Morning Ed: Politics {2016.07.19.T}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Dark Matter
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    says:

    I thought David Boaz summed it up rather well, meaning Trump would be worse… although to be fair I don’t think Trump actually believes half of what he says, but it is what he’s running on.

    Hillary is openly corrupt and totally without morals or ethics, so it’s easy to picture her making deals with a GOP Congress.

    Further, Hillary getting herself arrested while President wouldn’t be all that bad, but the last time we saw a truly awful GOP President the result was a Dem supermajority.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dark Matter
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      says:

      Hillary is openly corrupt and totally without morals or ethic

      Also, Obama is a secret Muslim.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        secret?Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        Dark Matter: Hillary is openly corrupt and totally without morals or ethic
        Mike Schilling: Also, Obama is a secret Muslim..

        By all means, if it’s easy and obvious, please explain the hundreds of millions of dollars that she’s acquired (Billions if we count what has gone through the Clinton Foundation and we should). My assumption is that she’s worth the money… but what is it that she’s does, and for whom?

        And while you’re at it, please explain her vast abilities (even as a total raw beginner) with Cattle Futures which was roughly equiv to consistently winning the lottery.

        Odds of what she did: 1 : 31 Trillion (this is at *best* and gives her the benefit of the doubt, link)
        Odds of winning Powerball: 1 : 180 Million (Source: Google, included for perspective);

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Rodham_cattle_futures_controversy

        My expectation is “The Clinton Foundation” is just the modern update of “Cattle”. As corrupt and dishonest as she is, imho she’d make a better President than Donald. But IMHO it’s a problem when politicians “mysteriously” acquire large amounts of money.

        It’s a much larger problem when the press and their supporters turn a blind eye to this sort of thing.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Dark Matter
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          says:

          Corrupt, sure. Totally without morals or ethic? Who do you think she is, Murray Rothbard?Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Schilling
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            says:

            God, I love the smell of conspiracy theories in the morning. I also love someone trying to pretend you can calculate the odds of futures trading retroactively. That’s fun. Trillions to one that you’d make 60 grand trading futures while heavily leveraged. Someone should tell the futures market it shouldn’t exist.

            The conspiracy theory mongering about the Clinton Foundation is particular telling, though. From neutral sources, it’s a bog-standard charitable foundation. The only thing even vaguely different about it is it’s not a pass-through charity — they don’t collect funds and then give them to other charities, but do the bulk of the charitable work “in-house”.

            I particularly like the sneering implications it’s some sort of bribery machine, because clearly charities are never audited, don’t have to report their spending, and can be used as a personal piggy bank by the Clinton’s without the board even knowing or the spending being tracked. Because unlike every other charity in the United States, the IRS and various watchdogs are totally unaware the CF even exists.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              Oh yeah the conspiracies are ferociously stupid. Like if they wanted to take 100’s of millions in bribes they would put it on the books. Like secret swiss bank accounts don’t exist just for the purposes of hiding bribe money. But no, apparently they would take the money and put it somewhere that has to be disclosed and everyone would find out about.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              Heh, you can try to outsnark the snark of the CF… but that one really is a hill Hillary could die on. I’d decamp and look for a better battlefield.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                Sure. Like Travelgate, Whitewater, Benghazi, Emailgate…..they’re so corrupt, yet at this point tens of millions of dollars (at least) and tens of thousands of hours of investigation by people wielding all the power of the government have turned up jack squat.

                When do you stop believing the boy screaming wolf?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                I don’t think that story teaches what you think it does.

                In the end, the wolf eats all the sheep.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                I’m pretty sure you’re aware of my point.

                How about “When you gonna stop kicking at that football, Charlie?”

                That more clear?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Much better.

                More seriously, I’m not one pathologically invested in trying to kick the Clintons into jail. I think you can make perfectly rational political arguments against many of the things you cite. For example.

                Benghazi illustrates that we really didn’t understand the situation in Libya before we decided to intervene; further, air power interventions give us a false sense of accomplishment when nothing meaningful can be achieved without boots on the ground; did Libya merit boots on the ground? We won’t know because the Clinton school of foreign policy has a misplaced trust in kinetic military action divorced from sound objectives and a way to meet them.

                There. She doesn’t need to go to jail and the death of the ambassador isn’t her fault (directly); but for some, this is a reasonable strike against her claim that we should trust her to run America’s foreign policy. Some might argue otherwise.

                On matters like the Clinton Foundation and her email; the issue is that the Clintons are first and foremost peddlers of influence. That’s fine, lots of people trade in influence. What’s less clear is whether they are influential because they have secured high offices, or whether they secure high offices so that they might be influential. Perhaps there’s not a distinction; I think there is. If you are an office seeker who peddles influence, then yes, an audited foundation with a board of directors is *exactly* the way you sell your influence so that you don’t go to jail.

                There. In the game of politics, this is sufficient to illustrate a pattern of behavior that some voters will decide that these are not the sorts of people we want in charge… some like @mike-schilling will shrug and say, eh… corruption in politics? Who knew? And carry on to vote for another Clinton… what I don’t fully understand is why some feel the need to try to put them in jail or why some feel that nothing they have ever done could be considered less than perfectly honorable.

                So yes, those who keep trying to kick the football will continue to be made the fool.

                As for me, I just think Lucy’s a terrible person.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              morat20,
              Your senator ain’t from saudi arabia (and if you don’t get that fucking joke, get out of the building before your lily(pansy?) ass wilts from the heat of the kitchen).
              Hillary loses this election, she’s dead.

              From forensic accountants, I hear that the Clinton Foundation has some transparent issues with bribery by foreign officials, quid pro quo. “Here have money” “Can we haz Tanks?” “ya, sure” Because, um, State Department.

              You might have seen similar on House of Cards — where the fuck do you think they got their background research for it from, anyway?Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              When all is said and done, Chelsea will probably inherit more money than the combined Trump offspring.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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                says:

                Sure, not because of the Clinton Foundation. Through all the income they’ve gained from speeches, books, and the like. Turns out being an ex-President or any top-level politician is pretty lucrative after.

                greginak’s correct — the idiocy CT about the Clinton Foundation requires someone to believe that they’d take bribes in a charitable foundation with a board of directors, heavy auditing by the IRC and watchdogs, rigorous reporting requirements instead of in a bank in the Grand Caymans or something.

                It’s not just baseless conspiracy theories — it’s stupid baseless conspiracy theories.

                And even if you accept that the Clinton’s are taking bribes, but are so stupid they’re taking in the form of donations to a charity rather than to a secret bank account, how does the bribery actually work? How are they supposed to get the money out, all these millions or hundreds of millions? I mean do the people wearing tin-foil on this even know how charities work?

                Even the real grifters on the charity front (which is why charity watchdogs exist, and the CF has a solid rating BTW), have to do it through vendor contracts, excessive salaries, and “fundraising” that somehow eats up more than it raises. All of which is, sadly, rigorously documentable and easily discovered — they’re forced to rely on obscurity and people not actually checking whether Charity X actually uses the charity money.

                The Clinton’s are, if nothing else, unable to rely on that sort of obscurity.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                @morat20
                And even if you accept that the Clinton’s are taking bribes, but are so stupid they’re taking in the form of donations to a charity rather than to a secret bank account, how does the bribery actually work? How are they supposed to get the money out, all these millions or hundreds of millions? I mean do the people wearing tin-foil on this even know how charities work?

                And do people know how *bribery* even works? The Clintons didn’t even *need* secret bank accounts for some of that.

                Hillary Clinton is a *private citizen*. She hasn’t held a public office in several years.

                So is Bill.

                If someone wants to ‘bribe’ them, they literally can *just give them money*. Like, just give them a huge pile of cash, right out in the open. That is not illegal! (I mean, it might be *now*, under FEC rules, but I think that only applies if it gets used for her campaign. Regardless, it wasn’t illegal when she wasn’t a candidate.)

                I mean, technically, that has to be declared to the IRS, so it would end up on her tax returns, but she doesn’t have to say who it’s from, she doesn’t have to release her taxes anyway (Candidates have to state what *assets* they own that make money, not anything else.), and presumable this hypothetical ‘Clinton Foundation’ bribery is including some sort of tax fraud *already* or it would already be on her taxes, so why not just do the tax fraud, but do the *rest* legally instead of funneling it though an a huge charity that is exactly the sort of thing people pay attention to?

                Believe it or not, ‘Oh, damn, I didn’t declare $500,000 in cash I was *legally given* as a gift last year as income’, while it is a crime, is nowhere near the crime of ‘I stole $500,000 from a charitable organization and operated a criminal conspiracy to manipulate the books to hide that, and falsely filed for non-profit status under the penalty of perjury…oh, *and* I incidentally didn’t declare that $500,000 on my taxes also.’!

                Especially when she can avoid that tax return exposure by just having the money given, again *entirely legally*, to, for example, her daughter.

                tl;dr – If someone wanted to bribe Hillary Clinton from 2013-2015, the correct way to do it would be to say ‘I am giving this *entirely legal* giant bag of money to you, Hillary Clinton, because I want you to like me.’, and she would say ‘No, please, give that *entirely legal* giant bag of money to my daughter instead, I don’t want it showing up on my released tax returns when I run for president.’.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                tl;dr – If someone wanted to bribe Hillary Clinton from 2013-2015, the correct way to do it would be to say ‘I am giving this *entirely legal* giant bag of money to you, Hillary Clinton, because I want you to like me.’, and she would say ‘No, please, give that *entirely legal* giant bag of money to my daughter instead, I don’t want it showing up on my released tax returns when I run for president.’.

                That would be the daughter who has a net worth of $15 million dollars (google)? The Clinton Foundation reportedly pays her *nothing*, NBC paid her $600k/year during her less than 3 years there.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Um, yes, that daughter. I have no idea why you’d be confused about that, it’s not like Hillary Clinton has multiple daughters running around.

