From the Shit You Can Not Make Up Files

Several weeks ago, this happened:

After pointing out that Vegan Sarah Palin and Aleppo Man were clowns, Stein’s donations plummeted by 60%, so now she is nailing herself to the cross begging for donations:

In other words, John Oliver promised to take the two candidates seriously.

And, believe it or not, Oliver’s staff actually called our campaign before the program to ask for clarification on Jill’s platform – especially on the main part of his rant, cancelling student debt.

Despite this stab at due diligence (of the sort comedians undertake) …

Oliver got it woefully, intentionally wrong. Gosh, it was almost as if they weren’t interested in the truth. It’s almost as if they just wanted to do a hatchet job…

Oh, all right. We’ll come clean – John Oliver and his cronies at Time/Warner obviously knew what they were doing….lol! Oliver stated flatly that Jill doesn’t understand the policy implications of using quantitative easing to cancel student debt.

Baloney!

The show’s staff was told by the campaign that Jill was considering several mechanisms to cancel student debt – including using quantitative easing. Quantitative easing is technically possible, but would be very difficult politically.

But that is what distinguishes Jill and Ajamu from the other candidates – they have the political will to implement bold ideas that will transform government from catering to the 1% to caring for the 99%.

She still has no idea what quantitative easing is, but it’s a BOLD idea! I’m going to cure world hunger by playing frisbee golf. It makes no sense, but it’s BOLD!






274 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    The show’s staff was told by the campaign that Jill was considering several mechanisms to cancel student debt – including using quantitative easing. Quantitative easing is technically possible, but would be very difficult politically.

    oh, sweet jesus. (rubs bridge of nose)

  2. 2
    Tom Levenson says:

    Jill Stein is a daily reminder that mastering one body of technical knowledge does not make you smart — and certainly not learned.

    TL:DR — FFS

  3. 3
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @chopper: Yes, if there’s one guiding principle that Jill Stein abides, it’s a steely-eyed realism about what’s difficult politically.

  4. 4
    The Moar You Know says:

    She’s the most unqualified candidate running in this election and given the competition, that’s saying a lot.

  5. 5
    C. Isaac says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I would still have less existential dread if Stein were elected over Hair Furor.

    At least she’s not going around saying ‘nuclear proliferation? Let’s give that a go!’

    But the bar here is so low there’s a ‘call before digging’ sign over it.

  6. 6
    hueyplong says:

    Jill Stein and Ben Carson, in combination with the doctors with whom I attended undergrad school, have convinced me that Americans should really hesitate before putting an MD into office of any importance whatsoever.

    The late Terri Schiavo’s husband would probably add Bill Frist’s name.

  7. 7
    mai naem mobile says:

    @chopper: just so I get this straight are you rubbing the bridge of your nose with your middle finger,while facing some idiot Stein supporter?

  8. 8
    Matt McIrvin says:

    The most canny thing John Oliver did in that segment was to explicitly set aside the spoiler argument. It’s infuriating, because the spoiler argument is correct. But people who support third-party candidates have already heard it, have dismissed it and will never, ever be convinced by it–in fact, even mentioning it will set them off like it did Gary Johnson near the beginning of the piece.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    @Tom Levenson: She’s so ignorant that she doesn’t even realize that she’s ignorant. A lot of people fall into that trap; it seems like doctors and engineers are particularly vulnerable to the “I mastered one field, therefore I’m qualified to be an expert on everything” syndrome, but it’s hardly unusual. Unfortunately.

  10. 10
    srv says:

    Well, since Obama has supported trillions of dollars of QE, where is the link of him explaining the nuances of it?

  11. 11
    mai naem mobile says:

    @hueyplong: Also, Tom Coburn the king of blocked legislation supported by a majority of the Senate.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @hueyplong: Hell, serving as a TA for a freshman survey course that largely catered to pre-meds was enough to make me deeply apprehensive about the state of medicine. The big issue there was that because good medical schools are quite selective, the students were very competitive about getting good grades. And all too many of them were completely amoral about how they went about it.

  13. 13
    JDM says:

    I used quantitative easing to make a nice batch of soup yesterday. It was delicious. I’m using quantitative easing right now to wax my car.

  14. 14
    mai naem mobile says:

    @srv: since when did you want an explanation of anything academic from Scary Black Muslin Man Barack Hussein Obama?

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Anoniminous says:

    John Cleese explains it all, for you.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    After pointing out that Vegan Sarah Palin and Aleppo Man were clowns, Stein’s donations plummeted by 60%

    Who would have thought that a mere comedy show could have accomplished so much good?

  18. 18
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @dmsilev: I had the same experience! Repeatedly, since they kept assigning me to that class over and over. It was the intermediate of three intro physics courses, tuned to fit between the non-calculus one for non-science majors and the one for physics majors, and nearly all of the students were pre-meds. Worse, it was the second semester, which dealt mostly with the development for Maxwell’s field equations for electromagnetism. It is possible that there is a subject that pre-meds care about less than this, but if so, I have not heard of it. Yet they needed to get a good grade in this fairly mathematically intensive course. I have never heard so much whining and special pleading in my life.

  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I ride my bicycle quite a bit, on less-traveled roads through rural and exurban areas around here. Sunday afternoon the monotony of Trump sign after Trump sign on one long stretch of road was broken by the solitary Stein/Baraka sign. I was surprised they even had the budget to print signs.

  20. 20
    germy says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    less-traveled roads through rural and exurban areas

    It’s interesting that our misunderstood friends on the right can’t stand the thought of living too close to other people.

  21. 21
    eldorado says:

    mint the coin

  22. 22
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    The smartest people I’ve ever met were philosophy majors.

  23. 23
    germy says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Jill Stein is a daily reminder that mastering one body of technical knowledge does not make you smart

    Why do we always assume people like Stein have mastered their field? Do we have evidence that she’s a brilliant physician, or is she one of those doctors that inspires their patients to seek a second opinion?

    Didn’t Ben Carson perform surgery on a woman without bothering to study her medical records (permanently damaging her), and then admitted later in court “If I’d known about your medical history, I wouldn’t have done this operation!”

    Speaking of Carson, I’d be uncomfortable with a surgeon reading my medical history who allowed someone to engrave “poverbs” on his wall, and I’d be uncomfortable with a doctor like Stein who flirts with anti-vax theories.

  24. 24
    dr. luba says:

    @dmsilev:

    And all too many of them were completely amoral about how they went about it.

    That was one reason I majored in chemistry. Biology was full of pre-meds, and many of them were crazy competitive. Still had to deal with them is some of my chemistry classes, of course.

  25. 25
    LurkerExtraordinaire says:

    I’ve been a fan of John Oliver (and his former Bugle podcast partner, Andy Zaltzman) for seven years now, and these guys are not only brilliant but also funny as hell. If Oliver is putting is out there, he’s 100% sure of what he’s talking about. I’ll take his word over Stein’s.

    Stein is the looney left equivalent of Ben Carson.

  26. 26

    @srv: Good lord, did you recently become even stupider somehow?

  27. 27
    Enhanced Voting Techinques says:

    @srv: Obama did as part of the news letter Obama sent to us liberals telling us what we needed to do to fake Osama Ben Ladin’s death.

  28. 28
    dr. luba says:

    @dmsilev:

    it seems like doctors and engineers are particularly vulnerable to the “I mastered one field, therefore I’m qualified to be an expert on everything” syndrome

    I’ve seen that more among engineers than among my own. Why are so many climate change deniers engineers?

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    @srv: When did you go full NOQuarter?

  30. 30
    hueyplong says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Be nice. I’m told srv acts as he does due to economic anxiety.

  31. 31
    Hal says:

    Maybe Stein would have been taken more seriously on quantitative easing if she hadn’t described it as a “magic trick.”

  32. 32
    Calouste says:

    Let’s not forget that Jill Stein attended a Russia Today conference last year and set at Vladimir Putin’s table.

    Funny how all the candidates that could impact a Clinton victory seem to have connections to Putin (Sanders via his campaign manager Tad Devine, who worked for Putin crony Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine at the same time as Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort). Gary Johnson wasn’t apparently worthy of Vlad’s attention.

  33. 33
    azlib says:

    You could use quantitative easing to buy up all the student debt and then turn around and forgive all the debt. Of course the President cannot do that, since that is only something the Fed can do and forgiving the debt may be something the Fed cannot do legally. People would of course scream that this would just put cash in the hands of all the current holders of student debt. e.g those evil banksters.

  34. 34
    Mel says:

    @JDM: @JDM: @JDM: @JDM:
    Yes! Look how easy it is to utilize bold ideas like quantitative easing when one is a third party candidate with no viable political or fiscal management experience!

    Just yesterday, I used quantitative easing instead of vaccinations to protect my family from the flu!

  35. 35
    LurkerExtraordinaire says:

    @dr. luba: I knew a pre-med in undergrad who was going into medicine for the money. And only the money.

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: That has been my experience as well. Also any field that draws heavily from philosophy tends to produce highly intelligent people.

  36. 36
    dr. luba says:

    @Calouste: Surely just a coincidence, comrade……..

  37. 37
    hueyplong says:

    @Calouste: “Gary Johnson wasn’t apparently worthy of Vlad’s attention.”

    Gonna have to score one for Vlad there.

  38. 38
    Calouste says:

    By the way, “Vegan Sarah Palin”? Stein should wish she even had as little elected and executive experience as Palin has.

  39. 39
    Hal says:

    Nate Silver ‏@NateSilver538 2h2 hours ago
    Our model forecasts the popular vote as Clinton 49.2, Trump 44.7.
    What if we removed the ABC/Post poll entirely? Clinton 49.3, Trump 44.5.

