Sunday, October 09, 2016

POST DEBATE EXTRA - She won, yet I'm bummed

I am so bummed. Oh, sure, she dealt with him pretty well personally, including his huge self-indulgence promising a special prosecutor against her, if he's elected. (24 years and half a billion dollars in investigations and you guys still got nothing.)

Still, she left standing every one of his doom-gloom lies about the state of the nation. For example, assertions that:

- The EPA is killing energy companies.
- Health care costs are rising at the fastest rates ever.
- Manufacturing is in decline. 
- Crime is at its worst.
- Isis is an existential threat worth allying ourselves with Assad and Russia and Iran.

All of these are lies of such stunning magnitude - diametrically opposite to all facts - that she could have sent viewers to a neutral site -- instead of ludicrously suggesting HillaryClinton.com! To leave standing the right's all-out assault on American self-confidence is - itself - an act of betrayal.

In fact:

- Old-dinosaur carbon companies are in trouble because the U.S. has discovered so much oil and gas that we are now energy independent again, for the first time since the 1960s, allowing us to stop catering to petro princes in the Middle East. This plus the vast progress made in solar and sustainables have us in better shape than ever... except for those dinosaurs. 

... and the price of gas is half of what it was under GW Bush. So is the cost of a rooftop of solar panels. And US car companies are thriving under far better mileage standards and quality.

- Health care costs are NOT rising at the fastest rates ever. Since Obamacare, what was a disaster has become a mere irritant. What had been a skyrocket in health costs has slowed down to only slightly above inflation. It is a huge victory! Even though, in fact, Obamacare (which was originally the GOP's own plan) should be replaced with something simpler ASAP... once we get a sane Congress.

(By the way, no Canadian would trade their health system for ours - pre or post Obamacare. Not one. Watch. If we get a sane Congress, the first move will be simple: put all children on Medicare.)

- Manufacturing is NOT in decline. Spurred by cheap natural gas and good policies and new tech, manufacturing in the U.S. is rapidly rising. Why Clinton did not brag about the longest period in U.S. history without a recession, with major job growth the entire time since Obama took office, is beyond me.

Yes, the middle class and jobs would be far healthier if Congress passed the decade delayed Infrastructure Bill that has been entirely blocked by the Republican Party. Let me get back to that.

- Crime is at its worst? Another towering Trump lie. There have been small upticks this year, in a few cities, after 30 years of steady declines in crime in the U.S. Declines that were even faster across most of the Obama Administration. In fact Americans have never been - on average - more safe.

- Then there's this Trumpism. 'Isis is an existential threat worth allying ourselves with Assad and Russia and Iran.' What wimps! Americans have suffered almost no casualties per capita from those incompetent wretches. We must fight them and stop them - and it is happening without U.S. casualties, a switch from GOP ways to doing war. Nevertheless, panic is for losers.


SIDE NOTE: Notice how Trump went on and on about Mosul? Did you remark on that? Why did he do that? 

I suspect it is because he has had security briefings and now believes Mosul will fall to Iraqi forces soon! He does not want this to be an October Surprise to make the Democrats look good. Hence, he prepped the way for his response when Mosul falls, concocting a story that, by telegraphing the attack, our side allowed the ISIS leaders to "slip away."

The nerve! You don't 'sneak up' to a major city. You surround it and take the neighboring countryside. If there weren't a single news report, ISIS would know they were surrounded and doomed in Mosul. He knows his talking point to be fabulation. (And so does the military officer corps, so why doesn't HC speak of the far greater numbers of retired officers supporting her?) Moreover, for any Republican to accuse Clinton or Obama of letting the Jihadist leadership get away is hilarious! Beyond bin-Laden, they have snuffed almost a hundred major jihadist leaders, compared to the Bushite score of .... zero. (Though in fairness, vastly more Americans died under the Bushes.)

But there you get to my biggest complaint. She hardly mentioned the words "republican" or 'Congress' or "Bush." Or the fact that not a single GOP leader between Reagan and Ryan was even mentioned during the recent RNC, out of shame over twenty wretched, accomplishment-free, harm-doing, America-undermining leaders like both Bushes, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Dennis-pervert-Hastert, Tom-convicted-felon-DeLay and Roger-Sexual-predator-Ailes.


Indeed, DT himself disavows one of GW Bush's only two accomplishments... the Iraq War. Now if only he'd also drop Supply Side voodoo.

No, I cannot begin to measure my fury at HC's advisers. Yes, she seemed to have dealt with Bill Clinton's sexual past in a way that worked, by simply blowing past and ignoring DT's attempts to get a rise. I'd have preferred to get a couple sentences out of her, like: "This is you and me now, Donald."

But the thing I cannot comprehend is her refusal to make an issue of Congress. The public despises Congress! And for good reason. She could say that for 20 of the last 22 years it has been the laziest in U.S. history, seldom in session, holding hardly any hearings that did not involve Hillary Clinton, and blocking almost every effort to adapt to 21st Century problems. The word "lazy" would judo outside the normal left-right divide and she could slip in that those were years of GOP control.

She must do this! HC is acting as if winning the presidency is everything. It's not! Without a Congress, she'll be almost impotent and we'll be stuck with years and years of hell, with Paul Ryan both blocking her every move and sitting there 2nd in line to the presidency.


She could tell Republicans... "Hey, take your lickings in Congress now, and come back in two years with better GOP candidates who negotiate like adults." But for now? Well...

...Donald Trump is not a temporary 'disease' on conservatism. He is a symptom of a deeper aliment inflicted on U.S. conservatism and the Republican Party and America foremost by one man --

-- by Roger Ailes. Whose similarity to Donald Trump in all ways is no accident.

---

PS... I left out how she should mention the War on Science and all other knowledge professions. 

Or how desperately urgent it is to dare DT to help name a commission to do both fact checking and look into his accusations of election stealing.  

If his "election stealing" gambit is left standing un-refuted, then we are in for a tsunami of Timothy McVeighs, after November.  So please Hillary Clinton, grab this one by the horns.

74 comments:

Stephen Peterson said...

I sympathize with all of this (and I hope that Hillary realizes that she has nothing to lose in the final [FOX News moderated] debate and turns the GOP into a proper albatross) but there's also the... er... non-reasonableness of the marginal voter to consider. Most people don't really care about energy, for example---FiveThirtyEight cited a single-digit percentage in a Gallup poll---but they do, incredibly, still care about the "scandals." So Hillary had to spend more time on those lies about her personally, rather than the lies about impersonal "facts."

Depressing, but I think that was the logic. And within the relative insanity of American politics, it wasn't the wrong position.

Alfred Differ said...

I'm not sure that HC's advisors aren't correct in steering away from mentioning Congress. She is going to be elected on very high unfavorability ratings. They might be concerned that she will do more harm than good if she goes wider.

They might also be saving their ammo for a day AFTER the GOP gives up on Trump and turns it's own focus toward Congress. I don't think she needs a debate platform to get that ammo used.

Vonne Anton said...

HC's lack of offense was troubling, but not overly so. Trump's intimidating lurking hurt him bad! Especially in light of recent "rape culture" allegations.

It isn't so much that HC won, as that Trump's advisors truly screwed him over.

Your issues are valid; but to address them requires Bernie Sanders. She will likely win the election, but Sanders will be looking over every shoulder afterward. She needs him in her Cabinet.

Vonne Anton


Alfred Differ said...

She needs him in the Senate AND her Cabinet. First has priority, I suspect.

donzelion said...

Probably the starkest policy difference between Hillary and Bernie Sanders was foreign policy. Hillary was disdained by anti-war progressives for her "hawkish" stance on Libya and Syria. Many backed Bernie Sanders for his 'dovish' approach.

Libya was both a good call AND an opportunity for Hillary to link her foreign policy with Ronald Reagan. Reagan was right to bomb Libya in 1986 in retaliation for terrorist attacks on Americans (the Berlin Disco Bombing). Hillary could have linked the 2011 bombing campaign to Reagan (and even with Obama killing OBL: Republicans talk tough on terrorism, Democrats make the terrorist leaders who attack us into dead men).

