise, if nothing else. At least Alabama did the right thing. There's hope.
 
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