ChrisWeigant.com

My 2015 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 – 21:03 PST ]

[ Updated To Fix Major Brain Fart: Somehow, while writing this column, I started thinking this year was 2016. Maybe it's because I've been so focused on the 2016 election cycle, maybe it is because this column was 27 pages long (in Word format) and took two days to write, and maybe it was just due to lack of sleep due to a very exuberant kitten joining our houshold right before I sat down to write it. For whatever reason, I've gone back and taken out all the "2016" instances I could find and corrected them to read "2015." I'll do a better pass later, with a search-and-replace, but for now it should be at least mostly correct. I apologize for the errors, and will be getting some sleep soon, hopefully. Mea culpa maxima.]

 

Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column!

[Part 1 of this column ran last week, just in case you missed it.]

Before we begin with this week's awards, we have a few odds and ends to get out of the way first. Last week's list had the "Best Photo Op" category, and we missed a few that deserve mentioning. There was the image of South Carolina's official flag being flown at half-staff after the Charleston shooting, with the Confederate flag in the foreground, flying at the top of its pole.

In a more positive light was the photo of the White House lit up in the colors of the rainbow flag, after the Supreme Court decision was announced which guaranteed marriage equality. That was a pretty good photo op, and deserves mention.

On purely amusing grounds, Ted Cruz pretending to audition for The Simpsons deserves some sort of mention, especially him quoting (while twirling, of course) Kang and Kodos: "Forwards, not backwards! Upwards not downwards! And always twirling, twirling for freedom!"

There was a headline from Huffington Post blogger Paul Ollinger which would have won "Funniest Headline," if the category actually existed. It measures one corporation's success on a very unusual yardstick. The title, as all outstanding headlines should, really speaks for itself: "Apple's $178 Billion In Cash Would Buy SO MUCH WEED." Heh. Hats off to Paul for that one!

OK, that's enough old business, let's get on with the remaining 2015 best and worst awards. One warning: it's a very long column, so we encourage readers to pace themselves.

 

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   Destined For Political Stardom

Um... Deez Nuts? Or maybe Limberbutt McCubbins?

Nah, that'd be too easy. Heh.

Destined For Political Stardom is a category to shine a light on the up-and-comers in the political world, of course, and we have to just note that last year's winner Gavin Newsom is indeed striving for higher office next year as he makes a run for California governor.

On the Republican side, Paul Ryan is certainly a contender, and will likely be a major force in the 2020 Republican nomination fight (assuming Hillary wins next year, of course). Hillary Clinton could certainly be a qualifier in this category, despite her not being exactly an up-and-comer, since it certainly now seems like she's about to skate into the White House. Of course, things could change fast, but "political stardom" certainly can be defined as "winning the presidency," so she's got a better-than-average chance.

But we're going to expand our horizons, here, and predict that John Bel Edwards is this year's winner of Destined For Political Stardom, after defeating the heavily-favored Senator David Vitter in the Louisiana governor's race. Edwards is a Southern, pro-life Democrat, but any Democrat in Louisiana these days is a rare breed, so he's worth watching. For this year, and for giving Democrats a win in a race they never thought they'd even be competitive in, Edwards deserves the Destined For Political Stardom prize this year.

 

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   Destined For Political Oblivion

Plenty to choose from in this category, this year. Since the Republicans fielded so many presidential candidates, there were more to choose from on the GOP side, of course. Scott Walker, once the Great Midwest Hope of the party, crashed and burned early on in the nomination race. Perhaps it was his suggestion of also building a wall across the U.S./Canadian border? We'll never know for sure....

Bobby Jindal was one of the first to try the "full-frontal attack on Trump" strategy, and one of the first to crash and burn as a direct result (the other was Rick Perry). Carly Fiorina, who rode the "I can viciously attack Hillary Clinton better than anyone else, because I am female" pony just about as far as she could. Ben Carson also deserves mention, because he (for some reason) spiked way upwards in the polls -- this one's still inexplicable to us, because he's always been so obviously and completely unhinged, but then we don't exactly vote in the Republican primaries.

Over on the Democratic side, we have both Jim "I killed a guy in 'Nam" Webb, and Lincoln Chafee. Oh, and the million bucks (of other people's money) that Lawrence Lessig spent on riding his poly-sci hobbyhorse, can't forget that.

Outside the presidential race, we had the ex-Speaker of the House John Boehner, who will now have all the time in the world to smoke cigars, play golf, and reminisce about what might have been, as well as David Vitter, who (after losing to John Bel Edwards) announced he'd be stepping down from his Senate seat.

But the big winner of the Destined For Political Oblivion award this year was the House member from California Kevin McCarthy, who was (for a time) the anointed successor to Boehner to lead the House.

McCarthy had it in the bag. He really did. He was supposed to be the magic glue which would hold together all the various GOP factions and lead them into some sort of Promised Land, right up until he uttered the worst "Kinsley" gaffe of the year (defined as "inadvertently speaking an inconvenient truth in Washington"), in a television interview:

Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought.

Oh, Kevin, didn't anyone tell you that you weren't supposed to admit this sort of stuff in public? This one quote not only sunk his prospective speakership, it also may have sunk his entire political career. And that's pretty much the definition of political oblivion, isn't it?

 

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   Best Political Theater

You could take the big-picture view here, and award this to Bernie Sanders's campaign, because it certainly is the best political theater we've seen in a while. Or you could go micro, and give it to the Jamaican senate, for passing a marijuana decriminalization bill on Bob Marley's birthday.

In other marijuana political theater, we had a Drug Enforcement Agency spokesperson testify that it would be dangerous to legalize marijuana because it would lead to (we are definitely not making this up) stoned bunny rabbits. No, seriously.

Elena Kagan indulged in a bit of theatrics in an opinion written about a "Spider-Man" case. In it, she used the phrases: "[I]n this world, with great power there must also come -- great responsibility," and "The parties set no end date for royalties, apparently contemplating that they would continue for as long as kids want to imitate Spider-Man (by doing whatever a spider can)." Points for style, Justice Kagan!

The folks that registered CarlyFiorina.org, and then filled it up with 30,000 frowny-faces, to represent all the people Carly laid off? Priceless! Or you could take the high road and award Best Political Theater to Pope Francis I, for his address to Congress (which, if his own statements can be believed, spurred John Boehner to step down).

The fracas over John Boehner stepping down was pretty good theater for Democrats, all around. For a while there it seemed like nobody wanted the job, which is a pretty astounding plot twist indeed.

We have two runners-up for Best Political Theater this year. The first goes to Missouri legislator Stacey Newman, for the bill she introduced in response to the terrorist attacks in Southern California. From the story about Newman's bill:

State Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) has pre-filed a bill for the state legislature's 2016 session that would require buyers to wait 72 hours to make a gun purchase, which they would only be able to do at a store at least 120 miles from their home. Women in the state must wait 72 hours before they can get an abortion and the 120-mile restriction is intended to draw attention to the long distances that women must travel to have one.

. . .

Under Newman's bill, the gun purchaser would be required to tour an emergency trauma center between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on a weekend when firearms victims are present and meet with at least two families affected by gun violence as well as two people who have officiated the funerals of minors who were shot dead.

Now that's an impressive act of political theater, combining two issues in a very poignant manner!

Our second runner-up award goes to the John Kasich campaign, for making the best anti-Trump ad we've yet seen. Here is the text of the ad, which is obviously an homage to a very famous World War II statement:

You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims should register with their government, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he's going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it's okay to rough up black protesters, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you're not one. But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope there's someone left to help you.

But the real Best Political Theater this year was pretty obviously the Black Lives Matter movement. It appeared on the scene early in the year, and has since become a major protest movement, taken seriously by all Democratic presidential candidates. Their tactics were debated (shouting down politicians at rallies), but they certainly were effective at getting their issue talked about and addressed in some fashion or another by Democrats. Republicans, for the most part, could afford to ignore the movement entirely, but that may not be true in the general election (we'll see). For being so effective at getting their message out, and for creating a movement which spread like wildfire, Black Lives Matter was the Best Political Theater of the year.

 

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   Worst Political Theater

There were far too many of these to choose from, so we're just going to list them all before handing out the award.

The Planned Parenthood videos.

Donald Trump's entire campaign.

The Baltimore riots.

Netanyahu's speech to Congress.

A gyrocopter landing near the Capitol in protest of something or another.

Pamela Geller's art exhibit of cartoons insulting Mohammed.

That last one almost won the prize, we should add. But there was one that was even worse. In California, a man filed a ballot initiative called the "Sodomite Suppression Act," which read, in part:

Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.

It further states that, should the state government fail to properly act, the citizens of the state could take it upon themselves to go around shooting gay people in the head, without fear of any legal penalty for doing so. When we heard about it, we called it "absolutely breathtaking in its medievalism." Thankfully, the state attorney general ruled that it wouldn't be allowed on the ballot due to its seriously unconstitutional nature, but the fact that it was even proposed makes it the absolute Worst Political Theater of 2015.

 

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   Worst Political Scandal

Unfortunately, a category with plenty to choose from, as usual. The biggest scandal involving a politician this year was likely the revelation by former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert that he had molested young boys while coaching a wrestling team and had recently been paying out a lot of blackmail money to keep the story under wraps. However, Hastert's been out of politics for a while and the nature of the scandal really had nothing to do with politics at all. Likewise, Bill Cosby's scandal continued to metastasize, but he doesn't have much to do with politics at all.

The Drug Enforcement Agency was in a class by itself this year, what with sex parties (with bonuses handed out afterwards), and a truly disgraceful case involving a stolen truck. These two stories merely scratch the surface, we should add, which is why Michele Leonhart had to step down from heading the agency this year.

