Wow, look how big my hands are
This diatribe is largely in response to Pokey McDooris’ recent spew about the righteous Republican takeover of the presidency after the heinous rule of Barack Hussein Obama. Poke, for someone that’s all bunged up about the manipulation of the government and usurpation of rights by Democratic big money interests, you are really riding the wrong hobby horse.
Per a post-article Zano-McDooris debate, you stated that the Democrats “framed Trump for conspiring with the Russians.” Dude, they didn’t frame him for shit. In the months following the start of the Mueller Investigation*, Trump and his posse have admitted to tons of questionable activity as it pertains to Moscow. Just from his public statements Trump has confessed to fostering conflicts of interest as well as obstructing justice. If it makes you feel better, I’m not convinced that the Trump Campaign did wittingly collude with the Russians to throw the election (although I’m reasonably sure that Mueller will make it so).
*Note the name “Mueller Investigation” as opposed to the “Russia Investigation” monicre thrown around by seemingly everyone. It is not an investigation into Russian collusion, despite what Trump says, although he’s probably saying it out of a feeling of guilt. The mandate is an investigation into interference in the 2016 election, potential involvement of the Russians, possibly in collusion with the Trump campaign, plus anything derived therefrom (the “Gotcha bitch!” clause).
Sorry, Trump’s election was not the product of some romantic upheaval of the slaves against the Pharaoh. While a Hebrew revolt is probably one of Donny’s biggest fears, I’m sure he would be willing to sacrifice Donny Jr. to keep the status quo. Remember, the Trumpster won that election in the Electoral College and lost the popular vote by over 3,000,000 votes. His election was engineered by big $$$ through the use of detailed demographic data, specifically targeted misinformation, disinformation and manipulation of public opinion.
Enter Robert Mercer, a member of the very rich and influential Mercer family, a veritable Ri¢hie Ri¢h, if you will. He is of the opinion that human beings have no value beyond what they earn. In his opinion a cat has more intrinsic value than a human since it brings pleasure to humans. A human earning 1000 times that of a school teacher is 1000 times more valuable than that teacher. Ri¢hie’s even more fucked up than that. I could go on but you get the picture: C.R.E.A.M., get the money, dolla dolla bill y’all. In 2015 he was listed by The Washington Post as one of the top 10 most influential billionaires in politics. He was the number one financial contributor to campaigns in the 2016 election. He is also a brilliant computer scientist and mathematician specializing statistical algorithms and artificial intelligence. He made billions using said methods while working at Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund company of which he eventually would become CEO and later be forced to leave due to blow-back from his political activism.
After Ri¢hie’s departure from Renaissance, he sank $5M into Cambridge Analytica, an outfit that uses psychology to influence elections. Cambridge used social media to build detailed psycho-demographic profiles on some 230,000,000 US voters. They placed click-bait surveys on Facebook. You may remember some of the surveys: “Which Friends Character are You?”, “What Superhero are you?”, “What dog breed are you?”, “Are you stupid enough to hand your personal data over to a corrupt propaganda machine?”, and my favorite, “Are you stupid enough to believe preposterous stories we pump out simply because they appear on Facebook?”
Discord fodder excluded.
Users engaging in such seemingly innocent activities provided Cambridge with their personality traits, opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. But that was just the beginning. By granting Cambridge access to their Facebook profile, Cambridge got their names, where they lived, who their friends and relatives were, what their favorite TV shows, movies, music and websites were, and every other detail of their lives recorded there. Cross referencing that with public records they determined political affiliation, election participation history, etc. From this vast database (~70% of the US population at the time of the election) Cambridge could create micro-targeted fake-news posts (yes, they literally called them that; they invented the term, although, looking back, The Discord has been using the more stylized term faux news, describing ourselves, for more than a decade), ads, stories, etc. specifically engineered to evoke a psychological response, swaying the targets’ opinions in a particular direction. Cambridge used this approach to successfully push the UK’s Brexit vote toward succession, an outcome that surprised everyone. Foreshadowing?
Ri¢hie turns his eye toward the US Presidential election…
Enter Patrick Caddell, a pollster with an interest in getting some schmo, any schmo, elected president of the US. In 2014 he wrote an article stating that the US voters were ready to elect a schmo. Caddell used his polling data to determine which of the presidential candidates would make the most viable schmo; enter The Donald. He was the only candidate found to qualify as a schmo. I think the hair really pushed his level of schmoness.
