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#Election2016 reporting through the haze of “Gaslight”

#Election2016 reporting through the haze of “Gaslight”

Actually, it’s not crazy to think Trump can win on Nov. 8th.

When my super-talented colleague Mary Chastain wrote about the new tone of state Republican party ads, she posted that Hillary Clinton was the most probable winner.

She would be right if the reports we were getting weren’t being offered through a haze of “Gaslight,” a point that conservative talk show host Tammy Bruce has been making often in recent days is that the elite media is manipulating the reports to distort reality to create a very specific outcome (e.g., 3 media organizations have given their employees orders to destroy Trump).

The term comes from a classic movie, Gaslight, starring the exquisite Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotton. The premise is that years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. But he has a secret to protect and drives his wife insane by asserting what she is experiencing is completely untrue.

In terms of just this election, we already had a deluge of information from Wikileaks highlighting some of the tactics being used to smash enthusiasm for Donald Trump, as it is impossible to make Hillary Clinton a more appealing candidate. Perhaps the most disturbing is the poll manipulation:

A 2008 memo revealed by WikiLeaks openly plans for oversampling. The known pattern for news polls is actual oversampling of Democrats. The memo goes to prove that it’s intentional. It openly plans for oversampling. The known pattern for news polls is actual oversampling of Democrats.

Andy Meyer Sent: Thu Jan 10 21:21:07 2008 Subject: Meet and polling design Hey, when can we meet? I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling. -Tom

SUNY Professor Helmut Norpoth, who has accurately predicted election outcomes for the last 5 election based on behavior models, says that Trump has a 87-99% chance of winning. He asserts the polls are bunk.

Based on the available data, I am inclined to agree. The polls are nothing more that the fuel for the gaslight fires.

Another gaslighting tactic the mainstream media is using is the refusal to fairly or positively present information on Trump. I noted that Trump’s speech at the Alfred E. Smith dinner deriding Clinton corruption was booed, and anticipated correctly that this would be the story that was presented. The fact that Clinton was also loudly booed was left on the cutting room floor.

To put in in perspective, a whopping 91% of the media coverage of Donald Trump has been negative. Now, as brash as his style is, his stump speeches have been rich in substance. A more professional, responsible, and reliable press would have given them fairer treatment.

In fact, here’s one so you can judge for yourself:

Hillary Clinton’s rally schedule is a little less robust than Trump’s. However, given her recent health issues and lack of charisma, that is probably a feature and not a bug. That allows the media not to cover her… because if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

I have been following the rallies closely via Youtube by watching the live feeds. Trump rallies are filled with enthusiastic, sign-waving crowds that number in the thousands. Clinton’s are substantially more subdued and smaller. Interestingly, a Tim Kaine rally in Florida was attended by only 30 people.

Don’t trust me? Try the experiment for yourself! The American people are getting a completely distorted representation of both campaigns from the media.

It is surmised that Obamacare’s substantial premium hikes will help Trump in the battleground states. Therefore, please share Kemberlee Kaye’s great pieces on this topic…because they will be among the few available.

There have been many other examples of gaslighting perpetrated by the Obama Administration and its media minions on Americans. Bill Whittle reviews some of the big ones:

Professor Jacobson projects that election 2016 may be a referendum on the media. Given all the gaslighting, I would say that the reputation of the American press, questionable before this campaign, has completely vaporized.

Talk show host Silvio Canto, Jr. and I discuss this subject in detail on today’s show.

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Comments

Leslie Eastman: A 2008 memo revealed by WikiLeaks openly plans for oversampling.

No. No. No. Oversampling is a standard statistical technique.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/25/oversampling-is-used-to-study-small-groups-not-bias-poll-results/

    For instance, if your overall sample of American opinion is 1000, your margin of error will be about ±3% (given a couple of reasonable assumptions). About 130 of these persons will be black, so your margin of error on black opinion will be about ±8½%. If you want to have more resolution of black opinion, you would oversample blacks. If you were to poll 260 blacks, twice the rate in the overall population, this would give you a margin of error of about ±6%. You would then adjust their numbers by half when including them in the overall survey.

      Valerie in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      No, no no. Oversampling is a technique that is blatantly being abused, for the purpose of altering the results obtained in polls. That’s been obvious, especially in light of the support Trump has from Democratic voters.

