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26  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Are the Democrats failing or doing well as an opposition? on: October 20, 2017, 10:31:13 pm
Democrats aren't congealing behind one agenda (other than "Resist Trump"), one vision, or one leader. But they are  ahead of where they were in 2005 as the 43rd Presidency started to unravel, let alone in 2001 at a comparable time. 

But they did not have a clear vision of a future, a well-defined agenda, or an obvious leader in October 2005, either.
27  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is Trump Failing as President? on: October 20, 2017, 10:21:14 pm
Incompetent as a politician, and ineffective as a moral leader. A reasonably good President like Reagan or Obama can nudge the political climate some contrary to the desires and instincts of others. Trump is getting people who opposed his ideology to hate it more and causing people willing at first to give him a chance to get impatient with him.  

As a businessman he has had his core source of wealth in the easy money of leasing prime real estate to high-income tenants while getting others to take the big risks for his highly-leveraged efforts for his gain and glory. He's just lucky that his efforts did not end up with an Enron-style implosion. This is a President willing to take great risks for his own glory and inflict the risks of catastrophic ruin in the event of failure upon everyone else.

He is horrible, and so far he has gotten away with what he has done because he is President of the United States of America. But that might not be enough to prevent the worst calamity in American history since the Civil War. One thing is certain: he is not Abraham Lincoln, who inherited a political reality that was going very bad for a very long time and was festering badly with the politicians of the time making things worse.

George W. Bush might be somewhat comparable to Taylor, Pierce, and Fillmore and Clinton perhaps to Polk, George H W Bush to Van Buren, and Reagan to Jackson. But Obama is not Buchanan.  Trump is as far from Lincoln as he could be.

We could need a Lincoln... or for a foreign example, Adenauer... to get our way out of the Trump disaster.    
28  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US military in Niger had asked for more resources for months, never got them on: October 20, 2017, 03:03:50 pm
He can't blame Obama for this. Of course he might try.

I made sure to read the article to find out "how many months"... I am guessing that you get the resources where they are needed or else you withdraw. The middle course is to be blasted out of the scene.
29  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.2 on: October 20, 2017, 03:00:09 pm
I doubt Niger is going to have any effect on Trump's approval numbers. Unlike Maria, it seems like one of those things that will be seen differently by his base and his opposition.

I concur. People who thought him cruel, hollow, incompetent,  reckless, unfeeling, or crazy will simply have their beliefs confirmed by another bad incident. Support that remains for this President is extremely firm. Something has to hurt his firmest supporters before they turn against him. The economy is still OK, but it is unlikely to improve. People are not going to have trouble with him on foreign affairs until American troops get massacred in a war that the President provoked.

God help the Korean people should our President provoke a mercurial dictator to loose his "fateful lightning".   
30  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Republicans, has Trump been a good conservative president? on: October 19, 2017, 09:04:32 pm
Maybe the more thoughtful ones who recognize the need (as did Edmund Burke) to ensure that people have something worth conserving so that there be no reprise of the French Revolution of 1789 -- or worse, the Paris Commune of 1871, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Nazi Revolution of 1933, or other overthrows of capitalism as in China in 1949 and Cuba in 1959.

There seems to be an incomplete thought here, "Maybe the more thoughtful ones who recognize the need...cited examples of need not being met..."


Maybe what? What do you expect them to do or explain?

Very basic needs on Maslow's hierarchy of needs -- food, shelter, clothing, protection from climatic extremes, basic dignity of life...

Happy people do not need revolutions.   
31  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Anatomy of a violent white hate group on: October 19, 2017, 08:57:40 pm
Violent criminals were an important contingent of the Nazi movement.

Good people don't need brutes.
32  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: National map if Trump loses Texas on: October 19, 2017, 04:31:40 pm
that's absurd. like having map in trump wins california...

I have seen polls with Trump disapproval in the low 50s in Texas. It's not absurd if things get worse, as with an economic meltdown or with a diplomatic/military debacle. 
33  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Your Reaction: Kamala Harris VS Trump map on: October 19, 2017, 04:19:51 pm
Who's the moron that started the hype about Arizona becoming some Democratic state? The Democrats haven't made any improvements in the state in the past several election cycles; 2016 was simply a poor GOP performance in the state, not some great Democratic inroads.

2016: 44.58% Clinton | 48.08% Trump
2012: 44.45% Obama | 53.48% Romney
2008: 44.91% Obama | 53.39% McCain
2004: 44.32% Kerry | 54.77% Bush Jr.
2000: 44.67% Gore | 50.95% Bush Jr.
1996: 46.52% Clinton | 44.29% Dole

Arizona took  strong D swing from the 2012 election to the 2016 election. This happening in a state with had not voted more than once for a Democratic nominee in a Presidential election since 1948 looks much like Virginia going into 2008. Disapproval of the President in Arizona is high enough consistently that anyone who thinks that Arizona won't be trouble for President Trump is a fool. Republicans' hold on a Senate seat in 2018 in the state looks shaky, and if anything happens to John McCain, then the Republican hold on the seat will itself be shaky. 

