The Republican Party is on the verge of nominating has made an antivaccine loon named Donald Trump its presumptive nominee

[Note: Since this was written, Donald Trump won Indiana and Ted Cruz has suspended his campaign. This is why I changed the title of this post on Tuesday night. Meet your presumptive nominee, Republicans.]

I haven’t written anything about Donald Trump and vaccines in a while. When last I did write about him, I enumerated his long, sordid history of making ridiculously pseudoscientific antivaccine statements linking vaccines to autism dating back at least to 2007. That was when I first discovered him and referred to him as the latest celebrity antivaccinationist drinking the Kool Aid of vaccine pseudoscience. A few years later, I noted his risibly nonsensical claim that a “monster shot” causes autism. Truly, Donald Trump’s history of making idiotic antivaccine statements is long and sordid. Of course, Donald Trump’s history of making idiotic statements about a great many subjects is long and sordid, but antivaccine pseudoscience is what I know better than domestic or foreign policy.

Of course, I don’t recall having heard anything from Trump in a while on the vaccine-autism front, at least not since September last year. But his antivaccine lunacy is definitely part of his persona, so much so that when I started to type “Donald Trump vaccines autism” the first entry on the search was a Natural News link from 2012. In any case, I get the feeling that Trump’s antivaccine views were too crazy even for most of Trump’s supporters, hence his relative silence these last eight months. Sure, he can spout off about how he wants to build a wall on the Mexican border and have Mexico pay for it and numerous other proposals even more ludicrous than that, but he’s apparently toned down the antivaccine nonsense. Now, with the Indiana primary today, Trump is on the verge of all but wrapping up the Republican nomination if he wins there today. That’s why I decided to revisit the topic today, particularly given that the issue has reared its ugly head again.

Still, if Trump were actually to become President, he could do great damage to public health. Sure, school vaccine mandates are a state issue, but the guidelines upon which they are based are developed by the CDC. Over the last couple of decades, there have been various antivaccine legislators who have brought CDC officials before Congressional committees to demand “answers” about the link between vaccines and autism. Just imagine how much trouble a President Trump could cause, with his power to appoint a Secretary of HHS. I was reminded of this again by a video in a story that popped up in my feed yesterday featuring Elizabeth Emken.

The reason this is relevant is that Emken used to be the Executive Director of Autism Speaks, an “autism advocacy” group that used to be very much into antivaccine pseudoscience. Indeed, after much foot dragging, it wasn’t until 2015 that Autism Speaks finally grudgingly admitted that there is no good evidence linking vaccines to autism after a large study was published showing no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism and a meta-analysis involving over a million children similarly failed to find a link. It’s not for nothing that Autism Speaks has been quite appropriately accused of speaking up too late on vaccines.

That tension, and the weasel words that characterized it among many autism advocacy groups, fairly drips from Emken’s response to a question about Donald Trump’s beliefs about vaccines, complete with an example of a quote by Donald Trump about having heard of children getting sick and becoming autistic after vaccination. Here’s the video:

And here’s what Emken said:

Donald Trump spokeswoman Elizabeth Emken, a former executive with the leading advocacy group Autism Speaks, was put in a difficult position Monday when asked about the frontrunner’s earlier statements linking vaccines and autism.

Asked on CNN about Trump suggesting a scientific link exists between childhood vaccines and autism during a fall 2015 presidential debate, Emken sidestepped a direct rebuke of Trump’s claims.

“The position of Autism Speaks has been for quite awhile that we need to find out what's happening,” she replied. “We know there's a genetic component and there's an environmental trigger and until we get to the bottom of what's happening, no one knows what causes autism. Anyone that tells you what does or what doesn't cause autism is simply not basing that on facts."

I see now why Emkin was chosen to be Trump’s spokeswoman. The above is basically one massive appeal to ignorance, the implication that, because we don’t know what causes autism that some environmental factor—cough, cough, vaccines—must be causing autism. Don’t believe me? Check out what she says next:

“We don’t know, we need to keep looking,” Emken continued, saying she hadn’t discussed the issue with the GOP frontrunner. “But the bottom line is, look, vaccines are the most successful health program in the history of the world, so I don’t believe that’s at all what he was saying.”

This is, of course, a bald-faced lie; that is, unless Emken is not . Let’s take a look at the sort of things Donald Trump has said about vaccines over the years just on Twitter. Truly, the burning stupid flowing from that one Twitter account is not unlike a flow of ash from Mount Vesuvius engulfing Pompeii. Here is but a sampling:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You get the idea. That’s some hard core antivaccine quackery. Trump’s meaning is very, very clear, Emken’s attempts to deny it notwithstanding. But, hey, if that’s not enough for you, let’s review a bit more of what Trump has said on the topic over the years. I apologize to long time readers, who have probably seen many of these quotes before in various posts I’ve written over the years, but, now, with Trump on the verge of becoming the Republican nominee and Ted Cruz’s chances to stop him are fading, I feel the need to revisit these. Not that Cruz is any less scary than Trump, but he isn’t, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, antivaccine.

The first time I learned of Donald Trump's antivaccine proclivities was way back in 2007. What was he saying back then? This:

"When I was growing up, autism wasn't really a factor," Trump said. "And now all of a sudden, it's an epidemic. Everybody has their theory. My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We've giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children."

He made the comments following a press conference at his Mar-A-Lago estate announcing a fundraising and lobbying push by Autism Speaks to get the brain disorder covered under private insurance policies.

And:

"When a little baby that weighs 20 pounds and 30 pounds gets pumped with 10 and 20 shots at one time, with one injection that's a giant injection, I personally think that has something to do with it. Now there's a group that agrees with that and there's a group that doesn't agree with that."

Referring to his and his wife Melania's 22-month-old son Baron, Trump continued: "What we've done with Baron, we've taken him on a very slow process. He gets one shot at a time then we wait a few months and give him another shot, the old-fashioned way. But today they pump the children with so much at a very young age. We do it on a very, very conservative level."

So, yes, back in 2007, Trump was already parroting the antivaccine pseudoscience that at that time I had been deconstructing for seven years and blogging about for nearly three. It was a performance—and, let's face it, everything Trump does in public is performance art, if you can call it that—that was brilliantly parodied at Autism News Beat as The art of the schlemiel. In any case, I'm hard pressed to come up with any time when a baby gets 10 or 20 shots at a time, and that's even assuming that Trump was ignorantly conflating the number of diseases vaccinated against in combination vaccines with "shots."

Four years later, Trump was still at it. On Fox and Friends, he repeated once again that he had a "theory" about vaccines, and that was:

Business mogul Donald Trump chose the fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day to reveal that he “strongly” believes that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are linked to exposure to vaccines.

In a Monday interview on Fox News, the reality star explained that a series of casual observations had led him to the conclusion that “monster” vaccinations cause autism.

“I’ve gotten to be pretty familiar with the subject,” Trump said. “You know, I have a theory — and it’s a theory that some people believe in — and that’s the vaccinations. We never had anything like this. This is now an epidemic. It’s way, way up over the past 10 years. It’s way up over the past two years. And, you know, when you take a little baby that weighs like 12 pounds into a doctor’s office and they pump them with many, many simultaneous vaccinations — I’m all for vaccinations, but I think when you add all of these vaccinations together and then two months later the baby is so different then lots of different things have happened. I really — I’ve known cases.”

The video can still be viewed here. Tellingly, when he was challenged on this by Gretchen Carlson, who noted that "the studies have said that there is no link" and that there hadn't been any mercury in vaccines for years, Trump would have none of it:

“It’s also very controversial to even say,” Trump acknowledged. “But I couldn’t care less. I’ve seen people where they have a perfectly healthy child, and they go for the vaccinations and a month later the child is no longer healthy.”

Don't trust those pointy-headed expert scientists. They've only been spending their entire lives studying the issue! Trump knows better then they do! Why? He's got anecdotes, man:

“It happened to somebody that worked for me recently,” he added. “I mean, they had this beautiful child, not a problem in the world, and all of the sudden they go in and they get this monster shot. You ever see the size of it? It’s like they’re pumping in — you know, it’s terrible, the amount. And they pump this in to this little body and then all of the sudden the child is different a month later. I strongly believe that’s it.”

All because of what Donald Trump calls a "monster shot." I note that this appears to be the example that was presented to Emken. It couldn’t be more clear what Trump meant, either: He attributed his employee’s son’s autism to vaccines, which he called a “monster shot.” As I pointed out at the time, even if the child were truly "different" after vaccination a month later, that would not be "all of a sudden." In any case, this is what those of us who pay attention to these things the "too many too soon" gambit. All spreading out vaccines accomplishes is to increase the period of time that a child is vulnerable to infectious diseases for no real benefit of reducing the chance of autism because there is no link between vaccines and autism.

If that’s not enough for you, in 2015, when interviewed by conservative talk radio show host Hugh Hewitt, the question of vaccines and autism came up. Here’s how the conversation went down:

HH: So you believe there’s a causal connection between vaccines and autism?

DT: Well, a lot of people do. I mean, there are many people that do. And I know at least two people, one of them who works in the building that I’m in right now, a beautiful woman, has a child. The child is 100% healthy, takes the child, who was I think around a year and a half or two years old to get the shot, gets this massive shot of fluid pumped into the baby’s body, and a few days later, catches a fever, and all of a sudden, is severely autistic. And many people, many people have had that experience, Hugh. And I will tell you, on Twitter and on Facebook, where you know, so many people, I feel, it’s sort of interesting, because I get so much response, people are praying for me that I at least say that. So I totally believe in the shot. I totally believe that you should be vaccinated. But let them spread it out over a little period of time. You can’t pump that, because have you ever seen the size of these inoculations? You can’t pump that much fluid into a little baby’s body. And I think it’s having an effect. And I know of at least two cases in my, but many people say the same thing happened to me where their child is totally healthy. They get pumped up with this huge pile of liquid, with many, many different vaccines, and their child turns out to be autistic after it. And all I’m saying is spread it out in smaller doses over a longer period of time.

HH: If a group of scientists came to you and said look, The Donald, that’s just, that’s not right, you’re giving out misinformation, would you change your mind if presented with facts on that?

DT: Well, I’ve seen babies that were totally healthy that weren’t healthy, and I’m not asking for anything. All I’m doing is saying spread it out over a period of time. I’m not saying don’t get inoculated, don’t get the shots, don’t get the vaccines. I’m saying spread it out over a period of time. It doesn’t hurt anybody other than probably the pharmaceutical companies, because they probably make more money putting it into one shot. Maybe it hurts the doctors. I don’t know. But I can say this. Everybody would get the vaccines. They just, they wouldn’t be pumping these massive amounts of liquid into a child.

Again, contrary to Emken’s twisting around the issue, Trump’s meaning couldn’t have been more plain. He believes vaccines cause autism. He doesn’t believe any of those elitist pointy-headed scientists who say otherwise, and nothing will make him change his mind. Nor does Trump sound as though he believes that vaccines are the “most successful health program in the history of the world,” as Emken put it.

I referred to the tension at the heart of Autism Speaks regarding vaccine-autism pseudoscience. The organization was founded by Bob and Suzanne Wright, who were always fence sitters on the question of whether he believed vaccines cause autism. His daughter Katie, however, was a true believer that vaccines cause autism, a belief that caused a great deal of friction with her parents and the organization. For years, the organization was riven with strife, as the Wrights tried to appease the vaccine/autism pseudoscience contingent, which provided much of the money and ultimately led to a schism in the group. As recently as last September, Bob Wright was using the same sort of weasel words that Emken used. It’s useful to note that the scientific advisor’s statement was:

Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.

To which Bob Wright added:

Over the last two decades extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccines and autism. Scientific research has not directly connected autism to vaccines. Vaccines are very important. Parents must make the decision whether to vaccinate their children. Efforts must be continually made to educate parents about vaccine safety. If parents decide not to vaccinate they must be aware of the consequences in their community and their local schools.

Note the weasel words: Scientific research has not “directly connected autism to vaccines” and “efforts must be continually made to educate parents about vaccine safety.” Not only that, but the science officer’s statement was expunged from the website. If you go to the Autism Speaks website, all you will find is Bob Wright’s statement.

As the primary season winds down, the Republican Party is on the verge of nominating an antiscience, antivaccine loon named Donald Trump. It looks as though he will have a spokeswoman who, through the use of weasel words like those of the co-founder of the organization she used to work for, will try use her skills to make Trump’s antivaccine nonsense sound more palatable. She will fail.