We considered the Republican senators' letter to Iran to be pretty scandalous, but we've already handed out an award for that one. Likewise the scandal over the Planned Parenthood videos, which has been noted elsewhere.

There were other scandals that didn't really rise to the yearly-award level, including David Petraeus, the exit of Oregon's governor under a pretty dark cloud, and that recent kerfluffle between the Democratic National Committee and Bernie Sanders. Hillary's emails were in a category by themselves, the category of "scandals" as opposed to scandals. That pretty much sums it up, in fact. A particularly outrageous scandal was the fact that the Pentagon paid professional sports at least 6.8 million taxpayer dollars so they would celebrate the military at their games. That one was disturbing on multiple levels, really. From local politics, a Democratic officeholder in California's state government, Leland Yee, pled guilty to not only extortion and accepting bribes but also "gun-running," which is truly in a category by itself.

We know readers hate this, but we are going to have to award a three-way tie for Worst Political Scandal this year, because we find it impossible to choose from between them. They're all bad, and they all deserve calling out.

The first was the swamp of corruption known as Albany, New York. Federal agents have been arresting and indicting multiple major players from both parties in the New York state government all year long, for all sorts of sleazy arrangements and shenanigans. Now, New York isn't usually the first place people think of as leading in local government corruption (there are plenty of others that spring to mind more easily, from New Orleans to Chicago, or perhaps the state of New Jersey). But Albany very quietly has accommodated more than its fair share of state government corruption over the past few decades (remember Eliot Spitzer?). So we have to lump all the indictments and investigations into the generic label "Albany" and hand them one of our Worst Political Scandal awards this year.

Our second award goes to Rahm Emanuel, who conveniently fought in court to keep a video of a black man being shot by police out of the public's eye for long enough for Rahm to be re-elected. That's downright shameful, but it's entirely expected when you consider that Rahm Emanuel was behind it. Rahm is the modern personification of "Chicago-style politics," in fact. But to delay the release of evidence of a police officer committing a crime merely to further your own political ambitions certainly takes things to a new level, even for Rahm. Worst Political Scandal -- not the video itself, but the 13-month delay so Rahm could continue being mayor.

And our final Worst Political Scandal goes to an organization which used to be one of the most trusted and admired in America, but which now is no more than a punchline to a raunchy joke: the Secret Service. The agency seems to have been run for the past decade or so as a frat party. The most recent scandal -- only one of too many to list, sadly -- involved an agent trying to convince what he thought was an underage girl to have sex with him while on guard at the White House. The Secret Service obviously has a long way to go to gain any shred of respect from the public, and we only hope that this rebuilding begins quickly, so the constant pipeline of scandals which the Secret Service has been spewing (for far too long now) is soon shut down for good.

 

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   Most Underreported Story

There were many of these to choose from, as the mainstream corporate media all but ignored stories they didn't think would help them sell ads. Overtime pay was vastly expanded by President Obama this year, updating standards that hadn't been adjusted in decades. The old standard was so low that most employers could essentially require 50 or 60 hours of work per week without having to pay a dime extra ("salary" instead of "hourly pay"). The new standard bans this for anyone making less than just over $50,000. This was done with the stroke of Obama's pen, and it was a welcome change to weekly paychecks for millions, and yet the story got barely a mention on the evening news.

The economy continued to get better during 2015, which was also woefully underreported. The unemployment rate hit five percent -- half of the peak which happened at the depths of the Great Recession (in Obama's first year in office), and the media mostly just yawned. This is nothing really new, as the media always prefers stories of economic disaster over "things are getting better."

The coalition against the Islamic State made solid progress throughout 2015, reclaiming territory and shutting down Islamic State supply lines to the cities they still hold. Nobody's claiming victory yet, but 2015 was a marked shift from 2014 -- instead of the Islamic State expanding quickly, the expansion was not only halted but turned back, in both Iraq and Syria. Somehow the media turned a blind eye to all of this news, though.

Saudi Arabia publicly flogged a blogger for writing things the government didn't like, and it got pretty much zero coverage in the mainstream media.

But the real Most Underreported Story of the year is an easy pick: the Bernie Sanders campaign. Earlier in the year, statistics showed that the three broadcast networks devoted a total of 504 minutes to the presidential campaign. Of this total, 145 minutes covered Trump, 165 minutes for Hillary Clinton and her emails, and a whopping eight minutes for Bernie. Jeb Bush never got close to the polling numbers Bernie regularly has been getting (to say nothing of the huge crowds Bernie pulls), but Bush managed to get 43 minutes of coverage. More recent figures show this bias has continued -- Republicans with little-to-no chance of winning holding only a few percentage points of support get multiple times the coverage Bernie Sanders has gotten, even though he's supported by about a third of Democrats.

Even when he does get covered, the stories almost never mention any of his actual political positions, choosing to treat Bernie as a joke instead. One of the first articles the Washington Post wrote about Bernie called him a "humorless aging hippie peacenik Socialist from Brooklyn," and gasped: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) could be our first socialist hippie president." Sanders does call himself a Democratic Socialist, but I've never heard him use the word hippie.

Bernie Sanders has tapped into real concerns Democratic voters have, and he has more detailed plans than pretty much any other candidate in the race -- from either party. Media types (those that style themselves "journalists") always complain about how there are too many shallow horserace stories and not enough emphasis on policy ideas, but when a man comes along with policy ideas that crowds of people are loudly supporting, they just shrug and choose to ignore it. Bernie Sanders's campaign was without doubt the Most Underreported Story of the year.

 

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   Most Overreported Story

We began 2015 with "It snows in wintertime!" as the clear frontrunner for the Most Overreported Story, but that quickly faded. Benghazi was a contender for a while, even though no actual new scandal was uncovered. Hillary's emails ate up a big chunk of the summer, along with the inane "Hillary Is Toast" storyline that accompanied it (with actual calls for her to just quit her presidential race, based on nothing more than that's what the Washington insiders' cocktail party chatter had agreed should be done).

But, and we truly do regret this, the Most Overreported Story of the year was "Will Joe Biden Run Or Not?" Now, we remain neutral on how much of this should be blamed on Joe and how much of it should be blamed on a bored political media in the summertime, but whosever fault it was, it got far too much attention and took far too long to resolve. I've never seen such a frenzy before over a candidate who is not an actual candidate. Pretty much every Democratic poll threw Biden's name into the list, just to see what the public thought. When else has that happened, for months at a time? What other politician has gotten that much free polling without even announcing a candidacy? Perhaps there have been others, but the will-Joe-run story was still easily the Most Overreported Story of the year.

 

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   Biggest Government Waste

Well, there was that blimp that got loose and terrorized Maryland and Pennsylvania... that seemed like a giant waste of a whole bunch of money.

The federal War On Weed continues to consume zillions of dollars, even after Congress tried to use the power of the purse to zero the budget out (at least, in states with legal marijuana, medical or recreational). Sooner or later the choice will become obvious: lots of tax dollars flowing in versus lots of tax dollars flowing out fighting a pointless and unwinnable war on a plant.

But this year's winner was the Benghazi committee in the House, which has now spent five million dollars to investigate something that seven other groups have fully investigated. Their startling conclusion, after blowing five million smackeroos? Hillary Clinton had an aide called Sidney Blumenthal. That's it. That's the sum total the American people got for this entirely political attempt at a hit job on a Democrat running for president. Easily this year's Biggest Government Waste.

 

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   Best Government Dollar Spent

Sometimes we just punt on this column and give the Best Government Dollar Spent award to something like the National Park system. Sometimes we make a serious statement with the award (if we were so inclined this year, we'd give it to Planned Parenthood's funding). Sometimes we just get downright silly, by (for instance) awarding it to something like "the money spent to restore the name Denali to America's highest peak."

This year we're going to go extra-silly with large serving of snark, and award Best Government Dollar Spent on the "Jade Helm 15" military exercise. This absolutely banal military training event somehow acquired the proportion of the biggest and most official paranoid conspiracy theory of the decade, as dark warnings were uttered across the Southwest over the government's real plans. These included taking over the "hostile territory" of Texas, under the orders of President Obama, and then sending all conservatives to concentration camps. Tunnels under empty Wal-Mart stores were somehow insidiously involved. The occupation of Red America was about to begin! Ahhhh! Run for the hills!

Now, normally, paranoiacs would be laughed at and dismissed by sober politicians, but in this case the governor of Texas actually proposed using his own National Guard to keep an eye on the U.S. military exercise, just in case.

For the sheer entertainment value of watching a large swath of the country freak out about absolutely nothing -- and wind up looking as looney as the tinfoil hat crowd by doing so -- the Jade Helm 15 exercise was easily the Best Government Dollar Spent this year.

 

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   Boldest Political Tactic

We have two winners in this category this year.

The first is obvious: Donald Trump's xenophobia. This wasn't just some minor part of his campaign, after all, it was the absolute bedrock foundation of Trump's run. In his campaign announcement he used terms like "criminals" and "rapists" to describe the Mexicans coming into America. His one shining policy idea is to build a "big, beautiful wall" across our southern border, and somehow make Mexico pay for it. Trump seamlessly shifted gears after the recent terrorism, saying he'd essentially shut America down to any Muslim wishing to enter. His brilliant vetting process would be to ask each visitor to America "Are you Muslim?" and then not let in the ones who respond "Yes." No, really -- that's his plan. This is somehow supposed to shine a light on how flawed our regular vetting process is, which is a real head-scratcher when you think about it.

