Jeff Pearlman’s Q&A with your humble blogger

Jeff Pearlman reached out shortly after the election and invited me to participate in one of his Quaz segments, a quirky Q&A session. Pearlman is a former  ESPN and Sport Illustrated writer who has authored several books. His latest, Gunslinger, is a biography of Brett Favre. His questions were thought-provoking and I liked the format. You can find the final results here. Hope you enjoy it.

76 Comments

    1. Don’t you think he’s just playing with the subject? Regardless, it’s hardly presidential behavior, but I guess we shouldn’t expect that “ever”. Can’t wait for the SOTU address…

      Meanwhile, son in law Kushner is said to be part of Trump’s triumverate controlling access to le roi along with Priebus and Bannon….wonder how long it’s gonna take for that arrangement to collapse? If I had to guess, I’d put my money on Kusher to emerge as kingmaker….Ivanka and all that stuff….

    2. He’s saying that there’s massive voter fraud in CA, VA, and NH. Put up or shut up, asshole. You can pay for a recount and prove it, but you won’t.

      If the Dems were going to cheat, CA would be the last place they’d need to do it. This conspiracy theory is so effing dumb it makes vaccines cause autism look almost credible in comparison.

      Final thought, what might this Twitter tantrum be trying to distract us from?

      1. I think Trumps handlers have to let him out of the cage about every two weeks……probably doesn’t mean anything except to deflect the attention away from the FACT that he lost the popular vote big time. Poor guy, it’s not enough to win the electoral college by “a landslide”, he has to have more…….and more……….

        I hope you got to read Lisa Falkenberg’s column in the H. Chronicle today……If not, you should.

  1. Anyone else noticing the Neo-Tankies coming out of the woodwork since Castro bit it? I have one girl on my Facebook page who, for the longest time, would basically just espouse insane postmodernist rhetoric about how much she hates a majority of the working class (because they’re “white”) flip to being an openly/proudly authoritarian Marxist-Leninist/Stalinist materialist practically overnight, despite said ideologies nominally contradicting each other. Weird shit. I found one possible explanation for it (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Postmodernism#Tankie_lifeboat) but maybe this is just my anecdotal experience?

    1. Everything I’ve read about Ryan’s Better Way for Medicare, etc., involves privatization. I’m cynical about how this is going to make health insurance more affordable (looking only at cost…services is a whole other issue) given the profit incentive….which insurers clearly said didn’t work across the board in the ACA. So, is this just one more GOP effort to shrink government’s safety net or a thinly veiled plan to destroy the New Deal benefits for the elderly and sick?

      1. Yes.

        And they have magical ‘market’ thinking, too. Chris’ friend Avik Roy is mentioned.

        “Roy agrees with Ryan that Medicare is going broke and that a program structured in this way would save money through “the magic of competition.”

        I think we need for-profit insurance companies out of the health care business. It’s ponying up for their profits and CEO salaries that is making the system more expensive than it should be.

      2. Whichever it is, or even if it’s both, it’s the same magical thinking that doesn’t seem to give any consideration towards proper controls within the marketplace to help rein in cost or promote a service-based industry rather than being for-profit. It’s all about saving money in the short-term while incrementally moving towards a completely privatized system.

        Paul Ryan’s mindset towards meaningful reform is commendable, but it’s like Bobo said. As long as they’re caught up in the self-induced divine righteousness of markets, all they’re going to end up doing is making people suffer needlessly.

      3. Honestly, the way I look at it, the focus is on privatization for the sake of privatization….the assumption that the role of government has no meaningful place in society. I have never agreed with this philosophy as I have heard it described, whether it is Chris’ version or any other conservative’s. That doesn’t mean that there is not justification for greater efficiency in government services but it most assuredly doesn’t mean that every aspect of our lives has to be privatized. There is ample evidence that regulations are necessary and important in the private sector. If private business was so perfect, we wouldn’t need all the lawyers……

      4. I absolutely agree with Ryan. Privatisation has to go hand in hand with effective regulation. The worship of the market really has got to go. Innovation would’ve occurred anyway; human creativity is an innate quality of being well, human.

