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October 10, 2016

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I suspect that if Trump were ahead by 5 points this tape would have been excused by his fellow Republicans. As it becomes apparently obvious that he will lose it is an excuse to distance ones self from him.
As far as a Trump collapse taking out down ticket Teabaggers and other deplorables, it certainly adds to the possibility.
We'll see.

What most concerns me about this train wreck of an election, with Donald as the engineer and Hillary as the conductor, is that prejudices which have lain just below the surface are now front and center in our daily lives and have been granted legitimacy by this mess.

On a daily basis, I am faced with comments by friends, family and strangers which cause me to step into their faces and say "Fuck you!, I'm a minority and if you really feel that way, you're going to have me to answer to." They immediately back down because being prejudiced in public is new to them and they didn't think what the consequences would be with their new found behavior.

I don't like it. I'm rapidly running out of friends, family and strangers who I can hang around with.

By the end of the election, it's going to be pretty lonely around here.

The Republican Party suffers from acute spiritual sepsis. Talk radio and Fox News have not only created an alternative reality where empirical evidence and contrary viewpoints are excluded, it has doubled down on race baiting and minority bashing to such an extent that there's no longer any room for ordinary decency. Donald Trump is the logical end stage of this existential crisis. The party of white nationalism is no longer equipped with buffers or shame. It has permanently sunk into the mud of its own moral squalor.

Hillary Clinton will win for this reason. There is still enough residual goodness in people to prevent a catastrophic body blow to the very symbol of our national unity. What's disheartening is how close Trump, the most "ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate" to ever run for president (The Atlantic) came to the gates of power. This is our Godwin moment. We should entertain a period of national soul-searching after this election to explore this near-death experience. We won't, of course.

Belief is the most powerful opiate in the world. People would sooner die than change their minds when it comes to their "explanations", and none is more toxic that the idea that "difference" must be opposed at every turn. Small, frightened people cling tenaciously to their explanations because it's the currency of their tribal identity. Living in homogeneous suburbs with people who look just like themselves is the matrix of their alienation from necessary doubt and ambiguity.

I spent a junior year abroad in Germany back in the early '70s. What astonished me was how much historical self-justification I encountered among older people who lived through World War II. They were "patriots" who defended their fatherland because that's what good people did. Millions of their own countrymen died defending a toxic delusion. They murdered many millions more of innocent people. But they were patriots!

Last night as I watched a braying jackass rip apart our national dignity for no better reason than his overweening ego and lust for adulation. We all know this man. He's every bully we ever endured in school, every overbearing boss we suffered in the workplace, and every abusive man a woman we know married or partnered. How blind can people be to this horror? Do we excuse these damaged people because they're simply "bad boys" and lovable rogues? This is our national Rorshach test, and it's stunning to think 40% of this country would normalize this wicked kind of cruelty.

Warmonger McCain is sidling up to neocon Hillary, the Goldwater gal. Fitting. More boots on the ground in the Middle East and elsewhere in the next four years. A Democrat majority in congress will only facilitate the killing fields. Millions of casualties and refugees resulting from US military aggression and stones are being thrown at Germans caught in the horrors of the Third Reich.

Look in the mirror instead of throw stones when you live in a glass house. Hillary was all in and will double down in the coming administration.

Jon,

I agree with you about killing your TV but unless you consider wikileaks "serious newspaper journalism" I have to disagree with your crediting all the big scoops to newspaper journalism.

You are correct that the Corp R is a cesspit of corrupt self serving. Too damn bad that the Clintons have seized the reins of Corp D and moved it to one inch left of Corp R.

If I was religious I would say God help us but as a non believer I know we are going to have to help ourselves.

Good luck.

It looks like even a lot of the GOP insiders are now punting on the Presidency; but, Republicans have always been pretty good about showing up and voting, so I am not sure how MUCH impact will be down-ballot. This is such an unusual election it's hard to know for sure. I do wonder how Arizona possibly going blue at the top would affect our state ballot.

For me, I've decided the most important issue for Arizona on this ballot is Prop. 205.

I read all 20 pages of the submitted proposition and it is very bold. This is not some measured, incremental attempt; they are swinging for the fences here, and our Voter Protection Act is a big factor should it be approved.

Does anyone know if it's possible for Arizona voters to repeal or modify a proposition previously approved, or to approve a new proposition that contradicts/rescinds one previously approved? Thank you in advance for your expertise.

If 205 does get defeated, am I correct in thinking it's perfectly fine for the MPP and others to try again in the future with another proposition? Please advise. Thanks.

The shame, to me, is that many progressives cheer the demise of the GOP while ignoring that the DNC is happily sliding right to pick up those center/center-right voters because they know the progressive vote has nowhere else to go. I look at how nearly any criticism of President Obama is dismissed with, "Well, Bush did it" or "Well, Bush started it" as if two wrongs make a right. At some point, progressives need to consider if a center-right candidate with a '(D)' after his/her name is acceptable. The GOP has purged many RINOs from their ranks (not to necessarily be replaced with better options, however), when will progressives take such ownership of the DNC? Because, if they don't, special interests will and in 12 years I'll be hearing, "We need to vote for Jeb! because at least he isn't Trump Jr!"

The only rally I've been to in my life was '06 when President Clinton spoke in support of giving the House back to the Democrats. The message was simple, clear, and direct -- get Pelosi in charge and they will defund the quagmire in Iraq and bring our troops home. So we put Pelosi in charge and Congress promptly voted to EXTEND war spending for The Surge(tm). I do not apologize that I have as much trust in the Democrats to legislate against war, Wall Street corruption, or dark money as I do the GOP to go after wasteful spending or attacks on civil liberties.

