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Victory and concession speeches over, we’re headed for a ‘parliamentary moment’

Around 2 a.m. Central time, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump and conceded.

Trump appeared before the cameras and gave the remarks below:

Hardly Churchillian, but it was about as gracious as we’ve seen from him in a long while, which isn’t saying a great deal but is a hopeful note. He said nothing untoward and pledged to be president of all Americans.

About 10:30 a.m. today, Hillary Clinton faced the cameras and a roomful of her shocked and grieving supporters. “Donald Trump is going to be our president,” she said. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead ….

“Please, never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” she said.

Soon after she concluded, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden appeared together in the Rose Garden. Obama said he had congratulated Trump, invited him to come to the White House soon and talk about how to ensure a smooth transition. His pep talk to the nation, and presumably especially to Democrats (since most Republicans didn’t feel the need for a pep talk) included this:

“Everybody is sad when their side loses an election. But we have to remember the day after that we’re all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We’re Americans first. We’re all patriots first. …”

He appealed for “unity, inclusion, respect for our institutions, our way of life, the rule of law, and respect for each,” and urged young people not to get cynical, saying last night’s disappointment for Clinton supporters is “the way politics works sometimes. We try really hard to persuade people that we’re right. And then people vote. And then, if we lose, we learn from our mistakes, we do to some reflection, we lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off, and we get back in the arena. We go at it. We try harder the next time. The point is that we all go forward with faith in our fellow citizens, because that presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy. That’s how this country has moved forward for 240 years.”

A couple of thoughts on two recurring themes, in this space. The Electoral College system is a weird way to run an election. Although most of the democracies in the world came on line after the framing of the U.S. Constitution, none has seen fit to adopt this strange method of choosing a chief executive officer. One of its quirks is that it makes possible the election of a candidate for president who got fewer votes than his opponent. It’s happened several times in U.S. history and, based on the latest count of total popular vote, it appears to have happened again yesterday, and for the second time out of the last five elections.

Second, in my musings about the strange quirks of our system compared with others around the world, I’ve often noted that our system is built for gridlock. There are four major power centers in our federal government —  the presidency, the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court — and any one of them can block action. As a result, until fairly recently, our system relied heavily on bipartisan compromise.

A decade or two ago, the Republican Party adopted a strategy of, essentially, no compromise, perhaps believing that the best way to get control of all of the levers of power was to deny the Democrats any accomplishments on which they could run in the next election. Perhaps last night was, in part, a payoff on that strategy.

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You won’t want to miss this post-election discussion with Sen. Al Franken and political scientist Norm Ornstein. Get tickets today!

Anyway, in January, the Republicans will control the White House and both houses of Congress. As soon as Trump and the Republican Senate can agree on a nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court will have a majority of Republican-appointed, relatively conservative justices (Justice Anthony Kennedy is not reliably conservative, and we don’t know who the newest justice will be).

We will have what you might call a parliamentary moment, by which I mean a moment, as in parliamentary systems, where the majority party can pass any bills it wants. In the past, I have generally favored such systems over ours. It makes sense to me that the winning party or coalition should be able to translate its mandate into action, and the public can subsequently decide whether to keep or change that government. Now, as a liberal, I’m pretty worried about that.

I do assume that, for example, the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. I note that there is not a coherent replacement for it on which Republicans are agreed. Trump’s ideas about a replacement plan have been incoherent. Speaker Paul Ryan has claimed to have a replacement plan, but it is lacking in important details and Trump has never endorsed it. I have never seen Republicans specify whether they will be willing to throw millions of Americans, who have insurance as a result of the ACA, off those plans without any guarantee on how they will regain coverage.

The same could be said about other issue areas. So we’ll see happens. I’m pretty worried.

I’ll close with a quote from novelist William Faulkner, which I have never heard before but which I gather comes from “Absalom, Absalom.” But Sen. (and Clinton running mate) Tim Kaine used it in his remarks this morning introducing her. It goes:

“They kilt us, but they ain’t whipped us yet.”

Comments (48)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/09/2016 - 03:09 pm.

