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Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:32 pm UTC
by Dark567
ObsessoMom wrote:Um, don't overlook the fact that many people are rejecting political parties altogether. Registered voters in California as of February 10, 2017, by political party (bolding mine):
Most of the research actually shows this is bullshit. As much as some people don't claim to vote always for one party or the other, most of the time they still will. A lot of people claim no preference for the Democratic party because it isn't liberal enough for them or that the GOP isn't conservative enough.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the ... 74dc017fe1
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/in ... overrated/

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:28 pm UTC
by ObsessoMom
I wasn't making whatever bullshit argument you seem to think I was.

This is what I said:

ObsessoMom wrote:Um, don't overlook the fact that many people are rejecting political parties altogether. Registered voters in California as of February 10, 2017, by political party (bolding mine):

Democratic: 8,700,440 (44.8%)
Republican: 5,027,714 (25.9%)
No Party Preference: 4,762,212 (24.5%)
Other: 942,243 (4.9%)


Source: California Secretary of State's Odd-Year Report of Voter Registration
(The quoted data is found on the first page of this section, where you can see how that breakdown has changed over the past ten years; the full table of contents for the report is here.)


What people choose to conclude from that data is up to them. But the data itself isn't bullshit.

What I choose to conclude is that there's a huge percentage of voters who don't like what either major party is selling enough to join the Fan Club, but who might be persuaded to support the right candidate, based on factors that can't be assumed from the data. (That conclusion might indeed be bullshit. But that's not what I initially said--I just presented the data as significant.)

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:40 pm UTC
by sardia
ObsessoMom wrote:I wasn't making whatever bullshit argument you seem to think I was.

This is what I said:

ObsessoMom wrote:Um, don't overlook the fact that many people are rejecting political parties altogether. Registered voters in California as of February 10, 2017, by political party (bolding mine):

Democratic: 8,700,440 (44.8%)
Republican: 5,027,714 (25.9%)
No Party Preference: 4,762,212 (24.5%)
Other: 942,243 (4.9%)


Source: California Secretary of State's Odd-Year Report of Voter Registration
(The quoted data is found on the first page of this section, where you can see how that breakdown has changed over the past ten years; the full table of contents for the report is here.)


What people choose to conclude from that data is up to them. But the data itself isn't bullshit.

What I choose to conclude is that there's a huge percentage of voters who don't like what either major party is selling enough to join the Fan Club, but who might be persuaded to support the right candidate, based on factors that can't be assumed from the data. (That conclusion might indeed be bullshit. But that's not what I initially said--I just presented the data as significant.)

Ok, based on your data, this is not sufficient evidence to show that a huge percentage of people aren't satisfied with either party.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/ch ... impeached/
Trump impeachment thought experiment. In short, the chances of impeachment is low, check back after the May and summer special elections, and again after 2018. Your benchmark for impeachment is what the 67th most conservative senator thinks of Trump, John Thune.

I have a bet with a super liberal Bernie lover, $20 to 5$ that Trump isn't impeached by Dec 2017. If Trump is impeached, I lose$20, if he isn't, I win $5. Should I raise my bet? I'm thinking of proposing $40 to $20, and see if he bites, but I'm nervous about being wrong.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:49 pm UTC
by Liri
I'm sure there are betting markets offering odds.

What about 25th Amendment removal? It's a silly amendment and was only added cause people misinterpreted "high crimes and misdemeanors" as cause for congressional impeachment and removal. That said, maybe he'll go so buck-wild that Pence and the cabinet take it upon themselves. Unlikely, to be sure.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:51 pm UTC
by Dark567
Liri wrote:What about 15th Amendment removal? It's a silly amendment and was only added cause people misinterpreted "high crimes and misdemeanors" as cause for congressional impeachment and removal. That said, maybe he'll go so buck-wild that Pence and the cabinet take it upon themselves. Unlikely, to be sure.
It's 25th right? Anyway. That's really only a temporary thing and if Trump doesn't concede to the cabinet, it goes to a vote in the House and Senate where it requires 2/3rds votes in both houses to confirm the cabinet's decision(this is actually more votes than impeachment). As a long term solution that's probably harder than impeachment.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 9:17 pm UTC
by Liri
I totes typed 25th and the forum changed it.

