Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
Menu
November 09th 2016 print

Roger Franklin

Morning in America? (Update 2)

Quadrant Online spent the day watching Americans exercise their franchise in a presidential election that has already re-written the rule book. Can Donald Trump, the abrasive, egomaniacal outsider the Establishment loves to hate, pull it off? To borrow from Obama: Yes he did!

voting machine

WEDNESDAY, 10am: So it’s President Trump, who should end up with around 300 Electoral College votes.

As I type, Hillary Clinton is preparing to make her belated concession speech. The TV footage of her walk to the waiting limo, Bill by her side, showed a woman wearing a fawn pant suit* and a supercilious smile. It is the same grin one sees on public figures who find themselves in court, where the defeated presidential candidate may well find herself.

Yes, she has been “cleared” of the email scandal, sort of, by the Eastern District investigators based in Brooklyn. But there is another probe being conducted across the East River by the Southern District, where the focus is on pay-to-play allegations involving the Clinton Foundation. This office is run and staffed by people who were hired by Rudy Giuliani, a Trump surrogate and hot tip to become Attorney General. The Brooklyn operation, by contrast, is run and staffed by people hired for the most part by Loretta Lynch, who was appointed to that post under Bill Clinton and subsequently elevated to Attorney General by Obama.

Does one need to be terminally suspicious to see why the foot-dragging email probe took so long and why, having identified a rash of violations, the Brooklynites deemed them unworthy of prosecution?

Now the Manhattan crew will be able to get the co-operation they have been requesting from across the river. Expect a grand jury to be convened and, if the leaks and whispers are correct, charges brought.

Should that happen there will be both justice and poetic justice in the wind. Throughout their public lives the Clintons have used and discarded those who might and did help them — Whitewater associates, the future trader who made Hillary a small fortune in the cattle market by assigning profitable trades to her account after the market closed.

Now, denied the White House, the Clintons aren’t of much use to anyone.

This is going to be marvelous theatre, count on it.

*rather than do a McGeough, let it be admitted that the footage of Hillary and Bill just screened on CNN was, as it turns out, from the archives. The colour of her pant suit is not yet known, but she will be wearing that felon’s smile. It is all she has left to hide behind

************

WASHINGTON DC, 7.30pm: Once upon a time, in a more innocent age, Americans liked to crow that their electoral system was the fairest, best and most reliable in the world. Mind you, they said much the same about the cars that poured out of Detroit as well, only to be disabused of such ill-founded confidence by the plagues of Toyotas, VWs and other imports that, with the help of a bloody-minded United Auto Workers, humbled Ford and General Motors while seeing Chrysler sold off to Fiat.

Democracy might prove more vigorous, though no less prone to breakdowns, if today’s 170-mile tour of Pennsylvania and its polling places is any indication.

Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania obliges its citizens to vote on Election Day and not a second earlier. Today, in Philadelphia, that heavily black city was queueing with a patience that would have put a Londoner to shame. The City of Brotherly Love, it need hardly to said, always go Democrat, although you have to wonder why. Time after time, mayors and City Hall pols, hangers-on, judges, police, state legislators, local officials and union leaders have traded their offices first for monetary gain and later, in the case of the less careful, for jail cells. Corruption in Philly is as much a part of the local culture as the cheesesteak and it has been that way for quite some time, at least since the muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens observed that the city was corrupt and content to stay that way. That was back in 1903 and the contentment yesterday was palpable.

Ask those black voters, many herded to the polls by local political warlords and ward heelers, what they thought of Trump and the answer, as provided by a young man in baggy trousers and a puffy parka the warm didn’t didn’t warrant, was an observation that the tycoon enjoyed an unnatural carnal relationship with his mother. At his rallies, Trump would note that black Americans of the inner cities have to survive with shocking schools, crime rates no white community would tolerate, drugs, decrepit housing and few employment opportunities. “Why not support me me?” he would ask. “You have nothing, absolutely nothing, to lose.”

Nothing to lose except, maybe, a menial city job handed out for electoral loyalty by one of the City Hall corruptocrats.

Pennsylvania is a big state, however, one that is as divided by race as once was Berlin by a wall. My friend and driver, a retired military man, swung the wheel toward the countryside and here, the further we left Philly behind us, the more Trump signs we saw. Indeed, for every, say, twenty Trump roadside placards there was but one advocating his opponent. That is a rule-of-thumb appraisal, but accurate enough.

What doesn’t appear to have been accurate, according to a spate of initial reports, is the voting machines that the American propensity to make the simple complex insists on using (consult the rule book for the American version football – gridiron as Australians persist in calling it; a term Americans haven’t used with any regularity for decades). Votes cast for Trump, the reports relate, are being magically turned into votes for Clinton.

God forbid there is any truth to these reports or, if there is, that Providence limits the anomalies to a few irrelevant electorates. Trump has declined to say he will he accept a negative verdict if there is any reason to believe infernal fiddling has doctored the result.

