Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump’s personal assistant is sick. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/politics … index.html

I never cease to be amazed that people will take jobs with this diseased looney tune.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The Daily Beast has a (paywalled) article pondering why Donald Trump Jr. is so obsessed with Hunter Biden, constantly calling him a "crackhead" and accusing him of being in Vladimir Putin's pocket. The projection is obvious: Trump and Trump Jr. accuse others of that which they are guilty; Trump Jr. tweeted about Biden's sexual harassment which only serves to remind people of Trump having over 20 assault accusations. Trump Jr. claiming Putin bribed Hunter Biden only reminds people of the Mueller investigation and the Trump impeachment.

But Trump Jr. is so singularly fixated on Hunter Biden himself -- and Molly Jong-Fast at TDB suggests that Trump Jr. is jealous. His father, for all his many, many, many flaws, does not use intoxicants. Trump may eat 5 - 10 hamburgers in a meal, but he reportedly doesn't drink alcohol or use recreational drugs and looks down upon people who do, considers them weaklings and losers. In contrast, Trump Jr. is clearly intoxicated in numerous videos of his public appearances. Trump Jr. was arrested for public intoxication and was reportedly an alcoholic in college. And I'm sure that his father addressed this with his usual belittlement, abusiveness, mockery, cruelty and savagery and their relationship today is based on Trump using Trump Jr. as a surrogate and spokesperson. That's it. That's all.

Trump has no love for his son, only expedience and contempt. To be an addict is to be weak, Trump says, and I've no doubt he's said that to his son and that's why Trump attacked Hunter Biden at the debate and brought up Hunter's cocaine addiction, viewing Hunter with the same disdain Trump has for his own son. But Biden responded, "My son, like a lot of people, had a drug problem. He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him. I'm proud of my son."

Trump would never be proud of his son for battling addiction, would never maintain any love his son even if he had a addiction, didn't love his son even before the addiction. His children are props to him; he uses his daughter to distract men in business meetings, he uses his sons to repeat his own rhetoric. Jong-Fast wonders if Donald Trump Jr. is jealous that Hunter Biden could share some of his failures and still be loved by his father while Trump Jr. is unloved by his own.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

TemporalFlux wrote:

In addition to QAnon, Baba Vanga predicted the President would get sick:

(Vanga has also been shown to be some kind of urban legend propagated on Russian social media, but it’s interesting in understanding where these wild ideas come from).

The only shock is that Trump hasn't caught CV by now! 

The number infected is just going to grow.  The Republican Senators all had lunch each day last week, probably spread it further.  McConnell is sadistically trying to ram Barrett into the Supreme Court.  They're recessing for a couple weeks but will return with like a week left before they recess again for the election.  As of now, they do not have a quorum (51 Senators present), because the Democrats could simply fail to show up.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

CNN has statements and commentary. The White House says Trump is doing well. This simply isn’t true: Trump’s being treated with drugs to increase severely low blood oxygen and lower inflammation, drugs that also suppress the immune system and would only be prescribed if the patient were in such dire straits that they need to be kept breathing now so they can fight off the virus later. It’s bad and while I don’t care about the well being of this deranged superspreader, I care about the country and a sick US President is a problem for everyone.

**

Biden stopping any negative ads against Trump is a courtesy to a sick man. But I can’t help but think it’s also practical. Why bother to spend any more money on making the case against Trump? His lax pandemic response and flagrant disregard for safety with superspreader event upon event has put him in the hospital. Trump has put himself his place and Biden might as well put the money towards sanitizer and masks for voters.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well today Trump, who is taking 45 different drugs, including a steroid that makes you loopy, forced Secret Service to drive him outside to wave to his supporters and the Proud boys outside the hospital.  Unbelievably insane.  It's just nonstop at this point. 

Latest post-debate polling is awful for Trump, losing by 14.  Down TWENTY SEVEN with seniors!  At this rate, he's headed for a Reagan blowout of Carter 1980.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump has no chance if the election is even vaguely fair.  Most models have him getting blown out.  Just about all of them have Biden at 270+ before you even get into the real battleground states (with more and more red states turning purple with each poll).

Trump can only win with funny business.  And the only funny business he can logistically pull off is based on mail-in voting.  Vote in person.  Encourage everyone you know to vote in person.  No one is predicting that the election will be over on Election Night, but our best bet for a peaceful transition is for it to be over on Election Night.  The win needs to be evident to enough republicans that Trump won't be able to do anything about it.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I wonder what funny business he could even pull at this point given how all the dirty tricks to steal an election depend on the results being close enough to contest and we're looking at a Biden blowout. Biden and Trump were evenly matched in Florida, but now Biden has a five point lead. Mail-in ballots are counted earlier in Florida. Florida is likely to have a result on Election Night. If Trump wins Florida on Election Night, he wins the 29 electoral votes to possibly scrape a win in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote -- if Biden loses Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

If Biden wins Florida, then Trump needs to win Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and also two out of three states with Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. And in these states, Trump is only ahead of Biden in Georgia.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The key states on Nov. 3 will be Ohio and Florida, because they count ballots as they arrive, so their figures at night will be quite full.  If Biden has either of those called for him, it's over.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, has tested positive. The White House has continued to decline to have staffers wear masks.