Lots of people were surprised to see Virginia going for Obama in 2008, but the portents were there. Much the same portents appear in Arizona this time.   
34  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump suggests the FBI, Dems and Russia might all be co-conspirators on: October 19, 2017, 03:40:56 pm
So he confirmed it was collusion between himself and at least parts of the Republican Party and Russia.

Yes. That's how liars protect themselves -- they claim that someone else did the lying.
35  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Twitter account pretending to be TN GOP was actually run by Russian troll farm on: October 19, 2017, 03:39:41 pm
It is black propaganda -- propaganda claiming to come from sources within the target country when in fact it comes from outside. In effect its origin is hidden. "Ten GOP" looks as if it comes from Tennessee, bit if it comes from Russia -- watch out.   
36  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: George W. Bushs unmistakable takedown of Trumpism and Trump on: October 19, 2017, 03:25:01 pm
Bush bullied gays to get better conservative turnout in 2004. He was the original king of the deplorables.

How do you know that he believes the same about same-sex marriage today as he did in 2004? Dubya has far more respect for decisions of the Supreme Court than does Donald Trump.
37  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.2 on: October 19, 2017, 03:22:38 pm
Quote


Trump disapproval, net negative and

55% or higher
50-54%
44-49%

Ties are in white.

44-49%
50-55%
56% or higher

But raw disapproval numbers appear instead  of electoral votes here:




Disapproval (net negative for Trump) :

55% or higher
50-54%
44-49%

Ties are in white.

(net positive for Trump)
46-49% 
41-45%
40% or lower

Fixed the maps so they look a little better. If we don't have any specific data for the individual districts, we shouldn't be showing them in grey. The disapproval map, I set the year to 1984 so ME and NE can have their disapproval numbers as electoral votes.

Also, wow yeah that map is a lot sadder than the previous one.

The single districts might be shown some time in polls of Maine and Nebraska -- not that those states generally decide an election. But ME-02 went for Trump (unlike the other three electoral votes of Maine) in 2016, and NE-02 went for Obama in 2008 (unlike the other four electoral votes for Nebraska that year.

To be sure it is hard to imagine how ME-02 goes Republican except in an overall Republican win or how NE-02 goes Democratic except in a Democratic blowout. Maybe I can set the year to 1984 until I see any polls of individual districts in Maine or Nebraska. Both states, let alone their individual districts, get polled rarely. 
38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.2 on: October 19, 2017, 09:14:15 am
Quinnipiac, Virginia

October 18, 2017

https://poll.qu.edu/virginia/release-detail?ReleaseID=2493

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President?

                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              35%    81%     4%    34%    40%    31%    36%    55%
Disapprove           62     15     96     65     57     67     63     41
DK/NA                 2      4      1      2      3      2      1      3
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              49%    38%    44%    14%
Disapprove           49     60     54     83
DK/NA                 2      2      2      3
 
 
Horrid numbers for President Trump, especially among people with college degrees, white women, and minorities.  This is probably the last poll that we get from Virginia before the gubernatorial election, and the Presidential approval is an afterthought in contrast to the gubernatorial election , where Northam (D) holds a 53-39 lead over Gillespie (R).  

This poll post-dates the data from Morning Consult, so I can update the polling maps.

This approval map shows  electoral votes to the states on the approval map.




Trump approval, net positive

55% or higher
50-54%
44-49%

Ties are in white.

Trump approval, net negative

44-49%
50-55%
56% or higher

But raw disapproval numbers appear instead  of electoral votes here:




Disapproval (net negative for Trump) :

55% or higher
50-54%
44-49%

Ties are in white.

(net positive for Trump)
46-49%  
41-45%
40% or lower






39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump approval ratings thread 1.2 on: October 19, 2017, 08:14:22 am
Polling data based upon Morning Consult, Note that this data is more flattering, on the whole, to President Trump than what I already had.

I now have restored electoral votes to the states on the approval map.




Trump disapproval, net negative and

55% or higher
50-54%
44-49%

Ties are in white.

44-49%
50-55%
56% or higher

But raw disapproval numbers appear instead  of electoral votes here:




Disapproval (net negative for Trump) :

55% or higher
50-54%
44-49%

Ties are in white.

(net positive for Trump)
46-49%  
41-45%
40% or lower




40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alt Right Neo Nazi Leader Richard Spencer - Women shouldn't be allowed to vote on: October 18, 2017, 03:37:50 pm
Why do we care what this guy thinks?  He has no power and will never get any, so his deplorable views should just be ignored!