This is an angry electorate. If his supporters feel they have been gyped, the extended fracas that followed Al Gore’s refusal to accept the 2000 result will seem mild by comparison.

*****************

vote today IIWASHINGTON DC, 7.30am:  It is morning in America, Ronald Reagan proclaimed in 1980 after defying the pollsters and thumping Jimmy Carter. Well it was an uncertain morning in America today, a bright and sunny late spring day that banished the overnight chill beneath a sky of the most delicate baby blue. Apart from the mad woman howling at reality outside the coffee shop, all was peace and matter-of-fact tranquillity in America’s capital, the world’s largest company town, as public servants schlepped to their desks in the Department of This or That. None paid more than a second’s heed to the banshee with her commandeered shopping trolley and  mobile mountain of plastic sacks stuffed with what appeared to be a lifetime’s collection of cherished rags.

Still, some of her scattershot observations seemed apropos the spirit of the day. Not the abuse she was hurling at the US military or her shrieked warnings to the phantoms none but she could see that they had better give her a wide berth.

“The devil Trump! The devil Trump!” she hollered, a form of punctuation between her other rants.

Here was a poor unfortunate who had missed her vocation and true calling. If only she had gone to journalism school and found a bar of soap, she might have been working as a talking head at one of the mainstream media outlets which may well be the biggest losers to emerge from the two-year melee that has been Election 2016.

Hillary Clinton will have the immense wealth – between $31 million and $100 million, depending on whose estimate suits your prejudice — she has somehow accumulated by running a charity. Trump will have his real estate holdings and, should he lose, a pulpit waiting to be occupied by the de facto leader of the unofficial opposition.

And the media? Well, it will have squandered the most precious possession anyone who purports to be in the business of peddling truth is duty-bound to guard: the trust of those it is pledged to inform without bias or prejudice. You don’t need to have been in America to see how it works, as Australia’s US-based correspondents have echoed the narrative with an attentive fidelity that would put to shame the little dog on the old HMV record labels.

You know the line: Trump is a racist who hates Mexicans.

Really? He certainly hates illegal aliens who rape and kill, and there are quite a few of those in US prisons, including Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had been deported five times only to turn right around and make a sixth illegal trip across the Rio Grande. This time his alleged offence was the murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, who might well have voted for Mrs Clinton had she not encountered her killer on a San Francisco street. She loved and respected foreires, her grieving brother explained, was the essence of charity itself, once having given her winter jacket to a homeless woman she observed shivering in a doorway.

It was Steinle’s murder that lit Trump’s fuse, prompted the sort of language that set the TV talkers and editorialists to denouncing him – never, not ever, conceding somewhere in the vicinity of 25% of all felons behind bars in US prisons are illegal aliens. As long ago as 2010, the US Government Accounting Office laid out the numbers, the crimes and the costs. More recently, official stats out of Texas alone confirmed that 130,000 illegal aliens had been imprisoned in that state over the two years to 2015.

A career politician would never have let such blunt sentiments slip out, not while working the mental arithmetic of ethnic voting blocs and numbers, even less so while considering the howling, lynch-the-heretic orthodoxy that inevitably erupts around those who decline to genuflect before the altars of the politically correct. It’s not a US phenomenon, of course. Just ask Bill Leak what grief awaits the cartoonist who draws an Aborigine in other than the sainted light of eternal victimhood.

Trump wants to wall off Mexico. Ha-ha, what a doofus.

Except there is a wall there already, it’s just not a very good one. From San Diego to the Gulf of Mexico there are fences, sensors, armed patrols and, for the past few years, vigilante militias dedicated to foiling the ‘coyotes’ who guide troupes of illegals through the existing barriers’ weak spots.

Trump wants to plug those. For this this he is damned – not that such condemnation should surprise any Australian who watched the contortions of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years, when the party line maintained that leaky boaters weren’t welcome but (said with a shrug) nothing could be done to stop their armadas. Recast that sentiment with an American accent and you know what has been happening in the US: incompetence, lip service and impotence draped in the garments of stoic virtue.

These are some of the memes and themes on which the US media has traded, presented as fact and expected to be honoured for its self-proclaimed purity of journalistic principle.

Today, though, thanks to Wikileaks, we know better. We know of CNN feeding questions in advance to Clinton, an embarrassment that last week saw Al Gore’s former campaign manager, Donna Brazile, fired for playing the newsroom mole. But we’ve seen worse than that, including the Politico pundit, Glen Thrush, who sent his chin-strokers to the Clinton campaign for vetting and amendment before publishing them as allegedly independent commentary.

Trump’s hope, the very basis of his campaign, is that the voting public – enough of it, anyway – is no longer prepared to be fooled by a media that, far from afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicting, salutes the Establishment and shills its myths and comfy, narcoleptic narratives.

Tonight we’ll see if he is right. Now, my ride is waiting and it’s off to Pennsylvania – one of the few states that have yet to OK early voting and where, if Trump’s optimism stems from something more than wishful thinking, the lines of voters now forming might just install him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Roger Franklin is the editor of Quadrant Online.