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Seriously, the GOP is ending up with the village idiot as their candidate.
I could successfully run a potted plant against him and have the plant win. All I'd have to do is have the plant "ask a few questions" that Trump would fly off the handle over.
Congratulations, President Cactus!

Will anything good come out of this?

Perhaps. At last, the republicans are being dragged out of the closet and exposed for who they really are. And we all have heard about what a great disinfectant sunlight is....

Honestly, Plague is the least of The Donald's Horsemen. He'll probably plate-glass the continent before it's even saddled.

It doesn’t hurt anybody other than probably the pharmaceutical companies, because they probably make more money putting it into one shot.

And the Donald claims to be an expert businessman?
First rule of business: if your customers want extra, they pay extra.
The pharmaceutical companies may have some trouble modifying their existing lines of production, but making money out of the products won't be one of the issues. There is a demand for vaccines; even better, a government backed-up demand. You know, one of these you can overcharge 300% and no-one will call you on this.

Actually, I'm pretty sure Big Pharma will be making more money with individual shots; all this extra packaging and handling isn't free, and I don't see them paying for it out of the goodness of their heart.

He is also plenty wrong on the science, but that was to be expected.

@ Wzrd1

The Belgians managed without a government for a few months, recently.
Maybe installing a cactus at the White House and hoping for a less populist candidate to show up is the better option.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 02 May 2016 #permalink

@Helianthus, I did consider running for Emperor, creating the office, then retiring with Imperial dollar pension and re-instituting the Constitution, but that was way, way, way too much work.
A potted plant would do nicely, it's not like the personality actually *has* a personality or intellect. ;)

If the Founding Fathers saw this circus, they'd be doing the "God Save The King" bit. :/

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 02 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Helianthus (not verified)

I suppose giving all shots seperatly would not be a good idea. Taking a child to the doctor far more often and everytime that needle. Doesn't sound like a great idea. I would say less sepetate injections would create less hassle.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for all the Repub candidates and their "love" of science.

But honestly, all the heinous things he's said, the fact that he's antivax is like the *least* offensive thing I hate about him, and I've stopped speaking to relatives and broken off friendships with people with were antivax. He's just THE WORST.

By Frequent Lurker (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

@Renate,
Yes more visits to doctor's offices where there are likely a higher incidence of sick people than elsewhere.

And, if you don't combine the shots, wouldn't there be more adjuvant volume in the final tally? I do not manufacture vaccines so this is only speculation.

One of the strangest things is that my American relatives quiz me about the fact that Australia has had 5 Prime Ministers in 6 years (in truth it is 5 in 9 years) as if this is some sort of problem. If Trump is elected, you will be saddled with him for 4 years with no turning back.

Somehow, I am looking at our system and thinking it has some serious upside.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

And the Donald claims to be an expert businessman?

He's expert at running companies into the ground. At least four of his businesses have gone through bankruptcy. He knows about as much concerning how to run a successful company as he does of the medical science of vaccination, i.e., little or nothing.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Now, now, I'm sure Mr. Trump is actually the sane, rational, grounded, loves all people and is the not at all bigoted in any way, just like all his supporters on TV say he is.

He's just surrounded by awful people who believe crazy conspiracies and use terrible words about everyone and poor thing lacks a filter and must repeat all these crazy things the people around him say at least twice whenever they pop into his head. He tries to telegraph to us what is going on everytime he says, "I'm not saying this evil thing but I hear people saying this evil thing".

It's not his fault he is surrounded by the worst people on the planet who can't help but say these things to him and certainly we can trust that he won't ever act on any of them when he is elected as he surely will only do what is best for the least among us no matter what!

/sarcasm

Anyone that tells you what does or what doesn’t cause autism is simply not basing that on facts.”

And this is only half true. We may not know what does cause autism, but there are countless things that we can clearly say do not.

Sandals, for example, have no relationship to autism and so we can absolutely say they do not.

Or the MMR vaccine. Or any vaccine, for that matter....

By Marry Me, Mindy (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Either I'm very confused, or Autism Speaks has changed the page at that link recently.

By Christine Rose (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I'm just curious what Trump means by "massive" amounts of fluid? And how he thinks separating the vaccines into individual vaccines spaced out over a greater period of time will reduce these "massive" amounts. I mean, let's look at DTaP-HepB-IPV (Pediarix) or DTaP-IPV/Hib (Pentacel). Each of these vaccines protect infants against 5 diseases. Yet each is only 0.5mL per dose. Now, let's look at ActHIB, which only protects against Hib. It is also 0.5mL per dose.

So Trump is actually advocating that rather than on 0.5mL shot to protect against 5 diseases, we should do five separate 0.5mL shots to protect against the same five diseases, for a total of 2.5mL for each round of boosters.

And I've seen other anti-vaccine activists making similar bone-headed comments regarding the number of doses on the schedule.

Orac reminds us of what can happen to the CDC (and FDA) should Trump be elected. When politics interfere with science bad things happen, and we only need look at the Nixon era for a good example. Nixon played politics with the FDA and essentially tanked the agency and its ability to keep the American people safe. Protecting America's Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation is a great book on the FDA's history, it's ups, downs, successes and failures. Very even-handed treatment that isn't afraid to criticize the agency when it screwed up or to praise it when it did well.

I have to agree with those who've pointed out that antivaccine sentiments are not the worst things about Trump. It's just one piece of the massive pile of horribleness that he represents. Part of me wonders whether the Republican party will even survive this.

I really don't like any of the candidates this year. Of Trump, I'll say he's the guy that makes me want Clinton. And I don't want Clinton. But I will happily vote for her if it keeps Trump out of the White House. I don't like her at all, but she's far less likely to destroy the nation.

Helianthus rightly points out that Trump is exposing how lousy a businessman he is by parroting the line that vaccine manufacturers only keep the combined shots out of a desire for profit. I mean, it is actually true, but not the way the antivaxxers think. The *vast majority* of patients would greatly prefer getting more vaccine for less needle poking. Antivaxxers hate being reminded that they are actually a very loud and obnoxious minority, and strive mightily to pretend they are not. But stuff like this reveals out.

That said....

And the Donald claims to be an expert businessman?

I almost shot Dr Pepper out my nose at that. :-D He does claim to be an expert businessman, but if he runs the country the way he runs his businesses, we're in serious trouble. He's left a trail of ruination behind him. He's very good at taking other people's money, magicking it into being his own money, and then leaving them holding all the bills. Take his current campaign, for instance. He claims he's paying for the whole thing from his personal fortune, but is he? He's accepting donations all over the place, but putting them into a corporation that he owns instead of into his campaign. The fact that the corporation then writes him a check is supposed to be a happy coincidence.

The Donald never pays for anything if he can get someone else to pay for it first. He's a fraud in every sense. Even his tan is fake.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

@ Todd W.

I’m just curious what Trump means by “massive” amounts of fluid?

He means HOOOGE amounts of fluid. And not classy at all.

Frankly, he is just snatching buzzwords and then run away with them.

@ Eric Lund

At least four of his businesses have gone through bankruptcy.

Including one casino, IIRC. I have some trouble imagining that a casino is a difficult business to keep afloat - compared to a restaurant or a hotel - but I could be wrong.

There was also the Trump steak, the Trump boardgame...
I detect a franchise, but also a pattern.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Helianthus -- Don't forget Trump University, which was pretty much entirely fraudulent.

I really hope Hillary finds a clever sociopath to use as a sparring partner in debate practice. She needs to figure out how to deflect his insults and turn them on him, jiu-jitsu style.

By palindrom (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I have some trouble imagining that a casino is a difficult business to keep afloat.

They aren't. I read once that a casino that runs at a loss is "that rarest of rare birds" (actual phrase used). If you can't run a casino to turn a profit, you're pretty incompetent.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Part of me wonders whether the Republican party will even survive this.

I've never really been into politics, but I have to say, I've been watching the accelerating implosion of the Republican party with a sort of horrified fascination. I was hoping Obama's reelection would be to conservatives what the fall of Communism was to liberals - a wake-up call that they'd drifted too far from center and reality was tugging the other way. I say "hoping" because, even though I'm not terribly sympathetic to the Republican party, I worry that America is going to become a de facto one party state.

According to Wiki, that Atlantic City Casino has been in bankruptcy four times.
Lest anyone misunderstand, this is not bad management by every definition. Chapter 11 is a business tactic. Overspend, then screw your creditors. You can get away with it if you're large enough to attract small vendors who aren't in a position to negotiate terms. Note how he talks about China and Mexico. This works best if you're expanding because then you get to keep all the stuff you bought, whereas if you're running a viable business the food rots and the employees move on. Eventually you get to the point where you're getting government support and have the hugest building in the town so no one can compete with you, and theoretically you might actually make some money.
For a developer like Trump, there's no downside to this business model. He pays himself first and won't lose anything in the bankruptcies. He honestly thinks taking advantage of civic resources and alienating all his possible supporters is smart business.

By Christine Rose (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I still remember an episode of American Chopper, when thy build a chopper for Donald Trump. Of course it had to be gold-colored and it said; "He, look at me, I'm filthy rich".

I really hope Hillary finds a clever sociopath to use as a sparring partner in debate practice. She needs to figure out how to deflect his insults and turn them on him, jiu-jitsu style.

Oh she already has, e.g. "The woman card". I understand that her team has some delicious oppo-research on the Donald and they can't believe his repub opponents haven't found the same. The republican party deserves him; they created the void that allowed his ascendancy after all.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

There was a Facebook meme doing the rounds this side of the Pond. It said, and I quote;
"America, you might call this an election, but the rest of the World is viewing it as your I.Q. Test.
And it's not looking good".

One of the reasons I lurk here is to remind me that the above quote isn't necessarily true.

@ Julian Frost / Christine Rose

If you can’t run a casino to turn a profit, you’re pretty incompetent.

Chapter 11 is a business tactic. Overspend, then screw your creditors.

Ah. I was leaning on the 1st explanation, but that didn't explain how DT was still afloat.
Christine's explanation is making sense with the facts, but now I am really frightened by DT.

He really is a caricature of a capitalist businessman. I also understand why he is the Deranged Ranger's hero. A lot of small-scale quacks must have wet dreams of being like him.

Now I'll be busy thinking of ways DT can screw up the US science/health system to scrounge money out of it. And, from my personal point-of-view as an US outsider , if he can do the same to foreign/international institutions.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

The sad thing is, I have a strong suspicion he's going to be our next President. It won't take much - an economic downturn, a terrorist attack, things going south in Europe with the EU, Hillary stumbling into yet another scandal - to swing momentum in his direction

By DarkScholar82 (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I have some trouble imagining that a casino is a difficult business to keep afloat – compared to a restaurant or a hotel

IIRC the casino in question had a hotel attached, so while the casino part of it was likely profitable, it wasn't profitable enough to keep the hotel afloat. That would be particularly true if the business were loaded up with unsustainable debt. Lots of businesses have operated this way over the last 35 years. It's quite profitable for the people in charge. For other investors and (as Christine Rose notes above) vendors, not so much.

These days I tend to believe Republican politicians who say they would run government like a business. They do. What they don't say is that they would run the government like Mr. Trump's businesses, or Enron. Then they act surprised when their methods for running companies into the ground are also effective at running governments into the ground. (I'm looking at you, George W. Bush, and you, Bobby Jindal, and you, Sam Brownback, and several other Republican politicians.)

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I don't know, maybe it's just me but doesn't that photo make him look like a perturbed member of the order *Rodentia* ?
Perhaps a golden capped marmot .

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Well you can't deny that he's right in saying that a tiny child is not a horse. Unless it's a tiny horse child. I just can't imagine why anyone would even consider voting for Trump. Even if you believe he speaks for the ordinary person - he doesn't and he isn't.

I'm also very fed up with hearing the argument that no-one knew anyone with autism growing up and no-one knew anyone who died of measles either. The extent of your personal knowledge does not reflect reality.

I certainly knew people diagnosed with autism growing up (neighbor) and people who should have been diagnosed with autism (brother!) and people who suffered terribly and permanently from polio (mother, grandfather) and mumps (me) and measles (me, again). I can't imagine anyone who lived through those horrors inflicting this on their children. Do all these people have to see a child passing out from whooping cough spasms or rushed to the ER with encephalitis and coming home talking funny before they get the picture? Does it have to be their own kids? Does the kid actually have to be the rare case that actually dies?