We need to revise the Apportionment Act, restrict money in politics, and empower the electorate to take part in local elections. Trump is going to lose but that doesn't let America out of the woods. It's easy for us to [correctly] say, "Oh look at how obstructive the GOP Congress has been" but we've seen how both sides reneg on their promises once they get into power. Even Phoenix's own progressive Kyrsten Sinema -- who made a career in the state capitol being in the minority and unable to exact influence -- made her way to DC just to vote with Paul Ryan on the government shutdown (as one example) once her vote finally mattered. Without a decent GOP alternative forcing them to stay true to progressive values, there is no reason to believe down-ballot Democrats aren't going to shift to the right (where the real money is) once they get into power.

In short: for those cheering for the demise of the GOP -- be careful what you wish for.

One of the issues with the Democratic party (especially the older ones) is their inferiority complex. Democrats are so scared to lose to Republicans that they constantly play it so safe that they get little to nothing done when they do have power. Exhibit A is Obama’s biggest “achievement” – a Republican healthcare plan. Despite big majorities in Congress, there was not even a public option, let alone a simple and much more effective (and probably more popular) expansion of Medicare. Dems couldn’t pass a Democratic law, despite a 100% party line vote, because they feared losing to Republicans in the next election. This is why the call for down ticket support for “reform” is so unexciting to me and many others on the left. The top of the party (HRC) needs to be much more bold and the bottom needs much more grass roots organizing and capacity building around issues instead of the 50+1 strategies of the professional small-ballers in the DNC.

Another voter approved proposition can indeed be reintroduced later if Prop 205 fails. Arizona voters also have the power to revise or recall legislation via Veto Referendum.

As an example, if citizens were willing, laws such as SB1070 could be revised or repealed.

I know it's not popular to say to Bernie Bros, but the reason Democrats are so damnably centrist is that they exist in a center-right nation where a significant part of the population absorbs right-wing talking points as if they're the gospel truth. This is doubly true for the Bernie-or-Busters who are ready to believe any and every conspiracy theory since they're easier to absorb than more nuanced explanations.

We have one national vehicle for progressives in this country capable of electing progressives. It's not the Bernie Sanders Messiah Complex nor Occupy Wall Street nor Net Roots nor Action Blue, and it's certainly not the Green Party There's not enough money, organization, or outreach on the boutique left to make a difference. What remains is the Democratic Party.

Petulance is not a viable strategy. I get that the narcissistic left would sooner lose than compromise. Great! Join the Green Party and lose as much as your heart desires. But you're not going to change America because purity politics doesn't change anything. It's just a vehicle to vogue your imaginary virtue.

We do as much as we can with what we can. If in 2009 Democrats had a bullet-proof majority in the Senate with real liberals instead of Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Joe Lieberman (yeah, a nominal independent), there could have been a public option with the ACA. It did pass in the House under the reviled leadership of Nancy Pelosi. Still, 20 million people now have affordable health insurance and the insured rate is 90%, the highest ever. Granted, if you're white and privileged, this seems like thin gruel. But for millions who can't afford to preen their political hipness, it's often the difference between life and death. Republican governors in mostly Southern states actually declined to extend expanded Medicaid coverage to their own constituents our of sheer malice and nihilism. This is who Democrats are up against. Rick Scott of Florida was actually re-elected after this incredibly brazen maneuver.

If we had strong Democratic majorities in Congress, we would be halfway to Bernie's "revolution" already. But as we see over and over, Millenials, Latinos, and the very poor don't vote in mid-term and off-year elections. The racist goobers who are the base of the GOP vote every chance they get. They're highly mobilized, and not just in their Medicare-paid scooters.

We have one coalition capable of winning elections. When purists decide to punish that coalition for being insufficiently hip and wise, they're helping Republicans. If you're not voting for Hillary Clinton, you're voting for Donald Trump. If you're not voting for Krysten Sinema, you're voting for a Republican who will vote to repeal Obamacare and little more. You think there are no consequences to your civic vandalism? You think George W Bush was a fluke? Look in the mirror.

Soleri,
I agree with much of what you said except your assertion that the U.S. is a "center-right" nation. If we were, Obama wouldn't have been elected. If we were, there wouldn't be national polls, year after year, that said this:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/191504/majority-support-idea-fed-funded-healthcare-system.aspx
http://www.gallup.com/poll/190010/concern-global-warming-eight-year-high.aspx
I think the issue is that we have become an easily-led nation. As you said, we don't think for ourselves. The rapid increase in IT and media have created an industrial revolution in the manufactured consent Chomsky and others wrote about. The propaganda machine’s effectives, not national political ideology, is the “reality” we are in.

While the left's arm-chair quarterbacks in the blogosphere complain about how stupid and crazy Americans are, the GOP is out capitalizing on this reality by hustling and playing the game by the new rules. Their media messaging is clear and simple. Yes, I know, the world is complex, politics are complex. Effective elections are not complex. “Purity” wins elections.

Screaming for nuance might get head nods from intellectuals at downtown cafés, but it’s not a strategy to take back Congress and definitely won’t result in progressive legislation.

Soleria summed it perfectly: "We have one coalition capable of winning elections." But as Ex Phx Planner pointed out, so long as the strategy is to simply have a majority, you're going to get situations like you described with the ACA where we passed healthcare reform but, since part of that coalition was DINOs, we didn't get a single payer option.

So what was the real result of having that majority? We passed a bad (but fixable) bill that, (1) cost the Democrats their majorities in the midterm; (2) is susceptible to repeal because much of the population doesn't like the current ACA and doesn't trust the government to adequately tweak it. Now the Democrats platform is, "Give us back power so we can fix the bill we passed before!" We know it's fixable. We know what could happen with large democrat majorities. But that's not an especially appealing campaign slogan (along with, "We said we'd end the wars but ended up expanding them -- but we'll end 'em this time!" and "Give us another chance to pass substantive legislation about lobbyists! We know we said we'd do it before but, hey, you know the GOP won't do it but we just might!")

Until Democrats (as a party) muster the chops to debate among themselves and have true primary challenges, they are going to simple remain The Not-GOP.