**************

Comments [65]

  1. en passant says:

    I will bet on Trump (just to upset Jody the Blind), as Armageddon is the alternative.

    On second thoughts, what is the difference between crooked, incompetent, lying Hellary in the White House andd Armagedon?

  2. pgang says:

    It looks increasingly like Trump, with Michigan and quite possibly Florida. Virginia too close to call, Dow futures have crashed. What say you now MSM (and Jody)?

    • Jody says:

      That I got it completely wrong. I wish Trump and the USA well. Corrupt Hillary gone – that’s pretty significant and to be celebrated. But the future looks uncertain. Enjoying the schadenfreude on PM Live on Foxtel!!!!

  3. pgang says:

    The Australian has called it a win for Putin. God save us, is there a newspaper editor in Australia worth half a cent?

  4. Alistair says:

    The key metric that indictaes that there is something wrong in the United States is the voting outcome in the District of Columbia – The Washington Beltway. 93% Clinton – 4% Trump.

    If this doesn’t tell you that the Government has been captured by a political party – I dont know what will.

  5. pgang says:

    I’m going to start gloating now.

    Hi Jody. :}

    • Geoffrey Luck says:

      Trump is wthin one vote of success and can’t be beaten – even if it has to go to the House for decision. The real outcome of the election is the destruction of the illusion of journalistic credibility. Overwhelmingly newspapers and magazines backed Clinton and vilified Trump. Australian journalists stationed in the U.S. read the papers and followed their lines. The ABC Washington bureau, led by head of bureau Zoe Daniels, came out shamelessly for Clinton and tonight she is almost weeping at the scene of the symbolic glass ceiling that Clinton was going to shatter. By contrast, Michael Vincent was relegated to the loser’s venue at Trump Tower and finds himself at the heart of the real story. Now, just how many of those dauntless ABC reporters went to the Mexican border instead of attacking Trump for his wall policy. They might have found the big fence already there, and badly needing patching.

      • pgang says:

        Amen to that. It is a much needed victory for democracy, (which is now called populism). Let’s hope news editors are quaking in their boots.

      • ianl says:

        > The real outcome of the election is the destruction of the illusion of journalistic credibility

        Yes, that and the pollsters’ credibility. One of the things I most enjoy about the election result is that the pollsters were obviously lied to … and they richly deserved it.

      • Alistair says:

        Forget the ABC – What about the Australian? Talk about the destruction of the illusion of credibility. I spotted this on Catalaxy earlier tonight. Pretty much sums up the joke that our national paper of record has become.

        H B Bear
        #2200192, posted on November 9, 2016 at 5:42 pm

        In breaking news The Australian announces that longstanding journalists Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan have been replaced in an effort to bring much needed accuracy and credibility back to the paper. Full details of the new appointments will be announced shortly.

      • Jimbob says:

        I can only say that Trump’s victory has been a victory for democracy. Like the English vote to leave the EU, the American people have spoken quite loudly and clearly. The world won’t end tomorrow (like the dopey Euro-pollies and journo’s seem to think) and if the people don’t like their decision, they can always change it a few years hence. But it will be their choice.

        I agree with Geoffrey that the real outcome of this election has been to expose the incompetence and self-delusion of journalists and the mumbo-jumbo of what is rapidly becoming the pseudo-science of “polling”.

        My goodness gracious me or as our Yankee cousins might say, “mercy me”. The people have a mind of their own, irrespective of what the self appointed (I’d say often deluded)”intelligentsia” might say. America proves once again that in the democratic, liberal market place of ideas, vox populi vox Dei….and that is the only voice that counts!

    • Jody says:

      Yes, and you have every right to do so!!!

  6. Homer Sapien says:

    Well, looks like Trump is over the line, the best news for a while!

  7. pgang says:

    Jody, where are you?

  8. pgang says:

    The media are now giving us a montage of all the stupidity they’ve presented over the past year, like the village idiot thinking everyone is laughing with him. I guess it was too much to hope that they might actually ‘get it’ now. It’s all the fault of some unknown power that has caused this terrible event to happen, who can guess what caused it.

  9. Lacebug says:

    This is what happens when politicians don’t listen to the people’s concerns when it comes to Islam, and unbridled immigration. The same is happening here in Australia with the rise and rise of One Nation.

  10. padraic says:

    This victory was a result of the reaction by the silent majority of the general public to having all this PC, “progressive” garbage shoved down their throats by the arrogant “superior” beings inhabiting most of the media and by ratbag activist groups. It was a victory for democracy. How it turns out will be interesting to see. Let’s hope our leaders here get the message and we don’t continue with identity politics which keeps people in ethnic boxes and demonises patriotism.

