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He’s Melting… MELTING! The Strange Implosion of Donald Trump

August 4, 2016
By Max Goldberg, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Max Goldberg, via Wikimedia Commons

Did somebody toss a bucket of water at his head? Suddenly Donald Trump is melting before our eyes, like the Wicked Witch of the West. Every day brings fresh news of eye-popping gaffes and head-slapping consternation among the Republican faithful. I can’t remember anything like it in presidential campaign politics. Even Michael Dukakis, the doomed 1988 Democratic nominee, survived respectably until November.

Trump was an unlikely nominee to begin with. He coasted to the Republican convention on sheer chutzpah. He had a genius for winging it, based on his own stratospheric self-confidence and a cheerful disdain for details. A political amateur and an unapologetic vulgarian, he also seemed refreshingly uninhibited, unscripted, un-PC, unafraid to speak his mind.

So what if he was vague (or downright ignorant) on policy issues, or prone to proposing extravagant follies like the Mexican wall, or blisteringly crass in his pronouncements on women, immigrants, journalists and anyone reckless enough to prick his monumental ego? Unlike most politicians, he told it like it is… right?

Here was a maverick billionaire (at least by his own reckoning) who would defy the crony capitalists — the elite global plutocrats who supported the likes of Obama, the Bushes and the Clintons. He’d singlehandedly terminate the stifling reign of political correctness and identity politics, halt the corporate outsourcing of American jobs, manage the deficit, stem the flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America and block those potentially dodgy Muslim refugees from countries that harbor terrorists. As he proclaimed in his acceptance speech, he’d even put an end to crime as soon as he took the oath of office. What’s not to like? (Well, plenty… but more about that later.)

Big man, big promises… big bluffer? I’ve concluded that Trump is more performance artist than politician. He wants to be president more than he wants to serve as president. Remember, he said he’d delegate both foreign and domestic policy to his vice president. Trump would simply be in charge of “making America great again.”

In my more cynical moments, I like to believe that the Clintons, ever-calculating and ravenous for power, persuaded their friend Donald to seek the Republican nomination. A non-ideologue with a flair for showmanship, he’d relish the attention and sow such discord within the GOP that the party would crumble before Hillary’s juggernaut.

I wonder if the Clintons began to squirm as Trump’s candidacy gathered momentum like a runaway truck rolling down a mountain road. By June he was already the presumptive nominee, his brassy brand gleaming more garishly than ever. What if he actually (gulp!) won the election come November? This wasn’t supposed to happen; it smacked of Broadway satire, the way Springtime for Hitler, the surefire dud concocted by the hapless con artists in The Producers, unexpectedly became a monster hit.

Always dogged by his own intemperate sound bites, usually taken out of context or willfully distorted by the pro-Hillary media, Trump started to implode during the Democratic convention. The trigger came without warning, but it was classic karma.

Trump had bragged about the sacrifices he’d made as a mega-rich businessman — even claimed that his risky youthful sexual adventures were his “Vietnam.” So what better way to needle the cocksure, Islamophobic chicken-hawk than to trot out the parents of a heroic Muslim-American soldier who gave his life in Iraq?

The dead soldier’s father, the dignified and articulate Khizr Khan, used his pulpit to lambaste Trump for his warped definition of “sacrifice,” not to mention his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution. It was strong stuff, and Trump took the bait. His retort was mild compared to the provocation; he simply wondered aloud if Khan’s wife declined to speak because she was required by her religion to be submissively silent.

Of course, Trump shouldn’t have taken the bait at all. Professional politicians learn to grow thick skins, and Trump’s is paper-thin. Immediately the chattering class pounced on him for insulting a patriotic Gold Star family. Then the deluge began: the accusations against Trump began to resemble the list of grievances leveled against King George III in the Declaration of Independence:

  • He referred to Hillary Clinton as “the devil” (He actually said that Bernie Sanders “made a deal with the devil” by endorsing her)
  • He invited Vladimir Putin to hack Democratic e-mails (a sarcastic comment referring to the DNC’s alleged plot to assure the nomination for Clinton)
  • He didn’t know that Russia had already swiped Ukrainian territory (OK, geopolitics isn’t his strong suit)
  • He declined to disclose his tax returns (Is he in debt to Russia, as some rumors have it? I’ll reserve judgment until the facts are in)
  • He accepted a Purple Heart medal from a grateful veteran and quipped that this was the easiest way to get one (He was joking)
  • He refused to endorse war hero and fellow-Republican John McCain in his re-election bid (McCain had criticized him)
  • He balked at endorsing House Speaker and fellow-Republican Paul Ryan (the way Ryan balked at endorsing Trump)
  • He further risked his Republican street cred by slamming the Koch brothers as donors to “political puppets” (Bully for him!)
  • Last but not least, the insensitive brute ordered a crying baby out of his rally! (He handled it with humor, folks… you had to see the video)

I don’t mean to make excuses for Trump. He deserves much of the scorn and criticism heaped upon his famous thatched head. He’s rude, crude, narcissistic, demagogic and willfully ignorant. No matter how slight the slight against him, he must retaliate. His mannerisms during his acceptance speech eerily recalled the puffed-up posturing of Mussolini. He’s been luring white supremacists out of the woodwork. And yet…

He’s a victim, too. Now that Trump has secured the nomination (at least partly a result of generous coverage in the media), the media have been pouncing on him at every opportunity. They magnified the Khan flap until it overshadowed everything else about his campaign, yet they essentially ignored Hillary’s alleged brush-off of Pat Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith. (Mrs. Smith returned the favor, calling Clinton “a liar” at the Republican convention.)

For that matter, the media have largely airbrushed the deeper implications of the news that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz, a former Hillary Clinton aide, effectively sabotaged Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Did she undermine Sanders with Hillary’s blessing? Did Clinton actually instruct her to spread damaging rumors about Sanders throughout the South? We’ll never know — unless Putin hacks those missing e-mails, of course.

Trump could have attacked Hillary Clinton’s vulnerable underside (an unfortunate image, but I can’t think of a better one)… yet instead of scoring valuable campaign points at her expense, he continued to wrestle verbally with his detractors. It was all about him and his image, as it always is. And he said a mouthful.

Merely to quote Trump’s words verbatim is to miss the often jocular nature of his loopy pronouncements… but of course politicians need to realize that their words will find their way into print or online, raw and unvarnished, without the video emoji of a wink or a smirk. Words can precipitate scandals, and scandals will kill a campaign.

Exasperated by Trump’s sillier and more damaging remarks, the Republican faithful are starting to jump ship. Bad enough that both Presidents Bush refused to attend Trump’s coronation, or that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also a Republican,  endorsed Clinton at the Democratic convention. The exodus continues as more Republicans throw up their hands and head down the gangplank.

Rumors surfaced earlier this week that RNC Chair Reince Priebus, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and ex-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich were actually planning to stage an “intervention” — a desperate attempt to talk sense with their foundering nominee. There was even talk of a contingency plan in case Trump dropped out of the race. Notable figures (including Obama, naturally) have warned us that Trump is temperamentally and intellectually unfit to be president.

Mother of Mercy, is this the end of The Donald?

What’s saddest about Trump’s unraveling campaign is that he had a chance to give a legitimate voice to that most despised and neglected American caste: poor, working-class and downwardly mobile white Americans. These earnest, Bible-believing provincials are the last demographic we still feel free to taunt with impunity. We call them rednecks, hillbillies, white trash — as if they have no value as fellow humans. They’ve had to watch helplessly as their jobs departed for Asia or Mexico… as liberal urban sophisticates mocked their religion or substandard spelling… as the LGBT community challenged their age-old morality… as the Ivy-educated children of black doctors and lawyers lectured them about white privilege. And they weren’t allowed to talk back.

Because lower-status whites didn’t have a voice, their bitterness seethed inwardly for years until it finally burst forth, with Obama’s ascendancy, in a half-demented eruption of race-hatred, gun-worship, religious fanaticism, Confederate flags and anti-government paranoia. The talk turned combustible, and Trump helped fan the flames.

A better, more sensitive man might have guided that talk so that it stopped short of racism or xenophobia… so that underprivileged whites and underprivileged blacks might have come to understand each other’s grievances and appreciate their common bonds. He might have calmed his constituency’s not-unreasonable fears of a Mexican Reconquista or an Islamist insurgency without demonizing innocent Mexicans and Muslims.

But Trump was only Trump: the brash, buoyant salesman with the insatiable ego and an arguable deficit of human empathy. Once the blinding flash of his primary campaign had faded, even his fellow Republicans began to feel the sting of buyer’s remorse.

At this point, the only person who can save Trump is Trump. And that might not be enough.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.

Copyright 2016 by Rick Bayan.

944 Comments leave one →
  1. mike300spartan permalink
    August 4, 2016 9:29 pm

    Oh, I’m I the first comment! I feel like the guest at a church potluck going to the front of the line. 🙂 Ok, my comment is to not underestimate the power of Clinton to find a way to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. Seems unlikely now, but there are about 3 months left.

    • August 4, 2016 9:45 pm

      Congratulations, Mike! You get first crack at the tuna casserole. You’re right that Hillary could find a way to lose, especially if she ever gets indicted for anything. (She’s had incredible luck so far.) In fact, I might change the last line of my piece to reflect your wisdom.

    • August 4, 2016 9:47 pm

      On second thought, I’ll leave the ending as is. Hillary merits a piece devoted to her flaws.

      • August 5, 2016 11:04 am

        Indeed and I will look forward to it. I’m surprised either of these candidates could win a primary. It’s a reflection of the sad state of current politics.

  2. mike300spartan permalink
    August 4, 2016 9:30 pm

    FYI, Rick, I threw my side issue up under wild card, whenever you get the chance. No hurry, just whenever.

  3. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 4, 2016 9:44 pm

    Trump simply cannot be president because he cannot do the job. At all. This idea that any irreverent idiot can be president is wrong. And Trump is not just any idiot; the list of flaws in his character is astounding. Any one of probably 20 separate psychological issues he has would disqualify him. As well, the idea that a billionaire is the person to speak for and save “poor, working-class and downwardly mobile white Americans” has no sense. Trump getting even this far has already damaged us deeply, both at home and in the world.

    A man who has hijacked and nearly destroyed his party should be given the keys to the oval office?!? No, no, no, no! It is not for nothing that the unprecedented repudiation and rejection by a legion of far more honorable republican office holders and party officials has occurred.

    I understand that for a conservative voter Hillary represents turning 8 years of Dem ownership of the oval office into 12, a very bitter outcome and its natural to fight it. But how? Give up on Trump, funnel all efforts into keeping the Senate if you are conservatives. Don’t risk ruining the GOP for good by continuing to pretend that it would be anything less than a total disaster if Trump were to win. We had Reagan for 8 and then Bush I for 4. Democrats survived. The republican party and the interests of honest conservatives would be in far worse shape if Trump were to win.

    Lastly, If Trump were to win then the GOP would own everything, Congress, Potus, the majority of Governorships. No party should own everything, let alone a party as utterly dysfunctional as this version of the GOP headed by this once in a lifetime ignorant hooligan. The election ain’t over till its over, so I won’t sleep well until Trump is disposed of into the dustbin of history.

    Don’t blame the media, there is no monolithic media, every ideological group has their own media. Blame Trump and blame his enablers. History will.

    • August 4, 2016 9:51 pm

      Good points, all of them. I don’t think of Trump as a partisan Republican in the mold of Cruz or Paul Ryan, but yes, if Trump became president the GOP would tighten its stranglehold on Congress — not to mention the Supreme Court.

      Is he crazy? I honestly doubt it… but he’s a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder. I thought he might mitigate his ignorance by hiring a brain trust… but he doesn’t trust brains. (Hmm, good line… I should use it sometime.)

      • The Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 4, 2016 9:56 pm

        Support Trump University. Because the mind is a terrible thing.

      • August 4, 2016 10:35 pm

        Ha, I love it!

      • August 4, 2016 10:35 pm

        Rick ” not to mention the Supreme Court.” Does that mean it is OK for Clinton to appoint liberal judges to further the lefts agenda?

        The train has left the station that was used to interpret law when Chief Justice Roberts ruled a fee or penalty was actually a tax, even though the legislation had no reference to a tax in its wording. SCOTUS is now creating law and that was never the intention of the founding fathers as they could see hundreds of years into the future what was going to happen with government.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 4, 2016 11:47 pm

        Rick, There are many different shades of meaning of crazy. I’m crazy about you, He must be crazy to turn down that job, The crazy man with a gun went out shooting, etc. Trump is delusional, that is a form of crazy. He is not schizophrenic, no, he may possibly be suffering from early stages of dementia or that may just be his personality. If and when he loses big he may become quite mentally disturbed, especially if his campaign does serious harm to his finances as well. That would be terrible. <– some insincerity here.

        The Trump Quote of the Day:

        “I don’t know why we’re not leading by a lot. Maybe crowds don’t make the difference.”

    • mike300spartan permalink
      August 4, 2016 10:23 pm

      A certain conservative radio show I heard made a valid point about the media, even if most of the media has a liberal bias, (certainly there is some media that has conservative bias) but bias or not, there isn’t one news outlet that would pass up a juicy news story on anybody, if Huffington Post or MSNBC found a nasty story that no one else had about Michelle Obama or any other darling of the left, they would run that story out in a heartbeat. Of course they obviously spend more time and resources digging up dirt on others, but in some ways, the media is going to blast whatever sensation they get their hands on no matter whom it hurts. In other words, Grand Wazzoo, I agree what you say about the media.

      • The Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 4, 2016 10:40 pm

        These days people use the media to confirm their opinions (me too I damit) not change them. When there were three networks and most households were watching the media had more power. They still had far from total power, if they really had such power in their heyday would Nixon or Reagan have been elected? Rhetorical question, no. Today, the media are way way overrated as kingmakers.

        In any case if they are exposing Trump and Hillary but are just as unwilling as I am to have Trump as president then they are doing their job. I hear all kinds of complaints about some story that should be covered from partisans, but those are people Who Found That Story. Do I spend much time looking around for dirt on moderate liberals (my niche) No. But I would find it very easily if I searched. People complaining about media bias it seems to me usually want media bias, media bias towards their ideological views.

        Moral: blaming the media is a losing strategy, once you do it you are most likely losing.

      • August 5, 2016 10:00 am

        I think of the media overall as leaning left, surveys of who they vote for bear this out, and as such represent a head wind for conservative candidates. It’s true they will run a good story that will attract hits and sell papers. It’s also true that they will tell a story to suit their own views. So often something someone says can be interpreted more than one way and when a democrat says such a thing it’s more often interpreted as if she meant it in the more favorable way. If a republican said the same thing it’s more likely to be interpreted in a more negative way. When big news hits I always switch between FOX and MSNBC to get both views. I’d rather see out of both eyes. I do think it’s sad that media isn’t more neutral and I would latch on to a neutral outlet in a second if one existed, but I don’t suppose their is much of a market for that.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 5, 2016 12:58 pm

      Actually I would disagree.

      Clinton and Trump are approximately equally flawed. Neither is a credible choice to be president.

      However, any idiot who can sit on their hands and do little or nothing for 4-8 years can be president.

      What as an example has Obama done ?

      If we are really really lucky – we will get a president who does nothing and a congress that does nothing.

      We do not need to get into any more wars.
      We do not need any more laws.
      We do not need any more regulations.

      There are many existing laws and regulations that we have that need to be destroyed or fixed – but there is no choice that will result in that happening.

      I would also say that honestly aside from style there is not all that much different between “The Donald” and Hillary.

      What is it you think Hillary’s accomplishments are ?
      As Senator:
      She voted for the War in Iraq.
      She sponsored no legislation of consequence.
      She voted for alot of legislation that anyone who cares about civil liberties should be bothered by.
      As Sec. State
      Again she accomplished nothing positive.
      The coup she fomented in Ukraine resulted in the Russian takeover of Crimea.
      She is far more inextricably linked to the disaster in Benghazi than Obama.
      She is the source of the infamous claim that “a youtube video made them do it” while it is now clear is that she knew withing hours it was a terrorist attack.
      And we have the entire email scandal.

      I do not get how so many people have been fooled by this nonsense that Trump asking Putin to release her emails is a “national security” problem for Trump.
      If Putin has Clinton’s emails – and he almost certainly does – the damage to our national security has already been done – by Clinton.

      I am politically at the opposite end of the world as Bernie Sander’s. I think his policies as president would be disasterous – but Bernie is merely wrong. Hillary is incompetent arrogant and criminal.

      If Trump is elected president we can count on the media paying unbeleivably close attention to every word he says and trying to nail him for as long as he remains president.

      The media is in the Tank for Clinton. Inevitably she will screw up sufficiently that we will have another 4 or 8 years of endless hearings and investigations – there is already far more than enough fodder.

      What I would like is a ballot with “none of the above” as a choice – That would likely win trivially.
      Regardless, I can not in good conscious vote for either of these bozo’s.

      But I get very annoyed by people who compare Trump to Clinton – as if there is some important or significant difference. There is not.
      Neither should be running for president.

      I can not and will not vote for trump, but if I reverted back to voting for “the lesser of two evils” I would vote for Trump before Clinton, he is far less dangerous as president.

      • October 3, 2016 9:20 pm

        “Clinton and Trump are approximately equally flawed. Neither is a credible choice to be president.”

        I am firmly in your camp. Neither gets my vote.
        It’s been that way since day one.

  4. August 4, 2016 10:48 pm

    This has nothing to do with the article. It is a question concerning Word press. Mike posted a comment in the wild card section. And 7 comments had been made concerning the Trump article when I opened the article. None of those comments came to me in an e-mail notification. Not until I comment and click the two boxes “Notify me of new comments via email” am I informed of comments to read.

    So readers do not have to scan each sub sections that rick has available for commenting, is there anyway to set up Word Press to be notified of comments other than clicking at the end of a comment that I make?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 5, 2016 11:29 am

      Hey Ron, I use the WordPress site to follow this blog. A couple of weeks ago, it randomly logged me out. Since I logged back in and re-followed TNM, it’s been ok.

      Probably doesn’t help much, I know

  5. Jay permalink
    August 4, 2016 11:09 pm

    You’re a creative writer, Rick. Not only the in usage of language, but in the provocative way you’ve objectively managed to encompass Trump’s Dr. Jeckle-Mr. Hyde political personae from a moderate’s point of view. Overall, I agree with your analysis. He is both perpetrator and victim of exaggerated media coverage, which has been bad for everyone.

    Earlier today I was watching a pharmaceutical commercial on TV touting medicine to treat a painful foot ailment caused by diabetes. The commercial was full of smiling optimistic patients, looking forward to a pain free future promised by doctors and clinicians who had dispensed the medicine over time; and then came the disclaimers in rapid quick fire succession: almost a dozen of them, with dire warnings of side effects from depression to blurred vision to heart failure. The cure it seemed could be worse then the disease.

    This seems a metaphor for the Trump campaign. Yes, we have serious troubles, but medicine man Trump would make things worse, not better. We need to go no further then your analysis that he indeed is ‘rude, crude, narcissistic, demagogic and willfully ignorant’ to know he’s not suitable for elected office.

    The more serious problematic fallout from his campaign is that he’s tainted many of our shared moderate concerns about political correctness and Islam and the plight of the white working class and made them unacceptable to main stream Americans. He’s usurped the middle, which only serves to tear the nation apart.

    • August 5, 2016 3:17 pm

      Thanks, Jay. Good analogy re the prescription medicines that are more dangerous than the disease. And yes, it’s so true that extremist views on race and immigration have pretty much discredited moderate views on the same. We have to go all in with one group or the other. That’s how the extremists suck the life out of the center.

  6. mike300spartan permalink
    August 5, 2016 12:22 am

    Today I wish I could draw cartoons. I would draw Trump as a the scorpion, and the Republican Party as the frog. I assume most know the story, but if not , you can always google it.

    • mike300spartan permalink
      August 5, 2016 12:34 am

      I started digging around and did not find such a picture on the internet, however I did find one story implying Bernie Sanders being the scorpion of the Democrat party and another story back in April of this year referring to Donald being the scorpion of the Republican party.

  7. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 5, 2016 7:36 am

    In today’s 538 now cast (what would happen if the election were held today) Trump has an 8.5 chance of winning (still too high).

    Betting on the election now includes the actual category that trump drops out.

    At this point only Putin/Julian Assange can make the race competitive again. The Trump side of the GOP has to pray that Putin/Assange will swing the election.

    GOP voters might seriously think about giving their support to Libertarian Johnson so the he can make the debates (the hyperventilating rumor mill says that Trump will find an excuse skip the debates, they are all rigged, etc.) and make an adult contest (by which I do not mean one where the candidates discuss their sexual equipment) out of them.

    The GOP of McCain and Ryan and Preibus should consider bluntly divorcing Trump and saving their Senate hopes, all resources there.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 10:44 am

      There are more emails being released every month as a result of several FOIA lawsuits.
      Asange has already all but admitted the DNC hack was an inside job, done in the US by a democrat who is now dead under what Assange beleives are suspicious circumstances.

      We have not had 2% growth for 1Q since July 2015. 2016Q2 was 1.2% and the trend is DOWN. We may be heading for a recession.

      As noted elsewhere all terrorist attacks, all acts of violence favor Trump.

      Unemployment is forecast to remain constant – but if that proves wrong it favors Trump.

      The effect of Johnson and Stein on the election seems to be favoring Trump by about 1%.
      I have no idea how a Clinton Trump debate would go. They are radically different.
      Trump managed to do extremely well in the GOP debates – and at this point has far more debating experience than Clinton. I do not think that Clinton is good at debate.
      Further she has more vulnerability than Trump.

      The arguments against Trump are racist, mysoginist, intemperate.
      Those against Clinton are Liar, and Crook.

      What is Trump going to do in a debate that will further harm him ?
      Clinton has the biggest risk by far.

      The GOP is already directing resources at Senate races and has been for some time.
      The odds of a strong democratic break in the senate are small.

      I think the somewhat open lack of unity in the GOP is refreshing.
      Where are the democrats unwilling to endorse a crook and a liar ?

      If you want more political diversity, you need both parties to move away from my party right or wrong.

      Regardless, what substance is it you expect out of the campaigns or debates ?

      Politics has been nasty in the US since 1800 atleast – and far nastier than today.

      What are the issues you want debated ?

      I can not think of an election where I had less confidence that either candidate was going to do anything in their platform. Why do you want to listen to Clinton or Trump lie to us about what they are going to do as president ?

      Clinton has proposed something like a Trillion in giveaways – do you honestly see any of that happening ?

      Trump will get a couple of billion for the wall – which will go another couple of hundred yards.

      He might provoke a trade war with China – though I doubt it, but even if he did – isn’t that what the left wants ?

      • Jay permalink
        August 12, 2016 3:13 pm

        “The arguments against Trump are racist, mysoginist, intemperate.”

        There ya go again, closing your eyes/mind to reality.

        The multi arguments against Trump, just from Republicans, are:
        He’s reckless; unexperienced and unprepared for public office; confrontational and divisive; uneducated in foreign affairs; lacks basic understanding of economics; is unfit morally, mentally, and emotionally to hold any elected office; ill informed; habitual liar; compulsive liar; prolific liar; pants on fire liar; brazen liar; deadbeat employer; vindictively litigious —

        sorry, lunch ready, so many criticisms, so little time…

  8. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 5, 2016 8:01 am

    This is what you find in the National Review these days from long term conservative opinion writers:


    Trump’s latest gaffe shows clearly how unfit he is for the presidency. Donald Trump, the man who defied every political rule and prevailed to win his party’s nomination, last week took on perhaps the most sacred political rule of all: Never attack a Gold Star family. Not just because it alienates a vital constituency but because it reveals a shocking absence of elementary decency and of natural empathy for the most profound of human sorrows — parental grief. Why did Trump do it? It wasn’t a mistake. It was a revelation. It’s that he can’t help himself. His governing rule in life is to strike back when attacked, disrespected, or even slighted. To understand Trump, you have to grasp the General Theory: He judges every action, every pronouncement, every person by a single criterion — whether or not it/he is “nice” to Trump. Vladimir Putin called him brilliant (in fact, he didn’t, but that’s another matter) and a bromance is born. A “Mexican” judge rules against Trump, which makes him a bad person governed by prejudiced racial instincts. House Speaker Paul Ryan criticizes Trump’s attack on the Gold Star mother — so Trump mocks Ryan and praises his primary opponent. On what grounds? That the opponent is an experienced legislator? Is a tested leader? Not at all. He’s “a big fan of what I’m saying, big fan,” attests Trump.

    Read more at:

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 10:48 am

      How are Trumps remarks about the Latino judge different from Sotomayor’s remarks that being a latina women gives her a different perspective ?

      Trump is claiming that the Judge’s viewpoint will be affected by his race and relations to the Latino community.

      Sotomayor is claiming that her race and gender affect her viewpoint.

      Aside from style the substance is the same.

      • Jay permalink
        August 13, 2016 3:42 pm

        “How are Trumps remarks about the Latino judge different from Sotomayor’s remarks that being a latina women gives her a different perspective ?”

        Sotomayor’s remark annoyed me when I heard it, but more from a masculine perspective than an ethnic one. Men make much better jurists overall: they have better postures when sitting, more prominent eyebrows for silencing annoying attorneys, and deeper voices for clearing the court when necessary. 😏.

        Still, there is a difference in Trump’s outburst of reproach, and Sotomayor’s feminist/ethnic self praise. My Cuban American friend during our adventurous years would boast avuban woman were the best in bed; my Italian American girlfriend would exclaim Italian Woman were the best cooks; my African American college basketball teammate would insist his ‘people’ were the best athletes.

        It seems to me contextually those kinds of statements are less harmful and prejudiced than associating negative racial or ethnic traits in criticism of an individual, which inevitably will be heard as slurs. And when spoken by an individual who wants to govern the entire nation, it takes on additional negative crassness. In the past in this country we have held our presidents to higher codes of behavior. No longer true, apparently.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 10:52 am

      Just want to be clear – are you saying that the death of Kahn’s son makes him an expert on immigration and constitutional law ?

      A corollary to the rule about attacking gold star families is not to exploit them for political purposes.

      Trumps mistake was attacking Kahn directly, rather than attacking democrats for exploiting him.

  9. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 5, 2016 8:11 am

    trump was attacked at the Dem convention. Shocking! Unjust! After they were so sweet and reasonable just days before at the Trump convention. Imagine, someone at the Dem convention having an issue with trump’s throw-her-in-prison-themed party convention . trump was correct, it was an attack, vicious, unexpected, not tolerable. Democrats should have simply said Heil trump, and withdrawn, if they knew what was good for them.

    OK, I may be a little worked up about this election.

    Every blade of grass in my field, every star in the sky is yelling No! to a trump presidency.

    I’d accept Pence as president, even Cruz. They are people who could be president. I wouldn’t like them but I’d accept them. Not trump. Never trump

  10. August 5, 2016 9:24 am

    “I’ve concluded that Trump is more performance artist than politician.” Great piece Rick, many of the same things I was thinking. Well before he decided to run for Prez, I thought his upbringing must have been in a trailer and his dad a used car salesman. I was surprised indeed to find he came from money.

    Of course, the divides amongst working class people is intentional. If we were to all unite, we could bring prosperity back.

  11. Priscilla permalink
    August 5, 2016 10:22 am

    “OK, I may be a little worked up about this election.” ~ Grand Wazzoo

    Rick, I think that your post is about as level-headed an analysis of what’s been happening with Trump and to Trump in the last couple of weeks as I’ve seen. Honestly, with Democrats and their partisans in full attack mode and Republicans and their partisans wailing and gnashing their teeth over the potential coat tails implications of the presumed landslide Clinton victory, I’ve rarely felt so discouraged about the state of our republic.

    I don’t believe there has been a more corrupt or loathsome candidate than Hillary Clinton in my lifetime. And, yes, I include Richard Nixon. The dilemma, of course, is that, as loathsome as she is (and, lord knows, we have to get her loathsome husband along with her!), the alternative is an erratic, thin-skinned and egotistical guy, who is woefully unprepared to be the president (although not, honestly, much more unprepared than Obama was in 2007) and who won the Republican nomination in a year when fuzzy-headed populism and anti-establishment anger were driving forces in both parties. Were the Democrats not far more controlled in their nominee selection process, we might be wringing our hands over the nomination of Bernie Sanders, as well as that of Trump.

    Frankly, I think that that outcome may have been better overall for the country than a continuation of the oligarchy that appears now to have an increasing stranglehold on the federal government. In a Sanders vs. Trump election, both major parties may have repudiated their candidate, in the way that the GOP is repudiating Trump now. The 3rd party, and maybe even 4th party candidacies, of Johnson and Stein would likely have received far more attention, and possibly made it to the debate stage. I’ve always been a strong proponent of the 2 party system, but, more and more I’m seeing that, with the consolidation of wealth and power in a relatively small group of elites on both sides of the aisle, the major parties are starting to be alike – interchangeable even – and that’s not a good thing. Democracy needs choices. Otherwise, our elections become farcical events. Hell, this election is already a farcical event!

    So how do we all lose? Well, as you say the “most despised and neglected American caste: poor, working-class and downwardly mobile white Americans” will continue to lose their grip on economic opportunity and respect, and become angrier and more volatile, leading to an unknown, but certainly bad, outcome. Minorities will continue to vie for the title of Most Victimized and deserving of special treatment. The role of the media as watchdog, will continue to erode, and de facto censorship, of the sort that we’ve seen with social media giants, such as Facebook and Twitter, will likely continue. Donald Trump’s genial joke about the screaming baby at his rally became the headline “Trump ejects Baby from Rally!” and that narrative spread like wildfire, reaching millions of people before they ever saw the actual video – IF they ever saw it. Wazzoo believes that media is blameless in this farce. I do not. There’s a reason that Google shows different results in China than in the US for the search “Tienanmen Square”. The media and the ruling class are far too intertwined these days.

    Anyway, I don’t see anything to crow about, although, given our society’s horse race mentality the winners get to crow, so those of us on the “wrong” side need to suck it up and figure out the way to move forward. There’s always a way forward……I think.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 5, 2016 12:46 pm

      “I don’t believe there has been a more corrupt or loathsome candidate than Hillary Clinton in my lifetime.”

      This post of Rick’s was about Trump.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 5, 2016 1:41 pm

        Did I not talk about Trump in my comment, and specifically reference parts of Rick’s post?

        Is Hillary not the beneficiary of a Trump meltdown?

        I’m not exactly sure what point you’re making here….(By the way, are you not Roby anymore? Because if that’s the case, may I abbreviate your name to GW?)

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 5, 2016 1:46 pm

        (By the way, are you not Roby anymore?”

        No, Roby got sick of this election and is abstaining. I’m his somewhat evil twin standing in channeling famous libertarian Frank Zappa. Its not as crazy as it sounds, really.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 5, 2016 1:42 pm

      Mitt Romney, Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, the Bush family, the daily multiple GOP/conservative politicians, former officials who won’t vote for trump, many of whom have taken the amazing step of publicly saying that they will abandon party loyalty and vote for Clinton did not come to where they are due to a blown out of proportion baby being thrown out of a rally story. Priscilla, the substance to the case against a trump presidency is far beyond media bias, its real. Voters are deciding against trump because they are decent enough and intelligent enough to weigh the entire universe of issues. The blame the media thing is an exceptionally defective political tool. I should be happy to see GOP voters using it, I guess, but I’m not. Give the voters credit for having enough intelligence as a group to weigh trump and find him unacceptable.

      You have an acidic view of Al Gore for gods sake, let alone Clinton and Obama. Its just partisanship and ideology. Once you were a highly partisan liberal democrat as you say. Now you are a highly partisan conservative republican. If you could have one more sea change in you, why not just ditch the habit of being highly partisan?

      In 4 months it seems very likely that the trump circus will be over regarding its effect on me, but his effect on you and your party and your ideological group will just really be starting to sink in. You are going to be much more upset about trump in the long run than I am I’ll wager.

      If trump somehow should quit and Pence replaces him you’ll hear no hyperbole from me about Pence being a world changing disaster. The whole recent conservative habit of going overboard in criticism of democratic presidential candidates just does not work, its a losing tactic. Hillary has real faults but I do not recognize her from the conservative caricature. Its just ideology in the end.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 5, 2016 2:07 pm

        Since you make so many assumptions about me and my opinion on this election, GW, it’s hard to respond directly. It’s not as if I haven’t given reasons for my opposition to a Clinton presidency, nor expressed serious, ongoing reservations about Trump. And I don’t base my opinions purely on what George Will or Charles Krauthammer, or any other conservative pundits write, despite my admiration for them. All conservatives are not alike. I can name many who are supporting Trump. I don’t base my opinion solely on them either (David Horowitz, Michael Reagan,Whalid Phares off the top of my head, because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m talking about Rush Limbaugh 🙂 )

        I know there is a substantive case against Trump for goodness sake. Don’t you believe that there is a substantive case against Hillary? That’s a serious question, by the way.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 5, 2016 2:38 pm

        My point was not that you should listen to some specific conservative person and follow their lead. My point was that all those people I named are well aware of what the media does and they are not lightweights. They did not chose to abandon trump or endorse Clinton because of media stuff about a baby or other stories. trump is a perfect storm of bad, media or no, and these figures see that. That is my point. Blaming trump’s problems on anything other than his character is a diversion.

        To answer your question, I decided that there was something oily about both Clintons back when Bill was wildly popular. But its been blown out of all reason in a politically partisan manner. She is not even close to being as bad a candidate as trump, although that damns her with faint praise. She is dishonest we all agree. entitled, related to a man who is happy to shut down an entire airport to get a vanity haircut. Lawyerly, somewhat paranoid. always tending to skirt the law of find a grey area. They had to count the forks and enumerate the white house knick knacks after the Clintons left. She won’t take responsibility for her clearly described by Comey lies about her server. That is not an isolated incident, its a character trait. I don’t like her, don’t like to look at her, don’t want to hear her voice. Don’t want her as my president and have dreaded the idea for more than a decade. I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I am.

        But all of that pales next to trump’s faults. And again, she is going to share power, there will be a GOP House and can be a GOP senate. A trump win would be a GOP sweep. That is scary to me for good reason. It would likely backfire on the GOP but for 2-4 years we would not know what is going to happen next. Anybody with any stocks by the way ought to be leery, does the stock market love chaos? Does the military like an unpredictable president who can be baited by anyone who tries or flattered by anyone who tries?

        As a tangent, this idea that Clinton belongs in prison is idiotic. You do know what the Iran Contra scandal involved? Much, much, much worse breaches of law and ethics. W absolutuly lied about the cost that a two front war was going to incur he suppressed that. hundreds of millions was his estimate it wa trillions and he knew it. Thousands of dead us soldiers. That is no competition for this ridiculous server issue. The GOP/conservatives consistently overplay their cards. These GOP overblown scandals have some effect but its not in the end a winning tactic. Why don’t we just follow the Howard Zinn line and agree that all of our presidents should be in jail, all liars, all criminals. Not! You have no idea how left wing the whole idea sounds to me, its right out of their playbook. The e-mail issue has done the damage its going to do and given us the insight its going to give us into Clinton’s character. I’ve factored it in.

        Conservative don’t want 12 years of the Dem oval office, the Supreme court, understandable. But trump has completely screwed the GOP/conservatives. In a year I’ll be over him, but the trump crater will be the major feature of the GOP landscape.

  12. Jay permalink
    August 5, 2016 12:32 pm

    I only have a mildly negative opinion of Hillary. To me she’s the same kind of pain in the ass as the lady lawyer Christine Baranski plays on ‘The Good Wife’ TV drama – annoyingly sanctimonious and manipulative to the point you want to strangle her, but not someone who is malicious or depraved to be hated.

    Hillary has the veracity deficiencies you’d expect from a political Democrat in public view for 30 plus years, during which time she’s been relentlessly attacked and undermined with unending criticism: some deserved; most just overblown petty political propaganda. All politicians walk that political-speak veracity tightrope, in politics telling the unadulterated truth at all times is a formulae for failure.

    But the unrelenting barbed attacks of everything she’s said or done by hoards of Hillary Haters have as indelibly marked her as evil in the eyes of detractors as the villainess Cruella De Vil is to Disney film buffs. Like Cruella, the mention of Hillary’s name is sure to elicit automatic hisses and boos, and nothing is going to change that this election cycle.

    The remaining question is who do we boo more – Cruella De Clinton, or FrankenTrump, the clumsy grotesque media creation stomping our national mores to smithereens. An easy answer: raspberries to the Monster from Trumpville.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 5, 2016 1:57 pm

      So you think repeatedly lying to the american people is acceptable ? What about lying under oath ? We were through this before with her husband – who atleast was more of a blue dog democrat. Hillary really is a clueless priviledged elitist.

      Clinton is not attacked for everything she has said and done – she is attacked for the criminal and immoral things she has said and done.
      Trump is actually attacked for everything he has said and done.
      While he is a big boy and can take it and deserves what has been dished out to him – so does clinton, and much much more.

      It is not Clinton’s name that is the problem – it is her actions.

      In the end the nation is nearly certain to pick one of these two regardless of the fact that neither will get my vote.

      If you wish to make an argument that Clinton is the lessor evil – that is a judgement call.
      One I think you are making wrong.

      Do you beleive that Clinton is Honest ?
      That she has been telling the truth about her email ?
      That not merely Putin, but likely the chinese, and Iranians and North Koreans, and probably about half our allies were reading the Secretary of States email ?\
      That she was using he position as Sec State to lobby for Millions for Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Family ?
      Do you really think the Clinton Foundation is even a charity ?
      Atleast Trump is not trying to make money by pretending to be a charity and selling out the country and selling the power of her offices – yet.
      Do you think that the state department responded adequately to the security threats throughout the mideast and benghazi – prior to the terrorist attack on the embassy ?
      Do you think that we tried hard enough to rescue those who were there ?
      Somehow the left managed to make the fight over whether any response would have been effective. SO WHAT.
      First if there was no possible means of an effective response over the something like 9 hours these guys held out – then we did something wrong.
      Second, aren’t we americans ? Don’t we try everything to save our own ? Even our dead.
      It is bad enough on the rare occasions when a dead american soldier is dragged through the street. Is there someone who beleives we should not have tried to prevent these terrorists from dragging a dead american ambassador through the streets.
      Don’t decent honest leaders take responsibility ?

      In 1983 terrorists blew up a marrine barracks in Beruit. Reagan did not blame it on somebody else. Shortly after the bombing Reagan took personal responsibility for the security failures.

      When has Clinton take responsibility for anything.
      I would note this attack happened on Sept. 11. That is a date that every US facility in the mideast atleast should be on alert for terrorist activty for decades to come.
      Just as we should be prepared for domestic terrorism on the 18th and 19th of April.
      So why is it that we were not able to respond ?

      I can go on and on.

      Personally I find it amazing. This president calls on his supporters to bring a gun to a knife fight – and then we act surprised when the IRS targets the enemies of the left.
      When this is investigated – somehow the story becomes evil republicans.
      We have had fast and furious,
      The IRS scandal,
      The VA mess – which has not improved one iota though we have spent billions,
      The failure after failure of PPACA.
      Near permanent recession.

      And yet the left has managed to turn every meme arround and blame others.

      Reagan managed to govern the country quite while – despite constant investigations and conflict and he took responsibility for his own errors.
      This administration has failed and blamed everyone else.

      How much failure does the left need – before they accept they do not know what they are doing ?
      How much failure do the rest of us need before we grasp – government is the problem, not the answer ?

      Is there anyone here who can make a credible argument that 4 or 8 years of clinton will be a good thing for this country ?

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 5, 2016 2:13 pm

        “Is there anyone here who can make a credible argument that 4 or 8 years of clinton will be a good thing for this country ?”

        I’d seriously like to see someone try. Even Hillary’s best argument seems to be that she’s not Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        August 5, 2016 4:11 pm

        I didn’t say repeatedly lying to the American is acceptable, Dave, I said politician’s always end up lying for various reasons, it’s the nature of the profession. And she certainly lied to cover up for her poor judgement in deciding to rely on what turned out to be insufficiency secure personal servers, but she didn’t intentionally lie when she said she had never received classified information over her personal email account… There’s no evidence she knew it when she made that assertion.

        So yes, her statement was false, but a false statement isn’t a lie, and Comey’s testimony and official report verify that. Nowhere, not in the report, or during his testimony, did he use the word ‘lie.’

        Your assertion that Putin & China & Iran, etc, we’re reading her emails may be true – but according to Comey foreign governments are reading emails on ‘secure’ State Department servers as well – did that testimony escape you? And of all the so-called top secret classified emails discovered among Clinton’s email, he said only three were marked with an alerting ‘C’ to indicate they contained Classified info, and that C buried in the body of the correspondence.

        So, yes, she made a stupid tech judgement call installing the personal server in the first, and deviously tried to cover that up, but neither her negligence or subsequent ‘false’ statements were illegal, so speaks the FBI.

        The Clinton Foundation is a philanthropic charity that has saved thousands of lives and improved the lives of thousands more. It’s not a charity that dispenses coffee and blankets after disasters or feeds the homeless. Look into their African AIDS initiative to see how the Federation operated to save lives there. For me, the Federation is the Clintons saving grace – a reputable organization with multiple highly regarded donors who wouldn’t be handing over multi millions of dollars. That’s a published list you should look at objectively as well.

      • Jay permalink
        August 5, 2016 4:46 pm

        “Is there anyone here who can make a credible argument that 4 or 8 years of clinton will be a good thing for this country ?”

        4 Years of Clinton will be way better then 6 months of Trump.
        Have you been hiding your head under a pillow this past month?
        Haven’t you seen dozens of credible Americans – Republican, Democrat, Independent – renouncing Trump as incompetent, dangerous, unqualified, mentally unstable? Somewhere above I provided many of those names. In the last two days others have joined the list, some calling him ‘unhinged’ and ‘unfit.’ Krauthammer just described him as ‘an 11-year old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully.’ And today Michael Morell, warned that Trump “may well pose a threat to national security.”

        You have to be deaf dumb and ditzy to dismiss all those diverse anti Trump commentators with facile rationalizations, but keep pretending doofus Donald should nevertheless be elected president because he isn’t Hillary.

        I’ll repost this comment I posted above from Garry Kasparov, even more relevant now:

        “Trump is useful as a litmus test for political decency. Anyone still backing him doesn’t have any.”

  13. dhlii permalink
    August 5, 2016 1:22 pm

    I counted Trump out when he attacked McCain early in the primaries.
    I was wrong. I think counting trump out now is a big mistake.

    Trump got a bump from his convention, Clinton got one from hers.
    Frankly I thought both were bad, but the media seems to think that Cruz failing to explicitly endorse Trump was somehow far worse than hundreds of Sandernista;s booing and walking out.

    I do not understand the Khan nonsense.
    I respect Mr. Kahn’s loss of his son. But I am no more interested in what he has to say than Matt Damon. Celebrity whatever the cause does not impart Truth in sentiment.

    I strongly support Open Boarders – so I should be in Mr. Khan’s camp.
    But I am not – because though I support Open Boarders – that is NOT what the constitution says. There is a right for citizens to excercise their religion as the please – no matter how it offends others. But democrats are atleast as clueless on that as Republicans.
    Apparently they think it is OK for muslim’s to subjugate women in the US,
    but unacceptable for christians to refuse to sell wedding cakes for gay weddings.
    Regardless, the constitution, Bill of Rights, 14th amendment apply to US citizens – not every person in the world who wishes to be. It is far beyond our power or responsibility to protect the rights of every person in the world from their own governments.

    And finally, you can not have open boarders, and a vastly diverse pluralistic society which I not only prefer but think we are all entitled to by natural right, if you also have this vast democratic nonsense of positive rights.

    When Mr. Khan and democrats are prepared to have a truly free society – one in which government is actually limited and powerless to infringe on any of our rights, then they can talk without deep hypocrisy about the constitution and equal protection.

    Finally returning to my original theme – I have counted Trump out repeatedly.
    But he is a Zombie. He is the undead. Apparently you can not kill him without a silver bullet.

    I also thought Brexit was losing – right up until after all the votes were counted.

    Again – this is not a defense of Trump. How our two parties could offer us a choice between these two Bozo’s I do not understand.

    In my perfect world Trump would drop out and Hillary would go to Jail.
    And we would get to vote for a reasonable – or atleast less unreasonable choice in November.

    Anyway, I am voting for Johnson Again, because I will be able to live with myself for the next 4 years.

    Libertarains – we are not the crazy ones this time!

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 5, 2016 1:47 pm

      Haha, Dave, Libertarians really are not the crazy ones this time. And I find Johnson and Weld to be aggressively normal in their personalities, charming even. Who knows, maybe I’ll even vote for Johnson. Probably not, but anything is possible in this cycle.

      If I did, it would be probably after deciding to vote only down ballot, walking into the booth, and thinking, “oh, what the hell!”

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 2:13 pm

        Your vote is your own.

        I have no problem with people saying they can not vote for Trump.
        Like I said – I though he was over when he attacked McCaine for getting shot down in Vietnam – how is this Khan thing in any way worse.

        I have read McCains story. I am glad he was not elected, though I do not think Obama is any better. But regardless of what I think about him in terms of policy, the man is a real hero. If you see the video of the 1967 fire that nearly took out the USS Forestall. McCain was in the aircraft waiting for the catapault launch when another aircraft misfired a missle. The video shows crawling out on to the wing of his plane and narrowly escaping the fire. He could have left Vietnam anytime after he was shot down – he was very very seriously injured and the north vietnamese released many with similar injuries.
        But his father was CINCPAC and it would have been a propaganda coup.
        Even when the peace talks were concluded McCain refused to leave ahead of his term.
        While he has at times embelished some of his life story, there is still little doubt he underwent serious adversity, and he had integrity.
        How many current politicians can we say that of ?

        McCain got in trouble for writing a letter supporting a constitutent with respect to the S&L crisis. Clinton participated in a deal with Russia that resulted in millions in donations to the Clinton Foundation.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 5, 2016 2:33 pm

        Agreed on McCain, Dave I’m still planning on voting for Trump, at this point.

        I would say that whether I actually do or not, is largely dependent upon whether or not he can stop behaving like a stupid jackass, which is starting to look doubtful. On the other hand, better a stupid jackass than a corrupt liar. I have no doubt at all that Hillary will remain a corrupt liar.

        Devil and the deep blue sea (NOTE: I am not really calling anyone the “devil” here, just using a common phrase).

      • August 5, 2016 3:08 pm

        Believe it or not, I (yes, the “New Moderate” guy) was impressed by Johnson and Weld in their recent town hall. Two sane, intelligent, surprisingly personable grown-ups without baggage — what’s not to like? You know I don’t see pure free-market capitalism as a cure-all, but I prefer it to crony capitalism or top-heavy bureaucracy. Besides, they actually admitted that they could sometimes make mistakes — unprecedented!

      • August 5, 2016 3:19 pm

        They will be lucky to just make the debates as I understand they have to get 15% of the average vote for 5 major polls and one or two of the polls used does not even poll numbers for specific third parties. So what percentage do you need when only 3-4 polls include the Libertarians to get to 15% out of 5 polls.

        The system is rigged for the two party system. If Johnson got into the debates, he would probably win over some of the “lessor of” voters and give people a “good” choice to vote for.

        But that will never happen as there are too many people who refuse to look beyond the billionaire run and paid for parties that run this country.

      • Jay permalink
        August 5, 2016 4:54 pm

        “s. Clinton participated in a deal with Russia that resulted in millions in donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

        So what? The money didn’t go to the Clintons, it went to the Foundation, which used ALL OF IT for philanthropic purposes ( less 5% operating expenses, among the lowest of similar philanthropic charities registered in the US – that’s out there in public disclosure records too, which you could see if you got off your misinformation butt).

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 11:02 pm


        Please note no one says that pure free markets (that is minarchism not anarchism) makes no mistakes. It makes lots of mistakes.
        Nor do libertarains claim it needs no regulation – it needs lots of regulation.
        But that regulation is primarily SELF regulation.

        If a price is too high – buy elsewhere. If you do not trust someone – do not trade with them. If you think a company mistreats its workers boycott them.

        While I personally think that many of those forms of self regulation are themselves stupid, you may not agree and you are free to use them.

        I am not personally a proponent of localism, or fair trade or myriads of other political interactions with free exchange.

        But if you want to buy local – do so.
        If you want to buy organic – do so.
        If you want to buy green – do so.
        If you want …. – do so.

        And you may freely persuade others, and speek out and boycott.
        And so long as you do not go running to government and impose your views as laws – so long as you do so through the free market, you are absolutely free to do so.

        This freedom is critical – because markets make mistakes – lots of them.
        And people do try to game the system – but so long as that “gaming” does nto involve force or fraud – the “regulation” is the natural responses of the market.

        BTW even that self regulation will be fraught with error – for the most part I think “fair trade” is harmful to those it claims to help.

        But so long as you do not use law to impose it by force, the remedy for those who “self-regulate” the economy in the way I do not like is the freedom of the market and self regulation system to correct its error.

        Bad government regulations virtually NEVER get corrected.

  14. dhlii permalink
    August 5, 2016 2:19 pm

    I am also bothered by the claims that Putin is somehow in bed with Trump.

    From the actual evidence it is Clinton that has an incredibly cozy relationship with Russia.
    The russians gained substantially from deals made when Clinton was Sec. State, and so did the Clinton Foundation.

    There are fairly well backed rumours that Russia does have all the emails from Clinton’s private server, Had Putin provided verifiable proof of that during the FBI investigation Clinton would be headed to jail.
    So if Putin hates Clinton (which makes no sense) and wants her to loose, why wouldn’t he have gone for the knockout earlier rather than some baby taps that are more harmful to democrats as a whole than to clinton ?

    It seems to me the left is incapable of beleiving anything bad about their own and cabable of beleiving anything bad about those they oppose no matter how incredible.

    • Jay permalink
      August 5, 2016 7:20 pm

      “There are fairly well backed rumours that Russia does have all the emails from Clinton’s private server, Had Putin provided verifiable proof of that during the FBI investigation Clinton would be headed to jail.
      So if Putin hates Clinton (which makes no sense) and wants her to loose, why wouldn’t he have gone for the knockout earlier rather than some baby taps that are more harmful to democrats as a whole than to clinton ?”

      Rumors fairly backed by who?

      Let’s dissect your illogic.

      If Putin really had those deleated emails, and hasn’t released them, it’s just as likely they don’t contain information harmful to Clinton. He doesn’t want another Democrat President, and has said so. He surely doesn’t like Obama, he certainly hasn’t been praising Hillary, but has been effusively praising Trump in the Russian Media he controls. You do know that, right? And about the phoney pro Trump Twitter accounts traced back to Russia? This in addition to the DNC hack, also a Russian operation, released by Wikileaks, a Russian aided organization.

      So, either he doesn’t have those deleated emails, or as Hillary’s lawyers said, he has them but they’re personal emails without content politically embarrassing to her.

      The Russians want Trump in office. And Devious Donald is their tool:

      • mike300spartan permalink
        August 5, 2016 10:38 pm

        If Putin has more emails or more dirt of any kind on Hillary, there are almost endless possibilities why he may wait to “play that card”. For one, he might think it more effective to expose them closer to election day. For another, he may have to balance the impact of how much damage he could do compared to how much exposure he would give up in his ability to obtain the info. I remember a World War II story that claimed that although the Allies had cracked the “Enigma” German encryption device, after learning the Germans were going to bomb a certain church building, they chose not to put out the warning, because they felt that would give away the fact to the Germans that they had cracked the code and they would lose future information. Now this doesn’t match exactly to modern times, everyone knows countries have their cyber spies, but there still is a balance between what information you disclose often allows your opponents to plug holes. Again, the number of reasons that IF he has more dirt, but is not releasing all of it right away could be multiple possibilities.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 11:13 pm

        Assange has strongly suggested that Russia had nothing to do with the wikileaks hacks, and that he is personally gunning for Clinton because he beleives she will try to extradite him to the US, charge him and jail him.

        And I think that is an extremely reasonable fear on his part.

        As to Putin, he says alot of things and I have not heard these credible claims that he hates clinton or obama. Frankly I think he privately loves them – he has played them beautifully.

        Russia’s economy is in the tank. He would be highly unpopular but for one thing – he is able to beat the drum of nationalism – mostly as a result of unforced policy errors by clinton and Obama such as the Ukrainian coup.

        The worst harm the US has done to Russia in the past 4 years has been through Fracking tanking global energy prices – and Clinton and Obama are both enemies of Fracking.

        The Keystone XL is probably too little to late at this point, but pipelines to move oil from new US oil fields to refineries and markets will shave atleast $7/barrel from global oil prices. It will also substantially increase US production.

        An uneasy truce has been reached at about $2/gal for gasoline – if the price rises US Fracking expands, if it drops further even Saudi Arabia can only go so low. Regardless, Russia is caught in the crossfire of the oil price war between US frackers and the mideast.