In this hypothetical, Trump would've had to've done some real heinous shit, presumably, if his cabinet is deserting him; Congress wouldn't feel pressured to defend him. But yes, super unlikely.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 10:22 pm UTC
by Thesh
It would depend on the outcome of the investigations, which I don't think will wrap up any time too soon. Speculation is that Jared is a target of the investigation, and I could foresee that if it turns out to be true and there are charges against him that could make Trump too close to it all for Republicans to keep supporting.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 10:51 pm UTC
by Vahir
I think we've seen already that there's no red line for the republicans. Trump could behead Paul Ryan on national television and the right would still support him.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 11:05 pm UTC
by Thesh
It's not a matter of overall supporters, it's a matter of getting reelected and that means keeping the margins. If Republicans can't keep their voters happy either way, they may be able to save face by ousting Trump early and giving them as much time as possible to recover for 2020. They can only cry "fake news" so long before it starts weighing on the less enthusiastic supporters.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 12:48 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
ObsessoMom wrote:What I choose to conclude is that there's a huge percentage of voters who don't like what either major party is selling enough to join the Fan Club, but who might be persuaded to support the right candidate, based on factors that can't be assumed from the data. (That conclusion might indeed be bullshit. But that's not what I initially said--I just presented the data as significant.)
I know the plural of anecdote isn't data.

But I know far too many people who are registered Democrat as their dad was Democrat and their grandpappy Democrat and so on so by damn they're a Democrat....

And they haven't voted for a Democratic Party member since the 70s. (Though, spoiler, I am kinda sorta in The South, where the Democratic Party was publicly a very different animal prior to the 1960s. How much they actually changed is outside of the scope of this comment)

Also, keep in mind that you're dealing with a country where 3% of people consider themselves Atheists (while 8% of them believe in God or some sort of universal spirit) while 9% of Americans do not believe in the existence of God or a universal spirit.

So 6% of Americans and 8% of 3% either are that profoundly ignorant on the definition of a single word or, more likely, are so hung up on a family identifier that they fail to acknowledge when it no longer applies.

So I don't put a whole lot of stock in registration numbers. I put my stock in what people voted for in the last 8 years of local, State, and National elections.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 1:47 pm UTC
by Liri
538 had an article last week about the potentially very off statistic about atheism rates in the US. By a couple studies that asked "do you believe in god (y/n)" as part of a suite of other innocuous questions, they found 26% said no. In contrast to the 3%-result polls where atheism is presented as a choice alongside major religions.

But back to Trump - I'd agree that party registration is a poor predictor, especially in the South (Dems hugely outnumber Repubs in NC, for instance [but hella gerrymandering is largely to blame for our current legislature]).

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 5:24 pm UTC
by ObsessoMom
So, deep down, everyone is either male or female, gay or straight, theistic or atheistic, Republican or Democratic, even if people self-identify otherwise?

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:30 pm UTC
by Liri
Um, no. The point was that people may consider themselves both Jewish and atheist, and if forced to choose between the two, opt for Jewish. Same for Muslims, Christians, etc. where religion is more of a cultural identity than an expression of faith.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:36 pm UTC
by Dark567
ObsessoMom wrote:So, deep down, everyone is either male or female, gay or straight, theistic or atheistic, Republican or Democratic, even if people self-identify otherwise?
It's not a deep down thing, but it is indicating that most independents are actually pretty one sided. I think this both indicates how set people are in their views, but also how far apart the parties have become(there are a lot less liberal/centrist Republicans or conservative/centrist democrats than there once were).

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:41 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
There's obvious confusion about whether atheism is explicit antitheism ("there is no God") or implict to any nontheism ("I don't bother myself with religious stuff"). And that's without counting spiritual-but-not-God-believing flavours. For me, I'm not a disbeliever, just a nonbeliever.)

And agnosticism is not the middle-ground between extremes of (dis)belief in God on a theism/atheism axis, but a separate measure opposite that of fervency, which can apply to all flavours from believers and disbelievers alike who identify but are not convinced to those that are ardently to their own POV, whether convinced with or convinced against the image of a supreme being.


I suspect that if you had a poll asking "are you an atheist? (an atheist is <foo>" on your test, you'd get more consistent result. Or maybe, if freehand answers are possible, a number of people saying "That's not what an atheist is!", regardless of the way the test swung.


But that's an aside, stuck being edited for half the day. Not the place to argue semantics. Not that I'm being anti-semantic, either!

