Sunday, January 31, 2016

Last Call For Going Backwards

Oh, one last thing for the night:  Turns out Trump wants to appoint Supreme Court justices specifically to overturn Obergfell v Hodges and eliminate same-sex marriage.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday that he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage and hopes that it could be changed in the future.

"It has been ruled upon. It has been there. If I’m elected I would be very strong in putting certain judges on the bench that maybe could change thing, but they have a long way to go," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "I disagree with the court in that it should have been a states' rights issue."

The people who wanted to keep slavery said slavery was a "states' rights issue" too.

Republicans are pretty terrible people, you know.  There is a difference between the parties, unlike what a lot of people want you to believe.

The Hawkeye's Revenge

Nate Silver maps out the GOP scenario coming out of tomorrow's Iowa caucuses.

Yes, I know: There’s an incredibly handsome orange-haired man from Queens sitting atop the polls. Donald Trump has a serious chance of winning the Republican nomination — not words I’d have expected myself to be writing six months ago.1 Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, however, still have a shot to knock Trump off his pedestal. Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie might have a chance too, although they’ll need a lot of things to break right for them.

The dominoes will begin falling after the Iowa caucuses Monday night. It seems to me there are four basic narratives that could emerge from the state. (By “narratives,” I mean how the media, Republican party elites and the other candidates will interpret the results. Be warned: How the media responds is sometimes way more predictable than how voters do.) They depend, respectively, on whether Trump beats Cruz and on how well Rubio does.

About Rubio: What it means to perform “well” is obviously a little subjective, but how a candidate does relative to his polls is usually a pretty good guide to the spin that eventually emerges. Recent Iowa polls have Rubio in third place, with a vote share in the mid-teens. If Rubio finishes in the low teens or worse, his performance is likely to be regarded as disappointing (he’ll also be at risk of falling behind Ben Carson or another candidate into fourth place). If he’s in the high teens or better, he’ll probably be regarded as having momentum, especially if he slips into second place. Our models also think there’s an outside chance — 7 percent to 10 percent, depending on which version you look at — for Rubio to win Iowa. That’s mostly out of an abundance of caution: Iowa polls aresometimes wildly off the mark.2 The scenarios below contemplate Rubio finishing in second or a strong third place, but not winning. Of course, there could be even crazier outcomes still — our models give Carson around a 1-in-100 chance of winning Iowa, for example — but the four cases we describe below are the ones we take to be most likely.

Nate's scnarios involve whether or not Trump beats Ted Cruz, and whether or not Rubio finishes well enough to remain a contender, which renders four possible outcomes: 1) Trump smashes Cruz and Rubio with a runaway victory and becomes the overwhelming favorite, 2) Trump and Rubio both do well and the establishment rallies behind Rubio to stop Cruz and Trump, 3) Cruz pummels both Trump and Rubio and he becomes the frontrunner, and 4) Cruz and Rubio both beat Trump and The Donald's balloon bursts.

Most people are expecting scenario 2. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

A Bunch Of Upper Class Tweets

Somebody finally got around to asking about Donald Trump's rather lowbrow Twitter feed and whether or not the potential President should be engaging in childish social media fights.

CBS News host John Dickerson asked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an interview aired Sunday if he thought his Twitter wars were presidential.

Trump has engaged in multiple Twitter spats throughout the course of his campaign, calling people names and retweeting self-described white supremacists.

"There's a lot of drama around your campaign. Is that presidential?" Dickerson asked Trump, before the candidate cut him off. "Do you think, these Twitter back and forth fights.."

"Well, I'm in Twitter wars before, really, I was a politician. And now I'm carrying it out," Trump said. "But I was being barraged from all different sides. Having Twitter is great. And between Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, I have 12 million people, more than 12 million people. So it is a great way of getting the word out."

Because America needs a leader who can troll people on the internet.  Nothing more American in 2016, right?

Sunday Long Read: Mobile Home, Immobile Racism

Clayton Homes is the largest mobile home manufacturer in America, they absolutely dominate the marketplace. Their mortgage arm is as scummy as it comes, pushing people of color into subprime loans that are meant to bankrupt them and wipe them out.  It's predatory lending at its most awful.

And Clayton Homes is owned by Warren Buffett.

Clayton’s predatory practices have damaged minority communities — from rural black enclaves in the Louisiana Delta, across Spanish-speaking swaths of Texas, to Native American reservations in the Southwest. Many customers end up losing their homes, thousands of dollars in down payments, or even land they’d owned outright. 
Over the 12 years since Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, the company has grown to dominate virtually every aspect of America’s mobile-home industry. It builds nearly half the new manufactured homes sold in this country every year, making it the most prolific U.S. home builder of any type. It sells them through a network of more than 1,600 dealerships. And it finances more mobile-home loans than any other lender by a factor of more than seven. 
In minority communities, Clayton’s grip on the lending market verges on monopolistic: Last year, according to federal data, Clayton made 72% of the loans to black people who financed mobile homes
The company’s in-house lender, Vanderbilt Mortgage, charges minority borrowers substantially higher rates, on average, than their white counterparts. In fact, federal data shows that Vanderbilt typically charges black people who make over $75,000 a year slightly more than white people who make only $35,000
Through a spokesperson earlier this month, Buffett declined to discuss racial issues at Clayton Homes, and a reporter who attempted to contact him at his home was turned away by security. 
Clayton and Berkshire Hathaway did not respond to numerous requests for interviews with executives, delivered by phone and email, as well as in person at Berkshire Hathaway’s headquarters in Omaha. The companies did not answer any of 34 detailed questions about Clayton and its practices. Nor did they respond to an extensive summary of this article’s findings, provided along with an invitation to comment.

So yeah, Warren Buffett is one of the good guys?  My ass.  He can rot in the same jail cell as the Kochs and Sheldon Adelson and the rest of the 0.0001% that run this country.

At some point, everyone with wealth of that magnitude got it by crushing people.  I'm tired of it.
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