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US election soap opera intermission and Trump conspiracies

This is about the latest blog post. Because it's about politics, not climate, I figure it's best in the lounge.

It's not completely unrelated - the article shows how Trump relies on uber conspiracy theorists for his talking points: Prison Planet, and Alex Jones of Infowars. There's also a video from The Briefing suggesting Trump is a dupe for Putin.

Feel free to vent about the US election :)
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Comments

  • Expletive
    The yanks are expletive expletive.
    Coming from liberal NZ the entire political process they have seems broken beyond repair .
    Donald Trump is a symptom of a far deeper malaise .How any right minded individual
    could support him I can not understand . They need to get  money and God out of politics and clean out the GOP propaganda machine.
    Why is it you have to be a liberal to support the conclusion of science ? ......




    citizenschallenge
  • You're making the mistake of assuming that his supporters are right-minded. ;)

    I found this article to be rather interesting: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/10/14/12663318/bartels-achen-democracy-for-realists

    SouSusan Anderson
  • Griff, I think at this point the biggest joke is that it's *not* the GOP propaganda machine this time... yet Trump won anyway. Well, sort of, watching The Donald's campaign crash and burn over the last few weeks as the rest of the country finally has enough of the man has been remarkably good for lifting my spirits.
    The sheer level of irrational racism, sexism, religious fundamentalism and glorification of violence that's consuming the US is nothing short of terrifying, the only difference between Trump and the GOP-backed candidates was that Trump's just less subtle about it. I do agree Trump's candidacy is merely a symptom, though, and the underlying causes are unlikely to change unless the country really gets it shit together. Hopefully this'll be the start of the Republican party deciding to completely self-immolate and turn the Senate/House over to the Democrats, but even then it's going to take decades to make any real improvements.
    citizenschallengeSouSusan Anderson
  • edited October 2016
    Griff said:

    Why is it you have to be a liberal to support the conclusion of science ? ......
    Just yesterday I was wearing a T-shirt that said "Science is not a Liberal Conspiracy" and a couple people gave me a thumbs up over the course of the day.  We're not hopeless.
    GriffSou
  • Hmmm,  o.O  We're not ALL hopeless !!!    B)
    Griff
  • Hopefully this'll be the start of the Republican party deciding to completely self-immolate and turn the Senate/House over to the Democrats, but even then it's going to take decades to make any real improvements.
    What scares me is that I don't think we have the luxury of a few more decades to figure this out.
  • IMHO, Trump is the result of the hijack and buy out of the Republican Party by the Koch led libertarian and extreme right faction. All made possible by their Citizen's United Supreme Court case allowing their almost unlimited campaign funding. You reap what you sow...no viable moderate Republican candidates.  
    VictorVenemacitizenschallenge
  • Sou said:

    Feel free to vent about the US election :)

    commenting on it feels a bit like rubber necking a national tragedy,


    although speaking in a post brexit UK - I am well aware of the irony of my position :-)

    VictorVenema
  • CCHolley said:
    IMHO, Trump is the result of the hijack and buy out of the Republican Party by the Koch led libertarian and extreme right faction. All made possible by their Citizen's United Supreme Court case allowing their almost unlimited campaign funding. You reap what you sow...no viable moderate Republican candidates.  
    And the foundation of that was build on faith-based thinking,
    and creating an alternate-reality* that demanded cynicism of the established system,
    worse than cynicism, it demanded making all their opponents enemies, rather than simply adversaries.

    etc,. etc,. . . .

    http://www.waronscience.com/introduction.php

    The Republican War on Science first came out in hardcover in the fall of 2005, amidst the unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Even as I went on tour and spoke to large crowds deeply worried about political attacks on science, my own family had fled New Orleans and my mother’s home in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood had been destroyed by ten feet of floodwater. It was a very difficult time, and yet also a crucial one for speaking out about the importance of good scientific information to public policy.


