Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What Makes Us Smart

"That makes me smart."

This was Trump's throw-away line about the fact, raised by Clinton, that he has paid no taxes in at least some years. He was proud of being a multi-millionaire who contributed Zero tax dollars. He thought it made him "smart."

Any society has expenses we have to pay. We need our roads, infrastructure, police, fire departments, trash pick up, schools, etc. We have to pay for these things. And I fully understand not forcing those who are struggling to help pay much (the poor already pay a disproportionate amount of their income in sales taxes...)

But for the rest of us, we have a social compact, an agreement to pay for these common needs. To try to abuse rules to avoid paying our common expenses, therefore, is not "smart," and certainly not good. And certainly not if you are extravagantly wealthy!

It is greedy. It is self-centered. It is manipulative. It is petty. It is wrong.

And for such a person to boast about being a leech to run for public office pretending to care about our country... Well, his actions belie the point. You care about our nation, Mr Trump? Then show it! And one way to start showing it is to pay your fair share! Release your taxes. Pay back a reasonable amount of tax dollars that the rest of us had to shoulder so you could buy yourself gold toilets.

Until you do that, you're not smart. You don't care about the common good. You're just a petty little cheating freeloader and this admission should disqualify you, showing you to be fundamentally unfit for office.


Marshall Art said...

The idea that Trump ever paid absolutely no taxes is what is being pushed by this whine. Income is simply one area from which the gov't draws tax dollars. Few, if anyone, tries to pay more taxes than they owe from their income. Itemizing, even claiming one's self on a short form, are simple examples of the types of ways the tax code allows each person to reduce his obligation to only that which is actually owed.

In the case of a business man, there are more deductions and more ways to handle one's money so that taxes are as low as possible. These methods, which the covetous refer to as "loopholes", are most often legitimate strategies the tax code allows. If the result is that no tax on one's income occurs, it is more often than not merely the best understanding of the tax code that brought about that happy occurrence. But that doesn't mean that that same person paid no taxes, to any level of gov't.

If a person using the short form claimed himself as a deduction, he would consider himself smarter for doing so as opposed to NOT claiming himself and thereby paying more taxes than he actually owes. It is no different for people like Trump. If he, through his accountants, are filling out his taxes properly, and efficiently, he could easily pay nothing on his income. But that's only because of other actions he had taken that resulted in deductions enough to get to that point.

There are areas whereby one might wonder whether an item can be a legitimate deduction. An audit might call it into question, and a review may agree or not. It can be argued. That is fell into a gray area also does not make the tax payer criminal or abusive of the system. Only the greedy and covetous make that assumption.

So yeah, if he paid nothing, it can only mean one of two things: He's good at tax dodging, or he's smart in how he structures his affairs. The left just can't have the latter...to them, it MUST mean the former.

Dan Trabue said...

The thing is, if one is as wealthy as Trump is, he can afford to hire teams of accountants to play with the numbers and whittle down his payment to as little as possible. I'm not suggesting he's doing anything illegal. And if you're scraping by, spending a little effort to take advantage of tax savings makes good sense. At some point, though, when you're amongst the wealthiest of people who are taking advantage of that privilege of wealth to skimp on paying taxes, it becomes unseemly, petty and, if you're going to run for the highest office in the land, well, it says something about your character and it's not good.

One man's opinion.

Craig said...


Knowing how important accuracy is to you, I feel like you would want to know about the factual errors, you've made in your post so you can correct them.

1, Whether or not Trump has paid no taxes is speculation, not "fact".
2. Of course Trump had paid taxes, the speculation is about federal income taxes, not taxes in general.
3. Federal income taxes are not used to pay for things like "roads, infrastructure, police, fire departments, trash pickups, and schools".

There are numerous worthwhile conversations that can and should take place as a result of this throw away line in the debate, but if we can't get the basic facts correct, then it's hard to move forward.

This is not in any way an attempt to excuse or defend Trump's comment or an expression of support for Trump. It's just an attempt to get you to correct some inadvertent errors you've made.

Dan Trabue said...

I always appreciate that checks. So thanks for the attempt.

1. On this point though you are incorrect according to Trump. He reportedly zero federal taxes in 1978 and 1979. It's online you can look it up.

2. That is correct... I am speaking of federal tax dollars. I thought that was clear given my comments about the sales tax and poor people but I'm glad to clarify - I am speaking of federal taxes.

3. I'm glad to clarify - I was speaking generally of shared expenses. For the examples I gave, federal tax dollars may not pay very much - although they do pay some.

Hopefully that clarifies it for you and everyone. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"fact checks" in the first sentence, not "that checks." Posting from a phone always gives me troubles!

Just support for the "paying no taxes" point...

"in 1978 and 1979, the report said, Mr. Trump paid no federal income taxes. By taking advantage of deductions available to real estate developers and claiming losses from partnerships, Mr. Trump reported a “negative income” of $406,379 in 1978 and $3.4 million in 1979 — thus avoiding any tax liability for those two years, a time when he claimed to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars."


Two other points:

1. When Clinton mentioned this, he didn't say, "That's not true," he said "that makes me smart." That suggests that sometimes, Trump does not, indeed, pay federal tax dollars, in spite of his great wealth.

2. He also said, "that would just be squandered" about paying taxes. As if paying to support our mutual expenses is stupid and for idiots like regular people, not "smart" people like him.

One final point: If Trump would release his tax information, we'd know how much he gives to charity, how much (if any) he pays in taxes, who he is economically entangled with and other essential questions. Since he is running almost entirely based on his "success" as a business person, he really ought to provide something to support that claim.

From where many of us sit, he is successful only at accumulating money, but not always in ethical ways, so we do not consider him a success at business, because that would mean he's a good man. His claims and actions belie that.


Craig said...

1. "Reportedly" and "it's online" are hardly objective truth. The current complaint is that Trump hasn't yet released his tax returns, until he does so it seems strange to try to get "fact" from something that isn't public.

2. Specifically federal income taxes, Trump does pay federal withholding tax for SS as well as various Capitol gains taxes.

3. Of the examples you gave Federal income tax dollars pay very little if any. Roads, police, fire, and trash are local. Infrastructure is mostly through dedicated state funding, specific federal taxes or user fees and bonds. Schools are primarily funded through local property taxes

The reason I bring this up is that if you are unfamiliar with the funding of these publi services and projects as related to federal income tax revenues, then it would be difficult to have a substantive discussion on the issues this comment raises until that basic understanding is reached. As someone who has been in business, I realize that most people who haven't are not aware of the difference in complexity and increase in taxes that business owners pay, as opposed to employees.

Anonymous said...

1. Well, online information is what we have and it does not appear to be disputed by anyone, anywhere. Is there some reason you suspect Trump has lied about paying no taxes in those years? If Trump wants to retract what he has previously reported or release his tax records, we could verify, but again, this does not appear to be in dispute by anyone, anywhere. Except for perhaps, by you.

2.In some years, by Trump's record, he has reported paying zero in federal taxes, that is what I'm speaking of.

3. The point, again, is our shared expenses. We have them, as a point of reality. Some of our federal dollars go to prop up police work, to pay for roads/infrastructure, for our education. Just as a point of fact.

I'm not unfamiliar with the funding of these services. Are you? We're speaking of hundreds of millions, if not billions of federal tax dollars. Not chump change. Regardless, the point is that we have shared expenses and those who find ways of not paying any federal tax dollars are shifting the cost to the rest of us, who are paying federal tax dollars.

