2016 US Presidential Election

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sardia
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:26 am UTC

Xeio wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
Also I saw something about Trump saying he "might not win"... Is he worried? He certainly needs to galvanise his supporters, those not haemorrhaged away already, so easing back on the 'natural confidence' might be useful. (Not to say I'm predicting any particular result, myself; a week is a long time in politics, a fortnight more so...)
It makes me wonder if he's going to underperform his polling significantly. Telling his voters the process is rigged isn't going to be doing any favors, and beyond that does he have any ground game at all left with the RNC pulling out?

Apparently telling your voters the contest is rigged makes them less likely to vote. It could be that Trump is giving up but I don't think we are that lucky. However, others need Trump to keep the charade up or else they'll lose down ballot.
Last edited by sardia on Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:39 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Xeio » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:35 am UTC

Man, it'd be amazing if Trump somehow pushed the House into play...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:44 am UTC

Xeio wrote:Man, it'd be amazing if Trump somehow pushed the House into play...

Not yet, or likely given current scenarios. You'd need Trump to do something else, like rape a woman on tape on "The Apprentice" or something. Or maybe Trump performs an abortion by falcon punching a christian pastor's 9 month pregnant wife.

1. Democrats simply weren't expecting Trump to win, so they wrote off the House, (didn't encourage their best proto politicians to run)
2. Democrats best and brightest were all culled during the last midterm and previous elections. They simply don't have anywhere to practice as a politician (like state houses or county seats).

So Democrats are stuck playing catch up.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby addams » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:19 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:
lorb wrote:
addams wrote:And! Dangerous!
Did we mention how dangerous politics in the U.S. is?


Please elaborate? What dangers are awaiting aspiring politicians at the local level, except frustration and boredom?

Smear campaign, false accusations of child molestation via puppet accounts on social media, release of home address and a "no smoke without fire" mob torching the place with the candidate inside "just to be safe."

I can't cite an example of it happening, but would you really be surprised?
Yes, Sableagle.
You seem to understand some of the risks.
I stood too close to the fire for a while.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... mmo-214382
From morriswalters' article:
“With a big set of balls, they could stop any Supreme Court nominee—as many as she gives 'em, because the Constitution doesn’t say there needs to be nine justices,” Steve said. “The best thing that can happen in Washington is nothing, gridlock.”
Gridlock.
Stonewalling and Gridlock.

On everything except dismantling domestic policy,
making new enemies and keeping the old enemies.

The last 20 years have been a Nightmare for U.S. domestic governance and for the world.
It would be hard work for this nation to repair the damage, if we were to work together.

The chances of us working with hope and good will toward our fellow man is not impossible, just unlikely.
The 'feel' of The Game is all the gun range man, Trumpers and FOX News viewers want from our governors.

@ Morris:
morriswalters wrote:
addams wrote:Breaking into local politics is expensive, time consuming, hard work.
Doing everything I need to do to be in a position to wake up tomorrow is time consuming hard work.
But if you don't do it eventually there is no tomorrow.
What??
When were you last in a meeting?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:22 am UTC

Layco wrote:Next we have her accepting of bribes from dictators in foreign countries (I named Saudi Arabia and DRC).
This is false: Saudia Arabia donated money to the Clinton Foundation -- which she wasn't even part of during her tenure as Secretary of State (which wouldn't matter, because they didn't donate anything while she was Secretary of State anyway).

Besides, she didn't collect a salary from the Clinton Foundation -- claiming that these donations are bribes is like claiming that I'm bribing the cashier clerk at McDonalds every time I upsize my happy-meal.
Layco wrote:Then we have her money laundering activities with the Clinton Foundation. The evidence here isn't definitive (it can't be without an official government investigation), but clearly there is illicit activity going on.
There is literally no evidence of money laundering going on in the Clinton Foundation, definitive or otherwise.
Layco wrote:I'll also submit into her list of crimes election fraud, specifically in the Democratic Primary versus Bernie Sanders.
This is true only if by "Hillary Clinton" you mean "the DNC", and by "election fraud" you mean "some shady conflicts of agenda".

I'm not going to address your other points, because I don't know enough to do so; that being said, the above claims are nothing more than conspiracy-theory claptrap. Where did you hear this nonsense from?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:53 am UTC

Oh fuck it; I'll address the rest, too:
Layco wrote:We have Obama's war crimes in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya, and Sudan - of which Clinton is most directly complicit in Libya.
You know that in Libya, we pretty much just provided surveillance and refueling, right? You can argue that we shouldn't have helped; you can argue that we were complicit in any war crimes that NATO's forces may have committed -- but to claim that Obama is guilty of war-crimes in Libya (and Hillary was complicit with them)?

Like, what -- is the guy who puts gas in Hitler's tanks a war-criminal, now?
Layco wrote:We have Clintons' war crime not covered by this list: namely the tragedy of the Haitian relief effort.
As much as the Clintons fucked up their part of the Haitian relief effort, I don't see how this constitutes a 'war crime'; did the Clintons have a personal army at this time? Did they declare war on Haiti and just not tell anyone about it?

