Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

So I've come across a few people in the wild and a lot of people through actual journalism (I'm still off social media) that are either switching from Biden to Trump or just voting for Trump.  None of these people are MAGA as far as I'm aware.

The reasoning seems to be mostly economics.  They feel that prices are too high under Biden, and that specifically translates to the economy is bad.  None of the other metrics of the economy seem to matter, and the fact that Biden seems to keep saying that the economy is great seems to bother them even more.  To me, I think Biden needs to do a few things to reach these people.  I don't know if Biden wants to do any of these, and I don't know that him doing these things would help.

1. Biden needs to acknowledge that, while a lot of the metrics of the economy are great, a lot of people are still struggling.  When people are struggling and Biden and the media keep talking about how great the economy is, he's losing touch with these voters.  I think he needs to admit that the economy still needs to get better.

2. Biden needs to get across two messages.  First, that he's doing everything he can to improve inflation.  And second that there's not a ton of things the president can do to fix inflation.  I think people need to understand that, just because Trump gets re-elected, doesn't mean that Trump can just press the "make inflation go down" button and that's it.  I think there's clearly a disconnect on the economy, and I think he needs economic experts to make it clear that the winner of this election won't be able to fix inflation overnight.

3. Biden needs to make it very clear that he's not interested in raising the taxes of the middle class.  Trump keeps talking about renewing the Trump tax cuts, and Biden keeps talking about how he's not going to renew them.  From my understanding, he's going to raise the taxes of the uber-wealthy and corporations to pre-Trump levels.  But that most people won't be affected.  I don't know if that's true, but if it's true, that's what he needs to talk about.  If he is planning on raising the taxes of the middle class, he probably shouldn't do that.

4. There's gotta be something he can do about prices.  Maybe there's some sort of tax benefit for manufacturers that can decrease prices (or tax penalties for companies that are shown to be artificially increasing prices).  I don't know.  Maybe none of that is legal.  But I think it would be helpful to see Biden doing something.  There are legitimately people who think Biden is actively trying to make prices higher, and he needs to dispel that.

5. I think he needs to be very vocal about his economic plan in these debates, and he needs to try and nail down whatever "plan" Trump has.  One of the ways I think Biden can gain support is if he can show people that Trump doesn't have any idea what he's doing with the economy.  When he left office, his approval rating was in the 30s on the economy.  Now it's double that.  People need to be reminded of why they felt that way four years ago.


I really, really want to believe the polls are wrong or at least slanted enough to impact the results.  I'm not there yet.  I'm still going to keep actively supporting the president and sending him money when I can.  I will not be discouraged enough by the polls, but I can't just hope the polls are wrong.  I'd love to see Biden take a lead, especially in the swing states, before I feel better.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I really, really want to believe the polls are wrong or at least slanted enough to impact the results.  I'm not there yet.  I'm still going to keep actively supporting the president and sending him money when I can.  I will not be discouraged enough by the polls, but I can't just hope the polls are wrong.  I'd love to see Biden take a lead, especially in the swing states, before I feel better.

Well. Resuming our tradition of Quinn writing campaign messages:

A message from Quinn Mallory to Slider_Quinn21:

Look, I get it. You're rattled by the polls showing the Republicans ahead. It's like watching a trainwreck in slow motion with Donald Trump at the end of the line. But let me tell it to you straight: these poll averages are as skewed as the NBA playoffs in 2002.

The Republicans are churning out dime-a-dozen surveys that tip the scales, mixing them with the legitimate ones to cook the averages. It's misdirection: flood the algorithm with weighted numbers to make Trump look inevitable.

But if you take a closer look, the independent numbers tell a different story. The real picture is buried under a pile of biased junk data.

You're hoping the Democrat surge will pop up in the collective polls. But that's like waiting for a bus that's been rerouted. That bus isn't coming. The truth isn't going down that street any more. If you want truth, you'll have to take a more circuitous route than you did before -- and towards the unbiased, unaffiliated polls.

I get that it's a hassle. It's easier to let someone else do the work. To take the neatly packaged average. But that's how you get played. The truth? That comes from legwork.

