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We’ve Been Trumped!

August 9, 2015

Donald Trump

The tycoon with the aerodynamic hair has been dominating the news this past week, and that’s exactly what he wants. No matter that the punditocracy has generally blasted him for brazen misogyny. Or that conservative bigwig Erick Erickson banned him from appearing onstage with the other Republican presidential hopefuls. Or that his own campaign manager, Roger Stone, jumped ship (or was tossed overboard, depending on which account you read) after vainly pleading with The Donald to stifle the ugly rhetoric.

No, the Trump brand is flying high where it counts: among the sort of Americans who still aspire to gaudy, blow-’em-away success but tend to live vicariously through the exploits of the rich and famous. In other words, Trump is our first tabloid presidential candidate. His constituency is as vast as the audience for the Kardashians, and about as intellectually astute.

Trump’s macho swagger and assertiveness conjure up memories of the older, paunchier Frank Sinatra croaking that he could be “king of the hill, top of the heap, A-number one.” It’s a brash, gold-plated vision of America, high on money and testosterone and primed for combat.

The funny thing is that Trump is no ideologue. It’s virtually impossible to paint a coherent picture of his political beliefs. He’s conservative on immigration… he seems uncharitable toward women and minorities… he’s a militant capitalist… but he’s no evangelist for the Christian right, either.

You’d think a diehard moderate (like me, for example) might embrace a candidate who departs from the holy scriptures of our orthodox progressives and conservatives. Trump speaks his mind without fear, a refreshing trait in any would-be politician. He’s no fan of political correctness. He’s blunt and unscripted. You get the impression that he disdains focus groups, even though he could afford to serve caviar sandwiches and Dom Perignon.

All that is laudable. At last week’s televised GOP debate, Trump made the more conventional candidates look pale and wonkish by comparison. His more outrageous pronouncements elicited both cheers and boos — but nobody could deny that he stirred the blood. After eight years of a surprisingly bloodless Obama administration, America might respond to a president who struts, swears and shakes his fist.

But let’s get real for a minute. During the GOP debate, Fox News spitfire Megyn Kelly asked Trump point-blank when he decided to become a Republican. (After all, he had contributed to the campaigns of several Democrats in the past.) And here’s where my jaw dropped a few inches. Trump casually admitted to Kelly, the nation and almighty God that he was simply playing the game: buying the future favors of politicians — Republicans and Democrats alike — by enriching their campaign coffers. He confessed that he had done as much for most of the candidates sharing the stage with him that night.

I had to wonder how this blatant oligarch would reform our already broken system of government-by-lobby, in which the elected representatives of the people secretly cater to deep-pocketed elites. Trump seemed to be fine with the current arrangement. After all, his America is a land of winners and losers (mostly losers), and it’s only natural that the alpha dogs should control the government. At least Trump is so obscenely rich that no oligarch in America could conceivably influence his policies with a covert bribe.

Should we take Trump seriously as a candidate? Is he for real, or is he just a buffoon with money to burn? Some political cynics have suspected that Trump is nothing more than a Clinton “plant” — a tactical stooge whose candidacy would spawn chaos and discord among the Republicans.

We know that Trump pals around with the Clintons — and that the silver-haired ex-President chatted with Trump about his political ambitions. Could foxy old Bubba have played to Trump’s narcissism by encouraging him to run (and inadvertently clear the path for another Clinton presidency)?

The danger is that Trump could actually succeed. He’s already leading the other GOP candidates by an absurdly fat margin in the polls. His braggadocio seems to play well in Peoria. A blowhard and a bully? Sure, but so was Mussolini, and the masses adored him.

At the very least, Trump could be America’s answer to Putin: a defiant strongman who understands power instinctively, like a predator, and wields it with scant attention to international opinion. Trump is already the virtual embodiment of post-9/11 America as seen by our more jaded European allies: a cocky, shallow sociopath with a monstrous ego and a penchant for asserting dominance at any cost. In other words, he’s George W. Bush on steroids.

Of course, a President Trump would have to contend with our infernal constitutional system of checks and balances. He’s accustomed to being dictator of his own real estate fiefdom, but he’d have some major adjusting to do if he actually makes it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. No problem… Congress is so accustomed to legalized bribery, and Trump’s personal treasury is so spectacular, that — well, you get the picture.

Will Trump’s appeal fizzle as he continues to alienate one group after another? Can a billionaire continue to pose as a populist? Does he have “legs” — or will he flame out before the primaries? Will his hyperactive mouth be his salvation or his undoing?

Stay tuned… with Trump in the race, we should be in for a compulsively watchable campaign. Reality TV was never this entertaining. At the same time, beware: reality TV never had this much power to influence the future of our nation.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.




152 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2015 7:13 pm

    I’m almost entirely convinced that he’s deliberately attempting to sabotage a Republican chance at the presidency. What his personal motivation for doing so would be, I have no idea, but no one who is as successful as he is can possibly be as foolish as he’s been in this race so far.

    On ABC’s This Week (8/2/15), he said without compunction that it’s alright to lie if you’re a businessman when Jonathan Karl asked him why so many of his positions have done a 180. Since I’m not politically correct, I couldn’t care less about his “offensive” comments about women or anyone else. It’s just that a government isn’t a business, and he’s treating the race like it’s a monster truck rally.

    I keep hearing from established rightist pundits who are fearful of him that he could never gain the nomination, but he was never supposed to get this far either. Did you hear that crowd at the debate almost every time he spoke? Wallace and Kelly, who obviously despise him, couldn’t even steal his thunder.

    Whether he could actually beat Clinton or not remains to be seen, but Republicans should be concerned that Trump would be the new face of the American right. I have my problems with them (obviously), but I know that they are more intellectually nuanced than a boob like him.

    • August 9, 2015 8:02 pm

      SGF…If many Republican supporting right of center moderates like myself do what I will do if Trump is the nominee, his chances of winning are less than 1%. I would rather see Hillary elected than this idiot.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 9, 2015 8:05 pm

      I agree with your take, sgf. I am a Republican, or at least a RINO, and – to re-coin a phrase – Donald Trump is no Republican. But, he has clearly hit a nerve with some conservatives who are tired of being mocked and vilified by the Obama administration, while being lied to and betrayed by Republican politicians. He fuels their anger and he feeds off of it. It’s really becoming almost scary.

      Conservative “purists” (and by that I mean right-wing zealots) are a strange lot, willing to turn their backs on Mitt Romney in the last election, because he was responsible for a healthcare law in MA that served as a prototype for Obamacare, but now willing to slavishly follow this arrogant buffoon because he throws them the red meat that moderate Republicans like Romney (or Bush, or Rubio, or Walker won’t….despite his open embrace and crony capitalism, single-payer healthcare, and even a history of supporting partial birth abortion.

      Just when I think the left is as crazy as it gets, the right gets even crazier. Or, at least, as crazy…….

      Good piece, Rick. I guess it was inevitable that reality tv would eventually invade politics.

    • August 18, 2015 10:26 am

      Sorry for my late entry into the fray. My son was with me for an entire week and we were having too much fun. (It’s a tough job, but I have to admit I enjoy it more than politics.)

      Anyway, I’ve been reading more about Trump and I’ve reached the following conclusions — fallible ones, I’m sure, but I’ll go with them for now:

      1. He’s for real. Despite his Clinton connections, he’s not in this race just to throw the GOP into chaos. He genuinely loves being worshipped by so many people, even if most of them are “losers.”
      2. He has the makings of an honest-to-god demagogue: charismatic, defiant, aggressive, anti-intellectual, binary (sees every issue in black and white — no shades of gray).
      3. He actually stands a chance of being nominated — not only because he’s leading in the polls at the moment, but because he’s the antithesis of the “vanilla” GOP nominees who lost the last two elections.
      4. A fed-up, dumbed-down America could conceivably vote for Trump over Hillary. The country is understandably tired of dithering, prevaricating politicians, and Trump would seem like a breath of fresh air. (I’m sure Mussolini and Hitler did, too.)
      5. I probably won’t get much sleep if this guy has his finger on the button.

  2. Ron P permalink
    August 9, 2015 8:00 pm

    I doubt one could write a much better description of Trump, his candidacy and his positions. I said in another comment in an article about Trump that there was no way in hell I would ever vote for this man. I was vilified by many conservatives saying this would insure a third term of a Clinton AND Obama presidency. The I read that Erick Erickson (Red State) said there was no way in hell he would ever vote for Kasich and I did not see this same hatred for that comment from the far right as to that I made. This too would insure a third Clinton/Obama presidential term, but I guess there are different standards for the far right conservatives and moderates like myself that vote for the person and their positions more so than a political ideology. At one time I found myself teetering on the idea that maybe I would vote for him because he is saying some things that make sense. Then he goes off on Kelly with the crud remarks and that cemented my thought about this man.

    I do believe that Fox really screwed up when they led with the question about supporting the eventual nominee as they already knew what the answers would be. That could have been made the last question and not put Trump in an adversarial position to begin with. My dad always said “Do not get in a pissing contest with a skunk as the skunk always wins” That is what happened in that debate.

    Yes one has to wonder what his thought are about this election. Will he run as a third party candidate? How far will he stay in the GOP race until the “fun” is gone? Is this setting up another reality show he has in mind for some off the wall TV channel? Whatever his reasons, I would hope that both parties take a long hard look at what is happening as this is not good for the country. When one man has the capacity to finance a run, tap into the anger in the country and make the election a debacle like Trump is making, it is time for everyone to step back and ask “what the hell is going on”

    Now I do also believe that congress needs to look hard at the powers they have abdicated to the president and take note that this country is being run by government bureaucracies and presidential executive orders and executive action. The number of bills passed in the last 20 years has declined 62% from the numbers passed between 1947 and 1966, all while the number of pages of government regulations written in agencies by bureaucrats have increased over 600% during that same time period. (Yes these are correct, they come from government websites). Now if Donald Trump is by some weird way elected president (even more so than “W” in 2000), what the hell will happen then with his ego and crazy ways of acting. It is one thing to resend all of Obama’s actions, but I shutter at the thought of what he will do without oversight. Rick, toward the end you mention his ability to work through a system of checks and balances. I offer we really have not had this for many years as congress has given too many powers to the president and what they did not give, this president has taken and set the standards at a much different level. They need to take action to reign in the president and insure they stay within the powers provided by the constitution.

  3. Rob Anderson permalink
    August 9, 2015 8:38 pm

    Sanders is beating his ass at the polls, but then he is beating every single high-profile GOP candidate.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 9, 2015 9:59 pm

      Honestly, Rob, if it came down to a forced choice between Trump and Sanders? I think I’d go with Sanders ………

    • August 9, 2015 11:27 pm

      Lord have mercy if this is the choice were are faced with. But looking at this from an optimistic standpoint, it might get the Libertarian Party enough support to make it to the debates and stand side by side with the major parties and then get enough support this election to qualify for government moneys for the 2020 election.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 10, 2015 9:26 am

        If only, Ron.

        I have always considered character and judgment, as opposed to ideology and charisma, the most important trait in a presidential candidate. It’s not easy to evaluate a man’s – or woman’s – character, particularly in today’s overheated media environment…..but his judgment can be deduced through the rationality of his statements.

        Neither Trump nor Sanders has shown much in the way of either character or judgment, but both have shown that they have mastered the art of populist invective. Both appeal to masses of people who who don’t know much, but know enough to understand that the country is being ruled by elites who have bought their power and influence, and who are rapidly dispensing with even the guise of democratic or constitutional process.

        Both Trump and Sanders have, at the least, exposed the anger and frustration of people who see that they are being ignored, while their liberty and freedom are being taken away. Unless a candidate comes along who can communicate reasonable solutions to the problems that these two rant about, and can somehow cut through the media circus that values ranting over reason, I don’t know how we avoid all of this turning into an even bigger mess than it already is………

        If a libertarian can do this, I’m all for him/her.

      • Ron P permalink
        August 10, 2015 11:54 am

        “but both have shown that they have mastered the art of populist invective. Both appeal to masses of people who who don’t know much but know enough to understand that the country is being ruled by elites who have bought their power and influence,”

        Sounds much like countries that end up being ruled by dictators like Castro, Hitler and others that were great communicators and could tap into people frustrations. Obama has these same qualities and if he were not corralled somewhat by our constitution, we may be in those same situations.

        The scary part is the fact that each president has been granted or taken more powers to rule by executive actions and not legislation. And I doubt this will change going forward with the next one taking another small step into more Executive Action controls.

        A large percentage of people who vote have no idea whatever as to the issues and what a candidate can really do. Over the past 10 years we have heard many proposals for new entitlement programs paid for by taxing the rich. Hillary has just proposed paying for college by “taxing the rich”. Every one of these proposals are made with the knowledge that it will never become law, so there will still be “rich” to continue making proposals to pay for something else by taxing them more. The illiterate voter buys this garbage because they think the rich are bad and need to be taxed more to pay for their needs. The liberal politicians do not want the actual tax, they just want the issue to remain in place so they can continue making these proposals.

        Sanders sells to that group of voters. On the other hand, Trump sells to those voters that know nothing is getting done and thinks if he becomes president, something will get done. They also do not understand that he will not be able to make Mexico pay for the wall, that he will not be able to cancel NAFTA , the new Pacific Trade agreement and other trade agreements because we do not produce anything of substance in this country. If he did some of the things he has proposed, prices of imports would go through the roof, inflation would take off, the feds would raise interest rates and we could be looking at another late 70’s economic period. But that group of voters have no understanding of economics and what he says sounds good.

        As for the Libertarians, I would just like to see them get a foot in the door and a seat at the table. At least hear what they have to say.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 10, 2015 12:12 pm

      If only we could replace “hope and change” with “ideas and solutions”……So much harder to get those latter two into 15 second sound bites, though.

  4. Roby permalink
    August 12, 2015 1:35 pm

    The adventures of Silvio Berlusconi in America with a bad toupee.

  5. Roby permalink
    August 12, 2015 2:04 pm

    The comments here are quite interesting, I applaud all starting from Rick! Ron and Priscilla, I am full of admiration and agreement.

    But… If forced to choose between Trump and Sanders I will vote for Pat Paulson. The odds are still that this combination is not really a serious possibility. But as one of my tennis buddies observed, he remembered thinking the same about RR, just a preposterous candidate… so he is not going to dismiss the possibility of a Trump nomination.

    I do understand that both so-called candidates are reactions to business as usual, and there is something very understandable and positive in the depth of that feeling, but obviously either man would do deep damage to America if he somehow got into power, so this is not funny and it is not funny that so many people on the right and left do not recognize that neither of these men can be president, either as a matter of simple realism or as a matter of their characters and ideas. Trump actually has no ideas, his only idea is Trump. Sanders has ideas, see below.

