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2016 Was a Nasty Year for Moderates (and Nearly Everyone Else)

January 1, 2017

O for an FDR (or at least an Eisenhower) to reunite us, reassure us and revive our fractured national spirit! Obama’s minutely measured rhetoric couldn’t do it, high-minded though it was. Trump’s half-mad Twitterspeak won’t save us, either, although he threatens to blow the lid off the bubbling cauldron of animosity that is latter-day America. Maybe blowing the lid off will prove to be a good thing, although the cynic in me doubts it.

As 2016 rumbles into the far horizon, it leaves behind a smoking ruin of celebrity deaths, political insanity and battling Facebook memes. Any year that propels alt-right (read “neo-Nazi”) provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to fame and riches while shooing Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali, John Glenn and Debbie Reynolds off the stage is a year that has lost my respect. And that’s the least of its evil accomplishments.

I’ve already written too much about Herr Trump in 2016, and you can bet I’ll be writing more about him in the future. For now, let me just observe that he’s squandering a rare chance to emerge as a populist hero. Not that he has the stuff of heroism anywhere in his gold-plated bones, but he might have done a remarkable service to the country by wresting our government from the corporatist establishment and returning it to the common folk who believed his promises. Instead, he’s populating his brain trust (and he could use a few extra brains) with hidebound conservative insiders of extraordinary wealth and questionable intentions. On the plus side, they might help restrain Trump’s inner four-year-old.

Trump is no ideologue, at least, and neither was Hillary: Mrs. Clinton was a lukewarm liberal, and Donald believes only in himself. So why was my Facebook feed littered with the most virulent anti-right and anti-left propaganda all year long? One of my friends actually posted 138 times in a single day (yes, I went to her page and counted) — mostly anti-Trump memes and tirades. (We get it; you hate Trump.) Another friend berated me for proclaiming, on the anniversary of 9/11, that our special-interest identities should finally take a back seat to our identity as Americans.

I have to ask, as I asked that day, whether we’ll ever be united again. Extremist and fake news sites constantly confirm the biases of their fans, inflaming their hatreds and reinforcing tribal solidarity on the right and left. The big losers of 2016 were truth and moderation.

Why are we so divided? Factionalism is probably written into our very genes; it would explain why our species has been warring ever since rival tribes fought over some prime mammoth-hunting turf. Why else would Sunnis and Shiites delight in beheading each other when they believe in the same prophet and the same book? Why else would everyone but New Yorkers hate the Yankees? (Even some New Yorkers hate them.)

We used to be able to subordinate our tribal instincts for decades at a time. Political squabbling in the U.S. is a time-honored tradition dating back to the Revolution, but for most of our history we’ve been able to function as a reasonably united nation.

No longer. Coastal urban America and inland rural America might as well be on different continents. Citified sophisticates now despise their backward bumpkin cousins openly and almost triumphantly; their shared disdain actually unites them as a self-made elite. At the same time, those unfortunate bumpkins seethe with resentment toward the Chardonnay-sippers who would control their beloved semi-automatics and drag them toward an increasingly nonwhite, non-Christian and multisexual future. Their shared resentment unites them, too. (Not everyone is a fan of diversity.)

In 2016, all that resentment finally popped out of hiding and into the open. Tribalism won.

Trump’s candidacy and upset victory have driven us even further apart. The president-elect, while not a raving racist himself, has enabled racism and quasi-fascist fanaticism to assert itself for the first time since the “Big Red Scare” era that followed World War I. Meanwhile, the “Not My President” faction threatens to polarize us even more than the birthers and tea partiers who made life miserable for Obama (and the republic in general).

If most of us have waited for 2016 to wink into history, 2017 promises to make us look back longingly at the year that brought us Trump, Russian hackers, Islamist attacks in Europe and peak misery in Syria. At least we saw the Cubs win their first World Series since Teddy Roosevelt was president and Tsar Nicholas II ruled all the Russias.

As it’s shaping up, 2017 will probably make us long for a reincarnated TR to carry his big stick and seize the presidency. If it gets bad enough, we might even wish that Tsar Nicholas would take the reins. (Wait a minute… the current Russian tsar is already pulling the strings.)

The political and social upheavals that most likely loom ahead are enough to send sensitive moderates into hibernation. Don’t go there, friends! Don’t let the rabble-rousing rhetoric on the right and left convince you that we have no place in American politics and culture. When the extremists are battling for the soul of America, we moderates are more valuable — more essential — than ever.

Who else will be able to understand both sides of an issue, separate truth from fiction, and keep the national fabric from splitting along its seams? Who else will protect the country from the bullying influence of narrow partisan and tribal interests? Not the media… not your neighbors… certainly not the government.

It’s up to us. The moderates. The forgotten ones. Buckle up, friends! Let’s charge into 2017 with our heads up and our eyes alert. We can’t afford to be namby-pamby middle-of-the-roaders. In times like these, we need to be road warriors.

 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate and the author of Lifestyles of the Doomed, available wherever e-books are sold.

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765 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2017 1:16 am

    Rick, thanks for a new article. Hits the spot.

    IMHO, the divide in the country has been created by the same parties that say they want to unite the country. The republicans want a smaller government, but then they want laws that infringe on individual rights such as ones that ban gay marriage. That separates the gay community from the GOP where there are still moderates that belong to that party. The democrats say they represent the most needy of us, but then they take on the school systems that want to give parents a choice as to where their kids attend school. A large percentage of low income families participate in school choice when it is available since it gives them a way to a better education. That separates some on the left into ones that support teacher unions or do not. It does not take a genius to read articles daily to see how these parties use division to their advantage. “Divide and conquer”

    Neither party is interested in uniting the country. They believe that division is to their advantage. What Trump did was show that this practice can be defeated though a campaign that appeals to those that built America. The farmers, the industrial worker, mothers and fathers worried about the future of the country for their kids, working America wanting the same for their kids that they have, a good education, a safe America, etc. Someone that represents and supports all Americans. And if that cost illegal immigrants, then they accept that change.

    Why else would the GOP keep fighting abortion rights, marriage rights, gay rights and many other rights? Why does the democrats keep fighting for the rights of immigrants that appear to many that are greater than the rights they have as citizens themselves? How can we have sanctuary cities protecting people who have broken the laws of the country? And a President that has sworn to uphold the constitution that supports these cities?

    The division, the policies of the GOP and the policies of the democrats created Trump. Now we, as moderates, have to put up with the backwash that is going to occur because they would not address the issues that faced ALL Americans instead of their wing supporters.

    What this country needs it will never get. A moderate with the money to run a campaign like Trump was able to that appeals to most Americans without that personality of a Trump. Someone maybe like Truman or Gerald Ford.

    • January 1, 2017 9:15 am

      School choice is a left wing idea? Surely you jest. That came from the right to get tax dollars into private Christian schools while indoctrinating kids with religious stances.

      I’m a Christian, but I don’t want my tax dollars going to private schools.

      • January 1, 2017 12:57 pm

        You don’t read well or I dont write well. I said the Dems take on the school systems that offer choice that many low income families take part in to improve their kids education The debate about choice is for another day since this article by R ick basiclly covered division in the country.

    • Roby permalink
      January 1, 2017 1:40 pm

      Gerald Ford, one of my favorite presidents. I pine for such a president. I wonder what we would be like if he had defeated Carter?

    • January 4, 2017 7:29 pm

      Ron: Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech (and it was recorded, so you can actually hear him speak) using France as an example of a country that suffered from extreme Bourbonism (conservatism) alternating with extreme radicalism. The repeated convulsions did the country no good, and I’m afraid we’re going through a similar phase in our history. Neither side is willing to compromise, and both sides want nothing more than to take revenge on their adversary. I don’t know what it will take to end the cycle. A moderate revolution, maybe?

  2. Michael Zucker permalink
    January 1, 2017 1:26 am

    Shouldn’t Eisenhower be the gold standard for moderates?

    • January 1, 2017 12:52 pm

      Yes, and perhaps after WWIII or WWIV and we survive with the presence of another Eisenhower we will get a leader like that.

      But we better not hold our collective breath in expectation.

      • January 4, 2017 7:31 pm

        Jay: Let’s hope we don’t need a world war or two to convince us that we need wise moderate leadership.

  3. Roby permalink
    January 1, 2017 1:15 pm

    I’m looking for other ways to say that you nailed it Rick. Spot on, precisely, you did a bang up job, you did yourself proud. A piece of writing that made me feel better to know that someone else has the same outlook I do on this year and our condition.

    I am reading the biographies of the presidents, out of order. It is a remedy for the idea that polarization and a divide of anger and misunderstanding, as well as the divide in visions of a healthy and successful society, are not new and are not actually at historic levels. It is something I can recommend, although I am sure from reading your essays over the years that you have a wide vision and understanding of American history. Still, it does not hurt to touch up it reminds one of all the differences of opinion that America has survived.

    We spent New Years eve with Armenian friends, their kids and other Armenian friends of the family. What beautiful and talented people! They breathed the soul of life into the new year. Staying at the personal level and not watching current events too closely is one cure for our era of malaise.

    Hang in there Rick!

    • January 4, 2017 7:45 pm

      Thanks, Roby! I know there have been some bitter episodes in our political history — Adams and Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln — even George Washington — had to deal with cruel rhetoric from their enemies. What concerns me now is that we’re headed into the third consecutive presidency that has sent the opposition into derangement. By the time Trump finishes his first term (assuming he finishes it), we’ll have had 20 years (count ’em!) of mass derangement on one side or the other. This isn’t a healthy development, and I can only imagine that Trump will be followed by a lefty president who will unhinge the conservatives.

      Glad you enjoyed ushering in the New Year with my kinfolk. You’re right, of course, that stepping outside the political sphere is good for the nerves. (That’s why I only post once a month and don’t comment here every day. I need my daily walks and time with my son.) We’ll survive somehow, although I predict a surreal four years under Herr Trump.

  4. January 1, 2017 5:57 pm

    Where have all the Moderates gone, long time passing? So few responses to a brilliantly written post like this?

    This, I fear, is Moderation’s fatal flaw: it doesn’t excite to action.

    In cultural and political wars, Moderates are sacrificial Siamese Twin Lambs. The predatory Left & Right gobbles up all the attention.

    Wolves to the left of us; vultures to the right; and here we are, stuck in the impotent middle again.

    • January 4, 2017 7:57 pm

      See, Jay — the conversation picked up after all. (Thanks for the appreciative comment, by the way.) I think you’ve come close to explaining the fatal flaw of moderate politics. I’d add that most people don’t have the patience to deal with nuanced ideas. They want their politics in crisp black and white.

      I think of myself as a “radical” moderate because I’d like to see some fairly extreme action to correct our course where we veer too far from the center. For example, I sound like a leftist when it comes to taxing the rich (and grappling with our oligarchical system), because we’ve strayed far afield from the more-or-less equitable society in which I grew up (unless you were black). And I sound like a conservative when I rail against the takeover of academia by leftist ideologues, not to mention the distorted identity politics gleefully promoted by the mainstream media.

      This is why I tend to take heat from both progressives and conservatives. In both cases cited above, though, I’d simply like to see us return to the center, with a “fair and balanced” approach to the issues. But it will probably take radical action to pull us back to the center.

  5. Robert Schmidt permalink
    January 1, 2017 6:47 pm

    Today Trump is both president and leader of the nearly all-powerful Republican Party. This makes his nominees secure as the party whips will enforce party unity by handing out chairmanships and other favors. It makes his very hard to investigate or impeach.

    Could we hope for a realignment to an American Middle Party by rebranding most all of the Democrats and a fraction of the Republicans? The new middle would control all the favors and appointments including the Supreme Court.

    • January 1, 2017 11:46 pm

      The only chance of a viable 3rd Party of Centrists appropriating significient numbers congressional seats through defection or replacement would be for a dozen or so mega billionaires who now support Republicans and/or Democrats to divert substantial dollars to back a new party.

      Is that possible? I’d say not a chance, but then Trump goes stupidly vindictive like this incident described below. Assuming it’s true, maybe the Koch’s won’t take kindly to slights from Trump, and round up a couple of other billionaire buddies to invest in a new political party..

      https://www.palmerreport.com/news/happy-new-year-donald-trump-golf/635/

    • January 2, 2017 10:06 pm

      I agree that “most all” folks who identify as Dems consider themselves moderates :- )

    • January 3, 2017 10:05 pm

      Robert, I agree with you insofar as the GOP has won the trifecta of current DC races: the Presidency, the Congress, and the tie-breaking pick on the Supreme Court. Of course it wasn’t long ago that the Democrats were all -powerful.

      What I think has been changing over time, and reached a pinnacle under Obama, is this idea that the President possesses broad powers, similar to an elected king.

      When electing a king, rather than a chief law enforcer, there is a great deal more fear and uncertainly surrounding what that king will do. Unchecked power, concentrated in one man (or woman) is not what we American voters signed on for, and it scares us. When the king does what we want, we’re happy……but then, another king gets elected, and whoa, baby! Not so fast with that pen and phone, buster!

      The Great Trump Scare that we’re seeing might not be happening if we were sure that the other branches of the federal government would step in with checks on his executive power. Sort of like Congress stopped Bush from invading Iraq…oops, no they didn’t. Or maybe how they stopped Obama from imposing a government controlled healthcare system in which people couldn’t keep the plans they liked….oops, they didn’t stop that either. But of course the Supreme Court stopped it because of the unconstitutional mandate….oops. No.

      No checks. No balance. Unconstitutional actions going unchallenged. Here we are.

      • January 4, 2017 8:18 pm

        Priscilla: We’ve had “imperial” presidents long before Bush II and Obama. Lincoln, for one (although his more imperial actions were dictated by war). And FDR was accused of packing the Supreme Court, wasn’t he? As you probably know, I don’t blame Obama for taking executive action whenever he could manage it, especially after the obstructionist wing of the GOP took over Congress. The alternative would have been complete government paralysis (I know, some conservatives regard that as a good thing).

        To return to a classic Constitutional government, we need legislators who are more interested in the welfare of the country than the success of their own faction. If only…

      • January 6, 2017 9:24 am

        Rick, Lincoln and FDR were both wartime presidents. Lincoln, in particular, was faced with any number of extreme constitutional crises. And FDR was an extremely imperial president, who, in the context of his time, did things that I would hope no modern day executive could get away with ~ most specifically the property confiscation and internment of American citizens of Japanese descent (I rather think that FDR would have been very much in favor of the “extreme vetting” of Muslin refugees).

        I agree with you that the responsibility for curbing this imperial tendency must come from the other 2 branches of the federal government. On the other hand, with the exponential growth of the federal bureaucracy, (IRS, IC, BLM< EPA) which pretty much answers only to the executive branch, that is not only more difficult today, but, in addition, the current crop of Congresspeople and justices contain few strong constitutionalists or statesmen. (As an exercise, we could try and name some. I doubt that we could come up with more than a few dozen)

        My overall point to Robert was primarily that fear of the imperial presidency is a major factor driving the division of voters, and making it difficult for the country to unite behind one president.

    • January 4, 2017 8:12 pm

      Robert: A moderate party (we have to think of an exciting name for it) would cut through so many of the roadblocks to fair policies and solutions. I’m sure plenty of Republicans would want to defect, although we’d have to act quickly as fringe right-wingers continue to take seats from more moderate incumbents and candidates in their primaries. As KP noted, probably the majority of Democrats think of themselves as moderate; the radical Bernie faction is far from the majority, although those numbers will be increasing as the Boomer Democrats die off and the Millennials replace them. So the prospects for Democrats defecting to a moderate party would increase with time.

      That leaves us with an odd scenario: if we formed a moderate party tomorrow, it would be peopled primarily by disaffected establishment Republicans. If we wait another decade or so, the new party would attract more Democrats.

      Of course, this is all idle speculation. The fact remains that this country hasn’t launched a viable new party since the Republicans popped onto the scene before the Civil War. As Jay notes, we’d need some huge financial backing from the very plutocrats I’d like to banish from the corridors of power.

      • January 6, 2017 5:12 pm

        The majority of Democrats may think of themselves as moderates, but I don’t believe that they are. Liz Warren is hardly different in her positions than Bernie, and she is a leading light of the party. Nancy Pelosi, a flaming liberal, who, in my opinion, makes Trump look erudite, is the Dem house leader, the likely new DNC chair is a former member of the Nation of Islam. Chuck Schumer, who has impeccable liberal credentials, but who at least seems reasonable from time to time, is the class of the bunch.

        Moderates do not choose leadership like this.

      • January 6, 2017 5:42 pm

        I agree. Those you mention are not Moderates.

        However, overall, of the two parties, Republicans are far less moderate, the weighted average of highly conservative like these un-Moderate Republican righties who dominate the party tipping the scale:

        Jeff Sessions, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Kevin Brady, Duncan Hunter, Sam Johnson, John Thune, John Cornyn, Mike Crapo (Ha, talk about appropriate naming), and let’s not forget all the right wing Republican Governors, including VP Elect Pence.

      • Roby permalink
        January 6, 2017 5:43 pm

        “The majority of Democrats may think of themselves as moderates”

        Hmm, I think that the majority of democrats think of themselves as liberal and liberaler. The word moderate is a dirty word in national politics unless a politician is running for a seat in a state where their party is not naturally in power.

        People want moderate governors though, outside the reddest states. Even Vermont likes to have a moderate Governor; we have been alternating between Dem and GOP governors reliably ever couple of terms for many decades.

  6. Anonymous permalink
    January 2, 2017 1:12 am

    Yeah Rick, you got the picture (Guernica) all right.

    • January 2, 2017 11:07 am

      To see a visual dystopian near future in all it’s frightening panorama, rent or go see the movie “Children of Men.” It’s available for rent at Amazon. Riveting and unsettling.

      • Roby permalink
        January 2, 2017 11:24 am

        Dystopian nightmares are coming to me easily enough just from reading the news.

      • January 2, 2017 12:05 pm

        True, but the film will make it visual and visceral. Like my Grandmother would say, shoving a spoonful of Caster Oil down my throat, it tastes bad but it’s good for you. 😏

  7. January 2, 2017 1:04 pm

    Happy New Year and thanks for the pep talk, Rick. I was packing my bags and sorting my things for check out from the political scene. Much appreciated.

  8. January 2, 2017 5:36 pm

    No doubt, political and ideological DIVISION was heated up to fever pitch in social media and Mainstream Media, especially during the U.S. Presidential election, but 2016 a bad year? Nah. I don’t think so.

    We’ve already begun to realize that much of our media feeds are echo-chambers that cut-and-paste the worst, along with hearsay and hyperbole, into the headlines. We needed to learn that in a new way. No pain no gain. Some celebrities passed away, that’s true, but meanwhile:

    World hunger reached lowest level in 25 years (New York Times)

    Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels did not grow at all in 2016, for 3rd straight year (Scientific American)

    Scotland connected underwater turbines to its grid for first time, and solar energy outpaced coal in the UK (Independent UK)

    In July of 2016, 800,000 volunteers in India planted 50 million trees, in one day! (National Geographic)

    Israel revealed that it now makes 55% of its freshwater. That means one of the driest places on Earth now has more water than it needs.

    A bunch of animals, including manatees, humpback whales, and green sea turtles in Florida and Mexico, are no longer endangered. (Huffington Post, Scientific American…)

    According to the Aviation Safety Network, 2016 was the 2nd safest year for aviation on record.

    Following the end of conflict in Columbia in 2016, all of the war in the world is now limited to an arc that contains less than a sixth of the world’s population (Associated Press)

    And the Chicago Cubs won the MLB pennant

    And much more

    Nothing against entertainers like Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Prince, but 2016 was a good year for humanity moving forward, with some exceptions that were repeatedly BLASTED into our consciousness.

    Q. Why are we so divided?

    A. To a great degree because too many are addicted to news feeds that thrive on division, hyperbole, clickbait, and cut-and-paste echoes.

    Yes, Moderates and other rational human beings can make a difference in 2017, including by pulling their heads out of echo chambers and propaganda pipelines, and by joining one of the myriad of groups that is out there making a positive difference!

    • January 2, 2017 7:24 pm

      Pat Riot…Why are wd so divided? Yes being we are addicted to lolitcally leaning news feeds, but I just listened to CNN ‘s story on the Dems plan to delay 8 cabinet appointments to booger up the senate schedule that will delay for months anything else the GOP can get onto the senate floor for a vote.

      Basically blocking anything for payback to McConnell for bloc!king much of Obama’s agenda.

      So many more months of division!

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 2, 2017 8:40 pm

        Ron P…Happy New Year, Ron!

        Why are we so divided?

        Well, I did “qualify” (in my assigning of blame) to say that our addiction to news/media/clickbait etc. was only part of the problem (a great part, but still only part).

        Of course, even before for-profit media privateers with little or no integrity get involved, those funny creatures we call humans are already seeing things from their own perspectives and angles, and too often can’t see enough of the ‘big picture” to agree. Damn humans!

        But then when you start talking about DEMS and REPUBS in the U.S. Senate and House…well that’s extra special divisiveness territory thanks to the special interest money and politics that got them there, etc. Unfortunately you’re right about a lot more division continuing there.

        Not sure what kind of “stunt” or “event” it will take to get our leaders to work together. I still like my radical idea of everyone declaring themselves “Independents” (like Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine) and phasing out/retiring both the Democratic and the Republican parties, but now I’m getting futuristic and greedy.

    • Roby permalink
      January 2, 2017 7:34 pm

      Very nicely said Pat and I like your Dave impression (Things are just getting better and better all the time!). I had personally a good to great year in 2016 and don’t try to tell my wife 2016 was lousy, she received a grandchild and got to visit her.

      All the same, I’m thinking you would not be nearly so chipper if Clinton had won.

      Also, cheetahs appear to be going extinct, while ISIS does not. But your main idea is a good one anyhow.

      • January 2, 2017 7:51 pm

        “All is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds!” ~ Dave and Pat

        Or, was that Dr. Pangloss in “Candide,” I forget? 😉

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 2, 2017 8:55 pm

        Happy New Year, Roby!

        Haha, yes, I was channeling Dave a bit. After a list of positives I even included the word “myriad” (which seemed to be in every one of his posts from 2011 thru 2013 I think). I wonder if the Black Night is elsewhere online driving people to madness.

        I saw reference to an article in The New Yorker about ISIS leadership admitting that the caliphate doesn’t seem to be coming together after all, or something to that effect, but I didn’t read it yet.

        As for the Cheetahs, I think it has something to do with the Pronghorn Antelopes which are sick and tired of being called the 2nd-fastest land animals. There is something going on behind the scenes involving Nigerian hackers, the Lebanese Mafia, Pronghorn Antelopes, and Obama of course. I only know if Hillary were elected the Cheetahs’ numbers would be even lower!!

    • January 2, 2017 9:43 pm

      Thanks Pat, so nice to see positive things spoken about, the constant negative stuff gets depressing.

    • January 4, 2017 8:29 pm

      Hey Pat… You almost sounded like Dave there, with all that minutely detailed optimism. (Oh, I see Roby and Priscilla beat me to it.) Well, those are all good things. But the one negative example you cited is one of my own pet peeves: those online echo chambers are among the most destructive influences on politics today. They’re incubators of mass groupthink, and the more extreme opinions usually elicit the most huzzahs from the readers. I like it that we have so many conflicts here at The New Moderate (although I prefer polite conflicts). It shows that we’re more open and dynamic than the sites that cater to right-wing and left-wing ideologues.

  9. Pat Riot permalink
    January 2, 2017 5:48 pm

    …and the U.S. still has its national parks and state parks, and plenty of food, and the greatest variety of food, in the world, though some is good food and some is not-so-great food, but FOOD, and the world’s largest economy, and the world’s most diverse population, and…

    • January 2, 2017 6:44 pm

      Hear, hear, Sir Pat Riot!

      We just came out of an election season that was extraordinarily divisive….on the other hand, the whole point of running a campaign is to convince people to vote for you rather than the other guy. In other words, it is intended to be divisive, in the competitive sense, not unifying. Unfortunately, the tradition of unifying behind the winner died out around the “selected, not elected,” “not my President” election of 2000.

      And, I think it’s fair to say that many Democrats are still in that divisive mode. I’m reading about “the end of democracy!!!”, “the Russians hacked the election!!” and, the old Bush classic “not my President!!!”. Nope, not over yet, if ever.

      And, yet, despite it all, life seems to be moving on, people celebrated the holidays on schedule, and all the rest of the good (and true) stuff that Pat said.

      Rick, I totally agree with you that moderates “can’t afford to be namby-pamby middle-of-the-roaders.” I think that here, on TNM, you have a cross-section of moderates who are far from namby-pamby, to say the least. Moderates do NOT have to be centrists, carefully walking that middle line, and avoiding strong points of view. They do NOT have to agree on everything.

      What they DO have to do, is recognize that no one gets their way all of the time. And that consensus and compromise are the tools that will help moderates to win the day. So, moderates like Jay, will have to suck it up and accept that Trump is the duly elected chief executive and commander-in-chief for the next 4 years, and that a loyal opposition will do the country a great deal more good than a determined resistance. And right-leaners, such as moi, will need to be more open to finding consensus with the opposition, and not giving in to the vengeful urge to play tit-for-tat over everything that has offended and aggravated us over the past 8 years.

      For all of his obnoxious, egoistic quirks and bad manners, Trump ran as a moderate, and we should recognize that, whether we “like” him or not. He is going to be tested by foreign and domestic enemies….it will do us moderates no good to root for him to fail those tests ~ there will be enough people at the extremes trying to sabotage him….and us.

      • January 2, 2017 7:47 pm

        Pricilla there is nothing wrong with being a centrist. Revenue increases and reduced spending to r educe the debt. Abortion rights for a certain period of time, but without any taxpayer money used for any procedure. Public/private alliance to develop and promote cleaner energy sources without government mandates and corporate welfare until new sources are proven effect alternative. And every issue has a centrist solution that offers both extremes something, but not everthing. Centrist do have a backbone, its just right in the middle of their torso.

        And a group called The Centrist Project now has a court date in the next two weeks to get the commission on presidential debates declared basically operating illegally so third party candidates can get into the debates. That commission has 15 directors and the vast majority are former house or senate members fr om the two parties. Anything but independent. They appear to have a good case. Can read on a their website.

      • January 2, 2017 7:56 pm

        No, Ron, I didn’t mean to suggest that there was. Only that being a centrist and being a moderate are not the same thing. I suppose that almost all centrists are moderate, but not all moderates are centrists.

        It would have been interesting to have Johnson and Stein at the debates this time around. As I’ve said before, I’m a fan of the two party system, but that doesn’t mean that I think that 3rd parties should be shut out of the debates, particularly if they’re on the ballot in all, or almost all of the states.

      • January 3, 2017 12:02 am

        And there I was, nodding in accord at you agreeing with Rick, and nodding in accord that no one gets their way all of the time, that consensus and compromise are tools that will help to win the day. And then this clunker shattered my optimistic tranquility:

        “For all of his obnoxious, egoistic quirks and bad manners, Trump ran as a moderate, and we should recognize that, whether we “like” him or not. ”

        Ran as a moderate? Moderate compared to Cruz or Pat Roberts?

        Of course you shouldn’t believe anything he said or says, he admitted lying to get votes, but at rallies during the campaign and in Tweets and interviews, these were Trump’s voiced opinions and assertions made to the electorate :

        Appoint SCOTUS judges as conservative as Scalia, who will overturn Roe v Wade and respect 2nd amendment gun rights, including no limits on numbers owned, and making concealed-carry permits valid across all states.

        He wants to defund Planned Parenthood, privatize Social Security, privatize Vet Health Care, severely reduce the entire EPA and Dept. of Education. He’s in favor of school vouchers, reducing taxes for the wealthy, repealing the estate tax.

        And then, of course, his core immigration issues for Hispanics and Muslims though slightly dampened are still not close to moderate positions. Nor is the cabinet he’s assembled – are you really suggesting those are moderate choices?

        I see a bad moon rising, Priscilla. I hope I’m wrong, that I’m overestimating the headache and heartache Trump will cause the nation. But my instincts tell me otherwise.

      • January 3, 2017 2:05 pm

        Jay. First check your newsfeed. The house is not going forward with the ethics change based on leadership decisions.

        As for moderate, would a mix of public and pivate investment of SS be a bad thing? Our government has gutted SS and now it is close to broke. Give people a portion of their money, provide certain requirements, like not being able to access the funds or specific funding requirements and allow the funds to grow and take them away from Representatives and Senators that are like kids in a candy store spending yours and my money.

        Two so you believe waiting weeks for an appointment,some dying before being seen and getting prescribed multiple different opiods instead of proper treatment is better than seeing a doctor outside the veterans system?

        Mookie seems to agree with you on vouchers. I see a different path. I want every kid to have the best education possible. If that means taxpayer money goes to charter schools, private schools,etc, then that’s what should happen. The current union run system is failing and every fix that is proposed and they agree to makes it worse. They are affraid of loosing power and jobs to better alternatives and that is why they fight change at the expense of our kids.

        People on the left will support the EPA and what they have done until they are the land owners that have a puddle declared a wetland and then they see the overreach, but until then they have no lroblem with their ineptitute when it comes to issues like the pond break in the mining area of Co. that poluted miles of river a couple years ago.

        Your not being moderate when making comments as you have. Your blinding views of anything Trump may say or propose makes you unable to see anything good in his proposals. Please become more moderate and weigh each proposal before loosing your mind and rejecting anything his recommends. And some things the congress may propose may not be a “Trumpet”.

      • January 3, 2017 6:24 pm

        I have checked my news feeds to see that the Republicans backed away from the ethics gutting, after the outcry that followed it from irate constituents, and also Trump’s criticism that now wasn’t the time to be doing that. He didn’t mention when the proper time would be. So the broken clock theory applies, and I give him a plus check, for now, until he flip flops for some reason.

        Trump’s positions as I noted to Priscilla that she designates as Moderate are NOT Moderate.

        Ding Dong Donald did not campaign on moderate political policies. Positions contrary to approval of half the electorate are not moderate by definition – they are partisan Right or Left.

        That doesn’t mean all of his positions are wrong; I’m in favor of tighter border control, at the Southern border, and of Muslims from nations with ISIS affiliations – positions that are are not considered politically moderate. I’m in favor of improving care for vets and believe the VA needs to be revamped and improved: privatizing it, fully or partially, may be called a moderate idea, but it is NOT a politically moderate position.

        I don’t know how many times I’ve stated this here, Ron, it doesn’t seem to register in your brain for some reason. I’m in agreement with some of the Message; but adamentally opposed to the Messinger. I’m in favor of controlling the borders, pro Israel, anti political correctness, pro cops and military. But having Trump anywhere near those issues undermines and deligitimizes them. He is a political divider, not a unifier. A boorish blustering braggart, a lying lout and bully, a thin-skinned revengeful narcissistic adolescent in an adult body, he is certain to besmirch the nation in the miasma of his defective temperaments.

        Be prepared – the Groper Cometh.

      • January 3, 2017 6:49 pm

        Jay..I apologize. I have miss read your positions on many things. I am distracted from your more moderate positions when so many of your comments are anti Trump and some of his positions agree with yours.

        Could we have more of your thoughts on the issues and fewer on the messinger?

      • January 3, 2017 11:54 am

        Jay, I wouldn’t expect you to consider Trump a moderate, and, by most standards, he would be more of a pure populist, with positions ranging across the ideological spectrum. I don’t believe that he is much of an ideologue of any sort, rather a pragmatist, who looks at certain things that are not working, and wants to find a workable solution. Romney was a moderate with a pragmatist streak ~ Trump seems to me more of a pragmatist with a moderate streak.

        I don’t want to hijack this thread with arguments over specific issues, but I will say, that, to my knowledge , Trump has not specifically supported vouchers, but more broadly supported school choice, which can include voucher-type programs, but not necessarily Intra and inter-district open enrollment, charter and magnet schools, could also qualify. The main criteria for the reforms that he has supported are that 1) the programs are structured by the states to follow students, not teachers; unions. and 2) that federal funding be allocated to incentivize states to develop school choice programs, especially as they apply to inner city students, trapped in failing schools.

        The devil is in the details, I realize. It always is. But, I think that it’s fair to say that the majority of Americans believe that our public school system is failing too many students, and that Common Core has not provided the incentives needed to help kids and families succeed.

        I do respect your instincts that are telling you that there is a bad moon rising. I had similar feelings when Obama was elected, and they have largely been borne out. The idea that each party should form a resistance movement, as if the opposition party is the enemy, may be largely to blame for the gridlock iin Washington. Here’s to the hope that each party fights hard for consensus and/or compromise, and not for the destruction of the opposition.

  10. Pat Riot permalink
    January 2, 2017 6:33 pm

    Sure, it’s easy to find BAD NEWS, but can you locate the GOOD NEWS? It will do you good! Happy New Year, TNMers!

  11. Pat Riot permalink
    January 2, 2017 9:19 pm

    Happy New Year, Priscilla!

    “I suppose that almost all centrists are moderate, but not all moderates are centrists.”

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Thank you! Yes.

    You even included the qualifier “almost all” rather than all. Brilliant! If I had some spare marble, and a lot of free time, I’d like to chisel your statement into the marble and erect it somewhere. What the heck, I’ll hire an American CNC operator to bang it out quickly.

    I suppose at some levels it becomes a matter of semantics, and the whole linear concept of left, right, and center gets murky in different contexts, but I strongly agree with you that moderates need not be in a perceived “middle” or “center”…

    … and yet at the same time that doesn’t mean that a centrist position isn’t often the most rational and practical in various situations. And so, Ron P, I also agree that a Centrist position is often the best solution, though something closer to one of the extremes works better in other circumstances. We’ve had these discussions here at TNM before. They can be tricky.

  12. January 2, 2017 11:03 pm

    GOOD NEWS – REPUBLICANS BLIND INDEPENDENT ETHICS WATCHDOG!
    House Members Can Regulate Themselves!
    Yippie-Yi-Yay! A Wonderous New Day!
    To Keep Transparency At Bey!

    “Washington (CNN)House Republicans voted 119-74 Monday night in favor of a proposal that would gut Congress’ outside ethics watchdog and remove its independence.

    Republican Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s proposal would place the independent Office of Congressional Ethics — an initial watchdog for House members but without power to punish members — under oversight of those very lawmakers.
    House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top GOP leaders opposed the change to ethics rules, but rank-and-file members disregarded their views and voted to approve the new structure for ethics reviews going forward, according to a senior House GOP leadership source familiar with the closed door discussion.
    The proposal would bar the panel from reviewing any violation of criminal law by members of Congress, requiring that it turn over any complaint to the House Ethics Committee or refer the matter to an appropriate federal law enforcement agency. The House Ethics Committee would also have the power to stop an investigation at any point and bars the ethics office from making any public statements about any matters or hiring any communications staff.
    And the ethics office would no longer be able to accept or investigate any anonymous reports of alleged wrongdoing by members of Congress.
    The full House of Representatives will now vote on it as part of a larger rules package up for consideration on Tuesday.

    http://linkis.com/www.cnn.com/2017/01/8nZEb

  13. Pat Riot permalink
    January 3, 2017 2:15 am

    Happy New Year, Jay! I hope for all our sakes that 2017 shows us the worst of your concerns, worries, and fears do not materialize. There will be definitely be some activities that will rub you the wrong way, but that’s a given for all of us.

    Regarding your post above…GOP Senate gutting the watchdog’s autonomy and placing it under their own oversight: Common sense suggests that an agency policing itself is a bad idea, a greasing of the gears for corruption. This includes police forces that have been able for too long to police themselves with their internal affairs departments. I had signed a petition that helped bring a 3rd party, community-represented, outside agency into existence to investigate fatal police shootings (In Wisconsin I think, but maybe Michigan).

    That said, we know how regulatory agencies can get out of hand. That same article that you provided the link for included claims that the watchdog agency had gotten “out of control” with partisan attacks that required congressional members to mount expensive defensives. Such abuse is easy to imagine using the same Common Sense. I’m not close enough to the cases involved to know if the attacks were justified or not, but I have my opinion on all of this:

    A little bit of corruption is to be expected, and I’m in favor of 75% solutions implemented 85% effectively, rather than 99% solutions that never get off the ground. There has been such congressional gridlock, and such stagnation in the U.S. in general in so many ways, and over-regulation is a part of that, that I and many others are willing to let some imperfect things start getting passed, implemented, adjusted along the way. If results are terrible for too long, there will be enough backlash, but let’s let some things happen. NASA blew up some rockets on the launching pad before they got us to the moon. I’ve seen over-zealous over-regulation completely thwart good ideas at the local, state, and federal levels.

    (of course if you think everything the GOP wants to do is a bad idea, then you’ll want the thwarting…)

    I expect this new administration to disappoint me in some ways, but I’m hoping it’s like Roto Rooter and it gets some of the clogs pushed through the pipes! I hope it surprises you. I hope we haven’t been completely duped and sold out again. I believe you’ll have several opportunities to say “I told you so,” but hope not too much!

  14. January 3, 2017 11:27 am

    LIBERALS & CONSERVATIVES & MODERATES

    “More Americans still identify themselves as conservative than liberal, but that gap is the smallest since Gallup began asking about political ideology in 1992, the polling firm reported Tuesday. The current 11-point gap — 36 percent of Americans self-identify as conservative versus 25 percent who call themselves liberal; the other 34 percent are self-described moderates — is half of what it was in 1996 and down from 14 points in 2014.”

    http://theweek.com/speedreads/670619/fewer-americans-identify-conservative-than-point-obama-presidency

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 3, 2017 12:25 pm

      I’d like to hear the respondents describe in their own words what they think it means to be liberal or conservative. How many different versions would we get? How many people identify based on just a few key issues, like pro-choice vs. pro-life, or whether the candidate looks like them, or they are conservative because they don’t want other people getting freebies, or some other shallow reasoning–the key thing that “gets their goat”? We need civics education desperately in this country! We can and will have disagreement, but at least let the opinions be based on something more than a few salient issues.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 3, 2017 6:07 pm

        Note: “respondents” was referring to those polled by Gallup, as mentioned in Jay’s 11:27 post, and not to TNM posters, in case I was murky and misleading when I was Anonymous.

  15. January 3, 2017 3:16 pm

    Can’t get the hang of this Reply system yet- it ain’t moderate.
    At Ron P: How can a “moderate” berate a commenter for not being moderate enough? 🙂
    At Priscilla: I think DT is a pragmatist with an egotistical twist. 🙂

    • January 3, 2017 4:06 pm

      Which “moderate” did I berate?

      • dduck12 permalink
        January 3, 2017 7:15 pm

        Perhaps not berate: “Your not being moderate when making comments as you have. Your blinding views of anything Trump may say or propose makes you unable to see anything good in his proposals. Please become more moderate and weigh each proposal before loosing your mind and rejecting anything his recommends. And some things the congress may propose may not be a “Trumpet”.

      • January 3, 2017 7:40 pm

        OK. That may have been a bit harse. However, when anyone post numerious comments that are overwhelmingly negative comments, memes and cut and paste web links that are mostly found on left leaning to far left outlets, some loose site that the commentor is a moderate with an overwhelming hate for Trump and not a left wing extremist who holds those political views.

        It is much easier to understand a persons political views when they state those and debate those than simply searching the internet and regurgitating another persons articles.

      • January 4, 2017 2:27 pm

        I don’t hate Trump, yet. I am ultra contemptuous of him, in the same way I would be of a drunk guest at a Thanksgiving dinner who vomited all over the turkey at the diner table.

        That’s how I see him: symbolically vomiting all over our Flag.

        If he continues to undermine our political institutions, and continues to turn the White House into a cash-cow for himself and family, and continues to make lying in office as acceptable as he did in his campaign, I WILL hate him from his orange covered combover to his piggy-wigly toes.

    • January 3, 2017 9:10 pm

      dd – you may be right.

      I still think that defining what makes a position “moderate” is almost impossible in our current overheated political environment. So many times we hear people say that JFK would be considered a conservative today, or Reagan would not be considered conservative enough for many Republicans. Both statements true enough, as far as they go.

      But both Kennedy and Reagan were moderates by today’s standards, and that’s why they wouldn’t fit comfortably with the bases of the two major parties. I think that the reason that Trump has effectively united a party that doesn’t really like him much is that 1) he won, and 2) despite his almost total lack of ideological principles, he connected with voters by identifying specific things that he would do, and by claiming that, unlike most politicians, he would actually do those things, because, he is Donald Trump, master negotiator and successful business dealmaker.

      So, maybe he isn’t a moderate, he’s just a pragmatist with a egotistical streak.

  16. January 3, 2017 6:27 pm

    MORE TRUMPIAN TWEET WATCH.

    #DumbDonald tweeted this yesterday:

    “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!”

    GM: replied :

    “General Motors manufacturers the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Lordstown, Ohio. All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.”

    Trump’s ill-informed Tweet caused GM stock prices to drop. GM stockholders who lost money should have SEC investigate Trump for spreading false rumors to manipulate stock prices.

    • January 3, 2017 6:36 pm

      Can’t wait to see Trump’s tweet on this.
      Will he positively wish her good luck, or vengefully say good riddance, or straddle the two and say “best wishes at your new network, super slut!”

  17. January 3, 2017 8:13 pm

    “Trump’s positions as I noted to Priscilla that she designates as Moderate are NOT Moderate.

    And this is just the problem that I tried to address earlier, Jay. As far as I know, you are not the arbiter of what is or is not “moderate.” There are many moderates who believe that the public school system is failing the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups, and would like to see reforms that allow inner-city families to choose better schools for their kids.

    There are moderates who understand that laws affecting education, abortion, voter registration and marriage/divorce are defined by the Constitution as falling under the 10th Amendment:”The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”

    What positions did I “designate” as moderate that are not moderate, as you see it?

    • January 4, 2017 2:01 pm

      Sorry for using the word ‘designate’ to describe your non moderate positions as moderate, Priscilla. I assumed your silence in refuting my descriptions of Trump’s core campaign in-moderate positions – on the Wall, mass deporting of Illegals, ban on Muslim’s entering the country, stacking SCOTUS with ultra conservatives to overturn Roe v Wade, drastically reducing taxes for the wealthy, gun non-regulation – were moderate positions.

      Am I right in that assumption? Do you consider those moderate positions?

      And I wasn’t acting as an arbiter of what’s Moderate or not: I was defining it as in Rick’s description in Duck’s link, as currently accepted “policies which lie between different political extremes.” From your right-tilted POV Trump may be moderate, but from the positions of all Americans in 2016, those listed Trumo positions are not Moderate/Centrist. Agree or not?

      • January 4, 2017 2:03 pm

        That’s un-Moderate, not in-Moderate…

  18. January 3, 2017 9:18 pm

    Here I am! After a slow start (I figured I had all the time in the world to weigh in on the existing comments), the conversation is quickly heating up. I’ll work my way through the proceedings and add my own two cents where I can. Meanwhile, Happy New Year to our esteemed gang! I’m hoping you’ve all been treating one another with the respect that we sensible ones deserve. (I’ll find out soon enough.)

