Climate of Complete Certainty – by Brett Stephens – NYT

“Right on the merits. Confident in their methods. Sure of their chances. When Bill Clinton suggested to his wife’s advisers that, considering Brexit, they might be underestimating the strength of the populist tide, the campaign manager, Robby Mook, had a bulletproof answer: The data run counter to your anecdotes.

That detail comes from “Shattered,” Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s compulsively readable account of Clinton’s 2016 train wreck. Mook belonged to a new breed of political technologists with little time for retail campaigning and limitless faith in the power of models and algorithms to minimize uncertainty and all but predict the future.”

The comments section was closed, so I wrote a letter to the NYT:
Brett Stephens wrote in his op-ed Climate of Complete Certainty, “Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities.”

This is unacceptable nonsense. This is the way Bill O’Reilly writes. O”Reilly states one or two facts, and then a conculsion, not supported by the facts he has stated, and then, does not offer any evidence to support the final, damning conclusion. If this statement is true, why is there not a single example offered to support it. A big bad generality is the tool of a smear artist.

As one commentator wrote correctly, comparing Hillary Clinton taking poling data too seriously, and the public taking climate change science seriously, is a false equivalence.

Stephens analysis of Clinton’s hubris was excellent, but his twisting argument in the sentence above in neither acceptable, nor professional. Almost all science is based on probabilities. That is not a sin, that is because 100% certainty is expensive to prove, even if the concept is easy to embrace. This unsupported trash talk might have been fine at the WSJ, but it is not the standard here at the NYT.

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Hillary Clinton lost the White House because of these five real reasons – Kelly Riddell – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:Hillary Clinton’s team would like you to believe it was FBI Director James B. Comey, Russian hacking, or American racism, xenophobia and bigotry that caused her to lose the White House.

In reality, it was campaign malfeasance. Here are five examples, where Mrs. Clinton’s campaign team strategically blew it.1. Taking the month of August offIn August, the polls indicated Mrs. Clinton had a lead, and Donald Trump had just come off a very ugly feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a fallen soldier.Still, Mr. Trump was not out — he still had a base of 36 percent to 43 percent of the national vote.Nonetheless, Mrs. Clinton’s team decided to give her a summer break to focus on star-studded fundraising events in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard.”

Source: Hillary Clinton lost the White House because of these five real reasons – Washington Times

USA TODAY’s Editorial Board: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’

“The Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. We’re doing it now.

In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.

This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.

From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts. He has expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for constitutional protections.

Source: USA TODAY’s Editorial Board: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’

An extraordinary editorial, until it explains why it can not endorse Hillary Clinton.

  1. Board is not unanimous. 2. Some think she has a sense of privilege. 3. Some think she has egregiously mishandled classified information with her email server.

This part is pathetic. I don’t even understand the sense of privilege, unless that is code for, she thinks she can act like men do, with assertiveness and wheeling and dealing.

The email scandal is a false narrative. It was not a secret in the US government that she had her own email account, since her email was not a .gov email. Everyone in the goverment could see that, and it was allowed.

The Secretary of State before her, Colin Powell,  and many others, chose to have non government email accounts. Colin Powell even recommended to her that she use her own email account, for reasons to do with flaws in the government email system, I’m guessing.

Hillary Clinton was a fabulous Secretary of State, and there is zero evidence that her using a private email account or server hurt US security or interests ever. Furthermore, this is a classic example of this talented but persecuted woman being held to a higher standard than the men around her. It is an old western tradition to take intelligent and successful women and burn them at a stake.

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton for President – The New York Times

“In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway. (We will explain in a subsequent editorial why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.)

But this endorsement would also be an empty exercise if it merely affirmed the choice of Clinton supporters. We’re aiming instead to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton, or for a candidate who might appear, on the surface, not to offer change from an establishment that seems indifferent and a political system that seems broken.Running down the other guy won’t suffice to make that argument. The best case for Hillary Clinton cannot be, and is not, that she isn’t Donald Trump.The best case is, instead, about the challenges this country faces, and Mrs. Clinton’s capacity to rise to them.”

Source: Hillary Clinton for President – The New York Times

I have been listening to Hillary’s book, “Living History,” about her life from childhood, through 8 years as the first lady. She has an amazing story. The Whitewater investigtion, with the Office of the Independent Prosecutor, Ken Starr, went on for about 6 years, cost about that much in millions of dollars, and uncovered zero.

