US Election Discussion Post weekend edition 22/10/16

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 am, October 23rd, 2016 - 50 comments
Categories: us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

This week we are trialling something new. 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 goes in the 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.

50 comments on “US Election Discussion Post weekend edition 22/10/16 ”

  1. Manuka AOR 1

    Bernie may chair US Senate Budget Committee

    House Speaker Paul Ryan unintentionally galvanized the left with threat of “a guy named Bernie Sanders” taking over the Senate Budget Committee

    Though he may not have won the presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders has again demonstrated the power of his influence, raising nearly $2 million in just two days for down-ticket Democrats hoping to carry the mantle of his “political revolution” into Congress come November.

    As of late Thursday, emails to Sanders’ donor list brought in a whopping $1.88 million for 13 progressive candidates for the House and Senate.

    An aide told reporters the one of the biggest beneficiaries of Sanders’ fundraising efforts was Deborah Ross, the Democratic nominee challenging Republican Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina. Her campaign took in an estimated $300,000 after Sanders sent an email declaring that contest “one of the most important Senate races,” and describing Ross as an enemy of the Koch brothers—who have poured millions into that fight—and a champion for working families.

    Further galvanizing the left were comments made by GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, who told young conservatives last week: “If we lose the Senate, do you know who becomes chair of the Senate Budget Committee? A guy named Bernie Sanders. You ever heard of him?”

    • Olwyn 1.1

      Bernie Sanders’ seriousness about the need for change and his resourcefulness in pursuing are among the most heartening things in politics right now – a reminder of what sanity and decency look like. Getting like-minded people into congress will do more for the revolution that the presidential nomination by itself would have, but running for the nomination has given him the leverage he needs to take on congress.

  2. Manuka AOR 2

    A cry from the heart in US:
    “If only we could vote for peace, instead of a ‘Commander-in-Chief’.
    by Robert Koehler

    Maybe it’s the phrase — “commander in chief” — that best captures the transcendent absurdity and unaddressed horrors of the 2016 election season and the business as usual that will follow.

    I don’t want to elect anyone commander in chief: not the xenophobic misogynist and egomaniac, not the Henry Kissinger acolyte and Libya hawk. The big hole in this democracy is not the candidates; it’s the bedrock, founding belief that the rest of the world is our potential enemy, that war with someone is always inevitable and only a strong military will keep us safe.

    In a million ways, we’ve outgrown this concept, or been pushed beyond it by awareness of global human connectedness and the shared planetary risk of eco-collapse. So whenever I hear someone in the media bring “commander in chief” into the discussion — always superficially and without question — what I hear is boys playing war. Yes, we wage war in a real way as well, but when the public is invited to participate in the process by selecting its next commander in chief, this is pretend war at its most surreal: all glory and greatness and hammering ISIS in Mosul.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      And that is a sentiment we both share wholeheartedly AOR.

      The moment the USA exploded the first nuclear bomb at Trinity this idea the ‘world is our enemy’ was essentially obsolete. The sovereign nation state, permanently armed and in conflict with all others, is emphatically NOT the apex of human political organisation.

      The next stage is global.

      • Manuka AOR 2.1.1

        The next stage is global.

        Yep, realising we’re all in this together on tiny spaceship Earth.

        Cheers RL

    • Trump hasn’t done the Republican’s brand any favours either. Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight are recording a solid shift to the Democrats in the senate race. They now rate the chances of a change in the majority at over 70%.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        A lot of Republican Senators and House Representatives are now counting on split-ticket voting to save their seats. Current polls suggest that a lot of voters are planning to split-ticket, despite or because of Trump.

        But I’ve become curious about how well split-ticket intentions in polling actually transfer into split-ticket votes. In one of the elections I voted in, I fully intended to split-ticket, but once in the booth and facing the machine, it turned into too much of a hassle to split-ticket, so I said screw it and just voted straight-ticket.

        I’ve had a quick look through the likes of 538’s explanation of their polls plus models and they don’t mention that as one of their factors. Any poll nerds out there (maybe swordfish?) have any info on this?

  3. Andre 4

    A useful read for progressives concerned there may be misalignment between Hillary’s stated positions and actual intentions.

    • Siobhan 4.1

      Matthew Yglesias??Really??
      I’m not sure if a free market loving liberal blogger is about to convince any Hillary doubting Progressives out there. The guy is a well known, unquestioning Hillary supporter.

      I recommend you read this piece about Vox and their sponsors

      • Andre 4.1.1

        That’s certainly an effective hit piece on Vox and Yglesias.

