TRUMP AND TRIBE: Mister Trump gains as Dems denounce hate!


Tomasky makes war on The Others:
Slate's Jim Newell isn't a racist. Beyond that, we're sure he's redeemable.

Tribally, Newell is one of Us. He's one of the official Good Smart Decent People, the kind who reside Over Here.

Newell is nothing at all like Them. We mention these facts for a reason.

We mention these facts because Newell has criticized yesterday's "broad anti-hate resolution," the resolution which gigantically passed in the House.

"On Thursday, House Democratic leaders finally voted on a resolution condemning all forms of hatred—really, just about any iteration they could think of," Newell writes for Slate, perhaps with a slightly mocking air.

Newell calls the resolution a "self-inflicted wound" for Dems. He describes the alleged boondoggle thusly:
NEWELL (3/7/19): By Wednesday, Democrats had agreed to broaden the resolution to include condemnations of anti-Muslim bigotry. That, too, wasn’t good enough for some elements of the caucus. Democrats continued adding categories to the resolution until about an hour before the vote on Thursday. By then, the list of “traditionally persecuted peoples” against whom hate was rejected in their resolution included “African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others.”

Exactly whom did this expansion of categories please? The left didn’t think any resolution needed to be voted on because they believed Omar’s words had been twisted. Those Democrats who wanted Omar to be reprimanded in the first place couldn’t understand why they weren’t directly and exclusively calling out anti-Semitism. Republicans couldn’t resist gawking.

“I don’t know where to begin,” Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, said
on the floor, wondering why they were “debating a resolution we should have learned in kindergarten"...
Is Newell allowed to say that? In Newell's view, this roll call of the nations against whom hate should not be directed constituted a self-inflicted wound. The statement was pleasing to no one.

Also according to Newell, this roll call of the nations created an easy target for Republicans. Is it possible that Newell is basically right?

Last night, we saw a Republican strategist on CNN complaining that his group, the Catholics, hadn't been included among Those Who Shouldn't Be Hated. Could this kind of conduct help re-elect Trump?

Well yes, it quite possibly could.

In the resolution, our tribe engaged in one of its less wise activities—the slicing and dicing of Us the People into endless constituent groups. Once this familiar activity starts, it can be extremely hard to stop. That's especially true when you consider the fact that we "rational animals" just aren't enormously sharp—indeed, that we're enormously inclined to engage in emotional overstatement and sad analytical error.

Traditional praise of ourselves to the side, we humans just aren't super-sharp. No moral principle is so clear we can't quickly find a way to reduce its wisdom to dust.

We humans do that all the time. Consider what happened when Don Lemon decided to discuss the claim that presidential candidate Kamala Harris may not be "black enough."

We thought Harris was quite impressive in her formal campaign debut. Soon, though, the slicing and dicing began, with fiery people within Our Own Tents saying that Harris' ancestry subjects her to tribal suspicion.

On the February 11 CNN Tonight,
Lemon decided to tackle the emerging brouhaha head-on. In our view, this resulted in one of the most depressing "cable news" "discussions" we've ever seen—and in the latest example of the ways our tribe might help Trump get re-elected.

Classic shortcomings of "cable news" were on vivid display this night. That included the host's almost total inability to define the point he was trying to make; the instant squabbling which broke out, with Lemon and April Ryan constantly interrupting and over-talking each other; and the sheer foolishness of much which was said in this classic "more heat than light" cable display.

You can watch the whole thing at this Ebony site. Fairly soon, the combatants will be saying this:
LEMON (2/11/19): The people who are saying, "Is she black enough?", that's bull. That's B.S. But to—

RYAN: I know what they're saying—

LEMON: —want a distinction to say, "Is she African-American?" or "Is she black?" or "Is she"—whatever! There is nothing wrong with that. There's a difference between being African-American and being black. Latino people are people of color, but they're not black. They are brown people, OK?

RYAN: She's a woman of color, but she is a black woman.

LEMON: OK, that's fine. I agree with that. I agree with that. But is she African-American? No no no no no no no no no! But is she African-American? That is the difference. There is nothing wrong with that. No one is trying to take anything away from her.