    So is Trump’s ceiling definitely 50%?

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Not content with sabotaging themselves with Ralph “Egomaniac of the Century” Nader, the Greens insisted on nominating this ditz. They’ll still be around, just like the Prohibition party is still around.

  41. 41
    ThresherK (GPad) says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Canny is a good word for the kind of media I like. Nice job.

    Well, until Matthews and Halperin drop savvy for it.

  42. 42
    WereBear says:

    When I head out to farm country, for work reasons, that’s when I see Trump signs.

    Having been born in such a place, I could write an entire thesis on what makes them this way, but my mother managed it in one small paragraph. I was raving to her one day about how many of these places lack even such basics as restaurants and movie theaters and coffee shops; substituting, and not well, fast food franchises. “Don’t these people ever go out?” I raved.

    “No,” my mother said. “They don’t. And that is why they get so strange.”

  43. 43
    dr. luba says:

    @LurkerExtraordinaire:

    I knew a pre-med in undergrad who was going into medicine for the money. And only the money.

    Only one?

    I was disappointed to find people like that in med school. Some of them kind of liked medicine, too, and for some I think it was the family business. Still, to me medicine was a noble calling, so meeting people like that was a huge disappointment.

    Yes, naive, I know……..

  44. 44
    daveNYC says:

    @azlib: If you really wanted to be generous, maybe she meant that she would have Congress buy up the debt instruments and then forgive the lot. It’s ‘quantitative easing’ in the sense that you’re buying goofy financial instruments. But that’s about the only thing it has in common.

    Less generously, one could say she wanted to have the Fed push the money supply in order to trigger serious inflation and then decrease student debt in real terms (assuming fixed rate loans).

    No reason to be generous though.

  45. 45
    Calouste says:

    @Hal: I very much doubt that third party votes will add up to 6%. I would be surprised if it was more than 3%.

  46. 46
    Hob says:

    @germy: I don’t think anyone assumes Stein is a great doctor. Cole mentioned mastering a body of technical knowledge, and becoming an MD does require you to do that. It doesn’t mean you have good judgment, or will make good decisions based on that knowledge, or will do a good job of retaining what you’ve learned and keeping it up to date. But you do have to at least temporarily know a relative shitload of science compared to most people, and that’s enough to trigger the engineer hubris effect.

  47. 47
    dr. luba says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I have never heard so much whining and special pleading in my life.

    You’ve never dealt with actual medical students, I take it?

  48. 48
    bystander says:

    Quantitative easing, schmantitative easing. Dulcolax works just as well.

  49. 49
    Cermet says:

    @dmsilev: @daveNYC: I agree about MD’s but physicist with a PhD are the worse example – period.

  50. 50
    Jeffro says:

    Isn’t quantitative easing just another way to say, “print more money”?

  51. 51
    Jeffro says:

    @Calouste: Johnson will probably get 3-4% all by himself. Stein and “other” won’t get much, but they’ll add up to a point, point and a half.

  52. 52
    dr. luba says:

    @daveNYC: It seems to me that Stein is using “quantitative easing” the way many purveyors of woo use “quantum.” It makes them sound all sciency (or, in Stein’s case, political sciency), and actual means nothing.

  53. 53
    enplaned says:

    @dmsilev: a Dunning Krueger corollary.

  54. 54
    Calouste says:

    Ok, have to give this one to Mitt Romney. For Halloween he dressed up as… Mitt Romney. With a Mitt Romney mask. And according to Ann that’s his alter ego.

  55. 55

    @Jeffro: No, but apparently certain people think it is.

  56. 56
    shomi says:

    @Hal: Nate is trying to produce click bait for both sides. He’s become just another horse race site.

    I’ve gotten to the point that I am tuning out just about everything at this point. It’s 80% BS. Just like 2012.

  57. 57
    GrandJury says:

    @Hal: Nate is trying to produce click bait for both sides.

    I’ve gotten to the point that I am tuning out just about everything at this point. It’s 80% BS. Just like 2012.

  58. 58
    germy says:

    @Hob:

    and that’s enough to trigger the engineer hubris effect.

    Johnson is the opposite side of the same coin. He started a contracting company and got rich because he landed a juicy, lucrative account. Also, he skimmed an Ayn Rand book when he was a teenager.
    So now he’s qualified to run for president.

  59. 59
    germy says:

    So are you shomi or are you grandjury?

    So hard to keep your nyms straight when you’re typing so fast.

  60. 60
    Enhanced Voting Techinques says:

    @germy: “It’s interesting that our misunderstood friends on the right can’t stand the thought of living too close to other people. ”

    Funny story about that – girl next door from my patents moved to the country to be with REAL America(tm). So since she is a teacher she went from teaching Indian and Chines kids to teaching mini rednecks who were only there because of the law. She ended up quitting teaching and now raises llamas and her teeth are bad now.

    That is an odd aside to the health reform thing – in California you can always tell city people from country because the country folks’ teeth are just awful. So health care access inside states needs to be looked at too.

  61. 61
    Calouste says:

    @Jeffro: Johnson is polling about the same as he did 4 years ago (~5%), and then he got 0.99% I guess the addition of Oklahoma (the only state he didn’t get any votes in 2012) to the Libertarian slate might push him over the magical 1% threshold.

  62. 62
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @hueyplong:

    Jill Stein and Ben Carson, in combination with the doctors with whom I attended undergrad school, have convinced me that Americans should really hesitate before putting an MD into office of any importance whatsoever.

    Throw in my congressman, Dr. Tom Price.

  63. 63
    Hal says:

    @Calouste: Damn. I meant 45%, not 50%. Slip of the keyboard.

    Trump never seems to go above 50%, even if he’s ahead in a poll. I find that comforting. Hillary Clinton seems to be able to get close.

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    The smartest people I’ve ever met were philosophy majors.

    Not my experience. Every philosophy major I’ve knowingly met has been an unbelievably smug and superior dickface.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @Hob:

    I don’t think anyone assumes Stein is a great doctor. Cole mentioned mastering a body of technical knowledge, and becoming an MD does require you to do that. It doesn’t mean you have good judgment, or will make good decisions based on that knowledge,

    Isn’t good judgement and the ability to make good decisions with respect to your patients kinda necessary for a doctor?

    I have no idea what kind of doctor Stein might be (although the anti-vaxx thing is a huge strike against her). I only need to know that she is a crappy, uninformed political leader who would make a terrible president.

  66. 66

    @FlipYrWhig: While they were philosophy majors, or are we including life after college?

  67. 67
    cokane says:

    god lord, they actually doubled down on the quantitative easing argument!

  68. 68
    hueyplong says:

    @GrandJury: I have bought into the theory of the poster who said that Nate’s gig on ESPN will be over after the election, so he’s on his own in terms of generating hits. He probably doesn’t want to write off half the country (maybe more than half of the engaged section of the internet).

  69. 69
    James E Powell says:

    I get Gary Johnson. He’s rich. He doesn’t need a real job and apparently doesn’t want one. He has a bundle of right wing ideas and being a presidential candidate, even if it’s a tiny minor party, gives him the chance to go on TV and talk about them. If he were just a rich guy with a bundle of right wing ideas, he’d just be one of a very large group of people wanting to get on TV.

    Jill Stein, MD, I don’t get. Is it that being the Green Party candidate gets you on Pacifica and all your friends listen to Pacifica? Seriously, what is she trying to accomplish?

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Good point. I was thinking more “at the time” than “two decades on.”

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    The smartest people I’ve ever met were philosophy majors.

    That doesn’t sound right. If they were really smart, they would never have become philosophy majors in the first place.

    But I jest. I’ve never found any correlation between college major or profession and being smart, whatever “smart” means in this context.

  72. 72
    CZanne says:

    @The Moar You Know: I see your Jill Stein and raise you one Rod Silva, whose entire platform boils down to “Eww! Fatties where I can see them!” No foreign policy, no domestic policy, no trade policy, just make the fatties go away to their miserable fat camps foreva.

    Since it’s so easy to get on the Colorado Presidental ballot, I am always entertained by the platforms of the dozen plus vanity cranks who pony up their $1000. This year, there were 22 candidates.

  73. 73
    Princess says:

    Quantitative easing is a great way to remove those pesky carpet stains.

  74. 74
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Brachiator: Remember, SF author John Scalzi majored in Philosophy.

  75. 75
    Peale says:

    My hypothesis is that the Greens have spent so much energy trying to win over college students (who are difficult to get to vote in good times) this cycle that her donor base collapsed simply because classes started and students had other expenses. Easy to part with $50 from your summer job in July. But in September, the donor base has other things to do.

  76. 76
    Mel says:

    @WereBear: That isolation and lack of exposure to news sources other than Fox News, local papers, and “facts” gleaned from conversations with neighbors who access the same sources makes for a very insular and limited feedback loop. It becomes an issue of “it must be true” when people read it in their paper, see it on the “news”, and constantly hear the same tripe repeated by neighbors and friends at the store, at their church, at work.

    It’s hard to think of people being isolated from info in the digital age, but when I worked with at-risk students at a rural college, many of the students had no internet access outside of their few hours a week on campus, and those that did were severely limited by spouses/ parents / grandparents / pastors with regard to how they were allowed to use the Internet, in the name of “protecting” them from “bad ideas”.
    Add to that the fact that many students (and local residents) despite graduating from local high schools with decent grades, actually had reading levels that tested between 3rd and 6th grade, and had no critical thinking / critical reading training. Despite many of the students being quite intelligent, those barriers hobbled them severely.