        Clinton and Obama are better for Russia than any other possibility.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 12:11 pm

        “Russia’s economy is in the tank. He would be highly unpopular but for one thing – he is able to beat the drum of nationalism – mostly as a result of unforced policy errors by clinton and Obama such as the Ukrainian coup.”

        More regurgated boiler-plate ignorance from the robotic capitalist right.

        Russia’s economy is not anymore in the tank than the rest of Europe or the US or Japan or China – all suffering from the same interlocked economic recession. And your muddle-headed charge that Clinton-Obama policy errors resulted in the Ukranian coup is dumbly counter-intuitive because if you believe what’s bad for Russia is good for America, the coup was a contributory cause for the severity of the Russian recession:

        “The Russian economy risked going into recession from early 2014 – mainly as a result of the falling oil prices, the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the subsequent capital flight.[45][46] However, the 2014 GDP growth remained positive at 0.6%.[47] In 2015, the Russian economy shrunk by 3.7% and is expected to shrink further in 2016.[48] However, the World Bank and the IMF estimate that Russia’s economy will begin to recover by 2017.[49][50]

        And for all your reiterated ramblings on the failure of solicits tic forms of government why has the Russia economy and it’s business sector become so strong over the past decades, even with heavy handed government control on all facets of it?

        “In January 2016, the US company Bloomberg rated Russia’s economy as the 12th most innovative in the world,[51] up from 14th in January 2015[52] and 18th in January 2014.[53] Russia has the world’s 15th highest patent application rate, the 8th highest concentration of high-tech public companies, such as internet and aerospace and the third highest graduation rate of scientists and engineers.[51] ”

        And guess what, Dave almost ALL schooling is FREE, including higher education, for which 93% of students pay nothing for their education.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 11:36 pm

        Yes, lets examine the logic. Please re-read your own post and think about it. It requires a highly unlikely arrangement of facts. It requires the russians to have failed at the easy task and succeeded at the hard one.

        Putin need not have the “deleted emails”, all he would need to tank clinton would have been the classified emails – even one.

        Frankly even that is more than he needs. All he really needs is to provide public proof that Russia accessed Clinton’s mail server.

        That alone would have overcome Comey’s (and even Obama’s) reluctance.
        Almost no one is going to defend clinton if the KGB was reading her Sec State email.

        BTW experts at CIA and NSA have already stated that if Russia was NOT reading Clinton’s Sec State email that would be a miracle.
        That any hostile state (and many friends) whose intelligence agencies did not access Clinton’s email server are likely to see heads roll.
        Snowden revealed the extent to which we were hacking other governments – even friendly ones. Not only is it likely that Russia hacked Clinton’s server, it is likely that NSA knows they did. But you are absolutely never going to get public confirmation of that from “no such agency”. You are not even likely to get a leak unless it is entirely untraceable – even then it would actually be a crime for those in the NSA to reveal that they know that Russia hacked clinton. BTW that is not about clinton it is about NSA providing the Russians with knowledge of what we know and possibly how we know it.

        How does the head of the KGB answer Putin and keep his job when Putin asks why he did NOT get all of Clinton’s email ?

        There is about zero doubt that the Russians(government and hackers independently), Chinese, North Koreans, possibly Iran, probably Israel, the French, Germans, and UK all have Clinton’s emails.

        Now AGAIN, If Putin wanted to tank Clinton – he could have done so easily anytime in the past 9 months or more.

        Your nonsense requires that the Russians are sharp enough to hack the DNC but not sharp enough to hack Clinton’s mail server.

        What is more likely is they hacked both – but the russian government is not the source of either leak. Russian hackers BTW are not automatically the Russian government, and it is entirely possible – even likely that Assange worked with russian hackers

        What the KGB knows we will only find out – if they decide to tell us.

        What hackers – russians or otherwise know – we are all likely to find out.
        The incentives for government security agencies is to secrecy.
        I would remind you that Churchill allowed the Germans to bomb coventry to protect the secrecy of the Ultra decrypts.

        The incentives for hackers is to get information out.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 5:11 pm

        “Almost no one is going to defend clinton if the KGB was reading her Sec State email.”
        Why not? Comey said ALL the Department of State’s servers were vulnerable. It’s likely they were hacked too. If that came out would Obama be expected to throw Kerry under the bus?

        Russia and those other hostile nations you mentioned probably have hacked 90% of the nation’s computer systems. And if in fact as you suggest they also have Hilly’s missing emails, with negative info to her, why haven’t any of them leaked them? Did they all get together and decide to keep them under wraps – talk about absurd logic, you seem to ba a master at that.

        And where did I suggest the Russians didn’t have Clinton’s emails? I suggested they had them, but there wasn’t an appreciable amount of negative info in them, which is why they HAVENT released them. Or been released by the hoard of other nations you claim hacked them as well.

        And as reported by numerous sources in various media sources, cyber security and American intelligence agencies have reported they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee.

        Additionally forensic hacking experts link that attack, and the hacking of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fundraising arm for House Democrats, to an entity connected to the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service. Did all that escape your attention, or did you conveniently ignore information contrary to your cemented preconceptions, opting to regurgitate the antiClinton line?

        Let me remind you of Thomas Jefferson’s warning: “oft repeating an untruth, men come to believe it themselves.”

        You need to stop singing in that choir.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 5:20 pm

        “Now AGAIN, If Putin wanted to tank Clinton – he could have done so easily anytime in the past 9 months or more.”

        Or another possibility: there is something damning in the the emails he allegedly possesses, and he’s waiting to:
        A- drop a bombshell on Clinton right before the election
        B- keeping them to blackmail her into future concessions

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 5:23 pm

        Putin’s Puppet
        “If the Russian president could design a candidate to undermine American interests—and advance his own—he’d look a lot like Donald Trump.”

      • dhlii permalink
        August 8, 2016 6:23 pm


        First – your refutation – refutes nothing. Though it is wrong.
        Russia’s economy is not very well intergrated into the world.
        Energy is 65% of Russia’s exports and the price of energy has tanked.
        Russia’s GDP in 2013 was 2.2T in 2015 it was 1.3T.
        That is not a small problem – that is a near 50% drop.
        2016 will likely be little different than 2015.

        For comparison the EU went from a 2014 peak of 18.5T to 16.2T
        China went from 2014 10.3T to 2015 10.8T.

        So even if what you claimed was true – it would not contradict what I said.
        But worse, what you claimed is not true.

        China has slower than normal growth – but it is growth.
        The EU is in recession.
        What is happening in Russia is a depression – and is about 4 times worse than the EU. Further The EU has a diversified economy. Russia’s fundimental problem is low global energy prices.

        I can not read Putin’s mind. But LOGIC would dictate than Clinton would be substantially better for Russia in innumerable ways than Trump.

        Any argument that Putin favors Trump can not be based on Russia’s economic self interest, and not likely based on Russian national security interests.

        You can argue that Putin will favor Trump for some other reason – but I have not heard one yet.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 8, 2016 6:27 pm

        The Ukrainian coup and its aftermath was economically bad for Russia.
        But it was very good for Putin. It substantially boosted Russian nationalism.
        And it significantly improved his ratings in Russia.

        This was all well documented at the time.

        Again you can argue that Putin may have reasons other than economics or national interests – but you have not.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 8, 2016 6:35 pm


        No school anywhere on the planet is FREE.

        AT best it is paid for by someone besides students parents,
        More comonly it is merely paid for over a longer period of time.

        Are you actually trying to sell Russia’s economy or education system ?

        With respect to the US are you claiming that doubling the REAL cost of public school while the quality of education has declined is a good thing ?

        BTW pretty much the same trend has occured with both public schools and colleges in the US.

        Cost up, quality down.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 8:01 pm

        “Are you actually trying to sell Russia’s economy or education system ?”

        No, I’m refuting your generalizations that tuition free education in Russia and mixed socialist-capatilist nations is significantly inferior to our system of gouge and hound for loan repayment.

        But in fact, it’s education system IS rated number 1 in the world:

        Russia is the most educated country in the world, according to the latest figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), followed by Canada and then Japan.
        The US is rated forth.

        Top ten educated countries:
        1) Russia
        2) Canada
        3) Japan
        4) Israel
        5) United States
        6) Korea
        7) UK
        8) New Zealand
        9) Finland
        10) Australia

        I agree our system has deteriorated badly, at all levels. But not primarily as a result of government. And yes, in many instances government interfearance has been detrimental, but that is an inevitable side effect of bureaucratic expansion in expanding societies. Bureaucracies are machines – when they become too cumbersome you have to redesign them, or replace them with models that can do the job, but it’s impossible to eliminate them without eliminating the services they provide. And no, you can’t turn those into private sector operations without suffering worse inequities

        But the deeper problem is the societal breakdown in discipline and respect for authority we have seen throughout our culture in emerging generations over the past half century. Students are disrespectful, routinely insult and curse teachers, are permitted to disrupt classes with minimum punishment, etc. and if course, classes are way too large: 35 to 45 students in a classroom, often with a single teacher with no aides.

        I could go on for paragraphs, but dinner’s ready, and I rather eat…

      • dhlii permalink
        August 8, 2016 6:42 pm


        Yes, Putin could be waiting – I am not sure how that benefits him.
        A bird in hand is generally worth two in the Bush.

        The easiest time to take Clinton out over the emails was before Comey’s decision. Afterwards you are counting on voters.

        Yes, he could be looking to black mail her later.
        If there is something he could successfully black mail the president of the united states – should we elect her ?

        Do you think about what you write ?

        What is there so damning that Putin could blackmail Pres. Clinton that is not also so bad we should not elect her ?

        I doubt he is holding nude pictures of Hillary.

        Regardless, even if he is holding something and looking to later blackmail pres. Clinton – that again means he wants Pres. Clinton – not Pres. Trump.

        There are ways to get Putin favoring Trump – but they are based on emotion not reason. People do act out of emotion. But we rarely bet on world leaders acting on emotion.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 8, 2016 6:52 pm

        You are jumping all over. Frankly many of your claims – make my argument – if you think them through.

        Why would Russia, Germany, or any other nation not wish to reveal that they have Cinton’s emails ?

        Oh, please that is trivial. You really are clueless on international espionage.
        There are multiple things of value in reading another foreign leaders communications.
        One is the knowledge in the emails. The other is the advantage gained because others do not know you know what is in those emails.
        Even in this instance – where we have good reason to beleive that other nations have those emails. We still do not know for certain.

        Russia (or any other nation) will pay a price – though likely a small one, for revealing they have Clinton’s emails.
        Just as Snowden’s revelations that we were hacking friendly world leaders cell phones harmed us.

        There is value in knowing others secrets,
        There is value in others not knowing you know.
        There is even value is the mere uncertainty that you know.

        In Putin’s case the value of revealing that the KGB has Clinton’s emails would likely exceed that of all reasons for not doing so
        IF and ONLY IF Putin favors Trump.

        You can make this as complex as you wish.
        The bottom line is that If Putin favored Trump he would almost certainly have taken Clinton out already.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 9:01 pm

        “The bottom line is that If Putin favored Trump he would almost certainly have taken Clinton out already.”

        ‘Oft repeating an untruth, men come to believe it themselves.’

      • dhlii permalink
        August 8, 2016 6:55 pm


        The mere confirmation that Russia has Clinton’s emails would have given Comey everything he needed to prosecute Clinton and would have made it politically impossible for DOJ and Obama to prevent that.

        It does not matter whether there is something more damaging in them.

        The damage is the difference between the probability and the certainty that Russia has them.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 9:14 pm

        “Clinton’s emails would have given Comey everything he needed to prosecute Clinton and would have made it politically impossible for DOJ and Obama to prevent that.”

        Not according to Comey.
        You’re inventing that wishful thinking outcome.
        He didn’t evaluate her actions in regard to whether the emails were hacked or not.
        He evaluated her actions regarding the servers and emails to see if they reached the definition of GROSS negligence, as stated in the subdivision of the law pertaining to that charge. They didn’t.

        I’m bored with this topic. I went through it throughly on websites comprised of constitutional lawyers. Hillary made a dumb mistake using personal servers. She was negligent, but not to a chargeable level. You’re a petty niggling jerk to keep bringing it up.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 8, 2016 7:04 pm


        I suggest that you chart out all your hypothetical scenarios with respect to Clinton Putin and the emails.

        Look at each possibility and based on that hypothetical and what we actually know rank it as to whether it means Putin favors Trump or Clinton.

        I am flabergasted at the extent that those on the left go to deceive themselves.

        If you strike a king, kill the king – Emerson.

        If Putin was responsible for the release of the DNC hacks AND he has Clinton’s Sec State Emails he would have used them already to.

        You do not wound a very dangerous and powerful enemy leaving them to later return and avenge themselves. And Clinton has a very well established reputation for dishing vengance out cold.

        For innumerable reasons it is highly unlikely that Putin actually favors Trump.

        But you left wing nuts can convince yourselves of anything.

  15. dhlii permalink
    August 5, 2016 6:11 pm


    Compared to the crop we got this time – of course Johnson/Weld looks sane.

    I mean really – Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Cruz, Bush, Graham, Huckaby, Perry, Santorum ?

    I have major problems with Johnson’s position on “religious freedom” as do alot of libertarians, but no candidate is perfect.

    He has also argued quiet well that while there are a lot of things that a libertarian president can do – there is an awful lot he can not. That even if we elected him we should not expect big changes, the president has very limited ability to change the law.

    I would hope that anyone with even the slightest doubts about these other two, would atleast tell polsters they would vote for Johnson.

    There is a small chance he might get into the debates – that would atleast force the other two statists to confront a bunch of issues they are not likely to even be questioned on otherwise.

    I would also note the “were not the crazy ones this time” meme has an incredible amount of truth to it.

    The good news is neither Hillary nor Trump stand a snowballs chance of getting their platform or policies. I have some respect for Stephen Moore who appears to be key on Trumps economic team. But most analysis I am hearing that I beleive actually has Trump spending significantly more than Clinton – and Clinton is spending money that does not exist. I do not understand why we are rushing headlong to join Greece.

    I know everyone here reads economic papers in their spare time. Anyway Reinhart and Roggoff – not libertarains or anything close by a long shot did a paper just after 2008 on the negative economic consequences of debt.
    The good news is if there is a tipping point – it is a long way off.
    The bad news is we are well past the point where the debt we have is dragging the economy, and as it grows the drag will get worse.

    There are alot of reasons why we had 1.2% growth last quarter, and an average below 2% since 2009, Debt is a significant one of those reasons.

    The current trend line puts Oct Growth at .5% and may put us in recession by 2017.

    Someone at the debates needs to be talking about fiscal sanity – and it is not going to be Trump or Clinton.

  16. dhlii permalink
    August 5, 2016 6:41 pm


    The money that goes to the Clinton Foundation goes to Clinton’s and their cronies

    CF is one of the worst “charities” in the world. The closest thing that CF does to charity is telling others how to do charity. But mostly it is their to provide a resume item and incredible pay to the Clinton Family and their Cronies

    Charity Watch – the world’s most prestigious charity watchdog – and not some right wing nut group, has CF on its watch list and is calling it a “slush fund”
    In 2013 CF took in 140M and spent 9M on direct aide.

    “The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.”

    A “good” charity would have spent approx 100M on direct aide.

    While Sec. State Clinton signed off on a deal that gave a Russian GSE control of 1/5 of US uranium and shortly their after the group pledged $130M to CF.

    Further CF has failed to properly file its taxes for atleast the past 5 years and is in the process of fixing them and refiling – it is expected that tens of millions of additional “donations” will be disclosed. Likely from less savory sources.

    There are pretty damning stories about CF that have come from that in the tanbk for the right news organization – the New York Times.

    Further there are all kinds of other complications, such as a tangled web of connections between Clinton, Clinton staffers, CF Staffers, CF itself and separate private companies that the Clintons have stakes in that are are tangled together. While there might be a few making contributions for truly charitable purposes, there is an enormous amount of “buying access” and the present and future rewards of that. We even have salaries being paid to priviledged members of Clinton’s staff as Sec. State by either CF or for profit Clinton affiliated organizations.

    There is little doubt that it is incredibly rewarding to be a Friend of Bill or a Friend of Hillary.

    Though possibly more disturbing is the long hitlist Hillary is know to keep of slights and enemies and her propensity to serve revenge up cold.

    While some of the same can be said of Trump – for the most part it is all out in the open.
    If someone gets in Trumps way – Trump is in the news immediately with his fists clenched.
    Trump had a recent spat with a fire marshal – and we all know about it.
    Those who did not serve Hillaries whim in the recent primaries will likely see their own Political “night of the long knives” all to soon if she is elected.

    So who is your choice for president – somewhat who wears every emotion on his sleave, who body checks you immediately if you brush him the wrong way and then moves on, or someone who notes every slight for quiet by deadly repayment later, while smiling ?

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 5, 2016 6:54 pm

      “CF is one of the worst “charities” in the world. The closest thing that CF does to charity is telling others how to do charity. But mostly it is their to provide a resume item and incredible pay to the Clinton Family and their Cronies

      Charity Watch – the world’s most prestigious charity watchdog – and not some right wing nut group, has CF on its watch list and is calling it a “slush fund”
      In 2013 CF took in 140M and spent 9M on direct aide.”

      Complete horseshit. This is what passes for conservative news gathering.

      an excerpt:

      Considering all of the organizations affiliated with the Clinton Foundation, he said, CharityWatch concluded about 89 percent of its budget is spent on programs. That’s the amount it spent on charity in 2013, he said.

      But I am sure you will not admit that you are talking pure malicious crap, Dave the never ever wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 7:53 pm

        So in your view Charity watch and the New York Times are in the pocket of the right ?

        This stuff is not coming from Fox.

        Yes, charity watch eventually capitulated to the Clintons – when powerful people come at you with knives that is often what is done.
        I would suggest checking past ratings.
        I would also suggest reading the NYT, I would also suggest reading the tax returns.
        I would also suggest listing what you think CF actually does.

        Do you honestly beleive that CF went from less than ten percent to 88% in 2 years without cooking the books – and getting CW to change its criteria ?

        Charity navigator no longer rate CF – it is claiming that is because of its “unusual business model” – -RIGHT. when pigs fly. They were rolled.
        There “unusual business model” is we are incredibly powerful and can totally destroy you and everyone knows that is what we do to our enemies.
        Regardless, They STILL spend next to nothing on direct charity.
        They spend a fortune traveling the world to tell others how to do charity – or claiming to tell other how to do charity or on administration and management structured in ways to pretend it is actual charity.

        The entire answer reads like you are watching a game of 3 card monte – and the clintons are dealing – and you know who is going to lose.

        What you get is lots of “explanations”. Well if you use the accounting standards that are used to rate every other charity – the results look like crap. But if you use completely different accounting methods than are normally used to rank charities and report the results to the IRS – then the results look pretty good. Of course that requires completely restructuring their finances.

        These are the same kind of things that Enron and MCI Worldcomm were saying not so long ago – people went to jail over their accounting.

        The good news is CF is not going bankrupt – atleast not so long as people are paying for access to the clintons.

        And why are you linking to any of the socalled “fact check” orgainizations. They have been in the tank for the left for a long long time.
        Most of them haven;t a clue what a fact is.
        Most of the time their own explanations make zero sense.

        I would also note that if you actually read the factcheck org report you linked to – they do not really let CF off the hook.

        I forget which one recently rated Trump “pants on fire” for claiming that the crime rate was increasing.

        It is true that the long term trend in crime has been down.
        It is also true that in most major urban areas in this country in the past year there has been a large upward spike in violent crime.
        It is too soon to know if that is a trend, but it is defintely not “pants on fire”
        But the rating was defended because Trump did not explictly state – in the past year – or in major cities.

        A rule of thumb is to be considered truthful there can not be any possible way of looking at any remark from someone on the right that might not support their argument, while if there is maybe possibly any way in creation to interpret a remark from someone on the left as true then the fact check organizations treat it as true.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 8:02 pm

        What the h# is “affiliated” organizations ?

        The Fraternal order of Police is “affiliated” with your local police.
        Do we count the work of the police as part of the charity of the FOP ?

        This also works the other way in other places – to cook the books CF had to “spin off” – not count, many related entities and then spin in others.

        Some of us grasp that there is a shell game of charities, for profits, and quasi for profits that are going on here.

        But let me ask you a different but related question.

        Do you beleive the Clinton’s have a reputation for truthfulness or word parsing and deceipt ?

        If you beleive they are truthful – then you are going to beleive that they are also charitable. If you do not then you are going to read everything wondering where the part were “it depends on what the definition of is is”.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 5, 2016 8:10 pm

        “Yes, charity watch eventually capitulated to the Clintons – when powerful people come at you with knives that is often what is done.”

        Any proof of that? I read the article that I linked. You are completely wrong about what the CF does and you are resorting to unprovable conspiracy theories. You can’t prove it because it ain’t true. If the right wing horseshit you are talking about really were true then the GOP would have its real scandal. But it died in 2013 because there were no there there. Doesn’t the right wish they actually had something for once. But people like yourself who are a few bricks shy of a full load will believe anything that supports your crackpot worldview.

        As well, the idea that you stated above:

        “However, any idiot who can sit on their hands and do little or nothing for 4-8 years can be president.”

        is an exceptionally unserious idea. Its a comic book idea. Its truly an idiotic thing to believe stated by people who have no serious idea of the US government. The loon portions of the GOP (and libertarians as well) do seem to actually believe it, and they have effectively communicated their belief to the extent that moderates (NOT the same as independents), who actually swing presidential elections, will be the death of every GOP nominee for the foreseeable future. If the GOP can cleanse itself someday of this kind of stupidity they may become a presidential party again. I’m sure the adult wing of the party desperately wishes that would happen and I honestly feel for them.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 6, 2016 12:54 pm

        An interesting on rising crime in major cities, backing up with data, exactly why Trump says that urban law and order has decreased, and violent crime has increased. As Dave says, it’s important to use recent data.

        It’s a point that many have made about the end of “stop and frisk” in NYC. Mayor DeBlasio, an Obama and Clinton supporter, has used older crime stats to show that there has been no change, but that is untrue. It’s gotten worse.

    • Jay permalink
      August 5, 2016 7:53 pm

      You really are a robot of conservative drivel.

      I don’t have time to address all of it, but for starters, yes, the Clintons have occasionally contracted with people they know and friends, and on one or two occasions with relatives. But those people were affiliated with companies specializing in large scale emergency contracting work: re-building washed out roads after floods, building shelters, etc. that’s how it works after Disasters in the US and elsewhere, people get on the phone and call other people they know, to get things rolling. The Clintons don’t benefit financially FROM the Fiundation; the foundation benefits GREATLY from their ability to charm or coerce donations from diverse benefactors worldwide.

      Are some of those donators hoping for future ‘access’ to the Clintons? Probably, but so what. There’s NO EVIDENCE, NONE that previous donations to the Foundations were rewarded any government favors in return. That’s a bull crap charge, just likeyour Uranium to the Russian charge, in which you failed to note Clinton was one of nine government agency heads who signed off on the same deal, including the Department of Homeland Security. And that the Russians were prohibited from exporting any of the uranium.

      You need to start looking into the news you’re being fed by right wing propagandists. You have to investigate both sides of the issues, not get one propagandistic flow funneled down your gullet like a goose fattened for Foie Gras.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 8:14 pm

        Huma Abedin is affiliated with companies specializing in large scale emergency contracting work ?

        I love the word “affiliated”. I also have friends who are “affliated” with the mob. It is just another not so polite way of saying “influence peddling”.

        I thought that you lefties did not beleive in private charity after natural disasters – I though you wanted a better brownie of FEMA ?

        Regardless, no that is not actually how it works after natural disasters.
        Not in the US not elsewhere.

        What you are talking about is the Haiti model – where governments and GSE’s feed billions to NGO’s who fight with each other over who gets to take credit for what – while nothing actually gets done.
        Haiti received 13B in aide over 5 years for 85,000 people who are worse off than before the earthquake and today not alot better off than they were after it.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 9:57 pm

        I am going to be a bit careful here because – The Clintons are not running much of a real charity by any reasonable standards.

        That said it is also true that the net benefit of most real charity with regard to aide to developing countries is negative.

        I would suggest reading, or listening to William Easterly – he is one of the world’s most highly respected development economist, and after a lifetime of study he has found that successful aide to foreign countries very nearly impossible. That whether from private charitable sources or governments it nearly always produces net negative results.

        We have spent $600B on aide to africa in the past 45 years – with ZERO rise in standard of living.

        Some of the worst failed states in Africa – Somlia, Seira Lone, The congo, received vast amounts of aide BEFORE they failed.

        2/3 of aide goes to the countries with the WORST records for corruption – and that portion is rising.
        Statistically Aide makes cooruption worse, blocks democracy.

        80% of US aide to africa is spent in the US on US companies who whatever it is they do does not in the end benefit those it is supposed to help – and the US does better than other nations such as France or China.

        Atleast 1/2M africans died of Malaria in 2015. A disease that can be treated for about .12/person. We spend Billions on Africa in 2015, and still those people died, and standard of living did not rise.

      • August 5, 2016 10:51 pm

        “We have spent $600B on aide to africa in the past 45 years – with ZERO rise in standard of living”.

        Kind of sounds like our war on poverty. Send millions to lift the living standards of those in need, millions are wasted or skimmed for uses other than lifting those in poverty and then those in poverty are actually worse off. Would be interesting to see how the money was given to African countries, ie, direct payments to the governments, payments to organizations working to improve living standards…..There are ways to provide assistance and have that assistance do what it was set out to do. I think the Gates foundation may have a model that works fairly good, but they also require accountability for the funds given. Critics also believe that the Gates Foundation exerts too much influence over public in the use of funds so they must be doing something right.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 10:19 pm

        What “right wing propagandists” do you think I am having funneled into my gullet ?

        Many of my sources on economics are such noted right wing loons as Christina Romer – Pres. Obama’s first Chief economic advisor.
        Paul Krugman – before he turned from an economist to a political schill.
        Reinhart and Roggoff, The world Bank, the IMF, even reports on sweden by the swedish government. I cite the IPCC AR5 on Global warming –
        in this argument I was citing Charity Watch – before they kowtowed to the “the Clinton Foundation Does Charity accounting different” nonsense, or Charity Navigator – before they decided the simplest thing to do was not report Clinton Foundation as a charity any more, or The New York Times.

        I do not think I have heard Limbaugh’s voice in a decade. It has likely been atleast as long since I saw anything on Fox. I listen to that right wing bastion – NPR on my drive to work. I have seen atleast an order of magnitude more Rachel Maddow than Rush Limbaugh – which translates to very little of one and none of the other.

        Still I would like to directly confront the central fallacy in your “foie Gras”

        A truth shouted by Adolph Hitler is still the truth. I lie uttered by mother Theressa is still a lie.

        We should consider the source when evaluating arguments – but that does not excuse us from evaluating them.
        Pew found Fox significantly less ideologically skewed than MSNBC in the last presidential election – I would not know – I have not watched either in a long time.

        Regardless, you should not take something as true because I have said it, or as false. You should confirm whether my data checks out.
        Not by comparing it to talking heads sharing your own ideology – that is called confirmation bias, but by actually checking the data.

        I expect you to do so – but not by checking with “politifact” or “fact” – you think that people who call themselves fact checkers are somehow inherently trustworthy ?

        Charity Watch really did make the claims I asserted in 2013, and Charity navigator was in a war with Clinton Foundation, subsequently both of these organizations have walked back those claims – they have not really said they were not true – just that the Clinton Foundation is “different” and if you measure it by a metric we do not use for other charities it does not look so bad. Neither did Enron or MCI Worldcomm.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 10:35 pm

        I am not so sure about the “no evidence” argument – but even if true – so what ?

        A judge was recently removed from the Pennsylvania Supreme court – not for provaeable malfeasance or corruption but for the mere appearance of impropriety.

        That is the standard that judges – and Cabinet officials are supposed to adhere to.

        Jimmy Carter is involved in alot of charity that most of us would regard as real – is there even the appearance that people donate to habitat or other Carter groups for access to the political power that is Jimmy Carter ?

        Oh, and the donations to Carter all occured after he was out of office – and was not running again. Much of the Clinton mischeif occured while Hillary was Senator, or worse still Sec. State.

        You want to trash trump – go ahead, there is plenty there.
        You want to argue that he, not Clinton is the “lessor evil” I think your wrong and I think I can make my case, but in the end that is still an oppinion, and we are each entitled to our own – it is almost certain we will never get to see what both a Clinton and a Trump presidency would look like.

        But if you are trying to whitewash Clinton you are either naive or stupid, or so ideologically deluded you can not think straight.

        Clinton is the perfect proof of “public choice theory” – that however badly you think free people outside government such as in business will behave, no matter how greedy you think they are, government is made of the very same people – or worse, and there is one other difference – democrat, republican – even libertarain – “power corrupts”. Money is merely a means of renting power.

        I do not even trust Johnson to have the unlimited power that Clinton and Trump seem to beleive belongs to the president.

        Frodo offers the ring of power to Galadriel who responds

        “In place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen! Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me, and despair!”

        In the end even Frodo can not let go of power.

        Power corrupts – even the good – do you think that Trump or Clinton are “the good” ?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 5, 2016 10:45 pm

        You forget an awful lot.
        The “transparency and integrity” standards that Obama required Clinton to sign to take the Sec. State job not merely prohibited much of this conduct but also required its disclosure.

        As is typical of the left, when someone on the right does something even a touch in the grey area – they are an evil money grubbing racist.

        When those on the left dive into the swamp, there is always an excuse that those of you in the tank will buy.

        I loved Clinton’s response when she was questioned on her commitment to her assertions that all women claiming rape or sexual assault should be beleived – she said they should be beleived until it was proven they could not be. Yet there is no real evidence those making claims against Bill Clinton have lied, Yet Hillary has trashed them.
        She was leading a jihad against Lewinsky – despite the fact that Lewinsky herself was denying her own story – until the blue dress showed up.
        I remember all the left assertions of how evil and not to be trusted all the figures associated with the Lewinsky story were.

        So How did Bill Clinton’s semen end up on Monica’s dress ?
        And what is the meaning of “is” ?

      • Jay permalink
        August 6, 2016 1:46 pm


        The Clinton Foundation is not a charity in the limited sense you seem to be using it: it’s project oriented, and functions to reduce poverty and improve global health, “part matchmaker, helping wealthy donors connect with doers, and part active participant, directly running programs, especially in health care.”

        “In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that by the end of 2013, more than 11.7 million people were on antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries. While the kinds of drugs have changed, the WHO said “in the past decade the price of individual antiretroviral formulations has decreased considerably.”

        “The treatments used in the early days have fallen from a median cost of about $600 in 2003 to about $100 a decade later. A more advanced drug combination introduced in 2005 saw a similar decline.
        Importantly, the WHO listed the Clinton Health Access Initiative as one of a handful of organizations collaborating on ensuring a steady supply of drugs. The partners in that effort include the biggest players, including several United Nations agencies, PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and UNITAID, a project created by  Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom.”

        Get it? Lives are being saved, health and standards of living raised through various Clinton a Foundation programs. Who gives a rat ass if the money comes from nations or institutions currying favor. And if the irony escapes you of homophobic Muslim nations donating to help fight AIDS, you’re too dazed and confused for future discussion about them.

      • Jay permalink
        August 6, 2016 1:55 pm

        More Dave: you’re bringing up Hillary’s defense of her husband being charged with rape as reason not to vote for her, which is a default Trump vote? Really? And interjecting semen stains as part of the discussion too? Pathetic.

  17. dhlii permalink
    August 5, 2016 7:10 pm

    Ron P.

    I do not honestly expect Johnson to get 15% of the necescary polls – but he has gotten to 12% atleast once and in double digits several times.

    There is increasing media interest in Johnson and Stein – though she has even farther to go.

    I also do not expect Johnson to get more than 4-5% on election day. Too many people hate either Trump or Clinton so much they will vote for the other no matter what.

    I do not “hate” either of them. I am scared of both of them.
    I am honestly less scared of Trump. He is brash, loud, but relatively predictable, and highly unlikely to really cause problems.
    He is strongly non-interventionist, while Hillary is strongly neo-con.
    Trump might carpet bomb ISIS – but that is the worst he would do – and ISIS has actually attacked us – I think even Johnson would go after them – with a Declaration of War from congress. But Hillary could easily suck us into a massive quagmire in the mideast,

    At home we will witness the Clinton family sale of access, power and favors.

    While I think Trump may greatly exagerate his own wealth, he is still not really for sale.

    Regardless, there is about a 0% chance of democrats retaking the house – anytime in the next several decades.

    This far whatever is going on regarding Clinton and Trump has zero effect down ballot and Republicans are doing far better than expected in the Senate.
    It is still possible – though unlikely they will loose control of the senate. Regardless they are not going to be in as bad a position as they were in 2009.
    2018 is likely to be a big republican year – it is an off year election and far more democratic seats or either open or likely to faces strong challenges.
    Republicans have near total control over more than half the states and functional control and alot of the rest. That is not yet reflected in the Senate, but over time barring major changes it will be.

    One odd Trump factor is the blue collar democratic vote. Not only does Trump have it – which is why the swing states are all so close regardless of national polls, but there is a strong possibility that democrats have permanently lost it. This has always been a big danger for Democrats. Bill Clinton got elected as a fairly conservative democrat.
    Hillary was always running further to the left, but she had to shift pretty far left to protect her left flank from Sanders Warren and the like. The future power in the democratic party is pretty far to the left. The country is NOT that far left.

    Democrats have been playing a dangerous game with race baiting and similar nonsense.
    Eventually it does not work.

    Trump may need as little as 68% of the “white” vote to win the electoral college – he may or may not get it, but if the next republican candidate gets both the blue collar white vote that normally goes democrat and the educated white vote that normally goes republican – there are not enough minority votes to win.

    One of the things that has been going on is that whether we are slowly approaching a minority majority nation we will still be a significant plurality white.
    Democrats must do atleast as well with minorities as republicans to win.
    Winning hispanic votes is not enough, they must dominate them in the same way that republicans do the white vote. Despite the democratic demographics is destiny claim – there are numerous ways future demographics favor republicans.

    And the left shift of democrats only makes that worse.

    • August 5, 2016 8:17 pm

      He may be getting 12% in one or two polls, but don’t the candidate have to get 15% average in all 5 polls that are chosen by the “guru” that the council on presidential debates chooses. I have seen the past 5 polls used in previous elections and I believe two of those only ask for preference, Democrat or Republican with an “other” category. If those are the ones used this time, no one other than the two parties could get 15% average of all 5.

      I could be wrong in my understanding of the rules for inclusion, but this is what I think is happening.

  18. dhlii permalink
    August 5, 2016 8:06 pm

    Let me Frame Clinton/Trump in a completely different way – a thought experiment.

    If we all agreed ahead of time that on inauguration day, a special prosecutor would be empowered with a hundred million a year budget solely to investigate anything they pleased about whoever was elected
    between Clinton and Trump which do you think would be more likely to end up impeached ?

    I think that is unlikely to happen – Republicans are not going to investigate Trump,
    and they are not going to impeach Clinton – no matter what she does – which is part of the danger.

  19. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 5, 2016 8:15 pm

    Somebody defending trump’s semi-legitimacy as a viable candidate here post a link to a video, any video, where he sounds like an adult man talking about politics in an adult informed way to intelligent people. Just one video of Trump where he does not sound like an idiot.

    • mike300spartan permalink
      August 6, 2016 9:15 am

      For me personally, GW that is why I can’t support Trump, because I have watched him, unfiltered, no spin, just him speaking, and he sounds like a blowhard. I agree with just about everything dhlii /Dave says, except I think open borders sound insane to me. (Despite the fact that IMO we have nearly open borders already, I wish we did not.) I also researched a little about the Clinton Foundation charity, I really could not find anything terrible about it but I have more questions about how much control, if any, the Clintons have over who gets those $300K a year jobs at the top. (There are quite a number of charities that pay their top officials more than $300k so relatively speaking it doesn’t seem outrageous, but the jury is still out for me.) However, I did find this one video where Trump didn’t seem too bad:

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 6, 2016 10:04 am

        Jake Tapper is a pretty straight shooting news media guy, and he seems to think that Hillary is a liar. But, you guys are have a point , she lies very smoothly, without sounding like a blowhard:

      • dhlii permalink
        August 6, 2016 1:04 pm

        I could really care less about what those in a charity are paid.

        Frankly, mostly I could care less what they do.
        So long as giving money to CF is not buying influence in government current or future, if you want to donate money to a charity that does nto engage in much charity – so long as it is your money it is your business.

        I do have problems with rolling groups like charity watch or charity navigator, or reporters.

        If I give money to an organization I expect atleast two things.

        That most of the money will go to actual charity,
        that the charity will actually improve the standard of living of those it goes to.

        By those measures very very few charities accomplish any good.
        But if Russian Billionaires are giving CF hundreds of millions to cleanse their souls – that is their business.

        But who here believes that Russian billionaires gave CF more than 100M because their hearts bled and they wanted to advance the good work of the CF ?

        I care about rolling organizations like Charity watch – because that is like rolling Goodhousekeeping, or UL or finding a way to game the ratings system on ebay.

        It is damaging the information the rest of us use to make choices.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 6, 2016 1:15 pm

        Define what you think open borders is and why it is “insane” ?

        We had totally open boarders in america prior to the 19th century.
        We had fundimentally open boarders through to the early 20th century – with a few glaring exceptions.

        These are the periods of by far the most rapid growth in this country.

        Just to be clear, there is a difference between letting anyone who actually wants to come here in. and granting them citizenship or giving them the same entitlements as citizens.

        While I actually think that not only should we have open boarders, but also easy citizenship. I also think we should have zero entitlements, and severly limited government, and that a majority of voters do NOT have the privildge of expanding the power of governmnet merely because they are a majority.

        I know immigration is a big issue in this election.
        But the left is deceptive – Trump is WRONG about what we need – but he is offering a plan. The left not merely has no plan, but is not even trying to have one. The left wants open borders – sort of. But it does nto want the cost of open boards – as things are currently. And it is completely dodging that issue.

        The left argument is that Trump is racist for proposing an alternate to the lefts approach which no one in their right mind beleives will work.

        A working open boarders scheme requires either the total elimination of the social safety net, or a rigid and difficult to overcome barrier between residence and citizenship, and a divorce between residence and benefits.

        It is not racist to oppose stupid.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 6, 2016 10:06 am

      Someone say Trump was without flaws ? Even a good choice ?

      The argument is not which is evil. It is which is the lessor evil.

      There are some Trump supporters who are totally in the tank for Trump who try to defend everything he says. But not all that many. And not any here that I am aware of.

      But there are alot of Clinton supporters who try to spin absolutely everything – she has never actually done anything wrong – it is all a Jihad by right wing haters. Everything is made up, or totally out of proportion.

      If you are incapable of seeing that Hillary is deeply flawed as a person. You destroy your own credibility.

      I would also suggest that you consider that those people who seek office – particiularly high office are unlikely to be motivated by altruism of public service.

      White, Black, Rich, Poor, democrat, republican, people are attracted to different things for reasons particular to their nature.

      The left has been arguing that with the right leaders their schemes will work. Unlikely, but it does not matter – we will not get the right leaders.

      The left likes to say the system is rigged – though trump is now echoing that,.

      It is rigged – but the rigging in not by big money, it is by human nature.

      • August 6, 2016 1:33 pm

        “It is rigged – but the rigging in not by big money, it is by human nature.”

        So how does one without money rig the system?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 6, 2016 4:31 pm

      Really ? I have heard Trump speak many times. He is quite often not whacko.

      Just as Hillary often does not lie.

      There is a difference between he(or she) says things I disagree with, and they say things that are wacko or lies.

      Beyond that what is your standard ?

      Hillary constantly says things that are quite nuts – she just does so in a calm reasonable voice. If I offer genocide calmly and with poise – does that make me the best candidate for president. Trump on the other hand on occaison says reasonable things as if he is speaking at the reichstag – does that make him unqualified ?

      They have radically different styles. I like Clinton’s style better, but that has nothing to do with substance. I trust Trump very little, and clinton far less.

  20. James Wells permalink
    August 6, 2016 9:27 am

    Trump all the way vote trump

    • dhlii permalink
      August 6, 2016 12:55 pm

      Because he is the lessor evil – or because you actually beleive the nonsense he spouts ?

      Overall, I do think Trump is the lessor evil, but I still can not vote for him and live with myself.

      Given that one of Trump/Clinton is going to win I hope it is him. But really I want a do-over.
      Regardless, trashing Clinton does not make me blind to Trumps huge problems.
      I would hope that Clinton supporters would be more open about her huge faults.

      Tell me that Clinton is the lessor evil – and I can buy that we disaggree but you are not blind, have thought things through and made a choice based on the facts.

      Tell me Clinton is the most qualified candidate ever and I think you are a fruit bat who is completely ignorant of reality.

      I do not beleive that Business inherenly prepares one to govern. Nor do I beleive that holding public offices qualifies you to govern. Arguably most of the latter should be DISQUALIFIED.

      Government is NOT business, it should not be run the same way.
      But the objective of government is to provide the fertile environment for growth in standard of living. The techniques used by business do not work to that end in government.
      But the techniques of government do not either.

      Real imporovement in standard of living comes from the choices and actions of people outside of public life.

    • Jay permalink
      August 6, 2016 2:04 pm

      Trump for Dogcatcher!
      Oh wait – has the ASPCA complained over the way Trump properties treats pets?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 3:42 pm

        And then there is the way Bill Clinton treats women.

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 5:00 pm

        And let’s not forget the terrible way Bluto treated Olive Oil!

  21. Priscilla permalink
    August 6, 2016 9:42 am

    The way I see it, Hillary and the Democrats have been trying to score a knockout punch early in the campaign, by convincing voters that Trump is an unhinged, crazy person.

    Part of that strategy is no doubt calculated to keep the discussion focused on Trump and away from Hillary’s record and her policy proposals. She plans tax hikes and new taxes, many of which will affect the middle class. Rather than cut the corporate taxes that are helping to drive business overseas, she is proposing an “exit” tax on income earned overseas. Her “fair share” redistribution tax will raise capital gains and death taxes to help pay for “debt-free” college tuition and paid family leave, among other things. Things that sound good, but will not help the stagnant economy.

    Clearly, she also wants to keep the conversation away from her record as secretary of state, the highlights of which include a most definite inclination to be interventionist, as well as a failure to protect her classified information from our enemies. Clinton has basically supported pretty much every foreign war and military intervention of the 21st century, endearing her to many neocons angered by Donald Trump’s repudiation of the Iraq War.

    Attacking Trump as unhinged is really all she’s got, as far as I can see. Her record is poor, her policy proposals likely unpopular with many, possibly most Americans.

    Jay, you are a pretty good advocate for Hillary. Can you identify some actual accomplishments that show that Clinton is the “most qualified man or woman” ever to seek the office of president? Not titles, but actual accomplishments. Because, aside from the obvious hyperbole of that statement, what has she done that makes her qualified?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 6, 2016 12:37 pm

      I mostly do not care about their respective economic plans. I care alot about all the issues involved. But I do not expect either trump or Clinton to get any of their “plan” through.

      Steve Moore who mostly seems to know what he is doing economically is on Trumps economic team – but Trumps spouts off economic nonsense all the time.

      I find those trying to compare the details of their respective plans weird.
      Why do we care which of two things that is never going to happen will cost slightly less over 10 years ?

      Further quite honestly we are clueless at predicting economic futures.
      Welfare reform was actually supposed to be much more expensive than it turned out – still saving though, and supposed to result in much more screaming and angst.
      It went incredibly – well better than anyone expected – until Obama gutted it.

      Medicare was supposed to cost a tiny fraction of what it did.

      While PPACA has proven to be fiscally disasterous – it has not failed in most of the ways predicted, nor succeeded in the ways claimed. Basically everyone’s predictions were complete claptrap.

      There has been a big fight in congress over dynamic scoring.
      And there is a v ery serious issue there.

      The standard models used to predict the economic effects of government choices – are worthless.

      We know that tax increases rarely bring in much more revenue.
      We also know that tax decreases work far more complex than is often painted.

      Changes in marginal rates, changes in tax on investment have huge economic effects – but we do not want to hear that. We want to think that corporate taxes, taxes on the rich, capital gains taxes etc are just free money – when in fact they are the most economically damaging and the least likely to produce any revenue.

      Conversely we all want a middle class tax cut – but changes to middle class taxes have almost zero economic impact.
      We want that to be different – I want that to be different – but it is not.

      You note the US overseas corporate taxes – those are the greatest pure stupidity in existance. No other nation in the world taxes income made outside the country.
      We WANT companies and rich people to make money in other countries and bring it back here. Why would we want taxes that encourage companies to keep that money outside the US ? Why would we want to encourage companies to leave the country ?

      Both Trump and the left rant about globalization, but either Trump is too stupid to understand it – which I doubt or he is knowingly lying.

      Globalization is nothing more than broader freer markets, less ability for government to game the system, more competition, lower costs, greater value and higher standards of living – everywhere.

      Not only does globalization force companies to compete on a whole new level – it forces governments to compete in ways they never had to do before.
      Globalization is driving taxes down, the scale of government down and freedom up.
      It is doing this – even where that is not actually what government or businesses want.
      Because that is how actual competition works.

      Government and regulation creates barriers to entry,
      Globalization and competition destroys them

      Back to the point – why should I look at Trump or Clinton’s plans ?
      Neither stand a snowbalss chance of being enacted.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 6, 2016 1:11 pm

        Good point, Dave.

      • August 6, 2016 8:15 pm

        “Globalization is nothing more than broader freer markets, less ability for government to game the system, more competition, lower costs, greater value and higher standards of living – everywhere.”

        Poppycock. Globalization is doing NOTHING except creating a slave labor class and a plutocracy. Because all the middle class jobs that left this country are just sweatshops in developing countries. If moving all those jobs overseas was so good for the economy, why is it not booming all over the world? Because they are NOT paying good wages in other countries. Yes, corporations left the US because they had to maintain safety standards and pay good wages – as you would think they would want to do in a “Christian” nation.

        The standard of living has not gone up in this country, it has gone down as wages have gone down. What one man earned to take care of a family in the 50s now takes 2 parents working just to make ends meet. Don’t give me that sorry conservative rhetoric that the younger generations are lazy – they are just ridiculously underpaid.

        Of course the USA could be the leaders we once were for the working class (when it was middle class). We could refuse to import from countries that don’t have laws protecting workers. Or slap high tariffs on them. Or other possibilities to level playing field for “competition”.

        As long as there are countries willing to exploit workers, there will be no true way to have a middle class. The wealthy are not job creators – a middle class with big purchasing power is. If they have no money, they are not buying and therefore businesses have no need to hire.

        The continued cry of “cheap labor” by manufacturers is really “screw working people”. The secret to the wealth of the USA after WWII was a well-paid working class.

        Of course, conservatives always scream “communism” when you point out these basic facts. When workers demand fair wages, it has been labeled “re-distribution” or socialism by the right. All just to make sure things stay the same – the wealthy WANT the economy in its present state. High unemployment always means lower wages.

      • Jay permalink
        August 6, 2016 10:31 pm

        “The standard of living has not gone up in this country, it has gone down as wages have gone down.”

        Gallup doesn’t agree.

      • August 7, 2016 8:07 am

        Gallup just asked if people were satisfied with their standard of living – that is hardly a scientific procedure for finding the actual standard. It also did not give the ages of the sampled – only those over 18, half cell phones, half landlines. Guess the age group of those most likely to still have landlines? Retirees. Who is mostly likely to take the time to answer this poll? Retirees. Which if you have been keeping up, this bunch is retiring as the richest generation ever.

        Of course this is the same batch of people who sold our jobs overseas, helping them to get this rich.

        If they had polled only people born after 1960, you would have found an entirely different answer.

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 11:16 am

        Between 1990 and 2015, the UN Human Development Report, which tracks standard of living data world wide, has shown that number for the US steady INCREASING each year.

        “The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living. The HDI is the geometric mean of normalized indices for each of the three dimensions.

        The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth, the education dimension is measured by mean of years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and more and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age. The standard of living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita. The HDI uses the logarithm of income, to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing GNI. The scores for the three HDI dimension indices are then aggregated into a composite index using geometric mean. Refer to Technical notes for more details.”

      • August 6, 2016 11:58 pm

        Moogie, I know you will not respond to this, but I am going to say this anyway.

        First I agree with much you say about jobs moving overseas and good paying jobs going with them. I don’t know what your age is or how much you know about the 1992 elections, but there was a candidate by the name of Ross Perot running as an independant that received 20% of the vote.

        One of his key comments was “We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It’s pretty simple: If you’re paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor,…have no health care—that’s the most expensive single element in making a car— have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement, and you don’t care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking sound going south …when [Mexico’s] jobs come up from a dollar an hour to six dollars an hour, and ours go down to six dollars an hour, and then it’s leveled again. But in the meantime, you’ve wrecked the country with these kinds of deals.”
        Perot ultimately lost the election, and the winner, Bill Clinton, supported NAFTA, which went into effect on January 1, 1994. So how about not putting all the blame on conservatives for the jobs we have lost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Second, yes it does take two incomes to manage what one income managed in the 50’s. But do people live the same today as people in the 50’s. No they don’t. Middle class in the 50’s was a two bedroom, one bath house, one car in the garage and it usually had a few years on it. not many conveniences in the house other than a stove, refrigerator and washing machine. Air conditioning was a fan in the window, the cloths dryer was a line hanging between two trees or two post in the ground. When people bought their first house, it was basically a nice shack that was 30-40 years old and their first cars were wired together with bailing wire to keep them running. They worked up to the bigger house and better car.

        Now kids want what their parents have now, they go neck deep in debt to get it, they spend tons on gadgets, do not save for anything and complain when they max out their credit cards and can’t buy the next iphone that hits the market.

        And colleges have found that kids can get easy loans, so they keep raising tuition and people keep paying it. There is no supply and demand controls because the demand is there since students can get thousands each year and not until demand drops will tuition drop also. Then when they have their degree from Bowdunk U with a degree in early Egyptian mythology and can’t get a good paying job, they complain about conservatives screwing up the economy and causing job losses.

        It is not conservatives, it is not liberals, it is not Libertarians, Greenees or any other political party that has screwed up the economy of this country. It is the people we have sent to Washington for years that cater to the special interest and then will not make any decisions to fix problems for fear of not getting reelected. EXAMPLE: Social Security.

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 12:31 am

        Ron you have it right on about the middle class in the 1950s.

        But it still took two incomes for most to survive – women generally went back to work after the kids were in school, full time or part time jobs. And stay at home moms worked family survival hours then : cooking, cleaning, shopping were way more time consuming.

        It was a different world then with different expectations. Our collective mindset has changed – you can blame a good part of that on the proliferation of carrot dangling media advertising, which has convinced us all we have to own more than we need or feel like failures in gadget infested America.

        This is not an exclusive American malaise. The rest of the industrial world is in the same dilemma: as standards of living rise, working class labor becomes vulnerable to replacement by other working classes in poorer nations. I don’t see a viable solution in our lifetimes, or for generation to come.

      • August 7, 2016 1:15 am

        Jay according to “The Economics Daily” website, the employment participation rate in 1950 was 87% male and 34% female. In 1960 it was about 82% and 38%. In 2010 the male participation rate was about 72% and female at 60%.

        And the majority of the women who worked in the 50’s were teachers and nurses. Some worked as clerks in stores, but other employment was limited and most were lower paid individuals. Their income, if they had a job, did not do much to raise the standard of living. Even teachers and nurses were not paid much.

        One thing that we don’t think of when we look at the above numbers is the cost of child care when 60% of the female population works. My daughter , who lives in Salt Lake City,has two children under 4 years old and pays almost $18,000 per year on child care for those two children. With taxes and child care, her take home pay doesn’t add up to much.

        And I suspect people in lower income brackets have the same cost, so their take home pay is even less.

        Maybe if we looked at family net income after child care and compared the 50’s to the 00’s, there may not be much difference in adjusted income after adjusting for the buying power of a dollar between the two family income and the one family income

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 1:31 am

        I mostly agree with your comment.

        Yes, women were paid less for work, but my point was that extra money was usually needed to pay the bills, or afford the luxury of a TV or stereo, etc, which did raise the family’s standard of living.

        Also add to your list of modern family expenses when both working: a housekeeper @ $200 a month; restaurant take out or delivered food @ $50 a meal with tip when both are too tired to cook; survailance service and/or equipment @ $50 a month; dog walker @$40 a week.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 7, 2016 8:41 am

        Ron, don’t forget to add that those easy student loans are now controlled by the government, so that the interest can be used to subsidize Obamacare. This was part of the ACA that no one in either party talks about.

        The interest rate on these loans is much higher than the prevailing consumer rate. That’s because it’s the government borrowing the funds, and then marking them up about 4% before issuing the money to the student.

