The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

So Trump and Republicans Are STILL More Popular than Clinton and Dems

After the last month and a half, after endless brouhaha and constantly “losing the media,” here are the favourability ratings according to the Suffolk poll.

Pence 47/35% +13

Trump 45/47 -2

GOP 37/48 -11

Media 37/50-13

Dem Party 36/ -16

Hillary 35/55 -20

Congress 26/52 -26

As Matt Stoller points out, it is also fascinating that 39 percent of union households approve of Democrats, while 50 percent disapprove.


  • Trump isn’t losing his war with the media, and he’s not wrong to attack them.
  • Trump should be scared of Pence, because the population would rather have him as president, and, by all reports, so would most Congressional Republicans.
  • People may not like Trump much, but they aren’t wishing they’d had Clinton in charge (though doubtless some of the disapproval is from Democrats angry she lost).
  • Trump is more popular than the Republican party, he has room to use that to get them to do what he wants.
  • Pence aside, if Republicans try to impeach Trump, they’ll have problems.

I think it’s fairly remarkable that after all the mini-scandals about Russia, the screaming about immigration, and so on, that Trump’s numbers are still this high. It simply hasn’t penetrated; people are going to give him time to prove himself.

What will matter is Trump’s results. So far he’s not moving in the right direction on that (as with the new healthcare bill), but he still has time to course correct.

What he should take away from this is to take the media less seriously. By all means, de-legitimize them as much as possible, but don’t let them rile him. Work on his most important promises: a better healthcare bill (still possible, though the current one is in trouble) and a better economy.

Little else really matters, it’s just a distraction.

And keep an eye on Pence.

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Brazil’s Economic Tumble


Arctic Permafrost Defrosting and the Age of War and Revolution


  1. Peter

    This is a good sign that the resistance is failing with their Benghazi like daily Russian witch hunt. The low media numbers are especially good and should continue to fall while Trump easily bypasses or toys with them.

    It’s hard to believe it’s only been a little over a month for Trump in office yet even with the constant flack the wheels of the new government are turning steadily and much of the new agenda has already been put in motion.

    Trump’s targeting of Obama and his regime for direct felony accusations of abuse of power that have already been reported by the idiot media should eventually neuter the resistance. Some of them are already running around like their hair is on fire trying to deflect attention from these High Crimes.

  2. ultra

    1) You can’t make meaningful comparisons between Clinton and Trump anymore. One has retired to private life, the other is currently the president. They are no longer competing candidates. People who have been recently elected President always receive a boost in the polls (this also applies to the Vice President). Trump has one of the lowest approval ratings of any U.S. president at this stage of his term (45% approval versus 49% disapproval). It should be noted that Obama currently enjoys a higher approval rating than either Clinton or Trump.

    2) There is no significant difference in the approval ratings between Republicans and Democrats. If one takes an average of recent polls, Republicans have a 37% approval rating and 50% disapproval rating (-13%), while the Democrats have a 38% approval rating and a 49% disapproval rating (-11%). Both of the major political parties remain unpopular.

    3) As for the U.S. Congress, it has only a 17% approval rating and a 64% disapproval rating. It remains very unpopular. It should be noted, however, that the approval ratings by local constituents of their local Congressman and 2 U.S. Senators tend to be much higher than the approval ratings of either the major political parties or the U.S. Congress. For this reason, Trump doesn’t have as much leverage over Republicans in the U.S. Congress as you have claimed. Their local approval ratings are undoubtedly as high as Trump’s approval ratings, if not higher.

    4) “Work on his most important promises a better healthcare bill (still possible, the current one is in trouble) and a better economy.” Neither Trump nor the Republicans will ever pass a health care bill that will improve on the health care system that we already have. You’re level of naivety about this is astonishing! Nor will they improve the economy by decreasing the level of income inequality in the U.S. So far, they have successfully damaged the U.S. economy by attacking immigrants – this has decreased tourism in the United States and it has discouraged business investments from abroad. Sooner or later, the Trump and Republicans will lower taxes for the rich and provide them with additional financial benefits so they can suck the economy dry while creating another financial bubble that will collapse. There are already serious warnings signs that this will happen.

    5) The war of words between Trump and the mainstream media is a non-stop battle. I fully expect it to continue for the rest of Trump’s term. In these battles, the mainstream media are usually right and Trump is usually wrong. For example, Trump’s claim that immigrants are responsible for an increase in the crime rate is a total falsehood. The statistics clearly indicate that immigrants to the U.S. are less likely to commit crime than native born U.S. citizens. Trump claims that Obama ordered an illegal wiretap of his phones at Trump tower, and there is no evidence to support this. Trump claims that he won the presidential election by the largest margin of electoral votes than any U.S. president during the past 30 years. This is pure rubbish.

    6) With or without the mainstream media, it will be very difficult to change people’s opinions about politics and it will be difficult for the U.S. government to get anything done. This is because the U.S. population is currently highly polarized, politically speaking. Not only are there sharp divisions between Democrats and Republicans, there are also major divisions within the 2 major parties. Everyone has hunkered down in their respective encampments, making the U.S. increasingly difficult to govern.