      5. There is a place for privatization and there is a place for government in the provision of heath care. There will be overlapping areas, but I disagree that privatization will improve the quality, cost, or availability of health care for the masses – particularly the poor, disabled, and elderly. That sector is costly and the profit component for private care hasn’t found this group attractive.

        If you have another point of view on this, please offer it. In my opinion, access to affordable, quality health care should be a right, not a privilege, so that is where I start. Your thoughts?

  2. Our next SoS is looking to be a doozy, no matter how it goes. Much as I’d like to say that I couldn’t believe Team Trump is actually looking to have Romney publicly apologize for everything he said about Dear Leader during the campaign, it is just so perfectly Trump that you know it must be true.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-romney-must-apologize-to-trump-if-he-wants-to-be-his-secretary-of-state/article/2608184

    If rumors are to be believed, we’ll have a publicly whipped dog in Romney or an increasingly senile whackjob in Giuliani. I need a drink…

      1. Yes, exactly my thought…..He can position this as his “gift” to America vis a vis being a sane person in control of foreign affairs, but if he really believed what he said during the campaign, he should stand behind it and refuse to work under the man he publicly ridiculed. Personally, just as with Cruz, I think Trump is playing all his nemesis…Remember, Trump said Romney would have kissed his “whatever” to get his endorsement when he was seeking the Presidency in ’12.

        I had a very interesting, frank conversation with our youngest son (Bernie Supporter then Jill Stein supporter) about Trump. He iterated much of what is becoming more obvious – people knew he was a louse but they are so disgusted with the establishment that they want to send a message…We discussed the fact that with government in the hands of one party, they will be able to move legislation (not that we are going to like it, but gridlock won’t happen given their majority positions and Potus and Scotus bringing up the rear), so there will be accomplishments which will accrue to Trump’s favor and to the GOP. The market senses this and thus we’ve seen it move higher and business people are starting to openly – if cautiously – embrace Trump. As I’ve stated many times, Trump can only get better in my book – he’s at rock bottom with me. He will either burn the house down or not. The ones to watch are those in the GOPe….This is the discussion my son and i had…with his feeling that many Americans feel Trump may be the only wild card left in a stacked deck with rotten establishment parties….and they are willing to take a chance with him…………..The question I have, “how big a chance is too big”?

      2. Ok here’s my take. I’m not American, but we have features in common with you in how people are voting. My own, slowly forming belief, though, is that because of the current structure of our economic system, the failures of the political parties are “written in”. In other words, whoever is in will fail, unless they’re willing to completely overhaul the current money system. One party will always fail more then the other, that being the party with an ideological faith in “light hand on the markets” and so on. T-rump and his current cabinet will probably burn down the house, either on purpose, but more likely because they are incompetent ( nothing thus far says that any of them are at all capable of doing anything beyond self-seeking gains for themselves ). Ryan’s a Better Way will accelerate the crashing. When things really get very bad, they’ll try and hang on to power by casting frantically around for scapegoats.

        The only person who seems to get that systematic fault lies at the heart of the malfunction is Sanders, although I’m not sure what he means when he says that he will take on Wall Street

      3. “The only person who seems to get that systematic fault lies at the heart of the malfunction is Sanders”

        Well let’s have a little sympathy and understanding here people. Surely you realize how difficult it is to see systematic faults when your position at the top of the power structure depends on your not seeing them.