        Valerie: Oversampling is a technique that is blatantly being abused, for the purpose of altering the results obtained in polls.

        Sorry, but you are just showing your ignorance of statistics. Oversampling provides more precise information. Look at the example provided.

      But doing so corrupts the larger sample. That’s the point.

        MTED: But doing so corrupts the larger sample. That’s the point.

        That is incorrect. Take a look at the example. You might poll twice as many blacks, but then you divide the result by two. This provides more precise information about the black population, without skewing the overall results. Blacks still represent 13% of the weighted results, equal to their proportion of the population.

          amwick in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 3:06 pm

          Well, the proof is in the pudding, which will be Nov. 9th…but some of the companies that did the polls are connected to the Clinton machine, so there is the appearance of bias….

      Mac45 in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      This assumes that the pollster is actually “weighing” the samples accurately. See, if you over-sample a specific portion of the population, say those which can reliably be assumed to vote for a particular candidate, then you have to weigh that sample by removing the preferences of a specific number of that sample, to bring the percentage that sample represents. The problem lies in deciding which portion of that sample you throw out. Do you throw out those who express a preference for the candidate which that sample would be expected to support? Or do you throw out the portion which supports another candidate? And, if you do either, which produces a sample which more accurately reflects reality? This is always the problem with “weighing” samples and it often leads to an inaccurate depiction of the true situation. Also, if you fail to bring the portion of the sample population into line with that of the true population, then your are again producing skewed results.

      All of these polls are “weighed”. And, the method by which this is accomplished allows the pollster to determine the outcome of the poll. And, in a contest such the current Presidential election, the polls should not swing wildly, especially this late in the contest. Yet the polls went from having Hillary ahead by anywhere from 8 – 20 points on Sunday to dead even or Hillary or Trump ahead by 1 – 2 points today. As no earth shaking revelations have been made in this time frame, what caused this paradigm shift in people’s preferences? The most likely answer is that the polls are being manipulated. Either the polls on Sunday were being manipulated to produce false results, the polls today are being manipulated to produce false results or BOTH sets of polls are being manipulated. Regardless of which is correct, all of them require some polling to be manipulated. This means that NONE of the polling can be assumed to be accurate and should be ignored.

        Mac45: This assumes that the pollster is actually “weighing” the samples accurately.

        Most polls include their methodology.

        Mac45: The problem lies in deciding which portion of that sample you throw out.

        You don’t “throw out” any of the results. You divide proportional to the population. So, from the example above, we weight blacks to their share of the population.

          Mac45 in reply to Zachriel. | October 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm

          Usually, the “methodology” reported by the pollster is more than a little vague. They post their raw data, but rarely go into detail with regard to the methods used to weigh the sample against the population.

          What has happened, in our society, is that the media has embraced polls as being both factual and accurate. However, all that a poll truly is is a guess based upon certain facts as interpreted by the pollster. If the sample used does not accurately reflect the actual inclination of the parent population or is interpreted based largely upon the predisposition of the pollster then it will not be an accurate assessment of the inclinations of the parent population.

          The biggest problem in polling is the relationship of the sample population to the real population. Things such as geography, accessibility and the veracity of the sample population can seriously affect the accuracy of the data garnered in the poll. And, if part of the sample population includes a significant oversampling of a particular subset, this can skew the poll results; especially if the subset oversampled is like to take one position over another. The second biggest problem is the methodology used to calibrate the sample population to mirror the parent population. If done in a straight forward statistical manner, it should not produce a noticeable drift from the parent population. However, if the factors used to weigh the sample do not accurately mirror future reality, then the poll ends up hopelessly skewed. If a poll of likely voters is weighed based upon an election where the level of participation of one or more subsets is markedly different from what actually transpires on election day, then that poll will not accurately reflect the final reality. Even if the participation levels are averaged over a number of election years, the reality can vary widely from the polled guess.

          So, polls are just guesses. They may be relatively accurate or they may not. And, there is no way to know which is true, until after the action has taken place.

          Mac45: Usually, the “methodology” reported by the pollster is more than a little vague.

          First of all, the original claim was that oversampling was nefarious. It’s not. You indicated that oversampling meant “throwing out” some of the results, which is not what is meant by weighting.

          Mac45: They post their raw data, but rarely go into detail with regard to the methods used to weigh the sample against the population.

