did someone muck with the backend here

Re: The Best I Can Do

1

Even if you are right, it's still a very dangerous situation. I can assure you there are dozens of Republicans watching this and saying to themselves "So, racist and fascist, but maybe turn the sexism down to a 3 and pay attention to my speaking consultants." Unless the Democratic Party splits into a left wing and a center wing, the reality is that sooner or later (e.g. within the next two or three elections), the Republican nominee will win the presidency even if said nominee is batshit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:32 AM
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Or was I supposed to be cheerful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:32 AM
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There will be two memories of Trump, of course. One will be the one you describe, the other will be the memory of his heroic battle for the soul of America that ended in noble defeat when Crooked Hillary stole the election.

Trump is old, and will no doubt go into a Palinesque retirement, but I think you're right that Trumpism isn't a spent force. I suspect one of his sons will pick up the baton while dad cheers from the sidelines.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:33 AM
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1 is right, but so is 2.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:35 AM
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"Son, I want you to take this. No, it's not a dildo. It's the family baton. Ivanka bought it it Tijuana."


Posted by: Opinionated Papa Trump | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:35 AM
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4: Sorry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:36 AM
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I should have read the title.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:39 AM
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Maybe Ivanka but no chance for the sons. I don't think anybody beyond Mike Pence takes them seriously. Even The Corner makes fun of them as never having done anything but work for Daddy. Plus they're from NY so outside of some rotten borough election for the State Legislature there's nothing they could get elected to.


Posted by: No Longer Middle-Aged Man | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:41 AM
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He'll have a reality show contract with Fox by the weekend after the election.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:41 AM
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Trump and Stein, the new Hannity and Colmes.


Posted by: No Longer Middle-Aged Man | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:42 AM
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I thought the rumor was that he's actually running for president not expecting to win, although if he does it's gravy. It's because he wants to start a competitor to Fox news where he's the new Ailes and controls his own funding, news, and programming.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:42 AM
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I think that 11 is true, but still consistent with being unable to handle the loss of attention.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:45 AM
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In addition to building a media empire, I think there's a decent chance if the race is anywhere near close, say 2.5 points or fewer, he goes all dolchstoss and his loyalists consolidate power within the GOP for years to come.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:48 AM
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What could maybe upend that trajectory is if he's conclusively convicted in the trial scheduled later in November.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:50 AM
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13 sounds very plausible because it is very tempting for his loyalists to argue that Trumpism didn't fail, Trump failed.

Question is: does he run again in 2020? Even if he loses, this has got to be the most fun he's had in ages.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:51 AM
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Against expectations, Be that Fascist! will be the next reality TV show hit.

I agree with Heebie on the FP, and Moby in 1. It's not Trump, it's the next guy who takes a similar tack but has the ability to learn from his mistakes. Trump isn't scary, just depressing. Trump with basic competence is scary.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:51 AM
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1 is right. It's not an exaggeration or hyperbole at all to question the sustainability of democracy in this situation, where the Democratic president isn't accepted as legitimate by a good chunk of the population and a hypothetical Trumpist Republican President woul not be accepted as legitimate by another half (I personally would gave a hard time accepting Trump as a legitimate President of the United States). Plus a system of ideological parties and likely division between Congress and the President, making unilateral Presidential action more likely.

If I were a US ally nation, or for that matter a US enemy, I would start investing heavily in my own military and getting used to the idea that the US is no longer a reliable force for world stability, because there is a strong possibility of a domestic implosion, and our political culture throws up people like Donald Trump. That's just the new reality of American domestic politics and it has horrible implocations for the entire world. Note that Clinton had to basically stop the debate to assure foreigners that we wouldn't randomly rip up treaties to run an extortion racket, but 40-45% of the American electorate (at a minimum) will vote for the guy who said he will do just that.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:51 AM
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I think that Trump does have unique strengths as a performer which are crucial to his success. I don't think somebody else could necessarily get his voters just by occupying the same ideological space.

That said, I'm really not looking forward to finding out who tries to take up the mantle of Trumpism.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:54 AM
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Question is: does he run again in 2020? Even if he loses, this has got to be the most fun he's had in ages.

One observer disagrees.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:56 AM
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I think the Trump autopsy is premature. While I maintain, as I have since about 2014, that Clinton will win, it still seems pretty clear that Trump stands a better chance of winning than Romney did four years ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:56 AM
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18.1: agreed. I'm not sure that you could get "Trump, but sane, predictable and competent" because the trainwreck aspect is central to the brand. People watch because of the outbursts of fury and hate.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:57 AM
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Whether or not the deep read in 19 is correct, I think he'd strongly prefer, if given the chance, to be the unofficial authority everyone consults or defers to behind the scenes, without day-to-day responsibilities.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:57 AM
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Plus they're from NY so outside of some rotten borough election for the State Legislature there's nothing they could get elected to.

I bet they could get a seat in Congress from Staten Island, this guy did.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:58 AM
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19: is that disagreement? "Trump doesn't want to be president" is not incompatible with "Trump is really enjoying running for president".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:58 AM
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he'd strongly prefer, if given the chance, to be the unofficial authority everyone consults or defers to behind the scenes

The words "Trump would strongly prefer" and "behind the scenes" really don't belong in the same sentence.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:59 AM
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But Trump said in front of 90 million people that he would support Hillary if she wins, and if there's one thing we know about Trump it's that he keeps his promises.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:00 AM
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If I were a US ally nation, or for that matter a US enemy, I would start investing heavily in my own military

Unfortunately the political spectrum over here starts at "cut the military deeply to save money" and runs all the way left to "destroy NATO, the foul tool of Western imperialism".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:00 AM
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24: True.

25: Also true; I don't mean he would give up the role of clown-in-chief / center of attention.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:03 AM
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If I were a US ally nation, or for that matter a US enemy, I would start investing heavily in my own military and getting used to the idea that the US is no longer a reliable force for world stability, because there is a strong possibility of a domestic implosion, and our political culture throws up people like Donald Trump. That's just the new reality of American domestic politics and it has horrible implocations for the entire world. Note that Clinton had to basically stop the debate to assure foreigners that we wouldn't randomly rip up treaties to run an extortion racket, but 40-45% of the American electorate (at a minimum) will vote for the guy who said he will do just that.

This is basically me in 2007. The good news was that the next draw out of the Great American Randomiser was Obama - that and the revival of Silly Valley. Don't underestimate American resilience.

Regarding Trump, isn't his business model these days just about hiring out his brand to other people's development projects/steaks/whatever? Wouldn't that suggest his future plan would be to anoint someone/some group as Trump Politics and step back himself?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:03 AM
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26: sure; he just didn't say he'd accept that she'd won simply because she got more votes.

28: that does make sense - a sort of leader of the opposition/kingmaker role?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:04 AM
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Also true; I don't mean he would give up the role of clown-in-chief / center of attention.

If you liked Dick Cheney, get ready for Mike Pence making all the decisions. On the one hand he is much dumber than Cheney. On the other hand he is not filled with crazed foreign policy ideas.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:06 AM
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19: take Jeremy Corbyn as an example. He probably doesn't want to be prime minister - he only ran for Labour leader because McDonnell was the no hoper last time - but he sure as hell enjoys Labour leadership campaigning. The Daily Mash observed that his enemies managed to give him a priceless opportunity to do everything he likes most and is best at.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:06 AM
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So is this it for the Labour Party as the #2 party? I mean, not even because of Corbyn driving the rich snob bloc to become Lib Dems or something, but because anti-immigrant people are no longer welcome and now they have their own party?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:13 AM
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I seriously think that now is the time for the SNP to start running candidates in English constituencies.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:14 AM
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At least in America the likelihood of fascism should decrease with the demographic shift. Their voters will get madder but more and more impotent, on the national level. Europe is going to have serious problems reacting to climate refugees.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:15 AM
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I made it through once sentence with optimism. Partial credit?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:15 AM
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34: "If you let us leave, we'll give you sensible leftist politics utill then." ?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:17 AM
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34: A modern James VI/I.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:18 AM
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I'm not sure that you could get "Trump, but sane, predictable and competent" because the trainwreck aspect is central to the brand. People watch because of the outbursts of fury and hate.

I think that, as attractive as the outbursts are, they're not essential for the next candidate to keep a lot of the Trump voters. Cruz can whip up a "put her in jail" crowd and lay it on thick about how the Trumpists were robbed. And he'll still seem sane and competent to the anti-Trump R's. He's the one I'm most scared of now.

The wave of Hillary hate that the next candidates will ride on will have tsunami proportions.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:21 AM
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At least in America the likelihood of fascism should decrease with the demographic shift.

THAT'S WHEN LIBERAL FASCISM WILL REALLY BEGIN.


Posted by: OPINIONATED JONAH GOLDBERG | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:24 AM
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But the Trump voters right now are pretty much just the normal Republican base. It's the Trump primary voters that are important; how many of them are going to pivot to some bland thing in a suit talking about trade agreements and immigration?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:26 AM
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I do wonder how long the "shrieking white-hot sphere of pure rage" model can last at this point. In California they sort of crumpled up after losing power; they're still around, plenty of them, but without a threshold of numbers or growth, a movement tends not to get nearly the same attention. Not that we should gamble on it that.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:26 AM
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I do wonder how long the "shrieking white-hot sphere of pure rage" model can last at this point.

Not very long. I'm sure of it.


Posted by: Opinionated Franz von Papen | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:32 AM
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Surely Limbaugh is the model for an SPC Trump, right? Okay, maybe not competent but competent and coherent sounding. Well-liked with the "respectable" Republican base, isn't he?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:33 AM
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43: Yeah, I'm reading about him and Schleicher right now.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:36 AM
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33: well, half the party seems to be mad keen to try hating immigrants at the moment.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:36 AM
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39:
SINCE I DON'T WANNA VOTE FOR THE LOON
FROM NEW YORK CITY
THE BEST THAT I CAN DO
THE BEST THAT I CAN DO
IS 'CRUZ FOR GOV'...


