Honesty, RIP: Facts take a beating across US

Nov 8, 2016

By Matt Sedensky

NEW YORK (AP) — Is this when it ends for that ancient ideal, the truth? Is this where it has come to die, victim of campaigns and conspiracies, politicians and internet trolls and the masses who swallow their rhetoric?

Rest in peace, honesty?

“The value of facts in a democracy has taken a beating,” said David Barrett, a political science professor at Villanova University.


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149 comments on “Honesty, RIP: Facts take a beating across US

  • @OP – It isn’t just a presidential race in which Donald Trump has climbed new fact-bending heights while branding opponent Hillary Clinton “crooked” or “lying.”

    I think that should say: “Donald Trump has sunk to new fact-bending lows!
    It reprehensible projection for someone with Trump’s abysmal single-figure percentage rating for truth in his statements, to call others “crooked” or “lying”!

    Increasingly today, realities seem open to interpretation, and blatant mistruths proliferate.

    “Interpretation” in this context is just a white-washed word for “dishonest”!

    “There’s a profound doubt in this country about the importance of expertise, knowledge, things like that,” said Ohio University professor Kevin Mattson. “Trump has just drawn that out to its logical extreme conclusion.”

    That is the nature of ideological and faith-thinking, where marketable dishonesty is regularly served up to the public by the corrupt media under the false badge of “news” or “information”, and logical critical thinking, is absent from the curriculum in many schools.



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  • I despair for America. In Australia, if a person like Trump ran for political office, he would be treated with ridicule not just by the media, but by most of the Australian population. He would get 1-2% of the vote. What disturbs me is that Trump can have so much support from Americans, not only to get the nomination. but to now be only a couple of percentage points behind in the polls.

    What does this say about the political psyche of a large swathe of the American population. This is a further sign that America has gone down a different railway siding to the rest of the western world. Something is different about America compared to the similar nations. What are considered the civilized norm around the rest of the world is thought of as communism in America. Universal health care. Education. Working conditions. Gun control. Social norms. Separation of religion and state.

    I speculate without evidence that post WW2, when America did not need to tip it’s hat to anyone, they ignored the advances to the civilized norm taking place around the world and got stuck in the cold war 1950’s thinking Leave it to Beaver was the world wide norm. America did not absorb developments and advances from anywhere outside its borders. It didn’t travel. American culture Uber Alles.

    For my sins, I now do battle with the irrational of this world on social media, but the Americans are the world champions in adhering to irrational thought. Witness Trump, a certain narcissist and probable sociopath that has been caught lying, cheating his taxes with pride and abusing women, and still Americans find that acceptable. So what is wrong with the collective psyche of a large section of the US population that this is even possible. And don’t get me started on conspiracy nutters. I ponder that the Monsanto formula put in the Chem Trails has back fired and instead of subduing the population, it has sent them crazy.

    I also speculate that America’s political spectrum is that of a Dumbbell Graph, and not a Bell Curve, which would be the norm elsewhere. The bipolar nature of political thought in America is toxic. There is no middle ground. There is vitriolic conflict between the camps. Grid lock in governance. My explanation! There is no honest broker 4th Estate. The vast bulk of media consumed by Americans is free enterprise for profit commercial media. That is, to make money and sell advertising they must score high ratings. To score high ratings and glue readers and viewers they must present not the facts, but what people want to hear. A news reporting agency can’t have a right wing story followed by a left wing story, because supporters of both sides will switch off, and go watch something that reinforces their political views. Thus, you have Faux news as a virtual advertising arm of the Republicans and NBC (??) for the Democrats. When I toured America, I couldn’t believe the politically biased reporting for both sides. No 4th Estate. No viable democracy. No wonder the most popular source of unbiased journalism in the USA is now comedy shows like The Daily Show. A sad, sad commentary on Americans.

    We the rest of the world, desperately need America to catch up with the civilized norms of the rest of the world and to become a rational evidence based nation again.



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  • In Australia, if a person like Trump ran for political office, he
    would be treated with ridicule not just by the media, but by most of
    the Australian population.

    Up to this election period, I would have said the same thing about the U.S.

    Parts of the media and population justly ridicule him, but apparently we do not have the numbers. I’m a little numb.



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  • The election is over. I feel sick.
    I’m gone beyond disbelief. I knew from growing up in the USA as a minority that “some” of my classmates were racists and idiots. I just didn’t know the extent of the malfunction.
    I feel like I need to leave the country now. Its gonna be bad for minorities, now worse than ever.
    I happened to have just sold my home and will receive funds next week. Maybe Vancouver BC………



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  • I feel horrible. The problem was not the Dems; the problem is stupidity coupled with deception!! Malleable idiots have come out to vote in large numbers. Many of these people are like animals; I have heard them speak. They know nothing, have no ability to reason and think, are not informed yet speak with great conviction and authority – in their dumb way. They bark like dogs about the system and about “politics”, of which they know nothing. They vote against their own interests.

    The Republicans are propagandists and have been trying to deceive people in order to create a “stupid majority”. The Republicans will not get them jobs (except maybe building crematoriums and incinerators). Farming will suffer. Fishing will suffer. No investment in infrastructure. That’s all BS. In fifty years we will begin to experience labored breathing. He will lower taxes for those at the top and that will destroy our country and our economy. He will repeal the ACA and replace it with for-profit shit. No investment in public education, no living wage. Roe V Wade will be repealed.

    Trump as president needs no congressional approval to organize the military and go to war!!!

    We will become a third-world country, a banana republic. It is a dark and perilous time in American life.

    I am beyond depressed. Trump is the alt-right candidate (and has pandered to RACISTS and BIGOTS and SHAME-RIDDEN scum, and is a big fat bag of wind and will take away our civil rights and set us back and maybe blow up the world. It might be worse than we can imagine. No way to know. No reason to be hopeful. This is a tragedy.

    History is repeating itself once again.

    Our better angels flew the coop. (Oh by the way, we have no “better angels of our nature”; there is just what we do; we define ourselves – collectively and as individuals – as we move through life.— The future is unknowable, as it is we ourselves that define it, create it and uncreate it at every moment, and with every action.)



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  • 6
    Pinball1970 says:

    @Dan and the other US depressed minority

    I am a glass half full type of guy so there are some things you will have to bear in mind.

    His own party were not keen on him being the nominee so he will have very little chance of progressing any of ridiculous ideas through the houses.

    He is a successful business man, love him hate he is a deal breaker and negotiator which has to be a positive trait when dealing with foreign parties.

    He will have advisors who will brief him before meetings and will constantly saying things like, “Remember you cannot say anything about that Mr President we have a good relationship with them.”

    When the term finishes and the people of America do not have their wall and do not feel that “great”, they may think twice before doing something so spectacularly stupid again.

    Also the UK press may just put Brexit on the back burner for a few weeks (my own little win – it’s a two way street guys)



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  • It’s 7.40 am UK time. I’ve been up all night in a progressively worsening state of shock. Bill Maher was right all along. He kept getting really annoyed with guests who said Trump couldn’t possibly win in case it deterred Dems from getting out and voting. He’s always said the American electorate is the stupidest on the planet but I didn’t believe they could sink so low as to vote in these numbers for a narcissistic, bigotted, misogynistic sociopath. Trump has insulted almost every segment of society. Women, vets with PTSD, prisoners of war like John McCain, a handful of different nationalities and ethnicities, spent the last 12 months engaged in petty twitter wars, he’s praised Putin, called for Hillary to be shot – and none of this has been enough to exclude him from the presidency.

    Trump’s ego was enormous before this. The overarching part of his personality. What in god’s name is it going to be like now? What horrors could he unleash on the world from the depths of his revenge filled core where no slight is to small to be ignored and every voice of dissent must be drowned out and crushed.

    I think I’ve now given up trying to underestand the American right wing mentality. They’re just insane. Barely human by the standards of normal countries. I can’t really take all this in. The Bush administration was horrific but I can’t imagine what the Trump one is going to be like. The whole world outside of the USA is going to be in shock now.



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  • It may really be the end – or rather, the real beginning of the end. Godawful.
    Republicans are not comprehendible. Well said, Arkrid. It is like trying to understand, or appeal to the humanity of, a murderer – staring at you in the face with a blank, pitiless, robotic, affectless gaze and a gun pointed at your forehead. Can’t do it. They are like a different species.
    And he’s the extreme of the extreme. He’s not even a Republican. He’s something new! A new and powerful movement has just been born, perhaps. What are they? What will they do? What do they really want?
    That’s right, Alf. These “advisers” are white nationalists, and brown nosers, power-mad sycophants.
    Trump is beloved by the KKK!
    (Alf, maybe he’ll leave SS benefits alone.)



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  • Dan, look forward to less police reform, loss of funding to the Va and social security cutbacks.
    Also bring back the ban on LGBT in the military, abortion and loss of many government programs.

    The EPA will be gone. The Consumer protection agency will be gone. Funding for family planning will be gone.
    We can look forward to advances in the secular advancements in this country. We can also look forward to more racial violence and disparity.
    I’m concerned I will have to start showing ID.



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  • It is a dark and perilous time in American life.

    Dan, the tragedy as you later suggest is global.

    Those who were stolen from and the crime neglected became perfect fodder to be gulled again.

    Trump cannot actually deliver the return of their jobs and he knows it. But allowing the rich thieves to keep even more of their money, as he plans, will lock in these usefully scared enough and biddable sheep (all dreaming of becoming wolves).

    Better Angels work most comprehensively when all have a sense of “enough” for your own needs. But “enough” is a relative quantity. It is the theft by the rich under cover of the barmy gospel of organised selfishness makes these victims biddable and turns them into toothsome white sheep despite themselves.

    The Predator President’s fleece will slip too late for them.

    Sadly, Better Angels are a weak tendency not table thumping political and social zealots. Like the tiny effects of CO2 amplified by positive feedback, they are climate setters not weather deciders.

    The time has come to organise fairness more assiduously and more directly subvert organised selfishness and faith.



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  • alf1200 #4
    Nov 9, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I feel like I need to leave the country now. Its gonna be bad for minorities, now worse than ever.

    alf1200 #12
    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:03 am – Did we just hold an election in a insane asylum?

    I think all Americans can now be classed as “asylum seekers”!

    The sane voters seekers of political asylum, the Trump voters, the institutional sort!

    This level of stupidity makes the UK brexiteering idiots, look positively intelligent in comparison!



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  • America’s best (or least worst) hope now, is to wake up the electorate and elect Democrat majorities to both houses, and numerous governorships, so as to carry on the tradition of obstruction of presidential plans!

    Perhaps the Mexicans WILL decide to build a wall to keep the backwardness out of THEIR country!! 🙂



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  • I’m trying to get my head round why the polls were so wrong this time. Every election I follow the electoralvote.com website which summarises every reputable (non partisan) poll and it’s had Hillary at well over 300 votes and Trump a bit above 200 for ages now. It’s dipped up and down as pussygate, Comeygate and various suchlike things happen but I was convinced that when people actually had to make that final decision to put a tick in a box they wouldn’t be able to do it for someone as horrendous in every regard as Trump. I’ve no doubt Hillary’s own campaign thought the same, most of the pundits thought the same as did the bookies and we were all miles out.

    I can only conclude one thing. American politics is so partisan now that it matters not at all who heads the ticket but when it’s someone as despicable as Trump the electorate will still vote Republican but be too embarrassed to say so to pollsters. If that’s true, that people will vote for someone completely repugnant as long as it’s their repugnant person not the other side’s person then there really is no hope for sense in American politics any more.

    Pretty much everything Trump has said has turned out to be true. He said he could shoot someone and it wouldn’t matter to his base. He said the polls were wrong and we all thought it was just his ego talking. He did the whole thing on a shoestring with no support from the RNC and a fraction of the advertising Hillary could afford and none of it mattered a fuck. Now that religion is at the core of Republicanism it’s brought a level of hatred into the equation that only religion ever produces. The other side is demonised, despised and can never be voted for regardless of who’s on the ticket. Trump could say and do whatever he wanted and none of it mattered. He lost every debate, never had a policy proposal that made any sense, lied something like 90% of the time and none of it mattered.

    I actually think what you have over there now is not a 45%/45% split with 10% swing voters but a Republican base who will vote that way come hell or high water and just Dems who will swing away if they don’t like their candidate.

    Look at the states that Hillary lost which we thought she would win. Florida, PA, Michigan, Wisconsin – the votes for Johnson and Stein outweighed her losing margin in every case. If she’d got those votes she’d be in the White House now. It may well be that all that matters for the Dems in future is having a likeable candidate. Joe Biden would probably have won handsomely and maybe Bernie too. Next time round maybe Al Franken would be the best choice.



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  • Pinball1970 #6
    Nov 9, 2016 at 2:54 am

    He is a successful business man, love him hate he is a deal breaker and negotiator which has to be a positive trait when dealing with foreign parties.

    He is an agreement breaker and business shark, with four of his casino companies going into bankruptcy!

    Hardly a sign of business competence.

    When the term finishes and the people of America do not have their wall and do not feel that “great”, they may think twice before doing something so spectacularly stupid again.