    My information from recent polls:

  3. Peter


    Nice try but you fail when you try to sell the media as accurate or link to HP. You had to bury the fact that Trump was addressing the crime committed by illegal aliens not immigrants and the fact that 800,000 of them have already been convicted of crimes which adds that large number of crimes to the total rate. Hairsplitting the meaningless percentages and hiding the criminals is what the media is good at.

    Trump may never become much more popular but he won the election with low popularity and people who don’t like him much may vote for him again if he continues to produce results they do like.

    I do agree with you about Trump nor the republicans producing a health insurance plan that will dramatically change our health care system but neither did Obama or the democrats when they had the chance and power.

    It’s not wise to make false claims about what Trump has said about two distinct groups immigrants or illegal aliens and the criminals that enter the country with them. His attacking the flow of criminal aliens into the country is bad for the economy according to your warped logic.

  4. shargash


    I wouldn’t give the MSM much of an edge over Trump in honesty. During the campaign, they took pretty much every Clinton talking point and amplified it — Trump called Mexicans rapists (he didn’t), Trump mocked reporter with disability (he didn’t), Trump called on Putin to hack Clinton’s email servers (he didn’t). And they didn’t stop after he was elected — gag order on the EPA (essentially identical to one Obama issued at the start of his first term), crippling the State Department by massive firing (normal turnover of political appointees).

    And as for making claims for which there is no evidence, witness the entire Russophobic foaming pig manure explosion (, even to the point of just making stuff up (e.g. Russia hacks VT electric grid).

  5. NR

    Trump has no plans for a better healthcare bill:

  6. NR

    Oh, and if you really believe that Trump’s approval rating is just fine, you clearly don’t know much about historical context. As ultra pointed out, Trump has one of the lowest approval ratings in history for this point in his term. At this point in their terms, George W Bush and Barack Obama both had approval ratings higher than 70%–Bush’s following a very contentious election.

    Trump is just barely treading water at this point.

  7. Thanks, ultra. Excellent commentary.

  8. I find these comparative approval rating analyses nowadays reveal more about the people who make arguments based on them than about the political situation.

  9. Trump has had no honeymoon.
    That is big.

  10. GH

    Did Trump ever “lose the media” that his supporters watch/listen to?

    If not, then I doubt negative press matters all that much.

  11. Ché Pasa

    Most of us take the polls with a large grain of salt, neither imputing too much to them or inferring too much from them. This one seems to be an outlier, but who knows. It says what it says, and that’s fine. Take it for what it’s worth, which isn’t a whole lot.

    Trump has had a rocky rollout and he’s deeply unpopular with a significant segment of the population. So far, he has done essentially nothing to “improve the lives” of his lower/middle class partisans — except to make them feel better about themselves in some ways. On the other hand, he’s marching in solidarity with his oligarch pals and increasing their wealth and power day by day. It’s really quite astonishing to watch.

    Trump’s “war with the media” is largely show business, and it seems to be doing what it is intended to do: increase the revenues of the mediagolopoly while keeping the Rabble divided and distracted from what is really going on — the further consolidation of power and wealth in the hands of a very, very few along with the expansion of imperialism, war and threats of war.

    If the Rs and Trump go through with their “replacement” of the ACA more or less as it’s been developed and presented to date, the lives of millions of their partisans will become arguably much worse very quickly. Just so with many of the financial and environmental regulation rollbacks. Consequences will ensue with remarkable rapidity.

    You’re right that they still have the opportunity to do the right thing, but there is no sign whatever that they will do so or that they can even conceive of doing so.

    And day by day it appears that the vaunted Deep State is exercising more and more control over the actions of the Trump regime. The leash is getting shorter. 

    Chaos is not the way to rule a great power, odd as it seems.

  12. The Stephen Miller Band

    I’m no longer paying attention to YKW (You Know Who). I now see it for what it is — a yuuuuge distraction meant to divert our attention. The words, the rhetoric, are also a distraction and pretty much meaningless otherwise. The Mainstream and Alternative Media play their part in this shit parade. The only reason I look their way is to gauge the extent of the distracting ruse.

    Pay attention to the Gorilla. What’s the Gorilla? It’s what’s being done legislatively, judicially and via executive order. Focus on the actions and not the rhetorical drama.

    This video is instructive.


  13. The Stephen Miller Band

    As well, ask yourself the question. It’s a good question. It’s a pertinent question.

    Would Donald Trump have been “elected” POTUS if not for Twitter? What part, or how much of a part, did Social Media play in the ascension of Donald Trump? How does this bode for the future in regard to not only politics, but all things that affect our lives directly & indirectly?

  14. Hugh

    Re Pence, it is easy to have lower negatives than your boss because you are not the one in charge and, despite being a religious conservative nutcase, you still look like the adult in comparison to your boss.