          ABC’s polling methodology
          http://abcnews.go.com/US/PollVault/abc-news-polling-methodology-standards/story?id=145373

          Pew Research
          http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/our-survey-methodology-in-detail/

          Mac45: However, all that a poll truly is is a guess based upon certain facts as interpreted by the pollster.

          It’s scientific sampling, so it is not a mere guess. It does involve some presumptions, but most of those are also subject to testing. But because it is sampling, there is always a statistical margin of error, and because you are dealing with people, there are always unknown quantities. Nonetheless, it’s more than a mere guess.

          Mac45: And, if part of the sample population includes a significant oversampling of a particular subset, this can skew the poll results; especially if the subset oversampled is like to take one position over another.

          There you go again. An oversample does not skew the final results. It increases resolution of the subgroup, and depending on the size of the group, slightly increases the resolution of the overall population as well.

          Mac45: If a poll of likely voters is weighed based upon an election where the level of participation of one or more subsets is markedly different from what actually transpires on election day, then that poll will not accurately reflect the final reality.

          That is very true, which is why pollsters attempt to determine likelihood of voting. As polling improves, this is becoming more accurate. However, there’s always a possibility of surprises, due to statistical margin of error, due to inherent polling biases, and due to surprises inherent in human nature.

          Mac45: So, polls are just guesses.

          Pick a number from 1 to 100, and we’ll let that be Clinton’s support. That’s a guess. Polling gives much more information than mere guesswork.

          In any case, this has nothing to do with the misunderstanding of oversampling, which was given a nefarious interpretation.

          For instance, if your overall sample of American opinion is 1000, your margin of error will be about ±3% (given a couple of reasonable assumptions). About 130 of these persons will be black, so your margin of error on black opinion will be about ±8½%. If you want to have more resolution of black opinion, you would oversample blacks. If you were to poll 260 blacks, twice the rate in the overall population, this would give you a margin of error of about ±6%. You would then adjust their numbers by half when including them in the overall survey.

          As we are oversampling blacks, our total sample is actually 1130 individuals. Let’s say this is the result.

          group, number, result, percentage with margin of error
          blacks, 260, 240 support Clinton, 92% ±6%
          whites, 870, 435 support Clinton, 50% ±3⅓%

          Using simple arithmetic, we divide the black survey in half to match 13% of the population. So we have 120 blacks supporting Clinton, and 435 whites supporting Clinton, giving us approximately, 555 supporting Clinton out of a thousand, or 55% ±3%.

          Here’s the more general formula:
          http://www.financeformulas.net/Weighted_Average.html

      You’re correct throughout, Zachriel.

      This “hidden voter” syndrome sort of started way back with Nixon’s silent majority and the Reagan Democrats, so the hope they have is that there are hidden and secret Trump voters who will sway a national election, that is dependent on Electoral College votes, to Trump.

      The problem, of course, is that America is so divided and in such unprecedented ways, that the polls are likely right.

      Hillary’s benefactor and mentor and Trump’s long-time investment partner is a crazy person who revels in collapsing governments and economies. George Soros regretted backing Obama, but now he has two acolytes to take his fun vision of the future toward fruition.

      By the way, Soros collapsed governments by planting the seed that elections were “rigged.” The elections don’t have to be rigged in any real sense; just enough people have to believe it to start some sort of uprising. Soros and his vultures swoop in, as they did all through Eastern Europe, and a new government is established.

      Anyway, I ramble, but the bottom line is that too many Americans hate both candidates and no “revolution” (Trump’s or Bernie’s) will happen . . . at least in the foreseeable future.

    MattMusson in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Ultimately the number sampled within target groups never equals the expected turn out. So, if you expect 51% democrats but there are only 49% in your sample – you adjust your sample.

    But here is the rub. You don’t really know that 51% of Democrats will show up.

    For Obama, the numbers of black voters far exceeded historical percentages. And, the number of white voters (especially males) under performed for Romney. But in 2016, will black voters stay home? Will white males show up?

    Even a perfect poll cannot those questions.

      MattMusson: You don’t really know that 51% of Democrats will show up.

      Very true. Pollsters try to estimate the chance of someone voting, but like all polling, it is a game of probabilities.

        tom swift in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 3:27 pm

        it is a game of probabilities

        And those are lumped under “systematic errors”—the ones the professional pollsters never mention.

        The only errors they ever admit are the same ones you do—random counting errors, assuming—without evidence—that voters are Gaussian variables.

