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Everything posted by overtone

  1. I can't for the life of me see what the objection is to Trump, anyway - he's no battier, less realistic, or uglier in his proposals, than any other Republican Candidate. This is the Party of Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Richard Cheney (now there's ugly, if that was your problem), the inimitable W himself; this is the Party of the Tea, you know, the folks who brought stuffed monkeys dressed as negro witch doctors with bones in their noses to public rallies against the secret Muslim from Kenya; - seriously, why the sudden fantods over a guy like Trump? He's not going to raise taxes on rich people very much, surely, so what's the problem? Actually, if nothing else changes he could drop back to 33% of the vote (from his current 37 and rising) and still be favored to take it outright. The only realistic way for any other candidate to top him is for all but one rival to drop, force a two way race. And the problem with that is that it greatly reduces the chances of a brokered convention, which right now is the Republican aristocracy's major hope.
  2. I do not share your confidence in Clinton's attractiveness to the American voter, merely on the grounds that she seems like the right balance of "heart" and - what? - to you. She has very high negatives, an indifferent - at best - record of accomplishment, a lot of obvious vulnerabilities to the kind of slander and assault Trump specializes in, and campaigning skills that have lost her voter share over time in every election she has ever stood for. On the other hand, I see little sentiment - or "heart" - in Sanders's coldblooded and essentially cynical description of money and influence in American politics, or in his recommendations for policy. It's what anyone who crunches the numbers and ignores the people would come up with. I'm surprised a cynical person would not recognize a representative of their views.
  3. So? Obama was black, and a Democrat, and fully connected to Wall Street. Trump is white, and Republican. Sanders is Jewish, and avowedly socialist. Mitch was not looking at revolt in his base and socialism in the White House, with Obama. So what's your most realistic vote for President?
  4. If Mitch still thinks that after Sanders wins the Presidency, he wasn't paying attention to Trump, and he's not learning anything from the fact of Sanders sitting in front of him. The man isn't stupid. It's true, Sanders will make no progress without a change in Congress. But neither will anyone else. That's not a relevant criterion.
  5. It's called "regress", when it's in that direction. Look at her career.
  6. He is up for re-election this year, with Republican control of the Senate at some risk, and the judge involved is well respected in his State - (also fulsomely praised by him, not three years ago). In addition, one of his campaign memes is battling gridlock he blames on Obama. If this judge is nominated and accepts the nomination, this is going to be fun to watch.
  7. Yep. He starts competing in winner take all States shortly. According to this calculator , if nobody is beating him soundly by March 15th he's likely to have the delegates to claim it outright. Notice that if neither Cruz nor Rubio drop, and they continue to split the vote roughly as they have been, Trump takes it easily with 33% of the vote from here on out. He's doing better than that. There is also the problem that if Trump is only a few delegates short, it becomes very difficult to deny him the nomination without a revolt within the Party.
  8. A good political rebuttal, and answer to the argument as put by Guy, and reassuring - true. But look here, SJ's rebuttal to the certainty of doom claims is not itself watertight. For example, at one point he notes that there is no need to panic over methane plumes in East Siberia, because we don't know whether they are even new - similar plumes elsewhere have been perking along for thousands of years, without crashing the climate. This is so. On the other hand, we don't know that they are old, either. And we do know that where they are they used to be under ice most of the time, and are now reaching the surface - a new thing, even if they are old. So although they are not the certainties of disaster that Guy makes them out to be, they are not all that reassuring either - one would prefer something better than "these things don't for sure mean we're all going to die, just potentially - the odds are everything is ok. They never killed us off before, right? " Dude: what are those odds ? Inquiring minds are getting a little bit alarmed. And so forth.
  9. Helps her do what, exactly?
  10. Not as much in question as anyone else getting them. Cruz? Rubio? Neither one has a shot. Right now, the main thing impeding Trump is that winner take all hasn't started yet.
