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Extreme Intolerance: An Immoderate Tirade (Part Two)

November 24, 2015


PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 15: Members of the public gather to lay flowers and light candles at La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonne following Fridays terrorist attack on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. As France observes three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday's deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral later on Sunday. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Part Two: The ISIS Massacres

First a Russian jetliner exploded over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people aboard. Then a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up along with 43 unsuspecting residents of Beirut. The next day, Friday the 13th, terrorists pulled off the most terrifying stunt of them all: 130 souls blasted to eternity in Paris — at a rock concert, at a sporting event, at a couple of restaurants in a fashionable pleasure district — ordinary people out for a good time who never made it home that evening.

The common thread in all this manmade mayhem: ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic State and (if all goes according to plans) future worldwide Caliphate, performing acts of unconscionable evil in the name of Allah and his favorite Prophet.

Africa wasn’t spared, either: at least 147 dead, mostly students, at a university in Kenya, and another 21 butchered at a luxury hotel in Mali. Not ISIS this time, but Islamist terrorists all the same. Whether we describe them as dutiful Muslim fundamentalists or as unholy fanatics who pervert their faith, all the aforementioned killers killed for reasons intimately related to their interpretation of Islam.

The carnage in Paris generated the most heat and fury, with mourners draping their Facebook profile photos in the French Tricolor. The massacres there resonated in the West because Paris represents something vital: a joyous mingling of enlightenment and pleasure, fine food and literature and art and romance — in short, liberalism in the purest sense of the word. The liberal spirit is exactly what the Islamists fear and envy (and therefore hate). Joie de vivre is anathema to their souls. So is freedom. To their stunted minds, the city that gave birth to the unapologetically irreverent Charlie Hebdo is even more vile than New York or Hollywood.

Left-leaning apologists were quick to interpret the latest massacres as Western chickens coming home to roost: the fruits of our meddlesome wars, deals and interventions in the Middle East. But aside from bending so far backward as to unhinge their spines, these apologists are simply wrong. Anger with meddlesome Westerners might explain the chronic hostility of Palestinians and Iranians, but ISIS is a different animal: pure theocracy carried to its looniest outer limits. The twin disasters of the Syrian civil war and our misadventures in Iraq simply gave it the power vacuum it needed to take root and flourish.

ISIS-nuclearWe all know that ISIS wants to build a new Caliphate and conquer the world for Islam. But we also need to know that ISIS represents only the Sunni branch of Islam — those who insist that the leaders of the faith must be chosen. (Their foes, the Shiites, believe that leaders must descend directly from Mohammed.) This chronic factionalism, like a petty squabble out of Gulliver’s Travels, has been simmering and occasionally boiling over since Mohammed’s death in A.D. 632.

Ousted from power during the Iraq War, the Sunnis were hellbent on avenging themselves against the hated Shiites. ISIS emerged as the Sunni engine of conquest, death and destruction: ravaging the desert regions of Syria and Iraq, murdering all the infidels it could capture, destroying every non-Sunni landmark in its path, including the fabled ruins of Palmyra. On a 0-10 scale of intolerance, ISIS probably rates an 11.

ISIS is more than an intolerant religious fringe group with territorial ambitions. It’s also a death cult. The purpose of the Caliphate isn’t simply to spread Sunni fundamentalism around the globe, but to bring about the end of days. Such blatant nihilism is just the thing to attract angry, aimless, alienated young people from all over the world. It’s like Satanism and death metal and blow-’em away video games rolled into one irresistibly ugly cause. If you’re a disaffected adolescent, what’s not to like?

Poverty has almost nothing to do with the allure of ISIS. It’s about belonging to a potent, violently homicidal (and suicidal) in-group… and about the giddy hormonal rush that presumably comes from holding the power of life or death in one’s hands.

Like the Nazis before them, the ISIS folks are master propagandists. They recruit warriors through savvy social media manipulation and a lavishly produced magazine, Dabiq. Ghastly photos and videos of executions by burning or beheading appeal to the wanton urges of their skeezy teenage base. They even draw young children into their ranks and indoctrinate them in the ways of death warriors.

ISIS proudly concedes that Islam is a religion of the sword, an admission that would find most American conservatives nodding in agreement. Of course, moderate Muslims insist they’re wrong: the Islam they follow is a religion of peace.

So which is it: violence or peace? Will the real Islam please stand up? The scriptural Mohammed was, among other things, a zealot and a conqueror. The Koran and the Hadith abound with undeniably intolerant and violent exhortations — the basis of today’s militant Islam.

Of course, we can find plenty of bloodcurdling passages in the Holy Bible. But here’s the difference: virtually no modern Jews and Christians — even the most orthodox — believe, for example, that we must execute anyone who works on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15). Islamic fundamentalists refuse to cherry-pick their scriptures; even the most violent proclamations are holy writ and must be blindly obeyed. Like our own extremist ideologues on the far right and left, they brook no departures from their dogma.

Moderate Muslims are more like our own political moderates; they don’t follow scripture to the letter, they don’t persecute infidels, and they’re flexible enough to make allowances for common sense, not to mention ordinary human decency. They represent the best hope for the future of Islam, if not the world.

But meanwhile, how do we confront the murderous fanaticism of ISIS? We have to acknowledge that we’re at war with these monsters, but we can’t suspend our lives or our principles. These are perilous times all around. We take a chance whenever we enter an American movie theater or send our kids to school. Like Israel, we probably have to accept sporadic attacks and random death as a fact of life. But waging war on terrorism is like fighting a scattered swarm of hornets. For every enemy we kill, two more seem to take their place. Surrender is an alien concept to them.

We can wipe ISIS off the map in Syria and Iraq, but they’ll spring up again in some other desert stronghold: in Yemen or Libya or Afghanistan — or even Saudi Arabia. After all, our longtime “ally” embraces extreme Islamic fundamentalism… discriminates against Christians and women… and, most tellingly, has accepted not a single Syrian refugee.

Syrian refugees © FORUM via ZUMA Press

Syrian refugees © FORUM via ZUMA Press

Speaking of refugees, the current war is producing them by the millions. The American response to the refugee crisis, like our response to nearly everything else these days, has been thoroughly politicized.

The left takes the sanctimonious high road, condemning anyone hesitant about admitting Syrian refugees into the U.S. They remind us that Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant (yes, but there were no terrorists in those days)… that Jesus, Mary and Joseph sought refuge (yes, in their native land)… that we wrongfully interned Japanese Americans during World War II (true, but we’re not rounding up Muslim Americans) and refused desperate Jewish refugees aboard the St. Louis during the same war (doubtful that their ranks included Nazi terrorists in disguise). Can the left be objective enough to concede that radical Islamists might sneak into the country along with the innocent refugees? That the Trojan Horse theory isn’t entirely a paranoid myth? (Good luck.)

Meanwhile, our conservatives are sounding the nativist alarms. They insist we should help our veterans instead of the refugees. (Why can’t we help both?) They yell about importing Sharia law and burqas against our will. (Nobody said we had to.) Candidate Trump not only opposes granting refuge to refugees but wants to monitor all American Muslims. Welcome aboard the Overkill Express.

Should we admit our fair share of refugees? Yes, bring ’em on, as long as their numbers don’t soar into the millions. Our generosity toward the dispossessed is part of what defines America. No doubt some radicals will slip through and spread their poisons here, but native-born Muslims (and even non-Muslims) can become jihadists, too. We simply need to minimize the odds, so let’s give the newcomers a heartfelt welcome — and a thorough screening.

Am I optimistic about our struggle against ISIS? Not especially, but I haven’t abandoned hope. We’re at war against a pathological mentality, not a country. Radical Islam has to die from within, but the rest of the world can help it along.

I’m encouraged that so many Muslims railed against the Paris attacks, and that ISIS can count no allies in the Islamic world other than Boko Haram and a few other fringe groups. They’d like us to think they’re in the catbird seat, but they’re hungry. They need fresh recruits, money and medical professionals. If we can destroy their lifelines to the outside world, we can disrupt their operations.

Besides destroying their home base, we need to attack their recruiting efforts. The hacker tribe known as Anonymous is finally making itself useful by exposing the identities of ISIS operatives online. If we can leverage the unity of mainstream Muslims against the fanatics, that could be the crushing blow. We can hope that Paris was their wake-up call.

If we fail, we can probably bid farewell to Western civilization. It’s already endangered from within by a depressing assortment of afflictions, including extreme political polarization, angry minorities, greedy plutocrats, a crumbling middle class, lone-wolf psychopaths, widespread indifference to the past, and some really atrocious music. Maybe Western civilization was too rarefied for our rowdy souls; we’re just higher breed of ape, after all. But I think the Western world as we know it is worth preserving.

By now we’re so accustomed to verbal attacks on Western civilization that we almost feel like racists when we rush to its defense. If so, we’ve been brainwashed. The left delights in recounting the historical crimes committed by Christians, as if those offenses somehow justify the current crimes committed by Islamists. Nearly all empires — European, Asian and African alike — are guilty of past outrages. But, for better or worse, most of us live in the present.

So here we stand, faced with chaos and factionalism and a brutal theocratic enemy waiting for the chance to topple us from our high perch. The enemy enjoys the giddy confidence of the self-deluded: those who know for sure that a righteous and judgmental God is on their side. It helps to be sure, but it also helps to be in touch with reality.

We desperately need a worldwide religious reformation, a great awakening that would hold all fundamentalism up to the bright light of scrutiny. If we all took the dictates of our scriptures literally, we’d be committing atrocities on a daily basis. It’s time we acknowledged that no religion has an exclusive pipeline to the will of an inscrutable God, and that all our scriptures were written by gifted but otherwise ordinary men looking for answers.

The faithful should learn to live without certainty. It’s that damnable certainty that makes tyrants of the world’s believers. Of that much I’m reasonably certain. Not 100 percent, mind you — because unlike ideologues and fundamentalists, I’m never entirely sure of anything.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.

273 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2015 2:03 am

    Great commentary, Rick!

  2. Timothy Price permalink
    November 24, 2015 9:24 am

    Lets start the religious reformation at home and have a real investigation into 9/11… then go from there. Take out the Federal Reserve, the Council on Foreign Relations, the CIA… now we’re cookin.

  3. Paul Gallanda permalink
    November 24, 2015 9:51 am

    Outdid yourself on this one, Rick.

    I can feel the emotional tension.

    In other news, I might have a small one — a rewrite for you. Interested?


  4. Roby permalink
    November 24, 2015 11:12 am

    Meanwhile Ahmed the clock boy and his lawyers need 15 million and a written apology to mend his broken spirit. While 4 million refugees could tell us the Real meaning of broken lives, these cheerful idiots are defining counterproductive, do they think for a minute of the syrian refugees and whether their selfish actions could have an effect on an actually tragic situation? Next we will be hearing that they have received death threats and will be expected to feel bad. Certain people will, mostly on campus. I’m done trying to be moderate, the world has gone mad.

    Kill PC, now today. Kill ISis too, boots on the ground.

    • Priscilla permalink
      November 24, 2015 3:48 pm

      RIght on, Roby. Defeat ISIS, and the refugee debate becomes entirely different.

      • Roby permalink
        November 24, 2015 4:33 pm

        We will defeat ISIS as soon as we really decide to do it on the ground with the whole western world participating. It will even be easy I think. But then another ISIS will spring up. It will be that way for the rest of my life, eventually, they may succeed in killing about 1 westerner in a million. Seen logically homegrown gun tragedies dwarf the death toll of Islamic radical (I have no problem saying that!) terrorism. Meanwhile, their own living situation in their neighborhood is a permanent hell.

        THere are allegedly 4 million syrian refugees. If we took 4000 that is 1 in a 1000, 40,000 that is 1 in a 100. In other words our help is symbolic at best in any case. Its apparently a 2 year process before they land on American soil as well, not anything immediate in terms of relief. The rapid entrance of Syrians is a giant myth if I believe the facts in the article below:

        So, this is a great big emotional debate that is probably all but pointless, they aren’t coming her anytime soon or in a number that is going to affect their situation. That should be statement number one in every news article or speech if anyone wants to be rational. The Arab world should deal with this, its their fellow muslims, and their corner of the world.

        The whole debate is a nonsense, like the debate over banning abortion. Its about something that is not going to happen.

    • Priscilla permalink
      November 24, 2015 4:53 pm

      Well, I agree about defeating ISIS. I was listening to some retired general being interviewed by some NPR person the other day, and he was saying that the language that we use in talking about ISIS is the language of defeatists. In other words, we say we’ll “contain” them or that we will try and “degrade their ability to attack us.” He said anyone in the military will tell you that the only way to get rid of an enemy is to defeat it. Because the enemy determines the length of the war, by either surrendering or not. We’ve allowed the enemy to grow stronger by not forcing them to surrender. And we look like the weak horse, so no one wants to join us. France has done more to “degrade” ISIS in a little over a week than we have in 3 years.

      • November 24, 2015 5:00 pm

        And we brag that we destroyed a couple hundred oil trucks in the last couple days. The spokesman giving the update said “this was after dropping leaflets to warn anyone near the trucks so they could leave the area”. How do you defeat an enemy when you tell them what you are going to do before you do it?

  5. November 24, 2015 12:58 pm

    “The American response to the refugee crisis, like our response to nearly everything else these days, has been thoroughly politicized.”

    There is only one reason for our political leaders to say or do anything, and that is politics. Had President Obama said “we have 10,000 Syrians that have been going through the vetting program and when that is completed in the next 30-180 days, those individuals will be brought into the country as well as their families” there would not have been all this uproar.

    But that did not fit his political needs. He had to divide the country, so all he said and all his press secretary continued to day for days was “we will bring in 10K refugees” without out any additional information and that allowed the right to jump on security of the USA issues and secure their position as the party of strength compared to the dem’s party of compassion. Just a way to move a few votes one way or the other.

  6. Priscilla permalink
    November 24, 2015 1:55 pm

    The idea that we are not a compassionate nation if we place a moratorium on accepting refugees until there are better security measures in place is ludicrous and offensive, as is the idea that Obama has put forward, that Republicans are helping ISIS by suggesting it. THe politicization of this is truly despicable, and if it continues, my fear is that we will see, in reality, the reactionary violence that the left constantly whines about.

    It is clear to pretty much everyone except the left, that compassion is not the issue here – it is fear, confusion and anger, caused very specifically by a Islamic terrorist army that has threatened to maim, kill and destroy, if given the chance. So the mocking tone that Obama uses when he derides Republicans as being “afraid of 3 year old orphans,” is not merely despicable, it is dangerous, because he is empowering reactionaries who can demagogue the hell out of this, just as he is doing.

  7. Jay permalink
    November 24, 2015 3:14 pm

    Here’s an interesting article by Clark Whelton in City Journal that parallels Rick’s thinking, and provides additional background on ISIS.

    Rick, in addition to Anonymous, which doesn’t provide hacked info to anti terrorist governmental agencies, the “Ghost Security Group” has been attacking them over the Internet, and infiltrating chat groups on the dark web, etc. and reporting findings to counter terror organizations. Here’s info about them:

  8. Jay permalink
    November 24, 2015 3:57 pm

    As a compassionate person my heart is inclined to reach out to war-torn refugees, desperate for help. But why do we have to provide them permanent residence here?

    Once the situation in Syria is stabilized, why shouldn’t they be repatriated to their homeland? When drowning sailors are rescued from a shipwreck they are not hired onto the rescuing vessel for lifetime jobs. So why should we be burdened with the long term expense of 185,000 Syrians (that’s Obama’s estimate of how many he wants to bring here the next two years) at projected costs in billions of dollars?

    And as a Neo-Agnostic disbeliever in Invisible Entities, I definitely do not want to see a growing population of Muslims in the U.S., perpetuating hateful Koranic messages to their children, legitimizing murdering ‘disbelievers’ like me, for generations to come. Anyone who has read the Koran knows the admonitions to harm us are pervasive and unambiguous. Why should my life or tranquility be stressed more then it is now by increasing the number of Muslims already here with magnitudes of more ‘true believers?’

    • December 11, 2015 1:57 pm

      Jay..after reading this comment again and recognizing the season we are in, I have a question.

      Muslims and Jews do not do anything “special” for Christmas since Christmas is based on the Christian belief that this is their day to celebrate the birth of Christ. And gift giving grew out of the story of the three wise men giving gifts to Jesus.

      What do Agnostics do at this time of year?

      • Jay permalink
        December 11, 2015 2:50 pm

        Well, I’m more neo-agnostic then atheistic at present, and I can’t answer as to what the full spectrum of non-believers and free thinkers do to celebrate the Xmas Holliday – but I’ve always celebrated it with the same enthusiasm I celebrate Groundhog’s Day and St Patrick’s Day and Halloween, for the non-secular communal aspects of those events.

        I similarly acknowledge Hanukah – my mother’s side of our family included Jewish holocaust victims – but as a child we also exchanged xmas presents with Christian cousins on the other side as well. And my wife, who grew up in a large upstate NewYork non-church attending Christain family loves Christmas time, for the present-exchanging and food cooking feasts that are now making my mouth water in Anticipation 🍽🍸🍴!

        There are historians who claim the Christmas celebrations are replacements of the Roman Saturnalia festival, held in ancient times at the same time of year of Jesus’s alleged birth (an arbitrary date Assigned 400 years after he died). Like Xmas, the Roman holiday was celebrated with banquets and private gift-giving, and partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: which is still the case for many people I know, who get just as drunk and wasted on Christmas as they do on New Year’s Eve.

  9. Roby permalink
    November 24, 2015 4:49 pm

    Now as far as Ahmed the clock boy and his family and their lawyers are concerned, I wish them ill, if something nasty happened to the whole lot I would not be upset.

    As to the Democratic party creating political ads chastising the very use of the term radical Islam, and its candidates who could not admit its existence while the terrorists were even still in motion is Paris, well, I was wrong, this party is completely under the control of PC idiocy, which is a thing I have lost all tolerance for. This is madness. We need the truth, First amendment lawyers who make a living suing the targets of PC should be a growing thing.

    • Roby permalink
      November 24, 2015 9:53 pm

      I guess that was a bit over the top, the kid is just a kid, wish him harm is too much… But his lawyers on the other hand, may they fail and be infested by lice.

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 24, 2015 10:34 pm

        “It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.” ~Charles Dickens

  10. November 24, 2015 7:15 pm

    I have serious problems with the juxtapositions.

    We have F’d up accross the mideast. That does not justifiy terrorism.
    But we can not forget that we too have had a role in this mess.

    That is not your only twisted juxtaposition.

    Until 1875 the US had no restrictions on immigration.
    Until 1917 restrictions were individual and barred beggars and prostitutes, and the like.
    In 1917 we severely restricted the immigration of Asians. From then forward we started imposing quotas based on national origin.

    If you wish to bar the immigration of suspected terrorists – fine. I suspect few will disagree. But it is vile to bar the immigration of syrians because there might be terrorists among them. This is actually worse than barring jews because the were jews.
    And speaking of bizarre false equivalences, what is it you are saying regarding the St. Louis. That it was OK to bar Jews ? Or that it was only wrong to bar jews because it was unlikely that there were terrorists among them ? regardless, I would be surprised if Canaris had not slipped a few spies and saboteurs in among them.
    And certainly in among those japanese interned were a few who might have engaged in espionage or sabatoge.

    It is always possible to find something to be afraid of.

    It is not the perogative of the US to go mucking arround (badly) in the internal affairs of other nations, and then expect there will be no consequences.

    There seems to be close to a consensus here that it is time to put boots on the ground and crush ISIS. I do not think that the general public is there yet.

    Regardless, there is more (or less to it) than that.
    We are justified in destroying ISIS on the ground because they have committed acts of war against other nations. We are not obligated – nor should be engage in “nation building” after we have destroyed them.
    Go in defeat them and leave. Let the locals – even players like Iran who we are not altogether happy with clean up the mess that is left behind. It is NOT in our national interests to play policemen throughout the world. Just because we are the most powerful nation in the world does not mean we need to demand a voice in everything. It does not matter if what happens after ISIS is destroyed is not what we want.

    When another nation (or fake state) commits acts of war against other nations – particularly us or or allies, It is our right to destroy the government of that state.
    It is the right of the people of that state to choose their own govenrment – without our interference. Should they choose badly, we can complain, and moan and boycott. But we can only use force against nations that initiate the use of force against other nations.

    • Priscilla permalink
      November 24, 2015 10:14 pm

      What is “vile” about imposing security restrictions on a refugee population that we know – not think, but know – is infiltrated with enemy combatants who intend to kill civilians? It has nothing to do with their being Syrian. The Syrian refugee crisis is merely the Trojan Horse that ISIS has chosen as its vehicle for infiltration or invasion, if you will. Your argument is incoherent and dishonest.

      If I have a right to life, you have the obligation not to kill me. If I have the right to speak freely, you have the obligation not to keep me from speaking. If all immigrants and refugees have the right to enter the US, who has the obligation? All Americans, regardless of the fact that their own lives and property might lost? And what is the responsibility of the government in this case, Dave? To protect the inalienable rights of its citizens or to provide shelter and for those who enter?

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 24, 2015 10:15 pm

        *shelter and support

    • November 25, 2015 12:32 am

      How interesting that many who comment on this site, including me, fell for the trap sprung on us by our politicians. We are arguing over an issue we do not have enough information on in my opinion.

      Canada just restated their plans to allow 10,000 refugees into their country in the next 6 weeks, then another 15,000 next year. Here is how the Canadian press is reporting which refugees will be allowed into Canada.

      Step 1. Registering with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
      …….Tell their story of how they escaped and why
      …….Confirm their identity through documents, biometric security screening, including iris scanning
      …….Be registered in an automated and interconnected system
      …….Red flag any cases of war crimes or criminality
      Step 2. UNHCR re-settlement list
      …….Triage refugees and select 1 per cent who could be resettled
      ……..Interview candidates again
      ……..Give priority to the vulnerable, including those with medical problems, single mothers and children
      ……..Single young men unlikely to make the cut
      Step 3. Interview with Canadian visa officers
      …….One-on-one interviews with visa officers in the Middle East
      …….Confirm story again
      …….Run names through data bases of Canadian Border Services Agency, Canadian Security Intelligence Service and RCMP

      Has anyone seen our AP or other national press publish anything like this in one of their stories? Has anyone heard any politician offer this information concerning the resettlement to the USA? Has anyone seen or heard anyone in our government make the comment about single young men like they published in the step two, point four? Has anyone seen or heard a politician, government official or anyone from Department of Homeland Security give any information like Canada’s Step 3, especially running names through databases?

      How can we argue, debate or discuss a subject when we do not have any information because our government does not want us to have that info and the major news agencies do not want us to have it because? You figure it out why they won’t give us this info, I already have and it is not because our refugees will not go through the same screening as the Canadian refugees, it is something much worse. Our government is playing mind games with us to manipulate people into taking positions on something based on fear, not knowledge. If you have the knowledge to understand an issue, one can not be manipulated.