                The Clinton Foundation doesn’t ‘reportedly’ pay her nothing, it *does* pay her nothing. There’s no ‘reportedly’ around it. The Clinton Foundation is not the mafia. Their books, like the books of all non-profits, are fairly open, and because of who they are, their books have been looked at by some pretty expert people trying to find problems in them.

                Especially since Chelsea Clinton is on the board of directors of the Clinton Foundation. Non-profits are required, by law, to publish the salaries of the top X earners (I think it’s 10?), the salaries of all executives and ‘key employees’, and the salaries of *all board members*.

                So they have published her salary. It is $0. (Which is, I believe, actually required by law for mere board members of a non-profit. If they wanted to give her a salary, they’d have to give her some *additional* position beside ‘board member. You can’t be paid for just being on the board of a non-profit, which is part of the point of making them publish the salary of board members.)

                https://www.clintonfoundation.org/sites/default/files/clinton_foundation_report_public_2014.pdf
                It’s page 7 of the actual government form, which starts after 22 pages of a random letter. Chelsea is actually the vice chair, or was in 2014, I did not know that. (If you’re wondering why the chair of the board is paid, it’s because he’s also CEO.)

                Please note that if you want to assert the Clinton Foundation is operating *criminally* by *lying* on their legal documents, you’re going to need some actual evidence.

                And I have no idea why you think pointing out that Chelsea Clinton has a lot of money disproves my “People could just hand her money entirely legally if they wanted to ‘bribe’ Hillary Clinton because Hillary, being a private citizen, is not currently subject to any laws about ‘bribery’, and thus any conspiracy about her using the CF for ‘bribes’ is idiotic” point. If anything, her having a lot of money would help her hide additional sources of income she doesn’t want to be in the public eye!

                So this is basically a conspiracy theory about how people have secretly tunneled under the town to visit the public library instead of, uh, using the front door.

                If Blackwater (To pick a random entity that’s supposedly part of this conspiracy) wants to give the Clintons a huge ‘bribe’, they literally could just write a check to Chelsea for no reason, and as long as Chelsea puts it on her income taxes (And neither you nor I have ever seen *her* income taxes), everything about that process is entirely legal. (In fact, it let them not worry about the FEC stuff that they might have to with giving money direct to Hillary.) Because, again, no such thing as bribing private citizens.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                Oh, and if you want to assert that the Clinton Foundation is not actually that good of a charity, and mostly seems to exist to give friends of the Clintons pointless jobs, feel free to do that. The actual charity watchdog groups (As in, the ones that rate large charities for a living, not random writers that like to misread their financial reports and then ‘compare’ them to other charities) seem to disagree, and give the CF a pretty high rating, but whatever.

                I’m saying that using it to get money to the *Clintons* is not something that can be happening. (If that was the plan, putting them on the board was really stupid.) Or something that *needs* to be happening, considering they are private citizens and can be just handed wads of cash.

                I’m also saying that the CF is not actually being operated in a *criminal* manner, which is what would be required for the Clintons to make any money off it.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              Morat20:
              God, I love the smell of conspiracy theories in the morning. I also love someone trying to pretend you can calculate the odds of futures trading retroactively. That’s fun. Trillions to one that you’d make 60 grand trading futures while heavily leveraged. Someone should tell the futures market it shouldn’t exist.

              “Highly leveraged”, would make sense if she had just a few trades and made a lot on them, but that’s not what happened. She showed that she can consistently beat the market, and not only that, time the market. Note “highly leveraged” also isn’t normally isn’t allowed for people who don’t have adequate depth, if her $1000 “investment” had turned into a $100k loss then that would have been a problem for her broker. Except this very obviously wasn’t a normal situation or relationship.

              Hillary Rodham Clinton was allowed to order 10 cattle futures contracts, normally a $12,000 investment, in her first commodity trade in 1978 although she had only $1,000 in her account at the time, according to trade records the White House released yesterday.

              The computerized records of her trades, which the White House obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, show for the first time how she was able to turn her initial investment into $6,300 overnight.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/whitewater/stories/wwtr940527.htm

              Her trades don’t make any sense. She claims she studied the market a great deal, but her trades (betting short) in a rising market. That’s nuts.

              Financial writer Edward Chancellor noted in 1999 that Clinton made her money by betting “on the short side at a time when cattle prices doubled.”

              These results are quite remarkable. Two-thirds of her trades showed a profit by the end of the day she made them and 80 percent were ultimately profitable. Many of her trades took place at or near the best prices of the day. Only four explanations can account for these remarkable results. Blair may have been an exceptionally good trader. Hillary Clinton may have been exceptionally lucky. Blair may have been front-running other orders. Or Blair may have arranged to have a broker fraudulently assign trades to benefit Clinton’s account.[17]

              “At or near the best prices of the day” means she’s simply being given the best trades after the fact. Her broker made a ton of trades, she got the best.

              Morat20:
              The conspiracy theory mongering about the Clinton Foundation is particular telling, though. From neutral sources, it’s a bog-standard charitable foundation. The only thing even vaguely different about it is it’s not a pass-through charity — they don’t collect funds and then give them to other charities, but do the bulk of the charitable work “in-house”.

              I particularly like the sneering implications it’s some sort of bribery machine, because clearly charities are never audited, don’t have to report their spending, and can be used as a personal piggy bank by the Clinton’s without the board even knowing or the spending being tracked. Because unlike every other charity in the United States, the IRS and various watchdogs are totally unaware the CF even exists.

              The list of people giving money to CF is very strange, Blackwater (the merc group), the Saudis, and so on (so, yes, it includes people Hillary deals with professionally as SoS).
              The Structure of CF is very strange.
              When she was Secretary of State, Hillary was getting 700 emails a month from CF (this may explain why she was so adamant that she needed a private server).

              The IRS (etc) have to deal with their various publicly filed documents (I put their 2013 tax returns at the bottom to show the level of detail), and yes, they don’t have entries for “bribes and kickbacks”.

              However these sorts of financial oddities and conflicts of interests seem to follow the Clintons around, and yes, they don’t normally rise to the level where they can be arrested (the Statue of Limitations had elapsed for the Cattle thing before The NYT went with it).

              But notice that the “appearance of impropriety” isn’t even an issue (the Sec of State collecting money for her charity from people she’s dealing with as Sec State stinks to high heaven), the issue is whether or not they can be arrested, and the answer is clearly ‘no’.

              They seem willing to go right up to the edge of what’s provable, as opposed to what’s legal, much less what looks bad.

              https://www.clintonfoundation.org/sites/default/files/clinton_foundation_report_public_11-19-14.pdfReport

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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                These results are quite remarkable. Two-thirds of her trades showed a profit by the end of the day she made them and 80 percent were ultimately profitable.

                Wow, that is weird! Wait, no it’s not.

                Half of all trades ‘show a profit’ on the end of the day they’re made, by definition. (Minus the ones that end up exactly even, I guess.)

                Saying ‘two-third made a profit’ is saying she did 16% better than random chance!

                And by ‘her’, we actually mean ‘The very experienced broker that was advising her’.

                Likewise, you can’t talk about 80% are ‘ultimately profitable’ when your entire premise is that she was being assigned the best trades of the day? How does them *ultimately* being profitable have to do with anything?

                Incidentally, on average, pretty much *all* investment is ‘ultimately profitable’, because markets generally go up, barring some sort of crash. I just own index funds, but literally *100%* of them have been ‘ultimately profitable’ if I were to choose to exit the market right now.

                And as the very article you linked to says, ‘While Clinton’s account was wildly successful to an outsider, it was small compared to what others were making in the cattle futures market in the 1978-79 period.’

                Incidentally, fun fact: You keep saying Clinton made money shorting the market…but there is not any evidence of that in anything you have linked to that I have seen.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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                DavidTC:
                These results are quite remarkable. Two-thirds of her trades showed a profit by the end of the day she made them and 80 percent were ultimately profitable.
                Wow, that is weird! Wait, no it’s not.
                Half of all trades ‘show a profit’ on the end of the day they’re made, by definition. (Minus the ones that end up exactly even, I guess.)
                Saying ‘two-third made a profit’ is saying she did 16% better than random chance!

                You’re ignoring transaction costs (beginners’ mistake).
                Every trade is a loss the moment you make it.

                Further subtract losers from winners to get a feel for this. 50%-50% would be zero, a 55%/45% split would be 10% (and very, very good). Warren Buffet’s return is 17% (yes, I know I’m assuming all trades are equal which clearly isn’t true).

                Hillary’s is 60% (80%-20%). That’s Jesus-walking-on-water. I’ve done things like this professionally and her numbers are way beyond crazy great, and there’s multiple other eye-watering details.

                When this story first broke there was a big deal about her 6.5x first-days profit because nothing moved like that that day. The answer was easy, she had a swarm of trades which all managed to capture the jump or fall of that stocks’ bounce.

                DavidTC:
                These results are quite remarkable. Two-thirds of her trades showed a profit by the end of the day she made them and 80 percent were ultimately profitable.
                Likewise, you can’t talk about 80% are ‘ultimately profitable’ when your entire premise is that she was being assigned the best trades of the day? How does them *ultimately* being profitable have to do with anything?

                Trading at the top/bottom of the day’s market is also an absurdly powerful walking-on-water thing. Get out of something during the best minute of the day and a loss magically becomes profit.

                DavidTC:
                Incidentally, on average, pretty much *all* investment is ‘ultimately profitable’, because markets generally go up, barring some sort of crash. I just own index funds, but literally *100%* of them have been ‘ultimately profitable’ if I were to choose to exit the market right now.

                Meaning that if you reversed your buys and sells (i.e. did shorts) NONE of them would have been profitable.

