Friday, October 21, 2016

The Rigging Process

Thursday, October 20, 2016

How Everybody Can Win

Mark criticized Trump's debate claim that the United States isn't  making things anymore as false. However, not everything Trump says is an outright lie: sometimes there's a glimmer of truth to it.

Mark's observation that manufacturing in the US has doubled since 1979 may be true, but it ignores important facts. Pretty much all consumer products -- cell phones, clothing, shoes, TVs, computers -- are no longer made in the United States.

We were #1 in manufacturing until as recently as 2002. But by 2012 China had overtaken the United States, producing 22% of the world's manufacturing output, with the United States coming in second with 17%.

Clearly the United States still does a lot of manufacturing and export, but a lot of what we're manufacturing is high tech tools and machinery that are sent to foreign countries that are then used to manufacture consumer products that are then imported into the United States. We also build expensive things like airplanes and gigantic earth movers: things that cost a lot but employ a small number of Americans.

We're mostly out of mass-market consumer goods business -- that's why Trump's "Make America Great Again" hats and plastic Fourth of July American flags are made in China.

But developing countries like China and India are finally developing a middle class and the consumer market has grown drastically. That means manufacturing worldwide is way up, but the US share of worldwide manufacturing has declined markedly; more to the point, the number of people employed in manufacturing in the US is way down.

This is why Trump's claims on US manufacturing are false. To do make the US the largest manufacturer of consumer goods again we'd either have to pay Americans the same slave wages that Chinese factory workers are paid, or our factories would be totally automated.

In 1960 manufacturing had a 25% share of employment in the United States. In 2011 it was about 9%. Manufacturing as percentage of GDP has remained stable at about 12% the whole time.

This is the "gotcha" that Trump isn't mentioning. If we bring manufacturing back to the US according to Trump's plan, it'll mean a huge cut in pay for American workers, or it will mean more automation and fewer workers in manufacturing. We can't create more well-paying manufacturing jobs unless other conditions change.

We do lead the world in some export categories, notably agriculture and aircraft. If Trump starts a stupid trade war with the rest of the world by slapping tariffs on imports, we will lose all our export markets.

This is the key: in order for the people in developing economies to be able to afford to buy American goods, they need jobs that pay enough to afford to buy our stuff.

The current problem is that large parts of the world pay their workers a lot less than the American or European middle class wage: their labor markets are cheaper than ours. Those people want to make as much as Americans, and it's in America's best interests for people in those countries to make more: their countries will lose the advantage of lower labor costs.

It might seem contradictory, but for Americans to prosper, the rest of the world needs to prosper -- so they can afford to buy our stuff.

That should inform how we write the trade agreements. We shouldn't be shutting out products made in foreign countries with Trump's prohibitive tariffs, we should be making sure that companies in other countries pay their workers salaries commensurate with Americans. One way is to require that all trade agreements with the US have anti-corruption clauses and strong protections for trade unions -- something we should have in all states of the Union. The agreements should also eliminate tax havens, like Ireland.

This would have another benefit: if people in Mexico and China are paid salaries that approach American levels, they'll have no incentive to leave their countries and come to the United States.

History shows this to be true: in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Europeans flooded into the US by the millions. But after Europe stopped being a war-torn hellhole, they stopped emigrating here in huge numbers.

If we use trade as tool to improve the lot of people of in other countries, they will want to stay home and they'll be able to buy American stuff.

Everybody wins.

Trump does not think this way. For him, and an awful lot of Republicans, life is a zero-sum game and there can only be one winner.

This, in a nutshell, is why someone like Hillary Clinton will make a far better president than an egotistical narcissist like Donald Trump.

Third Debate Post Mortem

While the rest of the media falls into yet another Trump Trap (OMG!! He's not going to accept the results of the election), I'd like to focus on a few other items from last night.

Donald Trump said "We're not making things anymore, relatively speaking." Well, the relativity dial must be broken because US factory production has more than doubled since 1979. The problem is that computerization has taken the place of the human worker. That's simply the free market doing its thing and if you are one of these workers, time to get a college degree or be retrained in another line of work.

Hillary Clinton would add more than a penny to the national debt...about $200 billion dollars over 10 years. That's what independent analysts have said of her economic plan. Donald Trump's plan would about $5.3 trillion dollars to the debt with all of his tax cuts.