Do you even know what a war crime is?
Layco wrote:There's also the matter of her carelessness in handling her private email server... but I'm uninterested in that so I won't bother linking you to the FBI's official statement.
This is the closest thing you've mentioned to an actual crime Hillary is (maybe? probably? possibly?) guilty of.

Seriously, where did you hear this stuff?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby lorb » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:00 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Besides, she didn't collect a salary from the Clinton Foundation -- claiming that these donations are bribes is like claiming that I'm bribing the cashier clerk at McDonalds every time I upsize my happy-meal.


I do not believe that Hillary is a criminal openly taking bribes, but she is not absolutely clean either. The most problematic accusation of bribery is in my eyes the Russian uranium deal. Here is a NYTimes article on it for more details. The gist of it is that the Russian atomic energy agency (Rosatom) bought Uranium mines on US soil, which requires the approval of the State Department which Hillary Clinton was the head of at that time. At about the same time she did approve of it, a few millions of dollars flowed into the Clinton Foundation from the chairman of the in-between company controlled by Rosatom. Hillary also received half a million dollars for a speech in moscow that involved the deal. On top of that the donations were not disclosed, despite an agreement with the White House to do so, though this was legal because of some technicality.
There is no proof that she took a bribe, and it's important to keep that in mind, but if the other candidate wasn't Donald Trump this would make her look really bad and is cause for at least some concern.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:20 am UTC

This is false: Saudia Arabia donated money to the Clinton Foundation -- which she wasn't even part of during her tenure as Secretary of State (which wouldn't matter, because they didn't donate anything while she was Secretary of State anyway).

Isn't that a bit naive? Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states shower money on everyone who has been nice to them - especially former American presidents. Of course it's a bribe. What else would it be? Every American president knows - if you're nice to Saudis and the Gulf, they'll help you set up your post-presidency career. You want to go into charity? They'll donate to your charity. You want to do consultancy, they give you fat contracts. You want to go into oil, they put your pals on a preferred vendor list. You want to start a circus, they book you for the first few years.

Now, it's possible that Hillary Clinton objected to this, and only grudgingly went along as her husband called in his due favours. It's possible that Saudi Arabia (and other donors) were completely unaware of Hillary Clinton's ambitions, and had no idea that she might become a powerful figure in her own right several whole years in the future. It's possible that the Clintons never return a favour and only sucker smart and powerful people into handing them favours for nothing, decade after decade.

But the simplest explanation is that some of those people (like Saudi Arabia) gave the Clintons and their projects money because they received and expect preferential treatment. Not big betrayals of the national interest. A sympathetic ear for their concerns, softer gloves, less confrontations and more willingness to make a deal.

Washington(and other capitals) are full of this kind of backscratching. Perhaps it's unfair that the Clintons get singled out for a relatively benign and charitable version of the Bushes' core family business. It's still shady, and it would be better if you could somehow get rid of it.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:26 pm UTC

Of course it's a bribe. What else would it be? Every American president knows - if you're nice to Saudis and the Gulf, they'll help you set up your post-presidency career.
This is veering pretty close to tin foil hat territory. Driven there by the phrase, every American President. It implies an implicit conspiracy by every American President to either or profit from or conceal an effort by the Saudi's to influence the policy of the US with their wealth.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:57 pm UTC

(from the last page)

Xeio wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
Also I saw something about Trump saying he "might not win"... Is he worried? He certainly needs to galvanise his supporters, those not haemorrhaged away already, so easing back on the 'natural confidence' might be useful. (Not to say I'm predicting any particular result, myself; a week is a long time in politics, a fortnight more so...)
It makes me wonder if he's going to underperform his polling significantly. Telling his voters the process is rigged isn't going to be doing any favors, and beyond that does he have any ground game at all left with the RNC pulling out?


Not only are you telling the voters the process is rigged, but you are admitting defeat which is also discouraging to your voters. Trump has pretty much no ground game - he's relied entirely on social media. Democrats still have a huge ground campaign, and they are going to be focusing heavily on GOTV these next couple of weeks. Polling could end up being off by 1%-2% in Hillary's favor from that alone.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:35 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:I don't see any reference to the "suicide gene" aspect of Big GMO companies, which wouldhave been a useful argument to use if making an actual point.


How would this be a useful point?

1) Terminator genes have never seen commercial use. Never. Not once. Zip. Zero. Nada.
2) Farmers who buy seed from suppliers have ALWAYS had to buy new seed the next year, "always" being "since the 1920s". Because virtually every crop is a hybrid crop, which can't be used for further generations. With GMO crops instead, it's more "sign this contract please", which is actually a major improvement over the prior hybrid issue; in the event of catastrophe where contracts are worthless anyway, the farmers do have seeds that work.
3) Sterile seeds don't sprout, which is a useful property for seeds you don't plan to plant the next season.
4) If everyone was SOOO worried about cross pollination of GMOs, wouldn't terminator genes be something we'd WANT?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:49 pm UTC

This is veering pretty close to tin foil hat territory. Driven there by the phrase, every American President. It implies an implicit conspiracy by every American President to either or profit from or conceal an effort by the Saudi's to influence the policy of the US with their wealth.