    What we need, what we want is Mr. Smith, with all of his decency, integrity, common sense, not these wild-eyed loons. I could even say that I want some part of what RR brought, without Ollie North and the contras, crazy cabinet appointees like James Watt, and the senility. I know of no one in American politics today who has any of the good part of RR, tho optimism, the willingness to change their mind about issues as large as nuclear disarmament as RR did, the willingness to have a beer with the other side and find a compromise that is best for everyone. There is a lot of the RR times that I did not admire, the number of homeless swelled to millions, that was also a signature of his era. Anyhow, please do not let my RR comments lead the conversation astray, its just a tangent that came to me, the conversation here is on Trump (and Sanders as his mirror reflection) and what this kind of truly wild candidates mean.

    While Trump is just a nut, rather than a true right-wing nut, Sanders is the real deal, an ideologue with a specific ideological agenda, full of great sounding intentions and ideals that are naive throwbacks to a time before Marxism failed spectacularly and destructively. The problem is that Marxism did crash and burn and it leaves decent people who care about the valid criticisms that Marx made about capitalism with no real vehicle.

    Imagine what the stock market would do if both men were to somehow be nominated?

    • Ron P permalink
      August 12, 2015 6:02 pm

      Roby..very good comments. I would mention when your friend talked about RR as “just a preposterous candidate”, he was talking about someone who had been the governor of the second most populist state (at that time) in the country, so that is one major difference from Trump.

      Now you comment “Imagine what the stock market would do if both men were to somehow be nominated?”..I would add, can you imagine what would happen to the Libertarian party, the Green Party, the American Independence Party and all the other third parties in the country today? I would offer that would be a great thing to actually have a choice between ideas and solutions that are not present today.

      • Roby permalink
        August 13, 2015 8:47 am

        Ron, none of the people heading those parties have 10 minutes experiences as the chief executive of the State of California, as RR did, or any state, or basically any experience of consequence in government at all. After two failed presidencies I am looking for good old fashioned competence, not neophytes with new ideas. So far this season does not look like it will deliver on my wish, but no I do not think it will be a great thing if 3rd parties blossom, unless by some miracle one was a moderate party headed by a candidate with real experience as a governor of a large state.

      • Anonymous permalink
        August 13, 2015 9:20 am

        Roby, what your imagine would happen would be people with no experience running. I am one that believes that experience today is not all that important given what we have had for many years in congress and higher ups. But on the other hand, how many with experience at various levels would jump into the race and give up endorsement of the nominee? Wouldn’t it be nice to see other “qualified” candidates running that were not picked by one wing of two different parties.

        But that will never happen, we get stuck with what that largest minority of a party vote picks, so we could very likely get “Trump’ed”.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      August 12, 2015 8:33 pm

      Roby, great post! You say “…both candidates (Trump, Sanders) are a reaction to business as usual…” Yes, Americans are so dismayed, disappointed, disgusted with the inaction and ineptness that there is this mob rush to something that looks different. God help us! I actually started thinking: maybe Trump will be able to get some things done, negotiate, make some good deals, DO SOMETHING,

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 12, 2015 10:06 pm

        Perfect example of why a candidate like Trump is resonating….today (and I am not making this up) Chris Christie vetoed, for the second time, mind you, a bill that would allow transgenders to change their legal birth certificate to reflect their “new gender”. Christie stated as his reason for vetoing the bill that it would create “legal documentation problems.” Ya think?

        People want some Trump-ian reasoning here. So, a Governor Trump would say “The reason for my veto is that this bill is so freaking, mind-blowingly crazy, that only an insane person would sign it, and I am not insane.”

        We may have reached a tipping point………

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 13, 2015 8:59 am

        To be clear, I am not in any way supporting Trump. BUT…..his “straight talk” ( which is often just rude, ignorant talk, really) contrasts so sharply with the poll-tested non-answers that we get from most of the other candidates and also with the “what do you idiots know?” attitude that we get from our leadership, that it seems like a breath of fresh air. Or a life line. Or something…….

    • August 18, 2015 10:39 am

      I can sympathize, Roby. I’d be all for Mr. Smith going to Washington, even though he’d probably be eaten alive. I don’t think Sanders is a far-left Marxist so much as a Scandinavian-style Social Democrat — at least as revealed by his public pronouncements. But good grief, this has to be the most dismal pool of candidates in my lifetime. Bush Sr. vs. Dukakis was like Lincoln vs. Douglas by comparison.

      Priscilla: There’s something to be said for a candidate who doesn’t rely on scripts and focus groups. That would be the silver lining to the dark cloud of a Trump presidency.

  6. Pat Riot permalink
    August 12, 2015 8:38 pm

    and then I hear Trump speak, those blunt sentences…he says about Planned Parenthood that “they gotta stop that abortion stuff,” and it’s Idiocracy coming true, and I think about the Office of the Presidency, how the President must represent us around the world…God help us, this is surreal to me, I’m packing my bags, heading to my bunker, I know I’m not forming sentences now…

    • Roby permalink
      August 13, 2015 9:29 am

      Yes pat, I agree, surreal, Idiocracy come to life. The thing is that Sanders makes Trump possible and visa-versa because with only say Bernie running anyone can say that well, even if he got the nomination he would be squashed in the general election. But with Trump also running, now you have the fantasy of two candidates who are both so spectacularly wrong that you cannot say which one of the two is worse or would be elected. As soon as one of these two falls out then the other will be high and dry.

      I used to love Bloom County (another long-lost cultural gem not replaced by anything of value), Bernie supporters remind me of the Meadow party, so hopeful, so naive, so lost. Sanders is Opus blatting on a tuba and yet he is packing in huge crowds. Yes, Surreal, that is the word.

  7. Pat Riot permalink
    August 12, 2015 9:13 pm

    Bush/Obama/Hillary: Vanilla/Chocolate/Strawberry–different flavors but all ice cream from Daddy Warbucks to keep the children occupied. And Trump is the banana split. 🙂

  8. Roby permalink
    August 13, 2015 10:50 am

    Ron, while I agree with you that

    “we get stuck with what that largest minority of a party vote picks.”

    the idea that experience does not greatly matter is something I will never believe.

    Some guy with no executive experience cannot run General Motors or even Ben and Jerry’s and some passionate guy with no executive experience cannot run the US. A.) Congress would eat him and B.) Americans would soon have a reaction that would make the reaction to W and O seem like a love story. The most naive inexperienced presidents we have had were Carter and W, both of whom I believe we can all agree were disasters and they had at least some executive experience. I do not want to live in a world where the US has a totally innocent captain from some previously powerless or nearly nonexistent 3rd party.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 13, 2015 11:16 am

      I agree, for the most part, Roby. Too many voters have come to see elections as sport, contests of ideological purity or rhetorical persuasion. The idea that we should elect someone best equipped to insure the continued prosperity and safety of the US as a nation (as opposed to the welfare of certain racial, ideological or gender groups) has somehow faded as the main idea.

      On the other hand, it’s becoming harder and harder to find a competent, experienced candidate who has not been corrupted to a degree that totally disqualifies him/her. It is why I still support Scott Walker as the best potential GOP candidate, despite his relatively boring persona. As far as Democrats, I can only come up with Michael Bloomberg, who 1) isn’t even running and 2) isn’t technically a Democrat, although that hasn’t stopped Bernie Sanders.

      I think I’m beginning to believe that a third party movement in the fairly near future is inevitable. I don’t think that that’s a good thing, but it looks like we’re going there.

    • August 13, 2015 3:29 pm

      Roby, you also have to look at the more accomplished presidents and the ones that made significant progress on issues were those that understood the importance of excellence in cabinet members. Looking at both W and carter, and Carter in particular, neither one had a strong cabinet. When you look at RR cabinet, you find alot of no-names when it come to politics, but alot of experience in the fields that they covered in the cabinet. One if the more accomplished presidents when it came to foreign policy was Nixon and he had Henry Kissinger, probably the best S of S in modern times.

      What I am saying is a president is only as good as his advisers. A very experienced President can flop if he has a bad cabinet, while an inexperienced president can be very productive with good advisers. Carter would probably rank in the top 10% in intelligence (IQ) but his picking “home boys” for his cabinet screwed him from the start. He also had a bad Fed chairman that did everything wrong when it came to fed policy that did not help either.

      Now for Trump, he is inexperienced and I would say anyone that he has in a cabinet would be “Yes Sir” people. Any “No Sir” people would get the “You’re Fired”, so for me, Trump starts out as a loser from day one.

      • August 18, 2015 10:43 am

        Good analysis, Ron. Funny, I never gave much thought to the importance of a good cabinet — but it’s really the core of an effective executive branch.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 17, 2015 6:02 pm

      Krugman is an ass, always has been always will be. How he ever achieved the status he has is beyond my imagination. He talks to the 47% that are on some form of government support and they buy his crap. One thing for certain is our millennials and younger are smart enough to know SS will not be there when they grow older, so many have already accepted that fate and are saving for their future. The ones that are not will continue to vote for the liberals that feed them what they want to hear and suffer the consequences at their old age. The GOP candidates are telling the voters the truth and those that want to hear the truth will end up voting for one of them, whoever is nominated. I just hope the lessor candidates bail out soon enough for the eventual candidate to be someone other than Trump.

  9. Pat Riot permalink
    August 17, 2015 7:20 pm

    Ron, Ron, Ron…putting aside your subtle disdain for Paul Krugman, don’t you think his point is true, true, true? A hundred or so billionaires putting a million each on their favorite horse. It’s nothing new for the GOP to be “against entitlement programs,” and so the horses will run around the track, whereas Trump can free-wheel a bit with his own funds.

    • August 17, 2015 11:57 pm

      There were two points in your post. Social Security and billionaires donations. So I missed the one you were stressing and I picked up on the other one because I have little faith in Krugman’s assessment of the social Security system. He does not believe Social Security is in trouble. He does not believe that the retirement age needs to be raised. He does not believe that there needs to be means testing for receiving benefits. He does not believe that those in their 30’s and 40’s will not receive anything of substance when they retire without significant changes to the program. And he does not believe the program would be better off with something where the employer and employee place the funds in an account much like the 401K programs that most employees under 40 will have to live off when they retire because the government did not invest the funds, they spent them and put in low interest IOU’s. Anyone with any financial intelligence knows the program is going broke, so given that criteria, I think he is an ass pretending to be an economist. And as for your comment ” It’s nothing new for the GOP to be “against entitlement programs,” I am in the camp that expects people to help themselves and those that can’t help themselves, then we provide the help. I do not believe 33% of the people in this country (1/3rd of the population not including those on social security) are unable to help themselves, so yes, I expect the government to reform entitlement programs, especially the ones going broke. I have three kids and 4 grand kids and want them to have the same standard of living when they get my age that I have had and with the way this country is going, that will never happen. $18 trillion in debt and increasing $500 million each day because elected officials will not make the hard decision that need to be made and demonize anyone (like the GOP candidates) that say things need to be changed to prolong the programs.

      Now for the moneys going to the candidates which was your point, Hillary is on this list and she is on many other list showing millions to her campaign or foundation from large Wall Street banks, companies and foreign countries, so I dismiss Krugmans assertion that it is all the GOP getting the benefit of money from donors. Figures don’t lie, but liars and columnist can figure or use select figures to support any position they want.This campaign is going to cost probably close to $4 billion dollars when its all complete, and I bet that is just after the nominations. Who knows what the total cost for getting the nomination will be.

      So what’s the answer? I have no idea as I question how any law can be written to control what individuals pay money to put on TV. Liberals hate Citizens United decision, which may or may not be the problem given the names on the list that you provided. They were all individuals and not corporations and unions. So how do we write a law that says Donald Trump or George Soros is not allowed to spend 1 millions on a campaign to buy ads promoting a specific group of platform positions of their party? I bet freedom of speech will trump any law congress can come up with. We already have funding laws and very knowledgeable (and many liberal at that ) lawyers have figured out how to get around them.

      And as Trump has said many times, he contributed to many candidates to buy influence and he expected something in return when that money was donated. And that is what happens on both sides of the coin.

  10. Pat Riot permalink
    August 17, 2015 7:33 pm

    “The idea that we should elect someone best equipped to insure the continued prosperity and safety of the US as a nation (as opposed to the welfare of certain racial, ideological or gender groups) has somehow faded as the main idea.”

    Priscilla, yes, another manifestation of the selfishness and fragmentation of our culture. People voting for the person who “looks like them.” This time it will be a lot of women doing that. And too much finger-pointing instead of working together, too much self-interest and not enough common good. (we capitalists know that self-interest is good, in moderation…)

    If only some of us here had a few billion dollars!

    • August 18, 2015 10:54 am

      Pat and Priscilla: Alas for us… yes, our primary allegiance these days seems to be our own identity group, not the country as a whole. Maybe each group should have its own government (not).

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2015 7:18 pm

        Why either ?

        The greatness of this nation is in its people – as individuals, not its leaders, not its parties, not some groups.

  11. Priscilla permalink
    August 18, 2015 9:13 am

    Rick (and all), I don’t know if you ever read “Hot Air”, a moderate right wing blog, but it is a frequent go-to of mine. Neither of the blog’s senior editors, Ed Morrissey or the anonymous/pseudonymous Allapundit, is a Trump fan, but yesterday Allah wrote this explanation of Trump’s appeal to Republicans, and I think that he’s put his finger on one of the main reasons that we have been trumped:

    ” If you’ve given up on conservatism’s power to persuade and have come to see national politics chiefly as a power struggle among different demographic groups, Trump arguably makes the most sense. He may not be a conservative but he’ll protect what’s left of the country and the people who still care about it from being preyed upon domestically and abroad, which, at this stage of American decadence, is the best you can hope for. Essentially, and very ironically, he’s the guy standing athwart history yelling “stop!” Not my candidate, but I think what I’ve described is a core part of his appeal.”

    Again, I guess, it goes back to what we’ve discussed here so often, i.e. the destructive effect of identity politics, political correctness, media fragmentation and bias, and just overall pervasive ignorance…..eventually, someone comes along that yells “stop!” I’m starting to believe that Trump is not the worst person that we could be dealing with at this juncture, and that his candidacy could actually be a positive in the long run? He may be a blowhard, but he’s not a bad man…….

    • August 18, 2015 11:08 am

      Well, I think he’s both a bad man (egotistical, arrogant and totally lacking in empathy) and a blowhard, but our tabloid candidate could be as refreshing as he is cringeworthy. Trump would tell the blunt truth, take no guff, and (we can hope) infuse some common sense into American politics. That’s the best we can hope for.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 18, 2015 11:24 am

        Re: the “bad man” thing – I was thinking more along the lines of Trump not likely becoming a brutal, murderous tyrant, but I see your point and agree that he is not a person of stellar character.