    Where the rubber meets the road

    Trump has ran a campaign with nearly no reliable information about what he would do as President. Trump says he has plans, can I believe him? I can’t believe a person who shoots from the hip, doesn’t speak in complete sentences, and changes his mind every fifteen minutes or so. I don’t feel he has any plans. I think we are going to see a change in tone from Trump when the reality of the job sets in or he is challenged by some world event. What happens when Trump is rebuffed by congress or another country? Will he go on a twitter tirade? Will he a respected representative of our country or will he have to be reminded to stay focused and on script?

    It scared me when Pence said his role model for the VP job is Dick Cheney. We all know what Cheney and Bush brought to the country. Will Trump be working for all the people or will he be running his businesses on the side?

    We won’t know until the rubber meets the road and then it might be too late.

    I wish him well, but he will have to prove himself to make me feel confident.

  2. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/09/2016 - 03:51 pm.

    Wash Jones

    Sort of fits. The quote is by a minor but pivotal character named Wash Jones who throughout the novel is a sort of sycophant to the main character, Colonel Thomas Sutpen. Jones tries to console the Confederate Colonel with these words during their drinking bouts after the Colonel returns, defeated, at the end of the Civil War.

    Trump does not have a “filibuster proof Senate” and the filibuster in its present form is still available to the Democrats who might be able to mitigate some of the more extreme proposals the Republicans might try to cram through.

    • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 11/09/2016 - 04:08 pm.

      Until the Republicans get rid of the filibuster, anyway.

      • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/09/2016 - 06:34 pm.

        It’s not much

        I know. That will likely happen. But it’s something for awhile. And it’s important to make the Republicans own everything they do. They have no program, no plan, no principles. The last time they took the driver’s wheel, they ran the country into the ditch. I’m certain it will happen again. Eventually, the public will tire of the Republicans again too and fall to grumbling and there will again be massive change.

  3. Submitted by Howard Miller on 11/09/2016 - 04:32 pm.

    one factor in the presidential results

    The Republicans succeeded by nominating an anti-establishment candidate, whereas the Democrats favored the status quo candidate, in a year when a lot of Americans are angry about the status quo. Too bad Democrats failed to nominate Bernie. Maybe he would have lost due to the racist vote, but he ran better against every Republican than Hillary did when polls were comparing them that way … yet Establishment Democrats, including our 2 US senators, decided Hillary was the best candidate from the party, ignoring the Democratic Caucus results from their state which favored Bernie. Tsk.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/10/2016 - 07:32 am.

      The Safe, Conventional Route

      Doubtless our 2 US Senators played it safe in endorsing HRC. They didn’t want to alienate DNC big wigs, and then they’d be able to get favors from them. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, has it?

      Similarly, HRC took the safe, conventional route when she voted for the Iraq invasion. And while I have no idea if people bought Trump’s lie that he was opposed to the Iraq war from the start, HRC’s vote clearly made her look like the insider she has always been.

      When you play not not lose, you often put yourself in a position to also not win.

      • Submitted by Howard Miller on 11/10/2016 - 08:50 am.

        playing not to lose was expensive in lower turnout

        Had thought Hillary needed to convince the Berniecrats to vote FOR her, not just to vote against Trump. But when she won the Democratic nomination, she spent her time shaking down Republican donors rather than trying to unify the Democratic Party, win over Berniecrats. Turnout was under 56%, as it was when Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to W Bush. During Obama’s victories turnout was 63% and 58% turnout. Hillary did not fire up her base, did not convince Berniecrats she really was a progressive who can get things done. Meanwhile she was universally detested by our right-leaning neighbors. Seems she lost because she didn’t attract the independents, didn’t even get Democrats out in force. Now a probable 4 years of Trump as president? This won’t turn out well I fear.

  4. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/09/2016 - 07:03 pm.

    While most of the issues of a Trump presidency revolve around the repositioning of money and power, climate change is fast moving into a guaranteed and irreversible global disaster.

    How to explain the totally anomalous ice area graph for this year:

    Or the whisperings of far faster temperature rise:

    Otherwise, the fallout from a Trump term or 2 will be mainly the redistribution of wealth and some excess deaths due to insurance issues or a war or two–all those resolvable with a decade or two of repair work.

  5. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/09/2016 - 08:40 pm.


