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Discussions about the authenticity of the memo and whether it is a "Dan Rather" type trap miss an important point, the source was not MI6 or CIA but a privately paid for source originally contracted by Republicans.
There seems to be little doubt that the material on the internet is from the original memo. Criticisms that the format doesn't appear to be either MI6 or CIA source material miss the point, it was a privately commissioned project by Republicans to find out if Trump could be compromised by material that the Russians had.
This was an effort by Republicans who had serious doubts about Trump to try and vet him before the nomination and whether the material is based on facts or rumors avoids several key points, not the least of which is why didn't the Republicans act on substantial allegations before they handed him the keys to their party.
Is there a video? Did Trump go to that hotel? All of these are questions that Republicans should have asked and answered because after all it is they who financed the operation and found the contractor reliable enough to make the investment to raise the questions.
Another level of irony in a campaign that has surpassed all known parameters for irony.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Jan 11, 2017, 11:58 AM (6 replies)
While endless PhD dissertations and internet autopsies will dissect this low point in American history we must accept certain bottom line assessments:
While there are many good and many intelligent people in this country the government's power and leadership does not inherently fall in the parameters of "good" or "intelligent".
I am struck how the theoretical visitor from another planet would see many comparisons between the US and Islamic Republic of Iran. Both have elections but neither have direct democratic elections. Both have extreme divisions between hyper religious rural areas and highly educated urban populations with hard working and stable middle class populations. Iran prevents direct elections by means of a cleric class that restricts but does not control democratic elections while the US has an electoral college and a Senate that gives extreme weight to rural areas where clerics "control the herd".
Both have elected unstable, irresponsible and dangerous populists (Ahmadinejad/Trump)
I am not anti Persian. I assisted 5,000 Iranians trapped outside of Iran at the time of the Revolution find new homes in the US and other countries in Thailand in the 1980s. If I am in an airport and see someone I think might be from Iran waiting for a plane I will try and engage them and have been rewarded with many interesting and vigorous discussions.
I have to agree however with those that have concluded that the Government of Iran doesn't have the maturity to control the immense lethal destruction of a nuclear bomb. There is simply too much extremism, volatility and instability to allow for the possibility.
I also don't want to diminish the horror that still exists in parts of the Iranian Revolutionary movement including the persecution of religious groups like the Baha'i or to over do the comparison between the two countries as we still have constitutional safeguards which have successfully prevented our religious extremists from going too far.
My point is simply that the election has brought the comparison between the two countries much closer, too close.
It is close enough that we must now accept that whatever the baseline level for an acceptable level of maturity, wisdom, restraint, intelligence, truthfulness or comity that must exist as a minimum requirement for a nuclear power that we have slipped way below that line.
When we all agreed that Mr. Trump did not have the disposition to hold the nuclear codes (even among many of his supporters) and he is still elected President we must now face that there are two variables in that premise and if Trump in fact gets the office then the only responsible alternative is that we remove the nuclear codes.
The United States should now undertake the necessary steps to remove its nuclear capability. With our advanced tactical "smart" weaponry we don't need them to land a bomb in a leader's bedroom or the command center for an army.
For the same reason that we object to Iran holding a nuclear arsenal the US must now accept that it no longer sits at the adult table and that those sitting at the kids table should not leave nuclear weapons for people with the temperament of 7th graders. The US must unilateral get rid of its nuclear arsenal with all deliberate speed.
Posted by grantcart | Thu Nov 17, 2016, 04:27 AM (1 replies)
The famed 538 model evolved from baseball (and then football, etc) where a regular schedule uses a steady flow of information of equal quality. It suffers during primaries where quality and quantity are at odds. The quality of polls suffers as election day draws closer as Republicans flood results from Republican pollsters who have not been active previously and appear to be aimed at raising voter turnout among Republicans in key swing states.
The state polls simply are not in line with SOME of the national polls as discussed here
You can’t have state polls showing an aggregate huge margin (i.e. NY/CA up 20 and Texas down 10, etc) and a national poll at 3 points or less. To make the state polls come in line with the national Silver makes manual adjustments which have been running 2-3 points for Trump.