        In my view, Obama has always been a dangerous combination of celebrity, incompetence and narcissism; Trump could be Obama on steroids. And that would be a very bad thing.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2015 7:17 pm

        I have zero interest in Trump.

        But I do wonder what you want in a president ?

        Empathy is a palliative of the left.
        I could care less if you can “feel my pain”.
        I want someone competent.
        Trump is not it. But not because he lacks empathy.

        Ultimately if you are waiting for a white night – you are going to be disappointed.

        The worst of the people you are affraid of in business, are our politicians.

        We need smaller government, because the less power these crooks have the better off we are.

        Warren Buffet can not put a hellfire up my ass with a drone. Barack Obama can. the most significant business person in this country has less real power then the local police officer.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 22, 2015 8:55 am

        I don’t think it is that people are looking for a white knight, Dave. I think that they are looking for someone,anyone, at this point, who will stop the US from circling the drain. Donald Trump says that this would be his priority, and, as far as I can see, that is his appeal.

        I listened to Trump’s Alabama speech last night. It was almost embarrassing in its car salesmanship delivery and tone, but it did hammer home a couple of important points: 1) that no nation can relinquish its sovereignty and continue to exist 2) that the US is relinquishing its sovereignty, by allowing foreigners to immigrate to America without going through our legal process, refusing to assimilate to our culture and receiving tax-paid benefits. If that is not a recipe for nativism, I don’t know what is.
        3) that he US supports the economies of other countries by essentially serving as their military,and gets nothing in return.
        3) that the US has given up its leverage in free trade agreements, and has hurt American workers, in order to maximize profits to global corporations.
        4) that political correctness serves no purpose, other than to shut down discussion.

        I don’t even want to get into your rather ridiculous assertion that Warren Buffet has less power than a local policeman, but I do believe that there is a greater public concern with crony capitalism than there is with big government. I’m sure that you will tell me that they are one and the same, but I don’t believe that they are. Right now, we still enjoy a degree of control over the government through the ballot box, but that is being rapidly eroded by corporatism and demographic manipulation (yeah, we can talk about what that means). Trump is the only person who is calling this out, and his celebrity gives him a big megaphone.

        So, you may have zero interest in Trump, but he is driving the debate right now, like it or not.

      • August 22, 2015 10:38 am

        Priscilla, just want to insert a comment or two into this conversation if I may:
        Article 2 of the constitution provides that the primary responsibility of the President is foreign affairs. Legislative powers are granted to, and only to congress as stated in Article 1. When, and only when, we have a congress that will pass legislation will we have a growing economy, immigration reform and enforcement, a strong military and strong trade agreements, unlike NAFTA, that will promote jobs in America and not foreign countries. In the current political climate, Jesus could be our president and nothing would get done as he would be seen as a far left socialist and the GOP would use all its time finding bad stuff so they could create subcommittees to investigate his actions and teachings.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 18, 2015 1:04 pm

      Have to agree with your points. I just wonder where the Grover N’s are now with their “no tax increase pledges” and other far right pledges that doomed previous candidates that made them move to positions they did not believe in from the start. Trump says he favors higher taxes on the rich than on the poor because they can afford them. Where’s the outrage?

      As for Trump. I still need some specifics as to how he would deal with congress to get some of the stuff accomplished he says he would do. To get jobs back from Mexico and stop Ross Perot’s “sucking sound”, how would he deal with congress and reverse the impact of NAFTA? How is he going to reverse the impact of the Pacific Rim deal? He can say “trust me” but many politicians have said this in the past and it never happens.

      He says he is going to pack up 12 million illegals including children and young adults raised as Americans and educated as Americans and send them back to a place they never have seen. He says “trust me”, but how is he going to deal with congress and get it done?

      One thing I find amazing is not one person that ever worked for Trump has ever made big news by talking about him, either negatively or positively. How does this happen in a time where social media rakes everyone over the coals for small big or small indiscretion.

      But I do find it interesting that since Obama has found a way to do most everything he wants without going through congress for approval, the next president will have a open playbook to do whatever they want and if it is Trump, he most likely will take that script and further expand the powers, so maybe he won;t have to deal with congress at all.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2015 7:08 pm

        If you think that fiscal conservatism is on the wane you are deluded.

        Trump is the only republican who can call for higher taxes – and only because he is funding himself.

        Our politics are very unstable right now. Progressivism is dying, and the right is fighting over which faction will dominate in the future.

        Regardless, the future is smaller government.
        Unfortunately not radically smaller.

      • August 20, 2015 11:12 pm

        dhlii..First of all I was not looking for a crystal ball forecast, just your opinion as that is what keeps this site interesting. The different points of view.

        As for fiscal conservatism, I do not believe that has died, but I do find that the one person that had a major impact on the candidates last time is no where to be found on any major news outlet. Makes one wonder who will be the next Norquist with an agenda that will make the candidates move so far left or right, they also will find it difficult to attract the 11% or so of moderates that it takes to get elected. (45% left, 35% right, 1/2 plus one of the 20% of moderates).

        I can’t speak for others, but unlike your comment about wanting less government, I want more efficient government. Which would probably lead to less government. I want zero based budgeting that requires each agency to justify every dollar spent, not the current way of looking at today’s expense and adding a percent for next year. That’s why we have commissions that have long outlived there reason for existence, bloated agencies in multiple departments doing the same job, etc. Once there is a zero based budget and each dollars is spent wisely, then I am in Neal Cavuto’s (Fox Business News) corner that we could then add to spending for what needs attention but not before.

        As for what I want in a President is someone like John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and some of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan would compromise to achieve their goals. maybe not 100%, but most of them. RR, JFK and BC had very strong individuals in the three key cabinet positions, State, Defense and Treasury. They knew they did not know everything they needed to know, but were unafraid to put people in those positions that were more qualified than they were in those subject. They set the agenda after getting input and made the decisions based on that information.

        (And as for Clinton and Monica, I could care less what the president does in his social life as long as it does not impact the country unless congress makes a big deal out of it and shuts down everything else to make him look bad. That’s on congress and politics, not the presidents agenda.)

        Now looking at Trump compared to those three, I question if Trump will put people in positions that are stronger than he is on those subjects, or will his ego get in his way when he thinks he “knows it all”

        I still believe he is stuck at 25% or so and when others begin falling out, their support will go elsewhere, moving Trump down the pack as the numbers get smaller.

    • Roby permalink
      August 20, 2015 11:18 pm

      “I’m starting to believe that Trump is not the worst person that we could be dealing with at this juncture, and that his candidacy could actually be a positive in the long run? He may be a blowhard, but he’s not a bad man…….”

      Priscilla, I think I have watched you go through the classical Denial, Depression, Anger, Acceptance cycle here…. (little smiley face to indicate the humor that is my intention).

      Personally, I have made it to somewhere between Depression and Anger (there is still some denial too) and I am NOT making it to Acceptance.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 21, 2015 9:34 am

        I think you are right, Roby 🙂

        And, to think I went through the entire cycle in one thread!

  12. Pat Riot permalink
    August 18, 2015 4:18 pm

    Priscilla, maybe you just hit on Trump’s next promo: “Trump, he’s not a stellar character, but there’s a lot of stuff to git done!” haha. Ron, yes, good question…where are all the stories from former employees, good or bad? The fact that stories are not surfacing (e.g. “I used to work for Donald Trump and a bunch of us were fired for no reason blah blah yada yada”, or “Mr. Trump always sent us a turkey on Thanksgiving, blah blah”) leads me to believe that the 5 big media networks are helping to orchestrate…oh the conspiracies!

    • August 18, 2015 4:34 pm

      Another conspiracy. Trump is still paying them to be quite and it is more than they can make actually working or selling the story. Or his friend Guido will make a midnight visit if they open their mouth….HUMM it is NYC and he did have interests in Atlantic city…Just thinking…

    • dhlii permalink
      August 20, 2015 7:00 pm

      Trump has fired enough people on TV that I think he is inoculated against that nonsense.

      Ultimately Trumps worst problem is NOT that he is rich, or uncouth or obnoxious, or speaks without thinking.

      It is that he is NOT really a republican and while he connects with the desire of the electorate for an outsider to clean house – his actual political views are all wrong.

      He is just a different form of statist republican in an election where we are angry with government.

      We do not want a different form of big government – we want less government.

  13. dhlii permalink
    August 19, 2015 9:05 am

    We have Trump dominating republicans and Sanders threatening to topple Hillary.

    Maybe the take away is NOT about their particular positions but that we are VERY angry with insider politics.

    • Ron P permalink
      August 19, 2015 11:52 am

      dhlii..Do you think this can hold with Trump, Carson and Fiorina drawing almost 40% of the GOP support and Sanders drawing a sizable amount from Hillary, or will we return to the “same ol’ ” “same ol’ ” and end up with Hillary and another lifer politician bought to you by “__________” (enter the company name of your choice).

      I think what we may have is a bunch of angry voters that when the pollsters ask the question about their choice, they will say “Trump”, “Carson” or whomever, then when they get in the booth, their anger leaves and normalcy prevails, they decide they want to make a safer choice, they vote for the lifer politician and then maybe keeping talking like they support the newcomer, all while the lifer gets the nomination.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 20, 2015 6:51 pm

        If you are asking my view into the crystal ball – and I claim no skill at predicting the future,

        I expect to be disappointed by both parties nominees.

        I think we have some serious political disruption coming – but this election is at best going to hint at that. This is not going to be a transformational election.
        That is in the future.

  14. Pat Riot permalink
    August 22, 2015 8:55 pm

    dhlii, I agree with most of what you wrote above. I think it’s an important observation that you make that Trump would likely be a different form of statist ruler rather than someone drastically shrinking government, though he would undoubtedly reduce regulations and restrictions, as he is a champ at circumventing permit restrictions et cetera, and that would probably result in the closing of some offices, bureaus, departments of government, yet at the same time he’d be continuing or extending executive overreach I’m sure.

    But I’ll disagree strongly with your last statement that this is not going to be a transformational election. We might have our first woman president, our first proclaimed socialist, or our first openly flaming egomaniac loose cannon. Furthermore, at the rate of change these days, empowered by mass media /social media (see Confederate flag pulled from government buildings in no time flat), I think this Presidential election is going to be transformational. The 2020 election might be more so, but this one is definitely going to be transformational.

  15. Pat Riot permalink
    September 3, 2015 7:18 pm

    Apparently Trump just signed a pledge NOT to run as an independent, pledging to back the GOP nomination even if it’s not him. That is significant.

    If Bernie Sanders apologized for saying “all lives matter” (was something taken out of context on that?) then that is worse for me than the socialist ideas, and that cancels him out. Our hijacked country has been taken so far from the representational republic it was designed to be (to a plutocracy), that I was desperate enough to think some European-style socialist policies might at least shut off some of the pipes currently draining the middle class out of existence. From my vantage point Sanders’ apology shows weak character. That’s not what we crave. We want Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator (It’s What Plants Crave!)

    At least Trump is not a politically-correct apologizer.
    At least Trump is from the private sector and not an entrenched “career politician”/bureaucrat.
    At least he’s not Barack Obama
    Oh how I wish someone would emerge with charisma and intelligence who could out-Brawndo the Donald.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 3, 2015 8:20 pm

      Pat, I need you to be serious for a second here, ok? We need help.

      (FYI, My son has worked for the cinematographer/DOP on that film…a great guy, very funny, does almost all of Mike Judge’s films. I’ll see he can get you some Brawndo!)

      • Pat Riot permalink
        September 4, 2015 11:49 am

        Priscilla, wait…no way! Hold the Brawndo, but maybe you can hook me up!

        I would fetch coffee for free for anyone on a Mike Judge set! They’d get a free intern, a well-educated middle-aged man! Let me see here if I’d be able to do it…that’s two large, cream and sugar, and one medium with skim milk and Sweet-and-Low…I could do it!

        Lemme back up…if I met the Pope or Donald Trump or Jennifer Anniston, or any celeb, I would say, in my regular voice, “Hi Jennifer, can I help you at all? if not, have a great day.” And then I’d move on. I am not into celebrity. I’m not affected by it. To me it’s a bizarre illusion, and I haven’t been a “fan,” in the “fanatical” way, of anyone since I was a kid.

        Back in the 90s I was part of a Dept of Labor Project at Lehigh University for 5 years, and what did I do a lot of the time? Along with a crew of industrial engineers, I took early-model “prosumer” digital video cameras out to manufacturing plants to capture work procedures in minute detail (and we also used these for “career awareness” videos to give students a glimpse into different jobs). Then I did wedding videos and editing for a few years…Anyway, seriously, I have screenwriting/cinematography aspirations. I’m volunteering. I hope I didn’t make you regret mentioning your son’s work!

        Now back to Trump. I almost can’t process it. On one hand if he’s elected, then can President Commacho (Idiocracy) be far behind? On the other hand, I can’t help hoping Trump will clean house and get things done. I can barely reconcile such divergent feelings.

  16. Roby permalink
    September 4, 2015 12:58 pm

    Glad to see all the mirth and good humor here!

    Wish I could feel it and participate.

    As far as I can tell, although November 2016 is still more than a year away, a person who is unlikable and running an absolutely dismal campaign that excites almost no one is going to win the presidency in the next election in a landslide, and I am going to hold my nose with all ten fingers and vote for her.

    I’d like to believe that Trump is going to make some huge blunder and self destruct before the GOP convention, but he already has, and dozens of times and his popularity is only Increasing with republicans. At this point, if the top of his scalp pivoted back and a large cobra emerged from his head his supporters would, instead of Oh Shit, say Wow, cool. Even if he does not win, he will have all the same quite likely succeeded in truly devastating the GOP (not a thing I wish to see happen, we need two viable parties), at least for this cycle.

    Old Bill was on his game when he encouraged Trump.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      September 4, 2015 2:07 pm

      Roby, I know you have some mirth! You former follower of, and occasional linker to, John Cleese, Michael Palin and the boys (Carole Cleveland was the occasional woman–I think I have her name correct)–surely you have some mirth! The world the Media is beaming at us every day, into our homes, in our cars, in the hotel lobbies, at some gas pumps, is becoming so surreal that we must have mirth to survive!

      Now, I must confirm first that the woman you are referring to is not Carole Cleveland but is in fact H. Clinton. Is this so? Please tell me why you would vote for H. I will remain mirthfully respectful. Though I believe in my core, down through my cell membranes, based on the information I have examined, that H. is loyal to the Club and an instrument of the Club that wishes to see the end of sovereign nations, including the U.S. and its troublesome, old-fashioned constitution, I will remain mirthfully respectful if you will share why you would vote for her.

