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Trump Watch 
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Post Re: Trump Watch
Harry Marks wrote:
Well, today Trump threatened to withhold federal funding to Michigan and Nevada for sending out ballot applications. Mail-in voting is the new demon of the Breitbart crowd, based on nothing at all. Except maybe that it could thwart strategems like the closure of most polling stations in urban Milwaukee in the recent Wisconsin election.


Here's the Tweet in question (which he has since deleted) . . .

Image

This is perhaps Donald Trump's single worst quality, and one that makes him dangerously unfit for office. If things aren't going well for him, he starts crying "rigged" and "voter fraud" because his fragile ego cannot handle the idea of losing. Due to the coronavirus crisis, many states have allowed mail-in ballots in their primaries. Trump himself voted by mail in his home state of Florida. But now in the battleground state of Michigan, he cries foul because he knows he's going to lose that state.

Tragically, if he loses the election in the fall, it's almost certain he will start saying the election was rigged Indeed, he was saying that in the 2016 election when polling numbers indicated he was going to lose.

Our democracy has always relied on politicians formally conceding when they lose a contest because they understand that our democracy is bigger than they are. Not so with Trump. He has the maturity of a 10-year-old child. And he doesn't understand why these things matter. But on the way out, I guarantee he is going to try to throw our democracy under the bus. Hopefully, most people will see him for the loser he really is.


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Post Re: Trump Watch
Robert Tulip wrote:
ant wrote:
"apples to oranges"

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/us/c ... eaths.html points out that "Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show"

The differences in death rates between countries are primarily a matter of the national policies that each country adopts, with the high death rate in the USA due to failure to take prompt measures to control the epidemic. Several of the comments from President Trump quoted in this article generated a dangerous level of complacency.
The New York Times wrote:
After Italy and South Korea had started aggressively responding to the virus, President Trump resisted canceling campaign rallies or telling people to stay home or avoid crowds. The risk of the virus to most Americans was very low, he said. “Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,” Mr. Trump tweeted on March 9, suggesting that the flu was worse than the coronavirus. “At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”



The estimates about the cost of lives because of "delayed" lockdowns are sheer left wing ballyhoo. Each country's response was an entirely different matter. The United States was following information the WHO was disseminating about the virus in January, including its discouragement of international travel bans, most specifically to/from China. The US travel ban was set in place before the WHO recommended it.

Some people have argued that US intelligence knew about the seriousness of the virus as far back as late Nov early Dec 2019 and that some sort of action should have taken place then.
I ask - what exactly should have been done? Should the US have started suspending international flights in November? The reaction to that would have been total madness. Why is Trump doing this? Where's the evidence? Trump is up to no good again! Trump is a racist despot! The WHO hasn't reported anything about a dangerous virus! Trump is defying the international community again!

A full stop of the US economy was a totally unprecedented move. So was the decision to quarantine an entire population, not just the sick.
We aren't talking about the population or the economy of Italy, or South Korea. We're talking about the most prolific economy, the largest and most diverse population the world has ever known.

The US also has independent State governorship to deal with as well. It is not a single hive mind that can be bent and manipulated.

The delays cost 36,000 lives? Really?
A fair and perhaps more important question can also be asked - How many lives were saved by doing what was done - going dark to the entire world and asking 330 MILLION Americans, both sick and healthy, to quarantine themselves until further notice?

It was an impossible situation.. If Trump (or anyone for that matter) would have pulled the trigger too early, he would have been called a despotic racist. Too late (it's really still not clear when this virus actually hit the States) and he's called a blundering idiot with "blood on his hands."

A child should be able to understand this.

Sometimes life can throw you a No Win scenario.



Last edited by ant on Thu May 21, 2020 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Trump Watch
Quote:
Here's the Tweet in question (which he has since deleted) . . .


He said it was done illegally..
This is a question of law, first and foremost before anything else.
Is it illegal or not?


Quote:
Tragically, if he loses the election in the fall, it's almost certain he will start saying the election was rigged Indeed, he was saying that in the 2016 election when polling numbers indicated he was going to lose.


You mean like when Hilary and the democrats expressed concern and asked When (not if) Trump losses the election will he accept the decision?