FiveThirtyEight has doubled down on their logic with this article just out that argues that the early voting in NV could be wrong and their polls right because there is large numbers of Democrats voting for Trump (even though the state polls that they prefer in fact don’t show that) I don’t know how they justify Nevada going blue for the Senate but Red for the Presidential election.
Posted by grantcart | Sun Nov 6, 2016, 12:25 PM (12 replies)
The fundamental problem with Nate Silver’s model is that the state polls cannot be reconciled with the national trend. You cannot have states like NY, CA, WA up 20 points, another dozen states where Clinton is up 15 points and the most populous red states like TX, AZ and Florida where she is even or down just a little and then have the national polls where Clinton is only up 3%, it just doesn’t add up.
EITHER HUNDREDS OF STATE POLLS ARE WAY OFF OR A FEW NATIONAL POLLS ARE A FEW POINTS OFF. SILVER HAS DECIDED THAT THE NATIONAL POLLS ARE GOLD AND ADJUSTS DOZENS OF STATE POLLS IN ORDER TO MAKE A SQUARE PEG FIT A ROUND HOLE.
The Princeton consortium never uses the national polls as the state polls are much more accurate and they don’t have to adjust to make them fit
Silver’s model is based on his sports models where there is a constant stream of games being played on schedule with a set data stream. One of the problems with the last 2 weeks of the election season is that Republicans launch a barrage of polls from RW pollsters (who ever heard of Remington?) that lean heavy Republican that are used to help with their GOTV.
Silver’s top down approach that gives preeminence to national polls is not as stable as the bottom up approach that other sites use that work on a larger and more accurate base of state polls. If you accept that Clinton is currently 6% ahead nationally then you can reconcile all of the state polls without major adjustment.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Nov 5, 2016, 06:04 PM (16 replies)
ConsigLIEre. The good, the funny and the ridiculous.
Posted by grantcart | Sat Nov 5, 2016, 12:31 PM (0 replies)
Warmed up Turkey, Clinton Must be + 6-7 Points Nationally.
A couple of years ago I received a sobering message from my doctor, the stubborn increase in my blood pressure was aggravating my well controlled diabetes and the unpredictable Meniere's that had became my constant partner with "railroad in my brain" or more often called “ringing in the ears”. A drastic reduction in stress was ordered immediately and I was unable to get rid of the idiot who was dating my daughter immediately so I would have to step away from DU. I have a certain obsession with seeing misstated facts and when I saw one famous poster purposely misstate facts about Afghanistan so that he could promote his income producing blog I was unable to sleep that night and triggered a Meniere’s vertigo attack.
Attempts to be a moderate self controlled DU member failed. I also knew that Secretary Clinton was going to be the nominee and that there was going to be a lot of attacks on her because even in the best of times the Clintons can complicate the record even when they are doing a good job, and even when they are doing a miracle, and I have personally seen Sec. Clinton work a political miracle
So I went frozen turkey on DU. My health improved. Like George Costanza, I invented the “its not you, its me”. It wasn’t DU it was me, I couldn’t disengage rationally or moderate. Six months ago I started “lurking” and noticed that all of the people who were driving me crazy had left DU and there was talk of yet another anti DU site. I took the turkey out of the freezer. Its been defrosting and now I will try a little warmed up Turkey by posting a single post a day if I think of something that might be useful. To the many friends who I left here without a word, I apologize. It wasn’t you, it was me. Of course it really was those idiots who took every opportunity to tear down the most decent family to enter into public life in my lifetime or live in the White house ever. (People who say “its not you, its me” of course never actually mean that its “me”).
SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON IS CLEARLY AT + 6 NATIONALLY.
I noticed that there is more nervousness at DU than is consistent with the known facts in the polls. Clearly Secretary Clinton is at or above + 6 nationally. There really cannot be any rational argument with this even if all of the national polls show that she is even, plus 2 or whatever.
