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Thread: Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

  1. #1081
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Annnnd...here’s another point of view that I don’t buy, but I must cop to a slight feeling of nervousness. Then again, Trump always makes me nervous. It’s who he is, it’s what he does. There is something real about Trump Derangement Syndrome, but he seems to feed on that. Obama and Bush simply ignored their critics’ respective derangement syndromes. Not Trump. He loves it.

    Why I’m No Longer a Russiagate Skeptic

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...skeptic-219022

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #1082
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I'm not a democrat, but I'm an independent who wants a fresh face. I would also say that Chelsea Clinton or any Bush progeny doesn't count as a fresh face.

    Of course, I wanted a fresh face in 2016, and I got one. So be careful what you wish for.
    I am enjoying Joe Kennedy.

  3. #1083
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Annnnd...here’s another point of view that I don’t buy, but I must cop to a slight feeling of nervousness. Then again, Trump always makes me nervous. It’s who he is, it’s what he does. There is something real about Trump Derangement Syndrome, but he seems to feed on that. Obama and Bush simply ignored their critics’ respective derangement syndromes. Not Trump. He loves it.

    Why I’m No Longer a Russiagate Skeptic

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...skeptic-219022
    I don't know anything about Trump Derangement Syndrome, but I am no longer a skeptic about your Trump Rationalization Syndrome. I just hope Romney as Senator is something close to the Romney who delivered the speech in March 2016 and made the statement about Helsinki, and not the one who ate frog legs.

    P.S. do you think McCain, Sasse, Flake, Max Boot, George Will, David French, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson, etc., etc., etc., have that derangement syndrome?
    Last edited by concerned; 07-20-2018 at 02:32 PM.

  4. #1084
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Good take on what happened. A lot of angry voters comprised (and still comprise) Trump's base. "Drain the swamp", "lock her up!", etc.

    Similarly, many young folks - eg, 10,000 showing up to see Bernie at This is the Place State Park - manifesting a similar uprising on the left.

    I could list 20 factors I think were ingredients to these separate but similar uprisings, but I think those are what we need to understand and address, or at least try to ameliorate.
    Yes, I think this a very good point.

    The world is fundamentally changing. There are a lot of people who are really looking at the coming revolution and wondering what's going to happen when 30-40% of jobs are no longer needed. We may be feeling the labor pains of the birthing of this new world. A lot of people feel like they are loosing control, and some of them want to scream and shout and break things.

    Sam Harris interviewed Ian Bremmer recently and they discussed some of these issues. It seems that experts aren't convinced if this new revolution can or cannot provide jobs for everyone. This is not the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Not all buggy whip makers can easily be retrained to work in factories. What happens when 80% of truck drivers, who on average have no college training, are in their late 40's get replaced by self-driving trucks. Not to mention all the people who live along the interstates that make their living serving the transportation industry. Rinse and repeat for many sectors of the economy.

    Ian guesses that the US will weather this storm much easier than third world countries who are heavily into manufacturing. When those jobs evaporate, the countries don't have the wealth to deal with the massive unemployment. Then people will really start breaking things.

    And back to your point (I think). Impeaching Trump wont deal with the 30% of the US who thinks Trump is the answer to their problems. Their problems are only going to get worse.
    Last edited by Brian; 07-20-2018 at 12:12 PM.

  5. #1085
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Yes, I think this a very good point.

    The world is fundamentally changing. There are a lot of people who are really looking at the coming revolution and wondering what's going to happen when 30-40% of jobs are no longer needed. We may be feeling the labor pains of the birthing of this new world. A lot of people feel like they are loosing control, and some of them want to scream and shout and break things.

    Sam Harris interviewed Ian Bremmer recently and they discussed some of these issues. It seems that experts aren't convinced if this new revolution can or cannot provide jobs for everyone. This is not the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Not all buggy whip makers can easily be retrained to work in factories. What happens when 80% of truck drivers, who on average have no college training, are in their late 40's get replaced by self-driving trucks. Not to mention all the people who live along the interstates that make their living serving the transportation industry. Rinse and repeat for many sectors of the economy.

