Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Put up or shut up, Don

"We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment." A brand-new GOP platform plank, running completely opposite to the party's position just a year ago; in USA Today. Both presidential candidates now appear to back reinstating Glass-Steagall.
Before our main point: My wife - a HUGE Jon Stewart fan - felt perplexed and saddened by Stewart's departure (as did I) - at a weird time for him to leave, just as this bizarre, tragicomic election year got underway.
Her hypothesis is similar to this biting cartoon from the LA Times... only having the fellow on the other end of the conversation being Bill Clinton?  No way! Not worth the risk.  No, this year's genius merits replacing BC in the cartoon with Jon Stewart.
Oh, but it is not HALF of the American public. It's half of half. Remember folks; the Union has always been slower than the confederacy.  But we moderns outnumber the troglodytes. This IS a scientific nation

== Put up or shut up, Donald. ==

What's the magic bullet for dealing with this craziness?  Time to demand WAGERS. I'll give three examples.

Challenge Number 1) “I’ll bet 10% of my wealth vs 10% of yours - the loser to pay the winner’s favorite charity - that there’s no real evidence the election will be “rigged” in the democrats’ favor. In fact the the preponderance of rigging now favors the GOP.”  

Seriously. HC or Tim Kaine should drop everything and declare a national crisis! "You have impugned our entire electoral process. You insult the 250,000 election officials and volunteers. You set the stage for de-legitimizing our entire government. So PROVE IT!"

Demand that Donald Trump name six prominently grownup Americans for a commission. Six more to be named by the dems and 6 by retired Supreme Court justices like Sandra Day O’Connor. A commission to investigate right now Trump’s allegations that seek to undermine Americans’ confidence in their electoral process.

This is urgent. Lest after Trump’s trouncing on November 8, we then suffer a wave of delusional-wrathful Timothy McVeighs. And it should be couched in simple terms of confidence or cowardice. If he is too wimpy to step up to a simple wager, that is the only character trait his frothy followers would truly hold against him.

Challenge Number 2) Demand that Donald Trump right now give the IRS permission to tell the public whether he is currently being audited. And if the answer is no, to immediately release his tax returns. 


Trump has broken a 40-year-old tradition of U.S. presidential candidates making public their tax returns because he claims to be under audit by the IRS — but he has yet to prove he’s really being investigated. At his request, the Internal Revenue Service would produce a letter stating that he is under audit. I eagerly await his imaginative excuse for that one.

Oh… and add one more demand.  That Trump give the IRS permission to drop any current audit, in the national interest and to allow electoral transparency, without being thereupon accused by DT of plotting against him.

A SIDE-NOTE: The Clintons’ newly released tax return shows $10.6 million in income.  Not exactly the middle class levels from before and during Bill’s presidency.  Their profession since – as far as income is concerned, not time – was the same as mine. Public speaking. Only I don’t charge anything close to what they do! One thing I do know.  A speaking fee does not oblige you to do favors. Not when you are in demand.

They paid 48% in taxes and another 10% to charity. Ratios that Trump would sneer as making them “suckers” and thus disqualified for office.

Another SIDE-NOTE: At least they are consistent. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has so far refused to release his tax returns, as well. 

Challenge Number 3) Is President Obama an American? Hey Don. Show us the “amazing” things your investigators “found in Hawaii.” He will answer: “I’m not talking about that, anymore.” So make it a simple wager! He maligned the Chief of State of the United States of America.  That should be worth at least a bet as to whether he had anything.  Anything at all.

Challenge Number 4) Bonus question: Demand Republicans explain why the last six highest GOP officials - GHW Bush, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John Boehner - went un-mentioned across the entire span of the Republican National Convention? Or indeed by almost any of the folks running in the GOP primaries? 

What kind of party is so ashamed of its leadership, across 28 years, that it never mentions any of them? Or a single large, verifiable accomplishment? And you'd trust such a party with a burnt and doused match? 


And now the fellow who actually ran the Republican Party for 20 years, Roger Ailes, is exposed as a sexual predator. Oh it comes in floods.

No wonder they screech so at Clinton. Hysterical distraction from what they see in the mirror.

In fact, this is not about Trump at all.  It is about crazy

== Liberal Media Bias? ==

Complaints fume among DT supporters that the Lame-Stream Media are paying too much attention to Trump’s outrageous behaviors and statements. But absolutely nothing has changed since the Primary Season. Back then he bragged – and his rivals whined - over Donald getting ‘a billion dollars worth of free publicity’ each time he opened his mouth.

The only difference now is demographics. Back then, he was vying among fellow crazy candidates (a more accurate phrase than “conservative” these days) for pluralities of GOP primary voters – AKA Confederate crazies.  Hence, free attention to wild-ass statements helped him win support from 40% of the one-third of American voters who were vigorous republicans.

Now he is being the same guy and getting the same outsized attention. Only those behaviors that enamored him to the one-sixth of voters who got him the GOP nomination – and that are overlooked by another one-sixth who are in denial -- are hurting him with the 70% or so of U.S. voters who are not part of that cult.  It truly is that simple.

What’s not simple is returning to the Stewart Question.  My wife pointed out a very simple question. Why did Jon Stewart retire from fake-news comedy just when his skills and insights would be most-useful to the republic?  And just as the Trump phenomenon hit full stride?

You want to go full tilt paranoid over that? Knock yerself out. 

== Rats Jump Off ==

Here's a semi-comprehensive list of the many notable Republicans who have said they won't support GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, why they're opposing him and who they'll back instead.  It is a very, very long list of American leaders who in the past tried to propel sense and reason from inside the Bush-Cheney-dominated GOP tent. 

These “moderates” should have seen the Fox-ignited insanity long before Trump made it so blatantly obvious… and they still make the mistake of personalizing the symptom, rather than the deeper disease.  Still, they are now – Like Oskar Schindler in 1943 – saying “I can sink no lower. I must oppose madness.”

Skim to the bottom of the list.  You’ll find the smartest of them all, like Brent Scowcroft, and Richard Armitage, who are part of group of 50 leaders in the Republican foreign policy and national security community wrote an open letter condemning Trump and pledging to oppose his presidential candidacy.

 Only notice a funny thing. The really brainy and serious ones? They aren’t just opposing Trump. They are supporting Hillary.  She’s too-liberal economically, okay.  But geopolitically she’s “solid and capable.” They think of her as democrats viewed Eisenhower in the 1950s.

Shrug and murmur. “We’ll live.”

== False Equivalence ==

I'll concede that pharma and Wall Street have some voices in the Democratic Party, which is a vast and wide tent. Bernites & reformers will only get part of what they want.  Which is why "never Hillaries" are foolish. Because reformers WILL get part of what they want, and be able to build on that. 

Whereas goppers have run the laziest, do-nothing congresses since the beginning of the republic. Corrupt and slavishly devoted to Oligarchy.

"They're the same?" Equivalence zealots ignore the fundamental.  That there will be LESS oligarchy in America if HC & the dems get in. MORE laws requiring pharma openness and broken-up banks and bolstering the SEC. 

Ever heard of the CFPB?  Dems fought for it and Goppers blocked it every step of the way.  You know your false equivalence is flat out dumb.  Goppers have slashed the budget for auditors at IRS and the SEC and EPA and FDA... Dems will put them back to work. Want to run off to Jill Stein?  Grow the hell up.

