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Leave.EU, Arron Banks and new questions about referendum funding | Politics | The Guardian
When asked about the use of Leave.EU’s database to send advertisements about his insurance products to campaign supporters, [Aaron Banks, a major Brexit backer and donor] said: “Why shouldn’t I? It’s my data.” When asked again last week, he said: “Leave.EU after the referendum campaign carried the occasional ad for insurance, so what?”

what a time to be alive.
#conservatives  *whatatime  #brexit  #t#ad  !write!dystopia 
9 days ago by lemeb
Republican Voters Prefer Candidates Who Have Conservative‐Looking Faces: New Evidence From Exit Polls - Olivola - - Political Psychology - Wiley Online Library
dept of you won’t believe it’s true well actually you will believe it’s true:
Using data from U.S. election exit polls, we show that the Republican voters within each state are more likely to vote for a candidate (even a Democrat) the more that person has a stereotypically Republican‐looking face. By contrast, the voting choices of the Democratic voters within each state are unrelated to political facial stereotypes. Moreover, we show that the relationship between political facial stereotypes and voting does not depend on state‐level ideology

and now the money quote:
Ironically, conservative voters' biased preferences for Republican‐looking candidates may actually give Democrats an unfair general advantage. Since left‐leaning voters are not swayed by political facial stereotypes, the Democratic Party could gain Republican votes (without alienating their political base) by nominating candidates who have conservative‐looking faces, whereas the Republican Party only stands to lose Republican votes when they nominate candidates who happen to possess stereotypically liberal‐looking faces.
*polisci  *stats  #conservatives  %policystats 
9 days ago by lemeb
Opinion | Unicorns of the Intellectual Right - The New York Times
The hiring-then-firing of Kevin Williamson followed a familiar script. A mainstream media organization hires a conservative in the name of intellectual diversity, then is shocked, shocked to discover that he’s dishonest and/or holds truly reprehensible views – something that the organization could have discovered with a few minutes on Google. But when the bad hire is let go, the right treats him as a martyr, proof of liberal refusal to let alternative viewpoints be heard. Why does this keep happening?

As others have pointed out, the real problem here is that media organizations are looking for unicorns: serious, honest, conservative intellectuals with real influence. Forty or fifty years ago, such people did exist. But now they don’t. (...)

All this means that if you get a conservative economist who isn’t a charlatan and crank, you are more or less by definition getting someone with no influence on policymakers. But that’s not the only problem. The second problem with conservative economic thought is that even aside from its complete lack of policy influence, it’s in an advanced state of both intellectual and moral decadence – something that has been obvious for a while, but became utterly clear after the 2008 crisis.

I’ve written a lot about the intellectual decadence. In macroeconomics, what began in the 60s and 70s as a usefully challenging critique of Keynesian views went all wrong in the 80s, because the anti-Keynesians refused to reconsider their views when their own models failed the reality test while Keynesian models, with some modification, performed pretty well. By the time the Great Recession struck, the right-leaning side of the profession had entered a Dark Age, having retrogressed to the point where famous economists trotted out 30s-era fallacies as deep insights.


Am I saying that there are no conservative economists who have maintained their principles? Not at all. But they have no influence, zero, on GOP thinking. So in economics, a news organization trying to represent conservative thought either has to publish people with no constituency or go with the charlatans who actually matter.

And then:

(more reading)
-> thesis: the pb with the MSM is that it refuses to see conservatism as insane
-> in the 80s, anti-keynesians dug their hole deeper
-> some wonkish stuff
#conservatives  %econ 
11 days ago by lemeb
Opinion | The Self-Destruction of Paul Ryan and the G.O.P. - The New York Times
So Mr. Ryan has cornered himself, and his party. The Republican base won’t buy what he’s selling, unless it’s awkwardly grafted onto white-identity populism, which is a self-annihilating strategy for mobilizing Democrats to the polls.

