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I'm continually amazed that folks will acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election as if it's the dumbest thing in the world to question it...and then continue to parrot the misinformation that they were fed by said interference. The Russians didn't interfere by altering votes/hacking voting machines -- they interfered through social engineering...guiding and controlling public opinions and discourse.

The Russians took a page directly from our playbook -- they did the modern/online equivalent of what we did with Yeltsin.

 

For those continuing to parrot the "Hillary is the devil" lines...or "Hillary stole the nomination from Sanders"...please read the rules of this thread and do some research.  Hillary did not steal the Democratic nomination -- she won both the popular vote and the delegate vote, which is kind of the way it's supposed to work (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2016_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries). She was an extremely competent and experienced politician who became the target of one of the largest smear campaigns in modern history (the most direct/tangible result of the Russian interference in the election process).

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1 hour ago, Simon said:

I'm continually amazed that folks will acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election as if it's the dumbest thing in the world to question it...and then continue to parrot the misinformation that they were fed by said interference. The Russians didn't interfere by altering votes/hacking voting machines -- they interfered through social engineering...guiding and controlling public opinions and discourse.

 

Let's not forget Russian hacking of the DNC, and the selective release of the material they found there. This was then passed on uncritically by the media in the US.

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Just now, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

Let's not forget Russian hacking of the DNC, and the selective release of the material they found there. This was then passed on uncritically by the media in the US.

Certainly.  All part of a fairly well-orchestrated effort to cast doubt on certain candidates and sow confusion and chaos within the electorate (which they could then capitalize upon).

It was grander in scale than what the US did, but handled in an eerily similar fashion.

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7 hours ago, Simon said:

Certainly.  All part of a fairly well-orchestrated effort to cast doubt on certain candidates and sow confusion and chaos within the electorate (which they could then capitalize upon).

It was grander in scale than what the US did, but handled in an eerily similar fashion.

Did the US have inside help? I really don't know. Russia was given internal polling from the Trump campaign to assist in knowing where to utilize the manipulated information they hacked from the DNC. It allowed them to do some seriously surgical micro-targeting in just the right states to the right demographic groups.

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21 hours ago, Simon said:

Hillary did not steal the Democratic nomination -- she won both the popular vote and the delegate vote, which is kind of the way it's supposed to work (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2016_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries). 

 

And then won the popular vote by a respectable margin, which kiboshes the "Une3lectable Hillary" trope.

 

NOVA actually did an episode on this, looking at the election as an exercise in statistical analysis. General forecast was that she had something like a 3/4 chance of winning, IIRC. 75% is not 100% As one statistician put it, would you get on a plane that was 75% likely not to crash?

 

While there's a danger in politics of re-fighting the last election, there's also a danger of drawing the wrong lessons. I hear some Democratic grandees think the lesson is, "Don't nominate a woman." Oy. Others say the lesson is to throw minorities under the bus to pander to the white working class. Not sure that's much better.

 

The lesson I draw is how deeply the electoral college distorts elections. Consider that in 5 presidential elections since 2000, Republicans won the popular vote only once (W's second term), but received three terms in office. The reasons are not complex, though the causes behind them may be: The electorate has polarized between liberal/urban and rural/conservative, and the parties likewise. Most states are predictable based on the urban/rural percentage.

 

I am not sure what Dems need to do to beat the Party of Trump in 2020. Clearly it isn't enough to win the popular vote overall: The point spread matters too, and the locations won. I am open to suggestions. But they do need to win: Given the former Republicans I have heard who are aghast at how Trump has changed the party and abused the office, I am confident that my own distaste for the man and his party is not mere partisanship.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On other matters, te latest ep of the public radio program On The Media interviewed historian Daniel Immerwahr, author of How to Hide an Empire, on the history of US overseas impeialism from  guano mining in the Caribbean to today's "pointillist empire" of far-flung military bases. Fascinating stuff.

 

Of particular interest to me: The debate around the turn of the 20th century about the US' sudden new colonial empire gained through the Spanish American War (among other things). Notably, until the Afghanistan campaign the war to subjugate the Philippines was the longest in US history; and twice as many Filipinos -- American nationals, though not American citizens -- died in WW2 as Americans of any sort died in the Civil War.

 

Also, the nature of the debate the US had about that empire. People did implicitly recognize the US had reached an existential choice:

* It could expand overseas;

* It could be a democratic republic;

* It could be white-dominant.

 

Pick two of three. All three were not possible.

 

The debate was between people willing to abandon democracy by having colonies of people who were not citizens, and people who wanted to abandon imperial expansion. As Immerwahr points out, nobody suggested abandoning white supremacy by extending citizenship to conquered peoples. Indeed, much of the anti-imperial rhetoric was explicitly racist.

 

EDIT: The outcome of the debate was... mixed. Alaska and Hawaii became states; The Philippines and most of the territory seized in WW2 were eventually let go, sort of, but still hosting military bases; and Puerto Rico, Guam and a few other places are still under US sovereignty without their inhabitants being full citizens. Perhaps this should be resolved.

