Politics is Stupid


#1421

And the demographic shifts that Democrats so patiently—and foolishly—counted on to change everything will now be stalled and undermined at every turn. A few years of Republican border and refugee policies, and we’ll be headed back to the ever-whiter America that preceded Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 immigration reforms.

So, this individual says flat out that the Democrats plan for winning is to admit enough people that their party outnumbers the “native” Americans with immigrants and refugees?

But let’s be clear: The problem isn’t that your guy won. It’s that he has made it obvious he intends to rule without any regard for the Constitution

But your plan to beat him forever is to import people that agree with you.

It is a tragedy that so much of the work that so many men and women toiled at for so long to make this a better country, and a better world, has been thrown away, leaving us all in such needless peril.

And this is why it’s OK in his mind to do that. He really believes that the election of Trump is one of the worst things that has happened in the world ever. And that we are now more in danger from everything from crime, to war, and global warming. That Trump will unite with Putin and start a war with everyone and start off by forcing Europe to defend itself.

I thought the left hated American being the world’s policeman.

We will need to run our states and our cities so well, in such an effective and enlightened manner, that we can make you understand all over again what every page of our history should already tell you. Through our own example, we must win you over, American by American, town by town, state by state, until we are once more in a position to mitigate all of the foolish, cruel, and wasteful things you are about to inflict on the rest of us, and to move forward once again, as American states united.

Yes, run it like Chicago, Detroit, New York, Boston, Baltimore, all those shining cities rising out of the shit they are surrounded by.

I shouldn’t read The New Republic. It’s bad for my blood pressure. I’m also pretty sure in his statistics he includes the existance of a military base as “federal aid”, most of the time that’s the case on this sort of thing.


#1422

I’m starting to think Scott Adams is pretty clever. He predicted that Trump would stop being Hitler because of the healthcare debacle.

And he has, now he’s just incompetent, and every president is incompetent to someone. Boom, one “mistake” and he’s normalized.

Now, do I really think Trump is playing 10 dimensional chess, no, but maybe 2.5 or 3 dimensional.


#1423

Adams previously talked about the concept of “flooding the playing field”, where Trump was giving people so many things to think about that they couldn’t think about any of them in much detail. Mike Peters does the Mother Goose & Grimm comic strip and editorial cartoons. His March 10th editorial cartoon shows a dog chasing a spot around. The last panel shows the dog with the word “Media” on its side and Trump holding the flashlight with a big smile on his face.

In the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, one of Lord Cutler Beckett’s officers asks just after watching Jack Sparrow escape again, “Do you think he plans it all out, or just makes it up as he goes along?”

For Trump, it’s probably a combination of the reactionary actions we’ve seen him take in the past like where he’ll fire off a tweet that makes you think, “Dude, chill out. It’s not that big of a deal” and the careful, thought-out decisions he has been known to make during his career.

So if you’re a person that has a history of shaking things up and you see what you’re being called is a comparison to a military dictator, wouldn’t going from that comparison to merely incompetent be a promotion? Would that be something you might plan on? Give the media a “win” by doing something you know will fail in order to get that promotion?

Could be. We’ll find out is this is another “dog whistle” or another example of consistent behavior. As Adams is predicting, the next phase will be the viewpoint changing to “Trump is competent but we still don’t like him”.


#1424

Well, maybe he let Ryan be Ryan. It helps if you keep in mind he’s not a conservative. His historical statements don’t necessarily line up with obliterating the ACA.

Meanwhile Chuck Schumer is getting unhinged.


#1425

Scott Adams’ blog yesterday had a couple of interesting points. The first is that if you only to one site to get your news, you’re only going to get what they want you to know about.

Case in point, the recent events regarding Susan Rice wasn’t even covered by CNN as of yesterday morning, but once the New York Times published an interview with Trump on the subject, then they got around to reporting it. I found one article a few minutes ago in their Politics section. A couple others showed up in a Google search. Phrasing in the headlines for two of them are also interesting; “became the perfect victim” and “His evidence? Nothing.”

Adams said the following about talking with one of his friends about this:

That’s when I had the entertaining experience of explaining to my friend that his news habit of relying on CNN and the New York Times made him more of a victim of manipulation than a consumer of news. I explained that unless he is sampling stories from both sides (left and right), he is being completely misled by one of the sides. Both sides get the facts right, usually, and eventually. The manipulation comes in the form of what they emphasize and what they deemphasize.

One of the commenters for Adams’ blog said this:

I have several rabid anti-Trump associates. When they invariably fall back to the position of “yeah, maybe it happened, but it was legal”, I then counter with:
"So, in 2020, you’ll be perfectly comfortable with Trump doing this to whoever opposes him?"
I need to start photographing the faces they make as it sinks in.

