Thursday, July 28, 2016

Yes… this really matters

Enjoying convention season? Okay, I was actually scheduled to speak at one of the side events in Philadelphia, but had to drop out. No worries. Well, none that I don’t share with millions of fellow citizens.

Meanwhile, out in the real world…stuff continues… for example…

The world is on pace to set another high temperature benchmark, with 2016 becoming the third year in a row of record heat. NASA scientists announced on Tuesday that global temperatures so far this year were much higher than in the first half of 2015.

Seriously. Many of the decisions we face are not about “left” or “right” in any traditional political way. It is largely about facts and science versus believers in 'truthy" incantations. 


It is about sanity. And survival. And at some point you are going to have to ponder whether your favorite, comfy incantation-magical-spells (of either left or right) are really worth risking the planet and your children.

== The most-important choice. ==

Way back ages ago, Michael Dukakis tried to prevent the Epoch of Bushes by touting that “a candidate’s first and most-telling decision is his choice as a running mate.” He said this because it was quickly apparent to the voting public how vastly superior an individual Lloyd Bentsen was, over the callow Dan Quayle. 

Of course, Dukakis was flailing about, while drowning. But history does show a distinct difference between the selections made by GOP vs Democratic nominees.

Tim Kaine fits the mold for Democratic running mates… a bit boring, perhaps a smidgeon to the right of fully-liberal, and highly qualified. 

In contrast, with just two exceptions, Republican presidential nominees almost always pick someone spectacularly unqualified to be commander in chief. The exceptions? On paper at least, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush chose men who at least had very strong resumes. Yes… those two chosen-ones would also turn into the most spectacularly evil horrors to exercise U.S. executive power in a hundred years. Still, they were qualified, on paper. Nearly all the other GOP VP picks have been -- well -- ridiculous.

We’ll let the choice of Tim Kaine sit and gel a bit, though it truly is hard to see how it does anything but speak well of Hillary Clinton. (Watch his convention speech; it was solid.) As for this season’s Republican choice? Well, on paper he is Kaine’s equal, with experience both in Congress and a governor’s mansion. Alas, he's also a bona fide fanatic and deeply, fiercely committed to the war on science. 

This fellow lists five reasons why Mike Pence was a great match for Donald Trump, including the Indiana Governor’s extremely close relationship with the Koch brothers. Left off the list? The main reason why I suggested DT might pick an establishment right winger… someone who could minister to the Tea Party and fundamentalist wings, when Trump shocks everyone by veering toward the center (in selected ways) during the debates. 

Recapping: in my last political posting I posed a plausibility. Back when I believed DT to be a more disciplined schemer, not the short-fuse/impulsive blabber we now see, I predicted Trump would – as soon as he got the nomination – plunge center-ward with stunning alacrity.  Indeed, a silver lining would have been his abandonment of climate denialism and Supply Side Drivel “Economics.”  In that case, while the nation – and DT’s November chances – might improve, he’d risk the wrath of the right, unless he had a running mate capable of soothing that mob. 

Now? I see that center-veer as less likely. Though indeed, why else would they have tested the waters in Cleveland, with Ivanka’s feminism speech and Donald’s riff on defending LGBTs? Well, well.  With Pence on hand to keep the far-right chilled, Trump could do some center-veers, saving them for the debates where they'll have maximum impact. 

The dems should prepare for some jiu jitsu surprises!

But that wasn’t the only factor, in choosing Pence. A while back, I opined that Donald Trump would ponder an extra consideration, in picking his running mate – making sure it would be someone unlikely to betray him!  
      Betrayal either before the election, if all seems lost… or in the case of victory (GF!) , after, when an establishment republican Veep would serve as “impeachment bait.” I do think DT may have taken these factors into account…

…but perhaps not in the way I imagined!  It just occurred to me... dang... that I may have misjudged the situation.

Suppose the election looks to be a rout, Donald will be desperate for a face-saving out. Betrayal by the party elders, including his running mate, might fit the bill perfectly. Oh, anyone sane would know they bolted because he was a loser, bigtime...

But the important thing, when it comes to face, is maintaining appearances with a big enough minority. Call it the “OJ Effect.” If he can nurse the notion that he was stabbed in the back, then for a few tens of millions that will be the excuse narrative he can milk for forty years. (And a few of you know I used the specific term “stab in the back” with historical pertinence.)

Whoa.  So... Trump may at some point try to draw the betrayal?

Oooh. I have some wires loose. They spark. Ack!

== Sane Conservatives are Standing Up ==


This logical and impassioned letter from a lifelong Republican activist, tells his reasons for resigning his post on a GOP committee. Chris Ladd, whose GOPLifer site has been a locus for many conservatives discussing in dismay the hijacking of their movement, offers a cogent and clear summary of his reasons, cluding these incredible paragraphs:

“At the national level, the delusions necessary to sustain our Cold War coalition were becoming dangerous long before Donald Trump arrived. From tax policy to climate change, we have found ourselves less at odds with philosophical rivals than with the fundamentals of math, science and objective reality.

“The Iraq War, the financial meltdown, the utter failure of supply-side theory, climate denial, and our strange pursuit of theocratic legislation have all been troubling. Yet it seemed that America’s party of commerce, trade, and pragmatism might still have time to sober up. Remaining engaged in the party implied a contribution to that renaissance, an investment in hope. Donald Trump has put an end to that hope.

“From his fairy-tale wall to his schoolyard bullying and his flirtation with violent racists, Donald Trump offers America a singular narrative – a tale of cowards. Fearful people, convinced of our inadequacy, trembling before a world alight with imaginary threats, crave a demagogue. Neither party has ever elevated to this level a more toxic figure, one that calls forth the darkest elements of our national character.”

Should it ever have come to this?  That it would take the looming-scary presence of an American Mussolini to make decent conservative realize it is time to stand up? Yes, Chris Ladd’s missive will help, if each of you out there uses it to help minister to some desperately anguished Republican neighbor.

But do not expect them to let go of their rationalizations easily! Especially the last refuge: “Yes, I know my side has gone stark, jibbering insane, without a single positive accomplishment to point to and swirling in a toilet bowl of lies…. But… but democrats are worse!”

Accept your mission and the difficulty.  Your aim is not to convert them from conservatism or love of market economics!  Nore should you sneer at American exceptionalism!

Your task is to remind them that American conservatism once bore at least a glancing correlation with pragmatic appreciation of facts, of science, and of the need to move ahead in a rapidly changing world. It can again (someday) be part of a conversation, a negotiation, that includes enterprise and individualism and deregulation in the mix of ideas we’ll use, to take on 21st Century challenges!


But first they must let go. It is like prying the hands of a drowning man off the soaked and sinking life preserver he's clinging to and getting him to notice the starship floating nearby with a welcome ramp waiting... if only he would just... turn... his... head.


102 comments:

donzelion said...

"Suppose the election looks to be a rout, Donald will be desperate for a face-saving out."

LOL, unlikely. Instead of "face-saving" (like Romney blaming Obama's gifts to his supporters), Trump's instinct has always been "take no positive positions on anything beyond your own greatness - just attack! attack!"

Historically, Trump's standard practice has been to "pretend" and "attack" - anticipating that the most obnoxious attack will attract attention.

Accused of slum lord practices to oust his own tenants? Hire the journalist to ghost-write your signature book. The "thug" allegation becomes forgotten; the best seller speaks louder.

Accused by the Justice Department of racism in 1973? Sue the Justice Department for $100 million in defamation (who cares if your attack fails - it's noisy, memorable, audacious - and most of all, it is remembered). Same with Palm Beach litigation, and much other litigation.

Trump studied and learned from the Roy Cohn school of "attack! attack!" Anyone who stands in your way is a target of attack - pay off some of them (Ivana Trump, Polish workers building your towers whom you refused to pay) - call them names - knowing that most people lack the wealth to effectively counter your constant flurry of attacks, and will cave in (Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich).

Berial said...

I think there is a lot of insight going on here, and maybe not just in politics.