    They do not seem to have learned from the $4 to $6 trillion of mainly borrowed money – chalked up to the US taxpayers – that Bush spent causing chaos and civil wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria!

    Still the US arms manufacturers and traders like its effects on their profits, and a goodly home grown supply of gun-toting cannon fodder, is always useful to right-wing fanatics who like to throw their weight around abroad!

    “Guns before healthcare””???



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  • I’m wondering which of these is upsetting me most. The thought of Trump being president or that of Attorney General Rudi Guiliani, Secretary of State Sarah Palin and Secretary of Defense Chris Christie.



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  • I just wrote a considered and careful expression of my concerns referencing many of the posts above, many fine intelligent points made by all of you. I re-read it before I clicked the post comment button, deleted my comments as I often do if I think I have not carefully enough considered the issues or in danger of letting my frustration or anger at some post get the better of me. No matter how well considered it just didn’t express my concerns for the world as a whole. So I have emended it thus.

    Please look over to the left at my Avitar.

    AHHHHHH! OOH! OH! AHHHHH! OGH! OGH! EEEEEEE! EEEEEEE! AHHHHHHH! (slapping my hands violently against my head)



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  • The prospects for the disadvantaged in the USA is looking terribly bleak. Trump is a sociopath, maybe a full blown psychopath, with no empathy or other normal emotions for other people. He sees them only in terms of being useful to him or not. We’ve seen that displayed on so many occasions. Contractors are useful to him, they can do work he needs – but only up to the point at which they’ve done the work and then all he sees is the downside of having to pay them. So he doesn’t. I don’t think it enters his head that he might be condemning someone to bankruptcy or divorce, he has none of those feelings.

    He said McCain wasn’t a hero for being captured and soldiers shouldn’t get PTSD. He sees soldiers as useful to him, they can defeat enemies, but if they’re captured or injured they’re no longer useful. Their past service doesn’t compute with him because he has none of those feelings. I imagine each time he said one of those incredibly unfeeling things his staff had to explain why this was bad and then he learns what to say or not say by rote. But each new situation he hasn’t learned yet puts him back into his core personality where people are just objects to be used and then discarded.

    For the retired, sick, unemployed, injured veterans this presidency could be a disaster. To a sociopath they are all just unnecessary weight. Of no use to him. In truth I doubt he’ll do much “presidenting” though. Everything will be farmed out so he can play golf. I doubt he gives a single solitary shit about what happens to the country or the people in it.



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  • The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum! Sarah Palin – Secretary of State…….The Dead Zone plot is being acted out for real, only this time there was no gun-man and Trump with baby-shield to prevent the GOP from starting off WWIII so that good old Jesus can make his long awaited return just like it says? in the bible!



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  • Erol #16
    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:24 am

    The mass seduction of the U.S. electorate by the seven words: “I’m going to make America great again” !!

    Perhaps they should have checked that the reporter who was taking down the quote, had got the right word!

    “I’m going to make America grate again” !!”

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grate

    Definition of grate

    transitive verb

    1 archaic : abrade

    2 to reduce to small particles by rubbing on something rough

    3 fret, irritate

    4
    a : to gnash or grind noisily
    b : to cause to make a rasping sound
    c : to utter in a harsh voice

    intransitive verb

    1 to rub or rasp noisily

    2 to cause irritation : jar



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  • @Alan

    America’s best (or least worst) hope now, is to wake up the electorate
    and elect Democrat majorities to both houses, and numerous
    governorships, so as to carry on the tradition of obstruction of
    presidential plans!

    I, too, would like to see a Democrat majority in Congress, and I think it will happen in the mid-terms. But not to obstruct–that’ll be Cheetos’ job. Ours will be to push forward. See, that’s where the GOP made their biggest mistake: every move they made (or didn’t make) for the last 8 years was reactive. Democrats tend toward the proactive. Cheetos better start sharpening his veto pencil.

    IMO, the greatest damage will be the SCOTUS. And the damage there will take much longer to correct.

    Still, I think we have the choice to despair or double-down. I will choose the latter.



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  • Back in the day I was quite active on the stock market. There are two main types of investor. Those who look at the fundamentals, earnings per share, sales growth etc and try and pick stocks that are undervalued and then there are chartists. What goes down will probably come back up. Stocks tend to fluctuate as a matter of course so just wait for a dip, pile in, wait a bit longer, pile back out. I did a bit of both.

    Most people have looked at this election like fundamentalists. Trump is horrendous, Obama’s ratings are at their highest level ever, the Repubs have done nothing but obstruct for 8 years and even shut the government down rather than compromise. Who in their right mind would vote them back in? But the Dems have never had more than 2 consecutive terms for over 60 years. No matter how well they do, like Bill Clinton, the American people seem to have this death wish to vote them out after two terms so the Repubs can mess things up again. It’s bewildering but as a chartist you’d just say it’s a dead certainty Hillary couldn’t win and so it’s proved to be.

    What the odds now say is that no matter how bad Trump is the Repubs will get a second term as well and then the Dems will come back in.

    There seems to be this inbuilt thing with Americans that unless everything is perfect and they’re all living the American dream then it must be the fault of whoever is in power so vote them out even when the other side is monstrous. It’s a kind of childish instant gratification thing. We want everything perfect and we want it now, not tomorrow, not the next day but NOW or we’ll scweam and scweam and stamp our feet.

    I’ve long likened the American global personality to that of a hormone driven teenager. It’s a young country and for some reason it seems to behave like a young person. No patience, no self control, just this desire for instant gratification. Fast food, get rich quick schemes, take a diet pill instead of exercising and eating less. If there’s a problem it must always be someone else’s fault.

    So for the party that’s out of power just tell people how awful everything is and that buys right in to how most of them feel anyway so vote the other bums back out. The facts don’t matter, lying doesn’t matter, just tell the idiots what they wanted to hear anyway. The country’s gone to shit and it’s the fault of whoever’s in power. So they just cycle endlessly between the two parties. Vote one in, get dissatisfied, vote them out, repeat ad infinitum. It’s pathetic. Sadly though it has consequences for everyone else in the world.



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  • Absolute disaster in the US. Have I woken up in a dystopia? Any hope for a progressive future SCOTUS is gone. I see women’s rights slipping away. I can’t stand to even look at Trump beaming proudly on TV. He is odious. I think we are in some really deep shit. The President of the United States is an ignorant psychopath. Bracing myself for a shocking backslide into thuggish reality.



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  • Listening to LBC radio with Americans phoning in, all that is being talked about is Americas interference in the world and fighting Israels war etc…. although the bottom line was s for selfish reasons, it’s about time!!!



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  • Just bulk ordered some DVD stocking fillers for Christmas.

    Idiocracy.

    Only nine left at Amazon uk. But they are re-stocking asap.

    It was going to be Alpha House boxed sets to remind us that Republicans are human too., well a good many are…. but I changed my mind.



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  • LaurieB #31
    Nov 9, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I see women’s rights slipping away.

    Yep! Some of the bible thumpers are celebrating on TV.

    @#30 – BBC link Donald Trump: 30 things the Republican believes
    27. Doctors should be punished for administering abortions – or should they? In an interview with MSNBC, Trump said that if abortion were to become illegal, women should be punished for obtaining them. He then retracted, saying the doctor would be responsible and he or she should be punished instead.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #17
    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:25 am

    I’m trying to get my head round why the polls were so wrong this time.

    Polls can be very counter productive if the feckless decide their chosen candidate has a good lead in the polls, so they’ll not bother standing in a queue to vote!



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  • Here is Pinker’s take on this (written before the result).

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/7/13532178/donald-trump-american-democracy-weakness

    I think he is wrong to say that economic downturn/theft did not play a role in this. I think it did and is exactly consistent with his Republican “Bandwagon” analysis.

    What made Trump possible at the outset was the fearful older white worker and ex-worker. Poverty is a relative idea. Some experience of loss and the prospect of further loss will do it. Once a bandwagon is rolling the richer Republicans can hitch to it also.



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  • I take full responsibility for my own stupidity. I announced with smug certainty that Hillary would be our next president winning in a landslide. Never mind that “everybody else’ in the media was predicting the same thing.
    I asked for everything I got. I’ll be dining on crow tonight with egg on my face from breakfast.

    My immediate take on what went wrong: We Democrats got so entangled with the mantra that people would be voting for the lesser of two evils. Easy victory would follow for Hillary from the vast majority holding their noses and voting for her in overwhelming numbers. Unsurprisingly, Hillary bought into the delusion that all she had to do was keep hammering away at Trump’s character, poor judgement, lack of experience while incessantly reciting a litany of quotes and actions that proved his misogyny, racism and xenophobia.

    In my view, we were absolutely right about the election coming down to a contest between the lesser of two evils. What we didn’t see is the ironic distinction that the electorate had made. They perceived Hillary – not Trump – as the greater evil. She wound up playing out the loathsome politician that Americans believed her to be all along. The Democrats committed political suicide when they put up this repellent woman as the only choice not because she had substance but because it was “her turn” in a predetermined dynastic-bureaucratic scheme of succession. The impressive respite of Bernie Sander’s challenge, a nonviable candidate in his own right, showed the potential of an insurgency with vision over the rote pandering of a dull corrupt self-serving creature. If Democrats had nominated someone else -anyone else- on merit with experience, flexibility, a decent track record, and a modicum of likeability and trustworthiness they would have won handily. The defeat can be laid at the feet of one person: Hillary Clinton (and the party leadership who supported her).



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  • @Melvin

    That’s pretty harsh, Melvin. Hindsight is decidedly 20/20. I am still shocked, bewildered, embarrassed, and appalled at this outcome. But I voted for HRC with a clear head. I did not hold my nose. She really was/is uniquely qualified to be POTUS. Her “crimes” if you’d like – emails? – Benghazi if you must (none of which she’s been convicted for of course) are the product of 30 years of political service where sometimes things go wrong, and anyway they pale in comparison to the megalomaniacal curriculum vitae of insipid and hateful rhetoric (Drumpf).

    HRC is hated, of that there is no doubt. I can never get a clear answer as to why people hate her (I ask and get the same, tired “email, Benghazi” BS; why did they hate her before that?), so my default is simple misogyny. They hate her because she’s a woman. It’s as simple as that. And if it’s not that simple I would like to hear a clear headed, rational explanation for why she is so hated. Not disliked – many politicians are disliked – but hated. There’s a difference and it’s instructive.



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  • I am an American and I voted for Hillary Clinton. But I realized that the majority of Americans are either uneducated or mentally challenged. There was as an interesting mantra that was prevalent before the election:

    “He says it as it is.”

    It is a very telling statement. It really means that he stated things that were easy to understand. But the world is not at all simplistic or easy to understand. Take evolution for instance. To understand the mechanisms of evolution, one must understand genetics. I have found that genetics was one of the most difficult subjects for my students to understand and one cannot understand mechanisms of evolution without understanding population genetics. As one of our Republican candidates Ben Carson said:

    “It takes more faith to understand evolution than it does to
    understand creationism.”

    That would appeal to those who voted Donald Trump into office. That is it! God did it. End of story. That “says it as it is.”

    What can one say to an ignorant, unthinking bunch of country bumpkins? You better not use multi-syllable terms or use more than two sentences at a time that are more than ten words long. You must say it as is is!! Any one who says things that are complicated must be lying (as does “crooked Hillary”). The same goes for evolution. They think evolution is all wrong as are the theories of Evolutionary Biology.

    The massive immigration into Europe from the Mid-East or into the United States from Latin America has several interrelated complex causes. Religion, overpopulation, corruption, ignorance, war, and poverty. The various religions preach that large families are a virtue. But overpopulation causes poverty as well as a widespread lack of education. Religious leaders depend on an ignorant populace to believe their delusions, and overpopulation produces such a populace as well as poverty that in turn lend itself to corruption and war. And so it goes, worse and worse as time goes on and as the population increases. So in the Unites States we get a Donald Trump for president who will build a wall. That is the simplistic answer a stupid uneducated population wants to hear, certainly not any criticism of their religious “beliefs.”



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  • cbrown #42
    Nov 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    You must say it as is is!! Any one who says things that are complicated must be lying

    Yes, – As T-rump explains if you feel down-trodden by the political establishment and “authority”, (and have no idea how anything works), just tear up the trade agreements with Mexico, tear up the Paris Climate agreement, wreck anything you find that you don’t like, hand the country over to T-rump to tell the world “how it is”, and maybe something different will turn up!

    No need for all this complicated academic, confusing, brain-straining stuff, about climate, economics, diplomacy, and trade that “THE establishment” tells you about!
    “Free” THE people from all that – and the great American Utopia will arrive all by itself! 🙂



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  • God what a day. As I look back over the years there are a handful of events that have shocked me as they did everyone else. The space shuttle Challenger exploding, the death of Princess Di, 9/11, George W Bush bombing Iraq. This is up there with them. After staying up all night to watch this horror show because of the time difference between here in the UK and the USA I finally got to bed exhausted at about 11 am and slept until 6 pm. It’s 7.30 pm now. I’m still numb. I’ve just watched Stephen Colbert’s election night special from the torrent sites I use. Seeeing the mood fall lower and lower as the results came in during what I’m sure they hoped was going to be a comedic take on Hillary’s victory was hard to watch. One of his guests, a blonde comedienne I don’t know of was far past the point of having anything comedic to say. She said it felt like she’d just given birth to a dead baby and I think that was meant in all seriousness.