                DavidTC:
                Incidentally, fun fact: You keep saying Clinton made money shorting the market…but there is not any evidence of that in anything you have linked to that I have seen.

                Financial writer Edward Chancellor noted in 1999 that Clinton made her money by betting “on the short side at a time when cattle prices doubled.”[15] Bloomberg News columnist Caroline Baum and hedge fund manager Victor Niederhoffer published a detailed 1995 analysis in National Review that found typical patterns and behaviors in commodities trading not met and concluded that her explanations for her results were highly implausible.[16] Possibilities were raised that broker actions such as front running of trades, or a long straddle with the winning positions thereof assigned to a favored client, had taken place.[13][16]
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Rodham_cattle_futures_controversy#Likelihood_of_resultsReport

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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                You’re ignoring transaction costs (beginners’ mistake).
                Every trade is a loss the moment you make it.

                Erm, this is the cattle future market. Last I checked, the fees there were pretty damn low for heavy investors.

                But more to the point, I’d like some evidence that these ‘two-third’ profit you claimed actually *meant* ‘two-thirds after brokerage fees’, and not before.

                Warren Buffet’s return is 17% (yes, I know I’m assuming all trades are equal which clearly isn’t true).

                His *return* doesn’t have anything to do with what *percentage* of his trades are profitable. 100% of his trades might be 17% profitable, or 99.999% of them might be slightly unprofitable and that last single trade is 100000% profitable.

                Hillary’s is 60% (80%-20%). That’s Jesus-walking-on-water. I’ve done things like this professionally and her numbers are way beyond crazy great, and there’s multiple other eye-watering details.

                Oh, so it’s not even two-thirds.

                Again, this is literally nonsense. What *percentage* of returns is positive has nothing to do with anything. If you purchase an index fund at the start of every day, you know what? 60% of the time you’ll have positive returns by the end of the day. Crazy, I know.

                And, not to be too blunt about it, but people didn’t understand probability. I don’t trust anyone who quotes odds without actually seeing the math. People *talking about* a model I can’t even see the results of, on data I have no access to?

                No. Because people are total morons about probability.

                For example, it’s not the least bit unlikely for someone to win the lottery, despite what you seem to think. People win the lottery literally every day.

                Meaning that if you reversed your buys and sells (i.e. did shorts) NONE of them would have been profitable.

                No, meaning if you held anything long enough, and managed to sell it at the right place, it will eventually make you money.

                I find this a weird discussion. I mean, you’re the one asserting that she *did* that, and it was mysterious. Why am I having to explain it actually happens? It clearly does happen, or, uh, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

                And again we’re back to the shorts, which…our evidence of that is apparently some articles and books, which we have no access to, saying she made money that way. No idea what *percentage* of money was made that way.

                And it sure is easy to keep talking about how the market made money and she somehow made money while shorting it…ignoring the fact the market dropped pretty seriously from the start of May 1979 to the end of July…which is pretty much exactly when she got out of it:
                http://futures.tradingcharts.com/historical/LC/1979/0/continuous.html
                (I don’t know if this was ‘Feeder Cattle’ or ‘Live Cattle’, but they both basically did that.)

                Oh, how mysterious….making investments in the direction of the market, shorting a dropping market, made her money! Crazy!

                And now you see why I refuse to rely on other people’s analysis.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
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                says:

                Or, to put it another way: I don’t trust *anyone* who talks about someone’s trading in nonsensical terms like ‘What percentage of the trades made a profit.’, which has literally has nothing to do with anything, because you can make trades that are all 100% profitable by just buying goddamn US bonds. Wow, how amazing! Or it would be if that *meant* anything.

                They either don’t know anything about the market, or they do know something about the market, did an analysis, didn’t find anything actually wrong, so cherry picked some stat that vaguely sounds damning and hoped the readers don’t know anything about the market.

                Meanwhile, no one bothers to list, I dunno, *other people’s* rate of return in that market at the same time, or market volatility, or anything that would actually be relevant in figuring out if her trades were manipulated. And, in fact, they seem a bit confused and describing prices as having ‘doubled’ in that time, which I can find no evidence of.

                It’s sorta like a sports writer listing how many strikes a baseball player had. Not strike outs, not per at-bat (Which itself would be dubious) but just how many ‘strikes’ they had. Yeah, that’s not a meaningful stat in any manner, and either the writer is a total idiot about baseball, or they have some sort of agenda.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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                DavidTC: Erm, this is the cattle future market. Last I checked, the fees there were pretty damn low for heavy investors.

                A thousand dollars isn’t a “heavy investor”. The minimum amount you were supposed to have was $12k.

                DavidTC: His *return* doesn’t have anything to do with what *percentage* of his trades are profitable. 100% of his trades might be 17% profitable, or 99.999% of them might be slightly unprofitable and that last single trade is 100000% profitable.

                Absolutely right. If you want apples to apples he has a return of 17% and she had 6000%.

                DavidTC: Oh, so it’s not even two-thirds.

                Absolutely perfect, with no loses ever, would be 100%, she’s scary close to the theoretical perfect.

                DavidTC: And, not to be too blunt about it, but people didn’t understand probability. I don’t trust anyone who quotes odds without actually seeing the math. People *talking about* a model I can’t even see the results of, on data I have no access to?

                People don’t understand probability? The fluff newspapers were her backers, the stats you’re ragging on were by economists from the University of North Florida and Auburn University published in the Journal of Economics and Finance. That’s over and above the editor of the Journal of Futures Markets who said something similar without the stats (he compared what she did to buying a pair of ice skates and then winning the olympics the next day).

                The people who are in the trade understand numbers like these are simply impossible. You’re trying to justify a 6000% profit and claim somehow that it’s “normal” or not unusual.

                If that paper is off by 5 orders of magnitude, then we’re looking at a politician’s wife literally winning the lottery (how often has that happened), when the lottery was being run by someone actively being helped by her husband. If they’re not wrong about the odds then it’s more like she’s winning the lottery consistently.

                DavidTC: For example, it’s not the least bit unlikely for someone to win the lottery, despite what you seem to think. People win the lottery literally every day.

                If the lottery were consistently won by the wife of the guy running it, it’d be a problem. This was a business who was actively being helped by her husband, and the broker’s office is now known for this sort of thing.

                Further, these are *scary* risks she was taking. The expected result was not only the loss of her money, but that she’d actually owe multiple years worth of income. If she’d lost $100k, how would she have paid it back and what would that have done to her and her husband’s careers?

                Imagine the governor declaring bankruptcy because his wife was betting on the cattle futures market. Is that really a good risk for a pair of really smart people?

                DavidTC: No, meaning if you held anything long enough, and managed to sell it at the right place, it will eventually make you money.

                That is the trick. If it were easy I’d still be doing it. 3/4 of the people who do what she did lose money. The odds are *that* bad.

                DavidTC: I find this a weird discussion. I mean, you’re the one asserting that she *did* that, and it was mysterious. Why am I having to explain it actually happens? It clearly does happen, or, uh, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

                So you’re good with a politician’s wife pulling in a 6000% profit under conditions multiple experts claim are somewhere between shockingly unlikely and impossible, while dealing with someone being helped by her husband?

                DavidTC: ignoring the fact the market dropped pretty seriously from the start of May 1979
                Let’s just post what came up in court when that brokerage was investigated in a other matter (wiki).

                Two brokers at Springdale, Bill McCurdy and Steven Johns, testifying about another trader’s case, said they participated in a cover-up of block trading on a day in June 1979 that happens to coincide with the opening of what would become Rodham’s single most profitable trade.[8]Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                A thousand dollars isn’t a “heavy investor”. The minimum amount you were supposed to have was $12k.

                Has anyone here asserted she didn’t get preferential treatment? Why, no, I don’t think they have. She was allowed to take risks that people normally wouldn’t have allowed, with money she didn’t have. Margin calls were not made against her.

                No one denies this.

                Absolutely right. If you want apples to apples he has a return of 17% and she had 6000%.

                Uh, that’s because Warren Buffet is a fairly conservative stock market investor, not a future’s market day-trading speculator.

                Moreover, I’m starting to question the idea that you understand the market. Any lucky idiot can beat Warren Buffet by day trading at the right time. Hell, just buying *Apple stock* in 2003 and holding it would have beaten Warren Buffet’s rate of return!

                What is impressive about Warren Buffet is that he *doesn’t* take risks, he has an incredibly wide and stable portfolio, and still manages to beat the market consistently.

                Nothing is impressive about the percentage amount of his returns! All sorts of idiots get much higher rates of returns than his…for a couple of years, and then it blows up in their face. Or they manage to get out before it does.

                Absolutely perfect, with no loses ever, would be 100%, she’s scary close to the theoretical perfect.

                Aaaaand…that’s still not how markets work. You literally just argued that the ‘theoretical perfect’ playing of the stock market would be to buy US CDs, which all have pretty certain positive returns.

                As I have said before, *my* investments in the stock market, *right now*, are all higher than when I bought them. All *my* returns are positive. I have no losses whatsoever. In fact, I’ve literally *never* ‘lost money on a trade’ in the stock market. This is because I make conservative investments (Mostly index funds.), and the market hasn’t crashed.

                So as I will say yet *again*, the ‘percentage of trades that had positive returns’ is a completely nonsensical thing to *even talk about*. The fact some people, including you, are even*talking* about them means those people either do not understand how the market works, or those people have just decided to repeat some random stat that they think sounds bad.

                Further, these are *scary* risks she was taking.

                I love the idea that on one side you’re comparing her to a conservative stock investor, and then saying ‘But how can she make that much profit’, and on the other side you’re talking about how she was taking huge risks.

                Hint from someone who understands the markets: The larger the risk, the greater the return if it works out.

                The people who are in the trade understand numbers like these are simply impossible. You’re trying to justify a 6000% profit and claim somehow that it’s “normal” or not unusual.