        But I’m curious, do you have anything to say about the actual arguments Yglesias makes?

        Y’know, any counters to arguments like “Pointing to the alignment of your proposed course of action with a clear public commitment, by contrast, is a pretty good argument: “We’re doing this because it’s what we said we were going to do” helps bring career staffers along, and it’s a good explanation to give to curious reporters.” ?

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      Betfair showing best odds for Trump at 5/1 (or is that 1/5?).

      • Blackcap 5.1.1

        No betfair are showing Trump at 5/1 and Clinton is at 1/5… ie Clinton is the hot favourite.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      “Most heavy consumers of social media understand that the allegations against Donald Trump of sexual misconduct have largely been debunked (77%).”

      Except they haven’t been.

      It reads like polling from another dimension, and is so far away from what other polls are saying that frankly I think it’s probably made up. From a website purporting to end the ‘banksters manipulation of the silver market’, I don’t think it’s very credible.

  4. Tory 6

    It’s all over bar the shouting; Trump polling at 63,% and. Clinton @ 37%.

    Who would have thought………

  5. Andre 7

    About those Project Veritas/James O’Keefe videos…

    …maybe they will eventually make its way to a court and they’ll end up having to give up the unedited original footage as part of discovery…

    …and then we might find out it’s another “Planned Parenthood sells baby parts” kind of bullshit.

    • joe90 7.1

      Dishonest criminal knows his edits are dishonest.

      SAM SEDER: Are you going to release the full footage of your tapes?

      JAMES O’KEEFE: Why don’t you ask all these journalists here if they’re going to release their full, raw, unedited notebooks?

      SEDER: But it’s a different–

      O’KEEFE: No, listen. Sam–


      SEDER: James, you have to admit it’s a different thing–

      O’KEEFE: Is it? Is it? Is it?

      SEDER: Undercover video where it’s been shown, I mean, there were several reports that showed during the, that you have edited tapes in such a way to prove your–

      O’KEEFE: Name one edit I’ve made. I want you to name right now, for your audience, name one specific edit I have made. Because I can debunk every one of those reports. Go ahead.

      SEDER: Well, I mean, I haven’t [unintelligible].

      O’KEEFE: OK, well I would like you to get back to me.

      SEDER: But you can debunk that by releasing that video. Why wouldn’t you release all the video?

      O’KEEFE: Because no journalist in their right mind would ever release their raw notebooks and if they did, Sam–

      SEDER: Well, it’s not a notebook. It is caught on camera.

      O’KEEFE: Let me tell you something: No journalist ever releases the raw, and the reason, and if they did, if all these journalists released the raw, you would see a different story. They piece words together to paint a specific portrait.

      SEDER: So you paste the words together to paint–

      O’KEEFE: No. I have video. I don’t just have words. I have video.


      SEDER: Are you saying you did piece it together to paint a picture?

      O’KEEFE: That’s what journalism is. Journalism is telling a story. And I will stand by every single edit. I will go to — I will be in contempt of court to protect my undercover reporters because I’m standing for something greater than myself. I’m standing for the right of citizen journalists. No one here would ever dare release their raw. No one would.

  6. fender 8

    estudio 3.14 imagines Trumps wall in all it’s perversity

  7. joe90 9

    Trump encourages voter intimidation.

  8. Macro 10

    Wow! I just can’t wait to see it in all its pinkness. What a magnificent idea – I guess it can be financed by canning the manned trip to Mars, and the impeding invasions of Europe and China.

    • Manuka AOR 10.1

      .. and have huge “Chairman Mao Tse Trump” portraits every few hundred metres 🙂

  9. rhinocrates 13

    War is Boring on Trump’s ignorance of how military alliances work:

    Earlier in the debate, Clinton accused Trump of wanting to tear up America’s alliances. Trump reeled.

    “All I said was we have to renegotiate these agreements because our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea and many other places,” Trump said.

    Trump insisted that his stated desire to dismantle NATO had compelled NATO to start paying the United States … protection money, or something — the Republican candidate was never quite clear on what he meant by “pay.”

    It’s not new, he’s stated it many times before – one of the few points he’s been consistent on apart from racism, misogyny and being generally vile.

    Now, whatever you think of NATO or the alliance with Japan, that’s a demand for a sudden strategic independence in some very troubled areas of the world. Part of the bargain in those alliances is that member countries that don’t already have nuclear weapons don’t need to acquire their own. However, there has already been discussion in Japan about rewriting their constitution to allow nuclear armaments to counter North Korea. Trump would actively encourage this.