Better yet, fight good fights down ticket!
Note:  We should all look around and find the geographically closest congressional or state assembly race where things are tight enough that a little cash or a little volunteer work could make a difference.  There is one such race near me.  There is likely to be one not far from you.

BTW volunteering in a local race can be fun!  You get a sense that your own efforts make a difference, unlike the Presidential circus.

== The Libertarian Gambit ==

Some of you have been opining on "what is libertarianism?" now that the "Never Trump" faction in the GOP is leaning toward supporting Gary Johnson & the LP.  Stop oversimplifying. It's an interesting and complex topic that most libertarians themselves do not understand. e.g. most think they can defend oligarchy AND competition at the same time. 

Wrong, those have been opposites for 6000 years, as described by Adam Smith.

Do I hope the LP will offer a home for 20 million quasi sane US conservatives fleeing th insane GOP?  Sure. From then on, they'll stop caring about controlling womens' bodies and bathrooms.  Progress. Terrific.  I just sent Johnson some money.

 But if the LP is controlled by oligarchs like Forbes, Kochs and Romney?  No, No. The revolution is ongoing. And that is not True Libertarianism.


== Is Putin supporting Trump? ==

Read: Is Vladimir Putin Taking Sides in the Election?  The article mentions the “Gerasimov doctrine,” formulated by Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov in 2013, proposes that modern conflicts are waged and won not with guns as much as through dirty tricks. This 'hybrid warfare' aims to destabilize the opponent's political system in order to weaken the enemy.  I guess we’ll see how this works out for them, when HC is president and remembers what they did, on Trump’s behalf.

Side note. In EXISTENCE I have a character named “Genady Gorosumov,” the team’s xenobiologist.  Huh.

== And stooping… but no lower than this crazy year… ==

Okay, it’s gossip, with a toe dipped into nasty rumor.  But the link I am giving you is Snopes. Which appraises the following rant from Occupy Democrats: 

  Surprise, surprise! Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and the ex-wife of Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and current girlfriend of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Wendi Deng Murdoch, are best buddies who just went on a lavish vacation together. Might that explain Fox News’s unbelievably slanted favorability towards Trump’s despicable brand of politics? Could you imagine the outrage by Republicans if one of President Obama’s daughters were hanging around with Putin’s girlfriend?”

To whatever degree it's true... even 1%... there is one word. Oy.
  

73 comments:

Tim H. said...

Dunno, Jon Stewart is maybe a bit civilized for this sort of an election, I think I miss Sam Kinnison more than usual...

Mark Gast said...

I can still hear Sam Kinnison screaming in my head ... or is that just the sound of my subconscious screaming from having to deal with all the STUPID?

daveawayfromhome said...

Re: Clinton's big payouts. I think they should be viewed the same way Republicans insist we view big tax breaks: you'd be crazy not to take them.

Anonymous said...

Impressive how much the Clinton's have paid in taxes! Almost as if they knew this would come up when she would eventually run for president. That kind of dedicated ambition is one of the reasons I (a former Bernie-Bro) am actually looking forward to her presidency.
-AtomicZeppelinMan

Peter Norvig said...

Tax experts have already stated that there is no reason whatsoever that someone undergoing an audit should refrain from disclosing their tax returns. The IRS has no such rule, and the release would have no effect one way or another on the audit.

Treebeard said...

Yes but those foreign policy wizards are mostly neoconservatives, who, like the Clintonian neoliberals, agree that American must rule the world, invade other countries and create mini-American utopias like we see in Iraq, Libya, etc. Martin Armstrong covers this well here: https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/north_america/2016-u-s-presidential-election/why-the-neo-conservatives-support-hillary/.

"These elite neoconservative security advisers fear Trump would stop the neoconservative agenda of ruling the world. The danger to these 50 questionable advisers is if the USA would no longer be engaged in nation-building such as Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, and Ukraine just in recent memories, they could not rule the world. This is why so many people in the Republican Party are against Trump. He is changing the dynamics driving war and in so doing reshaping the Republican Party sending these neoconservatives back to the Democrats from where they originally emerged. The very war machine President Eisenhower (January 17, 1961) warned about when before he left office is here championed by the neoconservatives who are the most dangerous group of all for they will create World War III."

So now Hillary is the neocon favorite, and we can expect some good wars on her watch.

It's funny that there's an entire bipartisan imperial class in D.C., along with their media shills, painting Trump as a dangerous loose cannon, a Russian agent, the next Hitler, etc. when he's really just calling a lot of their B.S. on behalf of the large fraction of the American population that isn't benefiting from American global empire and isn't buying the B.S. any more.

Berial said...

I saw this back in June and it's still brilliant.
https://youtu.be/8qIQbydyHwc

If you don't trust a link look up "What If Donald Trump Is Just An Elaborate Prank?" by Cracked.

As for complaint's about 'the media' I've always felt that if you had REAL issues you'd be able to point them out so they can be fixed, but just complaining that "They say things I don't like about people or events that I DO like" isn't much of a complaint.

David Brin said...

Miracles. Treebeard made an assertion that was not dispicable and stupid on the face of it. Of course it is WRONG. I prove elsewhere that democrats and Republicans, while both willing to wage war, are diametric opposites in style and outcomes. Moreover, it is also the non-neocon goppers who are dropping Trump. Moreover, I have oft said that I have no respect for these fellows, who are only dropping their habitual loyalty to an utterly insane side - that has ZERO actual accomplishments to point to - when a dizzy carnival barker takes over their banner?

No. They deserve exile.

donzelion said...

@Dr. Brin - re the wagers -
The Donster is a posture-bully: looking tough while acting weak. "My bankruptcies were simply a good business decision of using the laws." If his followers buy that, they'll buy anything.

Stewart is more interesting. His decision may have come from the same reasoning that led him to call out CNN's Crossfire ("You guys are hurting the country!"). Calling out hypocrisy in the pedophiles leading the "family values" party was the basis of his shtick, but was it actually helping anything? Self-righteous rigidity has clearly taken hold among many progressives, impeding cooperation. Once he lost faith in the practice of skewering hypocrisy, he probably started looking for the best exit strategy, which meant handing things over to successors at the best possible time for them to build their own audience (alas, Larry Wilmore).

re Putin -
Look at Russia's performance under Bush Jr: the BRICs surged, oil prices skyrocketed, bombast towards Iran was increasingly violent - but U.S. hawks were hamfisted and unable to muster a sanctions regime that actually hurt Iran. In 2016, Russia desperately wants the weakest but most militant American idiot he can find (since Bush Jr. cannot run for a 3rd term) to revert to bellicose futility towards Iran (or better still, actually bomb them). He'd also like an American who would go with the 'cheapest' solution in Syria - let Russia fix the problem (and restore Assad to power - what's a little chemical weapons attack among autocrats?).

donzelion said...

@Peter Norvig - Releasing the tax returns will not change audit results, true. It wouldn't even affect IRS enforcement activity, if any. It might embarrass Trump a bit if he's not receiving income for several "Trump properties" - because it turns out they were never actually his.

That sort of publicity, if it became common knowledge, might result in the unraveling of the the whole "Trump myth." If it turns out he only has $250-300 million, then much of his 'billionaire' mystique dies - and it would hurt him when seeking special terms in large deals.

