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Democalypse 2016 - The Contenders, the Horse Race - the cynicism and the money

praktik

TRIBE Member
Here's a great example of Adams showing a bit of insight and a bit of BS in one piece:

Climate Change and Trump | Scott Adams Blog

He's absolutely correct to be thinking of this in terms of tribal loyalties, and is on the money with this passage:

Imagine a Democratic President trying to persuade Republicans that they need to do something expensive to deal with climate change. That’s nearly impossible.
...
And that means Donald Trump is – literally – the only human being on Earth who can persuade Republicans that climate change is real.​
But then mixed in with an acute awareness of how tribalism can forestall progress on *convincing* people of something, he's altogether too credulous on Trump's claim to be able to be "presidential" when he wants to be and ends it with this:

Does Trump really believe climate change is a hoax? Let me tell you the answer to that question in the clearest possible terms, based on everything I know about the field of persuasion.

Answer: No​
Look Trump has been a dyed-in-the-wool conspiracy theorist for decades. There's no room for Trump just being a natural kook (the evidence of which is incontrovertible), and he is on the record speculating about ridiculous conspiracy theories over decades when he had nothing on the line politicially and no reason to discuss them as part of some Master Plan to convince the plebes he's like them through talking about vaccines causing autism, 9/11 or where people were actually born.

Adams may be excused for this because A) he's trying to sell his book and connecting everything to his "persuasion" hypothesis and B) he probably doesn't research conspiracy theory that much or know how Trump has had a long association with Infowars, Alex Jones and vaccine Truth.

To Adams his confirmation bias kicks in and Trump is using Climate Change in some long-term plan to convince recalcitrant Republicans to join in one day in the future who will only ever be convinced by someone like him.

He is blind to the possibility Trump *actually believes the bullshit*
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Three Interesting Tidbits About Trump University

KEVIN DRUM | JUN. 4, 2016 1:06 AM | Mother Jones |
Link

For some reason I got curious about the whole Trump University thing this afternoon, so I started googling sort of randomly to learn more about it. I came across several interesting items that seemed worth sharing, but I don't really have any special narrative to put together about them. Instead, here's a semi-random three-part Trump U dump. Be sure not to miss footnote 2!

1. The Evolution of Trump's Racist BS Against Judge Curiel


A few days ago the whole world suddenly went ballistic because Donald Trump went after the judge in the Trump U case. But this is nothing new. Three months ago he railed against judge Gonzalo Curiel at a rally in Bentonville, Arkansas: "We have a very hostile judge....tremendous hostility, beyond belief. I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine, he's Hispanic, which is fine....but we have a judge who's very hostile." The next day he told Fox News Sunday: "I think it has to do perhaps with the fact that I'm very, very strong on the border, very, very strong at the border, and he has been extremely hostile to me."

Curiel has since gone from Spanish to Mexican to "of Mexican heritage," but Trump has basically been peddling this racist BS for months. So why is it that no one seemed to care much about it back in February, when it might have mattered?

2. The 98 Percent Satisfaction Rate

Back in November Steven Brill wrote a really good piece about Trump U for Time. If you have any interest in this case, you should put aside a few minutes to read it.

One of my favorite bits is about Trump's most treasured defense, which is that all the suits against him are the work of a tiny number of malcontents. "Listen to me," he said in February, "98 percent of the people that took the courses, 98 percent approved the courses, they thought they were terrific." Trump has a whole website devoted to this, 98percentapproval.com. Here is Brill:

Trump’s director of operations Mark Covais...declared that the satisfaction percentages were taken from “about 10,000” surveys of Trump University customers. Yet in the same affidavit Covais said that there were 7,611 tickets sold to Trump University programs....How could Trump have 10,000 “rave” surveys from paying customers if there were only 7,611 paying customers?

....The more apparent inconsistency is that Covais...declared that the company had issued 2,144 refunds to 6,698 attendees of the $1,495 three-day program, or 32%. That a third of the customers demanded refunds is hard to reconcile with a claimed 98% satisfaction rate....Similarly, the refund rate for the $34,995 program, which according to the lawsuits was tougher on giving money back, was 16%. If at least 31% of one group and 16% of the other were so instantly dissatisfied that they immediately demanded refunds, how could 98% have been satisfied?​

How indeed? Perhaps it's just the usual Trump "puffery," his second-favorite defense for the lies he told about Trump U?