You know, there’s a lot of crazy happening in the world. How stupid do these people think it’s safe to be? There’s a lot that can ensicken and kill you even without warnings and advice from the CDC and a White House medical team. So refusing to distance and wear masks in a pandemic and then predictably getting infected is not calculated to my sympathies. (Paraphrasing Steven Moffat.)

1,510 (edited by Grizzlor 2020-10-05 10:37:14)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Trump is promoting https://www.armyfortrump.com/ which is a ridiculous moniker.  It's nothing but voter intimidation squads.  And yes, we already have a fucking Army in this county.  It's called the United States Army.

The White House is in total turmoil, the worst since probably when Reagan was shot.  You have Mark Meadows supposedly lying to reporters, and Trump is furious with him.  There are reports Trump and the SECRETARY OF DEFENSE Mark Esper have not spoken to each other in MONTHS!  MONTHS!!!  Likely since Esper threw him under the bus for the upside down Bible photo op.  Meanwhile the Vice President Mike Pence is NOT quarantining, traveling around the country doing campaigning, and intends to do a debate in Utah.  There's not a shred of common sense among them.  Pelosi continues to pass CV relief packages that McConnell won't even debate on the floor.

28 positive WH-orbit #COVID19 cases

Donald Trump
Melania Trump
Kayleigh McEnany
Hope Hicks
Kellyanne Conway
Chris Christie
Sen Mike Lee
Sen Thom Tillis
Sen Ron Johnson
Ronna McDaniel
John Jenkins
Bill Stepien
Nick Luna
1x WH jr staffer
3x reporters
11x Ohio debate staff

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Stephen Miller has COVID-19. So does Jason Miller. Couldn't have happened to a nicer pair of Trump advisors and campaign aides.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/06/politics … index.html

Pence also seems eager to get COVID-19, refusing to have plexiglass on his end when he debates Kamala Harris. Harris will have plexiglass. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/06/politics … index.html

The Supreme Court is now requiring witness signatures on South Carolina mail in ballots, but ballots sent by October 5 and received by October 7 will be exempted. The determinedly conservative judges are looking for any excuse to throw out mail in ballots after they've been sent. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/202 … ature.html

Biden says he won't debate Trump if Trump is still testing positive. I think we can agree there is no point to debating Trump. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/06/politics … index.html

Grandpa Biden says about an hour of comforting things in a CNBC town hall and I fall asleep listening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5pPSv_Htgw

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

If I was Biden, I wouldn't debate Trump.  Covid can be the excuse.  The rules can be the excuse.  It doesn't help Biden to do it.  He's up by anywhere from 5-14 points, and that number is rising.  Trump is DOA, and only some sort of Biden gaffe can make this interesting again.  If I were Biden, I'd spend all my time in Pennsylvania.  He made big gains recently there, now up more than 6%, and there's just not a legitimate path to victory if Trump doesn't win Pennsylvania.  And instead of debate prep, I'd be working on making sure that people vote early and vote in person.  The Biden team's attention needs to be on making sure that polling places are safe - both from the virus and the Republicans.

Trump decided to tell the American people that he's going to hold the stimulus package.  Which is one of the dumbest things that I think he could've done.  More than 70% of Americans are in favor of another stimulus, and the media narrative was that the Democrats were holding it up (or at least that was most of the narrative).  Pelosi's numbers were down.  And then Trump goes out of his way to say "nope!  I'm the one holding your money."  As Nate Silver said, the economy was Trump's one way back and he's trying to knock that one off the board.

This is what's really interesting
https://news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-jr- … 13470.html

I wonder how much of this is true.  If it's true that the Trumps are massively in debt and Trump is doing some really bizarre things...I could see this being the case.  Trump is losing big, and anyone who looks at the data (any source) would know that it looks really bad for him (he's down to 18% on 538's election forecast, well below the number he was at in 2016).  I don't know if Don Jr wants his dad to stay in politics, but if Don Jr wants to go into politics, he's going to need his dad to stay popular.  And if Trump is truly only listening to Ivanka and Jared, he's going to make terrible decisions.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

You guys forgot the entire Joint Chiefs of the Pentagon are in quarantine.  Trump had a maskless Gold Star family event inside the WH the day after the Barrett event.  He's going down in flames, and the question will be how many Republicans burn with him?

I saw the Don Jr. thing the other day.  The children are scared of Daddy Donny, they won't do squat.  Eric Trump was forced to testify the other day in NYC.  It's the legal and financial fallout which Don Jr. is most afraid of.  Ivanka doesn't care because Kushner has his own money, she's taken care of.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Report on the Kamala Harris/whatshisface debate:

Couldn't stay awake. It was probably fine. Admittedly, that's what I said about Season 4 of SLIDERS before I actually saw it.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Besides the fly on Pence's head, the story was women felt Harris won 70/30, while men were split.  It's really telling and you can easily see how those numbers are very very close to the national polls seeing a split with men, and historic gap between the two with females.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It was a much more traditional debate in that both sides went through their talking points, nothing was learned, and no minds were changed

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

My only notes from the debate:

1. I don't know why Harris and Biden won't give a straight answer on stacking the Supreme Court.  Obviously evading the question is the same as answering it.  Just like Pence and Trump obviously evading the "will you accept the results" is the same as answering it.  They need to have a better answer, or they just need to say "yes, we plan on doing that."  What they're doing is effectively the same thing.