  19. January 4, 2017 1:57 am

    Another issue we should keep in mind with the divided country is the issue of social media. Not from the user level, but from the ownership and CEO level. The upper level management of these companies were never Trump supporters and they still are not. They control the search engines so anyone searching information will receive data based on their criteria for listing results. So when a person searches on something about Trump, say conflict of interest, they will get info from Huff Post and many other liberal sites, then 5-6 pages down the moderate sites reporting more unslanted info will begin to show up.

    When data is spoon fed to individuals that makes it harder to get infomation that is not prepared to support one position or another, people begin to believe all the reports they see, but fail to get the whole truth.

    As the saying goes “it has to be true, its on the internet”. To many believe that and even if it is not fake news, they don’t dig deep enough to get the whole truth.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 4, 2017 2:23 pm

      Yes Ron!

    • January 4, 2017 2:59 pm

      As I understand it, the prominence and order of search results on Google and other search engines is determined by those search engine algorithms. Google’s PageRank algorithm is determined by many criteria, but heavily relies on the traffic to websites referencing the search terms.

      If CNN & NBC & NY TIMES & LA TIMES & ETC are receiving more traffic for a topic than FOX, BRIETBART, NY POST, ETC, that will determine the prominence of search results.

      • January 4, 2017 4:18 pm

        The CEO of google can tell the programmers to change the algorithm and poof, the searches turn up something different. That was the point of the PBS newshour report.

      • January 5, 2017 1:46 pm

        Are you suggesting the search engines are conspiring to de-empathize Conservative and Republican news hits? I thought you suggested the ‘liberal’ news media itself was doing that?

      • January 5, 2017 5:04 pm

        What I am speaking of is a report that was on the PBS newhour a couple nights ago. The reporrt was concerning the support and non-support that Trump will get once he takes office. Their position on this was silicon valley CEO’s were about as negative as could be to Trump and they have the power to change the search engines to place anti-Trump at the beginning of any search and positive Trump info later.

        This is not my idea. It was from PBS reporters. If you don’t agree, I can’t argue one way or the other since I am totally lost on electronic data and search engine programing.

      • January 5, 2017 5:25 pm

        I’m not disagreeing that it may be possible.

        But there’s no evidence that happened, correct?

        In addition to massive rewriting of code ( feasible) there would have to be agreement/ collusions between numerous technological mega companies, a doubtful supposition.

        But it’s a good premise for a future tv script for political West Wing like drama shows. Want to collaborate on it! 😎🎬📺

      • January 5, 2017 7:42 pm

        That is correct. It has not happened yet. The discussion was Trupms relationship with business and the media andhow much power the liberal owners of the media the majority of people rely on have on what people may see. And their point was these companies have the money and the clout to control access to info that you and I see when we do a search. Most people do not go much deeper than a couple search pages deep.

  20. Roby permalink
    January 4, 2017 1:42 pm

    Wise words all around, very persuasive arguments nicely stated from all sides.

    But I’ll be the bomb thrower this time: trump is a traitor, pure and simple in my book. Supporting assange/putin over the CIA and FBI and Homeland Security, completely unacceptable for a president. Imagine if a democrat did it how conservative would react. The phrase “not my president” is meaningless, but to the extent that it has some personal or symbolic meaning, he is not my president, never will be. This fantastic situation is not going to go away. The rationalizations are fascinating, but turn my insides inside out. He should be impeached and thrown into prison as a traitor. Justice grinds slow but exceedingly fine.

    • January 4, 2017 2:16 pm

      Unlikely, given the total lack of actual evidence.

      On the other hand, if Trump has betrayed the US and is a Manchurian candidate (where have I heard this before? Oh yes, about Obama. Funny how these theories pop upon both sides), installed as President by Vladimir Putin, we are likely to find out sooner rather than later. I’m sure that the FBI and CIA have not been taken over, nor has the leadership of Congress. Impeachment will occur rapidly, and he will be given no quarter by anyone.

      You say that the rationalizations are fascinating, but I wonder, why do you believe with certainty that Trump is evil? That seems an overreaction to me, the very same sort of overreaction that those on the right have had to the sometimes inexplicable foreign policy decisions of Obama. The Iran deal, the reneging on NATO agreements, the refusal to enforce sanctions against NK?

      Is it the rumors that he is heavily invested in Russia that would have you believe that he is a traitor? His compliments about Putin as a leader? Or is it just a bad feeling that you have about him, based on a critical mass of evidence that appears to point to bad character?

      Because I don’t see it. When Clinton was SecState she personally approved the sale of a huge chunk of our uranium to Putin’s Russia, and Bill subsequently received $500K for a speech before a Moscow speech that he said Putin called and thanked him for. I don’t recall anyone worrying that our top diplomat might be selling out to the Russians. In fact, the emphasis was always on “resetting” our relations with Russia. Isn’t that why we ignored Putin’s obvious support of Assad?

      Anyway, this is something that we should probably not discuss, if we value our online good-fellowship. I can assure you that, if evidence of Trump’s betrayal of the country becomes clear, there will be no rationalization from me.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 4, 2017 2:35 pm

        Well said, Priscilla.

        Since Trump is a Pragmatist with an Egotistical twist, and not an idealogue, we are hoping he truly wants to GET THINGS DONE, and we will be able to judge him on his results, observable results, like trains, buildings, wslls, and jobs. Like you said, if he’s a lying traitor, we will find out.

      • January 4, 2017 3:17 pm

        Pragmatic?

        He’s as pragmatic as someone who locks his keys in his car and then smashes in the windshield with a sledgehammer because that’s the quickest way to retrieve them.

        His pragmatic plan to reduce the National Debt as case in point: lower taxes, raise expenditures:

        http://fortune.com/2016/09/22/trump-economy/

        Building a Wall across the entire US-Mexico border (let alone have Mexico pay for it) how pragmatic is that? About as pragmatic as building a stepladder to scale Everest.

      • January 4, 2017 2:52 pm

        Don’t you think it odd that he spends so much time defending Russia/Putin?

        Don’t you think it peculiar that a prez Elect would side with the word of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over that of our own three US agencies, sworn to protect our security interests, as Trump again did via tweet?

        Aren’t you at all uneasy to see him undermine those agencies, as he keeps doing? What is it about Russia that makes him want to discredit CIA/FBI/DHS when they release information critical of Russia?

        Doesn’t that alert you that something strange is going on, in Trump’s head, or in some hidden relationship he has with them?

        Doesn’t something smell funny about that? Doubly so when patriotic Americans like McCain and McConnell indicate something fishy is going on?

      • January 4, 2017 3:21 pm

        “I’m sure that the FBI and CIA have not been taken over,”

        But I’m sure you agree that Tweety Trump is undermining them.
        Why is he doing that?

  21. Roby permalink
    January 4, 2017 3:55 pm

    The president of the US does not believe the FBI, CIA, or Homeland Security investigation of the Russian hacking of US political entities interference in our election, instead he believes assange/putin. He has more faith in the transparent self serving lies of two of the scumiest liars and clear adversaries of US that have darkened recent history, two people who wish nothing more than to weaken America because that is their ideology and personal advantage, he publically believes them over the American security and crime-fighting agencies. It makes him a traitor. Period. Evidence, what more evidence? microfilm in a pumpkin? This is uncharted territory that would never be countenanced if it were a liberal/democrat undermining our own government and encouraging our enemies.

    As if ending obama care while still solving or improving the situation with tens of millions of now insured previously uninsurable persons is not a big enough order for anyone, he has to make the case of the GOP far more difficult by tweeting his idiot thoughts on assange vs the American agencies. I don’t think he is evil, I think he is an idiot who is continuing to prove with his tweets that he does not nearly have the character or intelligence to be president.

    Four years from now if he is not removed we will have another nightmare election between trump and some far lefty, another America-weakening devils choice. Let the far left get in and the real civil war will begin. Meanwhile, there is a stock market bubble getting ready to burst a trade war in the works.

    Its all a bad dream.

    • Roby permalink
      January 4, 2017 4:09 pm

      I would like nothing more than to be able to be calm because trump would suddenly act like an American president and start playing some kind of recognizable political campaign to pass his legislation. If any conservative thinks these tweets about assange being right adn American agencies wrong are doing that, then they have already twisted themselves more completely into a pretzel than they did in all of their previous lives.

      What trump is doing with assange, if it passes and is not stopped, is the new American standard. Its not acceptable to me, if its acceptable to conservatives then the rot is even far deeper than I believed.

      Honorable conservatives need to stop trump on his treasonous path, now. Give us Pence. I would be immensely relieved to wake up tomorrow and find that somehow Pence would be the next president, trump removed somehow, even if Pence’s agenda would be trumps only more conservative. I would dance a jig and turn somersaults to have Pence.

      • January 4, 2017 5:53 pm

        “Honorable conservatives need to stop trump on his treasonous path, now.”

        There are not enough of them left to make that happen.

        The best chance we have is for those intelligence agencies trump is denigrating to follow their sworn mission to protect the nation and put their heads together and find a way to get rid of him.

      • January 4, 2017 6:57 pm

        “There are not enough of them left to make that happen.”

        I could call that a disgraceful, offensive statement. And I would be right. But I won’t.

      • January 4, 2017 7:54 pm

        Really? How many Republicans are pushing for an investigation of Russian interfearance in the election? Name more than a handful in Congress. I’ll be waiting…

  22. January 4, 2017 5:44 pm

    Roby, this is an interesting article by Glen Greenwald, an ardent leftist and Trump-hater. He is known for contributing to the Washington Post’s and Guardian’s shared Pulitzer for reporting on Edward Snowden and the NSA surveillance program. A quick excerpt:

    “Indeed, in my 10-plus years of writing about politics on an endless number of polarizing issues — including the Snowden reporting — nothing remotely compares to the smear campaign that has been launched as a result of the work I’ve done questioning and challenging claims about Russian hacking and the threat posed by that country generally. This is being engineered not by random, fringe accounts, but by the most prominent Democratic pundits with the largest media followings.

    I’ve been transformed, overnight, into an early adherent of alt-right ideology, an avid fan of Breitbart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter, and — needless to say — a Kremlin operative. That’s literally the explicit script they’re now using, often with outright fabrications of what I say ”

    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/washpost-is-richly-rewarded-for-false-news-about-russia-threat-while-public-is-deceived/

    • Roby permalink
      January 4, 2017 6:14 pm

      I do not care what some far left journalist thinks, those far left guys love assange and his anti-american crusade. I have my own favorite nut job I sometimes look in on, HA Goodman, and he has his lips so sewn to assanges bottom its sickening. The far left Wants trump. They are happy to have trump because their messianic vision is that after trump makes a mess beyond belief of the world the far left will finally take its rightful possession of America. I hate them, I hate them all.

      But that is Irrelevant to what my freak out is about today, which is trump embracing the assange version of the hacking in favor of the work of US intelligence agencies.

      Priscilla, I am not trying to persuade you or anyone of anything and I am not going to pound on this until smoke come out of my ears. If you don’t see for yourself that this beyond all rationalization on your own, then nothing I can say is going to change your mind. I will be interested in a sick, sick way to observe this nightmare and see if there is any act so idiotic or despicable that trump can perform that would make conservatives as a group say enough is enough. I am betting that the answer is no, unless, of course, he suddenly turns recognizably and consistently liberal.

      • Roby permalink
        January 4, 2017 6:19 pm

        If we ever enter a true breakdown of our society and I start shooting, the first people I will look for is the far lefties who wanted trump because they believe he will create terrible damage that leads to the establishment of left-wing heaven. Again, I hate those people and they do actually resemble the alt right in many of their idiot behaviors.

      • January 4, 2017 6:39 pm

        Did you read the article?

      • Roby permalink
        January 4, 2017 6:55 pm

        I did. Its completely irrelevant to my point, a red herring in this discussion. You have your eye focused on the MSM through the eyes of a far lefty. My eye is on the president elect, who’s words and views concern the credibility of the CIA, FBI and Homeland security vs. that of assange and putin. Two different issues.

        In my universe I am not going to be distracted from a treasonous president elect getting played by a left wing messianic megalomaniac like assange. That information war between the far left and the MSM that is now sucking in conservatives to side with the far left (because the enemy of my enemy must be onto the truth) is just one more sign of a civilization that is dangerously ill but the POTUS being an idiot traitor is far more serious even than that.

        You have your eyes on something other than the main event.

      • January 4, 2017 6:54 pm

        Not because you have to, of course. But the point of the article is to point out all of the stories about the Russian Menace, so popular with Democrats now, that Obama is trying to start a new Cold War (or maybe a hot war in Europe) that have been completely debunked and retracted, without anyone noticing.
        That’s what I mean by no evidence.

        Do I think that Russia is up to no good, and has been for decades? Yes. Did Ted Kennedy try to get Russia to interfere in the 1984 election to defeat Reagan? Yes. Funny, I don’t recall Democrats condemning him, and I was a Democrat back then. Do I think that our foreign policy has been irresponsible for the past 8 years, as Russia has established itself as the main player in the Middle East, allied with Iran and Syria? Yes. But Trump is committing treason for saying nice things about Putin?

        I am certainly not a leftist, but I find Greenwald an interesting journalist, and a good one. He is obviously not defending Trump here, but he is calling out, rightfully in my opinion, the mainstream journalists who whine and cry about “fake news,” but who spread fake news themselves.

      • January 4, 2017 7:02 pm

        We must have simulposted. I’m amazed, truly I am. The Vermont power grid story, a complete fabrication. Hillary tweeting out a 100% false story about Trump communicating with the Russians. But you’re not focused on that?

        I do not like Assange at all. He’s a creep and a liar.

        Ok, we’ll stop.

      • January 4, 2017 8:21 pm

        Yes, the Post got the story wrong.

        But so are you wrong asserting they fabricated it.

        They relied on government sources they trusted, who provided the information. They were guilty of shabby journalistic follow through in not contacting the power utility for verification.

        Are you guilty of fabricating your charge of fabrication because of your own failure to read the now published time line overview of how that transpired? Are you guilty of faux commenting on it here because you misstated and/or exaggerated what happened.

        There was in fact maleware found on a laptop inside the Vermont Power Plant.
        Although that maleware may not have been intended to be used to hack the system, it’s still not certain how it got there, or if it could or couldn’t affect the operation of the grid or extract information related to that.

        The Post story was an hysterical overaction, as is your claim of ‘complete fabrication.’

      • January 5, 2017 1:57 am

        “Hillary tweeting out a 100% false story about Trump communicating with the Russians.”

        And then there’s your continued one sided criticism of Hillary and the Dems, while ignoring the far greater lies and distortions about her, generated by Pinnacio Trump and and his abettors during the election cycle. Fact checkers like Politifact awarded him Liar of The Year title in 2016. More Pants On Fire designations than a room full of tall tale tellers at a Fibbers Convention. Trump received 62; Cinton 7. Add mostly False and fully False to that list and Deceptive Donald totals 239; Clinton 76.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/lists/people/comparing-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-truth-o-met/

        Worse of course was the egregiousness of Trump’s lies and innuendoes about Clinton. Remember his unrelenting false assertions about her health, physical and mental, mocking her on the day she fell ill at a 9/11 memorial? And insinuating she was unfaithful to her husband, and “could be crazy.” You seem to have sublimated all that along with the rest of Disgusting Donald’s behavior, and now describe him merely as a boorish egotistical pragmatist, and not the mean spirited insulting liar that he was. If you dispute that description of him you and I are on widening irreconcilable paths of perception about basic human decency and respectability.

  23. Roby permalink
    January 4, 2017 7:18 pm

    I can add another observation. If the MSM was Really the effective liberal change-causing machine conservatives believe it is they would drop everything else and turn their entire energy into the story of treasonous trump, there would be a cascade. I just did a google search on trump-assange keywords. The number of MSM articles from today was not large. Perhaps it will swell to a mighty torrent, but as of now its just one more trump said something stupid story that gets reported a bit.

    • January 4, 2017 8:08 pm

      Roby, I will admit that Trump’s behavior on this Red Scare thing has been almost as disturbing to me as Obama’s. And not because I think that either one of them is a traitor. Because they’re both acting like jerks. Obama all of a sudden, after 8 years, taking Russia seriously, and Trump citing Julian Assange as a source.

      Here’s another article that I think we might agree on. It was in NR today by Ben Shapiro, and it’s about trolling ~ doing something (in Trump’s case, usually tweeting) to intentionally provoke or offend an opponent, and then gloating when the opponent reacts, or is “triggered.”

      It’s part of today’s politics, and it’s incredibly divisive. I understand that it’s been a way for Trump to get his message out and to dominate the news cycle. But, as President-elect, he needs to have a more unifying message. And Obama is behaving like a vindictive brat.

      But, as Jay and I always say, two wrongs don’t make a right.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443503/trump-and-right-love-trolling-and-tweeting-what-happened-truth

      • Roby permalink
        January 4, 2017 11:07 pm

        trimps favorite thing in the world is to show everyone that he can get away with something that no one else can, like barging into a dressing room full of naked beauty contestants, which he got away with because he owned them for the week. And what is the fun in it if he can’t rub everyone else’s nose in his escape from normal morality.

        Now he is getting away with being a traitor and enjoying it. If he were presidential material he would be doing something more useful and directed. He isn’t a traitor because he is evil or a manchurian candidate. He is a traitor via the idiot route. The results are still devastating and can’t be accepted.

        There is this thing called the Peter principle.

      • Roby permalink
        January 4, 2017 11:40 pm

        I just have to add that the idea that Obama just recently started taking putin seriously does not mesh with the fact that putin has considered him a serious thorn in his side for many years.

        putin’s long standing anger with Obama ought to tell you something about the reality of Obama’s putin policy.

        I’ve followed the Obama putin relationship carefully for years, I have no idea at all how anyone who was objectively following their relationship could believe that Obama takes putin’s actions anything other than seriously and has responded with as much force as our system and population will allow him. You may as well tell me that Merkel doesn’t take putin seriously.

        Seriously, tell me what in your opinion we should have done that is politically possible to respond more seriously to putin’s actions? Don’t tell me what we should not have done, tell me what we should have done and be specific.

        If you use the word “feckless” I am taking 10 points off from the get go, conservatives toss their new cultural identifier word, feckless, around as promiscuously as the hippies used to use the hippie-coopted word “hassle.”

        feckless, feckless, feckless. I’ve yet to hear a conservative propose any serious better way to deal with putin. Its a shitty tough problem. Your team’s president has utterly blown it before even taking office.

        In any case Obama is now history, as are Clinton and Bush. trump is our new reality and his insult to the American intelligence and security agencies is disgusting and completely unpresidential.

        Give me Pence, somehow, give me Pence, and I will calm down.

      • January 5, 2017 10:44 am

        Obama warded himself a medal yesterday, for Distinguished Public Service. Poor dear, he probably wanted it, but figured he would never get it from Trump, and he needs more legacy backup.

      • January 5, 2017 11:06 am

        How exactly has Obama been a “thorn in Putin’s side”?

        By sending Hillary to Geneva with a big red button, imprinted with the Russian word “Overcharged” a few months after Russia invaded Georgia? (It was supposed to say “Reset,” but may have been done on WordPress, which allows no editing)

        By cancelling the missile shield promised to Poland?

        By drawing a meaningless red line in Syria, and then punting to Congress to bail him out, insuring that Putin and Assad would prevail?

        By ignoring Russian hacks on American governmental agencies, possibly including the DNC, yet never doing a single thing about it, until political pressures forced him to claim that it was all because of Donald Trump?

        By sending Iran billions of dollars, so that they could buy Russian defense missiles?

        I would say that he has been rather feck……um, passive.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 4, 2017 9:00 pm

      Roby, why do you seemingly automatically side with released statements from “U.S. Agencies” via Mainstream Outlets vs. “alternate sources”? I don’t automatically discount “official U.S.” info and I don’t auto-trust it, and I don’t auto-trust RT, Breitbart, or Assange, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, or my Uncle Fred who was talking to a guy who heard from a guy, but I don’t blanket-dismiss it either. You tend to side with “establishment” across the board, and you often seem shocked and dismayed when others do not. Have you been living in a cave with Wolf Blitzer and others who apparently still don’t get it? Don’t blow a gasket old friend, but your consistency makes me laugh sometimes. Some whistleblowers are destructive, spiteful “rats” who are not team players, but is whistleblowing never a good thing? When is it? Why is there not more transparency from our government? Oh yes it is to protect us, I forgot. Do we get faces to go along with U.S. intelligence reports? Who is saying it? The spokesmodel? Do they live in downtown D.C. with their family? Do a bunch of others in the same agency agree? Has our government been explaining its foreign policies to the American people? Do they try? Why not? We can’t handle the truth? C’mon man. A few Power Point slides to explain the overall objectives of trillions USD. Follow the money. Is Trump just down in the engine room of the Titanic taking selfies to fool Boobus Americanus, or will he actually get the pistons going again? Remains to be seen over time. Is it the suits and the ties, or those round official seals on the podiums? What makes you not want to question more?

      • January 5, 2017 10:30 am

        Given the incessant leaks from the CIA, I have to wonder about our intelligence agencies. I thought that kinda stuff was off limits for spies and other secret agent types.

  24. January 4, 2017 10:46 pm

    You and Jay are like broken records, skip, skip, skipping in the same ant-Trump grooves, and based on what? Some of those same self-assured sources that were shown to be out-of-touch and out-of-the-loop?

    Yeah, we ALL get it: Trump’s an un-orthodox bully who is upsetting the cart. Yeah we know. That’s exactly why a lot of us are giving him the benefit of the doubt, and hoping, hoping, and eager to contribute ourselves. Americans and the stock market are excited, but you and Jay and the other anti-Trump whiners want to put sugar in our gas tanks and jam the gears of American industry before they can get rolling again. (just bad metaphors, I suppose you don’t want to allow those either!

    I won’t be very surprised if you and Jay are proven correct about Trump at some point, that he was more of a con-artist that his supporters want to believe. Afterall, he’s a billionaire surrounding himself with billionaires. But his kids say he’s also fond of America and workers, and his kids are pretty, and we want to believe them. But of course Liberals and other ideologues think because he screwed some workers and made things in China that he couldn’t possibly be truly fond of America and American workers. That’s how liberal ideologues would think, abstract and very anal, but that’s not the way it works in real life. In real life we believe in Labor Unions even when we’ve never been in one, we hire Mexicans for landscaping even though we want tougher immigration, we eat donuts even though we want to lose weight.

    I’m just a working stiff with a proven bullshit detector. Bush/Obama/Hillary: bullshit. Half of the U.S. voters, some of them deplorable, didn’t buy Hillary’s bullshit, but you were willing to let her and her cronies continue UC: Unprecedented Consolidation of wealth and power. Now be good Americans and wait and see if you are wrong before you rain on the parade.

    Based on years of your posts, I have a few theories why you lean toward the Establishment, but I won’t share unless you invite me to, because they are just theories and I don’t know you personally.

    • Roby permalink
      January 4, 2017 11:19 pm

      Hi Pat, I am guessing that I am the “you” in You and Jay. I’m getting better at seeing the humor in your posts without seeing a facial expression.

      I’d love to stop writing these pissed off posts but trump won’t let me, he keeps topping himself in the jerk department. I have the worst allergy to assange you can imagine and have had it since the first time he appeared. So, this has been an extra tough time for me. And then putin, him too. Can you please, please, please get in touch with trump and get him to stop playing the fool with the American presidency on twitter? Then I will be able to breathe again. Thanks!

      When we have had a whole series of trump like chimps playing president with the expected consequences because trump lowered the standards and no one can reverse that evolution once he proved it works then you may see that trump was not the path out of American troubles.

      I hear they are making a third Gremlins movie. RIght on time.

      • January 4, 2017 11:30 pm

        Roby, you need to make time ( about 2 hours per day) after january 20th so you can comment on all the tweets Trump will be making after he is sworn in. If you have a total disdain for him and his tweets now, you ain’t seen anything yet. Wait until congress starts on his appointments, healthcare, taxes etc and you may need even more time than 2 hours to comment. He may have a staff that he just dictates the tweets and they will be the recorder of the tweet. He can say many more short character statements than he can type them himself! He may say something to someone and then say “that was good, tweet that please”.

      • Roby permalink
        January 4, 2017 11:44 pm

        Jeez, it turns out you are a cruel man Ron. Just shoot me.

      • January 5, 2017 1:00 am

        Roby. Sorry. Did not mean to burst your bubble….” Can you please, please, please get in touch with trump and get him to stop playing the fool with the American presidency on twitter? Then I will be able to breathe again. Thanks!”

        But i have resigned myself that Trump will have a minimum of 5 tweets per day. Maybe 10+. Could be a complete 30 minute news coverage just to address all his tweets. Now tht is “controlling the news cycle”

    • January 4, 2017 11:23 pm

      AMEN!!!!

    • January 5, 2017 10:29 am

      Twitter could just ban Trump. The company would instantly become the darling of the left, and it would take a week or so for Trump to find another social media platform with which to communicate.

      Seriously, how FECKLESS would that be? (I think that’s the first time I’ve used it on this thread, Roby, but get ready!)

      • January 5, 2017 1:35 pm

        Facebook, and its subsidiary Instagram is owned by Liberal Progressive Mark Zuckerberg, as impulsive and erratic politically as Trump ( Supporting Chris Christie & BLM). He could decide to ban Trump from both – platforms where 44 percent of American adults now get their news.

        And Google co-owner Sergei Brin, the 12th richest person in the world, a Russian born Jew who emigrated to the US at age 5 with his parents to escape religious persecution in Russia, and is still critical of Russian oppression, may conclude Trump’s alignment with Russia abhorrent, and direct all Google searches for Trump be accompanied by disclaimers of Trumps veracity, intelligence, patriotism, and sanity. Yes, I exaggerate, but excess in the cause of Liberty is excusable.

        Trump: a Chump on the Rump of our government. Can you believe the idiot siding with Assange and Putin over our own government agencies in Tweets disseminated throughout the world? This is indefensible! His new motto, already in effect …Make America Worse!

    • January 5, 2017 12:55 pm

      Ron, your inclination to give Trump the benefit of the doubt because he’s shaking up the establishment is like Richard Widmark’s character pushing the old lady down the stairs because the shock may annimate her to jump up and dance an Irish Jig

    • January 5, 2017 4:31 pm

      Neat Pat, but people do worry, some a lot when faced with the unknown. Me, I’m expecting chaos or is it KAOS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWtPPWi6OMQ

  25. January 4, 2017 11:57 pm

    If only we could just take a pill or push a reset button and relations with Russia would be swell. The Dems/Clinton thought so: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jul/03/tom-cotton/tom-cotton-hillary-clinton-pushed-reset-russia-mon/

  26. Roby permalink
    January 5, 2017 12:04 am

    An excerpt from some fake news from the Washington Post:

    “McCain will hold a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday on “foreign cyber threats” that is expected to center on Russia. Intelligence officials — including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence Marcel J. Lettre II and U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers — will testify, and some Republicans are hoping they will present evidence that Russia meddled in the elections.

    “The point of this hearing is to have the intelligence community reinforce, from their point of view, that the Russians did this,” Graham said. “You seem to have two choices now — some guy living in an embassy, on the run from the law for rape, who has a history of undermining American democracy and releasing classified information to put our troops at risk, or the 17 intelligence agencies sworn to defend us. I’m going with them.”

    Graham was referring to Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder accused of helping Russia leak emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. He has few fans in Congress — on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called Assange a “sycophant for Russia.”

    Assange has denied he received leaked emails from the Russians. Trump echoed Assange in a tweet Tuesday in which he said “a 14-year-old could have hacked Podesta,” referring to Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman, John Podesta. Trump also tweeted support for Assange’s comment that the media is “dishonest.”

    Assange’s first claim may be narrowly accurate — Russia’s intelligence services used middlemen to deliver the purloined files, said senior U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. But U.S. spy agencies are in full agreement that Russia directed the hacking and orchestrated email dumps to WikiLeaks to help Trump win — a finding at the heart of a classified assessment completed this week.

    Trump’s online endorsement of Assange is his latest insult to the U.S. intelligence community and is likely to intensify the antagonism between the president-elect and U.S. spy agencies. He has repeatedly disparaged their work and skipped most of the daily briefings prepared for a future White House occupant.”

    • January 5, 2017 12:50 am

      Rpby, I project that McCain , Graham and maybe one or two other defense hawks will vote against Tellerson due to his relationship with Russia and that will set the stage for another Trump “pissoff contest” with some in the GOP. Trump will find out that “draining the swamp” takes more than a tweeter pump to accomplish that task. Basically we will be back to the relationship he had with the “establishment” during the primaries, but he will not have a vote of the people to push him through to the end. Congress may take back control of the government after years of giving away the store to whoever was president and rubber stamping whatever they wanted to do.

      And I say that even with the GOP control of congress with Obama since they allowed him to rule by E.O. and did nothing to reign in the E.O. powers.

  27. dduck12 permalink
    January 5, 2017 12:55 am

    I got the solution: (1) The U.S. pressures Sweden/the victim, to drop the rape charge. (2) The U.S.allows Assange to travel to his favorite Sanctuary City. (3) the U.S. guarantees JA safe passage out of that city to any country that has accepted Guantanamo ex guests.
    (4) Assange takes a Lie Detector test jointly administered by 17 intelligence agencies and the ACLU. (5) Ecuador charges for a guided tour of Assange’s palatial residence at the London Embassy. Voila, mystery solved.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 5, 2017 7:52 am

      dduck, yes, and on live TV: Assange and a Rep from each Intel agency all hooked up to multiple lie detectors, we let “Establishment corporations sponsor this most-watched show in human history so they can make more money which is what they mostly care about anyway. After millions of people are shocked, the public can then vote in live like American Idol to tell world leaders what they should do, which is build partnerships that solve our problems so we can evolve instead of nuking ourselves.

      • January 5, 2017 10:23 am

        And when it is all over, Assange will go on “Dancing with the Stars.” It will be fun to see if he can still move about, after being confined for so long. I think they should pair him up with Cheryl, the dancer who worked with Ryan Lochte, another guy who needed to rehab his image.

      • dduck12 permalink
        January 5, 2017 4:43 pm

        Oh, didn’t I mention that this will be a “Celebrity Lie Detector” event hosted by Megyn Kelly, now that she is with NBC. And, OF COURSE, Donald will get a piece of the world revenues and 100% of the Russian revenues.
        DWTS (is that NBC?) sounds like a wonderful idea, Priscilla, as long as it is in a Sanctuary City. Can Putin dance?

    • January 8, 2017 3:45 am

      If I were Julian I might fly to Tijuana, have a couple shots of Casamigos Reposado, visit the Red Zone and then come (sneak) across the border into San Ysidro and San Diego like everybody else with cash. Then hand over a brown paper bag of cash for a home Chula Vista and live large. Use our the cone of silence. Once here Trump can pardon him.

  28. Roby permalink
    January 5, 2017 5:04 pm

    “How exactly has Obama been a “thorn in Putin’s side”?”

    He definitely has been and that is quite obvious from putin’s actions. But until for some reason you Really want to know the answer to that rhetorical question and go looking for it objectively yourself, no amount of words from me will ever mean anything. Until that day comes you will repeat the same silly shallow partisan propaganda.

    But, me being me, here comes a big pile of words anyhow.

    There was nothing wrong in principle with a reset. Its (American-Russian relations) a big important relationship, a reset when it periodically hits bottom is just common sense. I don’t mind if trump resets it either, I just think the way he is doing it is from a comic strip. All the same I also allow that a combination of hawkish military advisors, an large increase in military spending, and Tillerson the Russian-sympathetic negotiator as SOS may just not be a bad combination. But, of course, trump’s clownish comments on putin and Russian actions undermine the possible good of the plan, if it is a plan.

    Missiles in Poland is a terrible idea. We may not like the Russian form of government and we have been at odds with Russia forever, but they do actually have legitimate security issues that we frequently clumsily walk all over. If you are really interested you could try to see how history looks through Russian eyes and then, if you were really willing to escape from purely partisan thought, try the thought experiment of imagining your reaction to American/NATO actions. It would be clear that putting missiles in Poland is about as provocative and unuseful thing you could do. Thank god we did not do that.

    Russian military actions in Syria look to us the way the Iraq war looked to Russians, brutal, cynical, destabilizing, egotistical, lacking in morality and decency. They could not stop us from going in and bombing Iraq and destabilizing a country (region) that is much closer to them than it is to us. Likewise we can’t stop them from doing what they are doing in Syria. Its great macho conservative tough talk to say the we should have stopped the Russian Syrian campaign. How? I can tell you in advance, you don’t have an answer. There is no answer.

    The POTUS is not the person who makes the US computer systems of governmental agencies safe from hacking. Where did you get that idea? There are thousands of people who have that impossible job, they don’t need the president’s advice or prodding to do their job, there is probably a whole wing of the pentagon and many computer code specialists spread out in many agencies devoted to American computer and internet warfare/security. Your idea that Obama’s concern level is at fault for Russian (Chinese, Iranian, N. Korean…) hacking is just silly partisan nonsense.

    Priscilla, there is a gigantic hundreds of years old chess game involved in US/western relations with Russia and the middle east. The partisan conservative criticisms I read and hear repeated come from people who don’t begin to know enough to make valid points. Events here are there get taken up out of context as proof of some partisan foreign policy theory by people who don’t even begin to understand the real world that the people at the Pentagon, State Department, the CIA, Homeland Security etc. are dealing with. Hubris, unbelievable hubris. It laughable. Every partisan is an expert, or so they think, on foreign policy. Its like some 8 year old kid who just learned the moves of chess criticizing a grand master, only much worse. Shallow is not the word. For partisan bloggers foreign policy is a sort of hobby or armchair sport, like fantasy football.

    Bottom line, you want to know whether putin has enjoyed the Obama presidency? its not hard, just look at his words and actions, especially regarding this election.

    Obama is pretty much in the rear view mirror of history. Its time to turn your full attention to the POTUS elect and his Russian/Middle East/ Asian foreign policy. That is going to most likely mean playing a Very creative defence in this blogging sport.

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 5, 2017 5:33 pm

      The Great Game; Russia and the West has been around a long time as you point out.
      “The Great Game” (Also called the Tournament of Shadows (Russian: Турниры теней, Turniry Teney) in Russia) was the strategic economic and political rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia at the expense of Afghanistan, Persia and the Central Asian Khanates/ …

      • Roby permalink
        January 5, 2017 6:22 pm

        Bless you.

    • Roby permalink
      January 5, 2017 7:53 pm

      Hmm, I may have laid the rhetoric on a bit too thick here, I wasn’t trying to insult you Priscilla. I hope you don’t take it as an insult.

      • January 6, 2017 9:35 am

        I do not at all, Roby. I really do value your opinions, despite the fact that I usually disagree with them. Part of that disagreement is reflexive, as we both have often pointed out. We tend to view politics through different prisms.

        But, in my heart of hearts (or mind of minds?), I am sometimes persuaded by your positions, and they influence mine. Not that I acknowledge that as often as I could….I probably don’t always recognize it, until it’s become part of my larger thinking.

        Anyway, don’t hold back, and neither will I.

      • Roby permalink
        January 6, 2017 10:41 am

        Oh Jeez, Priscilla, you are killing me. I should be trying to equal your gracefulness and I don’t know how. We are a fine pair of foils, it took a lot of training!

  29. January 5, 2017 5:35 pm

    DIS-UNIFYING DONALD GUTTER TALKS OPPOSITION WATCH

    Dum-Dum is at it again, acting the … what’s Priscilla’s word… ‘boorish’ blustering Bozo (my word).

    Here’s another mature presidential tweet attacking a member of Congress:

    “The Democrats, lead by head clown Chuck Schumer, know how bad ObamaCare is and what a mess they are in…”

    Would Schumer be justified calling Trump President Elect Ass Clown?

  30. Roby permalink
    January 6, 2017 8:32 am

    I agree with this 100%, even the parts that are not convenient to my own political leanings. I don’t share Goldbergs general ideological views and I am not going to in the future but he is a clear thinker and an excellent writer.

    Partisan Politics and the Russian Hacking Imbroglio

    by JONAH GOLDBERG Julian Assange is still an enemy of America, even if he has helped Republicans. It is a natural human tendency to want all good things to go together and all bad things to go together. That’s why we don’t like hearing that Hitler built great roads and was kind to animals, or that Mahatma Gandhi could be petty and nasty. In other words, we hate hearing good things about our villains and bad things about our heroes. This sort of thinking is downstream of tribalism. The essence of tribal thinking boils down to: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the friend of my enemy is my enemy.”

    Politics has its own kind of tribalism as well, bending facts and principles to partisan loyalties. The clearest sign that one has given over to a kind of tribal partisanship is when someone — or whole groups of people — cannot countenance inconvenient truths. In the 1990s, for example, feminists had laid down a series of arguments about sexual harassment. Then Bill Clinton got in trouble. Rather than maintain the principles they’d been asserting or acknowledge the facts they found regrettable, they rallied to Clinton’s defense. In their rush to help him, they left behind the baggage of their credibility.

    Which brings me to Julian Assange and the issue of Russian hacking. Donald Trump and many of his supporters are having a hard time acknowledging the following: Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is an avowed enemy of the United States who has openly admitted — and acted on — his animosity toward America. A onetime TV host for Russia Today, a Vladimir Putin–directed propaganda network, he is, if not in the employ of Russia, then objectively in service to it. The government of Russia, through surrogates and proxies, meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, much as it has done in numerous other countries. The Russians used WikiLeaks as a very effective tool for their mischief. That mischief probably had some effect on how the election played out.

    Russia, under Putin’s authoritarian rule, seeks to undermine the legitimacy of American and Western democracy and to weaken NATO. Democrats and many people in the media are having a hard time admitting the following: All of the election-related documents leaked to and by WikiLeaks have been authentic and pertain to legitimate issues for news organizations to explore. Much of the evidence for Russia’s meddling may in fact be circumstantial or hard to prove unequivocally. The appointed leadership of the U.S. intelligence community, under Barack Obama in particular, has been politicizing intelligence (downplaying ISIS and Islamic terrorism generally, hyping the extent of al-Qaeda’s degradation, soft-peddling Iran’s intentions, etc.). Skepticism toward what they say on the way out the door is warranted (though perhaps not in the way Trump has expressed it). Even if Russia meddled in the election, Trump was legitimately elected.

    Now, I consider all of these things to be true. But that leaves me — and many like me — in the middle of a partisan shooting war. Trump and his subalterns have found themselves in the position of rehabilitating Assange as some kind of heroic truth-teller, because they feel it necessary for political reasons. In 2010, Sarah Palin rightly described Assange as “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.” This week, she apologized. In 2010, with a bit of hyperbole, Newt Gingrich declared: “Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant.” This week, Gingrich told Sean Hannity (one of Assange’s most prominent fans these days) that Assange is a “down-to-earth, straightforward interviewee.”

    In 2010, Michael Moore put up $20,000 for Assange’s bail — he’d been charged with rape in Sweden — because “there is a concerted attempt to stop . . . anybody that is trying to do the job of telling us the truth.” Now, Moore says Trump has no right to be president because of Russia’s use of WikiLeaks’s truth-telling. The Huffington Post was initially enthralled by WikiLeaks, running pieces with such headlines as “Let Us Now Praise WikiLeaks.” Now, the Huffington Post’s hyperventilating threatens to suck the oxygen out of the atmosphere.

    Of course, people are allowed to change their minds when new facts present themselves. But those facts should be relevant. The problem is that the most pertinent facts — about Assange, Russia, etc. — have not changed. The only truly relevant new fact is that Assange is a useful tool for Republicans, and all other facts must be bent — on the left and right — to fit that new reality.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443590/julian-assange-wikileaks-russia-republicans-left-tribalism

    • January 6, 2017 12:26 pm

      Thanks for the post
      I’m forwarding the link to all my Doubting Donald friends – those who doubt him and those who agree with him, as the article addresses both.

  31. Roby permalink
    January 6, 2017 8:57 am

    When I stop to realize that I am actually thinking that a new arms race could be an effective tool in dealing with Russia (and it could be) then it becomes obvious how seriously the international situation has degraded in the past decade and a half (arbitrary, yes) and how much more risky the world has become.

    A new arms race, what a great use of resources, what a boon to humanity. Risk lowering or risk enhancing?

    The risk of destabilizations that could truly shake western civilization in the world has been slowly building. Putin’s rise, 9/11, ISIS and al Qaeda and the instability of the Middle east in general, the Ukraine tragedy, over-dependence on vulnerable computers to run everything, the financial crisis and risk of future collapsing bubbles, the election of trump, a genuine idiot, to the American presidency, all of these interrelated events are the products of vast impersonal forces that no one can control and they have created an increasingly risky future. I don’t think its wrong or cowardly of me to be scared. I am definitely scared.

    Maybe it will all turn out somehow OK, perhaps I am overdoing the gloom and overstating the risks. Am I? Its a bad trajectory.

    • January 7, 2017 10:33 am

      It’s never a good idea to disarm and trust your enemies not to take advantage.

      I realize that there is a belief on the part of many in the peace movement that believe precisely that. I have never seen evidence to suggest that military weakness is a precursor to peace and stability.

      And, as long as we’re trashing Russia….which country has consistently cheated on the SALT and START treaties? Not us.

      • January 7, 2017 10:45 am

        And, I guess I need to add something to that, it o say that I do not relish the idea of an arms race. But we apparently already know that NK now possesses nukes that could strike our western coast. And, oddly enough, China has been curiously reluctant to sanction that rogue nation, despite paying lip service to supporting sanctions against it. If Kim Jong Un should decide to attack South Korea, Japan or even Hawaii, do you think China would jump to the defense of any of these nations? Where do we suppose NK has received the materials and technology to become a nuclear nation?

  32. January 6, 2017 12:28 pm

    More evidence from a non- governmental source that the DNC cyber assaults emanated from Russia.

  33. January 6, 2017 2:08 pm

    Editorial Cartoonists – Ya gotta love ’em!

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C1fww-rXcAEs63v?format=jpg&name=large

  34. January 6, 2017 2:36 pm

    KEEPING OUR NATIONAL PRIORITIES FOCUSSED WATCH

    Here’s a Dumb Donald’s presidential Tweet he posted today, about the first episode of Celebrity Apprentice with a new host:

    “Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for….”

    Can you believe this is the smuck we have assuming the office of President? Is that the sound of a dirge I hear?

    • January 6, 2017 3:36 pm

      I mean, really, what kind of brittle-ego petty buffoon do we have gripping the reins of government power?

      “Referring to Republican Ohio governor John Kasich and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump added: “But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.””

      Schwarzenegger, who showed mature class, tweeted in return: “There’s nothing more important than the people’s work, @realDonaldTrump.” And added: “I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”

      The shriveled ego schlump went into today’s Intelligence briefing with an equally closed mind. Yesterday he described the hacking claims as a politically motivated witch hunt. He refuses to accept Russian involvement, afraid it tarnishes his election victory. That’s Trump in a NUT shell: ego over Nation.

      Russia hacking claims: US intelligence chiefs brief Trump
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38532700

      • Roby permalink
        January 6, 2017 4:48 pm

        Someone is going to note soon that you are I are wailing broken records. Which is true, but the driving force is that the soon-to-be potus is a broken record himself of daily tweets that indicate his unfitness. Anyone who wants to can easily escape from your teeth gnashing and my hair pulling, but who can escape the reality of the daily reminders of the wretched character of “the most powerful man in the world”? God grant us, somehow, Pence and soon.

