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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Would Trump refuse to concede? on: Today at 12:35:27 am
I'm guessing there's a strong chance that he refuses to concede even if he loses decisively.  Or maybe he'll concede, but then un-concede a few days later based on some crackpot theory about the election being stolen.  I mean, he seems to believe whatever conspiracy theories his Twitter followers tell him about.

Seriously?

Trump will respect the political process in the unlikely event that Untrustworthy Lyin' Crooked Hillary wins the election.

Sure, if by "respect the political process" you mean "inciting violence and sedition".

The look on his face when he gets perp walked on sedition charges will be priceless though. I just hope Clinton doesn't let him off (the way Obama let off the Bush administration crooks) out of fear for what his Trumpshirt followers will do.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will Trump's comments about Russia hurt him? on: July 28, 2016, 01:06:51 am

And non related, he says the Geneva Convention is out of date. I guess this should've been obvious when taking into account all the war crimes he has pledged to commit if elected.

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-sees-geneva-conventions-out-date?cid=sm_fb_maddow

Man, Trump sure is making it easy for me to vote for Hillary.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Could Trump become the new Aaron Burr? on: July 28, 2016, 01:03:12 am
Could Trump become the new Aaron Burr?

It really looks like things are heading in that direction.

No. Trump wouldn't have the spine to show up for an actual duel, nor do I think he could hit the broad side of a barn.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Question about Trump and Romney on: July 28, 2016, 01:02:14 am
My line of reasoning is along the lines of Lincoln's Team of Rivals concept.

Did Lincoln's team of rivals consist of people who refused to support him in the general election once he'd won the nomination?


I think the more relevant question is "was Lincoln a petty, ignorant vulgarian with a taste for fascism and the morals of  a rabid hyena?"
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Current Trump Press Conference: I hope Russia finds Hillary's emails on: July 27, 2016, 05:57:54 pm
All this complaining about Trump's trumpery of Russia does is make the US, and particularly this Administration, look very weak: "Oh, my gracious!, a country with 1/3rd our population and 1/5th our wealth is stealing our election! Mother, make them stop." It's pathetic and distracting. Just chalk this up as another one of Trump's inanities and move on.

Uh, the hack on the DNC is not outside the capabilities of many criminal organizations, let alone a country like Russia, who is known for its expertise is technology. Russian hackers (state sponsored or not) contribute massively to the number of hacks around the world.

Point is, even Ukraine could orchestrate such a hack (Ukraine is also a major source of cybercrime, in addition to Russia). It really doesn't take a whole lot of resources or manpower for something like this.
This is also a reason to be somewhat skeptical of claims that the hack *must* have been backed by the Kremlin. There are plenty of groups that possess the resources and skill to pull off what we have seen, even without anything resembling a state sponsor.

The evidence, reviewed and confirmed not just by intelligence community flaks but by multiple respected companies and individuals in the cybersecurity field, shows multiple seperate indicators of Russian intelligence agencies.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/07/russian_hack_of.html

This is real, not just an attempt to smear Trump.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump confuses Tim Kaine with Fmr. Gov. Tom Kean on: July 27, 2016, 05:44:03 pm
No evidence to say he was confusing him with Kean specifically.  I think Trump knows Kean well enough to know it's not the same person. 

Trump doesnt know who Putin is.

Dementia?
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Franklin Foer: the DNC hack is Watergate, but worse on: July 27, 2016, 12:04:59 pm
Deleted my previous post, which Ebsy was replying to,  because the quote in it was making claims that don't appear to be true and I don't want to repeat misinformation. (This whole thing is screwed up enough already.)

That guys is pretty selectively ignoring evidence that points towards the Russians.

Did some more digging, and you're right. And I'm wrong. Here's a blog post (endorsed by security guru Bruce Schneier) outlining a pretty damning case.

https://motherboard.vice.com/read/all-signs-point-to-russia-being-behind-the-dnc-hack

It's not just the usual crew of intelligence flaks, it's many credible IT security organizations and individuals.

Holy crap. The Russians really are trying to get Trump elected. I'm really having trouble believing it, but it seems to be true. (The leaked emails do seem to be real through, which really doesn't help.)

Can we pass on both these candidates, and get a new election with new ones? I'll even take Kaine vs. Pence.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Current Trump Press Conference: I hope Russia finds Hillary's emails on: July 27, 2016, 11:49:46 am
/headdesk

Talk of treason over tweets is so face-palmingly stupid it defies description. The whole "Trump is a Putin stooge" thing is playing right into his hands.

