Making America Grate Again

The US mid term elections are tonight/tomorrow NZ time (Tuesday in the US).

I’m glad I can largely switch off and avoid what has become a despicable democracy. It is two party dominated, and ‘a plague on both their houses’

Trump just said ‘we’ve ended the war on beautiful clean coal’ and that may be one of the less silly sounding statements he has made.  It’s hard to know whether he is helping or harming Republican chances.

Whenever I hear him (he was just on RNZ) he grates. Bigly.

But the Democrats have enable Trump with poor candidate choices (Clinton) and awful campaigning.

FiveThirtyEight odds have moved just slightly against the Republicans holding the Senate and improved slightly for the Democrats to win the House:

  • Senate – chance Republicans keep control (83.6%)
  • House – chance Democrats win control (87.3%)

On Eve of Trump’s First Midterm, We’re in Uncharted Waters – Chris Buskirk, NY Times

Midterms Will Show Voters’ Love or Hate of Trump – Allan Lichtman, The GuardianJudgment Day Is Nearly Here: A Midterm Overview -Sally Persons, RealClearPolitics

Image result for cartoon plague both houses

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60 Comments

  1. Huge money involved in US politics:

    Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  November 6, 2018

    I’m fed up with the whole Trump Circus. Krazyland, the USA. Its White House, Congress and even Constitution have become a sick joke.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 6, 2018

      The result of giving politiciaans too much power so it will surely come here.

      Reply
  3. David

     /  November 6, 2018

    I am so excited, nothing more thrilling than a noisy and robust bit of democracy in action.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 6, 2018

      There was a brief item on Aljaz tv about Alabama. The Governor there is going out of his way to ensure as many black voters are denied the right to vote as he can manage apparently, as usual it seems. I hardly even took an interest. It’s a freak show. You’ve got this situation where its assumed (and probably true in some Southern states) the blacks will all vote for the Democrats, when the Dem members of Congress have about as much in common with the average poor black voter as HRH QE2 has with a London barrow-owner.

      Reply
        • Gezza

           /  November 6, 2018

          Can’t even be bothered looking at that Alan. I’m SO over the US. Just get the voting over with, tot em up, tell us the result. Who cares? Not like anyone can do anything about the state of their government. The system’s rooted.

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        • Griff.

           /  November 6, 2018

          Ummm Alan
          That’s a main stream media source ranting about main stream media bias
          Do you spot the problem?
          The repeated claims that the main stream Media is biased is from gibbering Conservative mainstream Media snowflakes complaining that there are other views out there.

          Who to believe?
          We will soon know when the results come out .
          Waana bet blacks will be voting for Republicans @ 40%?

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        • Patzcuaro

           /  November 6, 2018

          Washington Post and New York Times over Washington Times and New York Post

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 6, 2018

          @Griff, even if Blacks turn out 20-30% for the Republicans Trump will be winning.

          Reply
  4. The Consultant

     /  November 6, 2018

    …in what has become a despicable democracy. It is two party dominated, and ‘a plague on both their houses’

    I’m SO over the US.

    fed up

    Amazing how many New Zealanders feel this way when the GOP is charge of most things. I don’t recall hearing much of this between 2008 and 2010, or even through to 2016 – aside from occasional and slowly growing mutterings that “things were not working out over there”.

    I’d bet dollars to donuts that if Hillary had won and the Dems controlled the Senate and House, we’d be hearing none of this – because New Zealanders view the Democrats as being the closest to our ideal of Democratic Socialism.

    And what’s this “despicable democracy” nonsense? One of the things I’ve noticed about NZ is how incredibly smug we are about our systems and institutions, as if the wide-spread consensus on many matters is something to be proud of when it could far better be described as apathy. We’ve always been proud of our anti-intellectualism, one aspect of which has always been our unwillingness to really engage in argument. In my lifetime the process seems to have amounted to small, vocal groups siezing the levers of power momentarily, imposing their ideas – and the rest of the population shrugging and rolling over. Time to go fishing.

    Americans fight with eachother like crazy in their two party system and have always done so, but in the party’s themselves have changed over time, often radically, and in any case have always contained within themselves groups of often violently clashing opinions.

    The result is far more dynamic economy and dynamic society than ours. Harder? Yes. Tougher? Yes. Harsher? Probably. But whether it’s fracking or Facebook, SpaceX or Tesla, the Yanks churn out new ideas in practice constantly.

    If you think we’re so superior take a look at Croaking Cassandra’s posts on our economic performance over the decades, and others on our hopeless productivity growth, which is the key to everything else – including our vaunted social welfare systems. This slow-moving failure – which is as much a result of our easy-going culture as any specific economic policy – is gradually catching up with us.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 6, 2018

      Amazing how many New Zealanders feel this way when the GOP is charge of most things.

