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Author Topic: Our unbalanced POTUS  (Read 89768 times)
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robcat2075

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« Reply #880 on: Mar 26, 2017, 12:28PM »

Not much sourcing on this story but it's easy to imagine it true.  It wouldn't be the pettiest thing he had ever done...

Donald Trump printed out made-up £300bn Nato invoice and handed it to Angela Merkel

Quote
The US President is said to have had an “invoice” printed out outlining the sum estimated by his aides as covering Germany’s unpaid contributions for defence.

Said to be presented during private talks in Washington, the move has been met with criticism from German and Nato officials...


 

The Times quoted a German government minister as saying the move was “outrageous”.

The unnamed minister said: “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the Chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations.”
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robcat2075

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« Reply #881 on: Mar 27, 2017, 09:38AM »

Candidate trump saying he'd never go golfing when he was President, just work real hard.

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #882 on: Mar 27, 2017, 09:42AM »

Candidate trump saying he'd never go golfing when he was President, just work real hard.



Well, most of us knew he was a liar.  You know how you can tell?  His lips are moving. Evil
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #883 on: Mar 27, 2017, 10:25AM »

What New Yorkers who have been listening to this blithering idiot for 30+ years have known all along:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yii483zIHjA

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« Reply #884 on: Mar 27, 2017, 10:26AM »

Well, most of us knew he was a liar.  You know how you can tell?  His lips are moving. Evil

Or his thumbs are moving.

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« Reply #885 on: Mar 27, 2017, 10:55AM »

Where's DD and the other couple of right-wingers?

Haven't heard from them here for a while.  Are they finally getting it that their horse has rotten teeth, caused mostly by the verbal feces that flows over them in a continuous stream?
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« Reply #886 on: Mar 27, 2017, 10:59AM »

The Electoral College remedy is only good for about six weeks after the election and by requiring that they meet in their separate states, it was intended to be difficult to somehow sway them from the real actual election outcome.

However, this is precisely the kind of thing it was created to prevent.
 
Although I agree they didn't have enough basis yet when the EC met.
 
The problem this time was/is the fact that voting "wealth" is badly redistributed.
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« Reply #887 on: Mar 27, 2017, 11:04AM »

BTW. Trump and Spicer are lying right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdvZB6OY2Do
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« Reply #888 on: Mar 27, 2017, 11:05AM »


That's the situation the Electoral College was supposed to prevent, and of course we do have impeachment. While I've always had second thoughts I've never before been a fan of the Electoral College, but lately I'm really beginning to appreciate the wisdom behind it.

The Electoral College was designed precisely for this purpose, but it could no longer serve it.

The voting distribution used to create the Electoral vote could easily be duplicated perfectly without any EC--it would just be a distribution of votes by states. Same exact outcome as if every elector voted 'faithfully', with no electors needed.

So the founders anticipated--and they said this--that the EC was designed to overrule a bad choice by the people. But it's been so long since they've had anything but a ceremonial purpose that there would be chaos if they performed that function.
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« Reply #889 on: Mar 27, 2017, 11:32AM »

The Electoral College was designed precisely for this purpose, but it could no longer serve it.
Probably true, unless someone managed to come up with some very clever way ... not that it seems at all likely, or possible.
 
The voting distribution used to create the Electoral vote could easily be duplicated perfectly without any EC--it would just be a distribution of votes by states. Same exact outcome as if every elector voted 'faithfully', with no electors needed.
Sure, there's nearly always a different way to recreate problems. I'm not sure where you're coming from on that one.
 
So the founders anticipated--and they said this--that the EC was designed to overrule a bad choice by the people. But it's been so long since they've had anything but a ceremonial purpose that there would be chaos if they performed that function.
Yeah--the main problem. Would We the People accept such a decision, and if so, under what circumstances?
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« Reply #890 on: Mar 27, 2017, 12:08PM »


 Sure, there's nearly always a different way to recreate problems. I'm not sure where you're coming from on that one.

What I'm saying is that there are two distinct elements to the EC--the way votes are counted state-by-state, and the actual electoral college itself.

The way the votes are counted is designed to insure that the new president is broadly popular in most states, rather than just winning by very large margins in a few, and to give disproportionate voting weight to smaller states. This could easily be accomplished without human electors, and would have been easy even at our founding--you're just assigning a set number of votes to each state according to a prescribed set of rules (which has changed over the years).