Poke all the fun you want (and we do want to, and have been poking lots of fun over the year), but Trump is tapping a deeply disturbing nativist vein in American politics, which other Republicans have been scrambling to either denounce or jump on board with. Trump's campaign would not have been so successful, to put this another way, without being centered on xenophobia. It was an incredibly bold tactic to try, which is why it gets a Boldest Political Tactic award.

Our other Boldest Political Tactic award goes to President Barack Obama. Obama did an extraordinary job of stealing the "honeymoon" period from the Republican Congress at the start of 2015, and rather than Congress setting the agenda, they had to settle for following Obama's agenda instead. The most brilliant tactic during this period -- the one we're handing the award to -- was to rig the congressional vote on the Iran nuclear deal. Months before the deal was finalized, Obama got the Republican House and the Republican Senate to agree to hold one single vote that had to get an astronomically-high veto-proof majority to stop the deal.

Congress, amazingly, went along with this plan. What this acquiescence meant was that when the plan was finalized and announced, all Obama had to do was get 34 senators to support him -- which he easily did. Obama -- with the Republicans' own approval -- absolutely rigged the Iran deal vote so it was near-impossible for him to lose it.

It was an incredibly bold tactic and it worked like a charm. For pulling this one off, President Obama wins his own Boldest Political Tactic award.

 

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   Best Idea

There were many good ideas up for consideration this year, including:

Free college -- Obama's call in his State Of The Union address for free community college and Bernie Sanders's unequivocal call for all state universities to be free as well.

Scrap the Social Security cap, and make it a true flat tax on all wage-earners, instead of the most regressive tax possible.

Obama's commutation of a record number of drug sentences.

The Iran nuclear deal, and opening up Cuba.

Two ideas stood out, but we judged that one of them was more important. Up until this year (it may have started earlier, but this year is when it began to be talked about in earnest among politicians), the most marijuana advocates have hoped for was a "rescheduling" of marijuana, down from Schedule I to perhaps Schedule II. The most optimistic called for it to go down to Schedule III. But, not unlike how the cries for gay marriage rights superceded the calls for domestic partnerships, this year a clear and rational plan was seriously considered: not just "rescheduling" marijuana down, but "descheduling" it all together. Remove it from the banned drugs list once and for all!

This makes perfect sense, when you think about where marijuana should reside in the federal pantheon of agencies. We have an agency who shares regulation for two other recreational substances, after all. It's right there in the name: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. All we need to do is stick "Cannabis" or "Marijuana" in there somewhere. This would make far better sense than treating marijuana any other way. Over half the states have legalized medical marijuana of some type or another. Four states and DC have legalized recreational use -- a number which could double (or even triple) next year, when voters in many other states are going to get a chance to weigh in. The time has come for the feds to admit defeat and start thinking rationally about marijuana. One presidential candidate (Bernie, of course) is even touting the idea in his speeches.

But, good as that idea is, there's another that is still better. The Best Idea of 2015 (again, it started earlier, but it really proved itself this year) was "putting cameras on cops." Cameras don't lie. Sometimes citizens lie, and sometimes police officers lie, but cameras don't. Video evidence of exactly what happens in an altercation have become an absolute necessity. Videos have shown the public exactly what takes place in contested situations. All cops should wear cameras all the time, with allowable exceptions very narrowly defined (for personal breaks and confidential informants only, perhaps).

We as a society are already in the digital age, in a big way. Policing is catching up. It should soon be unacceptable for any police officer to be doing normal duties without recording evidence of what is happening, all across this country. A lot of conflicts will be avoided as a direct result.

Cameras on cops really came into its own this year, which is why we're calling it the Best Idea of 2015.

 

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   Worst Idea

There was a bumper crop of bad ideas in 2015, beginning with pretty much anything Trump proposed ("ban all Muslims" would have to take the cake, there).

Congress refusing to pass an Authorization for the Use of Military Force for the war against the Islamic State was a monumentally bad idea.

Requiring Americans to upgrade their credit cards to add a computer chip, but then falling short of reaching the international standard for such cards (which, I might add, have existed in Europe for a quarter century already, with PINs) was an incredibly stupid idea.

Keystone XL was a pretty bad idea that finally died in 2015.

John Kasich's idea to beam broadcasts featuring America's "Judeo-Christian values" into the Middle East, to solve terrorism, was a profoundly idiotic idea, for so many reasons.

The Ohio marijuana initiative -- which would have legalized recreational marijuana, but also created an oligopoly of only 10 farms allowed to grow it for the entire state -- tried to hijack the movement for clean legalization, but failed.

But the real Worst Idea of 2015 was Jeb Bush's campaign plan. It wasn't supposed to be this way, you can almost hear Jeb telling himself these days. Bush raised a mountain of campaign cash very early on, which was supposed to clear the field of competitors and hand him an easy path to the nomination. Political pundits everywhere were writing about how inevitable a "Bush versus Clinton" campaign would be. Unfortunately, no matter how many silver spoons you cram in Bush's mouth, he was still a terrible campaigner who was far out of touch with the mood of his own party (Bush hasn't run for office in a long time, it's worth pointing out). In another year, in another election cycle, Bush's campaign plan might have been a brilliant one and might have overcome the flaws of the candidate. Not this time, though, which is why Bush's campaign plan was easily the Worst Idea of 2015.

 

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   Sorry To See You Go

We've always wanted a companion award for "NOT sorry to see you go," which we would give this year to either outgoing Education Secretary Arne Duncan, or to Michele Leonhart, former head of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Not sorry to see either leave their post this year.

Of course, there are two meanings to this, one professional and one funereal. Notable deaths this year in the political world included Beau Biden, Jim Wright, Julian Bond, and Mario Cuomo. In the non-political world, we lost Yogi Berra, B. B. King, and Wes Craven. We'll personally miss more than all of these both Grace Lee "Yeoman Rand" Whitney, and Leonard "Mister Spock" Nimoy, both icons of the original Star Trek series. Oh, and the guy that came up with the Pet Rock, too.

Career-wise, we will miss Eric Holder (who started rather weak as Attorney General, at least on the marijuana issue, but ended his term in a much better place), Harry Reid, and Barbara Boxer. A lot of people are missing Jon Stewart on late-night television, as well.

The one remaining Sorry To See You Go candidate was the Iowa Straw Poll, just because it was such a nakedly corrupt event, where Republican candidates poured money into the practice of the outright buying of votes. It finally collapsed this year of its own corrupt weight, but we have to say we will indeed miss all the fun.

 

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   15 Minutes Of Fame

Since the very category celebrates brevity, we're just going to provide a short list of all those who achieved their 15 Minutes Of Fame over the course of the year:

Kim Davis (county clerk who refused to marry gays),

The boy who put together a clock that was treated as a bomb, for some reason,

The three Americans who bravely prevented a terrorist attack on a French train,

Pamela Gellar, who provoked a terrorist attack with a public exhibition of Mohammed cartoons,

Rachel Dolezal, who was not actually black,

Joyce Mitchell, who helped two prisoners escape in New York,

Run Warren Run, a political group that took a long time to take Elizabeth Warren at her own word that she wasn't interested,

Carly Fiorina,

Ben Carson,

Scott Walker,

Rick Perry,

Bobby Jindal,

Jim Webb,

Lincoln Chafee,

and Kevin McCarthy, who did not wind up being speaker of the House.

 

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   Best Spin

This one is pretty easy this year. Republicans everywhere have been patting themselves on the back -- in a big way -- over how they are now the party of diversity. No, really! That's what they tell each other, honest!

Their rationale (or spin) goes something like this: "Just look who's on the stage of the Republican debates. We've got a black man, a woman, and two Hispanics! The Democrats just have old white people. We're obviously better at diversity than Democrats."

This all will be revealed as ethereal political spin next November, when (especially if Donald Trump is the nominee) the election results will show record levels of support from all minority groups for the Democratic candidate.

Still, until the results are in, the Best Spin award clearly goes to the GOP's delusion that they're better on diversity because of their presidential slate. Putting diverse candidates up isn't the same as actually supporting policies that would help minorities, in other words.

 

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   Most Honest Person

This one is an easy one, because nobody else really even comes close to Bernie Sanders in the honesty department. Bernie tells you what he believes. On most subjects, he's been standing up for what he believes for decades now.

Whether you love Bernie or hate him, whether you love his ideas or think they're stupid, you still have to admit that he presents those ideas honestly. To give just one gigantic example, Bernie refuses to run away from the "socialism" label, because he does believe America would be better with some of the socialistic ideas that work wonders in European countries. An other American presidential candidate would have tried to run away from the label, in an effort to be more "electable." Bernie didn't. He is who he says he is, and in most cases that hasn't changed in a very long time -- mostly because the rest of the country is still catching up with all the progressive policies he supported as a younger man.

Bernie Sanders is -- easily -- the Most Honest Person of 2015.

 

Trophy
   Most Overrated

There were four clear candidates for Most Overrated, and all of them were presidential candidates as well. What might be called the "Jon Huntsman Consolation Prize" would have to go to either Martin O'Malley or John Kasich this year. Both men were touted by the inside-the-Beltway types as the "perfect candidate" for the respective parties. O'Malley was going to catch fire for hitting the sweet spot between Hillary's untrustworthiness and Bernie's far-out ideas. Kasich was (as was Huntsman before him) the media's "Here's the type of Republican that should be nominated!" candidate. After all, "He's so moderate and downright sane!" As with Huntsman, this hasn't exactly translated into voter support for either man, much to the disappointment of what might be called the false equivalence gang in the media.

But this year, there were actually two others more deserving of Most Overrated. The first is Jeb! Bush, who was vastly overrated by all. But since we've already given him an award, we're going to instead hand Most Overrated to Scott Walker. Walker was supposed to be the Great Midwestern Hope, a man who had survived a recall election in a blue state who could get the whole country to work with him. Or some such nonsense.