Understand? Am I mistaken, somehow?

If your focusing on my examples, you're missing the point. But if you think my examples are free from federal tax money (with the exception - possibly - of trash pick up, I don't know about that), you're mistaken...

On roads/highways/infrastructure, for instance...

Nationwide in 2010, state and local governments raised $37 billion in motor fuel taxes and $12 billion in tolls and non-fuel taxes, but spent $155 billion on highways.In other words, highway user taxes and fees made up just 32 percent of state and local expenses on roads. The rest was financed out of general revenues, including federal aid.


The Highway Trust Fund was established in 1956 to finance the United States Interstate Highway System and certain other roads. The Mass Transit Fund was created in 1982. The federal tax on motor fuels yielded $28.2 billion in 2006


So, again, I am generally familiar with how these things are funded. Are you?

Hope that clarifies.


Craig said...

Yes, it is completely legal, ethical, and seemly to use previous years losses to offset current years taxes. I've done it myself. The problem is that you can't isolate a small period of time without looking at the bigger picture. You also have to differentiate between the fact that this is a business deduction, not a personal deduction. So, this has nothing to do with his personal tax liability. It also ignores the fact that the offset reflects real monetary loss or loss of value of real assets.

Again, if you want to have a conversation about this particular provision of the tax code, that's great. To selectively single out Trump for following tax law, while ignoring the fact that the Heinz corporation (John Kerry) has engaged in the same thing is hypocrites lim the extreme. Or ignoring the face that Mark Dayton keeps the bulk of his family fortune in the low tax Dakotas while serving as governor of high tax MZ.

The point is that the conversation should be about the tax code, not cherry picking to bash one candidate.

1. I'm not defending his comment, nor inferring anything from it. I would suggest that to fail to take any tax deductions to which one is legally entitled is probably not a smart thing to do. Further, it's really the accountants that are smart, not Trump.

2. As I pointed out. Although you haven't defferentiatef between Trumps personal income taxes, and his business income taxes. You've also ignored that Trump pays the full 15% of SS, instead of the 7.5% that everyone else gets withheld.

3. The fact is that much federal revenue is squandered. The furthe fact is that the tax code is what it is and as long as nothing illegal is being done, it's hard to be selectively critical.

As to your final point, you are correct. If he released his tax returns we will "know" lots of things. Currently there is much speculation, but little knowledge.

Much line P-BO refusing to release various documents which would have simply ended many lines of speculation, Trump's refusal to release his returns is simply making the political aspect of this worse than it has to be.

Craig said...

1/2. As I've said, if Trump would release his actual taxes, we would not have to rely on speculation. As I've also pointed out, I've seen no differentiation between business and personal, nor any evidence of illegality.

3. All of the things you mention are primarily state and local responsibilities and primarily funded at that level. So it's safe to say that Trump pays a disproportionate amount for roads and schools etc in NY, and other states where he has properties, while paying proportionately less for roads and education in Wyoming. To me, as a proponent of a federal system, this seems readinable. But to oversimplify and focus on a small sample from 30 years ago, probably isn't of a lot of value at this point.

As to your last, I've simply pointed out that many of them are primarily locally funded. As to your very own example federal highway funding does NOT come from income tax revenue but from dedicated taxes and user fees specifically for highway funding.

I pointed out your examples, because they are poor examples of what federal income tax revenue primarily pays for. I'm not suggestion that there is none, but that those services are primarily provide and funded at the state/local level. There are many other things that are primarily federal responsibilities that you could have used and been more precise.

But, that's all fine as long as your only point is to nitpick one statement by one candidate. If that's all you're trying to accomplish, great. But it seems to miss the larger point and potential conversation about the tax code in general.

If all you wanted to do here was to be critical of Trump for engaging in behavior that is completely legal and common among business owners of all political persuasions, I'm sorry for going beyond that limited point.

I'm not supporting Trump or his statement, but with all of the bigger more universal issues. It seems kind of petty.

Craig said...

Sorry, should be "like" instead of "line".

Auto correct.

Craig said...

Just to be very clear

I agree that Trumps comment was foolish and illustrates one of the main reasons I don't support him. I agree that he should release his tax returns.

But, I don't think speculation based on old information of unknown provenance is enough to support claims of fact.

I do think that this can and should be a great way to actually discuss the tax code and what it should and should not be used for.

Craig said...

You are right about one thing, that seeing the actual tax returns sheds light on the charitable donations that get reported. Personally I think it's a little strange that it's possible to get a tax deduction for donating money essentially to yourself.

Dan Trabue said...

We agree there.

On a Trump-related note, and recognizing you may not be supporting or voting for him, can you or Marshall make a case that explains how, at this point, Trump is able to compete? Even given how strongly people loathe Clinton?

Even if it were true, as many on the right believe that Clinton is a liar With disastrous ideas... even if that were true, I can't see anybody thinking that Trump is not a much much worse option. He is clearly clearly abundantly clearly not fit to be president but I can't even according to many on the right. If the situation were reversed and Clinton was clearly unfit to be president and I also thought the Republican was unfit, I could not vote for Clinton.

I honestly can't see how any rational, moral person can vote for him. Can you explain?

No criticism from me, I'm just wanting to hear the case.

Craig said...

Why would/should I make a case for Trump competing. I don't support him, I most likely won't even hold my nose and vote for him.

If I had to guess, I'd suggest that it's because Clinton is just one more old, rich, white, establishment, baggage laden, candidate who has nothing but her last name and a bunch of guaranteed electoral votes going for her. Maybe people actually want the hope and change P-BO couldn't deliver. If the GOP candidate was anyone but Trump I suspect we'd be looking at a 47+ state GOP landslide. As it is I have no idea.

I will also add that I can see no way that a rational moral person can vote for Clinton. Which, since Johnson has demonstrated his idiocy leaves me with absolutely no one vote for. I guess I'm "fortunate" to be in a state where my presidential vote doesn't matter.

No criticism from me, but it's more than a little strange that you actually think I can or will make a case for why a bunch of random other people might or might not do.

Craig said...

I'm curious, with ample evidence of Clinton lying as confirmed by the head of the FBI and actual video of her lying, how is it possible to reach the conclusion that she's not a liar.

Further, since her defense when accused of lying is "I don't recall", the other option is that she has serious memory issues. Neither of those seems to be a qualification for POTUS

FYI, if my 25 year old GS 5 trainee for a USDA job with virtually no access to classified material had to go through extensive e mail security training, I find it impossible to believe that a cabinet level official was unaware of the security restrictions. But, that's just me looking at it rationally.

Dan Trabue said...

Perhaps I'm cynical, but I tend to think that most politicians tell lies, so it wouldn't surprise me greatly. So, again, let's assume she lied about email mistakes and lied about covering it up and handled Benghazi horribly... I still couldn't vote for Trump because he seems clearly unfit. What is the case for him?

Do people truly think he isn't grossly unfit for the job?

Dan Trabue said...

I thought maybe you'd heard a compelling case somewhere (or something quasi rational, at least). I have never read anything that makes any sense. No offense intended. Just a question.

Craig said...

Why should we assume anything when we have evidence?

I clearly can't vote for Trump, and virtually every one I've heard make any positive case haven't been convincing. There are a bunch of people who can't vote for the corrupt, establishment politics as usual Clinton represents, and there are a bunch of people who would prefer not to have a potential 7-2 liberal majority on SCOTUS, and that's about it. Personally the SCOTUS thing is the only semi compelling argument, but it's based assumptions about who Trump would nominate.

