blueollie

Trump, being PC and being Presidential…

Memories; from the first Republican Primary Debate:

When this happened, I told my wife that Trump answered very well, given his audience.

But now the audience is different.

And he wears a different hat.

Yes, I am not going to blow a gasket if citizen Donald Trump calls Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig” or whatever he called her. But we have higher standards for Presidents.
Leading the country involves not issuing crude insults at citizens.

Remember the furor over then Senator Obama talking about some people clinging to “guns and religion” when times were tough? That wasn’t even in a campaign setting; that was meant to be a clinical observation.
Now the Republicans nominated someone who issues grotesque, schoolyard type insults. Again, that is fine for a citizen, but it is not presidential. It is not the kind of remark that any President in my lifetime would have deliberately made in public.

June 8, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans | , , | Leave a comment

Trump: the end of the modern GOP? Maybe not…

One thing I love about Donald Trump: he sure generates a ton of political discussion.

For one, to the uninformed, he comes across as being informed:

Think of it this way. Say you’re one of those people who is totally ignorant when it comes to cars, and your car is non-functional. I came over looking like the quintessential stereotype of a mechanic from TV – blue coveralls, grease stains, a name across my breast pocket, and wrench in hand. After fiddling with your car for a few minutes – and since you have not one clue about anything car-related, my various taps and fiddles will easily fool you into thinking I know what I’m doing so long as I’m a half-decent actor and I stay in character. I tell you that your car will never run again unless you replace your Pancake Manifold and fill the gas tank with Bensonol. If I’ve succeeded in exploiting your ignorance by portraying myself as a tough, efficient, brilliant mechanic, there’s no reason to doubt me…as long as you don’t know a sparkplug from a muffler.

That’s how Trump’s popularity works. The more he talks, the less anyone with half a brain is willing to support him. But to people for whom the ideas of politics are totally meaningless anyway, every sentence makes them love him more. His ideologically nonsensical ideas aren’t a bug. They’re his best feature.

And yes, his ideas really do not make sense, as Paul Krugman points out.

Truly, Donald Trump knows nothing. He is more ignorant about policy than you can possibly imagine, even when you take into account the fact that he is more ignorant than you can possibly imagine. But his ignorance isn’t as unique as it may seem: In many ways, he’s just doing a clumsy job of channeling nonsense widely popular in his party, and to some extent in the chattering classes more generally.

Last week the presumptive Republican presidential nominee — hard to believe, but there it is — finally revealed his plan to make America great again. Basically, it involves running the country like a failing casino: he could, he asserted, “make a deal” with creditors that would reduce the debt burden if his outlandish promises of economic growth don’t work out.

The reaction from everyone who knows anything about finance or economics was a mix of amazed horror and horrified amazement. One does not casually suggest throwing away America’s carefully cultivated reputation as the world’s most scrupulous debtor — a reputation that dates all the way back to Alexander Hamilton.

The Trump solution would, among other things, deprive the world economy of its most crucial safe asset, U.S. debt, at a time when safe assets are already in short supply.

Of course, we can be sure that Mr. Trump knows none of this, and nobody in his entourage is likely to tell him. But before we simply ridicule him — or, actually, at the same time that we’re ridiculing him — let’s ask where his bad ideas really come from.

Krugman goes on to point out that Mr. Trump is really channeling some of the other nonsense that comes from “more serious” Republicans, but doing so in a less polished way.

Some conservatives are furious. David Brooks decries the decline of competence and the decline of the very idea that compromise is a requirement for responsible governing.

Charles Krauthammer decries the idea that the head of the GOP ticket doesn’t feel bound by the usual trickle down ideas that the GOP establishment loves.

As to that, it is helpful to remember that “more tax cuts for the wealthiest” and cutting back on Social Security and Medicare were always unpopular ideas, even among the rank and file Republicans. Well, Mr. Trump doesn’t need money from the elites.

Nevertheless, there doesn’t appear to be any sort of GOP “crack-up” downticket, though a Trump loss in the general would be a setback.

So, how will the general election go? Obviously, no one knows, but remember that the “data journalism nerds” missed Trump’s rise due to ignoring the data because what the data predicted didn’t meet their “plausibility test”. Well, now the data is speaking:

How will the news media handle the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? I suspect I know the answer — and it’s going to be deeply frustrating. But maybe, just maybe, flagging some common journalistic sins in advance can limit the damage. So let’s talk about what can and probably will go wrong in coverage — but doesn’t have to.

First, and least harmful, will be the urge to make the election seem closer than it is, if only because a close race makes a better story. You can already see this tendency in suggestions that the startling outcome of the fight for the Republican nomination somehow means that polls and other conventional indicators of electoral strength are meaningless.

