Saturday Reads: Trumped Up Insurgency

Good Morning!

484797712It’s getting to be the ugly season of American politics which makes writing about it and discussing it terrifically unpleasant.  Part of the problem is that we rely on a two party system and one of the parties has basically gone off the rails. It’s difficult to imagine the the overall majority of candidates for president in the Republican party today even gaining the least amount of traction around 10-20 years ago or more. Of course, there have been George Wallaces that pop up every now and then, but it seems that we’ve got a bumper crop of them.  Meanwhile, the nation’s major newspapers are off chasing imaginary scandals. It’s even harder to believe that the newspapers that printed the Pentagon Papers and chased down the Watergate story might actually finding anything that major and truthful today. They seem more caught up in conspiracy theories and failed opposition research. They don’t even seem to fact check prior to going to press given the recent spate of nothing but speculation that passes as coverage of Hillary Clinton at the NYT.

The ugly faces of both parties are evident in the misogyny aimed at Hillary Clinton and the continuing presence and political viability of showmeister Donald Trump. Trump’s supporters are as filled with ugly thoughts and rhetoric as the master of nasty himself.  Alabama is one of those states where being “backwoods” and “backward” are symbols of pride. Along with Texas and Mississippi, it’s one of those states I try to drive through as quickly and low profiled as possible. Trump’s appearance there has brought out the angry, ignorant hillbilly hoards. This is Nixon’s Southern Strategy come full circle.  The pictures of the crowd are frightening.  Basically, it’s full of love for Jesus and hate for humanity in that mishmash of synapses that come from the brains of the completely deluded.

Trump fans came by the thousands, driving from the Florida panhandle, from Mississippi, from Tennessee and Texas. Traffic was backed up for more than a mile.

On the street, Olaf Childress, a neo-Confederate activist, gave out copies of “The First Freedom” newspaper, which had headlines about “Black-on-white crime,” “occupied media” and “censored details of the Holocaust.”

The most-enthusiastic Trump backers began arriving at the stadium at dawn, hoping to get a spot close to the stage. The first in line were Keith Quackenbush, 54, and Bill Hart, 46, co-workers at a retail giant in Pensacola, Fla.

“I’m telling you, everyone who is a worker at our store, they’re excited about Trump,” Quackenbush said. “I don’t care what race or gender, whatever age — they love Trump. This is a movement.”

lead_960The Atlantic published some “voices” from Trump supporters.  If these folks are in your neck of the woods, move! They’re everything that we’ve ever been told about the “ugly American”.  It seems difficult to wrap your brain around this brash trust fund baby New Yorker as a Southern idol, but whoops there it is!  It’s also part and parcel of the Trump political strategy.

Here is the Trump political logic: “Alabama is extremely critical,” a close associate of Trump’s told me (actually, we agreed I’d call him “a close associate of Mr. Trump”). “You have Iowa’s caucus on February 1st, New Hampshire on the 9th, and South Carolina on the 20th.” The race, this associate explained, would not be wrapped up by then. According to this political calculus, the crucial moment arrives three days later, on March 1st, with the “SEC primary”—the belt of Southern states that encompass the Southeastern Athletic Conference—when Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas and several others hold their primaries.

Trump is currently leading the polls in many of these states. A new Texas poll has him in first place, beating actual Texans Ted Cruz and Rick Perry. He’s dominating the field in Alabama, as well, doubling the support of second-place finisher Jeb Bush, from neighboring Florida. (Trump is winning in Florida, too, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll, which, although it is an SEC state, doesn’t hold its primary until March 15th). If Trump sweeps the early states, or even just wins Iowa and South Carolina, these advisers believe he could effectively lock down the Republican nomination by sweeping the SEC primary on March 1st. “He feels he wins the nomination on 1 March w/ a sweep of the populist anti-establishment South,” another adviser emailed. “That’s when Trump’s ‘nationalism’ coupled with Sessions’ ‘populism’ comes to full fruition.”

