Author Topic: Duh Debates  (Read 9771 times)

AI Wessex

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Duh Debates
« on: December 16, 2015, 08:05:30 AM »
Too bad this thread has to be recreated.  Here's a link to the old one, but let's move on.  The Las Vegas debate featured the usual incoherence, lies and denials of obvious facts and truths, but there were some good-ish lines in the noisome bickering.  My take...

Bush scored a big (YUGE) stroke with a single word, chaos.  He's exactly right that Trump isn't talking about policies he could reasonably expect to put into effect, just one-liners that grab people by the emotions and pull them into a place where you can see that they are frozen like deer in the highlights.  This will signal the start of a slow rise in the polls for Bush.

Christie nailed Rubio and Cruz for letting Senate debate tactics spill over onto the stage where, as he said, nobody gives a *censored*.  They've never done anything consequential in their careers except talk about how great they would be if they were the most powerful person in the world.  He made them both seem like liars, which in politics is another word for what they are, political animals.  This won't help Christie, but it will hurt both Rubio and Cruz.

Carson's moment of silence in honor of the San Bernardino victims (about 3 seconds by my count) was his most coherent moment.  He's toast.

For the life of me, I cannot fathom who exactly Fiorina thinks she is, Churchill?  She's done nothing in her career except have one that sputtered out when she cratered one of the largest and previously most successful technology companies in the world.  She actually said all the "Silicon Valley" companies would pitch in to help fight ISIS and was then followed up by someone else who pointed out that those very companies have proudly announced that they implemented unbreakable encryption so that the government can't read any of their user's emails.

Overall, it was a combination food fight and game of liar's poker.  Every one of them is totally opposed to everything Obama thinks, says or does, but none of them really said they would do anything different other than ignore rational policy limits.  They all stand for individual freedoms but want to gather tons more information about ordinary citizens so they can assure the citizenry that they will stop the next attack and keep them safe.  It's apparently worth throwing out the Constitution in order to preserve it.  Other than Trump, they won't ban all Muslims but want a rigorous vetting process that will keep them out, despite and ignoring the two years it takes now for a refugee to get here.  Vetting Christians is much easier, just ask them if they are.

It's like watching yet another Chipmunks holiday (okay, Christmas) movie where the first one was hysterical and when the newest one arrives you were already dreading it, but your kids make you take them, anyway. 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 08:09:31 AM by AI Wessex »

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 01:40:30 PM »
Missed this somehow:
Quote
    Rubio said that in transitioning to a system without bulk collection of phone metadata that existed under the Patriot Act, the intelligence community lost tools to prevent terrorist attacks. That prompted Cruz, a Texas Republican, to snap back.

    “What he knows is that the old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly 100 percent. That gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism, and he knows that that’s the case,” said Cruz, who supported the bipartisan bill that changed the program, known as the USA Freedom Act, that became law earlier this year.

    “Let me be very careful when answering this, because I don’t think national television in front of 15 million people is the place to discuss classified information,” Rubio responded. “So let me just be very clear. There is nothing that we are allowed to do under this bill that we could not do before.”

Looks like Cruz leapfrogged Clinton by releasing classified information on live TV.  So far, it hasn't been shown that Clinton did release any.

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 02:07:13 PM »
The biggest theme in last night's debate was that the Obama Administration screwed up by not knowing about the posting history of the two SB shooters.  They all said that the US should have done a better job and should have access to more private communications.  I can't square that with their near unanimous calls for greater freedoms and protection from government intrusion into private lives.  But regarding the Administration's screwup in not catching the SB shooters' messaging:
Quote
On Dec. 12, the New York Times reported that San Bernardino, California, shooter Tasfheen Malik talked "openly on social media about her views on violent jihad" before being approved for visa entry into the United States. That would be a very big screw-up by the U.S., right? "Had the authorities found the posts years ago, they might have kept her out of the country," the paper wrote.

Well, on Monday new reports said that Malik's posts were "made under a pseudonym and with strict privacy settings that did not allow people outside a small group of friends to see them." And Wednesday, the director of the FBI said the jihadist sentiments in question were actually conveyed in "private direct messages"—in other words, that Malik's views weren't discussed openly at all and would not have been caught by any review process. From the Washington Post:

    The husband-and-wife duo were “showing signs in their communication of their joint commitment to jihad and to martyrdom” through private messages, rather than publicly visible postings, [FBI Director James] Comey said.