    Trump’s “policy” is a recipe for nuclear proliferation and indeed he’s stated previously that he’s keen on it. “Help yourselves” and “If we’ve got them, why don’t we use them?” are his previous statements on the issue. Now it may be “unfair” for major powers alone to have nukes and awful that anybody has them, but proliferation is worse.

    • joe90 13.1

      The buffoon thinks he’s playing monopoly.

      Similarly, Trump seems to view most political debates or geopolitical conflicts in terms of simple winners and losers. That’s been consistent across his political history, but it’s also not hard to contemplate a Trump who imagines himself in some sort of global boardroom, deciding which player on Team Obama is going to be fired for losing to Team Putin.

      You can even hear this in the way Trump discusses how Iran or China or Russia “outplayed” the US. Everything becomes a game of this versus that, of nation versus nation, of us versus them. It, on some level, always boils down to two Apprentice teams against each other, with Trump himself getting to decide who won and who lost.

  10. gsays 14

    i heard on rnz news this morning trump has a good idea.

    he proposes a 5 year stand down period for politicians before moving into lobbying and “proposed a lifetime ban on senior executive branch officials from lobbying for foreign governments and called on Congress to restructure campaign finance laws to prevent lobbyists who work for foreign governments from raising money for U.S. elections.” from the washington post.

    regardless of the rest of election distractions, this is a good idea.

    the sort of thing one gets from a non-politician, kinda like being initially coy about declaring acceptance of the election result.

    • rhinocrates 14.1

      Not just lobbying for foreign governments, but transnational corporations. Have a look at the career paths of many former politicians who have left office at a relatively young age to join banks and the like. You get it with former generals being appointed to the boards of military contractors too.

      The problem with career politicians is that they see a period in political office as a means of making connections and proving their worth for their later careers, thus putting their own career interests and their cronies ahead of the electorate that they supposedly serve. Tony Blair is one of the most egregious examples. Former PMs Moore and Shipley have done it here.

      On the other hand we have the careerists Mallard and Robertson who hang around forever and are utterly unemployable outside parliament (except maybe as compost, lawn ornaments or novelty paperweights etc).

      I’d like to see term limits applied to discourage politicians getting entrenched in their old boys’ clubs. E.g., no more than two or three consecutive terms as a list-only MP to start with, a stand-down period for departing MPs to keep them from a lobbying role and a strengthened and transparent public service to mitigate dilettantism that may occur with relatively inexperiences ministers whose job should be policy, not administration.

      • red-blooded 14.1.1

        Hey, it’s all very well to sit outside of parliament and criticise, but I wouldn’t want our country being run by a constantly-shifting bunch of newbies. It does take time to build up expertise and breadth of experience in any demanding job, and that includes an MP (let alone cabinet minister or PM)’s job. And is it perhaps possible that people who do decide to stick around in parliament for a while might (just might) have a sense of public service and a commitment to their political viewpoint and policies? Why so down on politicians as a group?

  11. rhinocrates 15


    Alt Right conspiracy image generator

    [how about we all tone down the having a go at people eh? – weka]

  12. joe90 16

    On the Hillary hate.

    This, to put it mildly, is not a characterisation supported by Mrs Clinton’s ratings. Around 55% of Americans have an unfavourable view of her; about the same number do not trust her (see chart). Yet, among those who know Mrs Clinton, even critics praise her integrity. She is a politician, therefore self-interested and cynical at times—yet driven, they say, by an overarching desire to improve America. More surprising, given the many scandals she has been involved in, including an ongoing furore over her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state, not many of those who have dealt with her seem to think her particularly shifty. Even some of her foes say the concern about her probity is overblown. “People can go back decades and perhaps criticise some of the judgments that were made,” Michael Chertoff, who was the Republican lead counsel in one of the first probes into Mrs Clinton, the Senate Whitewater Committee, but has endorsed her, told Bloomberg. “That is very, very insignificant compared to the fundamental issue of how to protect the country.”

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Agreed about the ridiculous ‘hating’ thing. Clinton may not be the most entertaining politician, but in personal terms she’s far more compelling than Trump.

      The problem I have with her is that in political terms she seems to represent business as usual with spades on. Oh I’m sure she will push for some worthwhile tinkering at the edges. But is she capable of the fundamental change of direction so many people in the USA are yearning for?

      Based on her track record alone I’m not optimistic.

  13. rhinocrates 17

    Debates given the Weird Al treatment:

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