The Clinton “Fluke” 300

Hillary Clinton only “won” Iowa because she won all six coin tosses in tied precincts. What are the odds against six successive coin toss wins? I calculate 1 in 64, or you have a 1.5% chance of pulling it off. If I am right, do we really believe it did happen? That question is posed without taking into account the indisputable bias for Clinton of the Democrat machine which was organising the vote, and other startling irregularities, including the falure of the organising committee to staff over sixty caucus meetings. It all stinks, frankly.

I have been trying to think up a word to describe the kind of society we have now, in which a tiny number of extremely wealthy people control the politicians and manipulate the public through the mass media. Then I realised we already have a perfectly adequate word for it – plutocracy.

It is a plutocracy where 85 people own the same wealth as the other 50% of the population of the entire world, and the wealth gap still grows at astonishing pace. A reaction from the people who actually create that wealth is inevitable. The extraordinary concentration of capital has only been possible because of the existence of state mechanisms designed to promote it, and a popular movement to end that state bias was bound to happen. It was also predictable that it would be dominated by the young. To see youth mobilise for Scottish independence, for Corbyn or for Sanders has been life-affirming for me.

I might wish the movement for change to be sometimes better directed. But there is now a generational shift, a desire of young people for fundamental change, resisted by their elders. This phenomenon has not been seen so strongly since the 60’s. In the battle between the growing and the dying, there is only one ultimate winner. A good time to be alive (again). Almost makes up for struggling on through Thatcher and Blair…

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300 thoughts on “The Clinton “Fluke”

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  • Fairtrader

    Politics should only have been about how the 99% labour would temper the 1% capital owners and business and make em behave, things like minimum wage,progressive taxation,health & safety in the workplace,etc. But then the millibands came along and it all went pear shaped, and a cerullo has even taken over at the Anglican Church as well, God help us !!!

  • Dr William Grace (aka Habbabkuk)

    Well, I suppose the coin tossing was done openly in front of both Mrs Clinton and Mr Sanders supporters. I also suppose that the coins used all had a head and tail.

    If that’s so then Clinton had a rather good streak of luck I’d say.

  • Dr William Grace (aka Habbabkuk)

    I have looked at the video recommended by the Pugnacious One abd am far from convinced.

    The fellow in the video relies on tossing the coin and then catching it in his other hand (this is where the fiddle occurs). But, unless I’m mistaken, the coins tossed in Iowa were allowed to fall to the ground.

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)

    The quality which Napoleon prized above all in his generals was that they should be lucky.

  • fwl

    Yahtzee (same no on 5 dice) is 1/1250, and that seems to happen quite frequently when playing yahtzee.

    Craig have you read Ferdinand Lundberg’s 1968 book The Rich and the Super-Rich: Who really owns America? How do they keep their wealth and their power?

    Incidentally isn’t it easy to be a Vermont(whatever the collective noun is) left of field of liberal? The state is a little paradise and just doesn’t have the problems facing other states. Vermont ain’t Scranton.

  • Vronsky


    Lucky? Sure. I fight a lone!y battle at work trying to persuade people of the necessity and value of guesswork. Smart guessing is a useful skill, and luck also can be learned. Bet you couldn’t beat me at backgammon, for example.

  • Bob smith

    Craig, I can relate this to cricket as the English captain recently lost 6 tosses of the coin in a row. It happens.

  • lysias

    Yes, extremely improbable events can and do happen, but, when it happens to benefit someone with a history like Hillary Clinton’s, is it more or less likely that it happened on the up and up?

  • Bob smith

    Lysis, your you tube link on winning coin tosses is not relevant as it only works if the person tossing the coin calls. Normally, one person tosses the coin and the other calls.

  • John Goss

    “Well, I suppose the coin tossing was done openly in front of both Mrs Clinton and Mr Sanders supporters. I also suppose that the coins used all had a head and tail.”

    You would say that wouldn’t you. You don’t believe the US is corrupt. You don’t believe that Karl Rove fixed the election victory for George W. Bush who shortly afterwards took us into an illegal war using that dipstick Tony Blair to pull the wool over the faces of other dipsticks. You don’t believe 911 was an inside job. You don’t believe the Rothschilds control financial markets. You don’t believe that there was torture in Guantanamo Bay, or that it should be closed. Just what do you believe?

    I’ll answer that or we’ll get a load of gibberish. You believe everything the establishment tells you to belive. You are one big sucker in a world of leeches.

    Welcome back Craig.

    RT interviewed Sanders this morning and he mentioned the cases of students 2 years into their degrees $60,000 in debt. But I agree that with Corbyn and Sanders it does appear that the ‘many’ are awakening from their slumber, though not quite yet in unvanquishable number. When they do Habbabkuk and his team of establishment sycophants will fall off their hosts as though treated with annelid vermicides.