I could give two shits that Hillary Clinton wants an open, global market, for energy or any other economic sector. Free trade prevents wars. Period. If we go back to protectionism or mercantilism, we raise the risk of blood conflicts again as we saw in World War I and World War II.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Latest 2016 Election Map

Here's my latest 2016 Election Map.

Click the map to create your own at

As we can all see, Hillary Clinton is poised for a landslide. Most of the major polling outfits and predictors are seeing a flip to a Democratically controlled Senate. And now it looks like House is in play with Republicans scrambling to retain their majority.

One thing to note about this map is the grey shade of Utah. I don't Hillary will win Utah but I do think that the presence of popular son, Evan McMullin, on the ballot will take away votes for Trump. They could end up tied or McMullin could just win it.

Donald Trump has been in a tailspin since the first debate. He's made it much worse with this complete and utter lovemaking to right wing bloggers in the last week. Arizona, Alaska, Georgia and Missouri are now in play. I actually think that Arizona will go for Hillary. The rest, we'll see with some more polls. Even Texas is getting tight now.

As I have said many times, she needs a landslide in order to govern effectively. On the day of the last debate, it appears that she has one in the making.

Crocodile Tears

Boy oh boy, have we heard a lot of mouth foaming and "See? I told you sos" from Republicans these days regarding the Affordable Care Act. They've even pointed to Mark Dayton's recent comments about rising insurance rates as evidence that Obamacare has failed and stuff.

Today, my esteemed governor has penned an op-ed which offers a more insightful analysis.

As disturbing as the falsehoods is the hypocrisy of some Republican politicians, who are crying crocodile tears over problems with the Affordable Care Act, which they have prevented solving. Time after time, Republicans in Congress blocked changes to the ACA because they want to destroy the law, not improve it — and because they believe that the worse the ACA’s current problems, the better their chances of re-election.


The real challenge with the ACA is that we need more young people to get insurance. They'd rather take the hit on taxes than pay a premium every month. Better marketing, more incentives and perhaps stricter punishment for being uninsured should all be pursued. The rate increases were going to happen anyway and likely be worse without the ACA.

And in that world millions would have been uninsured and thousands would probably be dead. I think I'll take the whining...:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

America Is Already Great

Here's why...

Monday, October 17, 2016

I'm Just Askin'...

The day after three Kansas militiamen were arrested for plotting to blow up a mosque and an apartment building where hundreds of Somali immigrants live, someone threw a firebomb into a Trump campaign office in North Carolina.

Trump blames "the animals representing the Clinton campaign" for the firebombing, even though no one knows who is behind it.

At least one of the militiamen is a confirmed Trump supporter. By Trump's own logic, if we can blame Clinton for the firebombing, can't we blame Trump for the plot to kill Somalis in Kansas? The assault was planned for the day after the November election: clearly they anticipated Trump will lose, and wanted to exact revenge for a humiliating loss.

Trump has adopted the style and rhetoric of right-wing neo-Nazi hate groups and conspiracy theorists, normalizing racism and misogyny and bringing it to the forefront of a presidential campaign. Trump has advocated violence repeatedly: he's told his supporters to assault protesters at his rallies. Trump has said that if Clinton wins she should be dealt with by "Second Amendment people." Trump has advocated torture and murdering the wives and children of terrorist suspects.

One of Trump's more vocal supporters is Alex Jones, of InfoWars infamy. Jones is an alt-right conspiracy theorist, who has put forth various conspiracy theories, including several about 9/11, that the Sandy Hook shooting was faked, and that the Orlando shooting was a "false flag operation."

Lately Jones has been pushing the conspiracy theory that Clinton will somehow steal the election. Jones was apparently prodded to do this by Trump campaign operative Roger Stone, a dirty trickster who has worked for Republicans since the days of Dick Nixon (he even has a tattoo of Nixon on his back).

I myself don't go for conspiracy theories. But since Trump and his supporters are so enamored of them, here's one: what if the firebombing of the Trump campaign office was a false-flag operation ordered by Roger Stone to distract attention from the arrest of Trump supporters who were plotting to murder hundreds of Muslim immigrants?

Put on your tin foil hat for a moment: if "truly evil" people were behind the firebombing, why would they do it when the office was empty? Why was no one hurt?

Doesn't that seem more like a Roger Stone dirty trick? Or at least a shady landlord trying to collect on an insurance policy, taking a page from Donald Trump's playbook?

There's no possible benefit for Clinton's campaign in the North Carolina arson. Isn't it more likely the Trump campaign itself staged the fire to elicit more outrage from his supporters?