        And, of course, the student has almost no control over the money, which is issued directly to the college or university. Most students have little to no understanding of what they are taking on in terms of debt, until they graduate….often with tens of thousands of loans to repay and no good jobs in sight. And, even when they do, with even public universities averaging $10K a year, it’s often impossible for them to get a degree without borrowing.

        Why the Republicans have failed to make an issue of this in the past two elections is beyond me. Although, I suppose they want to be able to count on money from the indentured servitude middle class student as well.

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 11:21 am

        The student loans should be interest free.

        And if after graduation you enter professions like teaching or nursing or the military, a portion of the loan should be deducted for each year of work.

      • August 7, 2016 1:00 pm

        “The student loans should be interest free.
        And if after graduation you enter professions like teaching or nursing or the military, a portion of the loan should be deducted for each year of work.”

        Right on.

      • August 7, 2016 12:20 pm

        “Why the Republicans have failed to make an issue of this in the past two elections is beyond me.”

        Can you imagine what people like Moogie would say when the Republicans in congress begin trying to change the student loan program? It would sound the same as the GOP pushing grandma over the proverbial cliff.

        This is an entitlement program and no politician will touch one of those with a 10 foot pole.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 4:04 pm


        I am trying to follow the logic.

        At the same time as jobs were leaving the US for china, the standard of living in china increased over 200 fold – a feat never matched in that short a time in human history.

        So good jobs in the US (jobs slaving over mills, and sewing machines, and …) have gone to chinese sleave sweatshops – causing the standard of living in China to skyrocket so much that many of those same textiles jobs are now headed to places like bangeledesch.

        I remember saving pennies and nickels in milk cartons for the starving millions in Bangeledesch when I was a child. Now instead of millions starving a few are dying in factory fires – and again the standard of living in bangeledesh is skyrocketing.

        The recent trend is for manufacting to return to the US. Highly automated manufacturing with few well paid jobs.

        But according to you the purpose of globalization is slave labor and sweat shops.

        Well whatever the motives the results are:
        Improved standard of living in the US because we are growing high skill high paid jobs. And because we are paying ever less for goods.
        Improved standards of living in all those slave labor sweatshop countries.

        It IS booming all over the world – over the past 40 years the standard of living for the entire world has DOUBLED – that is despite the fact that the population has also doubled – that means on the whole we are producing and consuming 4 times what we did before.
        BTW the same is true of the US individually. China and India have done dramatically better – between them that is nearly half the worlds population.

        The places that have not done so well ? The mideast, and Africa.

        BTW over the past 3 decades US manufacturing output has DOUBLED.

        Can you please cite a single fact that actually supports your nonsensical claims ?

        Name a country in the world that has taken those supposedly good middle class jobs from us (really low skill relatively poorly paying jobs), that is not doing far better today ?

        “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

        ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      • August 7, 2016 6:43 pm

        When you start reading sources with FACTS, we’ll be able to discuss this intelligently. The middle class has been disappearing for over 25 years!! My standard of living is not equal to my grandparents, and I have a degree, and this is true for a huge number of us born in the 60s & 70s.

        Apparently you missed my critical thinking on that Gallup poll. Interviewing 13,000 people (out of 320 million), most of them over 65, hardly demonstrates that we have a “higher” standard of living.

        The “standard of living” in those countries has gone from having to walk 3 miles to the river to having a community well. They probably still don’t have indoor plumbing for most people and no electricity. Certainly not what you or I would settle for. And the factory conditions are appalling. But to you workers are just disposable, as long as we have “cheap labor”. The world economy is still in the toilet, so the standard of living is nothing to brag about.

      • August 7, 2016 6:50 pm

        You far right conservatives never cease to amaze me how you can look at the sky that everyone else sees as blue and you will say it is green. And you will keep on saying it and saying it till the more gullible half of the population believes you.

        Every.single.reliable.source. I have read in the past 25 has told of the stagnating wages in this country, the selling of our jobs overseas, the ruination of unions that protected working people and the increasing Income Inequality. But here is another one of you crying “all is well”. SMDH

      • August 9, 2016 10:22 am

        More facts for you to ignore. Been reading articles like this for over 25 years now. but even staring you in the face you will cling to your ways. But conservatives are extremely good at that.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 4:34 pm

        Ron P.

        I liked Perot, but he was totally wrong about trade and so are you.

        First and most fundimentally – standard of living is what we can consume.
        And we can not consume what we do not produce.
        It is not rooted in income, it is rooted solely in what we produce.

        There is no difference between earning $7.50 and hour and paying 300 for rent and earning 15/hr and paying 600 for rent.

        Losing a job making $10/hr to someone doing the same thing for $1/hour harms you – ONLY if you are unable to find another job that actually produces $10 in value/hr. HOWEVER, the world as a whole – and even our country is better off because what you produced before is now available to us all for much much less.

        In economics there is a law or principle called “comparative advantage”, you should look into it.

        But the gist of it is that if you want a higher standard of living you need to either produce much more of the same thing at lower cost or produce something even more valueable.
        It means that if you want to be a nation of garment workers then you had better be content with the standard of living of garment workers.

        You an perot complain about jobs going to mexico – and conditions down their. Are conditions in mexico in factories today worse than those in the US in the 19th century ? Is polution worse ?

        We got to where we are through the conditions of the 19th century.
        Those of the 19th were much better than the 18th and those of the 21st are better than those before.

        Not only are we better off today than the 50’s we are MUCH better off today than the 50’s.

        My tenants who are bottom qunitile, all have AC, have cars that will last 200,000 miles, have laptops, flat screens, bigger apartments than my middle class father did in the 50’s, cell phones, better medical care, better food at much lower prices.

        People in the 50’s might have been happy with their lives – but the standard of living of the middle class in the 50’s was lower than that of the poor today.

        People always see the past as somehow better then the present. We have been doing that throughout human existance.
        It is rarely true, It has not been on the whole true in the US since columbus.

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 5:06 pm

        “First and most fundimentally – standard of living is what we can consume.”

        You need to look at your Monahan quote about opinions and facts

      • August 7, 2016 7:29 pm

        You have your facts that you are using to support your position and I have my documentation to support my position on NAFTA.
        And there are many other sites that provide this same basic understanding of NAFTA. We both have facts to argue our point and I suspect neither of us will change our minds.

        As for standard of living, I would offer that consumer debt (which I talked about with the younger generations) has much to do with the increase you comment about. According to a 2010 article from the average American personal debt in 1940s and 1950s was less than $2,000. The same report links to an article in The Atlantic that states the 2010 total personal debt (non-real estate) is about $10,168. (The same article shows a total debt of $1,186 in 1948.) The key here is the article adjusts backwards for inflation so that the $1,186 amount is comparing $1,186 in 2010 dollars to $10,168 in 2010 dollars. In other words the actual amount of total debt in 1948 would have been lower — about $130 in total debt– but the value of that $130 dollars in 2010 would be $1,186. People paid for what they had or they did not buy it.

        So maybe Joe Smoe drives two nice cars, has an HDTV, eats out twice a week with his wife. has internet connections and fancy smart phones and all the other bells and whistles you speak of, but our we really better off with the consumer debt we have, or was the generation in the 50’s happier because what they had they owned and they did not have to worry about making payments on time each month like so many today.

        But remember, this comment comes from a credit adverse individual that will not buy anything unless the money is available to pay for it, including cars, so that can cloud my thinking alot. And that thinking came from my depression era mother that pinched penny’s until Lincoln screamed.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 4:46 pm


        While I am glad that the UN HDI index for the US in sincreasing.

        I have zero confidence in such indexes.

        I am not interested in Gross National Happiness indexes,

        We have only one reasonable measure of standard of living. While that measure has numerous flaws, it is still the best we have.
        And that is GDP/PPP per capita.

        Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production
        Adam Smith

        We produce in order to consume. We produce and consume rooted in our own free choices.

        I am not interested in someone else deciding that we would have been happier had we produced or consumed differently.

        What is critical here is that the components of GDP/PPP per capita are all reflections of our choices and values.

        Every other index reflects someone elses choices of what we should do.

        Whether I choose to cook meals for the homeless, or go on vacation with my familiy – someone else is not entitled to decide what I should have done.

        I would also note that GDP/PPP per capita factors out income completely.

        I am not even interested in the explanation of why the UN uses the logarithm of income. It is irrelevant. What is relevant – all that is relevant is what we each are able to consume.
        By sticking to GDP we mostly factor out inflation and all the impossibilities of adjusting income or other prices for inflation which is not merely a non-trivial process it is actually impossible.

        It is one of the reasons for rejecting left GINI nonsensical claims.

        Rather than use highly eroneous measures of income adjusted over time.
        Try looking at the real wealth of people over time – BTW for each quintile that has atleast doubled over the past 40 years – so much for Pickettys and the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 5:22 pm


        “Student loans should be interest free”

        Bzzt, wrong !!

        Government should have absolutely zero involvement of any kind in the economy or our individual choices.

        We have just seen what happens when government manipulates interest rates for home loans – do we need to repeat that ?

        I do not have it on the tip of my tongue – but the data on the insolvency of existing student loans is horrendous. As government created messes go it is far from the largest disaster.

        Regardless, it is alot of money down the toilet.

        There are so many fundimental problems.

        People do not value properly what they get for free.
        We have the problems we have in the student loan program because it is too easy for people to borrow money for further education without knowing what they really are looking to do. Far too many start and quit, or finish and do not get the jobs they were educated for.

        No matter how important you may think french litterature is, we only need so many french literature doctorates.

        On another Blog I follow the writer has noted how the massive numbers of people persuing an education in forestry and environmental areas has destroyed those fields. Students go to college and learn about counting wolves and think when they graduate they are going to get a job saving the planet. They end up with jobs deciding whether to approve payment applications to a concession in a national park. They are completely clueless with respect to the skills needed for the job they have been hired to do, and the results end up bad for everyone.

        Pumping more money into something does not inherently improve it.
        It extremely frequently makes things worse.
        But for most problems government has little involvement beyond funding.

        The catholic schools today cost about 1/3 of what public schools do and provide and equal or better education – often serving a poor children.

        My kids were cyber chartered – because my daughter had needs that traditional public schools do not meet.
        But more than half her classmate were inner city minority children of poor single mothers.

        I live a few miles from an extremely presitgious girls private high school.
        Tuition room and board is about 30% more than the average public highschool – yet this is the cream of the crop, further students board here.

        About twice as far away in the other direction is a highly regarded menonite high school They cost a bit more than half what the local highschool costs, and provide a far superior education.

        Making things cheaper or free does not make them better – it often makes them far worse.

        In the real world over the past 40 years most prices have DECLINED.
        Some without adjusting for inflation.

        Gas currently is running $2/gal. I spent 1200 for a top of the line refridgerator in 1983 that is crap compared to what I can buy for $900 at home depot today. Plastic surgey is much cheaper. Many other medical procedures that are free market or atleast competitive are cheaper.
        I spent more for a phone in my dorm room in 1977 than I do for cell phones for my entire family with unlimited nationwide calling today.
        I bought my first PC for $6400 in 1980, my current laptop is $1200.
        I had 2-3 channels on my TV in 1970. I do not even have channels today, I watch whatever I want from tens of thousands of choices when I want.
        I bought a top of the line 14″ sony TV in 1983 for $450. I have a 40″ flatscreen today that costs the same.

        Yet over this period of time the price of public and college education has gone through the roof, and quality has declined.

        In fact look arround. Look at everything that has gotten better and cheaper and everything that has gotten more expensive and or worse.

        There is a common factor – government. Heatlhcare and education are the most highly regulated and subsidized portions of the market and they have had the worst record.

        So PLEASE do not make student loans interest free.
        If you really want to do poor students a favor, get government out of lonas completely.

        I want any student that is going to borrow money to go to college to:
        Be sure they are working to get value for what they are borrowing.
        demand value from the college that is educating them.

        We have spent the past year listening to protests on campus of students seeking to silence those who disagree with them and to be sure that all students going through their college are appropriately sensitized to race, gender and cultural issues.

        My kids are both adopted and asian. I have a good sense of racial, gender and cultural issues.

        But what I want for my children is that they are able to support themselves doing work they love. As I have been able to do.

        No matter how sensitive we are to the plight of minorities, we need doctors, and nurses, paramedics, police officers, bankers, bakers, farmers, investors, inventors, engineers, architects.

        If you wish to live in a tent in the woods struggling to save the snail darter – more power to you – but we can not all do that. Someone has to create and produce the medicines that keep you healthy, and make the tent, and build the roads, and …

        And all of those have cost and require us to produce value.

        When you make something like education free you distort the education system – you end up with students fighting over halloween costumes on the public dime, rather than figuring out how to produce more energy, or transport or consume it more efficiently.

        Schockley was a pretty infamous racist, he is also a nobel prize winning inventor of the transistor. Would we be better off if he had instead learned french literature ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 6, 2016 12:46 pm


      So which would you prefer – a smooth savvy liar that you can not tell is lying until things have gone to hell, or a loud shoot from the hip blowhard who backs away from many of the most egregious things he says long before they turn into action ?

      Clinton is still getting tangled up in the email problem
      She is still trying to say she was truthful under oath to congress, she was truthful to the american public and that Comey found that.

      This is not even close. Comey came about as close as possible to Sirica’s ruling that Nixon was an unindicted co-consprator.
      He said other people go to jail for this, but this was not a case he thought could be successfully prosecuted.

      The Clinton’s are incredibly good at rolling people. They rolled CharityWatch and Charity navigator, they rolled Jay, they atleast partly roled Comey.

      Again is that a skill we want in presidents – the ability to make lies sound like truth ?

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 6, 2016 1:04 pm

        Certainly not. I am not a Clinton supporter. I was making the point that she is a skilled liar, almost pathological (remember the “We landed under sniper fire” whopper?). If lying is a skill that people want in their president, Hillary should be their choice.

    • Jay permalink
      August 6, 2016 2:29 pm

      Pricella I dismiss ‘best ever’ or ‘worst ever’ remarks, impossible to verify because they require comparing time frames with different references.

      To me she seemed an average Sec of State. Remember, that office has always been circumscribed by Presidential authority. Mostly, she was just a messinger and go-between for Obama’s policies, not a decision maker. And we don’t know how much he was swayed by her opinions or advice, with the exception of the decision to take out Bin Laden, where she apparently was a strong advocate to kill him.

      I think she will be more moderate in office than Obama has been on social issues, and much more willing to negotiate with Republicans – that, by all accounts, was her history as NY Senator. Moron Trump won’t even negotiate with his own party members; imagine the hatred and revenge that would ooze out at him from both houses of Congress if elected, and the gridlock that would follow.

      I’m a reluctant Clinton supporter. If Trump drops out and a moderate like Ryan steps in I would seriously consider voting for him. The opposite for Cruz. Though I applaud his courage in repudiating Trump, he’s too far to the Left of crazy in his politics, and would be more dangerous in many ways than Repellent Republican Trump

      • Jay permalink
        August 6, 2016 2:34 pm

        PS – if Clinton has a lock on California at voting time, I will support the Libertarian candidates in protest of our unworkable Two Party Failure.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 6, 2016 5:06 pm

        You are right. It is unlikely that Trump or Clinton are the worst ever anything – but it is likely that the combination is atleast the worst choices in a long time.

        Clinton was not the worst Sec. State. Though the is not likely to be in the top half – certainly not in comparison to powell, Rice, Kissenger, Albright, Schultz,

        or Jefferson, Marshall, Monroe, Madison, Adams.

        Being a bottom half sec. state – is not a resume qualifier for president.

        The same is true of Senator Clinton – again there were far far worse.
        But nothing to distinguish her.

        The extent of the role of each sec. state is determined by the latitude the president gives them.

        It is my impression – though I could be wrong that foreign relations during Clinton’s tenure more strongly reflects her values than Obama’s.

        Certainly US foreign policy under Clinton did not look alot like what candidate Obama discussed.

        But you get to make your own decisions their.

        If you want to go with the president dictates and is responsible for everything – then you have just made Obama culpable in Lois Lehner’s criminal actions – as well as the mishandling of the VA (even after giving them billions more still ongoing), or Fast and Furious or you are saying that Comey’s conclusions really came from Obama.

        I do not think Obama was directly responsible for the bad decisions made during his tenure. But I do think he is responsible for the people he put in place who made those bad decisions – including Clinton.

        I choose to beleive that Clinton had broad latitude as Sec. State.
        But I could be wrong – in which case Obama has greater culpability than I impose on him.

        One of the things I find espeically intriguing about Clinton is that she is like Dick Cheney. He shot someone in the face and managed to get them to publicly appologize – that is power.
        The Clinton’s have set up a sham charity and were called out on it, and have manged to get the watchdogs to apologize for calling things as they are – that is power.

        That is also not what I want in a president.

        Who is appologizing to Trump when he bulldozes them ?

      • Jay permalink
        August 6, 2016 7:31 pm

        “Who is appologizing to Trump when he bulldozes them ?”

        His ex-wives, who had to sign non-disclosure confidentiality agreements not to disparage him publically or write tell-all biographies, in order to get their divorce settlements.

        All those he threatened with lawsuits for critizing him – those with heavyweight connections who would financially back them proceeded; but numerous small fries were silenced – forced silent apology.

        You keep knocking the Clinton Foundation with no factual evidence to back your malicious ideological-driven claims. To call it a ‘sham charity’ is libelous claptrap, more evidence of your frequent partisan lapses into mud-slinging idiocy. It’s impossible for you to separate objective reality from imbecilic partisan petulance. If it was a sham charity do you think these nations, corporations, philanthropists wound be donating millions of dollars year after year to the Foundation?

        Donors between $250,000 and $25 Million:

        Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Irish Aid, Government of the Netherlands, Fred Eychaner and Alphawood Foundation, Irish Aid, The Radcliffe Foundation,Nationale Postcode Loterij, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, UNITAID, Citi Foundation, Barclay’s Capital, Goldman Sachs, Standard, Bank of America Foundation, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings, UBS Wealth Management, Banco Santander Brasil, Deutsche Bank AG, Deutsche Bank Americas, Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Global Impact Funding Trust, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard, Humana, Microsoft, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Dow Chemical, Boeing, the Walmart Foundation (as well as the Walton Family Foundation), Toyota, Alibaba Group, Chevron, General Electric, Google, Monsanto, News Corporation (Murdoch), Allstate, Harrah’s, AIG, Freeport McMoRan, McDonald’s, Walmart.

  22. dhlii permalink
    August 6, 2016 4:49 pm

    Ron P
    “So how does one without money rig the system?”

    Clinton is offering some permutation of free college education. We all would love a free college education. Some of us are unable to grasp there is no free college education, or we grasp it but still think someone else will pay, or we think that if we oppose – it will be us that gets screwed and someone else that gets the freebie we have to pay for.

    Democracy is rigging by human nature – the majority of us do not have the right to impose our will on others by force. That is both unworkable and immoral.

    In our actual political system, our founders did not seek to purge special interests – unlike us, they were smart enough to grasp that succeeding in driving one special interest group out just created a void for another. They created a system that pits interests against each other – so that nothing can be accomplished short of near unanimity.
    And if you are familiar with ethics, and law and philosophy, you would find that absent that kind of supermajority support you do not have a workable system.
    It is estimated that if as few as 11% of people vigorously oppose a law – sufficient that they will resist with force, that law is unenforceable.

    You should never forget that government is force. Not merely from the moral sense of when is the use of force justified, but from the practical sense of every new law requires
    people – and effort to enforce. Every new law atleast slightly increases the scale of government. With each law you move further from producing towards enforcing.

    Or do you think that laws and compliance with them is free ? Do you think all laws would be universally obeyed if they were not enforced.

    There are myriads of factors in human nature that will “rig the system” one way or another.
    The good news is that most of the time they tend to cancel each other out.

    You want to bemoan the influence of the rich, and money in politics.
    Without them we would have something closer to pure democracy and the country would have long ago failed.

    I am far less concerned with the rich thwarting what you want, and far more concerned with they renting the power of government. our democratic impulses are supposed to be one factor preventing that – but as Madison noted unfortunately they are not sufficient.

    • mike300spartan permalink
      August 6, 2016 6:02 pm

      Dave! I love it! In all sincerity I feel like you are a true Libertarian and I am just a recovering former Republican, Libertarian wannabe. Government is force. Wasn’t it Mao that said the beginning of political power starts and the end of the barrel of a gun? (I’m too lazy to check but it is a poignant quote for who ever said it.) Ok, you asked me to define open borders. I guess my concept of that is literally not controlling who comes or leaves the country. Be it Columbians shipping in enormous quantities of dope, or a Russian mobster flying in with a string of starving young massage therapist trainees that will visit awhile and be taken back and replaced with a new set of trainees, as well as boatloads of people from the Indian sub-continent just showing up in hopes of finding something to eat. While I’m in favor of dumping a lot of the drug laws, and revamping prostitution laws to make it hopefully safer for everyone involved and above ground in hopes of being better able to keep underage individuals out, I like the idea of slow, incremental change, I don’t use, nor am I interested in marijuana, however I’m pretty happy with the way changes have taken place on that subject. A couple of states try it out, see how it goes, learn and adapt. So, I wait for your response to my concerns because I anticipate I’ll like your answers.

    • August 6, 2016 6:08 pm

      Agree with everything you said. So our comment ““It is rigged – but the rigging in not by big money, it is by human nature.” taken one step further would indicate human nature rigs the system and money is the means to be in the position to be the one rigging it.

      My point is millions of people would have no way in the world to rig the system. Even those like the Libertarians with a foot in the door can not get past the door jamb. They do not have the money to take that next step like the rigged system requires.

    • Jay permalink
      August 6, 2016 10:41 pm

      “Some of us are unable to grasp there is no free college education, ”

      You mean in the US.

      • August 7, 2016 2:16 am

        I’ve done some searching, I can’t really find any solid proof that the Clinton Foundation is corrupt. Not in my opinion anyway, but there are still many things I don’t know yet. How much to the Clintons control who gets hired and how much they get paid. Obviously if they control both, then they could both reward people they wanted to reward and perhaps even have someone who gets a Foundation paycheck to be actually working for them. Meaning campaign research or who knows what, while getting their paycheck from a charity. Again I don’t have any evidence of that, just exploring the possibility.

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 9:53 am

        The Foundation operates like a corporate think tank – that means the hire people in house to do the work, which includes lots of travel, and often living in foreign countries. So you’d expect the Foundation to hire competent workers, and pay them competitive salaries.

        I don’t have time to dig up the figures, but they were highly rated for the percentage of donations used for projects against overhead expenses, which included administrative salaries – only about 12%. Organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army have overheads in the 40to 50% range,

  23. August 7, 2016 2:20 am

    FYI, I’ve updated my name and picture to my current, 50 year old self- (Standing next to my son.) from mike300spartan-30 year old self.

  24. August 7, 2016 10:18 am

    Ron P., I spent 21 years in Texas, from age 14-35, so I’m well acquainted w/ good ole Ross. I’m 53.

    Please stop repeating the same BS that the younger generation is just lazy and wants everything their parents have and max out credit cards. I went to college, but I live in the sticks and a really good paying job is hard to come by. The best I’ve done in the past 14 years is $14/hr – considered good pay out here. I left teaching, a notoriously bad paying career – and by myself I good only afford a double wide trailer for a home (on teacher pay). Now that double wide takes half my pay. I’m one of the lucky ones, I have family that can help when I have a crisis.

    It is extremely discouraging to work full time for so little, to realize that I cannot afford to help kids and grandkids as my parents and grandparents were able to help theirs. It is knowing I will never be able to retire, much less do the things my parents and grandparents did as retirees. I have had to sell my stocks, my coin collection, my grandmother’s beautiful dinner room suite (which they could afford on a working man’s salary). Everything in my home was inherited from grandparents/parents. Clothes are bought at thrift stores. Cars are second hand. When credit cards are run up in my world, it is from buying groceries & other necessities when I’m unemployed/underemployed.

    Imagine how people younger than me feel – that they will never own their own home, or have cars that don’t breakdown continuously, or be able to help their children.

    I expect most people who think the standard of living is fine, or who blame younger ones for not being “successful” enough – are those same retirees that sent our jobs overseas.

    • August 7, 2016 12:50 pm

      Moogie, I don’t think I have ever said the younger generation is lazy. What I have said many times is they are an instant gratification generation that is unwilling to wait for what their parents have. Do they normally drive 10 year old cars with 150,000 miles on it? Do they have small color TV’s in the residence or large screen HDTV’s? Do they have cell phones with $75.00 per month or higher monthly fees, or do they have one of the lessor phones just for emergencies that have $15 to $20 per month fees? Do they cook all their dinners at home, or eat out 3-4 times a week? Do they buy cloths at discount stores or something like Old Navy, Abercrombie or one of the other expensive stores?

      What I am saying is the older generation worked up to what they have, while the younger generation is willing to go neck deep in debt to get it now.

      And you keep missing my point about jobs. Please read what I am saying. I agree with you that jobs have gone overseas. I agree with you that corporations have moved to increase profits and that has driven down access to good paying jobs. But what you are not understanding is ALL political parties that have been in control for the past 50 years have promoted trade agreements that have created the problems we have today. Bill Clinton was instrumental in getting NAFTA passed in 1994 with the democrat controlled congress, with GOP support. They both screwed this country with that agreement and that is why Carrier is moving, Ford is producing most of their cars in mexico for export to the USA and why all electric hand tools that are not Chinese crap are being made in Mexico. And if it is not the trade agreements, it is tax policy where companies can merge with foreign companies, move to places like Ireland, pay 15% tax instead of 30% plus and instantly raise net income.

      So stop with the conservative BS spread by the liberal media and start thinking for yourself. Yes there are differences in the way you and I may address problems, but both of us would be much different than the way either party addresses them now.

      And last, remember that Hillary Clinton supported the Trans Pacific Trade agreement while Sec. of State until October 2015 when Bernie began cutting into her Democrat support and threatened to take the nomination. She switched positions since many of his supporters did not agree with this, so now she “says” she does not support it. I would not count on that once she is elected and watch more of the jobs going to the far east.

      • August 7, 2016 6:13 pm

        I considered myself quite moderate, thank you, and read from sources that I consider to be moderate. Of course I realize that anything that isn’t hard left is called communist by today’s conservatives… If I have one fault its that I don’t think like ANYONE else, ever. It is a blessing and a curse.

        I’m 53 and have been a teacher and have caught up with many ex-students over the years. I also have usually worked at other jobs where the majority of people are younger than me. And no, I don’t see them doing all the things you claim. I see them trying to make do with far less than the older generations. They are having to live at home with parents, or with roommates who are an even bigger problem than when I had them, because they are all so broke.

        You show your age when you think they don’t have to have a $75 month cell phone. That is not only a phone (they don’t have home phones) it is also their computer, as you must have internet access to get jobs. Banking is done online. Also if you don’t pay bills on line you will probably be charged an extra fee.

        When you’ve worked 40+ hours /week – just to pay bills and nothing is getting you ahead – then yes you are liable to eat out more often. But its a little burger at McDs, not a gourmet meal. I’d say most of them don’t even have credit cards because their pay is so low they don’t qualify for much. And usually if you do have one, its emergencies that eat up your credit limit, not luxuries. Or being unemployed. Our Ambercrombies went out of business, along with The Gap and Aeropostale. So they ain’t been shopping there!!

        Every article I’ve read for the past 25 years has told how wages have stagnated but prices haven’t. Housing is now eating up 40% of people’s pay, unlike 25% 30 years ago. I am also amused & disgusted when it is implied that young people buy too much “Japan crap” (meaning unnecessary items made overseas). As if you could walk thru their house and find enough “useless” items that they could have bought a house with instead.

        There are far more real reasons that young people aren’t doing so well than the garbage I hear from the right. IMHO, the older generation that sold all our jobs to China is just trying to make themselves feel better.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 8:15 pm

        Corporations constantly seek to drive down costs, and increase profits – that has and will always be so.
        But profit increases never last, they are inevitably turned over to consumers.

        Walmart makes about 1 1/4% on average on every sale. It turns goods on average 4 times a year and has average profits of about 5% on total capital.

        While profits are higher and lower in different markets – based on risk, they vary very little over time and very little within a given level of risk.

        The fact that corporations will ALWAYS seek to increase profits does not change the fact that over the long term they never succeed, that all cost reductions are eventually turned over to consumers.

        I want corporations to be as greedy as possible – so long as they:
        do not use actual force (and that includes leveraging the power of government), honor their promises and are accountable for actual harms they cause. Because their greed ultimately lowers the price I pay for things.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 11:18 am

        “Corporations constantly seek to drive down costs, and increase profits – that has and will always be so…. Because their greed ultimately lowers the price I pay for things.”

        Tell that to the US drug manufacturing corporations who charge Twice to Triple as much for drugs here than Europeans pay for the same medicines.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 8:38 pm

        I have a major problem with trade agreements though not the same one of everyone else here.

        Fear of jobs going to china or mexico is stupid.
        Do you honestly think it helps all of us to protect a few peoples jobs by force – because that is what tarriffs are, for a short time while reducing the standard of living of everyone else.

        Whether it i clothes of food or Steel, a lower price means the rest of of can afford more of other things.

        Even if you falsely beleive there is no better use for that labor than making clothes, you are at best buying a temporary respite until they are replaced by machines.

        This luddite thinking has been going on for centuries. It is fallacious.

        The problem with our trade agreements is they are unnecescary.

        We should unilaterally reduce all our tarriffs to a small to nonexistant value. There is no need for agreement. If other nations do not wish to follow suit – the harm is theirs. If the chinese want to export the wealth of their nation to US citizens by subsidizing steal or some other product – we should celebrate – though the claim is nonsense, China’s standard of living has increased far more rapidly than that of the US, that makes the exploitation and subsidy claim lunacy.

        The real purpose of trade agreements is to accomplish through trade agreements what can not ordinarily be accomplished through legislation.
        As an example US copyright law was modified such that copyrights are for all practical purposes infinite – in a time when 98% of the value of a copyright is returned in the first 18months.

        To be clear this was not forced on us by other nations, our own trade representatives required the agreement include provisions that required modifications to our law.

        Trade aggreements are treaties – they do not require house approval.
        Further they often have fast track approval meaning the final agreement is subject only to an up down vote in the senate.

        The real harm of trade agreements is inflicted on us by ourselves.
        Not foreign powers.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 11:29 am

        “you are at best buying a temporary respite until they are replaced by machines.”

        That’s OK if the machines are made in the USA and maintenanced by US workers.

        All things in balance. Hypothetically, if a tariff on T-shirts increases the cost of T-shirts 10%, but US sewers hired to make them are spending the money they make at the local supermarket whose sales then increase 20%, so that their employees work longer hours for extra pay – won’t it be in everyone’s interest to pay 10% more for T-Shirts?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 5:59 pm

      You tell us all this sob story, but you do not tell us what you do.
      My 17 year old son makes $11 as a cashier at target.
      My 20 year old daughter makes $15 as an EMT – that required a HS degree and a half semester course that cost $1000.

      The average starting salary for a teacher in TX is 38K/year (17/hr), the average salary of a teacher in TX is 52K(26/hr).

      And $14/hr is 30K/yr. I have no idea what a double wide costs in TX, but im PA that is enough to buy a 100K home. My second home cost $125K it was much nicer than a double wide, and I was making a little bit more than you are now at the time.

      I live in a nicer home than you – one I have spent the past 10 years building mostly myself in my free time.
      Much of my furniture is inherited – because I am old enough that both my and my wifes parents are all dead and what did not get sold we kept. Some of my furniture is my grandmothers, or her grandmothers. Much of it is quite nice – or I would not have kept it.
      Some of what is new, I designed and my grandfather made, some I made myself.

      I buy my clothes at thrift stores too. So does my daughter and she looks like a fashion model. My son however must buy everything new. Different people different values.

      I have bought two cars new in my entire life – one in 1989 (that lasted 20 years) and one in 2015 when my wife revolted and said she was not driving a 15 year old car anymore (that was our newest).
      Aside from hers every other car I own has over 200K miles on it. So what ?
      Cars actually last much longer today than in the past.

      Regardless, you are right – working hard is not enough. You have to work at something others value. If you produce value, often you do not have to work very hard at all.
      Bill Gates, Steve Jobs – even Donald Trump have changed the world.
      I suspect the worked very hard. But if success was measured in the amount of sweat they are all failures. But it is not.

      If you have a job little better than my 17yr old son – why do you expect to live better than he can ?

      Is someone who flips burgers at McDonalds today somehow producing more value than someone who did that 40 years ago ?

      I do not know anything about you beyond what you say.
      I do know that a 53yr old with an education as a teacher is not earning $14 as a full time teacher.

      • August 7, 2016 6:30 pm

        I left teaching years ago, for many reasons. Your son and daughter cannot possibly have qualified for a loan on a house and probably not a new car on $11/$15 an hour. Nor will they be able to in the near future on that pay. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are living at home. BTW spent half my life in Texas and still know plenty of people down there, so I know abt $$$ down there.

        Most people cannot build their own furniture or homes. My grandfather did, but wealthy corporations wanted all those “regulations” people claim have ruined business…because they did not want the competition of people doing it themselves. Most people do not have the space to grow food on their property any more either – something I hear from the older genration all the time.

        The wealthy of this country are who have put the “value” on jobs in this country. They have decided to keep much more for themselves and pay workers less. This is why our economy is in the toilet. Without a well-paid working class (so they are middle class) they have no money to spend on “stuff”. And you can expect this to continue until they learn the lesson Henry Ford knew over 100 years ago.

        For the record, having been a high school teacher, I know for sure not everyone needs a college education. We may need more in the way of trade schools. Not everyone is a rocket scientist, and we still need our toilets scrubbed. Why do you not think that janitors deserve to make a reasonable living?

        IMHO, an EMT should make far more than $15 an hour. A job that requires life or death decisions?

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 6:51 pm

        Arguing with him reasonably is a waste of time, Moogie.
        Like Trump, he’s deaf to all but his own brittle preconceptions.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 7:45 pm

        Moogie – read what I wrote.

        I did not say my kids had car or home loans.
        I said that the $14/hr that you claim to be making is sufficient income for a $100K house – and if you are the slightest familiar with lending standards – it is. You still may not be able to get a loan – but that would be because of how you already spend your income, not because you have insufficient income.

        My 17yr old Son has 5K in the bank and wants to buy a motorcycle – not borrow for one. Buy one. Of course he is still living at home, so that is not a fair comparison. At the same time he does nto have the qualifications of skills that would let him gett a teaching job which you say you do.

        Why you left teaching is your business. But your claim that Teachers can’t afford more than a double wide is complete crap – even in TX.

        If you have chosen to move to work that pays less – that was your free choice, so please do not bemoan that you can not have both that choice and the income of a teacher.

        With respect to TX, I took my starting salaries and average income figures from TX teachers union data – are you telling me you know more than they do ? Maybe you do. have not been to TX in 30 years. But I am far more inclined to beleive their data than your moaning.

        In my area there are only a few reasons people leave Teaching jobs for $14/hr jobs. Those are not typically “free choices” and most make clients of my wifes. But that is an entirely different discussion.

        I am not recommending that people build their own homes, grow their own food or make their own furniture – it is a choice. It is usually an inefficient choice.

        I am self employed. When I have work I am very well paid. Most of the time I do not have work. When I am busy it is far cheaper and more efficient for me to hire other people to make furniture, build my home ….

        When I have no work, I work on my home, I build furniture, I do my own car repairs, ….. Because even though inefficient it is still better than sitting on my hands bemoaning the world.

        No the rich of the world do not set the value of jobs – you do.

        When you buy a light bulb at Walmart or a hamburger at McD’s or when you choose not to buy. You are setting not merely the value of the light bulb or the hamburger, but the value of the time of everyone associated with providing you those things.

        I told you I sometimes hire people to help with my house.
        If they want too much – it is not worthwhile for me to hire them.
        It is that simple. If McD’s asks too much for a burger, I eat elsewhere or make my own.

        It is all our choices that determine the prices of everything and the wages for those who produce them.

        Walmart sells 1/2T of goods each year. most of that is sold to the bottom half – that is 1/2T in wealth we get from walmart alone each year.

        The entire Walton familiy net worth is less than 1/4 of that. If Walmart cut prices 5% the Waltons would have nothing in 5 years.

        You radically over estimate the significance of the rich.

        Though you are correct that many of the rich buy government influence to protect them. So disempower government, But instead you keep giving government ever more power.

        Even in this election – What is Trumps record in terms of buying and selling government favors ? I am sure if we look hard enough we might find where he has bought some – though for the most part he seems to use lawyers to get what he wants rather than buying government.

        Clinton on the other hand has been constantly involves in the dispensing of government favors.

        If the working class has no money to spend on Stuf they certainly are buying alot of stuff. The US census says that all of us in every quintile have atleast twice as much stuff as we did 40 years ago.

        BTW the uber rich while they have alot of stuff, have a tiny portion of stuff compared to total money. Most of what they have is invested – while that benefits them – meaning they end up with more money. They do not end up with more stuff, we end up with more stuff.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 7:47 pm


        You can not pay people more than the value or what they produce.
        Just not happening. PERIOD. The discussion should completely end there.
        Can not grasp why you do not understand that.

        If you want paid more – find a job that produces more value – it is that simple.
        A burger flipper at McD’s is only worth so much – today and 40 years ago.
        A cashier is only worth so much.

        And you decide what they are worth. Not the rich.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 6:16 pm

      You bemoan your problems.

      What is it that you think the fix is ?

      Magic ?

      Are we supposed to do exactly the same job each year every year producing exactly the same thing and after 20 years be making twice as much ?

      How is it that you imagine that working ?

      There is no magic.

      You can consume the value you produce.

      Frankly you should be tankful for all those “slave labor sweatshop workers” in china.
      Atleast they mean that you can buy a lot more for your $14/hr from them than you used to.

      We have dumped $600B in aide to africa over the past 40 years and it is one of few places in the world were standard of living has not budged.

      Extensive study of the economics of aftrican aide have lead to one inexhorable conclusion – one that should be obvious. You can not help other people. They have to help themselves.

      My wife was the victim of an extremely horrible violent crime about 6 months after we were married. She was abducted on her way to her job as a church organist and violently assaulted for 3 hours. That wreaked havoc on our lives. She still sees a therapist regularly, The perpatrator was never caught.
      We had all kinds of offers of help – most of which disappeared long before we were able to even know what we needed. Almost a decade later my wife started Law School – university of Pennsulvania. She graduated with honors, She clerked for a federal Judge, she nearly clerked for a supreme court justice. She has been a public defender for almost 20 years. That pays better than $14 an hour, but overall pretty bad. She had offers 20 years ago fresh out of law school for double what she makes now. But she is doing what she wants to do.

      Anyway, whatever has happened in your life, even if it is horrible and the fault of others – it is still your life. No one can fix it besides you.

      You can moan that life has treated you like shit, You can be right.
      If you do nothing about it you will be stuck where you are – or worse.
      And if you think Hillary Clinton is going to make it all right for you – you are an idiot.
      She takes good care of her friends – and you are not one.

      It is your life. There is no tooth fairy, no magic.

      I do not care what you want from life – I leave you free to make your choices on your own – a right I wish you would extend to everyone else.

      My wife and I have made our choices – we could have made alot more.
      We are happy with what we have chosen for ourselves.

      If you are otherwise happy with your life, quit bitching about money.
      If money is so important to you – then make more – nothing is stopping you.

      • Jay permalink
        August 7, 2016 6:24 pm

        You’re definitely Trump-like in your temperament Dave.
        Two peas in an obnoxious pod.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 7, 2016 7:16 pm


        No my temperament is not like trump.

        Though I am not sure how relevant that is to anything.

        It is one thing for my kids – who have not seen the world 20, 40 years ago to go wondering arround with a sense of entitlement – they do nto know any better – and the world will teach them soon enough – hopefully they will learn fast and the lessons will not be too hard.

        But those of you who have been arround 40, 50 years who are still selling this left wing schlock should be ashamed.

        You have lived through the most dramatic evidence that the ideas of the left fail that we could possibly have ever seen, and too many of you still think – next time we will get it right.
        Any scheme that is this hard to make work – is a failure.

        I would also note that of all of you here – I am the optomist.
        The entire meme is that absent government everything is going to hell.
        That is BUNK. Everything outside of govenrment is doing quite fine.
        More obviously now than ever our problems are government.

        I inherited from my parents a world better than their parents gave them, and I pass on to my children a world better than mine gave to me.

        You are afraid of the future, you are afraid that absent government everything is going to hell. I am only affraid that all the things in government that are going to hell will overwhelm al the things outside of government that are improving.

        The government is fighting over Zika funding – yet we know right now how to eliminate Zika, and Malaria, and the myriads of diseases of the TseTse fly from the face of the earth today quickly and cheaply. But we are not going to do it.

        Government spending on Zika is not about doing something about Zika, it is about appearing to do something about Zika.
        Most all government spending is not about fixing problems, it is about appearing to fix problems.

        The problems of the world are not a shortage of experts, they are not a shortage of resources, they are a shortage of rights.

        In 1938 the top 3 recommendations of a 2000 page report on Africa were:
        Spray pyrethrum on the walls of dwellings to reduce malaria,
        Provide vitiman A to fight malnutition,
        In 2014 a UN commison produced another report on Africa and more than 50 years later the Top recomendations were exactly the same.

        The concept that “liberty is meaningless without a foundation of social and economic progress” has been refuted time and again.

        Freedom leads to prosperity – not the other way around.
        More and more the left does nto even pretend they are about Freedom.

        You keep trying to compare me to Trump – I have been clear, I think Trump will be a poor president. He suffers from many of the same problems as Hillary just on a smaller scale.

        I do not care much about Trumps bombasitc nature, just as I do not care about Clintons more polished appearance.

        Is a lie more true if offered bombastically or if it is well manacured ?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 6:36 pm

      A part of your rant is some defense of Kids today.

      Who is attacking them ?

      My kids are 17 and 20. They are not working as hard as I did at their ages and they are doing better. But they are still working hard.

      Is there some expectation that a cashier at Target can afford a $100K home ?

      As I said before, is there any reason in the world that a burger flipper at McD’s should have a higher standard of living today than 40 years ago ?

      I think kids today – my own included, are a bit more entitled. That is a natural consequence of a rising standard of living – I was also more entitled than my parents and so on.

      Regardless, they will do fine – if they do not, that sense of entitlement will not get them very far.

      You rant that everything to the left seems to be called communist today – not true.
      What is true, is that the left is more extreme today.
      I lived through the sixties. Those on the left of politics in the 60’s would be considered on the right today.

      Further, we have learned alot.
      Cuba is a failed state, as is North Korea. The USSR is long gone, and China has gone capitalist. Socialism in India failed and they too are shifting to capitalism.
      The nordic socialism lite did not work nearly so well as the american left procliams and countries like Sweden have been slowly scaling back socialism lite for decades.

      The EU has 50% more people than the US, and almost the same GDP.

      Venezuela is a failing state.

      Throughout the world the story is uniformly the same.
      The bigger the government the slower the improvement in standard of living.

      If the right calls everything slightly to the left of center communism – which I have not seen,
      they would be justified. Everything slightly to the left has failed.

      The flagship of the US left – Social Security is close to capsizing. FDR promised it would never require more than 2% of our income to fund, it is now taking almost 14% and running short.

      Medicare D has proven far more costly than projected,

      I honestly though PPACA might succeed – not because it is a good idea, but because the mess government had made of what preceeded it was so bad that maybe PPACA would be less bad.
      But one should never underestimate the ability of government to make things worse.
      PPACA is costing far more than projected. Insurance companies are raising rates like craxy, leaving the market or going bankrupt.
      PPACA never insured the number of uninsured it claimed it would reach and is now headed backwards – soon there will be almost no way in which it is not worse than what preceeded it.

      Can you name a single big government program that is actually a success ?

      You would think that given that the federal government spends $4T/year that there would be obvious benefits.

      So given the real world record of the left – why is it that we have Hillary and Bernie – and to some extent even Trump trying to sell us more big government nonsense that we all know has failed.

      When is it that we all grasp – this time is NOT going to be different?

      • August 7, 2016 7:15 pm

        “Real record of the world on the left….” BWHAHAHA. For the past 40 years conservative politics has run this country, to our detriment. The money has moved to the top 10% and left the rest of us hanging.

        If those at the top paid real livable wages for work, we would not need all those student loans – people would be able to afford college themselves. It is the same for so many other supposed “welfare” programs…they were created out of NEED, not vice versa. As unions were destroyed, wages went down, other laws that protected working people changed, more and more need was created. Women did not go to work because of feminism – they went to work because they HAD to. I don’t know of a single woman who really wants to leave her baby in the hands of another while she works. I find it interesting that divorce, drug usage, gangs and so many other ills have worsened as wages declined.

        Since conservatives are so big on “individual responsibility” you would think they would try to ensure that we have plenty of good paying jobs so that people can take care of themselves. Instead, they are the ones that have created the welfare state by sending jobs overseas, and refusing to have a minimum wage. And btw, many of the Democrats of the past few decades are really conservative when compared to the past – I’m not letting them off the hook.

  25. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 7, 2016 1:30 pm

    I was trying to think of people who are analogous to Trump in their level of ability to be president.

    I came up with Jerry Springer, Ted Nugent, Mike Tyson, and Dennis Rodman. This is the level of thinking and life achievement that trump comes from and represents. If trump is qualified to run for president and become the GOP nominee than so are any of the above.

    This is really, Really obvious.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 5:34 pm

      You are right, though I think Trump is probably more qualified, they are comparable.
      While each of them is loud and offensive, each has also accomplished something.
      Not necessarily something I value – but clearly something that alot of others value.

      So what has Hillary accomplished ?

      Regardless, what is it that you want in a president ?

      The left made the argument that Bill Clinton’s sexual pecadillos were irrelevant to his performance as president – and though I am seriously disturbed by his lying under oath and some of his private personal actions – aside from the lying under oath thing, the others had nothing to do with his performance as president.

      I honestly do not know how or why Trump has succeeded in many of his endeavors, and I strongly suspect he has exagerated his own success greatly.
      At the same time there is little doubt that he is one of the most successfull businessmen ever to run for president – even if his net worth is 10% of what he claims.
      Whether I like it or not he has succeeded.
      He has run and managed concurrently many large and complex international bussinesses.
      And he has inarguably done so successfully.

      Hillaries closest comparable is her role as Sec. State. During which she got the US ambassador of Libya killed.
      To be fair she is probably not the worst Sec. State the US has had – she did not drag us into another vietnam. But she was not Rice, Kissenger, Jefferson, Powell, Adams, Schultz, Albright or Munroe.

      So what is it that Hillary has done that qualifies her to be president ?

  26. August 7, 2016 7:04 pm

    Ok Dave, while you did not answer my inquiry directly, I have pieced together most of your answer from your other comments. Let me refine my questions this way. Since it seems we are a long way away from that ideal world of zero to near zero safety net, given existing entitlements, do you think we should still have as wide open of borders as possible? Then, moving into a hypothetical scenario where government is cut down to a much more acceptable size, what does one do to protect citizens from their new throngs of poor, quite possibly starving neighbors. It seems to me that the more you remove exterior walls/fences/guards at the border, the bigger the business of interior walls and guards would be. When I lived in Zaire, Africa, but for one dictator and his family stealing enormous wealth from his country, it was pretty much a government free environment. Most people where dirt poor, those who were not had walls around their houses with shards of glass cemented at the top to make it harder to climb over. Night guards were in every compound that I knew of, and if there was a crime detected, no one called the police, people just picked up whatever they had handy, Hoe, machete, whatever, and went after the alleged perpetrator. Comparing the U.S. to a Central African country is not possible, but in my mind there still is a lot of benefit to having a border and defending it. In short, my argument is that if you lack or have weak exterior borders, you are just going to clog up the interior with a bunch of borders anyway. Seems less economical, less efficient, and a drag on productivity.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 10:09 pm

      To try to directly answer your question.

      This is about the here and now – but it is two parts.

      We should not have quota’s of any kind on immigration.

      To the extent that we restrict people from coming here we should do so because they are actually sick, or actually dangerous.

      Immigration does not entitle one to citizenship. I have no problem with it being difficult to become a citizen. Nor are immigrants entitled to any of the benefits that citizens might be entitled to. I personally think we should eliminate those benefits for everyone.
      But we can not afford to offer them to non-citizens.
      So if you are not a citizen there is no safetynet.

      You are obligated to the same taxes and obediance to the same laws as the rest of us and entitled to the same criminal and civil protections.

      I also think that laws like Minimum wage laws should not apply – but then I do not think they should apply to citizens either.

      You seem to worry about being overrun by hordes of starving criminals.
      That is some fevered myth. Current immigrants legal and illegal are mostly hispanic and the patterns of crimainalty etc are no different from those of the irish, the italians, thjews, the poles, the germans who preceded them. Crime is higher in the first couple of generations, but not massively higher.

      As too starvation – if immigrants come to the US do nto receive benefits and starve – they will quit coming. Hispaninc immigrantion tanked during the recession and for sometime afterwards. I do not think we are yet back to the pre recession levels.
      So immigration is extremely sensitive to ecconomic conditions.

      The left completely fails to grasp that most systems – from immigration and the economy, to the environment self regulate. That is actually a natural necescity. Systems without natural feedbacks are unsustainable. The left rants about sustainablitly all the time failing to grasp that things that are truly unsustainable end naturally on their own.
      And like the radical drop in mexican immigration during the recession things self regulate not by catastrophe, but mostly quietly and unnoticed.

      If people coming here do end up starving – no one in the world today starves but for political reasons, I actually trust that aside from the natural regulatory modalities that starvation can be handled through private efforts – regardless it is not governments business.

      If you can not manage the above – then:


      There really is no alternative beyond some permutation of Trumpism.
      We can argue about what quotas should be, but anything short of nearly everything I list above absolutely requires strict government control.

      If we extend the entitlements we give citizens to immigrants we MUST have quotas.
      We can not creat an unlimited right to draw from the public treasury – and that is what democrats seek.

      If we have quotas we must have border control.

      As best as I can tell the democratic position is – we do not want open boarders.
      We do want those already here to have the same entitlements as citizens, we want them to become citizens, we do not want to secure our borders but we expect magic to keep further immigrants out.

      I think this is a far poorer choice, but only my first and 2nd options are practical.

      But neither of the above are what we are going to do.
      Democrats are not going to get what they want, nor are republicans, and we will over strain our system and create significant problems, and likely enflame racism in the process and pit groups against each other, but we will somehow manage.

      The mess we currently have has worked badly – but it has still worked for decades.
      The nation has not gone bankrupt – though we clearly could have done better.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 10:14 pm

      There appear to be many questions in your post.

      The cost of the fundimentals of government – punishing the use of force or fraud, enforcing contracts and torts are incredibly cheap – probably on the order of about 3% of GDP based on historical data.

      All the additional cost of government is in things that government has no business doing.
      So so long as government does not offer those hordes you fear any more than the fundimentals there is no crushing burdern from immigration.

      Better still if we tried that we would learn that even for citizens the rest is not necescary.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 4:19 pm

        “The cost of the fundimentals of government – punishing the use of force or fraud, enforcing contracts and torts are incredibly cheap – probably on the order of about 3% of GDP based on historical data.”

        You have any examples of governments only providing those fundamentals?
        Let’s see the list…

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 10:49 pm

      You are right comparing a central african country to the US is difficult.

      I would also ask. You write essentially about the poor robbing the less poor about internal walls and something approaching functional anarcho-capitalism – whether it works well or not is a different question, that is still what you are describing.

      What you are not telling me is that this poor robbers are all immigrants from elsewhere.
      In the Zaire you experienced was the requirement for walls with glass shards and private security to protect you from the poor masses or from poor immigrants from elsewhere ?

      External walls provide no protection from internal problems.

      I would also note that “open borders” – meaning nearly unrestricted immigration and “no walls” are not the same thing.

      Though I would suggest that the need for walls is vastly dimminished if immigration restrictions are severely limited and quotas do not exist.

      The right wants immigrants to come legally. If that means cross at official border crossings, and submit to medical and background checks that bar the sick and criminal, and registering. fine – and you will not need a wall. Because the only people who will not cross at the checkpoints will be the criminals. It is a self sorting system.

      But any restriction you apply – you can presume those who can not meet that restriction are going to try to cross elsewhere.

      Severely reducing crossing by criminals is not that hard (you can not ever totally eliminate it) barbed wire and men with guns is relatively effective, and since you know only criminals do cross outside of official crossings, it is easier to respond with the use of force.
      The threat of dying tends to reduce illegal traffic – though again no high wall will eliminate it.

      I would also note that the malthusian population loons ultimately LOST.
      There is virtually no one credible left in population economics that does not grasp that in the long run increased population – regardless of the vehicle is a strong net positive.