  3. Chris, I’m afraid the line

    “The right won’t adopt cap and trade because if Jesus cared about polar bears he’d build them an ark. The left won’t get behind market-based solutions because such simple policy mechanisms deprive them of the opportunity to deliver special Easter eggs to their galaxy of tiny interest groups and community organizers.”

    is contrafactual in a way that betrays your bias towards both-sides-doitism. Most directly, Democrats tried to pass cap & trade in 2009: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Clean_Energy_and_Security_Act
    More down-in-the-weeds, there’s a good argument that cap & trade works better for something manufactured and used in a few places (e.g. CFCs) while a tax works better for something that is produced and used all over the place. Republicans made a tax a non-starter, so Democrats said, “Ok Lucy, hold the football again and we’ll do cap & trade instead.”
    Fundamentally, either a carbon tax or a cap & trade system can be structured to be very similar in effect for the environment. The left has a modest preference for the one that can be used to fund other functions of government(*) but have been willing to try the other one. Both have been blocked by the right.

    (*) You say you want a UBI – well so do I, and it needs a bigger funding source than just what you’d get from the other social programs it would replace.

      1. In doing more research on the Democrats Cap and Trade legislation, I found this 2010 New Yorker piece that is a classic on how screwed up the legislative process is, how competing interests within it contribute mightily to further screwing it up, and how our country was screwed in the final analysis.

        This is a long article but I promise you it will teach you more about how Washington works than anything I’ve read in a very long time. As for “who” killed Cap & Trade? Read the article and tell me if you can figure it out.

        http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/10/11/as-the-world-burns

      2. >] This is a long article but I promise you it will teach you more about how Washington works than anything I’ve read in a very long time. As for “who” killed Cap & Trade? Read the article and tell me if you can figure it out.

        Granting that I may be off base here, but I what I see here is a perfect encapsulation of the Obama Administration’s initial naivete. Effectively leaving all the major pushing up to Congress, it made little to no serious effort on its own and as if that weren’t enough, it was trying to get cap and trade done at the same time as it was trying to push through health care reform.

        It’s easy enough to say this in hindsight, but I honestly think an energy overhaul like this one requires months, years of sustained effort, building relationships on the issue and getting all your ducks in a row to see what the give-and-take is going to be on all sides, not cramming it all in at the last minute and hoping for the best. It’s like waiting a week before finals and suddenly flipping open your textbook for the first time.

      3. Yes, this is where political naivete hurts an administration…I also never cared for Emmanuel – lacking the polish and skills to develop plans and build consensus with the other party much less within the Dem Party. He seemed more arrogant while Obama more naive. It was disappointing to see how hard Kerry and Lieberman worked, how Graham was disrespected and all the deals that had to be struck to even get the bill as far as it got. Yet, having participated at the state level as an citizen activist with drafting and working legislation through amenable members only to watch those with other interests sabotage things along the way, I can attest to the truth of the process of this Cap & Trade legislation described in the New Yorker article. So much happens beneath the public’s view – By the time legislation gets to the committee level, most of these shenanigans have been worked out….not always, but mostly. This was such an instructive article about “process”.

      4. Chris, what I’m getting at here is that the situation is *not* symmetric. Yes, Democrats were unable to get 100% of their own members on board – defections mostly from districts where fossil fuel interests could and probably would tip the next election against anyone who voted for cap & trade. (The wikipedia article supports that, and mentions only two members of congress who voted against the bill from the left.) Meanwhile, a mere handful of Republicans ever even appeared to support the idea, and some of those were apparently only pretending or eventually reneged. This, on a proposal for the *more* industry-favorable approach to fighting climate change.

        When Democrats only manage to get 80% of their caucus to support an attempt to address the biggest challenge humanity has faced, while Republicans achieve 90% cohesion in favor of continuing to commit slow suicide, it’s not a time for finely balanced statements implying both parties are equally to blame.

        Mary, thank you for the New Yorker link. A worthwhile read that I think I missed at the time.

    1. What say you about Dems cap & trade support via the 2009 Clean Energy & Security Act, Chris? More “obstruction on day one” regardless of merit? At least, let’s give Dems some credit for trying, meanwhile…..

