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US Election Discussion Post 27/10/16

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, October 27th, 2016 - 54 comments
Categories: uncategorized, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Matrix there is no spoon

In order to free up Open Mike and Daily Review for other conversations we are asking that all discussion, posting of links etc on the US election go in this daily dedicated thread rather than OM or DR.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

There will continue to be author-written posts on the US election as well, usual rules apply there too.

54 comments on “US Election Discussion Post 27/10/16 ”

  1. rhinocrates 1

    A couple of snippets this morning.


    Assange doesn’t seem to care about “collateral damage”. Among its infodumps are the identity and personal details of the mentally ill, teenage rape victims, homosexuals in countries where homosexuality is punishable by death. These have nothing to do with exposing corruption which Wikileaks claims is its sole mission. This isn’t purposefully malicious, Assange just doesn’t give a fuck about people who get hurt along the way.

    The cartoonist who created Pepe the Frog is trying to save him from the Neo Nazis:


    Pepe has been appropriated as a symbol/code for Neo Nazis campaigning with Trump and his creator is not happy.

  2. Andre 2

    With CV temporarily absent, we’ve had a deficiency of Alex Jones nuttery lately. So for anyone feeling a bit deprived, here’s a topup. His rant’s a goody.


    • joe90 2.1

      Michael Savage radio derangement.

      Far-right radio host Michael Savage expressed outrage yesterday about President Obama’s remarks at an event celebrating black music at the White House, claiming that the president is ushering in “the death of western civilization.”

      He was especially angry about the Obamas’ relationship with Beyoncé, who he called “beyond reason” before reading lyrics from her song “Formation.”

      “Isn’t it great to see western civilization knocked off its pedestal and replaced by this filth?” the right-wing commentator added. “So Obama has now opened the door and ushered in the absolute destruction of western civilization.”


    • rhinocrates 2.2

      Tinfoil jackboots?

  3. Olwyn 3

    A few days ago, Ad posed this rather tongue-in-cheek challenge: “Did the Democrats conspire with the Republicans deep within the Deep State to enable them to put up the only candidate who could possibly lose to Hillary Clinton?” https://thestandard.org.nz/us-election-discussion-post-241016/#comment-1249406

    I look forward to the day when people like Trump and Clinton are nowhere near public office, would vote for neither of them, and do not want to go down the conspiracy path presented. BUT, by making use of a lens of this kind (consent manufacture) you can see why so many lefties are currently shouting “alt right” and “neoliberal left” at each other.

    A = liberal stuff. B = potential war with Russia. C = racist, erratic and crazy. Clinton offers A & B, Trump offers C & not-B. You want A so you vote for Clinton, thus giving her the mandate to provoke a war against Russia, but hoping the constraints of office will prevent this. Someone else, also from the left, wants not-B (not war against Russia) hoping that the constraints of office will modify Trump’s C properties. The first lot think it irresponsible to trust a crazy guy to do or not-do anything, the second lot think it irresponsible to privilege liberal values over major hegemonic warfare.

    • left_forward 3.1

      Where is the evidence for Clinton wanting to provoke a war with Russia?

      • Olwyn 3.1.1

        Insisting on a no-fly zone in Syria points in that direction, as does her continuous and unnecessary demonisation of Putin. Beyond that, the taste she has so far shown for regime-change also points that way. But what I am trying to do here is clarify the values that seem to me to inform people’s attacks on each other – as I have said, I would not vote for either of them.

        • left_forward

          So again we see the problem of false equivalence – comparing your subjective concern about Clinton’s potential tactics in Syria against the overwhelming evidence of an erratic psychopath and giving them equal, mathematical weight in your case. Thus not supporting either of them and affording equal chance for the psychopath!

          • Olwyn

            What do you mean by “…your subjective concern about Clinton’s political tactics in Syria..”? There are people who think that Clinton’s tactics in Syria could lead to a full-scale war with Russia. That is not my subjective concern. And I simply do not get your false equivalence claim. If the above people are right about Clinton, that is a serious matter. If Trump is elected as president and turns out to be as mad as some people think he is, that too is a serious matter. But I am not giving either a strict mathematical value, I am merely trying to explain why this US election has set left-wingers at each others throats.

            • left_forward

              OK Olwyn – apologies – not ‘your’ subjective concern.
              In justifying your sitting-on-the-fence, you give equal weight to the ‘some’ who you say think that Clinton’s motives are for a full-scale war with Russia, compared to the millions (not ‘some’) of people throughout the world who know that Trump is a psychopath (I didn’t say mad).
              That is what is meant by false equivalence.