2. I thought Pence came off very unlikeable.  I don't know if Harris did a good job, but Pence came off as disrespectful and haughty.  His answer on the "will you accept the results" question was just as disturbing as Trump's, and I have no idea why Harris and the moderator (who I thought was terrible) let him get away with it.  I've always seen Pence as the RNC liaison to Trump.  To see him use the same "I don't think we're going to lose so there's no point in even talking about it" was disturbing.

1,518 (edited by Grizzlor 2020-10-08 11:54:01)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Pence was a talk radio host for years, so yes, he's mastered the art of communicating.  However, he interrupted and ignored the moderator most of the night.  Women judged his performance with great disdain.

Biden hasn't answered the Court question because I don't think he has decided on it.  Hell, even I haven't decided if I approve of adding justices.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Biden doesn't want to pack the Supreme Court, but he may have to. He has no enthusiasm for altering US institutions in such a fashion, but he recognizes that the court is already packed with Trumpists and Republicans. He doesn't want to eliminate the filibuster, but he may have to if he wants to get anything done. There's also the risk that the Democrats don't win the Senate in which case they can't commit to what they need the Senate to do.

**

Trump won't debate Biden virtually, and won't debate him at all on October 15. Biden has decided to do an ABC town hall moderated by George Stephanopoulos. I don't know about you, but I could go for listening to Grandpa saying vaguely encouraging and comforting things.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/0 … ate-427810

**

I don't refer to Biden as Grandpa to be derogatory. Biden reminds me of my grandfather on my father's side.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Biden doesn't want to pack the Supreme Court, but he may have to. He has no enthusiasm for altering US institutions in such a fashion, but he recognizes that the court is already packed with Trumpists and Republicans. He doesn't want to eliminate the filibuster, but he may have to if he wants to get anything done.

This makes some sense.  I've been listening to a lot of FiveThirtyEight's political podcast recently, and they speculated that Biden should pull a "you made me do this" with the Republicans.  Saying they won't stack the court if they don't proceed with their nomination.  That 4-5 may be preferable to 7-6.  But maybe he can't say that because it would make the senate races worse.  Maybe someone like Lindsey Graham wins their race because Republicans know they can't lose the Senate and the White House.

****

It sounds like they might agree to an in-person debate for October 22.  I think that would make some sense, but if I'm Biden, I don't see the point.  He debated Trump.  His VP debated Pence.  I don't think there's a ton of room for this race to get much more lopsided than it already is.  I think there's only room for it to get closer.  There's no point in risking it.  The debates aren't adding anything to the race, and there's just the risk that Biden says something that either loses moderate voters or far left ones.

I'm sure Biden doesn't want to besmirch the process, and I'm sure he doesn't think he can ruin it.  But we're really close and Biden's both winning over new voters and strengthening his lead.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

I don't refer to Biden as Grandpa to be derogatory. Biden reminds me of my grandfather on my father's side.

God Forbid if your family reminded you of Trump!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Every time I see an article about crazy people in Michigan trying to kidnap the governor, I wonder if Informant were among them.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/0 … gan-427953

Every time I see an article about people catching COVID after they went to a Trump rally without a mask or social distancing, I wonder if Informant is one of them.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/0 … ses-428425

Every time I read about poll watchers trying to intimidate voters, I wonder if Informant has enlisted among them.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/0 … ing-427008

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Just to recap, one candidate has been endorsed by the Proud Boys and other associated White Supremacist groups AND the Taliban, while the other was endorsed by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Every time I see an article about crazy people in Michigan trying to kidnap the governor, I wonder if Informant were among them.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/0 … gan-427953

Every time I see an article about people catching COVID after they went to a Trump rally without a mask or social distancing, I wonder if Informant is one of them.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/0 … ses-428425

Every time I read about poll watchers trying to intimidate voters, I wonder if Informant has enlisted among them.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/0 … ing-427008

This is probably true and that's sad.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well -- it's true that I *wonder* if that's the case. It's not necessarily the case. I was recently telling a bunch of people things that Informant has said in my last two posts about writing murder mysteries and being interested in how process and techniques used by other writers in the Writers Room thread. http://sliders.tv/bboard/viewtopic.php?pid=10509#p10509 I then declared that I would have to say something mocking about Informant if I were going to compliment him as a writer.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yeah I mistyped I guess.  I don't think he'd kidnap a governor or intimidate voters.  But I could definitely see him not social distancing and not wearing a mask at a rally.

I think we're probably worse off, conversation-wise, without someone from the other side (we're all at least left-leaning I think), but I think too far in the other direction is a bit toxic.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/1 … ght-428856

This is an interesting thoughtpiece.  Trump will certainly press for a winner on Election night, but what if he's not winning?  He'll obviously pivot to some sort of "let's count the ballots" stance, but he's got very few paths to victory, and as the article says, essentially zero that will be counted by election night unless he flips some states he's not expected to win.

The hope is that Trump isn't winning enough states on Election night (with just the votes that have been counted) that he can say "ELECTION OVER" and try to get people to stop counting.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Voted!  Very nice to finally get to do that!

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I mailed the ballot in a few weeks ago. 

https://www.investors.com/news/biden-vs … tion-poll/

IBD/TIPP predicted Trump win in 2016, now say he's doomed.

As for the election night, it's likely many states like Wisconsin or Pennsylvania will not be close to done counting.  However, Arizona, Ohio, Florida, Texas probably will.  Even if they are super close or Trump narrowly prevails in say Ohio, you can make demographic/exit poll comparisons to the slower states.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Yeah I mistyped I guess.  I don't think he'd kidnap a governor or intimidate voters.  But I could definitely see him not social distancing and not wearing a mask at a rally.