Hillary Clinton: My Plan for Helping America’s Poor – The New York Times

“The true measure of any society is how we take care of our children. With all of our country’s resources, no child should ever have to grow up in poverty. Yet every single night, all across America, kids go to sleep hungry or without a place to call home.

We have to do better. Advocating for children and families has been the cause of my life, starting with my first job as a young attorney at the Children’s Defense Fund, and if I have the honor of serving as president, it will be the driving mission of my administration.

The good news is that we’re making progress, thanks to the hard work of the American people and President Obama. The global poverty rate has been cut in half in recent decades. In the United States, a new report from the Census Bureau found that there were 3.5 million fewer people living in poverty in 2015 than just a year before.”

Source: Hillary Clinton: My Plan for Helping America’s Poor – The New York Times

Great piece by Hillary, followed by excellent, mostly, comments, such as:
Julie Erickson Maplewood NJ 3 hours ago

“I was excited to see that Hillary was putting some of her policy ideas into print. And I am still excited to see the issues she has zeroed in on. I love the idea of putting children first in all our policy decisions. What if Congress considered the impact on children when it debated the budget? Transportation bills? Armed services funding? I believe that different decisions would be made if all of us viewed all policy and funding decisions through that lens.

I’m reminded of the Iroquois Confederation’s “7th generation” principle that says: “Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground — the unborn of the future Nation.”

I don’t think we can get to 7th generation thinking this year or next. Yet perhaps we could have a new vision for our nation, where we put the interests of all children first. Hillary is the right person to champion such a vision, given her work with Children’s Defense Fund. I think many Americans would rally behind that vision. Well, at least I can hope so.”

Reply 86 Recommended

Not Yet Talking About the Poor – The New York Times

“Poverty in the United States is deeper than in all other wealthy nations. Yet neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has a specific anti-poverty agenda.

There have been notable improvements in three crucial measures of economic well-being: income, poverty and health insurance coverage. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau announced that all took a sharp turn for the better in 2015, the first time since 1999 that the three measures improved in the same year.

The question now is whether the new data will inspire a deeper discussion about how to keep making progress. According to the report, the official poverty rate fell from 14.8 percent in 2014, or 46.7 million people, to 13.5 percent in 2015, or 43.1 million people, the largest annual percentage-point drop since 1999.Although Mrs. Clinton has talked more about families, women, children and working Americans than about the poor, there is much within her economic program that would help those in or near poverty. She supports raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour ($15 is a better goal) and would increase investment in Early Head Start and child care subsidies.”

Source: Not Yet Talking About the Poor – The New York Times

I wrote in the Comments: “Yet neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has a specific anti-poverty agenda.” While it is conceivable that this statement is technically true, it sounds mean, and guilty of the false equivalency syndrome of the press today. I’ve been listening to Hillary Clinton’s first book, “Living History,” which is quite good, and her focus on children, women, and the poor go back a long way, over a long period of time. She has lost many battles, and won some as well. She has many ideas this year, outlined, we hear over and over, on five point programs catalogued on her website. I believe this. If they aren’t all there, they are in her three books. A new, $12 an hour federal minimum wage seems like a reasonable compromise, and a mature, incremental approach to a $15 minimum wage, which will eventually follow it. She, like President Obama, will need the congress, to get progressive legislation passed.

Save the Republican Party: Vote for Clinton, By JAMES K. GLASSMAN – The New York Times

“Every day, I run into Republican friends who can’t stomach a vote for Donald J. Trump but don’t know what to do. Vote for Hillary Clinton, who has trouble with the truth, wants to raise taxes and opposes free trade with Asia? Vote for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, an outlier who once ran a marijuana business and embraces isolationism? Or not vote at all, maintaining a certain purity but allowing others to decide the next president?I faced exactly these choices myself. I have voted for every Republican nominee for president since 1980, but I will not this time. Mr. Trump’s appalling temperament renders him unfit to be president, and his grotesque policy formulations mock the principles of liberty and respect for the individual that have been the foundation of the Republican Party since Abraham Lincoln.

Even before Mr. Trump entered the race, I saw this coming. I worked to open a pathway for an independent — a solid third candidate who would attract the votes of the roughly two-thirds of Americans in the center. A serious contender would force the two major-party candidates to compete for votes in the middle, rather than appealing to the wings. I spent a year and a half on the project, but a month ago threw in the towel.The deck is stacked by the parties against anyone but a Republican or Democrat. An independent has to run an expensive gantlet to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot in all the states, suffers a severe disadvantage in fund-raising, and is effectively barred from the fall presidential debates by a commission loaded with party stalwarts.