      • January 6, 2017 8:27 pm

        I see our posts more like dog whistles, some are deaf to the sounds, others perk up to the warning whistles.

      • January 6, 2017 10:31 pm

        Some can only read the same meesages until they begin to be related to Chicken Little.

      • January 6, 2017 10:49 pm

        from my perspective you’re seeing it more like a Doubting Thomas:

        http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/donald-trump-julian-assange-cia-214598

      • January 7, 2017 2:26 am

        Jay,.To be a doubting Thomas one must question if something happened or it did not. I don’t have any reason to think Russia did not hack the DNC. I also do not have any reason to think that was not for anything but to make Hillary look bad. What I have problems with is the thinking that this caused the election of Trump when two different occasions the FBI created the same situation with the Hillary server and email issue. I also believe the Russians have infiltrated our politics in many different methods at many different times. Why has this one been released and others not? People made up thieir mind based on information much more important than what Podesta said or what Hillary said. Good Lord, people became deaf to email crap weeks before the release of the DNC stuff.

        So I will be a doubting Thomas as far as the election being changed based on the Russian hacking. Show me the data where enough specific voters changed to Trump based on the Russian hacking and then I will accept your endless comments that that happened. I have not seen or heard anyone provide that specific data yet.

      • January 7, 2017 1:37 pm

        CHICKEN LITTLE & DOUBTING THOMAS -The Sequel

        “Ouch,” said Chicken Little, rubbing her head and pointing upward. “The sky is falling!”
        “That’s an acorn that hit you, not a chunk of the sky, foolish chicken,” said Doubting Thomas.
        “The sky is FALLING!” Repeated Chicken Little, pointing upward.
        “I just told you that was an acorn, not the sky…” said Doubting Thomas as the huge branch that held the acorn broke away from the tree and crashed his pointy head flat.
        Moral of story: Don’t make snap decisions when your life may depend on the outcome.

      • January 7, 2017 10:12 am

        Agreed,Ron. I’m wondering why the Chinese hack of the OPM, which affected over 2 million current and former government employees, who had their personal information (fingerprints, background checks, SS #’s, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) did not result in any public repercussions at all. No diplomats were ejected, no Chinese front organizations were exposed, nothing. That was a major hack that afftected millions of citizens, and the administration said nothing, other than to acknowledge that it happened.

        John Podesta gives his password, “password” ( I think I learned about 10 years ago to make my password something other than that, with upper and lower case letters, symbols, etc.) in response to a phishing email, and Obama’s seemingly ready to restart the Cold War. Isn’t this exactly what he mocked Romney for?

        Most of the major news outlets didn’t even publish Podesta’s emails. I’m guessing that, even now, if you asked the average man-on-the-street voter who John Podesta is, they would have no idea.

      • January 7, 2017 1:46 pm

        Once again the same mantra, Priscilla: Two wrongs, etc.

        Because Chinese diplomats weren’t expelled doesn’t mean Resdians shouldn’t.

        Maybe dense Obama learned from the first mistake not to repeat it. Why wouldn’t you applaud the response correction? Oh, right, you’re a partisan conservative and want to get in a few last kicks to Obama’s butt while you can. Which kinda makes your cries for unity with theincoming Trump Administration a double-standard plea, wouldn’t you say?

      • January 7, 2017 10:24 am

        My mistake. The OPM hack affected 20 million citizens, not 2 million. Apparently the Chinese government said that it took care of the hackers, and arrested them.

        And if you believe that,……..

      • January 7, 2017 2:59 pm

        “Oh, right, you’re a partisan conservative and want to get in a few last kicks to Obama’s butt while you can. Which kinda makes your cries for unity with theincoming Trump Administration a double-standard plea, wouldn’t you say?”

        Umm, no, I wouldn’t. Not necessary for me, or anyone else, to “kick Obama’s butt.” He’s doing a fine job of that on his own, by trying to create foreign policy crises for his successor, for purely political reasons: first at the UN, and now with Russia.

        Maybe he figures that he hasn’t botched things up enough yet, so wants to do all he can, before exiting the world stage.

  35. January 6, 2017 8:30 pm

    Friendship, friendship..
    Just the perfect blendship..

    https://mobile.twitter.com/GenePark/status/817474620207013890

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 6, 2017 11:47 pm

      Jay, did you see the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall?” In the beginning of the movie the main character is devastated from his break up w his girlfriend. His friends tell him he has to pull himself together, but he just wallows and wallows. It’s quite an example of being pathetic.

      The fact that you think it is a problem for Trump to tweet about Celebrity Apprentice shows that you are still not over your 30 years of conditioning about what the image of a U.S. President is supposed to be. Thats over. The fake PC presidential image that made you feel the world was right is over. Move on. You don’t have to like Trump, but move on from your lament, for the sake of manliness at least! Teddy Roosevelt used to go on hunting trips for weeks, take pictures of the animals hanging etc. Point is it’s ok to have interests and a life while President, including ones that don’t match with your preferred image. Seriously, get over it. Your Trump loathing is obsessive. Get into a life boat or help patch the ship, but stop standing there shreiking like a birch that we are all going to drown. Or at least talk about something different once in awhile. Pathetic.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 6, 2017 11:59 pm

        This post of Rock’s is about 2016. For your own sake, man, select something else from 2016 to think about and discuss. At least Roby gives us insider views about Russia and U.S. – Russia relations. C’mon you used to play roller hockey in New York I think. Where is that guy?

      • Roby permalink
        January 7, 2017 10:35 am

        “The fact that you think it is a problem for Trump to tweet about Celebrity Apprentice shows that you are still not over your 30 years of conditioning about what the image of a U.S. President is supposed to be. Thats over. The fake PC presidential image that made you feel the world was right is over. ”

        The previous world may not have been “right” but the upcoming one may be so far from right that you will wind up longing for that previous world. Jay and I just have a very negative and fearful view of the future due to the consequences of an America that has been so ripped from it political moorings that we have what appears to be an idiot for president and conservatives (not all) now like assange and putin. You have a hopeful view of the situation. I don’t. Fear is a good thing, we need fear. People with kids often have fear of the consequences of revolutions.

        The creative destruction on the path to something better may not lead to something better, it may just leave the old world as the high point that was followed by chaos. SInce my kids have to live their lives, which are really just getting established, in the upcoming world I’m hoping that it will be stable and much like the previous world. I think that you have only the haziest idea of the possible negative destructive consequences and that if they wind up really hurting you and yours (which I certainly do not hope) you will have a radically different idea of things.

        There is nothing wrong with the point of view that Jay and I share on trump. Time will tell.

      • January 7, 2017 1:58 pm

        What is the problem that you and Jay have with Trump using Twitter, by the way? Or the fact that, instead of treating Hillary with the “respect” she deserved, he treated her exactly as she did him? Yet no one called her unpresidential. I regret the lack of civility in today’s politic’s, but it cuts both ways.

        Trump and Putin are not buddies ~ in my opinion, they’re both indulging in some kabuki theatre, to see if they can get some sort of psychological edge on a fellow egotist. And, the idea that we should provoke Russia into throwing out our diplomats, or revoking American oil corporations’ exploration and drilling rights in Russia, over Hillary Clinton’s crappy campaign that caused her to lose, or Barack Obama’s lack of concern over cybersecurity, seems stupid to me. We can hold the opinion that Russia is our #1 geo-political opponent, without having to beat the war drums, and engaging in the kind of rhetoric that Barack Obama is doing now, right before he strolls out of the White House, leaving Trump with a mess. If he were so worried about Russia, maybe he would try to behave responsibly…….

      • January 7, 2017 3:15 pm

        “he treated her exactly as she did him”

        That’s utter BS.

      • January 7, 2017 4:02 pm

        “What is the problem that you and Jay have with Trump using Twitter,”

        Ask Toyota and GM shareholders who saw their stock values fall after Dumbass Tweets from Trump.

        Does the word ‘irresponsible’ resonate at all?
        Does the word ‘undignified’ ring a bell?
        Do the words ‘lying asshole false disseminator’ sound an alert?

        Today he falsely Tweeted this:

        “Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched!”

        The report CLEARLY states the three security agencies DID NOT examine the RESULTS of the hacking, it was not their mandate to do so. I will link to the released report in another comment, later.

        For a dishonest habitual lying president to rely on a daily stream of tweets to shape his own distorted propaganda is not to the nation’s benefit. It’s a one way stream of drivel, like a partisan shouting through a megaphone on a bus at the passengers, who then jumps off without allowing direct counter questioning by those he assaulted with amplified assholeness.

        Trump has not held the traditional after election press conference, as all previous president elects have done. That’s because he’s fearful of having to answer follow up questions to public scrutiny. Are you happy with that, Priscilla, Trump avoiding direct questions about his comments, or are you content to see an accepted feature of press-government transparency vanish from the presidency, replaced by 128 character drivel?

      • January 7, 2017 3:13 pm

        Now now, Pat, why so sensitive to repeated criticism of the Dunce Elect?

        I agree that the presidential image changes to reflect the changes in the electorate, and what passing generations held important present generations may not. JFK was far different a personna than FDR or DDE, as they were from TR. Nevertheless there were common threads of Presidential Personae they all shared: a perceived rectitude of character and competence without which they would not have been deemed qualified or suitable to run for the office. Now Dumb Ass Donald has lowered that standard, and I’m surprised you of all ‘PatRiots’ are sympathetic to that.

        Also disappointing is your comparison of Theodore Roosevelt to Trump as equivalent role models for president. That’s like comparing a mustang to a donkey. Roosevelt as you know was a genuine war hero, not a draft dodger. He exhibited a robust cowboy masculinity, embraced the strenuous outdoorsman lifestyle, but was not a vagina groping sexual braggart who shoved his hands and tongues in unwanted places. TR led a distinguished life and career before becoming Vice President and then President, including running for mayor of New York, serving as assistant secretary of the Navy, and serving with the Roughriders where he gained fame for courage during the Spanish-American war, from which he returned a war hero. He was a prolific author of more than 18 books, including a respected history of the Navel War of 1812. And was an avid reader; unlike facetious ignoramus 132 character Tweety Trump whose reading is confined to the Enquirer and Neilson Ratings. T. Roosevelt has consistently been rated by scholars as one of the greatest US presidents; Trump has constantly been rated a buffoon, a liar, an unethical business man by dozens of qualified observers from both major parties, and as mentally unstable by dozens of mental health professionals who have observed him and by people who have worked for him or have known him for decades. That includes his own ghost-writer for Trump’s memoir ‘Art Of The Deal’ who says he had “to put lipstick on a pig,” to make Trump palpable. He spent 18 months working with Trump, during which he says he found Trump a “pathologically impulsive and self-centered” liar.

        To know Trump seems to be to despise him. Now in his 70s he doesn’t appear to have any life long friends – have you seen any interviewed? Few if any from his high school or college or supposed minor league baseball days have emerged to praise him; his own sister, a respected Federal Judge, didn’t support or publicly congratulate him for winning the presidency, at least as far as I can tell after googling her.

        If Trump starts behaving Presidential I’ll reduce my criticism accordingly.
        And if you continue to insult my ‘ maniliness’ and make other personal derogatory ‘pathetic’ statements I’ll treat you accordingly.

      • January 7, 2017 6:47 pm

        “That’s utter BS.”

        You might be right. He may have treated her with more respect. At least until it became obvious that her campaign was going to be all about mudslinging.

      • January 7, 2017 7:50 pm

        “Or at least talk about something different once in awhile.”

        Or at least open your eyes and ears once in a while.

        In this thread so far, in addition to direct attacks on the Dunce Elect, my previous posts included discussions of:

        -A viable 3rd Party of Centrists.
        -A recommendation about the Dystopian movie “Children of Men”
        -A link about the shifting demographic balance of those identifying as Moderates.
        -A blurb on Megan Kelly Jumping from Fox to NBC.
        -A discussion of Page Rankings on Google and other search engines.
        -A post about the ownership of Facebook and Google.
        -A link to an article by Damon Linker about the demise of the Left and the Right.

        Your posts on the other hand seem weighted toward condemning me and Roby for our Trump views.

        I don’t care if you broaden your input or not. Talk about whatever you want. If it makes sense I’ll agree. If it’s off the mark, like your comment that elicited this response, I’ll let you know in no uncertain terms. Isn’t that what the blog is about ????

  36. January 7, 2017 2:48 am

    Jay. Keep in mind that the intellegence community has ways to handle anyone at any level of government. From leaks to one step removed from blachmail, they will get their way one way or the other. No one screws with individuals trained and unaffraid to use black
    ops to make things happen.It can happen domestically just as easily as it can worldwide. Trump will find this out in a short time period.

  37. Pat Riot permalink
    January 7, 2017 3:32 pm

    Roby, your stable response to my attack of Jay is appreciated here. Yes, agree with you about opinions and fear in general, and I understand deeply why people detest Trump. But it is another thing for Jay to share such an opinion incessantly, ad nauseam, especially in the style of dropping anti-Trump links, which there will be no shortage of for the foreseeable future. A hyper anti-Trump obsession is very similar to the annoying turn-off of hyper Christians who start every conversation with something like, “Are you saved by the blood of Jesus Christ?” Look, person on a crusade, I care about these things too, but I gotta put my kids on the bus and pick up a gallon of milk, so can you tone it down and talk like a well-rounded person so I can relate with you better?

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 7, 2017 3:56 pm

      And Jay, I’ll try talking with you directly after I read your latest post and give it a fair chance.

  38. January 7, 2017 4:20 pm

    Here’s a link to the released 3-Agency Intelligence Report. It’s available at other links if this PDF is difficult to read – it’s 25 pages long but I advise reading it all.

    The partially declassified report says Russia was involved in a widespread disinformation campaign against Clinton, feeding negative and exaggerated and false information about her that ended up broadcast in national media.

    The report concludes Russia did indeed engage in activities meant to influence public opinion regarding the US elections. It doesn’t make conclusions on the effectiveness of those cyber intrusions, one way or the other. The conclusions in the report is an assessment of all three agencies. It states unequivocally Russia’s intentions were to undermine faith in the electoral system, and to hurt Clinton and help Trump.

    If after reading of the extensive meddling done by Russia over an extended time frame I don’t see how anyone can conclude that Russia had no effect, zero, nada, on the election results. It’s intention was to shift public opinion, and even if it succeeded incrementally in the three battleground states where Clinton lost by a combined 70-thousand votes, less than 1% of the total, that could have tipped the election to Trump. Could have doesn’t mean it did; but it’s surely possible it did.

    • January 7, 2017 10:57 pm

      Jay, I will not attempt to refute any of what you have said about Trump. It, and more to come, will reinforce that this is the theater of the absurd. But I do agree with some here, that you seem a little over obsessed, not that I can blame you though. I am a Rep, but even I still wake up each day thinking it is all Just a bad dream.
      Since it seems we may not see a decrease in Trump’s, uh, what’s a nice moderate word, I can’t think of one, we may need to block out his stuff with cat videos or something. Unfortunately, I will start carrying around a felt tip marker to overwrite messages like this in a San Diego bathroom: “Kill Trump”.
      BTW, where were you this afternoon?

      • January 7, 2017 11:55 pm

        No, duckie, I wasn’t in San Diego today, but I heard Arnold Schwartzenneger was in town; did the handwriting have a Germanic slant?

        Many of my anti Trump political positions are similar to those of disgruntled Republicans with old school conservative dispositions, who, like me, see American political values disintegrating in front of their eyes. One of my favorite commentators in that growing stream of worried protest is Damon Linker, a former speechwriter for New York’s Mayor Rudolph W. Giulian. He posted this column today, which sums more coherently (and level headedly) many of the concerns (and warnings) I have tried to voice here.

        http://theweek.com/articles/670667/astounding-hypocrisy-cynicism-gop?utm_source=links&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=twitter

  39. January 7, 2017 4:54 pm

    Oh, and I forgot to congratulate all of us for our newly acquired Duel Citizenship!
    Trump guaranteed Mexicans would pay for the Wall.
    Americans are paying for the Wall.
    Therefore we all are Mexicans!
    Ole! Time to party!

  40. Pat Riot permalink
    January 7, 2017 6:00 pm

    Jay, I don’t think I can reach you. It’s like you’ve spent a year in a cult and now you need an intervention. I have no hope or intention of wanting you to change your views on Donny; I just want you to stop! (and show us you care about other things! I think it’s necessary for your credibility.)

    Your first sentence: “…why so sensitive to repeated criticism of the Dunce Elect?”

    “Sensitive” is not correct. Not sensitive. Here are reasons it’s annoying to see your repeated Trump loathing:

    1. This current thread should be about more than Trump. The thread is about 2016.
    2. It’s boring when we know what’s coming from you every time.
    3. It shows an obsession with Trump the person and his bad character. It’s sad to see such
    an obsession. When you over-react to every Trump tweet, it’s like you are a WWF fan
    falling for the bad guy shtick.
    4. TNM deserves more well-rounded input.
    5. Your behavior is poor sportsmanship: We’ve had our turns with PC figure heads. Obama
    was a terrific SYMBOL of what could happen in America, and a well-performing
    spokesperson. If Trump doesn’t bring about good results, the pendulum will swing back.
    Show some of the class you’re pining for and have some patience. Somebody said
    American politics is like a sleeping person: face one direction for awhile, then flip over and
    face the other direction, then flip the pillow over, then flip it back…something like that
    anyway…

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 8, 2017 2:54 am

      Thanks Jay, Trust but verify. Nah, just good old liberal printing. 🙂

      • Roby permalink
        January 8, 2017 9:37 am

        Ha, Доверяй но Проверяй. To which I can add, тише едешь дальше будешь, (keep quiet and stay of of trouble) advice trump will never comprehend.

  41. Pat Riot permalink
    January 7, 2017 6:08 pm

    Your 2nd sentence:

    “I agree that the presidential image changes to reflect the changes in the electorate…”

    FOUL. No, don’t go there. That’s yet another arrogant sneer at the perceived deplorables, yet another misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the many factors involved in the current reality of our nation. FOUL. Two-minute minor for spearing in the groin. Two additional minutes for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

    • January 7, 2017 7:23 pm

      BAD CALL – INSTANT REPLAY!

      How did you get an arrogant sneer at perceived deplorables out of that?

      I referenced changes across the entire electorate, the normal generational shift of “passing generations.”

      Why is it that I’m the one who seems rational and you’re the one going off on rants? Is Trumpism staining your reason?

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 7, 2017 7:54 pm

        Oh Lord help us!

        My wife and I have a board game called “I Think You Think I Think.” Even after we thoroughly explain the rules, such as betting what each of the other players will think you think about what they think about what you think…it can get confusing!

        I thought you were saying that the changes in the electorate, i.e. the dumbing down of the American electorate…resulted in or was to blame for Donald Trump. My bad if that’s not what you were saying.

        But I quit this round. Enough on the laptop for tonight!

  42. Pat Riot permalink
    January 7, 2017 6:23 pm

    Oy veh! Next you misunderstand to think I was comparing Ted Roosevelt (I’ve read an early edition of his autobiography–YOWZA, have times changed!) with Trump as role models. Egad! Trump can never be a role model for children along the lines of good character development. That is also over. Some of us are able to move beyond that because, NEWS FLASH–there are other things about which to be concerned.

    We are really going to need to get your whole family to participate in this intervention. We are probably going to have to secure you to a chair and administer some drugs.

    • January 7, 2017 9:12 pm

      “We are probably going to have to secure you to a chair and administer some drugs.”

      My drug of preference preference is Irish Whiskey.

      “Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.”
      Johnnie Carson

  43. Pat Riot permalink
    January 7, 2017 6:50 pm

    Intelligence Briefings.

    It should go without saying that there are talented, loyal Americans, employing sophisticated technologies, in U.S. Intelligence agencies.

    That said, let’s also include other agencies and institutions…off the top of my head:

    Sadaam/Iraq had weapons of mass destruction,

    Pat Tillman died heroically fighting the enemy–oh no it was friendly fire,

    Official release regarding heroic rescue of Jessica Lynch were proven to be falsified during Congressional hearings,

    Hillary Clinton has a comfortable lead and is a shoe-in for next President

    Ebola Outbreak is definitely coming to the United States.

    “I did not have sex with that woman”

    “If the glove doesn’t fit; you must acquit!”

    “The world is flat.”

    Do I really need to Google search and make a BIG LIST of when the official line was wrong or covering up? And yet, Trump Loathers are absolutely incredulous that people, including DT, would question the accuracy of official reports. Is this memory loss? Dementia?

    • January 7, 2017 7:14 pm

      Let’s see if I have this right:

      The comprehensive report assembled by the nation’s top intelligence agencies – FBI, CIA, NSA – is either incorrect, flawed, or intentionally misleading.

      The Russians have not engaged in a complex cyber scheme in which they aided Trump and undermined Clinton. And you’re sure of this because Ebola Outbreak reports didn’t prove true, a heroic rescue was proven falsified, a military hero died from friendly fire not directly fighting the enemy, and there was a previous intelligence screw-up regarding weapons of mass destruction.

      And you’re accusing me of being demented? Yeah, I can see you’re as rational as the flat earthers you mentioned.

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 7, 2017 11:06 pm

      Two of my favorites: “bullets were whizzing over our heads”, “I always felt like I was in the military. (I got) more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”
      A______!

  44. Pat Riot permalink
    January 7, 2017 7:40 pm

    I didn’t say whether the Holy Trinity Intelligence Report was accurate or not. The meaning of what I said was, given the enormous historical precedent of governments and official offices lying, cheating, covering up, and getting things wrong, and also getting things right, that it is AMAZING that people are so AMAZED that people would be skeptical. That was the meaning.

    And I didn’t call you demented. I wondered facetiously if it is dementia that would allow people to be so AMAZED that other people are skeptical of official reports. The agencies of other countries might produce flawed or misleading reports, but NEVER the United State of America! I think I insinuated you were being annoying, but never demented!

    • January 7, 2017 7:59 pm

      Thanks Pat, glad to hear I’m merely annoying but not demented. Whew… that’s taken a heavy burden from my shoulders this weekend.

      But you sidestepped the underlying question: do you believe the report in essence is accurate? That Putin/Russia interfered/meddled in the election?

      Yes or no?

      • January 8, 2017 10:24 am

        Of course Russia meddled in the election, Jay. Just as they have been meddling in US elections for decades.

        You conflate that with your belief that Trump is an apologist for Russia, and there is no such conclusion in the intelligence report.

        The problem with the report as I see it, is that there is very, very little evidence to support any of the conclusions drawn. For example, the FBI concluded that the DNC was hacked without ever inspecting the DNC server. This was due to the DNC refusing to allow access (although, the DNC is now denying that ~ believe whomever, I suppose). http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/312767-fbi-never-examined-hacked-dnc-servers-report

        Back in the day, there was something called McCarthyism. Remember learning about that? What is happening now is pretty much 21st century McCarthyism ~ unproven allegations of disloyalty, based on flimsy/no evidence and innuendo.

        McCarthyism is being embraced, fully and enthusiastically, by the Democrats and the media, as a way to de-legitimize Trump. They are trying to “blacklist” him.

        If you and Roby don’t see that, it is because of the partisan blindness that you are fond of attributing to me, to Pat, and/or to anyone who asks for actual evidence of Trump’s supposed fealty to Putin.

        Produce evidence from that report, or any other reliable source ~ not conclusions, evidence~ and I’m more than willing to listen. I doubt, however, that you can find it.

      • Roby permalink
        January 8, 2017 11:01 am

        The traitorous action is not going to be found in some back channel agreement between trump and putin. It is something else, something right in front of you in clear view, its trump disparaging our American agencies, who do their best to find facts and truth while praising assange and putin who are vile liars.

        If Jonah Goldberg is a democrat I am an eggplant.

        I’d love good relations with Russia more than anything. It would mean a much safer world and much better lives for my loved ones in Russia. But such relations have to be based on something real, not illusion. I have read putin’s lies for many years now, they reached a sickening crescendo during the Ukrainian invasion. He is a vile man, with no scruples at all, and the praise fest between him and trump and assange is making me ill.

        Priscilla once upon a time you had a page that complained that Obama doesn’t even think that putin is the enemy, did you not? So, how about trump? Oh, he is your guy so now you turn to ridiculous charges of McCarthyism aimed at Jay and myself and democrats for recognizing the obvious. I cannot take you any more. Your level of twisting things to meet the partisan occasion is beyond my capacity to cope. Their is such a thing in the world as objective truth, putin took over the media in Russia soon upon becoming tsar so that he could make sure that none of it reached Russian people on state airwaves. assange is another who’s honesty is beyond compromised. Now we have your trump, another consummate liar.

        I cannot bear the mental world you live in Priscilla. You tore it with me with the McCarthyism charge. You have taken passive aggression to an art form and you well know how to hit nerves like a sadistic dentist. Bleh!

        Good luck to you.

      • January 8, 2017 2:34 pm

        “Of course Russia meddled in the election, Jay. Just as they have been meddling in US elections for decades.”

        Did you read the report or not? Or are you now borderline senile and have difficulty understanding the clear implication of plainly written English?

        In the section marked KEY JUDGEMENTS it says of the cyber interfearance that it is “A significant escalation in the scope, intensity, and level of activity compared to previous operations.”

        What part of that warning don’t you understand?

        Then you say:

        “You conflate that with your belief that Trump is an apologist for Russia, and there is no such conclusion in the intelligence report.”

        Again, didnt YOU READ the Report? In the section marked SCOPE they state they “did not make an assessment of the effect it had on the US election.”

        You’re the one doing idiotic conflating, between 20 year old Russian spying, and the concerted cyber warefare Russia conducted against our nation in this election.

        It is a FACT they interfered in our election.

        It is a FACT that all three of our intelligence agencies have stated with certainty Russia aided Trump and undermined Clinton.

        It is a FACT that’s a dangerous precedent to let go unanswered. It is a FACT that Trump supporters like you don’t seem to give a shit about it. I’m equally sure that you would have transfered your approval to ISIS if they had interfeared with the election on Trump’s behalf.

        This is how I see you: Party over Patriotism. Ideology over Country. Trumpism Uber Alles. And to quote McCarthy’s chastiser: “have you no shame?”

      • January 8, 2017 2:06 pm

        Well, I regret that you think I am a passive-aggressive liar, Roby, I do. That is a scurrilous insult against me, but it’s something that I will overlook, given that I understand your extreme emotional reaction to this subject.

        On the other hand, all I did was ask for some evidence of treason or disloyalty. I think that’s a reasonable question. You believe it to be true, right? Is that based on an irrational hatred of Trump, or have you seen evidence in the intelligence report? Jay?

        If your evidence is that the intelligence community, certain members of which have been leaking like a sieve, disparaging the incoming president with no evidence, merely their conclusion that the Russians wanted Trump to win, then I am sorry, but that is not EVIDENCE, it is INFERENCE. You would hang someone on that?

        Ron mentioned in a comment some time ago, on a different post, that it would be odd for the Russians to leave an obvious marker of their hacking. They are far too sophisticated for that. Therefore, it would be reasonable to draw one of two conclusions: a)the Russians want Americans to believe that their incoming president has been chosen by an enemy nation, or b) it’s a “false flag” marker, and the hack was done by some other country or entity, in order to give the impression that the Russians “picked” Trump.

        The same could be said of Putin praising Trump. Why would he do that? a) He thinks that Trump’s a chump fanboy b) he would have preferred the appeasement of the Obama years to continue under Clinton, and knows that Trump might be weakened if it’s implied that Putin prefers him. The Democrats have been dying for a better relationship with Russia. If he can help them de-legitimize the person that they consider the true enemy, he buys good will, and quid pro quo. I’m not saying that’s so. But I am saying that your inferences are not the only ones that can be drawn.

        I do not believe that Putin is a dope. I don’t believe that any Russian hacker would leave an obvious “calling card” unless there was a devious purpose.

        And, I know, because I have a close friend who recently retired from the CIA, and was an intelligence analyst, that there are many politically motivated analysts in the Agency. Not the information gatherers, but the information analyzers, mind you. And they’re the ones that have been leaking these unsupported conclusions.

        Accusations of treason are about as over the top as it gets, if those accusations have no evidence to support them.

      • January 8, 2017 2:46 pm

        “If your evidence is that the intelligence community, certain members of which have been leaking like a sieve, disparaging the incoming president with no evidence, merely their conclusion that the Russians wanted Trump to win, then I am sorry, but that is not EVIDENCE, it is INFERENCE. You would hang someone on that?”

        Again, this indicates either an abysmal ignorance or blockheaded indifference to the significance of the report. The evidence you’re requesting they release to public scrutiny will compromise the security techniques they use to get that kind of information. But it has been examined by the bi-partisan congressional members of those oversight committees with top clearance, none of whom have disputed the findings. Get that? Or is your brain too soggy with stubborn partisanship?

        The Russians interdeared with the election. And you’re rationalizing that. Shame on you.

      • January 8, 2017 2:51 pm

        In Jr High School I had an elderly English teacher, a proper bespectacled lady who could recite from memory long passages from Longfellow’s epic poem “Evangeline” – ‘THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,’ etc., which she’d share as a treat to educate our minds. Smart and educated, she was at the same time a doddering old dame who didn’t have a clue about the outdated irrelevance of Longfellow to young minds brought up in a world of changing technologies. And though you could respect her intelligence and sincerity on one level, you nevertheless had to write her off as someone whose brain wasn’t working right in the context of modern life.

        That’s more or less how I feel about you, Priscilla. When it comes to politics you seem unable or unwilling to put two and two together, and come up with four. Your ‘objectivity’ is skewed to the point you are unable to accept or understand clearly stated factual statements if they’re at odds with your ideology.

      • January 8, 2017 2:13 pm

        What does Jonah Goldberg have to do with this by the way?

        In last column by Goldberg that I read on this topic, he said:

        “The appointed leadership of the U.S. intelligence community, under Barack Obama in particular, has been politicizing intelligence (downplaying ISIS and Islamic terrorism generally, hyping the extent of al-Qaeda’s degradation, soft-peddling Iran’s intentions, etc.). Skepticism toward what they say on the way out the door is warranted”

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443590/julian-assange-wikileaks-russia-republicans-left-tribalism

    • January 8, 2017 10:03 pm

      Ha! I am far from a proper bespectacled old lady (although the old part is certainly somewhat true, depending on with whom I’m being compared) or doddering old dame! Although I’m fine with being called a dame.

      I have noticed, however, that your ability to keep an open mind and discuss current politics objectively and rationally is somewhat, shall we say… challenged. Honestly, your anti-Trump rantings have become boring at this point, and you don’t appear to know the difference between evidence and conclusions (hint: Evidence can be proven, i.e. it’s real. Conclusions are judgments based on evidence). The report that you’ve linked is full of evidence-free conclusions. Funny, the same intelligence agencies concluded that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, and presented no convincing evidence either. Uncritical acceptance of that conclusion cost thousands of American lives. It’s sort of a role reversal, with Democrats like you blindly accepting provocative claims and screeching that anyone who doesn’t is unpatriotic. Very funny, no?

      Unless you can up your game, I’m afraid I’ll have to go back to ignoring you.

  45. Pat Riot permalink
    January 7, 2017 8:00 pm

    OK for this last thing of mine tonight I am not being sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek or snarky, but instead calmly serious: of course Russian operatives attempted to influence the U.S. election. Why wouldn’t they? I wouldn’t expect them not to. Who is surprised by this?

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 7, 2017 11:09 pm

      Agree, PR, they would be deselect if they didn’t.

      • dduck12 permalink
        January 7, 2017 11:10 pm

        Er, derelict.

    • January 8, 2017 2:19 pm

      They have been meddling in our politics and culture since the 1950’s.

      The Chinese now do it as well.

      The Democrats are either feigning shock or they’re idiots. I assume the former.

  46. Mike Hatcher permalink
    January 7, 2017 9:05 pm

    Hi all,
    I was emailed that the war had ended. Great to hear. Candidly, while I was avoiding the site as a protest, I simultaneously have started another endeavor that I project will take up an enormous amount of time so I’m somewhat stepping away for that reason as well. But I’m hopeful the peace will hold and intend to drop in now and then. Who knows, maybe I’ll get addicted again and post every 30 minutes. 🙂

  47. January 8, 2017 7:27 pm

  48. January 8, 2017 8:09 pm

    ETHICS SMETHICS WATCH

    “The office tasked with overseeing ethics and conflicts in the federal government struggled to gain access to leaders of the Trump transition team, and warned Trump aides about making decisions on nominees or blind trusts without ethics guidance, according to new emails obtained by MSNBC.

    Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub emailed Trump aides in November to lament that despite his office’s repeated outreach, “we seem to have lost contact with the Trump-Pence transition since the election.”
    Trump aides may also be risking “embarrassment for the President-elect,” Shaub warned, by “announcing cabinet picks” without letting the ethics office review their financial information in advance.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/07/us-ethics-office-struggled-to-gain-access-to-trump-team-emails-show.html

  49. Pat Riot permalink
    January 9, 2017 9:16 am

    Priscilla, I think ignoring the anti-Trump crusader may be the only thing left to do at this point. He doesn’t examine and discuss his assumptions in an open-minded way. He doesn’t engage in a healthy back-and-forth with acknowledgements that would include phrasing such as, “I can see your point to an extent for situations such as X, Y, and Z, but what most concerns me…” or “Yes, such and such is indeed important, but don’t you think this is more important?”

    Instead, his mind is fixated. Apparently he’s going to keep pasting links and insulting anyone who doesn’t agree or isn’t as fixated.

    I for one am going to ignore him. For me his link dumps will become like the “End is Near” cardboard signs carried by a street person outside the cafe window.

    • January 9, 2017 12:06 pm

      THE END IS NEAR WATCH

      This is the kind of arrested development nonsense the soon to be President of the US has his addled mind focussed on, and I’m sure you will enable more of it criticizing those if us who criticize the Jerk Elect:

      “We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” Mr. Trump said. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”

      The Treacherously Inept Moron is spending more time worrying about inauguration dress shops than the nation’s security

  50. January 9, 2017 11:09 am

    Didn’t read every single comment, but many of them.

    I ‘m not sure economics ever came up that I saw.

    I’m wondering how many in this thread are over 60, white, and college educated, or had well-paying jobs all there lives. If you are, then you grew up in an entirely different time.

    I’m 53, have a BS and live in rural Appalachia now. 75% of my neighbors voted for Trump…simply because they are tired of being broke. They are ready to listen to anyone who claims to be the messiah. Racism, sexism, ignorance all play a role…but mainly the lack of money is what drives them. I’ve spent the last 15 years being a working class girl because there are NO jobs out here except the $10/hr or less.

    I’ve looked thru economics books. They never mention minimum wages (o, in one case they said they don’t work), or working people or even the middle class. They are all written from the point of view of the business owners.

    I would think it would start to be obvious that the reason things were so good after WWII was that working class people were paid middle class wages. That in truth is why our economy boomed. As that has been slowly eroded over the past 40 years for a variety of reasons…all the money is back in the hands of the few. Where is has been for the majority of history.

    IMHO, that is the point of conservative ideology. To keep the money in the hands of the few. High unemployment means low wages, no need to pay benefits. The constant preaching of “free markets” “cheap” labor and “no government regulation” or “wealth redistribution” (that’s what they call it when working people what to be paid better) is nothing but trying to keep the status quo now that they have us where they want us.

    The middle class officially has fewer people in it than the poor and wealthy as of last year.

    Question: if over half your population has no money, who are you going to sell your goods & services to?

    • January 9, 2017 12:10 pm

      Moggie, I agree with some thinqgs you say,but differ in some others. Yes, we !ive in a very different economic climate now than after WW2. When the war ended there was a mass build up of demand for consumer products. The demand for labor was high and that labor was trades that drove higher wages. As wages increased, companies like textile began moving south to lower wage areas, while states like N.H. brought in different industries. Well trained people drove the higher wages and unions representing these trained people protected their wages and benefits. Now we have the greatest number of trades, like tool and die makers, machinist, welders, etc shipped to foreign countries and our labor force has changed to lower paid positions (restaurant, hotel, retail, etc) where training in limited and there are many that can do those jobs. When you produce a Buick Enclave in China and send it to the USA, the savings are tremendous and the job losses devastating. The same goes for products produced in Mexico where $35.00 per hour jobs are replaced by $10.00 per hour jobs.

      Government is the problem and not the answer. If not for the government,coal country would not have the problems it has today. The answer lies with trade policies that promote industry here, education that provides training that provides industry with a trained staff and government policies that regulate,but do not strangle companies and make them move to other countries.

      A minimum wage will only be temperary until business adapts. And this is why Trump won because voters in states where the liberal agenda was rejected and they were looking for something “politcians” could not offer. Only time will tell if that can happen.

      • January 9, 2017 12:54 pm

        ok, Ron its “Moogie”…not mookie or moggie. Its from Star Trek, its what my grandkids call me. 🙂

        You can keep on using whatever conservative argument is popular this week for not paying working class people good money…but the bottom line is always going to be to have a vibrant economy most of the population must make a middle class wage. It does not matter if it is in professional work, trades, or scrubbing toilets. When most of the population makes piss-poor wages, the economy stinks. The reason the world economy has not become vibrant is because all those middle class jobs are now slave labor and those folks can’t afford all the good stuff they are making.

        We have to get over this “people don’t deserve to make so much because they don’t have degrees or skills” etc. etc. That is the greed of the rich talking. Conservatives may talk that it is “communism” to force companies to pay good wages…but IMHO that is what government is for, is to be sure things are fair for the majority of folks. Conservatives seem to believe the playing field is equally for everyone when it has grown worse in the past 40 years, thanks to many ideas that benefit big business.

        What do you want for the future? To keep making justifications for poor pay so that Income Inequality becomes a way of life, or insist that the wealthy cannot keep it all?

      • January 9, 2017 1:08 pm

        Moogie,what I want is a country that does not rely on Walmart crap from China, guailty electric hand tools made in Mexico, high cost American branded Buicks built in China and electronics for Apple made in China. When we produce a Chevy Cruse and ship it to Brazil wwith a 35% tariff, but Mexico produces this same car with no tariffs in Brazil,but we have no import restrictions for products from Brazil, I want changes to help promote American industries. That will change the wage problem. And this is not a conservative viewpoint since conservative s want free trade regardless if it is fair or not.

      • January 9, 2017 2:01 pm

        Conservatives who now enthusiastically back Trump, who doesn’t want fair trade or fair anything else, have sold their beliefs down the road to Kleptocracy.

        A Trump cabinet stuffed with billionaires has as much in common with the interests of working class America as lions have with zebras or giraffes.

      • January 9, 2017 3:11 pm

        OK,am I being accused of being one of those conservatives that support Trump who sold my beliefs to kleptocracy?

        If so show me where I have consistently said anything where I support Trump.

        I believe you will find where I have supported a balanced budget, entitlement reform,reduced government in personal lives, government regulation reforms, a defense based on Reagan strength doctrines and tax reform. If Trump accomplishes these,m then you can say I support him. If he doesn’t, then you can not say that And so far, I am keeping an open miind, unlike reactionary liberals, much like the anti-Obama McConnell reactonary conservatives early in Obama’s term.

      • January 9, 2017 4:04 pm

        If the shoe doesn’t fit, you don’t have to wear it.

      • January 9, 2017 4:09 pm

        And I’m curious to know-
        If Trump was hired to coach your grand children’s girls’ soccer team, would you be giving him the benefit of the doubt depending on how many games they won?

      • January 9, 2017 5:24 pm

        Sorry Jay I am not going to get into this type of debate. Comparing grown women that can slap the shit out of someone for doing what Trump did and then file a llegal complaint to a kids soccer team is total stupidity. You outdid yourself on this one ! Once that debate starts we will have 1000 messages concerning multip!e individuals and their moral qualifications for whatever position they hold. Once again, I did not vote for Trump ! I can not do one damn thing about him being in office ! I can’t make policy ! So I refuse to debate for the next 4 years about his qualifications to be president. I refuse to get caught up in his unendless tweets. When the. time comes to vote again, then I will make my thoughts about him known just like I did this time around. Maybe next time the Libertarians will have a better ticket and get into the debates so we have a true choice and not the worst selections ever known to this country!

        What I will comment on is liberal/conservative positions like I did with Moogie. If Trump turns the country around, then that is when another evauation will occur.

      • January 9, 2017 6:51 pm

        Grown women? I guess this incident slipped your mind:

        Former teen beauty queens: “Trump barged in on us changing” | New …
        nypost.com/…/former-teen-beauty-queens-say-trump-barged-into-their-dressing room…
        Oct 12, 2016 –

        And this in corroboration of that kind of behavior::
        “I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed,” Trump told Howard Stern in a 2005 recording released by CNN.

        “No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. … ‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”

        And yes, there doesn’t appear to be anything we can do about his assuming office for the next 4 years, yet. But how does that obligate me or anyone else to ignore his past behavior, lies, deceits, boorishness – which all are continuing now? Do you see any indication that the office of the president is making him a better person?

        Like the ‘Furies’ – the Greek gods of wrath who RELENTLESSLY pursued those who have sworn false oaths – I’m going to continue to point out Trump’s character deficiencies for as long as he continues to act the fool, to lie, to deceive, to demean the nation and its highest elected office with blathering BS. Looks like that’s a four year certainty. .

      • January 9, 2017 10:35 pm

        Agree with these thoughts. Besides horribly low pay, our current world system is wasting alottttta resources shipping things all around the globe. But it starts with paying good wages to everyone – all around the world.

    • January 9, 2017 3:55 pm

      Moogie, I think that the millennial generation, to which my own kids belong, and maybe yours too, have been dealt the worst hand when it comes to economic opportunity. Of course, the middle class in general, regardless of generation or region, has been hit hard when it comes to wages and salaries, have seen their jobs disappear with no hope of coming back, and have seen their taxes and living expenses skyrocket as their incomes have nosedived. The burden of paying for a college education, which is still considered the benchmark of and prerequisite to a middle class lifestyle has stripped middle class parents of their retirement savings or saddled their kids with tens of thousands of $$ in debt before they can even begin a career, or both.

      So, my point, I guess, is that, despite the fact that I may have a belief that government is more often the cause of economic distress than the solution, I’m open to whatever works. And, what we’re doing now isn’t working. I don’t resent millionaires or billionaires ( I always hear Bernie’s accent when I type that) who have made their fortunes honestly, and I know that there are many who have not been honest….many politicians are dishonest millionaires, and not just the conservative ones.

      I agree with Ron that raising the minimum wage is a temporary fix, at best. Why not look to tax reform, regulatory reform, real healthcare reform, and other ways that the government can get out of the way of people and corporations that want to succeed?