So there had to be an additional reason for having actual electors, which is the second element. The founders anticipated that the electors themselves would select the president, with an eye toward the outcome of the popular vote, but not bound by it. The idea was that they would be a deliberative body and would overrule rash decisions by the populous.

In other words, I'm not just saying that there's more than one way to 'recreate problems'; I'm saying that the very way that the founders went about it, going to the trouble to have human electors, indicates that the electors' role was never simply to create a different counting system for the popular vote.
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« Reply #891 on: Mar 27, 2017, 12:23PM »



So the founders anticipated--and they said this--that the EC was designed to overrule a bad choice by the people. But it's been so long since they've had anything but a ceremonial purpose that there would be chaos if they performed that function.

There were people who advocated that tactic, but it was never more than a token protest; it had no chance of happening.

If it did, it would have been within the rule of law.  I see that as in contrast with the side that did not agree to accept the results of the election if they lost. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #892 on: Mar 27, 2017, 12:56PM »

There were people who advocated that tactic, but it was never more than a token protest; it had no chance of happening.

If it did, it would have been within the rule of law.  I see that as in contrast with the side that did not agree to accept the results of the election if they lost. 

I am very glad that the EC did not fulfill their proper function in the most recent election. Tradition sometimes counts alongside law, and it's way too late for a return to that. It would have been chaos and maybe civil war if the Trump cretins didn't get their way.
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« Reply #893 on: Mar 27, 2017, 02:14PM »

I'll note that the argument that the Electoral College was put there to ensure a wise leader was chosen is just Alexander Hamilton's explanation (in the Federalist papers). It's not official Constitutional stuff.  I'm not sure that many of the other founders believed it. 

Did Hamilton even believe it?

The requirement that the electors meet apart in their separate state capitals seems to work against Hamilton's idea. There was no way for them to "deliberate" in an age when it could take weeks or months or a letter to get from one end of the country to another. Political parties didn't exist at the time to facilitate a voting strategy in advance of the election.


A better explanation I've read for the EC is that it inflated the influence of the slave states.  With Electors apportioned on the basis of population and with slave states getting to count their otherwise non-citizen slaves at the 3/5 rate, they acquired an influence in the election that they could never have if it were just based on total votes cast at the polls. The slave states had very few people actually qualified to vote in elections. White males who owned property and paid taxes... not many of those in plantation states.


Speaking of "not many"... Trump's new approval rating is is 36%

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #894 on: Mar 27, 2017, 04:11PM »

What I'm saying is that there are two distinct elements to the EC--the way votes are counted state-by-state, and the actual electoral college itself.
Right ... IOW the number of electors per-capita, and the actual final determination that's not actually constrained by the public vote results based upon the former.
 
The way the votes are counted is designed to insure that the new president is broadly popular in most states, rather than just winning by very large margins in a few, and to give disproportionate voting weight to smaller states. This could easily be accomplished without human electors, and would have been easy even at our founding--you're just assigning a set number of votes to each state according to a prescribed set of rules (which has changed over the years).
As I understand it the formula is off and needs to be tweaked in order to keep the EC in tune with its reason for being though. That could be wrong, but there seems to be a serious disparity when it comes to states at or near either extreme.
 
So there had to be an additional reason for having actual electors, which is the second element. The founders anticipated that the electors themselves would select the president, with an eye toward the outcome of the popular vote, but not bound by it. The idea was that they would be a deliberative body and would overrule rash decisions by the populous.
And I expect a lot of the populous had no idea about all of that. There was simply no such thing as transparency in anything remotely like we understand it now, for all sorts of reasons.
 
In other words, I'm not just saying that there's more than one way to 'recreate problems'; I'm saying that the very way that the founders went about it, going to the trouble to have human electors, indicates that the electors' role was never simply to create a different counting system for the popular vote.
Right. But yeah, it's gotten far more complicated and transparent, so it would be very difficult, and almost certainly really ugly, particularly at a time like this when the public is so divided that it's called a war--cold though it may be. I doubt it would flare up to a real civil war, though that may just be a factor of thinking in more conventional terms than would be applicable for such a war. I'd also expect it to get pretty seriously nasty though, and I'm definitely in the wrong region for my own best interests should such a situation arise. Things might not return to anything that could be reasonably considered a civil level by modern standards for years. It would at the very least result in a good deal more dysfunction and turmoil and damage of all sorts than even The Donald can very likely muster ... though I say that with definite reservations.
 