                I’m not trying to claim it’s not unusual at all. It is unusual.

                But you know what the *normal* explanation of ‘unusual’ outcomes is in the stock market? Luck.

                You are, and I will quote your exact word here, asserting it’s ‘impossible’.

                tl-dr – But let’s actually break this conspiracy down a bit, because it doesn’t actually make any sense.

                Your theory is that James Blair somehow got Refco to assign good trades to Hillary, and possible to him, too. As the Wikipedia article says, ‘Chicago Mercantile Exchange records indicated that $40,000 of her profits came from larger trades initiated by James Blair.’

                So James Blair, via some means, (possible bribery), gets Refco to assign him good trades, and other people the bad trades. And he included Hillary under this, either explicitly, or just by including her trades as part of his. This does seem, on the surface, likely, because Refco was actually sued for that that by a group of traders, and lost to that group of traders, and the SEC fined them!

                But there’s a *really* obvious problem with that. You see, James Blair *was one of those traders suing Refco*! Oops. I guess Refco was just too stupid to mention to the judge that one of the person suing them had bribed them to make what they were suing over happen.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                DavidTC,

                You’re arguing that high rates of success aren’t unusual because there are things like TBills and others which can do that. This is correct. It is certainly possible to have very high rates of success on conservative investments.

                You’re also arguing that it’s possible to take spectacular risks and get outlandish rates of return. This is also correct.

                However Hillary had both of those things. 6000% return in combination with 80% success in trades.

                And she also had the whole ‘consistently trade on the best price of the day’ for which there’s no possible legit answer.

                And she’s did all of this with someone who benefited financially from her husband’s office.

                And she very clearly got “preferential treatment”.

                And that office has a history (during that time period) of assigning good trades to certain customers.

                And the amount of luck needed for 80% success leading to 6000% returns seems like it’d be outlandish, serious people who publish in serious journals who have calculated the odds claim it’s at best 10,000x less likely than winning the lottery. Notice they could be off by 1,000,000 fold and it’d only make the odds 30 million to one.

                So… your conclusion from all this is she ran scary risks and made that money legitimately.

                We’re going to have to agree to disagree on that one.

                My conclusion is that “misuse of the levers of power” is the more reasonable answer, and I’ll add that imho it’s destructive to a democracy for this sort of thing to happen more or less openly.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          And while you’re at it, please explain her vast abilities (even as a total raw beginner) with Cattle Futures which was roughly equiv to consistently winning the lottery.

          I’d like to see the actual calculation on this. The wikipedia article claims a 100x return by trading leveraged assets. Yes, it’s not particularly likely that you’ll get that result, but 1 in 31 trillion? That would imply that nobody in the history of futures trading would ever have gotten a 100x payout over 10 months. Without buying the referenced article, I can’t really talk about the methodology, but at first sniff, this feels like one those tricks where you calculate the odds of a specific winning hand rather than the odds of winning. I’m not a finance guy, but this whole calculation smells very fishy.

          I suppose it’s possible that the futures market was super duper flat during that time, so there wasn’t enough volatility to make trades that made or lost serious money, but even then, a 100x payout is doubling your money less than times. There are any number of ways to risk 100% of your cash and either lose or double your money in a single operation. If you start with a pool of 200 people doing that, it’s actually pretty unlikely that they’ll all fail.

          Anyway, at first sniff this sounds a lot like the ever growing and evolving list of people who have known the Clintons who have also died.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog
            Ignored
            says:

            It was actually less. The “100x” calculated from her highest position (the maximum amount she had after trading) and not her closing position (when she chlosedout the account).

            IIRC, she cashed out at 60,000 — which at 30x her initial investment was quite nice, but not exactly unknown for people hitting a lucky streak on the futures market, and I believe the market was both booming and volatile at the time.

            But 100x sounds so much more damning, right? Especially when she went on to prove she was in the pocket of big cattle…wait, the pocket of medium state brokerages no wait….actually I’m not sure. I mean obviously the implication is this was a bribe, but generally people don’t offer a bribe without expecting something in return, but damned if I can figure out what.

            But that’s conspiracy theories for you — nobody likes to do the work. “She made about 60k in ten months, obviously a bribe!” without anyone explaining WHO bribed her, HOW they managed to do it through a futures market, or WHY they bribed her — or what she did in return.

            Instead, they just shout about bad statistics and sneer that of COURSE it was a bribe, without being able to elucidate the actually important details. (“Who”, “how”, “why” being three. Who bribed her, how did they managed it through futures trades without getting caught, and why did they bribe her — and what did they get in return?)Report

            • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Morat20
              Ignored
              says:

              Who what where how is easy if you actually follow the money. But it’s silly to do that with a blind trust. (it was blind, right?)Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20
              Ignored
              says:

              She and her husband still have student loans, she has NO experience in this at all, Cattle Futures was a game where 3/4ths of the “investors” lose money, her initial investment was a lot of money for her at the time, and these trades were heavily on the margin (meaning it was FAR more likely that she’d lose tens of thousands of dollars than gain it).

              She and Bill are both intelligent, it makes NO sense to expose themselves to this kind of a financial risk. This is up there with reading a book on juggling and then getting started with chainsaws. Further it also makes no sense for a broker to let her trade an account this thin on the margin this deeply, or for that matter to even HAVE an account at all.

              And yes, the market was indeed booming… which actually makes the situation worse since she made money SHORTING it.

              without anyone explaining WHO bribed her, HOW they managed to do it through a futures market, or WHY they bribed her — or what she did in return.

              HOW is easy. Her dealer was a guy who made lots and lots of trades, at the end of the day he just retroactively gave the best ones to her.

              WHY is easy. She’s the wife of the newly elected governor. The spouse which is out of power makes mysterious money on behalf of the one who is in power.

              WHO is interesting. James Blair (the broker) was another lawyer and the outside counsel to Arkansas’ largest employer (Tyson Foods).

              So, shock, she’s benefiting from someone who represents people who do business in front of her husband. And, also shock, Tyson Foods was treated rather well during this time period by the Clinton Governorship.

              The Times also reported, “During Mr. Clinton’s tenure in Arkansas, Tyson benefited from a variety of state actions, including $9 million in government loans, the placement of company executives on important state boards and favorable decisions on environmental issues.”

              Tyson appears to have obtained these results for what looks like a bribe delivered though Hillary Clinton’s commodities account. To quote the company’s former chairman: politics is “a series of unsentimental transactions between those who need votes and those who have money.”

              http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2016/02/02/Why-37-Year-Old-Clinton-Financial-Scandal-Still-Relevant

              And none of this is hard proof of any crimes or precise exchange of money for favors. Which doesn’t change that her behavior (and very much the math) makes no sense if everything was legal.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20
              Ignored
              says:

              Honestly, the Whitewater thing is more understandable than the cattle futures thing.

              Cockamamie real estate schemes aimed at middle class professionals were ubiquitous in the 70s and 80s. (My dad got caught up in at least one in each decade).

              But the commodity futures market speculation was something that was never pushed all that widely until the internet came along.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                They also lost money.

                Tin-foil hat wearers aside, it looks quite a bit like the Clintons had moved out of “poor” and into upper middle class, and were being pretty aggressive with investment opportunities. Cattle futures were a big thing in the area in the late 70s (much as speculating in the oil market and chemical companies is in my area), and real estate schemes were as you note.

                Of course, both Whitewater AND the cattle futures stuff was heavily investigated by incredibly partisan teams and despite the tin-foil brigade screaming about how obvious it was, nothing was ever found — despite money being poured out like water to find something.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course… the cattle futures stuff was heavily investigated by incredibly partisan teams and despite the tin-foil brigade screaming about how obvious it was, nothing was ever found — despite money being poured out like water to find something.

                There were no official investigations of the trading and Clinton was never charged with any wrongdoing.
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Rodham_cattle_futures_controversyReport

          • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Troublesome Frog
            Ignored
            says:

            The wikipedia article starts out by explaining that Clinton was letting two professional traders manage her account. Whereas every single conspiracy theory pretends like she was just some naive farm girl who tried her hand at trading and shockingly hit the jackpot. The fact that these conspiracy theories rely on such obvious half-truths is a pretty good indication there’s no there here.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to trizzlor
              Ignored
              says:

              There’s NEVER anything there with the Clinton’s. Which is proof of how practiced they are at being corrupt.

              They’re super-obviously corrupt so that any idiot on the internet can see it, while simultaneously such geniuses that tens of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of man-hours by the FBI were unable to find an iota of evidence.

              Which just proves the fix is in. The fix is always in, it has to be, because if it’s not — that means the Clinton’s aren’t super corrupt, and that’s unthinkable. They’re always being investigated!Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to trizzlor
              Ignored
              says:

              You’re reversing things. It was Hillary herself who repeatedly claimed she managed her own account, from her own “research”, and it was only later that this was shown to be a bald face lie.

              Further if you saw her whitewater testimony, her statements on this thing were amazingly weaselly worded. If memory serves, she was asked if she managed her own account and she replied something like she doesn’t remember not managing it.Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Sorry but that doesn’t cut it. We know it is a fact that the account was managed by two people with serious futures-trading expertise, who both made millions and one of whom was some kind of stats savant (world series of poker finalist, etc.). So working off the assumption that Clinton had “NO EXPERIENCE” and showing all sorts of mathematical models for how an inexperienced trader would fare is just straight bullshit. Going back and saying “well, that’s what Hillary claimed in some interviews” doesn’t make the premise true and therefore does not resuscitate those claims, it just shifts the attention to some *other* claim that now needs to be debunked.

                This is precisely how conspiracy theories work: “Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. Oh, steel doesn’t need to melt for a building to collapse … well, the planes were under-fueled anyway and had hardly any jet fuel. Oh, things inside the building were combustable and increased the burning temperature … well, what about the puffs of dust we saw on the video prior to collapse?”.