Theme of the RNC: 'Believing something to be true, is the same as it being true'.

Idea from John Oliver's Last Week Tonight.

matthew said...

This is a very informative interview with Glenn Greenwald - it touches on press freedom, when to publish stolen emails, redaction, WikiLeaks after the DNC emails, etc. I know from prior posts that Dr. Brin does not particularity care for Mr. Greenwald, but as someone that has been following Greenwald for many years, the evolution in his thought is interesting. He seems... mellower... in his often times manic need to be a contrarian. He is contrary here - going after the US press for being too opposed to Trump to do good work. Interesting, if at the base wrong-headed.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2016/07/glenn_greenwald_on_donald_trump_the_dnc_hack_and_a_new_mccarthyism.html

Oh, and I'm now routinely being called all kinds of names by former Bernie supporters for telling them to get over it and hold their nose to vote for Clinton. Man, what a lot of hate! Bunch o' assholes over there.

donzelion said...

Ugh, looking over the 114th Congress, Committee on Science, Space & Technology of the 114th Congress, headed by Lamar Smith, 21st District of Texas - I get annoyed by the Trump show. To hell with Trump! He's nothing but an obnoxious distraction.

Let's see, Lamar Smith's own website seems to take a fairly responsible view on the matter...hey, wait a second, it reads that he's a "member" of the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology. Um, he's been the CHAIR for the last few years. He doesn't even care enough to update his own website to point that out? Well, that is the page on "environment" - so I guess it speaks loudly...

What has Chairman Smith achieved in the 114th Congress, under his great leadership?

According to their own records, 17 pieces of legislation were "touched" by the Committee (the session for which ran from Jan 3, 2015 to Jan 3, 2017). Most sit in "legislative limbo." Resolving the "Trump show" has taken a higher priority - and every time we focus on that circus, we let them off the hook for their do-nothing gambit.

-H.R.810 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015 - Near and dear to the hearts of many folks here - well, maybe not "dear" (indeed, this one attracts serious rage from many folks here).

HR.23 - the ``National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015'' - this one actually passed. In addition to allotting a whopping $22 million dollars to the issue, the House has successfully defined a 'Northeaster" as a form of "windstorm" - and converted an "Interagency Working Group" into an "Interagency Coordinating Committee." Congrats.

H.R.1020 - STEM Education Act of 2015 - the great achievement here is 'expanding' the Noyce Fellowship program so that candidates don't need to have a master's degree to apply. Yep, that'll fix all gaps in STEM education!

H.R. 1806 the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 - lot's of discussion here. Opposed by the White House..

Take a look at this summary of the highlights-
-Prohibits the Director of the Department of Energy...from approving new climate science-related initiatives...without making a determination that such work is unique and not duplicative...(because, shucks, science doesn't need repeated experiment and verification...)
-Prohibits Federal regulatory authorities from using the results of any fossil fuel research by the Department of Energy for regulatory purposes (WTF? Banning the use of scientific findings for regulatory purposes?!?! Is this the "anti-science" committee or what?!)

Essentially, Dr. Brin claims the 114th is the laziest, most do-nothing congress in U.S. history. I see plenty of evidence in the Science & Technology Committee to support that view.

I also see precious few who are angry about it. Because, like, Hillary may be a bad person, and Trump too, so none of this stuff matters.

But if folks here will not raise the battle cry, then who will?

bigsteve said...

I have for awhile read GOPLIFER Blog. Chris is pro business while socially he is pretty progressive. Believe it or not at one time there was a progressive wing of the GOP. While a son of the deep south and great grandson of a Confederate Civil War veteran, I have no interest in White Nationalism. It is part of the reason why the South is backwards. White Nationalism is just the decoy to keep poor whites from seeing the elite screw over poor Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. We really are stronger together which is why they encourage bigotry. There are many white southerners who are not White Nationalist with Mr. Ladd being one. I look forward to more Hispanics in my region so sensible White and Blacks can finally get to the numbers to out vote the bigots. And for those bigots it would be the best thing that could happen for them.

David Brin said...

Matthew. I believe the message for die-hard Bernites is to find a local state or congressional race and put the passion to work there. If Bernie had become president, but never got a workable Congress, then you'd just get some supreme court appointments and ZERO accomplished from his agenda. If HC gets a Congress you can apply pressure and accomplish a whole lot more than that.

Too prissy and romantic to think of anything other than the presidency? What an imperialist!

Jumper said...

If they love Bernie so much why do they angrily refuse to do what he asks them to? And every other progressive leader I know of?

Carl M. said...

So how does Gary Johnson's pick of Bill Weld fit your theory?

Berial said...

Right there with ya Steve.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in tiny type:

And a few of you know I used the specific term “stab in the back” with historical pertinence.


The swastika fits.

Tom Crowl said...

Here are a couple of "moves to the center" that Trump could pull off to change the game... if e.g. the race is close in October and he just needs a bump.

1. Announce an intention to break up the banks upon election

2. Announce an intention to ban corporate donations and support funding transparency.

Whether he believes it or not... and despite its unpopularity among his (and the Dem's) Party Establishments... as well as any disagreement with his own V.P...

This appears to broad swaths of both Party bases... and addresses the fault lines which is now threatening... and will continue to threaten the current political landscape. (and is in line with certain core lines of his spiel)

The tragic inability and unwillingness of the Dems to address either of these issues leaves an avenue a mile wide for a candidate to walk through.

LarryHart said...

matthew:

Oh, and I'm now routinely being called all kinds of names by former Bernie supporters for telling them to get over it and hold their nose to vote for Clinton. Man, what a lot of hate! Bunch o' assholes over there.


I voted for Bernie in the primary, but by the end, I was rooting for Hillary, and I'm glad she's the nominee. The influx of new voters Bernie excites seem to be quite fickle, and I don't know that we could count on them to be there in November.

Bernie Bros don't know when they've won. They're almost like Republicans that way.

David Brin said...

Let's make a list of center veers DT might perform, saving them for a debate where it will have biggest shock value.

Tom suggested:
1. Announce an intention to break up the banks upon election

2. Announce an intention to ban corporate donations and support funding transparency.

My big ones are
3. Conceding Climate change...

4. Supply Side has been disproved.

Then there's the Veer from Babylon 5.... no no, we won't go there.


Alfred Differ said...

Gov Weld knows how to raise money because he understands the game.

Judge Gray did not and it showed last time.

Berial said...

RIP Jerry Doyle.

So many B5 alum are passing way to soon.

Tom Crowl said...

Yes Dr. brin...

It seems to me that it would be easy for Dems to avoid these vulnerabilities by getting out in front of them.

Especially by taking serious and immediately practical steps to address money in politics (both in campaigns and lobbying).

Yes, supporting overturning Citizens' United is great... but that's a long process which can be both stalled and gamed.

However lobbying technology which will alter the funding landscape AND/OR stimulate REAL change in the election process if for no other reason than having the 'great unwashed' messing in the process scares the poop out of them...

is available now.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Tom suggested:
1. Announce an intention to break up the banks upon election

2. Announce an intention to ban corporate donations and support funding transparency.

My big ones are
3. Conceding Climate change...

4. Supply Side has been disproved.



Any one of those would be a slap in the face to the hard-core right-wingers who form his base, effectively telling them "All that stuff we've been having you repeat unthinkingly to vilify liberals? Naaaah, we never really believed it."

Trump's strategy is the Republican strategy--never admit error, but double down on your insistence that you're right.


Then there's the Veer from Babylon 5.... no no, we won't go there.


Wow, it must have been a long time since B5, because I don't remember the plot point you're talking about. A hint, perhaps?

David Brin said...

Veer was the name of the assistant to the roman-style ambassador.

Berial said...

@LarryHart

"Wow, it must have been a long time since B5, because I don't remember the plot point you're talking about. A hint, perhaps?"

Just a play on a character's name. Vir Cotto. You remember he waves at heads on spikes as a reminder that some favors come with too high a price.

LarryHart said...