Posted by: OPINIONATED TEXAN 'WINGER | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:38 AM
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45: Let me know when you get to the part where I was indicted by a U.S. jury for trying to blow up a canal in Canada while attached to Germany's embassy to the U.S.


Posted by: Opinionated Franz von Papen | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:38 AM
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I think that, as attractive as the outbursts are, they're not essential for the next candidate to keep a lot of the Trump voters. Cruz can whip up a "put her in jail" crowd and lay it on thick about how the Trumpists were robbed. And he'll still seem sane and competent to the anti-Trump R's. He's the one I'm most scared of now.

Him, Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, they are all going to be doing that. Maybe this time THEY will all cancel out and Jeb Bush will win the primary.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:38 AM
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33: well, half the party seems to be mad keen to try hating immigrants at the moment.

Right, those are the ones who will leave the party if it is now the Young Diverse People In London Party.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:39 AM
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51

It's this book. January 1933, one day at a time.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:43 AM
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This book.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:43 AM
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50: #londexit


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:44 AM
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Against expectations, Be that Fascist! will be the next reality TV show hit.

I hear the "Heil, Honey, I'm Home!" IP is up for grabs.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:45 AM
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But the Trump voters right now are pretty much just the normal Republican base. It's the Trump primary voters that are important; how many of them are going to pivot to some bland thing in a suit talking about trade agreements and immigration?

Honestly, I don't even know why I'm making any kind of predictions. I can make a case for almost any outcome but I really have no idea what's going on.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:50 AM
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I don't think the bland thing in a suit is going to talk about trade agreements and immigration. He's going to talk about devious foreigners stealing our jobs and Mexican rapists. He's just going to do it without calling somebody fat every few days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:58 AM
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42 - we also got lucky in that when things went to shit for the party of sane governance and we got a powerful white action-movie avenger in office, he turned out to be a gentle moderate environmentalist Christian Democrat instead of a raving Nazi. That was pretty lucky. Also our legislature is less weighed towards pockets of rural white resentment than the federal one.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:59 AM
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I can make a case for almost any outcome but I really have no idea what's going on.
Have you considered a career in TV political coverage?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:59 AM
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42: Well-put, yes. Fucking Senate.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:11 AM
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59 to 57, not my own 42.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:12 AM
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Heebie join me in my mystical optimism. I am probably MORE cynical than many people here in that I am disturbed but not at all surprised by degree of support for and the--and the degree of derangement inherent in--Trumpism. But there are 3 things I think are basically magical (while deeply fallible) and those are (1) immigration (2) juries, and (3) AA. AA has nothing to do with any of this, it's just on my list of magical things. Juries have medium to do with this insofar as they are an expression of a functional judicial process. Anyway. Clinton is going to win because I will it, and if after that, if we can get meaningful immigration reform and (this is not unrelated) focus on a judiciary that shares my orientation toward fundamental wonder, things we will change for the better. I... actually believe this.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:16 AM
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There are plenty of reasons for optimism, too. It's just an insanely high-risk moment and things could easily go so wrong. There's a link, of course, the white nationalists frel they have to go full crazy precisely because they legitimately are under threat of losing power.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:20 AM
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62 yes yes yes, I just think that if we get this right we won't have to visit this place again for a long time. That's what the entrails are telling me.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:22 AM
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You of all people should know where reading the entrails can take you.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:25 AM
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64 p sure the problem there was listening to snakes.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:27 AM
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And eagles. To I need to point out the parallels here?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:30 AM
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Anybody reading this ten years later, don't assume what happened was inevitable in retrospect. Unless it's because the alien invasion is already in transit.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:43 AM
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"The Eagles!"


Posted by: Opinionated Bilboess | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:43 AM
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Well I'm a-runnin' down the road, tryin' to gather some gold
I've got thirteen dwarves on my mind.
Nine that want to ditch me, three that want to stone me,
One says she's a king of a mine.
Take it easy, take it easy
Don't let the sound of your magic ring drive you crazy.
Lighten up while you still can.
Don't even try to understand.
Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy.


Posted by: Opinionated Bilboess | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:53 AM
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Well, I'm a-standin' on a corner in Dale's ruins.
Such a fine sight to see,
It's a Gandfold, my Lord, just across the ford
Slowin' down to take a look at me.
Come on, baby, don't say maybe.
I gotta know if this sweet Arkenstone is gonna save me.
We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here again.
So open up I'm climbin' in, so take it easy.


Posted by: Opinionated Bilboess | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:56 AM
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69/70 are great.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:04 AM
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They scan shitily.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:06 AM
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Arwen Evenstar climbs on to his chopper and roars off down the road. His old lady clings on behind. Their hair mingles in the slipstream.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:12 AM
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I strive mightily
to scan shitily


Posted by: Now Woman | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:14 AM
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I shit scantily.


Posted by: Yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:17 AM
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76

Yeah, Trump has upped his fix to a level that he can't re-create after the election is over and he's going to implode when he can't get it any more. But he's also invited a ton of scrutiny into his doings, and that kind of attention isn't going to flatter him.

The demographics get better and better, and in 2020 there's a new census and shot at re-districting. This was the Republican's last best chance, and they fucked it. It will be OK, friends.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:26 AM
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17
Democratic president isn't accepted as legitimate by a good chunk of the population and a hypothetical Trumpist Republican President woul not be accepted as legitimate by another half (I personally would gave a hard time accepting Trump as a legitimate President of the United States).

Eh, being alarmist is fun, but let's not be too unrealistic about it.

"Accepted as legitimate" is vague. For an analogy that I feel is very appropriate, GWB lost the popular vote, and only won the electoral college due to a Supreme Court decision that was nakedly and almost by their own admission partisan. Doesn't sound like the result of a legitimate democracy with a small D. On the other hand, there was no law-breaking involved, just legal processes and outcomes I don't like. (I know there were problems in Florida and I know there were allegations that the governor of Florida at the time did something illegal, what was his name again, starts with a B... but (a) the actual problem was the Supreme Court, and (b) let's assume (a) even if maybe it's not true, I think the point is still relevant.) He was a legitimate candidate and was sworn in. He was a bad president, but he was president.

Some conservatives think that Obama is doing literally everything wrong, is weak, stupid, and hates America, and the American people were wrong to elect him. Some conservatives also think Obama is not a natural-born American. The second belief is a more literal reading of "Obama is illegitimate," but some people might summarize the first the same way too.

I wouldn't expect to like President Trump and he might be even worse than Bush was. Bush was legitimate in a narrow technical sense and most scenarios where Trump becomes president, he clears that bar even farther than Bush does. (I mean, a vote that's so close it goes to the Supreme Court, and they rule in Trump's favor, is unlikely. If Clinton has a stroke on national television in October, Trump probably wins the Electoral College and popular vote and therefore is legitimate.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:28 AM
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Megan is rather good at this game.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:28 AM
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How big is the "Shy Tory" vote over there?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:46 AM
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Does that mean "people who vote conservative after refusing to tell pollsters they would?"


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:53 AM
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I thought it meant people who can't use a public urinal if somebody else is near.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:56 AM
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Megan is rather good at this game.

Yes, which I appreciate, but I am not nearly as optimistic about the 2020 redistricting as she is -- Republicans are still doing very well at the state level.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:56 AM
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55: I can make a case for almost any outcome but I really have no idea what's going on.

Yeah. I see in the other thread ("Monday"), people were mentioning the NPR series interviewing Georgia voters.

This guy I fear is representative of too many Trumpist voters, who will carry their support over to any future Republican candidate who rings the same bells. This in particular:

"Should martial law, civil war -- whatever -- break out in this country, they [militia groups] will uphold the Constitution and rebuild our loss," he said. "The war that's going to break out if Hillary Clinton's elected, if that happens. Your patriots are going to overthrow the government."

This guy is convinced that a race war will ensue upon Clinton's election. His certainty - and fear - were astonishing.

It will be up to the Republican party to decide how they want to handle that sort of sentiment in future.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:58 AM
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76.2 May not be enough. Access to government, whether that means voting or access to the legal system (defending yourself against prosecution or bringing a lawsuit) is being narrowed in scope. Expect creative gerrymandering and novel fine-print innovation to continue diluting the relevanace of inconvenient parts of the country.

Also, the reality-free portion of this round of elections is a clear lesson in how to proceed in the future. Look at the UK for a second recent and IMO relevant example. The US has already elected one actor to the presidency, and a bunch as legislators or governors.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 11:00 AM
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62 yes yes yes, I just think that if we get this right we won't have to visit this place again for a long time. That's what the entrails are telling me.

Yes yes yes seconded (or whatever the count is now.)

Desperation leads to crazy ideas: I keep seeing the idea floated around about how maybe, just maybe the Supreme Court should only have 8 Justices.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 11:59 AM
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Eight justices and Batman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:05 PM
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87

What about Donald Trump Jr.?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:07 PM
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Not an orphan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:08 PM
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63: if we get this right we won't have to visit this place again for a long time.

I have no idea what this means. If we get this right? I'm afraid I did not understand 61.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:11 PM
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76: The demographics get better and better, and in 2020 there's a new census and shot at re-districting. This was the Republican's last best chance, and they fucked it. It will be OK, friends.

Agreed with 84.1 that this may not be enough. Unfortunately, millennials' disaffection is a real problem. Redistricting only helps if people vote effectively.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:15 PM
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Megan wins; thank you, Megan. And a hearty congratulations to all our participants for playing along.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:26 PM
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You just wanted to be told that it would all be Ok? Duly noted.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:50 PM
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Question is: does he run again in 2020?

Maybe, but there is no way in hell he doesn't spend a big chunk of 2019 publicly musing about it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:51 PM
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Don't worry about 63, it was more or less the Pythian version of 76. Normal low-key witchcraft stuff.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:52 PM
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95

I don't 2020 being anything other than a landslide for a 'generic Republican' and an even bigger redistricting catastrophe.