Trump's supporters don't care if he's a liar, a womanizer, a wacko - they like that he's a 'winner.' If it turns out he isn't the winner he claims to be, they'll dump him like yesterday's news.

Tacitus2 said...

I see that this is an unabashedly political post so it is safe to wade on in.

This is the year in which all of our expectations of the political system have been upended. My thinking has changed and I would encourage increased flexibility across the opinion spectrum. David has firmly held beliefs. I don't agree with many of them. But to assume that as things were so ever shall they be is rigid - dare I say conservative - thinking. I would not assume for instance that Clinton would wage war in a Democratic fashion and Trump in a Republican way. The nature of international conflict has changed radically in the last decade or two.

Regards Stewart I agree, his time had passed. He is a smart fellow, smart enough to realize I think that he had become part of something negative in our political blood stream.

As I have been an infrequent poster I will put down a few markers and give a bit of unrequested advice.

I do not think Trump has experience or character qualities that would make him an acceptable President. I have been wrong (in a very bipartisan way) on this call a few times in the past.

You may form and adhere to your own opinions of H.Clinton. I could easily put together a list of 20 people I would prefer to see elected. But she knows a few things and her baseline politics are not offensive. I have many misgivings. I do not believe she kept a private email system for convenience or deleted thousands of messages for innocent reasons. There are way too many implications of "pay to Play" with her tenure at State. Are they real or just stuff she knew would be twisted and tweaked by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy? It does not matter, you don't treat the public trust in that cavalier a fashion.

I am also not convinced that she would be an entirely free agent as President. I guess we will find out.

Some of you will differ vigorously with me on my next two points.
-I am voting R in down ticket races as a counter balance. WI has a Senate race in some degree of contention. The Congressional district is not being contested, it is a D territory (this year....maybe in 2018?)
-You would all do the political system a great favor, and help the long term situation if you opposed Trump based on inexperience and his undiplomatic persona. It's more than enough. To make him into Hitler or a Putin pawn lessens your persuasive abilities. If you are in fact trying to influence swing voters (are there any?) instead of just preening and virtue signalling you would do better work by this approach.

I have a much bigger topic in mind regards the long term vector that our politics is moving on, but I will let folks fulminate a while first.

Tacitus

David Brin said...

Tacitus good to have you here, even though you - (smoothly) - insulted me with claims of "rigidity" - when in fact I turn "contrary" in all directions and am very very well known for it.

You assert that there's no way to say that Clinton would wage war in the way that democrats have every single time, since Vietnam. WHat can I say, except that past performance consistency is all we have to go on. That plus the fact that dems treat the Officer Corps with respect and Goppers treat the generals and admirals with stunningly relentless utter contempt.

"You may form and adhere to your own opinions of H.Clinton. I could easily put together a list of 20 people I would prefer to see elected. But she knows a few things and her baseline politics are not offensive."

I, too, have a list of people I would prefer. AMong my reasons are that she is a lightning rod and even if she wins in a landslide, a quarter of the population - spurred by Fox - will declare her illegitimate from the word go and wage take no prisoners war.

Do I wince at some things? Sure. But they have been scrutinized utterly and this… is… it. They might have done a few favors for donors but nothing major or provable. And the cash went to a vigorously do-gooder foundation. And ALL DP ex presidents are vigorous do-gooders and all GOP ex presidents are lazy bums. Always.

Yes, we disagree about the down ticket. I WANT a restored sane conservatism led by people like you! It will only come when today's confederate madness burns down. Trump is not a disease. He is a symptom.

Zepp Jamieson said...

When Trump jumped on his escalator and announced, I said, "This might bring Jon Stewart out of retirement. Hell, it might bring George Carlin back from the dead."
I think Poe's Law caught up to Stewart. You can't parody something like today's GOP because it is, in itself, a parody. Wikipedia explains, "Poe's law is an Internet adage which states that, without a clear indicator of the author's intent, parodies of extreme views will be mistaken by some readers or viewers for sincere expressions of the parodied views." Think Steve Colbert at the correspondents' dinner. He was invited because he was seen as a friendly media figure to the Bush administration.
Should the country veer back in the direction of sanity, then there might be a place, once again, for Stewart.

donzelion said...

@Tacitus - what do you like about Ron Johnson (WI Senator)?
Koch Brothers backing? Check. Environment? Education?

Johnson chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The committee lists its issues as (1) Homeland Security, (2) Government Management, (3) Cybersecurity, (4) Postal Service, (5) Border Security, Immigration and Ports, (6) District of Columbia, (7) Oversight and Investigations, (8) Emergency Management and Disaster Recovery, (9) Census, (10) Nominations, and (11) Lobbying and Ethics.

Check out the activity for each issue, and you'll find no achievements since 2012. Last thing they did about any nominations was in 2011.

OKAY...well, that's only where 'substantive work' (har har) gets posted...what about their legislative achievements? Check it out - they've successfully renamed a bunch of post offices!

There's the "Effective Investigation of Whistleblowers Act" - which extends the time for the Special Counsel to make a decision on investigations from 15 to 45 days. Whoopee. There's the "Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act" - which does the following -
(1) authorizes DHS to train local police forces to fight terrorists (um, haven't they been doing that since they were formed over a decade ago?)
(2) requires federal officials to file reports about who has what security clearance (yes, they need more papers to shuffle and more reports)
(3) creates a new advisory board, and
(4) prohibits any new funding

And.......that's it. Really. This is sort of insulting.

Why do you like him enough to vote for him? Is this really what the Senate should be up to?

Tony Fisk said...

The logic I apply to Trump's current antics is that of the crucible: what sort of cult are you left with when you've burned off all the unbelievers?

Is there such a thing as a political heat death, where everyone is either utterly polarised in their opinion, or too stunned to have one?

As a minor aside, I'm finding Wikileaks' bias against Hilary a bit odd. Nary a word about Trump but, *OMG emails show H may have had mental health issues in 2011!*.
OK, they've no cause to like Hilary, but their attitude doesn't help their claim to be an independent news source.

David Brin said...

Donzelion's dissection of Ron Johnson was great. Typical of the by-far laziest Congresses in the history of the republic.

Purely on the basis of willingness to work on the nation's business, instead of spending 75% of their time on fundraising (the GOP representatives' average), these are people who should be fired from their jobs and replaced.

Tony, Julian Assange hates the fact that the first giant Wikileaks spill actually HELPED H Clinton and the US government! He revealed almost nothing illegal or even very embarrassing. But 200,000 state dept cables that he leaked showed skilled and serious professionals doing their jobs... some of them bad-mouthing the dictators they were forced to deal with. Those cables severed any link between the US and Mubarak etc. As a result, NOT ONE US flag was burned during the Arab Spring. Not one.

Hillary coulda kissed Assange.

Julian Assange never forgave her for than.

Joseph Discenza said...

Ivanka and Wendi have been buds for years, long before Wendi met Putin. It's just the oligarchy, man, and there's nothing more sinister than money to money. So: news is true, innuendo not necessarily.

David Brin said...

JD: Look at 6000 years. Breaking up oligarchic in groups is absolutely necessary. It is stunningly-hugely necessary.

raito said...