      And, your reference ” “Markets give us a tool to solve critical public policy problems with a lighter, less expensive, less intrusive hand.” What Republicans are signalling is anything but a “lighter, less intrusive hand”.

      I think there are very few people who realize just how bad this is going to be for everyone but the wealthy, the healthy, the employed, the young. I’d throw “white” in there as well but that would be politically incorrect…….

      Defend conservatives mantra of “small government” all day long if you will. It hardly comports with what I see coming.

      1. If nothing else, let’s at least be thankful that Republicans have such a small majority in the Senate right now. There at least a handful of Senators who are openly opposed to him (Graham, Sasse, Flake, Collins, etc) that we can at least reasonably hope will stand as a bulwark against his most extreme proposals. Playing defense is never enjoyable, but it’s all we have right now.

        That said, it’s not as though we’re completely without options on offense. Wisconsin’s recent determination on gerrymandering via the “efficiency gap” gives an unprecedented opportunity for Democrats to start regaining their foothold at the state level. This is precisely the kind of case that Justice Kennedy inferred he was looking for back in ’04, so if he gives his vote, it would open the floodgates to remaking the political landscape across the country.

        Imagine a midterm year in ’18 where successful suits in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia and others let Democrats take back at least one or perhaps even both legislative chambers in each of those states. Arrogance should be avoided, but we shouldn’t let hinder us from pursuing it to the best of our ability. There’s still a path forward if we’re willing to reach out and take hold of it.

      2. Ryan – Even the Republicans you mentioned will fall in line to advance the GOP agenda. Chris talks about how the country is making a hard left…yet the sea of red in federal, state, and gubernatorial positions is spreading like wildfire. The U.S. map never looked this lopsided. With the appointments that have already announced, Trump is also falling in line. The only real significant way to judge where the nation is going is to see who is winning elected positions. That is all that matters. “He who has the gold, rules.” With more than 50% of Americans not bothering to vote, it doesn’t matter what they believe or want – those who organize and get to the polls get to set the agenda.

    1. I read an interview with an individual who creates fake news. He does it for money: if he writes a story and it gets clicks, he gets advertising revenue. He said that he finds right-wing slanted stories more profitable because “conservatives don’t fact-check.”

      Of course, this might have been a fake story…better go check snopes on this one.

      1. Chris:

        https://xkcd.com/250/

        🙂

        And in more serious note, yes, this year Snopes.com got attacked by the post-factual right wing for inventing pesky ‘facts’ that contradict their claims:

        http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/17/fact-checking-snopes-websites-political-fact-checker-is-just-a-failed-liberal-blogger/

        I like the John Oliver joke of his final episode of this last season:

        “In a way it makes sense that Trump’s tendency to believe conspiracy theories helped him. Here was basically a guy standing on stage telling you ‘Every chain e-mail you’ve ever forwarded is true.'”

  4. I have another dissident opinion to show you (with which I don’t necessarily agree).

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/14/election-marks-end-americas-racial-detente/

    I know that the Federalist is often a rag, but this actually sort of makes sense. It argues that from 70s to this election there was a kind of racial detente. Whites would be severely punished for overt racism, but minorities had to use label of “racist” responsibly. This allowed some covert racism to go unpunished but at least it guaranteed punishment of overt racism. Privilege theory broke this rule by labeling everyone who is white as inherently racist.

    1. “The Federalist” should not be confused with the Federalist Society, which is a real thing manned by smart people who think about stuff. The website is just another shady Brietbart clone funded by God-knows-who and spouting alt-reich nonsense.

      As for the ‘argument’ in the piece, well nothing stirs up racial tensions like black people asking not to be killed for no reason. That article is a rehash of an old line from the 60’s, the notion that ‘all this trouble’ was being stirred up by a few ‘agitators’ who deserved to be fed to the dogs.