    Mr. Olsen, am I correct that Democrats got rid of some filibuster power recently?

    Mr. Kingstad, Reagan had plans and principles and so did Bush and Gingrich, didn’t they? And when did they drive the country into ditch? You mean after they pulled it out of a Grand Canyon after 9/11?

    Mr. Rovick, scientists are saying that a super earthquake along Pacific coast is a matter of when not if. Don’t you think it is a more urgent thing than global warming? And I am not even talking about Yellowstone supervulcano…

    • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 11/10/2016 - 09:23 am.


      In 2013, Democrats voted to remove the ability to filibuster presidential appointees (except for Supreme Court nominees) in order to break up a log jam of ~70 appointees for various Executive Branch and judicial positions that Republicans were refusing to allow to come to a vote for purely partisan reasons — an unprecedented break with Senate tradition.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/10/2016 - 11:18 am.

      Pardon Me for Jumping in

      Global warming is a very real phenomenon. It is aggravated by human activity, and it can be slowed or mitigated by human activity.

      What, if anything, can we do to prevent a superquake? We can prevent earthquakes in Oklahoma by stopping fracking, but the Pacific coast quake is out of our hands.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/11/2016 - 09:29 am.

      The difference is

      that a Pacific earthquake sometime in the next hundred years will affect a lot a people sometime. Scientists can not yet (even before Trump’s likely cuts) predict where or when.
      Climate change, on the other hand, effects the whole planet and is happening already. It is less emotionally compelling because it is gradual rather than sudden, but it is a much more serious threat in the long run.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/11/2016 - 12:04 pm.

        The difference

        Global warming is a slow process that will allow humans to adjust like they have done throughout their history. Plus so many variables affect climate that predictions are… unpredictable (one big volcano eruption will lead to 2-3 degrees cooling). Earthquake, on the other hand, may kill millions of people without warning and will happen for sure (and soon based on some indications). Shouldn’t we be putting resources into reinforcing all existing building in SF and LA?

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/11/2016 - 08:23 pm.

          Geologically speaking

          global warming and increased climate variability in the past century are real. That people will somehow adjust to climate change is a wish, not a fact. The effects of volcanic eruptions are usually temporary and local. There have been geologic periods when overall earth vulcanism (not one eruption) have caused more permanent climate change, but this is a once-in-a-millennia event. There’s some good information at
          As for earthquakes, the last thing you’d want to do is stiffen buildings. That increases susceptibility to earthquake damage. What the Japanese do to make structures more resistant to earthquake damage is to make them lighter and more flexible, so that they move with earthquakes rather than being broken by them. This would require rebuilding all of the structures in California. Do you have a price tag for that (even assuming that you could find the number of skilled workers needed)?

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/12/2016 - 11:07 am.

            History and science

            If I recall correctly, humans adjusted to Ice Age – without modern technology. One volcano eruption effect may be felt world-wide and temperatures will drop several degrees for several years Supervolcano will cause global cooling for a very long time. And why should we trust computer models for global climate is they can’t predict weather for the next day (yes, I do know the difference between climate and weather but predictions for both are based on computer models which are not perfect). Plus, consider positive effects of global warming: ice free navigation, better crop in Canada, etc.

            As for resistance to earthquakes, my college degree was in structural engineering so I did not say stiffen but reinforce meaning doing what it takes to withstand an earthquake. And yes, there are ways to do it with existing buildings

            • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/12/2016 - 04:56 pm.


              I’m impressed that you were around to remember the Ice Age -;).

              There are degrees of imperfection.
              The fact that two models are imperfect does not mean that one does not make better predictions than the other.
              The Wiki article starts out with “This article needs additional citations for verification.”
              In English, the word ‘reinforce’ means ‘to strengthen’. And you still have not provided any numbers about how much it would cost or how long it would take given the available resources.
              As for benefits of global warming; that’s a common boojum.
              Those effects are local, not global. Crop yields may increase in Minnesota and Canada, but they will crash in much of Asia and Africa, with an overall global negative effect. Ocean warming has opened some Arctic shipping lanes, but also increased that rate of glacier calving. And the melting glacier are raising the sea level, so eventually Pittsburgh may become a seaport.
              And yes, Homo Sapiens survived the Ice Age as a species — no one has suggested that climate change will necessarily result in our extinction as a species. However, the population did crash drastically. The fact that the species survived extinction doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to avoid it if we can.
              As for the effects of an Ice Age, I’ve been reading “The Little Ice Age”, by Brian Fagan, which describes the effects of a much more minor, but more recent climate change on medieval European (mostly) civilization.