      • January 9, 2017 10:50 pm

        Whatever means are necessary to fix this Income Inequality. And it is not the just the millennial generation, it started with those of us born in the 60s. I’m 53, and huge numbers of us didn’t make the middle class life style even with college degrees. Out here in Appalachia, my generation (born in the 60s & 70s) huge numbers didn’t make it to a solid middle class living. So their millennial children have not grown up middle class, and I suspect enormous numbers of them feel middle class is not achievable for them. To me, it would be no wonder that so many of them are “slackers”- although I don’t believe they slack any more than we did at the same age. Even a fair number of us with college degrees (me) aren’t going to be able to retire. I have retirement accounts that barely make any money every year.
        What is scary to me, and I suspect I am not the only one – is I wold be in a far worse fix if my mother couldn’t help me. If I didn’t own much of my working class grandparents furniture. I don’t think when they bought it that they meant for it to last 60+ years!! What will happen as my children and grandchildren will inherit nothing and I won’t be able to help them as I was helped?
        IMHO, the Greatest Generation was smart, fair and generous. But their children are retiring as the richest generation ever – after selling our jobs overseas and changing the laws to benefit themselves.
        I’ve never seen this as a Dem/Rep or lib/conserv problem…I see it as what is best for the nation,or the world as a whole. Some I conversed with see the years after WWII as an aberration, and now we must go back to the way it has always been – a few wealthy and huge numbers of poor – the way it has been thru out most of history. I am not satisfied with such thinking, for myself or my future generations.

      • January 10, 2017 12:31 pm

        And this is where those of us that believe what you just wrote can all be ca!led moderates, and the way we would fix the problem divides us between left and right. I agree with the issue of jobs going overseas, CEO’s putting emphasis on profits and the younger generations not having the same economic outlook that the Baby Boomers had. But why it happened and why we are at the current situation is so massive it would be impossible to list all the reasons. I would only suggest to look at the history of textiles and the history of steel and relate those two industries from their beginnings to now to see everything in manufacturing history repeats.

        So if you are a CEO, you will do what needs to be done to maximize profits, even moving jobs overseas or you will be fiired and replaced by someone who will. When the country has trade policies that benefit the foreign countries ( ie, allows currency manipulation making our products more costly in thier country and theirs cheeper here) then as a CEO you will move to that country and maximize sales in both.

        Blame our leadership for allowing China to manipulate their currency, demanding that Buick builds cars their and closing their ports to our products. With their currency and their demands, Buick builds all the Enclaves they can in China, costing jobs here., And to top it off, the only reason Government Motors is in business is due to the massive amount of money GM got from tax payers. How much of that really went to Americwn operations and how much to build that plant in China!

      • January 10, 2017 11:47 am

        I don’t disagree with you on some of the generalizations that you make about generations…for example, I do believe that the so-called Greatest Generation was smart fair and generous ~there’s a reason why they’re called the greatest. They also believed that there were things worth fighting for, they were, on the whole, religious and held Judeo-Christian beliefs, and thought that everyone was accountable under the rule of law . Their values are not today’s values. By today’s standards, many were neo-cons, racists and misogynists.

        And, I also agree with you, in general, about the Baby Boomer generation ~ Many hippies of the 60’s became the yuppies of the 70’s and began valuing an affluent lifestyle above all else. Not to mention that many of the leftist ideas of the 60’s have become mainstreamed into our culture today, i.e. that the US is racist, misogynist, imperialist, etc.

        So, we’ve arrived here in the 21st century, still fighting the culture wars of 50-60 years ago, while poverty and crime, particularly in cites and outlying rural areas continue unabated. The War of Poverty, begun in 1964? Still being debated, same old arguments, nothing working.

      • January 10, 2017 1:17 pm

        War ON Poverty.

  51. January 9, 2017 2:29 pm

    BLUSTERING BLOCKHEAD BULLY WATCH

    Itsy-Bitsy teeny weeny ego Trump, as dignified and Presidential as a pratfall in a mud pit, as thin skinned and predictable as a Banana Republic Tin Horn, was Tweeting from his Twitter-Brained Throne again today, stupidly insulting/denigrating Meryl Streep, as “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood…a Hillary flunky who lost big.”

    More goofball spite from an idiot with the arrested emotional development of a 12 year old. Dufus Donald immediately lit up social media with an avalanche of ridicule.. even his own Twitter account was overwhelmed with sneers galore.

    Among others that caught my amused eye was this comment by Gary Kasparov:

    “Trump has criticized: Republicans, Democrats, the Pope, US elections, CIA, FBI, NATO, Meryl Streep.
    Trump hasn’t criticized: Vladimir Putin.”

    And a reply from another responder: “That’s because little bullies are afraid of bigger bullies.”

    The Russians surely have something on Trump. If it’s not money, what can it be?

    • January 10, 2017 7:34 am

      Yawn. I have gotten to point that since Trump does something stupid every day…I am no longer going to give him the attention he craves by dignifying it with a response.

      Lets only respond after he’s taken office and actually legislated something we can’t live with.

      • January 10, 2017 10:50 am

        And miss the therapeutic fun of calling an asshole an asshole each day?

        But you do your thing, and I’ll do mine, like the wonderful Editorial Cartoonists at

        http://editorialcartoonists.com/index.cfm#top

        Putting your head under the pillow until the fire alarm sounds isn’t the best way to keep the house from burning down. And public outrage before a law is passed can often stop it from passing – like the Republican attempt to gut Ethics oversight.

      • January 11, 2017 11:42 am

        Ok, I should have said actually create a bill. He hasn’t even taken office yet, some folks are hyperventilating just on suspicion of what he might do. They won’t have any energy left to fight once they are needed.

        I have my own FB page “Where’s the Middle?” for political discussion, I get plenty of entertainment there. Anyone on FB can join us if you like.

      • January 11, 2017 12:41 pm

        More than just creating bills and laws at stake, Moogie.
        Tone and temprement and extra-judicial actions determine the course of government as well.

        Like Tiny Finger Prez Elect immediately terminating foreign US envoys:

        When you’re a spiteful little prick like Trump, that tone cascades through the government culture. A demoralized bureaucracy demoralizes the nation.

      • January 11, 2017 12:52 pm

        And then there’s this:
        http://gizmodo.com/trump-just-dismissed-the-people-in-charge-of-maintainin-1790908093

        It was a disaster for America to elect this bloviating Blustering BS artist. His post election antics and decisions continue to show what a smear this idiot will make across our once admirable history.

        Make America Great Again – Impeach the Dunce.

  52. January 10, 2017 8:30 pm

    RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING – the Plot Thickens

    (CNN)Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.”

    “The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/10/politics/donald-trump-intelligence-report-russia/index.html

    Additionally, Gen. John Kelly, Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, during his Senate confirmation hearing today, said that he accepted “with high confidence” the findings of the joint intelligence report released by the CIA, FBI and NSA that contended Putin was behind various hacking attacks throughout the 2016 race and that he meddled in the U.S. election to help Trump win.

    Even Shifty Sessions admitted under cross examination at his Senate confirmation hearing that Russian hacking was a ‘significant event.’

    To summarize: the Russians have likely been blackmailing Trump; Trump intermediaries were in contact with Russian intermediaries during the campaign; Trump lied about knowing about it; the Russians undermined Clinton and helped Trump; and Trumpbots like Priscilla doubts any of that is true because Putin hasn’t verified it personally.

    Stay tuned. CNN reported that the FBI has a list of the ‘alleged’ compromising info on Trump and may be sharing it with congressional security members.

    • January 10, 2017 10:33 pm

      Gary Kasparov, who for weeks has been predicting the Russians have something on Trump, says this today:

      “Trump’s attempts to discredit the US intel community are preparation for the revelations of compromising material.”

      “As with most disinformation, the goal is to create doubt and deniability, to cast evidence as personal or partisan, a post-truth world.”

      “If Putin has compromising leverage over Trump, as seems likely, it will be about the things Trump cares about, money & perception of riches.”

      Which returns us to this basic question: Why won’t Trump release his taxes?

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 10, 2017 10:42 pm

      Not a surprise. Where is an insider knowledgeable in the intelligence business when we need one. I ain’t, but both sides do gather dirt on each other and on their friends. Puhleez, You gather all the information you can get, use it or squirrel it away for another day to be used as a wedge or a cudgel (Hoover was a master at that). We Americans are so naive, while the Russians, Iranians, Israelis and many others, have been playing the game for a very long time.
      Does the name Merkel ring a bell, and you can believe we have a big book on Putin.
      BTW: Sometimes one side’s dirt neutralizes the other side’s dirt.
      As has been pointed out by the intelligence folks, we are good at offense but not so good on defense. We need to do better and fast.

      • January 10, 2017 10:57 pm

        But don’t you want to know what the Russians may have on Trump?
        And if that explains his touting of them and Putin?

      • January 10, 2017 11:01 pm

        If Trump hid compromising info in his taxes from public scrutiny that indicated the Russians could manipulate him, could that be cause for impeachment?

      • January 10, 2017 11:03 pm

        And if he was impeached would he executive produce a reality TV series about it?

    • January 10, 2017 11:01 pm

      Is this new or is it the same story that has been going on since before the election? There were multiple reports starting about 2-3 weeks before the election that Russia had dope on Trump about a compromising position he was in and could have financial imp!ications as well. Check out those reports and let me know. Thanks

      • January 10, 2017 11:09 pm

        Apparently it’s verification of those news stories.

        The intelligence community had enough suspicion the charges needed to be taken seriously that they told Trump and Obama about them.

        Where there’s smoke, there’s Trump Tweeting distractions, as he just did, claiming he doesn’t remember being informed. And that it’s just another witch hunt.

        Let’s see how he deals with that at his press conference, assuming he still goes thru with it.

      • January 10, 2017 11:16 pm

        the allegations that Russia has compromising Trump info may be just that, allegations, but the intelligence people were specific in testifying, under oath, it was based on reliable operatives they trustedmejoughntomtakenthe allegations seriously.

      • January 10, 2017 11:17 pm

        Sorry for typo.. trusted enough to take the allegations seriously

      • January 10, 2017 11:30 pm

        Ron, it’s the same, unverified stuff that’s been out there for months. Mother Jones already reported on it, but could not verify. Hillary’s campaign had it, and could not verify.

        A final Hail Mary smear job before the inauguration.

        http://www.dailywire.com/news/12313/hours-trumps-press-conference-cnn-and-buzzfeed-hit-john-nolte

      • January 10, 2017 11:38 pm

        The information about Trump advisors having contact and ties with the Russians government was filtering through the news media back in October. Harry Reid had sent a letter to James Comey complaining about the FBI withholding that information from the public about it, while releasing negative information about Hillary. Comey got a snide sneering laugh at the hearing today, when one of the senators asked him what kind of compromising information he was talking about, and Comey said it was not FBI policy to publicly discuss ongoing investigations.

      • January 10, 2017 11:46 pm

        It was unverified by Mother Jones, etc, Priscilla, because THEY didn’t have access to the intelligence files.

        But the intelligence agencies are saying the info is coming from reliable sources, including one high level contact they have relied on for years who has proved to be accurate in the past, and whose foreign sources were also verified as accurate and reliable.

        Do you think our intelligence agencies would intentionally lie to Obama, Trump, and congress? You’re denials are getting more and more ridiculous.

      • January 11, 2017 1:10 am

        I would not be surprised if they verify the rumors of sexual activities that took place in Russia and the Russians taped it and are now holding it over his head. I would be more surprised if it had something to do with financial dealings, although one report in “The Guardian” gives a very detailed description of what took place including financial dealings and campaign attacks to misdirect attention from Ukraine and Crimea. In fact McCain had information on this issue and gave that to Comey. McCain wanted a special senate committee to investigate the issue since he did not want it to look like sour grapes with himself heading the senate committee responsible for intelligence, but asshole McConnell refused his request, so they are handling the investigation through that committee and has received a short classified letter outlining the issues being investigated as has the gang of 8 senators involved with this issue.

        So it may not be long until whatever happened comes out. Could be Mike Spence becomes 45 and not Trump if everything comes out before the 20th. And before you comment, check back on articles Rick has posted in the past and you will find comments from me about how incompetent I believe McConnell is and how he and Boehner screwed up after getting control. Anyone in the senate long enough to become majority leader is either so old they are senile or they are totally incompetent to do anything else.

        So now I will wait to see what happens since anything that comes out will be more hearsay until the FBI releases its report

      • January 11, 2017 12:27 am

        OK, the stories are obviously false.

        The WSJ reports one of the alleged blackmailable improprieties the Russians may have is evidence of Trump cavorting with prostitutes.

        The Donald, who assures us of his charismatic and virile celebrity, doesn’t have to pay for sex. A little grab here, a Tic Tac there, and women just fall into his arms.

        I apologize for doubting him. And I’m sure he isn’t financially indebted to the Russians, anymore.

  53. dduck12 permalink
    January 11, 2017 12:51 am

    After all this time, what’s the difference? Whether he went out one night and grabbed some squirrel (can’t say p____) or he screwed some contractor or cheated on his taxes or used his Foundation to give jobs to his pals. Who cares, we have more on Putin. Trump is in for four. If he even manages to do one out of five things right and doesn’t mess up health care too much, he will will be in for eight- oh with pardon power.

    • January 11, 2017 1:32 am

      It is well known in politics that you want any crisis early in an administration as the public has a very short memory. This is about as early as one can make it.

    • January 11, 2017 10:00 am

      That is for sure. The report says that Russia has been cultivating Trump for five years, which seems a bit strange to me, since it also says that they considered him a fringe candidate.

      Also, it seems odd that Trump would fire Paul Manafort, if in fact, Manafort was his main surrogate to the Russians. The report says that Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen was the replacement surrogate. Cohen has vehemently denied this, and says that the meeting in Prague, at which he allegedly met with Russian operatives, not only never took place, but that he has never been to Prague in his life.

      So, I would hope that none of this is true. I would also hope that, if any of it were verifiable, our intelligence agencies would have made sure that this was done some time ago, since they’ve had the information, such as it is, since at least the summer.

      The allegations are extremely serious. Extremely. And, if they are false, and the CIA leaked this info to exact revenge on Trump for disparaging their report on Russian election interference, that is extremely serious as well. Either way, the sh*t has hit the fan.

      I have no problem with President Mike Pence.

      • January 11, 2017 10:31 am

        I’d have multiple problems with an ultra conservative President Pence. But they pale in comparison with an ultra unhinged President Trump.

    • January 11, 2017 10:09 am

      There’s going to be an unending stream ( ha, more on that next) of pee-pee about Trump that won’t cease for as long as he’s in office. He’s the gift that will keep giving, because in addition to the deep well of malfeasance that will accompany his Kleptocracy, he will keep making enemies with outlandish statements, and his lifetime of questionable business deals and associations and conduct will bubble up in oily regularity.

      It’s poetic justice, really. The creepy rumor monger who was only too happy to spread Birther charges at Obama and false insinuations about Hillary’s health and innuendoes about her fidelity is getting smacked back with damning charges of treason and perversion.

      Today social media is filled with leaks about Pee-Pee Gate, and Golden Showers, and the Piss Poor President Elect. If you haven’t heard yet, here’s a link for enlightenment.

      https://claytoonz.com/2017/01/11/golden-showers/

  54. January 11, 2017 11:57 am

    Lordy my head is gonna spin off.

    When he and Ted Cruz bragged about their man parts you would think more people would have been sickened. I grew up in the 70s I’m hardly a prude. But I don’t want to see my leaders act like they are on SNL…even if they are on SNL. There are (or were) limits.

    But noooooooo that just proves what a real guy he is…

    Trumpers don’t care. They have proven that again and again. This scandal won’t amount to any more than any of the other shameful things he’s done. And remember, he was put there by “Christians”. Not my kind of Christians, but people who loudly proclaim they are.

    Reaching new lows every day.

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 12, 2017 1:11 am

      Jay, you mentioned President Pence, above: http://wishtv.com/2017/01/10/pence-pet-names-grab-internet-attention/
      -Hard to converse with this reply system-

      • January 12, 2017 11:25 am

        Thanks for the link.
        trump will be the first president NOT to have a pet.
        Nor is there any record of him ever having any as an adult.
        I’ll bet dogs instinctively growl at him.

        Reply on the WordPress blog is wacky.
        I get the email notifications of comment replies.
        Generally the first time I click it to reply from the email, it kicks me to the top of the article page, not to the comment box. Then I shut down the New Moderate site, reclick the email Reply link, and it works the second time. Annoying, but easier than scrolling down to find the comment.

      • January 12, 2017 1:37 pm

        And just how many people that live in the bowels of NYC have a dog? Guess he has enough money to hire a full time dog walker, but if your a dog, would you want to live in that mess? Some dogs are smarter than people and understand the importance of open spaces.

        As for wordpress, everyone is different. When I click reply, I always get the article page first, then it goes to the comments. If I get to fast and press any key before it completes accessing the comments, it locks up on the article page, so I have to start over.

        And yes this is much easier, especially when something has over 1000 comments like the last article Rick posted.

      • January 12, 2017 2:06 pm

        Got you on the first click this time, Ron, to let you know this:

        Based on our analysis, we estimate that there are approximately 1.1 million pets in the City (600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats), or an ownership rate of about one pet for every three households.

        That pet ownership includes statistics for large numbers of poor tenement dwellers who cant afford food for themselves, let alone pets ( pet food ineligible expense for those on Food stamps etc.)!

        http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-york-city-s-pet-population

        Trump doesn’t like dogs. He won’t even sip communion wine or bar mitzva shnaps. But he may like to pee on prostitutes (unconfirmed). Our next President. Doesn’t he make you proud to be an American, 🇺🇸

      • January 12, 2017 2:29 pm

        OK here is something right up your alley. According the a number of conservative news sites, Mother Jones News is one of the most liberal around.

        From 2015 well before anything came out about Trump and Russia.
        http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/12/donald-trump-germaphobe

        Most people in this category would not owns dogs either.

      • January 12, 2017 4:05 pm

        germaphobia is an obsessive-compulsive disorder:

        OCD is believed to be caused by an abnormality in the brain’s circuitry. Brain scans show brain activity is different in people with OCD. Google it for confirmation. Trump definitely has a brain abnormality, obvious to anyone with normal brain activity.

        Germaphobes act on irrational fears, not on knowledge. That’s Trump in a NUTshell.
        Saddam Hussein, who reportedly often ordered visitors to strip and wash with antibacterial soap was a Germaphobe too – wasn’t he another tryant Trump admires?

        Germaphobe or not, dogs probably still growl at Dingy Donald, sensing something wrong is going on under the orange hair comb over.

  55. January 11, 2017 3:37 pm

    Whether the allegations against Trump are true or fabricated, I’m afraid his credibility as a leader is shot. He’s like a crumbling old house that would cost more to repair than replace. He already had half the country in derangement mode… and now THIS. How will he govern with all the hatred, rumors and ridicule weighing him down?

    I’ve suspected all along that his unnaturally cozy relationship with Russia might have stemmed from a need to avoid blackmail… but I assumed that he was simply deep in debt to them. I wonder how cozy he’d get with Russia to avoid public disgrace?

    The sad thing is that most of us can too readily picture Trump cavorting with Russian call girls, even if we’d rather not. He always did have a thing for Slavic women.

    • January 11, 2017 3:54 pm

      Rick, you over estimate the American citizens. If this is found to be untrue, like Cohen being in Prague, then in a few short months it will be forgotten and the media will be attacking him on another subject. Once the immigration changes heat up, tax changes heat up and Obamacare is repealed, Americans will forget this in a heatbeat. And if he is effective in any one of these, he will be hard to defeat in 2020.

      Now, how about a conversation on the “border tax” where he cost of goods sold is deductible if produced in America, but it is not if produced in a. foreign country.

    • January 11, 2017 6:09 pm

      Rick, the people who hate Trump would not be convinced if angels from on high fluttered down and testified to his patriotism. Jay would probably call them Russian hookers…….

      As the press conference was proceeding, NBC broke the news that the report published by Buzzfeed and reported by CNN , was, in fact, only included in the intelligence briefing as an example of misinformation that can result when relying on private, paid sources, such as Trump’s own investigators. In other words, the CIA was showing Trump that this was all untrue, and that they knew it, so maybe he shouldn’t be so quick to disparage them.

      In other words, the whole thing was nothing but a sleazy hit job. Bush never pushed back on these things, but Trump pushes back hard. That’s not a bad thing.

      The thing is that Obama never had to answer for anything. Or not much, anyway. Maybe the closest was when it became clear that Obamacare was a failure, and many news sources ran stories on “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” lie. But, it was too little, too late anyway. Obama paid no political price within his own party for being too cozy with Iran, for exacerbating racial divisions, for lying about Benghazi, for destroying his own party’s Congressional majorities, for essentially ignoring the VA scandal, not to mention the IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)3 groups, for establishing his own extra-constitutional standard for passing his own laws, and more.

      Ron is right. If Trump is successful in his economic agenda, no one will even remember this episode. I’m not saying that Trump’s gonna have it easy, not by a long shot. Look at how Reagan was treated during his presidency. But, he’s gonna have to actually screw up…libelous phony hit jobs won’t do it.

      • dduck12 permalink
        January 11, 2017 11:41 pm

        Hope News Flash: Bull (and we do not mean the four legged type) in China and other shops including the one where they sell the dolls one inside the other, will not destroy everything.

      • January 12, 2017 11:17 am

        I’m not saying that (whatever that is, dd!)

        But a free press is very powerful, as it should be, and with great power comes great responsibility.

      • January 12, 2017 1:44 pm

        As of this morning, no other news media has verified the NBC story or sources.

        It CONTRADICTS What the heads of the three intelligence agencies said under oath. They attributed the intel to reliable sources, and reported the raw data was ‘credible’ enough to investigate. The investigation HASNT been closed, nor has anyone in charge said it will be.

        That was evident at Comey’s testimony yesterday when he didn’t rule out (or confirm) if an investigation was ongoing concerning improper Trump campaign contact with Russia. But Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested the intelligence community WAS investigating possible coordination between the presidential campaigns and Moscow.

        And No one except Trump has officially stated any of the charges are FAKE, only that they are unsubstantiated at this time.

        That’s what Clapper told Trump in his phone call to him last night,
        that the intelligence agencies have “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.” But neither did he say it was unreliable or false. Understand? They still are vetting the information, because some of it may be credible!

        Trump lied when he said he was exonerated at the press conference, and in subsequent tweets. He also LIED, again yesterday when he said he had no business dealings with the Russians – or his son lied when he said at a real estate conference in 2008 that “a lot of money” was “pouring in from Russia.”

        You know from his past lies Trump is a liar who lies whenever it’s convenient, so why are you deluding yourself into thinking he’s telling the truth now? Did you believe him when he suggested Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination? Talk about Fake News!

        I doubt the urinating prostitutes story is true, but then again it may be. Would you be surprised if it turned out to be true, after his pussy groping admission on tape and walking into Beauty contest dressing rooms as he admitted on live radio? But the other charges – of Putin having blackmail worthy information about Trump, of business dealings, loans, future considerations for Trump family business, and improper contact of Trump intermediaries with Russians during the campaign, that is believable and has not been discounted by our intelligence community, or by Brittish intelligence networks, who are cited in BBC and other English media yesterday and today as also believing the allegations are credible – meaning worthy of perusing.

        But that won’t be happening here much longer. Trump like his hero Russian autocrat will soon be taking over our intelligence apparatus with appointments loyal to him. Soon his people will be running the FBI, CIA, DOD, IRS, Treasury, NSA – and of course the Military. And like Putkin, Trump is discrediting the press, in typical tyrant fashion, so that legitimate stories of his malfeasance won’t be believed.

        You’re already a victim of that Trumpian mind set, Priscilla, inaccurately lumping CNN with BuzzFeed as you did. CNN reported True News, that the raw intelligence file was presented to Obama and Trump, and the BuzzFeed was publishing the raw, unconfirmed contents. How is that fake news? And the CIA DID NOT tell or show Trump the allegations were untrue – that’s your opinion, in effect Fake News you’re spreading.

        Trump lies to America over and over. And you voted for him anyway. He told the American people he’d show us his taxes once elected, but now says he won’t – a lie you don’t care enough to call him out on it. And he continues to lie, and you continue to make excuses for them

        Again, shame on you.

      • January 12, 2017 2:23 pm

        I know your answer already since you will do anything to undermine Trump, but does it not concern you that everyone appointed by Obama as leaders of intelligence are making public statements on anything they are investigating?

        If they can do this, could it not be it gets to the point that the police can accuse Jay for sexual misconduct with a minor and begin talking in public about evidence they have obtained before it is checked out and before Jay even gets arrested? Could Jay ever recover his reputation even if nothing is proven and it never gets to court? Would people stop talking about Jay being arrested for sex with an underage girl and how would that impact Jays ability to get a job in a school or a law enforcement agency later?

        I don’t give a rats ass who it is, this is a slippery slope we are on. This information should not be discussed by covert law enforcement agencies of the USA in any manner, no matter what dirt rag or reputable news agency reports it. If it is released, it should be by the President, the Attorney General or some other official that is in a position under that agency.

      • January 12, 2017 3:45 pm

        I agree balance is needed.

        But the only Obama intelligence appointee who released information about an ongoing investigation directly was Comey and that helped cause Clinton’s defeat.

        So answer this hypothetical – hard evidence shows up next month that Trump is highly indebted financially to the Russians, and that his people in fact illegally met with Russian operatives during the campaign. But the now Republican dominated bureaucracy, and the President as well, refuses to accept that evidence, and orders the agency or agencies who have it, to bury the information? Should they follow orders? Or leak the info to congress and the press?

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 12, 2017 1:16 am

      Rick, all: we are taking the Russians word on this? I wouldn’t believe them if they said the sun was shining on a bright day. Show me the proven undoctored tape and I will pay greater attention at that time. Anyway, it was probably for medical purposes, see above.

  56. January 12, 2017 2:06 pm

    After listening to many comments by reporters, listening to Trump and his reactions to the leaks concerning issues with Russia and reading information on how the intelligence community has handled the current dossier on Trump, I find it troubling how all of this has gone down.

    We have a PAC or some other political group that hires a private contractor to dig up dirt on a candidate. (They all do this so it is not just a Trump issue during campaign.) This private contractor puts together unsubstantiated information and releases it to news agencies in the middle of summer 2016. Most reliable news agencies, even the Huff Post, do not run anything since they can not find support for the information and past reports by this individual who obtained the information has been proven to be unreliable in some of his other cases. This information is shared with senators and McCain shares with the intelligence community who does not do anything at that time (as far as we know now). Buzzfeed runs with the story, CNN runs with their story and now all crap hits the fan. CIA and DNI along with the FBI and all the alphabet soup agencies jump in and finally make reports to the President and President-Elect, all while releasing information to the public on unsubstantiated information.

    1, I thought the only information that the intelligence operatives shared in Presidential briefings was substantial information with some basis for accuracy. 2. Russia has to be cheering as to the ease of manipulating our political systems and spies where rumors of something makes for headline news for days, and as Rick commented, might make Trump much weaker in his ability to lead and respond to Russian actions for the next 4 years. 3. Even though employees of intelligence agencies have political beliefs, should they be allowed to manipulate news as it has been these past few days?

    No matter your political positions, if you think Trump is an ass and unqualified or not, one has to be concerned when we can no longer be confident our intelligence community can be trusted to handle situations in a non political manner and keep information secret until it is proven beyond a doubt in their minds that something is true before it is leaked. And even then, a leak should not come from those organizations.

    One has to wonder if they begin leaking info on a President, whose next?

    • January 12, 2017 2:25 pm

      “Almost all the reports I’ve read contradict this:

      “past reports by this individual who obtained the information has been proven to be unreliable in some of his other cases.”

      In fact he has track record for reliable information.

      “The Reuters news agency, citing former British intelligence officials, reports that Steele supplied the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at Fifa, international soccer’s governing body.

      It was his work on corruption in football that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, US officials said on Wednesday.

      According to reports, in the summer of 2010, members of a New York-based FBI squad assigned to investigate “Eurasian Organised Crime” met Steele in London to discuss allegations of possible corruption in Fifa, the Swiss-based body that also organises the World Cup tournament.”

      That led to successful prosecution of FIFA personnel.

      Question: What if some of the allegations are true, and Russia has something on Trump they can use to manipulate him? Isn’t that a matter of national security that should concern our intelligence community?

      • January 12, 2017 2:34 pm

        “Question: What if some of the allegations are true, and Russia has something on Trump they can use to manipulate him? Isn’t that a matter of national security that should concern our intelligence community?”

        So it is fine with you that the intelligence community is leaking information?

        I have a problem with that, but then I am old school and don’t think Americans have a right to know everything our spies and covert operations are doing.

      • January 12, 2017 4:11 pm

        You avoided answering the question.

        If a sitting president is a threat to our national security, and security agencies whose sworn duty is to protect the nation know that, what should they do?

        Take some time to reread the oath all those agents take upon assuming those jobs – nowhere does it say they have an obligation to serve president over nation.

      • January 12, 2017 2:46 pm

        Republicans were asking the very same questions regarding Hillary’s missing emails. As in “what if the Russians hacked her server and can prove the the Clinton Foundation was involved in pay-to-play?” There are many, still are, who believe that that’s why she deleted those 33,000 emails about her “yoga routines and Chelsea’s wedding.”

        So, it appears that leaking is good if we hate the person who’s being leaked against, and bad if we like that person? That classified info can be shared with people who have no security clearance, as long as the average Joe thinks it’s a good idea?

        A very slippery slope indeed, if the intelligence agencies can be a shadow government, and use their information to manipulate government leaders. Why does the name J. Edgar Hoover spring to my mind?

    • January 12, 2017 8:25 pm

      Whamo, good take RP.

  57. January 12, 2017 11:42 pm

    Jay, for god’s sake, man. Get a grip!

    If the Intelligence Community believes that it is in possession of hard evidence that a sitting president has betrayed his oath of office, they bring it to the Congress and Congress impeaches and removes the president. Have you ever read the Constitution?

    How does leaking information to the press beforehand help? It’s purely political….if there is a crime being committed, or if, as you believe, the president elect is a puppet of the Russians (hard to believe that a puppet would nominate a notorious Russia hawk to be SecDef and another to be CIA chief, but whatever), impeachment hearings, formal impeachment, and a Senate trial is how that is resolved. The press has responsibility for covering all of those things, but it is not the job of the CIA or of the press to actually remove the president.

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 13, 2017 12:12 am

      Yup, Priscilla.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 13, 2017 11:46 am

        Yes Priscilla.

    • January 13, 2017 1:46 am

      First off, none of the intelligence agencies leaked the report to the press. The press in fact knew about the dossier months before the intelligence agencies did. Nor did those agencies leak or release the dossier or any of its contents to congress; it was the other way round: McCain who got a copy from his own investigative source, turned it over to the FBI.

      The three agencies, after examining the information and finding its author and the sources mentioned ‘credible’ began investigating the claims. That was only a few months ago, not enough time to verify or disprove them. Even though the investigation was ongoing, they provided the dossier claims in an addendum to the overall report on Russian hacking, in briefings to Obama and Trump. Numerous news organization were asking questions about the dossier and they alerted Trump of that fact. They didn’t release ANY statements about it until after BuzzFeed released a story with particular details, and CNN verified Trump and Obama had been notified, and that only AFTER lying Trump said he never was told about the dossier.

      So what exactly is your complaint about their actions? What did they do wrong?

      • January 13, 2017 1:58 am

        And by the way, with all the denials from Trump he’s guilty of any of the charges labeled at him in the report, he slipped in a retraction on his often reiterated BS statements that Russia’s was not behind the DNC hacking. Now he admits they hacked the election. Eventually he’ll have to admit he’s ass deep in debt and other obligations as well, because that information will come out, if not from our own intelligence agencies, then from Britain or France, who are also investigating Trumps ties to Russia, and recognize that as a danger to their security as well.

        By the way Oriscilla, now that Trump has accepted Russian involvement in the hacking, are you going to be an obedient lockstep Trumpster and finally admit it too?

      • January 13, 2017 2:12 am

        Sorry for misspelling your name Priscilla… typing on a mobile keypad ..

      • January 13, 2017 10:18 am

        No problem, Jay ~ I think we’re all pretty comfortable with misspellings and other typos. “Oriscilla” ~ perhaps you were thinking that I was like an oracle 😉

        Yes, I was happy to see that Trump finally accepted that the Russians were the likely perpetrators of much of the hacking and phishing that produced the DNC/Podesta leaks. I don’t know if that will entirely smooth over some of the animosity that he obviously has toward the intelligence community (and vice-versa), but I would hope so. It does none of us any good if our intelligence leaders are actively pursuing a political agenda other than that of the best interests of the country.

        I also watched some of the confirmation hearings of Mattis and Pompeo, and they were unequivocal in their belief that we should not trust Putin. Tillerson, who was somewhat more equivocal, got quite a grilling by Marco Rubio. I do think that businessmen like Trump and Tillerson are well served by the advice of more seasoned foreign policy experts…but it’s not a bad idea to have some “creative tension” in an administration.

        And, I was interested to see that Obama finally discovered some immigrants and refugees that he doesn’t want and will deport immediately ~ Cubans, fleeing the oppressive Raul Castro communist regime. We’re friends with Castro now, so we’ll send those people right back, unless they can “prove” that they’re refugees. I wonder what the standard of proof will be?

      • January 13, 2017 11:12 am

        “It does none of us any good if our intelligence leaders are actively pursuing a political agenda other than that of the best interests of the country.”

        Before you ~rightfully~ call me out on that one, let me say that it also does none of us any good if our president is actively pursuing a vendetta against the intelligence agencies. I don’t believe that that will be the case, but, if it is, we all pay the price. The leaking has to stop, regardless of who it’s hurting or helping, the intelligence community has to do its work through the appropriate channels. and, if they do, the president needs to respect that.

  58. January 13, 2017 12:36 am

    Jay, I think it is time you put your excess anti-trump energy to good use and stop trying to convert many of us here. I don’t think you are accomplishing much at this end other than to frustrate yourself because there are no converts.

    I found this looking for something else and thought about you. This is something you can join in on and make a positive impact for California.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/21/anti-trump-californians-launch-campaign-secede/

    • January 13, 2017 2:08 am

      I’m not trying to convert you Ron, I’m providing counter arguments in opposition. As the lyrics state : time will tell, just who has fell, and who has been left behind, as you go your way, and I go mine…

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 13, 2017 11:51 am

      Yes Ron

  59. Pat Riot permalink
    January 13, 2017 11:54 am

    Thank you Priscilla for continuing to be able to look at various sides of issues. It makes a person interested in what you are currently thinking!

  60. Mike Hatcher permalink
    January 13, 2017 1:17 pm

    Present. Working my full time job with overtime and now what I call my “part time job” of walking on a treadmill, weight lifting, and meticulously monitoring what I eat. Then trying to find time for proper rest. Maybe I’ll be able to comment with some political substance the weekend , maybe not, but I am reading everyone’s comments.

  61. January 13, 2017 5:05 pm

    I don’t want to interupt this discussion about intelligence(?), but something has occurred that is now going to absorb all the energy of the media and congress for most of 2017. The house just voted to open the way to repeal and replace Obamacare, so the GOP officially owns healthcare as of today.

    So now the work begins. Where the Democrats can act and know they have a 99% support rate from their members that allowed the ACA to pass, the gop now has to come up with a plan that many want that includes preexisting conditions and child coverage until 26 under certain conditions, while eliminating the mandate that healthy individuals have coverage to spread the risks and no taxes to pay for any cost to cover preexisting conditions. Everyone should expect that 0 democrats in the house will vote for anything and Ryan will have to meet the demands of multiple wings of his party.

    There are two outcomes possible. One, Ryan will become the greatest Speaker in history and get the votes for a replacement plan or two, the GOP will screw themselves and the country and argue their way to defeat in 2018 and 2020 since the extreme right of the party will never accept anything with taxes or increased deficit.

    I suspect #2 will occur.

    • January 13, 2017 9:33 pm

      How about that – we agree.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 13, 2017 10:10 pm

      Regarding repeal / replacement of the Unaffordable Healthcare Act, I suspect there will be alternate options / compromises / deals we haven’t considered yet. For instance, we might fly in Russian doctors who will charge half price, haha just kidding. But serious on the first part.

  62. January 13, 2017 9:32 pm

    John Kasich: “We must find in ourselves once again the courage to stand up for our values internationally”

    http://time.com/4632812/john-kasich-nato-allies/?xid=tcoshare

    • January 13, 2017 10:14 pm

      This is an interesting time given the congressional actions just completed on Obamacare and the fact Trump has surrounded himself with advisors and cabinet members that could be considered hawks on defense and support for allies. Either there is going to be a tremendous shift in our foreign policies and defense spending or a mass exodus of advisors from Trumps inner circle when none of their recommendations are followed. In about 6 months we will begin to see what the path will be.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 13, 2017 10:42 pm

        Hopefully not a new war, or escalation of current wars. War could / would of course expand U.S. high-tech manufacturing and create many new jobs. That could be part of the deal with Lockheed Martin and others to drop prices…don’t worry boys there will be plenty of orders coming in. I hope not, but I think in terms of possibilities.

  63. Pat Riot permalink
    January 13, 2017 10:53 pm

    Surrounding himself with generals and other hawkish types obviously fits with plans of war. Or the hawkish build up is used as leverage in negotiating because Trump has been portraying himself as a loose cannon, and this makes people around the world nervous, which can be a better bargaining strategy than past apologizing and trying to play the “light on the hill”

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 14, 2017 1:01 am

      PR, Sometimes generals are LESS likely to want to go to war unlike those that have not seen the results of war.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 14, 2017 10:12 am

        dduck, that’s a good point, the one about a general being against going to war because they know the horror of it, and I’m sure several of them have children and grand children, and so have additional personal reasons for wanting armed conflict to be avoided.

        So that is a very real possibility, what you say, that a military man could actually be a protection from conflict. All of us here know some things in life are counter-intuitive like that.

        But at least from the outside looking in, as from viewpoints around the world, when the appointees have rows of medals pinned on their uniforms, it is certainly understandable that it is worrisome, especially hearing “he’s like Patton” or a “modern-day Patton” or “mad-dog,” and I’ll be hardcore here: especially with older men who…let’s say don’t feel glory or performance like they could…achieve…when they were younger, haha. It is said old men start wars because they can’t get it up anymore.

        I wonder if Trump’s military men fall into a sort of clique or tacit network within the military. I know that when I was in the U.S. Navy Seabees during the 1990s there was already a “schism” between the “old school military” and the new, watered-down military, evidenced in many ways, such as–and I’m not fibbing here with the following examples…instead of using gas masks and actual gas in training as had been done for years, because someone had sued, they were just using Ben Gay to simulate an odor to be avoided ( I witnessed that) and we heard about yellow cards that boys in boot camp could hold up to silence a drill instructor if the recruit felt he was being stressed (fellow soldiers swear it’s true), and there was much talk about whether one would obey a “blue helmet” (U.N.) or not. And I saw sadly how difficult jobs and tasks were assigned to contractors while U.S. servicemen handled the wimpy routine admin, which was part of the reason I got out. And so Imagine Trump’s selections would be part of an old school uprising, and I would welcome that short of war, but I don’t know if they follow a pattern like that or not.

        Or it is at least a negotiating tool (a dangerous bluff) as I was saying before. How can we know? It would take some probing into these men’s lives, interviews with people who know them, a look at their past history–not what they SAY, but the track record of what they have done, and that would give us a clue, but would we know with any confidence, because we have all been surprised by people who don’t do what we expect them to do.

    • January 14, 2017 2:08 am

      “Surrounding himself with generals and other hawkish types obviously fits with plans of war.”

      Or more likely fits his insecure paranoid psychological profile.

      He fired the D.C. National Guard Chief days before the Inauguration, for no apparent reason. Rumors have been surfacing in the press that he’s replacing or integrating his Secret Service contingent with his own security people. He told NBC’s Matt Lauer that the current legion of generals under President Obama were “a pile of rubble” and that once he was President “they’d probably be different generals.” Typical reactions of a paranoid personality.

      • January 14, 2017 12:15 pm

        “Or more likely fits his insecure paranoid psychological profile.”

        That’s just ridiculous, Jay. First of all, you have no idea what his “psychological profile” is. Secondly, given the sort of attacks that he has had to sustain and overcome since the election, he would be crazy NOT to think that there are many who are trying to destroy him.

        And OBAMA removed the head of the D.C. National Guard, effective as of the minute Trump takes the oath of office. Reminder: until sometime early on January 20th, Obama is still the CinC. Trump has no power to fire anyone until he becomes president.

        Although the timing is curious, given that there is reason to believe that protesters plan to riot at the inagural ceremony. Maybe Obama’s idea of a smooth transition?

      • January 14, 2017 1:23 pm

        Ah, sorry to see you have short circuited your brain with false assumptions once again. It was a Trump Campaign decision to Terminate him.

        Maybe you knew this but in your zeal to defend Trump forgot how it works. As is customary for all presidential appointees, the General submitted a letter of resignation to the incoming administration. All resignations are effective at 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day. That’s what the General who was originally appointed by Bush did when Obama became president, submitted the letter. Also customary is a quick acceptance if the position is not going to be renewed.

        The Trump administration waited until two days ago to notify the General he was being replaced. No explanation offered from Trump people for failure to renew.

        If you haven’t recognized Trump is mentally unstable by now by presidential standards, you’re a hopeless conservative Pollyanna who actually believes he’s competent to govern rationally, which makes you judgmentally unstable.

        As to me having “no idea what his “psychological profile” is,” I guess these psychologists and psychiatrists have no idea either:

        http://www.mediaite.com/online/pysiatric-professors-wonder-if-trump-is-mentally-ill-call-for-neuropsychiatric-evaluation/

        I’d link to dozens more if WordPress allowed it. The consensus opinion is that he suffers from “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder.” Or translated to layman terms, a loud mouth thin-skinned asshole who can’t abide any criticism or admit mistakes. And you yourself don’t disagree with that assessment, right?

      • January 14, 2017 1:34 pm

        That should be ‘a quick notification’

      • January 14, 2017 1:37 pm

        Trump NPD bait –

      • January 14, 2017 1:40 pm

        Ah, we’re both wrong.

        ““Major General Schwartz is a non-career status political appointee. As such he has tendered his resignation that will be effective January 20th,” Major Jamie Davis, a Department of Defense spokesman told WUSA9. “This is standard procedure for political appointees…

        In an interview with the Washington Post, Major General Errol Schwartz seemed to suggest he’d been pushed out of the job, to which he was first appointed to by George W. Bush in 2008, by the incoming administration.

        But interviews with senior transition sources and defense department officials suggest the timing of Schwartz departure – 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day – was his own choice.”

        http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/commander-of-dc-national-guard-to-step-down-during-inauguration/385984018

        The guy is 65, wanted to resign ~ no one fired him. Trump accepted his resignation as of 12:01 pm on 1/20/17. His replacement has been chosen. Such intense drama over everything!

        I think that one of the most valuable traits that a moderate can have is the humility to know what s/he does not know. I don’t believe that Donald Trump has been psychoanalyzed or diagnosed by anyone who knows him personally, and those who offer armchair diagnoses have their own very partisan and/or paranoid agendas.

      • January 14, 2017 3:03 pm

        If the General said in no uncertain terms he “was pushed out” does that sound like someone who wanted to resign? Why would you believe contrary reports from unnamed sources?

