Monday, August 8, 2016

Too close for comfort




     Forty-two percent.
     More than a third, less than half.
     That is the number of Americans who would vote for Donald Trump for president were the election today, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll.
     Which I guess could be seen as encouraging, because 50 percent would vote for Hillary Clinton. Which means the epic and undeniable disaster of a Trump presidency would be avoided were the election today which, sadly, it is not. Only 92 days of this to go, folks.
     So I don’t want to go all Debbie Downer on you. But 42 percent. Who are these people? They can’t all be the snarling haters hopping up and down at Trump rallies, gleeful that they have permission from someone in authority to take their gruesome politics out of the basement and into the light of day. Can they? I sure hope not.

     The bulk of Trump’s support is among economically stressed white males without college degrees. They thrill to his impossible idea of a big wall across our southern border, embrace his daft, anti-American scheme for barring Muslim immigrants — whoops, it seems now to be all immigrants — and fantasize at how rich we’ll be once we curl up in a protective ball, trade-wise, and the world stops eating our ...

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17 comments:

  1. Although I'm 100% sure that Hilary is going to trounce Trump, I have that Cub-fan anxiety that no lead is too big to lose. 10 to 1 in the 9th and the other guys scored 10 to win -- that was in 1933 or thereabouts, but we have long memories.

    john

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  2. My theory is that a lot of people are supporting Trump as a giant "fuck you" to the political system in general. Their attitude seems to be, "You're not taking me and my concerns seriously? Fine, I won't take you seriously."

    Unfortunately, when citizens don't take politics seriously, they get governed by clowns.

    Bitter Scribe

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  3. Trump is rather refreshing in that he doesn't hide his misbehavior, he boasts that it is to be emulated, providing lame howto instructions in a book like "The Art of the Deal." Hillary on the other hand can place $1000 in a Refco commodities trading account and build it up to $100,000 in less a year. If she wrote a howto book called "The Art of the Trade", that would be a book worth buying. Always boasting about releasing tax returns, why hide the schedule D for that year which would itemize each trade? It's a major accomplishment, nothing to be ashamed of, it clearly demonstrates her superior intellect.
    And now to the silence of the ultra wealthy right and left, and their reluctance to explain how our tax code really works. Back in mid Bush 43 years Warren Buffett piously announced he would transfer the bulk of his wealth into a charitable trust, the members of the main stream media sighed and said what a Mensch! A few years later, early in President Obama's administration, Buffett claims his marginal tax rate is less than 15% on over $13 million in income, whereas his secretary's marginal tax rate is 35%. Now granted the title secretary for one of the wealthiest men in the world is a bit of an understatement, but her salary in the upper six figures or more is well deserved. Well over the machinations of the Tea Party the top marginal tax rate is now 39.6%. Buffett is still paying 15%, and now his 'secretary' is paying 39.6%. And there is Hillary along with a smirking Buffett claiming we need to raise taxes on the rich who don't pay their fair share in taxes. How about this time adjusting the AMT to cover the high income citizens? How about taxing all non charitable distributions from a charitable trust at a flat 50% rate? She's just playing voters for rubes, and sadly it is working.

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    1. How about not swamping this board with a lot of cherry-picked and probably bogus statistics (how do you know what Buffett is still paying?) to support the tiresome, irritating and potential dangerous trope that Hillary Clinton is somehow "just as bad" as Trump?

      Bitter Scribe

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    2. Bernie. Anyone who can call Trump "rather refreshing" is not engaged with reality.

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    3. There is no comparison, Trump is far worse than Hillary by any metric. Just as you don't like Kass, I'm venting here because I despise Gene Lyons and all his brown nosing whitewashing of Hillary's record. Let's go into the next four years with our eyes wide open. I didn't cherry pick these numbers the're typical of what is promoted by our leaders year in and year out. Buffett has challenged Trump to release his tax returns, then Buffett says he will release his. If so, I'll gladly attempt to provide a fair analysis, and we can debate the merits of various aspects of our tax code. If we discover Buffett has now shifted his income source to a taxable salary and is paying a 39.6% marginal rate, we can both be happy.

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    4. Sorry, the next time I say 'Trump is refreshing', I'll do it dripping with more sarcasm. And also say Bitter Scribe's 9:14AM comment hit the nail on the head.

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  4. I suppose 27% will vote Republican no matter who heads the ticket, and add a few extra points for the Hillary Haters. The rest of the 42% are playing American Political Idol. They gave Trump the Republican candidacy. No matter how outrageous or false his promises, he appeals to their baser nature, and he's fun to watch with his anti-political correctness rants. These people have no idea what he'll do if he wins, nor do they care. His impact on this country and the rest of the world concerns them not at all. America will be great again because telling everyone they hate to F-off! is what this country needs.

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  5. The augury's point in the right direction but I share Tate's Cub-fan anxiety. The right people not bothering to vote because it looks so much like a sure thing is always something that I'm sure keeps the Hillary people up at night. To quote one of those Richie Daleyisms that, like a Thurber cartoon, you can't put your finger on why it's funny: "Everybody's worried about apathy."

    Boredom is indeed beginning to be a problem. After listening to the talking heads go over and over the poll results yesterday morning I found even the Olympics more interesting. Although they would probably be better if the athletes competed naked, as was the custom in ancient Greece.

    Tom Evans

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    1. Richie Daley said that? I wonder if he was being funny on purpose.

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    2. @Tom -- I'm hoping the upcoming debates (there will be debates, won't there?) will alleviate the boredom and get us re-focused.

      Sandyk

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    3. I don't think Daley was ever funny on purpose.

      RE

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  6. If it were anyone but Hillary I would agree that the 42% is amazing.
    But she is the one democrat that I cannot possibly vote for and I imagine a great many other people would agree with me. Of course, I certainly can't vote for Trump either, so the question is - what to do?

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    1. If I believed 1/2 of what the right has accused Hillary of doing, I wouldn't vote for her either, but I don't believe any of it. Moreover, she's practical, intelligent, experienced, and as honest as any politician can aspire to be. I hope that the U.S. can take a step or 2 in the direction pointed out by Bernie Sanders, and I think that Hillary offers the best chance of actually taking those steps without abandoning Wall Street altogether.

      john

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  7. @Rose -- Just remember, a non-vote or a vote for anyone but Hillary will have the same effect as a vote for Trump. If you can imagine the disaster that a Trump presidency would be, please consider voting for HRC.

    Sandyk



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  8. I cannot vote for either. Trump is a circus clown only he isn't funny. Hillary is a lying scheming good for nothing. I would rather cut off my right arm than vote for that woman. Either one of them is a nightmare. I will vote that day just not for prez. As far as what my plans will be is to join a wine club and wait out the next four years.

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    1. What a sad cop-out. Anyone who looks at the situation and finds this kind of false equivalence either isn't looking very hard, or can't see, or just doesn't give a fuck about his country. I don't think there is enough wine in the world to make a Trump presidency feel right.

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