  11. That is directly opposed to the content of my posting on the topic. It is also opposed to my posting on any other political topic involving the Republican Party. To the extent that Clinton "works with the opposition", all the changes she makes will be for the worse. Her ability to work with the current Republican Party is an impediment to change for the better. Clinton, unlike Sanders, is incapable of moving the terms of discussion in the Sanders direction by forcing compromise. That is because she herself - if her career is any guide - is personally and ideologically a rightwing conservative authoritarian. The status quo (the mess we're in) is not far from her center, and partly her doing. To force compromise she would have to take a stand somewhere apart from the status quo and Republican-accepted framing of an issue, and refuse to budge until met somewhere in the middle between her and what is. She has never done anything like that her entire career. The US cannot get a workable, universal health care system from a Clinton Presidency, because she will not support one. The only things she will support are minor tweaks to the existing mess - and those will turn into knock down drag out fights that use up all the available political energy. This is a general principle. Robert Townsend is who I got it from, illustrated thus: It's easier to get a major change in company policy than it is to get the water cooler moved to the other end of the hall. So don't waste time trying to move the water cooler. Meanwhile, on ideological grounds the Republicans are a boat in the ocean. One cannot predict their stance on any issue by analyzing it from any ideological viewpoint. They don't oppose Obama on ideological grounds, they wouldn't oppose Sanders on ideological grounds, and they will oppose Clinton on anything and everything she attempts on the same grounds they oppose Obama - because battling the anti-Christ is good for re-election, and making a chaotic mess is good for the interests of their paymasters. Short version: everything wrong with Sanders is also wrong with Clinton. Some things are right with Sanders that are not right with Clinton. Nothing is right with Clinton that isn't right with Sanders.
  12. What worked for me, reading "The Hobbit" in Spanish translation, was the direct clarity and consequent memorability of Tolkien's prose style in English. It doesn't have to be a simplistic, crude book, in other words. There's an author named Clive James who compiled a book of essays on mostly European writers and politicians and such - "Cultural Amnesia", it's called - in which he specifically recommends certain writers to anyone wishing to learn a new language by reading prose. Three or four languages are mentioned, in the essays on writers who wrote in them. I'd be willing to take his advice.
  13. I just think game knows game, and Christie is a mob boss type who wants to be in with the winner. Rubio is not impressive as a boss, and not easily manipulable as a tool (by Christie). Plus Rubio seems like the kind of weenie who would hold a grudge, and endorsing him wouldn't erase it. From what I've seen at a distance it would surprise me if the VP role were attractive to Christie. I would expect - just on general principles - Trump's fantastic upside of DoD contracts etc, and his more than adequate downside of real estate investment connections and big honcho friendship, to be in the front row of the considerations. If I were strategizing here, I would pick a VP for Trump who looks like a very good hire as a diplomat and Congressional liaison, but with military more than political experience. A Colin Powell type, but with no connection whatsoever to W. Just me, but I think Trump's lack of military background is his major weakness in the general. He needs a visible source of principled decisionmaking, also. A military VP covers both. And if the guy has a uniform with a lot of shiny medals on it, that he can still fit into, the entire production will meet the appropriate standards we have become accustomed to for these types of political campaign events.
  14. Most of the doom scenes rest on the methane bomb. The issue there, for me, is that all the arguments I've seen against the likelihood of a methane bomb - with one exception - seem very weak. (One often sees reassuring calculations of methane release that depend on the assumption that clathrates in marine sediments will be heated by diffusion only, for example). Also the "alarmists" regarding the methane bomb issue seem quite low key, not raving, and among the informed rather than the publicity seeking - like this: The one exception to the weak arguments is the most obvious: it hasn't already happened. If it had, at any time in the last few million years, we would be looking at a much different planetary ecology than we see. So we are to assume that (aside from - possibly - some deep time major extinction events like the Permian, once or twice in the entire history of the planet and never during the millions of years of the current glaciation epoch) past warming spikes were somehow never enough to touch it off. Resting one's hopes for human civilization on that seems an unwise justification for failure to restrict industrial CO2 emissions, though.