Dr. Brin,

While I might not call it 'rigidity' per se, you do seem to be predictable. And prone to repetition in the wording of your views. When a subject comes up, I know what you're going to say, and frequently how you're going to say it.

Tactius2,

You probably know that the Clinton's charitable arm is now headed by Donna Shalala. Not a surprise. Not one of my favorite people.

And as far as why Trump isn't capable, I'd point to those bankruptcies. Even if he's correct in saying that he has never personally been bankrupt, he's shown the willingness to lose other people's money. As President, that's my money he'll be losing.

Treebeard,

If Trump were only calling B.S. on behalf of the citizens for whom there is no benefit and citing actual facts to make his case, there wouldn't be a problem. I see him as more McCarthy than Hitler, never actually supporting his statements and hoping people will just believe on his say-so.

Donzelion,

Johnson's ads are hilarious. They're nothing but attack, except that everything he attacks with are reasons I prefer his opponent, his predecessor.

Anonymous said...

A scientific nation? Why just this morning the barista etc were talking about the supernatural. Don't ever recall talk about some bosun named Higgs...or remember back when America could put boots on the moon, and dreamed of the 2707 sky-screamer? That was a long time ago, back in the science-heady days of Operation Bongo II and the Tuskegee studies...

Number four is easy; why would Trump, making a populist appeal outside a dizzying array of business as usual candidates, ever include such dinosaurs? It would be like Sanders, in some alternate and better universe, tapping Madam bombs-over-Serbia Albright for some cabinent position that would doubtless be responsible for projecting yet more American-made bombs and drone-strikes across the world. Missile bases in Romaina pointing right at Russia? Oh, yes! Let's have some more "smart power" regime changes. What could possibly go wrong? Oh wait, that's Herr Hillary's line.

Robert said...

You know, Tacitus, I am not pro-Clinton by any stretch of the imagination.

However, if it came to my vote actually being of value in the Presidential elections, I'd vote Hillary Clinton to keep the White House out of the hands of Donald Trump.

He repeatedly asked "why can't we use nukes?" during one of the meetings to give him a heads up on foreign policy and military policy. The moment we start using nukes just because? Is the moment they stop being a deterrent and become a weapon of choice.

He also has run businesses under. He screwed (and continues to screw) over small business owners, both for his own business benefit, and in his Presidential campaigns. He looks at the citizens of the United States as brainless fools who take whatever he says and punches their fists in the sky and chants his name... while ignoring and verbally pissing on the people opposing him as Other who should have no rights.

There is no way I would want this man as President. And I say this as I've realized I can't vote Libertarian for President because the Libertarian candidate has come out as anti-vaccination! (This is a line I refuse to cross. I don't give a flying fuck how much into personal liberties you are or how small government is needed... when it comes to public health. Measles have made a comeback because of the anti-vaccer crowd. The movement should have NO, absolutely ZERO political power. There are lines you never cross. Use of Nukes is one. Anti-vaccination is a second.)

The only real question is this. Will we see the Republican Party start recovering from its fever dream that is manifesting in Trump and start presenting mature and viable candidates in 2020? Or will we see someone actually one-up Trump and drag the Republican Party into squalor? (My cynical suspicion is for the second to happen.)

Rob H.

Arizsun Ahola said...

Jill Stein has also prevaricated and given lip service to the anti-vaxxers.

Of the major and semi-major presidential candidates Hillary Clinton is the only one I can vote for. Not that my vote is likely to matter, what with me being in Texas and all.

Arizsun Ahola said...

Jill Stein has also prevaricated and given lip service to the anti-vaxxers.

Of the major and semi-major presidential candidates Hillary Clinton is the only one I can vote for. Not that my vote is likely to matter, what with me being in Texas and all.

Jonathan Sills said...

"There's the 'Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act' - which does the following -
(1) authorizes DHS to train local police forces to fight terrorists (um, haven't they been doing that since they were formed over a decade ago?)
(2) requires federal officials to file reports about who has what security clearance (yes, they need more papers to shuffle and more reports)
(3) creates a new advisory board, and
(4) prohibits any new funding."


Wait, what? The act increases the number of people working there (paper shufflers, the new advisory board), increases the responsibilities offloaded onto local PDs - and prohibits the increase in funds necessary to carry these duties out???

I knew a lot of Congresscritters were bad at math, but this? This is a whole new level of innumeracy.

David Brin said...

Arizsun Ahola Texas is rife with down-ticket opportunities. Shift just thirty seats in the state assembly and the entire United States of America will shift too. Tom DeLay's spectacular gerrymandering will vanish and with it the GOP's Texas lock and gerrymandering will likely be shattered everywhere. Tell your friends. In many states the real action is down ticket.

And if gerrymandering goes then the radicalization of the parties also may damp down as it did in California. And a return to actual, grownup politics is the best thing that could happen to US conservatism.

Jumper said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/the-feudal-history-of-property-tax-in-america/497099/#article-comments

On feudalism and property taxes.

donzelion said...

@Jonathan Sills re Ron Johnson (Wisconsin Senator) - Ron Johnson postures as an Ayn Rand/Tea Party Republican. He's not a Ted Cruz-level of crazy Republican ("Shut down the government if I don't get my way!") - but he's certainly indicative of what's wrong in Congress.

To quote Johnson: "Career politicians manufacture hogwash, and I respect you enough to tell you the truth."

Except less than 1 in 1000 voters will read any bill he sponsored. So all that hogwash he's manufactured will be spun by his FauxNews squibs - citing the NAME of the bills, ignoring the substance (or even, praising the lack of substance). "Johnson helped make America safe from terrorists despite a weak president and blah blah BENGHAZI! blah..."

That's how he can LOOK like a "straight talker" without actually doing anything productive.

On science, Johnson himself drops great nuggets - "First of all, the climate hasn't warmed in quite a few years. That is proven scientifically." And chastises NASA scientists for forgetting the Ice Age. To his credit, Johnson does appear to believe in evolution (his staff wasn't sure).

On healthcare - Johnson certainly opposes ObamaCare, but would keep the ban on discrimination against those with preexisting conditions in place. That's pretty wacky - it violates the Randian notion of freedom (business needs to be 'free' to choose who will die whenever their ill health affects profitability) - while raising the total cost to insurers - without bringing in healthy individuals to subsidize those costs (through individual mandates). Pretty wacky. Definitely not "straight talk."

Arizsun Ahola said...

Oh, I'll vote and do what I can down ticket. I have very long work hours so I can't personally volunteer right now, but that may change. I've considered running myself once my business is more self dustaining.

David Brin said...

AA... busy? Understood! But you an get in touch with local Bernites and young folks and arm twist introduce them to a nearby state assembly race where their passion could do some good! And this applies to all of you!

Anyone know how long it's been since locumranch posted? I am utterly perplexed by WHY I feel this way... but I kinda miss him.

Jumper said...

"Why do you think Bernie Sanders appealed to so many young people?
One, because there is a sort of natural rebelliousness of youth and he was critical of the existing system. Secondly, and some of them get mad when I say this, because of their not knowing much..." --Barney Frank
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/barney-frank-on-bernie-sanders-bill-oreilly-and-hard-drugs-w431242

Tim H. said...