      White people have been playing identity politics for hundreds of years. The notion that minorities are breaking some kind of detente would be hilarious if it weren’t so infuriating.

      Oh and by the way, remember the ‘people who lie to my father’ post? This site has ties to that octopus. The founder is a former managing editor at the Heartland Institute.

      1. “The website is just another shady Brietbart clone funded by God-knows-who and spouting alt-reich nonsense.”

        I’m usually with you but you’re just kind of objectively wrong on this one. The Federalist has run many pieces denouncing the Alt-Right:

        http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/04/yes-the-alt-right-are-just-a-bunch-of-racists/

        http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/22/dear-media-please-dont-normalize-alt-right/

        My favorite one: http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/14/you-cant-whitewash-the-alt-rights-bigotry/

        “White people have been playing identity politics for hundreds of years. The notion that minorities are breaking some kind of detente would be hilarious if it weren’t so infuriating.”

        I think the blame is more being left (wrongly or rightly) at the feet of progressives and the cultural left, not minorities themselves (the low voter turnout for Clinton shows identity politics doesn’t even really appeal to many minorities), but that’s kind of the point. Explicit appeals to white nationalism have been considered unacceptable since the late 1970’s (even if dog whistles were more tolerated) even though before then it was much more common. The arguments isn’t that white identity politics is “new” but that it’s making a comeback in a more extreme form than has been considered acceptable for the past thirty years.

        I think we all need to take a deep breath and be careful about who we call “Alt-Right”, if overused it could normalize them or take the punch out of the label. This is an emotional time but reason is the enemy of authoritarian populism, not panic.

      2. Chris,

        Enjoyed the interview. Very insightful. However, I think you are naive to believe we will ever get “approaches that leverage carefully structured markets as ways to solve problems with less reliance on government”. Further, you state: “Markets give us a tool to solve critical public policy problems with a lighter, less expensive, less intrusive hand. These are the ideas I used to hope that Republicans might embrace. They didn’t and now they won’t.”

        First, the lesson of this election is clearly that the vast majority of Republicans could not care less about conservative ideology. They are not interested in the less government vs. more government dichotomy. They don’t care about “market approaches” either. Conservatives (especially conservative intellectuals) truly belied that their was a large constituency for less government and their ideology for years. There is not and there never was. GOP voters support the GOP for the same reason conservatives complain about people who support the Democratic Party – they want “stuff”. Sure, the stuff might be different – tax cuts, de-regulations, even white nationalism, but at its heart its delivering the goods to their voters at the expense of the voters of the other party. It is very important that you recognize that because it means the Republican Party’s patronage engines is blocking progress from the other side. Thinking one side is guilty of that and another is not is just flat wrong.

        Second, your ideas about basic income, universal insurance for gun owners, etc. are sensible (though the UBI would have to be significantly higher than the $10,000 number I often see for me to even consider supporting it), but there is at best a slim chance they ever get instituted. There are just too many constituencies in both parties (there’s that pesky I really just want my “stuff” over ideology again) who stand to lose if these ideas are instituted.

        After WWII, if you had asked anyone whether in the next 50 years, Germany or Great Britain would prosper more, I think everyone would have said GBR. But in fact, Germany did. Germany prospered more because it was so destroyed by WWII that it had no choice but to build from scratch. So, it was able to look at what worked and didn’t in the past and implement new ideas since it was starting from scratch. This is why Germany is the economic power of Europe today. Meanwhile, GBR (and now the US) stagnated because the incentives to change what is not working is just not there. So, in short, absent enormous disruption, I just don’t see how any of the ideas you suggest have much of a chance.

    2. I saw that elsewhere too. Seems to me you’ve got some White people upset about things some other people are saying, while non-White people have concerns about getting killed or targeted. You can always answer speech you deem unfair which your own speech. Electing a fascist is overreaction.