Otherwise they both have such significant failings that I consider them both undesirable.

Craig said...

To answer your question, I can't speak for anyone but myself. I'm an individual and not a spokesman for any group. But a significant number of people think Clinton is grossly unfit as well

Politically, if the right was as blindly monolithic in support of Trumo as the left is if Clinton I suspect Trump would be leading, but the significant numbers of us who aren't on the train, will be a factor.

If I was on your side I'd be scared as hell that Clinton isn't running away with this against such a weak opponent.

Marshall Art said...

To pretend that Hillary is in any way fit to be president would require some actual evidence in support of the proposition, other than the fact that she was married to a president, served poorly in the Senate and the Obama admin. Experience is worthless if that experience isn't flowing with successes and beneficial consequences. There are none one can list without having that list heavily criticized for subjectivity.

The Trump list of potential SCOTUS candidates has been reviewed by several conservative sources and found to be quite the stellar list. He insists he would select from that list. There is no reason to believe he won't.

Trump's private sector experience demonstrates better leadership than anything Hillary has ever shown. He often has hired his own critics to work for him, showing that he can indeed work with those across the aisle. Nothing in Hillary's history matches this, nor does anything in her history demonstrate the type of character one needs to be in leadership.

I will get more detailed when time permits. The choice is clear, even if nose-holding is required (I'll be doing it). There is no doubt in my mind that the nation can better survive a Trump presidency than it can a Hillary presidency. There is no rational argument for Hillary being in any way more fit or potentially better or beneficial for the nation. None.

Dan Trabue said...


1. Is obviously intelligent and informed (in spite of some incredibly stupid decisions). That's a requirement for being fit to be president (and it's pretty evident that Trump isn't, or he's very good at acting stupid and ignorant).

2. She has served as a Senator, working with Dems and Republican congressmen, many of which praise her days as a senator. Also served as SoS in difficult times. I'm not prepared to say she distinguished herself or was a disaster, just middling well in a tough job. Certainly better than many who've served in that office.

She has political experience. I count that as a reasonable sign of being fit to be president (Trump strikes out here).

3. Clinton has a life given to public service, from her young adulthood to being the FLOTUS to her Senate and SoS service. Check. Trump, strike.

That's three ways that can be argued she is fit for public office where Trump is clearly not. Now, one can argue she didn't do especially well in these and isn't a SUPER candidate, because of not being great in public service, but you can't say that experience doesn't exist.

My point, though, is that whatever you think of Clinton, no one can seriously say that Trump is fit to be president. He is a conman, amoral idiot who has done nothing but taken money and made more money (maybe) using morally questionable or outright bad methods. He has no public service. No history of being political or presidential. No signs of being informed about world issues, except as it relates to real estate. Even his claim to "genius" (losing a billion dollars and writing it off in taxes) is nothing he did, it's something his accountants and lawyers did. How is he qualified?

Look, if I thought that Clinton literally murdered Vince Foster and deliberately took actions to cause innocent Americans to be killed in Benghazi, I still couldn't vote for Trump. Why not? Because he's not fit. He's amoral. He's a conman. He's an idiot.

Just finding one candidate to be unfit doesn't make the other fit.

Craig said...

Which is why I cannot ever even contemplate voting for Clinton, despite Trump's issues.

You speak of Clinton's public service, yet how anyone can look at the horrible way the Clintons acted inHaiti, can't help but question that assertion.

One also has to wonder how one parlays political office and a charity into a personal fortune in the neighborhood of $100 million.

That ignores the flip flops, outright lies, and the hideous fake black accent she trots out.

It's interesting that we agree in principle, but choose to act in such different ways. If I announced that I was voting for Trump primarily because he wasn't Clinton, you'd leap to all sorts of negative conclusions. Yet, that seems to be exactly what you're doing. Constructing reasons to justify voting for Clinton. I'm not going to cast aspersions, just pointing out that there are plenty of folks on the right who are going to stand on principle and not vote Trump.

Dan Trabue said...

As I've said repeatedly, I'm no fan of Clinton for some of the reasons you say. Just as I'm no fan of MOST politicians who run for office. But I don't think that Clinton is especially worse than, for instance, Cruz, Rubio, Christie or many others. I'm cynical that way.

Sanders is one of the few who I thought was actually a pretty decent human being, and in his case, I wasn't thrilled with him because I feared that, in spite of his good intentions and (what I thought were) good policy positions, ultimately, he'd be less than competent in enacting them, and end up setting back progressive causes.

So, I'm not voting for Clinton because she's NOT Trump, I think she's a flawed candidate (as most are) who is fit to be president. So, it's not the same as those who won't be voting for Trump. I'm not thinking that Clinton is anything like fatally flawed, just typically flawed.

(As to the Clintons getting rich, they did it the same way that the Bushes did... giving speeches and selling books. So, clearly, they're no Jimmy Carter, but it's no different than what most politicians do. I'm hoping Obama - who I think is a better than average president, but still quite flawed - goes the Jimmy Carter route).

Craig said...

You're seriously suggesting that going from poor to $100 million dollars while Hillary was in government service is 100% above board?

I think you're missing my point. Of course you don't think Clinton is fatally flawed, you've managed to come up with this construct that makes her qualified without actually giving any specific things she's accomplished.

We know that she's been involved in manipulating at least two elections. We have incontrovertible proof that she's lied. If she was really so worried about people offsetting their tax liabilities with losses, why has she (as a senator or as part of two democratic presidential administrations) not made a single attempt to correct this problem?

For me it comes down to integrity and trust and neither of them rate high in either category. The difference is, I'm not going to hold my nose and vote, I'm just going to be consistent and point out the fact that neither of them should get anywhere near the oval.

Craig said...

When you rate P-BO as better than average, how does the decline of the African American community by virtually every economic measure fit into his accomplishments? Or how about the increasing failures of the Obamacare exchanges and the skyrocketing cost of health insurance?

Dan Trabue said...

You're seriously suggesting that going from poor to $100 million dollars while Hillary was in government service is 100% above board?

I'm always worried when politicians get wealthy/wealthier, but I see nothing to suggest they did anything illegal, if that's what you're suggesting. Are you suggesting illegal actions? Where is the police report to support such a claim?

No matter how distrustful of politicians I am, I don't tend to make unsupported charges. You never saw me question Bush wealth, did you?

We have incontrovertible proof that she's lied.

You have evidence that a politician lied? That's sweet.

She's committed no crimes. In spite of repeated (over decades now) attempts by partisan hacks to find her guilty of a crime, she's repeatedly been found innocent. Yes, she (and Trump and Cruz and Rubio, and Reagan and Bush) have all lied. I see nothing to suggest that she's any worse than any of these others (and certainly better than Reagan and Bush's lies - in those cases, tens of thousands of people have died because of their twisting of truths and actions. When you start criticizing those liars, I will take more seriously your criticisms of Clinton's stupid lies about emails.)

There is a vast difference in the integrity and fitness between Clinton and Trump, it's not like they're comparable. Clinton IS fit to be president, as fit as most of our candidates tend to be, more fit than many others. She also is deeply flawed, like most politicians, I have no blinders on the lies of any of these politicians. You seem to only find flaws with Clinton, but not with Reagan/Bush/Bush/Cruz, etc, which seems a bit partisan.

As to what makes her qualified, I just listed several ways she was qualified. She has been involved in public service her entire life. Qualified. She is intelligent (way more so than Bush and Trump isn't even in the same species). Qualified. She has served in Senate and as SoS and has experience in hammering out policies. Qualified.