  11. Ian MacDougall says:

    Trump has: 1. Made a vague promise to “make America great again;” 2. Promised to build the Great Wall of Mexico to keep Latinos out of the US, (and with the Mexicans paying for it) and 3. to raise a tariff wall against the likes of China, against the modern theories of ‘economic rationalism’.
    The assumptions here are 1. that the people against whom these measures are to be taken will just cop it sweet and 2. that there will be no adverse economic effects within the US as a result.
    There is a long tradition in electoral politics of politicians promising what they hope somehow they will be able to deliver.
    Trump is going for a few world records here. Greatest Snake Oil Salesman of the 21st Century is one that looks like it is already in the bag.

  12. Keith Kennelly says:

    Jody you really are quite decent. Well done.

    Ian choke. Trump has also promised to end the climate change con. Reduce un and under employment and start infrastructure projects. Why didn’t you know that?

    The biggest supporters of Trump wall are the Mecican Government. Why? Well in their own words they don’t want the murderers rapists and criminals back and they want to stop the drug runners … both ways. Why didn’t you know that?

    Because the media have lied to you and you’ve swallowed their crap hollas bolas.

    .The modern theories of economics are based in theory that has proven not to work Lefty Keynes economics are a disaster. Free markets with china are a joke while they run a duel monetary system. Tartiffs against them will work.

    I’m a manufacturer in Australia. Today I geared up in prep for market openings here and in the us.Tell you something?

    Of course not anything positive. But then Youre an academic elitist? Right?

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      Ian choke. Trump has also promised to end the climate change con.
      In other words, he has promised to rewrite the laws of physics and chemistry. It figures.
      But then Youre [sic] an academic elitist? Right?
      Wrong. Unless merely having a degree should make me one.
      For however long Trump lasts, I think he will be the most divisive and unpredictable US President ever. Any high school economics student could tell you where his protectionist trade policies will lead. (The late anti-Keynesian Milton Friedman, up there looking down on it all, must be horrified.)
      But I expect his election will do wonders for real estate values here in Australia. And Patagonia; though not for properties with altitude down close to sea-level.
      Today I geared up in prep for market openings here and in the us.Tell you something?
      Yes. You are putting your money where your expectations is. Manufacture here and sell in the US? I’d check first what Trump says about that. But sell up here and shift your operations to the US? I’m sure he would approve.
      Good luck with it.

      • ianl says:

        > In other words, he has promised to rewrite the laws of physics and chemistry

        No, just in your pompous, sneery, deluded words. Not once have you answered empirical proof questions – you are absolutely clueless on scientific method and constantly sneer at those who are not. You deserve no more patience, MacDougall, and finally political change has dumped you bawling and squawling in the dust.

        Good luck getting back on your feet.

      • Homer Sapien says:

        Dear Ian, you might have “to rewrite the laws of physics” to explain quantum physics? “Reality deceives us all.”

  13. Dallas Beaufort says:

    It’s amazing how many are out of touch with the groundthink.

  14. en passant says:

    There is a line that Trump must include in a speech. It goes along the lines of:
    “I have made many promises during this campaign. I am a man of my word so it is my intention to list them all as a scorecard for everyone to see so they can follow our progress. During the campaign I noted that 16 high profile Hollywood ‘celebrities’ promised to emigrate if I became President. Well, I am now President elect and will be President next February 2017. This gives you, Robert de Niro, Rosie O’Donnell, Barbara Streisand and the rest of you three whole months to keep your promise and leave. If you so desire, I will make the appropriate orders for you to also cease to be American citizens. KEEP YOUR WORD and go!”

    • ianl says:

      Was Di Caprio in there as well ? Please say it’s so :)

      • en passant says:

        Ianl,
        Unfortunately, Di Caprio has been too busy being terrified by Global WARMING – he still uses that term – to have time to move from sunny California (or any of his other luxury abodes) to say which part of northern Greenland he thinks he should move to. It is 14.5 degrees C in Melbourne today, but that is weather …

  15. Keith Kennelly says:

    Who would take the sneering sleazy looking De Niro.

    • Jody says:

      I liked the description of these so-called ‘elites’ as the “Limousine Left” and “5 star/first class activists” (Di Caprio et al). My own sister (at Dem HQ in NY) described her joy of meeting “Democrats and liberals” socially. These people wouldn’t know ‘liberalism’ if it feel over them. For them, it’s ‘consensus’ according to their own terms. The American people have just rejected that and, like all revolutions, there will be a great deal of uncertainty and instability in the interim. In short, they’ve voted for the same kinds of freedoms that people have fought and died for in the past. I’m just not at all sure that Trump is the ideal Commander in Chief. Like it or not, the most vigorous democracy in the world has voted for all that change. If it doesn’t work then he’ll get the heave-ho in 4 years’ time.