    I have no sensible suggestions. When so many people can vote for someone like this then I’m afraid your country is broken. If it was a Samsung phone it would be exploding in your pocket and you’d be taking it back for a refund.



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  • I’ve in the past been a supporter of Wikileaks, not a full hearted supporter just unable to see how they were any different to other media organizations who upon obtaining information will publish. I failed to really see the distinction particularly as they gave information to newspapers who then published them.

    However it is telling that the email hacks and the enormity the public made about it without the reciprocal (say Donald’s tax returns) leads me to conclude that Wikileaks is just going to be used by countries like Russia to selectively leak nonsense that impacts on elections. Even as I write this and just having read Phill’s link above you think well almost every word out of Donald’s mouth should have in any sane democracy resulted in his getting no more than a few percent of the vote. So perhaps wikileaks was as much of a problem as I have thought. Clearly I still have a lot of thinking to do.

    In Hitch Hickers Guide the the Galaxy there is a quote..

    There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
    There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

    Did someone just work out what the universe was for?

    Trying to find this actual quote I’ve found others that seem prophetic, scarily prophetic…

    This comment of Zaphod’s fits Donald precisely…

    “If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.”

    and…

    One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn’t be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid.

    or..

    To summarise: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarise the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarise the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

    or how I am likely to wake up every morning at least for the next four years…

    The regular early morning yell of horror was the sound of Arthur Dent waking up and suddenly remembering where he was.

    or on the design of democracy

    A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

    or if considering the destruction of the world…

    Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far.
    Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far (which, given your current circumstances, seems more likely):
    Consider how lucky you are that it won’t be troubling you much longer.

    to list a few that seem to fit this moment in history. Time for a new religion based on the predictions of our prophet and lord Douglas Adams, certainly more prophetic than any of the previous contenders, any takers?



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  • The parallels with the little Austrian corporal abound. Make Germany great again. German’s woes could be blamed on external forces. Abuse and blame on minorities. Nationalism on steroid.

    The German establishment thought they could control the corporal but they failed. I am hearing rhetoric from Republican establishment that they will be able to control Trump. I hope they can, but I suspect a narcissist with sociopathic undertones cannot be controlled.



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  • Reckless Monkey #48
    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    In Hitch Hickers Guide the the Galaxy there is a quote..

    My favourite books and ones which no matter how many times I read them there’s always something new to find each time. There’s the bit about the planet where lizards rule the people but it’s supposedly a democracy so the people periodically vote for the lizards who are running for office. Arthur asks Ford why the people bother voting if they don’t like being ruled by the lizards. Ford tells him they vote so the wrong lizard doesn’t get into power. Seems pretty apposite to me. Sadly this time the wrong lizard has got in.



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  • There are far more people that work from emotion than those who have developed reflective thinking skill.

    Trump gave resonating messages. Many were contradictory but emotive thinkers latch on to the resonant ones and don’t hear the rest.

    To fix this short term the Dems need to learn to make emotionally resonant messages.

    Long term more of the population need to develop better thinking skills. Getting religion out of the way would help as it is strongly in the anti reason emotion camp.



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  • David R Allen #49
    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:18 pm
    >

    The parallels with the little Austrian corporal abound. Make Germany great again. German’s woes could be blamed on external forces. Abuse and blame on minorities. Nationalism on steroid.

    Mmmmmm!! Echoes of history repeating itself!

    @#18 “Guns before healthcare””???



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  • I’m extremely shocked (understatement) by the outcome of this presidential election, and very, very pleasantly so. The American people have spoken, and for once, I’m a little optimistic about the future of this country.

    Do I believe Donald Trump was an ideal presidential candidate? No, I don’t. We’ve taken a gamble. But I do think it’s possible he’ll do some good, not just for our country, but for the world. Granted, he made a lot of tall, radical promises throughout his campaign (i.e. build walls, jail Hillary Clinton, etc.), but I don’t believe he will (or can) carry through with them. I think, and hope, the balances of power between the 3 bodies of government will temper Trump’s lack of political office experience, as well as his ego.

    During his victory speech, he emphasized building good relations will all nations. I hope he lives up to that. He also didn’t mention god a single time, which is monumental and historic. And, to my welcome surprise, he was respectful of his opponent. Also, he made it clear that this country will once again be its highest priority. That is fantastic, in my book, and with regard to my US citizenship. Lastly, Trump mentioned taking care of war veterans. Although I’m fortunate enough to not be one of them, this is something I really appreciate, and hope Trump delivers on.

    He did claim, in his victory speech, that we’re going to rebuild our entire infrastructure (i.e. highways, hospitals, etc. — there were several he listed here) in top-notch fashion, providing many jobs. This seems a tall order.

    In short, this presidential election was between two comic book villains (Bill and Hillary) with widespread political ties, and a patriotic, egotistical business man with zero political office experience whatsoever. I voted for a meteor, but I’ll settle for the candidate who will likely, and hopefully, challenge the status quo. Democrats and republicans both lost this presidential election.

    If Donald Trump does a good, or even decent, job, it’ll be like the US is playing through its own watered-down version of the Designated Survivor TV show. Besides, Trump’s last name is hiding in the word triumph. What more can you ask for in a president?

    I don’t enjoy seeing people cry. I don’t enjoy seeing people in emotional pain. But today, I’m going to observe Hillary Clinton supporters do just that. And I’m going to enjoy it.

    Cheers!



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  • Trump is the culmination of the US’s drift into fascism that began with Alzheimer Ronnie. You think Bill Clinton and Obama were an interruption of this degeneration? Uh-huh. Well, look at the mid-term elections 1994 and 2010 (mid-terms traditionally suffer from catastrophically low voter turnout, making it easy for rabid lunatics mobilizing their hydrophobic supporters to capture HoR seats in voting precincts criminally skewed – see Texas – with as little as perhaps 16% of eligible voters). Nixon was impeached (and would have been removed from office) rightly. Alzheimer Ronnie should, by that measure, have been impeached out of office with at least twice the justification. And Dirty Dubya with at least ten times as much justification. For Deranged Duhnald, the current Congress should initiate impeachment procedures today, and he should be kicked out of office in February 2017 at the latest.

    There is a slight problem. It took the British Empire, a bit later the Soviet Union and shortly later the US, to kick Hitler out of power. And had Hitler not idiotically declared war on the US shortly after the US had done so on Japan for Pearl Harbor (you can’t NOT accept a declaration of war – maybe excepting from the Vatican), the US despite FDR’s intentions might only have fought a war against those “yellow slit-eyes” (keeping to its tradition of a racist society).



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  • @MichaelRohde
    Never thought I’d post something like this. Shall I call you Neville Chamberlain? Britain’s naive flaming moron who in 1938 thought one could negotiate with Hitler? A criminal lunatic has been elected by what used to be (perhaps I’m being naive here) the lunatic fringe, which apparently has undergone metastases to a degree as to be life-threatening. Before you ask, yes, I’m calling those voting for deranged Duhnald cancer. But Hitler ultimately had Churchill, Stalin and FDR against him. What can cure the current US? Yellowstone … maybe (and I don’t mean the National Park).



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  • These two cartoons summarize the voting mentality that brought Trump to the presidency, and that is spreading to rest of the world. Brexit. It is the mentality that the simple solutions offered by patrons in the front bar will solve all of the world’s problems. (
    Apologies for the link. I don’t have the skills to post just an image in this forum.)

    https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=401936.0

    http://9gag.com/gag/agNRb41/society-today



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  • Michael. You are not informed and ignorant about Trumps claims.
    He did mention “god”.
    He did NOT promise to build relations, he promised to build walls.
    He did insult Veterans many times.
    And getting satisfaction from somebodys loss? That’s just crappy.



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  • @LaurieB
    Alzheimer Ronnie and Dirty Dubya made it through a total of 16 years without getting impeached, despite Tricky Dick being at most a petty criminal compared to these organized crime godfathers. And Congress is also in the hands of what has degenerated, through the US’s version of the Taliban since Alzheimer Ronnie’s administration (Jerry Falwell and scum of his ilk), into the US’s PNP (Practically Nazi Party). Those nutcases might impeach him if he started and lost a nuclear war – but then again, maybe nobody would care much by then (even about the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting).



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  • GrumpyKraut

    16 years without getting impeached,

    Don’t remind me.

    One thing about our President elect, he’s at least a narcissist or worse. No political experience. How the Republicans will manage this loose canon is unknown to me. He is not a team player. Rethuglicans are controlling House of Reps, Senate and can now stack the Supreme Court. The old school Repubs may have a view to unloading the loose canon and working smoothly with party man Pence. From their view, what’s not to like?



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  • The depth of loathing of the political establishment in the USA is beyond anything I’d anticipated.

    Voting Trump must have made sense to a lot of people as the only way to say, very loudly, FUCK YOU to the career insiders, “the elite”, who have run their government for the last few decades, bringing poverty to the many and a whole lot more wealth to the few.

    This looked to them like a spanner in the works of a government machine that’s been grinding along quite poorly for ages. Obama’s “Yes We Can” (lovely emotive sentiment there, can’t argue with that) turned into “Actually, sorry, no we can’t” — due to the defective machinery of government that let the Reps block everything that wasn’t their idea.

    Understanding this sabotage of government is one thing, though. I hope Micheal is right, even if he is wearing Rohde tinted glasses, and DT will be reined in by the puppeteers, those behind the scenes with the real power, who enabled his pitch in the first place, and prevent him from causing total disaster.

    I think there’s a glimmer of hope that DT is not so much like Hitler really: DT doesn’t have an agenda, hasn’t laid out in detail what he intends to do, as per Mein Kampf, and therefore (I hope) hasn’t got a clue really about what he wants to do. Except, perhaps, lots of golf and pleasant trips in the luxury of Air Force One on the federal expense account.

    And leave it to Lisa Simpson to clean up after he’s done.



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  • I can see a possible realignment of the Rational Free World with America as an outlier, if Trump implements his rhetoric. The rest of the world will have to go it alone on global warming. The rest of the world will have to deal with Iran if Trumps tears up the UN Security Council sanctions. Ditto free trade, and a dozen flash points around the world. Are large numbers of US troops in South Korea the only reason Trump’s doppelganger in North Korea does not invade. Remove the troops from S Korea and Japan as Trump says..?

    We don’t know what the next 4 years will bring. But I do know that Trump the business man was occasionally looked at by authorities for all sorts of reasons, but never seriously. As President, every breath he takes, every move he makes, we’ll be watching you. His historical activities will be surgically dissected. This is not a man without skeletons in the cupboard. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Republicans do the et tu brute.



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  • I suppose if DT gets rolled, the VP takes over. Is he a more biddable Republican servant? That way there’s no chance the Dems get anything, so it’s a possible scenario.



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  • Laurie, others (alf, Phil, Arkrid, et al)

    You put it well, Laurie. The sight of his face, you said, is painful to look at. Odious. Perfect word. I am so sad and uneasy I slept until four in the afternoon.

    I am so glad that we and others can communicate via this site. Pain shared is pain lessened.

    It’s weird. Everyone seems on edge. It’s been a terrible night, may have lost two of my best friends. Everything is heightened. I just want to wake up from this nightmare. I cried as I watched Hillary.

    Alf, try not to worry too much. I’ll do the same. I identify with you.

    Arkrid, superb comments. You write beautifully. Do you think the “deplorable” comment got the rural and blue collar voters to come out even more? That was a major gaff. But it was true.

    Hi, Phil. T’sup? My Singer book arrived. (Ethical Life) Is yours on the way?

    D



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  • Evenin’ Dan

    I don’t blame you for taking a little blanket therapy. Agree on Hillary’s speech. So very sad. It was a wonderful speech. I think the deplorables comment was true but did piss off the lumpen proletariat and sent them out to punish the elites with their votes.

    But Dan, the Supreme Court! This is gonna be bad.

    OHooligan

    Is he a more biddable Republican servant

    VP Pence is the darling of the Evangelicals and all other miscellaneous Christian nutjobs. If he moves up to the top of the heap they will be frothing at the mouth in ecstasy, like this:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=ecstasy+of+st+teresa&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=608&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiYtej6kJ3QAhVq64MKHb7NDmMQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=ecstasy+of+st+teresa+face&imgrc=dd1fDn2r3XuLAM%3A



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  • 68
    fadeordraw says:

    Well, from my perspective, I think Trump represents much of what the USA is all about (as a member of the North American continent and with regards to South American, I find the patriotic-religious label “America” disingenuous and bullyingly aggressive). He represents retrograde understandings of US and global economic and ecological functioning. Just as the US has this big Christian religion thing, where all other Western nations have moved well beyond that, it also has this “liberty” thing, where all other Western nations have advanced social security systems in place. And somehow mixed into the US retrogradism is the intransigent gun and jail cultures, is the growing economic inequality between the super-rich, hollowing out middle class and the growing poverty class. So with Trump, much of this, from my perspective, is par for the course, despite wonderful Obama speeches, for the good old USA. My issue with the Trump election is explicitly his approach to sapiens influencing the climate of our planet; namely, he and his entourage do not think it’s an issue. So how many people growing on the planet would it take from Trump and co. to consider that we must be impacting the planet’s biosphere? 12 billion? 24 billion? 48 billion? And while USA protectionism might have (though it’s doubtful) short term internal growth stimulation, because of the size of our sapient population, it’s all about global coordination and governance; his election might mean that the continuing tackling of continuing population growth and its influence on the planet will likely take a back seat or be put on the back burner for years! That’s my bit concern.