The truth, however, is that polls have been pretty good indicators all along. Pundits who dismissed the chances of a Trump nomination did so despite, not because of, the polls, which have been showing a large Trump lead for more than eight months.

Oh, and let’s not make too much of any one poll. When many polls are taken, there are bound to be a few outliers, both because of random sampling error and the biases that can creep into survey design. If the average of recent polls shows a strong lead for one candidate — as it does right now for Mrs. Clinton — any individual poll that disagrees with that average should be taken with large helpings of salt.

Hillary Clinton has a good lead in the general election and candidates in her position usually win. Of course, there is a ton of time between now and the actual election.

May 9, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans | , | Leave a comment

What some Trump haters don’t get (a great Trump ad…really!)

This only takes 2:30 or so to watch. But watch it: I could easily see a Democrat running this ad:

Up to now (at least in recent memory), the standard Republican response to companies leaving is “we have to lower their taxes even more (to even lower than you pay!) to persuade them to stay!”. Here, Donald Trump is offering a different solution; one that will have much better impact on the voting public.

Now COULD a President Trump actually do this? Well, that is another matter. But this is NOT something one usually hears from a Republican front-runner.

Anyway, those who think that Trump’s only appeal is to nostalgia, xenophobia and bigotry are wrong; there is a strong economic populist to his message.

April 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Reform Republicans and the Democratic primary

Reform Republicans: Paul Krugman recommended Ross Douthat’s rebuke to a column which argued that the Republcians ought to resist reforms that might make them more palatible to the working class.

Krugman writes:

After all, what is the modern GOP? A simple model that accounts for just about everything you see is that it’s an engine designed to harness white resentment on behalf of higher incomes for the donor class.

What we call the Republican establishment is really a network of organizations that represent donor interests because they’re supported by donor money. These organizations impose ideological purity with a combination of carrots and sticks: assured support for politicians and pundits who toe the line, sanctions against anyone who veers from orthodoxy — excommunication if you’re an independent thinking pundit, a primary challenge from the Club for Growth if you’re an imperfectly reliable politician.

To a very casual observer, it may look as if this movement infrastructure engages in actual policy analysis and discussion, but that’s only a show put on for the media. Can you even imagine being unsure how a Heritage Foundation study on any significant issue will come out? The truth is that the right’s policy ideas haven’t changed in decades. Paul Ryan’s innovative idea on Medicare — let’s replace it with vouchers! — is the same proposal Newt Gingrich offered in 1995.

So why are we seeing a crackup of this system now? It’s not because events have called the orthodoxy into question; that has never mattered in the past. On the contrary, failed predictions have never caused even the slightest change in claims: the same people who predicted that Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax hike would kill jobs and that Obamacare would be an economic disaster are making confident predictions about the salutary effects of tax cuts now.

The problem, instead, seems to be demography — an increasingly diverse population means that the party needs to go beyond white resentment, but the resentful whites are having none of it. Oh, and the base never cared about the ideology.

Krugman does take shots at the Democrats, but at least the Democrats acknowledge that we really are a lose confederation of interest groups, and the various interest groups ARE interested in serious policy analysis, at least as far as it concerns the group in question.

Read Douthat’s article; at least the snark is amusing:

What it says is that the Journal has its eyes on the real enemy here. Say what you will about Trump’s protectionist “Bush lied, people died” white identity politics, at least he didn’t endorse a larger child tax credit:

Democrats Yeah, we are seeing an insane “Bernie or bust” faction among some of the liberals. And let’s face reality: he might well win Wisconsin but his path to winning a majority of pledged delegates is very, very narrow.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

Parties choosing their candidates: does NOT have to be a democratic process

Workout notes: weights, swimming (1800 yards)
weights: 5 x 10 pull ups, (ok), rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 10 x 170 (better)
incline: 10 x 135
military (dumbbell), 2 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm.
yoga headstand (ok)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts

swim: 500 free, 10 x (25 stroke, 25 free) (side, side, fly, back)
8 x 100 (2 x (100 free, 100 pull, 100 free, 100 fins)

Body weight: 186 (Chinese buffet last night)

Interesting note: back in 1982, when I weighed just under 190 pounds, I did 10 reps with 185. Now, at slightly lighter body weight, 10 with 170, so I lost a little in terms of reps. But my max has taken a much bigger hit; it has gone from 250 (in 1982) to 200-205 (now). My lifetime max is 310, but that is at a bodyweight of about 230 (45 pounds heavier than I am now).

Primary elections I’ve heard some complain about the primary process (be it a vote, or a caucus, or the existence of “super delegates”) “not being democratic”.

Political Parties have no legal requirement to choose their candidate in a democratic way; the party gets to make the rules. In fact, the binding primary election is a relatively recent innovation.

Of course, the public is free to reject the party’s nominee, so there is that.