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/12/2016 - 07:46 pm.

                I am glad I managed to impress you 🙂

                You are correct, there is not scientific correlation between two models but logically we all understand that it should be easier to predict events for tomorrow than for next 100 years. As for the website, I picked the first one from the search- there were others, more scientific, there. Yes, I do know that reinforce means strengthen but strengthen does not necessarily mean stiffen – it is possible to strengthen flexible things, like fabric, and still keep it flexible. And sure, it will be very expensive – that is why it’s not done – but climate regulations are not cheap either. It is hard to argue whether negative or positive will govern but at least we need to have a discussion about that but for some (obvious to me) reason positives are never mentioned anywhere. Unfortunately, many people suggested that climate change will result in human extinction: all those who are saying that this is a greater problem than terrorism and nuclear weapons mean exactly that.

                • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/13/2016 - 10:06 am.


                  Single samples are more variable than large sample sets — therefore the prediction for one day is less determined by the record of previous conditions than is that for the coming century. This is consistent with the Bayesian statistics now in vogue.
                  And as long as we’re citing credentials, mine are a PhD in Experimental Psychology with graduate minors in philosophy of science and in mathematics. I know something about statistical inference.
                  As for the cost of mitigating climate change, there are immediate costs to certain industries (such as coal and oil), offset by the development of new industries such as clean power. There is also the increase in productivity due to cleaner air (a byproduct of reducing the carbon and methane footprints) and the decrease in medical costs.

                  • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/13/2016 - 12:46 pm.

                    Better approach

                    Paul, I never questioned your credentials and understanding. I was just trying to point out that we cannot state as a fact a conclusion derived from computer models that try to predict 100 years ahead based on 50 (at best) years of data. Obviously, it cannot account for unpredictable (and maybe random) events such as sun activity, volcano eruption, or invention of a new energy source which means that in this case it is more prudent to deal with immediate results (such as build a dam if water level rises) than find drastic ways now to solve catastrophic events that may, or may not, occur in 2100. And also let’s have an honest discussion meaning that positives should be brought in and not kept hidden from public. I am all for clean power and even for some government support to develop it but in a reasonable manner, not in a panic mode of fear that we will all die if it is not done… For example, Keystone pipeline was supposed to raise emission by 0.01% percent in the world if I remember correctly but it was fought against as if it was the end of the world.

  6. Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 09:32 pm.


    Since I am a fan of the gridlock you usually are critical of, be careful what you ask for… You may get it… Even I will likely be wishing again for that gridlock soon. Both parties seem to let the power go to their head whenever they get control…

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 11/10/2016 - 08:20 am.

      Indeed, split government seems to cause less harm,

      …though accomplishing less as well.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 09:01 am.


        I always wonder what people want government to “accomplish”?

        We live in one of the best countries in the world, and yet the far right and far left folks seem to always want “big changes”.

        I have a simple goal for government and public employees: provide all the services you do today with better results while reducing the money you need to take out of the US GDP to do it. This is what we have been asking from the Private Sector for years as the Global Competition increased.

        And yes the wealthy will need to continue paying most of the bills of our country because they have the money to do so. The rest of us can also help the country by reducing the costs.
        – have only children you can afford
        – get married and stay married
        – be responsible in raising your children
        – learn, work, save, invest, etc

        Doing otherwise and sending the bill to the tax payers is not fair either.

        • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/10/2016 - 09:52 am.

          The basic duty of a democratic government is provide the civic structures to protect its citizens from the predations of others–be they other people, organizations, businesses, countries–any party that has the power (including the government itself) to threaten the well-being of the citizen.

          As far as I can see, the “conservative” goal is to entrench the power of the powerful, concentrate wealth in the hands of the wealthy, and reduce oversight on those whose actions/non-actions affect the lives of ordinary citizens. “Drowning government in a bathtub” serves only the interest of those who already have the power and the money.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 10:50 am.