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  • Fade or Draw, We can kiss the EPA, and any reasonable attempt at global warming in the USA goodbye.
    Science funding and education will be a thing of the past. (if it isn’t already).
    There will be massive funding for charter schools (religious).
    Stem cell research funding will stop.
    This is what happens when religion gets a hold of politicians.
    I would like to think the people he surrounds himself with are not insane. But he chose them.



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  • O’hooligan, The senate and the house are GOP controlled as is the Supreme court.
    With the executive branch stitched up they can do anything they want.
    “rolled”? Is that like nicked?



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  • alf,

    “I didn’t know whether I should go to bed or just dig a hole and jump in…..”

    To me these two options are the same – in some respects.

    Laurie,

    The supreme court issue is very, very, very serious. You’re so right, Laurie. (Goddammit!) Plus, he promised to repeal “Obamacare”, but he has nothing to replace it with. Forget Wall Street reform (Dodd-Frank). Well, you don’t need me to tell you this…. Oh yes, foreign policy. He’s got those codes now. He wants to be a big man. That unstable, insecure, sick peacock of a man, who is now the most powerful man on the planet, will nuke someone just to show how tough he is, and that’ll be the end of life on this planet – except the cockroaches.

    Or maybe we’ll get through this. But I don’t see how. He’s got the House and the Senate!!

    This is devastating. My gut tells me (and my gut rarely lies) that this situation is very bad indeed. I’d rather be talking about happier things, but this is a Reason site, not a feel-good site (although commiseration and camaraderie has its place.). But, we must have hope. There will be resistance. And sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. (La politique du pire.) Like “hitting bottom” (in AA), however, there is no guarantee of survival.

    My father, shortly before he died (2014), said something prophetic. He said (and I’m loosely paraphrasing): If we get someone bad enough in the next election, the people who keep putting down Obama now will be dying, absolutely dying, to have him back in office.

    P.S. I copied your idea of putting multiple names in bold.



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  • To answer Dan above, I’m not sure if Hillary saying “deplorables” made much difference to this because I’m starting to conclude that very little anyone said or did actually made much difference. Trump could not have made himself more dislikeable, Hillary could not have tried any harder to be presidential. None of it mattered. The country is too polarised to care about the candidates. That’s just fodder for the pundits and the pollsters. I think most of it boils down to the motivation to get out and vote and that’s greater in the supporters of the party that’s out of power.

    In short, there’s an inherent tendency for the system to be unstable and just oscillate which is driven by the instant gratification nature of the populace. The gerrymandering of the districts combined with the constant attempt by the Repubs to suppress voter turnout diminishes people’s will to even bother with it all.

    What the polls do, I’ve concluded, is indicate how the voters feel but NOT necessarily how they’ll act, i.e. whether they’ll vote or not or who for. So it’s no longer a reliable indicator of who will win.

    My first vague understanding of just how broken America is now came when Congress voted for the Iraq war. The whole world outside of America knew it was bogus. Most of the Democrats knew it was bogus. Everyone knew it would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children. The Republicans didn’t care. They voted in lockstep anyway. Most of them must have known perfectly well they were voting to kill people based on a big lie. None of this matters when religion has poisoned everything to the point where whatever “our” dogpack wants to do is right and anything the hated “others” want to do is wrong.

    I believe there’s an inherent disconnect between the behaviour of religion driven Republicans and empathy driven Democrats. The Dems try to do the right thing, put country first and party second, negotiate, compromise. The Repubs just act in lockstep to try and preserve their dwindling power base. We saw that clearly in the primaries. Everyone else hated Trump and he hated all of them but they still sold their souls to the devil and endorsed him in the end.

    There’s a saying that the people tend to get the leaders they deserve. The people have just spoken and sadly they deserve Trump.



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  • @David R Allen,

    I see the first cartoon was on the Arduino forum (brilliant by the way), you into the Arduino? Brilliant little things, use the Raspberry pi’s a lot myself, good to know another forum member is into the cool stuff.



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  • This has been a salutory experience. I’ve studied American politics and the American psyche for a long time. We all have egos, even if hopefully few of us have Trumpian ones in size, and we like to think we’ve learned a little about what we study. I opine, waffle, blether and pontificate on what I think I know in here and other places. But at no time in this election have I ever thought there was a remote chance of someone this odious becoming president. I was horribly wrong.

    However much we like to, and justifiably can, lambast, lampoon and decry Trump’s inherent awfulness he chose the timing of his run for president to perfection. He’s hinted at a run in almost every election for years but never did. It’s looking like he realised the inherent oscillatory nature of American politics and that only after an 8 year Democrat tenure would it invariably swing back to give him a chance. So he couldn’t run against Bush or after Obama’s first term even though his age was steadily counting against him as the years ticked by.

    We all thought he was mad as he railed against the system and called Hillary crooked when it’s really him who’s that but he fed into the nature of the American beast to blame everything on whoever’s in power and oust them. He painted his opponents in the primaries as part of the system to overcome them and then painted Hillary as being to blame for everything that’s gone wrong in America from even before either her or those things really existed. Like creating ISIS, not being able to defeat ISIS for “all her adult life”. None of the lies mattered because all the instant gratification junkies hear is the dog whistle of what they want to believe.

    He’s the ultimate carny barker. He has no product worth a spit but he only needs to convince you he does until he’s got your money. Then he doesn’t care any more. What we didn’t realise is, like most sociopaths, just how good he is at manipulating people. For most people their empathy and inherent honesty get in the way of that. We don’t like lying to other people or cheating them. He isn’t hampered by anything so noble. He’s a grifter, a cheat, a compulsive and pathological liar.

    Only one question remains and a further chance for us to get the prediction horribly wrong. Will he be as awful in office as his past and his personality seem to indicate? He’s a serial bankrupt, a serial litigator or litigatee as he goes through life stiffing people. He likes putting his name to things but it’s nearly always with other people’s money so he can step away when it crashes and burns. He doesn’t take responsibilty for anything that goes wrong. I don’t think he even wants to be president – he just wanted the ego massage of getting there and being able to go down in history with his name on that roll.

    I predict his presidency will be a constant series of appointing people to do things he takes little interest in and then firing them to avoid personal blame. I think it’s going to be a catastrophe that will make Bush junior look like a walk in the park. I think the spotlight that shines on the president every day will burn too brightly for him to hide in the shadows of his own corruption. But I was so wrong about his run for office I have little faith in my ability to get this right anymore.



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  • Seven007: HRC is hated, of that there is no doubt. I can never get a clear answer as to why people hate her (I ask and get the same, tired “email, Benghazi” BS; why did they hate her before that?), so my default is simple misogyny. They hate her because she’s a woman.

    I appreciate where you are coming from. Hillary Clinton brought too much baggage to her campaign. It all began with Bill’s infidelities when he was governor of Arkansas followed by her collusion in sordid attempts to pay off or otherwise silence women who had affairs with her husband when he ran for president. Paula Jones and others allege that they were targets of organized slander and threats to squash scandals from interfering with Clinton ambitions for power. A sympathetic account surmises that Hillary believed her husband’s denials of an affair with Monica Lewinsky and therefore reasonably blamed it on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Whatever the facts, her vicious diversion from the bedfellow culprit did irreparable damage to public confidence in her integrity. When she tried to highlight the Trump lewd-language tape, it backfired with her record of defending “her” man against compelling charges of multiple sexual assaults. Clearly she seemed to put personal ambition for power ahead of women’s rights, safety, and dignity when it came to her symbiotic partnership with the groper-in-chief.

    Once ensconced in the White House, president Biil made good on his promise to deliver a twofer partnership administration by appointing his wife to come up with a healthcare plan. A daunting obstacle, the instinctive distrust of an unelected spouse, may have been overcome had Hillary not retired in secret with a coterie of advisors and micro-managed a voluminous bill that sealed off inputs from stakeholders and the public. When she toured the country to go over the heads of an unfavorable Congress she not only failed to communicate the merits of “her” legislation but also cemented her reputation for secrecy, prevarication and phoniness. She and healthcare reform went down in flames.

    On paper her “experience” looks impressive but polls and person-on-the-street interviews disclosed that no one could name any of her accomplishments. During the campaign Hillary again showed a tin ear for projecting credibility as she took full-throated exclusive credit for legislation and foreign policy achievements where her input was minimal and there was no corroboration of her decision-making role.

    Cutting to the chase Hillary, did not fail because the [male] electorate hates women. Hillary is not a skilled politician. The sad fact is she could never transcend the indelible taints of an unpopular spouse of a wildly popular president, the consummate politician Bill Clinton. She tenses up and even starts to shout when delivering speeches, seeming out of touch and condescending to the people she is trying to reach. Unlike her husband, she lacks the rare skill to “speak” directly to the voter conveying the empathetic personal bond of “feeling your pain.” When she gets in a corner, she goes into denial indistinguishable from pathological lying. Given the fat target of Donald Trump, Democrats were confident of a cake walk with Hillary Clinton. I was [over]confident like all of them. The ironic apocalypse revealed a shocking, shameful truth. Hillary Clinton was the only person on the planet that Donald Trump could beat.



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  • @Arkrid #72

    There’s a saying that the people tend to get the leaders they deserve.
    The people have just spoken and sadly they deserve Trump.

    I couldn’t agree more. I think the repercussions of this election will be felt for many generations.



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  • Melvin #75
    Nov 10, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Nice analysis of HRC. Exactly a month ago after the town hall debate I wrote this to a friend in NY on facebook.

    “If only Hillary wasn’t so effing robotic. If she was just a little bit more of a sympathetic character. You can see the gears grinding inside as she switches operating modes. Question from a moderator = Hillbot engage “policy wonk” mode v2.1a. Open all policy data files to maximum capacity. Prepare to dispense primarily factual information.

    Question from an audience member (subset female) = Hillbot engage human interaction mode v3.8a(female). Lower voice tone 8.9 percent. Smile. Remember human questioner name and repeat back. Close down policy data access rate by 20 percent and substitute the released bandwidth with emotion simulation chip access.

    She keeps reminding me of one of our most iconic tv adverts over here when I was young. Dunno if you had it over there.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4MTgjNkfyI

    That’s a Cadbury’s Smash advert btw with the robots laughing at how primitive humans are.

    Anyway, it might sound silly but all the way through this election I’ve thought there’s one thing Hillary can do to show she’s not completely robotic and capable of making some sort of change from the rigid persona she’s cultivated for 30 years. Just for once come out wearing a bloody dress!

    But she can’t do it. She’s locked into a persona that’s female but not feminine and aggressive but not male. I think she confuses and pisses both sexes off to varying degrees. You can’t feel sympathy for her because she’s not vulnerable but however hard she tries she won’t have the masculine qualities that people look for in a leader.



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  • Dan,

    Never have I felt such a need to buy my good friend a beer. What are you having?

    My Singer has arrived, but is queued behind a recent find on Erasmus Darwin. He is a great hero of mine (like Robert Hooke) insufficiently sung inventors of modern thinking and sensibilities.



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  • Thanks Akrid for sharing your facebook message and the robot parodies.

    The outcome of the election reflects more a systemic breakdown in both parties that left the electorate with
    no viable choices.

    It’s as if the system put the voters in a huge chimpanzee cage then let these two clowns tease them by rattling sticks across the bars. Supporters of Bernie Sanders, outraged establishment Republicans – variously inflamed, frustrated and ambivalent partisans all along the spectrum screeched and threw themselves against the bars. On election day, the cage was opened and the chimpanzee electorate flooded out and took revenge on the system by flinging pooh all over the ballot. No wonder that the outcome made no sense.



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  • Michael Rohde #53
    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I’m extremely shocked (understatement) by the outcome of this presidential election, and very, very pleasantly so. The American people have spoken, and for once,
    I’m a little optimistic about the future of this country.

    Trump will soon fix that for you!

    Do I believe Donald Trump was an ideal presidential candidate?
    No, I don’t. We’ve taken a gamble.

    Perhaps those gamblers should have looked at Trump’s FOUR bankrupt casino companies and the OTHER PEOPLE who suffered losses from these business failures!

    But I do think it’s possible he’ll do some good, not just for our country, but for the world.

    It’s also possible that pigs will grow wings and fly! The odds of it happening, are about the same as Trump being of benefit to the world!

    Granted, he made a lot of tall, radical promises throughout his campaign (i.e. build walls, jail Hillary Clinton, etc.), but I don’t believe he will (or can) carry through with them.

    It is of course quite possible that he will divert many valuable resources into these daft projects and then fail!

    I think, and hope, the balances of power between the 3 bodies of government will temper Trump’s lack of political office experience, as well as his ego.