The Alabama rally is meant to show that “he’s starting to motivate and cultivate the base there,” the close associate said, and to demonstrate that Trump is putting in place the strategy and structure to actually win the Republican nomination and not just—as some haters surmise—make a big splash in Iowa and then bail out to go cut the ribbon in some new hotel.

Furthermore, Trump believes he has a secret weapon that could help him carry the South. “The other thing people don’t know about Mr. Trump is that his brand and sales are strongest in the South,” the associate told me. “His TV ratings, his Trump Resorts guests. So this [stadium rally] is about bringing the message that he is here to stay, and is the legit frontrunner. This shows a calculated strategy, that he understands the process and understands it’s not going to end in South Carolina. We’re going to bring the message down further into the belt and expand his support.”

_83673996_0da3766a-7c61-4146-ab80-e2e52d2b6e83There is truth to the notion that you must get the South to get the Republican nomination.  Afterall, the South and the American Outback are home to the base of today’s Republican Party. Trump’s outrageous blend of Gordon Gecko style greed and George Wallce style racial animosity is selling well.  So well, that his idea of overturning the 14th amendment to the Constitution has Republican candidates jumping on the bandwagon that would literally mean they and family members would’ve never been citizens.  There is nothing more fascinating that watching actual “anchor babies” argue against their circumstances of citizenship.  Two of Jeb Bush’s children and Bobby Jindal fall under this category.  Mark Rubio and Ted Cruz would probably have never even made it into the country. It’s pretty amazing when you can diss your own circumstances with a straight, angry face.

Following the release of Trump’s plan, several of his fellow 2016 candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina followed Trump by coming out in favor of the policy Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Friday rolled backstatements that suggested he also favored the policy, saying he had been misunderstood and would not take a position “one way or the other”. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has previously supported birthright citizenship legislation.

“I think he’s done a lot of damage,” says Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration reform group. “He’s not only now leading in the polls, but he has the ‘Trump effect,’ pulling other candidates to his position on this issue.”

Democrats pounced, and the party’s congressional campaign arm launched a Twitter ad campaign in six swing states targeting Republicans, including Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado.

“Republicans, including Mike Coffman, want to end birthright citizenship,” one of the Spanish-language ads said. “Tell @RepMikeCoffman that is wrong.”

The ads also hit Reps. Marthy McSally of Arizona, Steve Knight of California, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Crecent Hardy of Nevada and Will Hurd of Texas, all of whom represent districts with large Hispanic populations.

Bush, whose past stances on immigration have been more moderate than his party’s, tried to split the difference.

“This is a constitutionally protected right, and I don’t support revoking it,” Bush told reporters in South Carolina on Tuesday.

But while he said he would “just reject out of hand” revoking birthright citizenship, Bush used a term that some consider offensive: “anchor babies,” children born to non-citizen parents who travel to the U.S. specifically to give birth and obtain citizenship for their newborns.

“That’s the legitimate side of this,” he said on conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show. “Better enforcement so that you don’t have these, you know, ‘anchor babies,’ as they’re described, coming into the country.”

Bush stood by his comments even as Democrats and immigration activists rained down criticism, saying he “didn’t use it as my own language.”

“Do you have a better term?” he fired back at reporters in New Hampshire. “You give me a better term and I’ll use it.”

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton piled on, suggesting several alternatives.

“How about ‘babies,’ ‘children’ or ‘American citizens,” she tweeted. “They’re called babies.”

dobbs-trump-imageNorm Ornstein–writing for The Atlantic–wonders if this election cycle will be different. Is it possible that Trump will actually defy history and turn out to be the one that takes on Clinton?  Insurgent candidates are common in the United States and ever so often, they do pull through despite the party establishment. The base in the Republican party is all about insurgency.  It’s all they do.  They’re just angry in general.