    Some of the students (kids and adults) were extremely upset and confused when they saw my political party affiliation on a bumper sticker on my car. I had at least 15 long conversations that week with students who truly couldn’t get their heads around the idea of a Democrat whom they actually liked and trusted. Most accepted it eventually, but in a sort of baffled manner, as if I had to just be a single inexplicable “glitch” and of course all other Dems were still amoral, lying, traitorous, un-Godly monsters.

  77. 77
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Thirded, the premeds were the whiniest most entitled little brats

  78. 78
    hovercraft says:

    Florida EV update, it has good news and bad news.

    Total Ballots cast: 4,077.521

    Republicans: 1,648,603 (40.4%)

    Democrats: 1,632,677 (40.0%)

    NPA: 769,241 (19.6%)

    Total Margin: GOP +0.39%

    Right now, I think about 43-44 percent of the likely electorate has voted.

    And there are still 1,273.396 vote-by-mail ballots sitting out there, and yes, Democrats have more outstanding mail in ballots than Republicans. Unreturned vote-by-mail ballots look like this: 41D-35R-24NPA, meaning 79,658 Democrats apparently think watching cat videos is more important than putting a stamp on their ballot.

    don’t expect the Black share of vote to match 2012. That was a historic moment. But I do expect the Black share of vote to approach its registration share (13.9%). In my models, which have her winning, I expect it to land at 13%, so anything north of this is positive.

    On the flip-side, Hispanics, particularly low propensity Democratic and NPA Hispanics, are turning out. So far, 50% of Hispanic Democrats, and 55% of Hispanic NPAs who have voted are low propensity voters, which I define as voters who either have no voting history, or have voted in just one of the last three elections. And keep in mind, Hispanic registration grew by 121K voters in just the ten weeks after August 1.

    Democrats now have a low propensity voter advantage of 65,000.

    Another interesting point that a very smart observer mentioned to me yesterday: more traditional Election Day Republicans are voting early than Election Day Democrats. According to the file I use, about 620,000 people who have voted early already are voters who in 2012 voted on Election Day. In other words, in the absurd terms of today’s politics – these are early voters that the parties are “cannibalizing” from their own Election Day turnout.

    Republicans have been making the case that Democrats have closed the VBM gaps by cannibalizing their own vote, but here is an interesting finding: Republicans are actually doing it more to themselves. Right now, about 34,000 more 2012 Election Day Republicans have early than Democrats.

    In other words, the GOP lead right now is based on cannibalizing their own supposed Election Day advantage.

    On flip side, Democrats please don’t get all giddy. There are plenty of worrisome things in the data, not the least of which is the ridiculous number of vote-by-mail ballots are out there, and there are slightly more 2012 voting Republicans yet to vote than Democrats. In other words, to stay with the theme, take nothing for granted. And again, there are almost 80,000 more Democratic VBM ballots gathering dust in homes around the state – but a large chunk of those are low propensity voters – volunteer to go chase those. Whether or not Trump wins Florida is largely on you.

    Some things to feel good about, but also more work to do.
    From steveschale.com

  79. 79
    RaflW says:

    @Hal: Yup. It’s a magic trick (cue scary music) that you don’t need to worry your pretty head over, voter. In my hands, I’ll only use the magic for good.

  80. 80
    cmorenc says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Jill Stein is a daily reminder that mastering one body of technical knowledge does not make you smart — and certainly not learned.

    Not quite the right lesson to take from doctors vs intelligence (as in Dr. Jill Stein) – it takes a considerable amount of bona fide intellectual horsepower to sufficiently master the firehose of complex coursework required to get into and through medical school. (I’m not an M.D., but my father was, my wife is, my older daughter is – and I’ve been also surrounded my whole life by their friends and colleagues who also are M.D.s). The real problem isn’t that they’re not very intelligent – but rather that their successful experience in getting through one of the most rigorous and exhausting bodies of technical knowledge there is, short of theoretical physics, encourages them to cultivate a streak of intellectual arrogance about their competence in understanding other subjects. FOR EXAMPLE, doctors are often notoriously mediocre-to-poor at making investment decisions, not realizing the extent to which they are half-baked amateurs in the world of professional business investments, real estate, and stocks. Among the most common businesses victimized by embezzlement are medical practices, by their own office managers.

    In realm outside their immediate field of practice, physicians can get as enamored with quackery as less learned folks, compounded by their sensibilities of being masters-of-the-universe in their chosen field.

  81. 81
    germy says:

    What happened to commenter “GrandJury”? He made the same comment as “Shomi” and then disappeared without a trace…

    All they are is dust in the wind…

  82. 82
    T S says:

    @shomi: Nate Silver does sensationalize things in his articles a bit, but his election model makes more sense than Sam Wang’s (I DO know something about it, yes), and it isn’t designed that way merely for clicks. So, be prepared for a closer race than Wang has been predicting. Unfortunately, we won’t really ever know whose odds were right since we are only rolling this die one time. You can’t infer what the odds really were no matter the outcome. The electoral vote expectation value has some information to give, but it still doesn’t really tell us what the odds really were.

    And, as I’ve said before–if I’m wrong and it’s a Hillary blowout, I will relish every “I told you so.” Never will I be more happy to be completely, utterly wrong.

  83. 83
    liberal says:

    @dmsilev:

    A lot of people fall into that trap; it seems like doctors and engineers are particularly vulnerable to the “I mastered one field, therefore I’m qualified to be an expert on everything” syndrome, but it’s hardly unusual.

    Do you think that explains the legions of software programmers who are douchebag libertarians?

  84. 84

    @FlipYrWhig: I would further raise a distinction between continental philosophy, analytical philosophy, and history/philosophy of science. But YMMV. (No, I didn’t major in any of these.)

    ETA: @liberal: I think it explains it easily, simply, and completely–qualities which my background in math tell me give it a high likelihood of being correct.

  85. 85
    Mike E says:

    @Brachiator: heh, I saw a doctor who did time for medicare fraud…top tier diagnostician, but a world class shithead

  86. 86
    liberal says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I have never heard so much whining and special pleading in my life.

    Heh. Decades ago I got into an argument with the next-door dorm room occupant (a pre-med) who insisted that organic chemistry was the hardest course at our university.

  87. 87
    Timurid says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techinques:

    her teeth are bad now

    Only kind of joking… I wonder how much this contributes to the whole ‘contemptible’ phenomenon.
    I once chipped a corner off one of my incisors, and the constant nagging pain and sensitivity until it healed drove me crazy. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have a whole mouth full of teeth like that. I would hate the whole world…

  88. 88
    Stan says:

    @daveNYC:

    Less generously, one could say she wanted to have the Fed push the money supply in order to trigger serious inflation and then decrease student debt in real terms (assuming fixed rate loans).

    Exactly what I was thinking. And some slightly higher level of inflation would be a damned good thing for most Americans. But Stein probably has no idea what that level is, and this is not the kind of thing you want to just play around with ignorantly. Reminds me of Trump’s triad too much.

  89. 89
    liberal says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: IMHO the smartest people are in math, physics, electrical engineering, and maybe neuroscience.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @germy: If only we could get srv to vanish into the black hole of the ‘tubes.

  91. 91
    hovercraft says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    This exists IRL
    GOP DOCTORS CAUCUS
    Members
    Phil Roe, M.D., co-chair
    John Fleming, M.D., co-chair
    Diane Black, R.N., vice chair
    Ralph Abraham, M.D.
    Brian Babin, D.D.S.
    Dan Benishek, M.D.
    Charles Boustany, M.D.
    Larry Bucshon, M.D.
    Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
    Scott DesJarlais, M.D
    Renee Ellmers, R.N.
    Paul Gosar, D.D.S.
    Andy Harris, M.D.
    Joe Heck, D.O.
    Tim Murphy, Ph.D.
    Tom Price, M.D.
    Mike Simpson, D.M.D.
    Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M.

    Is there anyone on that list you would consult if you needed care?
    Some of the names on the list belong to some of the dumbest people I’ve ever seen on TV.

  92. 92
    liberal says:

    @Hob:

    But you do have to at least temporarily know a relative shitload of science compared to most people…

    Doubtful. You can pass science courses w/o actually understanding the science.

  93. 93
    liberal says:

    @hovercraft:
    I thought some of the leading Al Qaeda guys were MDs, too.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hovercraft: Interesting that Rand Paul, Ophthalmologist, isn’t part of that group.

  95. 95
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev: Good to know that physicists never have that flaw. ;)

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @liberal: Bullshit.

    The smartest people are history majors.

    Full disclosure: I have a BA in History.

  97. 97
    RaflW says:

    @WereBear: Relatedly, only something like 5% of Americans travel outside N. America in a given year (and over several years, I suspect the numbers further obscure the fact that some of us travel intercontinentally annually, so it’s not like in 10 years 50% of Americans have traveled. Only about 1/3 have valid passports, for a start).

    So we have a country that is very weird about ferriners/immigrant, in no small part because they’ve never been anyplace that feels foreign. A spring break drunken jaunt to Puerto Vallarta doesn’t do much to change that.

    (And if you say “its so expensive!” that is sometimes true. But here’s the thing: We just bought tickets for next April to Paris from relatively uncompetitive Minneapolis for $557 r/t, and not on some skanky charter. We were urged by a sibling to do Disney with her and her kiddo last year and it would have cost us well over a grand per person w/ air, hotel, rides and food. And we would have hated the plasticky, canned ‘experiences’. Ummm, I’ll take Paris for $550, Alex. We can find a decent hotel and moderate dining, esp with the Euro in the dumpster, for the other $550-600 per person.)

  98. 98
    hovercraft says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I think it’s just members of the house, or maybe he wasn’t invited? Actually John Barrasso and Cassidy aren’t either so it’s just the house.

  99. 99
    catclub says:

    @hovercraft: Interesting, no women MD’s in that list. The only women are RN’s.

