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Ep 885[Ep 886] Oddball Events [2:02:18]
Recorded: Fri, 2024-May-31 UTC
Published: Mon, 2024-Jun-03 13:05 UTC
Ep 887
This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, aside from a brief recorded note Ivan is traveling, so Sam brings on occasional guest host Bruce. There should be no surprise that the main topic is the Trump conviction. Because boom! Bruce also gives us a recap of the Libertarian convention, and revisits the OceanGate disaster. Plus a book. Woo!
  • 0:00:52 - But First
    • Job Changes
    • OceanGate Revisited
    • Book: Bible and Sword (1956)
  • 0:34:21 - Trump Verdict
    • Ivan's Thoughts
    • Sentencing Options
    • Possible Election Impact
    • Election Graphs Update
    • Possible Game Changers
  • 1:17:37 - Libertarians
    • Factions
    • Chase Oliver
    • Justification for 3P Voting
    • Trump and Kennedy
    • Prospects and Goals

Automated Transcript

Bruce:
[0:00]
Well, hello.

Sam:
[0:01]
Hello, Bruce.

Bruce:
[0:03]
Okay. Can you hear me?

Sam:
[0:04]
Yes, I can hear you just fine.

Bruce:
[0:06]
Okay, great. I can hear you too.

Sam:
[0:07]
Spiffy. I can see you get the microscope and electronic equipment behind you and everything. Excellent. Cool.

Bruce:
[0:14]
Oh yeah. Yeah. This is my, my, my workbench. It doesn't get much use now. It's just used for storage and I can talk about that.

Sam:
[0:24]
Cool. Okay. Then let's, let's get this thing started. Here we go. Welcome to Curmudgeon's Corner for Friday, May 31st, 2024. It's just after three UTC as we're starting to record. I am Sam Minter as announced last week. Yvonne is out this week and he'll be out next week as well. This week. Bruce has volunteered to join us. Hello again, Bruce. It's been a little while.

Bruce:
[1:13]
Hello. Yes, it has been a while. I think this is, based on our agenda today, this is very timely.

Sam:
[1:23]
Yes.

Bruce:
[1:23]
The Libertarian talking about the Libertarian Party, so this will be good.

Sam:
[1:27]
There we go. Yeah. Let me check. The last time you were on was last July.

Bruce:
[1:32]
Oh, okay.

Sam:
[1:33]
Almost a year. Almost a year, not quite. But yeah, so you mentioned the agenda. Look, a few hours ago, as we're recording, we got the Donald Trump convictions in New York. So obviously, we're going to talk about that. There's not going to be any avoiding that. As Bruce alluded to, the Libertarians had their national convention to pick a presidential candidate this week as well. I was paying some attention to that, but I'm pretty suspect that Bruce was paying a lot more attention to it than I was because he associates himself to some degree with the libertarians and has paid attention for a long time.

Bruce:
[2:10]
Yeah, I'm not a member of the libertarian party, but I have been in the past. I do identify as a libertarian.

Sam:
[2:17]
Right. So we will talk about that. So I think the order we're going to do things in, we're going to do our regular but first thing. I've got a book, Bruce has something, and then we're going to talk about Donald Trump, and then we're going to talk about the libertarian And then that'll be a show pretty much. I think that'll be plenty. And just as a heads up to folks, Yvonne, as I said, could not make it this week. He's actually in Guatemala at the moment, but minutes before we started recording the show, he sent me an audio clip of his reaction to the Donald Trump news. It's about just, it's between six and seven minutes long, I think. So we will, when we get to that segment, we'll play it. And then Bruce and I will react to it and then go on our merry way on our conversation. So, I guess you can start, Bruce. What's your butt first?

Bruce:
[3:09]
It's been a while, and I have had a job change since the last time I was on.

Sam:
[3:15]
Remind me, first of all, you were on the show for the first time when you were working for Ocean Gate, which, of course, had a famous little incident.

Bruce:
[3:26]
Well, no. That wasn't the first time. My first time on the show was way back in 2012 or something.

Sam:
[3:32]
Oh, okay. Okay. I thought the first time you were already in OceanGate, but okay, maybe you were before that and then you moved to OceanGate. Yeah. Okay. So it's been a while.

Bruce:
[3:41]
Yeah.

Sam:
[3:41]
And then, so you've been in a couple places since then?

Bruce:
[3:45]
Yeah. Well, after leaving OceanGate about, well, now it's been two and a half years ago, I went to this company called BrightAI. It's an AI startup. And that was a work-from-home job. And so I had my lab bench here, so just in my home office. And I loved that. being able to work from home and.

Sam:
[4:04]
Just just to lab bench you're an electrical engineer.

Bruce:
[4:09]
Yes i'm an electrical engineer so.

Sam:
[4:11]
It's it's not like some biological like creating super weapons or something you know.

Bruce:
[4:15]
Okay that's no no i yeah i so i've been able to do testing and development prototyping and and designed right here at home. But unfortunately, that company started having problems and delays and lack of funding because interest rates are higher. And so they were struggling. And so I ended up getting laid off last November.

Sam:
[4:43]
Oh, wow.

Bruce:
[4:44]
And that was, I really love that job. I worked harder in that job than I have on any other job. Well, maybe except for Ocean Gate. I worked really hard there too, but we're nights and weekends and stuff, but I loved it because it's working from home and doing actual hands-on design. And so it was a really hard layoff. I've had, I've had many layoffs in the past, but this was the hardest. And so then I, but before long, just a few weeks later, I was able to get another job at a large aerospace company here in the area. Hmm.

Sam:
[5:20]
I wonder who that might be.

Bruce:
[5:23]
Yeah. And we're talking like Seattle area.

Sam:
[5:26]
By the way, for those who don't know.

Bruce:
[5:27]
Yeah. And within a couple of weeks of starting to work there, boom, tragedy followed me. It seems to follow me everywhere in my career. It's like one company after another crashes and burns. If this company crashes, well, I guess we'll see. See but but yeah it's and it's it's been a really hard transition going from a company of when i was at ocean gate like 15 people to bright ai which i like about 50 people and now a company that's got like maybe over a hundred thousand people on it it's just like incredibly bureaucratic and things are highly regulated move very slow and it's like it's it's been a hard transition for me i have to say but it pays well and it's uh oh well and the other thing is i'm not working for home anymore i gotta be on site five days a week so ouch yeah now most tech companies are have switched to with you know three days on site two days at home yep.

Sam:
[6:33]
That's where i am.

Bruce:
[6:34]
And that's what i was expecting but that just didn't work out so it's been hard but but you know now Now.

Sam:
[6:42]
You don't have a long commute, though, right?

Bruce:
[6:48]
No. With traffic, it ends up being about a half hour each way. Okay. That's not that bad.

Sam:
[6:55]
That's not that bad.

Bruce:
[6:56]
Not nearly as bad as driving to Seattle.

Sam:
[6:58]
Yeah, yeah.

Bruce:
[7:00]
I would not have taken a job down in Seattle. It's like I get queries from Meta almost weekly just asking, begging me to work down there. And it would be a lot of fun. There's no way I could commute to Kirkland every day.

Sam:
[7:18]
Right. We're up near Everett, Washington, for anybody who knows. We're in the sort of general Seattle area, but they're different places.

Bruce:
[7:29]
Yeah, north of Seattle.

Sam:
[7:30]
Yeah, north of Seattle. yeah actually i'm near everett bruce is even further north you know so.

Bruce:
[7:36]
Yeah yeah so uh so yeah that's that's basically what's going on with me and there's a lot of other things but, but that's i.

Sam:
[7:44]
Don't i don't suppose it's been long enough that you can talk about ocean gate yet.

Bruce:
[7:48]
I i'm more comfortable talking about now it's been almost a year yeah.

Sam:
[7:52]
So do you want to add anything to all the discussions that around ocean gate for anybody who doesn't remember that's the company that had the sub trying to go down to the titanic and uh.

Bruce:
[8:04]
It imploded.

Sam:
[8:05]
Everyone was killed and yeah and.

Bruce:
[8:08]
Bruce used to work there yes yeah i i was the electrical engineering the company i designed all the electronics and built it and tested it and i went on the first expedition to the titanic that they did in 2021 and i'm fine but you didn't go down you stayed on the boat i i did not go down the titanic i did go on some shallow dives, in the sub uh to do some testing but nothing deep and uh i was on the surface when we reached the titanic so that was that was really exciting i i i for myself i feel totally free to talk about it but out of respect for my colleagues who who are who do have some legal concerns, i'm i've kept quiet because you know just to protect them but but yeah like the coast guard hasn't even contacted me. And people have said, wow, they were really surprised that the Coast Guard hadn't talked to me because they've talked to all my colleagues.

Sam:
[9:08]
I figured when it happened, there'd be people on the phone with you right away as a witness and somebody that was going to be questioned in terms of all the investigations and everything.

Bruce:
[9:19]
No? Nope, not at all. Because I guess, and I'm sure they know that electronics had nothing to do with this whatsoever. So, um, but there was electronics that would, that monitored the state of the hall. There was a strain sensors and acoustic sensors to monitor the, the, the whole health. And when there's a lot, there's been a lot of misinformation out there, a lot of confusion out there that this was an untested hall and that it was all cobbled together and, you You know, there's unprofessional people designing it, which was the case for the first haul, but not for the second haul. The first haul, it was beginning to fail. No one died in it. But then... And when they realized that they needed to do a redesign, they fired basically all the engineering staff and they hired a whole new set of people. And I was among that new set of people.

Bruce:
[10:23]
And there's some quotes from Stockton Rush saying that he didn't want to hire 50-year-old white guys to design the hull. Well, you know what? It ended up being a bunch of 50-year-old white guys that designed the new sub. So, yeah, he hired a bunch of like fresh out of college students before and that didn't work out too well. But yeah, I could talk a lot more about it. I think once the report comes out, then I'll be absolutely free to talk about it. And that'll probably be another maybe six months or so.

Sam:
[10:55]
Okay. So in the meantime, so I won't ask you about like that kind of detail though, but since we haven't talked about it, like when the thing was going on, can you tell us a little bit about sort of. The emotional rollercoaster you must've been on while that was transpiring and people were figuring it out.

Bruce:
[11:13]
Yeah, it was, it was a real rollercoaster because like the day of, I got a, I got a call from one of my colleagues saying, Hey babe, the subs lost and they can't find them. And so me and the other guys were like brainstorming what's, you know, what could have happened, trying to think of what are the different ways to fail. And we had multiple layers of safety.

Bruce:
[11:37]
For every system on the sub, except for one, and that's the hall itself. There's no backup for the hall, except we do have hall monitoring. We have two forms of hall monitoring. But yeah, we had so little issue with the hall, actually no issues whatsoever with the hall, it was the last thing we would consider. We couldn't even imagine that it had been that. And so especially Especially when during the week that they were looking for them, there was reports that there was a banging that they heard. And that is exactly what would happen is if you're in a lost sub, if you're entangled, that was my biggest theory was that they were entangled in the wreck. Because there's a lot of loose cables down there and they could have gotten stuck down there that way. And if you're stuck in the bottom on a sub, the way to message back if your batteries are dead or even if your sub is completely inoperable, you can bang on the hull and sound travels very well underwater.