Through much trial and error, I learned that this is, whether we like it or not, an election between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, period. And that means that if you want to stop Mr. Trump, you have no choice but to vote for Mrs. Clinton. There’s no sitting this one out.”

Source: Save the Republican Party: Vote for Clinton – The New York Times

The comments are better than the op-ed piece, which begs fellow Republicans to grow up and vote for Hillary Clinton. One commenter lammented that the GOP is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln. GOP has come to mean “Greed Over People.”

Here are a few of many excellent comments at the NYT.com.

Christine McMorrow

is a trusted commenter Waltham, MA 4 hours ago

“Mr. Glassman, I’m not sure the Republican party is worth saving in its present incarnation– a hodgepodge of conservative nostrums wrapped up in greed, anger and resentment that Trump is exposed.

You should title this, “Recreate the Republican Party: Vote Clinton.”

If your peers heed your warning, and do help elect a Democrat, the Republican party will need to rise from the ashes of Trumpism and determine just what it stands for, beyond the needs of a rich old white men.

Your main premise says it all:
“For this reason, I strongly disagree with my fellow Republicans — many of whom I served with in the George W. Bush administration — who say that they won’t vote for Mr. Trump because he’s a threat to the republic, but won’t vote for Mrs. Clinton either because she’ll raise taxes.”

If I read you correctly, you’re saying your wealthy GOP friends are willing to risk the reputation, integrity, and future of America out of anger over a long overdue changes to the tax rate and loopholes that have long favored your class?

God almighty, how much does greed cost you? High income earners have enjoyed a free ride for so long it’s a wonder there’s anything left for the masses. The usual argument is who will get to appoint new Supreme Court members, not who will maintain low taxes on deferred interest! Would it really be so tough to pay your fair share?

A popular poster here calls the GOP “greed over people.” That’s the root of the Republican problem.”

AND

Not Amused

New England 4 hours ago

“The GOP has created its candidate and his followers, and has much to answer for…but I am heartened to read that someone in that party realizes there is a service to America even more important than simply “winning.”

For all of her human faults, Clinton’s life includes:

–Distinguished graduate of Yale Law School.
–Former civil litigation attorney.
–First Lady of the United States.
–Worked to investigate reports of an illness that affected veterans of the Gulf War (now recognized as Gulf War Syndrome).
–Served on five Senate committees: Budget (2001–2002), Armed Services (2003–2009), Environment and Public Works (2001–2009), Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (2001–2009) and the Special Committee on Aging.
–Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
–Leading role in investigating the health issues faced by 9/11 first responders.
–Worked with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York on securing $21.4 billion in funding for the World Trade Center redevelopment.
–Former United States Secretary of State.
–Brokered a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas in 2012.

She doesn’t stiff contractors, ridicule the disabled, promote violence among her followers, or ask for help from nations whose objectives may not include a strong America.

You may not “like” her, or approve of how she performed her work…but at least she has a LIFETIME of knowledge and experience to bring to the job. She knows how government works, and how to work with the rest of the world.”

Hillary Clinton Gets Gored, by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“Americans of a certain age who follow politics and policy closely still have vivid memories of the 2000 election — bad memories, and not just because the man who lost the popular vote somehow ended up in office. For the campaign leading up to that end game was nightmarish too.

You see, one candidate, George W. Bush, was dishonest in a way that was unprecedented in U.S. politics. Most notably, he proposed big tax cuts for the rich while insisting, in raw denial of arithmetic, that they were targeted for the middle class. These campaign lies presaged what would happen during his administration — an administration that, let us not forget, took America to war on false pretenses.Yet throughout the campaign most media coverage gave the impression that Mr. Bush was a bluff, straightforward guy, while portraying Al Gore — whose policy proposals added up, and whose critiques of the Bush plan were completely accurate — as slippery and dishonest. Mr. Gore’s mendacity was supposedly demonstrated by trivial anecdotes, none significant, some of them simply false. No, he never claimed to have invented the internet. But the image stuck.

And right now I and many others have the sick, sinking feeling that it’s happening again.”

Source: Hillary Clinton Gets Gored – The New York Times

Great opinion piece by Paul Krugman, followed by excellent comments. I would like to know if there is a comprehensive article about how the press allowed the Swift boaters to destroy John Kerry. How was the smear allowed to succeed?

Here is one of my favorite comments to Krugman’s piece.