      Loyalty to Democratic party?
      Loathe the GOP?
      Lesser Evil?
      Woman President would be refreshing change? (And now for something completely different…)

      • Roby permalink
        September 4, 2015 2:50 pm

        I’ve a very strong aversion to Hilary and Bill (not his politics just him). But Hillary is going to be the Least of all evils (even by far), if Trump or even any of the worst of the other republicans is the alternative choice.

        Maybe her dour old face reminds me of Golda (Mier, not Hahn). Maybe the GOP process will right itself and produce someone I can try imagine is the ideological heir of Bob Dole and I’ll vote for them. But I doubt it.

        Not into the “Club, end of sovereign nations theory” I must admit.

  17. Pat Riot permalink
    September 4, 2015 5:32 pm

    Fair enough, as an explanation…for now!! :-)*

    *smile face indicates some level of mirth

  18. Pat Riot permalink
    September 5, 2015 12:21 am

    Here are just a few dots to begin connecting…I won’t inundate here on TNM…search yourself, corroborate information among multiple sources…use your own judgment…

    Here I’ll even give Hillary the benefit of the doubt that she was being somewhat facetious about the relationship, but nonetheless there is a strong relationship…
    Hillary addressing Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

    The CFR via Wikipedia:
    “The CFR promotes globalization, free trade, reducing financial regulations on transnational corporations, and economic consolidation into regional blocs such as NAFTA or the European Union, and develops policy recommendations that reflect these goals.”

    “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.” Strobe Talbot, President Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, as quoted in Time magazine, July 1992

    • Roby permalink
      September 5, 2015 8:14 am

      I looked up Talbot on Wiki and followed the trail to a review of his book in 2008 that seems to discuss your fear. Below, I pasted a review of The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation (2008) on Amazon. The book can be bought now for 1 cent and has only 18 reviews with as many 1 stars as 5 stars. Not a book with a massive impact on the world.

      Talbott was a relatively minor Clinton Official (I had never heard of him.) Yes, he seems to believe in the Utopian idea of dissolving the idea of a nation into international authority. So what? One guy with his Utopian opinions. From briefly reading reviews of his book this seems to me to regard mostly foreign policy as a way to avoid things like the invasion of Iraq (or Panama, my favorite example of US abuse of its military power, 600 to 1000 civilians killed because Bush I did not like Noriaga or his red underwear <– slight attempt at mirth). Its a pretty but at present a very naive idea, I don't see that it has any serious traction. There are thousands of things I would worry about first.

      The idea itself in its pure form simply is the idea behind the league of Nations and the UN and as a pure philosophical idea fails to appall me. Terribly little chance of it (constraint of the military actions of superpowers and others due to International law) happening, for good or for bad, but as far as I can tell in general Libertarians are for dramatically less use of US military force are they not? If someday history shows that the human race has evolved to the point where the US or Russia feel unable to invade say Panama, Iraq, or Afghanistan unilaterally due to international law, I would find that rather a good thing, wouldn't you?

      It certainly is not something on the near horizon and I would expect Clinton's foreign policy to resemble the main outline of US foreign policy since WWII, hopefully without any Iraq wars but with continued efforts to contain Putin and war continuing on ISIS. I was not a big fan of Bill Clinton's foreign policy, he gave it less effort than I thought it deserves, it was subordinate to domestic policy. But, then again, there were no Iraq's, no covert support for right-wing death squads, no Ollie Norths, no Contras, no carpet bombing of southeast Asia, or invasions of Panama. Its hard to please everyone, if a president does not recklessly invade on a semi regular basis than some say he is weak and that our legitimate enemies will not fear us. Foreign policy consists of two kinds of choice, bad and worse. One has to somehow find the merely bad choices. I am not afraid of any slight tendency to think that the US should not act with military force unilaterally due to international law, which is the most that Talbot seems to be trying (and failing) to actually achieve, his naive Utopian pronouncements notwithstanding.

      "Talbott, deputy secretary of state in the Clinton administration, makes an eloquent but predictable appeal for progress toward global governance under the auspices of the United Nations, which he sees as humanity's destined path since tribes began forming states, and since states have sought an alternative to international anarchy. The major obstacle to the new order, according to Talbott (Engaging India), is the United States, whose massive power and individualist principles encourage its citizens to regard limiting national authority as unnatural. In the face of cultural resistance, however, presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton regarded some form of world authority as both a natural development in a nuclear era and a useful element of U.S. foreign policy. The villain of the piece, not surprisingly, is George W. Bush, who Talbott claims asserted America's right to make and enforce rules for other nations, rejected facts that did not support his preconceptions and ignored advice from more experienced foreign-policy hands. The resulting havoc wrought by triumphalism and evangelism, according to the author, will require the careful attention of wiser, more temperate people, presumably in a Democratic administration. While the roots of Talbott's argument run deep, it echoes so much conventional wisdom on the subject that its impact is likely to be minimal. (Jan.)
      Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."

    • Roby permalink
      September 5, 2015 8:20 am

      Not that my previous post was not long enough but the irony occurred to me that Libertarians, pretty much by definition are FOR the widest possible free trade, are they not? A libertarian fearing an organization such as the CFR seems to me to be paradoxical.

      My own views on free trade are not Libertarian, but I am just saying…

  19. Roby permalink
    September 5, 2015 9:58 am

    From Wiki on the CFR under Controversies:

    “The council has been the subject of debates over sovereignty as well as the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. This is primarily due to the number of high-ranking government officials (along with world business leaders and prominent media figures) in its membership and the large number of aspects of American foreign policy that its members have been involved with. Echoing the most common accusation, the paleoconservative John Birch Society claims that the CFR is “Guilty of conspiring with others to build a one world government…”.[18][19] Other figures like Cleon Skousen opposed the CFR vociferously.[20]
    In response to the allegations and insinuations, the CFR’s website contains an FAQ section about its affairs.[21]”

    Yes, I think the term conspiracy theories is in order here. As well, the flavor is “paleo-conservative, i.e, John Birch.” My official reaction is Bleh.

    This is far from what I think of as Libertarian ideology, the CFR seems to me to be rather consistent with Libertarian principles, while the conspiracy-theory level attacks come from the John Bircher type of ideology. I am astonished that this has pulled you in Pat. My advice is to see this for the rather ugly thing it is, it is not consistent with your kind and libertarian viewpoints, at least as I know them and have understood them.

  20. Priscilla permalink
    September 5, 2015 10:15 am

    Pat, I will definitely mention your offer to fetch coffee on the next Mike Judge set! Who knows….? I love your description of celebrity as a “bizarre illusion,” by the way. Obama basically transformed himself into a celebrity in order to secure the presidency, and, even as POTUS, has done far more celebrity-style interviews than he has “hard-news” interviews. In many ways, Donald Trump is just taking us to the next level of celebrity in politics. He has already mastered the art of celebrity illusion as a businessman and a reality TV star….why not one-up Barack, as well as the Democrat and GOP party leadership?

    Who knew that the 3rd party movement would be based on celebrity power? The ultimate populism, I suppose. I heard someone describe what Trump is doing to the GOP as a “hostile takeover,” and it doesn’t sound far from the truth.

    And speaking of “hard-news”, does it even exist anymore?

    Roby, I don’t think Hillary is going to make it to the gate. I’m expecting the Democrats to run Joltin’Joe Biden at this point, accompanied by Liz Warren, who for some reason, has become a political superstar, despite a paper thin record of achievement in her own right. As far as I can see, she’s merely another 60-something populist, and I don’t get her appeal at all.

    But hey – think of the entertainment value of a Trump vs. Biden debate!! Perhaps Jesse Ventura could moderate.

    • Roby permalink
      September 5, 2015 10:48 am

      Its all very muddy and speculative at this point, what would happen if Biden entered is beyond my ability to forecast. But as of today Hillary is beating Bernei on the order of 50-25 and I don;t think that Bernie is going to beat her. I wish that both parties would suddenly produce someone else who is within the bounds of a Bill Clinton-Bush I contest.

      Compared to Sanders-Trump I would long for the chance to vote for for Jimmy Carter or RR.

      This is a freakin nightmare. I think that the highest probability is that Hillary survives and wins the Dem nomination. If she faces Trump it will be a 60-40 level landslide for Hillary. Since Trump is still far at the head of the GOP field and there is no behavior that he can perform that is so absurd or vile that it will alienate his supporters then I am going to have to admit the unthinkable, he may really be the GOP candidate. I can hope that the GOP establishment finally finds a way to pull the plug on Trump , they may well be able in the end. But they would have to do it without alienating his supporters, not an enviable assignment. The GOP suddenly seems to be in serious danger of truly falling apart, at least as far as a party that can generate a president. How Hillary would fare against any of the GOP field who are not able to break through the Trump phenomenon and be heard (and there is not one of them I would consider to be presidential material) I cannot tell, but it would be closer than a Hillary-Trump contest.

      One thing that I have to admit to you Priscilla is that I have been wrong in many posts to you about the size of left part of the spectrum that is to the left of the merely liberal. I had many good reasons to think that it was small, most especially a wealth of polling data on the ideologies of Americans, but the Sanders support has shown me (and those polls) to be wrong. There really are more liberals who are farther to the left than I would have believed. So, a point for you there.

      I am scared.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 6, 2015 10:05 am

        Roby, I think that liberalism has been in decline for a long time now….and, when I say liberalism, I mean the ideology that animates people like you (and me, at one time, anyway) to value collective action in pursuit of the greater good for all. In large part, I blame our own generation for this decline, a generation that has been traveling to hell on the road of good intentions (or in a handbasket, take your pick).

        I do think that the left has hijacked liberalism, and it is very scary. But I also think that it’s still possible to reverse the decline. Probable? Not so sure. But I do think that collective action is still the key….but now, the collective action needs to be brought to bear against the left, and conservatives are just not of a collectivist mindset (herding cats and such, you know) – so it’s true liberals acting in concert with moderate conservatives that will make it happen, if it does, I think.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      September 5, 2015 9:10 pm

      Thank you Priscilla! I could also hold some lights! Just to be there! Who knows…?

  21. Pat Riot permalink
    September 5, 2015 11:04 am

    Roby you bring up good discussion points. “Free Trade” for instance are two nice-sounding words. What do they mean?

    I only picked Strobe Talbot because he was sorta low hanging fruit, low-hanging in the sense that he had been so openly direct about national sovereignty being archaic, and because he is (or at least was) a friend of Bill and Hillary’s. And with a name like “Strobe,” he’s got to be good (unnecessary SNL/Smuckers Jelly reference to show mirth in tone and attitude, i.e. not crazed conspiracy theorist!)

    I see Strobe as a NWO disciple who wrote a book, not as an important player. Important “players” include David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Trilateral Commission, The Bilderburg Group, The IMF, World Bank, The U.N., the Federal Reserve, the Clintons, et al.

    It’s a shame we have to weed through mis-quotes, distortion, and knee-jerk yahoos on the Internet, but the more one researches the global players/transnational organizations the more one sees very real, well-underway agendas to weaken the U.S. constitution to weaken the citizenry to allow Elites to re-arrange things to suit their goals.

    Though I am devoted to “bottom up representation” not being swept into the dustbin of history, I don’t want to be a conspiracy troll on Rick’s TNM, so I’ll back off. There’s SO much information out there on each of the players/organizations, including from reputable sources, such as the following among thousands…

    Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) issued a clear and precise warning in his 1979 book, With No Apologies: The Trilateral Commission is international and is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. … The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power – political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical.


  22. Roby permalink
    September 5, 2015 11:24 am

    Well, Peace, of course, but ouch! as well.

    That ultrarich elites everywhere sidestep attempts to regulate them is not surprising and its as old as history. They even get together and do it, which is a conspiracy of sorts I guess. But they are not a monolithic group and for every rich $#@%^ with a right-wing agenda there is another one with a left wing agenda.

    That the trilateral commission was a conspiracy to subvert the Constitution is another thing altogether. Little people still have the power in the end as a group, although we lack the outsized individual clout that the ultrarich have. You know, I’ll bet good money that my little anonymous unpowerful life is a lot happier than 99% of theirs. I win and I did not have to work nearly so hard to be happy as they did to be miserable control freaks.

    See teh movie Being There, if you haven’t, its probably my favorite movie. Sort of along your lines too, but it is a move and a satire, not reality.

    We can all probably agree that the world is going to hell in a bucket, but it is necessary to understand why that is and what conscious or unconscious force will win the race to kill us first. You and I are just not of the same mind on that. I am of the opinion that the worst forces are not conscious; they are just the undeliberate and impersonal trends of population size, technology, and the inborn human nature to exterminate competitors.

  23. Ron P permalink
    September 5, 2015 10:05 pm

    After hearing Trumps comment on MSNBC concerning the Hewitt interview, it dawned on me who Trump reminds me of.

    The spoiled rotten kid that gets bad grades on test because he/she did not study and when the parents asked him/her why the grades were so bad, “The teacher doesn’t like me”, “The teacher is terrible and doesn’t teach the subject right”. “The teachers has it out for me and picks on me”. (I select the third for Trump)

    When you don’t know something (ISIS and Al Quida leaders) own it and stop blamng the person asking the question.

    But then our society does not believe in personal responsibility, so why should they believe a Presidential candidate should know who our enemies are?

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 6, 2015 9:26 am

      Ron, I agree that Trump behaves like a child. It’s unseemly and unnerving, and it’s one of the main reasons that I don’t like him. But, I wonder how many of the candidates on either side would have been able to answer that question without notes. I would hope that Hillary would (she WAS the SecState, after all), probably Cruz and Rubio, almost certainly Graham (is he even a serious candidate though?), but I doubt that the rest would have. That certainly does not negate your point, but I have to agree with Trump that it was a “pop quiz” style question, the answer to which could be learned very quickly, once someone studied up on it, but might not be on the radar screen of a candidate for the nomination, very early in the process.

      Carly Fiorina, who I like very much, got the same question from Hewitt and gave a very detailed and knowledgeable answer….but, after being asked about General Soleimani in her radio interview with Hewitt, she vamped for a minute or so, saying things like ” I could go in many different directions on this” while I believe she waited for an aide to find her notes on the subject. Nothing wrong with that, but Trump talks off the cuff and is still dealing in generalities at this point. Hewitt exposed Trump’s lack of knowledge, for sure, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that he doesn’t know who our enemies are. Hell, Obama knows who they are, and I think his foreign policy is dangerous and incoherent.