            So do the protections include preventing the “the people” from having to pay the bills for:

            – folks who squander their free education
            – folks who have more children than they can afford to raise responsibly
            – public employees who are compensated well for questionable performance
            – the systems that are in place to teach, raise people out of poverty, etc and are failing to do so

            That seems to be where the difference of opinions occur. Liberals see the predators as the rich , the Conservatives see the predators as the lazy and I can see both ends of the continuum need to be managed.

            • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/10/2016 - 05:18 pm.

              3 Out of 4…

              Take away those evil public employees and you have just described the backbone of the Trump coalition:

              – folks who squander their free education
              – folks who have more children than they can afford to raise responsibly
              – public employees who are compensated well for questionable performance
              – the systems that are in place to teach, raise people out of poverty, etc and are failing to do so

              Workers in PA, OH, MI and WI who exited high school with minimal skills, failed to build on those skills in anyway despite readily available post secondary education and then were fortunate enough to get union jobs that paid them disproportionate wages for services rendered. They lived beyond the means of their skills for years and when the chickens finally came home to roost and rust belt jobs began to disappear it was everyone else’s fault. And Trump agreed with them and encouraged their victim hood.

              Hillary told hard facts, like, “coal mining ain’t coming back and let’s work together to move forward”. That would otherwise be known as the truth. Trumpers don’t want the truth, they can’t handle the truth. Those jobs are dead and gone. If they would have taken the harder path 30 years ago and built skills to carry them forward all would be fine right now. But, their bad decision making made their lives a mess and they want Trump to make it right again. Repeal trade agreements, stop immigration, blame anyone who does not look like us for all our troubles. Well, he can do all of that and the only thing that will happen is it will be a lot tougher to find someone to shingle your roof. Trump had his PT Barnum moment at precisely the right time. I live in a green, leafy, Lake Minnetonka hugging village that is usually beyond (way beyond) faithfully Republican. My neighbors went for Hillary on Tuesday. They understand reality. Reality now and reality 30 years ago when they set themselves on a course for success.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 10:59 pm.

                Similar Then

                The Democratic politicians offer the unsuccessful tax payer funded gifts.

                Trump offers the unsuccessful a possibility of jobs.

                I like the folks who want jobs.

                • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/11/2016 - 07:53 am.

                  I guess…

                  I guess I missed that part. When did Trump offer the possibility of jobs and Hillary just gifts? Is it all those folks building the wall? Jobs in the deportation force? Spouting generalizations that simply go to supporting stereotypes is not helpful: Republicans = hardworking patriots, Democrats = lazy losers.

                  In point of fact; take away all the generalizations, stereotypes, and rhetoric, I’ll look for the Trump silver lining from a Hillary voter point of view. Hillary offered a 250 billion stimulus and Donald trumped her with 500 billion. As some one who worked in defense procurement during the Reagan years, much of Reagan’s economic success can be attributed to virtually unlimited government spending within our borders (as opposed to GWB’s unlimited spending in the Mideast). Trump’s new unfunded mandate for parental leave likely has Ryan and McConnell spitting up their coffee (not that Ryan would drink coffee). Trump’s college loan payment limits pale in comparison to Bernie’s; but, it is a start and sets us on a path that could lead to Bernie’s plan. And once Ryan and McConnell get over the parental leave thing they can move on to trying to swallow Trump’s promise to leave Social Security benefits as they are: no cuts, no privatization. I’m no fan of voucher’s; but, injecting another 200 billion into education to enable more choice without just cutting public school money is maybe a reasoned compromise.

                  Accomplish those things and I’ll swallow the inevitable judicial appointments because that’s what winner’s get to do in our system of government (except Obama).

                  And the funny thing is that if Hillary squeaked out a victory and faced a GOP House and Senate none of the spending items listed above would likely of had much of a chance. Trump, with his new partners on these items, Pelosi and Schumer make actually get them done.

                  Nice to see we agree on another trillion dollars of government spending. Hopefully a few of our Republican friends can explain how we can also add a trillion or two of tax cuts in too and reduce the deficit.

                  • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/11/2016 - 12:07 pm.