    Re Clinton, she always had high negatives and her blowing an election a ham sandwich could have won simply increase those.

    Re Trump, he has no discipline. Someone said he was a thirteen year old trapped in a 70 year old man’s body. That sums him up. What he has going for him is that a lot of people are still in benefit of the doubt, give him some time mode, and he has the craptastic Democrats who still are acting like they can beat something with nothing and continue to doubledown on identity politics. It’s going to be a rough four years because at some point people will expect to see positive results from his policies impacting their lives. Nahgonnahappen, because his policies are hardline conservative crap. And people will eventually tire of his adolescent anticks.

    Re the media, they will continue to discredit themselves. There is a surreal competition between them and Trump as to which is more embarrassing. For example, this morning Savannah Guthrie reported on Today not about how stupid and intrusive the CIA was in its cyber-spying and how negligent it was in its command, control and oversight of these activities, not that the code is apparently out there on the net, but that the FBI was going after whoever leaked material about this monumental cockup to wikileaks. Guthrie continued the media’s propaganda line that it was those damned Rooskies who were behind it, citing wikileaks “well-known” and completely evidence free connections to the Kremlin.

    I mean it’s like they are all on drugs. Trump could criticize Obama seven ways to Sunday on substantive issues because Obama was a dreadful President, but instead he goes off on this stupid, weird tangent about wiretapping Trump Towers, leaving all his partisans to try to come up with weak, twisted defenses which compound the damage by discrediting themselves along with Trump. Meanwhile the media tsk, tsks about how lame this all is in their “we are the adults” kind of way, and immediately go off in turn about the Rooskies are coming, the Rooskies are coming. Look under your beds, because they could be hiding there. Stupid, stupid, everywhere, nor any thought to think.

  15. gnokgnoh

    @Ian, it will take time for Trump’s base to tire of his oligarchiness. As someone above said, his non-honeymoon is not over. The media is gauging both the temperature of the beltway as well as the public, but mostly the oligarchs. The second Trump gave a moderate speech, the MSM immediately fell in line. They need jobs, too. The worst possible thing for Trump’s base is for the media to start lovin’ on him.

  16. The Stephen Miller Band

    For example, pay extremely close attention to this highly strategic appointment. He, and those he represents, will oversee a tremendous resource grab by the already fabulously wealthy oligarchs. You won’t read or see much about it in the press, but it will be happening while the press, like Pavlov’s Dog, reacts to YKW’s wild, insane Twitter rants.

    Remember the slogan, “a chicken in every pot?”

    It’s been replaced. It now reads, “a pipeline through every family room — if you’re fortunate enough to have a family room.”

    Is That A Dagger I See Before Me?

  17. brian

    > Trump’s claim that immigrants are responsible for an increase in the crime rate is a total falsehood.

    Illegal immigrants you shill, not legal immigrants. Do illegal immigrants commit more crimes than legal natives is the question you should be answering. This kind of doublespeak is what caused people to leave the democratic party.

    Why does every left leaning rag conflate the legal and illegal immigrants. And don’t tell me that no immigrants are illegal. I still don’t get that line of thought. Laws are there for this stuff and define the legal means.

  18. gnokgnoh

    Trump is flouting every known convention of civilized presidenting. He’s breaking most of the big, economic promises he made, keeping the religious ones. Most politicians break some of both (e.g. hope and change for Obama). When his big promises don’t pan out, the media circus will continue to be the focus.

    This is a short list. It’s not terribly complicated, because we talk now in bad/good. Much of Congress has been busy working on no. 4 below. They did not spend much time on the healthcare plan, it’s almost identical to what they were proposing last year.

    Broken promises:
    1. Moderate, non-interventionist policies overseas – boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria and now Kuwait; and a 10% military budget increase. This is a no-brainer for Trump. We ALL love the marines and our killing toys.
    2. World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017 ( yes, that’s its official title!), not.

    Promises bigger than Trump, which matter most:
    3. Jobs. No data yet, we need about six months for the data to start to stick, but this is very much dependent on the trajectory of the economy for a longer business cycle. We’re close to the end of the latest 6-8 year business/bubble cycle. 30% of fossil fuel companies are predicted to go bankrupt this year, if prices do not rise. I don’t think the picture will be better in six months, probably worse.
    4. Public infrastructure and services. Watch this closely, but I think Trump will be relying on states and municipalities being forced to privatize public infrastructure and services (no federal monies for education, roads, bridges, everything, and it’s already happening with Medicare in the WGHP of 2017). I don’t think he will need much federal money. Barn sales will become popular, a la Chicago and the parking authority.
    5. Trade agreement abrogations, partially kept. TTP and partially NAFTA, but not TISA, which is worse and mostly under the radar. I strongly feel that Trump’s noise on this is mostly religious, not real. He’s exporting his own services business, big-time (China).