 

Dean Shomshak

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23 hours ago, DShomshak said:

twice as many Filipinos -- American nationals, though not American citizens -- died in WW2 as Americans of any sort died in the Civil War.

 

Good post, but a casual fact check doesn't support this one stat. More Filipinos did die in WW2 than in the US Civil War, but not even close to twice as many. There were 57,000 Filipino military casualties and 900,000 civilian casualties in WW II. There were 620,000 military and 50,000 civilian casualties in the American Civil War. 957k is not twice 670K. To me, though, the fact that the ratios of civilian and military deaths are flipped in each war is the most disturbing part.  WW II was truly horrifying in that respect.

 

Edit: I'd never thought of Guam's famous bat guano as an economic resource before this, though it does make sense. Thanks.

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20 hours ago, DShomshak said:

The lesson I draw is how deeply the electoral college distorts elections. Consider that in 5 presidential elections since 2000, Republicans won the popular vote only once (W's second term), but received three terms in office. The reasons are not complex, though the causes behind them may be: The electorate has polarized between liberal/urban and rural/conservative, and the parties likewise. Most states are predictable based on the urban/rural percentage

 

Simply having ridings distorts the popular vote.  With a multi-party structure, Canada is a bit different, but even with two parties, and 435 seats in Congress, 218 seats are a majority.  If we assume each riding has equal population, and Party A wins 218 seats with 51% of the popular vote in each riding, that accounts for 25.6% of the popular vote.  They will control Congress even if they do not get a single vote in the other 217 ridings.

 

The Senate needs 51% of 51 seats, so 26.01% of the popular vote, although the Senate is further distorted as the lower-population states need a lot less voters to elect their candidate.

 

One issue that comes up a lot in Canada is that so much of the population is in two provinces (Ontario and Quebec) that you don't often need to count the votes in the other provinces to figure out who will form the government.  They make up over 60% of the population.  That puts a lot of political power in those two provinces.  But if we had equal seats for each province and territory, about 10% of the population could theoretically elect the majority (7 provinces and territories of 13).

 

"Fair" is a really challenging concept to pin down.

 

Some countries do count popular vote.  A party that wins 5% of the popular vote in Canada would be considered a fringe element, and would not likely win a single riding.  But in a proportional representation structure, they would get 5% of the seats, and select which of their candidates would occupy them.  Those countries tend to never have one party in a majority, and coalitions need to cooperate to form a government.  We have minority governments in Canada on occasion, also requiring two or more parties to cooperate.  This can result in a party with very few seats gaining a lot of political clout when they hold the balance of power.

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15 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 

Good post, but a casual fact check doesn't support this one bit. More Filipinos did die in WW2 than in the US Civil War, but not even close to twice as many. There were 57,000 Filipino military casualties and 900,000 civilian casualties in WW II. There were 620,000 military and 50,000 civilian casualties in the American Civil War. 957k is not twice 670K. To me, though, the fact that the ratios of civilian and military deaths are flipped in each war is the most disturbing part.  WW II was truly horrifying in that respect.

 

Edit: I'd never thought of Guam's famous bat guano as an economic resource before this, though it does make sense. Thanks.

 

It's possible I misheard or misremembered what Immerwahr said. Thank you for checking!

 

Dean Shomshak

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15 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 

Good post, but a casual fact check doesn't support this one bit. More Filipinos did die in WW2 than in the US Civil War, but not even close to twice as many. There were 57,000 Filipino military casualties and 900,000 civilian casualties in WW II. There were 620,000 military and 50,000 civilian casualties in the American Civil War. 957k is not twice 670K. To me, though, the fact that the ratios of civilian and military deaths are flipped in each war is the most disturbing part.  WW II was truly horrifying in that respect.

 

Edit: I'd never thought of Guam's famous bat guano as an economic resource before this, though it does make sense. Thanks.

 

It's possible I misheard or misremembered what Immerwahr said. Thank you for checking!

 

Dean Shomshak

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21 hours ago, Old Man said:

Yes, but what you write is usually worth reading more than once. ;)

 

Aw, shucks, I'm blushin'.

 

Being so poor that I'm stuck with dial-up sucks. ISP and forum software become erratic, and fixing anything takes a long time if it's possible at all. Everybody out there? Try not to be poor.

 

Incidentally, All Things Considered said yesterday that Hawaii has the highest life expectancy of the 50 states, a shade over 81 years. What's your secret?

 

Dean Shomshak

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4 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

Incidentally, All Things Considered said yesterday that Hawaii has the highest life expectancy of the 50 states, a shade over 81 years. What's your secret?

 

Several factors come to mind:

1-  Very relaxed culture.

2-  Tropical environment is easy on the body.

3-  Population is mostly Asian and they've retained enough of their cultures of origin to not balloon up to American sizes as a whole.

 

Though a quick review of the list on Wikipedia says Minnesota - a godforsaken icy wasteland -  is in 2nd place so there goes my theory.

 

 

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