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August 22, 2017, 11:58:31 am
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101  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: FBI conducted predawn raid of former Trump campaign chairman Manafort’s home on: August 09, 2017, 09:34:30 am
Pre-dawn raid? The FBI is deadly serious. I can only wonder what the Feds found. We will not know until it is disclosed in a court of law.
102  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Hillary Clinton might go into ministry on: August 09, 2017, 04:50:14 am
What's infuriating is how so many Evangelicals felt they had to vote for Trump due to abortion. When it's pointed out that the Bible doesn't mention abortion, you are pointed to the Apocrypha. Okay, supposing that is the rejoinder... still, it leaves the fact that out of 750,000 words inspired by God, he felt not the need to mention 'abortion' a single time, so what is God's priority on it? Does anyone really think that when God was writing/inspiring the Bible, he thought to himself, "Well, I've reached 750,000 words, and I really want to include a prohibition on abortion, but one more verse would just be too long."  And that ignores things like the fact that the Biblical punishment for causing a miscarriage is explicitly less than homicide, which would go against the pro-life mantra that a full person is formed at conception.
 

Deeds causing death ("smiting") are generally more blatant (blunt-object trauma, beatings, stabbing, strangling, suffocating, or forcing a fall) and, before guns and poisons, required more effort than was causing a miscarriage. There were plenty of ways in which miscarriages happened, many happening naturally and many the result of accidents that could easily happen.

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Nor has the Catholic Church's position been consistent; both St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas identified a point after conception as when personhood began. The current Catholic Church's position dates to Pius IX, who was reportedly under pressure from Napoleon III to increase France's birth rate due to fears of the larger German population. It's one thing to be pro-life, but how anyone can justify putting that above all else based on Scripture alone seems absurd.

Interesting point. The Pope is not simply a leading cleric; he is also a politician. Abortion at any stage prevents a birth. But when does the pre-born become human?

It's obvious that the pre-born is human in genetics from conception. No matter how deformed a pre-born may be (even anencephalitic) it has undeniably human genetic material. It can never become a chimpanzee, let alone a jellyfish. But it clearly goes through stages that in no way seem human.

(OK, genetic material is not enough to make something human.  An amputated limb is no longer human. Cancer cells and masses of them (tumors) are not human. Destruction of an amputated limb or of an excised tumor is not usually a crime).   

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(That being said, I do find my hard pro-choice views softening lately. The prospect of what's going on in the international arena is sobering, with the respect to any potential cavalier ethics about loss of life.)

Forcing an abortion is a crime. Pressuring someone to have an abortion for any cause other than medical necessity is legally shady. Doing something that might hurt one's fetus (think of fetal alcohol syndrome) is irresponsible in the extreme. Would you be willing to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages for immediate consumption to pregnant women? I would -- but it would be hard to prove that a woman is pregnant and that a bartender knows such. 
103  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.1 on: August 08, 2017, 02:36:07 pm
Poll of Michigan

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At the same time Quinnipiac did its polling in late July, Target-Insyght did its surveying in Michigan and found 49 percent of people in the state think President Trump is either doing an "excellent" or a "pretty good" job. Around 43 percent of people in the state believe President Trump is doing a "poor" job.

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/local/michigan/michigan-poll-shows-president-trump-steady-and-kid-rock-competitive-in-senate-race/461745393


Wow. In a poll where Trump somehow had a 50% approval rating, Stabenow STILL leads by 8

First, even the name of the pollster (of whom I have never heard) looks wrong because even the name of the poster is a craven misspelling. If you remember some of the data from "Loof-Lipra"  Polling on April 1 (get it?) and some others with obvious flaws on that day (approval and disapproval adding to more than 100%, a poll allegedly by a high-school class [Wyatt Earp High School in Tombstone, Arizona -- get it?], and reports with such blatant misspellings as "Inniada" for "Indiana") this almost looks as if it is in the category.  

Second, it uses some suspicious words in polling. "Pretty good"? No other pollster uses that pair of words. There is no distinction between "poor" and very poor".  Note that these are not the usual "approve/disapprove' distinctions.

Third, this looks like a favorability poll that I am no longer using.

Fourth, there are no cross-tabs.

Fifth, the news item contains a picture of one of the candidates.

Sixth, the language of the analysis is biased and un-profesional:


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At the same time Quinnipiac did its polling in late July, Target-Insyght (sic!!!!) did its surveying in Michigan and found 49 percent of people in the state think President Trump is either doing an "excellent" or a "pretty good" job. Around 43 percent of people in the state believe President Trump is doing a "poor" job.

The Target-Insyght polling is consistent with other measures showing the president's support in Michigan is a bit higher.  Some believe that could be because the state helped get him elected and voters have buy-in to see him succeed.

"Some believe"... yeah, sure. Nebulous authority is worthless.

