Linky Friday #191: The End Is Nigh

Creatures:

python photo

Image by laughingface2

[C1] If you get a pet python, take care of it… or else.

[C2] This is just what we needed. Not gonna miss this, though.

[C3] Smart chimp. I did not generally inhale when I smoked, either. Not that it doesn’t get in your lungs anyway, of course.

[C4] Vampire saliva! It’s in humans!

[C5] Selfie? THE WALRUS WILL END YOU!

[C6] The Beavers return to Britain.

Entertainment:

Of all the betrayals this election, it's Curious George that hurts the most.

Of all the betrayals this election, it’s Curious George that hurts the most.

[E1] 8-Man is pretty cool, made all the cooler by the fact that his powers came from smoking. One of the interesting things I’ve discovered reading golden age comic books is how many of them were basically pill-poppers.

[E2] So Hello Kitty. What is she, exactly?

[E3] I loved Disney’s Robin Hood as a kid. Turns out, it wasn’t really supposed to be Robin Hood.

[E4] “I am a moderately well-drawn ketchup-colored poodle and my storyline is the closest thing this book has to a plot. I am the only thing pulling the narrative along. I’m well-groomed, enjoy skiing, and have enough disposable income to amass a comfortable hat wardrobe.”

[E5] There is a big of Everything Is Problematic in our culture, but Curious George is uncomfortably problematic. For real. Did they ever re-do the origin story? It wouldn’t be that hard.

[E6] Rob Liefield is so bad that he destroyed the great potential of comics he didn’t even work on.

Business:

sneakers photo

Image by jontintinjordan

[B1] Just as it is with superheroes: All the good names are taken.

[B2] How KFC managed to take own Japanese Christmas.

[B3] The amazing science behind the disposable diaper.

[B4] Wait, there’s an equivalent of the Kelley Blue Book for… used sneakers?

Resources:

[R1] Drill, baby, drill.

[R2] There’s gold in them West Texas plains, from wind farms.

[R3] Silicon Valley couldn’t build cars, but maybe they’ll save the planet.

[R4] Oops. Salvation?

[R5] Sweet! Well, if it encourages people to use them, anyway. Function is form, as far as I’m concerned.

[R6] Lindsay Allen explains the ecological ramifications of deforestation.

Media:

wikileaks photo

Image by dkalo

[M1] Bad Vox! I’d actually had the same thought as Vox, but the evidence they bring to the table is pretty thin and it’s a hefty charge. Speaking of WS-related bad moves

[M2] Questions of “fairness” aside, this is a problem if it convinced/convinces the uncommitted to dismiss criticisms of Trump and/or his successors. It’s. . .  hard. 

[M3] Chris Ladd explains how cable news is becoming civic poison.

[M4] Police spying on reporters to find out if police are informants for reporters.

[M5] Ryan Grim explains why the media is reticent to explore the Trump-raped-a-thirteen-year-old allegation.

[M6] I tend to side with ESPN in this case. The culpable party is the medical professional that turned it over to them.

[M7] I’m glad that the New York Times is ran a prominent piece pushing back on The Vaping Menace. I just hope that they recognize the role they’ve taken in playing it up. {More}

[M8] The CNN Tape to be broadcast at The End of the World.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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199 thoughts on “Linky Friday #191: The End Is Nigh

  1. C1, C5: Maybe I was blessed or cursed with too much common sense but it seems that a significant portion of humanity is capable of doing very dangerous and dumb things without a thought of the consequences. Clients of mine and my lawyer friends are capable of getting into some incredibly sticky situations and the first thought that crosses my mind when hearing these stories is that “didn’t you think things through.”

    C4: Otherkin of the world rejoice.

    C6: Get ready for Beavermania.

    E1: Why do you think Baby Boomers started to experiment with drugs? All their role models as kids were drug addicts.

    E2: Sometimes I think that Japanese business people just like messing with people.

    E3: This is actually interesting but I’m confused at the idea of Robin Hood being inappropriate for kids at the time. Robin Hood was long bowdlerized by the 1970s and the general culture was pretty anti-authoritarian. Robin Hood would be a perfect hero for kids at the time.

    E5: People over think things sometime. Curious George was created by Jewish refugees from Hitler. George should be seen as a kind of refugee. Sometimes the Social Justice people need to better research in these things.

    R3: You’d figure that people whose businesses started in a garage should be able to build a car.

    M3: The problem with news is many fold. Every since 1980 or so, news is expected to earn a profit rather than be a public service like it was previously. This means that the incentive is to focus on the salacious and scandalous at the lowest common denominator rather than do actual investigative journalism and ask hard questions. Politicians also learned how to use access to get journalists to tone down the heat. Finally, the increase in viewing options have rendered news as public service irrelevant. The broadcast stations aired the news or news-like programs at the same time so that people had to watch the news if they were watching television. It was seen as a civic duty and a license requirement on their part. Than you have the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine making propaganda channels possible.

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    • E5: People over think things sometime. Curious George was created by Jewish refugees from Hitler. George should be seen as a kind of refugee. Sometimes the Social Justice people need to better research in these things.

      So Jewish people are automatically exempt from racism?

      On a similar note, I’ve heard gay men utter the phrase, “I can’t be racist, I’m gay.” They’ve done this with no sense of irony, after having said or done something manifestly racist.

      We might imagine that minorities would be more sensitive to the hardships of other minorities. For example, Jewish people, who’ve endured a long legacy of bad “Shylock”-esque stereotypes might understand that, even with good intentions, that clumsy representations can be hurtful. Thus, any story set in “Africa” needs to be approached with sensitivity, just as any story I might set in the “Jewish ghetto” should require that I think long and hard about what this says about Jewish people.

      I can say, as a transgender woman, a film like The Danish Girl, despite the fact its creators believed they were making something “trans positive,” was actually quite gross and transphobic. (Trans folks have written quite a lot of words on the topic, should you care to learn.)

      That said, if they do rework the origins of Curious George, then yeah, the fact his creators were Jewish and the fact they were refugees from Germany should play a role in the process. I agree with that. But all the same, I get why black people would be pretty unhappy with the story as it stands.

      I guess you cannot. Such a pity.

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      • What I’m saying is that context bloody matters. Curious George was written by two Jewish refugees and should be seen in that context. He is a stand in for refugees of the time that happens to be represented as a monkey and is trying to adopt as best as he can to a new home. Your making the mistake of perceiving everything through the lens of an American rather than through another lens. That’s a very common mistake made by many Americans. Not everything is about you .

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        • — I think we’re talking about the lens of the African diaspora, which is transnational and not limited to white Americans.

          If Jewish people want to write about their experience, why use Africa?

          I mean, monkeys are cute and all. So fine. Likewise, I’m happy seeing it in context, but the African diaspora also has a context, and this book lands in a broad culture space.

          What I mean is, all the context. Being Jewish does not relieve you of accountability.

          For example, if I want to write about the experiences of being a transgender woman, should I use the archetype of a hooked-nose greedy banker?

          Yeesh.

          Being one minority does not exempt you from your responsibility to other minorities.

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          • If Jewish people want to write about their experience, why use Africa?

            They didn’t use ‘Africa’.

            They used *a monkey*.

            Africa is merely the location that monkey happens to be at at the very start of the very first book, for a few pages.

            And, yes, it is fair to point out that the book uses an over-simplified ‘Africa’ instead of treating parts of it as a unique place, which is a bit problematic, and maybe if the book is remade it could specify some location *in* Africa, and perhaps it could be made clear that isn’t *all* Africa consists of.

            But, honestly, the books are aimed for *fairly small children*. They are hardly going to grasp complicated ideas about Africa. Simplifying Africa is a valid complaint aimed at books aimed at adults or teens or even tweens, but Curious George is mostly aimed at people reading to children.

            And the stereotype that needs to die is not ‘Africa has jungles’. The stereotype that needs to die is ‘African people live in huts in the jungle and shake spears at outsiders’.

            Which is, uh, *not* in Curious George. Africans never even appear. The Man in the Yellow Hat visits a place with a few other background white people, gets George, and brings him home. The only ‘African stereotype’ is ‘Africa has jungles with monkeys in them’, which is…uh, true.

