Demographics And The Vote

The election is sliding into the national thought process (finally)……we are bombarded daily with a wealth of polling and each one has little to do with the eventual outcome…..but it helps drive the conversation by the media……but not the people that will have to make a choice.

This time around the cultural wars are playing very small in the campaigns….nationalism is on the rise……so far the only divide that is making sense (at least to me) is the education of the voters……

It has been widely reported that Donald Trump’s strong appeal to elements of the white working class (especially males) endangers Republican support among women, minorities and the more-educated in the current presidential campaign. What has had less attention is that these shifts, if they persist after this election, endanger long-term Republican control of Congress and state legislatures.

The less-educated tend to vote less often: they are less reliable. That’s one of the most fundamental realities of voting behavior, not only in the United States, but across the world wherever free elections are held. Now, it may be that enthusiasm for Trump will elevate turnout among this sector in this election; we will know more about that in the weeks after November 8.

Source: Demography and Doom: Trump’s White Working Class Base – LA Progressive

This brings us to millennials (18-34)…….this demographic is not as predictable as the media would have us believe……

Polls indicate that Donald Trump is going to be crushed by Hillary Clinton this November when it comes to millennials, who could make up the nation’s largest voting bloc. But in reality, the GOP nominee may do much better with young voters than we have been led to believe.

A real-time Electoral College tracking map published by Mic shows Clinton dominating among millennials, with Trump ahead in only five states. Given that there are 69 millennials who are currently eligible to vote, this forecast appears devastating for the GOP.

But there is one critical factor that most of the polls and tracking maps are not taking into account: voter turnout.

In the 2008 and 2012 elections, President Obama mobilized minorities, women, and young people. There was even a record turnout of young voters in 2008, when a large majority of them voted for the then-Illinois senator.

Source: Trump and millennials: He might do better than we think | TheHill

Personally, I think this election will be closer than most anticipate……Trump will most likely lose….but he will fare better than the polls that the media loves to quote….keep in mind how wrong these polls were in 2012…..

Just saying!

Media and Politics in the Age of Trump

A loyal friend of IST, the Ripening Wanderer, recently posted on what he thought about the media in the age of Trump…….

Source: The Media Covers Donald Trump In A Special Way | THE RIPENING WANDERER

After reading his post I thought about another post that I had read a couple of days ago and thought that it might fit with his thoughts on the media and politics…..

How profit undermines public service in the news media….

Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign will likely preoccupy future historians for years to come. While a number of factors contributed to his rise—including the growing power of social media, a latent racism and nativism within sections of the American public, and economic malaise resulting from Republican and Democratic administrations’ trade policies—the media deserve special scrutiny for their role in accelerating Trump’s candidacy, most obviously because they set agendas and frame political debates each election cycle.

News media’s constant coverage has boosted Trump’s visibility and helped popularize him, even in aggressive confrontations with the candidate. The benefit, however, is mutual.

As Trump attacks the press—mocking and feuding with journalists, threatening to change libel laws, holding campaign events where reporters are corralled and roughed up—he still serves the media well. That’s because the news organizations covering Trump, particularly television news, are reaping incredible amounts of money from their election coverage. Cable news organizations are expected to make a record-breaking $2.5 billion this election season.

Source: Media and Politics in the Age of Trump | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

The MSM is the leading actor in the dash to control the thought and the actions of the population….

The Sky’s The Limit

For about 6 years there has been a wealth of criticism of Obamacare….there has been about 50 attempts to end it….all failed….and a relentless drumming of “repeal and replace”….the problem is that NO one has any idea what to replace it with if it were ever repealed…..and in that lies the problem…..

Personally, I wanted a single payer….not only would it be efficient but it would also have been equal for all…..but instead we got a piece of crap that was basically written by the medical and drug industry….and thanx to them it will never work out to be a good program…

And now there is more news that will turn up the volume on “repeal and replace”…..the cost of the program…..

Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That’s sure to stoke another ObamaCare controversy days before a presidential election, the AP reports. Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25% across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.