    “Those communications are direct, private messages,” Comey said during a news conference here. “So far, in this investigation we have found no evidence of posting on social media by either of them at that period in time and thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom. I’ve seen some reporting on that, and that’s a garble.”
In other words, those messages were beyond the reach of any legally responsible agency.

But,
Quote
One earlier report that does seem to be true, per the Post, is that Malik posted a "pledge of allegiance" to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook "shortly after opening fire in San Bernardino."
  What could they have done if they had known of that post could have prevented the shootings?  Don't forget that the SB police were gathered only a few blocks away from the County building when the attack occurred.

This raises two thoughts.

About the shooters, they were not as secretive as first reports suggested.  They lived with at least one family member and other people knew about their political and religious interests and may have had some inkling or direct knowledge of their intentions.  They also apparently went to a shooting range at least once and bought their weapons and other munitions legally.  Should any of the people they were in contact with have reported them?  If you believe in total personal freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution, probably not.  But if so, none of the candidates you heard last night represent your views, since they all said that government should have more access to that information.  Hillary is closer to your viewpoint.

The other observation is that the people on the stage last night truly, truly have no idea what they're talking about, since all of the legal options that are available were followed and most of the things they complained weren't done are either illegal or would have turned up nothing helpful.  They should shut up, or better yet, stand down since if they believe their own words they are a threat to the safety of the country.  Worse, they are encouraging people who hear them to react with anger to their inflammatory messages.

What a disgrace.

Fenring

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 03:08:38 PM »
Al, I think you'd be able to make more sense out of the GOP debates if you took into account that Paul is the only single candidate running on a pro-constitution platform. The rest of them, more or less, are authoritarian rather than libertarian, and don't care much about things like liberties and freedoms. This is the high-security and war-hawk crowd, not the constitutional fiscal conservative crowd. A few of them claim otherwise but their views on immigration, foreign policy and national security tell a different story. Once you realize this is the NSA-loving party their comments about internal security begin to make sense, other than the claims made in the main debate and the second-string debate about how the NSA now has its hands tied. Of all things I've heard in any of the GOP debates this is the only one that strikes me as being an out-and-out lie full stop. It's within the realm of possibility that the briefers mislead some of these candidates about the truth and that they're just ignorant, but some of them with real connections certainly know they're lying as they speak. The NSA was doing bulk data collection well before Patriot Act was passed and continued to do it after it was declared illegal months ago. This business of claiming that the NSA's hands were tied, which allowed the attack, is pure rubbish. The NSA's hands are not tied in any conceivable way, although this point should serve as notable counterpoint to the fact that zero terrorist activities have ever been detected or stopped by bulk data collection. The GOP is trying to paint this as an Obama failure even though he and Hillary are basically in their camp as regards the NSA (I suspect Hillary would be even closer to them ideologically than Obama is in this regard).

I don't even want to get into the World War III aspect of the debates, which is just depressing.


Seriati

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 05:20:27 PM »
Love to contribute on this, but I fell asleep before they even got to Trump's introduction.  Will have to watch the recording.  I am however, struck by the oddity of the thread being presented by someone would not vote for any of the candidates in any circumstance.  And there's no way to tell if Hillary is "closer" to anyone's viewpoint, since she's absolutely demonstrated she'll say anything and take any position that's convenient to achieving her goals.  It's baffling to me that you'd even assert that  a known liar for convenience should be trusted.

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 05:58:03 PM »
Quote
And there's no way to tell if Hillary is "closer" to anyone's viewpoint, since she's absolutely demonstrated she'll say anything and take any position that's convenient to achieving her goals.
I like the non-partisan objectivity of that response, too :).  You've called her a criminal and worse, but I'm curious if you would extend the same condemnation to any of the GOPers. 

NobleHunter

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2015, 05:59:52 PM »
Well, Trump and Cruz appear to have advocated for war crimes, though in Cruz's case it seems to be a misunderstanding of what "carpet bombing" is.

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 06:44:37 PM »
Don't forget his leaking classified information...