RYAN: Let's go down into her lineage—

LEMON: I think you're falling into a trap with that. All she had to do was say, "I am black, but I'm not African-American." That's it.
Lemon manfully "cablesplained" what Harris should have said, but Ryan continued to battle. The pair kept talking over each other, thrilling the suits in the CNN booth. Eventually, Adam Serwer tried to help:
SERWER: Kamala Harris has—she has actively worked to associate herself with African-American culture, particularly by going to Howard and in other ways. So I think, II think yes, it is not unfair to make the distinction between Jamaican and African-American, but I do think that question, "Is she black enough?" is maybe not the right question for getting the information they we're trying to get.

LEMON: But I think that people lump that, is by saying that there is a distinction—

There is a difference between being Puerto Rican and being Mexican and being Costa Rican—


LEMON: All of them are from Latin America, and that is all fine, well and good. So what is wrong with asking someone who is of color, black, are they African-American, are they Jamaican, whatever it is? But it is not saying—

RYAN: She is a black woman in America.

LEMON: We are saying that! No one is saying she's not black! We are asking if she is African-American. There is a distinction.
Your lizard may tell you that this overall segment made sense. If so, we'll suggest that your lizard may be too tribal.

As Lemon and Ryan played "Who's on first," endlessly over-talking each other, voters were streaming to Donald J. Trump. You could also say that Lemon and Ryan were simply doing "the rational animal walk."

There is no principle so basic and obvious that we humans can't, and won't, find a way to misapply and overextend it. In the modern context, when this behavior drives The Others away, we liberals say that they're racist.

That's because we floundering humans are strongly inclined to tribally loathe The Others. Consider another example:

During Campaign 2016, Candidate Clinton bungled badly with her remark about the irredeemable people in the basket of deplorables. But so what? Three weeks ago, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky decided to go there too.

We met Tomasky long ago; we've always liked the cut of his jib. But tribal loathing can devour us all. As Professor Harari explains, it seems to be bred in the bone.

In an astonishing essay, Tomasky undertook to explain who Those People, The Others, the Trump voters, are.

According to Tomasky's unscientific assessment, thirty percent of the public love Trump because "he's their cultural avenger." But what about the other ten percent who are supporting Trump? Sadly, incredibly, as if to guarantee Trump's re-election, Tomasky, a plainly bright and decent person, descended to saying this:
TOMASKY (2/18/19): I’m just guessing here, but I think they come in three flavors, these people. The dumb, the selfish, and the cynical.

First, the dumb.
They’re the least interesting. There’s not much to say about them. They’re just… dumb. Nothing in their daily lives has changed much one way or the other, and they don’t remember anything from one week to the next anyway, so the idea that they might for example hold the memory in their heads of the stories about how the guy created a foundation and a “university” that were both total scams, among about a thousand other revolting things, is basically hopeless. They’re hopeless. Trying to get them to connect dots is like trying to teach a dog to use a toilet.
Poor Tomasky! Trying to persuade this gang "is like trying to teach a dog to use a toilet!" Unlike Tomasky himself, they're just so f*cking dumb!

In fairness, Tomasky was "just guessing" this day. That said, we don't think we've ever seen a piece any dumber than his. Still and all, it's bred in the bone. Let's recall what Harari has said:
HARARI: Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark. In modern times, a small difference in skin color, dialect or religion has been enough to prompt one group of Sapiens to set about exterminating another group. Would ancient Sapiens have been more tolerant towards an entirely different human species? It may well be that when Sapiens encountered Neanderthals, the result was the first and most significant ethnic-cleansing campaign in history.
"When Sapiens encountered Neanderthals"—or when self-impressed people within our own tribe encounter the dog/toilet breed!

We'll leave you with a videotape from last evening's Last Word. In the segment in question, Lawrence interviewed Paula Duncan, one of the jurors who convicted Paul Manafort of the various financial crimes for which he has now been sentenced.

Lawrence has interviewed Duncan before—and she bears an interesting distinction. Even though she voted to convict Manafort on all 18 counts, she's a Trump supporter.