      But, yeah, the whining and yammering that Trump does over questions that he perceives as “gotcha” ones is childish and undignified. But that character trait of his is “baked into the cake” of what people think of him, I think, so it won’t diminish his support among those who like him. Just as Hillary’s obvious lying won’t hurt her among those who think, like she does, that she HAS to lie, to foil the vast right-wing conspiracy…….

      • September 6, 2015 12:52 pm

        Priscilla..I think Trump is on to something that America wants in a president, but is unable to corral that desire in a way that shows leadership to a vast majority of Americans. He may, but then there could be a ceiling on his support that would preclude him from defeating Hillary, a candidate that is not the “chosen one” any more. And Carly may not have answered that question either in a way that many want to see.

        Maybe what America desires is a true leader that exhibits all the traits of a born leader that allows their personality to accept the fact they do not “know it all” and is willing to state such a fact. When ask a question of this magnitude, maybe the answer is to say “I know who X,Y and Z are, but right now I am unfamiliar with A, B and C, but that is what my secretary of Defense, my secretary of Homeland Security and my Secretary of State are going to know and that is what my daily briefings that a president receives from his cabinet is for. I will know what I need to know at the time I need to know it because I will insure that the cabinet I put into place will be of the quality found in successful administrations and not one like we have today.”

        Would take work, I don’t know because the left or right wing media could find a way to twist the words and make it sound like the candidate did not know anything. But at least they would not be blaming someone else for their inability to answer a question concerning homeland security and enemies of America.

  24. Pat Riot permalink
    September 7, 2015 10:14 pm

    Yes, Ron P, wouldn’t it be great if candidates (and those already elected) would just be straight and honest with us, including when they don’t have a ready-made answer!

    I would be fine if occasionally they responded with:

    “I’d like to give you a perfect answer to your question, but right this second, given all I have already done today and talked about today, given all the ways I could be misunderstood if I don’t get the words just right in this under-the-microscope mass media world, I’m going to have to get back to you on that…”

    I would respect that.

  25. Roby permalink
    September 8, 2015 8:07 am

    This set of candidates is giving me nightmares, Trump and Sanders.

    As many have pointed out, a President is not supposed to know everything and be competent at everything, he (or she, I guess) should surround himself with very smart and well-informed people with a lifetime of competency in each position of the cabinet (people like James Watt obviously show that this can go wrong) and they give him serious advice.

    Now Imagine who Trump (or Sanders) would have for Secretary of State or Defense. In the case of Trump, literally no respectable team of people would work for this freak and his freak show and the scenario of Idiocracy would be immediately upon us. Dealing with Putin and ISIS and all the complexities of foreign affairs? Forget it, we would have a freak show administration that would be completely out of its depth, a disaster. That tens of millions of voters are ready to choose this scenario means to me that the day of Idiocracy is really, truly approaching. The most powerful country in the world and Trump or Sanders as leader of it, each with their black and white views and complete lack of nuance or respect for facts or reality, not funny, not at all. Its one thing to have a clown be the leader of Italy, its another thing for a clown to be the leader of the US. And before anyone says that Obama is a clown or W was a clown, those people, along with Jimmy Carter, are both utterly presidential compared to Trump or Sanders.

    Hillary, and at least some or even most of the presently marginalized GOP candidates would have a cabinet that is along the lines of a real cabinet with serious people (even if I might not like them), not a bad joke, no matter how much some here might dislike Hillary (yes, me too) and I might dislike all of the GOP field. I admit that I am not completely aware of the bios of all of them so I am being a bit harsh on the GOP field. The Trump-Sanders nightmare cannot possible fade away fast enough for me, but there is Trump, more popular each day with a large segment of GOP voters. Sanders is at least far behind Hillary in national polling and less in danger of actually winning the nomination.

    This could not be more serious. I’m waiting for people to wake up and scream No!

    • September 8, 2015 11:37 am

      Roby.. the Real Clear Politics averages for polling shows Trump with 27% of the vote, Carson with 13% and 14 candidates splitting the other 60%. So when money begins drying up and they can’t pay staffers and for trips across the country, it will not take long for that 14 to become 2 or 3, leaving 4-5 real candidates in the field come convention time. Most will drop out after the “SEC Primary” in early March and then the 60% of the vote will be split between the remaining candidates. I don’t see many people that did not support Trump now becoming a Trump supporter. I suspect his ceiling is 35% or so, meaning someone else will end up with more delegates. And when convention time comes and deals begin to be made, number 3 and 4 may drop out and pledge their delegates to the last person standing against Trump. (At least we can hope!!!)

      Now for Clinton, she is a shoe in for the nomination. After the “Liberal-Liberal” elections the first two weeks, we head to the south where Clinton will dominate and Sanders will be an after thought. Maybe he will do something in California, but that’s too late top pull off an upset.

      We an only pray that people come to their senses and do not vote her in. When she said “I did not think” when she put that server in her home, that to me disqualifies her as President. I want someone who will think before acting.

      • Roby permalink
        September 8, 2015 10:36 pm

        Sounds like a rational reading of the tea leaves. Hope you are right about Trump.

        The idea of Hillary and Bubba in the WH makes me ill, I wish some decent new dem alternative would materialize and get the dem nomination, (not Biden) and that the most reasonable of the presently marginalized GOP candidates would be selected (I don’t know who that is exactly) and that we would have a decent Pres election between two rational and serious candidates, both of whom would be of presidential caliber.

        That seems like a fantasy at present.

      • September 8, 2015 11:36 pm

        I would like to see Manchin from WVA run for higher office, but he is too moderate, so the odds of that happening is less than Sanders getting nominated. And he would attract many right of center voters looking for someone to vote for and not just to vote against someone else like we may get this time around.

  26. Pat Riot permalink
    September 8, 2015 11:28 pm

    Roby you said it well: would be an “…administration completely out of its depth…”

    I hear people say “oh the POTUS is just a figurehead…he/she won’t be making the decisions anyhow, it’s the people behind the scenes…” Even thought that’s partially true, it wouldn’t matter how many smart people an unqualified or “un-presidential” president surrounded themselves with, the unqualified person would still have so many opportunities to embarrass the nation with poor choice of words, etc., not to mention poor decision-making and actions.

    The “depth” is indeed very important. The “Powers That Be” have some intelligence and depth…they must know this…which makes me think that Trump is purposely a temporary distraction.

  27. Priscilla permalink
    September 9, 2015 10:18 am

    Hillary Clinton should be absolutely disqualified from any public office, not only the Presidency. The Clinton’s have been pushing the limits of mendacity, greed and corruption for many years. Theft, perjury, bribery…..only a few of the criminal acts that they can be reasonably accused of . Enough already.

    No resume makes up for that.

    • September 9, 2015 11:32 am

      There is a class system in this country. If you are part of the elite, you can do things that the vast majority of people can not do. General Petraeus was not part of that elite. Hillary is. Scott Gration was not part of the elite. Hillary is.

      You can lie to the American people as long as you promise them something in return for their vote. That is what Hillary is doing and a large percentage of people are buying.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 9, 2015 12:10 pm

        So true. Promising to give free money to the masses works wonders.

        I read yesterday that Hillary will be re-booting her campaign yet again…this time she will be talking to “real people”. Who has she been talking to?

  28. September 9, 2015 11:17 am

    Much like Julius Caesar, Trump stands out against the decadent aristocracy he was brought up in. He will bring it down; it’s our last chance for a democracy. That is the historical precedent for this phenomenon.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      September 9, 2015 3:26 pm

      Sage of Main, sometimes I think what you say about Trump might be true. I don’t know.
      I read Trump’s “Art of the Deal” years ago. I still don’t know. Is there information out there that tells us what kind of man Trump really is, what motivates him other than money, beautiful women, and seeing his name in really big letters?

    • Roby permalink
      September 9, 2015 10:07 pm

      “Much like Julius Caesar, Trump stands out against the decadent aristocracy he was brought up in. He will bring it down; it’s our last chance for a democracy. That is the historical precedent for this phenomenon.”

      There is not a single sentiment in these four assertions that has any substance or logic. With all due respect, Hogwash.

      • Roby permalink
        September 9, 2015 10:12 pm

        I should add that the idea that someone is going to save us by being highly destructive is one that I associate most of all with a rationalization of extremists and extremism. I have no interest in living through such a period of so-called creative destruction.

  29. Roby permalink
    September 9, 2015 10:14 pm

    This is pretty interesting and makes a lot of sense.

  30. Roby permalink
    September 10, 2015 12:04 am

    First member of Trumps cabinet:

    “If Sarah Palin Wants To Be Energy Secretary, Maybe She Should Learn What DoE Does

    Donald Trump says he “…would love to have the strength of Sarah Palin in my administration.” And it just so happens that Sarah Palin wants to be Secretary of Energy.

    “I think a lot about the Department of Energy because energy is my baby,” says Palin. “Oil, gas, minerals, those things God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations for us to import their resources” (CNN).

    I guess Palin can be forgiven for not knowing we aren’t importing much from any unfriendly foreign nation anymore, since we now produce so much oil and gas in the United States. Unless she’s referring to Canada as unfriendly foreigners – we import more from Canada than all those other unfriendly foreigners combined.”

  31. Pat Riot permalink
    September 10, 2015 6:33 am

    Let’s not get carried away. When someone says a Caesar-like figure will “bring down” the aristocracy, that doesn’t have to be interpreted as “destruction,” creative or otherwise.

    I believe it more readily is interpreted as righting wrongs, as not catering to the aristocracy, as not PRESERVING THE warped STATUS QUO BY INACTION, but to “bring down” the gross inequality by actually getting some things done and giving everyday Americans more of a chance to get somewhere in a more fair system.

    Reminder there are millions of Americans working two and three jobs and living check to check and barely making it, while there are others who did nothing to earn their millions but be born to it, and some of those born to it are re-writing our laws to make it easier and easier for those who already have, and harder and harder for those who do not, and that includes things like a porous border which is much worse than just a slap in the face to third and fourth generation Americans who are struggling and paying taxes and having their taxes given away to others, et cetera. Tax paying not benefitting the tax payer. Sound familiar. These are the frustrations that Trump speaks to because he is perceived as different than the same ole bureaucratic bullshit.

    In other words, many Americans would rather have a rough-around-the-edges, unsophisticated-sounding Trump or Caesor or Joe Blow than another eloquent DO-NOTHING, and sometimes I am right there with them!!

    • Roby permalink
      September 10, 2015 8:24 am

      I love your 3rd paragraph but fail to connect the solutions of any of these issues with Trump as the person who will do what you are wishing for.

      The person who could accomplish what you are yearning for would have to be an exceptional person, Trumps only single qualification is that he wants the job. And that is only to complete his set of trophies. This is so obvious that I cannot believe anyone, let alone a smart, thoroughly decent, thoughtful person like yourself could possibly buy any of it.

      I looked him up on Wiki last night and his bio is was actually considerably worse than I thought, mafia connections, lying about his wealth, harassing people through lawsuits, which he seems actually have lost more of than won, numerous casino businesses that often wind up bankruptcies as well, treating women like dirt, not to mention many other people. That is the person that is going to fix things for the common man? I do not, not, not, not, not, get it.

      Sure, a better voice for the common man would be great, but I have zero reason to think that Trump is that person. He is “different”, yes, from the other applicants but one cannot just take being “different” as the qualification to be president, the differences have to lie in important areas that our pols fail us in, for me that would be having More common sense and More common decency. In these areas, Trump has much Less of these to-me cherished qualities, so I AM getting carried away. The idea of having the vacuous, ignorant, attention seeking, and fundamentally lazy Sarah Palin running a federal agency…. I am turning purple, that just makes a mockery of the government of the USA, that would be Real Actual and not rhetorical destruction. I am not accepting any of this Trump nonsense. Having a someone like Trump really could do tremendous destruction to the US and the world. Pat, it seems that you think things are so bad that they could not be worse. They Could be worse, much worse. God help us.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 10, 2015 9:29 am

        Roby, God is not going to help us, but we’d better help ourselves.

        I think that looking objectively (or as objectively as possible) at certain indicators of decline, leads us to the the conclusion that it is our current leadership that is dragging us down. And, by current leadership, I mean the leadership of both parties, the “ruling elite” as Ron has called them. It is the left-leaning Democrats who have relentlessly pushed a redistributionist economy, open borders and identity politics/political correctness, all of which have resulted in increased poverty, taxes, crime, and racial tension (I won’t even go into the takeover and destruction of the healthcare and education systems, which has benefited, respectively, the big insurance companies and the teachers union). The GOP has won two landslide off-year elections and taken over the Congress, with the promise of representing the obvious desire of the voters to stop this decline. And they have not done it……in fact, they have participated in what the conservative media now calls “failure theater;” that is, the pretense of fighting back against this tsunami of government overreach and corruptions, while simultaneously engaging in backroom deals and legislative tricks that allow it to continue.

        Donald Trump represents, for many, a candidate who is not going to play this game. Who has not enriched himself at the public trough, but who has insider knowledge of the way that crony capitalism works and is promising to stop it.
        That is his appeal, and I believe that it is based on a grass roots desire for someone to save the country from further decline. The fact that his own ideology appears to be a somewhat flawed and muddled hybrid of liberal and conserve populism is secondary to his appeal as someone who speaks without a filter, does not insult our intelligence with the same old political BS, and is not running for office in order to enrich himself at the public trough.

        We could be dealing with worse, much worse.

      • Roby permalink
        September 10, 2015 10:16 am

        That people are highly disappointed is one thing, we all understand that. That they are turning to an utterly irrational response is another.

        The GOP base seems to me like a person who hates the decor of their house so much that one night they get really really drunk and burn it down. Next morning there a terrible hangover, no house, jail awaits.

        Trump has the actual capacity to destroy the GOP. Any rational person who cares about conservative issues should be scared shitless of trump, rather than trying to make the incomprehensible explanation that he does not insult people’s intelligence.

        The engine of my car has let me down, I am frustrated and angry. But I have no plans to replace the engine with a large belligerent drunken man.

        Well, I have ranted my rant and am done with this topic, let the GOP base burn the GOP down, my life in Vermont is good.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 10, 2015 10:26 am

        Your analogy of the GOP base is right on, Roby. That is one of the differences between the parties….the Democrats pander to their base, the Republicans treat their base badly. I think it’s partly due to the way that the media has portrayed conservatives, i.e. as drooling, knuckle dragging yahoos….no one wants to believe that that is who they represent.

        But, just like a woman who is repeatedly smacked around and badly treated by her husband, the Republican base is fed up with electing representatives who say that they will stop the madness, and then get to DC and become willing participants in it.

