Wine Talk

Snooth User: Really Big Al

Wine Pairing with 08 Nov 2016 Election Night

Original post by Really Big Al, Nov 8, 2016.

The election is over but the fun continues!  How far can our country be dragged down by 'fake news' and 'alternative facts'?  You be the judge...

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Reply by dvogler, Nov 10, 2016.

Zuf, do you think Trump will grab Justin Trudeau by the pussy when he comes to Ottawa?

Reply by zufrieden, Nov 11, 2016.

Maybe... but just maybe.




Reply by dmcker, Nov 22, 2016.

Drank a lot of Sake last night with a couple of friends, munching on yakitori and other tidbits, revisiting the election a fortnight later. Again an 'offshore' viewpoint. These are some of the issues we battered at:

  • America's role in the world will become even more uncertain, at least when compared to older, accepted certainties regarding that role. How will this change, and how *can it* in any settling, calming way??  ("I consider the Trump hypothesis a nightmare. Do nightmares sometimes come true? They do, but I prefer not to think about it."  Jose Serra, Brazilian foreign minster, via Correio Braziliense; or then there's this quote from a Facebook ad by Royal Jordanian Airlines:  "Travel to the US while you are still allowed to.")
  • America's role as the guarantor of world order since the last World War is greatly up to question. Trump seems likely to turn it into a force for disorder and instability.
  • Just who all were in the coalition that helped get him to power, and how are they going to demand repayment?
  • The election was all about setting Americans against Americans, much more than in a normal election (well unless we go back to mid 19th century). America is now perceived as more divided than at any point in my lifetime, and I'm including the Vietnam era.
  • Trump's presidency cannot in any way be perceived as being good for the world economy--market volatility is likely to be rife for some time. Can't imagine how it'll be good for the US economy, either. ("If Trump is in office for eight years, he will successfully be the first US president to lead America's economy from number one in the world to number two. Yes he can!" says Zhang Zhaozhong, Chinese military commentator via Weibo)
  • How will corporations come to love and hate and fear Trump--Silicon Valley, particularly, which fell down in its effort to prevent his election?
  • How will the disenfranchised that elected him feel and act once they see he can't improve things and may well cause more chaos?
  • How will his family and he be viewed with regard to their respect for institutions, as for example when they keep demanding security clearances, he and his wife continue to refuse to live full time in the White House, etc., etc., even down to such level of detail (much less all the traditional American values he dissed during the campaign)?

By the time we got to that last point we'd pretty much consumed too much Sake and were wallowing in the farce of it all, so we gave up the effort of trying to decipher the runes from this side of the Pacific, to stagger home in continuing post-election shell shock....




Reply by Really Big Al, Nov 22, 2016.

These past few weeks make me even more upset as Trump starts handing out jobs in his cabinet.  So far we have five angry white men, so you know where this is going.  Today the Washington Post has an article about what Trump wants to do to the federal workers - as in freezing hiring, wage increases and reducing benefits.  I can't wait for my pro-Trump friend (who is on the government payroll) to read that one.  

And then there is that little Nazi thing.....that Trump won't I figure he is also a white supremacist.  It's going to be a terrible four years for the free world.

Reply by EMark, Nov 22, 2016.

A perfectly reasonable explanation of the results of the recent election events of U.S. election was provided by H.L. Mencken:

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.


Whether or not Mencken actually said that is, apparently, speculative.  Regardless, it is a good explanantion.

Reply by JonDerry, Nov 22, 2016.

Environment: It seems clear Trump will not be especially good for the environment. Just how much remains to be seen. He talks about bringing the clean coal industry back for instance. Not a good start.

Race Relations: Trump is really stoking the flames on race relations in the US. Minorities are on serious edge, and white supremacy groups are getting serious attention right now. It seems like Trump has given latent racists a voice, but it also seems racist behavior is being dealt with effectively and swiftly. I've come in contact with a few interesting stories here.