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 25, 2015 9:20 am

        You make an excellent point, Ron. The House just passed the SAFE Act, which would pretty much put refugee migration on hold until measures like the ones you described as Canada’s process were put in place. It did pass with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority – of course, we’ll see how that goes in the Senate, where bills go to die, these days….or if a veto can really be overridden, which I doubt.

        An excerpt from one letter to the editor that I have read: “a cynical, reactionary, anti-immigrant piece of legislation, the underlying spirit of which calls to mind the attitudes of xenophobic, nationalist parties in Greece, France, Germany, Hungary, and of some American politicians. This legislation is neither humane nor in the interest of national security; it turns away families guaranteed asylum under international law and fulfills prophecies of al-Qaida and ISIS about the West.”

        Another: “Last week Congress voted on the H.R. 4038, the so-called SAFE Act, a bill which pretends to keep Americans safe from terrorists posing as refugees.I voted against this bill because it would do nothing to make us safer. It would not cut off the funding for President Barack Obama’s dangerous plan to import tens of thousands of Middle Eastern refugees into the United States, but it would allow the Obama administration to continue to decide how many refugees to let in, and who. The bill was voted on under a closed rule and no amendments were allowed to be considered.” (this from a NC congressman)

        And this, in a column from the conservative National Review: “As currently structured, the House plan would give the president the money he wants for refugee resettlement and then leave taxpayers on the hook now and in the years to come for the tens of billions of dollars in uncapped welfare, education, and entitlement costs certain to accrue. Thus, in addition to the enormous welfare costs — 91 percent of recent Middle Eastern refugees are on food stamps and 73 percent receive free health care — we will also be taking money directly from Americans’ Social Security and Medicare funds to provide retirement benefits for refugees. The real costs of this refugee expansion have not even been ascertained.”

        I believe that the open migration idea that Dave stands by is crazy (he’s not crazy, mind you, but the idea is not even defensible by libertarian arguments). I believe that you are correct in saying that this critcal issue, like virtually every other issue has now been politicized, and the Amen Corners are set.

        I haven’t even heard a serious discussion of setting up safe zones in places like Saudi Arabia, where security and health concerns could be better managed and repatriation after the crisis would be easier. It’s been mentioned, but it doesn’t fit the narrative, and apparently our leaders – and the Saudi leaders – want no part of it.

      • November 25, 2015 1:06 pm

        Priscilla, my point in quoting the Canadian Toronto Newspaper article was the same process their refugees are going through, so are the ones coming to America.

        So my point when I said “Our government is playing mind games with us to manipulate people into taking positions on something based on fear, not knowledge. If you have the knowledge to understand an issue, one can not be manipulated.” was the same point I tried to communicate a couple other times. They have not communicated that these individuals have been in the vetting process for almost 2 years, they would have come here without notice of citizens had Paris not happened and the administration has done nothing to calm the waters when the red flags flew after Paris happened.

        That to me is not leadership, it is management by fear, much like dictators use on citizens to get them to follow their dictates if they want to stay safe. And again I ask why would they do that? I have my own opinion.

  11. Roby permalink
    November 25, 2015 10:58 am

    Ron, what you posted is true as far as I can tell about the process but the information is out there I posted a link above that also describes it. I don’t think our leader are trying to hide anything. This is a democracy with a free press. The information is out there, the press is just much more involved in news, and then opinion. This comes under the heading of analysis, which is s weakest part of the news. WHy is that? Because that is how the customer of the news, the American public, feels. We want the latest titillating trial, scandal or disaster, we want left and right opinions, but finding out the nuts and bolts of how things actually work is like being back in school again, and who in their right mind want that?

    So we spend an incredible amount of time being worked up about things that are not even so.

    You would think that is we have a net negative migration to Mexico, and no Syrians refugees are going to be arriving any time soon and if and when they do they will have been through a lengthy process that makes planted ISIS a non issue, well, you would think that those facts would be more at the top of the debate.

    I don’t think you can blame politicians for this, they just give us the kind of things we want to hear and that is not the details of policy its the broad outline in short sentences that we can process.

    • November 25, 2015 1:27 pm

      Sorry Roby, but I do blame the politicians for the divisive politics that the left and right wing leaders are promoting.

      If we had a leader, he would step up in one of his many media presentations he has made in the past 2 weeks and specifically tell the American people what the process is to vet these refugees, who is included and who is excluded, how 10,000 are picked from 2.5 million or so refugees and why the ones being picked would not be terrorist.

      But NOOOOO, he goes on TV and chastises the GOP. He says “First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.”

      He goes on to say “And now, suddenly, they’re able to rush in, in a day or two, to solve the threat of widows and orphans and others who are fleeing a war-torn land, and that’s their most constructive contribution to the effort against ISIL?

      And I can find many more quotes where he is using “code” words that split the country between compassion and safety. “Three year old orphans”, “solve the threat of widows and orphans”.

      Sorry, I can’t buy his cool-aide. I can’t buy the GOP’s either. When I read who is actually part of the refugee program, I think the odds of one terrorist coming into America is much less than one radicalized European traveling on an EU passport where no checks occur at all. And there are over 5M EU travelers per year come to America, so what’s the chances that one or more are sleeper cell terrorists compared to 10K vetted Syrians?

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 25, 2015 1:40 pm

        I’m pretty much on the same page as you are, Ron, although I still wonder how you vet folks who have no documented history. And I also wonder why so many young men are among the refugees, far outnumbering the widows and orphans. Finally, I wonder how these people are going to be resettled, and why we have not called upon the Saudis to take them in.

        But, I agree that the fear, division and hatred ginned up by this controversy play right into the hands of those who want power over us.

      • November 25, 2015 5:37 pm

        You and I, along with millions of other folks have no idea how the the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees does its screening well before those that meet their test ever get to our own screening process. And then we have little information on what our Homeland Security agencies do to screen refugees.

        Like I said before a few weeks ago, we are all subject to the DemRep trap of divisive politics and if they wanted a united country and not a divided country, they would have told us what the refugees go through. Even trying to find specifics on the internet is next to impossible other than it starts in Geneva with the UN working with non profit organizations. Most informatiion also states these refugees are mostly women, children and disabled (due to war injuries,etc)/ The catholic church states the ones that are resettled have few men included with the resettlement.

        I started out as being one who did not support this effort and have come around to the thinking that these individuals are less harmful than others. Just today they were talking about air travel and the fact that air port workers are still not screened 100% nor are they screened 100% each day they come to work. The Director of Homeland Security said that these individuals are “randomly checked”. So the odds of someone getting on a plane this weekend and having that plane blow up exist just like a terrorist blowing up a public place.

      • Roby permalink
        November 25, 2015 2:51 pm

        Ron, I think you have the correct take home message, those refugees are not the most likely place to find hidden terrorists. I guess I am less sensitive to his words about the actions of the GOP side, most especially Trumps supporters, because I agree with most of his thoughts about that. But I do agree with you that he is playing politics and it would be better just to give the details that make this issue so silly at the practical level. I truly don’t think anything is being deliberately hidden, the info is out there in plain view for anyone who is interested. Unfortunately, most people who are paying attention to politics are interested in a more visceral level of communication.

        Ron, I once considered running for the Vermont senate as a republican (~ 18 years ago) strongly enough that I went to a seminar on how to run a campaign that was put on by a speaker who was sent to Vermont by the national GOP people. What did she tell us potential candidates? How to divide people, how to use wedge issues. I did not find that surprising and I did not doubt that the Democrat side got the same lecture. Obama did not invent wedge issue politics, its as old as the hills. I suspect that if we went back to old Reagan presidential clips we will find him using wedge issues to divide people too, even if he did sit down with Tip and compromise on many things.

      • November 25, 2015 5:47 pm

        Roby, Divisive politics have been around as long as the country has existed, but never in my lifetime can I remember a setting president using this vile tactic as much as this one has. Every president most likely has used issues to distinguish themselves from their opposition party, but have they used issues like income, race, immigration and refugees to split the civilian population by using inadequate or incorrect data to accomplish this effort or to pit one group against another.

        If it was morning in America with Ronald Reagan, I see the sun setting on America with Barrack Obama.

      • Jay permalink
        November 25, 2015 3:14 pm

        Yeah, here we are once again, stuck In middle between two brainless partisan forces.

        It reminds me of an incident I read about in one of those old Turn of the Century Histories Of New York City, about two rival Irish volunteer fire companies who showed up to a tenement building fire. Back then fIre fighting was an important neighborhood status symbol. As was bragging rights over who contained the most fires. And as there was generally only one fire water plug per street, the engine company that arrived first got to hook up their hose. This time both arrived together. And neither would demur to the other. And an all out brawl ensued. And of course the building burned to the ground while fists were flying.

        When will we learn?
        Probably never, human nature is intractable.

  12. Roby permalink
    November 25, 2015 3:06 pm

    This is fact checking… From Fox news!

    “TRUMP: “Our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria.”

    THE FACTS: Not even close, but Trump routinely throws out the figure anyway.

    Obama has expanded the usual annual ceiling for refugees of 70,000 by an additional 15,000, with 10,000 of those new slots for Syrians. At the outset, officials said this program for Syrian refugees probably would continue beyond one year. But nothing approaching 250,000 is in the cards.

    Trump also states that most of the people leaving Syria are men, with very few children, an observation he made at one point by seeing the crowds on TV.

    But of the roughly 2,000 Syrian refugees who have come into the U.S., the State Department says that half are children, one-quarter are over age 60, the sexes are split about equally, and only 2 percent are single men of combat age.”

    Again this is from Fox, not MSNBC. There is not much being hidden here one just has to look a bit.

    Priscilla, as far as I can tell the idea that men outnumber widows and orphans is a myth that seem to have originated in the fertile mind of Trump. Trump is on par with Putin as a liar and that is no mean feat. Far too many on the GOP side are passing his crazy stuff on without looking for a better more accurate source.

    • Jay permalink
      November 25, 2015 3:28 pm

      No, you’re wrong on the numbers, Roby. I posted them above the other day. A total of 185,000 in the next two years.

      ,John Kerry: US to accept 85,000 refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017

      By Associated Press
      The U.S. is offering new details about its plan to ease the Syrian refugee crisis by significantly increasing the number of worldwide refugees it will take in over the next two years.
      U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees from around the world next year, up from 70,000, and the number will rise to 100,000 in 2017.
      Photo Essay: Hungary closes border as humanitarian crisis escalates
      Aides to Kerry say that many, though not all, of the additional refugees would be Syrian.
      The migrants would be referred by the United Nations, screened by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and resettled around America.

      • Roby permalink
        November 25, 2015 3:43 pm

        “John Kerry: US to accept 85,000 refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017.”

        Jay, That seems to be completely consistent with what Fox reported. We normally take in a total of 70000 refugees each year, not just Syrian refugees, but refugees period. According to Fox Obama proposed taking an additional 15000 in 2016, of which 10000 would be from Syria. So yes, 85000 refugees, but 10000 Syrians. And that is just the increase that is being made in the upper limit, so far we apparently actually have 2000.

        Fox did not report the details about 2017 but something similar seems likely, another increase in the cap to 100000 with 20000 being Syrian. That is my guess. So, a theoretical total of 30000 Syrians or such out of 185000 refugees in total for those two years. Which is about what we are doing year in and year out anyhow, just without much hoopla. It makes almost no dent in the 4 million Syrian refugees and even far less to the composition of America. 30,000 Syrians, 350,000,000 Americans.

        Perhaps Fox reported it wrong or I am reading it wrong.

      • Jay permalink
        November 25, 2015 4:42 pm

        No, I wasn’t attentive to the wording. You’re right, 185,000 is total number of refugees to be admitted from various countries,

        But there’s a big BUT there. The quotes from aides who said “many but not all” needs to be scrutinized further. How many is “many?” The US Immigration definition of ‘refugee’ describes the following:

        “They can no longer live in their home country due to a reasonable fear or proof they will be persecuted…The reason for their persecution is related to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion.”

        Further: “In order to be a refugee under U.S. immigration law, your case must be of special humanitarian concern to the United States.” And the President is the one who decides that parameter and how many refugees he wants to admit from each nation. In recent years the majority of refugees who were allowed to come here were from Iraq, Burma, and Bhutan – but at Obama’s discretion he can reduce future refugees from those places, and increase the Syrians to 70% or 80% or more if he wishes. Or, if he decides he wants to increase the total amounts he can (assuming he can find budget money to cover the expense).

        Bottom line, how many will be admitted during the remaining years of his presidency is up to him.

    • Priscilla permalink
      November 25, 2015 5:47 pm

      Here I am, Roby, thinking that you and I will peacefully coexist on TNM, and then you go and accuse me of getting my facts from the Trumpster! Come on!

      Anyway, I could link a dozen articles from all different kinds of sources that indicate that a majority of the migrants and refugees (a key difference there, which Jay points out below) are, in fact, relatively young men. I read one interesting explanation for this in National Review, regarding the European migrants, that I will link, so that you will see that I am not just listening to populist rhetoric 😉

      Back to the migrants vs refugee thing…Jay makes an important point, and it’s the reason why we should not believe a lot of what we hear from either side. Perhaps Obama is willing to admit thousands of Middle Eastern migrants who may not be refugees at all, but will nevertheless place a tremendous burden on our non-existent economic resources. Perhaps this explains why there is so little interest in creating safe refugee camps in Saudi Arabia. Not only do the Saudis not want to help, but many of the people we are going to take in are not really escaping persecution. They just want out of that part of the world. I don’t blame them, but why admit them, and not thousands from Central Africa? Add that issue to the whole ISIS infiltration scheme, and I think we have good reason to demand some truth-telling from our president.

      I don’t think we’ll get it, and it doesn’t excuse the fear-mongering on the other side of the aisle, but I think it’s reasonable to be skeptical about political motives here.

      ” To label a migrant a refugee can result in inappropriate pressure on countries to afford the migrant with relief he is not legally entitled to. To call a refugee a migrant can deprive the refugee of the more urgent assistance they need.”

      • Jay permalink
        November 26, 2015 8:59 pm

        No clear answers for the refugee situation. Hazy moral issues to digest. And fuzzy information on which to make decisions.

        On the Saudis: they claim they have taken in more than 2 million refugees since the conflict in Syria began driving them out, but they don’t define them as ‘refugees.’

        I’ve seen other stories mentioning the large amount of financial aid they’ve been providing, but haven’t yet found corroboration of them bringing in actual people.

        I’m too stuffed with Thanksgiving food to follow up on it now.

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 28, 2015 11:44 am

        Jay, I did some reading up on the Saudi situation, and, as you say, the info is very fuzzy…..from what I could glean, the Saudis have taken Syrian migrants with visas and/or work permits, but not refugees. Apparently, this is true of other Muslim nations, with the exception of Algeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen.

        And, let’s face it, who wants to go to those countries anyway?

        It’s hard to find much reporting on this that doesn’t go back to September, but I have also read that the Saudi’s are in favor of Western nations taking in as many refugees as possible and have offered to build mosques for them in Europe. I have also read that the Saudis have denied this claim, so what to believe.

        I think that we are being fed a lot of bull hockey on this whole issue. When Bashir Assad was firing nail bombs at protesters and gassing his own people back in 2012, we did nothing, but now we are told that, if we do not take in hundreds of thousands and resettle them in this country, we are heartless? There is something not right here……

  13. Priscilla permalink
    November 26, 2015 10:20 am

    Testing ~ my last comment is stuck in “moderation”

    • Jay permalink
      November 26, 2015 11:12 am

      Does your comment have more than one link?
      I have one with two links, stuck in moderation since 11/24. It shows up on my tablet screen, but I’m assuming it hasn’t cleared. Can you see yours stuck in moderation on your screen, Priscilla?

      And to everyone – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

      • Priscilla permalink
        November 26, 2015 11:28 am

        Yep, two links, Jay! That must be it. And it does show up on my screen with the notation that it is awaiting moderation. And, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

      • November 26, 2015 1:38 pm

        Best just to do it over and split the links into two messages. In most all cases, the message never gets posted. Just a quirk in the system.

      • November 27, 2015 2:17 pm

        True … If a comment has more than one link, it seems I have to approve it manually. (Once I saw it, I did.) Now I need to find some time to reply to all your comments. Wish me luck, because my son is home for Thanksgiving weekend, and he goes to bed about 20 minutes before I nod off on the den couch. Must make use of those 20 minutes!

  14. David permalink
    December 3, 2015 1:30 pm

    Thanks again for your diligence and common sense. Every time I think nobody’s capable of rational thought I’m reassured by your example. Whenever I think I need to record my opinion about our current difficulties I read your posts and realize my views are being precisely articulated.

    I’ve always sought better understanding as a means to solutions but lately understanding seems futile to the extent we’re unable to change the existing structures and institutions of our “greatest good for the greatest number” broad and prosperous middle class.

    I’m in it for the long haul so will stay tuned in to read your take on what’s really going on.

    • December 4, 2015 9:38 pm

      Thanks, David. I appreciate the appreciation. Although I have my biases like everyone else, I try to see both sides of an issue — and I actually read articles from both the progressive and conservative press, which probably makes me something of a freak these days. (Of course, there IS no “moderate” press, which is why I keep doing what I’m doing.) Hope you’ll stick around.

  15. Jay permalink
    December 7, 2015 12:08 pm

    Anyone have thoughts on Obama’s Oval Office comments?
    (I’m guessing someone will substitute “Oval” with Anal or Assinine, etc) 😼

    • Timothy Price permalink
      December 7, 2015 12:16 pm

      Obama said that gun control would be a priority for his administration, and sure enough, another false-flag murder.
      San Bernardino mass shooting: Eyewitness describes “three white, tall, athletic-build gunmen”

      and here is another to give you more understanding to this increasingly common practice.

      • Jay permalink
        December 7, 2015 1:52 pm

        Huh? I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re trying to convey. ⁉️

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 7, 2015 2:41 pm

        You haven;t any idea what I am saying, Put simply, Obama works for a mob that want to disarm US citizens, whether you know it our not. The Crisis, reaction, solution process is in play. False-flag after false flag event.. such as Obama talked about. The video I linked to is testimony that contradicts the “official” story about San Bernardino shooting. Get it now?

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 7, 2015 2:48 pm

        Additional evidence of fake San Bernardino false-flag… all of it staged, though the killings were real. This is how terrible the criminals are who are staging these things.

      • Jay permalink
        December 7, 2015 8:57 pm

        Yeah, dude, you’re right: the entire shooting was an Obama murder operation to prod Congress into taking away my shotgun and pistol!

        That American Democracy loving Muslim and his pious wife were set up as Patsies by the Obama-controlled FBI and their 2nd Amendment hating leftie cohorts. You made me see the light!

        But let’s give them credit for the successful deviousness of their plan. They set everything into motion and coordinated it brilliantly. Not only did they manage to convince the Muslim husband and wife to arrange a phony story of a doctor’s appointment so they could leave their infant son with the grandmother, Obama’s people somehow managed to convince the husband to rent an SUV, fill it with guns and explosives, then have him show up at the Christmas party, and then leave so he wouldn’t be shot when Anti-Gun-Obama’s Ops opened fire there! And then to have him wait outside so he and the SUV could be identified by EYEWITNESS Glen Willwerth, to enable San Bernardino Police to locate it was ingenious! Whereupon the innocent husband-wife duo, following Obama’s False Flag script in suicidal fashion decided to shoot it out with the cops while tossing a few ineptly made pipe bombs out of the SUV.

        If not for you, and other alert guardians of our liberty, Obama and his False Flag Brigade almost got away with it

        And may our 2nd Amendment right to join Well Regulated Militias never be taken away‼️‼️

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 7, 2015 9:09 pm

        The sarcastic monologue that you carry on is filled with bogus details, much as Sandy Hook was, after the “authorities” got their story somewhat together. We have found so many holes in what was finally decided upon to be the “true” story that it is necessary to dismiss it. The same is true of 9/11. Now, so soon after the event, you can make all the smart scenarios that you want, but the truth always comes out. We add this to the rapidly growing list of domestic terrorism for gun legislation that attempts to remove defenses from the people.

      • Jay permalink
        December 7, 2015 9:38 pm

        Point to the bogus details.
        By the way, are you still on the no fly list?

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 7, 2015 11:19 pm

        As I mentioned, the details become the focus for confirmation over time. But given the mandate of this administration, and the past deceptions, it is only prudent to assume that it was a false-flag and act accordingly.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 7, 2015 4:33 pm

        I believe that the standard response to this sort of nuttery is the advice to get back on your meds, which you will most likely ignore. But you are exhibit A for the opposite point of view, so thanks for that.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 7, 2015 4:39 pm

        Standard response from uniformed, head in the sand people, or shills, take you pick. But there are a surprising number of sheeple who have bought the mainstream media malarkey.
        You probably believe that planes and fire took down the 3 WTC buildings… or that is what you will say. Am I right?

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 7, 2015 5:36 pm

        Timothy, it would be cruel of me to continue to play with you. I do have a cruel side, but I try not to indulge it. To you I am a sheeple, to me you are a nut who needs help. Good luck to you.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 7, 2015 5:53 pm

        It is also predictable that you do not address a single thing that the videos show, but simply accuse me of being odd. This is the typical response from shills who are paid to deflect truth.
        You cannot afford to indulge me cause you will lose if when it actually comes to evidence.

      • Jay permalink
        December 7, 2015 10:51 pm

        You really have to be Ditzy not to understand the unreliability of eyewitness reports at crime scenes.

        And you only have one confirmed eyewitness to a “3-man” scenario, and her description is fuzzy at best. She couldn’t see faces because she said the “men” we’re wearing hats. If a woman wore a hat and was in combat gear she wouldn’t look like a woman, duh. And the husband and wife in combat gear and hat would look white, as opposed to black, duh. And where the eyewitness was standing, or crouching more likely, would effect her judgement of height, duh, and as you don’t know how tall the witness is, or how tall the husband is, you have no way of knowing how ‘tall’ tall is to the witness, duh, duh, duh.

  16. Timothy Price permalink
    December 7, 2015 11:21 pm

    I understand the deception used by the government and their media. There is nothing that I know of that supports the assertion that these people were preparing for anything. Time will out.

  17. Pat Riot permalink
    December 12, 2015 8:21 am

    I was working near a bad TV when the San Bernadino story was breaking. When I say bad I mean the picture and sound was “digitizing” and it was annoying, so I grabbed the remote and flipped through the channels. I was startled at how the commentary was following the same theme/rhetoric on every channel, even to the point of using the same words.

    In Timothy Price’s defense, our “news media” is scripted “from the top” much more than most people think. I hope my pasted link below works. Try to ignore the sinister conspiracy theorist voice and just be…amused…how scripted “news” is.

    • Jay permalink
      December 13, 2015 1:59 pm

      The only media reporting conspiracy is a conspiracy of incompetence.

      Here’s a link that explains why there’s so much similarity in news broadcasts, per the “Yeah Baby” repetition in the disingenuous conspiracy video, that may shed light on seemingly “scripted” news.

      Much of the news reported comes from a few major news sources and wire services, like CNN and AP, and on air broadcasters often copy and paste entire segments of it, with a few syntax changes, a practice known in the business as “ripping and reading.”