            Of all the portrayals of Africa presented to kids, this is not one to complain about it. It’s not a very fleshed out portrayal, admittedly, perhaps more aspects of Africa could be shown, but it is *only a few pages in a book for very small children*.

            Meanwhile, you can find insanely offensive and stereotypical portrayals of Africa in even *fairly recent* children’s movies.

            Now, whether or not putting animals *in* the zoo is a good idea is an entirely different thing.

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    • George as refugee really misses the mark. He is a well-intentioned but dunderheaded animal who often ends up in the good graces of those he inconvenienced by inadvertently correcting his error. He never learns any lasting lesson.

      How does the represent the Jewish refugee experience?

      Also, you clearly know very little of children’s books. Children can’t differentiate between the highly-specific representation of Boston in “Make Way for Ducklings” from the not-specified-but-clearly-Park-Slope world of “Knuffle Bunny” from the vague Africa of Curious George.

      If the book tells them that is Africa, that is what they’ll understand Africa to be until they are presenter with another version. In fact, as their potential first exposure to Africa, it will lay the foundation and need to be “unlearned”.

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    • E5: People over think things sometime. Curious George was created by Jewish refugees from Hitler. George should be seen as a kind of refugee. Sometimes the Social Justice people need to better research in these things.

      I’ll note that the article you cite leaves open the possibility that Curious George can be read both as you read it and as representative of uncomfortably racist/imperialists tropes. Ingall, the author of that article, started off as seeing Curious George from a kind of “social justice” angle,

      Of course, I liked the little monkey fine when I was a kid, but as an adult, I found Curious George disturbingly glib and colonialist.

      Then Ingall explores the lives of the authors (of Curious George) and some of what they probably were going for in their books. She concludes much more favorably disposed to the reading of “George as refugee” than when she started:

      Knowing what the Reys went through, it’s easier to view the man with the yellow hat not as a paternalistic monkey-capturing jerkwad, but as a genuine savior. He embodies the Reys’ determinedly optimistic spin on their own situation: Like George, they were forced out of their home, but in the retelling of their own narrative, they had a rescuer. In reality, they saved themselves, but it’s easier to see their worldview as a brave response to a scary world. Their act of magid becomes a lot more multifaceted once you know their own story. Sometimes a monkey isn’t just a monkey.

      Note, though, two things. One, Ingall says “it’s easier” to read the story as a refugee story, not that it’s the only compelling reading. Two, “sometimes a monkey isn’t just a monkey” seems to me like an admission that we have do some analysis–derided in some comments here as overthinking things–to come up with any interpretation of the Curious George stories.

      I’ll add one more thing. I don’t hold much to (or even understand) the “death of the author” movement in post-WWII literary criticism. But I do think once something is written, the author’s/authors’ intention and life story can only go so far in our ability to interpret and relate to what they’ve written. Reading the article you cite does indeed soften my stance about Curious George and colonialist tropes. Still, I believe those tropes are there and need to be considered when evaluating the books.

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  2. E4: “Go, Dog, Go” was one of my brother’s favorite books as a child. I cannot decide whether the revelation on that website ruins it for me or not.

    Sometimes a silly running gag is nothing more than a silly running gag….

    E5: Oh yes, let’s make everything a problem. That way, kids can learn early on that life is hard, life is unfair, and nothing enjoyable is good. Better to just put on that gray coverall and go work in sector 7-G doing whatever menial job you will do until you die.

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    • Again, I paused and looked at my daughter. “Do you think the man should take George home with him?”
      “No,” my daughter ascertained the answer I was going for.
      “I agree,” I say solemnly. “George looks very happy in Africa. Africa is his home and he has all the space he wants to play, and find food, and be free.”

      Lingering on the last image, I asked my daughter: “Do you think George is happier in the zoo or in Africa?” I flip back to the first page’s image so she can compare the two pictures.
      “In Africa,” she replied.
      “Why?” I asked.
      “I don’t know.”

      “So, what do you think about the book? Do you like it?”
      “Not so much,” she told me matter-of-factly, “because it’s very sad.”

      The article should be called The Problem with Bad Parenting.

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      • I have very mixed feelings about the Curious George thing. That article is a flawed piece. When I read the part you just quoted from, I thought that the author had been coaching her daughter somehow. The daughter seemed to know the answer the author wanted.*

        I wouldn’t call it “bad parenting” because I’m not and won’t be a parent and have no standing to make that determination in an edge case like this. And it is an edge case, in my opinion. I imagine when it comes to such things as the legacy of racism and imperialism and how that legacy and the corresponding stereotyping intrudes into the stories we tell our children, I’m not sure what I would do or what others should do. I agree with Fillyjonk that we don’t always have to and probably shouldn’t “problematize” everything. But I don’t believe we should “problematize” nothing, either (not that Fillyjonk is saying we should).

        *It reminds of a piece Rose wrote recently, either here or at Daily Beast, about a cartoon movie that features a character with a cognitive disability. Rose comments that one of her sons, when she asked him about it, believed he knew the answer she wanted and gave that answer. She of course wanted his own opinions, not the canned answer. The author in this Curious George piece does not seem to want this.

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        • I wouldn’t call it “bad parenting” because I’m not and won’t be a parent and have no standing to make that determination in an edge case like this.

          Oh, don’t worry about that – ask any parent, being a parent grants automatic standing for anyone and everyone to criticize your every action. People who don’t have children, people whose kids are old enough they’ve mostly forgotten what it’s like to have children, people on the bus who’ve never met you before, people who are apparently a facebook friend of a friend…

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  3. R5: I didn’t see how much engergy the solar panels generate. It’d be interesting to calc how many panels and for how long you’d need sun to fill the powerwall up, cause I’m thinking in some parts of the country during some times of the year, you’ll not be getting much power from solar at all.

    M2: Well, the vast majority of journalists/media/etc. ARE left of center, as they have so indicated in various polling. That they’re in the tank for Clinton is completely reasonable, especially given the loads of anecdotal evidence of past examples. You know, like sitting on a story until the election is over?

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    • Germany is pretty far north for solar power, and they do okay.

      Of course I live in Texas, and the Southern US is pretty darn well positioned for solar in general. :)

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    • I’m sure the official roll out will have better specs. I’ll hold off until I see how well they handle hail storms, or having people walk on them, especially on steep roof lines.

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      • Indeed. Hell, if I owned a house or was building, I’d consider the concept. I’d also be putting that geothermal thing in (can’t recall the name). I’m sure as hell not going to be selling any power back to the power company. That juice is mine. Just one word of caution. My dad build his retirement home with a few new products-namely the shingless and siding. Gar ron teed for life. Sadly that was the life of the company that made it, not the house. So when that company folded and the roof needed to be redone, they were boned.

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        • I know a few people looking at one of the residential geothermal systems. Basically works like a fridge. Take heat, dump it into a liquid in an enclosed pipe, run it underground and then around to radiate it into the ground, then back up. Big old heat pump. Run it the other way in the winter. (bring up warmth from underground) If you have a handy lake nearby, can be even nicer.

          High upfront costs, very few installers, and is a lot cheaper if it’s done before the foundation is laid.

          One of those things that would make a lot more economic sense for new development, but there’s no real push to install it. It adds about 10k to the house and takes several years to pay off. On the other hand, the system is probably good for decades without problems. Tree roots probably the only issue. No moving parts, totally enclosed loop.

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          • Yes. My father had this installed. He was living on a lake, and choose not to run the pipes down there since the water level fluctuated too much to risk leaving the pipes high and dry (this was smart since that would have actually happened in the drought a few years later) but choose to drive them vertically into the ground. He did it, as you said, before the foundation was put in.

            But that was a closed loop system. A coworker helped fixed an open loop system that was in the house he rented at the beach. That system had not been maintained so required all kinds of fixing. Even the ostensible repair guys didn’t know how to fix it. Like you said..not a lot of sales/service for that thing.

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            • It really is one of those things that, if mandated as part of the local housing code, would probably be an easy switch and pretty effective.