                Your first argument should be your strongest, if it’s debunked by 30 seconds of research, why should we trust your second argument?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                Doesn’t having two elite managers for one small potatoes client strike you as odd?Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know, should it? Here’s the story:

                Starting in October 1978, when Bill Clinton was Attorney General and on the verge of being elected Governor,[1] she was guided by James Blair, a friend, lawyer, outside counsel to Tyson Foods, Arkansas’ largest employer, and, since 1977,[6] a futures trader who was doing so well he encouraged friends and family to enter the commodity markets as well.[4][5] Blair in turn traded through, and relied upon cattle markets expertise from, broker Robert L. “Red” Bone of Refco, a former Tyson executive and professional poker player who was a World Series of Poker semifinalist.

                Seems like a pretty typical “I know a guy who knows a guy who’s got a system” story to me. I’m also not particularly surprised that the wife of the AG would come in contact with smart, connected people.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                Good fortune and great luck have accompanied Hillary Clinton for most of her life except a few months in early 2008.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                Isn’t that John Paul Getty’s recipe for success: rise early, work hard every day, and strike oil be politically connected to lots of successful people who will further your interests and ambitions?Report

              • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                Well no shit. You’re talking about one of the most accomplished couples in the world, are we supposed to be surprised that they also surround themselves with powerful and accomplished people? The whole point is that you’ve selected on an extreme outlier individual, and now you’re retrospectively comparing their outcomes to an average person. It’s like looking at Obama and calculating the odds of attending Harvard * the odds of becoming president of the Law Review * the odds of getting a book deal (squared) and concluding that some corruption must have happened because this probability is so low. This, again, is exactly how conspiracy theories are fueled: zoom in on an extreme outlier event (JFK assassination) and then identify all sorts of things that are atypical (umbrella man, magic bullet, the three tramps, etc) but that are actually perfectly ordinary *within* the context of the event.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to trizzlor
                Ignored
                says:

                So working off the assumption that Clinton had “NO EXPERIENCE” and showing all sorts of mathematical models for how an inexperienced trader would fare is just straight bullshit.

                “Experience” goes to her being there at all. The impossible part comes from making silly amounts of money off of shorts in market that doubled in value in a year (and yes, I realize part of me thinking this is totally outrageous is I have a lot more experience in this sort of thing than most).

                That’s over and above her first day where she got a 6.5x increase in a flat market where nothing increased by that amount. If I recall the reporting of this correctly, she had to make a dozen or so carefully timed trades to capture various options bouncing around in the market.

                Those numbers they’re tossing around in wiki claiming what she did was a LOT harder than winning the lottery? They match up really well with her win/loss ratio and various other stats they’ve got up in there.

                People playing by the rules can’t do this sort of thing.
                Experienced people playing by the rules aren’t going to try.Report

  2. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    Islamic voting location: meh, I object to any place of worship being a polling place.

    Libertarians: “It’s not unusual for libertarians to have a hard time backing either major party’s presidential candidate, but the dispiriting choice between Clinton and Trump has even the most Republican-friendly members of the movement holding their noses” That’s the trap you fall into. Since the game is rigged, you “have to vote” for someone in the system. And folks wonder why the percentage of the population that votes is so low…Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      Why? I think I’ve voted in a location that wasn’t a church twice in my life, and as an atheist, i really don’t care. We need a lot of polling places for elections to run smoothly, and in a lot of places places of worship are the most convenient suitable buildings. It only starts offending my sensibilities if, well, we start playing favorites about which religions are good for voting.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Don Zeko
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve only ever voted in schools. Far as I know, there are no religious institutions that are polling places in my state, but it’s not something I actively pay attention to.

        I like a nice separation of voting and religion. There’s plenty of schools around-private, public, elementary, middle, high to cover things I expect.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Damon
          Ignored
          says:

          While I’ve lived in my current house, I’ve voted at schools, churches, a library, and fire stations. It’s a high population growth area and the precinct lines kept moving. As soon as the state adopted no-excuse permanent absentee voter lists, I signed up for that. And of course, now that the vast majority of our voting is done by mail, the remaining vote centers tend to be at existing state/county facilities (courthouse, DMV offices, etc).Report

          • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Michael Cain
            Ignored
            says:

            It varies wildly from state to state. In Maryland the schools shut down for election day so that they can be used as polling places. This is the only of the four states I have voted in that does this, though some have used the school gym while school was in session. One place I lived, my polling place was someone’s garage. My understanding at the time was that this was something of a desperation measure by the elections commission. It didn’t work all that great, if turnout was high. As for churches, this seems to me utterly unremarkable, especially given that we are almost certainly actually talking about using the church’s social hall, not the sanctuary.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Richard Hershberger
              Ignored
              says:

              My polling place is either a local firehouse or a garage of an apartment building depending on the election year. USF’s gym gets used as a polling place.Report

            • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Richard Hershberger
              Ignored
              says:

              Over half of the city’s polling places where I currently live are in churches, and in particular, I don’t think there would be many places within walking distance on the poor side of town if it weren’t the various Baptist and AME churches. The odd thing though is that political signs at polling places are banned only at churches. I vote at a VFW hall and its signs all the way down the walk.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to PD Shaw
                Ignored
                says:

                Wait, really? I’ve voted at libraries and city halls, and they had signs up to a certain marked point just like the churchesReport

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                Frankly, I’ve never noticed. I just found out about the rule looking at the city website listing polling places, and found the warning that churches are campaign free zones and no political signs on their property. I frankly don’t know why the rule would apply to them and not the others.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to PD Shaw
                Ignored
                says:

                Around here, political signs are allowed on private property, with similar restrictions as apply to fences (can’t block the view around intersections, etc) but not on any kind of public institution where it might give the impression the fire department or school board or transit authority endorse a candidate.

                Our polling stations have usually been school gyms and community halls. Candidates are always eager to get people who live across the street from likely polling stations to put up lawn signs.

                I’ve never heard of churches serving as polling places, but it would seem unremarkable if they did. I also can’t recall seeing election signs on the lawns of any churches that would also be of a suitable size to serve as a polling place (I would find it memorable if the local multi-thousand square-foot Anglican church had an election sign up, but might not think twice if some little twenty seat store-front church did).Report

            • Avatar Chris in reply to Richard Hershberger
              Ignored
              says:

              I’ve voted in a church, in schools while in session, in government buildings, and now regularly in a Ben Hur Shrine Temple (which has the best trophies and statues inside!).

              I can’t imagine why anyone would care where the polling station is, as long as it’s not inconvenient.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Making churches off-limits would probably have a disparate impact.

                What parts of the country are most likely to have very few buildings suited to having complete strangers stand in line for an while? Like, if you eliminated “churches”, you’d have to travel for an hour to get to the next one?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Definitely. Mosques might be the same way in some places.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Speaking of that, my entire county just closed *all* polling places for the foreseeable future except for the main one in the county courthouse, due to the fact that none of the other places (Which tended to, indeed, be tiny little community church social halls) were anywhere near ADA compliant.

                This is due to a settlement with the Federal government: https://www.ada.gov/lumpkin_co_pca/lumpkin_sa.html

                It turns out that, for some reason, we seemed to enjoy constructing building that to did not comply with current ADA standards, for like two decades. You’d think there’d be some governmental checks on that, but nope. Seriously, that new courthouse which we literally just built? Didn’t fully comply, we had to do some fixes to bring that in compliance. (It complied at *design* time, but was designed quite a few years out, and no one bothered to actually update the design to 2010 ADA specs before we started building….in 2013.)

                And during all that, the Federal government also noticed our *voting* locations didn’t comply. I rather suspect *most* voting location don’t, but most county governments do not, in fact, get the attention of the Federal government like we did with our dumbness.

                People are outraged by the polling location changes, but no one actually has a way to fix the problem. The county can hardly legally spend money fixing up a church social hall to be ADA compliant. The only possibility would seem for the elections board to *buy buildings*.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                That almost seems mean-spirited to close all polling places except the county courthouse, when the county courthouse could be available for what are probably only a very few people who need the highest ADA compliant buildings, while a schedule for updating or changing local polling places is implemented. Reading btw/ the lines, neither the feds or the county believe that is going to happen.

                Local polling places are a convenience item, hopefully encouraging voters by reducing inconvenience. Travel itself is not always convenient for some disabled people.

                (Religious organizations are exempt from ADA, but given that their membership tends to be older, and the older tend to be the most generous, I suspect most Churches are ‘good enough’ in terms of access, though not compliant. I.e., the ramp installed by one of the members is three degrees too steep)Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to PD Shaw
                Ignored
                says:

                PD,
                The court order ought to say, in a fair world “provide transportation to the courthouse for anyone disabled who wants to vote there.”Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to PD Shaw
                Ignored
                says:

                Reading btw/ the lines, neither the feds or the county believe that is going to happen.

                Perhaps I was not clear:

                It *has* happened. All the polling places but the courthouse have been closed. There is no ‘going to’.

                I have recently talked to some people about this, because a lot of the problems can be worked around, and I wondered why we had not tried.

                And it appears that most of the problem, oddly, was parking lots. As in, a lot of them are *really* shitty, broken concrete or not paved, at a large grade, etc, and can’t legally be used for handicapped parking.

                There are a lot of temporary measures that can be done during the election to make a polling location ADA compliant, with added ramps, and taking out center poles from double doors, turning two non-handicapped spaces into one handicapped space, all sorts of things…but there is absolutely no workaround for an unpaved parking lot that is on a 3% slope.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve voted in churches, too. Not a big deal. In a lot of places, a church is the only building around of any significant size.

                But if it’s okay to vote in a church, then it’s also okay to vote in a mosque. And if the rule is it’s going to be not okay to vote in a mosque, then it’s also going to be not okay to vote in a church.