A lot of people have called me a genius. You've called me that. I'm going to let you in on a secret. I've never told this to anyone because nobody ever asked me to explain:

I'm not a genius. Anyone can think the way I do.

Every 'genius' I've ever met was just someone willing to do the work. Someone who would throw themselves into tasks that other people find too tedious and boring.

The world isn't actually divided between the brilliant and the mundane. Smart people are just the ones who are willing to grind through the data, chip away at the mistakes and the lies, and dig their way to the truth.

And I'll warn you now, friend. The truth isn't always in our favor. The truth isn't always going to be what we want to hear.

But the polling averages right now aren't truth. They're a boast. They are a brag to scare you and intimidate you, to tell you that what you're afraid of is what's coming true.

The truth is simply where things stand. The truth will shift because tomorrow's another day. The truth is where we are right now.

The truth is that neither party has a clear path to 270 electoral votes yet. It's 270 to win and neither side is there. Which means the race is a dead heat.

But even this far from Election Day, we can see that Donald Trump's campaign machine is glitchier than the Egyptian timer on its worst day while Joe Biden's campaign has the focus and drive of the Professor's mayoral campaign... which I remember that he lost, but my point still stands: as of this moment, no one's in the lead.

I'm a mathematician. I convert situations to numerical data and weigh probabilities and possibilities. As of today, the mathematician in me can't tell you who's winning or losing.

But I'd rather be on your side than theirs.

I cannot stress enough that this is a work of fiction and not written by AI; Quinn Mallory's political views as presented by me are so far outside canon that to call them fan fiction is giving them too much weight; the views of ireactions are not the views of Sliders.TV, and if I am wrong on this one, then I owe Slider_Quinn21 an Alamo movie house gift certificate.

Also, in 2016, Quinn told Slider_Quinn21 to vote for Joe the Tiger Guy and Slider_Quinn21 has said he will always regret it.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Thank you, Quinn!  As I was so many years ago, I am inspired by you and will continue to believe in you!

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Please employ critical thinking and remember that Quinn is a fictional character and he has made a lot of bad choices like the time he beat a classmate with a baseball bat or when he walked into a vortex instead of building a drone with a digital video recorder that didn't depend on magnetized tape.


Gain-of-function is a point of criticism again of Dr. Fauci. Fauci had previously denied that the US or his agency supported or funded experiments in altering viruses to make them more infectious and contagious and resilient (to test how to fight them), or that he had contributed to such research in China, or that such research could have led to a lab leak that could have created COVID-19.

But last month, National Institutes of Health Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak confirmed that he and Fauci had worked on and led and contributed to gain-of-function research in China. However, Tabak noted that gain-of-function isn't a universally defined term and said the experiments discussed couldn't have led to COVID-19. … l-00161109

Fauci is to face the House of Representatives committee on Monday for questioning.

I will note that, as QuinSlidr explained: the research in question involved creating three artificial, lab-generated viruses and experimenting with how capable they would be of replicating in human cells; the human cells were placed in lab mice.

The argument at the time, as I understood it (but please be informed I am shaky on this) is that this research involved creating artificial and non-harmful viruses, not existing and/or dangerous viruses, and therefore didn't qualify as gain-of-function research, which generally refers to making natural viruses more powerful -- but not every scientist will consider gain-of-function a term exclusively applied to non-artificial viruses.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

According to the AP News on Dr. Fauci's House appearance:

The definition of “gain of function” covers both general research and especially risky experiments to “enhance” the ability of potentially pandemic pathogens to spread or cause severe disease in humans. Fauci stressed he was using the risky experiment definition, saying “it would be molecularly impossible” for the bat viruses studied with EcoHealth’s funds to be turned into the virus that caused the pandemic. … 5484790230

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

It's so frustrating to see a decorated medical professional harassed by a PTA reject who barely seems to have any education at all.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This isn't related to Fauci, but Slider_Quinn21's post made me want to share one of my frustrations with medical amateurism: it is deeply disappointing when an irresponsible medical amateurist displays tunnel vision and selective focus.