  • For the first time in my life I find myself strongly tempted to not bother voting in a Presidential election year. Trump is obviously nuts, Clinton is...not good. I have no reason to believe that Hillary will address CC in any meaningful way. CC is the most important issue facing us, imo. None of the other issues really matter if we don't address CC immediately. The whole thing is rather wretched, anyway you slice it.
  • @Misantrhropist, while I agree Clinton's hardly perfect and the democratic climate-related plans fall short of what's needed, at least her side accepts it's a real problem that needs solving. Meanwhile the republicans are actively opposing any greenhouse reductions (HotWhopper has a whole bunch of examples actually), and I doubt anyone knows what Trump himself really thinks about it because he keeps lying about what he thinks about it.
    Please. As someone who's powerless to change things on that side of the Atlantic, do go vote. This stuff is too important to leave to a man so divorced from reality. Clinton won't do enough, but at least she'll do something.
    VictorVenema
  • For the first time in my life I find myself strongly tempted to not bother voting in a Presidential election year. Trump is obviously nuts, Clinton is...not good. I have no reason to believe that Hillary will address CC in any meaningful way. CC is the most important issue facing us, imo. None of the other issues really matter if we don't address CC immediately. The whole thing is rather wretched, anyway you slice it.
    That sort of resignation is exactly why things have gotten this bad.
    We need the Democrats in office or the right-wing will consolidate their extremism and days will really get dark.

    Then there is the Bernie Sanders thing.  Within a successful Democratic Administration Bernie will be in a position of power - that won't happen with crazy man Trump.  Then perhaps a serious foundation can be laid for a viable third party.  Something that needs to start from the grass roots - with the election of local and state officials, then capturing federal seats.  After all the President needs politicians in office to support her/his efforts.

    Also the Supreme Court !!!


    I suggest this year’s Presidential election can be boiled down to one simple question: “Do you believe dogmatic faith should trump objective observation, evidence and learning?”  
    You must realize a vote for Mr. Trump, or a no-show, or a fantasy third-party is a vote for facade and hostility laced bluster over thoughtful substance and constructive engagement.
  • edited October 2016
    CCHolley said:
    Ahhh, yeah.  If you have the stomach to sit through it, there's this

    176 Shocking Things Donald Trump Has Done This Election | The Closer with Keith Olbermann | GQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQueaSlvjCw
    (and this is from Sep 13, 2016)
  • Is it possible to have minority parties in the USA? Without some form of proportional representation it seems unlikely. First past the post, which I understand is what happens in the US, doesn't lend itself to allowing third (or fourth or fifth) parties into the system.
  • edited October 2016
    True enough our system is stacked against a third party.

    Also it seems that USA confines it's interest in a third party to the excitement right around election time.
    When it comes to the tedium of establishing a viable organization that has broad based community support, there's no interest.  Thus you can be sure that in another two, three months the talk of a third party will all but disappear again.  The Green Party to their credit has been at it for a long time, but made little progress.

    If they had any strategic sense, they should saddle up to Sanders after the election see about building their progressive community (constituency).  Every election cycle is slightly different and hope springs eternal, so maybe it'll turn out different from my pessimistic appraisal.
  • There used to be a US Whig party in power. They crumbled and were replaced by the Republicans. So a change is possible, but hard.

    Regionally something may be possible. Bernie Sanders was in independent from Vermont and beat the Democrats and the Republicans there. I would start with majors, then governors, senator and house members. The very last is a presidential candidate.

    Or change the electoral system. If you do not want to change it too much make sure that a vote for a small party does not get lost, but can be transferred to a larger second choice. The duopoly will not do that for you in normal times, but when a party is in power and is in trouble, that is normally the time more democratic representative systems are introduced in the hope of at least getting some seats.
    citizenschallenge
  • Thinking on it, it seems like in the USA a successful third party would have to be born out of the Democratic or Republican Parties.  With the Tea Party, and Trump, and the upcoming TTT network, there seems to be a foundation for that in the Republican Party.

    With Bernie and some Greens {that make more sense than what I've hear (limited) from their frontrunner} perhaps within the Democratic Party too.  Unfortunately in this country the leftie, progressive types tend to lose interest after the elections.
  • Here's a timely story that was on NPR (National Public Radio) 
    Democrats Push For Down-Ballot Votes As Clinton Holds Steady In Key States
    Heard on  All Things Considered  |  MARA LIAISON  |  October 24, 2016, 4:28 PM ET
    http://www.npr.org/2016/10/24/499199290/democrats-push-for-down-ballot-votes-as-clinton-holds-steady-in-key-states

    As Hillary Clinton's lead in the polls over Donald Trump widens, Democrats are turning their attention to down-ballot races. Led by President Obama, they're trying to get her the biggest possible backup team of Democrats in the House, the Senate, governors' mansions and state legislatures around the country. NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.

    MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: President Obama is campaigning his heart out for Hillary Clinton because he knows his legacy is on the line, and he's been telling voters that electing a Democratic president is not enough because, he says, presidents can't get stuff done on their own.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: So we can't elect Hillary and then saddle her with a Congress that is do-nothing, won't even try to do something, won't even get their own stuff passed, much less the stuff you want passed, who all they got to offer is blocking and obstructing every step of the way. We got to have a Congress that's willing to make progress on the issues Americans care about.

    LIASSON: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says electing down-ballot Democrats is now the president's top priority.

    JOSH EARNEST: President Obama has already appeared in a wide range of television ads that will be airing across the country over the next couple of weeks not just for Secretary Clinton but for Democratic candidates for the House and Senate but also even some Democrats at the state level as well.

    LIASSON: Democrats have tried and failed to win down-ballot races, particularly in midterm elections, but they've never paid the kind of meticulous attention that Republicans have devoted to down-ballot campaigns. Republicans are famous for leaving no GOP candidate behind, whether the races for governor or dog catcher - Democrats not so much. Mo Elleithee is a former DNC spokesman. ...



  • edited October 2016
    citizenschallenge, I'm afraid that I have to completely disagree with you. There is no assurance whatsoever that Hillary will be superior to Donald in any substantive way --aside from the fact that she is less prone to saying over-the-top, inflammatory speech.

    There is no reason to believe that she will appoint anyone better to the USSC. At best, she'll appoint pro-corporate shills that are bad in a different way from the pro-corporate shills Trump would appoint.

    She will not address AGW/CC in any meaningful way.

    Based on her record and campaign, she is more likely to lead us into more wars than Trump. I think it's very possible Hillary gets us into WWIII. Weird as it is to me, between these two Trump can probably be viewed as the "peace" candidate, though "less warmongering"  is probably the more accurate term.

    Hillary is very much in favor of trade agreements that put MNCs above people and even national governments.

    Hillary's record is clear and her Presidency reasonably predictable. It sure as hell ain't yer daddy's Democratic Administration. It will be more Clinton-Bush-Obama neo-liberalism. Been there, done that, hate it.

    Trump is a wild card. There is at least some possibility that he won't be the disaster it appears he would be. He might even be the lesser evil. But he's still evil.

    If I bother to vote (and medical marijuana on our ballot motivates me to vote), I will vote for Jill Stein for President. I will vote for any third-party candidates for any office where such a candidate is an option. I will not vote for any Republicans or Democrats for any office. On important matters the "two" parties are indistinguishable. The wedge issues where they do differ do not matter to me in the least.

  • Maybe you live in a state where your vote does not matter or you get your information from TV that is only interested in scandal and not in policy, but please inform yourself on the actual proposed policies and proposals for supreme court justices. The internet has a search function. Plus a Trump presidency would signal that the discrimination and harassment of women, Muslims, Latinos and black people is a okay.

    I understand that Stein is forced to pretend both major parties are just as bad. That is her unfortunate role. I expect better from citizens.
  • "... there is no assurance whatsoever that Hillary will be superior to Donald in any substantive way"


    . . .
    "...Based on her record and campaign, she is more likely to lead us into more wars than Trump. I think it's very possible Hillary gets us into WWIII." 

    A)  Can you please think about what you are saying.  
    Go and listen to Trump talk about issues, or should I say listen to Trump stray from talking about the issues.  When has he ever displayed an appreciation for the complexities of dealing in today's world?  He's all superlatives, it's either glowing praise or withering derision.  Worse his talks always turns back to how great he believes he is.

