Trump: The world’s most dangerous man?

    Dripping with snideness, vibrating with rage, and gleaming with clarity—a deeply satisfying read.

That’s from the Kirkus review of Mary Trump’s book on Uncle Donald in her book Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man:

Her mission in the book to be published on 28 July by Simon & Schuster is to take down Donald Trump.

Donald Trump (b. 1946) is the fourth (of five) child of Frederick Christ Trump, a Bronx-born real estate developer whose parents were German immigrants and Scottish-born Mary Anne MacLeod Trump.

Donald Trump has two elder sisters and an elder brother, Frederick Trump Jr (b. 1938) who had two children, Mary Lea Trump (b. 1965) and Fred III. Mary Trump was 16 in 1981 when her father Fred Trump Jr died of a heart attack, brought on by severe alcoholism for which he had been hospitalised. He had been divorced by his wife and abandoned by his family. The night he died, brother Donald was at the movies.

Mary Trump, now 55, has a PhD in clinical psychology and “has taught graduate courses in developmental psychology, trauma, and psychopathology.” Mary Trump says:

    the president’s late father, Fred Sr., was domineering and a “high-functioning sociopath,” and his late mother, also named Mary, was “emotionally and physically absent.” They left Trump, she argues, without empathy and “fundamentally incapable of acknowledging the suffering of others.”

    “Honest work was never demanded of him, and no matter how badly he failed, he was rewarded in ways that are almost unfathomable,” she writes.

    “Now the stakes are far higher than they’ve ever been before; they are literally life and death. Unlike any previous time in his life, Donald’s failings cannot be hidden or ignored because they threaten us all,” she adds.

Rather than the strength Trump attempts to show:

    “Donald is not simply weak, his ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be. He knows he has never been loved,”…

That was from Chris Megerian at the Los Angeles TimesNiece’s book says Trump views ‘cheating as a way of life’.

There is another good article at The Washington Post by Shane Harris and Michael Kranish which was reprinted in the AFR. You can access all but the last few paragraphs courtesy of The Boston Globe. At the end of the article they say:

    At the end of the book, Mary Trump concludes that it was inevitable that her uncle would rely on division to govern the country, replicating the way she says Fred Snr “turned his children against each other.”

    Donald Trump, she writes, “knows he has never been loved”.

Further background to the book has been outlined by Lachlan Cartwright at Daily BeastRevealed: The Family Member Who Turned on Trump:

After Fred Trump Snr died in 1999 a ferocious family feud broke out.

First, Mary Trump and her brother Fred III contested the will, saying they had been seriously dudded, which, on the face of it, seems true. It seems they had some success, but the settlement amount has never been revealed. Mary Trump says, yes, she wanted money, but most of all she wanted recognition of her father.

Second, the Trump organisation, which had always paid the whole family’s medical expenses, closed off the payments for medical treatment for Fred III’s infant son, who had been born with cerebral palsy. This, it seems, was done by Donald, his younger brother Robert, and elder sister Maryanne Trump Barry, who at the time was a Federal appeals court circuit judge, having been appointed by Bill Clinton.

Third, this case gave Mary Trump access to the Trump family financial records. Mary Trump subsequently handed over 19 boxes of papers, plus computer files, to the New York Times after Trump was elected president. She then worked with journalists Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, and David Barstow to produce a stunning exposé in 2018 of the Trump family business dealings, which included:

    startling revelations about Trump’s taxes, including how he was involved in “fraudulent” tax schemes and had received more than $400 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire.

David Barstow then:

    went rogue, aggressively pursuing a source of their groundbreaking investigation to ghostwrite a book and secure a six-figure payday—a move explicitly forbidden by the Times’ ethics rules.

That is by the way.

There is no doubt Mary Trump’s book will sell well, and she will be accused of revenge. Yet there is no doubt she has the qualifications in developmental psychology and in psychopathology to give a more than plausible account of Donald Trump’s personality. She is not claiming to make a clinical assessment. Indeed:

    Mary Trump asserts that her uncle has all nine clinical criteria for being a narcissist. And yet, she notes, even that label does not capture the full array of the president’s psychological troubles.

    “The fact is,” she writes, “Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neurophysical tests that he’ll never sit for.”

From Wikipedia, I think these are the official nine indicators of narcissism:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g.exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
  • Requires excessive admiration.
  • Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
  • Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

That list somewhat soft-pedals this, which is prominent in other lists:

  • Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others

Any way Mary T says it’s more than narcissism with the Donald, and she’s probably right. Her case is one of personal unsuitability so grave that it may cause harm to all on the planet.

She relates how Fred Sr, mercilessly dominated his son, who in no way met his expectations. Donald, seven and a half years younger, joined in with his father as he grew up, and was rewarded for doing so. However, there was no healthy connection between Donald and his father.

    The memoir chronicles Fred Jr.’s fruitless efforts to earn his father’s respect as an employee, and how his younger brother Donald reliably ridiculed him as a failure who spent too much time following his passion, aviation, and not enough on the family business.


    The president, Mary Trump says, is a product of his domineering father and was acutely aware of avoiding the scorn that Fred Sr. heaped on the older brother, called Freddy. “By limiting Donald’s access to his own feelings and rendering many of them unacceptable, Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it.”

    From an early age, Mary Trump writes, the future president demonstrated a willingness to cheat and a penchant for ridicule.

    Donald Trump delighted in tormenting his younger brother, Robert, whom he perceived as weaker.

    Donald Trump escaped his father’s contempt, Mary Trump writes, because “his personality served his father’s purpose. That’s what sociopaths do: they co-opt others and use them toward their own ends — ruthlessly and efficiently, with no tolerance for dissent or resistance.”

COVID-19 provides a current example of the difference an incompetent POTUS can make. In terms of deaths per million at Worldometer, the US at 416 is ahead of neighbour Canada on 233, way ahead of Germany on 109, but admittedly behind countries world champion UK on 660 and countries like Spain and Italy. However, none of those countries is experiencing a true second wave, which is more pronounced than any comparable country (see below).

David Frum makes a case that in terms of COVID-19, This Is Trump’s Plague Now.

At first the United States suffered because of what Trump failed to do, says Frum. Yet the US was on a virtuous path to containment and suppression when Trump intervened and put pressure on states to open up. Even before the daily new case graph peaked on 24 April, Trump was urging governors to open up. Then:

    In mid-April, protesters—many of them openly brandishing weapons—assembled at the capitols of Democratic-governed states to demand immediate reopening. Trump tweeted his support. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”

You can see what happened from this graph:

USA daily new cases, to July 11

Frum’s article was published on 29 June. Now in broad terms the graph has gone from over 30,000 per day in April down to just around 20,000 per day in May, then in June headed up to over 60,000.

If by contrast we can compare Germany:

Germany daily new cases to 11 July

The comparison of the levels of infection is instructive. Germany with a quarter of the population of the US is running at less than 500 new daily cases. Scale up Germany’s numbers by four times and we can readily see that the American daily level of new infections is now more than 30 times that of Germany. One of these countries is more competent than the other in looking after the health of its citizens.

Trump made masks an issue by mocking Biden for wearing one. Trump supporters picked up on this:

    Rush Limbaugh mocked the mask as a “symbol of fear” on May 15. The former Fox anchor Brit Hume joined in. On May 27, a writer at the pro-Trump web publication The Federalist posted a piece headlined, “Mandatory Masks Aren’t About Safety, They’re About Social Control.” The author, Molly McCann, warned: “If everyone is wearing a mask, it telegraphs a society-wide acceptance that the status quo has changed.” That morning, a pro-Trump writer named Lee Smith tweeted a link to the article, amplifying McCann’s paranoia. “Terrific @molmccann piece in @FDRLST — masks aren’t about public health but social control. Image of Biden in black mask endorses culture of silence, slavery, and social death.” Smith is a major figure in the pro-Trump media landscape. Formerly a Middle East correspondent for Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard—and still connected to the eminently mainstream Hudson Institute—he has plunged deep and thick into the pro-Trump cause. In the early morning of May 28, Smith’s tweet got a retweet from Trump himself. (Emphasis added)

Frum told Phillip Adams that Trump has revved up racial incitement. He also blamed China. Frum in an article on 7 April This Is Trump’s Fault catalogues Trump’s early mistakes, which started before the virus:

    The Trump administration had cut U.S. public-health staff operating inside China by two-thirds, from 47 in January 2017 to 14 by 2019, an important reason it found itself dependent on less-accurate information from the World Health Organization. In July 2019, the Trump administration defunded the position that embedded an epidemiologist inside China’s own disease-control administration, again obstructing the flow of information to the United States.

Then when he closed the borders with China in February:

    The ban applied only to foreign nationals who had been in China during the previous 14 days, and included 11 categories of exceptions. Since the restrictions took effect, nearly 40,000 passengers have entered the United States from China, subjected to inconsistent screenings, The New York Times reported.

Frum says that Trump is not a strategic thinker, he doesn’t think in advance about what effects his actions or comments might have.

So far, however, we have Trump as a personality completely unsuited to the job as President of the United States. To complete the story we need to look to see whether the USA is failing as a state, quite apart from the Trump factor. I’ll leave that to another post.

Meanwhile James Robenalt in Daily Beast (if it will open for you) If He Loses, Trump Must Resign Immediately and Make Biden President. No, Really has said:

    The crisis is so great that Trump should just get out of town. And there’s a sort-of precedent: Woodrow Wilson planned to do just this in 1916 if he’d lost.

Wilson had kept the US out of WW1 and was aware that his opponent had a different view. At that time the change-over date was in March rather than the end of January. The article says:

    If and when Donald Trump leaves office, whether now or the day after the election, it should be by resignation. We cannot and should not wait until Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, for him to vacate the White House. His departure has become a matter of national emergency, national safety, and now national security.

    The polls show Trump losing by large margins to Joe Biden if the election were held today. His nearly catastrophic handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in tens of thousands of unnecessary infections and deaths.

    And things are getting worse following the premature reopening of states, something Trump insisted upon. He wears no face coverings, despite the recommendations of his own task force. He holds mass rallies in violation of local health regulations and recommendations.

    The news that he may have failed to take note of intelligence reports that suggested that Vladimir Putin had offered bounties for the deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan makes him a national security risk.

How can this be done?


    “Trump would ask Pence to resign, appoint Biden as his VP, and then resign himself, allowing Biden to succeed to the presidency.”

Would he do it?

Acts of self-abnegation are not in his nature.

Note: The features image at the head of the post comes from November 2016;

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

This one comes from the same time:

471 thoughts on “Trump: The world’s most dangerous man?”

  1. Hello Brian and other regulars.

    If you don’t mind your comedy a bit (a lot) sweary and angry, then I thoroughly recommend the podcast “The Dollop” with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, in particular the double episode on Donald Trump (ep. 300). Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it a fascinating dive into his upbringing and business life.

  2. Brian: There is a sickness in America that goes way beyond Trump. Think the gun lobby, think the Tea party, think their electoral system that discourages voting. In many ways Trump is a symptom rather than a cause.
    Part of the cause was the lefts support free trading at the expense of working class Americans that worked in the manufacturing business. (A blast furnace lasts about 20yrs, not a good investment if floating dollars and free trade switch a blast furnace into loss making for a while. Better to invest in businesses with low capital costs and where “long term” means after lunch. (And there aren’t many jobs for well paid steelworkers.)
    Labor should ask why the workers are moving to the right.

  3. President Trump may well be a dangerous man; but looking on the bright side, he still has a long way to go before he outdoes
    Sadam Hussein
    Pol Pot
    Kim Il Sung
    Herr H
    Genghis Khan
    Alexander the Horrid

    and several dozen so-called “leaders” prepared to sacrifice countless lives while ordering invasions of other countries, industrial extermination or avoidable famines.

    Those crimes live in infamy.

    Let’s get Pres Trump into a longer historical perspective.

    By the way, I reckon many leaders – successful in climbing the greasy pole while standing on the heads of rivals – display ego to the point of scarcely concealed narcissism. It seems to me that two features of our (inherited) political system help to reveal or dampen these egos:
    1. Cabinet government,
    2. Parliamentary question time and debates

  4. Ambi: Most people haven’t heard of insanity power and how effective it can be, particularly if you can convince all your enemies that you are insane even if under the surface you are very hard headed but not at all insane. (My take is that Regan won the cold war by convincing Russia he was insane.)
    My take on Trump is that he knows how to use insanity power and is very good at convincing opponents that he is really insane. Don’t know about the hidden sanity bit though.

  5. My take on Trump is that he knows how to use insanity power and is very good at convincing opponents that he is really insane.

    Can’t agree John, that implies some thought and planning behind DJT’s actions. His signature ability to achieve pretty much nothing he promised indicates its lack.

    Don’t know about the hidden sanity bit though.

    Seconded. He’s no Machiavelli.

  6. Ambi,

    That is a very good observation.

    One thing to note is that every one of those on the far worse than Trump list got a SECOND term in “office”.

    America has a choice to make.

  7. Ambi, I’m wondering who the Truman you list is? It’s certainly not Harry S Truman from my quick read of his achievements. Are you referring to the Truman Show?

  8. Brian, a great piece again, … and I’m pretty sure that I wrote most of those things about Trump …. before …. he was elected. One thing about psychopaths is that they are pretty consistent, know one and you know them all, more or less. The victim’s stories all come out afterwards, and every one the path affects is in therapy for the rest of their lives.

  9. Zoot: “Can’t agree John, that implies some thought and planning behind DJT’s actions. His signature ability to achieve pretty much nothing he promised indicates its lack.” You seem to be assuming that what he promised bore some relationship to what he actually was trying to do.
    He comes from “art of the deal” planet. A planet where “telling people what you really want” is considered a bit simplistic.

  10. BilB at 4.22pm

    Most of those on the Probably Worse Than Trump list didn’t face real or faked elections, maintaining power through armed force (army, police, secret police) and patronage.

    So, strictly speaking, not in a position to “win a second term” in the conventional (democratic) way by facing the possibility of defeat at a general election.

    “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    I meant Harry Truman, who made the decision to vaporise thousands of civilians and military persons in two Japanese cities. That was a few years after Japan attacked Hawai’i, and proceeded to invade more nations to our north, having earlier already occupied swathes of China and slaughtered thousands while the world watched on.

    On balance Pres Truman was probably a great guy, but in my book, initiating the first atomic war has to count as some kind of black mark.

    I recognise that this is disputed by dozens of historians and military experts.

    (I accept that the suggestion by some “Tube Alloys” scientists, that the US should invite Japanese observers to witness a test firing of an A-bomb, was unlikely to be persuasive enough to end the war by the surrender of Japan.)

  11. I think dumping Hiroshima on Truman is unrealistic. The Manhattan Project ran from 1942 to 1946. I read some where that was unaware of the atomic bomb before Roosevelt’s death in April 1945 and the bomb was utilised in early august 1945, 4 months after Truman became the President. The pressure and momentum to use the bomb to end the war was very strong. Truman’s part was in allowing the process to complete, he in no way initiated the Nuclear War. As for corruption, Truman died a poor man , something only today’s Trump supporters do.

    Of your list there, most were “elected”. Check it out. Being elected represents a first term. Where that position is extended to permanent tenure that represents a re election, IMHO.

  12. Certainly Roosevelt initiated the bomb project, after many urgings (including the Einstein/Szilard letter).

    But Truman decided to use the weapon, after it had been tested and proven to explode. Unbeknownst by the Japanese Govt, there were only two A-bombs at the time. Both were dropped.

    I think the Law of War, such as it is, focuses on the decision to use a weapon, including where and how. (Not so much the prior manufacture.)

    I suppose all sides in WW2 had access to chemical weapons. As far as I know, none were used.

    Although a curious incident at a port in southern Italy, when a US ship was bombed by an Axis plane, and subsequently a deadly gas spread across the nearby harbour town, is said by some to indicate that Pres Roosevelt had secretly sent chemical weapons across the Atlantic without informing his British Allies.

    War is a real b*stard.

  13. IMHO, most of these

    Pol Pot
    Kim Il Sung

    seized power by armed force, e.g. Pinochet by military coup against an elected President; Khmer Rouge by armed insurrection with DRV and Chinese support; Suharto by army crushing of a failed PKI coup attempt, and subsequent mayhem across the archipelago, including in Java and Bali; Kim Il Sung by armed force; Mao at the head of a “revolutionary army” driving the KMT Govt off shore to Taiwan; Stalin the former bandit/bank robber funder of Lenin, by inner-Party intrigue (the Bolsheviks having ignored the first and only post-Tsar free election).

    Mugabe and Nkomo seized power in defeating the Smith Govt; after a national election Mugabe’s forces assassinated hundreds (thousands) of Nkomo loyalists. The dead Zimbabweans were prohibited from voting in later elections.

    Mao said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” and showed that he truly, conscientiously believed the truth of that statement. By word and bloody deed.

  14. BilB, thanks, John, I agree with your view of the US, zoot I’m inclined to your view on Trump and Truman. Ambi, interesting.

    I think we can’t excuse Truman over the Bomb, but can understand how a new president let the momentum carry on. At least he didn’t attack his own people or stuff up the country. and the Marshall Plan for European reconstruction was a massive positive.

    Getting back to Trump, I think Mary T is saying that no one category contains him. So he’s a narcissist, a psychopath and more. However, I don’t think he’s an out and out sociopath. She’s probably right about the lack of empathy, but he mostly means well.

    However, it matters who is in the top job when a black swan event like the virus comes along. So far. bad as it has been, only one per cent of Americans have been infected. If a vaccine is not found quickly Trump could cost millions of lives, and a buggered up American economy can affect the whole globe.

  15. Trump means well????? No, no, no. Occasionally Trump sounds rational, but that is only because he is parroting something some one else said.

  16. Brian: “I think we can’t excuse Truman over the Bomb,” It was too late by then. The mere existence of the theory behind the bomb meant that someone was going to build one.
    We also need to understand that, overall, the bomb has been a force for peace because if there were a nuclear war most people knew nobody would win and a nuclear country facing massive defeat may not resist the temptation to become nuclear.

  17. There is an argument that it wasn’t necessary to actually employ the bombs to defeat the Japanese but Truman was advised to go ahead in order to deter the Russians.
    Has the ring of truth when you consider the way that immediately hostilities ceased the Americans perceived Nazis as a second order threat compared to our Communist allies.

  18. Interesting, zoot.

    England, Germany, France, Italy and middle Europe were devastated.

    The Soviet Red Army had fought its way across Eastern Europe and into Berlin. Relatively strong at that point.

    The war-time Allied leaders: Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill had come to certain agreements and understandings at their summit meetings.

    For instance, Stalin had conceded that Greece was in the US/UK “zone”, so gave little (zero) assistance to the Greek Communist Party when Civil War broke out. (British special forces had assisted both Communist and anti-communist resistance groups in sabotaging Axis occupiers in Greece.)

    Yes, Stalin would be persuaded of a new reality by small aeroplanes delivering a weapon able to vaporise a city centre.

    BTW, Roosevelt thought Uncle Joe S took the news of the forthcoming atom bombs fairly calmly when informed face-to-face. (It became clear under Truman that Uncle Joe had had a few spies in the Manhattan project, and sniffing around associated Unis.)

    Yes: the Marshall Plan was a true lifesaver.
    So was the Berlin Airlift in 1949 (date?)

  19. Nope.
    Flail on racist troll, I’m giggling with winningness.
    Trump was wrong, lying turd he is, I never get sick of winning.

  20. Jumpy: “Trump, of course, is withdrawing from wars.” I may be wrong but that is also my perception. He doesn’t like the cost of wars and doesn’t like allies who expect the US to pay for their protection.
    Is Trump the US’s answer to the UK’s pre-war prime minister Neville Chamberlain?

  21. Flail on racist troll, I’m giggling with winningness.

    And therein lies your problem.
    Everybody else is here to exchange information and opinions; often we disagree but the reason we are here is discussion (in a civil and respectful manner, according to the comments policy).
    Apparently you come here to “win” which automatically makes you a loser.

  22. Berlin calling.

    Thanks, Brian. As I recall, the USSR was squeezing the city, isolated as it was in the DDR ir Soviet Zone, by restricting fuel supplies. In that part of the world, with nany buildings still unrepaired, lack of fuek can make for a vrty cold winter.

  23. As in 2016, Mr Donald Trump has sacked his campaign director.
    From “The Oz”

    Mr Parscale will be demoted to his 2016 election role as digital and data director while Mr Stepien, who was the field director for the 2016 campaign, will take the senior job.

    “Both were heavily involved in our historic 2016 win together,’ Mr Trump tweeted as he announced the shake-up on Twitter. “This one should be a lot easier as our poll numbers are rising fast, the economy is getting better, vaccines and therapeutics will soon be on the way and Americans want safe streets and communities.’