  15. He lost older black voters, completely. He never had them, of course - he was polling in the low single digits in SC a couple of months ago - but he couldn't get any by campaigning. In young voters, black and white, he was gaining ground (tripled his earlier poll numbers by campaigning). But not older. I'd like to hear Chris Rock's take on that, or Spike Lee's, or Cornell West's, or one of those guys. (I recall both Rock and Lee making some relevant observations about old black men and their relations with old Jewish white men). But aside from a reality check for the very youthful, this doesn't look like momentum into Texas, or Minnesota, or anywhere outside the Confederate communities of old black people. What it looks like is a reality check on Bernie's familiarity gap. Bernie's lack of familiarity is going to continue to hurt him, especially as his lack of campaign time and difficulty in getting screen time continues. But the "momentum" is still in his favor, whether it proves adequate or not.
  16. What you said was: " Conservative thinking people understand that some money is theirs and some is not theirs " And what was pointed out to you was that "conservative" US voters obviously have a lot of trouble comprehending the idea that some money is not theirs, but belongs to the community and the public and the government. You, for example, have a lot of trouble answering this simple question straight from the conservative's ideological base: Jesus said money with Ceasar's picture on it was Ceasar's - was he wrong, yes or no? That never happened. Neither did a sudden onset of competition from foreign industry in 1982. It's paywalled, but let's go by common sense: Noonan has had nothing worthwhile to say in the past thirty years, and since its purchase by wingnut money the WSJ's editorial page has been so far into mass delusion that its conflicts with its own news articles have been inadvertent comedy. So what are the odds? That's not the story. The story is why the people who called Trump months ago, and the Republican Party years before that, and were right about that stuff for years, appear to be nowhere in your worldview. Why are you going to zip-brained crank sites like the WSJ editorial pages for your analysis?
  17. I once went through a couple of dozen different English translations of "Anna Karenina", reading the first couple of pages and comparing - and the differences were striking. So reversing the process probably has some pitfalls. Something to try: pick a book you like that is fairly modern, has conversations etc, and is clearly and memorably written in your own language. Then read it in translation in the target language - out loud. At least, that worked for me with Spanish, the chosen book being "The Hobbit". I anticipate my attempts to strike up bus stop conversation with fine looking Latinas on the topics of dragon hoards and the aberrant behavior of giant wood spiders to meet with success any day now. You can't expect culture from everybody.
  18. The metrics referred to as "survival of disease" in the post I responded to - five year survival rates after cancer treatment, etc. They mislead, and this is visible in their incongruity with the larger mortality statistics. That one I haven't been able to find and link, but in memory it rates the US very low - median or under among the 34, for almost every cause of death charted. Essentially, the worst or among the worst of the 34. I would hate to think it overestimates the US. The chart pattern I recall is similar to that linked, for a related statistic, but had the US even lower - below Poland, etc.
  19. He said: This is not your money: It's Ceasar's. Was he wrong? Between 1933 and 1982, Americans grew more prosperous as they grew more skilled and more productive and harder working. Since 1982, Americans have been growing less prosperous as they grew more skilled and more productive and harder working. America expanded its socialism from 1933 until 1982, and has been throttling back its socialism since 1982. Now we have achieved Trump. Do we need to draw you a little picture? Game knows game.
  20. Jobs for skilled workers go unfilled while wages remain low, in my area. At the same time, compensation for CEOs and other executives doubles and triples despite a line around the block to take the work. One of the difficulties visible is that the employers and employees of skilled labor have been caught in an overtime/health care trap in many industries. They can't afford to raise wages while paying so much overtime, they can't afford to hire and train more people when they pay so much for health care per employee, there is disincentive to expand when they haven't got any slack in their current work force, the employee has to work overtime to pay the mortgage and health care share at these wages, the prospective new employee has no job offer or wages to justify the investment in skill, and so forth. What everyone would prefer is a larger workforce of skilled employees working more productively for higher wages at normal hours (overtime is much less productive). But that would require health care reform and fronting skill training and raising wages for current employees, while their competition runs lean and mean. So they're stuck. Exactly what the single-payer folks and liberal advocates of union or government-subsidized skill training said would happen, all those years ago. Remember?
  21. Jobs did not become less skilled in the US. White collar productivity - the focus of much technology and innovation - did not go up in the US. In 2009 several Republican Congressmen declared - in public - that Obama was "not my President". Then they behaved accordingly. (A great many of their constituents did as well. To this day a large fraction - by some surveys a majority - of Republican voters think Obama is Kenyan, or his election was fraudulent due to ACORN and other sources of vote tampering, or he is a secret Muslim in league with jihadist forces and should have been impeached). You don't actually know anything about the Obama presidency, so you don't actually think he is a terrible President - your thoughts are restricted to a fictional President with the same name.