Look at all of the state polls. It is simply not possible for Sec. Clinton to be
WA, IL, MA, NJ + 13
TX, AZ, GA – 4
and only +2 nationally. Either all of the hundreds of state polls are way off or a few of the national polls are a little bit off.
This thing has been baked since the 3rd debate and then put into petrified wood with Access Hollywood clip. Across the country there are exactly 156 people who are really undecided. Gallup tried to find out what psychological condition might exist that was common among these 156 people but suspended their testing when administering the “over or under” test which asked participants to replace a new roll of toilet paper. People who are still undecided at this point were found to take over an hour and a half to try and figure out if they should have the toilet paper going over the spindle or under.
NO BIG CONSPIRACY, JUST A LITTLE REPUBLICAN CRAPOLA
The so called tightening is usually an error of predicting turnouts based on past elections. While AA turnout is slightly down, the combined AA and Hispanic vote is up, but most national polls don’t account for that.
The poll showing 28% of Republicans voting Democrat in Florida was a small sample and probably exaggerated, but not by much. In any case the key metric is not how many Republicans vote Democratic but the disparity between the two. Usually it is a wash with 90% of each party voting the ticket that they are registered for. If however it is 85% Republican (a pretty safe figure) and 95% Democratic (equally safe) voters then that alone would account for a 3-4% under value in the polls. Trump cannot win the popular vote with that disparity.
Based on all of the above and the fact that there are no undecided voters in the actual election it is logical to conclude that today Clinton is around 53% to Trump 45% and it is unlikely to change much. There is one more point that confirms this: Trump has a hard ceiling around 43% with undecideds, (45% with). Steve Kornacki mentioned yesterday that in looking at almost 40 different polls Trump only went over 45 once.
Having said that we are probably ahead by 7% we are in a good position but we could definitely lose the Electoral College. That is simply because a lot of that 7% vote is “wasted” by giving us redundant winning votes in states like CA. If we lose both Florida and North Carolina it will become very close because Trump probably is going to take Ohio, in part due to the terrible performance of Ted Strickland.
Then there is this: There are no polls for “registered voters” for North Carolina. Registration and one stop voting continues there until Saturday. A win in either FL or NC seals the results and saves the country form 4 years of constitutional anarchy.
The reference to Republican “crapola” is this; In order to boost funding or turnout the Republicans will finance a whole bunch of one off state polls from right wing pollsters with questionable ethics and dump them at the same time. Four years ago we caught Gravis doing this at a time when Romney had a money raising crises. This year the previously unheard of Remington is dumping dozens of polls in swing states showing remarkable Trump bounce. One off polls like this are worthless because it doesn’t give us a reference point to compare with their earlier work, it is for this reason that these polls are really only for trying to generate Republican turn out in swing states and fodder for the really, really, really concern troll.
Posted by grantcart | Thu Nov 3, 2016, 11:02 AM (38 replies)
It may have been thoroughly discussed here, don't have the time I used to keep up, but I suspect many folks are avoiding watching it because many Republican commentators have commented that it humanizes him and people will have a better impression of him.
The documentary did humanize Mrs. Romney, in my opinion because she talks of the fear she faces with the heavy travelling and how it will affect her delicate routine that she needs to maintain to effectively fight MS, a terrible disease. The fact that Romney never addresses that issue is just one of the many disturbing aspects of what is a very disturbing portrait of Romney.
The first and most lasting image is just how delusional this guy was that he was preparing for an acceptance speech and hadn't even thought that losing was possible.
But much more disturbing to me is how he manipulates his sons and daughters in law to be a constant greek chorus always cheering him on with a level of critical thinking that reminded me of my junior high church group 45 years ago.
They talk blandly of wide spread unhappiness with the President (everyone they know is voting for Dad). Never during the entire documentary do any of these intellectually stunted children ever speak to the issue of the Electoral College and the brutal reality that any Republican is going to have to face to try and get 271 electoral votes, the critical issues of war, the suffering of tens of millions of people. Really the only issue to be discussed is the terrible burden of losing privacy that each of them will have to bear, they really have suffered so much already that you expect them to pass out crying hankies.