    ‘Vaccines and therapeutics will soon be on the way’ sounds optimistic IMHO.

    Four months out from the election…..
    Four months is a long time in politics.
    14 days is an average COVID time.

    ** ** ** **
    Meanwhile, over he Dutch, the {Opposition} National Party has elected as new Leader after the incumbent (in the job for 2 months) resigned. Ten weeks out from their national election.

    The new Leader is a former Police Minister and has the nickname “Crusher”.

    BilB, I would have to guess that turmoil in the Nationals should probably assist PM Jacinda Ardern.

  24. JD thank you for the Electoral College link. I’ve not had time to get past the introduction but it looks to be an excellent analysis.

  25. Ambi, on the Berlin blockade, according to this short pieceit was ” food, clothing, water, medicine, and other necessities of life”. Both road and rail blocked, but a plane landing and taking off every 30 seconds.

  26. Zoot: The electoral college story is fascinating. Makes it hard to call the US a democratic country. We haven’t got the right to be too self righteous despite being a world leader in voting practices early on . However, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had the right to vote in some states before 1901, but it was taken away or limited when the constitution was enacted.”

  27. Agreed John. Judith Brett wrote a book on how Australia pioneered election practices (which I haven’t read) and on its launch the interviews with her were very interesting.
    And then there was an episode of Big Ideas on RN which demonstrated that truly fair elections are mathematically impossible.

  28. I should have mentioned that the new Opposition Leader (“Crusher”) in NZ, like Jacinda (and PM Helen, PM Jenny earlier) is a lady.

    Happens so often in NZ that no-one takes much notice these days.

  29. Ambi: In both the most advanced Australian states both the premier and the leader of the opposition are women. The state that Brian lives in the lady premier is in her second term of government.
    In the high dray state both the premier and leader of the opposition are men and things aren’t going too well at the moment.
    In the senate, 4 of the senate party leaders are women.
    A majority of greens MP’s at federal and NSW parliament level are women.
    I the place where I live both the federal and state MP’s are women.
    We need affirmative action mate!!

  30. John, I’ve just read that Mother Jones link.

    My understanding was that back in the 18th century only white property owners could vote, and the electoral college was designed to review that vote to make sure the voters did not do anything foolish. Democracy was not wide=spread at the time.

    I didn’t know about the Southern bias, and it seems many Americans don’t know either.

    Now listen to Phillip Adams interviewing David Shimer on America, Russia and one hundred years of covert electoral interference , and be very afraid.

    Putin has always looked very smug in the company of the Donald.

    Bottom line though, Shimer wouldn’t predict an outcome.

    I’ve worried that Trump could declare an emergency and interrupt the election in some way. However, for dictatorship, you need the coercive force of the military and they reckon about 30% support.

    Trump has had a very solid 40% or thereabouts and was looking good around the beginning of April. Looking on an ugly trend now, which could make him desperate.

    He’s the only POTUS in recent times who has never had more than 50% approval.

  31. Brian

    Mr Biden has also expressed concern about The Donald’s adherence to the Constitution. Mr Biden said that Americans could be assured that the tall, strong guards at the White House would escort Mr Trump out, were he to lose the election.

    Declare an emergency? Such action would spur an immediate Supreme Court challenge, oui??

  32. At the time many believed that the CIA had something to do with the Whitlam dismissal. Would not have been the first time that the CIA was alleged to have overturned a democratically elected government.
    In terms of Trump trying to stay put part of the problem is that there is a big gap between a result being announced and the actual handover.

  33. Mr Biden has also expressed concern about The Donald’s adherence to the Constitution.

    Haha, hey Biden, if you can still conjure a coherent sentence, please start with a solid defence of the First and Second Amendments and flow on from there.

  34. Yes, Ambi. I believe, and you probably know, that Al Gore could have appealed to higher courts, but gave up after losing to Florida courts where some of the judges had been appointed by George Dubya’s brother. Gore thought that a slugfest in the courts would not be good for American democracy.

    Arguably, he was wrong.

    John, according to Wikipedia Congress determines the day that the Electoral College votes:

      Since 1936, federal law has provided that the electors in all the states (and, since 1964, in the District of Columbia) meet “on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment” to vote for president and vice president.[64][65]

      Under Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, all elected and appointed federal officials are prohibited from being electors. The Office of the Federal Register is charged with administering the Electoral College.[66]

      After the vote, each state then sends a certified record of their electoral votes to Congress. The votes of the electors are opened during a joint session of Congress, held in the first week of January, and read aloud by the incumbent vice president, acting in his capacity as President of the Senate. If any person received an absolute majority of electoral votes that person is declared the winner.[67] If there is a tie, or if no candidate for either or both offices receives a majority, then choice falls to Congress in a procedure known as a contingent election.

  35. Yes, John.

    The CIA and State Dept interfered now and then.

    Can’t find any evidence in the instance of the Whitlam dismissal. Though it seems clear that Pres Nixon and Henry Kissinger loathed Mr Whitlam.

    And many believe that Pine Gap etc. mean (and meant then) a lot to the US. Apparently the US Govt began drawing up plans to relocate those bases (“ground stations”) when Gough made noises about the Pine Gap lease expiring soon.

    But still, there seems an absence of evidence.

    In a recent book, “Wrestling with Asia”, Frank Mount* suggests that Tirath Khemlani of Loans Affair notoriety – while most definitely a con man spiv – may also have been a CIA ‘plant’ dangled in front of Ministers Connor et al with disastrous consequences for Minister Cairns and Connor; and damage to PM Whitlam.

    But Mr Mount offers no evidence.
    And he points out that many high-flyers in high finance at that time would have had ‘intelligence contacts’, in any case.

    *Frank Mount was a close associate of B. A. Santamaria and the NCC, but – like many others – fell out with Santamaria later….

    (So in his case, it wouldn’t be accurate to call his suggestion a “Left Wing Conspiracy Theory”.)

    I heard Dr Cairns once, in the early 1980s when someone was insisting on the CIA basis of The Dismissal, say in his mild way,

    There were plenty of Australians who wanted us out.

    A kind of Occam’s Razor of politics.

  36. Thanks Brian.

    Our comments crossed.

    How very dare you , Sir?

    It shall be blunderbusses at twenty paces.
    But I warn you, Sir: my walking frame makes a fine, firm base to steady my weapon!!

  37. Sir Ambi: “It shall be blunderbusses at twenty paces.” As Victoria’s state goes becomes more and more dependent on Middle age pandemic strategies I guess blunderbusses seem to be an appropriate answer to challenges from beyond the moated walls of Qld?

  38. Duke John,

    As our supplies diminish, certain measures – previously not countenanced by our Bunyip Aristocracy – are now within the bounds of contemplation.

    Witching stools are now being lovingly crafted in the artisanal workshops of Richmond and Fitzroy.

    The coffee houses of Lygon Street are saucing their wheaten pasta with (ahem) swamp hens.

    Chain Gangs – hitherto only small aggregations of bejewelled yeopersons wearing gaudy chains upon their chests and wrists – soon will be sweeping the horse droppings from major streets as the numbers of drays increase. We shall be the State of Law and Ordure.

    Even now, industrious country folk are gathering all blue flowers, to stockpile in warehouse, should the need to manufacture Woad arise.

    Yes, Duke.
    Our Chairman Dan in his inner conclaves, anticipates the dire possibility that when our ragged clothes become useless, we shall Daub Ourselves in Woad: and stand separately as proud Victorians, yelling (silently) at the virus particles and the Desperado Lady of the Land of Quince, who even now, suggests that her Barons should Purloin our Precious: our Grand Final.

    She shall not pass.

  39. Lord Ambi: “Desperado Lady of the Land of Quince, who even now, suggests that her Barons should Purloin our Precious: our Grand Final.” It isn’t the VFL any more and your prince Andrews should be worrying about more important things.

  40. A man talking about the football on the wireless many years ago in Melbourne said, “Football is not a matter of life and death; it’s more important than that!”

    Just to explain our view of the world, my lord Duke.

    Our Prince Andrews??

    He of the Workers, united,
    Should never be infected!

    He is a republican, in the Colonual sense. Not a royal. He has no court. However, he has followed in the renowned footsteps of the great Marco Polo; he has seen Cathay and uts marvels. He has worn the Belt and is on tge Road.

    No, not the Road to Mandalay, the road to glorious future co-prosperity with Chinese Govt through big finances for infrastructure if Canberra Devil not provide we get from Nice Gentlemen in PRC; if good enough for Saint Gough go looking in petrodollar Middle East it OK we look in Wealth of Cathay. Our PRC friends all friends; Khemlani con man spiv contrast President Xi he good Kevin Rudd say so Bob Carr say so we say so.

    Not Prince Andrews he Chairman Dan of new Politburo no worries all good have a nice day what virus???

    Political power grows out of barrel of low-interest loan very big.”
    – Little Book of Chairman Dan

  41. Getting back to the worlds most dangerous man, I nominate Xi Jinping by a long shot.

  42. Ambi and John, re the ‘Desperado Lady of the Land of Quince’ to be realistic and mundane, I think she knows where the VFL grand final will be, virus permitting. I think she’s gunning for second choice ahead of the desperadoes of The West, who actually have a better stadium.

  43. Here’s an interview with Dr Francis Collins who is Dr Fauci’s boss as Director of the Institutes of Health about what he would do if ordered to sack Fauci.

    No way, Jose.

    Collins says that they are going into trials of a vaccine from 27 July with 30,000 people in the US where there is plenty virus around.

    He said that they were going to develop “at risk” manufacturing. I think what this means is that any new vaccine can’t be manufactured in existing facilities. The facilities for a new drug have to be designed and built for that drug.

    So if a vaccine looks a good prospect early in the process they are going to start building the plant while they continue testing the drug.

    He says they’ll have a vaccine by the end of the year and have “millions” of doses ready to use so that we can all go back to the “good old days” in the spring> I don’t think “we” means everyone in the world.

    On therapeutics, he says that good prospects include anti-coagulants and also monoclonal antibodies derived from surviving COVID sufferers are looking good.

    Any way that is what he spends his time on, not thinking about sacking Fauci, who he says is a national treasure.

  44. Leaving aside the danger Trump may present to the world I watch his incompetence with some interest.
    Not even the whole Republican Party is behind him yet he seems intent on dividing the nation and trying harder and harder to win the votes of the minority who will always support him while alienating the majority whose votes he needs to win legitimately.
    It might be 4 dimensional chess, but it looks more like the sort of ineptitude with which he bankrupted casinos.

  45. Zoot: “trying harder and harder to win the votes of the minority who will always support him.” These are the people who will cheer for him enthusiastically because he understands their angst and way of thinking. Someone who came from the sort of family Trump came from may really crave this unquestioning noisy support.

  46. Trumps approval rating amongst Republicans is around 95% according to Gallup polling.
    So yeah, not the whole voting base.

    Brian, trump isn’t loading Muslims into trains off to internment camps like Xi.
    Trump isn’t annexing territories like Xi and Putin.
    Trump isn’t a threat to any of the Bill of Rights around the world like the “ worker party “ leaders.

    Tell me, how is Trump worse than Xi ?
    I’ll match that metric with 2 in rebuttal.

  47. John, there is no way Trump has the empathy or even the intellect to understand these people’s angst and way of thinking; in his grifter universe they are simply marks, rubes to be fleeced. He doesn’t need to waste any energy on them, they will vote for him whether he sh*ts on them or not, but it appears he is so needy that, as you say, he is going to continue to bask in their noisy support.
    Not the personality the world needs for the most powerful man on the planet.

  48. Wow zoot, with your intellect, empathy, answers to the problems of humanity and obvious cognitive prowess it’s amazing you only have the support of 6 or 7 people instead of millions.

    I’m begging you to run for a higher office.

    I’ll chip in $100, I’m convinced you’d be great.
    The outcomes for everyone will be equal and magnificent!

  49. Jumpy: Appreciate you trying to help us understand where some Trump supporters are coming from.
    “Brian, trump isn’t loading Muslims into trains off to internment camps like Xi.
    Trump isn’t annexing territories like Xi and Putin.”
    That is a pretty low bar for checking suitability to lead the US.

  50. John, apparently you arguing by assertion isn’t valid discourse, even though you state the obvious.

    Xi is obviously the most dangerous person on the planet right now and will be for the next 3 or 4 US elections.

    BilB seems to like him though.

  51. Jumpy, I have no interest in a pissing contest.

    I was careful in the post not to say that I agreed with Mary Trump. It was an exposition of her views as gleaned from others, plus some additional evidence from others in the same vane.

    I say he’s dangerous, and I think Mary Trump is well qualified and positioned to know a lot about him and to assess his personality.

    I didn’t go into the claim she made that someone had sat a college entrance exam for Trump. That assertion has been questioned, indeed denied by some well-credentialled people close to the person she claims did it.

    Can you link to the Gallup Poll? My understanding is that there is a difference between people who identify as Republican, and a larger group who are identified as inclined to vote Republican.

    We know he owns the Republican Party.

  52. And there are voters who are registered Republicans, Brian.

    How quaint.
    How seemingly at odds with the reasons for ‘secret ballots’, pioneered, they say, in this wide brown land.

    But I suppose you can register one way, and in a Pres election vote differently. After all, The Donald was in former years a dinky-di registered Dem.

    Has anyone else seen these unconventional suggestions…..?

    1. Because of the pandemic: if The Donald loses the electuion, he should hand over to the winner immediately. How? Resign, install Pence for the sole purpose of transferring the Presidency to the winner witjhin days. No wait for Inauguration Day. Cancel the parade. Try to save a few hundred more lives.

    Apparently such a move was contemplated during WW1, but not carried out.

    2. The Donald realises he has no chance of winning the forthcoming election, steps aside beforehand; Pence becomes Pres. Republicans scramble to choose a Pres nominee.

    Why do that? Because – so the suggestion goes – The Donald could not bear the prospect of going down in history as A Loser (nationally, electorally confirmed) TM

  53. Ambi, I raised your first suggestion near the end of the post. How would it work?

      “Trump would ask Pence to resign, appoint Biden as his VP, and then resign himself, allowing Biden to succeed to the presidency.”

    Not going to happen.

  54. Speaking of Gallup, here’s their report on party preferences which would be quite encouraging if the Republican Party hadn’t corrupted the voting system and the Russians weren’t involved.

  55. Ambi: “And there are voters who are registered Republicans.”
    “Registered Republicans” can vote in the Republican primaries. Doesn’t necessarily mean that they will vote Republican in the election.
    Part of the Republican problems started when Tea party supporters starting registering as Republicans and voting for the rabid right in the primaries. Up till then Republican candidates tended to be conservative establishment figures like the Bush family. Leading up to the last election, Jeb Bush was the candidate most likely. (I am assuming Trump got the Tea Party vote.)
    If preference voting had been available, more moderate Republicans may have ran a separate candidate.

  56. Yes, John.I take your point about Primaries.

    Does it weaken any argument that primaries be tried here, if a small and active minority can bend the result….

    I’m still of the view that both major Party candidates in 2016 were very poor indeed. (Glad I didn’t have to choose between them. Not my circus.)

    But you’re right: preferential voting can have a very good minor party or independent or recently-disendorsed-by-her-Party candidate come through and win.

    Example in Australia: Ms Hanson, all those years ago.

  57. From Esquire
    The Authoritarian Operation in Portland Is Only a Dress Rehearsal:
    A major American city is being softly Pinochet’ed in broad daylight.

      Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off. The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.

      Federal officers have charged at least 13 people with crimes related to the protests so far, while others have been arrested and released, including Pettibone. They also left one demonstrator hospitalized with skull fractures after shooting him in the face with so-called “less lethal” munitions July 11. Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC, have been sent to Portland to protect federal property during the recent protests against racism and police brutality. But interviews conducted by OPB show officers are also detaining people on Portland streets who aren’t near federal property, nor is it clear that all of the people being arrested have engaged in criminal activity. Demonstrators like O’Shea and Pettibone said they think they were targeted by federal officers for simply wearing black clothing in the area of the demonstration.


      Portland may be a dumbshow for dummies, but it also looks like a dress rehearsal. This is not an “authoritarian impulse.” This is authoritarian government—straight, no chaser. And this administration has a powerful thirst for it. It will do anything if it thinks it can get away with it in order to benefit a president* who wants to bring the Republic down on his head.
      Unmarked vehicles, disappearing people off the streets?

      We need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission now, before the dress rehearsal becomes a road show.

  58. Ambi: “Does it weaken any argument that primaries be tried here, if a small and active minority can bend the result….?”
    I am not a fan of primaries and recent US experience has strengthened this attitude. In US primaries it is often commented that candidates changed the policies they went into the primary with to better fit what they needed to win the actual election..
    In the “Case for 3 member electorates I suggested that a party could run more than one candidate with the first part of the count reducing each party to one candidate before the rest of the counting proceeds. (If you like the “primary vote” is included in the normal counting process.) This means that candidates would have to decide how much effort is put into winning the initial vote and how much into winning the fight against other parties.
    Current processes for selecting candidates are fraught with factional brawls and branch stacking distorting the result. These processes give all the power to branches that control winnable seats and ignore the wishes of members of unwinnable seats.

  59. Re Portland: it looks like Trump plans to win the election by turning the land of the free and the home of the brave into East Germany circa 1960. Doesn’t look like a winning strategy to me, but what would I know?

  60. Zoot, I don’t think he has the cattle to do it. My recall is that when he went for a wander and held up the Bible he said that he had thousands and thousands of soldiers coming to Washington, enough to sort out every protest in every state. From memory, the military sent his 1300 and to do that the had to cancel a supply trip to the Middle East.

    However, it is a sign of his desperation. Personally, I suspect he’s scared they’ll put him in jail, but if he really is a ginormous narcissist, that may not occur to him.

  61. Yes Brian, the little I have seen on the matter seems to indicate that most of the military will refuse to follow any illegal orders issued by the C in C.

  62. Yes, John.

    Branch stacking is shocking, and following the recent triple Ministerial resignation-fest in the Govt of Victoria, after pictorial evidence was presented to the public, the talk is of criminal charges.

    I imagine those would include matters like fraud, forgery, fibbing, false declarations etc. Yes, internal Party processes are not entirely the private domain of the Party. Behaviour of probity is expected.

  63. Trump wants rioters and arsons that assault police in organised mobs to comply with civil society because the Democrats will not.
    “ protesters “ ?, no.

    Step outside the CNN narrative for 3 minutes and it’ll become apparent.
    Or don’t, and be misled, your call.

  64. The police have already endorsed Trump and if the were a Military Union, it would endorse him too.

    Just face it revolutionaries, the folk with the guns are on Trumps side. There’ll be no revolution.

    Best follow the historically and monumentally wrong polls for momentary comfort while it’s available.

  65. A little heads up about “ news commentary “ bias.
    If they, withdraw fail, referred to Barack as “ President Obama “ but now call “ President Trump “ by just “ Trump “, that’s a solid gold indicator.

  66. without fail not withdraw fail.

    ( eliminating dodging pendant manoeuvre hopefully)

  67. the folk with the guns are on Trumps side

    How Orwellian of you.
    Or are you channeling Germany 1933?
    I prefer this version of the great American experiment.

  68. Al Sharpton on MSNBC !!
    Good grief zoot, you’re further gone than I thought.

    The biggest race grifter in America on the second most TDS media outlet.

    Stick a fork in yaself, you’re done.

  69. Argumentum ad hominem doesn’t work in this forum, but I realise you are constitutionally unable to argue logically. Have you sought treatment?
    BTW, people in Portland are being disappeared for the incredibly violent crime of graffiti.

  70. Jumpy: Given that you used “Trump” without being preceded by “President” a number of times above, I am not quite sure what point you are making about Obama being referred to as “President Obama.” while President Trump is referred to as “Trump”?
    Sounds like you need a Bex and a good lie down.

  71. Jumpy, seems you have finally flipped.

    Making no sense at all.

    To change the topic slightly, but still about where Trump’s America is at, Kevin Rudd and Patrick Suckling write about how COVID recovery can be used to green the planet and Australia Is About To Blow A Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity. In the USA Republicans Are Planning to Use Coronavirus to Gut Renewable Energy:

      The U.S. renewables industry, like most sectors of the economy, is being hurt badly by the fall-out from coronavirus. Solar companies are at risk of shedding more than 125,000 jobs while wind companies could lose over $43 billion in investments. And as Republicans consider trying to bail out the struggling oil and gas industry, some conservatives also see an opportunity to hobble the industry that is the main competitor to fossil fuels.

    Rooftop solar too could lose half the 250,000 people currently employed.

  72. Erin Smith from Edith Cowan University tells us US coronavirus data will now go straight to the White House. Here’s what this means for the world.

    Seems the Donald doesn’t like what they say, so:

      “They have been sidelined,” said Howard Koh, former US assistant secretary for health. “We need their scientific leadership right now.”