Major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna scaled back their roles, meaning about one in five consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from. Republicans pounced on the numbers as a warning that insurance markets created by the 2010 health overhaul are teetering toward a “death spiral.” “It’s over for ObamaCare,” Donald Trump proclaimed at a campaign rally Monday evening in Tampa, Fla., promising that his own plan would deliver “great health care at a fraction of the cost.” Administration officials, however, stress that subsidies provided under the law, which are designed to rise alongside premiums, will protect most customers.

Guess what?  You would not be having this problem with a single payer system…..just stating the obvious….

It will be up to the next president to handle this situation and personally I cannot see either candidate capable of finding an adequate solution……

So for the next 4 years there will be that endless mind numbing crap of “repeal and replace”…..something to look forward to in the coming months…..while the rest of society goes down the toilet…..lucky us.

Tom Hayden—R.I.P.

Back in the days of my youth there were special people if you were into the protest scene…..Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden…..among others.

It all began with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and their Huron Statement and the movement ballooned from there…..into a nationwide protest against war….where have all the leaders gone?

They were the backbone of the anti-war activism…..we took our cue from their examples……slowly our “heroes” from those days are dying off and there seems to be NO one capable of taking their place as the leaders of a movement……

Sadly Tom Hayden has passed on….he will be missed…..

Famed ’60s anti-war activist Tom Hayden, whose name became forever linked with the celebrated Chicago 7 trial, Vietnam War protests, and ex-wife actress Jane Fonda, has died. He was 76. He died on Sunday after a long illness, said his wife, actress Barbara Williams, noting that he suffered a stroke in 2015. Hayden, once denounced as a traitor by his detractors, overcame his past and won election to the California Assembly and Senate, where he served for almost two decades as a progressive force on such issues as the environment and education. He was the only one of the radical Chicago 7 defendants to win such distinction in the mainstream political world, the AP reports.

In 1960, while a student at the University of Michigan, Hayden was involved in the formation of Students for a Democratic Society, then dedicated to desegregating the South. In 1968, he helped organize anti-war demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that turned violent and resulted in the notorious and circus-like Chicago 7 trial. Hayden and three others were convicted of crossing state lines to incite riot. The convictions were later overturned, and an official report deemed the violence “a police riot.” “Rarely, if ever, in American history has a generation begun with higher ideals and experienced greater trauma than those who lived fully the short time from 1960 to 1968,” he wrote in the essay “Streets of Chicago.” Read more about Hayden, who was married to Fonda for 17 years, here.

Good-bye old friend….Rest In Peace.

Do We Really Want Democracy?

Starting today I shall be posting on the election since the day is about 2 weeks away….even though I believe that foreign policy is the most important aspect I will be covering other situations all if the hope that some of it will assist the voter in some small way…..

During an election, matters not when, we are all told about our great democracy and how it will be subverted if we vote for the other guy…..matter not which party you identify with….they all say the same sort of mindless dribble.

This time around there seems to be more rhetoric along these lines……an since the term “democracy” has become subjective…no longer does it mean the same thing that was meant back in the days of our Founders……

Our founding fathers raised this same question! They didn’t want a Monarchy. But they also didn’t want a Mobocracy. John Adams, our second president, distrusted the masses and defended inequality among men and advocated a government by an Aristocracy based on birth, education, and wealth.

Even our two political parties want to moderate Democracy. They each appoint “super-delegates.” Super-delegates are (1) given more votes that the normal delegate and (2) they are under less obligation to follow the will of their voters. The hope is that super-delegates will counter the pressure of too much “populism” that might give the nomination to the wrong candidate for that party. The super-delegates in the Democratic Party will side with Hillary Clinton to counter the growing popularity of Bernie Sanders, a strong populist and progressive.

Source: Do We Really Want Democracy? | Huffington Post

My question is… the voters really want a democracy?  Or maybe it is just another term to use as a prop like patriotism, hero and other such political dog whistles……

What do you want?  Or are you fine with the system as we have it today?

Keep in mind that one party appears to hate democracy in all its glory…..