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Thu May 21, 2020 11:13 am
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Post Re: Trump Watch
ant wrote:
The estimates about the cost of lives because of "delayed" lockdowns are sheer left wing ballyhoo.
.
My impression is that it is just epidemiological calculation, with the benefit of hindsight.


ant wrote:
Some people have argued that US intelligence knew about the seriousness of the virus as far back as late Nov early Dec 2019 and that some sort of action should have taken place then.
I ask - what exactly should have been done? Should the US have started suspending international flights in November?
Probably not, but with the benefit of hindsight we should have been ramping up production of PPE and trying to get the info to make usable screening tests. With any epidemic, the key is identification of the exposed and thorough contact tracing. (If we can't do that by August, then September to December will be a re-run of the hell we have just been through.) The importance of catching outbreaks early with extensive testing and tracing was well known already. If things had been clamped down a week or two earlier, and such technical supplies had been available, then yes, the damage would have been much less severe. To life and health, as well as to the economy.

ant wrote:
The reaction to that would have been total madness. Why is Trump doing this? Where's the evidence? Trump is up to no good again! Trump is a racist despot! The WHO hasn't reported anything about a dangerous virus! Trump is defying the international community again!

It was an impossible situation.. If Trump (or anyone for that matter) would have pulled the trigger too early, he would have been called a despotic racist. Too late (it's really still not clear when this virus actually hit the States) and he's called a blundering idiot with "blood on his hands."
I think there is a lot of truth to that. The press likes a sensation, and there is always someone who will offer criticism. On the other hand, if Trump had stuck to his original blithe optimism, like Bolsonaro has in Brazil, then he would be justifiably condemned all around.

The problem I have with this "that's just the benefit of hindsight" analysis is that my memory of the sequence has Trump only taking the threat seriously when the stock market tanked. The disaster unfolding in Italy was enough to make people realize this was going to be serious, and businesses got their heads around it quickly. I may be remembering it wrong, or have gotten the wrong impression at the time.

ant wrote:
A full stop of the US economy was a totally unprecedented move.
I'm not so sure. I have been hearing stories here in Colorado that Denver "opened up too soon" in 1918 and the Spanish Flu came roaring back. So there must have been some serious closing. I don't think such shutdowns are actually so unprecedented.

ant wrote:
Sometimes life can throw you a No Win scenario.
Yes, that's what happened. On the other hand, most leaders would not get up in front of the cameras and speculate about getting disinfectant inside people.



Thu May 21, 2020 7:06 pm
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Post Re: Trump Watch
ant wrote:
He said it was done illegally..
This is a question of law, first and foremost before anything else.
Is it illegal or not?
Not even close to being illegal. What he apparently thought he was condemning may have been illegal, but strangely enough this Tweeter doesn't seem to care to get the facts checked before he lets loose.



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Thu May 21, 2020 10:52 pm
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Post Re: Trump Watch
Harry Marks wrote:
epidemiological calculation, with the benefit of hindsight.


Foresight, actually. New article in Foreign Affairs says

Quote:
By the second half of January, epidemiologists were warning of a potential pandemic (including one of us, Osterholm, on January 20). Yet the U.S. government at the time was still dismissing the prospect of a serious outbreak in the United States—despite valid suspicions that the Chinese government was suppressing information on the Wuhan outbreak and underreporting case figures. It was the moment when preparation for a specific coming storm should have started in earnest and quickly shifted into high gear.

Key U.S. officials were either unaware of or in denial about the risks of exponential viral spread.
U.S. President Donald Trump would later proffer the twin assertions that he “felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic” and that “nobody knew there’d be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion.” But on January 29, Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser, wrote a memo to the National Security Council warning that when the coronavirus in China reached U.S. soil, it could risk the health or lives of millions and cost the economy trillions of dollars. That same day, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, Alex Azar, the health and human services secretary, told the president that the potential epidemic was well under control. Navarro sent an even more urgent memo on February 23, according to The New York Times, pointing to an “increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1–2 million souls.”

Washington’s lack of an adequate response to such warnings is by now a matter of public record. Viewing the initially low numbers of clinically recognized cases outside China, key U.S. officials were either unaware of or in denial about the risks of exponential viral spread.


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Post Re: Trump Watch
ant wrote:
He said it was done illegally..
This is a question of law, first and foremost before anything else.
Is it illegal or not?