Gaoics79

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 07:47:25 PM »
Lindsay Graham seemed the most cogent of the candidates I saw. I'm not  in favour of his plan to invade Syria, but at least it's an actual plan and he defends it with conviction and some logic. He also seemed to me to be the most experienced and credible of the candidates, although I'm just going by how he came across, not by my own independent research on the topic.

Trump just was embarrassing. I thought Bush and Paul made him look like a jackass, not that he needed much help.

Carson seemed stoned as usual. I wonder what prescription medication he is on.

Seriati

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 08:27:55 PM »
You've called her a criminal and worse, but I'm curious if you would extend the same condemnation to any of the GOPers.
Which do you think warrant it and why?  I think I gave a fairly objective view on the prior thread, and I intend to again after I watch the debate.  Can you honestly say that anything these candidates would say, other than a repudiation of the basic tenants of their beliefs would cause you to vote for them?

Honestly though on Hilary, she is a criminal.  Others have paid the price for far less.  I don't get why anyone would buy into the concept of "above the law," that's required to consider her as a serious candidate.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2015, 11:14:12 PM »
"Honestly though on Hilary, she is a criminal"

I disagree, and I must admit, these unsubstantiated criticisms of Hillary from the right (and some from the left from Bernie Sanders supporters) are repeatedly getting me to defend her from crazy and foundationless accusations.

Hillary has been accused of criminal behavior on a large number of occasions by disingenuous and deluded people. Seriati, be honest and tell us how many of those previous accusations agains Hillary Clinton have you ever believed to be true. Then, could you please outline the specific criminal violation that you believe that she has made, and the evidence that convinces you that she is guilty of that crime?


Fenring

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2015, 01:20:10 AM »
And there's no way to tell if Hillary is "closer" to anyone's viewpoint, since she's absolutely demonstrated she'll say anything and take any position that's convenient to achieving her goals.  It's baffling to me that you'd even assert that  a known liar for convenience should be trusted.

I'm not saying Hillary claims to be close to them on NSA policy, I'm saying that I think in practice she would do exactly the same things most of the GOP candidates would. This is a prediction, and not me 'catching her' saying something bad.


Seriati, be honest and tell us how many of those previous accusations agains Hillary Clinton have you ever believed to be true. Then, could you please outline the specific criminal violation that you believe that she has made, and the evidence that convinces you that she is guilty of that crime?

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I have certain things I could list here and I would actually be kind of nervous to go into depth about this online. My advice would be to look to activity involving a) uranium mining, Russia, and how the office of SecState was used, b) the Clinton Foundation in terms of campaign finance rules and corruption, c) the email scandal (which was technically illegal but may have done no harm), and d) the Libya affair which I'm pretty sure involved breaches in international law. This is all from recent history, mind you, and I've avoided dredging up Whitewater or anything from back then.

NobleHunter

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2015, 10:25:19 AM »
I said this on the old Benghazi thread, but it's really too bad one can't point to the absence of criminal charges as evidence of the absence of criminal activity. I mean if random person is widely believed to have committed a crime yet still isn't charged, then one may reasonably infer they did not actually commit a crime. But since Clinton isn't a random person, the inference strikes me more as wishful thinking in her case.

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 10:53:28 AM »
Paranoia and inference are linked when it comes to public (political) figures.  Clinton has been investigated more than practically any other person in history, and along with her husband far more than any other first couple.  But no charges, no convictions, only paranoia and inference.

NobleHunter

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 10:56:35 AM »
The level of investigation is an additional piece of data to infer from.

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2015, 11:22:08 AM »
Quote
Carson seemed stoned as usual. I wonder what prescription medication he is on.
He had to do experiments to develop his new techniques on someone, you know...

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2015, 01:42:48 PM »
Quote
I'm not saying Hillary claims to be close to them on NSA policy, I'm saying that I think in practice she would do exactly the same things most of the GOP candidates would. This is a prediction, and not me 'catching her' saying something bad.
The problem is that there are only a limited number of options unless someone wants to suggest something totally nutso.  Everyone talks about the same things with different levels of emphasis.  It's not clear that any combination will "fix" the problem, though.  Given that the GOPers are in a big scrum to see who is going to own the ball at the end of the convention next summer, they are talking out of their asses about the miraculous achievements they will make while trashing all of the measured efforts Clinton (and Obama) have tried to work through.  Since none of them have any real-world military or diplomatic experience to speak of, I'll say again that Clinton is working closer to their "ideas" and within the constraints of the actual Constitution, not the one the GOPers are all willing to destroy for the sake of a little safety and comfort.

scifibum

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2015, 01:44:35 PM »
Quote
Carson seemed stoned as usual. I wonder what prescription medication he is on.
He had to do experiments to develop his new techniques on someone, you know...