The best case scenario may be that he's taken down by his hubris (the Russian situation isn't an unlikely impetus), and he takes his crüe with him, even if that means Perry takes charge. I'm certainly not a fan, but he's at least freakin' rational, and far more competent in probably every relevant way than The Donald, which isn't saying much at all of course, just that we'd almost certainly be significantly better off. Not sure about the fallout and the Trumpistanians though. That's a major wild card.
 
I'm really feeling the need to get back home, to the San Francisco Bay Area! ... could even see bailing on my medical benefits to do so earlier if thing were to go all Medieval--they simply wouldn't be a factor any more (my wife and I are currently waiting until I can retire and retain them before the move is an actual option--that's 5½ years from now).
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« Reply #895 on: Mar 27, 2017, 04:41PM »

Remember that at the time the Electoral College was formulated, we didn't have universal suffrage (even among men).  Basically the Electoral College was a reflection of the House and Senate combined.  It might have been at the first elections that the House and Senate actually elected the President (making us more like the Parliamentary system than today).

If you look at a map of counties that supported the various candidates, the rural counties overwhelmingly supported Trump (and Republicans) while only a few centers of population (i.e. big cities) supported the Democrats.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #896 on: Mar 27, 2017, 04:41PM »

I'll note that the argument that the Electoral College was put there to ensure a wise leader was chosen is just Alexander Hamilton's explanation (in the Federalist papers). It's not official Constitutional stuff.  I'm not sure that many of the other founders believed it. 

Did Hamilton even believe it?

The requirement that the electors meet apart in their separate state capitals seems to work against Hamilton's idea. There was no way for them to "deliberate" in an age when it could take weeks or months or a letter to get from one end of the country to another. Political parties didn't exist at the time to facilitate a voting strategy in advance of the election. There must have been some purpose to having them.



A better explanation I've read for the EC is that it inflated the influence of the slave states.  With Electors apportioned on the basis of population and with slave states getting to count their otherwise non-citizen slaves at the 3/5 rate, they acquired an influence in the election that they could never have if it were just based on total votes cast at the polls. The slave states had very few people actually qualified to vote in elections. White males who owned property and paid taxes... not many of those in plantation states.


Let's stipulate your point. The voting scheme helped the slave states, and still does--there's no question that the EC allowed the former Confederacy to tip the most recent election against the rest of the voters, even though they're still by and large our most ignorant, uneducated, and benighted citizens (even though we no longer let them have their slaves, they still want to fly their little flag).

But that's based on the way the votes are counted, which doesn't rely on having actual electors. There must have been some reason for having them, and even meeting in separate locations, they could have been a bulwark against the riffraff. Your theory doesn't explain the necessity of the electors.
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« Reply #897 on: Mar 27, 2017, 05:17PM »

If you look at a map of counties that supported the various candidates, the rural counties overwhelmingly supported Trump (and Republicans) while only a few centers of population (i.e. big cities) supported the Democrats.

Only a few, eh?
 
How are you figuring that, exactly?
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« Reply #898 on: Mar 27, 2017, 05:45PM »

Remember, congressional districts are allocated based on population.  Many "red" states have only one representative while some cities will have several just for the city.

So you will have a state like New York, where the City is heavily Democratic (with the exception of Staten Island) and some of the upstate cities are Democratic while all the rural areas are Republican.  The vote in the cities is enough to pull the state Democratic even though by area it looks quite Republican.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #899 on: Mar 27, 2017, 06:31PM »

Remember, congressional districts are allocated based on population.  Many "red" states have only one representative while some cities will have several just for the city.
 
So you will have a state like New York, where the City is heavily Democratic (with the exception of Staten Island) and some of the upstate cities are Democratic while all the rural areas are Republican.  The vote in the cities is enough to pull the state Democratic even though by area it looks quite Republican.

I'm well aware of those things--"remembering" isn't so much involved as simply knowing.
 
So how are you figuring "only a few centers of population supported the Democrats"?
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