She didn't though because she hopes to mobilize the doves - esp. among young, discouraged Democrats who will never embrace her but might still show up. But someone ought to make that point on her behalf...

hadend said...

The chances of Sanders getting a cabinet appointment in HRC's admin are zero to negative zero. Remember when her campaign teased everyone with the possibility of a Warren VP pick? Her pitch to the left-wing of the dem party is simply: There is No Alternative. HRC and her advisors feel no need or obligation to offer more than that.

donzelion said...

Alfred: "I'm not sure that HC's advisors aren't correct in steering away from mentioning Congress. She is going to be elected on very high unfavorability ratings. They might be concerned that she will do more harm than good if she goes wider."

Concur, but for very different reasons. In several of the states with Senate elections that have moved to toss-ups, Hillary remains deeply unpopular in key corridors: but so is Trump.

On election day, the get-out-the-vote machines in the Republican strongholds in Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, must turn up en masse or those states will flip.

She doesn't need to win voters in those states, so much as to drain enthusiasm from the "I hate her so much" partisans. Her stance has to be "I don't hate anyone" (despite Trump 'seeing the hatred in her heart') - not "My side is coming to crush you bigots!"

Anonymous said...

Almost, but not quite true about not one Canadian would trade Canada's health system for any version of America's. I certainly would not, but I had a co-worker who hated our system. I could never understand that.

Alex said...

I disagree, I think she did well to stay on her agenda, not to waste time cleaning up after all his untruths. For fact-checking, she pointed people to her website, and the media are also going to shred him over the next few days, that's the right place for it. She did a great job of answering the actual questions and addressing the important issues. His freefall in the polls will continue this week, and 31 days from now he'll be nothing more than a historical footnote.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Am I alone in thinking that the "Jail Hillary" was a stroke of genius
Not for the election but for after the election when the Donald's crows come home to roost
Rape, Tax evasion, Fraud ....

And now all of the "sensible" voices have said that you can't jail the losing candidate

Donald now has a "get out of jail free card" - just before he needs to use it

Jumper said...

I suspect Alfred is right. Trumpers need a reason to stay home.

On energy, here's a thing I found by a normally respectable writer on energy. Not a good outlook for market forces and renewables: the intermittancy problem.
https://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/08/31/intermittent-renewables-cant-favorably-transform-grid-electricity/
Of course around here we believe in solving these problems. I think Musk has ideas.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Jumper
Those reports always "assume" far too high a "cost" for energy storage

We have big hydro - which can store a LOT of energy
Then Solar/wind - which tend to be complementary

Finally and most expensively - batteries - but articles like that assume a cost for storage which is HIGHER than I paid as an individual
GM are selling replacement Volt packs at $250/Kwhr - and that is for a high power pack with a lot of electronics and crash protection
What do you think they are paying? - I bet its less than $100/Kwhr

The problem at the moment is that power companies sell power - so that when demand is high they open the stops - running the grid as a complete entity would mean that you don't open the sluices of you hydro plant when the wind is blowing or the sun is rising

Jerry Emanuelson said...

The U.S. NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory spent 6 years studying the problem of intermittency, including the economics of the problem.

NOAA concluded that the total cost of storage effectively doubles the cost of intermittent energy. However, if you can truly use all of the available solar and wind energy of an area of at least half the size of the continental United States, the intermittency problem simply goes away.

The former director of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory has a 35- minute talk about this study at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHsCjdAgxJ8

The NOAA ESRL study doesn't apply to smaller areas like Hawaii and New Zealand.

Unfortunately, the results of this extensive 6-year haven't gained much traction. This is mostly because the original study is still behind a paywall. Also, the videos and popular media articles about this study are all incomplete, leaving many people with the impression that the original study must have also been incomplete.

Paul SB said...

Jerry and Duncan,

It sounds like for the Continental US (and I would venture to guess any large continental mass, given the distribution of wind and sunshine over continents) the intermittency problem is a case where an incremental approach is not going to cut it. We need to go for the old S.J. Gould Punctuated Equilibrium approach, if you don't mind a paleontology analogy. Even if the cost of both oil and natural gas has dropped, the atmosphere and hydrosphere can't deal with our continued reliance on fossil fuels. (To say nothing of the fact that when gas prices go down, sales of guzzle-monster manly pickup trucks and SUVs go up, increasing the demand for and therefore the price of gasoline. Enjoy the low prices while you can, the Invisible Hand will raise them again soon.) That just leaves open the question of how would we accomplish such a punctuation? Will market forces be sufficient without some form of governmental sponsorship, or would the market by itself be too little too late, itself being quite intermittent?

donzelion said...

Duncan: "GM are selling replacement Volt packs at $250/Kwhr...What do you think they are paying?"

Hard to say. If the primary manufacturer for batteries is still A123 Systems, then they're not publicly traded - but they did receive $388 million in subsidies, in addition to the $3 billion or so GM received. In 2012, this was a major field of political football, with Republicans pinning the failure of the Volt squarely on Obama messing with private markets. Those attacks seem unfair, but normal means of figuring out costs, demand, supply, and all the rest of market dynamics are still warped: half-truths proliferate, and who can really say except for a narrow insider group that isn't interested in spilling?

"Those reports always "assume" far too high a "cost" for energy storage"
I've seen plenty of the "free" reports are worth the price one didn't pay to read them (esp. by politically-aligned hacks). But I've also heard many experts who weren't hacks who pointed to high costs of energy storage for a number of reasons, and who also pointed out the problems with dams (though most of the engineers I've heard from were more offended by the politics, which created entirely different sorts of problems).

AdrianG said...

Dr. Brin, if I saw Hilary refuting Trump's claims, I would see strength, and it would impress me just as much as it sounds like it would impress you. It would highlight the intellectual cowardice of the the man who doubles down on his stupidity when he's caught saying stupid things, and whose debate strategy is to throw as much fecal matter as he can on the wall to see if any of it sticks.

But most of Hilary's audience is not thoughtful enough to see it that way. If she invests much time defending against the fecal matter he's throwing, most people will see that she's on the defensive, and they will see it as weakness.

As satisfying as it would be to see her call his claim out for the fecal matter they are, it is probably a smart move to avoid spending a lot of time doing that.

Paul SB said...

There was a point in last night's debate where Uncle Hillary said she was glad Donald Dunk was not in charge of the legislature, to which he retorted that she would be in jail. That drew some applause from the crowd, but the applause sounded more like what you hear on Jerry Springer (or in a class full of seventh graders) than what you hear in most normal places. Springer, that great institution of high-class Americana! It tells you something about a certain segment of the Trump constituency. They are people who support Trump not in spite of him being a crass, groping shyster, but BECAUSE he is a crass, groping shyster, just like them. They feel validated by his candidacy, and they will support him to the bitter end.

But those who were supporting Trump out of distrust for "the system" are starting to peel away, starting to realize that he's nothing but a fraud, and a fraud is not going to do any better than an insider, and will probably be worse - worse even than Bush raping the nation for the sake of his stock portfolio (and why isn't he behind bars?). I have to agree with Dr. Brin here that, even though Clinton has been trying to juggle courting moderate Republicans and not lose more lefty Bernie supporters, if she doesn't make a case against the Republican Party her presidency will be for naught. Obama could have done the nation and the world much more good if the people weren't so consistently electing the kind of obstructionists to Congress that they put partisanship before the needs of the people almost without fail. Another four years of that is not what we need. The Springer Vote will go to the Donald, but as more rational voters abandon the Hair Piece, the opportunity for Clinton to start making a case against Congress and for down-ticket races is coming.

Tony Fisk said...

@jumper Even without batteries there are solar thermal systems that store the energy in molten salts with which to run steam turbine generators. Not terribly efficient but still economic at scale. And available 24/7.