        In your example,

        if your overall sample of American opinion is 1000, your margin of error will be about ±3%

        This is the way they always do it; square root of N, converted to percent. First day lesson in Statistics 101. It’s a useful number; when a poll gives the “error” but not the actual poll size, an easy calculation lets me determine it. But it’s one of the reasons why the polls are basically garbage; this works pretty well for measuring, say, nuclear decay events, or Lotto numbers, or asteroid impacts, or randomness tests for computer passwords, but it’s essentially useless for consumer research, voting, or anything else involving a human element. Classic example; a phone poll. There is no sampling methodology which will include people who don’t have phones, or are busy doing something else when the pollster calls, or who just don’t want to waste time talking to pollsters. But these populations are still important if the poll is about, say, voting, because even people who don’t talk to pollsters on the phone vote anyway. This is a systematic error, and not a “random error”, a “counting error”, or anything else derivable from the numbers. Any error estimate calculated via the Gaussian formula for random counting error (i.e., based on the square root of the sample size) will be entirely mythical. It will be a real number, and it will be reproducible, but it will tell you nothing at all about the poll and its results. But the papers will publish it anyway.

          tom swift: And those are lumped under “systematic errors”—the ones the professional pollsters never mention.

          You are conflating margins of error with bias. The “game of probabilities” concerns the nature of statistical sampling. Even with no bias, there is a margin of error. As for systematic errors, such biases are constantly discussed by pollsters and those who follow polls.

          In any case, this has nothing to do with the misunderstanding of oversampling, which was given a nefarious interpretation.

          tom swift: This is the way they always do it; square root of N, converted to percent. First day lesson in Statistics 101.

          The margin of error varies as the INVERSE of the square root of N.

          tom swift: There is no sampling methodology which will include people who don’t have phones, or are busy doing something else when the pollster calls, or who just don’t want to waste time talking to pollsters.

          Actually, that’s not quite correct. A simple method is to compare phone surveys to other types of surveys to see how much they vary.

          tom swift: This is a systematic error, and not a “random error”, a “counting error”, or anything else derivable from the numbers.

          Sure, there are systematic biases. However, it turns out that they tend to not change the results by that much, especially if we combine the results with other information such as demographics. In addition, each polling company has a somewhat different methodology, so averaging results tends to reduce the effects of systematic biases.

          In any case, this has nothing to do with the misunderstanding of oversampling, which was given a nefarious interpretation.

    Common Sense in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Right here is an example of Gas-Lighting!

    But “oversampling” means lying, cheating, and vote-stealing.

    It is massive, nationwide cheating, just as if all the polling machines were tampered with.

    “Push polling” early in an election is a way to make Democrats feel like winners and Republicans feel like losers.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/10/democratic_oversampling_is_a_dirty_trick.html

    Oversampling…
    Trump’s own internal polling shows him behind, and he hasn’t been loaning money to his campaign. His friends and children gave nothing.

First, Leslie, thanks for the movie reference.

Oversampling has been going on for a long, long time. The keys are 1) report it 2) don’t over-analyze over-sampled data and 3) admit up front that your confidence intervals are much wider with over-sampled data.

What’s happened here isn’t “oversampling”. It’s MANIPULATION — let’s ‘over-sample’ more Democrats, blacks, Hispanics, gays, whatever so that we can report the result that, a priori, we wanted to report, and then use that report to bludgeon our enemies.

Let’s not call it “over-sampling” — that’s just a technique. Let’s call it for what it is — manipulation.

    The claim is that the term “oversampling” in the email refers to manipulating the results. That is incorrect. The email is referring to internal polls, and oversampling is a standard statistical technique to improve resolution of small subsets of the population.

      Valerie in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      The evidence from the multitude of leaks is that the Hillary Campaign is doing everything it can, including using rent-a-rioters, to convey a certain impression that they know is not true. It is a matter of public record that Correct the Record has been spending a LOT of money to manipulate social media.

      As for the polls, digging into the underlying finagling has become a cottage industry, because the assumptions are so blatantly misleading.

      Meanwhile, there have been reports that pollsters are hanging up on people that admit to being “Republican” voters.

      tom swift in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      improve resolution of small subsets of the population.

      And why would they be interested in that?

      The votes of small subsets of populations don’t decide the outcomes of elections. Any sub-population which is too small to show up in a reasonable poll sample size is too small to be of any consequence in a “majority rules” election.

