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Friday, October 28, 2016

Stuff I read today: October 28, 2016

Eleven more days. The two big party candidates have been to North Carolina nine times and aren’t done yet. Nietzsche reminds us, “How good bad music sounds, when we march against an enemy.” And in Blazing Saddles, Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks remind us,

Howard Johnson: Y'know, Nietzsche says: "Out of chaos comes order."
Olson Johnson: Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard.

- The GDP grew 2.9% last quarter, twice the rate of the quarter before that. Donald Trump will say the numbers are rigged. Life, he insists, is actually Hell.

- Stroke-crippled Illinois Senator Mark Kirk is not the first Republican to mock Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth’s disabilities. She lost part of both legs in military service. In a debate last night, after she discussed her family’s long tradition of soldiering, Kirk snarked, ““I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

In July, Kirk skipped the Republican National Convention, telling reporters Donald Trump “too bigoted and racist” to be president.

- The African-American community has brushed off Mr Trump’s last-minute pitch for their votes. I described his bid to outbid the Democrats in yesterday’s post. Charlotte Talks reports the group eight locals he and his shill, Omarosa, met with backstage in an impromptu focus group before the speech were not invited to to the speech. And no one knows who they are or how they were chosen to speak for their community.

The Bloomberg Businessweek story I quoted yesterday continues to reverberate. In it, Trump’s counterpunching strategy was revealed. For TV events, he courts the black vote. In the war room, he works harder to discourage it.

- CoStar, the company that passed over Charlotte for Richmond at a loss of 730 jobs and a quarter-billion-dollar investment, did so despite being offered twice as much in economic incentives by Charlotte. But State Senator Bob Rucho, who also ramrodded NC’s racially-surgical voter suppression, tax giveaways and redistricting plans in his honking, Worcester, Massachusetts accent for the last four of this 18 years in office, said the loss is nothing for a $500 billion state economy. He is a retired dental surgeon and so embodies the famous Evelyn Waugh quip, “All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I'd sooner go to my dentist any day.”

The state commerce secretary, who demanded back a commemorative wooden bowl given to Pay Pal before it decided not to come to Charlotte over HB2, then auctioned it off, says he wishes he had kept it and put it in a glass case. He also says HB2 hasn’t “moved the needle one iota” at all in economic development.

To make the point clear, Team McCrory pushed out a press release lauding how Pepsi is opening a distribution center where a 50 workers will roll around cases of fizzy drinks on hand trucks. So you won’t miss it, they boldfaced:

“This expansion will continue to strengthen North Carolina’s position as one of the fastest growing economies in the nation,” said Governor McCrory. “The company’s choice of Robeson County for this state-of-the-art distribution center continues the strong momentum for the consumer foods and beverage industry in our state.”

- What combines “Trump”, “Ivanka,” “lawsuits”, “default”, and “Russian oligarch” in a lead paragraph?

- Politicovangelicals who have long argued God is a Republican are now pointing to Governor Pat McCrory’s closing on Roy Cooper in the polls after lots of post-Hurricane Matthew photo-ops and ladling out of federal money in relief.

- Evan McMullin, the independent candidate for president some think will carry Utah, ought to: he is LDS, born and bred, and his views are straight down the line with the ‘16 Republican platform. He is simply a Republican who cleans up better than Mr Trump.

McMullin is also gets sympathy for his mother’s heterodoxy, who divorced his dad to marry a woman.  

- People who think our future belongs to third parties are fooling themselves. So far they have pretty much offered more extreme versions of the big parties. And no one has made the case that casting votes for third parties may give us fewer, not more.

Maybe, just one.

- So back in the winter a bunch of yahoos invaded a federal wildlife refuge, threatened local residents, and did $4 million in damage. An Oregon federal court jury acquitted them yesterday.

Would it have made a difference if the invaders had been black? Or Native American?

- God has taken up talking to the president of the Philippines. This is bad news for Franklin Graham.

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