Perfect? Hell no. Great? Not in my opinion. Seriously flawed? Yes, yes, yes. But not qualified? That's ridiculous. By what possible measure is she not qualified?

If you cite her dishonesty, but don't equally say Bush, Reagan, Cruz, Christie, et al and their dishonesty, then you seem to be blinded by partisanship.

As to Obama, he is not a perfect president (he carried on WAY too many of Bush's awful, awful policies for that to be true), but he has been inspiring and helped our country recover from the failures of the Bush debacle. As to the black community, I don't hold Obama accountable for any troubles they may be having. Nor does the black community.

Perhaps you think the black community is just too stupid to recognize Obama's destroying their communities?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, your blog appears to be gone... everything okay? Is that on purpose?

Craig said...

For now ill just point out that by virtually every objective economic measurement African Americans are worse off now than 8 years ago, but feel free to ignore data and try to play the race card. I never said anything about stupid, I asked a question to see if you would acknowledge the reality of the condition of African Americans.

As to the rest, no one you mentioned is currently running for president, and I've always been willing to point out lies from politicians of any stripe.

I note that your bar for Clinton is pretty low (not being charged with a crime), while you excoriated Trump for engaging in 100% legal and ethical following of the tax laws. Double standard much?

Finally, I think Truman said something about politicians getting rich while in office. If the fact that the Clintons amassed $100 million dollars while she was a serving officeholder doesn't raise red flags, then I'm not sure what would.

Like it or not Trump has amassed his wealth by providing goods and services for which people are willing to pay and which employ/benefit thousands of individuals as well as generating tax revenue which benefits the citizens of various cities, counties, states, and countries.

For me it comes down to character and trust, and I see little evidence of either. The funny thing is that you apparently agree, yet are willing to throw out bland general platitudes to assuage your conscience for voting for someone lacking in character that the best things you can say are that she's not been charged with a crime and in your opinion she's not as bad a Trump.

Dan Trabue said...

How does an ethical "businessman" take a million dollars from his daddy and turn it into billions? How does a genius businessman lose $1 billion in one year?

If you don't have any serious data to charge the Clintons with crimes for their money, I have no reason to assume that they didn't make it just as many politicians do: Selling their fame at speeches and in books.

Again, I've been quite clear that I'm dubious of all politicians who keep getting richer and richer while in and after leaving office. But it's hardly anything unique to the Clintons. I'm consistent enough to admit they appear to be like many others, including conservative, politicians in this regards. Are you criticizing all politicians who thusly get rich?

The thing is, in our culture, it's much easier to trade on fame and wealth to get rich and then get richer. Poor and middle class folk have to actually work for their money.

As to the black community thing, a few points:

1. The status of the black community is a mixed bag.


2. No one I know is seriously suggesting Obama has done something to make things worse for the black community ("no one seriously" excludes conservative folks grasping at straws to blame a black president for anything).

3. The black community was in worse shape before Obama became president, when Bush started the Great Recession. It's a known thing that poor folk suffer more when the economy takes a turn for the worst. Another advantage of being wealthy and another strike against the poor.

4. When conservative white folk say, "See? You're worse off under Obama..." I'm letting you know that many black folk hear that and say, "another white man, suggesting we're too stupid to understand that the black man in office is making things worse for the black community, and that's why we're still supporting him nearly universally." I am quite sure that it is not your intent to call the black community stupid, I am quite sure your intent is good. But there is an implicit suggestion. Why else would a community support someone who is harming them unless they're stupid?

Anonymous said...

One problem related to unemployment in the black community is the pernicious and failed "war on drugs," which has led to disporportionately high African American and Latino imprisonment, which in turn, contributes to spiraling higher unemployment and poverty which contributes to the break down of families, which contributes to imprisonment, which in turn contributes to higher unemployment and increased poverty and so on. These policies, which tend to come from our more conservative representatives, have led to a place that means that black families are worse off. The black community is smart enough to recognize that this is not Obama's fault, but the GOP's fault.

And, as I said, life in the black communities under Obama is a mixed bag. In education, the high school drop out rates are at an historic low.

In healthcare, more black, hispanic and poor families are getting healthcare and even more would be if it weren't for GOP governors, blocking Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

For instance. Here's an article referring to some data talking about the mixed bag of where the black community is today...


And another...


Many, many in the black community will tell you that the simple fact of having a black president itself makes things better for the black community. There is a pride and a sense of empowerment that has simply never been there.

And, of course, Trump's ridiculous claim that black folk are "worse now than just about ever" would be laughable in its idiocy, if it did not speak to a deep-seated blindness to, well, factual history.

Trump's "I think that he [Obama] has set a very low bar, and I think it's a shame for the African-American people. And by the way, he has done nothing for African-Americans."

...is recognized as patronizing, condescending and just ignorant of reality. And the silence from many in the GOP when Trump makes claims like this is part of why the GOP has lost nearly an entire race of people. Or so I hear. Repeatedly.


Craig said...

The snarky answer to your first question is "The same way Hillary made a fortune trading cattle futures.". The real answer is by providing a product or service people were willing to pay for and doing it well enough to make money. As to losing a billion in a year, my first thought is that the real estate market is speculative and cyclic so it's entirely possible to lose and make large sums of money from year to year.

Note, my reference to Trump being ethical is only in relation to his engaging in tax strategies which are 100% legal, ethical, and widely practiced. Obviously, as I've pointed out both he and Clinton have ethical issues. Just not this one.

Yes, I am critical of any politician who sells their influence and access while in office, I'm somewhat more understanding of those who write books after they leave office. In Clinton's case she didn't sell enough books to explain the 100 million. So, as usual, I'm simply being consistent.

1. Of course it is, but the black unemployment rate is significantly higher, graduation rates are worse, median income, home ownership are all no better or worse than 8 years ago.

2. You're right, I'm not. I'm suggesting that he didn't keep his promises to the black community, and that the chances of Hillary doing better are slim. But please, keep arguing anainst things I haven't said.

3. Ok as long as you say so. Except for income, employment and most other measures. If your "the poor get hit hardest" point was true then all poor would be in the same boat.

4. You can suggest and impute racism all you want. But if I was part of an ethnic group where 1/2 of the children don't graduate from high school, I wouldn't keep voting for the same people who brought that state of affairs about. Of course it helps to accuse people who draw reasonable conclusions from data of being racist or saying things they didn't say than to look at the data and ask why.

Craig said...

If your "war on drugs theory" is correct, then how can you explain the unwillingness of either the Clinton or P-BO admininstations to fix the problem?

Look, if you want me to defend Trump,
I'm not I've been quite clear about my feelings about him. If you think you can somehow link my observations of the data, and of what I see every day at work, with some cherry picked Trump quote and score some points, go for it.

Craig said...

If you really believe that the reason why 98% of blacks have voted democrat for decades is because of Trump, you're obviously more libertarian than you claim. I think that the radical right wing GOP conservative LBJ said it best when he said that after passing the civil rights bill (no thanks to the left), "The nxxxxxx will vote for us for the next hundred years" (or words to that effect).

Craig said...

LBJ was much more vulgar and overly racist than Trump, are you ready to blast him.

Anonymous said...

If I really think the reason why 98% of blacks have voted democrat is because of Trump? I haven't said that. That would be ridiculous. Trump is only recently a "republican" or a "conservative," so clearly, I wouldn't say that nor have I suggested it. Not sure where that is from.