But those purportedly noble and principled Republicans don’t need Trump to undermine our democratic institutions.  They are already doing so themselves by thwarting a sitting president’s efforts to appoint a well-qualified candidate to the United States Supreme Court—a nominee that they had previously praised—for no other reason than it would likely alter the ideological balance on the Court.  And John McCain has now made explicit what has been a poorly kept secret—that the Republicans will continue to oppose whatever nominee the next Democratic president selects:  “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.  I promise you.”

Source: The Republican Party—Not Just Its Candidate—Hates Democracy – LA Progressive

To answer the question….I’m not so sure anymore.

Those Damn Crony Capitalists

This election we have had a full array of attacks on the system we live under….even from a person that has gamed the system to benefit himself….there has been so much talked about….especially those damn “crony capitalists”…..but what is this phenom we hear so much about?

Crony capitalism and genuine capitalism, if not opposites, are fundamentally opposed. Unfortunately the broader public, to date, is largely unaware of this.

Crony capitalism is the marriage of the state and private special interests. Some people have called it corporatism, mercantilism, fascism, or even Communism.

We will call it crony capitalism.

By whatever name, it is phony capitalism.

Well said…..and this is where an article I read in The American Conservative comes into the picture…..

The story of crony capitalism—where success in business depends on government favoritism, not competitive products—is often told in anecdotes. Anyone who follows policy debates can rattle off a list: the Solyndra loan-guarantee fiasco; the Utah woman who couldn’t braid hair for a living without undergoing 2,000 hours of formal training, a regulation designed to shield established salons from upstart competition. But while such stories serve as excellent examples of the phenomenon, they can’t reveal its true depth and breadth.

Crony capitalism isn’t just a collection of individual restrictions: it is a cancer that is slowly eating the economy. Signs of it can be found in even the broadest, most fundamental economic data, and the nation’s biggest industries have fallen victim to it. And rooting it out would require a complete rethinking of how businesses and the government interact.

Source: The Crony Economy | The American Conservative

Pay to play comes to mind….the Clinton camp is guilty as sin….Trump ……who knows for sure.

If the liberals are bitching about iot and now a conservative publication is also….then there is a good chance that it is the cancer that some call it.

Smile! You Are On A Candid Camera

Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you?  That weird feeling on the back of your neck that makes you feel uncomfortable……

You may not be imagining things…….

It’s no secret that American law has been building facial recognition databases to aide in its investigations. But a new, comprehensive report on the status of facial recognition as a tool in law enforcement shows the sheer scope and reach of the FBI’s database of faces and those of state-level law enforcement agencies: Roughly half of American adults are included in those collections. And that massive assembly of biometric data is accessed with only spotty oversight of its accuracy and how it’s used and searched.

The 150-page report, released on Tuesday by the Center for Privacy & Technology at the Georgetown University law school, found that law enforcement databases now include the facial recognition information of 117 million Americans, about one in two U.S. adults. It goes on to outline the dangers to privacy, free speech, and protections against unreasonable search and seizure that come from unchecked use of that information. Currently the report finds that at least a quarter of all local and state police departments have access to a facial recognition database—either their own or another agency’s—and law enforcement in more than half of all states can search against the trove of photos stored for IDs like drivers’ licenses.

Source: Cops Have a Database of 117M Faces. You’re Probably in It | WIRED

But do not fret…….it is for you own safety.

Described by the report’s authors as “unprecedented and highly problematic,” linked databases containing photographs acquired from driver’s licenses, government IDs and mug shots have provided federal, state and local law agencies with the images of about 48 percent of America’s adult population, according to the report.

Databases maintained by the FBI historically have included the biometric information of individuals associated with criminal activity, but those systems in recent years have been linked with the driver’s license photo databases of 16 states and counting. Following a yearlong investigation and a review of more than 100 records requests, the authors of the report wrote that these systems are highly unregulated and officially “out of control.”

Do you really think that all this is for your own safety?

If so then you probably already own a bridge in Brooklyn.

NOTE:  Starting Monday with 2 weeks left before the election…I will be hitting the vote in a full court press…..just in case you would prefer reality TV……

Enjoy your weekend my friends…….chuq