” CNN Democratic Primary Debate – Quasi-Statistical Selection, Quasi-Stellar Performance ” – July 30, 2019.
Pre-debate exercise by the CNN team comprising the twin firsts of : (a) a statistical random selection process for the podium position of candidates on the two nights ; and (b) pattern of questions avoiding ‘one word’ or ‘raise your hands’ responses from the candidates made the Debate interesting besides revealing quite a bit about the well performing candidates in this group.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) ; Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) ; Gov Steve Bullock ; Author Marianne Williamson ; Rep John Delaney (Maryland) ; Rep Tim Ryan (Ohio) ; Gov John Hickenlooper (Colorado) ; Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) ; Former Rep Beto O’Rourke (Texas) ; Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, Indiana) were the 10 candidates on stage tonight.
CNN’s Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper moderated the event.
Healthcare, Immigration, Gun Violence, Beating Trump, Climate Change, Racism, Economy, and Foreign Policy were the topics covered in this debate.
Here it is from my perspective the Chief point(s) on the (a) performance of the candidates, and (b) issues discussed and supported :
1. Issues discussed and supported : Healthcare : Alternative to Medicare for All with some changes enabling Americans to make a personal choice about healthcare and options wins in this debate going by the numbers suggesting the view on stage tonight. Immigration : Decriminalization of those crossing the border didn’t get majority support in the Debate. Gun Violence : Taking the NRA head-on had the support of a majority in this group on this issue. Beating Trump : Real solutions and not promises ; courage and resolve to fight ; Campaign of energy, endurance, and a vision ; get this election record the highest voter turnout – were the ideas mooted to beat Trump in this election by the group in this debate. Climate Change : Generally accepted as an existential crisis by all; GND finding already two opponents in John Delaney and John Hickenlooper ; Formulation of a Green Industrial Policy with $ 2 Trillion for innovation research and to gain 1.2 million new jobs in Green Manufacturing by Elizabeth Warren – Bring everyone in this solution, and bring every suggestion into effect is the ultimate consensus on this issue. Racism in America : Not just tolerance and respect but embracing everyone ; Core values, an agenda that represents everyone ; Calling out white supremacists for who they are and what it is (domestic terrorism) ; Community participation and community voicing ; economic opportunity for all ; from hurting to healing – are some ideas that emerged. Economy : Making manufacturing stronger ; engaging allies in trade policy without isolating oneself ; new comprehensive trade plans, negotiations with unions, small businesses, human rights personnel at the table – are some suggestions mooted. Foreign Policy : International diplomatic approach and coming to terms with differences to achieve peace is the general consensus.
2. Performance of the Candidates : Bernie Sanders : Spoke effectively and confidently to the voters through this opportunity on all issues. Expected to do better with change in style and substance of answers in the ensuing debates.
Elizabeth Warren : Her approach to state a sort of a thesis before arguing is really a winning approach. She should be extremely satisfied.
Pete Buttigieg : Argued with facts and made his position clear even while disagreeing early. He scored very well.
Amy Klobuchar and Tim Ryan : Spoke slowly and clearly on every issue holding composure while being precise on their respective positions.
Beto O’Rourke, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, and Steve Bullock : Leaned heavily on their experiences and their initiatives during their helm and in personal lives be it on Healthcare, Climate Change, Economy, Education, Immigration …
Marianne Williamson : Spoke astutely with an excellent understanding of the topics. Her single critical point is that, “rather than discussing and being worried about systems, we should be worried about the causes” will be revealing to the Democratic Party. On gun violence she pleaded for ‘constitutional amendment, proper legislation, and public funding for federal fin’ as what Democratic Party should do. For Reparations she advocated ‘truth telling’ and a 200 to 500 billion dollar amount. She is the real winner in this debate.
The most powerful phrase came from John Delaney : He recounted what John F Kennedy said ” We should not seek the Republican answers; we should not seek the Democrat’s answers; we should seek the right answers” to all our challenges and problems. ‘Restore vision, unity, leadership, and decency’ is his call at this moment. ‘Real solutions and not just promises’ constitutes his byword. He made his presence felt definitely in this group tonight.
Conclusion : With nobody taking the spotlight, with nobody making great statements of value , with nobody intervening aggressively or aiming to distract the opponents from one another’s stance – the Debate overall may not have excited many, but must have definitely and pleasantly awakened the viewers and listeners.
“Dieu avec nous”
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 – 9.49 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Democrats want to be the Party of Big Structural Change. Come 2021, you’ll see Real Change ” – Elizabeth Warren.
” CNN’s Yours Creatively, Fairly, and Transparently for Democratic Debates July 30 and 31 ” – July 18, 2019.
The Democratic Presidential bid field is the most diverse possible now expanding the scope for comprehending and considering a range of topics of interest from the candidates in debates. It has also made the debate matter more for the US citizens. There are now 20 candidates overall in the Democratic bid.
CNN has scheduled its Democratic Primary Debate on July 30 & 31.
CNN is also keen to avoid any bias that may reflect poorly in the conduct of the Debate. To avoid this, it has enlisted as its goal to have recourse to a creative, fair, and transparent process of a sampling strategy, hitherto unadopted, perhaps, in US Election History.