Bruce:
[12:42]
And so they were trying to search for that banging, but they couldn't find it, obviously. Obviously and then so when it actually came out that they found debris then then we knew what was the cause it was yeah it was real shock and i felt most badly for that that teenager that or that i guess he was maybe 20 years old going uh down there he should not have been on it so the other guys they were elderly they knew what they were getting into i i don't really feel much remorse for them because they were explorers, but the teenager should not have been on them. That was just a real tragedy.

Sam:
[13:21]
Yeah, there were reports he didn't even really want to go to, and he was doing it because his father wanted him to or whatever.

Bruce:
[13:28]
Yeah, I heard that too. And then all my colleagues who were on the surface, how uncomfortable and it's just tragic to be on the surface for a week with the families of, of the people who were in the sub who had just died. And everyone on the ship eats together, and it's hard to avoid people on a ship. And the weird thing is, you know, having built that sub and designed it with my own hands, i had more of an emotional connection to the sub than really to the people, and so i felt more emotion i feel more emotion when i think about the tragedy of that sub being destroyed than actually the people that probably sounds really weird but just a little uh but if If it's hard to explain unless you've like, unless you've like put invested so much into an inanimate object and to see it destroyed. Yeah. It's kind of like how you feel if your home was getting burned up or something. Yeah.

Sam:
[14:46]
Yeah. I mean, definitely like if your home was burned up or if, especially like if, if, like you said, if you've ever made anything yourself, Like that you've put a lot of time and effort into that's a one of a kind thing that you couldn't necessarily make again. And, you know, yeah, I, I under, I understand having some emotional attachment to that, you know, and, and you, you knew that object, you didn't know the people as well.

Bruce:
[15:15]
Yeah.

Sam:
[15:15]
So I understand. Yeah.

Bruce:
[15:17]
So yeah that's that's how i felt and and we've and my colleagues the other engineers we've we've been keeping in touch and and about all of our experiences and about the different contexts we've had you know i've had newspapers and tv stations all contacting me trying to get me to interview and like you know so right.

Sam:
[15:37]
Well thanks for talking to us.

Bruce:
[15:40]
Yeah absolutely just.

Sam:
[15:41]
This last Last week, there were some news reports about a new billionaire going down and a new sub in the same place. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Bruce:
[15:50]
Well, I think that's a good thing. I really support that. I don't know. I've never heard of that guy before, but he is going to build that sub with Triton Submarines. Triton Submarines is the world expert on deep submergence vehicles. They built, the head of that company, the founder of that company is Patrick Leahy. And he and his company before, they were hired by this other multimillionaire who wanted to build a sub that could go repeatedly to the Marriott's Trench. And Victor Vescovo is his name. So Victor Vescovo is like this Wall Street investor, made a bunch of money. And so he hired Triton Subs to build this sub called, it's called, I can't remember the name of it. I forget the name of the sub. But anyway, it's a titanium sphere. It holds two people and went repeatedly down to the Maranis Trench. And it's an amazing structure. It's an amazing vehicle. And they actually use the same batteries that we used on the Titan.

Bruce:
[17:12]
But anyway, yeah, this guy, I think that's a good thing to do. I think Triton, if they were to build a sub to do that, it probably would take them a cost about $15 million, and they would do it right.

Bruce:
[17:24]
And Triton, they're the ones that make these really cool-looking glass subs where you're in like this plexiglass sphere. And you can see in all directions. I remember reading that they could theoretically build a glass sphere that could breach 4,000 meters, which is the depth of Titan. And so, of course, it would be very thick. But it would be optically clear. And can you imagine being there at the Titanic, being able to look at it, not through a little portal, but all around in all directions. And that's, that is what Triton sumps could possibly try to do. And if they were to do that, it would be pretty amazing.

Sam:
[18:10]
Well, and just in general with this kind of thing, I know the rap on this was like, oh, huge act of hubris and reckless person who wasn't paying attention to all of the safety things he should. But at the same time, when something like this happens, you hope that you learn from it and use the learnings to do something better the next time around, as opposed to like, you wouldn't want the outcome from this to be like, oh, well, we'll never do that again. You know?

Bruce:
[18:43]
Yeah. And I think that may be the case when it comes to carbon fiber holes.

Sam:
[18:49]
Right. Well, yeah. Yeah, I mean, when you learn, part of it is like, hey, this particular technique was flawed. Let's do something else.

Bruce:
[19:00]
Yeah.

Sam:
[19:01]
But the goal, you know, like there are all sorts of reasons to have subs that go at depth that are, you know, of this type, you know. It's not just, hey, billionaire doing tourism.

Bruce:
[19:15]
Yeah, yeah. So, yeah, more power to them. I think they should definitely do that. I'm glad to hear that somebody is willing to actually try to mend the reputation of the deep submergence submarine community. So, okay.

Sam:
[19:34]
Well, I mentioned I have a book. This is one I actually listened to as an audio book. It's a 1956 history book called Bible and sword by Barbara Tuckman.

Bruce:
[19:48]
Uh, I get on your list.

Sam:
[19:51]
I don't know. Like, you know, the list has thousands of things on it. I don't know how they get there. I ever, I used to, when I first started the list, make a point of always noting what, where I heard about it or why, what made me like add it to the list. I stopped that years ago. So like, they're just things on the list. I don't know how they got there. At some point in the last 10 years, I heard about it and it was like, oh, that sounds like it might be cool. So this is a, it is specifically a history of the relationships between England and Palestine going from the Bronze Age through to the Balfour Declaration in 1917.

Bruce:
[20:39]
Oh, wow.

Sam:
[20:41]
So it's sort of history of Israel before modern Israel was created after World War II.

Bruce:
[20:50]
Yeah, and that Balfour Declaration is the whole reason why we have the situation we have right now.

Sam:
[20:56]
Well, it's like the whole situation in the Middle East, right?

Bruce:
[21:02]
Yeah.

Sam:
[21:04]
Just to, since I mentioned it, bring up what that is. Well, there are a whole bunch of post-World War I things that led to everything we've got. Balfour Declaration specifically was the British government in 1917, while the First World War was still going on, announcing that it supported the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, which was still ruled by the Ottomans at that point. So anyway, he.

Sam:
[21:41]
Bottom line, I'm actually going to give it a thumbs down, but I don't have like, it really is personal reasons for it. Like, I feel like there's two things here. Like, I feel like this topic feels like it should have been super, super interesting to me. Like it's, it's history. I like history. It's the history of a region of the world that is in the news these days. So having the background is useful. It has an interesting twist that it's not just a history of Israel slash Palestine. It's a history specifically of how that related to England, you know, going back through the Crusades and all of this kind of stuff and how England thought about, that region and how England thought about Jews and how like all of these things came together. And all of that seems like it would be right up my alley, but just that I think there are two things. One, just the style of writing. Like, I mean, I mentioned this was written in 1956. It was just a little stilted and the way that it was talking about just had trouble holding my attention and that was amplified by I listened to this as an audio book and the actual person who was reading it.

Sam:
[23:11]
Just between their way of speaking and their accent, which was a British accent, I don't know what variety of British accent, but I kept having trouble sort of getting locked in and really paying attention.

Sam:
[23:29]
Between those things, I would put it on, and then after a couple minutes, I would realize that I hadn't absorbed anything in the last few minutes. You know and again part of it is sort of the style of the talking some of it was the voice i don't know and maybe i would have felt different if i was actually reading this sort of words on a screen or words on paper i'm not sure but the audiobook experience of it it really was almost a chore to me to sort of force myself to like okay i want to pay attention to this i want to learn because there's interesting things going on here, but it never really clicked with me. And as I sort of got towards the second half of the book, I was like, it's never going to click for me. I'm just going to let it wash over me as I listened to it. I don't know. But like, I mean, there's clearly some interesting history there. And, and she pointed out a whole lot of things in terms of, you know, it wasn't just sort of a snap thing in 1917.

Sam:
[24:35]
And most things aren't, right? Like there was a whole buildup to the relationship between like how the Anglican church in England really had a lot of how they thought about themselves based on their relationship to the plight of the Jews in Palestine. And there was a whole lot of stuff there in terms of how there were a lot of interconnections between how England thought of itself and how...

Sam:
[25:10]
It thought about what was happening in the Holy Land. And part of this goes, you know, I mentioned the Crusades. Part of this relates to the Crusades. There was a whole, you know, several centuries where England and a variety of parts of Europe centered a lot of what they were thinking about in terms of we have to reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslims. And and so it how these things interacted you know was did have a bunch of fascinating stuff and there was a whole segment getting towards the end of that period before balfour there was a lot of talk about like yes the jews need a homeland but why don't we buy them some land somewhere else yeah.

Bruce:
[25:56]
I've heard that.

Sam:
[25:57]
There was talk of like buying them some land in south america or in africa or i.

Bruce:
[26:02]
I was just going to say that. Yeah.

Sam:
[26:03]
Yeah. There were a variety of locations that were actually scouted out, but like the Zionist community at a certain point, there was apparently one big conference where they seriously considered it and almost went for the idea of one of these Jewish homelands on some other continent. But the, the faction that was like, no, no, it's Palestine or nothing. One out. Um, you know, so there's a lot of, you know, what ifs there as well.

Bruce:
[26:30]
Only there's one little problem there. There's people already there.

Sam:
[26:34]
Yes. Pretty much anywhere you go, there's people already there. Not only Palestine, but these alternative locations they were thinking about too, also already had populations. It's just a question of who you would displace. I mean, there are very few places that are completely unpopulated on the planet, and they're generally unpopulated for a reason. But there's still a lot of interesting sort of what-if scenarios. Like if you go back to the late 1800s and say, what if they had established a Jewish homeland somewhere in South America? How would that change everything?

Bruce:
[27:13]
Yeah, it's kind of hard to even imagine.

Sam:
[27:16]
Right.

Bruce:
[27:17]
Yeah. But yeah, was there anything about how they drew the lines in the Balfour Declaration? Like at the end of World War I, they kind of cut up the Ottoman Empire.

Sam:
[27:29]
Yeah, that's actually different than Balfour. Like Balfour was just the UK saying they were in favor of a Jewish homeland. The actual, what was it called? I should look it up, but the actual treaty that divided up the Ottoman Empire was different. Like, okay, now you're going to make me look it up.

Bruce:
[27:54]
Yeah, because they purposely drew those lines to divide tribal populations so that no one ethnicity was in control of each country. Because Iraq has both Sunni and Shia Muslims, and same thing with Jordan and Syria. They're all kind of like they're cobbled together, these ethnicities, and so they fight among themselves.

Sam:
[28:21]
And that was the standard playbook all over the world.

Bruce:
[28:24]
Oh, yeah, because the British were experts at that. They had been the global empire for hundreds of years, and so they knew they were at the peak of their expertise, but little did they know that would be, it would continue to be a problem. And well, they probably thought their empire would continue and the empire basically ended after one war too.