      Plus all the news shows have control booth staff taking notes of other live news broadcasts, which they feed to the commentators, and Flash on banners across the bottom of the screen.

      Live news coverage immediately after a disaster or attack is based on that kind of piecemeal story telling, like the didactic analogy of the Blind Men and the Elephant: an eyewitness snippet here, an assumption there, and immediately those suppositions are broadcast worldwide. Once the narrative is shaped in the public mind and takes hold, it possesses a reality hard to dislodge (like the “Hands Up” rumor broadcast as fact at Fergusson). The story has now become “scripted” like the mindset of the attendees in the Emperor’s New Clothes: expectation trumps reality.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 13, 2015 4:22 pm

        Yes. You nailed it Jay.

        Our media, in spite of being supposedly in the pockets of the rich or the left or whoever, are diverse as hell today, even too diverse. Give me the Huntley-Brinkley days, I wanna go back.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 13, 2015 4:37 pm

        Others have pointed out that the first news reports usually contain relevant information that is soon expunged from the “official” news as it does not conform to the story that they are attempting to promote.
        We see this very clearly with 9/11 where reports were coming forth continually of explosions. But these reports were edited out, never to be seen again until the truthers dug into old news casts.
        Yes, the days of simply swallowing Huntley-Brinkley or Cronkite are long gone. Corporate America controls it all through deception.

      • Jay permalink
        December 13, 2015 5:24 pm

        9/11 conspiracy Debunked:

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 13, 2015 6:38 pm

        Good lord, are you still here?

        Hey, lets get away from the simple parts.. the explosive demolitions, the nanothermite, the impossible flying required by simple assed pilots, lets get past cell phones that don’t work at that altitude… and the zillions of other phony stuff you have to ignore to have work for you.

        Take a look below the surface to see who benefited.

        and check out “9/11 Trillions: follow the money”.

        Lets look at Mossad agents and Halliburton detonators at the WTC.
        THIS WILL SHOCK YOU TO YOUR CORE: 9/11 From Cheney to Mossad

        Full version:

        Who pays you anyway?

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 13, 2015 5:04 pm

        There are several truths operating here. It is not one or the other exclusively. The scenario Jay describes occurs, but that doesn’t negate the out-and-out deception. The intentional deception occurs. Do you remember the NFL player in Iraq? Our military tells us a story of his heroic death. Then we find out the truth that it was friendly fire. Then the heroic rescue of the female soldier–propaganda–it comes out that it didn’t happen that way. We humans forget. Some of us want to forget. The deception is HUGE.

  18. Pat Riot permalink
    December 12, 2015 8:27 am

    Also I don’t buy the “from one entity” line in the video’s preamble, but the videos are telling. Top-down “news” is a lot different than bottom-up reporting. Welcome to The Matrix!

  19. Pat Riot permalink
    December 12, 2015 8:51 am

    And so what’s important to not miss about the San Bernadino “news” is that it was supposed to be “breaking news” as in “just happening now” and “these reports just in” and yet what I saw and heard when flipping through the channels was scripted.

  20. Pat Riot permalink
    December 12, 2015 9:01 am in “pre-made” as in made ahead of time and then launched. Note this was coming from the interviewees, not just the interviewers. Oh well. I hope those manipulators at the top try to make a decent world for us!

    • Timothy Price permalink
      December 12, 2015 9:52 am

      “Oh well. I hope those manipulators at the top try to make a decent world for us!”

      It was Machiavelli who wrote, “when a Prince uses deceit and murder to gain power, once he has gained that power, he does not become a good person”.

      In my long, difficult journey to understand what happened on 9/11, I was always conflicted by concerns as to a false-flag event… If it concluded that it was a planned event within our own government, was I being “patriotic” to my country if I chose to expose it?

      It was Machiavelli’s comment that made the decision for me much easier. We cannot, as a free society, tolerate deception within government… or anywhere, for that matter, or for any reason. The consequences are too severe. If a free and open society represents some dangers to the state, well, that is just the way it is. There may not be perfect answers, but only better goals to strive for.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 12, 2015 11:51 am

        Very interesting. I will need to do some more research on what you are proposing, much the same as I now need to do concerning December 7, 1942 and the attack on Pearl Harbor.

        For those that have read my comments about trusting our government, it is the taking of rights and freedoms little by little that I talk about. It is not our government killing 3000+ people and wounding many others.

        But the lack of trust also goes to the fact that our government will use those that are now ill from working in the aftermath of the attack and are using them as political chips, just as our government sends men and women to the war zone and then puts them in prison when they defend themselves, their fellow soldiers or the civilian population they are there to defend when there actions are right, but do not follow the political rules of engagement.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 12, 2015 12:32 pm

        After 14 years of accumulated data, theories, and images, the information that has held up the best has been compiled into some very powerful videos. To spend a few hours, (with needed breaks in between) is worthwhile if it clarifies a decade of confusion.

        September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor

        Firefighters, Architects & Engineers Expose 9/11 Myths

        THIS WILL SHOCK YOU TO YOUR CORE: 9/11 From Cheney to Mossad

        Full version:

        … Then these are helpful in understanding the reasons for 9/11 and how it worked for them.

        The Project for the New American Century was perhaps the game plan that used 9/11,

        Another highly important revelation as to the objectives of those who did 9/11 is

        These are hugely revealing. Sincerely hope that this list is constructive.

  21. Pat Riot permalink
    December 13, 2015 5:06 pm

    There are several truths operating here. It is not one or the other exclusively. The scenario Jay describes occurs, but that doesn’t negate the out-and-out deception. The intentional deception occurs. Do you remember the NFL player in Iraq? Our military tells us a story of his heroic death. Then we find out the truth that it was friendly fire. Then the heroic rescue of the female soldier–propaganda–it comes out that it didn’t happen that way. We humans forget. Some of us want to forget. The deception is HUGE.

  22. Pat Riot permalink
    December 13, 2015 5:07 pm

    Ron P, I am with you that the taking of freedoms and rights little by little is more insidious and often worse that the more dramatic events.

  23. Pat Riot permalink
    December 13, 2015 5:26 pm

    T. Price you say “corporate America controls it all through deception.” That’s too absolute a statement. No they don’t control it all. Maybe you meant “essentially they control it all…” There are diverse news programs and a g-zillion blogs and tiny independent news sources now. They haven’t edited your words or mine. Obviously we are small shouts in the dark. We are not major news networks. It would be closer to the truth and more reasonable to say that much is controlled from the top, or something like that. Those little leaps into absolutes are part of what gives us open-minded, vigilant folks the negative label of “conspiracy theorists.”

    Labels! Democrat, Republican, conspiracy theorist, liberal, racist…these labels are getting in the way of communication and solutions.

  24. Pat Riot permalink
    December 13, 2015 5:58 pm

    And Jay, even if your cut-and-paste explanation for similarities in news is more of a partial explanation than I think it is, is that a good method for news? No, it’s not. Remember…it used to be that reporters worked for a local newspaper. The reporters went out and got the stories. The editing took place at the local level. That was real bottom-up news. Now in the age of corporate conglomerate behemoths that have bought everything up like blobs (is it 5 or 6 major communication corporations now?) the top-down influence endangers freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

    • Jay permalink
      December 13, 2015 6:33 pm

      I agree with you, it’s all screwed up: news, government, mega corporate influence, sexual identity, vegan food, unsolicited phone marketing, face piercing, the Kardashians!

      If it wasn’t for Tennessee Bourbon there wouldn’t be any long lasting examples of American exceptualism 🍾🍾🍾

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 13, 2015 6:48 pm

        Um… what America are you talking about? I believe the US was dissolved and put under receivership. The IMF is the present caretaker, I believe.

        “It is an established fact that the United States Federal Government has been dissolved by the Emergency Banking Act, March 9, 1933, 48 Stat. 1, Public Law 89-719; declared by President Roosevelt, being bankrupt and insolvent. H.J.R. 192, 73rd Congressional session, June 5, 1933 – Joint Resolution To Suspend the Gold Standard and Abrogate The Gold Clause dissolved the Sovereign Authority of the United States and the official capacities of all United States Governmental Offices, Officers, and Departments and is further evidence that the United States Federal Government exists today in name only.”

        “The receivers of the United States Bankruptcy are the International Bankers, via the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. All United States Offices, Officials, and Departments are now operating within a de facto status in name only under Emergency War Powers. With the Constitutional Republican form of Government now dissolved, the receivers of the Bankruptcy have adopted a new form of government for the United States.”

        To think that the media, that those running for election, that Congress work for the people is an illusion. Hillary works for the international banks.
        Congress pays no attention to the people; they work for the banksters, this is no illusion.

      • Jay permalink
        December 13, 2015 11:06 pm

        Raquel Welch. Jane Russell. Marilyn Monroe.
        What do these three American women have in common?
        They all grew up and had successful careers, despite any pseudo bankruptcies of the US Government during the 1930s.

        All three had healthy opulent body profiles. Is it possible the government bankruptcy contributes to cleavage development?

        Do you think that’s a ridiculous assumption?
        So do I, as rediculous as my impression of your conspiracy assertions.

        I’m sure you love our country; so do I. We just have different opinions on what constitutes reasonable observation. I think your problem is that you confuse complexity with conspiracy. You need to return to the basics. Maybe this will get you in the right frame of mind:

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 13, 2015 7:37 pm

        Ah! Jay you have a good attitude–the kind of light-hearted resiliency that helps a body get through all the chaos and find the good that still exists! Bravo. Glad you are here on TNM.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 14, 2015 10:21 am

        Funny. I’m with Pat on your good attitude. Maybe I should use my favorite photo of Marilyn as my icon, we are all adults right?

        The worst thing about believing that everything is a conspiracy is that one would have no chance, no chance at all, the system really would be far too powerful, may as well just stop trying in that case. Fortunately, the powerful don’t collude as one giant group, instead they compete viciously with each other, natures law, which prevents the all encompassing conspiracy scenario.

        J Edgar Hoover, who really did have a bit of a conspiracy going, is dead and was exposed as a pathetic closet gay man, that is how much power he had in the end. The FBI was exposed and reformed. Hmmm, that is not how master conspirators and their agencies are supposed to wind up. Stalin, poisoned by Beria, and then reviled by Kruschev, another case. These powerful people who control too much often come to very bad ends. Merger possible, Jail likely, as one rich mans lawyer told him. People compete. We always will.

        Somehow, in spite of many extremely powerful people being against it, we have a global warming agreement. Should not happen if the rich just called every shot the way they like. Counter examples too plentiful to list.

        Yes, the powerful are more influential than me. Most of the time, that is their loss.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 14, 2015 11:24 am

        Quite the contrary.. it is the rich, the Soros, the Gores, the Clintons, Gates, the global elite that take control over nations through the false claim that humans are causing climate change. This is all part of the Club of Rome agenda. Using the society and the environment as threats, (a good crisis not to let go to waste) as a means of establishing controls that supersede national sovereignty. Agenda 21 is alive and well.. as Agenda 30 as it is now evolved into with the pronouncement of the Pope.
        It would take too long here to give you the background to convince you, so will just leave it at that.

        To learn more about the climate change “agenda” read here:

        Rest assured, if the government is promoting it, any government or UN body, it is a scam.

      • Jay permalink
        December 16, 2015 12:16 pm

        Famous Words Of Wisdom:

        Timothy Price: “the false claim that humans are causing climate change. ”


        First Mate: “Captain, we have reports of iceberg sightings ahead.”

        Captain of the Titanic: “Absurd! There are no icebergs in this section of the North Atlantic!”

  25. Timothy Price permalink
    December 14, 2015 10:59 am

    Jay “We just have different opinions on what constitutes reasonable observation.”

    The short answer for you is that this is not conspiracy but rather a little known fact that is being used to keep the public uniformed and docile, while allowing the banks to control our government. This is fact. That you are not aware of this is by intent. You lack of awareness is not a good thing for America.

    • Ron P permalink
      December 14, 2015 1:06 pm

      Timothy..I can’t buy into the conspiracy theories that you are sharing, but I will also say that I would not be surprised at some future time if something was exposed that proved your point. “Never say Never”.

      I also do not agree with your position on bankers controlling the government. Most all of our elected federal (and many state) government officials are bought and paid for by the fortune 500 companies. And when you look at the top ten companies, not one is a bank. Money comes from many different places. Walmart, Exxon, Chevron, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Phillips 66, GM, Ford, GE and Valero Energy make up the top ten companies. So maybe now one can understand the trade and energy policies we have in this country along with the deregulation of banks that led to the 2008 recession. Chinese crap for Walmart, reluctance to promote alternative energy sources where the same basic policies of the 1936 Rural Electrification Act promoted electrical coverage to all of America that could be used for new technologies today and most “American made” cars from Mexico and Canada are clear pictures of how elected officials have sold out American industries today. To get elected and reelected, it takes multi millions for even a house member today, so the money comes from ALL big business that have an interest in legislation and to obtain that money, the elected officials have to sell their souls to obtain that money. Ross Perot warned us of the “great sucking sound” and we have witnessed that he was right in 1991 during that campaign for president.

      So when we hear Hillary Clinton chastise the banking industry, look at where her money comes from. Look at where Ted Cruz’s money comes from. Many are the same companies. They are not promoting a candidate, they are buying influence.

  26. Pat Riot permalink
    December 14, 2015 11:30 am

    We’re getting to some good stuff again. Important stuff. Jimi888 you know I like you, and you are a smart cookie and an open-minded debater, but you pulled out one of the classic Sheeple lines: “The worst thing about believing that everything is a conspiracy… ”

    Ugh. This is what happens. The discussion gets bifurcated. The word for the day is “bifurcated.” Split into two branches. I learned the word naturally while videotaping the production of vaccine needles which were bifurcated at the business end. But I digress…

    Liberal vs. conservative, rightly vs. lefty, “conspiracy nut” vs. “normal person”. Some of us are moderates here. Watch your tongue. There are gradations present. It’s not conspiracy nuts on one side in which “everything” is a conspiracy, and then intelligent, reasonable people on the other side who know that correlation doesn’t equal causality and coincidences occur so, relax everyone, it’s just flawed human interpretation of typical human behaviors, and no one is plotting against you.

    Yes, a fundamental problem with “conspiracy guys” is they start connecting too many dots as they spew out a bunch of supposed facts about meetings in 1933 and Glass-Steagall and then they start making sweeping generalizations and statements using absolute words like “all” and “every” such as “corporations control everything” and “we’re all slaves” when of course it’s not as clear cut as that.

    I often take the same course as Jay when he points out how many wonderful things flourished under the supposed nightmarish tyranny. When conspiracy extremists start with the whole “slave of the system” rhetoric, I try to convey how my father raved about his millwright job compared to running around being in business for himself: “being an employee is the greatest deal. It’s all set up for me. I just go in, do my eight hours. I like what I do…”

    Doesn’t sound like slavery to me!

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 15, 2015 11:57 am

      Conspiracies don’t have to be tin-foil hat types of things. Journo-list was a Google group of mainstream liberal writers – newspaper and tv reporters, bloggers, etc – who regularly coordinated their stories to promote the Obama agenda and came up with narratives and talking points that would promote the President’s re-election. I’m sure that they all believed that they were doing a public service to all of us who are too stupid to realize that Obama policies are the only right and just policies to support….but they coordinated in secret to manipulate and obfuscate news stories just the same. I’m sure that something similar is going on today, just perhaps less formalized than Journo-list….

      Why don’t we ever hear about Hillary’s emails anymore? Is it because everyone agrees with Bernie Sanders that they’re not important? I doubt that. Why did George Stephanopoulos ask Hillary if she had actually told the families of the Benghazi victims that their loved ones’ deaths were the result of a video, allow her to answer “No” and not press her to explain why every one of them says that she did, and has said that from the beginning. Was Stephanopoulos creating a new campaign narrative for his former employer? (Keeping in mind that it was Stephanopoulos who introduced the “war on women” by asking Romney, seemingly out of the blue, if he was in favor of outlawing birth control).

      These are the everyday media “conspiracies” that I believe in. Much of it is a by-product of the conflicts that present when news networks hire former political operatives (Stephanopoulos, Rove, Gergen, etc) or when media types are married to partisan political insiders( tons, just google it). Nothing intentionally nefarious, but dangerous all the same……

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 15, 2015 12:47 pm

        From wiki on Journo-list

        List member Joe Klein wrote at his Time blog, “The views I expressed on Journolist were the views I express here.” He identified himself as moderate compared to most leftist members, who subjected his ideas to “onslaughts”. He stated that allegations that list members colluded to produce talking points or plan activities with each other are simply false and the group debated with each with members valuing their individuality. He recounted that the only time list members could agree on “joint actions” was “meeting up at some bar.”[19]
        Foster Kamer of The Village Voice, who was not a JournoList member, has remarked that, emphasis in original, “off-the-record means off-the-record, and an assault on a journalist’s right to express him or herself in private is an assault on both the freedom of the fourth estate and free speech in general”.[20] Greg Sargent of The Washington Post, a list member, criticized Carlson for not posting JournoList threads in their entirety. He wrote that “publishing them would make it tougher to paint J-Listers as a secretive and omnipotent political cabal, rather than just a bunch of geeks and eggheads venting and arguing about politics”.[1]
        Ezra Klein recounted Tucker Carlson’s effort to become a member of JournoList, which he said he supported, and wrote:
        “I want to be very clear about what I was suggesting: Adding someone to the list meant giving them access to the entirety of the archives. That didn’t bother me very much. Sure, you could comb through tens of thousands of e-mails and pull intemperate moments and inartful wording out of context to embarrass people, but so long as you weren’t there with an eye towards malice, you’d recognize it for what it was: A wonkish, fun, political yelling match. If it had been an international media conspiracy, I’d have never considered opening it up. The idea was voted down. People worried about opening the archives to individuals who could help their careers by ripping e-mails out of context, misrepresenting the nature of the ongoing conversation, and bringing the world an exclusive look into The Great Journolist Conspiracy, as opposed to the daily life of Journolist, which even Carlson describes as ‘actually pretty banal’.”[21]
        Cabalist spin-off[edit]
        After Klein shut down JournoList, a new group, calling itself “Cabalist” was started by Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic, Michelle Goldberg and Steven Teles, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. The group, which had 173 members by late July, was made up mostly of former JournoList members. Its existence managed to stay secret for several weeks, until The Atlantic magazine correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg revealed its existence in a blog post on July 21. Goldberg reported that one recent discussion concerned whether or not members should ignore the articles on The Daily Caller website. “In other words, members of Journolist 2.0 were debating whether to collectively respond to a Daily Caller story alleging—inaccurately, in their minds—that members of Journolist 1.0 (the same people, of course) made collective decisions about what to write.”[22]

        Is there any actual evidence that they actually coordinated anything?

        Note that this “conspiracy” was outed in its 2nd form, by the Lefty Atlantic. Which is what inevitably happens to real conspiracies. Which is why sane people don’t get involved in anything that smells like a conspiracy.

        In fact the whole episode was about as hidden or secret as government wiretapping.

        Do conservative journalists have such place to vent and make similar sinister sounding pronouncements? I’d be shocked if they don’t.

        I will admit that the worst comments sound sinister. However, damning all involved is way over the top. Like all gotcha journalism there is some point, but it sounds like conservatives then took that point and exaggerated it.

        The usual political process in the indiscreet computer age.

      • Jay permalink
        December 15, 2015 1:05 pm

        You seem to have just done your share of convenient ‘leaving-out’ of information, Priscilla. Or doesn’t the fact that conservative bloggers and Fox News analysts are guilty of exactly the same kind of narrative distortions you just accused liberals of propagating have relevance to you?

        I know that ‘moderate’ is a relative term; but most of your moderation seems to favor right of center.

        My Shakespeare random quote generator screensaver just flashed this across my TV –

        “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble ”

        Both sides of the Conservative-Liberal divide are responsible for raising the flames under the cauldrons of discontent and dispensing slanted brews of misinformation. All of them need to be knocked on their noggins ✊👊

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 15, 2015 1:24 pm

        Well, I presume that the reason that Journo-list was secretive in the first place had something to do with the fact that none of the “journalists” who participated wanted their bias to become public, thereby tainting their reputation as unbiased reporters. Joe Klein is about as unbiased as Sean Hannity.

        And there is my point, Roby. News reporting is supposed to be unbiased, at least to the extent that reporters make a good faith effort not to allow their own biases to drive a narrative that’s at odds with the actual facts. People like Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow are not reporters and don’t pretend to be. But people like Klein and Stephanopoulos, who maintain that they are neutral, are ethically corrupt and should not be presented as reliable sources of information. (Jake Tapper is a good example of a liberal who keeps his personal politics out of his reporting and interviewing.)

        So, yes, you’re right that I used the term “conspiracy” somewhat loosely in my comment (which is why I put it in quotation marks), but I don’t think that a closed list_serve which allows only liberal members pretending to be neutral is all that far off.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 15, 2015 1:27 pm

        Jay, I’m not following your point. I would be equally critical of conservative reporters who did not identify their biases. I’m not aware of a “conservative Journo-list”, but, if there is one, and they are faking their neutrality, then they should be called out as well.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 15, 2015 2:32 pm

        But to your point about my right-leaning views – I agree. I definitely lean toward the moderate right and I try to be as honest as possible about that, although I’ll admit that there may have been discussions where I have not even recognized the degree of my own bias. A little while back ( I think it was before you arrived on the scene?) I said that I have always been a partisan, in the sense that I believe that there are always at least 2 sides to every issue, and I generally think that one side makes more sense, or is better, than the others. Not always, but more often than not. And, these days, the more conservative positions on many matters make more sense to me, and/or seem more right (as in correct) than the liberal ones. But, I don’t trust politicians on either side, and, if I were a journalist, I’d treat them all with the skepticism that they deserve.

        They all do need to be knocked on the noggins.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 15, 2015 2:51 pm

        Well, A I’m not saying that there was nothing at all unwholesome going on there, but B, these were liberal-left leaning writers specifically. That means that they were writers of opinion to me, or how would anyone know that they were liberal? rather than the people who write news stories. I would certainly agree that news should be neutral and is not always. That journalism contains right and left opinion writers is not news. I wish there were less of them and more centrists or any centrists, but the ideologues exist as we all know.

        The bigger point is that my read on Wiki did not support:

        “Journo-list was a Google group of mainstream liberal writers – newspaper and tv reporters, bloggers, etc – who regularly coordinated their stories to promote the Obama agenda and came up with narratives and talking points that would promote the President’s re-election.”

        If there are facts (not at all impossible to my mind) that would support this I would be interested to be led to them. If there is merely conservative opinionists trying to generate outrage about lefty opinionists, which is my guess, then I will have to call BS on your main point.

        WHen I have the time in the next day or so I will write up a funny story of my picketing the Burlington Free Press with a sign that said The Free Press Lies where specifically I was complaining about the concerted effort every area of the paper was making to promote and elect a Vermont state senator and remove Jim Jeffords, at that time still a republican. The paper’s editorial writer got wind and came out and screamed in my face and asked whether Jeffords put me up to it. A proud memory. I beleive I wrote it up in the Dwinell report, which you can find online. So, yes I have seen transparently repulsive electioneering occur at a liberal newspaper. Every member of that rag that had a column had the dream of being the press secretary of Senator Bachus if only they could elect her.