Interestingly, the "Brownbackistanis" didn't have it all their way in the Kansas primary:
http://kcur.org/post/how-some-stay-home-moms-dominated-primary-election-johnson-county
A ray of hope for the GOP.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I am also not convinced that she [Hillary] would be an entirely free agent as President. I guess we will find out.
...
You would all do the political system a great favor, and help the long term situation if you opposed Trump based on inexperience and his undiplomatic persona. It's more than enough. To make him into Hitler or a Putin pawn lessens your persuasive abilities.


Please exaplain how your first statement and the "Putin pawn" part of your later statement are not in diametric opposition. You seem to claim that it is acceptable to suspect Hillary is manipulated or in active collaboration with mysterious unnamed forces while simultaneously claiming that it is unacceptable to suspect that of Trump, even though the circumstantial evidence of Trump's ties to Putin and his campaign's ties to Putin is very specific. Please consider what may lessen your own persuasive abilities in this instance.

Also, the Hitler and Putin comparisons are two very different things.

I do see echoes of Hitler, not so much in Trump himself as in the actions of his supporters at his events and rallies. As someone raised by WWII-era Jewish parents and grandparents who witnessed the rise and fall of the Third Reich in newsreel-time (Heh!), I can't help but be sensitive to the similarities. If I am over-sensitive to them, that's on me, and I understand it is less than persuasive to cry "Hitler!" to describe just any politician whom I oppose. So be it. I can't be silent on this one.

The charge of collaboration with Putin, however, is not mere speculation. Until his recent resignation, Paul Manafort headed Trump's campaign, and he has a history of working in public relations for strongman dictator types, including the pro-Russian ex leader of Ukraine. Furthermore, Trump praises Putin's style of governing and suggests that America is currently weak because we don't emulate Putin. Putin himself is a master of manipulation, and he knows how to pull Trump's strings--basically, Putin says nice things about Trump, so Trump considers him "smart" and takes his "suggestions" seriously. Even if you throw all that aside, Trump's actual statements about abandoning NATO and re-igniting war with Iran are music to Putin's ears, whether or not Putin was the one who suggested them.

Finally, I take issue with your suggestion that Trump, not the Republican Party, is the problem. True, Trump has stepped over a line that even (sane) Republicans have to sit up and notice--Pence's attempt to compare Trump to Reagan doesn't so much praise Trump as spit on the whole notion of comparing someone to Reagan. But we've just lived through the damage that an obstructionist Congress and an activist, corporatist federal court system does. If Hillary is elected, but congress stays in Republican clutches, they will continue to not do their jobs and then run (maybe successfully) against the President's ineffectiveness. I'm with radio host Norman Goldman on this one--the only way to stop the madness is to have the Republican Party lose in a landslide across the board. I'm not predicting that to be the outcome in November, but will do what I can to make it so.

Tacitus2 said...

When I am in racconteur mode I do try to answer all questions put to me. It can be heavy lifting, it may take multiple posts, and I will probably miss a few. Please be patient with me.

Larry Hart. I should clarify. I am not suggesting that H.Clinton would be under the influence of mysterious unnamed forces. Oh, sure there is speculation that her emails may have been hacked by whoever but I figure they mostly show garden variety cronyism. No, I am wondering more about whether this will be B.Clinton redux, where her husband and their network of "Friends of Bill" will be calling the shots. This dovetails with concerns about her physical health. The Presidency can be a grueling job.

I have not quite parsed out the rest of your post but it does not appear to be asking me any direct questions so I shall move on.

Donzelian, you asked what I liked about Ron Johnson (US Sen, WI). I like that he actually has a background as a successful businessperson. Working as both the accountant and as a machine operator in a startup company is worthy. I know he is walking a tightrope regards Trump but refusing to endorse him gets props from me. I don't agree with all his political positions. I don't expect to.

Wisconsin is a small place. I have met Feingold. He is not a very nice person really. Sometimes that is fine. I voted for him in another "counterbalance" scenario, when GW Bush was taking the country down an unfortunate road. Feingold has the rare ability to extend a middle finger to even his own party hierarchy. I shook his hand and had a brief conversation with him back in February, but he probably lost my vote a couple of years earlier. During the Wisconsin Capitol shutdown over Walker's Act 10 Reforms Feingold addressed the protestors and said "It's not over until we win". These protests were a very divisive event here in Badgerland and have changed the political views of many. By putting down this marker he lost me.

I am running on. Shall we have a look at legislation introduced by Senator Johnson and perhaps a control subject? Gimme a little time to work on this over a delightful cold beverage (Hey, we are discussing WI politix!)

Tacitus

David Brin said...

Here at the NIAC meeting, we had a speech from Rep Price, the Congessman for N Carolina's Research and University Triangle and hence (naturally) a democrat. A cogent and meticulous rundown of the budget process and especially federal support for science and research.

A very smart fellow, who laments that the last 3 Congresses have been unable to do almost any business, even when conservative desires like entitlement reform are on the table. He says a third of republicans in Congress sincerely want to work and to negotiate and compromise, but that half of them hate even the idea - in theory - of doing any business at all.

Tacitus, all we are hearing from you is gut impressions. Please. Republicanism has been about that stuff way way too long.

They have taken the moderately reasonable reflex: "I am suspicious of government over-reach" and transformed it into "All government is inherently evil, all the time," and that conflation would make my parents and their peers in the Greatest Generation furious.

Tacitus2 said...

In the past year Ron Johnson has introduced 24 bills. A few appear to be resolutions which I think are a slightly different critter. Here is a list:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?sponsor=412542#sponsor=412496

The source gives odds on their probability of being enacted. I did not run all the bills from the last year but the odds of enactment range from 3 to 54 percent, averaging somewhere in the 30s. The overall average for a bill being enacted in the current congress is 21%. Yes, that is not very impressive. The subject headings for the bills may or may not reflect the merits of same. But DHS responsibility, National Biodefense, bills regarding Terrorist social media use and travel prevention, hey, its on topic. Sure there is some fluff. But I am ok Congratulating Major Lisa Jaster on completing Army Ranger School.

Lets turn now to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Yes, she is in the current minority party and has little seniority. But she is clearly being prepped for Greater Things and as a Progressive should be in a big 'ol hurry to, well, get stuff done.

In the past year she has introduced 12 bills.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?sponsor=412542#_

Many have interesting subject matter relating to student loans and financial reforms. I know the GOP is not going to make her life easy but even so, she is hardly working for bipartisan accomplishment when the highest rated odds of passage of the 12 is 8% for the Puerto Rico Emergency Financial Stability Act. Most are 3% or less odds of enactment. And she appears to have about the same amount of fluff. I guess a commemorative coin for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is an OK idea.

Mea Culpa, I did not wade through and read the original text of these assorted bills. One beer can only sustain a man through so much after all.

Query to the Assembled. What are the five or six most influential entities in American Politics today? Discuss.*

Tacitus

*or, ya know, not. I am but a philosopher-serf and claim no power to Command.

Tacitus2 said...

And David if you do not want to hear my "gut impressions" just say so. I don't mean to be a bother to you after all.

Tacitus

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul451: OT Marx treated industrialisation like many geek-writers treat "post-Scarcity society", as a singular event that creates a new norm, rather than a continuing process.