Blax,

Not good that a slogan for a political party is the same one used for drug addicts.

"GIVE US ANOTHER CHANCE, WE'LL DO BETTER THIS TIME."

Addict's drug of choice- meth, heroin, cocaine.

Party's drug of choice - $$$$$$ + Power

If you want to understand how difficult it is for Democrats to craft a majority, all you have to do is read these comments. Nothing is ever good enough. Democrats are DINOs and Republicans-lite. Democrats take corporate donations (they should hold bake sales instead?). Democrats want to give your jobs to Mexicans, Syrians, and Indian engineers. Democrats sell out their base. Democrats are just neo-liberals and corporate whores, ad infinitum.

Let's dispense with the myth that Democrats are stupid unlike Republicans. If anything, a party that nominates Donald Trump is not only stupid, it's on the verge of extinction. But it has one significant advantage. It has simplified its message to the frightened while elderly cohort that forms its base: Democrats are taking away your privileges and wealth and giving it to the undeserving (read: blacks and Latinos). For the white working class, Democrats are the devil. They don't care if Republicans jerk them off and give all the goodies to the rich because the underlying messaging is so easily understood and tribal. It's not only powerful in America, it resonates in Europe where the anti-immigration right is threatening liberal democracies across the continent. Watching a half hour of Fox News or listening to Rush Limbaugh for five minutes will quickly apprise you of the power of that ugliness.

Barack Obama - and now Hillary Clinton - are very intelligent pros. They run laser-focused campaigns that win because they understand the nature of this game. But most importantly, they keep the coalition intact. Yes, politics is messy and sometimes "corrupt". But there's no other way to pursue a progressive agenda without compromise and tailoring. Bernie Sanders is completely at sea here, which is why his most enthusiastic voters didn't look like the Democratic Party so much as a college town. Within the next 10 years, Democrats will begin to see a significant electoral advantage as this nation's white identity movement limits its ability to expand beyond its base. Until then, we hunker down and fight them in the trenches. There are no short-cuts here. The right's Faustian bargain is predicated on a demographic landmine. 20 years ago, Republicans actually got a majority of Asian American votes. No more. Xenophobia does not play well there and America's most rapidly growing demographic is now overwhelmingly Democratic.

Democrats have to keep the faith with the future, technological change, diversity, and a shrinking world. There is no rational governance that tries to turn back the tide or substitute nostalgia for actual facts on the ground. I know you guys think you're smarter than all those pros and pointy-headed intellectuals. You're not. You're not even politically literate. Your critiques are helpful to Republicans, of course, which is why they spend so much time "sympathizing" with Bernie Sanders (see: Donald Trump, or closer to home, INPHX).

I have one piece of advice here: DON'T OVERTHINK POLITICS. You don't have to like everything your coalition does but if you don't vote for it, you're helping the other side. End of story. Some of you really should be Republicans if your epistemological standards are so low that you think conspiracy theories correspond to reality. This, IMO, is the worst result of the Bernie wildfire. It told low-information voters on the left that everything is really very simple. Sadly, it isn't. There are a million shades of gray that undercut all your certitude and self-righteousness.


soleri,

I asked before and I ask again, who and where is this grand coalition you speak of? Are you referring to big pharma (Obama care) big finance (bail outs), Big War (list to long to type), Big energy (dirty coal and oil), big prison ( another long list), big education (as in student debt peonage). Are these the members of your coalition? Well, if not why are they chief financiers of the DNC?

Get a clue man, the incrementalism you keep touting as sensible is the old slow boil trick.

ross, let's face it: you prefer Republicans because you're too good for this world. Other people don't matter at all - the poor, blacks, Latinos, women, Muslims. As with so many narcissists on the left, it's all about you.

I'm sorry progressives have to cut deals and compromise. Obama made a deal with Big Pharma in order to buy them off for health care reform. Yes, this is the grubby real world where power is not a matter of merely striking a pose while wearing a toga. It's a matter of getting something done or not. You do what you have to do. You make deals with the devil if you have to (see: FDR). You would never do that like that and the evidence is self-explanatory. You've never accomplished anything nearly so transformative or good as Obama did.

Sunday night, Hillary gave a kind of illuminating if frustrating answer why she would have both a public and private position in politics. People like you who live in a dream world of good vs evil can never hope to understand this. Hillary tried to explain it by referencing Steven Spielberg's magnificent film Lincoln, where Honest Abe told different people different things about the proposed 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. You would have fainted to see the man playing Realpolitik. But at the end of the day, he accomplished something substantial and good. Much better than anything Bernie or Jill Stein has ever done in their stridently puritanical lives.

Hillary's answer was frustrating to me because I knew the despicable Donald Trump would turn the answer on her because that's what demagogues do. But you do it. too. You do it every time you collapse nuance and complexity in favor of your fairy tale understanding of politics. Bernie Bros live in a wonderful world of white privilege where they never have to suffer from their high-minded refusal to engage the real world. I doubt a Trump presidency would harm you in the least. Therefore, let the vulnerable pay the price.

Just vote for Trump and stop polluting our discourse with your pious platitudes. At the end of the day, you don't care about other people, basic decency, or the future. You care about being right. What a miserable consolation prize.

Soleri-

I disagree that "Nothing is ever good enough." Everyone understands there is compromise in politics and even the Berniest of Bros understands that. But this defense of the status quo where the system is so convoluted that you suggest that we are really getting optimal results with the Democrats we have elected, I do not buy.

Trump made a fair point that Hillary has been in public service, including the Senate, for decades. She is heralded as the most qualified candidate in history. She talks about her ability to work across the aisle. She hasn't pushed to fix the tax code. She hasn't taken on the banks (in fact, her speech transcripts laid out why, even though she'll campaign on taking them on, they don't need to worry because she has a private stance on the issue). She's been the prototypical do just enough politician. When good things happen, it's because she had her fingers in it. When bad things happen, it's because she had a Republican President (while in the Senate).