Sam:
[28:51]
Yeah, I'm looking, it looks like there, I thought that was like one name that they put to all of it, but there, there are a whole series of treaties and mandates and.

Bruce:
[29:02]
Treaty of Versailles was what ended the.

Sam:
[29:05]
Well, that, that was the end of the war.

Bruce:
[29:07]
Yeah.

Sam:
[29:07]
But apparently, in terms of how they divided up the land and everything, not just in the former Ottoman Empire, but in all of the areas that were affected by World War I, there was apparently a whole bunch of them. Sykes-Picot, that's the main one, I think, that people talk about. out. The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a 1916 secret treaty between the UK and France with the ascent of the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire. So there was that secret agreement, and then there were a whole bunch of treaties and other agreements and blah, blah, blah to implement that after the war actually ended. But this is the one people talk about, Sykes-Picot.

Bruce:
[29:53]
So what's kind of crazy, I think, is that some people consider the Ottoman Empire to be the actual last remnants of the Roman Empire.

Sam:
[30:06]
Well, most people say the Byzantine Empire that the Ottomans eventually conquered was the last true Roman one. Because the Byzantines considered themselves the Roman Empire. They actually called themselves the Roman Empire. And I read once quite clearly, you know, a few decades ago now, a big, long history of the Byzantine empire. And, you know, a, a, a through line of it is to the very end. They claimed they were the Roman empire. They, you know, they were the legitimate Roman empire up until the day that the Ottomans took over Constantinople.

Bruce:
[30:51]
Yeah. You know, it was a really good series on Netflix about that. And that's, I highly recommend.

Sam:
[30:57]
Yeah. And, you know, people, cause people think of the Roman empire as dying a lot earlier, but I mean, culturally the Roman empire didn't really end until the end of the Byzantines. Although of course, you know, if you compare the beginning of the Roman empire to the end, there's huge cultural shifts anyway.

Bruce:
[31:16]
Yeah. As any, any country would be anyway.

Sam:
[31:19]
Way anything that lasts thousands of years i mean even if you look at it a hundred years apart it's not really the same thing but there's a continuous evolution and you certainly got that here but yeah no it's again like i feel like for this book in particular and again the title is bible and sword by barbara tuchman i feel like the topic should have been really interesting to me it's the kind of stuff I get interested in, but the actual presentation of it just had a hard time keeping my attention.

Bruce:
[31:56]
You know, Sam, I was just planning on reading that book and thank you for keeping me from reading that.

Sam:
[32:02]
Well, again, maybe I would have had a better time if I was really doing the print version rather than the audio book. I don't know. Or if there was a different voice. Well.

Bruce:
[32:12]
Maybe be able to give it a try either.

Sam:
[32:14]
Way it was tough for me like and yeah i kept yeah it just i kept trying at first and then eventually i sort of gave up and just let it roll over me i still think i got most of the high level themes but none of the details were sinking in at all it was just sort of like yeah blah blah blah more stuff happened blah blah blah more stuff happened blah blah blah you, know so i can't i can't even give it a thumb sideways i mean it won the puller surprise at the time in 1956 okay.

Bruce:
[32:47]
Well that's probably the list that you pulled it from.

Sam:
[32:49]
Yeah maybe i don't know i i feel like i don't know i have no idea where it came from but anyway i i think that's enough for this segment we will take a quick break and when we get back we'll start talking about donald Trump. And we'll kick that off with whatever Yvonne had to say, which I have not listened to yet. So it'll be brand new for all of us back after this.

Break:
[33:20]
Do you want to understand what is really going on with the presidential election cycle? Then go to electiongraphs.com right away. There you'll find charts and graphs covering the nomination processes in both parties and the general election race for electoral college votes. For the delegate races, we track not just delegate totals, but also the ever-important analysis of how each candidate has to do with the remaining delegates in order to actually win. For the Electoral College, we track state-by-state poll averages to categorize which states are actually in play and which are not in order to show you the range of likely electoral results and how that changes over time. Sure, you can get some of this stuff elsewhere, but not in exactly the same way. And not from me, Sam, your prime curmudgeon. I think my election trackers are better than the rest, so come look at mine. ElectionGraphs.com.

Sam:
[34:20]
There we go.

Bruce:
[34:21]
That sounds so much weirder at 1x. I'm so used to hearing that at 1.5.

Sam:
[34:32]
Yeah, yeah. All of this does. Whenever I'm listening to anything at 1x, I'm like, what's wrong with them? And especially like music and breaks and stuff. Like if you're used to it at the fast speed, listening to it at normal speed is just weird. Anyway, so here, like Yvonne sent me this literally right before we started recording. I am pretty sure he just recorded it as a voice memo on his phone. So here we go. We'll listen to Yvonne's thoughts on the Donald Trump situation. And then Bruce and I will react to what Yvonne said. and then just talk about the issue in general. So here we go. Here's Yvonne.

Ivan:
[35:15]
Well, hello, Cormacians. Sorry I'm not there, especially at this elated time where we get Donald Trump to be finally be called, what is he now? Convicted felon.

Ivan:
[35:30]
Ex-president Donald Trump. It's such a great day for me personally. I would say I was nervous. I saw that all of a sudden I thought that they were going to adjourn for today, and I was working because I knew that this stuff was going on. I was keeping tabs on it to see what was going on. And all of a sudden they said they had a verdict and I was nervous. I will say I was like, but I also So, my first instinct was that it was guilty. I mean, because if they took this long and there was no, obviously, there was no hung jury because they had a verdict, then it had to be guilty. There was just no other option. Now, the one thing I thought is that, and because somebody else mentioned this, that because they were taking a substantial amount of time to fill out the forms and do it, that maybe there were some counts that they could say he's not guilty. Okay? And so I thought that that was a possibility at that moment. I figured it was most of them was going to be guilty, but maybe they figured out something that it wasn't. But no, they came back and we have convicted felon ex-president Donald Trump because I'm not going to give him the credit of getting served, getting called president.

Ivan:
[37:00]
So I will say that it's a great day for our democracy. I know that it doesn't really change a lot in terms of practical terms right now because he will appeal and it will take a while for the appeals to go through. But the reality is that given what the conviction was based on, that unless there was some kind of egregious error on the part of the jurors, it's very difficult to, not the jurors, in terms of the egregious error, in terms of part on the trial itself, it's very difficult to get such a verdict overturned. A lot of discussion about what, you know, what the sentencing is going to be.

Ivan:
[37:50]
Because the maximum jail term is four years for this. It could be zero to four years later. I mean, they're not going to make it. This is not a capital crime. They're not going to make them consecutive.

Ivan:
[38:02]
It will be concurrent for sure. I mean, if I'm the district attorney, I'm asking for jail. Because it really shows, as we know, that this isn't just some mistake or something, whatever. This is conduct that he knew was illegal. He did it. And I don't think that a defendant in any case learns anything if you just go and just give him a slap on the wrist in probation, which he could have gotten if he had plea bargained on this because of what the potential penalties were. But he decided not to do it, and he wanted to vociferously claim to everybody that he is a victim, and he isn't.

Ivan:
[38:49]
He's a crook, and now he is a convicted one. And I really wish that all the other legal processes around all the crimes that Donald has committed over time had been moving more quickly, and we would get a lot more of these guilty verdicts. The reality is that my hope is that I think that the prosecutors will request and will get jail time for him That even if he wins the damn re-election That this bastard will go to jail afterwards The only way that he'll freaking avoid jail is if he dies.

Ivan:
[39:32]
So, you know.

Ivan:
[39:35]
That's the reality we are in right now I think it's a great day.

Ivan:
[39:43]
Where justice has finally been served to this guy and i the one thing that i really, loved is the fact that he had this such a defeated look on his face and it's just so great because this guy has been a cancer on this country he has been a cancer for a very long time, he's been a liar his entire life.

Ivan:
[40:09]
Everything that he purports to be is all a fraud, he builds on that fraud it's a whole his life is a damn ponzi scheme his entire damn life and then you know he he has had this ambitions of being president, and and he does it by vilifying, and lying and vilifying people that really have contributed a lot to this country over the history of time. And he's a racist and just a hateful person. And I really hope that.

Ivan:
[40:52]
He gets the worst of anything because he doesn't deserve anything good. And so he has really hurt a lot of people. And so I'm happy today. I celebrated a little bit. I must admit, quite happy. And I know that this doesn't decide the election itself, but I do think that it's a hell of a lot easier to run against him when he is convicted felon ex-president, Donald Trump. So guys, I'll leave you to Sam and Bruce, which I know are covering the show. I'm sorry I'm not there. I'm in Guatemala, and lately connectivity from these places has not been very good. So I'm just recording this message and sending it out. But thanks, everybody, and hopefully I'll be back online soon. Thanks, everybody. Bye.

Sam:
[41:42]
Okay. So that's what Yvonne had to say. I'll let you react first, Bruce.

Bruce:
[41:47]
Well, for someone who's been And he's so happy to have Trump convicted. He didn't seem too happy listening to him. I've heard him be a lot happier, but I think I don't think I'm sure.

Sam:
[42:04]
He's tired to every.

Bruce:
[42:05]
Time he's been in Guatemala.

Sam:
[42:06]
He's been talking about how he's exhausted at the end of the day, et cetera. And he's like more time zones over than he usually is as well, I think so, or whatever. He's in a different time zone than that.

Bruce:
[42:18]
I think it's just central time zone over there. But I'm sure he would probably not feel that he said that justice has been served, but I don't think justice is going to be served until he actually pays a price or loses the presidency because of this. So that remains to be seen.

Sam:
[42:39]
Yeah, and he was like sentencing, it's going to be jail. I'm not confident. I think he's right that the prosecutors will ask for jail. Jail i don't know that the judge is going to give him jail because like this is a class e felony that apparently very rarely gets jail as part of the sentence and he's a first-time offender as much as all this other stuff is going on this is the first time he's been convicted of anything and between those two things and the fact that he's an ex-president he's got secret service protection he is a candidate currently for the presidency what.

Bruce:
[43:17]
Does secret service protection mean in jail would they be like standing outside his jail cell.

Sam:
[43:23]
Probably yeah while.

Bruce:
[43:24]
He's walking around the yard walking right beside him or what.

Sam:
[43:28]
Yeah it would probably be exactly that but like no but with all of this kind of stuff it's like it's hard to imagine the judge actually saying okay, the sentence is X number of months in jail or whatever.

Sam:
[43:43]
Maybe, I mean... Maybe he will. I mean, the things that people have said are reasons why it might get bumped up to jail. Like despite the, okay, class E felonies usually don't get this, et cetera, are A, there were 34 counts. That's a lot of counts. B, he's shown absolutely no remorse or admission of guilt or even acknowledgement that he's done anything wrong ever. However, two, he had the 12 counts of contempt of court during the trial and just generally his behavior around that. And also the judge is allowed to consider the fact that he is on trial for other things or has been indicted for other things. Obviously, he hasn't been convicted of those other things. But the fact that he's indicted for them, the judge is allowed to take that into account as he looks at the bigger picture. And so people argue that when you add all of those things in, maybe the jail time really is a possibility.