      The CDC being bypassed in the collection of COVID-19 data is another body blow to the agency’s standing.

      Hospitals have instead been ordered to send all COVID-19 patient information to a central database in Washington DC.

      This will have a range of likely knock-on effects. For starters, the new database will not be available to the public, prompting inevitable questions over the accuracy and transparency of data which will now be interpreted and shared by the White House.

      The Department of Health and Human Services, which issued the new order, says the change will help the White House’s coronavirus task force allocate resources. But epidemiologists and public health experts around the world fear the new system will make it harder for people outside the White House to track the pandemic or access information.

    If there is a Heaven, then Trump will be in the other place.

  73. Oh, look you guys. Too much negativity. This is the President who is Making America Great Again!! All the Dems can do is Make Statements that Grate Again.

    Don’t believe me?
    Well, here is the President himself:

    “We have embers and we do have flames,” he said. “Florida became more flame-like, but it’s … it’s going to be under control.”

    He also repeated his assertion that the virus will eventually disappear. “I’ll be right eventually,” he said. “It’s going to disappear and I’ll be right.”
    [Fox News interview]

    And don’t come the raw prawn with me, cobbers and cobbettes. He’s not saying “she’ll be right”. That would indicate complacency. He’s clearly stating that he will be right.

    It’s a traditional American riposte: “AmIRight???”

    * * * * * *
    Phew, that’s a big relief.
    For a moment or two I thought the USA was heading to the other place in a hand basket.

  74. Ambi, on latest stats Florida (pop 21.48m) had new cases of 12,482 in a single day. That is way more than any of the European countries had at their peak. Australia has had 11,802 all up.

    Texas and California have new cases around what Italy, Spain and UK had at their peak. In the US they are testing a lot, but the hit rate of positives is also high.

    On any reasonable use of the language, the virus is not going to “disappear”. It may be eliminated from the US at some future time with vaccines and therapeutics, but that is not what any reasonable person can predict with certainty.

    Just trying to keep my bearings in view of what emanates from Trump’s mouth.

  75. Brian: My first reaction is that the virus will disappear from the US when all Americans are dead as a result of Trump’s actions. Then again, it could move back into animals just in case a few Americans don’t die.
    Some nasty people might be privately thinking that it would be good if Trump got a fatal dose. However, my conclusion is that Trump won’t catch it because he is an alien whose job is to clear the world of humans so that his mob has an easy job of taking over. Bit like the way smallpox introduced by the English made taking over Aus easier.
    Time for my paranoia check, check, …..

  76. More and more it looks like some bright spark in the White House thought ‘1984’ was ‘Government for Dummies’.

  77. Fox News ran a poll asking “Do you think Donald Trump has the mental soundness to serve effectively as president?” A majority of respondents (51% to 43%) said he does not.
    When Fox asked the same question about Joe Biden, a plurality of voters (47% to 39%) responded saying that he is mentally fit to serve.
    In a functioning democracy this would mean Trump is toast, but thanks to his Republican enablers this is a failed state and, as our Mackay correspondent has pointed out, the folk with the guns are on Trumps side. Things could get very messy.
    Might be prudent for Australia to become familiar with our new Chinese overlords 🙂

  78. Not the argument the Republicans used against President Obama when 2 people caught Ebola.

  79. 4 people you say, zoot?

    Why, on any reasonable view of Arithmetic, that simply doesn’t compare with the COVID bizzo Stateside.

    Some phrase involving apples and oranges is lurking nearby.
    Ah yes, “you can’t compare 4 people catching Ebola with the thousands catching COVID-19, because ‘Ebola’ is spelt differently.”

    It’s a different word, zoot lad.
    Different disease. Different year. Different effects.

    C’mon, face facts!

  80. You’re wasting your time Mr A.
    Zoot thinks 2 months of nightly riot in Portland equals graffiti.

  81. Zoot thinks 2 months of nightly riot in Portland equals graffiti.

    Not me mate. If you had the ability to understand the link I posted you would know it was Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf who shared examples of what he said “violent extremists” were doing in the city: spraying graffiti.

  82. Jumpy,

    It seems from what you wrote at 5.29pm, you may have misunderstood what I meant at 4.55pm.

    The numbers of COVID-19 infected and deceased in the US far exceed the numbers that were affected by Ebola in the US.
    That’s all.

  83. Haha, ad hom personal attacks are not acceptable on this blog.

    Now, back to the most dangerous person in the world, prove it’s trump ( not using “ President “ because he’s not to me John, but to US media he is )

  84. Haha, ad hom personal attacks are not acceptable on this blog.

    So why do you keep using them.

    Hint: argumentum ad hominem is not “personal attacks”.

  85. Jumpy: “List of covid deaths by US State per 100,000,
    9 of the top 10 are Democrat.”
    Could be the cause is the gross incompetence of Democrat governments.
    Or it could be that Democrats are more likely to get into power in states where people are more vulnerable to the virus and these vulnerable people are more likely to vote Democrat.
    9 out of 10 seems suspiciously high if what it is all about is simply the relative competence of the two parties.

  86. Now, the worst performing US state health systems are run by Democrats, stop trying to dodge that fact.

    The worst crime records are also set by Democrat law enforcement.

    Undeniable, factual truths.

  87. John, they worst covid states are long held Democrat.
    Democrats made them vulnerable given the history and evidence with a dash of critical thinking thrown in.

  88. A little read for zoot.

    Would be more valuable for you. Concentrate particularly on

    Typically this term refers to a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

    You would probably understand this better as “playing the man and not the ball”. It is far and away your favourite method of argument.
    For example, I linked to Al Sharpton talking about Americans changing the status quo by persevering in exercising their vote as an alternative to your stand that power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
    Your response took no notice of the substance of the argument but merely poured scorn on Sharpton. That’s Ad Hom fellah.

  89. Here are some conventional titles, Mr J.
    Sometimes called “honorifics”….

    President Trump
    PM Morrison
    former PM Howard
    former Foreign Minister Bob Carr
    Nobel Prize Laureate Richard Feynman
    Justice (Garfield) Barwick
    President Mugabe
    PM Johnson
    UN Secretary General
    ACTU Secretary
    Federal Leader
    Member of Parliament

    Do you recognise none of these, or does it depend on the incumbent? If it varies according to the political flavour of the person, is that a kind of identity politics you practise?

  90. Also, I don’t do Twitter, it rots the brain.
    Obviously you do.

    No I don’t.
    Obviously you don’t know the meaning of “abstain”.

  91. Mr A, I use the title as it relates to me.
    Trump is not my President, PM ScoMo is my PM.
    My Doctor I call doctor, some ALP Polly having done a Uni course on union tactics, no.
    My Queen is Elizabeth 2 but if Boris and meet I’d call him Boris.

    Anyway, back to the most dangerous person in the world, who would you nominate?

  92. Here’s a more current picture of the US states’ performances re Covid-19. It’s the 7 day average of new cases (i.e. where President Donald J Trump’s “embers” and “flare ups” are)

  93. Ok zoot, you abstain from Twitter after just linking to it.
    Whatever you say champ.

  94. You really don’t know the meaning of abstain. You should have spent more time listening to that teacher and less time making her cry.

  95. Jumpy, in the spirit of reconciliation, what precisely did you mean when you wrote “I don’t do Twitter”?

  96. Jumpy, and the dumbest people in America are, going on your shallow logic, Republicans/Libertarians. Maybe stupidity is the best protection from Covid 19, possibly why a vaccine is unlikely, and why Trump has “tested positive in the negative direction”, so far.

    No doubt, you will enjoy this (Trump is training a white supremecist army in your back yard)

    also why a vaccine may be improbable (Sars- CoV-2 May have another door into cells)

  97. “Most dangerous man in the world”?

    Couldn’t say.

    If a man was cruel enough to initiate a large nuclear war, I’d nominate him. But it would be in retrospect. After the event.

    There are dozens of men in a position to do that. I hope none of them does.

    On that criterion, President Nelson Mandela was one of the least dangerous leaders: he decided that South Africa would disarm. Yes, abandon South Africa’s nuclear weapons and have that disarmament verified by independent experts. To me, that was remarkable and laudable.

    For all its difficulties and faults, that action by the ANC government stands out, for me.

    Mohandas Gandhi began his life’s work as a young lawyer in Sth Africa. Many citizens there are still proud of that.

  98. The Mayor of Los Angeles (yes, he’s a Democrat) indicates some of the areas in which President Donald J Trump, 45th President of the USA, could render assistance to his fellow Americans. (Republicans were approached but none agreed to appear).
    It’s a pity that he’s absolutely powerless, if Jumpy is to be believed (leaves a real power vacuum).

  99. I read Doonesbury every day and it features Tweets by Roland B Hedley Jr. (a big fan and apologist for POTUS). Many of them are classic, such as today’s

    As we close in on 140,000 dead from virus, POTUS not doing anything to protect people b/c needs to practice first with statues. Wants to get it right. #BestPrepEver

  100. It’s getting a bit willing over there.
    This from Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

    The top US Democrat said on Monday that Donald Trump might not like the outcome of the November 3 presidential election but reminded the Republican president that he will have to vacate the White House if he loses.

    “There is a process. It has nothing to do with if the certain occupant of the White House doesn’t feel like moving and has to be fumigated out of there because the presidency is the presidency,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview with MSNBC.

    – source: Nine newspapers

  101. I’ve been wondering about the Cognitive Test taken by President Donald J Trump, 45th President of the USA (don’t want to be disrespectful).
    Has anybody explained why he took it?
    It’s designed to catch cognitive decline and I can only guess that someone was considering invoking the 25th amendment of the Constitution.
    But maybe POTUS believe he needed to back up his demonstrated skills of drinking water from a glass using only one hand and tottering down a very steep and slippery ramp without falling on his face? It’s very peculiar.

  102. It’s probably trump ( not my president) trolling the media into conniptions again. Works every time, playing them like a violin ( if a violin sounded like a breathlessly outraged and disgusted banshee)

    I see Biden needs one, a proper one.

  103. When does Biden announce his pick for 47th POTUS, anyone know the standard amount of time before the election?

  104. This is an interesting (if long) read. It’s starting to feel like 1968 all over again – the Gov refuses to tolerate dissent – it worked for Nixon, for a while.

  105. Mr J

    If his Party holds a nominating Convention, my guess is he could announce his VP running lady then.

    As I recall, the candidate for P who wins at the Convention (hoopla, streamers, war whoops, etc) usually presents her VP choice to the delegates on stage (hoopla, streamers, etc).

  106. I can only imagine the envy with which Donald watched Derek Chauvin’s casual cruelty and monstrous indifference as he murdered George Floyd; hands in his pockets, his insouciant gaze aimed at the camera. I can only imagine that Donald wishes it had been his knee on Floyd’s neck.

    Too Much and Never Enough—How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man
    Mary L. Trump, Author,
    Excerpt from the Epilogue p.210

    [No I haven’t bought the book, I know most of its contents from my own observations over the past 5 years or so. Quote found in an online forum]

  107. Well well, President Donald J Trump rebuts our Mackay correspondent. On July 15 at 4:35 pm Jumpy opined

    And I don’t understand why why Trump is being blamed for covid deaths when he controls none of the hospitals or police where the majority of deaths are occurring. His only area is US border closures and he did that before the WHO recommended it.

    During his press conference today, in between the lies, POTUS pointed out a couple of areas where he has the power to do more

    He promised his administration was working to speed up tests, which are taking 10 or more days to return results in some regions.
    He pledged he’d help governors with whatever supplies they needed.

    I would add that he could stop contradicting the experts who are there to advise him and he could face up to reality instead of pretending it’s a plot against him personally.
    Had he had the attitude he expressed today in March tens of thousands of our Yankee cousins would still be walking the planet, that’s why he is being blamed for covid deaths.

  108. Another thing to notice about those stats is that the Trump election marked a decline in new gun purchases for quite a while.

    ( I’m not confident that chart will be looked at leave alone read thoroughly with a mind to attempt comprehension)

  109. From Jumpy’s link

    NOTE: These statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearms background check and a firearm sale.

    Not sure what Trump’s fanboi is trying to prove.

  110. Now the meeja claims that “The New President Trump” is (at last) taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously.

    Will this ‘redeem’ him with electors, or is it by now too late?

    Time will tell.
    Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, Donald; it tolls for thee.

  111. The 7-day average in new cases in the Us seems to be flattening, albeit at around 68,000, which is appalling.

    Nevertheless, Trump is now flipped on masks, and will no doubt claim credit if the stats go into a holding or downward trend.

    Meanwhile aggressively blaming China, and turfing out Chinese consulate in Houston is part of the game.

  112. If the US electorate believes Trump has changed for the better they deserve everything they get.
    He has not rescinded his executive order for the feds to invade sovereign states. That should have alerted all the freedom loving don’t step on me militia that he is the danger the second amendment was supposed to combat (their argument, not mine).
    Trump looks more and more like a wartime president – Jefferson Davis.

  113. zoot, I heard last night analysis indicating that without white evangelicals voting for Trump, he can’t win. Historically, we were told, that evangelicals were in the vanguard against slavery, helping the poor and immigrants, and family values were central.

    Now they have turned to racism, and their main reason other than that to vote for Trump is that he will stack the Supreme Court. Also gun laws.

    They only matter in some states.

    There is so much going on the the election is hard to call. I suspect that voter suppression and the Russians will see Trump home, but there will be a widespread realisation that democracy in America is f**ked.

  114. Two particular matters seem to worry the evangelicals or fundamentalists –

    Abortion – hence wanting Supreme Court allies
    Support for Israel.

    Both issues (in US politics) long pre-date Pres Trump. Didn’t Pres Reagan also depend on the so-called “religious Right “?

  115. Years ago I heard the US political scene described as one party divided by attitudes to abortion.
    In other news, when I was in hospitality/entertainment it was a truism that nobody went broke running a casino. Trump has bankrupted three of them. Watching his insistence that he “aced” a test designed to detect cognitive decline gives some insight into the peculiar talents which allowed him to do this.
    If he stays in the position four more years the US will just be another banana republic.

  116. He has not rescinded his executive order for the feds to invade sovereign states . That should have alerted all the freedom loving don’t step on me militia that he is the danger the second amendment was supposed to combat (their argument, not mine).

    Nonsense, these violent antifart dickheads are destroying Federal property and endangering the lives of US citizens while the Demorat Mayor lets them riot every night for 2 months.

    If these violent leftists want Portland to be the hill they are willing to die on in an armed conflict with the right then so be it, they’ll get their wish inside one week.

    I actually admire the rights tolerance and restraint it this point.

  117. So, Mr J

    You believe political factions in a Western democracy should have armed militias, do you?

    So that if group X decides that group Y is a bunch of d*ckhead vandals, group X should engage in armed conflict with the Ys, who have quite clearly (to the Xers) decided to “die on a hill”??

    Cue Lebanon, Libya, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Colombia, Russian Mafia, Sicily, etc etc ad nauseam

  118. I actually admire the rights tolerance and restraint it this point.

    And you probably thought Pinochet’s Chile was a bastion of freedom. I’ve noticed that self professed libertarians are remarkably tolerant of authoritarian politicians.
    You have no idea of what is actually happening in Portland. But if Trump can get you to wet the bed he thinks he can get enough Yanks to wet the bed and vote for him too.
    Trouble is (for him), it’s not working.

  119. You believe political factions in a Western democracy should have armed militias, do you?

    Ambi, our Mackay expert has already written that the people with the guns support Trump. (yet somehow, the violent ones are those exercising their right to peaceful protest)

  120. The right aren’t the violent ones in Portland.
    To call billions in damage and organised attacks on police that are protecting property and lives as “ peaceful protests “ is insane.

    I hope no one perpetrates a “ peaceful protest “ on you zoot.
    And I damn well know if anyone anyone tries a “ peaceful protest “ like that on me or my family they’ll receive a few lead love beads in return.

    That’s one of the stupidest things, they’re mainly harming the folk they say “ matter “

  121. At this point if you haven’t seen footage of the constant riots and violence in the Dem run cities then you’ve willingly chosen not to.
    And it’s not the right doing it.

  122. Today’s AFR said the antifa accusations were coming from Fox and Breitbart News. Jumpy’s view of things seem to align with them.

    Then I saw articles from Mother Jones and Atlantica, which support what zoot has been linking to.

    Today on the radio I heard an interview with the mayor of Portland. She was there with the BLM protest. said things had been peaceful, and were just about to finish up when they were attacked by Trump’s storm troopers (my word, not her’s) with teargas and violence.

  123. Jumpy, Zoot’s only attacker from what I witness come from the right (as in not left). From you, in fact, and these are not all peaceful protests.

  124. Jumpy, Zoot’s only attacker from what I witness come from the right (as in not left). From you, in fact, and these are not all peaceful protests.

    Further, it is the “right” that created this situation. Systemic and perpetual provocation by “right” leaning whites against blacks is the problem on the one hand, and the underlying equally serious violence is the 1% “right” wage exploitation that is additional pressure that encourages the entire community to become vocal now that the cover has been pulled back on the whole ugly side of America.

    Those pressures on their own are not enough to force people into revolt, but the consequences of the US failure on the corona virus will as evictions get under way driven by greed indifference.

    Can you see any similarities between Louis and Donny? Both Fat, self possessed, obsession with hair, obsession with “luxury” mansions, completely indifferent to the needs of the population,,,,. One thing Louis had that Donny doesn’t, the ultimate hair cut,…at the neck. But there is time.

  125. Hush up BilB, these nice protesting folk in major US Cities are Mothers with nothing but grief for an innocent man by all of the police just because he wasn’t white.
    So what if a few kids wrote in crayon there.

    Obviously it was the Federal Stormtroopers that lit all the fires and threw bricks at themselves to frame sweethearted concerned ladies having a peaceful, spontaneous outpouring of love and tolerance.

    ( that other Jumpy certainly hates his own Mother)

  126. Zoot probably call this fellow a token too.

    I’ll reply in the inimitable style of Jumpy:

    PJ Media !!
    Good grief Jumpy, you’re further gone than I thought.
    A propaganda channel that publishes more lies than Fox News?
    Stick a fork in yaself, you’re done.

  127. Goose, gander, kettle, pot…

    Good, now all news sources are on the table rather than just left/far left.

    Now you will see evidence that leftist media won’t show you.

  128. Now you will see evidence that leftist media won’t show you.

    I haven’t seen any yet, and I actively look for it.
    Trump is giving you nightmares (goodness knows why you are so scared, it’s the other side of the world) about armies of violent anarchists invading suburbia because they hate America and will not stop until they have destroyed it. Be afraid, be very afraid. Only the Donald, the Law and Order President can save you from a fate worse than death as he restores truth, justice and the American way! Like everything that comes out of his mouth it’s all lies.
    The truth about Portland is that the greater part of the city is completely untouched by the peaceful demonstrations which have been ongoing for years. There have been a handful of violent incidents, all of which should have been left to the Police Department.
    And now Trump has his eyes on Albuquerque. The people of New Mexico are quite puzzled, since they can’t see any reason for his interference (apart from a desire to threaten people of colour, but he wouldn’t do that. Would he?)

  129. PS: if you have any links to far left media I’d appreciate you sharing them with me. Green Left Weekly is a trifle parochial.

  130. Here’s an account from someone who is actually attending the protests in Portland. There are more stories and videos on her blog. They give an insight into the sort of people Trump has labeled “violent anarchists”.
    Why is the NRA not defending her freedom of assembly? Oh, that’s right the people with the guns support Trump. (Forgot for a moment)

  131. Jumpy I followed your CNN link, saw what else they had at the time and came up with Trump’s briefings were meant to show him in charge — now they are becoming absurd.

    Absurd and erratic.

    Tonight Patricia Karvelas on The Wrap talked to Shaun Carney from the The Age and Naaman Zhou from Guardian Australia. Zhou said that his boss, Lenore Taylor was in the US last September, and saw Trump live. She said that the reports like the CNN one I just linked to make Trump look for more organised than he actually is in the flesh.

    I mentioned this to my son Mark. He says he has watched Trump live (on his phone, no doubt) and Taylor is correct.

  132. Absurd and erratic.

    With his excuses and evasions he always reminds me of Bart Simpson. If only. Unfortunately he’s as dimwitted as Ralph Wiggum.

  133. Jumpy, I’m getting quite a lot of spam at present, and your comment @ 6.45 under St Jumpy the Green initially went into the spam bucket.

    Andrew Romano of Yahoo News last night, talking with Indira Naidoo, said the Portland BLM arrests had been going on for about 8 weeks, and it appears they will keep on going on because the people are pissed off by being attacked by unidentified storm troopers. He said that mothers had now come out to try to form a protective wall.