        But as conspiracies go, well the best ones are tiny, by the time you have invited hundreds into something, that is no conspiracy, someone is going to say something.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 15, 2015 3:04 pm

        I think we are not that far apart on this, Roby (I may have to transition to Jimi soon!). I would say that this article by Jonah Goldberg is very close to describing my view, particularly in his final sum-up

        The conservative movement at least admits it is a movement (even though conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1 in this country). Establishment liberalism, not just in the press but also in the White House, academia, and Hollywood, holds power by refusing to make the same concession. “This isn’t about ideology. . . . We just call them like we see them. . . . We don’t have an agenda.” The open conspiracy that perpetuates that lie is far more pernicious than any chat room.

        On the other hand, you are right that this sort of thing has been going on forever, so perhaps any outrage is misplaced or, at least, pointless.

        I look forward to your “free press lies” story!

  27. Pat Riot permalink
    December 14, 2015 11:46 am

    And so, because not everything is a conspiracy, and conspiracy extremists go too far, and they sometimes jump to conclusions and sound like kooks and wingnuts instead of reasonable human beings, that of course, obviously, certainly does not mean that all behind-the-scenes treachery is imagined or a product of dumbass hysteria (let’s not use the word “conspiracy”)

    What list do I need to compile of the treachery of people against people and governments against people for head-in-the-sand holdouts to be jarred out of la-la land complacency?

    I have trophies on my fire place mantle that read “most reasonable guy ever” (not really), and I’m here to tell you: Beauty and Love exist. The world is wonderful and amazing. Good people exist. It’s not all bad. You and the U.S.A. are being plotted against in serious, heinous ways, in secret, from both outside your country and inside your country. Would you really expect anything different?

  28. Pat Riot permalink
    December 14, 2015 12:08 pm

    “…so if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow…” –Beatles

  29. jimi888 permalink
    December 14, 2015 12:12 pm

    I like ya too Pat, always have, you are witty, bright as the sun, reasonable lots of the time.

    Here, I can’t quite figure out what bone you have to pick with me. Twern’t me that started talking about conspiracy here and I am not alone, thanks to Jay in fighting the very idea. Where did I go wrong? He is funny but I am a sheeple?

    The point I made is quite valid, I stand on it. I think I am cutting too close to the bone for you with that point, thus I am now a “sheeple”, your defence mechanism. What a truly stupid word, up there with twerking.

    The best I can figure is that you are defending the position of some kind of conspiracy-light, where there is still a chance to fight. The problem with that more reasonable position is that it really isn’t true conspiracy theory at all as what I understand conspiracy theory to be, a super conspiracy of the rich and powerful to run everything by collusion. Instead its more like what Jay is describing, which in itself is, no, not healthy. I do not believe we are a healthy society, not at all. Trump by himself is proof.

    Once I was a little hippie in the late 60s early 70s, or more likely a little hippie wanna-be because I was just naive and not actually stupid. The thing that saved me is that the hippies were all so damned alike. Do your own Thing! Here is the uniform you will wear, here is the slang you will use, here is the ideology you will believe in, here is the pot you will smoke. I rebelled against that slavish form of “do your own thing”, I didn’t want to smoke pot anymore, it made me stupid and made my friends stupider the longer they had been smoking. I wasn’t really a hippy, I was something else.

    Its the same with the conspiracy culture, its so damned repetitive and sorry, I don’t mean to offend you, but to my eyes its so very uniform. Rockefeller, the IMF, banker, secret societies, blah, blah, blah. Someone with their eyes wide open ought to quickly rebel and find a more individual position. I would.

    Call me a fucking sheeple again and I will begin to become cross and doubt your intellect. That itself is the uniform slang of the conspiracy culture, Bleh. Escape Pat! (Sincere smiley thingy).

  30. Pat Riot permalink
    December 14, 2015 1:22 pm

    haha. how ironic that a “do your own thing” rebellion begins to have an almost strict code of conformity! That’s a great observation. No I don’t believe I called you a sheeple. I called you a smart cookie and an open-minded debater. If I complement you any further jbastiat will accuse me of infatuation or something. However I did say that you chose a common sheeple response to lump conspiracy theorists together in the wackjob room.

    I like your conspiracy-light concept, but I’m actually very conspiracy-heavy, but that doesn’t mean that I think all the treachery is linked and coordinated by the M.A.D. group (maladjusted, anti-social, and darn mean). It’s factious and messed up at the top, in the middle, and down at the bottom. And I do think we can survive it and flourish. Or not.

  31. jimi888 permalink
    December 14, 2015 2:37 pm

    Pat, as far as a person can develop affection for someone via being part of an online argument, I long ago got a lot of affection for you during the Dave wars.

    So, not out of anger, but out of affection I am going to give you a good swift kick in the nuts here in an attempt to reorient you in a healthy way. Away from conspiracy thought, which is a life sucking cult.

    You are struggling the word conspiracy today and on other days. Sometimes you resent the word, just now you embraced it in no uncertain terms. Its a cult, a bad cult, an illness. Of course, people are plotting, that is human nature it just isn’t in secret and the powerful players don’t collude so much or are frustrated by other opposing groups of powerful players. No one is deliberately trying to reshape us into a generally powerless group of idiots, to the extent that that is happening, its happening on its own due to technology, demographics, too many people, loss of connection to what is real in an increasingly online world, all of which are vast, impersonal, insentient forces. The worst things that are happening are far to large to be part of anyone’s deliberate scheme. If you wish to believe that things are terrible, well, they are. Also they are wonderful. The world has always been great and terrible like Oz, just the flavor changes over time as technology advances.

    I have a good friend, one of my oldest friends who joined a cult, the Jehovah’s witnesses, when he was young, had a wife and 4 kids. The wife is long gone, the kids are trying as hard as they can to raise their parents, instead of visa versa, the JW cult ruined that family, made one child mentally ill due to the extreme behaviors. They seem so nice and wholesome when they knock on your door with their Bibles.

    Cults are bad, definitely very bad. As one man who was high in Scientology wrote when he finally woke up decades later, “For years I was part of a cult, everyone around me knew it but me.”

    There are some really completely irrational ideas in conspirology. First among them, no person in this world is so smart that they can manipulate political events by sending say, Donald Trump out into the world like a wrecking ball. Will he save or destroy the GOP? No one can tell as of today, too many moving parts. Perhaps Bill encouraged him in a sly way to give Hillary an advantage, that would be a conspiracy of one, not very secret BTW and the outcome of the experiment could go any of a million unintended ways.

    Political and cultural life is not a chess game with a few players that have rigid rules played on a small board. Instead, as chaos theory tells us, if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil today, it may set off a tornado in Texas. This high level stuff is totally unpredictable, set out to make the world conservative, you may just as easily wind up making it more liberal. Even if some conspiracies do exist, they don’t work out as intended. And smart people know that.

    Second, if you are looking for your keys under a lamp because that is where the light is, instead of the field of grass where you lost them, then you are not going to succeed. For conspiracy theorists, the lamp is conspiracy theory and they are looking under it for explanations of what happens. Unfortunately the keys are not lost there, they are somewhere else so all that effort is wasted.

    Although J Edgar Hoover hated rock music as a social force, it did not die because of J. Edgar Hoover, he did not poison Hendrix or shoot John Lennon. Instead rock music as a revolutionary force died of vast impersonal forces, technology, fashion, demographics. If I were dedicated to reviving rock music I would not waste my time looking for schemers who are secretly keeping it down, instead I would identify the real root causes and fight them.

    Third, as Timothy has demonstrated, conspiracy theory makes one so super paranoid that they see every event in the news as being perpetrated by the same dark force, which is really a twisted and distorted lens that attacks sanity itself in the end.

    That radical Islamic couple killed those people in San Bernardino. The WTC was brought down by airplanes under the control of terrorists who were set in motion by Bin Laden. A mind that finds an imaginary convoluted paranoid explanation for everything soon leaves reality, that is called insanity. Insane people do not lead happy lives.

    I strongly wish you the happy life you deserve Pat. Please God start looking in the tall grass for your lost keys and not under the street light.

  32. Pat Riot permalink
    December 14, 2015 5:25 pm

    Ha! The Dave Wars! Yes we tried. We danced the jig around that concrete block (of his pre-cast opinions) but couldn’t get it to budge. Lol.

    If I revealed my real name so that you could visit my Facebook page ( I hope most TNM folks quickly put the Pat and Riot together into Patriot) you would see that I have an active, happy life: wife, two grown kids, one married, and a good dog.

    In fact, I’m involved in so many activities and have so many toys that one of my desires is to have one of those huge metal buildings erected next to my hideout cabin so that I can essentially have my own private Walmart/Home Depot for all my stuff: my thousand books, my fishing and hunting equipment in their own aisle, my ice hockey and other sports equipment, my coat collection (yes I have a coat collection; I’m not weird or anything), my carpentry shop tools, and my survival equipment and food, etc., etc. I’m not a hoarder, I’m a collector. OK I’m an organized hoarder. My house is neat and uncluttered, but all the closets and storage areas are packed.

    Jimi the forces of denial are strong within you. It is best if many of us just go about our business and personal lives, and in doing so hold the fabric of society together as best we can. Continue being you; that is best. We don’t need everyone worrying about evil perpetrators and destructive plots. It’s like that story I’ve told here before about helping my wife coach baseball for 1st graders. On the first day I started hitting out some gentle grounders, and every kid left their position to chase after the ball at the same time, lol. No, we need people to stay in their positions as teachers, brick layers, and candle stick makers. For me it is too late. The veils have been lifted. I must fight evil and save mankind. I am…Coat Man! Whatever the weather, I have an appropriate coat. This enables me to more comfortably discuss the many ways to peaceably improve our world.

    • Jay permalink
      December 14, 2015 8:09 pm

      Coat Man!
      Mild mannered citizen by day —
      Marvel Super Hero Hoarder at night!
      Each button looped reveals a new power!
      Beware the wrath of his CUFFS!

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 14, 2015 10:35 pm

        Yes, there I am in one of my full-length raincoats. That pic is from a few years ago, and I’ve filled out slightly since then, but I still have that coat. Anyway, wherever vitriol is being spewed by Americans…there you will find me offering a more moderate perspective. After my nephew identifies the particularly acerbic chatter (he works at the NSA) I then have to google the weather at that location in order to select an appropriate coat for my visit. Be careful posting invective or Coat Man may visit you!

      • Jay permalink
        December 14, 2015 10:38 pm

        I’ll get to work on the pilot script.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 15, 2015 1:31 am

        Heh, I figured out that you were Patriot a while back, but I must admit that you had been around for a while before the lightbulb went on, lol!

        I think that there are many “conspiracy theories” that make more sense than some of the actual bs explanations that we get for why things are the way they are these days.

        And, remember, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you…..

  33. jimi888 permalink
    December 14, 2015 5:35 pm

    Well, you sound mostly sane as a bisquit. Congrats on the happy life! (The hideout cabin sound a bit worrying though. But I guess my entire house is a sort of glorified hideout cabin in the woods and I know that I am mostly harmless.)

  34. Pat Riot permalink
    December 15, 2015 12:40 pm

    “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you” –I’ve always liked that phrase, Priscilla!

  35. Jay permalink
    December 15, 2015 5:34 pm

    Statistics on the Religion of Peace

    • jimi888 permalink
      December 15, 2015 6:24 pm

      I’ll play devils advocate. In response to the numbers of egyptians, morocans etc. who think that attacks on Americans are justified how many Americans do you think would respond in the affirmative to the Question should we bomb muslim countries back into the stone age? I say the number might be very similar. How many civilians have we killed in Iraq and Afghanistan? tens of thousands. OK, we don’t do it deliberately as a tactic but we accept it as a cost. War is killing people and breaking things, we have done plenty of that. And not to be sanctimonious, I often supported it.

      There are at least two sides to every story. The difference between the good hearted Americans and the good-hearted Russians that I know is that many Americans see the harm we do in the world and feel bad. Many Americans can see things from the sides of our adversaries. I think that is a strength, my Russian friends think it is an unpatriotic weakness.

      I’m not defending the radicals, they are inhuman.

  36. Pat Riot permalink
    December 16, 2015 2:54 pm

    Regarding the terrorists, Trump has said we have to “take out the families”. That’s extreme. Civilian casualties and “collateral damage” are one thing. Even though whole families may be “radicalized,” targeting the families, including the children, seems to me to be more terrorism. I believe our largest military in the world, partnered with some semblance of a coalition, could achieve desired results in more sophisticated steps. Unfortunately, sadly, I believe we are achieving the kind of chaos in the global chess that the administration wants.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 16, 2015 3:05 pm

      Pat, I think that Trump’s supporters, like candidate Obama’s give him a LOT of leeway and believe what they want to believe about him, rather than what he says. Because, like Obama, so much of what he says is just for show, for effect (remember when Obama claimed in ’08 that he was opposed to gay marriage? Nobody believed that, except for the blue collar union voters that he was pulling into his coalition that year)

      Trump says extreme things to get attention, and because he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about half the time….but he does know that his supporters will excuse away anything that sounds too extreme.

    • December 16, 2015 5:13 pm

      Pat a famous American once said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Right now we have Trump fooling some of the people all of the time. He says things that many of the people know he can not do. But he says it in such as way that many of the people knows he can’t do the things he wants to do. He can not ban Muslims from entering the country. He can not shut down the internet anywhere. And he can not target “families” of terrorist. The first two are against the constitution and the last one against world agreements. But he says what he says so that enough people can be fooled into voting for him to be the GOP candidate and then who knows what he plans after that. The only difference between Trump and Clinton is Trump is making outlandish comments, he is being called out on them and his support increases. Clinton just lies, such as her positions on banks all while taking millions in support from the banks and telling them “don’t listen to what I say as I will not do that after I get elected” or something to that effect.

      As for targeting families, like I said he can’t do that. But if terrorists are at a location (like OBL) and they send drones to bomb the hideout, if the terrorists are stupid enough to have family members with them, too bad. They get killed also. But I want to make damn sure that some private, sergeant, corporal or low level officer is not going to get screwed by the administration like Lt Lorrance, Sgt Martland and Sgt Miller when they do their jobs and civilians get killed. You can bet your ass that no high level officer will get screwed if a drone bombs a location and women and children are found among the dead. In this regard, I believe a Trump, Cruz, Rubio or any other GOP candidate will not hang our soldiers out to dry like the ass we now have in office. If one of my kids said they wanted to join the military today, I would have them committed to a mental hospital for evaluation as anyone who joins has to know that the current president will do nothing to support them unless you are a deserter and then your parents get brought to the White House for a celebration.

      Trump says extreme things. And the problem is some of his supporters know he can’t do what he wants, but there are other voters stupid enough to believe he can do what he says he will do. He says he will build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. How many are actually dumb enough to think he can get Mexico to pay millions. He can’t use trade as a weapon because of the NAFTA agreement.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 16, 2015 5:38 pm

        Yes, Ron, I agree with your post, except I think some (not all) of Trump’s supporters don’t think too far or too deeply about the details. They are just enamored with the idea of a brash outsider gonna git things done!

        I am convinced that the following strategy from the top is being played out: The best way for the current administration (and its powerful backers) to get Shillary Clinton into office is to have a Republican candidate emerge who is less crazy than Trump who will win the Republican nomination and lose to Shillary, and one contingency plan is for Trump to go independent and Ross Perot the Republican party to also get Shillary into office.

        I’ve been a registered Republican since 2000 because of concepts such as “personal responsibility” and “free enterprise” et cetera, though I have considered myself a moderate Republican/quasi Libertarian/democracy-friendly American refugee in my own country!! I am in the process of re-registering as a Democrat so that I can vote in the Democratic Primary and hopefully help push Bernie Sanders past Her Majesty Clinton. How in the world could I, who likes smaller government, Rand Paul and Ron Paul style, doing voting for a “socialist” like Bernie Sanders????? Well this is the way I see it: we’ve already got an over-sized government that’s run by Oligarchs of a sort, so I think America’s best chance is to steer the over-sized government back to The People. I think Bernie’s the least corrupted and our best choice.
        I picked up the registration forms today.

      • December 17, 2015 12:34 am

        Patriot, for ones like you and I (and I may be assuming something about you I should not), wouldn’t it be nice to one day wake up and find the current Republican party had shot itself like the Whigs, Federalists and other parties that lost their way. As someone who believes they are a moderate that wants limited government in both fiscal and social issues, I find the current parties to be too involved in both, one the democrats love of spending and the republicans desire to control peoples values that should be a personal choice. I believe it would be much easier for the former GOP followers to migrate to a new centrist party as adopting efficient spending and less social legislation would be easier than a democrat accepting reduced spending.

        To some this would be a nightmare. to me this would be a dream come true. But back to reality, it is only a dream.

      • Jay permalink
        December 16, 2015 6:18 pm

        Ron, I don’t have time to dig up the links, but recent articles I read by constitutional lawyers have stated that there are no constitutional provisions against banning visas to Muslims.

        And if a President of the US wanted to disrupt the Internet in areas of the world where ISIS was prevalent why couldn’t he try to do that? We “bugged” the Iranian nuke program via Internet viruses, right? It sounds like a legitimate counter terrorist strategy to me.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 16, 2015 7:10 pm

        It seems to me that educating the public, Jew, Christina, Islamic, etc. about Islam would be the more productive way to reduce the dangers from extremism… whether by CIA, ISIS, or real Islamic extremists. Listen to this well respected cleric.


      • December 17, 2015 12:57 am

        TP..Come on man!!!! You are being way too practical. Do you really think our political leaders want to educate the public on current issues? That would take away their ability to divide the public between two groups. An informed public would understand the issues and expect the elected officials to also understand the problems and work out solutions to the problems. They would find the public understood the solutions were not that difficult when they worked to understand the others point of view.. Having Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindu’s and others working together in a common cause would undermine the extremist, leaving fewer to carry on their jihad.

      • Jay permalink
        December 17, 2015 10:14 am

        I think Timothy was trying for an ironic humorous effect, Ron, and isn’t being serious in this post; if comedy is his fallback career, he may have to rethink that 🤒

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 17, 2015 10:27 am

        “I think Timothy was trying for an ironic humorous effect,…”
        You think wrong. You should pay more attention to thoughtful people, like Ron J.

        During every imperialist war, the ruling class seeks to cultivate the most backward and racist sentiments. The “war on terror,” which has led to the deaths of at least a million Muslims, is no different, creating an environment in which racist hysteria is relentlessly promoted in the media.

        Learning about Islam would expose the lies that are being spread by the media and low IQ commenters. But because learning requires the will and takes some effort, few Americans will chose to.

        Ron P got it right.

      • Jay permalink
        December 17, 2015 2:56 pm

        Re Timothy: “It seems to me that educating the public, Jew, Christina, Islamic, etc. about Islam would be the more productive way to reduce the dangers from extremism… whether by CIA, ISIS, or real Islamic extremists. Listen to this well respected cleric.”

        Well Timothy, if your post was serious, you’re not a comedian, you’re a puppet in a cone hat.

        And if you wanted to be taken seriously you wouldn’t have posted a video from a “well respected cleric” (respected by whom?) in a language other than English.

        And by the juxtaposition of your words are you suggesting ISIS isn’t a real extremist group?

        And to the “at least a million Muslims killed” how many of those were killed by other Muslims?

        Modern Islam is a psychotic religion. And the more you learn about it the more evident that becomes. The excesses of violence it produces are built into its teachings and the repetitive mind control subconscious brain-tampering of 6 submissive prayer calls a day, a devastating technique of religious propaganda to produce obedience to religious doctrine. Repetition of commands is the same technique used to train dogs to sit and heel -a way to short circuit and contain their freedom of will.

      • December 17, 2015 11:49 am

        Well then, caulk that up to internet impersonal communication as one can not see the actions or facial expressions when reading a comment.

      • Jay permalink
        December 17, 2015 10:27 pm

        Thanks for the link, Timothy. I didn’t know Trump was so pro Israel. That’s a reason for me to positively consider him for the presidency.

        We certainly want to continue to support Israel, and take whatever steps necessary to insure its survival. But we should reconsider our cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia, a nation and people who actively support the terrorist mindset now threatening us and our Western nation allies.

        Israel 👍🏽
        Saudis 🖕🏽

      • December 17, 2015 12:50 am

        Well I am not that versed in legal issues nor the internet. But I would like to hear the ramifications to denial of a visa to a Turkish Muslim, an Indonesian Muslim or some other Muslim thousands of miles from America. What about denial for a Jordanian who works for an American company, like a reporter, doctors without borders. Or a Canadian businessman or woman who is Muslim working for a division of GM. It makes no sense to me and after years of legal hearings and finally getting to SCOTUS, I suspect some legal issue would be found that prevented the use of religion in granting visa.

        As for the internet, yes they could bug it and shut it down for a short period of time, but techies would have it back up in the affected countries within a short period of time. And the terrorist are much smarter at the leadership level to have multiple means of communication. When you have the Rand Paul, Ted Cruz wing of the party fighting the Rubio, Christie wing of the party over telephone surveillance now, I suspect bringing down the internet would create a political fight that would cause nothing to get done other than congressional hearings on the power of the president to wage attacks on the internet and other things.

        Obama has taken way too much power with executive actions. The last thing I want is another president that thinks he is a dictator free to do things much more dictatorial than Obama.

      • Jay permalink
        December 17, 2015 10:31 am

        As usual, Trump went overboard to excess on what is a good core idea: we should ban or severely restrict Muslim entry to the US from nations with prominent ISIS presence. That won’t stop the terrorists from trying to infiltrate our cities, but it will make it more difficult for them.

        Creating more difficulty for them accessing the Internet is also the right strategy. The fight against Islamic radicalism will be one of long attrition. Like a boxing match, If you knock them down and they get up, you knock them down again, and again, and again.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 17, 2015 11:17 am

        That’s a good way to put it, Jay. Polls that I have read seem to indicate that most people are in favor of some sort of temporary ban or restriction on any immigration from certain countries, because – duh!- it makes perfect common sense to anyone who is paying even a little attention to what has been going on around the world. Same with the internet.

        But we have, on the one hand, a President that seems steadfast in his insistence that global warming is a more present danger than Islamist terrorism, and heartless in his condemnation of the fears of average Americans who believe, rightly, that there are barbaric killers trying to infiltrate our country.

        On the other hand, a would-be president who seems heartless in his grouping of all Muslims into the Islamo-nazi bucket and who has clearly not thought through his ideas about shutting down the internet before shooting off his mouth.

        In a forced choice, I’d go with Trump, because I honestly don’t believe that he can or would do half of the things he says he will, and because I believe we desperately need a new direction, which we will not get under a Democrat president, whether it’s Hillary or anyone else…..but that itself is a calculated risk – one that many took with Obama and it did not turn out well.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 17, 2015 12:52 pm

        Priscilla, I can only hope that something happens with the 40% or so of the GOP voters that are supporting Trump. Maybe they are the ones that respond to polls, but will not show for the primaries. Maybe snow storms that keep those that are not completely committed to a candidate in Iowa and NH. Anything that is not a tragedy that results in Trump getting fewer votes than expected.