              • Olwyn

                I don’t know that ‘millions and millions of people throughout the world’ do know that Trump is a psychopath. For myself, I really do detest the kind of politics that both of them represent, so I am not exactly sitting on the fence. If I was a citizen of the US, I would be a Bernie supporter, and would now be interested in getting like-minded people into congress seats. In the presidential election I would most likely vote for Jill Stein, as a vote for common decency. I could never vote for a person who publicly giggled at the murder of a man whose body was defiled by those who killed him, and I am not keen either on a fellow whose views (where I can discern them) seem such a long way from my own, and whose campaign is more like a circus than a bid for high office. But now I’m going to leave it at that. If you deign to answer me, you can have the last word.

          • dukeofurl

            Thats right. What they leave out of Clintons statement about the ‘no fly zone’ was the other words she said about it ‘being used as leverage for a diplomatic solution’
            I personally think its wishful thinking about getting diplomatic leverage this way and Im sure the officials in Defence and State will tell as much when she becomes President.

            PS interesting bit about how the US came to call their leader President- which at the time was about the most non descript word they could think of.

        • Peter Swift

          “the taste she has so far shown for regime-change also points that way”

          When barrel bombs and chlorine are used against civilian non combatants by government forces, then regime change isn’t really the problem, but a logical conclusion of events which should be encouraged and not appeased and forgotten for political expediency.

          And no, I don’t care if wanting despots and mass murderers forcibly removed from office is frowned upon and used as a weapon by the weak willed or agenda driven anti humanity idealogues.
          You lose all credibility the moment you give defacto, by default support to people like the baby killer Assad. Why worry about your opinion?

          • In Vino

            ‘baby-murderer’…. Touching. Even better than the standard ‘mad dog’…

            I think I remember you claiming that you revile similar ‘collateral damage’ done by our side, but you seem to have vitriol only for the other. (I am going with the idea that ‘our side’ is still the pro-US idea that regime-change is more important than peace.)

            • Peter Swift

              You out yourself. You have zero evidence to support your hypothesis I’m pro US.

              • In Vino

                No, I am questioning your use of extremely emotive terms like ‘baby-murderer’ Holy Infanticide, Batman!

                • Peter Swift

                  The context was regime change, chlorine and barrel bombs against civilians.
                  So no, you’re defacto, by default supporting people like the baby killer Assad.
                  You argue as badly as cv.

      • Siobhan 3.1.2

        There may not be evidence she wants to provoke a war with Russia…just that she may provoke one by her policies…

        • McFlock

          What, like how turkey and Russia went to war after the Turks shot down a Russian plane?

          • Siobhan

            “could escalate”, that means part of an escalation rather than…plane shot down…President presses Nuclear Button….

            I found this bit interesting
            “David Deptula, a retired air force lieutenant general who commanded the no-fly zone operations over northern Iraq in 1998 and 1999, said the Russians were a “complicating factor” but considered the problems with a no-fly zone to be more fundamental.
            “Until a strategy that defines the desired end-state is clearly laid out in a comprehensive way, it’s difficult to advocate for a no-fly zone,” said Deptula.”

            That bit is important – ‘a strategy that defines the desired end-state’.

            That little issue has pretty much dictated every single misstep America has made in the Middle East etc. They go marching, well, flying in, without actually figuring out the end goal and how to implement said end goal…or in fact if anyone on the ground agrees with the Americans particular version of ‘end goal’.,

            • McFlock

              So about as much evidence as anyone else on the planet “may provoke” a warif they became president.

        • left_forward

          Thanks for the link Siobhan. In the context of this thread then, her intent with her no fly zone policy is to protect innocent Syrian citizens, a humanitarian concern – far from being the dangerous proponent of war that she was portrayed to be.

          • Manuka AOR

            Exactly. And for one main reason why they do not want it (from that link):

            Critics of the plan also question how using US military power to establish and police a safe space for beleaguered Syrian civilians would contribute to the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad – the explicit goal of US policy in Syria.

          • Siobhan

            You might find this interesting…”The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of
            Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”


    • Manuka AOR 3.2

      I’m not sure why you think that Trump would “avoid war with Russia”

      Any claims he may have made along those lines carry as much weight as his “No body respects women as much as I do”.

      • Olwyn 3.2.1

        Your view conforms with what I have said in taking one of the sides I have outlined – you are essentially saying that “…it is irresponsible to trust a crazy guy to do or not-do anything.”

        • Manuka AOR

          You wrote, Trump offers C & not-B. “not-B” being potential war with Russia.

          Why do you say that Trump is offering “no potential war with Russia”?

          • Olwyn

            While Trump’s statements are often ambiguous, he has suggested a more conciliatory attitude to Russia on various occasions. Here is a recent article that references these kinds of statements of his: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/10/25/is-trump-right-about-putin

            • Manuka AOR

              Informative link – Thanks.