This could have been said of Antichrist Hitler in 1928.
41  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate GOP Release Budget Blueprint for Their $1.5 Trillion Tax Cuts on: October 18, 2017, 03:36:56 pm

I suppose you don't want to talk about how the economy was doing when the Bush tax cuts fully took effect circa 2008-2010.



This is at least the second time in the last couple weeks you have tried to connect the Bush tax cuts to the Financial Crisis. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about because those are totally unrelated to each other. Stop.

The Bush Tax cuts were sold as an economic stimulus, which was obviously an epic fail.

It was sold as an economic stimulus to the early 2000s recession , which indeed it was . The 2008 crash still would have happened without the tax cuts , so no the tax cuts and the crash are not related.

Big infusions of capital into the hands of economic elites tend to go into destructive bubbles. Yes, it is the bubble that does the harm, first by drawing assets away from other activities and committing the political order to servicing that bubble; the inevitable panic comes when people come to realize that the assets in which they invested are worthless.    

The Trump tax cuts may be shaped not so much as stimulus as they are giving economic elites rewards for being rich and powerful.

Count on another 2008-style crash leading to a 1929-style crash.
42  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Republicans, has Trump been a good conservative president? on: October 18, 2017, 01:57:56 pm
Doing nothing is still better than a third term of Obama.

After Trump, many of us will want the first term of the political equivalent of an Obama clone.

I am trying to understand how conservatives can support someone who does and says what he does. Maybe the more thoughtful ones who recognize the need (as did Edmund Burke) to ensure that people have something worth conserving so that there be no reprise of the French Revolution of 1789 -- or worse, the Paris Commune of 1871, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Nazi Revolution of 1933, or other overthrows of capitalism as in China in 1949 and Cuba in 1959.

Religious conservatives? Obama is the man of faith, his actions consistent with Christianity tempered by the rule of law. He does not wear his religion on his sleeve. Donald Trump is as godless as a Stalinist. Obama has apparently a very conventional family life. Could he get away with anything else? Donald Trump is a serial philanderer, twice divorced and twice remarried. It is true that men and women make wrong choices in selecting a mate and must get divorces if one or the other is to have any dignity. There can be cultural clashes, but  Obama dealt with that well. (Obama's father was an African and his mother was a white American; his wife had no connections to Africa except her genes, as is true of most slave-descended American blacks).

Let me address another aspect of conservatism: conservatives are anti-fascists. Conservatives as a rule recognize Mussolini, Hitler, and most Ku Kluxists as the thugs that they are. Shake hands politically with them or people who believe what those creeps like them believe, and you may be lucky to lose only a hand. Fascism is the antithesis of every noble tendency in American life from the Founding Fathers of the American political experiment to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The pogrom, the torture chamber, and the site of mass killings are all un-American. Religious bigotry does more harm than good. In the town in which I live there is a sizable Muslim community. Would I prefer that this community build a mosque or that someone establish a whorehouse or even a strip club? You guessed it!

There is no moral equivalency between the fascistic Alt Right and the vast majority of people. People who believe that slavery or the Holocaust were good things (or in the latter case did not happen and Jews are exploiting a non-existent injustice for... I need not go into that absurdity).  Most conservatives are good people who have no use for the evil-doers in history.
43  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Nearly Half of All Voters Think Media Make Up Stories About Trump on: October 18, 2017, 01:06:45 pm
Most people are idiots who do not know how to think critically, rationally, and will refute fact-based information in favor of their feelings. This is not new or surprising.

Not until reality hits some people hard do they recognize how wrong they are.
44  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alt Right Neo Nazi Leader Richard Spencer - Women shouldn't be allowed to vote on: October 18, 2017, 12:50:07 pm
In case you are interested in reading about suffrage in the era when the "best" folks in town opposed women voting, because it would represent their surrendering the high moral ground by descending into the cesspool of politics, punch here.

Much of the opposition to female suffrage was by the saloon, brewing, and brewery businesses that women with the vote would hurt the booze business. Men often stopped at the saloon on the way home and drank up a big part of their pay packets. That meant real poverty for the wife and children. He might go home, collapse in bed, and wake up with a hangover, and when he had a hangover often came the terror of beatings.

The first feminist issue was a crusade against intoxicating liquors  and the drunkenness that led to poverty and abuse.   
45  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alt Right Neo Nazi Leader Richard Spencer - Women shouldn't be allowed to vote on: October 18, 2017, 07:01:58 am
The British and Americans knew something about female voting: women were more cautious and less vulnerable to the appeals of demagogues of the Right and Left. They imposed the women;s right to vote on liberated France (France barely avoided a fascist takeover in the 1930s), Italy, and Japan.