Posted by: Yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 12:59 PM
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95 sounds right, unless Trump turns against the generic Republican. On the other hand climate change may be the main issue by 2020.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:02 PM
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I didn't want to be the one to say say 95 because it would upset Heebie, but that's what I also think.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:02 PM
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What are 95 et seq. based on besides a belief (which w. varous caveats I share) that people are pretty thick?

Yes, in 2020 we will def. all be voting underwater but I think that will be the worst part.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:09 PM
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What are 95 et seq. based on besides a belief (which w. varous caveats I share) that people are pretty thick?

Do you not find it plausible that Generic R would be running much better against Clinton than Trump is?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:10 PM
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I fear so as well.

I'm not really seeing Trump turning against the generic Republican: he's already acceded to many of their policy prescriptions. Paul Ryan is pleased in that regard. I'd be surprised if Trump didn't notice the benefits that come with pleasing such people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:12 PM
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100 to 95 et seq., obviously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:13 PM
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I'm reasonably pessimistic but there's just no way to know if 95 is right or not until it happens. A generic Republican certainly could win but the ideological division of the parties seems to slightly and increasingly favor Democrats in future elections. The EXTREMELY stupid argument (which I don't think I've seen here, because people here aren't quite that stupid) "don't vote for Hillary because then you're just setting up a Republican victory in 2020" is really really dumb. "Let's fuck everything up in predictable ways now because of my extremely erroneous certainty about how predictable a future event is." Awesome reasoning!

[And, in some ways, a freak event of Democratic control of the House and Senate and Presidency, followed by Republicans recapturing the Presidency after an aggressive Democratic legislative session, would be the best result of all, in a system where legislation can be hard to change. But that's an extremely unlikely result]


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:14 PM
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Do you not find it plausible that Generic R would be running much better against Clinton than Trump is?

I do not find it plausible, no. I think this election is 98% party affiliation. The polls have been mostly incredibly stable over the past 3-4 months.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:17 PM
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99 sure, if a generic R were running against her now, but this is in four years. While it's still certainly plausible it's not obvious.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:18 PM
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people here aren't quite that stupid
Awww, you love us, you really love us.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:18 PM
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Clinton will never be particularly popular and we are likely due for a recession before 2020.

And 100 is right in that it will totally be Paul Ryan as Captain Generic - and you know how the press loves him.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:19 PM
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I'm also not worried about 95, because I think Clinton will be surprisingly popular once elected (although rightwing vitriole towards women will sky-rocket, which will help stabilize Clinton's appeal in people who are turned off by the vitriole.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:19 PM
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Clinton has often enjoyed high approval ratings! That thing about being penalized for seeking more power!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:20 PM
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I find 95 fairly likely, if only because at some point we're due for a cyclical recession and that plus incumbency fatigue plus 4 more years of frustrating gridlock == "throw the bums out".


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:21 PM
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The polls have been mostly incredibly stable over the past 3-4 months.

What? Projections had her at about 340 electoral votes after the convention to just barely above 270 prior to the debate. Polls have been all over the place.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:24 PM
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Polls always swing, but apparently they've swung less this year than in past elections, according to Sam Wang.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:28 PM
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Compare 2016 and 2012, which were largely stable, to 2008 and 2004, here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:30 PM
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111: I knew I'd read it recently, somewhere.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:30 PM
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111 beat me to it, but see point three here. It's almost hard to remember that we had comparatively-not-really-all-that-ideological parties competing for a genuine political middle as recently as 1996 and even 2000.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:30 PM
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(2008 was stable in the sense that Obama was always in the lead, but his lead grew and shrunk dramatically.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:32 PM
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Now that that's settled, has anyone done the statistics on the frequency of Trump's sniffles over the course of the debate? Coke should have him sniffling less frequently as the irritant cleared his sinuses while allergies or a cold would be constant or perhaps increasing as the Flonase or whatever wears off.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:33 PM
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I do think that a generic D/R race would have been similarly stable but with about a 2-3 point swing towards the R side. Also Virginia, which has been the great electoral college bulwark for Hillary in polling to date, would be more in play. Obviously these are made up numbers out of my ass, but there are big-picture reasons to think that there would have been something much closer to about a 50/50 split this year.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:36 PM
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I cannot imagine a Republican candidate who would not have alienated most of the country with super dumb remarks. Their hands are tied by virtue of being strapped to the dumbest party possible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:38 PM
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Clinton versus a mainstream Republican would mean the media would have no reason not to go all-in on her "scandals".


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:39 PM
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What are 95 et seq. based on?

Living in Texas.

Texas already sends 36 people to the House -- 25 of them Republicans -- and the size of the delegation is going to go up with the new census. Barring a seismic shift (a.k.a., all eligible voters actually voting), the R's will still have the lege. Redistricting is not going to do us any favors on the state or federal level.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:40 PM
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Have none of you noticed how inadequate the generic R's are right now? Trump wiped the floor with them for a reason. Generic R in 2020 has even more of an uphill battle against demographics and incumbents mostly win. The Rs in 2020 will still face the bind that current Rs face (go deep with the racists or get more votes) and don't have anything else to offer. They'll still be clearing the cobwebs from Fox News off them. They might be dumb enough to double down one more time.

Frankly, depending on how Clinton governs, she could be weak from the left. I'd like to see a strong younger left challenger in 2020.

Naw, I think it'll be like California and the Rs will be out in the desert for a while. I've said before, here in California, they seem to be re-making themselves while in exile (strangely enough, as city planners), and that bodes well too.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:42 PM
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See, Megan has a winning temperament.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:47 PM
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It's somewhat, but not that much of, an exaggeration to say that the future depends on whether national Hispanics vote more like they do in California (relatively high turnout though still less than any other ethnic group, soldidly Democratic) or Texas (extremely low political participation, substantial Republican vote).

Also on whether the Gary Johnson wing of white millenials are OK with a white supremacy type who is slightly less openly a monster.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:56 PM
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I believe the 8 children next door are our future.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:57 PM
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121. Trump is an entertainer with experience being on TV. Generic Rs have a majority in both houses of congress. Consider a US-born version of Schwarzenegger.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 1:58 PM
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Have none of you noticed how inadequate the generic R's are right now? Trump wiped the floor with them for a reason.

For President, yes. They still have a good shot at a long-term lock on the House and way too many state governments. 23 states are now Republican trifectas!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:00 PM
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Also, talking about demographics, echoing Kraab,
Younger people in conservative places may not be all that great for the electoral college or house


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:02 PM
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The Rs in 2020 will still face the bind that current Rs face

I don't see an excluded middle between racism and small-government antenvironmental policy. A thinking version of DJT could manage a lot more subtlety to cover both ends of the spectrum-- a slightly less toxic version of Ted Cruz say-- remember that he came in second in the primary, because everyone else on the stage was too boring because they spoke complete sentences or something. To me, the terrifying lesson of DJT is that a campaign based on entertaining fiction is viable.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:10 PM
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That might be enough for one generic R to consolidate the Republican vote. But that doesn't win national elections any more. The next generic R has to consolidate the Rs (not easy after Trump) and be charismatic enough about something else to get some of the rest of us (who are growing proportionally). I'm not seeing it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:16 PM
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What's the percentage of Trump voters who supported Obama in either or both of 2008/2012?

I posit:

(1) no generalizable theory of American politics can explain these voters
(2) if it's as high as 5 to 10% (enough to turn a general election), then we really have no idea what's going to happen in future general elections


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:27 PM
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Maybe, it would be nice if that were true. But, not growing proportionally in the electoral college. Also when you say Us, I'm guessing that you mean reality-based community.

I do not see evidence that's growing. The problem is not just elderly rural people, it is also 1) a large population that gets "news" from facebook and 2) systematic and successful efforts to make participation difficult, both for voting and for access to the courts. Brazil and the Philippines also have lots of young people who want change-- my concern is that the US is becoming more like that.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:28 PM
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(1) no generalizable theory of American politics can explain these voters

Old people who didn't watch Fox News in 2008 and now watch Fox News


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:28 PM
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I see zero reason to think that a Republican politician with more insane lies and a tempered message couldn't win. That happened in 2003 and 2006 and the demographics/ fundamentals/Legislature were much more favorable to Democrats in California in 2003 and 2006 than they will be for the remotely foreseeable future in the US as a whole. As I said above we got very lucky that Arnold was a moderate but that was completely fortuitous, especially in 2003. There's not reason for panic but complacency is nuts.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:29 PM
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130.1 Good in front of a camera is an explanation. BHO is charismatic.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:29 PM
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130 - I don't want to be glib but I think that kind of a swing would be entirely consistent with white people getting older and therefore more Republican, something that all models take account of. Basically any R can count on some significant portion of the aging-white-person D vote -- the only question is how much or how little and how many younger people are coming up to swamp out the effect.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:34 PM
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That happened in 2003 and 2006 and the demographics/ fundamentals/Legislature were much more favorable to Democrats in California in 2003 and 2006 than they will be for the remotely foreseeable future in the US as a whole. As I said above we got very lucky that Arnold was a moderate but that was completely fortuitous, especially in 2003. There's not reason for panic but complacency is nuts.