One of the great myths about Romney is that he is some great CEO businessman. It is completely untrue. He was a paper/finance guy leveraging and exploiting. He never had a bricks and mortar business that had to please customers and keep them coming back. He didn't have to balance cash flow and suppliers and all of that. At one point he talks about watching the companies that he invested in and how hard they had to personally struggle to keep a business going. You can see the fear in his eyes, he could never take on such a personal challenge.
There are many astonishing moments that show a deeply disturbing level of self awareness. At one point he talks about his father, who I believe was a very great man and had he defeated Nixon would have had a very beneficial impact on the country (not the least of which was he was sceptical of the mission in Vietnam).
He talks about how he stands on the shoulders of his father. His father had a foreign background, came to the USA as an adult in poverty and built himself up. He became a real leader and people really liked him. He states clearly, "I could not do what he did". All the time he is completely unaware that everything he says about George Romney could be applied to Barack Obama.
Over and over again he goes to his family council with a painfully immature "aw shucks" shtick. Over and over again he makes his sons come up to the plate and make the case that he has to run because he is "a really swell guy". There is a revealing moment when he is playing in the snow and he loses the "aw shucks" shtick and tells the grandkids to not worry so much, don't be afraid if the sled goes to fast or to close to the pole, just jump off, it was one of the few really authentic moments in the whole hour and a half.
He is painfully aware that he has been permanently tagged as a "Northern Mormon flip flopper" and exudes the idea that both elements were fixed at birth, apparently unaware that many people reflect on the roots of Mormonism and move away from it, and that many people run for office without establishing completely contrarian policy issues on almost every important issue.
The documentary ends where it started with a tearful Romney trying to scratch out a noble concession speech. But even in that he fails to understand that these concessions speeches are a critical part of the democratic process and are essential for establishing legitimacy, and that if Republicans want Democrats to do it then it is up to him to make a magnanimous speech on the last night when something he says is going to give a damn.
Its going to be polite but he is determined not to give the President legitimacy. Up until now we have watch Romney talk earnestly about how important it is that he becomes President, but he never says why. Not to stop a war or help folks suffering in the economy. He has to become the President because Obama is taking the country into such deep debt.
Now this is both comical and again disturbing. This is the same juvenile type of 'happy talk' that he has been using on his rather stunted offspring, but Romney knows that it is neither true nor very compelling. The real irony is that Mitt was able to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in personal wealth by exploiting companies and saddling them with enormous debt, in many cases, like KB Toys, driving healthy companies into bankruptcy with their enormous unnecessary debt load all the while he was taking equity out the back dollars in the tens of millions.
Romney takes delusion to a new level, and among the evidence of it is the fact that he would allow film makers this kind of access while he played the role a very un-presidential hapless victim of such great misunderstanding by so many meanies. All they had to do is to talk to his sons and daughters in law to find out how swell a guy he is.
Posted by grantcart | Tue Jan 28, 2014, 02:11 AM (33 replies)
Sources have just passed me top secret information that is to be kept from the media as it is too sensitive for their eyes and ears to report.
As we approach the State of the Union address the President's favorables have returned and are very high compared to other second term Presidents:
The survey also finds the president's personal image to be on the rebound after taking a hit during the government shutdown late last year, with 58 percent now sizing him up as very or somewhat likable. That's up 9 percentage points from October, just after the shutdown.
A 9 point jump at this point is really an astronomical change in figures thought to be fixed in cement. AP has done an excellent job in obscuring the facts by burying the lead and then quoting a couple of people who are only lukewarm because a couple of anecdotal opinions by people who may not be clever enough to know who Copernicus was is more important than actual numbers in a scientific poll.
In any case these numbers completely undermine the SOP of the media that the President's second term was over before it started.