3. Is Judge Curiel Biased Against Trump?

I Am Not A Lawyer™—about which more later—but I was still curious about whether Judge Curiel has, in fact, ruled against Trump overwhelmingly. So I googled a bit until I got bored. Here are the rulings I could find:

March 1, 2014: After years of legal maneuvering, Curiel allowed two cases against Trump to go forward. "Curiel certified one case, Tarla Makaeff vs. Trump University, as a class-action in California, Florida, and New York. The plaintiffs had hoped it would get certified in all 50 states. Curiel also narrowed down the pursuable actions from 14 to 5. In a second related case, Art Cohen vs. Donald J. Trump, Curiel denied Trump's motion to dismiss the case." I'd score that as two anti-Trump rulings (both cases were allowed to move forward) and one pro-Trump ruling (the class-action was limited to three states).

October 29, 2014: Curiel certified Cohen's suit as a class action. That's one anti-Trump ruling.

April 20, 2015: Trump countersued the plaintiff in one of the cases, Tarla Makaeff, and she eventually won a motion to dismiss Trump's suit as a nuisance.1 She asked for $1.3 million in costs, and the case was sent to Curiel for resolution. "Curiel found the rate requests for associates and partners reasonable, but denied Makaeff's request for staff attorney and paralegal fees....Curiel scaled back the number of hours expended on most of the plaintiffs' 25 proceedings by 20 percent, others by 50 percent and some he declined entirely, reducing the fees award by $542,920.85 to $790,083.40." That sounds fairly pro-Trump.

July 3, 2015: Curiel ruled that Trump would have to testify about his net worth: "Publicly available figures of Trump's wealth have been the subject of wild speculation and range anywhere from $4 to $9 billion," Curiel ruled. "Simply stated, plaintiffs are entitled to answers made under penalty of perjury." I think we can safely call that one anti-Trump.2

November 18, 2015: Trump lost a bid for summary judgment throwing out the suits. However, Curiel ruled in his favor against an injunction that would have prohibited further false advertising. That's basically one ruling against Trump and one for him.

March 22, 2016: Curiel allowed Makaeff to withdraw as a lead defendant in her case. He dismissed Makaeff's claims and denied Makaeff's request to bar Trump from any further litigation he may file against her. He allowed the defense to re-depose the other main plaintiff, Sonny Low, and ruled that Trump would "likely be entitled to some award of fees and costs." That's one ruling against Trump and four in favor.

April 26, 2016: Curiel issued an order setting a July 18 hearing on a motion by Trump's lawyers to toss out the Cohen v. Trump case. "The judge also plans to take up other motions, including one asking that the case be stripped of its class-action status." This seems neither pro nor anti-Trump.

May 6, 2016: Curiel set a November 28 date for one of the suits. "[Trump's lawyer] asked for a trial after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, but the judge raised concerns about distractions if Trump wins the election."

May 27, 2016: Curiel ruled in favor of a Washington Post motion to unseal several exhibits in the Trump U lawsuits. This is the ruling that ignited Trump's most recent hailstorm of attacks on Curiel.​

I dunno. Does this pattern show any kind of bias for or against Trump? Trump seems thoroughly convinced that the whole case against Trump U should have been tossed out on summary judgment instantly, and the fact that Curiel didn't do that means he's "tremendously hostile." Of course, that's Trump's view of anyone who does something Trump doesn't like. But summary judgment was never very likely in these cases, and aside from that Curiel seems to have ruled for and against Trump fairly evenly. Hell, even Trump's own lawyer blew off Trump's rantings: "He's got very strong views about everything and he expressed his own views," he said, before acknowledging that, no, he didn't plan to ask Curiel to recuse himself.

What's more, a local TV station interviewed a San Diego lawyer who pointed out the obvious: "Judge Curiel gave lots of his rulings before Trump made those comments about the border and illegal immigration." And: "NBC 7 checked federal court records and confirmed Von Helms' claim." Curiel has been on these Trump U cases off and on since 2010, and obviously Trump's views on a border wall couldn't have influenced him before June of last year.

Now, I realize this is all sort of pointless. I think we all know perfectly well that Curiel is just an ordinary judge, and Trump is ranting against him because that's what Trump does whenever something doesn't go his way. He whines. Endlessly. Still, I'm kind of curious. It would be interesting if some kind of qualified lawyer type went through the records of these trials and reported back on whether Curiel seems to be conducting things fairly. Maybe he's not! Maybe he really does hate Trump. Unfortunately, I suppose that would be a lot of work. Oh well.

Footnotes:
1But only after an appeals court overruled District Judge Irma Gonzalez, who had ruled in Trump's favor. Another Hispano-Mexican judge!

2Wait. What? Trump was required to testify under penalty of perjury about his true net worth? Yes indeed. And I believe he's already given that deposition. Oddly, though, he's never mentioned that, and hasn't brought it up in any of his recent ravings either. I imagine there's a good reason for that: If this becomes common knowledge, someone will ask him what number he provided under oath. Does he really have any good excuse not to share that with us?
 