Paul SB said...

Tony,

In the rush to go PV, our nation seems to have collective amnesia regarding passive solar, which has tremendous potential to reduce fuel needs for the built environment (though not from transportation, of course). The solar thermal/saline distribution system reminded me, though passive solar is about harvesting direct solar insolation for heating or cooling rather than generating electricity (which loses some efficiency when used to run our conventional systems). Architecture (a major factor in energy use) is an arena that needs as much attention as energy production.

LarryHart said...

Duncan Cairncross:

Am I alone in thinking that the "Jail Hillary" was a stroke of genius
Not for the election but for after the election when the Donald's crows come home to roost
Rape, Tax evasion, Fraud ....

And now all of the "sensible" voices have said that you can't jail the losing candidate

Donald now has a "get out of jail free card" - just before he needs to use it


An interesting thought, and maybe one that crossed Trump's mind.

But probably not accurate in practice. Hillary won't be having the Justice Department go after Trump. Rape would fall under state laws, and probably fraud as well (and no donations to the prosecutor are going to work this time). And I doubt Trump is legally guilty of tax evasion as he's undoubtedly followed the letter of the law. His tax issue is a political liability, not a legal one.

In practice, it won't be President Hillary going after Trump with the legal system. It will be his victims.

LarryHart said...

At least the Supreme Court did come up as an issue, in a question from the audience, no less. And their positions couldn't have been more plain. A vote for Trump is a vote for more Antonin Scalias.

Of course, after the week and the weekend Trump just had, Mitch McConnell might want to think about confirming Merrick Garland now.

LarryHart said...

Adrian G:

As satisfying as it would be to see her call his claim out for the fecal matter they are, it is probably a smart move to avoid spending a lot of time doing that.


After the first debate, SNL's season opener had their version of the debate, in which "Hillary" said things like "Can the American people just vote now?" At one point, the moderator said "Trump's" two minutes were up and it was "Hillary's" turn, to which she insisted, "No, he can have my two minutes."

There were parts of yesterday's debate at which I could imagine both of those lines actually being spoken by the real Hillary. In context, it was funny to watch both of them try to be chivalrous and let the other speak first on (I think it was) the Supreme Court. (I actually wish Hillary had gone last on that one so she could scare liberals and Bernie Bros more with reflections on what more Scalias on the bench would look like)

Point being, at this point, there's no better way of refuting Trump than to just let him talk as much and as long as possible. I don't think anyone believes him any more. His supporters support him in spite of the reality of his claims.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

There was a point in last night's debate where Uncle Hillary said she was glad Donald Dunk was not in charge of the legislature,


Nitpick (which I'm too lazy to look up): She didn't say "the legislature", did she? That wouldn't have made any sense.


...to which he retorted that she would be in jail. That drew some applause from the crowd, but the applause sounded more like what you hear on Jerry Springer (or in a class full of seventh graders) than what you hear in most normal places. Springer, that great institution of high-class Americana! It tells you something about a certain segment of the Trump constituency. They are people who support Trump not in spite of him being a crass, groping shyster, but BECAUSE he is a crass, groping shyster, just like them. They feel validated by his candidacy, and they will support him to the bitter end.

But those who were supporting Trump out of distrust for "the system" are starting to peel away, starting to realize that he's nothing but a fraud, and a fraud is not going to do any better than an insider, and will probably be worse


That's what I was trying to say above. I usually praise someone who says what I was trying to say more succinctly. Here, you said it more verbosely, but also (IMHO) better.


the opportunity for Clinton to start making a case against Congress and for down-ticket races is coming.


Y'know, I'm not going to get down on Hillary for lack of scope-creep. These are the presidential debates. It's the job of the Democratic Party and orgainizations like EMILY's List to campaign for congress. Hillary can help, as can President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Senator Sanders, but Hillary's main job at the moment is to win an election.

Meanwhile, Trump is helping to suppress Republican turnout all by himself.

Tacitus2 said...

I did not watch the debate. I did not watch either of the preceding ones. There are more valuable uses for my time. And it will not have an impact on my vote. I should probably vote early and get it over with because for me the election is already over and my concerns about what comes next have begun.

I offer a few Conservative thoughts. You need not agree, I only ask that you evaluate them with the same plausibility filters that you apply to Progressive thoughts.

1. The Republican Party is not some vast, powerful machine. It is a weak organization that has lost the ability to determine its own fate. Did the DNC put a thumb, a toe and a five pound brick on the scale to tip towards Hillary? Yep. Is it politics as sausage making? Yep again. Should the Republican party have done something similar to squelch Trump early? All concerned woul have benefitted.

2. No serious scandals in recent Democratic administrations? Presumably the competing explanations are that either Democrats are inherently more honest...or that the "cooercive" agencies of government such as the FBI and IRS are in the bag for the Democratic Party. I do not ask you to believe that, I simply put it forward as a theory. Whistleblowers sound great in theory but in practice the institutional pressure to keep quiet must be extreme. For instance, where are the folks coming forward with insider dirt on the GWB years? It would be safe to do so now. Heck, in an environment where Party affilliation in government workers runs heavily D it has probably always been safe.

3. I think the economy is "OK". It runs in cycles that do not swing up and down with Presidential pen strokes. Improved oil and nat gas extraction was a godsend. Probably we will continue to have unexpected windfalls...and the occasional blind siding disaster. I think that there is an awful lot of awful that is being papered over. The ACA will need to have massive infusions of cash to remain viable in the short term. Long term it remains a nonsensical system in its entireity. The economies of several states are not nearly as robust as they look when a dispassionate look at Pension liabilities is taken. A lot of cash will be needed. Tax the Rich will not find it all in the sofa cushions.

4. Few here love the Clintons. They are a new phenomena or at least one new to modern times. The intersection of politics, finance, stardom....when Conservatives speak of "crony capitalism" there is much in the Clinton's past that looks sketchy. Of course the Republicans have cronies also, just a somewhat different set with moderate overlap.

Well, well, the Concerns of a Conservative. Needless worry? Maybe. We will see how it all turns out. But seeing clearly through the traditional media is watching a heavily edited movie. While seeing through the alternative/internet is watching a bizarre, swirling kaleidescope.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I did not watch the debate. I did not watch either of the preceding ones. There are more valuable uses for my time. And it will not have an impact on my vote.


It won't have an impact on my vote either, but I was curious as to what effect it might have on the votes of others. I was genuinely concerned that Hillary was getting far enough ahead that the media narrative would bring the two back to parity again--not because the media like Trump but because the media like a nail-biting horse race. I needn't have worried, but worry is what I do best.


I should probably vote early and get it over with because for me the election is already over and my concerns about what comes next have begun.


I do the same. I like to vote early so that I no longer have to pay attention to the political ads.


1. The Republican Party is not some vast, powerful machine. It is a weak organization that has lost the ability to determine its own fate.


I disagree. True, it has a hard time winning a presidential election, but it is as likely as not to hold congress, and has a tenouous hold on the Supreme Court (the next vote is God's). Furthermore, it controls a majority of states. The presidency is almost a symbolic figurehead compared to the real power over real American lives that the GOP still holds.


Did the DNC put a thumb, a toe and a five pound brick on the scale to tip towards Hillary? Yep. Is it politics as sausage making? Yep again. Should the Republican party have done something similar to squelch Trump early? All concerned woul have benefitted.


Trump shows the benefit of superdelegates. I don't see the fact that an outsider to the party (Sanders or Trump) has a higher bar to clear than an actual member of the party--especially now that "open primaries" are the expected norm, which means non-Democrats are voting in the Democratic primary and non-Republicans in the Republican primary. Primaries should serve in some capacity, but I'm not convinced that they should be an absolute binding vote on the party's nomination. Republican superdelegates could have saved the party from itself this time around.