No, as Harry already said. A lot of states have sent mail-in ballots to voters, including Florida. Trump has since removed the tweet because it was nonsense.

ant wrote:
You mean like when Hilary and the democrats expressed concern and asked When (not if) Trump losses the election will he accept the decision?

HASHTAG
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Not my president! Not my president!! Ever!! Never!! NEVER EVER MY PRESIDENT!


You've put yourself in the rather dubious position of defending Donald Trump. Sure, the Left has gone a little insane with this president. But if Trump didn't say and do such ridiculously stupid things, we wouldn't have such a loud reaction by liberals and moderates alike.

In your eagerness to mock the left, you don't address any part of my argument at all. Do you think it was okay for Trump to say the "election was rigged" in 2016? Don't you agree that when a candidate loses a contest, it's customary to concede graciously and thank the voters, etc.? Trust in our democratic process is crucial. So when Trump alleges—without a shred of evidence—that mail-in ballots in Michigan was done illegally, he is potentially chiseling away at the trust we have in our election process. I think this is appalling. Don't you?

We can discuss the many other terrible things this president is doing to our country. Personally, I'm alarmed at the ongoing dismantling of environmental laws, always in favor of corporations, but let's address this one particular personality flaw: a president who would rather throw our institutions and traditions under the bus for the sake of his fragile ego.

Asking a candidate if he would accept the outcome of the general election does seem rather odd, doesn't it? But as it turns out, it's a legitimate question for someone like Trump. Also, as you can see, it wasn't Hillary Clinton who asked it. It was FoxNews moderator, Chris Wallace. Even Republicans were appalled by Trump's response, although I do wonder if they still would be.

From FoxNews . . .
Quote:
Republican candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday would not commit to accepting the outcome of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election if he loses, challenging a cornerstone of American democracy and sending shockwaves across the political spectrum.


https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/tru ... ion-result


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Post Re: Trump Watch
Robert Tulip wrote:
Foresight, actually. New article in Foreign Affairs says
Quote:
By the second half of January, epidemiologists were warning of a potential pandemic (including one of us, Osterholm, on January 20). Yet the U.S. government at the time was still dismissing the prospect of a serious outbreak in the United States—despite valid suspicions that the Chinese government was suppressing information on the Wuhan outbreak and underreporting case figures. It was the moment when preparation for a specific coming storm should have started in earnest and quickly shifted into high gear.

Quote:
on January 29, Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser, wrote a memo to the National Security Council warning that when the coronavirus in China reached U.S. soil, it could risk the health or lives of millions and cost the economy trillions of dollars.


As a policy matter, clearly the Administration should have been more responsive. Navarro, who spearheads the trade initiatives to revise NAFTA and confront China, has his head on straight. So I'm not surprised to see his name pop up as the one who warned the loudest.

But it is also true that there were things about this virus that we were not aware of at the beginning, which have a huge effect on the size of its impact. One is the extent to which it can spread before symptoms and without symptoms. Another is whether recovery leaves enough immune response to grant immunity to the recovered victim, and we still don't know the answer to that. Yet another is how much it mutates, and how severe the results are, and we still don't know the answer to that.

So my point would be that we had plenty of knowledge about the potential for a catastrophic pandemic, but to be able to put a number on the likely avoidable deaths, we need hindsight. The potential should have been enough to tell us that preparation was urgent, and I think that is the point raised by your comment and the experts cited. But quantifying the amount of damage requires that we fill in parameters in the models, and that needed hindsight. Heck, this thing could have been a lot worse. The potential is still there and that is why we need preparedness in case of a rebound in the Fall. We are not done with needing foresight.



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Post Re: Trump Watch
So the Donald has waded, or tweeted, into the issue of church re-opening. I'm kind of sympathetic to the point, but as usual, aghast at the way he addressed it.

First, let me be clear. My church will not be starting up services anytime soon. Zoom services suck, but Wuhan Flu sucks worse.

Second, as an issue of discrimination, if churches can follow the same protocols as other businesses, with masks and distancing and cleaning after every few customers, then they should be allowed to serve. The problem is that corporate worship inherently involves large numbers. As the guy in "Full Monty" said, "That's the point, ya divvy." Singing by ourselves with our Zoom mike turned off so no one will hear us is disorienting to the point of being distressing, because the joy of singing in a congregation is hearing it all around you and feeling it coming out of your own throat at the same time. Festival is about celebrating together, not some private experience that we just happen to enact together for the sake of scale economies.