As to Mike Pence's declaration that Donald Trump reminds him of Ronald Reagan, well all I can do is repeat this passage I posted earlier from "The Fountainhead", with a few substitutions:

> He had given up trying to understand. He knew dimly that the
> explanation of the change swallowing the world was of a nature
> he preferred not to know. In his youth, he had felt an amicable
> contempt for the works of George Bush or Mitt Romney, and
> praising them had seemed no more than innocent quackery. But
> he knew that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump represented so
> impertinent, so viscous a fraud that to suspend the evidence of
> his eyes was beyond his elastic capacity. He had believed that
> people found greatness in Romney, and there had been reasonable
> satisfaction in borrowing his borrowed greatness. He knew that
> no one saw anything whatsoever in Trump. He felt something dark
> and leering in the manner in which people spoke of Trump's
> resemblance to Reagan; as if they were not doing homage to Trump, but spitting
> upon Reagan. For once, Keating could not follow people. It was
> too clear, even to him, that public favor had ceased being a
> recognition of merit, that it had become almost a brand of shame.

Alfred Differ said...

I suspect Trump won't veer to the center and will let the Dems over prepare. It would let him look focused on his core message which is "Elect ME."

His ad-libs shouldn't be taken as policy directions. He has already told his voters not to think too deep. He will take care of things.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Just a play on a character's name. Vir Cotto. You remember he waves at heads on spikes as a reminder that some favors come with too high a price.


Oh yeah, the Caligula guy.

Thanks.

Tom Crowl said...

@Larry Hart

I believe you're misreading at least a significant portion of Trumps working class base... as well as the concerns of the Left disaffected with the Dems.

Sure the Repub Establishment wouldn't want those things... and who know what Trump wants.

But we're talking about strategies to pull off an election given a close race.

The two greatest factors affecting the election will be turnout and enthusiasm (which are related)... and NOT Party affiliation or past voting patterns.

Here's another shift he could try at the last minute:

Support very MODEST gun control (like background checks and requirements for training)

Sure his base and the NRA wouldn't like it. But where would they go? To Clinton?

And for the Left on this issue.. he could... probably truthfully... say that he could be much more successful in getting it through and they should elect him to avoid Clinton who'd "take away their guns altogether (yes, false but would that matter?)

It just seem to me that as both Bernie and Trump have understood... both Parties have left gaps so wide for an outsider to walk through that its inevitable that those doors are going to be walked through sooner-or-later.

donzelion said...

@Dr. Brin - conceding "climate change" isn't that much of a veer (adding anthropogenic to it is slightly bigger concession, but even then, not so big). Many Republicans will pretend it's a big concession - but the worst climate skeptics (e.g., Lamar Smith) already acknowledge climate change, and focus on preventing the government from doing anything about it.

On climate issues generally, the ozone debate is illustrative.

Democrats essentially embraced the guidance of a panel of scientists, who said that reducing ozone standards from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion would save an addition 300 to 600 lives, at a cost of from $2 - 9 billion (many of the scientists actually sought even lower ozone standards to protect children's health, so this was the highest level they'd actually recommended).

Republicans view the ozone standards debate in terms of, "will my local benefactors get enough money this year from the dividends they reap in public utilities to pay me to run again?" Who cares if there's 300 to 600 more old people or children dying of asthma? Big deal, they don't vote and don't donate. Those folks aren't worth $3 to $30 million dollars in costs borne by the nation as a whole - their lives just don't matter as much as the costs.

That's the normal state of play in real world debate (the stuff nobody who isn't a CSPAN addict will ever see).

On the "Science Committee," Rohrabacher (CA-48th) is one of the more extreme climate skeptics - citing the "Global Warming Petition" that alleges 31,487 scientists reject any evidence of anthropogenic global warming. Took a gander at the list, it's rather cute. A couple of quick Googles on some of the names, and I couldn't find any PhDs on the list who actually had done any climate research (e.g., the only "Dr. George Baker" I could find in California was an art historian at UCLA, but maybe some more research would help - guess he hasn't published all that much on climate that made the 'google-verse').

Jumper said...

300 - 600?

Alfred Differ said...

@donzelion: When the House went back to the GOP, David did complain quite a bit about who was going to take over the Science Committee. We've all become somewhat numb to what has been going on since it was a battle lost in the War on Science.

You'll see David mention it occasionally when he refers to Congress being able to ignore the advice of educated people.

I get how some people mistrust the clerisy (there are decent reasons for it), but there is such a thing as taking it too far. Unfortunately, some in the GOP are feeding upon the 19th century squabble that will likely last through the 21st.

LarryHart said...

Tom Crowl, concerning a Trump veer left:


Sure his base and the NRA wouldn't like it. But where would they go? To Clinton?


Yes. We keep hearing how disliked Hillary Clinton is, but some of that is from the left complaining that she's too Republican for their tastes. The war hawks and Wall Street types among the Republicans may already be deciding that Hillary is more in line with their positions than Trump, or at the very least, that she offers more stability.

One might just as well ask "Sure the Bernie Bros won't like it, but where would they go? To Trump?" I fail to see why your scenario is plausible and mine isn't. If Bernie "supporters" can be so mad at Hillary that they'll stay home and not vote at all, why wouldn't disaffected NRA members and angry old white guys not also stay home if they think Trump is going soft on them?

Berial said...

They made a pitch DIRECTLY to Republicans tonight using longstanding members of the party on stage saying they're voting for Clinton this election. Not sure how that will affect those to the left of her.

LarryHart said...

@Berial

Hillary is appropriating typically-Republican memes, such as keeping our commitments, using the military wisely, and "America is great!" Those are usually the way Republicans appeal to their own base, but Donald Trump is betraying. She's saying to those voters, "We're what you say you want--your own candidate isn't."

Nothing in there should be turn-offs to the party's left.

Berial said...

@LarryHart
I hope you are correct. It was a bit surprising to me to see it so directly though. I wonder if it's going to be successful.

This years election seems to be normal vs abnormal (should I spell it abby normal?).

David Brin said...

Just listened to her speech… weak first 20 mins…got much stronger. Hit the right beats. Shredded DT. I went “Yes!” when she said “I believe in science.” I personally wish she had gone after Congress more. I expect she won over lots of Bernites. And sane goppers. Those who crawled out from under their beds far enough to listen.

Oh. The Fountainhead was by far Rand’s best and most persuasive book. Because (1) its focus on art & architecture deal with fields that SHOULD be utterly cutthroat competitive and subjective, and (2) Keating is, in my opinion, her only interesting and nuanced character.

donzelion said...

Personally, listening to Hillary's speech, one of the odd moments was her strange 'giggle' when she said, "I believe in science." That bizarre little giggle conveyed a sort of frustration, as in, "Of course I believe in science! What sort of an idiot doesn't?!?"

I found it endearing.

Unknown said...

Being a long time lurker on this wonderful site, and an even longer time fan of the hosts fiction, I hesitate to voice any disagreement with Dr. Brin and many of the regular posters that display keen minds and equally as important good manners. That being said I also am a long time admirer of Bernie's and feel like chiming in on comments relating to his supporters and their slowness to suck it up and voice their full throated support for Hillary.
I think were it not for the timing of the recent gift to "the jackass" from Mr. Assange many of Bernie's supporters would be offering at least tepid support for her while being hopeful that her support for some of his positions would continue. The manner of her campaign going forward will determine how many of Bernie's people will vote for her.
As to those that will not support her, I would draw a parallel to the recent tea party phenomenon on the right when a substantial number of conservatives tired of being paid only in lip service and hollow platitudes decides to run their own candidates get them elected and push their party to the right. Bernie's supporters may follow a similar tactic and begin to do the same from the left.

David Brin said...

Unknown you seem cogent and well-spoken and your perspectives are welcome here. Lurk if you like, but we'd welcome you under a name.

As for Bernites, it would be one thing if it were 2000 and some Nader supporter. could squints and try to imagine W was not a hellish monster that he turned out to be. That was an insane thing to do and Nader can go to hell...

... but that was vaguely possible to understand.