                I shouldn’t think that’s particularly controversial.Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      >>meh, I object to any place of worship being a polling place.

      The whole issue is that other places of worship are not being forbidden. Equality for some is not equality.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to trizzlor
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        says:

        Hey, that’s democracy. Folks complained, for whatever reason, and things changed. Wanna fix it? Why don’t you exercise your right of free speech and protest at city hall?Report

        • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Damon
          Ignored
          says:

          I’m not following. Part of “fixing it” is explaining to folks like you why “meh” isn’t a response that’s consistent with a belief in equal protection.Report

          • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to trizzlor
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            says:

            Also, when equal protection and “democracy” in the “tyranny of the majority” sense conflict, equal protection is supposed to win. It doesn’t nearly so often as it should, but that is no reason to ‘meh’ the issue.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to trizzlor
            Ignored
            says:

            Meh was related to the islamic polling place. Frankly, since I think that polling places should be in public places, not religious, I don’t give a crap really about this. The second comment was similar to the “travesty of democracy/triumph of democracy” theme I’ve been hitting on, ie some folks bitched. Public officials changes the deal…now some other party is pissed off. Time for them to step up and bitch and let the loudest most annoying voice winReport

  3. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    Does anyone really think that anyone who was ever, under any circumstances, going to vote for Trump care about this speech plagiarism thing? I was never going to vote for him, and even I don’t care. I’m not convinced that they didn’t do it on purpose to get the base riled up.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Brandon Berg
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      says:

      It definitely has very little significance in of itself but holy hell that first night of the convention was a shit show. Now I’m not the intended audience and I’ve only watched a few GOP conventions but I was struck by how the tone of this one was different. Is anyone outside the Trumpian base going to be drawn to support this?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Brandon Berg
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      says:

      Actually writing something up on this for Hit Coffee right now.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m not convinced that they didn’t do it on purpose to get the base riled up.

      Because the base was going to recognize the source? You know the old saying: never attribute to cleverness anything that could be attributed to laziness.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Brandon Berg
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      says:

      There’s the part of me that says “I cannot believe how inept this is.”

      There’s the part of me that says “Trump is going to say something like ‘the media spent more time talking about my wife’s so-called “plagiarism” than about the (insert Hillary topic here, maybe world news topic).’ and, in doing so, will get more votes for himself (which is at least one) than he will lose to the plagiarism scandal. (which is not even one).”

      But that hinges on him doing the second thing.

      He never debated Bernie, after all, which is something that I thought would have changed the game, had he done it.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        There’s the part of me that says “I cannot believe how inept this is.”

        I might have thought that late last year, but at this point I would have been shocked if something this hilariously inept and lazy didn’t happen during the Trump convention extravaganza. It’s pretty much exactly on par with the rest of the campaign. It showcases the inexperience and ineptitude of the people he’s surrounded himself with, a casual intellectual laziness, and an opportunity to double down and deny that anything went wrong when it’s completely obvious what happened.

        I mean, all they had to do was have a speech writer say, “Yeah, we helped her out with some wording and somebody added in some lines they shouldn’t have. The person has been let go and we won’t let that type of mistake happen again. We apologize to Mrs. Trump for the embarrassment.” But if they had done that, it wouldn’t be the Trump Express. Bald faced denial and going on the attack–that’s the way to go.Report

        • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Troublesome Frog
          Ignored
          says:

          and let’s not forget that Trump counter-programmed his own convention during the intense Benghazi mother speech. If the plagiarism had never happened, the focus would instead have been on images like this:

          https://twitter.com/GayPatriot/status/755201973113225216/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

          … or on the Trump campaign dissing Kasich … or on having no control of the rules floor fight that broke out. The campaign fucked up like four times yesterday, then they fucked up some more this morning. I think we’re well beyond the point where “this is all Trump’s evil plan” is credible.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to trizzlor
            Ignored
            says:

            @trizzlor
            and let’s not forget that Trump counter-programmed his own convention during the intense Benghazi mother speech.

            That was incredibly weird. It’s basically history-making: The first time a nominee for president has competed for TV viewers with his own nomination.

            … or on the Trump campaign dissing Kasich

            It’s not like Kasich is the governor of a swing state or anything and might be relevant.

            Didn’t Trump rather inexplicably attack the governor of New Mexico, also? The *Republican*, Latina, female governor of New Mexico?

            or on having no control of the rules floor fight that broke out.

            Which was just completely stupid. Those people *didn’t have the votes* to do anything.

            The only way their stupid plan worked is if there were a lot of ‘involuntary’ delegates, if other candidates had rigged the delegates after Trump had won the votes. That happened a few times, yes, but Trump stopped it. If there had been a role call vote on the rules change, the people calling to unbind the delegates would have *lost*. So *let them lose*, you idiots, instead of giving them another grievance.

            As someone who has actually read the entire Robert Rules of Order, the most important part of parliamentary process is not the nitpicky process…it’s that the losers *understand and have evidence* that the majority of people did not agree with them. That the people who fail at what they were trying to do had time to speak and try to convince people, and that they understand that their failure was to in a failure *to convince other people*, and not because the chair *decided* they failed. They should have actual, real, honest-to-God, Evidence, with a capital E, that the majority of people were not on board with their idea. If they want a roll call vote, they should get one!

            The chair should only pull the ‘You need a signed petition to challenge a voice vote’ after the tenth time someone has called for one in protest, in some deliberate attempt to slow things down. Not as some sort of technicality to dismiss them. Hell, that was such a decisive issue, the chair should have *scheduled* a debate for it and a roll call vote *in advance*, which is how competent chairs handle stuff like this!

            Of course, that’s *not* how it work in the House of Representatives. Both on purpose, and by accident. Robert’s Rule of Order, created 150 years ago, in fact, were *deliberately designed* to fix obvious flaws in then-current parliamentary procedure…which the House had already adopted. Which is why those are goddamn stupid rules to run a convention under. (Yes, the RNC, and the DNC too, are nonsensically run under the House of Representative rules with some modifications, despite the fact those rules are designed to operate a standing body that makes legislation, not a temporary body that makes a platform and nominates people for office.)

            They handled that *exactly* wrong, especially since they would have won anyway. Hell, even if they had *lost*, and everyone was unbound, Trump still would have actually *won* the vote…the only way to get a different outcome would have been for someone to *not drop out*. But everyone else did! No one but Trump could possible win!

            EDIT: I mean no one but Trump could possible win in the *practical* sense. Technically, someone else *could* have won. People who have dropped out can win…people who aren’t even running could have won! The problem was, at this point, an actual *majority* of delegates appear to be Trump delegates…dropping out pretty much stopped everyone else’s chance of *winning delegates*. Even if every single anti-Trump delegates rallied behind a specific single person, Trump would have won.

            The campaign fucked up like four times yesterday, then they fucked up some more this morning

            At this point, I think Trump is attempting the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation version of a campaign:

            ‘In other words – and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation’s Galaxy-wide success is founded – their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.’

            They are attempting to run a raving lunatic man-child for president…but it’s easy to miss that, because they’re completely failing at actually doing, uh, everything they try, in ways that don’t really seem related to the fact their candidate is completely insane.

            I think we’re well beyond the point where “this is all Trump’s evil plan” is credible.

            If his evil plan is ‘Have the Republicans nominate a clearly insane choice for president so Hillary wins’, he’s pretty much just succeeded! I mean, he needs to keep it up until the end of the convention, because it seems *theoretically* possible they could replace until that point….and after that, he can just stop. (Someone should check and find out, *legally*, what is the last point the RNC can replace him ont he ballot?) If he *does* stop doing anything at all, we’ll know that was his evil plan.

            Sadly, it’s hard to test this, because doing some completely random and utterly offensive things until the election would help Hillary in general also, so he might not stop. Also, *technically*, even if he’s on the ballot, the RNC can ‘run’ someone else…they just have to convince the Republican electors to be ‘unfaithful’ and explain to the public that voting for ‘Trump’ will result in electors casting a ballot for some other guy.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      Now I’m not sure. Do you mean plagiarizing Michelle’s speech or plagiarizing Rick Astley?

      He will never, ever, give up. And, most important, he will never, ever, let you down.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      My favorite theories:

      Report

    • Avatar Mo in reply to Brandon Berg
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      says:

      The issue isn’t that it flips Trumpers, the issue is that the convention is all about flipping the squishy middle. The spouse speech is typically free points and humanizes you. The conversation about the speech went from, “Melania gave a good speech, humanized Trump and is a credible first lady,” to “Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama.” The Trump campaign didn’t lose points for the gaffe, but they were prevented from getting free points.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Mo
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        says:

        This. Also, the drip-drip-drip effect. The right has used this effect against the Clintons for decades. Hillary is thought of as peculiarly scandal-prone because there are in fact constant scandals around her. That they are almost entirely fake is a nuance that many people will miss, and is therefore beside the point.

        The difference in this case is that the incident is real, if minor. The point is to make the case that Trump and the people he surrounds himself with are not competent to be trusted with running the country. This argument has the benefit of being true, unlike all those fake scandals, but the media mechanism is similar in both cases.Report

        • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Richard Hershberger
          Ignored
          says:

          >>The point is to make the case that Trump and the people he surrounds himself with are not competent to be trusted with running the country. This argument has the benefit of being true, unlike all those fake scandals, but the media mechanism is similar in both cases.

          Bingo! The fact that Trump is an outsider and has ostracized the GOP elite is both a strength and a weakness. So far the weakness has been papered over with claims that he built an empire from the ground up and surrounds himself with smart people. Incidents like this make people wonder about his history and temperament, an area where he is obviously weak.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Richard Hershberger
          Ignored
          says:

          Compare Hillary to Obama (or better yet, Obama’s wife).

