Fake President says he makes decisions based on facts and instinct

…Trump (has) twice emphasized that conditions would allow the economy to begin returning to normal “soon,” and when asked how he will decide when is the right time to advise businesses to reopen, the president gave a less measured answer than Fauci.

“I will be basing it on a lot of very smart people, a lot of professionals, doctors, and business leaders,” he said. “There are a lot of things that go into a decision like that. And it’s going to be based on a lot of facts and a lot of instincts also. Whether we like it or not, there is a certain instinct to it. But we have to get our country back.”

Trump wouldn’t know a verifiable scientific fact if it bit him on the ass. And his instincts are those of a common criminal. Lie, cheat and steal!

The Fake President shuts down participatory democracy. Of course.

The White House has said it will be shutting down its website for petitions from midnight on Tuesday until a new one is set up in late January….

The petition platform was set up under Barack Obama in 2011 as part of his digital democracy initiative…At the time, the White House said that the platform would “give all Americans a way to create and sign petitions on a range of issues affecting our nation”.

If a petition receives more than 100,000 signatures within a 30-day period, the White House is supposed to issue an official response to it…

However, since the start of the Trump administration, all of the petitions that have met this threshold have gone unanswered.

The Fake President doesn’t keep his promises to the chumps who supported him. Does anyone expect him to support any of the steps towards a greater democracy brought by any previous occupant of the White House?

Why Are Republicans Rushing This Tax Scam?


Al Drago for the NY TIMES

❝ So, it seems that Republicans are responding to the devastating defeat in Alabama – which is part of a sustained pattern of underperformance in special elections, demonstrating that bad polls reflect reality, not bad polling, by … doubling down on a massively unpopular tax plan, whose main focus is on cutting corporate taxes.

In fact, they’re rushing to jam the thing through before Doug Jones can be certified, in a stunning act of hypocrisy from the same people who demanded that Obamacare wait until Scott Brown was seated and held up a Supreme Court seat for a year. It’s outrageous. But it also looks like really bad politics, especially given what we know is coming: calls next year for cuts in popular social programs, because of a deficit Republicans just voted to explode. So what are they thinking?

❝ I don’t know for sure, but I’d suggest three possible factors in this mad rush.

❝ First…Today’s Republicans are apparatchiks, who have spent their whole lives inside an intellectual bubble in which cutting taxes on corporations and the rich is always objective #1…that the whole game was to win by playing on social issues, national security, and above all on racial antagonism, then use the win to push fundamentally unpopular economic policies…

❝ Second…The idea is that voters are impressed by your record of wins, or conversely that they’ll turn away if you don’t win enough.

Trumpublicans repeat that stupidity all day long.

❝ Third – “I guess I’ll be looking for a lobbying job/ think tank position/commentator role on Fox News in 2019” – in which case your mission in what remains of your Congressional career is to keep donors and the party machine happy, never mind the voters.

Which is what public service in a 2-party system made up mostly of corporate pimps ends up offering to voters.

Trump gets four times more support than Hillary – from bots


“Pay no attention to those wires coming out of my pants!”

❝ More than four times as many tweets were made by automated accounts in favour of Donald Trump around the first US presidential debate as by those backing Hillary Clinton, a study says.

The bots exaggerated support for the Republican, it suggests, but Trump would still have won a higher number of supportive tweets even if they had not.

The authors warn such software has the capacity to “manipulate public opinion” and “muddy political issues”…

❝ The investigation was led by Prof Philip Howard, from the University of Oxford, and is part of a wider project exploring “computational propaganda”.

It covered tweets posted on 26 September, the day of the first debate, plus the three days afterwards, and relied on popular hashtags linked to the event.

❝ First, the researchers identified accounts that exclusively posted messages containing hashtags associated with one candidate but not the other…

The researchers then analysed which of these had been posted by bots. They identified an account as such if it had tweeted at least 50 times a day across the period, meaning a minimum of 200 tweets over the four days…

In total, that represented a total of 576,178 tweets benefiting the Republican nominee and 136,639 in support of the Democratic one…

Nice to see serious examination of how technology has changed opinion-shaping. Now, I’m still waiting for pollsters to identify how often their telephone polls still rely on calling folks with landlines. And other fossils.