This time? Sorry. There'll be no forgiveness if flouncing, preening gesture junkies tip the scales and give us Trump.

David Brin said...

BTW... emulating the mad right is not a recommendation anyone would sanely wish upon the left.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi unknown
"Bernie's supporters may follow a similar tactic and begin to do the same from the left."

OF COURSE THEY SHOULD!
It's called democracy
They should get involved and push "their" candidates forwards
That's how it is meant to work

Shane Mallatt said...

Dr. Brin thank you for the kind words. I only advocate the particular tactic of running candidates in congressional races and recognizing that while the presidency is much sexier, congress is where a grass roots movement can gain a little more traction and actually begin to have a louder voice in the process of governance.
In regards to the current election, my thoughts are that i will have to put aside my reservations regarding Hillary and vote for her due to the crucial importance of the vacant supreme court seat. My only reservation is that I have a sinking suspicion that when she gets elected we are condemned to more of the endless BS hearings,impeachment proceedings and whatever other dirty tricks and continued obstruction the house will throw at her. The reason this concerns barring the obvious is that I don't think she will get enough done to raise her popularity enough to fend of the Scudderlike wingnut the Republicans will put out there in
2020. If Hillary loses on the other hand, and Trump louses things up as he surely will, the democrats hopefully having learned the lesson of not trying to just hold the center will run a strong progressive such as Warren. And some real positive change might actually occur.

Shane Mallatt said...

Duncan. I not only think they should, i am pretty sure they will. Thom Hartmann has been advocating this strategy for a while now. Also Bernie unlike the jackass is well versed in the vagaries of the process and will likely assist his supporters in how to go about such an undertaking. But to do this it means challenging incumbent dems and continuing to be at odds with the party itself.

Shane Mallatt said...

Duncan. I not only think they should, i am pretty sure they will. Thom Hartmann has been advocating this strategy for a while now. Also Bernie unlike the jackass is well versed in the vagaries of the process and will likely assist his supporters in how to go about such an undertaking. But to do this it means challenging incumbent dems and continuing to be at odds with the party itself.

donzelion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donzelion said...

@Shane - "while the presidency is much sexier, congress is where a grass roots movement can gain a little more traction" - I'd amend that to a LOT more traction, and otherwise concur wholeheartedly.

I'd love to fixate attention on Congress, but find few takers to the specifics (the theory is good, but the reality is, nobody seems to care all that much). In my district, I care deeply about that cursed freeway commute - and am sure I'm not entirely alone - and am sure that the bulk of those affected by it either (a) prefer not to know anything about it, or (b) are prevented from knowing anything about it because Trump's latest peccadillo or Hillary's ugly haircut is so much more important to report.

How would you go about mobilizing a local social movement?

Shane Mallatt said...

Donzelion. As far as how to mobilize a local social movement,my current residence being a small very conservative coal town with churches outnumbering bars by about a 12 to 1 ratio I have about zero chance to mobilize any support for anything remotely liberal in nature. Speaking generally though Bernie and to a certain extent Obama's success can be attributed to getting younger people involved and excited about the process by appealing to issues that are important to them. Obama's failure was selling them out to the health insurance companies within the first two years of his presidency. That gigantic misstep led to most of his younger supporters staying home in the subsequent congressional elections allowing the tea party to ascend. Bernie mobilized the same group only to be blocked by establishment dems. Hillary's pivot to Bernie's positions on a lot of issues will help her if she takes a cue from him and makes a point of talking about these issues instead being drawn into Trumps gutter politics.

Marino said...

I, for one, understand the historical meaning of "stab in the back", the Dolchstosslegende Hitler used to blame his opponents for the German defeat in WW1.Not exactly something optimistic.

btw, I've got a GOP friend across the Pond who's wrote me in his Xmas card that "now we have our own Berlusconi" meaning no praise, and who said that if he was French would have voted Le Pen (I answered him that she's another Manchurian Candidate on Putin's paybook). Educated guy with deep knowledege of history, but full of hatred for all the élites of any shade and stripe. So, why so much anti-élite hatred?
OK, real wages are stagnant, in Europe we have high unemployment, we're dealing with immigration (and it's not the Syrian war in itself, probably we have to expect more refugees from climate change) and the new trend, the jihad of the crazies carried on by clinically insane young people...but compared to the élites that led us to WWI and WW2, the current crop of 1% at least has avoided us the actinic flash and the mushroom cloud, and has allowed the social-democratic/Keynesian thirty years of progress and prosperity we're still getting benefits from.
Now, are really the current élites so much worse than the former ones, to deserve such hatred? Really?

Carl M. said...

Which candidate indicated he/she is open to a carbon tax?

Hint: it wasn't Hillary.

http://basicincome.org/news/2016/07/us-libertarian-presidential-candidate-open-to-basic-income/

Bernie supporters + Never Trump Republicans together could elect a sane, honest President.

Laurent Weppe said...

* "I, for one, understand the historical meaning of "stab in the back", the Dolchstosslegende Hitler used to blame his opponents for the German defeat in WW1.Not exactly something optimistic."

Actually, it was the lie the second Reich COs told the public opinion after they realized they were about to lose -and lose badly-: blame the civilians and claim that the war would have been won if only the army had been allowed to keep on fighting. Hitler merely repeated the lie invented by Hindenburg & co.

This was what pushed the allies to be a lot more aggressive the second time around, with Roosevelt demanding total capitulation from the axis members and Churchill weighing heavily on the war council to make the allied bombing campaign as destructive as possible: basically, the goal was to make it as painfully obvious as possible to the axis powers' denizens that they were hopelessly outmatched militarily so that no self-serving bullshit uttered by some dishonest beaten general would work again.

raito said...

Jumper,

Leadership is a fickle thing. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with what the leader says -- it has only to do with what the followers think. I've witnessed this often.

Leader: "I can't do X. No one can do X. What I did was Y."
Follower: "But I saw you do X. You can do X because you're great. Teach me to do X."
Leader: "No, I didn't do X. I did Y. I can teach you to do Y."
Follower: "I don't want to do Y. I want to do X. And I hate you because you won't teach me to do X like you do."

Vir was an awesome character. A man of integrity in a corrupt system. And far from the weakling he was seen to be. One of the more touching bits of B5 was the knowledge that Vir would follow Mollari is Emperor, a move which typically involves assassination (but didn't in this case).

Rud Merriam said...

Similar thoughts since the RNC about how Trump would bail or be pressured to leave so Pence would be able to carry the torch. My guess it will be their October Surprise so Clinton has little time to attack the new opponent. She and Kaine should work over Pence as much as Trump between now and then.

Also thought along the same lines about the VP selection differences.

Jumper said...

Every policy wonk I respect, plus Bernie to be sure, urges to vote for Clinton. Al Franken, Russ Feingold, Krugman, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and more. I am convinced.

David Brin said...

Shane Mallatt, thanks for interesting thoughts. But a district like yours is the ideal place to try the tactic that I recommend here:
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-simple-trick-allowing-citizens-to.html

Democrats who live in a hopelessly (and likely gerrymandered) Republican district... and yes Republicans in a hopelessly Democratic one should RE-REGISTER IN THE PARTY OF THAT DISTRICT. That way you can vote in the election that matters, the primary. Local liberals can help protect the local moderate gopper from being savaged by tea partiers if he dares to actually negotiate with democrats.

It's been tested in California, where all voters can vote in a shared primary. Often in the fall it is between two dems or two goppers, with an amazing side effect! The republican voters in a 2-demo race GAINED influence because they can no longer be ignored.

I wish I had some way to make this a national movement. It is so simple and logical.

Ioan said...

I have an idea for a possible veer. He could come out against any new trade deals, and hammer Bernie's message about the TPP

Ed R. said...

Just a note to the folks bashing Bernie supporters: You are looking at a small group of people making all that noise. I am a Bernie supporter and as I have said all along, I would hold my nose & vote for HRC when Bernie lost the primary. Never a doubt about it. I have my reasons for disliking HRC, which seem not to be the reasons spouted by many of the Hillary haters. I believe my reasons are fair. But no matter, the alternative is sheer madness. I think those individuals expressing their condemnation of Bernie supporters need to realize that the majority of us are sane and rational. We don't get to pick who follows our choice or their rational for doing so, but I am quite certain that the "squeaky wheels" are in a pretty small minority of Bernie supporters.