Of course, it didn't work out that way, and Walker crashed and burned very early on (only Rick Perry exited the race before him). Walker crushed a lot of inside-the-Beltway dreams when he announced his campaign was over, but this was largely due to him being the Most Overrated candidate to begin with.

 

Trophy
   Most Underrated

Only two names were even in the running for this one. Bernie Sanders was extremely underrated by all, and he continues to be. But his story pales in comparison to the winner's.

Donald Trump was -- easily -- the Most Underrated candidate of the year. His candidacy was laughingly dismissed as a joke by pretty much the entire spectrum of political thought. The Left thought it was the funniest joke they'd ever heard. The Huffington Post even banished him for months to the "Entertainment" page. The Right was angrier (of course), but equally as dismissive. Washington insiders told themselves over and over again that Trump would -- of course! -- explode soon, and that his support was in no way real. Some continue to underestimate him to this day, ignoring pretty much every poll that has been conducted so far.

We thought Trump was a joke when he started off too, we fully admit. But we were a little quicker to realize that something was going on even if everyone inside the Beltway had their head buried in the sand. In July, we wrote an article titled "Thinking The Unthinkable: Donald Trump, GOP Nominee." Since that point, we've been taking him very seriously indeed, and we now think the nomination is basically Trump's for the taking.

But whenever the light dawned that Trump's support wasn't going to magically melt away, it's pretty easy to see that Donald Trump was the Most Underrated candidate of the year.

 

Trophy
   Predictions

Finally, we approach the end! As usual, anyone still left reading deserves some sort of award for sheer stamina....

Before making 2016 predictions, we always review our own record to see how we did last time around. Here are our predictions for this year, from last year's column:

We're going to cheat a bit on this first one, because outside of some wonky mathematicians we don't think anyone else has noticed. Next year's "Pi Day" will be the biggest in all history (or, at the very least: "for the next 1,000 years"). Pi Day is celebrated every year on March 14th, because when written in American format, the date becomes "3/14." Now, pi (as you'll recall from school) has a value of 3.141592653. What this means is that in about three months, pi enthusiasts will be celebrating precisely, at around nine-thirty in the morning. Why? Because it will be the grandest Pi Day ever -- 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 in the morning! Woo hoo!

OK, enough silliness. In a more serious vein, the Supreme Court will come down definitively and decisively for marriage equality for all Americans. It will remove the issue from state law and declare that the U.S. Constitution demands equal treatment for all at the altar. Marriage equality rights will then never be taken away, forever. Furthermore, I predict that the response from savvy Republican politicians will be nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders, because the party at large has realized what a losing issue it is for them.

Another court prediction: the Supreme Court will toss out the lawsuit against Obamacare that is trying to deny health insurance subsidies to people who live in states that use the federal HealthCare.gov exchange. John Roberts will once again shock conservatives by being the deciding vote in favor of Obamacare.

The Tea Party's center of gravity will shift from the House to the Senate. In the House, they will find themselves with less power as John Boehner rallies the Establishment Republican wing. But over in the Senate, Mitch McConnell is going to be run ragged by Tea Party nonsense, as three members of his caucus get busy running for president. As Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz all try to outflank each other on the right, nothing much will be accomplished by the Senate next year.

And finally, my lists of who will and who will not decide to run for president (in no particular order).

Republicans who will run for president: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, John Kasich.

Republicans who will not run for president: Donald Trump (although he'll make a bunch of noise about it first, of course), Michele Bachmann, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Sarah Palin, Susana Martinez.

Democrats who will run for president: Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Brian Schweitzer.

Democrats who will not run for president: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean, Andrew Cuomo, Mark Warner.

Well, that was a little better than last year's score! The Pi Day one doesn't really count, because it wasn't so much a prediction as pointing out an inevitability.

Still, I got the two Supreme Court cases right, although I whiffed badly with that prediction about the House. John Boehner finally got taken down by the unruly Tea Partiers, which is the complete opposite of what I thought would happen. We even got part of it wrong, as another equally fun Pi Day will happen in 2114 -- as it will every 100 years, not every thousand.

I made a total of 30 candidate predictions, both in and out. I got all the Republicans running right except Mike Pence and Paul Ryan. I didn't do so well in the Republicans I thought would sit out, as four of the seven people I named did eventually jump in the race. Democrats who were in was a better category, as only Brian Schweitzer turned out to be a bad pick. And I was perfect in the Democrats out category. All told, a score of 23 right to only seven wrong, which I consider not too bad at all.

OK, enough looking backwards, let's haul out the old crystal ball, dust it off, and try to see the future.

I'm doubling down on a bad prediction made last year, and once again predicting that Paul Ryan will be successful in reining in the Tea Partiers. This will mean Congress begins to function in a much more normal way that it has for the entire Boehner speakership. Ryan will be cut much more slack by the Tea Partiers, and things will get done without all the pointless drama.

The economy will continue to slowly improve, so much so that it becomes a secondary issue (at best) in the presidential campaign. Voters will start caring about other issues more than the economy, in other words.

Sadly, the frequency of mass shootings will not abate, meaning we get a big one every couple of weeks, as some sort of hellish "new normal."

The Islamic State will keep losing ground (in Iraq, especially), and will lose two of their three biggest Iraqi cities (Mosul, Fallujah, and Ramadi). Ramadi is close to being liberated even now, so this may actually happen in 2015. But the main "capital" of the Islamic State in Syria will not be liberated next year.

Barack Obama will get a big setback next summer, as the Supreme Court rules against his plans to revamp immigration and deportation policy. The conservatives on the court will argue he is overstepping his prosecutorial discretion, and they will decide against Obama.

And I've saved the biggest ones for last: election predictions!

Donald Trump will easily become the Republican presidential nominee, shocking many inside the Beltway. He will name an outsider for his veep choice (Jesse Ventura, maybe?), and the Republican National Convention will be the most interesting in decades, as the party establishment rends its garments and pulls its hair in one way or another.

Hillary Clinton will also skate to her own nomination. She'll pick someone from a swing state to be her running mate (Ohio, or maybe Florida?).

Five states (including, at the very least, California and Maine) will legalize recreational marijuana use by ballot initiative. One other state (Vermont or Rhode Island, most likely) will legalize marijuana through their state legislature.

Democrats will take back the Senate, although their margin will be very thin. Democrats will pick up seats in the House, but they will fail to retake the chamber.

And, lastly, Hillary Clinton becomes President-Elect Clinton, with a landslide in the Electoral College where she gets over 350 (but not as high as 400) out of 538.

OK, that's it for this year! Have a happy new year, everyone. To end in true McLaughlin fashion, we say to all of you:

"Bye-bye!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

If you're interested in traveling down Memory Lane, here are all the previous years of this awards column:

2015 -- [Part 1]
2014 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2013 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2012 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2011 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2010 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2009 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2008 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2007 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2006 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]

 

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

94 Comments on “My 2015 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... just in case this gets lost in the shuffle ...

    From Part I:

    Love him or hate him, you've got to admit that no other political figure even came close to the attention Trump has gotten in the past six months. Trump is unquestionably the Best Politician of the year.

    When did the deciding factor as to who is the best politician become the person who gets the most attention?

    I guess the answer is about the time that politician ceased to be known as an honourable profession.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    since it certainly now seems like she's about to skate into the White House.

    Yea, that's what she (and ya'all) thought in 2008..

    I'm just sayin... :D

    Edwards is a Southern, pro-life Democrat,

    Who supports a refugee ban....

    For being so effective at getting their message out, and for creating a movement which spread like wildfire, Black Lives Matter was the Best Political Theater of the year.

    Unfortunately, their "message" is nothing more than KILL COPS, DESTROY PROPERTY and their entire existence is based on a lie..

    Not sure if that's something worth honoring... :^/

    Hillary's emails were in a category by themselves, the category of "scandals" as opposed to scandals. That pretty much sums it up, in fact.

    So, let me see if I have this straight..

    David Patraeus was a scandal... But Hillary, who did much much MUCH worse than Patraeus is a "scandal"???

    Ahhh That's right.. Patraeus has a -R after his name and Hillary has a -D after her name..

    OK.. Now that makes sense..

    But to delay the release of evidence of a police officer committing a crime

    So much for INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, eh?? :^/

    I guess cops are not afforded the "luxury" of jurisprudence, eh??

    What "crime" did this cop commit???

    He shot an armed man who was high on PCP....

    Crime?? Not from where I am sitting...

    We began 2016 with "It snows in wintertime!" as the clear frontrunner for the Most Overreported Story, but that quickly faded.

    As opposed to Obama's hysterical "ICE MELTS IN SUMMER!!!" campaign?? :D

    I have been waiting ALL year to do that!! :D

    Thanx, CW.. :D

    In his campaign announcement he used terms like "criminals" and "rapists" to describe the Mexicans coming into America.

    ILLEGAL Mexicans coming to America...

    But, good as that idea is, there's another that is still better. The Best Idea of 2016 (again, it started earlier, but it really proved itself this year) was "putting cameras on cops." Cameras don't lie. Sometimes citizens lie, and sometimes police officers lie, but cameras don't.

    But the problem is that those with a racist or hate agenda will lie about what the camera says..

    Just ask Ray Tessing in Cincinnati...

    The boy who put together a clock that was treated as a bomb, for some reason

    Probably because it DID look like one..

    Which was the intent of the family... Now they are suing for a 15 million dollar pay day...

    Pamela Gellar, who provoked a terrorist attack with a public exhibition of Mohammed cartoons,

    Ahhh.. So GELLAR is to blame and not the muslim terrorists themselves..