I need to do more reading on this subject, but my initial impressions are this:

  1. Three weeks ago, Trump sounded like a nutter by making a wild claim about something that left people wondering “why is he even bothering talking about this now?” Today, maybe there actually is something substantial to back up what he was and is saying.

  2. As this story goes on, what parallels will we find with the Watergate scandal? That seemed to start out as independent actions by people within the Republican party, but led to Nixon’s resignation due to how he tried to handle it. First it was a cover-up, then a cover-up of the cover-up.

  3. That blog comment helps spotlight what so many people do on a lot of subjects: downplay or dismiss something if it’s done by others you agree with, but don’t even think about trying to do the same thing if it goes against the side they support. i.e., a double-standard.

  4. Right now, I don’t have a lot of interest in what’s going on with US politics, but after writing this, I realized that when I do check in on it, a lot of it is coming from Scott Adams. So, I need to take the point he makes in this blog to heart and check a few more sources on each subject.


#1426

My initial impressions on this are:

  1. Three weeks ago Trump made wild (possibly defamatory) accusations with no evidence.
  2. Since that time his team have been flailing around trying to justify those accusations.
  3. They found something that is normal behaviour and are trying to spin it to back up Trump.
  4. They are now making wild (possibly defamatory) accusations about Rice.

All that I am reading about this (from multiple sources) is saying that Rice did nothing wrong - and that’s coming from analysts on both sides of the political divide.

That may change in the coming weeks, but that’s what I’m seeing right now.

As for the question “So, in 2020, you’ll be perfectly comfortable with Trump doing this to whoever opposes him?” my response would be that Obama didn’t do anything to anyone. Rice did her job as an intelligence analyst and I would be more than happy for whoever is in the role in 4 years time to be doing their job.


#1427
  1. Trump made a comment based on news stories by the NYT and others talking about intercepts. He may also have seen transcripts with unmasked names on it. He made a statement on Twitter.

  2. Since that time the main stream media haven’t spent a single minute investigating the claim, but have gone on the attack, including refuting their own earlier stories. Or pretending everyone was too stupid to understand what they really meant.

  3. They found something that makes no sense. It’s not normal behavior to unmask the names of the future presidents staff when they are having innocuous conversations. It’s obvious there is no there there, if there had been the FBI would have everyone locked up already.

  4. Rice has now changed her story three times about what she did. This us the same woman who went on Sunday TV and talked about Benghazi being a response to a movie. So there are axes to grind as well.

There are stories that came out earlier that are making more sense as well now. During the Iran negotiations there were several allegations of intercepts.


#1428
  1. Trump tweeted. The subsequent spin was that it was based on a NYT article, but given that Trump has called them the enemy of the American public it would be pretty hypocritical to base his tweet on that so I don’t believe that one. He is also on record as saying that he knows more than the intelligence agencies and doesn’t read their briefings, so I don’t believe that either.
  2. The mainstream media haven’t spent a lot of time investigating any of his ludicrous claims - he’s pretty much at saturation point there.
  3. It’s not standard operating procedure to unmask those names, but it’s by no means unusual. If unmasking aids in understanding the conversation then unmasking is requested. As for the FBI locking people up, yes you are right. If the president had illegally requested a wiretap on a political opponent then they certainly would have raised a stink. And that is what Trump’s accusation was - that Obama had him wiretapped.
  4. Citation and examples needed. “Changing her story” could mean anything from clarifying her meaning upwards.

There certainly are axes to grind. Mostly on your part though. I think you are one of the people Trump was talking about when he said he could walk into Times Square and shoot someone without his support wavering. Probably less because of Trump though in your case and more because the opposition is democrat.


#1429

< Mod Hat = On>
Let’s keep a lid on here, Mike. Nothing has been said yet that I’d call anyone on, but you’re teetering on the edge.

Civil discourse is the way in this place.

< Mod Hat = Off>


#1430
  1. So Trump says he knows something, something other people also said they know. Once he says it people want to know where from, people point to media reports of the same thing… and then all of a sudden it didn’t happen at all until Nunes goes on record.

  2. Selection bias. I’m over the fake scandals. Truth is likely in the middle. Also, when CNN just says they aren’t even going to investigate a story I think that blows their credibility on anything else.

  3. Semantics. Seriously, this is like arguing about someone saying Bob set someone’s house on fire with gasoline, when it turns out he used water to cause an electrical short which hit an open gas line. Since that tweet how much has come out, if he hadn’t made that tweet would anyone even know as much as they do now?