    However, Trump’s troopers are still at it. They use tear gas, and pull random people into paddy wagons, take them off, and eventually let them go, I think because they have no policing authority.

    He said they were homeland security and border protection people, more trained at dealing with drug runners than crowd control.

  134. This, from Nine newspapers, I offer without comment:

      Donald Trump has suggested that he was “devastated” when he won the US presidency because he had such a great life before entering the White House.

      With just over 100 days before the US election, Trump has given a glimpse of how things were better for him before he won the election, noting that the best day of his life was the one before he announced he was running for office.

      “I love doing it [being President] but there was this phoney deal, that I was devastated when I won because I couldn’t have my life. I had a great life, I did,” he said, in a candid interview with American sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports.

      “The best day of my life in terms of business, and life, and everything, was the day before I announced I was running for president. Everything was good.

  135. I see that ScoMo’s Troopers are at our borders, detaining, arresting and putting peaceful people into paddy wagons, fined massive amounts ( devastating for low socioeconomic mothers and babies) and enforced incarceration for weeks !!

    That’s a reason to riot and burn down government buildings.


  136. Brian, Trump is a self absorbed buffoon that seeks adoration.
    Before he announced running as a Republican he was loved by Hollywood, much of the leftist media ( big Dem donor) and reality tv drones.
    Now they hate him with mindlessly deranged passion.

    He could have easily run as a Democrat and won.
    If he had the media championing all his justice reform Bills.

    Have you read about this recent Bill ?

    The bill expands federally protected land, where there can be no logging, drilling, mining or road construction, and establishes 375,000 new acres of wilderness across California, Oregon, New Mexico and Utah.

  137. Umm, Jumpy, if you bother to read both of your links you’ll see they refer to the same bill.
    And I’m surprised, given your insistence on balance, that you haven’t given us links to the land Trump has excised from federal protection.

  138. Oh, and while I’m here, re your 1:48 pm.
    You have no talent for analogies, please cease and desist, it’s for your own good.

  139. And I’m surprised, given your insistence on balance, that you haven’t given us links to the land Trump has excised from federal protection.

    It’s just as easy to Google articles like this which details how courts are slowing Trumps rush to open millions of acres of federal land to oil and gas drilling.

  140. Here’s another article reporting how a federal judge voided leases in 1 million acres which Trump wanted open to mining. This is part of campaign to overturn Trump’s policy over 67 million acres of federal land in 11 states.
    Your attempt to paint Trump as environmentally aware is pitifully weak.

  141. Not me again!?
    It appears that the locals will arrest any of Trump’s Stormtroopers who are sent to Baltimore or Philadelphia.
    This could be entertaining.

  142. Different Environmental Bills zoot.

    How are you able to constantly lie but still sleep ?

    Actually, forget it, you’re a nett negative to any conversation, the economy and society in general. Best ignored.

  143. Different Environmental Bills zoot.

    No, both from the same time in 2019 (February/March) and both passed the house with the same margin (363 to 62 from memory).
    If you really want to refute me you’ll show that they are different acts. Your first link refers to the National Resources Management Act, or S.47.
    To which act does your second link refer?

  144. Here’s some additional help.
    Both of the bills which you insist are different create a new national monument, the Saint Francis Dam site in Southern California.
    Your first link calls the bill the biggest wilderness protection bill in a decade. Your second link calls it the largest public lands bill approved by Congress in more than a decade.
    But I’m sure you have evidence that they are two different bills.
    Fire when ready.

  145. Jumpy, @ 1:48 you talked of love and hate wrt Trump.

    It’s not a matter of feelings. I’m sure plenty of Americans can use their reason to assess Trump’s suitability and performance as POTUS.

  146. Brian, it is all a matter of feeling if the media rhetoric is anything to go by. Just look at the last article you posted from CNN.
    All emotive condemnations designed to lead.
    Only a sucker would fall for that religiously.

    That said, Trump is not the worlds most dangerous man, Xi is.

  147. Be good to get some younger nominees in 24.
    How about Nikki Haley and AOC ?
    Running mates Dan Crenshaw and Andrew Yang respectively.

    Make it interesting.

  148. All emotive condemnations designed to lead.

    Jumpy, I’ve read that article twice and I see no ’emotive condemnations designed to lead’. To me the article reads as straight journalism.
    Yes, it is critical of Trump’s lack of leadership but it backs up every statement with evidence.
    You’d do us all a favour if you’d copy three or four of the most egregious condemnations and paste them in a comment here so that we could see just what you are referring to. No explanation required from you.

  149. Jumpy, the article is not about Trump vs Xi.

    The post is about Mary Trump’s opinion and book. The title of the post is Trump: The world’s most dangerous man? taken from her subtitle. I whacked a “?” on the end because I don’t know whether I agree with her (my opinion is of no account) and also others may not.

    If I’d wanted to seriously explore the topic of who was the world’s most dangerous man I would have identified some of the competition.

    Sorry if that was misleading.

    I don’t mind if you want to argue that Xi is more dangerous, but you’ll need more than assertion.

  150. I’ve just watched 13th on Netflix (I believe it is also available on YouTube). It is an excellent examination of the cultural factors which have led to the formation Black Lives Matter.
    I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  151. Some people have the idea that Portland is a smoking ruin, reduced to rubble by the invading army of Antifa violent anarchists. It’s not.
    Here is a tweet from a Portland resident showing just how contained the protest area is.
    (No I still don’t do Twitter)

  152. Hi,I found this article interesting and felt it had applications well beyond sport including things like family, work etc.
    It is about what a sports writer finds behind the ‘best teams in history’ and discovers the one thing they all have in common.
    Trump definitely doesn’t fit that finding. Bob Hawke is probably the only recent leader of this country who came close.

  153. Here’s an interesting factoid:

    Data on extremism in the US also shows that antifa, a loosely affiliated network of left-wing, anti-fascist activists, has not been found responsible for a single death in the past 25 years, based on database assembled by researchers at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and reviewed by The Guardian. During the same time period (1994-present day), US-based far-right and white supremacist groups conducted attacks that left at least 329 people dead.

    Well of course, the people with the guns support Trump.

  154. While I’m here I’ll make a prediction. If Trump’s “invade Democrat cities” campaign results in him losing even more ground to Biden, the troops will be withdrawn.
    I don’t have enough insight into the psychotic mind to predict what rationale the would be emperor will employ.

  155. Trump’s principle methodology, intended or natural, is saturation assault on values. Values are important to community and the maintenance of society, law and order.

    Here is a catalogue of much of that assault

    You will need to reload your printer as it runs to some 168 pages, if you want a hard copy to carry with you for reference in discussions.

    Jumpy, feel free to step in here and justify Trump’s actions, one by one, based on your values system.

  156. Mr McVeigh accounts for 168 of the 329 deaths, zoot.

    So the rest of these murderous b*st*rds were responsible for about 161.

    Does that make the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing a bit of “an outlier”?

    329 in 25 years or so averages about 13 per year.
    That’s a lot of extreme political violence, for an advanced Western nation.

    Up there with Italy’s “decade of lead” in the 1970s (Red Brigades etc.)…….

  157. Mr McVeigh accounts for 168 of the 329 deaths, zoot.

    It cannot be denied that young Timothy got the right off to a commanding lead. But those violent anarchists who are even as we speak destroying American cities which, were they governed by Republicans, would otherwise be safe places of tranquil urban contentment have racked up exactly zero murders in the same time period. It’s just not good enough!

    [Note to self: research how ‘dominating the streets’ leads to a tranquil urban environment.]

  158. Left wing organisations have kill over 17 million babies in the US in the last 25 years.
    Shut the fuck up zoot pretending to care about lives.

  159. …and the Grim Reaper, who is Republican, has been responsible for 70 million US deaths in the same period, Jumpy.

  160. Ah BilB,

    it’s Grim Old Party (GOP), eh?
    Starting to make sense now……..


  161. Re my comment at 4:07 pm yesterday.

    If Trump’s “invade Democrat cities” campaign results in him losing even more ground to Biden, the troops will be withdrawn.

    That was quick. There must be new polling.

  162. Hey Bilb, that adds some weight to the theory espoused by Trump’s newest BFF: that the government includes reptilians.

  163. Here’s a mea culpa from a Republican political consultant.
    Did you know the Republicans have not won the popular vote (for President) since 1988?

  164. zoot, another good link.

    The latest ABC RN Rear Vision program looks at the history and development of voter suppression in the US.

    Of course the GOP was the party behind the North’s determination to bring the southern states to heel when six of them opted out of the Union over ending slavery.

    Southern African Americans shifted politics in the 1930s by moving their votes to support FDR.

    I keep being shocked at how open the racism has been towards African Americans and first Nations people in the US from 1607 onwards.

  165. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
    Herman Cain, the epitome of the self made man, through his talents and hard work rose from an impoverished childhood to positions of wealth and power.
    But he bought the Republican BS about masks. He didn’t wear one when he attended Trump’s Tulsa rally and now he is just another victim of Covid-19. One of the 150,000 plus people no longer alive because of Trump’s ineptitude.

  166. Steven Calabresi is a co-founder of the uber-conservative Federalist Society. He says Trump’s move to delay the election is grounds for immediate impeachment.

    I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment.
    But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.

    I’m going to need more popcorn.

  167. Zoot: “Conditioning” is a change strategy. The idea is that if you say something often enough people start to believe it or at least give an idea more credibility. We saw it in the last Aus election and the “sneaky/unpopular Bill” campaign. Say it often enough and people will be more likely to notice things that support a conditioning campaign.
    Trump can see that he is likely to lose the next election particularly if more people use mailed votes to be able to vote during the virus threat or avoid having to vote at questionable polling booths or overloaded booths in areas where Republican state governments don’t want to spend money to make it easier for “those goddamn………. ” to vote.
    He is conditioning people to accept that it won’t be unreasonable for him to reject a vote that goes against him.
    Deferring the vote could become another strategy for avoiding being voted out and another excuse to continue to condition yet again against those “dishonest mailed votes.” (While covering up blatant distortions that work in his favour.)

  168. I’m surprised no-one has countered Trump’s lies about mail ballots by pointing out everything he says also applies to the Republicans, who are the ones most often caught tampering with ballots.

  169. That is how the big lie works, though, zoot. Its a shock and awe tactic to put people on defence by blaming them for what the Perp is doing. Take the Antifa kerfuffle. Antifa is just an idea, but Trump knowing his direction to Fascism attempted to demonise the potential of resistance. Should Trump and GOP succeed in surviving this election, then Antifa will certainly turn up. Frankly I prefer to utilise a Crime Vaccine and cull the already guilty many times over perps before they achieve total dominance, but in the Liberal world you can’t talk about that. That is why I went loud and strong against Abbott and Trump BEFORE they were elected, but pacifism says “oh you can’t say those things about people” as if sociopaths are normal people. In isolation lo emps have the right to live normally, however, when they aspire to rise to control the lives of other they need to be cut down determinedly.

  170. Mr Biden said a few weeks ago, that if Pres Trump were to lose the election and refuse to depart from the White House, Mr Biden was sure that several tall, strong White House guards would escort Mr Trump out.

    Nasty Nancy Pelosi followed up with a quip about the possibility of having to “fumigate him out”.

    Either way, these opposition leaders are also conditioning the polity, by reminding everybody that in a democracy an election result must be accepted by all.

    [Who actually (officially) calls the election over there? Presumably that Cabinet member or Supreme Court Justice would be able to override any unconstitutional attempt to delay the election?]

  171. From another article about Prof Calabresi’s opinion:

    “Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on Jan. 20, 2021,” Calabresi said. “If no newly elected president is available, the Speaker of the House of Representatives becomes acting president.” (Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the current Speaker.)

    – Forbes (online)

    Careful what you wish for, Mr President!

  172. Thank you Bilb.
    I’m fascinated that Trump thinks it’s safe enough to send (poor) kids back to school, but it’s not safe enough to vote.

  173. With the emergence of BLM maybe the US is waking up? (I’m a glass half full person). Once again I urge everyone to watch ’13th’ on Netflix or YouTube.

  174. Trump never said delay the election, but carry on with the TDS, it’s hilarious.

    Also, the mail in system in the US is not like postal ballots in Australia. Democrats routinely get caught.

    And further

    Republicans are just trying to catch up if fraud is the game.

  175. Trump never said delay the election

    Who told you that?
    At 8:46pm Jul 30, 2020 @realDonaldTrump tweeted

    With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???

    Or was he only joking when he wrote “Delay the Election”?

  176. Zoot, I heard today that Trump says sh*t just so people react, knowing it is BS, and then attacks them for being so stupid to take him seriously.

    John your link does seem to indicate that there are weak links. EG, the electoral college members are appointed by the states, and don’t legally have to follow the vote. Also the states have options on how they conduct the vote, and the article says they really need another $2 billion to do the job.

    I heard on NewsRadio that under the Obama administration a group had been set up to look at what difficulties might occur. Apparently they war-gamed it with the Republicans playing hardball.

    The woman reporting said she was left with her hair on end. Seems some things happen by tradition, relying on good-will. That may not work this time.

    Today on RN there was a segment Anti-Trump Republicans get behind Joe Biden where Kristopher Purcell, Co-Chair of 43 Alumni for Biden was interviewed. They are a group of Republicans who have refused to support Trump are campaigning to get Joe Biden to unseat him.

    We can only hope.

    I think he was the one who said that if Trump wins the US will end up much weakened, and a client state of Russia.

  177. The other day Phillip Adams interviewed Ben Widdicombe on New York celebrity gossip, and how it led to Trump.

    He starts with Paris Hilton, and runs through a number like the Kardashians, and eventually Trump. He says that shame no longer exists for these people.

    On Trump, he says that Trump never expected to win, and never really wanted to. He had a plan to start a new TV channel further to the right than Fox. So his plan is to stir up as much controversy as possible, lose the election, call it a fake, and then go ahead with his TV plans.

    Thing is, anything is possible, that’s what is scary.

  178. Brian, the problem with that is that without the immunity of the presidency (purely a convention, not granted by the Constitution etc) he is liable to multiple criminal charges in New York State.
    He needs a second term so the statutes of limitation kick in.

  179. Brian

    I’ve heard that “T never wanted to win. He wanted publicity for a new TV channel” hypothesis before.

    It’s consistent with his recent statement that the day he won the election “was the worst day of my life”.

    I propose a more elaborate alternative:

    a) he wins – greatest victory ever
    b) he loses – just wanted a new TV channel.

    Either way, he is NOT a loser!!

    (Based on an armchair observation of the Narcissist In Chief)

  180. From the day of his victory I’ve been suggesting he’s a very skilled media manipulator.

    Twitter – many millions of $ of free publicity, including during campaigning.

    Run a suggestion up a flagpole, see if anyone salutes?? ALL pollies do this. His suggestions are merely more outlandish than most.

    “I was only kidding” – a very old ploy, but one you’d prefer not to hear from THE PRESIDENT.

    (BTW, an American friend puts a good deal of credence into the idea that Donald’s resolve to run was steeled when Obama roasted him mercilessly at a Washington Correspondents’ Dinner. Pathetic, childish, naive and sadly – lacking seriousness.)

  181. Ambi, all true.

    Zoot, I’ve been thinking for a while that Trump’s chief motivation at this stage would be to stay out of jail.

    So with a ‘normal’ election he would use his Russian friends to hack a result, because he can. It has been said that they have the capability because individual state run elections are not using the best anti-hacking security. It has been said that the hackers have sophisticated demographic patterning capability to make a voting pattern look plausible. (Might be giving them too much credit.)

    However, a postal vote could not be hacked in the same way. So…

    Which would mean we have a truly desperate man as POTUS.

  182. I can’t agree that Trump is a master manipulator, he is too dimwitted. As just one example consider the number of times during the Mueller investigation that his enablers provided an alibi which he contradicted with his next tweet.
    In my opinion his development stalled around the age of eight and he is so used to reality being forced to agree with his opinions, first by his father and later by Russian oligarchs, that he believes anything he says will automatically come true.
    He is simply a liar.
    And I’m wondering if there is a sweep anywhere on the aftermath of the election. The odds against would be huge so I’d be happy to invest $50 or so on “Trump defects to Russia”.

  183. Good article, zoot. The 3.5 million test kits at $15 sound like a cash grab scam, managed through the UAE possibly means a cash kickback to Kushner, part of the thousands of scams that took place to cash in on urgent demand. The company I work with over here was scammed by a Turkish company over hand gel and were lucky to break even.

  184. Jumpy 10.03 “Republicans trying to catch up”? That would be why McConnell rushed the voting amendments act Through the senate? These hollow claims are so easy to refute.

  185. Well, zoot.

    Can I re-state my hypothesis thusly:

    1. In the current social climate, stoked by both old and new media, celebrity is attractive to millions of citizens

    2. A celebrity can get away with murder (OJ the domestic violence celebrity; Pres Clinton the serial philanderer; candidate Donald the p*ssy grabber; various high profile fraudsters in Australia etc)

    3. Social muddier allow free publishing

    4. Any publicity is good publicity

    5. Many voters resent what they see as a “political class”

    6. With good reason.

    7. Many pollies and their Parties are skilled at stonewalling nasty questions, distributing largesse, spinning, and YES: lying through their golden teeth.

    8. Many of the public are uninterested in the details of political statements/policies/personalities. Commercial interests wish people to focus more on buying stuff and borrowing to fund purchases.

    Candidate Trump and Pres Trump have benefitted from most of the above.

    Maybe he is a dimwit. I cettainly agree that he’s emotionally stunted.

    Perhaps he is the Dimwit Whose Time Has Come???

  186. On Right Wing triggered violence. Umbrella Man. Here is Emma Vigeland commenting on a Washington Post article which reports on Right Wing Supremecists creating the violence that Trump then uses as his excuse to create a Secret Militia to produce his Police State.

    And in this extended video you can see that the “violen instigator” is confronted by legitimate protestors and herded away.

  187. Ah, the old agent provocateur tactic? . Join a crowd and try to subvert or twist its purpose.

    Not many new tricks in the public demonstration book, BilB.

  188. I’m inclined to sort of agree with zoot. From what I see in Trump is (you must understand that Sociopaths have zero responsibility to truth or the interests of other people as a core drive) his operative mode is to self promote with lies and at the same time elevate by means of destroying everything around himself. His only skills are an amazing ability to distort his face, and he has a radar for scams and schemes to obtain money without effort.

    Simple list
    Intriguing facial expressions holds peoples interest.
    Zero connection with the truth
    Zero empathy
    A penchant for denigrating others
    A magnetic interest in scams and schemes
    A fully developed attitude of self supremacy giving rise to a disdain for all others
    Obsessive greed.

    If you can appreciate the full gravity of these traits you can understand everything Trump does. Trump has cunning, but zero great intelligence.

  189. For me the best insight into Trump’s underdeveloped psyche is his whining about Fauci being more popular than he is.

  190. Geez there’re a lot of conspiracy theories flying around today.

    I hope Trump tweets “ THE EARTH ISN’T FLAT “.

    Face it, any one person that can own so much realestate in leftists minds is wealthy and powerful.
    Admit it, how many times a day do you think about him ?

  191. Care to point out the conspiracy theories? Three or four should be sufficient to prove your point.
    You might also like to check the title of this post.

  192. ….”think about him”?

    Trump is a cancerous disease. Exorcising him will require huge amounts of post surgery (election) treatment and therapy.

    When a person has cancer, that is pretty much most of what they think about. When knocked down by illness one looks forward till when the disease is gone, Jumpy.

  193. Unlike Jumpy I can think of many things during the day. If he thinks what you see here is my only output he is an even sadder specimen than I thought.
    Thanks for the link to the interview Bilb. We now have evidence that not only is Trump unwilling or unable to speak to his boss about targeting US service personnel, but he also doesn’t care about Democrat voter’s lives. Definitely sociopathic behaviour

  194. Today I heard that in the US it was taking 7 days for test results to come back.

    Zoot’s linked article confirms that as the current rate.

    However, earlier they had this:

      Phoenix found itself in a catch-22, which the city’s government relations manager explained to lawyers in an April 21 email obtained by Vanity Fair through a public records request: “On a call with the county last week the Mayor was told that the region has [not] received FEMA funds related to testing because we don’t have bad numbers. The problem with that logic is that the Mayor believes we don’t have bad numbers because [of] a lack of testing.”

      In June, Phoenix’s case counts began to rise dramatically. At a drive-through testing site near her house, Gallego saw miles-long lines of cars waiting in temperatures above 100 degrees. “We had people waiting 13 hours to get a test,” said Gallego. “These are people who are struggling to breathe, whose bodies ache, who have to sit in a car for hours. One man, his car had run out of gas and he had to refill while struggling to breathe.”

      Gallego’s own staff members were waiting two weeks to get back test results, a period in which they could have been unwittingly transmitting the virus.