    I wonder if fellow college student with name Phillip Roe is same as in the list. I guess I should check. But unlikely.
    ETA: nope. too old.

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @RaflW: Plus, you can still go to EuroDisney one day, and the Louvre the next.

    Also, too…Les Invalides. Need to visit. For sure.

  101. 101
    Bitter Scribe says:

    A typically hilarious segment by Oliver. I especially like his conclusion that, if you think you’re too good to vote for the lesser of two evils, you’ll actually be voting for the lesser of four evils.

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hovercraft: Oh, that would explain it. House members only. No Senators need apply.

  103. 103
    ruckus says:

    @germy:
    Would you like to live near them?
    They may be assholes but they do know that they are, so they know better than to live too close.

  104. 104
    Jeffro says:

    Speaking of shit you can not make up: we’re supposed to be applauding Donald Arsonist’s “progress” in becoming a better Christian. O-M-G and S-M-H

    Any enterprising reporter out there want to ask Foster Friess for his take on Hillary’s lifelong Methodist faith? I have a feeling he has what’s called an (air quote) “double” “standard”

  105. 105
    Nerull says:

    @dr. luba: My wife worked in a hospital IT department. Supporting doctors was the worst, because when telling them that no, they shouldn’t open email attachments from Nigerian princes in exile, you had to be very careful with wording so as not to imply that said doctor might not know these things already, even if they were barely computer literate. They refuse to be taught, because they were already experts in their own minds.

    These doctors tended to be the same ones who would write angry letters to department heads if someone didn’t address them as Doctor.

  106. 106
    Cermet says:

    @Mel: As I point out often, the rural areas have terrible schools and this is one of the leading reasons these kids grow up into right wing thug supporters; also, the hopelessness they feel as they learn that urban schools have really great teachers, numerous AP courses;and hence, produce vast numbers of all the college students who get admitted. meanwhile, their kids have to compete academically with these very well educated kids. They see how the system is rigged and that the world around them is a shit hole that almost no one gets out of.

  107. 107
    hovercraft says:

    @WereBear:

    “No,” my mother said. “They don’t. And that is why they get so strange.”

    I love your mother, if mine didn’t live with me I’d ask to adopt her.

  108. 108
    Stella B. says:

    @hueyplong: I like Jim McDermott.

  109. 109
    Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    A truly intelligent person realizes what they don’t know, and when to call in subject matter experts.

  110. 110
    hovercraft says:

    @catclub:
    That psycho woman who ran against McCain in the primary, and who is promising to primary Jeff Flake next time is a Doctor.

  111. 111

    @RaflW: I don’t think “in a given year” is a very good measure. I won’t be leaving the country/continent at all this year, and last year I hit up six countries in three continents.

    ETA: @Lurker Extraordinaire: This is the most important thing somebody can know. That, and how to actually change your mind.

  112. 112
    Betty Cracker says:

    @hovercraft: Great info, and very much in line with what I’m hearing from the local GOTV team. Noses to the grindstone!

  113. 113
    hovercraft says:

    @Stella B.:
    Since you are probably a democrat, you believe in and like Psychiatry.

  114. 114
    dr. luba says:

    @liberal:

    Heh. Decades ago I got into an argument with the next-door dorm room occupant (a pre-med) who insisted that organic chemistry was the hardest course at our university.

    I’ve often said that the main reason pre-meds are required to take organic chemistry is the winnow them down severely. Synthesis is difficult. Those who have skated through their pre-med courses by memorizing get gobsmacked by organic synthesis. You have to actually understand processes and use them to get from point A to point B. You can’t memorize your way out of synthesis like you can much of the rest of pre-med prerequisites.

    And it’s also a skill set you want doctors to have–problem solving.

  115. 115
    Hob says:

    @Brachiator: The answer to your question is “yes”, but your question makes no sense as a reply to my comment. I was talking to germy, who seemed to think someone had called Stein a brilliant doctor. I said, pretty clearly I thought, that learning the technical prerequisites only means you’ve learned those things and doesn’t mean you’re any good.

  116. 116
    jo6pac says:

    I’ll be voting Green

  117. 117
    catclub says:

    @Jeffro:

    Isn’t quantitative easing just another way to say, “print more money”?

    I would describe it as “Print more money and buy bankers dodgy assets – bonds and such.” Oops, that was TARP.
    QE is buying T-Bills of longer and longer duration with all that printed money.

  118. 118

    @hovercraft: “Cannibalizing their own vote”? That’s… not how GOTV works. At all.

  119. 119
    J R in WV says:

    @Cermet:

    We hired a guy with a doctoral degree once, he turned out to be the worst hire we made in my whole career. Long after the hire, I asked what kind of doctoral degree he had…

    Turned out it was a Doctorate of Education – from Florida International University, and truly he knew Nothing about anything!

  120. 120
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @liberal:

    There are different ways to be smart. I’ve always been impressed by people who can link concepts from different disciplines, tease out the logic and context from a lot of information, and be able to communicate that understanding coherently. They’re taught how to think, more than what to think, which is why a lot end up in law.

  121. 121
    frosty fred says:

    @Lurker Extraordinaire: I suggest that’s an educated person.

  122. 122
    germy says:

    @Hob:

    I was talking to germy, who seemed to think someone had called Stein a brilliant doctor.

    You’re right, my mistake. I saw the word “mastered” and confused it with “brilliant”

  123. 123

    @frosty fred: I don’t think the two are very related at all, at least not in my experience.

  124. 124
    dmsilev says:

    @catclub:

    Good to know that physicists never have that flaw. ;)

    No, we’re too smart for that….

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  125. 125
    catclub says:

    @Cermet:

    and that the world around them is a shit hole that almost no one gets out of.

    A quibbler might say only Jesus and Elijah. Plus the astronauts – if they figure a way not to come back.

  126. 126
    WereBear says:

    Our brains are an interconnected series of cities, villages, and one-stoplight towns. Being good at one thing means nothing when it comes to other things.

    My favorite example is Williams syndrome, where a person is missing 26 genes from the long arm of chromosome 7. They have health challenges and cognitive deficits, yet are so instinctively socially talented, so highly verbal with large vocabularies, and so engaging that a person can talk to someone with the syndrome for a long time before they notice a serious issue.

  127. 127
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Calouste: Tofu Trump?

  128. 128
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev: I larfed.

  129. 129
    dr. luba says:

    @Nerull:

    These doctors tended to be the same ones who would write angry letters to department heads if someone didn’t address them as Doctor.

    Yes, I know that kind well. We had one old doc who complained to our department chairman that the nurses weren’t treating him with respect. Our chairman told him that he had to earn it. Bless him.

  130. 130
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’ll be voting Green

    @jo6pac: no big deal, we all do stupid shit that we regret

  131. 131
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @dr. luba: Not sure what kind of Engineers you have down there, but my BiL [who works in the states] agrees with you about Engineers being anti-science.

    One of the key parts of my training as a professional Engineer was to know your limitations and stick to your area of expertise, as you could be subject to legal and professional sanctions if you gave advice as an Engineer on a field that you are not trained in. I am a Chemical Engineer and I would never give any kind of informed opinion on a Civil Engineering question. Although I have had neighbours who think nothing of designing and building a raised deck off the back of their houses.
    However, I do consider myself an amateur lawyer and have represented myself in court before. My family loves to hear the story of my big court case. No, really they do!

  132. 132

    @WereBear: In college we had a drummer in the marching band with Williams. Excellent drummer, great guy, but he had the elf-like face, an odd way of moving, and evident cognitive issues, so you could tell. He died somewhat recently at 35 or so, just tipped over in a parking lot. RIP.

  133. 133
    Hungry Joe says:

    The smartest people I know were/are anthropology majors.
    Full disclosure: I was/my daughter is an anthropology major.

    I’ve seen correlations between doctors’ specialties and their political affiliations. Surgeons tend to be Republicans. Pediatricians and family practice docs tend to be Democrats. Guess which specialty pays the most, and guess which pay the least.

  134. 134
    catclub says:

    In such circumstances, monetary authorities may then use quantitative easing to further stimulate the economy by buying assets of longer maturity than short-term government bonds, thereby lowering longer-term interest rates further out on the yield curve.[16][17]

    So you could buy those student loans from their owners (not the students), but still grind the students collecting those loans.

    Helicopter money would be giving money to people with student loans so that they could pay off their loans – yet again the money would go to the owners of those loans.

    Better Helicopter money would be just giving everyone with a pulse, money.

  135. 135
    Betty Cracker says:

    @jo6pac: This is an important data point for the discussion above. What was your major in college?

  136. 136
    catclub says:

    @dr. luba: Whenever they ask if there is a doctor on the plane I am tempted to raise my hand.
    PhD – Oceanography.

  137. 137
    RaflW says:

    @germy: I’m sort of amazed that Johnson didn’t manage to ruin New Mexico during his two terms.

  138. 138
    different-church-lady says:

    @RaflW:

    Relatedly, only something like 5% of Americans travel outside N. America in a given year

    I expect that number will be going down once they have to climb over a wall to do it.

  139. 139
    Davebo says:

    @Jeffro:

    Johnson will probably get 3-4% all by himself.

    Highly unlikely. I give him a shot at 2.5% but that’s his ceiling regardless of what the polls say. In 2012 Johnson polled between 4 and 5% and ended up getting less than 1%.

  140. 140
    germy says:

    @RaflW:

    I’m sort of amazed that Johnson didn’t manage to ruin New Mexico . . .

    I’m sure he tried his darndest.

  141. 141
    WereBear says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Music is another area they often excel in.