Sam:
[44:47]
As Yvonne said, though, even if the judge sentenced him to jail, it's going to be in appeals for years and years and years, assuming he doesn't even win the presidency. Presidency like if he wins the presidency this is a state court so certain things can proceed but a lot of talking heads i've heard talk about this say basically what would likely happen if he won the presidency and there were still ongoing things in state court is that they would basically pause those state court activities until he left the presidency again you know yeah.

Bruce:
[45:25]
That's that's That's what I would think too. Yeah. For me, I'm, I'm surprised. I thought that it would be a hung jury because all it takes is one person.

Sam:
[45:34]
Yeah. I, I, you know, as I mentioned on the show a couple of times ago, I didn't, I wasn't predicting a hung jury, but it was definitely a significant chance of it. And like the Trump folks were, we're talking even, uh, today this morning before it came out that well there were reports that off the record trump team people were saying they felt really good about the hung jury scenario because there was this one juror juror number two apparently who in the jury selection process had said they like get some of their news from truth social had also whenever like these conservative luminaries had sat in the courtroom next to Donald Trump and sort of smiled and looked happy and like, Ooh, there's this person, the Senator, whoever, blah, blah, blah. And so like, apparently there was some contingent among the Trump folks who were like that one, that one's going to hang the jury for us.

Bruce:
[46:33]
Yeah. Well, you know, it takes someone with extraordinarily thick skin. If it's a single juror, it's not like the, you know, 12 angry men where one person can.

Sam:
[46:45]
Can swing the whole jury i.

Bruce:
[46:46]
Recently served on a jury it was for a civil trial and we were bumping up against a deadline where we would have to come back it was like a friday and we would have to come back on monday.

Sam:
[47:00]
Right and.

Bruce:
[47:00]
Nobody wanted to have to do that so we were like all right let's get this decided and i could and it was the same situation here right i think they were gonna have to if they didn't decide today they were gonna have to be.

Sam:
[47:12]
Well no they could they would have been able to continue tomorrow but and that's why everybody sort of thought one way or another they'll make a decision by friday because they don't want to stay the weekend yeah but but thursday but and and a lot of the punditry was like if if they you know if they decide something thursday it's definitely a conviction if it goes till friday then we've got a serious consideration of a hung jury now if if they had been hung like the way it typically works is the judge makes them keep trying for a while. Like, they're not going to say on Friday, oh, sorry, we can't come to a decision, and the judge says, okay. No, the judge would be like, you're coming back Monday, and you're going to keep trying for at least another week. You know, so like –.

Bruce:
[47:59]
It's kind of like punishing him.

Sam:
[48:02]
Yeah. But, I mean, and we did have in one of the previous civil cases, I can't remember if it was an E. Jean Carroll or one of the monetary ones. I think it might have been E. Jean Carroll. Carol, there, there was, there was a person on the jury who is an out and out Trump supporter. Like they were a Trump fan, like they, you know, and they voted to convict anyway. And they were interviewed afterwards as saying like, I'm a Trump supporter. I like the guy, but I was on the jury and I had to do my duty and the charges against him were true, you know? So, so yeah, I mean, I mean, I would not have been surprised by a hung jury, but this is not a surprising outcome either.

Bruce:
[48:50]
Yeah. So, but in the end, how will this affect the election? That's the real question that everyone's asking. Will this, as you were saying, there be no, he won't be going to jail. He won't be actually having to pay any price. He's going to appeal and that will at least push this out until after his second term, if he wins.

Sam:
[49:15]
If he wins.

Bruce:
[49:15]
Will he win? Is this enough to sway that, you know, the middle voters to say, oh, wow, this guy is a convicted felon. Are we going to vote?

Sam:
[49:25]
Right. Well, and this is, you know, I hate to do the thing I always say, which is we'll have to wait and see. Like because there have been all kinds of questions about this asked of people like for months and months and months people have been polling republicans and trump supporters, asking if he's convicted would it change your mind and there's a significant chunk who have said yes it would like five to ten percent fifteen on the upside and you know you'd say Okay, that's a small percentage. But if 15% defect and either don't vote or vote for Biden or even vote for Kennedy or somebody, then that's enough to swing the election. I mean, it's a, the race is a few percentage points at this point in the critical states. But here's the thing, like, I...

Sam:
[50:20]
If you look at this there, I can fully imagine that the reaction at this point is yes. Okay, fine. But when you said, would you change your mind if he was convicted? I was thinking of like murder or something. This is some paperwork crime. He did like, you know, okay. So he lied. And I mean, like the details of this crime are actually kind of hard to follow. It's a several step thing. And it's in the end, it's about, you know, you, you wrote things down as if this was a legal expense where actually you were reimbursing somebody for paying off the porn star and the paying off the porn star. Isn't the problem. The problem is that you declared it as something it wasn't, and it was really a campaign expense and you should have declared it that way. It gets messy and complicated and you can easily have people dismiss that and say, yeah, okay, that's a crime, but it's not really a crime.

Sam:
[51:20]
And then also you have, oh, it's still under appeal. You have Donald Trump and a chorus of surrounding Republicans saying, witch hunt, it's political, it's Joe Biden going after him, it's completely bullshit, there wasn't anything here, and this is a huge miscarriage of justice, et cetera, et cetera. And for certainly any of the true believers are going to buy all of that hook, line, and sinker, and they're not going to change their minds. And so the difference, again, is like on the margins. Do you have a few percent defect because of this? And...

Sam:
[51:59]
Do not have that compensated for by outraged MAGA people who become more likely to vote because this has happened.

Bruce:
[52:09]
Yeah. And if this was happening at the end of October rather than the end of May.

Sam:
[52:14]
Yeah. There's also lots of time to recover.

Bruce:
[52:16]
Yes. There's just five months, five months from now, people will be barely remembering this. It's, it's gotta be ancient history.

Sam:
[52:24]
Well, there are a few things like we're going to, the sentencing isn't until the middle of July. So we'll have a little boost there when sentencing happens.

Sam:
[52:34]
And then, of course, that will be immediately followed by the Republican convention, which will probably undo anything. They're like so close together, there won't even be any polling that can distinguish those two events. And then we might, we probably won't have actual trials for anything else, but also very likely in the beginning of July will be the Supreme Court's decision on presidential immunity, which after that decision, regardless of what happens to it, there will be developments in the DC trial. Like the trial won't start most likely, but there will be developments and things happening and things in the news about that trial. Now, whether any of those will break through to public consciousness, who knows? And I think, you know, I mentioned sentencing in July. I think a lot dependence depends on that too. Like if the judge does say, you know, probation, a fine and probation, then everybody's going to be like, well, that was a whole lot of nothing. Maybe he is a felon, but you know, he got a fine and probation, big fucking deal. Like, and you know, and I think anything short of, okay, he's actually in jail.

Sam:
[53:53]
Yeah, exactly. may have problems making a huge difference. Yeah. But again, you don't need a huge difference. You need a small difference to make, you know, like right now, I did an update on election graphs this last week.

Bruce:
[54:10]
I noticed that. I just saw that you finally got another block.

Sam:
[54:13]
Yeah, I've been running every couple months or so. I really need to get more frequent now that we're less than six months away from the election. But just to give the reference, on electiongraphs.com, on the 28th, on May 28th, I posted 162 days out as summer starts. And the bottom line on that is there has been a recent, just in the last week or two, movement towards Biden. But I don't know if it's a lasting movement. There were a couple of false starts, both in January and in March, where it looked like things were moving towards Biden and they went a couple percentage and then it reversed. So it's probably those might have just been noise. Now, this is so far a bigger move than that. But I still don't know. Is it like long lasting? Is it real? Or is it just like a blip and it's going to go back where it was? I just added right after the verdict today, like on election graphs, I do these little vertical lines on all my graphs of where sort of news events happen. And so I just added one for the verdict and in terms of will, do we see a movement in the polls?

Sam:
[55:29]
There's, first of all, I would not be surprised if there are snap national polls released as early as Friday of this week, tomorrow, as we're recording this of like an initial impression based on what happened with the verdict. But and there and you'll start getting some national polls right away because their new national report their new national polls released pretty much every day we'll probably get the first state polls that include the time frame after the verdict middle to end of next week but like, You won't have enough for the poll averages in all of the swing states to reflect post-verdict for probably a month.

Bruce:
[56:14]
Because you do averages of five, right?

Sam:
[56:17]
Yeah, I do last five poll averages. And in all the swing states right now, that generally has ranged anywhere from the last three weeks to get five polls to the last month and a half, depending on the state. But in another month we'll have an idea did this move poles at all but honestly at this point like i don't know i i want to feel like this has to hurt i mean how can it help but at the same time there are a lot of weird dynamics here he's being persecuted he's being persecuted exactly, there uh now and and him being persecuted is the kind of thing that gets you know there's a lot of analysis that's been posted over the last couple of months as well, related to a lot of the Donald Trump support is among people who did not vote in 2020. And so there's the question of, do you have a lot of people who are riled up, but actually won't turn up at the end? Or do you have actual people will turn up again because one of the things that happened in 2016 is donald trump got a whole bunch of people to vote who had not voted previously and who were not regular voters but they were excited by donald trump and so they were undercounted i don't know i i just don't know like so i don't know so yeah well.

Bruce:
[57:46]
Just just uh for listeners the the tldr is a couple weeks ago your uniform swing odds were.

Sam:
[57:56]
96.6%.

Bruce:
[57:58]
Chance for Trump to win and today it's 87 or 81.7% chance of Trump winning.

Sam:
[58:07]
The one important thing about those odds that you just gave as well that I pointed out in my blog post and elsewhere is that these are all if the election was today. You know, if the polls... Are like they are now on election day, then those are the odds because what I have on the site right now does not take into account at all how much things tend to change over time. And like right now, as of today, as of when we're recording, we are 158.9 days away from when polls start to close on election night. A lot can happen on that timeframe, including, hey, he just got convicted of a bunch of crap. So things may change. I have started and have begun work on the models necessary that actually take into account how much the polls usually shift when there are X number of days left.

Sam:
[59:11]
But honestly, in order to finish that, I need to have two or three days straight where I just work on that. And it's really hard to get time to do it. I I'm actually considering taking some actual time off later this month to finish that up. I have some data cleaning to do. Cause like, uh, right now I have all of my, I I've written all the scripts to do the calculations based on 2020 and 2016 data, but I really want to include 2012 and 20 and 2008 and 2008 data as well. But in 2016 and 2020, I had the election graphs website up and basically its current form. And I had all the data in easily digestible forms that I could run scripts on in 2008. And in 2012, I just had hand done Excel spreadsheets. So I have to go find that data, convert it into the right format, run my new scripts on it. And then after I've done all that, I have to, that gets me sort of the math that tells me like, uh, if it's X number of days until the election and the poll says this in a particular state, what are the chances of the Republican and Democrat winning?

Sam:
[1:00:26]
And then I have to run simulations on that. And then I have to make new graphs and charts. So there's, there's, there's a number, there's, there's a significant chunk of work I have to do to get that done. So like, I don't know when it's going to be done, But like, I feel like it's important because like, you know, people, people get hung up on those numbers and the whole thing.