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:43 pm UTC
by Thesh
So anyone else surprised there is so little coverage about Turkey attacking US citizens on US soil and Trump completely ignoring it? Would this not be the biggest story of the year if this was Obama?

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:52 pm UTC
by morriswalters
ObsessoMom wrote:So, deep down, everyone is either male or female, gay or straight, theistic or atheistic, Republican or Democratic, even if people self-identify otherwise?
I don't know about gender and sex, but in politics there really isn't a lot of meaning in not being one or the other. Being independent is by definition not belonging to a party at all. Since there is no Independent Party to run Independent Party candidates, they instead have to take what is given them, by parties who do put up candidates. So in most cases the choices are vote Democrat, Republican, or don't vote. Or perhaps vote for a fringe candidate. So comparisons to political parties are more or less apples and oranges.

And who wants to self identify as an atheist? They have an ugly reputation. So there isn't really an upside currently. If it's important to you, you might self identify that way. But if it isn't, you can still maintain an identity as a Christen even if you don't really believe in God. It doesn't cost anything. You needn't ever enter a church or pray.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:59 pm UTC
by sardia
Thesh wrote:So anyone else surprised there is so little coverage about Turkey attacking US citizens on US soil and Trump completely ignoring it? Would this not be the biggest story of the year if this was Obama?

They are giving it coverage, but Trump is on the rampage, so that's more important. Besides, the US, regardless of which party, needs Turkey to supply the bases, and fight Isis. So the US is constrained regardless.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:01 pm UTC
by Mutex
Thesh wrote:So anyone else surprised there is so little coverage about Turkey attacking US citizens on US soil and Trump completely ignoring it? Would this not be the biggest story of the year if this was Obama?

Having trawled the BBC, are you talking about this?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40003575
Turkey has blamed US officials for "aggressive and unprofessional actions" and "security lapses" during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit last week.

The Turkish foreign minister said it had summoned the US ambassador, John Bass, and asked for an investigation.

During the key visit, a brawl erupted between protesters and Turkish security personnel, injuring 11 people.

Police called it a "brutal attack" on protesters, but Turkey blamed the violence on pro-Kurdish demonstrators.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:05 pm UTC
by Thesh
Yeah, that's the one.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:10 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
morriswalters wrote:And who wants to self identify as an atheist? They have an ugly reputation. So there isn't really an upside currently. If it's important to you, you might self identify that way. But if it isn't, you can still maintain an identity as a Christen even if you don't really believe in God. It doesn't cost anything. You needn't ever enter a church or pray.

Apparently that's true, in the States (and certainly certain states). If you get a complete stranger explicitly asking survey questions, atheism is under reported. (A method used to determine this is to ask "how many of these statements are true?", with, e.g. "I own a dog", "I have committed a larceny", "I do not know how to drive", "I hate my work-colleagues" and of course "I am an atheist". Pump the numeric answer from different subsets of the questions and "I am an atheist" is noticeably more common in such an obscured investigation than when directly asked...

It's not the only thing wrong in the world, though.

(I also had to trawl the BBC to find the new story, to find it was just an older one still simmering.)

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:13 pm UTC
by Liri
sardia wrote:
Thesh wrote:So anyone else surprised there is so little coverage about Turkey attacking US citizens on US soil and Trump completely ignoring it? Would this not be the biggest story of the year if this was Obama?

They are giving it coverage, but Trump is on the rampage, so that's more important. Besides, the US, regardless of which party, needs Turkey to supply the bases, and fight Isis. So the US is constrained regardless.

Did you see McCain's response? "We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America." He and Feinstein also sent a letter expressing their outrage to Erdogan himself, there's a criminal investigation ongoing, and several Senators are arguing for imposing trade sanctions. They're not exactly letting it slide.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 9:27 pm UTC
by heuristically_alone
sardia wrote:I have a bet with a super liberal Bernie lover, $20 to 5$ that Trump isn't impeached by Dec 2017. If Trump is impeached, I lose$20, if he isn't, I win $5. Should I raise my bet? I'm thinking of proposing $40 to $20, and see if he bites, but I'm nervous about being wrong.