And here are more numbers that you will never see in the media as they only affect tens of millions of people. After receiving the data regarding the ACA signups reporters in New York and Washington congregated at various saloons and asked a couple bartenders and wait staff and found that the ACA still hadn't reached that demographic and was doomed.
Those who now direct medical coverage as a result of the ACA now exceeds 12 million
Private signup and plans 2.5 million (many of whom are subsidized)
Adult Children who are on extended coverage of their parents plans: 3.1 million
Medicaid expansion 6.35 - this is the largest single increase in single payer coverage since Medicaid was initiated.
These facts and figures should be kept away from the media as it would prove a fatal distraction to the burning issue of what Justin Bieber is going to have for lunch when he reaches his Florida residence, the trip from jail that is being covered live across the media.
Oh look he just stood up and waved, I wonder if he was trying to wave at me?
Posted by grantcart | Thu Jan 23, 2014, 04:35 PM (6 replies)
Medical professionals and public health personnel take part in a march Monday from Pathumwan to Asoke intersections, supporting the call for reform before an election. They were joined by Suthep Thaugsuban, secretary-general of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee.
Farmers from the Central Region
FOR THE FIRST TIME in a week-long rally demanding immediate payment for rice sold under the government pledging scheme, farmers in Phichit yesterday joined supporters of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to block the provincial city hall and prevent civil servants from performing their duties.
Farmers from Phichit and nearby provinces blockaded Bung Narang district office on Sunday evening, while those blocking a key junction in the district agreed to make way for traffic and moved to join protesters at the district office.
The farmers and members of the PDRC padlocked the city hall and were continuing a blockade as of press time last night.
Farmers from Thaksin's home region join the protests
Farmer leader Kittisak Ratanawaraha, president of the Network for Northern Farmers, said now farmers from Phichit, Nakhon Sawan, Sukhothai, Kamphaengpet and Phitsanulok are prepared for the next move to block the highway after they did not receive money from the bank as they were earlier promised.
He said instead of calling for money, now farmers will press for the ouster of the caretaker government.
He said farmers will block the Asian Highway from Phitsanulok to Nakhon Sawan at Yaek Po-ngam intersectin in Bung Narang district on Friday.
Some farmers from Phichit were paid but many were not after they were told that the bank has been allocated merely180 million baht.
Meanwhile farmers in some northeastern provinces were also paid for their rice today.
A total of 40,000 farmers in Maha Sarakham province in the Northeast sold rice to the government under the rice-pledging scheme. Now 10,000 of them were paid but the rest were not paid yet.
(Details on the failure of the Rice buy back scheme - and the missing hundreds of billions here:
Farmers from the North East - where the Red Shirts have their deepest support - show declining support for Shinawatra
Ban Thung Yai farmer Saeng Srisomrod, 65, is now one of those now questioning their loyalty to Pheu Thai after the amnesty bill fiasco. He said red shirts were still fighting for justice over the 2010 crackdown under the Democrat-led government. ''If you don't respect us, we have no reason to be faithful to you.''What will happen if Pheu Thai becomes really powerful one day and you have the right to kill anyone and get away with it? That's what we think is going to happen if the government passes the amnesty bill. That is why we lost our faith in Pheu Thai for a while.''
Pictures from the Seven different Occupation Squares established in Bangkok. It is estimated that 1 in 4 residents in Bangkok have physically participated in protesting at one of the protest sites. From various locations in Bangkok
This is the location where this man threw a grenade that injured 3 dozen protestors
This is the video showing him throwing the grenade;
Thai anti-government protesters hold a candle vigil for the protester killed during yesterday’s bomb blast on the sixth day of the ‘Bangkok Shutdown’ on January 18, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. An explosive device went off during an anti-government protest march, wounding dozens and killing one. Explosions and gunshot incidents have been happening as the protesters have stepped up their activity with daily marches in the on-going attempt to oust the government of Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra. (Image source: Getty Images/Paula Bronstein)
Posted by grantcart | Tue Jan 21, 2014, 01:34 AM (6 replies)
Beyond the criminal & political crimes of Thaksin and Yingluck we now are entertained by the likely collapse of the Thai bond market as we watch the last few months of their incompetency.