          Normal people, even at the level of the Obamas, don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars mysteriously show up in their bank accounts with thin excuses on how it was ‘earned’.

          Hillary and Bill have always been involved in these sorts of things, they’re both trained lawyers who apparently go right up to the edge of what-can-be-proved, as opposed to what-is-legal, much less the-appearance-of-impropriety.

          Edit: And agreed, I’m not impressed with Trump’s basic competence for this sort of thing, which is among the many reasons why I think he should be kept out of the White House even at the expense of electing Hillary.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            Normal people, even at the level of the Obamas, don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars mysteriously show up in their bank accounts with thin excuses on how it was ‘earned’.

            Is this Clinton Foundation stuff again?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Mo
        Ignored
        says:

        And now she is saying she did not plagiarize and is blaming Clinton which makes her look petulant and mean.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          Congress should convene a hearing to determine if Hillary lied about Benghazi to cover up her private emails covering the time-travelling spies who stole the speech and gave it to Obama.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, it is pretty blatant.
      https://twitter.com/mikehearn/status/755260215021432832
      Michelle totally copied Melania’s speech. Sad!Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko
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        says:

        More proof of the Obama’s evil Muslim demon time traveling socialist powers.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        Oh my; I wasn’t going to be bothered to chase down the foofala on this… but that tweet has the perfect length of time I’m willing to devote to it. Possibly a first for twitter.

        In fairness to Melania, those particular platitudes sound more authentic coming from a real immigrant. {ducks}.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      What’s interesting to me is the responses.

      I see more people on the Democrat side saying “ZOMG those racists just accidentally listened to a speech by a BLACK WOMAN” than I see people on the Republican side saying “ZOMG I just accidentally listened to a speech by a BLACK WOMAN”. In fact, I’ve seen dozens of the former and none of the latter.

      I see that it’s cool to mock a woman who gave a public speech. Hooray for progress, I guess?

      I see that suddenly IP rights are very, very important and meaningful, and that it’s really important to credit the one who first brought a particular idea to the public consciousness.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Um, plagiarism claims have killed a lot of authors, speechwriters, and pundits over the years.

        In terms of public speak and writing, it’s pretty much the kiss of death and always has been. Get caught plagiarizing, and you’re kicked out of club — left to peddle whatever you sell to the fringes.

        Although if you want to think in racial terms — a white woman stole a black woman’s labor and tried to pass it off as her own. Specifically when talking about the virtues of hard work.

        However, that’s not really what I’m seeing going around so much as “Of all the people to plagiarize from, Michelle Obama is second only to Clinton herself in terms of irony and foot-shooting”.Report

      • Avatar trizzlor in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        >>In fact, I’ve seen dozens of the former and none of the latter.

        Dude, it’s the internet, what you see is more a reflection of you then of the narrative. There’s a 1,000+ comment thread on Breitbart right now saying Obama stole the content from Saul Alinsky and comparing her to Chewbacca (I’m serious). For what it’s worth, I haven’t seen any media liberals mocking Melania for the speech; in fact, pretty much everyone concedes that the speech was fine and she did a good job delivering it. What media liberals are mocking is the disastrous response from Team Trump, which has spanned the full range from (a) sure she plagiarized, what’s the big deal, it was a complement to Michelle to (z) the speeches have nothing in common and this is a sexist attack by Hitlery.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to trizzlor
          Ignored
          says:

          In the modern internet, the phenomenon of “look over here! this person on twitter said that Eminem was the best rapper ever!!!” should also be taken into account.

          All you need is one crazy person on democraticunderground or freerepublic to say something like “I think that Obama should stop trying to make the Middle East better” to get a good “CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SO-AND-SO DOESN’T WANT THE MIDDLE EAST TO BE BETTER?!?” five minute hate on… and that’s been baked into the cake to the point where someone saying something vile and cruel *WILL* make it into your timeline if you’ve any interest in the topic at all (either for or against). Either people attacking it or people attacking the people attacking it or people attacking the people attacking the people attacking it or people attaReport

          • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I think one way to deal with this is to set some simple standard for credentials (say, an elected official) and see what people who meet that standard are saying. Which gets to the second part of my comment that I don’t see any Clinton flaks mocking Melania but I see a whole lot of Trump flaks saying “my dog didn’t bit you because he lost his teeth after a heroic battle with cancer; also, I don’t even have a dog”.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Elsewhere, the most rabid anti-SJW person I know spends his time scouring the internet looking for anyone “SJWish” being offended about things, so he can be offended by their being offended.

            It’s hilarious, and he literally can’t see that he’s doing exactly what he decries them most for doing — literally searching out things to be angry and offended about.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to trizzlor
          Ignored
          says:

          For what it’s worth, I haven’t seen any media liberals mocking Melania for the speech; in fact, pretty much everyone concedes that the speech was fine and she did a good job delivering it.

          Yeah, seriously, she’s pretty blameless here. She was given a pretty good sounding speech and read it ‘correctly’, which is why she ended up ‘sounding’ a lot like Michelle Obama (Which some idiots have used for the conspiracy theory that she wrote the speech after seeing Michelle give it.)….she was just following the natural cadence of the speech as written. (Speeches are like poetry, and no one thinks it odd when two people read a poem aloud the same.)

          Yes, she does take some heat from claiming she wrote it as much as she could before she gave it, but, honestly, all politicians claim their speeches are as much their product as they can. Whatever. We know it’s all speechwriters. Actual politicians should make sure their speeches reflects their policy, but she’s not an actual politician and I don’t think there was really any policy in there.

          So I’m entirely fine with her speech being basically the product of speechwriters…hell, for all I know, she *did* have a lot of input on it, and she *did* review the thing carefully herself. And the speechwriter just put those lines, and they sounded good, and *of course* she hadn’t heard Michelle’s speech so wouldn’t know they were plagiarized. Really, I doubt she’s done any wrong here, it was whatever anonymous speechwriter put that paragraph in there.

          And, yes, some mild ribbing of her is…whatever. People are going to make jokes about how they thought it off that she thanked her two children, Sasha and Malia, or that she talked how hard it was to grow up a black woman in America…whatever. It’s just some joking.

          The actual problem, as always, is the complete cluster that is the Trump campaign. I was going to say that any other campaign would have thrown that speechwriter under the bus already, but I’m not actually sure this could even *happen* to any other campaign. This was, literally, the *second* most important speech of the entire campaign.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to DavidTC
            Ignored
            says:

            Ironically, there were more ugly and demeaning things being said about her during the speech than there were after the plagiarism was revealed.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Will Truman
              Ignored
              says:

              Ah, yes.

              It’s always so much fun to listen to the *left* be misogynistic on Facebook. It’s like ‘Uh, guys, please STFU about her personal appearance or what you think her role is in her and Donald’s marriage. Oh, goodie, now you’re making fun of her accent, that’s not bigoted at all.’.

              I console myself with the fact that assholes are everywhere, and if the parties were reversed, we’d have Republicans saying those things on *national TV* instead of just assholes on the internet.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to trizzlor
          Ignored
          says:

          There’s a 1,000+ comment thread on Breitbart right now saying Obama stole the content from Saul Alinsky and comparing her to Chewbacca (I’m serious).

          Well, all that health and fitness stuff probably has made her a bit chewy.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Among prominent libertarians, Reason quoted John Stossel, Penn Jilette, and Dave Barry. Couldn’t they get some thoughts from Kim Kardashian?Report

  5. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    On Brexit polling, I’m a little confused by your assessment that it was good. Bloomberg had Brexit at 20%25% likelihood up until polling day.

    The What U.K. Thinks poll of poll shows Remain with a two percentage point lead. The probability of a so-called Brexit has risen to 24.4 percent, according to the Bloomberg Brexit Tracker, compiled by political blogger Matt Singh. Oddschecker.com shows betting odds of a Leave win edging back to 28.9 percent versus a year-to-date peak of 36.8 percent.

    Matt Singh, who compiled the Bloomberg polling even opined (quite wrongly, I think, on why the polling to data was wrong)

    According to Singh, the “blind spot” is a failure to weight the results according to the social attitudes of interviewees. At present, companies usually weight their samples for age, gender and how people voted in the past.

    “The online samples have got too many socially conservative people, and the phone polls have got too many socially liberal people,” Singh said in an interview. “On the referendum, the true picture is closer to the phone polls, but they’re both wrong.”

    Even my pro-Brexit colleagues in the UK told me that all the polls predicted a 53%/48% Remain vote (nearly opposite the actual tally)… Farange and Johnson both went to bed believing the polls predicted a loss.

    So… linking to Bloomberg’s failed analysis just leaves me scratching my head at your sentiments that, hey, they might have done a little better at getting it wrong compared to the 2015 election?

    I know you are a poll tracking maven, so I’m guessing you are seeing some other info that suggests the contrary, but what is it?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      The polls were fine, it was the analysis that was off. The polls suggested that it would be close. It was close. That is indicated by the graph. From June 10th to June 22nd (the day before the vote), Leave had a slight lead. Leave narrowly won.

      And this was a wildcard election that should have been much harder than the 2015 general, where you have partisan alignment that helps keep a fundamental order. Here, you have no idea who is going to vote for what. Almost 40% of Labour voted remain, and over 40% of Tory voted Leave (going off memory here, but I think that’s right).

      While the polling wasn’t great, I think it was actually rather impressive in catching what everybody talking about and betting on seemed to ignore… that Leave had a really good chance at winning.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Ok, so you are reading the surge peaking at 47% a week before the vote… and the subsequent fall down to 44% as getting it mostly less wrong? I guess if that’s the position you want to stake out, I’ll grant you that tiny turf in Deseret to own and defend against all comers. 🙂

        We Kingslanders, however, are unmoved.

        p.s. Why are we who live in the queensland given kingsland for a name? Or are we assuming the virgin referred to was Edward VI?Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          I’m mostly looking at a race the polls predicted to be close that was close, in an unpredictable race without much in the way of a history to determine rates. Anyone who was surprised by the results shouldn’t blame the polls for that.