      But I was so bored hearing about “the glass ceiling” – such a white-bread, middle class issue. And the people didn’t like being called “deplorables”. Many well educated and affluent Americans voted for Trump.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        I grant you, Clinton was not the best choice of candidate the Dems could have made. But whoever wins establishes a name that a political dynasty can continue on with. I am sure that Donald will not be the only Trump to have a go (though on election night that kid to his left looked bored out of his brain and as if he would rather have been somewhere else.)
        I will be surprised if Trump and Trumpism lasts 4 years. He assumes that the Chinese can be beaten in a trade war for a start. The American redneck gun-totin’ voters are in for a few surprises as prices start rising for their favourite goods down at the local Wal-Mart.
        Interesting times.

        • ianl says:

          “Trumpism” … everything is a made-up “ism” with you leftoids. Clearly you’re illiterate, with the need to do this. You lost – now show us you’re a good loser. And get over childish identity politics.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            ‘ianl’. or whatever your real name is: I am not sure what qualifies me in your mind as a ‘leftoid’. Perhaps you could enlighten me. But I am told, though I have not checked it out yet, that Clinton won the popular vote. That is, more Americans wanted her for President than wanted Trump.
            ‘Trumpoids’ are a minority, but won on a technicality.

      • pgang says:

        The Gipper once said something like ‘liberals are people who will fight to the death for your right to agree with them’.

        I actually read that in a Sheridan article the other day. He’s a good journo, and I wonder if there’s the putrid whiff of half-arsed editorial control in the rubbish he was publishing yesterday, (and probably today, I can’t bear to look at The Oz anymore).

        • Jody says:

          Actually, I greatly admire and respect Greg Sheridan and Paul Kelly. Both exhibit a profound knowledge of both the Australian and American political systems and make a great deal of sense. Beware of ignoring Paul Kelly’s comments!!

  16. bts says:

    I am currently visiting New York. I sat up until 2am this morning, (ie on Wednesday 9 October), hoping that I would have a final result before a combination of physical and emotional exhaustion drove me to bed. By 2am, the President-elect had 254 Electoral College votes against, if memory serves, 216 for Mrs Clinton. Some two or three hours later I checked again on my iPad and so established that Mr Trump had won the election.

    I will not waste space repeating the platitudes, which I have been reading and hearing throughout today, about a looming apocalypse. New York is, of course, a profoundly Democrat State and, although I have not seen myself anyone actually in tears, I have seen any number of shell-shocked faces. The people who have asked what I thought of the result have conveyed by their manner the unmistakable belief that there can be only one rational answer, namely, some form of collective electoral madness. They have looked at me rather disbelievingly when I have replied that the USA always manages, in my observation at any rate, to bounce back from any seeming adversity. I have thought it impermissibly boorish to remind any of them that when Theodore Roosevelt was nominated as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate to stand with the eventual President McKinley, Senator Mark Hanna, a very powerful Republican kingmaker, asked furiously whether his Party colleagues realised that they had put “that madman”, as he described Mr Roosevelt, within a heart beat of the Presidency. Plus ca change, one might observe. And yet, when the President was assassinated, the Vice President took over promptly and efficiently and proved to be one of the great American Presidents. Plus ca change once again, might one wonder?

    I will not waste space repeating the media comments which I have been reading about keeping our head, adjusting our assessments of Australia’s national interests in the light of what is likely to be a radical re-tooling of American foreign policy, and so forth. If I can be spared the space, I would like, however, to offer a few personal reactions of a differently focused kind.

    1. In this morning’s Australian newspaper, Peter van Onselen tells us, and of course them, that American voters should hang their heads in shame. This strikes me as a textbook illustration of the ever growing detachment of most of the commentators in the mainstream media from the realities of modern political and social life. The comment is arrogant, sanctimonious and dispiritingly predictable. It is saying, essentially that Mr van Onselen cannot fathom why anybody would prefer almost any change to a continuation of the status quo in which elite enclaves of society do very well, thank you, while masses of decent, responsible citizens who are trying find and then to hold down a job, to pay down a mortgage, to cope with the seemingly endless rapacity of the revenue-raising authorities and to raise children to be decent people and good citizens, see themselves as a class of forgotten people whose only role in society is to be pushed here and pulled there by fanatical social engineers.

    2. I wonder whether part of the Trump phenomenon is not a determined revolt by those many forgotten people against the steady and ruthless attempts by the previously mentioned elites to force them into an amoral mould in which the sanctity of life, the special place of the heteronormative family unit as the fundament of civilised society, modesty and discretion, elegance and refinement, simple good manners and so much more cease to be virtues to be admired and respected and become, instead, objects of derision to be dismissed with a supercilious sneer and jibe. We seem to be hell bent on doing that in Australia, too. The Trump ascendancy ought to sound a warning to our home grown social engineers that the forgotten and derided people whom they are determined to dragoon into a 21st C Animal Farm, tend not to attend street rallies where they behave like bullies and louts; but they do tend to vote their convictions.

    3. Perhaps Mrs Clinton’s defeat shows that a lot of decent and responsible citizens will simply not accept the types of public conduct that embrace such scandals as:

    - the Benghazi episode, in which an American Ambassador and members of his official household were murdered in cold blood and their Embassy trashed by a mob of savages and the first reaction of the then Secretary of State was to allege, falsely, that the episode had to be understood as having been a reaction to the publication of a video disrespectful of Islam;
    - E-mail-gate;
    - The murky ambiguities surrounding the Clinton Foundation.