This is when someone will give medical opinions based on the specific areas they (think they) understand while dismissing or flat-out ignoring the areas of science and medicine that they don't understand even if they're extremely relevant.

For example, one irresponsible medical amateurist will claim that masks don't protect from viruses and bacteria by pointing to studies where people self-reported whether or not they wore masks and whether or not they got sick, and point out that people who wore masks seemed to get as sick as people who didn't.

This irresponsible amateurist will refer repeatedly to these mask studies as recognized science, ignoring the fact that self-reporting is riddled with error; that these studies used a range of masks and some lacked electrostatic filtering or seals. They selectively focus on behavioural science and social science studies.

This irresponsible amateurist will never have any response when questioned on mask-filtration areas of science: electrostatics and the means by which electrostatically charged material attracts and traps particles because this amateurist doesn't understand of static electricity, stationary electric charge, or non-quantum particle models.

However, they do understand behavioural and social science, so they focus on that and they they this particular area of scientific study in self-reported behavioural data should overrule the fundamental physical principles governing electrostatics and particle physics. They just don't understand physics, so they decide it shouldn't be taken into consideration.

Electrostatically charged materials and their ability to filter particles are basic principles of particle physics. They are unaffected by how people wear masks or report it. It takes a special combination or arrogance and ignorance for anyone to claim that a shaky study of human behaviour should overrule the laws of physics.

Now, because health is a universal concern, we don't have the luxury of only discussing it if we have a medical degree. But there are ways to practice medical amateurism responsibly. The responsible amateurist needs to fact check their positions for tunnel vision, outdated information, and misapplied knowledge, and correct their positions before disseminating them.

The responsible amateurist is highly aware that because they don't practice medicine and don't maintain and update and apply their medical knowledge regularly, everything they think they know about medicine is likely incomplete, misremembered, or flat-out wrong, and take a critical eye to their own positions before sharing them. In this day and age, there is no excuse for anyone not to check their medical opinions before presenting them.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

-In this day and age, there is no excuse for anyone not to check their medical opinions before presenting them.

I think the problem with this is that there's an expert willing to sign off on any opinion these days.  There are doctors who are willing to advocate for anti-vax concerns.  There are doctors willing to speak out against masks, against social distancing, against basically anything.  I'm sure there's a "medical expert" with a YouTube channel advocating for smoking.

And those are all credentialed people.  That doesn't even include the "experts" who are lying about their credentials.

I always sort of laugh when ignorant people say to "do their own research" but it's a Rashomon situation sometimes.  Depending on which path you take, you could come to two different concerns.  Both which could be backed up by evidence that seems to point to the conclusion you're looking for.

Documentaries usually seem pretty definitive, and I think we've been conditioned to believe them.  But there are documentaries that "prove" that 9/11 was in inside job.  There are documentaries that "prove" that the 2020 election was stolen.  Backed by video and expert testimony.

Fact checking is a useful tool, but people don't trust fact checks if they disagree with their desired result.  Twitter does community notes when people outright lie, but people just ignore them if they love the lie.

I don't think people are intentionally ignorant or dumb.  Back in the day, there were plenty of people like that.  But there was less information, and the information they received was properly filtered.  Now, any idiot can be on YouTube or Reddit or whatever and can spread their misinformation to millions.  They can be a true expert with a slanted agenda, or they can just lie and say they're an expert.  By the time you've found out which is which, your opinion could be slanted.

I don't have a solution for this.


Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

What's right or wrong for most people, if such a thing can be determined, may not be for you.  Don't take medical advice from an online doctor, a TV doctor, or any doctor that hasn't examined you.  Find a local doctor you trust, get looked at, and ask them about concerns you have.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

pilight wrote:

What's right or wrong for most people, if such a thing can be determined, may not be for you.  Don't take medical advice from an online doctor, a TV doctor, or any doctor that hasn't examined you.  Find a local doctor you trust, get looked at, and ask them about concerns you have.


Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I think the problem with this is that there's an expert willing to sign off on any opinion these days.  There are doctors who are willing to advocate for anti-vax concerns.  There are doctors willing to speak out against masks, against social distancing, against basically anything.  I'm sure there's a "medical expert" with a YouTube channel advocating for smoking.