That is hitting the nail on the head straight. It shows that Marx, at best, sniffed at innovators as being unnecessary for the future. That means he did not honor them. He and many others of the educated clade who came after him did something similar or turned darker and returned to sneering at the innovators because they were traders/capitalists supposedly responsible ethically for the plight of the poor. Before Marx in 1848, that clade was supportive of liberalism. Afterward, much less so until about a century later practically none of them were. In the US, even the term ‘liberal’ had been co-opted by the progressives.

Sneers VS According-Of-Dignity. That is the difference. With Marx and afterward, many of the educated turned against social honor for innovators.

@Everyone else: In the interest of tying this back toward the thread topic, this is how to approach libertarians and know whether they are helping or harming your community. If they are sneering at everyone, give them wide berth. Mark them with warning tags in the correct augmented reality layer and then move on. Do not try to cure them. What they have is VERY contagious. Save yourself.

If they are only very occasionally sneering, but otherwise willing to support the dignity of their neighbors, give them a big hug and listen to what bothers them. You might learn something. THEY might learn something. Smile at them when they do not sneer and avoid them when they do. They might learn something. 8)

LarryHart said...

raito:

And as far as why Trump isn't capable, I'd point to those bankruptcies. Even if he's correct in saying that he has never personally been bankrupt, he's shown the willingness to lose other people's money. As President, that's my money he'll be losing.


The character trait is worse than losing other people's investment dollars. That's a risk that investors at least are aware of going in.

No, Trump's serial bankruptcies are part of a pattern with his stiffing contractors on the assumption that it will cost them more than it will be worth to sue him. He sees untrustworthiness as a legitimate means to his own ends. In fact, if you look up the expression "The end justifies the means" in the dictionary, it should have a picture of Donald Trump next to it. That's not a characteristic I want to see in my president.

Jumper said...

I am not happy with the amount of hero worship drama by the citizenry. Warren is a newbie, promising. Trump, an example of the degree of toxicity such drama promotes.

But on the meta level, what does a nation do which makes the awful promise of nation building? Stop halfway, end the commitment, retreat? It appears the whole thing was a dirty con. But good money after bad, as the saying goes? How convenient. How f..ing ugly. How can anyone with a straight face say Bush's damage is over and done with? Powerful forces trying to control the narrative will tell you just that: it's so over, it's irrelevant.
Right.

Tony Fisk said...

Veering away from politics (for a change), now that Proxima Centauri b is officially an item, what are the chances of someone proposing a trip out to however many hundred AU it is and using the sun as a telescope to look at it? (NB: this has nothing to do with the chances of such a mission being approved)

Unknown said...

Well, reading Tacitus' comments have convinced me of one thing; I will volunteer with my local Democratic office tomorrow. If a person of Tacitus2's intelligence is still willing to vote for the party that enabled Donald Trump to come within even 1% chance of controlling the armed forces of the United States, then that party needs to be ground into the dirt with a shellacking that will resound for decades. Am I wrong, or does this Johnson fellow still support Trump?

Tsgt Bryan Haught, USAF (ret).

This is no longer funny.

David Brin said...

Tacitus stop being a martyr. You are welcome to express your gut impressions! I even value them! But I have a right to point out THAT they are mostly gut impressions.

Showing that E Warren only introduced a few bills means nothing. Why bother when the majority is absolutely determined never ever ever ever ever to negotiate... and have said so openly?

There is zero interest among the GOP in negotiating legislation to alter US federal laws to better suit changing conditions in the 21st Century. If you wish to defend them, then defend that blatant and openly declared central dogma of the party. Please do not pretend that it is NOT the central and closely adhered-to dogma.

Jerry Emanuelson said...

Gary Johnson on mandatory vaccination:

http://digital.vpr.net/post/reversal-gov-gary-johnson-now-supports-mandatory-vaccination

He has reversed his position from his 4-word tweet of 5 years ago, and he explained why he has changed his mind on this on Vermont Public Radio.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Four point three light years? Why, that's even faster than Han Solo did it!

Hmmm. M6, prone to flares. Not likely the planet will be suitable for Earth life of any sort. Low metallic content in the spectrum, so the planet, assuming it's part of the original system, will be mineral-poor.
Still, maybe we can get Ken Ham to build a space ark, send a lot of True Believers there.

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

I noticed that locum hasn't been active for awhile, too, though I suspect others are probably quite relieved. The thought struck my mind that since this is an on-line community, if something happened to any of us - heart attack, hospitalized after a bar fight, Gaudi emulation, or our spouses pulled the plug on our computer time, no one here would know. I've asked my daughter to let you folks know if anything like that takes me off the air, and I would hope that others would make such contingency plans. I'm not that old, but you never know...

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul451: (From last thread)

How would you design a system that would not only protect your power (and that of your heirs and La Familia Real), but also prevent technological stagnation?

…and…

While you personally might actively seek out and sponsor innovations, it's unreasonable to expect your heirs and grandheirs to understand that need, particularly once the first round innovations become embedded. What cultural artefact or artifice could you create in your lifetime that would persist beyond it, that would encourage destructive-innovation while protecting your own legacy?

1: Religion. Create a religion that enforces an ethical code reasonably close to what people want anyway, but structured/storied in such a way as to ennoble innovators and require of them a tithe to your descendants. Don’t try to stop the disruption. Take credit for it and tax them a bit for showing them such a spiffy path. As long as the new ‘church’ doesn’t suffer schism, it won’t have to charge much to remain at the top of the social heap. Once the new crop of social leeches/priests adopts the faith, you’ll have a form of conservatism to re-enforce the rules, but you’ll have to leaves notes warning against heresy of certain types. This might work for a few centuries and then come apart as new ideas surpass the ones you brought back with you in the time machine. Once society surpasses what you could have imagined, your descendants are going to have to figure out what to do themselves.

2: Read David’s Foundation novel and figure out how to create telepathic enforcers that won’t suffer their own forms of heresy. I’d wish you luck with that, but I’d rather sprinkle nukes among such robots. 8)

3: Your idea might work, but I don’t know how to enforce the 50 year part. If you assume a unified society where enforcement is possible, I suspect your descendants would find reasons to push the cycle out. How long does it take a copyright to expire nowadays? To make it really work, I suspect you’d need religion again.

Regarding religion, I’m not knocking it here. I’m recognizing the role it plays is the formation of a person’s identity. I am a [fill in blank here]. Get people to wrap your idea into their identity and the world is yours.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart: No, Trump's serial bankruptcies are part of a pattern with his stiffing contractors on the assumption that it will cost them more than it will be worth to sue him. He sees untrustworthiness as a legitimate means to his own ends.

You are describing a maximizer of his own personal utility. Prudence is the only thing that matters to such a person. They are monsters.

My bucket of reasons for not voting for the guy is already overflowing, though. I'm not sure I'll get the smell out of the carpet. 8)

Alfred Differ said...

Heh. Someone finally educated Gary Johnson on that topic. Good. It's just complicated enough to be tricky, but it helps to face someone who is immune suppressed for medical reasons. I wonder who got to him. I'd like to give them a hug. 8)

Alfred Differ said...

@Donzelion: (2) requires federal officials to file reports about who has what security clearance (yes, they need more papers to shuffle and more reports)

Quibbling here, but that IS kinda important. What bothers me is that they didn't already have this requirement in place. It demonstrates a profound lack of foresight on the part of people who should know security well enough to know the risks.