      I would also note that contrary to most peoples fears the most likely “negative” outcome of massive poor immigration would be:

      A decrease in median income for the entire country
      BUT an increase in income for nearly everyone in it.

      Not only are those mathematically compatible, they are the most likely outcome.
      The poor coming from elsewhere will still be poor – by US standards, because they are poor and numerous they will drag down the US median income.
      But the will not drag down – and it fact will likely increase the actual income of most people already here. Further their own individual income will increase – that is a near certainty or they would not come at all.

      I would strongly suggest reading

      It is a long heavily documented book that is close to the current state of the art on population economics. It is mostly focused on population growth by birth.
      But it touches on immigration, and regardless the same arguments mostly apply.
      To the extent they don’t the long term arrives quicker with immigration.

      Some other arguments for immigration: Steve Jobs.

      There are only so many Steve Jobs in the world. They make up a certain percent of the population (better the attributes that jobs like people have distribute through the population in something like a bell curve) But merely being a steve jobs does not mean you will change the world. To do so many other factors must be present – freedom being a major one – those factors are most broadly present in the US.

      The more people the US has the more steve jobs we have (and the more half job’s and quarter jobs). And the more freedom we have the more likely they are to change the world – and the US will reap the first and greatest benefit.

      But this argument has a fuse on it.

      The standard of living of the rest of the world is rapidly rising.
      China has gone from the bottom of the third world to the bottom of the first world.
      They have vastly increased economic freedom.
      It is increasingly likely that the Chinese Steve Job’s will remain in china and benefit China first and foremost, and those odds will increase the higher China’s standard of living rises.

      There are enormous impediments to China actually overtaking the US.
      As a start being far more free than under Mao is not the same as being as free as the US, and to surpass us they likely have to become MORE free than we are.
      They also have different culture and institutions and some of those differences effect differences in standard of living.

      There are many probable reasons that China will not overtake the US.
      But there is no unscaleable obstacle to doing so.
      And contrary to the though of most on the left, their large population is an asset not a liability. And whereever China goes India is unlikely to be far behind.

      There is only one part of the world that has improved relatively little over the past 40 years – and that is Africa. Other parts of the world have often taken one step back and two forward. South america has enormous problems – but is it still far better off than in the past.

      • August 8, 2016 12:16 am

        Thanks very much for your information, My response may not do your comments justice, (I’m a little tired at the moment and kind of out of time). The internal walls, as you perhaps rightly guessed, was protection from fellow citizens as opposed to immigrants. While Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo, did have some Rwandan refugees at one time trying to flee the genocide of Rwanda, for the most part they don’t have immigrates. Lately, sadly there has been many people internally displaced. Thanks again, I intend to follow that link you provided and read it.

  27. August 7, 2016 7:25 pm

    I do not have a sob story. Since you apparently do not read my posts closely, I will repeat I am lucky, I won’t have to worry about being homeless.

    You talk about your “tenants”. That means for whatever other material goods they have, they do not own a home. Chances are if they are renting, they also do not have a new car, and even if they have one that lasts 200,000 miles you are paying for many repairs after you hit that 100,000 mark. I know, I have a Honda that went over that mark and is really starting to cost now.

    I never lived in an apartment bigger than my double wide.

    To say I could have bought a real house for less than I paid for this land & home is just plain a lie.

    One thing I have learned since quitting teaching is that it is much more expensive to be poor than to be rich.

    I come, like many others, from an intelligent hard working family, and it sickens me the way conservatives treat us. Its always something we poor people did wrong that made us poor, not the many factors of the world that are working against us. If Trump had run as a Democrat, I might have sided with him. (but probably not). Anyone making less than $100,000 a year is too poor to be conservative/Republican.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 8:58 pm

      Every car is new once.
      For most of my life any car I have owned has been older and had more miles than my tenants. Yes, older cars cost more to maintain – and newer cars have high car payments.
      My wife is paying 700/month for her new car. I pay about twice that is repairs for my older car for the entire year. Most of my tenants have newer cars than I do.

      My first car was a Honda – I had it until the body rusted out – that took more than 20 years.
      During its entire life it never cost me more than a few thousand in repairs.
      I replaced the engine once and the clutch many times. That and occasional tires was pretty much it for repairs.

      An FHA mortgage on a 100K home with 2% down for 30 years at the current interest rate in my area is 675/month with a 2000 down payment.

      I purchased my current home in 2003 for 225K it is a small house – 1800sq.ft but it was on 2.2 acres in the woods. My mortgage was under $1000. I am paying more today – because I have a 2nd mortgage to pay for some of the additions.
      Today I have two additions and a barn – that are each larger than the original building.
      So I have a very very large home – unfinished, and a barn that is the equivalent of a 6 car garage that I have a workshop in the lower level – and my daughter is getting ready to move into the upper level as an apartment – kind of a half step toward being on her own.

      My total monthly mortgage payments are under 2000.

      My rents range from 550-850/month with a 2 month down payment.
      Except that my tenants for the most part either have poor credit or will not live in one place long enough or do not have the skills necessary to own a home – like remembering to pay the mortgage without being reminded.

      Remember the homeowners equivalent to eviction is foreclosure.

      I am way to nice, I do not evict very fast. when I evict a tenant they are usually about $2000 behind on rent and have no prospect of ever catching up.
      I still end up evicting about 1/5th of my tenants eventually. I have yet to return a security deposit – not that I do not want to, but because of those tenants that leave without eviction, most leave in the middle of the night usually a few weeks before I would file for eviction.

      I have had one tenant recently who would have gotten their security deposit back – but they just refused to pay the last months rent. Ended up the same – except that is ilegal. Regardless, they left the apartment nicer than they found it – and that is quite rare.

      • August 8, 2016 9:33 am

        You are so naive…so arrogant…I just hope you don’t call yourself a Christian like so many conservatives do. That is what I find so hypocritical & repugnant about Republicans claiming to be the party of Christians while denigrating the poor at every chance. You reek of having been raised in privilege all your life, even if you don’t think so. I went to high school in the area around the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and my classmates think the same way – that they are just ordinary people, when in fact they are quite well to do and have had many advantages.

        “Their credit is crap because of their own choices.” Most people’s credit is crap because they are not paid enough now to even cover housing and food w/o working over 40 hours a week. The median income in this country is $50,000 a year, which will not do much for a family of 4. And that is w/ 2 people working full time.

        “More than half of us start out “poor” 90% of those become middle class.” Simply NOT true. If you read other sources not from the far right, you would discover most people stay w/in what ever class they were born in.
        One of the biggest problems the right has created in the “pro-life” junk. If they would emphasize using protection (abstinence is great but MOST people are not doing it – even back in the 50s, more honest people admit lots of teen girls got pregnant then). The teens I’ve worked with get the abortion is a sin message loud and clear – but abstaining or protection are not so loud. Nothing condemns a woman to poverty faster than having babies she is not prepared for. And sadly I have found that if their mother was a teen parent, the chances are great that the daughter will do the same thing, unless someone does a lot of talking. Most poor people dont’ associate early childbearing with their poverty.

        “There are two people on the Forbes 400 list of richest people in the world who were homeless at one time” That is .05% of all rich people. That means 99.95% were not homeless – in fact MOST of the people came from at least a very comfortable middle class background and most came from better.

        “During its entire life it never cost me more than a few thousand in repairs.” A few thousand dollars is a LOT of money to people making less than $15 an hour. I know it is for me.

        “and my daughter is getting ready to move into the upper level as an apartment” This is the prime advantage the children of middle class & better have, is that their parents can help them. Many of my students and foster teens were not so fortunate.

        To tell me that you can get a loan on a $100,000 house (unless maybe you had a $50,000 down payment) is incredibly ludicrous. Its like the article I read last week where a doctor send she made $45,000 a year during her internship, which was $11 an hour. Rich people do math differently from the rest of us I guess.

        The conservative cry of “if you don’t like what you’re paid go get another job” is incredibly stupid when there are so few jobs – or I should say a dearth of good paying jobs. Over half this nation is just moving from one poorly paying job to the next.

        During the years when the working class was paid middle class wages, we had a booming economy. I could make you a list a mile long of all the things I am NOT doing and not buying because I simply don’t make enough. When we finally decide to pay working people good wages again, world wide, the economy will roll. The top 10% can only buy so much.

        The corporate cry “Cheap Labor” is what screws us over. Ask Henry Ford.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 9:20 pm

      Who is treating you badly ?

      You chose your land, you chose your home. I am gathering you chose to leave teaching for a $14/hr job.

      All I hear is you moaning that you should have more.

      That is an easily solveable problem – go get a job that delivers more value and therefor pays more.

      You could go back to teaching. I am not telling you you have to. I am not judging you if you dont.

      I have skills that would get me incredibly well paid in Tech centers. I live somewhere where there is no demand for those skills. To do what I want I am a self employed consultant – that pays quite well but I am lucky to have work 1/4 of the time.
      These were my choices – I am not blaming democrats or republicans for them.

      My wide is a top of her class ivy league lawyer. Again in major markets that is a ticket to the top. She works by choice as a public defender – which after 18 years pays little more than half what whe could have gotten from a major market firm right out of school.

      We made our choices for our own reasons. Maybe our reasons are similar to yours, maybe not. But they were choices.
      We are not blaming anyone else.
      And we know exactly what we must do if we ever decide to change those.

      In my life my biggest problem is democrats not republicans.

      Democrats took over the local city government – taxes went up – rents went up. So I guess that is my tenants problem not mine.
      The single majro factor driving rent increases has been the city government – and my rents have increased 50% since 2009. I used to rail and bitch and moan and fight.
      But my tenants did not care that I was fighting for them, and the city did not care,
      So now I just pass it on as rent increases.

      Once in a while I actually get too busy. I would hire people – but the total cost of hiring people makes no sense until you can afford atleast 3. Worse until you can afford someone to handle all the additional costs of employees, which is closer to 10 people, you are trading work you love for work you hate – unless you love to do payroll and taxes and government forms and ….
      So growing my business is almost impossible.

      And hiring help for my appartments or building my home is dancing in the grey.

      How many kids do you see getting paid to mow grass any more ?
      None where I am. You really can not legally do it. It you hire someone other than family to do it you are an employer and have reams of paperwork.
      So you hire a landscaping companihy at a far higher rate and they send a truck and mowers and …. and do it for you and they pay the taxes etc.
      Or you pay somebody under the table, or you hire somebody but keep it under 600/year so you do not have to 1099 them or …
      None of this is about the taxes. I could careless about the taxes.
      Do you know how much paperwork is generated to employ someone ?

      I used to run a 55 person firm. About 1/4 of my time and 1/2 of another persons time was spent dealing with all the government requirements to have 55 employees.
      But the amount of work to have one employee is not 1/55 of that to have 55, it is about 1/4.

      That and myriads of other things like that are what is killing small business today.

      When I was just out of college less than 5% of all jobs required state licensing – now it is about 1/3. I can be a landlord and can do roofing, carpentry, plumbing, electrical on my own building. But if I hire someone to help – they must be a licensed plumber or carpenter or roofer.

      You can not open a nail or hair salon without a state license. You can not braid hair.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 7, 2016 9:44 pm

      There is a difference between – you have made your own choices, and there is something you have done wrong.

      As I told you – I too have made choices that leave me with less income than I could have otherwise. They were free choices and I do not regret them.

      That said many people do make free choices that leave them less well off, and often they regret those choices. But that is not someone else’s fault.

      My tenants mostly have crappy credit – which is why they can not buy a home.
      Their credit is crap because of their own choices.

      Though most of my tenants are in the bottom quintile they are not all the same.

      I have a black family that is unlikely to remain long. They are climbing the ladder, they have good credit and are making wise choices and will likely be able to buy a home soon and move out.

      I have a hispanic family that is further down the curve but headed in the same direction.

      I have another couple that is nice enough but quite honestly can not manage any more than they have. They are not capable of doing a good job between them, they are not cabable of managing a home.
      40 years ago they would likely be dead. Their low level of functionality would not have been sustainable. Now they live better than my parents did in their first apartment – in the 50’s.

      I had a young white couple that was a total disaster several years ago. They had a young kid – I felt so sorry for him they fought, the police were in all the time.
      They tried to heat the apartment using the gas stove (I pay gas). Because of them I do not have gas stoves anymore. I do not care about the cost of gas, I was worried about further damaging their kid from Carbon monoxide.
      Today the city requires CO detecors as well as smoke detectors.
      Smoke detectors are probably my most common “repair”.
      Every time a tenant leaves they are all missing.

      Why ? Because most tenants smoke and the smoke detector goes off, and so they take it down and disable it and never put it back.
      Every time the city inspects I have to replace a bunch of smoke detectors.
      My lease allows me to charge – but trying to charge a tenant is a fools errand.
      I just pray that when they leave in the middle of the night several months behind on their rent – they leave the smoke detectors behind.

      People are poor for alot of reasons.
      When I just got out of college I was poor. I did not think of myself as poor.
      But based on my income and the measures of the time I was poor.
      I had a tiny home is a very shitty part of town, and there were drug deals and robberies on the street. We only lived there 6 years. When I was no longer poor – I moved.

      It is wrong to paint everyone who is poor with some broad brush.
      More than half of us start out “poor” 90% of those become middle class.
      Some move to the top two quintiles.
      There are two people on the forbes 400 list of richest people in the world who were homeless at one time – and not technically homeless, but litterally living on the street.

      At the same time it is not wrong to say that peoples choices dictate their circumstances in life. That is not “blame”, it is just how things are.
      We are each ultimately responsible for our own lives.
      The tremendous rate of failure of lottery winners should make it clear that money does not fix the problems with our lives. That we each have to do that for ourselves.

      No judgements attached, it is just how it is.

      By the sweat of your brow you shall earn your daily bread
      Gen 3:19

      A man said to the universe:
      “Sir, I exist!”
      “However,” replied the universe,
      “The fact has not created in me
      A sense of obligation.”

      Donald Trump is not responsible for whatever you do not like about your own life,
      And neither Hillary Clinton nor anyone else can change it.

      If you actually want to change it – you must do so yourself.

  28. Priscilla permalink
    August 8, 2016 9:20 am

    Dave has been posting some very interesting comments ~he backs up what he says with a great deal of historical and statistical data, as well as some pretty convincing and relevant personal anecdotes. A great deal.

    I don’t agree with everything that he writes For example, in the exchange he had with Ron about NAFTA, I was more persuaded by Ron’s argument, also backed up with data. I am opposed to open borders, and, in the past, like Mike in this thread, I have tried to get Dave to come up with a good reason to explain why he supports them. The answer always sounds like “immigration is good.” But that’s not really on point. I have no problem with immigration, but open borders is a different animal. And I am still unpersuaded.

    But in this very long argument with Jay and Moogie, the essence of what I’m reading has been:

    Jay: Trump is an ass

    Dave: Yes, he is, but there is good reason to believe that he may be less bad than Clinton. I’m not voting for either, but here are my reasons why I think the way I do (states reasons).

    Jay: You are an ass like Trump.

    Moogie: I am unhappy with my life, so I vote Democrat. Conservatives are the reason that I am unhappy and struggling financially. Conservatives have ruled the country for 40 years.

    Dave: My wife and I have also struggled, and still do in some ways, but we have decided that it’s up to us to make something of our lives, and we’re not counting on the government to help us, because the government is about power, not about helping people (states personal examples, other examples, and data).

    Moogie: I am still unhappy with my life. And I still blame it entirely on conservative Republicans. And you are old and right wing and don’t know anything.

    • Jay permalink
      August 8, 2016 11:14 am

      Both my statements about assholeness are accurate.

      Anyone who still asserts Trump is a better choice than Clinton, has dysfunctions of intellect and judgement.

      This isn’t only my opinion. If you look at the number of intelligent thoughtful Republicans who have loudly criticized Trump as an unacceptable candidate, there’s about a 10 to 1 ratio to the Republicans and Democrats and Independents who support him.

      It’s one thing to march to a different drummer; but disruptively marching in the opposite direction into a mass of Never Trump educators, scientists, foreign affairs, economics and diplomatic savants puts Trumpsters into the same misguided intellectual camp as Flat Earthers and Creationists.

  29. August 8, 2016 9:47 am

    “Moogie: I am unhappy with my life, so I vote Democrat. Conservatives are the reason that I am unhappy and struggling financially. Conservatives have ruled the country for 40 years.”

    Simply not true that I am unhappy with my life. That seems to also be a universal conservative meme that anyone who is not Far Right is unhappy with their life. That’s been said to me before. Time to try something new.

    I am tired of being CHEATED out of good pay for my hard work. I am really sick of Income Inequality – MOST people are being cheated out of good pay for their hard work. This has been the way of the world for most of history. Lords/peasants. Onwers/slaves. When working people were paid middle class wages, the economy SKYROCKETED. But rich people don’t like that. Apparently they didn’t think they were as superior when they made only 30 times what the front line guy makes. The more you have the more you want. So eventually they turned things back around to having most of the money in their hands, and not enough in the working class.

    Again, I could make a list of what I could buy/do if I was paid a good wage. And if everyone had more money, things would churn again. But as long as you listen to conservative BS…no things won’t change. Don’t you get it that conservatives WANT high unemployment? It benefits them in every way.

    Actually, no one has denied that when working class people made middle class wages, the economy rolled. All I keep getting from this page is the same tired conservative BS of why we “can’t” pay good wages.

    BTW, that nonsense that Dems try to “buy” votes w/ programs for the poor is laughable. Far fewer poor people vote than any other, which is why things keep going well for the rich.

    Why would we need welfare programs if everyone was paid well?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 7:58 pm

      If you are unhappy with your life – the only person that can fix that is you.

      We have massive amounts of data on that – does nto matter whether you are rich, poor, american, or african.

      Communists, socialists, democrats, republicans – they can not make you happy with your life. Only you can do that.

      Nor can they improve your standard of living – only you can do that.
      What they can do is make it worse (standard of living, not happiness).
      And we know that the bigger the government the slower the rate of improvement in standard of living. So if you want a higher standard of living you need to do to things.
      Produce more value.
      Quit electing people who grow government to consume more of what you produce.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 8:09 pm

      How can you possibly be cheated ?

      Has someone refused to pay you want they agreed to ?

      What you appear to be saying is that you should be payed more than you are for what you do.

      Well we all think that.
      Thinking that does not make it true.

      If you want to be payed more – ask for more.
      You will find out if you are being paid what you are worth.
      But you could find out you are paid more than you are worth.

      Your worth as a human has nothing to do with your wages.
      What you are worth in wages is not based on how hard you work. It is not based on how you feel.
      It is based on what you produce.
      If you want to be paid more – produce more.
      If you are producing the same as 10, 20 years ago, you should not expect to be paid more.
      If someone elsewhere will do your job for half what you want – you are worth less.
      And that is how it should be. That may harm you – but the NET is good for the rest of us.
      We have more and better cloths today than ever and they cost far less.
      That is the gain from those “good middle class jobs” going to china. The chinese are now loosing them to places like Bangeledesch.
      They never were good middle class jobs.

      Regardless, neither party can fix the amount of value you produce.
      The only thing they can do is leave you with more or less of that value.

      Well, they can also take it from you and give it to someone else or take it from someone else and give it to you. That might make you better off – but it will not get you paid what you are worth. It will just make you an accessory to theft.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 8:48 pm

      Being paid more without producing more MIGHT improve your circumstances – though not likely. But the net effect will be negative – unless your being paid more causes you to produce more – and that happens the other way arround.

      But if you wish to try it – tell your employer that if that pay you 50% more you will produce 50% more value for them.

      If you can truly do so – which I doubt, any employer would jump at that.

      We all want more. McD’s wants more for its hamburgers, Walmart wants more for light bulbs. They are pretty sharp and know exactly what the effect on their sales and profits will be if they raise of lower the price – and they have it as close as possible to where they will profit the most. They know that if they raise the price they will make more money of every light bulb they sell. They also know they will sell less light bulbs.
      And all that stuff they know – it is about you. YOU are in control.
      It is you that changes whether you eat at McD’s or buy light bulbs based on the price.

      You control the price of the thing you buy exactly the same way your employer controls your wages. If you set your price to high – he is unlikely to buy your labor.

      And the value of anything – a light bulb, a hamburger, an hour of your labor, is what a buyer and seller freely agree to.

      I would like to pay less for my hamburger. But I am willing to pay the price offered.
      If I was not McD’s would have to lower the price or sell less hamburgers.

      You keep looking for magic. The keynesian demand side nonsense was ludicrous when it was first conceived. Demand side stimulus has NEVER worked.

      Giving you more money means one of three things (all of which are actually the same thing)
      Taking that money from someone else – so you are already in the hole before you have spent a dime.
      Taking that money from everyone by printing money – again you are already in the hole.
      Taking that money from you in the future by borrowing – still in the hole.

      Every investor on the planet knows that demand is a TRAILING indicator.

      When Buffet is trying to decide where the economy will be in 9-18 months, he looks at the amount of coal being mined or the train loads of coal or iron ore being transported.
      Because if PRODUCERS are asking for coal and iron, in 9-18 months that will be cars, and washers and dryers.

      You having more money in your pocket will NOT make a washer magically appear and the economy explode. At best giving everyone more money will make the price of everything rise, because for most things someone had to anticipate you would want them more than a year ago and produce them – before you even knew you wanted them.
      Giving everyone extra money just makes prices go up – which DECREASES your standard of living
      Producing goods way in advance makes prices go down – which INCREASES your standard of living.

      We have tried the “give people more money” nonsense over and over again.
      It does not work. But it does get votes – as you quite aptly demonstrate.
      Both Trump and Clinton are promising to give you more money – if you had not noticed.

      So you should be prepared to be worse off no matter who wins.
      Because that is what you want. The thing that will make you worse off – “money for nothing”.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 9:32 pm

      “Actually, no one has denied that when working class people made middle class wages, the economy rolled. All I keep getting from this page is the same tired conservative BS of why we “can’t” pay good wages.”

      That statement is practically meaningless.

      The factors effecting standard of living are:
      Size of government – smaller causes faster rises.
      Extent of freedom – more means faster rises.

      Wages do not and can not correlate – they are derivative.
      Wages greater than productivity supports are harmful.

      Wages are not conservative or progressive – they track labor productivity – they have trended slightly ahead of labor productivity.

      If they are ahead or behind that is bad – not good.

      Frankly, there is another massive problem with your entire argument.
      The objective of a high standard of living economy is to the greatest extent possible eliminate “working class” labor. It is not possible entirely, but the structure of the economy is always going to be fixed.

      Those who do not produce at all or produce very little at the bottom – the poor, the bottom quintile.
      Those who produce primarily by labor – the working class, the 4th quintile.
      Highly skilled labor or low skilled intelligence workers.
      Professionals and entrepeneurs

      This breakdown is NEVER going to change.
      But the more that we can move people to higher tier roles the higher our standard of living will be.

      Manufacturing is booming in the US and the jobs are very well paid – but they are few.
      These are for people who can run a room full of CNC machines at one time or similar white collar non-professional tasks.

      There are some blurring of lines – most of us invest. But we tend to invest significantly more as we move from white collar to professional, to investor.

      The most productive people in the world are investors.
      I am sure you disagree, but it is still a fact. They create jobs. Not government.

      • August 8, 2016 10:54 pm

        The most productive people in the world are investors?? Surely you jest, Dave. Other than venture capitalists (who do create jobs), most investors simply trade shares of companies. In other words, they’re profiting (if all goes well) from the hard work of others without producing anything themselves.

      • August 9, 2016 1:37 am

        Dave, here is where I may be able to help you understand the opposing view, even if we don’t agree with that view. Imagine a young guy who paints portraits and is thinking about moving out of his parent’s basement. He usually takes one whole day to paint one of his painting. He has experimented and found his paintings fly off the shelf at $30, they slow down but still sell at a moderate pace at $40, and nearly stop at a price point of $50, but every now and then he can sell one for $50. Now we know their are rich art collectors that spend millions on a single Master painting. e also know that minus the cost of materials, he can’t make a living off of $40 a day. Thus he NEEDS the GOVERNMENT to set the minimum price for paintings at $100 per painting. Is it more clear to you now Dave? ….You see, at $100 a painting, he is going to sell zero paintings, and when he gets hungry enough he’ll find something different he can do to make a living. Problem solved, thanks to government meddling. Now if I can shift away from being silly, was there not a time in history when railroad tycoons worked together to overcharge farmers and such in shipping their products to market? Are you opposed to some government involvement in economics to prevent things such as monopolies or collusion? Also, historically speaking, I’ve felt that unions provided a valuable function at one time when competition was stifled through collusion, but most or all unions have developed into something that causes more harm than good.

      • Jay permalink
        August 9, 2016 9:09 am

        Let’s play with your hypothetical Mike.

        The Artist is briskly selling his paintings at $100 a pop, via the Internet.

        He’s a happy Artist. But Foreign Artists in China see his paintings selling successfully, and duplicate them for sale at $10 each.

        He is not protected by copyright law. Should the government therefore put a tariff on those paintings threatening his livihood?

  30. August 8, 2016 10:24 am

    I have also read in several comments that many of you seem to think the “poor” have all these HDTVs (you haven’t been able to buy a new standard TV in over 5 years now) eating out all the time (or having food delivered), maids, good new cars, and they own their homes. These are not the poor people I am talking about. I’m talking about the 50% of this nation that are truly poor due to rotten wages. That 50% is growing every day.

    I’ve been hearing that housing starts are up. What I have not been able to find is what percentage of those homes are 1500 sq ft or less. That is what my home is, and about the size of my grandparents homes in the 50s. It is a working class size home. I would be willing to bet that only a small percentage of those homes are small. Most of those new homes are probably being built by retirees.

    I’ve also been trying to find stats on what percentage of 20 yos owned homes in the 50s verses how many own a home today. My own personal experience is that few of my peers in the 80s were able to buy a home then (when we were in our 20s) and virtually no 20yos I know have been able to buy one.

    Standards of Living may be up in the rest of the world, but it has been at our expense.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 7:39 pm


      The poor 40 years ago did not have TV’s are all.

      Further the argument that the poor have all these things today – is not some argument to send them all back to the salt mines.

      It is something we should be celebrating.

      The point you fail to get is that

      There will be poor always – they exist by definition. There is always a bottom 20%, or 17% or however you define poverty.

      The fact is that the poor today are on average as well off or better than the middle class 40 years ago;

      So what there have not been standard TV’s for a while.
      The poor in 1960 could not buy a TV. Today they can and do buy a far better TV than anyone could until recently.

      Yes, there is nothing but HDTV’s today – do you not grasp that means in atleast that way we are ALL better off.

      The median wage – that is the wage were 50% earn more and 50% earn less is 52K/year.
      50% or us are not poor or even close.

      Here is census data on home sizes over time

      Click to access HousingByYearBuilt.pdf

      Again note home sizes have been growing.
      That means we are getting more wealthy.
      Look at the changes in dishwashers, washing machines dryers.
      Look at the changes in airconditioning.

      Here is home ownership by age since 1982 – I can not get back farther than that.

      The collapse of the housing bubble brought it down for all groups.

      I would note however you have to be careful about statistics by age over time.

      Because people age that means the groups do not represent the same people.
      So the decline in homeownership for 35 year olds does not mean lots of 35 year olds lost there homes. It means that in 1999 when people reached 35 they were very likely to be able to buy a home.
      In 2015 new 35 year olds were much less likely to be able to buy a home.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 7:44 pm

      Standard of living over time – for the US and other countries.

      I would note that will the improvement in China seems small – that is an artifact of the graph. China’s GDP/PPP per capita has climbed from $40/year for much of the 20th century to approx 11K/year today.

      The US merely trippled.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 7:54 pm

      I bought my first home in 1983 – I was 26. It was a tiny house in a poor neighborhood,
      My interest rate was 13.1%.

      I am not sure why it is that you think that 20 year olds should easily be able to buy homes ?

      One of the other statistical misrepresentations in the GINI/Income inequality meme is:

      Our education has actually declined in the past 40 years.
      Given that why would you expect a person just starting out – just out of school to START out better off than their parents ?

      AGAIN standard of living is the value of what we produce.

      I keep saying over and over that the value produced by a burger flipper in 1975 is no different than 2016. There is zero reason that a burger flipper should be better off today than in 1975.

      What does happen is that we get out of school and start out much the same as our parents did at the same age. But many things – not our education, enable us to become more productive than our parents and therefore over time our income and standard of living rises more rapidly than our parents.
      And our kids will do the same.

  31. Jay permalink
    August 8, 2016 5:47 pm

    How can anyone still rationalizing their support for Trump ignore this:

    “Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump“lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”

    Mr. Trump, the officials warn, “would be the most reckless president in American history.””

    • dhlii permalink
      August 8, 2016 7:18 pm

      I do not support Trump.
      Nor do I support Clinton.

      I think on foreign policy and national security Trump would be bad – and clinton would be worse.

      Regardless, as noted before, there have been two big shifts in this election.
      Neo-cons – who normally vote Republican favor clinton. Trump is a non-interventionist.
      Clinton is a neo-con. To a lesser extent that shift would have happened regardless.
      Not a single candate was more of a neo-con than Clinton.

      Why would it surprise you that 50 republican Neo-Cons would support the only neo-con in this race ?

      Maybe you should consider your own position on foreign policy ?
      Are you in favor of more interventions like Iraq, Libya, Syria ?
      Those are what separates the neo-cons from the non-interventionists.
      Both were going into Afghanistan – the Taliban commited an act of War against the US,
      Both are likely to go after ISIS – they have attacked our own people and those of our allies.
      Even Johnson would go after ISIS – but wants a congressional declaration of war.

      The other Shift is blue collar workers are moving heavily to Trump.
      They are doing so because of his positions of immigration and Trade.
      These are the positions that I disagree with Trump the most on.
      But they are not issues where Hillary is on the side of the angels

      The other factor in this election is that Trump’s support among most GOP factions is weak.
      He does not have strong support from social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarian republicans, establishment republicans, or Neo-Cons.

      He primarily has the Tea Party republicans and Blue collar democrats.

      This is also one possible reason the polls may be misleading.

      First because it is unlikely Trump will lose normally red states no matter how unpopular he is there.

      This election really is down to the swing states, and only those poll numbers matter.

      Anyway, I hope Trump does nto win.
      And I hope Clinton does nto win.

      I am nearly certain not to get what I want.
      But I am voting for Johnson.
      Atleast I will be able to look myself in the mirror.

      • August 8, 2016 8:26 pm

        “But I am voting for Johnson.
        At least I will be able to look myself in the mirror.”

        That make two of us!!!!!!

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 11:23 pm

        “Why would it surprise you that 50 republican Neo-Cons would support the only neo-con in this race ?”

        In 2016 there is no coherent definition of Neo Conservative.

        Calling Hillary a Neo-Con is like calling her a Vegatarian because she eats potatoes with bacon and eggs.

      • Jay permalink
        August 8, 2016 11:26 pm

        “But I am voting for Johnson.”

        If Hillary is far enough ahead in California to assure victory here, I’ll vote for the libertarian candidates. If is close, Hill-Bill is my choice.

      • August 9, 2016 11:41 am

        If the left is not winning by 15% or more in california, Hillary will have a problem in the rest of the country. If she does not have a sizable lead in california, then you can still vote for Johnson as she will not carry enough states under those circumstances to win the electoral college,

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 8, 2016 11:31 pm

        Jay, seriously? Hillary will win California in a walk. You need to start making the Libertarian case!

      • Jay permalink
        August 9, 2016 9:42 am

        I’m considering voting for the Jay-libertarian candidate, me.

        My platform: Anti PC. Pro Abortion. Limits on Gun Ownership. No limits on Groupons. Reestablish School Corporal Punishment. Higher Taxes on the Top 1%. No Taxes on Whisky Sales. No Tax Exemptions For Churches. Free Tuition for Tech Schools. Exorbitant Tuition For Law School. Decriminalize Recreational Drug Possession. Mandatory Death Sentences for Serial Killers and Child Molestors and Fox News Commentstors who Supported Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 10:17 am


        Very bizarre platform.
        If you are being honest, I can not think of a candidate that should be acceptable to you.

        Anti PC. I would call it tolerating the expression of unpopular Ideas. But you can not get more Anti-PC than Trump

        Pro Abortion. Each person has sole rights to their own body – including pregnant women. A women’s rights to her own body includes the eviction of a pregnancy – even if you consider that a human and even if it means its death.

        Limits on Gun Ownership. Unconstitutional, and incredibly impractical.
        You can buy the equipment necescary to make your own AR-15 (or far more dangerous weapons) for less than the cost of a good quality AR-15 today. There are more guns in the country than people.
        If .01% of people disagree with you on some limit and are prepared to resist with force, you are going to have 10’s of thouxands of violent bloody confrontations.

        No limits on Groupons. ?
        Reestablish School Corporal Punishment – control of schools belongs with parents.

        Higher Taxes on the Top 1% – only if you want a recession.

        No Taxes on Whisky Sales – you must pay for government some how. Frankly contrary to your 1% claim it is actually politically and morally important that ordinary people pay for government and know they pay for government. When you vote for a candidate you should appreciate that when that candidate advocates for Free X – he means you are paying for it.

        No Tax Exemptions For Churches- no tax exempltions for anything at all – especially whiskey.

        Free Tuition for Tech Schools – there is no such thing as free. You are paying for it one way or another.

        Exorbitant Tuition For Law School – do you have a clue what law school costs already ?

        Decriminalize Recreational Drug Possession – lets get the words right,
        legalize drug use. I will further note you still end up with the disasterous mess we already have unless you legalize top to bottom.
        We have seen this in numerous other countries and with prostitution.
        IF you want something to be safe, it must be FULLY legal.
        Halfway measures bifurcate the market – leaving a smaller illegal market where all the problems of illegal markets continue.

        Mandatory Death Sentences for Serial Killers – is this a really serious problem that needs a national law ? How many serial killers do you know who have avoided the death penalty.

        Child Molestors – that would be fine if that is where it ends. But we have become so scared of peodophiles which are relatively rare, that we see them under every bush. My wife is a public defender. The largest portion of her clients are “sex offenders” none are actual peodophiles and very few are people who are actually dangerous in any way.

        It has become virtually impossible to terminate a teacher for cause. So today when a 25 year old teach has sex with a 17 year old student – something that was quite common in my high school 40 years ago. We solve the problem of terminating them by jailing them. And then they become sex offenders and must register for life.
        If your 19 year old daughter has sex with someone else’s 17 year old son – in many states that is a sex offence.
        If you just can not make it to the rest stop and urinate behind a bush along the highway and get caught – you are a sex offender – and must register as such for life.

        Fox News Commentstors who Supported Trump – and anyone who supports Clinton.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 10:24 am

        “In 2016 there is no coherent definition of Neo Conservative.”

        Come on – really ?

        “I have a sense that she’s one of the more competent members of the current administration and it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president.” —Dick Cheney

        “I’ve known her for many years now, and I respect her intellect. And she ran the State Department in the most effective way that I’ve ever seen.” —Henry Kissinger

        She says President Obama was wrong not to launch missile strikes on Syria in 2013.
        She pushed hard for the overthrow of Qadaffi in 2011.
        She supported the coup government in Honduras in 2009.
        She has backed escalation and prolongation of war in Afghanistan.
        She voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
        She skillfully promoted the White House justification for the war on Iraq.
        She does not hesitate to back the use of drones for targeted killing.
        She has consistently backed the military initiatives of Israel.
        She was not ashamed to laugh at the killing of Qadaffi.
        She has not hesitated to warn that she could obliterate Iran.
        She is not afraid to antagonize Russia.
        She helped facilitate a military coup in Ukraine.
        She has the financial support of the arms makers and many of their foreign customers.
        She waived restrictions at the State Department on selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar, all states wise enough to donate to the Clinton Foundation.
        She supported President Bill Clinton’s wars and the power of the president to make war without Congress.
        She has advocated for arming fighters in Syria.
        She supported a surge in Iraq even before President Bush did.

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 9:58 am

        Huh? What? You’re saying that an aggressive military stance makes her a NeoCon?
        My that simpleminded logic Trump too is a NeoCon – he wants boots on the ground to wipe out Isis, seize Middle Eastern oil fields, and bomb Iran.
        ““I believe you have to go in and strike Iran — not with soldiers,” Trump said. “You know, it’s not a world of soldiers anymore. It’s a world of air. It’s a world of different kinds of, you know, we’ve changed.”

        Read more:

        Your simpleminded reductionism of definition has become tedious and just plain dumb.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 8, 2016 11:02 pm

      I see my new grandkid (through my wife) on Skype in Israel each day and her parents, who are our loved ones. I have a big stake in foreign policy. A completely unqualified megalomaniac for US president is a personal nightmare for me. I’m sorry, the idea that trump has about the same amount of experience that Obama had is so obviously ridiculous that I cannot believe anyone would try to say that in intelligent company. The idea that Clinton is unqualified and does not have relevant experience, likewise.

      trump is now given a 3% chance of winning in the 538 nowcast. Can’t go to 0 fast enough.

      My fears for a civil war are not getting any smaller though.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 9:54 am

        And what experience did Obama have ?

        And what experience is it that Clinton has that one would qualify as exemplary ?

        Do not merely say Obama had experience – show us what experience he had.

        I can not think of a single position of leadership that Obama had prior to being elected. State and Federal legislative posistions are not positions of leadership. They do not involve making decisions that you are solely responsible for and taking responsibility for the results.

        Arguably Obama as president could have been a worse leader. Arguably he is a nice person. But I do not think it is arguable that he has been a good leader – in fact he has not been much of a leader.

        Even the Healthcare program that bears his name was not crafted by him. The only “leadership” he provided was campaigning for universal healthcare.

        Our foreign policy for the past 8 years – could have been worse. It is overall hard to distinguish from that of Bush but for two things, Obama has shown less leadership, and he has alienated our allies to no positive end.

        To the extent Clinton was Sec. State for much of that time she shares responsibility. And it is my personal view that Clinton, not Obama was responsible for much of our foreign policy.

        Trump has done nothing in government that I am aware of – frankly I consider that an asset. But he has show tremendous leadership – that is precisely what private enterprise is about.

        That also tends to refute most of the complaints about him and his temprament. Based on his public persona – I do not know how he succeeded. but you do not succeed in business by being impetuous, brash, obnoxius, petulant and impossible to work with. And most importantly you do not succeed by lying to people. Private enterprise can not fall back to force. If McD’s poisons your burger or lies to you – you will never be back.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 9, 2016 10:06 am

        “It is overall hard to distinguish from that of Bush but for two things, Obama has shown less leadership, and he has alienated our allies to no positive end.”

        A difference between Bush and Obama is that Obama has alienated our allies?!?

        Good Grief, even for you…

        “Trump has done nothing in government that I am aware of – frankly I consider that an asset. But he has show tremendous leadership – that is precisely what private enterprise is about.”

        You may as well being trying to convert me to join the Southern Baptist church. It ain’t gonna happen. Your ideology has no attraction to me whatsoever and I consider it absurd. And no, I am not going to “Show you” why its absurd. Gotta do more promising stuff today!

  32. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 9, 2016 12:18 am

    Excerpts from the statement of Maine Senator Sue Collins:

    I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president. This is not a decision I make lightly, for I am a lifelong Republican. But Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country….

    With the passage of time, I have become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize. But it was his attacks directed at people who could not respond on an equal footing — either because they do not share his power or stature or because professional responsibility precluded them from engaging at such a level — that revealed Mr. Trump as unworthy of being our president…

    My conclusion about Mr. Trump’s unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics. Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities….

    I am also deeply concerned that Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so. It is reckless for a presidential candidate to publicly raise doubts about honoring treaty commitments with our allies. Mr. Trump’s tendency to lash out when challenged further escalates the possibility of disputes spinning dangerously out of control.

    • Jay permalink
      August 9, 2016 8:58 am

      Excerp from Letter from 50 GOP National Security Experts:

      Trump “lacks the temperament to be President.”

      “He is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood. He does not encourage conflicting views. He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior… All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be President and Commander-in-Chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.”

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 9:38 am

        Reading this statement – how does it not apply more forcefully to Clinton.

        She is unwilling to separate truth from falsehood.
        Even now caught in a web of lies she is still trying to parse her way out of it without admitting what is cyrstal clear – that she lied, and that she knew she was lying.

        Evidence that Clinton is willing to hear, nuch less accept or stil further listen to different views ?

        Clinton does nto seem to act impetuously – she acts imperiously.
        On occaision Trump says something foolish and backs down or backs away – rarely I will admit, but it has happened.

        Clinton never admits or backs down from error. And given her choice would assure that no one was even able to question whether she made an error.
        If Clinton is elected we are going to need a separate special prosecutors branch of government merely to assure that she is unable to subvert the constitution in secret. It should be patently obvious to all that she thinks she needs no oversight. Had she been president rather than Sec. State we would never have heard of most of her lies and mistakes.

        Are these not dangerous qualities in a president ?

        You can criticize Trump all you want – and I will likely agree with most every single criticism. That Trump is a poor choice is a given. So is Clinton.

        Johnson is the only choice we have that is not horrible, and therefore he has my vote. I am tired of voting for the lessor evil. I am tired of apologizing for the deep flaws and betrayals of my candidate when they win.

        But Johnson is not going to win. If you feel that you must vote for the lessor of two evils – you must be able to be honest about the flaws of both candidates.

        Jumping up and down and shouting that Trump is Hitler is meaningless even if true is his opponent is Stalin.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 9, 2016 9:57 am

        “Reading this statement – how does it not apply more forcefully to Clinton.”

        I agree with you that Clinton is dishonest and imperious. trump is much more so but that could be a matter of opinion.

        There is much more however that Collins did not say. Trump has no intellect and no emotional self control (well she said the latter).

        Dave, you hate liberal/progressive thinking more than anything. That settles it for you. Clinton is a moderate liberal therefor the worst choice for you. As well, you are opposed to the very idea of government as we know it. To top it, you believe that anyone with time on their hands can be president.

        Its un-serious stuff, much as you say some thoughtful and interesting things as well, you fundamentally are living in a different belief system in which all will go much much better when there is almost no government and problems like Putin’s Russia will just solve themselves once we stop meddling.

        So, I enjoy some of what you say, some of it is actually pearls of wisdom. but I cannot take your overall assessment of the world seriously. Your assessment of Clinton is completely determined by your utter non-acceptance of any validity at all of the ideas of moderates or liberals. You believe that my basic beliefs are pretty much evil and immoral and you have said so many times. I believe that your basic beliefs are incredibly naive.

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 11:02 am

        I agree with everything said in the comment, with the exception of the last line, which in my opinion should read his !beliefs are blockheadedly narrowly focused.’

    • dhlii permalink
      August 9, 2016 9:20 am

      I agree with much of that.

      But not a single thing she says is a reason to vote for Hillary.

      I would have one criticism. Much of what Sen. Collin’s states is about emotions, not facts.
      Emotion is a perfectly legitimate reason for making a choice.
      But we should still not confuse it with facts.

      We are not going to “heal” the divisions in the country. Division is natural. We have to get past the idea that we are all the same, or that we should all come to an agreement.

      The means to by which we govern where there are many divergent views is that we only do what we can get super majority support for. That is how our founders structured our government. We have dismembered many of the barriers to mere majority rule in some instances to the point of mere plurality rule. Worse still we are becoming an even more diverse country – that is a GOOD thing, but it also means MORE not less division.

      There is no wand to bring us all together. Many posters here have defined moderate as a willingness to compromise. I would propose a different definition of moderate, a willingness to grasp that we are vastly different, and an understanding that a some or even most of us can not impose their will on the rest by force.

      Those with shared values are free to come together to accomplish whatever the desire on their own outside of government. But what we do through government must be what nearly all of us agree to do. Because none of us have the right to impose our will on others by force.

      Honestly, it is only a pretense that is a “proposal”. It is the only means that a nation as diverse as the US with as vastly divergent views can possibly govern itself.

      Further to get their you must accept only one value – one without which government is tyranny. That is that a majority does not have the right to impose its will on the rest by force.

      That principle is also the root of tolerance. Tolerance means accepting that others will think say and even do things we do not like – and that sol long as they do not use force to do so we must tolerate it.

      Saying hurtful things is bad – doing hurtful things is worse.

      I would also note that Collin’s makes a big deal out of Trump’s disrepect for others.

      I part company with her here. No one is owed respect. Respect is earned. Trump is incredibly disrepectful – as are those who oppose him. Further, though they do not make up the majority Trump does not disrepect his supporters. Clinton actually does – lying to people – particularly people who beleive in you and fight for you is disrepectful beyond beleif.

      The differences between Trump and Clinton are primarily of style not substance.
      Trump’s core constituency is blue colar democrats. Clinton’s is white colar democrats.
      Their actual policy differences are mostly in details.

  33. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 9, 2016 9:24 am

    “Jay: Trump is an ass
    Dave: Yes, he is, but there is good reason to believe that he may be less bad than Clinton. I’m not voting for either, but here are my reasons why I think the way I do (states reasons).
    Jay: You are an ass like Trump.”

    Well, Jay has stated many reasons and gone the route of trying to reason with Dave as well. Patience finally wears out sometimes.

    Priscilla its brave of you to hold your position here as the lone poster still voting for trump, I’ll give you that. You and I are having a Very Hard Time understanding each other at election time. As an example, when I said that I am horrified by the possibility of the disaster of trump plus GOP control of congress (and the governorships to boot) you asked what on earth I was afraid of. What Disaster? What could possible be so wrong about trump as president and full GOP control of congress that I would support Clinton? You do not live in my political universe.

    I do not believe that trump is a litmus test and all who choose him are terrible and unintelligent people. Simply, many people become immersed in their party culture, their ideological culture and cannot escape. That lens shuts out all other light. It does not take having a bad heart or an empty mind, instead there is a sort of addiction to believing that nothing, absolutley nothing at all, could be as bad as the other side winning. Loyalty “trumping” all (God help us, he’s even ruined a perfectly good word).

    I know you did not want trump and I do not blame you or conservatives like yourself for trump having been the nominee. But you and many other otherwise fine people still believe that he could be president and judging by your comment to me you could not even understand why I and so many others think that he is an unacceptable risk for so many reasons: he knows nothing about what he is doing, has a terrible psychological profile, lies truly pathologically, can’t distinguish truth from fiction, is nasty, vindictive, spends all his time watching TV and tweeting about the humungous size of his, er, talents …. On and on. The answer to all that is that Clinton is a liar (the first one in the history of politics?), that settles it for you.

    The backlash against trump from the conservative/GOP side is completely unprecedented. In the face of that you continue to write about this contest in many ways as if it were any other normal contest, the usual themes, it’s the meddling of the mainstream media (making no mention of the condition that Rupert Murdoch’s FOX house is in with its own dirty laundry), the Dem. candidate is the worst thing in the world (and before that it was Obama, and before that Kerry and Gore had your very strong disapproval). You know, it wears out, this whoever the dems run is the absolute worst thing routine that so many loyal conservatives have been performing (oh, and plenty of liberals run the same routine every 4 years). I am pretty sure that no moderate to liberal person who gets the Dem. nomination at any time in my remaining lifetime will ever escape the treatment of being called the worst most nauseating candidate possible by the world of GOP partisans.

    Had Sanders been the nominee I would not have voted for him, I don’t think he could do the job. Had the general election pitted Sanders against a capable GOP candidate, Graham, Kasich, Bush, or Rubio, I would have probably voted for one of them, although with GOP control of congress I would be between a rock and a hard place. I definitely believe that control of the oval office should go back and forth between the two major parties, as well as congress, hopefully with one party never controlling everything.

    Its up to people like yourself to save what remains of the older saner version of the GOP and I don’t see that you are willing to do it, you and so many others will just continue give a blank check of support to anyone who the GOP runs, anyone at all, even a completely unacceptable zero like trump, for president, while viewing anyone the Dems put up as the end of the world. Its so completely partisan, yes, it drives me nuts. I really don’t think its moderate, at all. Unflinching partisanship that continues to be become louder and more powerful is killing America. I expect to hear you respond that Obama is the reason for all that and liberals in general (and that Clinton is much more despicable than anyone in your political experience). No, in advance, no, much blame goes to all sides and sorting out who did it first or worst is futile. Blind Partisanship is the enemy.

  34. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 9, 2016 10:28 am

    “If you just can not make it to the rest stop and urinate behind a bush along the highway and get caught – you are a sex offender – and must register as such for life.”

    The drummer in my band was found in that situation just last week. The lady state cop let him go. No registry.

    An entire parade a naked people on bicycles went by me last year at noon in the capital of Vermont. No registry for them either. A police escort was provided. And that in hyper liberal Vermont, the very heart of your dreaded liberalism! What is wrong with this picture, something seems out of focus!?! A hyper libertarian ideological lens making a distortion field? Couldn’t be!

    Your are hyperventilating about laws. That situation might have happened once in America, stupid stuff of all kinds happens, but much more stupid stuff will happen when we just give up on laws and government and become your version of hyper libertarian (as opposed to Ron’s much more balanced brand of libertarian.)

  35. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 9, 2016 10:40 am

    trumps response to the letter by the 50 GOP national security experts. Note the highly detailed listing of what our actual national security issues are.

    “Well, I respond by saying that I wasn’t using any of them and they would have loved to have been involved with the campaign,” Trump said. “But I wasn’t using. I had no interest in using. Look where the country is now on national policy. Look what we are in defense. Look where we are. Look at the mess we are in. Whether it’s the Middle East or anyone else.”

    “And these were the people that have been there a long time,” he continued. “Washington establishment people that have been there for a long time. Look at the terrible job they’ve done. I hadn’t planned on using any of these people.”

    “They don’t feel relevant because of that and they form a group and they go out and try to get some publicity for themselves and they hope that somebody else other than Trump wins because that way they can get a job,” he added.”

    Right, that must be the reason. Many loyal conservative will just jump right in and say that he nailed it, he is speaking the truth! and ignore that trumps head is completely devoid of any knowledge of foreign policy. Or, like Dave, some will think that being empty of knowledge is Great and a high qualification!

    Ronald Reagan continues to roll over in his grave. Bush I isn’t lucky enough to be in his grave and avoid witnessing this mess, the mess that is a trump-hijacked GOP.

    • August 9, 2016 12:02 pm

      “Ronald Reagan continues to roll over in his grave.”


      Donald Trump is no conservative. The majority of people registered as Republicans did not put Trump in as the GOP nominee. It was democrats that put him in. Ronald reagan was smart enough to know this. Some would say “W” might not be but I reject that idea also.

      Its time for the GOP to wake up and make their elections closed primaries so people like Trump can never again hijack and election or worse, have the opposing party work to increase the vote for someone like Trump.

      And maybe next time the GOP can come together one one or two candidates, and not 16, that fractured the base to the point that Trump just walked in with the Democrat votes.

      • August 9, 2016 12:44 pm

        On the Red State article….Seriously? No matter what happens, the Dems are at fault – even in the middle of the opposing party???? You really believe 12 million people are a part of a plot that large?? and no one has noticed or reported on it??? Whatever the author of that article snorts, I want some.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 9, 2016 1:04 pm

        You’ve completely misunderstood the point, Moogie. In a contest between 2 people, or even 3-4 people, open primaries make little difference. In a contest among 17 candidates, when a plurality can win it all, crossover votes can be decisive. Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledge this. Why do you think there are super-delegates in the Democrat system. They are the fail-safe mechanism, in case the “wrong” candidate is winning more votes. Not very democratic, but probably sensible, as long as open primaries exist.

      • Jay permalink
        August 9, 2016 1:58 pm

        ““Ronald Reagan continues to roll over in his grave.”


        Donald Trump is no conservative.”

        You just answered your own question.

  36. August 9, 2016 10:41 am

    “Reestablish School Corporal Punishment – control of schools belongs with parents.” As a former high school teacher, I can tell you that does NOT work with the teenage group. We still had “licks” at the school I was at in 89-94. Don’t know about the lower grades. Fear only does so much.
    Most conservatives keep going back to the “parents, parents, parents” squawk – does it ever occur to you that not everyone grows up with great parents?? Sadly, I have realized that people that grow up with poor parent models never realize they weren’t good parents, and start the cycle again. But I guess we can just ignore those kids.

    In fact…it seems the conservative answer to most any problem faced by poor people (which is now half the country) is “it sucks to be you”.

  37. Priscilla permalink
    August 9, 2016 10:52 am

    To the commenter formerly known as Roby ( 😉 ) ,

    Thank you for acknowledging that I am not intellectually deficient, lacking in any judgement, or simply an ass. I’m also not “blind” partisan. I have never denied being a Republican, albeit a moderate one, and I’ve made my case for why the Democrat Party left me, not the other way around, to paraphrase RR. But I am not blind, although I can certainly understand how, coming from your perspective, it might seem that way. I do get that.