The forthcoming implosion of Mr. Ryan’s party, and his imminent retreat to Wisconsin, illustrates the danger of hidebound ideological overconfidence. Party elites in the grip of dogma can’t see the point of checking in with the people they represent and are blind to new problems the partisan catechism is not equipped to comprehend. If a decent Republican Party one day rises from the devastation Paul Ryan practically invited Donald Trump to inflict, it will be one that has stopped legislating for an imaginary world of self-financing tax cuts, having rediscovered and realigned with the basic interests of aging and working-class white suburban and rural American voters. It will take their woes seriously, and nurture their welfare, not their grievance.
11 days ago by lemeb
The Libertarian Who Accidentally Helped Make the Case for Regulation
For his first paper using the database, Tabarrok decided to analyze the effect of federal regulation on “economic dynamism”—a catch-all term referring to the rate at which new businesses launch and grow, and at which people switch jobs, lose jobs, or migrate for work. There has been a notable and somewhat mysterious decline in dynamism over the last few decades. The rate at which start-ups form is half of what it was forty years ago, the fraction of workers who bounce from one job to another—a sign of competitive labor markets—has plunged, productivity has slowed, and adult employment remains well below its early-2000 peak.

Armed with RegData, Tabarrok and Goldschlag set out to show that regulations were at least partly to blame. But they couldn’t. There was simply no correlation, they found, between the degree of federal regulation and the decline of business dynamism. The decline was seen across many different industries, including those that are heavily regulated and those that are not. They tried two other independent tests that didn’t rely on RegData, and came to the same conclusion: an increase in federal regulation just could not explain what was going on.

props to him for releasing a paper counter to his beliefs! also, suggested in the article as the real culprit is corporate concentration... but Tabarrok doesn’t think antitrust can fix that. go figure.
#$#monopoly  #conservatives  *stats  %policystats  %contrarian  %bigdata  %econ 
13 days ago by lemeb
Trump's Assault on the Rule of Law - The Atlantic
This is, unsurprisingly, misleading. Mueller is a lifelong Republican (though Obama appointed him to continue a tenure as FBI director that began under George W. Bush). Several members of the special counsel’s team are Democrats or donated to Obama or Clinton. Yet most of those in Trump’s doghouse right now are Republicans: not just Mueller, but Sessions, Rosenstein, Comey (who he also attacked Monday), and Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney, who is a former lawyer at Rudy Giuliani’s firm and whom Trump appointed to his post after reneging on a promise and firing Preet Bharara. Believing that all of these men, especially Sessions, are part of a Democratic cabal against Trump requires more than an active imagination. It requires delusion.

it also means, otoh, that the republicains are not all nihilistic...
#conservatives  #us#affairerusse 
14 days ago by lemeb
Chairman of Sinclair TV network met with Trump during White House visit | Media | The Guardian
The chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group met Donald Trump at the White House during a visit to pitch a potentially lucrative new product to administration officials, the Guardian has learned.

David D Smith, whose company has been criticised for making its anchors read a script echoing Trump’s attacks on the media, said he briefed officials last year on a system that would enable authorities to broadcast direct to any American’s phone.

filed under serious-news-report-that-reads-like-a-conspiratorial-spy-novel. more:
The company has been a driving force in the development of a new broadcasting standard known as Next Gen TV, and is one of the first involved in making chips for televisions, cellphones and other devices to receive the new transmissions.

A broadcasting industry group, of which Sinclair is a prominent member, lobbied federal authorities last year to force manufacturers to incorporate the chips in all new devices. This would have created orders for millions of chips and likely new revenues for Sinclair.
!write!dystopia  !write!technologist  !write!readthenews  #us#trumpland  #conservatives 
14 days ago by lemeb
Sinclair Made Dozens of Local News Anchors Recite the Same Script (
On local news stations across the United States last month, dozens of anchors gave the same speech to their combined millions of viewers. It included a warning about fake news, a promise to report fairly and accurately and a request that viewers go to the station’s website and comment “if you believe our coverage is unfair.” It may not have seemed strange to individual viewers. But Timothy Burke, the video director at Deadspin, had read a report last month from CNN, which quoted local station anchors who were uncomfortable with the speech. Mr. Burke tracked down the Sinclair affiliates and found when they had aired what he called a “forced read.”
#conservatives  !write!dystopia  #us#trumpland  !write!readthenews  *wtf 
21 days ago by lemeb
You own this tax bill, Republicans. Good luck.
Catherine Rampell argues that there is no chance that the tax plan’s popularity will rise.
Consider previous tax reductions.

The 2009 Recovery Act — the economic stimulus passed under President Barack Obama, in response to the Great Recession — cut taxes for 96 percent of households, according the Tax Policy Center. Incidentally, it also gave bigger benefits to families in the middle (and also bottom) of the income distribution than the Trump tax law will next year.

And yet, despite the magnitude and near-universality of those Recovery Act tax cuts, virtually no one noticed them.