    (Emphasis added)

    Kushner was developing a plan for testing, but Trump’s advisor (not Fauci) told him the virus would just go away, so why spend money on Democrat states?

    Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation was convinced at Davos in January that the new coronavirus was going to be big. So he set to work to develop a comprehensive testing and contact tracing plan. In April they released a plan which would wind up to 30 million tests per week, with turnaround time of less than 48 hours, and ideally less than 24 hours.

    (On current Australian experience, I suspect that testing less but faster might be more helpful. I think the Chinese got it down to about 4 hours at Wuhan.)

    They say that the US is currently doing 4.5 million per week, which is high by world standards, but if the result takes a week they are close to useless in slowing a pandemic.

    The most recent plan calls for $75 billion of Federal funds.

    Rockerfeller’s idea, which goes beyond testing, was to avoid lockdowns.

    The states are not doing nothing, and the new cases 7-day average is flattening albeit at around 65,000 per day, which is not good. I believe California is experiencing a second wave.

    Should the average start to dip, and we all hope it will, no guesses as to who will be claiming credit.

    Further in the Vanity Fair article:

      Just three days later, news reports revealed that the Trump administration was trying to block any new funding for testing and contact tracing in the new coronavirus relief package being hammered out in Congress. As one member of the Rockefeller coalition said of the administration’s response, “We’re dealing with a schizophrenic organization. Who the hell knows what’s going on? It’s just insanity.”

    That was three days after July 15, when in a video call with journalists, Dr. Shah looked visibly frustrated.

  195. Totally mind blowing. The world is on hold on Climate Action, because of Corona Virus, and because of Trump as President. All exacerbated by right wing greed and incompetence. The common thread in all of these is that “Libertarian” rejection of the common good has paralysed good government so that lazy business people can make money faster, without accountability, without the hindrance of social responsibility, and without responsibility for external consequences.

    Personally I hope Trump attempts to dispute the election results. In fact I dare him to declare himself President for life!! And as Danny Devito says in Ruthless People,…..”now that should do it”

    There is nothing like putting down a despot to focus the community mind.

  196. Good point, Brian.

    It’s not only the number of tests, as a tool to lower the spread, the time taken for a result to be known is important.

    And as Premier Andrews keeps saying:
    “stay isolated while you’re waiting for your results”.

    Reports claim that around 50% of Victorians who are told to stay at home because of COVID are found not to be at home when the officials arrive to door knock

    Victoria’s Police Minister uses the term “Covidiots”.

    It looks like the stricter stage four will be announced in Victoria a few days from now.

  197. Wait, what, they weren’t all totally peaceful all along ?
    Nadler said the riots were a myth.

    Just out of interest, the Federal Courthouse in Portland has always had Federal Officers in and around it. They are there today and will be every day in the future.

    I’m going to make a huge assumption, they still don’t want to be burnt to death by “ peaceful protesters “

  198. Further, the peaceful protesters in Benghazi ( protesting over a movie nobody saw apparently) could have used a little help but Hitlery didn’t care about them.

  199. There you go, zoot.

    Trump is deliberately causing chaos.

    Sue Halpern in at The Atlantic tells of what can go right and what can wrong with postal voting. Then:

      Even in the best of circumstances, voting by mail requires a functional postal service. Trump’s effort to defund and decimate the U.S. Postal Service is a blunt instrument of disenfranchisement. Can it simply be a coincidence that the President replaced a Postmaster General committed to facilitating voting by mail with a crony named Louis DeJoy who, according to a recent report in the Washington Post, has instructed postal carriers to slow down deliveries. As my colleague Steve Coll wrote this week, in states like Michigan, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, where ballots that are not received by Election Day are automatically tossed out, the directive could be especially crushing.

      The quick pivot to voting by mail will be expensive, and it’s not clear where that money will come from.

    One estimate is $4 billion.

    I’m firming on the notion that the man wants to stay out of jail, and is panicking.

  200. In happier news, those city Democrat voters that have died of covid will still be able to mail in a vote for Biden’s running mate, whom ever the DNC pick, for President.

    Obviously Orange Man will lose and be in jail in 2021.
    He’ll probably Epstein himself.

  201. Jumpy, Trump can’t Epstein himself, that would mess up his hair and smudge his make up. And Trump will not be Epsteined either. Epstein had dirt on lots of people, Trump doesn’t (wouldn’t be believed if he did) and the fact is that Trump IS the dirt.

    Regarding deceased Democrats, remember the statistics along with all of the names are in Republican hands. Trump will send people around to pickup those voting slips for “correct” filling out and lodging. “You’ve come for my husbands body?”, “ no Mam, just his voting slip, you can keep the body!” You can hear Trump and McConnell saying that, can’t you?

  202. Crooked Party persons in Australia (certainly in Victoria) kept a very close eye on death notices – compare and contrast the Electoral Roll.

    Why, in some State and Council elections, the dead were so pleased with the candidate that – blow me down – they made that special trip from the cemetery just to cast their vote. No signs of voter disenchantment there!

    I’d be very surprised if general, fraud-proof postal voting could be organised in the US in 90 days. It’s the land of electronic voting and the Hanging Chads. (Along with many other perplexities that have been thoroughly discussed on this blog.)

    BTW, it seems most pertinent to me, to focus on Mr Biden’s lady running mate. She may well become their first non-male Pres.

  203. When were you canonised, J?

    (I could understand if someone had cannonised you.)

    Mgr A
    *Holy Office of the Circus Trick*

  204. BilB, those voices you hear are coming from you own head.

    Apparently Trumpleupagas is too dim witted to do that.
    Argue with zoot on this issue.

    I await with baited breath such a fishing expedition from two of the World’s most respected psychic psychologists.
    ( tin foil hats and all )

  205. Mr A, I self identify. That should be enough for the non bigoted left, right ?

  206. I’d be very surprised if general, fraud-proof postal voting could be organised in the US in 90 days.

    Ambi, it’s been in place since at least the civil war and in a number of states it is universally available. Have you been sneaking sips out of Jumpy’s Kool-Aid?

  207. I haven’t got time to go through all of that crap Jumpy but my quick look came up with
    This is a case of someone in a gated high value community tying to gain control of the managing board. Read Republican screwing over other Republicans.

    This supposed massive list represents infringements in all elections, judges, school boards, elected police positions, ,,,,,,, . Another thing that comes out of that list is that if someone registers but the the state electoral office has thrown your enrolment out because you didn’t dot every i (think election fraudster Gov Kemp here) and you try to vote they call that a felony. Americans have to vote for all manner of elected officials so the proportion of cases here is across probably billions of voting possibilities as so is statistically insignificant. Further I had no trouble in identifying Republican fraudster.

    Conclusion, your argument that a presidential election will be rife with fraud will only be true if a desperate Trump trying to hold on to power, just as Cowther was in the example, arranges it. I look forward to seeing his name added to the Heritage Foundation Criminal list.

  208. Good article, zoot. His conclusion is on the money, but further, the cult of selfishness is the by product of unmitigated “freedom”. It the whole disaster of Libertarianism again,

  209. Brian @ August 2, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Jumpy, I’m not going to waste time on any of that.


  210. zoot, I meant “general” in the sense of “nation-wide”.

    Haven’t looked into the practice, but the tone of the discussion had made me think only some States currently had it. Mistaken? Always possible.

    I have avoided Kool Aid ever since the saintly Jim Jones was wrongfully accused of mass murder. It’s the sort of drink that could leave a very bad taste. Meanwhile I am attempting to clarify the theological basis of J’s canonisation. His message at 5.04pm ended

    “left, right?”

    Was he proposing a kind of dualism?
    A yin-yang cohabitation of left and right?
    Or was it a first attempt at Marxoid delineation of a contradiction, to be resolved in a Hegelian synthesis?

    Frankly, I dunno.

    Vivat Victoria Regina

  211. Seconded!

    I wish.
    Zoot, I’ve been wanting you to ignore me for ever, you can’t help yourself.
    BilB also.

    At any rate, the Democrats only push for mail ins when in opposition. Was there a massive movement in Obama’s 8 years?
    Of course not, and there wont be under Biden/xxxxx.

  212. Voting fraud has been with us ever since elections were invented, Mr J.

    In every bation, doubtless you could find instances, many of them outrageous.

    But the point here, is whether the US polity is able to minimise it and deter or punish vote-fraudsters; and if it is able to achieve that (fairly minimal) feat, then all scheduled elections should proceed.

    In tougher eras there was the motto: live by the sword, die by the sword!

    Adapting it for today,
    If you propose to gain power by election, you must accept losing power by election.

  213. “We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases.

    This from the giant brain who claims to have attended Wharton School of Business, in contradiction to his expert adviser Anthony Fauci. And for anybody who doesn’t understand his logic fail (looking at you North Queensland) the true situation is

    If we tested less, there would be just as many cases, but we wouldn’t know about most of them and I believe (erroneously) that I would look better.

  214. and because we didn’t know about those cases, the infections could spread through each area more swiftly thsn otherwise

    And the busier gravediggers, morgues, funeral directors. …. would eventually become obvious to thousands (if not millions) of the people.

  215. At any rate, the Democrats only push for mail ins when in opposition. Was there a massive movement in Obama’s 8 years?
    Of course not,

    Of course there was. Even ignoring the flagrant mishandling of the plague currently sweeping the USA which has made comparisons rather pointless.

    [Hint: Unsupported assertions can be rebutted by unsupported assertions. Or in Jumpy’s case any argument you drag out of your arse can be rebutted by an argument dragged out of mine.]

  216. Haha, so much fun playing with the demented like this will soon be a crime. You weren’t going to waste your time, remember?

    Aahhahah, in any event, the DNC will logically float an M Obama VP tilt with overwhelming popularity from CNN polls….any moment now….

  217. Love your attention to detail, your careful assembling of evidence to rebut any argument you are replying to, but most of all your laser like focus on the subject you raised.
    This is probably some of your best work. If you expend a little more effort you might be able to raise your grade to F.
    Keep up the good work.

  218. It’s the weekend, someone has been on the turps and again managed to curate himself to the center of attention and takes ‘liberties’ to abuse all and sundry including the host’s hospitality.

    Homeless drunks usually end up in some sort of isolating sobering up facility. Brian have you ever thought of some chill room for serial offenders. Even rugby league has sin bins for transgressions harmful to the game I believe.

    I am pretty sure when we discussed the likely hood of a Trump presidency four years ago, I stated that Trump is not the problem but a symptom of the malaise the US is suffering from. I still hold this view and this link sums it up it up pretty much (well worth a read)
    In line with the quote by Emil Cioran on freedom in my last comment I offer this excerpt.

    “”America’s rapid rise to global hegemony and equally rapid decline is a grand historical tragedy of the highest order, and as in classical tragedy, the root cause is the protagonist’s central character flaw. Born of 18th-century liberal ideals, and centred on a sacred set of texts, a constitution and declaration of independence debated with rabbinical exactitude and religious fervour, for the United States, that flaw is its civic religion of liberalism.“”

    It is not liberalism per se which is the problem, but this religious fervour causing excesses of liberalism. Religious practise of liberalism is a contradiction in itself, hence I have previously labeled such practitioners as anarchists. Anarchy by definition rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. It calls for the abolition of the state which it holds to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful. Trump himself summed the excesses of liberalism and anarchy in the US up with his quip

    “”I Could Stand In the Middle Of Fifth Avenue And Shoot Somebody And I Wouldn’t Lose Any Voters””

  219. J.

    My guess is that Mr Biden is too serious to choose a running mate on the basis of celebrity.

    Current problems are down to:
    1. a Pres whose main pre-election attribute was celebrity – oh, and the alleged wealth
    2. a candidate (HRC) who personified the tactic of attempting to install the family member of a predecessor Pres.

    c.f. Bush family, Kennedy family of recent memory

  220. zoot, re your 7.44pm on the second of Augustus Caesar; and cognisant of your attention to logic and its flaws, I believe the Ancients had a name for that rhetorical fallacy:

    The Fallacy of Orificial Extraction.

    ex sphincter erratum est

    though my Latin was always very poor, and some of the extant manuscripts are yet to find their way to Professor Google.

  221. Just stumbled over this from May 2020. It’s a nice rebuttal to Jumpy’s pathetic cite of the Heritage Foundation.

  222. I don’t think Trump’s talking about mayoral contests or rigged voting for the local dog catcher. 🙂
    The first study quoted in my link found around 30 instances of voter fraud in nearly 1 billion cast, which gives me cause to doubt the findings of the Heritage Foundation.

  223. Lawrence Douglas is author of Will He Go? Here is the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College.

    His article What Happens When Trump Refuses to Accept an Electoral Loss? in well worth a look.

    He says that a Trump loss is mot inevitable, but if he loses:

      Trump’s refusal to accept defeat is not possible or even probable—it is all but inevitable.

  224. Brian, there are several possibilities

    He won’t accept it psychologically – lashes out, writes memoir, excoriates hopeless Cabinet, hopeless campaign team but exits White House and Office gracelessly*

    He takes a case alleging fraud to the Supreme Court (echoes of Florida count and hanging chads)

    He sues people

    He calls out Federal troops, attempts to arrest the guy who actually won**

    He barricades himself in a room with a few guns, ignoring pleas to emerge***

    $ $ $ $
    None of these end well.

    * a la Richard Nixon

    ** in Australia, Paul Keating muses that Mr Whitlam should have had Sir John Kerr placed under house arrest. (nice one, PJ!)

    *** After the Chilean Presidential Palace was bombed on Sept 11th, and he had made his final radio broadcast, the couped Pres Salvador Allende made his way downstairs with his mistress and some aides; paused to let the group continue, then withdrew to a room and shot himself dead.

    It was said that his gun had been a gift from Pres Fidel Castro. Thanks, Fidel!

  225. Brian: ” Here is the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College.” My son did a year at Amherst as an exchange student. Son described it as the “the punk university of the US”. Not sure what this means in terms of the credibility of the professor of law.
    My concern is that all this talk of Trump refusing to go is conditioning people to expect/accept it.

  226. Zoot: My son would have thought at the time that “punk university” was high praise. (Probably still does.) May have helped give him the “street cred” which gave him his initial in to drug overdose research and, later on, to nice things like cross border prostitution and its affect on US navy personnel.

  227. Navy personnel? Surely you jest.

    During the time of Australia’s Viet Nam expeditionary force, a detailed list of expenses was presented in Federal Parlt. A cheeky MP in Question Time asked why thousands of condoms had been purchased for the diggers.

    The Army Minister explained patiently that the soldiers went out frequently on patrols, often needing to wade waist deep through paddy fields or across streams. Hence the need for a simple way to keep their wristwatches and other small items safe and dry.

    (Nowadays such a list would never be tabled.)

  228. Zoot, good link as usual. I find a bit different from the usual Murdoch fare.

    There is an important link there Coronavirus: Researchers find New York was the ‘gateway’ for US infections.

    I think the first US case was in Seattle, and may have come via the world army games in Wuhan in October 2019. The US team went via Seattle.

    (China has alleged that the US brought the virus with them, but I don’t think they seriously believe that.)

    Ed Yong at The Atlantic has done a long thorough piece How the Pandemic Defeated America. Trump actively removed much of the US capacity to deal with a virus attack. This is worth thinking about:

      Deadlier pathogens almost certainly exist. Wild animals harbor an estimated 40,000 unknown viruses, a quarter of which could potentially jump into humans.

    The suggestion is that we have squeezed other species into residual patches, and in invading their territory we’ve increased the chances of picking up viruses.

  229. Good one, zoot. I have a filing cabinet full of emails from my sociopathic ex business partners that read much the same.
    I am well versed in the language of the crazy.

  230. Mr Trump will not be interested in living on Mars, BilB.

    Terrible overheads, no contractors there he can cheat. Low grade golf courses. And have you seen the Martian girls? No way!!

  231. Farrah Tomazin in Nine newspapers claims that the “Axios” reporter, used to write for “SMH” and “The Age” (we Victorians need to brag about anything we can find….), and is the son of Dr Norman Swan of the ABC.

    Unfortunately, she also says ‘the interview has gone viral’.

    Change your terminology, please, Farrah.

  232. Good try Ambi.

    The connection is that La Perouse landed in Botany Bay just 2 days after the first fleet arrived in Port Jackson. So a French settlement was established on the North Head of Botany Bay. So why did this not become a bigger enterprise, enough to challenge the British settlement? We are in 1788 at this stage. The French ships left Botany Bay after building some things. I thought some people were left behind but now I can’t see any evidence of that. The French ships were shipwrecked on their way back to France, and all were lost, but the connection I was making was that in the next year the French Revolution obliterated any continuity with the potential colony. The Trump and Mars connection is if an an attempt to colonise Mars were to occur under a second term Trump, how would the news of a US revolution be received by a distant colony. The far better resourced British colony nearly failed.

    Any way I thought the timing of the landings in Australia and the French Revolution were interesting, and the outcomes.

  233. Also of interest BilB is that if the English had won the American Revolutionary War against those 13 colonies then they’d have no need to dump their alleged “ criminals “ on Australia just 5 years latter.

    Personally I’m thankful England lost twice back in the 1700s.

  234. Who’d have thought! That rabid mob of leftist propagandists at the ABC have given air time to a completely unbiased (cough, cough) pollster who thinks the other polls are wrong and Trump and Biden are tied ATM. (Starts around 11:50 for those who don’t want to suffer the usual fake news of the lamestream media)

  235. And what say you, zoot, to that well-worn Aussie political phrase: “There’s only one poll that matters!”

  236. Agreed! Which is why I’m not making any predictions.
    But if the great unwashed are stupid enough to give Trump a second term, or (more likely) the Republicans/Russians corrupt the process so completely that he gets a second term anyway, they deserve everything they get.

  237. And news from the United Sates:

    US Republican President Donald Trump asserted on Thursday that his Democratic opponent in November’s election, Joe Biden, is “against God,” even though Biden himself frequently discusses how his Catholic faith has guided his actions as a public official.

    With Trump trailing Biden in four recent polls in Ohio, the president was fighting to win voters in the traditional swing state as the coronavirus pandemic threatens his chances of a second term. After addressing a small crowd at a Cleveland airport on Thursday, Trump went on to deliver a campaign-style speech at a Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio.

    “He’s following the radical-left agenda: take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God,” Trump said about Biden in his Cleveland speech. “He’s against God.”

    The Second Amendment of the US Constitution gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms.

    – Nine newspapers (“The Age” online) 7th August 2020

  238. Ambi,

    What troubles me is that after 4 years and 20,000 lies people still take what Trump says to be credible until proven false. generally its 3 strikes your out, but now, for Republicans and corporate CEO’s only, its 30,000 strikes your out.

    The understanding that Psychopaths only ever tell the truth by accident seems to be too hard to comprehend for MSM and the public.

    Frankly I hope he gets re elected, because the US public obviously need that extra push into revolt, and only Trump can give that kind of shove. He’s still got another 10,000 lies to play with before he is out…ed.

  239. Good one zoot. A little nationalistic fightback on that from Stephen Colbert “we may not have Universal Healthcare , but we do have Systemic Racism”. Take that you negativity mongers!

  240. That article was longwinded zoot, but good to be reminded of the US role as a powerhouse arsenal in WW2, and the relative social calm it enjoyed directly thereafter, as Europe, Japan and China slowly rebuilt.

    And I liked the Wilde quip, about America being “the only country to move from barbarism to decadence without passing through the intermediate stage: civilisation”.

  241. I read a long time ago that the outstanding strength of the US is its ability to change. Trump may turn out to be the one who brings on another surge.
    People in the US can write the article Zoot quoted without the risk of being sent to jail. Wouldn’t say the same about China.
    Unlike Australia, people holding public positions (including political candidates) cannot sue for defamation.
    How much isn’t said about our leaders due to fear of defamation proceedings?

  242. Thanks zoot. It is long, but a lot of information there. He fingers individualism, inequality and a propensity for violence and war, which have been faults since Europeans arrived.

    He has no hope for the future for the US, and he’s not alone. The link Ootz made also ended in doom, if memory serves.

  243. Kamala Harris may ultimately become the first elected female US President, via the Vice Presidency.

    That race just became more interesting.

  244. Stephen Loosley in “THe vAustralian” loosely offers a loose guess on the possibility that a loose cannon might avoid being a LOSER:

    A Texan friend of mine offered an insightful observation of the 45th US President, Donald J. Trump. At a conference in Washington, he leaned over and said with a grin: “Bear in mind that this is a president who has not majored in history.” But there is one historical precedent that may be exercising Trump’s mind at the moment.

    Few in Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House, perhaps with the exception of wife Lady Bird, knew what he was going to tell the American people during his televised address on the evening of March 31, 1968. With the Vietnam War still raging and his Great Society crumbling, LBJ surprised the nation by announcing that he would not recontest that November’s presidential election.