Also in California everyone pretty much has the right to vote, except undocumented people. On a national level we have to contend with ever-increasing disenfranchisement of one party's voters.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:37 PM
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There are lots of generalizable theories of the political opinions of Americans that don't assume or require anybody to be making a whole lot of sense. It's all affect and very, very, very low levels of information.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:42 PM
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Anyway, I wouldn't be at all surprised if more than 5% of Obama voters switched to Trump this time. In fact, I'd be surprised if that wasn't the case. I'd also be surprised if more than 5% of people who are plainly white supremacists didn't vote for Obama.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:44 PM
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I know it's hard not to be grim about Texas when you're in Texas, but there are a lot of 14-18 year old Latinos there right now. I think 750,000 net increase in eligible not white voters relative to white voters before 2020 but let's say 500,000. Assuming historical turnout rates and party affiliations among those voters, not enough to swing a presidential election but enough to make a significant impact in the House. Current TX dems are from border districts, Houston, and Dallas. If growth of not-white voter population were only happening in districts that were already D, whatever, who cares, but that's not necessarily where growth is happening. Current map, there are between 6-20 districts that even conservative estimates of changing demographics could put in play.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:46 PM
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130.1 Alternatively, people who are doing badly economically are more inclined to vote against the incumbent party.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:47 PM
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139 is extremely in the Texas-congressional-representative-weeds but hier stehe, ich kann nicht anders.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:48 PM
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Anyway someone in my law school group text just saw someone come up to Jeb Bush on the street (in midtown manhattan I think), say to him "you were my last hope," hug him, then get in a cab.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:52 PM
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What's the percentage of Trump voters who supported Obama in either or both of 2008/2012?

I posit:

(1) no generalizable theory of American politics can explain these voters

I guess you're right. Many of these people who are open to Democrats but specifically see Hillary Clinton as Public Enemy Number One due to thousands of news stories about her evil ways over the past 25 years. This is very good in the long run but not so good in 2020.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:53 PM
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139. Redistricting is coming, and let's see if anyone will challenge in court a requirement that singing "yellow Rose Of Texas," "My Texas" or "Amarillo by Mornoing," singer's choice of which, from memory in order to vote. That or explaining the touchback rule.

Hook 'em.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 2:54 PM
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It's all affect and very, very, very low levels of information.

This definitely seems to explain the change for Barack Obama's half-brother:

"`I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart,` Malik Obama told The Post from his home in the rural village of Kogelo. `Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him.`"

http://nypost.com/2016/07/24/why-obamas-half-brother-says-hell-be-voting-for-donald-trump/


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 3:07 PM
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144, 139 would be true even with the enjoined 2011 map. Not that I don't trust Texas to come up with an even more racist map of course.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 3:13 PM
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i will stop texplaining now tho


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 3:16 PM
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Redistricting is not an automatic win! We need good legislatures in place by 2020, or the change will be muted.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 3:40 PM
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because I think Clinton will be surprisingly popular once elected

I mostly agree with this (and also agree with everything else heebie has said here), but: everything about this election is so crazy and crazy-making that I'm almost afraid to indulge in the least bit of optimism.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 4:04 PM
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There are two salient aspects of Trumpism.

There's the policy aspect, which is largely focused on Stuff White Christians Like: measures that punish people for not being white Christian males. That's the wheelhouse for guys like Cruz, but it's not really all that important.

Trumpism, though, is also a technique. Trump has changed the American political process, and unless both the media and the Republican Party take steps, nobody is going to defeat someone for the Republican nomination who has mastered that technique.

Sarah Palin could do it (and could have already done it) if she had the attention span to run a semi-coherent campaign. I don't think Cruz can do it, or Rubio or Bush or Pence or Ryan.

Ivanka hasn't shown any aptitude for it, but I think the sons show some promise.

Or maybe Ted Nugent. As Eggplant notes, Rush Limbaugh is really the prototype for Trump in a lot of ways, and (besides Trump himself), I can't think of anyone better able to carry off the kind of campaign that Trump invented.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 4:12 PM
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I thought Obama was going to get more popular after he was elected because how can you not like the guy? Turns out racism is how.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 4:57 PM
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I thought the suadable by charisma vote pretty much went for Obama in 2008 anyway -- he was well-known for his likeability then, even to Republicans -- so he was unlikely to get more popular in office. Clinton will always be hated by the Rush Limbaughs and likely the Corey Robins of the world, but there's decent reason (if no guarantee) that she will win over some of the "I just don't like her" crowd in office.

I have a half-formed theory about how this difference is driven by differences in elite racism vs. elite sexism but it's only half-formed.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 5:08 PM
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You should add in elite antisemitism, for shits and giggles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 5:23 PM
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Just drove up to our little cabin in the woods a few hours ago. One of our last weekends here until next late (and I do mean late: as in, maybe next Victoria Day) spring, because the cabin is not winterized, and winter in the Adirondacks is as harsh as it is long.

I love this place so much (the lakes! the mountains! the hiking trails!), but I am very much "summer people" (despite my Canuckistani street rural road cred), and I doubt I could live here year-round. And no, it's not about the ice and the snow (as someone who grew up in Ottawa, Canada, you can't even scare me with your cautionary tales about wintry conditions: I learned to drive on black ice when I was 16, as a normal part of road conditions). It's about the support for Trump, which I see in numerous handmade lawn signs, and in banners from public, or quasi-public, buildings: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN."

As if Trump has a plan to make things better in the Adirondacks, or in upstate New York more broadly. As if Trump has ever even visited the ADKs (he has NOT, no, not ever). The support for Trump in these parts is all about sticking it to the man, to the snooty, latte-sipping liberals (to the "summer people," to which group I belong), and then finally making them pay for their condescension, their overweening sense of superiority.

I saw a black bear up on the highway a couple of weeks ago. It was trash/garbage pickup day. The bears always come out for the pickup.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 5:37 PM
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In this analogy, the bears are the Republican establishment.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 6:02 PM
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Insert "wide-stance" joke here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 6:15 PM
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As if the bears have a plan to make things better in the Adirondacks, or in upstate New York more broadly.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 6:20 PM
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In the Adirondacks, you are required to store your food in hard, smooth-sided plastic containers that Republicans can't open.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 6:23 PM
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Anyway, how to properly store food when in bear country is something that we all need to think about.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:27 PM
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Sorry, skipping the comments to write what I've been thinking:

My position at the end of the primaries was that, while Trump had indeed tapped into a very real base, it was his unique set of skills (natural on TV, hateful yet with a light touch, uncanny reading of his opponents) that had allowed him to succeed, and that other pols trying to follow in his footsteps would get tripped up (because, for instance, most people have trouble winning over a crowd while being transparently full of shit; it's a real thing some people can do, but it's not actually easy).

However, with the rise of naked white nationalism (plus that pretty convincing Vox piece from last week about the worldwide* rise of ethno-nationalist parties), I'm reconsidering. I think it's now clear that there's a solid plurality of Republicans--possibly an outright majority--that is highly responsive to the ugly side of Trump's appeal, whether you call it white nationalism, blood-and-soil patriotism, or simply fascism. And it sure seems like they don't have a problem with self-identifying that way: after the last 9 months, there's no sugarcoating who/what Trump is appealing to, and his non-Nazi supporters don't seem to have any problem at all with it.

Which seems to mean that there really is a clear path to the GOP nomination that runs through, for want of a better term, the KKK primary: prove your white nationalist bona fides, and you're home free.

Here's my hesitation with that conclusion:

A. I still think it's easier said than done: I think Trump really is a natural at this stuff in a way that can't be copied by any old Republican.

B. There's a decent chance that more than one guy will reach for Trump's brass ring next time around, and, unless there's another natural in the mix, they'll split the votes and lose to a more traditional candidate (who's still full of hate and bile, but not just that).

C. I expect that there will be some cooling of the ardor of the moment. While, per the Vox article, I think the underlying conditions are long term, I also think that, with the Kenyan usurper gone, and whatever happens in the next 4 years happening, indulging in white nationalism won't be issue #1 for every one of these jokers. Also, aging and death.

*maybe in The West only? I can't recall if there were any non-Americas/Euro examples


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:42 PM
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We learned how to store food when in bear country in my grade 11 phys ed class. In grade 12, we learned how to sweep the stone down the ice... yes, that's right, in 12th grade phys ed we learned curlng, which was massively more difficult than just dealing with a couple of bears in the wild. Also, we learned canoeing and kayaking, and had to pass a test which had us making turns with the oars, as I recall.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 7:47 PM
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*maybe in The West only? I can't recall if there were any non-Americas/Euro examples

There weren't, which was a weakness of the article. Looking beyond the West, one might see the Philippines, India, and the Dominican Republic.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:04 PM
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To extend on 160.A:

I think that, while they have a lot in common, Trump's base* includes a few distinctive groups: Serious white supremacists, Archie Bunkers, evangelicals, clowns who are just happy to support somebody who really tells it like it is (clowns because they really think he knows what he's talking about; they're not just responding to the cultural/race stuff, they really think that his simplistic answers are right). Getting all of those people on board, with enthusiasm and at the same time, isn't actually easy. Too heavy on the white supremacy, you scare off some people (the ones who want to believe that his appearing at a black church in Flint is real outreach); too wishy-washy, and the actual KKKers dismiss you. Speak with any nuance, and the clowns lose interest, but it's hard to bluster so self-confidently unless you're a special kind of moron.

Point being, I think he's unwittingly gathered this coalition (because he's the right blend of BS and bluster, because his 30 years of celebrity buys him a lot of slack, because he has charisma and other natural skills), and it's not just any jamoke who can recreate it.

You know the old line about sincerity: if you can fake it, you've got it made. I think that Trump doesn't have to fake this stuff. As we saw in the debate, he is exactly what we've seen all this time, and I don't think it's an easy persona to fake.

It occurs to me that Limbaugh is an analogue: many have followed in his footsteps, but none have come close to supplanting him. Why? Because he's a talented broadcaster/performer in a way the others aren't (Hannity's voice is comically bad for radio; it's a sign of the strength of wingnut welfare that he's succeeded), and because he's always managed this winking aspect that reassures listeners. What's the wink? It's all things to all people. To the white supremacists, it's, "I'm with you." To Archie Bunker, it's "We're in this together." To evangelicals, it's "I'm not of your tribe, but your tribe is right." To the clowns, it's "I'm right, but the hate is just a joke that the PC police can't handle." 20 years ago, at least, I'd find relatively apolitical people listening to him because it was kind of fun, and they didn't take him too seriously (even as they absorbed a lot of it, of course). But I don't think many of his acolytes have attempted, let alone mastered, the wink that lets him do that. And I think Trump is the same. It's not an easy thing to incite violence and have it come across as a light joke (or hell, think of Rick Santorum saying the thing about the woman with the crying baby; it would be jolting and shocking, but Trump brought the crowd along and they laughed).