    It remains to be seen whether the new President will be able to ” drain the swamp” of the miasma of corruption, venality, diseased vanity and authoritarianism that currently swirls around the Washington Establishment, but he has certainly made a good start by smashing the ruthless political juggernaut of the Clinton machine.

    America is, to me, always a fascinating, vibrant, richly complex society, endlessly renewing itself. It deserves much better than the values and attitudes so epitomised by the Clintons. One can but hope that the new President will be true to his victory speech promise that he will not let his fellow Americans, and by necessary extension all of us Australians, down.

  17. Don A. Veitch says:

    Don’t get too excited. America is run on wedge issues and hysterics.
    Nothing has changed much, The DONALD TRUMP PARTY INC won, that’s all.
    The GOP demographic is a shrinking mess.
    Get ready for a very uncivil war as the billionaires(Koch/Mercers, NED etc), scramble for the loot. Trump, eventually, will turn his back on the people, back his petty bourgeoise class interests, and be just another Judas Goat for Wall street.

    • Jody says:

      Interesting observation. We will watch what happens.

    • pgang says:

      You don’t get it Don. This is a generational change in worldview.

      • Ian MacDougall says:

        .
        More Americans appear to have voted for Clinton than for Trump. But Trump wins on the Electoral College technicality.
        No doubt there are many tooled-up open-carriers now itching for a shootout or two in front of the OK Corral.

        http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/11/09/hillary_clinton_appears_to_have_won_the_popular_vote_does_it_matter.html

        • Jimbob says:

          Give it a break Ian! As if “technicalities” don’t happen here when preferences are distributed. But what’s worse? A difference of about 100,000 votes (or thereabouts) in over 120,000,000 or thereabouts (0.08%) or group of “senators” with say less than 5% of the popular vote completely stifling any legislation endorsed by the majority of voters? We have our preferential, compulsory voting system, the Yanks have their collegial voting system. Arguments “for” and “against” aren’t helpful. The only thing that is helpful is that the contestants play by the rules. Just think of the chaos at every election here or there, if there were only ever winners and sore losers!

          These kind of arguments are futile in the end.

          Liberal Democracy is not a great system. It depends wholly and solely on a divided community but I can say with my hand on my heart, it is far, far better than any other system known. It is better to acknowledge the reality of the divisions and deal with them with the vote rather than the gun. Seeing we’re on the wrong side of heaven for the time being, it is about the best system available (with all its’ flaws) to keep us from making a total hell – gulags and re-education camps included.

          What saddens me the most as I approach the end of my earthly journey is our incapacity to learn anything from previous mistakes. God spare me witnessing rivers of blood in the mad obsession with the “grand earthly plan”.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            Jimbob:
            Technicalities happen here all right. You are correct. (I never said they did not.) As Churchill observed, liberal democracy is the least worst political system ever invented. The Australian preferential system is now being trialled in parts of the US and other countries, and beats first-past-the-post hands down, IMHO: even though we have occasional political dingbats like Malcolm Roberts elected to parliament, perks and lifetime (+ spouse) taxpayer-funded parliamentary pensions thanks to it.

            https://crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/staff/ben_reilly/breilly8.pdf

          • ianl says:

            There, you see. MacDougall whines that Trump won on a “technicality” (ie. the US system is not first-past-the-post anymore than the Aus system is), yet when challenged prefers preferential voting systems.

            I agree. There’s no point in argument on this – this always devolves into a series of tedious contradictions.

  18. Geoffrey Luck says:

    I noted that the Republican vote in Washington DC was 4%. That is the swamp. Who is going to drain our similar swamp in Canberra?

  19. pgang says:

    I’m going on the record to say that I take Trump at his word. He won’t be perfect, but I think he will try and generally succeed in his goal of revitalising western culture. There is much more to Trump than what we have seen so far. Nobody achieves what he has by accident. His greatest challenge will be the enemy within his own party, but even there it looks like he has started to gain control.

  20. en passant says:

    Ah, the execrable dingbat IanMcD strikes again with the dingbat comment “even though we have occasional political dingbats like Malcolm Roberts elected to parliament.”
    So the catastrophist, post-modern, belief-driven pseudo-scientific cultist IanMcD thinks a highly trained, well-credentialed geologist who follows the Popper evidence-based scientific method is a dingbat, yet fails to mention Lambie, Wilkie, Hinch, half the Liberal and Labor hacks and all the Greens lead by the solar-powered Sarah?
    Let the jury decide who is a dingbat and who is not, Malcolm or Ian.

    • ianl says:

      Thank you – I was hesitant to have yet another run-through sword at MacDougall. Your thrust is admirable.