    So, using that reasoning, then PLANNED PARENTHOOD is to blame for the Colorado shooting and not the scumbag who actually DID the shooting..

    Because, PP "provoked" the shooting..

    Right??? :^/

    Michale
    592

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    This all will be revealed as ethereal political spin next November, when (especially if Donald Trump is the nominee) the election results will show record levels of support from all minority groups for the Democratic candidate.

    Yea??

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/us/politics/hillary-clinton-is-not-my-abuela-critics-say.html?_r=0

    They even coined a new word for Hillary's abysmal outreach..

    HISPANDERING

    I have to admit, that's pretty catchy.... :D

    And a well deserved brand for Hillary's campaign...

    Michale
    593

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Our second award goes to Rahm Emanuel, who conveniently fought in court to keep a video of a black man being shot by police out of the public's eye for long enough for Rahm to be re-elected. That's downright shameful, but it's entirely expected when you consider that Rahm Emanuel was behind it. Rahm is the modern personification of "Chicago-style politics," in fact. But to delay the release of evidence of a police officer committing a crime merely to further your own political ambitions certainly takes things to a new level, even for Rahm. Worst Political Scandal -- not the video itself, but the 13-month delay so Rahm could continue being mayor.

    But!!! But!!! But!!!

    Hillary supports Rahm completely and unequivocally!!???

    So, either Rahm is not so bad...

    Or Hillary is a luser for supporting him!!

    Which is it??

    Hoisted by ya'all's Picard... :D

    Seriously though.. It's easy to see why Rahm has Hillay's undying support....

    Ya'all just HAVE to know that Rahm knows where a LOT of Hillary's and Bill's bodies are buried... Probably because Rahm buried more than a few of them...

    How do you like your Democrat Candidate now?? :D

    Michale
    594

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    But to delay the release of evidence of a police officer committing a crime

    So much for INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, eh?? :^/

    I guess cops are not afforded the "luxury" of jurisprudence, eh??

    What "crime" did this cop commit???

    He shot an armed man who was high on PCP....

    Crime?? Not from where I am sitting...

    And any 1st Year Law Student... hell, anyone who has watched DROP DEAD DIVA will be able to PROVE beyond ANY doubt that the charges against the officer are SOLELY, COMPLETELY and UNEQUIVOCALLY politically motivated...

    All one has to do is pose one question..

    "If this 'crime' is so heinous and bad, why was the officer not charged until a YEAR after the allegedly 'crime'??"

    This officer will walk...

    You can take that to the bank...

    Michale
    595

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/24/clinton-aide-key-focus-in-fbi-server-investigation.html?intcmp=hpbt2

    Yea... No scandal there, eh???

    It's a race to see what happens to Hillary first..

    Elected or Indicted...

    Michale
    596

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Our second award goes to Rahm Emanuel, who conveniently fought in court to keep a video of a black man being shot by police out of the public's eye for long enough for Rahm to be re-elected.

    What does it matter??

    By the Left Wingery's definition, that video is a "fraud"...

    Michale
    597

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    We thought Trump was a joke when he started off too, we fully admit. But we were a little quicker to realize that something was going on even if everyone inside the Beltway had their head buried in the sand. In July, we wrote an article titled "Thinking The Unthinkable: Donald Trump, GOP Nominee." Since that point, we've been taking him very seriously indeed, and we now think the nomination is basically Trump's for the taking.

    Com'on... Credit where credit is due..

    I called Trump's candidacy from DAY ONE...

    I said over and over that you don't become richer than god by being ignorant or a clown or any of the other names the Left Wingery loves to spew about Trump... I also said that ya'all ignore Trump's potential at yer own peril..

    I called that one dead on ballz accurate... :D

    Michale
    598

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOW!!!

    Comment # 600!!!

    Before Christmas even!!!

    I think that has GOT to be a new record..

    Eh Liz??? :D

    Michale
    600

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Rahm Emanuel needs to go away. Now. I applaud Bernie Sanders for distancing himself from Emanuel, and shame on Hillary Clinton for not doing the same.

    JL

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    full disclosure: i'm 100% biased against emanuel and have been for years: initially for his 2010 comments about the "professional left," which is probably part of what got him booted from the obama white house, and many times over for his repeated attempts to privatize chicago's schools and destroy their teachers' union. long story short, i'm not exactly objective.

    JL

  12. [12] 
    Paula wrote:

    Great rundown Chris!

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Santa Claus was good to me today... :D

    http://www.sharpusa.com/ForHome/HomeEntertainment/LCDTV/Archives/LC70LE847U.aspx

    Due to the fact that I doubt ANYTHING could get me down, I am going to forgo any snotty or "ignorant prick"-ish comments for 24 hours... :D

    Michale
    602

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article51119880.html

    It's long, but if you don't laugh at least 5 times, you must be dead...

    Or Republican.... :D

    Michale
    603

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    WOW!!! Comment # 600!!! Before Christmas even!!! I think that has GOT to be a new record..Eh Liz??? :D

    And such non-brief comments, too, Michale. :)

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    And such non-brief comments, too, Michale. :)

    Heh :D

    Michale
    604

  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, nobody noticed it here, but I got red-faced when I read a comment over at HuffPost.

    Throughout this article, I typed dozens of times "2016" when I meant "this year." I've fixed most of them and added a "whoops" notice at the top.

    Michale -

    I thought the Dave Barry piece was hilarious, read it on WashPost. Especially his ragging on the Patriots...

    nypoet22 -

    Yeah, I'll admit to a lot of anti-Rahm bias too. I lost count of the times he went out of his way to insult the base of the voters who elected Obama.

    -CW

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Yeah, I'll admit to a lot of anti-Rahm bias too. I lost count of the times he went out of his way to insult the base of the voters who elected Obama.

    Still hypersensitive, I see ... about something that didn't even apply to you.

  19. [19] 
    neilmcgovern wrote:

    Merry Christmas (2015 Chris ;) to everybody.

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The guy who landed the gyrocopter on the Whitehouse lawn is running for Congress against none other than Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-in-capitol-gyrocopter-stunt-to-challenge-dnc-chairwoman/

    Thought you'd get a kick out of this, CW. Merry Christmas all!

    -David

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hope everyone survived the holiday...

    Let's get back to it, shall we?? :D

    Michale
    605

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    The guy who landed the gyrocopter on the Whitehouse lawn is running for Congress against none other than Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    Couldn't happen to a more deserving politician.. :D

    Michale
    606

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remember when I said before that if Hillary deployed Bubba, it would be a sign of desperation in her campaign..

    Hillary Clinton’s ‘Secret Weapon’ Could Escalate Campaign Rhetoric
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clintons-secret-weapon-could-escalate-campaign-rhetoric-1451082017

    Let the desperation begin..

    The problem for Hillary with deploying Bill is that it makes ALL of Bill's actions, the rape, the sexual assaults, the accusations of pedophilia... Makes that ALL legitimate targets of discussion..

    And, since we know that Trump never lets a good insult go to waste....

    Grab the popcorn!! It's gonna be a great show!! :D

    Michale
    607

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let the desperation begin..

    And WHY is Hillary desperate, you may ask???

    Hillary’s Hispandering Problem
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/campaigns-elections/hillary-clinton-hispandering-problem/

    Hispanics are not as in the bag for Hillary or Democrats as the Left would want us to believe..

    Michale
    608

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of Rahm...

    In Chicago, Rahm Emanuel Faces a Crisis Brought on by Progressive Politics
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425582/rahm-emanuel-chicago-fiscal-crisis

    Rahm and Chicago are simply an obvious product of Progressive policies and politics.......

    This is your progressivism at work, people...

    Embrace it...

    Michale
    609

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of Rahm...

    In Chicago, Rahm Emanuel Faces a Crisis Brought on by Progressive Politics
    http://tinyurl.com/nuhc9rj

    Rahm and Chicago are simply an obvious product of Progressive policies and politics.......

    This is your progressivism at work, people...

    Embrace it...

    Michale
    609

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Results Of Progressivism... PART DUEX

    The Left Has No One to Blame but Itself for Madness on Campus

    For several years now, whenever I’ve visited a college campus, I’ve tried to make the following point. It basically goes like this:

    You kids think it is somehow rebellious to be liberal. So let me see if I get this right. The administrators at this school are liberal. The professors are liberal. Your high-school teachers were probably liberal. Your textbooks are, for the most part, liberal. Hollywood is liberal. The music industry is liberal. The fashion industry is liberal. Publishing is liberal. The mainstream media are liberal. Silicon Valley is liberal. Believe it or not, most corporations and the overwhelming majority of charitable foundations are liberal. And yet, you think you’re sticking it to the man by agreeing with them?

    Moreover, it’s been like this for generations. It was true when most of these administrators and faculty were born — they have grown up inside a universe where this fact was simply taken for granted. With the Left given total control of these oases of tolerance and citadels of progressivism, what do we get?

    We get pampered and coddled students screaming that these institutions are hotbeds of racism, homophobia, sexism, and the rest of the 31 Flavors of Oppression.

    I’m sorry, but over here by the hibachi in the parking lot, that’s just frick’n hilarious.
    http://tinyurl.com/z6pqatj

    Michale
    610

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Com' on!! Admit it..

    Ya'all completely agree with me on these college "snow flakes" who are demanding "safe spaces" and an end to "micro agressions"!!