      1. In Chris’ interview by Jeff Pearlman, he explained what was going on with many White people. They resent and fear the minorities who are competing with them in school and for jobs. Their answer is: destroy it for everyone. IOW, burn it down…If I can’t succeed, no one is going to succeed.

      2. >] “In Chris’ interview by Jeff Pearlman, he explained what was going on with many White people. They resent and fear the minorities who are competing with them in school and for jobs. Their answer is: destroy it for everyone. IOW, burn it down…If I can’t succeed, no one is going to succeed.

        For me at least, there was one thing that stood out above everything else in Chris’ interview and that was that we overestimated Americans in their ability to put patriotism and duty first above economics. And while to a certain extent that makes sense for struggling parents and others who can’t afford to put food on the table or pay the bills, I think the problem goes deeper than that and in hindsight, I and others should’ve seen this coming.

        Thinking back to Bill Clinton during his impeachment, Americans didn’t resent him or punish him for it. His approval ratings shot through the roof and had he tried a little harder, Democrats likely could’ve taken back the House in the ’98 midterms.

        This point doesn’t just extend to those in economic difficulty. A booming economy in the 90s might suggest that people could afford to care about more moral issues, but that didn’t happen. This is a tried and true lesson that has to be incorporated into any campaign going forward. Faith in Americans should always be given with measured skepticism.

      3. Woo, you’re thinking that many of those who supported Trump were doing so out of patriotism more than economics or other reasons? Lamenting the “good old days”? When, what….was true? I guess it boils down to one’s definition of patriotism and country….which in the purest sense, should always be grounded in equal rights. The problem is that in America for too long, some peoples’ rights were more important than others and they got used to that.

    3. As far as I can tell most of the blame in the piece was going towards left-academics who tried to define racism to call all whites racists, not minorities themselves. The author of the piece actually supports police reform and Black Lives Matters.

      The problem with “Privilege theory” is obviously not that it acknowledges subtle racism or institutional racism but that it expects white students to “confess” to the privileges they’ve had (even though they’ve never had any control over it) and to interrogate their “whiteness” and expects that to be the best solution to end racism. At my coastal college I’m currently encountering it as the dominant anti-racism theory and it is largely, in my anecdotal experience, something of a failure, causing groans all around from the other students.

      The most vocal adherents to the theory tend to be regarded as assholes because all they seem to do is say weird/offensive shit about “white people” or “men” and think they’ve actually done something, while claiming you can never criticize them or be denounced as either “racist/sexist” (if you’re white or male) or as a dupe for white men/suffering from “internalized oppression” (if you’re a minority). They are fringe activists but they are very real. That is not something you want associated with anti-racist activists.

      But yes The Federalist, while smarter than Breitbart, on average tends toward the wingnutty.

      1. I’ve seen those kinds of assumptions too, although much more online than in the real world. It certainly exists in the campuses I frequent, but not much in the STEM sector. I see a big hypocrisy here- if it’s wrong to prejudge and stereotype Black people, or women, or gay people, or _____________ solely because they are members of the groups, it’s equally wrong to do the same to White people or men. As far as the whole “privilege” thing goes, if you have White people who are willing to look beyond their own personal experiences and say “hey, it IS different being Black/Hispanic/etc. in America”, those are not the people you should be haranguing.

      2. Your experience matches mine. It’s dead among the hard sciences (and among most students in the harder sciences) but is more common in the soft sciences (except econ) and especially the humanities. I agree with you on “privilege” too sorry for short replies on phone hate phone.

  5. Chris – Thanks for the introduction to Jeff Pearlman…what a rare individual! I enjoyed reading your interview – much of which was familiar since I am such a faithful follower of your posts. Without question, I have learned from your writing and the commentary of the smart people who contribute. I’m happy to see your literary efforts reaching a broader audience via Forbes and Pearlman because your insight is valuable and needed. This is going to be a difficult period in the history of our country and will require clear thinking and rational guidance from people like yourself and those you inspire to think more deeply.