    I flunked algebra one year, and had to take it in summer school. Where I made straight A’s. It’s not that I’m unable to understand math. I just need a good teacher.

  142. 142
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Hal: So Secretary Clinton wins by 5%? Not bad for someone who has had to fight against the media, Trump, Bernie Bros and now Comey and has had her reputation dragged through the mud for at least three decades.

    Yay!! She has handled herself with great dignity while fighting so many enemies at the same time. She’s going to make a great President.

  143. 143
    germy says:

    @WereBear: Oliver Sacks devoted a chapter of one of his books to our Williams Syndrome friends. I think the world would be a better place if there were more of them.

  144. 144
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Tom Levenson: OK, you just made me snortle out loud, which is always a good thing.

  145. 145
    different-church-lady says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    we all do stupid shit that we regret

    Except that in this case, the plural is literal instead of royal.

  146. 146
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @J R in WV:

    Turned out it was a Doctorate of Education

    He had that in common with William H. Cosby, Ed.D.

  147. 147
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @hovercraft:

    there are almost 80,000 more Democratic VBM ballots gathering dust in homes around the state – but a large chunk of those are low propensity voters – volunteer to go chase those.

    This is very important. If I recall correctly, 2008 and 2012 were pretty tight victories in FL for President Obama. Every vote counts.

  148. 148
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Merely shifting people who would have definitely voted on election day to the early vote does not increase your turnout. Getting the low propensity voters out id what does. The after action report from 2012 showed that too much of the NC early vote was cannibalized from election day, and so it did not offset the election day voting of the GOP which was higher than ours. The focus of GOTV is low propensity voters, you and I will vote without the calls and nudges, the slackers are the ones who need prodding.

  149. 149
    laura says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: me too. History AA, BA but then law school as a hedge against poverty as an old maid.
    Law school loans will be paid off when I’m 70 . . .

  150. 150

    Probably the most unpleasant, narcissistic, incurious, arrogant person I’ve ever known has a PhD in political science.

    ETA: @hovercraft: Yes, and any banked votes frees up more resources to focus on the remaining unlikely voters.

  151. 151
    germy says:

    The Republican Monkey Paw

    They gerrymandered themselves into a awe-inspiring clusterfuck.

  152. 152
    Hob says:

    @germy: Oh for crying out loud. The point wasn’t the choice of word, it was that “technical shit one needs to know to become an MD” is not the same as “being a good doctor” and Cole was only talking about the former. So you were attacking a straw man, but if that’s fun for you then who am I to judge. The fact remains that anyone who achieves an MD degree does in fact have to learn a ton of shit, and having successfully done so may predispose them to incorrectly think they’re good at (a) their job and (b) everyone else’s job.

    Speaking as a former techie I am very familiar with this distinction. There are some computer programmers who never learned any shit and aren’t any good. There are some who never learned much, but still have a good enough grasp of general principles that they can do well with some kinds of tasks and, since it’s a less credentialed field than medicine, can still get work (that would be me). There are some who have learned a lot of shit and are really good. And there are some who have learned a lot of shit and aren’t any good; they can cite all kinds of computer science concepts and correctly define them, but they will still make terrible decisions when it comes to building a piece of software.

  153. 153
    geg6 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    For me, it’s engineering and physics majors. And, in physics only (and only on my campus; I won’t impugn any others), the faculty is even worse. There is no more smug and aggressively stupid-in-all-things-not-physics people on earth than physics faculty. Ugh. The engineering faculty here are not nearly so obnoxious. Their students are, for sure, but they aren’t. I can’t stand to be in the same room with the physics faculty for more than five minutes, though. And the economics faculty are exactly the same. Stupidest people on the planet and they are all convinced that they are the most brilliant.

  154. 154
    hovercraft says:

    @catclub:
    There are mammals in the oceans. So….

  155. 155
    Gravenstone says:

    @dr. luba: The most dangerous students on chem labs were the pre-meds. Watched two of them wipe out several hundred dollars worth of glassware in within seconds of each other simply because they didn’t realize you need to clamp the top of a fractional distillation set up. Gravity quickly showed them the error of their ways.

  156. 156
    D58826 says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Comey is at it again. FBI is releasing files on two investigations involving Bill in 2005 and 2001. Again no charges filed at the time. But must be transparent one week before the election

    https://twitter.com/joanmccarter/status/793509184079749120

  157. 157
    dr. luba says:

    @Hungry Joe: Obstetricians tend to be more liberal/democratic than you’d think. Largely becasue we hate those conservatives meddling in medical care for our patients (contraception, ultrasound, abortion, etc.).

    The strongest pro-choicers I ever met were the older OB/GYNs I met while in training. They had practiced in the pre-Roe era, and had gotten to see young women die of sepsis from back alley abortions.

  158. 158
    El Caganer says:

    I don’t know whether he ever practiced medicine or not, but Howard Dean has a medical degree.

  159. 159
    catclub says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: speaking of whom:John Scalzi’s “endorsement” of Clinton:

    [T]here are very few people in the world whose personal and public conduct has been so aggressively and punitively investigated, and for so long, as Hillary Clinton, and yet she continues to walk among us, a free woman whose errors, when they have been made, are usually of the venial rather than the mortal sort. Which probably means one of two things: Either this decades-long persecution of Hillary Clinton on the part of her enemies is largely motivated for their own political and financial benefit, or that Hillary Clinton is a criminal mastermind so good at evading the forces of justice that holy shit we should be glad that she’s finally decided to use her evil-honed skills for the forces of good. Better give her eight years, just to make sure.

  160. 160
    Jeffro says:

    @Davebo: we’ll see. Probably a few more Rs looking for a choice they can live with this time around

  161. 161
    Timurid says:

    @D58826:

    He’s in full kamikaze mode now.
    FOR THE MOTHERLAND! *KABOOM*

  162. 162
    sigaba says:

    @hovercraft: Joe Heck is an Osteopath?

  163. 163
    geg6 says:

    @liberal:

    Nope. No, they are not the smartest. In their fields? Yes. In any other way humans are smart? Not even in the top 100.

  164. 164
    hovercraft says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Florida is Florida, the other day he (Steve Schale) posted his favorite factoid about the sunshine state.

    I think it is important to start by restating one of my favorite factoids about Florida.

    If you add up all the people who have voted for President in Florida in the 2000,2004,2008, and 2012 elections, this is what you get:

    Republicans: 15,086,968

    Democrats: 15.015,920

    Difference: 71.048

    That is a margin of 0.24%. Under Florida law, we’d be looking at a lengthy recount. That’s how close we are.

    A 71 K difference over the course of 4 presidential elections means it will be close, very close. A 2 or 3 point margin is like landslide in any other state.
    GOTV

  165. 165
    geg6 says:

    @hovercraft:

    Tim Murphy is a psychologist. Not exactly anyone I’d call a physician. Yes, he has a PhD in psychology, but so do a lot of other people I know and it’s not exactly as academically rigorous a major as medicine or engineering.

    That said, he’s the only Republican psychologist that I have ever known. And I know quite a lot of them.

  166. 166
    dr. luba says:

    @catclub: You should be fine as long as you’re not a young, AA female……

    Seriously though, I’m occasionally tempted to respond, too, but out of guilt. Yes, I am a doctor, but I’ve done obstetrics for almost 30 years, and would probably be useless in a real emergency. I have friends who tell me the same. If no one else responded, however, I might be of some use.

  167. 167
    Joel says:

    @Jeffro: yeah, but you forgot the buying up assets part of the equation. The problem is that debts aren’t assets.

    Stein’s version of QE would be something like: Government buys out student loans across the board. Prints more money.

    That’s effectively a tax hike (via inflation) on every non-loan holder in the country. And a massive subsidy to the banks that issued those loans. It’s a shitty fucking plan.

  168. 168
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @D58826: @Patricia Kayden: Comey is at it again. FBI is releasing files on two investigations involving Bill in 2005 and 2001. Again no charges filed at the time. But must be transparent one week before the election

    This is un-fucking-believable.

  169. 169
    dexwood says:

    @RaflW:
    Governor No damn sure tried. He vetoed everything he could including a bill sponsored by his wife and passed by our legislators.

  170. 170

    Today’s “thing that galls me the most” is alleged liberals and leftists who are trusting that what the FBI says is an accurate and complete set of facts as long as it’s bad for Hillary Clinton. I mean, these are people who should know better than to trust the fucking FBI. Christ on a cracker.

  171. 171
    RaflW says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: OMG, EuroDisney. Probably about #327 on my list.

    In all seriousness, though, I steeled myself and visited a concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin about 10 days ago. For about the first 45 minutes I thought I might actually throw up, and i never have a sensitive stomach.

    Actually being there, even in it’s current mute museum-y ness, with most of the barracks lost to decay, etc, it was so horrifying. The displays and info were quite effective.

    Seeing actual remnants of ovens. Holy shit. We as a species are capable of intense, sustained, catastrophic human cruelty.

    And with the Trump phenomenon, all to chilling to think about how these movements can arise (I am not that worried, but even a taste of facist anti-outsiderism is too much).

  172. 172
    Walker says:

    So what is going on with the AA vote in Florida? I understand NC, as the polling places were cut way back and the numbers are starting to look better as more open. But what is AA early voting so low in Florida?

  173. 173
    liberal says:

    @geg6:
    Sorry, you’re wrong.

    Many mathematical geniuses are, for example, also musical geniuses.

    As far as “Can he/she write pretty good prose?” check out Steven Weinberg’s articles in The New York Review of Books.

  174. 174
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It’s almost like a lot of people who call themselves liberals and leftists are really just dicks!

  175. 175
    germy says:

    @Hob: Actually I was replying to Tom, not Cole.

