Now we finally have a former casino operator as our President. It was inevitable. Gambling is really at the heart of America, IMO. Even in the ancient myths of the desert Southwest we hear of The Gambler. The thing is, this isn’t really a country, it’s a casino. Anybody* can come here and take their chances. Any immigrant to America was weighing the odds and taking a big chance. If you win big, congratulations, if you crap out that’s on you. Maybe that’s why we don’t have nationalized health insurance, and why we tolerate rule by billionaires. It’s a feature, not a bug. Social safety nets for societies. Casinos don’t have a safety net.
Before Trump, Bill Clinton might have been our most casino-adjacent president. He liked to describe himself as the man from Hope, but he was really from Hot Springs, a kind of local Arkansas Las Vegas from before the age of Southwest Airlines. His mother spent her time at the race track and the house where young Bill spent his time had “a bar on which stood a rotating cage with two huge dice in it.”
I’m not saying I love that America is more of a casino than a country, but let’s accept that reality. Maybe a winning political messaging could come out of something like “MAKE THE CASINO FAIR” or “A FAIR CASINO FOR ALL!” It’s hard to look around and not think the casino is at least a little rigged, or at the very least that current management is crooked.
Or how about CLEAN UP THE CASINO! or EVEN THE ODDS!
Shouldn’t you be allowed to vote for whoever you want?
I remember the anger at the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. I get it. I voted for Al Gore, I loved Al Gore, Al Gore is like my dream politician (boring experienced intellectual veteran centrist conservationist globalist). But the people who voted for Nader get to vote for Nader! Al Gore didn’t earn their vote. They don’t owe Al Gore a rotten fig. You can’t be mad at the people who voted for someone else for not cynically falling into line to vote for an establishment centrist they didn’t prefer.
Same deal with Susan Sarandon! She can vote for whomever she wants, cool for her for having interesting choices. You’re gonna blame her for Trump? Blame the woman who had an absolute slam dunk layup election on her hands, who had many advantages, enormous amounts of money, her husband was a very popular President of the United States two Presidents ago, for failing to convince enough voters to vote for her.
Dr. Jill Biden, in New Hampshire, says:
You have to swallow a little bit and say, ok, I personally like so and so better, but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.
If you check out the video you can also see Joe Biden’s first campaign ad, which highlights how “all the polls agree” Joe Biden is the best candidate to beat Trump.
Quit your thinkin’, voter, this one’s been decided for you. Who’re you gonna believe, your judgment or some polls we pulled together?
The whole premise of the Biden campaign makes me sick. This is a guy who was a weak, confused candidate who couldn’t stop himself from making stuff up and plagiarizing not just speeches but the family histories of other politicians when he was in his prime! And now he is… guess how old Joe Biden is.
Did you guess 72? 74?
Joe Biden is seventy-six years old! He will be seventy-eight if he takes the oath of office in Jan 2021. Eighty-two at the end of his first term.
What has Joe Biden done with his life? I get that he was Obama’s pretend best friend, but really, who is a person who in Joe Biden’s thirty-eight some years of public life he really helped? Uplifted?
(skimming his Wikipedia page)
OK I guess he did stand up for Delaware’s chicken farmers, Delaware’s banks, and in many ways benefitted the people of Delaware (by getting them federal taxpayer money). He was an advocate for Delaware, a state with a population of about one-quarter of the city of Los Angeles.
Where has he been on the big issues? He voted against the “good” Iraq War, the one we won, and for the bad one, the one that was a stupid, deceitful, horrible disaster from start to… finish? I guess it’s over? For us?
(Oh no wait we still have five thousand troops there.)
Joe Biden is sometimes said to know a lot about foreign policy but he was exactly wrong on the biggest American disaster of my lifetime.
Biden has said, “I consider the Violence Against Women Act the single most significant legislation that I’ve crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate.”
OK, well that is cool, but didn’t the same bill also eliminate higher education for inmates and create new death penalty offenses?
The argument I hear for Joe Biden is that white Rust Belt working class men, who are alleged to have cost Hillary Clinton the election in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc, like him. Well, I don’t know if that’s true, I am not a white Rust Belt working class man.
I do think that:
1) the group credited with “swinging” the last election is never the group credited with swinging the next one
2) it’s not my job as a voter to put myself in the hypothetical mindset of some possible swing voter in another state and attempt to pander to their whims in order to take out the current whim-panderer.
It’s my job to choose the candidate who I try and suss out has the best character, judgment, and policy understandings and preferences to be the President of the United States.
For a campaign to suggest anything else, to suggest five months before the first primary/caucus that voters should shut up and get in line, that this is your only option, is so insulting I can scarcely believe it.
We try not to be all negative at Helytimes, so in the interest of saying something nice about Joe Biden he does have a great smile.