Does anyone think that I need to use this poll? This looks like a "Tell me what I want to hear" poll.  I used to say that beggars can't be choosers -- but in view of some Gallup data filling many states I can make some choices.  This poll almost looks like a spoof if it isn't a spoof. I am astonished that a network affiliate (ABC-13, Grand Rapids, Michigan) would fall for this if it isn;t a hack job or forgery.   

Michigan gets polled often enough that someone will corroborate or (more likely) refute this poll.      
104  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Putin Signals His Displeasure with the GOP on: August 08, 2017, 10:28:50 am
Breitbart is a "fake news site".

Correction made.
105  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.1 on: August 08, 2017, 10:27:52 am

Look at MS/AR. I kind of get MS having low D turnout in 2016 (romney only won by 13), but wow.

I'm thinking that Arkansas and Mississippi are the sorts of states in which connections to anything exotic (like Russia) are suspect, at least to white people. Patriotism matters greatly. There has never been any question of the loyalty of any Republican nominee for President since at least Eisenhower (who was probably suspect on loyalty to white supremacy). Now I think President Trump offers disbelief. 
106  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump TV providing Americans with REAL news on: August 08, 2017, 10:15:24 am
Trump TV = state-run propaganda.

Chinese Central TV is state-run propaganda, but unless the topic isn't about China it is credible.

Trump TV is more of a Stalinist order. 
107  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: 2020 Could be the Year of the Third Party Candidates on: August 08, 2017, 09:38:46 am
Third-Party candidates always look promising at this stage. Most become irrelevant quickly.

Democrats will congeal quickly around whoever they nominate. There are maybe ten potential nominees for the Democratic slot for President, but they aren't that different in beliefs. I can't be so certain about Republicans, but any Third Party challenge from the Right will hurt the GOP nominee. Donald Trump has brought out the rifts within the GOP.    
108  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Where should the 2020 conventions be held? on: August 08, 2017, 09:33:26 am
Democrats:

Columbus -- swing state. Missed in 2016.
Indianapolis -- if Obama could win Indiana in 2008....
Birmingham --the Detroit of the South.
St. Louis -- strongly-Democratic city in a tough state for Democrats.
New York City -- allegedly the turf of Donald Trump.

Republicans:

Las Vegas -- infamous as a Den of Iniquity. Heavily-Democratic city, and it would attract lots of protesters who could get there easily with cheap flights from California.  

Republicans would be wiser to pick a place in which there might be fewer protesters -- Tulsa?
109  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: NH-ARG: Kasich leading Trump, Pence in GOP primary. on: August 08, 2017, 09:22:52 am
A C+ pollster will still get some things right -- when those things are blatant. A C+ student will get the easy questions right on most quizzes. Maybe not the tough ones, though.
110  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: ARG - NH (R-LV): Kasich +12 on: August 08, 2017, 09:21:08 am
Poll by ARG in New Hampshire, but only of people who say that they intend to vote in the Republican Primary of 2020.

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2020 New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary Ballots

Interview dates: August 4-6, 2017

Sample size: 600 likely Republican presidential primary voters (257 interviews completed among landline households and 343 completed among cell phones)

Margin of error: ± 4 percentage points, 95% of the time

Survey Sponsor: The American Research Group, Inc. for the New Hampshire Poll

The New Hampshire Poll has been conducting surveys of voters in New Hampshire since 1976.

Question wording and responses:

If the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election were being held today between John Kasich and Donald Trump, for whom would you vote - Kasich or Trump? (names rotated)

Kasich 52 - Trump 40

Republicans 51-42
Undeclared  54-37


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If the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election were being held today between John Kasich and Mike Pence, for whom would you vote - Kasich or Pence? (names rotated)

Kasich 41 - Pence 27

Republicans 37-30
Undeclared 48-21

....

New Hampshire is no longer a microcosm of America, but even this electorally-small state in a corner of the US powerfully suggests that Republicans are beginning to recognize that Donald Trump is a huge mistake.

http://americanresearchgroup.com/nhpoll/pres20/

111  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.1 on: August 08, 2017, 09:02:04 am
Poll by ARG in New Hampshire, but only of people who say that they intend to vote in the Republican Primary of 2020.

Quote
2020 New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary Ballots

Interview dates: August 4-6, 2017

Sample size: 600 likely Republican presidential primary voters (257 interviews completed among landline households and 343 completed among cell phones)

Margin of error: ± 4 percentage points, 95% of the time

Survey Sponsor: The American Research Group, Inc. for the New Hampshire Poll

The New Hampshire Poll has been conducting surveys of voters in New Hampshire since 1976.

