Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Fresh Fiorina Failure

February 11, 2016

Fresh Fiorina Failure
Carly Fiorina, the CEO who crashed Compaq and HP and laid off 30,000 employees, who campaigned for the Senate in 2010 with a herd of Demon Sheep and lost, has suspended her 2016 presidential campaign after finishing 7th in the New Hampshire GOP primary. Another failed tycoon finished first.

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Chris Christie to Exit GOP Race?

February 10, 2016

Chris Christie to Exit GOP Race?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to suspend his presidential campaign after finishing 6th in the New Hampshire Republican Primary.  Andy Borowitz said it best: “Chris Christie Quits Race to Focus on Tormenting Rubio.”

Updates:

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ends 2016 White House bid,” Jill Colvin, Associated Press

“Christie Leaves White House Race ‘Without An Ounce Of Regret,'” Sara Jerde, TPM Livewire

“Why Chris Christie Failed,” Nate Silver, Vox

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Marco Rubio is Not a Robot. Robots Are Smarter.

February 8, 2016

Marco Rubio is Not a Robot. Robots Are Smarter.
In the recent GOP debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, Chris Christie pointed out that Marco Rubio keeps mechanically repeating a few rehearsed phrases over and over. Critics and protesters are calling the Florida Senator “Robot Rubio,” “Marcobot,” Rubio Bot,” and “Robo-Rubio.” That’s unfair.

Marco Rubio is not a robot. Robots are smarter than that.

If you’re a registered Republican, you’re probably old enough to recognize what Mr. Rubio really is. He’s not a robot and not a broken record. He’s Chatty Marco.

In 1960, Mattel Inc. introduced the Chatty Cathy doll. It had a pull-string voicebox; when the string was pulled it “spoke”and played back one of a dozen pre-recorded phrases at random. Cathy was not designed to respond to changing circumstances with new utterances. Robots, however, can do that through AI, and they are constantly learning new responses.

See? Marco Rubio is not a robot.

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Ted Cruz Vanquishes New York Values in Iowa

February 2, 2016

Ted Cruz Vanquishes New York Values in Iowa
In the Republican melee in Iowa yesterday, Holy Warrior Ted Cruz drew first blood, besting Plumed Knight Donald Trump, with Marco Rubio nipping at Mr. Trump’s rump. “New York values” didn’t play so well in farm country.

“Fighting Preacher” Mike Huckabee has withdrawn from the field of battle, and Doctor Ben Carson is missing in action after looking for a laudromat. The surviving GOP combatants move their conflict east to New Hampshire next week.

More:

“Cruz Says ‘New York Values’ Attack Led To Victory Over Trump In Iowa,” Sara Jerde, TPM Livewire

“Cruz Victory Gives Hope To Despised People Everywhere,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

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Iowa Matters. For a Day. Every 4 Years.

February 1, 2016

Iowa Matters. For a Day. Every 4 Years.

Tonight in Iowa, citizens will gather in hundreds of little groups to determine which Presidential candidate they would prefer as a drinking buddy (note: Trump doesn’t drink). The Iowa Caucus process has not changed much over the years except for the inclusion of computers, womenfolk, and voters with dark complexions (if the latter can be found in Iowa).

The caucus process is simple: At 7 PM Central Time, adult Iowa citizens show up at the church basement, roller rink, farmhouse, or pork-packing plant designated as the local caucus site by state Republican and Democratic parties. Republican attendees display their GOP tattoos at the door; those without them must get marked-up before Monday night. Candidate adherents rant, threaten, and cajole. For Republicans, secret balloting follows, then local caucus hosts have their grandchildren use laptop computers to enter the voting results, which are transmitted through the cloud to Iowa GOP Central Command, located in an empty grain elevator at an undisclosed location in Sioux County.

Iowa Democrats use a different system. At every local caucus they huddle in groups backing each candidate. Any group with less than 15 members is deemed “non-viable” and dissolved, and its members scatter to back other candidates. When the music stops the biggest group wins, but only the jammers can score. Caucus hosts enter results into a Microsoft program; after it freezes up, they re-boot their laptops and re-enter the data, which is collated in the cloud and certified at Iowa Democratic Party HQ, i.e. a Starbucks in the East Village neighborhood of Des Moines (free WiFi!).

After precinct caucuses finally end, winners of each party caucus are confirmed and announced, runners-up are crowned Miss Popularity, and losers and their surrogates begin the arduous spin cycle. In November the names of the caucus winners are put on the Iowa ballot  and voters elect someone else as President.

God Bless America.