    Ian guesses that the US will weather this storm much easier than third world countries who are heavily into manufacturing. When those jobs evaporate, the countries don't have the wealth to deal with the massive unemployment. Then people will really start breaking things.

    And back to your point (I think). Impeaching Trump wont deal with the 30% of the US who thinks Trump is the answer to their problems. Their problems are only going to get worse.
    I've shared these articles before, but this is what is happening and it portends of what is to come:

    McDonald's workers quitting in droves over 'complicated' technology, new menu items:
    https://business.financialpost.com/n...new-menu-items

    Robots Will Transform Fast Food; That might not be a bad thing:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...-chefs/546581/

    Why is this relevant to me? Because I teach students how to design the interfaces, animations and graphics for those automated systems, and even how to develop new systems.

    We struggle to get domestic students to enrol in our program (average yearly enrolment of 25 - 30), which boasts an 85% employment rate for it's graduates after two years of school (their skills are in high demand in the job market place).

    Why won't local students enrol? They tell us in surveys: "Coding and programming is hard. I want to enroll in a design progam with classes that I know I am going to pass. I'll worry about getting a job, or a better one when I am older."

    And who is poised to replace them? International students, primarily from India and Sri Lanka, make up 60% of our enrolment. But that's only because my College has set quotas on how many international students they will admit. This fall instead of a total enrolment of 60 - 70, we could have a total enrolment of 200 if we were willing to open the flood gates.

    The revolution is here. Middle North America is missing it. Did the dinosaurs know they were going extinct?
    Last edited by tooblue; 07-20-2018 at 01:24 PM.

  6. #1086
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    P.S. do you think McCain, Sasse, Flake, Max Boot, George Will, David French, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson, etc., etc., etc., have that derangement syndrome?
    No. As understand it the term refers to the compulsion to respond with outrage (usually over the top) to almost anything Trump says or does. But if you Google it you’ll mainly see articles ridiculing the concept. This one is my favorite. The article attacks the syndrome in a manner that, ironically, actually displays it:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily...ement-syndrome

    By the way, libs have always praised McCain’s politics only when he’s poking Republicans in the eye.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  7. #1087
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    By the way, libs have always praised McCain’s politics only when he’s poking Republicans in the eye.
    This is historically true, unquestionably. He was an "R", he chose Sarah Palin (Schmidt did, granted)… the view from the liberal herd was the same of all Republicans, they were basically indistinguishable from that vantage point (in the same way any Democrat can be labeled a "socialist" or "progressive" or "leftist" just by being Democrat, and certainly if they proposed a public-private partnership involving tax dollars to address some issue).

    Now I think most on the left - beyond the early shock, outrage, which gave way to serious concern / fear, morphing into numbness - look at McCain, Graham, Corker, Sasse, Flake as having different values on policy matters, but let's face it, "policy" debate is a long way from where we are, as a nation.

    I think most on the left now see them as genuine patriots, especially if they can guide the "loyal opposition" of Republicans back to rationality and backbone, and not the alarming erosion of values they previously could be relied on to espouse, like free trade, fiscal responsibility, strong alliances with nations with similar values, etc.

  8. #1088
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I think most on the left now see them as genuine patriots, especially if they can guide the "loyal opposition" of Republicans back to rationality and backbone, and not the alarming erosion of values they previously could be relied on to espouse, like free trade, fiscal responsibility, strong alliances with nations with similar values, etc.
    Fair enough. But don't you think that if McCain defended any little thing Trump did or said, he'd be excoriated by the left? (This type of fickleness happens on the right too.)
    Last edited by LA Ute; Yesterday at 12:42 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  9. #1089
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I think this is a thoughtful piece. "As early as February 2016, this column described Mr. Trump as a 'democratic accident' waiting to happen: 'What began as a scheme to become more famous is in danger of running away with the country.'” Ouch.

