Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Expectedly...or not

I wander into a blog called Mock Paper Scissors occasionally. Yesterday they had numbers. Their post is linked to the origin of numbers featured there. I was going to write that those numbers make depressing reading, but any indication that a President Trump is becoming increasingly unlikely can't really be said to be depressing.....and yet, and yet...

Only something quite unexpected is likely to change current prospects. What, for instance?

Trump withdrawing for whatever reason/accusation he might offer, real or imaginary? Trump being ousted by the RNC through some newly minted RNC law, tailored for just such a purpose?

In either of those situations Trump's chosen VP, Mike Pence would probably be slotted in as candidate, or, if it were indicated that someone who had, at least, had votes cast for them at some point...Ted Cruz...or even Mitt Romney? Whether any such change would make a Hillary Clinton landslide in the General election more or less likely could be hard to estimate. I'd say a landslide in favour of Clinton would be likely reduced to a slight rockfall, its strength depending on name of the new candidate.

If something unexpected should cause change, on the Democratic candidate's side - for instance: Hillary Clinton's health issues? If such issues do exist, and were to become more obvious, calls could arise for more detailed medical examination with publication of results. New revelations regarding her e-mail debacle or the Clinton Foundation shenanigans, more damaging to Hillary Clinton than any before (via Wikileaks)? If circumstances in either scenario were serious enough, her chosen VP, Tim Kaine would come into more intense focus, perhaps acting as candidate. Or, the DNC might decide to choose, as replacement, someone for whom public votes have been cast, or someone of proven ability at national level: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden? I doubt the DNC would ever countenance Senator Bernie Sanders as candidate, no matter how many states he carried in the primaries, Wall Street and the oligarchs who rule the DNC wouldn't allow it. Joe Biden though could, I suspect, improve slightly the Dems' chances in the General. Fewer voters, especially former Bernie Sanders supporters, hate him with the same intensity they hate, or distrust, Hillary Clinton. Tim Kaine, though...not so sure, nobody really knows him. A more likely scenario, should some unexpected event(s) befall Clinton, would be to somehow, if at all possible with the current president's influence, push her through the difficulties and into the presidency, then worry about other issues arising.

Unexpected general changes: a non-candidate related "October Surprise"? Some national emergency, for example major terrorist activity; major emergency due to climate/earthquake/massive-scale never before experienced flooding....etc; or unexpected uprising of some major sector of the population - from whatever cause, with martial law being declared: General Election postponed.

Those are a few possibilities, however unlikely they might seem right now. Astrologers would be looking for Uranus, planet of the unexpected to be involved, somehow, at some stage, in some natal or national chart. We shall see...or not. As some character in a TV series we watched last night said, "Sometimes things work out - don't question the universe!"


mike said...

The solar eclipse at 9* Virgo is September 1st, within 3* of the N Node, is powerful, as the Sun and Moon also translate the Saturn-Neptune square into a T-square. September 16th lunar eclipse at 24* Pisces forms a T-square with Mars and greatly affects Trump's natal chart...forms a grand square with his Sun-Moon opposition, with Mars near his Moon...and is close to Hillary's natal Moon. Mars conjuncts Saturn shortly, then moves into trine with Uranus. Jupiter moves into Libra in a couple of weeks, too, which should signal a shift in the electorate's sentiments. Should be interesting to see how this plays-out. The maxim, "it ain't over til it's over", will be in effect...the (soap) opera continues.

There have been times that I have been truly shocked by happenings, like when someone becomes infatuated with a mass murderer and and wants to marry them in prison, complete with conjugal visits...or when Strom Thurman, a racist segregationist, died and his illegitimate, half-black daughter came out of the woodwork. I suspect this election could produce similar disparity between logic and reality. This election has again confirmed the inaneness of the American public...we need protection from ourselves...LOL.

BTW - Power outage for 7 hours yesterday...noon until 7 PM. I love electricity.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for the astrological run-down of coming aspects - we'll watch with interest how these play out in real life.