Still, I am more skeptical of the usual historical skepticism than I have been in a long time. A part of my skepticism flows from my decades inside the belly of the congressional beast. I have seen the Republican Party go from being a center-right party, with a solid minority of true centrists, to a right-right party, with a dwindling share of center-rightists, to a right-radical party, with no centrists in the House and a handful in the Senate. There is a party center that two decades ago would have been considered the bedrock right, and a new right that is off the old charts. And I have seen a GOP Congress in which the establishment, itself very conservative, has lost the battle to co-opt the Tea Party radicals, and itself has been largely co-opted or, at minimum, cowed by them.

As the congressional party has transformed, so has the activist component of the party outside Washington. In state legislatures, state party apparatuses, and state party platforms, there are regular statements or positions that make the most extreme lawmakers in Washington seem mild.

Egged on by talk radio, cable news, right-wing blogs, and social media, the activist voters who make up the primary and caucus electorates have become angrier and angrier, not just at the Kenyan Socialist president but also at their own leaders. Promised that Obamacare would be repealed, the government would be radically reduced, immigration would be halted, and illegals punished, they see themselves as euchred and scorned by politicians of all stripes, especially on their own side of the aisle.

Of course, this phenomenon is not new in 2015. It was there in 1964, building over decades in which insurgent conservative forces led by Robert Taft were repeatedly thwarted by moderates like Tom Dewey and Wendell Wilkie, until they prevailed behind the banner of Barry Goldwater. It was present in 1976, when insurgent conservative Ronald Reagan almost knocked off Gerald Ford before prevailing in 1980 (and then governing more as a pragmatist than an ideologue). It built to 1994, when Newt Gingrich led a huge class of insurgents to victory in mid-term elections, but then they had to accept pragmatist-establishment leader Bob Dole as their presidential candidate in 1996. And while John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 were establishment figures, each had to veer sharply to the radical right side to win nominations; McCain, facing a possible revolt at his nominating convention if he went with his first choice for running mate, Joe Lieberman, instead bowed to the new right and picked Sarah Palin.

6aad7506333ece414c93a2ede74d764cb14cd87ad35c816de39b598580010d37_largeIt’s still difficult to think of this privileged white man as an insurgent.  Still, American Populism is a weird phenomenon that seems more like a religious cult than anything rational.

The Beltway definition of populism is disdainful. When it’s affixed to unexpected movements like the Trump insurgency, it seems to mean little more than a prolonged public tantrum. Looking back at recent pundit-diagnosed outbreaks of the populist bacillus, one sees it dubiously attached to causes as different as the drawling “Two Americas” stump speeches of John Edwards, and the America First culture-war candidacies of Pat Buchanan. Going further back, historians and pundits have spied populism everywhere from the racist shade of George Wallace and other stiff-necked Southern segregationists, to the red-baiting career of Joseph McCarthy, to the redistributionist reign of Huey Long in New Deal Louisiana. Still further back, populism has been detected in such 19th-century figures as its great Gilded Age avatar William Jennings Bryan and Andrew Jackson.

It’s tempting to dismiss populism as an epithet deployed by the power elite—a label that members of our political class slap on something popular that they also deem threatening. But there’s more to it than that. The populist movement of the late 19th century, for instance, was grounded in economic grievances, with leaders like Bryan seeking to unite the nation’s producing classes—farmers, small-town businessmen and urban workers—who thought they could overthrow the industrial age’s regime of market cartels, debt peonage and degraded wage labor.

But populism, during the farmers’ revolt of the 1890s, was also a cultural insurgency—a kind of self-administered political wake for the beleaguered middle American Protestant soul, newly adrift in an urbanized, capitalist nation of immigrant laborers and international bankers, and yearning for the folk egalitarianism of an idealized Jeffersonian republic. This is how populism has come to double as a synonym for modern cultural conservatism. Historian Richard Hofstadter famously branded the Gilded Age agrarian uprising as a precursor to McCarthyism: an outpouring of economic resentments that gave aggrieved farmers license to scapegoat any and all available elites—Jewish bankers, British titans of industry, American robber barons—for their declining cultural influence.