There is a NYT (I think) editorial out today that basically takes your position -- as messy as politics is, it's better than violence. The author's error, which I see in your position too, is to state that not everyone gets what they want in a democracy. That this compromise, where we all give up a little, is what we don't enjoy about politics but it's a small price to pay for peace. The problem is, there are many who get everything they want. Private profit and socialized losses -- Wall Street gets everything it wants. An FDA ran by the heads of Kraft and Nestle and a President who signed the Monsanto Protection Act and the Dark Act after campaigning for GMO labeling -- Big Ag gets everything they want. But a VA system that still is being recognized for failing to deliver adequate care -- veterans aren't getting even what they were promised, let alone what they want. Cadillac health care plans for Congress and ONE (may now be two, I'm not sure if another committed) ACA provider in Maricopa County.

When all the compromise is coming from the middle class while a corporatist candidate represents the party, why shouldn't anyone be able to question just what the hell is going on? According to you, we better be happy with what we got because it could be a lot worse. Not exactly the most inspiring reason.

Now that comrade Trump has shot himself in the balls are we free to vote our preference? Are we allowed to vote for a candidate that doesn't trigger an instant gag reflex? Or, are we expected to remain obedient proles and vote for Big Sister?

If we have to vote for Big Sister which one do we vote for, the public one of the private one?


Soleri,

I don't pretend to be smarter about politics than professionals, but, as a voter and contributor to the Democratic Party, I expect results. Legislative outcomes are results, not winning for winning's sake (unless it's for President for veto, scotus, etc.). ACA, Dodd-Frank, ARRA were the biggest accomplishments of the Democratic majority. None of them were progressive laws. We got mostly wins for private insurance companies, banks, and road builders. These received zero GOP support and Democrats then proceeded to lose control of Congress in a landslide election. All this while polls show support for national healthcare, Glass-Stegall regulation of Wall Street, and infrastructure spending to fight climate change.

When you hire consultants to improve your business and you implement their recommendations and then your business fails, you should double down? I disagree.

blaxsabbath, senators are not the president. True, they can grandstand and get a lot of attention for their issues, but that's not the same thing as making change. Clinton is a pragmatist and an insider. She respects the system, institutions, and fellow political actors. If you're going to create change inside an existing system, you need to understand how that system works. Clinton does, Bernie either doesn't or didn't care, which is why he depended on the unicorn of "revolution". Elizabeth Warren? The jury is still out on her but she's only as effective as the army she leads. Politics is not a Frank Capra movie - it's less about making fiery speeches than the arduous grind of creating workable compromises from a position of political strength.

I totally get that you're impatient for change, which is why you're willing to sabotage the only force - our coalition - that can make real progress. This is also called self-defeating behavior. Because you have a Total Explanation for political reality, you're reducing the complexity of this situation to a fairy tale. Bernie Bros are politically illiterate because of this marked tendency to think their jargon constitutes actual political analysis.

You're not going to get everything you want by respecting the process and system we have. Sadly, there is no other way forward. Or did you think you were going to shoot your way out of this impasse? You can do something very smart, however: grow up. You need 50+1 to win. You need as many Democrats in Congress and state legislatures as you can get, and you need to play the long game and stop demanding instant gratification for your pet causes and issues, whether it's Monsanto, TPP, the FDA, or recreational marijuana.

I was watching MSNBC yesterday and one analyst was talking about Clinton's weakness with Latino Millenials and how it was likely to prevent Democrats from winning the House for that reason. This is what I'm getting at: if you're making sanctimonious protests about the presidential election so loudly and stupidly that you're going to prevent the very transformation you're advocating. Can you see this? All this bleating about corporate whores and neo-liberal warmongers is likely to achieve the aims of Republicans - reducing Democratic turnout. This is the side you're on here. Not ours. Theirs.

I know I'm beating my head against the brick wall of left-wing sanctimony here but you're not going to win by deciding reality is what you want it to be. No. In 2000, this strain of idiocy gave us the George W Bush presidency, the Iraq fiasco, the financial meltdown, and Citizens United. This year it's not strong enough to prevent a Clinton presidency but it is strong enough to prevent a Democratic House. You saboteurs of real change should hang your heads in shame.

"Professionals about politics." Please name one!
And go along, get a long. Wonder what George Washington's take on today's election would be? Kiss the kings ass or ?
If we can just convince those purists an ignorant young voters that they are shooting themselves in the foot, all will be well. Hillary will be president and the Donald will likley flee the country to Russia to avoid prison for tax evasion. He can hire Snowden to handle his computer security as Hillary would put Both in prison given the opportunity. All said Soleri is probably correct in his staunch defense that the only vote to ensure we don't elect a madman is to vote for the woman who would have it both ways.
There is no doubt that the Clintons have big spurs and they have clawed thier way from the trailer park to the White Castle on the Hill while many of us have lived in Kafkas castle. The world of absurdity. Long live the queen and prince Billy.

Rogue, please talk Cal off this cliff of false equivalence and nihilism. It's driving me crazy.

Soler, just a few mintues ago a friend emailed me using those same words, "false equivalence". I looked it up. Definition is way beyond my comprehension. U must remember my thoughts emanate from my gut not my brain. Something rises up out of my throats floating hernia, I just vomit it onto the page and wipe my chin off. Time for me to go tend to my cactus, something I seem to understand. And not to worry Trump can't win unless we let Putin vote. Oh I just love conspiracy chit.

How to lose an election:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doanld-trump-utah-poll_us_57fe4bb3e4b05eff55809d3c

and will anyone vote for Lyn Marcus?

How is today different than yesterday?

