Link Roundup, June 7, 2016

From the Salt Lake City Tribune: Polls don’t mean much this early, but sometimes they can reveal a trend. Look at the impact of a solid Libertarian ticket on Trump in Utah.

From Motherboard: As an old person I find this really weird, but people are starting to treat video games as a spectator sport.

From The Hill: Paul Ryan uses the forbidden “r-word” against a Republican for the first time ever. Of course, by GOP logic this makes Ryan a racist.

From Mic: An explanation of the symbols Trump’s Neo-Nazi supporters are using to quietly intimidate Jews online.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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139 comments on “Link Roundup, June 7, 2016
  1. 1mime says:

    I have commented on this and now it is being confirmed by none other than Drumpf:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/06/trump-i-get-so-much-publicity-224076

    Here’s the thing: if the media are giving him “free” exposure, they should make it equal….and, they should do their job!!!!! No Free Pass!

    • 1mime says:

      One topic Friedman didn’t include is for the GOP to embrace diversity and equality – of race, gender, sexual preference, and opportunity. He’s got the rest covered but this omission is critical to the Republican Party moving away from the fundamentalist, arch-conservative mindset. The Republican Party wasn’t always this way, but, more significantly, the country is not this way. There are many changes that the GOP needs to make so that their policies and legislation better reflect the country that “is” rather than the country they “want it to be”.

      • vikinghou says:

        The Friedman column is excellent. Concerning the Fundies, Ralph Reed was on Morning Joe this morning, defending Trump. The panel reminded him that Trump’s previous behavior and attitudes in this domain have basically been the opposite of what he espouses today. They asked Reed how he can believe Trump is sincere? Reed replied that born again Christians are used to accepting such reversals, implying that he believes Trump has undergone a faith conversion. I almost threw up my breakfast.

      • 1mime says:

        Ralph Reed is not someone I admire. But, he and many others in the GOP flock have managed to turn from principle (and their tenets of faith) in their insistence of placing party before anything else. It’s why the Republican Party is where it is today. It has lost its soul.

      • flypusher says:

        ” Reed replied that born again Christians are used to accepting such reversals, implying that he believes Trump has undergone a faith conversion.”

        If you are a devout Christian, and your faith is the most important thing to you, you cannot endorse Trump. That’s just how it is.

        I’ve kept peace with my religious/conservative relatives with my don’t ask don’t tell policy on politics. But if they come out in support of Trump, I may not be able to let that slide. The man is an unrepentant sinner.

        Reed is selling out for the prospect of power.

  2. 1mime says:

    I am interested in the “weeds” of party politics – which this NYT piece addresses with its discussion on the value of Superdelegates. It makes one wonder if the wrong party had the superdelegates this year, and what “could” have happened in the GOP if they had this tool to finesse the nomination process….See what you think. On the left, it’s obvious that Sanders has been on both sides of this issue: threatening to appeal to them if he had won CA to upend the likely nomination of Clinton; while making lots of noise about how unfair this element of the process is within the Democratic process. Methinks Sanders wanted it both ways but we shall see what side he comes down on at the convention. Spiteful or pragmatic?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/upshot/superdelegates-sink-bernie-sanders-will-he-sink-them.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_up_20160608&nl=upshot&nl_art=0&nlid=41048410&ref=headline&te=1

    • Creigh says:

      I’d like to have it both ways too, for the following reason. On the one hand, a party has the right to pick its own candidate, but as parties become less and less powerful electorally, and as independents increase in number, a problem arises. In the general election, independents will determine the outcome, and the parties ignore that fact at their peril.

      • 1mime says:

        I had an interesting plane conversation enroute to Houston with a young Mexican seatmate. She proudly told me she had voted for Bernie. I asked her why….she was less than definitive. Then, as we prepared to leave our seats, I asked her to please consider voting for HRC should she be the nominee, at which point she stated: “But, I have already voted for President!”

        I wonder how many of the young, super-enthused Sanders’ supporters are as naive/uninformed. How Sanders decides to “handle” his base is going to be important. It’s obvious to me that many are wrapped up in the excitement more than committed on the basis of issues and policy. Then there is the whole “will they turn out for anyone” in the general…

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I came across a similar problem several times, with people going to the primaries with the intention of voting against Trump only to find that the choice was between Sanders and Clinton. They didn’t realize they had to pick either the Democratic or Republican primary.

        They were uninformed mostly because it was their first time voting so in a way I see it as a positive that they were voting at all. That’s why I’ve posted before that it’s important to teach people not just about the issues but about the VOTING PROCESS.

  3. Anse says:

    Isn’t it funny that Mark Kirk plans to write in David Petraeus for president? I imagine Kirk thinks Hillary’s e-mail thing makes her unqualified to be president, so he’s picked a guy with a strong track record of securing confidential intelligence.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Which just goes to show how ridiculous it is to use such things as ‘red lines’ as far as presidential qualifications.

