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Andrew Brod
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To your point, from Charlie Pierce: "...and also thanks to an electorate that damned well should have known better..."
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2016 on #SorryYeahWeKindOfAre at
1 reply
I don't think your reasoning stands up to common sense. There have been plenty of challengers in past municipal elections, but not this one. Well, what was different about this one? The biggest difference was how late candidates learned what the actual districts would be. Potential challengers have a lot to think through before filing to run. How would running affect my job, my business, or my family? For incumbents it's simpler. They've already answered the big questions, and the only one remaining is: Do I want to keep doing this or not? You're saying that there are few challengers because people suddenly and unprecedentedly decided that it would be futile to challenge incumbents. That's not impossible, but let's use Occam's Razor. Given the big difference between this municipal election and previous ones, it's much more likely that uncertainty about district lines was what reduced the field of challengers. And what caused that uncertainty? Ultimately it was Wade's bill. So if anyone is upset that incumbents have too little competition in this year's election, you have Trudy Wade to thank.
Misleading? You said we'd lost manufacturing jobs and I explained when we lost them. That's pretty straightforward. You're right that the percent loss in such jobs is greater than 32% if we start at the beginning of Reagan's term rather than the end, given that we lost manufacturing jobs during his term. You're also right that what happens during one presidency is often a function of what was done by the preceding president. But when the pattern is so one-sided, it's hard to take seriously your claim that there's little difference between the two parties. If there were no difference, the losses would be distributed more evenly. But the main point I'd make is that you're placing too much weight on globalization as the culprit. NAFTA didn't actually do much damage. We were shedding manufacturing jobs before NAFTA and we continued to do so after it. Over the last few decades, job losses in most manufacturing industries have been due more to automation than globalization. While jobs were lost, output kept increasing (though at a slower rate than GDP). The big exceptions are textiles and apparel, where both employment and output have declined. Apparel manufacturing never managed to harness labor-saving technologies and therefore the search was always on for lower and lower wages. That's how North Carolina lured that industry here from New England 100 years ago. NAFTA didn't stop that trend, but it didn't start it either.
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2015 on The Trump Phenomenon at Triad Conservative
It's true that we've lost a lot of manufacturing jobs since St. Ronald of Reagan left office. In 1988, his last full year, there were 17.9 million workers in manufacturing, as compared to 12.2 million in 2014. That loss of 5.7 million manufacturing jobs amounts to a 32% drop, or about a third. I wouldn't characterize a decline of one-third as "nearly half," but I suppose such things are in the eye of the beholder. It's instructive to see under which administrations the losses occurred. As it happens, 4.5 million of those post-Reagan manufacturing job losses, or 79%, occurred during the Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, and I'm not even counting 2008, which was obviously a Bush 43 year but was also the start of the Great Recession and saw nearly a half-million manufacturing job losses. What about Reagan and before? Under Democrats Kennedy and Johnson in the 1960s, we gained 2.8 million manufacturing jobs, then lost nearly 700K under Republicans Nixon and Ford, and then gained 1.2 million under Democrat Carter. How did Reagan do by this metric? During his administration, the U.S. lost more than 800K manufacturing jobs. Of course there were huge losses during the Great Recession, much of which took place while Obama was president. In his first two years, the U.S. shed 1.9 million manufacturing jobs. Since 2010, however, we've regained nearly 700K of them, so Obama's net is a loss of 1.2 million. That's not good, obviously, but it's pretty minor when compared to Bush 43's net of 3.9 million manufacturing job losses, most of which happened during an economic expansion! All told, since the end of WWII, we've lost 6.3 million manufacturing jobs under Republican presidents and gained 4.3 million under Democrats. So I wouldn't be too quick to claim that establishment Republicans are just as bad as Democrats, because -- by your metric -- the Democrats are looking damned good over time.
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2015 on The Trump Phenomenon at Triad Conservative
The word "reasonably" is your worst enemy in this crusade. But sure, go ahead and see if you can rally the yahoos.
This probably won't come as a surprise to you: Now that the AG has announced that he won't defend this lawsuit, the NCGA is the only party remaining that could mount a defense. According to this article, Judge Eagles will first have to rule that the GA has standing to do so. I would think they do, but again, IANAL.
No, the issue is whether it might reasonably be questioned, and that's a very different thing. Questioning by random idiots on street corners and right-wing blogs isn't necessarily reasonable, no offense.
It sounds like your political observer is Hartzman. But believe it or not, the definition of "conflict of interest" isn't "any relationship disliked by Hartzman." He has no earthly idea what a conflict is, because he sees them everywhere. He doesn't see dead people. He's haunted by false and imagined conflicts of interest. In fact, the term has a meaning under the law. And as near as I can tell, the definition also isn't "when a judge lives in a city affected by her ruling." Your opinion here is so ill-informed that you would definitely benefit from talking to an actual attorney about this. Talking to Hartzman will only rot your brain... more.
Yes, Democrats are definitely afraid of an independent Trump candidacy. Here's what they're saying to express their deepest fears: "Please run, The Donald, please run!"
Toggle Commented Jul 16, 2015 on Mitchell on Trump at Triad Conservative
I guess it's nice that you appreciate it, but you clearly don't understand what I've said.
The difference is that unlike yours, my "opinion" is rooted in how governments actually operate. Yours is rooted in right-wing wishful thinking. In any case, my prediction is that someone will defend the actual law (not merely its implementation) in court. After all, if the state doesn't step in to do so, there will be no one defending it and that will certainly increase the chances of the city winning the lawsuit. Your original question was whether the AG will defend the law, and I agree -- that's a darned good question. But the GA passed this bill and the GA is the entity with an interest in defending it. If the AG doesn't exert the effort the GA believes he should, I'm sure the GA will try to do something about it.