She voted for Trump in 2016. Last night, she said she plans to vote for Trump again. Last night, she told Lawrence that she thinks Trump is doing good things, but she said she'd vote to convict him too—for example, if evidence presented at a trial showed that he had broken the law in those payments to settle Stormy Daniels' extortion demands.

(We refer to the sleazy extortion demands which, in the view of our weirdly unhinged tribe, made Daniels a "feminist hero.")

Lawrence always praises Duncan for following the law in the Manafort trial despite her partisan preference. That said, there's one other thing he never does—he never asks Duncan to explain what good things she thinks Trump has done.

We humans comically claim to be "the rational animal." Despite this familiar bit of self-praise, we're very strongly disinclined to speak to The Others. Instead, we're strongly inclined to insult The Others, as Tomasky did in taking his guess about the dog/toilet breed.

Duncan is going to vote for Trump. So will many other people. But in a hundred million years, you'll never see Rachel or Lawrence ask any such voter why.

Rachel Maddow doesn't stoop to speak to The Others, to people like Duncan, whose votes we liberals need. She's took busy dreaming of Manafort's death in prison, persuading people that our tribe is vile, as war-like tribes constantly are.

Meanwhile, Duncan would think that Lemon's session with Ryan was nuts. If you watch Lemon and Ryan argue and interrupt each other over a point which was never explained, you might not necessarily think that Duncan is wrong on that point.

Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves (TM) have told us that this is how Donald J. Trump may win re-election. Mournfully, they say that this is what we "humans" always were like.

"Eventually there came Mister Trump's War," they've then despondently said. They communicate through nocturnal emissions which the haters compare to mere dreams.


  1. Thank you, Bob, for reading and listening to all that puke, so the rest of us don't have to.

    So, just as one would expect, your lib-zombie cult is getting more and more deranged by the minute. Collapsing. Greate. Good riddance.

  2. "The statement was pleasing to no one."

    A statement against hate pleased no one? That's ridiculous.

    1. That resolution avoided a Democratic circular firing squad set up by the Republicans and even got 23 Republicans opposed to the condemnation of Anti-Semitism. Again, great maneuver by Pelosi!

    2. Lol. Another great victory! Hallelujah!

    3. Hey dembot, speaking of meaningless declarations, what about Pelosi&Co. voting down the following resolution:

      "H.R. 1071 recognizes that allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens."

      Explain the genus of this maneuver, please.

    4. No problem, Boris, the "genus" is the fact that Republicans are a bunch of lying fucks.

      File this under, "drain the swamp"

      Mother Jones reported Saturday that the Florida massage parlor owner had advertised services to connect wealthy Chinese business executives with Donald Trump, offering the opportunity to meet the president at Mar-a-Lago and to get a photograph taken with Mr. Trump.

      Why would a massage parlor chain owner whose employees allegedly offer off-menu services know Trump’s Mar-a-Lago schedule well enough to offer this sort of access to the president?

    5. No, no, no, el Dittohead, you're not even doing it right. This is what you're supposed to be trolling with:

      Democrats Vote To Give Illegal Immigrants The Right To Vote

      or this,

      House votes in favor of illegal immigrant voting

      Come on now, el Dittohead, get with the program. Do it right, or don't bother. Jackass.

    6. Like most Conservatives, Mao is LAZY.

  3. There was an article just today about the increased in recruiting posters for hate groups. Last Feb 2018, SPLC noted a 30% increase in hate groups coinciding with Trump's presidency. Others have mapped occurrence of hate among Trump supports:
    There has been a similar increase in overall hate crimes nationwide, encouraged by Trump's blatantly racist statements.

    It is no coincidence that this issue is important to congress at this time. It should be.

    Somerby's ongoing mockery of efforts to reduce hate speech and hate crimes is noted. His retweeting of White Supremacist memes, his own hate-filled tweets, his failure to condemn the hate groups in Charlottesville, his own acts of hate directed toward immigrants of color (not Irish immigrants or Norwegians) and on and on, all contribute to this increase in hate speech and violence against minorities of all kinds in our country. It needs to stop and I am glad Democrats are on record about it. Somerby should be encouraging the renewed effort to reduce hate. Instead he is once again saying unhelpful things.