I think we're probably worse off, conversation-wise, without someone from the other side (we're all at least left-leaning I think), but I think too far in the other direction is a bit toxic.

The issue isn’t left wing vs right wing. It’s about critical thinking versus cult thinking. Informant is incapable of questioning Donald Trump even when Trump is actively trying to kill him and embraces proven frauds and liars so long as they reassure him in his Republican identity. He is too invested in his cult. If he were still here, he would post falsehoods. He’d say the pandemic is a hoax. That masks don’t protect people. That superspreaders aren’t real. That people aren’t getting sick and dying. That he can deliberately get infected to become immune. That voter fraud is massively proven and people should vote twice. Even Twitter won’t tolerate that level of life threatening deceit from Trump anymore.

Transmodiar and Temporal Flux don’t identify as Democrats. They don't support Joe Biden. But they are capable of criticizing both conservative and progressive positions. Transmodiar called Biden a senile bully and Obama’s presidency a ****show and described Trump as an inept idiot. Temporal Flux called Obama’s message of hope and change “bunk” and also renounced the Republican Party after it chose Trump to represent them while still warning that imbuing all political power with Democrats is simply cult behaviour under another a blue flag instead of a red hat.

While I may disagree a little or a lot, they are exercising critical thinking. They are not closed books to new data. They amend their ideologies to match new information. They don't amend information to match their ideologies.

They might not agree with you or me, but they wouldn’t lie to us or encourage us to believe untruths that could get us or others sick or arrested for voter fraud.

Critical thinkers welcome new information and questioning. Cultists repeat and rephrase what they’ve been told by a narrow set of sources chosen by ideology rather than veracity. I may be supporting Joe Biden in this election, but after he wins, I will be as critical of him as I am of Donald Trump and if he tells me not to wear a mask during a pandemic, I'll turn against him.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

You don't think election fraud is real?  Here's an example going on right now in California:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/12/us/p … boxes.html

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

The issue isn’t left wing vs right wing. It’s about critical thinking versus cult thinking.

Oh, I agree.  But I still like to hear the far right insanity.  Maybe because I feel like I'm immune to it.  But I think hearing the crazy helps me center myself with the sane.

Classic villain origin, I know.

Grizzlor wrote:

As for the election night, it's likely many states like Wisconsin or Pennsylvania will not be close to done counting.  However, Arizona, Ohio, Florida, Texas probably will.  Even if they are super close or Trump narrowly prevails in say Ohio, you can make demographic/exit poll comparisons to the slower states.

Yeah this was the crux of the article I posted.  If Biden wins Florida, there's a chance he's at 270 before Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, or Michigan are even counted.  And, honestly, it really isn't even that big of a stretch.  That's Biden winning Arizona (where he's up fairly big) and Florida.  Trump could win Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia, *and* sweep Wisconsin/Michigan/Pennsylvania and Biden still wins.

And there are still so many paths to victory for Biden if he doesn't win Florida, but any notion of Trump pulling funny business ends if Biden gets Florida.  Which we should know election night.

(Everything that I said would also work, obviously, if Biden gets Texas - which I still view as a fair longshot - I'd agree with 538's guess that it's around 30% - but that's still higher than their prediction that Trump wins at all)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

pilight wrote:

You don't think election fraud is real?  Here's an example going on right now in California:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/12/us/p … boxes.html

That’s election fraud. That isn’t voter fraud and isn’t fabricating fake votes.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Voted!  Very nice to finally get to do that!

God bless you, Rob.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Thank you!  Was a great honor to vote for Mr. Biden.  And being in a redder part of Texas, I made sure to double check my selection, both on the screen, and on the printed-out ballot.  Nothing changed and Biden's name clearly printed.

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Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Current estimates are that we may see 150-160 million votes, well above the 137 million that voted in 2016.  Enthusiasm from likely voters is through the roof.  Meanwhile the Supreme Court once again stopped census takers, and the GOP proceeds with its cabal to pack the federal courts.  If those estimates remain, turnout would easily exceed 60% perhaps as high as 65%.  60% has not occurred since Kennedy/Johnson, while 65% hasn't happened since the days of Teddy Roosevelt!  I cannot possible see how that benefits Republicans nationally, as they traditionally get trounced in high turnout elections.  In fact, the % of likely voters who say that the outcome of the election is very important is higher than it's been in decades.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I see the stories about long lines in early voting, and people standing there for up to ten hours to cast their vote.  I’ve only seen one group of people do that in this election - people standing in line for ten hours to get into a Trump rally.

Don’t be so sure about who these people are voting for.

http://primarymodel.com/

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

While I can't pretend to have a wide or comprehensive grasp of the full range of human behaviour, declaring that Trump supporters lined up for 10 hours means that all people in America who line up for 10 hours must be Trump supporters is... isn't that like saying that cars are in garages, so anyone standing in a garage is therefore a car? And why would it be a surprise that most voters you've seen personally are Trump supporters? Don't you live in a Republican state?

As for predictions, I don't see much merit in PrimaryModel.com, a model that declares Trump has a 91 per cent change of winning the presidency while also declaring, "This forecast is unconditional and final; hence not subject to any updating. It was first posted on March 2, 2020 on Twitter." Any model predicting the results of a November 2020 election and declares itself "unconditional" and "final" in March 2020 is suspicious, to put it mildly.