"Americans are xenophobic, they will believe their own people rather than the adversary"

A propagandist dies.
https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/12/the-life-and-death-of-hanoi-hannah/

Soleri-

I understand the time it takes to get victories, what I want to know is, when that time comes why we aren't getting them. As a clear cut example, Barrack Obama campaigned on supporting GMO labeling. His reason for the support was that all consumers deserve to know what they are eating. VT passed a labeling law that, as much as its opponents fought it, were prepared to follow. It was simple, it was clean, it was something these same producers brag to Europeans that they are happy to do (label packaging). Barrack Obama only had to veto the Dark Act and he would have met his campaign promise. If Congress did an override, not his fault. But he signed it. He took an issue that could have been nipped in the bud in its infancy -- an issue that he campaigned on from '08 -- and did the opposite. Now it's ANOTHER issue that we're going to have to keep fighting down the road.

Progressives had nothing to lose by Obama fulfilling his promise. He's not up for reelection. It wasn't part of a larger bill that would have otherwise shut down the government. In fact, he never even gave a statement on why he signed it. This wasn't politics as a matter of debate and compromise -- this was big special interest money taking precedent over the will of the people and the campaign promises of an official.

Now, we don't need to get bogged down in the details of one issue but I point it out as an example of the straight corruption (sorry, I don't have a better word for it) within the DNP establishment. The middle class is barely treading water and for everything we give up as 'political compromise', we're getting nothing in return.

As Ex Phx Planner pointed out, we've elected officials to do a job -- represent our interests as best they can when in office. They aren't doing that. They're doing what you propose -- do whatever they want in office and we get to sign on for which option is least repulsive.

I'm not asking for progressive activism to be shoved down the nation's collective throat. I'm simply asking that they start solving issues instead of creating new ones that will never get cleared up. To which I refer back to the Dark Act because in two or four years you're going to tell me I need to fight for a Blue Congress and Blue White House because we'll finally have the numbers to overturn the law -- even though Obama is the one who, as far as I am concerned, created the problem in the first place.

Cal, I wanted to touch on your Kafka reference since I've read every word he ever wrote. Absurdity to Kafka is not a generalized philosophy of man's condition so much as a description of the hellscape that is his - Kafka's - own psyche. There is a kind of tie-in however to this political conversation. Kafka's father was a tough character who was inaccessible and withholding. That is the "castle" whose ramparts Kafka tried to approach and negotiate. It was this struggle that defined him as a human being. His courage in describing it is both thrilling and horrifying.

I stated in an earlier thread the eerie similarity between Trump and my father. I know Kafka's struggle first-hand, in other words. It's what makes this contest between a sane centrist who is both collaborative and solid with a toxic narcissist so compelling to me. Here are some reading recommendations about this: from Politico, a conversation with five Trump biographers: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/10/donald-trump-2016-biographers-214350 and from David Brooks, possibly the most trenchant analysis yet of this damaged man's psyche: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/op...pgtype=article

George "W" Bush is blamed for the Iraq fiasco, the 2008 financial crisis and Citizens United. Agreed. How does Wall Street Hillary fit in?

1) Iraq fiasco- as a New York senator neocon Hillary was all in and proud of it.

2) 2008 Financial meltdown- in the 1990's the financial crisis was set up by Clinton's repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act regulating banks. Yes, Billy Boy, not Wall Street Hillary was president. A vote for Wall Street Hillary today though is a vote for a Clinton partnership, Bill and Hillary, for president.

3) Citizens United case. Wall Street Hillary believes what is good for Wall Street is good for America. Do you think her massive Wall Street patrons will be eager to have her work to overcome their free reign granted by Citizens United let alone regulate Wall Street?

Soleri thanks. I keep posting as the responses are good for my "continuing education " credits. I got my PhD in street now I'm working on being able to understand "Science and Sanity" by Alfred Korzibsky.
But right now I'm tending to my cactus and hanging around with the boys at Cannery Row. Later.

Korzybski.

Don't Vote, please: don't vote. You are even more insane that your right-wing brethren in the Tea Party.

It occurs to me that Wall Street holds a pistol to all of our heads.

They alone can crash the world's economy. Don't think so? Try pushing them a little too hard too quickly.

They land happily, cushioned by their golden parachutes. The rest of us crash with a deadly thud.

Incrementalism is the only sane way to attack that kind of power.

Little by little, over time, is the way that things can change.

Unless you really, truly want blood in the streets.

Soleri:
Kafka suffered an internal conflict for the desire of a universal truth and tried to convince himself that his belief that truth was a lie was not true. In Max Brod’s biography of Kafka he summed his fundamental outlook on life:
For Soleri:
“Kafka’s fundamental outlook may be summarized in some such formula as this: almost everything is uncertain, but once one has a certain degree of understanding one never loses the way anymore. 
” P. 173

And for Soleri: “It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.”
― Franz Kafka, The Trial

William Hubben in his book “Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche & Kafka” writes, “It is interesting that Kafka was one of the first to touch upon the despair of a key figure in the economic system that is now engaged in a life and death struggle in Europe, the salesmen whose function in free enterprise is that of a missionary.” If there is one objective viewpoint of Kafka, it would be the absurdness of man’s contemporary placement in society.

For others: “Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
― Franz Kafka

One thing about the down ticket, it's the part of the ticket that impacts our lives on a daily basis.

It's why I suffer daily that Sylvia Allen represents me in the AZ state legislature. She votes 180 degrees against every issue I stand for. Of course, since she believes dinosaurs and man roamed the earth at the same time, how could you not disagree with her. Ourpiehole is Maricopa county's problem, but he still pisses me off on a daily basis, regardless of his "save the puppies" ads. I don't have any cute closing comment other than those down ticket selections sure have the ability to make daily life miserable.

Ruben, no firewater comment?

B Franklin: Clinton and Wall Street, note:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-wall-street-bankruptcy-bill_us_57fe70dfe4b0e8c198a56a14?section=&

Happy hour starts at 4pm, comments will stop then.