    Kept, or soon to be kept, promises:
    6. Immigration. This, for Trump and his base, is religious. For the opposition, this has become religious. None of this is the result of a rational discussion about economic impacts. He has no idea about how to do this to actually help the economy, nor does he care. Nor does his base care.
    7. Massive reductions in the federal government, almost across the board, except in the military. This is also religious.
    8. Entitlements. This is religious and very dangerous for him, because he did not say a lot about these. They are Republican tenets of faith. Medicare cuts are already in place in the WGHP of 2017. Social security will be heavily privatized in the next two years. It will be the next big wave of opposition, after immigration. Opposition exhaustion will set in, and it will become the new normal.
    9. Abortion. Religious.
    10. To continue to act and perform exactly like he did during the campaign. Exactly. Chaos is his friend.

    My prediction – 50% turnout in the 2018 midterms, with a highly energized opposition, and a flip in the Senate. Gerrymandering will hold the House. The rural base will have lost considerable energy, even with all of the religious tantrums. Religious fervor is fickle.

  19. realitychecker

    At some point, the know-it-all Dem cult supporters will have to confront their obvious disdain for the will of the majority as demonstrated in actual election results.

    Should this country be ruled by the consent of the governed, or by the alleged (but not obviously present) ‘superior’ intellect of the left?

    That is the real question we should be addressing right now.

  20. The Stephen Miller Band

    And they\’re off!!! Already. \”Hit the ground running,\” Grandma used to say.

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Proposes Opening 73 Million Acres Of Gulf Coast Waters To Oil Drilling

    The 45,000 jobs will be focused on creating another five, maybe ten Deep Water Horizon events within the next decade turning the Gulf of Mexico into a toxic, dead, denuded sea of sadistic sobriety.

    And that\’s just the Gulf of Mexico. Think of what they & the Russians, in partnership, have in store for the ice-free Arctic and soon to be Antarctic. There is so much opportunity, it\’ll make your head swim, since there will be no more fish, if your head can swim.

  21. Arthur

    Well, if Trump is the ‘consent of the governed’ then I have to agree with Morris Berman when he says that Americans are morons. There is no way a Trump presidency will end well what with a destroyed eco system, more homeless, terrible health care, anti-science, anti-education, anti-women and so forth.

    To be sure, the empire is finished. But I would’ve liked the end to come a little slower. Then again, maybe I’m just selfish.

  22. brian: “Why does every left leaning rag conflate the legal and illegal immigrants.” That’s strange, it seems to be the Right that does that. Nativists consider all immigration to be illegal, except of course for their great-grandparents. Trump’s proposed office to monitor crime by “immigrants” doesn’t specify legal or illegal, thereby doing the same conflation you’re accusing the left of doing.

    Do you have any evidence that illegal immigrants commit more crimes than legal ones? I can’t find any, and as the person who made the claim, the burden of proof lies on you.

  23. realitychecker (love that Newspeak screenname, by the way): “… their obvious disdain for the will of the majority as demonstrated in actual election results.”

    Except that according to the actual election results, Hillary Clinton had the majority of the popular vote, not Trump. Trump won because of the elitist, anti-democratic Electoral College, because the Framers didn’t trust the wisdom of the majority you’re touting so inconsistently.

  24. realitychecker

    @ Arthur

    I would not argue too strenuously that Americans are NOT morons, but that is really beside the point if we are to believe our own propaganda and founding documents, isn’t it?

    I thought Plato had a good idea with the philosopher kings, but we chose to define ourselves as believing in being subject to the consent of the governed as our highest value for giving legitimacy to a government.

    It’s the blatant contradictions that I cannot tolerate. It’s not really about Trump per se, as should be obvious from the fact that the world has gotten to be totally fucked up even under Democrat administrations, hasn’t it?

    For the record, I am a lot more aligned with the left than I will ever be with the right, but I believe in common sense and honesty more than ideology or team politics.

  25. highrpm

    i’m not aligned with either: both poles, right and left are cut for the same cloth, religion, i.e.hardened beliefs in imaginary truths. the right, their crazy virgin birth. the left, their crazy egalitarianism. let’s take egal for a point: can i walk through the gates of the white house and knock on the front door w/o being intercepted/ arrested. that’s egal cognitive dissonance.

  26. Peter


    Does it matter if illegal aliens commit less crime than other groups? Even the claim they commit less crime is suspect because we only know anything by the number that are caught.

    Is taking the estimate of lower crime in this group as fact a good reason to not deport 800,000 known criminals?

    You do bring up a good point about monitoring crime committed by legal aliens who should be stripped of their immigration/residency privilege and also deported if they are criminals. They have more legal protections so that task will be more expensive and time consuming.

  27. I have a better idea. No one should be deported, criminal or not, because the state apparatus required to deport people is inherently irredeemable and abominable. It’s basically contains all the organelles of a Nazi death state, far more so than any secret intelligence agency.