    :D

    Michale
    611

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In Chicago, Rahm Emanuel Faces a Crisis Brought on by Progressive Politics

    yes, the folks at the national review would see chicago's fiscal situation that way. but as pro-corporate as they are, even george will and co. are fully aware that everybody hates rahm, and with good reason. if you've scrolled down to the bottom of the article you linked, you know the next few articles (by jeff blehar, kevin williamson and johah goldberg) are all about what a big opportunity everyone's disgust for rahm is for republicans. and in truth, perhaps they're right on that count. without a viable opposition party, cities are often condemned to accept the worst political players the dominant party has to offer.

    JL

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In Chicago, Rahm Emanuel Faces a Crisis Brought on by Progressive Politics

    @Michale [25],

    yes, the folks at the national review would see chicago's fiscal situation that way. but as pro-corporate as they are, even george will and co. are fully aware that everybody hates rahm, and with good reason. if you've scrolled down to the bottom of the article you linked, you know the next few articles (by jeff blehar, kevin williamson and johah goldberg) are all about what a big opportunity everyone's disgust for rahm is for republicans. and in truth, perhaps they're right on that count. without a viable opposition party, cities are often condemned to accept the worst political players the dominant party has to offer.

    JL

  31. [31] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    comments swallowed?

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @cw,

    is there a guideline somewhere to help us figure out why certain comments get flagged for no obvious reason?

    JL

  33. [33] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    swallowed comments RE: rahm, abridged:

    yes, without a viable opposition party, cities are often forced to accept the worst political players the dominant party has to offer.

    JL

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    is there a guideline somewhere to help us figure out why certain comments get flagged for no obvious reason?

    Near as I can tell, there is no set algorithm that indicates what does and does not get sent to NNL...

    It's like the old Star Trek episode, PARADISE SYNDROME...

    A certain combination of consonants and vowels triggers the obelisk..

    In this case, a certain combination of words invokes the NNL filters..

    The NNL filters seems to have a big hangup with URLs... I remember when I couldn't post a TAYLOR MARSH url to save my life.. :D

    I have had a few comments in this thread whisked away.. But I replaced the links with TINYURL links and that made it thru...

    Michale
    612

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay RD,

    Referring back to a previous discussion regarding Windows 10, etc etc..

    I installed TeraCopy because I couldn't figure out how to bring back the COPY/PASTE progress window in Win10....

    But it looked to me like TeraCopy was a standalone program that I really didn't want to have to invoke everytime I wanted to copy stuff.. Which is constantly..

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that, when I go to copy and paste thru EXPLORER it gives me the option to do it thru EXPLORER or TERACOPY...

    Woot!!! :D

    Thanx for the recommendation...

    The weird thing is that the Win10 Copy/Paste issue is only affecting one of my work workstations.. My home machine and the front counter machine at work seems to C/P just fine..

    Anyways.. Thanx.. :D

    Michale
    612

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    yes, without a viable opposition party, cities are often forced to accept the worst political players the dominant party has to offer.

    Like Trump??? :D

    Michale
    613

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Like Trump??? :D

    if you mean the worst a party has to offer then sure, but trump has never been the mayor of a city (or held any other elected office), and unlike chicago mayors there actually have been a few republican presidents in the last 87 years.

    JL

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    I stand corrected.. :D

    Michale
    614

  39. [39] 
    neilmcgovern wrote:

    Great article by David Frum in the Atlantic

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/01/the-great-republican-revolt/419118/

    Basically:

    Republican Establishment, after the 2012 loss, decided that:
    1. Attacks on middle class programs (Medicare, Social Security): Still OK
    2. Big tax cuts for the $250K+ crowd: Still OK
    3. Lowering inconvenient regulations: Still OK
    4. Corporations and the ultra wealthy being able to buy elections: Still OK
    5. Pissing off the Latino community regarding immigration: not OK

    So they lined up Bush, Rubio, and Walker to run on 1-4 but not 5. The base hated it.

    Trump appeared and doubled down on pissing off Latinos on immigration. The base loved it.

    Trump also vowed to protect SS and Medicare, and that he didn't need the oligarch's money. The base loved it even more.

    Trump is a funny clown who humiliates the establishment candidates. Even better for the Republican base!

    Watching the establishment vs. Trump is some of the best entertainment of this election season.

    How do you think it will play out?

    1. Establishment picks a single candidate (probably Rubio) and puts all their money on negative ads aimed at Donald and Cruz - risk is that Trump forms his own party

    2. Establishment holds nose and picks Cruz over Trump

    3. Establishment makes peace with Trump

    4. Other?

    My bet: 1 - and the entertainment quotient will skyrocket

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    my math was a bit off, actually. upon further research, the last republican mayor of chicago was bill thompson, who won by allying himself with al capone. his last term ended in 1931, so that would make it 84 years, not 87.

    JL

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    neil,

    i tend to agree with you on all points. the GOP establishment will pick a horse and run it hard against trump. once the field thins a bit more we'll get a better idea of said candidate's potential success.

    JL

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    <I5. Pissing off the Latino community regarding immigration: not OK

    The majority of LEGAL immigrants appreciate Trumps push against ILLEGAL immigration..

    Further, the Latino community is sick of the Hispandering coming from the Democrat Party...

    The Democrat Party is simply trying to expand the plantation...

    Hispanics are having none of that...

    Michale
    615

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    My bet: 1 - and the entertainment quotient will skyrocket

    Let's face reality..

    That is your HOPE...

    It's more likely that 3 will occur as the Republican Establishment will, like Democrats, be more interesting in WINNING than any purity statements..

    Michale
    616

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's more likely that 3 will occur as the Republican Establishment will, like Democrats, be more interesting in WINNING than any purity statements..

    once the primary is over, sure. but i doubt the establishment GOP will support trump until and unless they have to.

    JL

  45. [45] 
    neilmcgovern wrote:

    Michale:

    Here are the numbers for Presidential elections since 1980 (source: http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2012/11/2012_Latino_vote_exit_poll_analysis_final_11-07-12.pdf)

    --1980 Jimmy Carter, 56% Ronald Reagan, 35% +21
    --1984 Walter Mondale, 61% Ronald Reagan, 37% +24
    --1988 Michael Dukakis, 69% George H.W. Bush, 30% +39
    --1992 Bill Clinton, 61% George H.W. Bush, 25% +36
    --1996 Bill Clinton, 72% Bob Dole, 21% +51
    --2000 Al Gore, 62% George W. Bush, 35% +27
    --2004 John Kerry, 58% George W. Bush, 40% +18
    --2008 Barack Obama, 67% John McCain, 31% +36
    --2012 Barack Obama, 71% Mitt Romney, 27% +44

    Somehow I don't think that Latinos want more Romney-like candidates, and neither do the Republican base - for opposite reasons (Romney - too anti-immigrant for Latinos, but too weak on immigrant bashing for Republicans).

    I think your 'legal vs. illegal' position misses the fact that 'immigration' is a dog whistle that both the Republican base and the Latino community both understand. Trump was too (stupid/didn't care/ignorant) to realize why we have dog whistles in our politics and just blurted out his true feelings (I think he will find out why dog whistles are good soon however).

  46. [46] 
    neilmcgovern wrote:

    Michale:

    re: Bet vs. 'HOPE'

    Fair enough. Just to make things clear, my bet and my hope is that we get an escalation in Trump vs. Establishment attacks (option 1).

    My bet, because I think Frum is right and the establishment are misreading Trump, and my hope because it will amuse me.

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think your 'legal vs. illegal' position misses the fact that 'immigration' is a dog whistle that both the Republican base and the Latino community both understand. Trump was too (stupid/didn't care/ignorant) to realize why we have dog whistles in our politics and just blurted out his true feelings (I think he will find out why dog whistles are good soon however).

    "Dog whistles", like "code words" is simply a euphemism for putting out a personal opinion or hope masquerading as a fact...

    Michale
    617

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    What do I mean by that??

    Look up HISPANDERING

    :D

    Michale
    618

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    t) to realize why we have dog whistles in our politics and just blurted out his true feelings

    Which explains Trumps popularity amongst the Right and the Independents and many on the Left..

    Because ANOTHER name for "dog whistles" is Political Correctness...

    And, as has been made readily apparent to EVERYONE with more than 2 brain cells to rub together.......

    Americans are fed up, sick and tired and rebel'ing against Political Correctness...

    That's why Trump is so popular amongst the Right, the Center and the Left...

    Michale
    619

  50. [50] 
    neilmcgovern wrote:

    Dog whistles and political correctness are not the same thing, but they are different points in the same progression.

    Outright Bigotry + Righteous indignation ->
    PC + Dog Whistles ->
    General acceptance + Unrighteous indignation.

    Dog whistles provide plausible deniability and are used when a politician wants to get support from the people who are still outright bigots without generating too much indignation from the educated.

    Unrighteous indignation is sweeping our campuses at the moment, as you frequently, and often correctly point out Michale.

    Now we have the Fox News types getting spoon fed unrighteous indignation at the unrighteous indignation pervading campuses. This is all blown totally out of proportion on both sides because people have discovered how much fun being indignant is, and how many eyeballs it can sell.

    Add Donald Trump to this mess and we have a sad but compelling story line unfolding in front of us.

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    dog whistles are neither code words nor political correctness; they are terms that everyone understands, but some feel very strongly about. the reason they're called "dog whistles" is that, like real dog whistles, most folks don't really understand how strongly some people respond. referring to "illegal immigrants" sounds perfectly rational and legal, but to anti-latino bigots it seems like a politician supports their agenda, regardless of whether or not they actually do.

    JL

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    dog whistles are neither code words nor political correctness; they are terms that everyone understands, but some feel very strongly about. the reason they're called "dog whistles" is that, like real dog whistles, most folks don't really understand how strongly some people respond. referring to "illegal immigrants" sounds perfectly rational and legal, but to anti-latino bigots it seems like a politician supports their agenda, regardless of whether or not they actually do.

