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Gender: Female
Hometown: Los Angeles
Home country: USA
Current location: Los Angeles
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 07:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,065

Journal Archives

WaPo: Trump wants to make reality TV. But now the cast is ignoring his directions.

What happens when the reality TV president loses control of his production?


It has always been appealing to talk about Donald Trump as the reality television president. For all his documented racism, and despite the many accusations of sexual assault, no jab at his unfitness for the job has seemed more ubiquitous than the reminder that he was previously famous as the guy who fired Cyndi Lauper on the tacky boardroom set of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” It’s a dynamic that was palpable this past week, when Trump invited the parents of Harry Dunn, the 19-year-old Brit killed in a traffic accident by American diplomatic wife Anne Sacoolas, to the White House. Without telling the grieving parents beforehand, he had Sacoolas waiting in the next room for a surprise emotional catharsis, to be played out in front of cameras ready to capture the moment.

This is the ultimate old-school reality TV idea, recognizable to anyone who has ever indulged. It’s mid-’90s, daytime-trash gold — that box in the corner of the screen where we see a guy’s girlfriend waiting to burst onto the set and confront him for sleeping with her sister. It’s that moment on a “Real Housewives” reunion episode when a minor character is trotted out just to catch one of the stars in a lie. Since Trump clearly was looking to sell reconciliation, not conflict, my mind went to a more contemporary example from the most recent season of “Queer Eye,” when Karamo, the near-caricaturishly kind and sincere lifestyle adviser, brings the man he’s making over to a restaurant for a surprise. The guy who shot him and put him in a wheelchair for life is waiting to meet him.

The very temptation to compare such constructed, formulaic theatrics to the drama playing out on the global stage doesn’t just indict Trump: It’s also a condemnation of the rest of us, the viewers who voted him into office. We fell for the spectacle. A few months after Trump’s inauguration, Emily Nussbaum detailed in the New Yorker the way his “Apprentice” persona — the man in the power suit calling the shots, never challenged — was a cardboard cutout that could, at least, appear presidential, however free of substance it might be. Implicit in that point is the dynamic that makes any reality television production work: participants willing to engage in the spectacle shaped around them, and an audience willing to suspend disbelief in the face of that spectacle. Whether you loved or hated Trump, he was watchable because we’d seen all the bits before.

It’s easy now to point out that for the past three years Trump has been going back to that same playbook. Reality television, as noted by media critics like Nussbaum, political reporters like John Cassidy and the Bravo god himself, Andy Cohen, is the language he knows — a flip book of insults and set pieces ready-made for conflict or humiliation, or just fireworks. But it might be more helpful, or at least more hopeful, to point out all the ways the show breaks down around him: moments when he expects the production to play out exactly as he wants, but participants and viewers refuse to give him any moral or narrative authority. Often these are interactions with normal people, people who want nothing from him, who won’t be made to mean what they don’t want to mean. They are not contestants, they are citizens, and that is a distinction Trump seems unable to make. When he forces them into the show, their humanity in the face of the formula turns the familiar grotesque.


WaPo: Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Trump is what he had in mind.

He wanted a strong president — and a way to get rid of the demagogic ones.


President Trump has described the impeachment proceedings as a “coup,” and his White House counsel has termed them “unconstitutional.” This would come as a surprise to Alexander Hamilton, who wrote not only the 11 essays in “The Federalist” outlining and defending the powers of the presidency, but also the two essays devoted to impeachment.

There seems little doubt, given his writings on the presidency, that Hamilton would have been aghast at Trump’s behavior and appalled by his invitation to foreign actors to meddle in our elections. As a result, he would most certainly have endorsed the current impeachment inquiry. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Trump embodies Hamilton’s worst fears about the kind of person who might someday head the government. Among our founders, Hamilton’s views count heavily because he was the foremost proponent of a robust presidency, yet he also harbored an abiding fear that a brazen demagogue could seize the office.

That worry helps to explain why he analyzed impeachment in such detail: He viewed it as a crucial instrument to curb possible abuses arising from the enlarged powers he otherwise championed. Unlike Thomas Jefferson, with his sunny faith in the common sense of the people, Hamilton emphasized their “turbulent and changing” nature and worried about a “restless” and “daring usurper” who would excite the “jealousies and apprehensions” of his followers. He thought the country should be governed by wise and illustrious figures who would counter the fickle views of the electorate with reasoned judgments. He hoped that members of the electoral college, then expected to exercise independent judgment, would select “characters preeminent for ability and virtue.”

From the outset, Hamilton feared an unholy trinity of traits in a future president — ambition, avarice and vanity. “When avarice takes the lead in a State, it is commonly the forerunner of its fall,” he wrote as early as the Revolutionary War. He dreaded most the advent of a populist demagogue who would profess friendship for the people and pander to their prejudices while secretly betraying them. Such a false prophet would foment political frenzy and try to feed off the confusion.


before i go to sleep, remember boys and girls, PENDEJO is how we say Republican in Spanish

¡buenas noches!