But the rank-and-file have no inherent “right” to choose the candidate for a party, though the rules of the modern Republican and Democratic parties give the public at least some say in the process.

March 23, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Trump rolls in South Carolina; Clinton holds off a tough Sanders surge in Nevada

Well, it was smiles for me in the political arena too. Hillary Clinton held off a tough challenge from Bernie Sanders to win the Nevada Caucuses 52.7 to 47.2 and Donald Trump rolled to an easy 33-22-21 win over Rubio and Cruz.

And poor Jeb Bush: is out. I never dreamed he would bomb out so badly. The “top 2” (Bush and Walker) really proved to be weak candidates. Here are some Bush lowlights.

February 21, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans | , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeb Bush getting desperate?

I viewed Jeb Bush as a sort of “the adult in the room” candidate.

But, look at a recent tweet:

jebtweet

Yes, it is genuine.

As far as the Republican race: yes, the establishment Republicans are cherry picking the results that they like:

trumpleads

(from here)

Guess which poll they focus on?

February 18, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans | , , | Leave a comment

Fireworks from the Republican Debate (South Carolina)

Deportment? Audience being respectful? Well, just watch some of these moments.

Rubio calls Cruz a liar.

Trump vs. Bush I: Middle East

Trump vs. Bush II: Iraq and 9/11

Yes, President George W. Bush did NOT keep us safe and it is high time people faced that fact. Maybe President Bush got too much blame for not stopping 9/11. But we did get attacked and if you use “he kept us safe”, then President Barack Obama has been far superior.

Trump calls Cruz a liar.

If you have enough time, check out Fact Check on this debate.

February 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, republicans, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

GOP Debate (South Carolina): disgusting

I grew up holding this view of Republicans: I though of them as people that I disagreed with. But they were proud of their educations. They always called for proper deportment and sober behavior in public.

What I saw tonight: Trump and Bush issuing sharp insults. Rubio and Cruz trading insults. People also used the word “lies” and “liar”.

The audience cheered, booed, howled, jeered and were so loud at times that the candidates had to raise their voices to speak over them.

Of course, the first questions were about the Supreme Court and they were all about saying that the Senate should not allow an appointment. But then…

Wow. Example.

Biggest: Trump flatly said that the Iraq invasion was a Big Fat Mistake based on LIES and attacked the idea that “Bush kept us safe” by pointing out that 9/11 came under Bush’s watch. That is obvious but often not said.

Did Trump implode? (the audience was packed with Trump haters). Or did he solidify his credentials as the “anti-establishment” candidate?

I really have no idea.

But I hope that the Democrats keep replaying this…because it was disgusting…candidates AND audience.

February 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republican party, republicans, republicans politics | , | Leave a comment

So, what is going to happen in Iowa tomorrow?

Five Thirty Eight: gives Clinton about an 73-78 percent chance. Think of it as a good NBA player taking a free shot.

But caucus states are hard to predict; Sam Wang weighs in.

What about the Republicans? If you wondered why their debates sound like “I’m gonna kick the ass of ISIS” over and over again, it is because Republicans value “perceived strength”. It is interesting reading..and it is hard for me to not feel contempt when I read the write ups on the individuals.

I’ll close with what Paul Krugman says (and he admits that this is just personal opinion)

The appeal of the Sanders campaign, at least to people I know, is that it brings a sense of possibility. For those who were joyful and uplifted on inauguration day 2009, the years that followed have been a vast letdown: American politics got even uglier, policy progress always fell short of dreams. Now comes Sanders — very different in personal style from Obama 2008, but again someone who seems different and offers the hope of transformation. And some people really want to hear that message, and don’t want to hear that they’re being unrealistic.

But there’s something else, which I keep encountering, and which I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice: even among progressives, the two-decade-plus smear campaign against the Clintons has had its effect. I keep being told about terrible things the Clintons did that never actually happened, but were carefully fomented right-wing legends — except I’m hearing them from people on the left. The sense that where there’s smoke there must be fire — when the reality was nothing but Richard Mellon Scaife with a smoke machine — is very much out there, still. […]

On the other hand, that history is, I think, one factor behind a phenomenon we saw in 2008 and will see again this year: there’s a lot more passionate support for Clinton than either Sanders supporters or the news media imagine. There are a lot of Democrats who see her as someone who has been subjected to character assassination, to vicious attacks, on a scale few women and no men in politics have ever encountered — yet she’s still standing, still capable of remarkable grace under fire. If you didn’t see something heroic about her performance in the Benghazi hearing, you’re missing something essential.

And Clinton’s dogged realism, while it doesn’t inspire the same kind of uplift as Sanders’s promise of change, can be inspiring in its own way.

Emphasis mine. I support Clinton for a couple of reasons: one is her intelligence and knowledge of the issues, and the other is her realism. We can’t afford those who peddle fantasy.

February 1, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

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