Where do you think the tinfoil hat starts? Serious question, i'd like to see where our perspectives start to differ.

Can we agree on some of these points?
- Saudi Arabia (and its neighbouring oil states) try to buy influence in Washington, in the most general terms. They pay a lot of money to lobbyists, donate to think tanks , donate to charities that are popular in DC, hold lavish parties, etc.
- Saudi Arabia has no moral objection to bribing foreign leaders. To the extent that they don't send such bribes to US leaders, it's because those people won't (or can't) accept them.
- Saudi Arabia donated at least to charities and the library projects of Carter, Reagan's wife, Bush sr and Clinton.
- Bush sr and people around him did plenty of profitable business with the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and their oil companies, but it is hard to tell from the outside if this was done on favourable terms to him.

My inference from this, is that Saudi Arabia supports the post-presidential life of presidents as a message to future presidents. Be friendly to us, and we'll help you later in proportion. This is the closest they can get to bribing, and they would send more straight bribes if they could.

I have no idea what presidents do exactly in return. If I could guess, nothing much explicit, nor is that expected. The goal is simply that the president knows, when dealing with Saudi affairs, that their future life will be tad easier or harder, depending on what they do now. Which won't make or break decisions, but might just push for a benefit of the doubt.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:11 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Israel used to have that - you would vote for a party in parliament and a prime minister. It hasn't done that in a long while to avoid having conflicting legislative and executive branches.
What kind of conflicts?
The system has many disadvantages, the biggest IMO is that in order for the PM to gain a different party's they sign "coalition agreements" with them, which often block them from doing meaningful changes
Blocks them from legislative changes or from taking executive action?
Well, actually, I would say the biggest downside is Netanyahu has been the PM for approximately a thousand years.
Yeah, I think for most Americans any system that allows for some yahoo who is dislike to become and remain head of government is a non-starter.
morriswalters wrote: It implies an implicit conspiracy by every American President to either or profit from or conceal an effort by the Saudi's to influence the policy of the US with their wealth.
The word "conspiracy" implies all these American presidents were working in coordination in this. What Zamfir is implying just involves the Saudis coordinating amongst themselves.

The word "conspiracy" also implies a lot more is hidden then actually is. These acts of soft bribery aren't really hidden, but just downplayed.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zohar » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:27 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Zohar wrote:Israel used to have that - you would vote for a party in parliament and a prime minister. It hasn't done that in a long while to avoid having conflicting legislative and executive branches.
What kind of conflicts?
Basically what's happening in the US - having a legislative house that doesn't support the actions of the executive branch.

Blocks them from legislative changes or from taking executive action?

Both. It's very easy for a party's platform to include support of LGBTQ rights and not providing wide-ranging welfare subsidies to orthodox Jews and include marriage law reform (that's a whole other subject...), and then when they don't work on any of that blame it on the coalition agreements they signed with a religious party in the government.

Yeah, I think for most Americans any system that allows for some yahoo who is dislike to become and remain head of government is a non-starter.
The problem with Netanyahu is that he's actually liked by many people. His fear tactics are very effective in keeping him in power.

Really, Israel's situation is pretty terrible. I suppose we do have democratic rule, but it's constantly being crumbled away by right-wing parties that aim to instill a racist, anti-Arab, pro-Orthodox Judaism, war-mongering agenda in the population.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:20 pm UTC

@ Zohar, there might be some (almost) unavoidable compromise there. On the one hand, you need clarity. People win an election, they get to implement their platform. Voters can judge if they do want they said, and if it does what they promised it would. On the other hand, you need some inertia, so policy doesn't get overturned at the first chance. There's an unavoidable tention between the two.

Coalition governments are one kind of balance, a parliament and executive with separate mandates is another. Both together might be too far in the inertia direction - the US can get away with its conflict system because it also has a two-party system.

The UK leans unusually far in the seesaw direction. You win an election, you immediately get to cleanse the government machinery of the opposition and push through your plans.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:46 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:The UK leans unusually far in the seesaw direction. You win an election, you immediately get to cleanse the government machinery of the opposition and push through your plans.

Well, we have Lords, and manifestos aren't quite "we're going to do the reverse of everything the other guys did".
Well, some might be - but they generally don't get elected.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:49 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Where do you think the tinfoil hat starts? Serious question, i'd like to see where our perspectives start to differ.
When you suggest every American President from Carter onward has been bribed.
Of course it's a bribe. What else would it be? Every American president knows - if you're nice to Saudis and the Gulf, they'll help you set up your post-presidency career.
One I might buy, but all? Not this week. With all due respects, if American Presidents are being bribed by the Saudi's, they don't end up wealthy enough. On the matter of the Presidential Libraries, I don't see the quid pro quo. I doesn't pass the sniff test, but frankly that's all about public opinion.