    This election is a travesty, but that is not because of Donald Trump, although, as a candidate he is lacking in many of the attributes that one might hope for in a future president. On the other hand, he has come from the private sector and the entertainment world, and his experience and knowledge is wide and deep. He is running as a populist, and, as such, he uses populist rhetoric, which tends to be unpalatable to many educated people. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve cringed at some of the things that Trump has said. I have also found him to be very engaging and funny, the latter something that has gotten him into trouble, particularly in the case of the baby that he “threw out of his rally” Even the mother of that baby knew he was joking. Nevertheless, he won the GOP nomination fairly. So, while he is certainly a big part of what makes this election a travesty, he is not responsible for creating the circumstances that led to his candidacy, He played by the rules.

    Just as Jay finds me mentally deficient for supporting Trump, I find myself incredulous at how anyone can say that they want Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I won’t go through the details of her almost total lack of accomplishment, her shameless pandering to groups like BLM, her failure to be truthful in almost any important instance of her career, and her criminal negligence when it came to protecting the security of the US ~ Dave is the detail guy here, and he has done a pretty good job of that. Suffice it to say that, when I look at these two woefully flawed candidates, I see no choice but to vote for the one who may not speak in carefully poll tested sound bites, rather than the one who will certainly continue lying to the people, taking the country farther to the left, and who is very likely compromised by classified and damaging emails that are now in the hands of our enemies. In this binary choice, that’s the one I make.

    And, while I understand the decision of anyone to vote 3rd party or write-in, I would only make that decision if there was some evidence that the candidate was something other than a spoiler. I won’t have any trouble looking myself in the mirror for having voted for the one candidate who could prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

    So, there you have it. I have heard all the arguments against Trump. How could I possibly avoid it? And I have affirmatively decided to challenge my own decision, and my choice remains the same. If you or Jay, or anyone else, cannot abide or respect that, it’s fine. But that’s your choice. Debate with me, present your case, do whatever you want to prove that you are right and I am wrong ~ who knows, maybe circumstances will change, Trump will step over even the very low bar that I have set for him, and your rational arguments will persuade me. But calling me an idiot, an ass, or someone who is blind to the facts is not gonna do it. Not offended, mind you, just not persuaded by invective.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 9, 2016 1:40 pm

      Well, first of all Priscilla you are a champion at remaining civil and calm and not being personal and even turning the other cheek to personal comments. You are gracious to other posters and can (often) admit when you are wrong about something So, you are a moderate’s moderate in style.

      I have no idea of changing your vote, I’m just venting.

      As to the idea that trump is just using a populist manner because that is the role he is playing, well, that falls flat for at least two reasons.

      If he was good at playing roles then the role he should have been playing since the convention was the pivot to the presidential role, the role of being thoughtful and trustworthy, stable. If he is trying to play that role then he is the worst actor in history.

      As well, if he is a populist the populist shtick is to stick it to the rich and powerful. He just proposed to give them a big tax break, absolutely the opposite of his words in the primary.

      trump is not playing any role, he is being himself. If he sounds like a shallow idiot its because he is a shallow idiot.

      The most important element in what you wrote in explaining your vote was “…taking the country farther to the left…”
      This is what drives the intelligent decent conservative who still support trump, fear of the left. Mookie sees everything as an assault by the right, we are a far too conservative country according to her, she is opposed to conservatives and conservative politics in her bones. Everything she does not like is the fault of conservatives. Your style is very different but in the end you are just as opposed to liberal politics. You and Dave, the “fact” guy, share that. There is one large army in this country that will oppose anything that they can blame on conservatives till the end of time and another such army that will oppose the left till the end and both groups will play the information war every election and never think of voting for the other side.
      My political views have almost no overlap with either your’s or mookie’s.

      Dave’s “facts” are very often half truths or lies. But he and you both have an equal aversion to the left so they seem like nice facts to you. The Clinton foundation does not actually only spend 6% on doing good things. If you pee in the bushes you do not go on the sex registry.
      Dave has cherry picked his collection of truths, half truths, and lies to support his ideas on tiny government. Yes, he is a fact guy, he is a guy who has a huge talent for ignoring the mass of facts that contradict any belief he has. People start out impressed with him and slowly lose their minds and patience. I’ve even seen your angelic patience tested by Dave.

      Ah well, peace to you.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 9, 2016 2:14 pm

        You do make a lot of good points. The populist thing may be a Jedi mind trick that I play on myself to try and find Trump less of a disappointment and an egotistical jerk. As far as his “policies” go, I would consider tax cuts for the middle class a populist position, especially when, as Trump is doing, you’re proposing to increase the tax rate on the rich. And his assault on political correctness is classic populism.

        On the other hand, much of what he says is just self-centered BS, and not helpful or populist in any way. So, point to you.

        I honestly don’t believe that Moogie and I are different sides of the same coin, and here is why: I differentiate between leftist and liberal, she considers conservative and right to be virtual synonyms.

        I actually have liberal opinions – not often expressed here , but I have them. And more to the point, I respect true liberals, even when I think they are making little sense. The left, that extreme end of the spectrum that will do anything to consolidate power in a central authority, and that fears freedom of expression, is an entirely other thing. Now, you are probably thinking “well, the far right is equally scary” and , there I will agree with you, but I don’t believe that, when Moogie talks about the right, she is referring to that extreme end of the spectrum. Either that, or she thinks that garden variety conservatives such as myself, and right wing fanatics are one and the same.
        Point to me on that one.

        Cherry picking facts? Yeah, we all do it. Some more egregiously than others.
        Tie on that one.

        There ya go ~ tie score! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, and peace to you as well.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 9, 2016 2:28 pm

        Oh I don’t equate you and mookie. Mookies is spending her life looking under the street lamp for the keys that she lost in a dark field and nothing is ever going to convince her to look in the field. She is taking things personally. I probably qualify to her as one of the conservatives who are ruining America. If she has an opposite here its Dave. When they argue I sort of feel bad for both of them, they are very similar in persistence and blinders while being opposites ideologically. Just as much as I want to tell Dave that is the new moderate and not the new fanatical libertarian I’d like to tell Mookie that this is not the new daily Kos. How I wish there was an actual group of moderates here, which I of course define as people who have exactly the same opinions I do. Rick comes closest, then Ron P and Jay. Haven’t figured Mike out yet.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 2:48 pm

        Not opposed to “liberal politics”.

        I am the most “liberal” person here – liberal as in valuing individual liberty.

        But even using “left” I am still quite “left”

        Gay rights – absolutely
        Legalize drugs – immediately
        Legalize prostitution – yup.

        Immigration – let everyone in who is not a known, terrorist, fellon, or currently afflicted with a communicable disease.

        The place I part company with the left, is that the record of government is one of clear failure.

        You say I am cherry picking. For the most part I am confronting YOUR arguments with data from places like NBER, Census, World Bank, IMF,

        Are you telling me those are wrong ?
        Are you telling me that the statistics I cite mean something different than they seem to mean ? If so please explain.

        You will find that when you have real world data that actually means what you claim it to mean that is actually significant – I am easy to deal with.

        I am not the one cherry picking. While I refer to mostly the same works over an over – most of the choices I use are because those are the most palletteable to the left.

        I can trivially back up every claim I make with data and studies from Mercatus, Heritage, Hoover, Frazier institute, Caro, ASI, AEI, CEI, FEE FFE, and a whole raft of other sources you are going to call biased.

        When I use Roggoff, Romer, or Barro, World Bank, IMF, NBER, US Census, the Fed, BLS, … – are you saying they too are biased.

        I think you have accused me of being a “know it all”

        That is pretty much nonsensical today. Someone who insists on always being right.

        We live in the internet era. It is quite easy to be “right” if that is your value – just check your facts before you post.

        I would have no reason to post most of the time, if most of those here quit spewing trivially disprovable nonsense.

        What is most disturbing is that such a large body of people actually beleive things that are not oppinions or points of view but obviously erroneous assertions of fact.

        The problem is much more common on the left – but it is present on the right too. Trump spouts nonsense on trade, globalization an immigration – and if he wins the election that will likely be why.

        You say I ignore a mass of facts that contradict my belief – sorry, but that is bunk. That is your problem, not mine.

        I have over time become a fairly extreme libertarian.

        But I arrived there pragmatically. The FACTS do not support anything else.
        The rarely support the left, and only slightly more often support government.

        Can you name a single government program that you can honestly say unequivicollay works ? We spend $4T/year on the federal government – it should not be hard to find something good that comes of all that money.

        While I would likely argue that nothing you can come up with actually works. Lets say you come up with half a dozen programs you think actually work – are they worth $4T If you can not answer unequivocally yes to that – then why are we even arguing ?

        Sorry, but facts are stubborn things. Worse still the burden of proof is supposed to be on those who wish government to act.

        Do you think it is acceptable to take a $ from someone else to do something that MIGHT work ?
        Do you think it is OK for 51 people to take 1 $ from 49 for something that MIGHT work ?

        If you can not justify your assertions on purely utilitarian basis – then you have not met the lowest threshold for using force against others.

        Even if you actually beleive the ends justify the means – you must atleast acheive the ends or your real argument devolves to evil means are justified because I say so.

        Forget me. Forget my ideas. Forget liberty entirely.

        Are you honestly saying that bigger government has worked well ?
        Whether big right government or big left government ?

        How many government programs are you prepared to sit down and look at the DATA honestly and do you think having done so you will be able to say they work.

        I am not cherry picking data. You are ignoring data entirely.

        And just to be clear – the utilitarian argument is not the only argument I have – but ALONE it is sufficient.

        I find the “cherry picking” argument hillarious.

        I have offered to take anyone who wants on on any claim that there is something that government does well, so long as the measure of performance is data, not oppinion, and so long as we measure all costs as well as all benefits.

        I have no takers.

        I feel like Julian Simon in the simon-ehrlich wager.
        I have offered you practically the terms of your own choice.
        I demonstrate that YOUR arguments are fallacious and not rooted in data – and I am the one cherry picking.

        This would be laughable – but it is extremely common.

        So let me make it clear, the failures of government (right or left) are so pervasive, endemic and common, that there are very few examples of government success. If I ceded you highways, the internet, public transportation, public education – each of which is dubiously successful.
        You still are far short of demonstrating that government does more good than harm.

        If it is so hard to do that – it is you that should think more seriously about whether your views are rooted in data or really just ideology.

        The problem with your arguments is not with me. It is with YOUR arguments.
        To the extent there is any cherry picking – it is yours.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 9, 2016 3:31 pm

        Dave, you know perfectly well how I meant the terms liberal and left. You have made countless posts here excoriating liberal/left/progressive ideas and people. You have called environmentalists evil and when pressed on that word doubled down. You are so anxious to have an argument with someone that you will say anything, why, you will even call yourself left or liberal as a twist if that gets your foot in the door.

        There are times when I definitely admire some of your principles, particularly on racial issues and immigrants, Syrian and Mexican (although you are completely incensed with liberals on race, how is that for irony).

        I am not trying to change you, your opinions, your mind. No interest at all in that. But you are trying to change my mind and we have been over the government issue to the tune of tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of words over the years. I am not interested in what you are selling and I understand very well what you are selling. You are like the encyclopedia salesman who just wants to get his foot in the door so he can make endless never say die arguments about the unsurpassable qualities of his product. (I never cherry pick You are the cherry picker is a classic Dave argument. My head hurts already.) I, on the other hand just want to say no thank you, try the next house. Ron’s calmer much less extreme libertarian ideas have more appeal to me. It was decent of you to admit that you are an extreme libertarian. But this is the New Moderate, not the New Extreme Libertarian and I am one of those moderate you have excoriated over the years, we are wrong about everything.

        You can try to convert me by writing dozens of lengthy posts showing me how wrong I am about everything, but that is on you. I does not obligate me to engage. I’ve been there, ouch.

        Know when to quit Dave. I’ll admit, I poked you here a few times lately, I shouldn’t have, since I value my time and sanity. I apologise. I’ll never do it again, I swear. Please sell extreme libertarianism to the house next door, not me.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 5:09 pm

        I am not arguing with you about what the meaning of “left” is.

        The issue is not about our ideals of a perfect world, or even about those societal change we would like to see.

        My departure from the left is about the MEANS to acheive them.

        What is LEFT to you ?

        Is it the means or the ends ?

        Is your idea of the left – big government uber alles ?

        Or is it the ends – the greatest prosperity and happiness for most of us ?

        Absolutely I excoriate the left constantly – an occaisonally the right too.

        I ruthlessly attach the idiotic idea that people will be better off if someone else makes their choices for them.

        You say you admire some specific positions of mine – mostly those at odds with the right.

        But you fail to grasp my positions, my argument are all part of a consistent cohesive whole.

        Are your values something you pick and choose from a menu like eating at a smorgasbord – Lets have a side of open borders, but an extra helping of protectionist tarriffs ?

        Or are your values rooted in principles ?

        I share more values with those on the left than the right.
        But the left has no principles.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 6:00 pm

        Oh, come on, cut the crap about cherry picking.

        Your entire concept of cherry picking boils down to

        Facts I do not like.

        I admit I do not look absolutely everything I post up on NBER before posting it. As I said before I mostly use the same data sets over and over – not because there are not myriads of others that make my point, but because those datasets are the hardest for left, right and moderates to ignore because they do not like the source.

        Because I use the same things over and over, I know them relatively well.

        Are you claiming those are wrong ?

        If you say they are cherry picked – fine, produce the large body of actual data that runs counter.

        Note I said data, not talking heads, not pundits.

        As I noted I did not start out this libertarain. I got that way because the more I checked the more and more and more I found the things I thought I knew were wrong.

        You will note that, if you post that “the world is going to hell”

        You can pretty much guarantee that I will respond demonstrating that you are wrong.

        I was brought up with “Duck and Cover” I did not expect to make it to 58.
        In college I was taught that in 5 years we would run out of oil and we had to be ready with sustainable living. My degree is in architecture, I studied clivus multrums, and passive solar homes – in every different climate.
        I have no problems with those things. The home I designed for myself incorporates many of those principles.

        But late in my sophmore year I decided that if I was going to have to kill other people to defend my passive solar self sufficient home with hyrdoponic gardens because we had run out of oil and they were starving.
        I just could not do it.

        Slowly after that I started to question the conventional wisdom of the left and the right. And what I learned slowly from the facts was that whenever someone is saying things are going to hell – they are wrong.

        David Hume noted nearly 300 years ago that arguments that the past was better than the present are nearly universally accepted and universally untrue.

        The fundimental error of most everyone here, and the left especially, is more than 3 centuries old.

        Anyone here actually think 1716 was better than today ? 1816 ? 1916 ?

        There is a pattern to life.

        We confront a problem. Sometimes this is a new problem, but usually this is a problem that has always been there that our standard of living has risen sufficiently to allow us to direct our energies at.

        As noted many times – people dying of thirst do not worry much about the cleanliness of water.

        Often that problem is the consequence of past success against other problems or of scarcity caused because our past success drives us to need ever more of something.

        If the problem is one of scarcity that drives prices up, which causes us to find new means of meeting demand and prices drop – lower than before.

        Sometimes that problem is the consequence of past solutions. The automobile solved the massive pollution problem caused by the horse, but it brought with it a different smaller pollution problem.

        Regardless whatever the problem myriads of people attack it. Nearly all fail, sometimes for a long time, but ultimately the problem is solved – and we move back to the top again.

        That process is one by which life continuously improves.

        That process moved incredibly slow in the past. Developing tools, moving from hunter gatherers to agriculture took more than 100,000 years. But the rate of change has been increasing in the modern era.
        It increases with the number of people – because the more people their are the more ideas there are. It increases as our knowledge grows.

        That process is innate to humans. It will occur with our without government.
        Government itself is a product of that process, and the successive refinement of government is also a product of that process.

        But let me remind you again – we fail far more than we succeed – though in the end we always succeed.

        Does that pattern make sense to you ? Does that seem to generally cover the entirety of human development ?

        Mostly it is a permutation of evolution – except that it is driven by the human mind specifically rather than the less structured and more random forces of nature.

        In the broad sense that process refutes the nostalgic notion that the past was better than the present.
        That is extremely rare in human history and never continues long.

        If you recognize that as the human development process, that process is completely incompatible with the malthusian doom and gloom scenarios that result in our self destruction – we will make mistakes – but we will not end our own existance or that of others.
        And we will make things better.

        If you accept that then nearly all claims that something was better in the past are false, and all claims that everything was better in the past are false. All claims that something is running are are possibly true in the short run, but false in the long run.

        And if you do not accept that – check the data, it will prove you wrong.

        And if you think I am cherry picking – then you are rejecting the pattern of
        human development.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 9, 2016 6:07 pm

        Sorry you have things inverted.

        You are trying to change me. Your ideology rationalizes the use of force constantly. You may not require that I beleive as you do, but you require that I live as you beleive.

        The converse however is not true.
        I am mostly not trying to change your mind – atleast not about anything except your use of force.

        Whatever we differ on you are free to beleive as you wish and live as you wish – so long as you do not impose your beleifs on others by force.
        You are free to do so alone, or together with all those who might agree with you. You are not free to force any who do not to join.

        The only thing I ask of you – demand, is that you limit the use of force to instances where:
        It is justified,
        it is effective.

    • Jay permalink
      August 9, 2016 3:09 pm

      “he has come from the private sector and the entertainment world, and his experience and knowledge is wide and deep. ”

      Tim, my plumber, comes from the private sector, and his experience with toilets and drains is wide and deep…

      trump’s business experiences doesn’t apply to high elected office, period. Much background information has surfaced since he started campaigning, showing his businesses were mostly based on financial hucksterism and pyramid schemes ( hence the numerous bankruptcies) and hype. Banks and other American financial institutions have known that for a long time, and refused to finance his projects without substantial backing from foreign investors, like the Russians and Chinese – who by the way subsequently have dumped him as partner from those deals.

      His other sources of income the last decade has been from his TV Production business- ‘The Apprentice’ etc – and licensing the Trump brand to investors and builders who wanted his name on their hotels and condos for marketing purposes. I have a feeling that part of his business will shrink dramatically now that his name has been significiently tarnished in the US and overseas – already happening in Dubai and Turkey where the Trump name has been removed from projects under construction. I foresee future lawsuits against him to recover fees paid for his ‘good’ name now that it has soured among the people most likely to have interest in living in a Trump anything.

      This is just the tip of the negative Trump business model, Priscilla. Yes, businessmen often have to be tough in their dealings, but Trump has crossed that line from decency to cruel deviousness more then he’s honored it. You could laugh at some of his nasty machinations and crass insults as a private citizen, but not as a Presidential candidate, and we certainly don’t need a cross between Andrew Dice Clay and P.T. Barnum as President.

      With Roby I applaud your temperament and intelligence overall; like him I’m frustrated by what I see as irrational rationalizations in your evaluation of Trump. I had an aunt I loved very much, kind, intelligent, well read – a talented painter of rural landscapes whose works are in an Upstate NY museum. But she had one dysfunction of intellect that drove me crazy – the superstitious belief that she had to toss salt over her shoulder, not only if she spilled salt, but to counteract bad luck or bad news. Some ingrained beliefs defy logic and reason. To me your Trump fixation is like that.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 9, 2016 3:29 pm

        Haha, I am glad that you only find me mildly dysfunctional, Jay (and you may call me Auntie Priscilla, if you wish 😉 )

        But, I don’t have a Trump fixation. I’ve explained why I’ll vote for him, with reluctance and largely because I feel that a Hillary Clinton presidency will be worse for the country. So, how that differs from your description of yourself as a reluctant Hillary supporter is a mystery to me. You seem far less reluctant to vote for Hillary than I am for Trump, but I don’t consider you to have a Hillary fixation (or perhaps you do, bwahaha! Those sexy pantsuits?).

        And I get your point regarding your plumber, but it’s a poor one, in my opinion.
        Trump’s experience as a billionaire construction magnate involves
        leadership, economic and negotiating skills ~ all skill sets which overlap with those needed for political leadership. He doesn’t have much in the way of military experience, but Hillary doesn’t either. On the other hand, he promises to rebuild the military that Obama has hollowed out, while Hillary promises to continue Obama’s policies. The fact that Tim is a plumber invites all manner of stupid jokes about Trump, Hillary and this election, but suffice it to say that Tim’s skills have little overlap with those needed for the presidency.

        I’ve said it a lot already, but I’ll say it again. This election provides no good option, but I have come to the decision that Trump is the least bad. Or that Hillary is the most bad. I don’t think that Trump will win, but maybe he will (knocks on wood for good luck).

  38. August 9, 2016 1:23 pm

    I didn’t miss anything. A few thousand “rogue” voters? maybe. 12 million? not a chance.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 9, 2016 1:25 pm

      Haha, ok then. I give up trying to explain anything to you.

      • August 9, 2016 1:39 pm

        IE, you believe there were 12 million rogue voters. Pass the doobie this way please.

        Actually, in my teeny tiny town you Might have roped enough people in to make a difference. In a larger town? city? No way

    • Jay permalink
      August 9, 2016 1:35 pm

      In the 1968 Presidential election George Wallace, the segregationist candidate, got a shade under 10,000,000 votes.

      • August 9, 2016 3:23 pm

        I have no doubt. I was only 5 and do not remember it well 🙂 Hopefully, those bad times are going to keep receding into the past. Obama’s elections proves the racists are outnumbered now…but the racists are a lot louder. Sigh.

      • Mike Hatcher permalink
        August 9, 2016 11:10 pm

        Jay,I owe you a couple of follow ups. Had a scheduled procedure in hospital today. Everything is good but too hard to write with my cell

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 1:06 am

        No rush. I’m in a procrastinating mode today, and want to let my mind drift

    • August 9, 2016 4:27 pm

      I can only go buy info presented in many different places.
      Red State–total 12 million
      Ohio,, over 1 million democrats and unaffiliated alone.
      I will find some more.

      • August 10, 2016 8:28 am

        I don’t know if you meant to back up my claim, but thank you, you did. Over 900,000 of those voters were Unaffiliated, not Dems.

        Believe me I understand all too well the appeal of Trump to rednecks!! I live here! Thankfully, I’ve not seen that many Trump signs around here…yet.

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 9:44 am

        And we don’t know how many crossed over to vote for Kashich or Cruz

      • August 10, 2016 1:31 pm

        Jay, I can’t find a ting that shows numbers and how they voted. But since Trump has a lot of white working male support, I can only suspect he has attracted a good number of union voters that normally vote for the Democrats. Kasich and Cruz did not have the same appeal to that group because Trumps appeal came from his Trade policy.

      • August 10, 2016 1:18 pm

        OK teacher, I understand where you are coming from. Say exactly what you mean and do not expect anyone to interpret the statement in any other manner. I see all the red marks and scribble marked all over that statement I previously made.

        So here is what I mean. Close the GOP primaries in all states with a primary to affiliated voters. Make the voters choose a party. Do not allow anyone of a different party or one who has not chosen a party to vote in the GOP primary. For caucus states, the same rules apply.

        Had this happened, Trump most likely would have left the race well before the bulk of the primaries had taken place. For instance, there are 725,000 unaffiliated voters in Iowa compared to 611,000 republicans and 584,000 democrats.9Not all of these voted) Based on the votes that eliminated or severely damaged a number of GOP candidates and helped Trump into second place, had the caucus been closed, I suspect Cruz would have won by a more substantial margin and those like Huccabee may have lived to see another election, with Trump getting a smaller number of Republican votes. His momentum would have been decreased going into NH.

        Point: Democrats should pick the democrat nominee
        ——–Republicans should pick the Republican Nominee
        ——–Independents and unaffiliated should have to choose between the two

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 10, 2016 1:59 pm

        Ron, you are absolutely correct (and I was a teacher, too) . Once many states decided on open primaries, the DNC wisely moved to super-delegates to choose the candidate. It is essentially “rigging’ the system, but, as I’ve said before, it’s a foolproof way to prevent what happened to the Republicans this year. In 2007, Hillary was very close to Obama in delegates, until many of the super-delegates decided to abandon her and switch to supporting Obama, who they thought was the better candidate.

        The GOP has paid a heavy price for not figuring out a way to prevent Democrat and Independent voters from choosing the Republican candidate. There’s got to be a middle ground between the rigged super-delegate system, and the chaotic RNC system.

      • August 10, 2016 5:54 pm

        I would like to see the GOP just say, “Vote in our primary if you are a registered Republican:”

        Having open primaries is like allowing General Motors to have a say in what cars Ford produces for the car market. It make no sense at all,

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 2:44 pm

        The other side of the argument.

        The two parties control who gets elected, and with no allowances for unaffiliated and independent voters to vote in the primaries, they have even less voice in the system.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 10, 2016 4:50 pm

        That isn’t the other side of the story though, Jay. It’s exactly the point. Independent voters do not support any particular party, so why should they get a say in who that party nominates? Should people who don’t believe in libertarian values or policies be allowed to choose who runs under the Libertarian banner? Of course not.

        Anyone can vote for whomever they please. Ronald Reagan ran as a conservative Republican and carried 49 of 50 states. Don’t you suppose that a lot of Democrats and Independents voted for him? That doesn’t mean that those voters should have had a say in who the Republican Party nominated.

        To put it in sports terms, if the Giants are playing the Jets, and one of the Patriots decides to suit up for the Jets that day, should he be allowed to play? Maybe not the best analogy, but it’s close enough.

        The whole purpose of political parties is for like-minded people to band together for maximum political leverage. The voting choice that Dave and Ron have made is more along the lines of what would give independents more say – that is, to support a third party effort that more closely aligns with their values.

      • August 10, 2016 6:00 pm

        Why should they have a voice in the matter. That is why we have two parties. If you are not willing to commit to one party or the other, then piss off. I want a Republican running against a Democrat. I don’t want a Democrat running against a mentally ill Democrat.

        At least the Democrats were smart enough to figure out a way to offset any impact of independants rigging their system and getting a non-liberal nominated.

    • August 9, 2016 4:30 pm

      Virginia 60,000..and that does not include unaffiliated that voted for Trump

    • August 9, 2016 4:44 pm

      There are many articles available that show how Trump attracted the blue collar worker votes in the rust belt. Few of them actually give much detail as to the exact numbers. We could debate the 12 million, but the point is it doesn;t take a high percentage of voters to switch and vote for someone else in a 16 person race. And once momentum begins, the money flows to the popular candidate and the money dries up for those not getting support. IE Jeb Bush.

      The GOP needs a closed primary system so republicans choose their candidate. I would support the democrats closing their primaries so the democrats could only pick their candidate. I don’t think people that will not choose a party or those of a different party should have any say in who a party runs as their candidate.

  39. August 9, 2016 3:21 pm

    “What is most disturbing is that such a large body of people actually beleive things that are not oppinions or points of view but obviously erroneous assertions of fact.
    The problem is much more common on the left ”


    • August 9, 2016 3:39 pm

      Sorry. Whew. had to catch my breath. But that argument that the government does nothing right and private sector is gold is nonsense. On many occasions the working people need to be protected. That is what went wrong over the past 40 years. The Far Right kept up the diatribe of “all government is useless” for so long that most people now believe it – even those who would benefit from government intervention. The Gov. morphed with Big Business and now working folk are getting squat.

      You and some others claim that the standard of living is rising – and in 3rd world countries that maybe true – but they are not up to our standards. I can give you an equal number of “cherry picked” reports over the last 25 years showing our decline.

      Sadly, with all the “gains” in the standard of living they are getting…they can’t afford to buy the products they make. And neither now can a majority of the American people. We can’t afford a 2nd car (still making payments on 1st one). Could only afford a double wide. Still can’t afford all that “affordable” furniture and other products that are supposedly so much cheaper. Still buying 2nd hand everything.

      Henry Ford was a smart man. Wonder if Corporate America will ever wise up.

  40. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 9, 2016 3:50 pm

    Anyone want to speculate as to whether trump will debate or how a trump Clinton debate will come out if he does agree to debate?

    I think he has to debate or be seen as gutless but I think he will lose badly unless people have such low expectations that he manages to beat them by standing upright on 2 feet. I don’t think he can put coherent thoughts together for very long or deal with factual issues and details. I guess I’ll have to wait till September to see whether my view is accurate or a caricature that I have chosen to believe.

    • Jay permalink
      August 10, 2016 4:46 pm

      He’ll just do his Apprentice schtick and scowl and avoid direct answering and make the same broad charges and insults… And the media will excerp the most outlandish of them.. And not much will change.

      But it’s a mistake to think he’ll self-destruct in one on one debates with Hillary. Watch reruns of the Apprentice on YouTube. He fast on his feet with answers and counter questions. And he’ll have wise ass quips ready to ridicule Hillary, provided to him by staff.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 10, 2016 5:17 pm

        One of 2 things will likely happen: 1) If he really wants to win, he’ll crush her in all three debates. Love her or hate her, she’s really not a very good speaker or debater, and any halfway decent opponent should have no problem with her, even with the moderators propping her up. 2) If he doesn’t want to win (or if he’s really a plant!) he’ll do well enough in the first debate, to make it look like a fair fight, and then he’ll do his Apprentice schtick and scowl and avoid direct answering and make the same broad charges and insults…

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 6:57 pm

        “Love her or hate her, she’s really not a very good speaker or debater”

        Where did you come up with that nonsensical assessment?

        She stood her ground debating Obama with feistiness and coherence in her debates with him, and was willing to respond effectively even with an audience favoring him.

        And in interviews with pesky FOX reporters she managed to maintain composure and coherence. But Trump isn’t Obama or newscasters operating under journalistic codes of restraint. He’s capable of entering his Mr Hyde WWF wrestling persona, with exaggerated scowls and leers, fist pounding the lectern, squishing up his face like he did ridiculing the physical disability reporter. I’m betting he will call her Lying Hillary at the dais, and make disparaging references to her wrinkles or other features.

        What then? His supporters in the audience will laugh/applaud, and the moderator will make some tepid remark calling for decorum – the same old weak Chastisments we heard at the Republican debates, to no avail.

        And even if Dopy Donald further demeans the political process, and further sullies the presidency in his classless fashion, you’ll stick by him, Pricilla, with the same rationalizations you’ve offered in the past. Like Trump, you’ll deny any ill will was intended, his remarks taken out of context of the larger issue : Clinton hate MUST ‘trump” all else.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 10, 2016 7:40 pm

        I had a an internet free day, hah! As well, I live a TV free life and never saw him on the apprentice, Jay. I’d hate to think his shtick would fly with moderate swing voters who would be tuning in for maybe the first real time to the election. But what do I know? I have no complacency, this ain’t over till he loses. I won’t watch the debates live, ugg. I’ll read the reviews, the polls and watch excerpts if they are not too sickening. Imagine spending an evening listening to those two have at it. My preconceived notion is that Hillary will appear to be the adult in the room and that will be a clear win. However, idiocracy time may be upon us, perhaps Americans want Jerry Springer for president.

        If so, Canada less than 50 miles away… Or perhaps Vermont could secede if Trump were to win. They always say that the great thing about Vermont is that its located so close to the USA.

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 10:15 pm

        Where’s Bernie?
        He promised to help defeat Trump, but I haven’t seen or heard a word from him since the convention.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 10, 2016 9:04 pm

        It would be hard not to look like the adult in the room with Trump there. At least the Trump we’re used to seeing.

        I thought he was awful, really awful, in the GOP debates, making his faces and insulting people. But there was one exchange with Cruz, back when Cruz was in trouble over his “NY values” remark, where I saw a flash of brilliance in Trump’s response, an entirely different demeanor, and a natural ability to speak directly and connect with people. It was just very striking, and if he can be that guy in debates with Hillary, he will do just fine.

        I’ll admit Jay, that Hillary is very well prepared for debates, and skilled at deflecting attacks. On the other hand, she’s wooden and overly rehearsed. For the most part, Obama ran circles around her in 2007, and he had pretty much zero experience doing anything, He was just more natural an articulate.

        I’d like to see Gary Johnson in the debates. He might actually make a difference.

      • August 10, 2016 10:37 pm

        The systems rigged. Johnson has litle chance of getting into the debates. They will make sure they use at least one poll that only list Clinton/Trump/other so johnson can not get close to 15%

  41. August 9, 2016 3:56 pm

    Grand Wazoo…you are making the mistake of since I am not Far Right, I must be Far Left. Whoa. Nope. Neither works well. When you have NO government intervention (although dhiii will disagree) you get what we have now – Income Inequality and a stagnant economy. Go to far left and you get communism, which didn’t work either.

    There seem to be a number of countries that have blended private sector and government and get along far better than we are. Scandinavian countries, Germany, France…sure they have problems too but not the severe Income Inequality we have here.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” I think this statement has caused a number of problems, as wonderful as it is. Unfortunately, all men are not created with equal abilities, equal genetics, or equal circumstances. This is where the left & right clash – Right says No Matter What, ANYONE can succeed. The Left says – Get Real, Some People are
    Given More than Others.

    A friend that lived on the same street I did in high school (and is a conservative now) reminded me he was the product of a single parent home. Really? His parent was college educated and could afford to bring him up in Clear Lake (home of the astronauts in Houston). Compare that to the child of a teen growing up in the inner city?

    IMHO, the proper role of government is referee between the corporation and the working people. To make sure those who need help get it, to make sure workers are not just being paid slave wages (as half of us are now). To protect the environment. Remember your lovely private sector polluted Lake Erie til it caught fire. To protect consumers. Snake oil anyone?

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 9, 2016 4:37 pm

      Mookie, I don’t think that you are as far left as communist, but pretty far left all the same, I’d say Bernie left. My guess, (its none of my business) is that you will vote for Hillary but wanted Bernie.

      Half the country making slave wages? That is just silly. Mookie your economic ideas drive me nuts. If all the things you have been reading for 25 years tell you the same story, that conservatives ran oversees with your proper pay, then you have simply been reading one sided nonsense that has some small grain of truth in it but is far from the whole truth. If you expand your reading to include a more balanced picture you may have a different take on everything. Better yet, borrow an economics text from the library and get a better foundation for thinking about economic questions. You are wildly unrealistic in your economic statements, the solution to all problems is not having at people who are better off than you are and telling them that they just don’t get it. Globalization by the way is not a conservative idea, its a liberal one.

      I believe that how the job situation and pay situation and bank situation look to a person depend greatly on where you live, if its an inner city or the most impoverished part of rural appalachia then yes, things look desperate. I certainly do believe that there are no small number of people in this country who have had very little chance to succeed based on where they live or were born and raised, inner city Baltimore, rural poverty. Its easy to say that they should just move somewhere better but its much harder to cut ties and do it. You have a very dark and distorted view of american economics, I think its shaped by where you have lived. Where I live things are nowhere near as desperate as what you describe for most people and Vermont is not any rich state. But its desperate anywhere without a needed job skill. There are other ways as well to live comfortably. I’ve never made big money but I bought a cheap but fantastic piece of land and built my own home. Its led to a lot of freedom. I also accidently created my own job out of a sort of obsession/hobby that turned out to have an outlet. Think outside the box.

      What I believe in as a job program and pay improvement program is that the government should pay a large hunk of the costs or all of them one time in a person’s adult life for job retraining, medical skills, computer skills, building skills, what have you. College is nice but in most cases all that sociology and poly sci does not provide the skills to be something that is actually needed, a mechanic, radiography, plumbing, nursing, etc.

      • August 10, 2016 8:14 am

        Its MooGie, Grand Wazzoo…o, my you are wrong on so many counts I barely know where to begin!! I’ve lived in 4 different states but mostly in the South – Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Texas now I’m back in Virginia in Appalachia. I’ve lived in Houston & Dallas, worked & lived in the inner city, and I’m sure I’ve said I lived in the wealthy NASA neighborhood in high school in Houston. That school featured in the film “Dead Poets Society”? I lived there with the upper crust when Dad taught there. I’ve kept up with my inner city black students. I believe this all qualifies me as being pretty well rounded. I also consider myself pretty well read…and yes I’ve checked out economics books from the library (besides owning the few my dad had). What I noticed most keenly is the absence of a perspective of the working people. The only thing most of them say is a minimum wage is a no no. Imagine that.
        Job re-training?? I’ve been a part of that. Remember I’m in Appalachia where they started 3 decades ago sending our jobs overseas. There are barely any furniture or textile plants left here. Ten years ago I was a part of helping those folks get their GEDs. Where are they working now? Walmart – probably for half of what they made at the manufacturing jobs. It is no good to “train” for non-existent jobs. We have a wealth of job skills here and not enough jobs for them.
        Moving elsewhere? Yes, its hard to tear yourself away, but what really stops everyone here is the lack of money. It takes a great deal of money to move. Most here don’t have it. I don’t have it, but I am fortunate to have family that can help if I ask.
        Of course not everyone is in dire straits, but I believe (no, I haven’t made a formal count) most of us will not reach the same economic level as our parents. That has also been the subject of many articles over the past 25 years. More than a few of the college grads I know are working jobs that pay less than $20/hr. And since we are now in our 50s, jobs are harder to come by. God forbid if you are like me and have had health problems and now have an “unstable” work history. I was just released from my last job in a call center for being too old and slow. (I made bonuses the last 2 paychecks, so go figure) I’m working in a convenience store for minimum wage, hoping something better comes up.
        I’m hoping the world comes to its senses soon. No one yet has denied that when we paid working class people middle class wages, the economy rocked. The constant corporate obsession with “cheap labor” is what f***d us up. When they paid well, they sold much more. I don’t think you can argue with that logic. Henry Ford figured this out over a 100 years ago. Income Inequality only works if you’re part of that top 10%.

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 9:35 am

        Yes, life has turned out to be a much rockier road then we believed it would be.

        Only thing to do is grip the wheel tighter, and try to avoid sinkholes ahead.

        This may be the model for technology-based manufacturing economic systems: a good century or so for nations ahead of the curve, then decline as other nations with poorer hungry populations catch up.

        I don’t see anything either extreme of the two parties if elected can do to make life much better for us. It is what it is, as we say.

      • August 10, 2016 12:24 pm

        What I am hoping for is that corporations will stop having anywhere cheaper to run to in the next say 20 years. With better communication, all people will know not to settle for being treated like slaves, and will demand better pay. Hopefully we will see better standards for everyone, instead of just the plutocracy.

    • August 9, 2016 4:57 pm

      “When you have NO government intervention (although dhiii will disagree) you get what we have now – Income Inequality and a stagnant economy”

      Maybe the problem is TOO MUCH government intervention.

      • August 10, 2016 8:21 am

        No thanks, the Heritage folks are definitely on the side of the business owners, I don’t read their BS.

        I hope all working people are starting to realize that they have been lied to for such a long time now….we’ve been told over and over and over again the wealthy are the job creators and we have to keep giving them tax breaks. Wow, how well has that worked in the past 25 years?? As they sent our jobs overseas?
        No, we the masses with purchasing power create jobs. That is just what has happened. The majority of us now just live paycheck to paycheck, so we don’t spend much. Pay us better, we’ll start buying again, which gives the wealthy reason to create more jobs. Those folks overseas aren’t paid well enough to improve the economy.
        This is one of the reasons raising the minimum wage doesn’t have the dire consequences conservatives rail about. When they get raises they start spending, which negates the need for price hikes.

  42. August 9, 2016 11:35 pm

    If anyone hears if there is a way to invest in Trumps “The Producing of a President” let me know. I may invest in that show.

    I can’t wait until all the Trump supporters on the right find out how they were scammed. And they are the same ones that can not understand how people can fall for the request to send money to a foreign bank to get even more money back.

    Everyday there is something new, like the comments about Somalians in Minn. He must lie awake at night thinking up who he can offend next.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 10, 2016 7:49 am

      Right on cue…

      I’m trying this morning to find out how I place a $100 bet that he quits. Does not seem like a crazy use of $100.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 10, 2016 8:41 pm

        God, I wish he would quit. Ha, and this is coming from someone who plans to vote for him. Sheesh.

      • August 10, 2016 10:32 pm

        Priscilla, Have not heard the Wednesday’s Daily Trump, but Tuesday’s brought the veiled threat.

        “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know”.

        This sounds a lot like the veiled threats that the southern segregationist democrats made in the 50’s and 60’s when civil rights workers came into town and they wanted those people to know their places and what could happen if they caused problems.

        Grand W (Roby) said Ronald Reagan continues to roll over in his grave. And i add George Wallace is laughing his head off and cheering Trump on! I can hear the second amendment words coming right out of his mouth with that strong southern accent. HUMMM Maybe David Duke is working for the Trump campaign after all.

  43. August 9, 2016 11:51 pm

    Hope this link come through. Goes with the scam.

    • Jay permalink
      August 10, 2016 9:40 am

      Ron the link worked.
      How do you do that?
      When I try to copy a Facebook link, it gives me an error message?

      • Jay permalink
        August 10, 2016 9:41 am

        WordPress gives me the error message, not Facebook.

      • August 10, 2016 1:27 pm

        You also have to paste the link into the comment you are making.

      • August 10, 2016 1:25 pm

        I right clicked on the story in facebook and it opened the facebook page of that person/group. Once that happened, I copied the HTTP address at the top of the page. Occasionally this does not work, but most times it does. That is why I said “Hope this link works”

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 10, 2016 2:08 pm

      Believe me Ron, the idea that Trump is a Hillary plant still bothers me. And I would not be surprised, although I don’t quite believe it.

      One of the things that most disturbs me is his habit of saying or doing a series of stupid and outrageous things, and then making a serious and successful speech, as he did this week. He’s done this 2-3 times before. Now, if he goes back to alienating voters and never focusing on either a positive message or the many (many, many, many) weaknesses and flaws of Hillary, I might abandon ship.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2016 10:20 am

        I am not sure I beleive he was serious when he started.
        But I think he really wants to be president now.

        That said, I do think his grasp of the current state of the US electorate is prescient.

        He recognized a fracture line in the democratic party and is exploiting it to great success.

        I would also note that I think the polls are wrong. That more so than ever before people are lying to pollsters.

        I have no evidence to back that up. It is just a gut feeling.
        I am not sure that I even think this election is going to be close.

        Todate Clinton has spent a fortune against Trump and is at best a few points ahead in swing states.
        Trump has spent little.

        In myriads of ways this is a very weird campaign.

        I would also note that Brexits were something like 5 points off the last polls and swung more than 10% from two weeks prior.

        I am not going to be happy no matter who we elect come November.
        But I am expecting to wake up to Pres. Trump.

        Between now and election day – is there any big negative you expect regarding Trump ? More stupid remarks I am sure.
        But I am not expecting documentation of how he an Putin plan to divide eastern europe.

        Conversely, there will be more and more Clinton emails from now until January.

        The economy is unstable and rarely does well leading into an election.
        The world economy is nearly certainly headed into mild recession.

        All acts of violence anywhere favor Trump.
        Another terrorist attack in the US or abroad favors Trump.
        Some black man killed by a white cop – still manages to favor Trump.
        Violent BLM protests – favor trump.
        More cop killing – favor trump.
        More crime – favor trump.

        Hillary has to get to November with next to nothing bad happening and Trump continuing to be stupid.

  44. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 10, 2016 7:40 am

    “At long last, Donald Trump has left the Republican Party few options but to act decisively and get this political train wreck off the tracks before something terrible happens.” Joe Scarborough

    Meanwhile Melania will address the media later today about Trump’s policy regarding the immigration crisis.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 10:06 am

      I doubt I even need to say that I disagree with Trump on immigration.

      That said – what has the left offered regarding immigration ?

      As best as I can tell, the lefts position is we do not want legal immigration – as that threatens blue collar jobs. But we want hordes of illegal immigrants avoiding even the shallowest govenrment oversight dangerously for themselves and other crossing where they can at night, and if they can manage to get a job – and we will jail anyone who gives them one, and survive long enough, then we are going to make them citizens.

      I think Trump is wrong on immigration. I think the left is bat-shit crazy on immigration.

      Regardless, show that I am wrong – tell me what is the obviously rational alternative that the left offers ?

      Trump was excoriated for criticisng Kahn.

      As best as I can tell Kahn was arguing that the US constitution and 14th amendment obligate the US government to protect those in foreign countries ?
      Even my “extreme” libertarian views do not reach half so far.

      What is the position of the left on immigration ?

      And please, not merely some inanities about “dreamers”.

      Open Borders ? a Wall ? Something in between ?

      • Jay permalink
        August 11, 2016 1:04 pm

        “I doubt I even need to say that I disagree with Trump on immigration.

        That said – what has the left offered regarding immigration ?

        As best as I can tell, the lefts position is we do not want legal immigration – as that threatens blue collar jobs. But we want hordes of illegal immigrants avoiding even the shallowest govenrment oversight dangerously for themselves and other crossing where they can at night, and if they can manage to get a job – and we will jail anyone who gives them one, and survive long enough, then we are going to make them citizens.”

        More exaggeration absurdum.

        Who do you include in the “left” – anyone who doesn’t want to round up and deport everyone here illegally?

        To refresh your memory, I supported Trump’s initial outrage over the pourous borders, and the failure of the Obama and Bush2 administrations to do anything about it. And I was, and still am, in favor of evtending a protective barrier along the southern border – not a wall but the same kind of high tech fences now in place at border crossings now. And I’d like to find and deport MANY of those here illegally, but not ALL of them. Does that make me a leftie?

        Te further refresh your memory, it was Ronald Reagan who provided the blanket amnesty that set the even larger inumber of border crossing and visa illegal immigration into motion. And Republican oriented businesses and corporation are the ones hiring them in great numbers. Are they ‘lefties’ under your definition?

        The ‘rational alternative’ is to tighten the border and visa system, and conscientiously ARREST AND FINE employers who violate the law.

        “Trump was excoriated for criticisng Kahn.

        As best as I can tell Kahn was arguing that the US constitution and 14th amendment obligate the US government to protect those in foreign countries ?
        Even my “extreme” libertarian views do not reach half so far.”

        No, Kahn was passionately arguing his Muslim son war hero would not have been allowed to enter the US under Trump’s original blanket banning statement, and that Trump’s unrelenting negative attacks were harmful to US Muslims who are loyal and patriotic.

        Again, like Trump, I believe criticisms of Islam are valid, and I would like to see a lot FEWER Muslims allowed to immigrate here. My agnostic antiReligionist view of present day Islam as dangerous to my safety and freedom of speech anchor that opinion. But disparaging the religion doesn’t mean disparaging reformist adherents, certainly not patriotic American Muslims who die for their country, or insult their parents for speaking out in complaint of perceived. And then disparage the family on national TV, and set of a storm of insinuation over their lives and motives. In my long lifetime that kind of unseemly behavior from a Trump was met with universal scorn, with little exception. Now it’s parsed and rationalized by the right, and even self professed Libertarians like you.

        “What is the position of the left on immigration ?”

        Multiple positions, depending on wide spectrum of immigration opinion on the left.

        However we agree that the official Democratic Party position is to do little to shrink the size of the present illegal immigration population or make it harder to enter the US illegally for the mostly Hispanic South Americans who come here each year. Though the US has ramped up border patrolling, and anti narcotics efforts during Obama’s administration, with modest success at times

  45. Priscilla permalink
    August 10, 2016 12:49 pm

    One of these days, a lot of folks are going to wake up to learn that their community or state can’t fund basic school programs, services, and expenses because their budget is tied up with paying pensions for retired public employees.

    And they’ll realize that the blame lies with politicians of both parties who traded long-term concerns, in order to get endorsements and support from teachers, police, and other public employee unions.

    One of the reasons that transparency in government is so important. But who cares? Trump said something stupid!!!

    “While underperforming investments receive the most attention, they aren’t the real reason for the tax hikes and cuts in government services needed to bail out public pensions. In reality, the culprit is the extraordinarily generous nature of the benefits themselves, whose costs are only now coming to the surface”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 9:49 am

      The only malthusian disaster that has any probability of proving true over the long run are the sustainability of government programs.

      In every other way you can bet against pessimism with respect to the future and always win.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 11, 2016 10:25 am

        I guess it’s because Americans have been told for so many years that economic disaster will follow, if the government continues to spend more than it can bring in, and raises the debt to unsustainable levels. In the past, voters have punished administration that have done this, by electing the other party. This did not happen in 2012, and is unlikely to happen in 2016.

        It would be interesting to discuss the reasons why things have changed.

  46. August 10, 2016 8:10 pm

    Hi Jay and Grand Wazzoo- First Jay, back when I restated what I thought your position was on the Iran deal, you confirmed that I had essentially expressed it correctly. I’ve been meaning to get back to that. I have a really difficult time deciding where to draw the line with dealing with aggressive, oppressive, violent regimes. If we didn’t tolerate a little “badness” we would probably be reduced to having to trade with only a few Inuit and rain forest tribes. For example, I don’t have any qualms about deals made between the USA and France despite the fact that I believe they have in recent history been down right nasty to their Islamic citizens PRIOR to any of these new terrorist attacks in the past year or two. That being said, I just think Iran’s leadership is just way to aggressive and violent to have made any deal with them other than perhaps apply more pressures and sanctions if possible. If they claimed they were willing to consider changing their ways, step one for me would have been for them to release those hostages, that would be absolutely the only thing I would have talked to them about, offered nothing in return except for after the hostages are back, then we can start a conversation with them on anything else. Although, if I called the shots, it would be continue to starve the regime as much as possible, and if they still got too close to developing nuclear weapons then the USA should provide as much support, financial or otherwise to let Israel do a military strike to set back the clock on Iran’s nuclear program. Someone (Ron? or I don’t remember) said Republicans were double talking, saying POTUS should have got the hostages in the deal and then when he did, blamed him for dealing for hostages. This to me, is not a contradiction, while I was against any deal that gave a state sponsor of terrorists billions of dollars (even if it was their own money) if someone wiser than me determined dealing should be done, then the sequence makes all the difference. First the hostages, then start the deal discussions. The way it went down, it appears to be rewarding bad behavior, and perception matters as it encourages other bad actors in this world. GW- You haven’t figured me out yet? Well you are right, I haven’t figured myself out yet either. What I’m pretty certain of is that at this point in time in USA history, we are far too authoritarian, thus the ideas that Dave says are most appealing to me. My fear is no matter who is elected we are continuing to move that direction. I suspect that if we ever reached Dave’s ideal libertarian utopia, then I would be pushing against it and towards more authoritarian. But we are so very far from that right now that I’m trying to pull in his direction. Two other things about my ideas about myself. One, I like to think that I’m very cognizant of things that I’m not an expert in, which is a whole lot of things. I am not a global climate expert, I’m not a US economy expert, or a charity foundation expert. I do know some things about military for having been in Army military intelligence for a little over 8 years. I currently have been working in mortgage servicing for about 9 years , forward mortgages, reverse mortgages, HELOCs, and am quite in tune with the Feds relationship with banks. I also lived in Zaire for one school year and learned a whole lot in that year about dictatorships and hyper inflation. But overall, I’ve listed to right wing radio for a long time so all my prejudices tend to be right orientated, but I’ve become more and more disillusioned with not only Republicans but the many distortions of right wing radio. I still dislike the left, but I try to make it a habit to read their side, KOS, Huffington Post, Daily Beast and try to find the truth somewhere in the middle.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 10, 2016 10:31 pm

      I’d suggest that you read the moderate journalists too! Oh wait, that’s like one or two guys, David Brooks and whatisname. But kidding aside, that are moderate liberals and moderate conservatives, I think, somewhere…

    • Jay permalink
      August 10, 2016 10:54 pm

      I was against the Iran nuke deal. My opinion was Iran had nuclear weapons already. Maybe a dozen or more Hiroshima style bombs – with all those cyclotrons spinning for a decade at least they surely produced enough U235 for a small but lethal arsenal. And only a fool would believe they are not proceeding surreptitiously to produce ICBMs.

      But it’s too late now to complain about that done deal.
      And my suspicion is Hillary wasn’t in favor of doing it.
      Like Dave says, she has a more militaristic mind set then Obama.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 8:28 am

      As I have noted repeatedly. I arrived at my “extreme” libertarianism pragmatically rather than theoretically. The alternatives have a horrible record of near universal failure.

      It is not the legitimate role of our government to “punish” other nations for “badness”.
      George Washington warned us to avoid involving ourselves in the affairs and intrigues of other nations. Left and Right have uniformly disregarded that.

      The role of government regarding other nations is to protect us from their use of force.
      And to physically protect our citizens in their dealings with those nations.

      It is not to make trade possible, easy, hard. It is not to use trade relationships to punish other nations for failing to conform to our ideals. It is not to punish other nations for their conduct towards their own people – no matter how reprehensible that might be.

      Our government may not do any of these things – but we as individuals and groups are free to do as we please. We as individuals and groups can choose who we will trade with, we can speak out against whatever we wish. We can aide those elsewhere whose values we support.

      To the extent Iran engages in violence towards other nations – particularly towards the US our government is free to use force against them.
      It seems clear that Iran seeks nuclear weapons. Frankly it is a miracle that more nations do not have them already. The thought of a nuclear Iran is terrifying. At the same time Israel, North Korea, China, India, Pakistan, and South Africa developed nuclear weapons – though it is likely that South Africa self disarmed. A nuclear Iran probably means a nuclear Saudi Arabia. Worse still neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia seem like long term stable nations. There is excellent reason to be affraid.