This doesn't undermine your case, though. Way too little over way too long and I'll bet they don't understand the importance of these reports. Know nothings.

donzelion said...

@Tacitus - would there be any point in my reviewing Ron Johnson's legislative achievements with you? If that would shift your vote, then I would deem it time well-spent.

Take that as a token of respect - for you. I would not waste my breath or energy researching a man who does not impress me, but for the sake of one who may.

That said:
S. 3072: Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act - basically, a non-event
S. 3011: Bolster Accountability to Drive Government Efficiency and Reform Washington Act of 2016 - 234 pages of text, most directly creating a new "Federal Property Reform Board" to manage government properties, as well as a "Federal Property Council" to manage the Board, and ensuring that museums open to the public will "be open during normal business hours" (no more Monday closures!) - along with a laundry list of comparably important tweaks
S. 2976: DHS Accountability Act of 2016 = abolishes the "Director of Shared Services" at DHS (now every department can hire their own janitorial staff!) - oh, and they redefine the legal term "got away" as follows -

"The term got away means an unlawful border crosser who—
(i)is directly or indirectly observed making an unlawful entry into the United States; and
(ii)is not a turn back and is not apprehended."

Glad to know what "got away" means to DHS. Even if they escaped military efforts for almost a decade, by legislative fiat, OBL and other terrorists never "got away" from DHS!

I can wax sarcastic, but doubt that will impress you. What will?

donzelion said...

@Alfred - re Trump - a "maximizer of personal utility" (maximize personal pleasure, disregard the pain and suffering of others) is often known as either a narcissist (at best) - and potentially a socio or psychopath. As you say, a monster. (Which is why I'd rather talk about Ron Johnson, with whom I disagree politically, but have seen no evidence to suggest that level of harsh opprobrium is warranted...not so Ted Cruz).

"Quibbling here, but [tracking who has what security clearance level] IS kinda important."
And increasing the # of days to complete a review by the Office of Special Counsel from 15 to 45 days is also important. But it has nothing to do with countering "terrorist radicalization." Unless they think that the terrorists have infiltrated DHS (which, to be honest, quite a few Black Lives Matter and Latino activists already do believe).

"What bothers me is that they didn't already have this requirement in place."
Are you suggesting the FBI doesn't have this in place? ;-)

I'm skeptical that it actually means anything more than the production of another list of secured persons, handed over to a Congressional office (which itself is a pretty serious breach of security protocols, but hopefully, Ron Johnson won't abuse it to hunt down errant officers who look into Milwaukee schools again).

"This doesn't undermine your case, though. Way too little over way too long and I'll bet they don't understand the importance of these reports. Know nothings."
Building a thorough case would take quite some time, and parsing every line of some of the larger bills would require a legislative focus that eludes me (the most important rules affect the precise targets that a legislator wants to benefit or hurt - so they're drafted as subtly as possible, with the rest of the language used as "cover" to disguise the intent).

donzelion said...

Oh, and for Dr. Brin's prediction of a Trump pivot - check this out:
"It sure sounds like Donald Trump is considering his biggest flip-flop yet"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/21/it-sure-sounds-like-donald-trump-is-considering-his-biggest-flip-flop-yet/

No more "mass deportation + wall" - now it's "some deportation, some legalization, and wall."

Seeing as Obama's already conducted more mass deportations than his predecessors, I'm not sure precisely what they expect to be changing. But it ought to look like a sellout to Trump's most ardent supporters (unless they were never really serious about immigration in the first place).

Either way, should this pan out, it is certainly a pivot. As many (including our host) have predicted for months.

(Not retracting narcissist/sociopath-psychopath allegations re Trump though. I'm hardly the first to offer that diagnosis, though certainly unqualified to make it stick.)

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

As a minor aside, I'm finding Wikileaks' bias against Hilary a bit odd. Nary a word about Trump but, *OMG emails show H may have had mental health issues in 2011!*.
OK, they've no cause to like Hilary, but their attitude doesn't help their claim to be an independent news source.


Seems to me that Assange overplayed his hand and succeeded in outing both himself and Trump as useful idiots (if not agents) of Vladimir Putin.

Paul SB said...

Alfred,

"You are describing a maximizer of his own personal utility. Prudence is the only thing that matters to such a person. They are monsters."

- This is pretty much what American-style capitalism teaches us to be. The fact that most people here are not monsters speaks volumes of both our instincts ("the better angels of our nature" as a famous skinny guy with a tall hat said), and the complexity of our culture. The fact that monsters such as Donald Dunk are taken seriously at all (except as patients in need of mental treatment) is a testament to the cultural legacy of Cold War propaganda. It's memes like this that we have to watch out for, and watch carefully.

Paul SB said...

Tsgt Bryan Haught, USAF (ret).,

Just a curiosity question: how long ago did you retire? My father was also aa Air Force Tsgt, though you would have to be in your late silver-haired years to have had any chance of knowing him. He passed away from lung cancer when I was 9, and I'm 48 now. Still, it would be a weird coincidence...

David Brin said...

My father was a Tsgt in WWII... a reporter for Stars & Stripes...

raito said...

LarryHart,

I see I might have to be more expansive in the future. I didn't mean 'other people's money' to mean only the direct investors in the projects.

Treebeard said...

I'm still perplexed by the hysterical reaction to Trump in some quarters. America has been a nation of hustlers from day one (with the exception of the Confederacy, which the Yankee hustlers couldn't tolerate). Go talk to some immigrants -- they are the hustlers and pariahs of all nations, who came here to make a buck, not for the sake of some Enlightenment cultist geek abstractions. That is and has alway been America: a nation of hustler-pariahs. The business of America has always been business. Trump is America writ large. If you don't like Trump, you don't like America, imo.

Jumper said...

I wish these idiots who think elections are about who you "like," as if it's some demented high school popularity contest, would crawl back into their playpens and accept the fact they don't know squat about reality. P.T. Barnum was not qualified, either.

JPinOR said...

Delurking…

Tacitus2 said: Regards Stewart I agree, his time had passed. He is a smart fellow, smart enough to realize I think that he had become part of something negative in our political blood stream.

Isn’t this like saying a doctor is “part of something negative” because she diagnoses a patient with cancer? The Daily Show held up a mirror to our society, and the reflection wasn’t pretty.

On a separate topic Tacitus2 said: This dovetails with concerns about her physical health.

Do you have specific concerns? Or generally have concerns about 70+ year old presidents? Trump was born June 14, 1946. Clinton October 26, 1947. McCain was also 70+ when he ran.

I also have concerns, but evidently other primary voters did not.
JPinOR

A.F. Rey said...

In a way you're right. He's everything we don't like about America--nativism, bigotry, boastfulness, hubris, ignorance--in a word, the Ugly American--writ large. All our weaknesses and shame, proudly displayed. IMHO.

David Brin said...

Even if America were a nation of hustlers, the ent's conclusion remains consistent with his general insipidity. Dig it, it is only in a nation of overall sanity and law, with many (not all) of our officials being grownups, that "hustlers" can thrive!