    All those naive voters who were protesting “against the US establishment”, are rapidly going to discover post election, that Trump is gathering around him a collection of the most corrupt establishment figures he can find, as recruitment to his administration, now that the gullibles have voted him into power! The Republicans control all three arms of government, so restraint is likely to be limited.

    His denials of climate science and and silly claims about building flood defences in Florida, clearly show, that not only does he lack elementary science education, but he has absolutely no idea how to research basic information (at the level of an encyclopaedia), or where to seek expert advice.
    It took me less than 5 minutes to find out how ridiculous his proposals for “flood defences against rising seas” in Florida were!!



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  • I’m reading all sorts of analyses on this election, but I honestly believe all the knee-jerk explanations are worthless. Only time and historical context (and Trump’s actual performance) will give us an objective summation.

    I doubt I’ll live that long.



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  • Vicki #82
    Nov 10, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I’m reading all sorts of analyses on this election, but I honestly believe all the knee-jerk explanations are worthless. Only time and historical context (and Trump’s actual performance) will give us an objective summation.

    If you mean why did Trump win I think we have some pretty cogent reasaons for that already. If you mean what will Trump do in office I’m sure none of us know for the very good reason that Trump has no idea either. We have to keep reminding ourselves that EVERYTHING Trump said during the campaign could as easily have been a lie as the truth. He said what the religious right wanted to hear and that was about it.

    If we boil it down to specifics I have absolutely no doubt he’s utterly unconcerned about religion, gays or abortion. These are people oriented issues and Trump only cares whether people are useful or not to him. What they get up to in their own time is not something sociopaths worry about.

    I think he’ll want a right wing Scotus pick simply to vote in favour of big business although I don’t think he’s even a Republican in the first place. It was just a convenient ticket.

    For the big issues like the economy and foreign policy I doubt he has much clue so it’ll depend who he picks to manage these while he plays golf. I’m sure once he’s had a few days preening himself in the White House and getting pissed off with 100 people a day wanting a slice of his time he’ll get fed up of it all very fast and bugger off bigly.

    I think I feel most sorry for the Secret Service who are going to have to appoint people who might have to take a bullet for this loathsome turd for the rest of his life now.



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  • If you mean why did Trump win I think we have some pretty cogent
    reasons for that already.

    Yes, that is what I mean. And I agree we have slathers of cogent reasons. But I think their level of importance (and validity) might very well shift as time inserts itself. And in fact, I don’t think we have to wait to find out. I’m not sure how old you are, but I remember my outrage when Ford pardoned Nixon. With the advantage of time, I now agree it was the best move he could have made, and actually sped the process of getting Watergate behind us. And that is just one example. If I were inclined, I could probably come up with a half-dozen more in just my lifetime.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #83
    Nov 10, 2016 at 8:16 am

    For the big issues like the economy and foreign policy I doubt he has much clue so it’ll depend who he picks to manage these while he plays golf. I’m sure once he’s had a few days preening himself in the White House and getting pissed off with 100 people a day wanting a slice of his time he’ll get fed up of it all very fast and bugger off bigly.

    Yes! – While the global problems and lack of co-ordinated efforts in dealing with rising sea-levels, droughts, floods, wild fires, loss of irrigation water as mountain snowcaps and glaciers shrink, wars poverty, starvation, refugee crises etc., are rampant, the US electorate is bringing such “expertise” Trump has, in addressing the world shortage of casinos and posh golf courses!



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  • It will be interesting to see whether being president helps or hinders Trump financially. The constitution prevents a president receiving any emolument from a foreign country so he has a dilemma now about his golf course just down the road from me near Aberdeen for which he’s already detested. I suppose it’ll end up in one of his family member’s names. If his behaviour and brand become really toxic to people they might start boycotting every establishment with Trump associations. We can only hope. He might come to regret putting himself so much in the spotlight and that light is going to be shining on him very brightly for the next four years.



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  • Here apparently is the list of who Trump is considering for which office.

    Newt Gingrich for SoS?! Ben Carson for SoEd?! Multiple possibilities for Christie?! Guliani for ANY position?!

    If any of those names are being seriously considered, I think we can lay to rest the pro-Trump argument that he will surround himself with able and competent people.



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  • Newt Gingrich for SoS?! Ben Carson for SoEd?!

    It’s terrifying isn’t it? Education sec is the most frightening for your country specifically. What the religious right will want is someone to enforce the teaching of creationism and breed a new batch of feckless anti science or “science dumb” children to deny evolution and join the Xtians in voting Repub in future. This could set you back another generation.



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  • Anyway I’ve made my mind up for 2020 already. The guy who’s impressed me most on his tv appearances is Cory Booker, senator from NJ. He’s smart, likeable, speaks really well, the right age to appeal to young voters (47 now, 53 in 2020). The old guard have to go.



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  • I would like to see multiple parties competing vociferously in the primaries, then just as we choose a candidate from a party, we choose a party to run. It gets narrowed down to two parties only, and the respective chosen candidates from said parties.



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  • @Melvin (#75)

    Oh yes, the Hillary “baggage”. I won’t deny its existence even if I disagree with its significance. 50M people voted for Hillary; 66M voted for Obama in 2008 and 60M voted for him in 2012. Trump got less than Romney. What this tells me is that people were either apathetic (likely) or woefully naïve thinking she had it in the bag. I’m speaking primarily of the 10-16M “missing” democratic votes. Do I think those 16M stayed away because of decades old business in Arkansas or the White House? No, not really (and perhaps this is my naivety). At my core I am not a conspiracy theorist. In the same vein I actively resist superstition whenever I feel myself succumbing to it. As an ardent sports fan I am unique amongst my friends by refusing to kowtow to whatever silly superstition they feel compelled to in an attempt to avoid the bad ju ju.

    HRC’s experience is undeniable and easily vetted. Some of that experience is negative but as I said, it’s because she has so much of it. And though I appreciate what you’re saying, and you say it well, this is precisely what I’m talking about:

    She tenses up and even starts to shout when delivering speeches,
    seeming out of touch and condescending to the people she is trying to
    reach.

    It would never be said about a man, and indeed was not said about Trump, that he ‘shouted’ even if he did. That he was condescending even when he was. He gets a pass. Precisely because: HE. This is misogyny 101. He is “tough”. She is a bitch. He is moody. She “bleeds from her…wherever”. He is commanding. She shouts. He is authoritarian. She condescends.

    My sincere hope is that Trump’s campaign was an elaborate ruse meant strictly to get votes. That his long history as a democrat is still right there beneath that orange surface. We shall see. I am not optimistic but I am hopeful.



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  • David R Allen #63
    Nov 9, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I can see a possible realignment of the Rational Free World with America as an outlier, if Trump implements his rhetoric. The rest of the world will have to go it alone on global warming.

    It does look as if the world is not going to wagged by the Trump dogs of coal pollution!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37928593

    Climate change: Nations will push ahead with plans despite Trump

    At UN climate talks in Morocco, countries say they are prepared to move ahead without the US.

    President-elect Trump has said that he will “cancel” the Paris Climate Agreement within 100 days of taking office.

    Negotiators in Marrakech say that such a move would seriously damage the credibility of the US.

    But fossil fuel supporters say Mr Trump’s plans prioritise the needs of American families.
    Cancelling the deal

    The election of a candidate viewed with horror by many environmental campaigners, has cast a significant shadow over COP22 – the annual meeting of climate delegates from almost 200 countries.

    They have come to Marrakech to work on the nuts and bolts of the Paris Climate Agreement.

    However the election of Mr Trump now poses something of a threat to the deal signed less than a year ago in the French capital.

    The treaty commits governments to take action to keep global temperatures from rising by 2C above pre-industrial levels and to do their best to keep that rise to less than 1.5 degrees.

    But Mr Trump has promised that within 100 days of taking office he would “cancel” the agreement and “stop all payments of US tax dollars to UN global warming programmes”.

    Donald Trump promised to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and restore jobs in the coal industry

    However, some business commentators have suggested that his 4 year term may be too short for investors to take further coal developments seriously. –

    After all:- the ethical and smart money, is divesting from the stranded assets of the coal industry and the loans secured against these!

    Those with jobs and investments in the rapidly expanding solar and wind generation industries, are unlikely to remain quiet if Trump mouths-off or initiates backward actions when actually in office!



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  • Tired of people’s opinions about how bad the liberals and Hillary are, tired of people blaming them. We’re in deep shit. I love Hillary. This is a disgusting shame, a true nightmare. Rampant sexism along with a protracted and relentless smear campaign has created and fueled the hatred towards her. It’s fucking sick. But Trump, with all his scandals, law suits, women who have claimed abuse, among other things, is voted in as President. And gets away with all his impropriety. Hillary has been demonized.

    Dodd-Frank: Done! Healthcare: Done! And that’s just for starters. And no one on the left supports abolishing that. The obstructionist Republicans have blocked or tried to block, or dismantle, or undermine, everything public – for years. They are on the path of destroying public education – and collective bargaining. They are anti-labor and not democratic. They can’t wait to get rid of Medicare. (Gingrich is no exception; they are all like Gingrich.)Then they blame the “establishment” of which they are a part, and the “status quo”, which they are invested in. A vast swindle.



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  • Tired of people’s opinions about how bad the liberals and Hillary are, tired of people blaming them. We’re in deep shit. I love Hillary. This is a disgusting shame, a true nightmare. Rampant sexism along with a protracted and relentless smear campaign has created and fueled the hatred towards her. It’s fucking sick. But Trump, with all his scandals, law suits, women who have claimed abuse, among other things, is voted in as President. And gets away with all his impropriety. Hillary has been demonized.

    Dodd-Frank: Done! Healthcare: Done! And that’s just for starters. And not one of the Democratic would support abolishing those things. The obstructionist Republicans have blocked or tried to block, or dismantle, or undermine, everything public – for years. They are on the path of destroying public education – and collective bargaining. They are anti-labor and not democratic. They can’t wait to get rid of Medicare. (Gingrich is no exception; they are all like Gingrich.)Then they blame the “establishment” of which they are a part, and the “status quo”, which they are invested in. A vast swindle.

    Steven:

    It would never be said about a man.

    I was going to say just that. Changed my mind. Why state the obvious?



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  • Steven 96

    She tenses up and even starts to shout when delivering speeches…

    It’s obvious to everyone that this is an impression laced with bias and exorbitant dislike. And those who don’t see that are blinded, and very hard to persuade or influence; that’s all I meant. Worth pointing out, however; people can listen with the unconscious ear and change over time.



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  • From Pew Research:
    These patterns largely reflect data from exit polls during the 2012 general election. In that year, 95% of black Protestants said they voted for Democrat Barack Obama, while 78% of Mormons said they voted for Republican Mitt Romney, who also is a Mormon.

    White evangelical Protestants also voted heavily Republican in 2012 (79% for Romney), which mirrors the leanings of many of the largest evangelical denominations. Members of the Church of the Nazarene are overwhelmingly likely to favor the GOP (63% Republican vs. 24% Democrat), as are the Southern Baptist Convention (64% vs. 26%) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (59% vs. 27%), among other evangelical churches. (In our survey, members of these groups can be of any race or ethnicity, while exit polls report totals for white evangelicals in particular.)

    Catholics are divided politically in our survey, just as they were in the 2012 election. While 37% say they favor the GOP, 44% identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (and 19% say they do not lean either way). In the 2012 election, 50% of Catholics said they voted for Obama, while 48% voted for Romney.

    Members of mainline Protestant churches look similar to Catholics in this regard. For example, 44% of members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) identify as or lean Republican in the survey, compared with 47% who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning. United Methodists and Anglicans are slightly more likely than other mainline groups to say they are Republicans, while members of the United Church of Christ are more likely to be Democrats.

    About seven-in-ten religiously unaffiliated voters (70%) and Jews (69%) voted for Obama in 2012. A similar share of Jews in our survey (64%) say they are Democrats, while all three subsets of religious “nones” (atheists, agnostics and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular”) lean in that direction as well.

    Affiliation with Christian religion per se is not an independent variable. Whether a Christian believer votes Democrat or Republican depends more on socio-economic class and educational status; race and ethnic identity and on factors other than religious dogma. White evangelical Christians determine victories for Republicans in regional states, concentrated in the deep southeast, and in the midwest. Evangelicals had a disproportionate affect on the outcome Tuesday because white voters in general turned out in greater numbers to vote while blacks and Hispanics turned out in smaller numbers than in 2008 and 2012. Despite the anomalies of the 2016 election, white evangelical Christians no longer “control” national elections as they did in the 1980 victory of Ronald Reagan. To the contrary, the rise of new Democratic racial, ethnic and white constituencies emerging in “borderline” states: Virginia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado delivered Obama victories and bode well for the Democratic party in the near future despite the temporary downturn of the Hillary fiasco. Demographic shifts are on the Democratic side. Always bear in mind, however, that the political winds of fortune blow in the direction of economic swings. Voters -white, black or brown; believer or infidel will usually vote their pocketbooks. Trump, for obvious reasons, is set-up for serious losses in the mid-term elections.



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  • Dan #95
    Nov 10, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Hillary has been demonized.