On a more humorous note, how do you know what every President knows? The question is "Of course it's a bribe. What else would it be?". Followed by "Every American president knows - if you're nice to Saudis and the Gulf, they'll help you set up your post-presidency career." I suspect that some American Presidents, on dark nights when the Middle East is throbbing, think that parking a boomer off the Arabian peninsula and sterilizing the Saudi's and just about every other Middle Eastern country would be just a peachy idea. I also think they would take the money and do nothing, and whisper something under their breaths about fucking over the <insert any popular Arab slur>.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:02 pm UTC

Commons (refreshes a little or a lottle upon each General Election) usually buffers the "Hey, we got most!" bit where the in-power and opposition (and the rest) swap idealism for reality, in whatever combination is applicable to the current balance of power.

The Lords tends to act as a shock-absorber, although there's always complaints by those whose shocks they are absorbing. Which, for me, makes me like them more as everyone in the Commons hates them at one point or other, it seems, even those that wangle their way into the Lords after they've finished their own stint in the Commons. (Or their own stint in the Commons has finished with them!)

And then there's the unknown numbers of Sir Humphreys in Whitehall that probably suggest what sort of things are and aren't wise to the various incumbants.

Oh, and fon't forget our judiciary (some parts being in the Lords, but often considered separate) who can (or can be asked to) intervene in things, but that's not quite as absolute as SCOTUS, as the rules they work to can be adjusted by Act Of Parliament, in the way that the Constitution+ is rarely done.

But that's a simplification (where I'm not using possibly obscure terminology like "Sir Humphreys") and wrong in key ways that a constitutional expert could dismantle in mere moments.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:45 pm UTC

Layco wrote:Guys, ask yourselves why you aren't voting for Jill Stein; if the answer is that "she can't win", then ask yourself why she can't win. The answer? Because you won't vote for her because you think she can't win prima facie.


My answer for her is that I think Johnson is a somewhat better candidate. We match up better on the issues. Things like anti-vaxxing things are legitimately concerning for me, and Johnson realized his error on that, apologized, and changed, while Stein is still effectively courting their vote.

That's fairly major in my book, entirely apart from electability. Yeah, it's not entirely the same as believing in it herself, but it still means that if she somehow got into power that way, she'd be somewhat beholden to them. I definitely see the anti-GMO stuff as fearmongering, and I think this general area is something the Green base, such as it is, has problems with.

It is also true that she is unlikely to be elected, of course, but when comparing those two, while the Libertarians are ahead, the difference is not so great. Third and fourth place are leagues behind first and second. While I personally do not plan to vote for her, I do agree that reasons based on her beliefs are sounder than reasons based solely on electability.

Conservatives/Liberals (as they are called in the US) all want the same things... higher standard of living, ethical decision making (ethics across country share a lot of common ground), free and open democratic politics, and to feel that they are treated equally/fairly. The differences are that one side has been tricked by the Republicans and the other side has been tricked by the Democrats.


Sort of. But in the details, things break out differently. What is MEANT by ethical decision making, fair treatment, etc may differ significantly.

Partisan politics is a thing of the past - it will come back after societies are far more advanced and the only policy decisions to rule on are social issues, but that's a ways away.


Partisan politics have basically always been with us. It's a little optimistic to think we can dispense with them entirely. It's fair that we should be aware of our biases, but I don't expect people to abandon parties anytime soon. Parties do serve some legitimate functions. It's true that partisanship causes problems, but we shouldn't toss out the baby with the bathwater.

Xeio wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
Also I saw something about Trump saying he "might not win"... Is he worried? He certainly needs to galvanise his supporters, those not haemorrhaged away already, so easing back on the 'natural confidence' might be useful. (Not to say I'm predicting any particular result, myself; a week is a long time in politics, a fortnight more so...)
It makes me wonder if he's going to underperform his polling significantly. Telling his voters the process is rigged isn't going to be doing any favors, and beyond that does he have any ground game at all left with the RNC pulling out?


Probably not, I think. Polling has gotten generally a lot better, and partisanship is strong. Plus, I doubt that Trump's campaign is sufficiently organized to significantly skew polls pro-Trump, if they wished to do so. And I also don't see a lot of motivation for people to lie and say they are voting for Trump. So, polls are probably decently accurate. This is still bad news for Trump. Status Quo is not his friend at the moment. He needs the polls to be wrong, and in the other way, which seems also unlikely.

Zamfir wrote:
This is false: Saudia Arabia donated money to the Clinton Foundation -- which she wasn't even part of during her tenure as Secretary of State (which wouldn't matter, because they didn't donate anything while she was Secretary of State anyway).

Isn't that a bit naive? Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states shower money on everyone who has been nice to them - especially former American presidents. Of course it's a bribe. What else would it be? Every American president knows - if you're nice to Saudis and the Gulf, they'll help you set up your post-presidency career. You want to go into charity? They'll donate to your charity. You want to do consultancy, they give you fat contracts. You want to go into oil, they put your pals on a preferred vendor list. You want to start a circus, they book you for the first few years.

Now, it's possible that Hillary Clinton objected to this, and only grudgingly went along as her husband called in his due favours. It's possible that Saudi Arabia (and other donors) were completely unaware of Hillary Clinton's ambitions, and had no idea that she might become a powerful figure in her own right several whole years in the future. It's possible that the Clintons never return a favour and only sucker smart and powerful people into handing them favours for nothing, decade after decade.

