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Dean Kirkland

Low on the Hog

http://hoglow.blogspot.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: April 14th, 2019 at 10:03 am

ping: http://ignoregon.com/ping/753

10 post clicks in the past 90 days

Lofty thoughts from a pig's trough.

Given the giant field of Democratic candidates, the idea of guessing which will emerge seems like a mug's game, but a lot is evident when you look at the primary calendar. Because Super Tuesday is so stacked, because Iowa and NH are so white, I suspect the effect of the first four contests will have far less predictive p

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Time for round two of the Democratic power rankings for 2020. This is my own idiosyncratic sense of who has the best chance to actually win the nomination. For example, Joe Biden has great name recognition and has dominated early polling, but he’s a terrible candidate and I don’t see much of a path for him to win th

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Now that the midterms have clarified somewhat, the post-Trump electorate has come into focus for Democrats. Traditional voting blocs remain intact, but some grew. Black support was back to Obama-level excitement and Latinos came out in the largest number ever. Those were incremental changes compared to women, who became

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The Democrats had a very good night last night and I am feeling elated this morning. Forget the inane media horse-race coverage: if you look at the number of votes, this was a historic landslide. Republicans have spent the better part of a decade rigging and suppressing and gerrymandering elections, and it protected th

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The response to John McCain has been absolutely fascinating. It says a lot more about where we are as a country in the age of Trump than it does about McCain. We seem to be hungering for a hero who reflects the America we wish we had, someone whose heroism brings us reflective glory, someone who personifies public serv

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A few thoughts on the state of democracy in the wake of more Trump administration convictions for corruption. The election of Donald Trump has presented the country with a shock test. What happens when a demagogic, racist autocrat with no interest in democracy or democratic norms becomes president? How well equipped to

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This is an evergreen story (this quote is the WaPo), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Democratic Party be swayed by it. Again. “While Democrats grow optimistic about their chances of taking control of the House in November, they are increasingly anxious that the presence of their longtime and polarizing leade

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This not just journalistic malpractice; it’s also an echo of the constant barrage of male journalism in the 2016 cycle that painted Hillary Clinton as an unacceptably corrupt extremist (a disturbing number of whom have resigned in disgrace following revelations of sexual misconduct). It is why getting elected as a wom

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A while back I mentioned an x-factor in the upcoming midterms: women running as Democrats tend to be far more impressive than the “generic” Dem. (Because it’s still harder for women to break into politics, fund-raise, and beat powerful incumbents, the ones jumping in tend to have well above-average resumes.) I won

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There is a repeated pattern in politics that goes something like this: a group (usually the government) does something despicable to a group with little power. We’ve seen it most recently with the border child separations, but it is as ancient as slavery and the oppression of women, with all the offenses committed up

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Today is Juneteenth. It is always a resonant day because the legacy of slavery continues to echo through the generations. Juneteenth was celebrated almost instantly after emancipation, but its meaning has deepened because the promise of full equality and legal equity has always been withheld. Once the Civil War ended, J

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Something I’ve been considering. Election-watchers have rightly been following the generic ballot polling numbers (when pollsters ask which party voters will support in a congressional election). The results are one reliably predictive measure of how the election will go. But there’s a reason to think the Democrat

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There are so many pictures from the Trump era that seem to capture the whole catastrophe of his tenure, but this one may go down as the single most quintessential. Trump sits petulantly with arms crossed while the rest of the G-7 stand. This illustrates his combination of recalcitrance, dominance politics (or, possi

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In the midst of a slow-moving crisis, one never knows when a turning point has arrived. After a slow dribble of news for months, how many realized the “Saturday night massacre” was the moment Nixon was done? It was only in retrospect, after Nixon didn’t press the government into a Constitutional crisis, that we co

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The mainstream press has been spending the Trump era trying to figure out how to “diversify” their op-ed pages, which always means adding more conservative voices. The latest example of this was when The Atlantic hired and almost immediately fired Kevin Williamson, a hardcore conservative who has routinely written ou

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Today, at 8am, I became a half-centurion. (I’m told the second half is harder.) Birthdays are good times to survey the sweep of time, and for some reason, humans are really attracted to decades, so I’ve been thinking more this year than I did last year—or will next year. So... I was born in 1968, a pivotal year

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In case you missed it—though I can’t imagine how you would!—Donald Trump said this yesterday: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” People focused on the profanity, but that wasn’t the obscene part of the quote. It began with this: “What do we want Haitians here for? Why

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After she gave a fairly anodyne (albeit stirring) 9-minute speech to a room full of Hollywood elites, news orgs are now batting around the idea that Oprah should be president. *This* is the legacy of Trump’s election. Instead of considering whether a candidate is qualified to be president, Americans will now ask wheth

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Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole memo this morning—the Obama-era guideline that directed federal law enforcement to leave cannabis businesses alone in states where they were legal. That’s obviously terrible policy because the DOJ doesn’t have the bodies or money to stop legal cannabis, so the best Sessions can do

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Random thoughts about Alabama. 1. You have to compete. The Dems’ biggest tactical mistake during the Obama years was not fielding candidates. The reason Republicans dominate local offices isn’t gerrymandering—it’s because they run for everything from dogcatcher up. Dems will lose 90% of the races like this one

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Last night, Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in a special election to fill the US Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. A few random thoughts. 1. You have to compete. The Dems’ biggest tactical mistake during the Obama years was not fielding candidates. The reason Republicans dominate local offices isn’t gerrymandering

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Who’s feeling devastated this morning? We knew there would be a lot of pain when Trump was elected, and here we are. The new tax bill is a wonder of horribleness. It is a massive giveaway to the rich that will explode the budget and give Republicans an excuse to cut social programs. It was passed in the dead of night as R

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One of Obama's biggest accomplishments was negotiating a deal to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. The reasons countries want nukes is not unknowable or unhinged; it's coldly pragmatic. While conventional armies are hugely expensive, nukes are cheap. No country could hope to build a conventional war machine that

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A word or two about the politics of Bernie's Medicare-for-all proposal. A number of people are rightly excited about making sweeping, systemic change to American healthcare. (Everyone, far right to far left, agrees it sucks.) The center-left reaction against it is predictable: "but it can't pass right now. This

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CNN has released a copy of the note Barack Obama left for Donald Trump in the Oval Office. This is a tradition dating back some time. (Even the NYT is vague on this point--"part of a long tradition"--and my four minutes of Googling did not reveal how long.) We now have the four most recent, and while they all cont

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The first slave ship arrived on what would become US soil before the pilgrims made it to Plymouth, MA. By the time the country fought a civil war over the systematic imprisionment, torture, and rape of human beings, it had been established as an honored tradition for nearly 250 years. The country spent the next 100 yea

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Living on the west coast, the origins of the country have always felt bloodless and distant. My impression when I come to D.C. is one of wondrous, tangible incoherence. You walk around the city and you see a country that mythologized its founders as near godlike figures, wreathed in the regalia of Ancient Greece. But wa

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Make America great again? The last guy pretty much did that. Unemployment rate Jan 1, 2001: 4.2% Jan 1, 2008: 7.8% Jan 1, 2016: 4.9% Consumer confidence Jan 2001: 94.7 Jan 2009: 60.1 Nov 2016: 93.8 GDP (2016 dollars) Q4 2000: 14.32 trillion Q4 2008: 16.37 trillion Q3 2016: 18.68 trillion Median household income (2015

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