    Jill Stein is a daily reminder that mastering one body of technical knowledge does not make you smart — and certainly not learned.

    And I agreed. If someone told me “Hob mastered his body of technical knowledge” I’d reply, “That’s no proof he’s smart.”

  176. 176
    JMG says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Not a thumb on the scale, both feet on the scale. Might not be able to beat that. Comey’s lost control of the agency and right-wingers just below him must figure they’ll bet to be director under President Trump.

  177. 177
    liberal says:

    @Joel: Don’t know about Stein’s plan in particular, but the threat of inflation is, right now, laughably low. If the government printed a trillion dollars a year and gave it to people to dig holes in the ground one day and fill them up the next day, it would do wonders for the economy.

  178. 178
    srv says:

    FBI releases investigation report of Clinton Foundation and Marc Rich pardon. Curious.

    How about a game of finding the un-[REDACTED] text?

  179. 179
    catclub says:

    @RaflW: I think that was a joke.

  180. 180

    @FlipYrWhig: Could just have a blind spot for Russia. I’ve seen some of these same folks accuse people of “red-baiting” for bringing up Putin connections despite Putin being, you know, not a communist.

  181. 181
    hovercraft says:

    @D58826: @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Obama needs to fire him the day after the election, if he’s not okaying these releases, then he obviously has no control over is agency. If he wants to keep his job he will have to clean house.
    This is bullshit.

  182. 182
    liberal says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Surgeons tend to be Republicans.

    That’s funny, cuz my pathologist brother makes it sound like they also tend to be complete fucking assholes.

  183. 183
    Sherparick says:

    @Tom Levenson: She doesn’t have any understanding of how the U.S. Constitution works (or doesn’t work). As someone else remarked, she is as much a wannabe dictator as Orange Ferret Head. Problems with Ol’ Jill’s approach. 1. Neither the President or the Secretary of the Treasury could commit to Quanitative Easing (which is the Fed digitally printing dollars to buy up U.S. Treasury long term bonds and some of Fannie and Freddie Mac’s bonds). The Federal Reserve Board would have to do that. Now a President can appoint members to the Federal Reserve Board, but with the advice and consent of the Senate. I am sure a Republican or 50/50 Senate with lots of DLC Democrats like McCaiskell, Chuck Schumer, and perhaps Bayh will approve.
    2. Of course Stein and her 2% don’t recognize the existence of the Senate. It is all a matter of “will.”

  184. 184
    liberal says:

    @Walker: Too busy trying not to get murdered by white folks who are “standing their ground.”

  185. 185
    Hob says:

    @germy: I did indeed screw up by writing “Cole” instead of “Tom”. If you thought you were agreeing with Tom though, I don’t know why you wrote this: “Why do we always assume people like Stein have mastered their field?” Unless there’s some other “we” who were assuming that. What the fuck ever.

  186. 186
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sherparick: TWIST ARMS LIKE LBJ! BUT HE/SHE/ZIE DIDNT EVEN TRY!

  187. 187
    catclub says:

    I was just about to post that stock markets seem remarkably calm over the past month, and then checked the market.
    not as calm as they had been.

  188. 188
    geg6 says:

    @liberal:

    So the books you’ve read are more meaningful than the, literally, dozens and dozens of actual people in real life that I have worked and interacted with daily.

    Sweetie, I, too, can play musical instruments. And I am also an amateur physics buff. In undergrad, I took extra science credits just for fun (anatomy and physiology I and II and philosophy of science, in addition to the required science credits in biology and chemistry). I got As in math all through college and grad school. And I can write. Extremely well, I might add. I am often asked to write things up for others (my department head, for one) to present. And I have a BA in political science with a minor in history and an MEd in education. And I’m a girl! Blows your mind, I’ll bet, that a lowly liberal arts/social sciences person of the female persuasion like me can manage to master the same things as those super duper brilliant math/physics/engineering supermen!

  189. 189
    germy says:

    @Hob: Quite frankly go fuck yourself. I visit and comment here less and less because of assholes like you, “philadelphialawyer” “Walker” and the various trolls under their multiple names.
    Have fun, dumbshit.

  190. 190

    The FBI just released from its archives files on a closed investigation into the Clinton Foundation. There were no charges filed in the case. Why now? I can not believe this is happening.

    ETA: can not get link to work “https://t.co/Y4nz3aRSmG”

  191. 191
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hob: Man, do I long for the day of the petty intra-blog commenter beefing here at BJ. Wish I could get in on that action. Oh, wait…what’s that I see?

  192. 192
    liberal says:

    @RaflW:

    And with the Trump phenomenon, all to chilling to think about how these movements can arise (I am not that worried, but even a taste of facist anti-outsiderism is too much).

    Yeah…people wonder “how could the Nazis ever take power?” Not that Trump is quite as bad as a 1930s-vintage Nazi, but we’re really seeing the phenomenon unfold before our very eyes.

  193. 193
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, the story about the release of the FBI investigation reports on the Clinton Foundation and Marc Rich are telling. Can we now cut the remaining crap about Comey doing what he did to protect funding for his agency or because his hand was forced by rogue agents in New York? He’s a partisan who gives free rein to the extremist right-wing partisans in his agency. To think that these same people are the ones reviewing Weiner’s computer right now is really scary. Can’t begin to think of what they’ll find–i.e., plant–there.

  194. 194
    raven says:

    My buddy owns the eatery just down the street. This well-known local asshole with an El Camino chocked full of Trump signs park right in front of his joint and walked in. There was a group of ladies waiting to order and my man got a gander of the truck and nicely said “I’m not into this either way but I’d appreciate it if you’d move your truck from in front of my place”. After fussing some the jerk left!

  195. 195
    Corner Stone says:

    @germy: Oh, mama. Yasss!

  196. 196
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @RaflW: I visited Dachau in 1981. Haunts me to this day. “Arbeit Macht Frei” only really hits you in person…a photograph is not enough.

  197. 197
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Sherparick: @Tom Levenson: She doesn’t have any understanding of how the U.S. Constitution works (or doesn’t work)

    She has a depressingly large amount of company. It’s shocking how many people have an emotional block to accepting the mechanics of the Constitution and/or the realities of American politics. Allegedly savvy political reporters fall into it when there’s an issue that hits their own emotional, white-suburban-parent sweet spot, i.e. how Obama has done nothing about guns! (I’m looking at you, Jake Tapper). Meanwhile, neither climate change, the destruction of norms around judicial appointments, nor active, admittedly race-based voter suppression is scarcely, if ever, judged worthy of note.

  198. 198
    liberal says:

    @geg6:

    Blows your mind, I’ll bet, that a lowly liberal arts/social sciences person of the female persuasion like me can manage to master the same things as those super duper brilliant math/physics/engineering supermen!

    No, actually, it doesn’t blow my mind, seeing as I met many women that were a lot smarter than me in math and physics.

    I think your real beef is that physics tends to harbor lots of big egos. My small sample indicated it’s much more like that than math.

    Just because the field is full of egotistical pricks doesn’t mean the fuckers aren’t super smart, though.

  199. 199
    jonas says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: The concentration tends to attract a certain kind of ubergeek who loves the idea of thinking about ideas, logic, linguistics, etc.. Often overlap with computer science/math/engineering types.

    And before anyone jokes about philosophy majors ending up working the counter at Barnes & Noble after college, of the ones I knew, they seemed to all to head for 1. high-flight law schools (Yale, Chicago, e.g.) 2. Wall Street (quant/analytics stuff), or 3. everything from social work to med school to politics.

  200. 200
    Hob says:

    @sigaba: Yeah, Heck’s degree is a DO, not MD. It’s a weird but true fact that many regular physicians who don’t incorporate any osteopathic bullshit into their practice still have a DO; basically, one faction of osteopathy in the US managed to mainstream itself by soft-pedaling the woo and incorporating virtually all of mainstream medicine into their training programs, until even the AMA agreed to treat them as equivalent to MD training. So while pursuing the OD route could mean that you believe in osteopathy-specific woo, it could also mean that you don’t care about the woo but it was a convenient school for you to go to.

  201. 201
    hovercraft says:

    @liberal:
    Not a coinkydink.

  202. 202
    Anoniminous says:

    @Cermet:

    xkcd has been there.

  203. 203
    srv says:

    They’ve learned a lot of lessons since Mena:

    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tore into the Clinton Foundation on Tuesday, comparing it to an illegal money-laundering operation.

    “I suspect that was a very high-ranking Department of Justice political appointee who was carrying water for the Clinton machine and wanted to shut down an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, which increasingly looks like one of the largest money laundering and influence peddling operations in the world,” Cotton said.

  204. 204
    Hal says:

    @planetjanet: @planetjanet: @D58826: So maybe those email turned out to be absolutely nothing and this is plan B? Really, I can’t see how this is going to help Trump by pissing off Dems who now are going to be positive Comey is trying to throw the election.

  205. 205
    hovercraft says:

    @catclub:
    The volatility began when Comey dropped his bombshell Friday.

  206. 206
    Emma says:

    @srv: Yes, they’ve learned how to lie, and lie, and lie again. This is the point when my agnostic self wishes desperately that their Christian God really existed. Can you imagine Senator Cotton trying to explain why he sorta ran over “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” with an tractor?

  207. 207
    hueyplong says:

    Any truth to the rumor that Comey will announce a reopening of Whitewater tomorrow?

  208. 208
    GrandJury says:

    @T S: If you know something about it then you would have known how accurate Sam was in 2008 and 2012.

    As I recall, I think at the very end they both converged on very similar results (like on election day) but I think it was Nate’s numbers that made the most dramatic moves at the last minute. Sam’s were fairly accurate further out and didn’t change as much at the last minute.