By Christine Rose (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Cate K (not verified)

Donald Trump is, without a doubt, the most ridiculous presidential candidate for a major party in my lifetime. Yet he's probably at worst a slight underdog in a race against Hillary Clinton - a former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State - to be the next president of the United States.

And he is in this position precisely because he says things like "vaccines are a cause of autism" and "Mexico brings us their rapists and murderers" and "everyone should have nukes". The U.S. has become a country of low-information voters that uncritically believe everything they read on the internet, so the idea that someone like Trump has a legitimate chance to be president isn't shocking to me at all.

I'm not sure this is a viable solution to the problem of Trump, but Barnaby Joyce, the deputy prime minister of Australia says that the way to deal with a "bottom-dwelling, mudsucking" pest is to unleash herpes on it.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-36189409

(Joyce was actually referring to invasive carp, but the principle is the same).

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

This election is cutting off your nose to spite your face. I laughed with everyone else when drumph entered the race, but he's going to win on the self hating minorities and the fact his colossal errors have been public instead of Clintons. Drumph bankrupted shit, dealt with it publicly (screaming oppression even), she has a history of being the only one to kill a run before it started. Reps are going to run trump, then instead of a hanging chad they'll run a current fbi investigation. Enjoy the new hitler, because in 8 months you're going to have an emperor of the USA.

By But I Play One… (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

and the fact his colossal errors have been public instead of Clintons.

Oh please. The Republicans have been going after the Clintons for almost 30 years. There's nothing left, and his whiny little remarks are going to push everyone into her arms. His "woman card" alone has netted her 2.6 mill in donations since he said it.

Doesn't mean we can sleep easy, because when everyone thinks it's a slam dunk, there's low turnout and that's how Repubs win. But you can't win without the women and minority votes and he absolutely doesn't have those.

By Frequent Lurker (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

But I Play One on T.V.

No, we won't have an emperor. Whatever Trump actually thinks the Presidency entails, it's not a dictatorial post. The Republican Party right now seems unsure what to do -- support Trump as part of the all-encompassing desire to beat the Democrats, or oppose them since he's terrible? So I have a suspicion he will have difficulty working with Congress. This has been the millstone around the Obama administration, and I think it will be around his as well. The Dems of course will not want to cooperate with him, and I rather suspect a fair number of Republicans also won't. We could be in for the most useless Presidency in recent memory.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Not to worry. He will put the best minds from the faculty of Trump University in charge or public health. I'm sure there isn't a problem they can't solve.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

The fact that Trump is self-financing (not entirely, though) may be one of the most dangerous things about his candidacy. Big donors expect favorable results and if an elected official fails then they don't get them. I suspect, but I don't know for sure, that big money behind a candidate might act as a brake on some of the more stupid or dangerous ideas and actions that the recipient might indulge in.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Under "it's worse than that, Jim," I want to remind people that the Director of the CDC, the one that actually decides on the schedule (ACIP can only make recommendations) is also appointed by the president.

I have not been able to find any restrictions on the president's power to remove the CDC director, either.

Another thing to consider.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Calli Arcale: I don’t like her at all, but she’s far less likely to destroy the nation.

Ditto. And, unlike most of the Republicans, she's willing to accept scientific theories. I mean, seriously, we have two 'Science' commitees in Congress, and not one of the people on those commitees is aware that the Earth isn't flat or that the earth goes around the sun. And on a purely selfish level, I rather like voting, being able to control my own reproduction and knowing that sexual assualt is in, theory, illegal and will, again in theory, be prosecuted, rather than being tolerated. If a Republican wins, say goodbye to voting, the pill and any rights at all.
. I'd prefer Sanders, but.. we'll make do with what we have.

Calli Arcale:No, we won’t have an emperor. Whatever Trump actually thinks the Presidency entails, it’s not a dictatorial post.

Yet. Most members of the armed forces vote Republican. I suspect they'd be ok with a coup. The only good thing about Trump is that it shows you who people really are. I've unfriended two people on Facebook- one was a Trump supporter. I'm kinda disgusted with him, really, he seemed like a decent guy in high school, but a dude who'll happily support a guy who's cool with rape and incest is not someone I need in my life.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

You know what they say about conspiracy theories: "Bet ya' can't eat just one."

Trump has a whole Roman feast of CTs. Today on Daily Kos (Democratic activist site), an article about Trump's insinuations that Cruz's crazy father had something to do with Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination.

Really. For real seriously. Read this:

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/3/1522574/-Trump-says-Ted-Cruz-f…

The guy is out of his mind.

Now think of him with the nuclear button, getting in a nasty with Putin.

And yet, Cruz really is worse: God's agent of destiny.

Whatever policy differences I might have with HRC, are utterly insignificant compared to the true existential dangers that Trump and Cruz each represent. The choice is ridiculously clear. And we'd better make sure everyone we know gets in and votes this year: the stakes are too high to sit this one out.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I saw that on the cover the the National Enquirer at the check out line; I heard they endorsed Trump.

He only repeats stuff from the finest of news sources y'know.

No, we won’t have an emperor. Whatever Trump actually thinks the Presidency entails, it’s not a dictatorial post.

I've been wondering about this myself, seeing's how Trump has no political experience whatsoever and his only platform seems to be unbridled narcissism. Beyond redecorating the Oval Office in that distinctive "neo-Gilded Age robber baron" style, what is he going to do? Does he think he can just hire someone to do all of the actual work while he jacks off to video clips of himself set to "Hail to the Chief?" And if that does happen, who's really going to be running our country?

@Sarah A

And if that does happen, who’s really going to be running our country?

Listen. Trump's got people. He's got the best people. You wouldn't believe the great people he has. It's like words. Which he has, too.

And if that does happen, who’s really going to be running our country?

Didn't that already happen with Cheney? It is paramount that people get out, vote and don't just think a candidate has it locked up. Tho' I think it's a bit hysterical to imagine Trump as the fearless leader of 'Murka. To use his own words, "do the maths" and add: there aren't enough angry, white male mouth-breathers out there to get him into office.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Most members of the armed forces vote Republican. I suspect they’d be ok with a coup.

I don't doubt that there are rabid, loudmouthed Republicans among the armed forces, particularly among the officer corps, and particularly in the Air Force (the Air Force Academy is in Colorado Springs, home of the politically active religious right). But if you mean the armed forces as a whole, this claim calls for a [citation needed]. Because I see plenty of military types (active duty and retired) who tend to vote for Democrats. They tend to be quieter about it, only bringing up their service in contexts where it's relevant. There is also the UCMJ, which prohibits political activity in uniform. Of the loudmouths, I suspect that many (even most) of the right-wingers who claim a military background have no military experience other than the 101st Fighting Keyboarders and the 82nd Chairborne Division.

The Constitution, to which military officers swear loyalty, explicitly subordinates the military to the civilian President. There are lots of good reasons for that. Lots of countries do not have such a tradition, and those countries have almost without exception fared badly in terms of economic and political stability than similar countries that do have such a tradition: compare Pakistan and India, for instance. For a military coup to happen in the US, multiple high-ranking officers would have to violate their oaths, and the military takes that sort of thing seriously.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I’ve been wondering about this myself, seeing’s how Trump has no political experience whatsoever and his only platform seems to be unbridled narcissism. Beyond redecorating the Oval Office in that distinctive “neo-Gilded Age robber baron” style, what is he going to do? Does he think he can just hire someone to do all of the actual work while he jacks off to video clips of himself set to “Hail to the Chief?” And if that does happen, who’s really going to be running our country?

If—heaven forbid—Trump is actually elected, I predict he'll be at most a one-term President. The reason isn't that he couldn't potentially be re-elected (sad to say, his getting elected once would show that he could potentially be elected again) but rather that he almost certainly won't like the actual very hard work of trying to get anything done as President and would likely decline to run again; that is, if he doesn't resign before his term is over in frustration. He'll very rapidly find out that most major change in the US requires legislation, and no one in Congress is going to want to work with him.

That's why I'd look very carefully at whomever he picks as his VP.

I suspect, but I don’t know for sure, that big money behind a candidate might act as a brake on some of the more stupid or dangerous ideas and actions that the recipient might indulge in.

I wouldn't trust the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson to be effective as a brake on stupid or dangerous ideas. These guys know how to run a business--on that point, they have an advantage over Trump--but there is no evidence that they know how to run a government.

Although apparently Charles Koch actually does have standards. He's made some comments suggesting that he'd rather see Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump in the White House. It's a rational view for someone in his position to take. His profits under Clinton might not be as high as they would be under a generic Republican, but she's predictable, so there would be profits. Trump has a huge (not to mention classy) potential downside, because it's harder to predict what he would do.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I've been reading this thread. I would like to agree that Trump is unlikely to win, but I'm not convinced.
In 2004, Bush Junior was up for reelection. This was after clear evidence had started to emerge that the Bush Administration had not merely been wrong but had actively lied about Iraq having WMDs and links to al-Qaeda. Despite this, Bush won by an increased margin.
While I would like to believe that Trump will lose, I'm not convinced he will.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Why I'm not voting:

“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."
"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"
"No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did," said Ford. "It is."
"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"

By ScienceMonkey (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Trump also peddled The Trump Network, a naturopthic weight-loss and "customized" multi-vitamin scheme back around 2007.
True to his nature as a grifter, it was a multi-level marketing scam.
Britt Hermes' Naturopathic Diaries had a lovely takedown of The Trump Network last year: Donald Trump’s Naturopathic Weight Loss Pyramid Scheme

Though President Trump (a shudder went down my spine when writing that) would completely obliterate the Rethuglican party, he would heartily continue the Republican war on science started by Bush the greater and brought to a pinnacle by Bush the lesser.

Also, it is easy to have a casino go bankrupt. Put it near other casinos and have one that sucks.

If—heaven forbid—Trump is actually elected, I predict he’ll be at most a one-term President.

I suspect that if he gets elected the Wall will like, "Read my lips, no new taxes." Or if not the wall any of his other gimmicks that fires up the crowd, yet "it will be easy" is his only answer to "How?".

That is if he sticks around for 4 years. Unfortunately I don't think hiding in Trump Towers, refusing to talk to anyone in the Government, while calling into whatever media will still take the call about how the system is rigged with all those pesky checks and balances, is enough to get him impeached. We may be stuck with him for the duration.

I will not ever vote for Donald Trump.

I would also neither cast a vote for Ted Cruz.

And I will not vote for Hillary Clinton either.

Well...looks like I have no choice but to sit this election out again, or either do a write-in for Daffy Duck, would be about as useful as writing in any other viable candidate. I do not understand why the US election process consistently produces such unappealing candidates. I will only ever vote for someone who I actually want to vote for, & unfortunately, it appears that this is just yet again not my election year, third in a row.

By Cam the Cat (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Honestly, does it really profit anyone to point out yet more ways that Trump is a fucking disaster waiting to happen? If his supporters aren't fazed by his patently unconstitutional ideas about deporting Muslims, or his blatant racism directed at Mexicans, or his ridiculously unworkable wall, or his rampant sexism, or his support for committing war crimes, or his ludicrous ideas about trade, or his terrible grasp of foreign relations.... I doubt his anti-vax idiocies are going to sway them.

Wading through the muck that is the world of anti-vaxers, I'm used to feeling depressed about humanity, but at least in their case I can feel cheery knowing they are a much-mocked lunatic fringe. Now, though, we're being forced to face up to the fact that huge swaths of Americans are evidently pining for the "good old days" when men were men, women knew their place, and any dark-complected individual had better watch his step if he knows what is good for him. Talk about depressing.

By Dan Welch (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

he almost certainly won’t like the actual very hard work of trying to get anything done as President

To paraphrase Lois McMaster Bujold:
A lot of people dream of getting the Emperor's throne, but no-one wants the Emperor's desk.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Well…looks like I have no choice but to sit this election out again, or either do a write-in for Daffy Duck, would be about as useful as writing in any other viable candidate.

The majority of states that allow presidential write-in candidates require preregistration by the candidate in any event.

Sitting out this election is voting for Trump. There is exactly no excuse for the politics of snit. When the fertilizer hits the ventilator, ye who sit on thy thumbs will get no help whatsoever from the rest of us.

Trump will choose a VP whose task is to be so horrid that they will deter any thought of impeachment.

Oh, and one more thing. Three Supreme Court vacancies. The current one, and two likely additional ones. Whoever fills those seats will likely serve for twenty years. So it doesn't matter is Trump is a one-term wonder: his Supreme Court picks will be "the gift that keeps on giving." And don't forget, "gift" is German for "poison."