Under the rubric of progressive sounding schemes the current regime engaged in a number of hair brained economic plans that have left the Thai government in deep debt and no one buying their bonds.
One of the plans was to provide down payments for 100,000 first time car buyers. This was a big bonanza for the manufacturers and dealers but most of the people who qualified for the plan were unable to sustain car payments and massive repossessions undermined the resale equity of existing car owners who now have cars who cannot be sold in a market flooded with cheap repossessed cars.
An even greater folly was the plan to provide increased income to rice farmers by subsidizing rice prices. There was a long history of this working well for decades but it worked because of its modest goals and the basic idea was to provide level prices, allowing farmers to get the benefit of the highest prices of the season. The Shinawatra promised more, much more. They were going to offer farmers twice the world price.
Here are the results:
High quality global journalism requires investment.
After more than 30 years at the top, Thailand has lost its spot to India as the world’s number one rice exporter, slipping to third place last year due largely to a controversial government farm subsidy policy.
Now some critics say that as well as disrupting exports, the policy could undermine the food security because the government’s radical intervention could make supplies less stable in the future.
Billions have been spent but who has gotten the money?
Not the farmers
Thailand's flagship rice subsidy is running out of cash and backfiring at a critical time for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whose political future hinges on support from farmers and other rural voters as her rivals intensify their campaign to remove her from office.
The government has been buying up rice from farmers at about 50% above market prices to boost rural incomes since Ms. Yingluck's Pheu Thai Party took office in 2011. Now, it can't sell the rice fast enough to fund the subsidy. Rival exporters such as India and Vietnam have ramped up production, selling rice cheaper and knocking Thailand off its perch as the No. 1 exporter.
"Farmers are very angry," said Nipon Poapongsakorn, a rural development specialist at Thailand Development Research Institute, a think tank. "It is the first time in our history that farmers didn't get money for the rice that they already sold to the government,''
The state-owned bank tasked with funding the policy, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, is seeking to raise 20 billion baht ($610 million) in a bond auction Thursday it hopes will make up the shortfall from a 75 billion baht auction in November, when only half of the issue was purchased.
The funds will go toward paying rice farmers, some of whom haven't been paid in months. The government on Wednesday extend a deadline for the payment of October's harvest, while local media said that in one northern province, only a small fraction of its nearly 50,000 rice farmers received money from the government.
So the farmers didn't get the money but Yingluck isn't letting anyone know where the B 700 billion has gone keeping payments secret
The public knows only that the rice pledging scheme has cost the country more than 700 billion baht in budgets so far, with losses projected to exceed 200 billion baht, according to economists. Plagued by rampant corruption, the pledging scheme is the most controversial policy of the Pheu Thai Party. Yet the party vowed to carry on with the programme if re-elected despite heavy criticism and a lack of to pay farmers at this time.
Now Thailand is unable to float a bond
The perceived risk of Thailand defaulting on its debt is at its highest since August last year, as anti-government protests prompt money managers to sell off Thai stocks and bonds.
The cost of protecting Thailand's debt soared after investors including Wells Fargo Inc pulled more than US$4 billion from Thai stocks and bonds since Oct 31, as rallies clogged up Bangkok roads and clashes left nine dead with 550 injured. Pacific Investment Management Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Kokusai Asset Management Co reduced debt holdings before protests first erupted in late October, regulatory filings show.
"We sold the entire Thai position in our international bond fund through the end of last year," Lauren Van Biljon, an analyst in London at Wells Fargo's First International Advisors LLC unit, said in a Jan 17 telephone interview. "There seems to be a very wide gulf between the different political sides."
It is estimated that to make up the shortfall on this one scheme it will cost the Thais 3.2% of GDP, an astronomical figure.
Posted by grantcart | Mon Jan 20, 2014, 08:52 PM (5 replies)