              But you really need to go with new-build and closed loops (I think there’s a little chunk of shaped metal, runs like a turbine, but it’s powered by an electromagnet on the outside of the pipe. As long as there’s electricity, that thing will spin, and the only point of failure is the directional switch on the outside, generally somewhere easily accessible. Like next to your water heater or something.

              I don’t really know if it’s a big enough boost to efficiency that it should be mandated (again local building codes, not federal or even state. This system wouldn’t make sense everywhere) so it languishes. If you know about it, and are new building, you can generally get it done and it’s free money after 5 or 10 years.

              If you don’t, it’s never an option and most builders won’t offer it (they generally won’t know). I’d get it, but I’d get solar installed too (we have pretty high energy needs here in Houston, and lots of sun — so paying extra for better insulation, solar panels, and geothermal — if they can even do that down here — makes a lot of sense to me. We keep the house pretty cold, it’s hot and humid outside, all of that is a lot bigger savings to me than the median homeowner to boot.)

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  4. E1: There was a remake of 8man in the 1980s. I don’t think he smoked.

    E2: I think the appropriate term is cash cow.

    B4: Sneakers are a huge business to the urban, youth market and those that want to emulate them. This is largely connected to hip-hop culture. There are tons of sneaker stores in SF and almost everyweek, you can see young men (and some women but usually men) lined up for the latest release. I tend to like Paul Smith sneakers which go on the pricier side for sneakers. Largely because I think New Balances are for sports and I can’t get over how suburban dad it looks to wear new balances with everything.

    M2: Liberals will say otherwise because it seems to us that the media especially 24 hour cable news is out to milk every little “scandal” about HRC to maximize profits. More seriously, I don’t think this is especially wrong or problematic. The media is adopting their gatekeeper role and Trump is an uncommonly bad candidate for a GOP base that has gone off the rails and a party that has abandoned all concepts of democratic norms to get what they want even if they are not in control of something. The media has a responsibility to say what a horrible President Trump would be.

    M3: I have to concur largely with this piece but note how it disputes M2 which you considered problematic. There is simply not enough news to justify 24 hour news channels. Slate had a piece that said Balloon Boy from a few years ago represented this because that was essentially a local newsstory that got breathless coverage on CNN with tons of speculation. I realized it a few years before when CNN had a story about a bear roaming a suburban backyard for a few hours.

    M5: I see something about this story all the time. Admitedly my friends are liberal and tend to post articles from places like Raw Story and Occupy Democrats. Raw Story is occasionally useful. Occupy Democrats is just hackery and no one can doubt by Democratic partisanship.

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    • From the link in M3:
      Ask a well-educated, highly informed voter to explain the policy significance of Hillary Clinton’s “email scandal.”

      Give them all the time they need and don’t settle for vague pronouncements about “credibility.” Ask for verifiable examples from the record that demonstrate some form of culpability. Insist on some nugget of relevance the question of which candidate is best suited for the White House.

      Let them go on for a year and you’ll never get a coherent answer that holds up to factual review. Yet on the second-to-last weekend before the election, that amorphous, context-free email story will be the only message anyone hears on cable news.

      As much fury as I have for the Beltway media (and almost all cable news outlets are just that) I don’t believe they have any coherent political bias so much as they have an insatiable addiction to clicks and controversy.

      It could be Emailghazi or Balloon Boy, doesn’t matter.

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    • Interestingly enough, it appears that the FBI leaks (and possibly every bit of “looming indictment/investigation of” stories for the whole damn election) is coming from a relative handful of current and former FBI folks out of New York.

      And Rudy Guiliani appears to be plugged in completely to that group — they all really hate Clinton, after all. I think they’ve formed a Kim style crazy echo chamber. And the media, of course, gets leaks from “sources close to the FBI/with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigation” (Rudy and a retired agent or two) and “FBI officials” (the handful of FBI guys that thought Clinton Cash was an investigative expose) and that seems to have been the smoke under the entire thing.

      It’s like a bad episode of West Wing.

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      • I read the Guardian article on this yesterday and TPM’s coverage.

        Law enforcement generally swings to the right politically. It seemed inevitable that some agents would fall prey the malady that sees liberalism and the Democratic Party as completely illegitimate and think it is their “patriotic duty” to undermine the chances of the Democratic Party.

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        • Pretty sure that, absent Rudy Guiliani, they’d be pretty much just grumbling.

          America’s Mayor/Republican Sex Symbol/Every-other-word-is-911 seems to be, as it were, instigating the affair.

          He’s been about the most relentlessly pro-Trump shill of the entire election, with just an incredible fanaticism. Having him pumping them for information, promising to get the media involved, promising to get the “higher ups” to take their scoops seriously?

          I’m pretty sure that grumbling turned to “Let’s talk to Rudy, he’s on our side” which Rudy cheerfully used — he IS a politician, after all, and not actually the shining beacon of American purity.

          I’m just…amused and horrified to find out that those scoops according to “Sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI” meant “Rudy Guiliani and whomever he had backing him up”. For MONTHS.

          Hand to god, the media’s love affair with anonymous sources has done more to damage them than anything else. Watergate’s not happening again. And anonymity shouldn’t be granted “just because”.

          “Clinton to be indicted, according to Rudy Giuliani” is not a story. “Clinton to be indicted, according to sources close to the FBI” is. And when the media knows that it’s the former but pretends it’s the latter?

          That ain’t journalism.

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          • Hand to god, the media’s love affair with anonymous sources has done more to damage them than anything else. Watergate’s not happening again. And anonymity shouldn’t be granted “just because”.

            What needs to happen is the media saying ‘If you are lying, we will out you’.

            That *used* to be how it works, or perhaps I just imagined it.

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          • morat20,
            Would you like me to post a list of the bylines that people use when they don’t feel like using their real names?
            Some of them have been favorably quoted on this website…
            Anonymity is a hilarious thing to bitch about.
            It’s like you think reporters actually write or research stories.
            In the main, they don’t. Not when other people will write them decent copy

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    • Yes yes, it’s SOOOO difficult to juggle two phones, one personal and one work. You look like an idiot. I see it ALL the time. Folks have two phones in front of them in the conference room.

      So
      Frickin
      What

      Our company FORBIDS work on non company assets. All company assets are encrypted./secured. If 100% of the gov’t contractors can do it, so can she. “The real Clinton email scandal is that a bullshit story has dominated the campaign” title of the linked article should be changed to “The real Clinton email scandal is that she can’t be bothered to, you know, use two phones” like “a huge number of DC denizens for many years. ” which like, you know, is still is the case. So the article boils down to “Colin Powell started it!” Yeah, good rationale.

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      • I dunno. My employer lets me use my own hardware, so long as I encrypt it and run some corporate “security policy” application on it, which checks on stuff to ensure I’m not doing anything super insecure.

        On the other hand, we literally wrote the operating system the phone uses, so that’s maybe different :)

        That said, I wouldn’t wanna carry around two phones. I certainly think our federal IT people can figure out how to secure a mainstream phone.

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      • Just because you think ‘Doesn’t want to juggle two phones’ is not a *good* reason does not mean it’s not *actually* the reason.

        People have dumb wants and desires all the time.

        As was pointed out in that very article, this wasn’t any sort of security risk because *classified information is not supposed to be exchanged over email anyway*.

        I.e., she’d be exactly as legally liable for any classified stuff if she *had* used the state department’s systems.

        Somehow, this fact doesn’t actually seems to make the ‘news’.

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        • DTC,

          Check this out.

          Hillary Clinton’s email problems began in her first days as secretary of state. She insisted on using her personal BlackBerry for all her email communications, but she wasn’t allowed to take the device into her seventh-floor suite of offices, a secure space known as Mahogany Row.

          For Clinton, this was frustrating.

          Her aides and senior officials pushed to find a way to enable her to use the device in the secure area. But their efforts unsettled the diplomatic security bureau, which was worried that foreign intelligence services could hack her BlackBerry and transform it into a listening device.