    1. In 2nd sentence, "His" refers to Trump not Somerby. Sorry.

  4. "(We refer to the sleazy extortion demands which, in the view of our weirdly unhinged tribe, made Daniels a "feminist hero.")"

    A woman wouldn't be called a feminist hero for making extortion demands, but that is only Somerby's characterization of Daniels and it is not true. She is a feminist hero because she has challenged the NDA's that prevent women from complaining when they are assaulted by men. Daniels doesn't claim assault but she does claim she was threatened into signing the NDA. That is consistent with Cohen's testimony -- he says it was his job to threaten people.

    Anyone who would have sex with Trump is sleazy by association since Trump is an incredibly sleazy man. He hangs out at Mar-a-Lago with a guy who runs prostitutes out of massage parlors. Daniels makes an honest living and doesn't break the law doing so. That cannot be said of Trump or any of his associates. But who does Somerby defend?

    Then he pretends that the left is somehow diminished because feminists (some of them) have lauded Daniels actions in suing Trump. What can be said of a so-called liberal who finds women's issues and feminism embarrassing? They can hardly be called liberal, in my opinion.

    1. When you say "the guy who runs prostitutes out of a massage parlor," are you referring to Robert Kraft,the Pats' owner? No one is claiming that Kraft "runs" a prostitution ring. He's a customer, quite bad enough, and that's the charge he'll have to face in court. Or are you talking about some other person Trumps "hangs out with?" I'd like to know who that might be. But if you mean Kraft, I need to see the evidence or the charges. If you've merged being a pimp and being a john in your mind, then that's the "rationality" Somerby thinks gets short-circuited by tribal loathing, etc.

    2. Trump reportedly watched the Super Bowl with the founder of the Florida spa chain where Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting prostitution

    3. OK, got it! I stand corrected and take back my snark.

  5. "Last Feb 2018, SPLC noted a 30% increase in hate groups coinciding with Trump's presidency."

    Pfff, what else is new. The number of you hate-spewing dembots is UGE. I bet the increase is more like 3000%...

    1. Mao, this is getting so very old. I's like to hear more about your hero, Gadaffi.

  6. Ouch, a 16 felony count indictment for dembot Jussie Smollett...

    Maximum of 48 years in joycamp... Not gonna happen, of course, as he is, after all, a doubleplusgood person in almost every way.

    But still, kinda extreme, innit. Poor bastard...

  7. Didn’t catch the Lemon-Ryan debate, and I’m glad for that, but I this is an interesting post.

    Because if people are trying to argue that you have to be from Africa to be labeled African-American, but having black Jamaican ancestors does not qualify, then I’m really confused about what it means to be African-American in the present, as it’s defined.

    Interesting, the attempt to sheer off Harris as a different kind of black person. Especially since most Americans would be unable to distinguish one of Korean heritage from someone of Japanese heritage. There are physical distinctive markers, after all. They see the differences between themselves, but I sure as shit can’t. Well, maybe a little, ever since a Japanese colleague asked me if I could tell the difference. I said “Umm…. No.”

    Now I always wonder, is that a Chinaman?


    1. Don't be such a jerk. If you want to know someone's ancestry, ask them. Otherwise, don't talk about it. It shouldn't matter. This used to be part of simple politeness -- not to make remarks about people's race or national origin (or religion or politics or sexual orientation/marital status). People do talk about this stuff are crass and low class, which is what you are sounding in this comment.

    2. Actually, I have asked people about their ancestry, but I use the term ‘heritage.’ As in, “What is your heritage?” Sometimes you just can’t tell. I mean, can you tell the difference between a Samoan and a Latino? It’s not an easy task, unless you’re an anthropologist, who might spot the differences. And having met people of Samoan heritage (I shit you not), there actually are discernible differences. But human evolution is capricious. Even the best seat-of the-pants assessment can be wrong.