    *****

    Is President Trump Illegitimate?



    By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
    July 20, 2018 6:38 p.m. ET

    I think this is a thoughtful piece.

    Donald Trump never expected to be president. And, we might reasonably surmise, perhaps didn’t really want to be. Think about that as President Trump seeks to remake America’s relationship with the world as dramatically as any president in 70 years.

    The Greek witch-goddess Circe gave her son a magic weapon to protect him on his search for his father, Odysseus. When father and son finally met, Odysseus was accidentally killed by the magic weapon. Oops.

    Then-FBI Director James Comey received a magic weapon that, in his own mind, justified his usurping of the Justice Department’s decision whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton or her aides in the email case. Without Mr. Comey’s initial intervention, there never would have been his second intervention, reopening the Hillary case shortly before Election Day. Oops.

    If veteran political analyst Ronald Brownstein is right, blue-collar white women in the upper Midwest elected Mr. Trump. What better antidote for the “Access Hollywood” scandal, then tanking the Trump campaign, than the revelation that the Hillary case was not only back but entangled with the underage sexting adventures of former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner.

    If any Russian involvement helped Mr. Trump, this was it. As we know from credible reporting and from Mr. Comey’s own elliptical memoir, he was in possession of a captured Kremlin intelligence document that cited an alleged agreement between the Obama Justice Department and the Clinton campaign to bury the email case. This was Mr. Comey’s magic weapon.

    Amanda Renteria, the Clinton campaign aide named in the Russian intelligence, has stated plainly that the information was “made up by the Russians.” The Justice Department’s inspector general said the info was viewed inside the FBI as “not credible” and “objectively false.” According to CNN and the Washington Post, some considered it a deliberate Kremlin plant.

    Yet Mr. Comey, in a recent interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, described the information as “legitimate” and expressed agnosticism over whether it was “accurate.”

    He told NBC’s Chuck Todd, “I’m just not, by my silence, agreeing with your predicate that it was false documents.”

    What the heck is going on here?

    This episode represents the only possible way Russia affected the election outcome. Other claims about its decisive effect are implausible.

    Former Obama intelligence chief James Clapper flatly opines, based on his decades of experience, that Russia elected Mr. Trump, which might be more persuasive if his decades of experience were in U.S. electoral politics, not spywork and disinformation.

    The Economist magazine, in honor of last week’s U.S. indictment of Russia’s GRU hackers, says the Kremlin only had to shift 0.03% of the total vote and therefore Mr. Trump may be illegitimate.

    What these analysts ignore is net effect. Bernie voters and Catholics had reason to be offended by leaked Democratic emails, but these were one-day stories early in the race. The overall impact of Russia hacking and social media trolling not only was small on its own terms; it was swamped by the blowback on conventional media, which daily amplified accusations of Hillary supporters and Never Trump Republicans that Mr. Trump was in Vladimir Putin’s pocket.

    Replay the election in your head, in fact, and it’s hard come to any conclusion other than Mr. Trump would have been much better off if Russia wasn’t a subject. Voters don’t vote on foreign policy. They do vote on character. There can’t be 75 people in America who cared that Mr. Trump promised better relations with Russia. There must have been hundreds of thousands or millions who followed half the GOP pundit and foreign-policy establishment in opposing Mr. Trump on character grounds, including his alleged footsie with the Kremlin.

    I’ll say it again: It is overwhelmingly likely that Russian efforts, aside from their presumably unforeseen and accidental impact on Mr. Comey, cost Mr. Trump more votes than they got him.

    As early as February 2016, this column described Mr. Trump as a “democratic accident” waiting to happen: “What began as a scheme to become more famous is in danger of running away with the country.”