If we're going to take any model for predictions, it should be a model that is open to being updated based on new information based on something more current than projections finalized eight months before the election with some accounting for the pandemic, mail-in ballots, high turnout, voter suppression, electoral fraud, voter registration laws, ballot receipt laws. A model like https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/20 … -forecast/ which is perpetually ranking the quality of its data, cautioning that its metric could be off due to the pandemic, suspicious of convention bounces and other expectations that may not apply and open to being reworked with Biden at one point having a 67 in 100 chance of winning. And Five Thirty Eight also pointed out in 2016 that Trump was only a normal polling error behind Hillary and might actually be ahead. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/tr … d-clinton/

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

As I understand it, the Primary Model is based exclusively on data from the primary election totals.  The primaries are over, so the book is closed on that.  That’s how they were able to do these forecast back to 1912.  This wasn’t done in real time; they could only so far find reliable records going back to 1912.

Of course, the model has been wrong twice.  The first was 1960, and there has been speculation that abnormalities in Texas and Illinois gave that election to Kennedy.  The second was 2000 when Bush was given the win.  In both cases, there is an argument that cheating swung the results; so the Primary Model may have actually been right those two times too if we had seen the true results.

As for personal behavior, the parallel to the rallies just strikes me.  Throw away the polling data for a moment.  Look around at what people are actually doing (such as the Primary Model looking at actual, final vote results on the books).  I’m not saying which forecast reality is true; I’m saying don’t be so sure of what’s really going on.

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy … ing-states

Trump had no real opponent in the primaries.  Those people had no reason to vote, and they voted anyway.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

In the primaries, 18 million people voted for Trump, 454 thousand voted for Bill Weld. 35.7 million people voted in the Democratic primaries, 19 million of those votes for Biden, 9.6 million for Sanders, 2.8 million for Warren -- and I don't think it should be surprising that 18 million Trump supporters wanted to try to keep their unstable cult leader in place to curtail any effort from Republicans to replace him.

And it's true that Helmut Norpoth's Primary Model predicts Trump's 2020 victory and has only been 'wrong' twice since 1912, but Norpoth only started his model in 1996, so he has only ever used it in six actual elections predictively; his accuracy rate merely indicates that (a) he found a model that averaged out the results from 1912 to 1996 and (b) he was right five out of six times at predicting binary scenarios where his prediction had a 50-50 chance of being correct anyway. It's either a Democrat or Republican victory. Norpoth claims he's been predicting elections since 1912 (when he started 84 years later), so his model is inflated by 500 per cent. His model is closed to new information. And his model for predicting history may be superb, but for the future, he may as well be flipping a coin. His model isn't going to warp the laws of probability and reality.

Reality is that Trump's surprise victory in 2016 came after he'd closed the polling distance between him and Clinton to 2.7 points. That he was only a 3.3 per cent polling error from being ahead. That America disliked Hillary Clinton more than it disliked Donald Trump -- a distance Trump has since closed with his bullying persona and non-existent pandemic response and actively trying to get his own voters sick. Reality is that Trump is now in Clinton's situation; he's ahead in Republican strongholds like Texas, Iowa and Maine by a mere 3.1, 1.2 and 0.4 points respectively, a lead that's within the margin of error, tied with Biden in Georgia (!!) and Biden's leads in safe Democratic states is 183 Electoral College votes, 29 in likely Democratic states and 78 in lean Democratic states for a total of 290. Trump could win all 85 toss-up states and still be short of 270. Trump is losing.

At least, I think he is. Look, I'm not a pollster. I'm not even an American. I could be wrong.

And if I'm wrong, I will fly out to visit Temporal Flux when it's possible and buy him dinner at the Olive Garden. In addition, I will write a seventh installment of SLIDERS REBORN for EarthPrime.com. A script entitled "Redemption." Featuring Rembrandt confronting Colonel Rickman. A story which Transmodiar will be obligated to review, edit, comment on just when Transmodiar thought he was finally free of having to ever deal with SLIDERS REBORN again, possibly the most obnoxious and irritating creative project upon which he has ever been forced to labour (and he quit six times and kept coming back and lost two years of his life on it).

If Trump wins, Transmodiar will be forced to endure, at minimum, another four weeks of agonized exasperation over SLIDERS REBORN. He barely survived it in 2015 - 2016! He might end up in a mental ward this time!

And Temporal Flux will get all the pasta he can eat at Olive Garden after we've all been vaccinated.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I don't buy the Primary Model.  I think, if anything, it's correlation.  Incumbents tend to win, and incumbents tend to run unopposed.  People running against incumbents tend to have wide open races.  If it's a race between no incumbents, I can buy the enthusiasm metric.

I'm not saying Trump can't win.  But 91% for Trump implies that TONS of people are lying about voting for Biden, and there's been no evidence of that.  And I think the hardest part about shy voters or lying voters is that there's been a stunning consistency to this race.  If you look at the national polls, it's been remarkably consistent since March.  If you look at the state polls, they're pretty consistent.

If they were polling the same exact group of people every time, then I could buy the lying argument.  But there are dozens of polls, all trying to poll different groups.  Conservative polls, liberal polls, independent polls, international polls.  Polls of likely voters, polls of registered voters, polls of all voters.  Polls in every state.  And in all those polls, it's Biden up by 3-15 points all along the way.