  28. highrpm

    i have a better idea, capital punishment, 1-strike you’re out. if one is not a contributor/ giver to the nation-state collective, what rationale justifies the cost of punishment/ housing a parasite/ taker? the religion of unfounded belief in sanctity of [human] life. (incidentally, i’m all for belief in sanctify of life, as long as we — humanoids, the highest life form — apply it across the board to the entities of cells below us. i.e., not spraying of pesticides, not squishing a spider trekking across our kitchen floor…, not participating in hunting season.)

  29. @highrpm:
    I have an even even better idea, how about abolishing the concept of “contributor to nation-state collective” as a category of analysis? The reckoning is so subjective and value-dependent that I’m sure I can concoct grounds under which I am and you are not.

  30. realitychecker

    @ Arthur

    Well, morons may be the majority now, but we still claim devotion to the consent of the governed-otherwise, where would YOU find the legitimacy of any other kind of governing principle?

    Besides, where would we be without our morons? More specifically, where would the moron Duncan find a place?

    @ Moron Duncan

    Obama did not win by a majority. Clinton did not win by a majority.

    Reagan did. Nixon did.

    Now go drown yourself.

  31. realitychecker

    @ Moron Mandos

    So, the state cannot even deport illegals without being Nazi Germany?

    Please, you can go drown yourself as well.

  32. Tom

    Illegals have to right to be in the country and thus I have no sympathy for them. Mexico is not in a civil war, and there is no need to flee.

    Hell its more dangerous to live in the US than it is to live in Syria. And Syria is in a full fledged civil war turned proxy war.

    In absolute terms, US cops kill more people in a month than British Police have in 97 years.

    The US has the highest rate and absolute terms of incarceration.

    The US also has a disturbing number of child marriages.

    Toddlers kill more Americans each year than terrorists do.

    You think we could solve these problems before lecturing others.

  33. highrpm

    certainly, collectives define their own by-laws. every collective has its own. that what differentiates america, britain, russia…. by-laws are oart of what make corporations different. and the morass of laws that’s america has devolved contributes to its present death state condition. they’re impossible to consistently interpret and therefore enforce. while the left contributes to the devolution, with its evangelical howling of more [individual] freedoms, [and unstated, less accountability.] corporations hire and fire based on employee worth measured in their contributions. hell, even the military’s, “move up or move out” expresses such.

    let’s return to sanctity of life. what nauseates me is the cognitive dissonance of both the right and left religions on the subject. both turn the other cheek on the rigid nation-state israel. how the hell can the left preach sanctity of life and not give their lives to line up against israel’s policy to the palestinians, you take one of ours and we take 10 of yours.” why i have no time for religions, right and left.

  34. S Brennan

    “And keep an eye on Pence” correct Ian;

    Fellow Indiana Republicans describe Pence as a “dirty backstabber…climber…religious nutjob…extreme neoconservative”

    And don’t forget Pence’s role in eliminating Flynn who was Trump’s eyes into the National Security Apparatus. This literally blinded Trump just as the National Security Apparatus was attacking Trump using it’s media minions.

    Flynn’s elimination was based solely on Pence’s story of an interrogation where Pence had the transcript of the call he took while in Costa Rica, Pence didn’t tell Flynn and then claimed [publicly to the press] that Flynn omitted details of a conversation that was over four weeks previous. On that alone; it’s clear Pence is as bad as his fellow Republican in Indiana related in vain.

    Additionally, Pence got his man placed over at CIA, Pompeo is loyal only to Pence. Trump now has to depend almost entirely on Pence/Pence-apparatchiks for his intel.

    I think Trump’s time is short if he doesn’t eliminate Pence/Pompeo.

  35. highrpm


    well stated. this country no longer supports rule of law. the elementary conclusion? lawlessness abounds. one bad apple spoils the barrel. it only takes one member of collective who shows contempt for only one by-law and another member will eventually notice and that conflict disrupts the collective . humanoids are great for noticing the exceptions.

  36. StewartM


    1-strike you’re out. if one is not a contributor/ giver to the nation-state collective

    Wouldn’t that mean we’d have to off all of Wall Street too, plus the surveillance state apparatchiks, the prison state, and much of the military too? Hmm, you may have a point.

  37. StewartM


    1-strike you’re out. if one is not a contributor/ giver to the nation-state collective

    Wouldn’t that mean we’d have to off all of Wall Street too, plus the surveillance state apparatchiks, the prison state, and much of the military too? Hmm, you may have a point.

  38. NR

    I just have to ask if the site owner is okay with racist bullshit like this being posted here:

  39. Duncan Kinder

    Why are they not tracking Bernie Sanders?

    And if they are going to continue to track Hillary, then why not Obama? Or other former Democratic nominees such as Gore or Kerry? Because she’s history.

  40. wendy davis

    on undocumented immigrants and crime, i checked into Politifact, assuming they might have done some digging. this is a long piece, with various stats from various places, and i’m pasting in this section so folks don’t just race to the bottom: “our decision” or however it goes.

    “It’s also worth noting that in fiscal year 2014 [wd here: obama admin], Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported just under 178,000 illegal immigrants convicted of a crime, about 56 percent of all deportations. This is similar to previous years. So in Trump’s defense is the fact that there might be, at any given point, more than 100,000 immigrants in the United States convicted of a crime.