      Petraeus would be a very good candidate, as far as any Republican would be, and I think he’d be a good president.

      I would prefer an experienced, tempered, supremely competent politician with a few personally flaws to a blustery demagogue whose namesake businesses includes a fake university whose business model says to seek out single moms who need to buy food for their kids, and use that need as a carrot to dangle in front of them to get them to max out their credit cards.

    • flypusher says:

      Kirk is a dead man walking. Some credit for unendorsing Trump, I guess, but he can’t unring that bell. He was going to lose no matter what he did, but he could have at least kept his manhood had he not endorsed Trump ITFP.

      • Anse says:

        I look at it like this. Kirk has to know his Republican voters are not going to respect him any for taking away his endorsement. And Democrat voters aren’t going to buy it. So I’ll extend a little sympathy to the guy, and accept this as a sincere position on his part. I imagine a whole bunch of Republicans really loathe Trump and are simply too terrified to say so.

  4. Rob Ambrose says:

    So now that we know the noms, what say we do a VP sweepstakes? Just for bragging rights of course.

    I say Clinton/Sanders and Trump/Carson.

    I think HRC will announce Sanders sooner rather then later. In one fell swoop, you bring in all the Bernie supporters without even really trying. Plus, I think he’s earned it. He did something truly historical here.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I say Trump/Christie for the Republicans.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        A smart move would be Donald Trump/Susana Martinez.

      • rightonrush says:

        Tutt, I seriously doubt Mrs. Martinez who is a rising star in the Rep. party would want to attach her star to Trump’s campaign. Trump is toxic and Martinez a smart lady with a future.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Yup. Trump would do well to try to get a respected minority (bonus if it’s a woman). Gov Martinez or Gov Haley would be great gets.

        But I’m sure he’ll pick some patronage choice, a crony like Christie or Carson.

      • flypusher says:

        But Trump already said that picking a woman or non-White person would be pandering. OTOH, this wouldn’t be the first time he completely reversed himself. Or the second. Or he 10th. Or the 100th.

        If Martinez has any brains she will run as fast and far away from that jerk as she can.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rush, it would interesting to read later in the papers how Trump approached this or that person to be his running mate and was rejected.

    • MassDem says:

      I want her to pick Joe Biden, VP for life!

      But seriously, VP will probably be someone younger than Clinton who could help swing a state in the general. There’s been a lot of buzz about Warren (a more DNC-friendly progressive) but I prefer her to stay in the Senate. The only thing I’m sure of is that it won’t be Sanders, nor will it be Bill Clinton.

      As for Trump, I think the RNC will try to get him to accept a mainstream, sane Republican with no presidential ambitions of his/her own to offset the crazy. Not sure who would step up.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        “Not sure who would step up”

        I think that’s the crux of it. I bet you of the top 5 establishment choices, none of them would accept it. It’s political suicide at this point for anyone with plans of their own for the WH.

      • flypusher says:

        I’d take Biden too. Guy’s got experience and he great on the political attack.

        But I don’t see Warren or anyone else who is a Senator from a state with a GOP Governor being picked. If HRC is President she will need as many Dems as possible in the Senate.

        Castro is too inexperienced.

      • 1mime says:

        “…a mainstream, sane Republican…” Oxymoron time here (-;

      • vikinghou says:

        I think it would be a good idea for Hillary to pick a younger running mate. It’s time for us baby boomers to start passing the baton.

        I agree that Castro is too inexperienced, so am pondering who might fit the bill. It probably should be a man — white males are already scared to death. 🙂 One guy who comes to mind is Gavin Newsom, the Lt. Governor of CA. But he comes from a state Hillary already has in the bag.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      As for Mr. Sanders, I don’t think he would be a good VP for Mrs.Clinton, even if he were to help her win. He has too strong a personality and might overwhelm or overshadow her. Too much energy, too pushy, won’t know his place. 🙂

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Good points.

        I guess it all comes down to how she polls over the next week’s. If she is obviously getting most of his supporters anyways, of course there’s no need.

        But if it looks like they’re waiting for his blessing, and he makes it clear tobher he wants to be VP to get it (I think he does) she may feel she has no choice.

      • 1mime says:

        Sanders as VP would be a disaster. Unmitigated. He definitely deserves a prominent appointment, but not VP. Too much bad blood. Read this assessment for a better idea of Sanders’ temperament.

        http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/bernie-sanders-campaign-last-days-224041

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rob wrote: “she may feel she has no choice.”
        ****************
        This would not be a good start for this potential presidential ticket, for Mrs. Clinton to choose him because she feels pressured or threatened. Imagine how he would act as VP, using pressure tactics to wield power over the president. He does not seem to be a team player.