      You’re projecting I think. Nobody gave a toss about Obama either – apart from being amazed at the clowns like Trump who kept pushing the lie that he wasn’t a US born citizen long after it was shown to be nonsense. By the time of the Presidential election Trump was regarded as full of wind and a failure in foreign policy. And Clinton was as popular here as a genital wart.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  November 6, 2018

        *By the time of the Presidential election OBAMA was regarded as full of wind and a failure in foreign policy. And Clinton was as popular here as a genital wart.

        Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  November 6, 2018

        I think most New Zealander’s, and this applies to “right-wing” as well as “left-wing versions, have always held Americans and their society in contempt – for multiple reasons. I recall Muldoon in one of his 1970’s autobiographies, saying after a visit that their society was too violent and sick and had a grim future, and the godforsaken Michael Laws expressed similar thoughts twenty years later.

        This shows up in so many small ways. The other day a friend was talking to me about the Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man: he thought it was pretty good, certainly lacking “any of that ra, ra stuff. I burst out laughing and told him that I’d be amazed if anything out of Hollywood nowadays would dare to be “ra ra” about the nation. Even Eastwood’s pics have a resolute grimness about America, and we’re sixty years gone from the age of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. I guess they cast long shadows in his mind.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 6, 2018

          For me it’s not contempt, more fascination. I can never take in the contrasts that basically change from street to street. And the paradoxes: for example, America put man on the moon, yet their cars used antiquated suspensions superseded by European car manufacturers years before America caught up.

          However, America shows up our weaknesses as an insular society of dour navel gazers.The price we unfortunately pay for isolation and a small population

          .

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      • Griff.

         /  November 6, 2018

        USA 350,000,000
        NZ 4,500,000
        We can not generate the same growth internally.
        Anything that is disruptive ends up offshore.
        Our historic figures were based on extraction of limited resources and export of agricultural products to a captive market in the UK.
        Once we lost the UK markets for butter ,lamb and we reached the limits of extraction we lost the capacity for growth .
        We have innovated new products as wool and butter have fallen from flavor . wine, kiwifruit milk powder and others.
        The effect has been replacement of traditional products more than growth.

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        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 6, 2018

          ‘Dour navel gazers’. Corky makes the basic error of judging everyone by himself.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 6, 2018

      The result is far more dynamic economy and dynamic society than ours. Harder? Yes. Tougher? Yes. Harsher? Probably. But whether it’s fracking or Facebook, SpaceX or Tesla, the Yanks churn out new ideas in practice constantly.

      The way it’s got since Eisenhower, I guess that is the one good thing one can say about the US Constitution, TC. That it enables the ordinary and the extraordinary people among the 350 million or so of the population sufficient freedom & scope to enable thousands of them to innovate & achieve – not because of their government – but in spite of it.

      Reply
  5. Corky

     /  November 6, 2018

    ‘We’ve ended the war on beautiful clean coal.”

    Only a fool without the capacity to burn coal would vote against President Trumpy. Of course they wont. The question is..will there be enough of these evil people voting to keep Trumpy’s juggernaut on the rails?

    Reply
  6. The Consultant

     /  November 6, 2018


    I love irony.

    Reply
  7. MaureenW

     /  November 6, 2018

    Whatever others think of Trump, I have to admire his energy and will to win. I hope it pays off and the haters can carry on for another 2 years.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-says-he-feels-gop-electricity-at-election-eve-rally-in-ohio

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  November 6, 2018

      No-one can argue at the rallies he’s held – they have been packed.

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  November 6, 2018

        So the supposed “knuckle-draggers” are motivated to attend political rallies, yet the educated, well-to-dos need to see Chelsea Handlers tits to motivate them to vote for the Dems.
        https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2018/11/05/chelsea-handler-posts-nude-video-promote-voting-midterms/

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  November 6, 2018

          Slight correction, Duck; pIcked, not packed (well, packed, too) hand-picked, probably.

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          • High Flying Duck

             /  November 6, 2018

            Look beyond the MSM coverage and – voila!

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              Pretty sure I remember scenes like that with Obama in his first year or two as well. They even gave him a Nobel Peace Prize just for not being GW Bush.

              James Woods is possibly a Republican and someone with long term memory problems.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 6, 2018

              Dunno, G. The memory problems might be yours. I googled “workers lining up to see Obama” and got a zillion pictures of Obama talking and meeting big shots but not one of anyone who looked like they were working class.

            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              It’s a strange beast, google, queries are now not very reliable for things political. I just googled “workers lining up to see Trump” and this is the first hit I got:

              Trump Invites His Employees To Praise Him During Cabinet Meeting

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 6, 2018

              Yes, the images seem to select a lot worse than text. Searching text for Obama’s worker queues is just as fruitless.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 7, 2018

              They are hand-picked AND packed.