      Such a population is perhaps important when, say, press coverage is involved. Tiny but vocal populations do a pretty good job of grabbing headlines. But when it comes to an election, they’re just statistical noise.

      Perhaps Team Hillary wanted some idea about the success of her various “pander” tactics; say, when she speaks in her silly accents, does she get higher approval ratings? Detail data might be useful there.

      But otherwise, no, it’s not accurate measurement of small variables Team Hillary has in mind when it commissions a poll.

        tom swift: And why would they be interested in that?

        So they can direct their resources towards groups where they can make a difference.

        tom swift: The votes of small subsets of populations don’t decide the outcomes of elections.

        Of course they do. Why do you think the candidates are spending their time in New Hampshire and Iowa? Due to the balancing nature of politics, elections are often decided by small margins. A high turnout of African Americans might result in victory for Clinton. A high turnout for white non-college educated men might result in a Trump victory. Knowing where these voters stand, how likely they are to vote, and who they are going to vote for, is important information for running a campaign.

          tom swift in reply to Zachriel. | October 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

          Are you claiming the sub-populations they’re “oversampling” are all of New Hampshire and Iowa?

          Funny, the e-mails neglected to mention it.

        Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | October 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

        Why do you think Der Donald is busily pandering to black Americans?

        Crips…

legacyrepublican | October 27, 2016 at 1:54 pm

If the media is indeed “Gaslighting,” let’s hope their obscene blue flaming burns them in the end!

“Lies, damn lies, and statistics”…. the “Twain” do meet. Over-sampling will reduce the standard deviation for that grouping. Considering the minority size and its fraction of the whole… the overall S.D. will be narrowed a very small amount…. but the Devil is in the details of the formula used. Pickles are deadly… 100% of people who eat pickles eventually die…S.D. is zero.

Der Donald is in trouble. He’s said he’s down. Kellyanne has said he’s down. Rudy’s said he’s down.

Newtie was gas-lighting when Megan called him on it the other night.

Whistling past the grave-yard is a form of gas-lighting, too, Leslie.

Do not assume the pollsters are neutral, unbiased. A poll’s results can be skewed by asking questions in a certain way, or in a different context. I give polls little credence unless I know the complete text of the queries, which is never reported. I know I have been manipulated and confused into giving “wrong” answers on the phone.

There was a recent study done where five or so polling places were given the exact same raw data, and they all came up with different results based on that data.

As such, there are numerous layers to this as well. Not only is there oversampling (+34 Democrat in Arizona to give Hillary a lead? Really?), but the results themselves can be skewed to whatever bias is being employed. So a +7 Democrat oversampled poll can have a “listed” plus or minus of 3-5%, but in reality, it could be closer to 10-12%. Any sample that has that big a margin of error, shouldn’t be recognized as a real sample.

Henry Hawkins | October 27, 2016 at 4:42 pm

Pollsters run the gamut from ‘always honest’ to ‘always for sale’ with, I imagine, a fair number that move up and down that scale. Unfortunately, we can’t know before the election which is which: honest or doctored.

One bad apple…….

Well, if the polls are “skewed,” it’s a real opportunity for you Einsteins to clean up on the betting sites, all of which are offering YUGE odds against Trump.

If you really believe this, why wouldn’t you do that? Bet the farm, the 401(k), the kids’ college funds – why not?

Unless, of course, deep down you know you are only fooling yourselves – like pretending Trump is a conservative, a Christian, or a decent or honest human being.

    Barry in reply to Estragon. | October 27, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Ah, extragone shows up to once again NOT tell us who he/she supports.

    Some people just don’t gamble, even on sure things.

    I’m not one of those and have a $100 bucks on it.

    Easy money. I’ll use it to purchase more ammo for my stock.

      Barry, Barry, Barry, why do you insist on requiring people to tell you for whom they intend to vote? Is this some sort of weird troll under the bridge litmus test? “Tell me you’ll vote for Trump, and I’ll let you pass”? Or just a unique fetish you’ve developed that dictates you must know how other people–whom you don’t and never will know–intend to vote?

      For the record and in case you didn’t notice, this election is super difficult for something like 80% of Americans (giving 10% to Trump and another, probably less motivated, 10% to Hillary). We have two cartoon corruptocrats, each as despicable as the other, and people have a right to feel this is a no-win cartoon election.