    The fact that many immigrants are detained for immigration violations awaiting deportation — as opposed to committing some other type of crime — makes incarceration statistics hard to evaluate, said Mary Waters, a sociology professor at Harvard University. The GAO study found that immigration violations were the most frequent offense leading to detention, followed by drug and traffic violations.

    We also wanted to note that every expert we polled said there is a consensus among scholars that undocumented immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens. They sent quite a few studies our way. (If you’re curious, the May 2014 issue of Criminology and Public Policy has a good roundup of the latest research.)

    the last link didn’t seem to be anything but a general page. that shown, i’d say that many undocumented immigrants from the south are coming to the US exactly because they are fleeing US policies and de facto polices: Nafta, the drug cartel murders that originate in the amerikans’ vast need for drugs, and trade guns for them, the U made coups in honduras and nicarauga, and others i can’t name at the moment.

    but incarcerating brown people not carrying green cards is huge business, (ask amerika’s tuffest sheriff joe arpaio) and may have a lot to do w/ sessions reversing O’s pledge to let private prison contracts expire. note: i did dig up the fact in my recent diary on the subject that his EO didn’t include ICE prisons. but private prison contracts include filling some percentage of the ‘beds’, even when they’re space blankets in dog cages.

    beyond that, incarceration has more ways to profit than i’d ever thunk through, and more ugly conditions than one can imagine. often death traps.

  41. different clue

    People of Ian Welsh,

    What is a “Site Owner”? Who is this “Site Owner” which drive-by “commenter” NR referrences? Has drive-by “commenter” NR just made an extortionist or blackmailing type of threat to Ian Welsh to change the nature of his postings? Has drive-by “commenter” NR tried “fingering” Ian Welsh for deletion or erasure by this “Site Owner” , whomever or whatever that might be?

    Does Ian Welsh have any computer friends with serious forensic-level computer-user tracing and tracking skills? Could such a person trace this comment from NR back to its computer of origin? Could the originating address be compared with a growing file of addresses which really ought to be compiled on various trolls and operatives working for the Clinton Restoration, the Democrats, the David Brock Groups, or various Intel-connected mind-molding troll operations?

    Whoever sent NR might consider the fact that every piece of NR-type trollery deepens and broadens the hatred which more and more Americans feel for the Clintonite Shitocrat Filth which walk among us.

  42. different clue

    Now . . . IF commenter NR was talking about another comment on this thread, the proper course would be to copy-paste the text of that comment into NRs own comment to make it clear that NRs comment was addressed specifically to the specific comment specifically copy-pasted into the body of NR’s own comment.

    As NR’s comment now stands, it merely directly fingers and targets Ian Welsh’s post, because it links literally and specifically to Ian Welsh’s post. If NR wants me to understand NR’s comment as being targeted to something different than the actual target which NR literally and specifically links to in NR’s comment, then NR can try commenting again by copy-pasting whatever NR thought NR wanted to be the target of NR’s comment.

    If not, then I stand by my comment above as being the first reasonable response to anyone threatening a “Site Owner” about a Post. Given the ongoing Intelligence Community slow-coup against the Trump Administration, such suspicion and caution of apparently extortionate blackmailing threatining omments is only prudent.

  43. The Stephen Miller Band

    the drug cartel murders that originate in the amerikans’ vast need for drugs

    I’d say that vast “need” for drugs and the Mexican drug cartels go hand in hand only in the sense that they are both byproducts of the War on Drugs. Drugs among the youth in America are ubiquitous precisely because they are illegal and therefore are unregulated whereas alcohol is legal and regulated and not nearly as ubiquitously used & circulated among America’s youth.

    Deport the Rich. But freeze their assets first. And deport their sycophantic enablers. Then we can evolve. I won’t hold my breath.

    I had to laugh at this. She needs to be riding the bull since they’re in partnership. This is not empowerment of women. It’s further degradation. Empowerment of women is not turning them into men in a world fashioned by men for men. Empowerment of women is setting them loose to collaborate with men to change the world fashioned by men for men into a world fashioned by men and women for men & women in unison & cooperation & collaboration and that’s not going to happen by and through the System.

    Nice Try But No Dice — Empowerment, My Ass

  44. NR

    “As NR’s comment now stands, it merely directly fingers and targets Ian Welsh’s post, because it links literally and specifically to Ian Welsh’s post.”

    No, it links directly to the comment that was spewing racist garbage. Specifically, Ann Thomsen’s comment here:

  45. The Stephen Miller Band

    In fact, if the gringo Trump is/was really serious about putting the screws to the “smart” Mexicanos as he calls them, he would legalize illegal drugs immediately before he takes healthcare away from the poor and allows them to die on the street with their iPhones in hand. The drug cartels would be out of business and the people they screwed over all these years would finally have their revenge since the money & guns would also dry up.