*not everyone who's voting for him is committed, they're just not viewing him as a deal breaker. In the primaries, he rarely topped 40% until the bandwagon effect kicked in. I'd speculate that probably ~60% of Romney voters are enthusiastic Trump supporters, with ~10% willing to sit out or vote Johnson, the remainder willing to fall in line, especially to vote against Hitlery (although they'd also find an excuse to vote against pretty much any Dem).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:04 PM
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I think 152 is sensible. Indeed, as we know, her likability and favorability always jump once she's not running for office. Presidency will be different, due to constant high profile and controversy, but I still think the dynamic will have an effect.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:07 PM
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And I see now that Eggplant beat me to the Limbaugh analogue.

Trumpism, though, is also a technique. Trump has changed the American political process, and unless both the media and the Republican Party take steps, nobody is going to defeat someone for the Republican nomination who has mastered that technique.

Basically, yes. My thing is that I think that, if you can't master the technique, it's useless. It's like a lightsaber in the hands of a non-Jedi, clumsy and mostly ineffective (although you can do some damage). I think we'r going to see a lot of penny-ante Trumps in '18, and I think a lot of them will crash and burn. I suppose we should be terrified of the ones that succeed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:10 PM
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FWIW, on the 2020 question, I'm rooting for a mild recession starting early in her term, followed by a robust recovery (not that I can even imagine why that would happen; maybe we'll find a rich vein of unobtanium).

A recession starting in late 2019 would more or less doom the republic.

BTW, it's worth noting that HRC is running like 10 points ahead of BHO among white women (or maybe married white women), which A. I totally predicted, and B. I bet will be a stable effect in 2020.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:17 PM
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I have a half-formed theory about how this difference is driven by differences in elite racism vs. elite sexism but it's only half-formed.

I also have only half-formed theories, but this campaign has convinced me that a significant portion of the personal dislike that people feel for Clinton has elements of sexism.*

I also speculate, to use a very strained analogy if the difference between sexism and racism resembles the old joke about racism -- "In the North they don't care how close [black people] are as long as they don't get too big. In the South they don't care how big black people get as long as they don't get to close." In that sexism is more likely to manifest as discomfort with women seeming too assertive rather than discomfort at the presence of women**.

* I don't think it's entirely sexism. I think there are legitimate reasons to feel wary about Clinton and that she gets a lot less slack than most politicians -- which is partially her personality and partially sexism.

** though, obviously, there's plenty of that as well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:31 PM
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Yes that's pretty close to my feeling. I keep trying to type it up but can't get it exactly. Certainly there's a group of people who are outwardly non-sexist in their normal lives and are totally fine with women professionals at even sort-of senior levels who just can't fathom endorsing a woman as a responsible senior manager because of some mysterious ineffable quality that absolutely has nothing whatsoever with being a woman. I feel like being a Clinton partisan in this election has given me better insight into subtle workplace sexism more generally.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 8:41 PM
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"In the North they don't care how close [black people] are as long as they don't get too big. In the South they don't care how big black people get as long as they don't get to close."

Wasn't it the opposite? In the South white people were happy with black people living in the same house, walking the same streets, as long as they acted inferior. In the North white people didn't have a problem with black people having power and self-esteem but did not want to live in the same neighborhood.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 9:40 PM
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You're right, I reversed that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:08 PM
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Charismatic Megafascists. Will they go extinct?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:18 PM
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They're only millifascists at this point.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:29 PM
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That's short-finger-fascist, if you don't know SI.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 10:32 PM
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160, 162: I was going to mention the Philippines, too, and a friend's recent description of things at her university makes me nod along to India.

But let's not forget the one and only bare-chested, bear-whatevering, definitely Not Western war-waging nationalist, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 11:15 PM
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33, 50: I think the juries are out until we find out whether Brexit is also going to blow up the Union. It might be that in England/Wales, the party of Young Diverse People in London and Other Cities Who Want to Be Like That would be big enough to contend meaningfully for power. Wouldn't that be interesting? Cameron -> May -> Khan.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 11:28 PM
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In a bid to outdo Megan, I will posit that Hillary wins now, wins re-election in 2020, and that Gavin Newsom follows 1.75 successful terms as governor of our great nation's largest state to capture the White House in 2024, giving the Democrats the presidency for the fifth consecutive term. Just to show that some things never change, though, mainstream media do not speak of an "electoral lock" the way they did for Republicans in the 1980s.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 09-28-16 11:32 PM
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I wish I could say I'm far enough beyond superstition to enjoy the game, but you people are giving me the screaming geebies.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 12:13 AM
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175: I don't think there is a chance now that there will be Scottish independence unless the oil price recovers substantially and looks like staying up. The economic pitch of the SNP was always predicated on magic. There was a time when they promised Scotland could be just like Iceland.



Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 12:59 AM
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80. Yes. "Shy Tory" is a semi-official term of art in British polling dating from 1992 when the polls were more or less unanimous in predicting a narrow Labour majority or a hung parliament. In the event the Tories had a majority of 20-odd. UK polling companies have adjusted since then for respondents who won't admit to supporting the unfashionable candidate. Is this a thing in America? I would have thought that the Trump campaign was exactly the kind of thing that would make it a considerable factor, so do the pollsters recognise it?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 1:30 AM
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There was a time when they promised Scotland could be just like Iceland.

To clarify, this was back before Iceland's financial sector blew up and cost it 30% of GDP.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 1:54 AM
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OT, but is there any appetite for a thread on this? It seems sort of a big deal.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37486372


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 1:55 AM
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That's hilarious. $200k to Mars? Sure, Elon. I suppose you've invented cold fusion too?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:04 AM
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They've been promising it could be like Norway for far longer though, at least 40 years. Superficially more convincing, but then again.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:04 AM
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I kind of hope he does it, so 100 rich morons arrive at Mars, dead and irradiated.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:10 AM
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179: Nate Silver et al. were discussing it about halfway down this chat yesterday (scroll down about halfway). They compare it to the Bradley Effect, but think it's unlikely to be a big deal this time round.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:10 AM
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185 was me.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:10 AM
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A lot of polling stylized-facts don't hold between countries - Americans talk about the effect of people having landline vs mobile phones, but they usually expect it to have the opposite sign to the one we do. This may mean they weren't all that well defined to begin with.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:11 AM
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I kind of hope he does it, so 100 rich morons arrive at Mars, dead and irradiated.

1.2 millisieverts a day for three months isn't going to leave anyone dead and irradiated.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:24 AM
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You're talking about natural radiation, I think Mossy was proposing getting them all in a confined place and intentionally frying them.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:40 AM
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What really surprises me about this sort of thing is the degree of utter hatred it seems to elicit compared to other projects. Airbus unveils a design for a new airliner, and most people are either "huh" or "hmm looks nice". Very few people immediately announce that they hope it crashes, killing as many people as possible. HA HA SCREW YOU AIRBUS! Or the Chinese government unveils plans for some new bridge or other; you don't immediately expect people to start rooting for the bridge to collapse.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:50 AM
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I mean, Larry Ellison has literally spent billions of dollars on racing Americas Cup yachts. A more pointless waste of money cannot be imagined. But he pretty much gets away with it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:52 AM
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I think the better scenario is that 100 rich morons land on Mars and awaken the long dormant monsters that live there, which hunt them down one by one as the folks back on earth can only watch in horror/fascination.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 3:38 AM
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Well, most people do watch car racing to see the crashes, right?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 4:10 AM
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178: UK voters choose to leave a Union or not based on economic rationalism?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 4:22 AM
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194: only the Scottish ones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 4:30 AM
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Mars seems to be a bit of a red herring (maybe not intentionally). The prize here is getting funding for a serious, yet long term economical, heavy lift launch vehicle (4x the Saturn V payload!). That would be pretty transformative for the sort of missions that you could do, eg around asteroid mining, space/moon bases and so on. Mars might be how you get the capital to build it, but it's not the major outcome. And I say that as someone who'd happily be one of the 100 morons if I could afford it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 4:48 AM
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If you want to die in a barren waste of red-tinted rocks, you only need sufficient funds to fly to Arizona.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 4:56 AM
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And maybe for a quick taxi ride.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 5:02 AM
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Some poll bounce showing up. But modest; not as big as the convention bounce. Hope his flailing cements and enhances it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 5:20 AM
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197: hey, I like Arizona.

And Mars, come to that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 5:22 AM
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Arizona has too many cement buildings for me to really warm to the place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 5:25 AM
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190. I don't understand whether the hatred on this is because of Musk or because of the increasing tendency on the left to hate the idea of space travel.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 5:50 AM
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I think the hostility is because $200,000 per person to Mars is the kind of comically optimistic projection usually not seen outside of people trying to convince you to sell Amway products.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:00 AM
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203: no, I don't buy that. The hostility has nothing to do with the price tag. If Musk had said "$20 million a ticket" there would still be people calling for him, all his employees and all his customers to die painfully.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:02 AM
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I don't really care whether or not Musk leads a few dozen billionaires over a very expensive cliff edge or not, but I wish he'd throw his money at vanity projects that even pretend to be useful.

OK, I know he and Stephen Hawking believe that H. Sapiens has to become space-going to survive, and they may be right. But in that case "useful" would involve basic research on countering the physiological degeneration associated with long periods of zero gravity; further automated exploration of Mars, with a view to identifying useful mineral resource deposits; Actual experiments in terraforming; etc. Only the pathologically unimaginative need this sort of grandstanding to be inspired.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:07 AM
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I think the hostility is because tech geeks are focused on spending huge amounts on solving some problem 100 years from now while ignoring more immediate and obvious issues that are far more tractable if anyone would actually advocate for solutions, but they're too "boring". See also: Let's pass regulations and offer tax breaks for self-driving cars while we can't commit to maintaining existing capacity of roads and mass transit (much less accommodating population growth).