The reasons the vast majority of black folk vote Democrat is pretty well-documented. Primarily, it's because in the 1950s and 1960s, the GOP became the party that supported/was a home for racist view points (much like Trump is kindling support for today) and there was literally no way they could vote for GOP, as a rule. Over the years, the GOP has softened their racism greatly from the 1950s/1960s, but generally speaking, the perception is still there and it's because of things like your words that, whether you realize it or not, sound like you're calling the black community stupid for supporting Obama.

You all have to collectively stop saying things like this if you ever want to win back people of color. You all collectively have to not merely sit out/avoid Trump and Duke, you have to clearly repudiate them. This is not what I'm saying, it's what conservatives and the GOP has said in many places, including that quickly ignored "autopsy" report from a few years ago.


Anonymous said...

Clearly, Johnson was a racist. AND, he helped pass (for whatever motives) civil liberties.


But Johnson was a man of his time. Trump does not live in a racist world. And yet, he (and the GOP and conservatives by their support - the ones who are supporting him), are giving support and comfort to racist elements TODAY.

So, yes. Johnson WAS a racist (horribly so, not just against black folk, either) and that part of his self was atrocious. No one would seriously say otherwise.

The question today, though, is why are so many conservatives supporting a man who makes racist, awful comments? Why is he the GOP nominee? Are the anti-Trump conservatives and GOP-ers speaking out strongly enough to stop the damage Trump is doing to the conservative/GOP cause?

I think not.


Anonymous said...

Avik Roy is a Republican’s Republican. A health care wonk and editor at Forbes, he has worked for three Republican presidential hopefuls — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio. Much of his adult life has been dedicated to advancing the Republican Party and conservative ideals.

Roy isn’t happy about this: He believes it means the Democrats will dominate national American politics for some time. But he also believes the Republican Party has lost its right to govern, because it is driven by white nationalism rather than a true commitment to equality for all Americans.

“Until the conservative movement can stand up and live by that principle, it will not have the moral authority to lead the country,” he told me...

“Goldwater’s nomination in 1964 was a historical disaster for the conservative movement,” Roy tells me, “because for the ensuing decades, it identified Democrats as the party of civil rights and Republicans as the party opposed to civil rights.”

Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He himself was not especially racist — he believed it was wrong, on free market grounds, for the federal government to force private businesses to desegregate. But this “principled” stance identified the GOP with the pro-segregation camp in everyone’s eyes, while the Democrats under Lyndon Johnson became the champions of anti-racism.

This had a double effect, Roy says. First, it forced black voters out of the GOP. Second, it invited in white racists who had previously been Democrats. Even though many Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act in Congress, the post-Goldwater party became the party of aggrieved whites.

Yet Republican intellectuals have long denied this, fabricating a revisionist history in which Republicans were and always have been the party of civil rights. In 2012, National Review ran a lengthy cover story arguing that the standard history recounted by Roy was “popular but indefensible.”

This revisionism, according to Roy, points to a much bigger conservative delusion: They cannot admit that their party’s voters are motivated far more by white identity politics than by conservative ideals.

“Conservative intellectuals, and conservative politicians, have been in kind of a bubble,” Roy says. “We’ve had this view that the voters were with us on conservatism — philosophical, economic conservatism. In reality, the gravitational center of the Republican Party is white nationalism...”

“[Trump] tapped into something that was latent in the Republican Party and conservative movement — but a lot of people in the conservative movement didn’t notice,” Roy concludes, glumly...

This soul-searching led Roy to an uncomfortable conclusion: The Republican Party, and the conservative movement that propped it up, is doomed.

Both are too wedded to the politics of white nationalism to change how they act, but that just isn’t a winning formula in a nation that’s increasingly black and brown. Either the Republican Party will eat itself or a new party will rise and overtake its voting share.



Craig said...

You do realize that the civil rights legislation of the 60's wouldn't have passed without republicans. You do realize that virtually off the anti civil rights, Jim Crow, Bull Conner crowd were all democrats, You do realize that the the democrats reelected an admitted proud member of the KKK to the senate for decades.

I understand that it's easier to just talk about racism and how people perceive things than to deal with reality.

Real life case in point. Our two largest urban school districts have a graduation rate for black students around 50%. For most conservatives the response is "What's wrong, and what's the best way to fix it.", unfortunately we're stuck in an island where the DFL and the teachers union have a death grip on education. So, when folks point out that there are charter schools in the same neighborhoods with more than 95% black graduation rates, the response is just like yours. "To even talk about the reality of the situation makes you a racist.". Meanwhile black kids are getting screwed out of an education. This doesn't even touch on differences between African immigrants and African Americans.

So, please throw out racist or whatever the label du jour is. The problem is, it's just one more lie that deflects people from saying things that are true, but hard to hear.

If our local city government and police are rife with instructional racism, yet those institutions are all controlled by the DFL, then by definition those who control and perpetuate racist institutions must bear the blame for the racism inherent in those institutions. So, how can it be racist that wonder why those oppressed by institutional racism continue to vote for those who are responsible for the institutions and the racism. It's shallow and facile to play the "Why do you think they're stupid" card when no one is claiming that. So, with that cavalier labeling of the question as racist you shut off discussion of multiple valid and pertinent questions.

Craig said...

Goldwater opposes civil rights legislation for one reason, I guess that's worse than Gore sr.

The interesting thing about your quote is that it hinges more on perception rather than reality. Yes some racist democrats switched parties, but some stayed. Goldwater opposed civil rights legislation for non racist reasons, LBJ supported it for explicitly racist political reasons. So what? This is what happens when you feel compelled to relate to people primarily as members of groups (especially when you characterize that group by its most offensive members) instead of as individuals.

I ask "Why does a certain phenomenon happen?", and you come back with "Don't you know it sounds racist to call all blacks stupid".

My concern is how many of the kids waiting for the school bus when I drive through the neighborhood are going to get screwed out of an education because the DFL city government, school district, and teaches union aren't willing to let go of power.

Anonymous said...

Robert Byrd repented of his racist past. For conservatives to keep bringing him up as an example of "racism" in the Democrat Party, or to keep citing the pre-Civil Rights Democrat Party, before the racists in that group either repented or flocked to the modern GOP... that sort of behavior is exactly the same sort of patronizing, treat black folk (and their allies) like simple-minded children that keeps you all locked into being the party of old white men.

I'm citing conservative thinkers here on this point. It's coming from conservatives, not me. I'm just agreeing with those conservatives. I can cite them all day long.

The GOP has a race problem. You call can keep denying it and attacking those who point it out (which will not solve it, only prolong the slow death of the conservative/GOP movement) or you can start admitting it and dealing with it head on, coming out strongly against that element within conservatism that is promoting racist, patronizing ideas.

Craig, do you think that Juan Williams, Russell Moore, Al Mohler, this fella I cited above, the conservative authors of the GOP Autopsy report, etc, etc... do you think all these conservatives who are citing racism and their approach to dealing with race as a real problem in the GOP/conservatism are all part of a vast left wing conspiracy to undermine conservatism because we all hate conservatives? Or do you agree that there are issues that need to be dealt with? And this, according to conservative after conservative?


Craig said...

I know you excoriated Trump for following the tax code as it existed at the time, so how about a liberal governor who keeps his inherited millions in a neighboring state with much lower taxes? How about a federal official who moved to Florida late in life purely to avoid estate taxes? How about that black civil rights leader and tv host who owes millions in unpaid taxes yet is sought after for his endorsement by Hillary?