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Yet. Most members of the armed forces vote Republican. I suspect they’d be ok with a coup.

No. They wouldn't.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

"Trump will choose a VP whose task is to be so horrid that they will deter any thought of impeachment."

Jenny McCarthy. It fits his anti-vax agenda and the present gender-of-choice for running 'mates'.

I'm glad I can observe US politics from a distance.

Pompeii was engulfed by ash not lava. While it doesn't invalidate the entire article it does hurt your credibility as a science blogger.

I suspect they'd be okay with a coup.

Fortunately what you suspect and reality are poles apart.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Jenny McCarthy

I have a hard time envisioning a VP candidate worse than Sarah Palin, but la McCarthy, if chosen, just might do it.

I tend to think that Trump would go for someone with a bit more political experience. But there are plenty of potential VP candidates who would be almost as bad on the science as McCarthy, and simultaneously more coherent than Palin. Bill Posey would be just one such candidate. I'll refrain from mentioning others, because I don't want to give The Donald any ideas.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

I do not understand why the US election process consistently produces such unappealing candidates.

I've been thinking about this too - but if you "officially" join a party, you get to help choose their candidate, right? I have a visceral negative reaction to the very thought of "picking a side," but at this point I think it's time for those of us who've heretofore avoided politics like the fetid swamp it is to let go of the idea that we can be independent and above it all. It's becoming increasingly obvious (to me, that is - I imagine it's been obvious to everyone who's been paying attention for some time) that our current system is so heavily stacked in favor of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else that there is, realistically speaking, no neutral ground - even to do nothing is to de facto support the status quo.

Damn - now that I've consciously realized that I'm obligated to actually do something about it, aren't I? Bloody, bloody damn.

And I will not vote for Hillary Clinton either.

Well…looks like I have no choice but to sit this election out again, or either do a write-in for Daffy Duck, would be about as useful as writing in any other viable candidate.

OR, you could be a grown-up, realize sometimes the best decision has to be made out of not-your-favorite choices, and realize there are VERY REAL DANGERS to women, LGBTQ, and minorities if another Repub gets in, let alone this one. We have to worry about the Supreme Court and I am absolutely terrified.

You vote with your heart during the primary. You vote with your brain in the general, and the choice is clear if you care about ANYTHING aside from white, cis, straight, Christian men. Think about the other people dying on that hill with you if either Trump or Cruz or any other Republican gets in. Also, down races. You want a "revolution?" Gotta stack Congress and the Senate. Do not stay at home.

By Frequent Lurker (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

EmJay@51: And it turns out that Ted Cruz's dad sold Mannatech (which Ben Carson also shilled for, as described by our gracious host a few months ago).

Just ugh. What ever happened to Bob Dole?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

It makes me sad when any citizen says they're going to sit out an election - for whatever reason. You have only two rights that are unique to you as a US citizen: jury duty and voting. Enjoy the heck out of 'em, I say!

(Quoth the immigrant who paid through the nose to become a US citizen and fills out every ballot that comes her way. Haven't been called for a jury yet, though...)

I have a visceral negative reaction to the very thought of “picking a side,” but at this point I think it’s time for those of us who’ve heretofore avoided politics like the fetid swamp it is to let go of the idea that we can be independent and above it all.

Fortunately I live in a state where as an unaffiliated voter I can (with some restrictions) pick which primary to vote in.

So far it has always been about trying to keep one bozo or another out of the general election.

I even held my nose and voted for a State official I cannot wait to vote out in November because all the other people running against them was out and proud about their complete and totally insane view of the world.

At least when they put referendums and bond issues at the primary I can vote on those if for some reason I cannot find anyone to vote for or against in either party. I do remember when my Mom was livid because they put some issue or another on the primary ballot but you had to declare a party to vote and it was something she cared about voting for or against.

Jezebel is covering this same thing right now, and they're pretty solidly in the pro-vaccine camp. But I've run into quite a loon in the comments. He goes by the excellent moniker "idonthaveanyideawhatimtalkingabout", who has gone on to prove that eloquently with some JAQ-style concerns about vaccines creating superbugs combined with truly astonishing leaps of logic. At one point, he said that the only thing guaranteed to halt viral replication was death of the host, so I asked him if he disagreed that vaccination was more ethical than mass euthanasia.

His answer was that we don't have enough information to answer that. So I think I've officially found someone more horrible than the "better dead than autistic" people.

http://theslot.jezebel.com/new-trump-spokesperson-who-used-to-work-for-…

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Jenny McCarthy

I have a hard time envisioning a VP candidate worse than Sarah Palin, but la McCarthy, if chosen, just might do it.

<ScratchHead>

Is Trump satisfied in bed?

</ScratchHead>

Al

we don’t have enough information to answer [that vaccination was more ethical than mass euthanasia]

Even if vaccines were responsible for every single illness that occurs, including cancer, they would still be better than mass euthanasia. What is wrong with antivaxxers?

One small consolation for those of us on this side of the pond is that Trump makes our politics look almost sane. I mean, we only have an Islamophobe rich twat up against a decent lawyer who's tainted by his party's rampant antisemitism to worry about in our election in London on Thursday, and the minor matter of whether the xenophobic loons might muster enough votes to take us out of Europe in June to worry about. I've been saying for ages that I should dust off my Canadian passport (I'm dual national) but now that's starting to look like a seriously good option.

A question: if Trump does look as if he's got enough delegates to secure the GOP nomination, is there any wheeze that can be pulled at the convention to prevent him becoming the candidate?

I haven't heard any speculation or rules that explain how they can oust him if he has 50% + 1 delegates who are required to vote for him on the first ballot.

At that point I think the only option is to convince him to step aside. I'm unclear that if he did something so bizarre they voted, walked out, and started a new party in that moment if they can put someone on the ballot at that point (I just don't know all the deadlines for alternative candidates).

Eric Lund: I salute you for coming up with 101st Chairborne Division. That said, I would like to point out that first of all, the Air Force has all the bombs. Secondly, the Constituition hasn't applied for over a decade now. Everyone just acts like it's still in force.
Camthe cat: You're making Susan B Anthony cry. Women need to vote constantly, unless they're into submission, shrouds and never talking.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

PGP, if the Chair Force has all of the bombs, what are hellfire missiles? What are artillery rounds? What's an AT-4?
MLRS?
USAF has the bigger bombs, but each branch has their own supply, with the US Navy having quite a few bombs on their carriers.

As for the Constitution being in abeyance, odd, we're still holding elections, we've not had anyone declare themself emperor, we're not summarily executing people for political reasons, etc. I'd say that we're pretending very, very well!

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Politicalguineapig (not verified)

I’m unclear that if he did something so bizarre they voted, walked out, and started a new party in that moment if they can put someone on the ballot at that point

The convention is July 18–21; the associated deadlines make this seem impractical.

Regarding the possibility of a coup which PoliticalGuineaPig raised, in every presidential election since I've been paying attention there have been dark mutterings that the President will cancel the election and declare himself President for Life. Of course, they never have. 

But I've thought about the practicalities of this. Suppose a President actually did this. He has no legal authority to do so, which would make it an attempted coup. Who would obey this order?  The governorships are split between the parties, and governors of the opposite persuasion certainly, but more likely all governors, would simply refuse to cancel elections.

Even if we pretend that everyone in the President's party would support him, the electorate is split about evenly among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. That means two-thirds of the population will not recognize the authority of the leader of the coup and would have to be compelled to obey by force of arms.

Even if we pretend that the armed services would support the leader of the coup, what's he going to do?  Send tanks in to occupy American cities? Nuke them?  Do you really think the military would go that far?  They're volunteers. They volunteered to serve this country. Very few are going to launch military operations against Americans. 

As for PoliticalGuineaPig's fantasies that women would lose the vote, the pill, and all rights, how does she imagine that working?

The States run the elections, and the U.S. Constitution sets the minimum standard, not the maximum. Even before the Constitution was amended to grant women universal suffrage, they already had it in some Western States. If the President decreed that women no longer had the right to vote, the States would thumb their collective noses at him. Again, what could he do about it but try to launch a military attack?

Women will be denied the Pill? Or abortion? Or all rights whatsoever? Again, how can the President, even with the aid of the armed forces, enforce such a thing?  Order the FDA to crack down on Big Pharma to stop production? Oh sure, that will work. And even if it did, the Pill is as easy to smuggle across the borders as all the other drugs that are already smuggled. And what would stop governors from declaring their States "Sanctuary States" where presidential decrees would be ignored?

How does the President stop State prosecutions of rapists?  Short of pardoning them all, he can't. And if he did pardon them all, would the States really let them go?  And if the States ignored such pardons, what again could the President do short of military attack?   

Unless every single governor is willing to turn on a dime against the women of their States if a Republican is elected, PoliticalGuineaPig's scenario is impossible.

You know, let's pretend for a moment that every single governor really is willing to turn on a dime against the women of their States, as is necessary for PoliticalGuineaPig's fantasy. What is stopping them now?  What stopped them from 2000-2008?  Everything I've said above also applies right now. If all the governors suddenly decided to deprive women of the right to vote, or announced that rape is now legal, how could the President stop them?  They don't do it now because it's wrong, and they won't do it if Trump is elected (not that I want him to be) because it would still be wrong. 

LW, the POTUS can't pardon state felons, only federal felons. So, any attempted pardon would be null and void.

As for PGP's military nonsense, it was just that - nonsense. We swore an oath to uphold and protect our Constitution, not usurp it. Any presidential order that was unconstitutional would get ignored. Repeated orders might result in the POTUS being trussed up and delivered to Congress for impeachment.
He also can't unilaterally order a nuclear strike, as a cabinet official, in the presidential lineage, would have to also approve of the use of nuclear weapons. It's called the two man rule and that rule is ubiquitous in the nuclear program. No single person may have dealings with things nuclear alone, another must be present. That ranges from being in physical proximity to a warhead through the launching chain and up to the POTUS himself.

As for denying women rights, women still do vote, if they were suddenly denied the vote, they'd be in court and reacquire their rights back swiftly. At approximately half of our population, that'd be a hell of a lot of pissed off citizens!

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by LW (not verified)

There are a lot of Republicans who loathe Trump.

Obamacare. That's gone. Trumpcare is going to be amazing! No more Kenya Obama horse monster shots. I gave my son separate shots, and he's perfect. Look at how awesome, that boy! It's a no brainer. Three Trump Shots. No measles, No autism. That's how me make America great again, folks. We'll make those shots here, in America. Nobody can create jobs like me. I'm going to win because Trump is a winner. The Trump movement is sick of losing. You're telling all these loser politicians where to go. America will be great again.
____
Wow! Lyin' doctors going wacko today. Can't face reality. Making all sorts of crazy charges. Not very 'scientific'. Sad!

LW has a point. I remember charges that if the Catholic JFK were elected, we would all be governed by the Vatican. Abortion rights has been settled law for over 40 years. Most Americans don't really care about changing that. Whatever our flaws, we are a pretty law-abiding country.

@Wzrd1, of course the military wouldn't cooperate. Neither would large parts of the Federal government, nor the State governments, nor the Courts. That's my point, really. The President has no power to enforce any of the unconstitutional decrees in Politicalguineapig's fantasies.

PGP:

That said, I would like to point out that first of all, the Air Force has all the bombs.

If you mean the nukes, the Ohio class would like to have a word with you.

Secondly, the Constituition hasn’t applied for over a decade now.

It most certainly has. But your cynicism is noted.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Abortion rights has been settled law for over 40 years.

And female suffrage has been the law for ninety-six years. It's not going away.

I think Politicalguineapig imagines the relationship between the United States Government and America as akin to the relationship between Rome and its conquered barbarian tribes: a powerful civilized state barely keeping the vicious barbarians in check, so if anything happens to loosen its grip, or if one of the barbarians actually gets control, then the vicious barbarians will immediately revert to their preferred activities of slaughtering or enslaving anyone who doesn't look like them.

LW, Wzrd:
May I remind you two that Mississipi and North Carolina recently passed a state-wide dress code, and that services there are now a matter of whim? If a cashier, a diner owner or even a food bank administrator doesn't like your looks, out you go. Frankly, I put nothing past the Republicans, especially the governors. Just because it's wrong doesn't mean the politicians won't do it.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Due to the Electoral College, an individual's presidential vote in the general election only matters pragmatically – to keep the worse of two evils out of office – in 'purple' swing states. According to Politico, in 2016 these are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia. Presumably, every other state is effectively seeded to the Democrats or Republicans, regardless of the candidate. Trump might put some other midwestern and/or industrial states in play: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania.