Does Trump have financial and other connections to Russia that look kind of shady? I don't know for certain, but I find it very easy to believe that he does. Using that as one nail in a Trump coffin leading up to the GE would be good strategy.

But responding to damaging emails with terrible optics that were leaked at a very damaging time for the Clinton campaign with screams of "traitor!" and pretending that Putin is a cheezy Roger Moore Bond villain is terrible strategy.

First, even if it were 100% true, it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that its an attempt to distract attention away from the leaked DNC emails. Second, the evidence to support the ludicrous charges just isn't there, which makes the already-suspicious Trump-supporting or Trump-leaning voters think better of Trump and worse of Clinton. Also, it justifies similar behavior on the part of the Trumpers. (Do you want Trump & Co picking out "traitors"? I certainly don't.) And finally, it's an open invitation for Trump & Co to haul out the Clinton Foundation's dirty laundry front and center, and use it to simultaneously refute (not really, but that's how it'll play) the charges against Trump, AND paint Clinton as a corrupt tool of foreign powers.
9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Predict Clinton's convention bounce, based on Tuesday night on: July 27, 2016, 11:35:08 am
Hillary does best when she is not there.

Hillary does best when they stop letting Fox News and donald trump shape the conversation about her.

Maybe if the DNC was run by competent operators instead of corrupt sycophants they could have done that. Too late now though.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Predict Clinton's convention bounce, based on Tuesday night on: July 27, 2016, 11:17:12 am
Negative bounce (though not just from Tuesday night).

The planned coronation is coming off as tone-deaf, and the leaked DNC emails are doing more damage to her campaign than the whole Libya plus private server thing. And the attacks by Islamic terrorists in Europe only help Trump. Neither does picking a pro-TPP VP while McAuliffe assures us she'll do an about-face after the election.

It's increasingly looking like the only lesson she and her team learned from 2008 was that they needed to rig the primaries to make sure she won.  Right now, the D's game plan appears to be to march to another coronation in November with a sort of manic determination mixed with delusional ignorance. (Which they're now on track to lose, incredible as that seems.)
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What can Donald Trump accomplish as president with a GOP Senate + GOP House? on: July 26, 2016, 11:29:32 am
I should add he'd properly abolish elections and keep himself in power as long as he wanted to. There really is nothing to stop him from doing that if he has Congress and packs the courts.

Hopefully, before he attempts this, there will be enough human beings with moral fortitude left in Washington to pull an Amendment XXV, Section 4.

Quote
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Because theocratic President Pence will be such an improvement?
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What can Donald Trump accomplish as president with a GOP Senate + GOP House? on: July 26, 2016, 11:27:16 am
Think about it.  An extremely unpopular President Trump, every minority in the country shaking their fists at the White House, Latinos in the streets protesting Trump's wacky wall and his overly aggressive immigration policies, health care being taken away from millions, a Republican Congress at war within its party and the administration, huge oversteps by Trump, endless scandals from the Trump Cabinet, a hostile media destroying the man they helped put into office, and a disastrous foreign policy that appeases Russia, encourages the breakdown of Europe, spreads bigotry and hatred across the world, and ignites a new war in the Middle East.

And THEN we go into a recession, even though most Americans still haven't recovered from the last one.

Don't forget gangs of Trumpsh**ts attacking minorities, additional wars against nations who fail to "respect" TrumpMiller's ego, Democrats splitting between those eager for collaborationbipartisanship (as long as it's part of the pro-corporate, neocon/neoliberal agenda) and the actual left, and whatever theocratic nonsense the Republicans in Congress and Trump to allow through.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Bernie gets booed by hundreds of protesters for several minutes on: July 26, 2016, 09:05:32 am
This just proves that some (not all) of Sanders and Trump supporters are driven by sheer negativity, not a wish to support that particular person.  For Trump, this was nicely framed by Anne Coulter, when she said that Donald Trump’s immigration policy is so awesome, she doesn’t care if he performs abortions in the White House.  Similarly the same ilk of Sanders voters want non-institutional chaos, irrespective of how it turns out. 

What is similar to both groups are that they are driven by the "have-nots" (typically blue collar whites), who believe that in the ensuing Trump/Sanders "revolution", they would materially prosper - for a lot of their supporters, this is all about "ME", not some grand cause.