Financial Markets: What looked like a complete disaster on election night has turned in to an improbable two week rally leading up to Thanksgiving here. I've steadily been selling bits and pieces of the portfolio, at least the parts where I don't figure to trigger a tax bill in April. Did some more selling today.

Trade: Trump talks a big game about making better deals in this regard, as he has made a reputation for, though on a different stage. The first move appears to be to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership. I'm not sure what the mechanics of this decision look like, though the comments from leaders of other countries seemed resigned, and almost expected.

First 100 Days: There's no talk of building a wall or the affordable care act. I suppose he'll need to work with congress on these matters, though I have to think the wall was more of a stunt to get elected than a practice he'll continue to pursue. As we learned today, ditto for pursuing charges on Hillary Clinton.

I'm concerned about the environment and race relations, though I'm hopeful we can work through the issues to avoid any potential disasters. I'm pleasantly surprised with the financial markets, but wary.

Even before Trump was elected, there seemed to be coalition of countries opposing the U.S., working together, which was at the top of the list of my concerns, really. Russia, China, North Korea, then with the Philippines recently publicly joining them. Iran and other countries in the middle east are a problem. Some of this coalition seemed pleased with Trump's election, most notably Russia of course. I'm obviously hoping Trump can manage our foe's and continue on with our allies. It seems like some of you may be able to provide some further insight into this, but of course we are dealing with a ton of uncertainty with Trump and his team. My gut instinct is that he's smart and flexible enough to feel his way through 4 years. Who would then be the favorite to supplant him 4 years from now? I feel like presidential candidates have gotten worse and worse over the years, which has left us with Trump and Hillary this go around.


Reply by dmcker, Nov 23, 2016.

Then there's always this option, remote as it may seem:

"As Electors, we honor Alexander Hamilton’s vision that the Electoral College should act as a Constitutional failsafe against those lacking requisite qualifications, ability, and virtue from becoming President. Guided by the Framers’ original intent, we’re compelled this year to do our job as Electors, to put party aside, and to put America first."

Dec. 19th is the Electoral College date, I believe. OK, who can dig up enough more dirt on his business practices before then? How much more smoke where fire is likely would be required to overcome blinkered views, 'yes, sir' responses and moral apathy? That was another query we had the night before last that I remembered after putting up my last post. Would turn into a truly historic election if something were to happen in this direction, even if that seems fantastic.

Reply by rckr1951, Nov 25, 2016.

Being neither pro more con for either candidate puts my take from a different perspective.   "I feel like presidential candidates have gotten worse and worse over the years, which has left us with Trump and Hillary this go around." True enough, however sad that may be.

The election hind sight shows larger population centers (though not strictly) going for the dems and the rural or less populated areas going for repubs..Areas where each does well, except during the Obama run of "Hope and Change". 20 states to 30. Big city to rural areas.  

Trump, for all his bluster, looked small on his Thursday's visit to the white house and a little overwhelmed. He owes a lot to his constituency, but I think that slowly it's sinking in that all his bluster isn't going to cut it. He's backed off on some of his prime provisions already.

And Germany has already upped the the ante due to his threat that the US may pull out of alliances if other countries don't start pulling their weight. Obama did that in a more subtle way by having other countries lead (Libya), Trump was just more more in their face about and I them and I think he's means business.  That might be a blessing.

It may not be all doom and gloom - each presidency comes with it's ups and down.  Congress will temper that.

However there is one thing that I find absolutely ridiculous - Calexit.  Do the young people out there realize what they'd loose?  No.  Hell, they'd have to get a passport to go to Las Vegas, Tahoe: no federal student loans, no federal infra-structure grants - no nothin'  - good luck with that.

Reply by dmcker, Dec 14, 2016.

Think you're too optimistic, RCKR, though for everyone's sake hope not. What's that phrase: 'hope against hope'?

The CIA briefed senators in a closed meeting last week, according to the Washington Post, quoting one anonymous senior official as saying, "It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia's goal [in their hacking during the election] was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected. That's the consensus view."