      Judith Curry has written something concerning the US election I find interesting, to the effect:

      “A key message of this election is that the power of self-described elites to persuade us has evaporated”

      My own thought was that the social engineers have been stoking us for some years with the “disruptor” meme. I do doubt though that Trump, or Brexit, was the sort of disruption they had in mind.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      ‘en passant’ (or whatever your real name is:
      You are right. I was wrong to call Roberts a political dingbat. He sticks stubbornly to his mantra of “where is the empirical evidence?” despite a rather bruising encounter with Prof Brian Cox on that subject on (choke! caaargh! splutter! hawk! spit!*) ABC TV’s Q&A. He sticks stubbornly to his ‘sceptic’ line as if his immortal soul depended on it, despite allegedly being a “highly trained, well-credentialed geologist who follows the Popper evidence-based scientific method…”
      “Where is the empirical evidence?” is the mantra of his rock-like religion, and no matter what answer he gets on that and from whom, he remains unshakeably true to his Faith: asking the same question over and over again: which many I am sure would admire him for.
      But not me. I call that stubborn and bloody-minded. And a rather overpaid instance of it..
      So reviewing that, I would instead recognise that he is in a class of his own. Henceforth in his case, I will use the term political dongbat: ie a more serious (albeit lower-register) form of a political dingbat.

      catastrophist, post-modern, belief-driven pseudo-scientific cultist IanMcD…

      Please explain?
      I assume my ‘catastrophism’ refers to my conclusions about AGW and the indicator role of sea-level rise (http://sealevel.colorado.edu/) That to date has been relatively gradual (relative say, to rates of tide rise on Sydney Harbour) but “post-modern”? Given that I have spent a lot of time attacking pomo, could you please give me just one instance of that showing how it applies to me?
      Otherwise, be honest and good enough to withdraw it.
      ‘Belief driven’? Well, we all have beliefs, but years ago I (somewhat reluctantly at the time I must admit) adopted Charles Darwin’s outlook on this, and have always abandoned any belief, no matter how dearly held, when the facts would not allow it. (However, on reflection, I will say this: beliefs, and particularly political affiliations, are also based on sectional and economic interest, so very slow to shift. Apposite is the famous dictum of Karl Marx: “It is not man’s consciousness that determines his being, but his being that determines his consciousness.” Or as that black slave quoted by Mark Twain said: “You tell me how a man gets his corn pone, and I’ll tell you what his opinions is.”)
      Pseudo-scientific cultist? Ditto repeato and please explain? And above all, please justify. Otherwise, please withdraw.

      • en passant says:

        Ian,
        PART of your catastrophism relates to sea-level rise as what is happening is quite normal and nothing to worry about. You again quote the Colorado figures (haven’t they disappeared beneath the waves yet?) yet you continue to ignore my reference to Hobart. “There is a high water mark etched into a sea cliff in seismically stable Hobart in Tasmania. In 1841 it was put there by Captain Ross, as a reference point. A photo of it can be found in the late John Daly’s blog (http://www.john-daly.com/). A check of the reference point in 2004 shows that the water level has not changed in the intervening 160 years. A similar mark (at Denison Island) in Sydney Harbour produces the same result. Just two curious, coincidental anomalies that show no discernible sea level rise? I think not. What has changed is the honesty of the scientists responsible for measuring and mapping our climate and all that that entails.”

        Nothing empirical to see here folks – and we are not going to be trapped into playing En Passant’s game by answering any fact based questions he poses …

        Well, the evidence is that it is nothing to worry about, so I have put my money where the facts and my empirical knowledge are and bought a block of land in Ho Tram in Vietnam (look it up) 1.5m above the king tide high water mark. We begin building next February.

        We have had this debate many times, but as you stated when asked to answer some plain questions, such as
        “What is the ideal average temperature for the world if 288K is considered too warm and an increase of 2K is thought to be a tipping point that will lead to catastrophic (if unspecifiable) results?” You replied that would also not play the game by letting us all know what you consider the ideal concentration of CO2? If 400ppm (let me make that clearer for this magic gas that you BELIEVE 400 parts per 1,000,000) is too high. At 250ppm it can be demonstrated the plant life struggles, but as more CO2 enters the atmosphere satellites show that plants are thriving and there is empirical evidence of the ‘Greening of the Earth’, the receding deserts and food crops are doing better. So, time for you to play the game and answer these two simple questions.

        I gained a great deal of respect for Jody for admitting she was wrong and wrong again over the US elections. So all you have to do is tell us your answers to these two key questions and admit you fell for the CAGW con and repent and you can rejoin humanity and the scientific approach. Sorry, I forgot, a cringing abject apology to the Honourable Senator Malcolm Roberts, MP is also required.

        As the Carboniferous Age was the most prolific period of life and speciation my personal view of that evidence is that 293K – 300K would be beneficial along with 2,000ppm – 4,000ppm of CO2. Given that you have so much time on your hands, why not spend some of it in personal improvement by listing for us ten benefits of a 5-7K increase in average global temperature and the beneficial effects of 4,000ppm on the environment. Now that would be a wonderful world.