I disagree that what the Democrats did amounts to a "five pound brick" on the scales. I agree that the scales were slightly tipped in favor of the actual Democrat, and maybe the Party would have interfered if Sanders had been ahead, but the fact is that Hillary won the regular way, and both Sanders and Trump complaining that their various primaries were rigged sounds to me like so much Orwellian language--they mean that the primaries should have been rigged in their favor, but weren't.

continued...

LarryHart said...

...continued...

2. No serious scandals in recent Democratic administrations? ...

I'm not informed/qualified enough to speak to this, other than to say there's such thing as signal-to-noise ratio. To me, the IRS scandal isn't one. They targeted political groups claiming exemptions as non-political. If more of those doing the crime were conservative, whose fault is that? Benghazi was unfortunate, but not Hillary's doing. If anything, embassy security was underfunded by congressional Republicans. And, I'm sick of hearing about her damn e-mails. What she did was no different than what previous secretaries of state did. And to the argument that her private server was open to hacking, it appears that government and DNC servers were easily hacked, while her private server was probably not a target. It was likely safer than the institutional servers, if only by hiding in plain sight.


3. I think the economy is "OK". It runs in cycles that do not swing up and down with Presidential pen strokes.


Agreed. I'd say government's role is to help supply needed services that the market does not supply (and I include catastrophic health care in that category), not to manipulate the economy. I do think it's a mischaracterization on the Republican part that Hillary wants to micromanage the economy. Also that the economy is worse than it's been in howevermany years Trump said.


4. Few here love the Clintons. They are a new phenomena or at least one new to modern times. The intersection of politics, finance, stardom....when Conservatives speak of "crony capitalism" there is much in the Clinton's past that looks sketchy. Of course the Republicans have cronies also, just a somewhat different set with moderate overlap.


It seems to me that the Clintons desire power for what they can do with it, not for their own personal gain. Republicans accuse Hillary supporters of only wanting power, while they (Republicans) are just fighting the good fight for the country. I see the exact opposite as true. You probably disagree, but one thing seems clear--that Trump certainly is using the presidential race for personal gain.


Well, well, the Concerns of a Conservative. Needless worry? Maybe. We will see how it all turns out. But seeing clearly through the traditional media is watching a heavily edited movie. While seeing through the alternative/internet is watching a bizarre, swirling kaleidescope.


I'm not clear how many of those points you just made are "worry", needless or otherwise. I don't dismiss true conservative concerns out of hand, but to crib Ronald Reagan, I think that The Republican Party is not the solution to the problem. The Republican Party is the problem."

Anonymous said...

Gloomly opponents is another strawman you've invented; I find it rather amusing to watch America saw with blind optimism at its own neck whilst making burbling noises about fluttering off to the stars, flying cars, and other such indicators of what the Iroqui call a death path. How fares the Ogallala aquifer? Faustian much? Care to comment on the unaffordability of your car-mandated suburbs or is it going to be yet another plea for Federal funds?

America is energy independent? False. America imported ~4.7 MMb/d of oil in 2015. "Discovered so much" is another lie; discoveries have fallen to an all-time low—a double whammy of peak oil (as predicted by Hubbert) and low oil prices (good for consumers, very, very bad for oh look Venezuela is falling to ruin. Granted, they're a little too socialist for American tastes, and it's a lot easier to tear gas some Dakota protestors and build a pipeline up there).

Without a recession? Go visit the folks voting Trump. They sure as hell aren't out of the recession. And how does some liberal élite telling them they aren't actually in a recession make them feel?

LarryHart said...

@Anonymous,

The Republican Party (Congress and the Supreme Court) has done everything in its power to keep the average person on the street from participating in the recovery from the recession. I get that Trump voters are frustrated, but their frustration is (purposely) misdirected against President Obama and (perversely) Hillary Clinton, when Congress has obstructed the president's policies all along.

I'll repeat what should probably be my sig-line:

The Republican Party is not the solution to the problem. The Republican Party is the problem."

bigsteve said...

Dr. Brin you are a bright man. But I do not think Hillary's tactics were wrong. You know what the "Gish Gallop" is. Your opponent spew many lies and while you debunk one another spew of lies come. Most people are not analytical like you. They rely on emotion not logic and facts but they vote. In their minds constantly being attacked and defending yourself is the same as being guilty. Which is why Benghazi and email attacks are being repeated even though many investigations show they are a dry well. It is better to not repeatably debunk the lies and keep those lies in peoples mind. Better to change the subject to what you want to talk about. Trump may undo the master GOP strategy they use to gerrymander the House. If enough moderate GOP voters do not vote or vote for the Democrat the House may be in play. Hearing Banana Republic stuff like jail your political opponent may do that. Obama heard this from his party's leftward partisans,jail Bush after he first won and he ignore them. She is not trying to sound pretty or get her base super energize.She has the coalition to win and must now keep that together until election day. Much of that coalition is not her leftward base. This is one smart woman and politician. I trust her to win this one and save us from President Trump. I also think she will be able to deal with congress better than her predecessor and get something more done. I have read that God looks out for drunks and the United States. Obama was the right one for his time and Hillary is the right one for this time. After 8 years of Hillary this country is going to be a much more humane place and people will be much better off. Not enough old bigot white guys left in the country for GOP current strategy to work.The GOP will discover empathy or it is going extinct.

David Brin said...

Tacitus, ever since Rupert & Ailes took over the GOP, in conjunction with the Bush clan, the party was the most tightly disciplined partisan machine in US history. It was lockstep and Ailes’ talking points were repeated by every GOPpol, or else. Trump tapped into a confederate maelstrom of resentment toward that clan… though still accepting all the Fox mind poisons.

No, you do not get to call Trump an aberration. Not when Roger Ailes is Trump’s almost perfect clone.

“here are the folks coming forward with insider dirt on the GWB years?”

There’s tons! HASTERT! DeLay! Ailes! Obama chose not to prosecute Cheney companies as a peace offering to the GOP… and got nothing in return.

The Clintons’ “rich cronies” are at least charitable, mostly tech billionaires and self-made… and they want their own taxes raised. They may be rich cronies. But they want the American middle class experiment to work. They are not feudalists.

I know many decent conservatives like you who are “turning off politics this year” and I sympathize with the pain! But it is time to get organized. Sane Conservative Intellects for Progress and Adam Smith.

David Brin said...

Great piece of conspiratorial paranoia Duncan!

Jumper, that’s why there’s a push to give storage the same tax credits as renewables.

TheMadLibrarian said...

PaulSB, how hard is it to retrofit existing houses to take advantage of thermal mass for warming and cooling? Most current buildings would have to be torn down or at least thoroughly gutted to make it work well. Efficient as they are, such buildings are tarred with the 'only hippies and weirdos do this' brush, because they rarely look like a traditional house. You can get more traction by plopping solar panels all over the roof on the usual tract house.

I had a chat with my mom last week. She and Dad had been voting Republican since the Middle Ages, but she (Dad passed away a couple years ago) acknowledges that Trump does not represent her or her interests. OTOH, I think the best we can hope for out of the Silent Majority is that they stay home on election day, rather than try to contribute to the tire fire of a Trump presidency. I doubt people like my mom can commit to voting non-Republican, even with the 'sterling example' of DT to ward them off.

Kal Kallevig said...

I am amazed by how much in denial evangelicals and republicans are this year. My religious sister is in her late 80's and has posted the following to Facebook: https://www.yahoo.com/news/ben-carson-says-donald-trump-prayed-for-forgiveness-before-the-presidential-debate-043443555.html, among other things. In another post all of Trump's obnoxious statements were passed off as "said mean things". Apparently a lot of these religious folks still are sticking by him.

Re passive solar - badly oriented buildings are very difficult to retrofit effectively. Many, probably most, existing buildings were designed without regard to the sun, not enough south facing windows, too many east and west facing windows, the wrong kind of glass in those windows, the list goes on. Better design would allow energy wasted on heating and cooling these structures to be saved. Retrofit is tough and expensive, continuing to design badly is criminal.