If Kafka were alive today, he would be an unemployed barista, living in his parents garage with $200k in student loans that he spent at SCC and various casinos near his parents house. No drivers license, no car and a cell phone his parents pay for.

Quite a guy.

Soleri, sorry I was away at my day job — deadline for the Sunday column.

Cal is sui generis, and I can't convince him on the political situation any more than I can make him understand that if Phoenix became a real city it would ensure more empty spaces for saguaros.

Jon, thanks for the compliment
but the desert always wins!

Ruben I once had a professor of Modern European History emphasis on Russia that was exactly like that!

and is this the future?
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/world/asia/philippines-president-rodrigo-duterte.html

Phoenix and Trump.
I have NO Trouble with Phoenix city limits being from 7th Street to 7th Avenue and from Buckeye to Roosevelt. Let the desert reclaim everything else.
and I have NO trouble with Trump not being president. Let him go into exile with his hands where they belong.

So Soleri, I am still at cliffs edge with all the other lemmings but not to fear I am taking a heads and tails coin into the voting booth.

this has been a very good blog and I appreciate the knowledge you all have imparted here.

Repeal the 19th Ammedment?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-supporters-tweet-repealthe19th-after-poll-shows-hed-win-if-only-men-voted_us_57fea03ce4b05eff55814a75?section=&

Cal, I hope you bring more adult judgment to the voting booth than a coin flip.

I have never before this year made such a blanket denunciation of a candidate. I really disliked George W Bush, for example, but he was still recognizably in the ballpark of human decency. Trump is as indecent a human being as I've ever seen in public life. Ted Cruz, for example, is loathsome and creepy, but he's still a knowledgeable and intelligent politician. You can have a reasonable discussion with him. With Donald Trump, there is no reasonable let alone intelligent discussion. The man is utterly pathological.

I'm not sure what it takes to mitigate this toxic idea that a practiced and careful pol like Hillary Clinton is somehow on Trump's level of depravity. The argument against her is predicated mostly on heavy breathing, conspiracy theories, and the Wurlitzer that is the right-wing smear machine. The Bernie Bros who uncritically adopted its belief system did so with semi-conscious glee and certitude born of ignorance.

This discussion is not important on its face. Hillary is the likely winner, and neither Arizona nor Oregon will decide the election. That said, this is our Hitler moment. Which side were you on? Why didn't you say something? Even more importantly, Trumpism will likely survive its candidate's loss. It may permanently paralyze the nation's capacity to move forward. Do you want to look in the mirror and say you decided that national suicide was a good thing because..... e-mails, saguaros, or "it's all so complicated"? This is not just a literary exercise in the absurdity of human existence. There are tangible outcomes here involving the lives of real people. It's not all about you.

What Soleri said. As for city limits, a dense oasis city surrounded by citrus groves and farms, then desert.

Sounds good to me, Jon.
Not to worry Soleri,
I am out of quarters,
spent them at the laundry.
the cactus spear thorns I have been throwing have had the desired effect.
Stimulus-Response.
makes for
GREAT COMMENT

Even Ruben said something intelligible.

blaxsabbath, I didn't forget your comment, but I wanted to investigate the background on that legislation before I commented. Unfortunately, I've been too busy today, so I'll just make this cursory observation. GMOs are not a front-burner issue for most voters even though it is for you. When you pass judgment on a pol, you need to take in the totality of that pol's record along with the record of that pol's opponents.

I get that Obama could be disappointing. For example, I was very upset with his Grand Bargain negotiations in 2010. That said, his record on balance is good and, more importantly, his opponents are so bad, that there simply is no contest. There is a bit of nose-holding that goes on in politics that we either accept as a price of living in a fallen world or we drop out altogether in a fit of pique. The latter borders on nihilism and preciosity.

Soleri, some optimism for U. One more new democrat.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/terry-jennings-texas_us_57fe71fde4b05eff5580e638?section=&

words I had to look up today:
nihilism and preciosity. tangible.certitude. Wurlitzer.
sui generis. xenophobic,false equivalence, sanctimonious, prototypical, Realpolitik,Faustian bargain,
Petulance, spiritual sepsis,
This is our Goodwin moment.
And,
Living in homogeneous suburbs with people who look just like themselves is the matrix of their alienation from necessary doubt and ambiguity?

You're welcome. This is not a dumbed-down blog.

Cal, I am surprised you never ran across a Wurlitzer before. Did you take piano lessons as a boy?

I did, and I have that selfsame Wurlitzer piano in my living room now. It looks like this one ( http://www.piano4u.com/uploads/images/664x450/1424455364-IMG_0496.jpg ).

Having a piano used to be a sort of symbol of being cultured or successful, a hundred years ago, although its social meaning seems to have continued to fade over the intervening decades. Much to-do was made on the frontier about things like pianos and music boxes and I have to imagine when Phoenix was first being settled, those who had a piano imported from the East had quite the symbol of conspicuous wealth and culture.

My goodness, I bet there could be a whole post or book about pianos and musical instruments in territorial and new-state Arizona, now that I think about it.

==

Jon, I am slowly working my way through an academic book, "Mapping Wonderlands: Illustrated Cartography of Arizona, 1912-1962." The author does include a few pictures of such maps which helps but every time I read it I really just wish I was there with her looking at the archives and her personal collection. It's an interesting thing to read all about maps and not be able to see most of them.

( http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/Books/bid2405.htm )

cal never took piano lessons, but he gave a couple of piano teachers a few "lessons".

Wurlitzer also made the iconic jukebox.

Thanks for the recommendation, Mark. A loss if she doesn't have many maps.

As far as I can see, this is all about gender. The thought of a woman, especially a woman like Hillary, is more than many Americans, especially but not exclusively men, can stand.

Oh boy, Hattie, you made my day with that post - hilarious!

Hattie you R right. Those same folks still can't figure out how a"Black" got elected president. Gotta be a Manchurian Muslim socialist communist conspiracy. At the campfire in the desert last nite the alcohol fueled rants were all about we are coming with our guns if "Crooked Hillary " gets elected.