No, the county has no such "interest." You're free to hold out hope about government and policy, but actual governments are limited to doing what their actual jobs are. From the N&R: "Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne is representing the elections board in the lawsuit. He said Tuesday that he and the board will not take a position on the constitutionality of the new law, but will speak only to whether and how it can be implemented." That's obviously the way it should be. As long as the law in question is the law, the county will "defend" it, by implementing it. But it's not the county's job to defend the law itself.
You'd have to find a lawyer or someone at the School of Government to answer that. But the county certainly has no interest in defending the law... or opposing it, for that matter. The county's job is to implement and enforce whatever election laws are on the books, period. If the lawsuit fails and HB263 remains state law, the county will (and should) implement it. If the lawsuit wins, the county will (and should) go back to implementing the status quo ante.
Payne's intention isn't what's relevant here. As he notes, the county BOE merely implements election laws enacted by the state or federal governments. The county BOE isn't being sued over its implementation of the law. If it were, then it would have to be more involved in the suit. The subject of the lawsuit is the law itself, and the county BOE is being sued because it's the implementing agent and is therefore the entity that would be affected by an injunction, if one is issued. So I think the defense of this lawsuit was always going to be the state's responsibility. Which of course leads to your question about how the AG's office will play this.
Here's a thought. You could stop wondering what "progressive policing methods" are and do a little research. Here's a recent entry on GPD's Facebook page: The chief's discussion of his strategies is effectively a definition of the term that so troubles you. As for response times, I presume "increase response time" was a typo. Ha ha.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2015 on Before it was cool at
1 reply
You're projecting. Not everyone's ethics are as situational as yours. In any case, it's a bit silly to imagine the Court declaring same-sex marriage "unconstitutional," and the question suggests that you and the Powerline blogger don't really understand what was just decided. But okay, suppose the Court had ruled that state bans of same-sex marriage were constitutional. What then? I presume we would have done what we did after Amendment One. Take the lumps and figure out how to keep fighting the good fight. And remember, when it comes to rights, democratic processes are very often the wrong way to establish and protect them. The exercise of free speech is, after all, often quite unpopular. There's a reason the Constitution created a country that wasn't a pure democracy.
This was a good week in SCOTUS-land. I won't claim to be ahead of any curves, but I did write this jumble of a column three years ago during the Amendment One debate. It starts being coherent in the last third or so, including the ending: "If protecting marriage is the goal, we know that creating jobs in the short run and reversing the long-term economic deterioration of lower and middle classes would take us a long way toward that end."
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2015 on Before it was cool at
1 reply
I can't tell you how much I enjoy your distress. It is like a warm bath into which I settle luxuriously while nursing a single-malt scotch. Ahhhhh.
You're right that something's wrong with that picture, because it's a dumb picture. Coulter has never been very good with facts.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2015 on Fascinating Statistic at Triad Conservative
Actually, it has nothing to do with "democratic socialism." What it has to do with is the refusal of U.S. economic policy to address the actual problems of unemployment. I presume you were among those who applauded efforts to reduce the federal deficit, and I expect you were disappointed when more was not done (even though the moderately improving economy has reduced the deficit sharply). If so, then you, or rather people who think like you, are the problem. Not all of the people who think like you and therefore bungled the unemployment issue are Republicans. One of your number, at least for a while, was Barack Obama. His 2010 "pivot" to focus on deficit issues abandoned the unemployed and was easily his biggest economic-policy blunder. There's substantial evidence that unemployment benefits have nothing to do with the very-slow-to-recover labor-force participation rate among prime-working-age people. This was a demand-side recession, and the conservative fetish to treat everything as though it's a supply-side problem is the culprit. In other words, sorry pal, but it's actually your fault.
"The month of April is the second month where the number of people not in the workforce — whether due to discouraged workers or retiring baby boomers — was greater than 93 million." So "retiring baby boomers" is a mark of a socialist republic? Retirements are accelerating as more and more baby boomers hit retirement age. It's funny to hear NC conservatives defend the dubious decline in the state's unemployment rate by claiming it's due to demographics, but dismiss or ignore the same explanation at the national level. If it's dubious at one level (and it is), it's dubious at the other (which it is as well). And of course the fact that the absolute number of those not in the labor force grows is in part due to population growth. Is growth a bad socialist thing too? That number grew 1.9% in 2014. Were we in socialist hell when it grew 1.8% in 2007? How about the 2.7% in 2003? Looking at the labor-force participation rate doesn't correct for retirements but at least it gets around the issue of population growth. Anyway, if you really want to make your case that we're in socialist hell, you should highlight a number that isolates the effects of discouraged workers, not one that mixes it in with retiring baby boomers. Finally, there's ample data now that shows that in an economy marked by deficient consumer spending, government austerity (which of course is the opposite of creeping socialism) is associated with lower growth and higher unemployment. I'm sure you won't find that mentioned in a Breitbart article, though.
Toggle Commented May 10, 2015 on Sorry Stats at Triad Conservative
Democrats would looooove for McCrory to face a strong right-wing challenger in the primary.
Your unhappiness and anger are like a soft blanket that warms and comforts me.
"How long do we as a city flog ourselves over this tragic event?" Calm down. It's a marker, not an S&M orgy.
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2015 on The Greensboro Shootout at
1 reply