          “The issue here is one of personal comfort,” one of the participants in that meeting, Donald Reid, the department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, wrote afterward…

          Personal comfort.

          And what person who isn’t a complete monster would criticize a Secretary of State for desiring some personal comfort?

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      • My own guesstimation is closer to Wang than Silver, but I would only trust Wang’s prognostication in elections that are good for Democrats, which is to say that I don’t especially trust them. And generally, I believe his “isolate the states” philosophy is misguided (see my Blue Wall post). So I would vote against him as our official numbers guy.

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        • The problem as stated before by many is that these are all unfalsiable hypotheses. When Clinton wins, you can’t say that the person who said she had an 85% chance of winning is more right than the one who said she had a 51% chance – nor more right than someone who said she had a 15% chance of winning.

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          • Right. Especially when the expected margin of victory isn’t necessarily different. The people saying that there is only one possible outcome are also saying “That doesn’t mean it’s going to be lopsided” though.

            Which is a tenable position, but one that’s hard to grade.

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        • @burt-likko

          My stance on 538 is that they have always been an outlier this election and the most volatile of the polling aggregators.

          Now there is nothing wrong with being an outlier but it does demand a bit more prove your math in my opinion. Every other aggregator from the Times to PEC to Sabato to DK has Clinton’s probability of winning as much higher. Silver is a good 20-30 percentage points away from the rest.

          There are various theories why. I think he has been embarrassed during the primaries. Others accuse him of clickbait headlines like on how their can be an electoral college tie and the Evan guy can win.

          Even Harry Enten from 538 gave the site a wtf for not reflecting early voting which now seems to be surging for HRC and the Democratic Party among Latino voters in Nevada, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas.

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          • I don’t know that we have enough history with such widespread early voting to be able to plug into the formula. You don’t know how much of that is increased turnout, and how much is shifted voting. So I think a fair response is “We don’t feel comfortable including that in our formula, but like GOTV operations and the like it’s something we should keep in mind.”

            It’s also worth keeping in mind that while Silver is the biggest outlier, Wang and HuffPo differ pretty significantly from Upshot and the others (who won’t go further than “lean” or “likely”).

            If I were looking at the polling data and only the polling data, and ignored the intangibles, my guess would be somewhere in between Upshot and 538. The fact that I am more confident than that is attributable to the intangibles and is not really empirical. Statistically, this is a close race, and polling isn’t that infallible.

            I’ll nominate Nate Cohn, who has the outstanding wisdom to follow me on Twitter.

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          • There are various theories why. I think he has been embarrassed during the primaries.

            He was shockingly wrong during the GOP primary, which might’ve exposed a leak in his methodology which he’s compensating for in the general by overvaluing the Trump-effect. On the other hand, it could be that his [general election] analysis is perfectly fine even tho it leads to different odds-of-winning than other folks.

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            • From what I heard was that Nate Silver was actually right during the Republican Primary, his numbers indicated that Trump would get the nomination. He just didn’t want that to be the case so he ignored his own numbers and insisted on Rubio.

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              • Maybe I’m misremembering, but there was a time when Trump was leading in the polls by a wide margin and the writing on the wall was increasingly clear, but Silver still had Trump’s chance of winning at something like 12%.

                As for predicting that Trump would win … hell, at some point before the convention everybody predicted Trump would win (well, short of shenanigans on the floor). So he doesn’t get points for getting merely that right.

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  5. The Rolling Stone verdict is in:

    CHARLOTTESVILLE — A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape.

    The 10 member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication. The jury also found the magazine and its publisher responsible for defaming Eramo.

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    • Given the difficulties that rape victims face in the public spotlight, and given how many victims are themselves put on “trial by media”, it seems doubly important that the press handles these cases responsibly. Each bullshit story, each false accusation, each munged statistic, together all serve to weaken our already meager tools to counter rape.

      It seems that, in this case, the reporters demonstrably lied. Throw the fucking book at them.

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  6. M3 – I didn’t know you could write such a weak story about the dangers of cable news. I mean, the source material is everywhere, and it pretty much explains itself. But the Forbes guy had no idea what he was doing. Sean Hannity is no Dan Rather? Come on. The real lesson was that Dan Rather turned out to be Sean Hannity. Comedy Central is a good source of insight? That was false ten years ago when people believed it, and it’s no truer now. The media are supposed to make money? That’s been obvious since the 1400’s. I tell you, this guy only demonstrates the weakness of his own journalism.

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    • That’s rather clearly retroactively classified. You can tell by the date on the email versus the classification date.

      If the worst you have is that “Clinton should have realized that some agency of government would classify this data in the future” that’s pretty weak tea, since we know quite a bit of public domain knowledge is marked classified anyways.

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      • Oh yeah.

        Out of curiosity, can we tell the difference between an email that talks about information that was known to be classified at the time and an email that talks about information that merely hadn’t been classified yet?

        I know that we can say “oh, she’s talking about something that wasn’t even classified at the time!” as we look at that. But it also seems that we can say “they were talking about something that was, in fact, classified at the time”.

        I mean, let’s say that Hillary was talking about The UFOs and The Lizard People and forwarded that email to Chelsea.

        Would that email be retroactively classified and look identical to one that discussed things that were on the front page of the NYT that morning?

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        • I mean, if the answer is “yes, those two emails would look identical if we looked at the unclassified versions of them”, then pointing out that they were retroactively classified obscures more than it illuminates.

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          • All we know is the only marking on there is a classification stamp 6 years later.

            Time/date of previous classifications are unlikely to be redacted as part of a redaction.

            In any case: What’s the point of speculating? We know what the most classified information was in her emails, because the GOP investigation leaked just enough details (making it sound as bad as possible) and we found out later that it was discussion over a NYT story.

            We also know there were, what, 110 emails (54 chains) of information that was classified at the time. None of it marked properly (only three having any markings at all, most of it appearing to be either talking ‘around’ an issue or something like the NYT story). We know what the worst of it was, and it was probably the best example of classification stupidity you can imagine. (Let’s classify the discussion about a newspaper article, because the article contains classified information).

            For funsies: I work through government email. I still can’t access a news article with “Snowden” or “Wikileaks” in the URL.

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            • Do we know of other emails that were likely to have been deleted?

              Not what was in them, of course. (Though there are reports that they are nothing but yoga routines and baby shower invitations which would make it perfectly reasonable for them to have been deleted.)

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              • Sure. Her lawyers went through 60+ thousand, and only turned over the 33+ thousand that they considered ‘work’ emails. Using what the FBI was quite happy to say were perfectly valid criteria (automated keyword searches, etc. Nobody went through them by hand on Clinton’s side, nor were they expected to. They used best practice tools, perfectly legal and expected tools).

                The full, by-hand investigation recovered some others — archived in government computers, a few lurking in the not yet deleted areas, but found nothing suspicious there and admitted they were exactly the sort of loss you’d expect from the FIOA complaint process Clinton’s lawyers used.

                It seems, Jaybird, that you so badly want there to be something in Clinton’s emails that you’re reduced to speculation on top of speculation, ignoring the actual investigations and their results to try to find something, anything, upon which you can say “Clearly, we can never know how bad it was because Clinton did X, and that leaves too many questions to trust her”.

                Maybe, and I’m just spitballing — there never was anything there. That the worst thing in all of Clinton’s private servers and emails was….a discussion about a drone article in the NYT.

                Certainly that’s the worst dozens of FBI agents and millions of dollars of effort has found, backed by subpoenas and access to hardware and software.

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                • It seems, Jaybird, that you so badly want there to be something in Clinton’s emails that you’re reduced to speculation on top of speculation, ignoring the actual investigations and their results to try to find something, anything, upon which you can say “Clearly, we can never know how bad it was because Clinton did X, and that leaves too many questions to trust her”.

                  No, it’s that I am trying to look at this from a “how would a person only showing up now that the World Series is over look at all this stuff and what would this person think?” position and it seems to me that answers that rely more heavily on the veniality of the people asking the question than beginning with “Admittedly, I understand how this might look bad” strike me as a lot more likely to communicate guilt than innocence.