      Anthropological science indicates that we’re all from Africa, and that we all have a common ancestor. Biological science has shown that the DNA in your body is, actually, identical to the DNA of all life forms, but configured differently to result in our particular phenotype. At this point, according to the science of evolutionary biology, humans are all basically identical, a point which I think Bob is addressing. Which is our heritage.

      Geographical borders are a form of identity politics, and have no bearing on the reality of our existence as human beings, except as a means to divide us. It’s working quite well. And if anyone feels the need to pay money to know their ancestry… Well, I think they’re wasting their money.

      And sorry if you didn’t get my snark. I’m not good at it.


    3. Leroy,

      The proper response is, "Fuck you, if you didn't get the snark. Now piss off."

    4. Leroy,

      Piss off.


  8. "They communicate through nocturnal emissions which the haters compare to mere dreams."

    Increasingly Somerby is sounding like his schizophrenic troll.

  9. Bob points out that, "Lawrence...never asks Duncan to explain what good things she thinks Trump has done." That's because the networks do not want to give coverage to all the good things Trump has done. The two articles linked belong provide about 8 examples of significant Trump accomplishments that received much less coverage than they deserved.

  10. *** Public Service Announcement ***

    David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot who will believe any right-wing propaganda and regurgitate it here.

    You may safely ignore him and his "sources," one of which touts drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve as one of Trump's "accomplishments."

    Nothing to see here as usual.

    1. deadrat - drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve is one reason why the economy is booming. The booming economy has led to many poor and minorities getting employed and being lifted out of poverty. People who ignore this effect are not racists. However, their faulty understanding of economics leads to polices that harm minorities.

    2. The economy is no longer booming. It is slowing. Everyone says so except Trump.

    3. @10:51 What in the world are you talking about? Economic indicators are still great, especially unemployment figures. Instead of quoting what "everyone" is saying, I recommend you look at the sources yourself. E.g., this 10-year chart shows how outstanding today's unemployment rate is.

    4. Only 20,000 jobs added this past month. When you talk about boom, you don't look at the past, you look at current indicators. Trump's trade war with China is hurting farmers, for example. Some economists are worried because of the lack of investment during this recovery. And the shutdown didn't help.

    5. Housing market slowdown too.

    6. It's practically The Great Depression out there.

    7. People who ignore this effect are not racists.

      deadrat, really, don't you just want to smack the living snot out of this troll?

      Tell us, Comrade DinC, when did the drilling start? How many leases have been auctioned? Specifically, with facts, explain how "drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve is one reason why the economy is booming"

    8. @11:21 - What I learned from the brilliant Henry Singleton is that you start by looking a factual present. A quote attributed to both Yogi Berra and physicist Niels Bohr is "It is difficult to predict, especially the future." Presently, the unemployment rate is extremely low and the stock market is high, as a multiple of earnings.

    9. That isn't how people predict the future direction of the economy. You made some confident statements that you apparently cannot back up. The stock market recently wiped out all of the gains under Trump. Are you sure you want to rely on that as an indicator of the strength of the economy. All it will take is another rash act for the stock market to go low again.

    10. @1:20 you should do your own checking. When you quote someone else, they might be wrong or you might have misunderstood them. This link shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average over time.^DJI#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%3D

      It's true that there's no increase since election day 2018. But, there's huge 35% increase since Trump was elected in 2016. (BTW do you think the slowdown in stock market rise was caused by Democrats taking over the House of Representatievs.)

      As far as the future goes, I do not know how to predict that future of the stock market. If I did, I would be as rich as Croesus.

    11. You aren't listening. I said the stock market isn't a good indicator of the health of our economy because it fluctuates with the President's actions, most recently the shutdown. You refuse to address the other indicators I mentioned. That is because they don't support your case.

    12. mm,

      Do you think he’s a troll? I’ve been going on the assumption that he’s an idiot, but I may have to change my mind. Perhaps he’s just another persona of Mao.

      Would an idiot be so stupid as to claim that drilling in ANWR is making the economy boom? No leases have been offered yet, and production is years away. Estimates of the eventual economic benefits are suspect. No one really knows how much oil there is.