Now, any idiot can be on YouTube or Reddit or whatever and can spread their misinformation to millions.  They can be a true expert with a slanted agenda, or they can just lie and say they're an expert.  By the time you've found out which is which, your opinion could be slanted.

I would say it's important to exercise humility and critical thinking, and to differentiate subjective opinion from verifiable facts, fundamentals and principles.

In terms of sources: yes, anyone can say anything on YouTube or social media or post anything online. Therefore, we need to distinguish claims and assertions from knowledge. We need to recognize what's theory, what's fact, and when someone is presenting theory as fact.

When you're reviewing claims and assertions, are they presented with sources? Do the claims distinguish from sourced information and interpretative application of that information? Can we verify the sources are ones that offer actual medical and scientific research?

Are the claims operating within the basic principles of the fields in which they're engaged?

In terms of masking: electrostatics goes back to 8 BC and remains a fundamental area of science for extremely commonplace applications like air conditioning (filtration) and printers (photoconducting drums for positively charged image printing).

In this field, I have actually been impressed with YouTuber Aaron Collins, a mechanical engineer who uses an aerosol generator (that pumps sodium chloride particles into the air) and a particle counter with a probe that can be tightly punched through a mask. This allows Collins to measure the amount of particles outside the mask and the amount inside the mask, and report on the filtration.

This isn't just someone making claims; this is someone filming his test process and presenting results that make sense within the study of electrostatics. Collins also specifies that mask efficacy depends on a decent seal, and what seals well for him may not seal for others. These are assertions with evidence.

Someone may say electrostatic masks don't work and cite studies that consist of self-reported data. We might ask: do these claims exist within the realm of physical reality? They are saying that the laws of physics and the fundamentals of electrostatics cease to apply within a half-inch of the mouth and nose.

Does that sound plausible? Or does it sound like someone conflating theory with knowledge and tunnel vision with expertise, prioritizing social sciences over physics?

The responsible amateurist differentiates theory from evidence, and identifies or specifies what is an assertion and what is verified fact. The responsible amateurist accepts mask studies of self-reported data, but categorizes them as a study of human behaviour, not particle physics, reconciling both to observe: there are issues with human usage of masks, but behavioural studies don't overrule basic fundamentals of electrostatic attraction and repulsion.

If I tell you that oxybenzone, homosalate and octocrylene are potentially unsafe chemicals in sunscreen and that only titanium and zinc are known to be safe, you can Google those chemicals. You'll find this corroborated by the websites for the National Library of Medicine, the American Medical Association, the US Food and Drug Assocation, the National Institutes of Health, and the European Commission's Public Health branch.

You'll also see that there is nuance to be had: homosalate, avobenzone and oxybenzone are not proven to harm humans, but they absorb through skin, are detected in bodily fluids weeks after application, and have been found to be harmful in animal studies. While their effect on humans is not fully researched, animal study data is concerning, which is why titanium and zinc lotions, not deeply penetrating skin, are preferred by some.

By the same token: some medical professionals argue that oxybenzone should be avoided, but the rest are present in such small quantities in sunscreen that they are not harmful.

And when you can't find any corroboration within the basic principles of the field or from medical research, only other claims and assertions, then it isn't fact and shouldn't be presented as such. It is theory. And theory without at least a factual foundation is simply nonsense.

And going back to politics: after the Robert Hur DOJ report on Joe Biden's improper storage of classified documents was released, the internet was filled with clickbait articles declaring that Joe Biden was having serious memory problems and Robert Hur's report proved it.

But if you actually read Hur's report, you would see that the majority of people whom Hur interviewed had forgotten as much as Biden; that Hur excused all of them as having naturally forgotten events decades past -- except when writing about Joe Biden's memory at which point Hur declared he was senile.