With Richard Spencer, as with any other fascist, just about everything that he says is almost certainly wrong in accordance with liberal morals. 
46  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump to widow of Sgt. La David Johnson: "He knew what he signed up for" on: October 18, 2017, 06:54:48 am
He just does not understand the sorrow of others, and lacks the decency to admit such. No empathy.
47  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Emerson poll: Trump trails Biden, ties Warren, leads Cuban on: October 17, 2017, 11:45:14 pm
Crosstabs:

Trump vs. Biden:
men: Trump +2
women: Biden +19
Northeast: Biden +9
Midwest: Biden +27
South: Trump +5
West: Biden +12

Trump vs. Cuban:
men: Trump +14
women: Trump +1
Northeast: Trump +10
Midwest: Cuban +11
South: Trump +15
West: Trump +8

Trump vs. Warren:
men: Trump +11
women: Warren +8
Northeast: Trump +7
Midwest: Warren +20
South: Trump +12
West: Warren +2


Those midwestern numbers seem a bit drastic.

Big promises, and nothing done. He has rarely appeared in the Midwest. Just look at approval ratings for him in some states that he won - Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Americans know Joe Biden far better than they know Elizabeth Warren and Mark Cuban.  What we must notice by now is that President Trump so far would get much the same percentage of votes against Biden, Warren, or Cuban. Biden is really-well known, and the others aren't.

Do 42, 43, and 44 suggest his floor or his ceiling?

President Trump is as well known as anyone could be. Everyone else can gain against him.
48  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump mocks Pence about his views on religion, abortion & homosexuality on: October 17, 2017, 10:21:14 am
Insurance against impeachment or removal.
49  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump:"You could ask General Kelly if he got a call from Obama." on: October 17, 2017, 10:03:57 am
The faker-in-chiefs obsession with President Obama is sick.

Obama quit talking about Dubya once he was elected. After Obama was inaugurated, Dubya's personality no longer mattered.
50  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Religious Right hypocrites cheer Trump at summit on: October 17, 2017, 09:53:04 am
Here's a primer on why it makes absolutely no sense for religious conservatives to support Trump:

1. He said in an interview that he doesn't need God to forgive him for anything.
2. He is full of pride, greed, and lust, which are three of the Seven Deadly Sins, and exploited hateful rhetoric as a candidate.
3. He is twice divorced and remarried, and his current wife has a long history of posing nude for pornographic magazines.
4. He made much of his fortunes from casinos.
5. He said several times in the Republican debates that Planned Parenthood does "great work" (which, incidentally, would have been political suicide for any of the other GOP candidates)
6. I'm probably forgetting something, but please feel free to add it.

If he had run as a Democrat, religious conservatives would have denounced him as a mortal threat to America by pointing to these facts, and quite possibly would have told their congregations that they would go to hell if they voted for him.  Jesus said that we could judge a tree by its fruits.  Does this sound like the kind of fruits of a true Christian?

Why should laws be made on the basis of the Bible again?
I don't know, ask Alabama's next Senator.

As a secular liberal I would have had problems on all but (5).  As for (6), grabbing women by the crotch without their consent is sexual assault (as grabbing someone by an arm could be assault, but not sexual in itself) and rape should there be penetration even by a fingernail. If you are a defense attorney, you do not want me on a rape case in which someone has grabbed a woman by the crotch and inserted so much as a fingernail (deliberately or recklessly) into her vagina without her consent.

I'll give you (7): he is a demagogue, and demagogues never get good results for the nation or a national subdivision in which they govern or for which they legislate. We Americans have generally rejected demagogues handily, and this time we did not reject Donald Trump enough.

I could accept an atheist or agnostic, but that said, an atheist or agnostic seeking my vote had better have some moral compass. The Seven Deadly Sins include not only greed, lust, and (hubristic) pride -- but also anger. People with a moral compass know enough to constrain these no matter what their religious heritage is or even if they have no religion.

Divorce and remarriage is permissible (Ronald Reagan) -- but Nancy Reagan didn't appear even in pin-up pictures.

I have visited a casino and found the array of slot machines utterly resistible. Considering that casino gambling is just about a pure rip-off... but I would also have trouble with a politician who made his income operating strip clubs or operating as a predatory lender.  I did invest an insurance payout in the stock market, but I chose to avoid investing in firearms, gambling, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages on ethical principles. Fossil fuels was OK even if I disliked the politics of the industry.

If Donald Trump had been running as President and got nominated on boilerplate liberal appeals, then I would have had to vote for the Republican opponent. I have a conscience.

Donald Trump: the Playboy philosophy meets Ayn Rand. How godless can one get?         
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