Perhaps, currently, we (or some of us)are expecting the unexpected - which tends to make any happening less unexpected. So, to trick fate, perhaps we should all sincerely expect things to trundle along exactly as projected at present, and begin looking forward to a Hillary landslide followed by 8 years on much the same road, or slightly bumpier road as we've travelled over the last 8 years.
"No expectations beyond that at all....honestly, officer of the universe! Now give me a ticket and I'll get on my way." ;-D

Re power outage: I've just this morning read (or part read because it became one of those tl;dr jobs) something that could be of interest to you, it's at naked capitalism website:


mike (again) said...

The American, electrical, transmission grid has been ridiculed over and over the past twenty years, as real-life events have demonstrated vulnerabilities. Seems the entirety of the American infrastructure is dilapidated, whether roads, natural gas lines, water delivery, et al. The nakedcapitalism.com article omitted the potential of solar flares as the more likely event to induce massive harm to our grid.

We've had some large rate hikes in our TX electric bills, due to American Electric Power (AEP), the company providing the infrastructure, requesting funding for grid improvements. My last electric bill was for $100 electricity usage, plus $57 for AEP. I suspect that the bulk of the AEP rate increase actually pays the top executives their exorbitant salaries and, since it's a publicly traded company, to maximize profitability for share holders. I believe you may be serviced by AEP under their subsidiary, Public Service Company of OK. AEP owns most of the USA grid directly or through its subsidiaries.

In another post recently, I linked to a TX Monthly article about the Hunt family owning the majority of a company similar to AEP, called Sharyland Utilities. Their customers have faced massive rate increases:

Anonymous said...

Re politics, did you see this NYT piece the other day?


Re power outages, I vaguely recall the NYC 1977 outage. Here in Canada, the effects of a massive ice storm in 1998 were widespread and deadly:


I was living in downtown Toronto in August 2003 when 'a combination of key monitoring systems offline, generators not responding as anticipated or requested, and then an overloaded line sagging from excess heat and short-circuiting to a tree' caused a power outage that affected the entire eastern seaboard of North America, resulting in Ontario’s largest power outage in the history of the province. My fellow citizens lived up to their reputation as polite and caring people but we all wondered afterwards how things might have evolved had the outage been longer lasting.


Two years ago Christmas we suffered another ice storm outage. At that time I was alone in a house in the country - about 20 mins by car, which I did not have, from town. I did have a woodstove, at least a cord of wood, lots of food and enough water for a week or so, and lots of beeswax candles which I still keep in the freezer so they burn longer. That storm took down about a dozen large trees on the property but otherwise caused me no trouble. People out here are accustomed to self-sufficiency and also looking out for one another, including one's neighbours, but the same issue arises as to what might have transpired if the outage had been longer lasting.

I watched the new-ish (2015) Tom Hiddleston movie 'High Rise' last night as I had read a postive review of same online recently. (Co-starring Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller and a rather brilliant Luke Evans.) Although it's a strange amalgam of dated visual and conceptual cues and tropes, it's horrifically and bitterly funny in places, and it most certaiinly has much to say about the limits of modern civilization. Worth a look IMO.

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ Thanks for the links. I did read the Gary Johnson one, and others about him too recently. I'm wondering whether to cast my own vote in his direction by way of protest about the only other two candidates on offer in Oklahoma at present (Clinton+Trump). I like johnson's Libertarian stances on social issues, and anti-war stance, but not the rest of his policies, which amount broadly to "every man for himself, we don't want no government tellin' us what to do" kind of thing. I very much want government to oversee those things which affect us all. I'll decide later for whom to vote come November, in case of....the unexpected!

I see you're a veteran of power outages! :-) We had a 6-day outage here, mid-winter a few years ago, result of a bad ice storm, and a shorter one later on. It was quite an adventure dealing with it over 6 days, we were relieveded when it ended - getting bored with numerous nightly games of gin rummy huddled around the gas fire!

Back in the UK, I remember a time in the 1970s when everyone was put on rolling power outages or power cuts. At least, then, it was possible to plan for the outages.