    I've learned from life that the truly great people don't need to broadcast their greatness - greatness emanates from behaving with dignity and intelligence.  M.  have you looked into Trump's business dealings?  
    Here's a must read:  http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/10/trump-the-first-demagogue-of-the-anthropocene/504134/

    B)  Yeah, I don't like her, nor do I particularly trust her, mind you I've held a grudge against her since what I saw as her abysmal "shepherding" (or not) of the Clinton Health Plan through Congress and a dead end.  
    Still, after listening to her in three debates I may not like her any better, but I do respect her a bit more.  Still, I'll agree SNL nailed it ... 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kjyltrKZSY
    (Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Third Debate Cold Open - SNL)

    Now back to pragmatic reality.  From what little I've heard of the current crop of third party candidates all are decidedly deluded in their own right, take your favorite and do some YouTube searches.

    Also you forget the bottom line.  Like it or not this election is all about REPUBLICANS vs. DEMOCRATS taking power - One party or the other will hold the reigns of power, or they will need to share depending on how Congressional elections turn out.

    The President is important, but the bureaucracy and the reigns of government, that is of paramount importance.  Jezz, just the specter of another faithful extremist returning the Supreme Court to guide the court back to a right-wing agenda pushing composition.   This isn't a game.  

    Sorry my blood gets to boiling about here - because it gets me to thinking about uppity Ralph Nader voters in 2000 - and when I think about them, I think Shock'n Awe and bombed out innocent people and their neighborhoods and a world's future needlessly 
    turned hideous and vengeance craving.

    Thanks to good Americans who felt too good to participate in what they perceived to be a 'spectacle' of politics. That is electing the people who are going to run this country for the next for years.  

    And now you want to repeat the experiment??? 
     WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE ?

    Sure, it's a losing battle against the billionaires and their masters of the universe - But is throwing away your vote to help enable the faith-based anti-science Republican tribe, any sort of reasonable, or respectable form of Protest?  There's got to be some better thing you can do.

    Democrats crappy as they are, (and trust me, they've been breaking my heart for decades, I've had many private and semi-private rages against their ineptness over the years.  But, let's be fair, there is plenty of blame to pass around.  In the end here in American the public has been lulled by the boobtube and brainwashed by certain masters of the universe.  

    USA's democracy is dependent on an informed and engaged populous.  Just as the Fourth Estate of the Press is failing in its traditional duties, so too our citizens are failing the system that depend on their participation.

    The cold hard reality is that it's either: 

    Republicans, who as we know all too well are lost in their own make-believe universe.  I mean these people believe they understand God, and that ancient tribal texts have more value than contemporary rationalism. They reject the collective global community of scientists and their fact-based evolving understanding of the physical world that surrounds us.  They flat out reject global trends because it doesn't fit with their agenda.  I mean really, why the hell would any rationalist want to support that?  

    Or the Democrats who at least acknowledge that facts trump faith and opinion.  People who trust experts and the scientific community.  People who still exist in the real world.

    Better to get serious about going at the elected Democrats once in office and then forcing your change onto that internal power structure.  History is full of examples.  
  • Oh, and what are all these alleged awful things Hillary has done?  
    I'll admit I haven't followed the scandals, so can't pretend to be familiar with details.

    Still it seems that the times I do hear details they evaporate, it's like, SO?
    The emails, careless maybe, but nothing earth shattering or sinister.
    Benghazi, political BS through and through.
    Vince Foster affair  ;-/
    What about the Republican relentless hostility and demonizing?

    Just asking, she may be a cold hearted driven B, so?  If she is competent.
    At least she's got intelligence and depth and actually experience in the real big time.
  • One advantage of Clinton is that the wars she would start, she would at least start intentionally.

    The thin-skinned level of incompetence of Trump knows no bounds.
    citizenschallengetadaaaMisanthroptimist
  • edited October 2016
    Trump didn't even know that his hotel employees were covered by his corporate insurance and not Obama Care. He is clueless. As for energy policy, we know what we will get and it ain't good. With Hillary at least there is some hope. Anyone concerned with the future and the devastating effects that global warming will bring must do everything they can to assure that Donald Trump does not get elected and that means voting for Hillary. PERIOD. 
    tadaaa
  • Oh, and what are all these alleged awful things Hillary has done?  
    I'll admit I haven't followed the scandals, so can't pretend to be familiar with details.