Maybe his general low affect corresponds to mental calm and steady hands.  Good in a brain surgeon, bad for charisma.

Fenring

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2015, 01:55:43 PM »
Since none of them have any real-world military or diplomatic experience to speak of, I'll say again that Clinton is working closer to their "ideas" and within the constraints of the actual Constitution, not the one the GOPers are all willing to destroy for the sake of a little safety and comfort.

Since the NSA bulk collection has already been ruled illegal in court (therefore meaning it had always been illegal) there is nothing about that policy that stays close to the constitution. In fact, Patriot Act, which was used as the pretext for bulk collection (even though it actually began even prior to 9-11), was itself unconstitutional but accepted as an emergency war-time measure, which is not uncommon. Since war-time is now 'all the time' we face the reality that the constitution is only a suggestion to be employed when everything in the world is perfect. Hillary and Obama didn't begin this procedure, but my point is that I don't see Hillary as having any intention of stopping it either.

You'd have a point about there not being too many options if it could be shown that bulk data collection was a necessary security measure. Too bad that the facts demonstrate that it's useless for security purposes but useful for other purposes that have nothing to do with protection from terrorists. The FBI even admits that bulk collection does not stop terror or locate potential terrorists. Any claim, therefore, that this method is necessary for security purposes can't be anything more than what you attribute to the GOP candidates - wishful thinking, ignorance, and perhaps lying.

Pete at Home

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2015, 02:21:16 PM »
"   “Let me be very careful when answering this, because I don’t think national television in front of 15 million people is the place to discuss classified information,” Rubio responded. “So let me just be very clear. There is nothing that we are allowed to do under this bill that we could not do before.”

Looks like Cruz leapfrogged Clinton by releasing classified information on live TV.  So far, it hasn't been shown that Clinton did release any"

Did Al just argue that discussing the effect of Congressional legislation in such vague terms constitutes "releasing CLASSIFIED information"?

Did you just come out of the closet as a totalitarian or have I misunderstood you?

scifibum

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2015, 02:39:23 PM »
Yeah, it's a stretch to use Rubio's remark as evidence that Rubio thinks what Cruz said included classified information.  He was probably just saying that getting into further detail would stray into classified information.

Although it wouldn't surprise me if Cruz was brushing up against the line - but only because I suspect the government tries to classify things that should be public.

AI Wessex

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2015, 04:57:59 PM »
Quote
Did Al just argue that discussing the effect of Congressional legislation in such vague terms constitutes "releasing CLASSIFIED information"?
Uh, not me, the head of the Senate Intelligence SubCommittee:
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A key Senate Republican is looking into whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) discussed classified information during Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate.

"I'm having my staff look at the transcripts of the debate right now," Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told reporters. "Any time you deal with numbers ... the question is, 'Is that classified or not?' Or is there an open source reference to it?"

Cruz raised eyebrows during an exchange with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) over the National Security Agency's surveillance program, when he said that the old program covered "20 or 30 percent of phone numbers" while the new program covers roughly 100 percent.
Though, in fairness, I just saw a headline where he said he isn't going to push it.  That means that so far neither he nor Clinton have been found to have inappropriately discussed classified information.  Cruz do love to talk, though, so we'll have to see what he says next, eh?

Greg Davidson

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2015, 12:37:25 AM »
Quote
The level of investigation is an additional piece of data to infer from.

That's the same logic that says that all those witches in Salem must have been guilty, too

NobleHunter

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2015, 09:06:45 AM »
That's the same logic that says that all those witches in Salem must have been guilty, too
I was including the results of investigation in the data. So the inference would be that extensive investigation without result indicates an absence of criminal activity. It could mean a number of other things but that depends on having other data or making other assumptions.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Duh Debates
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2015, 08:48:00 PM »
NH, thanks for the clarification - there really does have to be more fonts to reflect nuance