        I could vote for most any of the other GOP candidates, but when it comes to Trump, I would prefer Hillary. A known disease can be controlled, but a new infectious disease never seen before can have devastating outcomes. You may not like Clinton’s positions now, but I believe she would be much more like her husband and moderate left in legislating than she appears for the primaries. Trump scares the hell out of me. He says something today and tomorrow he says he never said that. He is 69 years old and he acts like someone with early stage senility when he says one thing and turns around and says something totally different the next day. And can we expect Trump to surround himself with qualified advisers and cabinet members that would challenge his positions or would he surround himself with “yes” people because he can not stand to be questioned in his positions or beliefs. We have one of those already in office and you can see the results. The fear I have is so many people like myself that would not vote for Trump will not vote at all, resulting in the senate turning back to democrat leadership and we end up with Chuck Shumer as majority leader and lose a lot of good GOP senators like Richard Burr along the way.

        But one thing we can rest assured about, congress will continue to develop budgets that fit their needs and avoids reality. We now have a budget projected out to 2025 that “supposedly” balances the budget but really never does. The closest it comes is in 2024 when it it within 40 billion. we have a budget that increases spending another 66 billion for 2016 and the interest rate used is a pipe dream throughout the budget. It is less than 3% a year out into infinity and anyone who believes we can maintain a 3% interest rate on 25 trillion in debt in 2025 has to be a politician. And when that interest rate increases 1/4% just on 20 trillion, we add another 50 billion to spending.

        So whoever is president, the problems will not get fixed until we fix congress. And that will not happen until some financial disaster happens and they have to react and they sure as hell will not act.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 17, 2015 1:42 pm

        Believe me, Ron, I agree it would be an awful choice either way. I have considered that Hillary might not be as bad as Obama, but it is very cold comfort. I hope not to have to make the choice, but I would go with the rogue Republican.

        One reason, which I haven’t mentioned before, but does influence me, is my husband’s experience with the Trump Organization. My husband is in construction engineering and has worked for Trump in the past, mostly overseeing contracts (Trump’s business employs thousands of people, and the hubby has never actually met The Donald, although he has had a fair amount of communication directly with his office). Commercial building construction, particularly in NY and NJ is a very rough and corrupt business, and one thing that my husband has always said (and he is NOT a Trump for prez supporter) is that Trump is as ethical and straightforward as one can be in that business, and also that people compete for jobs with his organization because he pays so much better than other companies and employees are treated better. That, plus the absence of stories in the press exposing corrupt business practices, lead me to believe that Trump may be less corrupt than Hillary, who has not even been able to follow pretty straightforward rules of handling classified info and who has taken money from anyone who would pony it up, presumably for favors that she gave out as a senator and SecState.

        Not much there, I know- it is thin gruel no matter how you look at it. But, as I have said before, character is a key attribute in picking a president, and I see a glimmer of decent character in Trump; none whatsoever in Hillary.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 17, 2015 1:49 pm

        We have to remove the influence that Israel has over the US and the world. Trump is NOT the person for that.

      • Jay permalink
        December 17, 2015 4:16 pm

        “I could vote for most any of the other GOP candidates”

        Agg. Gasp. Uuggg. Groan…
        Say it ain’t so, Ron!
        A moderate could vote for Ted Crud, devious Nixsonian nose and sinister Joe McCarthy sneer and all? Like father, like son, as they say. Daddy and son, two Cuban Phonies cut from the same cloth.

        The two most moderate Republican candidates are both from Florida. If some other Republican besides those two gets the nomination, Hill-Bill is the lesser of two evil candidate.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 17, 2015 1:55 pm

        Yeah, that’s certainly priority #1, Tim.

  37. Pat Riot permalink
    December 16, 2015 5:18 pm

    Yes, Priscilla, definite similarities between Obama’s supporters and Trump’s supporters. It’s a kind of infatuation–the kind of swoon, and suspension of reason, one needs to fall in love!! I saw a comment on Matt Walsh’s blog something to the effect of: If Obama invaded one of his supporter’s houses and kicked his dog, the supporter would would get choked up and in an emotional, but still proud, raspy voice say, “That’s…my President!” And Trump supporters seem very similar, swooning to the idea that “this bold outsider is going to get things done!”

    • jimi888 permalink
      December 16, 2015 5:56 pm

      Funny. Ouch.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 17, 2015 1:47 am

      Definitely infatuation. And it’s blind. The damage that Obama (the punk) has done to the Democrat party is incalculable…. and Trump (the clown) could pretty much finish off the GOP.

      We never get infatuated with the mature, adult types…..

  38. jimi888 permalink
    December 17, 2015 3:09 pm

    Check out the betting odds, you may be shocked. Do the Google search presidential betting odds, you will find sites that bet on sports the oscars politics all on one site.

    According to these odds Hilary will win easily, Rubio will be the GOP nominee.

    In general you have to bet $11 to win $8 on Hillary winning. A $1 bet will get you $5 on Rubio, $6 on Trump, $8 on Cruz, and $28 on Bernie. I picked just one source but there are odds available and dozens and I will post that one in a link below.

    I’m going to post a link here to a Real clear politics odds piece that is in english not gamblereze (I’m not one of those) on the Republican race. The writer also has the most belief in Rubio, and explains the logic that probably propels Rubio to the front of the odds on the republican side: Cruz has too many enemies and Trump will likely eventually fall.

    “Ted Cruz (15 percent) / Marco Rubio (16 percent): I’ve thought for a while that the Republican race would winnow down to these two, and so I effectively have them as a tie. I would put a thumb on the scale for Rubio, since he’ll have the most establishment support and Cruz is disliked by a number of party elders. If you look at national polling, Cruz and Rubio both have upward trajectories, and are establishing themselves as the Trump alternatives in New Hampshire and Iowa. There are still a lot of things that could complicate this – Rubio in particular could have an early state problem if Christie makes a big move in New Hampshire – but this is how things stack up now.”

    As for me, my favored outcome is either Rubio winning but Congress goes Dem or Clinton winning and congress stays GOP.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 17, 2015 3:23 pm

      Yeah, Jimi (ok, I’ve done it), I do think that the big Trump Panic is premature. And Rubio is the guy that I hope ends up as the nominee. Unfortunately, primary voters are not your average moderates, and with the large number of open primary states now, a lot of Democrats will be voting in GOP primaries, adding their poison pill votes to the already semi-whacked super conservative primary voters. So, a Trump nomination is not out of the question. Nor, in my mind, is Hillary absolutely 100% guaranteed….her email problem could still result in an indictment. It depends on what Obama wants, really~ Loretta Lynch will do whatever the boss says, and the boss can pardon as well. Interesting times we live in.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 17, 2015 4:03 pm

        Priscilla, well, we agree on Rubio being the best of the GOP candidates! But you do have that tendency to concentrate on the bad behaviors of one side. Why can’t GOP voters go and throw a wrench in things and vote for Bernie? Pat already said that that is his plan.

        A Sanders presidency looks like this to me: Bernie gets elected, immediately for the first time in his life since he was mayor of a cute little city he has to actually DO something. He doesn’t know how. Compromise? Not in his vocabulary! He proposes programs that get nowhere, can’t agree with congress on anything or the budget for it, and when the 2018 elections come around the most conservative congress in history gets elected. When Bernie runs in 2020 the GOP has the benefit of anger at the mess an actual socialist made of everything and we get the most conservative congress and president in history who go on a real tear. The process repeats itself in the reverse direction for the next 4 years. America splinters into two.

        But maybe I’m pessimistic….

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 17, 2015 4:25 pm

        Oh come on, give me some credit here – I’m not that bad…..if there weren’t any contentious GOP primaries going on, I would say that’s exactly what some Republican voters would do! Many did so in ’08, voting for Hillary, in an attempt to stop Obama’s nomination ~ knowing that she was the easier Dem candidate to beat. The chances of GOP voters coming out, en mass, to NOT vote in a big Republican primary is slim though. In ’08, the Republican nominee (McCain) already had wrapped up the nomination long before the Democratic contest was decided.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 17, 2015 4:28 pm

        Also, I really don’t consider it “bad” behavior to vote strategically in an open primary. I think that open primaries are a stupid idea for that reason, but if people want to take advantage of a strategy, I’m ok with it. I just think that it needs to be factored in.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 18, 2015 12:02 am

        Priscilla and Jimi, please explain what you like or see in Marco Rubio. I listened intently during the debates. I have reviewed the candidates’ platforms on their websites. To me Rubio is a well-groomed, smooth-skinned, spokesmodel for the war hawks and our outrageous military budget …trillions with a T being spent overseas not here in the U.S. for infrastructure and the 99% of American People

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 18, 2015 10:15 am

        Pat, Simply Rubio is the least crazy or inappropriate of the possibly electable GOP choices. (Damning him with faint praise.) I may be a bit of a “war hawk” myself at times depending on how that is defined. I sure don’t want Cruz or Trump. Once upon a time I liked Christie a bit. There is really no one in this crop, Dem or GOP, who I am happy to see be president, but the world does not revolve around me and one of them Will be president.

        Much as Hillary makes my teeth itch I think people are a bit hysterical about her, she is an Oligarch? A wall street stooge? That seems totally over the top but the left and right repeat it in their joint anti-establishment crusade. Strange to see the right repeating the far left stuff. When I think about the things that I hate about Billary Oligarch never comes up.

        Strange to see Trump and Putin having a bromance too.

        Strange times everywhere. I hope that 2016 is better than 2015, which was an atrocious year.

  39. jimi888 permalink
    December 17, 2015 3:20 pm

    This site gives a composite view of a large number of outlets. Its british. They like to bet on things. Don’t dismiss them as being ignorant, they do their research.

    An American site, Bovoda (anyhow they use dollars not pounds), has the same basic answer but I do not understand their odds system Hillary leads and is followed by Rubio, Trump Cruz, Sanders, Bush.

    If anyone understands Clinton -130, Rubio +400, Trump +650, Cruz +1000 Sanders +1500 then you can splain to me.

    Obviously all this is now and events can and will change it, especially dramatic ones, such as a rancorous convention, terrorist attack, third party run.

    • Jay permalink
      December 17, 2015 4:03 pm

      The betting odds at sites like these don’t represent the actual odds of the candidates winning or losing, but reflect what betters will wager on each side of the bet, to cover the ‘vig’ spread that insures the bookmakers make a profit.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 17, 2015 5:02 pm

        The odds themselves mean nothing, they imply quantitative precision. But, qualitatively, there is interesting information there. Which of course could all be just as wrong as the odds on the 69 Mets beating Baltimore, or the 69 Jets beating the (my) Colts.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 17, 2015 11:34 pm

        The odds say something about December 2015. It is way too early for the odds to mean much for November 2016. A mistep here, new info there, a new bandwagon for the media to jump onto, a former frontrunner suddenly ignored…

  40. Priscilla permalink
    December 18, 2015 10:04 am

    Ok, Pat, I’ll try to give the brief version of why I think, out of the choices available, Marco Rubio would be the best president we could elect right now- and, in fact, could be a really good, even great, president. Right off the bat, I’ll say that his youthful, spokesmodel (lol, btw) appearance and his almost preternatural poise and speaking ability actually put me off for a long time, and although I generally liked him, he seemed more than a tad too smooth. Originally, my guy was Scott Walker, because I really believed that executive experience was sorely needed, after two terms of Obama, who seems not so much incapable of being an executive, as unwilling. Obama, I believe, is an activist leader, committed to his own ideology, and disdainful or outright dismissive of those who disagree with him. In my view, the US presidency is too powerful an office to entrust it to someone who is unwilling to be constrained by the Constitution, and we are currently paying the price for having done so ~ not that it’s the only problem in politics, god knows it’s not.

    In retrospect, I can see why Walker flamed out so early in the process. Steadfast and solid, but no “fire in the belly” and no ability to inspire and/or unite. Same problem with Jeb (aside from the dynastic issue) – a capable, strong governor, but……blah. Cruz? I don’t hate him, but he is really is quite unlikeable, and he’s too confrontational and too slickly lawyerly in his style. He might be the guy to get us back to some semblence of limited government, but I’m not sure that the price wouldn’t be further disunity.

    So, Rubio is a great communicator, and he is inspirational to many, not only because of his oft-repeated life story, but because he is clearly a serious man, who speaks in very specific ways and can inform people as to what drives his vision. He doesn’t rely on pop culture tv appearances and/or social media to drive his message – he actually speaks to people (Christie is good at this too). He is a reliable, pragmatic conservative, someone who has literally lived the American dream, but not a dogmatic scold. He’s lost a ton of support from conservatives by trying to work with Schumer and the Democrats on immigration, and he could have disavowed that work and gone the mini-Trump route, as Cruz has, but he has stuck to his position, while admitting that the strategy must change.

    The hawk think is an issue, and, no doubt Rubio is a hawk on foreign policy. I don’t think that he is a warmonger, though. I also think that the gutting of our military has been a huge mistake, and that, under Obama, the US become passive to the point of undermining our national security. We need a pendulum swing to the side of military might – not militaristic might, mind you, but the more Reaganesque “peace through power” style.

    Anyway, this has been long, and I really have come off sounding like a campaign ad, but I do have many reservations about all of the candidates, including Rubio ~ at this point in time, I think he’s the best of the bunch. (I’m Marco Rubio, and I approve this message….)

    • jimi888 permalink
      December 18, 2015 10:49 am

      Really a good description, Priscilla you make me feel better about him. I saw him accidently on the Daily show several years back, he was very human, funny, articulate, poised, mature. I was surprised as hell. I liked him, he was likable, even to Jon Stewart.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      December 18, 2015 12:25 pm

      Good insights Priscilla

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 18, 2015 12:27 pm

        Good honesty Jimi, as always

      • Ron P permalink
        December 18, 2015 2:07 pm

        Pat, I am going to chime in on this even though I was not ask. I have a knack for getting involved where I may not be ask.

        The reason why I support Rubio (after i decided Carson was not the right man now for the job) is due to the constitution. No matter how much one person uses executive orders, most all important long term regulations come by means of legislation.

        Today we have a president that has proven over and over he is incapable of working with congress on anything. Other than the ACA, he even had problems with his own leadership when Reid and Pelosi were in charge. We can not afford another 4-8 years of leaders that will not communicate, compromise and work for the betterment of the country.

        Trump has almost proven himself incapable of this with all his edicts that he has thrown out as red meat for the media. Cruz has proven he is incapable of working with congressional leaders, even with his own party.

        On the other hand, Rubio has proven himself capable of reaching out to others and compromising on positions to obtain an outcome that benefits the country. Is that the best outcome? It may not be the best, but getting 60%, 75%, or anything more than 1/2 of what you desire is better than what Cruz is willing to do. 100% or nothing. My budget or close the government.

        In fact, on September 29th of this year, Cruz was shut down by his own party on what is normally an accepted procedural maneuver where votes are allowed on issues when brought to the floor by senators. Neither party backed his proposals to make changes to a spending bill. He accused republicans of sucking up to donors and rejecting the desires of voters that brought them to the senate.

        What Cruz does not understand is the political climate of the senate compared to that of the house. Where the house is made up of 435 distinct districts, each carved out by parties to benefit their electability thus making the members either very conservative or very liberal, the senate is made up of individuals that have to appeal to the 15-20% of voters that swing elections. For the most part, they can not be like Cruz. They have to be much more like Colburn (former senator), Burr(NC), Ayotte (NH) or Kaine (VA) .If you go the Govtrack,.us and inquire on the senators, you can obtain an ideology chart. In that chart they have members classified as conservative, moderate conservative, moderate, moderate liberal and liberal. Included in the middle three are about 40 senators, with the far left and far right equally divided. So to get anything through the senate, there has to be compromise or nothing gets done.

        Rubio understands this. Cruz does not. Rubio works with all members while Cruz calls the majority leader “a very effective Democratic leader”.One of the few things I can agree with Trump on is Cruz being a “maniac” when it comes to his actions as a senator

  41. Pat Riot permalink
    December 18, 2015 6:44 pm

    Ron, helpful insights on Rubio and Cruz. Thank you.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 18, 2015 9:39 pm

      Pat, what’s your take on all of this? I’m concerned that we have disappointed you greatly! Say it isn’t so! (or, alternatively, you can say it is so)

    • jimi888 permalink
      December 19, 2015 10:09 am

      Ditto, Ron made another in his series of excellent posts, I agree with every word. Chime in!

      Looks like Rubio is the guy for most of us here on TNM. And for the Gamblers. What does that say about us?

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 19, 2015 10:26 am

        Jay: “Yeah, here we are once again, stuck In middle between two brainless partisan forces.”

        Rubio was born into a Mormon family and today, loves football. So if this group loves Rubio, I have to agree with Jay, and include his supporters.

  42. jimi888 permalink
    December 19, 2015 10:34 am

    “Rubio was born into a Mormon family and today, loves football. So if this group loves Rubio, I have to agree with Jay, and include his supporters.”

    We don’t love you either. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. There are plenty of conspiracy sites where you will feel like one of the sane.

    • Timothy Price permalink
      December 19, 2015 10:43 am

      Typical non-response from someone with no intellectual defenses. Thanks JImi, your example speaks volumes.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 19, 2015 11:08 am

        Great! Now let me turn the volume on my Marshal stack to 11. You are a poor lost nut who is in the wrong place to be appreciated. Lately things don’t seem the same. Scuse me while I kiss the sky!

        What are we supposed to do with you Timothy, have a serious debate with you about the intersection of football lovers and politics? Do you have a conspiracy theory for that issue? Did Vince Lombardi really die or is he in a bunker somewhere planting false flags? Perhaps Brett Favre stole the DNC files and is a front for the OMalley campaign?

        Hey, our little conversation could get to be fun Timothy. Let me know what you think.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 19, 2015 11:28 am

        “What are we supposed to do with you Timothy, have a serious debate with you about the intersection of football lovers and politics?”

        This fragment from you has some glimmer of light. People who are avid football fans probably are easily entertained and have no time nor interest in delving deeply into anything important. If you, or anyone, take the MSM to heart, trusting what is on television, then you are part of the problem.

        And about “extreme intolerance”:
        Sorry Priscilla. I do so enjoy your responses to my posts. Hope you will reconsider.:-)

        Here is a primer on what false-flags have been marketed to the public, why and how.
        Take a look… if you can fit it into your football schedule.

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 19, 2015 11:36 am

        corrected URL

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 19, 2015 11:41 am

        Timothy, my life is not going to be complete until I know which candidate is favored by a serious and non-football distracted person such as your self.

        Which candidate has the approval of the False-Flag Conspiracy party? Is it someone well known or is it the leader of one of those earnest 5th-level third parties such as the Lyndon Larouch Revival Union party or the Democratic Socialist Workers for Tort Reform party? Are you yourself a candidate? Will you promise a tin foil hat and a secret decoder ring to all Americans?

        Inquiring minds want to know. I’ve turned off my TV, you have my full attention.

      • Jay permalink
        December 19, 2015 12:15 pm

        The problem is not Jimi/Robi’s intellectual defenses, it’s your lack of intellectual integrity.
        You must know that Rubio was eight years old when his parents joined the Mormen church, and that by age 13 he received his first communion and was then firmly a Catholic, which is the religion he has maintained since then.

        Calling him Morman is like calling yourself a Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper because your parents took you to Star Wars movies when you were a kid.

        Oh wait – is that really you, Jabba The Hutt?!

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 19, 2015 12:23 pm

        I said, ““Rubio was born into a Mormon family …” You never tire of twisting what others say for your own purposes. I happen to think that a person’s upbringing and family’s beliefs can be a big indicator of the capabilities and character of the children.

      • Jay permalink
        December 19, 2015 2:03 pm

        But you distorted the facts about the Mormanisn, Timothy,
        He wasn’t born into a Morman family, he was born into a Catholic family, one that started attending Morman services when the kid was six.

        So, apologize for your deceptive statement like a mensch.

        And I too believe “person’s upbringing and family’s beliefs can be a big indicator of the capabilities and character of the children.”

        So, were you brought up when your parents were members of the Church of Scientology?

      • Timothy Price permalink
        December 19, 2015 2:14 pm

        Seeing your avoidance of substance and fixation with trivia, I have to ask, what is ” Mormanisn”?

      • Jay permalink
        December 19, 2015 2:29 pm

        “Mormonism is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith in Upstate New York in the 1820s.” Wikipedia

  43. Priscilla permalink
    December 19, 2015 11:14 am

    Tim, you do not strike me as a reasonable, moderate or even benignly nutty commenter here. My apologies if you are not a troll, but, after this, nothing you post will merit a response from me.

  44. jimi888 permalink
    December 19, 2015 12:10 pm

    Well, Timothy appears to have left us. But it was a trick question anyhow, as you all know, I don’t have a TV!

  45. Timothy Price permalink
    December 19, 2015 12:40 pm

    There are no candidates to date that I would suggest worthy of voting for POTUS.
    For instance, issues such as (1) 9/11 show ample reason to have a real investigation into what happened. This is critical to do, regardless of your personal opinion as to what happened.

    (2) We must revoke the Federal Reserve Act and return our country to a sovereign nation having control over its financial system. Reinstate the Glass Steagall Act

    (3) We have to revoke dual citizenship. No person can pledge allegiance to two different countries. This has become the downfall of America…. look in the Council of Foreign Relations, those in the Federal Reserve System, those in the media, as an example.

    (4) We have to return our nation to the Constitution that was ratified in 1789. Currently the lawyer criminals have seized the US under bankruptcy law, illegally, and we are operating under “emergency powers” This is a swindle, treasonous, and very punishable.

    There are many others issues that should be addressed by any candidate that is serious about the safety of the United States.
    Give me a candidate the has these planks in their platform and I will take notice.

  46. jimi888 permalink
    December 19, 2015 12:50 pm

    I have a new campaign idea for the Billary camp. Ads that say:

    Bernie Sanders: He is NOT the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

    If I knew how to make and market bumper stickers that would be a million dollar idea.

  47. Pat Riot permalink
    December 19, 2015 12:55 pm

    Priscilla, my recent comments were my first from my phone, on the go, rather than from my laptop while seated and sipping coffee, and so my recent comments were short but courteous, and perhaps they came across as abrupt and dismissive, as in “I’m outa here, Jack, I’m a democrat now!” Ha-ha. No. I cut my political teeth in a way here at TNM and value you and the core group and the peripheral visitors. This is from my phone and my fingers are too thick. It’s neat but I don’t like it. Need me a keyboard. Talk with you soon.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 19, 2015 1:25 pm

      Ah, the “fat fingers” response!

      As it happens, the gigantic omnibus spending bill that just passed is causing me to realize again just why Trump is polling so well, and wondering how the hell we ever come out of this with any acceptable candidate at all. Conspiracies abound!