          State names determined in part by “What names might have been given?” rather than trying too specifically to existing names.Report

          • Avatar J_A in reply to Will Truman
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            says:

            Many people probably think Alberta CA honors Prince Albert. It does not. The name is a homage to Viceregina Princess Luise Alberta. She asked for Alberta to be used instead of the originally proposed Louisa.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Before going to bed I can recall watching Bloomberg news where the latest poll showing Remain up 2% was splashed on a banner across the bottom of the screen, while the commenters talked as if looked like Remain had held on. 2 percent seemed way to close to me, but as a Yank, what do I know?Report

    • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      A win for a 20% shot is not a terribly persuasive case against the oddsmaker; it’s not like we’re shocked when a .200 batter gets a hit (even if we are hoping he’ll finally get sent away to the minors). I’m inclined to think the forecast was too kind to Remain, but hindsight seems like a major hazard here.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Here is what I gathered happened at the first night of the GOP convention:

    1. Most of the speaker were former C-list celebs and reality TV stars. At least Sean Duffy is a Congressperson.

    2. Wife of Trump plagiarized a speech by Michelle Obama.

    3. She also rickrolled the audience.

    Is this real? Why is it happening? A friend of mine theorized purposeful sabotage on FB. My theory is darker. I think the Trump campaign is doing a massive GOTV among people who hold any sort of intellectual credential in contempt. Pointing out that Wife of Trump stole from a speech by Michelle Obama is not going to reduce their opinion of Trump or his wife. It will only backfire against the intellectual set.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      You’re leaving out the less fun story: the substance of the speeches was almost entirely about how immigrants will kill you, crime (by black people) is up, terrorism is up and it’s all because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are traitors and criminals who want to destroy America. Also we need to lead with leadership and torture people.Report

    • Avatar Roland Dodds in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      @saul-degraw Maybe the Trump folks just think this is all really good? We know what his taste in interior designs is like, perhaps they also like the same in their variety programming.

      Or maybe this is a massive con done to Republicans.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The line I am now looking for in the rest of the speeches this week:

    “And Donald Trump as President will ensure that this country will always have Updog!”Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    “Regardless of merits of the position, it’s actually kind of alarming that a campaign that cares so little about policy, and was very disinterested in the party platform generally, took a stand on this.”

    Link broken?

    One thing though, judging by the comments at Reason ( @mike-schilling favorite site) we libertarians seem to be biased for one candidate or the other based on what social class we most identify with. Which, in my opinion, reflects the breakdown nationally on the two, while revealing why there is such a disconnect between trumpers and #nevertrump. This Johnathon Haidt piece breaks it down pretty well.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Aaron David
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      says:

      There’s something to this, but any class-based analysis of Trump’s appeal needs a big fat asterisk indicating that non-white members of the working class are, shall we say, skeptical.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Don Zeko
        Ignored
        says:

        @don-zeko

        In my view, people who constantly talk about the WWC tend to conveniently forget that many working class people are not white. There is the upper-middle class of snooty San Francisco/Portland/Brooklyn hipster-liberals, the WWC, and everyone else gets associated with the upper-middle class by default.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Don Zeko
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        says:

        Oh, you are right, there is a big ol’ asterisk in there, but as the face of politics has been changing, the old breakdown of who is in what class is changing.

        I am starting to wonder if non-whites have both been regulated and promoted. Meaning non-whites, class wise, may not actually be in the “working class” anymore. Politics has pushed, class wise, non-white members either into the “management/globalist class”, or down below the working class. In other words the “working class”, as a class, is now the R’s, and the people above and below it are now the D’s. The “management class” and its… Not sure what anymore. I don’t think racism is doing this, but rather has been an effect of the big sort, and the politics of how that has been playing out.

        Biggest problems being separating class Name from who feels they should be in it, all the while trying to be scrupulously neutral. Working class is probably not the correct term anymore, but seems to be the most commonly used at this time

        Still working on it in the ol’ noggin though.Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Aaron David
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          says:

          What reason is there to describe non-white, non college educated workers who have steady unskilled or low skilled work as not working class? Is it just that they tend to have different political opinions than their white counterparts?Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Don Zeko
            Ignored
            says:

            Partially, yes. Also, the different geographic areas that the two groups live in. And whether they are rural, semi-rural, or urban areas and how those areas break politically.

            A lot of my thoughts on this come from a comment that JR made here once, regarding the African American vote and how it seriously breaks for the D’s. He pointed out that most AA’s live in urban areas, which are heavily D. But, most AA’s are not of the globalist set. And, as you well point out, they don’t vote in the same patterns as what is now being bandied about as the “working class.” I do think it is a rather poor descriptor for the reasons that both you and Saul point out, but it seems to be what has handed down, and I don’t want to go to far afield in class descriptions as I risk loosing peoples ability to follow what I am saying.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Aaron David
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              says:

              The African-American vote is more reliably Democratic than the Registered Republican vote is Republican.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Aaron David
              Ignored
              says:

              Hmmm. So the white working class is definitely a distinct social/political/economic entity, and we need to be able to discuss that entity. Sure. My concern is largely grounded in the way in which it’s often used with a sort of implicit assumption that there’s something normatively valuable about getting the support of these salt of the earth types, a courtesy that isn’t extended to the put-upon working man with darker skin. So I don’t mind you discussing this at all, I just want to be able to keep being a gadfly and adding that asterisk.

              Also, and this is a side point, it’s only accurate to say that the non-white working class is concentrated in cities if we aren’t talking about the South.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                Seems pretty straightforward to me. “White working class” is a thing, but not substitutable with “working class.”Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s necessary to find a demographic that votes overwhelmingly Republican so they can be declared the real Americans.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                People who live in the rural Great Plains?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Farmers? Salt of the earth, with real values, small-town values.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I am glad you don’t mind my discussing this! :)’

                But seriously, I think @jaybird nailed it just above your comment: “The African-American vote is more reliably Democratic than the Registered Republican vote is Republican.” So, sure I might know a few steam-fitters who are AA, but they will break from the rest, who will currently vote R, to vote D. Are they working men? Absolutely. But the things that motivate the two groups are different. One good way to think about it is how the unions used to all go D? But the talk right now seems to be how they might not this year? That is a pretty good indicator.

                Currently, there is so much in flux that what used to be good indicators of class are going by the wayside. For good and ill.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                But doesn’t this undermine the whole narrative that Trump and brexit say something big about neoliberalism and it’s discontents? Its not like minorities are a trivial part of the working class; they’re a disproportionately large part of it. So if a big fraction of that socioeconomic class doesn’t want anything to do with Trumpism, then perhaps class is a very limited way of understanding Trumpism.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                Chris Arnade (who you should be following on Twitter) has made the point that these aren’t really mutually exclusive concepts. WWC folks are feeling the pain and are responding with frustration (including but not at all limited to racism). MWC are also feeling the pain, but under every metric the New Regime is way better than the old, and the high priests of the New Regime are their allies, and so they rally under the other flag.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                That may well be part of it! I think the WWC does present a thorny issue for Democrats and for liberalism, but it’s an easy one to oversimplify, and one that attracts a lot of really bad analysis. For one, I’m very much on board with epistemic closure as a significant explanation for Trump. Having entered the conservative media ecosystem for cultural reasons, for ugly racial reasons, and because of a determination that libs served the economic interests of the minority poor at their expense, these voters became steadily more amenable to Trump’s political style and worldview because the Limbaugh’s of the world trained them in it for decades.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Don Zeko
                Ignored
                says:

                I think this is a part of it, but I think for it to be it you have to ignore the international context.

                In other words, if Fox didn’t exist it’s audience might have just invented it.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Well lots of things are part of it. Maybe I’ll be able to noodle all of this over well enough to write a guest post. In the meantime, I’ll just say that however we diagnose, I don’t mind throwing some shade at the Democratic party or at liberals. We/they deserve some of it. But the behavior of the Vichy Republicans (hat tip to James fallows) who gave been “high priests of the new order” for decades, and who are going along with all the worst aspects of Trumpism? They deserve everything they get and more.Report

  9. Avatar Richard Hershberger
    Ignored
    says:

    The media and both-sides-do-it: Trump selectively penalizes media outlets that publish stuff he doesn’t like. Clinton doesn’t give interviews or press conferences as frequently as the media would like. We will now pretend that there is no difference between the two.Report

  10. Avatar Teckelvik
    Ignored
    says:

    Both links in the William Jennings Bryan piece go to the tweets on your website. It looks like the second link should go somewhere else?Report

  11. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, after last nights, as @north put it, “shit show”, RCP has HRC at +2.7 and dropping!

    LA Times/USC poll has The Donald at +1

    Are we in LaLa land now?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      Hillary not ahead by as much as I would prefer, but Trump still hasn’t busted that ceiling of his (most of the loosing and tightening has been Hillary movement). I expect him to get a boost from the convention… but then comes the DNC.

      Which is to say… not worried yet.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      Give it a week after the D convention before caring much about polls. There are always convention bumps. Until then its all noise.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      No, we’re in the middle of the GOP convention, and the vagaries of the campaign calendar are such that they’re going first. A party’s nominee always gains ground during their own conventions. Both parties. In every election cycle since polling has begun.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      Polls are lagging indicators. Consider, we’re polling during the GOP convention after a week in which we had a terrorism attack, police violence and the FBI delivering their opinion on the emailgate thing (all hat, no cattle but plenty of nasty things to say about HRC). By all measures we should be looking at about or around the nadir of her polling presuming no especially big black swans… And looking at fivethirtyeights average I can say very firmly that I’m unconcerned.Report

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