Definitely raise the stakes. Even in the unlikely chance that Trump gets impeached, it would probably be a year of meetings and hearings following the Process.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:36 pm UTC
by rivulatus
Long time lurker here, can't remember a lot of my BBcode, so sorry if I haven't linked this properly

Not really wanting to go back to an old argument, but the current culture of leaking within American intelligence seems to be starting to have real effects.

American officials have been criticised for leaking the identity of the Manchester bomber before British police officially named him.
...
Thomas Sanderson, director of the transnational threats project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies thinktank in Washington, said the disclosures would be irritating to the British. “Suddenly you’ve got 10,000 reporters descending on the bomber’s house when maybe the police wanted to approach it more subtly,” he said.


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/23/trump-administration-manchester-bomber-name-leak

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:49 pm UTC
by Angua
rivulatus wrote:Long time lurker here, can't remember a lot of my BBcode, so sorry if I haven't linked this properly

Not really wanting to go back to an old argument, but the current culture of leaking within American intelligence seems to be starting to have real effects.

American officials have been criticised for leaking the identity of the Manchester bomber before British police officially named him.
...
Thomas Sanderson, director of the transnational threats project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies thinktank in Washington, said the disclosures would be irritating to the British. “Suddenly you’ve got 10,000 reporters descending on the bomber’s house when maybe the police wanted to approach it more subtly,” he said.


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/23/trump-administration-manchester-bomber-name-leak

Great stuff, America.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:48 am UTC
by Chen
I gotta wonder if this is the same group of "US officials" that keep leaking stuff that Trump has been doing or if this is a leak directly from the Trump administration with him basically bragging about it again. I'm not sure it really matters in either way, presumably people will eventually stop telling the US things if it continues though. Also what does "US official" mean? Does it literally mean any worker of the US government? Does it need to be the federal government?

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 12:48 pm UTC
by elasto
That leak could have cost innocent lives. There have been arrests and there is talk that he didn't operate alone, so the intelligence services may well not have wanted it known that they knew the identity of the bomber. Once it was all over the US media though it was out of their hands.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 3:51 pm UTC
by sardia
elasto wrote:That leak could have cost innocent lives. There have been arrests and there is talk that he didn't operate alone, so the intelligence services may well not have wanted it known that they knew the identity of the bomber. Once it was all over the US media though it was out of their hands.

Could have? Let's leak some more, and test that theory. I was so surprised when the US media did it again after they leaked the first time.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/we ... ikely-now/
It's nice to check in on old theories of Trump and see which ones were accurate. Strong man Trump is less likely, mostly cuz US institutions are stronger than they appeared. Higher chances of a Trump flailing, Trump pivot, or Trump flailing around trying to pivot. The chance that Trump is right, and might become popular is still on the table, which is weird and unsettling.
My favorite part is, "well now we know why Washington is so seemingly ossified in it's ways; because most of the ways are there for good reason or to prevent bad things from happening. " That's the first time I heard someone praise Washington bureaucrats.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:27 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
http://www.gallup.com/poll/203198/presi ... trump.aspx

I've been keeping an eye on the Gallup polls for the approval rating.

Although its important to remember: the week-to-week swings of the Gallup poll are very noisy in general. But it does provide insight into what the general opinion of America is. Trump's approval rating among Republicans is above 80%, and basically never changed (86% +/- 2%). Democrats are basically 9% +/- 1.7%.

Yes, these values include polls conducted includes May 18 through 24. Trump's "lowest" point was still March 26-28 (that seems to be around the time when the health care bill failed).

Independents see the most change... but naturally variables closer to 50% naturally have a higher variance. Soooo... I'm not sure what to make of it. (Independents have 36% +/- 2.8%... but there's naturally going to be more noise here due to the nature of statistics)

So my conclusion is that... for the most part, people's opinions of Trump are solidified and haven't really changed since inauguration. Only a very small minority of people seems to change their opinion. Even in light of these past events (Comey firing, Russian investigation, etc. etc), people don't seem to be changing their opinion.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:48 pm UTC
by elasto
US officials disclosed fresh details of the investigation into the Manchester bombing to journalists within hours of Amber Rudd warning them to stop the leaking.

The steady drip of details from the US – as well as from France – is hampering the investigation by British police, who are trying to control the release of information for operational reasons.

The home secretary reflected the frustration and dismay of the UK security services in a series of interviews on Wednesday morning. She described the leaks as “irritating” and said she had made it clear to the US that it should not happen again.

