Sunday, October 30, 2016

OCTOBER SURPRISES

As we edge towards a final vote in the States there have been a few developments that threaten to heat up the atmosphere even further in an unhealthy direction.  They are mostly non consequential in relation to real issues.

The increase in Health Care premiums for many is jumped upon and exaggerated.  It is not everyone who is going to be hit with 50% increases and the poorest have been given some protection.  The Republicans have steadfastly tried to undo it while offering nothing to replace it.  They have had plenty of time to do so and this time they are consistently negligent in suggesting how they could handle it better.  No one seems to get excited that most advanced nations offer their citizens a longer life span and at less cost.

The FBI, under James Comey may be doing its job, but there is a hint of politicization with the announcement that they had uncovered some emails that might be relevant.  Again the Republicans are jumping on it.  They act like they have clean hands--they don't.  When there was a real scandal involving Attorney Generals appointed and fired by Republicans in the George W. Bush era there was not very much response from Republicans about missing emails.  It is only casually mentioned how other Republicans destroyed their email trail such as George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and Colin Powell.

Hilary has been victimized by countless scandals for years, yet they all amount to next to nothing.  But they all leave an odour.  The worst are the rumours that never reach public scrutiny.  The problem is that she is perceived as an uppity woman.  A last minute "scandal" has a better chance of catching on.

Transparency is an ideal that is not always practical.  Negotiating with the enemy or with anyone with vested interests is made more difficult if not impossible if every word can be broadcast.

Fundraising is a difficult project.  Personally I avoid many pleas for charity (there are dozens every day).  My charitable giving usually springs from funerals as a respect for the deceased wishes or something that really hits home.  The Clintons set up a Foundation that has harnessed goodwill to help make life better for literally millions of people around the world.  I am sure there are many informal exchanges that result in them getting more money for good causes.  Is it very strange that other people benefit?

A good case study is Donald Trump himself who uses his Foundation blatantly for self benefit.  Incidentally Trump faces court cases for both fraud and rape that have been delayed until after the election.  He has many people accusing him of cheating them with respect to their work.  He also has many women claiming he took unwanted liberties with them  His character seems forgiven by many.

Really important issues are climate change, inequality, healthcare reform, campaign finance, international hostility, nuclear risks, reducing gun violence, automation*.  Donald Trump has displayed his ignorance countless times--he knows more than the generals, climate change is a Chinese hoax--Mexicans send us drug dealers and rapists (with the assumption also a few good people), Mexico would pay for a wall, etc., etc.

A Canadian example of last minute "revelations" was when ten years ago the RCMP stated they were going to investigate a Liberal insider crime.  The investigation led to nothing (a government employee was fined), but the Liberals lost power for the next ten years.

The truth is that social conservatives care about social issues while fiscal conservatives (more accurately those who support the 1%) support fiscal issues and will use any tool to get what they really want.  Nobody can predict what will happen, but it is a bad omen when misleading information forms opinions.

*automation added in, recognizing it as key factor in declining jobs

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