        And if a serial killer brutally butchered 15 people you don’t have to wait for psychiatrists to sit him down for a clinical examination to declare him deranged. The behavior declares it. You think Trump’s exhaustive exhibited unstable inability to take criticism shows soundness of mind – for a president? Stop rationalizing/apologizing for him. He was/is a HORRIBLE choice for President.

      • January 14, 2017 8:19 pm

        Oh good lord, Jay. “In an interview with the Washington Post, Major General Errol Schwartz seemed to suggest he’d been pushed out of the job” does not mean that he said in no uncertain terms hat he had been pushed out. It means that the Washington Post distorted and spun his words to mean something that he did not mean.

        As it turns out, he had tendered his resignation twice this year, prior to this one.

        The liberal/left freakout continues. Carry on, it seems to make you feel better.

      • January 14, 2017 10:05 pm

        I didn’t see the quote where he tried to resign twice. Can you link to it please.

  64. Pat Riot permalink
    January 13, 2017 10:54 pm

    Not endorsing reckless saber rattling, just observing and making educated guesses

    • January 14, 2017 9:27 pm

      Priscilla runs the table, again.
      P. S. I’ve known some shrinks, but not as a patient, and they can be as biased and opinionated as any one else. And, the worst are arm-chair shrinks like bloggers.

      • January 14, 2017 10:55 pm

        Yeah, those arm chair shrinks I linked to are no nothings. Trump is normal as can be. Mentally solid as a rock. Emotionally stable as a 5-legged stool. I can’t wait for this paragon of stability to be sworn in and proceed to make his entrance to the Oval Office to the announcement of HERE’S DONNIE

  65. January 13, 2017 11:57 pm

    Senate Intel panel to probe Trump team’s ties to Russia

    “The Senate Intelligence Committee announced Friday that it will be launching a bipartisan inquiry into Russian intelligence activities, including looking into whether President-elect Donald Trump’s allies were in contact with the Kremlin.

    The scope of the probe will include “Counterintelligence concerns related to Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, including any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns,” according to a statement. ”

    http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/314298-senate-intel-committee-to-probe-russian-interference-in-election#.WHmREq6sqw8.twitter

  66. Pat Riot permalink
    January 14, 2017 10:26 am

  67. Pat Riot permalink
    January 14, 2017 10:33 am

    I put that Jonathan Pie video in for several reasons relevant to the discussions here on this thread, not just because of his amusing rant shtick delivery.

    • January 14, 2017 1:31 pm

      Yeah that was amusing/interesting Pat. And take to heart what a mess he predicts from the Tweety Trump Presidency. Like the unplanned post Brexit mess he described in England.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 16, 2017 9:04 am

        Jay, fyi, some of the messages you needed to take to heart from the video were “try to debate better” and “try to understand where opposing views are coming from and why” (paraphrase). As opposed to merely finding more examples to support your singular view that Trump’s horrible character is horrible and not fit for U.S. Presidency because he’s horrible and also quite horrible. One day maybe you will see that your obsession is based on many assumptions (assumptions about people, government, the U.S., et cetera) and is also somewhat beside the point.

      • January 16, 2017 11:03 am

        I hope you’re right.
        I hope I’m wrong.
        I hope the yellowhaired loudmouth liar turns out to be Reagan with a combover.

  68. January 14, 2017 2:08 pm

    ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE FEARFUL OF TRUMP RUSSIAN MOTIVES

    At a meeting held recently between Israeli and American intelligence officials “The Americans implied that their Israeli colleagues should “be careful” as of January 20, Trump’s inauguration date, when transferring intelligence information to the White House and to the National Security Council (NSC), which is subject to the president. According to the Israelis who were present in the meeting, the Americans recommended that until it is made clear that Trump is not inappropriately connected to Russia and is not being extorted – Israel should avoid revealing sensitive sources to administration officials for fear the information would reach the Iranians.”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html

    • January 14, 2017 3:01 pm

      Like I said yesterday, the leaks coming from our spy network should be just as concerning as the reports of Russian hacking months ago. When our country gets to the point that internal actions like the FBI director inserting himself into an election or spies begin leaking information to undermine a President for political reasons, we should be demanding that investigations find out who and why and then charge them to the fullest extent of the law. This is what you find in weak countries where coups occur and administrations change based on intelligence services support.

      We should not be supporting this crap and when these actions are used to support arguement against a President it only undermines democracy and then the enemies of democracy are winning.

      • January 14, 2017 3:08 pm

        But if the intel is correct, shouldn’t the Israelis be warned?

        If similar credible info surfaced about Netenyahu, would you not want the Israelis to notify our Intel Agencies?

        Are you suggesting that in Trump’s case ignorance should be bliss?

      • January 14, 2017 5:53 pm

        Jay, I am trying to start a discussion concerning the behavior of our spy community and your hatred of Trump is totally blinding you of consequences that will occur from leaking information.

        I am not debating if the Israelis should know, maybe they need to know or not. But my point is making this a political issue and making it public by one of the operatives from the intelligence agencies. Once that happens there is no turning back. The spies will have control.

      • January 14, 2017 3:25 pm

        What’s really frightening is that we will have a president whose character and motives are so suspect that even our OWN intelligence agencies are taking charges that may amount to treason … seriously!

        A man of such abnormal character that the prostitution/urination allegation barely raised eyebrows of doubt. As I’ve said many times, Character is Destiny. Trump’s character has not changed. He is as perverse and egotistical now as he was bantering about his uninhibited sexual behavior on the Howard Stern radio broadcasts. It may or may not be true he elicited Russian Prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed Obama once slept on, but few who heard him on those live radio shows would be surprised to lean that it was true.

        President a Groper takes office next week. His age has likely diminished his sexual proclivities; but his predilection for assholeness hasn’t abated – as you will continue to see going forward.

      • Roby permalink
        January 14, 2017 3:42 pm

        Ron this may be a false memory I have and if so I apologise. But I think I remember you posting several times that rumors had it that the rank and file FBI agents were rip shit because Clinton was not being charged. That rumor was certainly out there and it was certainly a great example of lack of discipline and leaking and I don’t remember any complaints about that leaking from from inside FBI sources by conservatives here or elsewhere, but that may just be my convenient memory inventing things and I do not mean that as sarcasm.

        Now that trump is the recipient, its a problem.

        We are in uncharted waters with the trump-Putin/Russia situation, no precedents that I know of in American history, unless you go as far back as Benedict Arnold, who wasn’t president.

      • January 14, 2017 4:38 pm

        Benedict Trump!
        I hadn’t thought of that. 👌🏻

      • Roby permalink
        January 14, 2017 5:25 pm

        Benedict Arnold is a poor analogy, Arnold made his decisions based on his principles. trump’s treason is nothing so well thought out, its part of the chaos of his mental defects. All the same, he does know that what he has been doing with putin is wrong and that it can be seen as treason, of that I am pretty convinced.

        Ethan Allen somewhat reminds me of trump (or visa versa). Allen was also a large energetic alpha man of very flexible principles and the habits of a bully. I read the best regarded of the biographies of Allen and if he is considered a hero by those with little knowledge of his life, he was a very odd hero with a very mixed record. He bumbled around and got some things done but was not competent militarily, had a huge ego, a ferocious temper, always did what was best for himself at the expense of even his closest family members and entered into secret negotiations with the british towards the end of the war against the interests of the revolutionaries. Ironically he accused his own brother, Levi, of treason (the same brother who was one of the few to stand by him while he was held by the british previously) and sought prison for him.

      • January 14, 2017 5:41 pm

        Roby, yes I made comments that there were rumors of agents upset, even to the point of resigning. But I view these two issues somewhat differently.

        We had indications that Clinton placed classified material on an unclassified computer. The Attorney General met with the husband of the “accused” on the runway of an airport during the investigation. Due to this occuri g the AG took herself out of the investigation and turned it over to the FBI director. All of this would have been information any citizen could have covered in any investigation by the press.

        What happened next separated this from an investigation of you, me and Clinton. I have only heard liberals say the decision Comey made was the right decision. You and I would had this case sent to a grand jury where the evedince would have been reviewed and a decision made by the GJ. Clinton had the FBI case stopped short and now Comey is under investigation himself for the decisions made.

        Now we have the intelligence community leaking information that concerns national security. And that is not just Russian hacking. When you have individuals leaking information where you should not share information from one spy network to the President, that is not a legal issue, it is a national security issue.

        I am old enough to remember when congress was responsible for making laws and over the years they have relinguished this to the point the President has near “king” powers now. This has been a drip,drp,drip process over the years. So I fear that once the CIA and other operatives begin a small leak here and then another,and another that at some point we will be ruled by the spies and anytime they want the president to do something, they will simply leak something to get what they want.

        Once tbat occurs, you can kiss right to privacy goodbye. Might take 25 years, but that is my fear when the secret agencies become more political operatives.

      • January 14, 2017 8:11 pm

        Misstating facts, Ron.

        Clinton didn’t “place” classified info on her server; some (a very small amount overall, the majority of it NOT classified at the time) was inadvertently sent there by others emailing her. To ‘place’ something gives the impression of volition and intention, and neither Clinton or any of her staff intentionally placed classified material on those servers, correct? And the decision NOT to prosecute was the RIGHT decision. and there is NO evidence anywhere that either Clinton had anything to do with stopping the case. Comey’s made the call, not Lynch.

        And as to the Trump-Russia intel information, the Intel Community didn’t leak anything to the press. And as to sharing info and opinions about matters of national security with other trusted intel agencies, they do that all the time, to protect each other’s national security.

        I share your concerns that unchecked bureaucratic power corrupts. But so does unchecked presidential power. And unchecked congressional power. Balance is the key. In the here and now, we have to worry more about the loony tune incompetent about to be sworn in as president and the people he will stack into the system then the current group in charge.

        And I don’t hate Trump, I’m contemptuous of his character or lack thereof. If he fell into a cesspool neck deep, I’d toss him a towel and call 911 to help him. After a few beers and a pizza and maybe a quarter or half of an NFL game, if one was on the TV.

  69. Roby permalink
    January 14, 2017 3:13 pm

    The first time in months that I have felt like I was watching sensible realists in responsible positions was watching this the video exchange between McCain and Mattis. They are living in my world and my world order, imperfect as it is. If the idiot traitor trump can somehow be kept away from anything more important than his twitter account for 4 years there may be hope for survival. Let the establishment republicans have the power behind the throne and find rational democrats to negotiate with. All of trumps hot air and nonsense is just a drama to entertain entranced zombies in front of the one eyed monster while people like McCain, Graham, and Shumer will actually run the country.

    Anyhow that is what I hope, my best case scenario. My worst case scenario is what Jay is saying, times 10 with international repercussions getting out of hand while the stock market bubble bursts.

    • January 14, 2017 8:35 pm

      And, I suppose you believe that Trump did not understand General Mattis’s views before nominating him?

      There’s a saying, “personnel is policy.” James Mattis and Mike Pompeo, Trump’s nominee for CIA chief, are as strongly hawkish in their views on Russia as anyone, certainly far, far more hawkish that anyone in the Obama administration. These are the people that Trump wants leading the Pentagon and the CIA in his administration.

      If you would take a moment to think about the implications of that, your fears might be somewhat allayed. Or maybe you believe that he is such a fool that he did not choose his own cabinet. With all due respect, Roby (and I mean that, despite the fact that it is a hackneyed phrase), if you believe that, then you have let your partisanship get the better of your reason.

      • Roby permalink
        January 14, 2017 9:06 pm

        I certainly do not think trump picked his own cabinet, almost no one does really, political constraints and the inner circle pick a cabinet, and trump likely picked his less than most having no real ties to the world of politics or military. I don’t think that there is a coherent logical process going on in his head at all when it comes to foreign policy and military, just a set of attempts to impress people. The fact that so many of his nominees are saying wildly different things than he has said in many cases suggests to me that its a chaotic process that every so often winds up, almost accidentally, with a result that is not as scary as the vacuous wretch himself.

        What kind of people were available to him to pick that could be confirmed for defence and national security positions? His nominees are bound to be mostly a lot more rational conventional than he is merely due to the reality of confirmation process, Picking someone like Mattis was pretty much his only viable option (on the other hand he managed to F up royally with the incompetent nut Flynn). Mattis is the kind of intelligent disciplined honorable man who has probably been trying throughout this whole disgusting saga to keep from vomiting as he watches trump get played by putin, but, being the real deal, is willing to accept the opportunity to attempt to save American military policy from the careless dolt who picked him. In fact history is full of cases of presidents picking people to serve who were wildly different and either much more or much less competent than they were because picking appointees is a political process of satisfying others.

      • January 15, 2017 10:25 am

        There have been presidents who intentionally choose their cabinet with an eye to a diversity of perspective and ideology. With a few exceptions, Obama was not one of these presidents. He had a philosophy of engagement with US enemies, based on a belief that that engagement would make them more amenable to compromise. It was certainly a transformative policy, if not very successful. The Russian reset, for example. Never happened. He could have used a SecDef like General Mattis.

        We’ll find out in short order, whether Trump is so clueless that his cabinet surprises him by disagreeing with his opinions. I’m quite certain that, if he is the kind of man that you believe him to be, he will fire them. But if he doesn’t, maybe you should at least consider the possibility that he is not as clueless as you fear.

      • January 15, 2017 1:00 pm

        “He had a philosophy of engagement with US enemies, based on a belief that that engagement would make them more amenable to compromise”

        Are you serious, criticizing Obama for that, but praising Trump for the same rationale visa-vie Russia?

        ““Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, Trump said in a series of tweets. “Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!”

        He continued: “We have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the world.”

        That of course right after he had been briefed the Russians had hacked the election and had engaged in anti-Clinton fake news dissemination.

        Fool you once, shame on the fooler; fool you day after day, week after week, month after, shame on you.

      • Roby permalink
        January 15, 2017 1:14 pm

        “““Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, Trump said in a series of tweets. “Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!”

        He continued: “We have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the world.”

        The tragedy is that this is the one thing trump has said that has real value and would be a huge achievement if he had the skill to do it. From my way-too-lengthy post above you can see that I believe that he and putin are going about it the wrong way by far. How can trump and putin lying their heads off be the foundation of that beautiful dream he described.

        The same conservatives who acidically distort the enormously difficult American-Russian relationship under Obama are ready to believe that its going to be magically easy under trump. Partisan thinking just ruins everything.

      • January 15, 2017 10:45 pm

        Lowering tensions with Russia in the hope it would produce beneficial results has been American presidential policy for decades. But Russian objectives are different from our own, or at least have been until now. Russia wants to dismantle or seriously weaken NATO, and particularly undermine Germany. That has been a Putin’s goal, correct? And now along comes Dingbat Donald, mimicking Putin’s plan.

        Today Dickhead gave this interview to the German press, in which he mimics those same Putin objectives:

        https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-15/trump-calls-nato-obsolete-and-dismisses-eu-in-german-interview?cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_content=business&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

      • Roby permalink
        January 15, 2017 12:55 pm

        I don’t think that trump will fire his cabinet members, they are his lifeline. I believe that he knows that he is in over his head. Someone like Mattis is an intellectual and moral giant compared to trump and trump needs him to make his presidency work.

        Here I’ll say something good about something trumpian. I think that Tillerson actually is trump’s choice and I think that he could turn out to be a brilliant one, although he could also turn out to be a disaster. He is one trump choice that really is uniquely trumpian who no establishment politician would have turned to. I would be interested in seeing Tillerson’s ideas play out. He understands Russia and has some sympathy there. Which gives him something in common with me. The Russian-American relationship is still the most important relationship in the world. Its that one that if it went smoothly would make many positive things things flow and if it goes very badly could bring the human race to ruin. We do need to understand each other. Tillerson is a step in that direction. As well trump has a slavic attraction and I am not opposed to that either. His message that only a fool wants a bad American-Russian relationship is valuable. But he and putin have undermined that message by their actions, they have clumsily sabotaged the value in that message.

        I actually believe that putin is a very clumsy man with a very distorted understanding of the west who is making many serious mistakes that have harmed Russia. I believe that if things continue in the direction they are going Russian history will regard him as a very bad actor. The Russians want a tsar, one person who controls all the meaningful decisions. And when that person is wrong? Disaster, as Russia has suffered over and over. Our system, with of all of its cacophony of ideological idiots, still works far better than one person rule.

        I did not set out in life to become a sort of Russian expert, it happened accidentally. Through events in my personal life, my work, and my cultural curiosity I am going to immodestly claim to have obtained rather deep knowledge and a feel for this situation (Russian-Western relations, post Soviet Russian events, and putin). I have skin in the game, both personally and professionally. Unless someone here has a background in Russian studies that they have not revealed I am going to immodestly claim to have a much deeper view of this situation and the events of the last decade and a half than any partisan driven take on the news can possibly give one. The media, especially the blatantly partisan part of the media, completely distort American-Russian relations. They are selling commercials via the ideological obsession of their hooked viewers, they are not selling deep objective knowledge.

        I’ve lived in Russia, I’ve worked there, I’ve been in many Russian homes, been to all kinds of gatherings, drank plenty of vodka, fallen in love with all the warmth and kindness that unknown to most Americans are a deep part of the Russian or Slavic culture. I’ve spent hundreds of hours in Russia watching their media, which includes a huge amount of American programming and a surprising interest and affection for American culture. I’ve watched all the old Soviet movies, read the old Soviet magazines, followed the developments of the Ukrainian situation in three languages and three perspectives (actually four perspectives, both the pro Russian and the anti Russian Ukrainians, as well as the Russian and western perspectives) through my friendships and skype conversations with people in Moscow and in many different parts of Ukraine. I know well what is beautiful and what is terrible in Russia.

        Thus far in the trump era, clumsy trump and his relationship with clumsy putin are quite threatening to ruin long-term prospects of a really better understanding between our two cultures. Much as I dislike both of them I will be overjoyed if they turn things around and produce a well founded American-Russian understanding.

        Tillerson may just turn out to be a helpful actor, I’d give him the chance to try, but trump/putin are making that politically very difficult, they are too clever by far for their own good and long term they are poisoning the well.

      • January 15, 2017 8:22 pm

        “Are you serious, criticizing Obama for that, but praising Trump for the same rationale visa-vie Russia?”

        FYI, Jay, I’m not praising Trump for anything, other than making some impressive cabinet picks. He could screw up royally, although I hope he doesn’t.

        Obama’s had 8 years, Trump hasn’t taken the oath of office yet. Let’s not set our hair on fire over nothing. Wait for something.

      • January 15, 2017 11:21 pm

        By the way, Roby, your comment about your Russian connections and Tillerson, etc. was really interesting.

  70. January 14, 2017 8:53 pm

    You know, it’s interesting that Ron has twice (or maybe it’s 3 times?) tried to start an important discussion of the dangers inherent in letting a spy organization acquire so much power that it can destroy the very people that it is supposed to answer to.

    And, there have been a number of thoughtful news pieces written this week, to that effect, as well as to the effect that the intelligence community has become dangerously politicized over the past 25 years. That would include, of course, the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA, among others. We have seen, in this election cycle, the FBI director give a news conference, in which he acted in lieu of a grand jury, and exonerated Hillary from crimes that she had committed. Since the election, we have had constant leaks from the CIA, regarding meetings that involved classified briefings to the President and President-elect, and what was presented or not presented at those meetings. And we have a media, that bites at every leak, verifies nothing, and is leading us down a very dangerous, slippery slope.

    And Jay and Roby are worried about the Russians, but are not worried about the breakdown of our own national security system?? I find that ironic, to say the least.

    • Roby permalink
      January 14, 2017 9:47 pm

      And Jay and Roby are worried about the Russians, but are not worried about the breakdown of our own national security system??

      How did you reach that conclusion? I am capable of worrying about several things at once.

      The National security system has I hope not as yet achieved the status of “breakdown” but it is undergoing the same debilitating stresses that all the other functions of government are undergoing in this new glorious era of armies of internet inflamed partisans and internet based journalism by undisciplined fanatics that has as its goal making good money scratching the itch for propaganda (er, knowledge) for nutty lefties and righties.

      Rumors had one level of power when there were 3 networks and a set of stodgy old big city papers; rumors have an altogether different power when there is a designer media for every nutty ideological interest group. How many of the rumors about intelligence agencies that Ron and Jay have been debating have been shown to be more than mere rumors? No one should have to tell the Israeli security agencies to be careful what information they pass to an American system with trump sitting at its top, they know their own business and can figure that out for themselves. Rumors are a major part of the information war, which to my horror and disgust have blossomed in America to the proportions of the disinformation campaign launched by putin in the aftermath of his invasion, which is not accidental. Its getting to the point where one can truly despair that there is any objective reality where social, political, diplomatic, economic etc. issues are concerned. Its easy to see right here on TNM. I feel completely hopeless that people will ever communicate in a thoughtful productive way about such issues.

      As to journalists spreading rumors, the MSM has standards for journalism that in my opinion are far stronger than the media outlets that are far younger and more ideologically extreme. They are not unassailable but they dwarf those at the Huffington post or Fox let alone Breitbart or Young turks.

      Its a disgusting part of the plague of the impact of the internet on politics and there is no way to stop it.

      Please god do not try to tell me that trump is doing some good deed by our agencies with his idiot war with our intelligence agencies and favoring the version of assange-putin. Righties and lefties have been having at the wicked media forever, now there is a new blossoming of partisan rage against our intelligence agencies. There is not anything that the partisan civil war cannot destroy once it gets steam up. Partisans may regret the consequences of trashing our intelligence agencies even more than those of trashing the media someday.

      • dduck12 permalink
        January 15, 2017 12:09 am

        I think one BIG killer for the intelligence communities’ (IC) veracity was the WMD debacle. Chalabi in my opinion conned the IC big time: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/may/25/usa.iraq10
        In my opinion Iran and are playing chess and we are still playing checkers.

      • Roby permalink
        January 15, 2017 9:23 am

        “In my opinion Iran and are playing chess and we are still playing checkers.”

        I read the article (from 2004) and then looked up Chalabi to see what became of those allegations. There seems to have been truth in them.

        Intelligence and spying are difficult business. Actually its to everyone’s advantage if spying is effective all around. Why would I say such a wild thing? Because when everyone knows what cards everyone else is holding and then if everyone actually understands the other cultures (ideal far from true) then wars are more likely to be avoided.

        Anyone who actually had to do that kind of work would have an entirely different opinion about criticizing intelligence agencies. Even with all the magical technology everything can go wrong and does. We need this process to work as well as possible.

        Less (un)democratic societies like Iran, Iraq, Russia, will always have an advantage on us in these matters because they are unconstrained in the level of ruthlessness they can use.

        Yet, all of those countries are far behind us when it comes to quality of life. Its a tradoff between types of society. In out society when there were no WMDs we just said so. If the Russians had been there they would have launched an information war and claimed to find them.

        I’d still rather be us.

      • January 15, 2017 10:08 am

        Roby, I would rather be us, too. I think that applies to all of us. Does that mean that we should simply accept the fact that there may be members of the intelligence community that would sabotage the US president and/or the American people? Does that mean that there are no such things as double agents, or agents who have decided to pursue personal agendas, such as those who pushed the WMD fallacy? We can criticize the President and the Congress, but never, ever doubt the intelligence agencies?

        I know you don’t believe that. For a member of any of the intelligence agencies to intentionally leak classified information to the press ~ or to anyone else, for that matter, is a crime.

        Just because I think that the intelligence community does vital work, and that the majority of the members of the IC recognize what their role is, does not mean that I think that all of its leaders are unbiased and ethical. James Clapper for one, absolutely lied, under oath, to Congress about the NSA’s warrantless collection of data on ordinary, presumably innocent, American citizens.

        False testimony from the Director of National Intelligence. Let that sink in.

      • January 15, 2017 12:48 pm

        “Does that mean that we should simply accept the fact that there may be members of the intelligence community that would sabotage the US president and/or the American people?”

        I agree, the intelligence community has become too politicized. But in whose favor?

        Aren’t there allegations that Anti Clinton FBI agents were leaking negative Anti Clinton information during the election cycle?

        “Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI, multiple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks damaging to her campaign just days before the election.

        Current and former FBI officials, none of whom were willing or cleared to speak on the record, have described a chaotic internal climate that resulted from outrage over director James Comey’s July decision not to recommend an indictment over Clinton’s maintenance of a private email server on which classified information transited.

        “The FBI is Trumpland,” said one current agent.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/03/fbi-leaks-hillary-clinton-james-comey-donald-trump

        And if you don’t think the FBI-Comey release of what proved to be a false red flag about uncovering new email evidence was a factor in Clinton’s defeat you have your head buried up your ideology. Comey’s letters were a bone thrown to pacify that large anti-Clinton FBI clique a bone, so they’d stop chewing on him.

        And, again for the third or fourth time, the IC DIDNT LEAK THE TRUMP DOSIER INFORMATION! The media had copies of it before the IC. Its existence and summary of allegations had been published in Mother Jones, and elsewhere, weeks before. And ‘leaks’ about Trump and Russian prostitutes were appearing in European media months prior to that. And news stories about Trump officials clandestinely visiting with Russian officials too.

        We don’t know if those more serious charges of Trump operatives illegally cavorting with the Russians are true or false, but one thing you can bet your ass on is that with Trump people running those agencies now there’s as much chance of that being fully investigated as charges of Putin corruption scrutinized properly inside Russia.

      • Roby permalink
        January 15, 2017 1:06 pm

        “We don’t know if those more serious charges of Trump operatives illegally cavorting with the Russians are true or false, but one thing you can bet your ass on is that with Trump people running those agencies now there’s as much chance of that being fully investigated as charges of Putin corruption scrutinized properly inside Russia.”

        I hope you are wrong about that part, otherwise I agree 100% with your post.

        Hyper partisan politics in the internet fanatic era have weakened us tremendously and made us vulnerable to putins disinformation work. Would any of this be happening if any other GOP candidate had won the nomination? No. This particular nightmare is trumpian.

        My kids have to live in this ideologically poisoned environment for many decades ahead.

      • January 15, 2017 7:56 pm

        Jay, I do think that Comey put the stink on Hillary, both with his press conference, as well as with his letter to Congress. Of course, if Hillary hadn’t set up the private server, and Loretta and Bill hadn’t had that little private chat on the plane, Comey may not have been able to get away with any of that. But the Director of the FBI had knowledge that could damage her, and he used it. The Dems would have been far better off allowing an indictment and drafting Biden….but there’s reason to believe that there were emails between Hillary and Obama on that illegal server……

        But, that is exactly what I am saying! The FBI Director reports to the President, the Congress, and the Attorney General. In this case, the AG had semi-recused herself , the President was…well, who knows what he was doing, and the Congress was demanding answers. Comey was between a rock and a hard place, and may have indeed had an axe to grind against Clinton, or Lynch, or even Obama. Democrats loved him after he recommended against indictment, and despised him after his letter to Congress. I say he acted wrongly in both situations.

        That’s the problem that I see with your position. You seem to be A-ok with info that hurts Trump, not so fine with leaking the info that hurt your candidate.

        Goose, Gander…….An intelligence community, or for that matter, a Justice Department, that is out of control and not following the law is dangerous.

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 15, 2017 7:44 pm

      OK, Roby. There will be some nice little TrumPutin kabuki acts to start out with to amuse and confuse the public and drive their political enemies crazy. Like for instance ISIS/ISIL who will be toast under a joint operation with the invitation of the Russian puppet Assad.
      Losers will be the “rebels” and the Kurds, with Turkey also pleased; all the atrocities will be swept under the rug. The Ukrainian/Baltic/NATO situations will be trickier and schisms might start to develop and grow. It may not be a long honeymoon.

  71. dduck12 permalink
    January 14, 2017 9:37 pm

    Can’t maneuver the thread, but Ron P and Priscilla make good points.

  72. January 15, 2017 4:01 pm

    Fox News Sunday had a very good presentation concerning all of the issues that have been covered this past few days. Director Brennen was the guest and this was followed with an open and frank discussion on all the issues.

    Jay..Woodward, who you may remember brought down the Nixon administration and has been involved with many other investigation said the dossier is garbage and it should never have been handled as it has been. You cant call him a conservative lackie. Check out his comments.

    What I find refreshing is the discussion about leaks with Brennen and Trumps relationship with intelligence, as well as the panel that included a former democrat representative from Michigan

    Better on a national program than just argueing with Jay!

    Program rerun at 10 pm tonight

  73. Roby permalink
    January 16, 2017 11:00 am

    A terrible battle with the dark side of the force lies ahead.

  74. January 16, 2017 1:32 pm

    An American kakistocracy — rule by the worst.

    • January 16, 2017 1:57 pm

      THE GREAT DIVIDER MAKES HISTORY ONCE AGAIN

      By REBECCA SHABAD CBS NEWS January 16, 2017, 8:28 AM
      Poll: Trump’s favorable ratings pre-inauguration are historically low

      “A majority of people in the U.S. say they disapprove of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition to the White House, according to a new Gallup poll.

      The poll, released last Friday, found 51 percent of people disapprove of the transition while 44 percent said they approve of it.

      President Obama’s approval, before he took office in January 2009, was 83 percent, Gallup said, with only 12 percent disapproving. Approval for President George W. Bush in January 2001 was 61 percent, with 25 percent disapproving. Gallup said approval for President Bill Clinton in January 1993 stood at 68 percent, with 18 percent disapproving.

      Gallup noted that Mr. Trump’s 48 percent transition approval rating from December was the lowest for any presidential transition in its polling history.”

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-trumps-favorable-ratings-pre-inauguration-are-historically-low/

      And the traditional Honeymoon Favorability period has just started. Imagine where it will be in six months or a year when the effect of the repealed Obamacare health care fiasco starts hitting those working class voters, should the Republicans go ahead and fully dismantle it, and his shoot from the lip insurance scheme turns out to be as unfeasible as his Wall scheme.

      And Tweet Brain-Drain Trump will continue to alienate the growing majority of Americans who already hold him in contempt with more contemptuous insults, further prying apart the nation with his petty divisiveness. His brainless classless unnecessary personal insulting lie-filled barrage of tweets at John Lewis as example. The ego impaired fool will continue unabated in his obtuseness – because that’s who he is: a divisive petulant adolescent in a 70 year old body.

      • January 16, 2017 2:00 pm

        And that’s not hate, it’s oozing contempt.

  75. Pat Riot permalink
    January 16, 2017 4:40 pm

    Roby, haha on Belichick and the dark side. He certainly doesn’t seem to be one of those warm, Father Flanagan-type coaches who tries to be a stepdad and friend to the boys on the team. One gets the impression you either perform or you are gone. The Steelers have some weapons. I hope the games are as good this coming weekend as they were this past weekend.

  76. Pat Riot permalink
    January 16, 2017 5:20 pm

    Roby, I’ve been a fan of that well-oiled machine up there in New England called the PAT RIOTS. I love the fact that players do not have to be the biggest or fastest to succeed in Belichick’s system. Also it seems Mr. Personality only needs halftime to communicate needed adjustments if they are up against a challenge.

    But the Steelers are from my home state, and I worked for a happy year among the yellow-painted bridges of Pittsburgh, and the Steelers have have nothing on one side of their helmets, and no cheerleaders, and how stubborn and cool is that? But I still will root for the Pats over the Bees.

    Now in the other conference the Packers are the only team “owned by the fans” sort of, and you know a populist, man-of-the-people guy like me has gotta LOVE that, not to mention Lombardi, Starr, Taylor, Kramer, Hornung and the boys, gunslinger Brett Favre, and arguably the coolest cucumber under pressure ever, Aaron Rogers. And yet I’m pulling for Matt Ryan and the Falcons too…

    So I mostly want them to be good, competitive battles, like Green bay and Dallas was on Sunday. How about you?

    • Roby permalink
      January 16, 2017 7:02 pm

      I enjoyed the Patriots back in the days of Plunkett, Grogan, Francis, Sam the Bam Cunningham. Less perfection, more drama, and more joy. I got off the Patriot bandwagon after their first Superbowl win. In fact I am sort of off Superbowls too, its gone too far into glitz and glamour and hype. The Conference playoffs usually produce better football with no wardrobe malfunctions.

      The Conference playoff games should be competitive. The Steelers sure won’t blow out the Patriots, but the Patriots could blow out the Steelers, which would be a pity.

      For me the Chuck Noll Steelers with Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Rocky Blier, Lynn Swann, Mean Joe Green and Jack Lambert were the epitome of guts and determination. I was a Colts fan and they decimated my Bert Jones Colts but I had to admit they played their hearts out. I loved the Montana 49ers too.

      These Belichick Patriots are a machine, well oiled, expected to win, not above some putinish underhanded tactics, deflating opponents balls was a cheap trick, especially for a steamroller of a team. They don’t move me.

  77. January 16, 2017 6:06 pm

    POLL: 74% of Americans Feel Donald Trump Should Release His Tax Returns

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/poll-74-of-americans-feel-donald-trump-should-release-his-tax-returns/

    The American People Are Speaking!
    The Donald is Deaf to our Voices!
    What is he Hiding?

    • January 16, 2017 6:16 pm

      Obama’s last act as President should be an executive order to release Trump’s tax returns.

      Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code provides: “Upon written request by the President, signed by him personally, the [Treasury] Secretary shall furnish to the President, or to such employee or employees of the White House Office as the President may designate by name in such request, a return or return information with respect to any taxpayer named in such request.”

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6103

      • January 16, 2017 7:33 pm

        Since you support all the rest of the leaks that have occurred, I am not surprised you would support this and leaking that info to the public.

      • January 16, 2017 9:49 pm

        Did I say I supported all leaks?
        Wasn’t it Republicans and other Hillary critics who were saying those leaks were justified?
        Did I say I Supported ANY government leaks?
        The Trump- Russia leaks weren’t government leaks.
        I proposed a hypothetical – it Trump,was President, and stifling damning intel that would disqualify him from office, and Trump people refused to release it, would they then be justified in leaking that intel?

        And if Obama released Trumps taxes that wouldn’t be a leak, as he is AUTHORIZED by law to do that. A ‘leak’ is an unauthorized release of information.

        Let’s extend the hypothetical. YOU are the outgoing President of the US. I’m sure you did a better job than Obama, but nevertheless Trump squeaked out a win. The Intel Community tells you they’re very suspicious of Trump’s closeness with Russia, and they believe there’s serious compromising information in his taxes that varying a long lasting clandestine relationship with a foreign power.

        Under law you are perfectly within your rights to look at Trump’s taxes, as are DOZENS of other IRS employees subordinates. Are you going to examine them and allow an FBI forensic evaluation of those taxes or not? And if the evidence shows Trump has lied about not having relationships with Russians but has devious connections to Putin, are you then going to announce that to the public, and turn the data over to Congress? Or not do anything?

      • January 16, 2017 10:11 pm

        Well as outgoing president I would have ask the treasury secretary to have the tax returns reviewed and let the IRS handle the review. Remeber this happened sometime back and they would have had time to review the issue. If anything was found, the IRS has legal authority to pursue any actions required, including forwarding a request to the justice department for an indictment, if necessary. This would all be handled just like any other case, including Clinton’s. Had anything been found, it would have been well before the election and legal action initiated before that time.

        It would not have occurred after the election just because Buzzfeed and CNN released some rumors and made them public. That is sourgrapes and would only make the outgoing president look vindictive. His party is doing too good of a job for him to stoop to that level.

      • January 16, 2017 11:59 pm

        Pay attention to the hypothetical Prez Ron.

        When you learn about the new intel suspicions, there’s a week to go before Trump is in and you are out. And the present Sec of Treasury will be replaced by Trump’s cabinet pick, Goldman banker Mnuchin for that Treasury post. Do you think Mnuchin is going to allow that investigation to go forward? No way, Ron-aaaa.

        And stepping out of the hypothetical, in the real world do you think anyone will ever see the actual tax forms and data ever again?

        And the present IRS investigation of Trumps audited returns wouldn’t have uncovered the kind of thrice or more veils of surreptitious ownership that our security agencies would be looking for. The IRS looks at financial matters, not affiliations. Whatever significient info Trump is trying to conceal is layered in the data set. Which we’ll never see now that he’s President.

  78. Anonymous permalink
    January 16, 2017 6:15 pm

    We are in trouble folks. As moderates, we tend to be independent thinkers, not blind followers. Therefore, the difficulty in selecting/supporting collectively someone to lead us. Who do we know that has a real chance of being elected by the people & the electoral college and recognized (wealthy and or political background) by Washington DC?
    This is our time, the key to a moderate future is to fully support a viable moderate candidate right now so that we are ready in 2020…haven’t we all learned our lesson.
    Any suggestions of who that person might be? I’m ready to become a political activist for common sense, if it’s not too late.

    • Roby permalink
      January 16, 2017 7:07 pm

      Mr. Mike? My wife voted for herself for everything in the last election. I guess that really didn’t solve anything though.

      A whole moderate party is needed, I don’t see how a moderate can win Dem or GOP nominations.

      The Historians say that we are on the 5th party system. I’m waiting for the 6th with a 3rd party in the middle.

  79. January 16, 2017 7:30 pm

    Anonymous, since the GOP has its ticket (Spence if Trump is not running), I nominate Joe Manchin on the Democrat ticket.

    A third party run is a dream come true, but just a dream.

    But if I were a betting man and had to put my liquid assets on a nominee today, I would place my chips on Elizabeth Warren.

  80. Pat Riot permalink
    January 16, 2017 8:34 pm

    I tried to change the subject for awhile to America’s other obsession, the NFL, in the hope to bump somebody to another track, but apparently you people want to talk POLITICS!

    Okay okay, but first back to Roby: I hear you on the turn off regarding glitz of the Superbowl. I actually managed to personally boycott the NFL this year for the first time in my life, as our society is engorged with football to an alarming and pathetic degree, but once the playoffs started I got sucked right back in!

    • Roby permalink
      January 16, 2017 8:54 pm

      Engorged footballs! That must have been what the Pats were trying to prevent with deflategate.

      My real football watching days are long, long behind me. Helps not having a TV.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 16, 2017 9:05 pm

        Roby, good for you not having a TV! For few years now, my brother has no cable or antenna, so he can only pop DVDs in to watch movies. When I was first married in 1984 I put the TV in the closet, scout’s honor that’s the truth, because I didn’t want our household to revolve around it, but my in-laws were a-fixin’ to have me sent upriver and I caved in.

    • January 16, 2017 8:58 pm

      PatRiot. I didn’t have a horse in the race this as I am a Panther fan and they sucked this year. Piss poor O line and then the “B!ind Side” lineman, Michael Oher wnt down and then the center so Cam was running for his life.

      Not too impressed with any of the games except Dallas/Green Bay. Best game in ages from my perspective, regardless of winner. Suspect Patriots will be LI winner.

      One thing about them. The spy network and FBI could take some lessons on keeping things secret since few have figured out how to beat them.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 16, 2017 10:25 pm

        Yes Ron maybe Trump will appoint Bellichick to some position!

      • January 16, 2017 11:10 pm

        Trump and Belichick!! The evil empire!

  81. Pat Riot permalink
    January 16, 2017 8:56 pm

    Regarding a moderate candidate for 2020:

    How many times during 2016 and the first month of 2017 have TNMers said we are in uncharted waters, or “unprecedented” this and “twilight zone” that?

    So why assume the old rules apply with regard to parties?

    The pendulum has been swinging back and forth in American Presidential and other elections, liberal to conservative and back again, but this is what I predict:

    The Trump Presidency will continue to expose the far left as being a drain on prosperity etc, but even his fans will grow tired of the lowbrow crassness, and the pendulum will finally swing to somewhere near the middle with a candidate who is a balanced moderate and a good character, man or woman.

    You watch! If you scroll back to late summer I had my finger on the populist pulse long before it was showing up in mainstream media.

    • January 17, 2017 11:06 am

      I remember, Pat. You were the populist prognosticator!

      I wonder, though, what would a “moderate party” or “moderate candidate” look like? I think that the Overton Window has been moving to the left for some time now, especially on social issues. Conservatives have mostly fought that movement, with little success. So, the “middle,” has become a different place. When I said that Trump campaigned as a moderate, Jay was quick to express strong disagreement……but, aside from Trump’s flamboyant and abrasive style, his positions on many issues puts him pretty squarely in the center. Even the Washington Post agreed with that assessment. Of course, this was before Trump was the GOP nominee, and the news media began portraying him as an extremist. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/12/16/donald-trump-is-a-textbook-example-of-an-ideological-moderate/?utm_term=.807d8f548136

      Many of Hillary’s supporters claimed that she was a moderate. And, I agree that, at heart, she probably is, certainly much more so than the majority of her party. But, she was forced to take left wing positions, and, as such, was portrayed by the conservative press as an extremist. A corrupt extremist at that.

      Romney was portrayed as an extremist by the Democrats….many Republicans have said that Obama is an extremist. Is it even possible for a politician these days to succeed as a centrist, without being steamrollered by both parties? It used to be that presidential candidates all moved to the center, after their primaries….not so much, anymore.

      Joe Manchin is doing a pretty good job of it at the moment. But, he’s not running for re-election yet. In 2018, when he is, will he move to the left, in order to get support from the Democratic Party, or will he switch party affiliation?

      • January 17, 2017 12:46 pm

        Priscilla, Manchins reelection hinges on Trumps effectiveness in improving the economy of WVA. Trump received 68.5% of the vote in that state, so if Trump changes laws and rgulations that help the state by 2018, then Manchin can run on his more conservative positions that play well in that state, like more coal used.

  82. Anonymous permalink
    January 17, 2017 3:04 pm

    Thank you for the very thoughtful responses. Attempting to create a 3rd party is not the answer, as we have seen in the past. I think that the use of this web site is best served by supporting realistic moderate candidates, regardless of their party affiliation. Yes, they will be forced to lean to the right or left to get elected but if their political core is moderate, they have the capacity to lead this country in unification and growth. And we, the independent moderate voice is the answer, if we are active and we make it known who these candidates are…via Twitter 🤓, we have a chance to actually contribute to the process.
    Talking amongst ourselves is the same as the left and the right, we are only talking to like minds. The key is to reach across the political lines.

    • Roby permalink
      January 17, 2017 6:26 pm

      Thanks Pat, I’ve been in a somber mood since Sunday due to my shock that coach Tomlin would use the word Asshole to describe some member of the Patriots.

      Fondly remembering many lively conversations I had with drill sergeants in the summer of ’86 I believe that Dickweed would have been a much more appropriate word choice.

      • January 17, 2017 6:44 pm

        Then again, livestreaming Tomlin calling the Pats “assholes” seems like a dumb move……Belichick, no doubt has clipped the segment and will have it playing on loop in the Patriots locker room.

        I can’t imagine you having any problem with drill sergeants, Roby!

      • Roby permalink
        January 17, 2017 7:18 pm

        They all turned out to be human in the end. But that was not the first impression!

        The idea that someone saying asshole is some incredible shocking event in NFL culture is seriously cracking me up. Here is a case I can actually recognize of the media creating a story. Asshole sounds like a relative term of endearment by locker room standards.

        Guys, they called us Assholes, now we really mad and want to win!