Trump is an unlikely populist because he subscribes to so few positions associated with the cultural side of conservative populist revolt. Before his plunge into the 2016 race, he hadn’t taken a hard-line stance against gay marriage and reproductive rights; and as a twice-divorced, one-time Manhattan playboy, he’s anything but a poster boy for family values. While all the Republican candidates denounce Obamacare, including Trump, and all have plans to expand coverage, Trump is the most liberal sounding. On the pundit altar of Morning Joe he praised single-payer Canada as a system that works but said America needs a private health insurance. “You can’t have a guy that has no money, that’s sick, and he can’t go see a doctor, he can’t go see a hospital,” Trump recently told conservative radio talk show host John Fredericks. Trump added that even if his position costs him support in the GOP primaries, “you have to take care of poor people.”

And yet GOP primary voters have flocked to the early Trump boom. A recent CNN poll indicates that 53 percent of GOP voters feel their views aren’t represented well in Washington—virtually double the 27 percent of Democrats agreeing with that idea. (Never mind that the federal government that so rankles Republican voters is now overrun with Republican leaders—populists often lay into their ideology with the greatest enthusiasm.) Among those saying they want Trump to continue his primary run, CNN also found, are “those seen as the core of the GOP primary electorate: 58 percent of white evangelicals, 58 percent of conservatives and 57 percent of Tea Party supporters.”

Look at those stats.  White Evangelicals?  I guess we’ve learned about their massive ability to support guys with multiple wives and sins since so many of their men are outright pervs and lawbreakers.  This may be the first political season that I truly wish I could avoid.   This is exhibit one for that rationale.

“Donald Trump is telling the truth and people don’t always like that,” said Donald Kidd, a 73-year-old retired pipe welder from Mobile. “He is like George Wallace, he told the truth. It is the same thing.”

If that doesn’t get you running for the nearest distraction, check this out.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today? 

88 Comments on “Saturday Reads: Trumped Up Insurgency”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    This is a terrific post, Dak. You had me riveted from beginning to end. I had already read a couple of the articles on Trump and the Southern strategy, and now I’ll go read the rest of your links.

    Thanks for a stimulating read!

    • Boo Radly says:

      Ditto what BB said – thanks for this. I avoid anything on Trump in the media.

    • dakinikat says:

      Thx! I’m just blown away by this carnival Barker of hate who doesn’t even bother with the Republican code words. Doesn’t surprise me that he’s inspiring hate crimes like what happened in Boston last week.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Truly scary.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I watched the Trump rally last night and I can tell you I’ve never seen anything like that in my 6 decades of campaign watching. He offers no specific proposals and panders to every bad instinct and position held by the right. Honestly I hope they nominate him because I’d love to see him debate Hillary, or any other Democrat. I don’t think he has a chance of winning the nomination unless folks like the Koch brothers get on board with Trump, but I don’t see that happening because Trump isn’t manageable. At some point Trump will have to stop generalizing, bloviating, talking out his ass, and answer questions like an informed candidate. Trump cannot do that. When folks finally understand that he’s just a wind bag, I believe his star will begin to fade.

        • Beata says:

          And if Trump loses a primary or two, he won’t be able to handle it. He hates “losers”. I tend to agree with the analysts who say he’ll drop out of the race before the first real votes are cast.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            I agree, but I have to admit, everything that he’s done that should have tanked him, hasn’t. And he’s such a terrible speaker. He can’t keep his train of thought, he can’t address any issue with specifics and he can’t talk about anything without injecting himself into it. He’s the WORST candidate I’ve ever seen. Even Herman Cane was better and he was awful.

  2. NW Luna says:

    Trump’s supporters. Gah. I still cannot wrap my mind around the reality.