    The Donald might pull out and not re-contest.
    Loose Lips Sink Ships.

    Note that Mr Looseley offers only one datum.
    Perhaps there is only one?
    (I’m told a WW1 President thought about not re-contesting, then changed his mind.)

  245. Thomas Friedman says the US has been in this kind of mess six times in its history, and has re-made itself each time.

    He sees Biden as a settler, who calms the place down but doesn’t achieve much. Real change will be left to a younger generation, he said, so he saw the selection of Biden’s VP as crucial.

    That’s assuming Trump is turfed.

  246. Ambi: “President Trump might avoid being “turfed” by walking. Whaddyareckon?”
    Trump is 74
    He will probably lose
    What will losing do to his ego?
    No great wins so far this term
    Congress will probably be hostile for his next term.
    What has he achieved so far apart for tax cuts to the rich?
    What might he want to achieve in the next term that has some chance of getting thru congress?
    Shows no signs of giving a stuff about the Republicans.
    Wont leave to give the Republicans a better chance?
    What does his boss Putin want him to do? (Wants him to run and continue damaging the US as long as possible?)
    Being president gives him some protection from criminal charges.
    Guess I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he does pull out when it suits him.

  247. I believe the President who succeeds him can only pardon Trump from Federal offenses, so he has to balance being seen as a “Lewser” against losing his immunity to prosecution in the state courts.

  248. Ah, those days of yore when VP-Ford became Pres Ford and pardoned former Pres Richard Nixon!

    Are you hinting, zoot, that his main motive these days is to avoid being locked up?

  249. Trumps not done yet. EPA just released industry from worry about their methane emissions. Trump is talking capital gains tax cuts and another tax cut for the “middle class,…to promote jobs”.
    Trump the wrecker.
    Universal Health Care. Good thing. Can’t have. Systemic racism. Goad thing. Must have.
    You can analyse every aspect of Trump’s administration in this way. Trump HAS to go to jail. Its the only way Trump is going to experience the full scope of human experience before he dies,

  250. Are you hinting, zoot, that his main motive these days is to avoid being locked up?

    And he knows he can’t win by convincing more people to vote for him which is why he is pulling out all the stops on vote suppression. Who can forget his famous observation (and I’m paraphrasing here) if every person eligible gets to vote the Republicans will never win another election. One of the few times he’s been truthful.

  251. He has that knack for blurting out true statements occasionally.

    Imagine trying to be his “minder”….. horror job.

    Of course, the last thing a very stable genius requires is a minder.

    Only small children and the demented and the criminally insane need minding.

  252. I’ve always thought the chance of being locked up might be on his mind.

    Jonathon Swan said tonight he doesn’t really want to do the job for another four years, but always hates losing.

    Bruce Shapiro said if Trump loses the Rupublican Party is basically stuffed. It is too if he wins.

  253. Bruce Shapiro is knowledgeable indeed, but it’s a big call to forecast the death of a major Party.

    I recall an Aussie poster after Labor’s heavy loss in the ’75 election:

    “Is Labor Finished?”

    Hawkie, PJK, Kevin07, Julia et al might have a word or too to say.

  254. Ambi, I said “basically stuffed”, not “dead”.

    They could lose the presidency, and both houses of Congress, with policies/ideology that appeals to a demographically diminishing base.

  255. Fair enough, Brian.

    ‘stuffed’ for a few years…. then the moderate part of their ‘base’, faced with the arduous job or remaking the Party.

    BTW, I was expecting a few more sitting Congresspersons to have jumped ship from USN The Donald by now…..

  256. Just on the Donald/prison question, I offer today’s readings from A Bigger Picture by Malcolm Turnbull.

    Chapter 36,
    Page 447: He talked about Kerry Packer a lot; he knew I’d been Kerry’s lawyer and ‘kept him out of jail’, something Donald mentioed every time we met. Most billionaires keep an eye out for a good lawyer in a tight corner.

    Page 453: ‘Emmanuel’, he said, ‘do you know Malcolm is the best lawyer in the world? The best. He kept my friend Kerry Packer out of jail. Nobody else could have done that.’

    I was thinking, is this going to be a routine? So, on cue, I said, ‘Oh Donald, it wasn’t that hard. He was innocent.’

    Quick as a flash, Donald says with a a big grin, ‘No, he was so guilty, so guilty. Deserved to go to jail forever!’

    {Here endeth the reading.}

  257. Nice find!
    The Republicans are pulling every trick in the book to steal the election. Unfortunately for them their attempts to squash the ‘rigged’ mail ballots will also affect the totally incorruptible absentee ballots.
    They’re not the brightest.

  258. Trump even alluded to postponing the election and not resolving his Presidency due to Covid, what an authoritarian piece if Hitler shit he is.

    In other delightfully brave and empathetic news, Jacinda Ardern has actually done it.

  259. – from an article about Bob Woodward’s next book, “Rage” –

    …. referring back to Mr Woodward’s book “Fear” {about the White House under The Donald}:

    Four years on, with America divided as never before, that seems unlikely. The final lines of his last book may linger in the minds of many readers.

    John Dowd, a lawyer who worked for the president during the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference and links between the Trump campaign and Moscow, was one of Woodward’s sources.

    “In the man and his presidency Dowd had seen the tragic flaw,” Woodward wrote.

    “In the political back-and-forth, the evasions, the denials, the tweeting, the obscuring, crying ‘Fake News’, the indignation, Trump had one overriding problem that Dowd knew but could not bring himself to say to the president: ‘You’re a f*cking liar.’”

    Footnote: Bob Woodward became world famous in the 1970s when he and Carl Bernstein wrote many scoop stories about the Nixon White House. President Nixon also had a reputation, in some quarters, as a f*cking liar.

  260. No, the ridiculously complex, often changed without any Senate and totally ignored New Zealand Constitution.

    The sentiment remains the same regardless.
    Yet one is a belligerent offence to Democracy to even suggest with 1000s of deaths and the other is just fine and dandy to implement with just 4 cases ( at that time )

    Zoot, please stop with the fallacious argumentum ad hominems.

    The NZ Constitution for your thorough perusal,

  261. The sentiment remains the same regardless.

    Utter tosh. Trump is determined to sacrifice lives by sending children back to school whilst pretending he cares about people risking their lives to vote.
    Why do you keep comparing him to Hitler? Nobody else here does. Is your subconscious giving you away?
    And “ad hominem” is a logically fallacious argument. Calling your comment dumb is a comment, not an argument, and therefore not ad hom.
    Now crawl back under your bridge.

  262. Trump is determined to sacrifice lives by sending children back to school whilst pretending he cares about people risking their lives to vote.

    Hahaha, children are not dying from covid and are not able to vote. ( facts not commentary)
    You are are speaking fuckin dumb idiot gibberish ( commentary not argument)

    You also are totally ignoring the anti democratic argument and the hypocrisy that is held.

    Big Billygoat Gruff.

  263. Hahaha, children are not dying from covid and are not able to vote.

    Children are dying from Covid and children live with adults who can also die from Covid if their child brings it home from school.
    Whether children vote or note has nothing to do with it.

    You are are speaking fuckin dumb idiot gibberish

    At least you got that right, that is commentary, and a perfect description of your contributions here.

  264. Jumpy, you might have noticed that the ages of children attending school range up to 18 or so.

    From an article article How likely are kids to get Covid-19? Scientists see a ‘huge puzzle’ without easy answers:

      Published last week in the journal the Lancet, the study found very little evidence of prior Covid-19 infection among children ages 5 to 9 years (the youngest included). But children ages 10 to 19 were as likely to have antibodies to the infection as adults ages 20 to 49 — and more likely than adults older than that.

    That was about two months ago, but I think not much has changed.

    Also you might have noticed some adults around schools. Schools have figured consistently in NSW, and I believe NZ now has infections at one also.

  265. Brian, why care about Kids contracting covid if it’s not killing them or having long term complications?

    Here’s the ( very rubbery but far better than UK ) stats for the US,

    If herd immunity is the goal, and it should be given a vaccine may take years, then having 0 to 24s ( about 32% of the population) would be a good start.

    What is the latest consensus on the herd immunity percentage for this thing anyway, I’ve seen quite a few estimates ?

  266. Brian, why care about Kids contracting covid if it’s not killing them or having long term complications?

    Because it is killing them, and itis causing long term complications. Children are carriers who do infect adults, particularly those they live with or those who teach them at school.
    There is no guarantee yet that immunity is even possible and herd immunity is going to kill a metric buttload more of fine US citizens before they achieve it if at all.
    And why is your only metric death? The cost to your precious economy of the ongoing disabilities caused by this disease are huge. You really are beyond the pale.
    Here’s a hint: Trump is lying to you, any time he speaks.

  267. Meanwhile, getting back on topic Trump admitted on Fox News that he is suppressing the vote.

    Trump this morning on why he won’t fund US Postal Service. “Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots … But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

  268. Zoot, at the risk of triggering you again but stating the obvious, kids have way more chance of dying and permanent injuries from bicycles, trampolines and swimming pools.

    Should we ban them and destroy their economic future for that.

    Look, I realise you don’t give a flying rats arse about kids and their future because you’re a selfish Marxist parasite that only cares to leach as long as you can.
    But if you don’t want to participate in conversations that seek understanding then please just butt out and let the adults chat a little.

    The picture is far bigger than you or I and the blog games you play.

  269. Jumpying to conclusions in your last Tweet again I see. “I see a down turn in Crime, soon there will be no more Crime” is exactly what you just said. You really don’t understand how this virus works , do you, Mr? or did you just re# a White House Tweet Release?

  270. Sweden covid daily deaths are less than ours now,

    Nice to have an informed opinion from a qualified epidemiologist, thank you so much.
    However your link puts Swedish deaths from Coronavirus at 5766 while there have only been 375 in Australia. Are you seriously suggesting Sweden, with less than half our population, has had a better outcome?
    BTW, this thread is titled “Trump: The world’s most dangerous man?”. Discussions of Sweden don’t actually belong here. Please take your cherry picking somewhere else

  271. Ok, the covid thread.
    One of them, I think you’ll find which.
    Good suggestion.

    ( PS, what the hell is Bilb taking ? )

  272. Zoot, technically, Jumpy’s tweet was relevant in that Trump himself could have created that comment, word for word. It was well within the 2000 word vocabulary range of Trump , it was as equally detached from reality as Trump is, it was projecting his, Jumpy’s, fallacies onto others, it was abusive, irrational, illogical, anti science and non quantitative. That is the genius of it its extremely hard to be that wrong in so few words. Evil Trump relevance? I judge a 10!

  273. BilB

    When will we hear the President’s assessment of Kamala’s physical attractiveness??? He usually employs the standard
    0 to 10
    scale, which is widely accepted by alpha males the world over.

    An anxious locker-room awaits his pronouncement.

  274. Mr A, really?
    There must be many examples of Trump using the 0 to 10 scale if it’s his normal standard.
    Could you please provide a few ?

  275. I’m actually perplexed as to why the DNC ( not Biden, he’s a passenger atm ) would pick a someone with a maniacally tough on crime history like Harris in the current political environment.

    Biden himself ( not that he recollects accurately) was also responsible for a crime Bill that targeted blacks and Hispanics.

    Trumps prospects of a second term look better now.

  276. Jumpy: “Trumps prospects of a second term look better now.”
    Like your man Trump you seem to be grabbing at straws and getting more and more hysterical.

  277. Mr J at 7.15pm
    Here are someextracts from an article by Julie Mazziotta at “People” (September 2016):

    In a 2005 Howard Stern interview, Trump harshly ranked women on a scale of 1 to 10 – including Halle Berry and Charlize Theron – based on their looks.

    Long before Trump was seeking the White House, he famously said in the interview, “I view a person who’s flat-chested as very hard to be a 10.” Stern then gave him woman after woman to rank by number.

    With Halle Berry, Trump breaks her down into individual body parts.

    “I’ll tell you what. I think she’s got from the mid section to the shoulders – she’s a 10,” Trump said. “The face is a solid 8. And the legs are maybe a little bit less than that.”

    He contends that very few women are fully a 10……

    [… in the interview cited in the article, Quivers offers up Charlize Theron as a possible 10.]

    “No. Not – by the way, not even close,” Trump responds. “I would say a solid 7.”

    He also had harsh words for Carmen Electra, after Stern asked if she was “still a 10.”

    “I never thought she was a 10,” Trump said. “In her heyday I never thought she was a 10. I think Carmen is someone who has unbelievable photogenic abilities. She really looks unbelievable in a picture. Then when you see her.”

    “First of all, she’s unbelievably short, and I’m a little bit surprised. I think the boob job is terrible. They look like 2 light bulbs coming out of a body. I would say she’s an 8.”

    Apologies to other readers; Mr J requested examples.

  278. Brian, I don’t know about “doom”, it is all a matter of perspective. I have been reading up about oligarchy in Ancient Greece and by extension plutocracy and the US, I came to agree with the dude who wrote the book ‘Amerika : The Farewell Tour” he headlines his article:

    “”America’s death march: Whoever wins, this election won’t save us
    Biden or Trump? Neither will stop hyper-nationalism, crisis cults and other signs of an empire in terminal decline.
    Joe Biden, a shallow political hack devoid of fixed beliefs or intellectual depth, is an expression of the nostalgia of a ruling class that yearns to return to the pantomime of democracy. They want to restore the decorum and civic religion that makes the presidency a form of monarchy and sacralizes the organs of state power. Donald Trump’s vulgarity and ineptitude is an embarrassment to the architects of empire. He has ripped back the veil that covered our failed democracy. But no matter how hard the elites try, this veil cannot be restored. The mask is off. The façade is gone. Biden cannot bring it back.“”

    Interesting times indeed

    Oh and loved his quote of Hannah Arendt, it reminded me of a certain regular weekend piss pot warrior on Brian’s little blog.

    “”Lies, conspiracy theories, trivia and fake news — what Hannah Arendt called “nihilistic relativism” — will still dominate the airwaves and social media, mocking verifiable fact and truth. “”

    It’s a toss up anarchist or nihilistic relativist, both shoes fit.

  279. I’m actually perplexed as to why the DNC ( not Biden, he’s a passenger atm ) would pick a someone with a maniacally tough on crime history like Harris in the current political environment.

    Thank you for sharing, but your state of mind really is of no interest to the rest of us, seriously.
    What makes you think we care whether you are perplexed or not?

  280. Ootz, thanks for the Salon link.

    It is very dark. I was impressed with his evocation of Emile Durkheim and in his classic book On Suicide where he:

      found that when social bonds are shattered, when a population no longer feels it has a place or meaning in a society, personal and collective acts of self-destruction proliferate. Societies are held together by a web of social bonds that give individuals a sense of being part of a collective and engaged in a project larger than the self.

    And the death-dealing pathologies that are chewing America up from within.

    He makes a good case. However, in the end he just says “It is up to us to abolish the American kleptocracy”, but doesn’t say what needs to be done.

    Thomas Friedman has a cyclical theory, wherein he says the US has been through this kind of transitional phase about six times. He sees Biden as not the answer, rather the one that steadies the ship.

    Lord knows who is right, but I’ve been following a different line wherein I question the foundational values of the place.

    I’d need another post to explain. Meanwhile Elizabeth Drew at Project Syndicate has reviewed six books on Trump in Deconstructing Donald. Not the same depth of analysis, but worth reading if you can get in.

    Bolton’s account of what is really happening sends shivers up the spine.

    David Frum has some positive suggestions for change. Stuart Stevens is part of a group which is trying to regenerate the Republican Party.

  281. Let me have another go.

      Brian, I don’t know about “doom”, it is all a matter of perspective.

    Ootz, I don’t know either. The earlier Roussinos link was titled Covid has exposed America as a failed state. It sees the American empire as a failed enterprise but while its global military system is intact it is falling apart internally:

      Yet at its centre the US echoes post-Soviet Russia in its epidemics of death by drug overdose, in its collapsing middle class, its worsening health outcomes and declining life expectancies, the capture of the state and economy by rapacious oligarchs, and in the occasional bouts of interethnic violence leading to demonstrations, riots and broader political dysfunction.

    However, the empire will not end through conventional war, rather it will play out via the internet.

      The internet will surely emerge as a central battleground, and one which poses a far greater risk to America’s open, divided, and already-penetrated system than to China’s hermetically-sealed national internet: indeed, it is doubtful the worldwide web as we currently understand it will long survive a great power confrontation.

      As hacked power grids and water treatment plants fail, and passenger planes mysteriously fall out of the sky, and top secret documents are released on social media, the rest of the world will find itself in the uncomfortable position of deciding which side presents the safest bet: and Covid has begun this process sooner than anyone expected.

    The Chris Hedges Salon piece is more about the internal contradictions which make the US a joke in terms of a functioning democracy. So it’s differently focussed.

    You had given a tick to liberalism, but identified the problem as the US turning liberalism into a religion, and seeing its mission as converting the world.

    Zoot’s link, the Wade Davis Rolling Stones piece sees the problem in similar terms – the American Dream and the American mission to convert the world.


      He fingers individualism, inequality and a propensity for violence and war, which have been faults since Europeans arrived.

    My thesis will be that these elements are actually inherent in liberalism itself, and in the American adoption of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as a foundational value, but I need to take a longer run at that.

  282. Read an interesting article on measuring countries performance article by written by the winner of the 2001 economics Nobel prize. (“Measuring What Matters” Stiglitz Joseph Scientific American pp20 Aug 2020) What he was on about was the inappropriateness of using the GDP to measure the US economic performance. He says that: “Most countries around the world have come to use GDP as the core metric for prosperity. The GDP measures market output: The monetary value of of all the goods and services produced in an economy during a given period………Governments strive to make it climb . But striving to grow GDP is not the same as ensuring the well being of society….”
    “Robert Kennedy said “GDP measures everything except what makes life worthwhile.” “The number does not measure health, education, equality of opportunity, the state of the environment or many other indicators of quality of life.”
    Trump is wedded to the GDP. Perhaps someone like Biden who doesn’t seem to stand for particular answers drive real changes by measuring performance using more that GDP.

  283. John it’s paywalled, but Stiglitz is always good value on such matters.

    On the Donald, I heard via US PBS and also the BBC that Trump is openly and blatantly vandalising the US postal service, by destroying post boxes and decommissioning automatic sorting machinery, so that mail will have to be hand-sorted by employees the postal service does not have.

    A US senator, Iowa democrat, I think, told of how his neighbour had to get a pharmacy script through the mail. She allowed two weeks for delivery, and that is exactly how long it took.

    He said that social security was distributed via cheques in the mail, which were also being delayed.

    Obama said, Trump is doing all this openly in such a brazen fashion that Trump is telling us what he’s doing, and why, ie, to stop the Democrats from ‘stealing’ the election by actually voting.

  284. to stop the Democrats from ‘stealing’ the election by actually voting.

    He doesn’t seem to realise he’s stopping Republicans from voting as well. I can easily understand how he bankrupted three casinos.

  285. I just listened to Bruce Shapiro again. He is saying that the residual GOP is now Trump’s core, which is nativists and evangelicals (if so I’m shocked at how large it is).

    However, smaller groups are positioning themselves for a post-Trump era, so if Trump loses there will be blood-letting and chaos.

    If Trump wins, Trump will be in pay-back mode, wreaking vengeance on those who weren’t fully with him.

    So a mess.

    Now this is my son Mark, rather than Shapiro.

    If Trump wins the sane people in the US will have to cop the fact that democracy is down the crapper, or face the notion that revolution is the only other option.

    Now this is me.

    If Biden wins, I’m not entirely pessimistic. Some are saying that Harris has been selected to be a co-president, and that policies are being pushed towards the Sanders end of the spectrum to try keep his constituency on board.

    Simple no-brainer reforms like getting rid of the senate filibuster, going for popular vote rather than the electoral college, instituting a commission to run voting enrolments and elections shouldn’t be too hard.

    Then if they had preferential voting they would be about half way there.

  286. Beg to differ with Mark B.
    If revolution is the only option, they’re asking the wrong questions.

    Look at the actual track record of revolutions in the 20th century. I could call it “the lived experience” except that millions of the witnesses died.

    Someone said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel! ”

    I’d amend that: “Revolution is a poor choice, and no refuge for anyone except an aspiring despot. ”

    $ $ $ $

    Just on the US in 2020: again, The Donald and Mr Biden provide a woeful choice. One fibbing, the other less than articulate.

    But my guess is that America isn’t as dark and dangerous as Ootz’s linked piece paints it.