Tacitus2 said...

"No, you do not get to call Trump an aberration.."

I respectfully beg to differ. When expressing my opinions I can call anybody anything I like. As can you.

Tacitus

Tacitus2 said...

Hey! The new picture function works. As a retired physician I can decloak my annonymity if in stages. That's me holding up an Arabic Hostess Twinkie on a back street in Aswan!

T

raito said...

Too bad I've been busy, or I'd have pointed out a couple articles ago that there's a polytheist religion that not only is about as non-Democratic as it gets, but taken to its logical conclusion (or absurdum conclusion, if you wish), describes the Unified Field Theory. :) Shinto.

As for as the debate, I also have no problem with Clinton's tactics. If I thought her capable of it, I'd have termed it taking the high road.

If I had to give a reason for it at all, I might say she didn't mention Congress because the comeback is too obvious -- Trump saying he wasn't in the government so it wasn't his problem to solve. I think that attacking the GOP may not be a decent tactic because Trump can pretty much deny having anything to do with them. By their words and his.

On solar, the federal credits got extended until 2019. So my neighbor (who'd be my installer) and I are going to wait to get even better performance at even less cost. According to him, even the systems he installed 3 years ago are either obsolete, or difficult to get parts for. You pay for being on the steep part of the curve. At least we're oriented properly, and WI's statutes make it plain that anti-solar deed restrictions are unenforceable, as soon as the panels hit the roof, no one gets to build in my sun.

I know a few Canadians who've expressed that while they wouldn't trade health care systems permanently, they wouldn't mind it temporarily.

Only one article removed from the action...

Re: SF as literature.

My high school instituted some new English classes while I was there. The idea was that you'd have the chance at any of the 6 while you were there. I got lucky. The two offered when I was a senior were Shakespeare and Science Fiction.

The oddity with the Sf class was that the students clearly outmatched the teacher in knowing the corpus of material available. One assignment (pre-Internet) was to do a bibliography of an author. We all chose ones she'd never heard of. Except the one guy who did Asimov, but his was complete enough that it was worth it.

As for Yoda,

I suppose that if you buy the whole cyclic myth thing, then of course everyone is going to do the same stupid stuff over and over again. And Luke is the same putz that Obi-wan was. One of my least favorite aspects of the series. It's co busy licking Campbell's boots that the protagonists make mistakes that they've seen before. And, in my opinion, even worse than Yoda is the whole 'I repented so I'm a good guy' Vader thing. Yeah, Darth, all those Alderanians are sure glad they died so you could eventually see the error of your ways!

LarryHart said...

Kal Kallevig:

I am amazed by how much in denial evangelicals and republicans are this year.


Y'know, we've talked here about how evangelicals don't believe Trump is a good Christian himself, but they believe he will be their attack dog on issues important to good Christians--that he's their soldier, not their leader.

But how much of an excuse is that even? For 30 years, the Republican Party has tricked evangelicals into supporting their "tax cuts for the rich and no regulation of corporations" agenda with the unspoken promise that they (the GOP) will also stand for Christian values. The voter on the street has apparently caught on that they were being strung along, which is why there was so little support for the Jeb Bush types, or even March Rubio. But to willingly transfer the expectation of satisfaction to Trump? A man who you can tell is lying if his lips are moving?

No, evangelicals are either the most naive, credulous voting block on the planet, or else they support Trump only because "evangelical" has nothing to do with being a disciple of Jesus Christ, but is just a code word for (at best) "white nationalist", and (more likely) "white racist". No other explanation makes sense.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

Hey! The new picture function works.


I can't wait to see what you look like in your Librarian identity. :)

donzelion said...

Tacitus: Some thoughts:
"1. The Republican Party is not some vast, powerful machine."
What sort of evidence would convince you that it is in fact a "powerful machine"? Funding? Operation? Numerous moving parts with specific roles and functions in an apparatus? It cannot be that a thing is "a machine if and only if it succeeds in its function" - since many things that are certainly machines do not achieve anticipated results.

"2. Serious scandals in recent Democratic administrations...I do not ask you to believe that, I simply put it forward as a theory."
OK...what evidence will support your theory? Again, the key to a theory actually being a "theory," as opposed to a carefully erected slur, is that evidence can prove or disprove the claim.

To many Republicans, the Democrats have far more 'serious scandals' than Republicans: Benghazi (Bush Jr had 12+ different attacks on embassies - Dems had 1, therefore, they're conspiring with terrorists). Emailgate (Bush underlings deleted 20+ million emails; Hillary deleted 30,000+ - therefore, they're just as bad). Solyndra ($500 federal loan guarantee to company that went bankrupt, as opposed to $500 billion - therefore, Dems are just as bad)

"Where are the folks coming forward with insider dirt on the GWB years?"
You'll often find them speaking at universities (or teaching there). They tend not to be media fixtures. They also tend not to be independently wealthy.

"3. "The ACA will need to have massive infusions of cash to remain viable in the short term. Long term it remains a nonsensical system in its entirety."
Agreed. Now, what to do about that, and why? Should we return to a "private market" - where insurance rates creep up 10-20%/year - or a "regulated market" (where they creep up 2-10%/year) - or a fully non-market structure (where they creep up only under certain conditions). Should we return to an era in which personal bankruptcy is a primary strategy to deliver health care? (the research demonstrating that empirically was Elizabeth Warren's initial brush with fame - none of the 'latte a day' claims proved out).

"The economies of several states are not nearly as robust as they look when a dispassionate look at Pension liabilities is taken."
Absolutely true. Much of the modeling for pension liabilities was designed with assumptions of 8-10% returns on stock market investments - which haven't really been realized. Much work needs to be done.

"Well, well, the Concerns of a Conservative. Needless worry? Maybe."
NEEDFUL worry. These things matter. But they can only be addressed by cutting through celebrity status and down to policy, plan, and action. The purpose of the kaleidoscope is to reshape perception into something entertaining, but NOT something useful for action. It's up to us to reach that point and make decisions.

donzelion said...

Kal Kallevig/LarryHart: "I am amazed by how much in denial evangelicals and republicans are this year."

I read something like this - and see many of the names that I grew up hearing in church are steadfast in their pro-Trump posture. I remember feeling uncomfortable with politics at church, but even more uncomfortable with hypocrisy (how can it be that the guy who has slept with four of the women in the youth group is calling Clinton immoral?). Dobson, in the Monica Lewinsky era, was infuriated about how a politician engaging in immoral conduct hurts children. Today, he shrugs and calls for forgiveness - if the politician in question is a Republican.

But I do not see 'white nationalism' as a general position (yes, it exists, but is a fringe). You will find a smattering of African-Americans in almost any "evangelical church" - and you'll find relatively few incidents of abuse or attack (the evidence one should see if 'white nationalism' were the animating agenda). Rather, the fundamental posture is anti-science: "evidence" itself is the threat, and the world is one vast Satanic conspiracy.

KarenJG said...

Personally, I think she gave Donald just enough rope to hang the republicans with. Yes, she could have been stronger, but by leaving some opportunities to respond and/or bait The Donald on the table, she allowed him to do just well enough to stop the republicans from disavowing him. Thereby leaving him as an albatross around their collective necks.

LarryHart said...

@donzelion,

You make a good case that they're not supporting Trump for being a racist, but for being a boorish clod. Ok, maybe that's a little better.

@everyone,

Did anyone notice that, despite the presence of Clinton-accusers Juanita Broaderick, Paula Jones, et all, Trump didn't have them do anything during the debate? I think he made one comment about Bill doing worse than he did on that tape, but he didn't mention the accusers by name or have Hillary "look them in the eye" or (even better) have them ask one of the audience questions. Any good reasons why he loaded that particular gun and then didn't fire?

Jacob said...