But the simplest explanation is that some of those people (like Saudi Arabia) gave the Clintons and their projects money because they received and expect preferential treatment. Not big betrayals of the national interest. A sympathetic ear for their concerns, softer gloves, less confrontations and more willingness to make a deal.


This, exactly. This is what it means when I say Hillary embraces slightly shady stuff. Not overt big stuff like having people murdered. That's crazy talk, and exists only because it makes for good conspiracy tales. It's the grey area of back and forth favors and the like. Stuff that falls short of an obvious quid pro quo agreement, but where it's fairly obvious that some favor is implicit.

It's a legitimate concern, but calling it stuff like war crimes or treason is annoying hyperbole. A *lot* of the anti-Hillary stuff starts with the former, and veers into the latter, which results in Hillary fans dismissing it all.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:37 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Basically what's happening in the US - having a legislative house that doesn't support the actions of the executive branch.
I see that as a political problem, not a systemic one. People were fairly elected to the majority of congressional positions and they constrained how the executive acts.

My problem is with who was elected and what there goals were, not so much with how they were elected.

I suppose I also have a problem with the why of it, that I perceive some congress people were opposing things just ot toe the party line, but that's a separate issue.
Both. It's very easy for a party's platform to include support of LGBTQ rights and not providing wide-ranging welfare subsidies to orthodox Jews and include marriage law reform (that's a whole other subject...), and then when they don't work on any of that blame it on the coalition agreements they signed with a religious party in the government.
So are these majority favored options otherwise? I've always had some trouble seeing what's wrong with collations apart from the root problem of mostly people one doesn't like getting elected.

Like 40% of seats want A and B, 30% A but not B, and 30% B, but not A, and the not-factions form a coalition with 60% of the seats that's both not A and B, even though 70% of the seats want A and B separately? And the Not-As and not-Bs aren't necessarily in the collation because it gets them the part they want more, but because it's the part they think they can get, or they just want to keep the lights on in the executive?
The problem with Netanyahu is that he's actually liked by many people.
That's definitely the hardest problem in democracy to solve.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:03 am UTC

o are these majority favored options otherwise? I've always had some trouble seeing what's wrong with collations apart from the root problem of mostly people one doesn't like getting elected.

The problem that Zohar describes , is that coalitions make it hard to distinguish from the outside when a party made an empty promise, and when they genuinely tried to achieve a goal but had to give it up in coalition negotiations. It's a genuine downside.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:56 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Isn't that a bit naive? Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states shower money on everyone who has been nice to them - especially former American presidents. Of course it's a bribe. What else would it be? Every American president knows - if you're nice to Saudis and the Gulf, they'll help you set up your post-presidency career. You want to go into charity? They'll donate to your charity. You want to do consultancy, they give you fat contracts. You want to go into oil, they put your pals on a preferred vendor list. You want to start a circus, they book you for the first few years.
That's a pretty good point, and a wrinkle I was glossing over: The Clinton Foundation is the legacy of the Clinton family; money that goes to it is furthering their agenda (even if that money isn't directly lining their pockets). So yeah, it's a bribe -- just probably not in any legal sense (which is more or less what we were talking about, I think? Hillary's status as a criminal?).

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:06 am UTC

yeah, sure. I have no reason to assume that she or the foundation did anything illegal here. Though that is a low barrier.

Another thing - about that "legacy" thing. That might imply that the Clinton's only benefit here is some abstracted contribution to charity, prhaps for the associated praise. If that is what you're saying, then I think it underestimates the value of a large personal charity fund.

Even if they don't spend any of it on personal goals (Trump-style), it still buys them a seat at high tables. It allows to mingle (at least in the charity circuit)with the very rich on more or less equal terms. That helps to build (and maintain) connections that for example help them to become major fund raisers for other Democractic politicians. Which in turn builds their central position in the party.

I don't mean that the charity is just a sham to cover for personal Clinton interests, but it does help them personally. More than perhaps any other way to leverage favours without compromising Hillary Clintons career too much.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:26 am UTC

The bar in using bribery in that fashion is so low as to be non existent. In common use it begs the comparison to illegal behavior, AKA, Crooked Hillary. That definition would also apply to the billion or so Hillary will raise in this current election cycle.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby trpmb6 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:03 pm UTC

I'd like to know if those here actually believe the ABC/Washington post poll that was released showing Clinton with a 12 point lead in a 4 way race. The demographic sampling was 36-27-31, Democrats / Republicans / Independents. Democrats didn't even come close to that high (+9) of an advantage over republicans for either of Obama's wins in 2008 and 2012. And that was with Obama's huge rallies he had back in the lead up to the 2008 election (Something I might note, is quite similar to the rallies Trump has been holding for the past year and a half, see Tampa rally from yesterday). Couple this with the recent podesta wikileak email dump showing talking points about how to manipulate polling with oversampling to discourage republican voters from turning out.