I thought a Wurlitzer was an accordion but I could not figure out how the word was being used. And I thought a Juke was a Juice Harp or a harmonica. My great uncle played the Banjo and the Sweet Potato.

Looks like Dudas is exercising her 2nd ammendment rights and shooting at the enemy.

Ruben was that you crawling around on the floor in the Movie "Piano."

Look, this is not as simple as a minority student winning a spot at a university because "diversity" somehow trumps "achievements".

This is the most powerful person in the world.

I'd like to think that race or gender are irrelevant.

I mean, we got our first black President and quickly found out that "firsts" are not especially good criteria for electing Presidents.

Still fighting the same old losing battles, huh?

Good for you, INPHX.

Save your Confederate money...

History is going to be very generous to President Obama, especially considering the insane, scorched-earth Republican opposition he faced.

Rogue:

Some people make excuses. I think that's your (and most of Obama supporters)view on Obama.

Some people got results- FDR, Reagan, Lincoln, Clinton, Teddy R., some others.

Some were able to work with the opposition (FDR) and for some of them, the opposition fell in line because they wanted to keep their jobs because the President was immensely popular (Reagan).


Hope and Change?

Yeah- sure.

Look what happened at the US level and states after the 2010 mid terms.

In any case, are you suggesting that someone should have voted for him because he was black? Or should that have been a meaningful criteria?

Sorry Hattie, it's not gender.

Just for starters I would whole-heartedly support the following women over any contemporary male counterpart:

Kathleen Sebelius
Hilda Solis
Elizabeth Warren
Kristen Hillibrand

Hillary equals corruption. I guarantee if Hillary is elected President, in one decade she and Bill will reach Billionaire status as "public servants".

I repeat PUBLIC SERVANTS.

Please, may I say that one more time: PUBLIC SERVANTS.

and Rogue you are 100% correct. History will judge President Obama as an outstanding President. He was faced with an unbelievable challenge in the arena that is this country. He jumped in and did the best he could. The republican congress chose to stay in the stands and be the cowards that they are. History rewards the gladiators in the arena, not the cowards in the stands.

Flaws and all, the one who fights the fight trumps the weak who hide. (sorry for the trump word)

Ruben:

He did do the best he could.

That's the problem.

I know, INPHX.

You are a businessman just like I am.

Give me an office full of people who "will try their best" over an office full of "prognosticators" and I will accomplish many things.

Because of the opposition Obama encountered (to a Negro in charge of anything. I have been hearing that every day including TODAY for about 70 years), historians will place Obama in the top 12 best presidents.

As a Republican I don't think Reagan did much good. He lied a bunch. But that's OK. Ran up the debt. He was just a 3rd rate movie star who acted the part until Nancy and her astrologer took over from behind the scenes. At least lying tricky Dick did some good environmental stuff as has Obama. And environmental issues are my top choice including wild animals preservation. But not so much on humans.
My favorite presidents are Ike, Teddy, Franklin, Harry, Thomas J and of course George Washington.

INPHX possibly you should get an appointment with Susan Calvin for an adjustment for repetitive speech?

The right-wing trolls are out in force here today. They must have woken up and smelled the coffee. Their orange buffoon is in deep doo-doo.

One thing: government is not a business. You don't elect a failed businessman president just because he makes you feel good about being a racist birdbrain. But even a successful businessman doesn't bring a skill set appropriate to the office. You're not simply hiring and firing people or running roughshod over bureaucrats. There are protocols, laws, traditions, and institutions that you must respect. Right-wing America has a mythology about the businessman-hero that doesn't bear any close inspection when it comes to political office. You need to know government, politics, and policy. In other words, exactly what Donald Trump completely lacks.

BTW, Mitt Romney did have political experience so he is an exception to this rule. His problem was that he announced himself as an opponent of nearly half this nation, from the young to veterans to the disabled to the elderly. His plan was to make American even less equal, less fair, less just, and less coherent as a national project.

Barack Obama understands governance because he believes in America. He understands its aspirational poetry and transcendant ideals. Republicans today understand culture war as a wedge. This is the story of our lifetime, a nation driven to the brink of civil war over the relentless cultural churn of modernity. Democrats for all their faults know that you can't litigate culture. It's not the sort of thing that can be outlawed or repressed. It's why Democrats are good at government. They concentrate on actual issues, not mindless bromides that emanate from right-wing think tanks or propaganda mills like Fox News.

Same old same old.

Obama could cure cancer and INPHX would say, "yeah, but look at all the oncologists he put out of work."

By the way, speaking of corruption, Saint Reagan was a stooge for Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex.

He also began the all out attack on unions, which certainly contributed to the ongoing demise of the middle class. And he helped tilt the economy toward the 1%.

Then there was Iran-Contra, ignoring AIDS, and de-institutionalizing the mentally ill.

Other than that, what a guy! He sure got things done.

Obama won't be given as much as credit he deserves. History books don't focus on what wasn't done. Obama held the military interventionists at bay countless times. Bravo!

The Republican Congress is insane and suicidal. Obama stretched more than he should have with the Grand Bargain and the Republican Congress responded by shutting down the government and getting the country's debt downgraded.

Obama has been the best president in my lifetime. Those who fantasize about Reagan weren't there. Not to forget Tip O'Neil, who was willing to deal.

INPHX, take a look at Obama's popularity as his second term ends.

Has INPHX officially endorsed Trump the Masher for president on the blog?

Republicans are disgusting.

Anon. Good points.
And to date I got 13 presidents notched on my belt.
Not Stephen Kings favorite number.

Now Trump is blaming a conspiracy involving "the international banks." And claiming the election is rigged ("the stab in the back"). Gee, who else has used this language? Brown (shirts) is the new black.

Trump hasn't worked his way down the list to anti-Semitism yet, or have I missed that?