                    Can you explain please

                    Mr. Blaise, people you described are working and college is not for everyone. You talk about those people with contempt but aren’t Democrats claiming that they want to help those in need… I guess as long as they vote Democratic… Mr. Appelen is talking about those who do not work. Why do you think so many agricultural businesses complain that they can’t find people working for them (in times of extremely high unemployment) and are forced to hire illegal immigrants? And how can you explain why there are more men now who complain about pain and do not work than ever before And many people in Minnetonka are the small business owners who can’t take vacations…

                    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/11/2016 - 12:36 pm.

                      Basic economics

                      If demand (in this case for labor) exceeds the supply, then cost (in this case wages) should rise.
                      They haven’t. That’s why some employers are having trouble hiring.

                    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/12/2016 - 11:08 am.

                      Not yet

                      Apparently, demand for labor does not exceed supply enough to justify the wage increase. And those businesses that have trouble hiring will have better luck if they pay more… but on their own, not because government tells them to.

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/13/2016 - 09:21 pm.

                    Well, please remember that Trump promised to deport many illegal workers, and to raise tariffs on the products from some countries. The first will open up jobs quickly. The second will encourage some companies to manufacture in the USA to avoid the tariffs. Both will create job openings if they don’t trigger a trade war.

                    Clinton on the other hand promised to pursue free college, more subsidized health insurance, etc. (ie tax payer paid for free stuff)

                    By the way, I think both parties have their problems. I don’t think the Democratic Party supporters are lazy. I just think they find it more gratifying to buy people fish with other people’s money, than to force the people to learn how to fish and be independent. As a Father, I love to buy my daughters things occasionally. However I also know that as a responsible parent it is more important that I help them learn self control and how to be independent adults.

                    Trumps tax cuts and spending increases do have me concerned. I am concerned that he is a RINO. Time will tell.

                    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/14/2016 - 03:10 pm.

                      Fishing is expensive…

                      I am all for teaching people to fish. Unfortunately, too many like Mr. Appelen believe that you provide a hook, some line and a stick, a few worms, a little guidance and say good luck: you are now self sufficient on food.

                      I think “welfare” AKA “free stuff” should be a 90 day crisis intervention program. After that you are on a road to self sufficiency: basic skills training, health, child, living expenses subsidized at a minimal; but necessary level. And then you go to work, and that work may too be subsidized until a fully functioning and successful fisherman flops out of the other end of the system.

                      Unfortunately, human warehousing (welfare as we know it) is often cheaper than “teaching someone to fish”. I appreciate that I have been moved off just being lazy to someone who finds gratification by telling another: “here’s a wad of cash from ME and Mr. Appelen, have fun, good luck”. Hmmm, guess what? I do not find that gratifying. I am willing to pay the taxes and spend the money needed to help someone attain self sufficiency and I realize, like a good fisherman does, IT COSTS A LOT TO FISH. To be successful it’s a boat and not a rock on shore, a GPS and depth finder and not a little quick advice and a tackle box full of lures, not a single bare hook.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/15/2016 - 10:10 am.


                      A shorter version of the last try. Please think about how much the US tax payer invests in the children from poor families between birth and 18 years old. I come up with a total of $250,000 to $500,000 per child.

                      And yet ~50% of the kids can not fish when they graduate. Something is terribly wrong with the Health, Human Services and Education Systems, and how society holds these Parents accountable. For the good of the Left behind Kids, something drastic needs to change or they will continue to be trapped in generational poverty. And I don’t think just throwing more money at the problem is the answer. We have tried that for 50 years and it is worse than ever.

                    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/15/2016 - 11:43 am.


                      I see your point; but, any and every child in public education is likely at $150,000 plus.

                      When our kids neared school age (early 90s) we took the time to investigate all of our educational options. By far the most impressive was The Blake School, Highcroft Campus. Teachers, facilities, curriculum all off the charts great. Unfortunately, we decided a little too pricey for our budget: nearly $20,000 per year at that time. They also explained that the $20,000 did not actually cover all the costs of this fine education and their endowment and annual giving made up the difference. They also indicated that they did not have the programs to accommodate much in the way of special needs students.