I have no doubt that the polling this election is extremely volatile and unpredictable. Ranging from the rise of two 3rd party candidates (and even a 3rd in Evan who is making Utah a potential swing state) to the day to day scandal driven media. But a 9 point democrat advantage for a poll seems way off base to me.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:14 pm UTC

It seems trite and oversimplified to say something like this, but Obama gained a lot by actively attracting 'minorities'. Clinton not so much, but Trump seems yet to have done much to repel them, and drive them her way in comparable numbers.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Yakk » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:34 pm UTC

Rallies are not polls? Even a ridiculous ralley is a fraction of a percent of the population.

The vastness of the conspiracy to swing every poll would be unrealistic. The only even half-way Trump leaning major poll (that tracking poll) has 2-3 different reasons how they screwed up, and it still shows Trump behind.

It really does look like Trump has alienated almost everyone who isn't white, the majority of women, and the majority of people with a college degree. Unapologetically sexually assaulting women and confessing on tape, planning mass detention and racial/religious tracking, ranting on about thinly veiled "international jewish conspiracies", not disavowing alt-right neo-KKK endorsements, working closely with Russian stooges and benefiting from their espionage, sort of does that.

Everyone who has seen xenophobic populism destroy nations is terrified of Trump. And that is one of those things you read about in college.
I see that as a political problem, not a systemic one. People were fairly elected to the majority of congressional positions and they constrained how the executive acts.

Define fair? In 2010 the Republicans gerrymandered the hell out of congress (more than the dems; they controlled more statehouses), giving them a ~10% higher congressional representation than vote-share. This was openly done; even argued in court (we did not gerrymander in a racist way, just politically!)
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Xeio » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:41 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
It seems trite and oversimplified to say something like this, but Obama gained a lot by actively attracting 'minorities'. Clinton not so much, but Trump seems yet to have done much to repel them, and drive them her way in comparable numbers.
Trump is certainly doing his best to drive away minorities, but Clinton won minorities by a lot in the primary too so I'm not sure it's so accurate that she isn't attracting them.

trpmb6 wrote:
I'd like to know if those here actually believe the ABC/Washington post poll that was released showing Clinton with a 12 point lead in a 4 way race.
I believe poll aggregates. The polls showing Clinton +12 are probably about as inaccurate as the polls showing Trump +1 or so given the averages right now.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby GodShapedBullet » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:42 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:I'd like to know if those here actually believe the ABC/Washington post poll that was released showing Clinton with a 12 point lead in a 4 way race. The demographic sampling was 36-27-31, Democrats / Republicans / Independents. Democrats didn't even come close to that high (+9) of an advantage over republicans for either of Obama's wins in 2008 and 2012. And that was with Obama's huge rallies he had back in the lead up to the 2008 election (Something I might note, is quite similar to the rallies Trump has been holding for the past year and a half, see Tampa rally from yesterday). Couple this with the recent podesta wikileak email dump showing talking points about how to manipulate polling with oversampling to discourage republican voters from turning out.

I have no doubt that the polling this election is extremely volatile and unpredictable. Ranging from the rise of two 3rd party candidates (and even a 3rd in Evan who is making Utah a potential swing state) to the day to day scandal driven media. But a 9 point democrat advantage for a poll seems way off base to me.


That particular email has absolutely nothing to do with using oversampling to discourage republican voters from turning out. Further, it has absolutely nothing to do with the ABC/Washington poll. I assume you are subscribing to the analysis in this article? There are big problems with that analysis:

1) That article has to do with internal polling: polling the Clinton campaign was doing to inform them about what was working. This wasn't polling to be released to the public. Their only interest for internal polling is understanding what the actual opinions of voters are.
2) Oversampling isn't a nefarious thing. It is a legitimate polling strategy you can use when you know a specific demographic group is hard to poll (maybe they don't have landlines, maybe there just aren't many of them). You get a larger than usual sample of them, and then you reweight that sample to adjust for their proportion in the population. That's what they are talking about in that email.
2) That article had to do with polling in 2008. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Rally size hasn't really been shown to be a reliable indicator of electoral success.

As for the specific ABC/Washington Post poll, it depends on what you mean by "believe".

Do I believe that 12% nationally is where Clinton is sitting? It's possible, though 12% is a bit higher than the polling average and probably isn't correct.

Do I believe that 12% is actually the data they got? Absolutely.

You are welcome to disregard the poll because it had a smaller share of respondents who identified as republican. But you have presented nothing to suggest any nefarious intent on the part of the people conducting the poll.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:49 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:I'd like to know if those here actually believe the ABC/Washington post poll that was released showing Clinton with a 12 point lead in a 4 way race. The demographic sampling was 36-27-31, Democrats / Republicans / Independents. Democrats didn't even come close to that high (+9) of an advantage over republicans for either of Obama's wins in 2008 and 2012. And that was with Obama's huge rallies he had back in the lead up to the 2008 election (Something I might note, is quite similar to the rallies Trump has been holding for the past year and a half, see Tampa rally from yesterday). Couple this with the recent podesta wikileak email dump showing talking points about how to manipulate polling with oversampling to discourage republican voters from turning out.