                  It’s true, there wasn’t a Very Very Bad Weiner email released like I suspected that there would have been…

                  Hey. Maybe Sam Wang is right. Hell, maybe he won’t even eat a bug.

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                  • Hey. Maybe Sam Wang is right.

                    As of this afternoon, he certainly looks to be righter than Nate Silver, at least for Colorado. Nate’s got Colorado as the fourth thinnest margin of states going for Clinton. And then you look at the ballot return tracking numbers. Compared to two years ago, when things came out pretty even — Republicans won the Senate seat, Democrats the governor’s office, each took one chamber at the statehouse — there are much larger increases in the number of voters registered as Democrats or unaffiliated showing up than the Republicans. Unless those added unaffiliated voters are breaking heavily for the Republican candidates, this is shaping up as… not a rout, maybe, but not close either.

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                    • I never know how to read early voting. Are they cannibalizing Election Day voters? Are they attracting people who have to work on Election Day and are now being counted when they couldn’t have been before?

                      And this is the first all mail-in presidential election! That means we can’t really compare it to other elections! Augh!

                      I can’t wait until the 9th.

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                      • I am disinclined in Colorado to talk about “early voting” the same way that phrase is used in most other states. More than 95% of votes cast in the election will be ballots mailed to registered voters. Using two years ago as the template, you can’t really talk about “election day” as a big thing — substantially more ballots were received on Monday before election day than on election day itself.

                        I’ve been reluctant to attach too much meaning to the numbers up to this point (although I’ve pointed them out). Now, 11 days into a 15-day process, I feel comfortable saying that the gross pattern of returns is consistent with 2014, with a Presidential year bump that looks like: +33% increase overall, +50% for registered Democrats, +40% for registered unaffiliated, +15% for registered Republicans, and some day-to-day noise.

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                    • With them? Yeah. Ask them about divorce, adultery, grabbing people they don’t know by their genitalia, that sort of thing.

                      Generally, they squirm and I’ve had one pro-Trump person tell me that as a husband and a father, he could not vote for Trump (even though, a few weeks before, he had given me the “a vote for Johnson is a vote for Clinton!” speech).

                      I’ve had others give me the “I’m not voting for a role model, I’m voting for an executive” speech.

                      And others give me the “Yeah, but a vote for a third party is a vote for Hillary and I’m not voting for Hillary!” speech.

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                      • I’ll also say that I don’t know anybody who is enthusiastic about Trump. Resigned, yes. Pleased to vote against another Clinton, yes. But enthusiastic when it comes to voting *FOR*? Not really.

                        Which is weird because I knew some people who were jacked to vote for McCain and jacked to vote for Romney.

                        They’re all turned down to a 3 for this election.

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                        • Eh, you have most of the highlights right there. These are arguments that take place in real life, with real friends and acquaintances. They aren’t particularly poetic in their speech, half of them don’t have college educations, and they have a much more blue collar world view than we find here.

                          They tend to see me as a godless liberal who is probably a closet Hillary Clinton voter who is only pretending to vote for Gary Johnson to give my godless liberality a socially acceptable veneer.

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                  • Look, I get the reasoning behind looking at things in this way, but ultimately I don’t think it’s particularly helpful or productive. our outlook, as educated political junkies that argue about this online, is so far removed from that of the average swing voter that we can’t help but let our priors bleed into what we imagine those people to be like and how they might think.

                    So it produces a conversation that illuminates little, but that also explicitly discounts the meaning of what is actually true relative to what might appear to a third party to be true. I can talk with some confidence about what the underlying merits of the various charges against HRC are. But what the average undecided, uninformed voter in Ohio thinks they are? I don’t know, you don’t know, none of us know. We’ve got what the polls tell us and basically nothing beyond that.

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                    • Well, I like to think that I talk to some of these people from time to time and see what their thought processes are as they try to convert me to their side (which is, of course, the correct one).

                      Transporting some of those thoughts here, the main thing I’m noticing is why someone who might vote for Trump would never talk about it here.

                      Which means that we’re starved for anything that opposes our preconceived notions.

                      Are we going to Pauline Kael ourselves? How would we even know?

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                      • Almost weekly at this point i’ve read long form journo pieces looking at Trump voters, who they are and what they believe. I have a few on my FB feed and see their letters to the editor. There are many many pieces written by his pro supporters on web. Trump voters aren’t some hidden mystery, we’re not talking Bigfoot here.

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                        • Light Word Substitution:

                          Almost weekly at this point i’ve read long form journo pieces looking at (group), who they are and what they believe. I have a few on my FB feed and see their letters to the editor. There are many many pieces written by (group members) on web. (Group) aren’t some hidden mystery, we’re not talking (hidden mystery) here.

                          What groups get you to nod sagely at that paragraph?
                          What groups get you to read that and have your jaw drop a little and say “wow, just wow, I mean wow”?

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                          • Huh? Trump voters are the special snowflakes of this election cycle. It’s been gone over repeatedly in many ways who they are and why they like him. A lot more time and effort has been spent on them then any other group. I’m actually in the middle of reading yet another long piece about the alt right Roland linked on the twitter feed. Not that the alt right completely equals trump voters but those are the two groups that have sucked up more pixels then any other

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                      • Oh, I talk to Trump voter types from time to time to. It’s certainly the case that some people will react to this news in the way you suggest. But those sorts of conversations are looking at something extremely big and complicated through tiny tiny straws. There’s truth there, but not enough to say anything really meaningful about what the aggregate result will be Tuesday. We’re all Pauline Kaels, this year and every year, which is why polls are more valuable than this kind of speculation about how people very different from us will react to news in the aggregate.

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                        • Surprisingly (to me), I’m unusually un-Kaelish this year. Just back in April or May, I was still in touch with my old workplace, full of ex-military and ex-law enforcement, many of whom hunt and/or target-shoot on weekends and some of whom have been telling tall tales about how they had been a SEAL back in the day that they now believe it themselves. White guys, older than me, and without advanced degrees.
                          And every man Jack of them was sincerely appalled by the thought of Trump in their party. Even the one or two who couldn’t stomach a Clinton vote in November was looking for a backup chute.
                          My new workplace has a lot more dudebros, and guys who worked their way up through the technical ranks (but without the structure of e.g. a military background) without all the book-learning. Lots of Snopes fodder at the water cooler. I don’t even bother to engage, they’re so deep into the Kool-Aid.
                          But I see with my own eyes for once how it’s possible to get to that place. For once I can’t say that “everyone I know” comes to the same conclusion. It’s eye-opening.
                          Not surprising, though – I’ve worked with too many Electrical Engineers who were YECs, which you’d think would be impossible, but the mental adjustment that is required is remarkably simple.

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          • “But it also seems that we can say “they were talking about something that was, in fact, classified at the time”.

            Since it doesn’t appear to have been classified at the time, then no, we can’t say that.

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            • This is where we split hairs about what “classified at the time” means.

              If the Lizard People get fed crickets every day at 5PM, that’s classified. Even if I don’t mark that information as “classified”.

              So if I write “hey, almost 5, gonna go feed the Lizard People some crickets!”, we can say “that doesn’t appear to have been classified at the time” when all we see is a blank field and someone saying “we classified this information according to the following rules”.

              And, indeed, that’s true for if the email said “ugh! you’ve gotta read the front page of the NYT today! They’re talking about stuff we don’t want them to! We need to have a conversation about this!”

              I suppose the good news is that we get to find out in January of 2025.

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        • Out of curiosity, can we tell the difference between an email that talks about information that was known to be classified at the time and an email that talks about information that merely hadn’t been classified yet?

          Classified information should be marked, and IIRC, Clinton was rather particular about getting her classified info on paper — not email.

          We could just ask the FBI, which found that out of 30k emails or so, they found 110 emails (54 chains) with classified information. One of those chains, the most classified, was State discussing how to handle the NYT story on the fact that the CIA was operating drones in Pakistan. (Kind of an important issue for our diplomats). Some were State classified — like her call schedule, which is classified during the day but unclassified at the end.