                      Now consider this: a public school with per pupil funding of less than half that and the responsibility for all kinds of special needs faces a MUCH greater challenge: less $$$ and more diversity to accommodate. This occurs simultaneously with the general public’s belief that the $9,000 per pupil funding was “over the top generous” and in great need of waste cutting and cost reduction.

                      Sorry Mr. Appelen. We have never thrown money at the problem. We have funded it at a minimally responsible level. More money and more ideas is the prescription that no one wants to hear.

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/10/2016 - 08:57 am.

    This will be an opportunity

    …that I, at least, have not seen in my lifetime of 72 years. It may have happened in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression and admittedly before my time, but I can’t recall an election where one party ran the table, so to speak, as the Republicans have done in 2016.


    As Eric has suggested, and whether we call it a “parliamentary moment” or something less neutral, we’ll soon find out if the GOP is capable of governing. As others have pointed out, for example, there’s been plenty of speechifying about eliminating the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans have produced no viable plan for a replacement, and that could make all the difference. If Republicans throw 20 million Americans – many of whom likely voted for Trump and/or their local Republican congressman (how many Republican congresswomen – House members – are there?) – under the health care bus without a credible replacement, the Republican “mandate” that Paul Ryan has claimed will be illusory in the extreme. If they’re able to do away with the infrastructure of the Affordable Care Act and find a way to provide affordable health care for those 20 million people, they may be in power for quite a while. I don’t think they can – or will – do it, but let’s see what they come up with.

    So far, the speculation about cabinet positions is somewhere between hilariously stupid and frightening. Serial philanderer Newt Gingrich as Secretary of State? Proven numbskull Sarah Palin as Secretary of the Interior? Rudy Giuliani, of the unconstitutional “stop-and-frisk” policy, as Attorney-General? It sounds like a cast list for an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” I, at least, hope those initial guesses are far removed from the actual nominees. There are capable Republicans to hold those offices, and nominating the above figures (call them “old guard” or call them “lunatic,” your choice) would hardly fit the “mandate for change” that Trump’s victory supposedly requires.

    I have mixed feelings in the debate over one-party rule vs. gridlock, but we’ll soon find out if it’s a formula for getting things done that need to be done, or merely a vehicle for religious and political zealots to impose their views on the majority of the population (Clinton did get more votes, just not more electoral votes).

  8. Submitted by Constance Sullivan on 11/10/2016 - 03:40 pm.

    It’s silly to think that Donald Trump will govern this country. The GOP will govern, without an effective opposition in Congress, and they do, indeed, have a plan.

    Trump will be left to bask in the spotlight of his glorious “win,” and the GOP elite will run the show behind him. Trump has no organization, no real friends to run the government. But Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are ready with their lists and agenda items.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/10/2016 - 04:53 pm.

      That’s why Trump lost the election.

      He owes little to the GOP Establishment. I doubt that they will provide the major figures in his government.

  9. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/11/2016 - 07:47 am.

    Donald Trump wants to postpone the various lawsuits and trials he’s facing until February or March so he’ll have more time to deal with them

    …..As voters across the country were voting Tuesday to elect billionaire Donald J. Trump the next President of the United States, lawyers and a judge dealt with new motions in a California court in what may be one of the most important of 75 or so still-open lawsuits involving Trump and his businesses .

    … During a hearing on Thursday in the Trump University fraud lawsuit, which is set to begin on November 28, the president-elect’s lawyers asked that the trial be moved to February or March, when he’ll have less on his plate .

    Talk about a parliamentary moment..

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/11/2016 - 09:24 am.

      “February or March, when he’ll have less on his plate”

      He will be President then. Sure, he’ll have lots of free time.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/11/2016 - 09:34 am.

      Civil lawsuits

      I don’t believe that civil lawsuits count as ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’.
      Having a scofflaw as a President may be embarrassing, but wouldn’t disqualify him from serving (unless he lies to Congress about it).
      So Trump will pay for these suits at least partly from his Presidential salary.

    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/11/2016 - 12:10 pm.

      Not too bad

      Mr. Rovick, the government’s first job is indeed to provide safety and security but it doesn’t mean that it should step in into everything and anything. If I have termites, should the government send an exterminator? If I don’t want to go to school, should the government send a police officer? People have free will and should live with the results of their actions or inactions. As any rich and powerful businessmen, Trump is sued all the time. But if he is indicted and steps down, we will have a very decent vice-president stepping in.