    Fat chance of that happening though because if Trump the Gringo did that, he’d royally piss off his billionaire buddies on Wall Street who launder all that illegal drug money. The stock market would drop by 30 to 40 % and the bull market would become a bear in hibernation.

    So, currently illegal drugs will remain illegal and the drug cartels will continue to flourish and the DEA’s budget will increase like the military’s and the CIA, like they did with crack cocaine in the inner cities, will continue to aid & abet drug distribution and the opioid epidemic destroying what remains of America’s middle class by pushing this shit through all manner of legal and illegal distribution channels.

    The legal channels are physicians who push pain killers on everyone and anyone because they get kickbacks from big pharma. The poppy harvests have been booming ever since America invaded & occupied Afghanistan. I’m starting to believe, or maybe I always did believe, it was/is the reason for America’s presence in Afghanistan, and if not, it’s a lucrative byproduct.

  46. markfromireland

    @ different clue March 9, 2017

    WTF are you going on about DC? The commenter NR has linked directly to an obnoxious and racist comment and not as you claim to Ian’s posting, the commenter has asked if Ian as site owner considers such a comment acceptable.

    It’s a perfectly reasonable question and an entirely reasonable response to a revolting piece of racist shitbaggery, get off your high horse and cool it with the overheated conspiracising.

  47. Peter

    It’s probably best to ignore comments such as Ann’s unless they become repetitive because we are already seeing confusion and accusations being generated by this diversion. I doubt anyone here will join her on that crooked road and for all we know she’s a snowflake sowing discord with guilt by association.

  48. wendy davis

    @ The Stephen Miller Band: yes, agreed on your second comment. but one thing i’d correct on your initial respoe to me is this from

    “The drug epidemic affects all ages, genders and races. The overdose rate for the 55–64 age group has gone up nearly five-fold, while the 45-54 age group had the highest rate of overdoses overall.
    Whites had the highest rate of overdose deaths of any ethnicity, more than double the combined death rate for blacks and Latinos. The overdose death rate for whites, which was lower than that of blacks in 1999, has more than tripled since then.

    What is behind the shocking and tragic growth in drug overdoses?
    The drug epidemic has been concentrated in former coal mining regions such as Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee, along with so-called “rust-belt” states such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. These areas of the country have been hardest hit by decades of deindustrialization, mass layoffs and wage-cutting, beginning in the late 1970s and continuing ever since.”

    part II of my prisons diary was on “drugs”, because of this from beauregard:

    “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday restated his opposition to marijuana use and offered an ominous warning about state-level marijuana legalization efforts, suggesting that such policies would open states to “violence,” as well as potential repercussions from the federal government.”

    decriminalization of drugs of all sort, not just cannabis would end ‘the violence’ in a tic. addiction could be treated as a medical issue, not a criminal one. but you’re right: the phony war of drugs is only too profitable.

    now i’m sure there’s still a healthy black market for cannabis in states that approved recreational cannabis, but mainly if the state and local taxes were made far too high, as in our sleepy little western town.

    readers might enjoy ellen brown’s 2016 ‘June 24, 2016 ‘The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?’

    two thirds of the way down, she gets to the heading ‘Competitor or Attractive New Market for the Pharmaceutical Industry?’, a fascinating compendium of cannabis benefits.

  49. Peter

    FBI Director Comey met in closed secession today with the senate gang of eight to discuss the legal/illegal spying on Trump tower accusations. I wonder where this will lead but many of the snowflakes on twitter seem to be freaking out because they are unsure if Comey is one of theirs.

  50. Arthur

    Scanning the web a few minutes ago I came across a story about a pro Trump rally in Arizona which called for the killing of liberals. Really the particular state doesn’t matter. I’ve been to Arizona a number of times. It’s a wonderful place full of history and probably no more screwed up than any place else. I live in Chicago. Go south fifty miles and one will find SOME places that are at home in Alabama. That reality is everywhere. My point is that as I watch the unfolding situation I am more and more convinced that this can end only in violence on a massive scale. The only question is when. . .not if.

  51. shargash


    Do you have a link to that story about calling for the killing of liberals? I know I’ve grown cynical in recent years, but that smacks of the Democratic fever swamp stuff that clogs my FB feed these days.

  52. Arthur

    You could be right. Everything is at fever pitch today. All the ‘progressive’ sites have fascism right around the corner. But as Mr. Welsh stated in a post long ago if the progressives really think that’s right around the corner they should either be stocking up on guns or getting ready to leave the country. Well, maybe. In any event, I found this story on AlterNet. To be sure, AlterNet can often go over the top, but it’s worth a look.