I'm just askin'...

Dedicated To Right Wing Bloggers and Commenters Everywhere

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What would it take for Trump to lose your vote?

At this point, it's safe to say these are same sorts of people that drove Germany to where it was in the 1930s...

Quoran Quickie

It's weird how things can go viral on Quora. My answers that I think will generate many views and upvotes invariably don't. The ones I think are just throwaways, like this one, get thousands of views and upvotes.

I guess now that extends to comments. A recent answer on who won the first presidential debate led me to this comment on it.

My hope is that Trump loses by a large margin and the GOP returns to the party of Reagan and Bush 1. Even though I am a Democrat, I want an opposition party that can keep the left in check on some of the more outlandish ideas (all corporations are evil, globalization is always evil etc). They have to get rid of all that anger, hate and fear, though, and I’m not sure how that happens.

As of this morning, it has 129 upvotes, the most I have ever had for a comment and the most I've seen on Quora in a while. It took me less than a minute to write but I guess it had an impact.

Other Men Have Said Worse

Friday, October 14, 2016

Lock Him Up!

When I was in fifth grade, I took up the trumpet. Kids in band had to stay after school for practice. On the way home a gang of bullies from the parochial school would ambush me. To avoid them, I gave up the trumpet so I didn't have to walk home late.

In sixth grade I was a police boy, what they call a crossing guard nowadays. In the 1960s the older kids were given bright orange crossing flags and were responsible for making sure the younger kids crossed busy streets safely. (They don't seem to let kids do this anymore -- adults are crossing guards, in the few locales where they let kids walk to school.)

These duties made me late again and the same bullies went after me. Instead of ratting on them, I quit being a police boy to avoid them.

The next year I went to junior high at a public school, while the bullies went to a parochial school two miles in the other direction. The bullying ended, partly because our paths rarely crossed, but partly because I had grown to almost six feet tall.

I relate these incidents to establish that I know a bully when I see one. Donald Trump is a bully. His every word and action for the last 40 years has established this without question. No one, not even his supporters, tries to deny this: they glory in it.

Now Donald Trump stands accused of sexual assault. At its core, sexual assault is essentially a more aggressive and perverted form of bullying. I've never been molested personally, but I've seen it happen.

One day in eighth grade I was walking home. Across the street a gang of bullies was attacking a girl from my class. Lori was a thin, shy, quiet girl. She was nice. They were grabbing her breasts. She was crying and afraid. I didn't intervene, I just ran home. As far as I know Lori never reported the crime, and neither did I, I'm ashamed to admit. I suppose I didn't want to get in trouble with bullies again.

So Lori suffered in silence, like the vast majority of women and girls who are sexually assaulted.

Why did they go after Lori? She wasn't the prettiest or most curvaceous girl in class. She was very quiet and never bothered anyone.

The bullies chose her because she was available, vulnerable, and powerless against them. If she told on them they would deny it, and no one would believe her. Later, they would go after her and do something even worse...

Today Donald Trump says he wouldn't have sexually assaulted the women who are now accusing him of because they aren't attractive enough. Because I know bullies, I know Trump is lying.

Sexual assault is bullying: it's about establishing dominance, not sexual pleasure. Many of the women Trump attacked had come to him for help. Like any street bully, Trump assaulted them because he wanted to show he had the power. He could count on their silence because he could destroy their lives through crushing lawsuits and social ruination: if they ratted him out he would drag them through the mud, making their husbands and boyfriends think they had somehow invited the attack.

That woman on the airplane that Trump felt up? Today Trump scoffs at the idea that he would do such a thing. But just like the eighth-grade bullies in the street, Trump attacked that woman because she was available, vulnerable and powerless against him (who'd believe a billionaire would do such a thing?). Last Friday we heard Trump admitting that he just can't control himself around women, assaulting random women on planes is completely consistent with that.

And just like the eighth-grade bullies in the street, Trump's gang of thugs rallied and cheered him on. Listen to the comments of Trump's supporters when interviewed by the Daily Show's Jordan Klepper. One said, "You know what? So what if he wants to grab pussy. I wanna grab pussy."

Hey, Republicans: your voters are wanna-be sex offenders!

I am completely baffled by this clown. How is grabbing a woman like that in any way pleasurable for either party? What kind of demented, sick people are these guys? Trump supporters -- even the female ones, incredibly -- think that rich, smelly (Tic Tacs), fat, old, bald men are entitled to molest women and girls. For them sexual assault is completely normal and to be expected, and women must submit without complaint.