        And, I think that there are plenty of Democrats who are starting to realize that, in the identity politics lottery, their identity group is being screwed over – most specifically, blue-collar white voters, but more and more black voters are starting to chafe at the fact that Latinos have surpassed them as the “most-courted” voter bloc.

        My life is good as well, but I worry for my children and their children. That is what haunts me.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 10, 2015 10:35 am

        Heh, I realize that I left my “abused woman” metaphor kind of hanging…..hopefully it was obvious where I was going with that. (🎼 ♪I’m gonna walk right out the door, and find myself a better man ♬….)

    • September 10, 2015 12:11 pm

      I find this whole election crap very interesting as most Americans believe that the president can do anything they want. Now Obama has just about proven that to be the case because no one in congress will stand up and pass legislation that takes some of the powers away that they have through executive actions.

      But in the areas that really have a direct impact on domestic issues like tax reform, budgets, debt reduction, defense spending, immigration policy and reform and a host of other issues, the president is impotent. The president can propose legislation, but congress has to pass it.

      And therein lies the problem I have with all the candidates that say they will do XYZ. They can’t do it themselves and no one has said how they will work with congress to get stuff passed.

      Trump says “I will be so good that …..” and people believe him. He is not Ceasar, he is not King George III, he is not Putin nor is he any other ruler that can do anything without congress. So I want to hear from all of them how they are going to work with the leadership of congress like Ronald Reagan did to turn this country around or how Bill Clinton did to balance the budget for the only time in recent history.

      And I am sick of hearing how less than 20% of the people nationally think congress is doing a good job, but a large percentage think their congressional representative is doing a good job and keep reelecting those that in the collective stink.

      • Roby permalink
        September 10, 2015 1:37 pm

        “He is not Ceasar, he is not King George III, he is not Putin nor is he any other ruler that can do anything without congress. So I want to hear from all of them how they are going to work with the leadership of congress like Ronald Reagan did to turn this country around or how Bill Clinton did to balance the budget for the only time in recent history.”

        Yes, yes yes! Absolutely one of the best comments I have read here. The pols make their grandiose claims about what they are going to do, neglecting that Congress and the Ex office are 500+ people and the government we get is not the product of one magical person.

        Instead of believing in the unbelievable hoodoo of some nut like Trump or Sanders voters should be demanding from candidates their plan to cooperate with each and make steady progress outside of ideological soap operas.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 10, 2015 3:28 pm

        Well,as always, you raise a couple of good points, Ron. I can’t say that agree with you on the “working with Congress” idea, although I agree that the so-called “co-equal” legislative branch must be brought back into the picture by our next president, or our federal government will cease being a constitutional one…. unless, of course, Obama and this feckless Congress have not have already succeeded in bringing about an imperial presidency. You have said before, and I have agreed, that the GOP has allowed Obama to recklessly and unlawfully disregard the Constitution, because they believe that when a GOP president takes over, he will be able to do the same.

        So, what I would like to hear, is how the next President is going to reverse this and work with within the limits imposed by the Constitution, not just throw out executive orders or propose unconstitutional laws and treaties that are rubber stamped by a toothless legislature, only to be blessed or condemned after the fact, by The Supremes.

        I think that I have come to believe that “working together” with Congress will not do this. Pledging to work within the system and dragging the Congress along, kicking and screaming, is what probably needs to happen. Obama has shown that most of our elected representatives would just as soon have a Caesar or a King George issuing edicts. It saves them from having to take controversial stands or from being fiscally responsible, and they can blame everything on someone else.

      • September 10, 2015 5:21 pm

        “Pledging to work within the system and dragging the Congress along, kicking and screaming, is what probably needs to happen.”

        Could be in today’s environment it is not possible to work with congress, but I can not see anyone dragging congress along to get them to do anything they do not want to do.

        And again, I don’t see that changing either as “my congressional representatives are great, its the other 430+ that are not doing their jobs”.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 11, 2015 8:57 am

        I’m right there with you on people continuing to vote in greedy idiots who visit their district occasionally (and only during election season), but I still believe (perhaps naively so) that a president with the right skill set and experience for the job can use his position as the leader of his party to get Congress to enact legislation that they would otherwise not have the political will to enact. Clinton and welfare reform is the most obvious recent example.

        And, I may be saying the same thing as you, but coming at it from a different angle. Either way, Congress is rapidly becoming – if it has not already become- a relatively impotent pseudo-legislature, whose members are concerned primarily with enriching themselves, with public service a an afterthought.

  32. September 10, 2015 12:15 pm

    Priscilla…”My life is good as well, but I worry for my children and their children. That is what haunts me.”

    Not to worry. Most of them do not and as long as the have all their electronic devices to get lost in, they will be just fine…or so they think.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 11, 2015 8:47 am

      Ah, Ron, so cynical today…..

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 11, 2015 9:09 am

      Oh God, maybe you’re right :\

  33. Pat Riot permalink
    September 10, 2015 7:39 pm

    Well at least we did some justice to ‘ole Rick B’s thread here by examining Trump every which way!

    Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood! I’m not a fan of D. Trump.

    It’s like George Patton who seemed to be an Ass—- S.O.B, but was effective. I could see Trump EXPOSING some people, calling them out…and, hell, I want some of that. But yeah this is not the reality I would have chosen.

    Rick, I’m hoping you are going to write next about the Pope’s visit. From the U.N. he is going to call for ONE GLOBAL AUTHORITY. Yes, he is. I read his 192-page Encyclical. 1.2 million Catholics. About 1/3 of the Earth’s population is Christian. Previous Pope Benedict first Pope to resign since the 1400s! The “ruling elite” said, hey, Benny, you ain’t popular enough! Then we get the most popular celeb Pope in history!

    Trump is keeping some of the right wingers occupied. It’s a role he’s agreed to play. Pope Fran is going to tell his huge audience that it’s time for ONE GLOBAL AUTHORITY. He’s selling it now in South America. Obama is looking at melting glaciers. Some events will occur. Hillary’s campaign will dovetail with a Global Authority Solution. I think it. I see it. I feel it to my core.

    • September 10, 2015 10:51 pm

      ONE GLOBAL AUTHORITY>>>>Is that anything like the Anti-Christ and what that entails?

  34. Pat Riot permalink
    September 11, 2015 8:16 am

    Oops. That’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics with a “b” not an “m”. I was one of them, well-trained and devout for decades.

    Ron, I’ve been following the efforts/steps of the NWO folks for years, but not from a religious slant/perspective, as I considered talk of an “Anti-Christ” to be boogey man talk, but current NWO moves (including a global authority under the guise of saving the planet) do mesh rather amazingly and creepily with Anti-Christ “rhetoric.”

    Religion or not, predictions or no predictions, divine help or not, it’s going to take people working together, communicating, to circumvent wars and other injustices. There is much good occurring. I hope the good can drown out the insanity. PEACE!

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 11, 2015 8:46 am

      Pat, I am not a fan of this pope, who seems a big phony to me – an activist, posing as a spiritual leader. Honestly, I have trouble with a so-called “humble” person constantly telling us how humble he is, pulling publicity stunts like announcing that he is paying for hotel rooms with “his own money”, (really? where did he earn it?), while telling people that spending their own money on pets is akin to idolatry. He often seems more like a slick con-man to me.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        September 12, 2015 11:28 am

        I’m with you, Priscilla, regarding the current pope.

        Of course I don’t know him and his motivations personally or first hand; I can only guess from a distance. I started his encyclical in the middle and read it to the end, and I thought it was a very secular document with just a phrase about God thrown in here and there, and I believe no mention of the next world that all people should be striving to get to, which is at the very center of life as a Roman Catholic, or should be!!!

        Then when I started at the beginning there were the prayers and scripture references, but they seemed to me to be more decoration or packaging for the secular message of nations can’t take care of the world, so we need ONE GLOBAL AUTHORITY. Apparently Fran will be sharing the stage with Professor Shellnhuber who has said the carrying capacity of the Earth is about 1 billion people (and we already have 7 billion!). These top-down globalist guys are scary bastards.

  35. September 11, 2015 12:39 pm

    Pat..What I meant by Anti-Christ was in some beliefs the Anti-Christ will be extremely charismatic and find followers world wide and most will not realize what that entity really is. In some stories peace will be brought by this entity to convince more that he is the supreme power. In other stories and verses, many are the great deceivers and not just one entity.

    So when one talks of One Global Authority, I do have to wonder is this just one more small step in the progression of the stories in the bible. Even the bible is not clear as to this being one entity or many entities deceiving the people. So maybe the OGA is just one small piece of the massive puzzle.

    We could also say the same thing about Hillary and Donald as they are masters of deception.

  36. Pat Riot permalink
    September 17, 2015 5:32 pm

    This is a thread called “We’ve Been Trumped,” and of course Trump was on last night with the other GOP candidates, and I had an old thought, a positive thought about the G OP debate: what other country in the world would put that many senators, governors, personalities on stage at the same time and let them dig at each other, be civil to each other, make short stump speeches, get put on the spot, etc.? At least there is still some dialogue. There were some interesting moments last night.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 18, 2015 10:18 am

      Spot on, Pat.

      No other country in the world….nor in history, really. We get so politically divided over things like abortion, gay marriage and political correctness, while forgetting that these issues don’t even exist, at least not as topics of free debate, in most other societies. Even Canada aggressively prosecutes free speech these days, under the guise of “hate speech” against select minorities. No doubt, there are those in the US who want us to go in that direction, but the news flash is – we’re not there yet!

      More and more, I think that Donald Trump represents that news flash. He may be a rude, bombastic a**hole, but he’s OUR rude, bombastic a**hole, and he can say whatever the heck he wants.

      I also think that his presence in the GOP field has absolutely upped the game of the rest of them, not to mention bringing the attention of millions to the presidential debates. My 24 yr old son, who lives in the current “hipster capital” of the nation right now (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) watched the debate in a popular neighborhood bar, which, according to him was jampacked with young, hipster denizens watching – and sometimes even cheering. Imagine that….millenials in NYC, watching a 3 hour Republican debate?!

      Yeah, it’s gotta be the Trump Effect.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        September 18, 2015 4:34 pm

        Wow, millenials in NYC watching political debate…that is somewhat positive! We’ll take what we can get. Priscilla, glad to hear you sounding more positive again rather than cynical! It’s not easy these days!

        The Trump Effect: maybe I’m projecting what I want to see & hear, but it seemed to me, oh let it be true, that a few times when the “insider politicians” heard themselves sounding like drone politicians mumbling rhetoric (Bueller…Bueller…Bueller…), they stopped themselves and tried to be more real. Nonetheless I found myself cringing and looking away several times.

        I think each of the candidates should get three paddles that they can hold up when others are speaking (so as to not interrupt)…one paddle would say “pandering,” one would say “strongly disagree” and one would say “LIKE!” Maybe the currently speaking candidate gets 3/4 of the TV screen and the other one are all shown along the bottom holding up their chosen paddle. haha

  37. Pat Riot permalink
    September 18, 2015 4:37 pm

    “other ones,” not “other one”. Wait until I get a hold of my editor!!

  38. Ron P permalink
    September 18, 2015 6:04 pm

    Now that there has been two debates and the one candidate that can put Trump in his place and Trump does not know how to handle it, we may see some substance in the next debates to come up. I would like to see someone stop pandering to Trump like Fox News has done for the past couple weeks giving him free time( ie. Greta 30+minutes of her show covering Trump’s baffle-gab in Texas) unless they give the other candidates making speeches the same coverage. I want to hear someone stop allowing Trump to say how great we will be and how much support he will give to “whomever” and make him give some specifics. That is why the millennials that Priscilla mentions are following this guy because he is made for TV and makes for a good show and provides no substance.

    The one thing I have determined after watching his campaign is he says he will put great people around him, but what I fear is he will put the same type people around himself just like Obama. All yes men/women, Not one that will challenge his positions or decisions and that allows for no debate so a good decision can be made.

    But then not-to-worry, there are too many moderate right of center libertarian voters like myself who can not foresee under any circumstance voting for someone like Trump, so we will have Hillary as the first female president. And I do not see this as being a complete failure as I believe Hillary to be smart enough that she will realize that Obama has made it almost impossible for another liberal black man to be elected and I don’t think she will want to be the reason another female democrat can not be elected again in the future. I suspect her administration to be closer to 42’s positions than 44’s.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 18, 2015 10:01 pm

      Ugh, Ron, what a bummer.

      Well, just to clarify, Andy didn’t say that the millennials at the hipster bar were cheering for Trump! No self-respecting hipster would be caught dead doing that….in fact, I kind of got the impression that they were enjoying the spectacle of a bunch of Republicans trying to take each other down, more than anything. But Trump is a celebrity, and he brings the crowds.

      No, the thing that encouraged me is that he said that most of them were actually watching and listening. If Trumps’s celebrity and bombast caused a few twentysomethings to have a passing thought about some of the issues that were raised in the debate, well, maybe that’s not so bad.

      Andy is 24, on the younger end of the millenial generation….the world in which he and his friends have grown up is the exhausting and repressive world of social media, political correctness, and nihilism. I think that they are rather amazed that The Apprentice Guy with weird hair can say un-PC stuff and not apologize and still be up on stage with the others. I don’t see him becoming president, but he sure has blown up the idea that if you don’t bow down to the PC police, you’re finished. Who knows, there may be those that find that liberating

      I still don’t think that Hillary is going to be the first woman president, or president at all, for that matter. There was a time when she could appeal to many moderate right-of-center voters, but I think that time has passed. I’m not putting odds on it yet….there is still that matter of the 200 electoral votes that will automatically go to anyone with a “D” by their name. But I think that that name might be Biden.

      • September 18, 2015 11:41 pm

        So glad to hear the younger generation is at least listening. I can understand CNN not wanting to ask substantive questions so 20+ million people can hear positions on issues facing the country, but Fox News starting out with the divisive question they had and then continuing with less than 12th grade civics questions is a loss for me to understand. At least in the CNN debate Carly F and Marco R. did bring current events into the fray and tried to get something going.

        I say all this as the debates are being watched by the highest number of viewers ever to watch a debate and many of those are like your son, my kids and others that normally would not watch. This is the GOP’s chance to reach out to those potential voters on issues like the debt, deficit, entitlements, economy and other issues that directly impact that generation, but the ‘old white guys party” is stuck on the same issues as they are always engaged in that the socially liberal younger generation does not support for the most part. Right now the biggest story besides Trump leading the polls is Trump not reacting to someone calling Obama a Muslim and the pending government shutdown over the planned parenthood abortion issues.