For that matter what about Hilary's record of recuse comments?

Anonymous said...

I ask "Why does a certain phenomenon happen?", and you come back with "Don't you know it sounds racist to call all blacks stupid".

No, I came back with the idea that much of what has kept too many African Americans poor and under-employed have much more to do with conservative policies - the war on drugs, for instance, prison policies, for instance, etc. The point is that poverty in minority groups has happened for many reasons and it's not easily resolved (or we would have done it already, but Reagan and the Republicans didn't resolve it, nor has anyone else), but to suggest it's somehow Obama's fault that he hasn't solved it, either, so "why are the blacks supporting him?" is, I'm telling you, going across like a lead balloon in African American circles.

I'm telling you that black folk are telling me that it comes across as patronizing and racist. I'm telling you the same thing that many conservatives are saying, that you all have to stop talking this way if you ever hope to see a change in your party's demographics.


Anonymous said...

I know you excoriated Trump for following the tax code as it existed at the time, so how about a liberal governor who keeps his inherited millions in a neighboring state with much lower taxes? How about a federal official who moved to Florida late in life purely to avoid estate taxes? How about that black civil rights leader and tv host who owes millions in unpaid taxes yet is sought after for his endorsement by Hillary?

I oppose all tax dodging, especially by those in places of wealth. Even instances where they're legally using tax policies designed to give them breaks. If you are a millionaire+, you should be paying your fair share of taxes.

I oppose all policies that give wealthy people huge tax breaks that lead to regressive, rather than progressive tax policies.

I oppose the idea that middle class people are paying, say, 15% in federal taxes while wealthy people are paying 0-10% in federal taxes. That should not be. Can we agree?

I believe in paying taxes. I believe that all who can afford to should be paying taxes. I'm not specifically tied to the federal income tax, but it's a relatively workable solution that can be relatively fair. The idea being that we ALL have these expenses that we ALL share (even when we may not agree with a particular program) and we ALL should pay if we can afford it (with the caveat that obviously, poor folk who are struggling may not be in a position to share those expenses).

Do you agree that we all should be paying a fair share and not having tax laws that let especially the wealthiest of us dodge paying our fair share?

Will you come out against all regressive tax policies?

For that matter what about Hilary's record of recuse comments?

Don't know what you're speaking of here, and when I google it, I get nothing.


Craig said...

You've cited one conservative who admits in the quote you used that it's more perception than reality. I understand your need to hold onto the "If one republican is racist, then all are racist" trope. But, as long as you persist in this guilt by group association, it's really not particularly effective.

Would the world be a better place if racists of all political stripes were minimized, sure. But as long as you can't admit that people besides white republicans are racist it just looks like you're denying reality for political loyalty. Personally I won't knowingly support anyone who is racist, but I'm also not willing to throw labels around on a whim either. Yes, racism is bad. But shutting down honest legitimate questions by labeling people doesn't help either. If we can't have honest discussion and questioning how will things ever change.

Craig said...

I'm telling you that this obsessive quest to blame Regan and absolve democrats comes across as irrational.

I also have to tell you that what you contend some "black folk" tell you doesn't really extrapolate out beyond your specific environment. So I just can't take you seriously, especially when there are plenty of other black voices who say completely different things than what you claim.

I guess you can try to blame decades of democrat control of virtually every large urban area since the 60's on Regan, but it just doesn't fly.

Anonymous said...

This year, there are about 0-2% (+/- 3% margin of error) of the black community who will vote for Trump. Normally, the GOP is only getting a tiny minority of black votes. I'm not talking of just a handful of people that I know personally, I'm talking about across the country, black folk and Hispanics do not like the GOP. The GOP comes across as the party of racists to the vast majority of black folks. I'm not making that up, Craig.

Once again: I'm citing conservative after conservative who are saying the same things. Did you read the GOP Autopsy?

1. Pass immigration reform. Now. You're viewed as the anti-immigrant party and the GOP needs to take steps to change that.

2. LISTEN to black folk. That doesn't mean go to their churches and GOP-splain to them why they should be voting GOP or why the Dems are REALLY the party of racists or trying to re-write history in their presence, telling them that "Ya know, Byrd was a Grand Wizard..." leaving off that it was a lifetime ago and that he long ago repented of that part of his life. When you do stuff like that, you're NOT listening, you're being patronizing. That also doesn't mean that you should find a handful of conservative black Republicans, listen to them and then calling that "listening to black folk."

4. Stop talking and listening only to yourselves. Echo chambers make you blind and deaf to what other people are saying. (Review this conversation and see if you can't see it, here, because you are literally not hearing what I'm saying and reading into what I'm saying something I have never said).

That's the first two points (and then the fourth) of the Autopsy (paraphrased). Written by conservatives. I'm only telling you what many other conservatives are saying.


Anonymous said...

I'm telling you that this obsessive quest to blame Regan and absolve democrats comes across as irrational.

I have not done this. Perhaps you're hearing what you want to hear based on what you hear from fellow conservatives rather than what I'm actually saying?

I also have to tell you that what you contend some "black folk" tell you doesn't really extrapolate out beyond your specific environment.

Never said it did. I'm talking about what I'm hearing across the board, in articles, sermons, speeches, conversations and in passing with black folk across the country. I'm talking about the reality that the GOP has virtually no black support and you are viewed as the racist-supporters.

Did you watch the TV show "Blackish" last night? You know what? Honestly, that would be a good homework assignment for you, go watch that, keeping in mind the Autopsy admonition to Listen to minorities.

Regardless, I didn't say what you just suggested. You're mistaken.

So I just can't take you seriously, especially when there are plenty of other black voices who say completely different things than what you claim.

Yes, if you only want to listen to the very very few black voices that already agree with you and ignore 90% of Black Americans, you certainly can find many (if a tiny percentage) who will agree with you on some things.

I encourage you, however, to heed the 4th instruction from the Autopsy: Listen to those outside your echo chamber.

I guess you can try to blame decades of democrat control of virtually every large urban area since the 60's on Regan, but it just doesn't fly.

The War on Drugs is not the product of inner city politicians. The modern version of it is largely the product of the Nixon/Reagan/Bush administrations. Just as a point of fact. The vast imprisonment of "war criminals" is one huge factor in the high unemployment rate in the African American population. It's not the only factor and certainly there is plenty of blame to go around (Clinton signed the Three Strikes law into being, after all, another factor) and I'm not blaming Reagan solely or even predominantly. Reagan couldn't have done all the harm he did without a conservative GOP congress, for instance, along with the Dems who went along with their plans.

So, you see, you are not hearing what I'm saying, or what many black folk are saying. Perhaps it's related to that fourth point in the Autopsy and you need to step out of your echo chamber?


Anonymous said...

From CNN...

One of Richard Nixon's top advisers and a key figure in the Watergate scandal said the war on drugs was created as a political tool to fight blacks and hippies, according to a 22-year-old interview recently published in Harper's Magazine.

"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people," former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper's writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.

"You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities," Ehrlichman said. "We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."



Craig said...

I believe that looking to you for a definition of what's a fair amount of taxes is an exercise in futility. I believe that having a tiny % of the population paying a disproportionate % of taxes is the opposite of fair. I believe that if paying taxes is such an honor, then everyone should pay them. I believe that taxing income is a absolutely absurd way to tax. I believe that there is absolutely no way that you don't pay your full entire share of taxes and take zero deductions.