The fact is, these are sex crimes.

After the news of Trump bragging about molesting women broke, writer Kelly Oxford shared her story of being sexually assaulted. When she was 12 an old man on a city bus grabbed her pussy and smiled at her. By Saturday evening a million women had responded with stories of their own. The behavior Trump brags about is appallingly common in this country. But that doesn't excuse it: it's a sex crime.

A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for a bully, a vote for a sex offender. Supporting Trump is condoning the violation of women. Trump's election would mean the normalization of molestation and invite a wave of sexual assaults against millions of American girls and women.

America needs to stand up to bullies, molesters and sex criminals like Donald Trump. Trump may not have any regrets, but I do: I regret that the thirteen-year-old me didn't stand up to the bullies who molested Lori.

Donald Trump is a bully and a criminal sex offender. This time around I'm not going to stay quiet and let a molester get away with assaulting women. Donald Trump's repeated molestations of women are sex crimes, plain and simple. The man should go to jail.

Let's get a chant going: Lock him up! Lock him up!

State Department Bans Superman Disguise

WASHINGTON — To prevent terrorists from using Superman's foolproof disguise, the State Department is banning applicants from wearing eyeglasses in photos taken for passports.

In a notice published Friday, the department says that effective Nov. 1, applicants must remove glasses for passport and visa photographs. It says the step is being taken to "ensure aliens from extinct planets that used to orbit red suns" do not pose as American citizens. Only in rare circumstances, such as when the applicant's eyes "emit powerful energy blasts that can rupture steel plate and pulverize rock," will glasses be allowed.

The department says it expects to process a record number of passports — more than 20 million — in the current budget year that ends next October.

Minneapolis StarTribune

Cease The Lying

The facts on the Affordable Care Act as of October 13, 2016. 

Now stop lying about it because you had some kind of an issue with authority in your adolescence and get catty every time the federal government does something in the best interest of this country and succeeds at it.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Unrealistic Corporate Growth Expectations Caused Wells Fargo Debacle

Wells Fargo's CEO was just forced out after testifying before Congress about the scandal at the bank. The company created a quota system for employees to sign up existing customers for additional accounts. These quotas were so unreasonable that thousands of employees created accounts for customers they never asked for and never knew they had.

Honest employees who refused to cheat their customers to meet the unreasonable quotas were fired (and have since filed a $2.6 billion lawsuit for unlawful termination).

The problems at Wells Fargo are not unique. Wall Street has totally unreasonable expectations for revenue growth: companies that don't meet "analyst expectations" are hammered in the stock market. CEOs are given bonuses when their stock price increases, and are fired (albeit with a golden parachute) when they don't meet those unreasonable expectations.

There are only a few ways that revenue can be increased: 1) sell more products, 2) reduce costs, 3) increase prices, 4) create more customers, 5) create new products, 6) create new markets.

Wells Fargo tried to do #1: sell more products to their existing customer base. The problem was these people didn't want these products, but since Wells Fargo had all their financial information it was trivial to rip them off.

This fails when customers already have all the product they want, or can't afford to buy more products. Since salaries have been pretty much stagnant since George W. Bush was in office, there is little hope for growth here.

Most companies try to do #2: reduce costs. This typically involves reducing the cost of production (like Apple switching touch screen suppliers, or cutting employee salaries, or moving production to Asia), or improving productivity (firing employees and making the survivors pick up the slack, reducing the number of employees by replacing them with machines, or using technology to improve the productivity of existing employees).

Problem is, cost reduction often reduces the quality of the product or service. It's also hard for employees whose salaries have been cut (or never rise) to afford to buy the products and services that companies need to sell to increase their revenues.

However, there is a huge potential for cost savings that remains untapped in the vast majority of corporations: executive compensation. CEOs and their executives can pull down billions of dollars in compensation: in 2014 the average Fortune 500 exec made $16 million in salary -- 300 times the average employee, and oodles more in retirement and stock grant benefits. In 1965 the average exec made only 20 times as much as an average employee.

Since execs are just management overhead, the quality of products and services will be almost completely unaffected.

Wells Fargo will save tens of millions of dollars by firing John Stumpf. Not as much as the $185 million in fines they'll have to pay for bilking their customers, unfortunately.