I blame both parties for the choices we have before us. That said, I'm not bitter about it - it was pretty clear that this would be the likely outcome - for whatever reasons you want to name. I'm mostly sad that in a year when the GOP has self-destructed, the Dems give us an "it's her turn" candidate. The GOP has been brewing their stink pot for a long time now, and are reaping the just rewards.

All of my friends who are Bernie supporters feel the same about voting for HRC. We will be there at the polls and we will vote for her, and we will hope that in another four years we can maybe find a less troubling candidate to vote for.

Robert said...

I kind of doubt the Republican Party could do anything to "convince" Trump to step down, outside of assassination. And to be honest, it's far better to "wait" in that scenario until after Trump gets elected (by hook or crook) and then "sadly" take up his metaphorical sword.

That said, if he was forced out, the Republicans will lose. Trump's supporters will be vehement in blaming Republicans for forcing him out.

Part of me wonders if the outcry from the "Bernie or Bust" crowd is a ploy to drive the undecided Bernie crowd over to Hillary. After all, Bernie or Bust is really starting to look bad. People who were "never Hillary" are starting to look at them and saying "really, dude? Really?" and sidling away. How many people who otherwise would just sit this one out are going "these assholes have forced my hand. If I don't vote for Hillary then everyone is going to think I'm with them."

But it is most likely the Bernie or Bust crowd are genuine in their hatred of Hillary (a hatred I quite understand). It's just their words and actions are having the opposite effect of what they want.

BTW, I also wonder what will happen if the Libertarian candidate gets enough percentage of the vote and Trump does lose. Will Republicans turn en-masse and blame Libertarians for doing to Trump what Liberals claim whatshisname did to Gore? I actually kind of hope they do, because I would love to see Libertarians refuse to ever vote Republican again. Ever.

Rob H.

David Brin said...

Question Ed R. WHO is issuing "condemnation of Bernie supporters"? Thou doth complain WAY too much. The DP platform was written by you guys. HC has adopted almost every demand.

I have recommended that the most sanctimonious wing of Bernites do what you have said you will do and I ask nothing more... except involvement with passion in state and local races.

Sorry, I am from 1968, when factionalism gave us Nixon. And I saw what Ralph Nader did to America in 2000. I am fine with fraternal arguments and screaming! It is impracticality that I find bloody tiresome.

You are welcome here.

David Brin said...

BTW...4 out of 5 adults in our home voted for Bernie and I wrote in my son's name, because I am still officially republican - for reasons I'll not go into - in a state where party preference normally does not matter an iota.

David Brin said...

Rob H there are probably serious DNC studies as to whether Gary Johnson onstage at the debates would help or harm.

donzelion said...

@Shane & Dr. Brin - the "cross-registration" tactic might work, but anyone attempting it must accept the price of cognitive dissonance and association with a group of people who are even more prone to electing "intolerable" candidates.

Perhaps maturity comes into play here. When I was younger, certain "intolerable" positions offended me greatly, and I would not accept candidates who violated my litmus tests. As I age, I find myself less impressed by such inflexibility.

Still...I'd prefer some perfect world where folks care enough about issues to address them head-on. What electoral voters will really be swung, one way or the other, by insanity within the House Science Committee?

Shawn Oueinsteen said...

Despite the Democrat's well-organized, upbeat, and sensible convention, and the Republican's disorganized, dark, and unreal convention, Trump will win! He will win for two reasons:
1) Even the best of us momentarily share many of Trump's evil thoughts
2) The devil is fun and interesting, and God is boring: The Paradise Lost syndrome.

Concerning 1) Evil Thoughts: After 9/11, we all saw images of students celebrating with dancing and singing at a Potomac, MD, Islamic school, and we thought to ourselves that thousands of Moslems are celebrating and we hated all Moslems at that moment and wished to ban them from our country. But there were very few other news broadcasts like that and we soon came back to our normal selves: liking our good Moslem next-door neighbors. Similar evil thoughts apply when we walk past our local American elementary school and see official signs in Spanish. We momentarily think to ourselves that they should learn our language or we should send them back over the border. But we know that our evil thoughts are temporary. We are good people. We always will have loving thoughts for Moslems and Hispanics the next morning. So when Trump expresses his evil thoughts, we think he is no different from any of us. He will have good and kind thoughts the next morning. We think he is no more evil than we are.

Concerning 2) The Paradise Lost Syndrome: We all love the rogue with the devilish smile. If global warming kills millions in a faraway place like Bangladesh (and it will, by the way), the devil will laugh in God's face and we will smile and nod in appreciation of his pride. If Hell freezes over and Satan's face is fixed in a block of ice, God will not laugh. That is not God's way, and we won't pay much attention. We expect God to do the right thing, and what's the fun in that? We enjoy watching Trump do and say evil things. We all wish we could do the same and get away with it as he does, especially knowing that reason 1) applies, and we will be good, loving people the next morning.

For these two reasons, Trump will beat Hillary. Our only hope is that Trump will be kind and loving in the morning. But I don't think that's Trump's way.

Tom Crowl said...

Totally off topic... but after all there are some science fiction fans here:
The full movie...

Project Moonbase (1953)

written by Robert Heinlein

on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBPQCmqoPtI

tatzelbrumm said...

"I, for one, understand the historical meaning of "stab in the back", the Dolchstosslegende Hitler used to blame his opponents for the German defeat in WW1.Not exactly something optimistic."

... and here I was, thinking that David Brin was referring to the Nacht der langen Messer, i.e., Trump's purge of remaining Republican opposition about a year after his Machtergreifung

Flypusher said...

I'm thinking of the impeachment gambit post you made a while back. Why is Pence considered trustworthy from Trump's POV? Rumor has it that Trump tried to back off the pick at the 11th hour. Pence is squirming hard no doubt, having to put out all of Trump's fires, but the tight poll numbers have to give him hope- hang on, shovel the crap, and if they can squeak by in the election, the door is wide open. Trump gives no indication that he wants to do any of the work, so Pence would get to call a lot of the shots. If Donnie-dimwit behaves maybe they don't even have to impeach him, just let him entertain his fans. (Who am I kidding- he can't behave!) It's high risk, but also high reward.


Hopefully enough people come to their senses by Nov and it's a moot point, but who knows. Some of the people saying they'll vote for Trump ought to know better. The reasons of the uneducated I can understand, even though I think they're wrong.

Thanks for the shout out to Chris Lad's blog. I've been there for a number of years, and Chris has been playing Cassandra for a while. Unlike the Mitt Romney types, who only spoke up when Trump smashed the dog whistles, Chris has been on record as calling out the racism in the GOP. Someone like him had the moral authority Romney lacked, but sadly not the name recognition. But maybe it's the start of the opening of the floodgates for the same-Conservative to divorce themselves from Trump. They should remember- whatever happens in the voting booth stays in the voting booth.

donzelion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donzelion said...

@Shawn - "After 9/11, we all saw images of students celebrating with dancing and singing at a Potomac, MD, Islamic school..."

Hogwash. Unless you're referring to the video proof disseminated by David Duke of the KKK, you didn't see any such thing because it never existed.

Lots of fakes are surfacing in connection with the Trump campaign. From 2001-04, other fakes surfaced, from anti-Muslim groups mainly. Some folks in law enforcement used the pretext of "pro-9/11 celebrations" to establish "probable cause" to launch police investigations - in every single case, the terrorism-related charges were dropped.

"But there were very few other news broadcasts like that"
Professional media is reluctant to disseminate fakes. Whatever you think "we all saw" after 9/11, your claims are fakes, and your reference to them is supporting a bigot (not that the KKK is reluctant to use fakes - they've been pandering the Protocols for decades, along with Turner Diaries and other nastiness).

donzelion said...