  22. Yeah, as I mentioned four or five times I was unable to find the original chart, and posted instead a similarly compiled chart using a related statistic exhibiting more or less the same pattern. If you simply wish to question my memory, as I mentioned is a problem here, fine. That's valid. If you don't think the basic pattern - survival time after diagnosis, compiled by disease - is at all visible or discernable or supported by what I did post, and you doubt it exists, Ok. If you don't like the argument, however, altering it as you persist in doing is bootless. It's not close at all, of course. Which indicates problems with the "survival of disease" metrics. Unless Americans are getting sick earlier and more often than others, or only those who haven't been sick are dying young, they are not in fact surviving disease longer in at least the case of some major, common diseases.
  23. That's not what he actually said, though, is it. He said: This is not your money, and not even your God's money. It's Ceasar's. Was he wrong? The images on your money are government officials, of the same government that issues the money and levies the taxes. Your revolutionary's country home. Notice the observation level with it's 360 degree viewing windows, from which all his slaves could be kept under surveillance. http://www.orcaconsultingllc.com/images/monticello-01.jpg The city home, or working residence: http://globaltalentidaho.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/white-house.jpg Where your money comes from: https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x89b7b82921a2cf17:0x482a3f7c10cf8c4!2m5!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i100!3m1!7e1!4shttps://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/114335112!5scapitol+us+photo+-+Google+Search&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXt4qav5bLAhXM1CYKHckpC8gQoioIbjAK Where Jesus's money came from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Trevi_Fountain,_Rome,_Italy_2_-_May_2007.jpg
  24. Figure 4 (as specified) shows the general pattern in a related statistic, displayed in the same general code. I have been unable to find the original chart - hate relying on memory, but no help for it. The "five year survival rates" are always "estimated to correct for competing causes of mortality" and always apply to a few pre-selected cancers. That's one way Americans fool themselves about their health care system. The better statistic helps avoid this. Because it makes no advance assumptions about what is and is not to be considered, thereby avoiding a common route to self-deception. Looking at the forest - that will guide your selection of trees to inspect. How about an illustration (real life, my circle): 1) Guy tears his knee up in an accident. He's 63 (private insurance age in the US). The aftercare of the surgery involves release from the original hospital before he can handle getting to an ordinary household bathroom, and therefore three transfers to different facilities for reasons of insurance coverage details - in the confusion, he is sent home without having restored security in the knee, and without professional help. On his way into the front door of his house he falls, and tears up the other knee. Bedridden while his knees heal, his cardiovascular health (already marginal) deteriorates. 2) Gal suffers an intestinal blockage (later indications of gluten intolerance behind the event). She's 68, under Medicare, but it doesn't cover everything - she also has private extended coverage. The surgery involves complications, and recovery after multiple surgeries involves IV hydration and feeding. For insurance reasons she is transferred to two different facilities, in the course of which some key paperwork describing the setup of the IV she was provided (insurance specifications) is lost, in eventual consequence of which she suffers dehydration twice. After the second time a different IV setup is provided, and her two daughters instructed in its use, as she is sent home without a nurse. The daughters turn out to be competent and responsible, so that her next dehydration episode does not come until after the hydration IV has been recalled, which was done on a time table without a home nurse visit or followup. She was not drinking enough water. Her symptoms were unclear in origin, and this dehydration is not diagnosed in an initial doctor visit with a new doc unfamiliar with her case. Diagnosed later, it requires hospitalization, and another round of home IV monitoring by daughters. A year later, another dehydration episode, cause unclear, another misperception by another emergency doctor unfamiliar with her case, this time insistence via daughters gets her into the hospital more quickly. Her heart and kidneys have now been damaged somewhat by multiple dehydrations. The observation is this: both these people are likely to die of heart disease, or possibly car accidents made more likely, with normal survival stats attached to the medical care of this heart disease, car accident trauma, etc A statistic that omits their survival time after their earlier diagnosis and surgeries will miss the health care system issues in their deaths.
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