Method #3 -- increasing prices -- is a problem for most companies for the same reason as #1: customers don't have the money. But certain companies can get away with it: in particular, drug companies who have a monopoly on life-saving treatments. Like, for example, Martin Shkreli increasing the price of Daraprim fifty-foldMylan jacking up the price of the EpiPen several hundred percent, or the tripling of the cost of insulin for diabetic patients.

Drug companies can get away with this extortion because people will sicken or die without this medicine: they are holding a gun to their customers' heads and saying, "Your money or your life."

Number 4 -- creating more customers -- used to happen automatically: for centuries population increased geometrically. But population growth has stopped in most developed economies. The United States' population is still increasing but only due to -- you guessed it -- immigration.

Many young people today don't have very good jobs and don't anticipate that they'll be making enough money to afford a home and a family. So we won't be procreating our way out of this problem. Conservatives, afraid of losing their tenuous grasp on political power, are also afraid of immigration, so there's very little hope on that front.

In any case, population growth is not a solution: at 7 billion people, the world has already exceeded its carrying capacity. As the effects of climate change really start to hit hard and natural resources decline, the number of people the earth can support will decrease.

Item #5 -- create new products -- is the favorite of entrepreneurs. The problem is, again, that customers don't have the money to buy new doodads. And truly new products are extremely rare: the personal computer, the cell phone, the Internet were revolutionary.

But every time you come up with a new "killer app" it kills off some older product or service. The personal computer killed off the typewriter and jobs like secretary, file clerk, etc. The cell phone and the tablet are killing off the personal computer. The Internet is killing off newspapers and television networks.

And a lot of "new products" are just recycled garbage. The Great Recession was due to financial institutions selling failing mortgages by repackaging them in more and more obscure bundles to hide just how toxic they were.

Creating new markets -- #6 -- sounds great, but the only place to create new markets is to move into new countries. That means international trade. This is a hot topic in this election as Donald Trump touts gigantic tariffs on foreign countries' products to "punish" them for unfair trade practices. If we do that, they'll do the same to us, making it impossible to create new markets.

Also, in order for these new markets to buy our stuff, their citizens need the money to pay for it. The only new markets left are places like India, Indonesia, and Africa, where average incomes are generally very low. The only way for them earn the money to buy our products is if they have well-paying jobs. And the only way they can do that is if they're selling products and services to people who can afford to pay for them, and that means selling into western economies -- like ours.

(Creating new markets by going into outer space is intriguing, but impossible until we develop compact nuclear fusion generators -- something that doesn't look any closer than it was 50 years ago.)

All of these factors produce one inescapable conclusion: we are entering a steady-state economy and only a few small new companies can experience 10 to 15% revenue growth.

What this really boils down to is: what is the purpose of corporations? To make a small number of people filthy rich? Or to provide products and services to the people of the United States while giving a living wage to the people who actually do all the work?

The outcome of this election may very well answer this question, and determine the fate of the planet.

Wells Fargo Chief=Out

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf steps down amid sales scandal

"The San Francisco bank said Wednesday that Stumpf is retiring effective immediately and also relinquishing his title as chairman. He won't be receiving severance pay and the bank announced earlier that he will forfeit $41 million in stock awards."

To my friends on the right: This is the direct effect of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. (See also: Tea Party Movement RIP)

To my friends on the left: Stop whining about how you don't have any power. You do.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Russian Lawmaker Threatens to Nuke U.S. If Trump Loses

Trump has been kissing Vladimir Putin's ass for quite some time, and now other Russian politicians are returning the favor. In addition to regaining the endorsements of some Republicans who had dumped Trump only days before he threatened to torpedo their reelection campaigns, Trump picked up the endorsement of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, one of Russia's most hateful men.
Americans should vote for Donald Trump as president next month or risk being dragged into a nuclear war, according to a Russian ultra-nationalist ally of President Vladimir Putin who likes to compare himself to the U.S. Republican candidate.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an interview that Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington.
How would Trump de-escalate tensions? Obviously, by rolling over and caving in to Putin on Ukraine and Syria. Putin's tactics of propping up Bashir Assad in Syria and widening the war there have destabilized Europe and Turkey with a flood of refugees, allowing several ISIS terrorists to launch attacks in Europe and heightening fears of terrorism in the United States.

Russia's corrupt leaders can hardly contain their glee over the prospect of the United States joining the tin-plated dictator club.