However, I also believe that you've stumbled into the conversation that the candidates should be having. Not the one where y'all call Trump names and excoriate him for engaging in perfectly legal and ethical behavior, but the one where we actually look at our tax system, look at why we have a federal government that is completely unwilling to live within its means. Why anyone at any income should have to pay more than 50% of their income in taxes. These are all great questions, worthy of national debate. Instead we get name calling.

By all means, have that debate.

But unless you can come up with an actual number expressed as a %, which represents "fair", can define specifically what you mean when you say "taxes", can offer a number expressed as a % of what % it total taxes should be paid by the "rich", and can define "rich" then further discussion would be pointless.

As for Hillarys racist comments I've quoted some elsewhere, the recent racist joke from a campaign appearance should get you started.

Anonymous said...

From the conservative Cato Institute...

"The massive number of black men in prison stands as an ongoing andgraphically resonant rebuke to all calls to “get past racism,” exhibit initiative, or stress optimism. And the primary reason for this massive number of black men in jail is the War on Drugs...

The War on Drugs destroys black families. It has become a norm for black children to grow up in single-parent homes, their fathers away in prison for long spells and barely knowing them. In poor and working-class black America, a man and a woman raising their children together is, of all things, an unusual sight. The War on Drugs plays a large part in this. It must stop."


I'm just saying what many conservatives are saying.


Craig said...

If the war on drugs is so horrible, why have the Carter, Clinton, and P-BO administrations not done anything. Are you suggesting that the use of drugs is perhaps a boon to society. I know it's easier to blame others in the past, but seriously.

But, to my larger point. Let's have a meaningful conversation about drug policy. Let's assess success and failure in as dispassionate a manner as possible. That's a worthy discussion to have, yet Clinton doesn't seem to want to have it. Hell, even all you want to do is demonstrate the diversity of thought in the conservative movement, which should be a good thing.

Craig said...

How can anyone possibly take you seriously when you pull assumptions out of thin air, then presume to assign me homework based on your prejudices.

Nice try.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's have that conversation. Obama has been ready, I believe...

"President Obama on Thursday said America’s decades-long war on drugs has been “unproductive” and that sending low-level narcotics offenders to prison tears apart families and leads to even more crime."



Why hasn't Obama ended it? A good question. I'm guessing it's primarily due to political considerations and the GOP congress and their obstructionism to anything Obama proposes.

But as I have repeatedly said, I'm not so big a fan of the Clinton's and even Obama's been somewhat disappointing on several fronts (although, in comparison of ALL recent presidents, he's been something of a saint!)

My point in bringing it up is that it is one major reason for the bad economy in black communities (this according to the conservative Cato Institute, amongst many others), and that this war was driven by conservatives, not progressives, not Obama. So, telling those poor black folk that Obama hasn't done enough to justify their support, when it's largely a conservative policy that has harmed their communities is a failure to listen to the black community and a patronizing dismissal of their real concerns.

Look, you can ignore what many black folk are saying, you can ignore what I'm saying, you can even ignore what many conservatives are saying, including the authors of the Autopsy. My only point was that I truly believe you and many other conservatives (including beloved family members and friends) are not at all racist, but saying things like that do give a negative impression of conservatism and the GOP. Hence the tiny fraction of black support.

It's NOT due to ignorance on the part of black folk. If you want to try to win them back, consider not talking like it is due to that.

Or not, that's on you all. I'm truly just trying to help you see another angle.


Anonymous said...

You can read Clinton's current planks on Drug laws and justice reform here...


I'm dubious of her positions in the past, but these positions she's currently stating are at least in the right direction towards decriminalizing drugs and emphasizing treatment rather than incarceration.

At this point, who IS supporting the War on Drugs?


Craig said...

So your excuse for Obama not ending the war on drugs is that the leader of the free world is afraid to lead and that despite two years of complete control of the government and a vetoproof majority he, as well as numerous recent instances of the Republicans and Democrats Engaging in bipartisan legislation you still want to blame Reagan. Got it, makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

It is Congress that makes and unmakes law here in the US, not the president.

You see, people are smart enough to recognize that when conservatives create laws that harm the poor, that harm black communities disproportionately, and conservatives promise to be obstructionist and do what they can to block what a president wants, that it's not rational to blame the president for what conservatives are doing.

Thus, when people say to black folks, "Why do you all support Obama? Things are worse for your community than they used to be! How does that make sense?! Isn't that foolish of you?!" ...they recognize that such people are too stupid to recognize the reality of what has happened, or that such people are aware of what happened and are hoping black folk are too stupid and can be cowed into going along with them, in spite of real history.

Look, keep talking this way if you wish. I have let you know that it sounds condescending to many people and as if you are ignoring or trying to re-write history and this contributes to less support for the GOP and conservatism, not more. Or at least that's the opinion I hold as well as many many conservatives (see the Autopsy, again, see the many conservatives speaking to issues of race).

Do with that what you will.



Craig said...

I guess if you're going to ignore me, it only makes sense that I would ignore you. The problem is that you have pointed out one potential thing that may have had some unquantifiable impact on the black community at large and are trying to make the point that virtually nothing else is playing a role. You are clearly predisposed to place blame on your political enemies, and deflect blame fromyou're from your political allies without really looking at the fullness of the data.

Ultimately if all you're going to do is make assumptions about what I think, who I talk to, who I listen to, and where I get my information, then you've made it quite clear that you aren't actually interested in a dialogue only in a diatribe. The fact is that your candidate who you claim is incredibly well qualified to be president isn't addressing any of your issues in any of her public statements or in the debate. So it's quite clear that while there is a significant diversity of opinion There may be less so on the liberal side.

Well I don't understand this reflexive desire to place blame your respectiVe of any other factors that may exist I certainly can see how it helps you to maintain your worldview

I can't help but wonder how after eight years of Obama administration all the left has is to blame Reagan. It amazes me that at this point in the Obama administration folks like you still think he bears no responsibility for anything negative that has happened.

Anonymous said...

I guess if you're going to ignore me, it only makes sense that I would ignore you.

Clearly, you are ignoring me. Consider...

The problem is that you have pointed out one potential thing that may have had some unquantifiable impact on the black community at large and are trying to make the point that virtually nothing else is playing a role.

When in fact, the opposite is true. I offered the War on Drugs as ONE contributor (albeit a large one) to poverty problems for already poor people, including black folk. I am literally NOT saying that nothing else is playing a role. You can tell by the way I never said that and by my saying that this is one factor, for example.

You are clearly predisposed to place blame on your political enemies, and deflect blame fromyou're from your political allies without really looking at the fullness of the data.

I offered ONE example because this is a blog with limited space and I am a man with limited time. But it is a vital example. And I'm not doing it to "place blame on political enemies (as you appear to be doing by suggesting black folk shouldn't support Obama because he didn't fix things for them). Indeed, I'm citing CONSERVATIVES who agree that this is a problem.

The point was to help you see that it is not viewing all the data to try to blame Obama for what conservative policies have contributed largely to, and that ACCORDING TO CONSERVATIVES.

"make assumptions about what you think, who you talk to, etc..."?

Where have I done any of that? You are reading into my words things that aren't there. It literally did not happen. Which gets back to my raising the concern that the conservative authors of the Autopsy raised, about listening only to your echo chambers... maybe that's what is happening here, was a point I raised by way of question that comes from the conservative autopsy.


Craig said...

First, I have not totally blamed Obama, however it did happen on his watch and to exempt him from responsibility is foolish.