      • 1mime says:

        We agree, Tutta. Sanders has always been a “loner”. That’s his temperament and he has demonstrated this throughout his campaign. Why would anyone think he would suddenly become a “team player”? No, Sanders has earned a significant post, but not VP. He has not committed to campaigning “FOR” Hillary; merely “against” Drumpf. He will score some concessions but he.didn’t.win. And winners write the rules.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rob, don’t feel bad. If I were running for president I would choose you as my VP. 🙂

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Good points, something to think about.

        And thanks. Tutta/RobA 2016!

      • 1mime says:

        Can I be Secretary of the Interior (-;

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Because you don’t get out much, Mime? 😦

    • rightonrush says:

      Mrs. Clinton has her pick of the best and brightest in and out of Washington. It’s going to be interesting as to who she picks. I personally like Xavier Becerra.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Becerra is indeed a rock star. He’d be my second pick if I had to make one.

        I think you hit on an interesting dynamic. HRC will have her pick of the best and the brightest on the left. Trump will probably have to settle for the best that is actually willing to take the job. Hillary can easily get her first choice. Trump may have to settle for 5th or 8th or 10th.

      • rightonrush says:

        Rob, Trump will most likely have to settle for Christie. Christie’s political future with the GOP as already sailed and he knows it. He has attached himself to Trump like a leech. They deserve each other IMO.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Man, what an unappealing ticket that would be. Trump/Christie 2016.

      • rightonrush says:

        A Trump/Christie would appeal to the so called “base” that supports Trump.

      • 1mime says:

        Me, too, Right on.

      • 1mime says:

        For those who are unfamiliar with Becerra, here’s more info on his vita. Be sure to open all the categories from early life through political career. Humble beginnings – Stanford Law graduate, experienced, leadership within House, from CA, Hispanic. Need more?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xavier_Becerra

      • formdib says:

        @ 1mime, re: “Need more?”

        Nah, I’m sold. I’d rather Becerra for office than Hillary.

    • rulezero says:

      HRC will probably want to either pick a Latino or someone from a swing state. Maybe Brown from Ohio. I’d guess one of the Castro brothers, but they don’t speak Spanish.

      Trump will pick either Christie or Carson. I don’t see anyone else willing to attach themselves to him.

  5. MassDem says:

    I know this is a GOP-themed blog, but I just gotta say this–

    History made. Again.

    So proud to be a member of Team Blue!

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      I’m pleased, too.

      I’ve told rightist friends I hope to see a female president in my lifetime; this time it could happen.

    • A Non Mouse says:

      I was thinking about this last night: If she wins in November, my sons will potentially spend most of their formative years with a black man and a woman as president. For them, it will most likely be completely normal for anyone, regardless of race or gender, to be president. That’s actually pretty cool.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      The vast majority of Sanders supporters ostensibly have Progressive values.

      Whatever they may think of Hillary personally, I just don’t see how any Progressive would not fully get behind the historically important event of a female president, especially when contrasted with Donald Trump.

      I’m no Clinton lover, by any stretch, but I felt a sense of pride last night watching her, and the historical importance of the moment was impressed on me.

      Bernie supporters will come around, I think. Especially if she genuinely incorporates his message into her platform.

      • MassDem says:

        A lot can, and will happen between now and November.

        As a 2008 Clinton supporter, I briefly flirted with the idea of voting for McCain, who seemed more reasonable than your average Republican. But then he went and picked Palin as his VP. I skeddaddled so fast back to Obama’s camp, you would never have know I was gone.

        Most everyone will drift back to Clinton, especially as Trump continues to offer his choice views of his vision for the country.

    • 1mime says:

      Me, too, MassDem. Glad to see you posting!

      • MassDem says:

        Thank you! Life got busy for a while, as it can do, so I was reading but not posting. Mostly good stuff–I took the plunge and will be a HS math teacher come September! Very exciting and a little scary!

      • 1mime says:

        You’ll be great! Lucky kids! What level of math?

  6. flypusher says:

    A question for you, Chris. Although the notion of getting into Trump’s head is a scary one, I’m interested in your take on “what the $&@% is he thinking” in going off on Judge Curiel like that. Is he sabatoging his own campaign because he realizes that he doesn’t really want to do the job or to save some face because the demographics don’t favor him? Or is he truly that oblivious? He’s so like a spoiled child who always got his way and never faced any real consequences for anything bad he did, and now, finally, FINALLY, it just may be starting that he’s being held accountable, but he just can’t grok it. Or is some sort of dementia setting in- he’s of the age where too much fast living can take its toll. Or something else?

    • goplifer says:

      My take: He’s not a very bright guy and he happens to have no filters. He’s probably been saying this kind of crap to people casually for decades. People clap him on the back and tell him how great he is, because he’s always had a lot of money. I don’t think he has the foggiest idea why anyone would be upset about what he said.

      His luck in this Presidential campaign (so far) is just like his luck in being born to a rich guy. Right place right time.