      • January 17, 2017 8:34 pm

        Good point, although I would still think twice about giving the Pats more reason to want to kick your ass.

    • January 17, 2017 6:46 pm

      Hahaha, Pat. Those memes are great!

  83. Pat Riot permalink
    January 17, 2017 7:38 pm

    Note: my Bellichick link is not a reading assignment; it’s just a fresh “meme,” a picture with a “caption”.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 17, 2017 7:50 pm

      Oh, sorry, my “Note” was late. My laptop hadn’t been refreshed. I didn’t see your most recent comments, Priscilla and Roby. I feel like a slight dickweed now, but not to the point of being an asshole. An asshole is somebody who knows he’s blocking two lanes of traffic illegally so he can get across to the McDonald’s drive-thru, but doesn’t care. Idiots and dickweeds are erring somewhat more innocently.

  84. Pat Riot permalink
    January 17, 2017 8:10 pm

    Wow. Manning pardoned by Barack. My initial reaction is that it is Barack’s admin “covering its tracks,” i.e. to throw people off Barack’s trail, as many see Barack as the person who was at the helm of the establishment which Manning blew a whistle on.

    • January 17, 2017 8:19 pm

      ???????
      Explain that Obama association please?
      Didn’t the Obama Administration prosecute her/him?

      • January 17, 2017 8:22 pm

        I believe that Manning was court-martialed.

      • January 17, 2017 8:37 pm

        But that’s when she was a he. Now s/he is apparently a more sympathetic traitor.

        But my head is spinning. I thought we were supposed to think WikiLeaks is all bad, and Russian and stuff. And that Assange is a liar, who can’t be trusted.

        Is WikiLeaks good again?

      • January 17, 2017 9:11 pm

        Yes, a military court martial, just looked it up.

        I believe in executing traitors by firing squad. We should hunt down Assange and Snowden and shoot them.

        But the Military dismissed the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge which could have resulted in a death penalty capital offense.

        This NY Times article provides an objective overview:

        goo.gl/xAvpGj

      • Roby permalink
        January 17, 2017 10:12 pm

        I’m all for hunting down Assange and making his end as shitty as his character. But he is not a US citizen so that would be an extra-legal activity. There are moments I admit when I envy the freedom that putin has to act. Like Wikileaks would ever think of screwing with his interests.

        Let assange rot his life away in his cage.

        Snowdon is absolutely a traitor and knew what he was doing and worse yet ran off to Russia to hide behind putin. What could be clearer? He absolutely ought to face a death penalty prosecution.

        At some point in the future some блин president will probably make an arrangement with him.

  85. January 17, 2017 8:17 pm

    I am sitting here watching the news and have come to the conclusion our leaders have lost their collective minds. The intelligence agencies have to be wondering why they even exist and why they risk their lives.

    1. So we have a secretary of state that the FBI has said had confidenial information on an unsecured site ( although Jay will argue the point).
    2. We have the possibility of adverse information on the new president, and instead of handling this secretly and determining out of the limelight what was or was not true, the director of the CIA and the new president get into a pissing contest, where no one comes out clean.
    3. President Obama, in an attempt to accomplish a campaign pledge, transferred another 4 of the worst terrorist to countries where they most likely will be held for a few weeks, then returned to their country where they will return to their leadership positions to direct the killing of Americans whebever possible.
    4. And now, after sanctioning Russia for hacking the DNC where no kives were lost, he releases Bradley Manning from a 35 year sentence even though his treason cost lives of allies helping the country and risk the lives of undercover agents in foreign countries.
    5. Finally, Obamas press secretary basically said Obama had a couple more days when ask about more Gitmo transfers.

    When watching the opening of Devos confirmation hearing, the utter contempt that Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray ( Chair and Vice-chair) had for each other was a great example as to how divided we are. When our politics allow for contempt, how can we ever think the important issue like keeping treasonist individuals and the worst of the worst terrorist in jail will ever happen?

    • January 17, 2017 8:30 pm

      Excellent points, all, Ron.

      Add to that, the other day, when Cory Booker (Senator from my great state, which has also given us Chris Christie) became the first sitting Senator to testify against one of his colleagues, and basically call him a racist, despite the fact that, less than a year ago, he said he was honored to co-sponsor the Congressional Gold Medal to the civil rights heroes who marched from Selma to Montgomery with Senator Sessions.

      What a bunch of disgraceful losers. And I’m not just referring to Democrats, although they’re not exactly covering themselves in glory lately.

      • January 17, 2017 9:29 pm

        And you elected a leader whose going to drive the wedge deeper. The Great Divider.

      • January 17, 2017 10:17 pm

        And I was stating facts as I understand them, not speculation on what may happen.

      • January 17, 2017 9:48 pm

        Wait and see, Jay, wait and see. Don’t set your hair on fire yet!

  86. January 17, 2017 9:53 pm

    I don’t really like Trump. I didn’t vote for Trump. But I swear, all the incessant Trump-bashing by my whiny “progressive” friends on Facebook is making it difficult for me not to feel a perverse sympathy for the man and his “Just screw ’em” approach to politics. Am I going over to the dark side?

    • Roby permalink
      January 17, 2017 10:01 pm

      Yes.

    • January 17, 2017 10:27 pm

      Rick, no not the dark side. Just realization that progressives are happy as long as everything goes the way they want and when it does not they throw their tantrum. These are from the same group I commented to Facebook friends about students protesting conservative speakers and blocking them from campus, while my generation protested for free speech on campus because speakers were being blocked since they did not hold the same beliefs of others on campus. Like it says, when people do not learn from history they will repeat it.

    • January 17, 2017 10:46 pm

      No, Rick, it is not the dark side! Trump is Chewbacca, part of the rebel force!

    • January 17, 2017 11:35 pm

      No, you could never go over to the dark side, Rick.

      Think about it, though….this is what progressives do when they lose ONE election. I realize that it was shocking and all, but, seriously! It’s like nobody ever told these people “hey, you win some and you lose some.”

      It’s like we’re watching the country come apart at the seams, because a celebrity tycoon with bad hair got himself elected president.

      I think it’s the bad hair….

      • Roby permalink
        January 18, 2017 11:32 am

        This is what I refer to as your passive aggression Priscilla. You have ignored (oh, so innocent!) everything that made trump’s election extraordinary. As well you are pretending that its only progressives that are upset. Just an ordinary election, totally normal, except that “progressives” lost. (actually “progressives lost when Bernie did not get the nod.). I’m sure you know what’s wrong with this innocent routine but Jay and I are now supposed to bang our heads against the wall of the innocent of all knowledge routine. Passive aggressive. Frowny face icon.

    • January 18, 2017 2:40 am

      Yes, RB, beware the dark side.

    • January 18, 2017 2:43 am

      I feel better already. Thanks, folks (except Roby, but even his response cheered me up).

    • January 18, 2017 1:44 pm

      Silence to lies enablers the liar to lie more.

      Trump lied his way into office. Until those past lies are addressed by him, silence will justify more lies.

      Edward R. Murrow, the last of our moralist news broadcasters, said: “We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result.”

      Our heritage and history preached rectitude and respect and decency of character as prerequisites for presidential consideration. Silence to those opposite defects of character, obviously apparent daily, only because Trump managed to get elected is not a virtue. He remains a squeaky wheel of divisiveness, and requires the outspoken remedial oil of critical lubrication for past, present, and future excesses of behavior.

  87. Roby permalink
    January 17, 2017 10:24 pm

    Anyhow…

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 18, 2017 2:42 am

      Love the Trumpdo on that bird. Thanks

      • Roby permalink
        January 18, 2017 11:41 am

        Glad it worked!

  88. Pat Riot permalink
    January 17, 2017 11:16 pm

    “???????
    Explain the Obama association please”

    Jay, I don’t even have to put on any of my conspiracy hats for this one.

    Manning dissed the U.S. Military. Obama has been Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Military.

    Okay, I’ll leave my tinfoil hat up on my mantle next to my verbosity award, but how about my nice beige velour conspiracy hat?

    Barack has been the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. armed forces for 8 years. George Bush Jr. for the 8 years before that. Just going by the continuity of the corporations supplying, supporting, and benefitting from war efforts, many see those 16 years as…not seamless but contiguous enough to keep the gravy train going for some of the same shareholders.

    Besides continuing to be stationed all over the world, including places where they are not wanted, such as Okinawa, Japan, U.S. armed forces have been especially active in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan (drones), etc., to the tune of Trillions of USD, which we happen to print here in the U.S., and which have been flowing out to those various corporations and their shareholders, whether they are supplying planes, bombs, boots, or materials for infrastructure projects overseas, etc., etc, etc, et cetera, et cetera.

    Regardless of Manning’s particular beefs with the U.S. in general, U.S. armed forces, or his complaints about medical treatment, I’ll repeat that his actions releasing military documents was an affront to, and a disobeying of, the military and its Commander-in-Chief.

    By pardoning Manning, Barack’s strategy is probably to slightly separate himself (in some people’s minds) from his hawkish enterprises for his “legacy” by pardoning a “rebel” or “dissident” or whatever you want to call him/her. It’s the same kind of dog-and-pony show that I and many say Hillary would have continued: (for example being warm and fuzzy regarding children and education and meanwhile allowing U.S.-made ordinance to fall on Yemen or wherever. Public persona and private persona. If there are good reasons for us to be overseas with weaponry, please stop lying to us about it. We are tired of being lied to as the world’s wealth becomes consolidated into the hands of a few. We do not wish to incur the wrath of the world for the benefit of a few)

    Now, the war efforts (or if you’ll allow me to call it long, drawn out, select Arab country de-stabilization strategies) is of course also supported by our “intelligence community”. And if you think the intelligence community consists entirely of boy scouts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and coaching little league in their spare time, and you wish to pretend that they are not also engaged in coverups and collusion, and sometimes for the wrong reasons, then go ahead.

    But if suddenly it dawns on you that the American People, the poor, middle class, and some of the upper class, and the U.S. Constitution, are really about as insignificant in the minds of the cabal making our military interventionist decisions as, say, people in Yemen or Syria, then you might not be so aghast when Trump is suspicious of “the system.” Whether a Trump Presidency truly diverts energies and money to effect an actual “trickle down” to the American People remains to be seen, BUT I DON’T CARE IF HIS VOCABULARY IS LIMITED OR HE HAD PROSTITUTES PEEING ON HIS COMB-OVER. I WANT MY COUNTRY AND ITS MILITARY BACK.

    • January 18, 2017 1:54 am

      One of us is REALLY dazed and confused, Ron.
      I think it’s you.
      Your Trump is going to MASSIVELY increase military spending.
      Haven’t you been listening to him?

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/charlestiefer/2016/11/09/president-trump-is-likely-to-boost-u-s-military-spending-by-500-billion-to-1-trillion/#606135484108

      • January 18, 2017 1:13 pm

        Jay, you replied to Pat’s message but mentioned me. I looked back about 1/4 of the way up and can’t find where I said anything about Trump and military spending. So many post we forget. What did I say?

      • January 18, 2017 2:12 pm

        I apologize Ron, typed your name by mistake, comment was in reply to Pat.

    • January 18, 2017 2:07 am

      I agree with you BTW- we need less troops overseas, and less interventions.
      But what makes you think Trump is going to do that, or has the brains necessary to make those kinds of strategic decisions? There’s zero evidence of that. Lots of evidence he doesn’t do well thinking ahead.

      What do you think he’s going to do with that $trillion dollars extra military budget? Arm our soldiers with gold bullets?

      • January 18, 2017 9:01 am

        Trump’s increase to military spending accomplishes several things. First, it helps to prevent Trump from receiving a bullet in his head like JFK, RFK, MLK, et al. 2nd it upgrades the equipment to meet or exceed pace with China and Russia, and allows détente to continue. I don’t want the U.S. negotiating from a weakened position. Also it funds better care for our veterans after they are done serving. 3rd it is part of job creation. Part.

        Now what we do with a strengthened military, and who it serves and for what purposes, hopefully DEFENSE, remains to be seen.

      • January 18, 2017 11:53 am

        “Trump’s increase to military spending accomplishes several things. First, it helps to prevent Trump from receiving a bullet in his head like JFK, RFK, MLK, ”

        This is one of the most silly statements you have made since I’ve been commenting here.

      • January 18, 2017 1:09 pm

        Are you suggesting he’s going to have armed military personnel stationed along the routes he travels within the US? Is he going to replace his Secret Service guards with combat ready Special Forces? Will he have military marching battalions preceding and following him everywhere he goes?

        Does that sound far fetched to you? Well in fact that’s what this moron is suggesting:

        “Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country,” Trump said. “And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military.”

        He means like the North Koreans and Russians and Iranians do, military parades down Pennsylvania Avenue and in New York City, with gruesome weapons on display and fighter planes swooping overhead.

        Trump thinks Making America Great Again is emulating fascist military minded dictatorships:

      • January 18, 2017 11:23 am

        Exactly. The sequester was devastating for the military, plus Obama had a goal of disarmament on a number of levels ~ reduction in forces, scrapping old ships, tanks, planes with no replacement, no upgrades or increases in nuclear arms or defense missile systems.

        Why he believed that this was a good idea, I don’t know. It certainly has put us at a disadvantage in terms of negotiating with Russia and China, not to mention Iran. It’s one thing to avoid a arms race, another to let one’s enemies become stronger and more powerful, while we fail to keep pace. Our nuclear arsenal still operates on floppy disks….

        The exact amount of the increase depends on a number of things. Pre-sequester spending vs. post-sequester likely makes a big difference. Also, off-setting spending cuts, if they happen. But $1 trillion sounds awfully high.

        Trump is not an interventionist ~ we’ll see if that changes over time.

    • dduck12 permalink
      January 18, 2017 2:46 am

      PR: Commutation, not pardon, which means shhe can’t buy a gun.

  89. January 17, 2017 11:18 pm

    And….

    • January 18, 2017 2:47 am

      These cockatoos are a riot. I can see that the Elvis impersonator excited the one bird’s amorous propensities. (The other one probably prefers classical.)

      • Roby permalink
        January 18, 2017 11:37 am

        Just trying to add some mirth to anyone who has any mirth deficit. Thought I was being probably a bit too silly. Glad it cheered.

      • Roby permalink
        January 18, 2017 11:40 am

        Ah, I did not look up, I thought it was my cockatoos making mirth. Now we are having a cockatoo competition, that Priscilla really knows how to get me going.

      • January 18, 2017 1:50 pm

        I wasn’t trying to have a competition, lol! Your cockatoo video made me laugh, and it reminded me of the other….

      • Roby permalink
        January 18, 2017 1:55 pm

        I was just kidding around about the cockatoos, I accidentally claimed credit for the mirth your cockatoo caused by being careless about reading upwards, so in my embarrassment I decided to cover by teasing you. Cockatoo all you want, but just don’t try to outdo me in the happy penguin field or I may become cross.

      • January 18, 2017 7:31 pm

        Trust me, I will step back from the happy penguins 🙂

  90. January 18, 2017 5:45 pm

    AND THE BEAT GOES ON…

    FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump

    WASHINGTON
    “The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

    The agencies involved in the inquiry are the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the director of national intelligence, the sources said.

    Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win, the two sources said. One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.”

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article127231799.html

    • January 18, 2017 7:44 pm

      Reading comprehension tips could help you here, Jay. There is no suggestion that the feds believe that money changed hands between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign or organization. The suspicion is that money changed hands between the Kremlin and the people who hacked the DNC and John Podesta and may have been laundered through Russian-American pensioners. There is also a suggestion that Trump people may have known about this before the “Russians hacked the election!” charade began in the press.

      Most of it is unverified garbage that links up with the phony “dossier” that has already been discredited.

      I don’t expect you or any of the hysterics to read between the lines here, but the truth is that this appears to be more leaking from the IC. It will provide fodder for Democrats to holler over when the “investigation” is shut down.

      Let me ask you ~ do you believe that James Comey is working for the Russians? Because he’s had to known about this for months, and hasn’t made any move to do anything about it. Why isn’t the CIA crying foul?

      • January 18, 2017 11:49 pm

        Although tips in reading comprehension in general could help you here, Priscilla, I think you need to polish up your reading glasses.

        The headline, the quote, and the link are in confirmation of Russian meddling in the election- you imagined a reference that isn’t there to money changing hands between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Not there in the header, the quote, or the link.

        The article concerns verifying a money trail from Russia to the US to execute those election hacking intrusions and other fake news stories generated by the Russians, to effect the election – accusations you previously went into contortions of denial about. Are you suffering from short term memory loss as well as blurry vision?

        Don’t you remember how many times you said you wouldn’t believe the hacking and meddling charges until DEFINITE proof was provided? The kind of persuasive circumstantial evidence the intel community relied on was dismissed by you over and over, until Trump begrudgingly admitted the essence of the intel he saw and confirmed it. Priebus who attended the briefing said Trump “accepts the findings,” as well. And when Trump admitted that didn’t you flip your opinion as well?

        Are you flipping again and denying the Russians interfered in the election to aid Trump and undermine Clinton, after Trump and most Republican congress members have admitted it too?

        Your statement that the ‘phony dossier has been discredited’ is a gross exaggeration. You’re getting very Trumpish in your partisan distortions. You’re doing the same denial song and dance you did with the base Russian hacking claims, dismissing them out of hand.

        We don’t know yet if Trump’s people colluded with the Russians during the election or not. It’s still being investigated. You seem to be convinced it isn’t true. Some fishy stuff was going on around the time of the alleged meetings – like the change in the republican platform.

        I don’t think we’ll find out what really happened now. Trump and his banditos will be taking over those agencies next week. Bye bye Truth bye bye.

      • January 19, 2017 8:47 am

        Jay, I’ve said, repeatedly, that the Russians have meddled in American politics, particularly presidential politics, for decades That’s not the issue. Even Trump, who clearly wants some sort of Russian reset (hmmmm, who else tried that?) has admitted that it was likely the Russians who hacked the DNC.

        The frantic search for a connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian hackers has come up empty. If there was one, we’d have heard about it, Instead, we get leaks from Brennan and Clapper and investigations like the one into Comey’s actions regarding the Hillary server/email case, that don’t include the Justice Department that refused to issue supoenas or convene a grand jury….and had a compromised AG who met with the former president, during the investigation into his wife.

        There will be plenty of attempts to impeach Trump. Give it up on this one, unless some real evidence…evidence, not insinuations, turns up.

  91. January 18, 2017 5:53 pm

    TUCKER GETS SNOOKERED.
    This is hysterical. Fox at its finest!

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 18, 2017 11:14 pm

      Jay, I believe you misunderstood me above. (And there was no “reply” option up there )

      What I think you thought I meant is indeed quite silly. It seems you thought I meant that one of the reasons Trump desires to increase military spending is to protect himself from a bullet by literally surrounding himself with military protection! Haha. I’m getting an image: instead of an entourage with limos and secret service he could be in a bullet-proof pope-mobile surrounded by an entire armored division, haha.

      No, no, no. I was talking about him not getting himself assassinated because he is not threatening the industrial-military network, like RFK taking on the mob, or JFK supposedly pledging to pull the plug on Vietnam (I wasn’t there) or MLK alarming racists and receiving a bullet, etc. And Nothing against these revered Americans.

      I’m sure this sounds crass to some people, but by increasing the military budget he keeps some of the powerful people happy who might otherwise thwart his other initiatives or his entire Presidency. It doesn’t solve all of his issues, but it gets some out of his way.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 19, 2017 9:59 am

        Jay, put the “Russian hacking” thing to rest now, Jay. Whatever it was, it was dwarfed by the corporate media’s love fest bias for Queen Hillary. Day after day, night and day, on daytime television on show after show like the View in all those living rooms, in hotel lobbies and airports on CNN…essentially everywhere except Fox…night after night, surely you must know that Propaganda doesn’t have to be made-up stories or fake news. Propaganda can just be the choice of what to air and what not to air, and the wording used, the scripts, and the choice was made for us more than a year in advance…all those smug talking heads smirking and chuckling at the ridiculous possibility of Trump and how qualified Hillary was…it made so many people’s blood boil, including mine, and if THAT was the actual intention, to hoodwink me and other hard-working Americans into voting for Trump in reaction to “The Smug” so they could escalate war w Trump, well then they got me, but most of us Trump Hopefuls realize there are limits to the conspiracy possibilities, and we think it was more that “The Smug” backfired, and instead played right into Trump’s crazy Trumpness, just like the bad guy who won the first season of Survivor by breaking all the rules and being a low down scoundrel, a show produced by Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice producer by the way, I believe, breath, breath, ….where was I? Oh yeah, let the Russian hacking go because it pales in comparison.

      • Roby permalink
        January 19, 2017 10:42 am

        Pat, on my quest to read the 44 biographies of the presidents I have read now 3 biographies of American Presidents in a series of short (150 page) books: Coolidge, Cleveland, and now Jefferson (its what my library had). Boy, has that small bit of reading opened my eyes about our political history. These dratted elections, they’ve Always been like this, since Adams its been angry and contentious. As well, the South and North have always been incompatible cultures like western Ukraine and Eastern Ukraine. I bet you are a huge fan of Jefferson and know everything about him and see trump as being a populist in his mode. Jefferson’s election was hugely divisive, as I just found out, it nearly split the country, and he brought democracy to the deplorables of his time, and others, in contrast to the Federalist mode of Washington and John Adams, elitists.

        So, you probably see trump as performing the same function. The thing of it is, character and ability, Jefferson had it in spades. trump is a spoiled rich kid who grabs women by the whatisis and says stupid things day in and day out. So…

        I also read the CNN/ORC poll and all its little details the other day that asked any number of questions, especially ones about trump and putin and Russia. I could see that the old line about “everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts” is long, long dead. On putin/Russia the conservatives/Reps. and liberals/Dems have reversed their polarities compared to history. To conservatives as a group the Russian meddling is no big deal and they are ready to like putin in increasing numbers. Dems as a statistical group think the interference is a big deal and fear putin. Two different fact universes. Jay and I are living in the latter fact universe, you and Priscilla are living in the former. We ain’t gonna agree. This, as I am seeing from reading these presidential biographies, is nothing new.

        I believe that trump is unlikely to be Jefferson because character IS destiny. People from your fact universe are tired of hearing people from my fact universe complain. It ain’t gonna stop, dratted first amendment extends to us too. You really should stop complaining about us complaining. History will unfold, we will see what trump can do, good and bad.

  92. Pat Riot permalink
    January 19, 2017 11:22 am

    70’s cop show…the chase up the stairwell all the way up to the roof…now Jay is on the roof with his anti-Trump articles and a dossier…”put it down, Jay, put it down”….”but he’s not fit”….”it’s okay Jay, just put the information down on top of that commercial air-conditioning unit from Mexico…”

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 19, 2017 11:30 am

      Roby your most recent 10:42 comment is a good one. I applaud your path to information on presidents and elections. It’s important for people to understand the historical context–what is brand new and what is just latest round of long existing differences. Though with the Internet and the ubiquitous media some aspects are unprecedented.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 19, 2017 11:40 am

        Yes, Jefferson is one of my heroes. I favor cooperation among bottom-up entities, from families to states to nations, over too much central planning, because “absentee landlords” often can’t relate, and often can’t possibly know the needs of a region, to put it mildly, and for other readons, but also understand the need for a Balance between bottom up and top down representation…anyway, there is little comparison and much contrast between the eloquent, thoughtful, well-versed Framers and Trump the silver spoon Egomaniac.

      • Roby permalink
        January 19, 2017 6:52 pm

        Well, I’m glad I got one right. It seems that there is still some room for us to agree and I am glad of that.

    • January 19, 2017 2:01 pm

      I’m assuming you mean a 70s style cop show, Pat, to have Trump’s dossier in the scenario?

      I know a lot about Carrier, past and present. My father in law was a long time engineer/designer for them, in the Syracuse NY original facility, which I visited in the late 1970s. The world wide manufacturing model back then was different than now. Industrial nations manufactured goods within their own borders, for the most part. The required skill sets for workers was confined to those same nations. That’s now changed, and it’s not changing back in the foreseeable future. There’s no way American companies can compete with foreign competitors who pay a day’s wages equal to our hourly wage.

      Carrier knows that too. The 600 or 700 jobs they kept in the US ( with taxpayer subsidy) are temporary. Carrier laid off twice that many, contrary to Trump’s empty bluster to save them all, and is sending those jobs to their new $5 million dollar Mexican facility, with more US jobs soon to be exported there as well.

      For now we’re still competitive in high-tech high-skill manufacturing, making automobiles and airplanes and military equipment, etc., but I don’t expect that to last. Unlike nations like Germany who spend money and effort educating and teaching and training for high level industrial manufacturing, we rely on on-the-job apprenticeships, at mostly entry level paying jobs. Plus, as is obvious to all of use who grew up when people who worked with their hands were still respected, those job categories are mostly sneared at by the new generations of indulgence and false expectation.

      Growing up in New York City, I was admitted to Brooklyn Tech, a high school to prepare students for careers in engineering related professions. Yes, we were taught advanced math and algebra and chemistry, but also shop classes were part of the required syllabus: woodworking, metal working, forging, electrical wiring, etc., and those who weren’t going on to college were prepared to enter the job market upon graduation. Now it’s all poking computer keyboards or digital editing or visual and performing arts.

      The kind of decline America is in won’t be fixed by short term blustering or import taxes or presidential posturing. Character is Destiny. Our American character is a sand castle, dissolving in the rain.

      • January 19, 2017 6:26 pm

        Jay! The things you say above about U.S. manufacturing have occurred, but there are many promising and exciting things occurring right alongside those declines. You are correct that we will never go back to the old days of U.S. manufacturing. We can’t, and we shouldn’t. What’s coming up can be even better. The United States is a shape-shifter. It was designed to be flexible and innovative. Don’t let the declines block out the view of what is rising to be better than ever. Don’t underestimate the power of common people feeling good about themselves and their country again!

    • January 19, 2017 9:07 pm

      Holy moley Patman, that’s one of those fake AC units from Mexico that the Joker is selling to the rubes in Kansas. Yes, Rudeman, Joker made his last fortune selling ladies crotch protectors- No Key Or Assembly required. Gee, Patman, do you think there are that many gullible people around? Patman practically chokes while laughing, you’re a Riot

  93. Pat Riot permalink
    January 19, 2017 11:50 am

    “Character is Destiny”

    Ug. Don’t say that. That makes me worry.

    I have to cling to this:

    For some warped reason in our post-post-modern twilight zone mass media culture, it took a monstrous anti-hero to break through the Oligarchal Stranglehold of a once-thriving nation of burgeoning middle class. Now that he’s in he can show the other oligarchs who snubbed him that he’s more powerful than they are, and simultaneously he can be the man of the people and savior of America, because an Ego ad big as Trump’s prefers the attention coming in from as many fronts as possible.

    • January 19, 2017 8:01 pm

      “Character is Destiny”

      I agree. But character is a very complex thing…..there are brave men, war heroes like JFK who have become terrible womanizers and become involved with less than savory characters. There are brave men, civil rights heroes like John Lewis, who have become divisive partisans and liars.

      Not to mention, we live in an age of moral ambiguity. Some people value honesty, even if that honesty comes across as blunt and insensitive. But there are plenty of people these days who would say that insensitivity is far worse than a mild dishonesty. Especially if we’re talking about racial or gender insensitivity. And once a little dishonesty is ok, it opens the door to a little more dishonesty, and maybe ends up with some outright lies.

      Faith, tradition, morality are somewhat harder to come by in our world than in Jefferson’s. Jay-Z and Beyonce are role models for young people. Chelsea Manning has “suffered enough.” Bill Belichick is evil. Ok, maybe that last one is true.

      • January 19, 2017 11:33 pm

        Priscilla, I like your reminder of the gray areas of morality and character. You speak like a Moderate!

  94. Pat Riot permalink
    January 19, 2017 7:08 pm

    A very microcosmic example of new bottom-up U.S. economic growth during a Trump Presidency:

    A 40-year-old woman is a successful school teacher. Her 44-year-old husband manages a parts supply house. This married couple has been eyeing an abandoned stone farmhouse that sits along a main road in their town. They know some of the goods and services that are NOT offered in their area. People must travel to the nearest city and shop the big box stores to obtain those goods & services. This married couple has been hesitant to make their move.

    Because of the easing of some regulatory restrictions, and with a renewed confidence in the economy, the couple purchase the farmhouse. They convert the farmhouse into a retail store. Some of their products are exclusively manufactured in the U.S. Maybe they sell residential water treatment systems. Maybe they run a holistic health center with massage therapy and yoga. Whatever it is, it is something that people in the area want and need.

    Note that they freed up two existing jobs, her teaching job and his parts store manager’s job, for two other Americans who need a job.

    Note that their region is slightly more empowered with the new goods and services offered at the revamped farmhouse. Also less travel, less gasoline, less oil needed.

    Note that they helped improve the value of the surrounding houses because there is no longer the abandoned place dragging the area down.

    Multiply this kind of growth all across the country. Add to it many other kinds of economic growth. Companies making capital investments. New equipment. New workers to run the equipment.

    Long live the United States of America!

  95. Roby permalink
    January 19, 2017 7:51 pm

    Write your own election related caption.

    He seems nice won’t do, gotta make it political

    • January 19, 2017 8:27 pm

      John Podesta’s new gig.

    • Roby permalink
      January 19, 2017 10:17 pm

      Chris Christie’s mailbox bears the brunt of the reaction of a NJ voter to his announcement that he will finish the last year of his term as governor.

      • January 20, 2017 8:44 am

        Ha! Good one. You have avenged your narrow loss in the cockatoo competition, with a clear win in the caption contest!

      • Roby permalink
        January 20, 2017 10:40 am

        Thanks Priscilla, Jeez, I am already tired of all this winning and its only the first day. I thought there would be more entries. I have several more of my own even.

        Video application of successful candidate to be trump’s postmaster general.

        C’mon guys, you can do it, Jay I thought you would knock this one out of the park! Pat’s wry sense of humor is taking a break? Can’t be.

      • Roby permalink
        January 20, 2017 10:43 am

        Bill Belichick is searching for this guy as we speak hoping to get him into uniform as a linebacker by Sunday.

  96. January 19, 2017 8:30 pm

    Bi-partisan humor:

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 19, 2017 11:35 pm

      Aw man, we want liberals and conservatives to reach across the aisle, but fun on the couch?

    • January 20, 2017 8:53 am

      I know. Kind of racy for a Senate hearing, no? Franken’s first reaction is so funny.

      I watched Perry this season on Dancing with the Stars (I know, I know, but it’s a guilty pleasure) and Rick Perry was a contestant. One of the later shows in the season had the contestants choose partners for a routine. Surprisingly, Rick Perry and Vanilla Ice (no, I am not kidding) chose each other as partners, and seemed as if they had become very buddy-buddy. He was a terrible dancer, but seems like a very amiable guy…..

  97. January 19, 2017 9:13 pm

    Tomorrow TCM is airing “A Face in the Crowd” on Trump Inauguration Day.

    Elia Kazan’s 1957 film is one of the great American films of the 1950s. I’m sure most of you know, it’s a dark cautionary tale about a TV personality who becomes a populist hero through incendiary speech and opinion, and then a powerful right wing political voice. But at his core he is a cynical ambitious conman whose unchecked ego spins out of control as his fame grows. Ultimately he is brought down and disgraced after making a disdainful vitriolic rant about his fans, caught live on a hot microphone.

    Comparisons to Trump are obvious, and the film has been mentioned frequently in that regard in print and media – I think I may have referenced it once here too. But what’s truly frightening and disheartening is not the depiction of the egomaniacal con artist Andy Griffith portrays, or the sudden rush of public scorn following his on-air rant and the certain implied destruction of his broadcast career following it – but the realization that Trump has engaged in similar rants and vulgar admissions, with indifferent acceptance by the public.

    The kind of American public rectitude that found fault with the Face In The Crowd character, the flat out bed rock condemnation of character deficiency and behavior from a public figure that existed in America back then, has vanished from our culture. A real life Lonesome Roads type personage in the 50s would have been swept into the garbage dustbin. Real life Trump here and now, for similar grotesque public utterances, has been elevated into a role model for success.

    This is no longer the country I grew up in, whose core values and common sense and integrity I thought were universally shared by the great majority of Americans. I’ve traveled across this nation frequently, to dozens of cities. I’ve driven from east coast to west by car twice. I came away from those trips, and the interactions with Americans from those places, with the impression most people had common sense and a shared morality of propriety.

    I no longer think that. We are a divided people in spirit and perception. Tomorrow when Trump is sworn in, the America I loved and respected my whole life long will have expired. A nation that would elect an emotionally dysfunctional fraud and deceiver and borderline sexual degenerate to the presidency is comatose brain dead. Tomorrow the life support system will be disconnected, and I will go into mourning. I’m draping the windows and mirrors in my house in black. I’m doing the same to the TV and computer and my iPad. I shall sit shiva for seven days and not look at newspapers or digital messages or the internet.

    America the Beautiful…
    May She Rest In Peace…

  98. Pat Riot permalink
    January 19, 2017 11:46 pm

    This is Pat Riot reporting from Southwest New Jersey with news of an historic shift. I watched the Inauguration Concert today on CNN. Not only did CNN not mock Trump and the event, they were very complimentary. It seems CNN has dropped the leftist attacks and may be on board. Good.

    My own opinion of today’s ceremonies is that they were well done and inspiring, including laying of wreath for the unknown soldiers, musical concert with a variety of pro-USA acts from multiple genres, including interaction with the crowd singing, shots of U.S. Veterans singing along, humble Trump speech being inclusive, Trump family staring up at the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial for a solemn moment, and a mega fireworks display. I liked it. Feeling pride. I think Trump haters are going to be pleasantly surprised.

    • January 20, 2017 8:59 am

      That concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial was quite spectacular, in a very moving way. Whoever decided on that venue made a great choice ~ the mild weather and beautiful sunset sky didn’t hurt either. I have to admit, I got a bit teary-eyed when Lee Greenwood sang “God Bless the USA.” And 3 Doors Down ? They must not have gotten the memo that any musical act other than a country one had to self-righteously refuse to perform for the inauguration. They were very good.

  99. January 20, 2017 12:14 am

    Well I spoke too soon regarding CNN. The CNN talking heads were gracious and complimentary earlier. Haha I think Wolf Blitzer really liked the fireworks. But now tonight they are back to being condescending to Trump. Oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  100. January 20, 2017 8:55 am

    Has there ever been a “bad” inauguration? The problems won’t start today. Maybe tomorrow. But we are headed downhill for the next 4 years at least.

    And we were just starting to recover a little too. Have seen signs begging for workers for $10/hr which is good for this area of rural Appalachia.

    Why working class people vote Conservative Republican when their “principles” have destroyed the middle class is beyond my ability to comprehend. Of course my area has been that way for at least the last 25 years. They voted 75% for Trump. I suspect a huge number are only voting that way to “save babies”…never occurs to anyone out here to PREVENT pregnancy in the first place.

    My Republican congressman wrote a tirade against Obamacare (he has a weekly column in our local paper). He always conveniently leaves out details like how the reason you couldn’t keep your coverage was because the insurance company choose to re-write your plan — not Obama. Your insurance company is totally in control of what you are charged, not Obama. And many more people would be signed up for Obamacare – IF Republican run states would accept subsidies so the premiums wouldn’t be so high.
    SMDH

    • January 20, 2017 12:37 pm

      Moogie, I can understand you position, but it seems like one significant issue is not part of your evaluation. Appalachia is coal dependent. It is the primary economic driver of the area. The state and local budgets were based on the coal severance taxes, which resulted from the coal sales from the area. From 2010 to 2015, these taxes dropped 40%. West Va. Boone County collected $6 million in 2010 and $2+ million in 2015. Kentucky saw total coal taxes drop from over $62 million to just over $23 million. Boone County also had a $5 million loss in taxes for school funding.

      One must decide if the decreased coal sales were due to Republican policies, Democrat policies or the general economic condition of the country. Whatever the reason, no area of the country can withstand these revenue losses, withstand the loss of 25,000 coal miner jobs and not be sit back years in all economic areas.

      I suggest that much of this is due to Obama’s EPA regulations on coal.

  101. January 20, 2017 12:48 pm

    Two Hours To The Death Of American Ideals- The Long Nightmare Begins…

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/20/america-s-trial-by-fire-begins-today.html?via=desktop&source=twitter

    • January 20, 2017 12:53 pm

      Native Prayer For Dying America:

      Hold on to my hand
      even when I have gone away from you.

    • January 20, 2017 12:59 pm

      Buddhist Prayer Of Condolance For Soul Of The Departed:

    • January 20, 2017 1:05 pm

      Non Denominational Prayer For Dying America:

      Eternal rest grant unto Her, O Lord,
      and let perpetual light shine upon Her,
      May She rest in peace.
      Amen…

  102. Roby permalink
    January 20, 2017 1:33 pm

    Jay, I live in the same fact universe as you do on trump and I agree with your opinion of the man and our politics and how this election went down but fer god’s sake, keep your sense of humor intact, you might just happen to survive the next however many trump years and want to be mentally prepared to enjoy life. Dirges ain’t gonna help and the patient is seriously ill but not dead or necessarily dying.

    Read or reread about the contentious elections of 1800, 1824, 1876. Terrible Presidents have occurred, even series in the same era: Pierce, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson with only the 4 years of Lincoln (and a CIvil War!) separating Johnson. We survived. America is a very large flywheel (as putin is about to discover I think).

    • January 20, 2017 8:03 pm

      Roby is offering you good advice, Jay. Let’s assume that Trump is as bad as you think he is (which would make him even worse than Bill Belichick). He hasn’t been elected king ~ his presidency will bring back all of the skepticism that the media has been lacking for 8 years (that’s a good thing), and the powers of the presidency, while significant, are not absolute.

      We have had some really bad presidents. And some of our good, even great, presidents have had some really serious personal flaws.

      The pendulum always swings back ~ the Democrats got complacent and they lost. They’ll figure it out, or they’ll end up resigned to the dust bin of history, as another opposition party emerges.

  103. Roby permalink
    January 20, 2017 11:37 pm

    My most politically moderate child is on her way down to Washington with a group of friends to be a part of the woman’s march. I would not call her a feminist, not in the college activist sense of the word in any case. But she is very opposed to trump and offended by the concept of a man with such ideas of how women should be treated as president. I understand her completely, I’m proud of her.

    So, I don’t don’t want to hear any general equating of protesters, women’s marchers, or liberals in general with the violent idiot anarchists in Washington causing damage and mayhem. I’d be fine with see a few of the violent anarchists (is there some other kind?) shot and the rest thrown in prison for lengthy terms. Publish the names of those arrested in their home states see if anyone wants to employ such destructive childish goons. Pecker heads one and all, counter productive infantile jackasses. Not liberals, not at all, they are the far left, which is far from liberal. These are not constructive people, they are destructive children who need a serious ass whupping. I’d pay good money to see that. They put a stupid face on the valid expression of first amendment rights by normal people, and I am sure that many trump supporters will equate them with the entire opposition to trump. So, they are useful idiots who only help the forces of darkness.

    • January 21, 2017 1:32 am

      Being in the liberal land of Washington D.C., most likely they will get the fullest extent of hand slapping and told “naughty naughty, you were bad, don’t do it again”. I commend the women who scheduled their march on the day after the inauguration. They have this right to march and make their voices heard. They also were respectful to the democracy and the citizens of the country to allow this day to go by without being part of the story today. And I bet they get more press tomorrow than the small amount of coverage they would have received had they demonstrated today.

      But the amount of influence they have going forward will be about as much as the Occupy Wall Street protesters had on the financial decision made by congress. This country is too divided and self centered now to activate the number of people needed to influence change like that of MLK and the anti war demonstrators had that actually changed things in this country.

      • Roby permalink
        January 21, 2017 9:28 am

        Your comment was a typically thoughtful Ron P comment, that is how I took it. Good points.

    • January 21, 2017 1:35 am

      Roby, the hand slapping was directed to the rioters, not the marchers. Wanted to make that clear.

    • January 21, 2017 11:52 am

      I agree as well. I see this as similar to the huge Tea Party protests that were similarly ignored back in 2010, but that likely led to the changing of the guard that we see now;

      Peaceful and respectful protest is the American way, and should be commended, always.

      I suppose my only question would be ~ what is the purpose of the protest? I am assuming it is to support abortion and women’s rights in general. I understand that there is a fear that, if Trump’s SCOTUS pick creates a majority on the Court that finds that states have the right to place some limits on abortion. So, if that is it, I hope that the message is understood.

      If it’s to protest Donald Trump because they hate him? That is allowed to….but I think it’s counterproductive.

      • January 21, 2017 11:53 am

        *too

      • January 21, 2017 1:48 pm

        Priscilla, I am going to be rude and jump into your question to Roby since I watched a sigment on PBS Newshour with the two women that organized this gathering. They made it very clear a number of times that this was not a protest. Their position was this is a march to support women’s rights. They said it is going to be a vast number of women gathered to support everything women face from control of their own bodies, equal pay, equal hiring all the way to sexual misconduct and legal protection for women and the way the legal profession applies the law. They said all women present may not support 100% of their positions, but will support a large numnber of them.

        They said there will be women marching that are there primarily to show their dislike for Trump, but their desire is to support women and not against something. ( I take it they are demonstrating against everything conservatives believe in from a social point of view )

        They can gather 200,000 in one place for one weekend and little will happen. Not until career politicians believe their jobs are on the line and enough disruption of normal life happens across America will much change.

      • January 21, 2017 6:12 pm

        Not rude at all, Ron. We all jump in on questions.

        You make a good about the difference between a protest and what I suppose would be more accurately called a rally. And, given the high emotion that women’s issues have caused since….well, I guess since the 1920’s, but more recently, since the War on Women narrative has emerged, I think that it is quite appropriate to see hundreds of thousands of women (and a lot of men as well) rallying to place emphasis on their priorities.

        I was quite turned off though, by some of the disgusting accusations gratuitously made about Trump and his family, by Ashley Judd, Madonna. Michael Moore, and other celebrities who spoke at the rally.

        So, I have my doubts as to whether anyone in DC, particularly Trump, will take these people seriously. They’ll be written off as nasty crybabies and their effort will be for naught.

      • January 21, 2017 6:33 pm

        Priscilla, your comments about some of the speakers is exactly what is wrong with most movements in America today and why so many do not take these people serious. I could be totally wrong, but I don’t remember MLK making any of his big speeches about any one person. He may have addressed the KKK or other extremist group, or the southerrn racist that supported segragation, but I don’t remember him attacking one person unless that person put themseves in the forfrknt like George Wallace. I did not hear anything said today, but I woukd suspect the speakers you listed mad this all about Trump and that takes away from the message women should be trying to make.

  104. January 21, 2017 2:02 pm

    Very interesting listening to the liberal media outlets and how they disliked Trump’s inaugural address. His attack on Washington has ben mentioned a number of times ,that being their actions have benefitted a few while ignoring the people. The media can not understand how he can say these things and get politicians support.

    What they seem to forget is this is what got Trump elected. No more Washington double talk. No more political deflection. The people want straight talk. Trump is going to the people and his support will either come from the people or his downfall will come at the hands of the people.