  10. Submitted by ed hardy on 11/11/2016 - 11:37 am.

    Eric Black article, “Parliamentary moment”

    A couple of thoughts on two recurring themes in your article. The Electoral College system is not a weird way to run an election. As a liberal, you stated you are pretty worried about the issues, but if the situation was reverse, you be happy to have this strange method of choosing a chief executive officer,would you not? The Electoral College was put in motion because of states rights-the larger states tend to have the larger population, so if you have a state favorite son, you can see where this is leading–California population wipes out the states of North and South Dakota ,Kansas,and the like.This is one of the reason each state has two senators and the House is based on population–equal but fair. Just remember, one of its quirks works both ways.

    Second, you noted that our system is built for gridlock. What is wrong with check and balances
    on the three parts of the government? As you noted the Republicans will control all three parts, just like the Democrats did at the beginning of President Obama’s term where the winning party or coalition translated its mandate into action by passing the Affordable Care Act(Obama Care) and the public did subsequently decide to change that government and NOW you are pretty worried about that. As President Obama said to Sen. McCain during the health care hearings, you lost and election have consequences and as you stated the same could be said about other issues areas. so be worried, I just pretty happy.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/13/2016 - 09:25 pm.

      It might say something

      that of the many democracies that have copied our constitution in the past 200 years, none of them has included an electoral college.

  11. Submitted by Dan Berg on 11/11/2016 - 12:02 pm.

    Teachable moments, typically lost

    So another teachable moment will likely be lost to history and we will continue through the same cycles that signify a dying empire.

    Neither caudate had any real solutions to the fundamental issues at hand and instead brokered in fear of one sort or another. They pandered to the destructive nature of populism. They did so because gaining power requires it. Our system is now set up to reward a mob rather than protect, without judgment, the rights and property of individuals.

    Decades of populist pressures have resulted in an activist and massively powerful government with few if any restrictions. Each step down this path was justified by with the belief that if government power could be expanded it would be used for a particular good. That there was no need to worry about an upper limit on government power, either legal or financial. The road is always paved with good intentions.

    Of course progressive thinking (Liberal or Conservative varieties) has always been built primarily on a willful naiveté. One that happily trades long term and very deep risk for short term shallow gains. One that is so fundamentally shortsighted and arrogant that those that are afflicted by it believe they can change the fundamentals of humanity by regulating them or by killing, or oppressing, those who they see as in the wrong. The combination of incorrectly understanding the fundamentals and the vanity to attempt to force reality to comply with their view will always result in disaster.

    The election of Trump along with Republican’s control of both chambers should be an obvious example of the risk involved with progressive ideals. Centralized power, government that has almost no limits, is too easily lost to the arrogance of populism. That all democratically controlled power easily falls in to the wrong hands.

    Populists and progressives of all strains own the results.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/12/2016 - 09:43 pm.


      often pretends to be populism, but it isn’t.

      • Submitted by Dan Berg on 11/13/2016 - 04:52 pm.

        Not incompatible

        Populism and fascism are not mutually exclusive. Populism is at its core a belief in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people. The results of that naive idea can take many forms, one is fascism. The point is that those who have pursued taking power away from individuals and entrusting it to the will of the majority have helped elect Trump while providing him an unprecedented level of power through an ever more powerful national government.

        Trump is the ultimate example of the failure of decades of progressive ideology. An ideology that has proved the idea that a strong central government is needed because only through this strength can the people’s popular will be realized, that constitutional limits should be seen as flexible rather than absolute, that a powerful executive needs to exercise that power to the greatest degree possible, that invented collective (positive) rights are more important than individual (negative) rights. Trump won by making ridiculous promises because ridiculous promises is what fuels populism.

        Because with populism everyone tries to position themselves to get as much of the collective pie as possible it ends up with constantly shifting tribes fighting with one another through politics. Trump or an eventual Trump equivalent was going to happen eventually. This isn’t the first time a populist movement has resulted in the election of a New Yorker that promised to eschew all constitutional limitations to bring their supporters what they wanted.

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