In any case, Susan Rice, the 2nd to the top consumer of intelligence had to ask for the unmasking multiple times, over a period of months apparently, and asked for the preparation of a spreadsheet that tracked Trump staffers and campaign people. This is after this information was originally masked, and then passed through every level of management above the original interceptor and none of them believing it was necessary to unmask them.

  1. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/susan-rice-gets-tangled-up-in-her-own-statements-about-unmasking-trump-officials/article/2619315 I stand corrected, twice, not three times.

I see someone who said “X”. Most of the response seems to be well no, it was “XYYYX12$%”. But the results were identical to “X”. Especially as regards career assassination and the attempted disruption of a new president’s staff. Flynn was kicked out because he talked to the Russians, what did he say, we don’t know, who leaked it, we don’t know, how was it found out, we don’t know. But at this point, we know who connected his name to the call, and she reported to one person. If they were tracking calls for at least a year, and she had names to go with the calls.

If I see records of a private conversation between a trusted friend of mine and another party, and then see several other records showing other friends of mine, and I know most of those calls took place in my office, then I’m going to say I’m wiretapped. And if someone I’m supposed to trust tells me they’ve seen that then I’m going to believe it.

Here is the thought exercise I keep going back to.

Was the intelligence actionable?
If so then get names then act.
If not why get the names in the first place?

In addition there is the leak of the “Republican” Senators talking to Israel.
Again, was it actionable, if not why connect them to anyone? If so, where are the charges?

I’m trying to not get too tied up in this. We’re not even 90 days in and the media is so far up his colon they’ll be breathing through his nose next week, while still ignoring the important things. Meanwhile I’ve got real issues like Mar Lago, Syria, and Trump Tower I’m irritated about. Not to mention that abortion of an ACA repeal and selling of personal data.


#1432

And an awful lot of it is coming down to who you believe.

I don’t believe the people who supported the statement that the Obama White House was scandal free, or ignored any number of stories I thought were important, going back to the New Black Panther voter intimidation case and Fast and Furious.

When CNN says there is no story, I dig. When MSNBC sweeps something under the rug, I dig. When Fox reports that lizardmen are running the White House from a local trailer park, I run away.


#1433

When you are the president of the US and you think that the previous president did something illegal then you damn well better check that and get it right before going public.
No matter what excuses you make for him or whatever spin you put on it, Trump did not do that, and as far as I can tell he did not get it right.

As for it being semantics, absolutely not. There are a lot of things that I do that are not standard operating procedure, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong. And you analogy is badly flawed because it presupposes that something wrong happened.
A better analogy would be that I walk past someone’s house and they accuse me of lighting a fire - without actually checking whether there is actually a fire.


#1434

All this data was collected at the direction of Obama’s National Security Advisor.

Some of this data has been leaked.

The first is unethical, the second is illegal.

If she doesn’t unmask the data, the second is impossible. If Obama doesn’t know she’s doing this, for possibly a year then he’s not really paying attention.

Did someone put a bug on the Trump phones, no. Was someone recording, linking up names, and leaking information… yes. I’d call that wiretapping, and since it was Obama’s #1 on National Security I’d say he did it.


#1435

Your view is coloured by the fact that you hate democrats and you are willing to believe everything bad of them.
My view is coloured by the fact that I think Donald Trump is an appalling excuse for a human being and I’m willing to believe everything bad of him.

We are not going to agree on this. Let’s leave it at that.


#1436

I don’t think @Woodman hates democrats, but I do think democrats think that everyone who is against or disagrees with them hates them.
I’m not terribly political, but when you see a politician spewing hate and bile, it is more often than not a democrat.


#1437

Add in normal caveats of some, and sometimes, and #notallprogressives.

What I’ve noticed in communications with some people on the other side of issues is that they assume I believe the way I do because I don’t like “Insert Victim Class Here”. I support the 2nd Amendment, so I must hate schoolchildren. I support the First Amendment so I hate people who have to endure hate speech. It’s a lot of third party defending, usually the person I’m talking to is a white male, telling me that because I’m white I hate left handed banjo players. I’m for open markets because they work, not because I think Minority Business owners are bad.

You don’t protect a class of people with special laws, you simply make it clear in current laws that applies to them as well. I disagree with progressive doctrine, this makes me evil. I’m already in a group that gets extra attention for oppressing, and now I’ve shown signs of oppressing.

So, now that we’ve determined that I am evil, the other side must be good, and good stamps out evil. It’s OK to punch a Nazi after all. And if I say it’s not OK to punch a Nazi then I’m deserving of punching as well. The far, and mainstream, left is dehumanizing the opposition.