        Now don’t get me wrong, I think the Planned Parenthood abortion issues are atrocious and anyone involved with those issues should be prosecuted to the fullest intent of the law. But this can be handled more efficiently at the state level just as the Gosnell case was handled by Penn. courts. What we will get is “Government Shutdown brought to you by the GOP Extremist” Further into the story will be the issue that all government activities that are considered vital continue as normal. But we will see stories about .elderly not getting SS payments, young kids being turned away from the monuments in DC, National parks being closed and vacationers being interviewed when they can’t get in, Etc Etc. We all know the story and then after the GOP catches hell for a couple weeks, something will break and everyone will go back to work and those that were not working will be paid for the time they were closed out of work and the true individuals that got hurt were the tax payers. AND Planned Parenthood will still be funded!

        And if Trump is not the nominee, whoever is will have to defend the shutdown actions and will be hurt in the purple states like Virginia and North Carolina were 1-2% can determine who gets the electoral votes.

        Good Lord, every time I say anything I get more negative. I think I might need to shutup before I go any further into the dark side.

  39. Pat Riot permalink
    September 21, 2015 8:31 am

    I won’t be overly cautious about my word choice here because I have to leave for work, but I want to get my comment in, and my hurry relates to my point…

    There is something that a lot of smart people, sophisticated people, well-educated people almost understand about the appeal of Trump, but not quite…

    There is a phrase that the U.S. Marines use that goes something like this:

    “A 75% plan well-executed is better than a 100% plan that never gets off the ground.”

    And sometimes that is true. Sometimes ‘ya just gotta get it done, even if things are rough around the edges and not all worked out.

    We have a very well-spoken President, but unfortunately he tries to create the illusion he’s for the People (with words and a few smoke screen programs) while he is actually working for the “1 Percenters”

    The following may even provoke Rick Bayan back into the discussion: consider George Washington (who I like). He was a general. He was a warrior, a killer of enemies. While statesmen of that era had certain gentlemanly customs and ways, and GW had some of those (if you read what he wrote), he wasn’t John Adams, Tom Jefferson, or other more “lawyer-ly types” He was tall, a general… (I have to leave 5 minutes ago). It’s fair to say GW was chosen to be the commander-in-chief partly because people thought he could lead and get things done.

    Now these days “wars” and boundary disputes all over the world are wages back and forth by men in suits. The following question is legitimate:

    Do we need a brain surgeon, a professor, or a lawyer, etc (i.e. a really intelligent, well-spoken human being) leading the charge, or a confident business man who has built buildings, (got them done) negotiated himself out of bankruptcy a number of times to
    stay a billionaire, who is known for saying “you’re fired!!” (reminder: our federal government is too big, is over-reaching, and also often inept)

    Yes, I cringe too when Trump speaks, but is it linguistic skills we need, or negotiating skills, PC bullshit and smooth talk lies, or a semi-blockhead billionaire business man who will force things to get done?

    I’ll say it again so I’m not misunderstood: I don’t like Trump. I wish our country were not in the situation it is in. I wish there were more well-spoken, nuanced, successful business men/statesmen and women running for office.

    But don’t misunderstand Trump’s appeal as just something for morons.

    The U.S. Marines are not very nuanced either, and sometimes….

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 21, 2015 10:16 am

      Yes, exactly this, Pat.

      I watched a little bit of the Emmys last night. Too tired to stay up for much of it, but watched it long enough to hear at least 3 snarky jokes about the Republican debate and/or Donald Trump. Not very good jokes, mind you, but when you’re a smug, hypocritical elitist essentially talking to your compadres, jokes that demean those who do not see the world as you see it are oh-so-hilarious. There was actually one about Bernie Sanders as “a guy who always looks as if his flight was delayed”….but, nary a mention of HRC. Trump and Sanders get made fun of a lot for their hair, I notice. Ironically, by surgically-enhanced actors, who get the vapors if Trump makes mention of anyone else’s appearance.

      The goal of all this Trump-as-punchline “humor”? I suppose it is to send the message that anyone who acknowledges his appeal must be a moron, just like him.

  40. Roby permalink
    September 21, 2015 12:25 pm

    Didn’t watch the Emmy’s, nor any product of Hollywood in years. Hate that culture. No one is ever going to confuse me with a “hipster” either.

    But, I can’t feel at all sorry for the situation where the present top GOP candidate (and rock star in the minds of much of the GOP base) is an object of derision, he brings it all on himself. He is begging for more and more of it Palin, as another example does likewise. Trump is not a moron, and certainly most of his admirers are not morons, but he channels the inner moron in all of us, like a WTF wrestling event. Many of us however are repulsed by our inner moron and fight back against it and everything Trump represents. We despise him.

    The culture of the entertainment industry is sad or worse, but they are not running for the job of President of the US, unlike Trump. A person of Trump’s character would reduce the once proud US to a state of pathetic crassness that we would not recover from in my lifetime, if ever. The mistakes that are available to him in foreign policy alone make me and I would think any semi-knowledgeable person shudder. The rise and fall of the American empire, all in my lifetime practically, complete with a depraved Nero to finish us off. Great.

    Bottom line, Trump ain’t gonna win and he is doing considerable harm to both the GOP and US politics, from my point of view, that far overshadows any good he may be doing to loosen politicians up.

    When the smoke clears in November 2016, I am going to have a very hard time having sympathy for GOP voters, if things transpire the way I suspect they will.

    By all means, the GOP base should ignore all of those polls that show that the largest generations, the younger ones, who tell the demographic ideological basis of the American future do not as group have sympathy at all with GOP cultural values.

    Ron has been saying this during his entire time here, and very correctly. The future of the GOP is looking very bleak to me, every time it reinvents itself it gets worse and more out of step with younger voters.

    You know, actually I don’t give almost the slightest crap on an instinctive basis about, say, gay marriage. Which is most likely wrong of me, I should care more about the depressing fate in front of gay people in a world of old fashioned morality. I would also agree with Carson, that I am not in favor of the idea of a muslim US president. And on and on, I am not a cultural visionary, I am not myself rushing into the future direction of American morality with open arms. But if I have to choose between smug liberal visionaries and conservative goths, I choose the future. So will the next generations, by larger and larger numbers.

    We are watching the GOP commit suicide.

    • September 21, 2015 1:08 pm

      Roby…RIGHT ON!!! Now to finish the point you and I have been making for sometime, look at the following from the 1980’s presidential race. For those that do read it, pay very close attention to the major areas that are addressed in these position statements. Compare that to what the GOP is trying to force down moderate voters minds today. If you are like me, it stands out why the moderate voters in 1980 voted the way they did and why they will vote the way they will in 2016.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 21, 2015 1:32 pm

        I would surely vote for that Reagan guy, Ron! Too bad it’s not 1980…..

      • Roby permalink
        September 21, 2015 1:37 pm

        Thanks Ron. And, like you, I am depressed by what Trump(Sanders) means, while I know that neither will be president.

        Moderates, who do really decide elections, or at least Presidential elections, want to tiptoe softly, quietly, slowly, into the future. We do not wish to rush into the future or the past. When the candidates that excite the left and right bases get more and more wild, its like having dysfunctional parents. The country has been dysfunctional for at least 4 presidential terms and that does not even include the Clinton scandals. Last time America felt “Normal” Bush the elder was in charge. So far the 2016 pre-election season only shows that we are becoming more dysfunctional, not less.

        Here’s an analogy, when Trump/Sanders generate all the heat, passion and attention in our politics, its like a certain family where the father suddenly revealed that he is a woman inside, after winning Olympic medals and fathering many children with allegedly hot wives.

        How weird do we want to get?

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 21, 2015 1:29 pm

      Well, Roby, I agree with a lot of what you have to say – seriously, I do. With due respect though, I think you are missing the point on Trump.

      I’m sure there are those who see him as a “rock star,” the same way there were those in 2008 who screamed and fainted at the sight of Barack Obama, an erstwhile backbencher in the Senate, who quickly became the world’s biggest celebrity, by smooth talking and promising Hope and Change. Not much in the way of specifics, just like The Donald.

      And certainly, the foreign policy mistakes available to Obama – many of which he has made- were just as dangerous as those facing the next President. As far as character? Are you suggesting that Trump’s character doesn’t measure up to the high standards of Bill and Hillary Clinton? If evidence of stellar character were the measure by which most people chose a candidate, Mitt Romney would have won in a landslide. Trump’s supporters don’t fear him, because they think that they know him…and they think that he will act to stop the destruction of the middle class – “act” being the operative word, as Pat has pointed out.

      I think you are absolutely right about the GOP being on very thin ice right now- the traditional schism between the TruCons and the RINOs has become about as wide as it can be. But, I am a bit perplexed at your antipathy to Trump, who is pro-gay marriage, moderate on abortion, and wants to raise taxes on the rich. That is not exactly a “conservative goth” stance. And, as far as liberal “visionaries,” well, again, I think we see it differently. I think that many of those “visionaries” sound a lot more like fascists, more than willing to stamp out dissent, and punish those who stray from the PC orthodoxy. Frankly, THEY scare the hell out of me, not Trump.

      Lastly, I’m not so sure that the Democrat Party is so unified and healthy right now either. Voters in general are feeling angry and fed up with the current state of …..well, almost everything. Democrats tend to be more loyal and unified as a party, but that is because they are traditionally promised more government largesse. When those promises start to be as empty as the GOP promises to curtail spending and restore constitutional law, I don’t know that the Democrats will be in any better shape than the Republicans.

      • Roby permalink
        September 21, 2015 1:57 pm

        Here we just are not going to “get” each other Priscilla. PC seems to be the largest fear on your list, while I think that its stupid and painful, but limited in its real clout to very little. Annoying, funny in a pathetic way, but not destroying us and having no broad base of support from which to threaten us.

        The mistakes that Trump would make in foreign policy would dwarf Obama’s if he handled it far better than I expect. If he hit the bottom of my expectations, America will either get W’s foreign policy on steroids and invade everywhere, or become a pathetic nobody because congress will not authorize his over the top macho man ideas, and who knows which because Trump is a complete wild card. Nor, as I have said could he attract a cabinet of people who could run the government, most especially foreign policy. He actually does not know anything about anything except real estate, gambling and entertaining bombast. I don’t thing he has a serious principle in his body or any intellectual weight at all. A zero.

        I think that conservatives/republicans maybe hope that he could somehow turn into Reagan. Reagan was amiable, even flexible, he made people like him, he had “teflon.” Shit sticks to Trump like crazy glue on a 1:00 a.m. infomercial, his own followers would soon desert him, when it dawns on them that he is not a conservative, at all, leaving him with no base of support.

        Jimmy Carter was an enigma, everyone tried to imagine that he was what they wanted him to be and so he defeated the solid but too calm Ford. After a short while everyone understood that they were wrong about that, which led to a powerless president. Same would occur with Trump in the hypothetical case that he were to be elected. The number of bad ways a Trump presidency could go Dwarfs the chances the his personality is the one that holds the key.

  41. Roby permalink
    September 21, 2015 2:04 pm

    But, (not to leave any point loose) I don’t think the Dem party is healthy now, not at all, just it is not sick in such a spectacular way as the GOP is and it has time and demographics on its side. Hillary, Biden and Sanders? GOP control of congress and governors? No, not a healthy party.

    All the energy in US politics is in the GOP side, but its crazy energy that is mostly on the wrong side of history. A shitty party and a bull moose crazy party.

    Meanwhile Putin and ISIS are loose in the world.

    Starting to stockpile canned goods.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 21, 2015 2:27 pm

      Agreed, again, Roby… on the crazy, messed up energy in the GOP, on the horrifying rise of ISIS and the Russian Bear (let’s not forget the Chi-Coms, either) Hook me up with your canned goods supplier.

      Just to be clear, I am not a Trump supporter, nor do I believe that he will be our next president.

      But, business as usual in both parties and in DC is simply failing, and failing spectacularly at that. Trump is making that his mantra,and saying that it is because we lack good leadership (ok, ok, he says our leaders are stupid) . If his pointing that out leads to voters placing more value on good leadership than on byzantine government programs and toothless laws, that will be a good thing. As long as they realize that he is not the good leader they’re looking for.

      I’m willing to accept that I could be way wrong, and that Trump’s rise is prelude to disaster. But, when 75% of Americans think that we are going in the wrong direction, something or someone’s got to point out that more of the same is not going to turn things around. Seat belts on……..

      • Roby permalink
        September 21, 2015 2:32 pm

        The historians curse is “May you live in interesting times.”

        I hate interesting times.

        Except when they were in my long lost youth and had a great soundtrack.

  42. Pat Riot permalink
    September 21, 2015 8:47 pm

    Priscilla, you get it. You are not a fan of Trump, and neither am I, but you understand that his appeal is…let’s say deeper and for more fundamental, home-hitting, real reasons than just “celeb status,” “media frenzy,” or “moron magnet.”

    Roby, don’t take this as ad hominem. You are a good American and I’m glad you’re out there. But your thinking that Trump is beneath the Presidency bolsters my point. Your concept of normal, that Trump is beneath, is already gone. America has “jumped the shark”. The Internet has changed things. The unprecedented number of home foreclosures, middle class folks on food stamps, crumbling infrastructure, ISIS, et cetera, etc, have changed things. People realize that “normal” has been a lie and a gradual nightmare. They want something different. They want results. They want results so bad they’re willing to be really stupid about getting them.

    So, again, don’t underestimate anything these days!

  43. Priscilla permalink
    September 22, 2015 9:09 am

    And, just like that, an interesting twist in the GOP story, as very former front-runner Scott Walker drops out, stating, essentially, the the herd of primary candidates needs to be thinned, in order to let the “anti-Trump” rise above The Donald’s solid 25% in the polls.

    I’ve been a Walker fan for a long time, and I think that he has the right stuff to be a good president. But, I have to say that I am glad that he has done this. As the debates have shown, he is not able to cut through the noise and the BS in a way that enables him to communicate the kind of leader that he would be, and how he would turn things around.

    Interestingly, he called upon other low-polling candidates to follow his lead. Seriously, does anyone think that George Pataki or Rick Santorum will win the nomination? How about John Kasich? Bobby Jindal? I think has Walker has shown some political courage here in recognizing that he is not the person to lead the country right now. That’s something we haven’t seen for a while.

    The Trump Effect strikes again.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 22, 2015 9:20 am

      Just to be fair and balanced, in the comments section of the right wing blog that I help moderate, most Trump supporters are claiming that Walker did this out of weakness and pressure to elevate Jeb Bush as the candidate. They said the same when Rick Perry dropped out. These folks are driven almost entirely by the amnesty and illegal immigration issue, and they are absolutists on it. It will be interesting to see if anyone will be able to peel them away………

  44. Pat Riot permalink
    September 22, 2015 10:22 am

    I’ll bet Jeb Bush is a stand-up guy, a good man, a loving father. People seem to say he has done a fairly solid job in Florida. But in TV World, in the bizarre arena of running for POTUS in 2015 for 2016, he comes across as a weenie, as a rich son, an insulated boy, and I don’t think he has a chance. It’s a shame that people vote at such base human levels, perhaps.