    One of the things that catches the Dems out during every election and indeed during every administration is just how viciously Repubs behave. Dems campaign on facts, logic, experience, policy. Repubs campaign on dog whistle generalities of how great they’ll make everything and how horrible the other guy is. Dems try to negotiate. Repubs obstruct. Obama wasted the two years where he had control of congress trying to be inclusive and by the time he realised this was pointless and they were only ever going to obstruct everything he proposed it was too late.

    Sadly when Michelle Obama said “when they go low, we go high” that’s often why they win. The American electorate is too bloody stupid and of too short an attention span to get into policy details. Americans would rather have a simple lie than a complex truth. Repubs have demonised every president and every candidate since Bill Clinton. Hillary got caught up in what they tried to do to Bill for years but I have to agree with those who say she’s her own worst enemy when it comes to changing perceptions of herself.

    Elections hang on the stupidest things. Bush being a bit more the sort of simple guy you might want to have a beer with than Gore. Hillary getting pneumonia and trying to hide it.



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  • Dan: It’s obvious to everyone that this is an impression laced with bias and exorbitant dislike

    The impression was widely shared by pundits and the public throughout the campaign. Though both candidates recited their simplistic litany of panacea “promises” ad nauseum that constitute the core of shameful pandering to the gullible during political contests, Hillary Clinton came across more scripted, cold and devoid of a credible vision than Donald Trump fired up with all his passionate idiocy. In fairness Trump did address some legitimate “populist” concerns -trade, immigration, national and trade deficits, the decimation of manufacturing jobs, the working class and the middle class that Hillary soft pedaled underestimating the importance of these issues in our difficult times.

    We can agree that what is obvious to everyone is the result of the election and respect for the electoral process.



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  • Melvin #101
    Nov 10, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    In fairness Trump did address some legitimate “populist” concerns – trade, immigration, national and trade deficits, the decimation of manufacturing jobs, the working class and the middle class that Hillary soft pedaled underestimating the importance of these issues in our difficult times.

    It does not take much wit to recognise these current features – especially with hindsight!

    It is when it comes to analysing causes and offering practical answers to the problems, that Trump fails abysmally!



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  • These are complex problems with complex solutions. The solutions offered in the front bar, while they may appeal to stupid white men, are not the solutions that will work. In politics, its about votes. Trump told his intellectual challenged support base what they wanted to hear. But the solutions offered, won’t work. I hope he tries to do some of the things he said he would. He will be a 1 term president if he tries, which is a good thing.

    Decisions should be made on a rational assessment of the prevailing evidence, viewed through the prism of morality and ethics.



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  • Melvin #101
    Nov 10, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    We can agree that what is obvious to everyone is the result of the election and respect for the electoral process.

    The problem is that the US electoral process does not earn respect!

    One feature of this is the lack of any UK style independent regulation of press standards of reporting – so liars and those directing gratuitous abuse, have free range!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Press_Standards_Organisation
    The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) was established on Monday 8 September 2014[1] following the windup of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), which had been the main industry regulator of the press in the United Kingdom since 1990. The PCC received extensive criticism for its lack of action in the News International phone hacking scandal, including from MPs and Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for it to be replaced with a new system in July 2011.[2] The Leveson Inquiry was set up and reported in November 2012, recommending in favour of the establishment of a new independent body.

    IPSO claims to be an independent regulator of the newspaper and magazine industry, and exists to promote and uphold the highest professional standards of journalism in the UK, and to support members of the public in seeking redress where they believe that the Editors’ Code of Practice[3] has been breached. The Editors’ Code deals with issues such as accuracy, invasion of privacy, intrusion into grief or shock and harassment. IPSO is able to consider concerns about editorial content in newspapers and magazines, and about the conduct of journalists.

    IPSO handles complaints, and conducts its own investigations into editorial standards and compliance. It also undertakes monitoring work, including by requiring publications to submit annual compliance reports. IPSO has the power, where necessary, to require the publication of prominent corrections and critical adjudications, and may ultimately fine publications in cases where failings are particularly serious and systemic.



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  • Hi, Melvin,

    I am no expert on these matters; but let me just say this:

    The business elites, which Trump represents, have been waging a bitter war against the working class for decades. They are bitter enemies. The republican party IS the establishment, and they are against virtually everything public. They’d love to abolish SS and Medicare. They have already derailed collective bargaining. That is not democratic, is anti-labor. They are against a living wage. All the Democrats – including your beloved Hillary – support the latter (raising the minimum wage) and oppose the former (the effort to destroy the ability to bargain collectively). And she supported overturning Citizens United.

    The Republicans, with Trump at the helm, will not be anxious to embrace campaign finance reform anytime soon, and I assume that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is dead, and buried – in the ground.

    There are many more examples of how Republican voters (the duped and the disenfranchised) vote against their own interests time and time again.

    Let me just insert this here. It’s from another article on this site:

    “Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.” There you have it: business as usual, a close cooperation between big business and politics. This will ultimately and most certainly destroy our country if it is not addressed and stopped once and for all.

    Manufacturing jobs: not so black and white. Complicated. Some improvement there from what I have heard. Those real numbers were never talked about – and globalism complicates the whole issue.

    One can’t just say whatever one wants. Then again, Trump did, and it worked.

    Hillary did address income inequality. (I like her voice, hate Trump’s voice.)

    Trump appealed to ignorance and hate, period. The voters were filled with shame at their own failures and inability to succeed, and he promised to deliver them and put an end to the people (“them”) and policies that have “taken their jobs”. (Maybe some truth to that.) A big sales pitch, basically. If he does help middle income and working families, and helps build infrastructure, I will be delighted. But was he sincere about all that? I doubt it very much. How do you have huge tax breaks for those at the top and a huge increase in the military budget alongside a public works program?

    Nuclear war is more likely than greater income and wealth equality. And as I said elsewhere (or earlier), Trump’s supporters and surrogates blamed the “establishment” of which they are a part, and the “status quo”, which they have a deep, vested interest in maintaining. A vast swindle.



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  • Alan4: The problem is that the US electoral process does not earn respect!

    Hillary Clinton, the news media and the majority of Republicans and Democrats denounced this position
    after Trump responded in the third debate he would not accept voting tallies if he lost pending a thorough investigation that would surely turn up massive voter fraud…the rigging of the election. “That’s horrible,” she said. Most Americans and I agree.

    One feature of this is the lack of any UK style independent regulation of press standards of reporting – so liars and those directing gratuitous abuse, have free range!

    Starting in the early stages of mainstream media reporting on Trump’s defects and outrages, escalating every day with shocking new gaffs and disclosures, media coverage did something I’d never seen before. The strictly observed ethic of neutrality enforced in previous modern era presidential elections going back to Harry Truman (1948) understandably collapsed. Incessantly, anchors and reporters began to criticize Trump’s, bigotry, sexism, racism, xenophobia and above all his LIES juxtaposed with effective fact checking. Outside of right-wing outlets like Fox News, he was portrayed as a buffoonish bully – gasbag fodder for the pilloring of late night television comedians. The media reported what he said and did but they never gave him a free pass; they ridiculed and pummeled him every step of the way. ( UK style independent regulation of press standards of reporting strays a bit too far from the environment of American politics)

    I believe, for reasons given, that the election was Hillary’s to lose. The Democratic establishment offered the starving electorate a rotten fish with a cynical bon appétit and they didn’t buy it.



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  • Reporting Trump as anything other than what he presented himself as would not have been fair reporting. He IS a buffoon and a bully! Criticizing what he and his swinish surrogates have said is responsible journalism. Not enough of it.

    The news is as good as one’s choice of what to read or watch, but I agree that the current low-level of the media is a symptom of a society that is in decline. The NY Times, however, is good. So is The Nation. But television news on cable has become entertainment to a large extent. No more Cronkite. We all know that the corporate run media is like that. What else is knew? That factor helps and mostly hurts both candidates and the people. In that sense it is fair, or equally unfair, to all three.



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  • To all the trump bashers, have read into clintons history – She is the elite and represents everything bad that America has become over the past few decades.

    As an Australian, I just wish for a US president or party that doesn’t invade other countries. Clinton with both the democrats and the republicans all wanted to invade this sovereign nation. How can you overlook this ‘fact’?



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  • Peter #108
    Nov 11, 2016 at 5:01 am

    To all the trump bashers, have read into clintons history – She is the elite and represents everything bad that America has become over the past few decades.

    The problem is, reading Trump’s history, he is even worse, and now seems to be collecting from the worst, to assemble his administration.

    The US electoral system and media, only promotes corporate stooges representing the elite establishment.



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  • Alan4discussion #18
    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:38 am

    They do not seem to have learned from the $4 to $6 trillion of mainly borrowed money – chalked up to the US taxpayers – that Bush spent causing chaos and civil wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria!

    Incompetent western military interference in foreign countries to promote “regime change”, is causing havoc in many places.
    The much celebrated in the Western media, “Arab Spring”, was legitimately criticised by Trump, but the blunders of those ill-conceived campaigns starting civil wars, are history not news! – So this is hindsight, not vision!

    (Report: – Arab Spring upheaval cost $55bn – BBC News 14 Oct 2011)

    The latest figures show much greater damage, which is still on-going!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37945757

    The Arab Spring protest movement has cost the region $614bn in lost growth since 2011, the UN says.

    The estimate is the first of its kind by a major economic body.

    It is equivalent to 6% of the region’s total GDP between 2011 and 2015, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) says.

    The uprisings, which started in Tunisia, saw leaders toppled in four countries, and led to war in Libya, Syria and Yemen.

    The UN says Arab states have faced economic and social stagnation since the uprisings in 2011. The report describes social progress as “grim” and says the rights of citizens have regressed in some countries.

    The data also says conflicts have worsened debt, unemployment, corruption and poverty, and exacerbated the refugee crisis.

    Libya, Yemen and Syria, remain locked in civil wars, which have cost tens of thousands of lives, and have left these countries without a functioning central government.

    In Syria, where anti-government protests spiralled into a conflict that has drawn in foreign powers, GDP and capital losses are equal to $259bn since 2011, according to ESCWA’s National Agenda for the Future of Syria.

    In countries where political transitions have occurred, new governments have not made economic reforms required to address “the issues that led to unrest in the first place”, the report says.



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  • 113
    Pinball1970 says:

    @alan

    I cant find your post about the election and its flaws- it may be on another

    Anyway it made think of Churchill

    He said

    “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
    He also said,

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
    Politicians have become more touchy with off the cuff remarks since Churchill’s time, remember Gordon Browns faux pas when he called a life time labour voter a “bigoted woman” after a short conversation
    So, most people are stupid, ill informed and they are the last group of people you would consider to decide the fate of an election?
    It would seem so, unfortunately it is the best system we have at present.
    You could blame the press and bad decision making or poor research by the public or the fact both camps ran negative campaigns for this result.
    This is hardly news though, presidential candidates have been smearing opponents for a while and using various methods of dispersal.
    One candidate said of his opponent,
    “(he is)a hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”
    His opponent said
    “(he is)a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”
    The two candidates?
    John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson said Adams would invade France too apparently which was not true.



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  • Pinball1970 #113
    Nov 11, 2016 at 8:16 am

    “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
    He also said,

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

    Politicians laud “democracy” as a justification for their positions of power.

    The problem is that “democracy” is a very bendy word, which is lauded and glorified in its numerous poorly defined forms, by governments the world over! – including one-party states and utterly corrupt ones!

    Various disastrous failed attempts at “regime change” have been carried out under the guise of flag-waving “democracy”!

    I seem to recall a bit of an anomaly in Florida when Jeb Bush was governor and an election where a dubious count put George W. in the Whitehouse!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volusia_error



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  • I see the odious turd is back to his twitter feed saying that the demonstrations against him are “professional” protesters, incited by the media.

    He’s had a couple of days to consider the enormity of the responsibility and honour that’s just been bestowed on him, the gravitas and depth of character it will need to undertake it – and it’s not made the slightest bit of difference to his appalling behaviour. It seems you really can’t polish a turd. This does not auger very well for the next four years.

    Some commentators are now saying let’s obstruct him at every turn as the Repubs did to Obama, others are saying like Hillary did let’s give him a chance to govern. I’m afraid I don’t see a sociopath like him being able to change his behaviour in any way because to do that requires emotions such as regret, compassion, determination to do better by others. Lacking any of those I fear that all we’ll get is the same tantrum fueled narcissistic 5 year old stamping his feet and wringing his tiny stubby fingered hands at every setback.



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  • I’d like to take a moment out from my usual pontifications to just say a thank you to everyone on this site. On this occasion of shock and disbelief at what has just happened in the USA it really does help to have the thoughts and opinions and comfort of like minded others. To get views from around the world which enrich the limited perspective I have here in the UK, somewhat insulated from the full horror of it. So to those of you in the USA, Canada, Australia and also of course the UK whose comments I have come to enjoy so much every day for so long now. Thank you for being there for each other and for myself.



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  • I think I’m moving out of denial into the anger stage of the 5 stages of loss. I just watched a short clip on CNN of the Celebrity Big Brother contestants in the USA being told who had won the election. Smiles as they anticipated being told it was Hillary then the utter shock on their faces, one girl burst into tears, another person said can we stay in here for the next four years please. Then I found tears running down my own cheeks again. Then I had a brief moment of complete and utter fury. I’m trying to contain that because I don’t want to just unleash and vent in here but it’s hard not to.