  8. The Consultant

     /  November 6, 2018

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  November 6, 2018

      Republicans
      Are
      Bad
      In
      DC

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  November 6, 2018

        Oh no, Patzcuaro. I’ve been assured by Leftists like the Guardian that Republicans are a terrible threat to decent people and democracy where ever they hold power.

        Reply
        • Patzcuaro

           /  November 6, 2018

          I was unfair to the moderate Republicans above the problem lies with the conservative Republicans (eg McConnell) and Trump who is more of a mercenary.

          History may judge Trump to have done some good things but the collateral damage, lies and his ego make it hard to see at present. And he makes no attempt to take the nation as a whole with him.

          He had the opportunity after his surprise victory to be a President for all but he didn’t have personality to do that. In a lot of ways he is more of a wrecker than a builder.

          The end result of his Presidency maybe a more divided nation internally and weaker internationally.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  November 6, 2018

            It’s not more divided, Patz, just that Trump’s 40% of it is more empowered and not under the thumb of the progressive elite as it used to be.

            That’s the end of the world as you knew it.

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            • Patzcuaro

               /  November 6, 2018

              Trumps style of divide and rule, essentially he is a bully, has empowered his base to believe their own falsehoods. His base are the people who have been unable to adjust to the new world order. They look back to when the nation was predominantly white and the US ruled seas.

              The new reality is a fast paced economy based around technology (not manufacturing) and a rising power in China. Russia is like Trump a flat track bully. Trump’s base have their heads buried in the sand.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 6, 2018

              Other people’s truths are your falsehoods, Patz. Who would have guessed? That’s the essence of politics.

              Your are wrong about race. Trump is winning Black and Hispanics from Democrats. Democrats are attracting suburban white PC women.

              Dunno how you figure China’s rising power is not based on manufacturing. Not sure it’s Trump’s base who have their heads in the sand.

            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              You’re not following China & Xi very closely, obviously, Al.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  November 6, 2018

              @Alan China has taken US manufacturing goods with cheaper labour, not much they can do about that. The US consumer has traded US jobs for cheap Chinese made goods.

              The US also has waste a lot of money in Iraq and Afghanistan in futile wars. They aren’t much safer and they have a mountain of debt to show for it.

              In reality they are more likely to be killed by a gun totting white American male with a grudge than an Islamic male with a grudge.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 6, 2018

              @G, really? Fact is that the Chinese economic growth has been driven by manufacturing exports and these have paid for its political and military activities.

            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              Fact is China is on the rise again and they have a cunning plan.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 6, 2018

              @G, evasion. (Yours, not China’s.)

            • Gezza

               /  November 6, 2018

              No, it’s not evasion. That’s your evasion. China has come up with a recipe that utilises the best of two worlds and is following a different model to secure resources and support from other countries than the US method of letting capitalist corporations buy off countries’ leaders and then claim the right to screw their governments or put bases in there because now they are vital to the US’s strategic interests.

              China has a very well-thought out plan to do much the same thing a different way. They have harnessed capitalism very successfully and utilised its strengths but they don’t let the capitalist corporations & bankers control their government like the US does.

              They have a different model. I’m just watching that space.

          • The Consultant

             /  November 6, 2018

            …. to be a President for all…

            Oh I can see this coming for 2020, and 2024 if they lose to Trump in 2020. Heard the same crap with Obama, except of course he then went on to do the following:
            – Implied that the GOP were uncaring shits for opposing Obamacare and rejected any of their suggestions, even as yet another “decent” Mitt Romney type wonk named Paul Ryan, pointed out all the problems with it.

            – compared the GOP to terrorists in the budget negotiations.

            – compared the GOP to the Iranian Islamic “hardliners” in opposing his Unicorn Fart Iranian nuclear deal.

            Not to mention the slams against ordinary, everyday people like the Democrats who voted for Hillary in the 2008 Pennsylvania primary (clinging to their guns and bibles), or his own grandmother (a typical whiteperson).

            Yeah – that shit was all delivered in a professorial style quite unlike Trump, but that didn’t make it any less nasty and “divisive”, except to all his supporters who lapped it up. Still, there’s history there if you care to look for it:

            “If history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called ‘normalcy’ of the 1920’s, then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.”

            That’s good ole’ FDR in a 1944 speech to Congress. Wonder how Republicans felt as they sat listening to themselves being compared to Fascists for wanting – irony alert – smaller government.

            Reply
  9. Zedd

     /  November 6, 2018

    echoes of ‘Your either with US or with the terrorists/commies…”

    not a hard choice

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 6, 2018

      There’s a bit of a problem at the moment with Trump and Jared being “with” murdering arseholes who are “fine people”.

      Reply

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