    Some believe John McCain was a “fall guy” in that the “orchestrators” knew he couldn’t win, and he was part of the team to usher in Barack. Some believe Trump will serve the same role for the Dem branch of our ONE PARTY, either because of his ego or because he’s part of the big team.

    • September 22, 2015 11:06 am

      Pat, so right about Trump and him being part of a team to usher in Hillary. However I would have to disagree with McCain being picked to usher in Obama as after the economic collapse only Jesus could have won as a Republican that election.

      There are 17 states, with many of those with primaries on or before March 15, 2016 that are open primary states. That means any registered voter can vote in either parties primary. So if the democrats have already crowned their candidate, what one thing could be promoted that would almost insure you ran against the person of your choice. I would find a way to get my people to the Republicans primary and vote for Trump.

      I also would promote a policy where our candidate and national party would lay low when Trump said something controversial, but at the same time hitting hard on the second through 4th place candidates. These two things could have enough impact to insure Trump made it through super Tuesday and once that happened, he would be well on his way to the nomination. (And Hillary’s administration)

  45. Roby permalink
    September 22, 2015 11:18 am

    Hi Pat,

    No offense taken believe me, you are not capable, I think, of an ad hominum, let alone against me. You and I simply see utterly different narratives. For me

    “Some believe John McCain was a “fall guy” in that the “orchestrators” knew he couldn’t win, and he was part of the team to usher in Barack.”

    is conspiracy theory pure and simple, its the very definition of conspiracy theory, just make the very clear and easy substitution of the word orchestrators for conspirators.

    Yes, people are mad and want change. However, the changes they want all disagree with each other, people want 100 different things, most of them unreasonable, say a $15 minimum wage or free college education for everyone or deporting all the illegals. Not having had their wild christmas lists delivered by congress and not lacking for echo chambers and agitators of every political stripe, we are all mad a hell and we ain’t gonna take it anymore.

    In other words politics as usual, with the exception that our new technological world amplifies all the wildest factions makes them believe that they are the will of the people and that the world will end if they don’t get what they want.

    That is what Trump and Sanders are a reaction to, and they won’t change that status quo and neither will anyone, unless its to make things actually worse.

    Bottom up democracy has never existed, there has always been an elite, since Greece or before. There is nothing to save, It never existed. And in countries where populations are in the tens and hundreds of millions its really impossible that everyone can vote at a very deep level. You can have a sort of a choice every 2 years, unless you want to make every spare hour of your life a crusade, and even then you will have no promise of winning what you want.

  46. Pat Riot permalink
    September 22, 2015 12:23 pm

    Roby you naive musician. Take your head out of the sand, turn off the Beach Boys cassette you innocent old throwback, and think for a minute about how ludicrous it is to expect multi-billionaires who own ocean-going shipping lines, railroads, off-shore oil rigs, et cetera, who hob-nob together, to leave things like an election to chance. That’s not how they or their granddads operate, not how they got to be multi-billionaires, not how they protect and expand their empires. They manipulate. They influence. They pay off. And worse. You can comfort yourself, shield yourself, by saying “conspiracy theory,” but 38% of all “conspiracy theories” have eventually been proven irrefutably true. I just totally made up the 38%–see how gullible you are, you…you…White Knight you! 🙂

    Perhaps no PERFECT bottom-up democracy, no PURE bottom-up representation, but there have certainly been varying degrees. Post WWII the U.S. unions had a strong voice because the owners didn’t really have anywhere else to go. The factories were here. Other industrialized nations were flattened and smoldering. We sold to the world and the workers shared in the gravy train. Not so much today.

    • Roby permalink
      September 22, 2015 4:33 pm

      I live in a bottom-up democracy, the one in my home, me and the wife. I still don’t get what I want lots of the time.

      “make a plan and you will find,
      that she has something else in mind,
      and so rather than do either you do something else
      that neither likes at all.”

      And thats just a democracy of two. Let alone a democracy of 350 million. Actually, that lyric (My Fair Lady) is a damn good description of our government, its nearly perfectly on target.

      The best examples of actual attempts that I know of to have a real democracy “from the bottom up” came about after the French and Russian revolutions, out with the oppressors, the nobility and Power to the People (even without John Lennon to sing it). The results were very, very ugly according to me.

      Leaving elections to chance is impossible to avoid if there are rich and powerful people lined up on both left and right trying to influence the outcome.

      Did the Koch bros get what they wanted last time around? Or are they just actors performing in a theater and really they got exactly what they wanted?

      If the world were truly rigged the way you seem to think, then you may as well give up and enjoy the ride, because you ain’t gonna change the scenario if the Rich and Powerful are all really on one team rigging and controlling everything. Your scenario, if it were true, is absolutely hopeless. Totally screwed. Fortunately, its not true.

      I do not actually know how to do smileys but I return your amiability in spades, we are just having a nice friendly philosophical discussion.

      I can’t figure out whether your beliefs are better described as very right or very left, they seem to have elements of both. Up with workers and unions, down with corporations, the 1% are oppressing us, that’s left rhetoric. The trilateral commission, Rockefeller, the UN are conspiring to infringe on the US Constitution, that’s John Birch territory.

  47. Pat Riot permalink
    September 22, 2015 7:56 pm

    Politically I’m a Moderate. Everything in the right measure, depending on the factors involved.

    colon, then a hyphen, then “closed parenthesis,” then hit enter and it converts to a smile face.

  48. Priscilla permalink
    September 22, 2015 10:03 pm

    I just type a colon and close parenthesis 🙂 Apparently, it works with or without the hyphen. If emoticons are not available, the hyphen adds the nice detail of a nose.

    I think that we are all moderates, although, according to Wikipedia “the existence of the ideal moderate is disputed because of a lack of a moderate political ideology”

    We moderately discuss moderation, unencumbered by a moderate ideology. Sometimes we are centrists, but usually not so much.

  49. September 23, 2015 11:51 am

    Really?? We add $1.9 billion per day to the deficit and this is what we talk about?
    The ayatollah speaks “death to America”. Why should they expend any energy, we are doing it for them…

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 23, 2015 12:20 pm

      It’s insanity, Ron. Strategic insanity, but insanity nonetheless.

      At least you don’t have to contend with major gridlock in the tri-state area for the next 2 days while extremely humble Pope Francis is driven around to rail against capitalism and global warming. When did popes become politicians?

      • September 23, 2015 12:49 pm

        When they appointed one from the only a couple of countries in South America that has a negative view of America and are considered close to being a leftist run country. His views are a lifetime of brainwashing on how bad capitalism is and how good income retribution is.

        But they have all been politicians in one way or the other, We have just not paid much attention when their political views lined up with ours. And the others have not been as “in your face” about it as the other ones. This one can be considered a product of the 50’s and 60’s, while most of the others were products of the depression, WW2 and anti-Nazi era Europeans.

      • Priscilla permalink
        September 23, 2015 1:09 pm

        I know – I often wish that there was an “edit” button for my comments. But I knew what you meant.

        And, yeah, I suppose that Vatican intrigue alone prepares these popes for the political life. Francis just so clearly has a left-wing political agenda. I’m used to them hiding it better.

      • September 23, 2015 12:53 pm

        OK, fix my typo’s and mixed up language.
        “When they appointed one from only a couple of countries in South America that has a negative view of America.”

        2nd Para: “And the others have not been as “in your face” about it as this one.

        My brain is either 2 step ahead of my fingers or two steps behind. Not sure which.

  50. Roby permalink
    September 23, 2015 4:58 pm

    I’m not sure how Argentina counts as a left wing country. Just brushed up on its history to see about that.

    American actions in South and Central America have made many there hate us (or at least many of our governments) with good reason. The invasion of Panama is as good an example as any of American arrogance (600-1000 civilian deaths as I remember and for what?) and our links with right-wing elements that committed atrocities is not a short list in the region. Ollie North and his funny little contras being one that leaps to mind, not to mention Chile.

    My Russian friends have no idea at all why anyone would think anything negative about Russia or its actions. We Americans, or at least many of us, are better than that, we know non propaganda versions of history and understand that we have done ugly things that would make even a reasonable person in latin American angry with our governments if not the average American.

    The ills of capitalism, bloody well right, its full of them, the latest example would be raising the price of that anti-aids drug by 5000% (or was it merely 4000%?) is all the reminder I need. I’m not a bonafide leftist only because none of their remedies work, but the ills of capitalism are there and in plenty. Anti global-warming message? Fine by me. Not everyone in the world has the opinions that agree with people in Oklahoma and its nut job senator. They seem to get wacked there with quite a lot of extreme weather catastrophes, wonder if they will ever wake up.

    Ranting, I know.

    • September 23, 2015 8:32 pm

      Just look up Peron and/or Peronist’s and you will find a ton of information and the impact that one man had on Argentina for years. After he left office, they had decades of coups and revolutions with one military person after another trying to take control. Some were Peronist and others were not. It was not until the 80’s that things began to change and Argentina democratize businesses and turned more toward capitalism. But from the early 50’s to early 80’s, most of the larger industry in Argentina was nationalized. And someone born in the late 30’s or early 40’s would have their economic and political forming years in the 50’s and 60’s.

      And when I stated that the USA was looked upon less favorably in Argentina than other S. American countries, I was not trying to say some in all those countries did not have an unfavorable view of the USA. Just Argentina is more unfavorable than others.

      “The ills of capitalism, bloody well right, its full of them……” Spot On!!!! CEO of that peanut butter company trying to cover up crap in his peanut butter. Got what he deserved. CEO and former hedge fund manager that bought that anti viral medication from another company and jacked up the price….He needs to be brought up on some charge, if they can find one. And the CEO of VW screwing with the emission control computer also need to go to jail as people’s diesel VW’s aren’t worth a dime since they will not pass state inspections. And then we should not forget Government Motors and their cover up of switches causing deaths in their cars. They need to be right there with the peanut butter guy. but that will never happen just like the hedge fund guy since they all have insider influence on government officials.

      Damn, I’m beginning to sound like a Trumpster. Heaven forbid.

    • Priscilla permalink
      September 24, 2015 8:32 am

      A couple of things:

      Roby, you have, in the past, chided me (and correctly so) for conflating leftism and liberalism. I’ll turn that around and say that it sounds a bit as if you are conflating conservatism and rightism (is “rightism even a word?). Maybe the more accurate word is fascism. American liberals are no more responsible for the brutality of leftist/communist dictators than American conservatives are for the evils of fascist ones. And, free market capitalism, as it is defined by the American right is NOT the crony capitalism/corporatism of Peronistas.

      The fear, I think, of both liberals and conservatives, is that we are going in the direction of the bad guys. The bad guys being either left or right, but having one thing in common – a utopian vision that if government controls the economy (and in doing so, controls pretty much every other aspect of social life), it will insure that no one gets ” too much money”. In communism, the the Party is the ensurer and enforcer of this, in fascism, it’s usually an all-powerful, and usually populist, leader. I think that both Obama and Trump are feared because they seek to convince us that, if only we would let them run things, we would all be better off. They both strike me as thin-skinned narcissists, although Obama is more the ideological movement-type leader and Trump, the fiery populist maverick.

      So, getting back to the Pope. I don’t think he’s a bad guy (dear lord, Sister Rosita, my second grade teacher, is spinning in her grave at the very idea that I could say that!) but I do think that he views capitalism through the prism of the plutocratic crony capitalism that has existed in Agentina throughout his lifetime. Although I am sure he is a smart and spiritual man, he seems naive and ignorant of some basic economic facts, and comes off as someone with a left-wing agenda.

      • Roby permalink
        September 24, 2015 6:43 pm

        That’s a marvelous post Priscilla.

  51. November 7, 2015 12:16 pm

    Politico tried it. CNN tried it. It may have backfired. It may have cost Trump his ace in the hole that Dr. Carson is “low energy”. The following Youtube post needs to be shared with as many people on social media as possible as you will never see it on the main stream media. What I find so refreshing is someone running for president that uses the “L” word. When was the last time you heard anyone running that called someone else a “Liar”. AMEN, someone finally did. Not that they “were untruthful”, “misspoke”, “trying to deceive” or “fabricated a story”. He called them a “Liar”.

    And it shows he is not the slow on his feet, soft spoken doctor running for president that some may want others to believe he is.

    This is 20 minutes well spent watching this.

    • Priscilla permalink
      November 8, 2015 5:52 pm

      Hey Ron, Thanks for posting that video. I have a new found regard for Dr. Carson after watching it – and you’re right, he did not seem to be the soporific, slightly oddball guy that I have seen in the past. He’s still not “my guy,” but I can now see why he is the guy for a lot of people.

      One of the most illuminating exchanges came when one reporter asked why Carson had said that he “accepted” a full scholarship to West Point, and Carson corrected her, saying that he never said that. Another reporter jumped in, exclaiming “But you just told us that you were offered a scholarship!” Carson literally had to explain the difference between “being offered” and “accepting” a scholarship. While I doubt that the second reporter was objectively stupid, he did a good job of acting like he didn’t understand that difference. It’s that kind of dishonest questioning that makes people so distrust the media.

      • November 9, 2015 1:46 am

        What I find so refreshing is his use of the “liar” word. Even Fox News on Media Spin commented about him using this word and they were not complementary about him using it. I have also decided that Fox News is Trumps talking heads and they are full steam in getting Trump nominated. Even they were questioning Dr. Carson on his psy class that someone said he never attended or the course being offered even though he has posted documentation on Facebook concerning the course, they questioned his “scholarship” issue, even though he has documentation on his website showing West Points own use of “scholarship” and some other issues that have been questioned. When you have the conservative news media following the lead of the liberal media, you know you have no friends.

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 9, 2015 8:38 am

        As far as Fox goes, I don’t consider it a very “conservative” network, unless you use “conservative” in a relative sense, that is, to all of the other, very liberal networks. Fox does report stories that other stations ignore, stories like the IRS scandal and Benghazi (the “fake scandal), and they do not pussyfoot around Obama and Clinton in the way that all of the others do.

        That said, Fox wants to maintain its position as the cable ratings king of news and commentary, and Trump has very effectively maneuvered them into a position where they feel that, if they don’t treat him a certain way, he will take his YUGE ratings to CNN.

        It’s like the old joke, where a woman says that she would consider sleeping with a man for an exorbitant price, and he then offers her a small sum. Woman: “How dare you? What do you think I am?” Man: “We’ve already established that – now we’re just haggling over the price.”

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