  3. Sweet Sue says:

    Dak, look at the face on the woman holding the baby-straight out of Mad Magazine!
    I watched the rally last night and it shook me up.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Wow, she looks completely nuts. I didn’t even notice that before.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Did anyone notice the black guy in the audience behind Trump? He had to have been a plant. He was wearing sunglasses and he never applauded, cheered on showed any enthusiasm for Trump at all. It was just too obvious.

  4. Fannie says:

    I am waiting to see what is going on with Joe Biden, who is currently in a meeting with Elizabeth Warren. If Biden is in, we got trouble, and I can only hope that Elizabeth endorses Hillary. If not, what are you betting on?

    • bostonboomer says:

      I thought she already endorsed Hillary.

    • Beata says:

      CNN’s report on a meeting today between Biden and Warren:

      • Fannie says:

        That Roger Stone, damn he’s been hitting the pipe a little too much, I mean republican pipe. It’s true, the entire media is spinning everything upside down when it comes to Hillary.

        • janicen says:

          Roger Stone is the quintessential Republican dirty trickster. That he is showing up and giving his political “analysis” tells me that the Republicans are pulling out all of the stops. Anything to derail Clinton. Roger is the one who brought down Elliott Spitzer because he found out about Spitzer’s relationships with prostitutes from a prostitute Stone met at a swinger party Stone was attending with his wife. Stone was also the guy who orchestrated the mobs of right wingers who harassed the people doing the vote counts in FLA during the recounts of the Bush v. Gore race in 2000. He’s a scum bag of the first order and the guy the Republicans call when they have dirty work to do. This just shows how complicit the media is in the derailment of the Clinton campaign. Presenting Stone as a legitimate analyst is even more ridiculous than when CBS consults with Frank Luntz.

          • Fannie says:

            Disturbing to say the least! I am really pissed at the media getting away with this, where is the DNC? Why aren’t the dems out exposting them?

          • Fredster says:

            He’s also the one who quit Trump or was fired by him. Take your pick of which to believe.

          • dakinikat says:

            Hey Fredter!!! Good to see you!!! Counting down the days until Jindal is permanently a gone pecan here!!!!

          • Beata says:

            Stone is a well-dressed scumbag though. He needs to go back to writing his blog “Stone on Style”. That’s where he belongs.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Stone is also the one who started Citizens United Not Timid (or CUNT) to opposed Hillary in 2008. He did dirty tricks for Nixon. He goes way back.

      • Beata says:

        Fannie, I really wonder if this meeting between Biden and Warren actually happened. What do you think?

        • bostonboomer says:

          How could Warren support Biden? He’s beholden to the banks and credit card companies up to the hilt.

          • Beata says:

            I have no idea, BB. The story came out this afternoon about their meeting. I don’t know what to make of it.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          I read, in several places, that they met today. I have the feeling that the establishment DNC is concerned with what may happen to Hillary. I said a couple of weeks ago that if Biden enters the race that indicates to me that the Party is worried that Hillary may not be able to survive the email issue. I don’t believe Hillary did anything wrong, but a lot of people do and a lot of other people WANT TO BELIEVE she did something wrong. I like Bernie but Independent Socialist will not fly well in the GE and frankly none of the other Dem candidates can pull it off. Biden’s decision will be the product of “what’s best for the party” as determined by the DNC. It’s that simple!!!!

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Just like they determined that Obama would make a better candidate than Hillary?
            No thanks!

          • Beata says:

            Do you think at this point in his life Biden will do whatever the DNC tells him to do? I just don’t see it. He’s still in mourning. I don’t think he will run.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            I don’t think he wants to run, but he’s a Party man and if that’s the insurance the DNC wants, I think he’ll do it out of loyalty.

          • Fannie says:

            Hillary is lawyered up……… CNN says. Maybe they think they will run this until election week, or keep her tied up in the courts.

            You know I am pissed about all this. Why didn’t they see this coming down the train track?

          • bostonboomer says:

            Biden would be crazy to run. He has as much “baggage” as Hillary, and no charisma. He has already run multiple times and gotten minimal support. I don’t believe he will run.

