Archive for the 'General Politics' category

Political observation

Jul 25 2016 Published by under General Politics

When pressed, the more mainstream supporters of Donald Trump in the Republican party insist that they believe that Trump does not really mean the full import of his wildest statements. He doesn't really plan to block all Muslims from entering the country, he doesn't really mean to deport all undocumented immigrants, he doesn't really mean to.... etc. So, as I understand their thought process, it is okay to support his candidacy and this doesn't mean that you support all that crazy stuff.

Interestingly, these self-same people have a burning hatred (or at least a profound irrevocable mistrust) of Hillary Clinton because they believe that she doesn't really mean what she says during the campaign or in her prior political activities. They are positively obsessed with conspiracy-level accusations about her alleged insincerity, dis-ingenuity and secret machinations. And completely and utterly unable to take her policy statements, and descriptions of her reasons for her prior actions, at face value. And to be clear, it is not just that they criticize her actions. They are worked up to an absolute frenzy about their beliefs about her alleged insincerity, far more than they are about the actual policies or actions.

It's fascinating. On the one hand Republicans support Trump because they believe he is a liar. On the other hand, they absolutely hate Clinton because they believe that she is a liar.

48 responses so far

Thought of the Day

Jun 08 2016 Published by under General Politics

Hillary (H-Rod, as Isis the Scientist puts it) gave one heck of a General election speech last night.

She is going to mop the floor with Trump all through the coming campaign.

This will be a bigger landslide win than Reagan's. 

18 responses so far

Talk about taking one for the team

Mar 16 2016 Published by under General Politics

How would you like to be the first person Obama nominates for the open Supreme Court seat?

And you have to go through the dog and pony show with no chance of being confirmed?

Sitting through fake interview after fake interview with Republican Senators?

Whoever volunteered for that has my respect. Service to a nation undeserving.

14 responses so far

Question of the day

Mar 14 2016 Published by under General Politics

When did the majestic plural become the default for US political candidates?

Is it just me or is it particularly jarring when a populist man of the people like Bernie Sanders uses it?

10 responses so far

Trump is not the problem

Mar 14 2016 Published by under General Politics

Donald Trump is not the problem. He isn't.

The real problem lies with the 30-40% of US Republicans that favor him for President.

As I saw someone put it, these people do not disappear if Trump is defeated in the primaries, during a convention fight or in the general election.

Those people are still there.

And they, with their affection for violent, fascistic nativism, are what we need to dismantle.

57 responses so far

Trump: "Send the Brownshirts to Sanders' rallies!"

Mar 13 2016 Published by under General Politics


This is where we are, America.

8 responses so far

This is who will keep America great

Mar 11 2016 Published by under Academics, General Politics

The following is a a guest post by BrainProf

All the recent hateful rhetoric that is being thrown around during this election cycle is making me very anxious. All of a sudden everyone thinks that being openly racist is okay, a good thing, and that somehow this is going to make America great. This is not going to make America great. Let me tell you about a couple of people I know that WILL make America great, and represent why America IS great.

Over the last couple of years I've had the good fortune to work with two very talented undergraduate students in my lab. The first one, who is graduating this May with honors, has been working on a very technically challenging project trying to understand how the brain interprets and processes information. She has received numerous awards to perform her research over the summer and attend national meetings to present her work, and is basically working at the level of an advanced graduate student, and will be an author in a couple of peer-reviewed publications. She has done a ton of volunteer work in the local community and is a student leader in our local Latino student organization. After graduation she plans to finish her research project and apply to MD/PhD programs in order to go into a career where she can combine her passion for science with her interest in medicine. And here’s the catch. This student didn’t go to a fancy high school, or come from an academic family. In fact she’s the first in her family to attend college. And notably her parents are undocumented immigrants that brought her over from Mexico when she was one year old. Her parents, working landscaping and house cleaning jobs prioritized her education. She was finally able to come out of the shadows thanks to President Obama’s DREAM act, that allows individuals who’s parents brought them to the US as children to obtain temporary legal residence. This student’s family doesn’t sound like the “murderers and rapists” that some presidential candidates are describing and say we should keep out. And what’s even more concerning, is that ALL of the Republican candidates have agreed that they would not support this immigration measure, and if so people like my student would basically be out of luck.

Let me tell you about the other student. He graduated with honors last spring. In my lab he helped develop a model for neurodevelopmental disorders that will help us better understand the genetics of disorders such as autism and childhood epilepsy. He also presented his work in several scientific meetings, is already an author in one publication and has another on the way. He is currently studying neurological disorders in a different lab now and has already been accepted to medical school. During graduation he was given a University award for his leadership in community service. In his spare time he performed many, many hours of community service, running a clinic to help underserved populations navigate the medical system, helping them access health care, understanding medical diagnoses and learning to engage with their doctors. One time we were discussing his community service activities and he mentioned that he was moved to do them in a big part by his religion. This student is a devout Muslim, praying several times a day and attending religious services regularly. His parents are immigrants and along with his local immigrant community, they have always emphasized helping others less fortunate and always giving back not just to one’s own community but to others outside of it that may be in need. This doesn’t sound like the terrorists everyone seems to be afraid of. This doesn’t sound like someone I’d like to keep out of the country.

And these are only two examples that I happened to come across. Like them there are many others. This hateful rhetoric is poisoning our country, and will destroy the fabric of what makes it a great place to live.

43 responses so far

What a country

Feb 14 2016 Published by under General Politics

A Supreme Court Justice has passed away. The Pesident has promised to nominate a replacement, per his Constitutional obligation. The Republican controlled Senate is insisting it will not confirm any nominee he proposes, in violation of their Constitutional and traditional role (advise and consent, not "nominate who we want"). The Republicans are also in violation of their own protestations about the President getting his way with such matters and how at the very least an "up or down vote" is required, back when George W. Bush was the President.

What a country.

Obama will now proceed to nominate the most moderate candidate that he can live with so that Dems can bash Repubs for obstruction. Supreme Court politics will be used all up and down the ticket for November.

Repubs will say that this failure for a sitting President to nominate a Justice completely antithetical to the will of the people who voted for him twice is some sort of horrible crime.

What a country.

22 responses so far

Chris Christie, State's Rights and Marijuana

Sep 17 2015 Published by under General Politics

Governor Chris Christie thinks that being a hardliner about the states which have legalized marijuana for recreational use is a way to distinguish himself in the race for the Republican nomination for US President.

This is in an era in which the Republicans seem to be softening on their stance on marijuana, so this is a bit strange.

What was weirder is that at the debate last night Christie argued that he was in favor of medical marijuana decisions by States and indeed bragged that his State of NJ made medical use of marijuana legal on his watch as Governor.

Christie tried to soften his hardline stance by claiming "I'm not against medical marijuana."

Here's what I find strange.

Christie seems to be standing on the notion of "federal law", States' rights be damned.

“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie warned. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”

When you take an oath of office, Christie said, you’re agreeing to enforce the laws. President Barack Obama has ignored the law and looked the other way as states like Colorado and Washington have moved toward legalization, he said.

The DEA still lists marijuana on the Schedule I list. This is distinguished from Schedule II drugs not on a "high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence" (on which both Schedule I and Schedule II substances qualify) but on accepted medical use. The federal law does not recognize any medical use of marijuana at this time.

So Christie makes no sense. He has to be against both recreational and medical marijuana laws enacted by States if he is going to stand on Federal law as his reason.

2 responses so far

Keen Political Insight

10 responses so far

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