So, all the readers of RI in CT, CA, TX or GA can vote for Bill the Cat for President if they like, and the D will still get all the electoral college votes in the first two, and the R will still get all the electoral college votes in the second two.

But Lurker hits the nail on the head with Congress, Senate – and Governor and especially state legislative races – as the reasons sitting-out elections amounts to turning science policy over to anti-science ideologues. First, education policy is set at the state level. Not only are we talking about anti-science curricula from the GOP, but an evisceration of education in general. Critical thinking? Forget about it!

Second, just compare CA and MI. The D-led legislature in Cali had passed a weak school-vaccinetion measure, weakened at signing by D. Governor Jerry Brown, as his Jesuit background led him imagine people wouldn't just blatantly lie about their Personal Beliefs, and abuse the PBE. After the Disneyland outbreak, the legislature cam back with the much better SB277, and Brown, sadder but wiser, had no hesitation signing it into law. On the other hand, the R-led Michigan legislature backed R. Governor Rick Snyder's anti-democratic takeover of low-income municipalities, turning them over to un-elected managers charged with cutting spending regardless of the essential services sacrificed. Thus, the lead poisoning of a city of ~100,000 citizens. And Snyder is doing nothing about it. No significant change in policy is even being considered. He's just blaming the Big Guvment feds.

Third, the utter gridlock in Washington is a byproduct of state elections. GOP legislatures and governors have gerrymandered Congressional districts to the point where conservative R.'s can easily maintain a majority in the House while receiving far fewer votes in total than D.candidates. Most of these folks win their seats in off-year elections, with no presidential race to draw interest, and thus D. voters especially tend to sit home. With control of the House, comes control of the committees that move or stall legislation in science and education.

The vote for President may well be the least significant civic responsibility for the interests of science.

@Calli Arcale #70: I haven't gone over to check it out yet, but are you sure he/she isn't a Poe? Especially given the 'nym?

Also - Holy. Jumping. Sh!tballs.

It's true that a majority of Americans don’t really care about changing abortion rights. It's just that the ones that do control a number of state legislatures, and are doing everything they can to 'save the unborn'. And then there's those that care, and have guns and fire-bombs, and can chase the last remaining abortion doctors out of Red states out of fear for their lives.

Which has nothing to do with PGP's scenario – commentary on which, as is usually the case with PGP, is pointless. While a sort of soft-coup could indeed be attempted in the U.S. – Patriot Act, War on Terror, martial law, something-something-Dick-Cheney – if Trump manages to get elected (don't bet against it yet, wait a couple months) he wouldn't even be close to positioned to pull it off, nor I think inclined to consider it. Coups are for losers.

@ Sarah:

Calli's Jez correspondent isn't a poe. He also doesn't think vaccines have anything to do with autism. He's off on some other 'unintended consequences' mutation something-or-other at some future point down the road. It's all OT, but Calli has her own science field to speak for...

Another Orac antivaccine article.
What a surprise.

Orac,
Are you ever accused of being a *one-issue* voter/thinker?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

@ Calli and Sadmar: Yeah, I just left a reply to his most recent comment and it lacks the distinctive over-the-top craziness usually associated with Poes. Which makes it even more terrifying that he couldn't immediately answer the question of whether vaccination is more ethical than euthanasia. I'm just gonna assume that when he said he "didn't have enough information" to answer the question he meant that he needed to go look up the definition of euthanasia. And in the name of all things good and decent don't enlighten me if you have evidence to the contrary - I don't think my faith in humanity can take any more hits tonight.

Molly: Abortion rights has been settled law for over 40 years. Most Americans don’t really care about changing that.

Legal, yes. Accessible, no. So rights can be legislated out of existence without a lot of people noticing. I suggest you see how 'legal' abortion is in Kansas or Texas. The same thing applies to suffrage, and for that matter, rape. Heck, rape is legal in Oklahoma now.

LW: a powerful civilized state barely keeping the vicious barbarians in check, so if anything happens to loosen its grip, or if one of the barbarians actually gets control, then the vicious barbarians will immediately revert to their preferred activities of slaughtering or enslaving anyone who doesn’t look like them.

I don't think I'm very wrong on that. Every thing out of Trump's or Cruz's mouth, or their advisor's mouths, suggests that the US, as we recognize it, is a rapidly failing experiment. Frankly, monarchy ain't as bad.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Are you ever accused of being a *one-issue* voter/thinker?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

You oughta know, goofus.

@ Politicalguineapig

Frankly, monarchy ain’t as bad.

Take my French word for it, monarchy ain't the solution. To remove a king, you need a sharp implement.
At least with fixed-term presidents, you can hope the next one will not be as abysmally bad as the one you will/have become stuck with.
Although I have to admit, the US Republicans* have been collecting bad marks for a decade, now.

But beware the quest for the providential man**. We French spent a century after our Revolution alternating between some pseudo-republics and at least three different monarchic regimes, always hoping to have found the right man for the situation.
This attitude bite us seriously in the posterior when we turned toward a war hero, a certain Maréchal Pétain, and made him a non-elected autocrat. And just to show we didn't learn anything, at the Libération we proposed his position to a certain Général de Gaulle. Fortunately, the latter did the right thing and declined, preferring to earn the country's leadership through public elections.

* And it is in this context that my country's main right-wing party decided to change its name (again), from UMP to Les Républicains. I will never understand politicians.

** culturally, we are starting to consider the possibility of finding a providential woman, but it is still a long shot.

---------------------------------------

Are you ever accused of being a *one-issue* voter/thinker?

Beware, lads and lasses, the one-issue troll has found his way here. Must have heard the "a" word.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

Kate @73

And bear in mind that the current mayor of That London is a serial liar, responsible for many of the anti-EU clichés and lies in our meejah, who is serially unfaithful, who has advocated violence towards other journalists, who pays more in income tax than most of us will ever earn while professing to be an ordinary bloke, whose grasp of reality is tenuous, and...and...

And he has ambitions (oh, does he have ambition!) to be our next Prime Minister...

Unfortunately I don't have dual citizenship, although - if the meejah coverage of the Scottish referendum campaign was anything to go by - most of our meejah think I live in Scotland, which I don't...

Imagine: President Trump and PM Bozza...

*Shudders* and it's too early for a large gin...

PGP

Want a royal family? You're welcome to ours, especially Chucky.

OK, Murmur, PGP gets Chuckie, I'll take Liz. Anyone good enough to work with military trucks in the war and still drive around her estate at her age sounds like someone fun to hang out with. ;)
It'd be quite fascinating hearing about the era of her childhood in the UK. Used to listen to dad talk about his childhood, back when milk was still delivered by a horse drawn cart and neighbors argued over the issue of said horse, when it was dropped near the property line.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 03 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Murmur (not verified)

*checks the results from last night's election coverage*

Mourning in America.

*sigh*

Well, PGP can have our Alexander, or Willem Alexander, including his whole family as well.

Heck, rape is legal in Oklahoma now.

You are delusional.

I have a visceral negative reaction to the very thought of “picking a side,” but at this point I think it’s time for those of us who’ve heretofore avoided politics like the fetid swamp it is to let go of the idea that we can be independent and above it all.

The US, like most English-speaking countries, uses the first-past-the-post system in elections. Mathematicians who study electoral systems have shown that the only stable solution in a FPTP system is to have two major political parties: loosely speaking, Our Party and Their Party. The last time somebody who was neither a Democrat nor a Republican was elected President of the US was 1848, which was about six years before the Republican Party was founded. Occasionally a third-party or independent candidate gets elected--Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine are the most prominent current examples--but that is rare. And note that Sanders chose to run for the Democratic nomination for President--he knew that he would have no hope of winning as an independent.

More often, third parties split one side of the political spectrum, allowing the other side to win. Most US readers will recall Ralph Nader, who likely siphoned enough votes away from Al Gore in Florida and New Hampshire to throw the 2000 Presidential election to George W. Bush. A more recent example had Canada's left-wing party, the NDP, winning a provincial election in Alberta, Canada's version of Texas, because the right-wing vote was split between the Conservatives and a group called the Wild Rose Party, who thought the Conservatives weren't right-wing enough.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

LW@104: You need to pay more attention to the news. A court in Oklahoma ruled that the law does not apply to unconscious victims.

As for abortion: A bunch of state legislatures are acting like Roe v. Wade is not settled law. There are many areas in this country where abortion, while theoretically legal, is effectively unobtainable: combine travel logistics (at least three states have only one clinic each) with waiting periods, and you have millions of Americans who would not be able to afford going to the clinic for the procedure.

Voting rights, too, are under attack. The voter ID laws in some states require documentation of every name change. Thanks to the unfortunate Western tradition of women taking their husband's name on marriage, this rule disproportionately affects women.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Want a royal family? You’re welcome to ours, especially Chucky.

I am quite happy for you lot to keep Chucky to yourselves. I am seriously hoping that the minute your current monarch drops off the twig, we will see sense and disassociate from the lot of them. As for King Donald ...

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

vote for Bill the Cat for President if they like

Ack! Thwwrp!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Heck, rape is legal in Oklahoma now.

This is an attempt at sarcasm, right?

Delphine #109

IIRC it is because that state has different laws for acts of sodomy rather than rape.

So just because they added terms and conditions to the rape laws doesn't mean they were automatically added to the sodomy laws.

So I think with the case that went forward because it was oral sex they rape laws didn't apply.

Hopefully this is a fairly easy legislative fix, although the attitudes about alternative sex acts could get some people in enough of a huff to be a problem.

My political sense, for what it's worth, is that mr. Trump co-opted the Republican Party only because he felt it was easier than trying to do so with the Democratic Party. He pretends to represent everybody who feels left out by both parties. The so-called true Republicans despise Trump as much as the Democrats. Now while the polls so he doesn't stand a chance of winning the general election they didn't show he had a chance of getting the nomination when he announced his candidacy, so I think it's prudent to plan for the worst. Trump is a master of just making things up and saying whatever he thinks needs to be said to get people to vote for him. It's clear however he doesn't understand science or medicine and as such if he should become president of the United States we can expect all sorts of Mayhem on those fronts. Myself, I'm not at all happy with any of the candidates running. It's like this whole country has turned into a reality show and nobody seems to understand that actions have consequences.

By Christopher Hickie (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Eric Lund #106
The comments on that article you linked make me so very depressed. That and the fact that Trump has a real chance to become our next president. *shudder*

By Secret Cisco (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

I’ve unfriended two people on Facebook

Ohh, be still my beating heart. "I am woman, here me roar!"-- Politicalguineapig #40

I bet she made her highschool sole male acquaintance say 'meh' after such unbridled assertiveness.
===================================

Military coups? Well, there is DHS, TSA, NSA, DEA, ..., NIST. It can happen here regardless of the status of the current figurehead puppet.

The Purge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQg9gpcx5Tc

American Drone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNXzmGrD16o

SecretCisco@112: One of the essential things to learn about the internet is that you should generally avoid reading comments on news sites. Unless they are aggressively moderated (which most news sites can't afford to do), they become wretched hives of villainy that make the Shades of Ankh-Morpork look like a safe neighborhood.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Oh god, that's it. I'm moving to Greenland.

By OleanderTea (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Alright, our friends, PGP and Eric Lund, illustrate precisely what I'm talking about
( about which I'm talking? which one sounds better? I don't know):

PGP makes over-the-top statements about rape being 'legal' and a lack of abortion rights and Eric clarifies her statements. ( @ # 96 she even says, 'legal' but not accessible. TRUE).

People react to her hyperbole or poetic licence- whatever you want to call it- and get upset with her.

You might ask why people write or speech in such a fashion: does she want to deliberately mislead us? Is she unsure of her facts? Is she trying to start an argument?

No, I would venture that it is a rhetorical move to get people to agree with her ( most of them may already agree about those two topics) that may come from a lack of confidence**.: describing a very horrible situation ( e.g. lack of accessibility of abortion ) as being even worse ( illegal) is exaggeration and a way of getting people to understand how awful it is. Not the best way.

YET opponents can just say-
'Well, she's lying- it iS legal'.
That's why we have to be careful: as sceptics, our opponents are always looking for stuff like that.

Remember a while back, one of Orac's commenters suggested that sceptics go on anti-vaccine sites and pretend agreement but then add outrageously loony ideas ( even loonier than anti-vax itself) to make them look crazy and discourage potential followers.

