Americans don’t like refugees. Period.

Some interesting and sad historical context from Gallup:

shortened_table

And Pew:

Over the Decades, American Public Generally Hasn't Welcomed Refugees

Oh to be Albanian!  Though, I suspect it is something about “several hundred.”

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Photo of the day

The Telegraph with an “animals stuck in strange places” gallery.  A lot of these are actually pretty sad, but not this one:

These goats are perched over 30ft from the ground in a tree and look so out of place you have to do a double take. A staggering 11 goats can be seen standing on branches as high as 32ft in these extraordinary pictures. Although the goats look out of place up this argan tree they are in fact accomplished climbers and can easily scale up and down the thinnest of trees. The billies will go to extraordinary lengths to eat the cherished fruit from argan trees.

These goats are perched over 30ft from the ground in a tree and look so out of place you have to do a double take. A staggering 11 goats can be seen standing on branches as high as 32ft in these extraordinary pictures. Although the goats look out of place up this argan tree they are in fact accomplished climbers and can easily scale up and down the thinnest of trees. The billies will go to extraordinary lengths to eat the cherished fruit from argan trees.Picture: Maurizio Punturi/Solent

 

Hillary. Ugh.

Sure, I’ll vote for Hillary for President.  She’s far more electable than Bernie Sanders (and I actually think she’d make a much better president) and obviously I would take her over any of the far-right, xenophobic, policy fantasyland, candidates on the GOP side.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like her.  And sometimes she is so frustrating.  Very nice piece in Slate from Jim Newell calling her out for the stupidity of her latest attacks on Bernie:

The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign has begun using an odd new line of attack against upstart Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders: He’s too liberal on taxes and universal health insurance. Why is she doing this? After returning to the position in which she entered the race—as the near-certain nominee—she seems to be setting herself up for the general election. But it’s strange to see her now, after the previously shaky ship has been steadied, attacking a candidate whose supporters she’ll need in any general election campaign over an issue that his supporters care about very deeply…

The Clinton campaign is suddenly quite upset about that proposal [Sanders’ Medicare for all] and wants everyone to know. She has committed to the same (policy-constricting) pledge that President Obama took in 2008 and 2012, ruling out tax increases on individuals making less than $200,000 per year or joint filers making less than $250,000. This neatly positions her camp to say, by contrast, that the bug-eyed socialist Bernie Sanders wants to take all of your money.

“Bernie Sanders has called for a roughly 9-percent tax hike on middle-class families just to cover his health-care plan,” a Clinton spokesman said Tuesday, via Politico. “Simple math dictates he’ll need to tax workers even more to pay for the rest of his at least $18-20 trillion agenda. If you are truly concerned about raising incomes for middle-class families, the last thing you should do is cut their take-home pay right off the bat by raising their taxes.”

This is a truly messed-up thing for the leading Democratic presidential candidate, who claims to be a progressive stalwart, to be broadcasting… [bold are mine, italics in original]

A standard Democratic presidential nominee representing the center-left of the party might call a single-payer system politically impractical in order to argue against it…

Clinton, however, is going much further by appropriating one of the right’s central talking points against government-funded universal health insurance: Think of the taxes! She’s not just saying that a single-payer system is a political nonstarter with conservatives. She’s reciting the actual conservative talking point that would make a single-payer system a political nonstarter…

There are fairly obvious policy counterpoints to that argument. She is well-aware of them and chooses to ignore them, because they would either blunt or negate her convenient political attack. Sure, under Sanders’ plan, the combination of the income and payroll taxes would add up to 8.9 percent (assuming employers pass on the full 6.7 percent payroll tax) on most earners. But people would not be paying for health insurance anymore, and a universal, public system would save money by eliminating all of the actuarial costs and profit expectations associated with the private insurance system.

Also enjoyed this take from Jon Cohn:

But when Clinton and her aides talk about the Sanders agenda, they always leave out some critical context. The proposals on health care, college tuition and the like would yield benefits that, in many cases, would flow to the middle class and offset the impact of those new taxes…

Clinton and her advisers, who know domestic policy as well as anybody in Washington, are well-aware of this.

In short, the Clinton campaign has made a conscious decision here. It is not merely criticizing Sanders for suspicious math. It is suggesting the test for any proposed initiative is what taxes it imposes, regardless of what benefits it might bring.

This is the kind of argument that conservatives make. It might or might not help Clinton win in November. It’s hard to see how it can help progressives win in the long run.

Damn Clinton makes it hard so support her with any enthusiasm.  She’s already got flaws enough, does she have to do Republicans dirty work for them and advance their misleading narratives in a nomination she’s almost surely going to win?!

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