The responsible reader should read the clickbait articles with suspicion. A responsible journalist would provide Hur's examples of Biden's failing memory, but then compare them to how Hur portrayed the memory failures of everyone else in Hur's report. And if a journalist doesn't look for those points of comparison, then they are irresponsible and inept.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I've long said that Biden needed to do *something* at the border.  When you look at the issue, Biden is incredibly underwater, and it's one of the top issues in this election.  And unlike the economy (something that Biden is also very underwater on), it's something Biden can actively do something about.  The people that think Biden's doing a great job on immigration (or the people that think he's not being liberal enough with the border) are a very small subset of the population and almost all of them are probably going to vote for Biden no matter what he does.

But there are tons of possible Biden voters who don't like him because of his handling of the border, and those votes are up for grabs if Biden veers to the right on the border.  And he's finally doing that.  I don't know if he did enough - both sides spoke out against his executive order.  Which may be exactly what he needs to get independents that hate both candidates.

I actually would've recommended he go further.  I would've done what Trump keeps saying that he was going to do, and I'd shut the border down.  I think this accomplishes two things:

1. It probably helps him with some undecided/independent/soft Trump voters.  If they start to see the good economy and start to get annoyed by Trump, doing something at the border would be helpful.  It could be enough to tip the scales to Biden.

2. It 100% won't work and it cuts Trump's argument at its knees.  Immigration groups could immediately sue, and they'd win.  The border would get open again, and things would move on.  Then, in a debate, when Trump says he'll shut the border down on day one, Biden could say he did that and it didn't work.  Then, Biden could remind people that he'd previously tried something that would've worked with bipartisan legislation and Trump himself shut it down.

I'm not saying it would be enough to flip the issue or convince MAGA voters, but that's not going to happen.  Biden just needs to move towards even, and I think that would've worked.

Will this work?  Maybe?  Considering how close the election is, it doesn't have to work that much to get Biden a win.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Apparently Trump's final four picks for VP are Rubio, Burgum, Scott, and Vance.

Which I say....good.  I was worried he'd pick a female VP (he can still pick Stefanik but apparently Noem is now out) which could help him with conservative female voters that hate Trump.  I guess Scott could help him with black men (who he's aggressively targeting).  Rubio could hypothetically help him with Hispanics, but Trump or him would have to change residency (and I think Rubio would have to leave the Senate to do that) so I don't know how that makes sense.

I don't see how Burgum helps him electorally at all.  Vance might help him win Ohio (which could be slightly more tossup with the abortion vote there), but it could also potentially lose them a senate seat if they win.

If Trump was smart, Haley would be the pick.  I know VP matters almost nothing electorally, but I do think the VP candidates in both cases would be helpful considering the age and unlikability of the candidates.  I do think Biden would be slightly more palatable with people if they loved his VP.  Since people hate Harris more than they hate Biden, that makes it feel like Biden has no one behind him if he does die in office.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

Longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon ordered to go to prison by July 1

The right-wing operative/podcaster and longtime Trump adviser must report to prison in less than a month. … rcna155880

Nearly two years after Steve Bannon was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress, the right-wing operative/podcaster hoped an appeals court would undo what a jury already did. When that effort failed, Bannon faced the genuine possibility of incarceration.

That now appears increasingly unavoidable. NBC News reported:

A federal judge on Thursday ordered former Trump adviser Steve Bannon to report to prison on July 1 to begin a four-month prison sentence for defying subpoenas from the Jan. 6 Committee after a higher court rejected his appeal.

For those who might need a refresher as to how we arrived at this point, the one thing everyone involved in the process can agree on is that Bannon has important insights related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He was in communications with then-President Donald Trump in the run-up to the insurrectionist riot, and he reportedly told the outgoing president, “It’s time to kill the Biden presidency in the crib.”

The day before the attack, Bannon seemed to know quite a bit about what was likely to happen, telling his podcast listeners: “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. ... All I can say is: Strap in. You have made this happen, and tomorrow it’s game day.”

With this in mind, it hardly came as a surprise that the bipartisan House committee investigating the attack issued subpoenas in September 2021, seeking information from key Trump insiders — and Bannon was at the top of the list.