      • Ron P permalink
        December 19, 2015 2:31 pm

        If we look closely to the polls and the early voting states, there are only 40% of the delegates chosen by March 5th. If Trump gets somewhere around 35% or so, he will still only have 25% of the total needed to win the nomination. And after march 5th, I suspect all the lessor candidates will be dropping out, leaving Trump, Cruz, Rubio and maybe one other to fight it out.

        First, Trump may be polling well with “registered” voters, but will they vote? His support comes from various groups of which about 20% say they are liberal or moderate, with few saying they align with the tea party movement. Over 1/2 of his voters have a high school education or less, a group that only 28% vote. About 1/3rd of his support comes from those making less than $50,000 per year, a group where only 31% turn out to vote.

        So it could very likely be that Trump comes out of Iowa and New Hampshire wounded, the pollsters will have a basis for adjusting their expected outcomes and Trump may be on a downward trajectory going into the early March primaries. If that does not happen, I would be willing to place a large bet on Trump being the nominee and Hillary being the next president.

      • Jay permalink
        December 19, 2015 2:37 pm

        “would be willing to place a large bet on Trump being the nominee and Hillary being the next president.”

        As I am strongly against a unisex society, and in favor of maintaining sexual differences, could we then refer to her as presidenta Hillary?

      • December 19, 2015 2:46 pm

        If elected I will refer to her the same as Obama….ASSh*!+.

  48. Jay permalink
    December 19, 2015 2:25 pm

    Yes, the consensus here seems to be Rubio is the best of the sour apple conservatives.

    And yes, his persona projects a moderate reasonableness of character, not the shrieking right wing partisan snarl of Cruz, or the smug self righteous narcissistic Trump smile of simplified certainty (that doesn’t mean I dislike Trump’s positions on some issues).

    But I do have problems with Rubio’s positions on social issues important to me. He’s far far right anti-abortion – and that includes abortion for rape and incest. And he’s against decriminalizing marijuana possession, even small quantities for personal use. Puff a joint: go to jail. Not moderate on marijuana, which makes him an old foggy pot Prohibitionist.

    He’s also a loyal NRA tool – having voted against expanded background checks for gun buyers, and measures that would restrict the size of ammunition magazines for assault rifles. Definitely not moderate when it comes to gun control.

    And he threw a hissy-fit over improved relations with Cuba and the reopening of the US embassy there – his opposition just plain idiotic Florida-Cuban constituent propaganda: an indication Marco isn’t fully living in the present century, as even the most American of institutions – Major League Baseball – is welcoming Cuba with open mitts.

    And I have my own politically incorrect ‘Xenophobic’ prejudice against electing a first generation American, without family roots of any kind in American soil, as president of our country. Look how screwed up this present presidency is, with a half-American president. The same goes for Ted Crudz (intentional spelling), who wasn’t even born here, and whose father is Cuban born.

    To be Prez of the USA
    Requires American DNA
    One generation is not enough
    To show the right American stuff
    Candidates need historical glue
    To govern the Red, White, and Blue! 🇱🇷 🇱🇷 🇱🇷

    • December 19, 2015 2:43 pm

      Jay, you are like most all voters in the country. You have to compromise some positions to support one candidate that supports a majority of your positions.

      • Jay permalink
        December 19, 2015 3:05 pm

        I agree, in the 2_party narrow tunnel of choice, it’s A or B or None.

        It’s like being on an airplane in a thunderstorm, with one pilot who is drunk on Tequila and the other drunk on Bourbon – you have to hope the storm lets up until the landing.

        In this thunderstorm election cycle, if Cruz is the nominee, I’ll just have to bite my tongue, stick my fingers in my ears, and go with HillBill. That would go double if Cruz,chooses Carly for VP (I think she’d be the smartest VP choice for Rubio or Trump to cut into Hillary’s female vote advantage).

        I have no idea who will be the Dem VP choice. Do you?

      • December 19, 2015 6:04 pm

        Not sure who she could take, but three names come time mind that would help her campaign. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, both moderate left of center senators from Virginia would provide cover in the center and move her campaign back to the center after her movement to offset the Sanders far left intrusion. It would allow her to show herself as being much closer to her husbands positions than to Sanders. Another would be retired general Wesley Clark, a former candidate for president. Although he has not been active in politics lately, he would provide the military background her campaign would need. There are other names, but many are from states she does not need help in or too far left to help. Va is a swing state she needs to carry.

        I am really torn in my thoughts about Clinton. I do think she would be much like her husband in her governing, and had he been able to keep it in his pants, I think BC would have rated right up there with RR, JFK and FDR as one of the top presidents. Both RR and BC were very good at working with congress, but I have no idea how she would do. I find her to be a bitch in her personal behaviors, much like the SOB’s that were industry leaders in the city where the hospital I worked for was located and they were hospital board members that thought they were god’s that should be bowed down to when they approached. And I found this to be a pattern with most middle aged and older male executives for the most part, but people just accepted it for men, where more comments were made about female executives who acted the same way. Obama is the perfect example of that species of executive.

        And on the GOP side, I see much of that personality in Trump and Cruz, unlike a Kasich or Rubio who seem to be much more normal in their interaction with people. Personality wise, I would choose Christie over the whole bunch of them as he says what he means, means what he says, doesn’t care who he pisses off and has a good understanding of issues that face the country today. His problem is he is from the old Rockefeller wing of the party from the past and no one wants a moderate east coast Republican again.

      • Jay permalink
        December 19, 2015 6:40 pm

        I pretty much agree with most of assements of the candidates.
        When Hillary was in congress she got good marks for working with others, on both sides of the aisle. No ego issues reported back then. But crotchety older age and the focused political spotlight during her Obama tenure may have changed that.

        If she runs against Trump, here’s my choice for a VP for Hillary, to counteract Trump’s “outsider’ and TV celebrity appeal:–jJAhVY9mMKHUrJCrsQMwgxKA4wDg

        Hillary & Howard – sounds like a TV sit-com. How much fun would that be.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 20, 2015 10:33 am

        That’s a good question, Ron. I’ve seen a few articles that suggest that her plan is to pick Julian Castro, former San Antonio mayor and HUD Secretary, due to the fact that he is a young Hispanic. I’m guessing that she would want to pick someone younger and minority, and, especially, if Rubio ends up the GOP nominee, Castro might be a good pick (unfortunate last name, but I guess people don’t care about Cuba anymore, lol). I do find it ironic that the Democrats have no “bench” of young minority men or women that have executive or congressional experience, despite their constant refrain that the Republicans are the party of rich, white men…..

        Another question, if Trump were to end up the nominee, who might he pick? It would have to be one of his current GOP rivals, no?

      • Jay permalink
        December 20, 2015 10:38 am

        If he chooses Carly he better hire a food taster to make sure she doesn’t poison him during state dinners. 😆

      • December 20, 2015 1:37 pm

        I really don’t think its worth much more than a cow patties worth of hay on who is the VP candidate unless that person is from a swing state like Ohio or Florida. I can not see Rubio risking whatever political capital he has on running with Trump and getting tagged with a “loser” label when they get trounced in the election. He would want to have his powder dry for the 2020 election and would start shortly after November 2016 working on that election bid. I can not see Cruz running either for the same reason as he would have 2020 in his sights. Now the name that I could possibly see running with him is John Kasich or Rob Portman. Both middle of the road GOP members, both from Ohio and the GOP has to have Ohio to win. This would give them slightly better than a snow balls chance in hell of accomplishing that feat. As for who would be in Trumps cabinet, lord only knows who would be stupid enough to accept one of those positions. Who wants to be Trumps “yes” person at State, Defense or Legal? Look at his comments over the past couple months and put yourself in another persons place of defending those positions.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 20, 2015 3:57 pm

        Ron, I don’t think Trump would be trounced in the general election at all. That’s not to say that he’s a slam dunk (I don’t think that he is), but Hillary is an amazingly weak and damaged candidate and Trump. I believe, is way smarter than his detractors give him credit for. He has generated huge grassroots support from conservatives, despite the fact that he is not a conservative. What makes anyone believe that he could not turn around (after securing the nomination, of course) and generate equal enthusiasm from the disillusioned Democrats that have backed Sanders? I already know a number of liberals who say that they could more easily vote for Trump than they could for Hillary. And, at last night’s debate, Hillary spent an awful lot of time bashing Trump ~ most candidates don’t waste time bashing an ineffective opponent.

        When Trump came on the scene as a candidate, I read his book “The Art of the Deal,” to try and get some insight on him. He is running his campaign just as he claims to negotiate his deals; with a lot of bombast and exhibitionism, all designed to draw attention to him and away from anything that might get in his way. If he is crazy, he is crazy like a fox. He succeeds and fails spectacularly, and I believe that he chose to run as a Republican, because he realized that Hillary would be such an easy candidate to beat.

        You could be right, and the media could destroy him in the way that Goldwater was destroyed. But we live in different times, and, at least so far, Trump has played the media like it was his own personal violin. Plus, I’ll bet he’s got some juicy dirt on Hill and Bill…..

      • December 20, 2015 7:10 pm

        Well you could be right about trump having a chance in the race. If his supporters come out and vote in the general election, then he could pull it off. Where I have my doubts is the low and lower middle class, blue collar, white males making up enough of the voter percentages to offset the minorities, women and higher educated and higher income voters that seem to have the same position on Trump as I do. I also heard the other day that Glenn Beck has stated he will refuse to vote for the presidential ticket if Trump is the choice, so even though he is not a Hannity or Limbaugh in popularity, he does have a sizable listening audience.

        Sorry I can not buy into the thoughts he is mentally stable and this is all a show. I think he seriously believes he can do whatever he wants when elected, just like he can do whatever he wants in his businesses. He can not “fire” congress, and I sure do not want another president to take more power into that office than Obama has already taken through executive actions.

        Here is what bothers me with Trump. (1) He gets a selective service classification of 1-A in 1966. Then he received a deferment due to “heel spurs” in both feet. That is “crap” as I had problems with my feet and was found to be perfectly fit for service as I was told “the army doesn’t walk much anymore, we use Helo’s to get where we are going”. Then he tells the author doing his life that they were in both feet, but later told a newspaper in Iowa it was one foot, but could not remember which one. So he was a liar and manipulator in college and he is one today. Basically he used political money to buy his way out of serving this country like hundreds of thousands did during war time. (2) Trump is a strong believer in businesses being able to take private property by eminent domain. In one case he tried kicking a widow out of her home in New Jersey because she owned property close to his casino and wanted her property for parking. She did not want to sell, they went to court and the local court upheld the widow. This went all the way to SCOTUS and his position was upheld and he still believes private businesses should be able to take another’s property if they want. (3) He has been married 3 times. He could not keep it in his pants with his first wife and had an affair with his eventual second wife. Seems as though they were married between 1993 and 1999 and was widely reported he was dating a model in the mid 90’s. So again, married and having an affair. (Do we need someone worse than Bill in the White House. Even though he is 69, we do have Viagra, so age is not problem)

        Sorry, he is a liberal in sheep’s clothing and if we elect a liberal, I would rather have a known liberal than one that is a mentally unstable

      • Jay permalink
        December 20, 2015 10:39 pm

        Ron, you’re not suggesting Trump’s merry-go-round marriages or horniness for young babes are signposts of Liberalism, are you? And most of the guys I know who dodged the military were traditional Republicans

        And to the eminent domain issue, and the woman who owned the property Trump wanted for casino parking, I remember reading an overview about that, which painted a more complicated picture of negotiations between Trump and the woman. He offered her a million dollars, about double the estimated value of the property, which she turned down. Trump (or someone, I don’t recall who) claimed she demanded a lot more, which the Donald didn’t want to pay. When they city appropriated her property under eminent domain she only got $250,000. I don’t know if the eminent domain seizure was justified or not. I do know that Atlantic City would have benefited over all if 90% of it had been bulldozed back then. The same goes for now.

        The political masochist in me asks how bad could a one Term Trump presidency be? He’d shake up the system, a good thing, and he actually might deliver on some of his priorities, at least get something done on immigration, and the international trade imbalance. Let’s give him a shot. But then a voice brings me back to reality:

      • December 21, 2015 1:01 am

        Jay sorry for the inference that multiple affairs was a “liberal” thing. Seems like its an “American” way of life for too many in all parties and some with no political affiliation at all. So here are the definitions as to why I believe Trump is a true liberal.

        1. He was (and might still be since he is such a good liar) in favor of fair trade. The definition used for this position is “a social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards.” He now says he is against the Chinese trade and the unfair trade we have with them, but what we have is a result of trade agreements from years prior, when he was for “fair trade.
        2. He was a supporter of Universal Health coverage with the government paying for that service. He now says he would repeal Obamacare and replace it with something else. Could that be a one payor system? Could be, but universal healthcare coverage is a far left entitlement, even much more so than Obamacare.
        3. For those asking who Trump might name as a VP, in January 2000 he stated Oprah Winfrey would be an ideal running mate.
        4. When he was contemplating a run on the reform party ticket where the reform party was looking for someone other than Pat Buchanan who was pro life and they did not want a pro life candidate, Trump stated “Well, I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debate the subject. But, you still, I just believe in choice.” Now he is running as a GOP candidate and need conservative votes he says to Bloomberg News “What I am saying is this: With caveats – life of the mother, incest, rape. That’s where I stand. So, I’m pro-life, but with the caveats. You have to have it with the caveats.” So which Trump is really running.
        5, Unions are supporting Trump.

        So he runs as a Republican, but I have provided 5 examples where he is aligned with Obama or has been aligned with Obama. (Yes Obama thinks highly of Oprah also).

        I can say people might go through phases of beliefs in their lifetime. I also was a JFK supporter so I had liberal leanings, but that was also when Reagan was a democrat. Reagan switched parties while in his 40’s after supporting Harry Truman for president, which I also find today not a bad choice. That was when the democrat party had much of the policies of the GOP today like lower taxes that JFK cut substantially. I switched my affiliation in my late 30’s. Few switch parties and position in their late 50’s like Trump unless there is something in it for them and that is what I believe Trump has done.

        So that is why I say he is a liberal in sheep’s clothing to hide that from the conservatives he wants to support him.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 20, 2015 10:49 am

        Haha, yeah, I don’t see a Tump/Fiorina ticket working out, for a number of reasons. I could see him picking Rubio or Christie ~ more moderate types who might calm the more establishment GOP voters. Cruz might provide him with more impeachment insurance, since most of the people who hate Trump hate Cruz just as much. And,I think, unlike Obama, who has been permitted to do all kinds of unconstitutional crap, Trump would face possible impeachment the instant that he made a seriously unconstitutional move.

  49. Jay permalink
    December 19, 2015 2:46 pm

    Rick Bayan:
    Any new topics from you to be expected soon?
    I’m looking forward to some fresh ideas to focus on.

    And also it’s taking me twenty swipes on my tablet to reach the bottom for adding new comments like this one 😼‼️

    • December 19, 2015 2:48 pm

      Just goes to show rick has a way to open people up to comment. Just wonder what happened to JB lately.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 20, 2015 10:41 am

        I do miss JB’s perspective. If you’re lurking out there, come back!

    • December 21, 2015 4:15 am

      Sorry I’ve been AWOL lately. I’ve been swamped by a combination of Christmas preparations and a big editing project for a friend (now finished… Whew!). I spend way too much time on Facebook, a
      a tough addiction to kick. When I do look in on this message board, I find that I’m hopelessly out of phase and must go back to retrace the threads.

      Anyway… to answer your question, I’ll be spouting one more tirade before the end of the year. It’s shaping up as a soul-searching commentary on what has been a pretty dreadful year in the news, and how it’s up to moderates to be a bulwark against the growing insanity of the extremists. Wish me luck.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 21, 2015 10:54 am

        Rick, This may amuse you. This correspondence follows my attempt to submit a letter to the editor to a local paper that used to dignify my long rants by giving me a sort of guest column. The letter said simply “Where are the moderates?”

        Re: letter to the editor

        Hi, Mr. ——. We’d welcome a letter from you if it had the slightest bit of context. Clearly, something’s on your mind, but “Where are the moderates?” doesn’t clue us in on what you’re concerned about.

        Care to add a few more words?


        Subject: Re: Letter to the Editor

        I am known for over-wordiness, writing lengthy diatribes, small dictionaries, especially during the act 60 days. I thought those three words carried more weight than my over wordy letters. I haven’t written one in years..

        Do you see any moderates, anywhere in the world having any impact? I suppose there must be someone, somewhere, but… All I see are extremes. If the 3 words work, then print em. If not, I want to avoid becoming a loudmouth again. Anyone who remembers my act 60 diatribes will see the irony.


        Subject: Re: Letter to the Editor
        How about this for a letter:

        Where are the moderates? Do you see any moderates, anywhere in the world, having any impact? I suppose there must be someone, somewhere, but… All I see are extremes.

        Your point is that nobody’s moderate on anything; people ping right to the edges, which makes dialogue and compromise impossible, right?

        And we keep you under 30 words. Sound OK?


        Subject: Re: Letter to the Editor

        Well, A. I can’t count, its Four words. B. I don’t mean to be stubborn but I like the elegant simplicity of those four words. Adding the others just brings me to my old ranting stage. I am not dead set on having those 4 words published but they are the letter that I intended.

        If I were E.E. Cummings I could make something out of my idea that is both long and elegant, but I am me so the only thing I can write that maintains any poetry is those 4 words. If published, someone may get my point.

        Anyhow, no hard feelings if its too odd to publish.

        Thanks, ***

  50. jimi888 permalink
    December 19, 2015 4:25 pm

    To get the awful image of Donald and Carly out of my mind, here is a better example of cooperation between the sexes, seasonal too. Not everything humans do is as abysmal as politics.

    • December 19, 2015 6:12 pm

      If Trump would have any chance at all to win, he would need three things to happen. He would need a woman VP, she would need to be a politician with foreign affairs experience (ie Kelly Ayotte, NH) and there will need to be some major domestic disaster or foreign affairs issue of the magnitude we have yet to see in many years. Given two of these happening, then I would give him a 50-50 chance of winning. Otherwise it is a year like 1964 or 1972.

    • Jay permalink
      December 19, 2015 8:56 pm

      J888. What amazing sound they get from glasses. It’s mind boggling to me!

      I’m going to see what kind of music I can get from lining up shot glasses filled with Makers Mark Bourbon!

  51. jimi888 permalink
    December 20, 2015 12:21 pm

    VP speculation is Way early. But in Trump’s case its relevant to note the I don’t think he will find people who are actually qualified to be on his team, VP cabinet. Just imagine his choices, they will be off the wall, unqualified. In the unlikely event that he is the nominee, that should be rich material for Hillary. I would be surprised if Trump got 40%.

    In my opinion the Trump and Sanders campaigns feed each other because no one has any real idea who would win that matchup. If either of them faces a conventional politician, they will lose, but if they face each other, who knows? The Cranky old socialist or the reality tv nutjob? Who rubs more people the wrong way, who is more unqualified? Sanders is pretty obviously near the end of his run, which to me presages the end of the Trump run. Hopefully Iowa does them both in.

    Meanwhile, I’ve realized that I have a personal reason to hope that Sanders is not the Dem Nominee. Enthusiasm for him would be so high in Vermont that he would surely pull whoever the Dem nominee is for governor along, which I sure do NOT want, I want a nice moderate republican, which Vermont has often actually had and may be poised to have again and Shumlin has been a disaster. Property (school) taxes went through the roof here in his tenure, as you expect when liberals/progressives own every piece of political real estate. I imagine that Hillary would be a shoe-in for our 3 mighty electoral votes but not with nearly as much enthusiasm.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      December 20, 2015 4:41 pm

      “if either of them faces a conventional politician, they will lose”

      Jimi-Roby you sound too sure and definitive. Given the surprises that have occurred in the world in the last, say, 15 years, you sound too sure and definitive. Also the idea of “conventional politician” bothers me. I hereby pledge to maintain dignity and decorum, and I hope that we can remain cyber friends, but I think it is time we do battle. Perhaps you or I and others will learn something in the process…

      I believe the battle will be broader than current candidates, but that is where the thread is. I think Mr. Sanders is too weak on border security and national security. Nonetheless, since Mr. Sanders is in his 2nd term as a U.S. Senator after being re-elected with 71% of the vote, following 16 years as a House Congressman, as part of a life of activism, I ask you to be more specific as to why Mr. Sanders is not a “conventional politician”? Is it because he was an independent and not a Democrat or Republican, or because his views are being labelled “socialist”?

      I thought there was general consensus on this site that our system was rigged and stifling because of big money, thereby leaving us with always having to choose the lesser of evils. So why then would “conventional” be a good thing?

      I think your answer might revolve around working together with other members of Congress and the other branches of government and the military, etc., but I hope for more.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 20, 2015 4:42 pm

        Also I don’t think it is reasonable to lump Sanders and Trump together as crazies. And so let’s discuss…

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 20, 2015 5:12 pm

        A. I definitely pledge to remain friends, just as I remain friends when I play chess and tennis.

        I have to keep it a bit short though (by my standards).

        Well, I know quite a bit about Vermont politics and that 71% he gets in Vermont is not quite what it seems. Vermont is a bit more moderate in many ways than its reputation. We send Bernie because there is no alternative to him. There are zero electable GOP alternatives. So his opponent is usually some complete nut, as no seasoned competitor who know haw to run a campaign wastes their time. It happens all over the place in safely red and blue states. He has if I remember correctly been the main sponsor of no major legislation in all his years. He also has disappointed the crazy left, he has been pragmatic at times. But, he is still way too far out on the left to be conventional. None of his plans would work and none of them would get through anything that resembles this congress.

        What went wrong in 2008? Due to reaction against W We got a government that was way out of line with the actual political center of gravity, which remains a bit right of center. That was the cause of all the poison (well most of it) ever since. It is a complete disaster to have a government that is way ideologically out of line with the country. They are out on a limb. They don’t really represent us but they think they do and then they overreach and get slammed, wild pendulum swings. I’m a moderate I HATE wild pendulum swings. Chaos is not my friend. Its too, er, chaotic. Almost nothing gets done. It also leads to the moderates dissappearing from congress with each pendulum swing it gets worse. Its a purification process, eventually no one will be left but the real nuts.

        I will hold to my prediction, if its Trump vs. Hillary, he will lose the popular vote by a wide margin and certainly lose the electoral college while he may carry quite a few GOP states. And Sanders run is coming to an end. Even most democrats believe he is too far to the left.

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 20, 2015 6:19 pm

        I like Bernie, as a senator.

        His main problem as a presidential candidate is that he lacks charisma.

        I don’t see him as a forceful world leader.

        He reminds me of a waiter who used to serve us at the 2nd Avenue Deli in Manhattan, years ago. Like Bernie, he came from Brooklyn, and had a socialist’s mind set, and could intelligently spout solutions for the world’s problems in the same clipped cadence Bernie uses on the Sunday interview news show circuit. And every time I see Him on TV the first thing that pops into my mind is the waiter, serving me a hefty juicy pastrami sandwich on rye, with half a kosher pickle.

        Bernie’s not making any headway with voters, and will get trounced in the primaries. And if Hillary is forced to quit running for any reason(s), the Democrats will field someone other than BS (his unfortunate initials) to carry the party into battle. Biden or Kerry or some other ‘left field’ politician will be sucked into the Clinton vacuum, to fill the void.