            • Andre

              “Ambiguous” isn’t the only term for Trump’s statements, it’s also that he puts out many different contradictory positions. Which makes it easy for the listener to choose what he/she wants to hear and ignore the rest.

              So out of all of that, there is a small chance that he may choose a path that ends up going in reasonably good direction and end up being “right” in a stopped-clock kind of way. But given his history of bullying, bluster, wilful ignorance and unwillingness to heed advice, the chances of an unfavourable outcome look much higher.

    • Manuka AOR 3.3

      Trump provokes war even in his own camp and within his own party. How he is expected to suddenly develop diplomatic skills that can take a lifetime to evolve, I don’t know. Even his one time idol Putin has expressed contempt for him, – after the video came out of Trump’s denigration of women. (Do I need to find that link again?)

    • Bill 3.4

      Pretty much in agreement with that lens you’re using. And yeah, roll on the day that no people like either of them are anywhere near public office.

      • dukeofurl 3.4.1

        Ah history could prove you wrong. Its never been a choice of the ‘best of the best’ and previous background is forgotten once they lead.

        Who would have thought someone with a background in one of the nasty big UK banks finding ways for oil companies to make more money could have led Scotland to almost winning independence ?

    • McFlock 3.5

      Geopolitics being done rationally by someone with a brain and moderate amounts of empathy is far safer than being done by an empathy-challenged narcissistic idiot, in my opinion.

      So I’m not sure your B/not-B attributions are reasonable.

      • Bill 3.5.1

        Are you suggesting Clinton has a meaningful measure of empathy? Just thinking the whole – “We came, we saw, they died” thing. And sure there are probably instances where empathy seemed to be in play. But was it spontaneous or unscripted?

        As for brain – if you mean cunning, then yes. If you mean intelligence, then meh.

        But sure, as a hypothetical based on, perhaps, ‘less cynical’ assumptions than mine, your reservations make sense.

        • McFlock

          Without comparison to Trump, yes, I think she does have a reasonable amount of empathy. The “We came, we saw, they died” thing was pretty reasonable given the circumstances. It doesn’t mean she’s any less empathetic than a surgeon who cuts people open every day.

          Senior levels of government – any government – are some of the few roles where any decision you make will kill people. You have to get used to that. I think Clinton (and Obama) thinks about that, and tries to prioritise less death rather than being careless as to the butcher’s bill – although I’m not sure what ‘exchange rate’ she has for foreign vs US citizen deaths.

          Even without that, I’ve had a chuckle at some of the Darwin Award entries. That doesn’t mean an absence of a meaningful level of empathy. Distance lessens impact.

          • Olwyn

            We came, we saw, they died” thing was pretty reasonable given the circumstances.

            While you may be right about Clinton’s superior rationality, I simply cannot agree with you about this one. The fact that I seem to be one of just a few who get upset about it always surprises me. I accept that high rank often renders someone instrumental in the deaths of others, but this kind of talk shows utter blindness to the requirement of showing respect to a defeated enemy. It also sets an abysmal standard for the armed forces who are doing her bidding – it’s like saying, “Kick them around all you want – it doesn’t matter, they’re just trash.” Hence I think that such talk, particularly when it is in public, renders you unfit for high office.

            This doesn’t mean I support Trump – I just think things have reached the point where the least-worst is no longer a real option.

            • Andre

              If gritting your teeth, swallowing hard, and choosing the least worst is no longer an option, what’s the way forward? Gore-Bush-Nader 2000 gives the lesson of what happens when enough people reject the idea of choosing the lesser of two evils.

              • Olwyn

                I like Bernie’s way forward – working to get good people standing for congress. If successful, this will help to hold whoever is president to account, and perhaps also make a difference to the kind of people who are put forward in the future as presidential candidates.

                • Andre

                  Yep, and Sanders and Warren have also been pretty clear Hillary has a choice: honour her progressive commitments and have them as allies, or “pivot to the center” and they’ll work just as hard as the Repugs to make her life hell (but from the other side).

                  But for them to have any influence, they need Hillary and not Trump.

            • McFlock

              Oh come on, we’re not talking about using his skull as a candle-holder. It was a flippant comment upon receiving initial rumours that he might be dead. There’s no “requirement” against that.

              The guy was a jerk and few if any really mourned his passing, and quite a few celebrated it. If a pithy little line about his death upsets you, you’d have been puking at some of the jokes we were saying in the pub when princess di died (to be fair, the reaction and coverage to her crash was waaaaay over the top).

              • Olwyn

                The people at the pub do not generally hold high office, and even if at your pub they do, they are chewing the fat at the pub. Speaking on TV, as a part of the government, is a different matter.