A year later, just 12 percent of Americans knew that Obama had cut taxes for most people.

The 2001 and 2003 George W. Bush tax cuts tell a similar story. These cuts benefited about three-quarters  of households, and also gave a bigger bump in after-tax income to those in the middle quintile than the Trump tax plan will next year.

And yet in 2004, just 19 percent  said that Bush had reduced their taxes.

Why is it so hard to recognize a tax cut when you, and almost everyone else, have gotten one?

When it primarily appears in dribs and drabs over the course of the year through paycheck withholding, it's just not that salient. Especially given all the other variables that can cause one's take-home pay to fluctuate from year to year or week to week, such as changes in wages, hours and benefits.


The thing that bothers Americans most about the tax system is "the feeling that some corporations don't pay their fair share," according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. This was followed by the feeling that "some wealthy people are not paying their fair share." Next, tax-code complexity.

Then, in fourth place, was the amount they personally pay in taxes.
%policystats  ~taxreform2017  #conservatives 
december 2017 by lemeb
A Republican tax plan built for plutocrats
A not dissimilar threat arises for today’s plutocrats. The economics and politics of pluto-populism have stoked cultural, ethnic and nationalist anger in the party’s base. Skilful demagogues are able to exploit this anger for their own purposes. At least Mr Trump remains a servant of the plutocracy. But his former adviser, Steve Bannon, seeks someone to promote rightwing populism shorn of its more blatantly plutocratic elements.

The plutocrats are riding on a hungry tiger. The pluto-populism of the Republican elite brought forth Mr Trump. This is not going to be forgotten. If the current tax bills get through, the tensions within the US are almost certain to get worse. Latin American inequality leads to Latin American politics. The US the world once knew is drowning in a tide of unconscionable and apparently unlimited greed. We are all now doomed to live with the unhappy consequences.
#conservatives  #swamp  %policystats  ~taxreform2017  !write!dystopia  #us#trumpland 
november 2017 by lemeb
Breitbart is too dumb to survive the net neutrality apocalypse / Boing Boing
Case in point: Breitbart News. The only reason Breitbart was able to be economically viable and politically influential is because of net neutrality: if their ability to contact their constituencies was contingent on approval from the establishment they decry, they'd have been strangled in their cradle.

This is true of many things I love and many things I hate: insurgencies rely on free, fair, open infrastructure and suffer under systems of control and incumbency. Boing Boing thrives because of the same free, fair and open network that let Breitbart arise.

What Breitbart doesn't realize is that the weapon they fashion for Trump and his FCC will remain locked and loaded for the administrations that come next: once you erode the principle of net neutrality, then a 2018 Democratic Congress or a 2020 Democratic President could simply turn Breitbart off.
#conservatives  #techpol  %contrarian  !write!technologist  !write!readthenews  #$#journalism  #us#trumpland  !write!dystopia 
november 2017 by lemeb
Kansas is ‘one of the most secretive, darkest states’: Why so secret, Kansas? | The Kansas City Star
In the past decade, more than 90 percent of the laws passed by the Kansas Legislature have come from anonymous authors. Kansans often had no way of knowing who was pushing which legislation and why, and the topics have included abortion, concealed weapons and school funding. Kansas is one of only a few states that allow the practice.
#swamp  #conservatives  %explainer  %journalism  %longform 
november 2017 by lemeb
Can Trumpism Survive Trump? - The New York Times
Olsen: The G.O.P. remains intellectually wedded to dying dogma. The congressional party really wants to do nothing other than cut taxes for businesspeople and the top bracket based on what can only be called religious devotion to supply-side theory. I do not think they represent their voters, and Trump’s nomination is proof of that. I think it will take a big defeat, though, before mainstream Republican pols start to realize the old ways aren’t politically sustainable. Just the sort of defeat that an inept reaction to last week’s election thrashing would create — and, boy, it sure looks like the first reaction might be exactly that!

Douthat: And yet in Steve Bannon, you have someone with real prominence who keeps saying that the party needs to change in something like the direction that you advocate — who talks about building a “workers’ party,” ditching libertarianism and even doing outreach to minority voters with economic-nationalist themes. But then when it comes to the specifics of his strategy, Bannon always seems more inclined toward seeking out racialized cultural fights, or linking himself to substance-free resentment vehicles like Roy Moore, than toward pursuing the economic-policy shift he’s officially in favor of accomplishing. What do you think of the frequent liberal argument that this is a problem inherent to right-wing populism — that the lurches toward race-baiting are inescapable, that the effort to build a pan-ethnic conservative populism is foredoomed?