However, within hours, American reporter Richard Engel of NBC tweeted details not released by the UK.

The leak of the British information, as well as demonstrating a lack of respect for a US ally at an emotional time, will have hindered the investigation, where it is essential to control the release of details.

UK counter-terrorism specialists said this week they needed to keep secret the name of a perpetrator or suspect for at least 36 hours to ensure there was an element of surprise in approaching relatives, friends and others.

American officials in Washington briefed US journalists early on Tuesday about the number of dead, confirming that it was a suicide bombing and – hours later – the name of the killer. The UK had not been planning to release the name on Tuesday.


link

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:52 pm UTC
by Angua
What really puzzles me is that now France is leaking as well??

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 5:18 pm UTC
by elasto
Well, it's a bit misleading to describe that as a leak since it was an on-the-record tv interview with a French minister.

That was simply a case of not realising what information was in the public domain - something clearly different to US officials revealing the bomber's name under cloak of anonymity.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 6:59 am UTC
by RCT Bob
The Turkey thing reminded me a bit on the situation about six weeks ago in the Netherlands, when the Turkish foreign minister didn't get a landing clearance to go to the Netherlands and the Turkish minister of family affairs was declared unwanted citizen and was not allowed into the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. Turkey had wanted to campaign to people of Turkish descent for their referendum on changing their constitution. The Dutch government didn't really like that so they banned it under the official reason that the rallies were endangering to public order and safety. Although there's some truth to that excuse; it could very well lead to fights between alt-right anti-islam protesters and Erdogan supporters, it was also very much showing Erdogan the Dutch don't approve of the changes to their constitution. When the Erdogan supporters protesting against the Turkish minister of family affairs not being allowed in got violent the Dutch police forces stepped in and shut down the protests, which prompted Erdogan to call us nazis and fascists for beating down on 'his citizens'.

Point is, you can't really expect the Turkish media and Erdogan to cover stories like these honestly and truthfully. Turkey may claim that they were only acting in self-defence, but I highly doubt it.

In somewhat related stories, anyone has seen this already?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pow ... 3807011908

I really wonder whether Trump actually has a goal in his foreign affairs, the way he treats foreign leaders is so strange. I also found it strange how he acted in Saudi, clearly picking Saudi over Iran. I'm not saying Iran is a flowery paradise of human rights, but it's not like they're any worse than Saudi, and Iran actually shows some willingness for progress and openness since Rohani got to power, which his citizens clearly appreciate as he got reelected. If Trump really wants to shut down terrorism it's not very smart to come down so hard to Iran, although I doubt he actually understands that. Obama has made a lot of mistakes in Syria, but I think his support for Iranian progress (for example by lifting sanctions with the nuclear deal) was very good.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:20 am UTC
by Angua

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:55 am UTC
by Chen
RCT Bob wrote:I really wonder whether Trump actually has a goal in his foreign affairs, the way he treats foreign leaders is so strange. I also found it strange how he acted in Saudi, clearly picking Saudi over Iran. I'm not saying Iran is a flowery paradise of human rights, but it's not like they're any worse than Saudi, and Iran actually shows some willingness for progress and openness since Rohani got to power, which his citizens clearly appreciate as he got reelected. If Trump really wants to shut down terrorism it's not very smart to come down so hard to Iran, although I doubt he actually understands that. Obama has made a lot of mistakes in Syria, but I think his support for Iranian progress (for example by lifting sanctions with the nuclear deal) was very good.


Picking Saudi over Iran seems to be in line with standard US policy. Saudi Arabia has always been a US ally. Iran not so much. I'm not sure why that choice would be surprising.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:50 pm UTC
by The Great Hippo
This is just surreal. Apparently, there's a two trillion dollar math error in the administration's budget proposal. How can anyone be this fucking incompetent?

Oh right, it's Donald Trump and friends.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers put it another way, writing in his blog, "It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them."
Leave it to these morons to manage a budget that's both morally grotesque and mathematically impossible.

The ability for someone who is so absurdly, transparently incompetent to rise to power demonstrates the seemingly endless depths to which our system is fundamentally broken.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:10 pm UTC
by Plasma_Wolf
What's the total size of the budget? 2 trillion is a gigantic number but I have no idea how large the total budget is.