Thought of this photo today.
(what’s David Gergen doing there? sometimes I’ve been that guy).
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It started when Greens leader Richard Di Natale called Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan an “absolute pig”, after the Senator said there was a “bit of Nick Xenophon in” Ms Hanson-Young.
“He’s an absolute pig. He should be booted out. He’s a disgrace,” Mr Di Natale shouted across the chamber. “You grub.”
An emotional Senator Hanson-Young said Senator O’Sullivan and conservative independents Fraser Anning, Cory Bernardi and David Leyonhjelm were “cowards” who had spent months levelling slurs at her.
“You are not fit to be in this chamber. You are not fit to call yourselves men,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
She backed the Greens leader for calling out Senator O’Sullivan’s “reprehensible” remarks.
“That is what real men do. Real men don’t insult and threaten women,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
Enjoy reading news stories about the goings-on in other English speaking countries, you usually have to fill in the gaps just enough to piece together what’s happening.
(thanks to our Sydney correspondent for the link and background)
It’s not fashionable to even listen to Steve Bannon these days, and I don’t know why you’d invite him to your festival. But when I read or listen to interviews with him, I always feel I’m gaining insight. Much like a Bond villain, he seems to delight in revealing his plans. Consider a moment at 17:05 above:
Third is the deconstruction of the administrative state. It’s the reason Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are on the Supreme Court. They’re not social – they’re not about abortion or gay marriage, these people are about the Chevron exemption, they’re about deconstructing the administrative state.
I think he means Chevron Deference, which I had to look up. A lawyer friend defined it for me:
It emerged from a case called Chevron U.S.A Inc vs Natural Resources Defense Council:
Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1977 to address states that had failed to attain the air quality standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) (Defendant). “The amended Clean Air Act required these ‘non-attainment’ States to establish a permit program regulating ‘new or modified major stationary sources’ of air pollution.” During the Carter administration, the EPA defined a source as any device in a manufacturing plant that produced pollution. In 1981, after Ronald Reagan’s election, the EPA, which was headed by Anne M. Gorsuch, adopted a new definition that allowed an existing plant to get permits for new equipment that did not meet standards as long as the total emissions from the plant itself did not increase. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental protection group, challenged the EPA regulation in federal court, which ruled in the NRDC’s favor. Chevron, an affected party, appealed the lower court’s decision.
Bottom line, the Court ended up ruling the EPA could make its rules and they wouldn’t intrude too much.
But wait one second: Gorsuch?
It was this woman, mother of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch!
How about that!
It gets a bit complicated after that and I’m afraid above my paygrade, but it seems Gorsuch The Son doesn’t care much for Chevron Deference. His tone on the topic tends to veer towards the sarcastic:
Under Chevron the people aren’t just charged with awareness of and the duty to conform their conduct to the fairest reading of the law that a detached magistrate can muster. Instead, they are charged with an awareness of Chevron; required to guess whether the statute will be declared “ambiguous” (courts often disagree on what qualifies); and required to guess (again) whether an agency’s interpretation will be deemed “reasonable.” Who can even attempt all that, at least without an army of perfumed lawyers and lobbyists? And, of course, that’s not the end of it. Even if the people somehow manage to make it through this far unscathed, they must always remain alert to the possibility that the agency will reverse its current view 180 degrees anytime based merely on the shift of political winds and still prevail.
One can’t but wonder: does any of this have to do with his mom?
Just think it’s interesting that Bannon says they don’t give a fig about social culture war issues. Remember that Bannon and Kellyanne Conway are more or less hired guns for the Mercer family, of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund.
I wonder if Brett Kavanaugh will get through, or if they’ll have to find a different person to help dismantle the administrative state.
As always we welcome your comments!
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The Trump era will end when a Democrat can get in Trump’s face and confidently say this. American politics is not structured for this kinda face to face thing so maybe it won’t be until 2020.
Jump to 3:42 in this director’s cut to see the almost sexual excitement that explodes when Blair drops the word “weak”:
Sherrod Brown is the Dem who physically resembles Blair here the most, imo.
Once a confident Democrat is calling Trump weak to his face, the fight will enter the pattern laid out by Randall Collins:
How does violence sometimes succeed in doing damage? The key is asymmetrical confrontation tension. One side will win if they can get their victim in the zone of high arousal and high incompetence, while keeping their own arousal down to a zone of greater bodily control.
Trump will enter a state of high arousal and high incompetence. Collins continues:
Violence is not so much physical as emotional struggle; whoever achieves emotional domination, can then impose physical domination. That is why most real fights look very nasty; one sides beats up on an opponent at the time they are incapable of resisting.
Unfortch a US president in a state of high arousal and high incompetence has a non-zero chance of ending human life on Earth, so that also must be weighed.