 

Question wording and responses:

If the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election were being held today between John Kasich and Donald Trump, for whom would you vote - Kasich or Trump? (names rotated)

Kasich 52 - Trump 40

Republicans 51-42
Undeclared  54-37

If the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election were being held today between John Kasich and Mike Pence, for whom would you vote - Kasich or Pence? (names rotated)

Kasich 41 - Pence 27

Republicans 37-30
Undeclared 48-21

New Hampshire is no longer a microcosm of America, but even this electorally-small state in a corner of the US powerfully suggests that Republicans are beginning to recognize that Donald Trump is a huge mistake.

http://americanresearchgroup.com/nhpoll/pres20/

P.S. -- I can only imagine what a general poll would be like. 

112  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Putin Signals His Displeasure with the GOP on: August 08, 2017, 08:13:57 am
This is a good time in which to be a Democrat. The only connections that some Democrats have to Russia is ancestry or a love for the great achievements of Russian intellectual life.   
113  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.1 on: August 08, 2017, 08:09:08 am
Just like Trump would have been screwed had he not inherited a lot of money from his father, so too would he have been screwed if he had not inherited a solid economy from Obama.

88 years ago Herbert Hoover was riding an economy that he inherited from his predecessor, and that economy was chugging along just fine.

Of course, Obama is a far better President than is Coolidge and Herbert Hoover is not known for lacking a moral compass.
114  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Company representing Trump files four trademark applications in Macau on: August 07, 2017, 11:34:46 am
The American equivalent of the Borgia family strikes again.
115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Fox News Host Eric Bolling texted unsolicited nudes to female colleagues on: August 06, 2017, 11:39:48 pm
All politics aside... who the hell thinks sending unsolicited pictures of their dick to women is a good idea?? What on earth do you think you're going to accomplish? I've never heard one of those "how I met X" stories start with, "well, one day I got this text from him and it was a picture of his dick that he was holding up as he laid on his back. I knew just then that he was the man for me."

It's one of:

A. Watching too much porn

B. Exhibitionism

C. Humiliation fetish

D. Being an idiot

E. All of the above



Do you remember those "To Catch a Predator" sequences in which Chris Hansen set up a bait address in which someone surfing the web for underage girls found such profiles on the web and were enticed with an adult policewoman with a childish voice?  The target would show an interest in sex with her, and they would be told where to go. A decoy would create the impression that she was there alone and hence available (at least in the mind of the pervert who thinks himself entitled). They went to a bait house, often from tens of miles away, and found her doing something unsuggestive, like taking laundry around. After a few seconds, Chris Hansen would ask a few questions and confront the pervert with his often-lewd suggestions. He would finally identify himself as the television journalist and suggest that the embarrassed fellow of the content of his communications. Because Chris Hansen had no authority in law enforcement he would have to let the predator leave upon telling him what he was while TV cameras rolled. As the pervert left, police were waiting for him.

One man was told that he had sent images of his penis. Sending such an image to a minor is a violation of federal  law.

I wouldn't send an image of myself that includes my penis to anyone. I can think of images far more attractive.    
116  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Nikki Haley, US-led NK sanctions pass UN council 15-0. China and Russia join on: August 06, 2017, 02:50:50 pm
It could be the missiles. North Korean missiles directed against the mainland USA must overfly China and Russia, which would make such a launch aggression against China and Russia.

 
117  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Should the US cease all diplomatic relations with Venezuela? on: August 06, 2017, 02:38:38 pm
Brutal dictatorship? We have dealings with the Saudi Arabia and the People's Republic of China. We have had relations with the Soviet Union. We had diplomatic relations with the Japanese Empire until December 7, 1941 and with the Kingdom of Satan (Nazi Germany) until December 10, 1941. We had diplomatic relations with Satan Hussein until he invaded Kuwait. Don't forget relations with Trujillo, Duvalier, and Ceausescu... and Leopold II, King of the Belgians (and ruler of a personal fief made infamous in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.  
118  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Why is there so much paranoia in American society? Why is fake news so powerful? on: August 06, 2017, 02:30:09 pm

People want the world to make sense. It's easier and more comforting for some people to believe in conspiracies by powerful figures (no matter how crazy) than to accept that the world is just changing in ways they don't understand, don't like, and can't control. (Americans are really bad at dealing with randomness and lack of control. I think it's a side effect of our long, peaceful prosperity. And the right's prosperity gospel nonsense doesn't help.)

And on the other side of the coin, when you have a relatively small number of influential people with relatively immense amounts of wealth it's human nature for them to want to maintain their position for themselves, their families and friends. They don't need to secretly conspire together in mountain lairs. Just by wielding their power in their own interests, they are moving all of society in directions that are beneficial to themselves and those like them, but not the advantage of the rest of us.

No conspiracy theories necessary. Just self-absorbed ignorance and unwillingness to face reality on the one hand, and inequality, technology, Dunbar's Number and desire to be Big Monkey Alpha Male on the other.