@Shawn - Continuing on the topic of fakes - there are two real stories (amid dozens/hundreds of fakes):
(1) The Jersey City celebration. This was the "evidence" that supposedly vindicated Trump. Ummm...either those 8 men are the most powerful denizens of a Jersey City dive - capable of simultaneously intimidating the U.S. President and Congress and scaring off our entire government - or the report was exaggerated/erroneous. No convictions occurred.

2. The "Israeli plotters." This one also did not prove out, even if they found the "strong" evidence of (1) a group of Middle Easterners, (2) a moving van, (3) with a package cutter, who were (4) on a rooftop taking pictures.

The painful part of this story is that it provided ammunition for Muslims who claimed that Israel had perpetrated 9/11, so they didn't need to crack down internally - at least, until AQ started killing their own people.

The painful part of the ABC story is that it exposed just how easily Americans could be induced to buy into half-truths and raw footage to make decisions about war - making the invasion of Iraq that much easier.

occam's comic said...

The anthrax attacks were done by people within the US national security state.
They attacked the press and the members of congress and they were successful in creating a climate of fear that they used to increase their power and funding.

Shawn Oueinsteen said...

@donzelion You are wrong about the Potomac Islamic school. First, I saw it at the time. Second, when Trump mentioned thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11, The Washington Post fact checker, Glenn Kessler, wrote that there were only two reputable stories of American Muslims celebrating 9/11. One was a small celebration in New Jersey, and the other was of high-school students in Potomac, Maryland. Look it up. There were not "thousands," but there were two incidents reported at the time.

Forgive me for saying this but you hurt your credibility by blithely saying something is not true when you could easily research its veracity.

David Brin said...

Shawn this is phase 8 of the American Civil War. And the people you describe, with those reaction sets, are for the most part confederates. And sane AMERICAN (blue union) conservatives are realizing that this is cultural, not left vs right.

The temptations you describe do not apply to Blue America to any substantial degree. They simply do not. Proto feudal romanticism simply does not interest us.

Flypusher: In this blog I extended the thought experiment to DT using Pence in a reverse, by DRAWING the betrayal, so that when he loses he can blame a conspiracy.

My wife, OTOH says Trump will resign at the last minute from the race, citing trumped-up "threats to my family."

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

Bernie supporters + Never Trump Republicans together could elect a sane, honest President.


Serious question--what sort of Supreme Court nominees could we expect from Gary Johnson?

donzelion said...

@Shawn - you mean this report? Kessler's article reiterates that Trump was clearly lying when he referred to the rooftop celebrations. Well, it called that a "4 Pinocchio" lie. And you think that he is disagreeing with me?

Son, I've been following terrorism for about 24 years, quite closely, and putting my life on the line and in the field studying the matter. You're out of your depth and citing wingnut nonsense. Stop.

That said, isn't it a bit odd that Trump neglected to raise all those rooftop celebrations he "witnessed" in 2001 when he was pursuing the "Obama is a Muslim" story? How strange of him - here's a 'useful' tidbit about why he's so bothered by the President's secret Muslim beliefs - and not one mention of the celebrations.

As for the Maryland school, Kessler doesn't mention it. What's your source? As I wrote earlier, after every major incident, folks "see" an awful lot of nonsense. While it's possible a bunch of high school kids in Maryland intimidated the FBI into a conspiracy of silence, it's significantly more probably that you're just spouting some nonsense that never proved out.

Alfred Differ said...

Perot used up that excuse. 8)

LarryHart said...

Robert:

But it is most likely the Bernie or Bust crowd are genuine in their hatred of Hillary (a hatred I quite understand). It's just their words and actions are having the opposite effect of what they want.


A recurring theme in Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" comic was "Intent and outcome are rarely coincident."


BTW, I also wonder what will happen if the Libertarian candidate gets enough percentage of the vote and Trump does lose. Will Republicans turn en-masse and blame Libertarians for doing to Trump what Liberals claim whatshisname did to Gore? I actually kind of hope they do, because I would love to see Libertarians refuse to ever vote Republican again. Ever.


I thought that Republicans wanted the Libertarian Party to draw off enough Electoral Votes to send the election to the House of Representatives. The only way that would help them, though is if they want the House to elect the Libertarian Johnson--a former Republican--to the office. I mean, if they want the House to elect Trump, they'd be better off just having Trump win. Or do they think the Libertarian will siphon Electoral Votes from Hillary too? If so, that's much different than the scenario you describe above.

Jumper said...

1. Find footage of a celebration having nothing to do with 9-11.
2. Circulate footage with audio claiming this is a celebration of 9-11.
3. Now people claim they saw it and know it's true.

O'Keefe knows how this goes. My god, people need to think.

donzelion said...

@Jumper - Precisely, at least, with respect to Trump supporters in this round. Memory is malleable when political interests are at stake.

In 2001, anyone who "looked like an Arab" was viewed with suspicion: dozens of hate crimes against Latinos, Indians, Sikhs, and other non-Muslims (as well as plenty of Muslims) ensued. However, the FBI and police responded to the reports they received about "suspicious Muslims" - investigated thoroughly - arrested frequently - prosecuted occasionally - convicted seldom/never (at least, on terrorism charges).

The "probable cause" arising from "presence at a gathering of Muslims celebrating/commemorating 9/11" was a common one among law enforcement - for a few months - and then abandoned, when each of those stories, upon inspection, failed to prove out (a process which took years to drag through courts).

Shawn's specific recollection about the Maryland Potomac School MIGHT be a harmless mistaken memory, except he recalled seeing it in a Washington Post article that doesn't actually mention it (and probably wouldn't mention it - the focus is on NJ, not MD). Which makes me think something else is afoot.

I don't boast about my credentials here, or anywhere really, unless I fear someone is playing foul. When it comes to these sorts of facts, I get angry though - because people DIE when fabrications get sold publicly. Vehemence for the truth, always.

matthew said...

Re: Dr. Brin's opera: just saw a bumper sticker- Hillary 2016 / Michelle 2024 / Chelsea 2032 / Malia 2040 / Sasha 2048.
Har!

matthew said...

Re: Dr. Brin's opera: just saw a bumper sticker- Hillary 2016 / Michelle 2024 / Chelsea 2032 / Malia 2040 / Sasha 2048.
Har!

Shane Mallatt said...

Dr. Brin thanks for the great advice. Donzelion is correct that it will be odd counting myself as a member of a party that I have come to detest, but it will provide some satisfaction to know I can at least make some small contribution to returning government to some semblance of functionality.

Berial said...

So, this tweet made me laugh out loud but then made me think. What would the result be if Trump really did expose classified information? It's not like he's known for keeping his mouth shut.

The tweet: "basically this election is between a candidate who'll handle classified info so badly putin will get it and one who'll just give it to him"

Robert said...

Larry, let's be honest.

Libertarians are not going to win ANY States. They might in one or two states manage to get an Electoral Vote. In theory. But it is very very doubtful that would make it so neither Hillary nor Trump gets what they need to win via Electoral College.

That means any state where 2-5% of the vote goes Libertarian, which "falls" to Hillary and is within that margin? Was lost because of the Libertarians. And even if that doesn't happen, the cry will go out that it's the Libertarians' fault because as my friend's ex-wife showed me (insofar that she accused me of having a homosexual affair with her ex, despite the fact I'm straight), people ALWAYS blame a convenient scapegoat rather than admit they themselves were to blame.

Rob H.

Jumper said...

Will a Libertarian win any election anywhere, for council, mayor, commissioner, sheriff, senator, representative, dogcatcher?

Jumper said...

I was reading about NASA's new space plane Dream Chaser and got interested in progress made in reentry techniques since the development of space shuttle tiles.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_entry#Ablative

Flypusher said...

"My wife, OTOH says Trump will resign at the last minute from the race, citing trumped-up "threats to my family."

I wonder if that would make his rabid supporters boycott the polls. Their adoration of Trump seems to be their primary driver. They live vicariously through him and he says all the awful things that they just thought or posted anonymously on line.