      • Griffin says:

        “The gods love to reward a fool.” – Brynden Tully from Game of Thrones

        Hey if the quote works it works.

      • flypusher says:

        “I don’t think he has the foggiest idea why anyone would be upset about what he said.”

        That right there disqualifies him, even before you get to all his other negatives. The leader of the free world first and foremost has to have a clue about what’s going on and why. He’ll surround himself with all the best people? Then why do we need him in the office? He’d be so much deadwood; let those “best people” run instead. W was the perfect cautionary tale about a President who depended too much on advisors.

        Ann Richard’s crack about being born with a silver foot in his mouth is a perfect fit here.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      I’m flummoxed too. This wasn’t a gaffe or a slip of the tongue. He intentionally brought it up, and then intentionally double and tripled down.

      An alternate theory: he knew it would cause a firestorm (although I think he might be surprised at how much) but he made the calculated decision that it was worth the blowback if it kept ppl talking about his remarks rather then the specifics of the case, which are pretty damning.

      If that was his plan, it did sort of work. All the oxygen has been sucked up by the Curiel thing that nobidys talking about the case itself.

      That said, it’s only a temporary reprieve. Hillary is going to bring it up again and again and again.

      Trump is in waaaaay over his head and I think he miscalculated how much scrutiny a presidential candidate gets.

      • flypusher says:

        I suspect what Trump fears the most is that all this scutiny will reveal that he is nowhere near as rich as he claims to be.

      • 1mime says:

        I believe that Drumpf is a vindictive, vengeful person with an incredibly thin skin. He “must” get his way, and the slightest provocation (read that – having the temerity to contradict him) results in an acerbic insult. Can you just imagine how he would react to international provocation?

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        There’s also that. And frankly Fly, I think it’s going to come out anyways.

        The smart money seems to put him at less then a billion with very little liquidity. That would be a bombshell for a candidate whose “business genius” is his main pitch.

        There’s reports that he’s running a bare bones operation and is waaaaay behind with trying to fundraise with the big donors. This isn’t getting the news like the other stuff, but it could be just as important to Trumps chances of winning, if nit ore so.

        He’s got to be having some sleepless nights these days. Probably feels like how Jeff Skilling did in the last year of Enron as the house of cards started collapsing around him.

  7. Rob Ambrose says:

    Lol @ Paul Ryan including repealing the fiduciary rule as part of his “anti poverty” platform.

    What next? Spraying gasoline all over the woods as part of his “anti forest fire” plan?

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/06/07/i_can_t_stop_laughing_at_paul_ryan_s_anti_poverty_plan.html

    Read the convoluted, bizzaro “logic” he uses to explain how stopping financial advisors from legally ripping people off is a bad thing.

    Hilarious.

  8. lomamonster says:

    The “Trump Whisperers” are out in full force now, failing to impress the gravity of the Presidency upon their nominee, beyond presumption of course…

  9. Rob Ambrose says:

    Just read a tweet on Slate (they have a running ticker of the latest prominent right and left wingers tweets) where a GOP poll worker in CA says “85% of R’s disgusted by Trump”.

    Could you imagine if it was even close? That would be pretty humiliating.

  10. flypusher says:

    I think that by the end of this election cycle I will have overdosed of schadenfreude, or the constant exposure will render me non-sensitive:

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5756cb06e4b0ca5c7b4ffc4e?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

    But in the meantime, I will enjoy watching these whiny little sellouts squirm as they have to explain the latest bit of garbage their lord and master vomits out.

    • 1mime says:

      It’s about time, Fly. Their adherence to the “party line” has been nauseating me for some time. It’s probably why it’s so hard for them now to break out……..when you sell your soul for your party with utter disregard for your nation, that needs to matter.

  11. Ryan Ashfyre says:

    Sen. Mark Kirk officially comes out to unendorse Trump for president. So the dominoes begin to fall…

    ?ref_src=twsrctfw

  12. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    If I don’t get the job as Trump’s speech writer, I’m going to look at becoming the official yoga instructor for the GOP because they are going to have to be really, really flexible in their support of Trump.

    Paul Ryan, seemingly able to grow a spine, says that Trump’s comment about the judge in his TrumpU case is the “textbook definition of a racist comment”.

    No, however, the spine seems to have gone away because when someone asked him if Trump was a racist, well, “No, I’m not — I’m saying that the comment was. I don’t know what’s in his heart. I can’t speak to that whatsoever. What I’m saying is to suggest that a person’s race disqualifies them to do their job is textbook. That’s what I’m saying.”

    I mean hey, sure, he says racist things, and he proposes some things based on religion/ethnicity/geography that would be blatantly unconstitutional and patently bigoted, but I don’t think he’s a racist.