PETER EBENSTEIN MD WHITE PLAINS NY 2 hours ago

“The press, and especially the broadcast media, thrive on scandal, oversimplification and false equivalence, even if this causes the promulgation of lies.

The Clinton Foundation is NOT pay for play– this is just an outright lie. How about some articles on the details of the good work the Clinton Foundation is doing around the world?

Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server was not hidden. In fact anyone corresponding with her from any branch of the government (including the FBI and others concerned with cyber security) could see at a glance that clintonemal.com is not a dot gov address. Now that she is running for president they have “discovered” that she was using a private server??

By contrast, the Republican nominee has been caught in fraud after fraud, lie after lie. His whole life has been flimflam. One hardly knows where to start. And his running mate is bought and paid for by the Koch brothers with their disinformation campaign about climate change and energy.

What is needed is accurate and in depth reporting, not catchy headlines.”

The Real Clinton Foundation Revelation – The New York Times

By RICHARD W. PAINTER, AUG. 31, 2016

“When I was the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, I asked many prospective administration officials if they would sell stock in companies, give up stock options, step down from nonprofit boards or make other painful choices to enter public service. Some balked. I told them that someone more important than I was, perhaps the president or the White House chief of staff, would ask them, “Do you want this job or don’t you?”

I know about the difficult questions, and entanglements, that crop up in public service. I believe that Hillary Clinton has asked and successfully answered those questions as they pertain to the Clinton Foundation. There is little if any evidence that federal ethics laws were broken by Mrs. Clinton or anyone working for her at the State Department in their dealings with the foundation. Unfortunately, the foundation is still fuel for Mrs. Clinton’s persistent critics.These critics have yet to point to any provision of the federal statutes or ethics regulations that was violated by Secretary Clinton or her staff in their dealings with the foundation and its principals, agents and donors. Was there favoritism? Probably, yes. But laws were not broken. If favoritism by political appointees toward outside persons and organizations were illegal, the United States government would be quite different than it is today.”

Source: The Real Clinton Foundation Revelation – The New York Times

Mr. Painter writes he will support Hillary Clinton, and that she has done nothing wrong at the foundation, but that the Clintons should all stop working there for the rest of their lives. This is a terrible idea, and after a profound analysis. The world will be a better place if the Clintons all work at their foundation after Hillary’s presidency ends. The Clinton Foundation is doing great works around the world.

Here is a great comment I endorse.

dhonig

Indianapolis 4 hours ago

“If only there were such concern about A Thousand Points of Light, which President George H.W. Bush ran while he was President, or the American Red Cross, run by Elizabeth Dole while Bob Dole was the nominee, or any of the other charitable foundations doing great work by major political figures. But there wasn’t, because this isn’t about favoritism, or access, or anything other than The Clinton Rules, which say “anything done by a Clinton is bad.”

As for the “it’s really okay but the optics are terrible” argument shoved down our throat daily by the media I ask, who but you is creating those terrible optics, breathlessly reporting insinuation in the headline and lede, and occasionally noting, in the seventh paragraph or page 9, “but they did nothing illegal or different than anybody else, and they saved 10 million lives in the process?” “

 

The Alt-Right Is All Wrong, by Maureen Dowd – The New York Times. Hillary Hater needs cure.

“RENO, Nev. — HILLARY didn’t hang her head and cry, after she shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.She went outside with a big smile and sampled chocolate truffles served on silver and gold trays by a local sweets shop.After getting steadily bolder at rallies about puncturing her former friend Donald Trump, Clinton channeled Johnny Cash’s song and delivered a coup de grâce so devastating that commentators predicted it will be known simply as the Reno speech. A senior citizen in the crowd raised his fist as he passed the press pen at Truckee Meadows Community College and used a vulgarism to brag that Hillary had kicked Trump in a highly sensitive place.”

Source: The Alt-Right Is All Wrong – The New York Times

Maureen Dowd has really gone overboard in defense of the oranged-haired manatee of hatred, and with her insatiable hatred of Hillary Clinton. Great Comments against Dowd follow the over the top opinion piece.
After Christine McMorrow joined the pile ontop of Maureen Dowd, with her usual unkind words about Hillary’s warts, I wrote in reply: Hillary Clinton has made some whopper mistakes, but who hasn’t?
I love Hillary Clinton, and continue to support her enthusiastically. She is smarter, more prepared, and more concerned with the oppressed and our endangered environment than most politicians and US presidents. I do understand the hatred though. Smart, articulate and powerful women were burned as witches for centuries.