Sam:
[1:00:48]
Well, the election's not today, so is this useless? And the answer, it's not useless. It tells you who's ahead or behind right now and how much work they have to do in order to change that.

Sam:
[1:01:04]
But it would be helpful to have something that says, you know, how much is it likely to actually change between now and election day? How accurate do things tend to be this far out? And the answer is there's a lot of wiggle room. If you've got states that are under 5%, 6% margin, there's a non-trivial chance they flip before Election Day in either direction this far out. Once you get to the last few weeks, it's a lot tougher to change the picture.

Bruce:
[1:01:39]
Unless there's an October surprise.

Sam:
[1:01:42]
Unless there's an October surprise. prize. Like in, in, in both 2016 and 2020, there were things that showed up just in the last week or two in the polls, you know, in both cases, the polls moved in the Republican direction in the last two or three weeks. And so we'll see, we'll see. I have to put all this stuff in and do all this stuff. But yeah, anyway, I, I didn't mean to do an election graphs rant. You, you, you led me to it.

Bruce:
[1:02:11]
Well, you needed to because you need to let everyone know about the, that's why I brought up the you got to later, you got a blog post up.

Sam:
[1:02:19]
Yeah, no, read the blog post for more, but I'm really interested to see what happens in the next couple of years. Two, three, four weeks of polls and whether we actually see a movement or not. Cause I think depending on what happens there, like if, if we see a movement towards Biden in the next month, I'll be like, okay, that, that finally makes some sense. I understand that if we actually see things move towards Trump in the next few weeks, I'll just throw my hands up in there and say, okay, he's winning. I don't know.

Bruce:
[1:02:52]
Yeah. Cause if, if this doesn't take them, then it's going to take something really big then.

Sam:
[1:02:56]
What will what you know.

Bruce:
[1:02:58]
Well yeah i well my my hope would be that biden will actually do something i mean i don't like either one of them and you know that the listeners should know that too uh but well.

Sam:
[1:03:12]
And and it's not just you like this is repeatedly in the polls like one of the problems in this whole election cycle is that almost everybody in both I shouldn't say almost everybody, but a significant group of people in both parties just wish, could we have two different people? Just not these two.

Bruce:
[1:03:35]
Please. Well, we're going to talk about one of them in just a few minutes. But my point was that if Biden could do something really significant before his election, like maybe end the Ukraine war or end the Israel-Hamas war.

Sam:
[1:03:53]
I don't think either of those are happening.

Bruce:
[1:03:55]
Yeah, I doubt he'd be able to. I mean, you'd think that he has the power. He's the leader of the most powerful country in the world, and he's been dumping all kinds of weapons in both those. You'd think that he could do something to end those. I think that would be significant enough to really shift the polls because people are not happy about either one of those wars.

Sam:
[1:04:16]
Well, yeah. I mean, honestly, it doesn't line up exactly, but Biden's big fall, the big move towards Trump, aligns pretty closely with the October incident in Israel. Like it like i said it doesn't line up exactly it looks like but it's it's close like there's definitely an effect there where.

Bruce:
[1:04:41]
Because because if you look at the plot there's a big shift in late what's this yeah you're right yeah it's like right at october early october it before then it was trump's chances were hovering around 65 percent and then it jumped up to 90 per.

Sam:
[1:05:05]
Yeah. You can, you can see the line. If you're looking at my charts, you can see there's a line for the Israeli Hamas war begins and it's right there where that movement is.

Bruce:
[1:05:15]
Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That's a good point. Interesting.

Sam:
[1:05:20]
And so, and you know, is that, is, is it really related to.

Bruce:
[1:05:25]
Oh, wait. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah. Yeah. You're right. That one.

Sam:
[1:05:29]
I mean, is it really like, cause when you look at like polls, like, yeah, there's a bunch of people who care about this issue, but it's not the number one issue for most people, but is it really, and usually international events aren't like a big deal in American elections really. It's all about the economy or social issues. In this case, we got abortion as a major issue. I guess that's a social issue. But it's usually domestic stuff that drives the agenda in presidential elections. So do you really have a big freaking move based on an international incident that only indirectly even involves us? Maybe. I mean, if people are blaming Biden for it, And also, the fact that this is aligned with when the Hamas attack happened makes me wonder, because Biden hadn't even had a chance to react to it yet at that point. So all the complaints about how Biden has handled it really are at least a little bit after that. You know, I don't know. But yeah, so I agree. If you ended one of the big international conflicts and Biden got credit for it, does that make a big difference? Maybe it does. But I really don't see either one of those conflicts ending before November.

Sam:
[1:06:56]
Probably not even in 2025, to be honest. It's going to go on a long time in both cases.

Bruce:
[1:07:03]
Yeah, yeah.

Sam:
[1:07:05]
And what else are the factors that could happen? I mean, you talk about the economy, and people all like poll after poll after poll say people think the economy sucks, whereas all the actual numbers say it's actually doing really well.

Bruce:
[1:07:20]
Yeah.

Sam:
[1:07:21]
So you can't say like what if happens if Biden, if something good happens in the economy, right? If something good already happened in the economy, he gets no credit.

Bruce:
[1:07:31]
Well, the thing that would be good in the economy would be for inflation to go back down below 2% that I think people would be. If he was able to get inflation down below 2% without their- Below.

Sam:
[1:07:43]
2% is actually really rare. But yeah, it could go down a little bit more. But the problem with this, and a number of surveys have also supported this, is that as much as you talk about what the inflation rate is, what gets mentally stuck in people's heads is not the inflation rate, it's prices. And people don't mentally start thinking like things are better as long as the price is still higher than it was. And you need negative inflation for that.

Bruce:
[1:08:14]
Yeah. And prices are not going to go back to what they were. There's no way. Yeah. Exactly. So, yeah, it's just because if inflation, people are having them in the back of their minds, unless they are, are smart, which most people aren't, when they think that inflation is going back down to zero, doesn't mean that prices go back down to what they were before. No.

Sam:
[1:08:40]
Now, prices have gone down in some specific areas, but that's not... And also certain prices, people don't like when they go down. If the price of your home goes down and you're already a homeowner, you're actually upset by that. Now, if you're in the market to buy one, you might be happy but like you know it anyway like yes certain prices have gone down but on the whole, it's actually a bad thing if prices overall go down you know people have also pointed out that if you know wage inflation is part of this too but like if if you get a raise at work you say oh it's because i'm awesome i deserve that rate whereas if the price of eggs goes up you're like god damn the economy is horrible whereas often cases your own like whether you get a raise or not is also very dependent on the economy but you know i mean not to say that you're You're not great, but you know, yeah. So I don't know. I mean, on the other hand, if, if something bad happened to the economy, Biden would get blamed instantly for that, you know, et cetera.

Bruce:
[1:09:57]
Um, but that has been holding it together for him. That's, um, I'm, I'm, I'm just amazed that we can have interest rates this high for this long and it not affect the economy. And it's just, just shows how resilient this, this economy is.

Sam:
[1:10:13]
Well, and they've, you know, it feels like they've actually learned a bunch on that, quote unquote, how to do this from the last few cycles where they've done stuff. And basically they're threading the needle to get the sort of mythical soft landing for where you bring inflation back down without having a recession, you know, et cetera, et cetera. It could still fall apart, but it's looking good so far. And, and I don't know if they'll be able to replicate it next time around, but I don't know. They've, they've learned some techniques. They're doing some things differently. There's, you know, and I don't know. They're doing a good job, I guess. Or they're lucky.

Bruce:
[1:10:55]
They did it very gradually. And so, yeah, all it takes is a black swan event and then. Then there's a crisis. But at least right now, they have now like bullets in the chamber, you could say, that if a crisis were to happen, they have a lot of runway to reduce interest rates down to zero if something were to happen. Right. And that would be a hugely stimulus for whatever could happen.

Sam:
[1:11:28]
And you mentioned if they solved the wars. There's also, of course, the possibility that either or both of those could escalate and get worse. Several countries in Europe have now said, and the US, it was reported today, has secretly given Ukraine the okay to use American weapons attacking the Russian homeland.

Bruce:
[1:11:53]
That's extremely dangerous.

Sam:
[1:11:55]
Dangerous in in areas right near the border not to attack moscow or something but the the u.s has said okay fine you can you can respond using american weapons to attacks on kharkiv and so yeah there's possibility of escalation now of course one of the ways to potentially end the war as you said would be a massive escalation just nato goes all in oh.

Bruce:
[1:12:20]
My gosh no that's that's the the end of humanity so don't even talk about that.

Sam:
[1:12:25]
Maybe maybe it'd be a risk you know uh too much yeah um so anyway just to wrap up trump and then we'll take a break and we'll do libertarians, we have the verdict like we probably will not get any of the other three trials at best one of the other three trials might start before the end of the year i think the possibilities of any of them ending before the end of year are gone and probably any of them starting before the certainly before the election probably before the end of the year you know as as yvonne said we don't really know what scotus is going to do on the immunity thing but my i suspect expect that they will do something that will guarantee that this doesn't happen before the election. That's my gut. That's what most people's gut is. Yvonne's the outlier on that one. So I think this is the one we've got. The rest may or may not happen in 2025. And I'm, Yeah. So we'll see what impact this one has and all of the other factors we were talking about.

Bruce:
[1:13:35]
And all eyes on the polls.

Sam:
[1:13:38]
All right. Well, you know, although like, you know, we talked about polls before, just the all eyes on the polls, except nobody has a lot of confidence in them right now, because, you know, in, in both 2016 and in 2020, they significantly underestimated the Republican Republican, this year, the last two times, it was the Republicans who were going, we're going to unskew the polls, and this is all the reasons they're wrong, and blah, blah, blah. This year, it's the Democrats talking like that, who are like, here are all the reasons that the polls are probably wrong. And I could rattle off a list of five or six reasons to doubt them or to think that they might be underestimating the Democrats this time. I talked about one of them already where like, hey, it looks like unlikely voters are overrepresented in a lot of these polls. But frankly, it's almost impossible to avoid sort of motivated reasoning in those situations where you don't like what they're saying, so you come up with reasons to not believe them.

Sam:
[1:14:48]
And maybe those reasons will turn out to be right. Maybe they won't. We won't know until the election's actually over. In the meantime, it's like, okay, well, you know, so yeah, I'm going to watch the polls because I do this election graph things and I find it fascinating. But a lot of folks are at the mindset now of like.

Sam:
[1:15:10]
The polls have been wrong so much that it's useless to pay attention to them. So I don't know. I think it's still useful to pay attention to them. But anyway.

Sam:
[1:15:22]
Okay, let's take a break. And then we will talk about the libertarians, the Libertarian Convention, Donald Trump at the Libertarian Convention, RFK at the Libertarian Convention, the internal divisions between, how do you say it, the Mises Institute?

Bruce:
[1:15:40]
Yeah, I'll get into it.

Sam:
[1:15:41]
And the other libertarians and who won, who lost, all this kind of stuff. We'll be into all of that right after this.