        • Fannie says:

          I don’t either, but maybe the media, is spinning it to convince every one Hillary is in trouble, and here comes Joe to the rescue or something. Why would Joe tell anyone who he was meeting with?

    • dakinikat says:

      Some one I know in the District with connections said Jill Biden since he’s not running so you think she’d know.

      • Fredster says:

        Hey kat! Replying to your comment up above. Yes, Piyush’s last day in office cannot come soon enough. But did you read he’s building a custom house there in B.R. ? I guess he’s going to hang around until he gets a talk show gig or something at the Heritage Foundation or other right wing place. His last day in Louisiana will be a cause for celebration!

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Daily Mail:

    Scott Walker says ‘Black Lives Matter’ doesn’t matter! – and mocks ‘ridiculous question’ about whether he would meet with civil rights group’s organizers

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sidestepped ‘ridiculous’ questions on Friday about whether he would be willing to meet with organizers of the ‘Black lives Matter’ movement, saying he would limit his time in New Hampshire to commenting on ‘things that matter.’

    ‘I’m going to meet with voters. I mean, I’ve said, it’s not just – who knows who that is?’ Walker said of the amorphous civil rights group, following his breakfast speech at a ‘Politics and Eggs’ forum in Manchester, New Hampshire.

    The presidential candidate likened the prospect of a sit-down with the aggressive civil rights group’s loudest voices to the idea of meeting with top representatives from a leaderless movement on the political right.

    ‘I’m going to talk with American voters. Period. It’s the same way as saying you’re going to meet with the tea party,’ he said in a rare moment of agitation. ‘Who’s the tea party? There’s hundreds of thousands of people out there.’

    • bostonboomer says:

      He also refused to meet with

      the mother of the mother of Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old mentally ill man shot 14 times by a Milwaukee police officer in April 2014….

      Walker ‘didn’t take one question from one black person, or one question from anybody he knew was from Wisconsin.’

    • ANonOMouse says:

      And this was my point about why BLM isn’t as interested in stirring the pot to hard with the Republicans.They know the GOP doesn’t give a shit about their issues and concerns.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I didn’t think they would target any Republicans, but so far they have gone after Jeb and now Walker. I think they are trying to get to GOP candidates, but it’s more difficult because Republicans try to keep anyone out who might be a Democrat or protester.

    • dakinikat says:

      Scott Walker is as flaky as Huckabee. He’s a good example that all the whackos aren’t just southerners.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    Uh-huh, Donald Trump’s favorite book is the bible. If you spell it this way, BuyBull, he might be telling the truth. And Alabama is still living in the 1950’s and that’s where they’ll be in 2050

    • Beata says:

      LOL, Mouse. “BuyBull” is the foundation of The Donald’s life.

      I needed a good laugh, girl. Thanks. xo

      • ANonOMouse says:

        🙂 When he started his speech off last night by praising Billy Graham, I thought “Oh no, he’s getting ready to turn this into a Revival”. Those rednecks ate it up and swallowed. Just when I think I’m so old I can’t see anything I’ve never seen before, I get hit upside the head with some spectacularly crazy and preposterous shit like Donald Trump saying that his favorite book is the BuyBull. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Beata says:

          It’s surreal. Someone should ask Trump what his favorite Bible verse is. Don’t give him any time to think it over. Make him answer just off the top of his hair. I’d love to see that.

      • Fannie says:

        Ditto gurl

    • Fannie says:

      You got me hooked on the buybull, my tongue is hanging out of mouth.