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:08 AM
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I wish he'd throw his money at vanity projects that even pretend to be useful.

I couldn't agree more. Air pollution is killing hundreds of thousands of people a year, and one of the biggest sources is traffic. There is a crying need for advanced electric cars that can compete with internal-combustion engine vehicles. He should start a company making those.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:13 AM
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Boeing and Ellison don't shoot their mouths off pretending to be the saviors of the human race. Musk pisses me off especially because he runs down the public sector while building companies entirely dependent on public funds and technologies built on top of public research. I don't doubt he could get someone to Mars, because public research has built the basic technology needed to do that. But I don't think for a second he can get people to Mars and back alive or in good health, much less build a colony, for exactly the reasons Chris gives.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:14 AM
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Musk pisses me off especially because he runs down the public sector while building companies entirely dependent on public funds and technologies built on top of public research.

"2006 was when we got our first NASA contract, and I want to say I am incredibly grateful to NASA for supporting SpaceX, despite the fact our rocket crashed. It was awesome. I am NASA's biggest fan. Thank you very much to the people who had the faith to do that." -- Elon Musk, this week


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:18 AM
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The price tag here is extra annoying because SpaceX has built its reputation on doing space relatively cheaply (which it has, and dose deserve credit for doing). But they can only do that because an entire aerospace industrial complex has been built, and is sustained by, public money. Once they get out beyond that ecosystem they'll hit walls right quick.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:18 AM
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Boeing and Ellison don't shoot their mouths off pretending to be the saviors of the human race.

Well, no, because that's not what they are trying to do. Boeing is trying to make money by selling (mainly) weapons, and Ellison is trying to have a good time sailing fast boats.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:19 AM
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You don't get much geekier than Bill Hewlett or Bill Gates, but as much as their foundations can be criticised, they're designed to advocate for solutions to more immediate and obvious issues that are far more tractable.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:20 AM
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But I wasn't necessarily opposing the project of colonising Mars, I was advocating for a serious approach to it (which will probably not bear fruit in Musk's lifetime and certainly not in mine.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:22 AM
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tech geeks are focused on spending huge amounts on solving some problem 100 years from now while ignoring more immediate and obvious issues that are far more tractable

I think this exactly the reason why it is still so difficult to get anything done about global warming: because people tend to focus on the immediate and obvious issues while ignoring things that will only really become serious decades into the future.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:23 AM
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212: I don't know that that's it either. If that was the real reason, you'd see even more hatred of the very rich who aren't really trying to solve any problems at all, whether immediate or long-range. I can see a good reason for thinking about the three of them (Gates, Ellison, Musk), from a public-good perspective, like this: "Bill Gates is good, Musk is a bit misguided, Ellison sucks". But the actual outlook seems to be "Gates is good, Ellison is neutral, Musk is a horrific human being". There would never be this outpouring of hatred at the news that Larry Ellison is buying another ludicrous yacht.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:29 AM
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"Bill Gates is good, Musk is a bit misguided, Ellison sucks"

Yes, this would be my perspective, for values of "good" including good intentions, with which, as we know, a certain road surfacing project was carried out.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:33 AM
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But the actual outlook seems to be "Gates is good, Ellison is neutral, Musk is a horrific human being". There would never be this outpouring of hatred at the news that Larry Ellison is buying another ludicrous yacht.

It is? I'm not seeing this, certainly compared to, say, Peter Thiel or, well, Trump, but then I'm not seeing much of the negativity around the Mars thing either so maybe I'm just not looking in the right (left) places.

I wish he'd throw his money at vanity projects that even pretend to be useful.

I mean, for the most part, he is. The stuff he's actually throwing his own money at has mainly been SpaceX, Solar City and Tesla. The Mars thing isn't going to be funded by him. Nor was Hyperloop.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:44 AM
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It is? I'm not seeing this

182, 184, 208 in this very thread?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:47 AM
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I was thinking this morning about where my optimism comes from and part of it is my personal sample of three "undecided" voters. Aegi's parents are middle class evangelicals (tho the kind that more or less beleives the earth is 6 billion years old) in their 70s in a swing state. They're socially conservative and against what they would call entitlement programs, but also have strong values of service and charity--and think corporations, not just individuals, should also have those values ie let people make time for family (and church), provide generous benefits etc. They believe strongly in welcoming outsiders but also have a tendency to generalize (this Muslim was rude = rudeness is a tenet of Islam). His mom votes on who she thinks is a good person--I think Carson (!!!) in the primaries. McCain 2008, Obama 2012. She does not think either of these people are good, but Hillary is more good. His dad is more likely to vote on whom he percieves as "sensible"--I think Jeb in the primaries. McCain 2008, Romney 2012. He is EXTRAORDINARILY turned off by how Trump has treated workers. He will vote for Hillary or no one. My grandmother is in her 90s in TX, voted Republican most of her life mostly because when/where she grew up, Democrats were literally the Klan. Voted for Obama in both elections largely on reproductive rights. Turned off by Trump's racism and sexism, but not as turned off as she might have been if he were more loudly against reproductive rights. "Doesn't trust" Hillary, but it seems like her vote is securely for Hillary now based on Alicia Machado.

I share expectation that she will be more popular as a president than a candidate for several reasons, and even a minimally competent first term would probably keep all 3 of these votes D against a Trump-style R candidate in 2020. Same scenario with a mainstream R (assuming none abortions never ever remain part of R platform) would keep at least 1 vote, possibly 2.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:54 AM
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Ok, googling around it seems Musk does give due credit to state funds (though still professing faith in markets to fix things). And for the record I'm totally in favor of space exploration, and do think Musk has legitimate major accomplishments. And a new heavy-lift booster would indeed be nice.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:57 AM
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I think people hate it because they hate nerds, and "rocket to Mars" is super-nerdy. Musk has tried to advance solar power and electric cars, so you can't plausibly fault him for not spending money trying to solve real-world problems.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:00 AM
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That's literally one Unfogged commenter with a bit of mockery. I'm not don't know if I'd call that either hatred or "the left". I'm not denying there's a strain of it (I've certainly had issues with some of Musk's pronouncements in the past), just that in my web travels in recent days most of the commentary on Musk and Mars has been broadly positive (though not gushing). I certainly haven't stumbled on to hotbeds of hatred toward it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:01 AM
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I hate it because I hate libertarians, and Musk moves in their orbit, even if he isn't one himself. Those 100 morons I want irradiated are Thiel and company.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:03 AM
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It occurs to me that Limbaugh is an analogue

Not exactly.* Limbaugh is the thing itself. If he wants the 2020 nomination, he'll be formidable if he's shrewd enough to avoid taking advice that he "act presidential" or not commit "gaffes."

*If he were an analogue, he'd be banned.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:12 AM
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So, R primary lineup for 2020: Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh, Curt Schilling, and a Twitter-savvy bear.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:14 AM
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OTOH Shkreli is raffling a chance to punch him in the face in order to raise money for the son of one of his employees who died of cancer (the employee died, not the son) so he's performing some social good by increasing the chances he'll be seriously injured.
Before entering that I'd make sure the prize was transferable so I could give it to a professional boxer.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:15 AM
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Musk doesn't particularly run down the public sector. One nice thing about Musk is that because he's a build-stuff guy not a late 90s-2000s style computer fantasist or an Uber/AirB&B disruptor he has to spend time with government agencies, legislatures, etc and knows that Tesla and SpaceX can't get off the ground without them. That doesn't mean he's a great guy or anything but an arrogant rich person but he's relatively very far down on my own list of hateable compupeople, and I'm Unfogged's premier compupeople hater.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:27 AM
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But they IP litigate so much!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:29 AM
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Yeah, I can see not liking Elon Musk because of general obliviousness to reality and shady/weird business structures, but if you dislike him MORE than the typical Silicon Valley mogul you are going way overboard.

Yes. "Shy Tory" is a semi-official term of art in British polling dating from 1992 when the polls were more or less unanimous in predicting a narrow Labour majority or a hung parliament. In the event the Tories had a majority of 20-odd. UK polling companies have adjusted since then for respondents who won't admit to supporting the unfashionable candidate. Is this a thing in America? I would have thought that the Trump campaign was exactly the kind of thing that would make it a considerable factor, so do the pollsters recognise it?

We have "The Bradley Effect" which refers specifically to black politicians doing worse (with white voters) than predicted by all the polls. Named for Tom Bradley, unfortunate (black) loser of the 1982 California governor race. I have also heard it called the Wilder Effect after Virginia governor Douglas Wilder who barely won his race after everyone thought he would win big.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:32 AM
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I thought that the Bradley Effect didn't show up in '08/'12: that it might have been a thing in the past but didn't seem to be anymore.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 7:51 AM
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Doesn't there seem to be a different effect now, that the Democrats do better outreach among lower-income, PoC, young people, etc. who are harder to poll for various reasons? Hence the bias toward Romney versus outcome in the final 2012 polls.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 8:35 AM
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I guess the risk is that that effect was more dependent on Obama.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 8:35 AM
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230, 233: It came up in part this year because there had been (still may be but I have not seen any analyses on it in a few weeks) a persistent 2-3 point difference between phone and internet polls. One hypothesis was that people were unwilling to say they supported Trump to a human being.

I am really looking for some good secondary damage coming out of the debate. I think next one will be a lot tougher; and then you have Chris Wallace for the last one, yechh!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 8:56 AM
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Best post-debate (possibly inadvertent) comment.

Megyn Kelly in the spin room: "We've got Trump speaking to our own Sean Hannity. We'll see if he speaks to the journalists in this room after that interview."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:00 AM
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Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:02 AM
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"We've got Trump speaking to our own Sean Hannity. We'll see if he speaks to the journalists in this room after that interview."