    I was never a Trump supporter, but I do support Trump telling career politicians that they have F@#-+#$ up this country and if they don’t want to be part of the solution, then get out of the way or the people will get them out of the way. I am in full support of people saying what is the truth instead of the double talk lies we hear daily.

    • January 21, 2017 6:26 pm

      Yeah, I was surprised at the negative reaction to the speech, by many liberals. At least 1/3 of it could have come right out of the mouth of Bernie Sanders, who is regarded, at least by the media ,a as a populist hero these days.

      It was a short speech, very Jacksonian, big on nationalism and populism. I’m not generally a populist, but I think that it’s a reasonable response to the whole bloated bureaucracy that now dominates Washington, and seems to function primarily for its own good, rather than for the good of the people. And, similarly, I think that nationalism is a reaction to the belief that America has been founded on principles that are being torn apart, in order to further the goals of identity politics and globalism.

      I also don’t get the criticism that the speech was “dark.” Do people NOT think that our cities are in terrible shape, or that our public education system is failing the most disadvantaged? Do they just want happy talk?

      I’m hoping that things settle down, but I’m not very optimistic right now.

      • January 21, 2017 9:50 pm

        Ain’t no liberals in my house or among my moderate Rep friends. But, we thought his amateurish effort to make an important speech, his first official one, was not worthy of a president. I’m not talking just content but style (none) also, fell short. I laughed when Obama mouthed “good job” at him.
        Spend a few bucks and get a good writer to sell your message (I think he is cheap, BTW).

      • Roby permalink
        January 21, 2017 10:05 pm

        Mr. Duck, you have no idea how much your pithy comments make my day here at times. I hereby bestow the Golden Duck anti-partisan objectivity award on you! (don’t try to cash it though, I couldn’t afford real gold).

      • January 21, 2017 11:05 pm

        Dd12, I was never a Trump supporter, but I have always been a supporter of those that could care less what people who think they are powerful thought of them. Trump could care less about the Democrats or the Republicans that think they control things. Trump has basically formed a third party within the two party system. He gained support from fractions of each of the existing parties. He is talking to those people. He is not talking Washington bull s$%& nor is he trying to impress the power brokers in the capitol. The speech may have been piss poor to all those with a preconceived idea of what the inaugural speech should be.He was not addressing those people. He could care less about those people. I found the speech refreshing. He said what millions have wanted to hear for years from an elected official. And his power and effectiveness will live or die from the people. They will either continue to support him and force congress to act, or he will be a failure when they bolt and buy back into the same old Washington bureaucratic BS that has allowed 4 million manufacturing jobs to go overseas since 1980, has run up a few dollars of debt just short of 20 trillion, has allowed for a VA system where veterans are dieing from lack of care and the VA managers are receiving huge performance bonuses, has allowed an education system to decline to the mid 20’s in the world and has created a health care payment system where people have insurance but can’t use it since the deductibles are thousands higher than employer sponsored insurance or Medicare. And I could continue with mountains of other incompetent legislation that has made a few rich while making the masses poorer ( like the 25,000 fewer coal miners in Appalachia since 2010), but I will spare you this lecture.

        However, that is why Trump exist and his existence will be based on people continuig to want those issue faced. Congress and the media will just have to accept that fact as Trump will out manuever and out manipulate them each sterp along his presidential path for the next 4 years. Then the people will judge agasin, not the DC power brokers or the media since I believe Trump has provided a model for election for those not part of the good ‘ol boys fraternity.

      • January 21, 2017 10:05 pm

        “Yeah, I was surprised at the negative reaction to the speech, by many liberals. ”

        You overlooked many Conservative criticism. Here’s but a few:

        Bill Kristol: “An awful speech.”

        George Will: “A most dreadful inaugural address … the most dreadful inaugural address in history.”

        National Review: “Trump’s inaugural address was boastful, huffy, ungracious, half cocked, and demagogic. It was almost certainly the most demagogic inaugural address in our history.”

        And of course, Trump lied about writing it.

        Last month when speaking with guests at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump said that he planned to write the inaugural address himself.  He repeated that claim to two transition officials, and to a visiting historian. He also tweeted: “Writing my inaugural address at the Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, three weeks ago. Looking forward to Friday.” And tweeted a photo of himself, supposedly writing the speech at a desk. Observant Twitter users pointed out he was holding a capped Sharpie, and the pad looked blank.

        Now confirmation from the WSJ that Bannon and a speechwriter wrote most almost all of the speech. Why lie about something so stupid? To prove what?

        Little mind, little depth, little character, little chance of him reforming, Trump will continue to worm his way into the history books as the Liar In Chief.

        http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/315904/trump-inauguration-speech-written-by-steve-bannon/

      • Roby permalink
        January 21, 2017 10:11 pm

        My theory is that when you are born on 3rd base and everyone you meet in your formative years kisses your ass and congratulates you on hitting a triple, then you may actually come to believe that you DID write the speech etc. He is suffering from affluenza distorted cognizance. Which can happen. But his cheerleaders, whats wrong with their view of reality? That is the scary part, not the rich kid and his delusions.

      • January 21, 2017 11:20 pm

        Liberal guys,

        Trump is not beloved by conservatives, because he is most emphatically NOT a conservative.

        To your point, Roby, Trump has never been accepted by the donor class, despite his wealth. He is “nouveau-riche,” gauche and garish. Not acceptable to the smart set.

        The quite brilliant writer, Salena Zito, put it best: Trump’s supporters take him seriously, but not literally. His detractors take him literally, but not seriously.

        I do not take the pussy-hat women seriously. Perhaps I should. Or perhaps they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

      • Roby permalink
        January 21, 2017 11:36 pm

        I think my point was that he lied, pathetically, again, and that he is such a $%#$%*-up specimen that he probably believes his own lies. Another point is that this lying is fine with many people who burst into near apoplectic indignation when the Clinton lies are the topic of conversation. Some call it embracing a new paradigm. I call it hypocrisy.

        The polls that I read carefully do not support the idea that conservatives don’t love him. Most of the people who adore him and believe he has already saved the country are in fact conservatives. There are some important conservatives who don’t love him. They are carrying the remaining embers of conservative honor like Charles De Gaulle once carried the remaining kernel of French honor after the French capitulated to Germany.

        Character is still destiny. trump may have sort of founded a new party, but that does not exempt him (or us) from that law. His lousy entirely dishonest character will make this a lousy country while he is in office. As, well, the Peter principle is about to be demonstrated. He will likely drag any issues he spoke to that were legitimate down with him when he goes down.

      • January 22, 2017 12:11 pm

        Yes, the Peter Principle Presidency – he has risen way beyond the level of his incompetency!

      • January 22, 2017 10:51 am

        “Trump’s supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

        A rationalization for saying lying is OK if the liar promotes your interests.

      • January 22, 2017 11:51 am

        Jay, guess what. Trump supporters are smart enough to realize ALL elected official lie, so that is why they take him seriously, but not literally. Those that believe politicians are the ones that get screwed. Remember, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”? Remember, “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your heathcare plan”?

      • January 21, 2017 11:27 pm

        dd, I do get your objections to Trump. He’s not a conservative. He’s a populist.

        On the other hand, if you are saying that Obama is the “moderate” standard to be measured against? Then we have a very different definition of “moderate.” Even by his own standard, Obama is a leftist.

      • January 22, 2017 11:01 am

        Trump Popularism has now become a synonym for Fashism.

        The popular fashist is still dismissed as UNSUITABLE for office by a majority of Americans.

        His unfavorably numbers will continue to rise as he continues to trample our institutions with his clumsy words and actions.

      • January 22, 2017 12:45 am

        Oh, please, Roby. He lied? He’s been saying the same thing since the first week he began running for the presidency. That is what makes him different. Maybe not better, but certainly different.

        You, and many others ~ even me, to a certain degree~ expected him to become “more presidential,” that is, more full of BS, once he got elected.

        But, surprise! He’s the same guy that got elected. Anti-establishment, socially liberal, pro-law enforcement, anti-interventionist, pro-tax cuts, anti-amnesty, etc. He’s way more protectionist than I would like, far less supply side. But what you see, is what you get. That is something that we’re not used to.

        I wonder, do you believe that Hillary Clinton’s character is so stellar? If character is destiny, where do you suppose a Clinton presidency might have taken us? I would say right down the road to ruin, as she took herself.

        I imagine that you and Jay must believe yourselves to be very morally superior, given that you are very sure that Trump is a liar, but that Hillary is not. I don’t pretend to know whether either one is a “good person.” In fact, I tend to believe that this election truly was between the lesser of two evils. But, I’m also pretty sure that the lesser of two evils was Trump.

      • January 22, 2017 12:49 pm

        I First, many of the views and beliefs he voiced as a Republican candidate contradicted his previously expressed views and beliefs.His flip floppings have nothing to do with sincerity of belief, they are tools of convenience for capturing voters through deceit.

        Second, while it’s true Clinton lied too, in comparison to devious-deceptive Trump she was a mere fibber: Truth-o-Meter comparison:

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/lists/people/comparing-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-truth-o-met/

        Third, the BIG Trump LIES:
        Promising to release his taxes.
        Promising to Blind Trust his businesses.

        These are assurances he gave to the American People, ALL OF US!

        Shame on you not speaking out to demand he keep his word!

        And ‘socially liberal’ Trump is for overturning Row v Wade, for extending gun ownership weapons and availability, for making it easier to sue reporters and newspapers, and for defunding climate control programs: positions antithetical to liberals.

  105. January 21, 2017 11:10 pm

    BOASTFUL LIES OF BS TRUMP CONTINUE.

    Ego impaired Trump now claiming the media showed false photos of his innaugeration speech crowd. Lied and said a million people were there. He whined about it on TV. He snivveled, he invoked God for stopping the drizzle that was falling to allow him to continue the speech he claimed to have written but didn’t. Your President ( in name only) again acting like an 8 year old brat.

    Screengrab taken from the Trump Inaugural Livestream on Youtube as of 11:04 AM ET shows the skimpy crowd.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/20/14332462/photos-crowd-trump-inauguration-vs-obama

    Can you imagine any other American President moping about press reports of an inauguration crowd size? And at the first official Trump press conference today Trump’s press secretary refused to take questions, but berated the press about it as well. Despite numerous visual evidence of the crowd size, or lack thereof, he repeated Trump’s lie and lied himself.

    What the hell is wrong with these people? Everything! And at Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters today, he continued on his asinine crowd size rant…

    I’ll continue this in another box so I can provide another link…

    • January 21, 2017 11:24 pm

      “What Trump delivered Saturday was a campaign-style, stream-of-consciousness airing of grievances — at the Senate for delaying confirmation of his nominees; at critics for questioning whether he is smart and vigorous; and at journalists, whom he called “the most dishonest human beings on earth” and accused of lying about the size of his inauguration crowd.

      Trump claimed falsely that the crowd for his swearing-in stretched down the National Mall to the Washington Monument and totaled more than 1 million people. It did not. Trump accused television networks of showing “an empty field” and reporting that he drew just 250,000 people to witness Friday’s ceremony.

      “It looked like a million, a million and a half people,” Trump said, falsely claiming that his crowd “went all the way back to the Washington Monument.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-in-cia-visit-attacks-media-for-coverage-of-his-inaugural-crowds/2017/01/21/f4574dca-e019-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.13dbfa319698

      Oh yeah, he told the CIA he was thinking about ‘getting Iraqi oil” because “The old expression, to the victor belong the spoils.”. He added, “We should’ve kept the oil. But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”

      Belligerent bellicose bullshit from a classless idiot. And this is only Day 2 of the downward slope of the Decline of America.

      • Roby permalink
        January 21, 2017 11:39 pm

        Decline of America while he is president, which is not going to be forever and may perhaps not even make 4 years.

      • dduck12 permalink
        January 22, 2017 3:07 am

        Priscilla: My opinion of Obama is not that he is a moderate: “Obama should not have let the ACA plan, which is what I called it, be called Obamacare. I think that and the Nobel prize went to his head. I do think he matured mentally on the job. I hope Trump matures a little too.”

        My opinion of Trump is that he may be a Dem’s dream as catalyst for 2018 and beyond: “If Trump continues to be so bad and out of touch with reality (1.5 million!) and practicality, I would look for a backlash vote and positive momentum for the Dems in 2018. Trump may actually be the wake-up call the Dems needed. They may have been asleep at the switch, or at the train controls. Now that train ran into the station, they could rally with the right leadership. No, not Hillary, Bill, Schumer, or Pelosi. People like Tulsi Gabbard just to name one (I don’t know them much), that need to take the controls. Trump may have given them a golden opportunity.”

      • January 22, 2017 10:00 am

        dd12, I do agree that the Democrats need a wake up call, and that Trump may be it. Tulsi Gabbard? She recently traveled to Syria, on her own, and refused to tell the leadership of either party why she went, or who paid for her trip. I don’t know about her…..

        Paranoia, condescension, and elitism, are all part of what led to Hillary’s defeat. Trump should try to avoid the same mistakes. He has come to Washington despised by almost everyone, save his voters. It will take some time to build bridges, if that is even possible. I don’t know if it is.

        Regarding Spicer, and the size of the inaugural crowd? It certainly seems to be a stupid fight. The media routinely lies about the size of crowds on the mall, depending upon the purpose of the crowd, and I have no doubt that it lied about Trump’s inaugural crowd. But, it’s not a hill to die on, and I don’t know why he chose that fight. Not encouraging.

        On the other hand, Zeke Miller of Time Magazine, flat out lied about a bust of MLK being removed from the Oval Office, then apologized, after the damage was done, and other reporters had picked up the story. Going after a newly inaugurated president like that is not encouraging either.

        I do want to say this dd12 ~ I really appreciate your respectful way of discussing disagreements. You make your points succinctly, without being personally nasty or insulting, and without lecturing those of us who may have a different point of view. So, thanks.

      • January 22, 2017 1:26 pm

        RE Priscilla comment the Media routinely lies about crowd sizes and she has no doubt they lied about a trump’s Innaugral crowd size:

        The MSM doesn’t estimate the crowd size, Priscilla; they report the estimates from police and other on-site ground sources, and from professional data evaluating sources, like this one the NYT published today, comparing the Trump crowd to the Woman’s March crowd, and verifying the skimpy Trump crowd previously reported:

        Why would you make an unfounded remark based on an ASSUMPTION they were certainly underestimating the Trump Crowd size?

        “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
        ― Isaac Asimov

      • January 22, 2017 7:31 pm

        Frankly, Jay, I don’t give a damn about the size of the crowds at either the inauguration or the silly, pink pussy hat march of white women demanding their rights. I think that Trump’s arguing about it is stupid and pointless. He’s got many more important things to worry about.

        However, I do know that crowd size estimates are an art, not a science. So, I’m thrilled to see that “crowd scientists” exist now ~ so necessary in this world! As I recall, during the campaign, it was a mantra of the mainstream media that Trump’s huge rallies meant nothing, and Hillary could draw crowds as well, she just preferred smaller venues.

        And when it comes to lying? “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
        Enough said.

      • January 22, 2017 10:53 pm

        There ya go again with your repeated ad nauseum ‘Obama’s wrong justifies Trump’s continuing stupidities.’

        If you can’t bring yourself to criticize this kind of idiotic crap from Trump, if you don’t see how his behavior smears our nation’s traditions for rectitude, for common sense, for sane behavior, you are a hopeless apologist for his moronic behavior.

        This kind of pathological petty bruised ego outbursts are disgusting, and IRRATIONAL! I don’t have any criticism of you defending policy, but defending an adolescent ego damaged moron who now has the power of the presidency in his grip is moral negligence. This man is a cancer, destroying the ideal of one nation, indivisible. And the begrudging weak criticism you’ve managed is less than tepid.

        And your petty demeaning stereotyping jibes at ”silly, pink pussy hat march of white women demanding their rights’ sounds like a white mentally constipated old crotch Conservative woman trapped in a creaky, freaky narrow mind set.

        Trump, the abrasive divider, will daily continue to antagonize huge numbers of Americans, because he can’t control his obnoxious temprement. The numbers who despise him will grow. And the real danger to the nation will be his impulse to overreact. The blood that flows from that will be on your hands, for electing a divisive fool as president, and not immediately speaking out to subdue him – But of course you’ll rationalize that as well, and congratulate him for maintaining order, just as you keep rationalizing his crass divisive behavior now.

        Shame on you.

      • Roby permalink
        January 22, 2017 11:19 pm

        “And your petty demeaning stereotyping jibes at ”silly, pink pussy hat march of white women demanding their rights’ sounds like a white mentally constipated old crotch Conservative woman trapped in a creaky, freaky narrow mind set.”

        I draw the line. This is not TNM material.

      • January 23, 2017 12:34 pm

        I agree in re-reading the passage I let my emotions overcome restraint, and for not catching the spell checker correction of ‘crotchety’ changed to ‘crotch’ – turning it into a body part criticism from a temprement criticism. Sorry, Pricilla, I didn’t mean to call attention to your personal regions.

        But Roby, I find your flare up at me and subsequent order to leave somewhat hypocritical – or have you forgotten you own periodic flare ups, like your hissy fit at Priscilla when she equated you with McCarthyism? And I seem to remember you going off on Ron awhile back, thou the contents of that one escapes my recollection, and I don’t want to dig it up now. And you did go off on me too, once before. You’re not really a model of self restraint yourself, a pot calling the kettle kinda thing.

        So yes, you write brilliantly, and and we are in accord overall in our views, but that doesn’t mean you are immune from periodically being a Dickhead as well. We OK on this now?

      • Roby permalink
        January 23, 2017 1:04 pm

        My band recently had to fire our bassist, he was with us 3 months. We had to cancel gigs and go back to the drawing board. He was brilliant, a fantastic musician. But he had some kind of screw lose and compulsively abused our drummer, a founding member of the band decades back. The drummer does not wish to ever see him again, no matter how well he plays and how good he made us sound.

        I well understand how Priscilla’s completely unswerving partisan conservative point of view on politics could push buttons, they push mine. But at my worst, which I considered to be quite rude, I was never, I don’t believe, as ugly as what you wrote. You really seem to dislike her, its personal.

        I have zero authority. But being here is enjoyable to the extent that one has other people who will listen to them and invest energy in replying. Why should Priscilla want to listen to you in the future or reply? Having you go after a poster in such an ugly way as a person who is “on my side” just made me really embarrassed for my side. It left a shockingly bad taste in my mouth.

        You can post as much as you want, free country, but the question is will you get any polite thoughtful feedback? This site, as DDuck and Mike Hatcher have written, is very unusual on the internet, people here genuinely seem to like each other. Priscilla’s political views drive me nuts, but I Like her, she is an old buddy of mine, she has earned my friendship over the years by making many classy gestures to bridge our political divide. In the age of trump I doubt if its wise for me and Priscilla to talk to about politics at all. I don’t talk with my son about politics, its just painful.

        Maybe people should just know when enough is enough and back off from chasms that are not bridgeable and stay positive. Unfortunately, the online world is full of people who do not know how to do that. I think it gives a distorted view of humanity, it exposes our ugly side more than our generous side. That is why TNM, as an exception most of the time, is a refuge that we moderates appreciate.

        That is all I can say. If you want to be here I predict that you are not going to find it enjoyable unless you can make some kind of fully magnificent apology to Priscilla and completely change your way of addressing her. And that may well be too late, it ain’t up to me.

      • January 23, 2017 1:32 pm

        “In the age of trump I doubt if its wise for me and Priscilla to talk to about politics at all.”

        Kind of hard to not talk politics on a site based on politics. People can talk politics. People can make their points known. And when the discussion gets to a point, one can do what JB and I did about abortion many months ago. Just agree to disagree and not discuss that issue again.

        The other issue is once you have reached a limit on someones comments concerning any subject, simple delete any message from that individual without reading and move on. You can scan the comment for key flash words and when one is identified, hit delete.

        Makes for a much happier day and time will not be spent on reading the same rhetoric that has been posted for months, along with links that have the same positions stated.

        I, for one, am ready for some article from Rick that will cover some political issues like tax policy, deficits, education, infrastructure, job creation, unfair trade policies and the multitude of real issues facing this country so we can discuss those and get off the election. I enjoy reading others comments on those issues and determining if common ground can be achieved in our thinking.

        As of two days ago, I have decided to stop reading anything on Facebook concerning the election, Trump or protestsand have stopped commenting on any of those issues. I can’t do a damn thing about them except raise my blood pressure and that is not a positive outcome.

      • Roby permalink
        January 23, 2017 12:04 am

        This is simply abuse. It makes no point that you wanted to make, rather otherwise. JB went and he did not get to half this level of abuse. Political disagreement does not justify this. I’m glad you like my writing but there is no way I am going to pull my punches here. You have disqualified yourself in my eyes as a New Moderate. Time for you find another target on some other site.

      • January 23, 2017 8:18 pm

        Roby, to put your sanctimonious remarks into perspective you wrote this December 31, 2016 3:44 pm :

        “Priscilla I was worse at one time to you than Jay has ever been. I even remember with embarrassment some of my worst comments. I can repeat them if you want for old times sake, some were sort of funny in a very rude way.”

        And you slipped off the reasonable wagon with this, on Jan 8th 2017: (my CAPS)

        “Priscilla once upon a time you had a page that complained that Obama doesn’t even think that putin is the enemy, did you not? So, how about trump? Oh, he is your guy so now you turn to ridiculous charges of McCarthyism aimed at Jay and myself and democrats for recognizing the obvious. I CANNOT TAKE YOU ANY MORE. YOUR LEVEL OF TWISTING THINGS TO MEET THE PARTISAN OCCASION IS BEYOND MY CAPACITY TO COPE… I CANNOT BEAR THE MENTAL WORLD YOU LIVE IN Priscilla. You tore it with me with the McCarthyism charge. You have taken passive aggression to an art form and you well know how to hit nerves like a sadistic dentist. BLEH!”

        Are you claiming your words were less obnoxious than mine, and any less personal in nature? So, I suggest you follow your own advise for polite discourse, and save the presumptuous finger waving for yourself. But like Priscilla, I’m a forgiving soul, and I’m willing to ignore and forgive your drunk on your own self importance lapses if you’re willing to overlook my insulting lapses of obnoxiousness.

        And if not, frankly my dear, etc.

      • Roby permalink
        January 23, 2017 9:26 pm

        Heh, yeah I was pretty ripped. (McCarthyism my ass). I think I even managed to stay away from here for a couple weeks after that. Then I looked in, harmlessly I thought, and then I commented, and then I was hooked again.

        My ability to patiently bear the inner world of either zealous righties or lefties is not high. I have no idea how I got addicted to this kind of political conversation but if you know of a cure I’d like to know about it. the trump era has made a bad situation unbearable.

        Sanctimonious, sure I’ll cop to that. I will sanctimoniously (and hypocritically, lets not leave that out) suggest that you go Way lighter on Priscilla if you want her to converse.

    • January 22, 2017 12:22 am

      In case I didn’t make myself clear about Trump’s White House press sectetary, standing up at his first briefing, lying, and storming out, that is disgusting unprofessional, unbecoming behavior, and he must be fired.

      This is NOT acceptable behavior in the USA.
      Tin horn dictatorships and fascist governments behave this way to the press.

      Trump’s plan has been obvious for some time: undermine the press, notably that part of it who disagrees with him and criticized him, by deligitimizing them in as many minds as possible. When you can’t bare scrutiny, delegitimize the scrutinizers. That was what Putin did upon entering office in Russia; it was what Mussolini did when taking power in Italy; and then installing and controlling your own loyal news media.

      This is our American ideal:

      “No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804. ME 11:33

      This is Trump’s ideal:

      “I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth…”

      Where’s the moderation you Trumo apologists talked about, once he was in office?
      Where’s the civility, the mature professionalism you said would replace the campaign cantankerousness?

      Trump is a dangerous divisive blowhard. He hasn’t inched away from his awful bluster and confrontation at all since he eked out the win in a dubious election.

      • dduck12 permalink
        January 22, 2017 3:08 am

        Agree, Jay.

  106. January 21, 2017 11:37 pm

    Today’s Best Tweet:

    George Takei @GeorgeTakei
    “The peaceful transfer of power is a thing of beauty. One moment Barack Obama is leader of the Free World. A moment later it’s Angela Merkel.”

  107. Roby permalink
    January 21, 2017 11:46 pm

    OK, I officially gotta stop doing this trump commentary thing. That jackass cannot have my happy life as one of his trophies. God, its hard to resist. But I gotta stop and not by the pathetic subterfuge of taking on a new screen name.

    If Roby posts here again on the great trump debate throw turnips at him.

    For the immediate future my position is that Jay has trump’s character dead on, but America is not dead, we can all keep decency and honor alive in our personal lives until the shitstorm plays itself out.

    We will outlive trump.

    • January 22, 2017 12:26 am

      We may outlive Trump, but the foul smell will linger long after.

  108. Roby permalink
    January 22, 2017 12:13 pm

    Once people have become believers in the propaganda of the truly blatantly partisan media outlets, that is it. They are likely never coming back. My son has swallowed the left wing point of view of the Young Turks. He was predisposed to it and it got him. Baring a small miracle he’ll think that way for the rest of his life. He lives in his own fact universe that has little connection with mine. We leave politics alone and get along fine.

    I mostly listened over several decades in academia to left wing critics of the media. It was not telling the story they want to hear. Their contempt for the non-marxist fact world was acidic but not potent. That was a relatively small group of people many of whom grew up after they left collage.

    I have always defended the MSM and I’ll continue. Yes, there is a very perceptible liberal tilt to many big city newspapers. The tilt of the networks was less perceptible back in the day when I watched them. Perhaps competition with Fox and right wing radio has changed that, I can’t say since I don’t watch. But I do read their website news sometimes and I consider it to be relatively reliable.

    Our MSM media and our media as a whole has been on a completely different plane than the media I have observed in Russia. Our free and principled media is one of the pillars of our freedom. Since the internet took over, the information war that people like putin have perfected has invaded our own culture. Imperfect as the MSM may be, compared to blatantly partisan sources it is far, far better. No one could doubt that the NY TImes is part of the liberal political machine. But, they fact check their news and it is going to be a very rare event when they are printing a factual lie, and never deliberately. In the rare event that it happens they retract and apologise. People get fired its happened. That is their standard. They will also give a considerable part of the opinion space to the opposition. Distortion by omission does still occur there but we know it, they don’t hide it. That is journalism.

    In contrast, there are the far more blatantly partisan sources that produce something that is as much propaganda as news because they do not have the same standards of fact checking. A journalist who wrote the story like the one that only 7% of the Clinton foundation money was used on actual good works would be fired at the NY Times. But the story would never be printed, such an absurd lie would be caught. Those who have swallowed the propaganda of the purely ideological outlets, like my son, are on a trip that they are never going to come back from, they will always live in their utterly distorted universe and will treat actual solid facts with contempt because they were printed in the MSM. Needless to say, that is very destructive to our society. Again, very, very few of them will ever leave the world painted by the propaganda outlets of their choice. Arguing with them is pointless. If their candidate gets elected and screws up they will reliably fail to admit it and shift the conversation to the faults of the opposition and blame them. Its pretty infuriating. So, why converse about politics with people who have been brainwashed? Its like repeatedly banging your thumb with a hammer.

    One of my deepest hopes is that the next years will show how far this magic spell of ideological propaganda has gone and Americans as group will begin to see through it. Ironically, believers in right or left wing propaganda outlets will use exactly the same words to express their desire that the MSM be brought down. I am not against the MSM taking some well deserved knocks and improving, that would be a positive evolution. But killing the mainstream is exactly what it sounds like, its killing the middle of our culture, the glue.

    It matters who wins this information war, nothing could be more important. There are actually such things as objective facts, though that idea seems fanciful at the moment.

    • January 22, 2017 12:57 pm

      Wow, amazingly perceptive, astute, and cogently written evaluation of the importance of media and undercurrents to undermine it.

      You OK with me copying it to Facebook, and emailing it to some friends?

    • January 22, 2017 1:43 pm

      Propaganda to the right of us, propaganda to the left of us. That’s virtually all I see on Facebook, and it’s a dangerous trend. I was actually starting to get exasperated with all the smug posts about the women’s march yesterday — both for and against, but mainly for… mostly from dubious news sources. You’re right that, by contrast, the MSM are reasonably conscientious in fact-checking their stories. As for their ideological slant, it’s true that most of them skew slightly left (“establishment liberal,” really, like Hillary), but even the NY Times makes room for moderate and conservatives columnists.

      • January 22, 2017 7:44 pm

        Rick, the idea that grown women would march about with knitted pink “pussy hats” on, carrying signs with slogans like “My Pussy Grabs Back!” and laugh uproariously at aging rock stars and actresses who said horribly unfunny things like “I’ve thought a lot about bombing the White House” and “Donald Trump has wet dreams about his daughter”….and that those women would be celebrated, as striking a blow for “women’s rights”?

        And they say that Trump is crass and offensive?

        (Disclaimer: I would not say this on Facebook)

      • Roby permalink
        January 22, 2017 8:42 pm

        Pretty dumb sounding group, tasteless, the bombing comment is in the worst taste, appalling. I join with you in mocking them. Bleh.

        But, those are protesters (and hand picked by the conservative press to be the worst examples of the protesters, unlike, say my daughter who marched but I am very sure did nothing so tasteless) not the POTUS. They won’t make foreign policy, negotiate with foreign leaders, or be the prime and most powerful representative of America. They can affect next to nothing.

        Unfortunately, the POTUS has a lifelong track record of tastelessness and worse, fraud, not to mention his angry relationship with truth and facts. Would you like to join me and millions of others in mocking him? Or would you like to continue to spin the story of why he really is not so bad and people should not be resisting him in the manner that they are?

        Answers that lean on comparisons to Obama and Clinton are uncomfortable evasions. They are not President.

      • January 22, 2017 9:33 pm

        Roby, there are many times when I cringe at President Trump’s (there, I said it!) inarticulate and stupid sounding talk. The “awesomes” and the “beautifuls” and all the rest. And his habit of praising himself is disconcerting. I have laughed uncomfortably much more than once. And the crowd size thing was definitely a bit Baghdad Bob, for sure.

        But, I think it’s a YUGE stretch to think that he’s dangerous.

        And, honestly, aside from reading about the crude remarks by Madonna and Ashley Judd, most of what I’ve seen about the march came from my Facebook feed. Pictures of women who I know and admire, wearing silly hats and carrying silly signs (hopefully, they weren’t doing silly walks). For the life of me, I don’t understand how this furthers the discourse over women’s rights, or anything else. I’m not even sure what rights are in jeopardy. It’s just all so terribly smug. So very “Oh, if you voted for this idiot, you must be an idiot as well.” And that is exactly why the idiot won.

        I read a great piece by Salena Zito about how many people she spoke to who were in DC for the inauguration, and stayed to watch the march, and got along famously. Actual Trump voters, talking and laughing with Trump haters.
        And, how no one was reporting on that, but that she thought it was, maybe, a ray of hope.

        I got nothin’ else.

      • Roby permalink
        January 22, 2017 10:08 pm

        “But, I think it’s a YUGE stretch to think that he’s dangerous.”

        I’d also like to get along with you famously, as we have often managed. Statements like the above are like waving a red cape in front of a bull to his non believers. I am 99.99% certain that if he had been elected as a democrat with a liberal set of goals you would see it immediately in no uncertain terms and would anything but calm or dismissive of the harm of having such a personality as president. And, I am 87% certain that I would be as disgusted by him as I am now if he were a liberal democrat.

        You could tell us that, well, yes, he is an completely unacceptable person to be POTUS, but he IS POTUS anyhow and we are going to have to try to run the government and get stuff done and not reject every part of his agenda simply because its his,and I for one would stop making what sound like moralistic high-handed lectures on morality.

        I am all for being calm and putting things in perspective but that does not mean accepting any of the many ways that he is an affront and a threat to our system. His behavior will be the new model, the new normal over my dead body. I said that about rap music too and look how much good it did, but all the same I will never accept his level of dishonesty, apparent stupidity, preening, sleaze, or his attitude towards women.

        Your posts on this subject often seem to be more than simply appeals for calm, they seem to be an argument that he is mostly harmless and that people who resist him are the problem. I am simply stupefied that you do not see the harm in him.

        Remember that letter I wrote to Obama after his golf game made the news following the beheading of an American captive? I said that he did not have the character to be president. You thought it was a good letter. I’d like to think that you also have in you such a reaction to our present POTUS, even if he is from your party.

      • January 22, 2017 11:06 pm

        “But, I think it’s a YUGE stretch to think that he’s dangerous.”

        The law of unintended ego-damaged consequences

      • Roby permalink
        January 22, 2017 10:17 pm

        and I for one would stop making what sound like moralistic high-handed lectures on morality.

        A philosophical gem, that bit of writing. Perhaps I would make what sound like moralistic high-handed lectures on some other topic, such as neutering pets.

        OK, disregard the clumsy writing, the idea is still pretty clear.

      • January 24, 2017 12:00 pm

        I meant to respond to this the other day, Roby.

        I don’t admire Trump as a role model for behavior or eloquence. If a left-wing Democrat who displayed similar behavior were to become president, I would be extremely dismayed.

        Then again, I was extremely dismayed when Barack Obama was elected. He had made clear his desire to transform America in very fundamental ways, ways that I feared would destroy much of what has made America economically prosperous and culturally unique. I hoped for the best, but feared the worst. And, most, although not all, of my fears turned out to be well-founded. Yet, even as he left office, I was able to admire the man for his dignified, cool demeanor ~ often too cool, but never crass. And, for the most part, Michelle was a good first lady, and both appeared to be loving and protective parents.

        I am cautiously optimistic that Trump will make changes ~ or more accurately, roll back some of Obama’s changes ~ that will spur economic growth. And, while a thrice-married reality TV star would not have been my choice for president, I believe that he deserves a chance to govern. If he rejects compromise, as Obama did in his first year in office, or fails to live up to his campaign promises, I will likely change my mind. If the Democrats are smart, they will stop trying to destroy him, and start rebuilding their own party, with the goal of making gains in the mid-term elections. Because, if Trump screws up, a lot of voters will be looking to punish him at the ballot box.

        I’m not expecting him to become “more presidential” in the rhetorical sense, nor would I want him to change dramatically at this point. He made very specific policy promises during the campaign ~ if he is successful in implementing them, I don’t care if he has a trophy wife or lacks eloquence.

        Why is it that you believe he is dangerous?

      • Roby permalink
        January 24, 2017 1:57 pm

        “Why is it that you believe he is dangerous?”

        How many words have I written on the subject? Had I spent all that time focused on something productive I would be able to play quite of a few classical guitar or violin pieces to near perfection. How many more words am I supposed to write? For what purpose?

        You and I already lived in different political universes prior to the trump era. As an example, I don’t see that Obama changed much in America. I didn’t like his go it alone idea, and neither did a majority of Americans but he got little done with it. Obamacare was a mistake. In many ways a rather ordinary presidency except for the drama people attached to it.

        In this new era you and I are on such different wavelengths that you say that my thoughts on trump putin remind you of McCarthyism. Lets just let each other be before we truly melt down. Talking about politics with people who live in an entirely different fact universe is over rated as a way to create understanding.

        I need a break from this. a very LONG break, such a long break that when I come back it will be clear whether trump made America great again. If he did, I will admit it. If he made things much worse will you admit it or will you blame liberals, Hillary, Obama, democrats?

        Well, we will see.

      • January 24, 2017 2:38 pm

        Roby, my apologies. You have indeed spent many words on why you hate Trump. I guess what I’m asking is what exactly do you think he will do as president to put the country in danger from foreign enemies, to damage the economy in ways that will increase poverty, or to increase crime and degrade the public safety.

        I think that Obama has done very specific things that have been dangerous:
        he has degraded our military capabilities, far beyond what would be necessary under the sequester, he has damaged key alliances, most notably with Israel, he has allowed massive levels of illegal immigration and failed to enforce standards for refugees seeking asylum, he has raised taxes on the middle class, he has failed to move us toward energy independence, he has appeased enemies such as Iran and Russia, and he’s double the national debt. And of course, Obamacare.

        So, that’s my list. You may disagree, but I guess what I’m looking for is a discussion that centers on policies rather than personal traits.

      • January 24, 2017 2:43 pm

        Oh, and increased racial division by encouraging identity politics.

        And, don’t leave! You make sense (most of the time, probably more often than I do!). And you post funny links of cockatoos! And your main fault is that you can’t stand the Patriots. I promise that, if they win the Super Bowl, I won’t say anything 😉

      • Roby permalink
        January 24, 2017 3:17 pm

        I appreciate the kind invite. But really, no. Gotta get out of this place.

        Priscilla, it eats up way too much of my life and it depresses me. I would rather watch this saga unfold from the distance of large periods of time, half year periods, 1 year periods, than minute by minute which is what happens when I post here. Its excruciating.

        My favorite led zeppelin song and the piece that most of all makes me respect Jimmy Page, its his acoustic guitar work that sets him apart. Anyone can play a loud electric distorted guitar but to really write and play such great stuff on the acoustic guitar sets a few people apart, Steve Howe being another.

      • January 24, 2017 5:08 pm

        Oh, all right…..

        I do understand that getting too immersed in the political day-to-day is soul numbing and depressing. It happens to us all.

        Will look forward to your return!

      • Roby permalink
        January 24, 2017 5:18 pm

        I’m only hoping that if I leave meledramitically enough I’ll feel I have to follow through. If any great penguins show up in my wife’s facebook feed I’ll share them I promise.

  109. dduck12 permalink
    January 22, 2017 6:17 pm

    Roby and Priscilla, thanks for the kind words. I am basically a lazy guy, so I try to write briefly. It also minimizes the chances for saying stupid things containing spelling and grammatical errors.

  110. dduck12 permalink
    January 22, 2017 8:45 pm

    After your kind words, I feel like such an ingrate to say that I like the pussy hats and the ideas behind them. I just hope Trump doesn’t encourage a counter-hat attack with a penis hat.

    • January 22, 2017 9:08 pm

      Lol….I still think the pussy hats are stupid.

      Your comment on the penis hats made me think of the Coneheads from the original SNL….maybe a sketch idea!

      Oh lord, I need a break….

  111. Roby permalink
    January 22, 2017 11:02 pm

    Now that we have become damn near european in our lack of embarrasment about our bits this all seems perfectly natural as a topic for a newspaper article. It has obvious political meaning and ties the information wars as well:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/01/22/no-gwyneth-paltrow-women-should-not-put-jade-eggs-in-their-vaginas-gynecologist-says/?utm_term=.52fa72be8d1a#comments

    • January 23, 2017 1:06 pm

      Dear Lord.

      Oh, well, Gwyneth Paltrow is pretty much the poster child for smug progressive elitism. Madonna tried , but she’s just too trashy. I do love to hear her talk with her fake British accent though ~ quite hilariousl

      • Roby permalink
        January 23, 2017 1:31 pm

        Believe it or not I hardly know who Gwineth Paltrow is. She is some kind of movie starlet? Give me Katherine Hepburn, that’s my idea of an actress. Money and fame seem to really screw people up. God has preserved me from that.

        I know who Tom Brady is though. Oh Well, its just football, its a brutal sport. My tennis hero Nadal is still in the hunt at the Australian, that is the sport that I actually am fully captured by. More than sufficient consolation for ^%$#@ football.

  112. January 23, 2017 4:32 pm

    How many support Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo’s position of increased government surveillance within the country that infringes on privacy rights. Rand Paul and Oregons senator have grave reservations on their positions. The new administration may have a huge defeat in SCOTUS in the future if SCOTUS rules on the constitutional rights and not on a political position.

    • January 23, 2017 6:16 pm

      Ron, I know that back in November/December, Rand Paul was voicing concerns about Sessions and Pompeo having voted for the Patriot Act. Last I heard he said he would vote to approve Sessions, and I haven’t heard anything about him not voting for Pompeo.

      It’s probably Ron Wyden who has expressed concerns about both of them, and he’s a Democrat, so I assume he will vote against confirmation. I generally like Wyden, although he’s very far left, not moderate in the least.

      In fact, the only GOP Senator that I know of who has balked at confirmation of anyone since the hearings began, seems to be Marco Rubio, who has – or had- concerns about Rex Tillerson.

    • January 23, 2017 6:25 pm

      I realize that I never actually answered your question, Ron.

      I am not opposed to bulk collection of data, as long as it is with a warrant. I’m definitely opposed to the NSA or CIA gathering metadata without one.

      Especially with the obvious politicization of the intelligence agencies, and the leaking of classified information, potentially even by John Brennan, the recently ex-CIA chief, private citizens’ privacy would be in jeopardy.

      • January 23, 2017 6:59 pm

        Forgive any typo’s, I am on a small device and entry is difficult.

        I read in one article where Pompeo supported legislation that would allow the governmnent to access all computers that have had any contact with a smart device from someone that they were following and any devices that had contact with with those devices. It would also include secondary devices to those being followed, all without a warrant since the warrant on the original device would give blanket approval.Secondary devices would be like yours after I said something to Roby and Roby said something to you even if that was about your family and not some terrorist action.

        I find it remarkable that the democrats are all in favor of rights when it come to electronic privacy rights, but they are the first to infringe on my rights to buy a huge sugary drink. And I support their position on privacy.

      • January 24, 2017 9:19 am

        As it turns out, Rand Paul voted against Pompeo, will vote for Sessions.

  113. January 24, 2017 8:39 am

    Not to Detroit or St. Louis, not to recent tornado victims in Southeast U.S., not for more nurses at VA hospitals…Just sayin’
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/us-sent-dollar221-million-to-palestinians-in-obamas-last-hours/ar-AAm9HfO?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

  114. Pat Riot permalink
    January 24, 2017 12:28 pm

    The link in my previous post from article via Associated Press and MSN News. Is this fake news? 221 million to Palestinian group/agency/cause/partner. This is diplomacy? Would any Obama fans like to justify this 221 million? I’m not at the State Department so I don’t know their…rationalization, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t agree with it, to put it mildly.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 24, 2017 12:34 pm

      Ahem…cough * * that is not 100 thousand or one million or ten million or 100 million. That was 221 million. But Obama is such a good speaker, and he and Michelle brought such class to the White House, which is most important. He’s “Presidential”.

      • January 24, 2017 1:45 pm

        Yes, my feeling exactly. When SNL did their cringe worthy “To Sir, With Love” send off to Obama ~ and it was truely cringe worthy, I could barely watch it, and even some of my pussy-hatted friends said that it embarrassed them ~ it seemed to me like something you might see or hear in North Korea, with a giant, creepy photo of Dear Leader, looking down upon his sycophantic subjects.

        I believe that if the press had done its job; that is, praised Obama when he did good, and criticized or condemned him when he did bad (lied, encouraged division, etc), we would not have Trump as our president. But Obama was praised and excused every step of the way. And now the media is poised to do a 180 ~ condemn and attack Trump every step of the way.

        It’s not helpful, to say the least.

        In case you missed it:
        https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/to-sir-with-love/3457937?snl=1

  115. January 24, 2017 1:31 pm

    Cant Stand The PC Left?
    And
    Cant Stand The Trumpian Right?