Break:
[1:15:55]
You're listening to this podcast. Do you like it? No! Do you want to support the show? No! Well, after you have subscribed to the show, followed us on Facebook, and told all your friends they should be listening to, what else can you do? I won't subscribe!

Break:
[1:16:16]
You can help fund our Patreon at patreon.com slash curmudgeonscorner. Patreon is a way you can throw us a few bucks a month to help out with the expenses of the show. You know, web hosting, equipment, a little bit of advertising to promote the show, and maybe every once in a while some much-needed sedatives for Yvonne. At different contribution levels, you can get a mention on the show, our Curmudgeon's Corner postcard, or even a Curmudgeon's Corner mug. Fun stuff. Not fun! In any case, the contributions help tell us that you enjoy and appreciate the show. I really, really hate Curmudgeon's Corner. Are we worth a buck a month? No! Five bucks a month? No! Or if you are nuts about us, maybe even more. One hundred billion! Billion dollars! Even though you don't have anywhere near a billion dollars. If we're worth anything to you at all, send it our way at patreon.com slash curmudgeon's corner. Alex hates. really really hate curmudgeon's corner that's really mean isn't it I hate curmudgeon's corner but I really do.

Sam:
[1:17:36]
Okay, there we are.

Bruce:
[1:17:37]
That's one of my favorites, actually.

Sam:
[1:17:41]
I really do need more breaks. It's just another one of those things that just takes time to do. So we've had the same 10 in rotation for a couple years now.

Bruce:
[1:17:50]
For years, I've been thinking, I need to come up with an ad for the Libertarian candidate and have you put it on the show or something.

Sam:
[1:18:03]
Thing yeah like uh you know we're looking if somebody out there has some spots that would be interesting and like you know are like there are a couple times i've put on things that are only good for a couple weeks but usually i like to have things that like once i put it in rotation let me leave it there for a decade right you know but i don't know anyway uh someday i'll have time there's at least one that i have in mind right now that wouldn't take me that much work but But even things that don't take that much work, it still requires like you to sit down and have time and like do whatever, you know? So anyway, so Bruce, what's going on with the libertarians?

Bruce:
[1:18:45]
Okay. The Libertarian Party is the nation's third largest party, has been for a very long time. And as you mentioned, Donald Trump spoke at the Libertarian Party. This is the first time that a leading party candidate has spoken at the LP convention. And I'm not sure it might even be the first time that the leading party candidate has spoke at any third party convention.

Sam:
[1:19:14]
I would imagine so.

Bruce:
[1:19:15]
So, but this, one thing that everyone should understand about the Libertarian Party is that it is a party based on a set of ideologies versus the other two major parties, which are just basically dividing the people on an arbitrary set of standards that people tend to congregate into.

Sam:
[1:19:44]
Well, they're ideological things.

Bruce:
[1:19:47]
Too.

Sam:
[1:19:48]
But they're complex coalitions of different interests to make them that big as well. So there's no purity on either side, really.

Bruce:
[1:19:57]
Oh, exactly. So what happens is you end up with libertarians are their own worst enemy when it comes to ideological purity. And so you have basically people are constantly conducting litmus tests on others and on candidates that they like or don't like. Like, oh, he's not really libertarian. That's not libertarian. And so you end up with degrees. Of course, libertarian philosophy is basically... It boils down to sides of government and how much freedoms do we have versus how much power does the government have. If you have – so there's a degree. There's some libertarians who are just small government people who would be happy if we were just abiding by the Constitution all the way to anarchists.

Sam:
[1:20:55]
Right. And the anarchist side is basically no government at all.

Bruce:
[1:21:00]
Exactly. And so that's one dimension of differentiation between libertarians. There's also the left libertarians and the paleo libertarians. And that is also called the Mises caucus, as in Ludwig von Mises, which is an Austrian economist.

Sam:
[1:21:21]
Which is also – to compare them, I mean we're talking left libertarian versus right libertarian essentially.

Bruce:
[1:21:30]
Yes, exactly.

Sam:
[1:21:31]
And a big part of that is also – there's these old political quizzes that try to put – instead of a left-right spectrum, you have one spectrum that's an economic scale and it's a social scale in terms of how much government intervention should be in each. And with the notion that the libertarians are in the corner with less intervention on both axes, whereas like, you know, traditionally, Republicans have been less intervention on economics, but more intervention on social, whereas Democrats have been more intervention on social, less on, wait, more, other way around, more economic, less social for the Democrats. But even within the libertarians, there are divisions in terms of like how much you really care about the social side versus it being a pure economic exercise.

Bruce:
[1:22:28]
Yeah. So there are two, having been a libertarian a long time, I've noticed that there are actually two issues that really divide that the left versus the right and within the libertarian party.

Sam:
[1:22:42]
Within the libertarians, yeah. Yeah.

Bruce:
[1:22:43]
And that is immigration and abortion.

Sam:
[1:22:47]
Right.

Bruce:
[1:22:48]
The left libertarians tend to be in favor of abortion rights and in favor of open borders.

Sam:
[1:22:57]
Right.

Bruce:
[1:22:57]
And just the opposite for the paleo libertarians. They are for anti-abortion and they want closed borders by really highly controlled. old. And it's now, which one am I? Well, I'm in between. I am, I am, I'm anti-abortion, but I'm also for open borders. So I don't feel like I fall in, in either one of these camps. So it's, so I'm, I'm fine with.

Sam:
[1:23:29]
You are a political orphan within a group of political orphans.

Bruce:
[1:23:34]
Yes, you could say that. You could say that. So getting to the LP convention, and what's interesting to note is that two years ago, the Mises Caucus, the paleo-libertarians, the more conservative libertarians, the more of the anarchists, they took over the party two years ago. Right. And the expectation was that they were going to get in their candidate. It was going to be Dave Smith, who is a podcaster, comedian, who's very well-spoken. He has a really, what would you call it, a laser tongue or whatever he is. Okay. He can speak very well. But he decided for some reason to not run. And there was another paleo libertarian, his professor, Michael Rechtenwald, who had taken on that mantle and he was expected to win because libertarians are controlled by the paleos and he solved that. But it turned out that the LP convention is not like the major party conventions engines where the candidate is known ahead of time. They don't even have- Well.

Sam:
[1:24:50]
Theoretically, the major parties could end up in this situation. It just hasn't happened in like 50 plus years.

Bruce:
[1:24:56]
Yeah. And they don't have primaries. So basically the delegates are- There are some actually.

Sam:
[1:25:02]
But yeah.

Bruce:
[1:25:03]
Yeah, at least not here. But yeah, so delegates are sent to the convention and they are, most of them, I believe, are uncommitted. They can vote forever they want. lot. And this is the type of party convention that you would love.

Sam:
[1:25:18]
Because it's complete chaos.

Bruce:
[1:25:20]
Because it's complete chaos and the outcome is not known and it's the delegates who are in control. And they did not select the candidate until the seventh ballot.

Sam:
[1:25:32]
Right.

Bruce:
[1:25:34]
And it turned out to be someone by the name of Chase Oliver. Now, Chase Oliver is actually a left libertarian. fame. He's a white 38-year-old gay guy from Atlanta. And his claim to fame was that he forced... He ran for Senate in the Georgia Senate race in 2022. And since he only got 2% of the vote, but that was enough to force a runoff in Georgia. And that was a big deal, So, uh, because I think, was it the, the guy who was the football player ended up losing Herschel Walker, Herschel Walker. Yeah. Yeah. I don't, I don't think too much about him, but, uh, so that's, so it's, so it's interesting.

Sam:
[1:26:24]
That was Warnock was the Democrat who actually ended up winning due to that. I I'm looking at the results of that right now in, in the, before the runoff Warnock Buck 49.44%, Walker 48.49%, Oliver 2.07.

Bruce:
[1:26:42]
Yeah. So he's running, and he's the one I will be voting for. I don't agree with everything he's for, but he's more libertarian than anybody else in the ballot, and so I'll be voting for him. So a lot of people may wonder, well, why would you vote for a third party? This is such a really close election, and you've got to vote for the lesser of two evils. And I've talked about this before. I actually looked it up. The first time I was on your show was episode 280, and we talked about the – it was in 2012, October 2012. And I talked about the strategic logic of voting third party, and I'll mention it again.

Sam:
[1:27:25]
Especially in a state that is not competitive. like Washington State.

Bruce:
[1:27:30]
Yeah, yeah. So I feel extra free to do it. But I voted Libertarian even in Florida in 2000 with the butterfly ballot. And that race was decided by just a few hundred votes in a state with like, what, 20 million people? And so the logic, the reason why I feel like it's important to vote for third party is that, And for the loser of that election, if the libertarians can be the difference between the winner and loser and split the vote, kind of like what Chase Oliver did in Georgia and what will likely happen in this election, is that the loser will look and say, dang it, I want those votes. I'm going to try to get those votes, and that will try to move that candidate in a more of a libertarian direction.

Sam:
[1:28:29]
Do you think that happened in Georgia?

Bruce:
[1:28:32]
No, but I want to give an example of where it is happening.

Sam:
[1:28:37]
Okay.

Bruce:
[1:28:38]
Donald Trump spoke to libertarians. Right. And he asked for their vote because he knows that the Libertarians typically get 3% of the vote and that if he were able to get some of that 3%, he would win. And so that was enough of incentive for him to go and speak. And he gave a speech. That was very good speech, actually. From a libertarian perspective, he gave point after point. He said all the things you wanted to hear? Yeah. Not all the things I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear about slashing government and slashing taxes. Well, he did talk about slashing taxes, but shrinking the size of government, but no. And about medical freedom, and he's Mr. Lockdown, and he created the vaccine and all that stuff.

Sam:
[1:29:32]
The one good thing he did, but go ahead.

Bruce:
[1:29:38]
He listed off a whole bunch of libertarian-ish things that he has accomplished. He even promised to free Ross Ulbricht, who is the creator of Silk Road, who was, in me and many libertarians' views, unjustly imprisoned for, I think he's in there for life, for basically creating a cryptocurrency marketplace where people could buy and sell things using Bitcoin. And so Trump said that he would free Ross Ulbricht on day one and that he would put a libertarian on the cabinet. And so there were a lot of people who booed him, and I think it was good for people to see on the news that libertarians were booing Donald Trump because we could see.

Sam:
[1:30:28]
Well, because there was actually some talk, which turned out to be completely unfounded, that there might actually be some support for him there, that the libertarians had moved enough to that side of things that they'd be swayed by Donald Trump and would do something. And no, not at all.

Bruce:
[1:30:48]
No. Well, you can imagine the type of libertarian who would actually go to the convention is not your typical libertarian, but yes. They are, they boot him. They, they saw right through his BS.

Sam:
[1:31:04]
And cause I was going to say like, he may have given that speech, but how much of it do you actually believe? Like in terms of his promises?