My main worry (behind Trump somehow winning this), is that the next person who taps into the rage of this demographic will actually be intelligent and politically astute. Thiel may be angling for that. I hope Clinton and her team can get some meaningful economic reform in place.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

Larry, let's be honest.

Libertarians are not going to win ANY States.


Unless Republican sentiment really turns against Trump, I agree. But what I meant was...I thought that a few weeks back, the great hope of the #NeverTrump Republicans was that an alternate "Republican" could make a third-party run and get enough Electoral Votes to deny either R or D candidate a majority. At the present time, Gary Johnson is the closest thing they've got to filling that role, but the strategy only works if he brings Hillary's total down.

Flypusher said...

"Just a note to the folks bashing Bernie supporters: You are looking at a small group of people making all that noise. I am a Bernie supporter and as I have said all along, I would hold my nose & vote for HRC when Bernie lost the primary. Never a doubt about it. I have my reasons for disliking HRC, which seem not to be the reasons spouted by many of the Hillary haters. I believe my reasons are fair. But no matter, the alternative is sheer madness. I think those individuals expressing their condemnation of Bernie supporters need to realize that the majority of us are sane and rational. We don't get to pick who follows our choice or their rational for doing so, but I am quite certain that the "squeaky wheels" are in a pretty small minority of Bernie supporters."

I had a conversion last night at my favorite bar with 3 fervent Bernie supports. They were quite vehement in their opinions that Hillary is corrupt and she rigged it. I didn't bother to argue that point. But when they were asking was Trump really that bad, and wonldn't 4 years of Trump be better than 8 years of Hillary, I had my opening. I asked them whether they were comfortable with Mike Pence running things, as it looks like Trump doesn't actually want to do the work of being President. Pence is very conservative, and you guys and gals will hate the agenda he pushes. And of course the SCOTUS- so you want Trump, err Pence filling 3-4 of those seats. Who knows what they may do, but they did concede the validity of those points. They were very young (20s), and sometimes young people have an all or nothing attitude with politics. The half or quarter loaf is always better than nothing.

Regarding corruption, even if Clinton was 100% as corrupt as these 3 believed, I would vote for her in a nanosecond over Trump. A corrupt but smart poltician has reason to get some beneficial things done. An unqualified ignorant narcissist like Trump only cares about being worshipped. This is not an endorsement of corruption, but rather a recognition that corruption is a lesser evil than ignorant incompetence. I also don't buy the Bernie-backers' assertions that she's as corrupt as they think. Skeletons in her political closet? Yes, but show me anyone who's been in high level politics for that long without them.

LarryHart said...

Berial:

The tweet: "basically this election is between a candidate who'll handle classified info so badly putin will get it and one who'll just give it to him"


First of all, there's much conflation of distinct e-mail scandals going on here. I'm sure many people are under the impression that Wikilieaks was releasing the e-mails from Hillary's private server about which much ado has been recently made, thus exposing a security breach she created by using a private server. In fact, what Wikileaks had was the result of the DNC and the Clinton campaign being hacked. Hillary's private server might have been the most secure of all, if only because it didn't call attention to itself as a target.

More to the point though, it was bad enough ("good enough" from my POV) that the Democrats were able to appropriate heretofore-Republican memes such as military strength, economic stability, the importance of keeping commitments, and "America is already and always great!" for their own, thus perhaps luring some Republican voters who are uneasy with Trump on their own issues. With his pro-Putin comments, Trump is defusing the whole "Hillary isn't fit to handle classified information" notion in exactly the way that that tweet describes. It nullifies one of the most emphatic reasons to be squeamish about voting for Hillary. "I'll see you one bad judgement call and raise you 'collaboration with the enemy'."

LarryHart said...

Flypusher:

Regarding corruption, even if Clinton was 100% as corrupt as these 3 believed, I would vote for her in a nanosecond over Trump. A corrupt but smart poltician has reason to get some beneficial things done. An unqualified ignorant narcissist like Trump only cares about being worshipped. This is not an endorsement of corruption, but rather a recognition that corruption is a lesser evil than ignorant incompetence.


When people talk about Hillary being "corrupt", they seem to mean she'll say or do what's popular at the moment rather than what she truly believes is right. To me, that's not so much corruption as opportunism, which are not the same thing.

Corruption is more like Dick Cheney using the office of the VP to the benefit of his own business to the detriment of the country he's ostensibly serving. What Hillary is accused of is blowing with the prevailing political winds. That's something the public can work with, as long as they can get the political winds blowing from the "correct" direction. Get a big enough metaphorical parade going, and you'll be sure to have Hillary jump in front of it.

Paul SB said...

Hello,

I've been too busy to keep up here, but now I have a moment (and only that, so I've only read a little way up the thread). I came across a recent TED Talk that might have some relevance on what Larry & or geneticist are talking about. It has the interesting title: Why you think you're right, even if you're wrong.

http://www.ted.com/talks/julia_galef_why_you_think_you_re_right_even_if_you_re_wrong

The speaker sets up two opposite mindsets we can use when making decisions: one she calls the soldier mindset, the other scout mindset. The basic difference is that one his hell bent on destroying the enemy, while the other is focused on finding out what is there. It would be easy to relate this construction to Kahnemann's System 1 & System 2, except that she points out that both of these mindsets are rooted in emotions, just different ones.

If you watch this, ask yourself afterwards if it is really wrong to change your mind (to "flip-flop" in political weasel-speak) or is it a sign of maturity that you can reassess, accept that you might have been wrong about something, and not "stay the course" if the course now appears foolish? Chief among the "values" that my fellow Americans will go on and on about ad nauseam is the idea that an admirable person will stand up for what they believe in, fight for what they believe in, maybe even die for what they believe in. Not nearly as much is ever said about admiring the person who examines what they believe in to see if it is, in fact, true.

The soldier mindset is very much on the march. The speaker makes the point that both mindsets are necessary, but remember that you lead with the scouts, because the scouts find out what is actually happening. Once you know what is real, then you set loose the dogs of war, not the other way around.

Flypusher said...


When people talk about Hillary being "corrupt", they seem to mean she'll say or do what's popular at the moment rather than what she truly believes is right. To me, that's not so much corruption as opportunism, which are not the same thing.


Her and pretty much every politician. The same-sex marriage issue is a perfect example. Lots of Dems were officially against it until they saw the shift in public opinion. With these 3, they were convinced that Hillary and her people stole it from Bernie. I think those leaked e-mails are bad optics, and nothing more, unless someone can prove an action that favored Clinton over Sanders. Anyone thinking realistically would have to concede that Democrats are more likely to pick a Democrat with decades of service to the party rather than an Indy come lately. As someone older/ more cynical/ more realistic, I'm still impressed with what Sanders did accomplish. He came closer than I expected him too, but IIRC, Clinton was even closer to Obama in '08. It's time to accept the result and move on to more important things. Hillary in the White House is overall better on the issues for Bernie's people than Trump. Bernie in a Dem majority Senate has more influence.


As for Cheney, 100% agree. I absolutely loathe than man. Norman Schwarzkopf had an absolutely devastating smack down of Cheney in his autobiography (all while using words appropriate to an officer and a gentleman).

Paul SB said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention, last I checked, the USA was supposed to be a democracy, which means that majority opinion is supposed to have at least some influence over society-level decision making. If a politician is paying attention to polls, that person is doing their job in a democracy. A dictator doesn't care much what the people want and can stick to their guns.

There has to be a caveat, though, in terms of protecting the rights of the minority (whoever that ends up being) to not be persecuted by the majority - recognizing that simply losing the vote is not the same thing as being persecuted, a key point absolutists can't seem to grasp.

A.F. Rey said...

For your amusement, a cute political cartoon found on Pharyngula, on how Trumps and Clinton's speeches were the exact opposite--using the exact same words.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2016/07/30/confirmation-that-both-political-parties-are-exactly-the-same/

LarryHart said...

Flypusher:

With these 3, they were convinced that Hillary and her people stole it from Bernie. I think those leaked e-mails are bad optics, and nothing more, unless someone can prove an action that favored Clinton over Sanders.