  13. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    I find the LP ticket interesting because they aren’t pandering to the nuttier elements of the LP, not are they pandering to the so-called “paleolibertarians”. Those are essentially the neoconfederates who slipped into the libertarian pay.

    Now if only they started listening to Milton Friedman or Charles Murray, and started advocating a universal basic income…

    I’ve always thought lifer was a sort of moderate center right libertarian, and I wonder if Johnson will take the party in that direction…

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “I find the LP ticket interesting because they aren’t pandering to the nuttier elements of the LP, ”

      Johnson certainly looks and sounds the part of a sensible and sane human being. Certainly hes ligh lt years preferable to Trump, and I think this is their year to do something, if they ever are going too.

      I heard him on CNN today though, talking about how he wants to abolish income taxes, corporate taxes, and the IRS, and totally fund the business of government with consumption taxes.

      That is pretty goddamn nutty.

    • goplifer says:

      My biggest political/economic influences were a political science professor heavily influenced by Chicago School libertarianism (Friedman/Hayek) and a law professor who taught Law & Economics – basically Chicago School legal theory. It was only later in life that I was introduced to the weirder branch of libertarian thought.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Ah, Chicago Economics. I always wanted to chart the number of Chicago Economic advisors in an administration to the economy and deficit.

  14. Rob Ambrose says:

    Be interesting to see the GOP primaries today. I think California is going to send Trump a message. If he gets less then 70%, that would be pretty humiliating.

    • 1mime says:

      Now for a little “political humor” via the Collins/Brooks regular NYT exchange. Who says you can’t interact online? Moi?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/07/opinion/campaign-stops/will-sanders-go-gentle.html?emc=edit_ty_20160607&nl=opinion&nlid=41048410&_r=0

    • flypusher says:

      Who’s left on the GOP ballot?

      • formdib says:

        Just a note that in the state I voted, Jeb Bush, Kasich, Cruz, and Carson were still on the ballot,

        … and Marco Rubio was not. I guess he dropped out early enough to not get on such a late ballot, but the others had already gotten all that paperwork in order.

        Before Cruz and Kasich dropped out, I was aiming for 15% for Kasich to earn the minimum to take one delegate away, per my state’s distribution rules. After they dropped out, I had the advantage of merely voting for him just to see how low Trump’s vote can go with nobody running against him. It would tickle me pink if he somehow managed to get less than 50% in some state or another, though I would not pretend to know how feasible that fantasy is.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Not sure but Ahnold voted for Kasich apparently. So there’s at least Kasich. Who is probably the guy you’d vote for if you were going to protest Trump anyways.

  15. rulezero says:

    I guess I’m the odd man out. When I have down time, I like to watch walkthroughs on YouTube of my favorite old video games that I never got to beat. I also like to to just sit and watch my friends play whatever game they happen to be into at the time.

    Had to do with how we grew up. My friends and I didn’t have a lot of money. So, one friend would get lucky, get a Super Nintendo or Playstation for Christmas. The rest of us would start buying games for the friend’s system. We would all take turns.

  16. Creigh says:

    You know you’re old when…

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I guess I’m old because I prefer to see live, fit, good-looking athletic guys play sports instead of a bunch of fake figurines engaged in battle — IF that’s what a video game is. The fact that I don’t know for sure PROVES I’m old.

      It’s the human element that’s missing.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Lifer needs to do a survey on age here. Every comment has essentially said “I’m old and this is weird”.

        There is a human element – but it’s a human element that fits the internet age, not the traditional kind

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        I see where you’re coming from, but there’s a certain appeal in video games that you’re not bound by the ethical standards and conformities that define everyday life. Let loose and blow someone’s head off and rip ’em to pieces in a video game (to which I recommend the excellent “Team Fortress 2” for that) if it helps blow off some steam. There’s plenty of human element to be found, it’s often just not very nice.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ryan, I’ve written on several occasions that posting comments online is similar to playing video games. Commenting gets super-competitive, and you forget you’re dealing with real people. It’s all about winning, about getting the upper hand at all costs. To use your words, the rules of commenting are too often: “Let loose . . . it helps blow off some steam. There’s plenty of human element to be found, it’s often just not very nice.”

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Tutt…you are wrong, your comment is a loser, and my comment is a winner!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        There’s an overall virtual mentality these days that makes it all to easy to insult people online and to engage so much with the online world that we ignore those who are offline, the people right in front of us. We prefer to have our hands on our phones instead of holding the hand of our loved one who is right beside us.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, you’re just an insecure racist.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I’m 30, and I think it’s absurd. I’ve got two sisters in their early 20’s, and my gf is late 20’s. Without exception, not one person that I know personally thinks this is anything but absurd.

        Whatever it is, it isn’t purely an age thing.