    I’m trying to rationalise it like this. If I were American, and if I’d just had to vote, and if the candidates had been reversed so Trump was the Dem, Hillary was the Repub and they’d both said exactly the same things both during the campaign and in the past could I possibly have voted for the Dems even though that’s the only thing I would ever normally do?

    The answer is no. I could not ever, under any circumstances, vote for such an odious turd as Trump for anything, literally anything, not even for who I wanted to run my bath let alone my country. To those who did in their millions, because they’re religious, or similarly bigotted, or racist, or misogynistic, or just stupid, or just insane – you are not people I want to know, to waste precious oxygen on or even have on this planet. I have no interest in respecting your views or your rights to free speech or to choose. I think you are sick and depraved if you can vote for someone who is sick and depraved. Sorry.



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  • Pinball1970 #113
    Nov 11, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Anyway it made think of Churchill

    He said

    “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

    Having said that, Churchill was rather expedient in who he was supporting “democracy” for!

    If you recall, Britain entered WW2 to save Poland from the initially democratically elected Hitler, but in the end decided to hand it over to Stalin, who operated a different form of people’s “democracy”!!

    However, Poland has now been “democratically liberated” from dominant communist thinking, so they are now “free”!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37953545

    Poland has marked its Independence Day by opening a huge Catholic shrine first proposed more than two centuries ago.**

    The cornerstone of the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw was laid in 1792, but a Russian invasion and two world wars stalled progress.

    The most recent work began in 2003, attracting €50m (£43m; $54m) in private donations.

    For Poland’s conservative government, the shrine is an emblem of perseverance – and nationalism.

    The country has a large Roman Catholic majority, and the Church continues to influence its politics and social affairs.

    An inaugural Mass was celebrated at the temple, with Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and President Andrzej Duda in attendance.

    Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki cited John Paul II, the Polish former Pope, in calling for a “responsible” use of freedom and warning against the “arrogance of power”.

    Ah “the arrogance of power” with bigoted dictating to others!
    Why do I think the Catholic Church are in no position to pontificate on this subject in what is rapidly becoming a theocracy?

    Polish MPs back near-total ban on abortion which could see women jailed for up to five years – Sep 26, 2016 18

    A recent discussion perhaps?



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  • Phil: Hillary has sure had some learning moments and apologised for her position on Iraq.
    Here she mostly seems pitch perfect to me.

    Not to beat a dead horse or a defeated candidate, Hillary post-mortem supporters have failed to understand the dynamics of the fiasco. Hillary Clinton was defeated by a virtual nobody for the Democratic nomination in 2008, the charismatic – and fortunately competent- Barack Obama, whose sole credential back then was a rousing speech at the 2004 convention. She had apparently captured at the outset all of the establishment endorsements and the war chest assuring easy victory. In the bitter primary contest that ensued her campaign fired all its ordnance only to be picked off and decimated by the Obama insurgency . Instead of seeing a white flag of surrender as a one-off, party leaders should have seen a red flag as a sign of mortal disaffection with Hillary Clinton.

    The Bernie Sanders movement again raised the specter of deep-seated distrust and opposition to this cold, calculating, and self-enriching appendage of the popular but tarnished Bill Clinton. Too many Democrats, especially millennials and the liberal base, watched Hillary prioritize the pursuit of personal wealth and power at the expense of progressive policies. Integral to building the Big Money Corporation of Clinton, Inc. partially under the guise of The Clinton Foundation, her infamous lucrative speech at Goldman Sachs marked her with the indelible repellent traits of the dissembler more favorable to Wall Street than Main Street.

    Progressive rhetoric promoting traditional Democratic themes -tax the rich, raise the-minimum wage, public funding for college and pre-school, increased spending on anti-poverty programs, – and so on -certainly helped Clinton with the electorate in general while paradoxically turning off some Democratic and otherwise favorable constituencies who smelled a rat.

    Obama’s impressive victories achieved by dominating a growing progressive electorate, was not reversed in the twinkling of an eye by a fascist groundswell of support for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but she lost the election because of flagging Democratic support. Ironically she put the brakes on reliable coalitions just enough to put Trump over the top. Any other relatively respected “clean” Democratic candidate (Joe Biden?) would have leveraged majority aversion to Trump into a landslide electoral victory. On the upside, coming away with a prosthetic hand, Democrats are not likely to put up other parts of their anatomy on the chopping block next time. They should win the mid-terms handily in two years and the White house in four -sooner if Trump is successfully impeached.



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  • @116, 117

    Arkrid,

    Very well said. I thank you for your comments.

    I have never felt this sense of danger ever. What is going to happen?

    The first signs (his FCC and EPA transition appointments, and the remark you referenced) are ominous.

    Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
    Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air – not the same old climate change (global warming) bullshit! I am tired of hearing this nonsense.
    1:44 AM – 29 Jan 2014

    This should be grounds for outing him now! Can that be done?



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  • Melvin 119

    Well there is a comment you have truly taken out of context (to Peter about foreign policy and invasion).

    You then went on to beat that poor horse anyway avoiding any of my other claims (elsewhere) about her POLICY actually being sound, to thrash her by proxy for earlier behavioural failings. You actually make my point about voter dis-interest in policy in favour of charisma and character. Also my point about Bernie.

    So…er…thanks.



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  • Dan #121
    Nov 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I have never felt this sense of danger ever. What is going to happen?

    If I can throw a little comfort on things we need to keep remembering that everything Trump said during his campaign either was, or could have been, a lie. It is unlikely he will stick to all or even much if any of it. Of the very few concrete policies he even talked about they were only designed to either pander to the base or just be the opposite of whatever Hillary stood for. He’s already talking about keeping parts of Obamacare, the wall will never happen and it was never going to, I doubt he believes global warming is a Chinese conspiracy and I expect talk about deporting 11 million people to just fade away.

    Pretty soon the people who voted for him will realise that all they’ve done is pay their 5 bucks to a carny barker to go on a scary train ride that has only one skeleton in it and wasn’t worth 50 cents.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich # 123

    As Woody Allen said to his doctor (in one of his movies): “That’s the best case scenario. What’s the worst case scenario?”

    Doctor: “A brain tumor.”

    But I do feel somewhat comforted. Thanks (on my behalf, and the behalf of others that I may have spoken for as well).



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  • Phil: You then went on to beat that poor horse anyway avoiding any of my other claims (elsewhere) about her POLICY actually being sound, to thrash her by proxy for earlier behavioural failings. You actually make my point about voter dis-interest in policy in favour of charisma and character. Also my point about Bernie.

    I’m not evaluating the way Dan “feels” about Hillary Clinton or about the way I “feel” about Hillary Clinton. Dan loves her and I could never bring myself even to like her. We both voted for her – therefore in practice we contributed equally to her bid for election. I believe she would have governed much more effectively than Donald Trump. (The single greatest loss will be felt for decades in retrogressive appointments to the Supreme Court.)

    I’m observing how the political process works; and lessons for party elites about how to go about selecting a viable candidate to put in front of voters. “Sound policies and constructive programs” -expressed in pandering stock promises and stale platitudes can be voiced by anyone who can memorize a grocery list. If the candidate has a tin ear, she winds up reading them with the forced dissonance of a bad actor whose “character” seems unworthy of trust and empathy. The audience leaves at intermission and tweets bad reviews on social media.
    ( Yes, the politician who forgets that politics is theatre does so at her own risk.)

    I’m puzzled why the same people who fail to harken to her “sound policies” are faulted for paying attention to her past behavioral failings (outlined but largely ignored above). I’ve simply observed that multiple red flags warned the Democratic Party leadership that voters, including key constituencies within their own ranks, had rejected Hillary Clinton persistently, consistently as a candidate they could effectively support. The curiously untroubled apparatchik in the party hierarchy blindly anointing Hillary Clinton over loud internal protests played a major role in the electoral loss to Donald Trump. We shall never see her like again. Indeed we should have not seen it “again” this time around.

    Having made the case, it’s time to move on and declare the Trump victory a temporary disaster for the United States. Our best hope is that he refrains from doing more damage than we can imagine and that whatever the setbacks, his unfeasible agenda will be checked by emerging Democratic majorities in Congress and voted out of office in 2020.



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  • Melvin and Phil

    Not necessarily a temporary disaster, as I said on another thread. That is a human failing: we assume that everything is permanent. He may hire Bolton (John) as Secretary of State – a bona fide psychopath and the worst war monger on the face of the earth. He hired a climate change denier to run his his EPA transition.

    The loss was the result of misinformation. It was partially Hillary’s fault. She could have campaigned better. But that is secondary. The country has voted against their own interests. They have been misled! Why would Wisconsin blue collar voters vote for Trump? Their own Republican governor has tried to destroy worker’s unions! I wish everyone would leave Hillary alone and face the fact that the Republican propaganda machine and the ignorance and foolishness and emotions of the Trump voters, who have been lied to, is what got him in.

    (Many of the Trump supporters are good people. But they deserve a good kick in the ass for being so malleable. Education, at long last, is what we need. Everyone, regardless of vocation, should have the benefit of a decent education. Why can’t workers be well-educated? Some are – but not enough. Would they not want to be blue collar then? Phil, would that be a problem? If everyone was well educated would the working class shrink? Not clear about that.)

    Other factors too. I am evaluating how people feel about Clinton. It’s what got Trump in.

    I have written a lot today. Time for some Singer and then off to bed. Tomorrow’s a new day.

    Peace.



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  • Obama’s “Yes we can” soured into “Actually, no, we can’t” due (mostly? entirely?) to the Rep control of the house and senate, and the Rep intransigence, refusal to negotiate or compromise, only to obstruct. Democrats believe in democracy, but Republicans believe in winning.

    Overall, the Obama years didn’t turn out as well as hoped: Guantanamo? Still going. Iraq and Afghanistan (started by Bush) — but not ended by Obama, still going from bad to worse and spreading. Healthcare? Not really a universal free at point-of-service system, like UK’s NHS, is it? Climate? USA far from taking a leading role in addressing the greatest threat to the planet, ever. Finance? Bailouts for the one-percenters, austerity for everyone else.

    The Dems couldn’t fix things in 8 years, so throw them out.

    And once again, put the Reps in charge to make another mess. In 4 or 8 or 12 years put the Dems back to try to clean it up a bit, and take the blame for not cleaning it up completely, before throwing them out to let the Reps have another bash, guilt free because it’s all the Dems fault…..

    This is a tired out shell game, but the US public still seems to fall for it. Trump is indeed a wild card that might shake things up a bit, and maybe that’s the message from the (slight) majority that voted him in — a plague on both your houses.



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  • Barack Obama was one of our great humanitarian presidents. Almost every time he spoke I was proud that his insights, judgement and measured decisions addressed not only American interests but also eloquently affirmed the rights, dignity and welfare of human beings at home and abroad.

    OHooligan and others seem to reflect on the limitations of one person to control events on a planet heading toward 8 billion people; sovereign nations roiling with civil wars, territorial disputes, trade wars, and diverse cultures and divergent national interests. Maybe we heap too much blame and too much credit on the president for confronting vicissitudes, crises and volatile developments world wide with limited resources. It is hoped that Trump will be humbled by the enormity of the task: the inevitable welter of irresolution, failure and humiliation, that the world will serve up to the leader of the free world. I was mildly reassured when Trump sat down with Obama and both men spoke in cordial respectful language. I expect that Trump will be forced to realize that he has nothing approaching a national mandate to carry out the impossible agendas he has proposed and will content himself to stay within the boundaries of the legitimate concerns that expanded into barbaric hyperbole. Time will tell. Fortunately, four years is a small segment of time, much of it given over to the spinning of wheels, in the life of a nation.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #123
    Nov 11, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    If I can throw a little comfort on things we need to keep remembering that everything Trump said during his campaign either was, or could have been, a lie.

    The Trump outfit does not do much in the brains department, or future vision!

    It is unlikely he will stick to all or even much if any of it.

    Like his wife’s speech, much was probably copied from other people on the basis that voters could like the sound of it.

    There is a real danger, that devoid of any constructive ideas or practical understanding of politics and diplomacy, he will simply appoint to office in his administration , the morons he copied the drivel from , or delegate services to the Republican or Christian home morons in individual states!



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  • Dan

    If everyone was well educated would the working class shrink?

    There is nothing wrong with being working class. In the UK being working class may have some interesting implications about the extent of your allegiances (family and co-workers) your in-group, out-group identities. My working hypothesis is that conservatism, often indicated by the smallness of your in-group, as an overlay to any pre-existing disposition, emerges not so much from ignorance but from fear, from a sense of your own ongoing security. Having free (or effectively free) universal healthcare, for instance, I contend is transformative of our generosity of spirit to others. In the UK it is a treasured and symbolic institution and even the Conservative party ideologues (mostly privateers) know to always pay it lip service.