  7. janicen says:

    The real tragedy behind the insanity over immigration is that there are real people whose lives are being affected by all of it. We have some friends who sold everything they had in Germany so they could follow fulfill their dream and run a horse farm in the U.S.. They have been here about 4 and a half years and their visa will be up after 5 years. They own property and have employees. They are job creators. And yet they may just lose all of it because of the byzantine immigration policies that exist in this country. They have spent tens of thousands of dollars on immigration lawyers. Get this, their visa requires them to leave the country every two years. So each of them has to take a trip and spend one night either in the Bahamas or Canada and then fly back. If they don’t do this, they will be deported. My friend was telling me that it’s terrifying because they have to go through questioning to get back into the country and she said their lives depend on whether or not the immigration employee asking the questions is in a good mood.

    It broke my heart to hear about everything they are going through and all because immigration regulations have become so ridiculous thanks to the people who are pushing the racist idea that it’s all about Mexican drug dealers and rapists sneaking into our country. This country is made up of immigrants and if the existing regulations had been in place in the early 20th century my grandparents would not have been able to come here and become American citizens.

    As it stand right now, poor people cannot possible come to this country legally. It’s too expensive. Once they get here, they are demonized for doing what all of our ancestors did, follow their dreams to become Americans.

    • Beata says:

      What is happening to your friends is horrible. I hope they can find some way to stay in the U.S. permanently. It sounds like they have tried everything to do so by hiring lawyers. And you are right, Janice, if people who have money for lawyers can’t become legal immigrants, what possible chance do poor people have? Our immigration regulations are so unfair.

    • Beata says:

      Btw, Janice, I’m trying to get William to start posting here. I think he would make a great addition to Sky Dancers during Hillary’s campaign and beyond.

      • janicen says:

        Perfect timing for election season and it would provide a well earned break for our brilliant, regular front pagers.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Once the campaign really gets going, we will probably go back to doing shorter posts more frequently.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Let us know. We can set him up right away if he wants to post. Same goes for anyone else who would like to post something on the front page.

        • Beata says:

          That’s wonderful, BB. I will tell him. William is an excellent writer and quite prolific. He’s an attorney based in Los Angeles and is very dedicated to getting Hillary elected. He wrote essays in support of her during the 2008 campaign. I will vouch for his liberal credentials 100%. He doesn’t have good computer skills though. Would someone be able to help him in that respect?

          I think you will like William, BB. He loves books and is a Philip K Dick fan! Can he get in touch with you or Dak through the Sky Dancing gmail address?

          • bostonboomer says:

            Probably easier for him to post a comment or let you know. He would have to post at least one comment to get past moderation anyway. We might want to look at some of his past essays, but I’m sure he’s good if you think so.

          • dakinikat says:

            we don’t answer the skydancing email addie very frequently … you can get me at Thx or the suggestion or have him post a comment like BB said and we can contact him through the email he registers his WP account

          • Beata says:

            I will let him know to start posting comments. That way you can see his writing and get his email address. Thanks!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Some close friends of my brother and sister-in-law went through the same thing. They have been sent back to Ireland three times now. They are responsible, hard-working people–even owned a house. Their kids went to school here for years. Now they have more or less given up. They just come back to visit their many friends here when they can. It’s really sad.

      • dakinikat says:

        There are a lot of undocumented Irish and New Zelanders/Aussies here. I don’t think people realize the extent of the immigrants that overstay visas from all over the place. They’re just totally focused on Mexico which we’ve had a net negative immigration rate with since the Financial crisis. With the exception of the drug cartel cities, Mexico actually has pretty good economic conditions and jobs.

      • dakinikat says:

        As a result, Asia has surpassed Latin America as the dominant source of new immigrants to the U.S. Asia accounted for 45 percent of all new immigrants in 2012, compared to 34 percent for Latin America. Mexico is still the largest single country of origin for new immigrants, but its lead is shrinking fast: Mexico accounts for 14 percent of all new immigrants, down from 45 percent in 2000. India, meanwhile, now accounts for 12 percent, and China for 10 percent

  8. dakinikat says:

    Really interesting read from The Atlantic about the split in religious views brought on by the Civil war… think abolitionists vs. folks who think bible says slavery is just okily dokily

  9. Beata says:

    Something silly for a Sunday afternoon: