When did the 2016 presidential campaign become too tense to post about?

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When did the 2016 presidential campaign become too tense to post about?

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Ott 10, 2016, 6:18 pm

At what point did we get too nervous about this election to talk about it any more?

Ott 10, 2016, 6:30 pm

Classic begging the question - asserting that which you seek to establish.

Ott 10, 2016, 6:52 pm

Okay, I ceased to find Mr. Trump funny about in September, and then my favourite political comedians, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert, seem to be strained in their efforts to wring the unforgiving laugh from their audiences on the struggle. Has anyone any interest in working up a discussion of this period? Where are our americans on this one? Or are they out knocking on doors for Hillary? Or even Trump?
Could be I'm lonely, in the rains of autumn....

Modificato: Ott 10, 2016, 8:59 pm

{This is the real dajashby...} I suspect that our americans are just really embarrassed about how broken their democracy is. I tracked down a replay of the second presidential debate and watched a fair amount of it. Hillary was wrong to talk about the "deplorables" who are supporting Trump. It is Trump who is deplorable. Your average Trump supporter is just at the rough end of the pineapple, and has been at the rough end of the pineapple for decades. They are blaming the wrong people for this, since it was the neoliberal takeover of the Republican Party that really started the rot. I'm not suggesting that Ms Clinton is the ideal candidate for President here, but I think that at least her heart is in the right place. She wishes to do good. The same could not be said for Donald Trump.

Ott 11, 2016, 4:01 pm

I like "Rough end of the pineapple" is that an Aussie thing? As to Hillary, Donald Trump is obviously the deplorable person. By and large Canada and Australia have, I think, better tools with ABC and CBC, and, I think, a much greater investment per head, in proportion of income and interest in public education than most Americans making less than $35,000.00 US a year.
I believe that if they wanted real change, the Democrats should have nominated Bernie Sanders, and that Ted Cruz, a smarmier Republic would have been a more worthy opponent, but....
To break the topic, but as we in Canada are reviewing our First Past the post national electoral system, how do you feell about the preferential ballot system I'm told you use up there? (I've seen the "Foster's Beer" global map projection :- )

Ott 11, 2016, 5:50 pm

It's probably not the election that makes American voters feel nothing but apprehension ... but contemplation of the aftermath ... when the winner attempts to put Humpty-Dumpty back together, again.

It's a bit like a family hunkering down in their bathtub, with a mattress over their heads, waiting for a tornado to tear through the neighborhood, as it will. The question is only who will have to be buried, and what's left to salvage, after the all-clear.

Modificato: Ott 18, 2016, 8:55 pm

>5 DinadansFriend: According to OxfordDictionaries "rough end of the pineapple" is Australian and "informal". It seems to me that the problems with the US election runs much deeper than the choice of candidates. Problem number 1 is that it's impossible for anyone other than a Democrat or a Republican nominee to be elected. Problem no. 2 is that it doesn't much matter who gets elected, because there isn't a whole lot that they can do because of this "separation of powers" they're so fond of. Problem no 3 is that they aren't in fact voting for a President, but for an Electoral College. Each state gets a set number of delegates, and the whole thing comes down to who gets the majority of votes in a number of "swing states", since whoever wins the vote count in each state gets all the delegates. Problem no 4 is that the federal electoral boundaries for the House of Representatives are decided on a local level mostly by partisan officials, which means that a lot of them are in fact gerrymandered. Since problem 3 seems to advantage the Democrats while problem 4 advantages the Republicans (I'm not sure, but I think this is because the Democrats are dominant in most of the bigger population states, but the Republicans control the lower population ones?) more often than not you get deadlock. There is a 5th problem, which is that a sizeable percentage of the US electorate feels abandoned by the politicians they've usually elected. How they think elected Trump will help them, I can't imagine, but...

You're right that in Australia we use a Preferential voting system (it's also used by the SF Worldcon to decide on the Hugo awards, where it's known as the "Australian ballot"). In the Senate we go one step further and use Proportional representation. Thirdly, we also make voting compulsory. Finally, the setting of all political boundaries is the province of the Australian Electoral Commission. The weaknesses of First Past the Post system are that a party that gets 50.1% of the vote can end up with a much greater percentage of seats than that and that it is extremely hard for smaller parties to get any seats at all. This means that parliaments are less likely to be representative of the range of views in the community. Preferential voting encourages candidates with minority views to stand, and allows votes to vote for them, but also allows the voter to send their vote to another candidate if the first choice candidate doesn't place either 1st or 2nd in the ballot. The specifics are complicated. You may have noticed that the right wing coalition in Australia won our most recent election by 1 seat? It's interesting that they did so badly (they lost about 20 seats) partly because they failed to win any seats from second place on the first preference result, whereas Labor won something like 14 from there. It is worth noting, though, that it's relatively rare for a non major party candidate to win a lower house seat - there are currently 4 out of 150.

We use Proportional Representation in the Senate. This is a system that gives smaller parties genuine representation. Each State is a multi-member constituency, and a party needs to get a certain percentage of the vote (called a Quota) to get one of the seats on offer. It's therefore possible to get a seat at the table with a fairly low percentage of the overall vote. Since it's combined with preferential voting, it's actually possible to get a seat with very few first preference votes. The system was seriously gamed at the 2013 election, allowing micro parties under the rules then in place to exchange preferences and get at least one of them over the line. That was made a whole lot harder when the rules were changed for the 2016 election, except that we had what's called a Double Dissolution election, meaning all Senate seats were up for grabs, not just half of them, and that effectively halved the Quota needed to get elected. We also now effectively have a system of Optional Preferential voting, meaning that the voter doesn't need to put a number in every box, but can give up after 6 or 12 boxes. This means that a proportion of ballots are "exhausted" before the completion of the count, which is (to quote Seller and Yeatman) a Bad Thing.

Compulsory voting is pretty rare in the world, but I believe it's a Good Thing. It's based on the idea that voting is as much a duty as a right. If you want to live in a free society, you have an obligation to express an opinion. In my view it would be better if "None of the Above" was an option, like it is in the Hugo ballot, because that is also a legitimate expression of opinion. As it is, in 2016 something like 12% of the electorate either voted informal or failed to vote at all, and that doesn't count the people who manage to get away with not registering at all. My idea is that if no candidate gets 50% + 1 of the enrolled voters after preferences are distributed, you run a second ballot. There would have been quite a few seats in that position after the 2016 poll.

Finally, the idea that elected officials should be in charge of deciding on electoral boundaries is appalling.

* Christine suggests that I need to explain what a Double Dissolution election is. This is the Australian method of resolving a deadlock between the House of Representatives, where government resides, and the Senate. Recall that the House of Reps is elected on Preferential voting and the Senate on Proportional Representation, so there is no guarantee that the governing party will have a majority in both houses. Almost never happens, in fact. Normal elections, which occur every 3 years, are for the whole of the Reps and half the Senate, Senators having 6 year terms. If a bill is passed by the Reps but rejected by the Senate twice, the government can call an election in which every House of Reps and every Senate seat is up for the grabs. This is called a Double Dissolution. The theory is that the newly elected Senate might be more amenable to passing the bill because (a) the recalcitrants might have lost their seats and (b) the government, if it's returned, could reasonably claim to have a mandate for the rejected bill or bills. After the election the government can put the bills to both houses again, and if they still aren't passed, they can be put to a Joint Sitting of both houses, on the theory that the government might have a majority that way. In practice this tactic has only been successfully used once, by the Whitlam Labor government in 1974. In 2016, the government called a DD partly because it had changed the Senate voting rules in the hope of getting rid of micro parties. However, partly because a DD halves the Quota needed to get a seat, there are not in fact more non-major party Senators than there were before, and the government having been reduced to a majority of 1 in the Reps is unlikely to be able to get its bills through a Joint Sitting. Hope that's a sufficient explanation.

Ott 13, 2016, 5:12 pm

3 DinadensFriend

I've been a lurker to this group, but haven't been silent about this Presidential campaign. I started a political blog titled "Cursory Remarks About Politics," or CRAP for short, that I post on Facebook. Here's my Sep 12, 2016 post about what is happening in America:

America And Its Moral Compass."

My wife and I were watching the season finale of the TNT blockbuster series The Last Ship last night. And in the last few minutes of the episode, the lead character in the show, Captain Tom Chandler, lamented, "America has lost its moral compass."

And my wife Linda said, "Ain't that the truth!"

She is correct. To me, moral compass is that personal attribute that tells us what is right and what is wrong, and which guides our conduct in the right direction.

America is less than two months away from electing the next President of the United States of America. And America has truly lost its moral compass.

Almost half of America is seriously considering electing a candidate who can only be described as being morally bankrupt. He is a bully who belittles war heroes, women, other politicians, and the handicapped. Who said that blacks have nothing to lose if they vote for him. Who wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out. Who will deport all illegal immigrants. Who will forbid Muslims from entering the United States. I wonder if he will dismantle the Statue of Liberty if he is elected President of the United States of America? Will it still be "The United States of America?"

Donald Trump is a Presidential candidate who brags about his business success, yet who has declared bankruptcy eleven times. A Presidential candidate who has been involved in 4,056 lawsuits to date. Who hired people to complete jobs, and then only paid them what he thought the jobs were worth–if he paid them at all. A Presidential candidate who refuses to release his tax returns. A Presidential candidate who calls his opponent's charity foundation corrupt, but whose own charity foundation is questionable and in the news. A Presidential candidate who praises Putin and who knows more about ISIS than the generals do. Is Putin his adviser?

Donald Trump is a Presidential candidate whose own campaign manager described him as unpresidential. Yet this very same campaign manager wants to guide Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America?

Almost half of America believes that Donald Trump will help make America great again? America has truly lost her moral compass.

America needs to take a look at what the other candidate, Hillary Clinton, has done right! It already knows what she has reportedly done wrong. With a 67 percent untrustworthy rating, she must have done plenty wrong! Yes. Crooked Hillary Clinton is no saint. But countless investigations have not proven that she is a sinner either.

America needs to compare what Hillary Clinton has done right for America to what Donald Trump has done right for America... What has Donald Trump actually done right for America?

And then America needs to compare what Hillary Clinton can do for America to what Donald Trump can do for America.

Only then can America regain its moral compass, look deep into its soul, and then vote for who will be right for America.


Ott 13, 2016, 7:18 pm

Trump is just obnoxious and ignorant, just like a massive majority of the electorate. Hillary on the other hand is a dangerous sociopath, a pathological liar, a career cleptocrat and a murderess. Oh, and Wall Street inventory to boot. Electing her means perpetual war. From a mere risk assessment point of view Trump is the lesser evil. Doesn't mean we have to like him, though. Politics really isn't a popularity contest, no matter how americanized the election campaigns all over the world have become.

Ott 13, 2016, 11:25 pm

>9 Phlegethon99: I beg to differ. Even were anything you said about Hillary true, which it isn't (ok, she's told the odd lie - name a politician who hasn't), when you talk about risk assessment, have you any idea about what Trump will actually do (apart from grope anything in skirts in the White House)?

Ott 14, 2016, 5:55 am

>8 moibibliomaniac: : "It already knows what she has reportedly done wrong."
(emphasis added)

But is kept ignorant of her as-yet-un"reported" wrong-doing.

Hence the disgust and revulsion at her candidacy.

Ott 14, 2016, 6:09 am

As I wrote quite recently to a correspondent whose intelligence I very much respect while disagreeing about the choice for president :

By my reading, our points of disagreement are quite superficial. They concern mainly not what is right or best or desirable but, in the circumstances, how to better achieve these things. You're a person whose most important values I share. We both appreciate many of the same things for similar or identical reasons.

I regard Trump as a tragically necessary episode of shock-therapy. I expect him to be terrible. If he were not, we as a people would almost certainly fail again to recognize just how badly this political order has been corrupted. It's certainly not only Americans who typically cannot learn large, important social lessons without having to suffer through disastrous hardships--this is a general trait of people everywhere. Your insights and basic goodwill already already put you in a distinct minority--and that's a shame but a fact of life. It's completely vain to expect that people as they are today are going to face and meet the political challenges which confront them. They aren't because they cannot even see them clearly. To more clearly recognize their circumstances, they require shocking disaster. Currently, the resources and the working intelligence of a dominant elite so utterly overwhelm and outclass the social strata below them that there's not even an interesting possibility of effective resistance and reform. That's still essentially completely misunderstood.

Right now, as I see it, a very serious and profoundly shaking political débâcle is one of the few things we can hope for because things shall worsen until that occurs.

Still, the ruling elite are certainly neither omnipotent nor omniscient. They probably don't recognize how what's working for them now will inevitably come apart in quite dramatic and harmful ways. Rather than prevent that by adopting sane and humane strategies and methods, they selfishly double down on vicious greed-based plans. In my opinion, the Clintons are either wittingly or unwittingly integrally involved in this situation for the worse.

You may see them as our best hope in terrible conditions but you are nothing like them.

Ott 14, 2016, 8:20 am

How Trump got this far––one step from the Presidency––shows everything that is wrong with America. But he has motivated Women, Latinos, and Blacks to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

Modificato: Ott 14, 2016, 8:48 am

>13 moibibliomaniac:

"But he (Trump) has motivated Women, Latinos, and Blacks to make their voices heard at the ballot box."

By which, presumably, you mean "vote for Hillary Clinton." The immense irony is that, in these Women, Latinos and Blacks "making their voices 'heard' at the ballot-box," elsewhere, where it most counts, in the halls and offices of the special preserves of the oligarchs' power, what the women, Latinos and Blacks will be "heard" to have said--and what they shall have in fact done by voting for Hillary Clinton as opposed to the lamentable Donald Trump--is signal their validation of the corrupt oligarchic rule over them, to the great detriment of the great majority of them.

The oligarchs shall not fail to note and understand this message: We, the voters, are dumb as shit, we don't have a fucking clue as to how you're fucking us over and, to prove it, we'll even follow your prescriptions for good-behavior in lock-step. We'll elect a woman to the office of president who swears under oath that

( Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said) she "does not recall" ordering emails related to State Department business to be deleted or permanently erased from her personal server after she left her post in 2013, according to sworn testimony made public Thursday.

The testimony, obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch, marked the first time Clinton was forced to answer questions under oath about her private email system. A federal judge had ordered the former secretary of state's legal team to turn over written responses to questions about the so-called "homebrew" server, which was kept in her New York home during her tenure as America's top diplomat.


Ott 14, 2016, 10:47 am

>9 Phlegethon99:

Who was the last president of the United States that you don't think was a murderer?

Ott 14, 2016, 8:51 pm

Having just read the Wikipedia piece on the Hillary Clinton email saga, I have to ask "What was she thinking?". We are currently having a bit of argy bargy over here about a decision by our Attorney General to insist that all requests for advice from our Solicitor General should be made in writing through him. A bit of background: the Attorney General is an elected politician described as the country's "First Law Officer". The Solicitor General is an appointed post, and its incumbent is there to do the actual work involved in providing legal advice to the government, the governor general, and other federal politicians and officials. Such advice is supposed to be apolitical and independent of government. As you may imagine, the current Solicitor General is resisting this attempt to politicise his office somewhat strenuously. The prevailing legal opinion is that the AG doesn't have the constitutional ability to do what he's done. The "What was he thinking?" question applies here to. In the case of the Hon George Brandis the answer is that he's a jumped up little twerp with narcissistic delusions of grandeur. How about Hillary?

That being said, the threat that she poses to the fate of the planet pales in comparison to what could happen were Trump elected, IMHO.

Ott 15, 2016, 4:27 pm

To me, it does seem that your Solicitor General, as he's only providing advice and has no authority to implement policy, and presumably is firable by the PM, has a right to resist this change. Now, I'm no lawyer, but I do see this as a case equal to that of the CBC or ABC broadcasters, trying to provide a service that occasionally conflicts with the elected and perhaps should.

Modificato: Ott 16, 2016, 4:07 am

>17 DinadansFriend: In fact, the Solicitor General is a statutory office holder, and he can only be dismissed for a limited range of offences. Brandis had similar problems when Tony Abbott was Prime Minister with Gillian Triggs, who is still head of the Human Rights Commission, despite the fact that Brandis claimed that the government had "lost confidence" in her.


Ott 16, 2016, 7:33 pm

>18 dajashby::
" a statutory office holder, and he can only be dismissed for a limited range of offences" okay, the type of office is new to me, a Canadian, how does one get to be such an office holder...not covered in my references here. In Canada a very great many offices are firable by the PM, but is this office analogous to say, a Supreme Court Justice in this country, who can also be appointed, but then impossible to get rid of?
As regards the Hillary thing and the E-mails: 1) Hillary had a lot of correspondence and a very small amount of it was labelled "Classified", though some of it has since been relabelled as "classified". She deleted the 33,000 of them in a mass delete. there is some doubt as to whether she then thoroughly wiped that hard drive or not. A careless piece of housekeeping, certainly. she did mingle personal and business correspondence in a location that could conceivably be hacked by a "foreign" agency, or a hobbyist hacker. There is no evidence that anyone did do this, says the FBI, after consultation with the other US security agencies. So, they are gone. I'd like to point out that the Bush-Cheney White House deleted 22,000,000 e-mails and didn't sent them to records first. (But I digress...) She says she wouldn't do that again, and part of her staff has reordered her systems to prevent such an act. she admits to have said that none of this mass of material was classified, and claims she couldn't remember whether she knew any of it was classified when questioned. The republicans have exaggerated the possible threat to national security should she do this again, and strongly imply that there was a hacking of that material by unfriendly foreign agencies...
I am reminded as one so often is, by the time on "Yes Minister" when the Sir Humphrey the career civil servant refers to the "Bureaucratically useful" 1964 fire in the file room that destroyed selected correspondence dating from 1962 to 1966....:-}
But that is the type of thing this is, but the Clinton Haters are a tenacious lot and confuse this incident with any convenient example of hacking into USA e-material from 1979 to the present.... And it is all they've got on her on the E-mail front.
I would add that perhaps she being my age is not so technically clever as the succeeding two generations and just screwed up due to ignorance of the electronic filing systems she encounters. I also regard the Trumpery Campaign with horror, especially as Canada is closer to the USA than Australia..and I'm sure the down-under rednecks are out in greater strength since the USA has shown the way. Sigh...

Ott 16, 2016, 9:16 pm

>19 DinadansFriend: I've googled around looking for a snappy definition, but can't find one. Basically a statutory office is one defined in an act of parliament, so that the terms of appointment and dismissal are governed by statute, often for a fixed term, so that the holder can't be dismissed on the whim of the executive. It's to do with the Separation of Powers thing.

I vaguely recall that when Barack Obama got elected there was a bit of curfuffle about him wanting to keep his Blackberry, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't allowed. I read a wikipedia piece on Hillary's emails, and I'm pretty sure that the conclusion was that the State Department didn't emerge with much credit. Presumably the White House has its act together in these matters.

The whole problem is less likely to arise in a country with a functioning career public service like Canada or Australia, although that being said the politicians here have done their best to undermine it over the last few years...

Ott 18, 2016, 6:27 pm

I agree that I'd rather have a "Mandarin" red button and all, who is aware of the dignity of the office that is personally held, than a winner in the "spoils" system that has been the American system since Andrew Jackson was president. Canada has had a Tea party wannabe in office for nine years until last year and the amount of damage done by that particular Conservative was considerable....hopefully we in this country can repair it. But the amount of damage to the permanent civil service does require repair....
I don't know the detail you are following this USA election but there is a site called "the Daily Kos" that certainly provides a Democrat slant on the daily news...it has an article today on the computer security system of Donald Trump's organization that certainly equals Hillary's e-mail problems...and the day before the third debate where one of the scheduled topics involves Computer and National Security.....
Hillary may show up dressed in a "suit of Lights"and carrying a small sword and a cape.
Donald took a clenched fist to a gunfight.

Modificato: Ott 18, 2016, 9:37 pm

>21 DinadansFriend: I'm afraid I'm resolutely pro the Westminster system of government as against what passes for democracy in the US, and I get serially annoyed with the way Americans ponce around the world trying to force everyone to accept their system. I refer you back to the post I did in reply to you about how things are organised in Oz. The American system seems to me to almost guarantee a complacent approach to representative democracy. The 2 parties are guaranteed to be able to share power, most members of Congress are guaranteed to be elected and then re-elected, both Congress and the White House are just about guaranteed to not be able to do anything meaningful because of opposition from each other, and at the State level how often does a state change hands electorally speaking? What they need is a root and branch revolution in how they do government, and how likely is that to happen? Hey, I seem to be suggesting that the place is run by an oligarchic elite...

I don't personally believe in most of the conspiracies that are getting aired. I particularly don't believe in the whole "Crooked Hillary" thing. I mean, the Republicans have control of Capitol Hill. If there was anything much in this rubbish the truth would have come out by now, and it hasn't. Nixon was on trial to be impeached because he was a crook - Hillary has merely been sloppy about data security, in which it seems she wasn't on her own. That said, in any other Western democracy it's pretty unlikely that either candidate would be running for the top job.


Modificato: Ott 19, 2016, 3:18 am

> 20 :

→ " I vaguely recall that when Barack Obama got elected there was a bit of curfuffle about him wanting to keep his Blackberry, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't allowed. I read a wikipedia piece on Hillary's emails, and I'm pretty sure that the conclusion was that the State Department didn't emerge with much credit. Presumably the White House has its act together in these matters."

You're just full of "vague recollections," arent you! ?

■ "updated 1/22/2009 03:18:23 PM ET
Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry
By Suzanne Choney

Barack Obama gets to keep his beloved BlackBerry with him in the White House for personal use, a victory for the man considered the country's first high-tech president.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today that "a pretty small group of people" — some senior staffers and personal friends — will be permitted to have the e-mail address that reaches Obama's smartphone."

Later, he traded it for a newer smartphone.

"President Obama Finally Ditches Blackberry But New Smartphone ..." ( Fortune magazine, june 2016)


>22 dajashby: :

→ "I don't personally believe in most of the conspiracies that are getting aired. I particularly don't believe in the whole "Crooked Hillary" thing. I mean, the Republicans have control of Capitol Hill. If there was anything much in this rubbish the truth would have come out by now, and it hasn't."

----- a great deal has come out but it doesn't suit your self-serving moral double-standards to face it. "Reasoning" like yours--so typical of this site's usual fare--is why the discussions here are so vain, empty and laughable.

→ "Nixon was on trial to be impeached because he was a crook - Hillary has merely been sloppy about data security, in which it seems she wasn't on her own."

Nixon's and Clinton's scandals concern essentially the same thing: serious abuses of their office and their authority, violations of both the letter and spirit of laws and a conspiracy to instruct {Re the FBI whitewash, a fitting typographical error ;^) } er, and obstruct, in the case of congress, official investigation into their abuses of authority.

I submit that you cannot name a single thing in Hillary Clinton's "public service" record that you regard as inexcusable and for which you didn't and haven't in fact already practically excused her.

→ "That said, in any other Western democracy it's pretty unlikely that either candidate would be running for the top job."

They're both typical of the sorry lot of morally-bankrupt dreck in high public office around the world because there are so many others who "reason" as you do.

Ott 19, 2016, 2:31 am

>23 proximity1: Charmed, I'm sure.

Ott 19, 2016, 9:03 am

I'm getting the impression that supporters of both candidates are excusing every wrong-doing of their chosen side, whilst looking at the other side and asking "how can you excuse THAT?" So, at least something about this election is typical, lol.

Ott 19, 2016, 9:50 am

>25 Cecrow:

No doubt true as a general observation.

My view of the distinction between Trump and the Clintons is in the fact that Trump, unlike Clinton, is supposed to be "R"® evil. He's not misrepresenting himself as the "good government" candidate. If you read the packaging, it says quite clearly, "Harmful if swallowed."

Ott 19, 2016, 5:40 pm

>26 proximity1::
Can you name any actual information exposed in the "Clinton" E-mail Scandal" that actually compromised any act in the USA's foreign policy? Any leak from that "Scandal" that was utilized by a foreign power? you understand that while it created a good deal of publicity for Republican Legislators while they blocked actions that would have benefited the American People it has otherwise murdered some thousands of trees used for paper? For it seems to me that after Republican tools of the Health Care Lobby eviscerated the ordinary American's chance at a vastly improved Care system, they had to find a cause that was not so obviously an attack on the welfare of te body politic...so rather than discussing real issues about infrastructure, education, useful foreign policy, and internal security they engaged in this extended personal attack. While I realise it was more fun than reading and writing position papers and doing real research, to a Canadian it seems a massive misuse of the voters and the Elector's time.
As the history of the political world has revealed, "People should not look too closely as to how sausage, or policy is made" ( usually attributed to Bismarck, but I don't see him as one of your compromising types.)
hillary has also changed her stances on several issues in order to assuage the Bernie People, and that is what politicians should do. Even lincoln said "I will hold my views until experience or knowledge show them to be untrue and then I shall change them. It is better to be right sometimes than to be wrong all the time."

Ott 19, 2016, 8:19 pm

>27 DinadansFriend: Google comes up with dozens of lists of instances of Clinton corruption. The longest list I saw was 22. Hillary has always been a polarizing figure, mostly because the one thing the Right can't stand is a successful left wing politician - particularly if they're poaching on the Right's territory as the Clintons have (as Bernie proved, they aren't actually that far to the Left!). If you're polarizing in that way, people are bound to go digging and blow up anything they find, and nobody would accuse either Clinton of being a plaster saint. As far as the "email scandal" is concerned, of course, Colin Powell used a personal email server when he was Secretary of State, so we've got the usual double standard in place.

My main political objection to Trump is the same as the one I have to Farage and Boris Johnson over BREXIT - he is making promises to his supporters that he can't keep, and has no intention of keeping. Even if he succeeded in stopping immigration and reintroducing protectionist policies, that wouldn't help the white male voters who are supporting him.

Ott 20, 2016, 3:01 am

>27 DinadansFriend: : → "I will hold my views until experience or knowledge show them to be untrue and then I shall change them. It is better to be right sometimes than to be wrong all the time."

Well, I agree with that. But, then, I'd say 'you're late' in coming by experience or knowledge to recognize where some change is due and that, while you're able to cite Lincolnian pearls of wisdom, you aren't necessarily able to profitably apply them.

You also don't invest even the moment's reflection needed to dispose of your objections' relevance in reasoning-- and that makes discussion with you tedious and depressing.

For example, I could point out that even in the relatively backward United States, routine government publications have been printed on recycled paper for decades. I thought of that immediately. It appears not to have occurred to you at all. So, on the contrary, "no trees were harmed in the production of these reports."

This is similarly flawed :

→ " Can you name any actual information exposed in the "Clinton" E-mail Scandal" that actually compromised any act in the USA's foreign policy? Any leak from that "Scandal" that was utilized by a foreign power?"

Think about it.

Ott 20, 2016, 3:46 pm

>29 proximity1::
"But, then, I'd say 'you're late' in coming by experience or knowledge to recognize where some change is due and that, while you're able to cite Lincolnian pearls of wisdom, you aren't necessarily able to profitably apply them. "
Actually, I have, by recalling some of the things that Abraham Lincoln said, been able to define and cope with some of my personal crises. Are you aware of the failures in my life that I have had that I could have avoided by applying them ? I'm interested that I have been such an influence in your life that I am worthy of such close examination. And how did you conduct such an examination, may I ask?
And frankly, Proximity1, since you find me "tedious and depressing", I don't think I will discuss further points with you.
>28 dajashby::
Yes, Brother Trump, is in my opinion, greatly duplicitous. I certainly hope he will remain a salacious footnote in American political history. I'd call Hillary a Centrist rather than centre-left politician.

Ott 20, 2016, 8:52 pm

>30 DinadansFriend: That makes two of us.

I bow to your superior judgement on Hillary's position on the spectrum.


Hi, now it's Christine. You might like to check out our profile. I have been having a rather prolonged exchange with poor old proximity1 about one of his pet obsessions, the theory that the works of Shakespeare were actually written by the Earl of Oxford.

Unfortunately, although he knows l'm of Scottish descent he appears unaware that the national motto translates as roughly "nobody insults me and gets away with it"; he cannot, of course, know that my family's clan motto is "Touch Not The Cat".

Ott 21, 2016, 8:20 am

Happily, the further Trump slips in the polls, the less anxious I feel to ask what the heck are his supporters thinking and let it alone. So long as that feeling doesn't spread and translate into Clinton's American supporters "not bothering" to vote!

Modificato: Ott 22, 2016, 3:12 am

>30 DinadansFriend:

"And frankly, Proximity1, since you find me "tedious and depressing", I don't think I will discuss further points with you."


Allow me to restate the point for you: As I wrote, what I find tedious and depressing is giving my best efforts here and in return getting what seem to be the first things that come to your mind--posted without a moment's reflection. Elaborate congresssional enquiries decried for their extravagant waste of wood-pulp for paper when the government printing office uses recycled paper.

Thus, well, fine. I see nothing to indicate that you've ever taken any account of any comments of mine--whether addressed to you or not.

I'll be hard-pressed to miss discussing further points with you.

Modificato: Ott 21, 2016, 3:03 pm

>31 dajashby::
Directly personal attacks are, I think, a no-no on this site, and in polite discourse. So I see myself, perhaps erroneously, as a person who doesn't use them. I'll discuss your ideas, perhaps unfavourably, but it's your ideas...not you. Even though I'm not an American, but the closest neighbour, Trump, to quote Gary Trudeau who draws a clever cartoon called "Doonesbury", " seems like a Bullhorn going off in my head!"
Bernie Sanders, seems to be sticking to his bargain with Hillary, and also seems to be setting himself up as her left-wing shoulder angel, and I hope, will continue this after the election...and then, another champion will come forth for the task, when Bernie lamentably goes. The concerns of ordinary Americans' do need addressing so such a force needs to survive.
The Republicans, who have fallen victim to the technique of "False Equivalencies" do need a drubbing.

Ott 22, 2016, 3:02 pm

For the past eight years the Republicans have been the Party of "No". That strategy has now come back to bite them in the ass, with the result that they are now stuck with tRUMP. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Modificato: Ott 22, 2016, 4:58 pm

And now we have "The Greivanceburg Address", just to end the Trumpery Campaign..
The Democrats should have no pity during their first two years and drive as hard to the left as their Progressive Wing can go. Bernie should anoint a successor to keep the pressure up, because to have a decent government during the rest of the Climate Change will save lives by the hundred thousand.
One the election is over, a lot of the anti-lobbyist aims of the Trumpery campaign should be put in place, and the USA should actually try economic stimulus by education and infrastructure. Goodness knows that climate change is providing sympathy for massive infrastructure spending.

Modificato: Ott 23, 2016, 7:59 am

RE : → •••Democrats should have no pity during their first two years and drive as hard to the left as their Progressive Wing can go. Bernie should anoint a successor to keep the pressure up, •••

That is delusional Left-coast La-La Land talk. Sanders' influence on Hillary Clinton is now a museum relic. John Podesta dismissed Sanders as a "doofus"--that was before the doofus endorsed Podesta's candidate. Sanders' supporters were ridiculed and dismissed as lefty loons, "the Red Army," wackos, etc.

Sanders has undermined his own "movement's" base by endorsing Clinton. What Podesta and Clinton well understand --but that you don't--is that all genuine Leftist hopes are right where the Clintons and their DLC has kept them, sidelined orphans with no place to go.

The only "Democrats" who are remorseless drivers of policy are the DLC's Karl Roves-- Podesta & Co.

You have all the political sophistication of a man who, finding his wife passionately entwined in bed with a man asks, "Darling, is there someone else?"

Ott 23, 2016, 4:53 am

>34 DinadansFriend: I'm familiar with Doonesbury.

I think the problem with both Sanders and Corbyn is that they're slightly mired in pursuing past solutions. Socialism is really no solution to 21st century problems. Neither are protectionism, as espoused by Trump or neoliberalism, where most politicians seem to be stuck. The market works in many circumstances, but not all. There are services - health, education, power supply, transport - that are best delivered by the public sector. Apparently the Millenials get this, but Bernie was the closest fit to their concerns. Don't know whether Hillary will deliver for them, but I know that Trump wouldn't.

I can't imagine where the Republicans go from here. Trump is clearly setting himself up for a post election media career, but what they do post Trump I don't know. I've never been able to work out how libertarian economics combined with conservative social policies added up. It clearly doesn't.

I hope that Hillary's Seretary of State doesn't use a private email server.

Ott 23, 2016, 9:23 pm

>38 dajashby::
Living in an area where there isn't much except extractive industries, with seasonal employment, that is cut trees in the summer, saw them up in the winter, fish when there are fish to catch, and then such tourism as you can find to attract people to a place without much in the way of tourist attractions, there being no attractive harbour, clearcut mountainsides, and a predilection to fog, any means of sharing employment and smoothing out the bumps in the fishing, logging and touristing industries seems like a good idea for those who have families to raise. Government social services, health care, education, car insurance, and environment regulation do a good deal to help such people here on Vancouver Island. The beneficent side of "the market", is notably absent.
The 21st century problems of climate change are going to lead to rationing of certain resources, like food, like infrastructure resources like roads and housing, and even like energy, fossil or renewable. The current refugee "crisis" is more driven by climate change than by political styles, and will continue to increase rather than diminish. "the Market" as shown in the activities of our economic elite, well, even the Bank of Canada has released a report showing that the Canadian establishment would rather invest in Manhattan and Tax-Haven real estate than fund Canadian Physical Sciences research. They are unwilling to invest in tidal power research, (look at our fjord acreage!), Wind power, (we have vast tracts of windswept prairie), or even try to find clever uses for our boreal forest products. And they don't want to invest in education.
So, if you are a Canadian looking for stable employment one must look for employment in extractive industries (internationally Canadian Mining companies are willing and eager to impose present and future environmental problems on any erogeny where labour is relatively cheap.) Possibly for the entrepreneurial personality, one might create some kind of manufacturing with a global appeal but yet raw material boutique niche. The computer business being a globally even playing field, one does look there.
I agree that the personal e-mails will, in future, be incredibly protected by any seeker for public office.
The Bernites aren't a flash in the pan, and are eagerly soliticing advice from Canadians about long-term leftist pressure groups inside the Democratic label.

Modificato: Ott 24, 2016, 10:16 pm

>39 DinadansFriend: I surprise myself by being on the whole a bit of an optimist about the 21st century in the sense that I think that it isn't too late for the human race to pull itself together. I don't believe that we have yet got to the tipping points which will lead to catastrophic climate change, though as usual we are indulging in brinkmanship. One of my reasons for optimism is in fact technological change, which I believe will deliver the means whereby we can pull back from the brink, if we make the right decisions.

I don't think that we need to face food shortages. Take a look at ImpossibleFoods.com: they are producing plant based food that saves on water, and occupies dramatically less space. If it takes off we could reafforest the entire Amazon basin. I don't see much evidence of climate change led refugee flows yet. Most people trying to get from the Middle East and Africa to Europe don't need to use that as a reason - they're fleeing chaos and poverty.

Here in Oz we are just coming down from an extravagant resources boom, mostly because supply is now dramatically exceeding demand (the usual capitalist overshoot due to poor or non-existent planning and the bubble mentality). We do have a considerably natural advantage in sunshine and wind, and there's no doubt we could phase out the use of coal for electricity fairly quickly if we wanted to. Trouble is, our idiot governments have flogged off most of the electricity generation assets to foreigners, and are also keen to open up new coal mines to ship the stuff off before people stop using it. In Canada you've got all that shale oil that you ought to be leaving in the ground. It's when I detail that sort of stuff that I start to have doubts about the above mentioned optimism...

The left needs to come up with a new narrative, which I think needs to be based on sustainable and reducing growth, equality and the workless future.


Ott 30, 2016, 8:57 pm

The Comery? papers seem to be a very vicious and as several authorities aver, an illegal use of possible evidence in another trial...to such depths this contest has gone...I wonder what the Lincoln re-election campaign in 1864 was like?
I know that the offensive against Mosul may have been based on the average Iraqi afternoon temperature in August is 42 degrees celsius, and thus military operations could easily have been deferred to this moment for good reason... but Sherman going for Atlanta has some resonance.

Modificato: Nov 8, 2016, 3:17 am

Watched an interesting TV show yesterday "Clinton v Trump: the choice 2016". Gives you the history of the candidates going way back to childhood. Explains stuff that I had forgotten about why Clinton was forced to the Right after a couple of years in office & what a failure Hillary's healthcare policy was - mainly to do with (1) it was formulated without a lot of consultation and (2) noisy opposition from an essentially conservative electorate. It was pretty clear that Hillary started out as a left wing activist, but learnt the lesson that you do what you realistically can. It was also pretty clear how tough she is (something that Trump doesn't really seem to appreciate...). Emailgate seems to be explained by the Hillary Clinton tendency to keep as much as she can secret, no doubt fostered by the way she's been treated by the Rabid Right all these years. The stuff about Trump was equally fascinating. My god, you wouldn't want him to be president. At least partly because he seems to leave most of the actual work to his 2ICs, and nobody would want President Pence.

Nov 8, 2016, 5:46 pm

And neither Cruz nor Rubio could be considered a viable candidate in any other year. there are some very zealous Trump supporters crying that if Trump doesn't win, they would take up arms....sedition, that would be since Dunuld has encouraged this attitude by his references to the Second Amendment (that's the guns one). In Nevada Trump's lawyer has brought a lawsuit on the grounds that the polls stayed open too long since he seems not to recognize the principle that those waiting to vote at closing time must be accommodated no matter how long that takes! A local judge, however has thrown that move out as it has no merit, given the previous sentence. Who does that man's legal work?
So it seems tense with an hour until early closings begin...I'm hoping the lines will be so long that the early closing states will still be letting people vote due to the numbers waiting in line.... but the counts can't be published until the polls close and long lines would hamper quick results being posted....sweat....sweat....sweat.
Why a canadian would be so bothered by all of this is that the USA is Canada's biggest trading partner, though now we are the second largest partner for the USA, China/Walmart having thrust us down.

Nov 9, 2016, 8:08 am

Post-election, all kinds of disparaging, sad things occur to me to say, but it would all be born from fear of the unknown. He's a statement, alright. It's impossible to know what Trump is going to say or do from one day to the next, and we're looking at four years of that. Welcome the young ones to an all new level of stress and tension the rest of us remember from the Cold War, and stake out your happy place.

Nov 18, 2016, 3:21 am

I have to tell you the perfect antidote for President Trump is binge-watching The West Wing. I have all 6 seasons. I'll probably need them all. The show indicates that it is possible for political players to have a moral compass, even in Washington. (And yes, I am aware that it's fiction...)

Nov 18, 2016, 4:08 am

>45 dajashby:

Had Hillary Clinton been elected, we'd all have to stock up on and watch complete-seasons of "VEEP".

Nov 18, 2016, 5:45 pm

The West wing...I have the first two seasons myself, that show, and "The Newsroom" are well worth watching. And the continuing "reality Show" in DC. Well, I'm also noting that the rebroadcast of "Falling Skies" is nearing its end locally. It has an alien invasion, but as the American hero resistance group, in peril of its life winds across the eastern Seaboard, our heroes continue to scout using loud motorcycles instead of the far less noticeable 10-speed bicycles...Darwin award time. :-).

Nov 18, 2016, 5:52 pm

For two presidential Elections, the principal Actor of the West Wing was asked to run for President...Democrat of course...How might the world be different if Martin Sheen had done so? But he did respond, "My character is the best President that I can act....perhaps not the one I could be!" And declined the honour. Who did this inspire?

Modificato: Nov 18, 2016, 6:28 pm

>48 DinadansFriend: The US has already experienced 2 terms of a b-grade actor pretending to be President, and that didn't go particularly well. Granted Sheen is a better actor than Reagan was, and it certainly helps being able to tell fantasy from reality, so maybe he would have been more successful.

Nov 18, 2016, 6:32 pm

>48 DinadansFriend: Mind you, he'd have needed Leo and Josh, and CJ and all the rest as well. What a great ensemble cast it was.

Modificato: Nov 19, 2016, 8:17 pm

>46 proximity1: I can't say that I've watched any episodes of "VEEP". I believe it's an American remake of "The thick of it", however, which I have seen a bit of. The British program is a satirical take on what goes on behind the scenes in politics, and if "VEEP" is similar, I can't imagine why a Clinton win would been different from a Trump win as to whether or not you would need satire. Unless you reckon that Trump is going to be beyond satire, which is maybe a legitimate point of view.

Nov 20, 2016, 7:54 am

>51 dajashby:

Specifically, because a journalist--Maureen Dowd? -- commented, upon having read numerous e-mail messages from Wikileaks' dump of John Podesta's e-mail traffic, that the picture presented of the Clinton campaign behind the scenes reminded her more of the people characterized in the comedy series "Veep" than it did scenes from a real soon-to-be-presidential operation.

Nov 20, 2016, 7:34 pm

>52 proximity1: Thanks for explaining the reference. There hasn't been a Wikileaks dump of Trump campaign traffic, but I imagine if there had been it would remind one of "In the thick of it", given the off-colour language the show was well known for.

Nov 21, 2016, 2:09 am

>53 dajashby:

To all such quite valid observations, for the next four years, I refer you to the stock reply: "Should've nominated the old white guy from Vermont."

As I imagine it, here and there around the country where people are sleeping under bridges, hanging their laundry out to dry on tree branches in parks and forests, conversing as they lunch on day-old bread and pork and beans out a can, the major refrain is, "I may have lost my job, my savings and my home but thank goodness nobody has ever grabbed me by the pussy! I miss the Bushes and Obamas!"

And I'd bet you that in the entire four-year term to come, President Trump--still sounds weird! --doesn't grab anyone by her pussy--"not even" once.

Nov 21, 2016, 8:08 pm

>52 proximity1: My point was a simple one - no bunch of non-public email traffic of that sort if exposed to the light of day would be immune from being satirised.

>54 proximity1: Not being a US citizen I wasn't in any position to nominate Bernie, though I probably would have if I could. I predict that in four years time, the only differences for the homeless in the US will be that they're four years older and that there will be more of them.

As far as the pussy grabbing goes, let's hope not.

Modificato: Nov 22, 2016, 4:51 pm

Sadly, there will be more homeless, as the usual operation of the market will place the USA in a slump, pretty much caused by something PTB Trump will do. I note from the Daily KOS, a leftish blog, that the CEOS of the American Health Insurers are saying that to cancel Obama's ACA will place them in considerable difficulties as regards their profits this year. The environment policies of the PTB will definitely kill a number of the present mass of homeless.
What if the Electors actually do vote differently than their parties say they will? They are not, strictly speaking, under penalty if they do vote differently than the usual practice of following their party lines. That could be interesting if they follow the popular vote, something the Electors have done all but four times in 57 contests! They can elect whomsoever they wish! (or so I've been informed!)
The four exceptions were Bush over Gore in 2000, 1876, Rutherford Hayes over Tilden, 1888 Benjamin Harrison over Grover Cleveland.
The fourth example is the dog's breakfast election of 1824 that had four parties running candidates in the election. Andrew Jackson won both the electoral College plurality and the popular vote...but did not gain the presidency. You see there were four candidates so he did not get the 50% +1 in the electoral college. the election was then transferred to the House of Representatives and they voted, and thus John Quincy Adams became president!
So, if enough electors jump the rails, and the vote in the electoral college is tied, then it will go to the House of Representatives to decide....
This is quite convoluted, and I have done more research than I wanted to on this election. Horrifyingly, the train wreck continues....

Nov 22, 2016, 7:46 pm

>56 DinadansFriend: And having done all that research, who do you conclude that the House of Reps would give the presidency to? I suspect that the answer would be "Trump" and not "Clinton"! I've been listening to the "Ricochet" podcast, which is a right of centre thing run by people who did not support Trump. They're now knuckling down to back him, because he won. Most Republicans are going to give Trump the benefit of the doubt until he does something they regard as truly appalling. This will probably happen, but then we'll get President Pence, who will be about as worthless as his name suggests.

I've been speculating to what extent the US under Trump is going to find itself losing the leadership of the free world. Will other signatories to the TPP and the Paris Agreement turn their backs on it? Some arrangement such as the Concert of Europe might come into being, whose members will tell the US to take a running jump.

Then there's the problem Trump will find if he tries to take on China, which I understand is basically propping up the US economy by holding trillions of dollars worth of US bonds?

Nov 23, 2016, 8:13 pm

There'a a study which led to the formulation of what's called damn...I've lost the name of the principle...at any rate the tendency of the unskilled and less clever to overestimate their abilities while the cleverer and more skilled underestimate their abilities. Trump seems to be discovering that his self-estimates are very erroneous, given his flip-flops in the last forty-eight hours.
Sadly, as regards Europe and the USA, the lesson of history seems to be that republics have a limited period in which they are the gathering places for "The Best and the Brightest", it can be as long as three hundred years and it can be as short as 40 years. The USA is, in fact rather overdue for a period in eclipse. Unfortunately, in them, we have a declining power with a vast amount of the world's armaments and a personified underlying grudge.
Possibly a tie being sent to the HoR might give us Paul Ryan, or Ted Cruse, or even the Pence, I really feel that most Republicans would at this moment vote against the Donald, as he has simply been too gross to rule even them. A revolt of such a nature might reveal to the Trumpeters among us that they had been exploited by a clever hypocrite, who is still not equipped to "save" them.
I have already noted a post on another site; "What have the Clintons got on Trump?" that has led him to fall away from his ideological purity now that he is in power.
China will use Trump just as Putin will, until he presses the nuclear button in a fit of pique!

Modificato: Nov 24, 2016, 8:11 am

>58 DinadansFriend:

Fiunny, you gave this three-stars : The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam . Did you forget what Whiz Kids can wreak?

"The Best and the Brightest (1972) is an account by journalist David Halberstam of the origins of the Vietnam War published by Random House. The focus of the book is on the erroneous foreign policy crafted by the academics and intellectuals who were in John F. Kennedy's administration, and the disastrous consequences of those policies in Vietnam. The title referred to Kennedy's 'whiz kids'—leaders of industry and academia brought into the Kennedy administration—whom Halberstam characterized as arrogantly insisting on 'brilliant policies that defied common sense' in Vietnam, often against the advice of career U.S. Department of State employees."



"China will use Trump just as Putin will, until he presses the nuclear button in a fit of pique!"

You neglected to mention what the advantages to China's or Russia's leaders should be by their using Trump "until he presses the nuclear button in a fit of pique."

They'd pursue this recklessly until Trump presses the nuclear button in a fit of pique? You mean they disastrously miscalculate? Or do they set out to provoke him until he presses the nuclear button in a fit of pique?

Nov 25, 2016, 7:57 am

The expression "common sense" is being used too casually.

In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt wrote, "Only because we have common sense, that is only because not one man, but men in the plural inhabit the earth can we trust our immediate sensual experience." True common sense is the opposite of isolated, divided individuals trusting their guts. It is the mutual recognition: I exist, and you exist. It is the basis of human rights.

The good sense of ordinary people is the foundation of democracy; not for nothing was Thomas Paine's pamphlet titled Common Sense. When that fails – when facts and arguments become meaningless, when empty slogans and invented bogeymen win elections – democracy fails, and totalitarianism marches in.

Nov 25, 2016, 11:15 am

>60 Cecrow:

There is good--and very interesting--evidence that, in the recent presidential election, "common sense," far from failing, actually prevailed:

Nov 22, 2016 @ 06:00 AM


Exclusive Interview: How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House

by Steven Bertoni , Forbes Staff


Worth reading in its entirety.

Nov 25, 2016, 1:36 pm

>61 proximity1:, this Jared Kushner is an interesting individual (not a reassuring one), but I don't see a connection between the articles we've cited. The expression "common sense" may have been part of Mr. Kusher strategic contribution. That would explain where it came from, but it does not provide legitimacy.

Nov 25, 2016, 4:05 pm

The Scots philosopher Thomas Reid was also known as the philosopher of "common Sense" which advocated a universe consisting of the human minds and the facts of the physical universe interacting.
The Wikipedia article on that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Common_Sense_Realism
His philosophy was generated to somewhat counteract the extreme but useful skepticism of Hume. I seem to waver between the stances of both men, depending on my physical health .
Arendt seems to have a sociological view of the term...very democratic and useful as well. Gut feelings in her sense are also not equivalent to CS. Now I've got a third pole to orbit.

Modificato: Nov 25, 2016, 4:06 pm

>58 DinadansFriend:

There'a a study which led to the formulation of what's called damn...I've lost the name of the principle...at any rate the tendency of the unskilled and less clever to overestimate their abilities while the cleverer and more skilled underestimate their abilities.

Since I'm constitutionally incapable of leaving threads like this hanging . . . I think the principle you're looking for is the Dunning-Krueger Effect.

Modificato: Nov 26, 2016, 4:47 am

ABVR -- thank you for that.

As thanks, here's one I like : "Rosenhan experiment" (see Wikipedia for a brief of it.) Whether in this or another similar study, my favorite aspect of the report was that, unlike the medical professionals who all failed to recognize normal people feigning mental disorders, the hospital's own psychiatric resident patients consistently recognized the disssimulating patients as normal people and wondered why they were there.

Nov 26, 2016, 2:21 pm

Also from the Daily Kos there's a post quoting one of the purveyors of the "False News" that surged trough this campaign..."I tried to do false news on liberal websites but they don't take the bait...and i get debunked in two posts almost at once."
Surging like a tide of sludge. If talk radio destroys the work of the Carnegie Libraries where are we, those who try to spread the factual, scientific truth I mean?

Dic 10, 2016, 10:33 pm

"The Words of the Prophets are written on the Subway Walls,
And Tenement Halls
And Whisper,
In the Sound
Of silence.'
I never thought I'd quote that again, but .....

Dic 14, 2016, 2:24 am

It's a common delusion of the Right that running a country and running a business are the same thing. It's a delusion that Trump seems to be particularly prone to. It has never been true before, and it isn't true now. There are natural monopolies like healthcare, public transport, social housing, etc, where the profit motive is a serious impediment to providing an equitable service (Private island is a good read). The concept of conflict of interest seems completely foreign to these guys. I could go on about this for pages...

Modificato: Dic 14, 2016, 3:36 am

>68 dajashby:

"it's a common delusion• I could go on about this for pages..."

No need. Hillary has said it all :

" the discussions were also an opportunity for Clinton to speak candidly about policy, politics, and her approach to governing.

Touching on her view of developing financial regulations, Clinton declared to a crowd of Goldman Sachs bankers that in order to “figure out what works,” the “people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.”

Photo: Stephen Chernin/AFP/Getty Images

Dic 14, 2016, 7:48 am

>69 proximity1:, sounds like an innocuous quote. Generally speaking it's a sign of good leadership to demonstrate a willingness to listen to expertise. Trump is all business, and Clinton would not hold a candle to him in that regard. Furthermore, I'm not seeing evidence that he listens to anybody but number one. His appointments and candidates so far are very suggestive of people who will merely agree with him, not challenge him.

Modificato: Dic 14, 2016, 12:02 pm

>70 Cecrow:

"proximity1:, sounds like an innocuous quote."

You'd rationalize it that way, of course.

RE : "Furthermore, I'm not seeing evidence that he listens to anybody but number one."

You wouldn't allow such evidence. But, since there is such evidence, I have to suppose one or more of the following:

✘ (bubble existence) You selectively read and listen to things which accord with your preconceived notions largely or entirely "missing skipping" (not missing it) the rest;

✘ (inattention/forgetfulness) If you do see indications, you skip them, skim over them lightly without care or attention, or you forget what doesn't square with your prejudices;

✘ You really just don't give a damn.

one, two, three or all of the above.

Trump has already appointed one or more people who has --

been openly critical of him since before he was the Republican Party's nominee; can you name one of these?

challenged one of his openly-stated positions and actually led him to avow his own change of position on an issue; can you name one of these?

My guess--without some "Googling" on it, no, you can't. Your reasoning is deficient, your awareness, poor. Thus your views neither surprise nor impress me as well-informed or open-minded. But they do strike me as very typical of the standard of thinking at this site's discussion fora.



From Podesta's e-mails :


"Why didn't they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy," replied Neera Tanden, a longtime Podesta friend who also has worked for Clinton. Then, answering her own question, Tanden wrote again: "I guess I know the answer. They wanted to get away with it."

"We've taken on a lot of water that won't be easy to pump out of the boat," Podesta wrote to Tanden in September 2015, at a time when Clinton's campaign feared that Vice President Joe Biden was about to enter the race for the Democratic nomination. "Most of that has to do with terrible decisions made pre-campaign, but a lot has to do with her instincts."

"Everyone wants her to apologize. And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles heel," Tanden wrote later that day.

Three days later, Clinton had still not apologized, even as the issue dominated campaign news coverage. "This apology thing has become like a pathology," Tanden wrote. "I can only imagine what's happening in the campaign. Is there some way I can be helpful here?"


How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election

Across battlegrounds, Democrats blame HQ’s stubborn commitment to a one-size-fits-all strategy.

By Edward-Isaac Dovere

12/14/16 05:08 AM EST


... Everybody could see Hillary Clinton was cooked in Iowa. So when, a week-and-a-half out, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) started hearing anxiety out of Michigan, union officials decided to reroute their volunteers, giving a desperate team on the ground around Detroit some hope.

They started prepping meals and organizing hotel rooms.

SEIU — which had wanted to go to Michigan from the beginning, but been ordered not to — dialed Clinton’s top campaign aides to tell them about the new plan. According to several people familiar with the call, Brooklyn was furious.

Turn that bus around, the Clinton team ordered SEIU.
Those volunteers needed to stay in Iowa to fool Donald Trump into competing there, not drive to Michigan, where the Democrat’s models projected a 5-point win through the morning of Election Day.

Michigan organizers were shocked. It was the latest case of Brooklyn ignoring on-the-ground intel and pleas for help in a race that they felt slipping away at the end.

They believed they were more experienced, which they were. They believed they were smarter, which they weren’t,” said Donnie Fowler, who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee during the final months of the campaign. “They believed they had better information, which they didn’t.

(Note: It appears that it's not even completely inconceivable that Rience Priebus finds himself out of his new job even before Trump is sworn in. Depends on how acrimonious or harmonious things go among the high WH staff between now and inauguration day.)

(From Politico)

Divisions deepen inside Trump Tower

‘The transition has taken a decidedly nasty and more vitriolic turn,’ one aide says.

By Alex Isenstadt and Kenneth P. Vogel

12/14/16 05:07 AM EST


Donald Trump’s White House-in-waiting is already being roiled by divisions, with the conservative outsiders who helped power his historic victory colliding with a Republican Party establishment muscling its way in.

Insiders paint a picture of constant score-keeping and simmering suspicion within Trump world — one even called it “vitriolic.” And they foresee incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, the party stalwart, and chief strategist Steve Bannon, the populist firebrand, headed for an inevitable clash.

Some have begun to chafe at the power being exhibited by Priebus — who, along with a team of lieutenants, is exerting broad influence over hiring decisions.

During one recent meeting, Trump told former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and Priebus that Conway, who is aligned with Bannon and is one of the president-elect’s closest aides, would get whatever post she wanted. Priebus jumped in, responding that Conway would take a position in the administration and that he was working with her on a role, according to two people familiar with the exchange.

But Conway, who has been undecided about whether to work for Trump in the West Wing or outside the White House, sharply rejected that assertion.

Priebus, Conway said, doesn’t speak for her.

Trump appeared taken aback. “Oh, she’s tough,” he told Priebus.

Trump, a businessman-turned-politician, has long encouraged competition between factions within his organizations, creating a pressure-cooker environment where almost every decision resulted in a winner and a loser. In the end, one side would be vanquished and another would take its place, and the cycle would repeat. (*)

* In particular, the above, in bold-face and Italics, indicates that listening to other than solely "number One" is a long-established habit of Trump's. He let's lively divisions arise and play out and when these come to a conclusion, he takes a position--and it can happen that somebody whose case didn't win out doesn't come out well either. That would appear to directly refute your view and show that, on the contrary, observing and attending to quite differing points of view is, if anything, characteristic of Trump.

Dic 14, 2016, 11:17 am

lol - you have put me in mind of Samuel Johnson, which could be a compliment. He didn't like to lose a debate, and would quickly switch to ridiculing the other's position if he felt in danger. Boswell quotes their contemporary Oliver Goldsmith who said there's no use arguing with Johnson, since if he fails to shoot you with his pistol (metaphorically) he'll just knock you down with the butt end of it.

But I believe you're right that some of his appointments do include people who have challenged him. My point was to wonder whether they will in future. I do relish the irony of the fellow who's been appointed to Energy, after he had campaigned to abolish it. Trump at least has a sense of humour.

Modificato: Dic 14, 2016, 11:36 am

>72 Cecrow:

You can laugh but you haven't named a single example of one who refutes your presumption, "I'm not seeing evidence that he listens to anybody but number one."

To me, the "joke's" on you. I ridiculed your lack of command of the facts. It's as though you (and Goldsmith) had said, "It's no use arguing with _"X"__, since he (or she) has facts which demonstrate the fallacy of one's view." Yeah, that could be a problem area. I needn't shoot you with a pistol nor knock you down with the butt end of it; I have facts which show that your assumptions don't stand up to scrutiny. You laugh that off and you're welcome to do that, you and John Podesta and Hillary Clinton and the vast army of Clinton's supporters. Meanwhile, Trump looks like he'll take office--if the Electoral College doesn't produce a revolt--the last hope of Podesta (and Clinton?).

RE : "I believe you're right that some of his appointments do include people who have challenged him. My point was to wonder whether they will in future."

(My turn to laugh.)

Interesting. I missed where you'd made that clear, above, since what you actually wrote was that, " I'm not seeing evidence that he listens to anybody but number one."

Only after I pointed out that, in fact, there is such evidence available (to anyone who's actually interested in knowing about it), did you mention that your point was prospective in character.

Again, I don't see why I should be impressed with this.

Dic 14, 2016, 12:07 pm

I'll grant I misspoke, or didn't provide a name off the top of my head, or whatever this point is you're making. You've kinda lost me here.

Clearly we're locked into our own perspectives on whether Trump can hack it. We'll know who's right soon enough, as events unfold. Or more fairly, I'll see whether anything changes my opinion. As far as Trump's opinion goes, I don't need a crystal ball to tell me he will go to his grave believing he was the best POTUS who ever lived.

His behaviours of concern so far hardly need listing. Perhaps he's an entirely different man out of the public eye and off the record, but it's difficult to imagine the persona we see is merely an elaborate act. It will take a lot of finesse in office and an improved relationship with the press to persuade me he's a man of fine moral character who places the public good first.

Modificato: Dic 14, 2016, 12:56 pm

"It will take a lot of finesse in office and an improved relationship with the press to persuade me he's a man of fine moral character who places the public good first."

That's a very different matter.

I think that his moral character is very far from what I'd call "fine." Nor do I expect him to usually take decisions which place the public good first --especially where that counts most.

But your point in this exchange was that this, is "an innocuous quote" :

" Touching on her view of developing financial regulations, Clinton declared to a crowd of Goldman Sachs bankers that in order to “figure out what works,” the “people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.”

in reply to this

>68 dajashby: "It's a common delusion of the Right* that running a country and running a business are the same thing. It's a delusion that Trump seems to be particularly prone to."

I think you and Clinton make my point : the political "Right" is very unfortunately not alone in holding fast to that common delusion--or maybe you, like HRC, deserve to be classified with the taxonomy of the political "Right."

* (emphasis added)

Dic 14, 2016, 1:10 pm

I read it as Clinton calling upon bankers to provide advice that will help guide financial regulations. Is that bad? She would have called upon their expertise to help guide what needs doing. Financial regulations are pretty tricky stuff and figuring out their impacts looks akin to alchemy or astrology to my poor eyes. It would be broad generalizing to take that as meaning she would view government decisions across the board in the light of generating money/profit.

Dic 14, 2016, 9:01 pm

>67 DinadansFriend: funny, but Ive been thinking of that song quite a bit lately

Great cartoon in NYer a few months back. Two professor types talking 'those who forget history are condemned to repeat it', the other replies 'and those who remember history are condemned to watch other people repeat it" Sigh.

Modificato: Dic 15, 2016, 1:47 am

Yesterday, 1:10pm Top
I read it as Clinton calling upon bankers to provide advice that will help guide financial regulations. Is that bad?

Jesus wept.


"Regulatory capture" --

Regulatory capture is a form of government failure that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.(1) When regulatory capture occurs, the interests of firms or political groups are prioritised over the interests of the public, leading to a net loss to society as a whole. Government agencies suffering regulatory capture are called "captured agencies".


(example / @ Wikipedia)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) is the most influential of the Federal Reserve Banking System. Part of the New York Fed's responsibilities is the regulation of Wall Street, but its president is selected by and reports to a board dominated by the chief executives of some of the banks it oversees.(41)While the New York Fed has always had a closer relationship with Wall Street, during the years that Timothy Geithner was president, he became unusually close with the scions of Wall Street banks,(41) a time when banks and hedge funds were pursuing investment strategies that caused the 2008 financial crisis, which the Fed failed to stop.

During the financial crisis, several major banks that were on the verge of collapse were rescued with government emergency funding.(41) Geithner engineered the New York Fed's purchase of $30 billion of credit default swaps from American International Group (AIG), which it had sold to Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale. By purchasing these contracts, the banks received a "back-door bailout" of 100 cents on the dollar for the contracts.(42) Had the New York Fed allowed AIG to fail, the contracts would have been worth much less, resulting in much lower costs for any taxpayer-funded bailout.(42) Geithner defended his use(42) of unprecedented amounts of taxpayer funds to save the banks from their own mistakes, (41) saying the financial system would have been threatened. At the January 2010 congressional hearing into the AIG bailout, the New York Fed initially refused to identify the counterparties that benefited from AIG's bailout, claiming the information would harm AIG.(42) When it became apparent this information would become public, a legal staffer at the New York Fed e-mailed colleagues to warn them, lamenting the difficulty of continuing to keep Congress in the dark.(42) Jim Rickards calls the bailout a crime and says "the regulatory system has become captive to the banks and the non-banks".(43)

Dic 16, 2016, 3:42 pm

About Boycott Trump's Cabinet choices, I'd like to quote Adam Smith (the Scots academic and professor of moral Philosophy, not the contemporary right-wing columnist):
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
We are going to hear a lot about that. This morning's deplorable rumour is that Sylvester Stallone could become the head of the USA's National Endowment for the Arts...but that might backfire, if SS is actually is an actor with some compassion and hasn't been swallowed by some of his most popular roles. I understand that Vincent Diselle is not a the sum of his roles either.

Smith adds further to this quote and brings in an interesting point, in my view justifying government intervention to raise the standard of living of the whole society, not just the prosperous.

"It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. A regulation which obliges all those of the same trade in a particular town to enter their names and places of abode in a public register, facilitates such assemblies. . . . A regulation which enables those of the same trade to tax themselves in order to provide for their poor, their sick, their widows, and orphans, by giving them a common interest to manage, renders such assemblies necessary. An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes the act of the majority binding upon the whole."

So if we are interested in the raising the standard of living of the population as a whole, which economic theory tells us is the best way of maintaining widely distributed wealth and well-being..we should tax those exhibiting economic well-being directly in order to insure the welfare of the population as a whole.
Or those practising a trade, enterprise, or profession should publicly announce that they do not practice in order to aid society but are at war against it, in order to maximize their personal profits.

Dic 16, 2016, 4:00 pm

Okay I stated a rumour that Vin Disel's real name was Vincent Diselle...It is actually Mark Sinclair. Sorry if I caused any unhappiness with that. The Adam Smith Stuff is all footnotable "An Enquiry into...the Wealth of nations." Bk. I, Chapt. 10 p.55b in my "Great Books of the Western World, Volume 39. I don't want to be accused of false news.

Dic 16, 2016, 11:31 pm

>75 proximity1: Where did I suggest that the delusion was only held by the Right? "Left" and "Right" are in any case pretty nebulous concepts that lazy people like me use as short hand. We know who we mean.:-)

Dic 16, 2016, 11:34 pm

>78 proximity1: The gold standard of regulatory capture is known as kleptocracy, where a whole nation is run for the benefit of the leader and a few of his cronies. Of course, the gold standard of kleptocratic systems is Russia, as admired by Trump. Watch out.

Modificato: Dic 17, 2016, 10:04 am

>82 dajashby:

To quote you >76 Cecrow:, "Is that bad?"

(Corrected as per # 84, below)

Modificato: Dic 17, 2016, 7:30 am

>83 proximity1: That was cecrow, not me. To quote you, "Jesus wept". You would want to live in Putin's Russia, would you?

Modificato: Dic 17, 2016, 10:07 am

>84 dajashby:

No, I wouldn't. Not in Putin's Russia--nor Obama's America, nor Bill or Hillary's, nor May's Britain, nor Cameron's or Osborne's--etc.

Dic 17, 2016, 5:55 pm

>85 proximity1: Sorry, your question must have been rhetorical then?