    "dog whistles" are different things to different people, depending on their political ideology..

    As such, they are EXACTLY like code words and political correctness... :D

    Seriously, I get what you are trying to say...

    But, I am constrained to point out that one person's "dog whistle" is another person's blaring and obvious...

    Michale
    619

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now we have the Fox News types getting spoon fed unrighteous indignation at the unrighteous indignation pervading campuses.

    As opposed to MSNBC/HuffPoop types getting spoon fed righteous dignation??

    You see how that works???

    :D

    Michale
    620

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    But seriously....

    How can ANYONE defend these whiney little brats complaining about the crap they are complaining about...

    I mean.. Honestly..

    "Safe spaces"???

    If these kids can't face the world without "safe spaces" maybe they should have stayed with mommy and daddy...

    Eh???

    Michale
    621

  55. [55] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale[50]:

    You are right, there is plenty of unrighteous indignation on MSNBC and Huffpost too.

    Scaring the uneducated is not the preserve of any end of the political spectrum. So then we look at the target - there is no point trying to scare or rile up people about Syrian refugees who respond with points like "More people died last year from drowning in a backyard pool than terrorism, and most of the terrorism deaths were caused by home grown nut cases, so what's your beef with some families who are victims of the civil war over there?".

    So you target the most poorly educated, who have been given less instruction in the mechanisms of scientific rigor. People who are likely to believe what they hear on TV. Or from an orangutan impersonator.

    And so ... (click thru Michale, you'll laugh at this one):

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174

  56. [56] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale[50]:

    You are right, there is plenty of unrighteous indignation on MSNBC and Huffpost too.

    Scaring the uneducated is not the preserve of any end of the political spectrum. So then we look at the target - there is no point trying to scare or rile up people about Syrian refugees who respond with points like "More people died last year from drowning in a backyard pool than terrorism, and most of the terrorism deaths were caused by home grown terrorists, so what's your beef with some families who are victims of the civil war over there?".

    So you target the most poorly educated, who have been given less instruction in the mechanisms of scientific rigor. People who are likely to believe what they hear on TV. Or from an orangutan impersonator.

    And so ... (click thru Michale, you'll laugh at this one):

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174

  57. [57] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale[50]:

    You are right, there is plenty of unrighteous indignation on MSNBC and Huffpost too.

    Scaring the uneducated is not the preserve of any end of the political spectrum. So then we look at the target - there is no point trying to scare or rile up people about Syrian refugees who respond with points like "More people died last year from drowning in a backyard pool than terrorism, and most of the terrorism deaths were caused by home grown terrorists, so what's your beef with some families who are victims of the civil war over there?".

    So you target the most poorly educated, who have been given less instruction in the mechanisms of scientific rigor. People who are likely to believe what they hear on TV. Or from an orang - utan impersonator.

    And so ... (click thru Michale, you'll laugh at this one):

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174

  58. [58] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale[50]:

    You are right, there is plenty of unrighteous indignation on MSNBC and Huffpost too.

    Scaring the uneducated is not the preserve of any end of the political spectrum. So then we look at the target - there is no point trying to scare or rile up people about Syrian refugees who respond with points like "More people died last year from drowning in a backyard pool than terrorism, and most of the terrorism deaths were caused by home grown terrorists, so what's your beef with some families who are victims of the civil war over there?".

    So you target the most poorly educated, who have been given less instruction in the mechanisms of scientific rigor. People who are likely to believe what they hear on TV. Or from an orang - utan impersonator.

    And so ... (click thru Michale, you'll laugh at this one):

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174

  59. [59] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale[50]:

    You are right, there is plenty of unrighteous indignation on MSNBC and Huffpost too.

    Scaring the uneducated is not the preserve of any end of the political spectrum. So then we look at the target - there is no point trying to scare or rile up people about Syrian refugees who respond with points like "More people died last year from drowning in a backyard pool than terrorism, and most of the terrorism deaths were caused by home grown terrorists, so what's your beef with some families who are victims of the civil war over there?".

    So you target the most poorly educated, who have been given less instruction in the mechanisms of scientific rigor. People who are likely to believe what they hear on TV.

    And so ... (click thru Michale, you'll laugh at this one):

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But, I am constrained to point out that one person's "dog whistle" is another person's blaring and obvious...

    yes, that's kinda the definition.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, I am constrained to point out that one person's "dog whistle" is another person's blaring and obvious...

    yes, that's kinda the definition.

    Which is what I said in comment #46...

    Dog Whistles = Code Words = Political Correctness

    Michale
    622

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    once the primary is over, sure. but i doubt the establishment GOP will support trump until and unless they have to.

    Just like establishment DEM didn't support Obama until they had to...

    No matter how many times it is denied, there is really no difference between Democrat politicians and Republican politicians...

    The evidence that supports this conclusion is overwhelming..

    Michale
    623

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mall Mayhem: Over 1,000 Teens Shut Down Kentucky Mall
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/mall-mayhem-1000-teens-shut-kentucky-mall/story?id=35963312

    Future loyal members of the Democrat Party.... :^/

    Michale
    624

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    We are generous with other people’s money — people who are not even alive today and who have no say in these decisions that they shall pay for. The majority remain committed to government that finances its love and war far into the future with piles of debt that no one can repay.

    Not a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats

    The US Congress has stated over and over that it is just kicking the can further down the road, but that has never stopped them from doing it, no matter which parity is in charge! (Look at the latest Republican budget!) Both parties complain about kicking our national-debt problem further down the road, but they do it anyway. Democrats and Republicans are equally addicted to debt. US citizens who call themselves by either party monicker are part of a generation that wants to party but doesn’t want to pay for the punch. We are a nation drunk on debt.

    If you think the economy is in better hands with one party than the other, you are simply addicted to party ideology. Until you give up on the notion that either party attends to anything other than its own self-interest, this nation will never find a truly creative answer.

    Both parties are guardians of the status quo and defenders of the wealthy; and neither party has a genuinely creative idea in its collective head. The only difference between Democrats and Republicans economically is what things motivate them to spend other people’s money.

    The Welfare party, known as the the Democratic Party, enables its millions of members to feel generous by ordering their grandchildren to pay for the meals given today to hungry families. None of their generosity is paid for by present taxes. Lord knows how those grandchildren will afford to be charitable to the needs of their own generation when they are still footing the bill for the needs of our generation!

    We don’t care, of course. If we actually cared, we’d stop kicking the can down the road; but then we’d have to sell the MacMansion to fund our charity, and we are certainly not that charitable … to pay for welfare with our own mansions! Let the children pay! The next generation will just have to suck it up when the bill comes due. That is what our actions say, even though people may wince or even get angry at hearing it. (Anger is denial’s usual defense.)

    Republicans, on the other hand, like to pretend they are fiscally conservative; but they have always proposed budget deficits, too, and have repeatedly shown themselves willing to play brinksmanship games with the national credit rating. At one point (August 2011), they triggered what may have become the worst stock-market crash in US history because of their brinksmanship when they arrogantly failed to realize that credit-rating agencies might blink before the Democrats did. If you don’t think it could have been the worst stock-market crash in history, have you considered the fact that it took the world’s largest and most rapidly launched campaign of quantitative easing to spin the market back around?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-27/guest-post-has-there-ever-been-more-selfish-generation

    'tis sad, 'tis true....
    'tis true, 'tis sad.....

    Michale
    625

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    swallowed comments RE: rahm, abridged:

    yes, without a viable opposition party, cities are often forced to accept the worst political players the dominant party has to offer.

    Here's what I don't get...

    Chicago has some of THE most restrictive gun control laws on the planet..

    It SHOULD be the model of peaceful utopia, a rainbow of neighbors and friends, holding hands by the campfire and singing KOOM-BYE-YAA to the wee hours of the morning...

    What gives??

    {/sarcasm}

    Maybe..... JUST maybe... Anti-Gun hysteria is NOT the answer to gun violence, eh???

    The FACTS would seem to indicate this... No??

    Michale
    626

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's actually ironic when ya think about it..

    2 BIG factors that could help stem the tide of gun violence are harsh penalties for gun crimes and preventing the mentally ill from obtaining guns..

    But addressing those runs into resistance from the Democrat Party...

    So, if one discards the hysteria and actually looks at the FACTS, it's the DEMOCRAT PARTY that is in the way of pushing MEANINGFUL laws that would actually help prevent gun violence...

    Ya'all just GOTS to love the irony.. :D

    I know I do...

    Michale
    627

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:
  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Donald Trump’s bile is a healing balm for spurned Americans
    Those who support him now will support him next November, writes Frank Luntz

    https://next.ft.com/content/1b8318aa-a99f-11e5-9700-2b669a5aeb83

    The WHY about Donald Trump is infinitely more important than the WHAT...

    That's the point that the Hysterical Left simply does not get..

    Michale
    629

  70. [70] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#32]

    Thanx for the recommendation...

    You bet, Michale. I was cautious at first about using it for everything too, but I soon just let it be primary for all copy/move operations. Primarily because I like the verification on everything. Glad its working for you!

    The weird thing is that the Win10 Copy/Paste issue is only affecting one of my work workstations.. My home machine and the front counter machine at work seems to C/P just fine..

    Probably due to one of your accounts not having the usual permissions to one or more key directories. It's happened to me more than once (not just Win10) and can be very hard to sleuth out. I'm usually not patient enough to try anymore (plus hard to trust the system afterwards) so now usually just reinstall O/S (I'm assuming this was an upgraded machine for you, not a clean install).