More:

“How The Iowa Democratic Caucus Works, Featuring Legos,” Taylor Dobbs and Angela Evancie, Vermont Public Radio

“Why do the Iowa caucuses matter? Because everyone thinks they do.”Andrew Prokop, Vox

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Quitter: Trump Debate No-Show

January 28, 2016

Quitter: Trump Debate No-Show

“Trump’s Misogynistic Meltdown,” Emily Arrowood, U.S. News & World Report

“Donald Trump Is Skipping the GOP Debate Because He Hates Women,” Jesse Berney, Rolling Stone

“CNN’s Carol Costello: If Trump ‘Cherishes Women,’ Why Does He Call Them Bimbos?” Alex Griswold, Mediaite

“Donald Trump has a problem with strong women,” Edward Luce, Financial Times

“Rand Paul: Donald Trump ‘Doesn’t Like A Strong, Assertive Woman,’” Andrew Kaczynski, BuzzFeed

“The sexism in Donald Trump’s latest swipe at Fox News’s Megyn Kelly,” Eric Wemple, Washington Post

“Fear of Women Is Key to Donald Trump’s Misogyny — and America’s,” Adele M. Stan, American Prospect

Related:

“Millions Resent Being Put in Horrible Position of Siding with Megyn Kelly,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“How Donald Trump uses .political correctness. to make sexist bullying seem like heroism,” Amanda Taub, Vox

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Massacre on Fifth Avenue?

January 28, 2016

Massacre on Fifth Avenue?
“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”
Donald Trump, West Des Moines Iowa
January 23, 2016 [NBC News]

Note: Donald J. Trump has a New York City concealed-carry permit and owns several handguns.

(more…)

Davos 2016

January 20, 2016

Davos 2016

The billionaire masters of Planet Earth and their pet politicians are in Davos this week for the 46th World Economic Forum. The US is sending a high-powered team led by Joe Biden, John Kerry, Kevin Spacey, will.i.am, and Leonardo DiCaprio. You can join them for a mere $31,473 a ticket, if you’ve paid your $50,000 WEF dues. Hotel, dining, and valet parking are extra. Gatecrashers and the improperly dressed will be politely turned away by police and 5,000 Swiss soldiers.

 

The Forum is going to be really inconvenient this year due to security concerns. You’ll have to land your private jet at Dübendorf military airbase and get to Davos by limo, helicopter, or horse-drawn carriage.

This year’s agenda will focus on Industry 4.0, aka “The Fourth Industrial Revolution … the fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds which is creating entirely new capabilities”and replacing laborers with robot employees. Naturally, Forum members want to speed up that process. And WEF is concerned about women, too, and that’s why this year almost 20% of Davos attendees are women. Progress!

More:

“62 People Own Half the World’s Wealth, Oxfam Says Ahead of World Economic Forum,” Pan Pylas, NBC New York

“Get a grip on inequality, leaders urged in run-up to World Economic Forum,”  AP via Chicago Tribune

“The 2016 World Economic Forum Misfires With Its Fourth Industrial Revolution Theme,” Jeremy Rifkin, Huffington Post

“Davos Robot Eclipses Davos Man as Gloom Descends on World Elite,” Simon Kennedy, Matthew Campbell, The Guardian

“Industry 4.0 to be huge job killer,” Deutsche Welle

“Robots put five million jobs at risk,” SwissInfo.ch

“Report from Davos: ‘Men still run the world—and it’s not going that well,’” Jenny Anderson, Quartz

“The failure of Davos,” Felix Salmon, Fusion

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Republican Debate: Race to the Bottom

January 15, 2016

Republican Debate: Race to the Bottom

At the 6th Republican Presidential Debate in Charleston, South Carolina, it was difficult to identify the real Donald Trump. All seven participants seemed to be angry and irrational, apparently the chief requirements for the GOP candidacy this year.

More:

“Fact Checker of Republican Debate Hospitalized for Exhaustion,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

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Ted Cruz, Senator from Goldman Sachs

January 14, 2016

Ted Cruz, Senator from Goldman Sachs
While running for his U.S. Senate seat in 2012, Texas Republican Ted Cruz failed to disclose a $500,000 campaign loan from Goldman Sachs, reports the New York Times. That’s especially awkward since Ted’s missus, Heidi Nelson Cruz, is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in Houston. In fact, Chad Sweet, Cruz 2016 presidential campaign manager, worked for Goldman Sachs for 10 years. Candidate Cruz has recently tried to distance himself from Goldman as part of his hardly credible populist pose.

Besides that sizeable low-interest loan from his wife’s bosses, Mr. Cruz apparently got one from Citibank, too. Other campaigns have been fined for failing to make such disclosures to the FEC. The Cruz campaign’s response to the Times story: “Ooops.”

More:

“Ted Cruz Hates ‘New York Values’ But Sure Loves New York Money,” Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

“Ted Cruz’s Loan from Goldman Sachs Was a Bullish Bet on the Obama Economy,” David Nir, AlterNet

Related:

“Goldman Sachs Will Pay $5 Billion To Settle Financial-Crisis Claims,” Jim Zarroli, NPR News

“The Great American Bubble Machine,” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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