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Name: Kurt Cagle
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cascadia
Member since: Sat Dec 3, 2016, 02:02 AM
Number of posts: 695

About Me

Contributing Writer, Forbes Magazine

Journal Archives

We voted

We had a whole bunch of amendments here in Washington, then the Presidential race at the very bottom, with Biden/Harris appearing first and Trump/Pence third in the list of about eight different parties. My wife, daughter and I sat around the dining room table, comparing candidates, while our cat Bright Eyes decided that the Voter's Pamphlet was the best place to lay on the table.

We dropped our ballots off at the Drop Box in Issaquah, WA, at the city hall building. It was getting towards early evening, but even so, with twenty days to go, there was a steady stream of people dropping their ballots off.

Issaquah's on the very outer fringe of Seattle along I-90 - less than a mile down the road, you're on the steep climb into the Cascade mountains. As such, it's an interesting mix of rural and urban. I've seen a fair number of signs for Culp, who's waging an uphill battle against the very popular Jay Inslee. I have seen quite a few Biden/Harris signs, but none for Trump (it was fifty/fifty in 2016). Even on the ballots, there were several races between Democrats and Democrats.

There's also a very palpable energy in people - they want Trump out, in no uncertain terms. There's a lot of respect for Biden, but the loathing that Trump generates here is strong.

What about the census?

If (I hope) Biden wins, one of the most pressing issues may be to advocate to redo the census, citing numerous irregularities. As this factors in apportionment of legislators and hence political control over the next decade, it would seem reasonable to start laying the groundwork for a census redo. Thoughts?

538.com: Biden chances for winning 77%, Trump 22%

This projection was 65/35 at the end of August, and Trump has fallen a point every day and a half since. GA and IA are now both reported as tossups.


Where Does RBG's death put Roberts?

Reading up on Five Thirty Eight about the impact of a Trump SCOTUS appointment will play out, I noticed, an interesting graphic:


One of the most startling observations was that when he was nominated in 2005, Roberts was about as conservative as Alito, but especially in the last few years, Roberts has become almost scrupulously moderate. The reputation of the supreme court is actually something very much of value to him, and he has become a mentor to Kavenaugh to the extent that Kavenaugh's been surprisingly moderate in his own decisions.

I have to wonder, if Trump does attempt to push through an arch-conservative (and his judicial list has a bunch of them), Roberts may very well move farther to the left to compensate - not necessarily because he's temperamentally becoming more liberal but because he doesn't want to see the courts become a political instrument.

Another thought. Breyer is 82, Thomas is 72, and Alito is 70. For reference, Ginsburg was 87, and while we hoped she'd lived to be ninety she's been battling cancer for a long time now. Should Biden win, I suspect that Breyer will announce his retirement in February, putting a young (likely black female) justice on the court (Michelle, where are you?). This brings up an interesting possibility. Thomas at that point has to make a decision - stay on until health does become an issue (and his health isn't great) or retire as well.

Let's say that Trump decides to put forward the current version of Laura Ingraham in a black robe (https://www.ratfuckingthecourts.com/post/report-amy-coney-barrett), it's likely that McConnell may be in a quandary, as it pushes a raving lunatic into senate judiciary hearings in prime time election mode at a time when people are angry at how extreme right the GOP has gone. That gives McConnell about sixty days to put a second appointee up after the election, before Trump is out on his ear.

The SCOTUS decisions traditionally are made in June. This means that worse case scenario there will be a counter to Trump Pick #3 in place (Roberts shifting leftward) and the very real possibility that either Thomas or Alito will end up retiring or possibly dying between now and the end of Biden's term.

Of course, if Trump wins, we're screwed regardless, but I don't think he will.

Has any action been taken to declare the West a Federal Emergency by the BLOTUS?

I was in the hospital with angina and am still catching up?

Is Putin Distracted?

Russia's primary income comes from oil, natural gas and wheat sales to Europe, and at the moment, neither oil nor natural gas are doing that well. There are also two sets of protests, one in Belarus (where a Putin sympathizer is under siege) and one in Kamchatka, which could very well break away and deprive Russia a Pacific facing coast. This means that Putin's financial resources are under a lot of pressure right now.