    It was entirely possible for Mr. Trump to be the last man standing in a crowded GOP primary field full of candidates who might have bested him one on one. He clearly lucked out with Hillary as his Democratic opponent. Of course, the totality of effects decides even a close election. But if you’re looking for a single, conscious, deliberate action by any human being that influenced the outcome, you’re left with Mr. Comey and his Russia-supplied magic weapon.

    By the way, this doesn’t make Mr. Trump an illegitimate president. He’s a natural-born U.S. citizen of the requisite age and won a majority of the Electoral College.

    Appeared in the July 21, 2018, print edition.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-pres...d=hp_opin_pos2

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #1090
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I think this is a thoughtful piece. "As early as February 2016, this column described Mr. Trump as a 'democratic accident' waiting to happen: 'What began as a scheme to become more famous is in danger of running away with the country.'” Ouch.

    *****

    Is President Trump Illegitimate?



    By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
    July 20, 2018 6:38 p.m. ET
    I re-read the piece twice - did he mention the social media activities and Wikileaks revelations? Anyway, the election was the election - two pretty unappealing candidates.

    What I'm interested to see is how things go forward from here. Forget about reactions from Democrats... look instead at the reactions from Republicans - both the more aggressive camp of Sasse, Corker, McCain, et al, and the to-this-point reluctant to criticize the President camp (which is sizable - Ryan, Hatch, et al) - and from members of his own cabinet, at what happened in Helsinki.

    Trump made an extraordinarily rare backpedal, along the lines of Charlottesville, but since has announced Putin will be visiting this fall, maybe right before the elections.

    Relegated to about Page 8 are new threats to apply tariffs on *all* Chinese imports, which is certain to drive up inflation and negate the modest tax relief most Americans got from tax reform.

    As a coworker sometimes quips "why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going so fast?"

  11. #1091
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I re-read the piece twice - did he mention the social media activities and Wikileaks revelations? Anyway, the election was the election - two pretty unappealing candidates.

    What I'm interested to see is how things go forward from here. Forget about reactions from Democrats... look instead at the reactions from Republicans - both the more aggressive camp of Sasse, Corker, McCain, et al, and the to-this-point reluctant to criticize the President camp (which is sizable - Ryan, Hatch, et al) - and from members of his own cabinet, at what happened in Helsinki.

    Trump made an extraordinarily rare backpedal, along the lines of Charlottesville, but since has announced Putin will be visiting this fall, maybe right before the elections.

    Relegated to about Page 8 are new threats to apply tariffs on *all* Chinese imports, which is certain to drive up inflation and negate the modest tax relief most Americans got from tax reform.

    As a coworker sometimes quips "why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going so fast?"
    There's a lot about Trump that I can't stand, but his unwillingness to criticize Putin or Russia does make me nervous. There are not many good possible explanations for that.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  12. #1092
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    There's a lot about Trump that I can't stand, but his unwillingness to criticize Putin or Russia does make me nervous. There are not many good possible explanations for that.
    Agree.

    Here's an "evolved" theory involving Kompromat that doesn't necessarily involve any kind of "pee tape": https://www.newyorker.com/news-desk/...rump-kompromat

    I'm sure I'll never fully understand Russian culture, but the description of a loose "sistema" where authority and power are sort of silently, informally exercised makes some sense. For example, when you go to some event where there are a lot of high rollers, everyone is looking for cues on where they fit in, how high they rank, "who's who", etc. We just don't use that part of a natural ranking system as a means of coercion, as is exercised in the world of organized crime (for example).

    If there were financial "favors" given to the Trump organization by Russian oligarchs when they hit tough times, this seems like it would be the kind of (perhaps even silent) leverage that would explain Trump deferring to Putin so explicitly.

    By the same token, it seems Michael Cohen is kind of between orbits, in transition from the authoritarian "Sistema" culture toward the US judicial system, hoping/betting he won't have to look over his shoulder his entire life.

    (Crap, I don't know - I'm looking forward to football season as a good distraction.)
    Last edited by Ma'ake; Yesterday at 05:12 PM.

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