Thanks for the film recommendation - that sounds to be one we'd enjoy. Will look out for it.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Grrr~ It all makes my socialist blood boil! Nationalisation of utilities is what we need, but will never get in the USA, absent a full torch and pitchfork revolution, which is highly unlikely in any of our lifetimes.

mike (again) said...

Sabina - I recently viewed a PBS program [ PBS' NOVA, "Life's Greatest Miracle"? ] about prenatal development and one of your ice storms was discussed. A researcher studied the ice storm induced stress on the expectant mother and prenatal child via post natal follow-ups:

"The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on the effects of prenatal maternal stress,particularly with respect to infant cognitive development, and to present an introduction to our on-going longitudinal study of children exposed to the January1998 Quebec Ice Storm while in utero."

The result indicated there was a major developmental implication.

Anonymous said...

mike - Just skimmed paper you cited. Imagine the stressors on the prostitute 'communities' in India, the women of Syria, female captives of al-Shebab, the chronically undernourished, and so on throughout the world.... Lots of 12th house issues there to be sure. 'Self-undoing' has always seemed to me a form of victim blaming in the matter of prenatal factors impinging on childhood development; or, indeed, postnatal childhood circumstances over which one cannot exert any control. That subconscious iceberg of psychiatric theory.

BTW the 'hero' in 'High Rise' is named Dr. R. Laing!

LB said...

Hello Twilight ~

Reading one of your recent posts as well as mike's and Sabina's comments, it occurs to me electrical outages (and high cost of electricity) could be more than inconveniences. In a practical sense they could easily mean going without something that endangers health or safety.

In addition to our failing infrastructure, there are also the threats posed by the increasing role of private equity firms taking over (privatizing) emergency services like ambulance and fire ~ something residents in many poorer rural communities are already facing in the form of bigger bills and slower response times:


And still no single-payer, universal healthcare here in the US.:( Last month the DNC (once again) voted against a ". . . proposed amendment to include single-payer healthcare in the Party Platform, by a vote of 66-to-92." The videos are worth watching:


Meanwhile, and in related news, health insurance premiums under Obamacare are expected to increase dramatically in 2017. To make matters worse, I just read this morning Aetna Insurance (one of the nation's largest insurers) will be joining United Health Group and Humana in significantly cutting back availability on Obamacare state exchanges:



You're probably already aware Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, along with her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, will appear on CNN tomorrow night (Wednesday, August 17, 9:00 p.m. Eastern) for a town hall discussion:


I'm curious how it'll go.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Hi there! :-)
Yes, in certain circumstances, at certain times of year, in certain areas, lack of electricity could be much more than an inconvenience - it could be dangerous to health and safety. Likewise for water supplies, gas supply (neither is subject to quite the same dangers but have their own specific ones). Health care ought to be in that list too. Nationalisation ought to be the answer, for utilities and health care - but only with a fair, just - and efficiently run - government in place, hard come by these days in the USA (elsewhere too). It used to work well long ago in the UK, but privatisation took over gradually and messed thing up. Nothing improved. I understand there's a plan afoot to even privatise NHS in the UK - that would be a sad day indeed.

I thought that inclusion of a public option to ACA had been added to the Democratic platform...I did loose track of detail though...too much news! A public option would be an improvement. Not that the platform would necessarily lead to an actual happening, but at the very least, the principle as an aim in written form would make a mark in people's minds.

I've bookmarked the piece about Jill Stein's TV appearance to remind me to watch - thanks for the reminder. There was a piece in our local newspaper today about her (or the Green Party's) legal case against state of Oklahoma - she's trying to get onto our ballot, but OK's restrictions are too severe. I wish her well and she'd get my vote if she is, by some miracle, included on our ballots, but I'm not optimistic.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Individual state restrictions on voting are baffling! Could someone in Oklahoma write in their candidate of choice?

About electricity, our fridge sounds like it's on the way out and I'm already fretting a bit about the cost of having to replace groceries and of eating out ~ a relatively minor concern compared to what others face when losing electricity/water/gas. Thinking of places here and far away.