The most important moment in the debate for me was when Trump said he would go after Hilary if he became President. I feel like this type of behavior is an effort to push us towards Civil War. Persecution, plan and simple. Thinking about it, I'm deeply disturbed by the crowds of Republicans who chant "Lock Her Up". It is one thing for someone like Trump to something stupid. It is scary that it seems to be acceptable behavior of a large portion of one of two main parties.

LarryHart said...

Jacob:

Thinking about it, I'm deeply disturbed by the crowds of Republicans who chant "Lock Her Up". It is one thing for someone like Trump to something stupid. It is scary that it seems to be acceptable behavior of a large portion of one of two main parties.


As a recent fan of the musical "Hamilton", I've been thinking that Hillary or Trump should be challenging the other to a duel.

In Lin-Manuel Miranda's SNL monologue, where he parodied one of the "Hamilton" songs, he also said as much. Something to the effect of "With all the sniping and trash-talkin' / They're only one step away from Weehauken."


LarryHart said...

From today's New York Times. Maybe Hillary "gets it" after all:


Speaking to reporters aboard Mrs. Clinton’s campaign plane on Monday, Jennifer Palmieri, her communications director, made it clear the campaign intended to tie down-ballot Republicans to Mr. Trump with a new fervor — after months of casting his candidacy as a dangerous anomaly.


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/us/politics/donald-trump-gop-hillary-clinton.html?_r=0

Treebeard said...

The constant propaganda vis-a-vis Russia is the most disturbing and dangerous thing about Clinton and her gang (who include some of the most aggressive neocons and most of the “mainstream” media moguls). She lies constantly about them, ignoring the fact that Russia is killing a lot of ISIS dudes (while America has been known to arm their side) and is no threat whatsoever to rank-and-file Americans, left or right. This is where her puppet strings become all-too-visible, and Trump has an opportunity to nail her to the wall, but hasn't. Who benefits from this demonization of Russia? Saudis, jihadists, neocons, neoliberals, banksters, globalists, “pussy rioters”, and people from Eastern Europe with an old tribal grudge? Sorry, but risking nuclear annihilation for this crowd ain't on the cards.

There is a counter-narrative trying to break the through the media propaganda wall, with Trump having a chance to blow it wide open, but he seems reluctant, or too ill-informed to take advantage of it. Too bad, 'cuz I'm afraid World War III is where things will be headed under Hillary “the Lizard Queen Libya-bomber” Clinton. Remember to duck and cover, and kiss you ass goodbye!

Robert said...

Treebeard, the reason ISIS has American weapons is when they invaded Iraq, the Iraqi army bugged out and left their gear behind. If anything, this is an embarrassment to the Bush Administration (the younger, not the elder). And Russia is not going after ISIS. They are going after everyone but Assad. That they killed a bunch of ISIS supporters means nothing if they are killing everyone else as well. And hey, you could claim Turkey is killing ISIS as well. While they target the Kurds.

---------

Dr. Brin fails once more to comprehend a fundamental failure about Hillary Clinton. There are people out there who so detest Hillary that they will vote for the Republican Candidate just to make sure Clinton doesn't become President. They will lie to themselves and repeat claims about Clinton being a crook and a murderer because they cannot accept another Clinton in office.

I know. I've at least one relative who feels this way. Fortunately, they live in a very liberal state so that relative's vote will not swing things for Trump. And yes, I've tried to convince said relative to vote Libertarian, but they hate Weld tremendously as well so....

The people who hate Hillary are going to go out and vote against Hillary. And they will vote for Trump because while Trump is a probable rapist and a monster, he's not Hillary Clinton and that makes it all right. And yes, I know of women voting for Trump because they hate Clinton. And no amount of facts will sway these people - trust me. I have tried facts. I have tried persuasion. I have suggested the Libertarian Party as a viable alternative. They would rather have a madman in office than Hillary Clinton.

I understand this. I do not like Hillary either. Remember when I first showed up on here and it took a while to get ME to stop the knee-jerk hatred of Hillary? (And even now I still dislike her. It's actually an arguing point I use, and they can't disprove because it's KNOWN I don't like Hillary. I use that point for the "we're voting Green because Bernie was CHEATED of his election" crew, the "Hillary is a murderer and she bought off the judge" crew, and the "I hate Democrats" crew. Though hopefully I might have convinced one or two eventually to go Libertarian...)

So this election is never going to be a washout. And while independents who tend toward Republican tickets might sit this one out? We're not going to see the House flip. We might very well see the Senate remain Republican. And it's all because of hatred of Hillary Clinton.

Rob H.

Treebeard said...

Robert, Clinton had the gall to try to blame Russia for ISIS, which is classic neocon reality-inversion methodology. She was all-in for the Iraq invasion that created ISIS, and the Libya bombing that allowed ISIS to spread there, let's recall. Now she's doing a "Saddam's WMD's" trick with this "Russian hacking of the election" phantom menace, creating a pretext for either nullifying the election or ramping up the new Cold War with Russia. This is a neocon war-monger Wall Street puppet of the first order, accusing the opposition of precisely what her gang is guilty of. I can't imagine how any person of the Left could support this lying Lizard Queen.

LarryHart said...

Trump accused Hillary (apparently by mind-control of President Obama) of making Iran great again, Iran being the greatest threat to whatever. He also said that Iran--as well as Russia and Assad's Syria--was helping destroy ISIS. So what's he down on Hillary for?

And Hillary was not "all-in" for the Iraq invasion. She cynically and pragmatically voted for the war because the overwhelming meme at the time was that the American public was behind it, and that a "nay" vote would be political suicide. I'm disappointed in her for not seeing, as Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders and I did, that history would prove that idea wrong. But how is someone who cynically goes along with the herd somehow personally responsible for that war, moreso than the president and his party who lied us into that war?


LarryHart said...

@Robert,

You may be right about the Senate. I hope enough disgusted Trump supporters just stay home.

About the presidency, I know I can't convince you of anything, but we've only got a month to go. I will be pleased to say "I told you so" during Hillary's victory speech when she gets over 300 electoral votes. The suspense will be whether Trump can hold Arizona and Georgia.

donzelion said...

Treebeard: "Russia is killing a lot of ISIS dudes"
This is absolutely inaccurate and you are citing facts about a region you know nothing about.

Russian aircraft favored Turcoman positions in northern Syria (that is, ethnic Turks who opposed Assad AND ISIS); to a lesser extent, Kurdish positions. Aleppo is NOT an ISIS stronghold; indeed, it fought both Assad-forces and ISIS forces (look to Hama, or Homs, for ISIS-aligned factions). Assad used chemical weapons to kill Syrian women and children in Damascus - itself never an ISIS stronghold. You're speaking offensive nonsense that mocks the civilians who have tried to holdout for years in the face of extremely tough circumstances (attacked by ISIS, attacked by Russia/Assad, and shrugged off by much of the rest of the world).

"[Russia] is no threat whatsoever to rank-and-file Americans, left or right."
4000+ nuclear weapons say otherwise. EVERY country with nuclear weapons is a potential threat (even longstanding allies) - and merits close observation and 'testing' to verify that countries intentions. The UK, France, and Israel have demonstrated their posture empirically (though Israel did attack the USS Liberty 40+ years ago).

"Who benefits from this demonization of Russia?"
Other than Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Finns, Armenians, Poles, and other Eastern Europeans who look with concern at Crimea? Russia is most important as the only credible threat to justify the $200 billion or so "defense systems purchases/maintenance" budget, particularly the portions in red states that were ramped up under Bush Jr and sustained so far by Obama (e.g., in Texas-Kansas-Missouri-Alabama belt). There's no mission for armored tanks and attack helicopters in a war against enemies like ISIS, and land-based aircraft are unlikely to be a major factor in a war against mainland China or even N. Korea - that'll be naval actions by and large.

Demonizing Russia is code for "Hey, you people building battle tanks and land-based aircraft - you people who thought Obama was going to shut down all your factories: your jobs are still safe!"

“the Lizard Queen Libya-bomber” Clinton."
Yes, following a tradition set by the Lizard King Libya-bomber Reagan - a strong country will try to kill terrorists: however, Democrats kill them dead.