On Friday evening, Trump's transition team responded with the following statement dismissing the CIA's conclusion:

These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again'.


Ah, seems his team, too, can't wait to rewrite history peppering snippets of truth in a web of BS. Also seems he's claiming he's "like, a smart person," so he doesn't need any such repetitively troublesome things as security briefings. Denial will, unfortunately, not be the solution to what's coming down the pike, either for him or more importantly for us.

Reply by rckr1951, Dec 14, 2016.

DMCKER - I'm not being optimistic or pessimistic.  At the time I posted that this new situation had not appeared as it is currently framed.

I was only saying that this has happened.  For instance - Rick Perry wasn't picked yet - and I personally feel he never should have.  There many, many examples of history being rewritten.  Some of them piss me off, some I don't care  about. Changing the narrative to suit your mood is dangerous in my mind.

Unlike Fox or MSNBS  I do not put out opinionated blurb because I believe to much is confused by opinions - and I like arguing with my friends about this stuff and being able to prove it - either way.  My repubs and my dem friends can't stand it went when they throw a talking point out there and I shove it right back at them.

That said, I respect the right for each individual to have their own thoughts and to express them. I'm a vet, and take the constitution seriously - though changing times seem to make that a seriously minority opinion.

By the way - I agree with your last paragraph.  Both applied to the dems and repubs...and so it goes.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Dec 14, 2016.

Oooh, boy.  So about that "CIA got weapons of mass destruction stuff" wrong:  Actually, the Bush White House didn't like the CIA's answers and Rummy created his own intelligence unit.  Which came up with the desired result.  Tenet then bent to the will of the President because Tenet has always been a shameful character.  None of the "desk" people in CIA who really knew the material thought that the conclusions were warranted.  Powell then lied to the UN--I was on the freeway pounding my steering wheel as he gave his speech.  The CIA did not get it wrong--the DCI, a political appointee, did.  Neither the CIA nor the inspectors (Blix, elBaradei) felt that any firm conclusion could be drawn, and agreed that the chief source of the info was suspect, although the CIA reported it as raw intel.  Bush's father was DCI back when, and the family has long and deep ties to the CIA, so it's pathetic that they still had to cook the books, but it shows that the CIA analysts did not get it wrong, just Tenant. 

The CIA has messed up lots of stuff, but Presidents who created their own intelligence because they did not like what the CIA, DIA and other agencies told them did a far worse job.  Now, the FBI, that's an organization that is internally politicized and looks like the old J. Edgar days. 

Now the old Bushies are all in favor of a Russia-friendly oil CEO as Sec of State.  Funny how, during the elections of Bush, no one pointed out his and Cheney's massive conflicts of interest, or Powell's bogus "foundation" like they did Clinton's.  If you want to hear an intelligent comment on that issue, listen to the first caller to this radio show (halfway in). 

Reply by GregT, Dec 14, 2016.

Just read through this. Fox, you can't be serious with this line:

"The good news for me is I live in California.  I'm in a wealthy state, with a less crazy electorate,"

Amigo - the rest of the country views California as the definition of crazy. The state with the smartest people in all the world and its finances are a disaster, its infrastructure is failing, and it can't seem to understand that more roads and more cars are exactly what will destroy what makes it attractive? No water but god forbid anyone propose recycling - "toilet to tap" the call it and refuse to countenance the possibility. Utterly crazy electorate if you ask me.

As far as Trump goes, so far he's both better and worse than I expected. He was never racist - that was something the Dems tried to hang on him but remember, he wants to be a celebrity and hang out with stars. Racism doesn't work there. He's not clued in, that's true, but neither was Hillary. The fact that some supporters of Trump may be racist doesn't mean he is. Moreover, can anyone explain why, under the first black president, we have a movement called Black Lives Matter? That's something that was asked by Cornel West BTW.

