10 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-20-16

  1. I am reading an interesting book by James Dale Davidson called The Breaking Point. I have just gotten into it, but he gives interesting insight. Mostly new way of looking at things I already knew.
    Here, he is describing types of government.
    1. Kleptocrocy: Illustrated by the African nation of Angola. A poor nation. Where one in six Angolan children dies before age five. The “President” Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is worth$3.7 billion. His oldest daughter (according to Davidson) is the world’s first female billionaire.

    2. Quasi-Kleptocracy. Illustrated by Brazil. Government rents power to the highest bidder. Highest bidder gets rich and spins off. I see what he means, but I don’t see how that differs much from what he calls the US system.

    3. The Pimpocracy: When we think about it, it perfectly describes our system. Davidson quotes Donald J. Bordeaux, of . George Mason U. He says “….politicians are not prostitutes, but pimps, using other people’s property for personal gain. Pimps provide their clients with access to prostitutes’ assets while politicians’ clients receive access to taxpayer’s assets..” Planned Parenthood is a good illustration. You can think of others.

    A man recently called Rush to ask him what happened to the ten trillion dollars Obama spent during the last eight years. Rush said, “the unions got it. Now the Democrats have it.” I don’t know that to be so, but it makes sense. And the money has to be somewhere.

    I am only 9% into the book. (Kindle doesn’t have pages.) but I think I see where Davidson is going. He has already said that the US is obligated for over $300 trillion. There ain’t that much money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good piece by Michael Barone on 2016.



    How the Political Rules Changed in 2016
    By Michael Barone

    Over the 40-some years that I have been working or closely observing the political campaign business, the rules of the game haven’t changed much. Technology has changed the business somewhat, but the people who ran campaigns in the 1970s could have (and in some cases actually have) run them four decades later.

    But suddenly this year, the rules seemed to change. Let me try to count the ways.

    1) Money doesn’t seem to matter so much anymore. “Money is the mother’s milk of politics,” the legendary California Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh said a half-century ago. But some winning campaigns this year operated on what Unruh might have regarded as low-lactose diets, notably Donald Trump’s. …

    2) TV spots don’t matter so much anymore, either. In the 1970s, campaigns ran television ads because it was the best way to reach voters. There were only three networks, and you could “roadblock” them with spots that almost no one could avoid seeing. So many gross rating points produced so many votes.

    Today old-line network audiences are a fraction of what they used to be, and technology allows people to skip TV ads altogether. A zero-cost tweet can get more attention than a $10 million TV ad barrage, and a YouTube video can earn a candidate more votes than a TV ad. …

    3) Celebrities don’t count. Did anyone vote for Clinton because Beyonce and Lady Gaga did concerts for her? Bruce Springsteen’s Monmouth County, New Jersey, voted for Trump. The money ferrying such celebs to Clinton event venues was totally wasted.

    4) Outrageous statements aren’t disqualifying. The Clinton campaign spent the bulk of its ad budget on spots about decrying Trump’s character, and this bombardment was augmented by mainstream media talking heads expressing horror about his latest outrage. But voters seeking change didn’t much mind. …

    5) Polling and big data don’t automatically generate the right moves. …

    6) Not being able to understand how the opposition thinks is huuuugely dangerous. This is actually an old rule, but one in particular need of reiteration in a year when most of the old rules no longer apply.

    The Trump campaign seems to have had a pretty good idea of what its Republican opponents and the Clinton campaign were up to, but the reverse was clearly not true. In postelection interviews, Clinton campaign operatives were blaming their defeat on racism, the FBI director and the Russians.

    Mature adults would be seeking to understand how they failed to see how the rules were changing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. And this wasn’t particularly a surprise



    Democrats, liberals most likely to unfriend on Facebook over politics?

    … Nearly one-quarter (24%) of Democrats say they blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media after the election because of their political posts on social media. Fewer than one in ten Republicans (9%) and independents (9%) report eliminating people from their social media circle.

    Political liberals are also far more likely than conservatives to say they removed someone from their social media circle due to what they shared online (28% vs. 8%, respectively). Eleven percent of moderates say they blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended someone due to what they posted online. …


  4. Science takes a back seat to the agenda.


    “A new congressional investigation has determined that the Obama administration fired a top scientist and intimidated staff at the Department of Energy in order to further its climate change agenda, according to a new report that alleges the administration ordered top officials to obstruct Congress in order to forward this agenda.

    Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, released a wide-ranging report on Tuesday that shows how senior Obama administration officials retaliated against a leading scientist and plotted ways to block a congressional inquiry surrounding key research into the impact of radiation.

    A top DoE scientist who liaised with Congress on the matter was fired by the Obama administration for being too forthright with lawmakers, according to the report, which provides an in-depth look at the White House’s efforts to ensure senior staffers toe the administration’s line.

    The report also provides evidence that the Obama administration worked to kill legislation in order to ensure that it could receive full funding for its own hotly contested climate change agenda.

    The report additionally discovered efforts by the Obama administration to censor the information given to Congress, interfering with the body’s ability to perform critical oversight work.

    “Instead of providing the type of scientific information needed by Congress to legislate effectively, senior departmental officials sought to hide information, lobbied against legislation, and retaliated against a scientist for being forthcoming,” Smith said in a statement. “In this staff report based on lengthy record before the committee, much has been revealed about how senior level agency officials under the Obama administration retaliated against a scientist who did not follow the party line.”

    “Moving forward, the department needs to overhaul its management practices to ensure that Congress is provided the information it requires to legislate and that federal employees and scientists who provide that information do so without fear of retribution,” Smith said.”

    Liked by 3 people

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