      Mocking people your candidate actually needs to win has always been a losing strategy. It simply reinforces the “Trump message” that he’s the “burn it down” candidate who will “destroy” stuff . . . the GOP, the Constitution, whatever. And all along the way, he’ll have his Alex Jones’ Infowars lunatic army paving the way. Yikes!

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but that is insane.

      Of course my favorite part is when the lunatic Glenn Beck gets called out as the lunatic he is, but Jones, always way more frothing-at-the-mouth super nuts, is now the new norm. Wow.

      And you people really wonder why you can’t bully, harangue, and otherwise intimidate us? You stand next to frothing, mind-boggingly insane fringe nutters. That froth is going to splash onto you, you know, and you lose credibility.

      For the record: I don’t think you are a crazy person, but I do think that you are shutting out that little voice telling you that all is not right with your guy. That’s fine, but taking it out on perfectly reasonable people who have perfectly reasonable concerns about both candidates is self-defeating.

        PhillyGuy in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | October 27, 2016 at 11:38 pm

        Nice little temper tantrum. A bit long-winded. Love the exaggerated numbers part. Nice touch. We get that your feelings are hurt.

        12 days to go. I want our guys to win this thing. I like our chances. The media tried to demoralize us but it didn’t work. We can’t wait to vote and then we’ll see.

        Be back in 2 weeks.

        conservative tarheel in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | October 28, 2016 at 7:18 am

        excellent FS .. thanks ..

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | October 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm

        Ditto.

        Just a couple of things here.

        First, you make an assumption which is not based on any facts, that being that this election is “hard” for 80% of the American voters. Personally, I think that it is just the opposite. Approximately 80+% of the voters have made up their minds and it is largely based upon ideological position. You have the portion of the population who is dependent upon the establishment, including the government, who are voting for the candidate who they feel will continue or expand government largesse; Hillary. Then you have the portion of the population ho view the Establishment and the government as being responsible for the reduction in their wealth, mobility and security. They are voting against Hillary. They care little, or nothing, about the candidates themselves; including their characters.

        Second, the Trump supporters do not want to “burn down” anything. They simply wish for the various establishment institutions to listen to them. This includes both major political parties and the government. The GOP is directly responsible for their own membership problems. Not only do they continue to ignore the Conservative wing of their party, but virtually every single Republican Congressman, elected in 2012, promised to repeal, or at least, amend Obamacare. And, they did NOTHING. So, this year, the Republican membership sent a clear message that it was taking over the leadership of its party, at a grass roots level. It is now up to the Republican leadership and politicians to either get on board or burn down the party themselves.

        We have popular government, not an oligarchy. And, the majority of the people are attempting to remind our leaders of that fact. This is not about the the candidates, maintaining failing institutions or being invited to swell parties. It is all about the future of this nation, the wealth of its people and common sense.

          Mac45: And, they did NOTHING.

          The Republicans put roadblocks on nearly every White House initiative after 2010. As it was, they threatened to default on the national debt and cause a global financial crisis. Not sure how much more obstructive they could have been.

          Mac45: We have popular government, not an oligarchy.

          The U.S. is a representative democracy, and Republicans just didn’t have the votes to unilaterally pass legislation that might have been to your liking.

          The fundamental problem is that Republicans have been nurturing truthiness, the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true. For example, if you keep telling people that Obama is not a citizen, and therefore not the legitimate president of the United States, then people begin to wonder why the Republicans haven’t impeached him, or arrested him, or something. This has led to the current situation, one where Frankenstein lost control of his creation, and the Republicans nominated an actual birther as candidate for president.

          Zachriel, looking through your comments, it seems you’ve appointed yourself resident fact checker. That’s great! I’m sure I can find lots of things to keep you busy and productive.

          Let’s get started: this one is based on my preference for the term “constitutional republic” or even “representative republic.” Why not spend some time reading up on all three terms (including your “representative democracy”) and get back to me on each. As part of this assignment, please ensure that you cite your sources properly, distinguish clearly amongst the terms avoiding “dictionaries” and other questionable sources, and provide primary text support from the founders. Your response should be persuasive in that you are trying to convince me that the U. S. is indeed a representative democracy as you insist and not either a constitutional republic or a representative republic.

          Fuzzy Slippers: distinguish clearly amongst the terms avoiding “dictionaries” and other questionable sources

          That’s funny.

