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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I haven't seen a decent analysis of how the Trump campaign worked until a friend sent me this piece from Forbes. White person alienation and entitlement are the factors that I've read columnists opine about, but how did the campaign harness those forces? 
"I helped facilitate a lot of relationships that wouldn't have happened otherwise," Kushner says, adding that people felt safe speaking with him, without risk of leaks. "People were being told in Washington that if they did any work for the Trump campaign, they would never be able to work in Republican politics again. I hired a great tax-policy expert who joined under two conditions: We couldn't tell anybody he worked for the campaign, and he was going to charge us double."
Come to find out, at least by this account, that Jared Kushner devised a social media strategy using micro-targeted Facebook placements and the like. This seems to have gone undetected by most commentators-- personally, I thought the Clinton campaign's media strategy, which included early airtime purchases which looked like they were locking Trump out of a lot of markets, was the foot on the throat of the Trump operation.
"Jared understood the online world in a way the traditional media folks didn't. He managed to assemble a presidential campaign on a shoestring using new technology and won. That's a big deal," says Schmidt, the Google billionaire. "Remember all those articles about how they had no money, no people, organizational structure? Well, they won, and Jared ran it."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I think (I hope) that a lot of people have known that Trump is a mountebank for a long time. I'm thinking that we are rounding into the place where the intelligent among his supporters should admit that their support for him was really just coming out of a fervent dislike of social progress, rather than outright bullying, and now would probably be a good time to fess up to merely trolling. You can go back to being cranky Republicans when you admit that you let your contempt rule your rationality.

Of course, this will probably never happen. Even today there are people who will admit that Nixon was a crook with only the greatest reluctance. 100% of Trump supporters support Trump, and none that I've met are willing to admit that they should have known better. No-one wants to be made to appear foolish, and the capacity for admitting a mistake is a rare quality. I feel confident in predicting that the Republican Congress will not evolve into this capacity until every (white) man jack of them are convinced that he is of no use in advancing their agenda. Since he has demonstrated this already you'd think they'd  be working on this, but one of the realities of 21st Century Republicanism is that they tend to the stupid. And hateful. Indeed, one of the things I realized last week (about which more anon)  is that the rise of Trumpism is really a reflection of contempt for the norms that underlie our most basic social conventions. You will find pundits who will tell you that the Republican base is comprised of persons who have been economically disrupted, and perhaps that is true for some of  them, but for the most part these people are engaging in uninformed scapegoating. Make no mistake-- the Constitution was intentionally designed to give power to persons and economies that were cruel and exploitative and well past their historical utility, and now we are seeing how that echo reverberates.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Per Five Thirty Eight, the four types of Constitutional Crises:



Thursday, May 04, 2017

Which was the first super hero team to integrate-- the Brooklyn Dodgers of super hero teams? Which was the last-- the Boston Red Sox of super hero teams? For the purposes of this discussion let's rule out teams that integrated by including aliens, like J'onn J'onzz, or Chameleon Boy (besides, the Legion of Super Heroes is set in the 30th Century).

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This Saturday is the final event in the Buffalo State Trump's First 100 Days program. For my piece of it I ended up inviting the Hon. Lawrence Vilardo, of the Federal District Court for the Western District of New York to address the class on his experience with the judicial appointment process. It was exceedingly generous of him to do this, and the evening was far more interesting than it would have been had I spoken about Neil Gorsuch. As it happens, the appointment of Justice Gorsuch, whose first official act was to approve the execution of some poor bastard in Arkansas, is the sole thing that President Trump has accomplished to date. I wonder how many Republicans are able to concede this?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oh Buffalo, everyone is connected to everyone else. The recently deceased Federal District Court Judge John Curtin was the model of what a judge should be: patient, knowledgeable, and fair. It was always a glad moment when you filed a new case and his name came up on the wheel-- for all concerned. It would be difficult to come up with the name of someone who did as much good in our community. Come to find out that before he was US Attorney, and well before he took the bench he served as confidential law clerk for New York State Supreme Court Justice William Lawless, the father of A's trial partner when she was at the Brooklyn District Attorney's office. Why, that's almost family!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Seriously? Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins won a Pulitzer?

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