Under the influence of Caddell’s polling data, Ri¢hie decided to back Trumpworth. Ri¢hie sank millions into donations. Ri¢hie used his influence to get Cambridge into the Trump campaign. Almost immediately Manafort was fired and replaced with Steve Bannon (one of Ri¢hie’s heroes and head of the Breitbart conservative propaganda machine) and Kellyanne Conway. With their people in senior positions Cambridge was in a position to hijack the election.
The Cambridge blitz targeted a set of 77,000, yeah thousand, voters in strategic districts in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. They used micro-targeted, psychologically-engineered posts delivered through a little known Facebook feature known as the Dark Post. This feature allows a paying user to post messages directly to specific audiences, then remove the posts once they have been read, with no record that the posts ever existed. Since the stories were only ever read by the targeted user, the press and even friends and family members of the recipient had no idea that those posts were being distributed. The posts shifted the views of the 77,000 voters, thereby shifting the results in those districts Trumpward, and thereby those states, and thereby their delegates in the Electoral College, thereby getting Trump elected. And all of this for the low, low price of ~$15M (most of which was donated by Ri¢hie in the first place).
In addition, they spewed a narrative that fed the prejudices of the conservative electorate. With the conservative outlets (Breitbart, Fox, etc.) reiterating the same lies uttered by ol’ Micro Mitts, they convinced millions of their truthiness*, and that the legitimate media were the ones lying despite the obvious evidence.
*Copyright Stephen Colbert
Now, you may disagree, but I would think that this is, by far, the greatest power grab by big $$$ in US history.
I’m not sure that the Russians were working with the Trump campaign. I think it’s certain they were working for the campaign whether Trump himself or his cohorts knew it or not. I think that it’s obvious that Trump is compromised, whether due his business interests, a pee pee tape, or some mental defect remains to be seen. His attitude toward our enemies vs that toward our allies makes him a risk. The fact that he sides with Putin over our own intelligence infrastructure is a real problem. Regardless, this single usurpation of voter rights blows away any scandal on either side since the illegal war in Iraq, and it trumps even that. I know, I know, BENGHAZI! Let’s talk about eight-year-old emails while we’re wallowing in the fallout of nuclearized corruption (never mind the fact that Colin Powell and Trumpozo’s own daughter were and are doing the same thing now).
That said, in a certain way you are right about Republican policy freeing us. First, that sweet thing they did hijacking the Power of Appointment from Obama, allowing Trump to appoint that conservative guy to the Supreme Court shifting the balance of the bench for years to come. Aside from side-stepping the Constitution, it keeps us free from worrying about how cases before to the Supreme Court will be decided; we already know. Then there’s that emotionally volatile, beer lovin’ hard-liner; the very poster-child of a non-partisan candidate, right? Good choice.
Declaring that corporations are people allows companies to anonymously donate unlimited millions to PACs. That will free us from the need to vote since those corporations will decide who wins for us.
Repealing the Consumer Credit Protection Act re-legalized predatory lending practices, making the lenders (they’re people too now) free to appropriate the homes of the poor on a scale that will crush the economy, again.
Repealing the environmental regulations on corporations will ensure that the planet will be on an immutable trajectory to hell within 12 years. We no longer have to be concerned about the future; there isn’t one. The best part? Well, with all of the new category five hurricanes, Mar-a-Lago will likely wash into the sea. Kinda short-sighted that he’s spending our national emergency money on that wall, huh?
[Sea wall joke removed by the …wait, I am the editor!]
Oh, and as for Fiat currency, it provides more stability than commodity-backed currency. Currency, backed or not, has value because we perceive it to. If the US were still using the gold standard then, in the years following the Obama recovery, i.e. from 2012 until now, all of that cash you hid in your mattress would have lost 30% of its value. What would that have done to inflation? Gold is popular during recessions because of its perceived intrinsic value, which drives up its price. But that wains during a strong economy due it’s lack of liquidity, hence it’s meteoric drop in the last seven years. Meanwhile inflation is down because the dollar is based upon the perceived strength of the US financial system, which is relatively constant. It’s a shame that your mandated public school didn’t teach you about our financial system; mine did. That sounds like a state problem.
Maybe they should institute standardized testing.