Obviously I do not want to generalize - a lot of Sanders supporters are genuinely trying to promote progressive values; a lot of Trump supporters believe that the country could be better ran than it currently is.  But these loudmouths at the DNC convention and the David Duke segment of Trump's supporters definitely belong into the first category.

If you think this is a line of argument that would gain any traction with those opposed to Clinton, particularly after the different recent email "scandals", I think you are gravely mistaken.

When the leadership of the Democratic party is so openly about nothing but themselves, seeing them trying to raise the standard of enlightenment and rally the troops is insulting.

If Trump is elected (which I fervently hope he is not), I'd like to see his first act being tossing Hillary and the rest of the Clinton crew in jail to rot. They'll deserve it, if for nothing else, than for being so consumed by their own egos that they let the nation fall into the hands of Trump and his ilk.

(Now, back to looking for jobs in Canada.)
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Does the Russian DNC hack help Trump? on: July 25, 2016, 06:41:23 pm

It's hard for me to fully express how disappointed I am in Clinton, Obama and the DNC in general:


Seems that way for many people. 

Not for me, though.  There are many candidates on your state's ballot.  Pick one who is not Clinton and vote for that candidate.  Cathartic and liberating.  Best of all, not difficult.


Unless Trump then wins your state by a single vote, and you spend the rest of your life going "I could have stopped it". (The same basically applies to Clinton, of course. God damn the system that's given us this "choice". Every major figure in both parties should be given a "choice" of shooting themselves in the head or being shipped to Antarctica.)
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is TRUMPPENCE ahead now? on: July 25, 2016, 06:37:04 pm
It's a tie, but a tie is very far above expectations for TrumpMiller.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Does the Russian DNC hack help Trump? on: July 25, 2016, 01:11:42 pm
Yes. And over playing the Trump-Putin connection helps him too. Letting it build for weeks or months may very well have worked. Hammering on it until it breaks just makes him look better.

It's like Team Hillary is desperately seeking a silver bullet,  possibly to the point of neglecting the grunt work they need to be doing to win.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump: Ailes is a "very, very good person" on: July 24, 2016, 07:46:30 pm
Easy red meat for Hillary to throw to the Democratic base, gets to tie Trump to a sexual harraser  and gets to discredit Fox News.

I'm gradually finding myself aboard the "Trump is a Clinton plant" train. I mean, if his goal was: "be the worst plausible candidate with the worst plausible campaign" what would he have done differently?
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton's campaign manager: Russia helping Trump on: July 24, 2016, 04:52:00 pm
This is what Putin does, he tries to get leaders he can control into power. Look at Belarus, Lukashenko is controlled by Putin. All Putin would have to get Trump on board was let Trump's companies flood Russia's market with products and perhaps even control industries. Pay to play.

I suspect you overestimate the demand for Trump-branded shirts and hats.

Were you under the mistaken impression that Trump somehow "produces" anything but questionable real-estate deals, overpriced branding, and shady financial shenanigans?
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton's campaign manager: Russia helping Trump on: July 24, 2016, 04:45:06 pm
I think this is a great line of attack to be honest, helps both to discredit the leaks and to build patriotic sympathy for the Clinton campaign.

right now this is mostly below the radar stuff, although I think Trump's campaign manager had to say something about this.
 
But could the message of how Trump is the favored candidate of Putin/The Kremlin be turned into 30sec TV ad without it looking like a kooky conspiracy theory?

It doesn't have to make it to an ad. Build it to a persistent background meme, and then attack him (say, during a debate) on something like the platform change, or refusal to support NATO. If he doesn't come back just right, then he's done - stake through the heart of his campaign right on the spot.


And Manafort can't say anything about this. It'll only highlight his own ties to Viktor Yanukovych (and Putin), along with other shady characters - all of which will only make the allegations appear even truthier.
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: In wake of email scandal, Sanders renews call for DWS to resign as DNC chair on: July 24, 2016, 04:32:04 pm
She should definitely resign, and might as well even considering she isn't even speaking at the DNC anymore. She's nothing more than a symbolic figurehead that is absolutely toxic to large amounts of voters. However, this also presents another counter-argument: If she is basically a useless figurehead, why is it so important she step down now? What is the big deal? She is going to be gone soon enough regardless and has little substantial input at this point.