So the question is, under what protocols could we celebrate together safely? Trump doesn't care. He just wants to rile up a resentful base. But we can grant the point that people need festival, or some experience of celebrating our values together, just as they need sex or raising children or getting an education. So it is up to the leadership to find ways to allow these things safely. Sadly, the Divider-in-Chief doesn't care about finding anything except finding a confrontation to jump into.



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Post Re: Trump Watch
The point is to start by allowing them the freedom to worship, after that, each should responsibly find methods to return to safe congregated services.
It is not his place to allow them that freedom and then tell them how they should go about worshiping in this new world of ours.

I think your claim that you are "sympathetic" to their position is overshadowed by some need to play to the Trump Derangement crowd that lives for hyper criticism of his every move and word.
It is psychologically important for you to jump on the bandwagon and be accepted by its occupants. I have a good mind of what that reason is.

As it relates specifically to this issue it is immature of you, in my opinion. And you are not being honest enough here to practice the principle of intellectual charity, Harry.. Even with Trump.



Here are some bible verses I'd like to share with you:

Quote:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


Quote:
Let all that you do be done in love.



Quote:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.



Last edited by ant on Sat May 23, 2020 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat May 23, 2020 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Trump Watch
Harry Marks wrote:
So the question is, under what protocols could we celebrate together safely? . . . So it is up to the leadership to find ways to allow these things safely. Sadly, the Divider-in-Chief doesn't care about finding anything except finding a confrontation to jump into.

There's absolutely no reason for Trump to weigh in on this topic. As you say, he only seeks to make himself the center of attention, and the media usually complies by reporting every tweet and every knee-jerk comment.

The decision—how and when—to go back to public worship is decided by each states and by each denomination. Hopefully the decision is informed by science and prioritizes the safety of church-goers. Trump is literally the last person anyone should take advice from.


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Post Re: Trump Watch
Quote:
There's absolutely no reason for Trump to weigh in on this topic.


There is no law that exists which prevents him from doing so. NONE. The president also is granted freedom of expression.


This is you being unhappy personally abut it and that is all.


It is preposterous for you to say a president of the united states should stay silent about an institution of our country that has played a significant role in its history - whether you want to admit that or not. Absolutely preposterous.



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Post Re: Trump Watch
ant wrote:
The point is to start by allowing them the freedom to worship, after that, each should responsibly find methods to return to safe congregated services.
It is not his place to allow them that freedom and then tell them how they should go about worshiping in this new world of ours.
No, I disagree with that. There are limits to how people can go about exercising their freedom of religion. If, for example, they deny women the right to own property, or insist on spreading ebola through unsanitary burial rites, then the state needs to step in. Religion is not a free ticket to do terrible things to other people. I just think the re-opening has gone far enough that churches should be allowed if they can find safe processes.
ant wrote:
I think your claim that you are "sympathetic" to their position is overshadowed by some need to play to the Trump Derangement crowd that lives for hyper criticism of his every move and word.
It is psychologically important for you to jump on the bandwagon and be accepted by its occupants. I have a good mind of what that reason is.
I doubt you understand. I am steeped in the views of economists, who tend to hold that free markets are excellent at organizing and motivating economic activity -- unless what one person does to make money has serious side effects on others. Then the law has an important role in stepping in to manage the incentives involved. We tend to be a libertarian crowd - if people want to handle poisonous snakes as part of their worship, that is their lookout. But if they think it is necessary to turn the poisonous snakes loose on others, well, then, their freedom of religion stops where endangerment of others starts.

Quote:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Thanks for the good advice. Always helpful, but I don't think it is apropos here.



Sat May 23, 2020 9:21 pm
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Post Re: Trump Watch
Quote:
I doubt you understand


Not necessarily.
I doubt you understand what's really going on under the surface.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conf ... xperiments



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Post Re: Trump Watch
It's pretty difficult to respond to a claim of "just conforming". If you agree with people, you can be accused.

If you think I am wrong, state your case.



Sun May 24, 2020 9:42 pm
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