  • fedup

    I have been decrying the plutocracy that is being passed as “democracy” for a while now, glad to read you have come to the same conclusion. The fact that 85 individuals are owning 3,500,000,000 is a ratio of 0.000002429 which is a staggering indictment of the current system.

    The following clarifies the modalities of the wealth pump that transfers the wealth of the individuals and nations to a few grubby greedy palms.

    The West Is Reduced To Looting Itself — Paul Craig Roberts

    Not content with their supremacy over “democratic peoples,” the One Percent has come forward with the Trans-Atlanta and Trans-Pacific partnerships. Allegedly these are “free trade deals” that will benefit everyone. In truth, these are carefully hidden, secret, deals that give private businesses control over the laws of sovereign governments.

    The corrupt UK government under Washington’s vassal David Cameron has blocked access to legal documents that show the impact of the Trans-Atlantic partnership on Britain’s National Health Service.

    For any citizen of any Western country who is so stupid or brainwashed as not to have caught on, the entire thrust of “their” government’s policy is to turn every aspect of their lives over to grasping private interests.

  • Rose

    Fair trader – I think it all went pear-shaped long before the Millie Bros. For me the day Harold Wilson invited the Beatles to Number 10 was when politics became a branch of show-biz. The dear old C of E have always been tied up in money biz and warfare – nothing new there.

  • eddie-g

    Apparently she wasn’t quite that lucky. She only won 6/7 coin flips:

    The bigger issue with caucuses, same as any election which is not decided by tallying of all votes on each side, is that it lends itself to gerrymandering. It does however seem in the case of Iowa, the popular vote did pretty much reflect the final outcome, regardless of the coin-flips (which don’t effect vote totals, just delegate selections).

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Oh Well (That’s good too).

    It’s still Groundhog Day. Tony McPhee is lovely. I met him at the 100 Club about 12 years ago, when most of the original Groundhogs reformed. He was still such an incredibly powerful guitarist and singer. He has a lovely wife too – Johanna. Then he had a stroke, and could barely speak for a couple of years…then he gradually got his voice back and and could again sing – though his wife did help him out a bit on the vocals. They nearly did a tour again, last year – and he may yet still come back. Even when he could barely speak, his guitar playing was still top class. He will be 72 next month. Nice bloke.

    “Groundhogs – Split – 02 – Split Part 2”


  • lysias

    Eddie G, what the article you link to says is: “Clinton’s campaign won six of the seven coin flips currently reported to have taken place across the state.” So, for all we know, there were other coin flips.

    The odds of one of two parties winning six out of seven coin tosses is about 18.3%.

  • lysias

    The vote totals have not been reported. We don’t know them. All we know is the delegate counts.

  • eddie-g

    Lysias – from the article I linked: “The former secretary of state eked out the narrowest of victories, winning 49.8 percent of the vote to Senator Bernie Sanders’ 49.6 percent, according to the official results reported by the state Democratic Party.”

  • lysias

    Eddie G, that is misreporting. The vote totals have not been revealed. I believe those 49.8 and 49.6 figures represent percentages of the “delegate equivalents” chosen by the precinct caucuses (the lowest level of the caucuses).

    Sanders’s people are still demanding that the raw vote totals be released. Des Moines Register: Missing precinct scrambles to report Sanders won:

    [The release of the results of the final precinct to report] quickly raised questions about whether Sanders had won the popular vote in Iowa. Sanders backers called for Iowa Democratic Party officials to release the raw vote totals.

  • lysias

    And that Atlantic article that you link to also implies the raw vote totals have not been released:

    As it was, the Vermont senator told reporters on the plane trip to New Hampshire that he hoped the state party would release the raw vote total, rather than simply the delegate tallies. It’s possible that, by winning big in populous precincts, Sanders won a majority of the votes cast, even if he lost in the delegate count.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabigots

    Are we talking Millennials? If that’s the hope, such are hopelessly conservative and equate socialism with Communism. There is a Libertarian marbling of this constituency, but I fear it is the most strident form, disdaining even federal dam projects and eschewing highways and byways as anything but a social contract for brisk commerce. Same with railways. Let the people eat asphalt.

  • lysias

    A comment posted on the Washington Post’s Web site:

    5:29 PM EST
    Cheer up, Bernie, word is it that Bryan Pagliano, Clinton’s IT guy at State, has started singing to the FBI.

  • Ben-Outraged by the Cannabigots

    If ever we shall court Leviathan for Millennial consumption, placing our eggs in their basket, we should embrace the corrallary…

    ““Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry… no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

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