        The appeal of watching pro athletes isbthat their doing things with their bodies us mortals can only dream about. I just don’t get the same sense of admiration and amazement from watching a pimply faced 18 y/o Korean have his way with the other Skylander players.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ok, FINE, HT, you win. I don’t want to play anymore.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @tuttabellamia: With all respect, while I see where you’re coming from, I disagree entirely with the idea that being “super-competitive” online or through a video game means ignoring the real world people that it involves. In truth, the very fact that I, as an example, can get so competitive with others is because we can so clearly exchange our views, our passions and our ideas in heated competition and debate. That sense of conflict, which is so fundamental to the human experience, can effectively be translated online and, even if we can’t see the other person’s face or expressions at the time, there is a connection.

        Frankly, you would seem to be trying to disavow this by way of your self-perceived notion that, somehow, since it isn’t two people being face-to-face with one another, the idea of intense commenting, as I understand it, wouldn’t seem to be very worthwhile. Honestly, I’d be lying if I didn’t feel like there was a hint of fear behind such a thing.

        Furthermore, as far as “winning” goes, and while I can only speak for myself, there’s no value in winning a debate unless my ideas and views are genuinely, honestly better than the other’s. If I lose, then I need to do everything in my power to understand why and make myself stronger for next time. The whole purpose is to find a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in it. I can’t achieve either of the two things I just mentioned, then the whole exercise was useless.

      • 1mime says:

        As someone who is unable to get out as much as I’d like and engage with “real” people due to my caregiver responsibilities, I can attest to the value of being able to “connect” via forums like this and exchange ideas. There is the potential for personal and intellectual growth as you interact with people from many different backgrounds. Where the deficiency comes, IMHO, is when digital interaction replaces human interaction….and I do see this happening more and more.

        Just came back from CO and for fun, started counting the number of people waiting at the gate who were actively using their computers…the number went up so fast, I decided to count those who were simply talking with one another, then I tried to break it down by broad age groups. By and large, the older the person, the greater likelihood that they were able to break loose from their digital engagement to actually converse with either their travel partner or, god help them, the person sitting next to them. It was a pointless, fun exercise in studying human behavior.

        (-;

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        @Rob Ambrose

        No, it isn’t purely an age thing – but younger people are more likely to have grown up in a culture where video games are a normal, regular part of life.

        Besides – there is skill involved at the top levels of videogames that you can’t easily see unless you have domain knowledge. Do you really see the beauty of what that racing driver achieves, without some domain knowledge? Do you really see the beauty of what a Chess or Go player achieves without domain knowledge?

        That pimply south korean you’re talking about? I’m going to assume starcraft here. He’s probably executing 400ish actions per minute – each with a tiny individual purpose, while simultaneously keeping track of the general state of the game and overall position in his brain while processing all the complex visual data that’s being thrown at him, continuously over 20 minutes or so. The average player can barely break 50 actions per minute. So, yes that gamer is doing utterly incredible things with his mind, and it takes many hundreds of hours of practice to get to that far, and only a few people ever do.

        Just because you don’t understand what’s going on or “get the same sense of admiration and amazement”, doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing things going on, or that nobody appreciates it.

        I don’t understand baseball. All I see is someone throwing a ball and someone else hitting the ball and then people running around – Sure, maybe I understand the rules (that’s domain knowledge) but I can hardly understand where the skill is or what’s so different about different pitchers and so on. It looks absurd to me. But I’m not going to say whatever they are doing is ridiculous and pointless – at least cultural priming has trained me not to crap on players at the top of their game just because I personally don’t get it.

        But apparently cultural priming does tell you it’s okay to whale on chess players, or video game players or other more “nerdy” pursuits…

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ryan, I’m not referring to honest, thoughtful debate. The exchange of ideas is healthy, important, and necessary, and even if there is not an actual “winner,” we should recognize that some ideas make more sense and/or are better presented than others.

        I’m referring to situations which become so competitive that people resort to personal insults or veer into pushing each others’ buttons, or discussions which become repetitive, habitual, or little more than venting or whining. Those are the ones where some tend to forget they are dealing with real, live people.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And Ryan, I think that being online, in a virtual environment, makes it easier to forget that we are dealing with real people, which makes it easier to insult them.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @tuttabellamia:

        >] “I’m referring to situations which become so competitive that people resort to personal insults or veer into pushing each others’ buttons, or discussions which become repetitive, habitual, or little more than venting or whining. Those are the ones where some tend to forget they are dealing with real, live people.”

        That is not at all limited to being online. That can happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace.

      • Ryan Ashfyre says:

        @tuttabellamia: Furthermore, you may be tempted (not to imply that you would say this, but purely for the sake of argument) to say that being online incentivizes this kind of behavior more, which is fine, but that’s really a moot point. That’s not going to change no matter what people do or say. That’s just the natural result of human behavior and its interaction with the net.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        People tend to hold back in person and often avoid discussions about politics and religion altogether. So maybe arguing online is good after all; otherwise we might not do it at all.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        @1mime

        It’s a blessing and a curse. People who grew up with it do manage to get satisfying social interactions out of more abstract communication methods.