          They also found that only three had any markings, and not where they should have been (headers and footers). Given the sheer volume of classified data that flows through State, 110 emails total is about as proof positive you can get that she wasn’t using it for classified information. Leakage is, sadly, inevitable. (Which is what got my goat about Comey’s press conference. That’s…not actually a bad number for leakage, especially when it’s counting stuff like the drone stories).

          In short, the biggest “smoking gun” the GOP’s own heavily biased investigation could find was the NYT drone story.

          I think that, if the clear partisans with a major ax to grind, were forced to rely on State discussing how to spin a news story, that imagining worse possibilities is something of a waste of time.

          That was their load. Their best shot. The most super-classified, then and there, most objectionable email. State discussion a NYT story.

          I mean we can IMAGINE anything we want. With the information in front of us, which is the very limited amount of even the most mildly classified information on her system, and that the most damaging thing found was the drone discussion?

          Why should we bother?

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          • Classified information should be marked, and IIRC, Clinton was rather particular about getting her classified info on paper — not email.

            Yes. That’s what this argument is over.

            If the email happened to contain unmarked classified information and it was classified retroactively, would it *ALSO* look like this?

            (From what you’ve said, we know that it wasn’t her call schedule because that would not have been classified retroactively.)

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            • — Weren’t the specific terms that by Friday something would come out that made us say “But Trump….”

              This doesn’t do that.

              Concede with honor. Honor matters.

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            • Why does it matter? We know what the worst on there was, and if that’s troublesome to you I suggest massive panic and hysteria, because that’s actually pretty good for corporate and government work. (Seriously, 110 issues out of 30k emails from someone dealing with ALL the proprietary data from a large division? All of it low-level stuff like that? Security wouldn’t even ding you in the business world.)

              Actually, her call schedule was something that counted as “classified information”. Because it was sent via email BEFORE the end of the day, that counts as “classified at the time it was sent” and thus counts towards those 110 emails. (That it was declassified at some point later, even hours later, makes it no less classified at the time.)

              But sure. It’s possible under that redaction lies the nuclear launch codes, or the name of all our spies, or Obama’s secret recipe for chicken fajitas. It’d be kind of strange if the FBI or the 9,000 GOP investigations hadn’t found it though.

              So why speculate? What’s the point? It’s like you’re dying to find some way to imagine her as guilty, to the point where you’re ignoring the actual released information entirely, to try to get there.

              Yeah. It’s a big sheet of white paper that was redacted at least once, six years after it was sent. That’s the only marking on it. There could be ANYTHING under there. Anthony Weiner’s dick, for all I know.

              Except both the FBI and the GOP committees went over that with a fine-toothed comb, the latter using it as a bludgeon (and lying quite a bit). So, you know, assuming the GOP committee and their aides have the political acumen of at least third graders, whatever nefarious information is hiding under that redaction is….less of a problem than state talking about a NYT article.

              So while all the effort to imagine crimes? Ignoring the people who investigated the whole thing, saw the unredacted versions, and tried their best to use it as weapon? Why pretend that whatever’s under that troubling, troubling white space is…..worse than a NYT article on drones?

              Because we know what the worst thing in her email was. The GOP told us. So why not talk about THAT. That’s the worst case situation. Right there. That drone article. That was HRC’s email at their most negligent, most damaging.

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              • Because, I suspect, that these little 1000 cuts will, in fact, be enough to throw the election.

                The momentum out there seems to be all in only one direction and there’s one hell of a weird “let’s make them deny it!” story floating around now. 2012 Obama had states to spare and, more importantly, *POINTS* to spare. If you beat a guy in a state 52 to 48, he can gain on you over a crazy weekend.

                If you’re starting at 50.5, not quite so much wriggle room.

                I’m not confident that the arguments I’ve seen defending Clinton are sufficient.

                We’d better hope Sam Wang is right because, if he’s not, we’re going to be stuck here wondering how in the hell this happened and I’m deeply suspicious that democratic boosters won’t have any idea at all.

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                • Which has nothing to do with what’s in the emails.

                  That’s all perception. And perception which, we’ve found out, was generated by a handful of NY FBI agents relentlessly leaking to Rudy Guiliani.

                  All those articles, for over a year, about what was found, about how indictments would be coming down, from “sources close to/with intimate knowledge of the FBI” appear to be Rudy Guiliani. From “FBI officials familiar with the investigation” appears to be from a handful of NY field agents.

                  If she dies from the death of a thousand cuts, it appears to not be self-inflicted. Here, now, at the end of the line — we’re finding out it was coming from Rudy Guiliani and a handful of guys in the NY field office who thought “Clinton Cash” was a legit source (and, apparently, who were angry the DoJ yanked them off the Gardner case and assigned a DC unit to it).

                  That’s HRC’s great sin, her mistake that generated the 1000 cuts. Not being on Guilani’s good side. Being a Democrat.

                  And as we’ve learned over 25 years, it doesn’t matter what she does or doesn’t do. She’ll be investigated. Questions will be raised. Did she kill Vince Foster? (No). Was there some nefarious thing with the WH Christmas List (no). Benghazi (No). Whitewater (No). The Marc Rich pardon (No, they just leaked that no). Travelgate, whatever the fuck that was? No.

                  Tens of millions, fuck probably hundreds at this point, god knows how many thousands of hours of investigations by Congress, by independent prosecutors, by private investigators, by rich billionaires who hate Clinton, by a media that loves investigating Clinton, and the sole, single thing they EVER found was Clinton got a bj and then lied about it.

                  And it’s ironic that, despite coming out of ALL these investigations with no wrongdoing, that the takeaway is “An air of corruption”. The belief that clearly, nobody could be investigated that many times if it wasn’t their fault.

                  And right now, this year, we got to watch Rudy Guiliani, and a handful of FBI field agents (retired and current), keep a nothingburger alive for so long that you — smart, politically sophisticated, and educated — still can’t shake the belief that there had to be something there.

                  A perfect, single example. Clearly, she has to be guilty. We just haven’t found it yet.

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                  • Which has nothing to do with what’s in the emails.

                    The problem with the whole overclassification thing is that guilty looks identical to innocence when it comes to what’s in the emails.

                    An email from a mom to her daughter saying “I’m going to be here from 8 to 9, here from 10 to 11, here from 12 to 2, and here from 4 to 6 today but I’ll be calling you at 3!” (classified because, hey, it’s the SofS’s schedule) presents identically to the head of Team Clinton emailing (an aliased!) other member of Team Clinton about the feeding schedule of the lizard people.

                    Which, is not fair… but any perception problem it has does not lie only in the mind of the observer.

                    That’s all perception. And perception which, we’ve found out, was generated by a handful of NY FBI agents relentlessly leaking to Rudy Guiliani.

                    It seems to be more than a handful. (Wait, is The Guardian a tabloid too?)

                    The perception is the problem not only when it comes to the election but also for the next 4 (or 8, or 12, or whatever) years.

                    Something flipped this time. I don’t know what, but something is broken.

                    I’m hoping that, after the election, things can go back to the way they were and we can talk about the 2020 nominee Rand Paul being even worse than Trump, scarier, and even more of a misogynist and he’s calling for things that remind us of 1930’s Germany.

                    That would be nice.

                    But I think that something has broke.

                    And the defenses of the status quo candidate are…

                    Well, let’s hope Sam Wang is right.

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                    • — Something is indeed broken. In fact, I’m quite uncertain if the republic will survive. Furthermore, I’m not sure that I’ll survive, in the sense I’m genuinely terrified.

                      That said, you seem to be on the wrong side. The fight against irrationally is made with rational voices. Yours has become a voice that thrives in irrationally. You’ve internalized it. You spit it back in its boundless stupidity.

                      You’re broken. Fix yourself.

                      I will die speaking truth. Will you?

                      The “Clinton emails” are obvious nonsense. We all know this. Quit barking lies. It is an unseemly way to face doom.

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                      • Snort. Thanks, Rev.

                        That said, you seem to be on the wrong side. The fight against irrationally is made with rational voices. Yours has become a voice that thrives in irrationally. You’ve internalized it. You spit it back in its boundless stupidity.