Orac didn't agree: he even wrote a post about it, quoting those of us (including me and Antaeus IIRC) who spoke up against that tactic- because we can win with the facts. FAIRLY. We're reality-based/

NOW I read on Mikey's cesspit of muddledness and Tim Bolen's re-vamped disaster zone masquerading as a website that Orac / Dr G encourages what the commenter had suggested.

He didn't . Most of us didn't either. BUT will any of Mikey's or Bolen's adherents go and search RI to find the entire episode ? NO.

Personally, I love hyperbole but know we should use it sparingly if at all.

** altho' she doesn't seem to exhibit fearfulness when confronting woo-spreaders- for which she should be praised.
AND she has often done just that @ RI.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

A court in Oklahoma ruled that the law does not apply to unconscious victims.

It's a bit more complicated than that.

Regarding the claim of Politicalguineapig and Eric Lund, the court decision in question was not about rape in general; it was only about the specific law regarding oral sodomy. It was not about a case of forcible oral sodomy or any other forcible sexual assault; it was about inability to give consent due to intoxication or unconsciousness. The legislature did not declare it legal for a man to get a very drunk girl to give him a blowjob; the court found that a poorly drafted law failed to explicitly make that illegal. And finally, far from the wicked Republicans rubbing their hands in glee that certain rapists will get off, a Republican state senator immediately set to work to fix the law. Since the matter only came up recently, that isn't done yet.

So basically what Politicalguineapig and Eric Lund have discovered is that some laws are poorly drawn, that one cannot be convicted of an act however reprehensible that isn't illegal, that Oklahoma prosecutors thought (and still insist) that the act actually was illegal under the letter of the law, and that Oklahoma legislators will act to fix the law.

This does not mean that rape is or is intended to be legal in Oklahoma. To say that it is, is paranoid and delusional.

Murmur @99 At least Boris won't be the mayor after tomorrow, which is small consolation. I recommend Sonia Purnell's book, Just Boris, btw - I think you'd enjoy it.

You might ask why people write or speech in such a fashion: does she want to deliberately mislead us? Is she unsure of her facts? Is she trying to start an argument? Perhaps she simply believes what she writes.

(Sarcasm): Ask not what Trump can do for you but what you can do for Trump.

(Sarcasm): Ask not what Trump can do for you but what you can do for Trump.

I can ask him to never speak of his own daughter in a sexual context, ever ever ever ever ever again. There are not enough vomit emoticons in the universe to express my revulsion for his total lack of both respect and BOUNDARIES JESUS CHRIST.

Delphine @120: Or maybe she has a terrible filter? I mean, sometimes I think terrible, outrageous, over-the-top things (often in response to things I think are equally outrageous), but I don't *say* them (or type them).

For once I agree with PGP, that abortion rights in America have been eroded significantly (in some places more than others). But as usual, the hyperbole isn't helping her argument.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Samantha Bee at Full Frontal tweets:

"Shouldn't Ted Cruz have been forced to carry his unviable candidacy to term?"

By palindrom (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@ Delphine:

I think that she believes SOME of it AND fears that if events continue as they have, eventually it will be true entirely.
Also, what JustaTech said.

My ( totally unsolicited) advice to PGP is that she might try being more clear so her meaning won't be misinterpreted even if it entails verbosity and going into more details than anyone would ever require or relish-
after all, this IS RI and that sort of thing is rapidly being developed into an advanced art form and is NEVER ( well, hardly ever) frowned upon- so why not?

Aren't we trying to learn how to more effectively communicate SBM and scepticism?
Rome wasn't built in a day.

It should be noted that some woo-meisters exaggerate to deliberately mislead people. whilst their attempts at parody and sarcasm usually are too heavy handed - there's a reason for that that goes beyond addressing the level of their audience-
it MAY be that that's all they are capable of doing.
( see executive function: figurative and symbolic speech, jokes et al) That's my guess.

Take a look at Mikey's lame attempts to vilify doctors and describe health care. It's so bad it's nit even funny.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

I don't disagree with either of you. As I age I'm less apt to demonstrate grace with generalizations (all Catholics, all MBAs, etc.), hence my impatience with her hyperbole. In the back of my head these days I hear my old man's voice, offering his (relatively few) words of wisdom: "Some people are just arseholes, end of."

@KayMarie: That's just uncanny. And to think that all the time I was hoping Republicans might actually learn something from Obama's reelection, the Onion could already foresee the white-hot ball of rage that was soon to be visited upon us - right down to the blotchy orange complexion.

I'd just like to point out to all the chest-pounding Leftists that Hillary Clinton is dependably anti-vax, and Bernie Sanders is a conspiracy-spouting, anti-GMO whackadoo who wants to fund alt medicine with public tax dollars.

By ThatSkepticGuy (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

And speaking of white-hot balls of rage...
( in other news)

- Kent Heckenlively writes a review of VAXXED which is a fine example of his ... uh.. 'way with words'

- TMR's Professor writes an epic that mentions her cohorts' recent appearance at the UN but focuses upon
the verdict handed down to Ezekiel's parents:
she finds it an 'affront'.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@Sarah A You keep approaching it the wrong way, probably deliberately. Trump's surging popularity (and I say that not as a supporter) more aptly reflects the growing dissatisfaction between the majority of America abd the out-of-touch petty authoritarianism of Obama and the Regressive Left.

It's a pointless endeavor. There's no real difference between Trump and Obama, or Hillary for that matter.

By ThatSkepticGuy (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

My current state of Indiana has gone full asshat, Thompson is alleging yet another 'reanalysis' of the DeStefano data, and Flintstones vitamins will kill children because GMOs!!!! At this point, I'd welcome the Zika zombies. At least it's something refreshing and will possibly give Robert Kirkman some new material.

@JustATech Not funding "private" abortions with public tax dollars in clear violation of the law is in no way akin to "eroding abortion rights".

If only you Regressives were as troubled by the actual erosion of actual rights Obama and your party have gleefully engaged in throughout the past 8 wiretap-filled years.

By ThatSkepticGuy (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@ThatSkepticGuy, what is a "private" abortion vs a public health care treatment?
So, while I was in the military, my wife should have not been treated for her ectopic pregnancy, as our health care money came from public funding? She should have instead died, to make our nation great or something?

All of those wiretaps started under Bush, they continued under Obama, as there is a war going on or something.
You know, loads of dirty, smelly guys shooting at other dirty, smelly guys and vice versa? That all started after a couple of office towers were rammed by airplanes that were hijacked.
I had some friends and one cousin in those towers, they didn't make it out.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by ThatSkepticGuy (not verified)

LW: that Oklahoma legislators will act to fix the law.

It's Oklahoma,so I doubt it.

Christopher Hickie:It’s clear however he doesn’t understand science or medicine and as such if he should become president of the United States we can expect all sorts of Mayhem on those fronts.

Most of the electorate doesn't understand science or math either, so at least he's representative there. It's funny, with all that money that he seems not to have had any education at all.

DW: Most of the commentators here aren't applying the mouse problem to politics. Basically, it's for every mouse you see, there are ten more that you aren't. The same applies to anti-vaxxers, flat earthers, conspiracy theorists and coup planners. Also a lot of them are optimists and don't believe in the crowd effect-for every ten people, the IQ level of every person present drops.

Delphine: I generalize to work up profiles of people.
off topic- can we get rid of the might morphin sock puppet already?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

PGP, generalization is OK, but far afield hyperbole isn't. The former can be a useful tool, whereas the latter just convinces others that the hyperbole flinger is simply a flaming asshole.
Indeed, your "It's Oklahoma, so I doubt it" comment actually called a poster here a liar, as one person posted which politician is addressing the gaping hole in the state sodomy statute. Hopefully, they'll add drunken rape into the forcible rape statute, where it belongs.

Personally, I've been known to use hyperbole, but I use it as a humorous reductio ad absurdum tool, following an absurd point down the rabbit hole to absurd lengths.
I've even resolved to one day develop a humorous argument that utilizes every single logical fallacy around, in a completely circular and self-contradicting way. ;)

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Politicalguineapig (not verified)

It’s Oklahoma,so I doubt it.

While people who have lived in Oklahoma may say that, it comes off badly when said by people who haven't.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Who's the mighty Morphin sock puppet?

PGP, generalization is OK, but far afield hyperbole isn’t. The former can be a useful tool, whereas the latter just convinces others that the hyperbole flinger is simply a flaming asshole.
Indeed, your “It’s Oklahoma, so I doubt it” comment actually called a poster here a liar, as one person posted which politician is addressing the gaping hole in the state sodomy statute. Hopefully, they’ll add drunken rape into the forcible rape statute, where it belongs.

Yes, she called me a liar. If I had any respect for her opinion, that would upset me. And rape of intoxicated persons (which I presume is what you mean by "drunken rape") is in the forcible rape statute. In fact, that's what the court's decision turned on: if all the same language is in both the forcible vaginal rape statute as in the forcible oral sodomy statute, except the intoxication provision was left out of the forcible oral sodomy statute, then the court can't read it into the statute. If it hadn't been in either, they probably could have read it in as part of the general mental incapacity.

And Politicalguineapig's indefensible bigotry in this and so many other cases is too disgusting for me to address further.

@ PGP:

I like the term 'mouse problem' Ha!

but we do have ways of figuring out how many anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists etc there are,
I used to quote Reuters research about anti-vax attitudes in the US and we do know where pockets of anti-vax exist.

In fact. doppelganger advocacy groups ( AoA, SM, Canaries, TMR, Health Choice etc) may make it look as though their numbers are greater than they really are.
Facebook numbers rarely reach 50K and I venture that many of these folk choose more than one place and get each family member and pet included as well. Plus, they're loud and extremely active on social networks.

Research around the time of the California legislation showed that most people there supported it.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Returning to my question of last night, a (British) lawyer friend of mine pointed me at this discussion of how the GOP could ditch Trump. It strikes me as unlikely to happen, given the clear, if terrifying, democratic process of the primaries, but as the piece points out, this is not a normal election. http://lawnewz.com/chbml

That said, I'm coming round to the idea of Trump as the candidate, as there will be much schadenfreude/fun to be had watching the election from this side of the pond, and Trump will (I hope) pretty much hand Hillary the White House with a landslide, which to my British, liberal eyes, seems like a good thing.

Kent Heckenlively ['s] ‘way with words’

He gets them drunk first.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

FWIW (rien) I don't think he will win, whether it's Sanders or Clinton. I don't even think he will get close.

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien:

Agreed

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

In fact, that’s what the court’s decision turned on

This, however, devolves into the state's failure to charge sexual battery instead.

This, however, devolves into the state’s failure to charge sexual battery instead.

That too. Politicalguineapig naturally confuses "not illegal under this specific statute" with "Totally legal and enthusiastically practiced by all the evil white Christian middle-class Republican suburb-dwelling males living south of Missouri." I may have missed a few of her bigotries there.

Wzrd1: Indeed, your “It’s Oklahoma, so I doubt it” comment actually called a poster here a liar, as one person posted which politician is addressing the gaping hole in the state sodomy statute. Hopefully, they’ll add drunken rape into the forcible rape statute, where it belongs.

I actually didn't see that comment, so I did not intend to call LW a liar. However, that is ONE politician. That does not mean a law will get passed. More than likely, the fix will get hung up in bill purgatory.

LW:Totally legal and enthusiastically practiced by all the evil white Christian middle-class Republican suburb-dwelling males living south of Missouri.”

Sigh. First of all, I'm not sure Oklahoma has suburbs. They might have one suburb. And it's more likely to be enthusiastically swept under the rug rather than practiced by a lot of people. Lots of people, especially hard-core Christians, believe rape is excusable and only happens to women who" had it coming." And they elect people who believe that too. The legal system has always been pretty useless; I figure if anything happens to me, I'm taking care of things myself.
Delphine: Gilly boy up there. It's no one's business if I don't want to bonsai myself into 'girlfriend material' at any point in the past or the now.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Sigh. First of all, I’m not sure Oklahoma has suburbs.

You just gave Larry Clark a stroke...

It’s no one’s business if I don’t want to bonsai myself into ‘girlfriend material’ at any point in the past or the now.

No, it most certainly is not. He's probably jacking into a bucket next to a stacked plate of cheeseburgers in his Mom's basement, PGP. Don't let him bug you.

Sorry to be blunt PGP but an autistic nun I know is better girlfriend material as compared to you ;)

Alain

Don't do that. Really, don't do that. You want to pick on her for her opinions, her gracelessness, bigotry, go for it, but do. not. do. that.