If you're interested, here's the link to something from PNPH (Physicians for a National Health Program) debunking the merits of a public option:


Seems like more of the same.

Twilight said...

LB ~ No, sadly we are not allowed write-ins in OK. They have us exactly where they want us - hamstrung!

Sorry to hear about your fridge - and this is bad time of year for such difficulties. Appliances don't seem to last as long as they used to in my parents' day. A fridge was for life then (more or less), and if it broke down it was repaired. Not possible in most cases now. Nothing is made to last or to be repaired. Our dishwasher is old, still works but the plastic-covered wire baskets and racks inside rusted and snapped, bit by bit. We've replaced both top and bottom racks and baskets, found the right fit on the net - but the new ones have lasted only two years before also showing signs of wearing out in places already. The originals must have lasted at least 10 to 15 years, husband had had the machine a while before I arrived here.

Thanks for the link. I'll read and save. I guess any plan or proposal will only ever be as good as the body administering it, and our current admin. bodies are not to be recommended or trusted!

LB said...

Shortly after I left my previous comment, another post about Aetna appeared on Common Dreams, "Aetna's Greed Proves That Medicare-for-All Is the Best Solution":


In one of the comments following the above article (which mentioned both single-payer and a public option), commenter Townsend12 pointed out the devastating effect Hillary's public option would have on Medicare and provided a link to an article on naked capitalism, "Destroying Medicare to Save ObamaCare: Hillary Clinton’s “Public Option” Plan":



I'm with you. I remember and miss the days when refrigerators, washing machines, televisions and stereos (among other things) were well made, repairable, and built to last.

mike (again) said...

"Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini received $27.9 million in compensation last year, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ... Separately, he received $5.97 million in restricted stock and $8.14 million in stock options whose ultimate value will be determined in future years."

mike (again) said...

"Louisville-based Humana (NYSE: HUM) agreed in July to be sold to Connecticut-based Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) for $37 billion. That deal is slowly working its way through approvals with state and federal regulators and is expected to close later this year. But let’s say it does go through, and the combined company decides it no longer needs Humana CEO Bruce Broussard or he resigns. He’d be due a parachute package of $40.2 million. That includes about $6 million in severance pay, with most of the rest coming when Broussard cashes out stock."

"Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today expressed outrage over reports that United Healthcare paid its CEO $102 million in compensation last year and called on the state Department of Insurance to consider executive pay in future company rate cases."

LB said...

Twilight ~ It looks like my last comment has disappeared. In spam maybe?

mike ~ Good info, and sadly, not at all surprising considering the way our world works.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, Blogger's spam machine is being over-zealous! Sorry! Rescued it.

Aaargh! - I skimmed through the naked capitalism piece you've linked (I trust that site as being a reliable source). The USA public just cannot win.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Lately I've been loving the naked capitalism site, thanks to you (I think).:) I have to appreciate how effectively naked capitalism's writers are in addressing certain issues, by thoroughly, thoughtfully and intelligently articulating (and therefore validating) what it is many of us have known all along.

I love Lambert Strether's latest piece on the death of ObamaCare.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, naked capitalism, their writers (and most commenters) are some of the best on the net in my opinion. The site is "clean" without those dreadful jump-up adverts and moving stuff in the margins - lack of which aids concentration. Glad to know you enjoy NC too. :-) Yes, excellent piece on ObamaCare today.

R J Adams said...

Anyone heard of this Evan McMullin guy? Running as an Independent against Trump apparently.



Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ No. The news of his run appeared, then more or less disappeared. Too little and much too late, I guess.

R J Adams said...

It seems he's very much in the running, but is the choice of neocons like Bill Kristol (#NeverTrump) who have desperately been searching for a Trump-substitute ever since Trump claimed the nomination. Personally, having read about McMullin and watched his interviews, I wouldn't trust the guy. He's unlikely to make the ballot in more than a few states, but could well stymie the Greens and Libertarians by drawing support from them.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Oh! Well...I hope not. This election, more than any in recent times, could help third parties to grow - something sorely needed.