So yeah there could be a certain percentage of Trump voters that don't want to admit that they're going to vote Trump or are lying to screw with polls.  But for the results to be the same, that group of liars/shy people have to remain consistent regardless of the sample.  They can't randomly draw a group of people that is more likely to be shy or lie - otherwise the results would tip way in favor of Biden.  They can't find people who are less shy or less likely to lie, or it'd show Trump winning.

We aren't really seeing those polls.  Which tells me that there aren't that many people that are doing it because you'd expect to see those people show up in the polling unless it was *very* coordinated.

Trump can definitely win.  One thing that I'm seeing a lot of Trump people talk about is that percentages aren't a score.  Even if the Primary Model is right, Biden has a 9% chance to winning.  According to 538, Trump has a 13% chance of winning.  These aren't small odds.  People in casinos make those kinds of bets all the time.  I need an ace on the river!  I need the dealer to bust.  I need lucky 21!

Not likely.  But the unlikely happens all the time.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I have to say -- while I do not subscribe to the Primary Model or the idea of silent Trump supporters, this has been absolutely fascinating because in looking up more on electoral modelling, I read a lot of informative articles. I can't pretend to understand all of it, but it was so interesting.

**

After the 2016 election, an economics professor built an election prediction model based on the Election Day weather in Bozeman, Broken Bow, Burlington, Caribou, Cody, Dover, Elkins, Fargo, and Pocatello that accurately 'predicted' every election between 1980 to 2016. As Professor Gary Smith explains: any 10 results can always be mathematically predicted perfectly by a model with nine imperfectly correlated explanatory values. That's not magic or prediction; that's a mathematician knowing the answers in advance.

Smith also notes that the Primary Model has actually been retrofitted repeatedly: prior to 1952, it used all presidential primaries. From there to 2004, it used only New Hampshire. After that, it added back South Carolina. The Primary Model can't be said to be infallible in its method if its method keeps changing. When a model is revised, Smith explains, it's because it predicted the past more accurately than it did the future.

There's another limited data model from Alan Lichtman whose 13 Keys Prediction predicted a Trump victory in 2016 and a Trump defeat in 2020 based on 13 true/false questions that has 'accurately' predicted eight elections. Professor Smith points out that Lichtman's model is utter BS as well because several of its true/false questions are largely vague to the point where the response could be subjectively true or false (Was there major policy change? Is the challenger charismatic?) and the 13 questions have been repeatedly revised, meaning it's another model that has had to be rewritten to fit the results and is hardly predicting them in advance.

Professor Gary Smith wrote:

If you wander through a garden making random choices every time you come to a fork in the road, your final destination will seem almost magical. What are the chances that you would come to this very spot? Yet you had to end up somewhere. If a model that correctly predicted your path had been specified before you started your walk, that would have been amazing. However, identifying your path after you finished your walk is distinctly not amazing. https://mindmatters.ai/2020/07/election … d-useless/

Professor Arturo, I think, would look at Norpoth and Lichtman and declare that both the Primary Model and the 13 Keys Prediction are stories from the same genre; they are fairy tales cloaked in the guise of mathematics, both operating on the magic of statistics; the magic is that you can make statistics mean whatever you decide they mean. Quinn would point out that no one ever failed to solve a mathematical mystery when they started with an answer and then created the question. Wade would say the future isn't written in our models, but in our choices and actions and we can't try to skip to end of the book. Rembrandt would say he doesn't understand anything we just said, but we gotta get our butts out there and vote and we also need to bring along all our friends.

1,543 (edited by Grizzlor 2020-10-15 21:09:42)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I feel like all of these "models" behave as if I were to say it's going to snow in Syracuse, NY, in the last week of January.  The other thing is, they ALL have been wrong on occasion.  This campaign features an incumbent well under water on favorability, approval, with independents, I could go on and on.  There's a pandemic, his approval on handling it is horrendous.  Have these models faced this kind of hurricane before?  There's no way, maybe during the Depression, which none of these models go back to usually.

PS: On tonight's town hall's, Trump mainly argued with the host, while Biden kind of gave run on answers.  I did think Biden hit on a number of good ones, such as Trump's use of the Justice Dept as his personal law firm.  Most notable from Trump's was his babbling refusal to disavow Q-Anon.

PS 2: I saw a clip from a debate tonight in Iowa, for the Senate seat.  Joni Ernst apparently doesn't know the current commodity prices on crops!!!  The Dem Theresa Greenfield got them correct.  This is Iowa after all.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

If you listen to Nate Silver talk about his model, he seems to go overboard in discussing the faults of the model itself and all of the systems that were put in place to make it as "fail-proof" as possible.  I've been listening to their politics podcast while I feed our baby, and I'm not sure which one it was...but the host asked him about how the model works.

He essentially said that if you look at the polls and trust that the polls are correct (that the data is correct, that people are giving honest-enough answers, that the sample and sample size are correct, etc) that Trump's chances are probably lower than the 13% chance that he's getting now.  The model anticipates that the race will tighten towards the end, and it anticipates that something could happen.  A vaccine could come out.  Biden could have a major gaffe or a negative October surprise.  Stuff like that.  The model is also trying to account for the idea that there could be voter suppression at historic levels, and/or that Trump could do things to "steal" the election.