      But our fears do not alter the fact that the pre-emptive use of force is immoral. It is immoral as individuals and as nations.

      I would further note our entire discussion of foreign affairs rests on the same idiotic foundation that government elites knows what is best for us.

      Why should we beleive that men in Langley, Fort Meade, The White House or Foggy Bottom are so wise as to know what to do for the rest of us ?

      Historically the record of the US with respect to foreign countries has been thoroughly abysmal. I would strongly suggest reading “The Ugly American”.
      It is hard to overstate the disastrous record of the US in foreign relations.

      I constantly ask for examples where our government has acted that are clearly good.
      Our foreign relations are just one other area of near universal government failure.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 11, 2016 1:01 pm

        Dave, what is your opinion on the doctrine of “peace through strength”, largely attributed to Reagan? Specifically, I mean US maintenance of the most powerful military in the world, with the most high tech defense systems (“Star Wars” and beyond) to avoid the likelihood of an opportunistic war waged by a bad-actor nation that senses our weakness, or lack of motivation to defend against them. Are Russia or China taking over that role? Or are they bad-actor nations?

        I know that you don’t really “know” the answer to this, but I’d be interested in your opinion.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 11, 2016 1:05 pm

        Actually, Mike, I’d be interested in your opinion as well, as you have recently served in the military.

  47. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2016 9:47 am

    Watching this election, the media, the people, posters here is illuminating.

    We are told repeatedly that Trump is unfit and unqualified to be president.

    Why ?

    The argument seems to rest on two factors – he has never held public office, and his speech is intemperate.

    I do not think that being successful in business qualifies one for public office.
    Nor do I think that being successful at other public offices qualifies you for higher office.
    Clinton’s record of public service is pretty bad.

    Given their respective records, I would choose Trump over Clinton, as success in business is more qualifying that failure in public service.

    Regardless, the argument is not compelling.

    The remaining argument is that his speech is intemperate.

    That is pretty obviously true.That is not an attribute I think is good in a president. But it is not a disqualifier. It seems obvious that this is his personality and it has not prevented his success in business. There is no reason it should prevent success as president.
    We seem to beleive that the world will collapse if we can not deal with each other politely, that speaking impetuously and angrily is the same as acting impetuously and violently.

    The evidence strongly suggests that however Trump speaks he manages extremely complex business relationships very successfully.

    Looking at Clinton on the same criteria, She was a lawyer in the Rose law firm centuries ago, and appears to have done well there. Beyond that her roles have been in government and none have been anything to celebrate.

    I do not think one can say she speaks intemperately, but one can say that she lies.

    All politicians say things that run counter to our ideology that result in dueling shouts of “liar”. All politicians over generalize, or make remarks that are nut supported by the facts.
    Accusations of these types of lying with respect to Trump abound. I am at odds with him on trade and immigration – and I think he is smart enough to know better than what he says – so clearly I think he is “lying”.

    But when we labeling Hillary a liar we are not merely talking the ordinary political lies.
    We are talking about lying about her own actions. To the public, as well as under oath.

    I consider truthfulness incredibly important – even truthfulness in those things that nearly all politicians lie about. But a lack of truthfulness regarding ones actions separates one from society. We can survive fallacious arguments. Lies about acts undermine the foundations of the social contract.

    We also have necessarily higher standards for public conduct than business or private.

    Though too many on the left presume that in private exchanges there must be a winner and a loser – most private transactions are win-win – that is nearly a tautology. People are nearly by definition better off as consequence of their free choices.
    Further we expect – and in fact the market requires self serving. Trumps private actions are not expected to place the public interests or any interests besides his own first.
    Self-serving is the norm.

    Conversely public conduct MUST not be self serving. We expect that from the police to the president that public servants must make choices based on the public interests – not merely first – but solely. It is partly because this is nearly impossible that Government is so rife with failure. When we make choices for everyone else, we not merely must avoid self dealing – but even the appearance of self dealing – as the appearance of impropriety undermines our faith in government.

    More and more is coming out regarding Clinton’s conduct as Sec. State.
    I do not grasp why those on the left think that self dealing in government is less heinous than impetuous public speech.

    The claim that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous response to an interenet video – was a self serving lie. It was known to be a lie the first time it was uttered, in fact it is obvious that Sec. State Clinton knowing the truth actively sought a different more palatable explanation. Further, Sec. State Clinton pushed for and got aggressive persecution/prosecution of the person responsible for the video and they ended up in jail.

    How anyone on the left can find that acceptable I can not fathom.

    With respect to the incestuous relationship of CF and other Clinton affiliated entities, Sec. State Clinton’s actions likely violate the law. But they ABSOLUTELY violate the explicit public promise that Clinton was required to make by the Obama administration to take the position and Sec. State.
    She promised that her office would be entirely divorced from dealings with her outside interests. Not only was this false but some on her staff were being paid salaries not merely from government, but from multiple Clinton charitable and private interests.

    From the emails thus far released we have everything except an explict open agreement that If various parties seeking favors from the State Department contribute to CF they will receive the favors they seek. The web of public, charitable, and completely private interests is complex, in some instances that makes things worse.
    There are not merely apparent quid pro quo’s but multiple entanglements. Those seeking state department favors, not merely made contributions to CF, but spent much of the foreign aide they received with Clinton affiliated entities such as Tenaco and Clinton Global Initiative.

    I can not vote for Trump. His temperment does bother me. And I am at odds with him on numerous polices where I think he should know better.

    But my problems with Trump are small in comparison with Clinton.

    And my problems with those defending her are enormous.

    Tangential portions of Trump’s remarks are spun as having great significance, no doubt at all is allowed in understanding what Trump intended.
    What ever he says we must impute the most racist, mysoginist, violent intention to it.
    Yet when we examine Clinton we are required to give her the benefit of every doubt – including unbelievably implausible ones.

    I have met alot of people who are voting for Trump. None of them are “in the tank” for him. All grasp his flaws and chose him anyway.

    The same is nearly universally false with respect to Clinton supporters.

    Those of you on the left demand that the rest of us trust you with the reigns of govenrment power – yet you are incapable of being honest with yourselves. about the serious flaws of those you intend to give power over the rest of us.

    As Lord Acton noted – Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts absolutely.
    Given the corruption of Sec. State Clinton, I am terrified at the prospect of Pres. Clinton.

    Equally important – how can Clinton supporters ask the rest of us to take them seriously with regard to all other issues, when they are willfully blind to Clinton’s flaws.

    I disagree with the argument that Clinton is the lessor evil.
    But those on the left are not honest enough to make that argument.
    IF you are arguing that Clinton is actually good – your judgement or your morals are untrustworthy.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 11, 2016 10:15 am

      “Equally important – how can Clinton supporters ask the rest of us to take them seriously with regard to all other issues, when they are willfully blind to Clinton’s flaws.”

      This is precisely what bothers me about the arguments presented here for Clinton. I have struggled mightily with my decision to vote for Trump (which is actually kind of comically pathetic, since I live in a dark blue state, which will likely award its electoral votes to Clinton by a landslide…regardless, I have always considered my vote seriously).

      But when I read t descriptions of Clinton here, it is as if 1)The disastrous military intervention on Libya never happened 2) She is not directly responsible for the disastrous consequences of that intervention (“We Came, we saw , he died” followed by her laughter) 3) She never broke federal law as well as her own signed State Department pledge in using a secret, private server to conduct State Department business and lied repeatedly about that after she was caught. 4)she received tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of dollars in quid pro quo donations from foreign entities, laundered through a “foundation” which is little more than the Clinton family slush fund,

      I could understand – and in fact I do understand – the argument that Clinton’s temperament may be less volatile than Trump’s, and that makes her the lesser evil to many. But that is not the argument that anyone has made here. Temperament is important, there is no doubt. But so is judgement. Clinton clearly believes that she is above the law, she has repeatedly promised to circumvent Congress in the same way that Obama has, and she has used very poor judgment in her role as SecState, largely due to her decision to enrich herself and her family by selling access to the highest level of American government.

      • Jay permalink
        August 11, 2016 2:27 pm

        “But when I read t descriptions of Clinton here, it is as if 1)The disastrous military intervention on Libya never happened 2) She is not directly responsible for the disastrous consequences of that intervention (“We Came, we saw , he died” followed by her laughter) 3) ”

        Read this through. It will give you a less simple minded perspective on Libya, and perhaps a more appreciative understanding of the situation Clinton was dealing with, and the difficulties a Sec of State is confronted with at that level of decision making.

        And the same criticisms leveled at Clinton for advocating the Libya intervention is what Trump is suggesting now: boots on the ground throughout the region to attack ISIS strongholds, and air bombings of Iran in response to insults and nuke treaty violations. How do you reconcile that with your continuing support of him, Priscilla?

      • Jay permalink
        August 11, 2016 2:50 pm

        “4)she received tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of dollars in quid pro quo donations from foreign entities, laundered through a “foundation” which is little more than the Clinton family slush fund,”

        This is an unfounded allegation – no, it’s an outright falsehood – and you have ZERO proof to back that up.

        ‘She’ doesn’t get ANY money from Foundation donations. The ‘slush fund’ accusation is political smear propaganda, and I challenge you to prove otherwise. Do you even understand how the Clinton Foundation works? Have you looked into the Clinton Global Initiave to see who has donated money to its programs? Do you know what those Inistive are or how many people are actively involved in them worldwide?

        You can start here, with the donor list, and show me the quid pro quo:

        Clinton Global Initiative 2015 Sponsors

        And while at the site examine other tabs to see the scope of the initiatives – not charity based, but innovation and operational projects meant to improve the health and economic lives of people in Africa and India and the US.

        The Clintons don’t benefit financially from the Foundation, in fact they donate personal income to it.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2016 3:01 pm


        Cut the nonsense.

        Numerous Clinton Cronies as well as family members are very well paid from the Clinton foundation. Including Clinton staffers as State.

        Further this is not about one Clinton entity – this is part of how they eventually gamed Charity Navigator Etc, There is now CF, CGI, Teneco, basically a net of charitable and private organizations.

        So Some third world leader gives CF money. CF “launders” it by “paying” other Clinton owned or controled entities for “services”, then the third world “leader” gets “aide” from the state department, which then pays other Clinton entities to provide goods and services.

        Remember before when I noted that 80% of US development $’s spent for foreign aide never leave the US ?

        Well the Clintons figured out how to game that.

        Or do you think that the Clintons have gotten their net worth to nearly 9 figures through speaking fees and book deals ?

        Do you think Mr. Bill alone is worth $80M because he is really good with a backhoe ?

        Like I said Jay – the left is completely in the tank for Clinton.
        You have blinders on.

        If you honestly think Clinton is clean – then by the same token Trump has a silver tongue.

        It is deeply disturbing that there are people out there completely unable to make any assessments of the world without tilting everything ideologically.

        Claiming Clinton is honest is like claiming Trump is inoffensive.
        It is just stupid. Saying it makes you look stupid.

      • Jay permalink
        August 11, 2016 6:15 pm

        “Numerous Clinton Cronies as well as family members are very well paid from the Clinton foundation. Including Clinton staffers as State.”

        So what? They hired people they knew, at standard salaries for the jobs (I looked the pay scales up for comparison, have you?) and do the work professionally ( there were one or two exceptions; they were fired). And the Foundation operates in a successfull manner.

        Did you look at the names of the Foundation donors at the link (probably not). Do you think reputable contributors like the Gates Foundation & CocaCola & Pfizer & Walmart & UNITAID, would continue to contribute millions in donations year after year if the Foundation wasn’t on the level and producing beneficial results? You think they would do that if the Foundation gamed Charity Navigator as you, without a shred of evidence falsely claim, based only on wishful thinking. Am I wrong? Then get off your lazy butt and link to ACTUAL evidence. I’m waiting…

        More You:
        “So Some third world leader gives CF money. CF “launders” it by “paying” other Clinton owned or controled entities for “services”, then the third world “leader” gets “aide” from the state department, which then pays other Clinton entities to provide goods and services.”

        Show me the evidence of Clinton ownership or financial kickbacks. Where is it? And of the total Foundation donations since its start, what percentage of that money came from third world leaders, and in what amounts? Were they a significient part of the Foundation’s donations? Previously I provided the links to those Foundation donor amounts – again get off your lazy butt and check them out, and add them up.

        “Remember before when I noted that 80% of US development $’s spent for foreign aide never leave the US ? … Well the Clintons figured out how to game that.”

        Blah blah blah. Another dishonest misstatement based on skewed reasoning. The Foundation provided hardly any financial ‘aide’ to individuals. They organize programs and initiatives. They don’t ‘Aide’ they consult and advise and fund projects.

        “Or do you think that the Clintons have gotten their net worth to nearly 9 figures through speaking fees and book deals ?”

        Well, yes. And I’m not the only one who thinks that. Once more you’re making ignorant statements on equally ignorant suppositions. A little online research and basic math would have enlightened an objective investigator. Oops, not you:

        Hillary net worth $31.3 million.
        Bill estimated at $80 million.
        Money acquired:
        B. Clinton Knoff advance after leaving office: $10 million
        H.Clinton 1st book advance: $8 million
        H. Clinton 2nd book advance: $14 million

        “The Clintons have raked in $153 million in speaking fees since President Clinton left office, according to CNN. In all, the news organization reports, they gave a combined 729 speeches from February 2001 until mid-2015, “receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address.”

        “While neither Clinton takes a salary from the Clinton Foundation (the former secretary of state is not currently working there), the two have received a salary or pension from other sources since 2000. Hillary Clinton received a yearly salary while she was the senator from New York and then again while serving as secretary of state. Her final salary while serving in the Senate was $169,300 and her salary as secretary of state (which remained constant during her tenure) was $186,600.”

        “The former president receives a pension from the government along with a slew of other benefits. Clinton’s annual pension comes out to around $200,000; he also receives funds to cover the costs of an office and staff. In 2014, Clinton received about $950,000 total from the federal government. (Former President George W. Bush was paid $1.3 million in pension and expenses in that same period.”

        Back to you, Dave:

        “It is deeply disturbing that there are people out there completely unable to make any assessments of the world without tilting everything ideologically.”

        It is deeply disturbing that there are people like you out there who cavalierly misstate facts that rely on assumptions made on faulty preconceptions. Garbage in equals garbage out.

        “Claiming Clinton is honest is like claiming Trump is inoffensive.”

        I’m not claiming Clinton is honest. I’m asserting your examples to back up your claim she is, are full of holes, and contradicted by the record. If she’s financially dishonest, you haven’t come close to proving it. 👎

        “It is just stupid. Saying it makes you look stupid”

        Your repeated unsubstianted assertions make you look intellectually dishonest. Add a dollop or two of petulant snobby superiority and your caricature is complete. 😜😜

      • Jay permalink
        August 13, 2016 2:47 pm

        “So Some third world leader gives CF money. CF “launders” it by “paying” other Clinton owned or controled entities for “services”, then the third world “leader” gets “aide” from the state department, which then pays other Clinton entities to provide goods and services.”

        Wishful thinking.
        Have any evidence for any of those charges?

        Or evidence Clinton relatives or friends working for the Foundation aren’t doing their jobs, or are paid more than similar positions at other compareable institutions?

        And you do know it’s common practice for family foundations to hire family and people they know, right?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2016 3:16 pm


        Lets Just start with Abedin.

        While at State she was collecting Salaries from two other Clinton affiliates – I beleive Tenaco and CGI. That absolutely violated the directive Obama compelled his entire administration to sign.
        It probably also violates the law.
        It certainly creates the apearance of impropriety.

        The most recent email dump has emails from Abendin to people in State – including foreign consulates asking them to “take care of” “friends”,
        These friends are contributors to CF, and clients of Teneco and they are recipients of US foreign aide.

        At the very least you have a massively incestuous conflict of interests.

        And again need I note that Clinton explicitly promised obama in writing that there would be no interaction between her, or her staff in State and CF, CGI, or any other Clinton affiliates.

        Because in the unlikely event this were somehow honest.
        It looks really bad.

        As to your list – do you know the difference between a donor and a sponsor

        One of the many points which you fail to grasp is that there is tremendous overlap between those donating to CF, or CGI, buying services from Tenaco, and those Clinton was approving deals assistance and favors for at State.

        They call that a “conflict of interests”

        I would suggest looking up the various rules and guidelines regarding “conflict of interests”.

        At the barest minimum there are disclosure requirements that were not met.

      • Jay permalink
        August 13, 2016 2:20 pm

        Your brain is really scrambled on this one, Dave. How did you get so much screwed up?

        First, Tenaco isn’t a Clinton affiliate. I’m assuming you’re referring to ex-president Bill Clinton, who was a paid advisor to Teneo ( so was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair).

        Don’t you know the difference between an affiliate and an advisor?

        And you seem to be confused over the fact that the Clinton Foundation encompasses CGI. And you are wrong to assert the “friends” Abedin asked to be taken care of are recipients of US Foreign Aide.

        How did you get that jumbled in there? One worked for the Rockerfeller Foundation. Who was the other who received Foreign aide- no one shows up on a Google search. The Rockerfeller Foundation does donate to the Clinton Foundation, and it is a client of Teneo – so what? Billy Jean King and Northern Irish golfer Graeme McDowell are affiliated with Teneo, are they receipent of foreign aide too?

        Your assessment of Abedin’s actions is that they “probably also violates the law.”

        Sorry, wrong again:

        “Clinton’s top aide Huma CLEARED of ethics breaches – despite emails revealing how she took orders to open its doors to Foundation donors.”

        “The State Deaprtment has claimed ‘all the rules were followed’

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2016 3:18 pm


        And trump is a boyscott, loved by women, hispanics and blacks.

        You have been drinking the kook-aide to long.

        If you are going to behave credulously with respect to Clinton you own Trump the same benefit of the doubt – which would make him a marvel comics superhero.

      • Jay permalink
        August 13, 2016 2:26 pm

        I gave him the benefit of the doubt, remember?
        I got into a big argument with Roby when Trump first started campaigning, saying we should hear him out, that the early exaggerations were only for him to get attention, and he was only acting like a fascist buffoon for media time.

        But it has proved to be no act. He is devious and dangerous and cruelly vindictive. And you are enabling him with your obtuse rationalizations.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2016 3:46 pm


        JJ is entirely in the tank.

        He is incapable of evaluating Clinton using the same standards he does to weigh Trump.

        I am voting for Johnson – that is the only way I can look in the mirror.

        But if someone put a gun to my head and said you must choose between Clinton and Trump – it would be Trump easily.

      • Jay permalink
        August 12, 2016 6:09 pm

        “But if someone put a gun to my head and said you must choose between Clinton and Trump – it would be Trump easily.”

        I’m disappointed to hear you say that, Dave. Someone with your staunchly held beliefs against using force for political objectives should nobly have said, “No, I won’t be forced by threat,” and urged them to pull the trigger. 🔫💦💐😿

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2016 8:18 pm


        Eric Braverman – a freind of Chelsea’s was paid 275K for less than 1/2 years work before he was fired for …. seeking reforms at the charity.
        He was replaces by Donna Shalala.

        “It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group where progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout was once an organizing director.

        Then we have DOJ crushing MULTIPLE FBI requests to investigate the Clinton Foundation.

        I find it odd – try to start a 501(c)3 with Patriot in your name and the IRS investigates you for years. Engage in conflicts of interests that you promised you would not do, and an aparent pay of play scheme out of State and DOJ will not allow the FBI to investigate.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 11, 2016 8:41 pm

        “I’m not claiming Clinton is honest.”

        Coulda fooled me!

        Re: Libya, I did actually read the NYT article you linked, and, unfortunately, it just reinforced my preconceived belief that Clinton was itching to use some sort of military force in Libya, to gain some cred as a potential commander-in-chief. But it was an interesting article, and it showed, again, the pitfalls of relying on bad intel.

        All I said in my original comment, btw, was that Clinton had responsibility for the consequences of the disastrous military intervention. The article makes clear that the intervention was largely her idea, pitched hard to the President, who made the call based on her recommendation. And, as it turns out, it was a bad call, leading to some disatrous consequences.

        I’m not saying that she didn’t have some very good reasons for the military action, but they turned out to be wrong. Sort of the same way that Bush’s reasons for invading Iraq turned out to be wrong. Nobody’s giving him the benefit of the doubt, why should she get it?

      • Jay permalink
        August 13, 2016 12:55 pm

        “her idea, pitched hard to the President, who made the call based on her recommendation. And, as it turns out, it was a bad call”

        The arctics doesn’t say he made the call based on her recommendation; there was a consensus to invade, her vote allegedly the tipping point. And she took responsibility for the bad outcome in the media, saying it was a mistake.

        The article also said it was her inclination to take action over inaction, and the fact that she isn’t reluctant to take military action jibes with Trump’s constant promise to use boots on the ground to fight ISIS and drop bombs on Iran. You OK with Trump’s military threats, but not Clinton’s inclination to use force when deemed necessary?

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 3:37 pm


      Lets try something else.

      What kind of conduct do you think would be acceptable in a Sec State ?

      BTW that is really the Crux of the problem.

      I really do not care who donated to CF or affilates or why or where the money went so long and The Clintons are private citizens.

      If Russian Oligarchs wish to donate hundreds of millions to the Clintons and their cronies directly – I could care less. Nor do I care how bad a chartity CF is – beyond they fact that they are using influence to roll other private organizations that rate charities that would fail any other charity that did business as the Clintons do.

      Write your own rules for conflict of interest or self dealing or public corruption, or refer to the real rules as they already exist and tell me how they have not been violated ?

      Clinton and her state were to separate themselves completely from everything involving Teneco, CGI, CF, and all of Clinton’s outside interests.

      Instead they were collecting 2nd and 3rd salaries from those groups as well as regularly involving themselves in decisions that directly benefited entities that were paying them, or the clients or contributors to those entities.

      What is it that constitutes public corruption for you ?

      Aparently nothing short of an Oligarch putting gold directly into Hillary’s hand is sufficient for you.

      • Jay permalink
        August 12, 2016 6:00 pm

        “beyond they fact that they are using influence to roll other private organizations that rate charities that would fail any other charity that did business as the Clintons do.”

        Baloney. False Rumor momgering. You have ZERO proof that’s true.

        “Write your own rules for conflict of interest or self dealing or public corruption, or refer to the real rules as they already exist and tell me how they have not been violated ?”


        “Clinton and her state were to separate themselves completely from everything involving Teneco, CGI, CF, and all of Clinton’s outside interests.”

        Teneco? What’s that have to do with the Clintons?

        Yeah, she was supposed to stay away from the Clinton Global Initiative/Clinton Foundation, but she let lower level staff help other level staff get job interviews – big deal. And the African Elephant community isn’t upset about it …

        “Instead they were collecting 2nd and 3rd salaries from those groups as well as regularly involving themselves in decisions that directly benefited entities that were paying them, or the clients or contributors to those entities.”

        Reading Brietbart are you? Nothing unethical, illegal, or fattening went on. And if that’s not true, SHOW ME PROOF.

        “What is it that constitutes public corruption for you ?”

        Not anything you’ve asserted for sure.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 12, 2016 7:05 pm

        Do your homework, Jay 😉

      • Jay permalink
        August 13, 2016 12:03 pm

        Interesting and informative article, Pricilla, thanks for the link.

        Love that Irish wheeler-dealer guy, he puts Trump to shame for energy and innovation and Gallic hutzpah, and he’d make a great character in a TV series like West Wing. Daniel Day-Lewis could play him. A Trump-like character could be played by Tom Arnold, part buffoon, part blunt bastard.

        I for one would like to see a law passed prohibiting ex presidents and vice presidents from earring money from speaking engagements, book deals, or honorariums for a decade after they leave office.

        But that’s not the way it is now. So exactly what’s the legal problem with the wheeling and dealing Bill & Hillary have done, based for the most part on their celebrity and proximity to power?

        From the old time Republican perspective that the financial and economic ends justify the means, a lot of positives flowed out from Kelly’s maneuverings: jobs and opportunities galore in Ireland, and elsewhere.The Teneo Group Kelly founded directly and indirectly now employs thousands of people, 500 or more in the US. Lots of American pay checks there. They partnered and endowed Cornell University to create a business institute to train and equip the next generation of US CEOs and executives, a successful educational endeavor it seems, preparing US execs to deal with international competition on equal footing. They support numerous philanthropic endeavors and foundations, in addition to the Clinton Foundation, with money and assistance and other forms of sponsorship.

        And what’s wrong with the Clintons leveraging their celebrity, in office or out, to fund their Foundation, if indeed it does good works? If the donations were given to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army in their names, only because the donors were looking to curry favor through their association with the Clintons, would that be improper too?

        And do you seriously think Trump in office won’t be doing way more of the same for his buddies and pals? Are you so nieve to think he’s going to make decisions in the public interest that harms his personal business interests? Why haven’t you and others who support him asked to know if he’s going to seperate himself from those assets, and assign them to a blind trust to assure no conflict of interest?

        But he isn’t going to do that. His soul is as black as his conscience when it comes to screwing people to feather his own nest. If you were as conscientiously investigating him as you are Hillary, you’d know that.

  48. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 11, 2016 2:59 pm

    At least some good sentences have come from the Trump disaster. Here’s one from Jonah Goldberg at the National Review:

    “It’s instructive to look at what prompted the flop-sweat panic of recent days. After leaving the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Trump climbed the rhetorical jackass tree and then hurled himself earthward, hitting every branch on the way down.”

    Read more at:

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 3:23 pm

      Goldberg has been consistently anti-trump from a relatively libertarian perspective for a long time.

      He is also a good writer.

      Now that you have decided you like what he says about Trump you might want to read what he says about other things.

      Or are those like Goldberg only plausible when they confirm your narative.

      BTW Reich excoriated Clinton over the conduct in the DNC emails, and demanded she fire Wasserman-Shultz immediately and totally reject the favoritism the DNS was showing her.

      Wasseman-Shultz did eventually resign. So the left is atleast capable of some modesty after their pants have been pulled down.

  49. August 11, 2016 4:26 pm

    Well TNM friends, I am totally confused. The stock market closed at a record high today, gaining more than 100 points. The stock market is not so much a reflection of what has happened, as to what is going to happen in the next 90-180 days. I find this perplexing since Clinton is well ahead of Trump in the overall polling and is leading in most swing states. With so many people like Moogie supporting her because she is for the little man and is going to do things to help income inequality, raise taxes on the rich and corporations and tax estates, this seems counter intuitive to me. Trump is proposing tax reforms to lower corporate taxes, remove millions of low income workers from the tax rolls, reduce tax brackets for those remaining, begin child tax credits for working families and single parents and insure no estate taxes are used where the likes of family farms that are land poor, but asset rich end up getting sold to pay for the taxes on the inheritance. I would think trumps economic plan would be much more attractive to corporate executives since they would not face the 40%+ tax bracket Clinton proposes nor would they face the exit tax if they were bought by a foreign corporation.

    The only conclusion I can come up with is corporate executives and financial gurus expect a Clinton win in November (90 days) and they do not believe she will do what she says she will do going forward as her plan would have negative impacts on corporate profits. The stock market reacts in a negative manner to expected negative income news and it is not reaching to that expectation.

    How about some ideas as to what is happening from a financial side of this Trump/Clinton duel.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 11, 2016 4:39 pm

      Ron, simply, the stock market does not like chaos or turmoil. The stock market is the world’s finest neurotic patient and often reacts in panic to exciting events. If the “establishment” (Clinton) wins it means relative calm and stability compared to a trump victory. (or perhaps today’s market result has little or no relationship to the election.

      (This innocent and not very controversial little statement of mine will likely provoke 5 or 10 very lengthy posts from someone denying and stomping up and down on every word I said. I don’t mean you Ron!)

      • dhlii permalink
        August 11, 2016 4:57 pm

        There is little I would disagree with.

        Though I would say that the market does not likely care much whether Clinton or Trump will win. It cares more that that it is clearer at the moment that one of them will win.

        Similarly I would note that there is a big difference between the market prefers stability and the market prefers solid economic policies.

        I have addressed over and over that big business loves big government.
        So why would it surprise that the market loves big government.

        The stock market in the short run is slightly more likely to favor solid free market economics. In the long run it has no choice but to do so.

        Regardless the stock market most nearly (particularly in the short run) reflects what Wall Street wants and expects. That is not necescarily what is best.

        Real free markets have a great deal of “creative destruction” the stock market does not like that at all. But it is best for all of us in the long run.

        So have I denied or stomped on every word you said ?

      • August 11, 2016 6:43 pm

        “Regardless the stock market most nearly (particularly in the short run) reflects what Wall Street wants and expects. That is not necessarily what is best.”

        AH HA!!!! Exactly the answer I was trying to get.

        I have said a number of times that Clinton is very friendly with the big Wall Street gang. I have heard from different reporters that she has told them basically to not pay much attention to what she is saying, but to watch her actions (meaning they will be very different).

        And that is why with the expectations of a Clinton victory the stock market is looking at the fall futures to be higher and it is driving the market today. If she were to do what she says she is going to do, the market would be building that into pricing today so the big investors would cushion their losses.

        Now if Trump actually pulls this thing off, we could be in for a bumpy ride for those that have been able to save some.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 12, 2016 11:03 am

        Ron, I think that you have confused the stock market with wall street banks. The stock market reflects tens of millions of people making individual decisions about buying/selling thousands of stocks, each with its own daily situation. No matter whether Clinton is cozy with the wall street bankers or not (breaking them up for example) that has little if any effect on the overall stock market. Something else is driving it. I’m surprised its doing well, these are not comfortable times. But I have no doubt that the tens of millions of ordinary investors as a group will feel less secure with trump and that will be a headwind for the stock market. If he suddenly seemed to be winning that would drive the market down I bet. But nothing compared to what would happen to it if he was actually in office making his incomparable decisions.

      • August 12, 2016 12:23 pm

        GW..This is where you and I think about the stock market and the impact on a large part of the stock market differently. There may be tens of thousands invested in the market, but the market is driven by electronic trading and manager trading decisions based on decisions by investment companies that manage the bulk of the market trades. If they see in the future uncertainty in a large sector of the market or they see negative impacts from elections, they will flee that sector or they will move funds to safety, like bonds, to preserve principle until the uncertainty passes.

        Maybe they are counting on the House remaining in GOP hands to black anything big Hillary has up her smock.

  50. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2016 4:43 pm


    With respect to “peace through strength”.

    How much the military spends and what it spends on is a pragmatic not an ideological question.

    The defense of the the people of the nation is a legitimate role of government.
    Our leaders are obligated to be good stewards of that spending – to spend enough to keep us safe but not too much as that spending still comes at the expense of our liberty.

    My OPPINION, is that Reagan’s ludicrous spending on star wars etc. was justified.

    Reagan saw an opportunity. The USSR was in difficult straights fiscally, it could not afford to keep up with us on defense spending. Worse still Stealth was new – and we leaked enough deliberately to the USSR that they knew we had it. A major point of conflict between the US and USSR was US overflights of Russia. We would have shot down any russian overflying the US. But we overflew the USSR routinely. The Russians were not able to successfully “intercept” SR-71 blackbirds until late 1986.

    Stealth was a big deal – the USSR had just finished at great cost rebuilding its entire radar defense network and it was instantly obsolete. Stealth is defeatable, but it would have been enormously costly.

    Star wars was raising the ante further. Even if only one star wars program panned out as Stealth had – the USSR could not afford to keep up.

    Russia was extremely good at spying on us and stole alot of US technology without paying to develop it. But it still had to build it, and the economic resources did not exist in the USSR to compete.

    But if you follow that logic – Star Wars was close to a once and done thing.

    There is no USSR anymore and China is not the threat that even Russia is today.

    The US still spends more than the top 10 other countries in the world on military.

    We are not going to be supplanted militarily anytime soon.

    GW I was an amazing demonstration of our military strength. I think it boggled the minds of even our own military.
    There were some very unique twists. Sadam picked the wrong time to invade Kuwait.

    The collapse of the USSR left the US with a massive tank army in Europe ready to come home – it did so by way of Saudi Arabia. We saw in the desert what the US had been preparing for if the Soviets had ever tried to invade Europe. I think we surprised even ourselves.

    GW II was radically different. It was the culmination of military policy changes that had started nearly half a century before.

    After the US developed 200MegaTon Hydrogen bombs the question of bigger more powerful weapons answered itself – what use is a bomb that destroys the earth ?

    The next step was to be able to destroy the 200MT weapons of the enemy,
    We started in the 60’s working on accuracy.

    By GW II we could practically put an artillary shell down the barrel of an opposing tank or cannon – if it fired once. We had soldiers that carried riffles that could take out most tanks from more than a mile away. A B52 has a payload of about 70.000lbs. That is about twice that of an F15E. While GW I showed off the first smart bombs, by GW II we were at the early stages of being able to drop pods of 5lb bomblets each of which would identify and take out a single target.

    Drones are a sort of extension of this, as are “smart bullets”.
    Increasingly our military objective is assassination.

    Sort of a return to our Revolutionary war roots – while both sides in the revolution has “snipers” it was generally considered ungentlemanly in europe to deliberately seek to take out an opponents officers. Americans did it routinely. While some aspect of the colonists as the worlds first guerilla warriors is over stated – particularly in the north we were more prone to snipe at british officers, and we people who were good at it and well equiped to do so. The Pennsylvania riffle was accurate to 3 times the distance of must british muskets. It had only about 1/3 the rate of fire but if you could take out the enemies officers from a distance the enemy could not engage at that was a significant advantage.
    Even if you did not focus on officers if you could fire from outside the enemies range, fall back and reload and engage again you could harrass and decimate an enemy without engaging.

    Anyway I am getting distracted. I think I noted before that I frequently do embedded software – alot has been for the military – one peice of software I worked on was used to great success in GW II. Regardless, I was never in the military – anapolis tried to recruit me but I am too nearsighted. But I end up working with lots of military types as a part of work and other things. So weapons capabilities are intriguing.

    Regardless, my point is that we have the ability already to project whatever power we wish to anywhere in the world.

    I recall some discussions about taking out Iran during the Bush administration.
    It was estimated that would take 3 times the forces of GW II and 90 days.
    That was well inside of our militaries capabities.

    The fundimental problem was that same as Iraq – what next ?

    I beleive we should have a strong military.
    Though I beleive we should focus more on defense than offense.
    I beleive we can have by far the strongest military in the world spending 1/2 what we do today.

    I also beleive that absent a clear powerful threat like the USSR that we should deliberately scale down our military. The primary purpose of our military is deterence.
    Weapons have a tendency to get used.

    In every conflict there are myriads in the nation and congress who want to use this expensive sophisticated military we have built. It is supposed to be there so we do not have to use it.

    Just as vietnam altered the US view of war for decades – so has Iraq.
    WE can crush any enemy quickly. What we can not do is force peace and good government onto people afterwards. The only nation that has ever even come close to succeeding in that is the UK. It takes an enormous military and decades.

    So to summarize. I support a powerful US military – but that means about 1/2 what we spend today. If Iran choses to develop nuclear missles. WE should be capable of taking them out before they harm anyone – and the odds are excellent that we can today.

    It is irrelevant what nations have nuclear missles – so long as the dangerous ones know that they get to launch only ONCE. that it is unlikely they will strike their target and the consequences of having fired will be decapitation.

    We are not likely to fight a land war in Europe or Asia ever again.
    We should focus on what is likely.

    That’s my .02.

    Sorry that was long.

    And I apologize for the absent of ideological rantings.
    As I said most of the choices regarding our military are pragmatic not ideological.

    Should our circumstances change – what we need to spend on military would also change to reflect those circumstances.


    • Priscilla permalink
      August 11, 2016 5:23 pm

      Exactly the opining that I was hoping for, Dave. Very interesting. Thanks.

  51. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 11, 2016 5:18 pm

    On the subject of RR turning over in his grave: From Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter:

    “To Donald Trump: I am the daughter of a man who was shot by someone who got his inspiration from a movie, someone who believed if he killed the President the actress from that movie would notice him. Your glib and horrifying comment about “Second Amendment people” was heard around the world. It was heard by sane and decent people who shudder at your fondness for verbal violence. It was heard by your supporters, many of whom gleefully and angrily yell, “Lock her up!” at your rallies. It was heard by the person sitting alone in a room, locked in his own dark fantasies, who sees unbridled violence as a way to make his mark in the world, and is just looking for ideas. Yes, Mr. Trump, words matter. But then you know that, which makes this all even more horrifying.”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 7:59 pm

      Words do matter.

      Words like

      “I promise to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.


      “For the duration of my appointment as secretary if I am confirmed, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which The William J. Clinton Foundation (or the Clinton Global Initiative) is a party or represents a party. …”

      We “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.”


      That she had come under sniper fire in bosnia,


      that she was named after sir edmond Hillary

      That her email server was in “accordance with the rules and the regulations in effect.”

      Actions speak louder than words

      Given multiple chances, Secretary Clinton has been unable to name a “marquee” or “proudest” achievement from her four years as Secretary of State.

      Even Clinton can’t think of anything significant Clinton did as Sec. State.

      We went through this tripe with the McCain and Romney campaigns.

      The Press and the left put every word uttered by anyone not on the left under a microscope spinning it the worst possible way.

      No argument that Trump gives them plenty of fodder.

      But again – I ask you to judge Clinton using the same standard as you do Trump.

      If Trumps words matter – so do Clinton’s.

      Patti Davis has been know to say alot of things BTW – including that her father and mother would have supported gay marraige.

      BTW why is it that the left thinks that who says something determines whether it is true or not ?

      If the pope says something racist – is in not still racist ?

      If Hitler speaks kindly about dogs – does that mean he did not slaughter jews ?

  52. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2016 7:36 pm

    One pay for play at the state department.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 11, 2016 8:27 pm

      And more – apparently even DOJ lawyers felt they had the basis for an investigation – and were quashed from above.

      So lets say there is no absolute proof of public corruption – yet. There is a clear violation of the agreement Clinton signed prior to confirmation.
      There is clearly numerous instances that reach the standard of probable cause required for an investigation.

      Do you require absolute proof before you are prepared to investigate ?

      Or are you atleast prepared to accept that there is good reason for concern and an investigation ?

      Or are you just going to spout the “vast right wing conspiracy” nonsense again.

    • Jay permalink
      August 12, 2016 6:35 pm

      “Neither of these emails involve the secretary or relate to the foundation’s work. They are communications between her aides and the President’s personal aide, and indeed the recommendation was for one of the secretary’s former staffers who was not employed by the foundation.”

      How did Hillary benefit from those interactions between staff & those requesting help getting jobs? And the African asking access to an ambassador, that never happened, right?

      But that African million dollar donator did in fact help smooth the way for other jobs the Clinton Foundation and CGI were behind, with up to 50,000 others in the pipeline:

      On the Universal Scale of impropriety, this pay for play charge rates a two out of ten .

  53. dhlii permalink
    August 11, 2016 8:37 pm


    Since you seem to need other people to tell you what to think, here is Sanders on the Clinton Foundation.

    [video src="" /]

    • Jay permalink
      August 12, 2016 6:50 pm

      I can’t get the link to work, Dave.
      But didn’t Sanders make the criticism during their contentious race, when he said other negative things about her not being a suitable president, which he since withdrew on supporting her.

  54. Priscilla permalink
    August 12, 2016 9:18 am

    I think that we all generally agree on that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both ‘less than optimal’ candidates for president, and that we could do better.

    Hypothetically, if every voter who is dismayed by their major party choices chose to vote for either Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, what effect do you think this would have?

    I say hypothetically, because many voters – like me, for example – won’t vote 3rd party because they consider it “throwing away your vote”. Which it basically is, at this time.

    But “what if” everyone who felt dissatisfied, angry, or frustrated ~ Bernie Bros, old BlueDog Democrats, movement conservatives, moderates, etc ~ voted for a 3rd party candidate. Does anyone think it would make a difference? Could Johnson, for example, carry a state? Could he win? Could one or both of them throw the election to the House? Or would they just remain spoilers?

  55. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 12, 2016 12:14 pm

    “it just reinforced my preconceived belief that Clinton was itching to use some sort of military force in Libya, to gain some cred as a potential commander-in-chief.”

    That idea is at the level that Bush invaded Iraq to make money for his oil buddies. In other words, we have inhuman demons as our leaders who could care less about human life. Ugg (to both arguments I mean.)

    “I’m not saying that she didn’t have some very good reasons for the military action…” Bravo! at last!

    …but they turned out to be wrong. Sort of the same way that Bush’s reasons for invading Iraq turned out to be wrong.

    Priscilla, you could not begin to articulate in any concrete specific way what the US response should have been to the Arab spring in Libya. All you have is the usual blame game. You have no idea, and no one has any idea, what the situation would have been in Libya under a very different set of decisions. Not to overthrow Qaddafi? Really? Just sit there and watch while a long time adversary of the US (Lockerbie bombing?) committed his usual atrocities? I’m sorry but if it had been Romney in power and he had done the same thing and it turned out the same way you would be defending it. I am 101% sure of that. Unfortunately there is no crystal ball that can tell us which of the various futures is worse and how the one we arrived at ranks on the scale. I find all of the acidic commentary from right and left on American foreign policy to be unserious armchair quarterbacking on issues the average person does not even begin to understand in any depth or seriousness, and the point of the commentary is pure ideological malice.

    “Nobody’s giving him the benefit of the doubt, why should she get it?”

    Uh, I’m giving Bush the benefit of the doubt and his team too. Lots of calm rational people are giving him the benefit of the doubt. Of course those are rarely the opinions of the people who speak most often and most loudly. I’m very willing to hear and consider the range of opinions of people who are experts and have been in Clinton’s position, and undoubtedly some of those people also criticize her actions and some will defend them.

    Here is a cherry picked excerpt from a Walter Russell Mead column on Clintons legacy as SOS that is rational and reasonably weighty:

    “Shaping a legacy
    Clinton was an influential secretary of state and a savvy manager with a clear agenda that, at least in part, she translated into policy. So how did it all work out?
    The answer: Historians will probably consider Clinton significantly more successful than run-of-the-mill secretaries of state such as James G. Blaine or the long-serving Cordell Hull, but don’t expect to see her on a pedestal with Dean Acheson or John Quincy Adams anytime soon.”

    This is a far cry from the complete partisan BS that Hillary is a no talent lightweight. I realize that there is nothing at all you could read anywhere that would make you give that silly idea up. But its just an absurd partisan idea that is easy to demolish with facts.

    I enjoyed the piece and found it informative you probably will too and we will both form our judgements post-hoc based on our political affiliations.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 12, 2016 12:51 pm

      Wait a minute…..I was responding to Jay, who said that I had a simple minded view of the military intervention in Libya, and posted a link to an article that would change my simple mind.

      So, I read the article, and responded by saying that , basically, my opinion had not substantively changed.That the attack on Libya and overthrow of Qaddafi was certainly disastrous, and that Hillary Clinton had pushed hard for it, in spite of much conflicting and incomplete intel.

      I did not say that she was a lightweight, and you would be hard pressed to find a comment from me in which I even implied that. She is, very definitely a heavyweight, but a corrupt heavyweight, who has no significant successful accomplishments in her very long career.

      I do not care one whit that you think I am a “blind” partisan, nor that Jay thinks I am stupid and simple minded. But I find it frustrating and more than a bit ironic that you both resort to personal insults when I explain why I think that Hillary is a poor choice for president.

      My opinion of Hillary Clinton is very low, and it’s my opinion. It’s a well-considered opinion, and I don’t mind having it challenged. Challenge my opinion. Not me.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 12, 2016 1:04 pm

        Priscilla I don’t have time at this minute to find all the places where you have posted that Hillary is a lightweight, only becoming the SOS because she is married to Bill, etc, , but you have, repeatedly. I distinctly remember all the eye rolls I performed reading those statements. Make me a good bet and then I’ll go find them, later today, if the bet is juicy enough. I don’t think I am being personal, really, you are simply repeating partisan nonsense about Clinton much of the time. I guess I can’t challenge that opinion without challenging you, kind of.

        (Don’t bet me voting for trump though, no matter how sure I am.)

        The whole conservative/GOP world has cried wolf on Clinton so many times that I am probably going to miss some actually appropriate criticism of her because I simply cannot go digging into every FOX news allegation about Clinton, when most, like the idea that the Clinton Foundation spends only 6% on actual help to recipients (in fact 88%!) have turned out to be a pack of lies.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 12, 2016 1:28 pm

        Ok, that’s a bet that I will take. I have said that she was a mediocre senator, and a bad SecState (WRM gives me pause, maybe I’ll changes that to mediocre also ; ). I have NEVER said that she got the SecState job because she was married to Bill, although she unquestionably hitched her wagon to his star in their early years, and he is, by FAR, the more natural, talented and successful politician, even today, at about 50% of his younger self.

        Are we not allowed to point that out?

        So, when you have time, find anywhere where I called her a lightweight, or implied that she’s stupid. Doesn’t have to be today, and I’ll let you figure out the bet ~ don’t bet me voting for Clinton, lol!

      • Jay permalink
        August 13, 2016 12:32 pm

        “nor that Jay thinks I am stupid and simple minded. ”

        Not in general, but in regard to Trump your mental filtering mechinism is as faulty as the courtiers at the Naked Emporer’s court seeing fine threads and not pubic hairs ..

    • Jay permalink
      August 13, 2016 12:41 pm

      My opinion is als that she was an adequate Sec of State, and a decent one term NY State Senator. And she’ll probably prove an adequate President for a term.

      Trump has already done terrible damage to our nation, setting a destructive climate for divisiveness and confrontation for decades to come. Can’t imagine the discord that will follow now, after his rant about rigged stolen elections in Pennsylvania yesterday. This fool makes George Wallace look like a moderate.

  56. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 14, 2016 1:53 pm

    Todays attempt to find humor in this disaster:

    Trump cannot imagine — cannot even entertain the notion — that this is Trump’s fault. He blames the media, for making him look nuts by reporting the things he says — which are nuts. Talking with Hannity, he moaned: “I’ll say something at a rally and I look out and see all these TV cameras taking every word down. No one in politics has ever been subjected to this kind of treatment.” Okey-dokey.

    Read more at:

    • August 14, 2016 3:52 pm

      Yep, didn’t watch. I put Hannity up there in the absolutely do not watch where I out Rush in the do not listen category.

      And I bet cool aide drinking Hannity went right along with him but took up 75% of the interview talking about what he thought and not what Trump thought.

      But the bullies in school are the first to cry when someone else picks on them and they lose. No different for Trump

      But then like I have said over and over, we have one totally unqualified, both mentally and professionally to be president.
      We have one that demonstrated she can make decisions, but the decisions are bad ones, so she is marginally qualified to be president.
      And we have the third candidate that has executive political experience, has demonstrated an ability to work with two parties and shown to be level headed and thoughtful in his decision making, stands for what a huge percentage of moderate Americans stand for, but due to the American way of buying into the medias BS, there is no chance he will get elected.

      Hiwver, like Dave said, when I vote for Johnson I can sleep good at night. Knowing I voted for someone and not against someone makes the election process a positive experience.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 14, 2016 4:48 pm

        Not drinking either party’s (or liberal or conservative) cool-aid is a great policy Heh, its not out of the question that I will join you in voting libertarian. If my vote was going to decide, Hillary or trump then I would not choose trump. But since my vote will not have any impact on where Vermont’s might 3 electoral votes go, I am fine with choosing two decent rational ex govs.

        For you, its a perfect fit,

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 15, 2016 9:26 am

        Todays humorous sentence is again courtesy of Jonah Goldberg and at the expense of Hannity:

        This is an honest question: Does Sean Hannity want Hillary Clinton to be president? I don’t get it. And, to borrow a trope from President Obama, let me be clear about being clear for clarity’s sake: I’m not referring to the entirely valid, 100 percent correct, indisputably sound argument that it was batsh*t crazy to nominate this guy in the first place. What’s done is done and Sean Hannity will no doubt one day receive the Golden Hair Helmet for his Stakhanovite effort to get Donald Trump the nomination.

        The golden sentence–> Let no one forget his yeoman service in the cause to blow up the Republican party and empty a septic tank into the ground water of the conservative movement.

        Read more at:

      • August 15, 2016 12:17 pm

        One only needs to ask the question, “When did talk radio become popular and when do they receive their highest number of listeners?”

        Rush, Hannity and all the other talking mouths are best served by a Democrat president. That’s called job security.

  57. Priscilla permalink
    August 15, 2016 11:53 am

    Well, Jay, pubic hairs (!!) aside, I wonder what you were reading in all of the posts in which I have called Trump a bad candidate, said that he behaves like a jackass, and questioned my own support of him, based on his failure to “pivot” to a more presidential stance?

    Most of what I’ve tried to do is to explain why I have considered him to be the lesser of the evils, and why I could never, in good conscience, vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Anyway, after a relaxing, but thoughtful, weekend at the beach, I have not changed my opinion on Clinton, although I am now moving more in the direction of voting for Johnson. Unlike you and GW, I still believe that Donald Trump is a very smart guy, with the capabilities of being a good president. I am increasingly convinced, however, that he may not want to win, and is more focused on the destruction of the Republican Party than he is on becoming POTUS. His outright refusal to take a serious stance as the GOP candidate is becoming increasingly obvious.

    I’m not speculating on the possible reasons for this, if true, but it’s very disturbing to me that millions of Americans, including many of the most disenfranchised people in the nation right now, may be getting screwed over by a candidate who has not been honest about his ambitions or intentions. Just as they will be screwed over by Clinton.

    So, that would leave me in the position of having no one BUT Johnson or a write in. I actually admire Jill Stein as a person, but the Green Party is way out on the fringes, so no option there, I see that some in the GOP are starting to turn to a split ticket strategy. I think I’ll just contemplate all of this travesty for a few more weeks, see how things play out, and decide what to do. It’s only one vote, after all.

    I suppose a point that I’d like to make, Jay, is that many Trump supporters like me are sincerely conflicted and disturbed by the choices in this election. Far from being ‘brain dead’ simple minded, or stupid, we see the Clintons for the utterly corrupt liars that they are, but we also recognize that they may be getting played by Trump. Devil and the deep blue sea….

    You have said that you are a reluctant Hillary supporter, and I understand that you consider her the safer choice, but I disagree. She is extremely ill-suited to handle the deep and destructive polarization that exists in our nation, and she may very well be compromised by yet unknown scandals that our enemies know and can leverage against her. Frankly, I don’t see how she puts Humpty Dumpty back together again. Or if she even gives a damn. Thus far, I have seen no evidence that she does.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 15, 2016 12:22 pm

      I realize that your comment was to Jay Priscilla, but the irony here is that almost everyone here is leaning to actually vote for Johnson/libertarian. In the the end we may all vote for Johnson, despite inhabiting almost completely different ideological universes. Granted, this to a large extent is because we seem to all live in states that Clinton will win handily so our votes are not of great urgency. We would vote otherwise if our vote was the deciding one.

      Anyhow, I spent an utterly delightful evening last night with a Russian family who I just truly love and admire, they are the most wonderful, intelligent, kind, talented people. If we talked about political event it would all dissolve into mutual incomprehension with no friendship being possible.

      So, the moral is that if one stays away from religion and politics there is a very much larger group of people that we can all get along with or have a great friendship with. On a political blog like this one we are stuck with one subject on which you and I do not agree Priscilla, which is a pity. But I think we handle it pretty well.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 15, 2016 12:48 pm

        “We would vote otherwise if our vote was the deciding one.” Wrong I was. Ron and Dave will vote for the libertarian team with pleasure no matter what the state of the race is in their state. I was thinking of you, me, Jay, and who knows, maybe Rick.

      • August 15, 2016 2:03 pm

        Amen!!!!!!!!!!One can only hope there are enough disenfranchised moderate GOP voters that turn out to make sure airhead Ross (democrat senator nominee for congress) is not elected over Richard Burr (moderate right 2 term senator). I fear there are not enough like myself that will vote to make sure the down ticket GOP prevails and many moderates will just stay home. We need fewer Warrren’s and Cruz’s and more Burr’s and Manchin’s.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 15, 2016 2:09 pm

        As usual Ron, you’ve nailed it.

      • August 15, 2016 1:54 pm

        GW…”On a political blog like this one we are stuck with one subject on which you and I do not agree Priscilla, which is a pity.”

        And I know your comment was to Priscilla, but I would like to interject. We are not all stuck on one subject we can not agree. For the most part in over 300 comments in this article alone I see where we agree on the major issue at hand. That is both candidates suck and stink.

        Where we differ is the amount of stench we believe is coming from one or the other candidates when we have to hold our noses and make a selection. Kind of like arguing which stinks worse, chicken poop or pig poop in 95 degree 80% humid weather. Living in North Carolina I have experienced both and still can’t decide. Same with the nominees for President.

