Mudguard

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  1. US Politics: Ask Fox News

    Comey's problem was that he testified under oath to Congress that his investigation of Clinton's email was closed. With the discovery of the new Wiener emails, he felt obligated to update his testimony to Congress. I can see why he did what he did. I can also see why others feel that he should have found out if there was anything new in the emails before deciding whether to send out his letter. But I don't think Comey was acting maliciously against Clinton. In hindsight, yeah, I think sending the letter was a mistake because ultimately they were able to review the emails before the election, but it was not clear when he sent the letter that they would be able to do so. Also, people like to blame Comey, but Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton deserve much of the blame in this particular matter as well. Had Bill Clinton and Lynch not had their tarmac meeting, Lynch would have been in charge of the Clinton email investigation, and Comey would not have had to be the public face of the investigation. Both Clinton and Lynch knew better than to meet in the middle of an active investigation. I couldn't believe the stupidity when it happened. In addition, apparently Lynch and other DOJ officials were aware of Comey's letter before he sent it out, but Lynch chose not to order him to not send the letter. If Lynch felt strongly about the letter, she should have ordered him not to send the letter. Did she refrain because she felt her hands were tied after meeting with Clinton? Probably, but she never officially recused herself from the investigation, so she could have given the order. Here's a Washington Post article that goes into all of this in detail.
  2. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    Not impressed with Maddow. Last time I listened to her show she was heavily implying that Trump was going to start a nuclear holocaust. Now I tune in again to her self hyped up show for TRUMP'S TAX RETURN -SERIOUSLY! and get a complete dud. All that build up and hype for worse than nothing. That tax return probably helps Trump.
  3. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    I don't know how a person would only have access to those two pages of the tax returns and not any of the supporting schedules which would potentially list some of the sources of income. And if they had access to the entire return, why just mail out the first two pages? That makes me suspicious. I can understand why Maddow and the Daily Beast journalist would want to publish their scoop, but they may have just helped Trump out by doing so. That would be some serious irony if Maddow unintentionally ended up helping Trump out.
  4. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    The reporter who received the tax returns thinks that Trump may have sent him the tax returns, probably because the two pages that he was sent were so innocuous. Absolutely nothing there. The "leaked" returns obviously weren't selected to do damage to Trump. I have to admit that if Trump did fake release a part of his 2005 tax return, it was a savvy move for the reasons you list above. Trump acts so crazy and stupid so much of the time it's sometimes hard to imagine that he'd be capable of such moves, but on the other hand, he's a master at public manipulation.
  5. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    Yeah, so far this is a big disappointment. If all they have is two pages and not any of the backing documents, there's almost nothing to see.
  6. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    I'm preparing myself for a big let down, but I hope I'm surprised.
  7. US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

    It would be really big news if there's income coming from Russia. If there isn't a Russia connection, I don't think there'll be anything game changing in there.
  8. US Politics: Lock Him Up!

    Steele has finally resurfaced and is back at work at his company. At this point, I view his report as raw intelligence. It's interesting and provides useful starting points for potential investigations, but all the allegations need verification. I hope he can shed a little more light on his report and explain what parts of his report that he feels are most credible and why. I think that was one part of the report that was missing that you'd typically find in an intelligence report. There have also been elements of his report that have been proven false or inaccurate, and I hope that he'll provide an explanation for the errors.
  9. Here's a research paper that shows a correlation between attractiveness and intelligence. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222558910_Intelligence_and_Physical_Attractiveness As for Hollywood people, as a group they probably are about average in intelligence, with some smarter and some stupider, but with most around the mean. The difference is that these people are celebrities and a subset of the media report on what they say, and/or people actively follow these peoples twitters and other media postings, which allows us to identify the really stupid ones.
  10. US Politics: Opening Pandora's Box

    My post only made two points. First, there isn't yet a consensus about austerity like there is about climate change, which your first paragraph seems to acknowledge. If there was a consensus, why hasn't Europe given up on austerity already? The second point was that the WP article was not useful because it barely provides any of the underlying details of the NBER working paper that supports its conclusions. Without any details regarding the modeling, the WP article merely serves as a source of confirmation bias for people that already agree with its conclusion. It's impossible to assess whether the NBER working paper has merit or not from the WP article. As to your other comments regarding various models, assumptions and fiscal multipliers, I'll just say that I view any economic prediction with a very healthy degree of skepticism precisely because so many economists make errors in assumptions, each model has its limitations, and the liberal use of fudge factors like fiscal multipliers.
  11. US Politics: Opening Pandora's Box

    Unfortunately, the NBER working paper cited by Washington Post article is not freely available and there's no description in the WP article of how the model was constructed, so it's impossible for me to form any opinion regarding the conclusions of the paper. There certainly isn't any consensus right now among economists that austerity under current conditions doesn't work. I'd also point out that NBER working papers have not been peer reviewed. Instead, they function to stimulate discussion and revisions to the paper before publication, so I'm not ready to call this matter decided yet.
  12. US Politics: Opening Pandora's Box

    Based on this timeline, besides making clear that Flynn's been lying for months, it seem like Pence didn't know that Flynn lied to him until Feb. 9, even though the White House was notified on Jan. 26. Some people here were speculating earlier that Trump would have no interest in governing at the Pence would be the person running the show. I think this makes it clear that Trump is 100% in charge and that Pence isn't even among the inner circle.
  13. U.S. Politics: Courting Trump

    That we know the exact 4 questions asked and that 2 are geared towards Democrats and 2 geared towards Republicans doesn't make these 4 questions an accurate representation of the entire set of conspiracy theories. The question about Obama hiding something in his background is an outlier when compared to the numbers seen in the other questions. Large number of Republicans believe in that conspiracy, which is not surprising given the timing of the polls (December 2012 in an election where Trump made this conspiracy theory a big deal). If you throw that question out along with one of the Democrat friendly conspiracy theories, I'd bet that the numbers for the two parties would be about the same. If you and others still believe that that bit of polling data proves or provides strong evidence that Republicans believe in conspiracy theories more frequently than Democrats, then apparently no amount of logic is going to convince you otherwise.
  14. U.S. Politics: Courting Trump

    The second link is consistent with Dundermifflins interpretation, which is that political affiliation predicts which conspiracies a person tends to believe in. And that political affiliation by itself does not appear to be correlated with a likelihood of believing in conspiracy theories. It should be obvious that you can't extrapolate to a general conclusion that Democrats are less likely to believe in conspiracy theories than Republicans based on questions about 4 different conspiracy theories. You can see that the numbers vary significantly with the specific conspiracy asked about, so it's very likely that if you asked about 4 other conspiracies you'd get very different results. The poll was never designed to answer that question.
  15. Only if they are able to actually obtain a patent, which is generally getting harder and harder to do nowadays. In the good old days, maybe around 20 years ago, patent examiners had to hand search through paper records to find prior art to reject the claims in a patent application. As you can imagine, that wasn't a particularly efficient or effective method. Now, examiners can search electronic databases which make them much more effective at their jobs. And even if they get a patent, it's often possible to design around the patent. The tradeoffs seems fair to me. I'm OK with where the patent system is at right now. I'd rather the government take a stab at directly trying to regulate drug prices, preferably through some sort of universal healthcare system. If that still isn't enough to control drug prices, then I'd be willing to look at revising patent terms.