  209. 209
    Emma says:

    I think all democratic candidates should all go “they’re trying to steal the election!” on their asses.

  210. 210
    WarMunchkin says:

    @hueyplong: I mean, now that you’ve raised it, it’s out there, inquiring minds want to know, and it would be irresponsible not to speculate whether there’s corruption involved.

  211. 211
    FlipYrWhig says:

    What the fuck is Comey trying to pull? This is some KGB-level bullshit.

  212. 212
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’m sort of amazed that Johnson didn’t manage to ruin New Mexico during his two terms.

    @RaflW: Place has its charms but New Mexico doesn’t have a whole lot of room to go down. Lotta poverty there and no backwoods to hide it in.

    You could call it “pre-ruined”

  213. 213
    srv says:

    Anyone want to take a bet on which side Comey gives immunity?

    Fox News reports that former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress in June 2011 when the first of what would become his multiple sexting scandals were made public, is cooperating with FBI agents, and that he gave them the portable computer that has sparked renewed interest in a separate FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified government material.

    Wake up, they do, now.

  214. 214
    Peale says:

    @hueyplong: From what I can tell, it never stopped.

  215. 215
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Emma: John Street rode the discovery of an FBI bug in his office to victory in the Philadelphia mayoral election in 2003. Of course, Street wasn’t actually the cleanest-handed person, so maybe not a role model for emulation.

  216. 216
    Calouste says:

    @liberal: You have to keep in mind that surgeons are people who actually like cutting into other people, enough to make a career out of it. Let’s say that’s not a common trait.

  217. 217
    Barbara says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think he is no longer in control of his own people. He lost control when he made it seem back in July that he was not going forward even though he had found really bad stuff.

  218. 218
    Barbara says:

    @srv: Well duh, of course he is cooperating.

  219. 219
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @srv: They’d rather investigate Clinton’s aide’s email practices than a guy committing sex crimes? What the ever-loving fuck? Does the B in FBI stand for Breitbart?

  220. 220
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Emma: I have yet to be convinced that even one of the many Bible-pounding wingnuts even believes in God. Pretty much all the teevee preachers are fucking criminals swindling little old ladies out of their last dollars. Cotton and his ilk are amoral bastards to whom lying is second nature.

  221. 221
    Hob says:

    @germy: Jesus fucking Christ. The worst thing I said about you was that I thought you were attacking a straw man; I didn’t call you stupid or an asshole or anything like that. I have no interest in fighting with you or anyone else; I don’t comment a lot, but I’ve been hanging out here for 12+ years, I don’t troll and I don’t do flamewars. If seeing pointlessly aggro bullshit on here makes you want to comment less and less… then maybe don’t be so quick to escalate it? Whatever, I won’t respond to you any more and I will probably go back to not commenting in general because yeah, it sure is unpleasant when people lash out like that.

  222. 222
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @dr. luba:

    @dmsilev:

    it seems like doctors and engineers are particularly vulnerable to the “I mastered one field, therefore I’m qualified to be an expert on everything” syndrome

    I’ve seen that more among engineers than among my own. Why are so many climate change deniers engineers?

    And Creationists.

    I don’t know if it’s the kind of personality that goes into engineering, or if engineering curricula foster a certain way of thinking, but the Salem hypothesis didn’t spring up out of nowhere.

    Disclosure – as my nym implies, I’m a hack software engineer, and I know plenty of nutbars in my field, although we tend to attract Big-L Libertarians more than other types of cranks.

  223. 223
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @hueyplong:

    Any truth to the rumor that Comey will announce a reopening of Whitewater tomorrow?

    Right after he gathers up the Vince Foster murder files, explores the Mena flights, queries Hillary about her Rose Law billings and engages in an in depth investigation of her commodity trades.

    On Thursday, he’s going to make a serious push to find the Whitey tape and Obama’s real birth certificate. He’s got about 400 good men dedicated to those task forces….

  224. 224

    VOX article on academic research showing that hostility toward women is a strong predictor of Trump support.

  225. 225
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: There seems to have been a mixup whereby the FBI and Judicial Watch started doing each other’s jobs.

  226. 226
    kc says:

    @D58826: Even weirder, that FBI account had been dormant for a year.

  227. 227
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Plus, you can still go to EuroDisney one day, and the Louvre the next.

    I did exactly that.

  228. 228
    geg6 says:

    @liberal:

    In physics. They are super smart in physics. They are super stupid in most other things. Like tying their shoes or dressing properly or any type of social interaction. And don’t get me started on how stupid they are about budgets.

    But they will be happy to tell you that they know everything there is to know about how to present yourself professionally, how to make friends and influence people and how they are better at budgeting than the CBO.

  229. 229
    Poopyman says:

    @J R in WV:

    Turned out it was a Doctorate of Education – from Florida International University, and truly he knew Nothing about anything!

    Yeah, but he sure could teach it!

  230. 230
    RobNYNY says:

    @FlipYrWhig: My experience with philosophy majors is that if there is a fact that they are unaware of, then it is categorically false. With one now ex-friend, I used a word he didn’t know (“diagetic” — it describes music within the frame of a movie, as in the movie “Cabaret,” as opposed to an unseen orchestra playing offscreen), and he announced that it was completely impossible that I knew a word that he didn’t. He also refused to believe that Mary Queen of Scots was ever Queen of France, or that Jesus says two different things about getting a divorce (in Matthew and Luke). Because he was unaware of those facts, they could not exist. He would correct my pronunciation of foreign languages in which I was fluent and he was not. You could see him seething with rage when I showed him the evidence.

  231. 231
    srv says:

    The man who fought NAFTA, GAT and WTO before it was fashionable ‘Delighted to Be Proven Right’ by 2016 Election

    [I] like the country I grew up in. It was a good country. I lived in Washington, D.C., 400,000 black folks, 400,000 white folks, in a country 89 or 90 percent white. I like that country.”

    I’ll never understand why the Establishment — even if they don’t like me — why they couldn’t see the truth of some of the issues, the popularity, and the real pull of the issues we raised, and the votes we got, and why they didn’t move themselves as a good politician

    New York Magazine is really hitting it out of the park lately. Did Jeffy buy them?

  232. 232
    Brachiator says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Disclosure – as my nym implies, I’m a hack software engineer, and I know plenty of nutbars in my field, although we tend to attract Big-L Libertarians more than other types of cranks.

    What’s your definition of a Big L Libertarian?

    I ask in part because I have noticed a strong libertarian strain among tech bloggers, tech journalists and related people. There is a weird semi-anarchic side to this. For example, there was a recent discussion of a guy George Hotz who was abandoning plans to develop a self driving vehicle because he did not want to have to address questions put to him by regulators (supposedly). The commentors all seemed to have sympathy with the notion that tech progress should be able to advance without any regulation or interference from the government, along with some almost magical idea that tech utopia is around the corner if only the bad, ignorant gummit could be kept out of things.

  233. 233
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RobNYNY: Every word of this rings true.

  234. 234
    Barbara says:

    @hueyplong: I stopped visiting his site mostly because I found the “commentary” to be underwhelming. I appreciated his refusal to sugar coat things in the off years, but this year feels a little too much like he is pulling his punches a bit when it comes to Trump.

  235. 235
    RaflW says:

    @catclub: It’s almost as if business people can detect that Trump will be terrible for business. They want low taxes, so they’re counting on libs to carry her over but with too narrow a win to change tax policy towards higher rates.

    They’re playing a razor edge game that is dangerous.

  236. 236
    Gravenstone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I was fortunate enough to hear a camp survivor speak while in college. That was chilling enough to hear what she endured. To take the next step and see the actual infrastructure that facilitated those horrors … I’m not sure I could do that.

  237. 237
    trollhattan says:

    @raven:
    Love it! Could post a variation on the classic sign: “No shirt, no brain, no service.”

  238. 238
    Barbara says:

    @RobNYNY: This is like assuming that all dogs are small because you own a small dog.

  239. 239
    Calouste says:

    @srv: So you’re now down to quoting Nazi-apologist Pat Buchanan? Why don’t you just cut out the middleman?

  240. 240
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    MSNBC bringing on Alan Lichtman without also bringing on Frank, the election predicting Rhode Island Red, is journamalistic malpractice.

  241. 241
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    There seems to have been a mixup whereby the FBI and Judicial Watch started doing each other’s jobs.

    FBI has the resources and white guys with chiseled jaws that JW lacks. They’re simply stepping into the breach of behalf of ‘Murka and sweet baby Jesus…

  242. 242
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Whoa! Color *me* surprised that misogyny would be a factor in a vote for Trump!

  243. 243
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @D58826: It’s amazing. I’m speechless. He’s supposed to be neutral and yet is now openly working towards a Trump Presidency.

  244. 244
    Hob says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: I don’t know about other kinds of engineering, but as far as software goes, I think the field also lends itself to this kind of thing because so much of it is about finding the best abstraction, such that all of the practical details can be reframed in terms of that abstraction. This makes it very, very tempting to think that if something isn’t a good fit for the abstraction you prefer, the answer isn’t to reconsider the framework but to smoosh out or chop off any detail that doesn’t fit. It also lends itself to ideological conversions of the “I was a communist, now I’m a neoconservative” kind, when people get so sick of all the flaws in their previous favorite system X that they reject it (and everyone who still uses it) as violently as possible while denying that there could be any problems with their new favorite system Y.