        I suspect we would never agree on the poop issue nor the nominees either.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 15, 2016 1:58 pm

        If it comes through, this is a political cartoon about the French Dreyfus affair being discussed over dinner:

    • Jay permalink
      August 15, 2016 12:59 pm

      “She is extremely ill-suited to handle the deep and destructive polarization that exists in our nation”

      As I see it the destructive polarization has been indelibly rubbed into the fabric of our politics by the extreme ideologues at both ends of the political spectrum. In the past both have spread hate and divisiveness, but over the past 8 years Republican conservatives have ratcheted up disrespectful hatred far beyond anything I’ve seen in my lifetime, exacerbated by talk radio and Fox commentators, and coarsened by unrestrained internet bloggers and Tweeters. The Obama hatred was vicious and unrelenting, and all said and done, destructive to our country. I had and have strong objections to Obama’s racial policies, his wishy-washy response to Muslim terrorism, his expansion of PC behavior. But calling him a traitor, a secret Muslim who isn’t an American citizen, and other equally idiotic charges only has served to demean the Presidency and the nation as well.

      And no matter if Clinton’s intentions are to bring the country together or not, the same king of hatred and insults and nitpicking to destroy her will continue unabated, as they did with Obama. And you too, Priscilla, whether you like it or admit it will be part of the problem, as you have been here, exaggerating her negatives, diminishing her positives, dismissing objective evaluations of the charges against her – mostly based on exaggerated opinion from right wing conservative proselytizers.

      I didn’t want a Hillary presidency, but certainly not a Cruz or Trump or other far right candidate. Or left of center Progressive Democrat like Bernie or Warren. Hillary is the most moderate of the group. And the least likely to push too far from center on the issues that concern me.

      And yes, the Clintons may be greedy, but I don’t consider them any more dishonest than Bush2, who has also cleaned up giving speeches, and feathered his legacy from corporate donations for his presidential library.

      Or Jimmy Carter, whose charitable Foundation operates much the same way as the Clinton Foundation: project oriented, it functions to reduce poverty and improve global health, acting as a match maker between wealthy donors, including governments, connect with projects involving local contractors and participants.

      I think she’ll be a decent transitional president. And hopefully Republicans will come up with a moderate candidate next time, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 15, 2016 1:21 pm

        Pure admiration. Jay. I wish I had written that. I realize this is sort of piling on and amening but you really said exactly what I believe as well.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 15, 2016 1:47 pm

        “And you too, Priscilla, whether you like it or admit it will be part of the problem, as you have been here, exaggerating her negatives,”

        I don’t believe that I’ve exaggerated anything. Furthermore, I could say you’ve gone out of your way to downplay her negatives and defend the indefensible.

        We disagree politically, that’s all. That doesn’t make either of us part of the problem. Supporting or opposing any political candidate in a democracy does not make one part of the problem. It makes one part of the process.

        I’ll guarantee you that, if Hillary is elected and becomes a decent, moderate, transitional president, as you believe she will, I’ll be grateful – I just don’t happen to think that that’s going to happen. I’ve always been a student of history and politics, and there were many presidents that entered the office under the cloud of low expectations and exceeded them. And, I might add, the opposite is also true. We can always hope for the former.

        Pointing out the Hillary’s flaws isn’t “nitpicking” ~ it’s what we do here. This IS a political blog after all, as GW has pointed out. If we all thought alike, it would get boring. So, accept that many, including me, do not believe that Hillary’s flaws are minor, and also accept that she is likely to win, mostly because the other side nominated the one candidate that could lose to her.

        I understand that calling me “part of the problem” is what you do. I get it and I don’t like it. But I certainly don’t agree with it ~ Sean Hannity I’m not.

      • Jay permalink
        August 15, 2016 3:46 pm

        Have you considered this conservative? He’s getting a lot of play on Twitter

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 15, 2016 4:10 pm

        Not at all. He’s gotten a lot of play, because he’s supposed to deliver Utah to Clinton,or so I read.

        I don’t know what he brings to the table in terms of leadership, experience, or character. My guess is….not much. Even if he competes in all 50 states, which is unlikely due to filing deadlines, I’d be far more likely to vote for Johnson.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 15, 2016 4:15 pm

        Reports are that McMullin is backed by Mitt Romney. Some are calling him “Romney’s Revenge.” If that’s so, I’m disappointed in Romney. He should have thrown his own hat into the ring. But, just because I admire Romney, I’m not going to support some guy who I never heard of until a week ago.

      • Jay permalink
        August 15, 2016 6:48 pm

        But he sounds truly moderate.
        Check out his site:

        And his position on abortion: he’s pro life but even a pro abortion guy like me doesn’t get upset at his tone.

        On the surface he seems to be a match for the moderate conservatism you claim to profess.

        But here you are, pretty much dismissing him out of hand because he’s running but not Mitt?

        And some conservative commentators think he will draw #NeverTrump voters away from Hillary and his entry could hurt her, which should be an added incentive for you 😏

      • Jay permalink
        August 15, 2016 7:29 pm

        Priscilla what’s your take on the links between Trump and his staff with Russia?

        Garry Kasparov on Twitter: “Which is more likely and which is worse, that Trump didn’t vet Manafort at all or that he did and didn’t care he’s on the Kremlin payroll?”

        And what do you think about Trump’s peculiar Putin love-athon?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 15, 2016 8:58 pm

        Wierd post.

        No more dishonest than Bush2 – that is such a high bar ?
        Regardless, yes they are more dishonest.
        I am unaware of Bush using his influence or office for personal financial gain.
        Frankly, I think Bush2 was a bad president, but not particularly dishonest.
        Certainly more honest than Clinton, Clinton, and Obama.

        No one is exagerating Clinton’s negatives – they are enormous.
        If you give her the benefit of nearly every doubt she stinks.

        There is absolutely zero doubt at the moment – from her own emails, that she new Benghazi was an organized terrorist attack within 2 hours of its start, and before the night was through had already concocted this internet video lie, that was so bad that they had to change the video they blamed because the first one had less than 500 hits.

        There is zero doubt that she repeatedly perjured her testimony to congress regarding her email server(s) and her handling of email.

        There is zero doubt she lied to the american public repeatedly about same email.

        There is zero doubt she deliberately intended to thwart Freedom of Information Requests

        There is no doubt that she and her aides and Bill Clinton violated the aggreement they signed in return for her appointment as Sec State.

        There is no doubt that friends of the clinton’s and donors to the clinton foundation received special treatement from the State Department.

        Frankly there is no doubt she and her aides broke the law regarding the handling of classified documents. Comey pretty much said exactly that.
        He refused to recomend prosecution because he did not beleive that absent clear evidence of intent he could get a conviction.
        Intent is not an element of the crimes she committed.
        Petreus and Deutch (and numerous others) were convicted on much less.
        In Deutch’s instance there is not evidence that any classified material was ever provided to anyone without a security clearance.
        He merely retained classifed files on his personal computer after he left the job.

        And I have not yet touched on the many many things that are highly likely to be true.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 15, 2016 9:02 pm

        No the Carter foundation does not operate anywhere close to the same way.

        Lots of allegations have been leveled at Carter – but dishonesty is not one of those. Nor is influence peddling.

        Can you name a single instance in which Carter accepted money for his foundation where:
        it did not go to a charitable purpose
        He personally benefited
        there was any possibility of a Quid Pro Quo
        He was even in a position to return the favor with government benefits.

        Can you even find the Carter Foundation hiring Carter family owned private entities ?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 15, 2016 9:05 pm

        God help me I was wrong.

        I accused you of creating a moral equivalence between a republican committing adultery with a democrat commiting child rape and torture.

        The Carter Foundation/Clinton Foundation comparison went so far beyond that. You are creating a moral equivalence between a near mother theressa and a child rapist.

        “Have you no shame ?”

    • dhlii permalink
      August 15, 2016 9:31 pm

      I have seen little evidence that most Clinton supporters are “reluctant”
      JJ is comparing the Clinton Foundation to the Carter Foundation — Really ?

      I am sure there are a few quiet Clinton supporters troubled by some of this.
      No one, not supporters, not opponents is claiming that Trump is a good choice.
      Yet, his worst trait is that he is a loud mouth.
      With respect to Policy he is bad, but Clinton is worse, but is anyone paying the slightest
      attention to either candidates policies ?
      The last issue is that of integrity.
      There is zero evidence that Trump has ever betrayed the public trust.
      There is tons of evidence Clinton has.

      I know the left considers all businesses to be criminal and greedy.
      I am sure Trump has dones things in Business I question, but there is a vast difference between dancing in the grey areas in business.
      There is no public trust involved, there is no duty to others who have little or no recourse.
      Trump gets sued regularly – that is what happens when you dance in the grey areas privately – and that is what should and all that should happen.
      There are no grey areas of public trust. There is nearly no remedy for public misconduct.

      What do you think would happen to a private defense contractor who handled classifed material as Clinton did ?

      I held a security clearance briefly.
      You could not take classified materials out of the secure rooms.
      As a private contractor we did not have access to the governments secure network so we could not email classified materials at all.
      Had we copied classified information into an email we would have been fired instantly and criminally charged within days.
      I handled very little classified material, the real reason I had to get a top secret clearance was to be in meetings with people who might discuss a project that might have classified attributes. We were not even allowed to have conversations with people without a security clearance on a topic where we might inadvertently refer to something classified.

      Clinton was sending classified material to people who did nto have a clearance.

      And I am tired of this “not marked” rot.
      Again before I had a clearance I was told to PRESUME classified when in doubt.
      That something is not classified because of the way it was marked but because of the material.

      Clinton was Sec, State – most anything that occurred in her offices was presumed classified.

      Her lunch menu would have been presumed classified lest someone attempt to poison her. Who she met with and when and anything she talked about would be classified.

      Even mundane things would be classified. Any discussions about how to deal with another country or another leader or another ambassador would have been classified.

      BECAUSE any third party knowing what the Sec. States unpublished position is on anything would have an advantage to the US’s determinent.

      It is not important what Clinton said, merely that Clinton said it is enough for it to be classified in innumerable instances.

      Remember her entire staff had to get security clearances.

      In the event she is elected that is going to prove a huge problem.
      While the election of the president confirms on them complete access.
      It does not clear their staff. There is nearly certain to be a holy war over most of Clinton’s staff. It is unlikely the FBI will clear any of them given the mess at State, Nor does the president have the power to override that.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 15, 2016 9:43 pm

        “Yet, his worst trait is that he is a loud mouth.” Really? Is that your opinion? You seriously can’t think of any worse trait trump has other than being a loudmouth?

        But this crappola goes along nicely with your statement that anyone with time on their hands can be president.

        Silly, absurd, unserious nonsense, typical internet blather, in endless cascades. Well, carry on. Another 10 000 words of similarly nonsensical tripe please. And then another.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2016 8:52 am


        Your response is absent argument

        “are you serious” is not an argument.
        “This crapola” is not argument
        “Silly, Absurd, unserious nonsense” is not argument.

        It is all pretty bad ad hominem. Is there someone that doubts you disagree with me ? I do not care if you insult me, but your response is nothing but insults. There is no argument, not merit to insult.

        If you think there is more wrong with Trump than he is a Loudmouth – then you should be able to state what and then support it. You have done neither.

        I have not said anyone with time on their hands can be president.
        Regardless, the primary requirement for the job is to “Not F’up”
        That is an enormous responsibility – and people who can not handle responsibility are not qualified to be president. But the actual task is quite simple, and knowing that with few rare exceptions not acting is both safer and less likely wrong than acting – something the current and prior president could have learned.

        I doubt Trump will make a good president. I would be shocked if Clinton was not worse than the past two.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 16, 2016 10:10 am

        Dave, my arguments are fine. Your sophistry is as always, a failure. Who says I owe you anything that you will consider an argument? You will never consider any argument or fact valid that does not support any extreme thesis you come up with and you have a lot of them. Anyone with time on their hands cannot be president. Environmentalists are not evil. We cannot cut our defense budget by 50% and have the same level of security in the world. We cannot cut the size of government by 80% and have a modern society that functions, let alone that functions better. That’s Dave’s extreme libertarian universe based on twisting facts into a pretzel with no respect for counter facts and counter arguments. Its what you do.

        Dave, you are a champion liar, your whole gig is based on lying to produce a distorted reality. The Clinton foundation spends only 6% on actual help to anyone, or words to that effect, that is a lie. When caught on it, you double down and come up with a conspiracy theory that the organization that evaluates charities changed their story under force, that Politifact is not a qualified source of information, blah, blah, blah. Liar. Liar Liar. Ironically, you say that you cannot respect Hillary Clinton because she lies. You lie so often its hillarious (pun retrospectively intended). I say that is an argument, you will say it is not. If you cannot respect Clinton for lying, then how on earth do you respect yourself? You say, as I have often noted, some interesting things, bring up some interesting facts, have interesting moments of principle, and for that reason I skim your stuff to see if there is anything especially good or anything howlingly distorted in it. But in essence you are a king liar and I have a many years old fundamental disrespect for you for that reason. When caught in a lie the result is usually 10000 words instead of simply saying, ooops like a normal person. Which is exactly what I don’t like about Clinton, yes, she does that as well, unfortunately our political system trains selects for people who can do that because telling the truth won’t get a person elected. We want to be told stuff that isn’t so and we get politicians who can manage that. It does not excuse Hillary. I don’t want Hillary. But next to Hillary we have a fellow who actually manages to lie much much more often who is a political incompetent and an intellectual ultra lightweight, who is angry, conceited beyond all belief and so incapable of being president that even many conservatives and life long republicans see it and say it clearly. He is worst feature is not that he is a loudmouth, that is one of your typical idiotic distortions of reality.

        You consider Clinton worse than trump because she is a liberal democrat, which is your least favorite American political ideology, she is thus an “evil environmentalist,” a climate change believer, etc.. Its that simple. You could save yourself and us 10 000 words trying to bend reality into a pretzel and just state the fundamental truth. But you are constitutionally opposed to speaking honestly and objectively about any of your causes. Instead to love to make absurd arguments and try to trap someone into playing with you. Aaarrrg!

      • Jay permalink
        August 16, 2016 2:17 pm

        The Public Trust?

        To qualify for a Government Position of Trust candidates MUST reach standards of conduct to qualify for access to classified/sensitive information or activities.

        Under the minimum basic qualifications required, Donald Trump would be disqualified from those information flows:

        * Misconduct or negligence in employment or business
        * Criminal or dishonest conduct
        * Material, intentional false statement, deception or fraud in examination or appointment
        * Refusal to furnish testimony as required for the investigation

        For every lie Hillary has told over the last two decades, Duplicitous Donald has told ten (at least). He’s lied about his businesses, his political beliefs, his social beliefs, his financial worth, his associations . He’s cheated contractors, employees, clients, and on at least one occasion cheated on his wife at the time.

        He’s made numerous false statements, not only in business but to those Trump University students he swindled, and to investors in golf courses and hotels to whom he lied about his actual participation and ownership in those deals. Then there’s the documented false statements about nonexistent gifts to charity he said he made, like the phantom donations to Vets.

        He’s still refusing to provide “testimony” in ongoing legal cases, and notably refusing to release his taxes so that the millions of Americans can verify there’s nothing shady or improper going on, certainly a reasonable request from the undecided electorate.

        Trump lies

      • Jay permalink
        August 16, 2016 2:20 pm

        More Trump lies

      • Jay permalink
        August 16, 2016 3:27 pm

        “In the event she is elected that is going to prove a huge problem.
        While the election of the president confirms on them complete access.
        It does not clear their staff.”

        Pompous Poo Poo.

        You have any evidence any top secret info that passed thru her servers was breached? Or that top secret info wasn’t breached from the so called secure servers at State.

        And They’re giving trump classified briefings starting today or tomorrow on information relevant to National Defense. You think that flatter-mouthed bozo should be getting that kind of classified info?

  58. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 15, 2016 2:21 pm

    Here, I will have an opinion that is in tune with the idea that PC and the media are bound together and not helping. In connection with the Imam and his assistant who were shot dead, all kinds of people are labeling this a hate crime and yet another instance of Islamophobia. The thing is, until they apprehend someone and provide a motive that is just extrapolation. What if the killer was another muslim (my suspicion)? Still Islamophobia? Now, most intelligent people can sort this out and ignore the media/PC activists, but still the immediate jumping to conclusions is pretty blatant.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 15, 2016 4:03 pm

      You’re correct, of course. Just like the narrative that began the Milwaukee riots was that a white cop shot an unarmed black man. When, in fact, it was a black cop that shot an armed black man, who may have been raising his weapon (based on reports that the cop’s body cam shows a credible threat to his life before the shooting).

      By the time that the details of the shooting got out there, the riots had already started, just based on reports that a black man had been shot by a cop.

      Narratives in the news these days are very pervasive and very powerful. There have always been these narratives, but I think that the 24 hour news cycle makes it more likely that the narratives become more important than the facts. I’d like to say that this is because all media reporters are stupid and/or biased, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s that the pressure to get the scoop, get the headline, get the sound bite, etc. causes them to short cut the process and rely on narratives and hearsay. It’s clicks and ratings that count, not facts.

      The facts often take a long time to uncover ~ hours, days, maybe even weeks. But the news has to be reported NOW, while everyone is tuning in.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 15, 2016 9:54 pm

        “Narratives in the news these days are very pervasive and very powerful. There have always been these narratives, but I think that the 24 hour news cycle makes it more likely that the narratives become more important than the facts. I’d like to say that this is because all media reporters are stupid and/or biased, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s that the pressure to get the scoop, get the headline, get the sound bite, etc. causes them to short cut the process and rely on narratives and hearsay. It’s clicks and ratings that count, not facts.”

        Priscilla, I can find one of our moments of agreement here.

        Personally (slight tangent) I believe that when the media exploded into today’s plethora of ideologically dedicated outlets it undermined the seriousness of the entire enterprise. The blatantly partisan (e.g. HuffPost, Fox ) or sensationalist media has all the believability and integrity of Cosby’s defense lawyers, they have an obvious one sided dishonest unobjective agenda that makes them disrespected and therefore useless. The media was never perfect by a long shot but today’s media have lost the respect of the population, other that the media that says whatever a given person wants to hear. They are a big part of the problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 16, 2016 9:26 am


        Pick nearly any topic, and the assertion that the distant past was better than the present is pretty much always false.

        In this instance you are ranting about the press.
        Agreed there is a lot wrong with the press. But the presumption they were somehow better in the past than the present is bunk.

        Half a century ago there would be no Rick and the New Moderate.

        The Pultizer prize is a sap to assuage Pulitzer’s conscience, because he allowed Hearst to goad him into the creation of modern journalism – “Yellow journalism”. Between the two of them the goaded the nation into war with Spain over nothing.

        And these two are the paragon’s of journalism.

        No having only a few viewpoints in comparison to the myriads of the present was NOT better.

        You do not like Fox, or Huffpo – there are a plethora of other choices.

        You care about economics ?

        Gary Becker, Greg Mankiw, John Taylor, Paul Krugman, Robert Barro ….
        there are hundreds of economic blogs today by the most influential economists alive.

        Nor is economics alone. Any topic you want to know more about – the information is available. You want biased left or right wing schlock – its there. You want raw information as close the source as possible its there.

        The only excuse for ignorance of any topic today is lack of time.

        There is alot I can criticise: all too many journalists are lazy. A hundred journalists follow the president around every day – to what purpose ? He rarely does anything significant, and when he does one or two could report it. But actual investigative reporting today is nearly dead.

        But the criticism is mostly irrelevant. whatever you want – it is out there and if you care enough you can find it. The fact that there is also alot you do not like is irrelevant. if what you want if the all Hillary all the time Cheerleading channel – you have alot of choices.

        Why do you care about Rush or Fox, or Huffpo ? Do you think only those views you endorse deserve expression ?

        This is what freedom means – it means more, more choices. It means more lies, more distortions, but it also means, more viewpoints, and more of the truth.

        Your freedom to express yourself, or to have the choice of form of expression form others that you prefer, exists only because you permit others – those you may not like, the same freedom.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 16, 2016 9:43 am

        Democracy functions best with well -informed voters, and that’s what’s been lost in this. Like almost, everyone who uses Facebook, I have quite a few friends who post links to “news” sites that are little more than sources of biased disinformation. The headlines are sensational, the articles poorly written and lacking in significant detail.

        I rarely follow the links, but when I do, I’m flabbergasted that any reasonably intelligent person would even read this crap, much less post it for all to see.

        Even many so-called legitimate news organizations have followed that pattern. It really takes some time and effort to sort through everything and find some semblance of the unvarnished facts. Most people don’t have the time or the inclination.

        “Priscilla, I can find one of our moments of agreement here.”

        Great minds occasionally think alike 😉

      • Jay permalink
        August 16, 2016 3:31 pm

        I agree with you on this too, Pricilla .
        Now if you will only open your eyes to the fact that a Devious Unhinged Donald is Deranged your mental equlibrium will be restored. 😇👍

  59. dhlii permalink
    August 15, 2016 8:31 pm


    Manafort is not on the Kremlin’s payroll.

    He brokered a deal for a corrupt Ukrainian (not Russian) politician.
    He was paid for that.

    I doubt Trump cared.

    I would also ask you to compare this to Clinton and her Russian Oligarch deals.
    Clinton (and her staff) was a public official, Clinton had a duty to the country and the public. Manafort was a power broker – his only duty was to himself.

    Frankly I do not care if Manafort (or Trump) is currently communicating directly with Putin.
    Just as I do not care if Clinton is currently communicating directly with Putin.

    I do care if money or promises are being exchanged – but we will not likely ever know that.

    I also get very tired that those like you can think that the Manafort thing is a BIG DEAL,
    and not grasp that the Clinton thing is many many orders of magnitude bigger.

    In the left wing lexicon, a republican that commits adultery is equal to a democrat who rapes and tortures pre-teens.

    I do not like Trump – not one bit, but if someone put a gun to my head and said I had no other choices, there would be no question. Trump is a buffoon. Clinton is a perjurer, liar, and crook.

    Fortunately there is Johnson/Weld. They may not win, but I will be able to look at myself in the mirror on Wednesday.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 16, 2016 10:53 am

      Correction – of sorts.

      I do not trust Manafort much but I do not trust those reporting about him either.

      Regardless, his response in recent interviews, is that he is a political consultant.
      He has worked inside and outside the US. He is paid by campaigns not governments, that he was never paid by the Kremlin or the Ukrainian government, that when he is paid it is not merely has own wages, but a vast array of services and costs that he and those who work for him perform and that we was not paid for brokering deals.

      I am about as likely to trust Manafort as Clinton. Though there is one difference – at no time did Manafort owe the public and duty. In the event he is actually lying it is still private profit for private services. There is no claim that he sold the public interest.

      • Jay permalink
        August 16, 2016 2:12 pm

        Where there’s smoke there’s fire:

        Manafort named in Ukrainian probe into millions in secret cash.

        CNN)Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been named in an investigation by Ukrainian authorities looking at whether he and others received millions in illegal payments from Ukraine’s former pro-Russian ruling party, according to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

  60. dhlii permalink
    August 15, 2016 8:38 pm


    With respect to McCullum. Is he even on the ballot in any state ?
    My guess is unless you are writing him in, he is not going to be a choice anywhere.

    Personally, I would like to see ballot access improved for alternative candidates.
    I would also like to see “none of the above” added to every single race, and all elections require that:
    The winner get atleast 51% of the vote,
    The vote difference between winner and next contender be greater than the margin of error.
    And if these conditions are not met, that there must be an automatic runnoff 6 weeks later.

    That would have been the appropriate way to handle FL 2000 or MN 2008. Or many other close elections.

    BTW McCollum sounds like a better choice than Evil or lessor evil – but almost any name out of the phone book meets those criteria.

    • Jay permalink
      August 16, 2016 3:33 pm

      Bill Kristol on Twitter: “By the way:In almost all states where @Evan_McMullin is too late to get on ballot (absent legal challenges), you’ll be able to write him in.”
      Bill Kristol on Twitter: “By the way:In almost all states where @Evan_McMullin is too late to get on ballot (absent legal challenges), you’ll be able to write him in.”

  61. dhlii permalink
    August 15, 2016 8:42 pm


    I do not have all that much admiration for Romney.
    He was a poor choice in 2012, and would be no better today.
    Had he won – either in 2012 or even in 2016 he would merely be Obama or Clinton Lite.

    The last thing the GOP needs is to run a democrat.

    Many of my problems with Trump is that he is fundimentally a democrat.
    While not a perfect match – he is closer to Bill Clinton than any other modern president.

  62. dhlii permalink
    August 15, 2016 9:07 pm

    Ron P

    “For the most part in over 300 comments in this article alone I see where we agree on the major issue at hand. That is both candidates suck and stink.”


    • dhlii permalink
      August 15, 2016 9:08 pm

      I would note that a few are still trying to argue that chicken poop is sweet and pleasant.

  63. dhlii permalink
    August 16, 2016 9:52 am

    More on Clinton at State, Clinton Foundation, conflicts of interests, Pay for Play.

    And some questions for Clinton supporter’s.

    Is this your idea of public integrity ?
    Though I doubt it, it is possible that Clinton and her associates conduct was technically legal. Is that what you want from those who rule you ? People who are seeking to get away with as much as they possibly can ?

    Why is it that Clinton went to this great a trouble ? Really ? What would the big problem have been for Clinton and family to have actually stepped away from Clinton Foundation etc. for several years while Hillary was Sec. State?

    The position of Sec. State is not a right. It comes with strings – including a duty to the public and the avoidance of even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
    If you can not do that – say no to the job.
    But do not lie. take the job and try to see how much you can get away with.

    Further, do you honestly beleive that Clinton went to all this effort, to break or skirt the rules without there being some significant personal benefit to it ?

    Why is it that she worked so hard to skirt the rules ? Numerous members of Staff were on the government payroll and one or More Clinton entities payrolls at the same time.

    Abedin appears to have been on Teneo’s payroll while on the government payroll.
    That is a huge conflict of interests – Teneo is not a charity.

    That is like the assistant tho the Sec. Defense being on the government payroll and that of Boeing concurrently.

    Again this was all an enormous amount of effort – what did Clinton get out of it that was worth the risk to her position as Sec State ?

    And in the alternative – if there is no “payoff”, then doesn’t it atleast reflect not merely bad judgement, but arrogantly bad judgement ?

    • Jay permalink
      August 16, 2016 2:50 pm

      “Again this was all an enormous amount of effort – what did Clinton get out of it that was worth the risk to her position as Sec State ?”

      That’s the point, dum dum: she didn’t get anything back from the Foundation.

      And she didn’t get anything back from using a private server. She installed the home servers out of laziness and paranoia: her experience as First Lady in the White House had convinced her a private server would be more secure from the prying eyes of large government staffs, and she didn’t really understand the danger of the increased hacking risk of a private server storing personal emails as well – this was pre Wikileaks, and she wasn’t computer savvy enough to see that clearly. But also in retrospect, she was right, government servers were not secure to hacking and theft – as Snowdon made clear.

      And The Foundation wasn’t set up to line the Clinton’s pocket – they were already pulling in $$$$$ hand over fist from their CELEBRITY: book deals, speaking fees, consulting fees ; same as Bush, but higher fees for them.

      And the Clinton Foundation was initially set up, as was Carter’s and Bush2’s, to fund presidential libraries. And like them, expanded into philanthropic organizations.

      Also your statement that the Carter charity and the Clinton charity are fundamentally different is full of hot air. As usual, you haven’t a clue how either is set up or operates, but still make dumb uneducated pronouncements backed up only by your mental flatulence.

      How to Understand the Clinton Foundation:

      “Although it has “foundation” in its name, the Clinton Foundation is actually a public charity. In practical terms, this means both that it relies heavily on donations from the public and that it achieves its mission primarily by using those donations to conduct direct charitable activities, as opposed to providing grants from an endowment.

      Looking at the Clinton Foundation’s financial activities in a vacuum makes it difficult to develop a sense of what is ordinary and what is truly unusual. A comparison to peer organizations provides important context. Though the Clinton Foundation is clearly unique, with a former president as its public face, aggressive worldwide fundraising, and a global agenda of public-private partnerships, this shouldn’t stop people from making this effort. In my book, the best point of comparison is the Carter Center, founded by President Jimmy Carter. The similarities both in terms of the founder’s public persona and the organization’s worldwide reach make it a natural benchmark.”

    • Jay permalink
      August 16, 2016 3:18 pm

      The Play for Pay charge is bull.

      The Pay went to the Foundation, who Played benefactor in Third World nations.

      You have any REAL proof the money wasn’t spent legitimately in those places?

      You have any proof the VERY FEW contractors who were friendly with the Clintons who were hired to do work in those countries were overpaid? Or didn’t fulfill their duties?

      You have a sliver, an iota of fact that Carter’s charity isn’t contracting some work to people they know? Or are paying less for salaries than the Clinton foundation? Or or not hiring friends or blood relatives to work for them? Their grandson runs the Carter charity, just like Clinton’s daughter is a Foundation exec

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 16, 2016 6:32 pm

        Good grief, Jay, give it up already. Of course the Clinton Foundation was a front for pay to play. You think that the investors in Uranium One who donated almost $9M to CGI right before the deal with Russia (which benefited them greatly) did so by coincidence? Or maybe you think that the half million $ paid to Bill Clinton for one speech before a Russian bank that dealt with Rosatom was just coincidental?

        Or maybe you think it was just sheer coincidence that the Committee on Foreign Investment just happened to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One as long as the purchase was not for 100% of the company and as long as Rosatom did not take it private (of course,it was certainly coincidence that State Department approval was needed for this, and -unbelievable coincidence! Hillary just happened to be SecState at the time.).

        And you would surely argue mere coincidence that after Rosatom DID eventually purchase 100% of Uranium One AND take it private, as they had agreed not to do, investors continued to donate millions to CGI.

        And, amazingly enough, the foundation accidentally failed to disclose more than $2M in donations from the Canadian guy who put the deal together!

        I mean, what are the odds of all of these freak coincidences? And bummer that Russia now controls 20% of what was US uranium production, huh?
        But, hey, it’s Donald Trump’s campaign manager who’s all buddy-buddy with Russia, so Hill’s of the hook.

        Just crazy coincidence, no pay-to-play, right? The NYT had it all wrong. I think that’s a Republican rag anyway…..

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 16, 2016 6:41 pm

        Back when I was a kid, and would try to tell my dad some BS story about how the lamp got broken, or why I was late home for dinner, he would look at me, smile, and say “Do I look like I just fell off the turnip truck?”

        I was never sure exactly why people on turnip trucks were gullible, but maybe you know?

      • Jay permalink
        August 16, 2016 11:30 pm

        The question is which one of us is more gullible?

        Let’s talk about your pay for play Accusations for the Russian uranium deal. I know about that NY Times article you linked. It caught my attention when it was published, and I decided to look into it. I wasn’t the only one to take notice, there was a lot of followup, debunking the notion the Clintons had anything to do with getting the Russian deal accepted.

        In their story the NY Times said this: ‘the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies.’

        The Times failed to provide the number or names of those agencies, leaving the impression Hillary Clinton and her State Department were foremost in recommending and pushing the deal. That is far from the truth:

        “The Kremlin’s 2010 purchase of a controlling stake in Uranium One had to be approved by the nine members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. That included Clinton as secretary of state, but also the secretaries of the Treasury (the chairman of the committee), Defense, Justice, Commerce, Energy and Homeland Security as well as the the heads of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The deal also had to be okayed by the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission as well as Utah’s nuclear regulator.”

        And the government of Canada too signed off on the deal. Are you suggesting ALL those agencies and Canada were paid by Russia to play, or only the Clintons?

        Also, the time line for contributions to the Clinton Foundation doesn’t really align with the uranium deal, further knocking the props out of the unsubstantiated ‘pay for play’ assertions. The Politifact link covers some of it.

        Additionally, the NY Times says they relied on information for the story based on Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash.” That was before the book was released and found to be full of unsubstantiated material. Schweizer himself admitted that he doesn’t have any “direct evidence” proving Clinton played a part in it, and that other allegations he made in the book about the Clintons are based on assumptions. So, a faulty article based on faulty information led to faulty assumptions.

        It’s true the Russians paid Bill Clinton a rediculously high $500,000 speaking fee through a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin. But they’ve invited other world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conference for high speaking fees as well. What was the pay for play for Blair or others?

        I think the Russians may have expected some tit-for-tat from Bill in the future, but he gamed them more then they played him -.

        Bottom line, your coincidences are just that, like lines that cross in nine degrees of separation projections. There were so many contributions coming into the Foundation from so many sources that multiple dots could be draw to link them in clandestine accusation. Like the Clinton spokesman said in the Times article, no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.”

        And that’s the truth.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 17, 2016 12:19 pm

        Well, Jay, I would say that we don’t know the truth. And that’s the truth, lol.
        And I’m sorry about starting the whole gullible thing….I honestly don’t think that either of us fell off the turnip truck.

        I think that the difference your position and mine could be – simplistically, but somewhat accurately – described as deciding between the devil we know and the devil we don’t know. (I know that you don’t consider Hillary the devil, but just indulge me for a moment).

        I see your defense of Hillary’s behavior, particularly as SecState, and in relation to the Clinton Foundation as a defense that you would never put forth if we were discussing a Republican nominee. You have, in fact, gone after Manafort for much less, and ,as Dave points out, Manafort was not even a public servant if and when he did business with the Russians. I could call that a double standard, but, if I were you, I might just say, “Look, this is the way politicians operate. They all have their skeletons in the closet. At least she knows what she’s doing. Trump is a crazy person, a fool and a loudmouth, who will screw up the country.” You’ll vote for the devil you know.

        I’m in the position of voting for the devil I don’t know. I’m in the vast majority of those who don’t believe that our country is “moving in the right direction,” and I see the devil I know as being part of what has brought us to this point, and, furthermore, is promising much more of the same. I’m not sure if the devil I don’t know is going to be able to change anything, but I’m no longer willing to just keep drifting, and being told that this is the way it has to be.

      • Jay permalink
        August 17, 2016 1:00 pm

        “Jay goes somewhat farther, and defends Hillary on every count, ”

        Nope. That’s incorrect, Pricilla. I’ve taken her to task for many things.

        I’m against Democratic views, hers included, on race, crime, immigration, politically correct feminist and gay over-reaching. On economics she’s been sending mixed messages and I haven’t made up my mind on that. On national defense I haven’t heard enough tough talk from her about taking out Islamic terrorist bases, but I’m pretty certain she’ll be tougher on them overall than Obama as her urging to take out Bin Ladin showed. Her view on the Iranian nuke deal is wrong. Her silence on the Milwaukee riots this week is infuriating. Her failure to denounce BLM for its antiSemetic leanings and antiIsrael rants equally disturbing.

        But what I STRONGLY disagree with is the unrelenting distorted lies and untruths the Right has directed against her and her husband for decades, that you and others have swallowed hook line and ideological sinker. The adage that repeating lies often enough validates them as truth holds here: you swallowed them and now believe them with certainty.

        There is NO EVIDENCE Hillary made any accommodation in policy or action with anyone who donated to the Clinton Foundation when she was Secretary of State. You can point to ‘funny coincidence’ all you like – there is NO EVIDENCE to back it up. The charges are distortions propagated by Clinton haters, the same ideological mind-hate propaganda used to successfully ratchet up Obama hatred, pure and simple.

        And to other charges of Clinton lying, all long-serving politicians lie sooner or later, from necessity or inadvertence. President Dwight Eisenhower denied that the United States was flying U-2 spy planes, Bush2 lied about WMDs, Lincoln lied about whether he was negotiating with the South to end the war. Reagan lied about negotiating hostage release with Iran (yeah, he did the same thing Obama did). So, yes, Hillary may have told lies to justify her private email server (which in light of today’s news that NSA was hacked too makes her home server choice not much more risky or less secure then the State Department servers would have been). But if those kinds of political lies are disqualifying, half the seats in congress would be vacant.

        Overall I’d rate Hillary’s political career as a B-minus. I’d rate her veracity as C-minus, which isn’t so bad because most politicians are lucky to score a B.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 17, 2016 1:09 pm

        Jay I disagree, ALL the seats would be vacant. We demand to hear nonsense so we get candidates who are liars. Has to be.

        What W lied about beyond all doubt and covered up quite deliberately was the cost of his 2 front war which he wanted presented to the public and congress as running in the hundreds of millions, not multiple trillions.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 17, 2016 6:32 pm

        Jay, connecting the dots between Hillary as SecState and the foreign donations that flowed to the Clinton Foundation is not that difficult. (By the way, none of the many allegations in Clinton Cash have been disproven, merely denied, as far I am aware).

        Al Capone was guilty of many serious crimes, but he had to be convicted of income tax evasion because he had the money, power and political connections to create plausible deniability, and remove himself from his violent crimes and illegality just enough so that law enforcement could never draw the connections that they needed. This is how the Clintons have operated for decades.

        And, yes, Hillary is attacked by her political enemies, just as every politician is attacked by his/her political enemies. Hillary is as brutal an attack dog as any other politician, by the way. Politics is a dirty business. And they all deny that the attacks have any merit. It’s why we have to connect the dots.

  64. dhlii permalink
    August 16, 2016 10:57 am

    An oddly twisted peice.

    On the one hand it quite accurately berates the press for its bifurcated coverage – condenming those on the left for failing to seriously report anything damaging about Clinton.

    On the other the tone from end to end is still primarily Trump bashing.

    Interstingly those few left leaning journalists who grasp there is a problem still can not bring themselves to write about Clinton without overdosing us on Trump’s faults.

  65. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 17, 2016 7:54 am

    The idea that trump wants to lose is too convoluted. The idea that he is simply an idiot is much easier for me to believe.

    Dave’s comment: “However, any idiot who can sit on their hands and do little or nothing for 4-8 years can be president.” (yeah Dave you did say that) fits well with the opinion of what Priscilla aptly called the vulgar elements. Its an unserious and typically populist opinion that must lose or we are in the deepest shit we have ever been in in my lifetime.

    Those same vulgar elements used the image of Alfred E Neuman to mock Obama from the first moment of his presidency, now they have actually selected Alfred E Neuman as their candidate. I was reading their comments on the Fox news story of trumps new “expanded” campaign that elevated some pollster to his campaign manager it I understand correctly, while keeping his campaign manager?!? It would be funny if it were not tragically taking us to idiocracy 50 years early.

    The communist revolution in Russia was populist revolution by vulgar elements who had no idea how to actually run an economy. Turned out great didn’t it? Populist revolutions are all pretty similar even if the ideology is different as far as I am concerned. America may not be in great shape but we don’t need to turn it over to people whose campaign is so bad that one could speculate that they are trying to lose. Lord save us from these populist vulgar elements, Lord save us from trump. Lord save us from “any idiot who can sit on their hands and do little or nothing for 4-8 years can be president.”

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 17, 2016 10:06 am

      GW, your argument about populist movements is a good one, and in another election year, I would be likely be persuaded by this, because, in general, I am not drawn to populism, nor to candidates who present themselves as vulgarians. You and I are alike in that way, I believe.

      On the other hand, America is a country that was essentially founded by a populist movement, if we are defining populism as movements based on the interests and needs of the everyday citizen and opposed to rule by a privileged elite class. Democracy, by its very nature, gives rise to legitimate populist movements, and one could call the abolitionists, the women’s suffrage movement and the civil rights movement all successful populist movements. It is part of what defines us as a nation.

      The difference between the Russian Revolution and Donald Trump is that Donald Trump is not attempting to overthrow the government. He is positioning himself as an outsider who has insider understanding of the elite ruling class in Washington and seeks to take us back to a more federalist, more constitutional footing as a nation. In his best moments, as in his speech last night in Milwaukee, that comes through loud and clear. In his worst moments, he sounds, not like a revolutionary, but like….well, like an obnoxious idiot who will sit on his hands for 4-8 years.

      Trump is not an idiot, any more than John McCain was a feeble old warmonger, or Mitt Romney an insensitive one-percenter. Those are narratives that become “truth.” Now, that is not to say that Trump hasn’t played into the narrative himself, which has disturbed me, and still may lead to my deciding to not vote for him.

      But, Hillary Clinton is, as no other candidate, the absolute personification of the above-the-law, corrupt-to-the-core, out-of touch-elitist. Add to that, her promise to continue Obama’s practice of circumventing Congress, the fact that she will appoint leftist justices to SCOTUS, the fact that her horn dog husband will be back in the White House (talk about vulgarians), her support for Black Lives Matter and other leftist activist groups, and her deep dishonesty, as shown in so many different ways.

      I fully understand yours and Jay’s position that we need someone that is experienced and speaks in the correct way, saying the correct things. But, despite my antipathy to vulgarity, I believe that it is essential for the country that it reject a card-carrying elitist, who speaks in politically correct soundbites and exhibits contempt for the average American.

      I know that we are in deep disagreement on this, GW, but I don’t think that the disagreement makes us “enemies.” My dearest friend, a woman that I have known for most of my life, holds almost the exact same view as you do. Jay goes somewhat farther, and defends Hillary on every count, but my friend does not. She knows that Hillary is corrupt, but she fears that Trump is merely a “destroyer”. She would rather a machiavellian elitist, than a bumbling vulgarian. She actually dislikes Hillary enough that she momentarily toyed with the idea of voting for him. But then she threw cold water in her face, and came to her liberal senses. 🙂

    • August 17, 2016 1:10 pm

      Roby, “Those same vulgar elements used the image of Alfred E Neuman to mock Obama from the first moment of his presidency, now they have actually selected Alfred E Neuman as their candidate.”

      I would disagree with this statement from the fact that so many people that were not active in politics before Trump came along were the ones that were instrumental in his getting the nomination. Remember, in most of the primaries he was only getting in the 30% range and winning until others dropped out. Then the choice when there were three was someone who could not get the nomination in any manner and the other was a conservative that wanted to control every aspect of your private life. (Social values crammed down our throats). Given those choices, the people then voted for the lessor of three evils. Had it been Bush, Trump, Cruz and maybe one other, I strongly believe Trump would have gone home by April.

      However, if the powers to be had figured out a way to reduce the field to 3-4 candidates early, Trump would have been eliminated early as the “vulgar elements” would have coalesced behind one or two conservative candidates and we would not have the crap to choose from that we have.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2016 5:22 pm

      The idea that a president or even our govenrment as whole could sit on its hands and do nothing for 4-8 years is not even slightly populist.

      Please name a single populist ever that was not yammering for great change ?

      Conversely some of our best president did little or nothing,

      Though doing nothing is quite rare in government – not because doing things is necescary – but because not doing things is not even slightly in the interests of politicians.

      I would suggest some study of public choice. Basically it applies the same principles the left likes to beleive drive business to government and politics.

      The power of politicians derives from their ability to pass laws.
      No one contributes ot a politician to have them do nothing.
      No one will pay for junkets or offer them stock tips or contribute to their charitable foundations if they do nothing.

      At the same time we have massive amounts of economic data from more than two centuries and accross every nation on the planet that the only thing a government can do that is better for its people that doing nothing – would be to shrink.

      The claim this is some populist position is nonsense – it is also logically absurd.

      Does the truth or falsity of something depend on how popular it is ?

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2016 5:29 pm

        “The power of politicians derives from their ability to pass laws.”

        For the presidency, the power also derives from passing their own law via executive privilege.

        And you know in your tightly wound sphincter that Trump would abuse that power even more than Obama has. Right?!?

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2016 6:02 pm


        Am I concerned that Trump would try to go beyond even Obama – yes.
        But I am far more concerned about Hillary.

        Trump if elected will face a hostile press, and half of congress that hates him and the other half that is trying to figure out how not to be blamed for him.

        Clinton if elected will face a mostly fawning press, and a congress essentially the same as Obama.

        The historical pattern of presidential imperialism is LEFT not right.
        Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson, Nixon, Bush, Obama.

        I know that some of you do not think of Nixon and Bush as LEFT.

        But think seriously

        Nixon: EPA, Clean air act, Clean Water act.
        Title IX, Southern desegregation, EEOC,…

        No Child left behind, Medicare D, Sarbox, ….

        This election should make clear that republican not equal right and democrat not equal left.

        The majority of Trumps policies directly target centre left blue collar democrats.
        Conversely though on most policies Clinton is pretty far to the left of even Trump, Clinton is the neo-con in this race – which would make her to the right of Trump.

        Regardless, to directly answer your question, I expect that all future presidents will abuse their power more than Obama – atleast until we have another Nixon moment.
        Between Trump and Clinton, I think Trump will do so less than Clinton, and get far more crap for it.

        But we will never get to see whether I am right – because only one person will become president and whichever one it is, it will be bad.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2016 5:41 pm

      Odd that you cite the communist revolution.

      It was not by the way “a populist revolution by vulgar elements who had no idea how to actually run an economy”

      They had a very clear idea how to run an economy – top down.
      The “fatal conceipt” of communisim – and all other isms of the left and many of the right – including facism – which is as easily argued to be on the left as right,
      is that government can run the economy at all.

      Running the economy is not and never was a legitimate role of government, it has failed throughout human history in every single way that anyone has ever tried it to the extent it has been tried.

      It has failed under the flag of communism, socialism, fascism, progressivism, “the new deal” “the great society” and on and on.

      And yes – any moron who can sit on their hands and do nothing for 4-8 years can be president and preside over a period of rising standards of living.

      The only problems confronting the next president that absolutely require action – are those CAUSED by the government.

      The next president is inarguably going to have to clean up the mess that is PPACA.
      No matter how you feel about PPACA it can not be left alone without disasterous consequences.

      It is possible we can survive if the next president does nothing about social security and medicare – but that becomes harder and more dangerous with each passing year.
      Regardless, it is again a problem CAUSED by government.

      The same is true of deficits. It is possible we can coast for another 4-8 years without addressing them, but our debt is an increasing burden on our economy, and though I think the US is uniquely positioned as a consequence of the global use of the dollar as the worlds reserve currency, if the economy of some significant part of the rest of the world should ever become more reliable than that of the US this country will be Greece nearly instantly. It will take only a very small increase in the interest rates the US government currently pays before our debt turns into a death spiral.
      Again a problem of government creation.

      I can not think of a single problem that requires government action that is not of government creation.

      Can you recall what Washington did for 8 years ? What of Adams ?
      In fact can you name much of consequence that most US president ever did ?
      We have had 43 different people as president, Can you name one significant accomplishment for each president off the top of your head ?

      Just to be clear GW – not only would anyone who could sit on their hands for 4 years be a good president, they would inarguably be a better president than either of our two lead contenders.

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2016 6:13 pm

        “I can not think of a single problem that requires government action that is not of government creation.”

        The flooding of the shorelines of the East coast and Florida.
        The wildfires destroying wide swaths of Southern California.
        National industry price fixing
        Auto exhaust pollution
        Patent and copyright infringement
        State cross border crime
        UFO investigations (the same Federal bureau tapping your phone, Dave)

        Im sure there’s more..

  66. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 17, 2016 12:42 pm

    Enemies? Lord no! Just argumentative opinionated political adversaries on a blog.

    “On the other hand, America is a country that was essentially founded by a populist movement”

    Well sort of. Here is an excerpt about G. Washington from Wiki:

    “A successful planter of tobacco and wheat, Washington was a leader in the social elite in Virginia. From 1768 to 1775, he invited some 2000 guests to his Mount Vernon estate, mostly those he considered “people of rank”. As for people not of high social status, his advice was to “treat them civilly” but “keep them at a proper distance, for they will grow upon familiarity, in proportion as you sink in authority”.[75]

    I am not a powerful wealthy elite or connected person, but I can easily reconcile myself to the idea that there always have been and always will be elites and inner circles of power, connected people. Its philosophically offensive of course and obviously unfair but the country was built that way, by connected people and its a pretty good country, stuff works, where I live anyhow. The idea of removing somehow all the influence of powerful wealthy connected people, first, is just impossible and second, well, that was the theory behind the 1917 revolution and we know how well that worked to make everyone equal. I’ll take the devil I know, as expressed above by G. Washington if it comes with the nice life I live. So, zero populism for me, thanks, establishment all the way, please, with the elites and their perpetual connections with other elites and the unfairness that goes with it.

    Priscilla I can agree with you in a second in the statement you once made that Bernie seems dim. Yes, he does. He says ridiculous things that defy common sense on a regular basis and is out of his depth when talk moves to real details of how things work. So, why is it so hard for you to see that trump is an idiot? He was born on third, he loudly thinks he hit a home run but you and other thoughtful conservatives don’t have to buy it! (the turnip truck plays no ideological favorites) He would actually be much wealthier if he had taken dad’s inheritance money and put it into mutual funds. He is a loser.

    An idiot is not necessarily someone with an IQ of fifty or less, that is one technical definition, but the common definition that anyone intuitively understands is that an idiot is someone who consistently says, does, and believes idiotic things and makes a giant mess out of the things he touches. trump is super qualified as an idiot by that definition. He sounds like an idiot, he acts like an idiot, he screws up nearly everything he touches, destroying the GOP may be his crowning life achievement ergo–> idiot.

    I don’t think he would be a quiet idiot as president and sit on his hands. I think he would be a loud hyperenergetic egotistical mussolini type of idiot who would leave our country as FUBAR as he is leaving the GOP/conservative movement. In foreign policy alone the damage he is quite capable of doing is unthinkable.

    As well, there is good reason to believe that trump would leave Obama far behind in his go-it-aloneism and disregard for rights and the Constitution. After 4 years of trump you might very well look back on Obama’s time as the good old days as far as Constitutional rights go. As for conservatism and the GOP, he could do to those entities exactly what I believe that dim old Bernie could do to the liberal/progressive democratic interests in 4 years as president, kill them if not forever, then for generations.

    Anyhow, I hope we never find out which one of us is correct about trump’s ability to be president and the degree of damage he would do.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2016 2:29 pm

      There is much in what you say that I can agree with.

      And some I can not.

      Why is Trump not an idiot ?

      Because even If Trump has exagerated his personal success by a factor of ten it is still huge and real. Lottery winners are often idiots – people who are incrediby successful are often wrong about many things, obnoxious and oppinionated, but they are pretty much by definition not idiots.

      The left likes to claim that Clinton is the most qualified – that is barking mad lunacy.
      Private success does nto inherently qualify you for public office – but it is an excellent start.

      The person you are more likely to trust investing your money is the person you should more likely trust with the government.

      Conversely public failure is a predictor of subsequent public failure.
      Clinton is unlikely to be better as a president than as a senator or sec state.
      Is there anyone saying she was good at either ?

      Arguably Clinton was not a total failure at either. There have been worse senators and Sec. States – I can not name one, but I do not doubt they exist.

      Moving to a different form of idiocy.

      I would berate Trump for his idiotic ideas on immigration and trade.
      Except that as bad as Trumps are – Clintons are worse.

      And if we go beyond those – while again both candidates fall short.
      Clinton is still selling us the same progressive garbage that has never ever succeeded.

      Is there someone today prepared to argue that PPACA has been a glowing success ?
      Is there any progressive program that has been a success ?

      Clinton want to make college education free.

      In a bubble – all for it. Yeah!. Except that in the real world – there is no “free”. In the real world those “free” government programs have proven incredibly expensive.

      I think the experts currently tell us Clinton’s programs will cost $1.6T over a decade.

      Please tell me when any proposed government program cost less than 3 times what experts told us – ANY program ? ANY Program at all ?

      Clearly someone is an idiot – either it is clinton for offering this nonsense or those of us who buy it. Regardless, there is alot of idiocy here – and it is not from Trump.

      The only good news – for both sides, is that no one is paying attention to policies and platforms.
      Outside of student loans does anyone know what Clinton’s platform is ? Anyone ?
      Does Clinton even know ? And just a few days ago Clinton’s web site was revised to eliminate the assertion that women claiming to be sexually assaulted have the right to be beleived – too many questions about Lewinsky, Jones, Broderick. and the lolita express.

      Outside of building a wall and opposing Trade deals does anyone know what Trump’s platform is ?

      Anyway, Trump is a blow hard, and he may even say stupid things quite often, but if the measure is “idiocy” the bigger idiot is Clinton – unless you beleive she is lying – in which case the idiot is us.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 17, 2016 2:36 pm

        Dave the posts of yours I am most likely to enjoy usually come early in the progression of a Rick post before you have hit dogged argument mode, which you are in now. I can’t find anything that I just skimmed in your post that has any effect on swaying my opinion. You have zero chance of changing my mind. You simply wildly dislike liberal democratic ideas. So what? Why should I care? I don’t.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 17, 2016 4:55 pm

      I find it odd that some many people who are not republicans seem to feel they can see so clearly as to give Republicans advice.

      But then I am not a republican either – of course I am not giving them advice, just nothing that your observations are lacking.

      Goldwater went down in flames. Yet, he permanently altered the GOP in incredibly positive ways.

      I am very reluctant to pick what the permanent effects of Trump will be.

      Trump has shuffled the deck regarding voting blocks. Some of those changes might be permanent, some might not.