You might ask why people write or speech in such a fashion: does she want to deliberately mislead us? Is she unsure of her facts? Is she trying to start an argument?

No, I would venture that it is a rhetorical move to get people to agree with her ( most of them may already agree about those two topics) that may come from a lack of confidence**.: describing a very horrible situation ( e.g. lack of accessibility of abortion ) as being even worse ( illegal) is exaggeration and a way of getting people to understand how awful it is. Not the best way.

_Political_ _Guinea_ _Pig_

Is there politics in the comment sections of this blog (and no, I don't mean US electorate, I mean social politics or conventions here)? My question is halfway rhetorical but useful to answer...

Al

Ok,

Please excuse me both, PGP and Delphine.

Alain

Alain: there politics in the comment sections of this blog (and no, I don’t mean US electorate, I mean social politics or conventions here)? My question is halfway rhetorical but useful to answer…

Oh, the nym? Actually, it's just old, from when I used to go on a lot of political blogs. I'm too lazy to change it. I tend to prefer to recycle my nyms, and this one is the most gender-neutral name I "own." And no, I'm not putting my real name on the net more than I absolutely have to.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@ ThatSkepticGuy

There’s no real difference between Trump and Obama, or Hillary for that matter.

Last time I checked, the two latter never advocated nuking my country - or any other country - to keep it in line with American interests.
Considering seriously to start a nuclear war seems like a huge difference to me.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@ KayMarie

How prescient.
One of the Onion's article following yours isn't bad either.

"Nation Was Kind Of Hoping For Different Outcome When Concerned Citizens Came Together To Make Voices Heard"

The annoying bit is that the Onion is supposedly a satirical newsite, but the satire part is feeling weak.
It's one of the troubles with anything regarding Trump: it's next to impossible to make a caricature of him, because reality is already so over the top...

By Helianthus (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

First of all, I’m not sure Oklahoma has suburbs. They might have one suburb.

As Politicalguineapig demonstrates, again, for the benefit of anyone who missed it before, her spectacular ignorance if anything existing in the real world instead of between her ears.

@PGP

Lots of people, especially hard-core Christians, believe rape is excusable and only happens to women who” had it coming.”

Yes, lots of people do believe that rape is excusable and that victims (not just women) "had it coming". That includes lots of atheists, too. And I know some hard-core Christians who believe that rape is inexcusable and that "xe had it coming" is a reprehensible thing to say or even think.

Once again, your bigotry is noted.

ThatSkepticGuy @ 133 said "Not funding “private” abortions with public tax dollars in clear violation of the law is in no way akin to “eroding abortion rights.”

The Hyde amendment has prohibited federal funding for abortions, since 1976. Although the wording has changed slightly over the years, the 2014 wording is typical: "The limitations established in the preceding section shall not apply to an abortion— (1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or (2) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed."

JustAnUninformedIdiot and those of his ilk are unable to grasp a simple point: most federal funds are for services, not entities. The fact that our tax funds are used to provide screening, prenatal care and other LEGAL services through Planned Parenthood, an organization which provides abortion services using non-federal funds, does not mean that our tax funds are used for abortion "in clear violation of the law."

The beancounters under the Bush/Cheney administration spent millions of dollars trying to prove that federal tax dollars were being used for abortion and were unsuccessful.

I am certain that JustAnUninformedIdiot and his/her friends would say that it is impossible to keep the funds separate since money is fungible. I would invite them to peruse this at leisure, since it shows exactly how that daunting task is accomplished:

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=fdf0cad10f98330d8a47b…

If only you Regressives were as troubled by the actual erosion of actual rights Obama and your party have gleefully engaged in throughout the past 8 wiretap-filled years.

That was a Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld machination if I recall correctly. It just spilt over onto the Obama admin. Just like the recession.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

@Opus

I am certain that JustAnUninformedIdiot and his/her friends would say that it is impossible to keep the funds separate since money is fungible.

If only there were some sort of book, or ledger, as it were for recording funds, and people who could account for money that comes in, what fund it goes into, and how it is spent. And then, and I know this is a pipe dream, just imagine if there were individuals or organizations that could, I don't know, double-check, or audit, if you will, those records. Why, you could build entire professions around these!

My thanks to ThatSkepticGuy for bringing this incredible lack to our attention. Excuse me while I go and make my fortune on a brand new, never-before-seen field of occupation.

re Trump..

I just saw two absolutely hilarious commercials for Futbol teams from Mexico and Argentina that make use of the Donald's gadawful slanderings of Latinos-
they show players with soundbites saying "Killers!" etc.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

Todd W @ 161 "If only there were some sort of book, or ledger, as it were for recording funds, and people who could account for money that comes in, what fund it goes into, and how it is spent. And then, and I know this is a pipe dream, just imagine if there were individuals or organizations that could, I don’t know, double-check, or audit, if you will, those records. Why, you could build entire professions around these!"

Wait - this is just the beginning!! What if we used beads on wires to tally items for these books?!? Perhaps knots on strings for notes regarding these tallies!!!?!

Entire sweeping new vistas await, if only JustAnInsertPejorativeHere would break the chains and join us in this exciting future!!

@ ThatSkepticGuy
I’d just like to point out to all the chest-pounding Leftists that Hillary Clinton is dependably anti-vax,

Really? Maybe you ought to ask Mikey what he thinks of Hillary.

Or take a look at what Lyn Redwood and Safe Minds have to say about Clinton.

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

@Opus

I think we'd need something somewhat more permanent than beads on wire and knots in a string. Maybe...ooh...I have it. Clay or stone tablets. They're a bit difficult to work with, but they will last a good long time.

Todd W. @165

The technology is evolving so quickly that it's tough for a pensioner like me to keep up!

Trump’s surging popularity (and I say that not as a supporter) more aptly reflects the growing dissatisfaction between the majority of America and the out-of-touch petty authoritarianism of Obama and the Regressive Left.

To be honest, Trump's popularity did initially make me question my life-long belief that the vast majority of Americans are basically decent people who just want to live and let live, while the ignorant and bigoted are simply a disproportionately vocal minority. But then I figured that since only slightly less than half of Americans are Republican, and only slightly over half of them support Trump, at most, only 25% of Americans support Trump. That's more than I'd have thought, but then, IIRC, about 25% of Americans also believe that 9-11 was an inside job, that climate change is a hoax, etc. (25% seems to be the magic number for practically every conspiracy theory - I'm seriously starting to wonder if its always the same 25%. Is it possible that 1 out of 4 Americans completely out of touch with reality?)

Of course, the number of people who support Trump, or conservatism in general, is only half of the picture - the other half is who the conservatives are. If you look at the demographics of people who lean Republican vs people who lean Democrat, the Republican base is white, religious, and old. The Democratic base is non-white, educated, and young. In other words, the population that supports Republicans is shrinking, while the population that supports Democrats is growing. The insanity we've been treated to over the past few months isn't the distant roar of the conservative revolution - it's the dying wail of a sad remnant who refused to change or grow and are now being left behind.

^ I should note that the 25% figure is an extremely spur-of-the-moment, back-of-the-envelope sort of calculation based solely on the observation that regardless of who actually wins, elections generally seem to be fairly close to 50/50.

@ ThatSkepticGuy
I’d just like to point out to all the chest-pounding Leftists that Hillary Clinton is dependably anti-vax,

I'm too distracted to figure out who to format this properly.

Hillary Clinton Verified account
@HillaryClinton

The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let's protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest

That's the only relevant statement I could find from H.C. about vaccines. She made some hedging comments in 2008.

By Christine Rose (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

Sara A, I believe that the numbers may be even lower as the first primaries had ~20% repub voter turnout and fell to 10% for most of the primaries. Which would reflect that most rational repubs are staying home.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

The Democratic base is non-white, educated, and young. In other words, the population that supports Republicans is shrinking, while the population that supports Democrats is growing.

The problem here, of course, is that the youthful Democratic voter base doesn't much like Clinton. Without younger Democratic types actually choosing to run for office and providing something to motivate that demographic going forward, the party seems likely to just continue stagnating.

Opus and Todd W.:

Hang all that!

I really need a device that will allow me to write words without carefully drawing each individual letter with a pen.
Maybe something
that reproduces each letter the same way each time.
It would certainly save a lot of work

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

Denice,

Just carve each word into a block of wood (backwards of course). Now when a word is needed just dip it into some berry juice and press against the animal hide.

If only we had something better than berry juice and animal hides.

@ Rich Bly:

Now why didn't I think of that?

Wait a minute.... what stains better than berries?
Squid juice!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

What you need to do is get some brown stain from oak galls. Mix it with ground up green rock. The cool thing about this is that as the oak gall fades, the green rock powder turns reddish-brown! It's a huge improvement over berry juice.

By Christine Rose (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Denice Walter (not verified)

@denice if you grind up these special bugs you get a fantastic red

ThatSkepticGuy @133:
"@JustATech Not funding “private” abortions with public tax dollars in clear violation of the law is in no way akin to “eroding abortion rights”."

And that is 100% NOT what I am talking about. I am talking about the TRAP laws (the actual name) that require the same standards as a surgical suite (hallway width, HVAC, etc) for clinics that perform medical (pill) abortions.

I am talking about the 24, 48 or 72 hour waiting periods. I am talking about the politician-written scripts that doctors are required to recite to patients that are not medically accurate. I am talking about requiring hospital-admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions, as though any hospital emergency room would ever turn away a patient in need.

I am talking about the 20 week maximums, the 'fetal pain' laws. I am talking about how some states only have one person to perform abortions for the entire state.

THAT is what I am talking about. The right to bodily autonomy. The right to not have some man tell me what to do with my life; to decide that I must die for his 'morals'.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

25% seems to be the magic number for practically every conspiracy theory – I’m seriously starting to wonder if its always the same 25%. Is it possible that 1 out of 4 Americans completely out of touch with reality?

The exact value is (as any fule kno) 27%.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Crazification_factor

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

While I'd far prefer Sanders, I think now, anyone holding out hope is simply expressing wishful thinking.
It is a truism that, if one shits in one hand and wishes in the other, everyone knows which hand will be filled first.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Kate (not verified)

I think he’ll have to concede soon.

There's still cash in the bank; he has no reason to.

@Rich Bly #174: Even better - instead of carving whole words, how about just making a bunch of letters that you can rearrange to make any word you want? Of course, you'd end up using each letter hundreds or maybe even thousands of times, so we may need something a bit more durable than wood...like, maybe metal? It's just crazy enough to work!

Sanders won't concede. He's running 'for the future of the party'. He wants to get in on platform planks, and make a speech before the national audience at the convention. By staying in he also puts more pressure on potential VP picks. Even if he's effectively eliminated, he'll stay in of only to keep faith with everyone in California who wants to vote for him. Running is about a lot more than winning. See Ronald Reagan, 1976.

Trump could always change his mind, but after his win in Indiana he outlined two fronts of attack against Clinton. The election will wind up revolving on a handful of issues, and if Trump can set the agenda, he'll do much better than expected. His two issues: 1) trade/jobs 2) ISIS/military strength. For over 35 years, the only job measure supported by the GOP has been supply-side voodoo 'cut taxes for rich people'. That's dead for the base, now. Trump is the only candidate advancing a scheme - however impractical – to bring jobs back to the rust belt. The wall and the deportation fantasies are just symbols of 'jobs for YOU, not them', and the meat is NAFTA and the TPP, on which the Donald will simply obliterate Clinton, if he can move the question to that turf. Of course, he can't 'destroy ISIS' anymore than any president could (i.e. not at all), but he can savage Clinton on Benghazi and emails, and being the kind of figure the jihadis might fear more than HRC. Plus, he doesn't have the mainstream GOP's ties to the Saudis, so he he's freer to raise hell.

The GOP's problem is that they're going to stick with the Grover Norquist thing no matter what, won't go with Trump on trade, and thus he'll only get lukewarm support form the establishment at best. Trump may not need them, and the growing hordes of big-name R.s now saying "Never Trump!" may be replaced by twice as many rank-and-file enthusiasts drawn to him exactly because the establishment is turning on him. The GOP establishment thought it could choke the hated Big Guvment by enabling and exploiting the Tea Party, Fox News, and the wingnut radio-talkers and websites. But they were the ones who wound up with the noose around their necks.

Two recent headlines turned up by Google:

"Cruz: Let's face it, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes have turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network."

"Deadpool, Donald Trump give Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox sales a boost."

There you have it. Trump/Deadpool 2016!