      Would an idiot be so stupid as to claim that “many” people are being “lifted” out of poverty? The census bureau’s latest data is for 2017, when 39.7M lived in poverty, “not statistically different” from 2016. Of course, the population is increasing, so the poverty rate dropped. By .4% from 2016. The poverty rate in 2014 was 14.8%; in 2017, 12.3%.

      But remember, because of the way that the federal fiscal year works, a new President’s economic policies don’t start to have an effect until about a year after he takes office, so all of this negligible drop in the poverty rate happened on Obama’s watch.

      But do President really affect the economy all that much? The take credit for the rain, and they get blamed for the drought, but do either of those make sense to do? Trump’s shutdown cost the economy $11B according to the COB; his tax cuts have raised the deficit by $133B. A brief look through the google finds an estimate of the cost of Trump’s tariffs at about $37B, and the cost of retaliatory tariffs at about $130B.

      The US GDP is north of $21T.

      So what do you think, troll or idiot?

    13. @2:56 - sorry, you are not correct about the stock market reflecting the health of the economy, although it may reflect other things as well, as you point out. But, compare the very low stock market during the Depression vs. the the height it was during the 1950's and you can see the point.

      I did indeed address your indicators, but perhaps not clearly enough. A so-called "indicator" is not a fact. It's someone's guess or judgment that a particular statistic is a good way to predict the economic future. There are dozens or hundreds of conceivable indicators. None of them are guaranteed to provide a reliable prediction. Hence the joke, "The Stock Market Has Predicted Nine Of The Past Five Recessions." OTOH whether I or millions of my fellow citizen have jobs or are out of work is a fact.

    14. deadrat - There are various measures of poverty. Nearly five million Americans moved off of Food Stamps. That indicates a big improvement.

      It's fair to debate how much the President affects the economy. Cause and effect cannot be absolutely proved. IMHO Trump's election had a fast impact, because it immediatly encourage businesses to be formed to expand and to remain in the US. In other words, Trump helped the economy by just not being Hillary or Obama.

    15. You're Da Man, David. Your standard M.O. of addressing psycho-dembots as if there were sensible human beings has a definite surrealistic feel to it.

      Exquisite performance art, I must admit, and quite enjoyable.

    16. Deadrat isn't very sharp.

    17. DinC? Mao? I'm going with douche nozzles.

      Alas, deadrat and mm, you're only filling the trough. Those grunters aren't going away, as much as we'd like them to.


    18. Mao - most of the people close to me are very liberal. They're nice people who have good intentions. Their main problem is that they're being misled by the biased news coverage. I have every reason to think that deadrat and mm are intelligent, educated, well-meaning people, who have been misled. Being wrong about some issues doesn't make them bad people.

    19. Is that you, @7:15P, my favorite personal troll?

    20. Leroy,

      I think you’re wrong about Mao. If no one ever replied to his nonsense, I think he’d go away. No payoff.

      As for DAinCA, it depends. Is he an idiot or is he a troll?

      Could he be for real? By his account, he’s a Jew, one who’s grateful for past antisemitic discrimination because it made his family stronger. Could he be a troll out to counter the stereotype that Jews are diabolically clever?

      He’s an accountant who can’t understand the simplest statistics.

      He thinks I’m well-meaning and not “bad people”. He’s wrong. I’m actually horrible, even worse in person than I am in cyberspace. But at least I’ve got a moral compass. The DAinCA persona is frighteningly unmoored in this respect.

      But could anybody actually be this idiotic?

      Idiot or troll? The Necker Cube of the web.

    21. "Their main problem is that they're being misled by the biased news coverage."

      Good point about trusting corporations being a suckers game.

    22. David, from where I'm standing you are a liberal. I have no doubt that you'd identify with Rawls and shit like that. I don't happen to espouse that philosophy myself, but that is not a problem: it takes all kinds.

      However, post-2016 election hate-spewing psycho-dembots are not an ideological phenomenon. And reasoning with them the way you do creates, like I said, a fascinating surrealistic scene...

      All I'm sayin'...

    23. 8:29,
      Dembot, heal thyself.