So many possible readings! This is our Hannity, there are many like him, but this one is ours? Sean Hannity is not a journalist? The experience of speaking to him is so atrocious that anyone who does so will be in no state to speak to journalists?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:03 AM
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I've got a Hannity
You've got a Hannity
All God's children gotta have Hannity
In this time of greed and insanity
How you gonna thrive if you ain't got no Hannity?
It won't avail
If you got a whale
Or a seal or walrus or manatee
That ain't gonna save you from the wave of inanity
Only thing that will is if you got a Hannity
So get your own Hannity
I got my own Hannity
There's enough for one each for all of humanity
Don't give in to despair
Or boblike mcmanity
You gonna stay happy if you get you a Hannity


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:21 AM
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222. There is a universe outside of Unfogged. The single post of "mockery" (was that the one hoping his passengers would all die?) just reminded me that the left is broadly hostile to space travel, and especially human space travel.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:27 AM
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238: Catchy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:28 AM
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238 Is great.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:29 AM
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It won't avail
If you got a whale
Or a seal or walrus or manatee

They have melted the snows from Erebus, weighed the clouds,
hunted down the white bear, hunted the whale the seal the kangaroo,
they have set private enquiry agents onto Sean Hannity:
What is your name? Your maiden name?
Go in there to be searched. I suspect it is not your true name.
Distinguishing marks if any? (O anthropometrics!)
Now the thumbprints for filing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:36 AM
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239: Indeed. And the only place I've seen hostility (as opposed to disbelief) to the Mars announcement is this Unfogged thread.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:41 AM
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239. "The left is broadly hostile to space travel, and especially human space travel." Except for the innumerable left wingers who read speculative fiction. I am far from hostile to space travel, but I want to see it done properly.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:48 AM
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the left is broadly hostile to space travel
Is this true? I don't think I've ever met someone actually hostile to space travel. Some who say it's a luxury, but still not essentially hostile.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:50 AM
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245: oh, without a doubt. I've seen a lot of comments along the lines of "humanity deserves extinction so any attempt to explore or colonise other worlds is wrong".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:52 AM
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Whatever happened to cognitive dissonance? I can believe humanity deserves extinction and want space colonies at the same time. I'm doing right now!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:55 AM
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I think it's more a case of hostility to the self-aggrandizing pet projects of jackass libertarian billionaires than to space travel in general.

Although I'm perfectly fine with sending jackass libertarian billionaires to Mars as long as they don't come back.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:56 AM
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So... any true leftists here?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:56 AM
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250 Bob hasn't been around awhile it's true.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:57 AM
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Until this thread, I would have guessed that Ellison was much more hated than Musk. There's a love him or hate him aspect to how people talk about Musk, but only half of that dynamic seems to apply to Ellison at this point.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:58 AM
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Do people know Ellison? I really have no idea what he does.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 9:59 AM
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247 How about extinction of humanity through space colonies? Like if one stumbles across a xenomorph.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:00 AM
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Ellison is a has-been who rarely gets publicity outside the trade press these days, afaik. Both Musk and Thiel (and the two celebrity Facebook execs) would have higher name recognition among the youngs. Oh and Tim Cook. What even is an Oracle?


Posted by: Lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:02 AM
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Exactly. So many ways to skin the mcmanity.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:02 AM
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254 is right. I had to look up Ellison. I knew we weren't talking about Ralph Ellison, but I have no other mental association with the name Ellison.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:04 AM
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Ellison may just be more hated by people actually in tech, or in the open source-ish world that's my main contact with tech. Lots of haters following the Google-Oracle case.

I don't have strong opinions about Musk. I'm not interested in space travel, but I'm not hostile either. I'm sceptical about the financial sustainability of these projects, but hey, if it works, it works.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:07 AM
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256 Wait, you mean you're not all using that horrible HR software he's responsible for? I curse his name every objective setting cycle.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:08 AM
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His daughter basically kept alive non-tentpole independent movies from 2008-2012, so there's that. I'd assume without looking it up that Larry Ellison is 2-3x as rich as Elon Musk.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:08 AM
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259 This is true (at least as far as American product goes).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:09 AM
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Lots of haters of antitrust suit era Bill Gates, too. It's like public opinion is related to publicity!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:09 AM
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258: I don't really have objectives so far as I know. I do see the "Oracle" name on the thing where I have to enter my vacation time. It's a bit annoying because it only works on Explorer, but I wouldn't have noticed who made it (or who ran that company) without this thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:11 AM
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Unrelated to this recent comment theme, the stuff about how Trump coulda alluded to Bill Clinton's affair, but chose not to because it would be too devastating to Hillary? That kills me. Do they think she doesn't know exactly what she'll do if he mentions it? That it would be a shocker of a blow to her?

I keep thinking of the final rap battle in 8 Mile. I figure she listens to that a couple times a day.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:11 AM
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If I did have objectives, why would I tell HR about them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:17 AM
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263.2: So Hilary is going to rap her response to Trump if he brings up Bill's affair? Awesome.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:19 AM
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248: case in point.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:22 AM
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Ajay just really wants to get his ass to Mars.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:31 AM
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This particular leftist is in opposition, mild unpracticed but principled (much like some subtle sexisms or colonialism nothing to censure or deprive oneself about but important to remember and keep in mind while watching and judging media) to any and all representations of spaceflight, especially interstellar flight. Representing (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc) Interstellar flight, impossible by physics, is pretty obviously a fetish and serves post-religious, ideological, and especially the eschatological control functions of keeping the worker class sacrificing for the bright shiny future of personalized FTL schooners and replicators available equally to all.

Not fantasies, induced hallucinations.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:38 AM
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"The bans of analogies stuck out everywhere. Comments broke in swift lines on the page, and he read over the thread toward his trolls, in the wind, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars."


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:42 AM
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Now THAT is what I want from Unfogged. Nice work.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 10:42 AM
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Unfoggeders not familiar with Larry Ellison can draw their own conclusions from the fact that he really really really likes Japanese art and culture.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 11:27 AM
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I am actually at least a third generation lefitist broadly hostile to space travel, go figure.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 11:28 AM
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I think that whether they ever find life there or not, Jupiter should be considered an enemy planet.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 11:48 AM
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AB is implacably hostile to human space exploration, primarily because space is so implacably hostile to humans.

She's fine with robots in space and pretty pictures and such.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 11:58 AM
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268. Representing (Star Wars, Star Trek, etc) Interstellar flight, impossible by physics...

Another area of previously unknown mcmanusian expertise! In any case, Musk's announcement is only about going to Mars, several (*cough*) orders of magnitude closer.

I actually kind of want to get that whole comment bronzed.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:00 PM
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"humanity deserves extinction so any attempt to explore or colonise other worlds is wrong".

Or maybe it is "Humanity doesn't deserve extinction, so any attempt to explore or colonize other worlds is wrong, because colonizing other worlds is impossible and you are fooling people into thinking we don't need to preserve the Earth."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:12 PM
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I haven't looked at Musk's Mars proposal, or how detailed it is, but after the Hyperloop thing, I assume that a random proposal from Musk is junk. I feel like he burned a lot of tech cred with that.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 2:42 PM
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Also, space travel advocates (and especially manned space travel advocates) can be some of the most irritatingly willfully stupid sons of bitches on the planet.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 09-29-16 6:16 PM
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Jupiter should be considered an enemy planet.

Bad idea. Jupiter could eat us for lunch. Better to make peace.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 4:21 AM
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When we get to Jupiter it's going to be yuge!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 4:25 AM
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Or maybe it is "Humanity doesn't deserve extinction, so any attempt to explore or colonize other worlds is wrong, because colonizing other worlds is impossible and you are fooling people into thinking we don't need to preserve the Earth."

It isn't. The "we deserve to die out rather than infecting other planets" is explicitly the case against spaceflight for these people.

Also, space travel advocates (and especially manned space travel advocates) can be some of the most irritatingly willfully stupid sons of bitches on the planet.

Or they can be Niels Bohr, Leo Szilard, Freeman Dyson and Stephen Hawking.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 4:35 AM
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I am disappointed by 268; I had bob down as a staunch Posadist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 4:37 AM
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I don't have a problem with humanity infecting other planets. As far as we can tell, they are empty, desolate balls of rock.

On the other hand, I suspect that it will turn out that human physiology is poorly suited for space travel, and the task is probably better left to our future robot overloads.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 4:46 AM
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284.1 This may not be the case with Mars. There is good evidence that there was once life there. And there may still be life of some kind deep in the soil. It would be a shame or worse if we were to irrevocably contaminate the Martian environment until we've had a chance to thoroughly examine it using robotic probes.
I'm hardly a detractor of human space exploration. I grew up with it. My father worked on the LEM and numerous other space projects. When I was a kid I made a kite out of the gold Mylar used in the undercarriage of the LEM that I entered into a Cub Scout competition. The astronauts (and cosmonauts) were childhood heroes of mine. I annually commemorate January 27 as a day of mourning. But human exploration of Mars can and should wait. Jumping the gun to satisfy a billionaire's vanity and our own all to human escapist fantasies until we have fully explored it would be foolish.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:03 AM
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Further to 284 has no one mentioned how remarkable it is for Musk to be floating this the same month he had one of his rockets blow up on the launch pad? I'd happily pay you $200,000 to keep out of one of those things thank you very much.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:07 AM
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If you give me just $100,000, I will guarantee you never get on a rocket to Mars. In fact, because I know you, $75,000 if you act this week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:11 AM
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284.last +remotely


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:14 AM
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Fine. $50,000.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:16 AM
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288 Tell you what, I'll buy you a beer.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:22 AM
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A whole growler?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:23 AM
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Growlers are in the other thread.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:26 AM
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There is good evidence that there was once life there.

Wait, what? There's good evidence that the conditions for life as we know it prevailed. But I've not seen anything (that stood up) that would qualify as good evidence that life itself existed.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:27 AM
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The chief products of Mars are tiny little polyester leisure suits and miniature graduate schools.