Bruce:
[1:31:10]
Oh yeah. I mean, if, if it hadn't been anybody else giving that speech, if it had been just some unknown guy, I'd be like, all right, I'm booked for this guy. All right. Heck yeah. And I mean, but still to have someone who is the front runner in this election, sorry Sorry to say it, but he is right now. To be speaking to libertarians and promising things, that is a result of libertarians using this strategy of voting for their candidates and being that pool of voters standing for a set of issues and swaying those politicians. Maybe if it's just for a few things in our direction, it's the least that we can do to get it. Otherwise, we'd get nothing.

Sam:
[1:32:04]
You're going to get nothing anyway, Bruce, just to be clear.

Bruce:
[1:32:08]
Hey, if Ross Ulbricht gets set free, it'll be worth it.

Sam:
[1:32:13]
Even if Donald Trump gets elected, he will have forgotten that promise. And oh, not only that, like since he was booed, he'll do the opposite just out of spite.

Bruce:
[1:32:25]
Yeah, maybe right. Maybe right. We'll see. But, but yeah, that's, that was, you know, he was, Biden was abided too, but Biden didn't come to speak. Kennedy, he was actually nominated and he got 2% of the delegates, but he lost in the first round.

Sam:
[1:32:44]
Yeah, he got 19 votes out of 919. Trump, I believe, he did not submit the necessary paperwork for it to count, but he did get like one or two votes or something stupid like that. But anyway.

Bruce:
[1:33:01]
And Vivek Ramaswamy also spoke. I didn't see his speech, but I heard that he gave a good speech there.

Sam:
[1:33:08]
And also, just one additional story. Apparently, Kennedy gave out squeaky rubber chickens for people to use during the Trump speech, but the Secret Service confiscated them before Trump came on.

Bruce:
[1:33:27]
Well good for kennedy that was good good idea yeah you know well if it wasn't you know if it wasn't if i wasn't a libertarian on the ballot i'd probably vote for kennedy because at least i think that he'd be more anti-war he's.

Sam:
[1:33:43]
Such a quack but okay yeah.

Bruce:
[1:33:45]
Yeah i'm sure yeah but yeah Yeah, when it comes to, like I said, I don't like either Biden or Trump. If you put a gun to my head and say, who do you prefer? I really would have a hard time because on one hand, I'd love to see Trump stick it to the lips and see... The meltdown on the left. And I also think that there would be a better chance of Trump negotiating an end to the Ukraine war, which is the most dangerous thing to humanity right now. On the other hand, strategically- Just to be clear.

Sam:
[1:34:28]
His negotiated end would be basically Ukraine give up all the territory Russia has already taken and just freeze the lines and make that official. He's pretty much explicitly said that and it's been rejected. by both sides but yeah.

Bruce:
[1:34:42]
Well not by the russians well no the russians.

Sam:
[1:34:47]
Want more than that but yes yes.

Bruce:
[1:34:48]
But that would be fine with me but anyway if on the other hand i would i biden would be good to win because the best hope for liberty in my perspective is for there to be a divided government because it looks like the republicans are going to take over the or continue control of the House and take over the Senate. If that's the case.

Sam:
[1:35:13]
The last thing we want. I don't know about the House. I think it's almost certain that they take the Senate. I think they probably lose the House. Oh, really? But either way, you get your division.

Bruce:
[1:35:22]
Yeah, yeah. So a gridlock is best in my mind. Because when you end up with one party in power, if Trump wins and has control of the House and Senate, it, it's going to be bad news for a lot of things. I don't think the Republicans, I don't think, I think a lot of people, it's always happened in the past where, oh, great. The, you know, one party, you know, the Republicans are finally in control or the Democrats are finally in control or finally going to be able to pass our agenda. And no, because then the priority, instead of passing the agenda, becoming the priority, the priority is to maintain the power. Once they get the power. They want to maintain the power.

Sam:
[1:36:07]
Well, as a lover of the status quo, I mean, the, the, our system is specifically set up to make it hard to move forward fast, no matter what. And the biggest factor in that right now is the filibuster, which basically says you, you don't in, and again, they could get rid of the filibuster or with a simple majority if there was the willpower to do that. But there are a lot of reasons that people are hesitant to that. But with it in place, you don't just need a majority. You need to control the presidency, the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, and have a super majority in the Senate to actually be able to just run with an agenda the way you said. In the absence of that, there's compromise at every level that has to happen.

Bruce:
[1:37:00]
Well, thank goodness for the filibuster in my mind. I like slowing things down. It's good for me. But yeah, that's how I'm going to vote for Chase Oliver. Chase Oliver for president.

Sam:
[1:37:18]
So just real quick, backing up. Oliver versus Rechtenwald, who were the final two. Although Raiden was actually the final one that Oliver was up against.

Bruce:
[1:37:29]
None of the above.

Sam:
[1:37:30]
Yeah, sorry. None of the above was the last one he was up against. Because if none of the above had won, the libertarians would officially have run nobody. And none of the above ended up with 37% of the vote at the convention in the final ballot, by the way.

Bruce:
[1:37:49]
That just shows you the split between the left libertarians and the paleos.

Sam:
[1:37:56]
So, but what's like, this division is likely to continue. And you said you were sort of homeless and neither one of them was where you sit. But just within the libertarians between sort of the Oliver types and the Mises Institute folks, are you happier that Oliver won? Or did you feel neutral about that?

Bruce:
[1:38:25]
You know, I really have not studied the positions of Rechtenwald or Oliver, so I really didn't know. I'm not sure. It really depends on what Rechtenwald's position is on immigration. If he was open borders, then yeah, I definitely would be in favor of him.

Sam:
[1:38:47]
Well, just from how you defined these two groups, he's not, right? Right?

Bruce:
[1:38:52]
Yeah, but there are definitely overlaps. Yeah, there's some people who associate with the Mises caucus, but are for open borders. So it's hard to know. But I don't really care. It's like I don't have a dog in this fight. I just want whoever is going to be the best communicator. And from what little I've seen of Chase Oliver, I think he is more of an effective communicator.

Sam:
[1:39:24]
So well and also i'll tell you like from a non-libertarian point of view he seems less insane.

Bruce:
[1:39:37]
Good good well then he's probably the better choice.

Sam:
[1:39:40]
You know and the fact that you know oh okay he's a gay guy he's he prioritizes the liberty on some of the social issues are important to him To me, I used to identify more with the libertarians and the libertarian philosophy, but what turned me all the way off of it was the emphasis on the economic stuff and people that seemed to actually not really care about the social stuff. They just gave it lip service, whereas the social stuff was what actually mattered to me. That's what I care the government stays out of my business. I couldn't care less about the economic side, which is why I'm more on the liberal side now than a libertarian. But between the left libertarians and the right libertarians, the left libertarians, I'm like, okay, that makes sense to me. The right libertarians, I'm like, you guys are a bunch of assholes. Yeah. But yeah. But honestly, though, in the current scenario, I suspect the libertarians are not going to have a great performance even compared to their usual performance.

Bruce:
[1:40:51]
No, probably not. I think the real problem is it's a problem. They need to elect a candidate much earlier. In previous elections, there has been a presumptive candidate. Harry Brown, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, who were people who had a name and a reputation outside of the Libertarian Party. When they ran, then they could actually be running for president for the whole year. What the Libertarian Party needs to do is they need to move their convention to November, one year before the actual general election. That way they can have a already selected candidate who is out there running for an entire year. It would be yeah outside of that there are some big names libertarians who could actually be a presumptive candidate but they didn't decide to run this year.

Sam:
[1:41:58]
Well well you know i'm not sure the timing is the big issue i think and just look i'm looking at a graph right now of libertarian performance since they were founded in 1972 yeah their peak performance was in 2016 with gary johnson yeah and five percent three and a quarter it looks like i thought.

Bruce:
[1:42:21]
It was five okay.

Sam:
[1:42:22]
In a quarter um but and with a little bit more than four million votes and i'll tell you what the thing with gary johnson is he was a well-known established politician who had actually held office and been well liked in those offices before.

Bruce:
[1:42:40]
He was governor of New Mexico.

Sam:
[1:42:42]
He was governor of New Mexico. And he, you know, he was a little quirky, but he was well known. He seemed like not that far from the mainstream. And, you know, people could look at him and say, he's got a track record. I understand where he's coming from. And he also specifically, he was like, yeah, I'm libertarian. And I believe in these things, but I don't agree with all the crazies behind me in the party. They're off the wall and they're, and you can get more support that way. What doesn't work is nominating complete unknowns with no track record who have never held office. And I know like, and one of the things that's been said before is like, if you really want to run for president, you, you build up your bench first, you get some people who've run one locally, and then you get some people in Congress, and then you get some senators, and then maybe some governors, and then you work your way up, and then you get that track record. And I feel like in the absence of a complete party collapse from one of the major parties where you have to have one replaced because that's the way our system works, you have to sort of build things up in that way. Like every time you get just these nobodies and, and before like Ron, Ron Paul was the biggest one before that. And he also had a record as a Congressman, as a Republican Congressman.

Sam:
[1:44:11]
And so I think that kind of history where you can point to, I'm not just a random crank, but I actually know how to do stuff. I've done it before. I've got a record. That's when you get a little bit more traction. I think that makes a lot more difference than the timing issues. Of course, the problem with that is that doesn't jive with the people who are really, truly ideologically pure. Yeah.

Bruce:
[1:44:42]
And that's what the problem I said, where you have the ideological test that everyone has and not calling them truly libertarian. And yeah, a lot of people on the paleo side didn't like Gary Johnson and especially did not like his VP candidate, Bill Weld, who was also a former governor. But you got to say, he's got a track record. The important thing, it's this... Let me tell you a secret, the libertarian's never going to win. Okay? I know that. Everybody knows that.

Sam:
[1:45:30]
Shocker.

Bruce:
[1:45:30]
The purpose of the Libertarian Party running a candidate is not to get someone elected. It's so that they can have someone who will get on the media, get interviewed by 60 Minutes, or get on the news channels, and so that people can hear those ideas.

Sam:
[1:45:50]
Well, you know, the thing is, though, if you actually wanted to advance that agenda, the way to do it is not any of that. It's to elect people who aren't even close to ideologically pure, but agree with you in some key issues and get them in office and promoting those particular issues that you care about. They may not be ideologically pure across the board, but maybe they agree with you on issue X and actually in office, they can push that in, push things in that direction. And that's how you, if you actually care about like wanting to move policy in the direction that you're talking about running third party candidates is not the way to get there. It's to try to influence policy from within the existing parties.

Bruce:
[1:46:43]
Well, it's a multi-product approach. There are definitely libertarians who are working on setting the policy agenda. There's the Cato Institute and there's other think tanks out there. There's magazines, there's podcasts, there's – All.

Sam:
[1:47:02]
I'm saying is the way you move things, you look at the progressive caucus and the Democrats. The AOCs and the Bernie Sanders and all of those folks, they have a very different set of positions than the mainstream Democrats, but they are moving the Democrats in their direction from within and they're doing it effectively.

Bruce:
[1:47:26]
Well, yes. Within the Republican Party, there is a Republican Liberty Caucus. And when I was active in the Republican Party, I tried to get that to work, but it was just, there's just no way in a local level. Well, first of all, the normal everyday Republican party activists locally, it made me sick to even interact with them because I just couldn't stand the things that they believed in. Right. And so, you know, we agree in some things wholeheartedly, but the few things that we disagreed with, it was just.