  287. Trump is an unhealthy looking man who probably won’t last long even if he does steal the election. Post Trump may well be about a return to sanity and reforms to things like electoral systems to make it harder for another Trump to gain power.
    My take on China is that it is pissing off all its neighbours and trying to buy friends in a way that potential friends will resent even if they are poor enough to accept the aid. Worse still they are brazenly using trade as a tool for pushing other countries like Aus around. Lousy customer, lousy supplier is not a good way to grow influence in the world.
    Things tend to go in cycles.

  288. Ambi, I always thought George Orwell’s Animal Farm pretty much nailed what often happens in revolutions.

    To be fair it was a very short exchange with Mark. He was at least saying that the grounds for revolution could well exist.

    John, I agree, China is not winning friends. It occurs to me, though, that S Korea and Japan have found better ways of living with China while befriending the Yanks than we have, although both host US troops.

  289. Brian: Japan and South Korea have a better understanding of Chinese culture. We tend to get carried away with our own delusions of superiority.
    Having said that the US alliance is important given the way China is behaving. But we have to be careful to stay out of US politics.

  290. Brian,

    I recall Mark as a very astute observer and an excellent blog provider. His grasp of US politics is better than mine, I reckon.

    “Animal Farm” is one of the great satires.
    Did you hear the tale about the publisher who rejected it on the grounds that “we don’t publish children’s books.”


    I hear that The Donald’s younger brother has died.

  291. Ambi, it’s true that young Mark has read a lot about US history and politics. He says the place was founded on dispossession, slavery and genocide of a particularly violent and virulent form (as distinct from our dispossession and genocide).

    It also depends on how you define ‘revolution’.

    I hadn’t heard about the passing of Robert Trump.

    Only 71, and evidently loved by all the family, including Donald.

  292. He speaks:

    “This will be a Venezuela… if they (Democrats) win!”

    Have you been writing lines for The Donald, Mr J?

  293. No, not at all. Perhaps he reads CP and copies me.
    Let’s try more controversial statements,

    “ The Sun causes daylight “
    “ Bears shit in the woods “
    “ Pope is Catholic “

    And now we wait…….

  294. D’you mean he’s getting inspiration for free ??

    Where’s your entrepreneurial spirit?

    There’s always money to be made on these tight contests….

    Los venezelonos muy pobres

  295. John D’s comment on the new Covid thread pointing out Mongolia’s zero death toll from Covid 19 proves Trump to be a Mass Murderer of epic proportion. The Deaths attributable to his intentional miss management of the crisis is now more than twice that of Vlad the Impaler, and I would argue that Trump has intentionally sacrificed Americans in every bit as deliberate a way as Vlad Dracula. Trump has explored quite a few ways to make poor and disadvantaged people more miserable. Separating children from parents in the thousands for instance, then trafficking many of those children all over the country, Australian aboriginal style (the whole Mexican border treatment is right out of the Morrison play book).

    Trump’s Puerto Rico post hurricane performance was vindictive and insulting

    Americans finally understand the level of corruption, but Australian Rupert Murdoch is still covering Trumps tracks hiding and obfuscating the scope of destruction to America’s core structure, its adherence to its Constitution.

    Trump must spend time in jail. Or, be herded into a culvert pipe and shot, the other way billionaire Dictators are trumpled upon in the end, in my very pacifistic opinion.

  296. Ah, the Colonel Quaddafi, he of the Green Revolution and the Little Green Book. Ran away, hid in a culvert. Arrested but not tried.

    Almost as ignominious an end as Mr Saddam, hiding in a secret tunnel on a farm near Tikrit. Found, extracted, arrested. At least he eas afforded a trial.

    Nicolae and Elena, whisked off in a helicopter… captured, put up before an ad hoc kangaroo court, taken outside and shot.

    Shah of Persua, fled.
    Idi Amin, fled.
    Richard Nixon, resigned then pardoned, retired.
    Pol Pot, fled the capital; put up before an ad hoc ‘court’ in his jungle hideaway.
    Adolf, suicide.
    Josef S, died in office.
    Mao, died in office.

    Milosevic, died while on trial.
    Eichmann, fled and hid, faced trial.

    Other N leaders, trials at Nuremberg.

    Mussolini, grabbed while trying to flee actoss the border, strung up on a public square.

    Khmer Rouge leaders and gaoler, tried (eventually) on Phnomh Penh.

    Pinochet, retired, arrested in London but repatriated to Chile.

    Franco, died in office.

    Kim the Father and Kim the Grandfather, died in office.

    Chavez, died in office.

    Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) died in office.

    Colleagues of Stalin: generally tried and executed, though Leon Trotsky skipped his trial and proceeded directly to the execution.

    Popes and Caesars and Emperors; mixed results.

  297. This IS a fun pastime, Ambi, planning for the future. There are agents for most transitions, career dictator termination agent could be a worthwhile occupation. Why should the CIA have a monopoly, when their track record is quite appalling …. lately more prey than predator.

    Cash up front of course for all planned disappearances. The customer list is becoming longer by the electoral period, and for the US will include quite a clutch of ensnared “business” people and sexual predators along with a number of compromised politicians.

    al-Gaddafi was the poster child of “getting the escape plan right” and through a reputable agent. You get what you pay for. In that respect trump will have a problem with his account settlement history.

  298. BilB

    Let’s start with al-Gaddafi.
    Why did he flee?
    I recommend all eager students to peruse photos of his special bodyguard squad; comely young Libyan maidens in battle fatigues unencumbered by veils. And the fatigues, damn them, couldn’t conceal the lithe bodyguards cuteness. So to speak.

    Somewhat along the lines of Chairman Mao’s very attractive special ballet troupe; whose members caused such consternation to Mme Mao when she happened to visit his Palace.

    What’s “harem” in Mandarin?

    Then there were the carefully concealed trysts of JFK, sainted by an assassin’s bullets, but a helluva naughty boy beforehand.

    Let’s not talk of murder.
    There’s more to life as a despot.
    Kim the Grandson has sumptuous banquets while “his people” plod along.

  299. Just in from Milwaukee:

    In a strikingly forceful speech, Obama said that Trump “will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win” while Clinton said the President would try to “sneak or steal his way to victory”.

    “Do not let them take away your power, don’t let them take away your democracy,” Obama said on the third night of the Democratic National Convention.

    “I am also asking you to believe in your own ability – to embrace your own responsibility as citizens – to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure.

    “Because that’s what at stake right now: our democracy.”

    Following on from his wife’s speech on the first night of the convention, Obama delivered his harshest verdict yet of his successor.

    “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t,” Obama said. “And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.”


  300. Mebbe,
    just mebbe
    the conventional political process of advancement in a Party, experience in a Congress or Parliament; working in the bureaucracy at senior levels; and reaching a pinnacle of sorts before being a candidate for Pres or PM…..
    just mebbe

    those traditional processes (while dull, plodding and perverse in their own way) have an advantage: they weed out the most extreme personalities

    for example the most narcissistic, those least likely to listen to advice, those who are simply not good at harnessing and leading a team of political colleagues…..

    The Swamp has its good points.

    The Guy who helicopters in above the Swamp? Why he may have too many negative character traits??

    Just mebbe.

    Can’t think of any examples off the cuff.

  301. Ambi: “the conventional political process of advancement in a Party, experience in a Congress or Parliament; working in the bureaucracy at senior levels; and reaching a pinnacle of sorts before being a candidate for Pres or PM…..” I remember someone saying that Kim Beazley was the only leader of the Labor party who was not technically insane. A biased person could say that other parties didn’t reach even this level in the sane leader stakes.
    A willingness to spend years working up through the political system is not necessarily the best way to get good leaders. A country may be better lead by someone who has seriously achieved outside of the political system. However, outside achievement does not necessarily mean an understanding of how government differs from business. (I suspect that Australia mining Achernar Hoover was a disaster as President at the start of the depression. He implemented policies that made business sense like cutting expenditure. (The last thing needed to fight a depression.)
    One of the things I do like about the US system is that cabinet members usually come from outside the parliament. Means the US cabinet members are more suited to the job than some of the ones Aus is lumbered with.

  302. From “The Australian” online

    Kellyanne Conway, one of the longest serving members of President Trump’s White House, will leave the administration at the end of the month, she said Sunday night.

    Ms Conway, a pollster and strategist, cited family needs in a statement, in which she said she would in time announce future plans.

    “The past four years have allowed me blessings beyond compare as a part of history on Election Night 2016 and as senior counsellor to the president,” she wrote in a statement.

    “It’s been heady. It’s been humbling.” Ms Conway also said her husband, George Conway, a vocal Trump critic, was making changes, which he said included taking a hiatus from Twitter and an anti-Trump group of Republicans called the Lincoln Project.

    “Needless to say, I continue to support the Lincoln Project and its mission. Passionately,” he wrote in a tweet.

    “We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids,” Ms Conway said.

    …. three score months and ten…..

  303. Mebbe???

    Ambi, is this a quote from a cartoon?

    “those traditional processes (while dull, plodding and perverse in their own way) have an advantage: they weed out the most extreme personalities

    for example the most narcissistic, those least likely to listen to advice, those who are simply not good at harnessing and leading a team of political colleagues…..

    The Swamp has its good points.

    The Guy who helicopters in above the Swamp? Why he may have too many negative character traits??”

    Exceptions list

    Creepers: John Howard, Tony Abbot, Scott Morrison, Mark Latham, Kevin Rudd,
    Parachutists: Campbell Neuman,
    Outright crazies: Pauline Hansen, Clive Palmer, Tony Abbott, Mark Latham,

    There are plenty more whose names I can’t recall.

    I doubt the theory.

  304. I note that Ms Conway is at odds with the chosen one in the White House. (You might remember he is adamant that children need to be attending school.)
    She is withdrawing because the Conways will be fully engaged with remote learning for their children who will not be returning to the schoolroom.

  305. Thanks zoot.

    So she is putting her children before her boss.
    An interesting attitude to take, as a courtier in that Palace.

  306. So it takes a personal impact situation to break the Trump Cult spell? Too convenient. I expect this as being a ship jumping, albeit an 11th hour one. What is the future for such people with so much compromising video of their Trump Horror involvement?

    Given that the entire Trump Cult are “miserable moral Cockroaches” (a well deserved term coined for John Winston Howard) as we know when there is any one of them running around, there are hundreds more hiding behind the refrigerator. That is their future life.

  307. BilB, you missed your calling.
    Instead of bankrupting businesses you should have been a clinical psychologist, you have a gift.
    A simple method of asking a patient if they disagree with you politically and it’s off to the asylum if they do. Brilliant!!

  308. Jumpy, I have never been bankrupt as you like to claim. I have had 3 low emps such as your self try to bankrupt my business and steal the product but all have failed, with only one able to produce a competitive product. And that one we have hunted out of Europe and will soon doom his business in the US. The damage such low lives cause is in the loss of opportunity. They can only understand the working business in front of them, and they routinely can’t understand the on development of a business into many products. The last miserable moral cockroach of a partner ordered me to not develop a switch to solve problems with the product that changes he had made were causing with the product globally. So I developed the switch in my other company, patented it, and charge the main company for the use of the improvement royalties of well over $60,000 additional income a year.

    It would be wrong to say that low emps can’t be creative, but that is usually the exceptions that can, so the rest can only survive as parasites on the efforts of others while routinely claiming those efforts to be their own. To understand the nature of such people start here …..

  309. Zoot: The Tea Party has taken over. Or perhaps Murdoch and Fox news has taken over.

  310. John: Trump has taken over. In the words of the RNC

    The Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda;

    The Republican Party has made explicit what many have been saying for a while. It is now a cult.

  311. You are right, zoot. That makes GOP 100% a cult (if the article is true). For that to be the real position, McConnell must believe that he has the country sufficiently well gerrymandered to win. Democrats are going to have to don their masks, splash on the hand sanitizer, take a cut lunch and a flask and vote in person. What I suspect will happen in as many Republican governed states is that they will use the vote by mail excuse to not have as few voting booths as required to corrupt the vote.

    Trump is finally actually writing something, his page in history. Lets hope it amounts to a footnote.

  312. Anyone noticed there is very few Biden posts on left wing blogs, it’s almost all Trump posts.
    Wasn’t like this with Obama, even Hillary had the odd few.

    Trumps realestate empire is psychologically massive while Biden is the footnote.

  313. Just for the record, I thought Kelly Guilfoyle’s primal scream was better in the original German.

  314. Jumpy, you missed your calling.
    Instead of whining about how hard it is to make a living you should have been a clinical psychologist, you have a gift.
    A simple method of noting a patient disagrees with you politically and it’s off to the asylum if they do. Brilliant!!

  315. Jumpy, I am having what ever you are smoking at the moment. But by all means, try again I am sure you can wrestle a tangible argument out of that stream of consciousness you posted above

    Zoot, The GOP has become a stage set for a particular reality show, it would appear.

    ““The Republicans still have their 2016 platform, which you can read if you’ve forgotten just how much they loathe Barack Obama. But four years later, they can’t muster up the energy to debate among themselves whether anything in the world has changed, what the party wants to stand for, or what policy proposals ought to be at the forefront of their agenda going forward.“”

    You can easily see who came up with the concept for the GOP convention.

    ““ Our convention is going to celebrate everything that makes America the greatest country on earth and everything we can achieve in the future.

    Out will be Hollywood actors, in will be regular Americans who will help tell the great American story and how President Donald Trump has fought for them.““

  316. Haha, and ootz proves my point.

    ABB ( anything but Biden ) is the entire US political discussion.

    I love it when the always happens, heheheee 🙂

  317. Looks like Jumpy is our patient zero for Biden Derangement Syndrome. I would suggest he drinks some Dettol while sticking a UV light up his bum, it seemed to work for the Republican Party.

  318. Zoot, I am with you on Kelly Guilfoyle’s efforts on the scream. But then I also prefer Eva Cassidy‘s version of “Woodstock“ to Joni Mitchell’s, as much as I like her other work.

    I often wonder how Hunter S Thompson would write “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’20“ . I mean the US has always had some high drama in it’s political cycles. I think in one of the first posts when we discussed a likely Trump presidency, I mention Reagan as a template to go from. Lately I have been looking at Nixon for parallels. This article in Politico does so too:
    “”Both were cocksure Republicans who played fast and loose with the facts on their way to winning public office. Both clashed with the media and oversaw historic racial tensions. And both eventually faced impeachment threats over the ways they used their power.“”
    However, the author makes valid arguments for parallels with Carter’s ending of first term:
    “” As we’re seeing in real time, Trump’s presidency will be singularly characterized by his ability (or inability) to rise to the challenges that now threaten his time in office—in much the same way that Carter’s electoral success ultimately depended on his handling of the Iran hostage crisis and the economic difficulties of his day.””

  319. From “The Guardian”

    Trump has opened tonight’s convention by issuing a pardon to Jon Ponder, who served a five-year sentence for robbing a bank before setting up an organization to help former inmates.

    It may be the first time a pardon has been broadcast on TV during a convention, and many Trump critics have taken issue with it, seeing it as an abuse of presidential powers.

    This guy is just so ……. unconventional…..

    What next, a quiz show? or ‘The Apprentice’ live from the convention???

    No, wait!
    Miss Universe auditions with The Donald presiding and Melania chained to a prop.


  320. The 2020 Presidential election in a nutshell:

    There are people who care that the President is an amoral psychopath, and there are people who don’t; we’re just waiting see how many of each live in Wisconsin.

    From here.

  321. The late John Lewis’s autobiography was published as a three volume graphic novel (March books 1, 2 & 3) which I highly recommend (particularly for people having trouble understanding BLM).
    But for me the most eye opening discovery was that Nelson Rockefeller (whose position on the political spectrum then was the same as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris today) spoke at the 1964 RNC warning his party of the danger posed by extremists within its ranks.

    Precisely one year ago today on July 14 1963, I issued a statement wherein I warned that:
    “The Republican Party is in real danger of subversion by a radical, well financed, and highly disciplined minority.”
    At the time I pointed out that the purposes of this minority were: “Wholly alien to the sound and honest conservatism that has firmly based the Republican Party in the BEST of a century’s traditions, wholly alien to the sound and honest Republican liberalism that has kept the party abreast of human needs in a changing world, wholly alien to the broad middle course that accommodates the mainstream of Republican principles.”
    Our sole concern must be the future well being of America, and of freedom and respect for human dignity – – The preservation and enhancement of these principles upon which this nation has achieved its greatness.

    For this he was booed from the stage and Barry Goldwater was chosen as the party’s presidential candidate.
    LBJ won in a landslide.
    Donald J Trump is the result of Republicans ignoring Rockefeller’s advice and the USA is the poorer for it.

  322. A good one zoot. I’ve been heavily swamped and distracted, and have just caught up with this thread. I see snippits of the commentary as I scroll through the back end of the blog, cleaning out the spam comments.

    Have no fear, Jumpy, WordPress kindly presents them in a pinkish backgound colour, although deleting genuine posts by accident is possible.

    This thread now has 402 comments. I have material for a new post, but not the time. Nevertheless I’m compelled to recommend Wade Davis’s interview by Phillip Adams – Has COVID-19 signalled the end of the American era?

    You may recall the Rolling Stones article linked by zoot – The Unraveling of America.

    The interview occupies the whole program and is completely fascinating. Davis is a Canadian, but has experience in and amazing links to America. The Rolling Stones article was written with love and with sadness.

    Davis is an amazing story teller having written 22 books; the facts flow easily from his amazing brain.

    He tells of a America before the war where all the workers had a chicken on the pot, a car in the garage, a roof over their heads, the ability to access healthcare if they needed it, and if they wanted to their kids, having gone to a good school, could access college and university.

    The country was at peace, had a negligible army, but a manufacturing industry that made everything.

    He tells how industry turned over to churning out tanks, ships, airplanes etc in a manner that was truly astonishing. In the Pacific sector, where the Japanese supported each soldier with 4 pounds of clobber, the Americans shifted 2 tons across 13,000 miles. The Russians marched into Berlin in boots made in Philadelphia.

    Now they can’t even make enough virus tests, masks and PPE to save themselves.

    So he talks about how empires grow old, peak and crumble. The US now has military in 150 countries, interferes everywhere on a mission to remake the world in its own image. At home its not the one per cent, it’s the 0.01% who flourish, and the rest take their chances, but life has been thoroughly commodifies and commercialised, stripped of essential dignity.

    It compared poorly with countries like Canada and the social democracy of many European countries.

    He talks of helping his daughter with an essay on the decline of the Roman Empire. She found 38 indicators. He said every one of them checked out with America.

    Towards the end they talk about his latest – Magdalena – River of Dreams: A Story of Colombia, reviews at Kirkus and The Guardian.

    He went there as a school kid on a trip, fell in love with the place. It has now reached a point of seeming stability, after 50 years of conflict based on the drug trade.

    A trade based on the unending demand generated by Americans trying to alter their reality.

  323. That comment took a few key strokes. This one, not so many.

    I was a bit surprised at the emotional power of Trump’s presidential candidate acceptance speech. On Saturday night this is what turned up in my Mother Jones feed:

      It’s been quite the week, even by 2020 standards.

      Where to even begin with the Republican National Convention? A weeklong procession of gaslighting the American people, breaking with longstanding ethics rules, and using racism as a rallying cry, all culminating with President Trump’s performance Thursday night, which Nathalie Baptiste sums up this way:

        “It was too long and riddled with lies, and it caused whiplash for anyone trying to figure out what the message actually was. Afterward, people puzzled over its contradictions—is Joe Biden too tough on crime or not tough enough?—but as with all Trump speeches this one was coherent in the way that matters most to the president and his audience. It was, in ways both subtle and unsubtle, a promise to preserve America’s racial hierarchy.” (Emphasis added)

      You can trace a through line from that speech on the South Lawn, and in 764 miles you’ll arrive in Kenosha, where a white teenager answered the call to arms whispered from the White House, amplified by right-wing media, and enabled by platforms like Facebook, and has been charged with murdering two protesters and wounding another, after the police shot Jacob Blake in the back multiple times at point-blank range.

    Trump will use fair means or fowl. Anything is justified to defeat your enemy. The factcheckers probably were given work to do about once every 30 seconds. Elections there, and I’m afraid here, are not about a choice of policies, they are about emotions and fear. Moving your policies to the sensible centre may be a fine thing to do, but won’t win the floating voters.

    It’s astonishing that he was polling at 44% before this week. With Craig Emerson, I’m afraid there are enough voters who won’t admit to the their intention to a pollster to tip him over the line.

  324. Mr Cohen is soon to publish a book about his former boss.
    Parts have leaked.

    This from Nine newspapers:

    On Russia, Cohen writes that the cause behind Trump’s admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin is simpler than many of his critics assume. Above all, he writes, Trump loves money – and he wrongly identified Putin as “the richest man in the world by a multiple”.