Loyalty to the Republican Party's John Wilkes Booth

After the tape of Donald Trump bragging about committing sex crimes was released, dozens Republican legislators and governors withdrew their endorsements of him. Trump responded by blasting them as "disloyal."

What does loyalty mean in this case? These Republicans claim to be loyal to the Republican Party and its ideals of morality and decency, small government, and all the rest. Trump does not represent any of those ideals, and his candidacy will damage the party, perhaps irreparably. So not supporting Trump is in fact expressing loyalty to the Republican Party.

Donald Trump has never been loyal to the Republican Party. Since 1987 he has variously been registered with the Republican Party, the Independence Party, the Democratic Party (starting in August 2001, during W's first year in office), and with no party as recently as 2011.

Now, there's nothing wrong with this for a private citizen. But it demonstrates that Donald Trump has absolutely no loyalty to the Republican Party. Why should lifelong Republicans feel any compunction to remain loyal to Donald Trump, since he has never shown them any loyalty?

When Mitt Romney ran for president he gave state and local politicians money for their reelections and helped them campaign. Donald Trump didn't do this. He flew around the country on a self-promotional tour. He didn't give local politicians any money. He didn't help them campaign. He used them as props for his own self-promotion.

Donald Trump has been disloyal to lifelong Republicans: has blasted George W. Bush over and over for his blunders in the Iraq War. He insulted John McCain's war record. He has claimed Bush created ISIS (he also blames it on Clinton and Obama; Trump's not known for consistency). Trump has spent this entire election cycle blasting Republican "elites," the very people whose loyalty he's now demanding.

So what possible motivation should Republicans have for being loyal to Trump? He has never been loyal to them. He has only insulted and demeaned and stabbed them in the back.

Some establishment Republicans still support Trump, because they feel not doing so will "hurt the party." The problem is that political parties are not unchanging moral monoliths: they are simply the collective will of the people who claim membership in them.

Once upon a time the South was solidly Democratic. Southerners despised the party of Lincoln because of the Civil War. But over time the Republican Party became the party of fat old rich men. Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt popped up every once in a while, but more and more the Republican Party become the party of bankers, millionaires, industrialists. It was headed by men like Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. The laissez-faire attitude of Republican administrations over the wealthy ultimately led to the Great Depression.

The Democratic Party became the party of the people. The Democrats joined with unions to fight the power bloc of the Republican Party and the wealthy. They fought to create the Social Security program. They joined with minorities to fight for the right to vote, end segregation, achieve medical care for the elderly, and campaigned for equal rights for women.

White Southerners, dismayed by the Democrats' policy stands, fled the party in droves. Republicans picked up on this and started courting the Southern white vote, intentionally talking in code about crime, "inner city problems" and "welfare queens."

Were Southerners "disloyal" for abandoning the Democratic Party when it would no longer promote segregation and disenfranchisement of blacks? No: the people who become its majority had renounced white supremacy and embraced equality for all. The philosophy of the Democratic Party had completely shifted.

The Republican Party has continued its racist shift haltingly, sometimes pulling back with Republicans such the Bush family and John McCain, who, for all their warts, seemed earnest in their desire for racial equality and economic fairness. But though many Republicans have paid lip service to those ideals, they did nothing to stop the nativist and racist forces within their Party. They stood by and cheered when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and campaign finance reform. They have actively assisted in the disenfranchisement of millions of voters with "Voter ID" laws that Republicans have bragged were enacted solely to prevent blacks and Democrats from voting.

Donald Trump has staged a hostile takeover of the Republican Party: he has inflamed its racist and nativist elements even further. But worse than that, Trump's entire campaign has been about Trump, not the Republican Party -- he's only been a Republican since 2012.

Donald Trump thinks he's the godfather of a New York crime family, the capo di tutti capi of the Republican Party. To him, party loyalty means subservience to the boss. And he's the boss. Acknowledge his primacy or be snuffed out.

To real Republicans, loyalty to the party means loyalty to the ideals that the party is based on. Candidates come and go, but the party and its ideals are supposed to be eternal.

But that idealistic notion is false: parties are just the people who join them. When Trump put the agenda of misogynistic racists front and center in this presidential election, he shot the party of Lincoln in the back of the head.

Donald Trump is the Republican Party's John Wilkes Booth.

Locker Room Talk

Don't Hurt Their Feelings

In Spanish!

Vote November 28th!

Donald Trump tells supporters to vote on November 28

I guess is what happens when the shackles come off...:)