                        I’ve merely noticed how “rationality” is somewhat… immaterial? I guess? When it comes to this sort of thing.

                        And noticing that we’re in a fight of “irrational BUT TEAM GOOD” vs. “irrational BUT TEAM EVIL” instead of something that rationality would work on or within.

                        I’m wondering if and how any of this will make sense to our descendants.

                        And wondering how much we’re misunderstanding our ancestors.

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                      • You should be terrified, for what it’s worth. You’ll be the first up against the wall if the time comes for that sort of thing (this is not a threat, simply stating facts).

                        Is it a problem if CLINTON doesn’t seem to recognize that the Clinton emails are obvious nonsense??

                        The fight against irrationality is the fight against propaganda and astroturf.

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                    • Except we had observers! People who read ALL the emails. Unredacted.

                      And the worst breach of classification that was mentioned, by people who wanted to harm Clinton with this issue as much as possible, was a discussion of a NYT drone story.

                      There is literally nothing worse there.

                      Yet you keep playing “What if, what if, we can’t judge”.

                      Yes we CAN. Congress saw them, they leaked them, we know the worst is State talking about how to spin a NYT article.

                      Are you comfortable voting for a woman that received (it seemed pretty strongly stated that she sent few, if any of the classified-at-the-time emails, which makes sense given her office and her work habits) such things and didn’t immediately hit the panic button?

                      Because I’m perfectly FINE with that. If that’s the worst classified information mistake Clinton made in office? Perfectly fine by me.

                      But I’m not going to sit here and say “There could be worse, we don’t know, because we can’t see”. Because while we can’t, our Representatives did. And they, the ones eager to hit Clinton with any hammer real or imagined, had nothing worse than that.

                      So I don’t know what you’re seeking. I don’t know why you want it. I do know it’s strangely irrational, because you have no reason to believe there’s worse there, ever piece of evidence says “this is it, the nadir of Clinton’s email, the worst mistake she made” and you ignore it, trying to find some doubt, some room to literally invent out of thin air something worse.

                      So you can hold your hands up and say “I’m sorry, I’m just not sure“.

                      You’re not a man seeing smoke and insisting there must be fire. You’re a man who, after the smoke has been cleared away and the firefighters sent grumbling away with no fun fires to fight, keeps insisting there has to be more smoke somewhere, hiding where no one can see it.

                      Invisible. Unnoticeable. Because there once was smoke, so there must be more smoke, and somewhere, somehow there’s gonna be a fire.

                      Even after the police find a bunch of vandals with a smoke machine you keep trying to invent smoke so you can claim you’re worried about fire.

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                      • Well, we’ll see what happens on the 8th. If Hillary gets elected, I am confident that we will see the FBI go through a cleaning of some sort.

                        Surely to everyone’s benefit.

                        If Trump gets elected, I am confident that something will surface that will get people to say “oooooh, jeez! No wonder!”

                        Surely to only a handful of peoples’ benefit.

                        As for how much smoke there is, I honestly don’t know.

                        I’ve read a handful of reports that said that there was “SAP” found in the emails (and I didn’t even know what SAP was until this year). I talked to a handful of folks who knew what SAP was and they gave me an earful about what would have happened to them if they talked about SAP in an email.

                        Of course, they’ve got favorites in this election too.

                        So I’m stuck wondering how much the biases of the people telling me things are influencing what I ought to know by now.

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                        • One person told me something to the effect of this:

                          “Secret shows up in the newspaper all the time. Mostly because there is unclassified stuff that, if you get enough of it in one place, becomes secret. You know, this isn’t secret and that isn’t secret, but this *AND* that is secret. Top Secret shows up very occasionally, but you have to dig for it. Pravda and Haaretz. SAP doesn’t just magically appear out there. Neither would someone just happen to put SAP in an email. That had to be deliberate.”

                          I don’t know who to believe.

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                          • Secret is “names and addresses you aren’t supposed to Need to Know.” Secret is a classification that nearly everyone has (I’ve known secretaries that had it. I didn’t have it, but I was just a freakin’ intern).

                            Top Secret is “things colonels need to know, but captains don’t.”
                            It’s a midlevel classification.

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                  • Are we STILL talking about the rich billionaire whose Eulogy was given by BiLL Clinton?

                    … Really?

                    … Because, he’s about the only rich dude I know of that counted as a real libertarian. (No, the Kochs don’t count as libertarians. Don’t be ridiculous).

                    And, seriously, The rightwing hates Obama more than they hate Clinton. So these lines woulda played a lot better in 2008 than they do now. Obama got through an entire eight years, practically smelling like sunshine. In comparison, Clinton’s dirty as all fuck (and if you think this is odd for washington, then you don’t know Washington. At least she doesn’t like being smeared with babyshit.)

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                • we’re going to be stuck here wondering how in the hell this happened and I’m deeply suspicious that democratic boosters won’t have any idea at all.

                  This democratic booster has a pretty good idea of how this is happening, and its right here in this subthread.

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    • And someone has been bugging the DNC.

      From the link:

      In September, according to these sources, the DNC hired a firm to conduct an electronic sweep of its offices. After Russian hackers had penetrated its email system and those of other Democratic targets, DNC officials believed it was prudent to scrutinize their offices. This examination found nothing unusual.

      And

      The second sweep, according to the Democratic officials, found a radio signal near the chairman’s office that indicated there might be a listening device outside the office. “We were told that this was something that could pick up calls from cellphones,” a DNC official says. “The guys who did the sweep said it was a strong indication.” No device was recovered. No possible culprits were identified.

      A smoking gun.

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      • I liked it better when dirty tricks against the DNC were artisanal and locally sourced. I mean, back in the day, you actually knew the guys that were breaking into headquarters. Now, those jobs are all outsourced overseas. What ever happened to Made In America?

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        • What ever happened to Made In America?

          Part of Trump’s plan to Make America Great Again requires outsourcing certain important services to foreign countries based on the principle of comparative advantage.

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    • Chip,
      Nah, it’s not russia thats influencing the American elections. Not nearly as much as American hackers, who are smarter, quicker, and have a lot more to gain from propping up wikileaks.

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  7. One of TPTB ought to be organizing a pool for Tuesday (or beyond). When will the first major news outlet call the election, and for whom? I’ll take 11:17 PM EST on Tuesday the 8th, for Clinton (they’ll call California with 0% reporting several minutes after the polls close and that will put her over the top).

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      • I think you mean Wednesday, 4:31 PM EST, 2025.

        Because if Birther/Benghazi is any yardstick, thats when the final appeal by of the 2016 election by Orly Taitz and Steve Bannon will be rejected.

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        • Yes. You’re right. Trump is already appealing an Ohio judge’s ruling prohibiting his campaign from intimidating Democratic voters, and if that restraining order isn’t lifted he’ll absolutely sue someone, sue everyone!, on the grounds that not allowing voter intimidation resulted in a rigged election.

          Ahh! Just think of the myriad lawsuits we have to look forward to!

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      • Probably because I’m one or more of optimistic, parochial, and naive, but I expect that no matter who wins, folks in my state will get up, take the kids to school, go to work, and generally just get on with their lives. I’d be surprised as hell if there were violent civil unrest.

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          • There are two cases:

            Clinton is elected, and the white working class, believing that the election has been stolen, riots. Their concerns have to be taken seriously if we want to continue to have a society based on high trust and collaboration.

            Trump is elected, and minorities, believing that the election has been stolen, riot. We need to support the police in whatever action is necessary to restore order, if we want to continue to have a society based on high trust and collaboration.

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            • I fear both scenarios, but the first more than the second. Or, maybe a third scenario, kind of like the second you mention. People try to peaceably protest the result and the police adopt hyper aggressive measures against the protesters and then call it a riot.

              I wonder if this is how it felt in 1968, 1933, or 1896.

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              • I wonder if this is how it felt in 1968

                I was only 8, but remember it.
                I had a couple of older brothers who were 17 and 18 year old hippies, a sister 21, and how they used to argue with my parents, the Establishment squares.
                I remember hearing the hippies who would crash at our house actually say stuff like “Off the Pigs” unironically, and loosely talk about revolution.