Saturday Parliament (first time in around 40 years) live streams, (Brexit deal votes)



Vincent (BoJo) just stopped speaking, now it is Corbyn speaking

Saturday Parliament (first time in around 40 years) live streams



Vincent (BoJo) just stopped speaking, now it is Corbyn

New Rump tweet attacking Susan Rice over Syria, he is feeling the heat


Jonathan Pie - Trump's Great and Unmatched Wisdom

This week, Trump went from Cilla Black to The Wizard of Oz whilst screwing his fellow allies hard in the arse.

Clinton suggests Putin has kompromat on Trump, Russians will back Tulsi Gabbard in 3rd-party bid


At Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) hit back at critics who charged she’s too close to Russia. “This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia,” she said. “Completely despicable.” Gabbard won’t be happy to hear Hillary Clinton’s latest interview. Nor will President Trump or another of Clinton’s 2016 opponents, whom Clinton has now lodged similar accusations about.

In a conversation on former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Clinton suggested the Russians are leveraging a number of top U.S. politicians. She suggested Russia had kompromat on Trump. She accused 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein of being a “Russian asset.” And she suggested Russia might back Gabbard as a third-party candidate.

“They’re also going to do third-party again,” Clinton said. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

The “again” referred to Stein, whom some Clinton supporters have accused (rather baselessly) of serving as a spoiler for Clinton in 2016. Clinton then flat-out labeled Stein a “Russian asset.” “And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton said. “Yeah, she’s a Russian asset — I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”


Campaign HQ with David Plouffe

Hillary Clinton

2 days ago · 61 min

Play Here

538: The Fourth Democratic Debate In 6 Charts


Last night, 12 candidates duked it out in Westerville, Ohio, in the fourth Democratic debate. Sen. Elizabeth Warren built on her past debate successes, receiving high marks from both voters who care more about defeating President Trump and voters who care more about a candidate whose positions they agree with. But she was not the only winner in the FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll conducted using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar had strong performances, too, and used the debate as an opportunity to push back on whether Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders’s progressive policies are realistic.

We will be keeping an eye on the polls to see if Warren’s solid performance will help her pull ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, or if Buttigieg and Klobuchar will manage to shore up more support. But for now, here’s a look at how the candidates performed, summed up in six charts:

Which candidates performed the best?

First, we wanted to see which candidates impressed the viewers we surveyed. To do this, we compared each candidate’s pre-debate favorability1 to debate-watchers’ rating of their performance to see if any well-liked candidates disappointed during the debate or if any less-liked candidates received good ratings. By this metric, Klobuchar and Buttigieg were the two candidates who exceeded expectations given their pre-debate favorables, though Warren still received the highest debate grade overall.




much more at the link, including in-depth explanations of those charts (and all the other ones not posted here)

New B+ rated Iowa poll, Warren & Biden (23) tied, Pete (16) passes Bernie (13) for 3rd, Yang (5) 5th

Bullock (4) in 6th, followed by Booker in 7th (3), then Steyer, Gabbard and Harris tied at (2). Klobuchar, Williamson, and Bennet at (1) and Castro and Beto and the rest at zero. Someone else is at (4).


Iowa 2020: Dead heat with Biden and Warren, Mayor Pete continues to build and Sanders slides

In the first caucus state of the 2020 presidential election, the Democrat Primary field has shifted since the last Emerson poll in March. Former V.P. Joe Biden is now tied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the lead 23% each, followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 16%, and Sen. Bernie Sanders dropping to fourth at 13%. No other candidate reaches above 5%. (n=317, +/-5.5%, MM, Oct 13-16, 2019)

According to Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling, “The good news for Biden is he did not lose much ground since March’s poll that had him at 25% of the vote. It appears that Warren has been the beneficiary of Sanders’s drop from 24% to 13%; Mayor Pete appears to have solidified his base in Iowa, going from 0% in February, to 11% in March, and now 16% in the Hawkeye state.”

Warren has also overtaken Sanders among voters under the age of 50. 21% of those under 50 support Warren followed by Sanders at 18%. Biden continues to lead with those over 50 - receiving 33% support from this cohort, followed by Warren at 24%.

Warren also now leads Sanders among those who supported the Vermont Senator in the 2016 caucus; Warren has 26% among this group, followed by Sanders at 19%, and Buttigieg at 16%. Among those who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 caucus, Biden captures 42%, followed by Warren at 22% and Buttigieg at 13%.

The Iowa Emerson College poll was conducted October 13-16, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson Polling Director and Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=888, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.2 percentage points.
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