I have no doubt that the polling this election is extremely volatile and unpredictable. Ranging from the rise of two 3rd party candidates (and even a 3rd in Evan who is making Utah a potential swing state) to the day to day scandal driven media. But a 9 point democrat advantage for a poll seems way off base to me.

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/
Tldr: look the pollster up on this guide, and it'll tell you how seriously to take said poll.

If you want a more in depth analysis, read on.
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-u ... -forecast/

Once you get done knowledge, you start to realize that any individual poll is irrelevant and that averaged polls are better. Then you see that averaged polls are improved when you adjust for bias compared to the previous elections results. Then you realize that averaged polls aren't as good as trend lines within polls that are then averaged and adjusted for bias. This is science and it works.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby trpmb6 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:51 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:It seems trite and oversimplified to say something like this, but Obama gained a lot by actively attracting 'minorities'. Clinton not so much, but Trump seems yet to have done much to repel them, and drive them her way in comparable numbers.


Pretty sure Republicans assume there is a defined barrier of support from minorities that they will never cross. What is interesting is Trump still maintains 25% of the latino vote in this ABC/Washington Post poll. That isn't much different than what Romney had. Other polls have showed him as being HIGHER than what Romney had.

The real question is what enthusiasm do minorities have for Clinton? Will they turnout to vote for her? I see a lot more enthusiasm from trump supporters than I do from Clinton supporters. Perhaps they are more vocal and thus stand out, but his rallies are strikingly similar to Obama's rallies.

I just don't see how anyone can believe a 9 point difference between Democrats and Republicans in a poll.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:59 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:I just don't see how anyone can believe a 9 point difference between Democrats and Republicans in a poll.
Do you mean a 9 point difference 'right now, knowing what I currently happen to know', rather than 'objectively and across all time'?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:11 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Pretty sure Republicans assume there is a defined barrier of support from minorities that they will never cross.
On the contrary, I'm pretty sure that attracting minority voters has been a priority for the party elders for some time now. They can read a census as well as anybody, and I'm sure they realise that relying too heavily on white men is going to be a losing strategy in the long run. If memory serves, they even talked about it in the 2012 post mortem.

I'm sure the party elders will see this campaign as a huge setback.

I just don't see how anyone can believe a 9 point difference between Democrats and Republicans in a poll.
The average is 6 or 7 points, so an outlier of 9 is not super surprising in a Dem-leaning poll. But frankly, speaking as as a foreigner here, I would totally believe it if the polls showed Trump down 20 points because he's an unbefuckinglievably awful candidate.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby trpmb6 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/
Tldr: look the pollster up on this guide, and it'll tell you how seriously to take said poll.

If you want a more in depth analysis, read on.
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-u ... -forecast/

Once you get done knowledge, you start to realize that any individual poll is irrelevant and that averaged polls are better.



I concur that an individual poll is irrelevant. For instance, ABC/Washpost has an A+ rating on fivethirtyeight. IBD/TPPS has an A- rating. (The correctly called races is almost dead even 76-74) But in presidential race polling IBD/TPPS did the best in predicting 2012. Here is the crazy thing. On the day ABC/Washpost released their poll they had Clinton +12. That same day IBD/TPPS had Trump +1. A 14 point difference. The polls are all over the place!

sardia wrote:Then you realize that averaged polls aren't as good as trend lines within polls that are then averaged and adjusted for bias.


(I trimmed the snarky bit because I didn't feel it was constructive to the discussion) The problem with another set of "adjusting for bias" is that there is a new set of bias implicitly added based on what the poll tracking group chooses to weight as more important in their poll tracking.

I'm convinced that Trump is behind in the polls. That's not the point of my questioning (I'm not even voting for him, or Clinton for that matter). I'm more interested in the *why* of the large gradient, and what it means.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:30 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:The problem with another set of "adjusting for bias" is that there is a new set of bias implicitly added based on what the poll tracking group chooses to weight as more important in their poll tracking.
AFAICT the bias adjustment is done on the basis of historical accuracy of the polls. Can you give an example of what you mean?

I'm convinced that Trump is behind in the polls. That's not the point of my questioning (I'm not even voting for him, or Clinton for that matter). I'm more interested in the *why* of the large gradient, and what it means.
It probably means nothing? If, in reality, Clinton was up by 5 points, you wouldn't expect to see every single pollster return a result of Clinton+5. You would expect to see a normal distribution of results centred around Clinton+5. You would expect to see that even if every pollster had the ability to take a true random sample of respondents and extract completely accurate information from them. In the universe we live in, polling is hard and some pollsters lean one way or the other, which means you get a few more weird outliers than you would expect if God was an actuary.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:38 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:The bar in using bribery in that fashion is so low as to be non existent. In common use it begs the comparison to illegal behavior, AKA, Crooked Hillary. That definition would also apply to the billion or so Hillary will raise in this current election cycle.