      • Jay permalink
        December 20, 2015 6:28 pm

        That anonymous post was me

  52. jimi888 permalink
    December 20, 2015 12:57 pm

    Nor would either Trump or Sanders have the support of the top military people. The pentagon by definition believes in the use of US military power to keep a more of less stabile world that is safe for US citizens. The do NOT believe in wild policy swings, unpredictable foreign policy, and making threats that the US cannot reasonably keep. They will invade if ordered, but they prefer sanity, that was the lesson of VIetnam. The idea of a Trump presidency is I am sure appalling to most people who work at the pentagon. That would also come out if he is the nominee, ex-military people would explain it.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      December 20, 2015 5:13 pm

      haha UN-reasonable to lump Sanders and Trump together as wingnuts!

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 20, 2015 5:18 pm

        Oy veh, OMG and lol, I thought I said unreasonable, then I thought I said reasonable, then I realized I said “don’t think it’s reasonable.” Now all of this is completely unreasonable and now I’m a wingnut! I guess I will run for President.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 20, 2015 6:25 pm

      Well, Jimi, I would certainly take the bet that Hillary will NOT win by a large margin. We’d have to figure out a point spread there, and, of course , the pesky electoral college makes that more difficult, but, as I said earlier, I know of at least 3-4 very liberal friends, folks who ALWAYS vote for the Democrat, who have said that they would vote Trump over Hillary. Granted, that doesn’t mean they really would, especially if they became convinced that Trump really was crazy, but, as of now, they are fed up with the Clintons, the Bushes, the Democrats and the Republicans, and they think that they know who Trump is, since he’s basically been around for decades, exhibiting a lot of obnoxious ego, but no insanity.

      Plus, millenials- those all important millenials – currently see Hillary as an old lady, and not a particularly cool old lady at that. They may not vote Trump, but they could very well not vote at all, and they are a very key part of the Democrat’s coalition.

      All I’m saying is that something tells me that “we’re not in Kansas anymore” and that this election may not be predictable in a traditional sense.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 20, 2015 7:01 pm

        Well, I can always be wrong but my take remains that Clinton beats Trump. The composite polls show her beating everyone right now and I don’t think she goes down from here. But what do I know, I’m no better equipped to predict the future than you or pat or Ron or JJ. Obviously some event could shake this. (But going to jail is not one of them JJ.)

      • Jay permalink
        December 20, 2015 8:06 pm

        Not jail, but some accident (a falling computer from a skyscraper window – poetic justice some woul claim) or physical failure of an internal organ (right, she doesn’t have a heart, so liver or lung) etc.

        I can’t see Trump beating Hillary.

        Not with the level of personal vitriol Republicans have be smearing him with in public forums. Can you imagine the disparaging Trump campaign tv ads Democrats would have at their disposal, with quotes from leading Republicans, and Right Wing broadcasters, and Conservatve newspaper editorials?

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 20, 2015 8:32 pm

        Actually, Jay, many of the talk radio guys love Trump…Rush, Levin, Hannity. They love Cruz more, I suppose, but one of the curious things about this campaign is that it’s the conservatives, not the moderates, who are aligning themselves with Trump, primarily on the immigration and terrorism issues. They see him as the outsider who is not bought and paid for, and they are so angry at the Republican establishment for what they consider repeated betrayals that they don’t even care that Trump is, for the most part, a big government liberal himself. They’re basically ready to abandon the party. Possibly, if Bush and Kasich declare that they will vote Democrat if Trump is the nominee, there could be a stampede to Hillary. But, then, interestingly, it would be the establishment GOP guys who are abandoning the party.

        Honestly, I don’t know what the hell is going to happen. And I doubt that anyone does……

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 21, 2015 10:05 am

      “Whether due to negligence or neglect, this was not a policy declaration that any secretary of defense should have made up on the spot. It is one thing for the White House to consciously leave matters unresolved publicly to retain flexibility as a situation unfolds, but this instance of inadequate policy coordination and indecisiveness suggests that the Obama administration had not even made a decision internally.”

      Whole thing is worth reading, Jimi. When it comes to the military,the pentagon, matters of defense and how, in fact, the Syrian refugee problem was created by our own lack of policy, Trump or Sanders could hardly do worse. I don’t think Sanders has a clue, and the idea of Donald Trump as Commander is pretty scary……..but we’ve been in scary territory for a while now.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 21, 2015 10:37 am

        Priscilla, I just am not going to buy it. Yes, we Can do worse, much worse, we can appease Hitler instead of trying to contain him, there is a difference. Trump is ready to pose for a joint topless centerfold with Putin, that gives some hint. Neither you nor I believe, judging by previous conversations, that an isolationist foreign policy would benefit the US or the world, so Sanders is out for me and I would think for you too. I think the joint chiefs are praying for someone like Rubio or Hillary, rather than Wild men like Sanders or Trump, that is my point and that may come out during the general election.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 21, 2015 1:13 pm

        “Trump or Sanders could hardly do worse”

        Isn’t it amazing that we are now at a point in acceptance of candidates based on not doing worse than what we have.

        I can just see the 1980 ads by Reagan based on that level of expectations compared to his Morning in America ads that he ran showing the confidence we had in a new administration.

  53. Pat Riot permalink
    December 20, 2015 5:20 pm

    Jimi your response seems…reasonable, but I will have to digest further after I am done with my house chores, et cetera…

  54. jimi888 permalink
    December 20, 2015 10:45 pm

    I have no idea why I am addicted to babbling about politics as if I knew something. Very strange. I need a 5-step plan. I suppose we talk about politics for the same reason with make jokes about grisly subjects like death, to appease our subconscious dread of the future or lack thereof.

    • December 21, 2015 1:06 am

      We babble about politics because that is one of the few things in life that impacts everyone and everyone has the same access to information (if they look it up) Much better than talking about Aunt Mary and her drinking problem or the mother-in-law from hell. We can’t relate.

      Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, have a great Kwanzaa, and all the other celebrations at this time of year.

  55. Pat Riot permalink
    December 21, 2015 12:11 am

    Whoah Jimi, seems you took a turn toward the dark side there for a moment—“subconscious dread of… lack of a future” Quick, play some music! The future can be brighter than ever! You talk about politics because you can think and form opinions, and those opinions help others understand their own perspectives better, because 5 heads are better than one, and…Okay, on 2nd thought, maybe it is a bad habit…

    Jay, Bernie IS gaining voters, including Republicans, and if it SEEMS he is not, then it is in no small part because the mainstream media has been ignoring him because he is the only real outsider, like Ron Paul was in prior elections. Oh yes Bernie suddenly gets coverage when there’s an info-gathering indiscretion and he must apologize.

    Priscilla above you asked for my take. I’m trying to translate my take into something brief enough for TNM. I hope everyone had the kind of weekend they wanted.

  56. Pat Riot permalink
    December 22, 2015 9:09 am

    A thought-provoking and fun, 8-question quiz relating directly to our current thread here at TNM:
    1. It is usually beneficial for consumers, the public, and a civilization, when there is…
    a) Competition
    b) Consolidation
    c) Monopoly

    2. The widening wealth gap in America (estimated 95% of economic gains since 2009, during so-called slow recovery, went to the top 1% ) is… (Note: this is not about the existence of a wealth gap, which arguably is natural, but rather about the widening of the wealth gap)
    a) not true
    b) exaggerated and does not affect me
    c) an illusion because very wealthy people will not try to preserve laws which are benefiting them but will instead begin a natural process of “leveling the playing field” for all Americans, even at the risk of their personal fortunes and the inheritances of their children
    d) one of the most important issues in present-day America
    e) arguably the key issue in present-day America

    3. It is entirely possible for a thinking person to understand the benefits of capitalism, free enterprise, personal responsibility, and strong national defense, and yet be very concerned about the increasing (actually accelerating) consolidation of wealth and power.
    a) True
    b) False

    4. U.S. military spending dwarfs all other U.S. spending
    a) True
    b) False
    c) Are these “leading questions”?

    5. Without jumping to any conclusions regarding what is true vs. false in the news, or what is ignored vs. what is repeatedly broadcasted, U.S. military spending and military activity would make more sense to the American People if there are threats to America or perceived threats to America…
    a) Obviously, that is natural
    b) Don’t lead me where I don’t want to go; I’m a good, hard-working person!
    c) There is no connection

    6. Should the U.S., with the most advanced, most powerful military in the world, including satellite-guided precision bombing seen on television back in the first Gulf War in the 1990s, stealth bombers and stealth fighters, nuclear-powered submarines and fast-attack Destroyers, and laser-guided tanks that rolled through Iraq in hours, special forces with the best equipment in the world, drones, etc., really, legitimately be threatened by an upstart whatever called “ISIS” that is across the Atlantic Ocean in the Middle East if U.S. borders were intelligently secured?
    a) Now that I think about it, ISIS should not be a threat
    b) Those maniacs chop peoples’ heads off
    c) The NFL can execute 16 games per week in all those stadiums, including pre-game TV shows and nearly real-time highlights before and after commercials, and NASA has built and sent shuttles to space and returned them safely, but we can never control our borders—it is just too difficult.

    7. The fighting forces of the world’s industrialized nations run on…
    a) “C” batteries and good intentions
    b) Money and oil
    c) A combination of wind power and magic dust

    8. Which current Presidential candidate(s) would at least put the brakes on runaway consolidation of wealth and power? (Essay question)

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 22, 2015 10:21 am

      Well, I’ve always hated quizzes, but I’ll play…..
      1.Competition, of course. Which we have less and less of, largely due to cronyism and regulation. Just look at the banks (at the rate we’re going, it will soon be “Just look at the bank”)
      2. d – for sure. You put a drag on growth, try to counter it with printing money and zero interest rates, boosting the stock market and killing wages/savings. You end up with increased financial sector profits/decreased wages.
      3. a
      4. a and c US military spending has and does dwarf the rest of the world’s and has become politically unsustainable. But military weakness in the face of increasing totalitarian threats is provocative and potentially suicidal. What to do?
      5. All of the above. Plus some other answers which are not available,
      6.non-sequiturs here, man!
      7. b- Finally, an easy one!
      8. Too broad a question. Certainly a few might try. If I voted only on that basis, I would probably go with Rand Paul.

      (full disclosure, I gave the first answers that popped into my head. I did not study for this quiz. My grade should not be affected!)

    • Anonymous permalink
      December 22, 2015 1:19 pm

      So here our my answers, but due to the nature of some questions, I have to answer with more than just an letter. Hope I do not get an “F” since I did not follow instructions.
      1. Competition. However, looking at much of the consolidation, one can see that government regulations and policies have driven much of this. Tax policies have driven many companies to consolidate with foreign companies so that earnings are reported in a foreign country and to avoid US taxes. Banks have become much larger and fewer in numbers due to Dodd-Frank and the end of Glass Steagall, along with regulations allowing for national banks which did not exist until the last 25 years. Dodd-Frank has eliminated many local banks so that today, they are fewer in number than in the 90’s.
      2. D and E. However, again government policies have had much to do with this. NAFTA and other trade deals have created an environment where companies like Apple can make billions, be the largest company on earth, be an “American” company and all the products are produced in China. The only cars produced in America and are considered “American” are foreign labels. Most Fords come from Mexico, except the trucks, and most Chevy’s come from Canada, In addition, we measure the wealth gap mostly based on income, but how much retirement wealth is in 401 plans compared to years ago? And where does that wealth come from?
      3. A.
      4. False. The interest on the debt in 2025 will be $612 billion. Defense spending will be $695 billion. Not much difference and that is based on an interest rate of less than 3% in 2025. This increases from 2% today slowly until it reaches 3%. Today, when the interest rate goes up 1/4 percent, it adds $50 billion to expenses. Total defense for 10 years in the budget resolution is 5.8 trillion. Total interest, based on less than 1% interest rate increase over 10 years is 4.7 trillion. If the interest rate increases more than 1/2% greater than budgeted each year over the expected rate (ie 2.5% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2025) interest expense exceeds defense and all other spending combined.
      5 A. But one has to be living under a rock to not already understand there are threats to the country.
      6. Can not answer..The real answer does not appear. C is the closest to being correct, but it is not that it is too difficult. It is the elected officials do not have the will power to do it. The Soviets built the iron curtain and few came out. Israel has its walls protecting them is strategic locations. We can do it, but it would require Chuck Shumer giving up some of his pork, Harry Reid giving up his Pork, Mitch McConnell giving up his pork to get the money to build a security system to stop illegal immigration and drugs coming into the country.
      7 B every one know this?????
      8, Bernie Sanders would try, but would fail as congress would not approve. Remember, the president is not a king or queen with dictatorial powers. (even though Obama has tried).

      So now one can see why I had problems in college. I had a hard time regurgitating professors positions without offering my own.

      • December 22, 2015 1:51 pm

        Sorry, word Press tried to cover for me. That was my post. Ron P

  57. Pat Riot permalink
    December 22, 2015 1:48 pm

    Priscilla the independent judges say you passed! Apparently it’s only pass-fail. I don’t know who created those loaded and leading questions ( ! )

    To me the extremely widening wealth gap is a reality indicator that should cut through partisan rhetoric and vitriol, i.e. WAKE PEOPLE UP, but most people get sucked back into their everyday lives and back to their “amen camps” !

    Rand Paul is ideologically opposed to “police of the world” policies but I think it’s realistic to assume he sat down with some people in high places, agreed to some concessions–thereby getting a ticket to the mainstream media club ( a much better deal than his dad got)

    I don’t care if Bernie Sanders is older and didn’t set the world on fire in Vermont. He knows what the issues are, has enough experience, can get a young VP and surround himself with a network of others who understand. Resistance from the Joint Chiefs and other branches of corrupt government? I think if Bernie gets elected there will be attempts on his life. But I think he is our best chance of shutting off valves to those who are robbing us blind and bankrupting the country, etc, and re-diverting back to American citizens.

  58. jimi888 permalink
    December 22, 2015 1:54 pm

    4.b Defence spending does not dwarf the rest of the US Budget.
    5. Depends on what a perceived threat is. I see both ISIS and the Putin USSR v.II as threats. Not all agree.
    6, Yes, if I understood the question.
    8. Its easy (once one knows how that is), or at least straightford to calculate some pretty astounding things in physics, e.g. the trajectory of a bullet or a moon mission. But its technically impossible to calculate the goings on in simple chaotic system, e.g., smoke from a cigarette, the pattern made by cream poured into coffee. Keeping the borders controlled on about what? 9000 miles on the north and south, not to mention the unlikely but possible mode of penetration via the water borders, is a chaotic system, not a nice determinant one. Billions of random unpredictable moving parts. There is a limit the the amount of white noise (hiss) that can be purged from a telephone line, as Bell Labs paid a lot of money to several nobel prize winners to figure out. That is a similar problem believe it or not. The amount of money that would need to be spent to bring people sneaking in to the absolute minimum (not zero or near it) would be astounding. In any case we cannot just secure our borders and then say Bye to the international problems, that is just a dream. Once cancer starts in Europe or the middle east or wherever it eventually involves us. WWII and all that. It would be nice if Europe would just manage Europe. Twice in the 20th they didn’t. And that is the Developed part of the world, now nutty places like Pakistan have the bomb. The entire world is the defence problem of the entire world that is how it is. We are the richest and safest country, so we got the world cop beat. I’d rather not see what WWIII would look like or leave that problem to my descendents.

    • jimi888 permalink
      December 22, 2015 2:01 pm

      Pat, I think I answered the wrong question 8, or a tangent to question 8. Which candidate has a workable plan to address the income disparity. None of them. But Bernie Sanders as president would lead in a few short chaotic years to the opposite of a Bernie Sanders presidency, so he is the worst choice if that is your biggest issue. If I don’t vote for him (and I won’t) its to save liberal/progressive ideals, not to save the right from the wrath of Bernie, which would clearly be an empty box on the day after his inauguration.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 22, 2015 2:45 pm

        Bernie may or may not be the least corrupt politician of the current crop running for POTUS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a strong leader or even an effective politician. As far as I can see, he’s caught fire among Democrats who are either so far left that they now accept socialism as the future of our economy, or so horrified by the prospect of Hillary as America’s own personal Evita, that they are willing to go with Larry David as Prez. I agree here with Jimi that chaos would ensue, and I agree with you Pat, that Bernie might meet with a terrible accident, or even become terminally ill from eating some bad fish or something……..

        I mean, Bernie thinks that Middle Eastern migrants are leaving because it’s too hot where they are- and, if he doesn’t really believe that, he apparently wants to appeal to voters who do.

        I don’t need to agree with everything that a politician says, nor do I imagine that I will ever agree with every candidate’s policy proposals. I want, oh, a 75% match on general issues, and some evidence that the the candidate can lead and unite politically. Finally, there has to be some evidence of long-standing good character and judgment, and I need to believe that the desire to become president is not due entirely to wanting more power and wealth than anybody. Hillary fails miserably on that score, as does Donald. Wanting to make the country over in one’s own ideological image is a bad sign too. Obama, for example, and I worry about the Bern there, too. The rest have their flaws, and mostly big ones at that. But, at a certain point, we have to take a chance on someone, I guess.

        I passed! Whew!

  59. Pat Riot permalink
    December 22, 2015 3:50 pm

    Ron passed too but Jimi-Roby failed and must be expelled. Just kidding. Interesting comments and feedback by all.

    • December 22, 2015 4:50 pm

      Pat , I need to amend my answer to number 8 as there was just a segment on the news as to which candidates would impose the federal government into states rights when it comes to Marijuana, both medical and recreational. Christie and Rubio just lost any support I may have given them since they both said they would enforce the federal law as opposed to allowing state rights when it comes to this product. I doubt they could actually do it and then it would just increase the illegal stuff in four states and possibly more as 6 more states are voting next year on legalization. I am much more into the Ted Cruz and Donald Trump wing of the party as they support states rights.

      So as positions become more clearer to more voters on all subjects, the polls will change.

      Now do I smoke? No. Would I be happy if I knew any of my kids smoked pot? No. However, I put this subject in the same category as other social issues and that is personal responsibility and states rights. The federal government has ‘taken” far too much power from the states against the terms of the constitution and the states need to take back the power they never gave the feds to begin with.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 23, 2015 9:36 am

        Ron, excellent post. Agreed and it’s good to hear you taking a stand on state’s rights. Yes the most important thing here is the federal over-reach in general and not the marijuana specifically.

      • Jay permalink
        December 23, 2015 10:49 pm

        The problem with states rights is how often it becomes state wrongs.
        Though intended to be a protection of federal excess by the founders, more often then not it has become a cumbersome mishmash of contradictionary state laws and regulations that deprives citizens of equal protection from state to state.

        This story from the NY Times today, for example:

        Can you imagine anything more goofy then for an American citizen to be able to buy wine or beer or whisky on Sunday in one state but not another?

        There are more somber examples of course, like large disparities of prison sentencing for the same crimes from state to state, and Different requirements from state to state for the issuance of concealed gun carry permits (Virginia just canceled their reciprocal right to carry agreement with all other states because some state requirements were lax compared to theirs). And why should it be harder, or easier for a woman to get an abortion in different states? And why are their different ages to qualify for driver’s licenses in different states?

        Those kinds of wacky differences might have made sense in the 1700s or 1800s, but not now.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 24, 2015 1:18 am

        Jay, then it is time to amend the constitution to allow the federal government supreme power over everything in all states and eliminate the tenth amendment. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

        Sorry, I can’t buy your argument. If one state wants to sell alcohol and others don’t, that is up to the citizens of that state. I live in a state that still has dry counties AND dry counties with wet cities within the county borders. Kentucky has dry counties, even the one that Jack Daniels is produced and JD being the largest employer in the county. The employees can not even buy their own product in their home county.

        If someone kills someone in North Carolina or Texas, they can face the death penalty. In New York or California, among others, they have no death penalty. That is a right reserved for states If the citizens do not want it, they will pass laws to resend that law. If Colorado, Oregon, Washington and D.C want to allow medical and recreational Marijuana, that is up to them, not the feds. Why should puritan values of the southern conservatives be imposed on the liberal thinking individuals in those states.

        Concealed carry should have federal guidelines that states should follow and once you have a carry permit, then it would be a national permit. However, if a state does not want to allow concealed carry, then they should be allowed to not allow that to happen. And if someone is in a state long enough to need a gun, then they need to obtain a carry permit for that state.

        How far do you go with federal law and local law. Hunting? Some states allow hunting on Sundays, some do not. Is that a federal standard? Speed limits in state roads. It is confusing to go from one state where the limit is 65 on state roads and 55 in other states (not interstates). Even interstates have 80 in some western states and 65 in eastern states. Should all speed limits be federally set?

        One only needs to look at the impact of the federal government on education since the department of education was established to see the mess we would have if all the powers rested with Washington.

        But if that is what you believe acceptable and necessary, then there are ways to accomplish this legally through a constitutional amendment and not illegally like so much has taken place over the past 25 years.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 24, 2015 8:55 am

        More and more, Ron, the two pillars of the Constitution – federalism and the separation of powers – are seen as impediments to all the “good” that the government could do, if only these foolish and pesky concepts were abolished, or in lieu of that, ignored with impunity.

        It seems that so many people have thrown in the towel on our traditional form of constitutional government, including many so-called conservatives. And as the voter base of the country morphs into a more big-government-loving plurality, I’m worried that we’ll see more and more of the Constitution effectively wither away, as the courts take over decision-making from the otherwise distracted and/or simply clueless “we the people”

        Well, that sounded pretty grim, lol, although still think there is hope for us! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a politics-free holiday with family and friends!

      • December 24, 2015 1:31 am

        Jay, forgot to address your driver license issue. The reason for the differences in ages is due to the population of the states and the economies of those states. Driving in California or New York is quite different than driving in one of the sparsely populated midwest or western states.

        Buy the way, before we eliminate any states rights for any other issue, the first thing we need to eliminate is states rights for health insurance coverage. That is one of the largest reasons for insurance rates varying so much from one state to another and why it is so confusing to people that have private heath insurance that move from one state to another. Their plan is not effective once their address changes and they have to buy new insurance.

  60. jimi888 permalink
    December 22, 2015 8:02 pm

    5-38 on Rubio. These guys are very good at what they do and worth listening to.

    Another plus for Rubio as far as I am concerned is that he is the only viable candidate who would not be instantly mega divisive. All hell is going to break lose if Trump, Hillary, Cruz, or as a long shot, Sanders were to win. I would love to be spared another highly divisive presidency we are working on nearly 16 years of terrible polarization. Rubio might provide a reset in the culture war, at least at the start of his presidency.

    • Jay permalink
      December 22, 2015 8:58 pm

      Another plus for Rubio:

      His wife is a Dolphin fan! 🏈

      • Jay permalink
        December 22, 2015 9:04 pm

        And like Marco, she’s first generation Hispanic; I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rubios split the US Hispanic vote.

      • Jay permalink
        December 22, 2015 9:07 pm

        And they have four children; they get the anti-birth-control vote as well.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 22, 2015 10:11 pm

        Hey Jay, BTW I got a hoot out of your socialist waiter story, just like Bernie Sanders, he knew how to run the world in a Brooklyn accent.