                When my dad’s friends spoke about atom bombing the Vietcong it wasn’t a metaphor, and when they heard Reagan say “if it takes a bloodbath [to quell campus protests] then lets get it over with” they nodded in agreement.
                There really was a murderous rage going on.

                I remember how the newspapers were filled with piictures of Vietnam, of college riots, the way adults would mention the “inner city” (code word for Watts, aka, where black folks were rioting) and the assassinations of MLK and RFK.

                Being a precocious bookworm, I held a mock election in my 4th grade class and Nixon won, just narrowly edging out Wallace. The third guy running no one knew much about.

                We laugh today about the crazy uncle who is voting for Trump, but back then it wasn’t uncommon to see families really torn apart, I mean like parents disowning their kids who ran away to Haight-Ashbury.

                We don’t really have much appreciation for how the hippies and campus protest rattled Middle America.

                The kids burning draft cards and flags weren’t Those People, from the wrong side of the tracks, these were the best and brightest, the cream of American New Frontier society who were expected to inherit the fruits of the post war prosperity.

                It really was worse than today. It took about a decade to heal.

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                • When I quote-dropped “Off The Pigs” to my college roommate (c. 1985), he was confused and responded “I’m not on a pig”.
                  I guess even then someone with real vision could have seen the differential experience between urban and non coming to true fruition a few decades down the line.

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            • Nah. Any rioting, destruction of private property, or significant demonstration of physical force is worthy of denunciation.

              I’m not especially worried about it in either direction. There may be an incident here and there, but I think most fears are overblown (as I thought in 2008).

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  8. We probably want to hammer down early how we feel about faithless electors.

    Are they bravely standing up to do what is right?
    Are they betraying their constituencies to the point of it being nigh-treasonous?

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    • I’d need to know more about what they agreed to and all that.

      If they signed something that said, “I’ll go to Washington and cast a vote for President,” and it is simply generally understood that they’d do it for whomever won the state’s election, that is very different than if they signed something that said, “I pledge to vote for the candidate who won our state.”

      In either case, absent extreme circumstances*, I’d probably rather the person resign from the role than cast a vote against state voter preferences.

      * I don’t think I’d consider Trump extreme enough to justify this. Extreme would be something like we learn that the person isn’t who they say they are (i.e., fraud) or celebrates election night by murdering a bunch of people or something.

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      • I’d like to know that too. My civics-class recollection is that the distribution of electors is by votes for the respective candidates, but at that point it’s a free-for-all. That when the Electoral College was envisioned the idea wasn’t that the people were voting for a candidate (Cult of Personality!) or even a party, but for a cool head who would go to the confab and do what was right. And that we still embrace the same formalisms, although there is no formal enforcement mechanism.
        So in that sense “faithless electors” aren’t a bug, but in a weird way a feature.

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        • So in that sense “faithless electors” aren’t a bug, but in a weird way a feature.

          I agree. I’d also say that if we’re going to have electors, we shouldn’t require them to vote for any specific person. In other words, laws that require them to do so are in my opinion unwise. I also think they’re unconstitutional.

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          • I’d also say that if we’re going to have electors, we shouldn’t require them to vote for any specific person. In other words, laws that require them to do so are in my opinion unwise. I also think they’re unconstitutional.

            Fighting against history here. Majority practice has run from appointed by the legislature to elected by district to elected by state-wide slate. The Supreme Court has upheld pretty much any restriction on elector action that states have put in place. Reminiscent of the run-up to the 17th Amendment, where the Senate voted to submit the amendment to the states only after a majority had imposed some sort of requirement on their legislatures to be bound by the results of a popular vote (and were within a handful of enough to call a Constitutional Convention).

            For better or worse, it’s the era of the common man.

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            • I’m afraid you’re right (and I hadn’t seen your comment below that identified legal precedent….which I hadn’t known about). In my heart of hearts, I’d say an elector, whether appointed by legislatures or elected, should still be permitted to vote their conscience. But I’m think you’re right on the trend.

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      • Electors are creatures of the individual states and can be regulated by the states — Ray v. Blair (1952) — so the answer varies a lot from state to state. Just how far states may go in requiring how Electors vote is still somewhat of an open question (see the arguments for and against the constitutionality of the National Popular Vote proposal, for example).

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  9. I haven’t seen any of the usual paranoid fantasies about how the incumbent is going to circumvent the Constitution to stay in power, I’m guessing that’s because it would actually be better than the alternatives.

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    • On the one hand, I don’t find the ad as described by Slate (I didn’t actually watch it) to be necessarily antisemitic or different from claptrap about “economic royalists” or Elizabethwarrenesque Wall-Street-baiting.

      On the other hand, this is Donald Trump, and he’s long ago lost whatever benefit of the doubt I might have given him. He’s done enough to appeal to white nationalists and antisemites–and to encourage violence–that I have a hard time reading those statements any other way.

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      • On the one hand, I don’t find the ad as described by Slate (I didn’t actually watch it) to be necessarily antisemitic

        Me either, and I did watch it. Amongst conservatives, Soros is widely regarded as an uber-wealthy partisan who buys elections; Blankfein is widely identified as the face of everything wrong with Wall Street; and Yellen, who isn’t widely known personally, is head of the widely reviled Federal Reserve. If there’s anti-semitism in play, it’s playing to an incredibly narrow constituency, seems to me. For example, until I read Josh Marshall excoriate the ad as blatantly anti-Semitic (which made me watch it) even some like myself, for example, who actually knows who Yellen is, did not know she was Jewish.

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        • I don’t see that either. It’s playing to a populist and frankly, ignorant audience that thinks it’s the victim of specific miscreants rather than understanding that it’s collateral damage from the workings of the invisible hand. Some of that audience is anti-semitic, but this ad plays to more general resentments.

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      • Two things strike me as worthy of comment about Comey’s actions here.

        1. That his initial letter in fact influenced the election while his correction likely won’t (how many people who care about Clinton’s emails are gonna be aware of this new info before they vote – assuming they haven’t already)?

        2. Someone should do a cost analysis on how many UStaxpayerDollars have gone into the Clinton email scandal without any evidence of a) a crime being committed or b) that national security was compromised by her email habits, since both Congress’ trolling and now the Fedrul BI’s involvement seem like it’s a pretty hefty price tag for a what most of us (on all sides of the aisle) have known for a long time: that it’s a fishing expedition.

        Which isn’t to say that Clinton is clean here. Just that the normal “formal investigation” criteria (“we’ve found evidence of wrong-doing and so we’re investigating this matter more thoroughly”) have been reversed. There was never any evidence that she did anything legally wrong. (Which, ironically, is perhaps an argument in favor of Trump’s anti-Establishmentarianism.)

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    • Entirely unsurprising. Always going to be a NothingBurger with fries. We’re onto to Spirit Cooking now. Need a scorecard to keep the sleazy October Surprises straight these days.

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      • In my lifetime we’ve had some pretty clean politicians run for President, greg. Reagan, Obama, Romney, McCain (except for that black kid he’s parent of…)…

        Clinton ain’t clean. Bill either. Trump way less so, seems to me. That dude is obviously and inarguably slimey. But that doesn’t mean Hillary is clean. When offered the questions in advance of a nationally televised debate, well, she accepted. That’s pretty slimey too, don’t you think?*

        Which isn’t to equate “I moved on her like a bitch” with “yes, yes I will accept your offer to allow me to cheat in a national debate”.

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        • Is Hillz clean? Well she is always on the ethical line. That is a stupid move for someone who is so under a micro scope. The debate question deal is sleazy, no argument there. The private server was stupid but not illegal or nearly as bad as her opponents (leaving the epic hypocrisy of many of them aside) have made out. Nevertheless the new comey letter deal was corrupt and an attempt to affect the election by at least some of the parties involved. I never doubted nothing would be found. That doesn’t mean she is clean but she isn’t the cartoon her haters would make her out to be. Her real flaws are enough. She is no moral paragon.

          Reagan was clean until he was prez. Then things changed, that is for sure.

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