For the two days of debate, CNN applies a “draw” based on random choices to fix the candidates to a particular day. The process is simple :
1. Make two sets of matching cards – the candidate cards and the date cards. Put them in a box, the candidate cards in one box and the date cards in the other.
2. Mix the cards well, see figure below :
3. Stir them well in the box, see figure below :
4. Take one candidate card and one date card to be placed on the board. See figure below:
The action continues till all the candidate cards and date cards are matched.
The whole sequence of actions is repeated in three stages ; first for 10 sets of cards ; then for 6 sets of cards ; and finally for 4 sets of cards. This is the only step that can be taken to be subjective but affording, nevertheless, a fair method to place the candidates in either of the groups based on their popularity as at present.
Superiority of the process lies in the following :
1. Random choice with a lottery method has been used to fix the candidates for either of the two days ; it eliminated sample bias, though usually difficult to achieve because of effort taken ; it afforded every candidate an equal chance of getting selected for one of the two days ; it is a process that helped build “fairness” within the selection.
2. It did not, however, take into consideration : (a) the ideology, position of candidates on issues, (b) inherent interest of any candidate to counter another candidate in the Debate, (c) not being reflective of the support that any candidate amassed uptil now, and (d) influence of a candidate’s answer to another candidate in the Debate process as a whole.
3. The final groups selected, however, represent the entire array of issues of interest to the US citizens in the General Election and to that extent it is fairly inclusionary. A commendable effort.
The figures below represent the candidates thus selected and assigned to the two days of the debates , July 30 & 31. Their podium order is also seen clearly.
These are my concluding points :
1. Based on the parameters considered, CNN’s choice of random sampling has been effective with good potential to script the desired questions and elicit answers that most US citizens would benefit from.
2. The Debate is expected to give an opportunity to candidates to redefine their positions and make amends for their mistakes in their first debate in June.
3. The Debate gives an opportunity to the candidates to prove that he/she can take on Donald Trump better in the General Election.
CNN has done the initial testing well; it will be interesting to see if the questions posed in the Debate and the views and ideas from the candidates helping US citizens to deduce a clear picture in respect of each candidate will be met, matching the testing process ultimately.
” Dieu avec nous “
Friday, July 19, 2019 – 8.59 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit :. ” Statistics are like alienists ; they’ll testify for either side.” – FH La Guardia.
Inspired by the Bastille Day in France, US President Donald Trump personally orchestrated and spearheaded the ‘Fourth of July’ event with a military display, major fireworks display, entertainment including music from military bands and military flyovers, and an address by him constituting the chief events. That these festivities took place on the National Mall and not on the White House lawns is significant. US Navy’s flight demonstration team, “Blue Angels”, and the plane used as Air Force One also flew over the National Mall.
Tanks and other armoured vehicles were on display for the event but they did not parade along the Pennsylvania Avenue. It is, nevertheless, a celebration of the military too on Independence Day.
” It was a spectacular event full of positive energy.”
President Donald Trump has probably taken a leading role in the American Independence Day celebration true to Alexander Hamilton’s suggestion that the President of USA take a leading role in celebrating America’s Independence. Alexander Hamilton was the nation’s first treasury secretary and the right hand man of George Washington, the first President of USA.
” Honor the Military, and Celebrate America “, the twin themes of the party propounded by Alexander Hamilton was fully evident and satisfying throughout President Donald Trump’s speech.
Figure below depicts the three elements of the President’s Speech Triad :
Patriotism and Unity ; Military might ; and American Leadership were the key elements in line with the Fundamentals of the American Democracy that espouses (a) Protecting the Country ; (b) American Leadership ; and (c) Improving the Quality of Life of Citizens by creating opportunities for people in all socioeconomic groups to achieve their dreams.
” (1) America is an exceptional nation ; it is stronger today than ever before ; (2) Americans like freedom ; and noone will ever take it away from us ; (3) Spirit runs through the veins of every patriot ; (4) American innovative breakthroughs by Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Wright brothers made strides in shaping the American growth ; (5) We’ll plant American flag in Mars soon ; (6) American Police, ICE, Border Patrol, Law Enforcement personnel, Firefighters, Military Service Members, Gold Star Families and others playing in all actions is important and indicative of courage, patriotism, and foresight ; and (7) the most significant and newfangled idea of the President’s “Space Force” – a distinctive characteristic of American creative spirit and ingenuity marked the points that the President highlighted in his speech.
General Conclusions :
1. It was a precise and a compelling narrative of the brave and valorous acts of the Army, Navy, Airforce and Marine Corps of America with specific incidents that stood testimony to their heroic acts.
2. We have liberated ourselves from oppression by British monarchy ; entrenched ourselves firmly to the principles of growth and hope ; and moved ahead to assume the Leadership role in the World with innovative strategies – these have been the leading principles behind the President’s Speech.