  61. Jay permalink
    December 24, 2015 10:31 pm

    Happy Merry Etc Everyone.
    Health & Happiness to all!

    • jimi888 permalink
      December 25, 2015 1:03 am

      I see your health and happiness and raise you five.

      May you all have the same luck I would wish to my family!

  62. Pat Riot permalink
    December 25, 2015 11:50 am

    Have an EXTREMELY fun holiday and a VERY MERRY Christmas!!!!

  63. Pat Riot permalink
    December 26, 2015 11:30 pm

    Ron you have a correct view of the U.S. Constitution regarding rights of states, rights of The People, and powers of the Federal government. This is crucial! Vital!

    Jay, why would you want to have homogeneous state laws? I surely hope it is not because then it is neater and more organized in your mind! I also hope that it is not for “convenience,” thereby choosing convenience over the will of people in a region.

    50 states allows us “laboratories” to experiment with ideas, methodologies, laws that may seem beneficial in theory but counter-productive in practice.

    States can emulate the success stories, replicate successful models if that’s what the people of that state want.

    There are many differences state to state, including geographical features (mountainous vs. flat, lots of water vs. not much water, etc.), climate, population, industries, etc. etc.

    Programs and initiatives that work in one region often do not transplant well into another region because the factors are different.

    Biologists understand the value of diversity for survival.

    You wrote, “The problem with states rights is how often it becomes state wrongs.” Egad, man, according to whom? A few “experts” in Washington?

    “Can you imagine anything more goofy then for an American citizen to be able to buy wine or beer or whisky on Sunday in one state but not another?” Answer: yes, yes, I can imagine many things more goofy than that.

    “Those kinds of wacky differences might have made sense in the 1700s or 1800s, but not now.” I could not disagree more. Freedom and Liberty are much safer and stronger with regional preferences, bottom-up, not uniformity, top-down.

    • Ron P permalink
      December 27, 2015 1:20 am

      Pat, this is what makes politics so interesting in this country. “The problem with states rights is how often it becomes state wrongs.Those kinds of wacky differences might have made sense in the 1700s or 1800s, but not now”. Remember there was a split in the founding fathers beliefs as to a strong central government compared to a more decentralized government based on states rights. While Adams favored the federalist position, Jefferson favored a decentralized government. That is one reason the 10th amendment is written in the manner it is written. The first draft left too much open to interpretation, so the final draft specifically states where the federal government gets its power.

      Now there have been a couple SCOTUS decisions where they have ruled using an activist position (much like the Roberts court on issues), but the 10th amendment has kept the federal government in check, even with each President taking a little more power then their predecessor using executive power.

      But this amendment does not eliminate those that believe the federal government can not make “wrongs”, while the state rights often become “wrongs”.

      But given a choice, i would rather have a “wrong” limited to a small portion of the country instead of nation wide.

  64. Pat Riot permalink
    December 27, 2015 9:54 am

    “…i would rather have a “wrong” limited to a small portion of the country instead of nation wide.”

    Yes, amen, agreed. And there will be wrongs, at the state level, at the federal level, and at the local level. And that it is why our government was set up in a manner to be able to address grievances and wrongs.

    And what is wrong for some people is right for others, and this is how it should be because people are different. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Not only are people different from each other with different tastes and different skills and abilities, but also each person is different at different ages in their life. Alternatives should exist.

    Legalized marijuana may work in Washington State, including in the city of Seattle, where Microsoft Corporation is nearby, and many tech jobs exist, and the culture there may be laid-back and hipster enough already with its kayaking and camping and other outdoor activities, yada yada, to lend itself to responsible marijuana use (it seemed to work OK when I was out there; I myself do not smoke), but perhaps in a more crowded eastern U.S. city where the culture is different it may lead more quickly to problems.

    If something like marijuana use becomes a disaster in a region, then the people there in that region ought to be able to vote it out without some far away, over-arching centralized power dictating that they have to conform to everyone else.

    • Jay permalink
      December 27, 2015 12:55 pm

      “If something like marijuana use becomes a disaster in a region, then the people there in that region ought to be able to vote it out without some far away, over-arching centralized power dictating that they have to conform to everyone else.”

      That’s what’s called tyranny of the majority.

      Why should a citizen of the US be subjected to different laws in different states? Let’s look at it from the perspective of more personal rights – abortion and medical marijuana. If a woman’s income is dependent on her job, and her employer transfers her from San Francisco to Dallas, why should the majority voters of Texas be allowed to obstruct her right to an abortion if she wants one there? Or if she has a California medical prescription for marijuana why should she face legal consequences for possessing it in Texas?

    • Jay permalink
      December 27, 2015 1:37 pm

      “Yes, amen, agreed. And there will be wrongs, at the state level, at the federal level, and at the local level. And that it is why our government was set up in a manner to be able to address grievances and wrongs.”

      Pat, the Constitution isn’t literal scripture; it’s a working schematic for governance that needs to be flexible enough to adapt to the realities of change. What was good in theory in 1776 often is not be good in practice now.

      The world, and the nature of governance, has changed from the realities that faced the Founders. Technology has shrunk time and distance. We no longer rely on men on horseback shouting “The British are coming!” as early warning systems. We are no longer a loose confederation of 13 states with a population of 2,5 million farmers and shopkeepers and blacksmiths and candle-makers.

      When the Constitution was written it took three day to travel from Philadelphia to New York by stagecoach, assuming the weather was good. The large majorities of the citizens of the colonies never traveled far from home, they lived and died where they were born. The colonies and early states were like isolated European foreign nations, separate and distinct. For nearly 100 years prior to Independence they had their own legal systems in place. So it made sense to the founders to tilt toward the Federalist system they incorporated.

      Yes, federalism provides checks and balances to concentrated power, but so do more centralized Unitary governments, in nations like Japan, France, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, and England – the nation’s whose legal system our own is largely based. (Although Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island have some autonomous legal powers, they are still delegated by Parliament, which can alter them).

      None of the states above have devolved into chaos; citizens of those states have as much or more personal rights and freedom as we do, their rights consistent and equal no matter where they reside in their national landscapes.

      • December 27, 2015 2:00 pm

        Like I said earlier, we have had the argument about federalism vs state rights since before the constitution was approved. We will continue to have this same for years to come. When the federal government finally becomes too big and too invasive for the moderates that “don’t care actively” at this point in time, then and only then will the feds be reigned in. Right now we are on the trajectory supported by Jay that gives the president unlimited powers to place regulations on people that circumvent congress.

        Now if that woman wants an abortion or she requires medical marijuana, then she has the choice to stay in California and find another job since the people in California support those rights. If the majority of senators and congressmen are conservative like they are today, why should they be empowered to make federal law that prohibits this woman in California to have those rights she has now. Be careful what you ask for because you are arguing that rights will be provided at a federal level and given the current class of congressmen, those rights could be removed should a conservative president be elected.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        December 27, 2015 8:51 pm

        Jay I agree with you that the U.S. Constitution is a somewhat “flexible document”. That’s what I meant about it being set up to address grievances, or in other words to be adjustable to relate to the realities and issues of the day/era.

        Obviously much has changed since the 1700s. Thing is, the details will change through the years, but common denominators of tyranny (outsiders vs. insiders, power of insiders grows, arrogance sets in, superiority, greed, exploitation, etc…) are essentially the same aspects of human nature regardless of time and place, and so the U.S. Constitution is not archaic or irrelevant or old-fashioned or quaint, (not that you DIRECTLY said it was any of those things) but rather remains right on target and continues to help protect us, although it is under attack.

        A “pure democracy” might result in “tyranny of the majority,” and I would still take that over top-down dictates from the few, because bottom-up is more organic and derived from the folks on the front lines of an issue, but anyway our representative republic is designed to have “cream of the crop” elected representatives arguing issues and persuading or compromising for the populace, which is how we end up with Trump, haha, the system has been hijacked!

  65. December 27, 2015 6:16 pm

    After listening to some of the Sunday morning talk shows, I have decided that Donald Trump is the Mohammed Ali of politics.

    For those that have not seen or heard much about Ali’s early life when he was Cassius Clay, heavy weight boxing was almost extinct compared to its early years due to the fighters and the fights that occurred in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I have heard a couple times the Ali was not an outspoken person growing up, but he was very good at his sport and wanted to see it become popular again. One of his “heros” was a wrestler name Gorgeous George from the west coast. He had long wavy blond hair, was very outspoken and had a tremendous following, either those that loved him or hated him. And he used his looks and his mouth to promote his matches. Ali decided that this was what heavy weight boxing needed, so he became its primary promoter through his mouth, predictions and tremendous talent. Again people either loved him or hated him, but most everyone knew of him.

    Now apply that to Donald Trump. Donald Trump became “The Apprentice” primary promoter and everyone knows of his “your fired”. Donald Trump learned to use the media to promote his product through outlandish comments and his program became a hit. Some liked him and some hated him, but everyone knew of him. Now comes his campaign and he is playing the media like a fine violin. While others have spent large amounts on campaign ads and staff salaries, according to a comment made this morning on Fox Business News, Trump has spent less than $200K on advertisements. In another media event where the reporter visited Trumps campaign headquarters, it was basically a large empty room with a couple computers and a couple people walking around. Again little costs, but he had media coverage.

    Donald Trump is not one to hire many to do his work or to pay for it. When he wants to communicate a position, he gets on the phone himself and calls the reporter or he posts something on Twitter that draws attention. He makes personal contact when the need arises, much like he ran his business.

    Now I am not a Trump fan, but I do have two questions.
    1. Will we see the same Trump in the general election or anytime after he raps up the nomination, or will he become more acceptable to moderates, but keeping his persona that still promotes free media coverage, but forgoing some of the bombastic rhetoric we see today?


    2. How would it play out to have a president that would get on the phone and call the majority and minority leaders, the speaker and any other elected official to promote his positions, unlike the current leader that has had limited contact with congress over the past 7 years?

    I can’t even guess the answer to 1, but it sure would be nice to see number 2 happen to eliminate some of the division in the country today.

    • Jay permalink
      December 27, 2015 7:14 pm

      For (1): yes, he can get more moderate IF he puts someone like Cruz on the ticket as VP. That would be a wink-wink to his base as he takes more of a middle road.

      But unless something comes up to disqualify Hillary, Trump plus ‘Anyone’ on the Republican side doesn’t win. He doesn’t get the Millenial vote, even with grandma Hillary running. Or cut into the black or Hispanic vote. Or get the vitriolic far right conservative Republican vote in solid numbers.

      I agree Trump could feasibly be an effective president, if he could keep from accessing his dark side. But that’s a coin flip. And after six months of a Trump presidency I think the positive outsider novelty would wear off – as it did with his recent Apprentice TV ratings, which were plummeting the last two years. Like everything else, ‘celebrity’ has a limited shelf life.

      My gauge for presidential candidate support is this: would I want to be in a room one on one with them for a conversation that lasted at least 15 minutes? Even though I agree with Trump on core issues like controlling the borders and being more aggressive with China and other trading partners and political correctness, I can’t see myself lasting more then 5 minutes before my own inclinations for shaking him by his necktie for his unnecessary demeaning discourse takes over and his tongue is divorced from his brain.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 28, 2015 11:06 am

      Well, I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think that Trump is either stupid or crazy. Or racist. I do think that he has an egotistical side that is problematic in a president, but it’s not as if we haven’t seen that before……..

      My main problem with Trump is not his positions, it’s the fact that he clearly believes in the power of an imperial-style presidency, and I think that we’ve already gone too far in that direction. I’d prefer a president who is more devoted to the idea of constitutional government, and has a clear understanding of why the founding fathers set up the Constitution as they did. They feared everything that we fear today, as far as the unrestrained growth of executive power, the tyranny of a majority, the influence of money in politics, etc. The system of checks and balances that they put in place would have prevented, oh, probably 85% of the executive overreach, judicial activism and legislative paralysis that we see today, if only those checks and balances had been observed. But they have been steadily eroded, and I sometimes think that a populist like Trump or Sanders is inevitable. I’d prefer Trump, he seems to have a better understanding of what needs to be fixed, and we also know a lot about him and his background.

      The danger, and, I don’t think you can avoid it, is the continuing erosion of any semblance of constitutional order or balance of power among the branches. But maybe we’ve passed the tipping point there?

      • Ron P permalink
        December 28, 2015 12:35 pm

        The real problem lies with the American people. They take to Facebook and Twitter, bitching about taxes, corporate greed, government in the pocket of lobbyist, welfare programs, etc,etc, but then when it comes to doing anything about the problems (like voting), less than 60% turn out for Presidential elections and less than 40% turn out when it really means something in midterm elections when 100% of the house is being voted on and 1/3 of the senate.

        So we do not have overreach because of government actions, we have over reach because the people in large part could care less.

  66. Pat Riot permalink
    December 28, 2015 3:13 pm

    Priscilla, I think we’ve passed a lot of tipping points in a lot of areas, but then I think many are not points of no return. That’s a double negative so I’ll say it in the positive: after we’ve had a taste of some of this new territory (e.g. reality show politics, executive power over-reach, just to name a couple) we may swing back toward a more moderate balance.

    History tells us we will swing back on some things. We humans get tired of a thing and then we want something different, and everything has not been a full pendulum swing to the opposite extreme.

    Speaking of history, just when I think the country has completely drifted out of control I’ll catch something almost unfathomable from the past, like the American Civil War, say Sherman’s March through the South…burning down whole towns and leaving nothing but the chimneys, and then I realize things have gotten FUBAR before, and then better afterwards. I’m not saying anything novel here, but sometimes I need a reminder. There is hope!

  67. Pat Riot permalink
    December 28, 2015 3:44 pm

    Ron, you and I have been thinking in parallel lately, but now we diverge:

    You wrote: “So we do not have overreach because of government actions, we have over reach because the people in large part could care less.”

    I think the reality is that a good number of people care but don’t think that their involvement will make a difference. What can they do? Vote, write their Congressperson, or demonstrate in the street and maybe get a police baton over the head. I know there is much more that can be done, but most people don’t and/or don’t know how. It seems like a waste of time to millions of folk.

    On the other hand, when people think their involvement can make a difference, they turn out in great numbers and with great enthusiasm for all kinds of events like bike rides and runs to combat diseases etc.

    So if we get 50-65% voter turnout for a Presidential election, I’d guess half of those voters are dismayed and choosing the lesser of two evils. Then maybe 20% of the non-voters have just given up. And the final 20% are the clueless ones who really don’t care because they are oblivious. Those numbers are based on extensive research…er, I mean based on not much more than vague intuition.

    • December 28, 2015 4:21 pm

      Could be there is truth in both our thinking. As an example of my thinking, if Ted Cruz does not win the nomination as the GOP nominee, how many of his supporters would just say :”I am not voting for the establishment candidate because there is not an ounce of difference between.”…(ie Rubio and Clinton) or (Bush and Clinton)? How many people stayed home in 2012 because Romney was not an evangelical christian with all the social positions that they desired? Many polls had Romney close to defeating Obama but Obama was able to motivate his supporters to get out and vote, while the GOP purist decided that Obama was better than a moderate (or even one of those awful Mormons) and that it was not worth voting. When we look at the 2008 election and the impact that an uninspired GOP turnout had on the election, we had senators like Hagan defeat Elizabeth Dole, the incumbent, leading to the approval of Obamacare. No one can say if the GOP electorate or the unaffiliated had turned out in greater numbers and voted as they do historically that the results would have been any different, but it surely would have been much closer. And Obamacare may not be the law of the land today.

      And looking at Iowa primary, what percentage of the eligible voters actually caucus and vote? How about New Hampshire? And if the candidates do not do well with a minority of voters in those two small states, can they survive to the March Super primaries? Most do not. Will we end up with a Trump as the nominee because his voters are energized like Obama’s in 2008 while others better qualified end up dropping out because their voters did not turn out? And will that be the reason for “lessor of two evils”?

      It would be interesting to see what we would get after a few years of 80-85% turnout instead of the low percentages we get now.

      • Jay permalink
        December 28, 2015 7:01 pm

        If you got 80-85% turnout, it would mean the country was close to revolution.
        Which would probably be initiated by the losing side right after the election.

    • Jay permalink
      December 28, 2015 7:08 pm

      It’s the Total Population non voting statistics that are really alarming: out the 340 million citizens eligible to vote only 38.5% voted in the 2014 Congressional elections. The number has steadily from 1982 when it was 51.9%

      More statistics here, if anyone is interested in delving into the demographics:

      Click to access p20-577.pdf

      • December 29, 2015 1:35 am

        Yep and that’s the numbers I used previously when commenting on states rights vs national laws. That is why I think we would have a more moderate parties than we have today as they would not be controlled by those with specific agendas. And maybe we would get much more done like in the 80’s than we have today. Any time congress agrees to do anything, they get attacked by their extreme wings instead of looking at what they accomplished.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 29, 2015 11:26 am

        Yeah, Congress has become almost completely dysfunctional due to the attack dog politics of both sides. A few short weeks ago, Paul Ryan became the Speaker, promising a return to regular order. He made clear that to begin that return, the previously negotiated (and very bad) budget would need to pass, so that he could “clear the decks” and begin the process of having bills written and discussed in committee, debated on the House floor, amended and passed or defeated on an up or down vote and sent to the Senate. Now, because conservatives are not happy with the budget (rightfully so, it is a bloated mess, over 2000 pages long, which no one has read in its entirety) Ryan is possibly going to be primaried in his home district by a more “pure” conservative. He’s a RINO now~ throw him to the curb!

        We’ve reached a point where no politician can express a reasonable or moderate position without being villified by the left or right. If Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are not good enough for conservatives, then who is? If no Democrat can say “all lives matter” without being attacked by activists on the left, what do Democrats even stand for?

      • Jay permalink
        December 29, 2015 12:59 pm

        We need a permanent 3rd party – the Moderate Party!

        We, the Mods, with only 15% or 20% of the vote in Congress, could align or shift power to the left or right, neutralizing the idiots at those extremes.

        Our election year motto: Vote Mods you Clods!

        Our animal icon: the Wise Old Owl, waving an American Flag,

        Now all we need are donations, sponsors, and a few charismatic candidates to put us on the ballot.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 29, 2015 1:32 pm

        Jay this makes too much sense. And with that you should know it can not ever happen. But I love the “Wise Old Owl” taking the place of the bloated elephant or stubborn Donkey.

        Too much money from Pacs with special interest. Even if by some chance some law made it to SCOTUS and they reversed the decision and made PAC money illegal and allowed a law that made funding all coming from a federal election fund, who runs the federal government? Yep, two parties and I could not see how any law written would not limit the funding so only those two parties received 90% of the money.

      • December 29, 2015 1:42 pm

        Ryan was in a lose-lose situation. Get agreement on the budget and conservatives would turn on him and locals would primary him. Block the agreement and come up with something else and Democrats would vote against it along with some GOP members, thus creating a mess where the government “shut down” (liberal media propaganda term) and the GOP would be vilified leading to negatives that threaten any chance of a GOP presidential victory in November.

        As long as the fringe elements in both parties control the parties, we are stuck with the mess we elect. That putrid smell moderates find in the voting booth when they have to hold their noses has progressed to the point of being total crap.

  68. jimi888 permalink
    December 31, 2015 2:04 pm

    Needless to say I agree with the latest set of posts on moderation.

    One finds so little evidence of moderation when reading the news and opinions in the media, but it must be out there, ~40% of Americans identify as moderates. Why can’t we ever get traction and balance things out other than in general presidential election voting? We are the dark matter of politics, invisible, mysterious but still exerting some force that holds things together.

    I wish everyone a happier new year than 2015, which was dreadful. Better yet, I wish all an actual Happy New Year! And may the world in general join in!

    • Jay permalink
      December 31, 2015 3:35 pm

      Happy Etc to you too Jimi/Robi
      Here’s your New Year’s Present:

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 31, 2015 4:55 pm

        Great! Fat, fat tone on the guitar, love it!

        Here’s yours (I am not one of them.)

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 31, 2015 4:56 pm

        Life is still good, most days most places, when we make it good.

      • jimi888 permalink
        December 31, 2015 4:58 pm

        One more for old time’s sake.

  69. Jay permalink
    December 31, 2015 4:05 pm

    Rick, I have some thoughts on Cosby and the female-male legal double standard. Any chance you’re going to comment on anything like that soon, so I have a place to put it?

  70. Pat Riot permalink
    December 31, 2015 7:08 pm

    OMG, such “clean cut” music selections from yesteryear from Jay and Jimi. I do miss that past “innocence” and do treasure these days when I’m lucky enough to still find vestiges of innocence here and there in America, By the way, I believe Paul McCartney once said the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” was the best song ever written.

    Now I wouldn’t want visitors to TNM to think Moderates were always so gentle and soft in the middle! What song might reflect this thread of Rick’s about Extreme Intolerance and ISIS, and maybe also allude to all the “amen camps” out there being intolerant of each other and so self-righteous about their own political views…hmmm

    • Pat Riot permalink
      December 31, 2015 7:10 pm

      2015 concert in Armenia. My how things have changed.

    • Jay permalink
      December 31, 2015 7:48 pm

      Pat, please, political inferences be dammed…
      Heart ache and heart break is much more soothing… 🤓

  71. Pat Riot permalink
    December 31, 2015 7:51 pm

    haha soothing relief via heart ache and heart break!

    Happy New Year! Have a great 2016!

  72. Anonymous permalink
    January 4, 2016 12:37 am

    If it gets any more quiet here, I’m gonna have to start singing (you won’t like that, believe me!).

  73. jimi888 permalink
    January 4, 2016 12:41 pm

    It can’t be any worse than the punk rock, whoever you are!

    The drummer in a band I was in in my early 20s later played with one Jello Biafra, who is best known as the founder of the Dead Kennedy’s. I was sort of jealous until I heard them.

    • Jay permalink
      January 4, 2016 1:25 pm

      That was me, in an anonymous lapse.
      Where’s Rick?
      He’s either been kidnapped by those Radical Oregon Militiamen, or suffering one hell of a post New Year’s Eve hangover.

      • January 4, 2016 6:58 pm

        I’m still alive and well (and sober), Jay… nobody’s hostage. Holiday preparations and activities took up the lion’s share of my time last month, and I didn’t want to rush a half-baked column for the sake of publishing a column. I’m preparing a new one as we speak. Stay tuned (do they still say that?) and thanks for your concern.

      • January 5, 2016 12:55 am

        Rick, just think how effective you are with your articles. Write one and then wait until all of us run out of things to say. This one took more than 30 days.

        Will add something for your readers to check out. We hear about building walls on our border, but when you give that direction to government employees, this is what you end up with. In many areas along the Rio Grande River the wall is close to 2 miles from the border because of an old treaty between the two counties.

        Will add another link in another comment since two links get caught for mediation.

  74. January 5, 2016 1:02 am

    Another article covering the wall issue. Seems like few people really know what is happening to land owners along the border. Seems like they have done as good a job on the wall as they do running the postal service.

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