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Wiseman

TRIBE Member
For all those Bernie supporters who say they won't vote for Clinton if she's the candidate will that really actually happen with Trump on the ballot? Will they really vote for Trump or stay away from the Polls? Isn't Trump way scarier than Clinton?

I think the polling numbers that say Trump will beat Hilary are skewed because Bernie is still a possibility. I think if Bernie is no longer an option the numbers will shift towards Hilary.
 

ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
from what i've seen, polls say Bernie would destroy Trump.
I'm feeling the Bern, but i just don't see how.
we need a Hillary conspiracy.
Praktik ?
 
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Wiseman

TRIBE Member
Oh for sure Bernie would be ideal and he would destroy Trump. I jst don't buy the pools that say Trump would beat Hilary. I think they are influenced by Bernie supporters not willing to let o of the idea of him being in the race when asked if they would vote for Hilary. I think that should it by Hilary vs Trump and they are faced with that decision it will be pretty hard for them to let Trump into office just because Bernie didn't make it to the ballot.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
There's actually a few groups that are in the "stay home category" potentially, not just Bernie dead enders but True Conservatives appalled at Trump's apostasy and unreliability ideologically.

So I think both these groups exist and don't have good options. How will they break and what will the net of this be?

I'm not sure, it's possible it could become relevant in a super close state in the fall but it's more likely I think that the "stay home" effect won't be a big one come fall. It works both ways and I think other factors will be more important, like how people who are motivated to vote cast their votes!
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Here are the rulings I could find:
...
I dunno. Does this pattern show any kind of bias for or against Trump? Trump seems thoroughly convinced that the whole case against Trump U should have been tossed out on summary judgment instantly, and the fact that Curiel didn't do that means he's "tremendously hostile." Of course, that's Trump's view of anyone who does something Trump doesn't like. But summary judgment was never very likely in these cases, and aside from that Curiel seems to have ruled for and against Trump fairly evenly. Hell, even Trump's own lawyer blew off Trump's rantings: "He's got very strong views about everything and he expressed his own views," he said, before acknowledging that, no, he didn't plan to ask Curiel to recuse himself.

What's more, a local TV station interviewed a San Diego lawyer who pointed out the obvious: "Judge Curiel gave lots of his rulings before Trump made those comments about the border and illegal immigration." And: "NBC 7 checked federal court records and confirmed Von Helms' claim." Curiel has been on these Trump U cases off and on since 2010, and obviously Trump's views on a border wall couldn't have influenced him before June of last year.

Now, I realize this is all sort of pointless. I think we all know perfectly well that Curiel is just an ordinary judge, and Trump is ranting against him because that's what Trump does whenever something doesn't go his way. He whines. Endlessly. Still, I'm kind of curious. It would be interesting if some kind of qualified lawyer type went through the records of these trials and reported back on whether Curiel seems to be conducting things fairly. Maybe he's not! Maybe he really does hate Trump. Unfortunately, I suppose that would be a lot of work. Oh well.
Trump is absolutely right to call him out and I wouldn't call a judge with ties to La Raza (anti-gringo group) an ordinary impartial judge.
Is there any Trump Kool-Aid you won't gobble down without hesitation? If the judge is so biased it would be easy to point to actual decisions that prove it. Drum found plenty of times the Judge went Trump's way and he's been on the case since 2010. The fact he's a member of La Raza doesn't mean much outside of Bill O'Reilly/Breitbart and the paint-by-numbers right wing echo chamber for whom La Raza has been a whipping boy for ages, leading to a cartoonish understand of the organization, its membership and its activities amongst the rubes dialing into Rush for their commutes every day.

but let's imagine that it did mean the judge is "biased" against Trump. It wouldn't be enough to just point out his membership of the organization - you'd have to point to clear evidence of that bias playing out in a court decision.

Its a convenient bit of pro-Trump propaganda that he can conveniently employ using the La Raza media hashtag to ensure its propagation through all the usual channels, which include ones connected to your daily media intake Special K. Whats most galling about all of this is the evidence is pretty clearly pointing to Trump U being a predatory fraud perpetrated against the most vulnerable - so of course all Trump has is his bleating victimhood about how unfair the world is, since he can't really win this case on the evidence.