The XKCD Money chart helps out a bit though:

https://xkcd.com/980/huge/#x=-10654&y=-7308&z=6

So a 2 trillion math error is 14% of your GDP. :shock: Well, it would've been back then. But it's not like it's 1/1000th of the budget now

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:20 pm UTC
by The Great Hippo
I'm neither an economist nor an accountant, so it's hard for me to put this 2 trillion dollar budget error in the appropriate context. That being said, no matter how you shake it, it's still a 2 trillion dollar budget error, so... like, yeah -- there's pretty much no context where it's like "Oh, that's just a minor accounting error!".

Apparently, the issue was that they projected a 2 trillion dollar growth, which they then used to give the richest Americans a tax cut -- a tax cut that they claim is the source of that projected 2 trillion dollar growth. They're justifying their projections by using those projections to pay for the things that will cause those projections to be accurate. Kind of like saying "I'm going to make tons of money by investing in this company with all the money I'll make after I invest in this company". You can't write off the cost of an investment with the projected growth of that investment.

(Note: I might be misunderstanding the problem. Again, not an accountant or an economist)

I keep trying to find silver linings to this whole absurd mess. I guess it's good that stupidity and incompetence seem to correlate strongly with ignorance, indifference, and cruelty? I don't know.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:35 pm UTC
by RCT Bob
Chen wrote:
RCT Bob wrote:I really wonder whether Trump actually has a goal in his foreign affairs, the way he treats foreign leaders is so strange. I also found it strange how he acted in Saudi, clearly picking Saudi over Iran. I'm not saying Iran is a flowery paradise of human rights, but it's not like they're any worse than Saudi, and Iran actually shows some willingness for progress and openness since Rohani got to power, which his citizens clearly appreciate as he got reelected. If Trump really wants to shut down terrorism it's not very smart to come down so hard to Iran, although I doubt he actually understands that. Obama has made a lot of mistakes in Syria, but I think his support for Iranian progress (for example by lifting sanctions with the nuclear deal) was very good.


Picking Saudi over Iran seems to be in line with standard US policy. Saudi Arabia has always been a US ally. Iran not so much. I'm not sure why that choice would be surprising.


Maybe so, but it's also blind to recent developments. If Trump would truly be adamant on stopping terrorists from attacking the US it would at least help to not demonise a certain side that's no worse than the side he's apparently being friends with and signing weapon deals with worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It reeks of favouritism and unfair favouritism often fuels hatred. Was it really necessary to demonise Iran so much? I don't agree with a lot of their policies either, like their continued support of Assad and what they're doing in Yemen, but offering them support in progress to become a more open nation would have been a much better message. Iran has the potential to be a very wealthy country even without its oil. It is a country with beautiful nature, a tremendous history, and quite some intellect, in the long run it has the potential to be one of the most attractive countries in the world for tourism. It's like Trump doesn't even have the faintest idea of what actually fuels terrorism beyond 'they're just crazy evil guys we need to fight'.

Re: Trump presidency

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 3:07 pm UTC
by idonno
The Great Hippo wrote:I'm neither an economist nor an accountant, so it's hard for me to put this 2 trillion dollar budget error in the appropriate context. That being said, no matter how you shake it, it's still a 2 trillion dollar budget error, so... like, yeah -- there's pretty much no context where it's like "Oh, that's just a minor accounting error!".
If it were a 100 year forecast, it could be pretty minor. I'm assuming this is a 10 year forecast since that is the time frame the CBO typically looks at and I'd assume the various budgets that get produced look at the same time frame. My quick possibly very flawed estimate puts it around a 5.5% error which is a pretty big error to introduce before even getting into the margin of error in the actual forecast.

The Great Hippo wrote:Apparently, the issue was that they projected a 2 trillion dollar growth, which they then used to give the richest Americans a tax cut -- a tax cut that they claim is the source of that projected 2 trillion dollar growth. They're justifying their projections by using those projections to pay for the things that will cause those projections to be accurate. Kind of like saying "I'm going to make tons of money by buying this company with all the money I'll make after I buy this company".
Maybe I'm missing what you are saying but your example seems like the common practice of paying off debt on an asset from the revenue the asset generates. According to my reading of the article, what is happening is more like planning to buy a company with the tons of money the company will generate while simultaneously planning to buy a yacht with the money already being spent to buy the company. The revenue source is secondary (although that is pretty dubious in and of itself) to the fact that the budget spends it twice.