  53. The Stephen Miller Band

    @ wendy

    I guess my point is, people have been abusing substances since before the dawn of civilization, and yes, since the dawn of civilization the percentage of people who do varies according to the prospects for a purpose driven life. Creating a bureaucracy with a bloated budget to mitigate substance abuse by pretending to shut down supply is foolhardy at best and downright duplicitous at worst. The War on Drugs has not been effective in preventing substance abuse but it has been effective in creating a massive Black Market that’s resulted in the perpetuation of ruthless, violent, murdering drug cartels. This Black Market has kept illegal drug prices artificially high and as a result the profits are immense for those at the top of the trade. Isn’t it peculiar that very few at the top of the trade ever get busted? Instead, it’s the mid-level pushers sometimes as a token measure, but the majority of busts are busts of low-level pushers and users who get busted for possession. As well, it hits the poor the hardest and it’s just one more way to criminalize the poor, as if they aren’t criminalized enough already. The rich? They can commission sleazy lawyers to circumvent the law on their behalf or they have friends in all the right places to help them make a charge go away.

    The overdoses, I believe, are mostly related to heroin and I think it’s because the potency is inconsistent. For example, lately it’s been determined that pushers are lacing the heroin with Fentanyl from China. It is tragic that people who are down & out turn to addictive drugs to escape and end up overdosing because of varying potencies. It’s all the more reason all drugs should be legalized and controlled and regulated, and the proceeds from any taxes imposed and the savings from no more DEA & War on Drugs can be used for remediation, treatment and proper education, and no, education doesn’t mean preaching abstinence, but instead, being truthful about each and every drug and the similarities and differences between all of them. I’ve educated my children, and as part of that education, I’ve informed them that the more synthetic it is, the worse it is for you. My admonition to them is to avoid any of the synthetics because many people do not return once they partake. It’s simply not worth the risk.

  54. Lisa

    Pretty good analysis here:

    “KING: The Democratic Party seems to have no earthly idea why it is so damn unpopular ”
    “The Democratic Party is deeply unpopular – period. It’s a fact. Don’t look away. Don’t call me a Bernie Bro. It’s a problem that must be seriously addressed. Not a day goes by when I don’t have people reach out to me and ask if it would be worth it to start a credible alternative to what the Democrats are offering. Most people, I believe, would also be open to a brand new way of business for the Democratic Party, but core leaders seem hell bent on doing the same old crap.”

    “Virtually every progressive grassroots movement in America right now is fueled by people outside of the Democratic Party establishment and this is a huge reason why the party is so outrageously unpopular.”

    “Huge grassroots movements, made up of millions and millions of people, are fueling the fight for a $15 minimum wage, fighting back against fossil fuels and the Dakota Access Pipeline, fighting to end fracking, fighting to remove lobbyist money from politics, fighting to end senseless wars and international violence, fighting for universal healthcare, fighting for the legalization of marijuana, fighting for free college tuition, fighting against systems of mass incarceration, and so much more. But mainstream Democrats aren’t really a central part of any of those battles, and, to be clear, each of those issues have deep networks, energized volunteers, and serious donors, but corporate Democrats virtually ignore them.”

    “Recently, I’ve asked the crowds where I am speaking two key questions about the Democratic Party. The response that I get is always the same – mass laughter or audible frustration.

    The first question is, “If I asked you, in just a few sentences, to sum up what specific policies the Democratic Party stands for, what would you say?”
    People have no genuine idea. They know some things the party stands against, but it’s genuinely hard to be sure of what they stand for.”

    “The other question is, “What exactly is the strategy of the Democratic Party to take back the government from conservatives across the country?”
    That one always gets the most laughs. Nobody has any idea. Not once has somebody stood up and said, “Hey, I know the strategy.” Hell, I don’t know it. I don’t think one exists. Whatever the strategy was this past election, it didn’t work either. And again, I don’t just mean in the presidential election. Democrats lost all over the place in national, state, and local elections.”

  55. different clue


    It is easy to say what the Clintobamacrat Party stands for. It stands for supporting the Nazi-Banderite Coup Regime in Kiev against East Ukraine, it stands for pushing NATO to every western border Russia has in order to speed up Cold War 2.0 and make it permanent, it stands for violent regime change in vulnerable countries all over the world as in Libya and Syria, it stands for supporting the Global Axis of Jihad and the Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis in Syria in particular, and it stands form more NAFTAform Forced Trade Agreements to advance Corporate Globalonial Plantation Hegemony all over the world including against the United States itself.

    Those are several things that any honest observer will tell you that the Clintobamacrat Party stands for. Many votes for Trump in the Rust Belt came from people who want to stop and reverse Fourty Years of Economic Treason engineered into law by the DLC ThirdWay Hamilton Project Clinton-Democrats.

    Either we declintontaminate the Democratic Party if we can, or we will have to exterminate the Democratic Party from existence and wipe it off the face of the earth if we are to have any hope of achieving any sort of a New Deal Restoration.

    If the Clintobamacrat Party gives me another piece of Clintonite or Obamaform scum to vote for in 2020, I will vote for Trump all over again. And I will keep voting for Trumpazoids until the Democratic Party can either be decontaminated of every last trace of Clintonite and Obamaform filth,or exterminated altogether.

  56. DMC

    What are the Democrats FOR? More of the same and harder!

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