I think we need to come up with a "dittohead" variant for Trump - "Trump Chumps"? Peeps who just get in line with whatever Trump says... "dittoheads" wore it as a badge of honour with Rush, proudly declaring themselves to be "ditto'ing" everything he said. Trump Chumps are pretty much same shit different pile
 
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Special K

TRIBE Member
praktik said:
Re: the judge
It absolutely means something that he is a part of La Raza as he is a judge that’s made his career on his service to La Raza, a group that strongly opposes quite a few things Trump has campaigned on.

Lol @ the media I consume. Ah yes, I’m sorry I’ll post more articles from the esteemed likes of media matters, right wing watch, salon & vox etc …
 

Special K

TRIBE Member
For all those Bernie supporters who say they won't vote for Clinton if she's the candidate will that really actually happen with Trump on the ballot? Will they really vote for Trump or stay away from the Polls? Isn't Trump way scarier than Clinton?
Hopefully they move to the socialist paradise that is venezuela.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Re: the judge
It absolutely means something that he is a part of La Raza as he is a judge that’s made his career on his service to La Raza, a group that strongly opposes quite a few things Trump has campaigned on.

Lol @ the media I consume. Ah yes, I’m sorry I’ll post more articles from the esteemed likes of media matters, right wing watch, salon & vox etc …
Ya go ahead and make that case for Trump, and then tell us why he doesn't have a "latino problem" next!

You're free to read whatever you like, but if you're just consuming from Trump-bart you're gonna end up sucked in on the Trump Kool-Aid more often than not, and defend him on ridiculous things like how unfair the courts are to Trump for his amazing Trump University....
 
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Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
Oh for sure Bernie would be ideal and he would destroy Trump. I jst don't buy the pools that say Trump would beat Hilary.
I have many colleagues and customers who are American. Almost all like Trump. No one likes Hilary. It's the Rob Ford effect on the polls. Many people do not want to admit to voting for Trump but will do it anyway.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
While she did well on form - Larison explains where Clinton failed on substance:

Clinton’s San Diego Speech on Trump and Foreign Policy
Posted on June 2, 2016, 5:28 PM Daniel Larison | Link

Trevor Thrall comments on Clinton’s attack on Trump’s foreign policy views and qualifications:

In the end, Clinton is correct: Trump clearly does not possess the qualifications or the temperament to lead the United States. Unfortunately, Clinton’s critique leaves voters with only a “less bad” alternative to Trump rather than with a compelling vision of America’s role in the world.​

Clinton’s speech was focused mainly on denouncing Trump for many of his more outlandish statements, and his tendency to be all over the map on foreign policy provided her with plenty of material to use. She scored her best hits when she criticized Trump’s desire to be unpredictable and his ignorance of the relevant issues, but she was trying a bit too hard when she painted Trump as someone likely to start a war over a personal slight. She said that it was easy to imagine that Trump might start a war after being insulted by a foreign government (it’s actually not that easy to believe), but it is even easier to imagine Clinton initiating a war for other very questionable reasons. Clinton was attempting to present herself as the responsible candidate, but it is impossible for an informed listener to forget that she has never seen a military intervention she didn’t want to support.

She dinged Trump for his stated interest in being “neutral” in negotiations between Israel and Palestine, and misrepresented what he meant in the process. This was an odd move for her to make when her own party is sharply divided over how one-sidedly “pro-Israel” U.S. policy should be. One might think that she would be trying to placate disaffected Sanders supporters at this point, and attacking Trump for being insufficiently “pro-Israel” is an odd way to go about it. In general, her recitation of conventional foreign policy platitudes seems unlikely to satisfy the Sanders supporters that are currently leery of her candidacy, and instead it just reminds them of the things they dislike about her. Clinton has already switched to general election mode and doesn’t seem worried about this.

There was more discussion of Clinton’s record in the speech than I thought there would be, but it was notable for what she included and what she left out. She made a point of talking up the nuclear deal and New START as part of her record, but these were the result of diplomatic initiatives that she grudgingly supported. Those agreements happened mostly because of the work of other diplomats, and it is unlikely that Clinton would have pursued the nuclear deal as Obama did if she had been in his position. Now that it has been negotiated and is starting to work, Clinton wants to take credit for something that was mostly Obama and Kerry’s doing in spite of her reluctance. Notably, she said nothing about her support for deeper involvement in Syria, and as I recall the Libyan war was never mentioned even in passing. Clinton had touted the intervention in Libya as “smart power at its best,” but remarkably she didn’t want to use this occasion to talk about it. Perhaps Clinton didn’t want to remind the audience that she was a leading supporter of a failed and unnecessary war, or perhaps her campaign didn’t think they needed to draw attention to her well-known reputation for hawkishness. Whatever the reason, Clinton presented herself as much more of a supporter of diplomatic engagement than she really is while obscuring her reliable support for military action.
 
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