    I had a debate with someone on another forum where I post - on a Trump/Clinton thread

    first of all - full disclosure, I am a UK citizen and have no special knowledge of US politics other than what I read/hear on mainstream/reputable UK news outlets

    so this person (who I have debated various conspiracy theories before) posts a gish gallop list of HRC lies/frauds etc

    so I ask if we can go thru them one by one, to which he agrees

    anyway to cut a long story short as I start to go thru them, from memory they were

    She claimed to be "broke" when she left the white house

    She claimed to have been called after Sir Edmund Hilary

    She claimed to have asked to join the marines (in 1975)

    She claimed to have landed in Bosnia under fire

    then it went onto the Benghazi affair

    now when I looked into these claims they all actually seemed to be correct (leaving out the Benghazi affair) - but I pointed out that these seemed pretty trivial - and my "null" hypothesis would be that if you subjected anyone seeking high public office's life, stretching back 40 years, to the sort of forensic analysis that HRC seems to have endured I would be amazed if you could not come up with a list of equally trivial claims

    I ended up saying "is this really all you have" - a load of personal tittle tattle

    the Benghazi affair is on a different league and more serious - all she (and the rest of the administration) seemed guilty of was spinning the story over the cause being a viral video rather than privately admitting it was probably terrorism - in the immediate aftermath

    A politician guilty of spinning a story - who knew!!!!!!!

    I can see she represents an elitist/status quo, comes over as a bit secretive and has behaved like most politician do

    but Trump seems on an entirely different level


     


  • That a Secretary of State says something different in public than in private is part of the job description. What a Secretary of State says has real consequences. That you want to be more sure about what is right than in  normal conversion is nature. That you first want to discus consequences with experts is the job.

    As a private person I naturally see Saudi Arabia as one of the biggest human rights violators and sponsor of terrorism. If I were foreign minister I could and would not say that in public, but first try to limit the dependence of our economy on oil. 
  • As somebody watching all of this unfold from Germany, I really don't get why people have such a dislike for HIllary Clinton and basically say she's not much different from Trump - even going as far as risking a Trump presidency with either not voting or voting for an unqualified 3rd party candidate. To me it's very obvious that Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified people for the job. Does she have her faults? Sure, but who doesn't?

    Trump seems to be bringing out the worst in people, like e.g. detailed here:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441319/donald-trump-alt-right-internet-abuse-never-trump-movement

    A lot of the animosity towards Hillary Clinton seems to have been generated by the media - if what Bill Moyers describes in this article is accurate:
    http://billmoyers.com/story/last-night-3/

    Somehow I doubt that Michelle Obama would be campaigning for Hillary Clinton if just some of what people dislike about her were true:


    Personally, I think that Barack Obama is spot on in this video:
    http://www.iagreetosee.com/portfolio/best-barack-obama-ad-hillary-clinton-progress-is-on-the-ballot/

    Not having a say in this election's outcome, I'm still hoping for a decisive victory of Hillary Clinton to make sure that Trump no longer has a leg to stand on.
  • I do understand why people do not like Clinton. They are fed up with the establishment. Trying to throw a Molotov cocktail at the system, people in the UK hurt themselves. The situation in the USA is much worse, the government no longer works for the people, their politics reflect the priorities of the rich. Clinton is the symbol of the establishment.

    Trump as a billionaire hanging out with the same people is naturally also establishment. While he claims to he is the best to solve the corruption as corruptor, he never promised he would actually do so (as far as I know) and he has certainly no policy proposals to do so. His appointees for the supreme court would make matters worse and it would hurt his interests to stop corruption, something which Trump never intentionally did in his live. But like in case of Brexit, the elites have managed to present themselves as anti-establishment.

    With all the understanding in the world. A Trump presidency would be a catastrophe. Please vote Clinton this time and primary her in 4 years. Change is always a long fight, just one election does not do the job.  Clinton has at least promised to reverse Citizen-United. In these 4 years work on getting money out of politics. For example, by joining Wolf PAC:
    http://www.wolf-pac.com/
  • One advantage of Clinton is that the wars she would start, she would at least start intentionally.

    The thin-skinned level of incompetence of Trump knows no bounds.
    Okay. You made me laugh. It's funny 'cause it's (probably) true.
    VictorVenema
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