Clinton had to be ritually cleansed by driving the metaphorical bus over DWS, before she could truly become the nominee of the Democratic Party. It's important that the sacrifice of the prepared goat to propitiate the twin gods or pretend populism and pretend accountability take place at the appropriate point in coronation ceremony. Otherwise the assembled serfs might lose faith in their new monarch.

(And don't lose any sleep over DWS. She's on track for a nice, fat sinecure in the Clinton administration. Unless she dies in a plane crash, first.)

21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hungarian PM Orban endorses Trump on: July 24, 2016, 04:26:55 pm
Right-wing populist authoritarian strongman supports wannabe right-wing authoritarian strongman.

Color me shocked!
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Donald Trump on Muslim ban "expansion," "maybe" adds France, Germany on: July 24, 2016, 12:27:44 pm
Yeah. It was pretty obvious from his speech that's where he was heading.

I think it's time to head to Canada, before Emperor Trump closes the border. (Why should I be allowed to ship myself and my potential tax revenue to Canada? Maybe Emperor Trump will let me leave if I pay a fee to represent my lost tax revenue?)
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Lakoff: Understanding Trump's Rhetoric on: July 24, 2016, 12:22:33 pm
Prominent linguist, George Lakoff, using critical discourse analysis, goes through how Trump uses rhetorical tools to manipulate your thought processes.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakoff/understanding-trump_b_11144938.html

Sample:

"4. Grammar: Radical Islamic terrorists: “Radical” puts Muslims on a linear scale and “terrorists” imposes a frame on the scale, suggesting that terrorism is built into the religion itself. The grammar suggests that there is something about Islam that has terrorism inherent in it. Imagine calling the Charleston gunman a “radical Republican terrorist.”

Trump is aware this to at least some extent. As he said to Tony Schwartz, the ghost-writer who wrote The Art of the Deal for him, “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and it’s a very effective form of promotion.”

I call bullsh**t (on Lakoff, not you).  Radical and Islamic are both adjectives modifying 'terrorists'. That's it. If Republicans want to use the term to dog-whistle against all Muslim's, that them being scummy xenophobes, not any technical grammatical problem with the phrase.  

Calling Roof (the Charleston gunman) a radical Republican terrorist would be inaccurate, because he had no real connection with the Republican Party, and because he himself was motivated by racism (and because he's really a lone nut rather than part of any sort of movement for change). When we see organized bands of Trumpshirts threatening and attacking minorities "to bring back America" that will be radical Republican terrorism.

And Tony Schwartz makes it clear that he invented the phrase 'truthful hyperbole',  and that Trump wouldn't have come up with such an idea in a million years, something that appears almost certain to be accurate after watching Trump speak (far too much).

In other words, while Trump is indeed full of BS, so is Lakoff. And for the record, I don't think Trump is some sort of genius master manipulator of language. He's just a psychopath who's good at telling people what they want to hear. I think so many intellectuals on the left are trying to come up with complicated explanations for Trump's success because they don't like the simple ones: that a lot of people have been left out and are doing poorly in modern America, and a lot of people (with some overlap with the first group) either hold or are willing to entertain some pretty despicable ideas (and are either ignorant, desperate or stupid too boot).
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump: Might pull out of the WTO and thinks the EU was created to beat the USA on: July 24, 2016, 12:05:57 pm
Make America Isolated and Poor Again!

From the perspective of many Americans who are already poor, and for whom their only concern for countries beyond North America is the possibility that a member of their family will go die in one, Trump sounds pretty damn good.

I don't like Trump and wouldn't support him if he offered me a million dollars, but pretending that on these issues in particular (defense and trade), he's not saying what many American voters are thinking is part of why he's getting as much support as he is.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump's nomination is the first time US politics has left me truly afraid on: July 24, 2016, 08:19:46 am
I'm afraid because Trump has absolutely no qualifications to be president. He has no idea what he's doing.

And Barack Obama was Oh, So Qualified?  He was a parochial State Senator until he was elected to the Senate, and was 2 1/2 years into the job until he decided to run for President.

Donald Trump has experience as the chief executive of a repeatedly bankrupt major multi-national business enterprise. 

FIFY. (And I thought you considered Obama a disaster?) If TrumpMiller want's to claim he's a successful businessman, and not just a persuasive leech skimming money from suckers and equally unscrupulous investors, let's see those tax filings.

Until and unless we do, every one of us posting here at Atlas has just as much credibility as TrumpMiller does.
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