Which isn't to say there are *no* conspiracies. (9/11 was a conspiracy by the attackers and the terror organization they were members of. There was a recent conspiracy among major IT companies to keep salaries of in-demand workers down.) But you don't need conspiracies to explain the general shape of the world.

Bingo.

Add to this that we have profitable media and especially hucksters telling people what they want to believe instead of the objective truth. Can't accept that someone not white is President? Deny that Barack Obama is an American.  But not only are there TV shows, there are also icons (books that people are too lazy to read) -- let alone clothing with slogans, bumper stickers, video, and other means of expressing one's unfounded beliefs.

Truth be told, we are in a rough transition in economics, the end of the Industrial Era. There is no longer easy money to be had from exploiting scarcities in manufactured goods. Except for taxes, energy is cheaper than ever. But not only are there far fewer fortunes to be made in manufacturing and energy exploration, there are also fewer jobs in manufacturing and resource extraction. People can no longer expect above-average pay just for working in the 'right' business of making things (except perhaps medical devices).

Add to this, the people who knew how precarious economic life could be and adjusted their behaviors to ensure that there would be no Great Depression so long as they were alive (the generation of most World War II veterans) is practically extinct. They were not exponents of the ethos of 'every man for himself' that guarantees that most people get hurt.

If you want a trustworthy friend, go to an animal shelter and pick up a dog or a cat.
119  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: IED explodes at Minnesota Mosque - nobody injured on: August 06, 2017, 01:39:17 pm
and no doubt getting better every year at it.

The typical bomber no longer has the chance of getting away with even a second bombing. Much of the strategy for dealing with bombing has come from the investigation of the late (OK, once one is in ADX Supermax in Florence, Colorado one might as well be dead even if one's lungs still breathe and one's heart still beats) Ted Kaczynski.
120  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Rosenstein: Mueller can investigate any crimes he uncovers in Russia probe on: August 06, 2017, 01:34:21 pm
A basic rule of good prosecutors and investigators -- never make public releases of incriminating testimony or evidence until the case is air-tight or relevant cases are adjudicated.

I question whether there will be any early plea bargains.
121  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Democrats fear Russia probe blowback on: August 06, 2017, 01:30:41 pm
The real action is within federal prosecution and the judicial process. Democrats are wise to let investigations and the courts do what they do well. Little works so well upon legal deviants who have little involvement with criminal prosecutions as does the threat of a prison term. I'm guessing that none of the people involved have so much as a threat of time in the county lockup for a bar fight, missed child-support payments, or a DUI arrest. People will betray old friends just to avoid five years in the federal pen. 
122  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: IED explodes at Minnesota Mosque - nobody injured on: August 06, 2017, 01:19:52 pm
Leave it to the FBI and BATF to investigate this horrible incident. There are so many ways for a bomber to trip up. McVeigh was tripped up in part  for using a fake signature for buying ammonium nitrate. The fake name was shown to be in his hand.

There are plenty of suspects, and that will be winnowed to one if the work of a lone wolf or a handful if a handful are involved. The conviction rate is very high for a bombing incident.   
123  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What's going on? This is very unsettling. on: August 06, 2017, 01:12:10 pm
He can do much less damage to America while golfing than while having access  to news media. 
124  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Kentucky sees 10% decline in coal production and more jobs lost under Trump on: August 06, 2017, 07:39:45 am
First of all, there is no tangible difference between Mitt Romney and George W. Bush or John McCain in this regard ... just your perceived notion of who was less "elitist" (a term any true consrevative should abhor being thrown around as much as it is).  Secondly, Republicans have never quite literally branded the party as "the party of the people," as Democrats quite literally have.  Obviously all Republican candidates are going to make the argument that voting for them will be better for "the people," dude.

"We the People" is what Republicans say the party is about, from Bush to Kasich to Cruz. It is a different type of populism than Bernie-style Bolshevism, but it's still populism.

There are some horrible Republicans who don't adopt this rhetoric and choose to win by race-bating (which is also a type of populism), like Romney, Rauner, Hogan, etc., but they are in the minority.

Republicans now generally run on cultural populism and economic elitism. I prefer the opposite. I find a complete set of Shostakovich string quartets of perennial value and delight and gambling a wasteful bore. President Trump may have dazzled people with his spare-no-expense vulgarity, but it is becoming clear that he believes that no human suffering is in excess so long as it results in enrichment, pampering, and power of his almighty class. Donald Trump is a Marxist stereotype of a capitalist at the worst, which is a very bad person.

I see  neither Hogan, Rauner, nor Romney as particularly racist. But I know your posting history, and I would guess that you believe that any non-white who shows opposition to white supremacy is a racist.
125  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump and the bad economy on: August 06, 2017, 06:58:57 am
As Hoover was riding the Coolidge boom at this time in 1929, President Trump is riding the Obama economy this time in 2017. He has yet to be tested. "I" as in "Incomplete". 
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