Try... actually... thinking, for a change. Across 6000 years, hustlers or bullies or thugs would take over a nation and then crush all the other hustlers, innovators, vigorous competitors, so that competition will go away. In 99% of human (feudal) cultures, any potential competitor with the Top Dog was deliberately and savagely destroyed.

The stunning imbecility of "defenders of competition" denouncing the only system in all of human history that ever created a somewhat flat-fair competitive level playing field is proof of the dazzling diversity of our species.

Look at the actually creative billionaires in the US... the ones who aren't inheritors, resource extraction thieves and finance-parasites... the ones who actually create goods and services. Democrats. Almost all. Indeed, lots of the hucksters are terrified of Trump. Because they know....

...that when one of their own displaces all the grownups, they are dead meat.

donzelion said...

@Treebread - Well, 7 of the first 10 presidents were 'lawyers' (though Jefferson and Jackson certainly didn't practice much), and a large number of others as well. Lawyers often fit the bill as "hustler-pariahs" - so to some extent, you're right.

But which of those lawyer presidents did you like for their hustling skills? Abraham Lincoln? John Adams? Thomas Jefferson?

And none of them hustled anything like the Donster. Indeed, the only president who experienced anything close to a bankruptcy before being elected that I know of was Lincoln, and he only did it to honor the expenses of bad partners. The Donster did it to enrich himself. Most 'hustler-pariahs' are also 'savvy' enough to avoid breaking their word - and most Americans will viciously reject oathbreakers as 'cowards and weak' - the Donster is the first to suggest that it's an act of strength, and today's Republicans are the first to accept that 'accountability means passing the buck' quite so overtly.

donzelion said...

@JP - "Isn’t [saying Jon Stewart was part of the problem] like saying a doctor is “part of something negative” because she diagnoses a patient with cancer? The Daily Show held up a mirror to our society, and the reflection wasn’t pretty."

Piercing hypocrisy is important, and someone's gotta do it. But hold up a mirror for too long, and a new set of problems starts to emerge - vanity and shallowness, rather than substance - self-righteousness and judgmental rigidity, instead of practicality. Stewart strikes me as a good man, but any really good man who acts as the mirror will have to be cautious, lest he lose himself to that role.

Alfred Differ said...

@donzelion: All the bad guys know who among us have security clearances. The OPM got breached a while back. Might as well have Congress know too. 8)

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul SB: This is pretty much what American-style capitalism teaches us to be.

I’ll respectfully disagree with you on this. If that is what they are actually trying to teach, they are doing a dismal job of it. The people I’ve encountered who tried to teach entrepreneurial skills paid attention to other virtues. Many of them pointed out when they were doing so because of his stereotype many people believe.

I’m not convinced that the allure Trump has is as this monster. Look closely and you’ll see he isn’t just about prudence. He is also displaying an old style, aristocratic type of courage. That appeals to the romanitics.

Alfred Differ said...

Go talk to some immigrants -- they are the hustlers and pariahs of all nations, who came here to make a buck, not for the sake of some Enlightenment cultist geek abstractions. That is and has alway been America: a nation of hustler-pariahs


Here is the sneering response in action. Beautiful example.

Tacitus2 said...

JPinOR

Welcome. Lurker is such an unkind term. Observer is better.

Regards Stewart I have only my personal opinion. Sarcasm in politics is OK, but it is a spice not a staple. It troubles me that a sizable number of young people are getting a lot of their political "diet" from such sources. Its like drinking Tabasco sauce straight up. I believe our Genial Host had an experience with the Daily Show that speaks to their interesting editing of reality. But, to each their own I guess.

On the health of candidates I can comment a bit more specifically. I am a physician. (hmm, how long do you remain one after you stand down?). Mrs. Clinton has a history of a previous blood clot in the leg and then sustained a head injury. She had a concussion, which in this case means lasting neurological effects for at least six months. In association with this she developed a clot in one of the large veins that drains the brain. This suggests that she either really got clocked when she fell, and/or that she has a pronounced clotting tendency. There are several such conditions mostly inherited. The long term effects of concussions are quite variable. Sometimes no problem. Sometimes subtle personality changes or memory issues. Often the symptoms "unmask" under conditions of physical illness or fatigue. Concussions, especially if repeated in a short time frame, can cause some horrific impairment. But that is usually boxers and so forth.

This is of course not the first time this sort of issue has arisen in our politics. Joe Biden probably lacks a bit of self editing from his aneurysm issues. "Disinhibition' is the term. Jerry Ford was ridiculed as being dumb because he used to play football without a helmet. Woodrow Wilson had a major stroke late in his Presidency and iirc his wife and his Chief of Staff basically kept it quiet and ran the country (see imdb for "Dave"!). At a minimum she is likely on lifetime anticoagulants which are pretty safe under close supervision but do increase the risk of bleeding "from where ever" to paraphrase the odious Mr. Trump.
We really should be spending more attention on the likely Vice President Mr. Kaine. His turn up could come sooner than four to eight years. I of course wish Mrs. Clinton good health for her sake and ours.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

A. F. Rey:

In a way you're [Treebeard] right. He's [Trump] everything we don't like about America--nativism, bigotry, boastfulness, hubris, ignorance--in a word, the Ugly American--writ large. All our weaknesses and shame, proudly displayed. IMHO.


Yes, the accepted wisdom is that voters like Trump because he's not afraid to say what they're thinking but don't dare to say out loud themselves. Really? All those things that pop into your head, but you're too polite to inflict on other people you've got nothing against? You really admire the guy who metaphorically says to someone he passed on the street: "Jesus, you are fat and ugly, lady!". And then mocks other passersby who look horrified on her behalf? "Come on, you were all thinking it!" You'd feel relieved that someone had the nerve to say that out loud? You'd like someone like that as head of state. Really?

(Not "you" you, but...y'know)

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

@Treebread - Well, 7 of the first 10 presidents were 'lawyers' (though Jefferson and Jackson certainly didn't practice much), and a large number of others as well. Lawyers often fit the bill as "hustler-pariahs" - so to some extent, you're right.

But which of those lawyer presidents did you like for their hustling skills? Abraham Lincoln? John Adams? Thomas Jefferson?


My guess? Aaron Burr.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I am a physician. (hmm, how long do you remain one after you stand down?)


Well, isn't it like the line from Evita:


Evita:
Did you hear that?
They called me a whore!
They actually called me a whore.

Admiral:
But, Signora Peron,
It's an easy mistake.
I have that trouble too.
I'm still called an admiral,
Yet, I gave up the sea
Long ago.

Duncan Cairncross said...

I am a physician. (hmm, how long do you remain one after you stand down?)


I am an engineer,
retired so nobody pays me for my expertise any more but I still use it for myself

My Icon "Duncan's Dubious Device" will soon be back of the road with a Chevy Volt battery pack and twice as much power!

I'm still an engineer!

Anonymous said...

(Every metric of competitive capitalism does better across DP administrations.)

You are lazy when it comes to this assertion that you are so stuck on. There has actually been quite a lot of work done about this type of question. To the extent the president or congress alters the economy the "effect" comes years after the political "cause". The economy is a huge tanker, not a kayak. For example, the growth of the economy of the Clinton (D) years would be due to the policies established in the prior (R) administration(assuming policies even matter much). In general, though, whether the president or congress is R or D is not a major driver of economic forces--and this is because both parties govern largely from the same center.