  6. About Wisconsin’s very important gerrymandering decision, it looks like the state AG, Brad Schimel, IS going to appeal to the Supreme Court.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2016/1122/How-Wisconsin-s-gerrymandering-ruling-could-affect-other-states

    Good. 2017 is going to have a whole bunch of shit hitting the fan, but if this case follows through the way many are hoping it will, it could be a bright light in an otherwise dismal year.

    1. As much as I want this case heard by SCOTUS, I am sure it won’t be calendared until after the new justice is seated. We have to hope for clarity and fairness, but also prepare for the fact that this may be the most important GOP case to ever hit the SC docket. You can bet they will pull out all stops to influence the outcome in their favor.

      1. >] As much as I want this case heard by SCOTUS, I am sure it won’t be calendared until after the new justice is seated.

        Your logic, insofar as I understand it, seems to be that because of the importance of the case, the four justices needed to opt to hear it would defer because it’s not a full bench. If that’s the case, I get where you’re going, but I’m skeptical. The Supreme Court has to hear cases regardless, and if the justices feel there’s a clear imperative to a particular case, it seems like they should want to hear it now.

        Besides, every single one of them knows that the vote will come down to Kennedy, whether there’s eight justices or nine. The outcome’s going to be the same either way.

      2. On major cases, which this will surely be, usually the court has delayed calendaring in anticipation of the 9th justice. We’ll see if this holds true once again.

        The most important two words I will continue to utter in coming months are: “we’ll see”.

      3. Even granting your logic as true, there’s still plenty to be done in the meantime. Wisconsin’s ruling shows this to be a winning argument with a precedent that should and will be applied immediately to all gerrymandered states under Republican influence. Fortunately, it looks like a suit incorporating the “efficiency gap” is already underway in N. Carolina. I didn’t even know that until today.

        The more states find rulings that confirm it will only serve to bolster its standing and force the Supreme Court’s hand.

        With that in mind, I would argue that an emboldened national interest with the interests of an increasing number of states will make it more and more likely that the Court will take it up as soon as possible.

      4. You are assuming that other judges will rule like the ones in WI. That is not assured; however, we have to hope it is possible. Can you tell me more about the efficiency gap you referenced happening in NC….that bastion of democracy!

      5. Actually, mime, we may have to scratch pondering about when the Supreme Court may hear the case. If this article from kalb is accurate, as both a federal and voting rights case, this one has to be heard NOW, as in within thirty days now.

        In other words, we could get an answer within weeks as to the fate of political gerrymandering in this country. This one better not ruin my Christmas, all I can say…

        http://www.kalb.com/content/news/Wisconsin-federal-judges-rule-against-GOP-402527245.html

      6. >] “You are assuming that other judges will rule like the ones in WI. That is not assured; however, we have to hope it is possible. Can you tell me more about the efficiency gap you referenced happening in NC….that bastion of democracy!

        I’m not assuming all judges are going to rule the same way, mime. What I’m saying is that this ruling has proven the efficiency gap to be a winning argument for some. It’s won once and it can win again; all I meant to say.

        As far as N. Carolina goes, all I know is that a lawsuit is underway challenging its maps in the same way this successful suit in Wisconsin just did. It’s still pending, but we just have to wait and see what happens.

      7. This Politico piece illustrates just how massive the changes are in the Republican “Better Way Plan”….nothing less than repeal of the Great Society framework. Of particular interest to me are the plans for voucherizing Medicare…..I simply cannot believe the American people will allow this to happen.

    1. Jackie Chan love 4th-ed! “Drunken Master” is in my movie collection. A couple things I’ve always enjoyed about his movies- 1) how he makes clever use of all the scenery in his fight choreography (can’t recall which movie, but I remember a very cool sequence with a pin ball machine). 2) He would allow co-stars chances to shine. In Drunken Master, there’s a lady playing his character’s aunt who has some very bad ass skills!

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