When he refused to comply in any way, the House approved a resolution finding the GOP operative in contempt of Congress. As part of the same process, the Democratic-led chamber referred the matter to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. In November 2021, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury, charged with one count of contempt and another involving his refusal to produce documents despite a congressional subpoena.

The criminal trial didn’t go especially well for the defendant: Bannon’s defense team called no witnesses, and the accused never took the stand. The jury only deliberated for about three hours before finding him guilty.

A few months later, U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols — also appointed by Trump — sentenced Bannon to four months behind bars, though the jurist said he could remain free while the appeals process continued.

As my MSNBC colleague Clarissa-Jan Lim explained in May, when a federal appeals court upheld Bannon’s conviction, he was left with few options.

Federal prosecutors told Nichols there was “no legal basis” for the continued stay. The jurist agreed and ordered Bannon to report to prison by next month.

The podcast host and his defense counsel will almost certainly continue to pursue appeals, though it appears increasingly inevitable that Bannon will soon be behind bars.

Complicating matters, Bannon is also slated to stand trial in New York City in September on charges related to his role in the “We Build the Wall” operation. In that case, he’s accused of helping defraud donors; he has pleaded not guilty. (Coincidentally, Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over Trump’s hush money trial, is overseeing Bannon’s other case, too.)

Bannon also faced federal criminal charges four years ago, though he received a pardon from Trump on the president’s last day in office.

Another presidential pardon this year appears extremely unlikely.

2,654 (edited by QuinnSlidr 2024-06-09 13:09:32)

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

lol lol lol lol lol lol

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yeah I think the consensus is that Trump's crowds aren't as naturally big as people think.  In addition to people being paid, it's also a lot of the same people that travel from place to place

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate … jane-kleeb

Bits and pieces of hope from Simon Rosenberg.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

I'm a little annoyed that the polls didn't shift much after the conviction, although there hasn't been a ton of polling since then.  I'm a little annoyed that the Supreme Court isn't releasing their immunity decision in a timely fashion when they know every day they wait helps Trump.

I'm not completely giving up because I think Trump will shed more voters than he'll gain.  I assume voters that aren't completely entrenched in one side or the other are giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, and Trump is benefitting from low visibility.  Outside of a major stumble by Biden, I think voters will either be annoyed by Trump, turned off by Trump, or find out about Trump's felon status.

At least that's my hope.  I've been pretty wrong recently.  I'm still confused how RFK is siphoning any votes from Biden, but that's still where we are.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Well, it depends on whether you're looking at aggregate polls averaged and thrown off by Republican-funded polls, or looking at independent polls. … -new-biden

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

That helps.  538 came up with their forecast and when it launched there was a 52% chance that Biden wins.  They explained that, while Trump is leading nationally and in the swing states, the model takes other factors into play.

To me, I think the election rides on a number of things (not necessarily in order):

- The economy.  I think the economy needs to improve.  It seems like interest rates might drop before the election, and the stock market continues to soar to record highs.  I assume prices are going to stay high, but if Americans can consistently feel better about the economy, Biden will be fine.  I still think there's gotta be something that Biden can do about prices, but maybe there isn't.

- Immigration.  Does the recent executive order move the needle?  If not, would a drastic drop in immigration coverage over the next six months move the needle?

- The debates.  This might be the first time people see Trump talk in years.  Will he talk about the 2020 election that seems to turn off swing voters?  Will he ramble about sharks and other nonsense?  Will Biden be able to get through the election without looking overly old or feeble?  Any of those things could shift favor to Biden.  Of course, a Biden frailty moment could absolutely crush things so it's huge risk for both.

- The DC trial.  Will it happen at all?

- Which side can coalesce their base.  Can Biden get all the young people back?  Can Trump get the Haley people back?

- RFK Jr.  Can Biden voters who are currently picking RFK get turned off by him?  Can RFK get any Trump voters that are turned off by him?

If Biden is currently winning, these things can all drive more voters to him.  I think the things that can pull votes from him are basically a) if the economy starts sputtering or b) Biden tanks one of the debates or a major speech.  Right now, I think Trump has more to lose but I wish there was more losing happening at the moment smile