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    • Review of “Descarte’s Error” by Antonio Damasio
      This book is a bit long in the tooth now, having been published in 95.  The role it suggests for emotion in the use of reason is, in generalities, no longer controversial. But it was a landmark book for me, when I read it, and it’s still relevant and worth reading. There’s been a LOT […]
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The privilege to wave for a year.

Michelle Wolff enlightens us about just what it means to be a contestant for Miss America. Hint: there are more qualifications to be in the pageant than to be president.

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I’ll tell you what happened. :-[

The data analysts at FiveThirtyEight did a partial review on Hillary’s new book, “What Happened”. For the most part, they agree with her assessment. Check out the podcast if you have a chance. Here are some highlights and my own take from a fairly dedicated campaign worker’s point of view:

1.) Sexism was definitely involved.

2.) She had a 4-6 point lead coming into the home stretch before the Comey letter. By it itself, the Comey letter might not have sunk her. The other things are what narrowed her lead to a few points making her vulnerable to Comey’s shenanigans.

3.) She was wrong candidate for the times. I would have to disagree here. When your opposition is a lying, sociopathic, incompetent, racist, sexist pussy grabbed, then competence alone makes you the right candidate for the times. This should be obvious to anyone who is capable of thought.

4.) Whatever is written in the two weeks after the election as a narrative usually sticks, which leads to…

5.) The misperceptions of Wisconsin and Michigan as Hillary’s downfall.

Let’s unpack that last one for a moment. Nate Silver says what I’ve always thought about this. Wisconsin and Michigan ONLY became important once she had lost Florida and Pennsylvania. And where did Hillary spend the bulk of her time in the last days of the campaign? Pennsylvania and Florida. Strategically, it made no sense to go to Wisconsin.

By the way, NJ RARELY gets a visit from the candidates. Could NJ have gone red? I don’t know. There’s always that possibility. Look at who they voted for for Governor for eight years. But NJ has a gigantic problem with property taxes, which every governot has promised to fix but fails to deliver so the voters are always switching parties to try the one that works. Politics are local in NJ. Nevertheless, NJ went overwhelmingly for Clinton despite the fact that it was slighted AND had experienced a severe contraction of its economy in the aftermath of the loss of the small molecule R&D industry. Presumably, NJ is just smarter than Wisconsin.

538 says that prior to the 2016 election, there was some evidence that The rust belt was going more Republican. There’s probably not a whole lot Hillary could have done about MI and WI. Even Obama didn’t go there in 2012 and Hillary managed to get more votes than Obama got in 2012 overall.

No, what the analysts at 538 say had a disproportionate effect on Hillary’s loss was the obsession in the press, especially the New York Times, on her email. They say in comparison with Trump’s scandals, there was nothing even remotely close as far as criminality, unethical behavior or bad intent.

They say that given the horrible outcome, it’s natural for the press to be reluctant to acknowledge its role but that until it does, there will be a lot of anger about 2016 that isn’t going to go away.

More later…

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Once upon a time…