    Try this:

    http://forward.com/opinion/360952/how-russia-came-to-america-and-gave-us-trump/

  116. January 24, 2017 1:46 pm

    PRESIDENT “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” DECLARES HIS OWN NATIONAL HOLIDAY

    “Trump declares his inauguration a national holiday

    On Monday, Trump signed an executive order retroactively naming his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, as the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion,” the Washington Post reported.”

    http://www.metro.us/news/trump-declares-his-inauguration-a-national-holiday/zsJqax—1D2Ks7f88vAGY/

  117. January 24, 2017 2:04 pm

    TIMELINE FOR A KISS:

    Comey’s Letter To Congress About Clinton New Emails – 10/28/2016
    Trump Will Keep Comey as FBI Director – 01/23/2016
    Trump Kisses Comey at Meeting- 01/23/2016
    FBI Dismisses Charges of Trump Associates Russian Connection 01/25/2016

    A Kiss is But a Kiss
    A Smile is But a Smile
    The Fundamental Quid-Pro-Quos Apply
    As Time Goes bye

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 24, 2017 2:24 pm

      “I believe if the press had done its job…”

      Yes, Priscilla. Too much agenda in the press for far too long.

  118. January 24, 2017 3:26 pm

    Jay, I have waited a few days to see if your outrage concerning Trump and his treatment of women, along with other issues, is as strong for the deplorable comments made by liberals concerniing Barron Trump. Maybe you have commented and I missed it. If so I apologize. If not, your continued attacks on Trump without the same strength and forceful rejection of this issue is deplorable . You say you are moderate, but how can one say they are moderate and stay quite when totally unacceptible bullying is taking place on a 10 year old kid?

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 24, 2017 3:40 pm

      Yes, Ron, a Moderate sees room for improvement on the left and right. Extremists and people who have essentially lost their minds merely throw stones from their echo chambers.

    • January 24, 2017 4:01 pm

      Until you just mentioned it, I hadn’t been aware of the Barron bullying. A quick Google reveals a universal condemnation of that behavior, prominently from Chelsea Clinton, who suffered abuse like that when her father was President:

      “Chelsea Clinton sticks up for Barron Trump over bullying on Twitter
      After a writer for ‘Saturday Night Live’ has been suspended for tweeting a joke about Donald Trump’s son, Barron, the 10-year-old has found support from Chelsea Clinton, who also faced mean-spirited attacks during her childhood at the White House.”

      http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/0124/Chelsea-Clinton-sticks-up-for-Barron-Trump-over-bullying-on-Twitter

      I feel sorry for the kid, having Trump for a father. An innocent victim of public animosity for his distasteful father’s actions and behavior, one can only hope he grows up to be a decent adult, and not a lying, vagina grabbing, greedy, dishonest, crass, delusional gas bag like his father.

      • January 24, 2017 4:14 pm

        I seem to remember similar bullying of Obama’s daughters – a GOP staffer who resigned after launching a verbal assault on their appearance at the president’s annual ‘turkey pardoning’ ceremony comes to mind, and recently numerous racist insults directed at those girls on social media and the comment sections at Fox News website.

        I don’t recollect you speaking out against those bullying incidences, but maybe I just missed that?

      • January 24, 2017 4:55 pm

        The staffer was forced to resign, and rightfully so, for suggesting the the teenage Obama girls “show some class” during a turkey-pardoning ceremony, 2 years ago. I don’t recall it coming up, and I think it predated your posting here?

        This SNL writer joked about Trump’s 10 year old growing up to be a mass murderer, apparently because he has a serious demeanor. That’s sick. She also has been “suspended.” Not fired or forced to resign.

      • January 24, 2017 5:24 pm

        I don’t have any problem having the SNL writer fired.

        The Staffer forced to resign, you think she quickly was hired on by another Republican affiliated group? I’m willing to bet she’s gainfully employed in the fold right now.

      • January 24, 2017 5:15 pm

        Good for Chelsea to jump to Barron’s defense. The Clintons have behaved well since the election, exhibiting a lot of class.

        Too bad so many of their supporters have not done the same.

      • January 24, 2017 5:31 pm

        Yeah, those Trump supporters show a lotta class, and classy Fox just loves to display them on cable:

      • January 24, 2017 6:07 pm

        Jay, when I get to a computer where I can easily copy a website for you instead of using this small handheld device that is almost impossible to copy and paste, I will do that. It has all the tweets about Barron growing up to be a mass murderer, killing animals, etc etc.

        As for criticizing how someone dresses is no where in the same category as a mass murderer. And I did not see the number of different bullying tweets as this kid is getting. I also lissed all the tweets about Malik Obama and the racist comments that were made on the Fox wesite when she announced she was attending Harvard. That was also deplorable, but since Fox quickly removed the article, it minimized the number of people that read them. From my understanding, Twitter has not taken them down about Barron

      • January 24, 2017 6:46 pm

        I agree it wasn’t appropriate to tweet or publish those kinds of things about children of politicians. And those in the public eye should be chastised for it, as seems to be the standard, at least for now.

        But Twitter rarely removes offensive tweets of any kind, unless they’re physically threatening in content. And these Barron tweets are MILD in comparison to other vile expressions of racism, antiSemitism, homophobia, misogyny, and political insult.

        Do you monitor Twitter? If so you must be aware of the outright hatred expressed there hourly. The racist comments directed at Obama and his wife over the years was shockingly vile. The comments made about Hillary similarly vulgar and hateful. The shameful curses and taunts at Jewish reporters recently, almost all from Nazi sympathizing Trump supporters is scary, like historical graffiti in Germany during Hitkers era. These kinds of hate taunts and insults have been SUBSTANTIALLY more prevalent from the Right than the Left. And that’s the truth.

        And trump has the onus of responsibility for loosening the restraints of civility that have led to this swelling tide of hate speech on social media, starting with his classless public insults of oppononents during his run for the presidency, and his continuing boorish insults via Tweets and interviews. To deny that is to enter the Trumpian world of Alternate Facts and Dubious Denials.

      • January 24, 2017 7:08 pm

        Good god Jay, California could suffer a 7.0 earthquake and cause billions in damages and you would blame Trump for that, even though people have been warned for years its going to happen.

        I am going to design a bingo board with every conceivable disaster, illegal activity and abnormality that I can think of and it will be the Jay’s Trump bingo game. Every time you blame something on him I will mark that issue and when the line is completed, you’ll get a BINGO! No prizes though.

      • January 25, 2017 12:42 am

        Are you saying Trump isn’t guilty of lowering public standards of decency by his own example of insulting people?

      • January 25, 2017 7:59 am

        You have exceeded your own standards of hysterical hyperbole with that one, Jay.

      • January 25, 2017 2:12 pm

        Thanks, Patricia, now I know I was on track.

  119. January 24, 2017 5:12 pm

    Trump faces lawsuit for violating Constitution 2 days after taking oath
    Turns out, he’s not supposed to use his office to enrich himself.

    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-faces-lawsuit-for-violating-constitution-two-days-after-taking-oath-94e0920473dd#.jq6u02ew1

    • January 24, 2017 5:42 pm

      MOVING MONEY FROM THE LEFT POCKET TO THE RIGHT POCKET WATCH

      “Donald Trump has resigned as a director of his four Scottish golf and tourism firms, raising fresh questions about the US president’s business interests.

      Filings at Companies House, the UK government agency that holds and publishes documents on all British businesses, show Trump resigned as a director of the four companies on 19 January, the day before his inauguration.

      However, no filings show any change to Trump’s ultimate ownership of the businesses, which centre on his two golf resorts in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire and have an estimated investment value of more than £180m.

      But Democrat and Republican ethics experts have been scathing about Trump’s divestment strategy since he has failed to sell his shares and holdings, nor has he put them in a blind trust, which means he will continue to be a direct beneficiary of their profits or future sale.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/24/donald-trump-resigns-as-director-of-four-scottish-golf-firms

      • January 24, 2017 6:47 pm

        See my comment above, addressing this…

      • January 24, 2017 6:50 pm

        I have asked for years why we can not get a successful businessman to run for president. Years ago I remember people asking Lee Iacocca for office and he declined. Donald Trumps election has answered the question for me and if I were successful and owned a business, I would tell the parties to take a hike also. Unless someone as brazen as Trump runs, like Mark Cuban, after Trump we will be back to incompetent politicians in the office that thinks a deal is what happens in a card game and negotiating is something you do when driving a winding road. To sell all the properties he owns would be a pit fall no one would want to take. Two things will happen. He would make money off the deals and then massive investigations would occur because he made more money than what investors anticipated he would make and therefore something illegal was going on, or two, he would sell at vastly under market rates since the buyers know he has to sell at a firesale rate and then he would be investigated for giving someone a sweet deal. So the choices are three. 1. pay legal fees to defend selling at a profit, 2. pay legal fees for selling at a loss and defending some rumors of a kickback from the buyers or 3. resign your positions in your companies and pay legal fees to defend the transfer of control to your adult children who will inherit the businesses once you die. There is no #4 since multiple stories about blind trusts have stated that assets owned other than cash investments are ALWAYS sold and converted to cash so the trustee can invest with no one knowing where the money is. And those sales are usually within a 6 month timeframe.

      • January 24, 2017 7:40 pm

        Bloomberg, a billionaire with complicated business assets, managed to set up blind trusts and maintain his wealth without compromising his integrity while in public office.

        Oh, right, ‘integrity’ is the key.
        Trump has none.
        Stop defending this asshole.
        Get some non partisan integrity and admit what is obvious – he’s an erratic fruitcake with ego issues who can’t distinguish truth from phantasm.

      • January 25, 2017 8:15 am

        Do some research, Jay.

        Bloomberg did not put all of his assets in a blind trust. In order to do so, it is generally necessary to have mostly liquid assets, and he did not liquidate his assets.

        Bloomberg had huge conflicts of interest while mayor of NY, and remained majority shareholder in his business, Bloomberg, LP. That business continued to provide services to the city during his 3 terms as mayor, services that included providing computers for City Hall.

      • January 25, 2017 2:33 pm

        I agree, a SMALL NUMBER of his assets ended up slipping through. But overall the MAJORITY of his holdings were turned over to others to administrate while he was in office. His intentions, according to numerous sources who investigated his divestments of control, were deemed sincere. And it doesn’t appear that any conflict of interest law suits were filed against him, during or after his terms of office, none I could find at least.

        If Trump the Liar was as open and above board as Bloomberg that would satisfy me.
        But he won’t be, because — you guessed it — he’s a conniving liar. An Untrustworthy Phoney – do I have to remind you of his failure to follow through on all the charitable donations he promised?

        And once again, he lied about releasing his taxes.
        Liar, Liar, Comb-Over On Fire!

      • January 25, 2017 8:41 pm

        Yes he did. But, he was under no obligation to release them. If you would be even the slightest bit reasonable, you would acknowledge that he would have been a fool to let his enemies get hold of his tax returns. Look what happened when the NYT got one year’s return, legally claiming an almost billion dollar loss. Why do you think Hillary lied about her server? To hide her yoga emails?

        And, re: Mike Bloomberg. You are just dead wrong about his assets. Bloomberg LP is a humongous financial media corporation. He not only retained his shares, but admitted communicating regularly with the person who was supposedly running the business. In other words, he lied . And he never turned over his emails after leaving office.

        Hmm, maybe he gave Hillary the idea……

      • January 26, 2017 5:44 pm

        “He not only retained his shares, but admitted communicating regularly with the person who was supposedly running the business”

        No personal disrespect, Priscilla, but you are distorting the facts. Bloomberg admitted talking to the person he turned over his main business holdings because he was permitted to do that under the rules approved by the NY City Conflicts of Interest Board. He was allowed to “advise the investment firms about categories of investments and to hire or fire managers based on reports about their performance. But the mayor must receive no information about the specific holdings in his or the foundation’s accounts and must not know the identities of the managers.”

        And he was not allowed to be involved in any of the company’s day to day business. Further, to ensure the city wouldn’t have to pay the mayor through any of his businesses, Bloomberg gave the city the Bloomberg financial data terminals it was using, and he waived the city’s annual payments for his company’s information service, plus divested himself of property he owned that the city was leasing. And your email allusion is another red herring; or have you forgotten the massive number of emails defeated by Bush-2, or the substantial number of emails destroyed by Trump and his lawyers in defiance of court orders?

        And from lack of lawsuits or other public outcries, it appears Bloomberg didn’t profit financially from his elected office. You think Trump will be as blameless while in office? You actually believe he won’t structure US policy to further enrich himself? That he isn’t already enriching himself as a result of getting elected? Guess you missed the story about membership initiation dues now doubled at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort to $200,000. Bloomberg, by the way, resigned from all the golf and social clubs he belonged to, upon taking office.

        As to your charge Soros is anti-Semitic, again nothing personal in this rejoinder, but that’s typical right wing conservative boilerplate BS. Soros was born a Jew, and with his family suffered persecution by the Nazis; he is critical of Israel, and blames their treatment of the Palestinians for the world wide increases of antisemitism. Many Israelis have voiced the same opinion. And attacking his credentials as a genuine philanthropist who has done much good in the world is nonsensical. I suggest you read his full bio on Wikipedia to put it in perspective; then read the bios of the Koch Brothers, who are at opposite sides politically, but also support many worthy charitable endeavors; neither they nor Soros should be belittled for their substantial humanitarian donations.

      • January 27, 2017 12:19 pm

        Re releasing his Taxes : “Yes he did. But, he was under no obligation to release them”

        None of the other long list of recent presidents was obligated to release their taxes, but they did. And if you don’t think a pledge he made to assure the American people he would do that obligates him to keep his word I don’t know in what universe of alternate definition of ‘obligation’ that word resides.

  120. January 24, 2017 6:29 pm

    Jay, this gives you a good sampling of the comments made concerning Barron. The tweets are toward the end of the article, not just the SNL writer.
    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/criticise-donald-trump-all-you-want-but-children-are-offlimits/news-story/2543602d324faa218da3863f3f71a6d5

    • January 24, 2017 6:48 pm

      That see above comment above should have been placed here.. Damn WordPress unintuitive layout!

  121. January 24, 2017 6:52 pm

    I bet we can all agree this is fun!

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 25, 2017 11:57 am

      Some funny mimicking of Trump’s speech patterns, but overall I find such efforts to be childish.

      • January 25, 2017 2:36 pm

        that’s because you have no sense of humor.
        I found that, by the way, on a pro Trump Conservative Blog, where it was mostly appreciated.

  122. Pat Riot permalink
    January 25, 2017 2:43 am

    “We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people…

    the establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country.

    What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.”

    –President Donald J. Trump, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2017

    • January 25, 2017 1:14 pm

      Define ‘the people.’

    • January 25, 2017 1:23 pm

      The People:

      A Gallup poll released on Monday showed Trump is starting his presidency with the lowest approval rating of any U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower at just 45 percent —

      And what makes you believe ANYTHING he says?
      He’s a proven liar, correct?
      Con artist and fascists have this in common: they tell you what you want to hear to gain your trust – then rob you of women and/or freedom.

  123. Pat Riot permalink
    January 25, 2017 2:55 am

    It occurs to me that from 1773 through 1776 and beyond, there must have been a great many colonists who were “aghast” and “appalled” by the ruckus, many who looked down on those hooligans creating a stir.

    I’m sure there were disgruntled neighbors in Brandywine, Pennsylvania, and outside Charleston, South Carolina, and in many other places in the thirteen colonies who were absolutely pissed because their fields got trampled in a battle by those low-life upstarts.

    Undoubtedly there were many who lamented the good old days of being colonists of Britain.

    • January 25, 2017 1:26 pm

      You’re equating Trump with the Founders?
      The only relevant association to make there is with Benedict Arnold.

  124. Pat Riot permalink
    January 25, 2017 2:58 am

    “For many decades we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry.

    Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

    The time for empty talk is over.

    …whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots…”

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 25, 2017 2:59 am

      –President Donald J. Trump, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2017

    • January 25, 2017 1:28 pm

      You know that speech was written by his altRight advisor, correct?

    • January 25, 2017 2:10 pm

      Our Military isn’t depleted.

      “No country worldwide comes close to matching the United States in military expenditure. In 2014, US military spending reached $571 billion, a huge distance ahead of second placed China’s $129.4 billion.”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/06/25/the-biggest-military-budgets-as-a-percentage-of-gdp-infographic-2/#101e316a4064

      Of that $571 billion, about $16 Billion was spent on foreign military aid and assistance. Of that around $5 Billion went to midle eastern nations – Israel: $3.1 billion; Egypt $2.2 billion.

      As to US expenditures to NATO, despite Lying Trump’s assertions that the United States is spending “billions and billions” on NATO, the annual direct contribution is under $500 million a year. Does Dumb Donald think any adjustment of that expenditure is going to allow us to spend more on our Military without pain?

      Some nations spend a a higher % of GDP on the military than we do:
      US @ 3.5%
      Russia@ 4.5%
      Saudi Arabia @ 10.4%

      So let’s up those numbers – Trump won’t be happy until America’s First there too!
      Increase military spending
      Lower taxes across the board
      And increase the Nation Debt by a $Trillion Dollars, as predicted by numerous economists.

      Or we can go back to war with a Iraq to grab their oil fields as spoils of war, as the Asshole Tweeter is suggesting, and use that money to finance the military – are you going to applaud that too, Pat?

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 25, 2017 2:32 pm

        Military SPENDING doesn’t equal military READINESS. Huge amounts of money being wasted in global chess while Fat Cats have been lining their pockets and their Cayman accounts.

      • January 25, 2017 2:43 pm

        Trump is an agent of those Fat Cats, or haven’t you noticed his cabinet.
        And if SPENDING doesn’t equal military READINESS why does President Smuck want to spend more on the military?

      • January 25, 2017 2:57 pm

        DEADBEAT DONALD AT IT AGAIN

        Trump hit with $2 million suit by contractor on D.C. hotel

        By JOSH GERSTEIN 01/25/17 12:11 PM EST
        An electrical contractor is suing President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel for $2 million over what the contractor contends are unpaid bills for “nonstop” work performed to open the luxury lodging at the Old Post Office Building last year.

        The suit filed in D.C. Superior Court by Laurel, Maryland-based AES Electrical, also known as Freestate Electrical, contends that the company was instructed to rush work on electrical and fire alarm systems at the hotel in advance of a visit then-candidate Trump made there for a “soft opening” in September and again for the “grand opening” of the hotel in October.

        “Acceleration of Freestate’s work required Freestate’s crews to work nonstop, seven days per week, 10 to 14 hours per day for nearly 50 consecutive days, prior to the ‘soft opening,’ at significant additional cost and expense for which Freestate expected payment,” the complaint filed by attorneys Roger Jones and Nicole Campbell says. “Subsequent to the Hotel’s ‘soft opening,’ Freestate was required to continue its acceleration efforts and the performance of extra work in order to permit the ‘grand opening’ of the Trump Hotel by October 26, 2016.”

        The suit makes several references to the importance to Trump’s presidential ambitions of getting the hotel open. The complaint says the October opening was set for just before the election “to provide an opportunity for positive press coverage for Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.”

        Freestate says the Trump Organization has offered to pay only one-third of the project change and acceleration costs the contractor incurred. The suit contends that Trump’s businesses have a practice of unfairly pressuring contractors to accept reduced payments on projects.

        http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/01/trump-hotel-lawsuit-contractor-electrical-234167

  125. Pat Riot permalink
    January 25, 2017 2:47 pm

    Like Gary North, I also loved it.

    http://www.garynorth.com/public/16148.cfm

    • January 25, 2017 3:01 pm

      Alternate Facts – Alternate Reality

    • January 25, 2017 3:03 pm

      I repeat – the MAJORTY of Americans think Trump is a JERK.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 25, 2017 3:10 pm

        As I and others have tried to get through to you, Trump being a JERK became beside the point.

      • January 25, 2017 6:20 pm

        The fact that Trump being a Jerk is beside the point IS the point.

      • January 25, 2017 9:33 pm

        Jay, no amount of personal popularity made Obama a successful president. No amount of slavish praise from SNL made him less of a failure.

        If Trump is able to do what he says he will do ~ cut taxes, get growth rate up over 4%, get the real unemployment rate ( not the phony #’s that we’ve been fed for the past 8 years) down, increase housing starts and small business creation, it won’t matter how big of a jerk he is.

        He has already given the impression of having done more in 4 days than Obama did in 8 years. While the press obsesses over his ego, he just keeps working. Not golfing, not throwing parties, not going on talk shows. Working.

  126. Pat Riot permalink
    January 25, 2017 3:05 pm

    Not all Fat Cats are the same.

    Allow me to enlighten you with some world history that you won’t find in the mainstream:

    Once upon a time during the twentieth century, most of the Western Fat Cats came from a Judeo-Christian background. Enough of them believed in things such as God, afterlife, judgement day, and something called the Common Good, that they “took 8 and let 2 for the people”.

    Recently enough of the Western Fat Cats are atheistic pricks with only a survival of the fittest mentality. They take as much as they can accumulate with nary a thought for the masses, especially since they believe the world is overcrowded and a bunch of us need to die anyway. And so the Great Consolidation.

    A microcosmic analogy is the classic small business evolution: the founder builds his business from scratch, is loved by the community, and then the son who inherits the business is a spoiled prick who runs the business into the ground.

    For whatever reasons, President Trump is a throwback who wants to be adored by the people. Your whining will not stop him and the Amexit. Look at what rolled off of him during the campaign. If the video of him in the bus by Access Hollywood can’t stop him, nothing will. Find a niche or get out of the way.

    • January 25, 2017 6:21 pm

      Pat – Where do you come up with this crap? Your once upon a time Fat Cat Christians (the time frame you mentioned Jews were still excluded from main stream America) took 80% and left 20% for Skinny Cats? But now Atheists are gobbling up more?

      It’s true more money is concentrating into fewer hands – the 1% who hold 99% of the nation’s wealth. Guess who they are? Gallup did a poll on America’s 1% – the majority are Christian Republican. Many of them heirs of previous generations of wealthy Christian Republicans.

      And guess who are among America’s mist generous philanthropists? Christians with tiny open fingers like Trump, showing concern for the poor, the destitute, the unemployed? Atheists, non-believers, secular humanists, skeptics—the whole gamut of the godless — have emerged in recent years as the most generous benefactors on the planet. Hordes of heretics, heathens and infidels are among the world’s most generous philanthropists, individually and in groups. Like atheists Warren Buffett (donated $40.785 billion to health, education, humanitarian causes) Bill & Melinda Gates ($27.602 billion to global health, development, education), George Soros ( $6.936 billion to democratize 3rd world nations). And Mark Zuckerberg, who vacillates between atheism and Buddhism, is donating most of his Facebook stock to charity.

      And I hope you’re not suggesting a return to Prayer on Sundays would have anything to do with economic prosperity. Among Nations with the highest competitive economies in the world (and also highest quality of education, life expectancy, and prosperity) are China, Hong Kong, and Japan -none falling under the umbrella (or yoke) of Judeo Christian heritage.

      Also in that group of robust competitive global economies are most of the Scandinavian countries, where high percentages of the populations are secular; this is also true of Israel, where over 40% of the population is secular. And let’s not forget India, an emerging economic nation, with no deep Christian roots unless you include the English, who smothered them with Christian largess.

  127. January 25, 2017 9:06 pm

    Jay, you have so bought left-wing propaganda hook, line and sinker!

    George Soros, a supporter of democracy? The anti-Semitic currency speculator, who uses his billions to try and destroy capitalism around the globe? Uh, no.

    Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire who is currently trying to force hundreds of Hawaiians to sell him land that their families have owned for generations, because their puny little properties are in the way of his vast Hawaiian mega compound?

    Warren Buffet, who makes billions by transporting oil, by buying off politicians who kill his competition?

    Not one of them would put themselves on the line for this country. Greedy fat cat hypocrites.

  128. Pat Riot permalink
    January 25, 2017 9:15 pm

    haha Skinny Cats. I like that.

    Now, I’m not surprised that the juicy fruits of my last post bounced off your liberal-progressive armor.

    First of all, the charities-by-billionaires argument is a bad argument. Charities by the whims of a few are no substitute for, and do not constitute, thriving economies. Of course I’m not against philanthropy and charity, but surely you don’t prefer a small percentage of billionaires throwing money at the problems of the disenfranchised masses (admittedly that’s phrased rather extreme to get my point across) over a nation of empowered, productive, self-reliant and inter-dependent citizens. Surely you can see the view that both the “runaway establishment” and “progressive central planning taken to the extreme” are the dystopian nightmares, and not the populist push for a piece of the pie (unless the populist push goes all the way to a rigid fascism, which I don’t think we will, but that is another discussion.)

    2nd, no need to go into any Christianity debate. As far as I’m concerned, all the world’s organized religions have their flaws. And I don’t doubt your data that there are a lot of very nice atheists out there. Unfortunately the secular humanists who discarded religion and God didn’t replace it with anything cohesive or unifying enough for a healthy U.S. culture. Science is a tool, not a cultural glue. And yes, culture GREATLY influences economies and the prosperity of nations. And, worse, there are powerful progressive globalists who are very scary people.

    I’ll try to re-word my point from my previous post. My point is one of the reasons the U.S. establishment became what it became, and why roughly 100 million Americans got behind Trump to bust it.

    During the first two-thirds of the twentieth century in America, the power and wealth were spread around more than in our resent oligarchical present, and the people making decisions at all different levels back in the day, from local officials to state officials to the movers and shakers, were by and large more concerned about “doing the right thing in the eyes of God,” (including the Jewish writers of 1950s and 1960s television with their warm and fuzzy family themes) than SOME of the handful of today’s atheist oligarchs who give us Game of Thrones titillation, corporate conglomerates and TPP, and late-term abortions (just getting my point across, I hope.) The old school gave us anti-trust (which is pro capitalism and pro market economy), and the new science worship school gives us unprecedented consolidation.

    And so another simple way to say it is that the modern establishment got too greedy and self-absorbed, and that’s a common mistake that establishments have been making throughout history.

  129. Pat Riot permalink
    January 26, 2017 12:43 am

    OK, so I watched David Muir’s interview at the White House with President Trump. Trump sure is strange. He’s weird. I never said he wasn’t strange and weird. I said worse things about him early in 2016.

    But I must say I really like many of his actions and his goals, including the slashing of the layers of our gov’t bureaucracy. It is necessary.

    I hope and pray that we hold it together as a nation during these many upcoming changes.

    • January 26, 2017 11:56 am

      Yes, he is weird, for sure. When you think of it, what “normal” person could possibly do what he has done so far, both good and bad? We’ve never seen a candidate like him, nor have we seen the ferocity of the attacks against him

      I’ve been following a blog written by Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip,”Dilbert.” He also happens to be a trained hypnotist, and he analyzed the campaign in terms of how the candidates used the skills of persuasion. He predicted early on that Trump would win, based on the fact that he naturally has the skills of a persuader, and Hillary does not.

      More recently, he’s been writing about how the Democrats have been ineffective so far in persuading people against Trump, because they are suffering from “outrage dilution.” He says: “At the moment there are so many outrages, executive orders, protests, and controversies that none of them can get enough oxygen in our brains. I can’t obsess about problem X because the rest of the alphabet is coming at me at the same time.”

      This does seem to be a problem for Democrats, right now. I saw it at the Women’s March, which could have been so much more effective, if anyone had thought to focus in on one or two important goals, and if Democratic politicians had spoken to the crowd, instead of letting obnoxious and crude Hollywood types get all of the attention.

      Jay, I’d be interested in your opinion of the March. I promise I won’t make fun of the hats, if you won’t rant about Trump.

      • January 26, 2017 1:11 pm

        My thoughts pretty much match what Damon says here:
        http://theweek.com/articles/675144/womens-march-revolution–selfindulgent-dead-end

        With this addendum: the huge number of people who marched in protest across the nation is a result of electing a divisive asshole like Trump. You can continue to applaud that flawed ego-damaged idiot’s election as the lesser of two evils till the fat special interest cows come home, but Hillary would not have been anywhere as divisive as this obnoxious creep, and certainly nowhere as disruptive and destructive to the nation at large.

      • January 26, 2017 2:18 pm

        Well, thanks for not ranting, anyway…… :\

      • January 26, 2017 2:22 pm

        Thanks for being someone easy to hypnotize, per your Dilbert reference.

      • January 26, 2017 2:56 pm

        Not at all. In fact, I have volunteered several times in my life, at those hypnotist entertainer events, and always gotten rejected when I didn’t go into a trance.

        So, Jay, how about you stop insulting everyone who comments here, and start behaving like a moderate? Seriously, your Trump meltdown has reached epic proportions. You have seemingly lost the ability to discuss anything with any kind of simple decency, a trait which you claim has been lost by others, despite the fact that everyone here treats you with courtesy.

    • January 26, 2017 2:27 pm

      MORE LIAR KEEPS LYING

      Pro Golfer Denies Telling Trump About Voter Fraud

      ■ Golfer Bernhard Langer released a statement saying he never told President Trump the story of voter fraud that Mr. Trump relayed to congressional leaders.

      Bernhard Langer says he saw no voting fraud and never talked to Trump

      • January 26, 2017 2:30 pm

        This should be the link for the Langer denial.

  130. Pat Riot permalink
    January 26, 2017 5:46 pm

    Priscilla, interesting angles you bring up. The “outrage dilution” makes sense to me. Too many issues at once and they fade into an amorphous swirl. I know with my work and life I can handle a lot, but sometimes when it expands to a certain point then I just stare and do nothing.

    And so I agree that the woman’s march may have had more impact if it had been more focused. As it was it led to some sarcasm and memes toward American women and their “tough lives” complaining about every damn thing (in contrast to women in third world countries with more serious issues). I’m not judging the march. I congratulated some family members who marched for “being involved” even though I don’t agree about some of their issues.

    There might be a parallel here also with Hillary’s campaign and all the diverse identity politics involved vs. Trump’s “Make America Great Again.” It was said after Trump won that many voters were not clear what exactly Hillary was promising.

  131. January 26, 2017 6:36 pm

    Ok a non Trump trample or high five. Different subject. Question I need answered. Since I spent 38 years if finance, I read a number of articles which I will summarize and someone tell me what I am missing. I am not getting all the info.

    GM built a plant in China and that plant produces the Envision. A couple of articles stated that increased fair trade is one reason Buick decided to ship the $40,000 Envision to the USA. That car is being imported without fees or tariffs.

    Based on an article in The Guardian, China imposes fees and taxes totaling 25% on car imported into China. In addition, tariffs are added. BMW pays an additional 2%,Ford and Fiat in the teens and GM 22%.

    So my question is what am I missing. After our government and taxpayers spent billions to save GM, they then build a plant in China to build car with greatly reduces labor and material costs, ships that car to America, sells that car here without import fees while our GM cars have an additional 47% costs added when they hit China, in addition to the higher material and labor costs. That basically shuts out most all Chinese since they do not make enough to buy these cars.

    1. Did the articles I read leave something out? Do we add import fees to the Envision?
    2. If not, who the hell would be stupid enough to sign agreements like this? How can the Envisio coming in here without tariffs, while our GM cars having a 47% increase be called “fair trade”?

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 26, 2017 6:49 pm

      Ron, sounds to me like step#7,436 to weaken the United States of America. Sounds like a new deal needs to be made. Thanks for posting.

    • January 26, 2017 6:57 pm

      I’ll take a guess at the reasoning.

      GM is an American company, manufacturing its product elsewhere.
      The profits from selling the car end up in the US, where it can be taxed.
      And the finished product is cheaper for Americans to purchase, increasing sales.
      Consumers and GM stockholders and GM sales employees and mechanics who service the car benefit; American production workers suffer.

      If a Chinese company manufactured a product here in the US ( yes, unlikely) they wouldn’t add tariffs to bring it to China. Same reasoning.

      Could that be the answer?

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 26, 2017 7:37 pm

        Jay’s answer sounds like most of the answer. GM decision makers are trying to keep shareholders happy, not U.S. labor, and the cheaper-made GM Envisions sold in America would be one thing keeping shareholders happy. But still sounds like a much better deal could be struck than 47% added on in China. Better for shareholders if the cars are also selling in China, and GM built a plant and provided jobs for China–not just the direct jobs at the plant but also the support for materials, parts, shipping, etc.

        I wonder how much of the profits must be declared in U.S. for a foreign division or subsidiary?

      • January 26, 2017 8:59 pm

        Jay, you are then taking the position that those profits are going to be taxed twice. Once in China and then when they come into the corporate office. I’ll try to track that down, but why wouldn’t GM leave them in their joint corporate business with the Chinese government and expand operations with the Chinese?

        But I do agree with you about added jobs in dealerships for maintaining the vehicle. If they last as long as other Chinese crap, bet their good for 50k before major repairs would be required.

        But I still don’t understand how this is fair trade when China will not let our cars in without tremendous fees almost making a $30K car cost $45K without adding any value.

      • January 26, 2017 10:09 pm

        That’s a good question- if an American car is assembled in China and sold in China is the import tax added?

        Even if the answer is yes, that’d still have transportation cost advantage over American autos shipped across the ocean.

        Long run, however, tassembling cars overseas is not good for American Auto makers, because they are teaching the Chinese how to make cars. Eventually, like almost every other manufacturing category, the Chinese will be able to make it cheaper. And American car makers wil find it harder and harder to compete against ChinaMobiles. I don’t see any real solution to this kind of negative economic outcomes for American manufacturing. If the skill required to assemble automobiles requires only a high school education, the Chinese are able to spew out qualified workers as quickly as we can, for a quarter of the cost per hour.

        The future for the old style manufacturing model looks dim.

      • January 27, 2017 12:15 am

        Jay, from what I know, Buick is the top selling car in China. Buick, in its effort to reduce costs decided that a plant in China was better than building them here. They negotiated with the Chinese and then to meet chinese regulations, the corporation is. some kind of partnership. I suspect that allows alot of chinese control. Buick then designed the Envision specifically for the chinese market and now finds that this SUV is also attractive for the USA market. There are no fees tagged onto the chinese sales because most all of the major components in the Envision are made in China.

        So with all the unfair trade talk and the GOP being open trade gurus, I looked up info and found what I thought was grossly unfair trade in cars between china and america. Im all for trade. So if china adds 47% to Gm cars built here, then I am for taking the $40,000 Envision and selling it for $59,000,with the $19,000 going to job training programs.

      • January 27, 2017 1:45 am

        OK, I looked into the tariffs and duties on auto imports into China.
        I think the 40% number you saw was a recent add on of taxes only for luxury vehicles priced above $190,000 – RollsRoyce, Farreris, etc. and that 40% is flexible, depending on Auto engine size, etc

        http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/01/china-hikes-tax-on-imported-luxury-cars.html

        Normal duties range from 2% to 21.5% on imports of large American-made cars and sport utility vehicles. American automakers aren’t complaining about those tariffs – China exports are robust. Plus the automakers are selling Chinese versions of GM and Ford vehicles in mainland China, manufactured by their Chinese partners.

        Ford is in partnerships with two Chinese Auto Manufactures, and a Taiwan Manufacturer, to make Fords and Lincolns for domestic sales in In those places. And GM is in a 50/50 partnership with SAIC-GM selling Bucks, Chevrolets and Cadillacs there.

        Trump’s stupid Taiwan blunder is worrying US automakers, who fear possible China retaliation will target them, China has already sent a signal to that effect, in pushing forward on an old price-fixing charge against them. US business interests in China are estimated at more than $500 billion. trump starts shaking that tree, and an anvil will fall out on his head

  132. January 27, 2017 11:51 am

    From what I gather, Trump’s plan involves bi-lateral trade agreements, as opposed to multi-nation agreements, such as NAFTA and TPP. Supposedly, that’s why he was fine ~ and maybe even instigated~ Mexico’s decision to drop out of the NAFTA talks for now.

    The thinking is that protectionist tariffs are appropriate in some cases and not in others. It sounds good in theory, although I’m not sure how it will work in reality.

    ” Border security yes, tariffs no. Mexico is 3rd largest trading partner. Any tariff we can levy they can levy. Huge barrier to econ growth

    Simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of Corona, tequila, or margaritas is a big-time bad idea. Mucho Sad.”

    ~ Lindsey Graham. (On Twitter, of course!)

    • January 27, 2017 12:55 pm

      If that’s his plan he’s proving himself to be dumb as dirt real fast.
      That thinking is 30 years behind the curve.
      What’s he going to do after abrogating NAFTA, drop out of the the WTO too?

      Like everything else he’s tried aside from Real Estate, he’ll FUBAR our future economic viability world wide. The Chinese are gleefully rubbing their hands. I’m betting there’s active conversation as I write this between trade officials in China and Mexico, exploring China expanding their presence there, already ongoing. Mexico has considered China ‘a strategic partner’ before this babbling bullying asshole started his antiMexico rhetoric; and you can bet they’re going to react accordingly.

      https://www.tecma.com/china-manufacturing-moving-to-mexicowhy-is-chinese-manufacturing-moving-to-mexico/

      The reason you don’t know exactly what Trump wants to renegotiate with NAFTA is the blowhard doesn’t know himself what he wants – he’s waiting for Hannity or other Fox News broadcasters for clues. He hasn’t provided any specifics to Mexico or Canada, and the Canadians are concerned. One Canadian news broadcaster recently described the Canada – US relationship like a mouse sitting next to an elephant: when the elephant gets twitchy, as it has now with Dumbo Trump, , the mouse frets uncomfortably.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 27, 2017 2:27 pm

        “One Canadian news broadcaster…”

        Oh, well, that must be the full reality then.

        Let me ask you this to determine the rational state of your mind (vs. You blinded by obsessive hatred): is there one thing that Trump has done that you think is positive or could be positive? (Spare us the sarcastic responses of “when he shut his mouth” or “when he dies that will be good” etc, etc.

        So, given that you deeply detest and hate the U.S. President, is there anything he has done that is an improvement to a policy we had or a lack of policy we had?

      • January 27, 2017 3:59 pm

        I detest him, I don’t hate him.

        I was in favor of the pipeline being completed, as it was already over 90% completed. Hillary was too, until she flip flopped on it; I thought she’d flip back as prez. But in reality the pipeline won’t do much for the economy – as I understand it, all the oil that will flow through it to the refineries at the pipeline destination is for export. The Canadians will make money; the refiners will make money; but it’s not that much of a money maker for me or you, as taxpayers.

        I was also happy to hear his administration removed the Spanish language version of the White House website. I’ve long railed against the spread of Spanish into our public life because perpetuating it prevents full commitment for Hispanics to fully intergrate as cultural Americans.

        And though I’m strongly Pro Abortion Rights, I don’t condemn him for promoting the opposite view – its to be expected because it’s a core party policy, and other Republican Presidents did the same – and therefore rescinding the Global Gag Rule, blocking aid money to foreign NGOs that perform or promote abortion. Each new Republican Presidend coming into office rescinded the Previous Democrat who reinstalled it. These are NORMAL shifts in policy from one apart to the other.

        But that’s where normality ends, and idiocy engulfs anything positive he’s done. Let’s put in perspective all the negative stuff President Liar In Chief has done in only one week: he’s gone crazy with executive orders (after condemning Obama for doing that); antagonized major trade partners China and Mexico); throw money at random construction projects (a wall that never will be completed, a pipeline that won’t create more than a few dozen permanent jobs); initiated taxpayer-funded investigations into nonsense (crowd sizes, voter fraud); undermined the press; undermined the belief in our electoral system; intimated he will ease Russian sanctions,thereby upending US relations with Europe. And then there was Bozo Trump’s reiterated comment last week that he thinks torture can be useful – this out of the mouth of the President when Americans may be in enemy hands or will be soon in the future? The unread idiot probably never studied George Washington ( does he even know about chopping down the cherry tree?) who in 1775 said: Americans who torture the enemy bring ‘shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.’ Today, after all the negative feedback he received from that ( too late because the damage was already done) he half heartedly stepped back on the comment, saying he’ll defer to the opinion of General he’s installed that torture should not be used by Americans.

        Way worse, his fixation on crowd sizes and voter fraud is pathological. Insisting his unsubstantiated FACTS on both topics are correct and MUST be believed is straight out of 1984 – is it any wonder George Orwell’s book has received a huge surge of interest this week, requiring the publisher to rush a new printing to satisfy demand? Have you not noticed the utterly nutso lengths he’s gone to dispute the crowd size estimates, including ordering his new director of the National Park Service to provide photo documentation his inaugural crowd was Bigly big! Do you think that’s a rational request indicating a rational mind at work?

        Trump’s voter fraud obsession is truly frightening. For a president to claim such high numbers of illegal voters undermines confidence in democracy – doubly troubling because it indicates Trump has either a dysfunctional mind, or a specific intention to undermine confidence. This ego bruised nonsense comes a decade after a five-year investigation by the Bush administration’s Justice Department uncovered virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections. But he’s going ahead with an investigation nonetheless, and Republicans in Congress show no inclination to stop this idiocy. So much for for the assurances of commenters here that Congress would be a check and balance to his bullshit.

        The question you need to ask yourself (though I’m guessing it’s too late to make any difference) is can this nation remain a decent peaceful democracy while led by someone as proven untrustworthy ( I hope you admit that), potentially despotic ( sending the Feds into Chicago in contradiction of the Posse Comitatus Act – which I’m sure the dunce never heard of), paranoid and prone to spreading falsehoods and conspiracies?

        You call yourself a patriot, you need to start thinking what that really means.

  133. January 27, 2017 2:40 pm

    Jay, I guess it is what one considers a luxury vehicle. I would not consider an SUV luxury when it has a 4 cylinder engine (2.5 liter engine), but I guess the Chinese would for protectionist reasons.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/dec/15/china-taxes-us-car-imports

    To me fair trade is an Envision imported to the USA with no tariffs in return for an SUV exported to China with no tariffs.

    You seem to have a different outlook on fair trade? Can you explain.

    Now I can fully understand why the auto companies are not complaining. They are getting a sweet deal from china. China helps them build a factory, China provides for cheap labor and cheap materials and those cars are selling well in China, thus reducing the company costs and increasing profits. But I have an extremely hard time understanding how someone as liberal as you can now take up for big corporations that are costing Americans jobs by promoting a car built under uneven financial conditions and selling that SUV to the American public with no tariffs. It is only benefitting the huge corporation, not the American worker.

    In addition, just take some time to look up how China imposes tariffs from America.
    1. Most electronics face duties of approximately 30 percent.
    2. Value-Added Taxes keep out American phosphate fertilizer:
    3. China imposes tariffs on cosmetics, clothing and shoes to the extent that for every dollar we buy of chinese goods, the chinese only buy 24 cents of american goods.
    4. And there are many other tariffs that increase American products out of the reach of low income Chinese workers.
    5. Since 1970 our imports from china have increased from less than 10 billion to over 300 billion, while manufacturing jobs have declined just short of 40% in America.

    I know you will find a way to blame Trump as you did in your previous post, but short of god, no man in office for only 7 days can cause these massive trade imbalances.

    So how about leaving Trump out of this discussion and keep it clean of politics from that standpoint and provide support for uneven trade agreements and how they benefit America.