    The single most corrosive act perpetrated by a British Prime Minister, was the closing of the coal mines and its manner. Closed they had to be but the destruction of whole communities with no support, no recompense, no new training, no time to plan, was an obscenity that was destructive of any trust and planted those fear-filled seeds, well watered by 2008, of a self protecting Brexit vote.

    I contrast that with China spontaneously shelving 40% of its coal and steel planned development with more to come, putting 1.8 million people out of work, immediately diverting all the unneeded development funds to mitigate their disruption and find them alternate work.

    I urge folk to read The Spirit Level to understand the power of a mutuality enabled by less inequality.

    Education defeats dogma (religion, mythic free marketism, the old days) once that straw no longer needs to be clutched..



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  • 131
    bonnie2 says:

    @ #128 – Time will tell … in the life of a nation

    First sign of a walking time-line tour (southern IL): ‘1800 – for 10,000 years, Native Americans were settled here’.

    Here come Louis and Clark around the bend, Lincoln argues a case for the railroad at the appellate court, go West young man; and here we are, um, where?



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  • It’s just three days in to Trump’s victory but those who voted for him might already be starting to get an inkling of the mendacity and cluelessness he has about everything he said to con people to jump on his bandwagon. He was going to repeal Obamacare on day one and replace it with something (unspecified) that was yugely better, bigly better. He’s now said he wants to keep two bits he likes. Treatment for pre-existing conditions and allowing people under 26 to stay on their parent’s policy even when they don’t live at home.

    BUT!!! Those two bits are the whole essence of why it’s compulsory for everyone to buy coverage or face a fine. So that the compulsory contributions from everyone can cover the medical costs of those who are already ill and can’t get insurance or wouldn’t otherwise buy insurance until they really needed it in older age. You can’t just keep those bits without either also keeping nearly everything else in Obamacare. You gormless orange idiot.

    He was going to “drain the swamp” of government being run solely by Washington insiders and lobbyists. It already seems his plan to do that is by appointing solely Washington insiders and lobbyists to run his administration while they look into the “problem”.

    He was going to appoint a special prosecutor to make sure Hillary went to jail. He’s now “not giving that much thought”. Ring any bells folks? On September 13th 2001 Bush said getting Bin Laden was his highest priority. By March 13th 2002 he was “not giving that much thought”.

    He was going to build a wall. A yuge wall. A great wall because he’s the greatest wall builder that’s ever lived and the Mexicans are going to pay for it. Newt Gingrich has just said Trump isn’t going to spend much time trying to get Mexicans to pay for anything but it was a “great campaign device”.

    Three days in. Just three short days and already the juicy red meat he’s been throwing to the gullible for a year is all turning out to be cheap burger full of sawdust that’s been burned to a crisp. Well you ordered it, now let’s see how you like chewing on it and swallowing it down. Not so much?

    The spotlight is burning brightly now. He managed to win the campaign by avoiding saying anything of substance. Rhetoric and hot air to appeal to those who either just hated Hillary or want simple wrong answers instead of complicated correct ones. But eventually promises have to turn into policy and there never was any of that. None at all.



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  • Melvin #128
    Nov 12, 2016 at 2:36 am

    Barack Obama was one of our great humanitarian presidents. Almost every time he spoke I was proud that his insights, judgement and measured decisions addressed not only American interests but also eloquently affirmed the rights, dignity and welfare of human beings at home and abroad.

    I see that that brexiteering Euro-phobic delusional idiot Farage who was invited to Trump’s campaign, has views on Obama!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37934790

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage has described US President Barack Obama as a “loathsome individual” and a “creature” who “couldn’t stand our country”.

    He told Talk Radio he “couldn’t be happier” about Donald Trump’s US election victory and that he would work to further trade relations.

    Mr Farage said he would advise him: “Come and schmooze Theresa [May], but don’t touch her, for goodness’ sake.”

    Mr Trump and Mr Farage campaigned alongside one another in August.

    Asked about the Republican’s unexpected election victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton, UKIP’s interim leader – in place following the resignation of his successor, Diane James – said he “couldn’t be happier”.

    He described the result as “Brexit times two”, adding of his own role in events: “I’m the catalyst for the downfall of the Blairites, the Clintonites, the Bushites and all these dreadful people who, working hand-in-glove with Goldman Sachs and everybody else, have made themselves rich and ruined our countries.”

    He claimed Mr Trump, who will be inaugurated in January, “hates the EU even more than I do” and predicted an improvement in US-UK relations, saying: “That Obama creature, loathsome individual, couldn’t stand our country. He said we’d be at the back of the queue [for trade deals], didn’t he?

    “What was interesting was that Trump said we’d be at the front of the queue.”

    In the UK his tiny luney fringe party UKIP, is as usual, in a state of venom spewing chaos and political in-fighting among themselves, but like Trump’s supporters, those who vote for them as anti-establishment rebel protesters, are just too ignorant and stupid to care.



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  • I’m wondering if Donald Trump could pull off another first. Obviously he’s already broken the glass ceiling for orang utans running for office. Could he also manage to be the first person who manages to destroy the legacy of his presidency before he’s even sworn in?



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  • Phil # 130

    I was not saying that there was anything “wrong with the working class”! On the contrary.

    I had just made a statement that education will help prevent elections like this one from happening in the future (if we have one). But then I thought: if everyone becomes more educated over time, people, who would otherwise have naturally gravitated toward a union job or some sort of labor job (which is good) will be bound to develop other interests – like astronomy or physics or whatever (which is also good). So that prompted me to ask whether the working class might then shrink. That would be a problem. I asked you to address that question, if you could.

    I appreciate all the comments you’ve made on the other Trump thread.



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  • I think I answered your question, Dan.

    No. The education happens second. First remove their fear, then reason and generosity will return and education will become much more effective.

    Americans (and Brits) must remember what an outlier they/we are in terms of equality of outcomes compared with say Germany or Japan or Singapore. We’re bad enough but the US takes the crown, spectacularly unequal, and because of the religious and libertarian narratives of just desserts. Wickedly un-affordable healthcare at twice the cost of Dutch private medicine (FFS), madly punitive, breaking up families rather than helping them when they turn to substance abuse, and the added fearful frison in some areas of a nutter with a gun, having neglected to take his tablets.



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  • Sigh
    I’ve run across the name Noam Chomsky in innumerable books, articles, whatnot. I finally read the Wikipedia article on him. Found a link to (not solely) his “propaganda model”, first incarnation published in 1988. How shall I put it. He broke the code. Duhnald (or for that matter Dubya) “makes sense”.

    In the sense of the quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “Only two things are probably infinite: human stupidity and the universe. But I’m still not certain about the universe.”

    And David Brock provided specific first-hand evidence of Chomsky’s propaganda model in action in his 2004 book “The Republican Noise Machine”, 2005 paperback by Three Rivers Press, hardcover Crown Publishers / Random House.

    Joseph Goebbels would have drooled like no Pavlovian pooch could seriously rival as the prospect of such a propaganda machine, so far beyond the wildest dreams of his lifetime.



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  • Gk,

    Check out his YouTube interviews and speeches. Just put in Chomsky propaganda or Chomsky libertarianism, etc. Hell you know how to do it.
    Awful situation, isn’t it? Just awful.
    Tweets based on fake news and fake news all over the web – Facebook in particular – is becoming rampant now. That on top of traditional propaganda on an unprecedented scale. That’s what we’re up against.



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  • ” . . . fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the ‘losers’ who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment”. When political debate no longer speaks to us, people become responsive instead to slogans, symbols and sensation. To the admirers of Trump, for example, facts and arguments appear irrelevant.

    Judt explained that when the thick mesh of interactions between people and the state has been reduced to nothing but authority and obedience, the only remaining force that binds us is state power. The totalitarianism Hayek feared is more likely to emerge when governments, having lost the moral authority that arises from the delivery of public services, are reduced to “cajoling, threatening and ultimately coercing people to obey them”.” —The Guardian



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  • Dan #143
    Nov 20, 2016 at 2:08 am

    ” . . . fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the ‘losers’ who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment”. When political debate no longer speaks to us, people become responsive instead to slogans, symbols and sensation.

    That is very much so with the brexiteers and UKIP!

    Voters who have zero constructive input in the political process due to lack of awareness of:- political structures, administrative mechanisms, banking, currency exchange, international trade, and even basic sources of food and goods, due to lack of interest in education and general incompetence, are shouting about “taking back the control” they never had in the first place, and “control” they would be too incompetent to handle if they were given it!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38037119

    Sixty Conservative MPs, including seven ex-cabinet ministers, are calling for Britain to quit the single market and customs union when it leaves the EU.

    Writing in the Telegraph, Suella Fernandes MP said only in leaving would the UK “truly be a beacon of international free trade”.

    Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa Villier are among her backers.

    It comes as other senior Tories are urging the PM to drop an appeal against a ruling that MPs must vote on Brexit before the process can begin.

    This makes it clear that Cameron in arranging a referendum, was pandering to this bunch of nutty Europhobic clowns, who were holding his government hostage to their lunacy!
    The barmy brexiteer tail was wagging the Tory dog!

    BBC link contd. ; The group of 60 Tories – out of a total of 328 Conservative MPs – want Britain to pull out of both the European single market and the customs union, which allows its members to trade without tariffs but imposes common duties on goods imported from outside the bloc.

    These idiots really do want to tear up all our trade agreements and agreed manufacturing quality standards, with Europe and to other countries via the EU, in the whimsical belief, that leaping overboard into the wild stormy global oceans without a plan, treaties, or regulations will be “wonderfully liberating for businesses!
    Truely the philosophy of the reckless cowboy operators!

    Ms Fernandes said the 23 June vote to leave the EU had been “an instruction to untie ourselves from EU shackles and freely embrace the rest of the world”.

    As was made clear in the referendum campaign, remaining in the EU’s internal market like Norway, or in a customs union like Turkey, is not compatible with either of these commitments and doing so would frustrate the will of the electorate.”

    These in-blot readers of a vote through ideological blinkers, made on vague and false promises to people who had no idea what was on offer, would have us believe they have “wondrous skills at negotiating international legal agreements” with foreign governments and multinational companies! –
    Comical if it was not so sick! – especially when coming from politicians (such as Gove), widely regarded as grossly incompetent ideologists when they held ministerial office!

    This is clearly why May and Boris, are twisting every-which way to try to stop parliament from scrutinising this fiasco! The 60 Tory nuts along with Corbyn’s 40 Labour “respect the view of the people but shout about the Tories” nuts, could vote for brexit and the majority of MPs who supported “Remain”, could bin brexit in the interests of the country, if the have the guts to do so!



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  • Carrier deal mere optics; PR (Hitler style), a complete lie; all theater. No tariffs, as Trump had promised; simply a bribe – an old political ploy. The people at his rally tonight didn’t seem to have a clue!

    Robert Reich writes:

    Trump is flying to Indiana tomorrow to hail his great negotiating skills. But make no mistake, using tax dollars to bribe the company is nothing like what he promised on the stump. In March, The New York Times reported that Trump “cited Carrier again and again on the campaign trail, threatening to phone executives at the company and its parent, United Technologies, and to hit them with 35 percent tariffs on any furnaces and air-conditioners they imported from Mexico.

    Here’s the whole piece. Worth reading:

    https://www.thenation.com/article/in-carrier-deal-trump-is-taking-credit-for-some-blatant-crony-capitalism/



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  • I am, finally, a surprisingly consistent, and intuitive man. I am intrigued by Wittgenstein, but I also have an instinctive aversion to him, and to the philosophy of language in general, and to post-modernism. There is, in all of these, an anti-intellectual and reductionistic strain that cannot be denied. This aversion (which may be excessive ) is bound up with my deep horror of an Orwellian dystopia. Now compare and contrast these three quotes, and then try to understand why I have been do defensive and resistant when it comes to much of modern thought. It has to do with the reductionism of truth and the blurring of reality and unreality – and its political aspect.

    “We face the most profound crisis in human history. Our response is to elect a man to the presidency who does not believe in climate change. Once societies unplug themselves from reality, those who speak truth become pariahs and enemies of the state. They are subject to severe state repression. Those lost in the reverie of the crisis cult applaud the elimination of these Cassandras. The appealing myths of magical thinking are pleasant opiates. But this narcotic, like all narcotics, leads to squalor and death.” —Chris Hedges

    During an appearance on “The Diane Rehm Show” on Wednesday, Donald Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes tried to defend the president-elect’s entirely baseless claim that he would have won the popular vote had it not been for “millions of people who voted illegally.”

    “Well, I think it’s also an idea of an opinion, and that’s — on one hand, I hear half the media saying that these are lies. But on the other half, there are many people that go, ‘No, it’s true.’ And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people that say facts are facts — they’re not really facts. Everybody has a way — it’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not truth. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” —Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes

    “A new and magical understanding of the world is on the rise, one based on will rather than truth. There is no truth, either in the scientific or the moral sense.”
    —Adolf Hitler



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  • Terrifying quote, Dan.

    Also

    Postmodernism is the pits. W merely warned against invented abstract concepts as untrustworthy until a pragmatic test was possible. Postmodernists stole the first half to assert (quite wrongly) that all abstract concepts are equally untrustworthy (!) and any worthiness is only ever contingent (!) and non-transferable (!).



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