3. It was a speech, in essence, (a) tracing American history from the Declaration of Independence through the various challenges that US had crossed successfully (including World Wars) ; (b) tracing the creative bent of mind and attitude of Americans in Innovative, groundbreaking technologies ; (c) tracing the bold and predominant role played by the US Army, Navy, Airforce, and Marine in national security and International conflicts ; (d) tracing the people enhancement oriented breakthroughs in the field of Medicine, Safety, and Comfortable living ; and (e) tracing the interests of Citizens in terms of chasing the ‘ one dream, one destiny ‘ motif emphasising that everyone and everything is made by the same mighty God.
4. The speech will be known for all its ideal characteristics demanding this occasion without an iota of proof to the scepticism expressed by many analysts and some media that there could be possibilities of distractions and diversions of a political nature or a campaign rally type rant. ( I must admit that I too had doubts earlier which were now dispelled thoroughly ).
5. The speech may lack clear directions for future national growth ; but it must be understood that such directions may run the risk of being designated as voluntary publicity or propaganda. Nobody can do justice to the expectations of every member of the audience and any and every speech is always likely to fall short on some expectations atleast. Viewed in this perspective, the speech deserves to be rated as one that is best conceived and delivered echoing the power of mind of a good Leader.
In sum, this is a speech that should put to rest any and all misconceptions, misconjecture, and misunderstanding prior to the event, lest they get exposed in sorry plight.
“Dieu avec nous “
Thursday, July 5, 2019 – 7.59 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit: ” How much we ought to cherish the blessings which are within our reach and to cultivate the seeds of harmony and unanimity in all our public councils ” – George Washington, 1790.
What is Fourth of July, the American Birthday about ?
The Fourth of July is the anniversary of the publication of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ from Great Britain in 1776. It is usually celebrated as a National Day with patriotic displays and family events organised across the U.S.A. It commemorates the independence of the 13 American colonies from the British Colonial rule marking the political separation from Great Britain.
A discussion for and against is raging ever since the Government proposed a military parade to display the military might of U.S.A. in the lines of what has been in vogue in say, North Korea, China, Russia, or even France.
National Days across the world are usually linked to certain moments in the history of nations. Liberation from foreign rule like in India; Formation of federation of people like in Australia; or Reunification of the country like in Germany. Festivities on this occasion also follow the links whether it is military parade ; whether it is celebration of culture and heritage ; whether it is celebration of accomplishments of Citizens ; or whether it is entertainment for joy and happiness.
U.S.A. as a nation emerged after liberation from foreign rule, i.e. Great Britain, and it would appear logical to mark this occasion with a military parade among others, a practice that has not been evident or witnessed upto now.
But there are atleast three reasons why it is not needed.
Figure below depicts the three reasons why America need not have a parade on the Fourth of July :
First, the cost of organising a parade is felt too huge to be acceptable or reasonable, and economic restraint is now a necessity. Excessive cost will have to be met from the taxpayers’ money, a not too desirable solution. The extra expenditure can otherwise be channeled productively for enhancing the quality of Life of American citizens. A military parade is an extreme that can be avoided. The arguments above seem to justify the faith the common people have in restraint and order.
Second, it is not in American traditions to celebrate an event like this with a military parade. Rather, it should be a day for American citizens to enjoy their time with relations in entertainments that will make them happy. Such national days in general are celebrated across the world (in different countries) with flag hoisting, fireworks, award ceremonies, kids’ activities, entertainment, and other Cultural Programs.
Third, a National Day distinguishes itself from other holidays by evoking a sense of Unity among Citizens (German National Day, October 3); a sense of oneness among the Citizens (British celebration of Britishness, no National Day in Great Britain); or a sense of National Values (French commemoration of National Values, July 14) with attendant fireworks and entertainment. America is a great nation recognised for its greatest military power on earth riding on the remarkable strides it made (makes still) in innovative technologies and avant-gardist defence capabilities that a military display may not be a necessity. It is also in line with admission of its constitution giving its citizens the power to govern themselves by choosing their own government assuring Citizens of equality, justice, and liberty.
So how do we link it to the National History?
Recollect, remember and celebrate the historical events on the Fourth of July filled with moments, historic and tragic, in every institution, organisation, and workplace.
July 4, 1872, was the natal day of the first President to be born on nation’s birthday, the 30th President, Calvin Coolidge.
US Patents Bureau was created on July 4, 1836.
On July 4, 1804, first Stagecoach line between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh was inaugurated. On July 4, 1817, work on Erie Canal began. On July 4, 1828, first rail of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was laid.
The cornerstone of the towering obelisk erected in the nation’s capital to the memory of George Washington was laid on July 4, 1848.
Death came to John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, two of the distinguished signers of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ while nation was joyously celebrating the 50th anniversary of its adoption. Five years later on July 4, 1831, James Monroe, fifth President, and framer of the Monroe Doctrine died.
America has come a long way as a nation under the wisdom and guidance of many of the farsighted former Presidents.
” Pride in Americanness, Learning something new, and Doing something new are the ways to celebrate the Fourth of July.”
“Dieu avec nous”
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 – 11.29 a.m. (IST).
Tidbit : ” Russia Day celebrates accomplishments of Russians worldwide and a celebration of the Russian culture and identity – (June 12, 1992).”