Robert: "the reason ISIS has American weapons is when they invaded Iraq, the Iraqi army bugged out and left their gear behind."
This is the current story. The real story is likely a little more complicated than that, though that doesn't make the original story untrue. U.S. army used parts/labor/maintenance as a tool to compel cooperation by the Iraqi army - which has at times vacillated (Iran has also courted them aggressively, and the tribal leaders in the Sunni regions were a fickle lot). ISIS captured a fairly large set of semi-derelict munitions, but their primary arsenal remains 4WD trucks with machine guns, as is typical of all warlord armies in desert regions. Take the "pet tank" videos with a grain of salt: ISIS is speaking to folks as unsophisticated as Treebeard in their own region.

donzelion said...

Treebeard: Clinton blames Assad for ISIS; Russia backs Assad, and essentially supports ISIS by targeting the non-ISIS rebels fighting against Assad.

"She was all-in for the Iraq invasion that created ISIS"
In 2003, yes. In 2004, no. Same as Trump, who was busily building hotels and couldn't be bothered to try to do something. Then again, ISIS itself didn't emerge for a few more years - from factions in Iraq and in Syria that Bush Jr. defeated so many times that they should never have come into existence.

AQ was active in Libya, and had elements in the Libyan forces that opposed both Gaddafi and the U.S. The question was whether the U.S. could negotiate with Libyan tribes and eradicate AQAM (AQ in the Maghreb, or West Africa), which was also looking at Mali, Chad, and other targets, as well as trying to get a foothold in Egypt (a much more important American concern at the time - the Suez Canal is crucial for our security structure).

"I can't imagine how any person of the Left could support this lying Lizard Queen."
That's because you know nothing about international affairs, so if someone tells you she's lying, instead of educating yourself, you read some 500-word piece of digital diarrhea churned out by sycophants and lackeys - rather than educating yourself.

Paapenheimer said...

Clan Trump should now consider 'Non Carpe Felis' as its motto.
A majority of the Republican leadership are still supporting Trump(some while deploring him, some while being very very quiet, and some in full-throated racist bigotry).
Every society must have a conservative mouthpiece. I hope the Republican party can return to being a sane one, and there are tentative steps being taken in that direction, like the recent comments of Steve Schmidt, but they have a LONG way to go.

donzelion said...

RobH: Everyone feels an amazing sort of pride that runs, "Other, ignorant people are vulnerable to propaganda, but I'm too smart for that." If it were true, there never would have been an advertising-driven media to begin with.

If I witness someone vomiting in public, I have an immediate nauseous reaction - many others do as well. Doesn't matter if the vomit resulted from sickness, or drunkenness, pregnancy, or whatever: I just feel it. I don't "trust" the vomiter. I just respond to the stimulus.

So it goes with the Hillary-hate propaganda. Progressives don't like FoxNews at all, but the sheer quantities of vomit spilled over 24 years takes a toll even if the source of the vomit cannot be 'trusted.' Repeat that enough times over the years, in enough different contexts, and a nasty taste associates with a person: a vast Pavlov experiment to see how susceptible Americans are to conditioning (and more importantly to that crowd, how much money it costs to implement the conditioning experiment).

"The people who hate Hillary are going to go out and vote against Hillary."
Some, yes. Some are resistant to Pavlovian conditioning. Some - like me - don't love her, but force ourselves to look at what she's doing, to push past the vomit and into the policy. And once you do that, it turns out not to be so bad at all.

Does she occasionally (frequently) act cynically and bow to public pressure (e.g., Iraq War authorization)? Yep. Is she a champion of bravery and courage who makes me feel good supporting her? Nope. But I do recognize the power of the Pavlov Exercise - and a part of me supports her, begrudgingly, just because that puts me in opposition of folks who wish to shut down our rational capacity, and subject us to their brute conditioning.

"We're not going to see the House flip."
Probably not. But first things first: let's figure out if we're a country of humans, or of Pavlovian animals. Then let's see what work we can do elsewhere to make things better.

LarryHart said...

Paapenheimer:

Clan Trump should now consider 'Non Carpe Felis' as its motto.


If that's supposed to mean "Don't seize your daughter," it's probably too late.

:)

Tony Fisk said...

No Larry, it means "Don't seize cats"

Possibly because they scratch, and have sharp teeth...

donzelion said...

And here I was thinking of Semper Felis...with a very different meaning and intention. Dirty minds...

Paul SB said...

Okay, I posted a long response to The Mad Librarian, and it mysteriously vanished. Now I’m going to have to try to do it over again from memory, while my flu is doing the boomerang. (At least my staff presentation went well – my throat decided to give out after it lunch, when the other team was doing theirs.)

“PaulSB, how hard is it to retrofit existing houses to take advantage of thermal mass for warming and cooling? Most current buildings would have to be torn down or at least thoroughly gutted to make it work well. Efficient as they are, such buildings are tarred with the 'only hippies and weirdos do this' brush, because they rarely look like a traditional house. You can get more traction by plopping solar panels all over the roof on the usual tract house.”

Librarian, you hit on exactly the issue that haunted Nader Khalili, inventor of the superadobe system, to his dying day. The system is incredibly energy efficient, and almost impervious to natural disaster (I haven’t heard of one being hit by a tornado, so I couldn’t vouch for that one), but since they don’t use pitched roofs, they look “weird.”

But more conventional passive solar can fit into conventional design pretty seamlessly. Most elements of passive solar were incorporated into traditional architecture for thousands of years, until cheap heating oil came along and we suddenly turned stupid. Building new homes following good solar principles is easy. It is mainly the difference between having a good architect and having a cheap architect. But passive isn’t high tech, which means it isn’t “sexy.”

occam's comic said...

Oil independence?
Not only were we importing 4.7 million barrels per day in 2015.
2015 also marks the peak rate of extraction, in april 2015 the US topped out at 9.6 million barrels per day, the US oil extraction has now declined to about 8.6 million barrels per day.
Global new oil discovery is at its lowest level in 70 years (in 2015, 2.7 billion barrels found more than 30 billion barrels burned/used)

Passive solar
Great idea in the design stage, but can be a tough retrofit. But Passive house design (super insulated, sealed, and a great ventilation / air exchange system) can be a great choice for retrofits. Along with a massive reduction in heating and cooling bills you get a quieter and more comfortable home.

LarryHart said...

@Paul SB,

I did see your long post to MadLibrarian earlier this evening. Not sure why your posts in particular get swept away, unless something is flagging them as spam. I've also seen an occasional one of those goofy bad-spelling advertising posts vanish without a trace (as opposed to "This post deleted by the blog administrator"). Is there something about your PC that makes it seem like a spam-bot?

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

No Larry, it means "Don't seize cats"


Ok, I was thinking "familias" rather than "felis".

Still, my way was funnier. :)

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Guys
I have just built my own home,
This (Southland NZ)is the warmest place (in winter) that I have lived in with the coldest houses
Houses here are expensive as there are very few building material suppliers and they make out like bandits

Basic solar design - windows to the North - eaves to stop the summer sun, No more than 25% of floor area as windows

As much insulation as possible
Control air flow - it's easy to add some if necessary

I have a ground source heat pump and underfloor heating - if built in when building that is not only the most efficient but the cheapest to install

Ground source system - will probably be new to your builder - that can lead to the death of "double it just in case" - if three people do that you can have a system that is 8 times as big (and as costly) as you need.

I designed mine just big enough - on 5 days last winter I had to switch on the cylinder element to get a bit more heat

I decided it was better to err on that size than spend a fortune making something big enough for all eventualities


donzelion said...

Paul SB: "But more conventional passive solar can fit into conventional design pretty seamlessly."
Depends on the structure: for a friend's house in Anaheim (built in 1960s), the roof can't accommodate any panels at all (except for thin-panels which the installation guys asked an extra $6000 for). Houses built since the 70's oil shocks though really should be able to accommodate solar panels and efficient designs.