          Fuzzy Slippers: Let’s get started …

          None of this seems responsive to the claim that Republicans just didn’t have the votes to unilaterally pass legislation that might have been to Mac45’s liking. If you have a point, you might just try to make it directly.

          Gee, Zachriel, I was taking a cue from you and singling in on one term. Let’s hear your definitions. You demand preciseness, so it’s not unfair that we do, too. If you want to fact check every comment on LI, that’s fine, but being a fact checker has its downside. So, I’m still waiting . . . .

          Fuzzy Slippers: I was taking a cue from you and singling in on one term.

          We singled out a fact, not a term.

          Fuzzy Slippers: Let’s hear your definitions.

          We generally use terms in their conventional sense. We are more than happy to have a discussion of semantics, but it won’t salvage incorrect facts.

          Fuzzy Slippers: this one is based on my preference for the term “constitutional republic”

          The U.S. has a written constitution, a supreme law setting out the structure of government, its powers and limitations.

          The term ‘republic’ has several meanings, but generally refers to a system where power is vested in the people, and the head of government is not a hereditary monarch.

          Hence, the U.S. is a “constitutional republic”.

          ‘Democracy’ is another term with shades of meaning. The conventional meaning is “a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.” Democracy can be seen as a continuum. So, Jacksonian Democracy extended the franchise to all white men (as opposed to just white men of property).

          Hence, a representative democracy is a system of government where the people elect representatives. Let’s return to our original claim.

          Zachriel: The U.S. is a representative democracy, and Republicans just didn’t have the votes to unilaterally pass legislation that might have been to your liking.

          Mac45 was arguing that the Republicans “did NOTHING” concerning the repeal of ObamaCare. However, to do SOMETHING requires votes. Either they have the votes in Congress, which they did not; or they gain additional seats in Congress and win the Presidency by bringing their case to the people through elections.

          Yes, the U.S. has a Constitution. So passing legislation requires meeting specific constitutional hurdles, but overcoming those obstacles generally just requires enough votes (as long as the legislation also passes judicial review for constitutionality).

          And this returns to our larger point. The Republicans have been wallowing in truthiness for so long, they have been telling fibs for so long, that people like Mac45 don’t understand why Obama is still president, and why ObamaCare is still the law of the land. Obama is still president and ObamaCare is still the law of the land because the U.S. is a representative democracy. Obama won election, twice.


          * truthiness, the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true.

          Z: Obama won election, twice.

          It can be hard to believe when living in an echochamber, but a lot of people voted for Obama, and a lot of people still approve of his job performance.

        Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy, I’m certain your memory is not quite on par with mine. Please take note: ExtraGone would not give us her choice all the way back to the beginning of the R primaries. Take a chill pill, forget about your hatred of trump for a moment, and digest that. It has nothing, nothing, to do with Donald Trump, our next President.

        Just to be clear, she didn’t like your fav, Cruz, either. Here is who she had nothing bad to say about, jeb!. Don’t know if she was for jeb!, but it would be my best guess.

        Odd, someone is always against candidates but will never express an opinion on who they are for.

        I just pointed out the fact. If you can’t express an opinion other than negative ones regarding the candidates, I take it as a sign. You can take it as you like.

        Note: This was a non hostile information message.

        🙂

Great article, Leslie. Thanks.

The whole poll thing was setup from the beginning to hide Illary’s health problems.

She “doesn’t have to campaign”, so she spends her time hidden “raising funds for down ballot races”. That way the press doesn’t have to report that Trump is making 10 campaign appearances to her one.

Plus constantly pounding that the race is over drains energy from Trump supporters reducing one of Trumps advantages– the enthusiasm gap.

Very nice straw-gasping, Leslie. You might want to check article on what happens when campaign is about to lose that neo-neocon posted a while ago. It fits you very well.

“SUNY Professor Helmut Norpoth, who has accurately predicted election outcomes for the last 5 election based on behavior models, says that Trump has a 87-99% chance of winning. He asserts the polls are bunk.

“Based on the available data, I am inclined to agree. The polls are nothing more that the fuel for the gaslight fires.”

Forget the polls. Look at the early vote and absentee turnout. Republicans should be hitting the panic button.

For example, in Nevada: http://politicalhat.com/2016/10/27/nevada-early-vote-day-5-of-14/

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