Posted by: Opinionated Fran Lebowitz | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:32 AM
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292 Consider it shorthand for there being more than enough evidence to determine that it needs a lot more further exploration and study. And there are many intriguing finds, some quite recent including discoveries of methane and the presence of much more liquid water in the past than we'd thought. It's not the moon.

Speaking of which, why not return to the moon? Build a base. Something to be used for further exploration of the solar system.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:36 AM
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284.2: Fist bump for childhood space associations. My great-uncle helped design the soil sampler for the first Viking mission (on the strength of which my brother got himself a Blue Peter badge). There was some talk a few years ago that the results could be reinterpreted as indicating extant life - I think based on this paper?


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:37 AM
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Wouldn't an orbiting base be better for further exploration of the solar system? So long as the computer didn't try to kill the astronauts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:38 AM
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Methane's more (potential) evidence for present life than past life, though, isn't it, given atmospheric degradation?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 5:42 AM
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why not return to the moon? Build a base. Something to be used for further exploration of the solar system.

Moon's kind of a dead end. There's minimal potential to use it for in situ propellant production (no atmosphere; almost no water), so it can't really support further exploration. If you're going from Earth to X, where X is any other destination in the solar system, what's the point in going via the Moon? The only value it might have, over and above its own value as a destination, is as a testbed for the equipment you're going to use to explore other airless moons like Callisto or Dione.

I'm not a great fan of the "we should wait until we've explored Mars more fully" argument, tbh. We have been sending unmanned spacecraft to Mars for the last four decades. The first humans landed on the moon only three years after the first successful unmanned landing. When Kennedy made his big speech, the only probes to have landed on the Moon at all were ones that had performed what rocket engineers would refer to as lithobraking manoeuvres.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 6:29 AM
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I think a Lagrange Point base makes more sense, personally.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 6:32 AM
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But L4 and L5 are exactly as hard to get to as the Moon, and there's even less there when you get there than there is at the Moon. (i.e. there's no Moon.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 6:40 AM
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I made a kite out of the gold Mylar used in the undercarriage of the LEM
Barry wins the thread. Also second 284 on every point.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 6:45 AM
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298.last And we've barely scratched the surface. ?Look, as much as I'd love to see humans on Mars in my lifetime I think we can wait a few more decades to be sure there's no irrevocable harm we may do to the Martian environment before we send humans there.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 6:45 AM
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302 -?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 6:47 AM
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298.2 - I sympathize with the attitude, but Mars is a whole different order of difficulty. The chances of killing the astronauts are orders of magnitude higher, and AFAIK we don't even know how many orders of magnitude. And Barry is right, discovering life on Mars would be a discovery worth any amount of patience.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 6:49 AM
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On the other hand, putting people on the surface of Mars will make it far more likely that we'll discover native life there, if there is any. People can just get so much more done. Those unmanned rovers take days to drive very slowly to a rock a few hundred metres away and have a look at it. Humans are faster and more flexible.
And if we were that worried about contaminating the Martian biosphere - well, frankly, that ship has probably sailed. Dozens of probes from Earth have landed already. Adding humans to the mix just adds lots more micro-organisms adapted to living in and on humans, which isn't a great preparation for living on the surface of Mars.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:00 AM
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Agree that Lagrange points are bettr spots. As hard to get to as moon, but a lot easier to get back from. And you can do zero-g space tourism there. A decent sized asteroid gets you plenty of shielding. And asteroid mining is probably the best option to offset space costs ( no one is going to profit on this in our lifetime)


Posted by: Yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:05 AM
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305 Maybe. But probes land on the surface are routinely sterilized for that very reason. There are a number of levels of sterilization used depending on the type of mission, where it lands, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_protection
I think we can afford to wait.

Personally I'd also rather the first missions be funded and directed by government and hopefully internationally like the ISS.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:06 AM
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"easier to get back from" because you can use high efficiency rockets or other engines like solar powered ion engines or solar sails.


Posted by: Yoyo | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:09 AM
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Wouldn't humans on Mars be in sterilized spacesuits/lamding craft anyway? It's not like we'd be licking random rocks. Also there's no chance of LOM other than maybe like some lichen or bacteria or something super tough, right? You wouldn't be giving a human disease to a space rhino.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:21 AM
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It's not like we'd be licking random rocks.

Rule 34.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:36 AM
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Wouldn't humans on Mars be in sterilized spacesuits/lamding craft anyway?

How do you put on a sterilised space suit and keep in sterilised?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:40 AM
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Also, from what I understand, it's less about infecting the local population than contaminating the environment. If you're looking for signs of life, you don't want to be picking them up from earth life.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:41 AM
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Space wipes


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:41 AM
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312: Earth life is easy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:42 AM
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Ok 312 is just lame. We can't have guys walking around Mars because we want to make it easier for some dude's life-gauge to not get a false positive? That's weak.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:43 AM
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310: Moby also wins the thread.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 7:53 AM
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There is one useful thing you can do with the moon: build a radio telescope on the far side where it will be shielded from interference from earth.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 8:10 AM
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Ok 312 is just lame. We can't have guys walking around Mars because we want to make it easier for some dude's life-gauge to not get a false positive? That's weak.

Nobody's ever said you can't do it (apart from McManus types I guess). Just that we need to be extra cautious about it. And that we should do as much life-testing as practical before walking humans around, especially given all the other difficulties of getting humans there (well, back, really). There's definitely a concern that if we don't do it right, we end up colonising Mars (or other bodies) by accident, before we ever find out if there is/was native life. And you can't put that genie back in the bottle.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 8:10 AM
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Its hard for me to care that much about underground microbes. I've there was charismatic megafauna, or even, you know, plants and bugs and shit, I'd probably have a different view. But, as of right now, nobody seems to be using the surface, so I think its fair game.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 8:28 AM
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Honestly if we're just talking about childish space fantasies ("I want to walk on Mars") I think blowing up Mars would be cooler. But I don't expect that to happen.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 8:40 AM
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I mean not really. But I think most of us have some part that wants to blow up Mars.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 8:46 AM
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I think we should focus on blowing up the moon.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 8:49 AM
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What about walking on Mars in order to blow it up, Armageddon style.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 8:54 AM
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Its hard for me to care that much about underground microbes.

What about if you disturb their habitat and they infect you with some pathogen almost entirely unrelated to anything known on Earth?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:04 AM
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And rather than giving you superpowers as one would naturally expect, it just kills you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:08 AM
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God bless 293.

And rather than giving you superpowers as one would naturally expect, it just kills you?

OK, enough with the science fantasy, try to stick with the plausible.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:12 AM
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I'm not enthusiastic about colonizing other worlds unless we get good at biomodding ourselves - such an inherently inhospitable place to be - but I figure there has to be plenty of further good use for space if we can get launch costs down, so if I could wave a wand on the subject we'd have a big R&D investment drive with that as the goal.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:14 AM
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What about walking on Mars in order to blow it up, Armageddon style.

As opposed to "Walking On The Moon" Sting style?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:15 AM
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What about walking on Mars in order to blow it up, Armageddon style.

Impossible. You can't dramatically turn your back on Mars if you're walking on it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:17 AM
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Isn't Viagra close enough to biomoding wands?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:21 AM
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Entirely support 327.last. Asteroid mining, orbital habitats, space solar power generation, deep space exploration... all of it would be so much easier if launch costs came down, and whether the Mars thing works or not, launch costs are very probably going to come down a lot.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:21 AM
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I too endorse 327 last, but all the things ajay lists in 331 would in fact be done cheaper by robots that humans, even with minimised launch costs.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:27 AM
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We can't even build robots that can drive cars or fold blankets. I suspect getting ones that can run an autonomous self-repairing iron foundry a light-hour from Earth may be a wee way off yet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:37 AM
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I have a robot that can fold blankets. I didn't know anybody else wanted one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-30-16 9:40 AM
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The key to getting launch costs down is getting the launch rate up. Very high volume transportation like aircraft charges only a small multiple of fuel costs. As long as each flight is a huge project launch costs will remain high. If we can get to the point of recovering parts of the launch vehicle and constructing the rest on high volume productions lines there is room for at least an order of magnitude improvement in launch costs.

Currently launch to LEO runs about $10,000/lb, but studies suggest high volume launch can get that down below $1,000/lb, and Elon Musk claims to be able to do it for ~$700/lb with the Falcon Heavy.

Given my druthers I'd have NASA simply buy shit-tons of launches to prop up the launch services industry, even if it's for stupid stuff like the space station. If prices start to come down maybe asteroid mining will become viable and things will take off.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10- 1-16 5:55 AM
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On the more general point, I see Zuckerberg has now jumped in with $3bn for basic medical research. Do I have to stop hating him now?

Launch costs will come down over time, like the price of ball point pens. I'm much more worried about human physiology, which nobody seems to be addressing.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 1-16 8:32 AM
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336 last, exactly. And it's symptomatic of Silicon Valley people, and nerd culture more generally, to focus on the (neat, sexy, tractable) engineering problems while ignoring the (messy, obscure, intractable) biology.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 10- 1-16 9:08 AM
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336, 337: I'd be interested to know what biology problems you think are being ignored here. Effects of prolonged microgravity? We've been studying that since the 1980s, and the planned transit time of three months is shorter than most ISS and Mir tours. The interplanetary radiation environment? Lots of data on that going back to the early sixties. The radiation environment on the surface of Mars? Again, not unknown territory. (I went to a talk on the subject by an ESA researcher, given in a yurt at a music festival.)

Pretty much the only really important science done on ISS has been about human physiology and space flight. It's really odd that you think this is being ignored. It isn't.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-16 5:57 AM
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(I went to a talk on the subject by an ESA researcher, given in a yurt at a music festival.)

What happens at Burning Man stays at Burning Man.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10- 3-16 6:11 AM
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