If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America? LOOK! I'm a teenage girl, I'd rather be anywhere than here! I'm all about long sullen silences, followed by mean comments, followed by more silence! So what's it gonna be, long sullen silence, or mean comment? Go on, take your pick. If she was a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote Daddy needs to express some rage. I'm gonna do to your face what Limp Bizkit did to music in the late 90s! I know where she went; it's disgusting; I don't want to talk about it. Finish fucking her the fuck up. You're probably thinking “This is a superhero movie, but that guy in the suit just turned that other guy into a fucking kebab." Surprise, this is a different kind of superhero story. The making and authorized distribution of this film supported over 13,000 jobs and involved hundreds of thousands of work hours.

Sanders won’t concede. He’s running ‘for the future of the party’. He wants to get in on platform planks, and make a speech before the national audience at the convention. By staying in he also puts more pressure on potential VP picks. Even if he’s effectively eliminated, he’ll stay in of only to keep faith with everyone in California who wants to vote for him. Running is about a lot more than winning. See Ronald Reagan, 1976.

Trump could always change his mind, but after his win in Indiana he outlined two fronts of attack against Clinton. The election will wind up revolving on a handful of issues, and if Trump can set the agenda, he’ll do much better than expected. His two issues: 1) trade/jobs 2) ISIS/military strength. For over 35 years, the only job measure supported by the GOP has been supply-side voodoo ‘cut taxes for rich people’. That’s dead for the base, now. Trump is the only candidate advancing a scheme – however impractical – to bring jobs back to the rust belt. The wall and the deportation fantasies are just symbols of ‘jobs for YOU, not them’, and the meat is NAFTA and the TPP, on which the Donald will simply obliterate Clinton, if he can move the question to that turf. Of course, he can’t ‘destroy ISIS’ anymore than any president could (i.e. not at all), but he can savage Clinton on Benghazi and emails, and being the kind of figure the jihadis might fear more than HRC. Plus, he doesn’t have the mainstream GOP’s ties to the Saudis, so he he’s freer to raise hell.

The GOP’s problem is that they’re going to stick with the Grover Norquist thing no matter what, won’t go with Trump on trade, and thus he’ll only get lukewarm support form the establishment at best. Trump may not need them, and the growing hordes of big-name R.s now saying “Never Trump!” may be replaced by twice as many rank-and-file enthusiasts drawn to him exactly because the establishment is turning on him. The GOP establishment thought it could choke the hated Big Guvment by enabling and exploiting the Tea Party, Fox News, and the wingnut radio-talkers and websites. But they were the ones who wound up with the noose around their necks.

Two recent headlines turned up by Google:

“Cruz: Let’s face it, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes have turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network.”

“Deadpool, Donald Trump give Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox sales a boost.”

There you have it. Trump/Deadpool 2016!

If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America? LOOK! I’m a teenage girl, I’d rather be anywhere than here! I’m all about long sullen silences, followed by mean comments, followed by more silence! So what’s it gonna be, long sullen silence, or mean comment? Go on, take your pick. If she was a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. Daddy needs to express some rage. I’m gonna do to your face what Limp Bizkit did to music in the late 90s! She was favored to win and she got schlonged, She lost. All they do is lose. Finish fukking her the fukk up. You’re probably thinking “This is a superhero movie, but that guy in the suit just turned that other guy into a fukking kebab.” Surprise, this is a different kind of superhero story.
[The making and authorized distribution of this film supported over 13,000 jobs and involved hundreds of thousands of work hours.]

One simple way to obliterate Trump is to recall his comments under Reagan about nuclear proliferation, attacking France, etc.
Dude is totally a twilight zone candidate, way out there!

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by sadmar (not verified)

So it is going to come down to either Shillary or Trump. Sigh. At this point I'm wishing for some more Obama - let him stay in office for now and we can all hope that the next round of candidates won't be as awful*.

*who am I trying to fool here - US politics will always be about choosing the lesser evil...

Well, it's a big village, there are plenty of more village idiots to pick from.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Amethyst (not verified)

It takes a village idiot.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

I see! So, is it too late for me to enter the race? ;)

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by herr doktor bimler (not verified)

OMG they give nominees security briefings with classified information.

We are trusting a man who seems to have no control over what comes out of his mouth if he thinks he is being funny with national secrets.

I mean I know he keeps saying he won't tell anyone what he is doing until after he did it, but this is the guy as Trevor Noah pointed out that can't be trusted to keep anyone's cell phone number to hisself if he would get some energy from the crowd by giving it out.

@KayMarie, I'm not too worried about Trump running his mouth with classified information. The NDA that he signed in order to be allowed access to classified information is air tight and has very, very serious medicine for anyone divulging classified information.
Heavy medicine as in being Manning's cell mate.

Which brings up an interesting question. In our political system, what would happen if Trump were to now become unavailable? A single party election?

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by KayMarie (not verified)

Which brings up an interesting question. In our political system, what would happen if Trump were to now become unavailable? A single party election?

Nobody has been nominated by the Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter). Were Herr. Drumpf to suddenly become indisposed or unavailable, then the convention in Cleveland becomes extremely exciting. supposing he were not available after the convention then it would depend on the rules for being put on the ballot in each of the states, which I admit to not knowing. Even then it becomes a matter for the Electoral College, since the popular vote is really for a slate of pledged electors.

So it would depend on the state and how late it was as to what would happen.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

IANALNDIPOOT, but I wouldn't think that Presidential candidates have any authority to release classified data. Wzrd1 is probably right on the risks a loose lipped candidate with access to classified data runs.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

We actually do know, Liz. When he signed his non-disclosure agreement, he was also briefed on criminal penalties involved in spilling, breaching or disclosing classified information. It's a standard briefing given when access is granted.
I know that from personal experience, as I've held a security clearance for my entire adult life and get that briefing annually.
We're not talking about a gentleman's prison either, it's straight solitary confinement, lest further disclosures occur to the prison population.
Uncle Sam is really, really big on retaining his secrets, which is something even Ben Franklin agreed should be so.

The shame about Manning was, access to classified information is to be immediately terminated if one is flagged for deleterious personnel actions. That wasn't done in Manning's case and those who failed to do so should have also been punished, as their dereliction of duty permitted access to continue until a lot of damaging information was divulged to a foreign group.
Still, nobody in the diplomatic community was shocked to learn that ambassadors loathed one another, the big deal was releasing that information to the unwashed masses.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Liz Ditz (not verified)

Yeah, but -

Trump has not yet been nominated, and isn't receiving briefings yet.

Yeah, his path looks clear, but maybe, just maybe, the GOP will find a way to block it. I dunno how they would do that, but it would suck for the country if the choice was Trump or Clinton for POTUS, the two most hated candidates ever.

I too have been privy to some of our nations closely guarded secrets, and the thought of Trump, born without the ability to engage his brain prior to speaking, having access to the same thing fills me with dread.

Just to keep this whole thing on topic, I view Trump the same as I view Doctor Jay - even if both had perfectly sane views on vaccines, even if both said loud and clear that vaccines do not cause autism, I would still believe both were unfit for their positions because of their other statements and beliefs.

I have a passing familiarity with security clearance and what the threats are if you breach it.

Donald's style of riding the crowd and letting it dictate what falls out of his mouth requiring multiple aborted efforts at walking it back worry me. Add in how much he has no self control if he thinks someone dissed him....yikes.

On another note, they interviewed a group of independents about Trump this morning on CNN. One of the women who has drunk the Trump Koolaid tossed out one of the nastier Clinton Conspiracies and when asked what her evidence for that was sputtered and then replied, "Google is my best friend." *facepalm*

I want to live in Canada. Canada seems to be better than the USA.

I want to live in Canada. Canada seems to be better than the USA.

The antivax brigade has been "threatening" to emigrate for as long as I can remember (mostly from California, of late). A work visa should do.

I'm just pissed off that the crappy, monopolistic, financially mismanaged public radio station in the U.S.'s third-lagest DMA stopped airing The Vinyl Cafe (and Ideas) in the evening in favor of reruns from their endless weekend outpouring of This American Life knockoffs.

Ohh, Narad #200; Why do you hate??

@Gilbert, I'm actually quite effective at collateral murder. Your point?

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 17 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Gilbert (not verified)

Funny, the unedited version of Manning's video showed a men with AK's and RPG's, but those were innocent weapons, not men involved in firefights with US forces all morning.
But, let's not let silly little things like facts get in the way of discussing the issues!

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 17 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Gilbert (not verified)

Yea, it was pretty sneaky of them to disguise that RPG as a camera.

Man with camera interviews man with RPG, man with RPG gets shot at by AH64 helicopter, resulting in man with camera having his terminal interview.
Maybe it's a lousy idea interviewing people with RPG's and AK's in an area where a firefight has been raging all morning.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 18 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Gilbert (not verified)

Yeah, and the guys with broomsticks disguised as AKs were just gathering to pose for pictures, right?

/sarcasm

They first mistook cameras for weapons "that's a weapon". Then they identified two individuals with rifles (it's a warzone with bad elements walking about,would you be caught out there without yours?). They were already planning to open fire when at 4:13 they note an 'RPG'. They finish coming around the building to have all the individuals grouped together looking at the telephoto picture Namir just shot. They are all killed.

All these elements are seen in the 'edited' version; The only other thing the 39.5 minute unedited version has on offer is the destruction (via hellfire) of a building where several men with rifles entered.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dDHkv1XhGU

Mistakes are one thing. Only in refusing to see or correct the mistake does it become an error.

A long shadow cast on the ground by a telephoto lens on Noor-Eldeen's camera is misidentified by the pilot as an additional RPG aimed at him and a U.S. Army humvee directly below his aircraft. One second later he screams, "He's got an RPG!"

But they recieved permission to open fire before uttering the word 'RPG'.

"the vast majority of the men were clearly unarmed". Greenwald called the second airstrike a "plainly unjustified killing of a group of unarmed men carrying away an unarmed, seriously wounded man to safety".

...When the crew were informed that a child had been injured by their attack, one initially responded, "Ah damn. Oh well", and a minute later continued, "Well, it's their fault for bringing kids into a battle". Smith describes this reaction as inhuman. She draws parallels with soldiers who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder in earlier wars. She continues "... the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are inflicting huge psychological damage on combatants". In refusing to recognise this, the US military fails both its own soldiers and their "victims"

...""And you can see that they also deliberately target Saaed, a wounded man there on the ground, despite their earlier belief that they didn’t have the rules of engagement—that the rules of engagement did not permit them to kill Saeed when he was wounded. When he is rescued, suddenly that belief changed. You can see in this particular image he is lying on the ground and the people in the van have been separated, but they still deliberately target him. This is why we called it Collateral Murder. In the first example maybe it’s collateral exaggeration or incompetence when they strafe the initial gathering, this is recklessness bordering on murder, but you couldn’t say for sure that was murder. But this particular event—this is clearly murder. -- Julian Assange

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_12,_2007_Baghdad_airstrike

Of course, " the video and accompanying audio make clear that the soldiers in the helicopter said they spotted "weapons" among those in the group—later allegedly identified by an internal army investigator as an AK-47, RPG rounds and 2 RPG launchers, one of which was loaded."

Of course that would have been the finding in order to not take two effective killing units out of commission for the length of a Geneva hearing.

I can plainly see rifles (two amongst 11 men); I can not see any RPG tubes.
==================

What would Trump do? I must say I don't like much of his little-handed tough talking. How would he handle this classified material? Why was the video 'classified' if there were nothing to hide?

Classification of information may be done to not disclose to any adversaries our sources, means and capabilities of our technologies or even to avoid inflammatory uses, as was done with the inflammatory title "collateral murder".

Having been on the receiving end of RPG fire, receiving multiple broken ribs from fragments propelled from an exploding warhead, to this day, I have an adrenaline response whenever I see a silhouette of an RPG in its pouch or in its tube.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Gilbert (not verified)

Narad... I am not antivaccine. I know that vaccines are safe, and I know that vaccines do not cause autism.
I really dislike the Republican Party and I really dislike Trump.
Canada is better than the USA nowadays because Canadians had the good sense to kick Harper to the curb.

Narad… I am not antivaccine.

I didn't mean to suggest that you were; I should have written that more carefully.

It's official.
Trump is the Republican Party Presidential Candidate.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 20 Jul 2016 #permalink

I know and a Dutch politician was there as well. I read a statement gay people are better of with Trump.
I think I doubt that. Today I read an opinion piece, stating Trump might become the next president of the USA.