    I’ve seen this quite a bit with, for instance, discussions of functional programming. There are cases where you can point to some very concrete technical advantages in using functional languages like Haskell, or adopting some of their concepts in other languages like Scala and Java; and there are also cases where trying to do everything that way is perhaps more trouble than it’s worth. But there are people for whom this is more of a religious issue, where I kind of suspect that the psychological connotations of technical terms like immutable and pure are a big part of the attraction… because so much of the job involves striving for efficiency but being stymied by chaotic obstacles, and (as with politics) it’s obvious that all existing systems are full of design compromises, but maybe the one you just got into recently will be perfect!

    One such person I used to work with used to complain that he should’ve gone into a real field like mathematics, instead of a messy bastard field like computer science where people still hadn’t settled on the correct way to do things; he wasn’t kidding.

  245. 245
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @raven: Good for your friend. I’ve stopped patronizing businesses that have their telivisions set to Fox News. Petty but that’s just how I do business.

  246. 246
    srv says:

    @Calouste: That’s exactly how I feel when John, Anne, Tom and Adam do it.

  247. 247
    Feathers says:

    Jill Stein has the kind of stupid that gets baked in rather quickly when you begin to assume that the world’s problems come from people not “getting along” and “working together.” While this appears on the surface to be reasonable and good, it quickly devolves into facts becoming hateful things, and people working to actually improve the world are doing so just to be mean. Although both genders can fall into this trap, it is more frequently found among women, as they tend not to be willing to go full “just asking questions.”

    *note – I live one town over from Stein. This is a frequently encountered type.

  248. 248
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: The women who strongly support Trump (mostly White) would be pissed off at that research. Deplorable.

  249. 249
    les says:

    @Cermet:

    As I point out often, the rural areas have terrible schools and this is one of the leading reasons these kids grow up into right wing thug supporters

    Whoever decided that the best way to fund public education was property tax really fucked us over, and messed up a lot of kids, rural and urban.

  250. 250
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    Here’s an interesting thought experiment – democratic government dominated more or less by educated elites tends to be enduring, with institutions that survive scandal and social upheaval. It might be messy, but it tends to work. In that scenario, there is some variance between center left and center right, with the right generally imposing some extent of pain, but without everything going completely off the rails.

    Populist governments, whether left OR right, tend to be disasters. Left populist governments fail due to incompetence and an inability to deliver basic goods, right populist governments fail due to a tendency toward facilitating the worst cultural aspects of the right-leaning aspect of the citizenry – it leads to murder and mayhem over racial and class divides.

    Lets all predict what life looks like in Trump America, from

    – the jailing of the Clintons, their relatives and their supporters
    – the exile of the Obama family
    – the Jewish banker inspired collapse of the economy
    – the replacement of “The Star Spangled Banner” with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”
    – the overcommitment of the Trump supporting military to wars on 6 broad fronts

    to

    – what life will be like being chased by radioactively mutated zombie hordes
    – what life will be like for the women in Trump’s bunker
    – Ivanka’s design for biohazard and radiation suits, and where they can be found for sale in ruined malls.

  251. 251
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @FlipYrWhig: He’s trying to pull a Trump victory. Why else would he refuse to publicize the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia because it’s too close to the election but broke his neck to publicize Clinton’s investigation?

  252. 252
    Brachiator says:

    @RobNYNY:

    My experience with philosophy majors is that if there is a fact that they are unaware of, then it is categorically false.

    Wait. I know that guy! Or maybe his brother. But it’s not just philosophy majors.

    or that Jesus says two different things about getting a divorce (in Matthew and Luke). Because he was unaware of those facts, they could not exist.

    I used a similar biblical example to try to point out to someone that there is no such thing as “words Jesus said,” only statements ascribed to him long after the fact, and that the supposed words he said are sometimes contradictory. I went on to talk about how various biblical scholars try to approach the text. But no, for this person, the Bible is an accurate transcription of the words of Jesus. Even the Old Testament anticipates what Jesus will say in the New Testament.

  253. 253
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: Blacks are killed on the streets in droves as Congress adopts and federalizes Stand Your Ground. Muslims are rounded up and kicked out of the country and mosques are shut down. “Mexicans” (brown people) are either sent to Latin America even if they have citizenship or sent to work camps to work in factories or farms. Women are jailed for attempted or successful abortions. Contraception is banned. Marriage equality is reversed. Alabama Judge Ray Moore is appointed to the Supreme Court. The draft would be reinstated to accommodate the need for soldiers to fight multiple wars.

    It would be an unimaginable nightmare.

  254. 254
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Mel: I read something back int he day, wish I could mind it now. explaining about fundy pastors in small towns. It noted that they might read Time, Readers Digest, and National Geographic, and in the eyes of their congregations this made them intellectuals.

  255. 255
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @srv: Cotton. Tom Cotton. Senator Tom Cotton. Really? This is the traitorous and ignorant asshole whose mere existence causes the image of the US to be irreparably harmed.
    How do people like this get elected? I am guessing that it involves equal parts stupidity, bigotry, and loads of cash.
    And srv uses him up as source/influential leader?

  256. 256
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    The new national motto will be spelled out as a drawling “Ah’s afeered fer mah life”. The new national symbol would be an AR-15 superimposed over a Rascal scooter and a Big Gulp with Twinkie, with the Latin phrase “Venite Sumamus” (meaning “Come Get Some”).

  257. 257
    The Moar You Know says:

    right populist governments fail due to a tendency toward facilitating the worst cultural aspects of the right-leaning aspect of the citizenry – it leads to murder and mayhem over racial and class divides.

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: Hitler damn near got tossed from power because he would not (and as history came to tell us, could not) stop his pet thugs from brutalizing the shit out of the populace of Germany. Only after he’d gotten the Army on board did he then have the luxury of having all the brownshirts murdered.

    We’ve also seen such scenarios play out since all over Latin America. A right/populist government is a bad one to live under.

  258. 258
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Speaking for non-US Engineers, this trait of right wing nuttery appears to be a US of A thing. The Engineers I know up here in the GWN are pretty much evenly divided among the political parties. I would hazard a guess that the political leanings are more about their upbringing, than their engineering aptitude characteristics.

  259. 259
    Brachiator says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    Here’s an interesting thought experiment – democratic government dominated more or less by educated elites tends to be enduring, with institutions that survive scandal and social upheaval. It might be messy, but it tends to work.

    I don’t think this is true. Nor do I think that you define what you mean. Are we talking about the modern era? What do you mean by “enduring,” and is that even a meaningful measurement? Enduring vs effective, for example.

    And who are these educated elites? In British history, the educated power brokers during the 19th century were not the same as the ruling aristocracy, who could be remarkably dull and uneducated.

    What do you mean by populist governments? And are you abandoning the idea that these governments must also be democratic?

    Lets all predict what life looks like in Trump America

    That’s easy. Hell on earth.

  260. 260
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @srv: It sounded better in the original German.

  261. 261
    The Moar You Know says:

    Speaking for non-US Engineers, this trait of right wing nuttery appears to be a US of A thing.

    @NorthLeft12: Lucky you. Ever since I have gotten into the CS field, I have consistently been the only “out” liberal, if you will, at any job I’ve had. Most identify as “Libertarians” who in reality are Republicans. About 20-30% just skip that and are out n’ proud Republicans.

  262. 262
    hovercraft says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:
    Jaysus it’s not even 4 o’clock and you’re trying to drive me to drink.

  263. 263
    Turgidson says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    My friend, now a geneticist, had to take many of the same science classes as the pre-meds when he was in college getting his degree in biology. I think, to this day, he takes more satisfaction out of the fact that he routinely kicked all those people’s asses (and always took one of the handful of A grades that one of them no doubt felt entitled to and likely went to great lengths to lobby the TA and professor for) than he did from earning his PhD.

  264. 264
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    I am tired to death of the expression “baked in”. Lazy people, find your own phrase.

  265. 265
    EriktheRed says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    No, you’re BOTH wrong!

    The smartest are those who bundle a language major with Poli Sci.

    (Take a wild guess what I majored in)

  266. 266
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Brachiator:

    What’s your definition of a Big L Libertarian?

    Short version – IGMFY. Personal liberty über alles. Not much different from what you described.

  267. 267
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Darn, I guess I’ll have to vote Nutrition instead.

  268. 268
    D58826 says:

    @catclub:

    Which probably means one of two things: Either this decades-long persecution of Hillary Clinton on the part of her enemies is largely motivated for their own political and financial benefit, or that Hillary Clinton is a criminal mastermind so good at evading the forces of justice that holy shit we should be glad that she’s finally decided to use her evil-honed skills for the forces of good. Better give her eight years, just to make sure.

    Yep. And yet she uses her awsome powers with such restrain. After all she has not reduced Hannity, Starr, Comey, Rush, Drudge, etc to little piles of ash that they richly deserve.

  269. 269
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NorthLeft12: What I want to know about Cotton his how he managed to escape Iraq without being shoved into a wall locker then tossed down a flight of stairs. Because he exudes “Douglas Niedermeyer”.

  270. 270
    Captain C says:

    @liberal: For a good example of someone who’s quite talented at both physics and music, check out Stephon Alexander. He just wrote a book called The Jazz of Physics in which he writes about how his work/learning in one field informs the other.

  271. 271
    Tripod says:

    @les:

    It was an indirect transportation tax. The railroads were the dominant modality, and had lots of redundant mileage to everywhere. So they paid out in right-of-way property taxes.

  272. 272
    Captain C says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: And on Friday Trump will be caught taking young teenagers across state lines for immoral purposes, and Comey will tell us that he can’t do anything about it so as not to interfere in the election.

  273. 273
    Captain C says:

    @Feathers: It’s like they think the world is one big nursery school, and if only you firmly tell everyone that they have to get along and do things the One Right Way, then everything will be ginger-peachy.

  274. 274
    Captain C says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Or in other words, IGMFY + You’re Not The Boss Of Me!!!

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