Sam:
[1:48:08]
Things that really mattered to you.

Bruce:
[1:48:10]
Oh my gosh. Yeah. So it's, yeah. So yeah, it's, it's hard. So yeah, all those things that you're saying, libertarians and various stripes are trying to do different things. Some, and so it's not, it's not any one strategy. It's everything.

Sam:
[1:48:30]
Right. So my, my guess is they're back under 1% this year.

Bruce:
[1:48:37]
We'll see.

Sam:
[1:48:39]
Yeah. Cause if, if, if nothing else, like the people who are just like, I'm pissed off. I don't like either of the two major candidates are going for Kennedy.

Bruce:
[1:48:48]
Yeah. Well, yeah, that's true. That's the protest vote. And more power to them. So what do you think would be, if you were to add up all the third parties together, what percentage do you think those will get?

Sam:
[1:49:04]
Well, right now, in most states, if you add up all the third parties, including – and the libertarians haven't been in most of the state-level polls, and when they are, they get like one – Well.

Bruce:
[1:49:19]
It's because we don't have a candidate yet. Well, yeah.

Sam:
[1:49:21]
There were a bunch of polls with Mapstead who got eliminated in the second or third ballot, I forget which, in the Libertarian Convention. Let me make sure I will get that fact since I had that in front of me. Of course, I closed the window. It doesn't matter. Of course, now that I've said it, it matters. Damn it. Mapstead was eliminated after the fourth round. So Mapstead has been in a couple of polls. I found Oliver was in one poll of Texas a couple months ago, and he was at like 1% or something. But if you add up, typically Kennedy is getting 8% to 10%. Sometimes he goes a little bit above 10%. And I've seen as high as 12 or 15. It depends on the state. Let's call it 10 for Kennedy. Stein and West, between them, depending on the state as well, sometimes West gets more, sometimes Stein gets more. But if you add up their two votes, it's usually around 4%. And then anybody else is one. So we're at about 15% between all the third parties.

Bruce:
[1:50:34]
Wow. That's approaching Ross Perot territory.

Sam:
[1:51:04]
Right now. I predict by the time we get to election day, that's down to 10. And they probably add up all the third parties, you're probably between 5% and 10%, which is still a relatively high number and possibly enough to make the difference in a bunch of states.

Bruce:
[1:51:21]
Once the last time that's been around that territory, it would be, you'd have to be like 96 with Ross Perot's second election, right?

Sam:
[1:51:30]
Yeah, I think it's typically been below five, like all in.

Bruce:
[1:51:36]
And I think that's indicative because a lot of people are just fed up with having these, both Biden and Trump. So it will be the protest vote.

Sam:
[1:51:45]
Yeah, and of course that assumes that all of them are still there by the time we get to November. There's always the chance that, you know.

Bruce:
[1:51:52]
They could drop out.

Sam:
[1:51:53]
Well, yeah. I mean, I was more thinking any of them could die. Why? I mean, Kennedy, Trump, and Biden are all kind of up there and all have their- Well.

Bruce:
[1:52:06]
Kennedy is very fit. If Kennedy were to die or if he were killed, oh my gosh.

Sam:
[1:52:13]
Kennedy was on some interview. I forget if it was 60 Minutes or somewhere else. I heard him on an interview. No, it was on Ari Melber on MSNBC. He sounded horrible. And I'm not talking what he was saying i'm talking about like physically how he sounded oh.

Bruce:
[1:52:30]
Yeah well that's that's his voice has been like that for years.

Sam:
[1:52:34]
I mean, Biden sounds old, and he is. Donald Trump sounds confused, and he sometimes is. Kennedy sounded like he could keel over at any instant when I heard that interview. I don't know. Maybe it's just the way his voice sounds. And there are scenarios where they don't have to die. There could be all kinds of issues that could cause a last-minute health problem or something like that. I did hear some people speculating after Trump's legal issues today that, hey, the Republicans still have a chance to dump him. And I'm like, oh, come on.

Bruce:
[1:53:14]
No, no way.

Sam:
[1:53:15]
No, no. That's not happening. But, you know, all kinds of oddball events can happen. You can never discount something unexpected happening. But I'm pretty sure we'll end up with the people we see today are the people we're going to have in November. And there's still, though, in polling, there's still a significant chunk of people, even now, who don't believe it and who still think it's not going to be Biden versus Trump in the end. And it's like, I'm sorry, people. That's what it is.

Bruce:
[1:53:56]
Yeah yeah wow okay it'll be very interesting any.

Sam:
[1:54:00]
Last thoughts bruce before i go to like all the stuff at the end.

Bruce:
[1:54:04]
No that's uh just like i said vote chase oliver he's the best choice for america and he will he will be the he's he's a nice young guy 38 years old how awesome would would that be?

Sam:
[1:54:21]
Good luck with that.

Bruce:
[1:54:23]
Half the age of both of them. Yes.

Sam:
[1:54:27]
Okay. Well... Let's wrap this sucker up then. As usual, the stuff at the end, go to curmudgeons-corner.com. You can see all our archives the last year or so with transcripts. You can find out all the ways to contact myself and Yvonne, Facebook, email, Mastodon. Bruce, how would you like to be contacted if somebody wants to get in touch with you? You can always say, contact me and I'll relay it.

Bruce:
[1:54:55]
No, I am on X under BYU fan.

Sam:
[1:54:59]
Still hanging in there how is that.

Bruce:
[1:55:01]
These days.

Sam:
[1:55:01]
By the way is it good again oh.

Bruce:
[1:55:03]
It's fine i i look at it every day although i stopped subscribing to it because yeah i paid eight dollars a month, and i i'm still seeing ads i'm just i don't see any and so i just stopped paying the richest man in the world yeah okay so and i see no difference i see no benefit to i'm.

Sam:
[1:55:27]
Obviously not honored at all myself, but from what I've heard second or third hand, it's sort of leveled off. There were, there, there were a lot of issues and people complained and a lot of people left, but then things have sort of stabilized and Elon's back backed off from some of the things that just didn't work and has adjusted and things are sort of more stable now.

Bruce:
[1:55:49]
But I think it's great. I think you're missing a lot. Uh, come, come in at the, the water's nice and comfortable.

Sam:
[1:55:56]
Yeah no i i don't miss it i'm not coming back i i'm on mastodon and i'm on threads i don't i don't post on threads but i check in there to people i'm subscribed to that haven't yet shared turned on the setting to share with mastodon but because not enough people have clicked that setting yet but anyway because it's not complete yet it's only one way it's weird like when they finish the feature, maybe more people will. I don't know. Anyway, you can find all the ways to contact us. You can contact Bruce as well. And importantly, you can go to our Patreon to donate cash money to us because that's always fun for us. And at various levels, we'll send you a postcard. We'll send you a mug. We'll mention you on the show, all that sort of stuff. And at $2 a month or more, or... If you just ask us nicely. Oh yeah, Bruce is showing, you guys listening can't see, but he is showing his Curmudgeon's Corner mug. It is a nice mug. You should get one. And at $2 a month or more, we will invite you to our Curmudgeon's Corner Slack where Yvonne and I and a whole bunch of other people, including sometimes Bruce, you've been on there a little bit less lately than you used to be, but.

Bruce:
[1:57:11]
Yeah, well, that's because at my last job, I communicated with everybody in the company through slack so i.

Sam:
[1:57:18]
Was so.

Bruce:
[1:57:19]
The coverage recorder convergence quarter channel was just one click away so i i was i had it open.

Sam:
[1:57:25]
All day long every day but.

Bruce:
[1:57:27]
Now at my current company they don't use slack which is like so i know that's like back to email oh i can't stand email.

Sam:
[1:57:35]
Yeah we we use slack at my company now too so i'm in the same scenario i've got one tab for convergence quarter one tab for work and i'm flipping back and forth between them through the day whenever i see an alert come up that somebody said something so but yeah join us on the conventions corner slack it's it's a lot of fun and we we share news stories we chat we do all that kind of stuff bruce i don't know if you have a highlight from the slack you want to give if not i have one uh no.

Bruce:
[1:58:05]
I have not really been catching up but since i've been on the show this week i will be checking in more so that i for any feedback that comes in from the show.

Sam:
[1:58:17]
Okay. If anybody is on the Slack and has feedback for Bruce, just say so in the Slack. He'll be watching for it.

Bruce:
[1:58:24]
Yeah.

Sam:
[1:58:25]
I will highlight one. It was from the random channel that Yvonne posted lately. And this is just stupid, funny, whatever. And I'd seen things like this before. I don't know if this one's come around before for or whether it's an actual new one but it was going all around social media and i swear i'd seen this before but maybe i just saw a similar one anyway it was a it's it's a zoom video of a court hearing where you know there's a court hearing for the the the suspect or whoever he is has a suspended driver's license and he calls into the zoom from his car while driving driving. And the judge is just like, excuse me, are you driving? You have a suspended license, right? Okay, this hearing is done. You're going back to jail. And the guy's like, oh, man, I screwed up.

Bruce:
[1:59:35]
So dumb.

Sam:
[1:59:36]
People are so stupid. And first of all, you shouldn't be driving on a suspended license anyway, duh. But if you are going to do so, you do not zoom call into your hearing with the judge about your suspended license while you're driving.

Bruce:
[1:59:57]
Yeah, that's kind of dumb. Yeah.

Sam:
[2:00:01]
Okay, that's it. So just, hey, Bruce, thank you for joining us again and picking up in the end. Yvonne is out again next week. I will send out another email to our usual group of people minus the last three people who have done it to get variety to look for a co-host. But if you're listening and you want to be a co-host, contact us. If you're brand new and I've never heard from you before in any way, shape, or form, I might not say yes. But, you know, hey, make contact anyway, you know. And if you are a listener who just isn't on those other lists and hasn't been around and you're interested, just let me know. No, we will probably record Thursday or Friday night next week, U.S. time. Just let us know if you're interested. We would love to have somebody new.

Bruce:
[2:00:48]
It's fun.

Sam:
[2:00:49]
As long as you're not crazy. If you're completely crazy, you know, whatever.

Bruce:
[2:00:54]
No one crazy would listen to your podcast.

Sam:
[2:00:57]
No, no, no. dog. There, there was, there is one person who co-hosted once who is just ended up being like toxic enough. I have not invited them back, you know, but not just because of what they said on the podcast, but also like I follow them on social media and they're out there, they're out there on a whole bunch of things. And I'm just like, Nope, no need to encourage that again. So anyway, Anyway, with that said, hey, everybody, stay safe. Have a great week. Thank you again, Bruce.

Bruce:
[2:01:31]
Anytime.

Sam:
[2:01:32]
We will talk to everybody again next week. I'm sure there'll be more news. But this trial's out of the way, so I don't know what the big news next week will be. Anyway, here we go. Bye, everyone. Say bye, Bruce.

Bruce:
[2:01:47]
All right, bye.


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