But what's interesting to me is that he said that, even if Biden expanded his lead nationally and in key states, the model would almost never kick back a result much less than 5% for Trump.  Because he's admitting that the model will never be perfect enough to 100% predict no matter what the polls say.  I find that interesting.

****************

I didn't watch either town hall.  I can't imagine that such a format helped either candidate.  I'm sure Trump got more viewers and will brag about it, but it won't matter.  The viewers were either his devoted base or people watching the car wreck.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

All this back and forth is pointless because the bottom line - securing fundraising dollars for the national party - is what's at stake. The Democrats don't care if they win the presidency (as evidenced by their uninspired nominee); they care about the $380 million they raised in donations in the past month and appealing to the self-righteous who think bringing back "The West Wing" to help Michele Obama is woke. The Republicans don't care about winning the presidency; they've locked down the Supreme Court, districting, and local and state politics (and they're fundraising, too). And they'll probably hold onto Congress as well.

Kamala Harris is on the ticket because she is who the big donors wanted. It's not a testament to her skill or how many diversity boxes she checks; she's backed by the money. Period. At the end of the day, anyone who thinks this isn't a long con to squeeze money from people who can't afford it to pad the wallets of people who don't care about them is a sucker.

The parties were genius for opening things up to popular vote in the primaries. Why have backroom dealings when you can give people the illusion of choice?

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

1,546 (edited by ireactions 2020-10-16 18:14:47)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

On Transmodiar's Thoughts:
That's an interesting perspective and it has much validity. Fundraising is vital to the Democratic National Convention and the Democratic Party. But I'm not sure why it wouldn't be. Without money, the party has no resources to acquire political power.

Joe Biden is not the progressive white knight many people wanted. But the Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warrens and Andrew Yangs of the world never draw the turnout needed to win them the White House. Bernie got 9 million votes in the primaries, Warren got 2.8 million and Andrew Yang got 160,231. Andrew Yang is a genius. But with 160,231 votes, Andrew Yang does not have enough voters to lead a majoritarian party.

With 160,231 votes, Andrew Yang is leading an ideological cult of strong talking points that is utterly devoid of political power and also without any money to fund their wishes. Without power and without money, the Democratic Party cannot do anything for anybody. Joe Biden, despite his uninspiring bromides, is someone that progessives, centrists and non-Trumpist conservatives can (to my astonishment) apparently tolerate. So be it.

This is not the first time you have declared that the presidency doesn't matter and that the race doesn't matter and issued your expectations of the future. Now, I don't expect you to be able to defend or uphold an opinion given four years ago nor would I find fault with you for not being precognitive.

But your worldview — which should not be discounted — has proven ill-matched to the moment. Your expectations of President Trump's America have proven wrong across the board. The United States under Trump has been unable to manage any kind of crisis whatsoever. Government has not been unable to run itself. A crazy reality show star who spent most of his life living in a blue state was not less crazy when running into the White House from enthusiasm fostered in red states and did not tone down his catastrophic, random, egotistical savagery. A demented bully did not stop himself from actively trying to kill people up to and including his own voters to satisfy his need for crowds and attention. And a desperate, terrified sham of a world leader who is running scared from 500 million in debt to foreign powers and tax evasion charges was not a "master showman" who could "run rings around Joe Biden."

A worldview should not be dismissed just because the opinion doesn't lead to psychic ability. It doesn't make your concerns unworthy of concern. I admire that you see through what you call static and observe the cycles of money and power. But I don't think what you're dismissing as static is as irrelevant as you claim given the obvious and immediate results the US Presidency and this moron in that role has had on everyone's day to day lives. Your suspicion for Democrat candidates and Democrats pursuing money is something we should all take part in every day. We should all follow the money. But I don't think we should see it as the only story.

I am sorry that Andrew Yang only got 160,231 votes. Andrew Yang is sorry he only got 160,231 votes. But he's not disengaging and dismissing the world with contempt and disdain. He is doing his part.

On the Primary Model and Campaign Finance:
You know, I think we should all be very interested in (a) how money is a factor in these campaigns and (b) how primaries reflect the ground level enthusiasm of the electorate. I don't think we should be evaluating the world or even just the election on ONLY fundraising or ONLY primary participation. I definitely don't think we should be trusting mathematical models based on these factors. But we also shouldn't pretend they are not highly relevant to the state of our planet.

On Trump's Town Hall:
Just watched Trump's entire town hall. God, what a lunatic. A pathetic, whining child incensed that a female reporter would ask him follow up questions and ask him to deny that the Democratic Party is a Satanist conspiracy. A fool saying that people shouldn't  wear masks because his personal manservants seem uncomfortable in them. A liar insisting that ballot fraud exists because it threatens his status. Completely unsuited to public service of any kind. He couldn't / wouldn't even specify if he were tested for COVID-19 before the first debate with Biden.

His contempt and indifference to the town hall participants asking him questions was palpable as he boasted that everything he did was "tremendous." It's clear he sees his job as sitting in his bedroom tweeting about all the work he isn't actually doing. That the presidency is an ivory tower of luxury he doesn't want to leave. This person couldn't run a cash register at a gas station. I think it might be time to end debates and just have reporters hammer at candidates relentlessly.

In terms of viewers: Trump's town hall got 13.5 million viewers. Biden got 14.1 million. If we need to pick a winner, it was Biden (by 4.25 per cent).