The ultimate #conwatch
#conservatives  %contrarian 
november 2017 by lemeb
Jon Stewart and Robert Smigel Craft a Comedy Benefit at a Polarized Moment - The New York Times
For people who don’t share your politics and feel alienated by what they see in TV comedy — who wish we could go back to a more evenhanded era of Johnny Carson — do they have a point?

STEWART Here’s what I would say: Tough shit. Honestly. The idea that you’ve lost the pleasure of watching Carson? We all have lost that pleasure. I used to like watching Carson, too. But I think that’s a cop-out. The people that say, “This culture isn’t for me,” live in a nostalgic world. Those are the people that are the first to tell minorities, “Suck it up.” Those are the first people to say to individuals that are being relentlessly either ostracized or legally threatened, “Oh, snowflake, watch yourself.” But God forbid somebody doesn’t say “Merry Christmas.” It’s the empty rhetoric of grievance, and I don’t feel bad in any way, whatsoever.

!comedy  #conservatives  #xxi#culture 
november 2017 by lemeb
The tax reform debate is stuck in the 1970s - Vox
Once upon a time, we had stagflation and low corporate profits. But today we don’t.

Instead, we have a set of new, different problems. For example:

- There is an acute scarcity of housing units in most of America’s most prosperous metropolitan areas.
- The process of regional convergence by which poor parts of the country have historically grown faster than rich ones has halted and may even be reversing — with communities built around now-shuttered factories especially lacking in opportunity.
- Opioid overdoses have reached an unprecedented level and show no sign of slowing down.
- Greenhouse gases emitted as a byproduct of fossil fuel consumption are putting the planet on a trajectory for unsustainable levels of warming.
- Despite a fairly high college enrollment rate by international standards, the large share of Americans who don’t finish their degrees has left us with a mediocre ranking in terms of college completion and a lot of people saddled with useless debt loads.
- Exorbitant child care costs are limiting women’s ability to fully participate in the workforce as well as limiting families’ ability to have as many children as they say they’d like.
~taxreform2017  %policystats  #conservatives 
november 2017 by lemeb
Breitbart’s Coming Exploitation of the Believe Women Movement | Crooked Media
Imagine it’s September or October 2020, and out of nowhere multiple women accuse the Democratic presidential nominee of sexual abuse, but instead of surfacing in a meticulously sourced story in a news outlet with a healthy tradition of careful reporting, it runs in a blind item on Or imagine such a story about a current Democratic candidate or leader landed in such an outlet tomorrow.

Oh shit 😮
#conservatives  %contrarian  #fakenews  !write!dystopia  #xxi#sexualassault  #us#trumpland 
november 2017 by lemeb
The Christian Right Was Right
It turns out that every single one of their raw-throated, brimstone-breathing prophecies were true:

That the wolves would come in sheep’s clothing to devour the innocent.
That there would be a twisting of the Scriptures to justify vile evil of every kind.
That people would do what was right in their own eyes and make themselves into the very God they most worshiped.
That money and power and pride would be too seductive to avoid for far too many.
That the Church was in danger of being polluted to the point of death.
That the least of these would be discarded and brutalized.
That good people would be preyed upon by opportunistic monsters.

These sage prognosticators had everything about the approaching disaster correct—except its source.

Ouch, that's violent.
#conservatives  %contrarian  !write!dystopia 
november 2017 by lemeb
There is no bottom for Roy Moore Republicans - Alabama Political Reporter
Take a look around you.

We’re terrible as a state. We’re near the bottom in public education, medical care, infrastructure, economy and upward mobility and at the top in infant mortality, poverty, obesity and political corruption.

Our budgets are consistently a mess — we’re going to have to magically find $100 million somewhere next year — and our state services are so underfunded that they’re all but worthless. We’re short on troopers, courthouse workers, road crews, maintenance personnel and teachers.

This is what the Roy Moore Republican Party has brought Alabama.

A government built on greed and hatefulness, on shunning anything different and thumbing our nose at any hint of progress.

These people have convinced you that this is all some sort of a grand game, where we win by our chosen party maintaining control, instead of winning by electing men and women who best represent the actual interests of the people.

And this is where it’s left you.

From an Alabama political reporter
#conservatives  #us#trumpland  *whatatime 
november 2017 by lemeb

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