Most of the internal e-mails I've seen are the equivalent of an individual's internal thought processes. "Maybe we could weaken him by questioning his religiosity," is one example. Ultimately, the Hillary camp didn't pursue such a strategy. Is it really evidence of corruption that they thought about it? This is dangerous, 1984 thought police territory.


Anyone thinking realistically would have to concede that Democrats are more likely to pick a Democrat with decades of service to the party rather than an Indy come lately.


The fact that Bernie got as far as he did and influenced the Democratic Party as much as he did is a bigger win than anyone had a right to expect. The Bernie Bros are sabotaging any chance they have of consolidating the gains they did make and pushing forward with their agenda. Throwing the election to Republicans and their Supreme Court picks at this time would be cutting off their head to spite their face.

LarryHart said...

A personal note...

Having been drawn into Hamilton fandom by my teenager, I've been wondering about a recurring line and why it seems to apply to myself here on this forum:

"Why do you write like you're running out of time?"

donzelion said...

@Shane - I didn't mean to suggest it would be "odd" joining a party you detest, so much as painful. We join groups and orgs for many reasons; some to contribute to a shared goal, some to coopt and shift the goal, some to rescue others, and some just looking for support. If your purposes are just, and your group extracts a heavy price, sometimes you can find some of those things from others.

For me, I've been finding intellectual support here, which I don't find professionally right now. Maybe give Dr. Brin's approach a try as an experiment, and report how it feels - and if the compromises hurt, you can vent (as Dr. Brin has been doing for years).

dennisd said...

@Shawn Q
NYC was my hometown from 1987-2003. All during those years Trump’s loudmouth antics were part of the background ambient noise of the city. Along with the midnight street repairs and wailing car alarms, Trump was just one of many irritants we learned to tune out so we could retain our sanity. In my estimation, there are millions of New Yorkers who have developed a strong immunity against Trumps thoughts, evil or otherwise.

Regarding the 9/11 attacks:
I can only speak for myself and my circle of friends who were living in Manhattan at the time. I don’t recall any of us expressing hatred of Muslims. In those first few days and weeks we were mostly in a state of shock. Our concerns were confirming whether friends and colleagues were alive, or what we could do to help the city and our first responders. Then, and only then, we turned to the questions of ‘What’s next?’ What must we do to rebuild our lives, our city and the nation.

Hatred was not part of our world. And now that you’ve mentioned it, I don’t recall hearing Trump saying much of anything during those days.

Regarding K-6 Spanish Language Studies:
Are you daft? There is no downside to learning another language. None. Also, if properly taught, learning another language strengthens the student’s native language even if it’s English. Think for a moment, if the typical American student entered high school fluent in two or three languages. Supplement this with a set of rigorous critical thinking skills and you have the makings of a more competitive workforce than we have now. (I’m speaking about all students, whether college-bound or not.)

Yes, we need a more robust job-producing economy. But until then there’s nothing evil about improving the lot of our students.

Paul SB said...

The mental benefits of learning multiple languages has been studied for quite some time. I remember encountering this research 20 years ago while helping my wife do research for her Master's in Education. It has been getting more press in recent years, and it's quite easy to find good information. I'll link to one from Science Daily, as they are widely accepted as reliable and not interested in playing partisan politics. Unfortunately, whenever the actual facts seem to go against a group of people's political assumptions, the natural tendency is to deny the facts. Xenophobes get very uncomfortable when confronted with the existence/proximity of people who speak languages they don't, so they ignore the well-established neurological benefits of being multilingual.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029151807.htm

Here's much more recent article, from Scientific American, about the social benefits of cultural diversity, which should have a surprising appeal to capitalists, though not social conservatives.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter/

David Brin said...

Not that despite the dems putting on a much better show and having vastly higher Q speakers, HC’s ratings for her speech were lower than Trump’s. DT is crowing over that, but it shows one thing above all. That today’s republicans hate cognitive dissonance. Studies show that Fox-watchers watch *only* Fox for news, explaining the channel’s huge profitability for the Mast of the Right - Rupert Murdoch. MSNBS tried desperately to create an equally profitable “Fox of the Left” and failed. Because liberals get bored with dogma.

Hence, I’ll bet the extra viewers Trump got were opponents, checking him out. (I did.) In contrast, I bet almost zero of those raving “hitlery” actually tuned in to heear her out.

Flypusher: “even if Clinton was 100% as corrupt as these 3 believed, I would vote for her in a nanosecond over Trump. A corrupt but smart poltician has reason to get some beneficial things done.”

Not just a little smart, because she’s be scrutinized for 24 years and $100million in the most relentless scrutiny ever given two humans. And if she is “corrupt” then the iceberg has zilch, nada, nothing above the surface. Now THAT is smart! Or else… your young friends are falling for the most relentless character assassination in history.

===
Oh, One brilliant DT move was simple. Back in the 1970s when it looked like New York City was destined to sink into a violent hellhole of trash and fire and filth, DT, offered to invest in the city... in exchange for huge tax breaks. Ability to see the blatantly obvious - that New York would come roaring back - made him smarter than the myopic, short term doubters and made him a lot of money... at taxpayer expense. But his investments were undoubtedly helpful.

David Brin said...

Trump and Hillary using the same words in a cartoon, different directions:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joe-heller-trump-clinton-cartoon_us_579b93d4e4b0693164c120e1?section=

David Brin said...

onward


onward


donzelion said...

@Shane - I didn't mean to suggest it would be "odd" joining a party you detest, so much as painful. We join groups and orgs for many reasons; some to contribute to a shared goal, some to coopt and shift the goal, some to rescue others, and some just looking for support. If your purposes are just, and your group extracts a heavy price, sometimes you can find some of those things from others.

For me, I've been finding intellectual support here, which I don't find professionally right now. Maybe give Dr. Brin's approach a try as an experiment, and report how it feels - and if the compromises hurt, you can vent (as Dr. Brin has been doing for years).

Cynthia said...

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Cynthia said...

Hello ,
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Cynthia said...

Hello ,
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Carl M. said...

To answer some of the Johnson related comments:

1. When was the last time the National Review ran an entire issue against the Republican nominee?

2. When was the last time the previous year's Republican nominee ever even hinted at voting for the Libertarian?

3. When was the last time the Republicans nominated someone who insulted his way to the top?

As far as the Establishment is concerned, the Republicans experienced a hostile takeover -- by the Reform Party. So yes, this is an unusual year.

Meanwhile, on the Democrat side we have a candidate who would be in jail if she weren't so powerful. And she blatantly cheated her way to the nomination, and many of the grassroots know it.

---

Johnson is more a classical liberal than a libertarian ideologue. Comparing his potential to that of David Bergland or Michael Badnarik is not apropos.

On the other hand, he didn't do that well four years ago. But that was a much different playing field.

----
As for what kind of Supreme Court nominees, I would expect originalists and federalists.

Shawn Oueinsteen said...

@donzelion. I apologize for saying that Glenn Kessler mentioned the Potomac Islamic Center's 9/11 celebration. But I do know that, within a day or two after DT mentioned "thousands" celebrating in NJ, the Post had an article saying that there were only two documented instances of Muslims celebrating 9/11: one in New Jersey and one in Potomac and in both cases the numbers were small. Concerning Potomac, in 2001, I passed the Potomac Islamic Center every day going to and from work. So when 9/11 happened, I looked very carefully for mention of how people at that center reacted to 9/11. There was a local TV report showing people there celebrating, and there was an article I read discussing how the fonder of that center was known for anti-American leanings.

However, the veracity of the celebrations is incidental to my comments that DT will win. My point is that there are times when most Americans think the same thoughts that Trump thinks, but most of us are ashamed of ourselves for having those thoughts the next morning. But knowing we've had those thoughts makes Trumps comments feel less odious than they actually are, so we'll vote for him. (Not me, incidentally. I'm writing in Mickey Mouse, as I know that since I'm from Maryland, my vote won't make a difference anyway.)