As far as the environment goes, I can't believe Trump's seeming indifference. He's not an outdoors guy but still, he has to breathe. And he has completely contradicted himself with Rex Tillerson, a fervent supporter of Common Core. Tillerson worked with Bill Gates and others to craft something that they thought would be supported, only to be attacked by the loony fringe. I think it's insane that people in this day and age believe that one little town should teach its kids something utterly different from what they're teaching in the other little town. What is wrong with requiring some basic skills in reading and math? I don't think Trump has any idea what Common Core is, so he may be malleable on that point. Hopefully the environment too.

As far as his foreign policies, I don't think he has any. That said, anything is better than "leading from behind" With luck, the fact that he's appointed so many generals will prevent us from having another Rumsfeld who wasn't a military guy and seemed to think of military action like he was in a movie. Trump still needs a guy like Colin Powell and doesn't seem to have anyone like that.

Hillary OTOH, completely deserved to lose. She had every advantage going in and she went even further and had her buddy, chair of the DNC, and others work as hard as they could to eliminate competitors. They presented Hillary as a foregone conclusion and her nomination as a coronation. The Dems were so stupid they didn't realize that Bernie actually had supporters with passion, whereas Hillary only had supporters who put the fix in and expected rewards. If they would have nominated Bernie, he would have won. Instead, she dismissed his supporters as unrealistic and Trump's as deplorable. No way will you convince people to vote for you if you insult them. Instead, she should have made some effort to pretend she cared about them. That's what Trump did and it's why he won. He talked to his audiences, not at them, and instead of listing some abstract programs and policies he made appeared to empathize.

Now however, he's supposed to be cleaning out the swamp. Instead, he's stocking it with more alligators. Whatever happens, it's going to be interesting. 


Reply by JonDerry, Dec 14, 2016.

Sounds pretty accurate about CA Greg. Smart people that have put social issues first, but to what do we owe the financial failings, a few bad apples?

Common Core: I can see both sides. In college it's seen as accepted, or even a good thing that some schools specialize in certain areas, etc.

A friend of mine, more plugged in than myself to the democratic party had this to say in regards to the Monday morning QB'ing of Bernie supporters. Can't seem to cut and paste, so an image it is.




Reply by rckr1951, Dec 14, 2016.

JD - Where's that image.

Reply by JonDerry, Dec 14, 2016.

Tried various ways...PC and my iPhone, neither is working. Basically, Hilary supporters say Bernie wouldn't have won, and I tend to agree with them. We'll never know of course, so maybe not a useful conversation...

Reply by EMark, Dec 14, 2016.

Thread Hijack Alert.

Whoa.  This is getting much too serious.

In the spirit of jest I am, temporarily, at least, changing the topic.

My brother sent this, today.  Normally, he sends puns, and, I must confess, I usually enjoy them.  I guess this is a pun of sorts:


It made me smile.  I responded with the Halloween-Christmas Equivalence Theorem:

I return you, now, to your previous discussion.

Reply by rckr1951, Dec 14, 2016.

Thank for that interesting interjection.

Reply by dmcker, Jan 10, 2017.


Well the other shoe is now dropping publicly. The Russian 'Bear' teams of hackers and others backed by the GRU, FSB and ultimately Putin reportedly have documented evidence that seriously compromises The Donald.

This was one of the reasons I'd surmised when wondering about why they'd want to ensure he got in the White House, rather than merely Putin's hate for the Clintons, his desire to further play on Obama's extreme foreign policy (including intelligence) and decision-making weaknesses, wanting to be be able to take advantage of the messes Trump will be creating, aiming to wreak general havoc and sow dissension through disinformation, making the West in general and the Internet look weaker and less trustworthy, etc., etc. So rather than blackmailing Trump with it over the coming four years, best if it all comes out now and is forced to resign? How could someone with his business career ever be clean enough to run for public office these days, anyway?

Sow that doubt and redouble cynicism. When we were all helping build the infrastructure for the Net back in the '90s, giddy with the end of the Cold War, little did we realize the foundation we were laying for future wars.

Reply by Really Big Al, Jan 10, 2017.

This pretty much describes what we are dealing with now.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 11, 2017.

Wait, that one doesn't flush. 

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