        • Jimbob says:

          Here is an idiots view of “global warming”.

          The invisible hand is ensuring that there is plenty of carbon in the atmosphere to support the plant growth needed to feed the gazillions of plants that produce fruit & veges that feed the growing billions of humans directly and the bazillions of animals required for protein to feed the said growing billions of humans indirectly. This finely tuned universe seems to adjust to support human life irrespective of our own efforts to undo ourselves.

          Will a balance be struck? Is there a new equilibrium where we and many other life forms continue to exist? Probably yes but don’t quote me on that.

          I found this interesting tit-bit in the National Geographic in the context of the phytoplankton (plants) producing half the planets’ oxygen.

          “The forests and oceans are not taking in more carbon dioxide or letting off more oxygen. But human activities such as burning oil and coal to drive our cars and heat our homes are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

          Most of the world’s scientists agree that these increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing the Earth to warm. Many researchers believe that this phenomenon could lead to potentially catastrophic consequences”

          What strikes me about this quote is how “opinion” and “uncertainty” are disingenuously portrayed as “infallible truth” and “certainty”. What is true is that not all scientists agree (only most) but the many “believe” (as opposed to knowing infallibly) that the phenomenon of increasing carbon “could” (as opposed to “would” or “will”)lead to “potentially” (as opposed to certain/unavoidable) catastrophic consequences. This reminds me of the same language that Professor Cox used on the ABC’s Q&A when asked by a much maligned Senator to front up some hard eveidence. Why don’t we ever get to read the minority opinions in the msm? Is there something to be afraid of?

          Anyway, I did say that this is an idiots’ view.

          The whole carbon/global warming thing sounds more like a religion than science to me. By saying the magic words “most” and “many”, in the temple of the popular press, opinion is turned mystically into “Veritas” and uncertainty magically into “Quaedum Indubitatus”….the more we change the more we stay the same eh?

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          Tidal gauges may be as they may be. But the Colorado University (CU) people base their measurements on satellite altimetry, all details published at their website. These satellites are continuously measuring their altitudes relative to the centre of the Earth, thus avoiding problems of crustal movement, isostasy etc etc. The CU claims an accuracy down to +/- 0.4 mm: nothing so crude as a tide mark chopped into the sandstone by some colonial mariner.
          I have told you all this stuff before, but you appear to have never registered it. I can only conclude that it is too much for you to incorporate into your ‘conservative’ worldview; which might be another way of saying that your worldview is very brittle and easily damaged.
          And it has long been known by plant physiologists that [CO2] – atmospheric CO2 concentration – is THE limiting factor on plant growth, PROVIDED ALL OTHER FACTORS ARE HELD CONSTANT – soil water, temperature, humidity, soil organisms etc.
          I have told all that to you before, too.
          So game over.

  21. en passant says:

    Ian,
    Game over? For whom? I know you are just having fun because nobody can be as obtuse and as feckless as your arguments indicate and still be alive after crossing the road more than twice. Actually, now it is me who is poking fun as Obama lives.
    I admit the CU measurements on the sea levels on this obloid are exciting. Just think 3mm/year for a mere millennium (1,000 years to the non-scientifically qualified) = 30cm. Quick head for the hills NOW! No wonder that after 170 years we cannot detect a change in a ‘… crude tide mark chopped into the sandstone by some colonial mariner.’ Ah, how easy it is to defame some faithful, resilient and meticulous ‘colonial mariner’. Do you feel no shame in your boastful superiority that you can write off his detailed measurement so offhandedly? Even with a crude mark 30cm should have been detected by now, if the hypothesis is correct, should it not? Game over, methinks.

    “… atmospheric CO2 concentration – is THE limiting factor on plant growth ..” Umm, I think that means we are on the same side and that CO2 is beneficial to plant growth, feeding the world and species diversity. Add a bit of warmth and the world will be a wonderful place.

    I note (and I have told you his before) you cannot answer the two key questions about the destination you seek to impose on us. Everything else is tinkering with the periphery and the means.

    1. What is the optimum global temperature; and
    2. What is the ideal concentration of CO2?

    This is our last correspondence if you cannot answer these simple questions, as it is surely game over if you do not know what we are trying to achieve by closing down our energy producers and our industries.

    Thank goodness Trump won!

  22. en passant says:

    3m, not 30cm. One would suspect the change to the mariner’s mark would be detectable by now, unless, of course the hypothesis that we will soon be living in Waterworld is false.

    Like Jody, when I am wrong, I correct my errors

  23. mags of Queensland says:

    My personal view is that Donald Trump offered something that neither Obama or Clinton did- hope. The masses have been ignored, trodden on and lied to for so long that when enough is enough that’s it. I must confess that I took the view earlier that, like Australia, the US had the choice between a liar and a fool. But I have to admit, Trump is no fool. He knows the buttons to press at the right time. I wish him well.