        It’s a blessing because you can instantly find people to have in depth discussions with on any topic, at any level, instantly and with little effort. This is really hard to replicate in real life. It’s like having a hyper conference on every imaginable topic all day, everyday with hundreds or thousands of participants – and you can be in multiple specific conferences of your choice at the same time. This kind of rapid idea exchange on steroids – in addition to access to instant access to information of just about every imaginable kind is utterly unique and powerful I’m the entirety of human history.

        It’s also dangerous – because the same mechanisms that let you pick and choose what you hear and where you want to be makes it exceptionally easy to wall yourself off from hearing things you don’t want to hear, AND find a community of people that wants to ignore the same parts of reality that you do, further reinforcing your bubble.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Pseudo, another curse: Because this type of interaction is available 24/7 it can become addictive and result in some major time going down the drain.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ryan, as for the fear factor on my part, you’re right, but it’s more an uneasiness about the new and unknown, about a different way of seeing things, and not so much about arguing online. I am feeling my age now.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Ryan – I too like to drop into a game of Team Fortress 2. But I was a geek long before it was cool. I remember playing Zork, a text game with my son on an early PC.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Zork, a friend said it sounds like a fart in the bathtub.

    • vikinghou says:

      I know I’m old because the last video game I ever played was “Galaga” in a dive bar about 30 years ago.

      • 1mime says:

        About the only game I play on line is bridge, and, I can assure you, it isn’t as interesting as playing in a “live” foursome. I understand the attraction of video games, but I worry about how much time kids (especially) spend on their phones. Their brains may be working, but they are certainly not interacting. I fear technology is replacing conversation, the ability to exchange ideas, collaboration, and promotes more isolation than is healthy for personal development.

        Of course, that’s “my” view, and I will be the first to admit that I love using the tools of the internet to research, converse (even if abstractly), and to “keep in touch”….but I miss phone calls and visits which email seems to have replaced in our social interaction.

      • vikinghou says:

        1mime,

        I’m an avid duplicate bridge player but haven’t tried it online. I’ve lurked at a few sites like OKBridge but haven’t taken the plunge and gone for it. It somehow seems intimidating to me.

  17. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    “Yes, just so we’re clear, Graham went from “hell no” on Trump to “eh maybe” on Trump to “okay let’s do this” on Trump to “ABANDON THIS SINKING SHIP WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND DONORS FIRST.””

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/lindsey-graham-is-now-urging-other-republicans-to-un-endorse-trump/

    Not the best source of information – the original source was NYT, but that line got a laugh out of me.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      One wonders if Ryan’s endorsement came just a few hours too early. Had he waited even one day, I doubt he would have endorsed him by now.

      Of course, now they’re kind of trapped, fearful of appearing wishy washy and feckless. I think if Trump keeps it up though, you will see ppl rescind their endorsements.

    • 1mime says:

      I loved this quote from the link: ““There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”

      Ya think?

  18. A Non Mouse says:

    “From The Hill: Paul Ryan uses the forbidden “r-word” against a Republican for the first time ever. Of course, by GOP logic this makes Ryan a racist.”

    Well, when you’re right, you’re right:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-supporter-jeffrey-lord-immediately-responds-to-paul-ryan-by-calling-him-racist/

    • goplifer says:

      Wow. That’s perfect.

    • Ryan Ashfyre says:

      “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you ‘CAUSE I SURE AS HELL AIN’T THE RACIST HERE, GIT IT!?”

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      CNN really needs to stop giving this idiot a platform.

      Watching the surrogates go through ever increasing mental gymnastics started being entertaining, then sad, and now it’s scary. In what universe are these guys living in?

      Trump is the one bringing race into it. He brought this up in a presidential stump speech on his own, and then doubles and triples down on it. He’s the one saying Hispanics aren’t fit to judge him.

      All anybody else is saying is “he is fit to judge you, nothing he’s done in this case gives even the appearance of impropriety, and you’re an idiot”…. And THEYRE the ones involved in racial tactics? It’s mind boggling in its absurdity.

      • 1mime says:

        I totally agree, Rob. The media has been complicit in providing a platform for Trump. All the “free” air time without contradiction of any of his “claims/charges”….Where is responsible journalism? If Trump wins …. the media will have played a significant role in his winning the nomination. He should have been harshly, clearly challenged in the run up to the election. He wasn’t required nor did he offer, any substantive, well thought out policy positions, as the other candidates did. And, they let him get away with it.

        The media needs to stick it to him now – hard. It ‘s late, but it’s not “too” late to start calling him out and exposing him for the fake he is.

    • flypusher says:

      Has somebody spiked the water supply at Trump HQ with lead? I cannot understand how anybody could think that this is a viable response absent brain damage.