I don’t hate the “other side” I hate their actions. Their intentions seem generally good, but I don’t like their solutions. While most of them look at me and see Satan. I can carry on a political discussion in person without yelling, or waving my hand and dismissing the other person, or walking away. Most of my liberal friends and relatives cannot. Because they can’t afford to be wrong. If you wrap your self worth up in a cause, and do shitty things because you are on the right side of history, how do you live with your actions if you are actually wrong?


#1438

I’m not a democrat - until recently I didn’t even know what the two American political parties were. I still sometimes have to ask which party Trump represents (other than himself of course).
I based my statement on what I’ve seen Woodman post over the last few years - which is consistently anti-democrat.

When you consistently post criticism of someone and discount/ignore evidence that your criticism may not be justified it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between hating them and hating what they are doing.

As I said, I’m not democrat, nor am I pro-Obama or pro-Clinton. I’m also not anti-republican. I am however anti-Trump - for a lot of reasons.

I do feel that your criticisms of Obama and Clinton go well beyond criticism of what they do and into hatred of them personally.
I also feel that your support of Trump ignores a lot of the realities of the man to the point where you rationalise the bad things he does into something good.


#1439

[quote=“MikeP, post:1438, topic:556”]
I do feel that your criticisms of Obama and Clinton go well beyond criticism of what they do and into hatred of them personally.[/quote]

You may feel that it’s difficult to tell, but believe me I don’t hate them. If I met them in person I’d hold the door and consider myself privileged to have met the president, or secretary of state. Because politics in the US is so packaged there wasn’t much I agreed with Obama on, he accidentally did the correct thing with NASA, he was against prosecuting some drug crimes, but for civil forfeiture, maybe?

I’m not aware of any actual “bad” laws or executive actions he’s signed yet. He’s mostly undoing unilateral action by his predecessor, which is the problem with ruling by executive order and memos. The news is digging for anything they can find and so far there is nothing of substance. They are running unsourced stories about him being videotaped getting golden showers in Moscow for Christ’s sake.

He’s an ass on Twitter, as expected. The man is an ass, but again, I’d open the door for him. I support Trump for the same reason I would support someone robbing my house defending me from an arsonist. I’ve said it before, he was easily my tenth choice for president. He needs to give up Mar Largo, and he needs to get his family out of Trump Tower, and either formalize his kid’s jobs or at least put them in the OEB.

This thing with the surveillance is opening a whole can of worms, apparently his campaign may have not have been the only one unmasked.

I’m anti government control over people’s lives, which tends to make me anti Democrat, except apparently on some drug issues, some prison issues, and marriage and abortion issues. In which case I’m more Democrat than Republican then. I’d vote libertarian, but I’m not a fan of wasting my vote.

Right now the Democrats are the ones pushing for censorship and thought crime, and I can’t imagine anyone supporting that. I’ve voted Democrat in local offices where I knew the person well, and I voted for Bayh every time but the latest he ran.


#1440

I was not implying that you are. But, since you apparently have not interacted with any rabid** democrats personally, you have not likely experienced their extreme reactions. To be clear, I’m not saying all are one way or another, but I think most who have reached for positions on higher levels (state/national) are disingenuous as to their motives.

** For example, when step-daughter was still in indoctrination (college), she had no concept of how the real world works, just utopian ideas of how it should work. (everything should be free for everyone, we all deserve it (entitlement attitude, no one should need to earn anything at all)) Now that she is working, trying to cover some of life’s expenses herself, and seen how much is deducted from her check before she sees a cent, and that she has almost no control over how much gets deducted, her tune has changed quite a bit.

Funny story: Before step-daughter finished college, some of the greek organizations were trying to make themselves feel better by criticizing the school for not doing more to help the homeless. The school said, okay, we’ll open our doors to the homeless, so they can have a warm place to stay in the winter - they can use the cafeteria, rest rooms, and such, and sleep in the hallways - but we will have to raise fees to pay for the food they will need to be provided with, to cover the additional janitorial costs, probable increase in water usage…
A little dose of reality and the students had a huge NIMBY reaction, as expected…
“Ugh, we don’t want them here!”
“I wouldn’t feel safe!”
"The whole place will start to smell!"
Quickly followed by outrage that it would cost them money and they might lose access to services.
(Unlike out of town schools, at the various U of H campuses, many students work and are paying their own way through school. From what my step-son has said, most of the students that work have learned to keep their mouths shut and not contradict any of the profs’ political slants.)


#1441

I’d like to point out here as a brief aside, that while you’re certainly entitled to an opinion, @MikeP, @Woodman, @RoadRunner and I have Opinions on this topic.

The difference? We’re among the US cits on this forum. Our Opinions have at least some weight when it comes to voting in US politics.
You may agree, or differ, but in the end, it’s just your own viewpoint.