      Have neo-cons permanently shifted back to the Democratic party ?
      Is the democratic loss of blue collar voters finally permanent ?

      until recently immigration has not been a partisan issue – both parties had strong pro and anti immigrant factions. Is there are shift occuring there – and is it permanent ?
      And separately – what exactly is the democratic position on immigration ?
      As best as I can tell the democratic position on immigration is
      Republicans are evil racists. That is not a position on immigration.

      The other is trade. I am a real free trader – not a proponent of trade deals which I think are net harmful – but not for the normal reasons.
      But neither party holds my views on trade.
      Trade appears to be becoming a partisan issue with democrats becoming the party of managed trade and republicans becoming the anti-trade party.

      Are any of these shifts permanent ? I do not know.

      But the collapse of political parties is the consequence of ideological shifts – not one loud candidate.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 17, 2016 6:12 pm

        Dave, I do wonder, regardless of who ends up being president for the next 4 years, if both parties are headed for a crack-up. Or, at least whether a third party will emerge as a contender, going forward. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 17, 2016 5:51 pm

      A lot of interesting stuff to discuss in your comment, GW.

      Re: George Washington (another GW!) ~ I don’t believe that George was ever a populist in the sense of, say Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, Sam Adams or Patrick Henry. Obviously, he played a huge role in the Revolutionary War and afterward, but, if I recall correctly he was a staunch opponent of political parties, as was John Adams, largely because they didn’t like the idea that the nation needed to be divided. They had seen what populism could do, if taken too far, and they had little respect for the “unwashed masses”, who, of course, back in those days were almost completely uneducated. It was Jefferson, a true son of the Enlightenment, who synthesized elitist and populist thinking, in identifying education as absolutely necessary to a well-functioning democracy.

      There is definitely, at least to me, a strong current of elitism in the arguments that I hear in favor of Hillary Clinton ~ that she is so well educated and smart, that she’s held so many positions of power and influence, etc. And a lot of opposition to Trump seems to focus on his blunt, impolitic speech, his ridiculous hair, his trophy wife, etc. So, while I understand your arguments about powerful people and their better understanding of the ways and means of power, I think that, in today’s political environment, it no longer applies. Or more accurately, those ways and means have been corrupted as power always corrupts.

      As far as Trump being born on third and claiming to hit a home run, I feel exactly the same way about Hillary. She hitched her wagon to a political star and traded on his name and power. What Trump has accomplished, on his own, is certainly as worthy of admiration as what she has accomplished. Both had certain advantages, were smart and hardworking, and have become rich and powerful. It’s an argument that, if you are going to make it, cuts both ways.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 17, 2016 7:43 pm

        “As far as Trump being born on third and claiming to hit a home run, I feel exactly the same way about Hillary. She hitched her wagon to a political star and traded on his name and power.”

        Oh Good Grief. We are back to living completely separate universes. That idea is the narrativest narrative you could want. A. She was not born wealthy like trump was and B. she did not hitch her wagon to Bill when he was a star. She was as bright and accomplished as he was in school and his trajectory beyond hers in politics was driven by his smarmy charm, which we all now know was not based on a good character. Hillary and Bill are somewhat like Bon and Elizabeth Dole, they were a “power couple. Quite a bit of Bill’s success may be due to Hillary. Maybe he hitched His star to a powerful woman.

        “What Trump has accomplished, on his own, is certainly as worthy of admiration.” No it isn’t! He is a smarmy con artist who has bullied everyone in sight with lawyers and stiffed quite a few of his creditors. Most of his businesses, casino’s, trump phony university, reality tv shows are nothing I respect. (Call me an elitist, but wasn’t a good bit of the the attraction of Romney precisely that he is rather elite, well educated, smooth, rich successful etc.?) If trump is worthy of admiration then Mike Tyson and Jerry Springer are worthy of it. Bleh! He inherited 40 million and had a rich family always behind him. if my facts are correct. That is NOT doing it on his own! Add in the many failures, the bankruptcies his idiotic decisions on the campaign trail. His rise in the GOP race is attributed to some sort of political genius by some people, he read the mood of the base or some such idea, but I say he was lucky to happen to be exactly the kind of wretched nit the base was looking for.

        Priscilla for me, this comes down to the fact that you have a completely different evaluation system and set of standards for liberal and conservative politicians. That is your right, but you will never sell me on your set of appraisals, they are quite driven by the P word and the I word from where I sit!

      • Jay permalink
        August 17, 2016 7:58 pm

        “What Trump has accomplished, on his own, is certainly as worthy of admiration as what she has accomplished. ”

        Priscilla, everything he’s accomplished has been based on hype wrapped in illusion.
        Haven’t you followed the investigative stories about his businesses and practices over the years? Not just the recent more thorough investigations, but the loooooooooong line of stories journalists have written about him over the years? Yes, he’s made a lot of money, mostly for himself, by building a brand name, and licensing it out. He’s sort of the Woolfgang Puck of real estate: but without Puck’s charm and honesty. The businesses Trump has managed himself haven’t faired that well. He seems to be a great huxter but lousy manager.

        Do this: Google ” Donald trump business failure” and pick out half a dozen articles to read from whomever you consider reliable news sources. Then tell me if you still think he has the skill set to manage America, or to choose reliable subordinates to do that for our economy, military, legal system, or any of the other serious problems facing us…

        And while your at that you should check out the people he just brought on to his team to get elected. If that doesn’t end up troubling your moderate inclination, nothing will.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 17, 2016 11:06 pm

        Whether I end up voting for Donald Trump or not, I find it ironic that Trump’s
        creation of an international business conglomerate is mocked and minimized, while the almost non-existent accomplishments of a woman known primarily for
        scandal are extolled as great and historic.

        What exactly are these great accomplishments that make her so qualified to be president?

        I’m serious.

        Donald Trump has accomplished quite a lot.

        Gary Johnson has built a successful business and been a reasonably successful governor of a state. I think he was recently the CEO of a medical marijuana company, but I don’t know if he still is. He can point to solid accomplishments.

        What has Hillary accomplished in almost 40 years of public life as a first lady, a senator and a secretary of state? An accomplishment, please.

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2016 8:47 am

        He’s also adept at bribing his way out of paying money he owes .

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2016 11:43 am

        And aren’t you being somewhat LAZY in using Trump’s own self aggrandizing site to back up his claims of business success? He has admitted he uses exaggeration to promote himself and his brand name as “a very effective form of promotion.” Which is another way of saying he has bullshited the public and investors his entire career, the current website no exception. The current website is an example. It fails to indicate what percentage of golf courses and hotels shown on the website are owned and operated by other corporations and/or owners who have merely licensed the Trump name. And the site doesn’t list the number of Trump owned businesses and projects that failed, or the longer list of investors who were left holding empty bags of braggadocio.

        That info is out there, from numerous sources. As is data on the extraordinary number of lawsuits he and his businesses have been involved in – over 4,000, and still rising, many vindictively initiated by him to silence working people trying to recover money owed them, and avoid paying the debts.

        And if Trump’s such an acute businessman why are so many successful business billionaires not backing him? The Koch brothers, quintessential donors for Republican candidates, are not. Michael Bloomberg and Mark Cuban have forcefully stated he’s a buffoon. Billionaire Barry Diller told Bloomberg that Trump is is a huckster – I’m not the only one who labeled him thusly. And Stanley Druckenmiller, billionaire hedge fund manager has said that Trump “has a kindergartner-level view of economics.”

        And are you paying attention to the kind of people he’s surrounding himself with now? Far right extremists and conspiracy theorists and fascists like the people from Breitbart, and Ailes and Manafort who DO NOT represent political moderation. Where do you see even a glimmer of it in that mix?

        Have you read Brietbart over the last year? It’s become the National Enquirer and Glen Beck blog of conspiracy theorist nonsense rolled into one. Do you have any idea the kind of crap were going to hear from Trump now on daily news briefings, and at the presidential debates? Accusation of Clinton backed DNC murders. Hints of Hillary lesbianism. Hillary’s failing health. And of course the Clinton Foundation’s ties to (fill in the blank).

        We can survive four years of a Clinton presidency.
        A Trump presidency will be ruinous.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2016 6:27 pm

      The largest estimate I have heard of Trumps “inheritance was about 300M.

      the more reasonable estimate was under 100M and most of that tied up in ways that he could not have easily “invested it in mutual funds”.

      Given how well my Mutual finds have done over the same period of time – I can not see Trump having done better by investing in mutual funds.

      Sanders is dim. But Clinton is not substantially better.
      She is a somewhat better public speaker, but if this election were actually about policies she is way out of her depth.

      Frankly, she is fortunate that Trump is the GOP candidate.
      That is saving her from having to confront a credible argument on policies.
      Both of them are policy idiots.

      Everyone has their own crystal ball and I have been wrong about alot with respect to this election. I though Trump was toast when he went after McCain.

      My Crystal ball view is this is going to boil down to the debates.
      I expect with several spikes that Clinton’s lead will slowly errode as we approach the election.
      Every now and them Trump will say something ludicrously stupid and Clinton will spike,.
      Every so often there will be another clinton email, perjury, Clinton foundation, …. story and Clinton will drop some.
      Every terrorist attack in Europe will errode Clinton’s lead.
      Any in the US will do so big time – but we will likely miss that.
      Economic bad news hurt clinton – we can expect alot of that.
      Serious economic bad news will doom her, that is a chance but not a certainty – though I do beleive the next president gets and even shittier economy than we have now.
      I think a mild recession is coming regardless of who is elected.

      That leaves the debates. Clinton is an abysmal debater and not a very good public speaker. Bernie was a gift to her.

      The moderators are near certain to tilt questions to favor Clinton.

      Trump’s behavior is unpredictable. If he comes on as Mike Tyson he might easily KO clinton. HOWEVER, he could equally harm himself badly. The general election debates require being more “presidential” than the primary debates.

      Trump has had problems when he is himself – but he mostly does worse when he tries to be someone else.

      I would also note that I think Trump has a multipoint advantage.
      First he has an obvious election strategy that does not require winning the popular vote.
      He is nearly certainly doing worse in Red states than any republican in recent memory.
      But he is still not losing them. He is likely to do better in the so called swing states than any republican. Though there are weirdities. He seems more likely to lose VA than PA.
      and losing VA makes winning without a majority of votes harder.

      The other issue is that I think Trump like Brexit polls lower than the vote will be.
      Brexit had to have won the undecided’s 4:1 to have won as it did.

      Thus far 3rd party voters appear to be hurting Clinton slightly more than Trump.

      But I do not expect Johnson to get 8% in the general election.
      I think he will get closer to 2%, and I think the lionshare of current Johnson voters are people who are unwilling to say they are voting for trump.

      Even with respect to myself the odds of my voting for Clinton are ZERO.
      The odds of my voting for Trump are small but non-existant.
      There is nothing that could get me to vote for Clinton.
      There are a few things that might get me to vote for Trump.

      I do not thing all undecideds or johnson voters are exactly like I am.
      I think most of them are MORE likely to vote for Trump than I am.

  67. Jay permalink
    August 17, 2016 1:22 pm

    Today’s Song 🎼🎼🎼🎼 ⛏⛏⛏🎼🎼🎼🎼 ⛏⛏⛏

    It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew.
    Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few.
    Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines.
    It’s dark as a dungeon way down in Trump’s Mind!
    It’s dark as a dungeon way down in Trump’s Mind!
    Yes, It’s dark as a dungeon way down in Trump’s Mind!

  68. Jay permalink
    August 17, 2016 10:05 pm

    Then there was this: make of it what you will:

  69. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 17, 2016 10:21 pm

    Some require alcohol to make a mess of a speech. Others…

  70. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 18, 2016 12:45 am

    “What has Hillary accomplished in almost 40 years of public life as a first lady, a senator and a secretary of state? An accomplishment, please.”

    Reread the Walter Russel Mead article, one part of the answer is there. Priscilla, you are entering Dave territory of being stubborn and giving me a headache. Look up her accomplishments on Wiki if you really want to know, or, again, reread the Walter Russell Mead piece where he analyzed her SOS tenure and found it reasonably successful. Many would consider being first lady, a US senator, and SOS accomplishments in themselves. She was a significant part of the Clinton administration, which was more politically and economically successful than most presidencies. Since she has done liberal democratic type things in her public life you are going, for partisan and ideological reasons, to consider her career as one big zero. Fine, be that way, be Dave-like here and refuse to concede that she has had a long successful life with many accomplishments in government. That position is partisan absurdity.

    Not coincidentally, I have almost never heard you speak well of a contemporary liberal democrat in my recollection. Its not just Obama and Clinton but Kerry and Gore to name two that I remember you having swiftly dismissed in an acidic way. You cannot flip that one on me; there is fairly long list of republicans I find to be quite morally and intellectually capable of being president. Graham, Romney, Kasich, Bush, Rubio. In the past Ford, Reagan, Bush I all have received fair or better reviews from me.

    BTW, I believe that I won my bet without having to do a search because you have again repeated all the same stuff that I claimed that you have been saying about Hillary, she has no accomplishments, she has ridden her husband’s career, in essence a nobody, a lightweight. You may not have said the exact word lightweight but that is the person with a long life in government but no accomplishments, a lightweight. Since you let me name the terms of the bet, your duty now, having lost it, is to read every one of Micheal Moore’s books cover to cover. OK, that is too cruel, choose one.

    I sent you to Mead, a respectable source for a discussion of some of Clinton’s accomplishments, Meanwhile, you send me to to find out about trump’s achievements. Now there is a fine source of honest objective info! When I read his wiki article it was clear that he has been a jerk and a failure and a con man all his adult life (but don’t take my word for it, there is a long and daily growing list of accomplished weighty conservative people including Romney, the Bushes, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Sen. Collins, Marco Rubio, and by now hundreds of other prominent conservatives who have said the same or worse that I have said and Jay has said and who have also belittled and mocked his seedy business empire.). That is what trump has done with his life starting from his birth on third base, or more accurately, 1 foot from home plate. You can, I guess say that I am doing the same you are doing, being stubborn, not giving the man credit for his excellent university, bankrupt casinos, and reality TV shows. In my world those are not accomplishments to be proud of. Again, there is that amazingly long list of the Romneys of the world who have the same opinion I do, so I am not just being a stubborn partisan here. Whereas the list of his supporters includes David Duke, Palin, Breitbart world, Ailes, and Coulter. Priscilla, you have taken on a tough task, you are working with very thin material trying to make a presidential figure out of trump.

    Priscilla, Lets just give this up and agree that you will live in your trump can be a good president universe and I will live in my hillary can be a good president universe and we are not of the same political culture and do not speak the same political language. Peace, sincerely, Peace, but Lets Please give this up!

    • Jay permalink
      August 18, 2016 12:10 pm

      Yeah I’ve come to the same conclusion – it’s as useless asking her to be objective about Trump as it is convincing the subjects in the court of The Naked Emporer that no, that isn’t a trouser pull cord dangling between his thighs.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 18, 2016 4:48 pm

        Well, its a shame. Ideology and partisanship just poison everyone who touches them. I have my own strong moderate ideological lens that is not very tolerant of thought that is more than one standard deviation from the center.

        If I could just get a message in a bottle from Nov 10 telling me that trump has been thrown in history’s dustbin then I could let go of my obsessive interest in the election.

        At least we manage here to be relatively decent while disagreeing. But sometime the alternate universes are so far apart that its better just to agree to disagree and talk about the weather or sports or anything other than politics.

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2016 5:22 pm

        You’re right.
        Here’s not the place for vitriol.
        Which is why I’m spewing most of my anti Trump venom on Twitter, where I can be gleefully obnoxious without guilt, particularly at the #TrumpSucks like forums.

      • dhlii permalink
        August 18, 2016 6:49 pm

        You can not ask anyone else to be objective about Trump – until you are objective about Clinton.

        Honestly very very few people are in the tank for Trump.
        I have heard no one here cheerleading for Trump.
        There is no one here who would vote for Trump if democrats came up with a sane choice.
        I could live with a president Biden right now quite easily.

      • Jay permalink
        August 19, 2016 5:48 pm

        I am objective about Clinton.

        She was a decent freshman Senator, a disappointing but competent Sec of State. She lied to cover her ass a few times, but I don’t see that level of political lying disqualifies her to be a decent president – though I am concerned with stances on PC issues where I strongly disagree with the Democratic Party Line/platform. I would have preferred a Moderate ‘GOPE’ Republican like Bush-3 or Kasich had been nominated to see where they landed on the issues.

        You’re the one with skewed objectivity about Clinton, and more then skewed on your view of the Clinton Federation.

    • dhlii permalink
      August 18, 2016 6:44 pm

      I find it interesting that you consider Mead a “respectable source.

      Regardless, I have some points of disagreement with Mead – I think that US policy during Obama was primarily directed by Clinton. While I do think that Obama was somewhat disinterested in foreign policy and the lack of strong presidential support weakened her.
      Which Mead notes, I think that we can view the foreign policy under Clinton as reflective of Clinton – not Obama.

      Past that I have little disagreement with Mead.
      Clinton will not likely be remembered as Sec. State, she was a placeholder, with a collection of small failures and no significant successes. She is forgetable.

      Even if they do not result in further investigations, Clintons self dealing as Sec. State will be her legacy.

      I have not asserted that Clinton was the worst Sec. State in US history – just in the bottom half.

      That is not a qualification for President.

      I expect much the same from Clinton as president.
      She will not likely be the worst president we have ever had – but she will likely be in the bottom half.

      I expect she will be worse than Obama. She will be significantly more scandal ridden.
      Obama was somewhat protected from “scandal” by the constant shouts of racism.
      There was little serious effort to trace the myriads of scandals in the Obama administration – and there were alot of them – to the white house.
      Not even Republicans wanted a Black Nixon – no matter how racist you think they are.

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2016 10:53 pm

        Is the reason you don’t find Mead a reliable source because he differs with you on Hillary’s effectiveness as Sec of State?

      • Jay permalink
        August 18, 2016 11:00 pm

        Again, as comments from her tenure as a NY State Senator from Republicans and Democrats who worked with her on legislation, and now from reports of her prepairedness and grasp of issues in totality in cabinet meetings – she appears to be far more competent then you paint her.

      • Jay permalink
        August 19, 2016 11:52 am

        “Even if they do not result in further investigations, Clintons self dealing as Sec. State will be her legacy.”

        Accusations based on vindictive wishful thinking.

        But yes, she’ll be hounded by all the Hillary haters with the same repeated exaggerated falsehoods as Obama was for not being an American born citizen or for being a secret Muslim. So no matter what she does in office the Vultures Of Conservative Vindictivness will pick it to death in and on their media, before, during, or after completion.

  71. Jay permalink
    August 18, 2016 12:12 pm

    A cartoon is worth a thousand Trump dumb remarks
    (Click the button)

    (click here to view)Chan LoweTribune Content AgencyAug 18, 2016

  72. dhlii permalink
    August 18, 2016 7:14 pm

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    Thomas Jefferson

    I have no problems with ideological arguments.
    I have argued repeatedly that compromise is quite often WORSE than losing.

    Compromise solutions are nearly always WORSE than either extreme.
    We learn from real failure – not from wishy washy semi failure.

    I think a large portion of the mess that is our government is the result of political compromise.

    Nor do I honestly beleive you.

    I think, you think compromise is a tool to get what you want in half steps.
    Unless you are honestly prepare to permanently accept the results of a political compromise – then it is a tactic and nothing more.

    It does not make you reasonable, it makes you cunning and smooth.

    I am prepared to reach political compromise on myriads of issues.
    But I make no excuses, any compromise I engage in is merely a way point to the right answer.

    I also have less trouble with people who beleive things that I think are stupid, than people who value compromise as some end of its own.

    Elevating compromise to a principle is the most unprincipled thing I can think of.
    It is saying there are no principles.

    It is saying “if only Hilter would have stopped at 3M jews”.

    The absence of absolute truth is not the absence of absolute falsehood.
    Nor does it make all viewpoints equal.
    Some things – many things are just wrong.
    One of those is that we have the right to be “half tyrants”. That “half truths”, “half principles”, are not often worse than falsehoods.

    • August 18, 2016 11:14 pm

      “Compromise solutions are nearly always WORSE than either extreme.”

      Dave, do you believe the compromises made by the GOp to avoid government closures is worse than closing the government and then losing multiple seats in congress? And I use “closing ” loosely as the government does not close. Just a handful of individuals compared to total government employment are sent home and then paid back wages when the government reopens.

      I think RR would disagree with that statement based on his ability to get legislation passed through a divided congress.

  73. August 18, 2016 10:59 pm

    Remind yourself of what your goal is when having a discussion with someone of an opposing view. Is it to win them over to your point of view? While that would be all well and good, most of us pretty much know from the beginning that that isn’t going to happen. What then? Hopefully we get to know someone’s opposing views well enough to—dare I hope for it…not fear them. A lot of blogs, IMO create and intensify fear of each other, ” People who support person ABCD are scum and should be forcibly neutered! ” Stuff like that just makes things worse. I know that some ideas I hold, if and when I share them, will make some here think I’m ignorant, but perhaps they will find they don’t have to fear such “ignorant” people as myself. So far, a lot of things Jay says I disagree with, but I try to listen, understand, and I already treasure those moments of harmony. I was shocked that he opposed the Iran deal, most likely for different reasons, we never got to far on that subject, but it made me feel pretty good that I found something in common with him. So regardless if Priscilla is walking around with blinders or not, or if GW is blind to the “reality” of Priscilla’s information. Perhaps we can learn to live among the blind and not hurt or fear each other so much.

    • Jay permalink
      August 18, 2016 11:11 pm

      We argue and get testy with other, and sometimes snideness overrules politeness, but even when infuriated with the dumb things we think we are hearing, there’s an underlying respect for the intelligence of the arguments presented (mostly, Trump is proving an exception 😏)that permeates the discussions.

      I think the tone of Rick’s articles is the reason for that begrudging respect. His moderate reasonableness on the topics he addresses permeate the discussions, even when he’s ducked for cover.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 19, 2016 10:37 pm

      You callin’ me blind, Mister?

  74. Priscilla permalink
    August 18, 2016 11:13 pm

    I asked a simple question and got no no answer. Just a lot of sound and fury. Well, not sound.

    I linked the Trump Organization website,by the way, only because Jay made the ridiculous assertion that Trump only licensed out his name “like Wolfgang Puck.” If you were to peruse that website for 2 seconds it would be obvious that Trump’s business accomplishments are significantly greater than that.

    GW, I read the entire WRM article, and he credits Hillary for being in favor of getting Osama Bin Laden, and initiating an outreach to Burma, which he says has been marred by Burma’s continuing human rights violations against the Rohingyas. That’s it. Ok, fine for voting in favor of killing OBL, but that was Obama’s call, not hers. His accomplishment.

    Neither one of you can name a single accomplishment of the woman “more qualified than any man or woman in American history” to be president?

    Vote For Hillary, She’ll make us right with Burma!!

    • August 18, 2016 11:32 pm

      Priscilla, I have another question for you since you seem to be the one doing the most defending of Trump and his candidacy. Please read:

      When you have most every strategist telling you the only way to attract enough moderate voters to win is to become “more presidential”, why on earth would you remove your current campaign manager who is promoting that image and put in place someone that has proven to be even more confrontational in the political arena to head your campaign?

      I keep going back to 1980 when RR was losing to Carter. He had certain things he wanted changed, but he listened to his campaign leadership that stressed military strength and economic improvements and he concentrated on that and won. That is leadership. Is Trump’s actions really leadership or just being stubborn?

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 19, 2016 9:38 am

        Actually, Ron, I didn’t answer your question.

        I think he demoted Paul Manafort for two reasons: 1) Manafort’s work with the pro-Russian Ukrainian ex-president , which, although done as a private consultant, has provided opponents with ammunition to attack the entire Trump campaign, and 2) the fact the Manafort was not giving Trump good advice.

        Kellyanne Conway, his new campaign manager, is very respected as a political operative. Steve Bannon, not so much, but, it seems to me that they convinced Trump that things needed to change an fast. And, sure enough, in his first speech after the shake up, Trump expressed regret for some of the things he has said in the past. No specifics, but it looks as if he’s backing away from needless confrontation.

        Only time will tell, I suppose.

    • Priscilla permalink
      August 19, 2016 9:26 am

      I agree, Ron, and I’ve been mystified by his seeming inability to turn his campaign strategy toward those things. Well, maybe not mystified, but certainly frustrated and skeptical. My defense of Trump is not necessarily an endorsement of him. I’ve also defended Johnson as having more significant accomplishments than Hillary, and said that I’m still open to voting for Johnson, although I will likely vote Trump, simply because I think that he is the only candidate who can prevent a Clinton presidency.

      Now, in the last week, Trump has made two very good speeches, and has begun laying out a specific agenda, in presidential terms. This is the kind of thing that supporters were hoping for a bit earlier in the game, but if he can “pivot” now, and stick to his message, I think he may still have a shot. If not, if he remains too confrontational and undisciplined, he will lose big, deservedly so.

      I cut Trump a certain amount of slack for 1) not being a career politician and 2) fighting a “two-front” battle, against both Hillary and 2) many conservatives and Bush allies within his own party. Dave makes a very good point, which is that the neocon in this race is Hillary, and that becomes clear when you see the number of Bush-allied Republicans who are against him. They’re not the only ones, but they are the most outspoken.

      In any case, Trump’s got himself into a pretty big hole, largely of his own making. If he keeps digging, I’m not gonna jump in.

      How is NC looking from your perspective?

      • August 19, 2016 12:58 pm

        Problem is he made the “pivot”, made two good speeches and then said something to the effect “I don’t like this type of campaigning, this is not me, I like the way I campaigned in the primaries”. At which time a couple days later he removes Manaford and installs the confrontational Breitbart CEO as the head of his campaign.

        As for NC, it is looking bad on all accounts. Trump looks to be a disaster in this state. We got rid of the Senator and governor that rode in on Obama’s coat tails in 2008 in the last couple elections that were total incompetents and now we have the apparent reversal taking place this election. Deborah Ross is close to an Elizabeth Warren as she is a former ACLU attorney.

        We have had too many liberals move in from out of state with all the work by politicians to “improve” job growth in the state. One has to be careful what they ask for as there are always ramifications that one does not anticipate. My hope is the state legislature remains in control of the GOP since the liberal voters are in basically two areas, leaving the majority of the state conservative.

      • Jay permalink
        August 19, 2016 5:34 pm

        “At which time a couple days later he removes Manaford ”

        Cable news is saying they dumped him because his unsavory Russian connections had become an issue, and Comrade Trump wanted to distance himself from guilt by association.

      • August 19, 2016 7:07 pm

        Well I guess if that’s his story today, then that’s the story until someone comes up with another story.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 19, 2016 8:52 pm

        No doubt, Ron, it’s never a good idea to step on your own good press. Seems as if the announcement of the campaign management shake up could have come first, wait for the hoo ha to die down and then the speech. But I have a feeling that the Manafort/Russian problem was becoming a bigger distraction, than was tolerable. Plus, for whatever reason, Trump was not listening to Manafort. At this point, so far back in the polls, he probably had nothing to lose by making the switch. Ever since he has, things have gone pretty well, so maybe he was wrong to have stuck with Manafort for as long as he did.

        John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign manager, is a lobbyist for Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, so maybe Trump didn’t think the Ukrainian consulting stuff that Manafort did was so bad. No boy scouts (or girl scouts) in politics, that’s for sure.

        I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Charlotte, and it seems that half the people that I meet when I’m there are recent transplants from NJ or NY. On top of that, we have quite a few friends that have retired to the Wilmington area. I not surprised that, over the years, the migration from the northeast to NC has really changed the political demographics. Seems like you folks are the swingiest of swing states this year.

    • Jay permalink
      August 19, 2016 9:31 am

      “I linked the Trump Organization website,by the way, only because Jay made the ridiculous assertion that Trump only licensed out his name “like Wolfgang Puck.” If you were to peruse that website for 2 seconds it would be obvious that Trump’s business accomplishments are significantly greater than that.”

      Are you serious? You looked at Trump’s own site to get an objective overview?
      How sappy is that?

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 19, 2016 9:40 am

        Ok, here’s Wikipedia. Good enough for you, Jay?

      • Jay permalink
        August 19, 2016 1:12 pm

        In general businessman Trump is deep in debt, and has been for more then a decade. Large flows of money in – larger flow out. His golf courses for example: With only a few exceptions they are losing money world wide.

        His financial worth has always been exaggerated -by him. Forbes says Trump pumped up his assets to qualify for bank loans (subsequently withdrawn when they learned he wasn’t worth $6 billion).

        Forbes lists him at $4.5 Billion, with qualification. There’s concern he has puffed up his ownership interest of properties with the Trump name, not only for credit rating, but for self aggrandizement (his ego needs fluffing as frequently as the appendages of male porno movie actors):

        “Donald Trump positions himself as a real estate visionary and developer, and he’s created a remarkable brand. In truth, however, Trump doesn’t own a large number of his properties. He licenses his name to developers and offers property management services. For instance, his name is on 17 properties in Manhattan, but he only owns five of them outright.”
        (From another Forbes article, I can’t post more then one link).

        Of American billionaires he’s way down the list at #113. His American billionaire critics make him look like a pauper : Gates, Buffett, Bezos, Bloomberg – even the conservative billionaire Koch Brothers have given him the Thumbs down.

        Jerry jones the owner of the Cowboys is worth more at $5 billion – does that qualify him for prez?

        In truth, really it’s obvious, Trump’s a flim-flam artist. Is that the kind of person you want representing America?

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 19, 2016 9:47 am

        You know, you have to build a brand before you can license it.

        The point I’ve been trying to make all along, is that the man has built a very large, global business enterprise. And, at a certain point, he began building on the brand that he had built. My fear is that his presidential run is more of the same. I don’t know that, but I remain skeptical.

        On the other hand, to dismiss his accomplishments as nothing but branding is dishonest and untrue. Plus, I’m still waiting for the big reveal on Hillary’s great achievements………

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 19, 2016 11:25 am

        “Plus, I’m still waiting for the big reveal on Hillary’s great achievements………”

        Oh I wish I had the discipline not to take the bait.

        By the time you are stating that a former senator and SOS has no achievements its settled that you are not going to recognize anything that anyone shows you. It Dave territory. You don’t want to know and you are not going to know of any achievements. Being a senator involves daily work that affects peoples lives. Its full of achievements, no matter who does it, it could be Clinton it could be Cruz. They are not just potted plants, any of them, whether they are on our side or the other of the partisan world. Being a capable SOS of state means managing a large and vital enterprise of nearly unimaginable difficulty. Kissinger, who no one ever accussed of being less than formidable, has stated that Hillary ran the State Department it very well. Its an achievement, no matter whether the inevitable things go wrong that go wrong during the tenure of a SOS. Condi Rice is person with achievements, Colin Power, George Shultz, Kerry, all of them. Being in that highly responsible office and meeting the daily impossible challenges is a much higher level achievement than you or I have ever approached. Your thesis is absurd, I don’t respect it.

        Now trump. Nowhere in your recent posts trying to make something of trumps business empire do you admit that many of his enterprises have been scams like trump university.

        “”But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No, he isn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. And what ever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there’s Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage? A business genius he is not.” G. Romney

        When trump said of John McCain that he was a loser for getting shot down that was the end of any chance that he has the character to be Commander in chief.

        Tell me that you will vote trump because you are a conservative republican and you don’t want a democratic administration and a liberal supreme court and you will be talking honestly and I will understand and respect that. Defend trumps abilities while saying that Hillary Clinton has no accomplishments and I just can’t take you seriously any longer you are in the territory of stubborn blind political partisanship. Its not moderate and its just painful to listen to from an intelligent person.

      • Jay permalink
        August 19, 2016 1:16 pm

        With apologies, Priscilla – but I agree with GW 100% 🤔

    • Jay permalink
      August 19, 2016 11:30 am

      Is Hillary the most qualified presidential candidate ever? That depends on how you determine ‘qualified.’

      Would actual time spent in the White House for 8 years with her husband, where she experienced the actual running of the government up close and personal be considered qualifying experience? We know from a plethora of stories and biographies written by others involved in the Clinton presidency that Hillary was a de facto cabinet member of Bill’s inner circle. So wouldn’t you agree she, unlike most other presidential candidates, is uniquely more familiar with what it takes to govern as president then any other candidate who has run for the office, at least in our lifetime?

      And she was the Secretary of State during Obama’s first term. You may think she made lousy decisions during her tenure – though numerous world leaders and US allies have praised her preparedness, grasp of issues, professionalism and acuity. So there too she has ‘qualifying’ experience no other presidential candidate has had in our lifetime, unless I’m missing someone.

      Add to that her tenure as NY Senator – where again she was praised by colleagues of both parties.

      And though you’ve made up your mind she’s not HIGHLY QUALIFIED to be president, other’s with more experience and ‘qualification’ to make judgements on her unique experience disagree with you:

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 19, 2016 10:07 pm

        Jay, I actually respect your point of view. It’s certainly sensible, and, there are moments when I think – heck, maybe Hillary wouldn’t be the worst.

        But, the moments pass. It’s not about whether she can do the job. I agree that she can. Her dishonesty, lawlessness, and lies have disqualified her from the honor of the office.

        I get that you feel the same about Trump. I’m not quite sure about him myself (as I’ve said ad infinitum, lol). But I’m sure about her.

      • August 19, 2016 11:26 pm

        “Her dishonesty, lawlessness, and lies have disqualified her from the honor of the office.”

        If this was a requirement for the presidency, then we would have a problem finding someone that qualifies.

        Johnson–landslide Johnson winning a senate seat from Texas after one country stuffed the vote with non existent voters ballots. They did not even hide the fact since the handwritten roll of voters had the additional names in a different ink and the names were alphabetical in order (not random like people walking up to vote). That senate seat led to his becoming VP and later Pres.
        Bush 43, carried Florida by a handful of votes after his brother Jeb had over 57,000 registered voters removed from the registration rolls based on them being convicted felons. As it turns out, over 90% of the voters on the hit list were not felons at all. Some of their supposed felonies were actually dated in the future. It was an overwhelmingly Democratic list of voters—over half blacks and Hispanics.
        Harding–Teapot Dome scandal.
        And then we don’t need to go into the Jefferson issues with sex with slaves, FDR and JFK flings with women not their wives and other issues with presidents that can be dug up and cataloged as making them unqualified for the office at the time they held office.

        With the communication today, we hear it all. But to get to the point where you have enough power and recognition by people to run for the highest office, there is only one way to get that and that is through corruption. Anyone playing by the rules is weeded out early in the process if they can even get into the process to begin with.

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 19, 2016 11:42 pm

        “Anyone playing by the rules is weeded out early in the process if they can even get into the process to begin with.”

        Generally, yes. But, unless we’re going to go full nihilist, there should be some standard, even for those corrupt few who survive the gauntlet.

        I guess the question is whether there is a standard at all.

        And if there isn’t, why do we bother?

  75. Grand Wazzoo permalink
    August 19, 2016 11:55 am

    I understand that there are the Trump/Breitbart conservatives and then there are the Romney/Goldberg conservatives and finally there are conservatives stuck in the middle with a huge dilemma. That dilemma is easily solved by saying that they just won’t vote for 12 years of democratic Oval office. There is no need to say anything more to elevate Clinton to monster status or to be blind to the fact that trump is not intellectually or morally qualified to be president. That is where many members of the conservative group with the dilemma go wrong and are losing their chance to salvage some honor for the GOP.

    More “sound and fury” from Romney, he absolutely nailed trumps qualifications to be Commander in Chief and that middle group can ignore his logic and facts at their own cost:

    “Let me turn to national security and the safety of our homes and loved ones. Trump’s bombast is already alarming our allies and fueling the enmity of our enemies. Insulting all Muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in the urgent fight against ISIS. And for what purpose? Muslim terrorists would only have to lie about their religion to enter the country.
    What he said on “60 Minutes” about Syria and ISIS has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the campaign season: Let ISIS take out Assad, he said, and then we can pick up the remnants. Think about that: Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over a country? This is recklessness in the extreme.
    Donald Trump tells us that he is very, very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart.
    I am far from the first to conclude that Donald Trump lacks the temperament of be president. After all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity.
    Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, while has called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.
    There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.
    Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark: He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq. Wrong, he spoke in favor of invading Iraq. He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. Wrong, he saw no such thing. He imagined it. His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.
    The President of the United States has long been the leader of the free world. The president and yes the nominees of the country’s great parties help define America to billions of people. All of them bear the responsibility of being an example for our children and grandchildren.
    Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. We have long referred to him as “The Donald.” He is the only person in America to whom we have added an article before his name. It wasn’t because he had attributes we admired.
    Now imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. Will you welcome that? Haven’t we seen before what happens when people in prominent positions fail the basic responsibility of honorable conduct? We have, and it always injures our families and our country.”

  76. Priscilla permalink
    August 19, 2016 9:57 pm

    Jay, I agree that Trump exaggerates his worth ~ $10B seems like a lot. On the other hand, even $1B is pretty damn rich. I mean, poor Mitt was vilified for having a quarter of that, right? Real estate is notoriously hard to value, and most of Trump’s wealth has always been in real estate holdings, so I’m guessing that he guesstimates high and everyone else lowballs it. It’s probably more around the $4B range.

    GW I haven’t asked you to give me the job descriptions of a senator or a secstate, but to give me one solid successful accomplishment that Hillary has had in her long career. The reason you haven’t been able to name any is because there aren’t any. Titles, for sure. Accomplishments, pitifully few. But, we can drop that now.

    Now, does Hillary’s weakness and dishonesty excuse the same from Trump? No, far from it. I have said multiple times – I’m tired of repeating it, actually – that I would have chosen any other Republican over him ( well, maybe not Cruz). And, I know that I’ve said that I don’t want a leftwing SCOTUS.

    I am certain of this: If Trump is elected, he will have the press digging into every move he makes, and the Congress will not bend to his will, because Trump is an outsider, not respected, not trusted. His feet will be held to the fire, every day. Will that doom him to failure? Maybe so. It would be four years and out, almost certainly losing to a Democrat. I can’t blame the GOP types who would rather see Hillary win, and get a crack at her in four years, rather than be dragged down by Trump for maybe a decade. But, he might also succeed.

    Hillary? If she wins – which is certainly the most likely, depressing, scenario – she’ll be treated with the same fawning treatment from the press (“How does it feel to be the first woman president, Madame Clinton?) as she gets now. There will be no transparency and no pushback from the media. If Congress takes too long to pass her agenda, no problem. Executive orders will do, and the aforementioned leftwing SCOTUS will rubber stamp whatever she dictates. The people be damned.

    No thanks… Hillary puts me in a populist state of mind. I’ll still take Trump, warts and all.

    • Grand Wazzoo permalink
      August 20, 2016 11:04 am

      You may as well tell me that a mother who raised 3 children, none of whom became hugely successful has no accomplishments or that a teacher has no accomplishments because none of her students became rich or famous. Being a decent senator is an accomplishment, teaching is an an accomplishment, being SOS is an accomplishment, or being a parent. All involve dedication and skill and all have their days of failure and things that went wrong. The accomplishments of an SOS depend largely on luck, the nature of the challenges of the times. I can’t think of an SOS in my lifetime who did not have a very mixed record, it comes with the territory. Colin Powell was an unbelievably successful general, no one would doubt that he is a talented man, as SOS unfortunately we remember that he got taken in by Saddam Hussein’s empty attempt to make people believe that he had weapons of mass destruction. I don’t condemn Powell for Iraq and I don’t condemn Clinton for the failures connected with the arab spring. These are very talented exceptional people, when they “fail” its at a level much higher than any online quarterbacks have ever attempted.

      You can argue about trumps business career, its an argument that is open to the many obvious successful attacks, but you can argue it. Arguing that Clinton has no accomplishments isn’t even an argument its so empty. Its even reminiscent of trumps claim that McCain is a loser. This kind of rot starts from the top with a so called leader like trump and infects everything and we just get used to it, its the new normal. What trump has done to us already is sickening. The sliver lining is that 2/3 disapprove of him. Yet, one catastrophic event before election day combined with an assist from Putin/Assange could give us a president whose ghost author says he has a 9 year old level of behavior and whose own campaign insiders claim he has the attention level of a spoiled 12 year old. I won’t rest until he is defeated and I wish it would be resoundingly, much as a resounding victory by one party is a bad thing that leads to hubris, which the Clintons are easily susceptible too.

      I dislike the Clintons intensely but it matters that Hillary could do the job and trump cannot. Contempt for the need for an intelligent, capable, well-informed, rational president, as articulated by dave and supported by the winning GOP primary voters is an exercise in reckless childish disrespect for the presidency and the country itself that I cannot believe has gotten this far.

      • Jay permalink
        August 20, 2016 1:30 pm

        I’m in agreement, mostly.

        I’ve never been as upset with the Clintons as you are.

        But I never had high expectations for the moral integrity of politicians, with the exception maybe of Eugene McCarthy, and he dive bombed in the elections.

        The Clintons amuse me, in the same way as semi ne’er do wells on TV government dramas: like they’re doing what?!? Bill also reminds me of Joe Naimath the football quarterback, whose sexlife was a constant topic of conversation in the media: but a self-effacing smile coupled with a touchdown or two on prime time coverage, and Joe was forgiven his trespasses. And so I forgive Bill his reported dalliances (at his age they’re past history now) and his apparent greediness (poor-boy compensation?).

        Between Hillary and Destructive Dunce Donald the choice is clear. Maybe next time whatever is left of the Republican Party apparatus will offer us a reasonable moderate candidate – but I’m not holding my breath

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 20, 2016 1:41 pm

        I don’t think anyone could begin to guess what sort of GOP presidential nominee will be chosen in 2020 presuming Putin/Assange don’t manage to carry trump across the finish line. They’ve eaten and abused all the adults in the party, so they may be headless and rudderless and divided beyond repair as a presidential party.

        Here is their best hope and my nightmare, Hillary will be a lousy president and people will be ready for a change in 2020 and whatever nutty breitbart candidate they come up with will win, because the pendulum must swing back sometime. I see not much that makes me think that the Romney/Ryan sensible wing of the party will triumph over the populists.

        As I wrote in a previous Rick post, this election is not the apocalypse. The apocalypse begins the day after the election. This election is like army basic training before being shipped off to fight in Vietnam. Hellish but just a dress rehearsal for the actual civil war. I’d love to be wrong.

    • Jay permalink
      August 20, 2016 12:34 pm

      “Her dishonesty, lawlessness, and lies have disqualified her from the honor of the office.”

      She’s nowhere near as dishonest and lawless as you believe she is.

      Your overweighted view is a result of decades of conservative right wing negative propaganda. That’s the way the extremes of both parties operate, to obscure objectivity and distort their targets with a thousand misrepresentations of fact. They:
      Eliminate the positive

      Accentuate the negative

      Latch on to the 
      And don’t mess with moderation in-between.

      Take Judicial Watch as example. The admittedly CONSERVATIVE legal watchdog was founded with the express mission of taking down Bill Clinton in the 1990s, filing at least 18 lawsuits against his administration. They were funded entirely by prominent conservative Clinton critics, like billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who kicked in about $8 million in start up donations.

      When Obama took office they focused on him too, with protracted legal battles over the IRS targeting scandal, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, White House visitor logs – filing over 900 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and over 90 lawsuits!

      In contrast, there was only one legal suit during the Bush presidency – they joining the Sierra Club to sue his administration for access VP Cheney’s Energy Task Force.

      Now, of course, they’re piling on Hillary, with suits and well timed news releases to undermine her candidacy. But nothing to undermine Trump, like requests for the IRS to expedite his audit, or a louder announcement of the IRS statement that Trump could release the tax information without effecting the audit.

      Hillary’s no angel; neither is she the devil you’re making her out to be. Trump would be multitudes worse for us as president; he’s already made us look like a squabbling 3rd World nation of fist-shaking semi-dictatorship candidates who we looked at with scorn growing up.

      Congress under a Trump administration:

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 20, 2016 1:30 pm

        And what is the real reason for all that investigating? Fear that the Clintons will be effective moderate to liberal presidents. Rather than fight bill by bill (well they do that too, which is fine and as it should be) they fight this perpetual guerilla war of litigation and scandal mongering. No wonder Mr. I’m going to Sue You for disagreeing with me has been adopted as the GOP nominee.

        Now, the Clintons are congenitally unable to resist bring this on themselves as well, which is why they deserve a lot of blame for carrying the torch for moderate liberal hopes and then perpetually mucking it up with their lawyerly hubris, but the accusations against Hillary are still out of all proportion to their actual political acts of pushing the boundaries of legality. As well, I really can only roll my eyes 360 degrees whenever I hear that they have gotten away with things and will get away with things and no one will be able to stop them. (I guess if hillary is not in jail then she got away according to trump breitbart world). Reagan had true teflon, he got away with things, he had an amazing number of real scandals that involved serious things in his administration but he was genial and sunny and we just could not bring ourselves to punish him much. The Clintons get away with very little, every move is pounced on, which is a good reason not have had Hillary as the dem. nominee. I wish we had anyone else as the dem candidate. If Hillary suddenly had a real health problem and withdrew leaving Kaine to govern, before or after the election, that would be a great day in my book. Not that I am giving any credence to the scummy fake medical history that the dark side has cooked up and trump and his spokespeople are peddling as if it were not a scummy fraud. Bleh!

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 21, 2016 9:55 am

        Jay, I appreciate your view, and I assume that you have considered it carefully.

        I’d appreciate it if you would not presume that my own view is “a result of decades of conservative right wing negative propaganda.” It is not.

        I could list for you the news sites and blogs that I read, but it would be a very long list, and it would include many, many mainstream and “left wing propaganda” sites, as well as moderate conservative ones that GW likes to quote from, such as National Review and Weekly Standard, both very anti-Trump, pro-Cruz sites. GW likes to quote Jonah Goldberg when he’s bashing Trump….I’ve been reading Goldberg for years, and I read all of his stuff, including the anti-Trump pieces. He’s no fan of Hillary, and has said that he will not vote for anyone this year, BUT, if he were told that the race came down to his vote, and his vote alone, he would cast it for Trump. I read the NYT and the WSJ, I read the Washington Post….I also read John Podesta’s Media Matters, I read Daily Kos, I read the Daily Beast (one of my sons used to write for it), HuffPo, TPM, etc……like I said, it’s a long and comprehensive list. I read a lot. TV, not so much, unless its Netflix.

        And if you want to go back “decades”? You haven’t been around TNM all that long, but I have often related the fact that, until the 21st century, 2001 to be exact, I was very much a liberal. I thought that Bill Clinton was too moderate. Never cast my vote for Ronald Reagan.

        So, anyway, I think I’ve said all that I want to say about this race thus far, so I’ll stop arguing every little point and parrying every jab. I have defended Trump, not only because I intend to vote for him (ugh), but because I thought that it was a good idea to put those arguments out there. You guys make a big deal of being moderate, until anyone suggests that Hillary might not be a good president. (Do you think that she is a moderate?) Doesn’t matter if we say the same about Trump. If you want an echo chamber, fine. You can have it. If there’s something to discuss, I’m in. If you just want TNM to be like the Trump Derangement Twitter feed you mentioned earlier, I’m opting out.

      • Grand Wazzoo permalink
        August 21, 2016 11:32 am

        “If you just want TNM to be like the Trump Derangement Twitter feed you mentioned earlier, I’m opting out.”

        I’ll stick my nose in here and say that I sure don’t want you to opt out. You have always been very inclusive of other opinions, poster wise and inviting, even to the most dissonant posters.

        If I had a dime for every time TNM has seemed to me like a conservative/libertarian echo chamber that I have no place in I could buy myself something, not something small.

        Unfortunately, theTrump Derangement, if that is what it is, has affected solid people like Romney and Goldberg and that long list I keep typing out. I hold the strong belief that one can go too far in their criticism of anyone, Clinton, trump, even Putin. But trump is a special case of it being very hard to find that line, and for good reasons.

        Anyhow, I’ll say to you, as you have said to me on many occasions when I was fuming from a to me unpleasant very conservative ideological tone, don’t do it, take a bit of a vacation if you need to and then continue here.

      • Jay permalink
        August 21, 2016 12:13 pm

        Our paths were similar, Priscilla. As is our spectrum of news and commentary reading. Which makes it even stranger that we’ve come to this firm difference of opinion.

        Hypothetical: if Trump’s tax filing under audit was released, and there was information in it that strongly contradicted the assertions he’s been making – his wealth, debt, business associations, charity donations, evidence of blatent tax cheating, etc – would that change your mind about voting for him?

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 21, 2016 11:35 am

        Revision: I have no problem with you bashing Trump, just knock it off with bashing Trump by presuming that his supporters are ignorant. Trump deserves to be bashed, and so does Hillary. But, satisfying as it is to think that everyone who may vote for Trump is a racist, ignorant, knuckle-dragging nincompoop, it’s not the case. I personally consider BLM to be a racist organization, and BLM is With Her. If you want to call me simple minded when it comes to Trump, I’m ok with that. And GW, if you no longer respect anything I write, because I think that Hillary should have been indicted, fine. But, defending your candidate, without acknowledging the evidence of real corruption is really the same as if I defend Trump’s business record without acknowledging that there are genuine ethical questions around it (NOTE:in this thread, I’ve argued that he has been successful in his career, not that he is trustworthy as a politician, and asked for the same regarding Hillary).

        Anyway, everyone enjoy your late summer Sunday. I’m already dreading the end of the warm (ok, hot) weather! You’re so lucky out in LAla land, Jay!

      • Priscilla permalink
        August 21, 2016 11:37 am

        Thanks, GW (we simulposted). I am going to take a bit of a breather.

  77. Jay permalink
    August 20, 2016 4:43 pm

    Mark Cuban putting it in proper perspective once again

    • dhlii permalink
      August 25, 2016 10:49 am

      Really ?

      I did not see where Cuban said anything that actually helped Clinton.

      Wow, 9 other people had to sign off on this.
      It was a state department deal. Other agencies have to sign off on things all the time.
      Regardless where those other people aware that the CF was receiving 100’s of millions related to this deal.

      Cuban and others are correct – there is no absolute proof of a clear criminal criminal conspiracy. Though frankly there is more proof that there is in the normal criminal case.
      There is massive amounts of questionable dealings that have been very carefully obscured from the public.

      With respect to the CF back Channel – Cuban responded with a straw man.

      Yes, State should respond favorably to US businessmen – who come in the front door.
      So why weren’t these things going through the front door ?
      To a large extent CF was NOT pushing the interests of american businessmen.
      They were pushing the interests of foriegn governments, foreign oligarchs, foriegn politicians and foreign businessmen.
      Many of these were people who had already tried the front door and not been able to get through.

      So what is it in the Cuban interveiw that you think “puts this in the proper perspective” ?

      The proper perspective is pretty simple.

      Clinton Foundation is AT BEST a fairly crappy charity.
      It is a part of a huge web of entities – many of which are for profit.
      Its contributors are to a significant extent people far less attractive than the clintons, and substantially foreign interests.
      There was clearly a very close relationship between CF and State that was available to no one else. Many of Clinton’s staff as Sec. State were also paid WELL by CF. Several are currently on the CF board. IT is hard to tell where the state department ended and Clinton Foundation began. Arguably Clinton Foundation was an unofficial arm of the US state department.

      If Cuban’s argument is valid – then why doesn’t every other US charity and business have the same backdoor access to the State Department ?

      There is a reason we close the back door. Whatever validity there is to Cuban’s argument – you do that in the open, through the front door.
      The very existance of a back door is prima facia evidence that there are secret deals, secret preferential treatment, that things were being done outside the oversight of the people or the government. That rings had to be kissed, that the vaunted left wing nut “level playing field” did not exist.

      The very fact all this was being done in secret reflects what in criminal terms is called “consciousness of guilt”.

      The public business should be conducted “in public” Special favors, to the extent they should exist at all, are the US governments to grant – not Hillary Clinton through Clinton Foundation.

      Regardless, presuming Clinton is elected – why should we beleive this will not continue ?
      Why is it we should beleive that the presidency is not being used to reward and punish people because of their relation to the Clintons – rather than because of the interests of the country ?

      • Jay permalink
        August 25, 2016 2:51 pm

        “Clinton Foundation is AT BEST a fairly crappy charity.”

        Why, because you say so?

        Charity Watch – A rating

        “It is a part of a huge web of entities – many of which are for profit.”

        Prove it. And don’t come up with that phony chestnut they hired contractors they knew to perform emergency work or to staff some projects.

        “Its contributors are to a significant extent people far less attractive than the clintons, and substantially foreign interests.”

        How ignorant an assertion. Either that, or you’re turning out to be addle brained, unable to investigate simple lists of donors, and judge who they are and where they’re from. Or didn’t you bother to look at the Foundation donor lists, which have been published on line for years?

        The majority of foreign donations are not from Muslim countries, but from Europe and Canada and Mexico: and from US philanthropic organizations and corporations and banks. Here’s a partial list of the most generous donators:

        Donors between $5 and $