Thanks, Barry Ritholtz
“Doing OK in cooking and sewing classes?”
❝ A top Senate leader and at least 10 other conservative Kansas legislators have lost their seats as moderate Republicans made GOP primary races a referendum on education funding and the state’s persistent budget woes.
Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce was among the lawmakers ousted amid a backlash against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his allies.
❝ The voting occurred against the backdrop not only of the state’s fiscal woes but ongoing legal and political disputes over funding for public schools. The state Supreme Court could rule by the end of the year on whether the Legislature is shorting schools on their state aid by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
❝ Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since the GOP-dominated Legislature slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback’s urging to stimulate the economy. That’s created concerns among educators about future spending on schools, even as many Republicans see the $4 billion-plus a year the state now spends as generous…
“He seemed to care more about what the Brownback administration wanted rather than what the people he represented wanted,” said Mary Dondlinger, an 80-year-old retired Hutchinson teacher and Republican who voted for Berger.
❝ Five other conservative senators lost in races that spanned the state. So did five conservative House members, all of them from affluent Kansas City-area suburbs in Johnson County, the state’s most populous, where voters have cherished good public schools for decades…
Cross your fingers and keep at it, folks. This just may foretell the next best news we may get from the big election in November. I’m more and more confident about Trump failing in his Tea Party Putsch; but, I really hope a batch of Americans wake-up to the threat to everything from education to science to the rule of civil law from populist poopchutes.
Might be nice to have a return to essential debates over differences in approach to progress – instead of how many angels fit atop pinhead reactionaries and their ignoranus fears.
❝ Nevada rancher and anti-authority figure Cliven Bundy lost a renewed bid Thursday for release from jail ahead of trial on federal conspiracy and assault charges stemming from an armed standoff against government agents two years ago.
❝ U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Hoffman pointed to the violence alleged in an indictment accusing Bundy of inciting the impasse to stop a roundup of cattle from public land near his ranch in April 2014, and to a history of Bundy ignoring federal court orders.
“You say you’ll continue to do ‘whatever it takes,'” Hoffman said in a Las Vegas courtroom where some Bundy backers wore brown T-shirts emblazoned with the three-word slogan.
“I do not believe, Mr. Bundy, that you will comply with my court orders any more than you have complied with previous court orders,” the judge said.
❝ Bundy and four of his adult sons are among 19 people now facing federal charges that could put them in prison for the standoff for the rest of their lives…
❝ Bundy’s defense lawyer, Joel Hansen, said his client simply won’t acknowledge that federal law applies. That consistent denial led Bundy last week to decline to enter a plea to charges including conspiracy, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal officer, obstruction and firearms offenses. Hoffman entered a not-guilty plea at that time on Bundy’s behalf…
❝ Several people who face charges with Bundy in the Nevada standoff also have been charged in the occupation of an Oregon nature preserve that aimed to oppose federal land restrictions. A judge on Wednesday prohibited U.S. marshals from transferring Cliven Bundy’s sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy and others to Nevada for court hearings.
It’s only been about 150 years since this was all sorted out. Part of the federalism of living in a democratic republic. Nutballs challenge it every now and then – and lose. Most of the time they don’t carry guns into the discussion.
❝I know Trump has said this before, so technically it’s hardly new. Still, I mean, it’s…it’s…oh hell:
❝I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. Remember that. Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 percent and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent. Do you think if we had 5 percent unemployment, do you really think we’d have these gatherings?
❝Yeah, Trump “heard” 42 percent recently. You betcha. Trump hears a lot of things, sort of like Joan of Arc. In any case, I assume Trump keeps saying this because it goes over well with his audiences. Why might this be?
Trump fans are really bad at arithmetic.
Trump fans know an ungodly number of unemployed people in their immediate circle of friends.
Trump fans are really eager to believe the government is lying to them.
Trump fans don’t actually know what unemployment is.
Trump fans don’t really have a clue what he’s saying. It’s just mumbo jumbo delivered with authority, and they love it.
❝I dunno. Could be all of the above, I suppose.
Seems reasonably inclusive.
❝Donald Trump has long been at odds with our beleaguered leagues of fact-checkers, who regularly award him “Pants on Fire,” “Four Pinocchios” and other colorful rulings on his truthiness.
Yet somehow such definitive, unanimous debunking never seems to faze the Republican presidential front-runner. And I think I’ve discovered why.
It’s because Trump — like Socrates, among other trailblazing truth-seekers throughout history — has developed his own innovative method for fact-checking. Rather than relying on stale, lamestream-media techniques such as gathering evidence, crunching numbers or consulting experts, he takes a different route: He goes online and sees whether random people agree with him…
❝Reality may have a well-known liberal bias, but Trump’s Twitter followers do not. Nor do the conspiracy theory Web sites from which Trump also seems to glean much of his information and policy ideas…
I began to wonder: What’s it like to navigate life as Trump does? What’s it like to learn about human existence via Twitter, Reddit message boards and the Drudge Report?
To find out, I compiled a list of things you’d learn were true if you fact-checked them solely by seeing whether strangers on the Internet agreed with you.
Some of the Top 10:
❝1. You are a Nazi. I am a Nazi. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both Nazis. Everyone on the Internet is, eventually, a Nazi, according to other people on the Internet who disagree with them and who themselves become Nazis if any conversation goes on long enough…
❝3. You have cancer. Several really, really rare forms of cancer. Also lupus, mad cow disease, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and a urinary tract infection. Or maybe it’s just a common cold? Either way the ailment(s) can be cured by purchasing dietary supplements from a sketchy Web site featuring testimonials from a person currently running for president. Modern medicine is for losers…
❝5. If only Ron Paul had been president, we would not have had the secret hyperinflation pandemic currently ravaging the nation. Also, gold and bitcoins have been and will continue to be the safest places in which to store your life savings, excluding perhaps your mattress, a Nigerian prince’s bank account or your hollowed-out spare copy of “Atlas Shrugged.”
❝9. Obama is a secret Muslim. Also maybe Thomas Jefferson was a secret Muslim. As with Nazism, pretty much everyone you dislike is a secret Muslim. Unless they already admit to being a Muslim, in which case they’re probably also a secret Mexican who wants to steal your job.
And if you don’t forward a link to this blog post to at least 10 people you’ll have nightmares the rest of your life about some bearded old Red glaring at you.
The Taliban Tea Party will continue to press forward towards their version of the 19th Century whether or not the rest of the Republican Party volunteers. The Koch Bros will continue their funding at least as long as their ilk funded the John Birch Society.
The only surprise has been the number of Republicans in elective office with as little backbone as Democrats. You would think that with as many years experience as some have, dedication to Big Business and Capitalism as a class would trump fealty to Big Oil and extractive industries alone – and the promise of more support for hating women, Latinos, Black people, trade unions, intelligentsia, artists and pretty much everyone outside the borders of the GOUSA.