    24. deadrat -- maybe I was unclear. I'm not grateful for past discrimination. I'm grateful that my immigrant family and other Jews had to deal with the discrimination on our own, without the "benefit" of affirmative action and other government action. The reason is that individual endeavor worked.

      Here's an example: in 1950 Jews were excluded from leadership in the insurance industry. Most companies wouldn't hire a Jewish officer. Hank Greenberg became had of little company called American International Group. AIG hired Jews. Greenberg built AIG up to the largest insurance company in the US, thus forceing people to understand that they were harming their organizations by excluding Jews.

    25. David, people didn't stop discriminating against Jews because of economic advantage, as your little story about AIG implies. They stopped because the social climate changed after WWII and the liberation of the camps. Movies such as Gentleman's Agreement reflected that change. Then government laws against restrictive covenants and the civil rights movement (which happened during the war, with Truman's desegregation of the Armed forces), made it illegal to discriminate on any basis. You sneer about affirmative action but your family did benefit from government action against discrimination. You, in your ignorance, think they did it all based on character. Jews were excluded from restaurants, hotels, stores, neighborhoods, social friendships, schools and universities, hospitals, and so on, just as African Americans were, until such discrimination was made illegal for everyone. Look at the Mad Men episode about the Jewish Dept Store owner for example.

      It is interesting that you refer to individual endeavor as the cause of your family's success. Jewish immigrant families helped each other in both formal and informal ways. There still exist many Jewish organizations that started out because Jews couldn't expect help from other sources. No one succeeds without some help -- your idea about the individual who succeeds on his own is an Ayn Rand fantasy.

      The idea that AIG realized it was harming its organization by excluding Jews is ridiculous on its face. For every talented Jewish officer, there is a talented non-Jewish officer that can be hired instead. Companies know that. But again, your fantasy of that uniquely talented individual who succeeds entirely on his own merit, is Ayn Rand nonsense that is quickly disabused in the real world where people are replaceable. Even trolls.

    26. Thanks for your response, @3:23. Your point about helpful organizations is right on. I recall on called the Workmen's Circle that my parents belonged to. I should have said that Jews achieved acceptance with relatively little help from the government, rather than implying that it was all individual effort.

      IMHO the problem with government action is that the goals of the government and the minority group are not always identical. LBJ's Civil Rights Act was essential and praiseworthy as was some other civil rights legislation. However, the goal of the Democratic Party is to get black votes. That goal leads Democrats to pursue some aims that are not particularly aimed at black advancement. Three that come to mind are
      1. Head Start - a lot of research has tended to show that this program has little long term benefit. But, it's a source of black jobs and at least provides baby-sitting, so there's no great press to reform Head Start.

      2. The exaggeration of racism. As long as Democrats convince black voters that racism is rampant, particularly among Republicans, then blacks will vote for Democrats. Yet, fighting racism is not the most valuable way to seek black advancement today.

      3. Affirmative action in college admissions has resulted in less than a 50% black graduation rate and fewer blacks getting degrees in STEM. But affirmative action looks like a benefit, so liberals will firght forever to maintain it.

    27. David,

      Addressing points 2 & 3 above:

      2. Black people don't need white people to tell them whether they are being treated in racist ways. It is a fact of their daily existence. They are also gray areas where it is unclear whether someone is due to discrimination or not. People who have been mistreated in the past tend to interpret ambiguous events as acts of racism too.

      3. The white graduation rate at public universities is around 60-65%. One of the factors affecting graduation is finances. If students have the money to finish or to study enough without having to work too many hours, they are more likely to finish and more likely to complete a degree in 4 years instead of 6+. In my experience, many black students are drawn to fields such as social work and sociology because they want to help address the problems they have experienced themselves. STEM doesn't provide that opportunity. There are studies of what happened when California stopped affirmative action and rates of participation by minorities did decrease. So it is hard to argue it is not a benefit. Further, even a couple of years of college are better than none, which is what might occur with no help. So, of course it is a benefit. You don't abandon a program because there isn't a 100% graduation rate. On that basis all scholarships to white students would be discontinued too.