The entire trope Trump is channeling is a classic anti-Semitic dog whistle. It's astonishing how easily Trump has descended into this vile demonology and how ready Republicans are to give it a standing ovation. Frightening times in Amerika.

Soleri I thought I owned that word. "AMERIKA.
I had a friend, no deceased whose first name was actually America.

Now Drifter there are two good Republicans, me and...

Right Cal, you're an old school Eisenhower Republican, not a real Republican of the 21st century.

Drifter, them ain't real republicans, they is KOOKS.

:)

Kooks are us. I mean that in the nicest way I possibly can. Still, we are self-involved, excitable, oversimplifying, deflecting and blaming children. It doesn't matter how old we are or how smart we think we are. This is a universal quality among human beings.

Democracy requires buffers. You need various levels of checks in the form of law, economic interests, elite opinion, institutions, and those small inner voices we once called conscience. Without those forces, democracy will fail.

Donald Trump exemplifies this failure although he didn't initiate the debilitating process itself so much as reveal its sclerotic nature in a nation no longer moored to deeper values and institutions. Trump's party is now the disease it wants to cure.

It's not just what passes for "conservatism" in our debased culture either. Millions rode the Bernie Unicorn to a land of unhinged conspiracy theories and cheap explanations. Millions of others can no longer tell the difference between pragmatism and defeat. Millions more think politicians are sinister masterminds of cosmic evil attempting to destroy everything that is good and wonderful about life itself. We are children who believe fairy tales.

I'm voting for Hillary Clinton because she's an adult who understands reality is more complex than the bumper-sticker distillations of reality on Ford trucks. She's not a Ronald Reagan peddling feel-good idiocies to a nation of narcotized TV addicts. She's a flawed and uninspiring candidate in that way. I'm not sure we deserve her but she is, barring a catastrophe, our next president. If we're lucky, we might once again engage reality instead of escaping it with mass hysteria and group think.

Excellent case you have made, thanks.
More later in the meantime some levity.

IS THIS THE REAL STORY.
http://detonate.com/pictures-that-trump-would-rather-keep-secret-2/3/

That's interesting photo 2/3 is not there? I only posted that photo.

Trump telling the Clintons's he is going to have to pretend he hates them.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=wedding+photos+of+clintons+and+trumps&view=detailv2&id=0F9BDE46246C65DA09FE187F14D39A6C1C323236&ccid=fzKQMx2i&simid=608039865615122769&thid=OIP.M7f3290331da2d40b919ac3145551360eo0&mode=overlay&first=1

Now that Trumpaggedon has come, one does have some hope that Arizona might finally start heaving towards significant reform in our slow crashing Kansas of state government.

And now K-12 is on the plate.

I bet DD brokers a deal to put $1 billion of education back onto a statewide property tax, and then uses half of the general fund savings to do his corporate tax cut.

Some good, and some bad, typical crisis stuff.

'He should not have his finger on the button' — former nuclear launch officers warn that Trump can't be trusted with nuclear weapons.

A group of former nuclear launch officers wrote a public letter warning that Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president, should not be trusted with the nuclear launch codes.
The letter was organized by Bruce G. Blair, a former nuclear launch officer and a scholar at Princeton University, as part of the #NoRedButton campaign.
John Noonan, a national-security expert who advised both Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, also signed.
The former officers wrote that only the president is capable of ordering a nuclear strike — and once the launch has been ordered, it can't be vetoed.
"The pressures the system places on that one person are staggering and require enormous composure, judgment, restraint and diplomatic skill," the letter said. "Donald Trump does not have these leadership qualities."
Trump has, "shown himself time and again to be easily baited and quick to lash out, dismissive of expert consultation and ill-informed of even basic military and international affairs – including, most especially, nuclear weapons."
Blair, the head of the #NoRedButton campaign, also wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on Wednesday where he asserted that Trump is uniquely unfit for the Oval Office.
Blair said that Trump is "seemingly blind to the importance of restraint" when it comes to nuclear weapons.
"He shows no humility toward the civilization-ending destructiveness of nuclear weapons, and offhandedly entertains their use."
The group of nuclear launch officers sums it up: "Donald Trump should not be the nation's commander-in-chief ... He should not have his finger on the button."

Why has the Presidency become an automatic eight year term?

I can think of three recent presidents who should have been tossed out after their initial internship.

McCain, Arpaio and much of congress show that politicians don't get better with age. Like fruit, vegetables and meat, they spoil after their "best used by" date.

As Jon well knows, down-ballot races can be especially interesting in AZ. I have a mixed marriage (my wife is GOP), so we often get right-wing robo-calls, to which I dutifully listen, to let the wingnuts self-identify.

Two of these, Heep and Hendrix, wanted to let me know they were Conservative GOP running for the MCCCD governing board (listed non-partisan on the ballot). Their stated priority was to lower my property taxes.

Thus noted, I spotted Hendrix's placards the next day: "Lower Property Taxes and Lower Tuition." He listed a website: "LowerTuitionNow[dot]com." It seemed like a larger effort than one candidate, to create such a website, so I checked it out.

It's very interesting. The registrant, tech contact, and admin contact all have an email that pretty clearly belongs to Sandra Dowling, former Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools. Relevant information about her tenure can be found in this 29 count felony indictment: https://www.azag.gov/sites/default/files/DowlingIndictment.pdf

On the LowerTuitionNow website, one of the Hendrix/Heep endorsers had the name Dennis R Dowling, not exactly the same name as a Dennis S Dowling indicted on three counts of theft from the schools. If one looks up the landscaping business named in the indictment for working on school property that did not exist, one finds that it's no longer owned by Dennis Dowling, but by Dennis Howling.

This is the drama in an AZ downballot race, at least based on entirely public information that any voter could find. The NYT this morning cites voter resentment fueling Trumps candidacy, due to stagnant wages for decades. One cause could be "voting while idiotic."

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