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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:13 am 
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The next time the US economy expands for 12 consecutive years will be the first. I'm not sure it's ever made 10. But even if a kindly devil spares the GOP the inevitable until the midterms, whatever overall growth we see will not tend to make it to red state America. It hasn't done so for decades, and isn't likely to start now.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:59 am 
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Weremensh wrote:
whatever overall growth we see will not tend to make it to red state America. It hasn't done so for decades, and isn't likely to start now.

Firstly, they're still red states despite everything so the Democrats' economic message clearly isn't getting through their mountains of resentment against "cultural elites", and secondly, there's more than one version of red state America. The sunbelt states have seen lots of growth.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:00 am 
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Kea, for nearly 40 years the Republicans have been very careful to never promise any practical benefit to those folks. Indeed, they've promised to be of no practical use at all; that would involve government being a solution rather than a problem to be sabotaged by the GOP. Given those rather low expectations, any old kulterkampf BS would do (and did).

Now along comes Trump, who specifically promises that his GOP will create lots of low skill, high paying jobs out in flyover country. His GOP is pretty much trapped. They have no intention of even trying to do it. and they can't repudiate him. I suspect it's going to bite them rather sooner than later. Ok, they will probably go commit some war crimes to distract us before the midterm elections; but that's another story.

As for the Sun Belt; not really. Workers from the productive blue states are retiring down there because the economies are so weak that pensioners have better life styles than they did as workers in New York or Massachusetts; and their out of state money is papering over the cracks. Heck, I had a woman working for me as an entry level civil service clerical, married to another entry level civil service clerical, and on a gross of about 70 thousand dollars a year the two of them built a retirement home in Georgia on several acres of land while still paying their bills in New York City. That can't happen if the economy where they're going isn't essentially hollow.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:27 pm 
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That would be the case if you understand Trump's "popularity"(1) as endorsement of specific promises and political positions. I think what he's done is build himself a mini-cult of personality. That's the only thing that makes sense to me, or else how can he get away with this much flip-flopping? His supporters voted for him knowing that at least half of what he says is bullhockey, but which half it is shifts with the wind, or convenience, or the price of cheese in Sweden. And it's virtually a point of pride to be able to keep up with his latest whims for the pleasure of watching liberals sputter "But, yesterday he said...!" It's like being in a secret club.

This was the most fact-free election since, I don't know when because I'm not that old, but when voters show this much disregard for basic reality, I can only conclude that they don't care that much about concrete results. They were voting for their sports team.

(1) In quotes, because he's actually the least popular president-elect since they started polling.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:18 pm 
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The racists, misogynists, "christians", and greed-heads were in the club, sure*. But Clinton would still have crucified him even with everything else if he didn't pick up about a sixth of his vote from folks who don't agree with or like him, but they want factory jobs (or mining, or whatever) to come back. They made up for the roughly equal number of Republicans he lost. They're not part of the team, have nothing invested in the team, and could care less about the greater glory of Trump or the GOP. When he and his newly captured party renege, these folks will not be sticking around.

*Turns out the first two are an even better predictor of being a Trump Chump than being a badly educated white, though not by much.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Quite a few of the fair-weather voters he picked up are people who don't expect him to fulfill any of his campaign promises. Some of them are even hoping he spends 4 years playing golf. They just voted for him because they were convinced that anyone was better than Clinton, or were terrified of a liberal Supreme Court.

Overall, I think that if the economic status quo holds up, Trump won't pay much of a political price for failing to work miracles. Some people will lose jobs, other people will find new jobs, but in the aggregate people's lives will get neither better nor worse, and they'll just keep cheering for whatever football team they normally support, especially if he keeps up string of vapid stunts and manufactured controversies to pull attention away from real issues. It usually takes a recession to sour people on presidents. If the weirdo gold bugs in the Republican party manage to bully the Federal Reserve into sharply raising interest rates, we might get a self-inflicted one. But that's a perverse thing to hope for.

The Obamacare repeal does have the potential to produce real blowback. It will hurt people, and they will be pissed. But I don't think it's guaranteed that the blowback will hit Trump. There's about 20 million people on Obamacare in a country of 300 million. Most people simply won't be personally affected, which leaves a lot of room for spin. The Republicans will probably repeal, wait around, and then blame Democratic obstructionism when they inevitably fail to come up with an adequate replacement. By then they'll have blown such a big hole in the deficit they'll be able to force the Democrats to choose between restoring Obamacare and shoring up regular Medicare, and then they'll have 50 million seniors primed to see the feckless uninsured and their Democratic enablers as a threat to their benefits. It probably won't work. But probably isn't definitely. If the enough Republicans are willing to stake their political careers on such a cockamamie strategy, we have to assume they aren't suicidal.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:23 pm 
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Obamacare impacts every human in the country. It's not just the medicaid expansion.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Also note that pretty much every one of the folks who are insured under the ACA will lose their coverage within a month of the Republicans passing anything that doesn't provide a full replacement (which they can and will never do). The insurance industry will simply abandon all of those policies and marketplaces which will now be defined money losers (or raise the rates to profitable, which will make the insured abandon them).