    Trump loved Putin, Cohen wrote, because the Russian leader had the ability “to take over an entire nation and run it like it was his personal company – like the Trump Organisation, in fact”.
    . . . . . .
    According to Cohen, Trump’s sycophantic praise of the Russian leader during the 2016 campaign began as a way to suck up and ensure access to the oligarch’s money after he lost the election. But he claims Trump came to understand that Putin’s hatred of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, dating to her support for the 2011 protest movement in Russia, could also help Trump amass more power in the United States.

    “What appeared to be collusion was really a confluence of shared interests in harming Hillary Clinton in any way possible, up to and including interfering in the American election – a subject that caused Trump precisely zero unease,” Cohen writes.
    . . . . . .
    Cohen asserts that another reason that Trump consistently praised Putin was to fulfil his long-held desire to slap his name on a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow.

    Cohen says the Trump Tower plans called for a 120-storey building in Red Square, including 30 floors devoted to a five-star hotel with an Ivanka Trump-branded spa and Trump restaurants, and 230 high-end condominiums for Russian oligarchs and leaders.

    The plan, Cohen adds, was to give the penthouse apartment to the Russian President for free, in part “as a way to suck up to Putin”.

    “The whole idea of patriotism and treason became irrelevant in his mind,” Cohen writes. “Trump was using the campaign to make money for himself: of course he was.”

  325. You really should read the links Jumpy.

    While the overwhelming majority of all the different kinds of protests tracked over this time were peaceful, the report did find a troubling trend of violence from both government forces and non-state actors.
    Government authorities were more likely to intervene in Black Lives Matter protests than in other demonstrations, and also more likely to intervene with force, like using teargas, rubber bullets and pepper spray or beating demonstrators with batons, the researchers found.
    They documented 392 incidents this summer in which government authorities used force on Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

    Are these the incidents you want me to condemn?
    (Disclosure: I’m quite happy to if you insist.)

  326. zoot, I have heard commentators who claim that the Right and Left are equally capable of violence. That I can believe, but I wondered whether they had done a count.

    Seems now the numbers are in.

    There is another story around that I thought was too ridiculous to be true. See Uproar grows over reports Trump called US war dead ‘losers’.

    Andrew Romano from Yahoo News told Indira Naidoo that the author was a senior editor at The Atlantic, a trusted journalist at a trusted news organisation, who said he had three or four direct sources.

    The story has been furiously denied, but Romano says it is beyond doubt that Trump dissed John McCain and George H W Bush.

    Aaron Blake at Washington Post takes a look.

    Trump most definitely called McCain a loser, and was proud of it. The rest is more complicated, but not pretty reading.

  327. although, to be pedantic, John McCain wasn’t really “war dead” was he?

    I thought he was more ex-serviceperson, ex-POW, Senator…. that kind of person.

  328. No, Ambi, but when he died it is said Trump did not show much respect. I don’t want to check the WP article because it will count on my monthly free diet.

  329. Brian,

    The McCain family reciprocated, as there apparently had been low level feuding between Mr T and the Senator for years and years.

    Also, I’m trying to remember whom Pres T HAS shown respect to?? It’s a tricky one….

  330. Brian: “Also, I’m trying to remember whom Pres T HAS shown respect to?? It’s a tricky one….” Apart from comrade P there is the bloke he sees in the mirror every time he looks.

  331. BilB that was what to other presidents would likely have been a career ending spray.

    With Trump, it will be a straw in the wind this time next week, unless the people telling these stories identify themselves, and have independent credibility.

    Even then Trump is teflon-coated and will just carry on.

  332. There is one extra factor that might count against him more than in some nations. I believe there is a higher proportion of US citizens who have served in the military* than in many comparable advanced nations.

    And having been at war a lot since 1941, there are huge numbers of families who remember at least one forebear or contemporary as a war casualty. Never underestimate grieving families. Never underestimate patriotic feelings amongst US citizens; some of the also vote.

    * I was struck by the fact that on the last of the four passenger planes to crash on 11th September 2001, there were sufficient trained men (veterans on board) who acted on information about the other hijackings and crashes; quickly devised a counter-attack plan for a small squad, and carried it out.

    An in-law who was talking to one of those men on a cell phone, reported that his responses (to the crash news) became clipped and pointed, as if he was willing himself back into the role of combatant.

  333. A really important thing to understand is that Trump is NOT teflon coated, he is a psychopath. That means that he can invent lies and accusation ten times faster than normal people can fact check or defend themselves. By that time the conversation has moved on way further and the defender is left damaged and talking to themselves. Distract from the issue, destroy the person, deflect from the situation, make outlandish claims, walk out. Trumps main tactic is to pre demolish, ie “fake news”, “election fraud”, corrupting government institutions, demonising the idea of organisations such as Antifa, claiming protests are terrorism, etc.

    The White House has become nothing more than a “reality” TV show, and the Republican party are its Producers. There is nothing about actual government here, it is all about commercialism and extracting money from a docile public,

  334. I remember being on a plane in Alaska that had a few young men in uniform. I was struck by the positive reaction of many of the other passengers to these men.
    Trump describing soldiers who died for their country as “losers” would not have gone down well on that plane.

  335. BilB, I think it is hard to find words to describe the full Trump. He does at times seem to me to have empathy. From the post, Mary Trump, who has clinical qualifications says she does not make a clinical assessment:

      Mary Trump asserts that her uncle has all nine clinical criteria for being a narcissist. And yet, she notes, even that label does not capture the full array of the president’s psychological troubles.

      “The fact is,” she writes, “Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neurophysical tests that he’ll never sit for.”

  336. To quote a line from “Fawlty Towers”: “there’s material for a whole conference here”.

  337. I assure you, Brian, Trump has no empathy. His emotions are limited to hate, anger, frustration, perhaps a little fear, and the exhilaration of controlling other people and winning. Everything is about their ego. There are of course such people who actually achieve great things, but that is because the object of their obsession has positive attributes, and their intense focus bridges canyons of achievement that normal people rarely achieve. BUT Trump isn’t one of those Paths.

    I can send you an email set where you can see how these people think, how they refuse to lose and the lengths to which they will go to stay in control. In this set my ex partner escalates a simple situation to where eventually his only way of winning is to fire our most important customer, and so he does amid a hail of abuse to the customer. The customer was baiting and playing him the whole way but he just couldn’t see it.

    Trump in that situation would ignite a Nuclear war simply because he can not control his ego.

  338. I commend the 93% of peaceful protesters.
    Zoot, will condemn the other 7% ?

    OK, even if you don’t insist.
    I hereby condemn the government agents, right wing counter protestors, agents provocateur and BLM protestors who perpetrated the violence at 7% of the rallies under discussion.
    I also condemn the people on various blogs, social media and many news outlets (such as Fox) who were hyperventilating about the unstoppable wave of antifah which was destroying cities in the great USA. Will you join me Jumpy?

  339. BilB (you can use BilB2 now if you like and it should work), I’m not going to argue the point, because it’s beyond my pay-grade.

    Mary T says the ‘narcissist’ typology fits him, beyond that she says he’s never been loved, and “knows he has never been loved” and beyond that he’s too complex to capture in the standard typologies, but is totally unfit for the job and capable of doing untold harm, not just to the USA but the rest of us. That’s her message.

    He’s quite capable of starting a war if he thinks it will win him the election.

    Sorry to hear about your personal experiences. Humans can be horrible beyond the normal imagination.

  340. The first test, Jumpy, is the Lie Count. Trump maxed out the scale before he was elected, then carried on to steadily increasing rate of now over 20,000 documented and evaluated lies. That is before you go through the full set of narcissist properties, where Trump scores solidly on every one.
    Biden has issues for sure, but Harris from what I can see so far is a straight shooter.
    Then there are all of the other psych properties which are all externally observable.
    I suggest that you acquaint yourself with the narcissist test and apply it to Biden and Harris, giving examples of where you see coincidence on any property.

    Brian that was just one of many examples. The situation becomes dire when such people have command over other people’s lives and activities. In my case this was a 2 member board of directors which became deadlocked and the business unmanageable. I finally resolved it by appointing a third director. You don’t always think of the solutions upfront, and for that matter none of the people I consulted on the problem did either.

  341. BilB, I did a quick calculation, and Trump put out a lie about 14-15 times a day. That’s every day of the week, for four years, less the time until the election.

  342. Bilb: What is scaring me is that Americans have become so focused on Trump and his short comings that Biden is getting almost no attention.
    People need something more +ve than “Not Trump” to get out and vote. My take is that Trump understands this. Hard to separate brilliant strategy from perception of insanity power.
    Who of us can come up with some +ve reasons for voting Biden without looking for links?

  343. Brian: I rest my case Brian: “BilB, I did a quick calculation, and Trump put out a lie about 14-15 times a day. That’s every day of the week, for four years, less the time until the election.” After taking account of the time taken challenging every lie there is not much space left for Biden

  344. John, local issues might be important such as here, the story of how Covid was tamed in Arizona due to the combined efforts of 5 Democrat Mayors after the Republican Governor made a complete hash of it. Following the two conventions Biden recorded his biggest bounce in Arizona.
    It’s on a lefty site, but the facts add up.

  345. BilB, I did a quick calculation, and Trump put out a lie about 14-15 times a day. That’s every day of the week, for four years, less the time until the election.

    Does that take into account the time he spent on the golf course (295 visits and counting)?

  346. John, you wrote:

    Bilb: What is scaring me is that Americans have become so focused on Trump and his short comings that Biden is getting almost no attention.

    My view in 2020 is that, just as in 2016, American voters are faced with choosing between two very poor (major Party) candidates.

    I find Joe Biden very unimpressive. Does anyone agree?

  347. Same as in Australia Ambigulous; does anybody really find Albo or Scomo impressive?
    I’m reminded of Rampaging Roy Slaven’s remark when (I don’t remember which election – possibly Latham and Howard) he said the Australian public had chosen to go with proven mediocrity rather than potential disaster

  348. Brian 9.44, Precisely, and that isn’t counting any of the lies being told on Trumps behalf by White House and Senate Toadies.

    Honest Government is DEAD, at least in Russia, America, and increasingly in the UK. Even Australia has suffered somewhat. What is the common component? Conservatives and their determination to hold onto power.

    The core of this is that people with money want more faster and where they have reduced their wealth growth rate by suppressing wages (ie economic throughput) their last desperate tactic is to pay no taxation. When there is no more money to be had through tax avoidance, they raid the treasury after installing a poll tax, ie you have to pay to be a citizen.

    Finally it turns out that money is just part of it, the real underlying motive is the power of domination and the pleasure that gives people with zero empathy. That may seem extreme, but are you hearing Morrison or any of his cohorts saying “OK, we’ve screwed your wages down enough, time to let up the pressure and give you a wage rise”? No. I don’t have to be there to hear them crying for more “Productivity Improvements”. For conservatives, there is no bottom line. If every Australian was cast out and living on the streets, they would increase immigration “only people with money need apply”.

  349. So why give them more power with more laws to steal you money and freedoms?

    Is it the old mafia protection racket that is promised?

  350. Jumpy, no comment decrying those people who were grossly distorting the threat posed by BLM protesters, the threat that has been demonstrated to be negligible, particularly compared to the threat posed by government forces?

  351. Jumpy

    Did you hear about the protestor who was annoyed when his “Property is Theft!” placard was nicked?

  352. OK

    Now, what would you think if someone nicked your “Government is Theft!” banner?

    Would you applaud the thief’s entrepreneurial spirit and acumen in choosing the best available banner?

  353. JohnD, There is no scope for intelligent discussion in the US at present, a time when the fastest growing belief is that “Q…sent me”
    Climate catastrophy
    Political catastrophy
    Wild Fires
    Drying acquifers

    Q sent me! Why? I dunno! What did he send you for? To Protect Trump,…who is gong to protect me! Protect you from what? Being exploited! I Guess! So you mean protect you from Trump! Who is Q?

    The truth is even weirder

    The US is away with the fairies.

  354. Mr A

    Now, what would you think if someone nicked your “Government is Theft!” banner?

    Well, I don’t have one but if I did and it was stolen then that would be immoral.

    Even if it was insured.
    Even if I had billions of them and the thief had none and wanted one.
    Even if he/she were selling stolen property and adding to GDP.
    Even if the thief thinks that past injustices by people I don’t know did bad things to people they don’t know.
    Even if my possession of such things is seen as some sort of racial privilege.
    Even if the theft is an expression of protest.
    Even if the theft is an expression of anger, jealousy or reparations.

    It’s still immoral and bad.

  355. Jumpy: “Well, no idea what bilbo is on about.
    Anyone ?”
    Any idea what any of us is about? Hint: “You would have to leave Trump world to find out.”

  356. What I am commenting on, JohnD, as I am sure you can connect with, is that considering the real issues we all face, shear fantasy seems to be able to take greater dominance over public discourse, and it is largely sinister and/or vested interests that steer attentions wildly in every direction but straight.

  357. BilB

    There are many statements and events that trouble us. When you erite tgat “there is no scope fir itelligent discussion in the US at present ” I have two comments.

    First, there are US citizens, including journalists, lawyers, voters, farmers, accountants, teachers, nurses, …. who are intelligently discussing amongst themselves and occasionally in public, the challenges their families, friends and nation face.

    Second, observers in other countries are watching on and thinking about what they glean from various sources. Many of those wish to see the Republic prosper (some from self interest primarily ). Some want to see free speech, rule of law strengthened – not diminished – in European and Anglosphere nations. Dozens of Spanish speaking countries too; many US allies in South East Asua and the Middle East want the US to prosper.

    Personally I would prefer China to move away from authoritarian repression , oligarchy and a kleptomaniac ruling elite. I can’t foresee how that might be achieved. I live in hope. Friends of Chinese democratic impulses must oppose repression in China including Hong Kong, Tibet and the Uighur lands.

    Likewise, democrats must support liberty, free speech and the rule of law in any democracy – however flawed – where these principles are established. Especially if it seems the principles have been “honoured in the breach” or never fully achieved.

    Here endeth the sermon.
    Tom Paine, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Dr King will stroll with you as you consider the complexities of life.

    Peace be with you.

  358. I thought bilb was talking about QAnon’ infiltration of Congress with the preselection of Marjorie Taylor Greene who Trump has congratulated calling her a “future Republican Star” who is “strong on everything.”:

    She is particularly down on Muslims, but get a load of this:

      The once-fringe conspiracy has made inroads into the mainstream, with multiple GOP candidates expressing, at a minimum, openness to the QAnon narrative.

      The conspiracy includes a wide variety of shifting and often-contradictory predictions and allegations, but it centers on an anonymous figure named “Q” who asserts that a wave of mass arrests are about to take down high-ranking Trump opponents.

      Followers of “Q” often believe that the world is controlled by elite members of a secretive satanic child sex-trafficking ring.

      “Q is a patriot, we know that for sure,” Greene said in a video from 2017, in which she recapped some of Q’s predictions and why she supports them.

      “There’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it,” she said, referring to Trump.

    See also GOP Candidates Open To QAnon Conspiracy Theory Advance In Congressional Races.

    One of the doctors Trump was quoting thinks the world is being infiltrated by aliens.

  359. Brian: “One of the doctors Trump was quoting thinks the world is being infiltrated by aliens.”
    It would not be all that hard to argue that Trump is an alien who is working to change the world to a hotter, drier climate that will suit the alien invaders.
    Ask yourself: “Does Trump look or behave like a human?”

  360. Look, I don’t follow the K family or KK but here’s a snippet from “The Australian”. I needed to share……

    Kim Kardashian speaks alongside US President Donald Trump during a second chance hiring and criminal justice reform event in the East Room of the White House in Washington in 2019. Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP

    [That’s a photo caption]

    The launch of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, masterminded by ‘momager’ and family matriarch Kris Jenner, changed everything.

    It made stars out of its family members.

    It also made them very, very rich.

    • “Does Trump look or behave like a human?”

    Now that you put it that way, well, no.

    Even the virus seems to give him a miss.

  361. Found on Facebook:

    With text:

      A senior citizen who said he will vote for Biden was attacked by a group of Trump supporters in Texas, many with semi-automatic weapons slung over their shoulders. The Trumpsters started shoving and punching the volunteers and ripping their masks off their faces. Much of the media reported the incident as both sides clashing, but this is a clear difference between peaceful protesting and violent aggression. What do you think is happening to our country?

  362. Why is it that overweight white guys in camo and carrying automatic weapons are called militias instead of gangs, the term used for the coloured equivalent?

  363. As for your photo Brian, obviously the guy in the hat is fighting to preserve the freedom of the guy in the mask to wear a mask, it’s the American way! And a Biden presidency would destroy it.

  364. Ambi, the problem with that Disneyesque aspiration for the US is that behind the facade of Trump The Republicans have been tearing democracy to shreds. Trump likes to talk about looting, well anything once considered US public property is being flogged of at looters rates, Every institution has been infiltrated by Trumps toadies. Even the Voice of America has had its highly professional executive fired enmasse to make way for a Trump appointee who has taken complete control (think ministry of “news” here). The damage is extensive.

    The Q thing came up in my mind because in a confrontation with a belligerent Trumpist extolling the magnificence of Trump, I asked the “Q”uestion “what are you going to do when Trump has his next stroke and dies?”. No answer. But then it occurred to me that they will pivot their adoration around to “Q”, and won’t there then be a huge scramble to be the ONE who is “Q”. The next question after that is what is the political consequence of that? Will the Republicans quickly adapt and attempt to be the Quepublicans, or maybe the QOP? with turtle head attempting to come out from the shadows as some kind of Sith “Q”? I Askth you? Look at the intensity in the face of the aggressor in Brian’s image above. Liberals don’t carry that kind of rage around with them. A gentle hand over of power in February ain’t going to happen.

  365. bilb, in my dotage I try to practice equanimity. It was the intensity in the face that grabbed me and I find haunting.

  366. The mask ripper picture is spectacular but who knows whether it is a picture of a rare act by an extreme extremist or something that represents what a lot of people are thinking.
    I wonder what the conservative republicans are thinking. Can’t imagine either of the George Bushes being impressed.
    Australians have no right to be rude about the US. We have some responsibility. Rupert M, the owner of Fox news, was raised as an Australian and still has influence in Australia.

  367. John, Bush the Elder departed the scene in 2018.

    Seems there is a tradition that former presidents do not comment on the incumbent. Neither Bush commented on Trump in 2016.

    This factcheck finds George W has maintained that stance, but the three Democrats have made their position clear, especially Obama.

  368. Bloomberg is far richer than Murdoch with a huge media empire, he just ran for Dem nomination.

    Murdoch is the David in the US media landscape against all the leftist media Goliaths.

    You flatter him undeservedly John.

  369. Trouble with your analysis Jumpy is that it contains no right wing media.
    There’s only plucky centrists like Breitbart, the Daily Caller and Fox News (and probably Stormfront if it still exists) bravely struggling against everything else, which you call leftist Goliaths.
    The Overton window has moved, but not that far.

  370. “People should be very cautious about anything they find on the internet!”

    – Abraham Lincoln

  371. Here is a little gem…

    ….go to 9.25 to hear Mussolini talking about Italians working to “Make America Great” . You have to step past the real voices of a bunch of Nazis to get to Mussolini, but it is all a natural progression along the path to Trump. Michael Cohen would understand.

    Mussolini ……. Trump.

    Great minds think alike?

  372. Luckily, the President is both a medical expert and a leader who tends to his flock as a shepherd:

    In a February interview with Woodward, Trump described the coronavirus as “deadly stuff” – even as he was publicly predicting it would miraculously disappear and favourably comparing it to the seasonal flu.

    “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in his February interview.

    “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

    In March, after his rhetoric on the virus had become more serious, Trump told Woodward: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

    – alleged quotes from an alleged book, written (allegedly) by long-time swamp-chronicler Bob Woodward; previously scribbler on Richard Nixon, who was too d*mn smart to actually sit down for an interview with Mr Woodward. And scribbler on a Bush or two. (Two Bushes in the hand are worth any number of Presidential aides giving you the bird.)

  373. The editor has received complaints about the direct quote from Abe Lincoln.

    A little more up-to-date, then:

    Most statements you see on the internet are incorrect, including this one.

    – Bertrand Russell

  374. That’s a good quote Ambi, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

    Standing beside the ashes of the house as they rake through looking for the bodies he said ” I didn’t want to panic any one so I played it down with ‘it could be getting a little warm in here’, and, well its down now, so I did the right thing!” “People say, lots of people, that I would have made a great fireman, I am amazing at handling water, I’d probably the best fireman the world has ever seen!”

  375. “Depends on the decoding, you’ll either see a duck or a rabbit. Get up to speeds old Russ …”

    Ludwig Wittgenstein

  376. Bilb, your comment your comment was held up in moderation, I think because you typed an initial “b” rather than “B”.

    You only need one digit different in the nym, the email and IPN and the filter will pick it up, but now I’ve approved that form it will be OK in future.

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