Anyway. From Biden's town hall:

Biden On Packing the Supreme Court

Joe Biden wrote:

I have not been a fan of pack -- court packing, because I think it just generates what will happen every -- whoever wins, it just keeps moving in a way that is inconsistent with what is going to be manageable... Well, I'm not a fan. I would then say, it depends on how this turns out, not how he wins, but how it's handled, how it's handled. But there's a number of things that are going to be coming up, and there's going to be a lot of discussion about other alternatives as well. I'm open to considering what happens from that point on.

Biden On What He Does if He Loses:

Joe Biden wrote:

Well, it could say that I'm a lousy candidate, and I didn't do a good job. But I think -- I hope...  that it doesn't say that we are as racially, ethnically, and religiously at odds with one another as it appears the President wants us to be. Usually, you know, the President, in my view, with all due respect, it's been divide and conquer, the way he does better if he splits us and where there's division.

I will go back to being a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and making the case that I have been -- made and at the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, focusing on -- on these same issues relating to what constitutes decency and honor in this country.

If I get elected, you know, I'm going to be -- I'm running as a proud Democrat, but I'm going to be an American president. I'm going to take care of those that voted against me as well as those who voted for me, for real. That's what presidents do. We've got to heal this nation, because we have the greatest opportunity of any country in the world to own the 21st century. And we can't do it divided.

Biden gave an empathetic, polished, gaffe-free performance. Full transcript here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics … r-BB1a4RLG

Joe Biden wrote:

In politics, grudges don't work. They're not -- they make no sense. I really mean it. I have never-- and the second point I'd make is, everybody talks about "Yeah, Joe, when you were a senator and a chairman of Foreign Relations or chairman of the Judiciary, you got a lot of things done. You were able to cross the aisle. Well, the days have changed, and when you were vice president you got a lot done. But it can't happen any more."

It can. We've got to change the nature of the way we deal with one another. You don't question other men and women's motives. You can question their judgment, but not their motive.

Well, we badly need an infrastructure bill. Well, what happens? I stand up and I say, "You know, we need an infrastructure bill, Senator. But I'll tell you what, you're in the pocket of the cement industry. But let's see what we can do." We can't get anywhere, and nothing happens. Nothing happens. I learned that lesson a long time ago. I've never even -- when it's obvious on its face what the motive is. Stick to the subject. And listen to the other guy. Listen.

And with Trump out of the way, the vindictiveness of a president going after Republicans who don't do exactly what he says gets -- gets taken away. There's going to be -- I promise you-- between four and eight Republican senators who are willing -- they're going to be willing to move on things where they're bipartisan consensus.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

You know, there's another aspect to the election that is a bit underserved on this forum -- privilege. Since most of us have the time to chatter on an internet message board, it's likely that most of us have that kind of free time. In addition, most of us here are men, heterosexual, Caucasian or a model minority -- we are of genders and races unharmed by a Trump presidency, a presidency that has legitimized white supremacists, homophobia, transphobia, sexual harassers, and blatantly encouraged modern neo-Nazi militia movements.

When we declare that a Trump presidency doesn't matter to us or that a Trump presidency won't make America worse than it already is or that a Trump presidency wouldn't be any worse than a Biden presidency or that removing Trump from office wouldn't improve America, we are (unintentionally) declaring that it's fine for the presidential platform to overtly, blatantly and repeatedly boost and embolden hate groups that are paramilitarized against women, people of colour, homosexuals, transgenders -- and anyone who isn't a straight-white man.

I agree that we need to spend more time thinking about how voter participation in primaries is an indicator of enthusiasm in the electorate and that it's an important factor to bear in mind. And that we need to always consider how the Democrats' focus and victories in recent years have been in terms of fundraising rather than policy or political power. I would like to add this other area of consideration -- how the power of the US Presidency affects people who are not in positions of privilege due to their race and gender. And it’s to be considered. I wouldn't make it the only factor to weigh in the state of the world.

Also, a lot of us are prone to issuing predictions and expectations that don't come true because none of us have precognitive abilities. Some of us declared that a Trump presidency was not a big deal and that the presidency was not a powerful position hemmed in by checks and balances, some of us said Trump wasn't really a racist or a white supremacist and that government was too efficient to fail even with an ineffectual president. My personal predictions were that Biden was senile, incapable of mounting an effective campaign, devoid of the progressivism to inspire voters, helpless against Trump's charisma, prone to bizarre outbursts, devoid of any actual policies or ideas for how to face climate change, police corruption, racism, recession, pandemics -- and I have been proven wrong repeatedly.

At various moments, I have felt that because Democrats aren't running on my preferred terms, they don't care about winning; that because the election isn't operating on my parameters, it is a waste of time. But ultimately, that's just me feeling spiteful and the reality is, my imagined 'model' was, like the Primary Model and the 13 Keys Prediction, based on too few factors and not sufficiently open to new data.

1,548

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EkpgNBgUUAAPOb8?format=jpg&name=small

Carson City, NV Trump rally today.  Totally insane.  We need this election to END already before he's infected the whole country.

1,549 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2020-10-18 18:58:23)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

And I don't see the point.  These are all people who are going to vote for him no matter what.  The *only* possible outcome is that people get sick at these events and then can't vote.  There's no way an undecided voter is going to go to one of these events.  I just don't see the point.

(And of course the point is to stroke Trump's ego.  But the rest of the family wants him to win, right?)

1,550

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It's all about his ego, yes, he needs to be given his daily affirmation of worth.  He's THAT insecure.