As for the Republicans, yes, they'd be desperate to the point of suicidal. The only reason to do it would be that it seems a slightly less efficient form of suicide than getting primary challenged for bucking the herd on this.

And in passing, if they voted for Trump simply because he wasn't Clinton then they have even less reason to stick around when they get betrayed than the fools who voted for a 1950 economy to come back.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:35 pm 
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Most people still get their health insurance through their jobs. The ACA exchanges mostly serve the self-employed, and those working for companies too small or cheap to provide them with a company plan. Hence, most people won't be affected, or at least not in a very obvious way.

The Republicans have recently realized that repeal and delay will cause the immediate collapse of the exchanges, but I think while some of them have gotten squeamish and backed off, the more hubristic ones think this is why they should rip the band-aid off now, to get the screaming over with, and change the subject long before the mid-terms roll around. By then they'll have figured out some crazy story to blame the Democrats for the damage.

Hell, they managed to blame the 2008 financial crisis on financially irresponsible poor people and immigrants.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:13 pm 
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I don't think so many people would be mad at Obama for giving the Finance Industry CEOs a pass if the GOP had successfully blamed blacks and immigrants for the financial crisis (though add Fanny and Freddie and that's exactly what they tried).

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:54 am 
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Perhaps, but did people punish the Republicans at the ballot box for trying to gut the few financial reforms Obama did pass? Nooooo.

Also, recall that the Tea Party literally started off with a rant against the government aiding and abetting black people and immigrants in taking out bad loans.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:08 am 
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I doubt the majority of Americans would even know what the Republicans tried to do to Dodd-Frank, since most have no idea what that is in the first place. It never played on Fox or Good Morning America. Though to be fair, it never really made the headline news at all so most Americans missed it. Obama giving the CEOs a bye, that they saw.

The Tea Party? It literally started with a couple of plutocrats deciding to hijack the GOP from the plutocrats who had already done so, hiring a few experts, and buying some astroturf. Pointing to a particular PR stunt would be like saying that the Reichstag Fire was the root of the Nazi's seizing power in 1933. And it isn't as if that rant wasn't exactly the same thing that had been said all along.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:44 am 
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The Tea Party started out astroturf, then morphed into a real thing that elected a whole lot of Congresscritters and purged the Republicans of their few remaining moderates. Showing that it is possible to wed the plutocrats' agenda to unspecified multi-directional anger. We shall see what kind of astroturf they come up with for the Obamacare repeal. A few cherry-picked spokespeople for people who fell through Obamacare's cracks? A purported coalition of young healthy middle-class dudebros to market the hell out of the only constituency that would benefit (1) from the half-arsed replacement "plans" Republicans are hawking? The heretofore unremarked-upon spectre of disability fraud blowing up into a horrific budget-threatening problem that the Republicans can swoop in to "solve"? (Like "voter fraud", with medicine.) If there's one thing that riles the Republican base up, it's undeserving people getting benefits. The possibilities are endless.

(1) They would get cheaper insurance. Said insurance would be crappier. But people without serious medical needs wouldn't notice or care.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:38 am 
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Kea wrote:
The Tea Party started out astroturf, then morphed into a real thing that elected a whole lot of Congresscritters and purged the Republicans of their few remaining moderates.

That made them successful astroturf. The Ku Klux Klan was 1865 astroturf that became a real political movement. Of course, that's why the wealthy traitors who founded it betrayed it to the Federals, and it took decades to become a major political party. But the Tea Party (the Ku Klux Klan of 2002) never broke free of the wealthy traitors who founded it. Absent their support (which they eventually withdrew) it's nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Wasn't Ted Cruz the Tea Partiest Tea Partier? If Trump hadn't crashed the party, Cruz probably would've gotten the nomination.

The Senate's already moving on the Obamacare repeal. They're still doing the preliminaries, but it looks like they're going to do their best to rush this thing through. The only thing that'd stop it is a few Republicans getting cold feet.

If they pull off the repeal, they're gonna astroturf the crap out of the fallout to make it look popular. If they come up with a replacement at all, they'll straight up lie about what's in it. There'll be Trump tweets about how the Congressional Budget Office numbers are WRONG, this is the BEST PLAN, and how media reports of people losing health coverage are FAKE NEWS. And then Fox will malign the character of everybody who can't afford insurance under the new system. It'll be "Look at these irresponsible people, how can they have two cars and a smart phone and still claim they can't afford health insurance?" all over again.

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