                • McFlock

                  As an initial reaction to media rumours, I think it was fine. I certainly don’t agree that it sends a bad message to the military. In fact it describes the basic role of that se rvice. Strikes me as pretty tame, even for pretrump days.

  4. joe90 4

    Temperament of a twelve year old.

    The intense ambitions and undisciplined behaviors of Mr. Trump have confounded even those close to him, especially as his presidential campaign comes to a tumultuous end, and he confronts the possibility of the most stinging defeat of his life. But in the more than five hours of conversations — the last extensive biographical interviews Mr. Trump granted before running for president — a powerful driving force emerges: his deep-seated fear of public embarrassment.

    The recordings reveal a man who is fixated on his own celebrity, anxious about losing his status and contemptuous of those who fall from grace. They capture the visceral pleasure he derives from fighting, his willful lack of interest in history, his reluctance to reflect on his life and his belief that most people do not deserve his respect.

    In the interviews, Mr. Trump makes clear just how difficult it is for him to imagine — let alone accept — defeat.


    There is little trace of sympathy or understanding. When people lose face, Mr. Trump’s reaction is swift and unforgiving.

    And when Mr. Trump feels he has been made a fool of, his response can be volcanic. Ivana Trump told Mr. D’Antonio about a Colorado ski vacation she took with Mr. Trump soon after they began dating. The future Mrs. Trump had not told her boyfriend that she was an accomplished skier. As she recalls it, Mr. Trump went down the hill first and waited for her at the bottom:

    IVANA TRUMP: So he goes and stops, and he says, “Come on, baby. Come on, baby.” I went up. I went two flips up in the air, two flips in front of him. I disappeared. Donald was so angry, he took off his skis, his ski boots, and walked up to the restaurant. … He could not take it. He could not take it


    Ivana Trump on Skiing 0:35

    He had been bested in public. As he stormed off the slope, leaving behind a trail of equipment, she recalled, Mr. Trump could not contain his embarrassment.

    “I’m not going to do this,” she recalled him saying, “for anybody, including Ivana.”


    edit: alternative link http://archive.li/soI1y

  5. Andre 6

    Some down-ballot Republicans think it’s defamatory to suggest they might support Trump.


  6. Manuka AOR 7

    Libertarian candidate bows out – warns supporters to not vote for Trump:

    Accepting that his presidential bid will fail, Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld on Tuesday obliquely urged voters to vote for Hillary Clinton.

    In a Tuesday statement addressed to “those in the electorate who remain torn between two so-called major party candidates,” the former Massachusetts governor told Republicans not to vote for the GOP nominee out of “fear for our country.”

    “After careful observation and reflection, I have come to believe that Donald Trump, if elected President of the United States, would not be able to stand up to this pressure and this criticism without becoming unhinged and unable to perform competently the duties of his office,” he said at a Boston press conference.

    Weld ticks off a long list of what he sees as Trump’s flaws, including his childish response to criticism, divisive rhetoric about immigrants and minorities, instability, and lack of familiarity with policy.

    While Weld said he will see his bid with Gary Johnson through to Election Day, he acknowledged that the Libertarian Party ticket, which has languished far behind in the polls, will not break “the two party monopoly” this year. He announced in early October that he would spend the rest of the campaign cycle speaking out against Trump. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bill-weld-tells-voters-pick-clinton-over-trump

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      Surely you should say ‘urges supporters to vote for Clinton’ without mentioning her name.
      Funny that

      • Ad 7.1.1

        There’s no problem.
        Adele came out for Clinton yesterday, live at her concert.
        So Clinton will win with that fan base alone. 😉

  7. joe90 8

    Some of these pricks make blubber boy look like a choir boy.


    Great America PAC began airing radio ads earlier this month in eight key battleground states — including Florida and Ohio — that uses several out-of-context quotes by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to suggest the Democrats are deceiving black voters.

    Benton, who took a reduced role in the PAC after he was convicted in May of buying a senator’s endorsement while working for Ron Paul in the 2012 election, told the undercover reporters how he hoped the ads and other schemes would drive down voter turnout among likely Hillary Clinton supporters.
    Report Advertisement

    “In Cleveland, if we can return Hillary to normal turnout levels … we can turn her to regular turnout levels she’s gonna lose about 60,000 votes in that area – that’s dead heat,” Benton said in the video, recorded Oct. 13 at a New York hotel. “So we have a voter suppression campaign quite frankly, targeting African-Americans, and sort of suburban moms, just bad stuff about Hillary, just trying to take their taste for her away.”


  8. Ovid 9

    Epic Rap Battles of History does Donald vs Hillary

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