Second, you have obsessed on one thing you claim is a major contributor to the condions in the black community and pretend that there haven't been 20 years of liberal administrations who have chosen not the deal with this heinous problem.

Third, you continually choose to have the temerity to lecture me about what your prejudices lead you to conclude are my behaviors. You compound this laziness by attempting to paint me as a supporter of every thing anyone who even remotely identifies as a republican has done to piss you off. Finally, you presume that I have the same sort of unquestioned loyalty to the Republican Party as you have for the democrats.

Fourth and last, I have to note the coincide of how quickly you jumped off the tax thing when I got specific. I'm sure it was just your burning desire to selective blame the other for the war on drugs, not an inability to be specific.

As so often happens, you've somehow taken something about which we have some level of agreement on and turn it into you responding to your prejudices about me rather than to my actual positions. If you're so blind as to be unable to see that the politics as usual, rich, white, establishment class represented by Clinton is a problem that spans both parties and so unwilling to acknowledge that liberal policies have been to blame, then you deserve exactly the government you vote for.

I've always felt that the ability to vote on free, fair elections was one of the foundations of our republic. So to vote for someone who has had a hand in rigging two elections is just a bridge to far for me.

Craig said...

"Where have I done any of that?"

I'm going to take a chance this this time might be different and show you where.

"Thus, when people say to black folks, "Why do you all support Obama? Things are worse for your community than they used to be! How does that make sense?! Isn't that foolish of you?!" ...they recognize that such people are too stupid to recognize the reality of what has happened, or that such people are aware of what happened and are hoping black folk are too stupid and can be cowed into going along with them, in spite of real history."

Once you get past the initial question which is legitimate, the rest of this quote is simply assumption.

"Did you watch the TV show "Blackish" last night?" You know what? Honestly, that would be a good homework assignment for you, go watch that, keeping in mind the Autopsy admonition to Listen to minorities."

Again once you get past the (likely rhetorical) question, you assume the following.

1. That I did not watch the show. (I didn't because of this inconvenient job thing)
2. That I would not watch the show at a later date.
3. That you have the authority or credibility to assign me homework.
4. That the "Autopsy" is somehow authoritative and must be adhered to.
5. That I am intentionally not keeping in mind the things the the autopsy.
6. That I need some autopsy to figure out how to deal with the diverse groups of people I interact with daily.
7. That I do not listen to minorities.

That's seven assumptions in 35 words.

"Listen to black folk"

I know I pointed that out earlier, but you made the assumption that I do not at least twice.

"Stop talking and listening only to yourselves."

Another assumption.

"Yes, if you only want to listen to the very very few black voices that already agree with you and ignore 90% of Black Americans, you certainly can find many (if a tiny percentage) who will agree with you on some things."


1. That I only listen to blacks who agree with me.
2. That you are accurately summarizing the beliefs of 90 of black Americans.

And there we have it once again, one of your claims contradicted by your own words.

Craig said...


This should more accurately read,


Clearly, the concept of a political movement which allows for diversity of opinion and views is a bit strange.

Craig said...

"...about listening only to your echo chambers..."

Sorry, one last false assumption.

Craig said...

It's your call at this point, I really have nothing to say as I'm not going to defend either Trump or "The Republicans". I've agreed with some things and pushed back against others. So if you have something else of substance, I'll consider it, if not then why not move on?

Dan Trabue said...

re: "This should accurately read..."

It DOES accurately read, in context. In context, what I said was...

ndeed, I'm citing CONSERVATIVES who agree that this is a problem.

The point was to help you see that it is not viewing all the data to try to blame Obama for what conservative policies have contributed largely to, and that ACCORDING TO CONSERVATIVES.

So, clearly in context, I was very literally citing conservatives. So, it is literally factually true that what I was saying was "according to conservatives."

What I didn't say was "According to ALL conservatives." If I had said that, you might have a case, but clearly, I was not speaking for all conservatives. I've been pretty clear that I'm citing many conservatives. I've given you several names and sources.

About your "false assumption" about echo chambers, again, in context, I had ASKED if it was possible that it was the case that you needed to heed the conservative Autopsy report 4th point about not having your opinions wrongly shadowed by only hearing and listening to those who agree with you. I literally did not say, then, in context that this is what you were doing, I was asking you a question IF this is what you were doing, as that might be one explanation for why you don't appear able to understand how many black folk would find your points to be racist sounding.

Just to clarify some mistaken understandings you had. Sorry if I was not clear enough.

Dan Trabue said...


1. That I only listen to blacks who agree with me.
2. That you are accurately summarizing the beliefs of 90 of black Americans.

And there we have it once again, one of your claims contradicted by your own words.

No. We have your understanding of my words being incorrect. Since clearly, literally, I didn't say you only listen to those who agree with you or black folk who agree with you. It didn't happen. Same for all the other understandings of what I've actually said.

Just to clarify.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, your blog appears to be gone... everything okay? Is that on purpose?"

It was there a minute ago.

Actually, I access your blog through mine, as yours is listed in the "Left Ones" column. Don't know why you're experiencing trouble. Craig just left a post a couple in the last couple of days. Let me know here if you still have issues.

Craig said...

All I can say is that your own words contradict you, and I see no gain in a conversation with your assumptions about me.

Dan Trabue said...

That you have misread my words and thus, found a contradiction that doesn't exist, is not evidence that my words contradict me.

Marshall, I think it's my computer. For some reason, on my home computer, I can't get it to go to marshallart.blogspot.com... it goes to marshallart.blogspot.com/redirect... or something like that and I can't figure out how to get it to not remember to go there. I'm pretty sure it's a memory/refresh thing, but haven't figured out how to fix it. I can still see your blog on my phone and other computers.


Dan Trabue said...

re, Craig... "All I can say is that your own words contradict you"

In case I wasn't clear, let me give an example. You read my words and conclude

1. That I only listen to blacks who agree with me.

for instance. In reality, I never said that, nor did I suggest it. I QUESTIONED whether or not you needed to heed the conservative Autopsy suggestion to avoid only listening to those who agree with you. That is a concern that many conservatives have about other conservatives. Given that (I think reasonable) concern that many conservative thinkers have, I QUESTIONED if that was what was happening here.

A question is not the same as a claim.

Thus, if you think I have made this claim, you have misunderstood my words. On nearly every instance of you saying "Dan, you said..." I have not said that. You are misunderstanding. As I have now demonstrated.

Hope that helps.

Craig said...

That would make all sorts of sense if I hadn't quoted you making a statement, not asking a question.

I guess that's one more assumption. The assumption that others can understand you in the absence of the proper punctuation.

Admitting mistakes is hard, isn't it.

Last time, if you simply want to contradict your quoted, have at it.

If you want to have a serious discussion about, say, tax policy that's great too.

Craig said...

One last. I've never said "Dan, you've said...", I've actually quoted your own words, if you really want to argue that you didn't say the quotes,ok...

Dan Trabue said...

You can get words to say all sorts of things if you remove them from context, ignore what else was said, squint your eyes, close your mind and say, "He meant X, even though the context makes it clear that he wasn't saying X."

Craig said...

Your words quoted accurately, I'm sorry you said what you said, but you said it and I quoted it. As for context, unless you're blind it's right in front of you. Every example quote is from this comment thread.

Do feel free to be upset at what you said and pretend it's out of context (as if it needs more context than the entire paragraph you said it on) if it helps.

Or you could just apologize for making assumptions and move on like most people would.