Thankfully, the Trump campaign has read our discussion and decided they want none of this vague stuff. "is it bribe or not". If you call them to ask if they can be bribed, they say sure, we'll send you our preferred procedure.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Yakk » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:03 pm UTC

Tracking polls are interesting. First, because they freeze a bunch of their variance at the point where they build the pool.

So a tracking poll with a +/- 3.5% sampling variance can be "frozen" at the top or bottom of the range. A non-tracking poll will tend to vary within its sampling variance with each repeat.

A non-tracking poll showing 50%, 47%, 50%, 48%, each with +/- 3.5% in various samples is showing a stronger tendency towards 47.5% than a tracking poll with the same numbers, in that sense.

The tracking poll, on the other hand, should show *swings* more accurately. The non-tracking polls "up 3%" could be random sampling error, while the tracking polls "up 3%" when they sampled 90% the same as the previous one is going to be far less likely to be random sampling error.

Tracking polls also have the observer causing change problem. When you ask someone repeatedly who they will vote for, this can change their future behavior asto who they are going to vote for! I mean, last week they said X, if they change their mind they'll have to justify why they said X last week.

Imagine a candidate gets a steady stream of increasing bad stories. You say you vote for that candidate anyhow on week 1, because they don't seem that bad. The next week you are asked again; has *just that last week* justified a change? No. But if you are asked for the first time the second week, you might say take account for everything up to that point, not just the last week, and say "no, not X".

People have a bias for not changing their mind; and having been polled, they have fixed their decision at a specific point. Had they not been polled, they might not.

This is probably not the only effect in play, but the point is the average US citizen isn't asked every week for months on end who they vote for. So the subjects of a tracking poll are not average US citizens.

On the other hand, suppose voting for X looks increasingly unacceptable, and you are being told that the media and pollsters are liars and evil. If you where going to vote for X, maybe you'll hang up on pollsters now. But if you where already committed to doing it, maybe you'll keep it up.

But there are 3 big tracking polls. And they show +1 +1 +12 Clinton. So there goes that just so story.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby trpmb6 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:07 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:AFAICT the bias adjustment is done on the basis of historical accuracy of the polls. Can you give an example of what you mean?

But that is part of my point. This election is unlike any modern election. Others have already noted on this forum that Fivethirtyeight has repeatedly noted the complication of adding 3rd party candidates to their models.

It probably means nothing? If, in reality, Clinton was up by 5 points, you wouldn't expect to see every single pollster return a result of Clinton+5. You would expect to see a normal distribution of results centred around Clinton+5. You would expect to see that even if every pollster had the ability to take a true random sample of respondents and extract completely accurate information from them. In the universe we live in, polling is hard and some pollsters lean one way or the other, which means you get a few more weird outliers than you would expect if God was an actuary.


Correct, but when numerous models are showing a higher than usual turnout of democrats, some even higher than Obama's 2008 and 2012 turnout, you start to realize those polls are shifting the normal distribution to the left. Maybe these pollsters see something in the electorate I don't; it is their job afterall.. I just design airplanes. But I don't see the same level of enthusiasm for Clinton from my friends as I saw with Obama. Conversely, I see a much higher level of enthusiasm from my friends who support trump than I've ever seen for other candidates. And that's where I think the rallies show this.

I just wish all the people who dislike both Trump and Clinton would actually unite under a common banner.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby SDK » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:19 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:I just don't see how anyone can believe a 9 point difference between Democrats and Republicans in a poll.

I find this line interesting, particularly coming from a third-party voter such as yourself. Is partisanship so entrenched that even Trump can't make it move beyond a 5 point difference? Maybe it is, but I'd think someone looking from the outside in would see a larger difference as encouraging. Isn't a reduction in partisanship exactly what you want?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:20 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
It probably means nothing? If, in reality, Clinton was up by 5 points, you wouldn't expect to see every single pollster return a result of Clinton+5. You would expect to see a normal distribution of results centred around Clinton+5. You would expect to see that even if every pollster had the ability to take a true random sample of respondents and extract completely accurate information from them. In the universe we live in, polling is hard and some pollsters lean one way or the other, which means you get a few more weird outliers than you would expect if God was an actuary.


Correct, but when numerous models are showing a higher than usual turnout of democrats, some even higher than Obama's 2008 and 2012 turnout, you start to realize those polls are shifting the normal distribution to the left. Maybe these pollsters see something in the electorate I don't; it is their job afterall.. I just design airplanes. But I don't see the same level of enthusiasm for Clinton from my friends as I saw with Obama. Conversely, I see a much higher level of enthusiasm from my friends who support trump than I've ever seen for other candidates. And that's where I think the rallies show this.


Actually, there's a number of factors at play here. Trump is telling his crowds that the election is rigged: which has an effect to depress voters. Why vote if you think the process is rigged anyway?

So Trump is screwing himself over, again, which his own rhetoric. He's causing his own people to become unlikely voters. Similarly, voter turnout among minorities is rising due to Trump's rhetoric, which tends to favor Democrats.

African Americans voted for Obama because they liked him. But fear is driving African Americans away from Trump and towards the polling booths. Its not as enthusiastic of a rally as Obama's draw, but the effect on the polls is the same.
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