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yea, all my work machines are upgrades...

    And, like you, I figured it was some kind of setting issue that I had neither the time nor the patience to try and figure out..

    "I have neither the time nor the patience to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom that I provide and then QUESTIONS the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said 'thank you' and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think you are entitled to!!"
    -Colonel Nathan R Jessup
    Commander, Marine Ground Forces
    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    :D

    That was done completely from memory.. :D

    Michale
    630

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I have neither the time nor the patience to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom that I provide and then QUESTIONS the manner in which I provide it.

    Woops... Bad quote...

    "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom that I provide and then QUESTIONS the manner in which I provide it.....

    My bust.... :D

    Michale
    631

  73. [73] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Which is what I said in comment #46...
    Dog Whistles = Code Words = Political Correctness

    not the case, and here are the differences, in as lay terms as I can manage:

    Dog Whistle vs. Political Correctness: Political correctness has pretty much the same meaning for everybody; there's no confusion about what's really meant, just a different "approved" term. Unlike political correctness, dog whistles have a different meaning that is obvious to some but not to others.

    Dog Whistle vs. Code Word: Code words are meaningful to those in the know but nearly unintelligible out of context to everyone else. Unlike code words, dog whistles are meaningful to everybody, just MORE meaningful to those in the know.

    in other words:

    Political correctness = encoded meaning known by all

    Dog Whistle = general meaning known by all, encoded meaning known by some

    Code Word = no general meaning, encoded meaning known by some

    JL

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought that political correctness involved dispensing with the truth-based-on-facts of a matter, in whole or in part, in order to be kind and, that political incorrectness was being truthful-based-on-facts at the risk of being too blunt for the hypersensitive among us.

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    Political correctness has pretty much the same meaning for everybody;

    Not at all..

    What's going on in the colleges in the here and now is "political correctness run amouk" to the Right Wingery...

    To the Left Wingery, it's just normal natural progressivism....

    Michale
    632

  76. [76] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I thought that political correctness involved dispensing with the truth-based-on-facts of a matter, in whole or in part, in order to be kind and, that political incorrectness was being truthful-based-on-facts at the risk of being too blunt for the hypersensitive among us.

    @liz,

    that's also true of political correctness, but for michale's purpose of comparing it to dog whistles, the commonality is that both have special terms with idiomatic meanings.

    JL

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Code Word = no general meaning, encoded meaning known by some

    But it's nice to hear you concede that "code words" are meaningless.. :D

    Michale
    633

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    What's going on in the colleges in the here and now is "political correctness run amouk" to the Right Wingery...

    To the Left Wingery, it's just normal natural progressivism....

    @michale,

    Ahh, now I see. the way you're describing it, the practice of political correctness is an EXAMPLE of a dog whistle, with the same surface meaning to all but a special meaning that righties get and lefties don't.

    JL

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahh, now I see. the way you're describing it, the practice of political correctness is an EXAMPLE of a dog whistle, with the same surface meaning to all but a special meaning that righties get and lefties don't.

    Huh???

    No.... What I mean is that ya'all have two choices..

    Either agree that what's going on in the colleges and universities is political correctness run amok..

    OR..

    You can concede that what is "politically correct" for one ideological group is nothing more than par-for-the-course ideological attentiveness for a different ideological group......

    So, which is it??

    Either what's going on in the colleges and universities is totally whacked out...

    Or it's a shining example of Left Wingery progressivism...

    Michale
    634

  80. [80] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    No.... What I mean is that ya'all have two choices..

    Well, that's not what you wrote. What you wrote was:

    "Dog Whistles = Code Words = Political Correctness"

    having been presented a demonstration that the three are distinct phenomena, the choice you presented does not logically follow.

    JL

    It is impossible to say just what I mean!
    But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
    Would it have been worth while
    If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
    And turning toward the window, should say:
    "That is not it at all,
    That is not what I meant, at all."
    ~TS Eliot, from 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'

  81. [81] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Code Word = no general meaning, encoded meaning known by some

    But it's nice to hear you concede that "code words" are meaningless...

    Meaningless to some, meaningful to others (as distinguished from dog whistles (meaningful to all, especially meaningful to some). are you aware that you picked off a piece of my definition and presented it as the entirety (and a concession of some sort)?

    JL

    JL

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i'd use a venn diagram, but someone already put the cool ones together:

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/61102/12-funny-and-delicious-venn-diagrams

    JLJLJL

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Meaningless to some, meaningful to others

    OK, OK.... Now, we're getting somewhere...

    Now the group that Code Words are meaningless to..

    Quantify that group..

    Michale
    635

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/12/28/donald-trump-takes-on-bill-clintons-behavior-toward-women/

    What I tell ya??

    Bringing Bubba into the campaign was a BIG mistake..

    "Big mistake.. BIG... HUGE..."
    -Julia Roberts, PRETTY WOMAN

    What I don't understand is Hillary *HAD* to know that Trump would go there...

    The only thing that makes any kind of sense is Hillary thought she might be able to play the victim card..

    The problem with that theory is that the ONLY people who will respond to Hillary The Victim are the people who are already drinking the Hillary kool-aid...

    Hillary has underestimated the depth of hatred that Joe and Jane Sixpack has for Hillary Clinton..

    Hillary playing the victim is going to backfire and will give us President Trump

    You read it here first..

    Michale
    636

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    having been presented a demonstration that the three are distinct phenomena, the choice you presented does not logically follow.

    But they ALL share a commonality in that they are, generally speaking, all ideologically based...

    In other words, they are a tool of the ideological fanatic, which was my central initial point...

    Having said that, I grant that "Political Correctness" doesn't really belong COMPLETELY in that group, as "Political Correctness" is for the most part a sole malady of the Left Wingery...

    Michale
    638

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sometimes ignorance just really REALLY pisses me off!!

    Tamir Rice's Death Resulted From "Officer-Created Jeopardy." So Why Were No Officers Indicted?

    McGinty’s office made the case for the non-indictment during an extended press conference this afternoon. But the central concept in the case—the one that it is crucial to understanding the grand jury’s reasoning—was never mentioned. That concept is known in law enforcement circles as “officer-created jeopardy”: situations in which police officers are responsible for needlessly putting themselves in danger, committing an unforced tactical error that makes them vulnerable—and then using deadly force to protect themselves.

    Here’s how “officer-created jeopardy” relates to the death of Tamir Rice. As security footage of the shooting shows, Loehmann and Garmback’s car didn’t come to a stop until it was right next to Rice. In fact, the video indicates that the car was still moving when Loehmann opened the passenger side door and jumped out. Faced with a suspect they believed to be armed, in other words, Loehmann and Garmback decided to drive right up to him—thereby exposing themselves to the possibility that Rice could open fire on them with almost no warning.

    The question the grand jurors had to answer, then, was whether to take that decision into account when determining the legality of the officers’ actions. Did it matter that no one forced Loehmann and Garmback to approach their suspect so aggressively? Did it matter that, by approaching him the way they did, they were the ones who had created the situation in which it then became necessary, in Loehmann’s view at least, to use deadly force?
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/12/28/tamir_rice_s_death_didn_t_lead_to_indictments_because_of_supreme_court_vagueness.html

    Moron!

    Stick to rag writing...

    Obviously you are completely and UTTERLY clueless about police tactics and training..

    Michale
    640

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, I was a little more polite in the SLATE comments.. :D

    Michale
    641

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump weak on minorities??

    Pundits might point to billionaire Donald Trump’s huge lead in the GOP presidential primary race as being the result of his generally anti-Washington, anti-government, anti-establishment, anti-politically correct attitude.

    If so, it’s not just whites who are ticked at the bureaucracy, but minorities too.

    Because a new poll, which still has Trump leading the race, shows 40 percent of blacks are lining up behind Trump, as are 45 percent of Hispanics, and even nearly 19 percent of Asians.
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/12/minorities-line-up-behind-donald-trump/#UP1z4GXdwZHJdc6z.99

    A poll says otherwise.. :D

    Michale
    643

  89. [89] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Now the group that Code Words are meaningless to..

    Quantify that group..

    N = [total population] - [population who understand what they mean]

    JL

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, ya got nuttin... :D

    Michale
    652

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    What I was getting at, Joshua is the character of the group that doesn't get the "code words"...

    And, since we're here, maybe you can characterize the group that DOES understand those "code words"...

    Finally, for Extra Credit (get it?? Your a teacher.. "Extra Credit" is an educational term. get it?? :D) you can touch on the validity of the "code word strategy" AKA Making Up Shit When There Are No Facts To Support The Claim strategy... :D

    Com' on!! We'll get me to 800!!! :D

    Michale
    657

  92. [92] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In other words, ya got nuttin... :D

    @michale,

    i got lots, just little time.

    the group that understands a code word will depend in each case on the word and the context. and not all code words are politically charged (another difference between code words and dog whistles). it's become common to blur the lines between the two (and they are often swapped incorrectly), but they are distinct from each other.

    example 1: if i say the GOP nomination situation is charlie foxtrot, you and anyone else in the military or law enforcement know exactly what i mean, but to most people it's gibberish. that's what makes it a code word. some know, others don't.

    if i say the GOP nominees favor "states' rights," most people will accept the surface meaning of less federal involvement in regional issues - but the far left and far right will think that means the nominees will do so as a means to support covert racism. that's a dog whistle.

    JL

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thank you... That clears it up...

    What were we talkin' 'bout now??"
    -Chicken Little

    :D

    Michale
    664

  94. [94] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    What were we talkin' 'bout now??"

    political correctness? i suggest we take it to a more recent thread.

    JL

    “Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!”
    ~dr. strangelove or: how i learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

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