I have to wonder if part of the reason that Trump is panicking at this point is that the Russians aren't coming to his rescue the way that he expected them to. He's showing signs that his campaign funds are drying up, and he's now seriously pissing off the military and explicitly supporting his white supremacist shock troops, rather than being subtle about it.


Why Republicans seems to score better on economic issues than Democrats

I've observed this for decades, and I think it has to do with the way that people react to leaders, specifically how introverts vs. extrovers react.

Republicans, for the most part, are extroverts. They gravitate towards leaders who exude confidence, who brag about their achievements, and who seem to constantly be battling crises, because that is their impression of how a leader should act. One thing you will note us that the typical wealthy republican is almost always in marketing, sales or administration, or are used to working in hierarchies.

They perceive that they are very good with money, because this is one of the hallmarks of a "successful" businessman. In reality they tend not to be deep thinkers, and more to the point they are usually not systemic thinkers. They also see society in terms of "Ive got mine," because otherwise they have to admit they got lucky, and that is not something most want to believe.

Dems tend to skew towards introversion, and are often more likely to be systemic thinkers, analysts, and activists. They value competence, and dislike braggadocio. When they focus on finance, they are usually quite good at it, but they tend to look at finance from a quantitative perspective. When they don't focus on finance, they usually tend to gain mastery within their respective fields, but don't always become wildly "successful" (i.e., rich) simply because it is not what interests them.

Republicans understand that the easiest way of making money is to convince other people to give them money for the least amount of work. They usually look at everything from the perspective of how they can most benefit financially from the current situation, and only secondarily do the look at it (if at all) from the standpoint of whether what they are doing is in fact the right thing to do long term.

Democrats, in general, tend to think much longer term - ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred years down the road. Republicans think about next quarter, maybe next year, but anything beyond that is simply not important, because by then they'll be on to the next scam ... er, leadership position. Republicans are not system thinkers, and what's more, when they look at Democrats, they don't see those Democrats doing anything "big" - they don't meet each crisis head-on, because a typical Democrat is more likely to defuse a situation before it becomes a crisis, but this is invisible to the conservative mindset.

Democrats build foundations. Republicans build walls. Trump is almost the perfect Republican - he has trouble thinking about long term legacies, because he can only see what's immediately ahead of him. He only sees what's in it for himself, which is why he treats the presidency like being a king. His "signature" legacies were in general done by the GOP between 2016 and 2018 - the corporate tax breaks and the stacking of the judiciary, which was basically rubberstamping whoever the Heritage Foundation put in front of him, but its very significant that once the Democrats took over the House, he accomplished nothing else (oh, yeah, he's built 4.5 miles of wall).

I think the thing that Democrats don't understand is that most sales/marketing people don't think in the same way that they do (I count being a CEO as being prinarily a sales role), and even that's changing, as marketing becomes more and more technically focused and data driven.

Remember what is at stake for the GOP

The GOP is no longer even trying to hide the fact that it is going to cheat to win the election. They are now facing an existential crisis:

* A massive turnout against Trump will not only shift the Presidency and the Senate into Democratic hands, but it will also result in the loss of several state legislatures and GOP friendly governors. This means that they will lose the ability to gerrymander in favor of Republican politicians for the next decade. Without that, the archconservative GOP will go extinct. Romney might be able to resuscitate a much more moderate GOP from the embers, but the vast majority of people now in power will lose out.

* There's been a lot of corruption, and it will be investigated if he does lose. This will implicate Trump and his cronies and nepotistic appointees, but it will also likely reach into the Senate as well. Given a choice between staying in power by betraying the country or going to jail, they will happily tear the Constitution to shreds.

PILF, a "think tank" on election reform, is spreading disinformation about mail-in ballots

Saw this in a WaPo comment, thought it would be worth passing on. The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) looks impressive from their website:


However, it doesn't take long to realize that this is yet another RW "think tank" designed to promote all kinds of GOP Election disinformation. For background:


Donald Trump's re-election playbook: 25 ways he'll lie, cheat and abuse his power

Great op-ed by Robert Reich on the step's Trump is taking to get re-elected.


Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps:

1) Declare yourself above the law.

2) Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and “rioters and looters”. Describe Covid-19 as “kung-flu”. Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.

3) Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.

4) Fire US attorneys who are investigating you.

5) Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.

See article for more.
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