      But Paul Ryan is not off the hook. He’s trying to have it both ways, and he’ll end up with nothing if he keeps it up. If you endorse him, you own all the batgauno crazy racist stuff he says. If you want to save your career, withdraw that endorsement now, and cite this behavior as your reason. You cannot salvage any of your agenda short term- the damage is already done. You need to start thinking about the cleanup and rebuilding.

      • antimule says:

        > You cannot salvage any of your agenda short term- the damage is already done. You need to start thinking about the cleanup and rebuilding.

        And what agenda would that be? Cutting taxes to the richest people on God’s green Earth and outsourcing even more to China?

        The biggest mindf*ck of this entire election is that crazy Trump actually has the most substantial policy in GOP: protectionism, wall building, anti-immigration. Don’t get me wrong, all of that are terrible ideas. But at least it kind of looks like policy. And the wall thing would at least be something kinda like jobs program. The rest of the GOP has nothing.

      • 1mime says:

        Psuedo – You got me there! I had totally missed the fact that Drumpf’s Mexico wall was a job’s program…..Oops – maybe not – remember, Mexico is gonna pay for that wall…..think they’ll be hiring the out of work honkys from the U.S.? Oh, maybe Pres. Drumpf will put that requirement in the RFP…..

      • flypusher says:

        Hi Antimule, I have zero desire to see Ryan get his agenda passed. I’m just putting myself in his shoes as a little thought exercise.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        @1mime

        Huh, what? Might have been replying to someone else there…

      • 1mime says:

        Apologies – It should have been addressed to Antimule.

  19. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    I don’t find it odd that people like watching videogames.

    Twitch.tv is literally built around that. It’s a massive industry already.

    It’s also helped by the fact that the video game industry, YouTubers and twitch streamers are notoriously lax about copyright. Seriously, most game developers (excepting a few oddballs. hello Phil fish) don’t bother harassing YouTubers and streamers over copyright – they actually encourage, and even engage in it themselves. Any attempts to twist this receive horrible, horrible backlash, including from within the industry – and those that do end up being ignored/boycotted by streamers, which directly affects game exposure and sales.

    All of this contributes to a really, really low barrier to entry. Seriously, lifer, you can probably use any half decent computer and become one yourself right now. There’s a little extra spending money for the lesser known ones, a full time job for the big names, and a community for everyone.

    It’s an absurdly beautiful example of a working self regulating mutually beneficial free market

    • formdib says:

      Video game developers don’t lose their product by allowing streaming of gamers playing their product. The product is the game that involves the controls and functions of playing it. Video game companies are just as quick to come down on downloads of their games as the music, film, and television industries are to their respective products.

      The difference here is that the passive viewing of the video or the music IS the end product for film, television, and music industries. If you watch someone play a game, that doesn’t mean you’ve played it. But if you watch a movie with someone, it does mean you’ve watched it.

      So your ‘free market’ observation here is based off of the false premise that these are the same markets, when they’re not.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I will note that I did not compare it the music or movie industry.

        I just pointed out that the video game industry is a good example of things working properly.

        I will also note that the video game industry responded to piracy with steam and consoles with valve saying something along the lines of “piracy is a service problem”.

        I’m neither claiming this model is the perfect model for everything in the world, nor am I claiming that the music or movie industries can exist in their current form if this model was applied to them.

      • formdib says:

        I follow.

  20. Crogged says:

    I’m way older and to appeal to me, THEY ARE TELEVISING VIDEO GAME COMPETITIONS.

    As a younger person I thought televised golf was stupid (and can admit only personal prejudice as a defense to this waste of time), so maybe once I buy Carnage and Body Parts IX for my Google VRBox I may start watching.

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      Yes, some domain knowledge is necessary – but try watching soccer or cricket without any domain knowledge. It’s not that different.

      Familiarity with sports is only a cultural phenomenon. Think about it – how weird must it be for people to watch people smushing into each other in helmets and throwing this brown thing around for who knows what purpose if they weren’t culturally primed to accept it as normal. Oh and they have entire websites amd communities dedicated to the madness along with lots and lots of numbers.

      Video games are essentially the same – except that there’s little barrier to entry, and it can be done alone,with a couple of friends or thousands of unknowns at will, and also, at any time of the day without any pants on

  21. A Non Mouse says:

    I like playing (some) video games, and I can’t imagine enjoying them as a spectator sport. I like playing (some) regular sports, too, and I also have little interest in watching other people play them. I went to see a hockey game once, and that was a really fun time, but I find television sportscasters to be nearly universally annoying. So, this may be apropos of nothing.

    It’s not surprising, though, that the folks who wanted to watch the video game got a frosty reception at the bar. Sports culture, at least in my experience, seems to be very much bound up with traditional notions of masculinity, and, as such, I would expect traditional sports fans to be somewhat perplexed by the notion of video games as sports.

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