    28. The problem with college affirmative action is the mismatch. Often blacks are being accepted at colleges where they lag other students academically (on average). Without affirmative action, black students would be more apt to attend more appropriate colleges.

    29. You have no proof of this. Admission officers won't admit students who are doomed to fail. That is nonsense. Affirmative action operates up and down the ranks of competitive and less competitive colleges. It is a myth that highly competitive colleges are admitting minority students who cannot do well there (any more than they admit white students who cannot succeed, Somerby being a case in point).

    30. @10:08- I wish you were correct, but the gaps are quite large. E.g., go to this link below and scroll down to the Estimated Distribution of SAT scores at Williams. The writer estimates that there is almost no overlap between the distribution of black scores and Asian scores.

    31. First, those aren't estimates. They are reported scores. Second, there is clearly an overlap between the distributions. Third, the reason why such scores do not determine admissions for minorities is because of factors such as (1) stereotype threat (see Claude Steele's work), (2) lack of SAT tutors among minority group members, (3) lack of strong relationship between SATs and grades for minority students as predictor of performance, (4) the fact that minority student can and do perform well at Williams despite having lower SATs, as do other groups also admitted by Williams (e.g., athletes, legacies). Further, the mean for black students is above 1300, which is more than sufficient to do well anywhere. Williams is clearly managing to recruit top black students. Williams is a very small elite Ivy league school that is highly competitive for white students, thus the white student mean is artificially high because the school excludes most white students who apply (regardless of the number of black students admitted).

      So, this doesn't say what you think it says David. If you compared the mean of those particular black students against the mean for the entire white population on the SAT, it would be about 300 points higher for the Williams black students than for the white students in general. So, this does not suggest at all that black students cannot do college.

  11. Somerby celebrates International Women's Day with utter silence about women's issues and a swipe at Stormy Daniels.

    Meanwhile Rude Pundit points out what will happen to the women running in 2020:

    But apparently, for Somerby, caring about women's representation in government is part of identity politics, and that is bad because Bernie and the bros think it is only class warfare that matters. Fix the economic stuff and men will magically welcome women into jobs and onto corporate boards and into politics. But how exactly will that happen when Bernie cannot even manage to include women in his campaign?

    That's why, if I had the slightest desire to vote for someone with Bernie's politics, I would pick Elizabeth Warren. Because Bernie showed his true colors when he ran against Hillary. So did Somerby.

    1. Me too. I'd love to see her nominated. It'll be hilarious.

      And if lib-zombies don't nominate Elizabeth
      The Woman Of Color Warren, then they are obviously a bunch of racists.

    2. Women are already welcome into jobs and boards and politics. A woman won more votes than Trump. And literally no one cares about "International Women's Day." A combination of Hillary's deplorables comments and Nasty Woman politics defeated her and rightly so.

    3. Women care about International Women's Day. Any politician who doesn't care about women is going to have a hard time finding enough votes to win anything.

    4. @11:28 -- I find it funny how conservatives believe that racism is a thing of the past and also believe there is no longer any problem for women in our society. Both male and female conservatives apparently believe this. That's partly why liberals consider Republicans to be racist and sexist -- they don't see or understand the issues in the same way as Democrats. Since the difficulties of race and gender have been documented in facts and stats, you have to ask whether the perception that there is no problem might be self-serving in support of racist and sexist beliefs. I think there is enough info out there now that this isn't a matter of ignorance but of motivation. The extra special statements about Hillary are the cherry on that sundae.

    5. "Hillary's deplorables comments"

      How big of a sucker do you have to be to think Conservatives hate political correctness?

    6. "I'd love to see her nominated. It'll be hilarious."
      Not as funny as watching David's grandkids die from poisoned air, land and water, thanks to Trump's EPA increasing the profits of the Establishment elites, but certainly worth a chuckle.

      Actually, the funniest part will be calling David a "Marxist", as he sobs about corporate pollution killing the kids. That's piss your pants funny.

  12. "Vermont senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders promised on Saturday that he will support the eventual nominee."

    We saw what that was worth in 2016.

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