"Building new homes following good solar principles is easy."
It's not that developers don't know how - it's that the incentives don't favor it, and once the design is started, maintaining a consistent 'look'n'feel' is a large part of the value of the development.

Community to developer, "OK, you could have made $25 mill for that inefficient design, but we're going to require you to do this more efficient design which will still make you $22 mill. How's that sound?"
Developer response: "Fine, so long as you pay me the extra $3 mill you cost me with your silly hippy notions."

In that sort of a world, issues like 'global warming' are expensive considerations, and a community that tries to enforce good LEED design will find its leaders fighting against developers (who can hire quite a few mercenaries with the extra $3 mill they may earn to crush local activists). Since so few care about local politics, all this stuff gets ignored and neglected. And then once the first plot is finished, the rest of the development must look similar to maintain 'consistent look'n'feel' and stabilize valuations.

It's not that passive solar or other efficient plans aren't 'sexy' - it's that local politics are tedious for most people.

John Sears said...

Larry Hart wrote: "Did anyone notice that, despite the presence of Clinton-accusers Juanita Broaderick, Paula Jones, et all, Trump didn't have them do anything during the debate? . . ."

You might wish to read this Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/10/10/trumps-debate-plan-to-seat-bill-clintons-accusers-in-family-box-was-thwarted/

I suspect that, after the stunt was foiled, Trump was thrown off his plan, and was not sharp enough to salvage the moment. He also likely did not see his props sitting where he thought they would be since they were up higher in the audience and shielded by the television lighting. He could not point them out and had no mental script from which to improvise.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi donzelion
Here it's individuals not just "developers" - in the UK a developer builds on a "subdivision" all of the houses to a small number of patterns
It was a bit of a shock coming here and every house is different!

But it's the same thing - they are building to sell in a couple of years so they fit the minimum insulation
The only way to increase the insulation is for the government to increase the minimums

A bigger issue (IMHO) is that houses have too many "features" walls and roof with bits sticking in and out
I built a rectangular house!
All of those pattery bits add to the cost add to the chances of leaks and increase heat losses

LarryHart said...

John Sears:

I suspect that, after the stunt was foiled, Trump was thrown off his plan, and was not sharp enough to salvage the moment. He also likely did not see his props sitting where he thought they would be since they were up higher in the audience and shielded by the television lighting. He could not point them out and had no mental script from which to improvise.


That certainly makes sense, and I was wondering if something like that had gone on. The whole set-up/failure-to-deliver reminded me of Karl Rove in 2012 with the Ohio vote.

But "did not see his props"? Sitting right next to his own children?

LarryHart said...

Since no one else here posts this early in the day, I'll regale you with "Hamilton" trivia which is somehow relevant to the current campaign, or at least echoes it.

First of all, for people familiar with the musical, the SNL opening monologue hosted by "Hamilton" writer/star Lin-Manuel Miranda was friggin' hilarious. He explicitly made reference to the similarity between the Hamilton/Burr rivalry and the current presidential race, and the shoe fits. I had forgotten that Trump was actually a past host of SNL, and the bit that played on that..well, it may seem gratuitous to non-fans of the musical, but if you know what he's referencing, it's incredibly funny. Especially the little aside: "Never gonna be president now!", which was a line about Alexander Hamilton after he revealed the details of a torrid extramarital affair. Life imitates art!

Miranda doesn't mention this, but the 1970s novel "Burr" by Gore Vidal makes the case that the fatal duel between Hamilton and Burr was precipitated by Hamilton's insinuation that Burr was...inappropriately attached...to Burr's own daughter, Theodosia, who shared her mother's name. Trump, of course, has a daughter, Ivanka, who almost shares her mother's name, and maybe I'd just better stop there.

I'm not sure if an appropriate Republican has yet gone as far as Hamilton in the except below (mangled, with apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda)--maybe Paul Ryan, or maybe Poppy Bush--but if not, someone will soon:


The people are asking to hear my voice,
For the country is facing a difficult choice.
And if you would ask me who I'd promote--
(pause for suspense)
Hillary has my vote!

I have never agreed with Hillary once.
We have fought on like seventy-five different fronts.
But when all is said and all is done,
Hillary has beliefs. Trump has none!

raito said...

donzelion,

And local zoning politics are doubly tedious. One developer here regularly gets granted variances in his developments that put 2 story houses 12 feet apart, as opposed to the 25 feet regular people must adhere to. And that's fairly insane because those regulations are to prevent fires spreading.

But even in the current green regulations, there's insanity. EnergyStar says that you have to have a switch that turns on the (usually bathroom) ventilation. So for about a decade, people had a switch in their hallway that apparently did nothing. So the builders lobbied and got the regs changes. You still have to ahve a switch, but it can be anywhere. Mine is inside the front hall closet where I never see nor use it. Why would I? The switch in the bathroom is far more accessible, and provides exactly the same function.

I'm thinking of having a switchplate made where one position says "Magic" and the other says "More Magic", for those with a knowledge of computer history.

Robert said...

As a brief non-political aside, I thought Dr. Brin would find amusing a small bit in the latest Urban Fantasy "Magic Binds" by Ilona Andrews - in which the heroine is talking about the ancient magical kingdom of Shinar, which was located in Mesopotamia in what would be considered Eden. One of the other characters snarked about Adam, at which point the protagonist explains Adam wasn't a person. Adam was a city.

You have to consider. Maybe the people writing the Bible, in talking about Adam and Eve, were in fact talking about two ancient civilizations. Adam. And Eve. And they were bound together in alliance or the like... the two peoples becoming one. In that case... Cain could have been the story of either an early leader who attempted a coup and killed his brother to try and assume leadership of the early culture... or was the followers who attempted this, and were exiled from this early civilization.

The earliest of storytellers and their audiences would have known of course that Adam was not one person. That Eve was not the first woman, but was a separate culture, perhaps even comprised of people who left that first city and founded their own. And then over time, the stories shifted and people started to forget. And someone transcribed the words of the story but failed to include the context until we have the First Man and the First Woman... who were in fact peoples, not individuals.

Rob H.

John Sears said...

Larry Hart asked: But "did not see his props"? Sitting right next to his own children?"

Actually, I understand that the props were guided by Rudy Giuliani, at the last minute, to seats with the regular audience and not in the elevated box reserved for family members. They appeared to me to be seating on the far left side up in the cheap seats. So, I think it is reasonable to assume that Trump was not informed of their new location, did not know where to look, and that the lights might have prevented any recognition.

donzelion said...

re solar efficient housing
Duncan: A lot of older neighborhoods in America were self-built, as with nearly all rural areas. Most suburban construction is developer driven - the regularity makes finance easier and makes trading homes easier. But yes, it all depends on whether one intends to live in a home themselves, or to sell it along to someone else. If the latter, one evaluates each 'feature' in a design-based on the potential change to value; usually, government codes are less about 'value' than safety, or other requirements (and code compliance is necessary to sell the property, but regarded as an obstacle rather than a benefit).

"I built a rectangular house!"
Sounds just like the philosophy of an engineer... ;-)

Raito: "And local zoning politics are doubly tedious."
They're tedious for most folks who don't do this professionally and just want to enjoy the "best house" they can. But they're so very important. Even among 'green regulations' - often players try to inject something that fits with a technology that dominated 10-20 years ago, which nobody uses anymore; sometimes a designer introduced a rule is merely intended to lock out competitors. Unless one participates in the debate, one cannot fight against the latter, or force changes to the former. Yet while most of the debate is open to anyone who cares to join it, few do - save those with a direct stake in the outcome.

Berial said...

So, who was saying that the Russians had nothing to do with anything this election?

I AM NOT SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL

Kal Kallevig said...

Duncan,

Sounds like a really good house with low heating and cooling costs.

You can double sheet rock to provide invisible thermal mass. I have seen that work well here in Bay Area California.

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